Saturday, November 11, 2006

Winding Down Our Stay at SJMMS

We have had an interesting week here at St. John's Mercy Medical Spa (SJMMS). The personal attention and pampering have been fabulous! If you are looking for your next vacation spot, this is the place (without the brain tumor, of course).

Where else can you be in your PJ's all week and have personal assistants (nurse techs) help out with showers (only with Kate). Or what about the nightly tuck-in service, right before bedtime (with complimentary sleeping pills). Or what about the delicious, nutricious, gourmet meals delivered right to your bedside (now that's room service).

Or what about the posh room accomodations and ammenities; wood floors, neutral decor, parking garage view, beautiful fresh flowers, delicious gift baskets, high-back recliner chair, wireless internet access, two single reclining beds (this is a family environment - no funny business allowed), fresh towel service, mach 10 turbo toilet (no plunger needed here), free covered parking, and much, much more! We will really miss this place.

All kidding aside, this has been a special week for Kate and I; it has strengthened our marriage, renewed our lifelong commitment to each other, deepened our faith and trust in the Lord, strengthened relationships with family and friends, taught us to trust others with our children and daily needs, enabled us to have more compassion with others who are suffering, showed us that others are helping to bear our burdens, demonstrated to us the power of prayer, and given us a clearer focus on our future hope, God's ultimate redemption of ourselves and this world for His Son's glory.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us, now and in the days ahead.

For God's Glory,

Dave and Kate


Ramona Lisa said...

Wade and I are already booked at St. Luke's in December--otherwise, we'd definitely make reservations at SJMMS after that review! Who could resist that royal treatment?

We miss you guys and hope your first day home is joyous and memorable. We continue to pray for you. When Liliana hears your name she says, "See Kate, see Kate!" She really wanted to see you in the hospital while she was there. Who doesn't love Ms. Kate?!

Love to you and the boys. See you when we return from the home the Hoosiers.


Anonymous said...


What wonderful reflections on your week! God is truly at work in your lives. Praise him for the strength in your life and for the ability to see him working.
We continue to pray for all 5 of you. Our 3 kids are the same ages as yours, and so I can only imagine the struggles of being away from them and having others care for them. I am sure it has been a true gift for the people who have been watching them.
The Lopez Family

The Jobacks said...

Kate: I finally have a moment to myself after a morning at work of "stamping out disease and pestilence" again (hope you smiled when you read that since you thought it was so funny). The boys are sleeping, and Mike is watching football.
Do you remember the wedding gift you gave me? It hangs in our bedroom next to our bed. The picture is of hearts, vines, birds, and 2 interlocking wedding bands. It quotes, "When we love one another, God lives in us. And His love within us grows." You have the same picture hanging to the entrance of YOUR kitchen, with your and Dave's names on it and the date of your wedding. Did you know that Elijah is captivated with that picture and fixates on it whenever we are on our bedroom? No matter what the task is at hand (endless diaper changes, clothing changes [again,...endless], and nursings)...chances are his eyes are zeroed in on your gift. Could it be b/c the colors are bright and attractive to a baby? Perhaps......could it be b/c my sons, along with other children your life, seem to have a "thing" for you (one of them actually calls you Miss Cake? How cute!)? How you bless those around you, Kate... I get aggravated w/ Elijah sometimes when he's staring at the picture, not paying attention at the feeding trough, and lollygagging in the milking parlor. Pay ATTENTION, child, I think to myself... but perhaps his fixation on your gift hanging there on the wall is a reminder for me to pray for you (again) at that moment in our day. There have already been many such prayers, and there will be many more to come.
I also thought about how the saying (in the interlocking wedding bands picture) is being acted out in you and Dave's marriage as we speak. This trial, as difficult of a road as it has already been, has brought you two closer together and, in your own words, renewed your "lifelong committment to each other." This road has also brought the reality of God's love for his people, for YOU, dear Kate, to light to the people who read this blog and pass it on to others. You bless us, Kate--from the confines of an MRI, from the glaring lights of a surgical suite, from your hospital bed, and now as you head wearily towards home. We all love you!
PS: to Grandma: I laughed when I saw you mis-type about my "bag of ticks" (instead of tricks) that I brought to the hospital when I visited Kate...if ANYONE would cart around a bag of pesky arthropods, it would be a veterinarian, as tick-borne diseases are one of the pestilences (ha, ha, Kate) I try to stamp out! No harm done, Grandma! Big hug to you, too!!
Laura, Mike, Isaac, and Elijah

Anonymous said...

Kate and Dave,

I can't say enough how much of an inspiration you guys have been for Mike and I through all of this. We have been praying for you and your family daily and continue to do so! Audrey loves to pray for Mrs. Snodgrass, not only for healing, but she loves to say your name!! I came across a few verses that I thought I would share with you...Psalm 56:3-4 But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? ...Psalm 62:5-8 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God Alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge. These verses have encouraged me, I hope they encourage you as well!

Mike, April and Audrey Abbonizio

aj said...

Hi Kate, Dave, and the boys;
It really meant a lot to see you and the gang yesterday. Kate, I hope you are readjusting well to recovering at home now. Please remember to delegate some of the household tasks out as you are healing. Kate I know how much you like to take an "active" role in all you do. On that note your mission is to heal up and relax. There are plenty of folks to help with the other stuff.

On another note this next paragraph is for the person who brought that absolutely wonderful roast to the house. Please... Please...Please leave the recipe on this blog. The whole family loved it and there were no leftovers.

We love you Kate and Dave and playing with the boys was definitely fun. They sure loved the wrestling match down on the air matress downstairs Friday morning.

