Week One

Today marks one week in the hospital. I’ve started making it a tad cozier…put all the clothes and bags in the tiny closet, stood our books on their spines along the window ledge, as if they’re on a bookshelf, set up an icon and a lamp. It’s tolerable to spend the nights here; there’s something very simple about it.

Chris is doing OK. Not great, but OK. His kidney function started improving over the last couple days, and the nephrologist decided to give him Lasix today to absorb some of the fluid in his body and attempt to trigger even more kidney function. The Lasix also has the potential to set back his kidney function, and I’m thinking that’s probably what happened with it. There wasn’t an uptick in Chris’s urine output. We’ll have to see what the doctor says tomorrow about next steps.

Chris’s spirits fluctuate throughout a day. He describes his nights as being a parallel life–he has feverish dreams about being in the hospital, staff and family coming in and out. He can’t escape his place and position, even in dreams. I’ve thought he sounds tormented in his sleep, and I’ll whisper, “It’s OK…It’s OK.” Pray for his sleep and his dreams–for relief in the night, such a vulnerable time.

Mornings take a while to get settled into. Chris often feels nauseated for a while and uncomfortable from the night. Afternoons are generally when he’s the most alert and able to find measures of pleasure and comfort. Today it came in the form of having our friend Riley here, along with Father Michael, our priest. Getting to talk with the two of them and have communion filled him. He’s come to treasure the purity of simply being with people he loves.

I have more thoughts and stories. I do like to keep record of those. But I don’t have any more energy tonight.

Thank you to everyone who has passed along MD Anderson connections. We’re working on it, and all the info from you all is very helpful!

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  14. Matthew

    Thank you for sharing this window into your time, Sarah. We continue to pray for Chris and you and yours each morning at morning prayer and throughout the day. May you know the peace of Christ within you and all around you in these days.

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  15. Ben and Carrie Jefferies

    Praying for you all every day and every night, by myself, with my kids, and at all our liturgies at Church.
    I am so sorry things just keep getting worse.
    Will start praying additional prayers for protection of Chris’ dreams in the night.

    The Lord is with you. He will always be with you.

    Ben+

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  16. Robin Schwarz

    My heart breaks for the pain and uncertainty and deep struggle both physically and emotionally. Oh how my heart aches for you both as I read your words, and I am desperate to be able to help ease the pain somehow, and yet there is nothing I can do but pray. Funny how most of the time we KNOW prayer is a huge thing, and yet in times like these it just doesn’t feel like enough. But I am praying – daily – for you both. Much love to you.

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  17. Heidi Prior

    Hey Sarah,
    This is all just so shitty. I’m sorry. My friends Doug and Darden live in Houston. Doug is a surgeon at MD Anderson. Darden is also a doctor, but is staying at home with their two sons. A few months ago, Darden went through the process of transferring her mom’s lung cancer treatment to MD Anderson, and she’s totally willing to help you navigate the process. I’ll send you her phone number on Instagram.
    Much love,
    Heidi Prior (Dale)

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  18. Becky Smith

    Dear Chris and Sarah, I’m thinking of, praying for, and crying with you and your sweet family every day. I’m so sorry you have this to go through. Would that we at Christ the King could divide your trials into a hundred pieces and each of us take one. I love watching your children as they grow, seemingly so fast. You may remember my telling you how very much your little Ruthie reminds me of my now 25 year old granddaughter when she was younger. I showed Mary Catherine a picture of Ruthie and she exclaimed “wow, she does look like me”. An extra endearment for me to you. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers daily, and if I can physically do something that will be helpful, please call on me. Your sister in Christ, Becky Smith 205/901-9384

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  19. Sara Baugh

    Sarah and Chris, Thanks for such a beautiful picture of marriage; the love and care you have for each other is an inspiration to me.
    Thank you for giving specifics to pray for as I continue to pray for Chris’ healing.

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  20. C. Keane

    Did Dr. Windsor send a referral to MD Anderson for Chris? Based on what you’ve written, Dr. Windsor has provide a level of care commensurate to his utmost ability. He is your best bet at getting you an appointment with MD Anderson as he is the current oncologist overseeing Chris’s care. You mentioned hitting a roadblock with MD Anderson. Was that through the self-referral process? What precisely did MD Anderson say to you on the phone regarding their ability or lack thereof for taking Chris’s case?

    I’m a nearly graduated medical student from Houston. My wife is from Alabama and she has shown me your blog asking for my input to see if we can help. All the best.

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  21. John Wilson

    Oh, Sarah! I hope you know what a gift these messages are to those of us who treasure our friendship w/ you & Chris and your kids, even as we read them through tears. Your description of the room, the sense of your “routine,” and more: all this helps us to see you, almost as if we had been able to visit you at the hospital. Much love,
    John & Wendy

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  22. Becky & Nicky

    Read this morning – Good News…”God is your Savior and will cradle your pain away with His love.” We pray for y’all daily….for God’s healing mercies. Love y’all ❤️

    Nicky & Becky Barbee

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  23. gerald mcdermott

    Sarah and Chris, forgive me for seeming to suggest in my earlier post this morning that you are living in fear. You give quite the opposite impression–that you both are clinging to our Triune God who enables us to reject fear and live in trust.

    Fr Gerry

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  24. Patricia Gehringer

    Sarah and Chris, you are in our prayers daily. Thank you for sharing Chris’s specific physical and spiritual needs we can pray for. It is evident God is with you in this difficult and painful time. Praying for improved kidney function, peaceful rest filled sleep at night. Sending lots of love and hope. Patti and Mark Gehringer

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  25. Betsy Kopecky

    Chris and Sarah,
    As I read your blog my heart and prayers are moved deeply. “May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and forever.” ….the fellowship of the Spirit…this is my prayer for you both. Amen ❤

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  26. Betsy Rogers

    I hurt as you describe your day, but so admire your creativity to create a feeling of home to the hospital room. I know this must give Chris comfort. I continue to pray constantly throughout the day. I hope you and Chris feel God’s love surrounding you. Praying now.
    Betsy Rogers

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  27. Anonymous

    Sarah,
    Thank you for inviting us to walk with you in prayer. What you share gives us insights into how we can pray specifically. God lays you on our hearts many times each day.
    Aunt April

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  28. gerald mcdermott

    Sarah and Chris, just want you to know we are listening and praying. We ache over all the pain and fear you are feeling.
    Fr Gerry and Jean

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