Monday, October 11, 2010
Beth had an appointment to see what was causing the pain in the upper part of her abdomen. Her doctor was not in the office, so we saw another doctor that was on call. The doctor said that we should run some tests including a sonogram. We scheduled the sonogram for the next day and headed to the Great State Fair of Texas. We had no idea that this was to be the last “normal” day for our family.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I never go with Beth to doctor visits that seem routine. The Spirit spoke to me very clearly that I was to go with her this time. He knew I needed to be with her.
We took the kids to school and headed for the sonogram appointment. All went well and without much incident. Until we were told to go up and see Beth’s doctor, we thought we would head back home and wait for a phone call to tell us what the sonogram showed.
Dr. Weber’s face said it all. The sonogram found something. Something bad. She immediately set up a CT scan and we found ourselves back in the imaging department. Our attitude this time around was vastly different. We were home for about twenty minutes before the doctor’s office called to inform us that Beth had been referred to a gastroenterologist who wanted to see us immediately. This doctor was in the cancer center of Baylor.
That word explains the rest of the week. The GI scheduled an endoscopic ultrasound in order to get a better picture of what we are dealing with as well as a biopsy. While the ultrasound and CT scan point to cancer, the EUS would tell us for certain. We would have to wait until Thursday.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
How do you pretend nothing is wrong? When your friends ask how you’re doing, how do you protect them by lying through your teeth?
“Hey, Mr. James! How’s it going?”
“Going great! How are you?” Lies. I know. Just a guy trying to make it through the day.
We let some other people from the church take care of our responsibilities there and we stayed home. Just the four of us. Knowing that our family will never be the same.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The kids stayed with some friends, because our EUS was scheduled for 8:15 AM and we had to be there at 7:15. With heavy hearts, we drove to Baylor fearful yet confident that God will take care of us. My dear mother-in-law, Becky stayed beside us the whole time.
The procedure went as scheduled and while in recovery, the doctor came and told us what we feared she would. While the news was bleak, the upside was that she could see that the tumor had not spread to other organs. We had caught it early. However, it was inoperable due to its growing close to the blood vessels that supplied the rest of her organs. Not what we wanted to hear, but we still felt God’s presence as we sat there; two scared kids who didn’t know what to do next.
I brought Becky back to visit with her daughter and comfort her in the way only a mother can. Our fellow church staff family was outside in the waiting room. I reported what the doctor told us. Immediately, we were no longer two scared kids who did not know what to do next. We were now an army of believers determined to see this through and give God the glory.
The next few hours were spent forming a game plan. Beth, Becky, and I were going back home to tell the kids. We pulled them out of school early, and they knew right away that something was wrong. Their innocence was about to be darkened by the ugliness of this disease, and it made me mad. Mad that their mother was about to become very sick. Mad that they had to watch her go down this road.
I will never forget the conversation we had on our bed. A family of four about to take on the fight of its life. The children were perfect.
“Mommy, why are we still sitting here. We’ve got to get you to the doctor and take care of this before it gets worse!” The honesty and urgency they expressed over their concern for their sweet mother left me speechless. I was humbled by their courage and uplifted by their faith.
Friday, October 15, 2010
This is no time to crawl into a corner and cry. Today was about telling everyone we knew what was wrong and that it is time to get tough. The world needs to know that the James family has a fight and that we are not giving in. I spent the day at the office while the kids had a “Mommy Day” with Beth and Becky.
The love and support from our friends was overwhelming. Many came to offer words of encouragement. Others gave tearful hugs. I have never felt such love and encouragement before. People from all over the district wanted us to call on them to help with anything that needed to be done. People who do not have friends who care have to be the loneliest people on the planet. I cannot explain the feelings I had inside my heart and mind on this day. I see now why the Bible calls it the “peace that passes all understanding.” Only those who know the Lord understand. It is supernatural. It is unexplainable. It is…