December 2016

The day has come…

Written on Thursday, December 22nd
Started writing @ 2:15pm but finished it @ 4:45pm

I am trying to pass sometime as we wait for Crystal with the added procedure that needed to be done.

We drove up Tuesday evening since Crystal’s tests were going to begin early in the morning on Wednesday, Crystal’s Grandma Shari’s Birthday.

You weren't created to do life on your own. ~God

You weren’t created to do life on your own. ~God

The drive up was nice. The roads were not too bad with the weather and there are many Christmas Lights to look at, which made the road trip to Mayo different. Gage drove, as Crystal joked with him in the front seat and Courtney, Cassidy and I were snuggled in the back seat and we seemed to dose off an on.

Rod stayed home. He is very busy at work and if he left he knew he would have to work the holidays. Also, we knew this was Courtney’s first trip to Mayo. She was always in school so it was hard for her to leave with class/tests. We looked forward to showing Courtney around. We looked forward to showing Courtney what a miracle this place is.

As we arrived at our hotel Gage had us all watch a movie, “It’s a wonderful life” it was nice to watch it together even though Cassidy fell asleep. Such a beautiful story behind that movie.

I didn’t sleep very well. I couldn’t get my mind to shut off so, for the first time in four years I didn’t go to the blood work or cat scan appointment. Crystal had her loving husband, Courtney and Cassidy with her. I took my time getting ready.

Once I met up with them, she was onto her MRI then we were off to the Mall of America. Of course we did our “Flight Over America” Ride & this time it took us to the North Pole. That ride always makes me tear up. After dinner, it was back to our hotel for another movie…”Elf” was the one picked.

This morning in the hotel room, I made a remark for everyone to pray. We all continued to get ready and then off to her doctors appointment.

Your mind and heart just automatically race. What if it’s back? What if it’s not? Will it ever be back? How will the family take this?

As we sit in the waiting room, Courtney asked, “Do we all go back when she goes in with the doctor?” I said yes, we are all in this together.

Her buzzer goes off and back to the room we go. We all follow Crystal like ducklings following their mother. Once in the room, one of her team doctors comes in. We’ve never met him before. He was nice looking, kind and had a fun personality. He immediately begins to ask her about any symptoms. Anything like how she has felt before when she was sick? My heart dropped. I had so much hope. So much faith and I knew it was going in a different direction than I thought his conversation was going to go.

They found a spot in her liver, near her ribs. They were hoping to get her back in for an ultrasound to see if there could be a chance to remove it but if they couldn’t she would have to begin Chemo again. Everyone was quiet including our fighter. There were no tears in the room. I don’t even want to say we were shocked, we were just hopeful that the news was going to be different. So they scheduled a ultrasound and another meeting with her team of doctors for the afternoon.

Needless to say, a very long morning. 5 adults with different feelings, different views and different ways to handle it.

Crystal makes a remark before we eat a light lunch. Mom, if they can’t get it, I wonder if they will let me do Chemo after the Spirit Show. Ugh…I thought to myself, I don’t know if I can do this again.

So this is where we are at. Crystal is in the Ultrasound Room. Courtney has decided to be positive and apply for dental jobs online and has already lined up a phone interview. Cassidy and Gage keep each other very busy. They’re so funny and truly are a brother and sister relationship. We really are blessed that we get along. That we do enjoy each others company. And me, how am I doing….Well, I don’t post anything on Facebook because what do you say? Plus Crystal wants to be quiet until we are confident in what we are doing. So needless to say, I made a call to Rod, my mom and sent out a few messages. And as I wrote in my journal, I had a few words with God. Like at first I was mad, then thankful, then mad, then okay what do you want? Like are you real? Why is this happening?

Hmmmmmm Crystal is out from her ultrasound….I will be back in a bit.

Now, I am in the car. The sun is going down and when I look out the window the snow makes the fields look like a pretty Christmas picture. Cassidy is out on my shoulder. Courtney is listening to music. Crystal is our driver and Gage is playing Christmas music.

So Crystal comes out of the room walks right over to Gage and sits on his lap. She is smiling. AND she says, they didn’t find anything. We all were like WHAT? She is smiling and says Yes, they really couldn’t find anything and what they did see they felt could be a birth mark? I immediately asked her if she was teasing us? If she was lying. She said no, we are going to meet with the doctors now and I already spoke with the ablation doctor. Well, everyone the mood changed. Everyone was laughing, picking on each other as we were heading back to the 10th floor.

