Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Friends, Family, and......DrainTubes? :)

Deryl says.........While I wouldn't wish this journey on anyone at this point I would not trade it for the things we have gained so far. It has been difficult many times and emotionally draining. The thing that has been so amazing and inspiring to me is how much Kelley and I have changed for the better as a result of this experience. I have mentioned some of them before but the increased level of love and openness to others has been a true blessing. It is so much more difficult to judge others now. I considered myself a pretty non-judgmental person before but I have discovered new love and respect for the journey of others that I did not have before. Plus the opportunity to serve my wife and show her how much I love her has only increased my love for her. Then the girls have been amazing. They are such wonderful caretakers of their mommy. I know I have had struggles with their conflicts and my reactions in the past but they have matured to a new level overnight it seems. I am so proud of how they have handled this situation.
Then our family and friends have been so loving and supportive. As Kelley mentioned in her previous post all of the acts of care and support have meant so much to us and helped us through this. We have made some new friends that are more like angels. They have walked with us through every difficult moment coming to our house early in the morning or late at night when needed. We can just feel their love for us every time we are with them and we love them with all of our hearts. Jesus said that there is no greater love than a man lay down his life for his brother. And they have laid down their life for us over and over again. Of course they have not died but they have set aside their lives and all the things going on in their lives for us at the drop of a hat. Like I said they are more like angels.
Even our relationship with my mother and sister has gone to a new level. They have been so encouraging and kind. I am so grateful for them. And so proud of my sister who got her college degree a couple of weeks ago. Way to go sis!
We have our moments when the reality of what is happening hits us. And when it does it is painful and scary. The first time Kelley tried to bathe and realized she could not do it by herself was a tough moment for her. My inability to sleep the first several nights she was home was very draining. But through it all we have all been very patient and kind with one another. I think that we are able to do that because we have allowed one another to take care of ourselves and re-energize when we needed it. I have been able to get the girls out of the house a few times which has helped. Kelley made sure before her surgery that someone could come stay with her while I got to go out to our weekly movie night with the guys from church. And Kelley has just been so grateful to us and so liberal with her praise of me and the girls it makes it really easy to take care of her. She is a good patient!
My biggest concern through this whole thing was how Kelley would react to the sight of her post surgery body. I was very fearful that it would cause her to be very insecure but she handled it so well. There are still a lot of moments of fear. Any pain in a new place or anything else out of the ordinary makes you wonder if it is cancer somewhere else. Fortunately that is happening less and less.
Kelley's sense of humor in the midst of this has been inspiring. We were walking around the block yesterday and Heather was complaining that her ankle was hurting and Kelley looked at her and with a big smile on her face said "hey at least you still have boobs!". She got out of the shower today after taking a shower by herself for the first time and did a little dance and called it her "drain tube dance". If you have ever experienced drain tubes in your body you know it is not a fun or comfortable experience. I won't go into detail but in effect Kelley has 4 tubes in her body that protrude through her skin and out of her body and end in a clear plastic bulb. They are usually kept in the pockets of this special camisole but when she takes a shower they are clipped onto a lanyard that hangs around her neck and dangle in front of her. So when she does her dance they sway around in front of her. Now if you knew Kelley before this experience you would know that Kelley does not do things like that. She has been willing to show her surgery site to anyone who has been interested to see, as long as they are female of course. Again this is something she would have never done before. She is not self-conscious like she was before.
We are so fortunate and blessed to have so many who love and care for us. I don't think we would know it as much if not for this challenge in our lives. We still have some hurdles to cross to put this behind us but we are hopeful for the future and grateful for all of you. Much love!

1 comment:

  1. You guys are such an inspiration for all of us! Sounds like Kelley is doing better and better as each day passes, walking and showering, what a great thing for her! Keep up the good work caretakers!!