I love my room. It’s just the right size for me and a guest or two. I have easy access to everything I need throughout the day. If I might have one teensy weensy criticism, it would be my thermostat. I have it set at a comfortable temperature, but the way things seem to work around here is either really cold air blows in or really hot air blows in. That makes for 2-3 degree swings in temperature above and below my setting. Not the biggest thing in the world, but when it’s cold in here it’s cold and when it’s hot it’s HOT!
This started as a way to update family and friends on what is going on, but has quickly become an honest outlet for what I am thinking and feeling. I realize not everyone will be interested in every post or every bit of information, and that is perfectly fine with me. Please take away what you came for, and if I’m not providing enough information on something, just let me know. I want to be true to my original purpose, which is to provide updates on my condition, but I also want to be sure to capture my honest thoughts and feelings, so I can reflect on them throughout my journey.
I’m thankful for my son
Tucker, Tucky, TuhTuh, whatever you call him, I’m thankful for him. Not that I am not thankful for the girls, but as much as the pregnancy for the girls was prayed for and sought after, Tucker’s was a complete surprise.
Lindsey and I tried to get pregnant for about 3.5 years. We had many failed IUI’s, tests, drugs, surgeries, a failed IVF, and had pursued adoption. Finally on our 2nd IVF, even though there were complications with the retrieval, we were blessed with Sydney and Natalie. I’m not sure how many tears were shed, or how much it cost, but it was a long journey and all worth it. On 2nd thought, it cost a lot so girls only one of you can go to college and neither of you can get married.
Now Tucker on the other hand was a complete surprise. As two busy parents of twins, we’ll just refer to Tucker as the one hit wonder. Eventually Lindsey started to not feel well and took a leftover pregnancy test for fun. Imagine her surprise when a little faded pink line appeared. After trying so long and so hard for our first pregnancy, we were both completely surprised by the 2nd.
So why does all this make me thankful? While we were completely shocked by Tucker, we were totally happy to be pregnant again. Knowing what we know now, Tucker came at a perfect time…God’s time. If we had followed through on OUR plan we would be trying to conceive again at the beginning of the year. Obviously that is not a possibility with my diagnosis and in reality is probably never a possibility again. The chemo protocol I am on will most likely render me unable to father another child. My little Tuckeroo came at just the right time…God’s time.
Brushing 5 Times a Day
I always brush my teeth when I get up. Rumor has it that you are actually supposed to brush more often, but I never have. With my immune system on chemo vacation, the normal bacteria in my mouth can actually cause an infection. Thus, I brush in the morning, after every meal, and at night. Not only that, but I’m not allowed to use toothpaste. I brush with a medicated mouthwash, using a super soft toothbrush, and then swish the mouthwash at the end. There are literally step by step instructions in the bathroom so I will do this correctly. I can’t use tap water to rinse my toothbrush, I have to use filtered water. And when I’m not using my toothbrush, it is submerged in the medicated mouthwash so the bristles aren’t exposed to germs.
I Miss Flossing
Along with brushing my teeth 5 times a day, I am not allowed to floss. Flossing runs the risk of making my gums bleed, and since my platelets are on a chemo vacation, the bleeding may not stop easily. So not only am I on an intense brushing regimen, I am totally banned from floss.
Actually, I never really flossed much before. Did you think a guy who only brushes once a day would really floss that much? The reasons I’m not allowed to floss are totally true. But since you can’t really miss what you never did in the first place, that title is totally false. With dental hygiene being an important part of my recovery, I think that will be changing.
I’m not a good Christian. I rarely read my bible and when I do it’s not quality time with the paper version. Usually it’s reading a few chapters on the iphone when I need to look up something specific, or the sermon just isn’t catching my attention. I pray, but not enough. I tend to give thanks a lot, but that is an easy prayer. I pray for friends who are sick, but I struggle doing it with confidence. I don’t pray enough with my family, including Lindsey :(. I haven’t volunteered to serve others in quite some time. Quite some time is a less difficult way of saying I haven’t served in years.
I say this for a few reasons. One because it is important to confess it, but two because I know some people think I have it all together. I don’t. I’m slogging through life like a lot of people. I cling to my faith because it is the one thing I am confident in, even if I’m not very good at it.
A Message From My Wife
Lindsey has spent the last 6+ years making sure that I don’t think I’m too funny (because to me, I’m HILARIOUS). She has a system of eye rolls, side ways stares, eye brow moves, and verbal reminders so that I don’t get too carried away with my jokes. Unfortunately some of you are undoing all of this hard work. While I appreciate your compliments on my writing, you are undoing a lot of Lindsey’s hard work as I’m starting to wonder if I actually might be funny. Lindsey would greatly appreciate it if you would refrain from encouraging my humor too much. Even though I currently have ALL, she’ll have to live with me for years to come and she doesn’t want to have to start the training program all over again.
A Duck Dynasty Prayer
Father God, thank you for friends old, new, and unknown. Thank you for meeting me where I am at. Thank you for the support structure that I have in place. As my ALL goes into remission, let us all not forget the good we have done for one person. This same good is needed all over to help many others who live with a scarier diagnosis than ALL. They live with a diagnosis of lifetime poverty. They live with a diagnosis of sexual slavery. They live with a diagnosis of hunger. They live with a certainty of death because they can not get the same treatments I am getting. Father God I thank you for all the support and good that is being done for me. I am so humbled and grateful, but I can’t help but feel guilty. I just pray that the movement of support doesn’t end with me, because I am no more deserving and no more worthy than those who have a scarier diagnosis than ALL. Thank you for another day. Amen.