Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Many Changes in a Day

Many things happen in a days time. Today JoAnn, Dr. Linette's nurse phoned to ask if I could switch my doctors appointment to Tuesday the 6th. I said no due to Bible study. She then said how about the 14th. I said I didn't want to wait that long to find out the results. I then proceeded to tell her that if the MRI is clear I will not be taking the chemo, Temodar. Dave and I have decided to do the "wait and see" approach. I did also tell her that if Dr. Linette is interested in what I am taking instead of the chemo to let me know. Dave and I would be happy to share the information. She said that she will call me on Monday with the MRI results. I then made an appointment for the 14th just in case Dr. Linette needs to see me. After making the appointment I thought "Hey that is silly to come in if the MRI is clean." I called JoAnn back and left a message asking if I really need to come in at all if he is not interested in what alternative treatment I am taking. Why pay $30 to say hi to Dr. Linette is my philosophy. I also asked if I could have my bloodwork drawn on Friday while I am down at Siteman. She was unable to return my call this afternoon. I hope to hear from her tomorrow with some answers. If you know me by now I am trying to save wherever I can. Co pays and gas in the vehicle are just some of those ways. I also will not see Dr. Simpson on the 7th. I will most likely see him at a later date. Possibly the 14th.

I will try to keep you posted once I am informed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A good busyness

I just wanted to update you on some good stuff. I have been oh so busy planning field day for Covenant Christian School. It is my 4th year of being allowed to chair of the event. I guess they are satisfied with the planning. I do love planning it. Similar to planning parties. Field day is one big party. I don't love asking for volunteers. At times I fret on how and if enough people sign up to help. You would think that I would not fret after going through this cancer ordeal. God always provides. Field day has always had enough volunteers and really has been great. In the end it is always a delight to see it all come together. This year I am trying to get a inflatable obstacle course. It depends on some factors though. I am wanting the dad volunteers to be in competition at the end of field day. Won't that be a sight to see? I might even race one. Never mind it is decided I will race one - not Big G though. He is in too good of shape due to football training in the past. Friday, May 11 is going to be a blast for the students and myself. I am very very very thankful that I have a co chair this year. Laurie has been a HUGE answer to prayer. Huge! November is when the planning usually starts for me. Well, I guess that didn't happen. I felt I would not be able to adequately plan it in such short notice. God did provide in just the right time.

It has been good to be somewhat normal the past few weeks. Dave and I talked about how I cannot live in fear from one MRI to the next. I am truly at peace about Friday. Yes, I am thinking about the next MRI in June. I am curious. Just being honest.

Dave and I have been approached by many people who know someone going through brain cancer. Last Tuesday I was able to visit a woman in the hospital who has 10 brain tumors (not a typo), liver cancer and uterine. The doctors think it started in the uterus. Her and her husband just found out about 4 weeks ago due to her headaches. Aghhh! They have a daughter that is almost 3 they just adopted about 1 year ago. The brain tumors are inoperable stage 4. I do pray that I was of some encouragement to the husband. My words seem futile. Dave and I usually do not seek someone that we have heard about with cancer. We ask that they contact us and we are happy to talk about what we have been through and go from there. We know that we were not ready to seek out people at the beginning of our journey. It was almost too much to take in. Baby steps in the learning process.

I also have had multiple phone conversations with another St. Louis mom in her 30's who has a similar tumor like myself. She had a seizure at home then was air lifted to a hospital. Surgery was completed in November. She just completed radiation and is going to probably start chemo. She has Dr. Linette for her oncologist as well.

Friday, March 2 - 9 am MRI
Wednesday, March 7 - 8 am bloodwork
8:30 Dr. Linette to discuss results (MRI & bloodwork)
10 am Dr. Simpson

Oops! Do pray for Dave. The cold he had and then didn't have came back in full force. He feels miserable. I think 2 + weeks of a yucky cold is enough don't you? He is coughing which is good due to breaking up the stuff I guess.

Thank you for loving us through prayer!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

MRI this Friday!

I can't believe that March is the end of this week. My MRI is scheduled for Friday, March 2 at 9am. Pray for a smooth MRI with all the racket noises along with the clicks. It usually lasts 35 minutes from what I remember. I will have contrast injected into my veins as well. The biggest prayer is that no growth has occured. The doctors don't expect to see anything at this MRI. It is considered a baseline MRI per Dr. Simpson, radiation oncologist. Dave & I will meet with Dr. Linette, oncologist & Dr. Simpson on Wednesday, March 7 to discuss the results of the MRI. It is then that we will need to decide what course of treatment to follow.

