Thursday, February 1, 2018

Dream. State.






Dream. State.  It's the name of the television show that is following our boy's hockey team this year.  We've seen their production crew both on and off the ice at the Sports Center.  One of the young men met with Rick to talk about using some of his photos from over the years as part of the show.

But then he received another email request.  Would we consider doing some interviews with the crew about our family story?  They expressed not only talking to me about my journey with cancer, but also wanted to talk to our boys, and to Rick.  

Through a series of messages we picked a Sunday for the crew to come to our house.  The boys had been traveling for hockey and had arrived home late the day before.  So we let them sleep in a bit and didn't get started until 11 am.   We truly didn't know what to expect.  We anticipated it'd last an hour or so.  

I had just had chemo the Tuesday before, and was just starting to feel better.  I prayed long and hard that I could feel up to the task of being on camera and sound ok in the interview I would do with them.  I was fully prepared to live up to the honor of sharing my humble story once again.  I felt like I had so much to give.  I'm always awe-struck that He seems to find a way to help me live with purpose, by sending these huge opportunities to me time and again.  As confining as it can become to physically live within your 4 walls, its amazing how much your spirit can grow past those very walls.  I was ready to give... 

But I had no idea just how much I'd receive instead.  

The crew spent a good hour or so just setting up all of their gear.  I forget how many cameras there were.  At least 3 were running most of the time.  And their lights were strewn about.  Each one of us was given a microphone that we taped to ourselves.  Then the questions began.  



I got to go first, with the other 3 watching on.  I know we talked for almost an hour.  But the focus of our talk?  Certainly wasn't about cancer.  Its funny how much hockey has been more pervasive in our every day lives, and how easy it was to lead the talks back to hockey throughout everything.  Its so clear that hockey is more than a game, more than a season- its definitely a way of life that is lived both on and off the ice.  

And so many of the people that you started this journey with, are the very people that are still present in your life all these years later.  I was both drained and exhausted when my part was finished.  But I was filled up with joy and good memories, and pure satisfaction of just how fully we've lived our moments throughout all of these years.  But that's when the biggest gift started to unfold before my eyes.  The boys were starting their interviews.  And part of what they were asked to share was about how Rick and I had contributed to their hockey life.  I won't forget the magnitude of those moments.  The raw emotion they spoke with.  The words that every parent longs to hear.  We laughed and laughed at all the fun stories the boys remembered.  And relished the good memories that prevail to this day.  I know parts of this could be used for the show.  While the tears streamed as I stood just outside the doorway listening in, the gift of hearing my boys speak these words was simply priceless.

The young men then sat down with all of us and we continued to share stories with them.  As they slowly began to wrap up and pack their things, I glanced at the clock.  They'd been with us for 6 hours!  For 6 hours we had talked non-stop about our hockey life, and we felt like we barely scratched the surface.  We re-told the past 15 years of our life, and it was such an honor to have it all captured on camera. The whole afternoon was a wonderful culmination of the journey we've been on ever since the boys were in diapers.  

I was literally spent for days to come.  I have no idea how I got through the taping as well as I did.  Its clear that He saw me through.  Those prayers were answered.  The grace rained down in abundance on me that day.  

The show, Dream. State., will air February 13th on Fox Sports North.  Its a 6 week, 6 episode show that follows the Moorhead boy's hockey team.  We were told our family footage would be aired on the second episode.  We can't wait to see it!  


A lot has been happening as far as my cancer treatment goes.  Dr. Panwalkar has been very busy in researching and finding another treatment for me, despite the fact I haven't physically seen him in awhile.  I've gone in twice to fill out paperwork to help me secure access to a new drug should I need it.  I've both had to qualify for the drug medically, and financially so its been no easy process.


I will have a PET scan on Monday, and see Dr. Panwalkar on Tuesday of next week.   If my scan is stable or shows tumors shrinking I'll just stay on my current treatment.  If I show progression than I would start taking a pill called Keytruda.  You may see advertisements for it on tv.  It's a new immunotherapy drug on the market that shows promise in heavily treated patients like myself.  I'm so grateful to have qualified to have this drug when the time comes.  

The very next week, on Valentine's Day I will have another stent replacement surgery.  I have so much happening over the course of the next two weeks.  I will be at the clinic or hospital nearly every day those two weeks.  Between all the booster shots, the pre-surgery labs and exams, infusion and PET scan- I'll be stretched to handle it all.

