Archive | April, 2013

Home stretch

29 Apr

We are almost there. The last two bags of chemo come in the a.m. I am counting down the hours to return home. I obviously will be recovering, but getting outside these walls and enjoying my family at home versus on a bed that goes up and down and dirty floors is highly anticipated! As we move forward we continue to pray that the cancer in my marrow would respond to this treatment. We need a response to these drugs. We are trusting for His leading. Thankfully the gums have responded and we hope that this is a glimpse into a bigger response than imagined. Here’s to one more night in a stinky, sterile hospital. I know there are more to come but for this week I am glad it’s the last!

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Aunt Tracey stopped for final hugs before school. Costume party for ladybug Hayleigh! A good Monday!

Spoiled

28 Apr

To be loved is the feeling of being spoiled. I choose to take a positive spin of this word tonight. This journey is one that has left it’s mark, I might even say, if we make it I am scarred but both for the good and the bad. I often have quiet moments at night where I can reflect on all that is happening around me. But one thing I have is love and it is endless and priceless.

When I open my eyes and face the day I have my Savior that gives purpose and reason for that day. My morning starts with my lover whether together or apart, I always like to know his day has begun. My girls love and exuberant excitement for life overwhelms my heart with their childlike faith. These dependent yet faithful members fill me with love. Yet my cup still gets more.

I watch as the extended family pulls together to be extra hands, food providers or just a playmate to my team. I have enjoyed visits with family from near and far. We sit and talk of the good, the hard and the reality of life, and then remember His faithfulness. Family is irreplaceable on this type of walk, gratitude maybe not be expressed enough. Love abounds.

I sit and receive texts full of Gods truth and reminders of love that is coming from a far. I lay and listen to voicemails and smile at your words. I read of the prayers that stretch well beyond my ability to comprehend. We visit and talk together, maybe even cry together, but we are together! We receive gifts that encourage and remind us you are physically here. Emails flow expressing your broken hearts and your hope. This is all love being received by a family that is being carried by you. Are you helping? Yes! We hear you! We see you! We love you! And your love has encouraged us to keep moving and walking in His hope.

Thank you Father for the way you have loved us through your people: family, strangers, doctors, nurses, children, patients, clients, and friends. Being spoiled with love is a gift that we cherish!

Come to Me

27 Apr

Jesus Calling

April 27

Come to Me with empty hands and an open heart, ready to receive abundant blessings. I know the depth and breadth of your neediness. Your life-path has been difficult, draining you of strength. Come to Me for nurture. Let Me fill you up with My Presence: I in you, and you in Me.

My Power flows most freely into weak ones aware of their need for Me. Faltering steps of dependence are not lack of faith; they are links to My Presence.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
—John 17:20–23

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
—Isaiah 40:29–31

Bits of Good

26 Apr

Today was a fine day. I am tolerating treatment and functioning as usual. Praying and hoping for this drug and Gods power to work together to bring forth remission. But as to the good news. My gums are not as swollen today the chemo is working for them, after just one day I notice that they have receded. I am thankful for this relief and clear sign that my gums needed this treatment. The bit of good was enough for today.

Psalms 145:17-21

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.

Today

25 Apr

Today is a gift. We know we have been given today, and today we know we need to attack the leukemia. Today was not promised nor guaranteed, but I have it and we moved forward in hopes to begin a grand attack on these pesky cells. I am thankful that the plan for today makes sense and maybe even tomorrow.

Much past living in the today seems overwhelming and daunting. I am thankful that He is my anchor, and as we pray for details to align going forward we have His help. We will need His almighty presence and guidance just as we have in the past.

Today I sit in a bed in the same hall where I began this journey, it’s strange yet familiar. I see faces that remember me from the beginning. It would be nice if this was a part of the past, but since it is the present we will deal with today because it is what we are given.

Today I was blessed and encouraged by two stories that reinforce His goodness through this storm. First, I heard from a friend, her faith has grown and she recently received her first bible and desires to know God better. My heart rejoiced, because I know God wants to know her, He made her! Second I learned that because of the blog and our story others became aware of the high need for bone marrow donors. Due to my need someone became a part of the national donor registry, and is giving life to someone next week. She is this persons “one in a million” chance and is giving the gift of life. Two blessings that made today have more purpose beyond this daily battle. Today is a good day.

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A glimpse into mollie’s day she walked the dogs with Tracy and she was happy!

Abort SGI-110

24 Apr

Mom and I headed home to Ohio today after seeing Dr. Garcia-Manera yesterday. The visit was full of unexpected revelations and plans. Leading up to this visit I was aware that most likely we would be moving forward with another plan, but the speed at which things developed was stunning. This disease has certainly kept us on our toes and taught our hearts to be prepared and sensitive to His presence. Much like many other seasons with decisions and change we sought His guidance and asked that He make His plan so evident we could not miss it.

Yesterday while waiting to see the Dr. Emily, mom and I sat and rehearsed all our developed questions for the days ahead. As GGM entered the room with his entourage of medical people we began with smiles and greetings, he is a dear man. We discussed the current plan to move forward with high dose chemo again in hopes to shock and wipe out these resistant leukemia cells. Originally we were going to finish out the third round of SGI-110, but once GGM looked at my gums and the swelling progression in a week it through him in to high gear and increased his sense of urgency. He believes that my gums are a progression of the disease and it is highly necessary to move forward with this form of treatment. We debated starting chemo last night in Houston with hopes of returning home on Monday. As I processed the reality of enduring high dose chemo and flying, I realized that the unknown to my return left too much uncertainty for my family.

