Friday, December 4, 2009

Prayers For Testing Today

I'm a bit tardy on getting this posted. It's a good thing God doesn't work in the confines of my time sequence!

As I write, Jack is having his scans to determine if the cancer has spread anywhere inside his body. Of course there won't be any information today but soon, hopefully.

Please pray for Jack as he recovers from the procedure, medications etc. And pray for peace for Ruth and Jack as they await results. Also for wisdom for the docs as they interpret the results.

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

California Here They Come & A Long Overdue Update

Hello Everyone! Blogger is in one of its crazy moods tonight so the pictures are going to be all out of order. It has been so long since I've updated for you, that we are including lots of pictures and at the end, I will include a letter from Mom (Ruth) to update you on Jack's progress and health. Tomorrow morning they are beginning the trek down to California to visit us. My son, D said today, "Mommy, do you want to know how excited I am to see Grandma and Grampa?" His answer, "One Million Percent!" :-)

Jack and Bill... Brother Survivors... or is that Livers? :-)

Jack helping in the garden. This is digging some kind of hole.

In front of the van they rented to come down. (They are bringing us some "stuff"!)

Eating noodles at David's! (We always call it David's so I can't remember the real name! LOL It's the Chinese restaurant in the Fountain District )

Grandma Doris (Jack's Mom) and Jack.

Jack enjoying the sun on a trip to the mail box.

Watch out, here he comes! :-)

Jack with his Bible study Buddies. Sorry Gentlemen, I don't know all your names, or I would label you!

Armed and Dangerous!

Greeting Bill, also a Survivor, on a recent visit at church.

Making Plum sauce.

Picking plums in the yard.

Jack gathering the hazel nuts off the ground.

Driving the tractor in the yard.

Snoozing on Facebook (?) LOL after a long day.

Another tractor shot.

Greeting at church.
Now, I will attempt to paste Ruth's letter in the space below if Blogger isn't too ornery! Okay, Blogger will not accept a paste. Let's see if I can hit the highlights...
Jack had a successful tube replacement (after experiencing significant pain) on September 25th. They used a new type of feeding tube and that has been much more comfortable. The feeding tube must stay in place until Jack is able to eat on his own and maintain weight. This will take awhile and you can remember this in your prayers for him. The doctor also gave him a new kind of pain medication that also helps with increasing his appetite and Jack has been "practicing" for travel, by dining out and trying foods.
The last visit with the chemo oncologist went well. Basically Jack is in "surveillance mode". In other words, "wait and see". No secret cameras watching his every movement as Jack joked! But he will have a scan again in December and they will "scope" him in February. The first two years are critical with stomach cancer.
Slowly Jack and Ruth are re-learning how to live. Much has changed and yet much is the same. They are just figuring out new ways of doing old things, or learning new routines. Please pray for them as they adjust. Sometimes after the crisis is over, that can be the most difficult period in other ways. I haven't experienced Cancer but I do know this to be true in other types of grieving and crisis experiences. Ruth has been encouraged by a verse (which she doesn't know was a favorite of mine that I clung to for several difficult years in the 1990s) lately:
See, now I am doing a new thing; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 NIV
So, Mom and Jack ask for your prayers as they travel, especially for Jack's strength. (And I might add his endurance once he is here with the kids!) They are driving a Uhaul down, so graciously to bring two pieces I inherited... an oak veneered roll top desk made by Uncle Ray, which will find a new home in my kitchen, and one of my Aunt's paintings which hung over the fireplace at my Grandma's for years and will do so in our new home as well! Since it was cheaper to get a Uhaul than a van, they are bringing some other things as well (since Jack is so great at finding free/cheap stuff... we gave him a "wish list"). Please pray that they will not have snow in the Siskiyous!
We are really looking forward to sharing our new home with Mom and Jack. It was quite surreal to be excited, making an offer on our first house while Jack was recuperating from major surgery in Seattle. There was such a strange mixture of joy and grief. We will be having Tim's sister and her husband over and enjoying an early Thanksgiving on November 7th. After all we have a LOT to celebrate, especially Jack's LIFE! This will be the first time since being married that I will have celebrated Thanksgiving with my family! I'm very excited.
Thank you all if you read this far and God bless you for your faithfulness to our family. We all love you. And we are so thankful for YOU!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Update and Prayer Requests

Hello Everyone. I haven't updated here for awhile because nothing too exciting has been happening. That's a good thing though. Not to say it's been all easy, because it has not. Making it through each day or sometimes the night, is really a small victory each time. As time passes Jack is growing, by baby steps, in strength.

Recently, Jack has had some abdominal pain and he went to see Dr. Levenson. It seems that a possible cause is a deteriorating feeding tube. They are meant to last 2-4 months and his is 4 months old! So, tomorrow, Friday September 25th, Jack will be having the procedure to replace his feeding tube. This will take place at the hospital in the early afternoon. Please pray for direction for the doctor and assistants and that it will go well for Jack. Also, please pray for healing from the pain.

Again, the battle is not over, any continued prayers for Jack's healing and for Ruth as she cares for Jack, are greatly appreciated. Thank you to all of you who have been so kind and loving.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Move That Mountain!

