Li’l Johnny. That is the name on the metal art decoration on Johnny’s office door at the college where he serves as director of their welding program. Thank you all for joining us here on this journey we are walking. You are a vital source of God’s help to us, giving encouragement,strengthening our hearts, and most importantly, keeping the situation poured out at the feet of our God and King, where God is making a footstool for Jesus’ feet.
We have been on our journey for a few months now, so by way of introduction, let me catch those up who may just be joining us.
Last summer, Johnny’s left leg swelled up with lymph edema.That is the leg he had hip replacement on several years ago. No other apparent symptoms, it was linked with a common issue seen about this time frame in manyhip recipients’ journey and treatment geared to tend to it. By December, with little relief for the leg and it starting to get worse, Johnny planned after the holidays to return to the doctor. Lasix was the next step. It did nothing.
In mid-February, Johnny and I each developed a sinus infection, and he had a lymph glad pop up on his neck. Returning to the doctor,antibiotics were the med of choice. It cleared the sinus infection, but not the lymph glad in the neck. Thus began our search to find the cause of Johnny’s lymph issue. A lymphoma was now the possibility, so tests went that direction.
To make a long story short, a biopsy revealed that Johnny’s issue was not lymphoma, but stage 4 (of 5) prostate cancer. Here is the thing for you men out there to realize. Johnny’s situation got to that point not because he failed to see the signs and get checked out, but because he had none of the common symptoms seen with prostate issues. Get your yearly physicals,and make sure it includes that area of concern.
After much prayer and discussion, entrusting all to God,Johnny decided that unless there was good expectancy of making a significant impact on the disease process, he would not do treatments. We went to theOncologist about April 21st, where a PET scan was done that morning,and we saw the doctor that evening. He assured us that the current medication regimen is seeing excellent results even at stage four, putting many in remission. That was the report needed for Johnny to decide to fight.
Johnny’s regimen includes chemo treatments every 3 weeks,and a med by shot to stop testosterone production (hormone therapy). They originally told us that shot would be given every 3 months, but for now they are every 28 days. He started his chemo and hormone therapy on April 22. June 28 he had his 4th chemo treatment.
I, Darlene, was sending email updates to several. That was difficult to keep up with, making for long updates. My hope is that this site will allow me to update frequently. In getting this going, I am considering posting past emails for those who are just joining us, so for those of you who have read them all, bear with me, please.
In closing out this intro, following are scriptures God gave me early in our journey, instructing and strengthening us for all that was coming into our lives, leading to our surrender to Him for His will.
February 16 ~ “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut” ~ Revelation 3:7-8. This spoke very clearly to my heart that something was coming into mine and Johnny’s life that is completely in God’s hands to control. It is an “opportunity” for us in the realm of His eternal purpose.
March 27 ~ “You shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst” ~Exodus 23:25. This speaks to me that as I do my best to follow the leading of God in obedience to Him (and do what I can to encourage Johnny’s faith and walk) that God will deal with the sickness in my midst.
March 28 ~ “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength” ~ Isaiah 26:3-4, NKJV. Instruction and focus for these days that I need to write on my eyeballs!
March 29 ~ “I said to you, 'You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the Lord our God is about to give us’” ~Deuteronomy 1:20. God is the one who will give victory in this journey. I don’t know if that will be healing or deepening relationship with Him and with those we love. Whatever the battle, God is the victory-maker in these days.
March 30 ~ God has my heart crying out this truth, placing Johnny’s name where applicable: “There is none like the God of (Johnny), Who rides the heavens to your help, And through the skies in His majesty. The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, 'Destroy!' So (Johnny) dwells in security, The fountain of Jacob secluded, In a land of grain and new wine;His heavens also drop down dew. Blessed are you, O (Johnny); Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, Who is the shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! So your enemies will cringe before you, And you will tread upon their high places” ~ Deuteronomy 33:26-29.
April 7 ~ “Say to him, ‘Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands…’” ~ Isaiah 7:4. This disease is nothing in God’s sight, it is stubs of smoldering firebrands. We are not to fear that which is nothing to God.
“Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. ~ Because Aram,with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you, saying,‘Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,’ thus says the Lord GOD: ‘It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.’ For the head of Aram is Damascus and the head of Damascus is Rezin, and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
This battle is the enemy trying to make a breach in the wall of faith we have, in the boundaries set by God. This thing, bad as it is, can do nothing without God allowing it for His purpose. We are to stand firm and press on, unhindered by the threat. I believe God and I am hearing His opinion on this journey. The challenge is to bring every thought captive to His trust and every emotion under His control. For that, I must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6).
April 13 ~ “The God who made the world and all things in it,since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.' ~ Acts 17:24-28.
This is the main passage God is using to instruct me fort his season. Johnny’s life is in God’s hands. He planned his days before his birth, setting his appointed times and the boundaries of all he would experience and accomplish, and numbering all the days he will have in this life. Whatever experience comes to it, including this health issue, has the number one purpose of giving us opportunity to seek God, groping for Him as our most vital need and necessity. This is true for each of us in this time. The question is, will we take this opportunity to reach for God and find Him in greater depths of experience and understanding than we have yet known? It is vital that we do,for achieving this purpose is the true victory.
April 17 ~ “… ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going” ~ John 6:20-21. We are not to fear what is happening.This is a boundary set by God with a purpose. And as we receive Him into our storm tossed boat through faith filled believing, we are instantly at the shore of where He is taking us: to the place of greater depths of faith to trust Him more and walk where He is walking so as to see His purpose fulfilled. Here we are, O God.
April 18 ~ “What if some did not believe and were without faith? Does their lack of faith and their faithlessness nullify and make ineffective and void the faithfulness of God and His fidelity [to His Word]? Byno means! Let God be found true though every human being is false and a liar,as it is written, That You may be justified and shown to be upright in what You say, and prevail when You are judged [by sinful men]” ~ Romans 3:3-4. It does not matter what any doctor’s prognosis is or what unbelieving man says, or even the quaking in my own heart that comes with their words, God is GOD. He holds the final word. Hear Him, trust Him, believe HIM and LIVE.
The first posting of a past email has specific prayer needs for our journey. Again, we are so grateful for you joining us. BLESSings to you, beloved!