Terence Luttrell-was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer at 46 in July 2009:PSA 431 & Gleason score 9. The diagnosis was advanced stage of the disease; Prognosis:6-18 months to live & came as a complete shock. Terence passed away after fighting for 37 months as the sun rose on Sunday August 19,2012.
Our family is learning how to pass through trying times, allowing it to challenge us in our faith growing in Christ & painstakingly learning how to live above the effects of cancer!
The past two weeks have been hard. Probably the most difficult since we started this journey in 2009. Terence has been pretty sick and in a lot of pain. He's been pretty much either in bed, or on the couch. The cancer in his pelvic/bladder region is causing great discomfort, so much so that basically only wears athletic pants (sweats) because jeans are uncomfortable. He has difficulty sitting or laying down or standing- in other words, he has a hard time finding a comfortable position. We have discovered though, that a light body massage relieves a lot of the pain and helps him relax and able to better enjoy the day. Our friend Lisa (a physical therapist) has generously lent us a really nice massage table, which is now a permanent fixture in our family room!
This pain in his pelvic region seemed to come upon him suddenly. Terence seemed to be doing really well after his TURP surgery only 5 weeks ago. The doctor believes this cancer really "took off" since the surgery.
On a good note, the surgery was a 100% success: Terence is retaining no urine and he is able to empty his bladder. Prior to the surgery he was having to self catheterize several times a day!
My sister came down for a few days and though I didn't know I needed it, her companionship was a blessing. Plus, she is a dynamite cook and baker- which was a major bonus. Not only were her meals delicious and her breads and cookies amazing (as always), I was tired and overwhelmed so it was nice not to have to think about a dinner menu.
Helping our grand kids cope
I'm doing everything I can to get ready for Terence's chemotherapy, but that's kind of hard since I don't know what to expect! I'm keeping myself occupied by making schedules and creating useless lists. I've been doing a lot of reading and trying to prepare and educate myself....I've noticed my (grown) kids are trying to find ways to prepare for chemo; we came home from Terence's oncology appointment and they had been busying themselves preparing the only way they know how; they shopped for things they figure we'd need: disinfectant wipes, lysol, sanitzer (for every entry point of the house) a heating pad. An electric razor was already set up in our bath room (since he won't be able to shave with a razor), our room was vacuumed, towels cleaned, laundry started, shopping list completed. Facial masks, reading material, play list on the MP3 player updated (for those long chemo infusions). We're not sure what the next phase of cancer will be like, but it looks like we'll be somewhat prepared! In all actuality though there is an underlying sense of uncertainty in our family mood, and none of us really knows what to do. That's where faith comes in. We can't see ahead and are not certain of tomorrow's events, but faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Terence is going to let the grand kids shave his head!
We also noticed that our grand kidssenses are somewhat "heightened", probably because Terence has been laid up for the first time and they've obviously noticed it. Our youngest (Annie) has been especially aware of her "Papi" not feeling very good. Terence read her the book "When someone I love is sick" ( a terrific book for pre-schoolers dealng with cancer in the family)- now she's full of questions. She also looked at the pictures in Lance Armstrong's "Cancer guide" and noticed a lot of people had no hair.....so most of her questions have been in regards to Terence losing his hair. Terence decided that even though there is only a 75% chance he will lose his hair from chemo, he doesn't want it to be worrisome for the grand kids if it does happen, so he decided that he will let them cut his hair and shave his head before chemo even starts. That way, they won't ever associate his bald head with being sick.
I also want to thank those that have given financially to help us. I wish that we could spend time with each of you and thank you face-to-face. Today I know of you not so much for your gifts, but for the loving kindness with which it was given. God bless each of you! You have my thanks and that of my family.
~ Have a wonderful week end!
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen;