Tag Archives: faith

The Journey Continues…

Yesterday was day 52. Yesterday we got the results from the  FISH test they did on Mark’s bone marrow…. In case you haven’t heard….

That test showed that the translocation of chromosome #11 is not happening. The test showed no MLL and no signs of Leukemia AT ALL!!! (#11 was the one they were most worried about out of the three that were mutating.)

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Mark was pretty much as emotionless as he has seemed all along. He is a rock. I, on the other hand, cried on and off the rest of the day; typical. 🙂

This is EXACTLY what is hoped for when you hit a person with the big guns of chemo, wipe out their immune system and then introduce, new, healthy stem cells! Though we don’t yet have a percentage of how #21’s donor cells are taking over compared to what might be left of Mark’s, we know it must be heading in the right direction because….

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#21, in case you missed it before, is how we refer to our anonymous 21 year old male stem cell donor. We all TRULY hope we can meet him one day and let him know how much we appreciate him!

We are so thankful to God, for the way He has taken care of us this ENTIRE time! We are so thankful for the MANY people who have been like His hands and feet to us through this, taking care of our needs and even wants along the way. It has blessed us IMMENSELY! So much so, that words cannot even describe!

From here, we still need prayer. This journey is still just that, a journey. Mark and I are still living the city life and we still have people scheduled to come out and stay with him so that I can be home with our girls half of every week that he has to stay in Denver.  This was basically our first checkpoint post transplant. WE ARE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL for the results of this one, but, another bone marrow biopsy (Poor Mark- he’s had 4 or is it 5 already now.)will happen again around day 60, then around day 90, another around 6 months and then around 1 year.

Also, currently, with his immune system being suppressed, he has a virus which had been dormant, creep up called CMV. He has been taking anti-viral medication for it and keeping it in check- but it is there.

He also has a UTI- a viral UTI so we have to wait it out and just try to help the symptoms he is having- but we are praying that it passes quickly and without complication.

Lastly, he has had some tenderness and swelling in his abdominal region. They had tried to treat for GVHD and as said above, he is on medication for CMV (two things they think could be causing it) but it is not clearing up and the distention in his mid-section continues to grow to uncomfortable proportions, so, Tuesday this week he will have endoscopies done with biopsies taken to determine what the exact cause of this condition is so they can be sure to treat it correctly.

CMV info- http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cmv/basics/definition/con-20029514

GVHD info- http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/bone_marrow_transplantation/hic_graft_vs_host_disease_an_overview_in_bone_marrow_transplant.aspx

What a day! What a weekend! We are planning on continuing our celebration. Yesterday it was just the two of us, but today, we will see some friends and be with three of our girls AND we are having a sleep-over with them at the apartment tonight! (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it when we can all be in the same place together!)

We miss and love our Shyanna, but we are extremely happy (and not surprised to report) that she is doing FANTASTIC as a college student and basketball player! 🙂 AND, she is bringing home a few teammates next weekend for a visit ! 🙂

HAPPY TIMES and we are thankful we can share this part of the journey with you!

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Clenched Fists/ Clenched Heart- Opening Up

I had quite a bit of time to reflect on things over the last week while Mark was sick and I sat quietly in his room watching over him.

This came like a revelation to me. I saw a picture of my heart closed up tight like a fist. (Honestly, this was very easy to imagine because I often notice while just sitting or even when I wake from sleep, my hands are fisted.) This fist represents a lot. First, it obviously represents a fight. We are definitely in a fight. Second, it represents tension. You don’t just ball up your hand into a fist usually in life- it happens when you are ready to punch something or someone, or when you are grasping a hold of something, tightly.

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In my situation, trying to engage in this battle, unlike any I have ever fought, and trying to hold life together for myself and my family at the same time, I can easily understand why my fists are often clenched.

However, the thing I hadn’t noticed until I had so much time to just sit quietly, is how the same thing has been going on with me internally. My heart has been like a fist. Trying to hold on and ready to fight at the same time.

The problem with this is that when my heart is clenched tightly, it is hard. Like a closed fist, when a curve ball comes in there is nothing soft there to absorb it or catch it- there is no “finess”. This explains why it’s been my first reaction to just be frustrated and angry when I get that curve ball. It’s like something is being thrown at me that just hits me- no absorption. No way to soften the blow -no way to receive it; it just bounces right off.

