Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another Miracle to end 2008

We both are fully aware that we are in the middle of a long battle, but God has once again given us another miracle today.

As most of you know, Mike went in for outpatient surgery today to replace the stent in his esophagus that had slipped. We are now at home and let me share the amazing work of God. Mike no longer has a stent in his esophagus.

Dr. Pucha briefed us after the procedure. On Dec. 2, he could barely get his camera thru his esophagus. It is on a very small tube. He had to force it a little bit and by the Grace of God he was able to put in the smallest stent (16 in). Today, he could put the camera all the way down his esophagus and the opening measures 10 mm. He said most people start having difficulty swallowing at around 12 mm so he did not put another stent in. The cancer is still there and ulcerated, but we have more physical proof of the regression of Mike's cancer today.

We also got word late today that his liver enzymes are in completely normal range. Again, more physical proof of the healing that I have been trying to put in words. I knew that was the case since Mike no longer has any swelling in his extremities. He is no longer yellowish and his eyes are white as can be.

This is all at the hands of God. Period. I don't know where the road is taking us, but I know of the very real things that are happening now. This is one of those times where I just throw myself at the feet of the Lord and Praise Him!

2008.... There are a few hours left in the year for us. I will never forget this year. We moved to FL, bought our first house, feel in love with new friends fast, enjoyed the amazing beauty of the Emerald Coast, got cancer, witnessed God's unfailing love in ways we have never known, changed our lives forever, moved (is essence) to Sarasota, met amazing healers and caregivers there, moved to McKinney, put our house on the market in FL, spent loads of time in the hospital, prayed in ways we have never prayed, spent more money on health care in 5 months than in our entire lives, learned the power of community prayer, watched God's healing unfold, and were blessed beyond measure.

On the one hand, I am glad God didn't reveal 2008 to us before hand but on the other hand, I would go through it all again because of the amazing gift of watching God at work in Mike, Elizabeth and myself. I would go through it all again because watching God use people, family, friends, and strangers to work his Miracle in Mike is as close to heaven as I will get until He calls me home.

I want to thank everyone again for everything this year... Roxanna and family, Carrie, Missy, Lisa, Giact, Dad, Scott and Kathy, Nancie, Melissa, Pierre, Pastor Herman, Kaye, Col. Fowler, Col. Weigand, Dr. Monhollon and staff, Bill and staff, everyone at Hurlburt, Dr. Khan, Dr. Pucha, Jeff and Wendy, Doug and Dena, McKinney Neighbors, Hoss and family, Kathleen and family, Tucson Community Group, Cinco Baptist Church and School, CCC, DMOSC, Stecklers, Rhodenbaughs, Duseks, Dyess AFB, Myagi and family, Mike's family, Pam, Roger, Amy, McKinney neighbors and long time friends, prayer partners around the world, and everyone else that I can't think of right now. God used each and everyone of you to minister, bless, and sustain us.

God Bless you....

Prayer needs:

Mike to eat and drink more.
Mike to gain weight
Mike's cancer to continue to die
Mike's complete healing
Our house in FL to sell
Financial wisdom and coverage in 2009 as we retire and our income is reduced
Elizabeth and I to stay healthy

We look forward to the Cihak's visiting us tomorrow and Tony bringing something from our beloved friends in Quatar.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The best weekend and today

I have to start by giving Praise to God for the weekend and his miracles that are unfolding in front of me. I have to admit, I still want the "big one" - Mike's cancer completely gone overnight, but at the same time, this stage is cool too!

Mike had a great weekend. Here are some of the things he did:
He hooked up the DVD Player
He got all the "technology" up and running in the house including his IPOD
He walked to the park and back (about 4 blocks)
He feel asleep on the porch during a rain storm
He ate 4 small pieces of chicken
He went to Scott's to watch the Cowboys disgraceful game on Sunday

All these things sound normal, I know. But it has been a long time since we have had any "normal" in our house. I wanted to freeze the weekend. But life isn't like that. I have to thank everyone at Hurlburt who worked to get Mike home for the holidays. I even called Kaye on her vacation and she took my call! It sounds so silly, but words can not describe our Christmas Holiday. I was so simple but we were together as a family and that made it the best one yet.

