Wednesday, October 7, 2009
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." ~Revelation 3:15&16
I'm thankful to God that He is putting me in situations that cause some discomfort.
I asked God to calm nerves this morning so I opened my Bible to this:
"Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the Lord: for I am with thee;" Jeremiah 16:28(part)
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Well, we moved to Butte! I know it was fast and unexpected, but sometimes that's how God works. We knew without a doubt God wanted us back here.
The day after we got here Derek's grandmother passed away. It was peaceful, but hard nonetheless. We are consoled with the fact that we know she is in heaven. That was followed by an intensely busy week.
Just today I finally got internet! I was going through withdrawal. That's probably a good thing though. I was also trying to find a job. I'll be working while Derek recovers. Which I'm happy to report I got the job I interviewed for on Friday! God has blessed us abundantly.
Derek is doing very well. He gets better everyday. His appetite has improved and he seems like he has more energy. He still gets fatigued, but it seems less frequent.
The kids are doing very well. They love being able to play outside in the yard. We feel such peace here. I know the Lord is working.
I'm sorry for the lack of updates. I will be more regular, hopefully you are all still reading this.
Thank you for the continued prayers and support. It's greatly appreciated.
"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Would you like the good news or bad news first? Since this isn't an interactive blog I will make the choice for you. I was trying to be nice in letting you think you had a choice when in fact you don't. I always want the bad news first, then the good news assuages any negative impact the bad news had.
From the blog title you probably gathered that this is bad news for you. I'm ecstatic and feel very positive about the new direction God is taking my family, you however, may not feel that way. We are moving back to Butte! Like I said we're very excited for it, we will miss all of you terribly, but we know this is the direction God is taking us right now. One day God just whispered upon my heart that we needed to go to Butte. I talked to Derek about it and he prayed and felt that yes that is the direction the Lord is taking us. Then we got some news that Grandma Kay (Derek's grandmother) isn't doing well health wise and we want to be there for her. I know you all probably feel blindsided by this; we did too. But this is a positive thing. I feel so encouraged by the Lord and Butte is somewhere we enjoy living.
Now for the good news. We had a conference with Derek's doctor yesterday. It was the end conference. The doctor officially used the word remission. They did 3 different tests to see if they could find the original degenerative cell that caused the myelofibrosis and in all 3 tests they couldn't find it. Now Derek's body needs time to heal. His liver and kidneys took a beating from the chemo and medication, but they are on their to healing. His spleen will continue to shrink as well as the new cells eradicate the fibrosis and make room for even more cells to grow. I was so encouraged yesterday to hear that he is in remission. It's my new favorite word.
We are leaving Seattle, but this journey is far from over. Things are uncertain as with every new journey, but one thing I am certain of is that God is directing our steps and is with us every moment.
Thank you all so much for your prayers during this trying time. We appreciate it more than you know. If you want keep coming back. I will continue to update you all on our lives and the progress of Derek's health. God has certainly blessed us.
"21And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
22He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." Exodus 13:21&22
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
What happens when despair threatens to overtake every fiber of our being? When desperation mars our feelings and decisions, it infiltrates and spreads like a disease. It’s the disease of hopelessness.
One of the definitions of disease is listed as:
Any harmful, depraved, or morbid condition, as of the mind or society.
You can guess how this fits in. Despair, hopelessness, desperation and all feelings like it are a morbid condition for us Christians. They prompt us to make bad and rash decisions. Decisions we wouldn’t have otherwise made if we had prayed, read our Bibles, and spent some quiet non-verbal time with God.
19but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, 20who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. 21By Him ye believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:19-21)
That our faith and hope might be in God! There is never cause to feel desperate or hopeless if our faith and hope is rooted in our never changing, all powerful, loving God.
It is hard, I must admit, when the circumstances staring us down are grim. That’s when our minds need to immediately focus on God. We need to condition ourselves as Christians to have God be our foremost thought when anything good or bad happens.
How do we condition ourselves? It is like any other conditioning method. If we want to run a marathon we don’t simply enter ourselves and go there on race day with some Gatorade and expect to finish. It takes months and months of hard work and training to prepare for something that big.
In our walk with God, we need to condition and train by being in constant communication with Him. Praying, reading, and meditation are all essential. I find myself thinking I have everything under control. I run ahead of Him only to find I am out of shape and have to stop for a moment to catch my breath. That stop I took cost me precious time, time I could have spent in communion with Him. Instead I end up playing catch up, pouring my remorseful, sinful heart out to Him. It’s a setback that should have never happened. I took my eyes off the prize and had a false sense of confidence that I could do it on my own. We all know what happens when we attempt things on our own. I’ll leave you with this.
