Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to Pray

This morning Dennis and I were discussing how to pray for him as he battles this cancer.  The obvious prayer that flows from our hearts is that God will choose to heal Dennis and he will have many more years to serve Him here on earth.  As I’ve said before, I am reminded of how King David pled for the life of his son.  We do that on a daily basis as well.  But Dennis brought up a much bigger issue and prayer need.  His thought is that we also need to be praying that God will give us the grace to walk through whatever is ahead in a manner that will glorify God.  From the first time we heard the diagnosis of Dennis’ illness, that has been his focus and the way in which he has led me in my thinking as well.  Frankly, all of us only have a short period of time on this earth but what we do here and how we live will matter in eternity.  So we hope and pray for physical healing but we also pray for the grace to walk this path in a way that glorifies Christ and points others to him.  

Recently I was reading the blog of another adoptive mom whose daughter is in desperate need of a heart transplant.  This note in her blog struck my heart:

I am tempted to let my imagination take me to places I simply cannot allow myself to go...  Because, as I learned from the writings of Elisabeth Elliot so many years ago,  "God does not supply grace for our imagination."  Rather His all-sufficient grace will be available for my every need, at the very moment I need it!  I have a choice to make.  Will I choose to go to places in my heart and mind without the grace of God to meet me there?  Or will I choose joy for today, knowing that His perfect grace will meet me in that place when I need Him most?

I relate to this so well.  When I choose to allow my thoughts to go down a path I may walk in the future, I am overwhelmed with grief, but when I choose to focus on today and count the blessings God has given us, I have all the grace I need for today.  I am endeavoring to live in today’s grace and blessings knowing that God will supply what we need, when we need it in the future. 

Update on Dennis
Dennis completed five days of chemo last week.  He has 23 days off of the chemo now.  He will do this cycle for five more months.  He goes to the hospital two times a week for the trial drug he is getting throughout the six months of treatment.  About every eight weeks they will do an MRI to check if there are any changes or regrowth of the tumor.  He is doing well with all of the treatments except for the fatigue.  The worst part of the fatigue is how unpredictable it can be. Some days he is doing great and other days will be exhausted. 

We are praising God for how well Dennis is doing.  We are so thankful for the lack of any significant deficits following the surgery.  We know this if often not the case following brain surgery and we marvel at it.

Prayer Requests:            

  • Physical healing and strength.
  • God to be glorified in our lives.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Next Stage

Yesterday Dennis began the next phase of treatments. It was a pretty intense day with bloodwork, an MRI, doctor visit and an infusion of the trial drug. He takes his chemo at home before he goes to bed.  The MRI report was good and the doctor commented on how well Dennis is doing.

So, for six months Dennis will go in twice a week to get blood work done and have the trial drug administered.  His chemo is a much higher dose but the routine is also different.  He does not take it daily but rather will take it for five days and then be off of it for 23 days. He has tolerated these drugs fairly well. He does get very tired from them and he also gets itchy.

Please pray that he will continue to tolerate them well, that his blood levels stay strong and that he does not pick up illnesses that are so common this time of year.

For those of you on his help team, I'll be posting his driver needs for his doctor's appointments later today.  Thank you to all of you who have helped out in this area.  The doctor told us it will be a long time before he will be cleared to drive so rides are a blessing to us.

Keep praying that these drugs will do their job and kill any remaining cells.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Countdown Begins

It has been three weeks since Dennis finished his first round of cancer treatments.  A week from today, they start again.  Although the treatments offer us one source of hope that Dennis could beat this horrible cancer, we also dread them.  His experience with the first six weeks was not horrible.  He tolerated everything well but still the radiation was “creepy” and he was so physically exhausted from it.  We are definitely hoping that without radiation in the mix this time that he is not so exhausted but we won’t know until they start up again.  This round of treatments will last at least six months.  About every two months he will have an MRI to see if any regrowth has happened.  I’m sure that we will face each one of those with some measure of apprehension as we wait to hear the results.

But the medical intervention is only one part of our hope.  The greater hope and peace we have is that the Great Physician is in charge of our lives.  We know Dennis will be healed.  What we don’t know is if that healing will come here on earth or if it will come when he leaves this world and enters into complete healing in the presences of his Savior.  We, of course, pray for his healing here.  We want him to have many more years to spend with us, to be my husband, Brooke’s Daddy, a brother, son, friend…But we fully trust that God will do what is best for all of us and walk with us through the days ahead.  I often think of how King David prayed and fasted for his son’s life to be spared – that is where we are at today.  We are continually asking God for this for Dennis but like King David, if God chooses to heal Dennis by calling him home to heaven, we will go on with the assurance that we will one day be reunited.  

Please continue to pray for us as we enter this new phase of treatment.

  • Dennis – that he is not exhausted by the treatments and that they are successful in eradicating any remaining cancer cells.
  • Ellen – that she will be able to know how to best support Dennis as he walks down this road.
  • Brooke – that she is at peace with what is happening to Daddy.
  • Generally – for volunteers to continue to be so helpful in giving Dennis rides to appointments and encouraging us along the way.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Just a Quick Vacation

Dennis, Brooke and I were able to get away for a relaxing vacation last week.  We knew he could not do anything strenuous so we rented a cabin in Door County for a few days and took it easy.  We spent the last day camping with friends.  Mostly, we just relaxed and got away from all the stress of the last few months.  Dennis will restart chemo next week.  He still is struggling with fatigue but otherwise is doing well.  We appreciate your prayers as Dennis starts his next phase of treatments.  Here are a few pictures from our trip.