Saturday, May 4, 2019

In Slow Motion

A friend described my life as a nightmare of being stuck on the railroad tracks while a train bears down on you - and you can't move.

The description fits. I wish there was a way to escape this story. Can't I write my own ending? 


(Photos on this post are from my  walk "around the block." Watching spring emerge these last weeks has been restorative.)

Ed's MRI this week showed significant growth in the new tumor in the center of his brain. Because of the physical and cognitive decline we've watched this last month, I wasn't surprised. Still, it is hard to see confirmation of our fears.


Old barn covered in wisteria

Ed's seizure on Monday left him even weaker on his left side. At first he could not move his fingers or lift his arm. He has regained a little movement, but still can't use his left side much.

My brothers and Ed's brothers take turns coming every morning and evening to help Ed dress and shower. With the children's help, I can move him from his wheelchair to the recliner, but it isn't easy. I'm so glad to have the help of family.






Road-side poppies

In the past two years we've thrown a lot at Ed's cancer including multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation, diet, and experimental treatments. We knew Ed had the most aggressive form of glioblastoma multiforme, which has dismal statistics. But Ed had nearly two years of good quality life after his diagnosis, for which we are thankful.

But now we feel it is time to change tactics. We've stopped all treatment and are focusing on caring for Ed. Brain cancer patients rarely experience pain, and Ed appears comfortable and worry free. Our palliative doctor and home-care nurse have been helpful in giving us the needed equipment and information.



I don't know what the coming weeks hold, but I know that we'll need to hold onto God.

      Abide With Me

      by Henry F. Lyte

      Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
      The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
      When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
      Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

      Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
      Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
      Change and decay in all around I see;
      O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

      I need Thy presence every passing hour.
      What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
      Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
      Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

      I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
      Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
      Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
      I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

      Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
      Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
      Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
      In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
      If reading by email, click over to the blog to listen to this hymn.



81 comments :

  1. This is a hard road to walk, and I walked it with my mother last year. She had a deep faith and knew where she was going which made letting go easier. We knew we would see her again. Your strength shows deeply in your faith to share this journey with people you don't know. I have no doubt where ever you go Jesus is beside you. Your family is in my prayers.

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  2. You and your family are such a blessing and living witnesses to Christ living within us. Each day, I lift you and yours up in prayer on this journey that He has for you.

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  3. God bless and keep you all every step that you travel on this journey. Praying for you all.

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  4. Tears...praying for you all.

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  5. Gina, I have held you, Ed, the children, and your family in my heart and prayers, and I hope that you will all find peace in this sadness. ~For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.~ Psalm 48:14.

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    1. Even Jesus cried to the Father to "let this cup pass from me" -in his darkest hour. Gina has exhibited acceptance of God's will through all of this - I don't think it fair to chide or condemn her for asking "for the cup to pass". Fact is, she's facing an incredibly difficult time. Let's hold her up to the throne of GRACE.

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  7. Praying for you and those you love. That our Lord of compassion will surround you in peace and hope, these next days and months. And that you will be carried in the everlasting arms.

    - Natalia Showalter

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  8. Elizabeth ParkinsonMay 4, 2019 at 12:04 PM

    Once, when I had some bad news, a friend said "I don't know what to say, but I am praying for you". This helped me far more than all those who said things like "You'll be blessed by this". So, Gina I am praying for you while not knowing what to say.

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  9. ESPERAR EN EL SEร‘OR Y QUE SE HAGA SU VOLUNTAD.

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  10. Praying for you all. I'm unable to articulate all of the many thoughts that I have in my heart for you and your family right now Gina. Wishing you much love and God's peace my friend and sister in Him.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  11. Thinking of you! Praying for you! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™

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  12. Prayers continue. I'm so sorry.
    MaryE Osborne
    SanPedro CA

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  13. Oh Gina, I am so sorry. We will continue to pray.

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  14. You're often in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you what you need for this moment. His resources will not be depleted.

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  15. Hi Gina, I pray for your family . I am from WI .

    P.S. My brother would know your brother Vaun.

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  16. Gina, We don't know each other, but I am following your journey with your husband and praying for you.Glioblastoma Multiforme came in our vocabulary in 2002, and I know all about it's cruelty and devastating results. In my thoughts and prayers. Ann

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  17. Hi Gina, I pray for your family . My name is Joanna Hess am from WI.

    P.S. My brother would know your brother Vaun.