My hair is still coming out. It may seem like not a big deal but I am ready to not have hair all over the counter, shower, my clothes, etc. New growth is not to be expected till June sometime. Even then it will probably be not as thick. Sparse. Thinning.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Elephants and Self Control

This morning was a fun morning for Stuart and myself. I thought since St. Louis is having such great temps outside wouldn't it be great to take him to the zoo. I asked him right when he awoke if he would like to go. His comment was "I see elephants?" He loves elephants. Every time we read a book that has a picture of an elephant he always points it out. I cannot turn the page until I acknowledge the elephant. Driving to the zoo Stuart continually said "I see elephant. I see big elephant." I told him yes. Later thinking I hope the elephants are even out. Thankfully they were more than out. They were guarding the newborn elephant carefully. A bobcat (machine not animal) was working in their living quarters. The dad (I am assuming) was pacing, making loud noises, stomping his foot and throwing dirt plus hay on his back. When the baby elephant would move around all the four adult elephants would move with him. They were quite protective. It was great to see them. Stuart was making the elephant noises along with them. He loved it!

Since my last blog about the attributes of God and also the examples of burning the fake out of me I was thinking that I still have a long way to go for Him to get the fake out of me. So my conclusion is that I am going to live a long, long time. God is not finished with me yet. I say that partially jokingly yet hopeful. I am a slow learner.

I have made a resolution of sorts. Never been too good at them in the past. I decided if I can cut out as much sugar as I have I can grow fingernails. You may laugh but I truly think it is all about self control. Lacking in that category. My right hand is looking quite well. I only wish the resolution was made sooner. Tonight I have been invited to a spa pampering party. My nails are not able to have much pampering. I even bought my first nail file last week. (Throw that confetti.) It now resides in my purse like most normal women. I am actually exhibiting some self control.

Odd title of elephants and self control sorry it was all I could think of.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Attributes of God

I am so very thankful for my study of Daniel (Beth Moore) this spring. I have always known the story of the lions den but never in such depth. Bear with me as I try to explain what I am learning. I do not do it justice as my words seem futile. I have never been proficient with my words. Quite simple. I wish I payed more attention in English class in high school and college. Oh well, you get the country bumpkin version.

The video session I just completed this week was the lions den story. It showed how Daniel (about to be thrown into the den) reacted to the emergency situation. He prayed! Ok, there are 3 ways that Beth Moore describes how each of us can react in an emergency type situation.
1. We can panic.
2. We can become paralyzed.
3. We can pray.

Prayer does not come naturally. It is a relationship through Jesus that you would then talk to him. He desires us to be in relationship with him. He is waiting. I have to be honest. When I got the call from Dr. Sanders about the growth in my brain on November 1 and then driving to see Dr. Forget, neurosurgeon I did a panic prayer (if there is such a thing). I did #1 & #3. As I was thinking the session over yesterday I really wanted to find attributes of God written somewhere. He is love. I knew that due to the fact that it was his love that brought me through the darkest times. Many more came to mind but I wanted to share them with explanation to you today. Stick with me here. At the end I want you to read about fiery trials.

Attributes of God – The Meaning
"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." So says A.W. Tozer in his classic book on the attributes of God, The Knowledge of the Holy. Why would he make such an extreme pronouncement? Tozer goes on to say, "Man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God." In our hearts we know the above is true. It is not enough to follow "god." That word has come to mean so many different things today that it actually means very little. If we just make up our own minds concerning what He is like, then we are just creating an idol in our heads.

Attributes of God – The Characteristics
Wisdom: "Wisdom is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve these ends by the most perfect means." In other words, God makes no mistakes. He is the Father who truly knows best, as Paul explains in Romans 11:33: "Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!"

Infinitude: God knows no boundaries. He is without measure. This attribute by definition impacts all of the others. Since God is infinite, everything else about Him must also be infinite.

Sovereignty: This is "the attribute by which He rules His entire creation." It is the application of His other attributes of being all-knowing and all-powerful. It makes Him absolutely free to do what He knows to be best. God is in control of everything that happens. Man still has a free will, and is responsible for his choices in life.

Holiness: This is the attribute that sets God apart from all other created beings. It refers to His majesty and His perfect moral purity. There is absolutely no sin or evil thought in God at all. His holiness is the definition of that which is pure and righteous in all the universe. Wherever God has appeared, such as to Moses at the burning bush, that place becomes holy just for God having been there.

Trinity: Though the actual word is not used in the Bible, the truth of God revealing Himself in three persons is included. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all called God, given worship as God, exist eternally, and are involved in doing things only God could do. Although, God reveals Himself in three persons, God is One and cannot be divided. All are involved completely whenever One of the Three is active.

