Where do I begin? One day things are going fine, the next your world is turned completely upside down, almost stopped in shock. Today is Saturday, April 9, 2005 and two days ago, April 7, my wife and I found out that she had cancer. Leukemia to be exact. How this happened we don’t know.
A few weeks ago Lis noticed that her body was bruising easily. She didn’t do anything to cause the bruises she just bruised. She put off going to the doctor. Last week we noticed red dots on Lis’ legs and finally on Wednesday we made an appointment to see the doctor.
We went in on Thursday, April 7 at 8:30am. The doctor ran some blood tests and shortly thereafter he called Lis at home and asked her to go straight to the emergency room at Providence Hospital in Everett. Lis immediately called me at work – crying. I left work and my mom drove us straight to the hospital.
Confused we waited until we were admitted into a room on the 7th floor. Ah yes, the spiritual number seven will come into play a lot. Lis’ favorite number, the day that we found out, the floor she is on and finally 707 the room number she will be staying in for awhile.
But let’s not jump ahead. We eventually got into the room, they took some tests and finally a doctor came in to speak with us. Thoughts raced through my mind. Dr. Munoz had told Lis over the phone that it might be cancerous. I thought maybe it was something in her diet, maybe it was nothing, maybe it was something. Unfortunately, it was something. The doctor informed us that she had a serious condition called acute leukemia. If untreated she would probably pass away in three to six months. The bricks began to hit us across the head. She would need to go through chemotherapy. If she went into remission (a good thing) then months down the road we could get a bone marrow transplant that more than likely would have to come from her sisters. We began to sob. The first thing we could think about was Lukas.
Lukas is just 5 ½ months old. He doesn’t know what’s going on and he needs his mother more than anyone. What if she wasn’t there to care for him? How is this going to affect him? As I write on Day 3 I am starting to believe that our little man is going to be the key to her beating this cancer. He should make her positive, his smiling, cute, little face should be her inspiration on keeping positive and not letting this thing beat her.
How am I feeling? I don’t know. I’m lost. I’m confused. I’m scared. I’m every emotion that you could possible think of that is negative. I can only hope for the best and take care of Lukas in the meantime. I have to be there for her, I have to keep her positive. She is my world without her there is no me.
It just seems unreal and most of the time I’m real positive. I’ve never met a stronger person than her. Lis is extremely strong, dedicated, hard working, wonderful. If anyone could beat something like this it would be her. I mean the friggin’ girl was in labor for 12 hours and fooled the nurses into believing that Lis was overreacting. She showed no pain. She got a c-section and was out of the hospital in less time than some people stay for a regular birth. So she’s going to keep positive, she’s going to tell this friggin’ cancer that she can’t be beat.
She has too much to live for – I mean she’s 27 for God’s sake – she has a son that needs her, a husband that needs her, a huge family that loves her, friends that love her. Nobody dislikes Lis, I’ve never met anyone that disliked her and if they did it was for jealousy reasons. She’s unbeatable.
I do get scared sometimes. I get scared because there is an 80% chance of remission and if that doesn’t happen, if the chemo doesn’t beat the cancer than they have to try something else and then the percentage drops to 30. And if that happens we’re in trouble.
The support has been great. My parents and Randy were there the first day and got caught up in the emotion. All they could say was “why, why, why” and “I don’t understand, she’s so healthy”. They were there to cry with me and have been totally supportive. On Friday, Erik came to visit. Again, confused. He left crying just able to say “poor girl”. That evening our friends Cory and Hillary came. They sent prayer requests to their church and to Hillary’s mom’s church in California. The ladies at work have been great. Bev has called every day to check on her and will probably visit tomorrow.
Today Lis had a bunch of guests. Her former co-workers; Tony, Tien and Mike. My grandparents, Josh, and Ian Barnes also visited. Everyone has been so supportive and so confused.
I don’t know if I should cry or yell out in frustration. I try to let her see me happy. I try not to think negative but darn if I’m not a half-empty kinda guy. I think God has a plan for us. I think He’s going to get her through this. We’ve always had our obstacles. The long distance relationship, trying to get Lis here after we were married in Brazil, the pregnancy, and now this (I’m sure I’m forgetting something). I think God told us to finally go to the doctor after we went to church for the first time and I decided to let Him back in my life. I want Lukas to grow up as a good Christian man and thought it best if we start to go to church. Four days later, I need God more than ever.
Its nice that everyone is praying, like I said Cory and Hillary sent prayer requests. Grandma sent prayer requests. Aunt June sent prayer requests. I have talked to Pastor Jeff and have put in prayer requests at church. The support has been great and hopefully will only get greater as things progress.
This week will be interesting. Lis will be going through a lot of changes and it will be interesting to see how she handles it and how I will handle it. Well, time to go. I have to pray, get some sleep and start Day 4.