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  18. "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I" Psalm 61:2

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  19. I'm so sorry. Thinking of you and lifting you and your family up in prayers during this difficult time๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’ž

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  20. Gina,
    I am praying for you, Ed and your lovely family.
    I am from a different Christian tradition but please know that my tiny Catholic church in the North East of England has added you to our Mass Day prayers and there is a candle burning for you.
    All my love, hugs and prayers.
    Heloise.

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  21. I'm so sorry. I'm thinking of you and your family in the coming weeks.

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  22. Please know that we pray for you EVERY day... most often that God would smother you with the blanket of His love... His heart n ours bleeds for you n yours at this very difficult time.

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  23. I listened to the hymn with tears running down my face. Yes, remembering comparable moments in Marlita's journey, but a spouse, your strong one...the one you depend upon in so many ways. Your young ones who look up to dad. You are walking what is among the most difficult moments in this life one can face. Continue to abide, it isn't an easy road but He will be with you all the way. much love and prayers

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  24. Hi again Gina. I hope this hymn will comfort you:

    https://youtu.be/pN4tPkX0MG0

    Heloise

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  25. My heart hurts for you and your family. Sounds silly, we have never met but I have been amazed and encouraged by everything you have gone through as a family. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal account.
    Sincerely, Barb in PA

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  26. Mari in SC (No longer in MD)May 4, 2019 at 5:37 PM

    I am so sorry to hear this. I pray that God gives you strength to get through this, acceptance of the results, and peace knowing that Ted's suffering is over.

    You might like this song, Raise You Up on Eagles' Wings. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8lY_iTQf0GM

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  27. Prayers for you and your family!❤

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  28. I pray for you all. My dear friend had the same diagnosis as Ed, she was given weeks but through God's grace we enjoyed her company for 2 more years. We know she is with the Lord so we concentrate on helping her husband and lovely children have a rich and blessed life. God bless you all.

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  29. Our family will continue to lift yours up in prayer. When we can't seem to bear our burdens God is always there to carry us. I pray he is carrying you and your family in these difficult times. Much love!

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  30. Suzanna Starr WilliamsMay 4, 2019 at 7:06 PM

    Our family is keeping your family in our prayers. My best friend's husband went through the same thing as Ed, and it was so painful to watch his decline. I pray the Lord watches over you all and holds you in his loving embrace.

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  31. Ah the pain of giving up a person so needed and beloved. Yes dear one I wish you could write your ending... I like your "realness". I too have no magic words except I do care. I will pray for God's grace. Praying to the Almighty who is, at the same time, allowing your pain... Can we trust such a One?! I believe we can though His wounding is beyond our strength����

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  32. Oh, Gina. May God continue to send you support in the form of His people and with His loving presence. It will not be easy, but He will always, always be there. May He also ease this journey for your dear kiddies.

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  33. Gina, I am so so sorry you are on this journey. I was on a similar one several years ago when we lost my dear sister in law. Only the Lord and family got us through that, and I am so glad you have both. I realize nothing I can say will ease your pain of this cycle of life.

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  34. Prayers for you and your family. Words are so inadequate...

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  35. So thankful that Ed appears comfortable and worry free and that your brothers and brother in laws are available to help you. But my heart hurts as I can only imagine the pain of watching your dear Ed decline. Praying that you feel the love of Jesus through the hands of family, friends and medical professionals. Love you!

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  36. No more words, other than we are so sorry, and continue to pray for God's overwhelming peace, grace and strength for all of you! We love you! ~Randy & Eunice

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  37. Many thoughts and prayers for you and your family, Gina.

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  38. My heart is heavy ๐Ÿ™ for you, Gina. Please know you and Ed and your family are in our prayers. ❤️

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  39. Gina I pray for you, Ed and the family quite often. It is such a hard time for you all. You have made so many happy memories to look back on in the future. Big hugs!

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  40. We have never met, but I pray for you and your family every day. I commented a few months ago that my mother-in-law had been diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme last year, and we watched with sadness the same progression of cognitive and physical decline. I am so sorry that you and your family are having to go through this pain, and I will continue praying for you all.

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  41. Please know we continue to pray for you all. (((Hugs)))

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  42. Whenever I think of you I pray for you. May God guide you, hold you and fill you with his peace.
    God bless you

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  43. May our good God give you the grace you need to face the unknown turns in the path. I am praying for you. He is Faithful!

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  44. Still praying for each one of you, Gina.

