Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The family went up to Port Huron on Christmas eve to spend time with my parents and siblings. When we left, we really didn't know how long we would spend there, as this was the first time I would be away from home since my diagnosis. Little things like how a bed feels different than a home can effect recovery.

Deb and I took the kids to the Christmas eve service at Grace Episcopal (where my dad is the priest). I grew up singing hymns in the church and have always found that I particularly enjoy those commonly used in the Christmas eve service. In the book "Tuesdays with Morrie" (author Mitch Albom), Morrie (who was homebound and dying from ALS) talked about how he appreciated things more in his condition. "I look out that window every day. I notice the change in the trees, how the wind is blowing. It's as if I can actually see time passing through the windowpane." (p.84) Although I wasn't in the same situation as Morrie, I identified with him. This was a Christmas eve service that I appreciated like none before.

Christmas day was wonderful, and as typical, relaxing with my family. We stretched our gift opening from mid-morning to early afternoon. Even the twins were patient as we opened our gifts, one person at a time. By the afternoon, Landon was content to spend the rest of the day playing with his Mack and McQueen Lego set, and Morgan hosted her own tea party.

We ended up staying with my parents until Friday evening, as being all together as a family aided my recovery every day. Taking deep breaths was becoming more comfortable and my stamina continued to increase. On Saturday, my parents, my brother Chuck and his wife Missy, and my brother Steve visited us at home. Being the Boston sports fans that were are, we watched the New England Patriots complete their perfect regular season in dramatic fashion. It seems so strange to be a Boston sports fan these days, as all of the failures and disappointments as recent as 10 years ago have been replaced by victory and championships. Boston teams that were once the lovable losers have now become despised.

Chuck and Missy set off for home (Charlotte) Sunday morning, while the rest of us attended the Sunday service at Genesis. A guest speaker, and former Genesis attender, spoke about God's Will for us, which I found particularly insightful. As you can imagine I have been frequently asking the Lord what His plan is for me.

Deb and I headed back to downtown Detroit on Monday. I was scheduled to have a port placement to facilitate the delivery of chemotherapy drugs. We arrived at Harper Hospital (connected to Karmanos) at 7:30am. After the usual blood samples and diagnostic tests, I was informed on the options for the port placement. I could either have the port placed on the inside of my arm next to the bicep or below my collarbone on my chest. I also had the option to either use local anesthetic or could be induced into sleep. I elected to have the port placed on my chest (right side), due to a slightly lower risk of blood clotting, and local anesthetic since I could walk out of the hospital after the procedure was complete (if induced into sleep, the hospital requires 2 hours of observation before discharge). The procedure lasted about 15 minutes, the only pain was from the administration of the local anesthetic, which felt like a needle being slowly plunged into your skin over about 30 seconds. After returning home, I spent most of the day resting on the couch. Needless to say, we didn't have an elaborate New Year's eve party at our place.

I was a bit sore when I woke up this morning, but as soon as I got up and around I felt much better. We had about 3 inches of snow fall over the evening. Our neighbor Ron kindly blew the snow off of our walk and driveway (thanks Ron). We also had a nice chat with his wife Carolyn, who is a cancer survivor. The snow, combined with the 32 deg F temperature, made for perfect snowman building conditions.


Yan said...


Best wishes from our family to your successful recovery. You and your family are in our thoughts.

Your positive thinking will definitely help the recovery. There is a Chinese saying... you will succeed if you set a goal and work hard on it. You are doing exactly that.


cdt said...

Cool snow man guys! Nate, do you remember the mammoth snowman we made in Port Huron? The base was about the size of a hey bail and didn't melt until mid-spring.

shooglenifty said...

Praying for you guys. One thing you'll gain from all this is a completely new perspective... wish there was another way to get it, but it is amazing how the colors are brighter and the kids more precious.


Anonymous said...

Prayers and good wishes are coming your way for a healthy and positive outcome. You are so young, but appear to know the secret to a happy life already: keep close to God and family, and enjoy today. Love, Barb Gosse
( friend of Marge)