Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anchoring myself in hope.

Anchoring myself in hope.
This is technically Terence’s blogspot, but Terence & I do everything together, so he doesn’t think twice when I write.  So here I am. I love doing this.  Who doesn’t like to put their feelings to paper?  For me, it helps me cope.
So, here we are. Into week 2 into the extended Phase 1 TOK-001 trial.  So many new things to cope with.  For starters nausea has overcome Terence and it knocks him outa’ the game for an entire day.  He takes TOK-001 treatments daily, and now with his adjusted diet, his body is quickly absorbing the medicine (that’s good!) to the degree that it’s equivalent of increasing the dosage 10 fold! That’s huge.  No wonder he’s getting sick! Poor guy!
Our next step is to take Dr. M. up on his suggestion for a nausea prescription (Terence thought he didn’t need it).  At least maybe we can have dinner together again???
I think there are 2 types of cancer patients.  A victor and a victim.   Cancer victors face pain and  suffering even potential death  with a certain kind of confidence . Not arrogance, but a quiet  kind of confidence.
 That would be Terence.
 I think the secret to that is knowing how to cope with all of the emotions that accompany a cancer diagnosis.  Fear. Terror. Grief. Self pity. Guilt. Depression. Lonliness. Denial. Low self esteem.  
 Trust me, Terence & I deal with all of those emotions-sometimes on a daily basis, they come right out of thin air, like a gut punch- one after another.  These can be powerful emotions that can escalate into full blown panic if I don’t keep them in check and remind myself of the Hope we have in Christ.
I have to admit, I struggled sorely with this last week, and panic ran amuck.  That doesn’t happen very often in our house, but last Friday it certainly did.  Mind you, we have been dealing with advanced medical directives, legal medical issues & the uncertainty of a clinical trial and life and death itself.   My fearful thoughts ran unchecked and I became anxious about living without Terence.  Terence had left on a 3 day fishing retreat (I missed him tremendously, and was weirdly afraid I wouldn’t see him again!)- and by the time he returned, I was in a full blown panic mode!
 The dam broke and once I started crying I couldn’t stop.  He still had his fishy smelling clothes on and I fell into his arms weeping deeply.  Whimpering like a puppy separated from it’s mother, I begged, “please don't die”.  I cried and cried.  
And kept crying.  After awhile, I suggested to him that it was okay if he went to take a shower, which he did.  When he came out, I was still crying. I was crying when I made his dinner and still shedding tears when I put the dishes away.  He seemed so helpless, he couldn’t comfort me. I felt sorry for him. He kept saying, “Honey, I am sorry I have cancer, we’ll fight this together” (which made me feel worse because he was comforting me!).  All I could say  was, “Please don’t die, please don’t leave me. Tell me you’ll be okay, Please”. Terror literally gripped me. I was a mess.
 I failed to anchor myself in hope and I fell apart.
Hope.  Hope. Hope. Without hope, cancer becomes an unbeatable foe, a giant that will terrorize you and your family. 
 Hope reduces the disease, the treatments and day-to day-living to a ‘do-able’ size.  
 Our hope is in Christ and in times of despair, He promises to never leave us or forsake us. 
 I will never be alone.
Our grandaughter Annie likes to help Papi take his treatments.
As for Terence he always finds ways to encourage himself in the Lord and finds ways to encourage the rest of our family!!           
 He anchors himself daily, and refuses to allow despair overcome him.  He may sleep a lot and grimace in pain, but he never wallows.   He constantly reminds me "Sherry, Jesus is your Hope. He lives in you. Don't  ever forget that".
Whew.  And that is ONE day in our week. 
 Thank God Terence is a victor.



  1. Wow. Can't even think of what to say. Courageous. Brook

  2. Thanks Brook. Every day seems different. I can't seem to figure out what that 'new normal is'.
    Just when I think we've settled into that new normal, everything changes again!~

  3. It is good to let yourself feel your feelings (logical or not) deal with them the best way you know how, not chastising yourself for having those feelings, and then allowing them to move on, and allowing yourself to recuperate from the moment. It is good...and you two are Loved Very Much! Daisy & Kids

  4. WOW! What an amazing wife you are & what an amazing husband & Man of GOD Terence is. You both are in my prayers. I am standing in agreement with you both of a complete healing in Terence's life. JESUS rose with healing in his wings. He sent his word & healed all their diseases. Please know that my thoughts & prayers are with YOUR family. GOD BLESS YOU! (((Gentle Hugs)))

  5. I love you guys! Thank you for sharing this journey with us. "On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand!" I awoke with that on my lips and heart. I pray that you will have a wonderful time on your vacation!!

    <3 Karla

  6. Sherry boy does that hit home, but we're learning to "Let go and let God".

  7. You and your husband are truly amazing people Sherry. I keep up with all of you and Terence's postings and can't help but get misty eyed when I read them. Your melt down was something any of us would do in your position,but you picked yourself back up and uttered that one word "HOPE". Praying deeply for you and Terence. GOD BLESS!! Melanie

  8. My dad had this at a time when they were just starting to develop the experimental treatment but he did not qualify. All my love and prayers are with you, in his memory!