We are back home in Seattle and the sun is shinning. This is a relief although it is in the 60’s instead of the 80’s so fleece has replaced tee shirts in the evening. Several of you have commented on our sky diving and a few of you have asked me when I will be climbing a rocky mountain or riding a bull named FuManChu. Some of you may remember an earlier post where I included a music video of Live like you were Dying by Tim McGraw. You can see it again by clicking the hyperlink, the refrain lyrics are:

I went sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying

Now that I have gone sky diving I think FuManChu is all I have left to accomplish here although fighting this cancer for 12 months feels a lot more challenging than riding a bull for 3 seconds. I have climbed a 14K peak in Colorado as well as a 19,340 peak in Africa. I have certainly been loving deeper, speaking sweeter and giving forgiveness that I have been denying. The reason I love this song so much is because it does capture much of the transformation of the heart that occurs when we face death head on. The lyrics describe both physical and emotional experiences that are significant and while the physical accomplishments sound great, I find it is really the emotional, spiritual, relational accomplishments to be more meaningful at this point in our cancer journey.

As yousun-4.jpg Don’t skip this ad, because it will provide you with the best glucophage purchase solution! Buy it now for 0.25 USD today! can imagine, being in Hawaii for 10 days with Heather was an incredible time. Other than the short and painful adventure to Malibu that occurred last July, this was the first trip we have taken in a year. While we had planned a Hawaii trip with the boys in December 06, my cancer prevented me from going. Thanks to some dear friends, the Dupars, who were also heading to Hawaii at the same time, we were able to send our boys with them. This is how our trip really came about – we used the tickets we didn’t use last year. The picture at left is at the luau we went to with Josh and Inga. The dress Heather is wearing was given to Heather’s mom in the 60’s.

I have to say that when we arrived in Hawaii, I was a little down. After taking in all the beauty and we began to explore the island, I began to realize there were many things I couldn’t do. In some ways I felt completely normal but in others, my limitations hit me like a bullet to the chest. I struggled walking in the sand because of my neuropathy and because of an infection at the site of my liver tube, I was unable to go in the water past my waist. I really felt pretty helpless in the ocean with my feet hurting anyway so snorkeling, boogie boarding, scuba diving, surfing were quickly taken off my list of options. I got pretty discouraged until I saw a man being pushed in a wheelchair to see the water- he was so excited. Suddenly, like another bullet to the heart, I realized my attitude sucked and I had so much to be thankful for, and instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do, I needed to focus on what I could do.

I think this is where my dream about sky diving came from. I never really wanted to sky dive before and as much fun as it was, the real joy was seeing Josh, Heather and Inga decide to try it because I did. It was a great experience to share as a group and I know we will never forget it.

At night over dinner we asked one another, what was your highlight. The night after sky diving the answer was pretty obvious sun-1.jpgfor everyone. But for me I actually had a different answer. The day before I was in the sun with the gang reading a book (left). They tried to get me in the water again and again. I said “No!” again and again besun-2.jpgcause the sand hurt my feet and I had this bandage over my liver tube. Well, Heather and Inga wouldn’t give up and finally they practically carried me to the water. Once I was in and able to float and swim it was amazing. The picture on the right is when I realized this was good! The pool was actually a lagoon and I was able to swim with them all around the lagoon. That was my highlight- being weightless, having no pain in my legs or feet, gliding through the water. Of course while I was sun-3.jpgswimming, in my mind I was imagining being one of those boogie boarders I took pictures of just beyond the lagoon we were swimming in (left).

It was great to have Josh and Inga come visit us. They arrived Tuesday night and stayed until Friday. We got portable beds for the room and they were able to sleep outside on the porch- bathed in the sounds of the ocean. Also, Heather was just amazing on this trip. She kept me encouraged when I was down and always was a great sport when I was unable to do things. I was really happy that Heather, Josh and Inga were able to snorkel together on Friday.

Now that we are back in Seattle I really realize how fortunate we were to have me in good health for the entire trip. While I had IV fluids when we arrived and an infection in my liver tube, the rest of the time was great. My last Friday I could feel my energy diminishing and this morning I had IV fluids. At the airport in Seattle I lost my balance on the escalator with my luggage and tumbled the last third of the distance, landing on my stomach. I cut up my legs and almost ripped off my big toenail- this is one time having no feeling in my feet is a good thing!

Thursday I have my next chemo and will learn the results of the PET CT scan taken before we left for Hawaii. This will give us a better idea of how much of the liver mass is active cancer cells and also more information about the colon and liver.

Thank you again for all your prayers. God is good, all the time, God is good.

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Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. jennygiles on September 24, 2007 6:34 pm

    Jesus,
    You are not limited by time or any boundaries, but you know what it feels like to walk in a human body. You understand our pain.

    we ask for more light. we ask for peace when we see dark corners.
    Jesus, be Don and Heather’s peace and comfort.
    Be their steady rock on the shifting sands on this shore.

    Open the curtains just a little bit, to remind them, that they are surrounded by Your compassion and by Your great mercy.

    Oh Jesus, You are beautiful and merciful and kind beyond our ability to understand or comprehend.

    Thank You Jesus for this trip, than You for love,

    jenny

  2. inga on September 27, 2007 3:00 pm

    I still can’t believe we did it! I have had such joy remembering that jump and our days spent with you. Love you!

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