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Dougie’s Story

Welcome to Dougie's site!  Please read her background story.  You can read updates from Dougie and her friends and family in the journal.  Please sign the guestbook and provide words of encouragment (or send messages to the authors:  daughter Rebecca and friend Dawn).

"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." (1 Peter 5:10)



I am so grateful to my good friend, Dawn Boothe, and my daughter, Rebecca Macintire, for helping me with this website.  I am not a "techno whiz kid", so I can use all the help I can get when it comes to stuff like this.  But when Dawn asked me about it, I thought it would be a great way to keep everyone informed of my progress through this journey - which I expect will be the biggest challenge I have ever faced in my life.  Your prayers will give me the strength I need to overcome every obstacle.

 

I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love I have received since my diagnosis.  I have been flooded with cards, emails, flowers, packages, phone calls, and text messages.  I want to answer every one individually, but there are literally not enough hours in the day!! Please know that I love you guys, and I am totally overwhemed with your love and support.  It reminds me of the story in the Bible when Joshua was fighting the Amalekites and Moses stood on top of the mountain.  As long as Moses held his hands up, the Israelites were victorious.  But when he became weary and his hands fell, the Amalekites won.  So Moses's companions, Aaron and Hur, got on each side of him and held his arms up until sundown when the battle ended with Joshua's victory.  I feel like you guys are holding my hands up - but together, we WILL win this battle!!

 

So.....I'm sure you are wondering - how did this happen???  I still am wondering the same thing!  It just came out of nowhere!!  A couple months ago, I was very stiff every day when I woke up, and it seemed like all my muscles and joints were sore.   First, I thought it was "old age", but when Advil and Aleve stopped working, I went to a doctor.  He ran a bunch of tests thinking I may have some kind of autoimmune disease or tick-borne disease.  Finally, in late August, the pain continued to get worse in my left thigh area, so I had an MRI.  The report suggested aggressive neoplasia that was destroying the cortex of the femur.  I was referred to the University of Alabama Medical Center, where an orthopedic surgeon placed an implant in my femur to prevent a pathologic fracture.  He also took bone biopsies and did a CT scan.  The diagnosis is primary lung tumor (I have a 3.5 x 4.5 cm mass in the left cranial lung lobe - non small cell adenocarcinoma) with metastasis to the left femur, right ilium and L2 vertebrae. 

 

Needless to say, I was kind of in shock to get that diagnosis.  You don't even have to be a medical person to know that does not sound good.....but with God NOTHING is impossible, and I know He will walk with me through this trial. 

 

I have met my medical oncologist and radiation oncologist here in Auburn, and they are both great, and I have full confidence that they will take good  care of me.  However, since I have family in Florida, and there is an excellent cancer treatment center there, I will be leaving on Tuesday, September 7, and my brother will drive me down to Gainesville, FL.  My appointment with Shands Cancer Treatment Center (Dr. Reisman) is Thursday, September 9.

 

I have a good friend, Rebecca Kirby, a veterinarian that I worked with 25 years ago.  We have stayed close friends, although I haven't seen her in about 2 years.  When she heard about my diagnosis, she got on the internet, and she is now an authority on everything that is known to man about my kind of cancer, including new drugs and therapies.  She is coming with me as my medical advocate, and will be flying into Gainesville on Monday.  It is so wonderful to know that I can just rest in God and go along for the ride, and He has provided someone to watch out for me and make sure I get the very best care. 

 

If you remember the story of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego in the book of Daniel (chapter 3), you will remember that they were thrown into the fiery furnace, but they were unharmed by the fire.  When King Nebuchadnezzar looked in the fire, he saw 4 men walking around in the furnace.  God did not prevent them from being bound up by their enemies and thrown into the fire...but He sent Jesus to walk with them through the fire, and He brought them out unscathed.  That is the way God works!

 

Thank you all so much for your prayers.  You are holding my arms up!!  My friend Dawn and my daughter Rebecca will update this site as needed, and I will add more as I am able.  Thank you so much.  I love all you guys!!!

 

 



And here is a note from Dawn:

As we build this site, we will introduce you to Dougie's family, provide opportunity for friends to respond and help us build. So, please visit the guestbook.Pictures would be great.


Latest Journal Update

Farewell or (updated) the Deal about Dougie

This is likely to be our last entry,  although updates of  eventful family news may be added.


Dougie's obiturary can be found at:


http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/oanow/obituary.aspx?n=douglass-macintire-dougie&pid=155249733&fhid=5806<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


It is somewhat ironic that in saying farewell to 2011, we are also saying farewell to Dougie, at least here on earth. Her final resting place (for her earthly remains) is beautiful: on a slight hill, surrounded by Holly,  trees at her head and a distant pond by her feet. Although I know we will meet again, and I revel in knowing that Dougie  is  dancing today like she never has danced before (unless, of course,  God already has set her to work), it is nonetheless  difficult for me to grasp the reality of her passing.