24Know ye not that those who run in a race all run, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain it. 25And every man that striveth for mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.26I therefore so run, but not with uncertainty; I so fight, but not as one that beateth the air. (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
This is going to be a short post, not much news since last night. Other than I guess some of the most important news I have shared so far on our journey.
Derek felt great today! The best I think since the transplant took place. God has certainly blessed him and us today. It's so amazing to watch Derek be, well, normal. It was great to watch him. It's good to have him back. Praise God!
That's all for now, thank you for your prayers. They are obviously working.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
God blessed my Sunday immensely. I got to see all of you and spend time with one of my dearest friends who is like a sister. It's funny, I didn't plan on seeing her, but God had other plans. We were supposed to see each other so we could encourage one another in the Lord. He is so good!
I picked the kids up and the drive back went fine other than hitting some heavy traffic outside of
Easton. We were literally stopped on the freeway. I say that's not what the freeway is for, you are supposed to go fast (of course by that I mean the speed limit).
So now with the stuff you probably want to know. We had clinic today and they got the results from his day 80 marrow from Monday (he was actually day 82 when they did it). The results were great. There is a percentage they look for when they do a biopsy/aspiration. This percentage gauges how well Brian's cells are growing in Derek's body. The last marrow they did (before Monday's) was at 44%, it is now at 66%. The doctors are impressed by these numbers. It means the graph is successful and growing on it's own. Praise God! Derek is doing well other than the fluid retention he is experiencing. They prescribed him a diuretic that will hopefully get rid of all the water. I will let you know how it goes.
Now for my foolish panic. It really was foolish because at the root of my panic was a lack of trust in God. I asked if they had a date yet for when we go home (thinking we had like 3 weeks). The doctor then says "Probably next week or early the next one". I'm thinking WHAT?!?. We don't have a house, I don't have a job, we're not packed etc...For those who know me well know I like to come up with all sorts of plans and not just 1 plan, there has to be 3 plans in case you know the other 2 don't work out. I start laying these out in my head. Thinking of people to call and papers to fill out. I'm exhausted just writing it. After the doctor left Derek (he knows me well) asks what I was doing because he said and I quote "I know that look". He tried to calm and reassure me. I say try because I wasn't listening. I wanted to panic, I at least then felt like I was doing something even if it was the wrong thing. When we got home I tried to make some phone calls and do some things, but they all came to a dead end. Derek in his wisdom said "God doesn't want you figuring it out." His answer irritated me at the time because I knew he was right and in my pride I didn't want him to be. After we laid the kids down Derek told me I needed to read the excerpt for today in 'My Utmost For His Highest'. The title: Are You Ever Troubled? Immediately I thought, every stinking day. I sobered up and prayed for understanding and acceptance. It was amazing.
"When our Lord speaks peace, He creates peace, because the words that He speaks are always "spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63"
"A peace that comes from looking into His face and fully understanding and receiving His quiet contentment"
"If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security."
"...If you only try to worry your way out of the problem, you destroy His effectiveness in you, and you deserve whatever you get. We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account. When a person confers with Jesus Christ, the confusion stops, because there is no confusion in Him. Lay everything out before Him, and when you are faced with difficulty, bereavement, and sorrow, listen to Him say, "Let not your heart be troubled..."(John 14:27)"
-Excerpts from "My Utmost For His Highest" (August 26)
Sorry about how long those were, but they really spoke to my heart. I give it all to Him and trust that He take care of it, He has so far.
Prayer requests: A house in Yakima with 3 bedrooms that allows a dog, a job for me; preferably secretarial work, trust in Him, and listening more than talking.
Hope you are all doing well.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Now on to the stuff you guys want to know about. Derek is doing pretty good. He got blood Saturday, but like I said that's routine. His neutrophils took a big jump from Saturday to Sunday on their own. That's a good sign.
Here is the big exciting news! While we don't yet have a go home date they said they are going to start his go home work up next week. I think all the tests take around 2 weeks. So if everything goes according to plan (ha!) we should be able to go home mid-September! The tests they do are similar to the work up when we first got here.
