Saturday, June 23, 2007

What a Blur....

Dearest Friends and Family,
This last week seems like such a blur. Last Friday at midnight Biggs and I were checking out this new house in Houston, trying to get a grasp on everything we needed to do. (And I was so peeved at the fact that the former homeowners had taken every roll of toilet paper with them!) Exactly one week later, I found myself in a waiting room at MD Anderson. Everyone keeps saying it's a "God Thing" that we're down here -- and I have to agree. All along I've felt like God wasn't just opening the door and showing us a road to Houston. It was more like he opened the door and booted us through it.

When we first got the contract on this new house, Biggs kept asking if I was sure I wanted to go ahead and move. But I felt this urgency to be here -- by June 15. I thought it was just to make sure the girls had time to make friends before school starts. Little did I know cancer was once again invading my Mom's body -- and that I'd need to be in Houston to be on the "front lines" with her. Wow. It seems like God had this part all figured out. Here, we have flexibility we never would have had in McKinney. I can spend my days with the girls and head up to the hospital in the evenings.

You know, I've asked Chris about this before. Why is it that we always say, "It's a God thing," when things are going really well. But no one says that when life is in the pits? Even in this situation when things are so incredibly scary we can definitely see God's hand in it. Orchestrating things. It's a "God thing."

So.... Mom and Milton got to the hospital about 10:00 last night. I was waiting for them, but immediately got slammed by the "only one visitor in ER" rule. So I spent the next couple of hours on a vinyl couch. The great part about MD Anderson? There are books and magazines EVERYWHERE. Well, actually that's the second best part. The best part is that they have "Sonic" ice in the waiting rooms.

About 1:30 we sent Milton over to the hotel, and I raided the 24-hour Starbucks cafeteria for a bit of sustenance. (Mom hadn't eaten since lunch.) We finally landed in a room a little after 2:00 and got to sleep about 3:00.

They won't be doing any tests until Monday morning, which is great. Mom & Milton were so exhausted from the stay in Lubbock, the flight down, the ER visit, etc. The rest they're going to get in the next couple of days is going to be so good for them. It's kind of a good thing they don't know many people down here -- they can really REST.

Mom's spirits are still good. The doctor last night told them this is probably not the breast cancer - revisited. That he's never seen breast cancer go to the pancreas and skull. Where it started is kind of like the chicken and the egg. They'll work next week to figure that part out. Everything that's going on with her is kind of like the domino effect. They had to give her steroids to keep the swelling down, especially on the flight. That led to even higher sugar levels, which brought about a dose of insulin this morning. That was a mental hurdle that was difficult for her to get over. Then there's the issue of her kidneys. It's all a mess.

A'Lise came in early this afternoon, so that's good. She and I will swap places tonight and I'll take up my spot in the vinyl chair / bed, so Milton can head over to the hotel. I've printed out all your emails so I can give them to Mom tonight. I can tell you, just knowing you're praying for her is huge for her. And for all the people that sent flowers to Lubbock -- I know you'll understand that it'll be a while before she gets thank you notes out. But in the meantime, please know she has gone on and on about the beautiful tulips and other bright flowers. She's loved it that the nurses called her room the "flower shop" and would take a deep breath every time they walked in her room. She feels very loved, and that is so much of what she needs right now. So thank you!!!

If you'd like to email Mom directly, MD Anderson has a site set up at:

It's (First name) Billie Sue (Last Name) Stephens, Birthdate March 2, 1946 (I think the rest of the info isn't necessarily required for her.) If I can get her patient # I'll get it out to you as well, though. After 3 years in their system, she rattles it off like nobody's business.

Thanks again for all your love and prayers! Please keep them coming!
- d.

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