Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008: Spring Break

Well the count is on. We are heading to Georgia on Friday with the families in our small group. We will be staying at a Young Life camp and doing some "spring cleaning" for them. We are going to take three days to get down there and do some sight seeing along the way. The plan is to head out early Friday morning. This is our first road trip with the kids! I have gotten a lot of advice from some friends who have experience in traveling long distances with kids so I think it will go well.

Unfortunately Emily came down with a cold on Friday and I have caught a small version of it too. We are hoping it will run through the family quickly (or even just run out of the house and skip the rest of the family!).

On another note, we are looking for someone to watch our cat while we are gone. She would probably do best in a home without other animals as well as a home where she wouldn't be picked up or pulled on by young kids. She is quite tolerant of Emily but I think it is because she is used to her. She isn't the most social cat but will cuddle up on your lap occasionally. Please give me a call if you are interested.

Tomorrow night I will be talking to the middle school kids at our church. The topic that evening is God is alive. I was asked to talk about how God is alive through people. I was initially quite nervous about this but am not any longer. I'm excited that I have the chance to share my story some more.

Some prayer requests:

*The cold germs will quickly flee and not turn to anything beyond a cold.

*That we stay calm despite the craziness of the week (preparing for the trip and packing)

*Brian continues to be tired. His sleep test went well. The results showed that the CPAP machine is taking care of his sleep apnea. He has an appointment with his sleep doctor on April 21 to talk about other possible reasons that he is not feeling rested despite getting enough sleep.

*That God will use me tomorrow night as I talk to the middle school kids.

Thank you!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008: Think Spring!

For all of our warm weather friends to enjoy...yesterday we got 10" of snow!! Happy Spring!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008: No more chemo???

Well, I am taking a huge leap of faith. I have decided to temporarily and hopefully permanently stop chemo. I will be taking the month of April off for sure. We will still get my CA125 level checked on April 14 and then again in May. We have an appointment with my oncologist on April 14th and will get his opinion of my decision at that time. I have called my nurse to let her know so my doctor has time to process this before our visit.

The past few weeks I have been struggling with the chemo thing. I have been wanting to stop chemo because I feel like the cancer is gone. I think my CA125 level is simply going down on its own back to where is was before surgery. I have been praying for peace with the decision to stop chemo and I have been given that peace. Also, I have Brian's support with this decision. I wouldn't make this kind of decision without his support.

The side effects from this round were much worse than the previous ones. I almost feel like this is confirming my decision. As I sit here typing this I have a ice pack on my stomach to help soothe the skin burns resulting from the chemo. The burns are starting to hurt a little more every day. The only thing that helps is cold showers and icing. Not fun things to do in this cold weather! Right now it looks like I have a bad splotchy sunburn on my stomach and parts of my legs.

I have been trying to silence my mind lately and it's not easy. There are so many distractions! During the silence though I have felt God's peace and am very excited to start this new chapter. Things are crazy here lately as we are planning a trip with our small group to Georgia over spring break and then Brian and I will be going to Las Vegas with my sister and brother-in-law the last weekend in April. Lots of details to be taken care of!

Please pray that I will continue to have this peace. I really believe that God took care of everything during my surgery. I am so ready to start a cancer-free chapter! Lately the verse "we walk by faith, not by sight" has been running through my mind. I have faith that God healed me but lately it seems like I've been focusing on my sight - mostly on the CA125 level. So, I am going to change that and walk in faith now trusting God that I have made the right decision.

Thank you so much for your prayers!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008: Busy!

Yes, we know...we haven't been updating the blog nearly as much as we used to! I have to admit, it's been nice!!! If we're not updating the blog then life must be returning to normal. And normal is a nice change of pace. So what is normal these days? Business!!

We had a slight rough spell last week as this round of chemo knocked Kristi down pretty good. Not that you could tell. She was still able to keep up with most everything; she was just very fatigued and would crash as soon as she got home. She also got hit with a couple rounds of nausea. She also has chemo burn marks all over her body. This is a common side effect of this type of chemo. It doesn't hurt her...looks worse than it is. Normally I would have updated the blog to give people specific prayer requests, but between all the business (and getting out of the habit) I just plain forgot/was too tired. I'll try to do better in the future.

Over the weekend we had the privilege of going to Rich Elling's open house. Even though we only had a few minutes with Rich, we were thrilled to talk with him. Here is a picture of Kristi and Rich...

15 months ago would you have ever guessed that these two would have been tested as much as they have?! These two?!?!?!?! Do you know two people that have gone through such a dark time but yet shone so brightly? What examples they have been for the rest of us!

Kristi has been meaning to update the blog but she's been either too busy or just plain tired. She hopes to update the blog herself within the next few days.

Specific prayer requests:
* Kristi as she continues to struggle with fatigues and chemo burn on her skin
* Kristi as she continues to struggle with "what good is this chemo doing?"
* Kristi as she considers alternative forms of treatment.
* Rich as he continues his recovery.
* Our brother-in-law Eric and his family. Please take some time now to visit their blog (link on the right) and please pray for Eric and Lori and the kids. Their youngest is just coming to grips with the fact that daddy won't be around to raise her. My heart just aches for them.

Thanks sooo much!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fox Family FUNdraiser

Please read to help our brother

(Lori is Kristi's sister)

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 10, 2008: For I Know The Plans I Have Made For You

I did it again. I tried to plan my day. You think I'd learn. Unfortunately God's plans and my plans today didn't mesh. I planned to get to chemo early, be done by noon, have time to run to Sams Club before I got the kids at the bus stop. I even had supper figured out. Silly me.

