Monday, February 15, 2016

RE: Schreiber's - How they're really doing -Delete if not interested.

A lot of people ask, "How are you all doing?"

Some follow up with, "But how are you really doing?" -this second question often causes a dilemma for me.  How do I fully explain this situation when we are still trying to wrestle through it ourselves?

Sometime in my head I answer back, "Well, how much time do you have?"  Time is a factor to answer this question and we live in a time-crunched feeling life.  Facebook, Twitter, unending emails all take up our energy.  

At ASIJ, I would often see emails from people with items to give away, or non-work life information.  As a courtesy, they would put "delete if not interested", in the subject line. I think this post is probably similar. So, if you want an inside view of "how we are really doing" follow along.  But don’t feel compelled to -I am completely fine with leaving it at, “We are doing ok, one day at a time.” if you don't have time right now.

So, as we said at school in Japan-
RE: Schreiber's - How they're really doing -Delete if not interested.

Yes, the last 3 months have been really hard -a tiring (emotionally, physically, spiritually) and demanding journey.  And it's right on the heels of another very tiring journey to and from Japan. A journey that started more than a year ago and took a lot of energy.  We gave up one whole life: job, friends, church, town, school, driving, mountains -craft beer.  We packed, had lots of tearful good-byes, parties, “last of” experiences, said our farewells and flew (by way of Hawaii -where Tiffany got painful shingles) to start our new life in Japan.  We started new jobs, got bikes, train passes, met great new people, started a new church plant, and went to IKEA way too many times. The girls got adjusted to not just a new school, but for 2 of them, the only school that they had ever been in (before they were home schooled).  Abby walked through a month of painful swollen legs and a sore back (walking, in the rain, on the train, through crowds, to multiple Japanese doctors and hospitals, with lot of needle sticks, and a final bone-marrow test) before we finally packed up eleven suitcases and flew back to our Colorado house that didn’t fully feel like home.

It was like we were running a marathon, almost got to the finish line when someone told us to turn around and do it again. Sometimes, that’s how we really feel.

Oh, and then there is the relapse-cancer thing too.

We are now 3 months into that new marathon, I have 3 more months of one-second-a-day videos and now.  The title says, “The Schreibers in Japan” but what it shows instead is 90 seconds of hospitals, drives, and my daughter losing her hair.  No job footage, no school, no biking, no new adventurous footage of Japan subways, no IKEA,  -such an abrupt change of direction.  But, if you stay there too long, it can really bring you down.

So we try not to stay in that place.  Instead we pray.  Honest prayers. Sometimes feeble, sometimes mad, but we still choose to pray to a God, that I don’t understand but I still trust (even though that can be really hard).

And with that said, I guess the next logical question is,” how is Abby really doing?”  Unfortunately I don’t really know that question.  She doesn’t share much about this all. I can only guess what it would have been like for me as a 7th grader to have gone through our last 6 months of change only to end up living most of the last 3 months in the hospital.  How would you feel? 

No really, how would you feel? Put yourself in that place for a minute, go back to your 7th grade year, give yourself cancer, all this change… feel that for a minute.  

Now, will you pray for my daughter out of that heart?  Please.  She needs your prayers. We can't just strive to just save her physical body, we need to save her heart, her mind, her spirit -and her beautiful smile too.

I know I didn’t have it in me as a 7th grader to go through this type of suffering, you probably feel the same way, and I'd guess that she probably does too. So, even if you’re, "not the praying type", would you try? Pray that Abby’s faith would grow.  Pray that her immunity would rocket up so she could come home for a few days.  Pray that she won’t just grunt through this, but instead find freedom in the midst of it.  That she will find some way to have a purpose during these hospital stays.  Maybe even that she would find a way to embrace this journey, even during the toughest of times. -These are spiritual requests.

All I can think that is left to say is, "Thank you". Thank you for taking the time to try glimpse into how we are all really doing (or at least how we feel sometimes).  

And yes, this is all heartfelt and true, but it is also true that we are just taking it one day at a time -walking out each day as it comes. Still taking one-second-a-day videos and trusting that we can find the blessing, if even only for that 1 second, in each and every day.

Abby’s unhooked today.  Doing well.  Bored but in good spirits.  Has 1 blurry eye from one of the treatments.  Wants to go home though.  There are only so many crafty things to do and Netflix videos watch while you’re stuck in the hospital room.  And, unfortunately this will be one of the shorter stays.  Bone Marrow Transplant will mean she is inpatient for at least 6 weeks and then in Denver still until day 100 or more.  One day at a time.

Here's our last 90 days.  Enjoy and thanks for journeying through this with us.


Anonymous said...

Praying for sure. I'll share one small piece of what I can only hope and pray will encourage. In the Gospel of St. Mark there are a couple glimpses into the relationship between the people and Christ that gives me great courage for you and especially Abby. Mark 2:3 reads And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. and chapter 8:22 reads: And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. Jesus heals both of these sick people because of the faith of their friends. Not on account of any personal faith. In this moment, we pray. May our faith give you hope. The Lord's blessing be upon you.

Unknown said...

Sending prayers of strength, healing, courage and faith. Although none can walk this journey physically with you,we can walk a prayer journey with and for you. You are on my mind and in my prayers daily.

Unknown said...

Sending Abby and all of you positive energy, strength, courage, and prayers for healing and peace.
Jennifer ramsey and family

Unknown said...

Sending Abby and all of you positive energy, strength, courage, and prayers for healing and peace.
Jennifer ramsey and family

Jeffrey T. Hare, CPA CISA CIA said...

In Jesus name, we pray for healing for Abby and for your presence to be felt in a strong way in Abby's spirit and in the spirits of the rest of the family. We pray for continued wisdom for those caring for Abby. We pray for strength for Mark and Tiffany.

Unknown said...

Love you guys and praying

Unknown said...

Shedding tears of emotion as I read of this whirlwind of change in your lives. Thank you for sharing this honest and heartfelt request for prayer. I am continuing to trust God with you and praying and asking God for Abby's healing.
Numbers 12:13 And Moses cried to the LORD, "O God, please heal her--please."

Unknown said...

Continued love and prayers for each of you, my heart & spirit weep with you.