Thursday, October 30, 2008

Time to Slow Down and say Thank You

Tonight I want to focus on saying Thank You to everyone. I don't know how I can possibly express those simple words. While this battle is hard and there are somethings that Mike has to do on his own, like eat and take the supplements, we are truly in this as part of a team. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that when we left Shalimar for Sarasota that we would not come back. But when God moves, you have to move with Him.

First and foremost, thank you for the prayers and please don't stop praying for us. Mike is doing well, but this battle is far from over. His blood work is surprisingly good for someone with his diagnosis. However, he still has to eat, drink and take his supplements. That is a huge battle everyday. They want him to consume 3000 calories a day. For a man that has been struggling to lose weight his whole life, there is a mental battle to overcome. We are resorting to putting Flax seed oil in goat yogurt to beef up his calorie count. He also has to keep a food diary. I looked at him today and told him that he will have to do that. I can not be responsible for it because there are too many other things I have to track.

Thank you to my family who is picking up a the majority of these medical bills. I debated about whether or not to post this, but I truly believe that everyone reading this is in this battle with us and I hope that someone out there can learn from this journey. As far as I can tell, we are about $30,000 into this battle. That is out of pocket. That doesn't include some of the things Tricare has picked up - like the PICC line.

Thank you to Giact and Melissa. Words can not express this relationship - well maybe of God. They have helped financially. They have helped spiritually and they have helped emotionally.

A special request.... As I have gotten to know Melissa more and more, one of the things that she absolutely loves is Christmas. I can't even explain it in this blog. So I have a request. I want everyone that can to send Melissa a note of Thanks along with a Christmas Ornament from wherever you are or to represent something of our relationship with you. It doesn't have to be bought. It can be hand made. I want to flood Giact with them so they understand the impact they have made through helping one person. Would you do that for us? You have no idea how Satan is attacking them right now since we walked off that plane one week ago. Her mother has been in the ER twice, her sister once, and now she is off with her brother tonight. He has detached his retina and is going to have emergency surgery tonight. Please pray for him.

Giact's Address: 303 S. Jupiter #100 Allen, TX 75002 Attention Melissa Brown

Thank you to the Maxwells for everything they have done and are doing.
Thank you to Faith for selling our house. You were awesome to work with and I know God will handle the details.
Thank you to Missy and the Ladners for packing us up
Thank you to the Webbers for driving our car back and turtles
Thank you to the 623rd for handling the deck. Roxanne said it looks incredible and she is sending us pictures!
Thank you to Hal for handling our lawn
Thank you to Suhi at TMO for everything!
Thank you to Kay for everything you are doing with us and the medical needs
Thank you to Col Fowler for everything you have done to help us in this
Thank you to Col Weigand for going above and beyond the job and supporting us and our needs
Thank you to Cinco Baptist for prayers and your support for us
Thank you to the B-1 community. We love you so much and are so proud to be apart of that history.
Thank you to everyone in Sarasota for everything.
Thank you to my family for meeting our needs no matter what the cost
Thank you to the strangers that are emailing us strong prayers and helpful hints
Thank you to Pastor Herman and Pierre for your incredible healing prayers and songs
Thank you to Dr. Cousineau for everything you are doing to push the MEB
Thank you to friends old and new for continuing to walk with us on this journey and pray for us.
Thank you to our Tucson Community Group for still being there for us
Thank you to Tucson friends for you prayers and emails
Thank you to Abilene friends for your prayers and emails
Thank you to everyone around the world who is praying
Thank you to Dena and Carrie for everything you did for us in Sarasota
Thank you to Dr Bo for caring enough for house calls

Thank you to everyone that I forgot and for everything you have done. God has truly knitted this journey together.

Finally, thank you to God for sending Jesus and giving us Victory in Him!

Please continue to pray that:
Mike will eat 1500 calories a day this weekend
Mike will drink more
Mike will swallow more pills
That our compounds will be ready
That the cancer will continue to become weak and his immune system will get stronger and stronger
Pray that God will reveal Cancer antibodies in the blood test results on Monday
Pray that I will get more restful sleep
Pray that I can be organized
Pray that God will smooth the way with all the things that need to be done
Pray that God will produce the Retirement orders
Pray that the move will be smooth and that there will be no damage or nothing missing

God is Good! Have a great night!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

8 weeks today.... God is in control

Today is Mike's Birthday! It has been 8 weeks now since our diagnosis and Mike is still with us. By now, Mike is supposed to have died according to our diagnosis. But he is alive, both on this earth and in his walk with the Lord. We are having a small gathering tonight to celebrate. God is so full of mercies. Not only is Mike alive, he is walking, talking, and apart of life. We all know it is by God's grace. I have always believed that there is not one child conceived on this earth that God didn't intend. However, now I know that God is also the one who knows when He calls us home.

There are so many things to tell everyone about. Mike signed the MEB paperwork and I faxed that back today. So the process begins. We hope to have our retirement on Nov 4 or 5. We will be selling back 60 full days of leave, so that will help us in the meantime until we can file all the paperwork at all the different agencies. Once we get the official orders, we have to go down to the VA in Dallas and "sign-in" and they will determine disability from there. I am unsure how long that process will take. Hopefully not long.

Hurlburt is working so hard for us. I have been working with this great lady at TMO and she is handling all the details of getting the house packed up. At first, I was going to fly back there and pack it up. Mike was uncomfortable with me leaving for 4 days so we have asked friends to handle that for us. The Webbers, the Hickmans and the Maxwells will take care of it. How weird is that? I can't believe that I have gotten to the point that it is only stuff and God will take care of it through friends. It is amazing the lessons that I am learning on this journey. I can replace furniture, clothes, etc. Time with Mike and Elizabeth is at a premium right now and that is where our focus needs to be.

I will also eventually need to go to the Social Security Administration and file for disability there. There is an online form, but they need all kinds of medical records, documents, and phone numbers. So that is going to take some energy to get that accomplished. That process can take 3-5 months. But it will be an additional source of income for us so I am going to have to find the time to get it done.

We are putting our house on the market. I am a little sad about that. I just loved that house. I loved the layout and the feel of it and the neighborhood. Of course we are doing everything remotely and handing power of attorney to the Maxwells for those details.

Once we get the official move dates, the good news is that we can do a door to door. The house we will be staying at for at least a year is empty and ready to go. If any of our friends in Abiliene want to drive across and help with the unloading and unpacking of the house, feel free. I know my family will help and some friends here, but the more the merrier and the quicker the job.

I can not believe it has been 8 weeks already since that day at Eglin. Yet as I look back, all I can see is God's provision for us in everything. I can see that He carried us when we couldn't walk. He breathe for us when we couldn't breathe. He held us when we cried. He sent us angels to protect us. He placed people in our path to make decisions for us. He strengthen our faith. We felt His humbling presence. He spoke to us through His word and through visions. He has given people visions and messages for us. This is all real. This is all REAL. God is so REAL and He has yet to leave us. Aren't we lucky? I can't imagine being on this road without him. He is our rock and our fortress. There are times when we have just said, " I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens us." Mike would be throwing up, in pain, or worse and he would say in over and over again.