As Brian said in the earlier post, we waited two hours to even get our blood drawn. It was another hour before results and then we have to wait for my doctors office to call and give the green light. Then the pharmacy orders are sent over and we wait for the chemo to arrive. We were there for six hours to receive a chemo that only takes 1 1/2 hours max to run. Frustrating. I didn't get to Sams Club. I wasn't home in time for the bus stop. I was so tired when I got home I went right to bed and slept through supper. Brian fed the kids, took them all to piano lessons and then put them to bed. I'm sure that brought back memories for him.

Okay so I'm done whining now. All day long I tried to stay positive but it was hard. The waiting is hard. Plus, the CA125 level, well, not what I had planned. It went down to 45 (it was 52). And yes, I know it went down, but I think the next person to remind me that it went down I may have to punch.

Wait, I thought I was done whining! Okay, really done now. All in all, the day wasn't that bad. I had time to read my books and time to hang out with Brian. Not my favorite place to hang out but it seems Brian and I are passing ships these days so it was nice to have time with him.

I am almost always comforted by the verse "for I know the plans I have made for you". Some days I get whiny and think "why can't they be what I want too?". When I let go I remember that God's ways are higher than my ways and He knows better than me and He already knows these plans. I don't understand why chemo continues to be part of these plans but He does. I don't know why we had to spend the entire day at the clinic but He does. I don't know why I have to be so tired and have tingling in my hands and feet but He does.

So, I'm going to ask some very specific prayer requests.

For myself, I want to clear my mind. I want to stop the negative thinking and the wondering thinking (mental multi-tasking). I want my mind clear so I can hear God's voice. I want to continue to shine. It's so easy to get into a pity party (see above paragraphs!) and that is not what God expects or desires from me.

I want to make wise decisions as well. What if my CA125 number is at my "normal" now? What if I am receiving unnecessary chemo treatments? I can't stop the chemo because of the fear of the cancer returning and knowing I didn't do my best to get rid of it the first time around. But I am afraid of the damaging side effects that each additional round may cause.

I want to be closer to God. I want to be inseparable. I want to think of Him at all times. I want to know the plans He has for me. I want to hear them and be confident when I follow them.

For Brian, please pray for his energy levels. He is going in for another sleep study tomorrow night to see if his CPAP machine is doing what it is supposed to do. He sleeps at night with it with no problem but he is still very tired during the day. He eats good and works out and this is really becoming old for him. He just "wants to sleep like a normal person".

I know today was a long day for him and times like this remind him of the past year. Please pray for his emotional and physical health. He is so busy at work and coming home and doing extras are hard. Pray for patience and peace.

The kids are all doing well. I think my sleeping through supper and piano was probably hard for them. Our lives seem fairly normal now except on these chemo weeks.

I know these are a lot of requests. Don't feel like you need to cover them all. I know some people will want to because intercession is their spiritual gift. For others, maybe a few stand out to you. Wherever you feel led to pray and whatever you feel led to pray, please do. I don't want to limit God's blessings to what my mind is capable of. If we don't ask, we won't receive. So please, ask for God to shower down those blessings so we can in return shower them on to others.

Thank you!!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008: A Slow Start

We've had the usual slow start today at the chemo clinic. We've been here nearly 2 hours and they haven't even taken Kristi's blood work yet. So we sit here and read and surf the net. Hopefully we get her CA125 results today. Any CA125 spike from her surgery should be gone by now so today will be the best indicator of how the chemo is working. Pray with us that it is lower than it was last time (52). We'll update tonight when we find out. Thanks. Have a great day enjoying the beautiful sun! ...mid 40's by the end of the week!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008: Long Time No Update!

Wow, has it really been a week since we've updated the blog? This month is just flying by. It's been a good busy though. Although I have to admit that I feel less connected with God during these times because I find I rely more on myself. When we are weak all we can do is rely on God. I love having this strength now and being "normal" but I don't like how quickly I can begin trying to take control of my own life.

I have some wonderful news to pass long - Rich is coming home! It has been a long battle for them and I can only imagine how hard it was being so far from home. He still has a long road to recovery but I am so happy that he can be back home with his family. If you have read his care pages, I'm sure you have felt the amazing love of that entire family.

Speaking of family, please keep my sister and her family close in your prayers. Lori is an accountant and prepares a lot of tax returns. Thankfully she can be home to do this, however, it is still a super busy crazy time right now.

They have been doing an amazing job with their blog. It is so "real" and informative on ALS. It also shows how this disease effects Eric and their entire family. It makes my heart break when I read the updates and yet I can't imagine not reading them. It seems very strange being on the other side of a blog for a change.

We are going to the Mark Schultz concert tonight with Eric & Lori. I know it'll be a great time and the concert tonight is a benefit for Kyrie's Gift. It's a long story but in a nutshell, I am a "cyber friend" with Margorie, who is the woman who began this ministry. If you haven't heard of it, the website is It's a wonderful ministry that only God could have orchestrated.

We're off for chemo on Monday again. I can tell I'm starting to get down about this. Just a reminder that the cancer isn't gone. I am reading the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn and it is very good. Reading that will help keep my mind off chemo. As always, pray for 35 or the peace to cope with whatever the number may be! Thank you!