We were under the impression that we were doing Chemo today, but that didn't happen. We went to Dr. Bo to get adjusted first and then headed to Dr Khan. We had to wait a long time, but got to see him. He was very happy to see how great Mike looks. We did blood work and it all looks great. His blood levels are holding at 10.3. We haven't needed blood in two weeks now. Dr. Khan felt Mike's stomach and said that his tumor feels "significantly smaller" and that it obviously responded well to Chemo. So we left with an appointment for Chemo on Wednesday and followup appt on Monday next week. BUT, before we did these, he wanted us to follow up with Dr. Pucha (GI doc who put in stent) for the stent and to clear Mike's colitis for round 2 of Chemo.

So we saw Dr. Pucha and he ordered an Xray along with some lab tests. The lab tests will take about 2 days to collect and 3 days for the lab results, so Chemo will be next week sometime. But the Xray revealed that Mike's stent has slipped. I believe that it slipped because the tumor is smaller. Remember, he could barely fit in the smallest stent to open Mike's esophagus. So we are going in for an Outpatient (God willing) procedure to replace the stent with a bigger one. This will happen Wednesday at around 11:30 am CST. Again, prayers are needed to cover this procedure.

Finally, I want to thank everyone for the Christmas Cards and gifts over the holidays. This will go down as a Christmas like no other. The love that we have received from each and everyone of you filled our home and us to overflowing.

Please Pray:
Spirit of Hope
God's perfect healing plan
God's miraculous hand to open the eyes of the Doctors thru Mike
Mike to eat and drink more so we can eliminate the TPN and lipids
Strength for Today
Our house to sell

OH... I forgot.... we got the letter from the Social Security Administration. We were approved for disability and that will start in March. God is Good!

Prayer Coverage needed

We are heading off to Round 2 of Chemo this morning. It begins at 9:15 am CST and will run about 3 hours. Please pray ...

Chemo will effect only the cancer cells
Chemo will NOT cause Colitis side effect
Chemo will not have any negative side effects
Mike will get stronger and eat and drink more each day.

I will blog tonight about our incredible weekend... God Bless each of you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Glory to God in the Highest

He is home. Not only is he home, he is doing so well. We got home last night at around 6:30 pm. I am at a loss for words at the miracle unfolding in front of my eyes. Everything from the blood work, to his energy, and just things he hasn't been able to do in a long time. For example, he slept in his hospital bed last night in a reclining position, but then crawled in bed with me and snuggled me for about 30 minutes. He hasn't done that since August. I also caught him sitting on the floor Indian style reading an instruction manual. He is walking straighter.

The glory goes to God. This is the best Christmas ever. So many miracles are just unfolding in front of me. Most of all, I am surrounded by the ones I love.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be call Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. "
Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas to everyone ... Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards all men!!

Please continue to pray:
Strength for Mike
Mike to eat and drink more
The healing to continue to manifest in his body
Our hearts to set upon the Heavenly things...

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Power of Prayer

I don't know where to start with this posting, but I knew the title right away. Mike is doing so WELL! I am so encouraged. I just want to post the very real things going on right now and I hope that you can match them to our prayer requests over the past weeks:

1. Mike is no longer spitting phlegm up
2. Mike ate a jar of baby food yesterday - the whole jar. He has eaten another one today and wants to eat another jar with dinner.
3. Mike's blood count has held at 10.3 for 8 days now. That hasn't happened since we started keeping track of it back in October.
4. Mike's White Blood Count is back in the normal range
5. Mike has more energy. He walked the entire 4th floor
6. Mike has slept in a reclining position at night for 2 nights now. He hasn't slept in a reclining position since late September.
7. Mike has not taken extra oral pain medication in days now. The patches he is wearing seem to completely control the pain.
8. Mike's swelling in his legs is gone. That probably has to do with the sleeping position, but it is good.
9. Mike is drinking more - He still needs to drink more, but he is drinking more than he used to.

These are all real, tangible miracles. It is always a day at a time, but praise God that He is giving us this visible signs of His known presence with us in this journey.

Mike has started to lose his hair in clumps and it is thinning. We will probably break out the shaver sometime soon. It doesn't bother either of us. We will post a picture once he is bald!

I want to ask, actually to call on everyone to continue to pray for Mike even more. I have been praying for a Christmas miracle and by the list above, I feel that He is already answering our prayers. Please pray that we can be home for Christmas!

