Faith, Living life, musing


“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity”                   Albert Sweitze

I looked at a number of quotes on adversity and this one seemed to fit my situation and feelings best. I am not sure why it is that some of us feel burdened by more than our share of adversity, but I have always believed that it is not the event that shapes us, but the reaction to the event that makes a difference.
June 27th was a day that changed our summer. We were looking forward to our usual summer at our cabin at “the lake” and forging forward with renovations , but an appointment that day changed our optimism, our summer plans and our life as it was.  As we travelled the 45 minutes to receive test results from a biopsy that my husband had two weeks prior, a sense of dread and confirmation hit me. This was not going to be a good appointment. The look on our jolly Irish doctors face that morning, and his kicking the exam table instead of coming in with a joke about my husband not being able to do housework for the rest of his life,  added to that impending dark feeling.  It was then that the word CANCER invaded our lives, our days and our summer.
He was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma – a cancer of the plasma/bone that at one time was a nasty disease causing very short life expectancy. The addition of a new medication, Velcade, has made remission from this type of cancer a very real and probably possibility.  That was good news, but the Cancer word was so invasive, that our July long weekend was  tainted by telling our family and adjusting to the news.  If it was the only thing wrong with him, that was bad enough but 10 years ago, what I called the D word invaded our lives and changed our routines, freedom and life forever.  My husband became a kidney patient – totally dependent on renal dialysis for life. Now, another shocking letter came to our reality – the C word.
My niece who unfortunately knows well what happens when that C word invades a family, talked about Cancer creeping into our house . I didn’t think this was a creeping type of event at all – it was a full blown home invasion ! I was thrown for a loop and wondered again – why us, and why me ! But as the quote above says, our experience with getting past obstacles and our faith in God got us through to the point where we could look at the facts plainly and hope to gain that full remission despite the other damage to his body from so many years of dialysis.
Our summer went from bad to worse, when just when we were enjoying a fun time with our grandchildren, sudden confusion and loss of oxygen levels led us to ambulance rides, and a very sick man with pneumonia and septicaemia. A couple of more setbacks ( another ambulance ride and bout of confusion ) and almost 3 weeks total in a hospital 45 minutes from our home defined our July and August.
One sad day, the technician and transport people came and removed the home dialysis equipment from our home. Safety was a huge issue for now.  As the machines left in the large cargo van, I cried some tears – that although this very invasive part of our life was sometimes maddening and controlling, it was also what gave us the freedom to do many things that we wouldn’t have been able to do.  That independence and sense of autonomy was gone, and we were now controlled by others schedules and back to daytime dialysis.
At one time it seemed that he was never going to actually get the treatment he so desperately needed. Every time we got close to an appointment, dear hubby had a bad spell.
Well, we  moved past the worse of this summer, and soon were on the ” in Cancer Treatment” phase of this journey. Luckily, not only is the treatment effective in a very high percentage of people, but it also carries very few side effects.  Daily trips to the neighbouring city to visit him in the hospital became every second day dialysis treatment runs.  Dialysis and Cancer treatment can take place in Moose Jaw but physicians didn’t feel until today that he was stable enough to do that.
We have just received the blessing to have both of his treatments in Moose Jaw and that will soon be arranged. This will save us MANY hours of driving and meals missed or grabbed along the way.  Hubby has done FAR better than I ever expected, but despite that he is still not well, nor ready to resume all the things he would like to .. he is far better than I ever expected at this point.
So the evenings are cooler, the combines are out in the crops and fall is here – summer is gone.  Seeing it is September 1st is so unreal. My sadly neglected garden does yield some lovely potatoes and my favourite ripe tomatoes, but summer was short, stressful and frankly one I would rather forget !
But we move on, we are probably better for the experience, but right now it is just too fresh to be able to see that yet.  I have hibernated and neglected friendships and businesses but I hope that a further post will tell you of more miracles in our lives and ways we will move on from that.
But right now, I am a bit raw from all of this, and wish I could wake up and start July over again.  Like the cartoon I saw on Facebook – I wish Marty McFly could just take me back to where Both the C word and the D word were words that hadn’t invaded our family.  But to do that I would have to say to  Marty.. “take me back 10 years and reset out path ? Okay ?” And perhaps the growth of the last 10 years could be because of another adversity that perhaps is not so invading.
And since Marty is unlikely to zoom into my life, I will close with something that will comfort me.

Philippians 4: 6,7 … do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thanks for listening !



7 thoughts on “Adversity”

  1. This is so well written Terry, and I sit here all teary-eyed. May God give you strength for each day, and things to be thankful for. Love, Merle and Jim

  2. Your story is full of courage Terry,alongside your shock and sadness. My heart is full of love for you and your husband and I wish you both peace and comfort as you continue the path to health. Enjoy your lovely tomatoes, you are grateful for small things, and that will bring you strength.

  3. I wish you and your family strength and courage and for your husband a full recovery with a long healthy life ahead. You’ve understandably focused on the adversity in your life but I’d like to encourage you to instead lead toward resilience because adversity is about the problem while resilience is about growth and recovery. I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes about resilience:

    “Once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really finally over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what your storm’s all about.” ~Haruki Murakami

  4. Hi Terry,
    I am so sorry for all that you and your family are going through, but glad to hear there is hope. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.