Above the dark clouds there is a light you can not always see.
Dark clouds, turbulence, loud thunder, the storms of life.
They exist everyday. Everyday is not bright and sunny.
But the light is still there.
I was reminded of this light above the storm clouds of life when flying recently.
I was a little bit nervous looking out the window 😬I could see nothing but what looked like clouds of marshmallows.
Of course marshmallows because they are our kids favorite food group.
But it was a thick sky full of marshmallows for miles and miles. No transparency at all. The plane dropped a couple times and my stomach went to my throat.
A familiar feeling that usually comes as we sit and wait for scan results and don’t receive the news we prayed for. (which thankful we did not receive this time !!)
But I look over at Mike while gripping the seat. He has not flinched and is smiling and getting a good laugh from my fears of turbulence.
Some how I am calmed but just his presence.
Nothing seems to scare him or make him nervous. This might have helped our marriage over the years. ha.
In the turbulence of the skies, I thought of this anonymous poem scratched on to a wall by a victim of the Holocaust-
“ I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even though I don't feel it.
I believe in God, even when he is silent."
The pain and suffering this period brought to so many , it is unimaginable.
Yet for someone to have had this vision brings so much hope to me on our tiny journey of suffering in comparison.
As we make our way above the clouds , to smoother air , the sun is rising.
An indescribable picture of hope that could only come from something way bigger than our human mind can comprehend.
Light that feels like the warmth of God’s love .
I can feel it .
Sometimes in the the darkness I don’t feel it so much.
But in moments like this , I am reminded it is there.
Sometimes God feels silent.
Like when Celia is up to some messy art project concoction in her room.
Especially in unanswered prayers.
But I must remember that he is there. I must lock the moments of Grace , like this one - this sun rising way above the clouds -in my heart.
This way I can still believe in the sun, in love, and God - when they really feel like they do not exist.
And there are many moments that feel like that .
I reach deep in my heart on these days and search for the moments of Grace I have experienced.
The sunrise above the clouds brought peace of mind in the turbulent skies.
I tried to keep the peace in my heart as we went back down. Down to a land full of turbence, dark clouds, and storms of life. Cancer , poverty , hatred , violence.
The land turbulence feel much more frightening.
For in the clouds I feel closer to the promise of God. Closer to the peace that surpasses all understanding.
There are no clouds to blur the vision of God, high up in the sky.
On earth, there are many monsters to blur my vision.
But there is also light still to remind me when it gets too dark.
Mike , family, doctors, friends, nurses…. people.
They will hold the light .
We went to Augusta yesterday for what feels like Mikes one millionth full body Pet Scan.
For those of you who don’t know what it it really is , this is the definition.
A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that allows your doctor to check for diseases in your body.
The scan uses a special dye containing radioactive tracers. The tracers were injected through Mike’s pic line in his chest.
The tracer will collect in areas of higher chemical activity, which is helpful because certain tissues of the body, and certain diseases, have a higher level of chemical activity. These areas of disease will show up as bright spots on the PET scan.
You can’t eat anything 12 hrs before , making the cells hungrier and the places of disease will eat up the tracer fastest.
After they inject him with the radioactive tracer , he has to wait for 1 hr before the put him in the machine to scan him for 45 min.
Depending on who the nurse is that is taking care of him through all this , determines whether I am allowed to stay and sit with him while he waits.
And each of them seem to have different reasons for why I can or can not stay.
Yesterday , the nurse asked me before she injected the juice , that mind you is in a metal container to help prevent from leaking the poison on anyone or anything.
“Could you be pregnant?”
Mike laughed out loud and gave her a quick no. He was quickly reassuring her we had three kids already and there would be for sure no more.
She said she just had to ask and that it was ok for me to stay.
She said they just wanted him to be still and not talk , so if I could do that I was fine to stay in the room.
Two months ago at his last scan , I was told I could not sit by him with the radioactive dye in him because it was harmful to me.