Prayer requests:
Home for Christmas
God to remove the Cancer from Mike's body
Health for Elizabeth and I
To serve God more fervently
Patience with Doctors and their pace
God to build on the improvements that we see in Mike
Mike to Drink and Eat more - nutrition for mind, body and soul
A Miraculous Christmas Healing!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday - Blood Clot and staying longer

Today, Mike has had great energy and is doing well. However, his arm began to swell and it was determined through a sonogram that he had a blood clot from his PICC line. The PICC line was removed and they are now using his port only. But he is now on blood thinners and his Chemo will be postponed until Monday now. He will be in the hospital through the weekend.

There are so many things that I don't understand here. I don't understand how is was imperative that we start Chemo. Once we did, it is now 2 1/2 weeks later before we can do another treatment. But I have a feeling this is another way to teach me patience. I just want Mike to be home for Christmas. It is so important. But I also want him home with energy to be apart of the celebration.

I wanted to thank everyone for the cards and gifts. Amity, I cried when I opened your special thought! There are so many people that I owe thank you's and of course Christmas cards. But the truth of the matter is that I am not going to be able to put them out this year. What I hope to do is put something out in the coming year.

I did get Elizabeth's picture done and I am posting it today. She is growing into a beautiful (inside and out) young girl. She is such a blessing from God and motivates us continually.

Please Pray:

Home for Christmas
Miraculous Healing of Cancer for Mike on Christmas
Health for Elizabeth - she came home sick today from school
Health for me - seems like we are on a constant sick circle right now
Mike's colitis to heal
Mike's blood clot to disappear and reabsorb
Chemo to take place in God's timing only!

I miss everyone so much this year. I miss all the traditions we do in the military and know that I am thinking of everyone right now!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Still in the Hospital

I started this blog yesterday and never got back to it. Today, I will just start over. Mike had a new symptom show up over the weekend. His stomach got extremely bloated. They did a CT Scan and determined "colitis" and did a culture to determine what the infection was that caused the swelling in the colon. They started him on another course of antibiotics and we are going from there.

The thing that is frustrating is that Mike had a good day yesterday. We talked and got some things accomplished. The weather started to turn bad and Mike sent me home. The nurse came in and started talking about the icing in a few towns around McKinney. So Mike looked at me and told me to go home. I ignored him. He then gave me his "look" and said, "Mama, go home." When he gives me the look and says, "Mama", I know he is serious. So I left around 3:30 yesterday. I picked up Elizabeth from school and we went to Walmart for some more Christmas shopping. We then went home, had spaghetti and hot chocolate for dinner, and waited for the ice. It did come and there is a coat of ice on everything. School got cancelled and Elizabeth is outside with sleds and playing hockey. They even determined that the boogie boards from the beach work too.

I just hate that I am at home and Mike is in the hospital. I have talked to him twice on the phone, and he is in pain today. I did call and harass the doctor over the next round of Chemo. So at least I made my presence know :)!

It is at times like these, when things are absolutely beyond my control, that I am grateful that God loves Mike even more than I do. He is His child and can watch over him.

Please continue to pray:
Health for all of us
The Chemo to work
Complete healing of Mike's body
Home for the Holidays - home and able to enjoy the holidays
Our house to sell in FL
Wisdom for me in decisions that we are making

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Retirement Video

I have spent about 2 hours now trying to get this to link to the page and I am out of brain cells. Here is the link to the video

I am praying that this will work.

Mike is still in hospital. His temperature is all over the place due to low White Blood Cell count. I only spent 2 hours with him yesterday because I have a cold and a low grade fever. Mike cousin Roger is flying in from California today and we are looking forward to the visit.

Please continue to pray:

Mike will have a strong WBC
Health for all
Home from the hospital in time for Christmas
Our house to sell
God's continued Grace and Mercy in our lives

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday - Round Two of Chemo postponed

You can have good days and you can have bad days. Mike's White Blood Cell count has dropped too low. They are giving him shots to increase it, but we are not doing Chemo today. Mike has also developed another fever of around 100.6. So we are starting at the beginning in a way. We are starting the blood cultures and doing another chest x-ray. So we are here for at least another 2 days.

Mike is on strict isolation protocol now too. Everyone has to have a mask on and wash hands. The problem is that I am starting to get a cold again. I didn't stay with him last night. Scott took us to the Stars game last night (Hockey) and to be honest, it was fun. Dad stayed with Mike until late but he spent his first night alone in the hospital.

I have put bible verses on the wall in our room here at the Medical Center. It is so nice to get news like, " You now have a fever" and look at Luke 18:27 - What is impossible with men is possible with God or Mark 11:22 - Have Faith in God. Simple words - huge impact.

