Monday, June 23, 2008


What a whirlwind summer this has been so far! I think we have been busier this year than in most years. Maybe that is a good thing. I think I can safely use that as an indicator that our life has settled down a bit.

The last couple of weeks have been spent either in preparation for Vacation Bible School or in Vacation Bible School. I taught the 1st & 2nd grade this year. It was a wonderful experience. I am glad it is finished, because I am tired.

Keith began chemo again today. He was feeling pretty wiped out when I got him home. He said he is feeling some better now. I think food and a nap helped. He seemed to have a little bit of a hard time this morning. I think he had a more difficult time getting motivated today. I certainly don't blame him. We are looking at 4 1/2 years of almost nonstop chemo. That is such a long time. Sometimes I wonder how much longer Keith can withstand all this. He is such a strong man.

One of the most difficult things I had to deal with when Keith was diagnosed was the feeling that I was standing alone. Keith had always been my rock when we were dealing with Nick's cancer, various treatments, and surgeries. When Nick was taken away from us in that long, dark walkway the night of his transplant, I completely fell apart. Keith was right there to pick me up and help me put myself back together. Keith's diagnosis made me feel like I no longer had my rock to lean on. How could I get through this without leaning on Keith? Was I strong enough to be his rock?

It took longer than it should have, but I did learn a very valuable lesson. I was never alone! God was with me every step of the way. It's one thing to know it with your head, but it is entirely different with the heart. I do believe that is a lesson I would not have learned in any other way. There have been nights when I couldn't sleep. The heartache was so completely consuming, and I couldn't do anything except cry. On those nights, I have felt so close to God. I wonder if I would have been able to sense that without all of this happening with Keith. Only God knows.

We are doing okay I guess. I think right now we are all tired. Kacie keeps asking if she can sleep late in the morning. I know how she feels. We are planning on doing just that in the morning. Next week will be another week of some busy-ness. Nick will be back in Birmingham on Tuesday, 7/1, for another checkup. The kids want to go do something fun. They're hinting at going to Alabama Adventures. We might do that. We'll need to take a look at the budget and see if there is room. We'll be spending some time with Keith's family over the July 4th weekend.

At least most of our tiredness is from doing a few "normal" things, and NOT being in the hospital or doctor's office all the time.

Until next time, keep praying!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Recital and more

What a busy week last week was! By the time Friday got here, I was so tired. Friday afternoon and evening brought an event that Kacie has been striving for all school year. It was dance recital time!

Kacie dances for a Christian studio called Steps of Faith. Friday and Saturday completed her third year of dance. Dance has been a wonderful outlet for Kacie. I have been given the opportunity to get to know some of the strongest, faith-filled Christian moms through Kacie's dream of dancing.

It was a beautiful recital full of praise in various forms of dance. Kacie danced beautifully. Kacie and I were exhausted when it was over.

Keith started treatment again on Monday, 6/9. He is okay. I'm afraid today was more tiring for him than he needed it to be. Nick had an appointment with his ENT, and I had a bunch of VBS errands to run afterward. Nick's checkup went well. We'll go back in August or sooner if necessary. Keith went with us this morning. Then tonight, we were working at the church getting ready for VBS next week. Keith did rest in between, but it certainly doesn't take much for him to tire out. I just hope that it doesn't catch up with him tomorrow and make him feel worse.

I think we are slowly beginning to settle into a routine. I finally feel like it is summer vacation since we've gotten through our major doctors appointments. I won't go into all that tonight. I'm pretty tired and it's getting late.

Thank you for the prayers yesterday. Keith really handled this treatment well.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Praises To God!

Keith and I feel so full of blessings today. I never thought that the word "stable" would bring such joy and hope to my heart. This week has been a difficult week. I mentioned how stressed I was Sunday, but I really couldn't put into words exactly how anxious I have been since returning from the beach.

Today was a day filled with wonderful news. Nick still has cancer, but he won't have to have surgery or chemo right now. I feel like I have been given a huge present.

We also heard this week that Keith's cancer, while still very serious, is mostly stable. It didn't increase in size very much since February. I was terrified of hearing that Keith would be stopping chemo and it was time to call hospice in.

The last thing I want to face is life without Keith, Nick, or Kacie by my side. We live with the knowledge that Keith or Nick are literally fighting for their lives...daily. Nick has been fighting for 12 1/2 years. I look at the two of them and marvel at the way God has worked in their lives.

We try to take today for today. I still worry. I have to constantly battle with turning things over to God, only to take them back again. I feel like God is constantly telling me to let Him work. I am continually trying to fight that.

Thank you again for all of the prayers. Please join us in giving thanks for the answered prayers this week.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Joy in times of trial

This weekend has been hard on me emotionally. There have been moments where I have felt completely defeated. There have been moments that the heartache is so strong, I don't think I can bear it anymore. I try not to let these negative emotions in very often, but sometimes I can't keep them away.

I walked into church this morning wishing, hoping, praying for God to comfort me in some way. I needed to be able to feel His presence. I needed some kind of reassurance. Reassurance of what? I didn't know this morning. I needed something, and I didn't know what.

The sermon today was on James 1:1-12. If you aren't familiar with this passage, please take the time to do read it. We aren't promised that our lives will be without trials. It says so in verses 2-4. We can't develop endurance/perseverance if we don't go through trials. (I guess Keith and I should have a lot of endurance.) It struck me today that, especially this weekend, I have been like the waves of the sea in verse 6. I needed something, because I have been overcome with doubts. Those doubts make my faith restless like the waves of the sea.

My doubts are certainly nothing new. They just seem so much closer to the surface this weekend. I am afraid of what we will hear in the morning. I don't doubt that God has the ability to heal Keith. I fully believe that He does. I am afraid that earthly healing will not be what God has planned. That alone is frightening. Add in Nick's health situation, the fact that I haven't worked outside the home in 13 years, raising Kacie and Nick, and the list goes on and on and on. The big black hole of doubt is easy for me to fall into.

This passage reassures me of God's presence. It shows me to focus less on the trial and more on God's purpose of the trial. I need to look at the bigger picture, rather than focus on the here and now. I should also focus on the reward. In verse 12 it states that the reward for persevering through trials is the Crown of Life. Wow! God promises that to those who have persevered under trial and stood the test. I hope I am standing the test in a way that is pleasing to my Heavenly Father.

I'll leave you tonight with one more verse from today's message. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I certainly don't understand any of this that is happening, but I do trust God. I may get shaken up some along the way, but He loves me. I know that it's okay for me to seek comfort and reassurance from My Father. Maybe that's what He wants me to do. Surrender to Him and stop trying to do it own my own. That way He can have His way!