So that is where we are... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. You can just read the blog and see the amazing amount of paperwork and hurdles that will be coming in the next few weeks. This is on top of taking the medicine, IV's and doctor's appointments. And of course that is on top of buying groceries, paying bills, getting Elizabeth to school and activities. But Jesus will provide a way through friends, family, and his perfect timing.

Please continue to pray for us. Your prayers sustain us like you do not know. I haven't gotten around to emails just yet. I will start to work on them soon.

Pray for:
The cancer to decrease and his body and health to increase
For Sleep
For no pain at night
For Mike's swelling in his feet and legs to decrease
For the Cancer Antibodies test to come back strong
For Elizabeth at school as she tries to find her way in her first public school
For me to have extreme organizational skills with all this paperwork that is very important. That is a hard task with our living situation right now.
God's provision for us and that we can sell our house quickly without a huge loss.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A short blog on the past few days and God's protection and plan for us

I don't even know where to start with this blog. Thank you everyone for being patient. Everything just happened so fast. I want to start off by declaring "How awesome is my God and his timing is perfect!"

Thank you to Carrie and Dena and Nancie for everything you did to help us move from Sarasota to McKinney on less than 12 hours notice. Our van arrived today and everything was there. Thank you.

Do you know how sometimes God moves things to save you? Well that is what happened. We boarded the most amazing plane. It was absolutely beautiful and only had 60 hours on it. Dad hired a flying nurse to fly with us in case Mike had severe pain issues flying. Mark was great as were Mike and Bill who flew the plane. We took off for McKinney. I was so unsettled. There were so many emotions going on. But God spoke to me and said, " Peace be still." At that point I had such a huge peace and had a vision that God was picking the plane up in His hand and landing it in McKinney.

Mike did so well on the flight. In fact, his stats were better in the air than on the ground (truth!). I told him it was because that is Mike's body relaxing and at peace flying, like it is saying I am home.

We land in McKinney to a welcome wagon. There was a fire truck, signs, flags, - a real hero's welcome. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. We didn't have time to really absorb it because we had a meeting with Dr. Rae in Dallas. He specializes in Environmental Health and nutrition. We get there and go through everything and they draw labs on Mike. We then head back to my sister's house and everything is there for us. Food, friends and family. We finally go to bed.

Thursday is the next day. Elizabeth started school and we went back to the Doctor's office. At the same time, my mom is undergoing surgery to remove her uterus and the cancer that is there. We get to the Dr's office and they want to redraw blood from Mike. To make a LONG day short, Mike had almost no red blood cells. His level was 3. If we would have stayed longer, Mike would have had a stroke and died. But God's timing is perfect and he saved him. We went to the emergency room and spent 2 days in the hospital getting blood. Mike ended up getting 6 bags of blood and his level is up to 8.1. The whole time, Melissa and Evelyn and Giact didn't leave our sides. We even got to meet Pastor Herman. He prayed for us in the emergency room and anointed Mike with oil. Mike felt his esophagus and stomach burn. He prayed for me and touched me. I saw Jesus's face twice. It was so powerful and overwhelming.

We spent the next two days in the hospital. Mike slept in a bed and I slept on this fold out chair thing that was not very comfortable. So as you can imagine, I was too tired to blog. We got out late last night (9:00 pm) and then we had to get Elizabeth and get home. I then made up an IV bag for Mike of Vit C. So I really didn't fall asleep until 3:00 am this morning.

Today is Sunday and we are still here. Mike met with Dr. Teleran for 4.5 hours this afternoon. We will also meet with him in the morning. He is going to do a blood test on Mike. This blood test will tell him about his immune system and if he has enough antibodies to fight cancer. The results take about a week. So I am calling on all our prayer warriors to pray specifically that Mike will have enough antibodies. Now I still believe that God can cure this without them. I just know that He will. I mean, God has already saved him once. God doesn't leave a work unfinished.

I have to admit, I broke down today. It was so silly to be honest. Nancie, my sister, dropped off the van at the house. It was packed to the nine with all the stuff from Sarasota and from the house. I took one look at it and started to cry. It was so overwhelming to me. No, I wasn't mad at Nancie. She had just taken time off work and flew to Sarasota to drive my van the 20 plus hour drive here. She has also moved out of her house and let us move in until we can get our stuff packed up and moved here. It was just a moment where I felt overwhelmed and that I couldn't do one more thing. But then I heard about what is going on with Melissa right now and I smacked myself around a little bit. I just started to unload one box at a time.

Also, this week we will be working on our Medical Retirement from the Air Force. We have come to the decision that we have to let a few things go to concentrate on getting Mike better. We will be moving to McKinney and moving into my brother's old house for awhile. The best thing is that I know all the neighbors and Elizabeth is in her cousin's class at school. God is good and He is still with us. He will never leave or forsake us.

Please continue to pray for:
God's divine wisdom as we walk through the maze of Dr's and therapies
Sleep for everyone
Family time that doesn't revolve around cancer
Mike to eat more
Mike to drink more
Mike to be able to take all the regime
Mike has cancer fighting antibodies
Elizabeth as she tackles her 4th school in one year
Me... sleep, composure, strength, and Godly hugs

Thank you to the Iverson's and the Prices. I was just able to go through the mail. I will publish our new address once we get everything packed up and moved in.

Also, we have a great house in Shalimar that is for sale if anyone knows anyone that needs a house!!!

We love you all. I will slowly get around to all the emails over the next few days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I will live to declare the Miraculous Works of God

Hold on everyone. Actually - I mean pray on everyone!!!

Another Tsunami has been formed by God and we are riding another wave of God's divine plan for us. I don't have time to blog everything, but I will tomorrow night.

Dena Howard has arrived and brought us a message that God gave her Mother-in-law while praying for Mike. It was to tell Mike that God said to tell him the "He will live to declare the Miraculous Works of God." Dena has arrived just in time to help in our time of need. Mike, Elizabeth and I will be boarding a chartered flight tomorrow at 9:30 am to head to McKinney. We will be traveling with a nurse just in case the air pressure causes issue with the gas pain that he can experience. We will be traveling from 10:00 am EST for about 2.5 hours. Please pray for Mike during that time and for us.

Melissa and Evelyn will meet us at the airport and whisk us off to a Doctor's appointment. Again, I will blog more tomorrow night. I will give everyone just a small hint of God's moving for Mike. Evelyn and Melissa have tracked down the world's top expert in cancer. He is from Israel and is in the US right now. Giact is flying him to Dallas on Sunday and he will be making a house call to examine Mike. Giact is even handling all his equipment's needs.

I will only get about 12 hours with Dena but she has come at the perfect time. I also called in my moving expert, Carrie Simmons. She is in Tampa and she is coming down in the morning. I have packed all the essential things needed and I am leaving her and Dena behind to pack the van, check out, and move the van to a safe location. My sister Nancie and a friend are flying into Sarasota on Friday and picking up the van. They will drive to Shalimar to pick up some things that Roxanne is packing for us and then bring the van on to McKinney.

