Thursday, May 16, 2019

730 Days

730 days. 104 weeks. 24 months. 2 years.

Two years ago today Ed had surgery to remove the brain tumor that was causing intense headaches. The preliminary test during surgery showed that the tumor was the feared glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) an aggressive cancer with life expectancy of not more than a year. A week later the pathology report would confirm the diagnosis.

Throughout the last two years with radiation, chemo, radical diet, more surgeries, and clinical trials, Ed was blessed with many good days. We were able to take family trips, make memories, and squeeze the joy out of ordinary days.

But there is no respite from a diagnosis such as GBM. Never do you forget that without a miracle, your days are numbered.

We all know we could leave this earth at any time. I've heard numerous times, "I could be in a car accident tomorrow and die before Ed." I've probably said it myself. And this week this fact became true for the mother of a dear friend.

But I don't live like I expect to die tomorrow. I've watched Ed this past two years and saw the difference in how a GBM diagnosis affected his life. He wasn't morbid, but every decision from buying a new pair of shoes to planning a vacation was affected by the facts of his disease. Sometimes I was surprised by how well he was able to set aside the diagnosis and enjoy the moment, but I know it was never far from his thoughts.

For the last week we have sat in vigil around the hospital bed set up in the living room. Our family surrounds us with their love and presence. My brothers and Ed's brothers take turns staying with him at night so I can sleep. We try to keep Ed comfortable with the help of morphine and oxygen and the advice of our home-care nurse. Sometimes his breathing is labored, but in the last 24 hours he seems to be resting peacefully. Only rarely does he open his eyes, and he hasn't spoken for days.

Life flows around Ed. We sit by his bed and watch out the window as the children play volleyball with their cousins. We pull out the table, fill it full of people, and enjoy my brother's omelets. We gather around for bedtime stories. We laugh, cry, and discuss the latest book we are reading. We say good-night knowing that if Ed would wake in heaven it would be his gain and our loss.

730 days of knowing that this good-bye was coming. I'm not sure if it makes it easier or harder.

But I know we've had 730 days of God's grace, and we haven't used it up yet.

 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
 Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

73 comments :

  1. Gina, I'm sorry I don't know what to say, other then I'm praying for you, Ed, and your family.

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  2. May the peace that passes all understanding flow through your home in a special way today. We're praying for you. - Suz

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  3. Love and prayers for you and your family. Thank you for posting. It’s a sad yet steady testimony of the grace of God and the love and support of His people. God be with you.

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  4. Oh, Gina. I pray for you so much. Jesus is walking with you in this valley of the shadow of death.

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  5. Thinking of you with love and prayers...for continued comfort and care. May you feel Jesus near... throughout each moment and more!! He is faithful...to keep us, in his hand!!

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  6. Gina, I'm so sorry. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  7. Oh Gina, We continue to lift you and your family up in prayer. May He give you the strength and peace that you need as you face each day.

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  8. I'm sure your life doesn't feel inspiring right now but you inspire me tremendously. May you feel His grace above and beyond anything you've felt this far.

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  9. Dear Sister we are praying for you!

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  10. QUE LA PAZ DEL SEÑOR TE CONSUELE EN ESTE DIFICIL MOMENTO QUE ATRAVIESAN. LA MUERTE ES SOLO UNA SEPARACION TEMPORAL, CUANDO CRISTO REGRESE, LOS LLEVARA A ESTAR TODOS JUNTOS EN LA MORADA CELESTIAL, AHI NO HAY LLANTO, NI DOLOR, NI AMARGURA, NI ENFERMEDAD, JUNTOS ESTARAN TODOS POR LA ETERNIDAD.

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  11. May our Fathers angels, who are sitting with you at Ed's bedside ministering to him in ways you can't see, also surround your home with peace, and I pray that you will feel the presence of our ABBA FATHER as Ed is called Home. I also am praying for each of your children too!!!!

