Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Faithful Journey - Mission Accomplished!

Today, my sweet daddy went to Heaven to meet our Lord.

I've been flooded with emotions in the last 8 hours. He was a special, special man who loved his family, his friends, his faith, and his Father. What a blessing.

For the past months in the hospital he was just saying he wanted to go home, then last week we got to bring him home. Then today...he got to GO HOME!

His journey inspired so many people.

Journey complete - mission accomplished - GOD IS GOOD!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Moving Day

If all goes as planned today, Dad will be moving home this afternoon/evening.

If you're cheering, thank you - but we ask that you prayerfully be cheering! Is there such a thing?

We're asking all our prayer warriors to pray that this transition is smooth and this is what dad needs to PERK up and get his strength back. Being in the hospital has been a challenge mentally and physically, our hope is that being at home will give him some peace of mind and give him a jump start!! He is still very, very weak.

Hospital bed and electric lift are being delivered soon. A transport company will then move him from the hospital to the house.

I will keep you posted when I know more.

~Karyn

Monday, November 14, 2011

My mom always said...

"if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!" Well, that's why it's been almost a month since I posted anything on the blog. I didn't have much NICE to say. To be honest, I've struggled with finding the positive in any of this lately! The last month was rough.

I've lost count, but I think we're on like day 75 of him not being at home. I would see my dad lay in that hospital bed and think "how can he come back from this, he's so sick?" I was doubting he could ever get better and I know God could see through my prayers. I vented to one of dads very best friends in the world, James Bailey, the other day and he gave me some encouraging words, "Never forget that even things we can't believe will happen are NOT impossible for God." Then I walked in to see dad this Wednesday and he was so much better, he was the best I had seen him in months!! It's NOT impossible for God!

PLEASE PRAY that he can get strong enough to stand up from the bed. That's what has to happen so he can go home! We need dad to walk. After laying in a bed for 70 something days the muscles forget what they are supposed to be doing.

We want him home for Thanksgiving!

He's got a long way to go to be 100% but getting out of the hospital and being HOME would help him so much! Also, please keep praying for mom. She's taken off until Thanksgiving to take care of him. Being the caretaker takes its toll, she is worn out.

Thanks for your constant prayers and support!

~kj

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10/19/11

Dad is getting to move out of ICU. Woo-hoo! Now, he's not 100%, he still has the stomach infection he's been fighting and his body is very, very weak. He also has some swelling in his arm, last time that happened there was a blood clot, we will have to wait and see. We're just praying him being out of ICU will help - it's depressing in there!

We did get awesome news, his folks from work have donated him vacation through December! AMAZING! Wow, what a blessing, God is good!!!

He'll be on the 2nd floor at Mercy, I'll keep you posted about if he can have visitors.

Thanks for your prayers.
~kj

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Faith

We are relying on God to get dad through this! That's all we've got - OUR FAITH!

He's still having hallucinations/psychosis, and he repeats himself over and over. He wants to prove to us he knows words and can read and remember things. He didn't pass a swallow test (I act like I know what all this means, but I don't) so they are giving him food in a tube that runs up his nose tonight. It's difficult to see, and we're praying it stops soon. The first day he was humorous, which was good - mom and I needed that good laugh, you know the kind that make you cry! It was good to laugh....but now, we're ready for it to be done. They are saying it should stop, that the meds still haven't metabolized - so we're waiting for that to happen.

Please pray that the doctors will CLEARLY be able to see what the next steps should be for dad. Things seem so murky, like they aren't sure! Just please pray they ARE SURE what needs to be done and they know what steps to take. Please pray for my sweet mom too! We know God is in control of our faithful journey!

So, I don't really think my dad would be very happy with me if I didn't go on to say this...if you're reading this blog and you don't have faith - if you don't know Jesus - if you don't have a peace knowing there is something more than this life, something amazing - then PLEASE reach out to us! Even if you don't know us, that's okay! Our family would love to share our faith with you! We know that even though this is a sad, scary, frustrating, uncertain time for our family - dad's going to be fine! No matter what, he'll be fine! God is good!!!!!!

Peace & Love
~kj

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10/12/11

Wow. This has been a day.

