Ver Beek Blog

Our young family battling stage IV breast cancer one day at a time
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Archive for October, 2009

Warm Yellow, Khaki or Steely Blue?

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Is it strange to think about redecorating when a life changing surgery is going to happen in just six days?  I have this need to repaint our dining room and living room.  So now I’m thinking about paint colors, window treatments and accessories instead of mastectomies, drains and recovery.  Must be a defense mechanism.  Any psychology students out there? 

I’d be happy to take suggestions for paint color.  Keep in mind I have a green mudroom and a red kitchen.  The living room and dining room flow off of those.  Seriously.  If you have any ideas I would love to hear them.  This could be fun.  It will give me something else to think about the next few days. 

As the surgery comes closer, I try to think of all the things we may run out of while Dusty is trying to stay afloat in the house.  Do we have enough toothpaste, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, dishwasher detergent, laundry soap, etc?  The plan has been laid out for who is going to take care of the kids, logistics and all those other mundane day-to-day things.  My freezer is full of food.  My pantry is stocked for lunches and we have enough toilet paper to last through 2010.  I still have to fill him in on what Brooke does at school and which days she does what.  I have some time for that.  Can you tell I’m a bit of a control freak?  You’d think I learned my lesson by now – that I’m not the one in control! 

I’ve seen so many friends lately who I haven’t seen in ages.  I’ve made new friends through this too.  It’s apparent that God has specifically chosen people to be in my life.  He’s chosen someone to bring me flowers and write me cards when I’m sick.  Someone else to send me childhood pictures that make me laugh til tears run down my cheeks.  Caring and motherly arms to help take care of Brooklyn, Max and Samantha.  Others who make delicious food that give me and my family a healthy meal.  People to send emails and cards that remind me of the hope I have.  He’s chosen the coolest guy to mow our lawn last summer.  He assembled an entire army of prayer warriors who have held our family up.  Most of all He’s given me a husband who has patiently and lovingly stood my my side through all of this.  He sat with me during doctor’s visits, chemo treatments, got up in the middle of the night to get my meds, weighed out surgery options, took care of me when I was so sick and I couldn’t take care of myself.  God also gave me my parents who I am eternally grateful for.  They are the epitome of who good parents are.  They are the most kind, generous, selfless people I know. They’re always happy to help.  How many people do you know happily and cheerfully help others?  Being adopted I realize I could have been placed in any home.  The home God choose for me was perfect.  It reminds me that even now His plan is perfect and I need to trust in Him.    

I thank God for each of you.  I love you all.


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I’ve been taking a hiatus from cancer.  I know I have it.  I know it’s there, but without chemo I’ve been feeling pretty good and have enjoyed pretending to lead a normal life. 

I’ve had a great time over the past few weeks.  Max and Samantha turned one.  Brooklyn turned six.  My dad turned another year older (I don’t think he’d appreciate me writing his age).  Jill had a birthday (same goes for Jill).  Happy Birthday everyone!

The birthdays are done.  The parties are over.  It was nice to have them as a distraction.  The next part of my cancer journey is about to begin.  Surgery is becoming very real to me.  For a while it was so far away that I didn’t think about it all the time.  Now I have 12 days left.  I felt numb for a while, but now I think about it alot.  I went for preadmission testing at Holland Hospital yesterday and I think that made it sink in a little more.  I’m nervous about the surgery.  I’m sad about losing body parts.  I’m angry that I won’t be able to hold Max and Samantha for many days. 

After surgery I have radiation for 6-8 weeks and then reconstructive surgery.  I’m almost half way there. 

Thank you for your prayers and supporting my family through this. 

Please pray that the next 12 days go quickly for me.  That the surgery goes well.  That the kids stay healthy.  That Dusty is able to deal with the family, work and other obligations.  

For your viewing pleasure:


Samantha, Brooklyn and Max with their shared birthday cake


Happy Birthday Max!


Happy Birthday Brooklyn!


Samantha loves cake!


Max isn’t sure he likes cake.


Max doesn’t like cake

One Year

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I’m hijacking Lindy’s blog. One year ago today, our twins Maxwell and Samantha were born. That blows my mind. Just yesterday, yet forever ago. We can’t celebrate this milestone birthday without looking back on how far we’ve come.
sam.jpg It’s a day we’ll never forget as our baby girl, died during child birth and was miraculously revived. Samantha’s outlook was grim as her doctor’s feared extreme brain damage; the kind that bounds people to a bed, never to walk or interact. Separated from us, she was rushed to DeVos Children’s Hospital to be placed on a experimental “cooling mat” for 72 hours to save her brain and organs from further damage. I’ll never forget seeing Samantha late that night and praying and pleading to God over her. It’s a place no parent ever wants to be. The flood of emotions is still indescribable—this is the first time in my life I literally fell to my knees.
It’s been a rough year for us with Samantha’s health, caring for twins (anyone with multiples will get this one), closure of our family business and Lindy’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatments. I use the analogy that we were running a marathon and when we were just about across the finish line, someone made us run another marathon, then another without rest. At times we got angry, cried, questioned, cursed, you name it, we did it.
No matter how dark the days can get, there’s something magical about two little giggly babies crawling towards you when you walk through the door; Samantha leading and Max right on her heels. I believe its God’s way of making everything bearable for us and reminding us of His true grace–a lifeline. img_4622.jpg
As we anticipate Lindy’s surgery on November 5, we ask for your continued prayers. We’re only half way through this marathon, but together we plan to finish it.

Prepay and save!

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