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  45. the warmfireplaceMay 5, 2019 at 5:12 AM

    Keeping you all in prayer at all times and your wider families, I know this road will not be easy, God is with you on this journey and supporting you all as you walk it. God bless you all. Sue x

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  46. Praying daily for you, your immediate, and extended family.

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  47. Walking with you and lifting you to the Throne constantly! Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child. May you feel His Presence and His calm in your storm.

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  48. Dearest Gina I'm so sorry you are going through this. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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  49. I'm so sorry that Ed's health is declining. It's so hard to find words to articulate feelings. I continue to pray for you both & your family. What a blessing to have brothers to help! God's strength is always around you, His love & peace surround you. Please know you all are in our hearts & in our prayers.

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  50. So thankful to hear that Ed doesn't and likely will not have a lot of pain. Gina- with God's help, you have done everything you could have. I marvel that you could keep everything going that you did. He will be your strength each coming day...

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  51. Tears. Praying for your family. ๐Ÿ’œ

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  52. We are still praying for you and your family! I can't understand your pain, but looking on it looks unbearable. I'm just praying that His Grace is real to you and will continue to carry you through these difficult days ahead. I wish I could change the ending of your story as well. Tears!

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  53. I am sorry your family is going through this difficult time. Praying for God to give you the strength.

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  54. We are holding you all up in prayer.

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  55. Oh Gina. No words. Much care and love.

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  56. Continued prayers for you, Ed and your family.

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  57. I can't believe it's been two years. Whenever I visit your blog, I read aloud an update to my husband of how Ed is doing, since we have prayed for him together all during this time. My heart goes out to you and the family. Our prayers continue for you all. Blessings in His name ~ Linda and Bruce (New Zealand)

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  58. So sorry to hear this .Thinking and praying for you all.
    love to you.
    from Sheree xxxx

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  59. I am reading Psalm 61 and 62 and praying for you this morning: "When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings." - Suz

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  60. Continued prayers for you and your family.

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  61. Oh my dear sister in the Lord, how I do NOT like this HORRIBLE trial. It grieves my heart to even imagine the load you have carried these past 2 years. Prayng, praying, praying.

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  62. I have been following your blog for a couple years. You have been in my prayers and will continue to be. I admire your strong faith. You are so fortunate to have the help of your family. I pray you and your children to be strong through this trial. Darlene

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  63. My dear friend Gina. It makes me sad to watch you and your family suffer. I keep praying for you and yours. May God grant you the strength and wisdom that you need. May he comfort you during this horrible trial. May you be blessed with peace.

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  64. dear Gina and family, my heart goes out to you all. I am praying for you.

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  65. Praying for you and thinking of you lots! There are just no words...

    Mary Beth Martin

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  66. I just want to join in and surround you with any comfort possible through knowing how many people are thinking of you, Ed, and family. Holding you all up for God to bless with all He will bless you with as you go through this very deep valley.

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  67. And here's a song for you Gina if you care to listen to it. Praying for you often.
    https://youtu.be/A-SbwUw7CyI
    Audrey Martin

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  68. Praying for you! May God give you strength and peace... Jenna

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  69. Continued prayers for you and your family. What would we do without Jesus!

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  70. Tears and Praying..."In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Ps. 16:11 Deb

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  71. I pray for you and your family several times throughout the day. And when I wake at night to nurse our baby as well. You are all continually on my mind. Praying for strength, peace, and the continued hope in Christ Jesus and eternity.

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  72. Crying with you and praying. Courage and Peace be yours from our Good Good God who sees the big picture!

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  73. I cried as I read this post to my husband,we have been praying for you and your family. Your blogs showing every up and down of Ed's cancer journey and your feelings makes me and my husband feel like we are right there in the battle with you .you are in our prayers and thoughts everyday. Our personal chats have meant alot to me and I'm so blessed to have you as a friend. God is with us in our good and bad times and there's no explanation why things happen, why good people suffer and others are in perfect health but the one thing that comforts me is my loved ones are in heaven waiting on me free of all their pain and in the arms of our Lord. I can't wait to get there to meet them.

    I am here for you in any way you need. Bless you.

    Tiera and Michael

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  74. Slow is Ok. Your minutes and hours and days together are all precious. We continue to pray for you and your family and all those who tend to you medically, physically and spiritually.

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  75. We've never met, but I've with you in spirit everyday. So sorry for all you and your family are going through. Stay strong girl, for a God will see you and your loved ones through this. Continued prayers are coming your way for healing and knowing that God has this all in his control.

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  76. Tears and prayers for all of you. Jesus is with you loving and caring for you.

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