It would be nice to say that Christmas is a time of peace, but with the weather, work and health-it doesn’t get peaceful enough. This week we did manage to get in a fair amount of visiting, but regrettably we ran out of steam by the end of the week. Our week started off with Karen and Jaxson getting their 3rd set of colds apiece-not a great start. On Tuesday evening a missionary friend of ours blessed us with a visit. His name is Greg Strock and he actually used to work with both Karen and I at different times. He was visiting from the Czech republic and he enlightened us on how things are both in that country and across Europe. We then managed to take in a couple Christmas’s between all the weather. We made it to both my Mom’s and Dad’s at the same time as both my brother and sister and their families were there. We felt blessed just to make it to them with all the snow, ice and tough road conditions. In both cases we actually spent longer on the road than we did at either place. Our near accident experience happened on our way to my Dad’s. A snow plow was in the right lane and people were slowly passing it in the left lane. As we took our turn passing the snow plow, it suddenly lost control of the salt machine it was towing. Luckily for us the out of control trailer fish tailed to the right causing the snow plow itself to kind of jack knife further to the right. We counted our blessings and we snuck by on the left, but if that trailer had instead gone to the left… Christmas Eve night Dave, I, Jill’s Dad and Zane took in a live nativity at my church. Two full size camels stole the show-although the donkey, goats, cow and geese were also very interesting. By the end of the week Karen, I and the guys we were out of steam. We decided to just rest the past couple of days-regrettably that meant missing out on seeing the rest of our family in WI. Karen and the boys, though, are heading that way this coming week.
The kids got more than enough stuff and are still trying to organize all their new toys. I would show you pictures but we seemed to have mis-placed the camera for the last couple of days. Every day that I wasn’t working I laid down for an hour to get rested up-yeah the chemo is slowing me up. I am feeling o.k. and am ready to take on the next round(Goliath) again this week.
May God’s peace rest on you and your family the rest of this holiday season. 2010 here we come!
When you were a kid your parents probably dragged you to Sunday school and you inevitably heard about the story of David and Goliath. Now looking back doesn’t it seem almost like a fable or an old wives tale? But if you want to read the historical reference check out 1st Samuel 17. As the story went Israel was once again under attack by a hostile nation and people-the Philistines. The Philistines were camped on one side of a valley and the Israelites were on the other side. The Philistines had a champion who was a giant who stood over 9 feet tall. This is one of Jaxson’s favorite stories. So last time to make the story more impactful, we actually took out a tape measure just to see how big Goliath was. Let’s just say he barely fit into any area of our house. Every day for 40 days Goliath came out and challenged anyone to come and do battle with him. Saul and the rest of the army of Israel was terrified-no one would take him up on the challenge. One day our hero, David, was told by his father to bring food to his brothers that were at the battle. David arrived at the battle lines just as Goliath again made his daily challenge. David didn’t think twice about it and decided that he would take on this giant. David took 5 stones from a stream, put them in his sling and walked up to face Goliath. David said to Goliath, “You are coming to fight me with a sword. But I’m coming against you in the name of the Lord who rules over all.” David then ran forward undaunted and slung one stone at the giant. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead sinking in and killing him.
It seems like every time I face another round of chemo it is like facing Goliath. Every two weeks I again have to walk into that valley and take on the 9 foot giant. Really Goliath should be the cancer, but when you are in the middle of all this chemo. the real battle feels like all the poison they put in you and the after effects. For the first time, Dr. Duane asked me if I felt comfortable taking on another round. I don’t think I said it with as much bravado as David, but I said I would. My blood counts were low-here is some comparisons:
Norm. Range Dec. 16 Dec. 2 Nov.18th
White Blood cells 3.8-11.0 3.8 4.8 4.3
Red Blood Cells 4.2-5.9 3.99 4.22 4.29
Hemoglobin 13.4-17.5 12.5 12.8 12.8
Platelets 140-450 94 118 104
Bilirubin .2-1.2 1.0 1.7 .9
So all my counts dropped, including the Bilirubin-but that was the one count that we needed to drop-and it dropped significantly-so that was good.