I have finally gotten all the legal paperwork together and we will have a notary/witness come up to the room and finish it off. Somewhere between FL and here I lost my Power of Attorney, Medical Directive, and Medical Power of Attorney. So, this will be a big load off my mind.

Overall, Mike is hanging in there. He is still fighting and even though it is a bad day, things will get better.

Prayer needs:
To get to a stable medical point so we can go home and be home for Christmas. That is SO very important to Elizabeth
His blood counts to stabilize - both White and Hemoglobin
Health for Elizabeth and i
Nurses that care for him more than a job
Melissa and her medical needs
That the Chemo will work at killing the cancer and that it will work to the point where it will decrease the pain
My Mom - she is home, but in a lot of pain from her Radioactive Prop stay in the hospital

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MRI Results

Negative.... the 5 mm thing that was on the CT Scan was not on the MRI. It was gone.

AMEN.. Praise God... the cancer is not in his brain.....Praise God!

That is all I am going to blog. I am resting on the miracle and want to stay in this moment...

Please continue to pray. Prayer works...

Monday, December 8, 2008


Mike went for the MRI late today and is still kind of out of it as we speak. We won't get the results until tomorrow. I will post them when we get them.

My mom is in the hospital right now doing her radioactive prop in her uterus for the next 48 hours. I talked to her last night and just cried on the phone. I want to be there to help her. I want her to wrap me up and tell me this is all a dream. I am holding on tightly to Jesus right now.

I have to admit I am reaching an overload again. Decisions, calls, noise and all I want to know is that the cancer has not spread to his brain. That is it.

Kyong called and she is coming to see us tomorrow for a few hours tomorrow. I need to see her. I can't wait.

Mike is getting 2 more pints of blood tonight with a possibility of a third pint depending on his numbers.

I have been in contact with lawyers about all the legal paperwork. I had it in FL and have since lost it. We are having General Power of Attorney, Medical Directive and Medical Power of Attorneys redone.

I have admitted that I need to seek counseling myself. I plan to seek Christian counseling here soon at the church we call home here. It is not to deal with the life and death issue we are facing. I really know that it will be a win either way. I can let Mike go be with Jesus and I am more than happy to keep him here with us. If Mike goes to be with Jesus, we are fine financially due to the financial planning we did when we were Lts with First Command. If he gets to stay with us a little while longer, we are fine with the retirement pay and VA. We are so blessed in that arena. I know so many others are not in that boat. I am having a problem dealing moment to moment. I have always been one to plan things out. ALWAYS... (even when I said I didn't plan, I did plan). Every time I plan on going home, doing this, going to store, it doesn't work. I am also having a problem watching someone that I love so much go through this. I have always been able to help Mike by doing something when things get bad. ALWAYS... but not this time. However, even amidst this pain, it is such a blessing to remove myself and watch his character as he battles. It really speaks to about the core of this man. As bad as the pain may be, he always is pleasant, says thank you and speaks of Jesus. He still looks at me with absolute love...

So where are we tonight... I don't know and yet I know.... In Jesus's hands...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday - Still in hospital, but blessings abound

Ok. We are still here. Still. We have been in the hospital 13 of the past 14 days. It is surprising how easy it is to start to feel a "cloud of darkness" start to close in. I have really struggled with that today. I thought we were going home. I want to go home. But a couple things have happened that have prevented that. The first thing is that Mike's blood count has dropped significantly in the past 24 hours. We will now need a blood transfusion. I am guessing around 3 pints. I need to look into some sort of blood drive or something eventually to repay all these donors and pay the blood forward somehow. The next thing is that Mike has started shaking and leaning to the right. We have been down for a CT Scan of his brain, and we are waiting the results. In the name of Jesus, I pray it is only a side effect of the Chemo.

I am going to try and back up a little here. It has been awhile, so I will tell you everything that has happened since the stent/port surgery. First of all, the surgery wiped Mike out for 24 hours. It really took him a day to bounce back. So by the end of Wednesday, we were trying to calm our fears about Chemo. That night, a charge nurse took me aside to let me know that the crash cart would be just outside the door for Mike's Chemo. She told me the Chemo was very toxic, which I know. I found out that was not standard practice and it panicked me. I called his cousin Pam and his mother and told them I thought they should come out. I was trying to be mentally prepared for his heart to stop during Chemo.

