Good News and Bad News

Crosses-Gold-and-SilverLori and I had a trying time at CTCA this week. After I had my CT/PET Scan on Wednesday I had a little physical therapy and the day was done. Lori and  I were praying for good news and spent the night relaxing in our room after supper.

Thursday morning came early with pain in my left arm. I was in excruciating pain. Lori and I spent the early portion of the morning waiting on Quality of Life to get in. If you look back a couple of post you will find Dr. Castro. Once again she came to the rescue. She provided a couple of shot and talked about rearranging my meds to make my medical regimen easy and more effective. I am ALL for easier and more effective. She helped me all day to help keep pain at bay so that I could make my schedule and stay on point.

During the day we met with Dr. Randolph to find out the result of the CT/PET Scan. Dr. R came in and said, “I have some good news and some bad news, which do you want first.” I said let’s get the bad news out of the way. The bad news is that I am probably going to have another surgery. It appears that my thoracic duct is leaking lymph fluid into the upper portion of my chest. It is causing the defect in my neck to leak profusely and really needs to be closed up. This has come at a bad time. Let’s talk about the good news.

keep calm

Here’s the good news. Our chemo recipe is a good one. The cancer is being pushed backed. We have our foot on the head of the snake. Each of the lymph nodes have shrunk and are not near as bright as they were on the last PT/CET Scan. We look like if we could keep pushing the lymph nodes would disappear completely. However, we have to stop to make time for this surgery, which can give the cancer time to regain it’s footing.

So that’s where we are at. God has provided a true blessing in the fact that the cancer is going away and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. God has also provided what we see right now as an obstacle. It will be a point of praise before it is all over. We will see this obstacle through in obedience with God’s will.

We also saw Linda U. Her son Jonathan also got good news this week. As of right now, his cancer has stopped growing and that is a great praise.

God bless all of you. Thank you for the continued prayers. Please keep us in your prayers as we still have many obstacles to overcome to see God’s glory.

In God’s Love,

Alan

Quick Thought

I have been doing a lot of planning and thinking and worrying this week. I have to admit that I have forgotten the most important thing for someone in my position. God is in control and there is nothing that will happen that God has not already seen approved and ordained to happen just as He wills. Please help me to pray for His will to be done in my life in all the ways that I have forgotten about His supremacy.

I have decided I want a dog and I have chosen what I think will be the perfect dog. I need to leave this in His hands, too. If I take control the only result will be disaster.Crosses_tattoo_201

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV

Help me to come to grips with this. I will pray that I can lay this and other worries at the feet of Christ and not pick them up again. And that really is that key. To have faith in Christ that he will have answers for my prayers in His time and with His answer. Better than anything I can come up with. Thanks for your help reminding me of this and helping me with your prayers. God bless!!

In His love!!

Alan

It’s Killing Me!!

Short and Sweet!!

Lori is busting her hump this week on two major projects. She is swapping out winter clothes and we are in a major push to get all of our junk off the floor. We are having the exterminators to spray the house. I have been struggling this week and I just can’t help her doing what she doing. It hurts my heart to just be here “in case”. She is an amazing woman and there is NO WAY I could have found one this good on my own. I had to be led to her by Divine Intervention. Just one more way God has steered my life long before I hit the rocks and really needed Him.path prepared

God is good and it is hard to see His timing until you turn around and look back. So have faith when God moves and you don’t understand what He is doing. One day you will look back and things will be crystal clear. Practice looking back to see what God has done. When you do this it gives you a confidence in His work. Lori, to me, gives me confidence that He has already prepared a way for me.

Short Post

It’s strange. This chemo has no discernible pattern as to how it is going to effect me. Last week an amazing week. I had no effects except on last Sunday. This week it split between Saturday and Sunday. I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

God stepped up this week and He asked a dear friend of my to help us out. Lori and I had let our truck sit too long. The battery had died, I thought it just needed a charge but our friend thought it might be more. Sure enough, it was DEAD. He fixed it. We really appreciate our friends, now and in the recent past that have silently come to our rescue, no doubt at the prompting of the Holy Ghost.holy_spirit_-_pentacost_jwi1

There is one especially that I would love to name but he’s not that kind of guy. He understands the prompting of the Lord and how that works. Some friends have rescued us by doing things for us, and there are those who have provided the means for us to do what needed to be done. We couldn’t have survived thus far without the generosity and I know we would not be able to survive the things to come without continued help from friends, family, and the Holy Spirit. These friends and family members are great examples for me. I can’t wait to be on that side of giving again.