We swapped plans and headed home early and will start chemo tomorrow at Akron General. There are many unanswered variables that lie ahead, but as I read today, we must trust Him and know that He gives guidance, and desires our dependence on Him for today. As I lie awake last night so many questions ran through my head that had no answer, and as I struggled through these thoughts I had to embrace His truths and that He is at the center of this journey.

There are a lot of details left unsaid, but at this point in our journey the prayer request is that somehow, with His grace and the power of this drug my cancer cells would respond. We are desperate and in need of change. We continue to walk in faith expectantly hoping and trusting.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
—Psalm 46:10

Change in guard

22 Apr

Yesterday I said goodbye to my soulmate, best friend and favorite guy. He flew home to resume responsibility of our girls and his role as dad, I must say He is a darn good one. We had a wonderful time together enjoying each other and time to be us. As I said goodbye to him I welcomed my very dear friend Emily from Nashville and my favorite mom. We have enjoyed girl time living a much slower paced life than normal. The weather has been beautiful, and we are thankful. I start the last 5 shots tomorrow and meet with the doctor to hopefully get more answers and direction. I continue to lay this at His feet knowing He is in the driver seat.

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Letter of Encouragement: Thank You- I think

20 Apr

I store up the encouragement from around us. There are days that require more encouragement than others. It helps the be reminded that this journey is purposeful not only for my growth but for the lives around us too. I asked from the beginning that God would give us purpose and allow our story to bring Him glory, which ought to be our soul purpose in life if we love and serve Him. It’s easy to get mixed up, busy and distracted but ultimately we want our lives/stories to point to Him. This letter from a dear friend spurs me forward in a season that seems quite uncertain. Thank you.

Friend,
I want to thank you…I think…I mean, I want to thank you for being you, for sharing your life and this burden. Can I thank you, while also wishing It wasn’t happening? Can I thank you genuinely and then ask you to get better and say “I wish this hadn’t happened, but thank you for helping to make me a better friend, mother, wife…person?. Thank you, I think…AND Get better now…I’ve had enough personal growth and development for now … :0

I read this today, and immediately thought of you…
Phil 1:3-7 Net Bible
“ I thank my God every time I remember you. I always pray with joy in my every prayer for all of you because of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. For it is right for me to think this about you because I have you in my heart…”

I think of you…and I think of how you know this is not about you…but about HIM. I think of how so many people around the country are impacted by this story…not your story but His story in you! You have shared it, you have given Him glory…and reflect the work he is doing. I feel selfish in saying I have grown so much and am forever changed by your story. His work is not done, and He never gives up on our continued improvement…

I know this event called “cancer” is the biggest “hurdle” you’ve come to…You’ve stored up, you’ve prayed up, and when this hit, you dug down deep. It’s your journey. So many of us journeying alongside of you are doing the same, so much so, that your journey with Him has become part of our journey with Him. Is that crazy? The “impact zone” is so large and so deep? I am thankful for your courage, and your example, and your humility in this fact, you know, your journey is not yours alone. It has poured over Adam and You girls, your family, friends, clients, friends of friends, strangers even…all who have you in their hearts. It is His work in them, being weaved around their hearts, He will perfect it.

I know your prayer is that your story brings people to know Him, to have Him in their Hearts. And no doubt girl, that’s happening. And it is no small thing that the community of believers around you, has been grown and stretched in ways they might not ever have imagined b/c of this journey. I feel immensely conflicted in my desire to thank Him…and you. How do I thank him for stirring in my heart, for waking me up…and at the same time wish this hadn’t happened this way? “ Is there another route to growth God?” “Can we take a gentle one, something easier, not scary, less tears…?”

But I am encouraged, He has begun a work in you, in all of us, and won’t give up on seeing it through. So I thank Him…I think…I love you, and miss you already!

Jessica

FaceTime

19 Apr

We saw our kids faces today. We cant tell you how much joy they bring to our days. Even when apart and we have the chance to talk about our girls we smile. We love our time together but our hearts long for those girlies. It was popcorn and movie night. PJ’s were on and movie time arrived. We are blessed by and through their lives. Thanks mom and dad for making time pass with plans of fun. Grateful for technology the combination of voice and face is almost close enough to touch, or at least air hug and kiss. Love you girls.

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A part of my story

18 Apr

I find it ironic that I am 32 years old looking back on my life and the road that lead me to today. I am one of the lucky ones that can tell you I knew God and trusted Him early. I am not sure at that time I totally understood what depth and heights my relationship with Him could entail. I did grasp His example and what He desired for me. Often when I share my story my tag-line is by Gods grace I made choices that kept me pure and free of being wayward. But, the one way I did not experience His freedom in my life at that point was self acceptance and joy in who and how He had made me. My temptations and struggles centered on my body image.

This was a battle for me as I tackled college. Many close to me watched me climb an upward hill of constant striving and pushing for something more or different. I had a picture in my head of who this girl ought to look like. I prayed and begged for peace, tired of my inward battle, yet I carried this cross for years. At the time it felt burdensome and possibly something I might never be free of. Yet by Gods perfect plan and His love for me He blessed me with a man who showed unconditional love based not on appearances or what I might long to be. Adam allowed me to experience His love firsthand. As my heart and mind were freed from this constant all consuming battle of striving, I experienced His freedom that He for so long wanted me to have. God used Adam, unknowingly, this was just who he was, to help me grasp that God created me as me and loves me as me, even more so than Adam does. My striving ceased and embraced His truth and felt peace.

If I had not learned this lesson 10 or so years ago I would not have the ability to be loved by Christ through this journey. Often the thought of Him loving me is what gets me through another day. Much like this disease I praise Him for the struggle as it makes us cling tighter and seek more. He loves you, and may you bask in that truth. You are special.

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (2 Corinthians 1:8-10 ESV)