Omniscience: "God possesses perfect knowledge and therefore has no need to learn. God has never learned and cannot learn." Omniscience means all-knowing. God knows everything, and His knowledge is infinite. It is impossible to hide anything from God.

Faithfulness: Everything that God has promised will come to pass. His faithfulness guarantees this fact. He does not lie. What He has said in the Bible about Himself is true. Jesus even said that He is the Truth. This is extremely important for the followers of Jesus because it is on His faithfulness that our hope of eternal life rests. He will honor His promise that our sins will be forgiven and that we will live forever with Him.

Love: Love is such an important part of God’s character that the apostle John wrote, "God is love." This means that God holds the well-being of others as His primary concern. For a full definition of love, read 1 Corinthians 13. To see love in action, study the life of Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross for the sins of others is the ultimate act of love. God’s love is not a love of emotion but of action. His love gives freely to the object of its affection, those who choose to follow His son Jesus.

Omnipotence: Literally this word means all-powerful. Since God is infinite and since He possesses power, He possesses infinite power. He does allow His creatures to have some power, but this in no way diminishes His own. "He expends no energy that must be replenished." When the Bible says God rested on the seventh day, it was to set an example for us and our need for rest, not because He was tired.

Self-existence: When Moses asked who he was talking to in the burning bush, God said, "I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS." God has no beginning or end. He just exists. Nothing else in all the universe is self-caused. Only God. In fact, if anything else had created Him, that thing would be God. This is a difficult concept for our minds since everything else we will ever encounter comes from something other than itself. The Bible says, "In the beginning, God." He was already there.

Self-sufficiency: The Bible says that God has life in Himself (see John 5:26). All other life in the universe is a gift from God. He has no needs and there is no way He can improve. To God, nothing else is necessary. He does not need our help with anything, but because of His grace and love, He allows us to be a part of advancing His plan on earth and being a blessing to others. We are the ones who change, but never God. He is self-sufficient.

Justice: The Bible says that God is just, but it is His character that defines what being just really is. He does not conform to some outside criteria. Being just brings moral equity to everyone. When there are evil acts, justice demands there be a penalty. Since God is perfect and has never done evil, no penalty would ever be necessary; however, because of His love, God paid the penalty for our evil deeds by going to the cross Himself. His justice needed to be satisfied, but He took care of it for all who will believe in Jesus.

Immutability: This simply means that God never changes. It is why the Bible says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Mercy: "Mercy is the attribute of God which disposes Him to be actively compassionate." Since God’s justice is satisfied in Jesus, He is free to show mercy to all those who have chosen to follow Him. It will never end since it is a part of God’s nature. Mercy is the way He desires to relate to mankind, and He does so unless the person chooses to despise or ignore God at which time His justice becomes the prominent attribute.

Eternal: In some ways, this fact about God is similar to His self-existence. God always has been and will forever be, because God dwells in eternity. Time is His creation. It is why God can see the end from the beginning, and why He is never surprised by anything. If He were not eternal, God’s promise of eternal life for those who follow Jesus would have little value.

Goodness: "The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men." This attribute of God is why He bestows all the blessing He does on His followers. God’s actions define what goodness is, and we can easily see it in the way Jesus related to the people around Him.

Gracious: God enjoys giving great gifts to those who love Him, even when they do not deserve it. Grace is the way we describe that inclination. Jesus Christ is the channel through which His grace moves. The Bible says, "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

Omnipresence: This theological term means "always present." Since God is infinite, His being knows no boundaries. So, clearly He is everywhere. This truth is taught throughout the Bible as the phrase "I am with you always" is repeated 22 times in both the Old and New Testaments. These were even Jesus’ words of assurance just after giving the challenge to His disciples to take His message to the entire world. This is certainly a comforting truth for all who follow Jesus.
By learning the attributes of God, you may praise God for who He really is and for how each of His attributes impacts your life in a positive way.

I loved giving you God's attributes. Isn't it wonderful. Just excited to share it with you.

Going backwards in my study I also wanted to share 3 different scenarios when people of God face a fiery trial. (Shadrach, Meshack & Abendego) I am in hopes that I am scenario B. Pray boldly with scripture for scenario B. 50 years to be exact. He is able.

A. We can be delivered from the fire. Dividend? Our faith is built.
B. We can be delivered through the fire. Dividend? Our faith is refined.
C. We can be delivered by the fire straight into His arms. Dividend? Our faith is perfected.