Pam called the next morning and boarded a plane and was here by 3:00 on Thursday. His mother also did the same and she arrived around 8:00 pm that night. However, the Chemo was really calm. We have a great Chemo nurse Amy and really it wasn't any different that getting an IV (except for the toxic warning signs all over). They gave Mike drugs before each round to fight the side effects and all in all he was fine on the outside.

Pam gave me the greatest gift that night. She stayed with Mike and I went home and slept with Elizabeth. The long hospital stay is having an effect on her and I just needed to wrap her up and let her know it is ok. Then the following night, his mom stayed with him. So I got two nights at home with Elizabeth.

We also got a visit from Mark and Marian from Abilene! They drove the 3.5 hours just to visit us. We also got a visit from an old high school friend of mine, Sue. This may seem small, but the visits are a breath of fresh air.

The coolest thing of the week was that we met someone from Care Coalition. I will blog more about this later. It is an organization designed to help Special Ops troops from every branch of the military. I wish I had met this guy about 6 weeks ago. It is my one stop resource that I have been praying for. I will tell more later...

Please continue to pray for us:
The Doctor came in and their is a spot on the right side of his brain. We are going to have an MRI at some point tonight with results tomorrow
Sleep and calm
Elizabeth and her spirit

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hi eyeryone!

Just posting a quick paragraph . Last Sunday at church I had a vision.
I think it may have been Heaven, but I'm not sure. I had my hands buried in my face when I saw stars , lots of them. When I turned my head , I saw a gold road. It was DEFINETLY not what you usually see. It wasn't a thin foil-like sheet of gold , or gold bricks , but rather, it was like a dirt road exept it was all gold nuggets. It sparkled like nothing I've seen before. It was too cool. I just felt like I needed to share that tonight.

God Bless,


One more day... God is Good

Well, we have the first round of Chemo under our belts. Mike handled it extremely well. Really, there is nothing to report yet. His temperature in back to normal. His heart rate is under 100 and all in all he is doing well. He has eaten some things like peas and applesauce. They did take him to CT Scan tonight to check for pneumonia. It is there last ditch effort to check for infection before they stop the antibiotics.

We were blessed to have Melissa come and be with us during most of the Chemo. It took about 3 hours all in all. They first gave him all kinds drugs to offset the chemo effects like nausea. Then the Chemo. At the end, they gave him lasix to help clear the kidneys.

Pastor Herman came by and talked "Jesus talk" and prayed with us. Mike's mother boarded a plane today to come down for a visit.

Mike's cousin Pam got here today. She is going to stay with him tonight and I am going home to sleep with Elizabeth. We have come to realize that we need to work harder and helping her. She has spent a week with family and Mike will be in the hospital for another 3 days if all goes well. We will do another Chemo round next week.

In the meantime, we will be doing all our natural things as well to help kick the cancer - we just need to get home. One of the reasons they are keeping us is to keep a close eye on Mike's blood. Chemo can lower red blood cells and white blood cells. Mike's blood was at 9.0 this morning and they will draw a CBC tomorrow to see what the chemo did to it.

Prayer needs:
Pray the Chemo will work
Mike will get rest and the pain will decrease
Mike will eat more
Mike will drink more
Sleep for Elizabeth and I
That our house in FL will sell

Chemo has started

Mike has started his chemotherapy at 10:15 am CST. They gave him some medications and then started the first drug. The first one, Cisplatin will take about an hour. Then they will give him Irinotecan. He should be done by 2:00 PM

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Fiery Furnance -

Today is Dec. 3 and by this time tomorrow Mike will have done his first round of Chemotherapy. The decision was made earlier this evening and everything is set up to start in the hospital some time in the morning. The pain just increases and we just have to beat the cancer back. One of the nurses even pulled me aside tonight to let me know that a crash cart will be out in the hall for Mike. She reminded me that the Chemo is very toxic. I look at her and said I know.

Mike and I spent some quality time with Elizabeth watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and I played UNO with her. The best part is that Elizabeth sat in the front of the hospital bed and laid on Mike's lap for a little bit. Mike was able to rub her hair and just hold her hand for awhile. Life is about moments. God Blessed us with some good ones tonight.

Melissa and Scott came up tonight as well and just talked and laughed. You have no idea what it means when people come by and just talk about life and laugh. If you know of someone going through something, don't forget about the value of just being there.