Answer the calling of the Holy Spirit. Learn to say yes. My missionary friends said that it was hard, but as they learned to say yes, it became easier. It was easier to hear the Holy Spirit ask, and easier to say yes. During this time they saw the blessing truly begin to flow in their lives. So keep your heart open to the callings of the Holy Spirit and say yes.

Love to all of you!

Alan

A Week Off or A Week of Wating

This week at CTCA, even with the barium swallow test and a specialist visits, the week actually went pretty smooth. First of all, due to all the damage, changes, radiation, and scar tissue in my throat and now the addition of a paralyzed diaphragm on the left side, I was a high risk candidate for silently aspirating food or drink into lung. The good news is, outside swallowing a large mouthful of fluid, nothing went down the esophagus. So chugging beer is out (haha), other than that I’m good to go. One of the specialist, my pulmonologist’s partner wants to continue to watch my paralyzed diaphragm since we are not seeing any decrease in quality of life at this point and give it more time to heal on it’s own. Also we met with my plastic surgeon (the other specialist) to look at my neck. Now that we are off the Erbitux he is beginning to see some change and change is good. He also wants to watch and see if it will start to heal on it’s own now. Chemo went smooth.

Speaking of chemo, this was my third dose in my second cycle. So that means I am off next week to complete Cycle 2. And as of November 30th, I will have a new PET/CT scan. It will be time to be “re-staged”. Dr. Randolph and Lori and I will see a few different options. Either the cancer is gone and the chemo will be done or the cancer is going away and we continue with more stages of the same cocktail, or their is no real change or changing the wrong way and that means another formula for the cocktail and a different cycle. Obviously, we are praying for these in the order I have listed. No cancer – no chemo would be optimal. Less cancer – continue what we are doing is second since it means we are eventually on our way to no cancer- no chemo.

We finally saw Joann of James an Joann C. even though we never were in a place where we could see James. His cancer has not changed at all even though he has not had treatments in quite sometime. They are going to check him once a month or once every three weeks to make sure the cancer has stabilized. It was great to see Joann. She is always full of cheer.

So pray for my friends James and Joann, our dear friend Gene who felt some effects from his chemo but has made it back to work. And pray for Lori and I as we try to remain strong for each other as we wait for me to get restaged and my family who will not be silly enough to try and be strong, they will just be truthful and prayerful. Pray Lori and I can set our pride aside and pray together about the worry and concern we both feel and that the Holy Spirit will get right in their with us and comfort and strengthen us.

I want to thank you for taking time to read my blog. Make sure that you read Links, Prayer Request, and Random Thoughts. Help me with the Prayer Requests, and laugh at what comes out of mind in Random Thoughts. Links are important connections that you can make if your interested. If you have a friend that knows me or would benefit from reading about the path God has me on, get them to subscribe, too (at the top of the column on the right.)

Love all of you in the Love of my Christ,

Alan, Booger (according to Lori)

Roy Woods

Ken Woods father, Roy Woods, broke his leg badly on October 4th. They had to install external rods to lengthen and realign his lower leg. In the process of healing this started throwing clots from his legs to his lungs. They put him on blood thinner and told him he will have to stay in the hospital until after his next leg surgery, now scheduled 10/25. Please be in prayer for his continued and timely recovery, and for his family who will be there to comfort him.

UPDATE FROM KEN ON Fb around 10AM Saturday 10/19: Ken Woods Shirley Gilley Worthington, broke/crushed both bones in lower leg, had 2nd surgery yesterday, in for a long recovery. Been a very scary 2 weeks after having multiple blood clots in both branches of lungs & several other complications. Keep him in your prayers- hope to come home Monday..thanks

UPDATE FROM KEN: 11/15/2013 11:30 Ken’s dad id past the critical blood clot stage. He still has a ways to go with rehab etc… on the broken and surgically repaired leg. I’m sure prayers are still requested.