Tied to this is the fact is that I know our family is one strong machine in day to day living. We have moved not just to new cities, but new states three different times in about 10 years. We have home schooled and therefore decided to do without extras and luxuries compared to what we could have had and done if we would have chosen to be a dual, full -time income family. We have lost loved ones together- not just once, but a handful of times. These are examples of some of the struggles…. and none of them has put a dent in our strength, our faith, and our ability to keep making the most out of life.

This time it’s been the biggest test by far. Kids, living life with part-time (at best) parents. Responsibilities of running a home, figuring out schedules and taxiing and the like suddenly shoved at them full force. An exceptionally active mom, giving up all activities and normalcy of her life to become the servant between two places to two different groups trying to keep them both accustomed to life that seems as normal as she can, while grieving all that she has left behind herself. A dad, used to being the bread winner, and strong, never-sick-a-day-in-his-life hero, suddenly unable to walk more than a foot or two without being winded and needing to rest. A guy, who if you asked him, would tell you that when you take coaching basketball and being with all of his kids and wife is like taking drugs away from a drug attict – who lives without those constants as he battles. And so, there is more change, and those changes for these parents, bring even more change for   the kids. They see their mom struggling to identify how to live and how to live with joy. They see their hero fighting a battle and getting more and more slim and the battle getting more and more difficult for him as he goes. So, I know these kids want to help. They want to be strong, have compassion and keep going- because this is how they have been raised. But, you see this is hard on everyone. And the way it affects one, absolutely affects the others, because that’s the kind of family we are. We have always done everything together…. until recently. And sometimes, now, the people in this family feel alone.

This is where the devil wants us. He wants to destroy. He wants to try to break our faith, joy and love. Separate us from each other and from God. He loves to make us think and feel we are alone. I am reminded that this is indeed the biggest battle of our lives- it’s against him. Our battle/struggle :

Ephesians 6:12- For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

But, as I remember that and see that actually happening so strongly in our family right now, I reflect on this:

1 Peter 5: 1-11

“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

I think this passage speaks volumes to and about our entire family right now. I know, I can’t believe Mark and I are actually elders – we are both getting gray and growing older, though, and this speaks to my heart. Everything in me has felt like I need to shut everything else out now… but I don’t. The opposite is true. I need to continue to shepherd the flock- that is first and foremost my kids- my family… but I am a servant – and must be willing to serve HOWEVER God is asking me to right now.  And even though there are many new responsibilities on my kids, they have to continue to respect us elders and submit to us and serve. We all need to be aware of the fact that the devil is up to no good and trying harder than ever to destroy us, so we must hold tighter to our faith. Having a humble spirit and thinking of others before yourself is imperative right now. Giving our cares to God and trusting him, believing that He will continue to make us strong and that He will restore us. We certainly are not alone!

I’m unclenching. It takes too much energy to keep your fists and for heart all balled up!

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I believe there are people out there on this same kind of journey and that is why I share HONESTLY from my heart with people so publicly. There is no shame in the difficulties we face in life- we all share them, just not everyone is so willing to let you know you are not alone by sharing their own struggle.  I don’t look at this sharing as being negative – I look at it as being REAL. Only when we are REAL can REAL change happen.

God bless you as you struggle. Each of us does in our own ways and in our battles. I hope me sharing this struggle, gives you encouragement as you fight. Don’t give up- just give your cares up and TRUST and PRESS ON! <3

Callico

 

 

Two Are Better than One

Well, today was a blessing in many ways!

IT WAS THE LAST ROUND OF CHEMO!! (and he was drugged up and slept a lot so he didn’t get sick!) HE’S CURRENTLY GETTING HIS LAST ROUND OF ATG! (Rabbit antibodies), and is still sleeping! 🙂  And, a second fundraiser event was held all the way back in my hometown of Painseville, Ohio, thanks to my sister and some school friends! WE ARE SO GRATEFUL!!!! It is unbelievable to us as we think about the wonderful support we have had from each of the places we have lived! Ohio, Oklahoma, Illinois and Colorado! It is delightfully overwhelming to think about the kind of wonderful and lasting relationships we have made in those four states!

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Fortunately, we have decent disaster insurance through Mark’s work, but we used up last year’s out of pocket and deductible in a couple of pretty quick months and now are starting over for this year. (They start over again every July-  WOOHOO!) So, the bills are piling up at home and I will need to start going through and making payments!  PERFECT timing! We also use quite a bit of gas between me running back and forth to home and here and the girls doing the same a couple times a week to visit their dad.

Tomorrow will be a day of rest for Mark. He gets to relax in his little hotel room- I mean hospital room. (Joke is all of us call it hotel room on accident in the Neu Crew… Or, maybe it’s just me and Mark!?

