"It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him." -Daniel 2:22
"Do not fear, for I am with you..." -Isaiah 43:5
"...we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion." -Daniel 9:18

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Same Surgery, Second Femur

The second surgery to insert a titanium rod into Al's other femur was a success. All went well & he is doing good. Seems to have more pain, but that could be due to the fact he is moving around more, sooner, than the last one.
The first time, it took him two tries with the physical therapist before they would let him come home. I told the surgeon that, if I know my husband, it wouldn't take twice this time. I was right. I got to the hospital on Friday morning, the day after surgery, around 9 am. He had already done his walk down the hall and seen both the surgeon and his oncologist.
We are very thankful that he has done so well with both surgeries. The only problem he really had was the hiccups. He had several long episodes yesterday. I think it was a reaction to anesthesia. They did not have him do breathing therapy after this surgery, like the last one. He took it upon himself to do some. Luckily we still had the apparatus at home.
That is one of my biggest concerns with him, getting a respiratory infection. It seems to be one of the biggest killers of cancer patients. He has had monthly breathing treatments for the past year, since his stem cell transplants. By order of the transplant doctor. I believe that has prevented him getting sick several times. But, he has his last treatment next week, so that is a big prayer request that God would continue to shield him from that type of illness.
Al is getting around pretty well on his crutches. He was able to move his leg around more frequently that very first night after surgery, so he feels that helped to keep it from getting so stiff. It will take a week or so before he is able to completely dress himself and begin to walk on it without crutches.
Our next visit to the oncologist will be in about 2 weeks, when he will have to have a bone marrow biopsy. They will be checking the protein levels since he has been on a lower dose of Revlimid for the past few months. His favorite thing! I hope they are able to give him an IV, so it is not so painful.
I pray that the cancer levels have not gone back up. Lowering the chemo dose, does not seem to have made any impact on his energy level. It is still very low. We will see if there is any change in the red and white blood cell counts on his next visit.
That is pretty much all that is going on these days. We are still waiting for someone to be interested in our property. We are still waiting for someone to be interested in giving me a job interview. Assuming that this is even in God's plan for us.
Meanwhile, we celebrate what and when we can......a baby coming (Charli has been doing better), all our kids and family are healthy and doing well, God's abundant provision for us - physically, mentally and spiritually, and Al will be turning 58 next week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Partial Book Review

As I continue to read, "What In The World Is Going On?" by Dr. David Jeremiah, I am struck by the similarities between what he talks about the life of Christians in the end times, to mine and Al's lives today. In his chapter that deals with the Rapture, the USA and their role in end times, we are to be in anticipation of Christ's shout that only Christians will hear. The sound that will call those in Christ who are already "asleep", then those still alive, to join Him in heaven.
This waiting in anticipation is a feeling I am very familiar with at the moment. Waiting to sell our property, waiting to find a job, waiting to see if Al's company keeps him employed, waiting for our new grandchild... It seems that everything about our lives is in a state of limbo, waiting upon the Lord.
In all the discussion about signs and prophecies that point to Christ's return, we must remember that, as Christians, we will have no signs, or warnings before that shout. We will be way long gone before all those other signs and prophecies come to pass. This is what I believe as one who believes in Pre-Tribulation Rapture. And what a comfort that is! We won't have to endure the fall of the USA. We won't have to endure the total meltdown of the world's moral and social structure. Al will be cancer-free and whole again.
So, be on your guard....release the hold that the things of this world have upon you....rejoice in anticipation of the time when our Lord returns only for those of us who serve Him in our hearts. Be at your God-assigned post, working, waiting and watching.

This book is very interesting, exhiliarating and thought-provoking. I value any work based upon scripture that gives us reasons to examine our lives and how they are impacting the Kingdom of God.
I serve at the pleasure of the King.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What Are We To Do?

