Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
The Grand Canyon is just so enormous it's overwhelming
a ride Eric will never forget ...
Saturday night we watched the sun set over the west brim
the view from our resort...
"He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work." Psalm 104:13
Saturday, April 26, 2008
We made it! Our first flight was smooth and we made our transfer in Colorado with seconds to spare . . . only to sit on the plane for an hour and wait while maintenance fixed a communications and water problem. Fortunately we didn't have another plane to catch after that and they were nice enough to start a movie which made the time go quicker. Without that delay the flight would have been too short for the movie!
We have been amazed at how different states are. From the flat and green Michigan to the dry and hilly Nevada. The weather has been perfect! We saw the Hoover Dam on our way to the Grand Canyon. We are about to head out for our helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon. I can't wait!!! We are having an amazing time and enjoying every second of it. More to come!
Kristi between Lori & Eric...waiting for the maintenance men to fix the toilet in the airplane
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Thank you to the Heinz family and the Palmatier family for taking the kids Friday night and to my parents for taking them the rest of the long weekend!
I'm sure we will have lots and lots of pictures when we return (which I'm sure will somehow turn into a video). Thanks for your prayers!!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The verse "we live by faith, not by sight" kept running through my head after the phone call. I am faithfully believing that God has healed me and not relying on the "sight" which would be a lower number.
The song "I Will Boast" kept running through my mind as well. As the line went through my head "I will boast in the Lord my God" the thought continued "not in my CA125 level". As I looked up the lyrics tonight for the name of the song it also listed the scripture it is from. It was Psalm 34 . . .
1I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
What a perfect way to sum up everything! I prayed long and hard before deciding to stop chemo. My next appointment is on May 12. If at that visit the ct scan is clear and the next CA125 level doesn't dramatically jump up then I will officially claim that I am a cancer survivor! I can't wait! I already feel like I am but that appointment will make it "official".
The cold that I was starting to get thankfully ended as quickly as it started. Unfortunately Emily has come down with a terrible cold. She has a runny nose, a cough and a low fever. Brian is also still coughing like crazy. His chest is sore from all the coughing. He said tonight that he doesn't think it's the "asian bird flu" anymore but thinks it's "sars" (severe acute respiratory syndrome). He becomes quite dramatic when he's sick.
Tomorrow is Brian and my 15th anniversary! To celebrate we bought new kitchen appliances. It was actually a case of bad timing - our oven has been slowly dying and Sunday it was done. The microwave and refrigerator aren't close behind so we decided to just bite the bullet and get them all at once. Sadly enough we bought new dishes for our 10th anniversary. Practical but fun :)
A final exciting note to end with - we received an update regarding Rich yesterday. He met with his doctor in Boston this week and he was very happy with his progress. He also said that he will not need any chemo or radiation! Yea! He would like continued prayers for his shortness of breath. This should improve as he adjusts to life with just one lung. It can take up to a year for that remaining lung to reach its full capacity.
Thank you for your prayers. I know the higher CA125 level will be upsetting to some of you but I hope that you will be able to feel the peace that I have and that we can boast in God's goodness!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Brian had another miserable night last night. He keeps telling me that he has the "asian bird flu" and he "hopes he makes it through the night". So sad. Hopefully another day or so and the antibiotics will be kicking the infection out of him.
On a positive note, I made a point of parking far away from church this morning (typically I park right by church), I walked to the bus stop this afternoon (typically I drive) and tonight I walked for 15 minutes at a good pace for me. It was probably only 1/4 mile but it was a start! Thanks you for your prayers for this - I know they are helping!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Our appointment went well today. My oncologist agrees with our plan. I had an exam today and no "lumps or bumps" were found. I have had a physical exam every four weeks for the last year and a half and am looking forward to them being spaced apart a bit more! We should have my CA125 results tomorrow afternoon.
