Like a ton of bricks – April 9, 2005 – Day 2

Where do I begin? One day things are going fine, the next your world is turned completely upside down, almost stopped in shock. Today is Saturday, April 9, 2005 and two days ago, April 7, my wife and I found out that she had cancer. Leukemia to be exact. How this happened we don’t know.

A few weeks ago Lis noticed that her body was bruising easily. She didn’t do anything to cause the bruises she just bruised. She put off going to the doctor. Last week we noticed red dots on Lis’ legs and finally on Wednesday we made an appointment to see the doctor.

We went in on Thursday, April 7 at 8:30am. The doctor ran some blood tests and shortly thereafter he called Lis at home and asked her to go straight to the emergency room at Providence Hospital in Everett. Lis immediately called me at work – crying. I left work and my mom drove us straight to the hospital.

Confused we waited until we were admitted into a room on the 7th floor. Ah yes, the spiritual number seven will come into play a lot. Lis’ favorite number, the day that we found out, the floor she is on and finally 707 the room number she will be staying in for awhile.

But let’s not jump ahead. We eventually got into the room, they took some tests and finally a doctor came in to speak with us. Thoughts raced through my mind. Dr. Munoz had told Lis over the phone that it might be cancerous. I thought maybe it was something in her diet, maybe it was nothing, maybe it was something. Unfortunately, it was something. The doctor informed us that she had a serious condition called acute leukemia. If untreated she would probably pass away in three to six months. The bricks began to hit us across the head. She would need to go through chemotherapy. If she went into remission (a good thing) then months down the road we could get a bone marrow transplant that more than likely would have to come from her sisters. We began to sob. The first thing we could think about was Lukas.

Lukas is just 5 ½ months old. He doesn’t know what’s going on and he needs his mother more than anyone. What if she wasn’t there to care for him? How is this going to affect him? As I write on Day 3 I am starting to believe that our little man is going to be the key to her beating this cancer. He should make her positive, his smiling, cute, little face should be her inspiration on keeping positive and not letting this thing beat her.

How am I feeling? I don’t know. I’m lost. I’m confused. I’m scared. I’m every emotion that you could possible think of that is negative. I can only hope for the best and take care of Lukas in the meantime. I have to be there for her, I have to keep her positive. She is my world without her there is no me.

It just seems unreal and most of the time I’m real positive. I’ve never met a stronger person than her. Lis is extremely strong, dedicated, hard working, wonderful. If anyone could beat something like this it would be her. I mean the friggin’ girl was in labor for 12 hours and fooled the nurses into believing that Lis was overreacting. She showed no pain. She got a c-section and was out of the hospital in less time than some people stay for a regular birth. So she’s going to keep positive, she’s going to tell this friggin’ cancer that she can’t be beat.

She has too much to live for – I mean she’s 27 for God’s sake – she has a son that needs her, a husband that needs her, a huge family that loves her, friends that love her. Nobody dislikes Lis, I’ve never met anyone that disliked her and if they did it was for jealousy reasons. She’s unbeatable.

I do get scared sometimes. I get scared because there is an 80% chance of remission and if that doesn’t happen, if the chemo doesn’t beat the cancer than they have to try something else and then the percentage drops to 30. And if that happens we’re in trouble.

The support has been great. My parents and Randy were there the first day and got caught up in the emotion. All they could say was “why, why, why” and “I don’t understand, she’s so healthy”. They were there to cry with me and have been totally supportive. On Friday, Erik came to visit. Again, confused. He left crying just able to say “poor girl”. That evening our friends Cory and Hillary came. They sent prayer requests to their church and to Hillary’s mom’s church in California. The ladies at work have been great. Bev has called every day to check on her and will probably visit tomorrow.

Today Lis had a bunch of guests. Her former co-workers; Tony, Tien and Mike. My grandparents, Josh, and Ian Barnes also visited. Everyone has been so supportive and so confused.

I don’t know if I should cry or yell out in frustration. I try to let her see me happy. I try not to think negative but darn if I’m not a half-empty kinda guy. I think God has a plan for us. I think He’s going to get her through this. We’ve always had our obstacles. The long distance relationship, trying to get Lis here after we were married in Brazil, the pregnancy, and now this (I’m sure I’m forgetting something). I think God told us to finally go to the doctor after we went to church for the first time and I decided to let Him back in my life. I want Lukas to grow up as a good Christian man and thought it best if we start to go to church. Four days later, I need God more than ever.

Its nice that everyone is praying, like I said Cory and Hillary sent prayer requests. Grandma sent prayer requests. Aunt June sent prayer requests. I have talked to Pastor Jeff and have put in prayer requests at church. The support has been great and hopefully will only get greater as things progress.

This week will be interesting. Lis will be going through a lot of changes and it will be interesting to see how she handles it and how I will handle it. Well, time to go. I have to pray, get some sleep and start Day 4.