My devotion just a few days ago so perfectly describes my experience at church last Sunday. It is based on Ephesians 3:18, which says "I pray that you...may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Many times while singing praises to the Lord, I am "suddenly awash with the magnitude of His love for me". This is what brings me to joyous tears. I pray that each of you would experience the enormity of Christ's love for each of us.
I am now reading Dr. David Jeremiah's book "What in the World is Going On?" It is very fascinating! One chapter talks about the state of the world's oil supply and how it relates to us and our futures. It asks the question: what are we to do? ...in light of all that is happening in our world today.
For a Christian standpoint, Dr. Jeremiah says, we wait (upon the Lord), we work (at our appointed tasks), and we watch (for Christ's return). He quotes C.S. Lewis to say, "Life is short. The world is fragile. All of us are vulnerable, but we are here because this is our calling. Our lives are rooted not only in time, but also in eternity, and the life of learning, humbly offered to God, is its own reward."
This is so talking about where Al & I are today. The world around us seems to be crumbling and changing. But God is exhorting us to just wait for the next phase of His plan to be put into action for our lives, work where He has placed us until such time as He moves us elsewhere, and keep an eye out for the signs that He is ready to return for us.
So far, this book is very good. It relates biblical prophecy to events going on in the world today. It has a lot of very interesting things to say.
If you have read this book already, let me know what your thoughts are.
Al and I spent all day at Baylor yesterday. First the oncologist. Al's bloodwork seems about normal. He has no red or white blood cells. Normal ranges for males in WBC are 4.5 to 11.0, but Al's numbers are 2.3. Normal ranges for males in RBC are 4.5 to 5.90 and Al's are 2.9. He got a shot of Neupogen and a shot of Aranesp. One for white and one for red. (Where's the one for blue?) Hope those shots give his blood a boost! His HGB is low. His HCT is low. His MPV is low.
Next month they will test for the cancer protein levels.
They have a new chemo drug coming out this summer that they are hoping to be good for Al. Before that happens he will have to have some more tests done and get all his surgeries out of the way.
He had to get a full set of body X-rays, too.
Then we went to see his transplant doc for his one year checkup. All is well. He got his 12 month shots. The doc is looking into finding a donor for stem cells in case, some day, Al needs another stem cell transplant. He would not be able to use his own again, it would have to be someone elses. This will be a last ditch option as there are more complications with this type of transplant. He had hoped to give Al a couple of years cancer free with the transplants, but, alas, it was not to be.
Next week we go back to see the leg surgeon. Hoping to get going on the 2nd surgery. Then he may need to have that back surgery we talked about last year, but never did.
Meanwhile, Al seems to be doing quite good most days. Still has a bad day now and then, but as long as he takes his meds as prescribed, he seems to do well. We will see next month if the cancer remains at the low levels it was last time they checked it.
We sure do appreciate all the help we have had to get our property ready for sale. Al had some good help last week from Billy, Justin & Keith moving all his tools. This week our friend Brad came down from Irving to help clean more "stuff" out of the barn. Mikal came to install a new back door. I give God all the glory for putting these needs on the hearts of all these people. We just could not have done it without you guys!
Please pray for God's hand in getting our property sold quickly and for a good price. Maybe, then He will reveal to us where He wants us to live and what He has next for us. I am still looking for an office job with good benefits. But, there again, it is all in His hands.
Happy Easter to all.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Moving Sale was a Success!

The sale on Friday and Saturday was a great success - thanks to our daughter, Kim and our friends Steve and Ina. I tried selling a couple of things while they were not available, & really blew it! I practically gave the stuff away! I wasn't allowed to sell anything after that.

There was still plenty of stuff left on Saturday. Kim and, our son, Keith, loaded the rest up on a trailer and we delivered it all to Marilyn. She is a wonderful lady south of Waxahachie who has a barn that is dedicated to a perpetual garage sale. She takes your stuff and sells it, then will give you the money when it sells. She specializes in helping those going on mission trips raise the money for their trips. What a ministry!

On top of that - her husband is a cook (they used to own a restaurant). He is going to use a grill of ours to do some fund raisers for missions. (Some of you will remember it from church cookouts and things).

