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)

What does Suffer Well Mean?

I’m not trying to turn dark but I am trying to become realistic. Suffering well does not always mean everything is going hunky dory, it means that no matter what is is going on, good or bad, God still shines through the circumstance and others can still see God’s grace and glory reflected in my situation. This was pointed out to me this week by a great doctor whom I feel is turning into a really good friend. He assured me that in bringing out the truth of my situation, for good or bad, it would magnify God’s greatness in the situation. The past couple of weeks it would have been impossible to suffer well without the strength and wisdom provided by the Holy Spirit.

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Too often I have noticed that I answer with the simple “fine” or “it’s going good” type answers when people ask how I am doing. This almost negates the fact that without God’s strength this week I don’t know if I could have made it through what I have been going through. Pain that is not well controlled, accompanied by depression because of the pain, run away anxiety about several issues that are pressing on me right now. When you add all that up and you can point to God’s hand moving mightily to help provide for expenses recently, it makes much more of an impact. I praise God for the doctors, nurses, and care givers that have bent over backwards to help me cope with the issues that I have been facing. I praise God for the strength to hold on during time when I am so very anxious about what is going to happen with this fistula and the plastic surgeon I have to meet with on Monday. I pray for courage as I face an upcoming PET scan in a few weeks. I know that the faith God has given me is enough to carry me through all of these. Not just carry me through but to sail through. I still feel as though I have nothing to fear, that the faith God has given me has been formed by fire, molded by trial, to be exactly what I need to face any challenge the enemy lays before me. God has done that for me and will do that for you when your time comes. Walk now as if you have everything you need to face down anything Satan can throw at you. Praise God for news that brings you closer to Christ and praise Him for news that allows you to enjoy His gift of life here for a while longer. You have everything you need, just as I. Like Dad said, I am lucky that I get to walk my faith. Well, you are lucky, too. Start walking your own faith. God has given you all you will need.