11.19.11 update

Mom saw doctor wednesday.  He said “you are exeptional” to her.  I agree.  Her blood counts are coming up, the cancer counts are going down.  He keeps telling her that she has done “just wonderfully”. 

If her white blood count, red blood count and platelet count are just a tad higher by Monday the 21st she will start her second (and she says final) round of chemotherapy.  Doc told her that she will do better this time than last time because she is starting this round ‘in a better place’ than last time.  She is healthier as she starts this time.

The doctor left the room to take another call while we were in the exam room…says “excuse me I have to take a call from Dr. Matous”.  Dr. Matous is Bob’s doctor.  We told him to say hi for us.  Weird.

Thursday Bob had his second chemo injection.  His sister Mary is in town and she went with him.  He’s doing well.  The steroids that he gets with the chemo make him feel GREAT.  Like Superman Great.  He had chemo, worked all day, went and played 2 soccer games, went out with the team afterwards, got home at 11pm then woke up the next morning at 5AM to work out before going to work all day again.  I wish he could take the steroids every day!   

All in all both Mom and Bob are doing wonderfully.   thanks to everyone for the prayers!

 

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Winter provision

Woke up thinking (admittedly…worrying) about work / business / money.  So I reached up and grabbed the corner of the Talit that hangs on my headboard.  I cover my head with it and start to pray.  “God take away this worry, take away this fear.  Why am I so confident that cancer is beaten in our family, that Bob & mom will not die but live and declare the works of the Lord…but then freak out about our provision?” 

Seriously, am I less concerned about the fight with cancer in my mom/my husband than with the financial status of our company right now?  Not logical. 

When your faith gets raised up in one area…are you vulnerable in another?

I hear the word ‘covenant’ in my head.  I sit up and start looking through my bible…is the tithe a covenant promise between me and God?  We tithe, we give, we plant financial seed.  We believe that God will bless us because we commit the work of our hands to HIM.  so why do I wake up and worry about our business?  Covenant / tithe.  Can’t find them connected in my quick ‘bible study’.  I see that God tells me to “test him in this”.  I have, I will.  I see that the tithe is HOLY.  Hmmm.  Interesting. 

I get up to walk.  The trees are barren now.  No leaves left on the trees at the park.  They’ve given up the fight, they’ve let go of the dead leaves.  Waiting through the winter, waiting for the new life to bloom.

I’ve planted my seeds (finances).  Am I waiting through the winter to see the harvest?  The law of planting and reaping is true.  I’ve planted.  I will reap….in season.  How long does this financial winter last??

Help me Lord, I don’t want to worry.  I want to feel your hands under us, I want to see you holding us up.  I need to bolster my faith, move my shield from the fiery arrows of cancer and death to also protect me from the fear of famine.  You will provide.  Jehovah  Jireh – God our provider.  Still.

Nov 10th UPDATE

Bob’s 4th — FIRST CHEMO treatment was today.  (4th time we’ve started new chemotherapy in the past 8 years)

This one seems easier, all out-patient treatments and the docs say the drugs are all well tolerated. 

Velcade – Decadron – Revlimid      21 day cylces

Day 1 through Day 14 he takes a pill (Revlimid)

Day 1 & Day 8 he also takes another pill (Decadron) and gets a shot subcutaneously (Velcade )

Day 15 through 21 he’s off.

Bob seems fine with it all.  Not scared.  Just wants something that will make him feel better.  He’s just tired all the time.  He says, “If this one doesn’t get rid of it I’m gonna tell them to give me something stronger again…like another bone marrow transplant, or whatever they have that is the strongest….”  Oh God help us.  I don’t want to go through that again, please don’t make us.

Some good news regarding today’s chemo…the cost of ONE of the drugs is $7,000 per cycle.  The pharmacy had us complete a survey, and a questionnaire that had to go through the drug company and the insurance company and the results:  we have NO CO-PAY!   When a good day = not having to pay for your chemo…you are an optimist.

Speaking of optimism, my mom saw her oncologist yesterday.  She is a month out from her 1st treatment.  (yes…1st treatmen of her SECOND round with chemotherapy)  Her counts are finally coming up.  Platelets up, Hemoglobin/Hematocrit up, White Blood Cells up.  The doctor is VERY happy with her.  She will probably begin the next round Thanksgiving week.   We pray that the second round goes as well as the first did…we’d even take BETTER than the first. 

That’s it for the update.  Thanks to all who are following & praying for us.

Falling Leaves

Walked this morning.  Noticed the trees.  Most have no leaves left, but I noticed that some still do have leaves, dead leaves.  Why do some hold on longer than others?  Am I holding on to something that I shouldn’t…should I be letting go so that the season can change, so that I can “die” and come back new next season? 

I find myself asking, “What do you want from me God?! What do you want?” To whom much is given much is required.

“What?  What is required??  What do you want?”

All of me, he wants all of me.  He’s got it.  God, show me what I haven’t let go of…show me what I need to surrender.  I will, I will surrender ALL.  Please show me.  I want to shed all of these dead leaves to make room for the new LIFE that is to come.

