Oct
26
2007

God of the Impossible!

Our God is the God of the impossible!  We just received a call from Dr. Holzbeierlein with the most amazing news.  He told us the final pathology report came back as the non-metestatic teratoma tumor and NOT cancerous!  Yes, we are now cancer free!  We are both so overwhelmed with the news that we don't know what to say.  Our initial response was a lot of crying, a little jumping for joy by me and Jonathan's mom and a few shouts of praise the Lord's.  We are so thankful that God chose to cure Jonathan now instead of having to go through more chemo.  We also know that if he had chosen to take us through more chemo He would have been faithful to provide the strength, grace and mercy necessary to finish the journey.  We are so thankful for the prayer warriors who got on their knees on behalf of us.  God was glorified through the prayers and faith of our friends and loved ones in answering the thousands of prayers.  It has been a humbling experience to see the hand of God so dramatically in our lives and to know that He was glorified in our suffering.  We can honestly say that we rejoiced in our tribulation because we were right were God wanted us to be, and as I said before there is nowhere else we would rather be.

Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.  This Summer has been a difficult journey for us, but through it all we have kept our focus on our Heavenly Father.  There are no words to describe the fear and overwhelming feeling of despair when we found out Jonathan had cancer.  But our God, who is faithful, has held us through the chemo and now the surgery.  I know it through the power of the prayers of our friends and family.  Without you, we would not have been as victorious in our journey.  Thank you for being willing to stand in the gap for us.

Yes, I started this blog yesterday right after receiving the GREAT news, but was so emotional I wasn't able to finish it until today.  What can I say... I have a husband who is recovering from extensive surgery and three very demanding precious children.  Oh, I do induldge in a bon bon moment and watch my soaps every day... but hey what more can a girl do?  Just kidding, I don't even watch the very few shows I allow the kids to watch.  Ahh, the life of a Mommy/ Wife/ Administrator/ Nurse/ Peace Keeper/.... you get the gereral idea.

Oct
23
2007

Home!!!

Well, we did come home yesterday around 4:30p.m.  I wasn't certain Jonathan was ready to be released from the hospital yet, but the doctors felt that he was.  I was mostly concerned about his pain management not really anything else.  I knew it was going to be difficult on the kids to not climb on Daddy, but I also knew we could handle that. I didn't anticipate little Courtney, who is not so little anymore, lunging herself at Daddy while he was resting on the couch.  Talk about a wake up call!  He survived and so did Courtney after he scared her with his grunt of pain.

Today we went back to the hospital because his pain level was not getting below 5 and for the most part around a 7 or 8.  The Tylonol/Codine mix just was not cutting it so the doctor had us go to the ER to check everything out.  We were there from 3:30 until 7:30 and this time the ER did help.  They gave him some "happy" drugs so that the pain really didn't matter anymore.    It really did work to bring the pain down along with making him a little loopy.  When we left there he was pretty unsteady on his feet and his speech was a little slow, but at least the pain was at a 3 or 4.  That is the best it has been since waking up from surgery.  The doctor gave us a stronger pain perscription to have him take for the next couple of days to get us past this hump and on the road to recovery.

Our doctor should hear from pathology tomorrow about the final results of the tumors that were removed.  Lord willing, the preliminary was wrong and we will get really good news tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.  If not, we have a few more bumps yet to come.  Thanks for your continued prayer support.  God is faithful and will continue to sustain us.

Please pray for wisdom as we try to help our kids through this time.  Bnejamin and Emily are both old enough to understand that Daddy is not well, but I don't know how much they grasp.  Benjamin is acting out by crying about the smallest things. Emily sturggles with going to bed because I think she is afraid I won't be there when she wakes up.  It makes bed time a very long and difficult process for both of us.  Courtney is just my extra attachment on my hip.  It is sweet to have her want me, but all the time?  Help!  I am working to reassure them with spending time playing with them and also teaching them Bible verses about God's faithfulness.  My experience so far has been one step forward and two steps back.  Ahh, the life of a Mom... and the ever changing hats she wears!

Oct
19
2007

Praying and Waiting

"Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; hear my voice!  If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand:? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.  My soul waits for the Lord, More than those who watch for the morning - Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.  And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities." Psalm 130

The last few days we have been on an emotional roller coaster.  The stress of Jonathan being in surgery was enough to make me feel sick, but the news that we might not be finished with this fight just about sent me on the run.  If there was a way to outrun this disease I would gladly do that for my precious husband, but then I would miss out on all the blessings and lessons God has in store for us.

