Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Away For Awhile - Please Pray

Hi Everyone... Sometime tomorrow I will lose internet and phone service and there is a chance it may be out for 4 or 5 days!

There has been several balls dropped in the handling of our loan papers. Please pray that this can be sorted out quickly! If it isn't, we can't move on Saturday when we have people to help! And we are supposed to be all done here by Tuesday. I know this is small in the big scheme of things, but I'm tired of being a bug on the bottom of some banker's shoe! :-)

So, I'll see you soon... but I don't know when!

Waiting, Adopting, Updating

We were hoping to hear about getting keys by now but that hasn't happened. Hoping to hear something today so we can get started cleaning! Waiting, Waiting, Waiting.

Jack is doing much better than over the weekend and we are so thankful for the prayers. Yesterday when we chatted on Facebook, he had been able to eat some "mush" and soup. Hurray! Continued prayers for strength as his body works with the chemo and for healing of the mouth/tongue sores would be greatly appreciating.

And no, we are not adopting a child. Just children! :-) Fur children! LOL

Meet Heidi on the left and Maisy on the right. They are four months old and though they were brought in as strays, the animal officers think that they were actually surrendered by the owner because they have been bathed and well taken care of and appear to be quite healthy. I hope and pray they stay that way. When we brought Abbie home 10 years ago (from the very same cage at the shelter!) she had a respiratory infection and was really sick and on antibiotics.
This morning we are going in to adopt them. This is the first day they are available so we haven't had a chance to hold them (they don't allow that until they are available to adopt). This will be my girlies birthday present but the whole family is very excited. We chose their names together. Heidi... we just read that book. And Maisy is from the children's cartoon with the little mouse named Maisy. Today we are supposed to be able to hold them, so I'll take more pictures. :-)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jack Update

My Mom (Ruth) wrote this, but I wanted to explain one thing. She mentions problems with Jack's mouth :-) and I don't think we have discussed that here. His tastebuds are effected by all the medications and have left his tongue swollen and sore. This began before the chemo and is also effecting his ability to eat. I'll let you read the rest in Ruth's words...

Thank you to all you faithful prayer warriors… and please don’t stop now!
Time goes so incredibly fast I can’t believe it has been a week since the last post and so much has happened that our faith walk seems more like a faith “run” yet I keep reminding myself of how faithful God has been, is, and I know will continue to be.

The week began with Jack’s first round of chemo… Monday through Friday and then 3 weeks for his body to rebuild before radiation begins mid April. I took Jack for the 1st treatment which we had been told would be about 3 hrs… however it only took about an hour since they can inject the chemo into the saline IV & directly into his port. Due to the shorter length of treatment, Ruth had another opportunity to practice spontaneity… and began the process of revising the transportation plan for the week.

Next came another glitch when Jack’s feeding tube clogged… So plans were made to change out the old tube and replace it with a more durable variety. The procedure was done on Wednesday by the same doctor that did the port implant which was a real blessing. Later in the day was chemo number 3 where we had a picnic lunch and enjoyed “together time” while Jack was rehydrated and received his treatment. Then we were off to Option Care where one of the staff, Shari, took out her “bag of tricks” and brainstormed with Jack to adapt the new tube and sent us on our way… a very long and energy draining day for Jack.

By the end of the day Friday, Jack was feeling the effects and intensity of his week. Between mouth issues, tube change procedure, and chemo, he was extremely fatigued. We are thankful that we were able to work with the dietician to increase his supplemental feeding to support him while he is only eating cold stuff to keep his mouth as comfortable as possible. In the evening we sat reflectively as I read scripture from the Psalms and talked about the path the Lord has taken us these past 21 years of Jack & Ruth’s Most Excellent Adventure.

This weekend we are keeping a low profile here at home so that Jack has opportunity to rest and right now he needs to stay away from crowds. Next week we have a couple appointments including a “swallow test” to help sort out Jack’s eating challenges on Monday morning and another with the Radiation Oncologist on Thursday as we look ahead to radiation treatments beginning mid April.

P.S. It is now Sunday afternoon and Jack is resting while dealing with a number of side effects from the chemo and extreme sensitivity to odors and food smells that impact his desire and ability to eat. As of now, we have decided that the swallow test will need to be postponed as it involves eating and the outing would be too taxing for him as he must go out for lab work tomorrow afternoon.

Please pray for healing of his mouth issues and his ability to take more nourishment and liquids by mouth to help his upper system be hydrated and soothed... and that God's healing touch will help his body fight the good fight against the cancer and it's treatment.

I would leave you with the song that God brought to ease my heart this week as we walked through the many challenges of Jack’s health. May it bring blessing to you in whatever you are dealing with in your own lives as you hold us up in prayer.

Lyrics ~ Frank E. Graeff, 1860 - 1919
Music ~ J. Lincoln Hall, 1866 - 1930

Stanza 1:
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth and song;
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

O yes, He cares- I know He cares!
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary,
The long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares. (He cares.)

Stanza 2:
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?


Stanza 3:
Does Jesus care when I've tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief I find no relief,
Tho my tears flow all the night long?