So I am taking on Goliath again. What is the Goliath in your life? Depression, Divorce, Sickness, Cancer, a Failing business, Loneliness etc??? Step into the valley and take him on, you will notice that all your supporters are back on top of the valley cheering you on, praying for you, hoping for the best-but only you can go into that valley. Just take David’s advice along with mine-Go with God-and leave victorious.
I made it through the last round of chemo. The first 4 days, as usual, weren’t great and I was pretty wiped out. When Sunday came I bounced back, although, I was still moving a bit slower. Monday I was back to work and finished the week working about 45 hours. I felt extra blessed this past round of chemo. Sarah and Pete came down and entertained the guys on Wed. night(the day of my infusion). Jen and Steve took care of the boys Sat. morning-through Sunday evening. Then Sarah came back down to help a bit on Monday night. Then Karen’s parents came over from Wisconsin to help during Jaxson’s ear surgery. That worked out perfect as the snowstorm hit and school was canceled, Grandpa was here to help clear the driveway and take care of Brenden. Karen and Dianne took Jaxson to the hospital. Jaxson was very brave. He felt comfortable with the doctors and what they explained to him. On some topics he told the doctor that his Dad had some of the same stuff done, so he was o.k. So after about 6-8 weeks of not being able to hear very well, he can finally hear again-not that he always listens better.
My next round of chemo. starts next Wed.(the 16th). My blood work was good on the last round except for one area-the Bilirubin. The Bilirubin jumped out of the normal range. Basically it means the liver is having a more difficult time processing toxins. When the number is really high, people become jaundice and their eyes actually turn yellow. I looked a little bit like that after my liver surgery this Summer. So if the number stays high or goes higher this week, I will get a reduced amount of chemo. or they will suspend it for 1 round. I have to be honest, a extra break over Christmas would feel awesome. The flip side is that it gives the tumors a little break and thereby pushes everything back.
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving to everyone! We had a nice Thanksgiving, but have no pictures to share of it yet-sorry(but I did add some new pictures to the Photos page). We spent a couple hours over at David’s house, where Jill’s Dad, Mom, Rick, Rhonda, Charlie and the girls were. Then we went to Karen’s sister(Jen) and Steve’s place for our actual dinner. Sarah and Pete(the newly weds) and Karen’s parents were there. I have a lot to be thankful for starting with Karen and the guys, my family, friends, Pictura and all my blog readers. You all inspire me and keep me moving forward. I am so thankful for my church, prayer ministers, pastors and fellow Pray for the Cure attendees. You all keep me mentally and spiritually lifted. I am most thankful to God who keeps lifting me up every time one of these chemo sessions or surgeries knock me back down. Believe it or not, I seem to be getting stronger over these last two chemo sessions. I am working 9-10 hours every shift I work now. Even after working all those hours, I am still able to help out at home. There have been a couple days where I have been laid up for a couple hours(one being the morning of Thanksgiving), but for the most part I am doing very well. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.
The family is now on their 2nd rounds of Colds. As usual I am unaffected-no runny nose, nothing. Jaxson’s ears have had infections on and off for 3-4 weeks now. Currently they are not infected but both are filled with water behind the ear drums so he can’t hear anything. So he will have minor surgery again to have tubes put in and his adenoids removed. This is his 3rd set of tubes and he is only 5. His surgery is Dec. 9th. It will be nice to have it taken care of as it seems we have been yelling at him all the time just so he can hear what we are saying. I doubt he hears anything in school. Jaxson’s latest favorite thing is going to the chiropractor. He asks to go about every other day for some ache or pain-Dr. Lish would be proud. Karen continues with her Bronchitis and now has caught the 2nd round of colds from the kids. Brenden just seems to deal with all his ailments quietly.
Well I’m off to go help the family put decorations on the Christmas tree.
Talk to you all on the other side of this round of blood/cancer poisoning.
p.s. I still have some hair, but it is really getting thin now.