I do hope you see the love of God in all of this cancer trial. He loves you so much. I am living proof of his great love and concern. He has healed me. Not of cancer yet but of some long standing strongholds in my life. He is burning the fake out of me. Which is good very good.

Pray that I will be delivered from the lions mouth (cancer).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Brain Cancer is Expensive

If you've been following this blog for a while you realize that brain cancer is a life-changing experience. We've experienced physical suffering, roller-coaster emotions, spiritual testing, marital testing, parental testing, dependence on others for daily needs, mental challenges, and tough decisions. Now it's time to add another aspect to the brain cancer experience - the financial aspect.

Brain cancer isn't cheap. After insurance, we are still going to have to shell out several thousand dollars per year (deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, prescriptions, other uninsured medical expenses, etc), not including the additional costs of trying to maintain a healthy diet (it's really sad that we have to pay more to eat correctly).

The Lord has so richly blessed us and we know He will continue to do so. We received several monetary gifts that will take care of our portion of last year's medical expenses for Kate's surgery and hospital stay (Thank You and Praise God). However, our health insurance plan "resets" at the beginning of every calendar year, so now we are faced with a new set of bills from the radiation treatments and doctor visits. Also, Kate will require MRI scans every 3 months for years to come, of which we'll have to pick up most of the cost.

God isn't worried about these bills, so we shouldn't be either. We recognize that He owns everything in the universe, including what we think is "ours". However, we do know that He wants us to pray about our financial needs, and we ask that you would be praying for them as well. We'll keep you posted as to how God answers this need.

Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow,


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Everything is Meaningless

We've been studying the book of Ecclesiastes in church for the past few weeks and today was the final sermon. It's been several years since we last studied it. It's such a good book and it's truth smacks you in the face with what is really important in life. Something we regularly need to be reminded of.
If you're not familiar with it, the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon, considers what in life is meaningful and worthwhile, based on his own pursuits and observations. He considers education, pleasures, folly, work, achievement, advancement, and riches. He comes to the conclusion that the pursuit of these things, in and of themselves, is meaningless (vanity).

It seems that we spend so much time in life pursuing these things, like they really matter, only to realize that when we have them, they never really satisfied our deepest desires. Then, we perpetually want more and it becomes a vicious cycle.

What then is meaningful in life? The writer concludes:

"Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgement,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil." (Eccl. 12:13-14)

This book was a good reminder that we need to be living every aspect of our lives for the glory of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. Nothing else truly matters. Brain cancer has helped put that into focus.

We struggle with this at times but take comfort to know that the Lord guides and helps us along the way. Praise Him for His goodness.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Belief Tree

At the beginning of finding out that I had brain cancer I thought . . . "I am definitely not ready for this trial." I am not girded up. I was reading all the blog comments with Scripture that people were sending and knew without a doubt that I would not have been able to send such comments to someone in need. I also knew that I was somewhat like dry bones. I was on a downward spiral of a big complaining spirit. I even told some friends about how I was like dry bones. Fear is normal. What I continue to do with fear is a choice.

Last week a dear gal in my Bible study gave an excellent description on how we are like trees. The roots are what we believe, truth or lies. The trunk is our values or wants. Branches make up our decision. The fruit is displayed in our actions, emotions, attitudes and relationships. Hope it challenges you like it did me.

The roots of the tree represent what you believe. Your roots don’t determine your values but they do determine how you choose to pursue your values. What you believe about God, yourself, and others affect your values, decisions, and actions. You will either draw from truth or lies. Truth comes from God-the Author of life. Believing truth results in life.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7
Lies come from believing Satan and the world. Satan tries to plant lies in your life through what you see, hear, and experience in the world.

…He (Satan) has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Believing lies causes you to doubt what God says. See Romans 1:28-29
Lies about God - Instead of believing that God is good, He cares for you, He desires a close relationship with you, and He loves you unconditionally, you might believe a lie regarding His character.
Lies about Yourself - Instead of believing God loves you and you are accepted by Him, you may believe lies such as you are unloved or a failure. You may believe the labels or input from the world…

Lies about Others - Everyone is loved by God and is valuable to Him. God’s desire is for you to love people and pray that His plan will be accomplished in their lives. However you may believes lies…they are inferior, out to get you, will never change, etc.

