Wednesday, August 9, 2017

It's Been A Long Wait . . .

On Monday my mom received her 8th chemotherapy treatment.  As with her prior 7 treatments, she went home with a "pump" that gives her additional chemo over the next 48 hours.  She goes back to the doctor today to have that pump removed.  She will go back to the doctor on Monday for blood work to check her white count, and if it's low, then she will get shots in the back of her upper arm to increase the white count so she can take the next chemo treatment. This "pattern" will continue four more times until my mom has taken a total of 12 chemo treatments.  Then we'll head back to her doctor in Houston for new scans and a new plan for where we go from here.

I can say with a big smile on my face that my mom is feeling great.  She is two days into her chemo treatment and she has had no nausea.  Praise the Lord.  She is a little tired, and she is starting to develop some sensitivity to cold (which she experienced during the first 7 treatments), but other than that she is doing wonderfully.

We continue to pray for COMPLETE HEALING for her in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.    Jeremiah 32:37 says  "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?"  And we are praising God for healing.  We know that He hears our prayer!!

In other news, I've been waiting for the month of August for a long time.  Our daughter and son-in-law will be home two weeks from today!!!  We are so very excited.  They've bought a house about 10 minutes from us and they'll be doing some painting and installing new flooring.  I can't wait to see them make the house a home!!  Our son-in-law will be starting school (actually the school starts 2 days before they get home but there's nothing he can do!) and Alex will be getting her real estate license.  We are counting the days until we see their faces!!!  It's been a long two years!!!

If you're looking for a song of encouragement, then check this out:


As always, please let me know if I can pray for you about something!!  Nothing is too small, or too big, for our God.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Are You Who You Say You Are??

This is the story of two very famous athletes.  Both men claim to be Christians.  But are they who they say they are???

Steph Curry's latest Instagram post is quoting Scripture thanking God for his wife . . . they celebrated their 6th anniversary just a few days ago.  This past weekend Steph attended a wedding and after the wedding things got a little crazy.  Today the headlines say:  "Steph Curry Crashes House Party, Chugs Bud Light."  And it's 2017, so there's video of Steph, star player for the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, chugging a Bud Light, and pictures of him with beer all over his shirt.


Tim Tebow's latest Instagram post is a video of a speech he gave, asking people if what they are fighting for in this life is worth it.  His video shows Tim at an event for special needs individuals, and at an orphanage.  No party crashing, no beer chugging, just a man trying to live his faith to the full.

So which man is truly living a life that brings glory and honor to God?  You can call yourself a Christian all day long and twice on Sundays.  But if your life doesn't line up with the Word of God, well, are you who you say you are?? 

Which of these men would you want praying for you?  Which of these men do you prefer as a role model for our children?

Really disappointed in you Steph Curry.  You talk the talk but you sure don't walk the walk.

Really proud of you Tim Tebow.  I'm certain you're not perfect, but it sure looks like you actually live the Christian life you talk about. We need more young men like you. 


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Even When You Don't

The doctor called today. The final results of the test show cancer cells in the fluid. They are very sorry that they shared preliminary results that were incorrect.

Sunday afternoon  as I mowed the yard I prayed, asking God for no cancer in the fluid. In my heart He said  "if you don't get the news you want will you still trust Me?" I said yes Lord, I will trust You, even though I don't understand. I will still trust You.

And today I can say I trust Him, even though I don't understand.

I will appreciate your prayers. He is in control.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Can I Get An Amen???

THERE WAS NO CANCER IN THE FLUID!!!

REPEAT!!!

THERE WAS NO CANCER IN THE FLUID!!!

THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!! 

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Houston Was HOT

We are home from Houston, Texas and boy was it HOT.  I mean, it is hot in Missouri.  We have high temperatures . . . over 100 degrees . . . and we have high humidity . . . . but Houston is just a sauna.  Always happy to see it in my rear view mirror!



Mom's appointments at MD Anderson went well.  The scan shows NO NEW TUMORS!!! HOORAY!!!!!  But, the one remaining tumor has started to grow again.  Which, while not surprising, is a reminder of the long road we are on.  So, the plan is for mom to take another 3 or 4 chemotherapy treatments beginning in a couple of weeks so she can continue to get stronger (she is better every day!!!!!), and then after those treatments we will go back to Houston (maybe it will be cooler by then) for new scans, and then they will use radiation to kill that tumor.  They had originally planned to do an ablation, but the risk of infection is relatively high and they aren't willing to take the risk, so radiation it is.  We aren't sure if they will give her 5 fairly high doses of radiation, or 25 small doses of radiation given over 5 weeks, which would mean 5 weeks in Houston, Texas.

Mom did have some fluid around her right lung, and they drained that fluid off Thursday morning.  The doctor did not seem overly concerned, but the fluid is being tested right now to see if there are any cancer cells in the fluid.  I ASK THAT YOU AGREE WITH US IN PRAYER FOR NO CANCER CELLS IN THAT FLUID!!!  We should get a call tomorrow with the results and we are expecting a good report.

My cousin Cammi had her surgery (bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction) a week ago today and everything went GREAT.  Thank you all so very much for praying for her.  We continue to pray for her complete healing in Jesus name!!! Have I mentioned lately how much I hate cancer??

Thank you all so much for all the prayers.  I know they reach our Lord.  And while I don't understand why any of this is happening, I trust Him.  Please pray for my mom, Donna, anytime the Lord brings her to your mind.  As I've said before, this is a long road, and we are weary travelers.  

Blessings to you all!!  He is Lord, Lord of all. 


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Blackberry Time

This weekend I made 30 half pints of homemade blackberry jam.  My sweet cousin and his wife have some blackberries that are very easy to pick -- which is another way of saying they are tame blackberries, they mow right up to the bushes and mulch underneath them so no chiggers!!  

