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Back from our hospital honeymoon

Our hospital honeymoon has officially come to an end. I would say that typically the ending of a "honeymoon" would be sad, but not this one. Brad was officially discharged from the hospital around 11:00 am EST on Thursday! If you're counting days like we are, you might realize our stay ended a couple days earlier than expected (hallelujah)! Why? Good question. Brad handled the chemo treatment so well that his white blood count rebounded exceptionally well and his physicians felt it was safe for him to go hang out at home until his next treatment begins.

Brad practically ran out of the hospital.

Since we have been home:

We had our first real date night since we said "i do." We got to stay in our home together. We ate breakfast, drank our morning coffee and got to feel like normal newlyweds!

Brad looks and feels 100% normal, even went to work on Friday. If you saw him on the street you'd never know what he was going through right now. The only indicator that he is "sick" are the number of meds he is taking, the diet we are following, the number of times I make him wash his hands and the extra precaution we are taking in large crowds.

Austin, Brad's brother, came to stay with us this weekend. Again, normal. We shot skeet, watched football and plan to eat a few good meals. All around really really great to be and feel normal.

To be quite honest, some of the "what's next" is a little unknown. We suspect his hair will start falling out soon because oddly enough his armpit hair seems to be making the first move. We know that we have an appointment and a PET scan with one of Brad's oncologists on Tuesday. The idea of this scan gives me some anxiety. Scan-xiety. This, we think, could show if the first half of the first round of treatment has made any impact on the tumor. After that, we don't know much else in great detail. We know that Arm B should be starting sometime next weekend because this coming Saturday (11/23/19) is the 21 day mark since we started Arm A. If you remember, each treatment cycle is 3 weeks long. Our hope is that we can maneuver this treatment around Thanksgiving, staying out of the hospital for our turkey and dressing. Reminder: Arm B will have to be inpatient at Moffitt Cancer Center.

I will say, although this journey is by no means a walk in the park and we realistically still have a really long road ahead, we have seen seen the Lord reveal himself through so many avenues and people. Our story has been shared beyond our comprehension, even connecting us with one couple who's story is so remarkably similar its mind boggling. We have been surrounded and supported by our dearest friends, but also by people we may have lost touch with over the years. And although we have only lived in St. Petersburg together for a few short months, the friends and co - workers we have here are a gift. They have cared for us (& Lincoln), cooked for us, supported us and celebrated even the tiniest of wins. We are just feeling really loved and extra thankful for all of our people both near and far.

These people have fed us, cared for Lincoln and made St. Pete feel like home.

Prayer requests: that as Brad's hair begins to fall out that he is able to cling to the fact that we are made in God's image and that with or without hair he is super hot! :) Pray for this next week, that he continues to feel great and as normal as possible. Also, please pray for Tuesday specifically. Pray for that PET scan, the scan-xiety that may creep in and the doctors visit. Lastly, please pray that timelines fall in our favor and we get to be home for Thanksgiving.

All our best and with lots of appreciation,

Natalie Whitmer


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