The whole thing I have been thinking about today is that we truly have surrounded ourselves with people. Over the course of our lives, we have met some incredible members of the human race and it is so true that we are stronger together! I cannot even imagine going through this alone – it makes all the difference in the world to have each other- us, those of you in our family, and our friends!

Oh- and here is just a sneak peak of the apartment house we will most likely be moving Mark into as soon as we have clearance from the doctors after transplant. (Most likely beginning to middle of August.) It is within walking distance of the hospital and CBCI Colorado Blood Cancer Institute and 7-11!! 🙂 So, it is right by where we are now and I have to say, I am falling in love with this little area. The city! Diversity, alive, fun!

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Hoping in the LORD

Good morning. This is my mantra now. This is my focus. I hold on to the promise that when we focus on God, we can overcome- Rise Up, like an Eagle soaring over a storm….. I made this picture to hang up in our hospital room this morning as he slept. Art is a sort of therapy for me…. and sometimes, it ends up being a blessing to someone else. 🙂

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Well, today began Busulfan chemo. It comes every 6 hours by IV for 2 hours over the next four days. He will be given other medicines that work as prophylactics to help the possible side effects before the first dose came this morning at 6am. After four days of this, he will begin getting Cytoxan once a day for three days over the course of a two hour time period each day. One day of rest, and then on July 15th- he will receive his new stem cells.

Nikayta was reading the drug info yesterday and said she understood that the Busulfan would kill fast growing cancer cells and the next drug, Cytoxan, helps prevent them from coming back- but she wished they didn’t have all the possible side effects. Smart girl.

Our family really never takes drugs and so this is a new thing for us and it’s scary reading all the side effects and then all the side effects of the prophylactics, too…. I guess this is what happens when a hippie chick and her family get thrown into the medical world!

So, we are praying that the chemo does it’s job to the cancer but that he stays as healthy as possible. We are praying that mentally and emotionally this next 30 days is not too unbearable. You see, this time, he is on a MUCH smaller wing and he is no longer allowed off the floor or to go outside. This is tough for a young, otherwise healthy salesman type person!

If, in an effort to help keep his spirits up, if you would like to send him something, or come by for a visit, it would be SO much appreciated! You must be healthy to visit and cannot have been around a sick person. He cannot have any real flowers or plants, but balloons are fine as is pretty much anything else that is man made. 🙂 Prepackaged food is also fine.

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Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center

Mark Neu Room 3304

1719 E 19th Ave

Denver, Colorado 80218

You can call or text him also. People need people-that’s for sure and it’s just about like living in isolation around here unless you have a visitor. 🙂

THANK YOU ALL!!! We have held on to every call, every text, every card, every meal, every visit, every donation ….. everything you do (no matter how big or small) that shows us your love has made a HUGE difference in our fight and we can’t tell you how much we appreciate YOU being in this with us!!

 

 

Kick it in to High Gear – Preparing for Battle

Hi! Today is Monday, June 30th. Today we go to the doctor to get blood levels checked and tomorrow we go again to have the way the Busulfan chemo they will be using metabolizes in Mark’s body so they can give him the dosage rate that will work best for him. We have one week before we delve into the “transplant process”. Spelled out by readmitting to the hospital on Monday, July 7th, BuCy chemo on Tuesday, July 8th, a day of rest on Monday, July 14th and Transplant on Tuesday, July 15th. Apparently, from what they say, Mark’s hardest time may be the two weeks following transplant when his levels are low and the new stem cells work to take over the place of his old. Right about the time he is being released from the hospital, my girls and I will be taking our oldest, Shyanna to her college to begin the new and exciting chapter of her life about 4.5 hours away from us.

So, this morning I read a little devotional page shared by a friend on Facebook from a book entitled “Keeping God in the Small Stuff”. It may seem odd, but I believe this is the next purchase I will make for our family. (We have been doing something weekly together to keep our focus though we are separated distance wise most of the time, we realize how important it is to stay together in our faith as we fight together in this battle.) The thing is, that one of the biggest lessons we have learned so far is that we NEED to focus little. Step by step. One day at a time. There is just too much that overwhelms you when you get ahead and try to take on too much with something like this.

