Sunday, November 12, 2006

The "Talk"

Kate and I sat down with our oldest boys this afternoon to talk about mommy's brain tumor surgery (further) and about her diagnosis of cancer and future treatments. We used a practical illustration so they could understand it better, perhaps you will as well. (Part of this was adopted from an illustration given by Dr. Forget)

I had my supplies ready; red and blue colored Playdough, blue food coloring, rubber gloves, and a Bible. The blue Playdough was mommy's brain, the red Playdough was the cancerous tumor. I mixed a little bit of red Playdough into the blue Playdough really good. I explained that last week the doctor told mommy that she had a tumor and it needed to be removed, and earlier this week mommy went to the hospital to have the tumor (red Playdough) cut out. I tried to cut the red Playdough out the best I could, I got most of it, however I could not get it all because it was mixed in so well with the blue Playdough.

I told the boys that a very small amount still remained and mommy would need to have special medicine very soon to get rid of the rest of it. I poured the blue food coloring (special medicine) on the remaining red Playdough in mommy's brain to illustrate the medicine at work until all of the red Playdough disappeared and all that was left was blue.

After this we went through some Bible verses to let them know that:

1. Nothing will ever happen to mommy that God does not already know about (Ps. 139:4,16)

2. Nothing will ever happen to mommy that is a mistake (Ps. 139:4, 16)

3. Nothing will ever happen to mommy that mommy cannot handle by God's power and grace (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

4. Nothing will ever happen to mommy that will not eventually be used by God for some good purpose in mommy's life (Rom 8:28-29)

5. Nothing will ever happen to mommy apart from God's presence (Matt 28:20)

Finally, we let them know that it was OK to cry and be sad for mommy, if they wanted to, and that sometimes mommy and daddy are sad as well.

The boys seemed to receive this very well and did not have any questions. I'm sure they will later!

Thanks for praying for us for exactly what to say. I think it went over just fine.


P.S. Thanks to Marilyn M. for these Bible verses and the truths contained in them.


Anonymous said...

Dave and Kate-

Thank you so much for sharing your lives so transparently with all of us. As we've lived and breathed this unfolding drama in your real life this past week, your journaling has helped us process what's happening as it affects you and as it affects us. Thank you for being honest, open, real, and faithful. As we serve you in prayer and other tangible ways, you are serving us as we witness your confidence in our Abba Father. He is good, all the time.

May the presence of the Lord continue to be palpable to you as you wait for the next steps to be determined. Please know that our hearts are with yours and that our prayers on your behalf will not cease.

In His Grace and Love,
Paul and Virginia Friesen
Boston, MA

Marilyn McDonald said...

What a creative way to explain a complicated issue to the boys! I'm so glad the Lord reminded me of those promises written in the back of my Bible to pass along to you!

I saw something in Saturday's Post-Dispatch, in the Lifetyle section, that might be a fun project to do with the boys, particularly at this time--it's a Thankful Turkey you make out of felt--each feather in its tail says "I'm thankful for..." The pattern and all instructions are at:

Marilyn McDonald
Kirkwood, MO

Sheri Stevenson said...

Hi Dave and Kate,

I read your post regularly, sometimes obsessively I admit. I've responded a couple of times but not very recently. I just want you to know that although people don't always know what to say, or feel like they've said it all already, we're still thinking about you and praying for you always! If we posted everytime we checked your blog or thought about you throughout the day, you would run out of space if that's possible!

Thanks for keeping us up on what's going on. It's wonderful to know exactly what to pray for. And even when your blog seems quiet, just know that the prayers are not.

Your faith will carry you through! Hold fast! Sheri

Anonymous said...

Kate and Dave,

Thank you so much for allowing us to know your story, to hear the Lord working in your lives, and to know how to pray for you better.

We will continue to pray for y'all, the kids, your extendended families, and the doctors who care for you.

We have just moved much closer to you...Big Bend we hope we can be helpful in the weeks/months to come!

May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you,

Kelly Perkins (for Kris, Mackenzie, & Emma)

Karen Wohlschlaeger said...

Hello there, my friend. I am a name from the past, previously Karen Callan. Remember me? I have been thinking about you and praying for you since Lisa told me that you were in the hospital. I was very saddened to hear what you and your family has been enduring and know that God will continue to give you strength every day. I'm overwhelmed by your courage and am thankful for your example, to myself and others.

Even though I haven't seen you in years, I can picture that toxic smile radiating off of your precious face. You are one fabulous and groovy chick and can tell from your blog how great of a wife and mom you are (even though I already knew it even before I read). I love you dearly, my friend, and can remember when we met, just several years ago!!!!, at the music festival in Illinois.

God bless you during your up-coming treatment and I pray that it will go good for you without many side effects. Lots of love to you and your family. Maybe we can hook up sometime and catch up on the years.

