The things we cannot see

As I type this, you are unable to see my broken heart.
You are unable to see the cloud of uncertainty and dread around me.
You are unable to see the waves of nausea I’ve been fighting since noon on Tuesday.
You are unable to see the peace I feel, despite it all.

Yesterday, in Winston-Salem, we received some answers about Chad’s ongoing battle with brain cancer.
They just weren’t the answers we were hoping for.

We had some time to kill before meeting with Dr. T.
Boredom and curiosity got the best of me.
I inserted the most recent MRI disk into my laptop.
I had to see.

After scanning through images, I found what I was looking for.
And I had to step outside.
There was an overwhelming sense of nausea that took over me. I couldn’t shake it for hours.

We saw Dr. T around noon.
He is always so pleasant, even when delivering unpleasant news.

Between March & now, Chad has developed several new brain tumors.
All of the new symptoms are clues to the health of his brain tissue; and it’s not good.
The new tumor growth is aggressive.

Dr. T rattled off a list of options, all starting with surgery slated for first thing Wednesday morning.
And then he mentioned that Chad would have to go back on chemo (Temodar); low dose — with no end date. That means he would be on chemo indefinitely.

I already knew Chad’s answer.
But I pushed him for surgery anyway.
A biopsy (to check the grade of the new tumors).
A new shunt (there is a ventricular area in the back of his head that is not draining due to the new tumor growth).
A revision to his right shunt tube (into his heart instead of his lung).
And a shunt patch to fix the leaky tube within his left chest wall.

I pushed.
And hard.

But Chad declined.
Just as I knew he would.

He is foregoing all treatment.

Chad does not have a significant amount of time.
Chad, physically, looks fine. It’s the things we cannot see. And that’s hard to reconcile, even for me.

Chad wants to see as many people as he possibly can; so if you would like to see him, please email me.
He has mentioned having a gathering of friends in the very near future, and I will share details as soon as they are available.

I will also be posting items here and there about things we may need in the future: meals, lawn care, etc.
Please keep an eye out for that if you would like to help.

Also, we want to specifically ask that no one treat our children any differently or speak about Chad’s condition around them.
Children have no real concept of time and we feel it’s best to keep our routine as normal as possible for as long as possible.
Carys is so smart and will figure things out quickly if people are acting differently around our family.

Thank you all so much for your endless support, prayers and positive thoughts.
Although this development hurts to hear, we are also relieved to have the answers we’ve sought for so long.
We plan to make the best of this Summer and spend a lot of time building memories for our children.

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25 Responses to The things we cannot see

  1. Lawpirate says:

    Oh Skye, my heart breaks for you and your family. I wish you any and all peace that can come your way with these difficult decisions that you must make.

  2. fran quan says:

    Skye,I am so sorry to hear this,I wish I could reach out and hug you,,God bless you and your family.
    Love Aunt Fran

  3. Rachael Thackston says:

    What's that song we learned in Sunday School? “I've got peace like a river, I've got peace like a river… peace like a river in my soul.” Love.

  4. Hsublett says:

    Skye please call me when you have time at309-9494.Kim and I are going to Duke Thurs July 1and if its ok with you I would like to stop by on the way back home.

  5. candace says:

    You are the strongest woman I know and I admire you so so very much. I pray this summer is awesome for you guys. I would like to help you in any way I can. PLEASE let me know if I can do anything and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

  6. Debi says:

    We will all keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Please call me if you need anything. I know we are a little ways away but you are family and we love you all. Debi

  7. Fam1026 says:

    I am so sorry to hear this, but I will continue to pray your and Chad's strength. Felicia

  8. Kim says:

    God bless and continue to give you both strength and courage, Skye. Through all, and I hope I would be able to remember this if I were in your spot, remember that there is no mistake in God's master plan.
    Kim Suitt

  9. Jennifer says:

    Skye. Please know that our prayers are with your family.

  10. Wendy Holmes says:

    You don't see my stomach in knots over concern for you and Chad. You don't see the tears in my eyes for someone I've never met, but I do hope you'll feel love in your heart from my prayers for you.