Ten Cuidado de su hermano y familia

Anonymous said...

Kate...I am sorry to hear that your tumor is cancerous but am glad to hear that it is a better form of the evils it could have been. You, Dave and the well as your mom, sister and entire family are in our thoughts and prayers. Every time I look outside the door, I say a quick prayer for you. I wish you strength and comfort as you share the news with your boys. I can only imagine how difficult that is. They are so young. It is hard for anyone to grasp but particularly the young. I am sure that St. John's Hosp. has a wonderful library of information in their cancer center....if you should need specific references to gather information from. If needed, I am sure they also have some wonderful support groups available...I know from personal experience and experience from dear friends that it is helpful to speak with others who are going through the same thing. If St. John's does not have what you are looking for, should you decide to check it out, I know that Missouri Baptist has wonderful information and group meetings. If you should have difficulty talking with the boys or if other family members, in addition to yourself(after you heal)need someone to talk to or need information to read to be able to help cope with things....they have a wealth of material and the support there is comforting. I hope God will continue to bless you (and your entire family as well) with comfort and peace as you recover from surgery, await the news from Barnes, and proceed with the treatment phase.
Jennifer Schulte and family

Starla Blake said...

Dave and Kate,

As I've been processing all your news and events, God keeps reminding me of Philippians 4:19:

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

I recently had my own "brain issues" (though on a much smaller scale than yours to be sure!)complete with an ambulance ride and a stay at St. Luke's Hospital in September. It has been amazing to see God work especially through the body of believers around me!

While the paramedics were still here, a sister in Christ showed up to take care of my kids. In the ER, my mother and husband were there, of course, but one by one, three wonderful friends from my small church/Sunday School class came in to sit with us, decipher doctor comments, and best of all, to make me laugh! I had visits, phone calls, unsolicited meals, and God had even set some details into motion six months earlier so that my mother-in-law would already be on her way to St. Louis and could help with the kids.

I'm on medication, but the worst of it all is that I can't drive for six months! (I found it almost humorous that someone who had had brain surgery could possibly drive after a couple weeks, and I can't drive for 6 months! I think there is some hidden agenda to get me off the road!) How does a mother of 4 busy children get by without driving??? It's through the beauty of the body of Christ!

My small church has started a "Driving Miss Starla" project that puts Morgan Freeman to shame! People have driven me to Schnucks, Target, Bible Study, dentist appointments, hair cut appointments, the ATM, the pharmacy, volunteer commitments at three different schools and they have carpooled my kids daily to two different schools, taken them to/from piano lessons, sports practices, haircuts, and you name it. They took care of me when Brad was out of town for 1-1/2 weeks for his job. (The Cardinals also provided some nice entertainment by winning the playoffs and World Series which made the evenings at home go faster!)

I don't like taking medication, and I REALLY don't like the side effects; I don't like asking for help; I don't like the unpredictability of what/if something should happen again (e.g., more severe???), BUT I can clearly say that God has met my every need.

Through my experience and "chauffeur service," I have made new friends when people I hardly knew volunteered to drive me around; I have renewed old relationships, and I have deepened my other relationships since I have company everywhere I go. I have seen the fingerprints of God in so many ways and sensed Him smiling when He sees the body of Christ functioning the way He designed it. It is beautiful, even amazing! I've also learned that it's okay to invest in decent looking jammies to wear because you never know when you'll be wearing them in front of a male paramedic you've never met before! Yikes!

Though our situations are not identical, I know God will meet your every need as you need it.

We will continue to pray for you as you take each next step on this journey which may be bumpy at times. You really are the talk of the town: I was at Kristin's volleyball game today and mentioned something about my friend who had brain surgery. A guy next to me asked what your name was, and he knew of you. I asked, "How do you know her?" He said that he didn't but he had been reading your blog. You're famous, girl! And you're making a difference by your faith, transparency, and authentic walk with Christ.

Hang in there, my friend! You are loved.

Starla Blake

noel and nicole hauser said...

I have been wanting to write to you since Noel came home from visiting you last night. I just couldn't figure out how to express myself! I am so glad you are finally home, though surely not as thrilled as your boys! As a fellow "doer", who thrives on having many irons in the fire, please do remember to REST! I'm sure this won't be easy for you, so I'll be praying that need will be met even before you have a chance to think of them!
I can not express what an inspiration and what a testimony your blog has been. Between what you have shared and what others have shared, many lives have been touched, even those who may not have realized their need for a personal relationship with awesome God. What an awesome God we have, who cares about us so much, from the bigger events in our lives, to the smallest details of our existence. Praise God that your diagnosis was not "the Big Kahuna", and that this is treatable. We will continue to lift you all up, and pray that a successful course of treatment will begin quickly, and without many side effects. Thank you for sharing your lives with us, for being so transparent, and for blessing us with the opportunity to really experience just what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. We love you all!

Jamie said...

Kate and Dave,
I have recently read through your entire blog, as well as many of the comments, and it has been tear-jerking, heart-rending, encouraging, and beautiful. Thank you for all that you have shared with us.
I still remember fondly the summer camp in Colorado where you two were my small group leaders for the week. I think you may have been pregnant with Carter, but I'm not sure. You were such an example to me, as a high school senior, of a fun couple who loved God, loved each other, and loved people - and had a great time doing it! Whenever I've run into you in recent years, Kate, you have continued to show me those things, with "a fun mom" now tacked on to the list.
I am praying for you and your boys, and that God will continue to grow you both in Him in amazing, heretofore unimaginable ways. Thank you again for sharing with us your joys and fears.

Jamie (Hammer) Hartke