Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008: Prayers of Healing

Tomorrow I will be going with a friend to meet with someone that is in the healing ministry. She prays over people who are ill and with the authority given to her through Jesus name she demands the enemy (which in my case is the cancer) to leave. This is not the traveling evangelist thing where they hit you on the head and declare you to be well. This is a very humble woman who is doing what she believes God is asking of her. She doesn't promise healing - she just prays scripture and what God puts on her heart.

There have been so many God moments along the way that have led up to this meeting tomorrow. I know God wants me to go with an open heart and mind. I am excited and scared and a bit confused about this all at the same time. So, I am asking for prayers for this meeting - for protection from the evil one and for my faith to be strong.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008: Would You Like Some Cheese?

I am just wondering how many of you would like some cheese to go with my whine. Wow, I read my post from yesterday and I was so whiny! I'm not so sure about this honesty thing - it's almost too easy to do on a blog. Now I've gone and blown the secret that I'm not perfect :)

I am doing much better today and have a better attitude. I am reading the book of Exodus today since yesterday I sounded like the Israelites when they were grumbling as they were being led out of Egypt. All those miracles and they still whined. The fact that I am still alive is a miracle in itself and that is just one of the many miracles God has showed us over the past couple years. And still I whine. Like I said in yesterdays update, I am so thankful that God is forgiving. What I forgot about was the fact that first I need to ask Him to forgive me.

I've finally wised up and invited Jesus to my pity party and what a difference that makes. Instead of having guests like fear, anger and dread I have peace, hope and grace. Much better guest list. I have been so wrapped up in myself that I haven't asked for prayers for anyone except myself. On that note, here are a few specific areas for prayer:

*Brian - he still struggles with the tiredness. He has good days and bad days as we all do. The pressure to be the provider especially in this economy is draining. I'm sure watching me go through this has to be so difficult. He never ceases to amaze me.

*Ashley, Nathan & Emily - for courage as we start this next round with chemo. They are doing so well with it but every once in a while it just hits them. We have been more open with them and are not hiding our tears as much. They understand the seriousness of this and yet they also know how powerful God is. I can't wait to hear from them some day when they are older how this journey has shaped them.

*Papi - yup, the family dog. I don't really have any prayer requests for him but didn't want him to feel left out :) He has been such a blessing to us! The night that we were all crying after hearing the news we had Papi running around licking our tears as fast as he could! You can't cry and laugh at the same time and his persistence just makes you have to laugh. Should this chemo cause fatigue I know Papi will be there curled up on my lap with me.

My sister and her family - I don't know how Lori & Eric do it. If you are new to our blog you can click on the link on our page to read their blog. They have their good days and bad days just like us and they are such a great example of peace during the midst of a storm.

My parents (Steve & Linda) - how do you watch your daughters go through such life changing events? I'm sure the urge to protect your children from anything bad never goes away. Even after they have grown up and started a family of their own.

All my friends and family - I know they all want to "fix" this for me. Pray that we will understand that there isn't anything to fix - just a journey to be walked through . . . together.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008: Unanswered Prayers

I know there have been so many people praying for us and one of the specific requests was for my CA125 level to go down. There have been a lot of disappointed people, myself included. Why? Why, why, why, why, why?!?! Well, I was in one of my pity parties recently and all the sudden the song Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks popped in my head. Specifically the chorus . . . sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers - remember when you're talking to the man upstairs that just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care - some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

Okay, so the grammar isn't the best but the words are so fitting. I can't imagine the fact that my CA125 level not going down could be a great gift! I know God is going to use this for His glory but to be honest, I wish He would pick someone else to use. I'm tired. Tired of the whole cancer thing.

I was thinking about my testimony that I shared in April of 2007. I believe I said the words "if you are being challenged, you are really being blessed". I honestly truly meant the words when I said them but right now I think that if I had been sitting and listening to myself that day I would have said "are you kidding me? blessed?". It must have been God talking when I gave my testimony because I remember being truly sincere and so at peace. I seem to be in a different place now. I'm still in a good place, most of the time, but now I'm tired. I've been there, done that and am really quite sick of it.

I know God will use this for His glory and deep down I am thankful He is continuing to use our family to show His greatness. But some days, I just want to be back to "normal". Before cancer even happened. I'm sure God isn't happy with my grumbling and I wish I wasn't so "human". I am so grateful that God is so forgiving and loving and patient with me.

Thanks for reading and praying and journeying with us. Please pray that the cancer will stay under control during the next couple weeks until I start chemo again. My doctor feels safe waiting until after the holidays but thinking about the cancer growing is a bit scary. In my heart, I knew it was back. I've known it for a while but didn't want to believe it because that would have made it real. I also believe without a doubt that I'll beat this once again. We just have to journey back down that chemo road once more and deal with all the joys it brings :)

I also believe that there is a great deal of spiritual warfare going on in my head. If spiritual warfare and discernment is a gift that you have I would so appreciate your prayers in this area. Please pray for whatever you are lead to pray!