11 thoughts on “Like a ton of bricks – April 9, 2005 – Day 2

  1. This brings back some memories. How come I can\’t get thru this blog without tears coming out. I can\’t believe it\’s already been a year. Geez it kinda made us forget about Dad\’s b-day. Sorry Dad!!!


  2. I feel like I\’m going to cry. Thank you for sharing, I can\’t describe how your writings make me feel, I think first of all it\’s wonderful you\’re writing all this. You\’re a writer. Second and more importantly I send you all the best wishes and hopes and prayers in the world. If anyone can beat this Lis can, and she IS winning. I\’ve had several terrible family tragedies I don\’t think I\’ve really gotten over and I dread the chance of more. Your blog made me feel more positive and upbeat. Thanks so much again, and your baby is beautiful!–




  4. I was only 7 when my mom was diagnosed with acute lekuemia.  But that was way back in the 50\’s when the doctors didnt know a whole lot about it.  The only treatment they used then was blood transfusions to try to rebuild the blood.  In this day and age with all the new technologies it amazes me what they do.  I wish they had that techology back then.  I miss my mom more then ever now that I am older.  I think she would have been proud of her grandsons, and her greatgranddaughters.  I know your wife will do great.  She has alot going for her, a loving family, friends and Faith.  May God bless you and your family.


  5. What I hope will be a note of encouragement.  Ourr daughter was diagnosed in 1984 with Acute Non-lymphocytic leukemia – they also gave her only weeks maybe a few short months to live IF she didn\’t go into remission.  Her symptoms were much like your wife, bruising but also very tired.  She was the mother of two small girls 6 and 2 at the time. 
      They started her immediately on chemo. treatments which she tolerated well, after the first one – which made her very sick.  It was hard losing her hair.  Plus at that time they kept her very issolated family only but not her children ( they get to many colds, etc. at that age. She remained in that room for most of the next 2 1/2 mos. Fortunately her husbands family as well as her own ( our family is small) rallied around her.  We never left her alone for any length of time, i was with her all but 11 nights of that time. Her mother-in-law or husband were there the other nights – depression sat in if we did. As long as we were there she seemed to do well.  Lonesome for her girls.  They were finally able to visit after a month – what a joyous moment for them all.   They were quite hesitant at first.  To make a long story short – afte 2 years of treatment.  She has been in remission now for just over 21 1/2 yrs.  A healthy active (hold down a very demanding time consuming job) grandmother.  Has been able to see both daughters grow up, graduate from high school, college, marry, and now one has a child.  Things I couldn\’t imagine were ever going to happen in those bleak days, weeks, and years in what now see SO very long ago.  Almost as i write this it\’s like it happened to someone else.  As I was a different person then, young, vibrant, healthy myself, wishing everyday it were me in that bed, not her.  A transplant was out of the question as there was only 1 brother and he didn\’t match.  At that time a matching donor outside of family was an impossibility.  She did later fly to Seattle from Kansas where they extracted her bone-marrow – cleansed and "froze" for a possible chance if ever she needed it.  An expensive venture which insurance would not pay for at the time.  At almost her 5 yr. deadline, she was notified their symtom had failed and all stored marrow had been lost – hers as well as others.  They would do it for her again free of charge, if she wanted to once again fly there.  Her Dr.s at home decided they could treat her by this time – so opted against going.
        Knowing now what we do, we\’re glad she didn\’t have the transplant, as who knows how that may have turned out? 
         My love and prayers are with you and your family.  I know with her positive attitude (our daughter had that also) she will do well – once she gets over the rough spots in the road.
    Hang in there –  Miracles Do Happen – the fob on my key chain says that and I\’ve carried it for 21 1/2 yrs.


  6. It is very encouraging for me to read your writings and know that your wife has perservered and your faith in God and loving family saw you through.
    I understand the very real fear and days of being unsure what will happen. I found out only today that a new biopsy was needed because the Doctor believes that my cancer has returned. With God\’s help and the love and support of my family and friends I believe that it will once again be beaten. I have to say that as I write this though I\’m still feeling some shock and have yet to share the information with my children, friends or other family members. Putting down the words here do make the reality of it all start to sink in.
    I happened onto this site only by chance…..or maybe not. It may have been just what I needed tonight.
    Thank you. I will keep you and your beautiful wife and son in my prayers for many years of continued happiness and health.


  7. Thank you for sharing this emotional blog with us.  How open you were with the world to let us know what you were feeling!  I think you are right, your son was probably a major key in your wife\’s recovery.  It\’s amazing what a mother\’s love can really do!


  8. Thank you for sharing such an emotional part of your being and life..
    I will think of you all …
    I will say a prayer before I close my eyes tonite for your wife lis .


  9. […] By now you all know the story. If you don’t well then you’re in the right place. This journal/blog is named after my wife’s battle with cancer. It’s title, “Lisy’s battle with leukemia” says it all. If you’re looking for the beginning let me lead you to the beginning. You can read my first entry here: Like a Ton of Bricks […]


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