Friday morning we had a long conversation with our oncologist. It was one that we were both ready for, or, at least, one that we, together, knew we needed to have. Over these last few weeks, as I’ve watched Chris’s body stop working as it should, I’ve been so burdened by the thought that things must be much worse than we had anticipated them becoming. The changes in his body didn’t seem like mere expected symptoms of something amiss inside anymore. The changes had taken over his ability to move easily, to sit, to be awake, to even breathe well.

Communicating with Chris about my observations and thoughts has been difficult for me, in very large part because I’m not a student of medicine and the body, and I don’t know if what I’m observing and wondering is valid. Our interpersonal dynamic has been touchy in these matters. I’ve worked subtly while being here at the hospital, attempting to extract information from our various doctors, trying to ask questions that lead to some clear answers while not being too pointed in front of Chris. I’ve been afraid of his fear, and I’ve been afraid of his misunderstanding, and I’ve been afraid of him perceiving me as being controlling or belittling. I see the irony in that–trying to shape a conversation so that he hears something I think he may not understand is manipulative and controlling. I can’t say I’ve navigated the waters of this new territory between us well. Sometimes I have, and sometimes I haven’t. It’s been tricky and sensitive and painful in new ways. We have new insecurities, new grievances with one another.

But Thursday I read some things on the internet that I couldn’t hide from Chris–scary things pertaining to the symptoms he has. I’ve avoided Google this entire time, amazingly enough, but I had a term from the surgeon, and I decided to look it up. I had to understand more of what was going on with Chris. So I read some things, and I cried. He asked me why I was crying, and I had no choice but to tell him. It was scary prognosis stuff. Without an actual diagnosis, we haven’t been given any sort of prognosis in this process. Chris was still under the impression that he had a GIST (a slow-growing, very treatable) cancer. But that is not where we are. We both received this new information, in the quiet of our room, and purposed to talk extensively with Dr. Windsor the next morning.

I told Dr. Windsor what I had read. He didn’t rebuke me for googling, but he said that he is unwilling to attach a timeline to Chris, in part because we don’t yet know the cancer type, and in part because of his young age and relative health. But, yes, he said, Chris is very very sick; his cancer is very advanced. If Chris were 70, he said, we would be talking about hospice, not treatment. He doesn’t believe Chris’s cancer is curable.

But, he still has hope that treatment could meaningfully affect Chris’s life. If we can determine the best treatment. (Chris’s tissue sample is being studied now at MD Anderson, and is apparently marked as a priority.)

All of this information came to Chris like the initial news of his cancer: it was shocking, painful, so very heavy. It has come to me in the same way, but more gradually and over a longer stretch of time. The news is difficult even to call news, because there are still no real answers. But the reality of Chris’s present health and the danger he is in is much more clear to us now, and mutually understood. I admit that a certain burden has been lifted from me: the burden of quietly bearing something so heavy apart from Chris and without his knowledge. Now we, together, are living these days, one at a time, in light of this extremely hard reality.

Our conversation with Dr. Windsor was not our only conversation on Friday. We got to spend time getting to know our beloved Dr. Jijelava, the Georgian hospitalist who “continues to delight” Chris. He shares with Chris a love of Orthodox iconography and has offered such kindness and hospitality to us here. We got to know our nurse Jennifer a bit, and enjoyed her company throughout the day. Our dear friend Riley came to be with Chris Friday afternoon when I went home to see the kids, and Father Michael even came by to serve the Eucharist. Chris, Riley, and Michael had sweet time together that afternoon.

There was, of course, the difficult conversation that Chris had with his parents over the phone. It felt, he said, like that first call he made to them from Chicago in August when he had a CT scan for what he suspected was appendicitis. A new grief has broken over everyone.

Conversations are needed still with our children. How do we talk about with them something we can hardly explain in any concrete terms? How do we dignify their personhood by keeping them in the light of the truth, while considering their youth and the toll of anxiety? We need wisdom.

Today we read Hebrews 11 and 12 together, about the sanctifying, merciful discipline of God towards his true sons and daughters; about the cloud of witnesses, the saints, who endured mocking, scourging, imprisonment, and death for the sake of being resurrected to a better life, those of whom the world was not worthy; about Esau, who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup–his precious inheritance for such a temporal hunger and relief. Father, hear us now: we are no better than Esau, but we do not want to sell our birthright for a bowl of soup. Give us the courage and endurance to walk in the way you have set before us, to a glorious end. Lead us closely, good Shepherd, and kindly.

131 thoughts on “Conversations

  1. Fókuszpályázat

    Good day very nice blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally…I’m satisfied to search out a lot of helpful information right here in the publish, we’d like work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.

  2. jimdofreeTum

    The road seemed to stretch on endlessly before us, but Alexis assured me that our journey was near an end. We’d turn before long into thick woods and travel through narrow, winding roads until we reached her family’s cabin. I had no choice but to trust her as GPS had given out nearly 20 minutes ago.