  11. Iris says:

    My heart goes out to you guys. I don't even know what to say right now, but I love you!

  12. Melsnc says:

    skye, 1st my heaart hurts with you. 2nd- i went thru alot of this with my mother years ago, but some things are probably the same. please, please call me if you need to talk. i may or may not have any answers, but sometime the only ones that do are unfortunately the ones who have already walked thru the fire. love and prayers, malenna orndorf. 910-483-3497

  13. Leanna Fann says:


    I realize that I haven't known your family very long, but all of you are so wonderful and have been nothing short of amazing to me. I was tempted not to read your blog because I knew what it concerned and knew that it would make me sad, but for some reason I was compelled to open it anyway. As I read my heart began to sink and not paying any attention to anything else around me I got caught up in the story. By the end I was not only saddened, but confused with tears collecting in my eyes and a few slipping there way down my face. Blaine and I talked last night about everything that was going on, but the reality of what your wonderful family is going through didn't hit me until I read this blog. Let me know if there is anything that I can do to help, no matter how big or small it may be. I love you all.

    Leanna Fann <3

  14. Lisa McGarry says:

    Skye, my heart breaks for you and your family. I know I am on the other side of the world to you but. I am sending you all my love.. prayers, and thoughts to you.
    xxx Lisa

  15. Savvygrace says:

    Skye… a million hugs for you and your girls.

  16. Maryava11 says:

    Skye I am thinking of you and praying for your family. I would love to see you all, it has been too long I hope peace and love surrounds you every single day

  17. Lisaloves31 says:

    Oh Skye…As I sit here and search my heart for something to say I am reminded of the scripture Jeremiah 29:11-12, For I know the plans I have for you saith the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.
    Please let me know if I can help you in anyway!!

    I love you guys!

  18. SilentClark says:

    Lindsay Webster sent me a link to your blog, and I thought I would leave a comment of support. You guys have an amazing attitude, one that sets an example for others. I'm currently on a 100 day Silent Strike to raise awareness about cancer because it had affected my family so deeply. We don't know each other but my heart is with your family. We, as humans, are all in this together.


  19. Angee3b says:

    Skye…..please know that I'm thinking of you.

  20. Melissa Williams says:

    I've been replaying our phone conversation from yesterday in my head and I must have read this blog 30 times trying to come up with the right words. I don't have them, they don't exist. We love you guys and are so very sorry to hear this news. We hope that we can make a few summer memories with you too. PLEASE let us know ANY way that we can help through this difficult time.

  21. Laura X Aponte says:

    You and Chad have always been the perfect couple and I admire the love, faith, and strength that you both have shown throughout this difficult time. If there is anything that we can do, please let us know. I know that we are not as close as we use to be, but your family is always in my thoughts and prayers.

  22. CoastieFoxes says:

    I am a 'stranger', a friend of Phaedra's, but I wanted to let you know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Our sweet Hadley fought a bran tumor for nearly 5 years. It's SUCH a battle. She left this world on 12/12/08…unafraid and excited for whatever awaited her. Her childlike faith helped ease my heart and reassure my faith.

    The road ahead is a difficult and full of love. Many thoughts for you as you journey this path.

  23. Vanessa Myers Weestrand says:

    Skye- I have no words other than my heart breaks for you and your family. Just know that I have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  24. Jennifer Averitt Dotson says:

    Skye, I have not seen you since we were teenagers @ Stedman Baptist. When I ran across you on Facebook I was quick to add you as my friend. Now I just want you to know, that as your friend I am only a phone call away, for ANYTHING. I have a huge lump in my throat just trying to imagine how you and your husband feel, needless to say I cannot even begin to understand. I have two daughters & they are my everything. I must say you and Chard are two of the most inspiring and positive people I have come across in a LONG time. I am going to send you my # in a private message, should you need ANYTHING (laundry done, grocery store run, babysitter, or just someone to talk to. I will be here. Your family is in my prayers. Stay positive, miracles happen everyday. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

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