Why did you decide to do what you did? What motivates your decisions?
The branches on a tree are attached to the trunk. The trunk of the tree represents the values or wants. They typical values someone might have are to be loved, accepted, significant or safe. People are created with needs but they tend to value the ones they haven’t consistently received. What you deeply value or want influences what you decide. Your values or wants may not be evil but the way you seek to satisfy them can be. God created you and only He is able to provide what you truly want and need. But if you do not believe He can or will provide what you need, you will attempt to provide for yourself. …

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:2-3 NLT

God has a better plan but you will miss out on it by trying to meet your own needs.
…Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. Jeremiah 17:5-6
The branches represent your decisions. Choosing to follow the Spirit or the flesh produces a crop. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Using this analogy, your actions, emotions, attitudes, and the condition of your relationships are the fruit. People who believe what the Lord says are like a flourishing tree producing good fruit.
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that send out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

If controlled by God’s Holy Spirit, your fruit will be good. (See Galatians 5:22-23)
If being controlled by your flesh, your fruit will be bad. (See Galatians 5:19-21)

Bad fruit includes:

  • Negative actions (rage, addictions, sexual immorality, lying, profanity)
  • Negative emotions (fear, anxiety, shame, unrelenting grief)
  • Negative attitudes (complaining, unforgiveness, greed, prejudice)
  • Negative relationships (abusive or broken)

    Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Philippians 4:8

What you believe determines how you behave.

Your life can be a fruit tree.

FYI - If you want to email us personally you can click on the profile and find our email link.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Under the pine

The snow has not fully melted which is great! The older boys did not have school today. After a fun morning at Chuck E Cheese (not one of my favorite places) we came home to put Stuart to bed. Gram came to stay at the house so I could take the boys sledding. It was so much fun! I haven't gone on the Missouri mini mini slopes since last year.

We went down some hills that Dave had taken them to previously. I then in my adventure to find a greater hill took the boys on a walk. We did find a better one that had a dip then went further down. There were some pines scattered among the dip. Cole went first then Carter snowboarded - Big Mama brought in the rear on the round orange sled. I went down quite fast turning backwards. Low and behold I ran into the pine. I was under the pine really. The boys didn't know if they could laugh. I was in shock so I didn't say anything for a long few seconds. Cole was concerned. He said "Mom . . . (long pause) are you ok?" I started to laugh. I couldn't believe I was stuck under the tree. They had to help me out due to my legs being up near my chest and the slick snow was hard to fanangle out of being the underside of the tree. Comical. It was good to laugh with them. Good memories!

Wanting lots more snow - kate

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lovin' being a mom

Tonight after a Valentine tradition by candle light of chocolate molten lava cakes, (chocolate oozes out like a volcano) real whip cream and rasberries Cole gave Carter a homemade valentine that he made at school and he also gave one to Dave and I. It was so precious to read what he put. I will be saving that one in his baby book. He cut out a heart for the middle then tie dyed a coffee filter to put in the hollow heart. The best part was seeing his handwriting and his thoughtful words.

Carter after kissing and tucking him in bed explianed that next year he wants to make a Valentine for me saying "You're a mom that can't be beat". He then said he would draw some boxing gloves on the front. I was so very touched by his boyish way of making a valentine. His neck is getting better. The doctor said that it is most likely a virus just watch out for a fever and a stiff neck. Glad to not take him in and pay a $30 co pay for just a virus.

Stuart is now officially in a big boy bed. His naps are a little shorter but he does sleep through the night so far. We are going on day 2.

I love being a mom. Their words and actions are the best. I wouldn't trade this job for the world. I am blessed to be able stay at home. The best Valentine present of all is being with my children and Dave.

I still take a nap every day. Dr. Simpson said that the effects of radiation will probably last 4 -6 weeks out. I also continue to wake at 5 am. I would like to wake at 6 when the actual alarm goes off. My head does ache at times but Dr. Forget (neurosurgeon) said that when my nerves are growing back together I will be feeling some sharp pains. It is to be expected. The burning sensation of radiation is inside as well.

The boys loved their lava cakes! It definitely is a great boy dessert. Volcanos - need I say more?

I Love You Day

Just wanted to share some love scripture to you as it speaks to me. It was His love to me that has carried me through my most darkest moments especially when I was in the pit.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his brides, so will you God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5

The Lord appreared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2: 16 - 17

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. And God raises us up with Christ and seated with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for] our sins. 1 John 4:10

No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. John 16:27

I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:23

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

May it bless your heart like it has blessed mine. Praise: Dave & I are feeling better. Stuart is still trying to get over his sickness. Pray for his healing. He is happy, eating well and sleeping though. Carter on the other hand has had a sore neck for a couple days. I think it is a virus that has settled in the neck. I will probably make a call to the peds office to see what to do if anything. He was up at 5:15 this morning.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sickly & Fears

At our home Daddy, Stuart & Mommy have officially been marked as having colds. Stuart being the worst. Daddy did not get much sleep in San Francisco so in turn - it turned out to give his immune system a big hit once home. Carter woke up at 2:30 this morning with severe abdominal cramping. Mommy had sick patrol while Daddy slept. She did call the doctor's exchange due to the scare we had 3 Christmas' ago with possible appendicitis. Yes on actual Christmas day with Carter in the ER. No fun! It turns out that the cramping did subside after 1 and 1/2 hours. Thankfully! Today he is wild and wolly and full of fleas. (as my grandma would say) Mommy stomach is not well also. Oh well. I am grateful this did not come last week or the last few months.

