Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep, as the commercial states, framily, friends and family updated.....at the recommendation from many of you ((hugs)). We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most~
How the detection of cancer materialized: It had been some time that Jim had been battling lower back pain. What we didn't know was the back pain was about to become the lighthouse to the very fact that he is fighting cancer. The last few weeks have been filled with tests and tears.Specifically....he is battling "Diffused Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Stage 4" . The mass that is attached to his right pelvic bone is 8" and growing aggressively. His right pelvic bone is also fractured. His lymph nodes (as in all of them from the top of his body to the very bottom and all the ones in-between....and....trust me, we have a lot of them!) also contain the same cancer and his pancreas is under a tight eye with suspicion.
We have been blessed beyond belief with an amazing wonderful group of people who surround us. Many have come alongside us for many of the daily kinds of things....taking us under their wings like family. Not only helping with the day to day "fill ins" for when we had to be places (and couldn't) i.e. picking up kids from school/camp, taking care of critters, managing yard stuff etc. but also in words of encouragement coupled with listening ears. So many have been able to give accounts of personal experience/support from their own backgrounds in fighting health's technical glitches and that has helped us get the steering wheel lined up for our own journey.
At intervals we have been able to share this discovery with others and......as we find our traction in each day we have been able to expand and share with those who have asked and those we have been close to for years but distance keeps us from casually crossing paths in the everyday kinds of ways.
Because of the prognosis...we have not taken a PC route in dealing with it. We have pulled the wagons round and have hunkered ourselves in our faith and a support network that builds us beyond belief:
1) The prayer warriors who have prayed (are praying) diligently (and consistently) bringing every step of this into a faith walk and keeping within prayer that recognizes God’s attributes and greatness. We know something happens when we declare who God is in our lives......in our circumstances.....in the hard things and in the easy things. Something always changes, something always shifts and adjusts and realigns us with the Father’s purposes for us; what He created for us to accomplish. His promises state His heart for us is to succeed and achieve those purposes.This mere concept continues to alter our thought processes and allows us to see our circumstances the way God sees them and keeps fear from walking through the door and trust me, there have been times it seems like the doorbell keeps ringing. Yet, like Dori from Nemo states "just keep swimming just keep swimming" we say thanks for all who "just keep praying, just keep praying"!! Fear and Faith cannot survive together. One or the other exists. Gods thumbprint is daily and we choose not to let fear in!
2) The cancer warriors who have fought cancer themselves and reached a milestone of survival and have shared their wisdom and heart. You are hope walking and talking!
3) God has also provided others, who at a drop of a pin, will do anything we need accomplished without agenda on their parts. No spotlight or megaphone...they just do it because it needs to be done and they are willing and able so the threads don't start to unravel around us. As we all know critters still need to be fed and cleaned up after, grass still grows and needs to be mowed, vehicles still need maintenance....life is kinda cool that way...you still get to be "ordinary everyday" even if it doesn't feel normal! ;-) Thanks for wrapping your arms around us....daily!
4) For all who love on us and encourage us and care for us through cards, messages left on the voice mail or email and texts. Thank you for giving to make our life encouraged, supported and embraced. You are just wonderful like that....
As you can probably tell all our energies are focused to the fight and healing as we lift our hands high. It is hard to talk on the phone about it so we tend not to use that as our main source of communication. We answer emails and texts as it works but not at the expense of draining energy resources or hope. We have included our children in this fight every step of the way. Mike and McKenna have been and continue to be prayed extensively over. Fourteen is a warranted time for a young guy to bond with his dad into that shift of "guy stuffs"....and a twelve year old young lady...well..her daddy is her first superhero and the standard by which many things are measured against. As the framework of both their hearts are being built....we are trusting Gods wisdom in the timing...and know He already knew this was going to happen before we were knit together as a family.
We know God has a plan. He has been to our future so it is in a past tense for Him. We wait patiently for it. If we go outside of that...it will only lead to unnecessary energy loss while also losing out on the benefits of the wisdom that comes with living under the direct whispers of a Heavenly Father daily. A Heavenly Father that only has goodness for His children who love and seek Him (and His ways and thoughts) first and at all costs. To live out His perfectness against their own plans and timings.
Jim is still working and has very understanding supportive boss(es) and coworkers. The support he has received from his workplace is huge and we see again how God hand-picked Jim's job 2 years ago for this very moment. But as you can imagine....this is not an inexpensive opponent to fight as it will drain emotional balance and physical endurance as often as it is permitted to do so. Although we believe and trust if God sees to it as His Will...that a sudden miracle can be had; it will be so. But we also push in to make the journey knowing God is in control as He directs our path as we trust in Him with all our hearts and don't refer back to our own understandings....and that is not to say we have not ping ponged emotionally but we know God has set us in the palm of His hand for such a time as this.
Thanks for supporting us in so many ways...they all add up and have made this process about as manageable as it possibly could be! We have been amazed at the ease to which each step continues to fall in to its place.
The words from Psalm 91 have meant a great deal to each of us as we become in sync to what this season of life is bringing our way:
Psalm 91 (New International Reader's Version)
1 The person who rests in the shadow of the Most High God will be kept safe by the Mighty One. 2 I will say about the Lord, “He is my place of safety. He is like a fort to me. He is my God. I trust in him.”
3 He will certainly save you from hidden traps and from deadly sickness. 4 He will cover you with his wings. Under the feathers of his wings you will find safety. He is faithful. He will keep you safe like a shield or a tower. 5 You won’t have to be afraid of the terrors that come during the night. You won’t have to fear the arrows that come at you during the day. 6 You won’t have to be afraid of the sickness that attacks in the darkness. You won’t have to fear the plague that destroys at noon. 7 A thousand may fall dead at your side. Ten thousand may fall near your right hand. But no harm will come to you. 8 You will see with your own eyes how God punishes sinful people.
9 The Lord is the one who keeps you safe. So let the Most High God be like a home to you. 10 Then no harm will come to you. No terrible plague will come near your tent. 11 The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you. 12 They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won’t trip over a stone. 13 You will walk all over lions and cobras. You will crush mighty lions and poisonous snakes.
14 The Lord says, “I will save the one who loves me. I will keep him safe, because he trusts in me. 15 He will call out to me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in times of trouble. I will save him and honor him. 16 I will give him a long and full life. I will save him.”