Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2004 at 11:15 pm
John's transfusion went well. He got home with pinker cheeks
and promptly started jumping rope with his sisters...quite a
feat when you are supposed to stay off one of your legs. The
MRI of his leg showed some response to the Chemo but was short
of the hoped for miraculous response. His chest Cat Scan
however showed no nodules other than one small one and the
irregularity near his esophagus that they doubt is tumor. In
other words the multiple small nodules seen before no longer
show on Cat Scan. This is good that they disappeared but bad
that they were most likely cancer. After his surgery John
will need an aggressive course of Chemo to finish those little
buggers off for good. I'll see if I can't get John to post
something in the near future...he's doing great.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably (infinitely) more
than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at
work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ
Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
(Ephesians 3:20, 21) How's your immagination? Mine is in
rare form, especially when my asker is engaged talking to my
Heavenly Daddy. There's no question in my mind...He is able.
This power that makes him so capable is also at work within
us. And the bottom line...His glory...not my comfort.
Thanks for praying...
Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2004 at 6:49 am
John's blood test today showed his white count is climbing,
but unfortunately he has developed anemia. The anemia
requires a blood transfusion tomorrow. He is also going to
have an MRI and a Cat Scan tomorrow. The MRI is of his leg
to evaluate the tumor in preparation for surgery (or to
document a miraculous healing by God). The Cat Scan is of his
chest to get a better look at the nodules (or lack of them).
John continues in good humor and just goes with the flow. We
talk often of not worrying about tomorrow and not getting
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his
compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is
your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22,23) Though I feel
weak and tired - no matter what the storm may bring - God's
great love will sustain me...I will not be consumed. He feels
my pain; He'll carry the load for me; He really does care...
His compassions never fail. Every morning they are new...
never running out, never exhausted... I don't have to wonder
if they will be with me today like they were with me yesterday
and tomorrow will be the same. I can depend on Him, first and
foremost, without qualification or hesitation...great is His
faithfulness. I'm so glad I know God.
Thank you for praying...
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 at 8:16 pm
John has been post-chemo vomiting the last few days, but now
he has started obediently eating for his mom. He says an ice
cream sundae tastes like water, and he has no hunger...
imagine that. His white blood cells are low, as expected, so
we pray that he gets no infections or mouth sores now. His
joy in the Lord is evident to all...thank you God for touching
"Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it
and be put to shame, for you, O Lord, have helped me and
comforted me." (Psalms 86:17) While immediate miraculous
healing for John would be my first choice for a "sign of God's
goodness", God continuously showers signs of his goodness on
our family. Pinned down for specifics, I could write a book,
but right at the top of the list would be God's close abiding
with John. As we walk this journey with him, he's the one
taking the beating, and God showers on him grace, confidence,
and peace. Another huge sign of God's goodness is the love
and support extended to us by others. Each time someone says
to us "I'm praying" it's like soothing ointment on an open
wound. Thank you, God, for signs of your goodness.
Thanks for praying...
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 at 4:28 pm
John got back from the hospital Friday. He says he can't
remember the hospital stay even though he was up every 2 hours
for outputs and had a few short conversations. Aren't drugs
great. He's occasionally vomiting and feels tired but his
attitude remains good. He gets hooked up to IVs at night
until the vomiting stops. He'll have a few blood tests this
week but otherwise not much medical. Thank you for your
prayers that his good cells be protected while the cancer
cells croak, no mouth sores, protection from infection while
his immunity is low, and his continued faith and strength in
"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your
wings." (Psalms 63:7) That's our family. What a great word
picture of baby
chicks under the wings of our Father. Not just protected and
secure but singing.
Thanks for your contined
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004 at 9:18 pm
John is snoozing away his hospitalization...punctuated by the
cruel torture of being awakened every 2 hours for an output
measurement. We got some good news that his kidneys and heart
are not showing ill effects of the chemo drugs...thank you
God! If all goes as planned he will be released from the
I was expressing to Laura a while back that I feel
disoriented. Routines are upset, perspectives are different,
I feel off balance. As we talked I began to realize that
rather than disorienting, this trial is having the effect of
correcting my orientation. When all was comfortable, it was
hard not to settle in as a citizen of the world and feel at
home in this life. Scripture points out that the more
appropriate posture for people of faith is that of an alien
and stranger in the world. (1 Peter 2:11, Hebrews 11:13)
Home is heaven and in the mean while I should expect a certain
unsettled feeling, like that of a traveler in a foreign land.
I suppose a case could be made that red flags should be waving
if the world is feeling too much like home.
Thanks for your prayers...
Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2004 at 10:06 am
Sleep deprived from two overnights away from home this weekend
has left John looking foward to his four day nap at the
hospital this week during his chemotherapy. I hooked him up
to IVs at home this morning to hydrate him for the start of
chemo tomorrow at Lutheran hospital. Several of you have
the game plan is right now. Here is what we know so far:
John needs two more
weeks of chemotherapy. Then in late April he will (barring a
miracle) have an amputation of his knee at which time his
ankle will be moved up and rotated so his toes point
backwards. His ankle will then function as his knee joint.