Blackberry jam is so easy to make!!!  Just "mush" up some blackberries, add sugar and pectin, and voila!!!



And I have to say that this Ball FreshTech Jam & Jelly Maker takes all the hard work out of it!!!  You can get the details HERE.  You just follow the instructions and let this handy dandy machine do all the hard work of stirring for you!!  I've had mine for years and highly recommend it!! **



 I'm sorry the picture is a little dark, but this is the finished blackberry jam right before I put it in jars.  I follow the recipe that is included with the FreshTech and each batch made 5 half pint jars.  You work in small batches which takes a little bit of time, but the good news is while the jam is "cooking" you can be doing something else.  You don't have to stand there and stir!!!!!


I made 6 batches, 30 half pint jars in all, and canned them using a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, 10 half pint jars at a time.  


The jam is just delicious, and so much better than what you can buy at the store.  And if you're new to "canning" and looking to get started this is truly the simplest way!!!  You DO NOT have to have the Ball FreshTech machine to make jam or jelly, but it sure makes it easier!!

On Sunday I celebrated my 53rd birthday!!!  I seriously do not know where the last 53 years have gone?  I feel about 25 or 26 years old and I'm not kidding!  My birthday was a very busy day!!  I got up and walked 3 miles before I headed to church.  After church I went to my parents house and cleaned house, changed the sheets, did laundry and fixed them lunch.  Then I headed to Wal-Mart and the grocery store for them and for me.  Once I got home I made two more batches of blackberry jam, then went outside and mowed the yard and walked 3 more miles (I'm trying to get in better shape . . . I also started a HIIT class which I go to 3 times per week), then jumped in the shower and got ready for my family to come over for a fish fry at our house.  My husband fries the best fish and potatoes and onions this side of the Mississippi River!!!!  All in all it was a great birthday spent with family.  I have my family and my health and I know Jesus as my Savior.  Nothing else really matters!!

My mom is doing well.  We continue to try and get her to eat more, but it is hard for her.  She is walking farther each day (hooray!) and still doing her exercises and drinking her Ensure shakes.  We go back to MD Anderson next week for blood work and a new CT scan of her liver, and to meet with her surgeon and oncologist.  Then the first week in August we go back down for an ablation of the one remaining tumor in her liver.  We are praying that when we get there next week the tumor is GONE and the ablation isn't necessary.  Seriously, that is our prayer.  I know that is a big prayer, but I serve a big God!!  If you believe, as we do, that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then please agree with us in prayer for complete healing for my mom!!

I hope you can tell from reading my blog that I am a very positive person.  I am an encourager.  I try hard to always see the "bright side" of things and to look for the silver lining in every cloud.  I love Jesus and I trust Him that all things work together for our good and His glory!   But I have to be completely transparent with you all and share that I have moments of being very discouraged and very overwhelmed.  Being a caregiver is exhausting and while my two sisters help, the responsibility and most of the day to day going and doing for my parents falls to me.  Next week I will take them to Houston for the 7th time since last September, and in August I will make the 8th trip for the ablation if it is needed.  My mom gets a Lovenox shot in her stomach every evening, 7 nights a week, and will need those shots for several more months, and I give those shots nearly every night.  I go to the store for them and try to keep their house clean.  My mom gets pretty discouraged sometimes and I try HARD to keep her focused on being thankful and encouraged.  I call her every morning and I see her nearly every evening.  And I still work full-time and try to take care of my own home and family.  So if I sound like I'm feeling a little bit sorry for myself, I guess I am.  I'm tired.  As I said in a post a couple of months ago, I just want my life back.  I want normal back.

I really don't say all this to make you feel sorry for me.  Please don't feel sorry for me!!!  I AM OK!!!!!  I said all this so that if you are going through a rough patch in your life, I want you to know that it is OK to feel sorry for yourself once in awhile.  It is OK to feel overwhelmed some days.  Just because we trust in the Lord, it doesn't mean that we aren't still human and have all these emotions that can change daily, sometimes even hourly.  I have great days, and some not so great days.  I have days of being full of faith and confident that God is going to heal my mother and this cancer we see before us we will NEVER SEE AGAIN!!!  And then I read about someone dying from cancer, or I hear about someone losing a loved one, and I am faced with the reality that while God hears and answers our prayers, He does not always answer in the way we would want.  That doesn't mean we didn't have faith, it just means that He is God and we are not.  MOST OF ALL IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE STOP PRAYING FOR THE MIRACLE!!  I will pray for my mother to be healed until God heals her or He calls her home.  And on those days when my faith is weak and I just want to run away (yes, I have days of wanting to absolutely RUN AWAY) I will pray and ask God to wrap His loving arms around me and remind me that this is His burden to carry, not mine.  And He always reminds me that He loves me, even on the days when my faith is weak. His joy is my strength.  Even though some days I am more joyful than others.

I can't thank you all enough for sticking with me here at Down On The Farm.  I know the past year there haven't been many light and happy posts, and I will continue to share what's going on with my mom and I will continue to be transparent about my feelings.  But I am trying to be very intentional about moving on with my life while continuing to do all I can for my parents.  I've given this horrible disease the past year of my life, as I feel as if my life has been on hold since July 29, 2016, the date of my mom's diagnosis.  And I'm going to try HARD to not keep putting off LIVING AND ENJOYING MY LIFE.  That doesn't help my mom, it doesn't help me, and it certainly doesn't glorify God.

So in the midst of updates on trips to MD Anderson, you're gonna see me update my laundry room, so stay tuned!  And keep those prayers for my mom, Donna, coming.  God is good!

