Monday, April 5, 2021

A bend in the road

This faded picture is my favorite photograph of our children when they were young. It must have been taken around 1972 or 1973 as the children are about 8, 7, and 5 years old. Our older son is on the right:


Today they are 56, 55, and 53. Mrs. RWP sewed our daughter's dress herself, which was a rich blue and included beautiful smocking on the front, which somehow didn't get included in the photograph.

Today our daughter begins chemotherapy for cancer in her left breast. She first felt a "knot" or lump about a month ago and since that time has had a mammogram, an ultrasound, and an MRI. They caught it early, so the prognosis is good. Her lymph nodes are clear and her right breast is clear. Last week she had a port installed and received an iron infusion because her hematacrit (red blood cell level) was on the low side. Her genetic testing came back clear except for one mutation in a recessive gene that the doctor says has no effect on her current situation. The three markers of estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 were tested as well; the first two were negative and the third one was positive. I've told you everything I know to this point.

Our daughter's husband is driving them to the cancer center in Birmingham, an hour and a half trip, as I sit here writing this post. My wife and I prayed for her this morning. A lot of people are praying for her today.

I hate that this has happened to her. If I could, I would gladly take her place.

I am a Christian believer, but I became very angry with God at first. I said, "You took my mother; are you going to take my daughter too?" and I also said, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, yes, but I don't have to like it."

God responded by giving me grace and my heart settled down. That quote about giving and taking away ends with "Blessed be the Name of the Lord." Mrs. RWP and I are praying for Angela today, as we always have every day of her life. There are just a few new details we are including today.

If you are a praying person we ask you to include Angela in your prayers. If you are not a praying person, at least think positive thoughts. If you can't even do that, your heart must be really hard.

On Saturday she did a little "wig shopping" because her hair will probably fall out, but she didn't buy one yet. Much of mine has already done that, so I am in solidarity with her. One of my sons plans to shave his head to show his support.

Angela has a strong support system in the town where she lives, which is about three hours from her Georgia family. She is the principal of a primary school with about 800 students and a faculty and staff of around 80 people. On Friday, all of the adults in the school, including the custodians and the lunchroom workers, wore specially-made tee-shirts as a surprise show of support.

I will close with one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Nahum 1:7 in the Old Testament: "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him."

20 comments:

  1. Please accept and give my best wishes to your daughter. As person who had cancer a few years ago I can say that her future looks good. Clear lymph nodes is a most positive sign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Emma. You have been there so you know what you’re talking about.

      Delete
  2. I am most definitely praying for Angela. I believe in the power of prayer and also in the power of positive thoughts. I understand your struggle with her diagnosis very well. I lost my Mother and my other brother to cancer when they were each in their 60s and as you know my remaining brother now has it. I get a lump in my throat every time I hear of another cancer diagnosis because there seem to be so many these days. It sounds like Angela has an excellent support system and that will help. All the prayers and positive thoughts will also help. As Emma said, clear lymph nodes is a very positive sign. I will also pray for you and Ellie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bonnie. My mother survived breast cancer and a mastectomy but succumbed a few years later to abdominal cancer. My grandfather had colon cancer, was given six months to live, and lived for 30 more years. I appreciate everything you have said.

      Delete
  3. I am so sorry to read this. No prayers from me, but most definitely healthy, hopeful wishes for her and for all of your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sue.. I can’t find any fault with health and hope for Angela and for us all. I appreciate you.

      Delete
  4. It's rather shocking to get news such as your daughter's cancer. I wish her whole family all the best and that she will make a rapid recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red, thank you. It was a shock, you’re right, but our whole family has rallied around her and everyone is meeting the crisis together. It has been marvelous to behold.

      Delete
  5. I am so sorry that your daughter is having to go through cancer treatments. I am glad that she has a good prognosis and a good support system. My prayers are with her and her family.
    Love the picture of your children! Your oldest son is about my age.
    I am an 18 year breast cancer survivor. My children were 3 and 5 when I was diagnosed, and going through surgery and chemo and radiation is hard at any age. I bought a wig, but didn't like wearing those itchy scratchy things. Maybe they have changed in the past 18 years. Hats were my friend. My son was 3 at the time, so he wore his hat all the time too. :)
    One of my favorite songs during that time was "One day at a time, sweet Jesus." He does give us strength each day. Prayers for all of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, thank you for everything you shared. One day at a time is truly the only way we will make it through this. You made me think of the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 6, “Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow will take thought for things of itself. Sufficient unto the day the evil thereof.”

      Delete
  6. Anger will not solve the problem, it's a knee jerk reaction.
    I will pray for Angela for the courage needed to deal with this situation.
    Alphie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alphie, anger was my initial reaction. It didn’t last long , but I had to get it off my chest . Angela and her husband are both showing a strong combination of acceptance of what is and courage for whatever comes. Thank you for your prayers.

      Delete
  7. Very sorry to hear this Bob. As you know, I am an atheist but my heart goes out to Angela and I sincerely hope that she pulls through. She has so much support and what the staff at her school did was particularly touching. Come on Angela!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neil, thank you for your very kind words. Our daughter has an amazing attitude toward this "bend in the journey" she must take and the support of others is very helpful along the way.

      Delete
  8. I'm sorry to hear this, Robert and I know the fear that over takes when our children are in danger. You,Mrs RWP and Angela will be in my prayers.
    If she must have breast cancer, she's in the best position.
    God bless you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kylie, thank you so much for your prayers and support. Her doctor told her after her first session on Monday that she may be the rare instance where chemo actually makes her feel better. They found low levels of vitamin A, B2, and B6 (I think those are the ones) and wrote her a prescription for them.

      Delete
  9. I was saddened to hear about your daughter. I, as you know, am not a believer in a deity but I will certainly send positive thoughts. I will also tell you that of my amazingly large number of friends who have had breast cancer (one had her first bout before I had my cancer diagnosis in 1998 and has had it twice since but is still a hale and hearty septuagenarian) all but that lady are still clear after their first bout. The survival rate is exceptionally high. I wish your daughter well and I wish you and your good lady peace of mind.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Graham, thank you for your very kind words. They are full of hope and encouragement. We have been asking that our daughter and her husband be filled with great peace and that she might have the right doctors and medical team. We had not thought to ask for peace for ourselves. Thank you again.

    ReplyDelete

<b>On the eighteenth of April in seventy-five,</b>

...hardly a man is now alive, who remembers that famous day and year. Truer words were never spoken, because the year under cons...