• sarah@healingeyes.org

Author Archives: Healing Eyes

Ride for Refuge 2013

HELP ! I need to raise some money.. even if its only $10 🙂
I am BIKING next weekend for Refugees.. it’s a cause I am just starting to get involved with (odd, as I am not big on ’causes).
All pennies help !

Team Beyond aims to use the funds raised to build a Discipleship Camp & Retreat Center. Team Beyond plans to specifically use the Center for a 3-7 month discipleship program, with an emphasis on youth ages 18-30 from the communities where Team Beyond works. The goal of this program is to allow a significant period of time for relationship building and to allow the power of the gospel to transform the lives of those who participate.

 

Ride for Refuge 2013.

Healing Eyes

Into the unknown

Into recovery and beyond people change. I’ve changed and Andy has changed. The pups have even changed.
Change is hard and scarey.
I haven’t written much lately because I’ve been traveling for work across the globe. It’s been great.. Too great perhaps because I was able to escape to some degree my reality. It followed me of course as Andy was always in my mind but this time I didn’t have to watch him suffer, watch him eat, watch him breathe each night. I learned to let go some of the weight I took on over the year. Now I’m back and it’s an adjustment of still learning to not do everything and worry about his meds and feel guilty for still progressing my job while balancing this new cancer normal. Being active and giving back to others struggling in some shape or form is another goal.

Soon we have to visit the Oncologist for some routine iron level check and then ct scans will fast approach. Our every three month reminder of looming uncertainty. I think for me it’s more looming because I naturally worry about everything. So my goal is to not worry, try and live, keep going with the changes in my life and see where it leads.
Hopefully travel more and see the world and andy gets stronger and we both learn to live again.

Healing Eyes

treading lightly

This rant is for cancer caregivers only.. If you aren’t one you better stop reading because you just won’t get it…If your a friend you may think I am losing it so it’s best you stop reading now:)

The problem with online blogs that are shared with ANYONE is you have to feel obligated to put disclaimer on what is said, for good reason, because there are some things you want to scream out to those who are going thru what you are experiencing. .. but on the other hand some things better left quiet. That’s the hard balance I am feeling right now, I know that if i share how I feel at this moment I will reach someone else out there who is in a very similar place right now. They could be feeling very sad and alone and need to read this post to validate how they are feeling. Is that more important than the few who will read this and not understand and look at me and my situation wrongly?

I tread lightly, I put the walls up and ever so slightly let them down, but as soon as they fall I scurry to build them back up because that’s when you are so vulnerable to letting others in. There is so much you may want to share with others in order to not feel alone, going thru cancer with a spouse is a never ending feeling of dismay. It’s not the diagnosis or the treatments that scars the most. If you are at that point treasure those moments where you can be there for your loved one, you have a purpose, you have something to do, and you are needed. If you are now at the point of ‘waiting’ after treatments, not  knowing when/if cancer comes back than please know what you are feeling.. that feeling of hopelessness and loneliness…it’s not abnormal. It’s not easy, there will be days where you can breathe but they are few compared to the days you suffocate. The weight of what was lost is sometimes unbearable, you can lie to yourself and say this will pass, it won’t….this suffocation is forever your dark enemy. Ah I gasp for the time lost but I smile for the time gained, forever caught in the in-between.

I had a reprieve for a couple weeks, an escape from reality. Ah wait, no, it wasn’t an escape, just a change in scenery because cancer still followed me across the big wide ocean. It’s affects were not as potent because I couldn’t see the pain Andy goes thru every day, I knew it was happening, but I didn’t have to see it. I needed that time to regather my strength. Within a day of coming back to reality I am drained all over again. It happens fast! The normal routine sets in, you need to find ways to counteract it. I try so hard to motivate myself to fight the suffocation. No one can really do it for you, its a choice that as a caregiver you have to make. Will you give up? Will you feel lost? Try to breathe…Fill your lungs with air and scream if you have to. Your loved one won’t come back like they were before cancer. We all change…..Find ways to refresh, smile, breathe again. Each moment when you steal that lost moment back, you see your soul mate like he was…treasure it…and remember those moments, no matter how few, will come back. Well I hope.

Healing Eyes

Jet lag

I am in Malaysia! The other side of the world.. But all I can think about… consumed about is my love back home.
I’ve traveled two days to get here, am exhausted, excited about tomorrow but I wish my Andy was with me. He makes me smile and complete, corny I know.
But it’s the truth.

This trip is good for us, our first time apart since cancer was diagnosed. Another first of many in our new gift of time with each other. I may not be in person to caregive but my mind won’t shut down on worrying about his pills and if he’s breathing…. That’s what love is… Always worrying.

I love you Andy from way across the ends of the earth.

Healing Eyes

An incurable disease

No sign of disease is not the same as cured.

No sign of disease gives hope to an impossible situation.

