One week later: The fight continues…

23 May 2011

I had the opportunity to be with an amazing brother-in-law for the majority of the day today and wanted to share a few thoughts I had while being there with him.

First, as many as you know, the Smith family is one AMAZING family.  When you think of an ideal family you often will think of a family that is full of love, humility, forgiveness, charity, faith, spirituality and fun.

Those who know, think of the Smith family.

What a blessing it is for me to be a part of such an incredible family and with them, my heart aches for my “little brother”.  While it is so difficult to know that we cannot physically do anything for him to take the cancer away, it is comforting to know that the Lord is near; Tyler couldn’t be in better hands.

Tyler was doing really well this morning when I arrived.  How he loves his new iPad!  We shared our favorite iPad games with each other and had a good time playing them.  The nurse came in and asked how well he was drinking.  For him to come home, he needs to be able to keep a fair amount of fluids down and also a little food.  Because he really wants to come home, he immediately drank a lot.  Well that didn’t fare to well with his stomach!  For that first hour I could not help but think of what an amazing attitude he has kept and what great faith he has exercised even as a young 14 year old.  I’ve often wondered how my own attitude would be if I were lying in that hospital bed.  What an inspiration he is to me and all who know him.  He has his moments of being scared, which is totally expected, but always he talks himself into being positive and being willing to fight.  He is always snapping at us saying “why are you crying?” or “no more crying in here!”

For the time I was with him, he indicated that he was basically pain free.  When the iPad wore him out, he was able to sleep for almost two hours.  When he woke up, he was feeling a little nauseous from the last bit of chemo that is still in his system but was eager to take a walk.  The nurse unhooked his IV for a few hours as they try to transition him to how he will be when he goes home.  He was excited to get out of his room and we went for a long walk together!  The longest walk he has taken since his surgery.  When he first stood up to walk out he said “man, I feel really light!”  Referring to the fact that he has lost some weight this past week.

When we came back to his room he was still feeling really good.  He had some questions about prayer and receiving answers to prayers and it was a great experience for me to read him a few scriptures and share a few personal experiences with him.  Like so many of us, Tyler has been praying so hard.  He expressed to me how badly he wants to be comforted and receive answers to his prayers.  As we talked about some experiences we had in his room as a family the night before, we recognized that his prayers are in fact being answered.  Last night he was in a lot of pain and as a family we had a prayer and as he shared with me: “When the prayer was over, I could feel all the pain go away and my heart felt really warm inside.”  That Tyler, is an answer.

We started watching “The Best Two Years” and while we were watching, some of his friends came to visit.  Tyler loves his friends.  His face lit up and a huge smile came across his face when they walked in.  We, like Tyler, appreciate so much the love and concern that so many of you have shown.  It makes it easier knowing there are so many people out there praying and fasting on Tyler’s behalf.

Ty, I love you buddy.  When I “grow up” I want to be just like you: faithful, full of gratitude, always happy, inspirational to others, and uncannily strong.

Keep up the fight bud, we’ll always be right here beside you.

Atlas, Dallas, Dayan, and Ty


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