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Few Words and Emotions

I have few words and many emotions.  Zine has few words and few emotions right now.

Appointment with MS Doctor

As we headed to MS doctor on Wednesday, we almost felt that repeating chemo might be in our future.  As I shared in my last post, we have seen regression in Zine’s abilities.   If there is one thing we have learned through the years, it has felt that Dr. L is always fighting a battle.  If there is a regression, he develops a battle plan and wages war on the regression.  Sometimes when we have been exhausted and try to yell “cease fire,” he has always encouraged us to continue fighting with this drug or that drug.  This chemo or that chemo.

This visit was different.  There was no battle plan.  Instead, there was this question, “How is your faith?”  What?  This is not church!  You are our doctor, not our pastor!  Dr. L must surely be confused.  After about a 30 minute discussion on the importance of our faith and the importance of teaching our children to trust God and place their concerns and fears at the feet of Jesus, I thought maybe Dr. L didn’t hear what we were saying.

I HAD to ask the question, for my peace of mind.  I needed to know that Dr. L knew where Zine was in his progression of MS.  With sad, pleading eyes, I asked, “Dr. L do you see a regression in Zine?” His reply was simply a nod of his head and a softly spoken, “Yes.”  For a minute, there was a frantic feeling that wanted to scream, “then do something to fix this!!!!”  The reality was, Dr. L had already told us there was nothing we could do at this time to fix this.  Therefore, our faith was of utmost importance.

My ears did not want to hear, and my heart did not want to believe.  For eight years, we have been in the battle of our life.  Now, there are no bombs to drop, no missiles to fire, only a resolution that the battle has changed directions. Instead of battling a rampant disease, we manage symptoms, trust in Jesus, and know that His grace is sufficient and His strength will remain perfect in our weakness.

In the future, could that change?  Could we go back to war with MS?  I assume it’s possible, but as of right now, there is not another drug or another chemo treatment.

A Foot Concern

However, we couldn’t camp out here and dwell on these things because of you know…life.  At the doctor’s appointment, I asked Dr. L to look at Zine’s foot.  There is a place I have been watching on his foot for a while now.  It has been bothering me, but when I would say it’s bothering me Zine would reply, “Well don’t look at it!”  However, it hasn’t gone away, and it has gotten worse.  The most laid-back doctor in the world all of a sudden became not so laid back.  He was extremely concerned about Zine’s foot.  He didn’t know for sure what it was, but he did NOT like it.  His concern was Zine had some form of skin cancer.

So today, we made a trip to our primary care doctor for what our next step should be.  Was it some weird skin cancer?  Was it lack of circulation?  What was wrong?

The first thing the doctor said, “How long has his foot looked like this?”  I felt reprimanded for allowing it to go so long.  Maybe I let it go too long.  Maybe it doesn’t matter. It was determined that it was not any weird skin cancer.  However, I think a skin cancer might have been the easier scenario.

Zine is being referred to a vascular doctor for evaluation.  However, we were prepared that there was possibly nothing that could be done.  We are hopeful that a vascular doctor will have another answer. However, if there is nothing that can be done, then eventually the skin and soft tissue will break down.  I am seeing the beginning of the skin breaking down as it stands now.  Oh, how we need this vascular doctor to have a plan.  A good plan.

I told our doctor today; this foot is essential to me.  This is Zine’s right foot.  And without this foot, transferring takes on a completely different look.  This foot is of utmost importance.  We might not be in a battle to fight MS, but we are definitely in a battle to save this foot’s tissue from breaking down!  Whew!

Our Emotions

Zine and I didn’t mention a word of our appointment on Wednesday until last night after we climbed in bed.  We did share the news with our children, but the stress of the foot helped overshadow the sadness of where we are. I think it will take some time for everything to process through our minds. In many ways, we are in function only mode.