Some prayer requests for when we leave if you please: A house that allows us to have a dog. It can't be on well water. We'll need it when we get out of here. All of my family is on well water so we can't stay with them when we get back. Well water isn't as purified as normal water so Derek can't consume it. A job for me. Something with relatively good hours. I'm thinking some type secretary job. I'm pretty good with computers and such and they usually have good hours.
I appreciate the prayers so much! They are so beneficial to our health. Not just physical but spiritual as well. I can't wait to come home and see all of you. We can all praise God for how He has taken care of us. We serve such an awesome God!
I'll let you know more when we have some dates. I'll post our phone number again in case anyone hears of any houses.
"For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well .My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee." Psalm 139:13-18.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Derek is doing well. Since I last posted he contracted a virus (nothing serious). It's called CMV. It isn't serious unless you are immunosuppressed, which Derek is. They have him on an IV medication called Foscarnet. His numbers have continued to hold. He'll probably have to get blood tomorrow which is no big deal and is to be expected. The results of the bone marrow biopsy came back. They were good. No virus in the marrow and he has completely engrafted. I was worried at first when his numbers started to decline that it might be graph rejection, but the doctors said that he is fully engrafted, Praise God!
The kids are doing well. I took Ashley for a girls day yesterday. We went to the mall, had lunch, and she got a purse. It's pink and came with some little lip glosses in it. She slept with it. It was great though. I think we both really needed it. Derek and Alexander went with his Uncle Bill to their cabin. Brian, Danielle, and their kids are in town for vacation. It was a full day, but it sounds like they had fun. Alexander got to ride his first ferry. Derek said he asked questions the entire time. He is so inquisitive. Diann (Derek's aunt) took Asher to the zoo. She said he loved the gorillas. She said they were wrestling around and Griz loved it.
I hope everyone is doing well. Sorry for the delay in updates. I will try to be more diligent in writing. One last thing, football is starting soon! I can't wait! Sorry, I had to sneak that in. It's my favorite time of year. What's that I hear about USC being ranked something other than 1st?
"4Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4, 6&7
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I can't stress this enough though, nobody seems too worried. While they want to figure out what's going on they don't seem to believe it's anything really big. My big worry is that the graph is failing, but his nurse has assured us that the graph took.
They said that myelofibrosis is the hardest disease to come back from in relation to the graph. It takes a really long time for your numbers to reflect your progress. This being because of the scar tissue that has built up in the bone marrow. It's hard for the baby cells to get in there and start to reproduce. The scar tissue has to be eradicated and that takes time.
Derek is having a bone marrow aspiration done today. Your prayers would be appreciated. I'll let you know how it goes and what the doctors say.
I hope you all are doing well and staying cool. It's been very hot here. I love it, except at night.
"Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"
Friday, July 17, 2009
Yes, you read that right. He is back on hydration (did I already tell you that?). He also had to go get 2 units of blood yesterday. His hematocrit was pretty low (23%). All is well though, so no worries.
I think I told you that his kidney numbers were up (I think that was the reason for more hydration). The numbers are still elevated, but they are running some new tests and keeping him on fluids to make sure everything functions properly.
One reason for his hematocrit dropping so rapidly is that before transplant Derek's blood type was A+. Brian's blood type is O+. Thus making Derek O+ after transplant. Well, Brian's cells are alive and well in Derek's body and they are now recognizing Derek's A+ cells as foreign. They are playing a game of Space Invaders inside Derek's body and killing off the A+ blood cells. This causes his hematocrit level to drop.
Some good news! His spleen is getting smaller!
The doctors aren't worried about all of the new developments, but because small things can turn into big things, they need to check out and maintain every tiny detail of Derek's body.
The kids are doing well, the weather has been nice here. We take them to a park that is by our apartment. They enjoy that.
I'm still trying to find my groove. It's coming along, but at times it's hard to shift into the different roles I need to fill. Going from mother to caregiver to wife can be a struggle sometimes, but God is definitley there helping me along. He gave me this yesterday:
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
Awesome, huh? The verse speaks for itself. It was a great comfort to my heart yesterday morning when I read that. I'm not doing it by myself, I have the Creator of the universe telling me not to fear and that He will uphold me with His right hand. I love it.
Thanks for the prayers and support. We miss you all. Hope you are all doing well.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The kids are adjusting well. I think they are glad to be back with us. Tonight, I took Ashley for a walk and then we got ice cream. It was good to get some one on one time with her. I think it helps with her behavior.
We took them to the zoo on Friday. They had a lot of fun. I'll post pictures later (due to the late hour, I'm lazy). Alexander's birthday was Saturday. He had a good day. I'll post pictures of that later too(see above).
