"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

~Philippians 1:6

Friday, May 29, 2009

God is Good!

I have great news! I got here this morning and Derek looks great. He only got sick once last night. He was able to sleep all night, which wasn't the case the two previous nights before. Thank you for all your prayers regarding Derek's health.

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!

God bless!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prayers Needed

Last night and today so far have been rough. Derek has been pretty sick. They are going to give him some stronger anti-nausea meds that hopefully will work better. Please pray.

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.

God bless!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We are here! In the hospital! We arrived here at 8:15 this morning. They had his room all set up, it was so easy! Derek's nurse is great. Something funny is her husband went to school with Derek in Butte.

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.

God bless!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hickman Line

Hello everybody! I hope your Memorial Day weekends went well. We had a great weekend. We drove to Sunnyside to see our kids. It was so great! I'll post pictures later. If you are wondering why weren't in church it's because we have to be careful about being around large groups of people. The potential to get sick rises and if I get sick I can't care for Derek. That's one of the reasons the kids are staying in Sunnyside while we are here. I don't have words to describe how wonderful it was to see the kids. I got to hug and cuddle them, read them stories, pray with them, and play with them. It was hard to leave them and they cried, but I know that God has them in the palm of His hand.

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

Moving It Back

The last I wrote Derek was having his oral examination and the result of that was...he needs 4 teeth pulled and the roots amputated on the another 2. Derek can't have dental work done for a year after his transplant. The reason is that he will have no immune system and the mouth is a dirty place. The risk for infection and bacteria leaking out is high while working on teeth, they want to take care of any (potential) problems now. So he had 2 pulled yesterday and the roots amputated on another 2. When we got home last night around 7, Derek took something for the pain and crashed. I was glad he got some good sleep. He had some bleeding today, which is a cause of concern for patients at SCCA (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance), because their platelet counts can drop. I called the nurse and she said his latest blood draw showed that his platelet counts were OK. She also said that if the bleeding didn't get better in a half hour to call. Praise God though because it subsided. Because he has this dental stuff going on they postponed his chemo/transplant a week. Instead of starting chemo on the 20th and transplant on the 28th he is starting chemo on the 27th and transplant on the 4th. This is also tentative, but I will let you know the changes in the schedule as I get them.

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.

God bless!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Hey everybody! I'm sitting here while Derek is having an oral examination. They just want to make sure there isn't a risk for infection in his mouth. Infection can be a real problem for people without immune systems.

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.

God bless!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spiritual Bone Marrow

I'm going to explain the process that Derek is going to go through and then I'll tell you my thought.

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!

God bless!

Going Here, Going There

We had our second day of appointments today.

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.

God bless!