Surviving life

2015 is coming to a close. It was a rough one. As a family we survived one of the biggest blows that I have ever experienced. The good news is, we survived.

If you know Blake at all, you know he never sits still. He works hard every day to keep the family business thriving and then comes home and does more than his share around the house. It’s just who he is.

That’s how I knew he wasn’t feeling well last February.  He would come home and sit. He wasn’t eating, he didn’t feel well, he didn’t look well. He was not well.

I remember one late night, I was driving Blake to Kansas City after our local ER had told us that was the best option, I was driving and thinking, “This is where our life changes forever.”  Who knew how right I was?

That night’s ER visit did not get us any answers. They sent us home after all night of waiting telling us he was fine. We came home to our favorite doctor and she helped us find answers.

Side note:  if your doctor ever wants to come to your house with results from tests, it’s probably not a good thing. We tease her about that now but her compassion, dedication and love for our family is something we will never be able to repay her for.

She had the MRI results back and I’ll never forget her words, she dropped her head in her hands and told us Blake had “lesions all over his brain”.

We knew this more than likely meant MS. Blake’s dad has fought a long, hard battle with this horrible disease so we are no stranger to it.

This is when God started working.  Miraculously we went from not able to see a neurologist for weeks to getting an appointment that next day with one of the best MS doctors around.

After a couple days of living it up at KU Med (the only thing the Jayhawks ever did right) Blake was on the road to recovery, this time, and did not have a diagnosis of MS yet….

Our life slowly got back to normal. Blake got settled into a life of medicines and shots and felt better little by little.

I’m happy to report that we have had a somewhat normal rest of the year. We had a great vacation where we walked all over Chicago, Blake golfed and hunted a lot all season long.

We headed back to the doctor at the beginning of December just sure he would get “patient of the year” because of how well he had been doing.  We were shocked when the doctor told us he had a couple new lesions. Because we have now experienced a change, Blake officially has multiple sclerosis.

He’s changed medicines and is continuing the fight. Overall, he still works hard at work and at home.

We’ve learned a lot throughout this past year

Our kids are stronger than we ever gave them credit for.  We have explained all of this to the extent they can understand and need and they have taken it all in stride. I think they are sad Blake isn’t doing shots anymore because it was a family affair.

We have learned who we can count on. We would like to thank those of you who have prayed for us, asked how we were doing, helped with our kids and brought us meals. It means a lot.

We are definitely closer as a couple. This has brought about a lot of conversations about how we want to fight and how we are coping with all of it. We are determined to fight as hard as we can and do everything we can to beat this horrible disease.

For me, the hardest past was having an unknown future. I’m a planner. I hate not having a plan or taking forever to get a plan. I was beyond devastated to know that I no longer have a way of knowing what our future looks like. Through my struggles, God really made clear to me that no one is promised tomorrow.  We can plan all we want and one second can change your life so really our future is no different than anyone else’s.

Our main reason for sharing is that we know, especially in small towns, people talk. We want to make sure the correct story is the story that is shared. Please don’t hesitate to ask us how Blake is doing. We are happy to share with you. We don’t want anyone to feel sorry for us. We are so blessed and have such a great life. There is no reason to feel sorry for us. You never know, a cure could be right around the corner.

The main thing I learned is that everyone has a story. Everyone has baggage.  Before we get frustrated with one another, let’s take a step back and realize we have no idea what the other person is going through. We are all just surviving.