Updates for April, 2004

Updates on John Chase from April, 2004

Posted Friday, April 30, 2004 at 10:10 pm

John walked several hundred yards today. His pain was well controled until his epidural catheter fell out and then things got pretty desparate until they got him switched over to an alternative pain reliever. He's comfortable now. The doctor says he may go home Sunday if we can control his pain without IV's and if the pesky fever that appears each morning goes away....please pray toward that end with us. The Lord continues to comfort us each day.

I read today that we come to Jesus in our suffering looking not for a pathway out of hardships but for a pathway into his presence. Is it possible that knowing Jesus more intimately because of a trial is better than being delivered from that trial? Perhaps this is what Paul is getting at when he writes, "our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthans 4:17) My flesh screams for relief from the trial...my soul cries out to know Christ more. It appears that this trial will go on for a bit...I anticipate that my soul will experience Christ in a fresh and glorious way.

Thank you for your concern and prayers...
Phil

Posted Friday, April 30, 2004 at 7:22 am

John walked a few hundred feet yesterday while I tagged along pushing his IV pole, ready to steady him if needed. He vomits regularly from the medicine in the epidural (I think) but it controls his pain so well he hardly cares. He sleeps most of the time...I try not to wish the days away because I am enjoying the rare pleasure of time standing still.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." (Proverbs 18:10) Sitting in the room with John's broken little body the only safe escape from the storm is the Lord. All I need to do is run to him.

Thanks for your prayers...
Phil

Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2004 at 11:09 pm

John is doing well. He is sleeping alot and his pain is well controled with an epidural. He's relieved surgery is done, and is at peace with this whole deal. He has been up on his good foot for a short walk and sits up on the edge of his bed periodically. We are really pleased with his progress and courage. You can pray for speedy healing, good pain relief, full recovery of the nerves that were traumatized in surgery, freedom from infection (he has a slight fever right now), and early release from the hospital. Also pray that he would keep his eyes on Jesus as he walks this journey.

One of the surgical techs told me that before they put John to sleep he was calm and said, "I'm not afraid, Jesus is right here with me." So God says no to keeping the leg but yes to my son experiencing intimacy with Christ. This makes me cry....tears of sorrow mixed with unbridled joy. Life with Jesus truely gives us "a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of morning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of dispair. We will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of his splendor." (Isaiah 61:3)

Thanks for your prayers...
Phil

Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004 at 5:07 pm

The day started early with a trip to St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis. After a quick check of John's knee it was obvious to all of us what God's answer was about the surgery question. We prayed with Dr. Rougraff, the surgeon, and sent John off to surgery about 11:30. We got periodic favorable updates through the day while several friends sat with us. Surgery finished at 4:15 pm. Dr. Rougraff said he couldn't have been more pleased with how it all went. We thank God for his perfect will and his mercy at every step.
Thanks for your prayers that supported us through this difficult day...
Phil and Laura

Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004 at 10:32 pm

Johnny's surgery started about 5 minutes ago. Corrie and I are still going to our classes today, but we periodically check our answering machines for news. As soon as we hear any news we will post it for everyone to read.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11) Even with everything that is happening, God has given us a peace that he is in control of everything and will work it out for his glory and our good. Thank you so much for your prayers. We feel the Lord's comfort even among the cornfields of Upland, Indiana.
Taylor and Corrie

Posted Monday, April 26, 2004 at 10:41 pm

10:30 A.M. is when my surgery starts, I am not very excited. Through this entire day I have been trying not to think about tomorrow or what is coming, it is so hard not to count the hours or think about how this will be the last time I will get to feel my left knee. The only way I can keep from being overwhelmed is to hold on to Jesus with both hands, he is supporting me and caring for me. He hasn't yet given me the grace for tomorrow, but I know that he will give me the strength when I need it. My desire is for complete healing, that tomorrow there would be no operation and this whole nightmare would end, but I understand that God may have a better plan (I hope he doesn't) for me and that there are places I can go with 1 and 1/2 legs that I could never go with 2. Please pray for tomorrow and thank you all who have been praying.

In Christ,
Johnny

Posted Sunday, April 25, 2004 at 7:37 pm

Surgery is scheduled Tuesday. Here's one dad who will be looking hard at his son's knee Tuesday morning before anyone else touches it. I'm so glad we know the Lord. There is obviously some apprehension in our house about John's surgery but no dispair. We know that we can trust God to do the right thing in our lives and to give us the grace for whatever that may be.
As a parent it is a great faith builder to see God comfort and carry my son as he walks a path I have never been asked by God to walk. I'm also proud as a dad to watch my son keep his head up and his eyes fixed on Jesus. "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal." Isaiah 26:3-4.

Thank you for your prayers...
Phil

Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 11:43 pm

John's counts are up and he's feeling strong physically and spiritually. He is anemic and will need a blood transfusion to pump him up before surgery. Little by little all the details for his surgery are falling into place...less than a week away. Every day we are ministered to by the Lord through his personal touch, by our friends, and even by people we don't know all that well. Every day he gives us opportunity to minister to others because of this trial.

As I make arrangements for John's surgery I wrestle with conflicting thoughts. I have no doubt that God could heal John in an instant, and I often ask him for that...no surgery, no disfiguring a beautiful body, a no-brainer for lots of praise and honor to God. It feels odd to be asking my Father for that immediate miraculous healing, fully expecting that he may do just that, and yet make preparations for surgery. Surgery is obviously plan "B" on my list. "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out. Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:33-36) OK... let God be God...he knows best...he'll do what's right. Help me God to embrace your plan whatever it may be. As long as I have breath, I will praise the name of the Lord.

