Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vance: An Update

Many of you have expressed your concern for Vance over the last few weeks--here's an attempt to fill you in on what's going on with him.

We are on week 6 or so of the relapse (or so we think), and about to hit the 3 month mark for the total virus run. It seems these days that Vance has several good days in a row (usually Mon-Wed), followed by the rest of the week in bed (usually Thurs--Sun, it seems). The well/sick periods don't seem to have any correlation to rest/sleep/eating habits, etc. Right now he's having one of his good days, and I have learned to just be thankful for those without expecting this to be the beginning of the end. We're both learning a lot of patience.

He went to see the immunologist last week, and that was very discouraging for me. Basically he told Vance, "On the scale of 1-10, you're a 10! Everything about you looks perfect. There's nothing wrong with you!" Except of course, there is. The immunologist even seemed skeptical about the CMV diagnosis, leading me to wonder if we were dealing with some dark horse disease that nobody knew about. It didn't help that after he went to the doctor, the rest of the week was pretty rough.

We decided to send him to his regular physician on Monday to get his blood drawn again. While the first titer indicated CMV, it takes a second test to confirm. If we know it's CMV, then at least we know what to do...wait. If it's not, then we start the search. His doctor said there was no obvious alternate diagnosis...in his words, if it's not CMV, figuring out what's wrong would be "like hunting zebras." I'm assuming zebras are hard to catch? :) At any rate, it will take a week or two for the test results to come back.

Last week was pretty difficult, I must say. I was exhausted, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I had all these expectations that weren't being met. I expected Vance to be making some sort of progress toward health. I expected the immunologist to be helpful. I expected the kids to understand that we were in emergency mode, and act like perfect little angels in consequence. All of those went unmet.

I have been fighting for faith, hope, joy, peace...but last week seemed to show more losses than wins. I felt like I was drowning in chaos, crying out to God and hearing only silence in return. In desperation, I have started to get up 45 minutes earlier so I can have a more profitable time with the Lord before everyone is up and the day is running away with itself. That has helped. But ultimately, the Holy Spirit has been comforting me and reminding me of my identity--not in my failures, but in Christ who is my "all in all".

Vance has been struggling somewhat with discouragement, weariness, etc...but overall he has been so patient and longsuffering through this whole process. He continues to express his trust in God in all the ups and downs. Amazing.

I'm still having difficult days (like today, when I'm starting to feel sickish myself--noooooo!), but my feet are touching bottom. Hiding myself in Christ is feeling more like a reality, less like mere words. And that is worth everything.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee
Let the water and the blood
From Thy wounded side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure
Save from wrath and make me pure.


donteatus said...

I miss you guys and wish so badly we were your neighbors to help out. I just know I could make Vance laugh with an inappropriate comment if given the opportunity. Seriously though, we're praying for you guys, and if there is anything at all your ex-neighbors can do, just call on us.
-Nick S.

Susan said...

Thank you for your honesty and humility!! I hope you find this encouraging:
"I lift my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalms 121:1&2

We love you guys and are praying for you!~Susan