I hope everyone is doing well. Derek had to go back on IV hydration. His kidney levels are increasing. They also decreased the level of one of his medications. Hopefully that brings his kidney levels back to normal. I will let you know what we find out.
We moved into a new apartment, that means a new phone number and new apartment number. They are:
525 Minor Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109
We appreciate the prayers and support. Please pray that I am able to efficiently care for everybody in the household. My sincerest desire is to see that my family is loved, cared for, and healthy or on the way to getting healthy.
"10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.11To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:10&11
Thursday, July 9, 2009
It's now time to start a new chapter in this story we call our life.
I talked to the kids on the phone the other day and they are pretty excited to come here. I was relieved at that. I had crazy thoughts go through my head. Like maybe they didn't want to live with us anymore. What if I forgot how to be a mom, my mom and Derek both assured me that no, I did not forget how to be a mom. I know God is going to bless this time for our family.
Some prayer requests: That's I'll be able to manage Derek's care and the kids' care, that my sights remain fixed on the Lord and His Glory, and that I remember the amazing miracles God has performed through this.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" Hebrews 12:2
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Why may you ask do we need more space? Because my lovely children are coming to live with us! My Dad and I are driving to Sunnyside to pick them up on Thursday. I can't wait! I will explain how this came about.
I got a phone call yesterday and after hanging up I felt a heaviness settle on me. The heaviness was missing my children so much. I miss every single thing. Even getting woke up before 6 in the morning. I prayed after that phone call. I don't think I could tell you exactly what I prayed, but God understood my heart. I love it when He does that. I talked to Derek about it and we agreed that we'd try to arrange for the kids to live with us. We didn't know if it would work though. Three things needed to happen first.
1) We needed a bigger place. I went to the manager's office here to see if we could transfer. I wasn't sure if it would be possible seeing as how there is a wait list here for apartments. They got back to me later and said they had a 1 bedroom on the 2nd floor. We wouldn't have to worry about people below us, so the kids can play normally and it is off a terrace that we can take the kids to. Problem 1 solved!
2) I needed to make sure it was o.k. with Derek's health. I called his nurse and she told me it was fine and they have resources at S.C.C.A to help us. Problem 2 solved!
3) I wanted to make sure that insurance would still pay for our apartment because the rent was more. I talked to someone at our insurance and found out that they will cover the cost of our rent every month. Problem 3 solved!
This all happened in one day! Not even a full day, more like 4 hours.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17
Derek is doing really well right now. He has 2 blood draws a week and 1 clinic appt. a week. The blood draws are to monitor that his counts are coming up and that he is metabolizing his medications the right way. His clinic appt. is kinda funny. Derek is doing so well that when we go they ask him a series of questions, to which Derek answers no to. Then they get his temp, weight, blood pressure, and they look at his mouth. That's the gist of our appts. We might have a couple of others here and there, but those are the majority of our regularly scheduled appts.
I hope everyone is doing well. I appreciate the prayers, help, and support. It is invaluable.
"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;"
~2 Thessalonians 1:3
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you for your support and prayers.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you for reading and praying, we appreciate it.
Anyway, the song was I Love You Lord. It goes like this:
I love You Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship You, O my soul, rejoice
Take joy my King, in what You hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear
That song got me thinking about God taking joy in me. I've never thought about that before (sadly). I've thought about me taking joy in God. Because lets face it, His joy is awesome! I was thinking though about how I long for God to be joyful about me. For Him to look at me, one of his many creations, and have utter joy.
Joy that I came to Him first. That when everything felt like it was collapsing around me and I couldn't breathe, I got on my knees and cried out to Him. I know that God doesn't take joy in our sufferings and pain. I know He doesn't rejoice that Derek has cancer.
I do think He takes joy in the outcome of our sufferings though. That through all of this I learn to come before Him and be exposed at the first sign of trouble in my life. That while it may be o.k. to have doubts about what is going on in my life, it's not o.k. to hold onto those doubts and try to handle them myself. Because we all know how incompetent we are when it comes to God's job.
"The Lord is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you;"
2 Chronicles 15:2a&b
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I hope everyone had a blessed Sabbath. I'll update as I get more news, but for now all they'll do is monitor Derek's counts.
