Thursday, May 10, 2018

Anniversary Surprises

I had plans for what I'd post today. A year ago, May 10, 2017 is the day I once described as the worse in my life  - the day we learned that Ed had a large brain tumor that was likely an aggressive cancer.

There has been other hard days this past year. The day we got the diagnosis of glioblastoma multiform. The day the MRI showed that Ed's tumor was actively regrowing. But the shock of that first day was unique. The day before I would have said that our family was as healthy as goats. (Are goats healthier than horses? I've heard of horse doctors but never a goat doctor.) But now our life would defined by doctor appointments, scans, and medications.

One year later, for May 10, 2018, I thought I'd write a victory post. We survived a year. A whole year of living with cancer.

I still hate cancer. I hate that many of our friends who have had loved ones face similar diagnosis this year, had to say good-bye. I hate that nearly half of those diagnosed with glioblastoma never make it to one year.

But Ed is recovering well from surgery, his treatment side affects have been manageable, and he is working full time. This past weekend was full of fun as we relished the joy of campfires, conversation, and friends.

So I planned to write about how there have been many hard days this year, but there have been good days as well. God hasn't left us alone. He brought peace in very turbulent times and promises His presence for the future.

But that peace was tested yesterday. This day included calling 911 for the first time in my life, walking the halls of the fourth hospital this year, and flipping through the Gideon Bible in the waiting room asking once again for a reminder of God's presence.

Yesterday, in the early morning hours, Ed had cramps in his leg muscle. It was like a Charlie Horse, only much worse. And it wouldn't let up. We tried ice, heat, sitting in a tub of hot water, walking - but nothing helped. Every few minutes, his leg muscle would tense up. The pain was so bad that he would shake, even his arm tensing.

We called his doctor who ordered some blood work which came back normal. In the afternoon the spasms seemed to abate. We sighed with relief and hoped such a glitch would never occur again. Ed was weary of sitting on the recliner and decided to walk around, but then the spasms came back. He was in the basement with our oldest daughter when he fell.

Ed fell in between two pieces of equipment. He was wedged so tightly that he had a scratch on both sides of his chest. His head missed the concert floor and landed on a rubber hose. But Ed's eyes were rolled back, his mouth was foaming, and he did not respond to me.

All the puzzle pieces fell together. I had never seen a seizure, but I knew this was one. Seizures are very common for those with brain tumors, and we had been so grateful that Ed never had one. But his year of reprieve was over. Likely all those dozens of muscle spasms all day long were also seizures. I felt stupid to not have recognized it earlier.

I called 911, and Ed was soon being loaded into the ambulance where he finally became conscious. Our local hospital started him on anti-seizure medicine which gave immediate relief to the spasms. A CAT scan showed no signs of head or neck injuries. He was moved to a larger hospital and given two more seizure drugs. He was doped all night, barely opening his eyes for blood draws.

Today he is feeling much better, though still sleepy and weak. When he isn't napping, he is talking like his normal self. We hope his MRI will give us information on his seizures. If he continues to do well, he will be able to go home tomorrow.

During the long hours beside Ed's bed last night my mind rolled. Do I still write and share what God has done for us this past year? (I could add a few more things to the list, such as my daughter being with Ed and not injuring himself in the fall.) Or would this be the time that Ed never fully recovers and I have a permanently handicapped husband? If so, could I still testify of the peace that God gives?

I want to. Please continue to pray for us.

63 comments :

  1. Its early morning here in Australia - I just came to your blog from Going Grey and Slightly Green - Ed, yourself ad children will be in my thoughts and prayers today, Clare

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  2. Praying you will continue to feel God's presence. That sounds like quite a tramatic experience. I saw a quote by AW Tozer "While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who has not surrendered His authority.
    "

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  3. In my prayers Gina. He will carry you through.
    Much love.
    Diane

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  4. You and your family continue to be in my prayers.

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  5. Saw posts earlier on Instagram, have been praying for all of you. Thanks for the update. May you feel God's peace and presence! Love and hugs!

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  6. Oh Miss Gina, my heart just breaks to hear this. I'm tearing up just thinking that your poor daughter had to see that but THANK GOD she was there. Maybe God thinks she is supposed to be a doctor and this is what sparks the flame in her heart? Thank GOD he had someone put that hose there...Thank The Good Lord. I wish I could hug you, tell you everything will be okay. I want so much for you and your family to be happy, healthy and whole again. Sending love and light from Colorado.

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  7. Prayers for you and your family. Lean on God's promise to be there during the difficult times.

