Thursday, April 30, 2015

Over the past month we have experienced our highs and lows are disappointments and joys, one thing has remained constant, we know the Lord loves us and he is supporting us.
As difficult as things have been somehow we've been able to make it, one day after another, day in and day out we seem to wake for another day knowing that the Lord will be there for us.
Does he remove the difficulty? Not always. Will he take away the challenge? Not necessarily. Will he help us endure? That... He has promised us. 
We don't know what the future holds for our little family. Will I be healed miraculously? I don't know. We can only hope. Will I be taken home to meet my loving father in heaven? Perhaps. Either way we have hope and trust in our Father's plan for us.
We trust in him because we know he loves us, all of this will be for our good.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Man things can change so much in a number of weeks. Home feels so good but it is different, different because I am different. I am going to need to get used to how do do things at my own home now. It has been a challenge to just live. My body is still in shock. I find I am in such a surreal state, that it is hard to even feel like I am here. The Lord is helping me make it through each day, one day at a time. It is so incredibly hard right now as I am so dependent upon Amy to help me with everything. I hate feeling like I am a burden, I cry often because I am not independent as I used to be. It hurts to know that I can be the cause of so much stress and pain for others. Even though I am learning how to dress myself, and how to shower with little help, it is so physically taxing that I am absolutely spent by the time I am finished. My endurance is slowly increasing but to sit in my wheelchair all day long is painful. It is something I feel trapped in.

All of this is here is me venting, trying to just get out my feelings. I have down days and I have days that are better than others. I am coming off of some of my meds which will help with the down days.
I am learning to accept what is happening to me and I understand that it will take quite a while for me to be completely comfortable with my current situation. I also know that my strength will increase and I will be able to do more on my own. What I am lacking now is patience. I want everything to happen now. I want to be strong now, I want to be independent now. I just need to realize that things don't happen overnight, it takes time.

I have therapy sessions multiple times a week. Occupational therapy as well as Physical therapy.  I learn how to do daily tasks in occupational therapy and we work on getting my left had functioning better as it is slowly degrading and losing strength due to the radiation treatments I have received.  In physical therapy we work on doing core exercises and and strengthening my arms. This part is the worst as I have to sue my arms so much during the day that they don't get a rest. My arms are always sore and hurting. I guess you know what they rest for the weary. This will improve over time too as my arms get stronger but for is no fun.

I know that the only way I am surviving any of this is through the Lords help. Each day is a blessing I am here with my loving family who accepts who I am in my current situation, they love me and love to help me. Amy has shown me love in a way I could never imagine. She is someone who never will complain how hard it is. She just does what needs to be done. Despite how tired or how difficult taking care of me is she still manages to take care of all of the kids and me as well. She is beyond amazing and I love her so much for what she is doing. God has a plan in all of this. I have no idea what it is right now but one day it will be apparent. I wish I knew right now what it is or why this is all happening but in His time I will find out what that might be. I will put my trust in Him and let him guide us wherever we need to go right now, no matter how hard.

Elder Holland spoke of miracles and this is something I have held on to:
Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I finished all of the Radiation Therapy and am glad it is done. I managed to make it through the last 3 rounds without much pain, I just seemed to get into the right position on the table. I also took an additional pain pill before just to help. Now I am starting to deal  with the intense sore throat that comes from being fried by the radiation. It will last for the next few weeks and makes it hard to swallow. I also found out that from all the steroids that I have been taking I now have Thrush. It is a fungus/yeast infection of the throat, it comes with an intense burning and it makes it hard to swallow. Add both throat issues together and taking medication as well as eating is so brutally painful that I really have to be careful as to how I eat etc. I am on some medication that is helping with the thrush but it is still going to take time to heal.
 The last few days have been full of therapy and Doctors appointments. They have also been full of trying to get used to being paralyzed from the belly down. This has been the hardest thing to deal with at the moment. To go from being able to move and at least shuffle around walking to being confined to a wheelchair and trying to move and function with all of this extra dead weight below the waist is so hard. I can't do much at all by my self. I know this will change over time as I learn to adapt but for now I feel so helpless. I just sit in the wheelchair or I lie in bed. I can't dress myself, I can't even barely adjust myself in bed, I need someone to move my legs and to help me roll over even. This is such a drastic adjustment to life. 
I know that the Lord has plans for us and that there is a purpose in all of this. I know I have a lot to be grateful for. I still have a full life to live, there is life after this new circumstance, He will help us. Somehow he will help us.
I Love my family so much, they have been there for me through all of this right now. They want me to succeed. They believe in me. This is what I need right now as I am struggling to believe in myself. I find that I am having a really hard time believing in myself right now. The doubt, the fear, the disappointment I feel right now is so overwhelming I need the boost that those around me are giving. I am grateful for it.
Somehow I make it to another day, time goes by, it passes, sometimes ever so slowly, and the nights are so long, sometimes sleepless, sometimes, restless, but the new day comes and  I get to start over, wondering what the day will bring. Will I be able to endure this day well? What new challenges will come? How will I conquer them? How will I be able to cope emotionally? Being on the steroids I am on have been so hard, they really mess with your emotions, I mean REALLY mess with them. I cry over the littlest things, I get frustrated really easy, I am fine one minute and the next I am a basket case. I will be getting off of them once I get home and it will be a slow process to get off of them but once they are out of my system I am hoping to be able to cope with things much better.
I can't thank my wife Amy enough for being my Rock through all of this, she is so full of faith and hope. She is there for me on the phone any time of day or night. She lifts my spirits when they are down and makes sure I know how much she loves me. She reassures me that no matter what happens, we are in this together and that we will make it, no matter how hard it may seem. I love her with all my heart. She is the love of my life. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