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I read that this morning. Isn't it awesome? God is good! Last night after Derek went to bed I picked up my Bible and started reading. While reading I felt such immense joy. That kind of joy that can only come from the Lord. "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." ~1 Peter 4:13. God has definitely been revealing His glory to me through this. God is awesome! I can't say that enough!
Now onto updates, news, and thanks. I'll start with the thank yous. As always thank you for the prayers. They help in ways I don't think we'll know this side of Heaven. I also want to thank you all for being there for my mom, Alexander, Ashley, and Asher. It's so great to know that people we love and trust are taking care of our kids. It enables us to focus on what we need to here. Thanks again.
I have a couple of things to ask of everyone out there. If you guys could please be on the lookout for places to rent in Yakima/Lower Valley we would appreciate it. I'm thinking we will be home sometime in September. It seems like quite a ways off, but I know it will come up fast. Preferably something with 3-4 bedrooms and that would maybe allow Moses. I might also need to get some type of job when we get back. If you guys could be praying about that I would appreciate it.
Now for news on Derek. His white count went up, AGAIN! We don't have the neutrophil number back yet. They have stayed the same the last two days. The neutrophils, to try and explain so it's not confusing (did I go over this already? Hope not), are the first line of defense in your immune system. They are the ones that recognize infections, bacteria, etc... and attack it. They took his neutrophils down to zero. They are slowly coming back, but this is the number they watch to make sure the transplant is really grafting. This is also the number they use as criteria to let him out of the hospital. The neutrophil numbers always come in later than the other ones (the pathologists actually count each and every one of the neutrophils in Derek's blood). I'm using a lot of parenthesis today, I kinda like them. Anyway, the doctors say that Day 15 (which is what today is) is usually when they see the counts really start to go up. It usually takes longer with Myelofibrosis patients because of the amount of scar tissue and fibrous tissue built up in the marrow. It's takes longer for the cells to root in and find their spaces. Once they do though, they will start to heal and push out the fibrous tissue.
So we are just hanging out waiting for Derek's numbers to go up. Praising God for his provision, peace, and joy. I have been feeling immense amounts of peace and joy so I know the prayers are working. Thanks again.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Derek's white counts doubled! The doctors are amazed at Derek and how well he is/has been doing. He's been feeling a lot better too. He gets better everyday. Thank you for the prayers!
"When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Mark 2:17
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
God has been so faithful and amazing. I'm going to be completely bare in my writings here. I pray that in doing so everyone reading will be able to be apart of our journey. This weekend was pretty rough. My mom and the kids left Thursday and to be honest I was a wreck. I didn't turn to God like I should have. Instead I wallowed in my sadness.
Friday night I was forced to my knees to repent of the state of my heart. I cried out to God. I asked Him to please show me something. To let me know He was still there. I opened up my Bible to a non-specific place and I ended up on the title page for the book of Job. While it is quite laughable I felt that God was indeed telling me something. I was looking through Job and I came to a part that really spoke to my heart.
Job 42:1-6 KJV
(1)"Then Job answered the lord, and said (2) I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. (3) Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me to, which I knew not. (4) Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee (question thee), and declare thou unto me. (5) I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee; (6) Wherefore I abhor(despise) myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
The title of that section is "Job Submits to God". That's exactly what I did. I repented and submitted myself to God. The anxiety I was feeling went away at that point. I experienced "peace that surpasseth all understanding". It was wonderful and amazing. God wants me to Himself. He wants my thoughts and actions to be completely surrendered to Him.
I read psalm 34 this morning, which I recommend reading. You can do that here. It's amazing!
I will add one more thing to this lengthy entry. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Psalm 37:4
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
I've read this verse tons of times and this never registered with me. If I'm delighting myself in the Lord the desires of my heart will be only Him! So instead of a long list of I wants and I need. My list will have one very large and important thing on it: Christ. He's already given that to me. Anything else is dessert.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for your prayers, they are definitely working.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Derek is doing well. We are Day 5 today. He was pretty sick the day of the transplant and the doctors said that was normal. As long as they stay up on his anti-nausea meds he does o.k. We won't see a rise in his counts until Day 13. We'll find out then how the transplant actually went. We appreciate all the prayers on the day of the transplant.
I'll blog in length later, but I just wanted you all to know that we are doing well.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Derek isn't feeling well at all right now. They say it's normal because the chemo is catching up with him. His counts have also bottomed out. It's frustrating to sit here and watch him be sick and know I can't do anything for him. I want to make it all better. All your prayers are appreciated during this time.
