Well... suprise! Another challenging month for the Stenglein houhehold.
It's been a challenging year for us really, starting in January began the journey with Oliver's allergies and bacterial infection. Literally bringing me to my knees in prayer and pleading for answers, healing and resolution on an almost daily basis.
Finally in April and May we began to feel as though the situation was somewhat predictable and manageable. I felt like "okay maybe I can relax a little". (Other than Mike's 2 trips to the E.R. on Easter Weekend) The weather was beautiful, and the garden was more fruitful than EVER this spring.
In June we were pleasantly suprised with the news of our second baby on the way. We were not "suprised" about the pregnancy other than after YEARS of trying for Oliver we just didn't expect for things to come as easy this time. Truely a blessing an answer to prayer and wishes come true.
By Mid-June, though, the heat just got so strong and unlike with my pregnancy with Oliver I was really lethargic, tired and having daily nausea. We gave up on the garden. Oliver and I didn't go much of anywhere for the next 4 weeks except the occasional early morning errand. The car would heat up too much to take the baby out. We were basically TRAPPED looking forward to our tuesday swim days and Living for the weekends when Daddy is home! I Began to sink quickly into a depression :(
The 3rd week of July my mom flew us down to Tucson for 2 weeks. A MUCH welcome change of pace! It was the end of my first trimester so the help and extra naps were a God-send. We were able to come home somewhat refreshed... and anxious to see Daddy!
The day we got home, Mike had gone in for a follow-up CT Scan for a "suspicious spot" on his kidney. [Three months prior, on Easter Weekend, he had gone in for another unrelated problem and a scan done at that time caused the initial suspicion]
On Monday July 30th Mike had a biopsy done on "the spot". We were feeling some anxiety, it was a long day. Our prayer was for an accurate Biopsy so we could deal accordingly and know what we were working with. We were told that the Doctor should have results within 24 hours so Mike called a few times the next day... but it wasn't until
August 1st that we found out the biopsy was/is malignant. He was informed over the phone with no details but an appointment set for the following Tuesday. The week to follow was without a doubt emotional. We immediatly began educating ourselves on every possible precaution we could take to stop feeding and reverse the growth of the cancer. [and I thought we ate pretty healthy before the cancer diet became a part of our household routine]
My Brother came in to offer us some much needed emotional and prayer support for a few days. I was, to say the least, OVERWHELMED now with every member of our household having different nutritional needs. What lies ahead being the pregnant mother of a 10 month old and wife of a cancer fighting husband? Mike's head swimming with similair thoughts "How do I take care of my Family and fight cancer? I have 2 babies..." We don't for a second claim to think that we are capable of or left to play this hand on our own. As a matter of fact it is because of the great friend and healer we have in our savior Jesus Christ that we have been able to stay sane and strong through ALL of the challenges we have faced... this... just another opportunity to give Him the glory.
Meanwhile we had been talking all summer long on our evening walks about how we have a strong feeling about God bringing a great change in this next season of our lives...
Anyway, rewind to the saturday before the biopsy, the heat of summer was topping out at 112-118 every day, and the Air Conditioner seemed to be literally dying. A service man came out dumped a bunch of chemicals into it and said "it's a matter of time" On Thursday, the day after we received our life-changing news it was nearly dead again, I had a guy out to give a price and were told we'd not only have to replace the A/C but we'd also have to replace the coil and furnace because it's all connected and out of date. I said thank you, we'd like to get another opinion before we make a decision. That night as we were getting Oliver ready for bed we heard an aweful noise coming from the laundry room which was literally the sound of the motor on our washing machine spinning it's LAST rotation. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
We proceeded to put Oliver to bed, hand rinsed the laundry in the tub and as we were standing on the back patio wringing out towels we just had to have a laugh. I mean what ELSE could POSSIBLY happen in one week??
Oh... about the A/C, our "second opinion" guy was a miracle worker, he had everything working just fine in less than an hour. I told him "you have a new customer".
Anyway, the following Tuesday we went in for our long-awaited doctor's appointment. The doctor's attitude was very reassuring. We have aparently discovered this cancer VERY early on. It's also extremely RARE to find this type of cancer so early. Along with our nutritional, supplementational and hard-core prayer activity we plan to have it removed laproscoprically with a less than 10% chance of seeing it again. Plus we will be having routine scans done, so the "prognosis" is good. Praise the Lord.
This last week we have all gotten hit with a nasty virus, probably all the stress finally breaking us down... I finally have begun to feel somewhat human today after about 5 achy nauseus miserable days. I was beginning to wonder "Are we EVER gonna get a break around here?"
Well, good thing I was feeling better today because I had an OB appointment today where we found out that we are expecting our next baby to be another BOY!! Soo excited, we were secretly hoping for Oliver to have a little brother... apparently our great "wish granter" was privy to the secret :) We are blessed.
Thursday we meet with the surgeon, so we'll be in prayer that goes well and we can schedule surgery soon.
So, we've had our challenges this year, nearly each one accompanied by a great blessing. We continue to live in great anticipation of what the next season of our lives will bring and are on the edge of our seats to see and be a part of God's Glory being Revealed through it all.