All this has happened really within 24 hours. I am at a lost for words at God's provision for us. Thank you to everyone who is making this possible. So many are doing so much. I will stay up late if I have to explain everything tomorrow.

Please pray for :

Travel Safety
For Mike to not need pain medication
For Mike to sleep and eat and have energy
For all the details of this quick move
For travel safety for Dena and Carrie
For God's continue care of Mike's needs
For sleep for me tonight

Finally, I have to say thank you for the amazing emails that have been sent the past couple of days. Kathleen's dad sent a powerful one that brought us to tears. Thanks for the call Dawn. Just to hear your voice made it seem like you were down the street.

I want to end by saying that I serve the Mighty and Powerful God!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I closed the door on Mike in bed with another woman this weekend

I know that title got your attention.... keep reading and it will make sense!

Guess what? I have been claiming how much I trust God in this journey and do you know what has happened and what has been revealed to me this weekend? I have allowed fear to creep in and totally consume me. I have also allowed myself to believe I could do this on my own and I can't. It got to a point on Friday morning that I was so scared I called Melissa and told her I needed her to help make some decisions about Mike. I was so consumed by the fear that I could be losing him, that I allowed myself to look at him and think I was losing him. I needed someone that has been through this pit of fire to look at him.

So God took action for me through Melissa. She dropped everything and flew out here with Pierre. I had physically gotten to the point where I had this pain in my upper chest and yet I didn't put two and two together. When Melissa showed up, I felt like I melted in her arms. She admitted later that I looked worse than Mike. She came in and took over in a good way. She readily admits that Mike's biggest issue and biggest worry right now is not the cancer, but the lack of food and water. But we went shopping at Whole Foods and came up with a plan. I truly have allowed fear to paralyze any sense of decision making I have had. I couldn't think. Mike wants to eat fruit, but he should eat veggies. She reminded me, "what does it matter right now as long as he eats? He needs to eat organic foods but he needs to eat. " We are on a 10 bite a day rule. He is going to eat 10 bites a day for 3 days and then we are going to increase in to 15. She also made dinner for Elizabeth and I. I haven't cooked in over 6 weeks. The smell of food in this place was so good. We sat down to eat pasta, chicken, salad, asparagus, and garlic bread. It was the best meal. It felt like Thanksgiving and I even teared up. It just felt good to eat at the table.

Melissa and Pierre brought laughter. Melissa brought brilliant ideas. She went out with me and bought Mike and wheelchair, a barf bucket, ice pads, scented oils, etc. She shot straight with me. I was a little resistant to the wheel chair. I thought if we put Mike in a wheel chair it means he is sick (I know. No comments please.) But as she explained, he has so little energy why waste it on getting to and from the car? Why not use it to play a board game with Elizabeth or going down to the dock? That is the same idea behind the barf bucket. Why waste the energy getting to the toilet? The ice pads are for the stomach pain. Icing you stomach will help reduce swelling and reduce the pain. She bought lavender scented oil for Mike's room. Lavender relaxes you. She talked about living and she really helped us make some decisions that I will reveal later during the week.

I am embarrassed to admit, but Melissa seemed to know more what Mike needed than I did. She knew when to rub him, when to let him sleep, what would taste good to him, and when to push him. Mike went to bed to rest. He sits up in bed and then leans over on 3 king size pillow stacked up. Melissa went in and prayed for him and then opened the bible and started reading. I heard it and shut the door and walked in the kitchen. I looked at Pierre and said, "I just shut the door on my husband in bed with another woman." I laughed and so did Pierre. But in all honesty it wasn't that. It was a Christian ministering to another Christian. There was no boy, girl, black, white, short, tall... just one soul healing and speaking to another soul. THAT is God in Action.

So Melissa and Pierre have safely landed back in Dallas. I want to publicly thank both of their spouses, children, and all the friends and families that made this weekend happen. I don't know how God loves me so much to move mountains for me. Make no mistake, Melissa and Pierre coming was God moving mountains. Even down to the fact that there were no plane tickets on Friday night and they called American and two seats had just opened up. (Exactly two seats... God in action)

God has also acted for us at home. I understand that the 623rd has handled a home project for us over the weekend that we needed to have done. One of those projects we had postponed for the fall, because it is too hot and humid in the summer. Thank you.

Dena and Doug will be at Eglin tomorrow. Dena is picking up Mike's car and driving down here to help for a few days.

Please continue to pray for Mike and for Elizabeth and I. Mike has had a rough day. Until about 3:00 pm, Mike threw up whatever he took including water. However, God is good. Mike has a PICC line on Thursday so we did the IV's at the condo this weekend. They gave us saline too. So Mike got his Vitamin C drip and saline today. He seems to be resting well now and even kept some yogurt down. Praise God. There will be a lot of decisions this week. Some made by us and some made on behalf of us. Pray that all those decisions will be God's will for us.

I have three things I want to end with..

I found out this weekend that GIACT means God in Action Coming Together.

As Mike and I take some steps this week, I am going to blog them. Mostly because we have so many friends of all ranks that might be able to learn some things through this that will either help them or someone else at some point.

Finally, this was sent in an email and is a poem from Maya Angelou. It really spoke to me and I want to share it to give some insight into who I am

When I say… 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean livin,
'I'm whispering 'I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say… 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say… 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess…

When I say… 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say… 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain…
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say… 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tomato Plant and Phone Numbers

It is Friday and God gave me a vision this morning to describe this week. I could draw it better than write it, but I will try. I am this grown tomato plant with all kinds of tomatoes. Some ripe, some green, and some blooms waiting for the right time to become a tomato. The only way I can stand up and bear all the weight of the tomatoes is because there is a strong stick that is holding me up with lots of anchors.

Again, I am the plant and God is my strong stick (tower). However, the only reason it is supporting me is because I am anchored to it. The top band is the thickest and the strongest and this is Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The other bands that support the tomato plant represent friends, family, AF, Church, etc. The tomatoes represent the burdens/decisions right now. The biggest one is cancer and Mike. The next one is Elizabeth. There is one that represents the AF. One that represents finances, retirement, house, health, worries, fears, etc. Some are small and some I don't even know about yet. But every time one becomes to heavy to bear, God provides another anchor to support that branch.

So now I will try to explain this vision in our week. I have been through ALL kinds of emotions this week. Here is what I see going on with Mike. He is starting to lose weight again and it scares me. It makes sense. He is not really eating anything. I also see his stomach and it looks like it is getting bigger and that scares me. It could be the cancer or it could be gas or it could be that he is not eating. Mike is experiencing so much pain at night. The gas is building up and nothing seems to help. I have spent a couple of nights in a row up with him; sometimes in the room or sometimes in the living room just praying that God will help. Of course this has led to total exhaustion and then that led to emotional instability. I completely trust that God loves Mike more than I do, but it is so hard to sit by and watch and be helpless.

To balance that out, we have had some really good moments this week. We have been to this great bay side park off the Siesta Key Bridge. You can pull right up to a bench and Mike can look out over the bay into downtown Sarasota. It is pretty and it is the first time Mike has been out really since we have been here.

