I logged into Facebook a few minutes ago and saw the most amazing thing:
Do you see that? Do you see who "liked" my status? Mark Schofield and Rachel Gardner Schofield. AKA: Mark Schofield and 37 others.
Mark's awake and coherent enough to be surfing FB and randomly liking statuses. (Too bad I was not as coherent when I posted this status on Wednesday. Somebody missed a comma. #GrammarFail.)
This week has been crazy.
I got a phone call from my cousin Julie around 9:30 Monday night. She'd been online and our aunt Debbie had sent her a FB message that Mark, our cousin Rachel's husband, had been admitted to the hospital that afternoon. Preliminary tests had shown "a growth" in his brain. (A growth that later turned out to be a tumor. Insert curse words here.)
By the time I got off the phone with Julie Monday night, it was too late to call my mom. So, I called my mom first thing Tuesday morning and we talked and cried as I drove myself to work. She had talked to Deb the day before, so she had more information than Julie had been able to give me, and she had been sitting on a series of emails that she wanted to forward to me. (She knew I'd want to know - I love Mark - but she didn't know what my schedule was like and she hadn't wanted to call and give me the news when there was a chance that I'd be on the road when she called. ... How cute is my mom? Like I don't treat my car like my own personal office and conduct my most important conversations on the telephone (this is what happens when you live alone, you have an hour-a-day commute and most of your family lives hundreds of miles away), and like I haven't had approximately 723 conversations about cancer at 70 mph in the last three years. But still. She didn't want me to have a shock while I was behind the wheel. She's adorable and I love her.)
When I got to work Tuesday morning, I had three emails sitting in my inbox, giving a brief explanation of what had happened in Rachel and Mark's life on Monday. I texted my aunt, my cousin Rachel, emailed my mom and settled in for a day of wondering what was happening in Utah.
People at work kept asking me if anything was wrong. (I don't usually check my phone, my email AND Facebook every five minutes while I'm on the clock, looking for an update. Any update.) I explained that I'd just found out that my cousin's husband had what looked to be a brain tumor... and I got a bunch of blank stares. (It turns out not everyone knows their cousins' spouses' names, let alone would be on a Cousin Call Tree to have gotten a call from a mutual cousin as soon as word hit the street that something was wrong with someone. ... Those poor people are missing out. Cousins (esp those with a capital C) are awesome.)
This week has consisted of checking my phone at all moments of the day, just to make sure I haven't missed an incoming call or text, checking my email before I go to bed (to see if anything's come in from my aunt/uncle, or any cousins) and waking up and checking it again. And then checking Rachel's blog to see what else there is out there.
It turns out that I'm an internet junkie. I've been an absolute FIEND for information this week, and I'm SO grateful that my aunt and my cousin have been writing as much as they have been. It's been awesome to be on the receiving end of information. Granted, it's not all information that I am in love with... but I'm grateful to have it. I'm grateful for technology, for how quickly information can spread. And I'm grateful for the relationships I have with these incredible people, for the opportunity that I have to share this experience with them, albeit from hundreds of miles away and on the outskirts of a huge extended family.
This is Mark, Rachel and their kids.
Isn't that a beautiful family? ... I love them!
I'm so grateful that Mark's doing as well as he is, that Rachel was able to get him in to the ER as quickly as she did, and that their doctors were able to get him into surgery within 48 hours.
I won't lie, I'm a little jealous that Mark was able to EAT the same day he had surgery. (I've always had to subsist on ice chips for, like, five days - and then, when I can eat, I can barely get anything down. For weeks.) But hey, if a kid has to have brain surgery, the least the universe can give back is a pan of brownies.
I wish I could give you a link to Rach's blog, but she's private (not a scandalously publicly over-sharer, like myself). I wish you could read what she has written, the details that she's remembered - and shared. I wish you could hear her courage and her faith. I wish you could see how brave she is.
She is amazing. Mark is amazing. This has been hard - and it's going to stay hard for a while - but there's no part of me that doubts that their little family is going to be okay.
Cancer sucks, and I hate its guts... but man alive, I love my cousins! So. Freaking. Much.