I personally was thankful that they got the ultrasound in today and didn’t make us wait until after the holidays with the sick feeling that it was back. Plus I thought gosh did God really hear me? Did he listen to the ones I messaged? Oh gosh I don’t have time to figure that out we have one last appointment and I don’t want to be to confident.

So after speaking with the doctor. They would like to see her in 6 weeks to make sure this spot has not grown. Merry Christmas Crystal, it maybe a wonderful gift to you but it sure reaches many others. Amazing how a few hours can change everything.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from our family to yours! Trust me I will be reaching out to you all in 2017 for more prayers. For now, I just want to enjoy the car ride and count my blessings.

Merry Christmas…

Written on Tuesday, December 13th @ 2:15pm

It has been a month since I last wrote and did an update. Such a cold and sunny day in Iowa. Looking out the window from my cozy chair, it sure is pretty outside.

I did receive your messages from everyone wearing purple on November 17th. Thank you. I think we have done good on our end raising awareness for Pancreatic Cancer but you can always do more.

Crystal's Post from Last Night. I guess that is how she is feeling & I don't blame her!

Crystal’s Post from Last Night. I guess that is how she is feeling & I don’t blame her!

How was your Thanksgiving? Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Rod does have a talent in building homes but I am telling you, I think he is an amazing cook. And honestly, I am not the only one that says that.

We really got to enjoy this Thanksgiving without any chemo…So it really was a blessing. Funny what we take for granted. Four years ago, I would of never thought of saying something like that. Things happen in our lives for a reason. I would have to say maybe it’s to wake you up and realize what is important.

I received a beautiful letter in the mail from a former CR Spirit Students mother from years ago. The letter was very kind and she had been following Crystal’s Story. She knew that she loved Beauty and the Beast, so she gave me tickets to take my daughters to the show. I had never been in the Theatre of Cedar Rapids. Oh I must say, the talent was incredible and the atmosphere was fun. Funny how I helped her daughter years ago and now she was helping mine. People really do come into your life for a reason.

Courtney's Last Day!

Courtney’s Last Day!

Today is a good day. Crystal’s sister, Courtney has finally finished her last day of school. She has been going to school since she was three, lol. She now has her Liberal Arts and her Dental Assistant Degree. Plus she has worked throughout college to pay it off, so no college debt. Very proud of you Courtney. She is now looking for a Orthodontics Office. I think Ortho touches her heart because she sure was picked on in grade school because of her teeth. Kids can be so mean…Oh goodness, people can be so mean. But again, those experiences help determine who we become.

We have been hearing from a few of you, asking how Crystal is doing? Or how we are holding up as a family? I think we are doing pretty good. We are staying very busy. Crystal took a part time job at Coe College to keep her mind busy in the morning and then she is focusing on dance at night. With any free time she has, she is with her husband or her sisters. Not saying she doesn’t have her moments but she doesn’t have time to get too depressed.

I am so happy they are close. It truly is a blessing. Game night at the Barnett's missing one...Cassidy's boyfriend.

I am so happy they are close. It truly is a blessing. Game night at the Barnett’s missing one…Cassidy’s boyfriend.

Crystal’s next 3 month check at Mayo is next week already. Crystal had two options to choose from for her appointments. Her sister, Cassidy’s birthday which happens to be this Friday or her grandma, Shari’s birthday. Since we have had a few things happen around Cassidy’s events, Crystal chose to do it on her grandma’s birthday. December 21st the testing will begin with answers on December 22nd. It is going to be a long week before the holidays but I do know we will get through it. We will get through with the help of your prayers.

Hmmmm someone is at the door…

Crystal has just arrived at my house for a cup of tea, as she says with a smile. What a nice surprise. She loves this tea I make for her, it is from Teavana. I read the post that I am about to make to her. She then says, “It is hard not to think about it mom and I really want good news. I don’t want to go to Gage’s family Christmas and it be all about me and this Cancer. It’s not fair to everyone else”.

As I tell her I am going to write that in this post. She is quiet. I guess it is time for me make her some tea.

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