Oct
17
2007

Is it really over?

Thank you so much for your continued prayers.  We praise the Lord that the doctors were able to remove all of the tumors in Jonathan's stomach and most of the tumor on his neck after 12 hours of surgery.  The cancer was much more wide spread in his stomach than the CT scan showed so it was a bit of a surprise to all of us.  The tumor in his neck was not completely removed due to possible damage to important nerves.  We were praying that the residual tumors were only scar tissue, but God has a different story for us to tell.  The tumor in his neck came back positive with cancer still growing.  The down side is that we will be going through more chemo in the months to come, but I am so excited to see what God is going to do through us.

Please continue to pray for Jonathan's quick recovery.  The doctor said the pain level will be manageable, and for most patients the hunger pangs are more difficult to endure.  He will not be eating or drinking - even ice chips - for the next 2 - 5 days depending on how long it takes for his body to completely wake up after all the moving they did to his insides.  Your prayers have been the encouragement and support to get me through this long day. Thank you.

It is now 11 pm and I have been here since 6 this morning.  Jonathan is finally being moved to a room for the night and I was able to let my eyes rest on the most beautiful sight - my precious husband.  God is so good.   I am so thankful that He has given men the knowledge and ability to operate and take care of our loved ones.  He is in control and NOTHING is a surprise to Him.  I rest in the knowledge that I am exactly where God wants us to be - safe in the palm of His hand.  There is no place I would rather be.

Oct
17
2007

Hurry up and Wait...

We arrived at KU this morning at 6 am - yep before the sun was up and let me tell you this Mom has not seen that time on the clock in a long time without being able to go back to sleep.    Our waiting began at that time because Jonathan was taken back for surgery around 8 this morning.  The two doctors were hoping to be able to operate on his neck and stomach at the same, but there ended up being too many bodies trying to occupy the same space.

The Ear Nose Throat surgeon performed his operation first and met with me after his operation was completed.  Everything went well, however, the ENT was not able to remove all of the mass in his neck.  The tumor was sticky and instead of injuring important nerves he didn't scrape too much to remove the entire mass.  The big down side to it was finding out from pathology that the tumor was still cancerous.  Our journey has not come to an end, and I cannot wait to see how He is going to be glorified.  God is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer we know that He will never leave us or forsake us.  His comfort is ever present and His peace is abundant.  I know as I sit here waiting the prognosis on his surgery that we have an abundant amount of prayer coverage.  Thank you for being the one to stand in the gap for us.

The kids are currently being taken care of by one of the church families.  I know they are having a blast with the Bucher's and are in great hands.  It is so encouraging to know that they are enjoying their time and I also can't wait to get them in my arms.  I love it when they throw their arms around my neck and tell me they love me.  Those are the moments that make motherhood oh so worth it.

Oct
16
2007

This is it!

Those final moments before you rush off to the hospital to have a baby are not that much different than what we are experiencing right now.  The MAJOR difference is that I am the one doing all the running while Jonathan rests.  So my question is - when do I get to rest... oh that's right I'm the Mommy and resting is not part of my job description.  te hee...

Today Jonathan has had the distinct pleasure of drinking all of his food.  If it was not clear liquid then he was only allowed to salivate after it, but not consume it.  What a BUMMER!  Let's just say that by this evening he was pretty tired of anything that remotely resembled jello.  If it looks like jello, jiggles like jello, or smells like jello it probably is jello... what a let down.  I don't think he will want any jello for the next year.  Needless to say, he was pretty tired by this evening since he was not allowed to eat anything of substance.  That is why I am the one running around like a chicken with my head cut off - the only blessing for everyone is that I can't talk very loud since I have a cold.  YUCK.  Benjamin asked me this morning what happened to my voice.  I told him my that my throat was sick and then he did the sweetest thing.  He stopped what he was doing and immediately asked God to help Mommy's throat get better.  Amen.  It is so precious when he does that.  He is going to be proficient with arrow prayers at a early age I just pray it will develop into a deeper abiding relationship as he grows.  So far, everyone that I have talked to on the phone today thought I was Jonathan.   Just give me a couple more days and a whole lot of sleep and I will be back to me.

Tomorrow we start our day bright and squirily at 6a.m.  Jonathan is scheduled in the operating room from 6 am until 5:45 p.m.  I am sure it won't take that long to perform the operations but am thankful the doctors will be able to spend as much time as they need to make sure it is done well.  Please be praying that God would guide and direct the doctors hands and that the tissue that is left is only scar tissue.  We serve a mighty God and we are confident that He only has our best interest at heart.  His peace has surrounded us these last couple of months and will continue to see us through the next couple of hours and weeks.  Thank you for your continued prayer support.

