It was the End of July, three weeks after Julie came home from the hospital, we were on a drive to SLC Utah, Julie turned to me and asked, “What should we talk about?” It was a surprise because she had said little since coming home. We talked together much of the trip, which was a big turning point in a slow recovery after her hospital stay. Since then she has been more alert and moving more, able to walk much better than when she first came home. She still uses the wheel chair for longer outings, like the airport or mall, but she moves about the house without help. She is still very weak, and takes pain and nausea medication every day, and she has her intraspinal pain pump turned up much higher. Yet, we are enjoying simple and beautiful things, making efforts to get out, even if it for an evening sunset drive and a stop at Baskin Robins.
Every day there is so much to take in, so many of God’s creations and blessings all about us. Every day there are pains, tears and fears. We are both getting better at being happy. Here are the happy points:
- Trips into nature, mountains, lakes, fresh air.
2. Being together with family, getting to be a mother.
3. Being Mother of The Groom. Kendall Hatch and Hannah Murray were married for eternity on 12 Aug 2017. This is something she was fighting for.
She is still fighting for so much. She wants so much to live. We have been having very frank discussions. I have promise her that when she dies, she will be happy, she will miss us and we will miss her and that will always make us very sad. But she will be happier in many ways. That is what we want to believe, that is what we choose to believe, that is what we have to believe. That is what our faith in Christ is for. Still she is not giving up, but we have been facing death with less despair.
In July, Julie had an octeotide scan which showed she has the octreotide receptors on her tumors. In the image below, the tumors that have the receptors show up in black. The bladder and kidneys also show up black. As you can see there is extensive disease in her liver and throughout much of her skeleton. You can also see the tumors in her chest, skull and pelvis.
We are now in Houston for the whole week, having several tests done, and tomorrow she will be infused with Lutathera, Lutetium-177-dotatate. This is the PRRT treatment that will take radio active Lutetium 177, bound to octreotide, and find the octeotide receptors on the cancer cells, bind to them, and emit beta radiation to destroy the tumors. Here is the link for more info: PRRT info
Julie is enjoying her time in Houston. The warm and humid air feels good to her, she loves the mossy, huge live oak trees hanging over the roads, she enjoyed the butterfly and natural science museum, and she liked the King Crab legs she had for two dinners (restaurant and leftover).
We are talking about the future and eternity. We are not going to plan on some hypothetical future. We are trying to look to the future as if nothing changes from this day, and plan as if every day is going to be as good or as bad as the present day. We want to work for and hope for good days, but live today and every day with optimism, and let the waves of emotion and sadness overwhelm us, and then recede, and make us feel grateful for every moment together. Does any of that make sense? Maybe just to me.