Personal Journey/Thoughts
When You Love Someone With Cancer Tags: cancer parenting

Cancer, if we’re honest most of us think things like cancer happen to other families, not yours – right? That is unless we’ve already heard it in connection with the name of a family member.

All or Nothing Day on July 26th is a day dedicated to living life to the fullest.  Heather Von St.James who is a 10 year survivor of mesothelioma, discovered it online and it just spoke to her so strongly that she took up the cause.  When she shared with me about it I decided to join her in spreading the word about cancer survivors and how our son Eric’s journey through leukemia has affected my life.

Learn more about a mesothelioma diagnosis here.

OUR SON ERIC HAS BEEN AN ONGOING SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO ME.

  • He was born 7 weeks early after three months of bed rest for me.
  • Although he was supposed to be in the hospital until his due date in mid-May.  He came home after only six days.
  • He was small, just 5 pounds, but a real fighter.
  • They told us preemies don’t nurse – especially boy preemies.
  • He nursed for almost two years – which became a real blessing.

WHEN HE WAS 16 MONTHS OLD HE GOT AN EAR INFECTION.

  • After two series of antibiotics he didn’t seem to be getting any better.
  • On Sunday morning he was crying and just couldn’t be consoled. He had a temperature of 103 and our pediatrician said we should take him to Children’s Hospital.
  • When we arrived there they ran a series of tests and decided to admit him. It was then they told us they thought he had leukemia.
  • We were stunned! How do you go from an ear infection to leukemia?
  • By Tuesday the diagnosis had been confirmed. He had his first bone marrow biopsy, a Hickman catheter put into his chest. By Wednesday he had the first in a long series of blood transfusions.

WE ENTERED THE WORLD OF CANCER.

  • My big question was why? Why did this had to happen to Eric, but especially why when he was so young.
  • He was the last male child in my husband’s family.
  • We had waited and prayed for him for years and now this.

Eric would have to undergo three and a half years of chemotherapy. Just the sight of blood made me sick and now I would have to live in the hospital world for over three years. I remember the nurse coming to his room to teach me how to change the dressing on his catheter. I quickly replied, “Oh, my husband will do that.” Her reply was, “Mrs. Sather, we can let you take your son home as soon as you learn to change the dressing.” Needless to say, I drew on God’s grace and learned how to change the dressing. It was a task I would do every other day for the next three years.

WITH LEUKEMIA YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT A DAY WILL BRING.

  • Eric would wake up from a nap with a temperature which meant we would have to go to the hospital.
  • Or he would have a reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs which also meant a trip to the hospital. Or his catheter would fall out which meant emergency surgery. By the time he was 2 years old he had undergone more surgeries than most people have in a lifetime.
  • Bone marrow biopsies every third month were the worst. I would hold him while they pumped the anesthesia into his catheter. One minute he would be talking and playing and the next he would go as limp as death in my arms. I would hand him to a nurse and race out of the room sobbing.

We were in survival mode -just putting one foot in front of the other.

HOW DID ERIC RESPOND TO ALL OF THIS?

  • He entered every day with a big smile on his face and a Zip Lock bag of Cheerios in his hand.leukemia - Eric
  • The nurses at the hospital would say they could always tell when Eric was around because there were Cheerios everywhere. His little two year old hands would drop as many as he ate.
  • He knew all the routines. If the nurses missed a step in preparing him for a test or for surgery he would stop them and remind them of what they were supposed to do next.
  • He knew everyone and had a smile for them all.

ONE DAY MY WHY WAS ANSWERED.

  • We were in for a bone marrow biopsy.
  • As we were going through the regular routine of preparation there was a boy next to us who was about 3 years old.
  • He had just been diagnosed with leukemia but there was a big difference in how he was handling all the procedures.
  • He was fighting and crying and refusing to let the nurses do what needed to be done.
  • It was then the Lord spoke to my heart. Eric had been so young when he was diagnosed that these procedures were a way of life for him.
  • He didn’t know anything else and didn’t think to question them.
  • When he learned his body parts he would proudly announce his Hickman as one of them.
  • It was then I yielded my heart to the Lord’s wisdom in this situation and saw my biggest question answered.
  • Yes, Eric had been very young to be diagnosed with such a difficult disease, but the Lord had used that for good in his life.