First off, most people know that my dad's parents were moved into Tealridge Assisted Living last Monday. Unfortunately, we found out today that Papa really needed to be in the memory care area. So my 2 uncles, their wives, and DJ and I moved them into the memory care area tonight. Tealridge has been really great to work with them. It was challenging and sad for my Nana, but it's the best for Papa - he's safe there and that's what we need. His safety and peace for Nana.

The reason I'm letting you know about the history with Nana & Papa is to also say that they don't really know EVERY detail about my dad right now. {They just left their home town of over 50 years and moved here...we're taking one day at a time with them!} They know he's at Mercy. They know he has a stomach infection and they can't really be around him since their susceptible. That's about all right now - and that's plenty!

So now about dad. Mom showed up at Mercy ICU this morning and there was a hose up dad's nose. My mom started asking questions and found out that he had been unresponsive since last night. They did several tests and scans and did everything they could to figure out what was going on. His brain looked good, no stroke, no bleeding, and no clot from what they could tell. So why is he unresponsive!?!?! (Like I'm meaning can NOT wake up!) This is what they are saying - he was given a dose of pain meds on Tuesday evening for the pain and since his kidneys aren't just working 100% the meds sit in his body and don't process correctly. They are SAYING he should be awake by in the morning. Well, they're saying and we're praying.

So that's our today.

We are firm believers that God's plan is so much better than ours! We (mom, dad and I) have all struggled with control - we like to control situations. We can't control this - what we can do is rely on God to get us through and we can rely on our friends & family to support us and pray with us.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Recent Events...

Sorry I've been bad to post lately.

Here's some recent events


  • Dad was moved to a skilled nursing center several weeks ago

  • He was very tired but was making some progress, worked with physical therapy and speech therapy

  • He walked 15 feet with his walker - awesome!

  • Started not feeling great again

  • Got an infection

  • Got moved back to Mercy

  • Trying to get stronger again, he's very weak

  • He was too weak to do 2nd chemo treatment, we will have to see if he can when he's strong enough

  • We're taking one day at a time!

Dad has asked for no visitors at this time. He's so tired and even though he LOVES seeing people, he can't rest well with people popping in and out. Please keep praying for strength & healing, and pray for mom too she's pretty worn out.


Thank you all for your continued support & prayers.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Searching & Praying

It doesn't look like dad is going to be able to get into the Mercy Rehab wing or into Jim Thorpe either, due to the fact that he physically can't do the rehab exercises for 3 hours or more each day.

At this point mom is looking into some other places for him today. (The hospital is ready to move him, they can't really do much more.)

So, when you pray please be specific (we are firm believers in specific prayer requests)...




  • We need him to get accepted into a GOOD physical therapy facility (his insurance only approves a few places, pray that one is good)


  • We need the team there to work with him and get him stronger


  • Please pray that these chemo treatments work! (He'll have another one in about 20 more days.)


  • Please pray for my mom, she's tired. Working, checking on things at home, and going back and forth to see him 24-7 is hard on her.


  • Pray for dads will to fight!


Thank you for being our prayer warriors!

~kj

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not much to report...

It's been a rough few days for dad, multiple health issues have come up so are we just taking one day at a time. If these issues get cleared up in the next few days they will move him to the rehab wing of Mercy.

I thought he seemed better today, and maybe he didn't seem so exhausted. He did have a bout of nausea today, but never vomited so that's good.

Thanks again for your encouragement, sorry I don't have more to report!

God is good!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 1

Well dad started the 2 day chemo last night, he did pretty good so far. The next one starts tonight. He is still VERY tired and weak. His legs really hurt him and he's obviously scared to stand for fear of falling again (because he's so weak.)

They are trying to give him protein supplements since he's not eating much. Today's protein was a shake...he was not a fan they will try something new in the morning.

Please keep praying for his strength. If you want to send an encouraging card, I'm sure that wouldn't hurt anything ; ) their address is on the right side of the blog.

Thank you all for loving my wonderful parents!

