If you have been stopping by here for any length of time you know I am blessed with a very special relationship with my sisters Elna and Joie, and that each summer we spend at least one week together. We’ve been doing our “Girls’ Week” for at least the last 25 years (the only ‘misses’ that I can think of are when two of us had weddings the same summer, and when we were in Alaska). Traditionally we’ve gone to our sweet Vermont Cabin.
For the last several years, though, we’ve gathered at Joie’s house in central PA for that precious sister time.
We’ve learned over the years that it doesn’t matter WHERE we have Girls Week, just that we have it. Last summer, since I was fresh off my first cruise, I managed to convince my sisters that we should do a cruise sometime – and maybe it should be next summer (2018). We found an itinerary that worked for us, and soon after GW17 was over we had made our reservations for a New England/Canadian Maritime Cruise! Truth be told, we made the reservation knowing that we could cancel by March and still get a full refund. But still, we had one foot in!
Then, as so often happens, life changed in an instant. In January, Elna was diagnosed with cancer. Renal cancer that had metastasized to her pancreas. The best option was extensive abdominal surgery to remove the tumors, and although the recovery was slow at first, the procedure was deemed a success. The surgeon felt sure that her recovery would be complete by the time of our proposed cruise (end of June). Suddenly the cruise became The Cruise, and all systems were go!
But cancer is a sneaky beast, isn’t it? Follow-up CT scans showed several spots on her lung, and these could not be dealt with surgically. Next week she begins a course of immunotherapy (Opdivo), which will continue until they see results. Or not.
To say this is sobering news to all who love Elna is an understatement. But we know this is NOT news to the Great God we serve. We continue to pray for effective treatments, minimal side-effects, and complete healing. Will you join with us in this?
And we continue to finalize details for that Cruise! Oh how precious that week at sea has become!
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.