Hopeful | jan. 19. 2017

"Come and hear ...
And I will tell you what God has done for my soul."
Psalm 66:16
Well that was overwhelming.

But hopeful.
I think I needed to brace for the worst.
So I did.

Which was good.
But the waiting killed me.
Super sick to my stomach leading up to the appointment.

Just be done already.
Get this behind us.

In the middle of the
"I must hold back tears but I'm *this* close to losing it,"
icky feeling,
I simultaneously felt God's Peace.
Again, unexplainable.
Just this gentle feeling of
"Alysa, I'm here."


I had friends texting verses as we waited.
That really helped.

And friends/family texting,
telling me they were praying right that second.

God's SO good like that.

True to Correll form,
we arrived at the hospital 45 minutes early.
No surprise there.
We couldn't be late if we tried to be.

Dad's gonna be early to his own funeral.
That doesn't sound good.
We don't want THAT!

I texted Lenny when we arrived
and he texted back with some snarky remark
about us being right on Correll time.
Way early.
And there he sat in his Dallas office, laughing.
The nerve.

We were supposed to get to the hospital at 1:30pm
to fill out paperwork,
and then meet with the doctor at 2pm.
I think it was about 2:45pm before we actually
got to see the nurse.
The doc finally pulled into the room at three-something.

But we liked him.
Like, really liked him.
Young doc, great disposition, patient with our questions,
able to explain things so we could understand.
Direct, which I was super thankful for.
I don't wanna mess around.
Just give us the facts; hard or not.

And he did.
And quite frankly,
I was pleasantly surprised.

I think he felt like Dad is quite strong,
given his test results and the shape he probably should be in.

Colon cancer spread all over his liver.
Both sides.
So much so that there's no way to operate on the liver.
While it's not curable, it is treatable.
His philosophy?
Live longer, but well.

So he suggested a chemo cocktail
that seems pretty well tolerated by most.
Chemo every two weeks for three months.
And then test again to see if the cancer is shrinking.
If it's working, he hooks up for another 3 months.

It's not in the lymph nodes.
Praise Jesus.
Side effects, while there for sure,
should be manageable with meds.
Chemo goes in via a port or pic-line.
One of the potions then goes home with him for 46 hours
to continue slow infusion.

Eventually I asked the 'elephant in the room' question.
How much time are we looking at?

In my head, for some arbitrary reason,
I had told myself that it was gonna be 3 months-ish.
Given that it was stage IV,
in the colon and liver
and who knew where else.
Braced myself.

So when he said,
"With no chemo, just following healthy eating,
anywhere from a month to a year.
He did say he felt like dad would be closer to a year,
given his current state, with no pain.

But with chemo,
the median lifespan is 2.5 years.

That took me aback.
Like, really?

And we know, there's no guarantee.
Might not make it to 2.5 years.
Half make it to 2.5.
Half don't.
Everyone responds differently.
Time will tell.

But for now,
we take that snapshot of hope
and ask God to give Dad the wisdom to know
whether to go the chemo route.
Or the naturopath route.
Or some combo of both.

As you might imagine,
they are opposite in their approach.
Even in their definition of what a healthy diet looks like.
100% opposite.
Oh boy.

That's a big prayer point going forward.

And we ask God to give Dad the strength to face the
chemo side effects, should he choose that path.
It's poison cursing through your body.
Never fun.
But, possibly manageable with this regime.

And right smack dab in the middle of our asking,
we stop to say,
Thank you Jesus for being near to us today.

We weren't in the hospital alone.
Your Peace rested on us in a crazy way.
And I PROMISE you,
that was a direct result of people praying for us,
literally around the globe.

I mean,
there wasn't one tear shed in this appointment.
That's nothing short of miraculous,
if you know me AT ALL.
I'm a cry-baby extraordinaire.

(Side note: I'm not knocking myself.
I love that God made me tender.
Something that walking into my 40s taught me.
Tears are okay.
And good.
And part of how God wired me.
I used to not like that about myself.
I now embrace it.)

And so, you might be wondering.
We're okay.
We're good, actually.
And hopeful.
And not in despair.
And we know God is with us.
Whether dad gets three months or two years.

God says in His word that He will be with us when we
walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
And not only does He say it.
We felt it today.
He keeps His promises.

I will tell you what He has done for my soul.
He carried me today.

This much I know.
God's still good.
And always will be.

Your kind thoughts and well wishes and prayers today meant more than you really can know. We love you each for journey-ing with us.


Kathy Brander said…
Thank you so much for posting this tonight Alysa. I have been praying all day for strength for all of you and positive news from the doctor. Praying for wisdom as to the right choice for treatment. Hugs to all.
Unknown said…
THANK YOU, Alysa, for your update, and ESPECIALLY for being with your mom and dad this week!! It was WONDERFUL to see you, and to be with you, yesterday...
Be assured of our LOVE and our ongoing PRAYERS for Jacky and "Miami", and for you and your whole families...
With much love from Uncle Hogie and Judy
Susi said…
I could say to do one over the other, but then that would be my decision, so i wont. We Will be praying for the right decision for you all. For continued overwhelming peace as God is so good at doing!! For wisdom and guidance as Jack chooses which avenue to go .
You are not alone!!!! Glory!! Love from the Clement Family

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