God is Good!!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Options

Yesterday when the oncologist came in he mentioned another chemo treatment he could try. It's an IV treatment that hopefully will not cause neuropathy side effects. It's 2 days on IV then off for 21 days (then repeat.) I mentioned to the doc that dad would need some kind of care for those 21 days since we can't physically care for him at home. He said he would try to get him accepted into the rehabilitation wing at Mercy. He was there after the spine surgery, not his favorite place on earth but it hopefully will be a good thing for him. Please pray they accept him. It's basically a rigorous 3 hour a day workout. He has to build his strength back up - and right now when physical therapy comes for 30 minutes if he says he's too tired they say, "OK". Rehab wing doesn't say "OK" they say, "sorry you're tired, now get up!" He's gonna love it. {smirk}

We know God has a plan in all of this. Pray that He is glorified through all of it. Of course we want his body to respond well to this treatment, we want him to be accepted into the rehabilitation program, we want the cancer to miraculously go away - but we also know we are not in control. We know God is in control and we're trusting in Him to see us through.

God is Good,
Karyn

Monday, September 5, 2011

3 Years Later

So many of you have been asking about dad. In the last few weeks his condition hasn't been great. He fell at home about 3 weeks ago and he went to the hospital. He has severe neuropathy that was caused due to the chemo he was on. After that fall/incident he came back home and he had some hard weeks. We were so blessed that a few men from mom & dad's bible class stepped up and offered to be at the house with him during the day since mom was starting school.

This past Friday he went back to the oncologist and they admitted him back to Mercy. He was tired and weak. Then Sunday morning his blood was low (bone marrow or plasma wasn't doing what it was suppose to...I think, to tell you I don't really remember what wasn't working right! It was one of those.) So the blood really perked him up yesterday - it was the BEST he'd been in weeks! We knew he was feeling good, he was so ornery!!!

At this point we aren't sure if there are very many local options here for treatment. There is a Cancer Treatment Center in Tulsa and there is a large hub of doctors that treat dads cancer (multiple myloma) in Arkansas so that my be an option.

So now what?? Tomorrow we hope the oncologist is back and we can get some direction. What direction? We're not sure. We know God has a plan.

You all have faithfully followed his journey and prayed for him for the past 3 years - thank you and KEEP IT UP!

I'll keep you posted as I have more info...

God is Good,
Karyn

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Harvest

Dear Friends and Family,

Well, after a year of non-blogging, I think it is time to get back in the habit of making and keeping contact with everyone. I said at the outset that I would not write if there wasn't something to say. And, with the changes that are going on right now, I think I need to tell you about the new things that are happening with me.

Some of you know that I am undergoing stem cell transplants. If you do not know, the stem cells are my own. They harvest the cells, put them on ice and then put them back in my body. I have been on a medication (Neupogen) for about the last week and it is boosting my white blood count so my blood will successfully carry the stem cells through my blood stream. I had a little surgery on Monday to put in my line ports -- I call the ports my "in faucet and my out faucet". I will keep the lines until after the cells are infused back into my body. The surgery wasn't very painful so I hope I can get used to the ports being there.

When I came in yesterday, they could not do the harvesting because my cell count was too low. I have no idea what the numbers represent, but I was told that mine were a 3.8 and they want it to be a 10.0 So, they sent me over to Dr. Holter's office (Holter is my stem cell specialist) and they gave me 4 shots. One of Neupogen and one shot of Mozobil. Now between these mediciations we are looking at about $30,000 worth of medication. I'm not sure I am worth all of that. Today, when I'm finished, they will send me back to Dr. Holter's office and she will give me another set of shots.

Today they actually started the stem cell harvest. I got to the Oklahoma Blood Institute at 9 AM and they connected me to the harvest machine. The blood is taken out of my system and cycled through the machine. and the stem cells are collected -- then, tomorrow we'll do the same thing again, and every day until they have the cells needed. I've been told they need 200,000,000 -- but who knows. I just know they will harvest enough for two infusions. Everyone here at the Ok State Blood Institute is really very nice, and extremely helpful. I really appreciate their kindness and care.

After the harvest I will continue with my physical therapy. The weakness in my feet and legs (secondary to the damage to my spine due to the cancer) has Dr. Holter a little concerned and she wants me to get stronger. So, hopefully the physical therapy will get me a little stronger and I can go ahead and get the transplant / infusion sooner rather than later.