Stanza 4:
Does Jesus care when I've said goodbye
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks ­
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Where We Are or Where Are We?

Phew! Since going to Lynette's Pampered Chef party in January, everything has been a whirlwind, a roller coaster... or you pick the chaotic analogy! Well, we are finally getting to the point of one whirl wind ending and another beginning! Wednesday, the 18th, we signed our mortgage documents... 130 pages! We met the notary at Tim's work and signed our papers in the classroom.

Here's Hubby signing the Deed of Trust. He's still smiling! :-)

Now, it's my turn to sign the Deed of Trust!

The kids were really great while they waited. L to R Boogie, Sunshine and Princess. I wanted to get a picture of the girls on this day because it was 10 days before their sixth birthday and I wanted to compare it to the one of me 10 days before my sixth birthday. The girls do not look like me, but they do resemble me... if that makes sense. It's hard to tell in this picture and YES! I do need to cut their bangs!
This is me ten days before my 6th birthday. It was my last day of Kindergarten June 9, 1972 and this is my teacher Mrs. Barney. If you know me on FaceBook, you have seen this already as it is my profile pic. My Mom made the dress... red with white polka dots.

Afterwards we went out to dinner to celebrate. I took this picture from the car because it was so beautiful how the light was shining through the branches.
Hopefully we will get the keys on Tuesday, but maybe not until Wednesday.
Now the real fun begins... Anybody living close by with muscles? We need help for Saturday 3/28! Thanks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

God Is In Control

The last few days, the "you know what" has hit the fan in regards to our new home. I'll spare you all the gory details, but suffice it to say that we have been struggling under the consequences of other peoples' actions and the injustice of some of the situation has felt unbearable. Today everyone is working towards unraveling a big knot. Last night I had a good cry out, which relieved some of the tension and was good. In the car on the way to church last night, I felt God telling me to go find my 1993 Twila Paris CD "Beyond a Dream" and listen to "God Is In Control". I called Tim and had him look for it and have listened to it several times. The words are so encouraging and God reminded me not only that He is in control, but that He also, years ago gave me a vision for our home and ministry. As we have prayed about the situation, we can't help but think that the enemy, who prowls around like a lion seeking whom he can kill and destroy, isn't trying to trip us up and make us focus on ourselves and negative things instead of what God actually is doing in our lives. No matter how it seems... God is in control - Thank you God! And to you be the glory, whether or not we get this house!

God Is In Control
by Twila Paris

This is no time for fear
This is a time for faith and determination
Don't lose the vision here
Carried away by the motion,
Hold on to all that you hide in your heart
There is one thing that has always been true
It holds the world together

God is in control
We believe that His children will not be foresaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside him
We know, ooh, God is in control
Ooh, God is in control

History marches on
There is a bottom line drawn across the ages
Culture can make its plan
Oh but the line never changes
No matter how the deception may fly
There is one thing that has alays been true
It will be true forever

(Repeat chorus)

He has never let you down
Why start to worry now
Why start to worry now
He is still the Lord of all we see
And he is still the loving Father
Watching over you and me

Watching over you
Watching over me
Watching over everything
Watching over you
Watching over me
Every little sparrow, every little king
Ooh, every little king

(repeat chorus)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ruth's Update On Jack - Pray for Start of Chemo

My apologies for the delay in updating information regarding Jack. This past week and a half has been a busy in many ways. Medically, God opened doors and Jack’s port was successfully implanted on Friday the 6th and Jack received his schedule for chemo therapy to begin here in Bellingham on Monday, March 16th… Daily for 5 days, then a time for his body to rest before radiation begins in mid April. There is a lot to absorb and learn about as we step into the treatment phase.

Jack sitting at the back of the church for service.
On Sunday the 8th we were finally able to make it to church. It had been a long month since Jack’s surgery… and it felt like we were home at last. That was the thought that brought tears of joy as I drove down Laurel Road on our way to worship that morning. It was the first time since Feb 1st that Jack and I had been able to make that journey and oh how we have missed the sweet communion with our home church family.

Jack and his "girlfriends" Susan and Joy

What joy to walk through the back door and encounter our “son” David who engulfed “Dad” in a hearty gentle embrace that lasted a long time and blessed them both. For the next half hour, Jack held court as dear ones greeted him during the fellowship time between the services… young and old alike were ever so glad to “see” Jack and know how faithful God has been in answering their prayers… to God be the Glory, Great Things HE hath Done.

Jack and Sangae (I hope I spelled your name right!)

Jack keeps a set of twin girls wherever he goes! LOL (You girls look just like your Mommy when she was your age!)

Jack continues to do well and took advantage of this week to be out and about for short stints. Tuesday, his sister Kris took him to his Carving Group at the Ferndale Senior Center and Wednesday morning I took him to Denny’s where he surprised his men’s Bible study group by joining them for their weekly breakfast meeting where he enjoyed God’s Word and Christian fellowship over a cup of tea.

Jack at woodcarving class at the Senior Center.

The Wednesday Morning Gang - Jack's Bible Study meeting at Denny's for breakfast.

