Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Break We Needed


 
This isn't a fire.  It's sunset from our backyard, a reminder of God's power, majesty and creativity.  We notice things like this in the season we are experiencing.

We haven't been too good about updating recently, and we apologize.  We know that so many people are praying for Noonie and you need to know what to pray for.

If you're counting with us, you know that Noonie has had five of the eight chemo treatments.  The last one has caused more lasting side effects than the others.  It is kind of disappointing, because she is off the harder chemo drugs.  But there is nothing predicable about this, as we've learned.

Both sons were in town for Father's Day!  Tommy is on the left (he lives here)
and Travis, on the right, came in as part of a cross-country stopover.
Thankfully, by God's grace, we had planned a week away to get rest and relaxation.  Some call it a vacation, and yes it is.  With Noonie pretty much needing to take it easy, the timing is perfect and the location is perfect for that.  It is indeed a getaway. 

Noonie's next chemo is Friday, July 22.  Many of you have marked your calendars for chemo prayer days, so you might be surprised at the 22nd.  Well, the two most recent scheduled dates were pushed back because of low white blood cell count, which means all future ones were pushed back. 

If you want to mark your calendars again, you can mark them for July 22, August 12 and September 2.  So, Noonie should be done by Labor Day.  Praise the Lord!

What we've learned through this is that life is on hold.  You can't predict how Noonie will feel and which days are going to be "good" ones and which are going to be "bad" ones. Once we seem to have it figured out, we're humbled. 

In spite of this, we have sensed God's immeasurable peace. I have to admit, though, that we needed this week vacation and needed it now.  Thank you Lord.

Pray for Noonie's encouragement.  This wears on her.  She is such an active, vibrant person.  When the curve ball comes, it's hard.  Especially when it comes again and again.  I'm proud of her, as I know you are.  And she needs our support and prayers and encouragement throughout the chemo season.

Thank you!

Jon with Roman and Aria at the 4th of July parade in nearby
Monument.  It started with an F-16 flyover, which was extremely cool.
Actually it started with a pancake breakfast, which we thoroughly
enjoyed.  It was grandpa's outing with these two wonderful grandchildren.

Monday, June 6, 2016

At the halfway point, we thank you for your prayers

We showed up at the medical center bright and early this morning at 8:00 for Noonie's fourth chemo treatment.

Everything went smoothly and we left just after noon.  We are so thankful to have this treatment behind us, the fourth of eight. These first four are likely to be the hardest, so we're hoping for an easier road for Noonie from here.

However, I have to admit that she has been stellar through this.  The week after chemo slows her down considerably, but watching her regain her energy is so encouraging.  In fact, in the week before chemo we both kind of forget she is a cancer patient.

Emails and cards have been coming in from all over, and we know that these represent people who love Noonie and are praying.  In reality, hundreds of people are probably praying.  We thank God for you and we thank God for His intervention.

As I mentioned in the last post. we found out last week that the doctor cannot feel the tumor in her lymph node, so the cancer is shrinking quickly!  May God rid her of it completely.

A week from today, we leave for Houston for consultations and other appointments at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  We will be there for three days, with two flying days on either end.  We'll be meeting to talk through the post-chemo steps as we walk through this season.

Tonight, Noonie is resting.  Hopefully a good night of sleep will give her strength for tomorrow.  Every day is an adventure.

Thank you again for your prayers.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Postponed

For the first time since our cancer season, Noonie and I
were able to take a couple days away to unplug from things.
Santa Fe, New Mexico is just five hours south of us, so we
went there for a couple days over Memorial Day Weekend.
We didn't take this train there, but it is a pretty cool machine.
 
Yesterday was supposed to be the halfway point of Noonie's chemo treatment, but that will have to wait a few days.

Her white blood cell count was too low, so they have delayed treatment until Monday-- hopefully.  She goes in for another blood test today to see if the count came up... which the doctor expects.

But there is great news to share in the midst of this!  The two tumors in her lymph node are gone!  Praise God.  The chemo has shrunk them to the point that they can't be felt anymore.  We are thankful the treatments are working.