I won't bore you with a lot of chatter today, but I will try to keep a little more information coming on a regular basis. I would just ask that you pray for me and for Debbie. All of this is quite difficult on us and we are thankful for any and all prayers on our behalf. We thank you for your care and concern.

God continues to take good care of me, and we rest our faith in him. You know King David put his faith in God and God cared for him and he was even called a "man after God's own heart." I hope to continue to be the kind of man God wants and needs for me to be. So keeping my faith in God is my ultimate Goal -- and whatever he plans for me is what he wants. Please pray that I can keep my faith in our Heavenly Father.

Grace & Peace to all... --Bob

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two Years!!!!

You can read all about our 2 year God is Good celebration RIGHT HERE!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I've Learned....(Part 6)

Things I’ve learned while living with cancer and in Recovery.


Part 6: “My life will never be the same.”

(Medical Update: I will meet with my oncologist on 11-19-09. We will talk more about the chemo, the steroids, and the remission… and how I am doing. I am having LOTS of swelling again. Look for an update a week from today… sooner, if the news is worthy.)

Tonight I went to a Celebrate Recovery leadership training program. Actually, it was more of a leadership renewal program. The education team brought us together to help us reevaluate our own recovery and to help us re-direct and re-focus our own healing as we reach out to others who are in suffering. After a few wisely chosen songs and strategically selected scripture readings, we addressed 16 questions about our recovery. Lots of soul searching those 16 questions will create for me.

Then, Randy Roper, a minister from a neighboring church came and shared with us a story of how he and his wife, with God’s amazing help, made it through the full-term still-birth of their baby daughter some 7 years ago; and then the two miscarriages that followed. Heart wrenching; touching.

Randy told about a nurse that stayed with them as they prepared for the still-birth delivery. How she catered to their needs, and how she was, in his words, “an angel of mercy.” He told us that at one point the nurse said, “You know, this will become your ‘new normal’.” When Randy said “new normal” I froze as they sunk into my mind.

I will use this concept of a “new normal” in my next few blog entries and how the events in my life (surgery, cancer, remission, recovery, etc.) have created my new normals and how they have affected my life. So, if you are following my blogs, please chew on the idea of how change (good or bad; pain or pleasure; sadness or joy) brings a “new normal” to your life. Answer this: What is the event(s) in your life that changed your life forever, and gave you a new normal?

I look forward to sharing my insights with you over the next few weeks.

Grace & Peace,
-Bob

Monday, October 26, 2009

Things I've Learned....(Part 5)

...Things I've Learned while Living with Cancer and in Recovery

Part 5: Temptation is as Strong now as it was Before!

I always thought that if a person was facing a major or catastrophic illness like Cancer, that making good spiritual choices would be easy. I suppose my perception was that the constant awareness of the disease would be the fence rails that would hold one on the straight and narrow. Well... not so.

I've been a person guilty of sin for my whole life -from unjustifiable sinful actions as an out of control adolescent, to poor choices I’ve made as an adult. I have hurt my wife, my family, and my God. Even in the last year I’ve made lots of mistakes, committed lots of sins, and I’ve not enjoyed a peaceful relationship with God. The fact that I was sick with cancer didn’t keep me from sin.

In short, what I’ve learned is this. I am just as tempted to sin now as I was before I got sick. Just because I had cancer this last year did not mean that I would make healthy spiritual choices. God wants to see me make good choices in my spiritual walk regardless of what condition my health is. And, God will help me (us) make those choices if we’ll just reach out to him for help.

Thanks for reading.

Grace & Peace,
Bob

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Things I've Learned....(Part 4)

“THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN RECOVERY AND LIVING WITH CANCER”
Blog Post #4

4. Without FAITH, God’s GRACE means nothing.

I know that God’s grace is the spiritual transfusion that makes us whole, but for it to work at its maximum level, we have to believe in it! I have always had a hard time with my faith. I allow myself to fall into questioning and anger toward God. So, when there are issues that fully expose God’s wonderful Grace, I try to capitalize on it. This last year I have had many, many opportunities to allow my faith to capitalize on God’s Grace. For example, the chemotherapy that Dr. Keefer (“oncologist to the stars”) gives me has really worked well!!! The blood work where they track my T-Cell reading has dropped from the 1.6 to below the .06 that they can read. BUT, I have to share the most recent “GG” (God-Grace) I’ve had… Two weeks ago my doctor told me that he wanted me to have a PET scan, because he thinks I might be in remission from the cancer! I’ll tell you… it doesn’t get any better than that when we are talking about God’s Grace.