On another note Facing the Giants movie was great! I laughed. I cried. It moved me Bob! (for those of you who watch Veggie Tales) No really it was a good movie. I did have some crying bouts thinking about how I do want to be alive for my boys while they are on the courts, fields, and musical concerts, etc in High School. I am their biggest fan! I was a little sad thinking about how I might not be here for them in their high school years. The fear of them not having me is heightened more at times then others. I try to continually bring it before the Lord. This is such a hard task. Not knowing the future is difficult. Dave was good to remind me that none of us know our future. Yes, that is true except I have something that is staring me in the face every day. My love for the boys is so deep even while they are extremely loud & laughing behind me while I am typing this. Cole is in the toy box with the lid shut (there is an opening big enough to breathe) he is shooting a play gun at Carter.

Cole mentioned to soccer Gram the other night while I was away about how Mommy might know what heaven is like before any of them. She did not know what to say. She was so taken back by that comment before bedtime.

Pray for my emotions. This load is sometimes too heavy to think about what could happen in the future. I realize that the Lord loves them more than me. I also do realize none of us know when we will die. This is the fear I am struggling with that makes me cry. I am praying for 50 years of cancer free. March 2 is the MRI. Pray for no sign of growth. Pray also that I don't live in fear from MRI to MRI. I need to live my life along with my family.

I need to go back to the song / scripture that Cole sung to me right after surgery on our walk together.
When I am afraid,
I will trust in You,
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
Psalm 56:3 - 4a

Thank you for praying for my fears. kate

Friday, February 09, 2007

All done!

Today is crazy hair day at Covenant Christian School. It makes for a very fun day. They don't have to wear uniforms and Friday is hot lunch day as well. Cole decided to wear boxers on his head yes underwear. Carter spiked his hair and we spayed it blue. The following picture shows crazy hair then scary hair (that's me). I still haven't been able to make light of the hair loss. I am not sure if I ever will. The older boys do not like to see it as well. Hair is still coming out. No jokes are had about the lack of hair at our home. I am ultra sensitive but very thankful of the hair I do have that covers the enormous bald area along with the stylish bands.
Tonight we plan on having movie night once more as tradition holds. Last Friday we watched The Miracle Worker the story of Helen Keller in black & white. Even little Stu watched intently till he was summoned to bed. Good discussions are had with great movies! Tonight we will watch Facing the Giants. It is a movie of a football team. I don't really know too much about it.

Dave called me as I was parking the van at Siteman. He was boarding his plane and wanted to say hi before I went in for treatment. It was soo good to speak with him. I did tell him of the boys picking out my last song to listen to at radiation. It was by Sarah Groves - It's Gonna be Alright. It made me cry this morning in the van. Cole wanted to know why I was wiping my eyes. I told them both it is because I love them so. This is just such an emotional journey.

Thanks for listening and laughing with me Kim and Jessica, radiation therapists.
Officially the mask is home. Glad to have one treatment phase behind us. Pray that we make wise decisions in the weeks ahead.

All done with radiation! Kate

Last Day of RT! ! !

Well it is official today is the last day of radiation! I am elated! God has been so good to me throughout this one stage in the game.
There are some things I would appreciate some prayer for today.

Praises first
* Fatigue was not too bad.
* Burns on head were only like a sunburn.
* Never had to take steroids!
* No flu had come to the house during the RT.
* Soccer Gram's availability to watch Stuart the whole 3 months of treatment stuff.


1. Sleep in the night for me. I am waking up around 3 am then 5 am prior to the alarm going off at 6. I am fatigued due to the sleep issues. Praise though I am not as fatigued as they had anticipated.

2. Stuart is not feeling well. He took a long nap yesterday till 4 pm then after being awake for some time he wanted to go to bed at 5:30 pm before he ate some dinner. He did eat. He also did sleep through the night last night. His voice is scratchy and you can see it in his eyes that he is not feeling his normal self.