This evening, the blues have hit hard.  Chloe has been extremely sad and emotional.  (We found out today she has to have some more medical testing done, so that has added to the emotional overflow today.)  Krisann still hasn’t put all the pieces together.  Zine chooses not to have emotions in times like these.  The less he has to think about it the better he thinks he is.  So his emotions are few right now.  I am just beginning to process where we are.  Conner has the blessing or curse (not sure which) to not be at home these days.  Tomorrow I will see that fellow and then I might have a better idea of how he is emotionally.

This week has been a difficult and emotional week for me.  October 6, 2017, my mama went to be with Jesus.  I had the blessing of caring for her in her last days and this week has been a week of remembrance for me.  A week of reliving my mom’s final days.  There have been many, many tears come from my eyes this week.



Oh, the memories to sit on my mom’s bed and have her put her hand on my leg or for my hand to hold her hand.  They have been relived numerous times this week!

Couple the grieving of my mom, the stress of having to do another medical procedure with Chloe, Zine’s foot and multiple doctors, and an appointment when faith becomes the center point of conversation, I think it is safe to say my emotions are tender.  All of that is not to mention, my bedroom is currently have carpet and half concrete. That’s a story we are not even going to share!  However, I think I have decided it’s the new look!

Glimpses of Faith

Here is what I do know…the words from this book…truth that speaks.



I have struggled immensely to know how to write this update.  I do not want to write a post that causes you to “feel sorry” for us, and I also do not want you to think our lives are terrible.  It has not been a good week. However, we have been through enough seasons, there is one thing I am confident of…this is a season.  We will work our way through this and we will move forward.  How?  Because of the truth…Jesus inside of us is greater than the darkness that surrounds us!

I write that statement with you in mind.  Loved ones in heaven, chemo, pancreatic cancer, anxiety, dyslexia, breast cancer, hysterectomy, bone cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, financial difficulties, lost loved ones, catheters…Jesus is bigger than those things.  We all walk through struggles, but in the middle of struggles, I pray that our obedience to share our faith and struggles with you, will propel you to hold onto the hope…the hope that is found in Jesus.


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. John Opsteegh

    Prayers, thoughts, and hope are with you,Zine and the family.

    1. kksmith8694

      Thank you for your prayers.

  2. June Reddin

    Karen, This is June Reddin. I worked with your dear Mother at SWADC and loved her dearly. We became best friends & she said I became like a sister to her. We shared many times of joy, laughter, and yes, times of sorrow as well.
    I am so sorry to hear of the tough times you are going through right now, but am glad I saw this post so I can pray for you and your family. We lost our 42 year old son to cancer in Sept 2016 & have moved to Conway to help his wife raise their 5 children. I heard about your Mom’s death but was not available to make the trip to Foreman. I pray God will strengthen you & Zine and your children.

    1. kksmith8694

      Oh June, I have thought of you often. My mom loved you dearly! Even when she passed away, I wondered how to get in contact with you. She battled Alzheimer’s Disease for 8 years! Until the bitter end, she was a fighter. I am glad you saw this post as well! I am so sorry to hear about your son’s death. I have a friend that lost her adult daughter last year. Maybe she will comment here and the two of you can connect. Death is painful and beautiful all at the same time. Thankful that you are able to be a part of your grandchildren’s lives and are able to support your daughter-in-law. Thank you for your prayers. God is bigger than all this stuff and it is His grace that carries us through life’s difficult moments. I know you have experienced His grace carrying you through life’s difficulties as well! So glad to hear from you!!

  3. Beth Edwards

    HUGS and prayers for all of you, Trust God to hold you when you need it and put you back together when you fall apart. As for the bedroom- Rip up the rest of the carpet and stain the concrete.Its the newest in look.

  4. Kate Bartley

    Karen , thank you for sharing your journey and giving us glimpses of what it’s like to cling to faith in the midst of struggle. You communicate it authentically and as much as my heart goes out to you it did not leave me “feeling sorry” but more encouraged with what it looks like to take struggle one moment at a time in the midst of what life throws at us. There is no clear cut recipe for how to do it other that what you said .. He is our strength ..praying for Him to hold you up and please let me know how I can come alongsude and put my hands under your arms as you hold that rod high. I’m just an ask away …

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