Thank you for your prayers...
Phil

Posted Monday, April 19, 2004 at 10:59 pm

John's counts are coming back up. He got a sore throat this time and a few small mouth sores but otherwise things have been uneventful. He says next summer he plans to be the ultimate party animal after this year of sitting around and medical busy-ness. John's oncologist is pleasantly surprised by how few mouth sores he has had. We shared our rituals with him and then there is that army of people praying. Thank you so much. I have often commented to others that our family is reaping the harvest of seeds that others are sowing on our behalf. If John is not healed it won't be for lack of prayer. It's humbling and sweet to know others are lifting our names to the Father.

As great as it is to know others are praying for us...scripture reveals that we have some other heavy hitters interceeding for us before the Father. " The Spirit himself interceeds for us with groans that words cannot express... Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceeding for us." (Romans 8:26,34) I don't know much about how this prayer thing works. I do know that scripture tells us to do it, Jesus himself often did it, God listens when we do it, I have never heard of someone doing it too much, and the more I do it the sweeter it gets.

Thank you for praying...
Phil

Posted Friday, April 16, 2004 at 11:41 pm

Hi everyone, this is Johnny finally getting around to saying something. Dad has already written about what is happening medically with me so I will just give you a brief update on how I am feeling. I am in high spirits for the most part, but my throat is really sore so please pray that it gets better. Matthew 28:20b ("And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age") would probably be the best description of my feelings for the future. Jesus is with me and will stay with me so I don't have to fear the future. Iím a little disappointed, though, because my blood counts are so low I can't go to the Quiz Invitational (at my own church) Friday and Saturday. I canít wait to quiz with the Ducks again!

I now understand how Christians with life-threatening illnesses can seem so happy; it is Jesus shining through their weaknesses that gives them such peace and joy, because I can tell you those of us on the hot seat arenít just naturally "happy people". Well, thanks for all your prayers and I will try to put up another post before surgery.

In Christ,
Johnny

Posted Tuesday, April 14, 2004 at 6:16 pm

John has stopped vomiting and we are thankful. Despite puking his guts out for three days he still managed to joke around, announcing "the steak tasted just as good coming up" and "My hurling has become cold and efficient." Humor is good medicine. It's not that we never get down, but we know not to park there, and whom to run to when we are low. We know that God is in control, he loves us, and he has a good purpose for all of this. We are so blessed to have a relationship with him. You can pray that as John's white blood cell counts drop that he'll be protected from infection and mouth sores. Also, as we get closer to surgery...

"When my heart was grieved and my spirit embitterred, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold my by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory." (Psalms 74:21-24) I'm not much better off than a stupid animal when my heart and spirit aren't right. As I turn my attention to God, no matter what the circumstance, I realize that he is right there, holding my hand, guiding me along the way. And oh never forget...the hope of glory. Earth isn't heaven and I shouldn't be surprised when it doesn't feel like it.

Thank you for your prayers...
Phil

Posted Saturday, April 10, 2004 at 11:30 pm

John got released from the hospital Friday morning and is back to the vomiting routine. Pray that his stomach will settle quickly. The Cat Scan of his kidneys showed no kidney stones. The shadows were left-over dye from previous x-rays. John and I got a little shock when we asked for specifics of the chemo plans after surgery. We thought it was 4 more treatments...turns out it is 12 more. He'll finish up mid December if all goes as planned. He's a little down about that... I hadn't really pursued specifics about post-surgery chemo plans because it was hard to see past surgery. He knew it might be more than 4 but 12 was quite a shock. Pray for our patience with this process and perseverance. I won't miss this yucky feeling in my stomach...just keep running to Jesus, the one who died and rose from the dead to give us life to the full.

"Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy." (Psalms 99:5) My reaction to life reveals who or what is exalted in my life. What do I exalt and before what footstool shall I bow? Personal ambition, money, self comfort, human love,...God must not take second place to anything. Desperation and a severe lack of better alternatives has a way of bringing a guy right to God's footstool in worship and surrender. Oh God, be exalted above all my earthly affections.

Thank you for your prayers and have a blessed Easter...our Savior is risen...
Phil

Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2004 at 9:33 pm

This session of chemotherapy is going well. Even on drugs John is pleasant and good natured. John's kidneys are showing some shaddows suggesting the formation of some large kidney stones. Everyone is scratching their heads since this is not typical of this chemo routine so he will have a Cat Scan of them tomorrow to look closer. I spoke with the surgeon today and he has reviewed the newest MRI of John's leg. He said the changes he sees in the tumor are the type he would expect of a tumor that is responding well to treatment. After surgery they can more precisely gauge the response of the tumor. The clearing of John's lungs is also a good sign. We penciled in April 27 as the surgery date. It feels good to have a date...on the other hand...yuck!

"We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." (Romans 8:22,23) This trial has definitely brought home the reality of inward groaning as we await the redemption of our bodies. These physical shells are fragile, temporary, and flawed. I'm so glad we have a hope for better to come for eternity.

Thanks for your concern and prayers...
Phil

Posted Sunday, April 4, 2004 at 8:12 pm

John takes his fourth run of chemotherapy this week...Tuesday through Friday. He'll snooze the week away. Surgery is tenatively scheduled for the last week of the month. We actually try not to do a lot of thinking about that...trusting that God's grace will be there for us when we need it. God's presence and grace are here each day and if we let our thoughts drift to the future we are quickly reminded why it is best to not go there. That is one of the life lessons that is part of this trial.

"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to recieve glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:11) The only thinkable relation between me and God is full lordship on His part and complete submission on my part. I owe him everything in my power to give him. They are, after all, His to begin with. They only exist because He wills it. He only created them for His glory. Only grief lies in giving to Him anything less than everything. And in total surrender my life as a Christian ceases to be complicated and becomes the essense of simplicity.

Thank you for your concern and prayers...
Phil