Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, January 8, 2024

Update 1/8/24: Dying Well

Psalm 30:5 "Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

There is a constant bombardment of feelings and emotions that we experience each day as we continue to process all that is going on. This verse has rung true. Weeping seems to hit at night, but then God's mercies are new the next morning and we start the day again. Have you ever watched Groundhog Day? There are some days that I wake up and I feel like I'm stuck in a bad dream.

Last week, I joined a book club where we are reading the book, Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering. We only read the introduction, but I know it is exactly what I need to be reading right now. God's timing is always perfect. The book quoted C.S. Lewis who wrote, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” The last part of that quote speaks so much to me. I know that God allows our suffering to point others to Him, but He doesn't stop there. He also uses it to draw my heart closer to Him. When you are suffering, I think you are more attune to His presence and His voice. I am not alone in the valley, the deep water, or in the dark times. God is right there holding me and carrying me each step of the way.

Update Wayne: Wayne is doing as well as he possibly can at this time. Last week, we had a Telehealth appointment with Wayne's oncology team in Chicago, where Wayne told them he didn't want to pursue anymore treatments. Besides saying from the beginning that he wanted to glorify God either with his life or his death, Wayne has also consistently declared that he wanted quality over quantity. Since the treatments didn't really offer Wayne quality, he declined any more treatment. A friend sent me this article that discussed dying well. She said it reminded her of Wayne. I would agree that this article is what Wayne has been saying for years. I have to admit that it is how I want to see my cancer too.

The doctor told us that since Wayne is not doing any more treatments, there is no need for him to have anymore MRIs. We called the local palliative/hospice team who is coming Wednesday to meet with us and come up with a plan. Needless to say, last week was difficult as we processed this news. Although it wasn't necessarily anything new, it felt like the last nail in the coffin. Apart from God intervening, Wayne will die. I have to admit that I have had moments where I have struggled to breathe thinking about losing Wayne. My beautiful friend Amy encouraged me when I reached out to her. She reminded me how God has sustained her after losing her husband to brain cancer. I am so thankful for these wonderful reminders in the hard.

Wayne's brother, Kevin, arrived Friday night with his daughter Madi. Wayne has enjoyed having his brother around to hang out with these last few days.

Update Rebecca: After meeting with Wayne's team, I headed to my appointment to have another CT scan. I got to enjoy an afternoon "snack" of vanilla smoothie readi-cat. Not only did I have to drink that, I also had to have contrast. Unfortunately, my first IV ended up blowing my vein. I think my poor body is done with all the pokes. My doctor's office called me Thursday morning to let me know that my CT scan looked good. I met Thursday afternoon with my radiologist for my planning scan. I will either start radiation 1/15 or 1/22. I will find out at the end of this week my official start date. Thankfully, he told me that I should feel pretty good and that most people work through their radiation. Friday I will meet with my doctor and if my labs look good, I am scheduled for my immunotherapy. 

***Thank you to everyone who has been sending in memories or stories about Wayne. They have been bringing a smile to Wayne's face and laughter to our home. I'm still collecting stories, so please continue to send them in.***

It has been wonderful having Grace home. She has been spending some quality time with Wayne.

We have been enjoying some new family games (Cascadia and Azul)

We had some more fun decorating gingerbread cookies after the New Year. We found some on clearance and were given some by a friend.

Joella saved some cookies to decorate with her cousin. These two have been inseparable since she arrived Friday night.

Abigail has been getting extra hugs from her dad too. She is currently in Virginia taking a week intensive course to fulfill her graduation requirement. 

Doctor visit and "yummy" drink.

Joella and Madi decorated her face with stickers.

Wayne's friend Matt came to visit on Sunday. Matt and Wayne used to work together at Moody Bible in the finance department and spent many hours in a canoe together. It was fun to hear Wayne laugh as they talked about some of their "adventures".


Micaela working on her science fair project. We will all be glad when it is over. My table has been covered with 10 lemon lime plants since October!

Joella and Madi made slime today and spent hours playing with it. 

Wayne and Kevin working on a puzzle. Grace came along and helped them with it too.

Wayne and his brother

Prayer Requests:

- Wayne: Please pray for his speech (his request). It is really hard for him to communicate these days. Please also pray for our meeting with the palliative team so we have a good plan in place. 

- Rebecca: Please pray for my labs that I can receive my immunotherapy and that my radiation goes smoothly. Please also pray that this cancer is kicked to the curb with these treatments. 

- Kids: Please pray for travel safety for Abigail and Naomi as they travel. Please also pray for Abigail to make it through this intensive class. Just continue to pray for the other kids as they juggle all the things (school, work, and our health). 

No comments:

Post a Comment