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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The most wonderful time of the year!


It is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year!! I love transforming our home into the spirit of Christmas with festive decorations, candles burning, Christmas dishes and the sounds of Christmas (which means I play music all day long). All of the tradition takes me back to Christmases growing up – when there was typically snow on the ground, Christmas records playing in the background, and the guarantee there would be a smorgasbord of delicious food at Nonie & Paka’s.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I love this season, and the love of Christmas is spreading to Alexa as well. She loves snuffing out the Advent candles, unwrapping an ornament each day to hang on her Advent tree, reading Christmas stories in the candlelight, memorizing scriptures about Jesus’ birth, singing Christmas carols, going to sleep staring at her little Christmas tree, and I can’t tell you how excited she is to open the gifts under the tree. But most of all, I pray she loves the story behind the celebration – baby Jesus. I will elaborate more on this perfect gift in tomorrow’s post. But for now, I wanted to update you a bit on our lives (since we haven’t provided one since leaving for Disney).

I apologize for the delay. When we got home from Disney, besides being very tired and recovering from a sinus infection, our world flurried into Christmas prep – wrapping gifts, making Christmas goodies and sending cards. As the celebration is almost here, our life slows a bit and I can sit down to write and reflect (more reflection tomorrow). For now, I’ve included a few images from our little home and some images from our recent ice storm. Finally, there are a few prayer requests on the status of my ongoing battle with cancer. By the way, Disney World was wonderful, and I will post a blog with plenty of pics in an effort to share what a special time we had at the most magical place on earth.






Alexa’s little tree in her room. It even lights up – so much fun!!





Our poor Crepe Myrtles may not spring back – so sad.


These were the icicles hanging over the back-up camera on our mini-van.


I think most of you simply wanted an update on how I‘ve been doing. I can’t tell you what a gift it was to have your prayers while we were at Disney World. I felt really good and had a “divine” amount of energy. My pain level was minimal during the day, and the only time I hurt pretty bad was in bed at night. Surprisingly, I had great endurance and normally hit the sack around 1am.

Getting home was another story. I did get sick at Disney World but the pain worsened at home. I battled a very painful cough (painful in my back) among other disgusting allergy issues. I am currently on an antibiotic to finish this illness off as well as a prescription cough medicine to halt those painful coughs.

- The biggest concern, though, has been an increased pain in my right hip/pelvis and upper right femur. It feels eerily like the pain I had in my left hip prior to discovering cancer there. It is a pretty constant pain.

- I have also had a troubling pain in my right shoulder blade spreading around to my chest. Some feels like bone pain and some feels like skin pain (it is very tender to the touch) – weird and hard to describe but troubling nonetheless.

- I feel like my back pain is decreasing but I move like an old lady to prevent the pain. Sudden movements send chills up my spine – literally. My back is incredibly tight, and I am unsure when I’ll be released to stretch it more. We simply continue pleading with the Lord that the stereotactic radiation destroys all of the cancer in my body – forever.

- I meet with my OKC oncologist, Dr. Keefer, this Thursday, Dec. 26 for my bi-monthly bloodwork and blood pressure check as well as my monthly bone-strengthening shot. Please pray my levels – especially my liver enzymes – are strong enough for me to increase my chemo pill dosage to the full dose of four pills a day. I am currently on three. Please pray, that regardless, this chemo pill WILL work and prevent the spread of more cancer. Pray for no harmful side effects.

- I am going to ask Keefer for an order to do MRIs on the areas of concern. Pray he would have the wisdom to know what to do concerning my pain and please ask the Lord to prevent this from being cancer.

- We ask the Lord daily (multiple times a day) for His miraculous healing on my body. I battle constant discouragement and worry with the constant pain. Then, I have to bring my thoughts back to Him and trust in what I can’t see or feel. It’s a nasty cycle I deal with moment-by-moment-by-moment. Oh Lord, please make 2014 a year of encouragement and healing! Do the impossible.

- My hand’s range-of-motion continues to increase with my hand therapy (currently going three times a week). My strength is still a concern. At my last assessment, my therapist considers a functioning hand at 25lbs of grip strength. Mine is currently 5 lbs. On the other hand (literally), my left hand has 55 lbs of grip strength. So you can see, I have a long ways to go to get my strength back. Please pray my flexibility and strength will continue to improve.

I’m sure there’s more to share and I’ll probably remember more lying in bed tonight, but I’ll retire for now and meditate on the beauty of Christ’s descent to man. Thank you, Lord, for being Emmanuel – God with us!!

1 comment:

  1. We are praying that your prayer requests will be met. We hope you and your family had a wonderful Disney trip and a blessed Christmas. You and your family are in our daily thoughts and prayers.
    Joe and Linda Oliver