Day +1180 You can still know peace without knowing what comes next. Morgan Nichols
I’m sitting in a moment of stillness that has come in the chaos of the storm of last week. Sitting beside Mike as he sleeps ( finally 😜- no pain meds or drowsy medications will make the guy sleep). But finally he seems to be sleeping and I’m enjoying the quiet and sound of the oxygen water bubbling , our own sound machine :) I’m grateful for a moment to reflect the week and remember that God has not left us.
I believe in the subtle and grace filled ways God is using , to remind me that we do not need to know all the answers or what the next day holds. That we are meant to live one day at a time , living fully in the moment at hand . Trusting him and those who he has placed us in the care of. Accepting the hardship as a path to peace. The serenity prayer has become the background on my phone. God , please give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. And bring peace in the unknown. I am not saying it’s easy and that I am not having to fight the desire to know each and every minute oh what lies ahead and many times I fail. However I do know that my need to know has caused more pain than peace at times. We have come to a place of complete surrender again. Where no matter how much I think about it , wish for it , pray for it, wish it away - nothing can fix the problem I want in the way I want it to. “ when we reach the end of what we know , that’s where we find God. That why St . Dionysius said the best , most divine knowledge of God is that which is known by not-know. “ Richard Rhor I am reminded through the love shared by friends, family , doctors and nurses , as well as emails and devotions that OUR job is to continue to surrender, trust, and love. That is all. Mike does an amazing job at this and I have learned by watching him through each and every step of this road. He is a man of few questions. He still finds peace in the unknown and is ok on most every days sitting with uncertainty. He tackles only the task right in front of him , like straightening the cord to the oxygen tank that I shoved in the back of the car in hopes to save time. 🙄 Over the past weekend Mike was experiencing some symptoms that continued to get worse. We decided to make the trip to Augusta on Saturday to see doctor Kota and to get to the bottom of the problems and help with the pain he was having. As we got off the highway to head to the hospital , Broken Halos , came on Pandora. My first reminder , of the many to come over the next days , to stop asking Jesus why? To stop searching for the reasons and looking for answers. I won’t lie and say that I stopped there 😜 I have asked my fair share. We were admitted to the hospital and spent two nights there. We did not get good news or the news of a kidney stone or something simple as we hoped for. But we were delivered bad news once again with the most incredible grace , from a doctor , who has become family, who has given us great hope on this journey and is our light in this pitch black darkness. The scan showed more new active disease in his kidney and lymph node. And also a partially collapsed lung. I mean damn , no wonder he couldn’t breathe. But none the less , had gone to a Pilates lesson with me at our neighbors just two days before. Oxygen and all. This is the Mike I want you to know is still in there, fighting with every piece of his body , heart , mind , and soul. We don’t want questions about where the disease spread to , how many spots , or will the lungs recover ? No one can predict what the next day will hold. Doctors don’t really even know. Mike doesn’t even ask. He simply accepts it. And does exactly what the people he trust more than anything tell him are the next steps. As Wes reminded me , Mike has known and accepted his role from the beginning in this fight and has done every bit of his part , with all he has the entire way. He fully trust his doctors who are taking care of him and knows the limits in his own mind and I know for a fact it has brought him to where he is today. He is focused on keeping up with E lead and cars sold , searching for a nanny, and figuring out the best way to beat the prices of cable services so we get the best deal😜
This is what I admire and love about him the very most. He knows who exactly who he is and is the very best him everyday. He told Kota - another damn curve ball. But of course Kota replied - we have hit everyone so far , so there should be no doubt that we will hit this one too. So one breath , one moment , one day at a time we will do our best to keep hitting the curve ball. We allowed our selves some “f-it moments “ as Mike says and shared tears but we are trying our best to not stay in sadness for long. To keep fighting like him , but surrendering to God . When we have done all we know to do ...god will do the rest. ( quoting my dad on that one ❤️) He started a new chemo while we were there in Augusta. We drove home late Tuesday afternoon in time to snuggle our little people and be hugged by our parents. In the car on the way home , we chased the most beautiful sunset going down the whole way .I thought of the Zac Brown song lyrics , “like a sweet sunset in Ga , let it go. “Nothing is forever. Living is a process of learning to surrender to greater powers like the sun does each day in to the night. Knowing my love of sunsets and sunrises, Mike tried to get a good picture for me as I drove. But as we went over small hills and rows of trees blocking our view, he never could get a clear view or picture . However he said to me ( with the most emotion I can get out of him 🙄😘) , “it’s exactly where we are right now , we can still see the light , we know it’s there , just not in perfect view. “
I’ll hold onto that image and his word later as my light in days ahead. We saw our other life line and family , Dr Arellano , Wednesday morning at Winship at Emory. And she got us checked in to our home away from home on the 9th floor. It is a gift to be cared for by amazing people . And all Mike’s favorite nurses welcomed him like he was some king of Leukemia 🤗 🤴 They placed a chest tube in the outside of his lung Thursday morning. The hopes were to help drain fluid and oxygen that caused the lung to collapse. And hopefully make breathing a little easier for him. It was left in for over a day. It didn’t remove the air like we had hoped but did pull off some fluid , helping him breath maybe a little bit better. Mike doesn’t want sympathy. He is still Mike . Doing rubix cubes and sudoku puzzles , eating pizza and drinking coke. He still loves to make fun of me , discipline Jake , Celia , and Graham ,and create order in our home . Tuesday night when we got home , he was stressing me out doing taxes. We still are watching ridiculous shows on Netflix and watching videos of our kiddos playing basketball and eating all the candy we can. Mike is still Mike , the guy from Louisiana I fell in love with 14 years ago at Auburn. He is him. He is not his illness. He will not let Leukemia take that away from him.
It IS still possible to find peace , love and enjoy things during the hardest of days. Some days require more tears to make it through. But we are doing it. Over the next weeks , we really do not have a set plan. We know there will be more chemo and more treatments but nothing definite has been determined. We will be discharged from Emory tonight or in the morning. It’s hard to determine the next steps for his lungs as well. There is so much unknown. We keep trusting and surrendering to Gods will for us and our family. We can still see the light sometimes through our blurry tears. I believe God prepares us only for the day and moment at hand. When we worry about things to far out is when we create anxiety and fear. We are equipped for the day. I’m trying SO hard to remember and live this, in these unbelievably painful moments. We can’t lose faith or hope because our lives have been touched by the most amazing people in the world. Whether we are in Augusta or here at Emory, Mike is so loved and cared for. Like he said - it feels Like home. It is an amazing gift that leaves you only believing in the good in the world. There is grace and goodness in sorrow. We are on a search for it each day. Thank you for your prayers . We specifically just ask for prayers for Jake, Celia , and Graham . They are resilient as kids are but this is hard for them too . And Mike and my biggest worry continues to be them . I wish you a weekend of being able to find peace without knowing what comes next. Keep swimming.