Two and a half weeks ago my mother-in-law, Belinda, went in for a CT scan to address nagging stomach pain that she's had for the last year.
One day later we sat in her doctor's office and heard the news that there was a large mass on her pancreas.
Three days after that we received news that blood work indicated that spots on her liver were tumors.
Three days later we sat in the office of the chief oncology surgeon at UNC Chapel Hill and listened as he explained to us that he thought it is most likely stage four pancreatic cancer.
One week ago today she underwent a biopsy of the spots on her liver that would confirm his suspicions.
And on Wednesday we received the news we didn't want to hear. The cancer has metastasized. It is stage 4. It is in her bloodstream or lymph nodes. It is terminal.
It's almost impossible to put into words what we are feeling. To explain what she means in our lives sounds too much like a eulogy. And I can't go there yet.
But her importance to us, her value, our love for her, is inestimable.
I've been asked over and over (we have amazing friends) what we need. Right now we need prayer. For wisdom for next steps. For peace when we want to scream. For comfort for Belinda's hurting body. For our kids who can't yet understand.