I have a ct scan scheduled for May 2 (just routine) and we will meet with my doctor again on May 12. At this appointment we will have the ct scan results as well as next months CA125 level (I will get that done the previous Friday). My doctor said if everything looks well at that point we will say "nenernenernener" to cancer! He put his thumb on his nose and wiggled his fingers! He didn't actually say "nener" but I took that as what his gesture meant :)
Brian had an awful night last night with his cold and went in to the doctor this morning. He has a sinus infection and has started on an antibiotic. Hopefully within a couple days he will be feeling a lot better. Right now he is doing a lot of sneezing and coughing (not to mention whining!) :) We still love him anyway. I know once he starts whining that he is feeling better. When he doesn't whine I know that he is feeling really bad.
I am feeling a lot better. I was physically exhausted for a while but it is getting better. My doctor talked about exercise at our appointment today. Brian mentioned that my energy level isn't returning at all and the doctor said that it would help a great deal if I would exercise every day. I hate exercise with a passion! I have never enjoyed exercising and never felt "better" after I exercised. I know they say that after a while you are supposed to feel so much better and you will want to exercise. I find that difficult to believe. If a treadmill and a couch are put in front of me there is no question which I would choose. That being said, I do need to start exercising. This is a big prayer request. I mentally understand that I need to exercise but I am the only person that can make myself do it. I can have Brian prompting me (and me probably eventually resenting him for it) and have people holding me accountable but it just comes down to me doing it. And I dread it. But, with God all things are possible . . . even me exercising! So, please pray that I will, as Nike says, "just do it!".
Thank you!! I will update tomorrow night with the CA125 results.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
It was a wonderful week but now that we're home we are exhausted. Brian has had an awful cold since last Monday (and still has it) and I am now coming down with it. Our patience is very thin so that is a prayer request. Combining physical exhaustion with a cold and a lot of hours in a car aren't a good mix.
The kids (both Ashley & Nathan) said this was their "best vacation of ever" but their "worst drive of ever". They are excited to get back to school and see all their friends again.
Tomorrow afternoon we have a doctors appointment at 2:45. I will have my blood work done but because it is so late in the day we won't have the CA125 results until Tuesday. We will be talking about what the plan for the immediate future will be. I am really hoping that chemo is done but if we have signs (elevated CA125 level or CT scans that show tumors) I will begin chemo again. Right now we are at a "wait and see" time. We are planning on getting this month's CA125 and then have a month without chemo and see what the next CA125 level is. This was my decision (with Brian's support) and tomorrow we will find out what my oncologist thinks about it.
The letters are starting to mix in front of my eyes so I think that is a sign that I need to get to bed. Before I go here's some prayer requests:
*Brian's cold will soon be done (or he will be willing to admit defeat and call the doctor!) and patience while he waits
*The cold that I am coming down with will be short lived
*That we will adjust to being home and getting back into the routine of things
*That we will be on the same page as my oncologist tomorrow
*Prayers of praise for safe travels and a wonderful vacation!
Friday, April 11, 2008
We stripped the roof off of this old cabin (built in 1846). They are going to relocate the cabin to a different part of the camp.
For the rest of the week, the ladies and most of the kids worked in the kitchen serving the staff meals. After the meals they had to wash dishes and set up for the next meal. Tuesday night the ladies worked until 9:00PM and Wednesday until 7:30.
Kristi was head dishwasher
The guys cleaned out this old lean-to and stacked about 10 truck loads of fire wood
This is a truck. An empty truck. See the rock above (the really big rock)? We had to fill the truck with rocks. Why? Not sure. Our job wasn't to ask questions, just fill the truck. So we looked for rocks in the woods and filled the truck. As my friend Tom proclaimed..."God made rocks heavy for a reason...they weren't meant to be moved!" That was the most grueling of all jobs...mentally and physically...but we survived.
OK, now the playing:
One night the guys hiked up to the top of Sharp Top Mountain. That was very cool.
This was another hike we went on.
Like I mentioned before, I took over 400 pictures so it was hard picking out which ones to put on the blog. Maybe I'll be motivated and make a quick slide show when we get back.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Yesterday, on our way here we stopped in Chattanooga and visited the Tennessee Aquarium (which was really cool) and also did a lot of sight seeing along the way from Chattanooga to Jasper. Here are a few pictures:
This would have been impressive had there not been 10 inches of glass between him and I
Thursday, April 3, 2008
If we get internet access we will update the blog while we're gone. Thanks for your prayers!