Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Beginning of Our Journey

Over the past five weeks my husband, Eric and I have seen several very dark days since learning the devastating news of his illness. We debated whether or not we wanted to share our innermost thoughts, and after discussing it, we have encouraged each other to open ourselves up. We both tend to be private about our personal feelings and sometimes feel uncomfortable speaking outside of our comfort zone. However we feel the time is right to share this with our family and friends.

The love of my life, Eric has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Advanced Cirrhosis, End-stage Liver Disease on January 26, 2009.

I hope you will take the time to read his latest blog entry over at support him in this. I greatly admire his courageous spirit and unfailing humor.

To say it has been an emotional rollercoaster dealing with these feelings is a gross understatement. There aren’t adequate words to express the depths of our worst fears and the emotional upheavals that we’ve recently experienced. When the one you deeply love is suffering, you also feel the agonizing pain they are going through yourself.

He was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit listed in critical condition, and we were told by four specialists the extent of his disease, and the dismal prognosis that he would need to have a liver transplant immediately in order to survive. We were stunned this was happening now after he had been sober for several months. I knew immediately our happy lives as we knew it no longer existed. We were stepping off into unknown territories.

I held his hand that night in the ICU and assured him that we would get through this illness together, and I reminded him of our solemn promises we spoke at our wedding ceremony of ‘in sickness and in health for better or for worse ‘17 months ago, we made sacred vows not only to each other but to God as well, and we intend to honor this commitment regardless of the situation.

Later that night after I left the hospital, I came home and immediately fell to my knees beside our bed praying for my critically sick husband asking for God’s mercy, and a miraculous healing for him if it be His will. My faith was the only thing that was sustaining me as I poured my broken heart out to God. Although my mind was not able to form the words to speak I knew that those shed tears were an unspoken language that only He could understand and I know He heard my prayers.

As I lay on the carpet, it was as if I felt the Lord comforting me and saying that I could lay my head on his chest and to release all of my burdens, and tears to Him. I sobbed for hours as I was so deeply distraught as this horrible sickness wasn't in my plans for our lives.

I opened my Bible to seek guidance and immediately felt led to read Jeremiah 29:11-14

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.

It was no coincidence I turned to that page and read those scriptures. Those few verses spoke directly to my heart, and I felt comforted by them. It was exactly what I needed to read. I kept repeating them over in my head, and I realized that God wasn’t going to fail us. He had just given me more hope. This disease was no surprise to Him. He knew the plans for our lives long before we were even born and He would see us through this. I held on to His written promises right then, and I do even more so today.

It has been heartbreaking to see the other half of my heart become so physically ill, and knowing that I am helpless and powerless over his illness. I realize the most important thing I can do is continue to love and support Eric and pray for him.

We have had good days with shared laughter and bad days filled with lots of tears lately as its obvious his illness is rapidly progressing. Eric is now no longer allowed to drive as his physician has revoked his driving privileges due to some serious complications associated with the disease.

Yesterday his Hepatologist explained that he is now classified with a Child-Pugh score C, which is very disheartening to be told. This is weighing heavily on our minds; our prayers are that he can receive a liver transplant in time. You can read more about this score on the Internet.

I ask that you will please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Writing this entry has been very difficult, and we felt that we owed it to our family and friends to let you know the truth. We don't know what tomorrow holds for us, but we know that we have to lean on a Power that is greater than ourselves, and through our faith, love and support that surrounds us we can get through these terribly difficult times together.

No matter what the outcome we know we have a never ending love story and God has a plan for us and we trust Him.


  1. Great job on the blog and the post, Debi. What you and Eric are doing is so needed and I'm proud of you both!

    Love you,

  2. Brilliant entry, Debi. I applaud you in writing what your heart feels, alongside whatever the daily reality brings for both you and Eric.

    We love you. and through this communication, are with you on this journey-come what may.

    Love and Hugs,

    Annabel, Richard and "Beanie".

  3. I knew of this, of course, but had to come by to show my support of you both. Keep it up, and you know I'll be following along.

    Love the pretty layout too!