Chapter 27

***If you are just joining the blog, you may want to read a few of the previous posts to catch up,  this is a healing journey. Its my story, as I walked along side of my husband Paul during his battle with cancer. We began this journey in 2011- these are the emails that I used to keep all of our friends and family in the loop. ***

*** Side Note***

Some of you know about my email subscription from my friend Neale… Neale Donald Walsch, writes an email or a daily message. Some days, it feels like he is reading my mind or my email… Here is one of some of those days.

IBelieve God Wants You to know


On this day of your life, Denise, I believe God wants you to know…

…that how bad things may look right now means nothing.

It’s how good you know they can look with God’s help that counts. 

Life has a habit of changing itself completely around in 24 hours. Heck, in 24 minutes sometimes.

Don’t you dare give up on Tomorrow because of the way things look Today. Don’t even think about it…

Love, Your Friend….

***Some day- maybe I will let Neale know how much his words inspired me to just keep going that day… that moment. Maybe someday I can share this with him…. ***

Paul update 5/29/12

Hello Everyone,

Tuesday AM

Well… Paul got transferred to Detroit on Friday and we have been here since. They are going to do a procedure, possibly today. It’s considered an elective surgery at this point because he is not actively bleeding and it’s not an emergency… So we wait. He is in good spirits, no pain, and is eating well…

He asks a lot of questions, like what happens if? Or- you know everyone has always said when you let them do surgery… It always spreads. I can see his fear. I can feel his fear.

Here’s what they are doing. It’s a tube with a camera and a hot knife. They are going through his urethra into his bladder and are going to see what’s going on. They did a cat scan in Saginaw and believe there is a tumor in his bladder. They will remove it if they can and use the hot knife to cauterize it and minimize the bleeding.

So… The good news is the Urologist said that is a misconception that when oxygen hits a tumor it grows. He also assured us they are not cutting him open and it’s very safe.

We actually do not know if they will do the surgery today or tomorrow. He is on a No food or water order… So we hope he finds something out soon.

We have had lots of visitors since we have been here.  It’s been really nice. I have been able to stay right here with him. He actually is in a much better mood since they got him here. He feels that people are doing the right things to help him… He doesn’t feel like he is in limbo any longer.

He also feels good about the direction they are heading. He also has opened up about what he is feeling and has been quite talkative… One of the reasons I have not updated! I am enjoying spending some time with my husband. His outlook is better and he is less agitated. Hopefully it’s the steroids controlling the swelling and clearing up his confusion. I also feel like because he isn’t alone… it’s been easier on him. (Even when I was driving back and forth to Saginaw… he was edgy… this seems different.)

We have talked a lot about his first treatments in Ann Arbor, how dark it was. How alone he felt. How sick he was. I reminded him that he has me beside him now, its different… I can help.

His girls came and we had a very nice conversation about his wishes and it was very healing. It was almost a relief to discuss “What happens next… And what do we do if?” He was able to tell them what kind of a funeral service he wanted. He talked to them about personal possessions… and cleared away any confusion that any of us had. He was quite specific about his wishes. 

He and I spoke at length about what we wanted to do next. He is definitely retiring, and we will have an auction to clear out the pole building and get rid of all the extra stuff that we have both accumulated.

I am going to take the next few months off work, to get through this and to be by his side. I am not saying that I am quitting my job- my bosses have things covered and I am not going to worry about it for now. They said whenever I am ready… I can come back. I will stop in and help to keep things rolling… but I won’t be there as much… I just need to focus on this for now.

We have even talked about selling the Dighton house and moving back to the Lake City house. It would just be a relief for him to know that things are all in order…Sometimes our fear of these conversations is actually worse than the feelings that arise once the subject is broached. We have had many conversations over the past few days… it’s not the most private place either… a few times nurses would pop in and they were amazed that we were able to sit and talk about such serious things… and everyone always says- But- he’s too young… he doesn’t even look sick.