This is the passage shared today:

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It reminded me of the fact that over and over again in my life, when i have come to a challenging time, I have had to sort of “Shift Gears”.  I told my girls recently, this same sort of thing. The Bible is clear. Jesus told his disciples, ” In this world, you WILL have trouble.” He didn’t say you might, or could…. “YOU WILL. But, take heart, for I have overcome the world.” So, as I read this today, I was moved. Moved and I reflected. I wish I could say I had it all together all the time. But, I don’t. I absolutely don’t. But, what I will say, is that God created me to adapt and change and this is what I want to share.

When I was getting ready during labor to push, I always took a minute to pause and throw my hair up in a pony tail. I was preparing for the workout ahead. When I teach fitness classes, I warm up, to prepare. When we drive in the mountains, our vehicle is used to a more flat and constant ride. Suddenly, we are climbing and descending very steep inclines and declines. What is necessary? SHIFTING GEARS.

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Recently, before this battle, I faced another littler battle. I had to stand up and against something very dear to my heart. I felt the need to stand up for those who weren’t standing up for themselves and who felt bullied and pushed around. It was a tough decision, as I knew that it would cause me to lose friends, but I also knew that it would be hard to look myself in the mirror if I stood by and did nothing when I knew how these people with less power (or seemingly less power) continued to feel powerless. I understood that God himself would not want this to continue and that if it was so heavy on my heart, it was for good reason. I filled myself up on God’s truth about defending others- especially those who need it. About being courageous and about the importance of lifting others up and encouraging them. I went into a battle filled with truth and focused on the love I had for those who were smaller- those who needed someone to help them. I didn’t like the battle, but I saw it as necessary and so, I went forward after filling myself up on God’s word and with much prayer.

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Now, we are preparing for the battle of our lives, and this little passage reminded me of the importance of the shifting of gears again. Of the preparation needed to be ready. So, my focus is that this is where we are and what we need to focus on isn’t where we are and what is going on- but on GOD.

Isaiah 40:31
… but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Oddly enough, this is the same verse I have already shared with two of our girls. Our oldest, as she heads to college at Chadron State to play basketball for the Eagles and to learn all she can about Human Biology before heading to Med School. Our third daughter as she is a runner… and feels like God made her to run- how fitting this verse was for her as she discovered this calling.

Isaiah 40:31 might just be my new life verse. I need my strength renewed. I need my hope to be in the Lord. I close my eyes and picture soaring on the winds beneath like an eagle… hitting that pace in my run where I feel like I can just keep going – it’s a good pace. This is my prayer for our whole family right now.

God, help our family to focus on the hope we have in the Lord. Let our strength be renewed daily and even minute by minute and second by second as we focus on our hope in Him. Let us run this marathon and not grow weary. Let the winds and the turbulence lift us and carry us higher that we might soar on top of it. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Stages and Struggles- We Are Not Alone….

This place is a place to update you on the status of Mark and this Leukemia we are fighting.

However, as we wait in the down time for more news, I sometimes feel compelled just to share my own personal thoughts and journey. I have told you before, it helps me to write. It’s like therapy. But there is more…

I believe we share with others as a way to help them. No struggle we go through on this earth is completely unique to us as we all have similar struggles, and so when we open up and let others know what we are dealing with it helps them in a couple of ways.

1. It shows them they are not alone.

2. It gives them freedom to be able to share their own journey with others.

Today, the update news I have is that it looks like we are on track still. We are simply waiting for Mark’s ANC levels to rise so he can hopefully come home and spend as much time with us as a family before the transplant.

The rest of this blog is about my personal experience with this right now.

Friday night some friends put together a Zumba fundraiser for us. I was asked to participate which under normal circumstances, would have been an instant YES! OF COURSE! However, this time it was sooooo different and  it took me a while to figure out why.

What I have come to realize is that with Mark having this illness, we are in a state of grieving. There has been a tremendous loss happening in our family and there are stages that go along with loss in any situation, really.

Denial, Anger, Guilt, Sadness, Acceptance. The stages of emotion that a person has throughout what is known as the Grief Process cross over and happen in random order sometimes, but they all happen. Some word these a bit differently, but I will share with you why I picked these….

Denial- this is a stage of feeling like it can’t be real. Like, there must be some way of this all being a mistake or something. This is when I feel people try to make deals with God and do what they can to make it all go away.

Anger- this is the phase when we are just downright pissed off that this is or has happened.