Later he'll be fitted with an artificial lower leg/foot.
After recovering from the surgery for a couple of weeks he
will have some more chemotherapy (don't really know how much
more). Tests along the way help define the treatment course.
Right now his knee swelling is nearly gone and he has no pain
there which are signs that the cancer is responding to
treatment. At surgery they will take a closer look at the
tumor to gauge response. Thank you for your concern and
prayers. John is doing great in his attitude and faith...
God is near!
Truth be known, my heart yearns for my old pre-cancer life...
no sense in denying it. By the same token I recognize that
through this God has awakened in me a dormant yearning for
knowing Him and this is the path toward that end. "...let us
run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix
our eyes on Jesus..." (Hebrews 12:1,2) This is not the path
I would choose but it is clearly the path "marked out" for me
and my family. Now is the time to persevere and fix our eyes
Thanks for your prayers on our behalf...
Posted Friday, March 12, 2004 at 9:04 pm
John and I spent the day at the hospital getting tests. We
got good news and bad news. His hearing hasn't been affected
by the chemo and his blood tests look great. The heart and
kidney test results won't be read until monday. The test for
histoplasmosis was negative...meaning the nodules on his lungs
are still of uncertain origin...I'm glad its no mystery to
God...we'll let Him carry it. John feels great and is
sleeping over tonight at a buddy's house and then Saturday
night with his brother at Taylor U...time to romp while he
"...we take captive every thought to make it obedient
to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) My actions and very being
are dominated by my thoughts. Where I allow my mind to go is
a good test of my commitment to Christ. I understood this
before cancer but now I am realizing that everyday is filled
with forks in the road for my thought life. As I decide
between worry and Christ, or fear and Christ, or self pity and
Christ, or bitterness and Christ, or doubt and Christ...I am
finding the road toward Christ gives life and peace. While
the other alternatives are tempting they ultimately lead to
death. I choose life.
Thank you for your prayers...
Posted Tuesday, March 9, 2004 at 6:24 am
John's white blood count is back up and we all breath a sigh
of relief...especially John who is sick of being home-bound
and hand washing. He had only minimal mouth sores and really
feels good. He has tests Friday to see how his hearing,
kidneys, and heart are holding up through this. Judging by
the decreased swelling and absence of pain in his knee the
tumor is responding well to treatment. He remains cheerful...
even during school.
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires
of your heart." (Psalms 37:7) What an interesting verse.
What comes first and what is to be my focus...delighting in
the Lord. What is the promised result? I know some of the
desires of my heart are not God-pleasing and are unlikely to
be given to me by God. I also know that as I pour myself into
delighting in the Lord, He will transform all the desires of
my heart into ones that He is pleased to give me. I need only
preoccupy myself with delighting in the Lord and trust my
desires and their fulfilment to Him.
Delighting in God's answers to prayer and in your prayers on
Posted Friday, March 5, 2004 at 7:20 pm
John's white count dropped as expected...lots of hand washing
and no excursions out of the house for a few days now. John
has had a couple of mouth sores, but as soon as he washes his
mouth out with some "nasty" antibiotic rinse they dissappear.
His energy and spirits are good. Our family got first dibs at
scalp graffitti. The markers are water soluble so there will
be plenty of creative opportunities...we really need to have a
contest for most creative entry.
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I
desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God
is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalms
73:25-26) What does it mean to have God as my portion. If
many ordinary treasures are denied me I will be content. Or
if I am allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will never
be necessary to my happiness. Or if I must see them go, I
will scarcely feel a sense of loss since I have the source of
all satisfaction, pleasure, and delight...I have God as my
portion. (stolen from Tozer)
A good solid trial has a way of testing these things. I have
been found wanting...but I'm moving in the right direction
with God's help.
Grateful for your prayers...
Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at 11:42 pm
John is getting to the tail end of the chemo related
vomitting. It doesn't hurt when he puts weight on his bad leg
now which is a good sign that the tumor is responding to
treatment. He isn't supposed to be putting weight on it
because of the risk of fracturing his weakened bone and
causing spread of the tumor...his mother was not shy about
reminding him of this when he announced that he was painfree.
Next hurdles this cycle are low white cell counts, possible
mouth sores, and risk of infection for the next five days or
so...thanks for praying.
John's attitude and faith remain inspiring. "Jesus said,'I
praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have
hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed
them to little children.'" I'm taking notes on John. He is
so good at resting in the Lord and his promises. I worry that
he hasn't known the Lord as long as I have...that he isn't
very "spiritually mature". Hmmm, seems to be an advantage
rather than a handicap. Oh God, give me childlike faith in