Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stephen Update: Most Difficult Decision of All

Here is today's update from Stephen's Dad

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The Most Difficult Decision of All
This decision has been coming slowly for a while now. After talking in the waiting room this morning with Stephen asleep in our arms, Amber and I decided it is time for us to take him home to Albuquerque in anticipation of Stephen's return to his home above.

We will do so at the end of his current course of radiation.

At this point the longer we stay here and treat him, the more time we actually loose. He longs to be home with his family, in his own bed, surrounded by the comfort that only it can give him. Aside from the radiation to his pelvis, the other current treatments, potential future treatments, and nasty side-effects are only hurting him and preventing him from the peace and comfort he deserves.

Once we take him home we might expect anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months with him. Unfortunately the same is true if we subject him to 4-6 more months of torturous treatment away from home. We get the same end result with far too much suffering involved.

More than that, the chances are extremely high that he would not make it through the rest of the treatments. Even our doctor has said that Stephen is not a good candidate for chemotherapy now. He's just too weak. He would almost surely miss out entirely on those last good days if we pushed forward from here. The fungal infection only complicates issues further. The end would come 1000 miles away from home and family in a sterile, clinical environment. We can not risk it.

From the beginning, we promised ourselves that we would NOT try to keep Stephen in this world for our own selves. We promised to NOT to treat him at any expense to his own quality of life and happiness We used to be able to hold onto the idea that there would be a time where he would go home free of cancer. We hoped that pain and suffering endured would pay off... even if for a short number of years... or months... We wished that Stephen would feel well enough to go back to school and enjoy the life he had before. We desired that he would have some portion of a good quality of life. The time for that has now clearly passed.

What is best for Stephen has changed. It is now apparent that no amount of chemotherapy, anti-fungal, or radiation will give us what we want: a healthy, happy Stephen. We have done our very best. We have fought fiercely, tirelessly. Because of this, we can have no regrets.

It is not time to say goodbye yet, but the time has now come to leave the rest entirely in the Lord's hands. We know we must do so with all the faith, courage, love, and hope we can muster.

We have taken many small steps of great faith throughout the last five months. This is the giant leap they have all lead to and prepared us for. We must have the confidence that God will catch us in his arms. I KNOW he will. I just hope each of us, my wife, my children, each person reading this right now who loves Stephen don't have to fall too far before we feel his saving embrace. God be with us.


10 people leaving some love!:

Megan Roberts said...

I've been following Stephen's story for the past four months after purchasing nest egg necklaces you made in his honor. With the necklaces you included his picture. I put it on my fridge. I stop and look at it every day and see his sweet little face every time I open my fridge door. He is such a strong boy and remains in my thoughts daily. He makes me squeeze my own son a bit harder and longer each day. I know he will find peace when he is able to go home and be surrounded by such a supportive family who obviously loves him dearly.

Wade H. said...

Oh, how my heart breaks for this family! I cry every time I read one of Stephen's updates. I hope and pray they can get him home and have a wonderful, peaceful time with him and their family. :(

AmieAnn said...

My heart breaks for all of you.. I have been reading your posts and updates from the beginning, celebrating and crying with you and I am so taken with your strength, courage and perseverence.
All of you will be in my thoughts and prayers throughout your struggles and beyond. I hope you can find comfort in our Lord.
Lots of hugs.

~Bekah said...

I'm praying for his comfort and beauty he will see in these next months as he's drawn closer to "home.". I can't imagine how his parents feel but I know they want him comfortable and happy and home is just that!
I gave the necklace I got to a dear friend and prayer warrior of mine and she prays for him daily!

Tausha said...

I seriously cry everytime I see a post about Stephen, I have no idea how the family is even coping. They are so strong and are showing such incredible faith in the lords plan. NOW, of all times I am so thankful for the plan of salvation - and that Stephen will be with his forever family, forever.

Adiarra said...

That is just absolutely heart breaking. I'm so sorry. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

Beck said...

I know this had to be one of the most difficult decisions they could and probably will ever make. Stephen and his family are in my heart and my prayers as they come to this part in their lives.

Dana said...

What a blessing that God has placed Stephen with such a wonderful, Christian family to love and support him on his journey to his Heavenly home. Prayers are being said for Stephen and your family.

tannis*elyse said...

What an amazing family Stephen has... such love and strength... I can only try to imagine that it would be hard not to be selfish... hold on to those final moments...

your strength to share your story is incredible. I wear my nest necklace everyday... and like I told Natalie after I ordered it.. I am CONSTANTLY telling Stephen's story to people all over Vancouver British Columbia, Canada! We are all thinking of you and your family... and a constant prayer flows for you all from ALL over the world..

Gina said...

HI Nat! For the Owl I like it the way it is. Or, if you really want to add color I say the Avocado or spray paint it metallic silver. For the purse I like white with embellishments especially for spring/summer. Some fabric flowers or a cute scarf tied on would be cute. For the painting I love the ideas people had of using the frame and turning it into an inspiration board, chalk board or jewelry holder! Great ideas!