Ask the Lanfords…

I realized I dropped a shocker Tuesday.
I am still in shock at times myself, and I have had nearly 3 years to prepare myself for the news we received.

So to answer the first question many people have; No, it doesn’t make it easier to hear when you’ve had time to “prepare.”
I don’t think it’s easier to handle or cope with; you’re just not as blindsided I suppose.
We knew it was coming. Eventually.
I just didn’t think that day would be Tuesday.

I’ve received so many emails, phone calls, texts — thank you so much for your outpouring of love and concern for our family.
We are so lucky to have each of you in our lives.

There are so many questions lingering out there. And I do have some answers. Maybe not all; but some.
I’m sure I’ll end up doing a few of these Q&A posts in the future as the goal of our family blog is to preserve our memories through this journey — but to also offer help to any other families that may be in a similar situation.
So, yes I will publicly answer questions. I do not mind. It makes me feel like I am doing something other than twiddling my thumbs.

How much time does Chad actually have?
We do have an anticipated timeline, but we are not sharing that publicly.
Guessing the length of time a person has left is just that — an educated guess. It’s not exact.
We don’t feel that the quantity of time is necessarily important; but we do realize that we just need to do things a bit more quickly than we had planned. Which doesn’t seem to be a bad general rule. If you want to do something, why wait?
If it turns out we have “extra” time…well, hey, that’s a gift I will willingly accept.

But I just saw Chad. He doesn’t look sick. Maybe the doctors are wrong?

Maybe they are.
But I can tell you that I’ve been researching the stages of brain cancer for a few years.
And I can physically see the gradual progression of symptoms.
I saw the scan. Which, by the way, Chad wants to share with you soon.
We specifically asked Dr. T about the symptoms we’ll face and his best educated guess (again, this is not an exact science) is that Chad’s symptoms will not get a whole lot worse.
He will start having more difficulty moving around. And then will get more & more tired. He may or may not start saying strange things out of the blue.
His headache shouldn’t get any worse and he shouldn’t develop any kind of generalized pain.

What do you need? How can I help?
I’m sure I will need lots of things. But as of this moment, I don’t know what those are, really.
I am planning several short trips for our family for this Summer. If you would like to help me with that, please email me.
I will need assistance with meals and other various things later, but that’s not right now.
I will, in time, start a list of things I might need to free up my time and allow me to focus solely on Chad & the girls.
I find it difficult to accept & ask for help, but I am trying very hard to let go of that so I can enjoy our family time.

What about a second opinion? You should get one of those.
When Chad made this decision, he did it with all available information.
Since this journey began, we have sought the opinion of  three of the best neurosurgeons on the East Coast.
We have a wonderful and competent medical team.
And we are at peace with our decision.
We do not want any further tests.
We do not want to torture ourselves by constantly waiting for test results.
We do not want to dictate Chad’s medical history to any more medical professionals.
We do not want to be guinea pigs in a “try this and see if it works” approach, because that’s all that is left.
We do not want to talk to our daughters from a hospital room telephone any more, fighting back tears because they are crying and repeating “we miss you, when are you coming home, did the doctor fix daddy’s head yet?”.
We want to tuck them into bed each night and kiss their sweaty little heads, read bedtime stories and snuggle. And answer their tough questions head-on.

No matter our decision, we would second guess ourselves…just as we’ve been doing for nearly three years.
There comes a time when quality wins out over quantity and this is that time.

What are you doing to preserve Chad’s memory to the girls?
We have a lot of plans and I have a list a mile long. I’m constantly checking things off that list, and it’s only been a few days.
Our girls will always know exactly who Chad is. It’s my mission.

What are your plans for the Summer?
We are going, seeing & doing.
This is the Ultimate Summer.
And the girls have no idea what is coming! They are going to think we won the lottery or something.
Their little faces are going to be frozen into smiles for a good, long time. And I am perfectly okay with that!

Thanks for the support. Really.
It means more than you will know.
Keep an eye out for the friends gathering, and other various things to be posted.

Have a happy, safe & memorable 4th of July weekend!

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8 Responses to Ask the Lanfords…

  1. Verna Wentz says:

    Skye, you do not know me but I love you and your family. My husband is a DOT co-worker of your Chad (he is still much the presence there so I will not use past tense). I want you to know that your entire family stay in our daily prayers. But today I write you for the first time to tell you of a resource that I learned about recently while attending a caregivers conference. The speaker recommended to build a network of resources. It is a way to let people know what you need and for them to “sign up” to assist in various tasks from travel assistance, grocery shopping, meals, pharmacy pick ups, errands, lawn care, etc. You are obviously a techie so you may already be aware of this resource but just in case, I thought I would pass this along to you.

    I think the plan that you and Chad have made is wise, brave, and quite Biblical, “This is the DAY that the Lord has made; let us REJOICE and BE GLAD in it.” Psalm 118:24

  2. Terri says:

    Syke,I've e-mailed you once before. I use to work w/ your Mom in Central Permitting until she left for another position. I just wanted to say that I am so glad your girls have each other. I grew up as an only child.I lost my Dad when I was fourteen.I know that's a lot older than your daughters are,but I wanted to say it would have been so comforting to have a sister to lean on at a time like that. As the girls grow up,they will be able to talk and comfort one another and share memories of Dad. That is such a blessing!

    Being the only child is fine, but during dark times I can imagine there is nothing like a Sister. God Bless.

  3. Amy Clark says:

    We wish you a great holiday weekend, and send lots of love. It sound like you've got it all together. I'm so glad you have peace. Just let us know ANYTHING you need. We look forward to seeing you all at Emma's B-Day party! Love , Amy and Chris

  4. Cherieg1960 says:

    Skye anything you need please contact me, I am not working right now and will help you out any way I can, I will be visiting my daughter from August 14 thru the 29th other than that I am yours, keep strong and god bless

  5. Rachael Thackston says:

    🙂 Well then. If for some reason there are any special trips to Atlanta (ha ha) planned – let me know. Also – if you need to shed any upcoming design work – I can be your “backup” if you need one. Love.

  6. Christa Townley says:

    Skye- I know how hard it is to ask and accept help, but when you are ready please let me know. I will be happy to provide meals, grocery shopping, lawn care, child care, carpool pickup, etc., whatever you determine will help you/the family most.
    You have shown such courage through all of this, and have been such a wonderful role model for your children, family and friends. Your experiences will surely help someone else's/their family enduring what you are currently. You have been so forthcoming via your blog which isn't always easy to share such personal events.
    I hope that it provides a little comfort to know that people are thinking/praying for all of you..

  7. JenW0204 says:

    I know you don't know me that well. I graduated from Cape Fear after you. However, I have been reading your blog since a common friend recommended it on Facebook. I have cried reading your last few posts. My heart goes out to your family. Just know there are many people praying and thinking of you all.
    Jennifer (Knight) Webster

  8. Skye Lanford says:

    Thank you, Verna! I will check that out!

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