    “There’s good wifi and okay reception at the cabin,” she’d told me, “but you can’t get there unless you know the way.”
    So here I was, driving alone in the middle of god knows where with a girl who was my student just a couple of weeks ago. Her and her four best friends had been together from first grade all the way through high school and now they had graduated with very different futures ahead of them. They had decided to kick off “the best summer ever” with a week long stay at Alexis’s family cabin. Alexis and I were heading up before everyone else, the four other girls and four guys.

  3. asmr

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it,
    you could be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will
    come back down the road. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great job, have a nice afternoon! asmr

  4. 0mniartist

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!

    It is the little changes that will make the most important changes.
    Thanks for sharing! 0mniartist asmr


    Hello would you mind letting me know which
    web host you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers
    and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest price?
    Thanks, I appreciate it!

  6. ps4 games

    I’m more than happy to discover this web site.
    I want to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check
    out new things in your site.

  7. strzykawki trzyczęściowe tuberkulinowe

    Dzięki za porad dotyczących naprawy kredytu na temat tego wspaniałego witryny. Kilka wskazówek i chciałbym powiedzieć ludziom powinno być to zrezygnować z konkretnej mentalności że mogą obecnie i wypłać później. Being a as be a} społeczeństwo {my|my wszyscy|my wszyscy|wielu z nas|większość z nas|większość ludzi} ma tendencję do {robienia tego|robienia tamtego|próbowania tego|zdarzyć się|powtórz to} dla wielu {rzeczy|problemów|czynników}. Obejmuje to {wakacje|wakacje|wypady|wyjazdy wakacyjne|wycieczki|rodzinne wakacje}, meble, {i|jak również|a także|wraz z|oprócz|plus} przedmiotów {chcemy|chcielibyśmy|życzymy|chcielibyśmy|naprawdę chcielibyśmy to mieć}. Jednak {musisz|musisz|powinieneś|powinieneś chcieć|wskazane jest, aby|musisz} oddzielić {swoje|swoje|to|twoje obecne|swoje|osoby} chcą {od wszystkich|z potrzeb|z}. {Kiedy jesteś|Kiedy jesteś|Kiedy jesteś|Jeśli jesteś|Tak długo, jak jesteś|Kiedy} pracujesz, aby {poprawić swój kredyt|poprawić swoją zdolność kredytową|zwiększyć swój kredyt|zwiększyć swój kredyt|podnieś swój ranking kredytowy|popraw swój kredyt} wynik {musisz zrobić|zrobić|faktycznie potrzebujesz|naprawdę musisz} dokonać kilku {poświęceń|kompromisów}. Na przykład {możesz|możesz|możesz|możesz|będziesz mógł|| możesz|prawdopodobnie możesz} robić zakupy online {aby zaoszczędzić pieniądze|aby zaoszczędzić pieniądze|aby zaoszczędzić} lub {możesz przejść do|może się zwrócić|może odwiedzić|może obejrzeć|może sprawdzić|może kliknąć} używane {sklepy|sklepy|detaliści|sprzedawcy|punkty sprzedaży|dostawcy} zamiast {drogie|drogie|drogie|drogie|drogie|drogich} domów towarowych {dla|w odniesieniu do|dotyczących|odnoszących się do|przeznaczonych dla|do zdobycia} odzieży {strzykawki insulinowe 1ml|strzykawki tuberkulinowe|strzykawki|strzykawka|strzykawki insulinowe|strzykawki do insuliny|strzykawki trzyczęściowe tuberkulinowe|strzykawka tuberkulinowa|strzykawka insulinowa|strzykawka do insuliny|strzykawka trzyczęściowe tuberkulinowa}.

  8. gamefly

    Hi colleagues, its impressive piece of writing regarding educationand entirely explained, keep it up all the time.
    ps4 games allenferguson ps4 games

  9. web hosting

    I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with your blog.
    It looks like some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and
    let me know if this is happening to them
    too? This might be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.

  10. amarres de amor guayaquil

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  11. amarres en costa rica

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Many thanks

  12. buy osteoporosis meds

    I figured out more a new challenge on this weight-loss issue. A single issue is a good nutrition is especially vital any time dieting. A massive reduction in junk food, sugary food, fried foods, sweet foods, beef, and white-colored flour products could possibly be necessary. Having wastes organisms, and harmful toxins may prevent ambitions for fat-loss. While selected drugs for the short term solve the challenge, the horrible side effects are certainly not worth it, and they also never present more than a non permanent solution. It is just a known idea that 95% of celebrity diets fail. Many thanks for sharing your thinking on this blog site. buy osteoporosis meds

  13. turkce

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the site is really good. Winne Trefor Zamora Barry Wylie Marylee

  14. turkce

    This time the proposal to fight the scammers is much better than the rest of the cryptomonedas. You also acquire the value with the purchase. Hephzibah Shayne Karlik