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  12. My prayers are lifted to our Heavenly Father in behalf of Ed, you and your family. What an inspiration you are to me Gina. The GRACE that you show us through this difficult walk is amazing. Much love my dear sister in Christ.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  13. Praying for you whenever I think of you. Was listening to "Great day, the righteous marching, God's gonna build up Zion's walls...this is the day of Jubilee, God's gonna set His people free." Made me think of Ed. He's soon going to be free. I hear so much of what you're not saying in your post. Know that God is caring for those feelings and thoughts you can't even put into words right now as you live moment by moment. Thank you for taking time to write here for those of us not intimately connected. Sarah

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  14. Oh Gina. Praying for all of you, my friend. What a testimony your family is!

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  15. Oh Gina so sorry, praying for you all, may you feel the presence of our Heavenly Father very close to you all

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  16. I have no words to say. May God comfort your family.

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  17. Gina - you have such a way with words that I pray helps to ease your burden. How blessed that your brothers and Ed's brothers help with the night duties. May you feel the loving, tender care of our Savior through the touch, hugs, presence, etc. of your family and friends. Praying for you all! Love and hugs!

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  18. Oh Gina. My heart breaks for you. Praying for your sweet family

    Katie Thomas

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  19. I am crying for you, Gina.

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  20. How can we ever thank you for sharing this part of your journey with us. As I have said many times, it feels like I am in a "sacred classroom" learning how one wife has walked through this dark valley. I am learning from your example. You have not "wasted" this experience, as was your prayer from the beginning.
    My husband and I pray so often for you and yours. It will be our honor to continue to pray for you and your children down through the years.

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  21. Praying for peace and grace.
    Love to your precious family.
    Know that through all of this hard time, you have been such a witness of the faithfulness of God. He has been with you all and it shows.
    Beth Wagenius

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  22. Continuing to pray for you and your family Gina x

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  23. Praying for you, caring for you... May you feel God very near as you walk through this valley of the shadow of death, and may you fear no evil.

    Mary Beth Martin

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  24. Gina, may the Lord comfort you and your family during this terribly difficult time.

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  25. Oh Gina, praying for you. So glad you have wonderful family around you showering you with love. May God continue to give you strength. Cindy Norred

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  26. We think of you all and when we do we pray. It will be one year ago Monday that we said goodbye to my husband's sister that lost her battle with cancer. Thankful for the promise of heaven. Rebekah

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  27. Sending my love and a big hug.

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  28. You and your family are all in my prayers for comfort and peace.

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  29. Praying . . . Deuteronomy 31:8 is my life verse and has been precious for 50 years now . . . pray it will bless you.

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  30. I am so blessed just to read your blog while you travel this journey no one wants to traverse. You are a strong woman leaning on your heavenly Father. We all know Ed is in the best of care with his life partner and family surrounding him, as he passes onto his next adventure. We all know life is fleeting, we just never want it to go by so very quickly. Even when we know something better is waiting on the other side. I'm sorry if I'm not wording this in a way that is more Hallmark y. I'm not good at saying the right things when this sort of thing happens in life. I hope I haven't said anything to make you feel worse. None of us knows how many days we have here with our loved ones. We just need to cherish the days we have. I have to trust in the Lord, knowing that he knows what he is doing. May His peace rest on you and your family.
    Debbie Hughes

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  31. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless.

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  32. I have no words other than God is watching over your family.

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  33. prayers for u and your family God will lead you through this dark valley .thanks for writing

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  34. I'm praying here Gina. Thanks for describing your reality.

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  35. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.. . . I continue to lift you all in prayer and love.

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  36. You and your family have been on my mind so often this week. I have prayed for you and will continue to pray for you often. There are no words I can think to say that would make this any easier. God bless.

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  37. I'm an old hospice nurse. Gina, this is for you and your family. All of you: Christ is Risen from the dead,
    Trampling down, death by death,
    And upon those in the tombs,
    Bestowing life
    May your sorrow be wrapped in His glorious Resurrection.

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  38. I would like to pray for each of your children by name in the coming weeks and months!! Would you mind listing them in the comments and i'll look for it there? If not I understand.

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  39. My heart goes out to all of you!!! Just reading your blog, I can feel your peace that I know only comes from God. So thankful that you have family there walking through this with you and your children. So many good and precious memories for everyone. I lost both my dad and sister to GBM's and it's a tough journey. Hugs and prayers!