EPILOGUE

  • Eric is 25 now and an amazing young man.
  • He still enters every day with a smile – well at least most of them. But the bag of Cheerios is gone.
  • He loves life and does everything with an all or nothing attitude.
  • When he does something he does it as well as he possibly can.
  • His enthusiasm draws others in too. His father has learned more sports and activities because Eric was interested and talked him into trying it too.
  • He is healthy and well-rounded and enjoys talking about almost everything.

You can read more about our journey through leukemia here:

Our Journey Through Leukemia 

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Yearly Planning at the Sather House Tags: Purposeful Planning Planning seeking the Lord

This is the 23rd year we are setting aside a week to pray and seek the Lord about His plans for us and our family.

When I look back I can see some of what that consistency has accomplished. Many things would not have happened if we had not set aside this time each year to connect with the Lord and each other.

It brought tears to my eyes when my son told me he and his bride had a little planning day on their honeymoon! He had asked for a copy of the book - Purposeful Planning - but I didn't realize that was his purpose for wanting it.

http://phyllis-sather.com/bookshop/purposeful-planning-materials/

Starting Saturday, January 19th we will spend the better part of each day for the next week talking and praying with each other and our two daughters who are still at home. Yes, they are adults, but they really want to have their time to talk and pray with us. Isn't that wonderful!

As usual, we would like to ask you to pray for us during this time. We NEED your prayers. Our enemy doesn't want us to spend this time seeking God's plans for our lives. He wants us to fail, and our family to fail.

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I Peter 5:8

Our Scripture for this book is "Where there is no vision the people perish." Proverbs 29:18

This time is when we check our course. Are still walking the way the Lord wants us to? Are we going the way we planned, or have we somehow gotten off on the wrong trail?

I had a lesson on this yesterday when going to meet my friend. Thinking away I suddenly realized I was on the wrong street. I ended up being a half hour late because I wasn't paying attention. I had signs, like not remembering some things along the way I was on. But it took me a while to realize that I was lost.

Please leave me a comment telling me you will be praying for us. It will really encourage us. I'll try to drop some notes next week as well updating you on our progress.

Phyllis Sather

 

 

 

 

 

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Three Days out of the House Tags: home homemaker housewife mother wife


Three Days Out Of The House

Three days in a row out of the house is very unusual for me. I usually spend most of Sunday at church and with family or friends. Then I’m home until Thursday when I run errands while my daughters teach for a homeschool mom.

I LIKE IT THIS WAY.

  • The above graphic is how I picture myself.
  • A little old fashioned,  but comfortable with who I am.
  • I enjoy being home.
  • Cooking and baking are two things I really enjoy doing for my family.
  • Cleaning isn’t always enjoyable, but it is very satisfying for me.
  • When I’m home I have time to write to you guys, which is also something I really enjoy. 🙂

OVERSCHEDULED

  • Somehow I managed to book myself to be away most of three days in a row.
  • They were all good things, necessary things, but I would rather have been home for most of that time.
  • Lunch with my new daughter-in-law was great!
  • I almost felt giddy this morning when I realized I would be alone all morning and at home.

CONTENTMENT

  • It isn’t overrated.
  • Being content with who you are and what the Lord has called you to do is a gift.
  • Sure, there was a time when I wasn’t so content.
  • I’m grateful that the Lord has changed my heart.

How about you? Are you characterized by being content? That doesn’t mean you are always content, but that most of the time you are. Let me know your ideas on contentment in the comments.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1Ti 6:6-8 KJV

 

 

 

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Community Blog
Friday, February 15, 2019
When You Love Someone With Cancer
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
REASONS WHY I LOVE YOU…
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Summit has set in motion what is to come in my life
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Yearly Planning at the Sather House
Monday, January 14, 2019
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Friday, January 4, 2019
How To Get Your Life Back After The Holiday
Friday, December 14, 2018
WISHING YOU ALL THE LORDS BEST THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON
Friday, December 7, 2018
LIFTING A TWENTY POUND TURKEY CAN BE GOOD EXERCISE
Thursday, November 15, 2018
"Elijah and George" Historical Fiction Film
Giving Thanks, The Gateway to Christmas
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