It has been exactly 2 weeks since Nate’s surgery. I have been meaning to write this post for awhile now. I really haven’t had much time to sit and write…and even when I did, I didn’t know what all to say.
These past 2 weeks have been, well, life changing – to say the least.
Some of the changes were harder than expected…
As much as the doctors tried and prepared us for what the surgery & recovery would be like, neither Nate or I expected it to be this hard. 2 weeks ago I watched as they wheeled my totally healthy (well, minus the huge cancerous tumor in his head, ha), vibrant husband back at 7:00 am and when they wheeled him back into his ICU room at 12:03 am…it was hard to look at him. I mean, he looked waaaay better than I thought he would…he had 2 eye balls!!! But that Thursday was one of the hardest days of my life. Knowing that my better half was under the knife the entire the day was exhausting. And when they wheeled him back, he was so swollen and literally had tubes and wires coming out of everywhere…it was just a lot for me to handle. As I was giving him a kiss and telling him I loved him, I felt my head start to spin, my ears start to ring…luckily I made it to the little bed-couch just in time before I passed out.
The next week in the hospital was also exhausting. He was improving each day but he felt SO miserable. He had a hard time sleeping so we spent nights scooting the hospital halls or listening to books on tape. The trach he had was the worst thing in the world. He had to learn how to breath through his neck all the while trying to cough-up and suction out tons of drainage from his surgery. He would constantly write to us that he felt like he was drowning. I hated it. I hated that I couldn’t do anything to make him feel better – nobody could. I tried to stay as outwardly positive and happy as I could, but inside it was killing me.
first ‘long’ walk
Luckily, right at about a week post surgery things started to look up. He got that lousy trach out, which allowed him to talk and breath better, and we switched him to pain meds that didn’t make him so loopy. Once we hit that point, there really wasn’t anything the nurses could do for him at the hospital that we couldn’t do at home. So we pack up and headed home. I was so relieved to get out of that place. 8 days in a hospital are 8 days too many.
The first few days at home were a little rough but he is doing tons better now, comparatively. He is finally able to sleep well which has made a huge difference. He also got his feeding tube out a couple days after returning home and being able to “eat” has also helped. He has lost between 10 – 15 pounds when he didn’t have much to lose. But his appetite and the things he can eat are increasing daily; to my relief. And a couple days ago he ditched his walker and is able to slowly hobble around on his own. We have small and simple victories everyday.
As sucky as the surgery and recovery were/are and as hard as this all has been, I can’t deny the exuberant amount of tender mercies we have received. I truly believe that every trial has a purpose and this one is no different. Every time I talk to my Dad, usually somewhat bummed out, he always asks, “What are you learning from this? How are you becoming stronger?” And although I don’t have a solid answer to those questions, I do know this:
I stand all amazed.
I was out on a run the other day, pondering life of late, and the lyrics to the hymn, “I Stand All Amazed” came into my mind. They are as follows:
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
I started crying. This song describes perfectly how I feel. I truly ‘stand all amazed’ at the love Jesus (and all of you) offer us. I am SO confused at the grace that He (and y’all) so fully proffers us. I tremble to know that for me He was crucified (and that you guys gave so much, especially when many had so little). That for, us, sinners, He suffered, he bled and died (and that so many sacrificed so much for us – we really aren’t that cool or deserving!).
I could do this for every verse. I am absolutely amazed at the amount of love, sacrifice, and support we have received from y’all on earth and our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and angels in heaven. I am especially ‘amazed’ at the turnout and success of the domiNATE 5k.I drove down on the morning of the race from the Huntsman Cancer hospital just 2 days after Nate’s surgery. I don’t know why, but I was so nervous as we drove. Nervous that it wasn’t going to turn out well after all the hard work Nate’s sister(s) had done and nervous at how I would handle talking to everyone. But quickly after I got there I truly stood ‘all amazed’. There were SO many people there – SO many people giving me quick hugs, smiles, and kind words. I kept saying to my family that I just couldn’t believe it…I couldn’t believe that SO many people would come out to support us – I mean, we really aren’t thaaat cool 🙂 I loved every second of it though. It really gave me the perfect boost I needed to survive that hospital stay.
tent where they held a silent auction..and the only warm place!
all the SUU Track and XC athletes. Former and present.
my BFF Christa. Couldn’t have survived all of this without her.
“Candy Bomber” doing a candy drop!
Mountain View athletes…mostly all former!
I truly stood all amazed.
(P.S. I stood up before the race and said a few words. here is the link to the video:
We still have a ‘long road ahead’ – a road that we are finding to be a little longer and harder than expected. However, as I ponder the questions my Dad frequently asks me – “What am I learning? How am I growing stronger?” I do have some answers…
-I know that there is still SO, so much good in this world. It’s amazing the things that have transpired just because a lot of people have come together for a good purpose.
-I know that the power of prayer is absolutely real. Each and every prayer is heard and has helped in ways that I can’t even begin to describe.
-I know that our Heavenly Father and Savior are aware of even the smallest details of our lives. They love us so much – SO much. They will never give us more than we can handle – they did not set us up to fail, but to succeed.
-I know what a simple hug, smile, or thought can do.
-I know that Ames is truly the best thing that has happened to us.
-I know even more now that cancer is seriously & definitely a B.
-I am stronger in the faith.
-I am stronger in hope.
-I am stronger in my outlook of life.
-I am stronger in purpose.
And finally, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I hope each and everyone of you know how much you have blessed our lives. Because of your donations our bank account was saved. Because of your prayers we received a miracle & my sanity was saved. Because of your thoughts & actions we truly know that we are not alone and will always be saved in this trial.
Words seriously cannot convey my gratitude that I have at this time in our lives. Because of our Savior’s example and your examples I know how to live my life. I also know that no matter how hard times get and how hopeless moments might feel we can always still ‘stand all amazed’ at the love and goodness of our world. You all have taught me that.