Here’s what we know tonight — the big news first: Reuben’s pathology reports came back this afternoon and they showed no lymph node involvement. They found nothing beyond the tennis ball-sized tumor they took out when they removed the lobe of his lung, even though the type of cancer has shown itself to be quite agressive based on how quickly the tumor grew. What that means is he does not have to undergo any other treatment but will have to go for regular tests. We are grateful. I got a message from a good friend who is also an oncology nurse who talked abut how great it was that Reuben only had to live “under surveilance.” I don’t think I ever considered that to be a hopeful phrase until today.
Reuben moved to a room on Saturday and is beginning to walk the long road of recovery — literally. His Alzheimer’s seems to show itself in his “sundowning” most every evening: he becomes more disoriented as the sun goes down, which is a quite common condition with Alzheimer’s patients. He is in good spirits and is only grumpy when people try to give him too many instructions. I told Ginger I thought that was more of a Brasher family trait rather than something having to do with being in the hospital. (You can’t believe how many times I’ve told that joke.)
There are still more hills to get over and more road we cannot yet see and what we see today is hopeful and has offered some relief. “Don’t worry about tomorrow,” Jesus said, “for today has enough trouble of its own.” Those words are deeply resonant tonight.
One of the coolest things Ginger told me was when she went to the mailbox on Saturday there were seven cards for Reuben and Rachel and all of them were from our church here in Marshfield. Their outpouring of support reminds me of the way the early Christians were describled by those outside of the church: “Look at how they love one another.”
We feel loved and blessed and strengthened. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support as we prepare to get over the next hill.