Oct
4
2007

Tired

The tasks of a mother are never ending.  Some days I get rather bogged down with the futileness of my work.  Laundry - to wash, fold and put away... are you kidding me? I don't even get it folded much less put away.  It is a sad state of affairs when you are searching through the piles of clean laundry for one matching pair of socks.  Dishes - all I can say is thank goodness for dishwashers!  We went over 6 months last year without a dishwasher and boy was I thankful for that appliance when we finally replaced it. Cleaning bathrooms - let's see, now I do it in shifts... this week I think I can at least get the toilet bowls cleaned out... YIPPEE  I accomplished one thing!  Sweeping and vacuuming - oh for the day that my kids can do it well.  Right now it is cute to see Benjamin and Emily trying to help me push the vacuum cleaner around and one day it will be their job.  Unfortunately, when that day comes they will no longer find it fun.  For now all three of them run circles around the house pretending that I am going to attack them with the loud machine.  It is rather endearing and I know exactly what they are getting into - NOTHING!    Ahh, the list could go on for (I feel) an eternity but I will not bore you any longer.  Just suffice it to say that my job has incredible security, I just wish I was appreciated a little more.  Of course to think of that sentiment I am reminded that everything I do, I am to do as unto the Lord and not for the praise (or appreciation) of man (my spouse or kids).  I bet God was thinking of Mother's when he had Colossians 3:23-24 penned. "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."

It is all in my focus.  When I put my eyes back on Christ, the tasks I do for my children and spouse are but a way of serving them and making their home sweet.  When Jonathan gets home from work I want him to be able to relax and put the worries of work at the door.  So each day, I will strive to serve him better and make his home a haven from the trials of the world.  Since he runs his own business leaving the worries of the office at the door is a little difficult, but we make it work.  We try to have some down time to communicate about what happened during the day before bedlam breaks out.  Then we just sit back and enjoy our kids - most of the time.

I am so glad God is faithful and doesn't give up on me when I feel like giving up.  No, instead He sends someone to encourage me or gently whispers a verse in my heart that puts my focus back where it needs to be.  He is faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Oct
3
2007

Big Hands

Our kids have started a new Sunday night program at our church called Kids4Truth.  We are so excited about the great things they are going to learn about the Bible and more importantly about God.  Tonight when Jonathan was going over their verses and the truths they learned we were given just a little insight into a 5 year old mind.

Jonathan - "How did God give us the Bible?"

Benjamin - "He's got big hands!"  and of course Emily, not to be outdone by her big brother, chimed in with the same thought.

They are so cute in their simplistic understanding of God and their trust in what He says.  Jonathan had to remind  them that God gave holy men His words to write down.  Then they worked on memorizing the Bible verse 2 Peter 1:21b "But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

Sep
27
2007

Daddy? Husband? or Both?

During the course of Jonathan's treatment Benjamin has given us a number of  laughs.  When we first learned of Daddy's cancer, he would ask about Daddy's "owie."  We would pray about it at breakfast, lunch, dinner and at bedtime.  It was so sweet to see his sensitive spirit and of course whatever Benjamin was interested in, Emily was as well.  Soon, we had our own little prayer meetings with Mommy and the little prayer warriors.

In the midst of this trial Benjamin began grasping relationships.  Pretty soon we were praying for "Mommy's husbands owie".  The first time he said that, I just about busted up laughing because it was so unexpected.  Tonight we were thrown a new one.  When Jonathan walked in the door Benjamin came flying in the door just before him announcing very loudly, "Mommy your husband's home!"  Where is my little 5 year old?  I know they grow up fast, but isn't this pushing it?

Sep
27
2007

What is Jesus Doing

Of all the memories my most precious was shortly after Jonathan came home from his first round of chemtherapy.  He was so sick he could not walk up the stairs (half flight) without looking like he would pass out. For me that was painful, but for the kiddos it was confusing.  Why can't Daddy play with me anymore or even hold me?  I can't begin to  understand what they were thinking.  Hey, I can barely understand what I was feeling most of the time!  Anyway, back to my story... we were sitting down at the dinner table and Benjamin asks out of the blue, "What is Jesus doing right now?"  The verse in the Bible that talks about Jesus interceeding for us on the right hand of the Father popped into my head so I told him that "Jesus is praying for us right now."  He thought about it for a moment and then said "Mommy, does that mean Jesus is praying for Daddy's owie right now?"  Of course, neither one of us could respond because we were fighting back the tears.  When I regained some control, I told him that "Yes, Benjamin, I am sure Jesus is praying for your Daddy's owie right now."

Oh the sweet assurance that he carries with him is a lesson to me.  Once we told him that Jesus was praying for us, Benjamin was satisfied.  How often do I want proof to back up what I read.  But, Lord I don't feel it, I don't see it, I don't understand it... He doesn't want anything more from me than simple childlike faith.  Yep, He IS praying for me and He only wants the best for me and my family.  What a comfort to know that we are safe in His loving hands.