So tonight I have a peace and a calm after everyone left. I have thoughts of Daniel 3 and Shadrach, Meshach and Abedengo and King Nebuchandessar. There was a decree in the land that everyone worship an image of Gold that King Nebuchadnezzer had set up. To make a long story short, they didn't and King Neb told them that if they didn't they would be thrown into a blazing furnace and then King Neb said , " Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" (3:15).
Here is their response:
O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the GOD we serve is able to save us from it and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. BUT even if he does NOT, we want you to know , O king that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
So this made King Neb mad and he heated the furnace to seven times hotter and threw them in. It was so hot that the fire killed the soldiers that threw them in the furnace. Once in the fire, there were FOUR men walking around, unbound and unharmed. He even said the fourth man looks like a son of the gods (I believe that was Jesus..) King Neb called out Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They came out of this fiery furnace and their bodies were not harmed, not a hair on their head was singed, their robes were not scorched and they didn't even smell like fire!
So now this leads me to think of Stephen and his stoning in Acts 7 (verses 54-60). Stephen stood in front of a furious mob and looked up and saw heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. They dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. While it was happening Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit." Stephen cried out, "Lord do not hold this sin against them" and then he fell asleep.
The Lord saved them all -He protected them from the fire and brought them out completely whole and He saved Stephen too and gave Stephen mercy and grace by allowing him to fall asleep and get a glimpse of Heaven!

So here is the thing... God has saved Mike. Period. It is finished (and was finished at the cross) and there is no question about Mike's final destination. Heaven with Jesus. We just don't know as we face the fiery furnace of the next 12 weeks if God will deliver him through it as He did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego or if He will show Mike mercy and grace as He did Stephen. Either way, God is in control. God knows the exact time Mike will go to be with Him. In fact, He knows the exact time you and I will leave this present Earth as well.
Mike has had a rough day and they have increased his pain medication. He has not really drank too much today. The pain has been rough at times. He is also running a fever of 101 and his heart rate is high.
Please Pray:
That Mike will survive the Chemo treatments
That the Chemo is exactly what God will use to heal Mike
Sleep for both of us
Mike's fever will go away and his heart rate will go down (along with his White Blood Cell count)
Elizabeth.... Her heart, her fears, and her comfort
Me... my heart, my fears and my comfort too!
Mike's pain will be reduced
Mike will eat and drink more
God's Grace and Mercy

Rough night - somewhat better now

Wouldn't you know, Mike became alert last night right as I made up my mind to go asleep at around 10:30 last night. I have to admit that I cried when he actually interacted with me. I was so worried. I help him to the bathroom and then back to bed. However, Mike has been in horrible pain since that point. It is not really related to the port or stent, I think. We are now in pain control mode until we can get the tumor shrinking I think. We have just had a visit from 2 doctors and that is there thinking at this time. Dr. Khan, oncologist, will hopefully make rounds tonight. I can't believe I am saying this, but I want the Chemo to start now to hopefully reduce and reverse this path we seem to be on. All the hospital visits and lengthy stays are making it impossible to follow the homeopathic plan... that and the fact that Mike can not swallow the pills.

The good news is that we have found a Primary Care Manager Doctor here. He is in Plano, but willing to take us on. My sister-in-law is also dropping off the paperwork at Social Security office today. So things are getting done...

I will update again tonight on Mike. It appears we will be here at least another day.

God bless,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Update at 9:15 pm CST

There is not much change in Mike this evening. He is sleeping and grunting - however he has had two coherent sentences. The nurses said the Dr said that he may be like this until morning. On the positive side, he is resting. I don't know where to lie down and try to sleep or wait to see if he gets more responsive.

The respiratory therapist brought a breathing exercise machine for him to start using in the morning. The goal was tonight, but it is apparent that will not happen.

John 14:27... Please pray that over me and over us.

I will blog mid morning tomorrow to update on his recovery. Mike still has not even attempted to drink anything. I declare Jesus's Healing hand over Mike tonight.

Update as of 4:00 pm CST

Mike is out of the surgery area and back in the room. He is not really awake and has yet to say anything other than a grunt to me (hence Igor). Both procedures went well. The port went in without issue and they were able to put in a small (16) stent. They have bigger ones (18, and 20) that hopefully once the chemo starts we will be able to switch to once the chemo begins to work. They are encouraged that this will give Mike a better quality of life. He should be able to take clear fluids over the next 12 hours, then move to liquids, then to soft baby type food.

