Monday, January 2, 2012

Walk of a Lifetime

Every time I come home, I am amazed at how quickly the time flies. And how little time I have to blog. If you read this post though, you can imagine blogging has fallen quite low on the priority list given our current situation. 

Luis is back to the daily grind in Germany and I am in an ICU room with my Mom, sister and Dad hoping for a transfer soon to a regular room. A room where Dad will have a bathroom, complete with a real toilet and we won't have to listen to constant beeping every second of the day.

He is so ready to get rid of the beeping.  

Dad's surgery was Friday and it really could not have gone any better. God is so, so good. They were able to remove the entirety of both tumors, praise the Lord! He will probably still have to undergo radiation and chemo to remove any remaining cancer cells, but the doctors are encouraged by his progress and are positive he will beat this thing. 

They can't say enough about how great he his--and how healthy he is. They rarely see patients with this kind of diagnosis as young and healthy as Dad. In fact, they even asked Mom if they could take pictures to use for--well, actually, I'm not exactly sure what for, but they took pictures of him to use as a positive example for something because he is the "perfect patient".

Mom nicknamed him "The Poster Pastor".

Some nurses even complimented him on his nice calves and clean feet! 

He was in pretty good spirits heading into the surgery, smiling all the way through. 

His faith proved strong as he asked the doctors and nurses if they could pray together before they put him under. And of course, who can say no to a patient, diagnosed with cancer, about to undergo major surgery, requesting to pray? 

So they all gathered around and bowed their heads before getting to work. What an amazing moment that must have been for Dad!

It went much quicker than anticipated, which helped bring great relief to those of us anxiously passing the time in the waiting room.

One of the "waiters" was Dr. Rogers, who has been our family dentist for 22 years. He was instrumental in getting Dad to a specialist and is also going through a similar journey with his son-in-law, who, it turns out, is a good friend of Carissa's and my nanny growing up and had given us a giant teddy bear who we had named Grizz. 

Crazy how relationships reconnect and cross paths sometimes even after so many years. 

In true Dad style, he came out with a smile on his face and jokes for us all. 

Mom was the first to see him and she said he immediately gestured for his phone and glasses so that he could communicate with everyone back home. 

His voice may be constrained at the moment, but his spirit is alive and well.

The "thank you" was written to Dr. Rogers and the "blessing" was in response to Dr. Rogers' comment that, to be a part of a family like ours is truly a blessing. 

Dad has graciously made sure to thank each and every person who comes to visit in whatever way he can--white board, sign language, even attempting to say it, which is a very painful and difficult thing for him with the tracheotomy.

He continues to use his gift of encouragement and affirms each of us girls with his words. 

By the second day he was up and walking, albeit a very short distance.

I made Riss take a video for me as I was with my in-laws celebrating my Father-in-law's 81st birthday. Check out his little dance move in the beginning. 

The last two days have been a little more challenging as he is experiencing more pain and swelling as the wounds begin to heal. But on the bright side, he has three less tubes and will soon be out of ICU, with the hope of even being home by Friday.

He was up and walking again today, taking a trip around the ICU complete with slow motion running and football moves where he would lead with his cast pretending to push through the crowd of nurses "defenders" gathered in one area. 

He said he wanted to see his "neighbors" and as he walked by each room, he'd smile and give them a little wave and a thumbs up. I continue to be amazed at the depth of his gift to encourage and how he doesn't let anything stop him from building others up. 

The walk was a bit much though though cause he was been sleeping most the time since. 

There's something strange about seeing your parent suffer. And I would even go so far as to say it's probably hardest for girls to see their daddy--their hero, their protector, their invincible strong father--be so vulnerable. 

But, it's also an amazing gift to see his courage through it all. 

Daddy, thank you for your beautiful smile that never seems to leave your face. I have begun to cherish it more and more with each passing day. 

Thank you for your positive attitude that spreads to us all without you even having to utter a word. 

Thank you for your humble wisdom and unconditional love that you continue to pour out on us even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Your life is a testimony, whether you use words or not, and is a blessing and encouragement to people all over the world. We love you so, so much!

As the balloons say, hang in there and get well soon!


Luci said... Best Blogger Tips

I love hearing how well your dad is doing, Cara, and how courageous he and all of you are! I know exactly how hard it is to see your father in a weakened state--I visited my father several times in ICU after cardiac surgery, and it is so true that our dads ARE our heroes. However, your dad is giving you the gift of his perserverence and humility and grace in staying positive throughout his challenges--just like my dad did while he still lived. It gives us another perspective on our dads, another reason to call them our heroes. A very precious time---I'm with you in prayer!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Love to you my sweet Care-bear! Hang in there and know we hold you close in our hearts and lift you guys in prayers continually! All our love from GEORGIA! Melly

K8 said... Best Blogger Tips

This post brought tears...what a wonderful testimony he is!

Continued prayers for you and your family

Tami said... Best Blogger Tips

Such an uplifting post. Your dad is awesome for his genuine and inspiring attitude towards it all. You, dear lady, are also awesome for recording his recovery and all the smiles!

Unstoppable Lindsey said... Best Blogger Tips

Your dad is an extremely incredible man. I have so much respect for him and his perspective. Thank you for sharing this journey. It has certainly helped me realize this beautiful gift of life. Thank your dad too for being amazing.

God bless.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Continuing to think about and pray for you and your family.

H. Gillham said... Best Blogger Tips

what a beautiful post about a hard time --- keep up the hope and prayers, and as we know, there is a blessing in this ...


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, we had no writing about how he is handling all of this Cara, is in true Randy fashion, he is amazing and still has his wonderful, positive spirit....that is what is getting him through. He will always be an inspiration to everyone he crosses paths with. We love you Randy and are praying for you!
Rick, Tery, Desiree & Seth Williams

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow.....we had no idea. Reading your story about your dads journey Cara, was a perfect description of how we would invision your father, Randy to be handling this. He has always been a very positive and inspirational person and his spirit is what is getting him through. Please give him our love and tell him we are praying for him. Rick, Tery, Desiree & Seth Williams

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