Chasing the new normal.

by Lesley on October 27, 2011 · 10 comments

in cancer

*A lot of you who read this blog probably, hopefully, received an email from me today outlining details about what Jonathan is going through right now. (If you didn’t, and want to read it, please e-mail me.) I intend to post those details up here at some point soon. The long and the short of it is that yesterday he was told that he most likely has some type of lymphoma which we are hoping has been caught in the early stages. More details will come as we have them. 

It’s funny how seasons change so fast. When I left for Orange County last week it was in the 80s—an Indian summer in Sacramento.  For so much of 2011 we had our eyes on summer, July, baby. July came and went, and then so did August. Summer’s heat began to wane and give way to a season I hadn’t yet completely pictured. I hoped the new season would hold time for me to write, begin contract work, and be with Anna. I just assumed it would be easy.

The weather changed yesterday. When I went for my morning run I had to go back inside to put on pants. It was cold. Fall had arrived, and so had a new chapter in our story.

Today is Day 1 of Jonathan’s journey into an unknown season called cancer. We hope the time spent here will be short, but unlike seasons of the year, cancer might last awhile. We are embracing it with hope and humor—or at least I like to think we are.

I asked Jonathan today if I could blog about his journey; our journey. He responded with, “What do you want to call the blog? Four lumps and a baby?”

Uh, I think I’ll stick to Barefooton45th.com- thanks.

Yes, the baby is the real clincher here, huh? We’re that young, sweet, nice couple that has a baby. And it’s so sad, because they have a baby!  Let me assure you- we are not always nice and we’re really happy Anna is part of this journey. She brings us so much joy, and so much POOP, which are both welcome distractions right now. Who thought I’d ever embrace poop, right?

Tonight I’m trying to establish wife-of-the-year award by making Jonathan a Lego costume. Earlier this week I told him there was absolutely NO WAY I would help with his costume. Anna’s owl costume was first priority, along with my very thrilling week of lunch dates, a writing workshop, laundry, a dentist appointment, and a volunteer commitment. (My, how my life has changed since July!)

But, you know what? When someone is told they have suspicious spots in their chest, you just start feeling really guilty for not helping them with a Halloween costume. And then you start feeling even worse that you turned them down a day earlier when you thought they were healthy but now you’ve changed your mind because you’ll do anything to make them happy. I can’t let the poor guy show up at work on Friday wearing a suit while everyone else looks like idiots. And, we all know that when men wear tights they are certain to look hilarious and stupid which is key to winning his office costume competition. And I’ll be darned—he better win—there is a $100 Visa gift card up for grabs and we could really use a killer glass of wine and a nice dinner.

We went to a church service tonight. Our friends Eric and Camille invited us to pop by for prayer. We have both felt covered today in the love of family, friends and strangers who have called or emailed to tell us they are praying, and asking what they can do to help. What a gift we are being swept into. At tonight’s service there were a hundred voices speaking on Jonathan’s behalf. The sound was beautiful and calming in a way I’d never experienced before. I am praying that Jonathan’s parents, sisters and brother feel that same peace we experienced tonight.

It’s late now. Jonathan went to bed. I really want to join him but his costume is still soaking on the stove. He better win that contest. Seriously.

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10 comments
Lesley
Lesley

PC and Laura- I'm glad you found me and I found you- it's so fun to read about your lives with babies and so many similarities we have right now. Michele and Kristen- Love the quotes. Love them. :) Amy and Katie- LOVE you girls! Kate- I want to hear more about your brother-in-law. E-mail me! It would be cool to share stories. Sarah- Thank you for being my great resource. What would I do without you?

Kate
Kate

Hi Lesley, I stumbled across your blog via Where my heart resides a few months ago. This morning I thought we had nothing in common. I’m just a random 21 year old girl from Australia not quite sure where I’m going or who I am just yet, that accidently clicked on the link to your blog instead of another. Only to find the in your last blog entry we do have something in common… My brother in-law was diagnosed with non-hodgkin's lymphoma (stage 3) in late September this year. It was a complete surprise, totally out of the blue. To be honest I’m not a religious person, I don’t pray, I’m not even sure if I “believe” but I know that he will beat this (He’s Jaysin! My crazy Kiwi brother in-law). And I know that Jonathon will beat this too. He has you, that gorgeous baby girl of yours, family, friends and his beliefs to live for. Keep us posted - That random Aussie Girl.

Katie
Katie

This was beautifully written, Les. And it appears as though Jonathan is still obsessed with that "Leggos versus Lincoln Logs" theme. Those boys were so dang proud of that Spring Sing. Also, I love that quote from Michele about the apples.

Laura
Laura

I'm in the same group as PC, some random sacramento girl who found your website and kept following it because we have so many things in common (lawyer husbands, new baby, etc.) I've never met you or your family, but I can tell from the tone of this blog that although this journey will be difficult and scary, your little family will face it head on. You will all be in my prayers as you navigate this season.

kristen
kristen

As I was praying for you guys today, I thought (and hoped) that you would blog about this. The only way we can truly know and love one another is when we share life's highs and lows. Rod has written a truly inspirational message on our kitchen chalkboard that states "take the initiative to love and serve each other well." I know your blog will give us a glimpse of how the scale in your lives this year balance beautifully between the life of a sweet baby girl and a terrifically wonderful husband battling the horrific disease cancer. We will all know how to love and serve you well! thank you <3

PC
PC

I feel honored to have read this. Though I realize it is on the world wide web, I feel honored to have found this corner of the www. Thank you! When I was diagnosed at 27 with Type 1 Diabetes (typically called JUVENILE as it is discovered much earlier), it took me a while to just rest and trust God through and in it all. Though I realize cancer is not diabetes, I feel like I can very lightly understand the weight your family feels. Yeah, I am the random sacramento guy who found your website, but I will be praying for and with your family.

Dad
Dad

Not sure if I want to see Jonathan in tights, but like the person who senses they should not look closely at a car wreck, I need to see one photo to satisfy my primal need to be able to say, "Thank God that is not me." You and Jonathan will get through this. I feel so certain about that! Your strong faith will carry you through these uncertain times. Thank God Jonathan had this physical! I think I had my first adult physical when I was around 50-not smart. You, and all of us who care for you both, will be better people when this is over. I know you both know, that God has a way of inspiring the best in people that believe in Him.

Amy
Amy

I love your perspective and your unique ability to get it out for us to appreciate. Also, I am imagining all sorts of reasons that Jonathan's costume was soaking on the stove! Ha! You're so crafty.

Michele
Michele

Praying for you. Not just because you have a baby. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 Read this quote this morning and decided to make an apple pie this weekend. Apple pies feel hopeful to me. “Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” - Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Sarah
Sarah

You have such an incredible gift for writing about feelings in just the most genuine, human way. Love reading your blog about as much as I hate cancer. Please post a picture of both your sweet owl and Lego.