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  8. Gina I lift you and your family up to God for comfort. I look back on all the miracles you have had this year and I can see God's handiwork in your lives. I know it's frighteng but He is there. Just know we are here for you too. Praying Teresa

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  9. So sorry, Gina. We are praying for you, Ed, and the family. Your testimony of peace in the middle of this health crisis is beautiful.

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  10. Gina, you are in my prayers. God hasn't abandoned you and He will walk you through whatever the future holds.

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  11. Gina, I am so sorry Ed, you and your family are having to endure this. I have been praying and will continue to pray that you will feel God walking alongside you through all of this. Although you don’t know me, we’re sisters in Christ and that’s all that is needed to make us family.
    Blessings, Betsy

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  12. I'm sorry that this has happened.I will certain continue to pray for all of you..God is listening!!

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  13. This was a difficult blog post to read :( so I can’t imagine how hard it was to write. :(
    I do appreciate any update you feel to share with us. You and Ed are thought about so often. You surely are in my prayers. Love y’all!

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  14. Continuing to pray for Ed and all of you. God is in control. God's blessings to you all.

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  15. Praying...so glad to have met you in person at the store just this week. We will lift you up in prayer. May God give grace & hold you in the hollow of His hand!

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  16. My husband has seizures, they are so scary to watch. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    I continue to pray for Ed and your family.

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  17. Holding you all in prayer, and sharing the need (anonymously) with friends.

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  18. Praying for you and your family. Such difficult times! May you experience God's presence and strength.

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  19. I am wishing you and your family the best through these trying times. Never feel stupid in hindsight; you are not being fair to yourself.

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  20. I am praying for your darling Ed, you and the children. You are in my thoughts today. You wrote that you felt stupid because you did not realize Ed was having seizures. PLease don't feel that way - you did not know - I would have thought they were muscle spasms too.

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  21. Praying for you, dear family.
    (Isaiah 43:1-3) "But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
    “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
    2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
    when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
    3 For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

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  22. Gina, I was praying for you and Ed yesterday morning when I was lying in bed.What a fright for you all! Thank you for letting us know what happened so we can continue to pray for your family. Big hugs.

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  23. Je prierai pour vous et votre famille que dieu vous benisse

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  24. Praying. My mother used to tell me - "God is in control, and everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, then it's not the end." I pray for His light and peace and deep healing on all your family.

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  25. Ed's fall must have been so frightening for your family. Your role as a wife and a mother to remain courageous in the face of Ed's cancer is not an easy path. God bless you and hold you up today.

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  26. Oh, Gina, through my tears I am thinking that Jesus sees your tears and cares about each one. How He must groan with the whole earth under the weight of the effects of sin on the earth since Creation, and longing to free us. Praying for you.

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  27. As one that has had seizures I can relate to the fact that Ed is weak. I always felt like I had been run over by a truck after a seizure. As for you, I am sure it was terrifying. I have never seen my husband so terrified as I do when I come out of a seizure and he is standing there watching over me making sure I do not choke, flail and hurt myself or smother on the bedding. May God help you and yours during this time.

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  28. Oh, Gina. I am praying for you.

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  29. I also am praying. Your testimony is a blessing to many. God is glorified through your family’s life. May He continue to assure you if his presence and plan.

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  30. Gina, thank you for being real. I have not walked this path where my husband was the patient, but rather with four of my children. I have been where you are now, hoping and hoping, but also knowing that the answer is likely to be no. Your faith in God brings glory to Him. Keep trusting Him. I am praying for you today!

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  31. Gina, I just saw this. I pray that things are going better today and that God gives you all strength for whatever comes.

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  32. You betcha, many prayers for all you!

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  33. Gina, how scary for you and the children. God protected Ed... he wasn't on the road or at the top of the stairs! Don't let yourself feel stupid...that is not from God.

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  34. Continuing prayers, thoughts, and lighting candles for you folks. Love and light...

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  35. Oh my dear sister in the Lord, thank you for sharing this update. We cannot make this nightmare go away. We cannot be by your side, as your family and friends will be. But, we can pray............and pray we will. I am a nurse and there are things I have not recognized in my family, do don't feel badly that you didn't figure it out. We are here to pray for you, you precious Ed and the children.

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  36. Praying for you all often. The good Lord is with you.

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  37. Thank God this world is not our home. I woke to news my Mom had a stroke this morning. Hopefully she will be alright, but she lives clear across the country from me. Just know we all are thinking and praying for your family. When you have time, say a little prayer for mine.

