Back to the real life

Happy Labor Day!

Well I survived the first week back to work.  I think my last day of work was around July 27th????  My first day back went smooth thanks to Jeannie coming in on her day off.  I think I would have been pretty overwhelmed without her gracious help.  The week actually went pretty smooth and I actually felt pretty good physically.

Physically speaking, I am doing well.  I still don’t always have the greatest energy but I am very thankful for what  I do have.  Wednesday is the next round of chemo.  It is always an adventure to see how the blood work comes back.  That determines the level of chemo I get, how quickly I bounce back and how aggressively we can attack the cancer.  All summer long I never got a full blast of chemo.  Two times I got a 75% blast, three times were at 50% and one was closer to 25%.   Since my last round a small pain has developed between the sternum and my port.  It is nothing big, but feels similar to a combination between a sun burn and a small bruise.

Now I guess it is time to get back to the real life.  Today ends the guys summer vacation.  It has been a great summer for all of us.  The guys had swimming lessons twice, baseball for both of them, soccer for Brenden, 3 trips to Karen’s parent place and a couple cool family trips.

August in particular was great!  August was like a “dream life”, almost surreal.  I took advantage of all the time off and spent a lot of time with family and friends.  We had our annual family garage sale.  As usual my mom and god mother Betty were the MVP’s.  Both Rhonda and Dave made it over to help out too.  Next up for me was a trip to Bemidji to see several people and spend time with Randy and Kelli.  I was only gone on that trip for 3 days but made the most of it.  I can’t believe all the people  got to see and the great conversations I got to have.  I visited with Bill Hubell, the Ness Family, the Bahrs, the Lishes and the Andersons.  I also golfed a quick 9 holes at a golf course I used to play on when growing up.  I then came home in time to visit with some other family friends from Madison-the Colemans.  When we did the math we realized we hadn’t seen each other in 10 years!  It was awesome to have dinner with Brad and Lisa and their kids.  I then breezed through the next chemo and it was time for our big summer ending family trip.  There were 3 parts to our big trip.  The first part was back to Bemidji and the Lish residence.  The 2nd part was to Itasca State park where we rendezvoused with Dad, Debby, Caylee, Dave, Jill and their boys.  It was a surprise to all the boys as we didn’t tell them we would be camping with their cousins.  Dad and Debby took care of all the food so we were spoiled.  The last leg of our journey brought us to a waterpark/resort in Alexandria.  Again we surprised the guys as they didn’t know we would be going there for our last two nights.  We went to Arrow wood resort and it was very nice.  We played some mini golf, tennis and of course lots of swimming.  I just can’t help but look back at August and smile.  It truly was a gift from God.  I can only hope that every month is that rewarding going forward.  I don’t have all the keys to life, but some of them have to be spending time with family and friends as much as possible and fostering relationships and enjoying your experiences together.  Notice I didn’t say anything about new cars, more possessions, money and more work.

I think it is time to make the “the real life” more like my August “surreal life”.  Hopefully I will get some pictures up soon from our Summer.

Thanks you for all your love, prayers, gifts, thoughts, support and advice as we continue down this cancer journey.  All of it helps to keep our spirits up.  Blessings to all of you and the care you administer to myself and my family.  If you are looking for specific prayers or things to meditate on for our family:  a complete healing, a strong immune system that can fight off the cancer and can bounce back from the chemo, increased platelets and just an overwhelming sense of peace as we march toward Sept. 20th and my fist scans since June 8th.

Love,

Chris

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Back to the real life

  1. PAT

    CHRIS AND KAREN
    A VERY BIG CONGRADULATIONS !!!!
    FOR WHAT YOU ASK??? FOR LIVING LIFE TO IT FULLEST!!!!
    The Lord has blessed you with many, many riches that only you two have been blessed with!!! Life is so full of Joy for those that are on a journey with the Lord as you are!! Yes ,we all are praying for healing and a cure but as we have all seen the Lord in your life!! He has in so many more ways blessed you with things we never have asked for, so I will continue to ask the Lord that he continue to keep His Strong arms around all of you! An lead you and all of your incrdible family & friends in His direction! With love and peace the two things I ask for you the most!!
    much love and prayers & more blessings !!

  2. Aunt Val & Eli

    We are so happy to hear that you’ve had a great summer. It sounds like you have the great ‘keys to life’–family, friends, love, faith, and a great attitude. We will continue to pray as you have requested and in so doing, it will increase our faith.
    Thank you for the inspiration.

    Hugs to your family!
    God Loves you and so do we!!

  3. Michele Balvin

    Glad to hear August was amazing Chris! I often ask myself if I got the most out of my free time, too many times I answer no! Balancing life is a challenge for me. Being a mom has given me such a definitive measurement of time. You inspire me to make my “real life” more like your August. Happy September!

  4. Randy & Kelli

    Thanks for your post. It meant a lot to us to have you here for both visits. I am still thinking about our long talk we had Chris at the breakfast table when Randy was at work. I am still processing all your experiences, your faith and clear wisdom you have shared with me/us. We are both lucky to have you as a friend.

  5. Lisa Coleman

    I think you have a very big key right there…time with your friends and family, and really being present during that time. We all need to remember that.

    It is a mystery to me why you and your family have to go through all of this, but maybe one small answer is that we are all supposed to learn something from this. So thanks for showing us all something important.

    I’m praying for your peace of mind till Monday and beyond.
    Lisa

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