Last week I entered a challenge at Faith Sisters using a new collaboration kit on Faith, created by Eva Lindqvist and Emma Moore. I loved this picture of Jack and Chassidy at church after she got another Gold Medal in the Special Olympics. And this picture to me shows the spirit of Jack, the essence of the Jack we know and love. And he is wearing his survivor shirt!
God unfailing mercy and goodness has been heaped upon us with great measure. We are thankful that this last stage of the journey (chemo) is over! Naturally it's hardest on Jack, but it's also hard on Ruth and everyone else who loves him. Jack's chemo doc says he is at the bottom. The good thing about being at the bottom is that you can only go up from there. I am reminded of something Corrie Ten Boom said, that no pit is so deep that God's love is not deeper still. Having survived a concentration camp, Corrie knew whereof she spoke!
So, where do we go from here? Up! Jack is physically weak, but doing well. The doctor says to double the treatment length time and that is how long it takes to be "normal". So, the business at hand is healing and learning how to be a live-er! His lab tests were "remarkably normal" per the M.D. and his scan was clear. Scans will happen periodically for quite some time. The first two years are crucial. Please don't stop praying!
I'll try to keep posted here periodically for those who want to know. THANK YOU! to everyone who visits, comments, prays, encourages, supports and comes alongside Jack and Ruth.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Halleluia! He's a Survivor!

Jack is all DONE with his last chemo treatment! To celebrate he had an ice cream cake. My pictures are actually in reverse order... this was after church today. I love his smile in this picture. This is the Jack I know and love! :-)

In case you were wondering if he went hog wild... this is his portion of the cake! :-)

It was such a blessing for Jack to celebrate Sabbath at church and see the ones he loves and the ones who love him. Fellowship is sweet! Here is Jack and Chas. She is sporting one of her latest Special Olympics medals! What a special and wonderful friend she is to our whole family.

Here's Mr. Jack getting ready to go to church... all dapper in his new clothes.

He says he is not only a survivor but a "Liver". He is going to LIVE! Praise God for the ability to wear the survivor shirt!

Ready to go... with HOPE. The battle is not completely over. But the does of poison are! Please continue to pray. We can't say enough how much we appreciate your prayers. I will close with a verse that has been encouraging Jack:
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Here We Go Again!

Last week was a false alarm, not the beginning of the last week of chemo. Jack had not had sufficient time to recuperate from the other chemo treatment, so his doctor did not feel it was wise to begin the process all over again! This week has been a good time of recuperation for Jack and time for Ruth and Jack to spend together.

The great news is that while he was waiting this week, Jack had a body scan and it came out clear, showing NO signs of metastasized cancer! Praise God!

So, here we go again, tomorrow, Monday, will begin Jack's last week of chemo. We are praying with HOPE and asking for God's mercy and healing. Please pray for Jack as he heads into the battle again. Also pray for Ruth as she cares for him and all those who are helping.

THANK YOU! I'm looking forward to sharing pictures later in the fall of us celebrating Jack's recovery together! We already bought some sparkling pear and sparkling peach juices at Ikea for the occasion. We're looking forward to just being together.

We love you Grampa!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Beginning The End!

I know the title sounds ominous, but it really is reason to rejoice! Tomorrow, Monday, August 10, 2009, Jack will begin his last chemo course! Yeah!!!!!! This of course means that he is standing in the need of prayer. He will go five days, Monday through Friday.

Jack would never complain and probably doesn't like me typing so here, but I have to say that this has been very HARD. (It has been hard on those of us who love him and we aren't the ones having it!) I thought of him this morning when we began our Sunday School study of James with "Consider it pure joy brethren when you face various trials..." I'm sure that there is little joy in chemo or radiation or dry heaves or exhaustion beyond belief. But through it all, I do believe God has been giving both Jack and Ruth moments of Joy. These moments will be their "ebenezer" stones that they can look back on and see what God has done in them, through them, to them and for them. And in this, they certainly will be able to rejoice. (In the photo above, Jack is tending their grapes.)

As Jack begins his chemo this week, please pray that God will heal him totally of the cancer and if you feel led, that somehow miraculously he would not have to endure more side effects. Pray for strength, encouragement and endurance. This is the heat of the battle! It will feel endless while he's in the middle. Please lift him up to the Father daily and moment by moment. (Photo shows Jack with his cousin Dwight and wife Mary looking at the scrapbook of Jack's life that I made for his 60th birthday.)

As Jack faces this battle, please pray for those who love him... his wife Ruth, who is still working during this time, his mother Doris (in the photo above) and for all those who are helping out with rides, visits, meals and care. Pray that they will endure, encourage him and be strengthened for their parts of this battle too. Please pray an extra measure of strength for Ruth.

This is the beginning of the end. This is a reason to rejoice. There are good things to look forward to. We are selfishly excited for a late fall visit with Mom and Jack in our new home. Here Jack is having fun at one of his favorite things... a garage sale!

Thank you to all of you who have touched our lives. Thank you for all the prayers. They are appreciated beyond what we can express. (Here Jack snuggles baby Ezra Jack in church.)