Here’s how this cancer business all went down. I’m gonna give you the long version because, well, I can.
Simon was born with a heart condition. He had three surgeries before his first birthday and had blood transfusions. He contracted Hepatitis C through one of those transfusions – the 1970’s weren’t the best years for modern medicine. His parents were vigilant with Simon’s health. They would drive hours to the best clinics in Texas. When we married in 2004 and moved to California, we continued the healthy lifestyle he had been raised with. We eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, limit alcohol consumption, and always surround ourselves with positive community. We sought out the best clinics again. He had annual lab work, physicals, cardiology checks – we thought our bases were covered. But the Hepatitis C was slowly damaging his liver with no symptoms.
In May 2014, Simon began to feel a little “off”. Over the course of three weeks, he experienced some tiredness,muscle fatigue, and abdominal pain. Both of us didn’t think much of it – we have little kids and feel exhausted regularly! But we also don’t take chances with his health so he went to the ER of our community hospital, one of the best in the Los Angeles area. On June 17th, 2014 a CT Scan revealed extensive liver cancer know as Hepato Cellular Carcinoma (HCC). The largest mass was 15cm – the size of a dollar bill. But the cancer didn’t stop there. It’s in both lungs. That out rules surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Pretty awful stuff. There were pockets of good news: the other major organs appear clean. The liver is still functioning very well. But still, a devastating diagnosis.
So we start the fight. A practical fight to extend life but balance it with quality. We are in the midst of second opinions and decisions for treatment. We are discussing our bucket list. We are still not telling the kids anything beyond, “Daddy doesn’t feel well” because they are not old enough to process the intense range of emotions that adults can. We ARE telling them how much we love them. We ARE having as much fun as possible while still keeping them in line. We ARE thinking of all the things we can still do if daddy becomes less mobile, like reading books, homework, and movie nights.
Here’s where the Jesus part comes in. If you want to read these updates, you’re going to have to put up with the fact that we are Christians that love Him and need Him. Even though we are in a terribly bleak situation, we have hope. We have hope in His mercy. We have hope in His big picture, whether it be extending Simon’s life or calling him home soon. The book of Romans reminds us that, “all things work together for good to those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Our story is part of God’s story.