Again, as in every blog, thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. And thank you for praying for us.

Grace & Peace to you all…

Bob

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things I've Learned....(Part 3)

“THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN RECOVERY AND LIVING WITH CANCER”
Blog Post #3

3. There are two powers at work in this world.
When the cancer was diagnosed, I couldn't help but be shocked, and frustrated. And quite frankly, I was mad at God. I thought I was a great asset to God in my ministry in the recovery program. Why would He side-line me? I worked hard for the program, and I traveled to other churches and preached about recovery-health. I took the message of God's grace to people who needed to know that God was willing to help them over come their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Why would he shut me down? Unless it wasn't God shutting me down... "A-Ha". It finally it came to me. God had nothing to do with shutting me down. It was Satan. Now I may be 100% off my rocker, but I think Satan saw what I was doing as a threat... a real honest-to-goodness threat to his underworld of sin. Never under estimate POWER… regardless of where it comes from.

Grace & Peace, this week…
Bob

Monday, September 21, 2009

Things I've Learned....(Part 2)

“THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN RECOVERY AND LIVING WITH CANCER”
Blog Post #2


2. The world we live in is a dependable world.

The world has certain things that are just true. If you shut the engines off of flying airplanes, they are going to fall out of the sky. If you ride your bicycle into the path of a semi-trailer truck, most likely you will die. And if you are cruel to your spouse, and they divorce you, don’t be shocked.
God gave us a world we can depend on so we will recognize what the boundaries are. When my surgeon told me that he thought I had lung cancer that metastasized to my spine, I was pretty shocked. You see, I was a closet smoker for years and I had watched several members of my family waste away from cancer, so it was the way it was diagnosed was the shocking to me. (Once, I quit smoking for 14 years, and then I started smoking again. So, maybe I should add “stupidity” to my list of recovery issues.)

This world is a dependable world. It is God’s way of giving us operational margins.

Grace & Peace to all…
Bob

Monday, September 14, 2009

Things I've Learned....(Part 1)

I’m going to try something new. The next few weeks I am going to start a blog a series… “THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN RECOVERY AND LIVING WITH CANCER” I wish my title was a bit more “catchy” but I’m not that good. Maybe I’ll “learn a new title”… I know it will contain at least 4 posts, because I already have them written… but maybe it will grow to more. I’m going to keep them short, too. One or two short paragraphs at max! OH, and If there is something medical that I need to share… I’ll tell you. Otherwise, enjoy.



“THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN RECOVERY AND LIVING WITH CANCER”
Blog Post #1: Sept 14


1. God allows us to suffer so we won’t forget where our healing comes from.

I am grateful for my cancer. That must sound very unusual. And, to my wife, who comforts me when I am in physical and emotional pain, I’m sure that may even sound like a lie. But I am grateful for it. Here's why: In II Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul told the church... “But he said to me, "My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you. So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ's power can live in me. For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.

There are times when I am completely chewed up over the cancer; I’m just sick and tired of being sick and tired!!! But there are more and more times that I get to praise God for what he has done to heal me, than complain about the pain or fatigue in my body. I try, as much as I can, to give God credit & glory for every success and good day I have.

God is good!

Grace & Peace
Bob

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One Year Later....

You can read my "One Year Later" post HERE!

Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2 blog posts in 2 weeks - WOW!

Dear Friends & Family,

(If you don't have time to read all of this... jump to the last 2 paragraphs... )

Since all of my health issues started, I've had a significant amount of swelling in my feet, legs, and abdomen. Typically, if I don't wear my socks and shoes (compression socks, at that) then my feet swell a lot! Well, once the feet start to swell, then there go the legs. Lots of swelling. At times, my legs swell so much my slacks cuff gets stuck on my calf, so when I stand up, I have to literally reach down and pull my cuff where it should be. And then, I could clamor on all day...and night about this giant "hump" on my right side. Again, swelling, swelling and MORE swelling.

