Obviously, it has been a while since we have blogged! It seems like another lifetime when I read the posts from the past four years. Life is busy, exhausting, and full of wonderful moments right now. Clay started working at Protective Life Insurance about nine months ago, and it has been a great fit for him. I am working two days a week now, which gives me three days home with our son. He will turn two years old on Monday. He is full of energy, loves balls, books, and learning new words, and will still let us rock him to sleep. We are blessed in so many ways.
Clay has been doing really well in terms of his health, and we hoped that we were “done” with the cancer cloud that has been hanging over us for so long. His scans still are clear, and we’re so thankful for that. About six months ago, he developed some hip pain and stiffness. He finally went to see an orthopedic (sports medicine) doctor about a month ago, and was diagnosed with a labral (cartilage) tear and avascular necrosis, which is worse in his left hip. Avascular necrosis is basically when some cells die in the bone of the hip joint. That’s where the cancer comes in; the doctor said that it is probably the result of the steroids and chemo that Clay took for two months. Lots of people with AVN end up with total hip replacements, and that might eventually be the plan for Clay. For now, an orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Emblom at St. Vincent’s) is going to repair the labral tear and do a core decompression of Clay’s hip. That means that he will drill into the bone and place two metal rods to help stabilize his hip. Hopefully that will buy us some time, or possible even correct the problem. The surgery is scheduled for September 28, and he will spend one night in the hospital. Thankfully, he can work from home for a week or so, until he is able to go back to work.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have half-jokingly called testicular cancer “the gift that keeps on giving”. Sometimes we have to laugh about it, because I think that there is a big part of us that would love to be “done”. But the truth is, we will probably never be done with testicular cancer. It has impacted us in ways that will effect us for the rest of our lives. Some of the effects have been eye-opening and glorious, and some have been really terrible. As I was reflecting on this a couple of weeks ago, God brought to mind a passage in Romans 8. ” For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:18-21) God reminded me gently that nothing on this earth is realized in the way that it (we) will be realized when Jesus comes back and the new heavens and new earth are formed. The birds on earth aren’t birds in the same way that they will be birds on that day; they will be fully what they were created to be. Music will be more beautiful, creation will be more harmonious, and we will be given perfect bodies. God also revealed to me that because of the fall, we are all wounded. Whether it is an emotional wound, a physical wound, or a spiritual wound, we are all struggling in some way. This earth is not our home.
These are the things that have been on my heart. We would certainly appreciate your prayers, yet again, for Clay’s surgery. But truly, we have so much to be thankful for; first and foremost, that Clay is still here! I don’t want to take that for granted. We are provided for and have a wonderful son, church, and people in our lives who we love so much. We have so many blessings, and we are so grateful that God has not left us or forsaken us during the past four years. We praise Him for his great kindness.
Love to all,
Lauren (and Clay)