On a more positive note, the kids get here tomorrow! I can't wait to squeeze them! It's Ashley Marie's birthday on Saturday. I love birthdays! Especially ones where I get to buy presents. I don't know if I mentioned in my last blog that I got tickets to take the kids to the aquarium and the Pacific Science Center. They should really enjoy that.
Well, that's all for now. I'll update after the transplant and let you all know how it went. One more note: Happy Birthday Sarah Diane!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Derek should get his transplant tomorrow! Happy Birthday to him! There isn't much to report (which is a great thing). I just wanted to let you all know that he is doing well and things are on schedule.
One more thing! My mom is bringing the kids on Thursday! I'm so excited!
Thank you for all the prayers. Hope you are all doing well.
Friday, May 29, 2009
They are being very prophylactic about his nausea medication. Which seems to be helping. He hasn't eaten in the last day or so. They said that's o.k. though. The swelling in his face has gotten a lot better too.
It was so encouraging this morning to come in and see Derek up and around. I love serving the God I serve!
Thanks again for all your prayers, they're working!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Some of my personal issues are remembering to rely on the Lord. Right now I'm internalising all of this and it isn't having a good effect on my mind and spirit. Please pray that I go to God for ALL of it. I want to learn and grow all I can from this experience and so far I feel as if I'm floundering. I feel pretty isolated as well. For quite awhile now I've had Derek and my kids to take care of and now I don't. It's an odd feeling that I don't like.
When you're stay at home mom sometimes all you crave is alone time (at least for me). Or selfish time as I'm learning to see it. Now I feel like the Israelites in the desert when they got tired of manna and kept crying and complaining that they wanted meat. God finally gave it to them until it came out their noses. I'm gonna bet they got tired of meat and were satisfied with their manna. I craved alone time so much and now God has given it to me in abundance.
I'm now thankful and wistful for those packed days. Those days that revolved around meal times, nap times, grocery shopping, playing, cleaning, and most importantly loving. These are the lessons that I pray are written on my heart and remembered always.
As always, we are thankful for your prayers. I pray everyone is doing well.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
He will get his first dose of chemo this afternoon sometime after they hydrate him. He is going to be getting two kinds of chemo. The first kind is called Cytoxan and that is given for two days. The second kind is called Busulfin and that is given for four days.
I can see Husky stadium from the window of Derek's hospital room! I'm going to take a picture later.
Thanks for reading. I hope I'm not boring anyone too much. Hope you are all doing well.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
We are waiting right now for Derek to get his Hickman line put in. If you want to know what that is click here. The procedure should take about 90 minutes. After the procedure Derek is not allowed to sign any documents, make life altering decisions, or assume the care of another person for 12-24 hours. I thought that was pretty funny.
Derek is being admitted tomorrow. He also gets his first round of chemo tomorrow. I will let you all know how that goes tomorrow.
Thank you for all your prayers! God bless!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I took my classes this past week. Boy was there a lot of info. Please pray that I retain the knowledge. I am also insecure about my ability to care for Derek after his transplant. I know that God will give me strength and through Him I can do all things, but Derek and I feel as of late that we are being attacked. I'm pretty sure that this is where the insecurity is coming from. Please pray for protection over our minds and hearts.
The kids are doing well. I talk to them on the phone and I can tell they are happy. My mom is doing a great job with them. Please continue to pray for her. I know she appreciates it. I'm hoping to see them soon. Grizzie (Asher) is talking up a storm. Ashley is pretty much potty trained (all credit goes to my mom). Alexander is probably working on solving some math equation (if you know Alexander, you get why I say that).
Oscar is at a rescue, awaiting adoption. Though this does break my heart, I am at peace with it. Through Godly council God made me see that this was the best option for my family. I do feel a tremendous amount of relief that he is being taken care of. I can now focus more of my energy on our situation here instead of on the problem with Oscar.
I believe that is all the news for now. Thanks for reading and for all your prayers.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Friday went well. His biopsy went smoothly. Thank you for the prayers. The nurse who did the biopsy, her name is Rebecca, was awesome. He did have some bleeding afterward, but it was controllable.
The weekend was rough. I don't know if it was the tests or what, but Derek wasn't feeling well. He slept a lot. It had me pretty worried. He also had an anxiety attack on Saturday while we were downtown. It was pretty scary. God was faithful though to get us through it. I'm going to mention it to his nurse, Pat. See if there is anything I should be doing differently.
This week is mostly packed with appointments. Things like MRI's and EKG's. I take my classes this week. I'm pretty excited. We also meet with the nutritionist tomorrow.