Boykin Search

Maddux2Well, Lori and I have found the dog we want. His name is Maddux. He is 8 years old. Trained to duck/dove hunt, fetch, house broken, kennel / crate trained and 45 lbs. He is not exactly what we started looking for but being fully trained means A LOT to me. This is Maddux. We are waiting tonight to see if another couple decides to take him. I’m praying that for some reason he just doesn’t fit their criteria.

Secondly, we are waiting on the BSR to approve our application. They are quite intent on weeding out people that are less than serious about these dogs. I had to give (3) professional references and (1) personal reference. They asked about all my past dogs, I had to call our vet to release our pets information. So that is still hanging over our heads.Buddy2

Lori found one named Buddy. This is Buddy. He is 3 years old and is house broken and obedient but does not have any hunting skills and has boundless energy, unlike Maddux who calms down relatively quickly (due to age and wisdom). He is a gorgeous dog, 35 lbs. But he is admittedly rough around the edges by the foster parents. Also, he is not ready to adopt so we would have to wait until he is ready.

We are getting ahead of ourselves as usual. We need to put some more knee time into this one and God will work it out as He see’s fit. And with the things I’ve seen Him do lately, I can’t wait to see what He wants us to do.

Just my thoughts,

Alan

UPDATE 11/15/2013 9PM           God has provided in his timing. He has given us an opportunity to adopt a 2 year old Boykin female. We will try and get her next week. This is Abby sleeping on her foster parent lap.

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Tough Day

I knew I would have to pay for the last two  days. They were fantastic. No side effect, energy beyond anything I could expect. Well today is not one of those day, but I still thank God for it. I am extremely tired, joints hurt like flu symptoms, not hungry but struggling to eat. I laid in bed until 3:15 and the rest of the day I have been in my recliner. Oh well this is another great day that the Lord has made. I’m sorry I could not fully enjoy it like He would want me to but I enjoyed it the best I can. Days like this remind me that the chemo is the Kung-Fu chemo we have prayed for and it is kicking that cancers butt. I knew that there would be good days and bad days, and that didn’t bother me a bit. Because I knew that there would be no day that God was not by my side. So, I’ve thanked God the past two days when I felt so good, and thank you Lord for being with me on this bad day. Knowing you are with me makes it tough to call today a bad day. I love you Lord and I love my 10959342-gold-christianity-crossfamily, friends, and prayer warriors.

Y’all have a great day knowing God is right there with you, too.

Sincerely,

Alan

A Book Report

AngelI just finished reading “The Shack” by William Paul Young. And this morning my devotion was talking about how God has sent angels into our lives. And reading the Bible and listening to sermons we always hear that when angels appear to men the first words out of their mouths are “Do not fear …”.  It has really opened up my imagination to what Heaven will be like when we get there. Is it going to be warm and familiar or will it gold and silver bright lights or will it be different for each of us yet us be able to react as if in the same reality. Or will it simply be beyond anything we can comprehend with our limited mental capacity that we have in this tattered tent (according to Paul) that we live in now. My mind keeps going back to “Do not fear …” and how that will come across when and if I see an angel while I am still on earth.

Angel1We have all heard stories of angels that appear as normal people that show up out of no where, save someone from a tragic end and then vanish into the gathering crowd never to be identified or seen again. So we know that angels can appear to us in forms that we need to see them in. So if God has installed this power on his creation (angels), it is obvious that He has that power for Himself. I feel believe that He could not appear to us in a manner that we need would be limiting His power of love for us. God loves us so much that He can do anything He feels necessary to reach out to us.

Well that’s my random thought for the morning. I hope it makes you think about what heaven, God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels, other loved ones that have gone before us, will look like and how we will be able to react with them. You know, without all the baggage we carry as humans on this planet. All I know is it will be more than we can imagine with out finite minds and it will be more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

Just thinking (Lori says that is when it gets dangerous),

Alan