  15. erotik

    You made some clear points there. I looked on the internet for the topic and found most individuals will approve with your website. Inna Emmit Dougal

  16. brujo gratis en linea

    There are some fascinating deadlines in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There may be some validity but I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as effectively

  17. hindi movie

    excellent issues altogether, you simply received a new reader. What could you suggest about your publish that you just made a few days ago? Any positive? Dorena Nester Case

  18. diziler

    Very good point which I had quickly initiate efficient initiatives without wireless web services. Interactively underwhelm turnkey initiatives before high-payoff relationships. Holisticly restore superior interfaces before flexible technology. Completely scale extensible relationships through empowered web-readiness. Riannon Cristiano Jarrell

  19. froleprotrem

    I have been browsing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is lovely value enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the web shall be a lot more helpful than ever before. “I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere.” by James Grover Thurber.

  20. 720p

    Hi there. I discovered your website by means of Google even as searching for a similar topic, your website got here up. It appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then. Francine Case Eckel

  21. dublaj

    Mijn hobby is kleuren en daimond painting. Heerlijk ontspannen. Mijn zoon en dochter hebben alle twee bullet journal als hobby. Suzie Demetrius Florencia

  22. 720p

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks! Arlyne Sunny Oates

  23. 123movies

    You appear to know a lot about this. You are obviously very knowledgeable. I have been looking everywhere for this! This information is magnificent. Drusie Brendin Sandi

  24. frolep rotrem

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I have truly loved surfing around your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing on your feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!

  25. Laura Leonard

    Sarah, you, Chris and the kids are never far from my heart and my mind. I’m praying for you all throughout each day <3

  26. Kathryn McQuaid

    Sarah, I’ve been thinking about you and praying for you all so much the last week or so since I heard what you guys are going through. I’m so sorry. This is just awful. I will continue to pray.

  27. Micah Thompson

    This news is so heavy, Sarah. We are continuing to lift you and Chris and your family up in prayer. We love you all and are still asking for a miracle for Chris.
    Micah Thompson

  28. Jeanette Prisk

    Love & prayers from Terry & Jeanette for whole family.

    8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
    then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
    9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
    May this scripture come to life in your life my friends – hang onto hope! Our God neither slumbers nor sleeps. He is seated at the right hand of the Father hearing our prayers & fighting for you.
    We may not know the outcome but we know the One who comes out for You❤️🙏

  29. Allison Russell Shaw

    Sarah, Praying Isaiah 26:3 over you and yours. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” While it remains mysterious to me that we can have earthly peace amidst such heaviness, I hold fast to the hope that we can. My husband and I have been and will continue to pray for you, your marriage, your children, your hope and your peace. Much love, Allison (Russell) Shaw

  30. Anonymous

    Sarah and Chris~
    I pray that you experience the burdens shared, the family of God joining you on many levels to hold you up. May our compassionate Father be close by each of you today.
    With love~ Sue Haack

  31. Peirce Baehr

    Oh Sarah and Chris! I wish we were close and could help. Praying for God’s peace and strength, and for the local support you need through this valley.

  32. Hailey Kingsley

    Praying for you all. Hurting to see/hear you hurting. Thank you for continuing to share with us, it cannot be easy to put it into words. Praying specifically for the nights (having had hospital stays ourselves, we know how tormenting the nights are). Not only is there a physical battle, but a mental/emotional/spiritual one as well. Praying.

  33. Erin Francisco

    Praying for wisdom, comfort and an ever growing knowledge and experience of Gods presence and love, sweet friend.

  34. Sara Baugh

    Lord, grant Sarah and Chris a special sense of your nearness to them. Hold them is Your loving hands and Your unsleeping care.
    I am praying continually for you both and your family.

  35. John Wilson

    Sarah, this is very hard news. Thank you for sharing it with us. To have more clarity at last is good even as it is terribly painful. Much love.
    John & Wendy

  36. Anonymous

    Oh mighty God and Father, I ask that you will make a way in this wilderness as you’ve done in the past. Remember these your servants Chris and Sarah and their precious children. Open the floodgates of healing for them. Oh Holy God with just one touch of your healing hand we beg you to restore and bring healing on your wings of hope.
    Our small group inMacon Ga will continue to pray.

  37. Betsy Kopecky

    Dear Sarah,
    Prayer, prayer, and more prayer.
    I had a mentor- friend….she is with the Lord now.
    She faced many deep, deep trials. She would often look at me and say…”The Lord knows.”
    May that declaration bring comfort and help.
    He is near … to you and Chris ❤
    Betsy K

  38. Anonymous

    God’s blessings to both of you and may he hold your children in His embrace.
    Prayers continue.
    Your Mom’s friend, Mary.

  39. Anonymous

    Loving Heavenly Father,
    Hold Chris and Sarah closely. Through your Spirit supply all they need each moment of each day…strength, comfort, courage, wisdom, peace that passes understanding.

    Our hearts and prayers are with you.
    Aunt April and Uncle Vic


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.