 **And just as a disclaimer Ball has NEVER heard of me.  I bought this FreshTech Jam & Jelly maker years ago and I'm just sharing my thoughts on it. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Prayers for Cammi

My beautiful cousin, Cammi, was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer back in January.  She is 34 years old, a daughter, sister, wife and mother of four children.  

Cammi completed 6 doses of chemotherapy a few weeks ago.  She has tested positive for the "gene" that makes her cancer very aggressive, and very likely to return and spread.  She is having a bilateral mastectomy next month, and her oncologist has recommend that she have a hysterectomy next year.  

I would ask that you add this beautiful young woman to your prayer list.  And if you feel led, visit her Go Fund Me page HERE to make a donation. 

I believe we are to pray for healing.  In the Book of James, 
Chapter 5, it is written: 

 "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

That tells me that while we always seek God's will, it is OK to ask our God to heal those that are sick.

I've just finished reading "Forgotten God -
Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit" by
Francis Chan.  Let me tell you it is eye opening.  I'll expand on this in another post, but seriously, if you haven't read this book GET A COPY AND READ IT.  It will change your life as a Christian.

And in case you're wondering, my sweet mama is BETTER!  She is back home and still drinking those shakes and walking and exercising.  Praise the Lord!!  We continue to pray for complete healing in Jesus name and ask that you agree with us in prayer!!  Remember, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) availeth much!!!

Blessings to you all!!!


Friday, June 23, 2017

Better, But Not Well

My mom has been at my sister's since last Saturday.

And she's better, but a long way from well.

She is able to get the protein shakes down, but continues to struggle with eating.

She can eat "real" food, but doesn't eat nearly enough.
Without the protein shakes we would be right back where we started.   We've tried appetite stimulants but honestly can't tell any difference at all.

She is still pretty weak and she still needs to gain several pounds just to be back to where she was post-chemo, which is still thin.

I don't believe there is any way my mom is ready to be back home and on her own.  She is too weak.  She has a long way to go.

We have prayed and prayed and prayed.

We need Jesus to heal her.

She needs your prayers.

Thank you so much.  




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Homeward Bound

After being admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, May 30th, my mom is being released today. Thank you Jesus!!!! She is drinking the protein shakes every day, and she has improved a lot.  She still struggles with nausea.  We really don't know where that comes from.  The doctors don't seem to know, so prayers about that are appreciated.

She has done physical therapy and occupational therapy every day, trying to build up some strength and get her up and moving again.  All of the excess fluid is gone from her body which has helped tremendously!!! 

She will be heading home from the hospital today, and on Saturday she and my dad are going to my sister's house.  My sister does medical billing and she works from home.  So mom being there for the next couple of weeks just makes sense.  My sister will take excellent care of my mom!!  She can make sure she drinks the shakes.  Make sure she continues doing the exercises and gets up and walks several times per day.  My sister is an excellent cook, so hopefully some great tasting food (sorry, but hospital food is  NOT GOOD) will encourage my mom to start eating again, so the mainstay of her diet isn't protein shakes.  We desperately need my mom to gain weight (I won't even tell you how much she weighs) and to regain her strength.

My mom is better than she was on May 30th when she was admitted to the hospital.  Just being honest, I was VERY CONCERNED about her that day.  And even though she is better, she has a long way to go before she's ready to be at home on her own.

Since April 6th, the day of my mom's liver surgery, she has been in the hospital more days than she has been out of the hospital.  The recovery from the surgery has been extremely slow.  Much slower than we would have expected, and she is very discouraged by this.  She worries about herself a lot.  

So, again, I come asking for your prayers.  I'm so thankful that even though sometimes I get tired of praying, God never gets tired of listening.  Please continue praying for my mom to regain her appetite and her strength.  My mom is tired of feeling bad.  Tired of not having any energy.  

Just tired of being tired.

She needs a touch from the Healer, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your prayers.  


Monday, June 5, 2017

So You Know How To Pray

I'll start off by saying that I can't thank you enough for sticking with me these past few months.  Cause if you're still reading this blog you're either desperate for something to pass the time, or you are a prayer warrior.  And if you're a prayer warrior, then I need your help.

My mom was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday, May 30th.  She was given two units of blood and her hemoglobin is back to normal.  Thank you, Lord.  They made her drink 5-6 Ensure protein drinks per day since Wednesday, and the excess fluid they had been draining is DRAMATICALLY BETTER.  Her feet and legs are almost back to normal!!!  They had been so swollen mom was just miserable.  

They kept her in the hospital until Friday when they transferred her to the rehabilitation unit to try to build up her strength with some physical therapy and occupational therapy.  She will stay there 10 to 14 days and she actually started PT and OT today.

The bottom line is this, my mom has to drink 5 or 6 Ensure protein drinks per day, every day.   She has zero appetite and is nauseous most of the time, so drinking those is a real struggle for her.  They are 8 ounces apiece, which for me is no big deal, but for her, well, getting down 5 or 6 of them over the course of a day is very difficult.  She can eat "real food" but she only eats a few bites here and there, so the protein drinks are a MUST for her to get better.  Without them she doesn't get NEARLY ENOUGH protein or vitamins or minerals or calories.  If she doesn't drink 5 or 6 shakes per day, then the fluid will come back, what LITTLE strength she has regained she will lose, and we're right back where we were last Tuesday when she was admitted.

I need you to pray for an increased appetite for my mother.  The doctor has put her on an appetite stimulant, but it can take several days for that to begin working.  We need her WANTING to drink those shakes and WANTING to eat regular food.  Cause for right now, we really have to push her to get her to drink them which, as you can imagine, is no fun for her, or for us.