3. Safety for Dave. He is returning home from San Francisco today.

thanks again - Kate

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Said my goodbyes to Joe

Yesterday after my Tuesday radiation treatment I went to the Hope Lodge to say goodbye to Joe. His daughter was there with him. We sat in his room and talked. I told him of what a blessing he was to me during this journey. He helped to make the time go by quicker. We all cried about the yuck of cancer and the loss they have had with both moms / wives. I also told his daughter of the funny stories he shared with me. She was the one who had a boyfriend that could hot wire a car. I jokingly asked her why was she with such a guy? That can only mean bad news. She smiled and said she could hot wire the car as well. Ok, well now! Joe had taught all of his kids how to not just maintain a car but the ins and outs. Where was Joe today when I needed to get into my locked van? It was hysterical site. After the cop unlocked the door the alarm sounded and wouldn't go off until I pressed it seemed like a million buttons. The cop said I jumped quite high. I was also laughing because of the people who were staring. I loudly proclaimed "Yes, I locked my keys in my car."

I am laughing about using the radiation mask as a chia pet plant container. Maybe I should grow it for Dr. Simpson. Wouldn't that be a stitch? I am sure he is glad to not see me on a weekly basis. I will see him next on March 7 along with Dr. Linette. Dr. Simpson wanted me to come at a later date but I told him my life does not revolve around Siteman Cancer Center.


Lacrimal duct to be restored

After seeing Dr. Simpson, radiation oncologist he confirmed that my tear duct (lacrimal) will restore itself. The resident doctor was unsure since the rays were so close to one another on the chart. If the rays are over 30 then my duct would be permanetly ruined. Dr. Simpson came in and said since my right eyebrows are still in tact the duct is just fine. He jokingly said radiation could barely sneeze on the duct and it would shrivel. It is that sensitive! I was so glad to hear that my duct will eventually be OK.

Continue to pray for my right eye. At times they are bothersome almost sore or painful. I really would like to not be blind in about three years on just that side or have cataracts.

Today was a good day even after locking my keys in the van at a local store. Hey, I can laugh at the days to come and that is good. It is just locked keys. The police officer wasn't able to push the seal back on the door correctly. Hopefully super Dave can get it back to the right place. Sorry Dave my mind was thinking about doing the returns not my keys.

Stuart awoke crying due to not feeling well. He has a raspy throat and a minor cough. Pray this is a quick "under the weather" thing. Praise - No fever and eating fine!

My skin is red like a sunburn- not bad though! My brain does have a burning sensation inside. Burn baby burn. (talkin to the possible leftover cancer)

2 treatments left.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I think I can

Well only 4 more treatments left. Just like in the book The Little Engine That Could, I am saying "I think I can." That is to make it to this Friday. The little engine had never been over the moutain yet he was willing to try.

The mesh mask doesn't move it is a hard plastic. As stated before my chin hardly can move. The therapists did say I can bring it home as a keepsake on Friday. Hip hip hooray! Where am I going to store that lovely mask? Should I put it in my living room on the mantle? I think not! I don't like to dust as it is. Really it might be a good tool in a different setting. I am not sure but it will be kept in maybe a box in the basement.

No more of being locked in like this . . .

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5 -8

Here are the Snodgrass superbowl fans! Notice that Carter & Cole made their own shirts. They were very proud. Yes, they are Dave's old t-shirts. The boys slept in them last night. Go Colts! That was the team the boys were rooting for. I think having Daddy growing up in that state made a big impact.

Tomorrow is Joe's last radiation treatment. A little bit of sadness for me. I think I will go over to the Hope Lodge after my 1:15 treatment to say goodbye. He mentioned to me last week of the great memories he has had at Siteman. I have to agree. Having Joe there has made the time more bearable for me. He has a doctors appointment on Wednesday so I know he is not departing ASAP like I would. If I had a jet plane that is how fast I would try to get home. I love you Siteman but not that much.

Dave is leaving for San Fran, CA tomorrow for a business trip. He will return on Celebration Friday. (Maybe a fun gift will be coming home with him. Valentines day is just around the corner. Hint hint sweetheart. I know . . . our money is going towards the ever incoming bills.) Soccer Gram & I will be holding down the fort. It is quite nice that Dave's company has him going during this freezing cold Missouri spell. I wish he could pack me. I have lost weight with all the change in my diet. I think I could fit. Snow is the only thing that would make it better. Snow on the weekend that is - for Carter snowboarding and Cole sledding. Mommy too!

Bought a bouqet of pink roses for myself today. Only $2.99 at Aldi's. What a deal!