For those that could not make the service, I would like to share a couple of "highlights". Among the many observations made about Dougie, two  in particular struck home with me because they were so profoundly true: First,  Dougie was the eternal optimist. How many times have I laughed at her persistent "rose colored glasses" approach to everything!  This view of the world of hers  was such an endearing aspect, drawing  many persons closer to her. There was always a bright side as far as she was concerned and this in itself was such a powerful witness...Second, one of the pastors observed that "Dougie died well". Although to a non-Christian, this observation might seem trite or cavelier, to a person of faith, this statement of fact typifies Dougie's life, and in particular, the last 18 months. The characteristic goes beyond the witnessing that she continued up to the very end of her life on earth. For me, it also brought home perhaps an understanding of the role that her pain played in her final  Christian walk her on earth.  During her illness, she endured a level of pain that I can not begin to comprehend. Yet, this level of pain is currently being endured by so many others, even as this entry is being written. Through her experience, and only because of it, Dougie  has provided an even greater witness than she could have had she not experienced such pain and suffering.  As I struggle to accept why she had to go through so much pain - and for so long - I have come to realize that, given a choice, she is likely to have said yes, rather than no, because of the love she has for Jesus Christ and the power and glory she has brought to the Lord through this witness. Of course, the deal about Dougie is that He did not even have to ask her. Surely, that is her greatest testament.


Still, I will struggle with her loss, as many of us will. So, in tribute to recognizing that I do not have a clue as to why we had to lose such a gift, I will offer a poem that I have referred to frequently through this suffering of my good friend.  It is a reminder that while I can question, I should not expect an answer. Many of you may be familiar with the words.


The Plan Of The Master Weaver

Our lives are but fine weavings,
That God and we prepare,
Each life becomes a fabric planned
And fashioned in His care.
We may not always see just how
The weavings intertwine,
But we must trust the Master’s hand
And follow His design,
For He can view the pattern
From the upper side,
While we must look from underneath
And trust in Him to guide.

Sometimes a strand of sorrow
Is added to His plan,
And though it’s difficult for us,
We still must understand
That it’s He who fills the shuttle,
It’s He who knows what’s best,
So we must weave in patience
And leave to Him the rest…

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why—
The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
And the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.


-Anonymous


 During the internment service, the pastor noted that there are two kinds of persons: those who paint - and thus, influence the canvas with a stroke here or a stroke there;  and those - like Dougie - who are the paint itself...and thus  define the canvas, providing its foundation.    For me, while Dougie's untimely death is indeed a black thread in the Master's  tapestry, she clearly has also been a gold thread during her tenure on earth.


The most urgent struggle that I have had these last few weeks, as I realized our friend was slipping away,  is how to keep hold of that witness that she so profoundly and easily shared with us all. Thankfully, during the service, a method emerged and my hope is that in sharing it with you, Dougie's witness will continue through us all. Dougie recently shared with the pastor a "hand" tool  that she uses to help her stay on track during her difficult times. It goes something like this: First, she indicates "thumbs up". Now, I know she is an Aggie and thumbs-up becomes second nature to us, but she has added a more global perspective to the act: when troubled, thumbs up reminds us that there is little need to worry because God is in charge. He's got it down and we simply need to rely on that faith. Second, when frustrated/mad etc with someone because of something he or she has done, rather than point that second finger in an accusatory manner at the person, point it at the true culprit...Satan. Once we recognize that he is the true source of the problem,  resolution of the discord becomes simple. That third finger: so easily and readily used to indicate a curse or to offend one of God's children. Dougie's suggestion: turn that curse into a blessing. Offer a word of comfort or joy or goodness to the person who has injured you in any fashion (this works really really well). The 4th finger is the ring finger: a finger that represents committment. Let it represent our committment to our faith, to God, to do right, to  one onother, perhaps our committment to ourselves to change within, whatever. Committ.  And finally, the little finger, the pinkie, often forgotten or ignored. Yet, without the pinky, the hand is not complete, it can not function as a whole nor perform as it should. Dougie's little finger  reminds her to love. Without love (and we are talking unconditional), all else is incomplete and nothing will work as it should. 


Do, dear friends...take this final gift from Dougie and keep her witnessing in the forward mode.


During her service, Caring Bridge was mentioned so many times. The Lord has worked through each and every one of you to give Dougie (and her family) the love, encouragement, support, and  wisdom that was needed to help her finish the race. I will always be eternally grateful for the many overwhelming  gifts you bestowed on her through your words. Continue your prayers for her family, for you and your family, and this wonderful temporary home we call earth.


I wish only good things for all of you in 2012 and on. Until we meet again,


Peace and love,


Dawn