As I said, she has been losing weight and strength and muscle tone the past couple of months,  and she is very weak.  The physical therapy WEARS HER OUT and makes her want to sleep, which makes it hard for her to get the 5 or 6 protein shakes down cause you can't drink while you're napping, but without the shakes she has zero energy and she will go backwards and we can't have that.  As you can see it's a vicious cycle. 

My mother would be very upset with me if she knew I was posting this about her.  She doesn't want anyone to know she is struggling.  But if you don't know what's going on with her, then how do you know how to pray??  So,  there it is.  My mother needs a major increase in her appetite.  She needs a lot of encouragement.   She needs a WILL to get better.  The doctor has told us it is totally up to her.  If she can drink the shakes, get her strength back, and then transition over to "real food" she will be fine.  If she won't, well, the exact words of the doctor to my mother were "this ends badly for you."

I know that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond ANYTHING we can ask.  So I continue to ask that you agree with us for COMPLETE AND TOTAL HEALING IN JESUS NAME.

I've said it before, I can't thank you enough for the prayers you have lifted for my mother.  While I may never be able to thank you in person here on this earth, what a time we will have in heaven together one day!!  I love you all, and I pray God's blessings upon you and yours as you read this and respond in prayer.  I love my mother so very much.  I just want her back and healthy and whole. 



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Want Normal Back

There was no Memorial Day BBQ for our family this year.  I gave my mother IV antibiotics through her Medi-Port every evening Tuesday through Sunday (and no, I'm not a nurse).

My mother is at the Emergency Room as I'm typing this post.  She is beyond weak.  She can't eat and drink enough to even maintain her strength, let alone gain any ground. Her hemoglobin is low, and she needs a blood transfusion.  She can barely get herself in and out of bed.  She needs a healing touch from Jesus.

As I very quickly scrolled through Facebook and Instagram this morning, I saw loads of pictures of people at the river/lake/ocean.  Lots of pictures of BBQs and celebrations.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  Just because our family is going through a struggle doesn't mean everyone else is.

And it makes me wonder what I was doing while someone else's life was falling apart?  Did my friends look at me in the midst of their fear and worry and think "wow, she's so lucky, her life is normal."  Did I think about all the times someone else was hurting, and my life was normal?

It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives, that we forget not everyone is happy.

I want normal back.   

I'm reading The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.

It is a reminder that everyone has times of hurting in their life.  And our job, our responsibility, as Christians is to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others when they are hurting.  And ESPECIALLY during times when we are  hurting.  That is how we take the focus off of our "valley" and we do our best to bless others.  That is how we show our love.

So, in the midst of feeling absolutely overwhelmed, and desperately wanting my mother to get better so I can have "normal" back . . . how can I pray for you today??

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Rough Patch

We've hit a rough patch with my mom.  Her body continues to make way too much fluid.  The doctor drained nearly 2 liters of fluid from her abdomen on Monday, and nearly all of that fluid is back already.  Her feet and legs are so swollen, as is her abdomen.

They are working her in early tomorrow morning to drain the fluid off again, and they are going to put in a drain that will stay in and continually drain the fluid out of her body while they try to figure out why she's still producing so much fluid 6 weeks post surgery.

My mom feels lousy due to all the excess fluid (her weight is up 15 pounds, and believe me it isn't fat or muscle).  This makes it even harder for her to eat and drink, which means she just can't gain any strength.  She is pretty frail and weak.

She needs healing in the name of Jesus Christ.  We just can't seem to get her over the hump.  She is very discouraged, and tired of feeling bad.  Her surgery was April 6th.  She just wants to be well. 

Please pray for my beautiful mom. 
Her name is Donna. 
 

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Graduate

So in the midst of everything that's been going on, OUR DAUGHTER GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE!!!

We could NOT be more proud!!!














In case you are wondering, she has a Bachelors of Science in Business Management with a Major in Finance!  She is going to get her real estate license and will be selling real estate with my sister when they get back home in August. Yes, we are about 3 months away from their moving home for good!!  They have a contract on a house about 7 minutes away from me.  I can't wait!!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

HOME

After 33 days in Houston, Texas, my mom woke up in her own bed yesterday morning.

Her surgery (where they removed 70% of her liver) was four weeks ago yesterday.

As you can imagine, my mom has some recovering to do.  She needs to get her strength built back up.  She needs to eat, and drink, and rest, and walk.

God has been with her EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.  Mom's original diagnosis was not good.  But God has performed miracle after miracle, and we are trusting Him to complete what He started.  We pray daily for mom's complete healing in the name of Jesus.  

If you have a mountain in your life, I urge you to give it to God.  There is absolutely NOTHING too difficult for Him.  He is able to do MORE than you can even imagine.

Thank you all so much for your prayers for my mother.  Please continue praying and agreeing with us for complete restoration of my mother's health.

We go back to Houston in 4 weeks for a checkup, and we think they will want her to complete her chemotherapy (she took 7 out of 12 doses this past winter).  She has one small tumor in her liver that they didn't remove during the surgery, so she will have an ablation treatment post-chemo.  At that point she will be CANCER FREE.

Why has God allowed this trial to come into our lives?  I honestly can't answer that.  We prayed for no cancer, and yet my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to her liver.  7 tumors that were inoperable.  That was not what we prayed for.  My mother has been a faithful follower of our Lord Jesus Christ our entire life.  She is a licensed minister.  She has prayed for so many people and led so many people to the Lord.  What an incredible testimony she is going to have!!  How many MORE people will come to know Jesus because of what God has done for my mom!!!

HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pray Specifically

Here's where we are with my mom.  Her body is still making a LOT of fluid as it heals from the surgery, which is normal.  The problem is, more fluid is draining out of her body through the drain tube than she can replace by eating and drinking.  My mom is a VERY TINY lady, and she doesn't drink in a WEEK what they want her to drink in a DAY.  So, the doctor has decided to cap the drain and see if he can get her body to absorb the fluid instead of her body taking the "easy route" and just passing it out through the drain.  Somehow we need to get mom over this "hump" so she can gain some strength, get out of the hospital, and eventually GET BACK HOME!!

So I'm asking my awesome PRAYER WARRIORS TO PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR MY MOTHER:

We need her body to absorb this excess fluid and NOT just accumulate in her abdomen like it did the last time.

We do NOT want the fluid to grow bacteria, so pray against infection.

We want mom's appetite to INCREASE so she can begin to build up some strength.

We need her to be able to easily take her medicine.

We need the JOY of the LORD to fill her soul.  This has been a long process and frankly she gets very discouraged sometimes.  She is sick and tired of being sick and tired.  She needs the Holy Spirit to come upon her like a mighty rushing wind!!!

I know that our God is able to do ALL THIS AND MORE and
I ask you to agree with me for these things.

We need to get mom stable, which is the first step to getting her OUT OF THE HOSPITAL, which is the first step to 
GETTING HER HOME.

Prayers appreciated for safe travels for my dad and brother-in-law, as they are headed back to Houston tomorrow.  Hopefully by the first of the week mom can be out of the hospital and in the hotel, and then after a few days we can bring her home.  I'll head down there the first of the week and stay until I can bring her home.

Your prayers are appreciated beyond words.  My heart is so full of love for all of you that have prayed continually for my mother.  God is good, and He answers prayer. 

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Still In Houston

My mom is still in Houston, Texas.  Nothing super serious, but some "hiccups" as the surgeon calls them that have prevented her from coming home.

Last Wednesday she had to be re-admitted to the hospital to have the drain put back in.  The fluid was accumulating faster than her little body could get rid of it, and her white count was a little elevated, so they put the drain back in, got her started on IV antibiotics, and kept her overnight for observation.  They released her to go back to the hotel Thursday afternoon.  We had a "changing of the guard" on Friday.  One sister and my dad headed home.  My other sister arrived to take care of mom.  Friday and Saturday weren't the best days as mom just couldn't seem to get over the hump from having the drain reinserted.  She had no appetite, very weak, and in pain.  So, by Saturday evening she was dehydrated and my sister took her to the Emergency Room.  They readmitted her and she's been in the hospital ever since.  

Yesterday the chaplain of MD Anderson came to see mom on his day off and prayed with her.  Since then, I can tell you that we've had a BIG TURNAROUND!!!  Mom has eaten better.  She has got up and walked.  She has been able to take her oral meds and keep them down and that is HUGE for mom as swallowing any kind of medicine is a struggle for her.

My mom has been in Houston, Texas for 22 days.  She had surgery on April 6th.

So here I go again, asking you to PRAISE THE LORD WITH US FOR ALL OF THE MIRACLES HE HAS PERFORMED.  Mom's liver is back to 100% of the size it was before they removed 70% of it on April 6th!!!  While she has had some minor setbacks, NO MAJOR COMPLICATIONS!!!  Mom is tired and weak and she wants to go home, but the surgeon wants to make ABSOLUTELY SURE she is stable before she makes the 750 mile trip back home.

If you've been praying for my mom, I ask you to continue.  We aren't settling for 1/2 of a miracle, we want it all!!  We want complete healing and we will keep praying for it.  

Please pray for strength for my mom, both physical and mental.  As you can imagine this surgery, and 22 days away from home, have taken their toll.  Pray for no infection, and for the fluids to be reabsorbed so they can remove the drain.  Pray for her appetite to be strong, and her stomach to be settled.  Pray for ease of taking the medications.  Pray for her to do lots of walking.

And pray for my sister that is down there with mom.  It is exhausting being a care giver.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart  for your continued prayers.  Please know that I am a "pray-er" and if you need prayer for something I am honored to lift your need before the Lord.  He never fails!!!

I hope to be able to tell you SOON that she is headed home.  In the meantime, I pick up my beautiful daughter from the airport later this week, and she graduates from college on Saturday!   Pictures to come!!!

May the Lord bless each and every one of you.  He is good.




Monday, April 17, 2017

The Resurrected King is Resurrecting Me!!!

I'm so sorry I'm just now updating you on my mom's big surgery.  Everything went VERY WELL!!!  The surgeon was pleased with the outcome and mom is doing great.  They removed 70% of her liver during the surgery and there were no complications.  Mom is still in Houston, as the surgeon wanted her to stay a couple weeks after the surgery just to make certain everything is good.  She has an appointment Wednesday morning, and if everything is good, which we expect it to be, they will head home.  PLEASE KEEP MY MOM IN YOUR PRAYERS!!!  Her body is working hard to regrow her liver, and it makes her feel very tired and weak.  As you can imagine, it is very discouraging to not feel good for a long time.  So please lift my mom in prayer for complete physical healing, and also prayer for God to encourage her through the coming weeks . The tiredness will last for several weeks, which is a good thing because it means her liver is healing, but that's a long time to not feel very well, so keep those prayers coming!!!

Happy Easter to everyone.  What a day.  What a reminder of my Savior's love!!  I'm sharing my Facebook post from yesterday:

Because He died for me knowing every sin I would commit. Because even though I have failed Him many times, He has never failed me. Because He promised to never leave me or forsake me. Because death and the grave could not hold Him. Because He is seated at the right hand of God interceding for me today. Because His final breath now lives in me. Because His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Because my hope, in this world and for eternity, is found in Him alone. This is why I am a follower of Jesus Christ. "I am He who lives and was dead and BEHOLD I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE! And I have the keys of hell and of death." Revelation 1:18

My new favorite song:

Please turn up your speakers and let your Spirit come alive as you realize what a gift the love of Jesus is!!!

