Shoes on the Floor
Many have asked how Simon is at this moment. He is in abdominal pain daily and has trouble being comfortable when he sits or lies down. He has a variety of pain meds and is figuring out what the right combination is. The best words to describe his attitude are reflective, peaceful, and, as always, no-nonsense. If you know him and he likes you, then all is pretty much the same. If you were to come up to him and give him a sappy, inauthentic pity party, he would probably tell you to go away. If you were to say something really stupid, I can’t guarantee it would end well. But it would have gone that way before cancer, too.
His first oncology appointment was this past Tuesday. We were told actual numbers, like the normal liver tumor marker is in the low hundreds and his is in the high seven hundred thousands. We learned that his Hepatitis C levels are still undetectable but that prior flare ups were enough to cause the damage that caused the cancer. His liver is still functioning and may tolerate medication that slows tumor growth and buys us time. We will begin second opinion appointments next week. All the good and ugly medical facts aside, Simon is still Simon. He has his soul. He has his sense of humor. His hands are warm and rough. He works around the house and chats with visitors, just needing more rest time in between than a few months ago. And he still leaves his shoes on the floor in random places where I will inevitably trip over them. I used to get mad. Now it makes me smile.
We took the kids to see How To Train Your Dragon 2 yesterday. The dad of the main character dies in the movie – he dies protecting his son from a dragon. Our daughter was concerned and wanted to make sure that the dad would go to heaven. I assured her that he would (hey, it’s a movie). Our son told Simon, “I know you would do anything to protect me from a dragon, too.” They were emotional for about five minutes and then moved on with the day. These moments may be God’s way of preparing their hearts for uncertainty. I can’t imagine exactly what goes on in Simon’s mind and I don’t know that he could articulate it. There are decisions coming up that are only his to make. Instead of advice or unsubstantiated medical claims, he needs prayer for discernment. And miracles. Our God is a big God.
Most of us know that Simon doesn’t like attention on himself but has deeply appreciated hearing from so many friends and family. He reads every email, listens to every voicemail, responds to texts promptly, and greets every visitor, We have heard from people on every continent (except Antarctica) that are lifting Simon up in prayer.
So we live. One day at a time. We keep our hope in the only One that can promise tomorrow.