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  40. Tears and prayers I offer whenever you and your family come to mind. May God be so close.

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  41. I’ve thought of you often this last few weeks. Continuing to pray. 💜

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  42. Still praying! God bless you all!

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  43. the warmfireplaceMay 17, 2019 at 2:54 AM

    Keeping you all in constant prayer, Sue x

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  44. Sending love and God's blessings to you and your family. Xx

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  45. Lifting you Gina, Ed and your precious family before God's throne of grace. My heart goes out to you and all you are going through right now. Know you are in our prayers ~ Linda and Bruce (New Zealand)

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  46. Gina, big hugs from Australia. How wonderful that Ed is surrounded by so much love at this time. You have some hard days ahead and I will be praying for you and your family.

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  47. My heart is breaking for you sweet Gina �� I’ll be praying daily for the Lords strength and peace to be with you ��

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  48. Thank you so much, Gina, for sharing your journey with all of us, and faithfully pointing to God! We're so sorry, and continuing to pray!

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  49. Praying for strength for your journey.

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  50. Reading of your vigil made me think of the song "Angels in the Room". To stand by a loved one who is so near to and so eager for heaven is to stand on 'holy ground'. Glad to hear you have supporters who can both laugh and cry with you.

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  51. I rarely comment but I keep you and your family in prayer. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your journey of faith.

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  52. Dear Gina, we are praying that Ed has comfort now and you have the strength to provide peace and comfort for him. Soon he will be back home. Make photos now..hold his hand...Knowing that it may be the very last time you do it in this life. How precious are the last moments. How heartbreaking this all is for you, dear Gina. From Russian Federation, Russian Orthodox Church

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  53. Praying for all of you during this time.

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  54. A song for you and Ed
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxwN1pUJWsQ

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  55. I don't believe that I've I'ver commented here before, though I've been reading since before Ed's diagnosis. Sorry if that makes me stalker. But I hope my prayers are adding to the peace of you God you experience at this time, from all us that are praying for you and yours. I have no other words.

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  56. Oh, Gina, it hurts my heart that a sister in Christ is facing such a trial but I and my church congregation are praying for you, Ed and your beautiful children.

    Much love,

    Heloise.

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  57. My heart and prayers are with you and your family.

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  58. Gina, you, Ed, and your family are in my prayers. The journey of Glioblastoma Multiforme is hard and the disease is cruel. We walked that road with my Dad back in 2001-2002. For us it lasted nine months. And what you are describing now, is a road we walked. The Lord will be with you, providing love, grace, and peace, as He did for my mother and us children.

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  59. Oh, oh, oh . . . Dear girl! . . . May God hold you tight . . .

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  60. I'm so sorry for all that you're going through. I've been praying for you and your family and I'll continue.

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  61. Thank you, Gina, for having the courage to share this journey with all of us. We are strangers, but sisters, and your faith has been an inspiration. I am praying for all of you.
    Carren S.

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  62. May your days be filled with precious memories! Soon Ed will run into Jesus' arms! It is such a holy moment to be with a child of God when they enter His presence. It is a time of joy & pain wrapped up tightly! Praying for strength as you spend time loving on Ed & your family!

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  63. Gina may the peace of Yahweh be with you. The peace that you know passes all understanding.

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  64. I don't really have any words to say. I am praying for you and the family. May you all feel the peace of the LORD while you are traveling this road. Prayers and love.

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  65. I’m a long time lurker - I grew up in Mennonite/Amish country in southern Ontario. My mom passed away from cancer in December 2017 and your story brings back so many emotions. There are no words - just tears for you and your little ones. May God’s grace be evident to you in the love and care of those around you.

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  66. Praying for you and your family, Gina, with love.

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  67. Praying for you and your family every night. Your faith is truly an inspiration to me right now. Thank you for sharing this journey.

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  68. Praying for you all.
    love to you from
    Sheree.
    xxxx

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  69. Oh precious Gina, I'm so sorry. Please believe that I am praying for you.

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