Well, it's taken almost a year but, Kristin and I have finally managed to finish off the urns. I stenciled and drew the ads and other designs on and then Kristin did almost all the painting. I think they came out very good and, with few exceptions, couldn't have been better.I plan to provide some clearer images later. But I think these will give you the gist. We've included all the purchased ads along with personalized designs for the people the urns are going to. Teapot with a ladybug and vines for my parents, little chubby Buddha (who looks kinda like me, and will more so once we've finished making the wire glasses) along with robots for my "little brother" Tim and loving monkeys in a tree with Belle at the bottom for Kristin. Is the world ready for personalized urns with ads? Doesn't matter. It's been done. And just in time...
We got some hard news today. I've been experiencing a lot of varied and unusual symptoms lately. Most are very similar to different ones I've had at different times throughout my chemo treatment. The worst being nausea and head-aches. But today we found out that all the symptoms put together leads to the likely-hood that my liver if finally beginning to shut down.
It was bound to happen once I stopped chemo. Really, it's right on the schedule they suggested us to expect. Where do we go from here? Well, tomorrow we meet with someone from Hospice in the hopes of receiving financial aid to pay for their services. (Contrary to popular belief, Hospice is not free. Most people assume it is because their experience involves elderly relatives who's cost are covered by Medicare.) If we can't keep the nausea under control, we'll have to pursue a CT Scan (MRIs are not covered under the grant we've received through WVCI, so CT is our only option) to see if / when they need to "drain the liver". That's in quotes because I haven't taken the time to really, and accurately, find out what that means yet.
Please keep my family in your prayers. From the beginning I've said that, while I knew and believed it was within God's power to heal me from this cancer, we (both Kristin and I) did not believe that healing was part of God's plan. I know now that part of God's plan was to use Kristin and I to spread the idea of choosing joy, and just spread joy, to anyone we could. I hope that concept has reached you. I hope that the fact that we've been able, through our love for each other and the love God has shared with us, to choose joy no matter the situation, most of the time, has inspired you to do the same.
"Joy is the echo of God’s life in us." - Abbot Columba Marmion
What other plan does God have as a part of this? I have no idea. Hopefully, someday, Kristin will find another purpose in all this. Even if she doesn't, I can assure you His plan is very real. We are, surprisingly, very at peace with that.
I'm starting to ramble. As you can understand, it's all a little overwhelming right now. You'll get more updates as all this goes on and as often as I can. I even have plans for a friend to post and let you know when I'm gone. But we're never really gone. We go on. I do believe there are choices we make here that decide where we end up. I'll share that another time but I'm sure you know where I'm going with that.
Thank you all for reading, praying and laughing with me.
On a brighter note: Today I was determined to help my parents with their move from their old house. Being told not to pick up anything with my back in the shape it's in I struggled with the plan. Thank goodness for "kids" from my church. Amber, Zach, T.J. and Landon were essential in getting boxes moved today. Kristin and I couldn't have done it without you guys and we were both incredibly impressed with your attitudes, your efforts and your willingness to show up on a free day off from school. Thank you.