First 2 radiation rounds done on the new C6 tumor.
We found out that instead of doing 3 treatments, they were going to do 5 instead, which means daily trips across town to the hospital. The first day was a little rough getting lugged in and out of the cabs with the slush and all, I was so grateful to Brandon Buckner for the muscle man he is!  I spent about 5 hours upright which really took its toll and wore me right out.
While the mask and the mold they have me locked into during the radiation treatment has really improved over the years, it still lacks a lot. Trying to lay there and not move while not comfortable and trying to manage the fact that my arms started falling asleep from the position I was in... Not to fun. I laid there and quietly prayed that the Lord would help me make it through the next half hour, and that he would help remove the pain and discomfort. Within about 5 minutes, the pain and discomfort were all but gone.
I have never doubted that the Lord hears me. I love the reassurance I get each time my prayers are answered, no matter how small the prayer, no matter how trivial the situation, He cares, and hears us.
With the second treatment done today along with an additional follow up visit, I was up for about 7 hours. It really wipes me out but to see some further progress each day is encouraging.
We did find out that there are a number of wheelchair accessible cabs in the city that make all the difference in world in getting across town to the hospital. They even a hotline we can call for it. Just wheel in and it out the back!
Tomorrow we will also have a physical therapy consult to determine what I might be able to do to start regaining anything at all below my waist. I can wiggle my toes and slightly straighten my thighs (barely and not every time) but everything is so weak I have to physically have my legs lifted on and off the leg rests on the wheelchair. They are just dead weight for now.
We have adjusted some more meds again in hopes to reduce the pressure on spinal cord some more. The steroids have been increased and with that comes the irritability and the mood swings which I am not used to. I find myself being frustrated at the dumbest things! The simplest things also seem to get me emotional very easily. This is going to take some being used to.
In find I am learning more and more about patience and the importance of not running faster than I can. Some things just take time, when it is out of your control, don't stress over it, just do what you can for today and then move into tomorrow.
We are seeing many blessings and small miracles each day, I am so grateful for the continued support through all of your prayers and thoughts, they are making the difference. Amy Hirschi Buckner and I are blessed beyond measure to have the support that we do.
Thank you!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

This last week has been probably the hardest of my life. I didn't anticipate the psychological blow that it would have on me. Physically, the pain has been more intense than I have ever felt and the slow loss of function from my lower body has dealt a blow that has struck fear into my mind multiple times. Although I feel the paralysis to some extent will be temporary it is something I am not looking forward to working through.
We are working through the pain with some new pain medications, hoping this will allow me to maintain some endurance to be able to get out of bed and into a wheelchair. It will be nice to not feel bed ridden.
How will I make it through the rest of this I have no idea. And at times I feel like I don't want to know. It causes me to think too much, to try and think how I'm going to fix it when I don't know how to fix it. Sometimes I just need to take it one hour at a time. I feel this is the best way to handle it for me for now. It's probably the best way to handle many difficult challenges in life, 10 minutes at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time.
The one thing I do know is the only way I have made it through this week is through your prayers and thoughts. The strength that has given me has been huge. The Lord is there he has not left me alone. In my darkest hours He's the only one who could be with me and truly understand me. Despite all the clouds and the darkness around, he has helped me find the light. I am so grateful to know that I can call on him at any time and receive his comfort and peace. There is a plan in all of this, one will lead us to find true happiness and joy, one that will give us understanding in the end. This will undoubtedly be the greatest learning moment in my life. For this I will be eternally grateful.
Once again Amy Hirschi Buckner and I thank you for your support and your love as we could not do it without you.