It’s been over three weeks since my last blog post and update on my bride. Not because anything is wrong—honestly, it’s just because we’ve just been enjoying being together at home, and every day of every week since Joey got out of the hospital has had some ups and downs. But as of about a week ago, things have started leveling out and it’s now easier to see where we are, and where we’re headed from here.
A few days ago, on Monday, Joey had a post-op checkup with her surgeon and some other care team members in Chicago. It was a quick overnight trip back up to the hospital, so Heidi went with her while I stayed here at home with Indiana. Heidi did all the bag-carrying and note-taking for her Mom and though it was a long flight and trip for Joey, they both had a wonderful time together.
After a day of blood work and many meetings, the doctors there said that they feel like Joey is doing wonderful. And she really is.
But it was a very rough start for her…
For almost two weeks after her surgery, Joey could barely eat anything. Between the medicine she was on, and the nausea it caused, she had very little strength and her weight was dropping daily. After finally bottoming out at a frail 108 pounds, her appetite and her energy level finally started coming back. And though she still has a long road ahead of her, she’s gained a few pounds back, feeling so much better, and it shows.
On the 16th of this month, we will travel to the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Atlanta for four to six weeks of chemo and radiation. The folks in Chicago graciously arranged for us to do this portion of her care closer to home. We will move and stay there (it’s actually in Newnan, GA) together as a family pretty much the whole time, other than a weekend or two in September when we plan to come back home for. Joey will be receiving radiation every day, and chemo once a week.
One of the things that has helped I think is being back at our farmhouse. The hospital and the staff at CTCA have been incredible, but there’s nothing more healing than being at home in your own bed, surrounded by the things and the people you love. Although it has been hot and muggy during the days here, we’ve spent lots of evenings on our back deck watching the sun go down over Joey’s garden, talking about the future, and thanking God for all the ways that we are blessed.
Here are a couple of recent blessings…
– Friends, neighbors, and family have kept up the garden for Joey while we’ve been away. They came in the evenings by the ones, twos, threes, and even by the dozens—to till, weed, water, pick, can, and freeze vegetables from her garden.
– Countless homemade meals have been brought to us by friends and neighbors. Joey might have been losing weight for a while… but I was gaining it!
– Letters, boxes, flowers, and more continue to arrive in the mail. Last week our friend Julie and some other folks spent days and days helping Joey and us go through all that has come in. Some of the cards and letters made us smile, and some moved us to tears. But they all touched us deeply, just knowing that so many people took time from their busy lives to write and encourage Joey on this journey.
Joey hasn’t felt up for many visitors since she’s been home, but both her Mama and her Daddy have been down here to spend time with us. Her dad was able to stay for a weekend and her mom is here staying with us for a couple of weeks—helping with Indy and things around the house as Joey gets stronger and we get ready to start the next phase of treatment.
Our little Indy is doing wonderful as well. She’s just as happy and sweet as ever and though Joey still can’t pick her up for a couple more weeks… she can hold her in her lap and they read books and Indy gives her mama lots of kisses. It’s so so sweet to watch.
We have sold-out concerts scheduled this weekend at our concert hall here at home and Joey is excited to walk across our driveway and see everyone and do some singing. She’s not sure yet how much energy she’ll have or how many songs she’ll be able to do… but even if it’s just a couple of songs, it’s going to be special to see her sweet smile and hear her beautiful voice again after all she’s been through.
…and standing right next to her, I’ll have the best seat in the house to watch it all.
PS … here are a couple more pics of Indy from after dinner this evening. She was playing/laying on the floor before bedtime, hamming it up for her papa.
Did I mention our many blessings?