To say that this last week and a half has been a wild ride is an understatement. On Thursday, Aug 8, our family packed up, and along with two of our best friends (and co-leaders), Bill and Danielle, we took a group of graduated seniors and college students to a lake retreat to prepare them for the year of college ahead. It was an incredible week at Lake Naciemento (about an hour north from San Luis Obispo). We had a mansion of a house and the teens just ran through it at first, and then explored the massive two decker patio with Jacuzzi, Koi pond, barbeque and many sitting areas, along with a gorgeous garden filled with grapes, lilacs, wisteria, winding down to an outdoor gazebo. Our time was filled with morning worship and quiet reflection/journaling, then debriefs. We would spend our whole day on the lake: wakeboarding, tubing, floating, kayaking, and cliff jumping. At night a crew would cook dinner and a crew would clean up, all with lots of loud music and laughter. Our evenings were filled with worship out on the gazebo, devotionals, and cabin times where we shared and grew together. Our key verse to reflect upon and memorize was John 15: 5. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, will produce much fruit. For apart from me, you can do nothing.” I immensely love these teens and will miss them as they depart for college, but know that they have God as their vine and foundation…..and I am excited to see the fruits of their spirits on college campuses throughout this nation.
We arrived home Tuesday, just in time to get Noah registered for sophomore year, and then it was right back into chemo on Wednesday morning. I had told the teens that we all have mountaintop experiences, and then we would be back in the valley—where we need to be. Well, I certainly came back to the low valley. I had a reaction to my chemo-- after nine rounds, my body had enough. It was a nice episode of nausea, flushing, inability to breathe, limp arms, and twilight mode. But my nurses and friend got me through it and then immediately took me off chemo. I had to go home with my pump though, with another cocktail, and I was completely wiped out. I had three more doctor appointments within the next two days—and I am happy to say that my liver MRI is completed. My cancer counts are 4.1 (a normal person has 4) and my oncologist says we just wait now for surgery and what the liver and colon surgeons say for the timing. I should know the results of the MRI by Monday, then wait for the surgeon’s appointment and then wait for surgery. They are hoping this will all play out within the next three weeks. This is all great news, so keep praying.
The week ended with a full Friday, doctor appointments and getting Micah to his soccer scrimmage. We planned to go out to sushi after the scrimmage, so Noah with his permit, drove with Greg, and Micah with me. Micah and I arrived at the restaurant first and started our order. We waited for Greg and Noah—we had seen Noah go around the lot to park, but they didn’t come in. Got a phone call from Greg—“We are in the parking lot—Noah hit a car when parking—have to call sheriff, the other car is undriveable”. Of course, I said, “You are joking”—NO he was not. Greg waited outside for the sheriff while I had already ordered food, and Noah came in absolutely mortified and just sat and drank water. Micah kept going out to check on Greg, I was comforting Noah, and trying to wrap up the food we had ordered. When I got outside to see the damage, the sheriff was there with Greg. He was so kind and patient and understanding. But when I saw the other car, I just burst out laughing. It was certainly not a little ding, it was a doozy! Basically, Noah had taken his dad’s big black Jeep and ran on top of the parked car facing him. The entire front of the other car was smashed from windshield to bumper. Now I feel very sorry for the other party and very sorry for Noah, but I could not stop laughing. Maybe it was chemo brain or a long week, or the fluids in me, but I was laughing the whole way home. Noah was with me, and the laughing eased the situation which is in insurance’s hands now, but it ended up being a pretty crazy day. And then at the end of it all, my little whimsical Micah says, “You know mom, this wasn’t a very good day—first the internet was down, then you had to be in that MRI tube for almost two hours, and now Noah crashed a car. Do you think we could pray?”
“Of course my little one, let’s pray.”
Abide. Remain. Pray.