I got really mad at the cancer on Wednesday. I had made up my mind that I was just going to kick Mike's butt into eating and getting nutrients. He can just drink it, throw it up and drink it again. Sounded better than the actual situation.

Mike had a PICC line put in on Thursday. This is one of those tomatoes that ripen very quickly. The AF really bent over backwards to get this done for us down here. God gave us at so many supports on that one - Kay, Col Fowler, Col Weigand, Maj Sharon, Tina, Dr. Cousineau, even Dr. Monhollon. The PICC line became important because it was getting harder and harder to get veins on Mike. A side benefit about the PICC line is I can now hook up Mike to the IV here. So tomorrow we are still doing all our Therapies, but we don't have to drive anywhere. The wellness center also gave us an LBG machine for the weekend.

Col Weigand flew down here for the day on Thursday to be with us. I felt bad for him because I was an emotional wreck and more tired than I have been since Elizabeth was 6 weeks old. Tired for me equals tears plain and simple. In fact, Roxanne, Scott, and Dena have talked me off the ledge this week. But here is the other absolute amazing support that God provided. Col Weigand happens to go to the same church, Cinco Baptist, that we do. He called Abe that is in his Sunday School class on Tuesday to see if he would fly him down here. If he flew commercial, it is an 8 hours flight. If he drove it was a 7 hour drive one way. He only had one day. Abe called him back and said, "Absolutely". He cancel all his appointments for the day and did it. Not only that, he prayed over us. He loved Elizabeth. He brought us lunch while we were waiting at the hospital for Mike (PICC Line). He didn't even know us. His wife passed away in 2000 from cancer and he understood. When I was explaining our protocol, he knew what we were doing and why. It is always such a relief when people actually understand the science behind what we are doing.

Col Weigand came down and helped to ripen a tomato and at the same time support that branch. One of those tomatoes has always been the AF and what is going to happen. The AF has been great in supporting us down here but yet we knew the time would come when that tomato would ripen. Col Weigand really explained things to us and we are in the process of making some decisions. Sometimes you have to pick that fruit to lighten the load. I think MY biggest fear is the fear of leaving the AF in this new town we have moved to and not having the support system we need. The fear was actually bigger because I wouldn't say it or write it down. However, once I saw it in writing it really helped. I realize that I am putting God in a box. He will provide just as He is doing right now.

Col Fowler is an amazing support. He is that go to person for us when a tomato ripens too quick. He is the emergency support who moves mountains. I have a confession too. When he first sent the email that he was our go to man, I got upset. I thought I had just been assigned a person to handle Mike's affairs. I don't know the official AF term for it, but the person they assign when someone passes away. Col Fowler doesn't even know this, so if he is reading this blog, I am sorry. I was so wrong about that. SO WRONG. Please know those feelings were probably just out of fear and it was nothing that was said. Just me going off the deep end.

Aunt Mary has been a support this week. She came in Sunday and was supposed to leave on Thursday. Wednesday night was so bad that I couldn't bear to see her leave. I was so tired and I just needed someone to help. She cleaned the bathrooms, the condo and last night I handed her my phone and said, "I have to go to bed. Elizabeth needs to be in bed at 8:15 and I am done." She went to the grocery store. OH and she took Elizabeth to Discovery Cove, Seaworld and Downtown Disney. Elizabeth had the time of her life and it allowed Mike and I some time together.

Florida Integrative Medicine is a huge support. I know I have talked about them so much, but they really love Mike and work so hard for him. I went in today and told them (in tears) about how Mike threw up all night. It got so bad he couldn't even crawl to the toilet anymore. He just put the trash can on the bed. He was very dehydrated. They took care of all our needs. I left Mike and came back and he looked better. They gave him an extra bag of saline today on top of the Vitamin C. They are also going to start doing this Ultraviolet treatment to his blood on Monday. I will type more about that next week.

The Maxwells.... words can not express the support they have been. It is one of those rare friendships that was truly God ordained from the start. We met at Hurlburt Chapel and then we move one street over from them. They have taken over the care of our house completely. I have called so many times with "I need this and it has been done. Period." I want to wrap them up and keep them with me forever. This week I called her and ask her to check on Mike's car for Dena. She is flying in on Monday with Doug. Doug has some AF thing at Eglin and Dena is going to drive Mike's car down here for a few days. I was worried because the car hasn't been driven since August. But they are taking care of it.

I could and should go on more about the tomatoes, but I am hoping you understand. I truly could not stand under the weight of this without God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Period. But when the load is too much to bear, He has taken it a step further and added all of you as supports. Thank you.

I have some things I really want to tell everyone..

1. My Blackberry fried today. A "Fatal Software glitch" they said. Verizon replaced it at no cost, but I have NO ONE's phone number any more. Please email me or call me so I can start building it back. EVERYONE has to do this...

2. ABILENE friends.... OK. Get this. We are in the IV clinic and this older gentleman was talking about how his son asked him to teach a class for him next semester in Abilene. So my ears perked up and I said how much we loved Abilene. He said he was going to teach at Hardin Simmons. I said we know a lot of people at Hardin Simmons. So this gentleman turns out to the the former Dean of the Business School (Coleman!) Jimmy Monhollon. I looked at him funny and he said that his son is Dr. Monhollon - the one that has been SO nice to us at Florida Integrative Medicine. He actually owns it, but is the one that has been coming in on Sundays after church to do the IV for us. Mr. Monhollon also went to First Baptist Church while we were there. We talked about China Star and Joe Allens and just what a great place Abilene is to live because of the people.

3. It think we are really in the trenches right now. This has been such a hard week. I really know that people have gone on with life, but if you are still reading and can send a email/card of support this week, it would mean the world right now. We are still striving to go home next weekend, but if we have a week like this week, I am not sure if we can.

4. PRAYERS... Please cover us in prayer. I feel like that I don't know what to pray anymore. Kathleen sent me an email that God used to answer my despair. Just pray Jesus. I have done that so much this week. Specific prayer needs are still the same: sleep, rest, eat, and drink. Also, that the gas pain will go away and that God will continue to reduce this tumor. The MRI said that tumor was near Mike's aorta in his stomach. The UCLA doctor said she would need to know how close it was, if it was involved in the tissue before she would even consider it. Pray specifically that God will shrink back the tumor by his aorta.

We love you and I will be better this weekend and next week with the blog. Melissa and Pierre are on there way here to help us this weekend. I need their eyes, their wisdom, and their experience so much right now.

God Bless you and don't forget about your phone numbers! Roxanne... you too!

Tonight for sure!

I am sorry. I know how everyone is looking for me to post. I have been so tired and the one night I had the energy I had to pay bills and balance the checkbook.

I will post tonight for sure. Mike has had a rough couple of days. We need prayer so desperately. Pray for him to take fluids, to eat, for the tumor to collapse, and for strength when there is none.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus Day - Wanting vs. Faith

It is the start on another week here in Sarasota and I have to admit, I am a little weak today. I so wish there was an end in sight. I am to the point that I want to go home. BUT I want to go home with Mike and I want everything to be back the way it was. I think I am in a pouty, 3 year old mood today. I almost don't know how to put it in words. It is probably because we are getting near the six week mark.