Not just taking my hand but my heart

I am beginning to be thankful for the simple things about my body. Slowly I am being stripped of certain things. I am now looking forward to whatever hair grows back. Frankly I don't care what color and texture it will be - Just happy to have hair. I have much respect for breast cancer patients who have to lose all their hair. What agony. Also my right eye is frustrating. The dryness actually is a nuisance. It stings at times. I plan on asking if it will eventually be restored or has the RT fully fried it? My dream last night also showed me the blessing of having a having a durable vehicle. A vehicle is a blessing for that matter.

God has entered into my life to walk with me. He is not just taking my hand but my heart also on this cancer journey.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. . . . I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

Ecclesiastes 3: 11 & 14

This afternoon will be watching the Superbowl game. The older boys yesterday made their own shirts for the celebration. Hopefully tomorrow I will have a great picture to post for you.

Here are the Snodgrass basketball pros.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fun Pictures for all to see

Christmas morning fun with the red wagon!

If you have already read the previous post be sure to scroll down and look again. I added more pics. I am getting more savy with my computer skills and this blog. I have attached some others here for you to enjoy! I just now had time to down load the my Christmas images along with Thanksgiving. Go figure I guess I have had other things taking up my time.

Cowboy Cole riding a horse on Thanksgiving Day.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

6 treatments to go!

Kate and her new friend Joe!
Joe allowed me to take a picture and put it on my blog. I told him I wanted to be sensitive to the patient privacy act. So for the record, I did get his permission to post this for you to see. No worries. He is pleased today for he got all but one stitch taken out of his eye yesterday. The one stitch left will eventually dissolve on its own. I also brought him some yummy mini bran muffins from home to enjoy. I told him our whole family loves them. He was looking forward to going to his home in Poplar Bluff for the weekend tomorrow.
OK, I was pleased but a little shocked to get a personal phone call from my primary care physican, Dr. Sanders tonight. I had called this afternoon and left a message in regards to my blood work that was taken yesterday. I was asking him for a good hematologist. His nurse had already called and left a message. My concern was in the PT (blood clotting) test performed. I personally asked for that test. As you might remember I am prone to blood clotting. Anyway the test showed some thinning of sorts. One comment on the sheet from the Barnes nurse was "Is the patient on coumadin?". Realizing that flax oil is a natural blood thinner and that I am taking folic acid daily I wanted to get some input. Dr. Sanders asked for the numbers and said for me to take it up with Dr. Linette. He said I think you have enough doctors to worry about and that an oncologist knows enough about the PT factor. Good enough! I joked with Dr. Sanders that he really missed me that is why he called personally. He just hasn't gotten enough attention on the blog lately. Ha ha ha! Really I am thrilled he is my doctor.

As for the redness on my head it hasn't gotten any worse. I have been using the aquaphor and also some emu oil. Never heard of the oil prior to now. Thanks to Carol Snodgrass. I think it is helping.

My dry eye is well . . . dry. When I wake in the morning I need to put in my artificial tears. Continue to pray for my vision and lens. If I were to go blind in the right eye it would happen in about 3 years.

Stuart had a great day! I had my mom drop off Stuart at the DesPeres Lodge pool for water wagglers. We played and "swam" from 10:30 - 11:45. It was a great spur of the moment thing. Only $4! I am trying to get him ready for our upcoming trip to sunny Floriday in April. He was so tired that he fell asleep on the way home from the pool. Liliana, do you want to join us next Thursday? Tell your mom to email me.
Here is Stuart saying "CHEESE"
Carter was bummed that the snow melted while he was in school all day. He is praying that the next snow is big and comes on a Friday night. He wants to snowboard. As for Cole, he is my big first grade reader. Tonight while cuddling on my favorite chair he read to me. I love spending that time with him.

Tonight Jill, a grade school friend brought us a meal. It was good to catch up and I was so surprised a few weeks ago when I saw that she was going to deliver a meal. I never thought this blog would connect the dots to her. Actually it is amazing who has heard through this blog about the cancer. It was good to catch up after many years. A lot of time was spent together. We went to Bible camp and many times she came to my home for Thanksgiving. She only had a brother while I come from a family of 4 other siblings. Lots of commotion and activity were had at the farmhouse. I think sometimes she lived at my home more than hers. Lots of fond memories!

Dave and I hope to go away for one night after radiation is completed to pray and discuss our two options. I am looking forward to a hotel with a pool. All in all it has been a great day. I can say that no matter what is to come I have learned that this cancer trial has taught me to live day to day. It really is too big for me to do anything else. I jokingly tell some that it took brain cancer for me to learn to depend on the Lord daily for my every need. Boy I am a work.

Only 6 treatments to go! Kate