Borrowed time to live another day and perhaps many many more. A sink hole fell beneath our feet but it didn’t cave in.
Four simple words, ‘no sign of disease’, a chance to think farther ahead of the next doctor appointment or scan. We have 4 more wonderful months to appreciate the memories yet to come.

Hopeful to not under appreciate what this gift has been. Almost a year ago the doctor said, large mass found, on that day we fell into that sink hole…it has taken that long to see the light of tomorrow again. If someone had asked me last year if I thought we would make it, I would have shaken my head in disbelief and whispered no. No…cancer always means the end. How can anyone survive it.

I’m not going to say we have survived it because that would mean its over and it was all for nothing. No we haven’t survived it or beaten it… We have learned to live thru it, to not give up, to keep some sanity, and to never give up on each other. Everyone loses hope and feels sorry for the bad that comes in their lives. I have felt that way, still do some days. But then I remember what i saw when andy was going thru chemo… I saw him suffer and still try to stay alive…he was so weak but he pulled thru, he endured those long days of treatment and tried to smile for me.
If we made it past those long days to be where we are now than I don’t want to squander that gift, I don’t want to rationalize what happened or why it had to be. To do that would let cancer pull me down.

There are others out there learning they have cancer….there are caregivers realizing they will never be the same….only those who make it into this elite group will see what we see. The world in a different light. Not a bright and fuzzy light but a real, difficult, unique point of view. Wake up tomorrow knowing its going to suck…it’s going to hurt…and you may not want to try….but remember life sucks for a reason. We just don’t know what that reason is. Just like doctors don’t know what cancer really is or how to fix, predict, or prevent it.

Maybe that’s because it’s the one illness we should never understand. If everyone lived charmed lives what a dull and uneventful existence that would be. I do wish they knew where or if the cancer would appear next … Wait no I don’t because knowing your future doesn’t make that future any easier to face.

Healing Eyes

Pain clinic sucks

Long day at pain clinic today waiting in a very cold office. Andy finally got the better nerve block that’s supposed to eliminate the nerve more permanently. Wait and see now for the pain from the procedure to calm down.

The last couple weeks have been interesting, full of improved health followed by declining health. The roller coaster never ends….I guess that keeps life interesting.

The tuff part is No one can see his amputated stomach but his body sure is having a hard time figuring out how to heal. There is a reason why we were made with a stomach!

We can’t rush it…we hardly see complete days of superb health…and we know every day is a new challenge to overcome. ..

Healing Eyes

This is the time of night when it sinks in… It’s not the fear of cancer returning.. It’s the realization that this survival came with repercussions. Serious side effects and unknowns on a daily basis.
My husband, is in the hospital and I am at home. This is not an abnormal thing anymore, this is going to happen more often than we want.. Or thought.
All the meetings pre surgery where the doctor said life long changes, side effects, complications are coming true. We lost all that detail in the fog of confusion during cancer. Now it comes back to haunt us.

It sinks in… We can’t go back. Our life took a drastic detour where the signs are unclear and mismarked.

I found myself googling symptoms of nausea post gastric cancer. It wasn’t very useful.. I shouldn’t be surprised. There is no hand book on it. Most of the time this surgery is for weight loss which is the total opposite of why we had it done. Yet I fell into the trap of looking for answers and to control what’s happening. No luck.

Maybe tomorrow the doctor will do a scope and peak in to find anything. Most likely there won’t be any cause and we will have to deal with that realization that answers sometimes don’t exist.

Healing Eyes

Back to hospital

Never think you have your week planned out.
Don’t start a roast and plan a nice dinner (that rarely happens) because most likely you’ll end up in the hospital. Another Sure fire way of being admitted to hospital is when you try and move on and think a good ct scan means your ok.

Andy is in for observation. This time at the hospital I don’t like grrrr. If only it was st Mary’s! That hospital seems to have more cancer patients and for some reason feels more like home.
Of course no matter what hospital the nurses always ask If you have fricken kids. For some reason this nurse thinks because andy has red hair that you must ask if we have kids. No logic there.

Hopefully they can figure out his nausea and release him sooner than later. I do like the break from taking care of andy though. Going to be a lonely night at home…

Healing Eyes

Life

So true… I couldn’t have said it better myself. Reminds me of a few special people that stepped up during our cancer journey. People can amaze you with kindness and support when all is dark.

Healing Eyes

I don’t know what’s worse..

Waiting for good news or bad.

A year ago we didn’t have to wait, the bad news just blind sighted us out of no where.  A blessing in a way because we couldn’t get worked up about what the bad was that came. This time we have had ample time to imagine the worse, dream up the best, and hypothesize over ‘what ifs’.

I prefer surprises over planned surprises. Shortly we will be back at the hospital getting a CT scan that may or may not tell us anything. Either way, whatever results come back this week will drag.

Healing Eyes