I have to be honest... no since in holding back now.... I thought it would be rough for a month or so, but then Mike would be back to a somewhat "normal" state. Weaker yes, but that is it. This journey is so scary and when I don't pull my strength from God, I completely fail. Today is another day to remind me how weak I am and there is only one place, one God, who can conquer this.

Today, Aunt Mary and Elizabeth headed to Orlando until Wednesday. They stopped at Downtown Disney and Elizabeth made a huge list for Christmas. She also did some Christmas shopping for a few of our nieces and nephews. The ate at Wolfgang Pucks and went to Goofy's Candy Factory. They checked into the hotel and had the joy of evacuating the hotel tonight due to smoke in the kitchen. Elizabeth called to tell me because she thought I would need to know. I heard a little nervousness in her voice. She grabbed her beloved Polar Bear and a swimsuit to evacuate. Polar Bear because it is Polar Bear and her swimsuit because she is going to Discovery Cove tomorrow whether or not the hotel burns down!

Mike spent most of the day in Oxygen Therapy. Oxygen Therapy is a way to infuse the healthy cells with Oxygen and keep the healthy ones healthy. He did a colonic tonight along with his Haelen Therapy. He is now doing his nightly protocol and we will be in bed soon.

Bill showed up today with a box of Novait from Japan. It is a thirty day supply of freeze dried duck cells with infused vitamins, chelated minerals and vital nutrients. This is supposed to bring his energy back and that would be a blessing. I also spent most of the day researching Doctors to mail his MRI results to. We are looking for opinions to see if surgery is possible. I am not keen on the surgery because it is extremely difficult. They remove part of the stomach and esphogus. Then they take the stomach and stretch in out into a esphogus. I have read just a few blogs and it is no picnic. It takes well over a year to really get back to a somewhat "normal" state. But, Bill wants to see if it is a viable option yet. We sent one package to UCLA and one will be going out to UC San Fransico tomorrow (thanks Col Fowler!). I will update you when we know something.

In the morning, I get up and prepare Mike "breakfast" and I get some toast and sit in bed with him and try to read something in the bible. For the past few days, I have spent time in Daniel. I love the book of Daniel. Today, we read about the writing on the wall - Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin. (Daniel 5:25) We were struck by Tekel - it means that you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. I am not a Theologian by any means, but just think about those words. Think about God telling you, " you have been weighed and founds wanting." I much prefer God saying, " Well done my good and faithful servant."

I think about those two biblical phrases and the difference that stands out to me is Faithful. The darkest times for me right now is when I want... I want to go home. I want Mike to be back to normal. I want this fear to stop. I want the tumor to disappear. I am wanting so much and it brings despair. But when we have had faith... Faith in God's plan, Faith in the small steps, Faith that God will meet our needs right now.... we have had peace, smiles, and a sense of calm. So as I wrap this up tonight, I am done wanting. I am going to cling to my faith in Christ Jesus. It is the only thing that is the absolute cure!

Pray needs:
Faith for me
Safety, Joy, and fun for Elizabeth and Mary in Orlando
Pray for Mike that he will drink more water/fluids
That Mike will gain energy and eat more

Pray that God will continue to move Mountains to show His Glory and for His purpose!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend update

This weekend has had it's up and downs. But I am going to concentrate only on the ups, because that is what we need to hang on to.
  • Aunt Mary arrived early this morning at 1:00 am and her luggage arrived this afternoon at 1:00 pm. She traveled all day and got an upgrade to First Class!
  • Elizabeth has convinced Mary that she needs to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua. This will be Elizabeth's second time to see the movie.
  • Mike had 2 three hour naps yesterday that were without pain. He spent another sleepless night, but we are praising God for the naps.
  • I got a b-12 shot yesterday!
  • We slept until 9:15 am today.
  • Tomorrow, Elizabeth and Aunt Mary are leaving for Orlando for a special trip for Elizabeth. They will be back on Wednesday.

We have made some changes to Mike's therapies right now.

  • The IV infiltrated today, so Mike did not receive his Vitamin C IV.
  • We are starting 20 days of Haelan treatments. This is a natural Chemotherapy for the liver and it comes from China. It is a fermented soy thing...
  • Mike is receiving embrotic duck egg/cells that are infused with extra minerals. This comes from Japan and is this little bottle full of crunchy cells. They are freeze dried. We are mixing it with a little bit of orange juice to make it easier to take.
  • Tomorrow, we will be emailing the MRI to a few doctors - one in CA, one in Dallas, and one in Jacksonville, FL to see if the tumor has shrunk enough to possibly have it removed. I am not keen on this because I know this surgery is very risky and will change the rest of his life. But we want to see if it is still an option.
  • We will be doing an ultraviolet treatment for Mike's blood starting on Tuesday. His blood is run through an ultraviolet machine and then put back into him. It is supposed to cleanse the blood. I should know more about it, but I can't remember the details at this moment.
  • We will be starting his Vaccine tomorrow as well. This was developed for him out in Washington. He will be taking 3 shots a week for at least 6 months. It is really kind of cool. They took his urine and created a specific antibody treatment just for him.

God is so good to us. I think that I have been wishing that we could go home, but I need to be where Mike can get better and stronger. We have had such amazing news this week. Really good news. The MRI said that there is no ascites around the liver. But what that means is that the liver is still functioning. When the liver stops functioning, the waste builds up around the liver and that is called ascites. It is the beginning of the end. Also, there is no cancer in the pancreas. Again, that is huge. God has given us more time to fight this and reverse it. To God Be the Glory for the Things HE has DONE!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mike "Indiana" Phillips

I have first have to shared this with everyone, because it made us laugh tonight. This was sent to us in an email from our dear friends Tom and Kathleen:

So every night for weeks and weeks Tom has been saying with Corrina (their daughter) "Please heal Uncle Jeb and Mike Phillips. Watch over Mike and Deanna Phillips."

Well, the other night, instead of asking God to watch over Mike and Deanna Phillips he said: "watch over Deanna Phillips and Mike Phillips."

Erin was listening in and said: "what's Mike Phillips' middle name?"

Tom said: "I don't know. Why?" Erin answered: "Isn't it Indiana?" Which got a big: "what?!" from Tom.

And Erin said: "We always pray for Mike Indiana Phillips."

I love kids! How can you not? Tonight my precious one looked at me with such wise eyes and said, " Mommy remember pain is good". I looked at her and said, "I wonder if Jesus thought that on the cross?" She responded, " Remember Job and all the pain he went through? God blessed him doubly in the end."

I want to be more like her sometimes. She is so matter of fact. It is such an open and closed case with her. She has no doubt that Daddy will be ok. None. She says the wisest things, hugs me, and then goes back to creating her Star Wars journal that she has been working on.

