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 Lord is near to the brokenheartedand saves the crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18)
July 6, 2009 was a devastating day for me. It was for both Terence and I but since I'm writing I'll talk about my feelings. It was the day we were sucker punched and caught off guard with a cancer diagnoses. Oh wait, it was terminal too. Worst case scenario type of thing.
I tried to remain in the doctor's office as the urologist was explaining to Terence the details of "terminal" (the entire meeting was 50 minutes long), but I couldn't breathe and though I had started to cry I was silent, not making any noise. I felt claustrophobic and needed to get out of that small room. Such trauma to the heart makes one want to throw up.
I stepped out into the parking lot and called my daughter Nadine. She called our son Eric. I called my sisters. I cried some more, dried my tears and went back into the office and cried some more. After the doctor finished speaking with Terence he turned to me and handed me the kleenex box and said, "I feel like I just damaged you". My heart felt damaged.
Shell shock is a good way to explain how we felt afterwards. Within the week, we thought that joining a cancer support group would be good. We searched one out and like good students we showed up early. The facilitator of this group (American Cancer Society)- welcomed us and inquired about "our story". We shared the short version (the only version); cancer had completely surprised us and the doc gave T man about 9-18 months to live. She looked at us and said
"Sh*t, you're up a creek without a paddle". It turned out the support group was canceled that night, but we never went back. We figured we could do without 'support' like that.
36 months later, here we are. Since hospice care started we've tried to stop counting. We have actively forgotten and purposefully not reminded ourselves how long it's been snce he stopped chemo, or how long its been since he's been without treatment. We've turned our brains off to any date that pertains to this cancer journey. But I've come to realize that out heart knows.
'Out of sorts' and 'sour' is a good way to describe how we've been feeling these past few days.
It wasn't until about an hour ago I realized it's July 6. It's been three years since "D" day.
That was the day my heart was bruised.
Although my mind didn't recognize the significance of the day, my heart did.
My heart knows the day our lives changed forever. I hate that.
That's when I realized just how wounded our hearts have been.
And how much cancer has crushed us.
I wish I could tell you that cancer hasn't beaten us down (it has but we always try to get up), or how strong and positive we always are (we're not).
Even though today was a beautiful day and the grand
kids came over -playing in the sun and Terence got a terrific
lymphatic massage......cancer never leaves us.....Terence was outside
enjoying some sunshine in his 'zero gravity' lounge watching the kids
play, I stepped around the corner to check the sprinkler and I as I
rounded the corner coming back- I saw Terence 'hurling chunks' (as he
calls it) in my garden. Three times. Today was the first and last time I forced Terence to eat pineapple.
The Lord is near to the brokenheartedand saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18)
This journey. Really hard. Really tiring. Really angry.
I am so glad we have a "heart doctor" and that He is near when we need Him most.
My flesh and my heart may fail,but God is the strengthof my heart