If she only knew, I would have them inject in me too if it helped ease any of his pain.
The nurse starts to go through a list of standard questions, and I wanted to answer for him.
Have you had skin cancer , known as melanoma?
-No but I have leukemia , is that enough.
Have you ever had radiation ?
- you mean how much radiation?
When was the last chemo you took?
Are you diabetic ?
- well there is one positive
Here we are sitting in the tiny, cold , dimly lit room , with radioactive dye, a list of ridiculous questions spouted off that are reminders of Mikes suffering and reality . Suddenly I feel the marshmallow clouds blurring my vision of light and God and anything hopeful .
This life is scary and is full of the scary monsters that Graham fears at night. They just don’t have three heads , instead they are disguised in tiny mutated deadly cells running through your body. I’m scared of the dark too buddy, I tell Graham some nights.
I go down the path of darkness and spiral into the worries of will these monstrous cells be alive and trying to attack Mike again. Will they drink all the juice and light up the sky. Will we hear in a short few hours , they are alive and causing more havoc in his body. I try to shut off the voices in my head . Believing the only light I should focus on is the light I witness above the clouds in the sky instead of the light from the radioactive dye eaten by Mike’s cancer cells. The heaviness of cancer starts to build inside of me.
I want to cry.
I want to make this go away.
I want to take his spot , injected it in me this time. Please.
But I can’t. I am only able to stay and to witness Mikes courage.
And it something to talk about.
YES . I tell his nurse.
Of course I want to stay.
Hard things are easier when you are not alone. I stay not because I think he needs me to sit and watch him sleep, ha. Or heaven for bid hold his hand 😘
But I look over at him sleeping like a baby.
And know that like when we are flying in the turbulence of the skies, I need him.
I need to be beside him in the turbulence of life, on land too .
He is the calm in our storm.
I tell our kids all the time , that they have the bravest daddy in the world. One day they will understand.
As he takes it all in , radioactive dye and all the words about what his broken body has been through , he still has a way of making everyone around him at ease.
He makes the nurses laugh. Slightly on the verge of flirting 🙄 .
I’m amazed at his strength and bravery each fighting step.
The mornings in these rooms feel as thick as those marshmallows clouds, no doubt.
But kind of like when we were taking off in the plane , it was dark, cloudy, stormy and visibility was minimal.
You climb higher through the bumps and drops in your stomach and you keep climbing up. The pilots know , yet I sometimes forget while in the midst of the turbulence ( and feel we are about to plummet back down ) that once you get above the clouds it smooths outs. The pilots confidence makes me feel at ease.
Dr Kota does this for us too. He is also the light above the clouds and the peace through the turbulence. And we find peace in knowing he will share the news with us. Doctors also know how to smooth things out within and above the turbulence, whether good or bad news. Their confidence too , puts us at ease.
This time we thank God for good news.
It looks as the spots the performed the cryotherapy worked and were not active. There was also no signs of any other new spots.
His lungs still have much room for improvement. Which we could have predicted by the way his breathing is still compromised.
We also could use some prayers for side effects from the new chemo drug he is on. It is a pill he takes everyday but is causing many unwanted side effects.
Above the clouds , the sun is rising , the sky is clear.
There is light , an amazing light that really is always there.
You have to wait.
You have keep having faith in the storm.
We must keep living in the marshmallow blurriness- maybe roast them and enjoy eating them while we wait :)
Believing in the light when you can’t see it.
This time the light continues through the good news of the scan that showed the spots to be gone and no new disease.
But I thought about the times we haven’t received that news. And how each time the news is different and we don’t know if the turbulence will continue or smooth out.
And I pray we can hold onto the memory of grace locked away in my heart, when we don’t see the light. Hold on to Grace in the turbulence.
It is there .
Keep swimming .
If you want to read updates / blogs in between these you can follow our journey at
Fightlikemike.org and subscribe.
We have sweatshirts for sale to raise money way for the foundation