It is truly winter in Minnesota now. We drove to Rochester for Thanksgiving (in the snow) to spend time with the Iverson family. Iver has Multiple Melonoma and just had his second stem cell transplant. He is a wonderful example of living with cancer. We have been dear friends for a long, long time. We had set this up before Jud's diagnosis and hoped to be of support to them. Instead, they ended up being support to us! Interesting how things happen, isn't it? We cried, we laughed, we were mad at the whole deal and we were so grateful for the time together.
Tomorrow is a big day. We go see the oncologist and surgeon at the University of Minnesota. We heard the surgeon is incredibly knowledgable and that he knows what is happening across the country in the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer. They will review all Jud's records first-hand and tell us about his options. I will tell you honestly, we are scared. Jud has three arteries involved. He has this little tumor that is barely making him sick at this point but it is surrounding such critical places. He needs surgery for any chance of five-year survival, yet we don't know if it would be too dangerous. There are advances, including a Cyber-Knife at Stanford, which can cut more accurately. We are pinning out hopes on things like this.
So far, I will call this a journey of hope. Sometime diminishing hopes. Last week we were still hoping this was pancreatitis. Then we hoped there weren't arteries involved. Now we are hoping that the new technologies will help. Each "hope" seems as important as the last, and it keeps us going on.
We have received so much love from friends. Amidst the sadness, there is still joy and laughter. I do plan to answer those who have responded here. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. I read your responses again and again. We are loving each other and trying not to bicker over what's the most important when we are stressed.We feel the presence of God with us, much as we did when we lost twin sons thirty years ago.
It's a journey. A journey of hope in this season of Hope. Please continue to travel with us. We need you right now!
P. S. Jud also has a Caring Bridge site. He loves to get messages there and each morning, asks me if there are new ones. Please write him there, if you are so moved. Just say that you are a friend of Kat and Sue's from the blog. He is so tickled to get something from someone we know.