Monday, February 6, 2012

This post is about surviving. And not just surviving but overcoming

Acute renal failure. T & his surgeon pre-surgery.
February 6, 2012
by sherry

February 2
The day actually started the night before.   Terence had his labs done and it was almost 10 PM and we still hadn't seen the result posted to his online medical chart. We couldn't have a discussion with his oncologist with out them.

Our son-in-law Mike is privy to T's medical charts because he is one of main providers, in fact the one who found the original prostate tumor.  He came over that evening, and pulled up the charts.  It was then we knew that Terence was dealing with acute renal failure.

Early the next morning (6 AM), I was on the phone with the oncologist who still hadn't received the labs (we had the labs done close to home as opposed to going into the hospital in Seattle, so there are always opportunities for communication snafus, and this was one of them).  I told them what the immediate results were and our oncologist  made the decision to get Terence down there immediately. From there they did what they could to procure his lab results (plus they decided to do their own when he got there anyway).

Meanwhile Terence was lethargic, immobile from the lymphedema in his lower extremities and in pain.  I was trying to keep him comfortable, arrange for our trip (I was told to prepare to stay for a few days),  pack our bags, take care of things around the house since we would be absent...I did all this limping, since I was day 4 out of double knee surgery!

Enter the (grown) children: my two boys were here by 8 AM to go over the needs of the car/house/dog while we were gone and my oldest daughter Nadine was here by 10 AM to drive us to the hospital (no small feat there, she has 3 small children). By 10:45 AM we were off to Seattle....Terence slept all the way.

Wheel chair for T and crutches for me- we made it and Terence was admitted.  It was determined they would focus on only one kidney since the recovery is a little difficult. They told me he could live on one kidney for the time being.  Surgery was scheduled and after a whirl of medical "this and that's",  I finally found myself sitting in the waiting room waiting. Once I had settled in I felt a small ball of fear on the pit of my stomach. 

All I could hear in my mind was the receptionist question to me when I checked Terence in....."is Mr. Luttrell on disability due to end stage renal failure?".    

No. He has prostate cancer. Stage 4.  I was stunned by that question and the weight of it's implication.  Another diagnoses. ...with "end-stage" in it.

I called my sister Charla to let he know Terence was "in"...but once she answered her phone I couldn't really speak.  When I tried, I just cried. I hadn't cried in about 5 months- I had just plowed through chemotherapy and all of it's effects on Terence and the family and I was.  Charla was so graceful....she was saying "I know Sherry, it must be so overwhelming.  I'll be there  tomorrow. I'm sorry. I'll be there soon....."  

  One more phone call, and I was assured that our ministry team and intercessors were in full swing- praying and worshiping from afar in Terence's behalf........

After I hung up, I took some deep breaths to try and compose myself, but my body just shook. I felt like my heart was broken and I began to weep and I just couldn't stop.  My daughter Nadine and close family friend Stacy were next to me holding my hands and all I could mutter was "Lord, please have mercy on Terence.....I know your strength is sufficient to see us through. Give us strength.  Grace. Mercy. Grace. Mercy......Grace.....grace.....grace".

Once he was in recovery- instead of a pit of fear in my tummy, strength rose up within me and I moved forward...learning what I needed to about renal failure and how to care for all of Terence's nephrostomy tubes, etc. etc.  

Our close  and long-time family friend and pastor Doug Heck,  came and prayed for Terence and with me.  He is a great father in faith, and it was comforting to have him there.  After he prayed he shared  stories and testimonies of his latest trip around the world were he is seeing and experiencing miracles.  It built our faith.  
Before he left he told Terence "There are still many people to reach. The Kingdom needs you. I need you".

By 11 PM that night Nadine and I were walking through the empty hospital halls headed to our hotel room to catch some sleep.  Nadine made an interesting observation; "Mom, you're not even limping, you don't even look like you just had knee surgery".   Honestly, I forgot all about my knees!!!!

Five days later: brings us up to date:
  •  My sister Charla and her daughter Roxanne are here----cooking and baking up a storm (Kalua pig, Pad Thai. short bread cookies, biscuits, bread...........) doing laundry and taking care of peripheral tings while look after Terence......
  • He watched the super bowl yesterday (from his new recliner), joined by all of our children and grand kids,
  •  Our son Eric is helping me with all the technicalities of catheters and nephrostomy tubes.... (a navy corpsman and nurse in the ICU), son -in law Mike checking on Terences pain levels......
  • Daughter-in law Callie came and unpacked and organized our bedroom, getting it ready for live with tubes........
  • our youngest son Andrew- washed all the cars- getting Terence's truck clean and ready for him... when he's able to drive again.......
  • I'm resting this morning, legs, elevated, ice pack in place.
  We're looking forward to a very quiet week, no medical dramas and a full and quick recovery.

This post was about surviving.  And not just surviving but overcoming.  Experiencing supernatural grace that takes us from strength to strength as we "take hold of life that is truly life"  (I Ti. 6:19) which carries one triumphantly past the grave into the ages to come.



  1. What an amazing testimony to what our Amazing God can do!! you are such an inspiration to me, Sherry & I have never met you..I will keep you, Terrence and your family in my prayers!!! May God bless you & give you & Terrence many more years together! :)

    Gina Lillo Link

    1. Thank you Gina! I truly covet your prayers!

      Have I told you how much I enjoy your posts on FB? They always provide a smile, deep thought or comfort. Thanks for Sharing those!

  2. Sherry,

    I haven't commented in awhile, but know that I log on to check on Terrance's miracle often. You both have been such an amazing comfort and support to me as I deal with my husband's diagnosis of prostate cancer. I don't know you guys personally but I feel a strong connection and always have to check on Terrence and Sherry. My prayers are that God continues to Bless you and your family. You ALL are AWESOME!!!

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