OK. So, here was our day. We got up and Mike has another sleepless night. He is tired. However, he had a protein drnik for breakfast and took his medicines. We have pared down again to two supplements - Natura 201 and Bao Kung. The reason we did this is we need those medicines to stay down and not get thrown up. So we manage to get out of the house and get Mike to the IV Clinic. We left him there and picked him up at 1:00 pm and headed to the Wellness Center. Once we got there, everything got a little hectic. We ran into Bill and he is now concerned that Mike's tumor is blocking the bile duct to the pancreas. He wants us to get and MRI and if that is the case, we will be leaving to go to Jacksonville, FL for surgery. I think my jaw dropped, but off I went trying to get an MRI. Again, God is so in control here. I had an order from Dr. Monhollon for a CT Scan and I was able to call the clinic and get the appointment for this evening at 5:20. AND they would read it and get the report to Dr. Monhollon tonight. So we loaded up and made the 1 hour drive to the Imaging Center. At this point, Mike is so tired, the bags under his eyes are red and puffy. We get there and pay for the MRI. Everything happened so fast, I didn't have time to engage Tri-care. I will hopefully be able to get that reimbursed when we get back. But regardless, there we were. The biggest challenge was that Mike would have to lie on his back for 1 hour. Mike has not been able to lie flat on his back since August. There is so much pain. We prayed so hard for the ability to either endure or that the pain would be gone. God gave Mike endurance. It was so hard and I could hear his struggle out in the waiting area. That is what brought me to tears and the conversation that I shared above. I wanted to take at least a little of the pain from him. When Mike got up, he was shaking. We put him in a chair and wrapped a blanket around him and just rubbed on him. We actually put him in a wheel chair for the first time to take him to the car. He was officially wiped out just from the pain. I told him I couldn't believe he did it, but he was quick to say it wasn't him. It was too painful. It was Christ.

So I left with a CD of the pictures and they email me the quick read report. It said that Mike's pancreas is fine. No swelling, and nothing leaning on the duck. His colon, kidneys, gallbladder, and prostrate were fine. There were multiple lesions on his liver and there is still a mass in his stomach. The size wasn't on the report. It was a quick read. Dr. Monhollon has the CD with the first CT Scan from Eglin so hopefully, he can compare. So we will know more. However, tonight was good. At the very least, the tumor hasn't gone anywhere else. It appears that the tumor is at least the same size (though in my heart, I feel it has to be smaller).

Mike is 5 weeks into a treatment tonight. According to statistics, Mike would have around 3 weeks left because what we are doing is not considered treatment. However, it appears that we have a success tonight. One success in a long line of successes, God willing, yet to come. Remember, they said it was aggressive. So this is HUGE news. It we can stop it in it's tracks, then we can slowly work at tearing it apart. This is all God. ALL GOD!!!

To God be the Glory for the things He has Done......

Prayer needs:
Sleep for Mike
Less Pain for Mike
Mike will drink more
Mike will eat more
Pray that Mike's digestive tract will kick into gear soon. The lack of eating since August has created a lot of issues. But it is a battle we will win!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


This might be a long post. So much has happened. I will start with Mike. We had a retest today and we saw the improvements in his overall health. We we got her all 1o of his body systems were stressed and couldn't hold the meridian line. Today all but 2 systems did. So that is a great improvement. Mike has been having pain in his left side. We have determined that it is probably pancreatitis. So we will start working on that tomorrow. Mike has begun the IV treatments again today. We are putting him on a 10 day regime and walking back the doses of the Vitamin C over that time period. So we will not be home this weekend. Hopefully next weekend.

There has been a lot of medical discussion about Mike around the country. Bill called a doctor in Phoenix to inquire about laser surgery for his tumor. However the laser will not work with the kind of tumor Mike has.

Tomorrow we will start his vaccine that was specially made for him in Washington State. We will also be doing a new treatment that they are bringing in for Mike at the Wellness Center for his pancreatitis. We still need Mike to drink more, eat more, and keep supplements down. We have pared down all the supplements to Natura 201 and Bao Kung. That is it. We need Mike to hold then Natura 201 down.

Ok. So I wasn't going to blog about this, but after today and especially tonight, I can't keep this to myself. Melissa called Tuesday night and I lost it. I was just so tired and so un-me (I just made that word up!). Something about this journey has stripped away my old self. I use to be able to think, make decisions, ask questions, and just be more forward thinking. I am so caught in the right now. Melissa could here my breakdown and she once again knew what I needed. She sent Pierre to us. He arrived late last night, spent the day here, and is leaving to go back to Dallas in the morning. Pierre has been through the cancer journey with his mom and with Melissa. That brought me comfort. Just knowing someone has been down the road was coming to help. But then Melissa took it a step further and book a spa day for me at the Ritz-Carlton. Pierre took over and took Mike where he needed to be. Most of all, he spent the day with Elizabeth. She absolutely fell in love with him. He made her laugh - the belly kind of laugh. He took her to Sweet Tomatoes and to the beach. He watched her play PSP. He got her to talk and she told him about her fears and all her issues she has been harboring since we PCS'd from Tucson. When he left tonight after she begged him to stay, she ran in and cried. Really cried. She fell in love with him. However, guess where Pierre lives? McKinney! My home town that we visit a billion times a year. So we will be calling on Pierre!

Pierre inspired us. He is in the ministry and he talked about just loving people. We prayed together and he sang to us. Words are failing me right now. I feel so strong right now. The day seems like a dream and an angel from God was sent to us.

I am excited for tomorrow. We are doing fine. My Aunt Mary is flying here on Saturday and staying with us through Thursday. I am going to send Mary and Elizabeth to Orlando for a treat for Elizabeth. She has been so good. She does school everyday by herself. She is a big help and I think it would be good for her to go have fun.

All we need right now is your continue prayers. Thank you for staying with us on this journey!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday..Test... Tired

This one will be short. I am more tired tonight than I have been in a long time. I plan to go to bed as soon as I have posted. I know everyone is anxiously awaiting results of the test today.

Mike has a very rough night last night. He had a lot of pain in the middle left quadrant of his stomach. To make a long story short, we need Mike's lower half of his digestion track to start working. He is clogged up. We will be doing colonic three days in a row. We spent most of the test trying to figure out what will work for Mike and really didn't get around to the whole testing. So we will be going in on Thursday AM to finish. So I don't really have any news for you really.

Good news:
  • Mike's liver is still very soft and functioning well.
  • His eyes are whiter than they have ever been.
  • He also got a haircut and a shave today at a Barber Shop. He doesn't look like he has been stuck in the back woods somewhere anymore!

Prayer needs:

  • Pray that Mike will take more fluids. His stomach has been hurting so bad that he didn't get much in. That is complicating the constipation issue.
  • Pray that he will rest
  • Pray that he will continue to eat a little more at each meal
God Moving:
  • I will blog more tomorrow when I am rested. God has worked a great act tonight again. I have been praying for wisdom and a peace and He answered in a mighty way tonight.. in an unexpected and Mighty way.
  • John the turtle guy... May God Bless you for your act of kindness. Thank you so much!
  • At the Barber Shop - one of the ladies daughter-in-law has just been diagnosed with Lymphoma. I was able to share our treatment briefly and leave a card with her with the ANWC number. God may have allowed us to plant a seed!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Well, after the brief energy spurt, Mike a is very tired today. He had his last IV Therapy treatment this morning. We were late because Mike had a extra rough morning. However, we still got some quiet time this morning. I was able to wake up a little early and sit in bed with him and read a little from the Bible. We always end with Psalms 91 and I love to put Mike's name in it, but this morning we read about David and Jonathan. It was nice because it reminded us of all our friends (& family) that continue to take care of us out there.