 

Puzzled

November 7, 2011

Mom is neutropenic (has very low white blood cells), therefore is susceptible to infection / illness.  She’s on precautions that state she stay away from any person who is sick or who has been around sickness, stay away from crowds, stay away from children (who carry germs like a Petri-dish), not eat any fresh fruits or veggies,  take her temperature daily and report anything over 100.4.  So far so good.  She’s on quarantine.  She hates the fact that she hasn’t been able to get out, and states that she’s fine…just bored.

So Bob, Katie, Jordan and I decided to go buy some board games this weekend and take them to her.  We also bought puzzles.  A 2000 piece Sistine Chapel puzzle, or as mom calls it “the expert-rated puzzle”.

As we started to assemble the puzzle I watched everyone.  First we collected the edge pieces and put together to frame the puzzle.  Easy enough.  Then we each tried to decide where to focus next.  Katie seems to be the puzzle genius.  She has a method, a vision, a desire and drive to knock out sections at a time.  She’s pretty obsessed with it.  (Sunday morning before church I called mom to see how she was feeling and Katie was already at her house working on the puzzle)

Paula, on the other hand, says that she’s not a ‘puzzler’.  It doesn’t hold her interest.  Katie asked her with anticipation in her voice, “Once it’s started, doesn’t it just make you want to finish it though?”  Paula says no.  She could walk away and not come back. 

Mom, is sucked in by it, but can’t seem to put it all together, says, “Everything runs together, it hurts my eyes when I stare at it for too long, but I can’t keep away from it.” 

Haley, like a typical 16 year old, started to get involved then decided that there was something better on TV in the other room.

Dad just walks into the room occasionally and looks at us, “You’re not finished yet?” then laughs and walks away.

I’m somehow a mix of all of them.

This puzzle will take a while to finish.  It will take dedication.  It will take desire.  It will take us picking up these little pieces over and over again and twisting them, pushing them into place, and experiencing the thrill of victory when a piece fits or the agony of defeat when it doesn’t.  

My life feels like “an expert-rated puzzle” right now.

How do I put it all together?  Am I constantly twisting the pieces of my life to see if it all fits?  Can I throw some of these pieces away? Or must I squeeze and push them into the picture that will become my life?

Hmmmm….puzzling.      I still trust you God.  Puzzled, but trusting.

Update Blog

Talked to Teresa today…she had a good idea.  Just post updates on mom and Bob and then I don’t have to talk about it a million times a day (which gets really old).   Okay Teresa – good idea.

UPDATE:

Mom on day 23 of first cylce of chemo.  She has blood draws 2 to 3 times a week to watch her blood counts.  She’s had 2 units of PRBCs and now her Hgb / Hct are holding steady around 10 / 30.  Her platelets are hovering in the low 20’s but her doc doesn’t transfuse unless she’s at 10 or below.  This week she had some bleeding gums (self inflicted via tooth pick) and required a unit of platelets.  WBCs are hovering around 3,000 BUT her “good” white cells are very low – 600 for 2 consecutive blood draws.  So she’s on prophylactic antivirals, antifungals and anibiotics.  She’s supposed to start chemo again Nov. 14th…but doc thinks we’ll wait a bit and make sure counts totally recover before we knock them back down again.  All in all, she’s doing VERY well. 

Bob saw BMT doctor today.  Light chain proteins up and 24 hour urine shows increased protein so he starts chemo again next week.  Thursday.  21 day cycle.  2 weeks on, 1 week off.  He’ll be on injections and pills.  No IV drugs this time.  Mild they say.  Overall he’s just “sick of being sick”.  His symptoms are mainly just fatigue.  His kidneys are functioning well.  Asked me today, “What’s God waiting on?  Why am I not finished with all this crap?”  I don’t have the answer.

Me on day 2920 (give or take a week).  Have been offered anti-depressants by doctors – refused.  🙂  I think I’ll just keep reading my bible and pressing into God.  And blogging my feelings for anyone interested in reading them, or for me to just get them OUT of me and onto a page.  Just seems to help. 

Family on day 2920…still walking it out.  We stick together, complain to each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, feed each other, cry to each other, vent to each other, and love each other through it all again.

update complete.

Thinking about writing another book; Cancer Hangover.

Spirit of Faith

I’ve been reading a book, “Your Pathway to Miracles” by Marilyn Hickey.  Just read…”there seems to be a ‘spirit of fear’ (2 Timothy 1:7) …. Yet, in contrast to the spirit of fear, there is a ‘spirit of faith’. …(2 Corinthians 4:13)

I was just wondering about that in relation to the way mom and Bob have each been dealing with cancer.

Mom had a blood transfusion last week, she was very anemic and needed PRBCs.  She got two units.  Then a few days ago she used a floss-pick on her teeth, started bleeding and couldn’t stop.  Went to the doctor and they sent her to the hospital transfusion center for a platelet transfusion.  Now she’s on three differnt antibiotics due to her LOW white blood cells. 

I was talking to her about precautions that she should be using…she said, “It all sounds worse than it is.”

Love it.  She has a spirit of faith.