First Days at Home

Just a quick post because I know so many of you are wondering how things are going now that we are home.  We got home yesterday shortly after 2pm.  Hospice arrived at our home around 1130am to start getting everything organized for Stefan’s arrival.  They didn’t leave our home until 8pm.  It was a very long day, but the ladies who were with us yesterday were amazing.  We met two nurses and a social worker, and I was so impressed.  Thankfully, we had dinner provided because it was pretty much a circus at the house.  So, thank you to our church for organizing that, and thank you to the friend who provided it.

The overnight was pretty rough.  Stef was extremely agitated and anxious.  Our church has also provided us with people to sit with him overnight.  We decided to not use that last night because Stef was so worked up and not feeling well.  Not our best decision. 🙂  Anyway, he also got sick and started vomiting and also developed a fever of 102.  Thankfully, hospice called first thing this morning and the nurse who has our case came out and met with us this morning. Hospice is trying their best to manage everything.  Dr. Martin also called the house to see how the night had gone.  He continues to amaze me.  So, hopefully, tonight will be quieter and more restful.  And we are having people come in and sit with Stef tonight. 🙂

I also wanted to thank a special friend of mine-Melanie.  She has done so many little things to help out.  She has scheduled meetings, made phone calls, picked my kids up from school, taken them to get haircuts, and much more.  Thanks, Mel.  You’re the best!!

There are many others who have helped out as well.  I so appreciate it all.

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Heading Home

Well…… after 6 weeks and 6 days, we’re heading home.  Stef has really wanted to make it home and once again insurance has gotten in the way; so, after talking with Dr. Martin’s nurse, Shelly, for quite some time, meeting with a social worker, and meeting a different hospice team, we have made the decision to go home sometime tomorrow.  I have to be honest that this makes me a little nervous just thinking of everything that will need to be done at home.  However, even though I am worrying, already things are getting taken care of.  Our church is providing meals 4 times per week and they are going to continue to have people sit with him in the evening so I can try to rest.  So, while today was extremely stressful, I am still amazed by and so thankful for such a wonderful support system.  I know we can’t see what’s ahead in the near future, but it is so comforting to know that people continue to pray for us for whatever may come.  

I also wanted to send a big thank you to a special group of girls who took me to dinner for an early birthday dinner.  It was so nice to get out and participate in life.  So, thank you, girls!!  

Once again, I would ask that you continue to pray for our kids and us as we make this next transition.  There are many things that concern me in connection with him coming home.  He needs quite a bit of care still.  Also, I have tried very hard to keep the kids protected.  Hopefully, their home will continue to be a place of comfort and wonderful moments for them.  I will post again in a few days to let you know how our transition goes.  Have a good evening.

Blessed beyond belief tonight…

So I am at dinner with my good friend, Aaron, and I get a call.  It is from our Worship Pastor, Allen.  They have choir/orchestra practice every Wednesday night.  During their practice time, they also have a time of prayer.  Allen called to invite me to practice so the choir could pray for me and my family.  So I went.  Best decision I have made in a long time.

When I arrived, they were already in prayer.  I was humbled at the prayers that were being sent up on my behalf.  After they finished, Allen noticed that I was there and asked me to come up front.  He then asked the entire choir/orchestra to come up and surround me.  We then had some more time of prayer.  Wow, talk about a humbling experience.  I was just so incredibly blessed, I cannot really express it in words. 

After that time of prayer, Allen let me address the group.  I hope that I was a small blessing in some way.  I am just way too overwhelmed by the support that we get from our church family.  It is just crazy nuts!!

Anyway, Allen, choir, orchestra – I thank you SO MUCH for the support that you have been and will be for my family and myself.  A humble thank you is all I can say, but know that I was truely blessed beyond belief tonight!

Journey update…

Well, I find myself in a dark place again.  Had a very rough day, both physically and mentally.

It started off good with breakfast with Sandi and Carley.  We had a nice time.  I cherish these moments, for sure.  Then the day went downhill from there.

I had a bad reaction to one of my chemo drugs during my treatment today.  It was a reaction to Erbitux.  This is a drug I need, but not sure where we stand on using it anymore, due to my reaction today.

Then I got more bad news on the CT scan I had on Friday.  More growth AND new masses are showing up.  I have been in pain for a week now.  I would rate it an 8.5 on a 10 point scale.  Not fun.  The only way the pain will be alleviated or go away is if the chemo works to shrink the cancer.  Chemo has not done its job for me in the past, so we pray it starts working NOW.

I then had a not so positive conversation with my surgeon.  His selection of words and tone of voice lead me to believe that things are not good right now.  I think that the cancer may be a couple steps ahead of me, as there was a tone of concern and worry in my surgeon’s voice.

Anyway, I need prayer and a lot of it.  Pray as follows:

 
1.  COMPLETE HEALING – I am getting tired of this cancer thing….
2.  That the chemo will actually begin to work and shrink the cancer.
3.  Mental strength.  Very bad mental day today.
4.  Physical strength as they will probably begin to throw the book at me to try and slow this down or beat it.
5.  That I will stop questioning God.  He has a reason for this.
6.  Pray for Sandi.  She and I are not talking about this right now.  We are both, I think, trying to really figure out what this means and where I stand in my journey.
Really trying hard right now to REFUSE TO LOSE!!

Benefit for the Tarapchak Family…

Have you heard the phrase, Life gets in the way of life?  Well it has happened to me and I am very late in getting this post up.

About two weeks ago, my sister hosted a benefit for our family.  It was just fantastic!!  It was held in my hometown of Sharon, PA.  It was so great to see so many friends and family.  Some of whom I have not seen in twenty years!!

The weather was not great that day, it rained horribly, but that did not dampen our spirits at all.  The food was great, the location was great, the company was great!!  They had a Chinese auction and auctioned off over 70 prizes.  Just nuts!!

So, to all who came, I thank you.  I thank you for the support that you have given to me and my family.  We were truely blessed that day, in so many ways. 

And to my sister, Jen, a HUGE THANK YOU for all that you have done for us.  Love you, Jen!!

Aaron is a S.L.O.B.

Yep, my buddy, Aaron, over at Arms Wide Open is a S.L.O.B.

Check out what I mean by clicking here.

Congrats, Aaron!!

RTL Invitational a huge success…

Unbelievable!!  What a day.  The weather was perfect, we had over 100 golfers, and I made it through the entire day!!!

When I pulled into the course and saw everyone there that was supporting me, I was just overwhelmed!  I had friends from college there, co-workers, and friends from church.  I had not seen some of these friends in years. 

I parked myself on a par 3 and watched the groups tee off.  When they got to the green, I helped them putt.  It was a great time.  After the round, we had a great lunch.  I had the opportunity to speak and share my story and thank everyone for coming.  We finished up with a raffle give away that had some great prizes.

What a day.  I was thankful for the support and I am sure everyone had a great time.  I would like to thank my great friend, Jim, who really pulled this day together. Thanks, Jim!!!!

REFUSE TO LOSE!!