I can't thank you all enough for lifting my family in prayer these past 9 months.  Yes, it's been 9 months since my mom's diagnosis.  We've had good days and bad.   Days of feeling strong in our faith, and days where we wondered where God was in all of this.  But we KNOW that He is with us.  We trust Him!!!

THE RESURRECTED KING IS ON THE THRONE!!!!!
 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Prayers Needed

It's finally here.  The day we have waited for since last fall.  On Thursday morning, April 6th, my mother will have her "big" surgery at MD Anderson in Houston.  The surgeon will remove approximately 70% of her liver where the remaining cancerous tumors are located.    

My folks are already in Houston, and she had blood drawn and a CT scan yesterday.  Today mom has no appointments, so they are hanging out enjoying the beautiful weather down there.  Tomorrow they meet with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist, and the surgery will be Thursday morning.
 
Since this journey began we have asked God for complete healing for mom.  I know that no one lives forever, and neither will my mom.  But we do not in any way believe that God brings sickness upon His children.  His Word says the prayer of faith SHALL heal the sick, and that is what we stand upon.  

Today I ask once again that you pray with faith, confident that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, asking for my mom's healing in Jesus name.  We are praying for God to guide the surgeon, the nurses, the anesthesiologist, everyone that will come in contact with my mother during the surgery and her recovery.  We are asking for a completely routine surgery.  We are praying for NO COMPLICATIONS AND NO INFECTION!!  We are praying for a SPEEDY and COMPLETE RECOVERY.  And we are praying that the cancer will be TOTALLY GONE, NEVER TO RETURN AGAIN.

Before my mom's surgery in February I believe that God gave me the verse Exodus 14:13  "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever."  I have taken that verse to heart, and truly believe that after the surgery on Thursday, there will be no cancer in my mother's body and IT WILL NEVER RETURN.

If God has another plan for my mother, then I will accept it.  I trust Him.  But until He shows me differently, that is my prayer for my mother, that the cancer BE GONE FOREVER IN JESUS NAME and I am asking for you to agree with me.

I fly to Houston Wednesday afternoon to be there for the surgery on Thursday, so prayers for a safe trip will be appreciated.  Mom has to stay in the hospital for 5-7 days post surgery, then she will be in a hotel in Houston for another week, just so the doctor's can keep an eye on things.  I'll be staying there for the first week, and then my sister will come down to stay the week mom is in the hotel recovering.  Please keep my mom, Donna, in your prayers over the next few weeks.  This is a big surgery and the doctors say the recovery will take some time.  We are praying God shows off in a big way, and mom recovers completely and much faster than they think!!!

Please remember to pray for my cousin, Cami, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January.  She has 3 chemo treatments behind her, 3 more to go before she has surgery.  And just yesterday I found out that the mother of a blogging friend of mine, Shelly Wildman, was diagnosed with cancer last month.  Shelly's mom is having surgery on Wednesday, April 5th, and I know she would appreciate your prayers as well.  You can check out Shelly's newsletter HERE.

So many need a touch from Jesus.  So many need healing and encouragement.  So many need comfort.  This road called life is not easy.  But a life lived with Jesus as your guide is a life lived well.  He never promised it would be easy, but He promised to never leave us or forsake us.  These past few months have been extremely difficult for our family, but we know that He is in control.  I fail him many times, but my heart's desire is to serve Him.  One day I want to hear those words . . . "well done, good and faithful servant."

Thank you all so very, very much for your prayers.  They are appreciated beyond words.  And if you have a few minutes, click on the video below and check out my new favorite song.



 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Finally Friday

Man, this has been a long week!!  Could be that I'm extremely busy at work.  Could be that the weather has been SO NICE and I'm stuck in the office.  Could be that our beautiful daughter flies home for a visit next week!!!  (Six more days but who's counting??!!)

My mom has been feeling great.  She has had no side effects from the portal embolization!  Thank you, Jesus!!!  We are praying that the left side of her liver is growing so it can "carry the load" once the right side of her liver is removed two weeks from yesterday!!  I can't thank you all enough for praying for my mother.  The Bible tells us that the prayer of faith SHALL heal the sick.  And I believe that with my whole heart.

Mom did have to go to the doctor yesterday.  She has had a pain in her right leg for a few days.  It is not a blood clot, and the doctor isn't concerned that it is in any way related to her cancer, but he sent her for an x-ray yesterday afternoon and we're waiting on results (hopefully today!)  Please agree with us in prayer that this is nothing but a pulled muscle and that the leg pain will just go away!  I think she just over did it earlier this week.  She has felt so bad all winter, that now that she's feeling good she's trying to make up for lost time!  I keep telling her to take it SLOW, but she doesn't listen to me very well hehe!!

I would appreciate prayers for my Uncle Ronnie who lost his girlfriend of over 30 years this week.  She left a son and several grandchildren and I know they are heartbroken.

We need RAIN here in Missouri, and it looks like a big rain is headed our way later today and through the weekend.  Thank you Lord for the rain!!!

Have a blessed weekend everyone!!!  God is good!!!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Clear and 15 Degrees

We finally have some sunshine this morning, but it sure was chilly.  

15 Degrees 

I hope all of our little baby calves
are staying warm!






You'll notice there's not much green grass.
It's still pretty much winter here in Missouri.

But the temperatures are supposed to warm up a bit this weekend (hello 60 degrees) and hopefully those little green shoots will start springing up all over the place.

The cows are tired of eating hay.

They want green grass!!!