So I'm still leaning in to all the uncertain and scary times ahead.  Each day is different.  Will I have break through pain, or not?  Will I need the wheelchair or can I walk?  Can I keep my oxygen saturation high enough, or not?  Will I be nauseous?  Tired?  Weak?  Worried?  Likely all of the above.  

Still- my days fill in between with support in all kinds of ways.  Meals arrive on a weekly basis.  Treats and goodies are left by our front door.  Cards and letters with encouragement arrive all the time.  I feel blessed despite the hard things we continue to face daily.

So to get through the next couple of weeks, I'm turning to the best coping method I know.  Taking myself out of the center of it all as much as I can.  I'd love to focus on you!  Will you share your prayer request with me for Monday?  How can I pray for you?  Please leave your requests in the comments below and I'll make a list to carry with me the next couple of weeks.  

~all shall be well~























9 comments:

  1. thanks for taking the time and energy to share this update! you know my ongoing request, and i so appreciate your prayers. can you share the times of your scan and surgery when you know them? i like to pray at the specific hours.

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  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the taping, imagining what a thrill it was to hear your sons speak of cherished memories, family fun. I'm grateful that God helped you through the experience. Grace upon grace! I can easily believe it was draining.

    Here's hoping that God supplies grace and strength for the weeks ahead, with the procedures and challenges. I'll be lifting you up to the Father.

    Thanks for the update xxx love and prayers from over here!

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  3. Sending love and prayer for good scan results and tolerable meds and more awesome moments like those you just shared with your boys -



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  4. How neat ! What treasures your boys words must have been to your ears. A true blessing. I will be praying for your upcoming tests and treatment plans. Since you asked I will share a prayer request of mine to help you focus on other things. My husband and I want to move to Georgia from New Jersey but I am not quite old enough to retire. We are seeking wisdom on how to do this financially and for the Lord to reveal His plan for us. Appreciate so much your prayers. Many Blessings

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  5. Oh my dear soul sis, Vicky,
    How precious it always is to "hear" your voice through your blogs posts. This one touched my heart so deeply. What a great honor to tell your story and the love and life-style that hockey has been for the four of you. I am not surprised that God answered your prayer for energy to make it through the interview. How wonderful for Rick, Nolan, and Colton to hear you talk about life and what matters. No doubt they were so proud of you...as we all are.
    And what a gift, an amazing gift, to hear your boys (young men) talk and share, cameras recording. What a gift for YOU to hear their memories, the memories they will never, ever forget. Those memories are part of the fabric of their lives. Yes, dear one, your legacy and love and time and caring is all woven permanently into their hearts. No wonder your tears flowed as you stood around the corner, hearing them spill their hearts. Finally, it brings tears to my eyes to know all you are going through and as always you ask what you can pray for. I would be so grateful if you would pray for Jacob, our grandson, as he recovers from this horrible biking accident. Specifically that he could get off the crutches and successfully walk again. Thank you for praying! Thank you for sharing your journey, my precious friend. I will be keeping you in my prayers, often hour-by-hour, for strength and stamina as you spend so much time at the hospital. Love you , always, Vicky Held Westra...to the moon and back again! Sending you loves, hugs and prayers!
    -Linda

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  6. Hey my friend,

    This is such a miracle, you know? The video-taping. I can just sense God's hands in all of this. I hope I'll be able to see it. I know we get Fox Sports South--at least I think so. I'll check into Fox Sports North. :)

    I sent you a little surprise. Sure hope it arrives soon!

    I love you dearly.

    Julie

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  7. Thank you for sharing Vicky and I sure hope you can post a link so we can see the interviews- I love that you've given me a glimpse into the wonderful world of hockey and how close knit your community is- sending love xo

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  8. Oh my! What a 'God' gift! Truly. And 6 hours!!! You all were meant to meet and share. I got tears when you listened in on those young men of yours... I know what that moment is like... WOW what a beautiful blessing! There are those parent/ mom moments that mean everything!!! When they come when we least expect it...well that is the gift. You are in good hands. Praying for you all daily...taking off the 10th..I have shared my journey... prayers are more then welcome beautiful you! I wish I could watch this. But alas I have no T.V. hang in there beautiful beautiful soul. All shall be well. P.S. you look so very tiny sitting there. I pray for strength, joy, and many many moments just like this one!!!

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  9. Feb. 18
    My friend....
    I had you on my mind and heart today. I wanted to let you know I prayed for you and your sweet family.
    Love you always....
    Jackie

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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