OK, now all of this is going somewhere, so hang with me.

I take my chemo-therapy (a capsule) 21 days on and 7 days off. When I take my last pill (in the 21 days cycle) I am supposed to telephone the maker of the chemo and take a survey. Then, I am to call my physicians office and report that (1) I have taken my 21st capsule, and (2) that I have called the maker of the chemo and I have taken my survey. Then, the doctor's office will fax the prescription to the "high touch" pharmacy (in Ohio). Then the next day I am supposed to telephone the pharmacy and begin the process of orchestrating the UPS delivery of the medication to my home. Once the pharmacy has the prescription filled, they have to call me and I have to have a conversation with the pharmacist to make sure I don't "share the medication, have unprotected sex with a woman of childbearing years, and that I don't donate any organs, blood, or anything else anyone might want from me" (that is all true... stupid, but true). Then... they ship the medication to me and I have to sign for it or UPS won't leave it. I'm out of breath just telling the story.

Still, I'm going someplace. Hang with me.

I took my last chemo-therapy capsule someplace around the 25th of August. Well, as you might understand (from the previous paragraph) that ordering my chemo-therapy can "slip the mind". Ok... let's be honest here... I intentionally waited a few days to call it in; then I really DID forget. So, I've been off the chemo for about 12 days. (Don't be concerned, I told my doctor what I did and he said that it would NOT hurt me...much.) Anyway, I received the chemo in Saturday's UPS delivery and I will start it tonight.

Now... here is where I'm going.

Being without the chemo for 12 days, I discovered that I have no swelling in my feet and legs. Yes, no swelling. And.. if that isn't great enough, I've also noticed that the big hump on my right side, although still there, is not as bad as it was. The swelling is going down, and there is less pain in my side. And, I'll tell you... for me that rocks! So, I know without a shadow of a doubt that the chemo causes the swelling. The doctor and I have both wondered if it was caused by the steroids, the chemo, or if some of the swelling sites were tumors. Well... that worry, although frustrating, is not a worry any longer. It is the Chemo... not tumors or new cancer issues.

Continue to pray that I am moving toward remission. Because if I am in remission or near remission, and if I get to go off of all or even some of the chemo (or change to a different one) then all these swelling issues will go away. God is good, still more and more.

Grace & Peace to all.

--Bob

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Doctor's visit and report from 9-1-09: GOOD NEWS!

Dear Friends and family...

I have intentionally held back on my blogging until I knew something to tell. Well, I think I have something to say today that will be worth hearing. I'd like to say all of this is "conclusive evidence" but I can't. It is speculation, but it is such good speculation, I can't hold back the sharing. We will know more in about 6 weeks, but this is what happened yesterday...

Yesterday, September 1, 2009 I went to see Dr. Michael Keefer. He is the Oncologist that takes care of me. In the course of my appointment. He said, "I want you to have a PT scan sometime in the next month to 6 weeks." (Now, I've been told that a PT Scan is the most conclusive of all the scans and it is "the" test above all tests to verify where the cancer is.) And before I could ask, "why?", he said... "I think you might be in remission."

This is the first time that Dr. Keefer has said anything about me being "in remission", or that it is even possible for me to go into remission. He went on to explain that my blood work (where my cancer is tracked) is so low it is almost impossible to detect. And for the third appointment in a row, he said, "I wish my other patients were doing as well as you are!"

He said if I was in remission (again, we know more in 30 to 45 days) then he plans to take me off of some of the medication, or at least alter the medication I am on. He says there are other chemo-pills I can take that might be a little easier on my system, and if all goes well, he plans to reduce the steroids.

Well, it won't come as a surprise, but I cried a little. Dr. Keefer and I talked about how God's grace was evident in my life, and how he, as an oncologist, was able to see God's grace every day. He hugged me, and I thanked him for being my doctor. It was about the best doctor's appointment ever.

Prayer request: What EVER you are praying for me... don't stop. Please pray that I am in remission, and that Dr. Keefer continues to treat me with the best medication possible. Oh, and he still says the big ugly hump on my right side will eventually go away. He says it is not a tumor, it is just swelling and possible it is swelling because of the steroids and/or the chemo.