Guilt- we feel like it is somehow our fault. We could have or should have or need to do something to make it right or better or prevent it. Sometimes, we feel bad that we are still able. Still living. I experienced this when I went to a Zumba fundraiser for us on Friday. Every time I thought of getting on stage and dancing, I cried and I came to realize it was because I felt guilty that I COULD go and COULD dance. Then, as I was there and tears were rolling as I first started dancing, I remembered council I had given to my daughters when they lost their cousin at the young age of nine…”She would still want you to dance and have fun. She can’t dance and be a kid here anymore, but you still have that opportunity and this should make you appreciate it even more- knowing that you can still do it when so many others cannot. LIVE the life you have been given to the fullest! Make the most of every day, because there are no guarantees.”

Sadness- this is when we are sad. Sometimes, this can turn into depression and when that happens it’s necessary to seek professional help.

Acceptance- this is when you probably don’t like the situation, but you realize it is and you will adapt and continue to live in this new way.

So, through this diagnosis and treatment of Leukemia that my husband Mark faces, I have felt all of these emotions over the course of the last two months. So has he, I am sure and so has anyone close to us. Including our kids.

In fact, it was on my first trip to the hospital that I was saying to God, “Please let them draw blood and say this was all some mistake.” And then I did it again about a week later going back up to the hospital to visit. “Can’t you just make this stop? I want to get to the hospital and have him be cured. What do I have to do?” Denial and bargaining examples.

Sadness has been disbursed throughout. It’s in the little every day times and in the bigger moments of plans made before diagnosis that have had to change, in the being apart as a family almost constantly over so many days and in trying to juggle things and know that our kids are missing him cheering them on and that he is missing doing it. It’s in the parenting alone and filling him in later. This part has probably come and gone the most frequently for me, personally. I have some days that tears just flow out of my eyes and to anyone from the outside looking in it would seem like maybe I just have allergies- and I do- but sometimes I just cry. In the middle of nothing and for no real apparent reason.

Anger. Well, this is something that I could have easily shared on Saturday, but refrained because I was positive that it would be extremely ugly and I wasn’t sure everyone would want to open up a post titled F@()K in all caps and the biggest font size I could find. I woke up angry and I stayed angry for about half the day, really. I am not a person who swears much, but that morning, just about any word in my head was a cuss word and I was angry at everything and almost everyone.” WHY US? WHY NOW? WHY HIM? WHY MY KIDS? NO! YOU DON’T KNOW. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ALL THE STORIES YOU HAVE. I DON’T CARE WHO YOU KNOW THAT HAD CANCER. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! STOP TALKING! ” And there is more, but I am sure you get the idea. See, you would not have enjoyed a post from me that day at all….Anger is part of it though. It’s real and it’s ugly sometimes.

I feel like there are bits and pieces of acceptance almost daily, too. I don’t really have a choice. This is like a card game and these are the cards I have in my hand. I’m going to do what I can to play it out as best as I can, I guess… I try to count my blessings, to focus on positive and to be a rock for my husband, and each one of my four girls… and they are all trying to do the same for me and each other. We have been called the “Neu Crew” since our oldest was about 4 and it’s made us sort of a team. So, we come together and we try to do life this way- as a team. This is the first time in our life, really though, that I think we all realize we need some extra players to join our team because this is the hardest battle we have faced and we need to be able to sit on the bench and rest some which requires someone coming in and helping out for relief.

So, if we talk much or at all be prepared that at any given time anyone in our household could be feeling one or more of these emotions. They are all necessary as we deal with this illness and the changes it has brought about. We try to be overcomers and to handle it- but we aren’t always going to be on our “A” game. Please don’t take it personal. It really isn’t about you.

If you have ever lost anyone or fought a battle such as cancer or lost a job or lost anything important to you, really, you can relate on some level. As I said, none of us struggles with something completely unique to ourselves. We share in these trials and it helps to know that others do, too because then we know we are not alone.

 

 

 

 

Hospital Stay Number 2

We are so very grateful that we were able to have Mark home from Friday afternoon till Tuesday morning. There is just a certain calming affect that having all of us together at home has. AND he got to be at our oldest daughter’s graduation and party and then hang out with loved ones again on Memorial Day! It really was a GREAT weekend!

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Here’s what’s happening now. They have donors that look like they potentially could be a match for Mark and THAT is FANTASTIC news! So, we are waiting to here from them (hopefully by the end of this week) as to which one is the best of the best!

Mark is undergoing a second and more “hard core” round of chemo this time and he feels like these dogs have bite and will get ‘er done. He gets a headache and his bones ache with this chemo so he feels like they are doing their job. I am up here again with him as this part makes me nervous. I don’t like the thought of him feeling bad alone.

