Background HTML Whitewashed

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Collateral Damage of a Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

It's been a hard season... heavy and long... this pancreatic cancer journey...

I've always found that writing in this space was easy, almost cathartic.  Sharing about Mom and her diagnosis began as a way to update our friends and family, there were so many holding the line for us, with prayer and love and a multitude of little graces... the words just poured out.

After her loss, the grief was monumental.

And still the writing helped ease the pain.  For me.

It has been over 6 years since we've said goodbye.  So much has changed, but for Dad, her loss and the pancreatic cancer nightmare seem to be as fresh as if they just happened.  The wounds are deep.  Married 51 years... the emptiness has been immense.

His health has declined, the COPD has worsened, the heart has weakened.  We have rallied around him, time and time again.

My brothers and I have worried, we have prayed, oh, how we have prayed, we have struggled, we have cried...

More and more the work of helping dad has fallen on me.  His doctor visits, his weekly infusions, his errands... settling him in to the Assisted Living Center... listening to his frustrations...over and over again...

And the truth is... Dad is getting weaker, and more critical and more difficult to deal with week to week.  He rails at the changes that fate (and pancreatic cancer) have brought to his life.  Losing mom is a hurt that we can't heal...

We have learned that Pancreatic Cancer doesn't just affect the patient... the collateral damage we've all experienced has been brutal.

So many times we have whispered into the darkness, if only mom were still here.

If only she had been spared, she would be here loving him, caring for him... and he would be so content... the broken heart a grief he would never experience.

But we are now the caretakers and he is far from content.

Collateral Damage.  We are walking through the minefield of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and the aftermath of its vicious assault.

I love him utterly and my soul weeps over the changes we are all facing... the words fail me.

This weekend past we traveled north to visit family and while channel surfing the radio as the miles sped by, a song crackled to life that ministered truth... and amazingly it was a country music station... go figure!

Thank you Dierks Bentley... you may never have imagined your romantic ballad could speak to our hurting hearts and encourage this daughter to stay the course...

It's a long trip alone...

No one should ever have to travel this journey alone.  Lyrics that turn the bitter to sweet...

So maybe you could walk with me awhile,
Maybe I could rest beneath your smile.
Everybody stumbles sometimes and needs a hand to hold,
'Cause it's a long trip alone."

Pancreatic cancer can leave scars, can tear the heart,  but it can never sever the love.

I hear the echo of scripture for this journey...

"For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow;
but woe to him that is alone when he falleth,
and who hath not another to lift him up!"
                             ~ Eclesiastes 4:10

Maybe we could walk together for awhile and lift each other up...

Resting beneath your smile
and reaching out a hand to hold as we travel this road.

That is Grace for the Journey...