On April 22, 2016, Jerry had what we hope was his final surgery. His surgery was successful in implanting his new prosthetic bone in his skull where his infected bone had to be removed. This surgery went very well, and when Jerry left the hospital, he left with a new, nice looking skull again! He no longer has to wear any protection on his skull to protect his brain. This was very liberating for him. It's obviously been a couple of months since that surgery (I apologize for not updating sooner) but we have been trying to live our life as normal as possible, at least our new normal :-)
Jerry is still being treated with Chemotherapy one week out of every month. Basically, Monday through Friday, every 4 weeks. This is tough on him physically, but he still manages to function on most days like every other day. He is a man that keeps working through his nausea and headaches, because he knows that he has to. Jerry is self-employed and he does not have the luxury of going on disability (no disrespect meant on this comment, but when you are sick, it's a nice thing to fall back on). Maybe "luxury" isn't the right word, but please know that my intentions are just saying that people who are able to do this, I'm sure are very thankful to be able to spend their time focusing on their healing and not worrying about money. Jerry continues to work to provide an income for our family. To date, we have not been behind on any of our obligations financially. This is largely due to the help we have received in addition to Jerry's continuous efforts to keep his business operating while he has been healing.
Anyway, hopefully I came away from that comment with everyone completely understanding what I meant!!
Our kids have been champs through this. The children that we have living in our home, who have been enduring this battle right along side of us, have all had very successful years at school. I thank God for that, because I'm certain that I wasn't always as attentive as they needed me to be! Our oldest daughter finished her Junior year in high school. Our second daughter finished her freshman year in high school. Our youngest daughter finished 5th grade. Our son, had a very successful finish of Kindergarten.
It was a year of a lot of changes in our home between Jerry's battle and me going back to work full time for the first time in 17 years. Our kids and our family could not and would not have been as successful as we have been if we didn't have our community, our church families, and our families surrounding us with such an outpouring of love. Things came at unexpected times, notes in the mail, flowers on our front porch, just gestures from people letting us know that they cared and they were thinking about us. One organization that I would like to recognize is "Angels of Hope". They are a wonderful non profit organization that helps families with cancer. They helped us two different times over the last 5 years and they are also sending us to a Tigers game free of charge so that we can have a day to just "get away" from the cancer. If you are looking for an organization to donate to, please consider Angels of Hope. We are evidence that they do what they say that they do and they do it with love and compassion!
We were not able to thank each and every person, but we want you to know that we noticed and we continue to notice. We are hopeful that our lives are beginning to get back to a more normal pace. We have learned through our own experiences what people need as well. If you are looking for a way to help a family who is battling something difficult. Please feel free to contact me and I will let you know what we found most helpful.
Today, June 16, 2016 brings thankfulness in my heart. My daughter is almost 18 and I remember it was at this time, 5 years ago that we first discovered Jerry's tumor and we spent her 13th birthday in a hospital waiting room waiting to find out the results of Jerry's biposy. It's been a long year, it's been a long 5 years!!!!!! We are thankful for every moment, every triumph, every discouragement, every battle, because we know that each moment has made us a little stronger and a little closer to understanding God's grace and love. We are loved by so many and we are loved by our heavenly father and we are loved by each other. What more could we really ask for? Really? We could have more things, complete health, more money...and the list goes on and on. What we have is our very own perfect, not so perfect, life. My husband often says to me that he feels bad that I married him and then have had to go through all of this. It makes me almost angry when he says that because I wouldn't ask to be anywhere else. I love him. With love, comes no boundaries. When you truly make a vow, and you are 100% certain that you are suppose to give your life to the person that you marry, you do it! You do it with no hesitation.
I will continue to update this blog as Jerry continues on this life long journey.
Thank you for reading this and giving me an outlet to just "vent". I'm no scholar, and certainly not an English major, so please forgive me for my typos and grammatical errors!!
This is Jerry before his surgery to put prosthetic bone in. If you look closely, you can see indent on the right side of his skull next to his arm.
This is Jerry after surgery.
This is our two youngest with Jerry after he came home :)
This is Jerry with our two oldest daughters in May as they are leaving for a banquet.
Next to preaching, this is Jerry's favorite thing to do, he is on guitar, and myself on keyboard, along with our worship team at church doing what we love, leading worship.