Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Father in law

This past Thursday we got some heart breaking health news about my father in law (Russ).

My in laws are on a mission in Malaysia...they have been there since October about 7 months. I guess since December his back has been hurting him and he just thought it was nothing so ignored it thinking it would go away. My mother in law (Debbie) finally made him go to the Dr. Monday, May 11th 2009. Little did they know what they were going to be told.

He has cancer! It is in one of his kidneys, touching his pancreas, in his spleen, his lungs and they think it is in his back muscles too. They say it is a very aggressive cancer.

We got the phone call Thursday morning from Kent's sister Sheri. Kent was already gone to work. Sheri called him and told him the news. He was blind sided with the news of course. Sheri talked to me shortly after as I was at home and just sending the boys out the door to school. Sheri and I were crying as we talked about everything...oh, how quickly life can change! I called Kent once I hung up with Sheri and he was on his way home. He too of course was crying and shaken up.

We all were packing to get ready for our long weekend down in Rexburg Idaho....we were to be leaving that afternoon. We were going down along with Kent's other siblings and there families. All of them except for his brother Mike and his family were going to be there. We all decided to still go so we could all be together when we got the other phone call about whether it was operable & if they were coming home or staying there for treatment etc.

Telling our boys about their Papa was very hard. How do you tell an 11 year old and a 8 year old something like this? They adore their Papa! We had just picked them up early from school Thursday so we could head down to Rexburg. It was obvious something was wrong as Kent and I had puffy eyes. Cole asked what was going on as he got in the truck and looked at us. Tyson quickly looked at me and realized something was up as well. We were quiet as we gathered our thoughts and then Kent told them their Papa was very sick and might be coming home. The boys sat there quietly and then Cole said, "sick meaning what...cancer?" Kent looked at me shocked and I was shocked as well. We said yes and that it was really bad. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Tyson slouch over. I looked at him and saw that he was visibly shaking and crying. He had layed his head on Brynley's car seat and cried and cried. Bryn kept patting his was so tender! I rubbed his back and cried along with him. Tyson looked at me and said, "I don't want my Papa to die, tell Heavenly Father not to take him from us." That was hard to hear Tyson say. So we then talked about fasting and how the whole family (Kent's sibling and many other relatives) were all going to fast on Friday. The boys liked this idea and were excited to do it. And they did it! I was so proud of them for not complaining. It was hard to fast as we were travelling, but at the same time it wasn't as it was for such a great purpose.

Once everyone got to Rexburg (everyone meaning....Sheri and her family, Niki and her family, Jeff and family, Us and Gary and his family live in Rexburg) we went to a restaurant to eat dinner. We were thankfully put into a back room where we could shut the doors. Kent stood and said a few words and then he said a prayer to close our fast all together. We wiped our tears and went and ate. It was so amazing to be all together like this and doing all of this together as a family. We were all pretty close to begin with, but this has definitely made everyone that much closer.

I have to say the Saturday phone call we received from Debbie while in Rexburg was a tough one for all of us. Lot's of tears and hugs! It is never easy when you get news you don't want to here. BUT it so matters on how you choose to deal with it. It is what it is, so we just need to be move forward and be there for each other the best we can. We are all trying to stay optimistic and we will wait and see what happens when he comes home and see what can be done here.

I am SO thankful for the power of prayer and for the priesthood that my husband holds. It has helped bring some peace to our hearts and minds. It doesn't change anything, but it sure helps us stay focused on what is important. It has been very eye opening to say the least at how God's hand has been in all of this thus far.

They are coming home and will arrive late Thursday evening. We are very anxious to see them! And we can't wait to wrap our arms around them and help with whatever we can.


cheetah said...

Oh Barb! I am so sorry to hear that. How hard! How Sad! I'm just sitting hear tearing up as I read it. So wonderful that you all love and adore him so much, and so wonderful that he is on a mission. Hold on tight!:)

The Caballero's said...

Barb - I cant even think of words to express to you. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and all the Stanford family. Please keep us posted on how they are doing.

Janay said...

I am sure this was hard to even post. Again, we are praying for the family and hope that his body can fight it off. We love you.

Claudia and Glenn Walker said...

Barb - we are going to be praying for you and for him too. Let's have faith that he will be strong enough to fight it.
love you girl

Lynn said...

Oh Barb. Thanks for sharing this. I don't know why I didn't make the connection before, but I did not realize that Russ was your father in law.

I was on a stake visit last Sunday in the Chestermere Ward, when the announcement was made over the pulpit about your FIL's illness. Everyone was shocked. We are keeping him in all our prayers. Just know that MANY MANY people love him and Debbie and we are all praying for your family at this time. Our hearts are with you.

Erica said...

Russ has been a patient at our dental office for years and always seemed like such a kind man. I echo the sentiments of the previous comments and will keep him and your whole family in my prayers. Hugs from here-E