Anyway, Mike did not sleep much last night and the meds were rough on his stomach. We did get him to the IV Clinic, but he spent the most of his time throwing up. He was exhausted but we still headed on to the Wellness Center. He did about 10 minutes of LBG before it was too painful and he was pulled off. Bill came in and we decided to put him on oxygen and let him nap all afternoon. I don't want to alarm anyone. He wasn't put on oxygen because he couldn't breathe, it was truly because he was just exhausted and to give him a boost. He asked me to stay with him while he napped. So I pulled up a chair and put my feet up. It started raining and thundering and I promptly fell asleep. Thunderstorms make me sleepy, especially in the afternoon. (That makes me think of Dawn!! We both have the same issue!) We also then rescheduled his emotional/breathing therapy for tomorrow. He was supposed to do that from 5:00 -6:00 pm today.

The good thing that happened today is that we worked out a meal plan/nutrition for Mike with one of Bill's colleagues. Broch and I came up with plan. We need Mike to get his strength back so we can go home for a little bit anyway. We went out and got organic baby food for Mike and some Whey Protein along with 2 different enzymes to help in the digestion. So tonight for dinner, Mike had 2 bites of hummus, 3 raspberries, 3 bites of peas, 1 prune, and the whey protein drink. We added enzymes to take in the beginning that will help his body digest the food in his stomach, and then another one after he was done eating to help calm his stomach and work in the intestines. I am excited to help get him built back up.

We have a praise tonight. Teri's Dad - the one we asked you to pray for today - made it through his surgery for Lung Cancer. They removed the tumor, part of his lung and ribs. It was a 7 hour surgery, but he made it. Thank you God.

Please continue to pray for Mike. Pray specifically that we will be able to get nutrition into him and to get his digestive system working. Pray for our testing tomorrow at 2:00 pm. Pray for energy for all of us. Pray that we will be able to get his full protocol of medication into him every day. It becomes more important because we are stopping the IV Therapy. May God Bless you!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A flash of energy tonight

Some switch has turned with Mike tonight and I am so recharged because of that and a few things that have happened today. Mike has had the energy tonight to return 3 phone calls and he has been sitting up in bed. That is a huge step over the past really week or so.

First, I need to take care of some things that Mike asked me to specifically bog. To Tony and everyone at Al Udid (? not sure on spelling). Mike said that he could not think of a better leadership team to have over there and Mike will be praying for your every success. To everyone, Mike feels that our family is in the middle of a huge spiritual attack. Since August, Mike's Grandmother and Uncle have been in the hospital battling there own illnesses that are significant. My family has had significant health issues as you are all aware. He needs and wants everyone to pray for divine protection and for Satan to be bound and thrown in the Lake of Fire.

Now, the biggest battle that Mike seems to face is at night. The pain seems to increase along with the gas. It is the hardest to make it to the morning for him. He struggles to sleep. It seems that the best sleep he is getting is during the day at the different treatments. I also had a hard time sleeping last night. So I want to specifically ask everyone that is on the other side of the world to continue praying for us. Your daytime prayers are covering us in the darkness.

I made the mistake of researching online last night. I am still amazed that the Internet can bring us incredible blessings from each of you, but at the same time allow the spirit of fear to creep in a little at a time. The more I dwelled on what I read the worse it got. I finally woke up very early and spent some time in the Word this morning. It did bring a sense of calm and peace this morning. Then through out the day, God has spoken to me even more definitive. Here is what He revealed: the statistics are just that and in the end, they don't apply to us. Mike has always said that you can manipulate data to say anything. I believe that. But above that, those statistics are based on the traditional route of medicine (chemo, radiation and surgery). I wish I could download some of the videos and books that I have been viewing and reading from. There is so much information out there. One book that I would recommend is Anti Cancer: A New Way of Life. Probably the worst thing about Cancer is that when it happens, you are just thrown into the middle of it without any knowledge of anything. You can't even think of questions to ask.

Here is my cancer lesson for the day. Did you know that your pancreas produces two enzymes - trypsin and chymotrypsin. These enzymes are used to digest animal proteins. In addition to digesting animal proteins, these two enzymes break apart/dissolve the protective coating around cancer cells allowing the immune system to destroy the cancer. However, when you eat a diet high in animal protein, it can cause a shortage of these enzymes because it takes a lot of enzymes to digest the animal protein. So everyone eat more veggies! It is recommended that less than 20% of your diet to come from animal protein (meat, eggs, dairy, etc).

This weekend Elizabeth and I were able to go to the pool for a little exercise and she was able to play with kids for the first time in a month. She met 2 kids and the pool and then today, Dr. Monhollon brought his daughter to the IV clinic today. She was able to play a board game, webkins, and have races in the pool. That was an answer to prayer. She has been lonely and just wanted one kid, any kid to play with. Praise God for taking care of Elizabeth!

I plan to blog every day this week. We are doing some retesting on Mike. It has been one month and we need to evaluate where we are and maybe if we can go home for awhile.

Finally, I want to encourage everyone to read the blog comment Melissa left on "Don't give up on me". We miss everyone and God bless your week. May His light glow brighter than ever this week in everyone, no matter where you rest your head!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Never give up on me

We received some great inspiration in the mail the last few days. I want to start off by thanking Rhonda and Mary for the packages. Rhonda's package ministered to my heart and Mary's to my physical body. I also want to thank Bruce and Donna for the cards. Rhonda sent a CD with Christian songs and we now have a song to play every morning to go with our reading of Psalm 91. The song is "I am counting on God". The words are:

I'm in a fight not physical. I'm in a war, but not with this world. You are the light that's beautiful. I want more. I want all that's yours. (Chorus) Joy unspeakable that won't go away. Just enough strength to live for today. So I never have to worry what tomorrow will bring cause my faith is on solid rock. I am counting on God.

It is really upbeat and words that are so to the heart of our struggle right now. We have Joy that is unspeakable but just enough strength to live for today. EVERY morning, we say, "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." EVERY day is a victory and a gift. It was before Mike has cancer, we just forgot to notice.

So, today we have been here 4 weeks. One month... This week for Mike has been the same really. He is still weak and tired. But his body is fighting so hard. He does struggle to find a good sleeping position. Right now he is asleep on a chair, kind of. He sits in the chair and stacks 3 pillows on the ottoman. He then leans forward and falls asleep that way for a little bit. I think it helps with the pain in his stomach. Mike has pain in his stomach most of the time. He has been ranking it anywhere for 3 to 5 on the pain scale of 10. He has to be the best patient and the most frustrating. He doesn't complain and yet at the same time, he doesn't verbalize what is going on. We are getting better at asking him questions. Again, this may be more information that you want to know. However, I need to give you an accurate picture of Mike so in the end you can see how strong and mighty God is. In the end, this battle is His and His alone.

