Monday, June 28, 2010

Letting hard to do.

Hal here again ---

Today's visit with Ann's oncologist brought us to the realization that Ann's valiant fight against this disease has not been successful. The growth of the cancer in her liver has progressed and so rather than to have her final days filled with chemo and hospitals -- we instead opted for signing up for hospice. I must say a sincere thanks to all of the wonderful doctors, nurses, and others that have cared so well for Ann.

The time remaining is unknown -- we are led to believe that 3-6 weeks is likely. I have such mixed feelings between deepest of sorrow to relief that her pain will end and she will be soon able to see heaven.

Of course, my greatest concern about Ann's parting is, has been and will be for our two beautiful children that God has given to us. I know that the Lord will provide -- I wish God in His infinite mercy can ease their pain. I also know that I can count on so many of you acting as his angels will be with us in this tough times ahead to help.

To you the readers of this blog, I will with Ann's permission continue to post her beautiful transition from this life to the next. I fully trust that God still has many wonderful blessings that He intends to shower on all of us through this process.

I so love you my dear and will be with you every step of the way.
God Bless.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It was the best of times and the worst of times...

Hal here -- guest writing for Ann to everyone.

Ann was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday as she indicated in her last note -- though she was weak and tired. I thought we were headed back to the hospital for a while on Wednesday and Thursday with her pain pretty severe, shortness of breath, and nausea. She is now on oxygen and the effects of chemo seem to be waning some. She goes back in to seek Dr. Fabin on Monday to discuss her liver biopsy results and plan the next steps in treatment. Our understanding at this point will be continued chemo of some kind. We did find out that the experimental drug will not be a good match for her based on the early indications of the biopsy -- as always we are in His hands and we feel that we've reached a cross roads in the journey.

The girls have had the blessing of my parents here to spoil them for a few days followed by my aunt. It was great to see Zoe, Grace and Aunt Susie having a squirt gun fight on the back deck -- wish we had that one on video. The girls have also enjoyed sleep overs, going to theater in the park, and the laid back days of summer. Zoe, our traditional early riser, has even found that sleeping in has its benefits.

The gospel reading for today (Mt 8:5-17) brings us the story of the faith of the centurion and several examples of Jesus healing the possessed and sick "to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases." I ask Jesus several times a day to take away this disease from Ann if it is His will. I realize there is so much of His love and graces being poured out on Ann at this time -- I feel it in the prayers, cards, meals, flowers, and love you send to Ann -- thank you.

I pray that Ann and I remain open to His will and to love each other, our children and you with the grace of His love. We know of so many of you that have your own crosses too. It is important for you to share those hardships with the rest of the body of Christ -- that is, you see, how His love is made present and real -- it is in each of us caring for and taking care of those in need around us. It is a two part equation: 1) someone in need, one afflicted with suffering of some form; and 2) someone with a gift given by the Holy Spirit to give or offer others.

So, if you are in need and hurting (physically, emotionally, spiritually) and you don't seek His help through your neighbor -- that is going to keep His graces from reaching you -- it takes humility and that is hard. If you have some gift to give and you don't seek out opportunities to make those available to those in need -- it may be judgmental or selfish; it takes acts of charity which lead us to love of God's people. So, both kinds of people are needed and often both parts (needs and gifts) are present within each of us. I know its hard and we allow the devil to trick us so often on both parts but in your heart you know that you feel the God's love when both parts are exchanged with His will at the core. You see, in the exchange, God's love is made present to both persons -- its a beautiful thing.

Jesus, you know us. You know what we need. I pray that you help us to be open, to be vulnerable, to be willing to be loved by You through others. I pray that you give us wisdom to become more aware of the gifts that the Holy Spirit has provided to us AND that we use these gifts each day to benefit your creation.

I thank you for the blessings of my wife and family. I pray that I may be a worthy channel of your love to to others.

Peace be with you all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back In KU

Are you following me because I am having a hard time following my whereabouts these days.

Yes, judging by my tiredness and beautiful pajamas along with lack of sleep, I can say that I am back in the hospital. After my liver biopsy on Wednesday I began experiencing the same back and stomach pain I had on Sunday evening. I called Dr F. and they got me in immediately to the cancer center for another ct of my abdomen and liver. Turns out that the fluid around my liver had increased even though we had just drained it and that I had a bit in my left lung and a bunch (2liters) in my abdomen. Got the abdomen and lung drained and will now put in more permanent drain i my liver and abdomen tomorrow. The fluid will continue to grow until we can get the liver tumor under control so this way I can drain it as needed rather than come in here every other day and have them do it. We also started some chemo yesterday. The non approved FDA chemo that we feel confident will help is a process to receive since it not yet approved so in the interim, we will start this other chemo until we are approved. Very fast and head spinning but trust trust trust faith faith faith day by day byday. I blogging to you at the super nice resource center here on the cancer floor so need to just get to you the basics of what is going on. After pseudo permanent drains placed tomorrow around ten a.m. I should be able to go home. Please say special prayers for my mom.She is on her way to the ER with heart pain and has a hard time breathing over the past few months. Please pray that they find something to help her once and for all. For Hal's dad as he is experiencing pain from his side affects of diabetes. For Judith who takes care of us all, for Hal well you know the directions he gets pulled. Please pray for strength and for a relaxing Father's Day for him and all of our dads. For Joe Bidnick and Mike O'Connor may they feel the love of God pouring over them. I will keep you posted as usual.
Love, Me

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Have Learned To Be Content Whatever The Circumstances I Can Do Everything Through Him Who Gives Me Strenghth

I can't believe that it has been a month since I last blogged. Crazy and fun past few weeks is all I can guess. The girls were let loose from school on May 24th and we were off to Florida the next day. Wish I could post some pictures but my computer sucked them away into cyber land and I had already erased them from my camera. Our memories will have to do and what memories we have! Grace was enamoured with the fact that everyone in Florida has pools in their backyard and that's the first thing they did every morning was dive in. My nephews Alex and Nick were confirmed along with about 250 other kids. Watching each of them receive the Holy Spirit was very cool. I pray that they felt the love that was being poured out to them and that they understand the gift that they have received. Okay on to what my scans revealed..... some good some bad news. The good is that my bone mets has significantly decreased in size the bad is that the lesions in my liver have significantly increased along with my tumor markers doubling in the past two weeks. What does all this medical talk mean? Hell, I don't know and I'm not sure sometimes the professionals even know! But what we think is that the cells in my liver are perhaps not the same as that are in my bones. Still considered breast cancer but maybe not fueled by the estrogen that my original biopsy to my sternum showed. I will have a liver biopsy next Wednesday. If the cancer in the liver is not estrogen receptive, then my doctor feels the best plan of action is to try a new chemo which has not yet been approved by the FDA but is very promising with results in the liver. Both Hal and I knew that the results would not be good but just hearing that the cancer is still not under control sent me downhill. I am just tired .....physically and emotionally drained and at the point where I say to hell with it. You win cancer!!! But once again God sent to me an angel with the message of the holy spirit saying YOU DON"T KNOW THAT!!!! and poof I'm back on the Let's kick some ASS campaign. Thank you Linda for hearing the holy spirit and turning your car into my driveway. It's late (now 12:30am) and it's time to Relay for Life here tomorrow. What a perfect time for us to raise the money to find a cure for this $#@$ disease. "Do not get discouraged- it may be the last key on the ring that opens the door" Please continue to pray. We love you so much!