I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you again for your prayers. They are much appreciated.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Derek's bone marrow is fibrous. Scar tissue has built up inside of his bones making it so his red blood cells can't occupy that space. That's the reason they have traveled to his spleen. (that's a side issue though) His cells aren't dividing correctly. He's basically not producing enough red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells.
So the process to cure it is to give his chemotherapy to kill off all of his bad cells. Once they've done this they will then take stem cells that they have collected from Brian (Derek's brother) who is a match and will transfuse them into Derek. The cells will then go where they need to go and start to divide and produce. They will also attack any lingering bad cells and fill up the bone marrow space. The amazing thing is that Derek now has Brian's immune system. Brian's cells are Derek's now. The inside of Derek's body isn't his anymore. He essentially gets a new identity inside.
I was thinking about this and God had me realize something. That's what all of this is! The trials we go through, the storms we weather are spiritual chemotherapy. God is killing us inside (in a good way)! He is getting rid of our baser natures. He is creating space so He can fill us. The bad cells and the good cells can't occupy the same space. When that happens, we slowly begin to die. Every time I pray and every time I read my Word another bad cell is killed thus leaving more space for Him. We need to be cleaned out, in order for Christ to infuse us with His blood. Blood that was given freely so that we may experience eternal life! God is good!
Yesterday Derek had his blood drawn, he had a physical, and we met his nurse, her name is Pat. Who I love by the way! God has certainly blessed us. Every person we have encountered has been wonderful. Our apartment is awesome. The managers are nice and we have met people going through the same things we are. Please pray that God's light shines through us.
Today we met with a financial representative. Her name is Sarah and she's great. (I'm going to have to come up with some better adjectives) She handles all of our insurance/financial stuff. We also met with a social worker, her name is Doris. She handles social work stuff (I'm not exactly sure what that entails) She was great too. Then we met with his doctor and Derek signed a stack of paper that rivaled mortgage paperwork.
Tomorrow is a big day. Derek has a bone marrow biopsy, a blood draw, a pulmonary function test, an oral check-up w/x-rays, and radiology for MUGA (which evaluates the function of his heart). Please pray the bone marrow biopsy goes smoothly.
The tentative plan is for Derek to start chemo on May 20th and transplant May 28th. That could change, but as of now that's it.
We are doing well. We are adjusting. Derek is adjusting to not working and I'm adjusting to life outside of my children. It's harder than I thought it was going to be.
I miss them so much. It's funny. It's the little things that I find myself craving. Alexander's tendency to give random hugs and "I love you's" Ashley's tendency to make-up songs and dance and Asher's tendency to eat everything he can touch and the snuggling he does when he's tired. God is sustaining me in a way I didn't know was possible.
He gave me these verses this morning:
(1a)"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, they Savior: I gave Egypt for they ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring they seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; (7) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." Isaiah 43:1a-5, 7
I know it's long, but it was such a comfort to my heart. He is such a wonderful and gracious God.
If you have any questions at all, please ask in your comment and I will do my best to answer them. Thank you for your prayers they are much appreciated.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Our apartment in Seattle is available and waiting for us! Praise God!
He just keeps coming through. I love serving the God I serve. He makes miracles happen.
"Behold, I am the Lord, the god of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This will seem a little off subject, but just go with it for a minute.
Our grass was starting to resemble the jungle. In some areas it was over your ankles. This is because we don't have a lawnmower. Now since we are going to be leaving in a couple of weeks anyway I thought to myself "Hey let's leave the grass and somebody else can mow it" I know it's not the best attitude, but me and grass have a bit of a hate/hate relationship. Mostly because when I sit on it, touch it, or look at it I break out in hives, my eyes swell up, and I sneeze uncontrollably. It's worse if the grass is mowed. So you can see it's not that I'm lazy (really I'm not), I was just protecting myself.
Anyway, back on point. Our neighbor, Jason, came up to Derek while he was outside picking up after our dogs (no explanation needed right? If you need one contact me and I'll laugh at you) He told Derek that his son would mow our lawn for us since we didn't have a lawnmower. That in itself is awesome, but Jason also had a tattoo on his arm that said "Jesus saves". Jason is also on oxygen because he has a genetic disease that requires Jason to need a double lung transplant.
God used this to show me that A) There are always people that are in more need than you and B) I'm selfish and self-involved.