One of the most encouraging things about this blog is the amount of people praying for us. We covet your prayers. They really cover us and wrap us tightly. Thank you so much and please continue to pray. This is a long journey that Mike and I alone can not fight. That I know for sure. We need everyone to continue in this battle with us with your prayers. But I want to take a moment and ask everyone that is praying for us to add some special people we have met to your prayer list.

Liddy and Nacho: Nacho has melanoma that has met into his bones. He is 40 years old and an engineer. He has 3 kids and a wife that loves him very much. He is really struggling right now and has had some bad detox reactions (bad headaches and stomach aches too). In fact, he has stopped the IV therapy for the weekend.

Beth and Ed: Beth is this amazing women with Stage 4 Ovarian cancer. She is about 60 years old and has 2 children and 3 grandkids. She is this gentle, southern belle with an amazing zeal for life. She is constantly smiling and checking on us. When Mike drinks water, she says, "Good Mike. Keep it up." She had to be a cheerleader at one point. I just want to be in her presence. When she is around, it is like having your mother taking care of you when you have the flu.

Teri's Dad: He has stage 2B Lung Cancer. He is not here. He has elected to have surgery on Monday in PA. The will be removing part of his lung, 3 ribs, tissue and muscle. It is a hard surgery. Please lift him and his family up.

Yesterday, Mike's IV therapy went all day - 9:30 am - 4:00 pm. He had some issues with the vitamin IV they were giving him. It burned and made his arm hurt. He only managed to get about 1/2 of it in. (He says he is not doing it anymore). Then his Vitamin C IV ran slow. It ended up that Beth, Nacho and Mike were doing IV therapy in the afternoon. Liddy showed up and we all sat in the room talking. Well, it was mostly Beth, Liddy and I. Occasionally Nacho would pop in with something. He usually lays in a corner with sunglasses on. You think he is asleep until he says something. Mike was whipped, so he would just smile and nod when I said something. It was so encouraging and one of those memories I will remember the rest of my life. Not really because what was said, but because of the energy (not doubt from God) in the room. Everyone shared stories of their journey and how God is moving. We talked about the treatments. We talked about the science of cancer. Beth reminded me that cancer has 2 sodium receptacles and 23 glucose receptacles. She talked about how when she was doing chemotherapy they would have dunkin donuts for the cancer patients to eat. That is messed up. Nutrition is key.

In the end, this blog is all over the place tonight. I guess the theme of it tonight is never give up. Never give up on Mike. Never give up seeking the truth about anything. Beth and Nacho have not given up. Nacho flew from Mexico. He called Bill and Bill told him to seek treatment with one of his partners in CA. However, he wanted Bill himself. Beth clearly has not given up and continues to fight with a smile. Finally and most importantly, never give up on God. Count of Him. The bible says, "He will never leave you or forsake you!"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Visitor and my big mistake of the day!

I missed blogging last night. Mike's Mother flew in from Ohio yesterday and left this afternoon. She slept out in the living room where the computer is located. She went to bed early since she got up early to fly here.

I am constantly encouraged when people tell me about all the people/friends keeping track of and praying for Mike. Truly people all over the world are praying. I told Wendy that I have created this funny story in my head. God is up in heaven and he is being berated with prayer for Mike at all hours of the day and night. Finally, he rubs his temples and he says enough already and gives Mike that miraculously healing. Kind of like the parable of the judge in Luke 18: 2-6. HOWEVER, I know that is not in God's character. He is probably over joyed to hear everyone lift Mike up to Him and he is just smiling at the time you are spending on your knees in a relationship with Him. So, as we continue down this journey, we continue to say to God be the Glory. The more you (and we) are on our knees, the more God is Glorified so it will be the greatest Victory!

Mike's Mom came in and I prepared her for what she might see in Mike. I was a little afraid that it would overwhelm her. However, she encourage my heart when she said he did not look nearly as bad as she had been prepared for. She even thought he had some color in his face. However, the color comes and goes depending on the level of pain and the amount of throw up (you probably didn't need to know that!). She spent the afternoon with Mike. She was even treated to a detox foot bath. After we went back to the condo, Mike slept. I asked his mom to stay with him and Elizabeth and I headed to Manasota Beach for more Shark Tooth Hunting. We even invested in this medal wire scoop/strainer contraption. We were there for about 2 hours and we worked together to find more shark teeth. The water was calm and clear and shallow for at least 20 feet out. We found teeth by just walking in the water and spotting black triangles on the sand. We also found teeth (mostly baby shark teeth) at the water's edge. We would scoop the sand and put it in a strainer. It was fun just to watch Elizabeth. I have to admit, we had a good time and it really took my mind off of Mike for a while. That is probably bad to put down in writing, but true none the less.

This morning we woke up and headed to the IV Clinic. Linda stayed with Mike for a little bit while Elizabeth and I did our morning errands. We then took her to Veggie-Magic for lunch. She loved that place! By the time lunch was over, it was time for her to leave. She did give me a huge compliment. She said that I was doing a great job taking care of and supporting Mike. That meant a lot.

So Linda left, and I took Mike to his breathing/emotional therapy and now we are at the ANWC doing LBG. I have paid the bills and now I have a moment to catch everyone up. Sunday in our 21st day of IV Therapy. Right now we have a few more colonic, a few more breathing therapies, and we are going to schedule an CT Scan for either late this week or early next week so we can compare results.

Be in prayer for the results. Pray that the Scan's will show God's healing on the inside of his body. We have seen it on the outside, but we want to see it on the inside.

I also want to remind everyone that it is a victory if the cancer is unchanged. We were told that it was particularly aggressive and that with no treatment, Mike had 60 days. We are 30 days into that first time window. Stopping the cancer growth rate is a miracle because once we get that under control we can start chipping away at it. Honestly, when it is all said and done, Mike is doing Chemotherapy here. He is just using more natural substances that don't tear apart the body. That is why sometimes the days get hard. I think when I began this journey, I thought that it would be easier than what it actually is. Somewhere along the way, I have come to realize that no one beats cancer by "tiptoeing through the tulips." You have to fight and fight hard, because the cancer will fight just as hard.

I will confess that I did something today that I promised myself I wouldn't do. I read through Mike's Medical records. I got to the point where it said "terminal" and I stopped and put them away. It was so cold to read. But as I am sitting here, typing my way through tonight's therapy session (ie the blog), that report was written by a human. She looked at everything she knew and it was based on her knowledge. In the end, there was one thing left out before the diagnosis was made... The unseen, and all knowing God. In the end, it His plan that will prevail. His plan for Mike and His ultimate plan for all believers!

Specific prayer request:
Pray for sleep/rest for Mike
Pray Mike has the strength to take supplements on regular basis
Pray that the pain in his stomach will be as little as possible
Pray for Healing and that the CT Scan will be cause to rejoice