And, I do want to apologize for not blogging these last 3 months. I really didn't have much to report, and I'll be honest...a little frustration goes a long, long way for those of us who suffer with depression. But, I'll try share more often than I have in the past. Thank you for your prayers, concerns, cards, and calls. I am thankful for each of you.

God is good...

Grace & Peace,

--Bob

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Update.....

Dear Friends and Family,

It seems that every week or two I tell you that my blood work is great and that I am doing well. And, again, this week, I have that same kind of information. Last week I was in the doctor's offices and labs. I got the results of my lab work in the doctor's office on Friday morning and It was perfect. My Para-protein (where the cancer is tracked) was down to a 0.18 from the 0.2. Not a huge drop, but any drop is a drop. The A1C (90 day blood sugar evaluation) was down to a 5.6!! Back a few years ago I remember my blood sugar was up to 12.0 once... then down to a 10.5 My doctor has been astounded I have fixed the blood sugar over the last few years. It is almost un-heard of to move the A1C down so much in a such a short time.

My biggest problems at this point is not the diabetes or the cancer. The biggest issue I deal with is adjustment to the residual issues of the back surgery. My legs continue to get weaker and weaker. I don't have any stamina and it is commonly considered by my doctors that all of the fatigue and weakness is secondary to the chemo-therapy. I have asked the doctor to take me off of the chemo-therapy right now. At least for a while. My doctor told me to evaluate my situation and decide which was most important... what the chemo was doing FOR me ---AND--- what the chemo was doing TO me. So, I'll be on Chemo for a while longer.

I am reminded more and more each day how important my family is to me. Granted, there was a time when my little grand baby girls would grate on me... but now... I love being around them. Of course my daughter and my son-in-law are my favorites. They are such wonderful people. But, my wife, Debbie is my best bud. She helps me the likes of which no one would ever know. I love her and appreciate her. She's got some hip/knee/back problems right now and she's in some significant pain. And, the death of her loving mom (back in December) has affected us both very much. If I could just make one little encouragement to my readers -- don't take family for granted. Keep them close. They are the ones who will be there for you when you need someone the most.

Continue to pray for us

Grace & Peace,

Bob

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Changing Someone’s Day

I’m sorry this is late, but I’ve had a bizarre week so far. I went in for blood work last week, and asked my doctor’s office to let me know how it turned out. So, on Friday he called me and told me that my blood work had proved, yet once again, that my numbers are still good. The blood thinner I am taking has my blood at a “perfect consistency”. I continue to thank God for taking care of me. Remember, next week I’ll be in DC. Pray for me. This will be the first time I’ve been on a plane since my surgery and I’ll be without my “primary care giver” (my wife Debbie). And I am a little uneasy about it. But, I’ll make it just fine… I’ll make it just fine…I’ll make it just fine… I’ll make it just fine. (Nope… I’m not quite convinced!)
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This morning I had an opportunity to change the course of a person’s day, and I’m glad I took the opportunity.

I went to breakfast at one of my favorite local caf├ęs. As I prepared to leave my server was telling her co-workers about “the man in the orange sweatshirt” who had stiffed her on a ticket. She repeatedly complained about the man and the fact that he took advantage of her by walking out without paying. Quite frankly, I was growing tired of her constant haranguing. But, I still felt bad for her. I wondered if she had to pay any ticket that she allowed to “walk” without paying.

As I approached her I handed her more money than my meal and tip would have amounted to. She started to get my change, but I stopped her. I said, “I can’t really do much about the fact that the guy walked out without paying, but I can make a difference about the tip he should have left you.” And with that I handed her the money in my hand.

A very surprised look crossed her face, and she said, “Oh, no… you can’t do that!” I assured her I could, and that I wanted to help make it up to her. I added, “I hope your day goes better!” As I exited the restaurant I heard her say to her co-worker, “Hey, now you won’t believe what this guy just did!”

It wasn’t much, but my actions validated her as a person. Rather than seeing herself as a victim of a “walking ticket” maybe she was able to see herself in a more positive light.

Five extra dollars wasn’t much, but it changed her day, and honestly, it changed my day too.

Now, YOU have a good day!

--Bob