We got to visit with our friends Mike and Kellie on Sunday, who are going to take the paintball equipment for Luke and Becca to use with the youth at their house.

As I blogged about earlier, these things God blessed us with, to use in ministry have now been given new homes to continue being used for ministry. Our furniture, our motorcycle, our campfire benches, our paintball equipment, our grill, - I'm beginning to lose track of it all!

George and Sherry came over on Saturday. He caulked the bathrooms while she cleaned the kitchen cabinets, inside and out. I don't know what she used on my sink, but it sparkles like new! It was a scratched and dingy white enamel - but not any more.

The garage sale is over, the carpet is cleaned and I am pooped! I think we'll take a couple of days off to go to doctor appointments and get all the household chores up to date. Maybe the real estate agent will have our property listed by the end of the week. Al hopes to have his left leg operation in a few weeks.

Otherwise, we are just going with the flow. Trying to accomplish the tasks set before us today.

Yesterday was our first day at church in a few weeks. It was a great service. The Holy Spirit just grabbed a hold of me and wouldn't let go! I just cried and cried. But with joy, thanksgiving and graditude. Tears really make a lot of people very nervous. They do all they can to get you to stop crying. But I just loved standing in the aisle after service with my friend Laurie and we were both just crying and talking. She just cried with me and rejoiced with me and made me feel loved. That is what church is suppose to be!

Again, many thanks to all who made the garage sale a success and helped me get my house cleaned for showing. God Bless you all, many times over. I hope to repay the favor at some point in my life.

I serve at the pleasure of the King.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Downhill Slide

Whew! I have been working at a steady pace these past few weeks trying to get this house ready to put on the real estate market. But we are on the downhill slide. God has been so good to give me the strength each day to accomplish the tasks that have needed to get done. He has provided others to come along side to help with things that I just couldn't get to.
The attic is clean. (Thanks to our kids) All furniture is moved to storage or given away, except the essentials. (Our kids, their friends, the Holmes) A couple of rooms got painted. All the other rooms got touch up paint. The bathrooms got a good cleaning. (Thanks Dickie and Gloria!) Some garage sale items have gotten priced and the rest will get done today. (Thanks Steve and Ina!) The windows, ceiling fans and baseboards got cleaned. (Thanks Brenda, Kim and Elsa!) Others are coming on Saturday to get the kitchen cleaned good. The garage sale is here this Friday and Saturday. The carpet gets cleaned on Monday.
I have called the real estate agent to get it on the market next week.
We still have lots to do outside, but Al has not been able to do much because of the weather. Every time he gets things set up to do, it rains. This place takes a lot of wind and sunshine to dry up! We live in the blacklands. Ooey, gooey gumbo dirt. Good for farmers, not so good for anything else.
But we will get there. God's timing is perfect and we just have to wait on Him to get things all in place. We could use a few days to rest, anyway.
Al has been experiencing more pain in his back, again. They took him off the Aredia (bone strengthening) that he has had once a month for 2 years, to do the leg operation. That is why he is anxious to get back to the doctor in a couple of weeks to see if he will go ahead and do the operation on the other leg right away. Then he can get back on the Aredia.
The stomach cramps and other things he was experiencing for several weeks have gotten better since he started taking more pain meds for his back. He had been cutting way back on the pain meds. I am thinking it could have been withdrawal. That is a bridge we will eventually have to cross, but not today. Right now, he needs the pain meds. And we won't worry about it as long as he does need the medicines.
Charli continues to experience cramping and bleeding. We go to the doctor again today. Many have told us that they had these experiences during their preganacy. I can not speak to any of this as I had a great pregnancy with no sickness whatsoever. We just want the baby to be healthy.
Our prayer requests for this week would be:
(1) Quick sale of our property for a good price
(2) The health of Charli and the baby
(3) Al's discomfort would improve, his body healed
We thank you all and appreciate all your continued prayers. In Christ's Name we give Thanks.