Yesterday was my day to cry and feel discouraged about the results of Jonathan's surgery.  No, it wasn't what we had hoped to hear, but it was exactly what God wanted us to hear.  For whatever reason, He has not finished with us yet on this training ground.  We will boldly walk forward, resting in the arms of our Heavenly Father, knowing that He loves us more than I can possibly ever love Jonathan.  With a love that great and perfect He will not allow anything to happen to us that is also not for our ultimate good.  You may ask how I can say that when the person I most treasure on this earth is in extreme pain and with the possibility that it will get worse before it gets better.  I can say that because I know God hears my voice, He has forgiven me, and His word does give me hope.  The best part for me when I read Psalm 130 was the last part "for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption."  He is a God of great compassion and mercy and I rest in the knowledge of who He is and not in my circumstances.

Today I was able to spend some quality time with our children this morning while Jonathan's parents went to the hospital to be with him.  It was very needed for the kiddos.  Benjamin has been very emotional the last couple of days and Emily and Courtney are afraid I won't come back.  It is so hard to reassure an almost 4 and almost 2 year old that Mommy will be here for them when I have been gone so much lately.  We do the best we can and pray that God will give them peace in the midst of their storm.  I took them to the hospital to see Daddy and it was the right decision.  I wasn't sure how they would respond to seeing him with the drain still coming out of his neck - kinda yucky.  I think they were so glad to see him that they didn't really notice the incision on his neck or the tubes coming out of his neck.  In fact Benjamin and Emily were not ready to leave when Grandma and Grandpa were ready to take them home.  It was good for Jonathan to see his kids as well.  I was so encouraged with how well Jonathan was doing today.  He got up and walked a lap around his hospital floor before collapsing in bed.  He looks so much better, thanks to all your prayers.  Tomorrow may be the day he gets to drink something.  Pray that all goes well and that it actually happens - he is getting pretty thirsty and that little bitty sponge that has a little water on it does nothing to wet his mouth much less quench his thirst.

Praise the Lord, I was finally able to meet with Dr. Holzbeierlein the Urologist who performed the surgery on his stomach today.  He told me that he felt the ENT (ear nose throat) was able to get all the tumor out of his neck, but that Dr Tsue (ENT) might not have felt as confident since he doesn't work with this type of cancer very often.  That greatly encouraged Jonathan and me.  He also said that there was a VERY slight chance that the preliminary pathology report could be wrong and when the final report comes back it could show that the disease is completely gone.  Not something we should anticipate, but something we can definitely pray for.  If it does come back as cancerous then we will be facing another couple of rounds of chemo, even if the surgeons were able to remove all the tumors,  Hey, aren't you glad we serve a BIG God and nothing is too difficult for Him.  He will either choose to heal Jonathan now, or He will choose to carry us through the next difficult phase.  Whatever the outcome, His name will be glorified.

Oct
18
2007

The Road to Recovery

Jonathan is doing so much better this evening than he was this morning.  The pain in his abdomen was severe enough that the morphine had to be increased and another pain medication added.  Thankfully, after the doctor increased his medicine he was able to get some relief in order to sleep.  After he woke up from his nap, the nurses did indeed bully him into a chair.  He sat up for 30 minutes and was more than ready to climb back into bed and sleep again.  It really wore him out, but at least he was up and moving a little bit.  Tomorrow they will get him up three times and have him take a few steps around the room.

The doctors did tell him that he would have to have chemo after he recovered from surgery.  He was discouraged with the news, but I think the pain is keeping the thoughts at bay right now.  The reality probably won't set in until after we are ready to head home.  We won't find out the full extent of the pathology report until Monday or Tuesday.  At that point we will know for sure what direction the oncologist will want to go.  Or we could be surprised and hear that the preliminary was all wrong and there really wasn't cancer growing anymore in his body.  Wouldn't that be a nice and welcome surprise!

Whenever I start to get a little down about what we still have to overcome I am reminded of many verses to help keep my focus on Christ.  Right now my brain is so fuzzy that there is not much of anything left except a silent plea for sleep.  My desire is not to leave you with a message of hopelessness, but of great peace and abundant hope.  I just wish my brain were in gear enough to remeber those verses.  The long hours are really starting to catch up with me. I leave you knowing that my God will sustain us with His presence and no mountain is too big for Him to move - however he sees fit to move it!

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?

Facebook

Recent Posts

Tag cloud