Later in the week we sharpened our knowledge of the care of Jack’s feeding tube as we worked through a couple of clogging episodes with the caring support of the Option Care staff. The week also included praying Jack’s mother Doris through some very painful back issues which necessitated a doctor visit and very long day of medical tests. An MRI shows that she has a couple of bulging discs that complicate her other health issues, along with a urinary tract infection. We are praising the Lord that she is gradually improving with pain medications and TLC from Kris and her wonderful caregivers. Please keep Doris in your prayers, as well as Kris who is doing double duty caring for both her and supporting Jack’s needs.

Today is Friday and we are looking forward to the weekend… We have a “date” planned for Saturday… a foray to Jack’s favorite shopping spot to pick up some really good deals on his new found food favorites and a cup of egg flower soup for lunch at “David’s” our special Chinese restaurant. Lord willing we will again be in Worship on Sunday to fortify us for next week.

As you can tell… Jack is “living” his motto of “Being a Liver!” and we continue to praise the Lord in and through it all. Our hope is in the Lord and we are trusting Him to carry Jack physically through the treatment, asking for His healing and protection from side effects, as well as looking to Him to be our strength and peace as we walk hand in hand with Him.

Thanks to all of you who are supporting us in prayer and so many other ways. We love you and ask God to shower each of you with His blessings.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Jack Update

Hi Everyone, I just wanted to check in and update on Jack. He had a good appointment with the medical oncologist yesterday. Hard not to like a guy in cowboy boots! :-) Things are moving forward and we are now waiting for a port placement and the beginning of the first chemo course.

Please continue to pray for Jack's healing and that God would be in all the details. Thank you!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blast From The Past - Jack Update

I found this photo when I was looking for high school friends to post on Facebook. It's a pretty bad photo but I had to laugh. This is Jack and I in 1988. I was at the end of my medical assistant training and was learning how to draw blood. I'm practicing with a tourniquet, trying to find Jack's veins for a blood draw! Back in the 80s if you wore glasses you didn't have to have OSHA goggles or shields to draw blood! LOL Look at those things. They could be windshields! These were my FAVORITE glasses! Burgandy and nerdishly cool! :-) It looks like I'm calf roping Jack and neither one of us are thrilled with Mom interrupting with a picture. I'm also wearing my favorite concert tshirt from Steve Camp, not that you can see it, but I wore that thing to threads. It was from the song "He Covers Me" and had a black pen drawing of a huge tree with a person sitting at the base - the idea is the tree is sheltering just as He shelters and protects us. Isn't that great to know?!

Oh Lord, I feel so barren and ashamed of who I am
How I often felt I hid it well, it is a lie I cannot defend
So I lean upon Your mercy as I confess my sin to You
There is no easy way, no saving face, when I finally see the truth
So let my life be filled with only You


I know someday I will be free
The weight of sin shall be released
But for now He covers me
And though the trials never end
I've learned to take them as my friend
For each day He covers me

Sometimes the pressure builds around me and I feel about to break
I suffer painfully from wrongs done to me but vengeance isn't mine to take
So let me glory in my weakness till Your strength's revealed in me
It is Your grace alone that helps me carry on to be the man I long to be
So let Your life be perfected, Lord in me
Until it's You they see.


And though heartache surrounds me
I know Your love is around me
Nothing can separate me from You
And I know it's true

repeat CHORUS and fade

Artist: Steve CampCopyright: 1986 Birdwing Music (ASCAP) / River Oakes Music Co. (Tree Group) / Sparrow Song (BMI>

Not only was Steve Camp a "hot commodity" in the mid to late 80s contemporary Christian music scene, but I related to him on a personal level because as a teenager he lost his Dad to cancer. Having lost my Dad my senior year, just 6 weeks before graduation, I felt very isolated. Even in college I had great friends, but only one of them could understand what that was like. When Steve sang about learning to count his trials as a friend because God covered him during that time, I could believe Him and my faith was strengthened. I knew when Steve sang it, he meant it and it was true!

Okay, that ended up longer than I thought. Both Mom and I have really been comforted during this stressful time by songs of faith that remind us just how much He loves us and how we are not alone and how no matter what God is covering Jack.

Thanks to everyone who was praying for Jack's appointment on Friday. They had a very good visit with an awesome radiation oncologist who took time to answer a lot of questions about things in general as well as the specifics of the radiation therapy. Radiation won't begin for about two months because chemo will be the first round of business.

This coming Wednesday, Jack will be meeting with the medical oncologist who will be overseeing the chemotherapy treatment. Please keep this in prayer too. After Wednesday we will have a clearer picture of what is happening and hopefully a schedule.

Jack is doing quite well with his surgery recovery. Thank you for praying! It is a whole new adventure discovering what he can eat and how they can make it taste better. His sister Kris is a skilled nurse and is pampering him! :-)

If you are local, Jack is up to short visits and phone calls. He does get tired easily, but has a little cabin fever and misses his "faces"!

Please pray that Jack's body will continue to grow strong and that God will prepare him for his upcoming treatments.

We appreciate all of you!