We sure do need some rain!!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Just My Thoughts



I hear a lot of uproar lately about what IS and ISN'T appropriate for a Christian.  I hear people talking about the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.  I hear people questioning the movie The Shack.  Should they see it or shouldn't they?  What about Fifty Shades?  Most of the girls I know RAVED over the books and can't wait to see the movies.  Is that OK??

I sure can't give you an answer straight from God's lips, but I can give you my opinion, and I'd love to hear yours.  Please don't leave a mean spirited comment, I'll delete it.  But I would welcome your Biblical opinion.  I want to live a life that brings honor to my Savior.

First of all, I want to say that my opinion is just that, my opinion.  And frankly,  your opinion is just your opinion too.  I know a lot of Christian people who love Jesus, and yet their actions and lives look different from mine.  We all have things we think are "OK" and things we think aren't "OK" for Christians, but is that really as it should be?  I mean, shouldn't we all be on the same page when it comes to what is and isn't sin??  Cause we're all gonna be judged by God and I don't think he has separate standards based on my denomination or my opinion.  Just my thoughts.

I don't drink alcohol.  Not a drop.  I don't drink beer.  I don't have a glass of wine with dinner.  None.  Can I tell you that the Bible absolutely forbids a Christian drinking alcohol?  Nope.  But nowhere in the Bible do I see Christians encouraged to use alcohol.  Except for a couple of verses that talk about using wine for medicinal purposes, all of the verses that talk about alcohol are warning people against the evils of excess drinking.  Lots of lives were ruined by someone abusing alcohol, lots of families torn apart by someone abusing alcohol.  So why play with fire??  I mean, if you want to have a glass of wine with your dinner I guess that's your business, but why would you even let yourself get in the habit of drinking a liquid that alters your mind, and can become an addiction?  I have read blogs that purport to be written by Christian ladies and I see pictures of them smiling with wine glasses in their hands and the next post is about Jesus.   This bothers me.  Just my thoughts.

I didn't read the series of books "Fifty Shades of Grey," and I promise you I won't be reading them.  I can assure you I haven't seen any of the movies, don't intend to.  And yet I see on Facebook ladies commenting about the books and getting together to go see the movies . . . and MOST of those same people commenting about those books and going to see the movies are ladies who attend church every Sunday and if you asked them if they were Christian they would say "yes."  So what kind of witness do you have to the unsaved when you're sitting in the same movie theater watching what pretty much boils down to pornography?  The Bible is very clear on what we are to focus on:  Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."  Girls Fifty Shades is neither noble or right or pure.  Just my thoughts.


The Shack.  I have read the book "The Shack."  It was very thought provoking.  Is it gospel?  Nope.  Do I believe God is a black woman?  Nope.  Did I enjoy the book?  Yes, I actually did.  It made me think.  But it is not what I base my faith on.  I base my faith on one book . . . the Bible.  The problem is, there is a big group of people who read that book or watched the movie and they think it's Biblical . . . . that same big group of people who believe that
"Cleanliness is next to Godliness and "Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder" are really in the Bible.  And so these things lull the unsaved into a false sense of security.  Jesus loves everybody (He does).  Everybody's going to heaven (they aren't).  All roads lead to Jesus, you just need to do what feels right for you (uh, NO, THAT IS NOT IN THE BIBLE).  They think to themselves, well so and so goes to church, and they're here at this movie, so if it's OK for them, it's OK for me.  I don't know if I will go see the movie or not because while I don't think The Shack is evil, what message am I sending to the unsaved if I go see that movie??  Just my thoughts.


Gonna go way out on a limb here and say that I do not believe we, the New Testament Church, are obligated to give 10% of our income to the church a/k/a tithing.  I believe tithing was a very specific Old Testament directive to a very specific group of people so that the priests of the temple would be supported and Jesus did away with that, along with all those animal sacrifices when he was resurrected.  Do I believe we are to give?  YES, ABSOLUTELY.  I attend church and I put money in the offering every month (I get paid once a month so I give my offering once a month).  I contribute monthly to an orphanage.  I contribute monthly to a fund that provides food to local kids who don't always have all of the food they need. I contribute to lots of very worthy causes that help people.  But I don't believe we are under the Old Testament law of tithing (and I'd be very interested to hear your Biblical comments on this).  Just my thoughts.



These are just a few examples of things that Christians differ on.  While I believe the Bible is black and white on about 90% of issues, there are some grey areas.  But I think the church has tried so hard to be RELEVANT that we've allowed ourselves to make those grey areas MUCH bigger than just 10%.  We don't want to offend anybody because they might not come to church anymore. Well if we aren't preaching the truth in love then what good does it do for them to spend one hour sitting in a building with a cross on the top of it?  Churches exist to call sinners to repentance, and to teach Christians how to live a Godly life.  Jesus offended a lot of people because He loved them enough to tell them the truth. I think all pastors should do the same thing.  I think most churches are very social.  And while there's nothing wrong with being social, being social has nothing to do with worship or serving God or witnessing to the unsaved.  A men's group that spends most of its time going hunting and to sporting events is just a club.  If the bulk of the time those men are together isn't spent talking about Jesus or studying the Bible, then I think, again, we've lulled ourselves into thinking that any activity under the umbrella of a "church group" is Godly.  Friends I do not believe that.  And I'm not just picking on the guys here.  Ladies do the same thing.  If your ladies group spends most of their time on a shopping trip, or going out to eat, it's OK, but let's not convince ourselves that this is getting us closer to Jesus.  You've had fun, you've been entertained, but you haven't done anything for the kingdom of God.  And hear me, I'm not saying that you can't have fun with your Christian friends.  YOU SHOULD enjoy spending time with Christian friends outside the church.  But how much time are you spending studying the Word?  How much time are you spending witnessing to people who are dying and going to hell??