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However, when the chemo isn’t poring into him, he seems to be of good spirits and able to do pretty much all his normal stuff.

He is being given a preventative medicine for nausea, eye drops, a steroid  and tylenol…. And is on a five day regimen of Cytarabine (high dose this time) and Clofarabine.

Chemo is a dangerous thing. Eye drops are to protect his eyes as his chemo can leak out through them. The high dose this time of Cytarabine could affect his Cerebellum so he has to write his name each day to make sure his hand-eye coordination are good.

I wish this were a tumor or something they could cut out, or attack just the area with the measles vaccine or cannibus oil ….The fact of the matter is that his type of AML has no clinical trials running yet and this is all we have. Pray for his body to respond well. Pray for protection over all of his good parts, please and that it just completely annihilates the cancer cells so we can move on quickly to the donor transplant. And, as always, pray that one of these guys who has been a 6/6 match in the preliminaries, will be a 10/10 in the end with the more definitive testing!

Here was the latest message from out Transplant Coordinator:

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Donor -“Be The Match”- “Got To Let It Go”

Tomorrow, I pick up someone who for years has been like a sister to me, Kathy Wahl. I am so excited to see her and talk to her and hug her! Ohio is a long ways away from Colorado and it is awesome that she wanted to come and ride this roller coaster with us. She even said she would sit in the front and I told her that was fine as long as she kept her arms up!

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But, today, this song is in my head…. One of my favorites from childhood and it’s somehow soothing my soul today.

Yesterday, we found out that Mark’s sister, Wendy is not a match. This wasn’t a huge surprise as we knew that there was only a 25% chance she would be. So, prayer warriors! Even those who never pray- just this once, can you please join us in praying for a perfect 10/10 donor match for Mark? There is an 80% chance they will find one in the data-base. We see that as a “B” and B’s are GOOD! 🙂

We appreciate SOOOO much all of you who want to be tested. The problem is that it just isn’t that simple. I cannot give you all the contact info for the team we are working with and I don’t have the answers you are looking for. I say, go to Bethematch.org and see if you can be a match for SOMEONE. Thank you for your hearts and your desire to help!!! It has meant so much!

You CAN pay out of pocket for the blood test that types your HLA “Human Leukocyte Antigens” and then pass that info on to us and then we can give it to our team here and if they find you as a match, they will let us know. This is the way our team told us it would have to happen, and I know a lot of your health care providers are giving different answers…. but I don’t have any. This is all I know. And that is why I say, if that isn’t working for you, try just going to bethematch.org and see if you can help SOMEONE. 🙂

I am going to go get prettified and then go up and see my husband today. Looking forward to a good weekend spent mostly as a family at the hospital with lots of cuddles and snuggles.

God’s Not Dead

Today we went to church.

I want to keep consistency where I can through this time of…whatever this is a time of. Church has always been a big part of our family’s lives. Our faith has gotten us through some very difficult times and helped us be of help to others.

The song playing on this page is the song we sang today first thing.I couldn’t get it out of my mind all day. Interestingly enough, our youngest daughter was asking me questions last night about Evolution. Apparently, in her favorite class, Science, they have been talking about it. I’m thonking, “Of course. Just another way the enemy is trying to attack us right now.” Thankfully, over the years, I have grown to have an understanding of WHY I believe the way I believe and have an oldest daughter and husband who are big into science, so I am not alone in reasoning with her and helping her to work through this. It is HEALTHY to question our faith and to figure out why we believe as we do; I am glad she is sharing with us. All day, though, I kept thinking, “We need to go see that movie.”

We were up at the hospital visiting Mark after lunch. On the way up, Shyanna and I talked with Cadence about Evolution Science and Creation Science. He talked with Cadence more while we were with him. I continued to feel compelled to take them to see this movie.

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We had a good visit. A pastor from our church came up and talked and prayed with all of us. It is always good to hear people praying for you…. We received news today that set us back a bit. I guess we are eternal optimists and were figuring that if Mark went into remission, we might get to have him back at home this weekend. I was even trying to beautify our backyard quickly to give him a nice place to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine this week. But, as it turns out, even if he is in remission, it will most likely take his body 3-4 weeks to get all of it’s levels up to a safe enough level to come home without risking bleeding or infection.

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So, with that, I made my final decision. We were off to see God’s Not Dead. I want you to know. He isn’t dead. Even when we walk through crap- in the good time and the bad- happy or sad- He is there. When you lean on Him, it makes the load a bit lighter…. I cannot imagine this load without Him.

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