So, if you have been following our story, you know that Jerry has been having several MRI's over the last year because the Dr's were seeing some changes. There was no way to know what exactly was happening, so having MRI's often was the best option to figure it out. Was it swelling? Was it effects from radiation? Was it good brain cells that were affected by the treatment? What was going on?
At his last appointment, we received information to better explain what was happening because the MRI scans had become more clear. The news was not good. We were devastated to find out that what was happening was that he was developing new tumors. In a new area. They originate from the original area, but they are growing in a different location. This explained a lot. This explained why Jerry was having more issues of weakness and why he was so tired all the time. Originally Jerry's tumor was labeled as a Grade 2 Astrocytoma, which means it was considered low grade, and slow growing. Now, they have changed his diagnosis to a Grade 3, which means it is considered High Grade and becoming more aggressive. Grade 4 is the highest grade.
We have been so devastated by this news that we have not really shared with many people unless they came right out and asked or if we knew that they really cared to know.
Jerry has been feeling better since they gave him some medication for the swelling, but it is a medication he cannot be on long-term. He had a brain tumor re-section to remove as much tumor as possible (brain surgery), he had 6 weeks of radiation, and he had been receiving Chemotherapy treatments from December 2015 - January 2017. So, for the last 3 months he has been treatment free, thankful that he was through all of that and hoping and praying that everything he had been through was "working".
He had an appointment this week with his new Oncologist. After the tumor board met and discussed his treatment options, the best and only option for him right now is to go back on the chemotherapy. Radiation may be be an option, but they have to do more research to find out if the area the new tumors are in, were at all affected by the original radiation because you can only have that done one time to any given area of the body.
Jerry's quality of life is pretty good right now. The only change is that we are aware of his condition. We are aware that it is getting worse and not better. He still functions normal and is able to work and do all the things that he did before. But, knowledge is powerful. It changes us. It changes the way we think and the way we act. For me, I have been angry, sad, hurt, depressed...really all of the normal feelings of grief. Sometimes I don't know how to stop feeling this way. I have kids that are watching me. Kids that are following my lead. If I'm good, they are good. If I'm sad, they are sad. If I'm worried, they are worried. I have to hide a lot of feelings. I have to pretend a lot. I have to put on this bubble wrap around my heart because it is seriously breaking every minute of every day. One question that I have asked God is, why? Why has the last 20 years of my life been so hard? That is kinda hard for me to say because I know there are people that have had it much worse than me. (But this is my blog so I'm going to be selfish and talk about myself) There were a lot of good times in there, but in the last 20 years, I married a man because I was pregnant with his child. I didn't know him, I was scared, so I married him. We proceeded to have 2 other children and remained married for the next 11.5 years before the divorce happened. I will not publicly bash my ex-husband because he is the father of my 3 daughters, but I will say that I was very un-happy many of those years that I was married. I'm not saying there weren't any good times, but it just wasn't a good fit, we should not have been together. What did make me happy during my marriage and what did make me thrive and keep going, were my children. I am always thankful for them and I always will be. Then I married Jerry. Honestly, for the first time, I felt a love I had never felt before. It's difficult to explain, but Jerry and I had a connection that was bigger than words. It was what people consider a "sole connection". That statement "soulmate" has been so over used that I think it has lost it's true value, but that is what I felt with Jerry. We were one. I was happy. We were happy. My girls LOVED Jerry and were very comfortable around him. Shortly after our marriage (literally weeks) we found out we were expecting our little boy. One day shy of our 9 month anniversary, we welcomed him into our family (he was a few weeks early just in case you are doing the math). When Brayden was only 11 months old, we found out Jerry had the Brain tumor. I can't say that I haven't had "happy moments" over the last 6 years, but there is always that dark cloud looming in the air. That silent whisper saying "brain cancer". I can never get it out of my mind. I feel sometimes like I will never have a normal life. I see people that seem to have everything together and it seems as though everything is good for them and I just think and wonder what it would be like if it could be like that for me, for us. If I could wake up everyday and just be happy. Have no worries and no pains in my heart. My girls have been through the experience of having a broken family then having a stepfather that is sick. Our son will never remember a time when his Daddy wasn't sick. Then it hits me........ It's not suppose to be like that yet, we are not suppose to live free of pain and sickness yet. We still live here, in the flesh and on the earth. We don't get to have that freedom. Just like most people don't know my daily struggles, the very same people I look at and "want their life", have struggles that I know nothing about. Struggles that I wouldn't want to bear. This life here isn't suppose to be easy. It's suppose to be hard. We are going to have worries and we are going to have struggles, it's just part of life. This week I found out that someone I care about deeply has passed away, way too young. Someone that held an important part in my life when I was a teenager whom I had reconnected with a few years ago. Someone that was encouraging and full of joy. He's gone. He's not here anymore. It makes me angry and it makes me sad. In my grief, I have to remember that he is happy now. He gets that life that I want so badly. He is free of pain, free of worry, he is happy. He get's to have what he has longed for all of his life. He is with his family that has passed on, with his friends that left the earth too early. He is there, where I long to be someday. Then I think of his children, and his wife. They are sad, they are grieving, they are still here. Ironically, his son is one of my daughter's very good friends so she is with him today. She is standing beside him and helping him keep his chin up, holding him and comforting him as he grieves. His son is young, barely a man. He has already lost his father. My friend who passed, his daughter's are also just young women, he will not be in a lot of their new beginnings. When I bring all of this into perspective, I realize that pain has a way of guiding us. Keeping our eyes and our ears focused on what matters. My life is not great, it is not easy and my husband is sick, yes....but he is still here. He hasn't left. He put a bracelet on my daughters wrist last night before her senior prom.. He wanted her to know that she was special to him. That was a moment that he DID give to her, a moment they shared together, a moment that I need to remember. There may be a future that I don't want to think about, but I need to think about today and make the best of every single moment and opportunity. I need to live, as does my husband. No matter what the future holds, today is good and I know that the future is something greater than I can even fathom because mine and my husbands ultimate future is with Jesus. We will be with my dear friend, with my grandparents, family members, with everyone that will go before we do. My future is bright and so is my husbands. 💕
These Pictures reflect the stories I shared:
Our Sons Birth
My husband's relationship with my "his" daughters
I purposely picked pictures that were "real life" pics and not professional ones that were "posed".
My daughter's senior Prom
Her bracelet from Jerry
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."
"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog - It's here a little while, then it's gone."