I'd like to extend my apologies to all of you who have followed my blog and kept coming up empty-handed when you check here. I know it's been such a long time since I've posted anything at all, and for that I'm sorry. My life has been in much turmoil since my last posting at Christmas. Since I originally started this as an art blog, I generally try to keep most of my postings related to art. Although we all have personal lives we enjoy sharing with each other, I believe that most of my followers are here because they're interest in art. Unfortunately, very little art has been created in my studio in the past seven months, so there's been nothing to post. However, I've had several followers contact me asking if I'm okay or if I've moved my blog somewhere else, so I feel I owe my readers an explanation for my sudden departure.
We had a beautiful Christmas this year, with lots of visiting, food, gifts, and blessings. Unfortunately, two days after Christmas my husband was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night because he was coughing up blood and having trouble breathing. After sitting in the ER for eleven hours, he was admitted to the hospital where they proceeded with many tests, x-rays, and CAT scans. The following day we got the horrifying news that he had a large mass on his left lung and were told it was most likely cancer. The tumor was very large and had wrapped itself around Dale's pulmonary artery. The pulmonologist told us he was sorry, but the tumor was inoperable. They told him without treatment he would have about six months.
Needlesstosay, our New Year hadn't started out so well. We were both devastated and in shock. After many more tests, PetScans, MRIs, and doctor visits we knew we needed to seek a second opinion. I called to set-up an appointment with an oncologist at the IU Simon Cancer Center. That's when we were referred to a thorasic surgeon who ordered even more tests! After much evaluation, this surgeon decided he would be willing to operate. The catch was though, he would need to remove Dale's entire left lung. Dale would need to pass numerous pulmonary function tests to see if his right lung was strong enough to sustain him, as well as pass tests on his heart to see if his heart was strong enough for surgery. God was with us during those weeks of testing, and it was found Dale had a good chance to withstand the surgery!
On February 6th, Dr. Thomas Birdas, performed a pneumonectomy on Dale. Although the surgery took quite a bit longer than expected, it was a definite success! Dale spent six days in surgical intensive care and was then released to go home to recouperate. He did amazingly well with recovery, having only a couple of set backs. Dale's left vocal chord was damaged during surgery which made it difficult for him to speak above a whisper. Since that time, he's had a procedure to temporarily correct it while we wait for the nerves to hopefully repair themselves. We're told this can take up to a year to heal.
In March Dale started with his first chemotherapy session. The infusions were long, lasting about 7 hours. He had four rounds of chemo, with one week on and three weeks off. Although Dale managed to continue to work throughout his treatments, the chemo took a tole on his strength and energy. He just finished his last round of chemo three weeks ago and hoping he will soon feel more energetic. Next week he goes back to see his oncologist, Dr. Nassar Hanna, to get an x-ray and check-up. We're hoping and praying for an excellent outcome, but still sitting on pins and needles.
We really apprecite all of you who have been there for both of us with your support and prayers. This has made all the difference in the world! The cards, phone calls, emails, and text messages kept us going through it all. It reaffirmed to us how important family and friends truly are. Thank you for being there to help us through the hard times!
I hope you understand now why I've not posted in such a long time. Sometimes when a crisis comes along in your life, everything else just seems to fall away. Nothing else matters. And so it has been with my painting and creating, my blog, and everything else I normally do. You realize how precious life is. We need to make the most of each and every day, because we only have one life to live. As an artist it was very frustrating to watch my creativity simply fly out the window. I've been waiting for my muse to reappear and inspire me with new ideas and the energy to focus. I keep watching for her daily. Over the past few weeks, though, I've had glimpses of her peeking through my window, so be watching for something new coming soon....