Tuesday PM

Oh man… the day that started out so good… ended with some frustration. He finally got some answers around11:00- a nurse came in and said she wanted to take his vitals, get an IV going… remove his catheter and the Urologist would be in between noon and 1:00 to speak to us. They were not doing the surgery- and they ordered achest X-ray, an EKG and some fluids. They said it may be a few weeks before they could get him in. We weren’t happy. He had been on no foods or liquids…all psyched up for the surgery… and then nothing. They brought in his lunch tray around noon…

The floor MD’s came by… and discussed the options and possible reasons for the delay. I told him that I felt that because he was stage four- that nobody wanted to help him. I couldn’t hold back the tears of frustration… and I didn’t care. I also told him it sucked to be pushed to the end of the line.. He said he would push as much as he could for them to do the procedure… but it was unlikely that it would be this week.

The Urologist came by around 2:30… we had a very informative talk. The first man was an Intern… the second was the head honcho. They assured us that nobody was pushing anyone to the end of the line. He said there wasn’t a line. He said there was such limited surgical time allotted for them.. that it really was a first come first serve sort of operation. He also explained in detail that there was no concern at the present. He also said he would be really shocked if this was the same type of cancer. (News to us) He feels it’s something else. He said they will know more once they get in there and take a look and a biopsy. If they are able… they will take the entire tumor.

He is scheduled for the procedure on June 14th- here in Detroit. He will have to come for some tests before… and they will let us know a time as the day gets closer.

We are okay… it’s not urgent  and we understand. If… and this is an IF…he bleeds again- we are going to have to go back to Saginaw and start all over. Even if he was bleeding when he got here- they probably wouldn’t be able to do the procedure. Isn’t that just something?? I can’t believe that they are so limited… it’s not right. We are very appreciative of the care he has been given by the VA system and we are learning how the system works. It’s weird…

He had an amazing Urologist in Saginaw…I actually called him today and asked him some questions. He gave us some good advice and even followed up with a phone call later in the day. It’s hard to remain positive… but I refuse to let people continue to knock the wind out of our sails. We will keep moving forward. We will keep believing. There is always hope.

The Oncology Dr. came by here today too… He explained a few more things about Chemo that we didn’t understand. Even tho it isn’t a cure. Even tho it is just palliative… it may help to give him more time. So.. again- we will keep all options open.

We have met some amazing care givers and some people who really are good at their jobs… it’s fun to chat and pass the time. It’s awesome that complete strangers want to know what’s going on…and ask if they can pray for us.

I am excited that he gets to watch his show in about 40 minutes… The Hatfield’s and McCoy’s is on at 9:00- it’s the second one in a three part series… he has been waiting for this for weeks.(Although he hasn’t been able to keep his eyes open much today… sort of tired… I told him to rest… his body is healing.)

Okay- everyone- keep the faith. Keep the love coming…

Peace and Love,


*** Another email from Neale…

I Believe God Wants You To Know…


On this day of your life, Denise, I believe God wants you to know

…that illness is not a sign of spiritualweakness, but of … spiritual strength.

When we fall ill there are some who will say,”Why did you create that for yourself?” They might convince you to see it as a sign of spiritual weakness or failure.

It is not. It is a sign of spiritual strength.

All challenges are a sign of spiritual strength, and of the readiness of the Soul to move on;

to evolve even further.

Love, Your Friend….


It blew my mind some days when I read these- with the millions of people that are on his list… they were so personal. They were meant just for me. God is awesome….

I Believe God Wants You to Know…



On this day of your life, Denise, I believe God wants you to know…

…that progress is not measured in miles, it is measured in inches.

Do not wonder why things are “taking so long.” In fact, everything is rolling out exactly as it needs to, using not a minute more than Perfection requires.

Rest easy and be at peace. Life is working its magic even as you take your very next breath.

There. See? You could almost feel thePerfection,

couldn’t you?

Love, Your Friend….


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