Elation vs. Cautious Optimism

As you may have heard or seen on facebook, we finally have some good news to report. The preliminary pathology report shows clear margins and clear lymph nodes! We have taken the doctor’s cautious optimism at this news and run on pure elation. We needed good news so much! In addition, the sun is shining, Adam is moving around and eating (well, drinking clear liquids) and the kids are coming for a hospital visit. It is a very good day. Cancer used to preclude good days…but this is our new normal.
And how’s this for God’s providence: we picked a home health organization and it turns out that the rep was in the hospital to talk to us…and oh yeah, she’s our neighbor. She and her family passed an above ground pool on to our family last year. This is a crazy ride we’re on for the next however long, but we are definitely not on it alone.
So. Back to practical realities. The plan is for Adam to go home tomorrow. In preparation for that, he’s off IV fluids, though he still has the port so they can administer antibiotics. He has also been off morphine for several hours, and his pain is well-controlled with oral medication. He is still weak, tires easily, and doesn’t have much appetite. Of course, all he’s allowed to have are the afore mentioned clear liquids. I’m not real hungry for broth and jello either…. We still have to learn how to deal with the surgical incision sites and the ostomy. And Adam has to heal and get strong enough for radiation and chemo – those are still in the plan to head off the possibility of recurrence and to make sure nothing is hiding out somewhere else. We have to teach the kids (and probably the dog) not to jump on daddy. And we’ll still have bad days. We will get sick and tired of him being sick and tired. We will get mad at the kids and each other (and probably the dog…and the cats). Our new normal means we can’t make summer plans like we would like, but we will still need to keep the kids busy and occupied. The kids are already emotionally fragile and ready to get back to their old normal. I don’t know when or if that will ever happen, though they won’t need to be aware of many of the differences in Adam, thank the Lord. In other words, we still have a lot of difficulties ahead of us.
This new normal means that there are no such things as little victories or small steps – every good moment is worthy of celebration. Cautious optimism isn’t functionally different from elation when the norm is fear and unrelenting bad news. Our world has shifted and we are adjusting to the shift by God’s grace, and trusting ourselves and our kids to Him. We are having a good day and enjoying it immensely. But we are also preparing for the road ahead. We are strengthened by the love and support we’ve gotten so far, and thank you for it. Don’t stop praying and don’t stop offering to help – we will still need it! To that end, we were tremendously grateful to discover that the church and the presbytery to which Adam belongs have worked to create a fund to defray some of our medical costs. If anyone is interested in helping us in that way, contact our church treasurer by email at (wait for it, it’s really unique…): treasurer@northhillschurch.net. We have been blessed beyond measure by the care we have already received, and can but pray that we are blessing others in turn. And thank you God for these good days!

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3 thoughts on “Elation vs. Cautious Optimism

  1. Shawn says:

    Lydia, thanks so much for your updates. They do help us as we pray for the Tisdales!

  2. Joanie says:

    You are and will continue to be in our nightly prayers. I know the changes ahead won’t be easy. I can sense an air of gratefulness in your last update and that gives me hope. XO

  3. Per Almquist says:

    Lydia, you do a wonderful job of expressing the reality of the normal for us all to walk it with you in some small way. Know that Beth and I are praying for you all. Is there something small that we can send for the kids to give them some joy in this time?

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