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Home from the Hospital

From Elaine's CaringBridge Site

Journal entry by Laura Roberts — 6/19/2015

Elaine was discharged from the hospital Tuesday night. She is doing much better. They ruled out infection and determined that her symptoms were late side effects of the Irinotecan that she took the first week of chemo. Fever can come out of nowhere I've learned so it is best to keep a bag packed and ready in case we have to go to the hospital.

We are still in the learning curve of managing these side effects. These are strong drugs. Elaine's cancer is aggressive and we have to attack it aggressively. Elaine seems to be sensitive to drugs so we have to find the right combination to keep her comfortable while she is experiencing the side effects of these chemo drugs.

This hospital stay won't be our last. The next round of chemo drugs will be worse than the present chemo drugs. The doctor has already said that some of the chemo will be given as inpatient instead of outpatient. I've said before this will be a marathon and not a sprint but I am confident we are going to win.

I have been worried about Elaine's state of mind. She rarely looks at her phone anymore. I know her friends are texting her wanting to find out how she is doing but she doesn't respond because she almost never looks at her phone. I was concerned that she was withdrawing so I had the psychologist at Children's talk to her. She told me not to worry that what Elaine is feeling is very normal for someone going through what she is going through. She said she didn't see signs that Elaine was withdrawing or that Elaine was depressed. She said it just would take Elaine some time to process all that has happened in such a short time. So Elaine will keep seeing her and talking to her and hopefully she will be back on the phone all the time like she used to be (I can't really believe that I am wishing for that but I am). So, for those moms out there that have kids that may be frustrated because Elaine is not texting them back please explain to them that Elaine loves them and appreciates their love and concern for her but she just has to work through her feelings in her time. Plus her hair is starting to fall out and that is of great concern to her.

We are amazed at how we have seen the hands and feet of Jesus in action for us. This week Elaine's tennis coaches have organized a clinic in Elaine's honor. They are giving the proceeds to us from this clinic to help with the medical bills. The coaches are donating their time. The Pelham Racquet Club is donating the court space for the clinic. The City of Pelham has waived their fees. The tennis moms from the Thompson High School Tennis Team have organized a yard sale and donating the proceeds to us for help with the medical bills. The administration at Thompson High School has opened the school to allow the yard sale to take place in the school cafeteria so it wouldn't be ruined if it rained. The donations for this yard sale have been staggering. It takes my breath away at how much love and support is being shown to us as we fight Elaine's cancer. The number of people that are praying is so wonderful. We are getting cards from out of town churches letting us know that Elaine and our family are on their prayer list. That is exactly what I had hoped for when I took to FaceBook asking for prayers and to be put on prayer lists. I know God is going to use this terrible but temporary storm for good. We see God working and the blessings that come from His work. Regardless of political affiliation it does take a village and I am so very grateful for ours.

I love God's perfect timing. I am reading this book called Fight Back with Joy which is about a lady and her battle with cancer. She refers to Paul in her book and the book of Philippians which is a book about joy. We just finished a series on this book at church that lasted several months called Unbridled Joy and went verse by verse through the book of Philippians. Today's reminder from God in one of my devotionals that I pick up and read when I know I need a word from God was Philippians 4:11. "Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am." The last paragraph of this devotional says "Life is not problem-free, and it never will be. Let circumstances do what they will - but as far as you're concerned, be determined to remain stable and thankful in the Lord." Exactly what I needed for a boost when I read it. It blows my mind that God was preparing me for this journey even before I knew I was going to be on this journey with the sermon series Unbridled Joy. This book I was given talks about Paul and Philippians and being content regardless of my circumstances which I know is from God and not a coincidence. Then this devotional which just lifted my spirits because I knew God was speaking to me. In the midst of trials and tribulations joy can be found!

Next week is week 4 and Elaine gets daily treatments again.

Rejoice and exult in hope; be patient and steadfast in trials and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." John 13:7.

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