As we moved into August of 2015, I had a feeling deep inside that we were heading for an even more challenging time. I had seen so many miracles, but every time there was a victory, another challenge soon came along. The roller coaster ride of emotions was picking up steam. Beth wasn’t able to do her chemo sessions as often, because her creatinine level was high. Creatinine measures the efficiency of the kidneys. Chemotherapy is very tough on the kidneys as they have to filter out the chemicals. If a patient’s kidneys shut down then the treatments are for naught. The question that was always in the back of our minds was, “how much are the tumors growing if beth wasn’t getting the treatment?”
My brother-in-law, George, and my sister, Margie Lou, brought my mom out for a visit the third week in August. My mom doesn’t like to fly anymore and since they live outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they had a long drive out. Beth was feeling ok (or at least was able to pretend she felt ok) for the first six days of their visit. In fact, Margie Lou went with us for Beth’s chemo session on Thursday, August 20th. Her creatinine level had fallen into a safe range so we could do the treatment (Miracle #7). I count that as a miracle, since it had been a long time since Beth’s creatinine level was in that range. I remember telling Margie that her prayers paid off. Margie Lou and my mom are “prayer warriors.” They are the first people I called whenever Beth faced a major challenge. The treatment that day went well and Beth felt pretty good afterwards.
Kirstyn’s childhood friend, Cynthia, was getting married the next night. They started playing soccer together at the age of six and were close friends through high school and college. Beth became very close with Cynthia’s mom, Sherrie. In fact, Beth worked part time at the heating company that Sherrie’s family runs and they treated us like family. Kirstyn had been looking forward to Cynthia’s wedding all year. Beth and I got all dressed up and I decided to have my brother in law, George, take a few pictures of us on the deck before we left. Beth looked absolutely beautiful, as you can see.
Kirstyn and Jeff were there so we took a picture of the four of us during the appetizer hour. I think of that night fondly every time I pass Beth’s closet and see that beautiful fuchsia, black, gold and white pattern. I was thankful that we were able to go to the wedding in spite of everything Beth had been through (miracle #8.)
We had a wonderful time catching up with many old friends. The ceremony was outside and it was a picture perfect summer day. I remember looking at Beth during the ceremony and thanking God that we were able to make another memory. During the meal Beth asked me to run to the car to get one of her pain pills. She was a warrior and was determined to stay for the duration of the reception. We even got to dance a little bit (we loved to dance). I knew Beth was in more pain then she let on, yet somehow, she managed to smile through it all. I had no idea at the time that night would be one of our last dates.
Some miracles are big and some are small. These may seem like small miracles but looking back they were really big for me. Get ready to read about some really big miracles in the next few weeks involving a cardinal, an angel, heaven and more. Thanks for reading these blogs about the love of my life, Elizabeth Ann Wheeler.
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