My verse I continue to cling to is this:

Psalm 118:17 - I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.

I will beat this cancer and will go and tell anyone that will listen to me that it was God that healed me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008: Thank You!

We just wanted to thank everyone for your prayers over the past couple of days. We continue to feel a warm blanket of prayer continuing to cover us. We are all doing quite well considering the news. The kids get to enjoy a snow day today as we continue to get pounded by snow...up to 12" today! I guess there's no doubt we'll have a white Christmas this year!!

A person from New London, Wisconsin was our 100,000th hit on the blog. I wish we could say we had a million dollars for that person but we don't. Only a million thanks - to all of you!!!! What a journey, eh?

I've used this verse before, but it is appropriate again (not really the same context as our situation, but the verse applies):

"weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

We've had many nights of weeping followed by mornings of calmness and rejoicing...rejoicing due to the effects of your prayers!! Amazing. Simply amazing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008: Half Full, Remember?

Well, we didn't receive the Christmas miracle we were praying for but we're OK with the news. Kristi's nurse called at about 5:45 to tell us her CA125 level went up to 139. We meet with Dr. Downey on January 5 but the plan is that Kristi will begin weekly chemo at the chemo clinic in GR in January. She will be given low doses of Taxol and biological therapy. That's all the info we know at this point. This was very hard news to take right before Christmas. The best therapy right now is to just focus on celebrating the birthday of our Savior and enjoying a lot of family time. If you could do me a favor...being the over-protective husband that I am - please don't dwell on this news when you see Kristi. Please don't ask Kristi about the cancer. Please don't ask details about "what's next?" Just a simple hug or a smile mean a lot. I hope you understand. Talking about "it" can be very difficult and emotionally draining. Thanks for understanding.

Obviously we were disappointed but after a good family cry we're actually doing quite well now. The kids took it extra hard this time. Nathan's whaling sent me over the edge. Kristi held Ashley and I had Nathan. They seemed to be doing better when I dropped them off at church. The best thing for them now is for things to seem normal. If you see them at church or school just give them a hug but please don't talk about the cancer or ask "how is your mommy doing?"

At least we have the next 3 weeks where we can just enjoy some quiet family time. The kids get 2 weeks off of school and I get 10 days off. That will be a very nice break for all of us.

I'm going to keep it short tonight because we have more phone calls to make. Thanks for the continued prayers!

Kristi wanted to add this verse:
"I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done." Psalm 118:17


I love you!! SURPRISE!!!!!

you me

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008: Pray BOLDLY!

Last year at this time we were preparing for the worst. The doctor found spots on Kristi’s liver and he told us before surgery that he was “gravely concerned” for what he was going to find. We sent out a request for everyone to “pray boldly” that the cancer would be gone and God came through in a big way! We had thousands of people praying for Kirsti that day. What a day that was!! During the surgery the doctor was amazed to find no cancer on her liver and no signs of active cancer anywhere else. That day was December 18, 2007. Well, here we are, one year later to the day!

Kristi will go in for blood work tomorrow (her birthday) and we expect to get the results Thursday – December 18. We’re asking for another miracle. Please pray boldly again that her CA125 level takes an unexpected plunge. Not just a drop, but a PLUNGE. It is currently at 123. Pray for 35. Pray for 25. Pray for 15!! BE BOLD. Let's get thousands of people praying again. Let's hold Kristi up in non-stop prayer again. C'mon prayer warriors, we can do it!! Pass this along to a hundred people you know. Let's get on our knees together Wednesday morning at 9:30AM - blood draw time. Stop what you're doing. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. Make the batteries go dead in that prayer pager!!

Remember…”with God all things are possible.”

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008: Climbing Up

Wow, what a difference a day can make. Yesterday at this time I was so far buried in a pit that I honestly didn't think I would ever make it out again. Your encouragement and prayers have been wonderful. I was even fortunate to have had a God moment at church today. I have to admit at the time I was still trying to absorb it and my walls were still up but the more I think about it the more the walls go down. My faith is back and my fight is getting there and my mood has greatly improved. I was able to laugh today and play with the kids. I also found out there are some people out there going through these same feelings and I'm not alone. I don't know what I would do without my support system - my family, my friends and my bloggers!

Please continue to pray for my faith to continue to grow. Pray also for the decisions that will need to be made this week. It's been a year of "yes, the number went up a bit but let's give it another month". Well, we are literally at the end of that now and decisions will need to be made. Pray that we will keep our minds open all options. Pray also that Satan would loosen his grip on my mind and would get lost. By letting all my negative self talk bring me down I let Satan get quite a foot hold and I need to reverse that damage.

Thank you for lifting me up when I am down. I haven't completely learned what this new trial is all about but I'm getting there. Please pray for Brian and the kids too. Brian is such a trooper. He had a very difficult weekend last week but now that I am down, he is right there with me ready to walk this road with me. God knew what He was doing when he put us together!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008: Behind The Smile

Have you ever been so down you didn't know how you would get back up? How about put on a smile when all you wanted to do was cry? Told someone you were fine when really you weren't? Wondered if God really cared? Lost hope? Been surrounded by people and yet felt completely alone? If you have, you're not alone. I've just described the past couple days of my life.