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  38. Gina- I think I know what you mean when you say "Or would this be the time that Ed never fully recovers and I have a permanently handicapped husband? If so, could I still testify of the peace that God gives?" You will testify of His peace because He will give you the grace and the mercy and the peace to do so. These days are so hard in our flesh, but when we look to the Father they are lifted some. Just keep trusting Him Gina and you will find Him as you need Him. Know there are many praying for you and your family.

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  39. I have watched my son have thousands of seizures over the years and had scary ambulance rides through the country wondering if we would make it in time to the paramedic meeting us who could start an IV. Went through times when I slept in my clothes so that I could be more ready and the suitcase always packed and a plan to get all the pills in there as quickly as possible. You would think I would always know when a seizure is lurking, but we both sometimes are too slow to pick up on cues. Wearing a helmet and chest protector has helped curb the injuries and broken bones, and would allow more freedom for those with tonic clonic seizures. Our son has myoclonic seizures mostly and they involve powerful slams to the floor or whatever gets in his way, so he uses a wheel chair at the store and can't be alone ( he can slide out of it and get hurt when he stops seizing and the muscles relax). I hate to hear he is having seizures and I hope they can find a med that helps him. We find that a rather high dose of magnesium daily, split up in smaller portions throughout the day, helps a lot. Seizures are stressful and when stressed we waste things like magnesium, which is so important in seizure control. His keto diet may help keep his seizures under better control than if he were not on it. Walking the halls of hospitals really strikes something in me because we have done it so much and often being so sleep deprived we KNEW God was helping us to put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it didn't FEEL in some ways like He was there, but we yet it we knew we could have not have kept going if not for Him. I would look down so often at my feet and marvel at how they kept walking!!! God will push, pull, and take you along whatever path you go. You ( all of you) will have a lot of prayers, which is so wonderful. I am amazed that you can even write about this - that has to be very hard to do. I have said it before somewhere, I think on here, but your testimonies are being used mightily I am sure and will continue to be for a long, long time to come.

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  40. Praying for you. Thank you for sharing your faith, in good times and in the hard.

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  41. I am praying for your dear husband Ed and your whole family. Cheryl

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  42. Lori in MissouriMay 11, 2018 at 8:25 PM

    Gina, our hearts go out to you, dear friend. We've read of your lovely family for years and feel a bond... not a cyber bond... a true Christian love and compassion for you and yours. I am praying for Ed. Tonight I pray God's especial favor upon YOU.

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  43. Oh, Gina, and family...praying with you, and that God will give grace, peace, wisdom and strength for this uncertain path. Love, Randy & Eunice

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  44. May the peace of the Lord Jesus be with you and Ed and your children throughout this difficult time. Chris W.

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  45. dear Gina, Ed and family,
    Praying for you all, praying for God's strength and love around all of you and for good doctors who may ease the seizures.
    hugs and blessings
    shelley p
    from over the pond

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  46. Praying and wishing you strength and courage!

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  47. God bless you, dear sister! Prayers are being offered up for you and your family!

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  48. Praying God's supernatural peace to guard your heart and mind. Suz

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  49. Reading this post made me sad. Im sad because i feel your pain and your fear
    and the exhaustion....BUT GINA you have God! And God will continue to hold you in the Palm of His Hand. He cares for you. Take one moment at a time. Love and hugs to you. MaryAnn

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  50. thewarmfireplaceMay 13, 2018 at 5:39 AM

    Praying for Ed and you all, I have seizures and not pleasant for those witnessing it, God bless you all.
    Sue x

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  51. Sweet Gina, praying for Ed and your whole family. Much love!

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  52. Praying for you every day.

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  53. Sweet Gina I am just now getting to read this so I will first off say a happy Mother's Day to you as you are one of the strongest moms I know. I know it has been a rough tough road your family is traveling and every day you get to spend another day with ed is a blessing the good lord sees ever tear and hears every prayer he will not leave you in times of good or bad I know going through the rough times sometimes it's hard to remain with that faith in the Lord when you want to scream why is this happening to me and my family and feel you are getting no answers that is how I felt when my mom passed away. But I think of it as god had a better plan for her than here on earth and I know he will heal ed and you will have many more years together. I hope you continue to share his story as I'm rooting for you and praying for you and your family everyday. Blessings

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  54. Thanks for sharing, Gina. This was hard to read and I feel so deeply sorry. I continue to pray for strength and courage for you all.

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  55. Bless you, your husband and your family. I cannot fathom the trials you have gone through this past year. I will continue to pray for peace, strength, wisdom and grace for you all. I also pray that you feel God's love in a tangible way.

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