We were blessed to have 2 of the staff from Four Corners church come and pray with us this morning. Paster Herman also came and prayed with us and stayed with us until Mike went into surgery. Then Pierre and my Dad came and stayed with me in the waiting area for over 2.5 hours today. Best of all Pierre brought Joshua with him (his 8 month old). Life is always more joyous with a precious child in your arms!

This battle so belongs to God right now. Mike has shown more character, fight, and courage than I ever knew existed. God is working through him and for him. The tumor is "massive" according to the GI doctor and we know it is spreading from the CT Scan. We are now on to the next step of Chemo to try and beat it back. This road is crazy, but God can use Chemo too.

Please continue to pray:
Mike will stop the spit up phlegm thing
The stent will improve his quality of life
Mike will gain strength and weight
Hope for tomorrow
Good night's rest for Elizabeth and I

I will blog again later tonight to update everyone

Monday, December 1, 2008

An Appeal and Apology

Alright. You have to deal with me blogging and not Mike today! I agree with everyone that it was great that Mike took the time to blog. Yesterday was a blessing from God. Mike had a good day, his labs were great, and we spent time as a family. It is funny when everything gets stripped away how joy really comes from the simple things.

I want to start out with our appeal. Mike is scheduled to get his Port and his stent tomorrow. We want to appeal to everyone to lift him up in prayers for these procedures. While they are relatively simple, Mike's health makes them a little more complicated. He will be put completely under. He can not lay back without severe pain. Also, we are struggling with his blood count. they will be giving him more blood today to increase that. However, something else that has complicated things is that his White Blood Cell count is going back up as well as his temperature. The last reading is 100.4. He has also begun spitting up the phlegm again this afternoon like he did on Saturday. Right now things are scheduled around 11:30 tomorrow. The port is going in first by Dr. Peterson. Dr. Peterson is an aviation buff and wanted to fly for the Navy. However, he had a detached retna and was turned down. His Grandfather actually owned land in Kansas that they sold to the US Govt' for a bombing range - Smoky something. As part of the deal, they can go into the tower on the range and watch the bombing runs. So he and Mike talked airplanes for awhile. That may sound weird, but I think they have bonded and that makes it easier to trust him. Mike is not just a patient. Dr. Pucha will be installing the stent right after the port. The stent is a special order piece and is very expensive. I praise God for the AF and insurance that can pay for this device.

I owe so many apologies to everyone. I had a breaking point last week when I got overwhelmed by cancer and I think it came across the blog as that I have lost my faith in Jesus. That is not the case and will never be the case no matter what fire we walk through. If Mike goes home to see Jesus, it will not be the case. I will still love Him. I will still worship Him. I will still walk with Him. It is just that I have begun to realize that up until this point, I haven't had to really put my faith in action. I haven't really had to walk through a fire. I have sung words about it in church. I have read about other's having trials, but I haven't actually had to put it in to practice really. In my life, when things have gotten tough in the past, I block it out; shut down/veg out; go on to other things; look forward to when it is over. That is how I deal with my prior stresses like deployments. I can't do that with this. I have to walk through it. I can't detach from it. I am being "refined and sifted" like no other time in my life. Honestly, when it gets really bad is when I want to just shut down and block everything out - including my time in the Word. So I am my own worst enemy. God is walking with me, but I need to learn how to walk with Him in a deeper way than I have EVER had to before. In the end, I don't want to walk through this and be the same person that I was anymore. I want to be stronger and have a deeper understanding of the Great I Am.

Finally, I want to apologize to everyone here in McKinney. I told my sister-in-law that I really need friends right now. People to come over and talk and just be with me. I miss talking about kids and life outside of cancer. Kathy told me people are wanting to but I had originally said that I needed space. I am sorry to everyone if I said that. The best part of Wendy and Dena and the Millers coming over was talking, laughing, and reminiscing. I want that more. So please come over, call, and pop in. The worst that will happen is that it won't be a good time, or I might tear up.

Have a blessed evening and please pray for:"
Rest for Mike, Elizabeth and I
The procedures tomorrow
The doctors, nurses and everyone surrounding Mike tomorrow
Comfort for Elizabeth
No complications
Joy and Peace
Our House in FL to sell
Mike to eat and drink more
For his White Blood Count to drop and his low grade fever to go away
Wisdom in medical decisions