Eight years ago we decided to get away somewhere warm for our anniversary. It was the first time we left our children for more than a day. Tara basked for days in the sun while while I sought shade or the dark, cool, air conditioned room. But together the longing grew to be back home.
As planned, we flew back to Minneapolis and had arranged a shuttle to Rochester. Our flight was slightly behind schedule and after landing, while still on the runway, I called the shuttle to let them know we would still be on time, but just barely. But when we arrived at the shuttle, they told us they had filled our spot. There was now only room for one of us. In my selfish, wanting-desperately-to-be-home state, I may have crossed the line. To make a very long story short, it took a policeman to physically pull me off of the overloaded van, on which I insisted I was going to get home. Tara closed her eyes and gently shook her head in disgust, silently pleaded for me to stop, and wished to disown me for that half of an hour.
Still to this day, Tara and I get Grumpy (capital G intended) when we want to be home but can’t. Home is not just our 4 walls and a roof, it is the 7 of us together under our 4 walls and a roof. It is a safe haven, a place of rest, peace, and venerability. It is the place where children are loved and trained; a wife and mother is loved, cherished and honored; a husband and father is loved and respected. It is a place filled with music; sung and played by both children and parents. It is a place where we now battle fear. It is a place where we have stared death in the face, realizing it has no sting or no bite, and will have no victory. Here, we have experienced the peace of God in the midst of it all. This place is good. This is home.
Today Tara arrived home, again, seven days after her first arrival. Nothing was going to stop her from getting here. Her medical team had set some milestones throughout the last few days that would determine if they would let her go. She barely made it, but this time the seats were still available for the ride home. No policeman could have pulled her out of the shuttle. She was going to be home.
Now we need to make sure she stays hydrated. We have nausea medicine that will be critical to keep her upright. I even have some shots to give her (my first shots ever) and I have no idea what they are for. Tara will try to get to one of Esther’s basketball games tomorrow. It will be hard not to overdo it but therein lies another of my jobs. Please pray that we can keep her out of the hospital. Chemotherapy was postponed yesterday and today because of nausea. It is scheduled now for Tuesday. Hopefully this next dose won’t knock her down again like the first. But if that means it is working, then I guess we’ll take whatever.
Keep writing. We will keep praying. Great to be home and yes, it’s a big job to keep a good woman down as to not over do it! Tara, you are a wise woman with a Godly heart- I know you’ll know your limit and I am praying for you in this too. It must be doing something good- the chemo! Praying for all of you!! This is quite the journey to be on- God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Asking and TRUSTING GOD for a miraculous healing.
Hi Tara and Jay,
I’m praying that Tara can be comforted at home while her treatment continues and that the anti-nausea drugs do their job! You’ve been on our hearts ever since we heard the news from fb.
Much much love from the Dodds,
Abigail (Anderson) Dodds
Thanks for sharing this story. You have me in tears… laughing that is. Truly? A police officer? That’s bold of you. We continue to pray for all of you and are glad to hear that things are moving forward. Thanks for your raw honesty in these posts. It encourages us to refocus, and keep focused, on the important things in life.
Well,we are learning all sorts of things about you JAY! This story created a great visual with that policeman pulling you off of the van and all the other citizens of Rochester alongside Mayo Clinic visitors watching the entire spectacle. Funny!
Tara, You can do this! You brave woman. Keep going! Remember you are not alone and that we are all cheering you on. We are praying for full recovery. Let us know your needs. Keep eating. And drinking. Power through girl!
You are continued in our Thoughts and Prayers and are dearly Loved
Jason, Stacie and Harmon
So appreciate being able to read about Tara’s progress. I have tried many times to write and have felt that anything I could say was so “tiny” ……. But, today, I feel I want to encourage you concerning the setbacks! They happen and they are SO scary. I remember sobbing to God to “please save me, I want to live!” And He did! I hung onto Proverbs 3:5-6 for all I was worth……because my brain would try to convince me of all sorts of outrageous (and not so outrageous) possibilities. Anyway, nearly 28 years later, I’m here to tell you that our God IS a God of miracles. I did have to return to hospital a number of times during the chemo (and radiotherapy) but I’m just as certain that determination to “get out of there” and get home, was the strongest weapon in my “human” weapons bag…….we are praying and praying…….take care and love to you all.
I know that feeling so well. I like going on vacation, but once it’s over, just drop me at my house instantly, no long trip back. So glad to hear that Tara is home again. I continue to pray for you all.
Jay – you are a riot. I would have thought about doing what you did, but probably would not have carried through. It gave me lots to laugh about. I miss you both so much and look forward to seeing Tara one of these days. It continues to be my prayer that the God of all comfort, our Jehovah Jirah is there with you all the time. I know He is, and I know you know as well. Keep writing. Your stories keep me praying and keep me humble. How rich a faith in Christ you have. If you ever have a day when you are struggling, just call once of us and ask us to pray right then for you. If you call me when I’m at work, I’ll stop what I’m doing and pray with you. If I’m with my kids, I’ll put you on speaker and let them pray with us. They feel like they know you too, as we pray for Tara’s healing each day during morning devotions. Everyone at Meadow Park is praying and the people at Church of the Savior, where the day care is located, are also. It’s wonderful to see all of God’s people draw together to do battle for your family. God, we pray for Tara, that you would keep her hydrated and upright. Give her strength for she needs to do and the good sense to quit when she needs to rest. Help the medicine do the job of combatting the nausea so she can keep fluids and food down. Help the chemo kill the cancer cells, so she can celebrate another 50 years with her family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Tara and Jay,
Reading your journal for the first time today, I teared up knowing some of the pain Tara, you and all your care givers are going through. My daughter spent 6 months at the U fighting Luekemia, now in remission she just celebrated 6 months being cancer free. Yeah!
You, your family, and friends are now on the wild emotional rollercoaster of a cancer battle also, and it seems you too are finding some of the blessings while at the Top of the ride. Its very hard to equate anything good coming out of the ups and downs, my daughter is experiencing, but I to have found out how important the little things are that cost no money. As you so eloquently wrote – money and trips and cars and THINGS have a different much lower value then they did a year ago for me. Being a practicing workaholic I can thank god that B4 I died I learned that the simple times just spent sitting in her hospital room, or watching my 3 grandgirls are so much more rewarding then getting out another Estimate, making a sale, or completing another task from the business list that never ends.
I pray that your and Taras low points are short lived and the high points are cherished by all who are close to you.
I say to all friends of Tara and her family, your support through the valleys of the battle are so appreciated, I cannot imagine folks who would have to ride with few loved ones – the thought tears me up as I type. I look forward to attending My daughters survival group each week, hearing survival successes, the ups, and downs of other cancer patients recoveries and their caregivers relieve the sense of being alone and no one understanding how rough the ride is. I encourage you to seek a group out when your health allows.
My Best to you Tara, Jay and Family
may your ride back to your new normal be positive, full of love and laughter, and as short as possible –
My Daughters Journey
It is so hard to hear of your daily struggles without the desire to run to your family and hold you in my arms. I am comforted to know that God’s arms are big enough for all of you at the same time, and all of those who are suffering along with you. Praise God for that comfort and His faithfulness in providing just the right measure of strength, long-suffering and and faith needed to see you each day. We are praying for just that.