I'm so hesitant to even post this. This whole honest thing is sometimes quite difficult. I just know I'm so down that I don't know what else to do. I know that the prayers are my only hope of getting out of this.

Last year after I received the call saying the cancer had spread to my liver I had complete peace and faith that the cancer was gone despite this news. I don't have peace and I don't know what happened to my faith. I'm having trouble praying and even reading the bible. I try to think of positive things in my head and instantly a negative thought comes to mind.

I read the comments and emails from people that say how I have inspired them and I can only think "if they could see me now". I feel like a disappointment and failure and have lost my fight. I'm probably supposed to be learning something through this but I just can't see it right now. I just really hope this ends soon because it is really hard to try to keep this from the kids - I know Ashley can sense something is wrong and I can only keep telling her that I'm tired for so long.

So I'm asking for prayers for my faith to be renewed, that I can get up out of this pit, that I will find that peace once again. Please also keep Brian and the kids in your prayers as I'm sure seeing me like this is very difficult for them.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008: Minute by Minute

We are doing fairly well here - it changes from minute to minute though. One minute we are great and strong and the next minute we hear a song or a comment and boom! We're down flat on our face.

I believe with everything in me that this cancer is gone. I wish I could say that I believed it every single minute of the day, unfortunately, I'm human. I slip up and let thoughts of chemo enter my brain and it spirals down from there.

Brian has the added stress of working in the automotive industry. So many jobs are being cut everywhere and no one is immune from it. We believe in our heart that if he should lose his job that God will provide for all of our needs. Our mind though is another story. It is so easy to play the "what if" game. We try to take control of our lives and make our own plans.

Thank you for your constant prayers - they are what keeps us going. I have a strange favor to ask. If you see us at church or work or the store or anywhere, could you just ask us how we are enjoying the snow or if we have our Christmas shopping done yet . . . okay, so don't ask me that. . . more stress! All it takes is a line in a song or a innocent comment from a child and we fall apart. We are doing our best to not think about the unknowns and simply live in today. Just a simple smile from you tells us that you care. Thank you :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008: Helpless?

As she lies next to me sleeping so peacefully it drives me crazy that the cancer cells are multiplying with every breath. I can remodel a bathroom and I can build a barn. But any of the tools I use for that stuff pale in comparison to the tool I have to beat this cancer. The tool of prayer. Whenever I start feeling down and helpless I try to remember that. It's not always easy. Sometimes it drives me nuts that I can't go out to the garage and grab one of my power tools and crush this cancer. Sometimes I do feel helpless. Let's pray for each other that when we feel weak and helpless that we will remember that our mighty God is our most powerful power tool we have!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008: A Call to Prayer Warriors

Well, we were expecting Kristi’s CA125 number to go up…we just didn’t expect it to go up by so much. Kristi’s new CA125 number is 123. This obviously came as a big shock. We’re kind of numb at this point. Unfortunately, we’re used to this sort of news. When you get this kind of phone call you go through all sorts of emotions. After having a good cry, we’re both doing pretty good now. The next step is more blood work on December 17 (Kristi’s birthday). That means we get the results on the 18th. Remember the Christmas miracle we got last year?!?! Well, let’s pray for the same type of miracle this year. If her CA125 level stays above 100 we will meet with Dr. Downey to plan the next steps. Our fear is that he will want to do the “hard” chemo right before Christmas. If it’s below 100, we stay on our current path. Please pray for calm during this uncertain time. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008: Time is Flying

We’re still very busy here! We had a great Thanksgiving weekend spending time with family and friends. Thanksgiving day we spent with Kristi’s family. Friday, after shopping all morning, we spent the day with Lori and Eric helping them with their new house. They found a house that is handicap accessible and just moved in last week - it is an awesome house! God has been really good to them!! Friday night Kristi joined us and we just hung out with Lori and Eric eating good food and we watched a movie (WITHOUT KIDS!!). We had a really good time. For the new bloggers – Lori is Kristi’s sister. Eric, Lori’s husband, was diagnosed with ALS 4 months after Kristi was diagnosed with cancer. Since then, both Kristi and Eric have taken a “be better not bitter” attitude and have been glorifying God in their walk. You can check out Lori and Eric’s blog by clicking on the link to the right.

Saturday we just worked around the house and spent some time with friends and Sunday we spent the day at my parent’s house with my brothers and their families. It’s always nice to see the families. I can’t believe how fast the kids are growing up! I also can’t believe that my nieces can belch louder than I can! Impressive, very impressive.

Kristi goes in tomorrow for her monthly blood work. This will be her first time since she has been on this new chemo. Remember…her doctor said not to expect anything. We hope that the rise in her CA125 level at least slows down, but a lower number would be a nice surprise! :) We’ll update when we get the results.

“…with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26