Your adoring friend, Karen.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kate and Dave,
As we sang this hymn this morning in church you were in my thoughts. I love the way God ministers to His children through the words of hymns and worship songs.
"Jesus, priceless treasure, source of purest pleasure, truest friend to me: Long my heart hath panted, 'til it well-nigh fainted, thirsting after Thee. Thine I am, O spotless Lamb, I will suffer nought to hide Thee,
Ask for naught beside Thee, ask for naught beside Thee.
In Thy strength I rest me; foes who would molest me, cannot reach me here. Though the earth be shaking, every heart be quaking, God dispels our fear. Sin and hell in conflict fell with their heaviest storms assail us:
Jesus will not fail us, Jesus will not fail us.
Banished is our sadness!For the Lord of gladness, Jesus enters in. Those who love the Father, Tho' the storms may gather, still have peace within. Yea, what-e'er we here must bear, still in Thee lies purest pleasure,
Jesus, priceless treasure, Jesus, priceless treasure!
We pray for you as you face the battle ahead, so thankful that Jesus will not fail you!
Katie and Allen Boggs

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate & Dave

I am a fellow BSF'er (but kind of older - okay a lot older - 9 years older) and have heard from Lynn Pogue about your story. As I keep reading your blog (very often) I read so much on how God involves every aspect of your beings and how this will work for the good in the future. Not that you would have chosen this course at all, neither would I, but I can tell you right now that you all have changed my life in how I behave and pray and treat my children and my husband. God has already used you in great ways - What an encouragement your family and friends have been to me! Amazing!

I know this is the toughest time you're going through now, but relying on God the way you are, HE WILL CARRY YOU THROUGH - When you feel weak, He'll pick you up and carry you like nobody's business.

I was telling Lynn Pogue that I don't know how anybody makes it through a day or even an hour or minute without God. I THANK OUR HEAVENLY FATHER for your relationship with Him and your faithfullness to Him.

I will keep you in my prayers EVERY DAY! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. It has touched me like you would never believe (and I'm sure many, many more)

Stacey Preusser

Jenny Zilmer said...


I'm a friend of Linda Pfrommer. I'm praying for you guys.

Laura Joback said...

Hey, Snodgrasses:
Greetings from our chaotic household to you, Gram, and Aunt Dee Dee! I'm so thankful that your talk was so successful to the boys--love the Play-Do illustration--makes sense and fun to squish in your fingers at the same time! Bonus! FYI, Mary Lou Zook Hom is watching your blog very closely from Portland, as well as Angie Vincent Elliot from HOuston. You're a country-wide treasure, don't ya think? Dave: I was touched by your saying that you got misty-eyed at service...thank goodness you always carry a hankie. We had a family get-together last night at Tonya's, and you were the topic of prayer...we all love you so. Be encouraged! Rest, get pampered, accept help (hard to do sometimes), and WAIT TO CONTINUE TO SEE GOD'S HAND!!! It has been so apparent thus far, hasn't it? Quite a tangible thing He's been in your lives this month. And THAT is awesome! Love and hugs to all!!!

Aimee Wiggers Kuzemka said...

Dear Kate and Dave-
I have been out of town and just now have caught up on the events from the last few days. It must feel like a whirlwind and that God is moving time at Moc speed and other times it goes slowly.
In thinking of you and praying for you the last several days, I keep coming back to Psalm 23. An old favorite, you probably know by heart, but such a wonderful prayer for a time as this. Claim His promises!!!
I quote.

Psalm 23: 1-6
1. The Lord is MY shephard, I shall not be in want.
2. He MAKES me lie down in green pastures.
3. he RESTORES my soul, He GUIDES me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4. EVEN THOUGH I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I WILL FEAR NO EVIL. FOR YOU ARE WITH ME, Your rod and your staff, they COMFORT me.
5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You ANOINT my head with oil;my cup OVERFLOWS.
6. Surely goodness and love will follow me ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, and I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER!!!

So many wonderful promises to you, his son and daughter.

Remember you are the children of the King, nothing passes through your hands that He hasn't touched/filtered first.

You are being prayed for each moment you come to mind.

You are both loved.
Aimee Wiggers Kuzemka
Springfield, Missouri

The Bakers said...

Last night I was moved to tears of joy watching a miracle of a wedding unfold. God's glory, goodness and awe dripping all over it. Right after congratulating the bride and groom I was told that Kate had cancer. I have never had such joy and sorrow within me at one time. One of the few times I was completely speechless. That made for two rarities in my life - crying in public and being speechless (neither of which I am proud of). I have prayed most of the day for your family. Prayed for the right bible reassurances (references) to come to mind; prayer for covering the boys (all); prayer for Kate as she prcoessess all of this; and prayer for us who are holding you up in our prayers and by our actions. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is the song - God is so good. Very simple and yet so true. No matter the circumstance, ultimately God is good. Not that we understand, not that we consider our circumstances good - just simply...God is so good. The prayer I keep coming back to is that you continue to rest in Our God who is so good.

Love, the Bakers
Kirkwood, Missouri

Wendy said...

Dear Dave and Kate--
I had the privilege of being next to my friend Debbie through her 5-year cancer fight and also with my friend Lorin who has her last chemo treatment in 2 weeks (PTL). I witnessed the struggle of maintaining a family unit while allowing friends to carry some of the load. I know one of the hardest things my friend Debbie faced was the realization that she had to allow people to enter her life, assist her in her daily activities, and chauffer her children (whom she loved fiercely) around. I know more that the pain of the treatments, was the pain of having to let others share "motherhood" with her. I will pray that God comforts this part of your trial as well as your physical stuggles. Don is waiting by to pray with and lift up Dave whenever Dave needs him.

Love--Wendy Enke

Emily Williams said...

Man the words that came to you we're straight from the Lord! I just love it when He shows up in our very broken lives! You will be able to help so many with your relentless faith in Jesus!

Standing with you in Service and in Prayer,
Emily & Grant