Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weddings and A Memorial Service

By March Vinnie was off the wound vac and returned to work. He was referred to an oncologist sometime in March or early April. The oncologist investigated his health record and was alarmed. Vinnie options for treatment was going to be a challenge; he was limited in the types of chemo he could have. The fact that he had hepatitis could cause a problem if one type of chemo was used. The fact that he had only one kidney presented a problem if the other type chemo was used. The latest CT Scan showed no signs of cancer so Vinnie and I opted to do nothing. We didn't see any reason to make other parts of his body sick when there wasn't even something to be targeting - there was at that point, no sign of cancer.

Early in the year we also pulled together plans for my oldest daughter's wedding. (See Amy and her dad on the right.) We were busy putting flower arrangements together and sewing wildly. But in spite of Vinnie's good report from the doctor, he was still very tired and in a lot of pain. We just thought he was still recovering from the extensive surgery he'd had in January. After all, getting all those organs out is no small thing! He barely lasted through the wedding, and since we did the entire reception ourselves, all the decorations, and food had to be packed up and taken home. He was so exhausted! (Well, we all were!) But it was a lovely wedding.

We soon got the news that she was pregnant - with twins! It was pretty exciting to think of having twin grandchildren! But Amy's pregnancy was not an easy one. She had constant cramping and was often times in paralyzing pain. In spite of several visits to the doctor and even emergency rooms, no one could tell her what the pain was being caused from. By the time it became apparent why she was having the pain, it was too late. She had been taking Tylenol for the pain. Tylenol also brings down fevers. One morning she realized that she had a low grade fever so decided not to take Tylenol until she could see if the fever would rise without it. It did. She was off to the ER again. This time, because of the high temperature and a high white blood count, she was admitted. It was also discovered that she was in labor. At 17 weeks she would lose the babies if they were born so she was quickly given high doses of antibiotics. In spite of the antibiotics, her water broke and the babies were born around 1:30 in the morning. They were alive when they were born, wiggling in her hands, but they died while she was holding them. They never had a chance. I don't know if I was sadder for my daughter's loss or mine. It was one of the saddest days of my whole life, at least up that point.

Amy was allowed to keep the babies with her in the hospital. The staff was very sensitive to her need to have closure. We gave Logan and Lauren a memorial service that Thursday. The next day was rehearsal dinner for my youngest daughter's wedding! Oh my...what a month! Vinnie had another CT scan that week too - it came back "clean". There were no signs of cancer. We could move on to happier events. Looking back on it, I can see that God did not allow us to see the cancer that I believe was still in there lurking and growing in Vinnie somewhere. God wanted us to marry our daughter without thinking he would not live much longer. Now that is grace!

Shelly's rehearsal was actually the weekend before the weekend of her wedding. (I highly recommend this! It gives a lot more time to rest before the wedding and takes a lot of stress off of the two affairs when they are back to back!) Shelly was getting married on our 25th wedding anniversary. She would carry on the tradition of celebrating her marriage on our date. Because it was our 25th, we incorporated the event into Shelly's ceremony by renewing our vows first! We each wrote our own vows to each other and kept it a secret. Only Shelly and our pastor knew what we each had written! We each said something in our vows about keeping our vows for as long as the Lord would allow us to remain together. I couldn't help but wonder if Vinnie felt like I did, that our time wasn't going to be much longer but I didn't ask him. I never asked him. In spite of the recent good diagnosis, I just sensed he knew too. I was more right than I could have imagined I'd be.

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