Quietly serving, unnoticed.

This will not be a news flash, but I have cancer. Therefore, unfortunately, I get all of the attention. How are you feeling? What can I do for you? What would you like to eat? People come and visit me. Many people, so many of you, pray for me, fast for me, hope for a miracle that my cancer will go away. Though I've never liked attention, I'm so appreciative of everything everyone has done. It's truly a blessing to be on the receiving end of so much Christ-like service.

Many of you pray for our entire family, including Alicia. But I wanted to share in more detail the nearly perfect and unending service she provides to me each day. She doesn't get the attention I get, nor would she want it. But some occasional recognition is good for anyone.

Back in Boulder, when we thought I just had mold illness, and we decided to move back to CA, she took on 90% of the workload to pack up our things, manage the kids, find temporary housing in CO, etc. Even at this point, I was able to help very little. Not only is this a big chore, emotionally, it was difficult. We thought that we finally settled in a small practice in Boulder, near family, a place to stay once and for all. When would we get a break? That alone would bring most people down. Not Alicia.

Fortunately back in CA, we had plenty of support from family and friends, giving Alicia a brief break before things really got serious.

Upon getting my diagnosis, Alicia hit the books, studying for dozens of hours looking at treatment options, talking with hospitals, doctors, etc. As you know, we're here in Europe, a decision I ultimately made. She and I both feel the treatment offered here, though far away, will give me the best chance to overcome the cancer. I so appreciate all of her effort on the medical side.

A major downside of being here is eliminating support from family and friends. Even though Alicia's dad is here with us (he deserves credit too for his tremendous support), the burden of caring for me rests more squarely with Alicia.

Alicia handled the packing for this trip, ordering various items and did a great job. Traveling to Europe is difficult, more so with someone like me who can hardly do a thing. She was able to sit next to me in first class which was a tremendous blessing. She attended to my every need: food, water, fan, blanket, etc. She was always there.

Even in the airport in Amsterdam, then in Budapest, she continued to serve, no complaints.

Obviously she was also jet-lagged when we arrived, but put me first, making sure I was comfortable in the taxi, took bags up to our apartment, allowing me to lie down and rest.

As mentioned, the treatments are quite draining for me. Sleep has been tough. Alicia makes me food, brings pillows, shops and otherwise looks to make me comfortable.

Among all of the usual tasks, she manages my supplements, which includes giving me a twice daily shot in the shoulder. I have a feeling she relishes that one. ;) She's also about to start a 3x/week shot in my thigh. For an amateur, her shots generally are really good.

At night, she "tucks me in." She prepares my bed, will read scriptures or something inspirational. She often rubs my back until I'm asleep. It's a special time for me--I kind of feel like a small child might feel.

Listing all that she does might make it seem like a long list of small tasks. But it means so much to me. I couldn't do this without her. She's human, and gets grumpy especially at 2am, but I don't mind.

In addition to all that she's doing, there are many things she isn't doing, that she loves. She loves talking to her friends, which she largely can't do over in Europe and the time zone. She loves spending time with the kids, also limited. She loves birth and her business, which she now spends very little time doing. She loves sleep, something that isn't coming easy to her either. She and I don't spend carefree time together. She is sacrificing a lot to be here with me.

I've always loved and appreciated her. All who know her have seen her wonderful, nurturing traits. I'm blessed beyond words to have her for my companion, especially at this time. It often brings me to tears, to be so fortunate. She's in every single one of my prayers. Please continue to pray for our family, including Alicia by name. She's very strong, but this diagnosis and experience has stretched her and I way beyond anything we could've imagined. We trust in God's plan for us, though sometimes, the task seems too daunting.

Alicia is an earthly angel. What would the world be like if more of us were like her?

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