Jason needs this huge transplant and he is out there offering help to his neighbors. He is out there ministering and giving of himself. He isn't using his circumstances to isolate himself (cough...me..cough) or using it as an excuse to God that he's busy.
Man, I suck. I do all of the negative things I just listed. I'm just glad God brought it to my attention. He is so good to graciously point out our flaws. I love Him even more for it.
So I think that I'm going to bake them something. Hopefully, my awesome oven (can you sense the sarcasm? Hopefully and if you can't contact me and I'll point out the definition of sarcasm in the dictionary) will not screw it up.
We have church tomorrow and I'm teaching in the 3 &4 year olds. Please pray for me! I love to teach, I'm just hoping the message impacts the kids and makes a difference in their little, but very impressionable lives.
Hope you all are having a great weekend!
Here is what we did today:
Derek and I had a good talk today. We had been isolating ourselves and fretting over things. Turns out we were fretting about the same things! We are now on the same page and everything is out in the open. I love how much closer I feel to him now.
We took the kids to the park today since the weather was so nice. I wish I would have brought my camera, but I forgot it. They had lots of fun though.
Alexander is so daring. Derek was pushing him on the swings and all he keeps saying is "Higher, go higher!" Derek gave him a push and Alexander responded with "That is a baby push" The things that kid comes up with. I put Ashley on the swing and pushed her a little and she proceeded to freak out and asked to get off. Turns out she is like Derek in the fear of heights department. Asher is pretty easygoing. He spent the majority of his time at the park picking up the small rocks and throwing them. He was also especially interested in the garbage that littered the ground. That prompted me to follow him around yelling "Drop that! That's gross!"
After we all got up from our naps we decided to get some dinner. It's been so long since we've been out to eat as a family. It was a lot of fun and I could tell the kids enjoyed it. It's a special treat and I think at their age they already get that.
It was a good, relaxing day. Just the way I like it!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Alexander all dressed up.
Ashley in her pretty dress.
Isn't he handsome?
Holding his new army tank.
Playing with his construction toys.
Dressed like a princess.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Maybe you remember in my previous posts how much I love electronic gadgets. I could go bankrupt buying them.
I did have a bit of trouble importing my music. I didn't know I had that much music until I had to transport it all. I thought I'd be able to just put it on a flash drive plug into the laptop and upload. But alas, it was not to be.
I had to burn the music to discs and then import. It took forever! I think I've got it all though. There were some casualties though.
We've had some answers to prayer. God keeps showing me how faithful and wonderful He is! I love it!
I can feel people's prayers with us. I appreciate it so much! God is going to get ALL the GLORY!
Easter was awesome! The kids had lots of fun. We went to my Aunt Terie's house and had an egg hunt and ate dinner. It was all very lovely. I have pictures, but I'm too lazy to post them right now. I will post them though, I promise!
I hope you all had a blessed Easter! I'm so thankful for what Easter represents. The death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior is most assuredly a privilege to get to celebrate.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
Friday, April 10, 2009
After dinner we went to Starbucks and got a coffee. We sat there and just talked. There were no interruptions! Nobody asking for more juice, no diapers to change, no wiping mouths, or worrying about somebody spilling what was in their cup.
It felt like it did when we were first married and we had the luxury of being selfish with our time. When we got home, I felt energized, relaxed, and happy. It was all much needed.
On a side note: if you could please pray that we find a home for our German Shepherd, I would appreciate it. I had a lady lined up, but she misunderstood me and wants to keep him-forever. I'm not quite willing to relinquish my hold on the Mosey bear.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
My husband, Derek, has myelofibrosis. Which to put it simply is a blood disease that has turned his bone marrow fibrous. He is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Now for the good news! His brother is a perfect match! Praise God!
We will be leaving for Seattle on May 4th for 4 months to start the treatment and transplant process. He will need to get chemo for 6 days and then they will give him the transplant.
My wonderful sister Sarah has graciously agreed to let my mom and my kids move into her house for 4 months while we are gone. My wonderful Mother has agreed to watch my 3 kids while we are gone for 4 months. God has blessed me with such wonderful family. I have also found a temporary home for my dogs. God has provided for details that seem small, but are in fact big for me.
I can't describe the ache in my heart when I think about leaving my precious kids. If you could pray for me, I'd appreciate it.
I will keep you updated on the progress of everything!
I get my laptop on Monday! I'm very excited. I'm kind of an electronics junkie. I've really missed this blog! Well that's all for now my 3 readers.