The strange but good thing is that despite the low white blood cell count, Noonie feels great.  In the past week, she has gone on a two hour bike ride, swam a mile and has taken numerous walks with Biscuit.  The doctor said to keep it up.

Thanks for your continued prayers as she goes through the next cycle.  After how the last one turned out (the after-effects came two or three days later), we are not sure what to expect.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Team Noonie!

Our daughter, Jayna, surprised the whole family with a Team Noonie t-shirt she had designed so we could come around Noonie during this cancer season.  I've worn mine twice already at the gym!  And our cute grandkids wear theirs a lot.  These two look much better than I do, as you can see...



Some have been asking how they could get a Team Noonie t-shirt.  Jayna said she could facilitate that, but it would be best to order several at once to keep the cost down.  If you'd like to ask her about it, you can email her at jaynarylee at gmail.com  (I had to spell it our to avoid spammers--not you!).  And thank you for being part of the team.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Day With Eternal Implications

More than 70,000 people a day die without Jesus.

When I saw that statistic, it pained me.  These are 70,000 individuals, all over the world, that will spend eternity apart from God.  Day after day this goes on.

That's why I'm advocating for the 2 billion+ who have little or no access to the gospel and have never heard the name of Jesus.  This just can't continue.

Sunday, May 15, tomorrow, is the first International Day for the
Unreached, on Pentecost Sunday. It's a day when believers are being alerted to the greatest injustice in our world-- that in this day and age, in a world of technological advancements, there are still billions who don't even know what the name of Jesus means.  They've never heard of our Savior.

Noonie and I encourage you to do a couple things.  First, pray for unreached people around the world, that the Church can get the gospel to them.

Second, visit the Day for the Unreached website and download the Great Commission Action Guide.  I wrote this publication a couple months ago and I'd like you to have it.  You'll find some practical things you can do to help reach the unreached.

I recorded a podcast with Reach Beyond president Wayne Pederson a short time ago, focused on the International Day for the Unreached.  Give it a listen when you have time. You can also listen on iTunes.
http://dayfortheunreached.org


Friday, May 13, 2016

Mother's Day was Extra Special This Year


Jayna came out from LA for Mother's Day!
It was a special treat to have her here. 
She did something memorable for Noonie
and the whole family.  Details are at the
end of this post.


Three down, five to go.

Noonie had her third chemo treatment yesterday, and as I sit here and write the next morning, I am absolutely amazed at how she is doing today.  She is not groggy, slow, uncomfortable and all the other things she felt after the first two treatments.

It is remarkable, and it is God!  Thank you for your faithful prayers.  There is no other way we can explain this.  We are experiencing the answers to your prayers.

I was so impressed by how good she looked I asked her a few minutes ago, "Would you like to write this post yourself?"

She said her mind wasn't quite clear enough to do that, so I'm stepping in again to give you an update.

Noonie is ready to leave the house for the hospital for
her third chemo treatment.  You can see where the port
is located on her left side.  All the chemo is administered
there so she doesn't have to have an IV each time in her arm.

We showed up a little before 8:00 yesterday morning and Noonie was in good spirits, ready to go.  She was seated in her comfy chair and the process was started to prepare her port for the chemo.  However, once the nurse got started in the prep work, it appeared that the port was clogged.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Good News on the Cancer Front

 

NOTE:  Please pray for the earthquake recovery efforts in Ecuador.  Reach Beyond's roots are there, as we were established in Quito, Ecuador over 80 years ago as HCJB.  We have many missionaries there, and a Reach Beyond medical team is on the ground serving in the disaster areas.  This will be a long recovery.  You can read the Reach Beyond report here.  As God leads, will you give to help underwrite the costs of our medical efforts







Yesterday, we received word from the medical oncologist that Noonie's lymph node tumor had shrunk by half!

You bet we're thrilled and praising God!  So many people are praying for Noonie (and me) and the Lord is answering.

Let me put this in context.  Noonie has only had one chemo treatment.  On top of that, she hasn't even started the drug that is most designed to specifically shrink the tumor.  That won't happen until the second four treatments and beyond.