Sep
21
2007

Pray for God's Guidance

How does one write about such things when those reading cannot see the feelings that are being conveyed.  Next to impossible, so I am going to say from the beginning that Jonathan and I are confident in the outcome of these surgery procedures.  We are confident that our God is an awesome God and NOTHING is to difficult for Him.  We know that He is Sovereign and loves us with an everlasting love.  When I start reminding myself of some of His atributes I get so excited that I have a hard time stopping!  Just suffice it to say, that this is but one more step on our journey that began this Spring.

On October 17th we will be heading to Kansas University Hospital for all three procedures.  We met the Urologist that will be performing the surgery on his stomach and testicle on Monday of this week.  On Thursday we met the Ear, Nose, Throat surgeon that will be performing the operation on his neck.  He will have the longest recovery from the stomach incision (big surprise) but the most touchy surgery will be on his neck.  Our biggest prayer is that the tumors left over from the treatment is only scar tissue and that the doctors will be able to remove all remaining tissue.  The Urologist is confident that he will be able to get all involved lymph nodes removed without any trouble.  The ENT is hoping and praying that the tissue is only scar tissue so that if he has to leave any of it there will be no further treatment needed.  Dr Neubauer (our oncologist) and Dr Holzheierlein (the surgeon who specilizes in treating testicular cancer) are pretty confident that the tissue is only scar tissue becuase of how low his blood tumor markers were at the last reading.  The ENT is not a specialist in treating testicular cancer as the other two doctors are and will operate with the care needed to make sure he does not damage any of the nerves in Jonathan's neck.  The tumor in his neck is "attached" to the main muscle on the neck and from the looks on the CT scan is putting pressure on the voice box nerve, the nerve that controls the diaphragm on the left side, and the carotid artery.  The doctor will do his best to remove all the residual tumor but will be very careful to not damage any nerves.  That is why we pray there are no left over cancer cells in his body.

On a more humerous note both appointments at KU ended up taking from 2pm to 5pm.  We actually waited in the waiting room on the first appoinment almost 2 hours before seeing the doctor.  On the second appointment we waited 1 1/2 hours before seeing the doctor.  We wanted to ask the surgeon if we would be waiting 4 hours before they will be able to begin surgery?  I can tell you that those waiting rooms get REAL boring after about 20 minuts and the offices at KU don't have any reading material to entertain you after you first look at all the instruments.  I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Sep
19
2007

Are you my Mommy...

Last night Jonathan and I had a date and one of the young ladies from our church blessed us by baby sitting our little ones.  The kids had a great time with Katie Criss and we had a great evening out without listening to "Mommy, Daddy" for a couple of hours.  It always cracks me up to think of how much we yearn to hear those precious words when our kids are infants and then can't wait for them to stop.  The ever changing things of life.  At any rate, when we came home at 9:30 I was so surprised to find that all three of our kids we already sound asleep.  WOW - this girl is a keeper!  It only became more "funny" at 3 in the morning when Emily woke up screaming for Katie Criss.  I was jolted awake with a voice crying, "Katie Criss, Katie Criss, Katie Criss" over and over until I walked into the room.  She didn't know that Mommy had come home.  Once she realized I was home and would take care of her she went back to sleep very quickly. 

Thank goodness.  It was a reminder of how much they need the assurance that all is well in their little world.  It only took a hug and some reassuring words from Mommy for Emily's night scare to go away.  Granted some nights the night scare takes a little longer to work through, but when we quote her verse "When I am afraid I will trust in You, In God whose Word is true." it helps her to put her trust in our Heavenly Father.  If only we would remember that same faith and trust as adults.  My Heavely Father is always there and only has His best at heart for me.

Sep
17
2007

Patch Work Quilt

Is that on fabric or on the body???  I guess it depends on if you are talking to a surgeon or a seamstress.

Today we met our surgeon - a very loud talking but kind hearted gentleman.  After waiting 2 hours to see the doctor we were given a little bit of a surprise.  He informed us that Jonathan would be in the hospital for 3 - 5 days after surgery depending on how long it takes for his body get back to normal.  He will be having 3 procedures but thankfully only one operation.  There will be a head and neck specialist to remove the tumor on his neck and the Urologist will be doing the other two.  The "simple" procedure will be removing the testicle. The "involved" procedure will be opening the stomach and removing all the enlarged lymph glands.  Jonathan will have an incision from sternum to 3 inches below the belly button.  Needless to say he will be in massive pain for a few weeks.  Please continue to pray for grace and mercy as we embark on this last leg of our journey.

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