And don't get me started on youth groups.  We are entertaining our young people right to the gates of hell.  Again, NOTHING WRONG WITH GETTING THE CHURCH KIDS TOGETHER TO HAVE SOME FUN!!!  But if we are spending more time entertaining them so they keep coming back, than reminding them that heaven is real and so is hell, and either you belong to Jesus or you don't, then we are encouraging a generation to think that unless you're a murderer you're going to heaven, and that the Bible is open to interpretation, and that all roads lead to Jesus. And I am convinced that a HUGE PERCENTAGE of people who sit in our churches every day really believe this. . . . . . at least that's how they live their lives.


So after all that, THIS IS THE ONLY OPINION THAT MATTERS.  The Bible says this in Matthew Chapter 7 . . .
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

This post is entitled "Just My Thoughts" and that is exactly what I have shared.  MY THOUGHTS.  If I'm wrong, then I want God to open my eyes to the truth.  Cause I believe we answer for every single thing we've done or thought.  And this may sound harsh, but what kind of FRUIT DO YOU BEAR if you're a wine drinking, Fifty Shades reading Christian?  How is that the "narrow gate" that FEW ARE FINDING?  Those Fifty Shades books sold MILLIONS OF COPIES.  That gate seems awfully wide to me.  The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:12 "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."  





If I've offended you I'm really sorry.  I didn't intend to.  But I think if we call ourselves Christians, then we need to LIVE EVERY DAY IN WAYS THAT BRING GLORY AND HONOR TO JESUS.  Don't go where He wouldn't go.  Don't read what He wouldn't read.  Don't do what He wouldn't do.

Just my thoughts . . . . . .

Friday, March 10, 2017

All Is Well

Another successful trip to MD Anderson in Houston!!

Mom's portal vein embolization went great.  No complications at all.  We spent the night in Houston Monday after the procedure, and got back home Tuesday night about 6:30.  We are tired, but thankful to be home.

Again, I can't thank you all enough for PRAYING FOR MY MOTHER!!!  God continues to work a miracle in her body and we are believing that following this next surgery she will be completely
CANCER FREE!!!!  

It has been a long 8 months since mom's diagnosis.  We've had good days and bad days.  Days of feeling so full of faith, and days of being overwhelmed.  But God has never left us.  He has been with us through everything.  He is faithful.

Yesterday it was 72 degrees here in Missouri.  Tomorrow we are supposed to get snow with lows in the 20s.  Only in Missouri . . . . . . . . 

HAVE A FANTASTIC WEEKEND MY FRIENDS!!!!!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Headed South Again

Yes, I'm headed south again.

No, I'm not going on a tropical vacation (I WISH!!)

We are leaving today for Houston, Texas.

On Friday mom meets with the anesthesiologist, and the doctor who will do the procedure.

On Monday mom will have a Portal Vein Embolization.  In other words, they will go in and put a "plug" in the blood vessel that feeds the right side of her liver, forcing the blood supply to go to the left side of her liver, which will cause it to grow.  If all goes well we should head back home on Tuesday and then we'll have a MONTH at home with no doctors visits!  Hooray!!!!

Mom will have her final surgery on April 6th.  At that time they will go in and remove the right side of her liver, remove a tumor in the middle of her liver, and she should come out of that surgery CANCER FREE!!!  

So here I go again, asking for your prayers.   We ask for God to go with us and give us a safe trip to Houston and back (it's a 13 hour drive . . . each way).  We ask for God to be with my mom during the procedure.  That it would be completely routine, no complications, no bleeding.  And as always, we ask for God to use us while we're down there.  To pray for others, to spread His love and the hope that is only found in Him.

I really can't thank you all enough for all of the prayers you have lifted for my mom.  We truly believe that God is working in her through these doctors.  We are blessed beyond what we deserve.

Thank you Jesus!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

MIRACLES STILL HAPPEN

These are my parents.  

 

This picture of them was taken Saturday afternoon in Houston, Texas.

You might recall that my mother had surgery on Thursday to remove two cancerous tumors from the left side of her liver.

The surgeon met with us following the surgery.

The largest tumor in her liver is gone.  He couldn't fine it.

The other small tumor he removed, but it wasn't cancer.

THANK YOU JESUS!!!!! 

We are praising God and telling this story to EVERYONE WHO WILL LISTEN!!!  And I want YOU to share this story as well!

It is difficult to live a life of faith.  There will be doubters.  Sometimes you will even wonder yourself.  Trust me, I have had days of feeling like my faith was small.  Even some who call themselves "Christians" will look at you strangely when you talk about praying for God to heal someone with cancer.

I'm here today to remind you that JESUS CHRIST SITS ON THE THRONE TODAY AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.

HE STILL HEALS.

HE STILL SAVES.

HE STILL FORGIVES SIN.

So don't give up friends.  Don't ever give up on healing, don't give up on your loved ones salvation.  Don't give up on Jesus.  His timing is perfect.  Keep praying and asking God and then TRUST HIM!!!!

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR MY MOM!!!!!!!
WE AREN'T GONNA QUIT IN THE MIDDLE OF A MIRACLE!!

My mom has one tumor near the middle of her liver that they feel is cancer, but since last Thurday's surgery was done laparoscopically, and the tumor is so small, he felt it best to wait and remove it when he does the second surgery in April. During that second surgery they will remove the entire right side of her liver which has some small scattered tumors that are difficult to remove individually.

We will be heading back to Houston in 10 days for a procedure to block off the blood flow to the right side of the liver, so please be in prayer for that. 

JOIN US in praising our Lord for His healing Power. 

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

THANK YOU JESUS!
THANK YOU JESUS!
THANK YOU JESUS!!!

PRAISE YOUR HOLY NAME FOREVER!!!!!!!!!