Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Still Here

Just a quick note to let you know all know I'm still here in Saskatoon. I'm getting in lots of visits with Dad before I head back to Yorkton again. Dad is feeling better, but he will be in the hospital till at least May 4th when his antibiotics finally finish. Today I'm dragging stupid Roscoe into the city for a walk along the river with Dad. Ben and Mom and I are all going so it should be good times, except for the dog part. Oh well, the things we do for love.

Since I am staying with Glen's mom right now, I don't have regular access to the internet so things may be quiet on here for the next little while. Thanks for all of your prayers. I'll leave you with the lyrics for the song Melanie left in the comments section...

Miracle Maker

I’m waiting here for my life to change,
When the waters stir you can rearrange me.
Just one touch is all I need,
I’ve nothing much but the wounds I feel,
I’m looking for the hand of the miracle man.

Holy, you are holy,
Who was and is and is to come.
Holy, you are holy, Saviour, Healer,
I’m standing at the feet of the miracle maker.

I’m holding on, with your life in mine,
Living water’s come,
And you’ve rearranged me.

Holy you are holy,
Who was and is and is to come.
Holy, you are holy,
Saviour, healer,
I’m staring in the face of the miracle maker.

Holy, you are holy,
Who was and is and is to come.
Jesus, precious Jesus,
Thank you, Saviour,
I’m walking in the shoes of my miracle maker.
I’m standing with the faith of a miracle maker.

Written by Delirious? ©2005 Curious? Music UK

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Please Please Please Pray

... Not to sound overly dramatic, but my dad is sick with a fever and fluid in his lungs. We're leaving for Saskatoon as soon as I get my act together. Please pray for safety on the road for us and pray really hard for my dad. Thanks blogging friends...

UPDATE: Dad is feeling better today. He was septic, which was scary, but the doctors have it under control now. All even slightly germy people who have been around flues especially are dangerous for him, and since there are a lot of flues going around it's a little scary for us to think about... Actually, anything that has anything to do with sepsis is scary for us to think about. Dad's immune system just can't fight off infections of ANY kind, and today the doctor told me that if he gets the wrong kind of infection it could move so quickly through his body that the antibiotics wouldn't be able to stop it in time and he could die. So please pray for health for those of us around Dad, and for Dad's safety. Please also pray for my poor mom, who had a terrifying and stressful day yesterday. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Let's lighten things up a bit.

I got this off of Sheryl's blog:

Leave one memory that you and I had together in the comments section. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! Then, if you want, put this on your blog and I'll try and leave one for all of the fabulous people who leave me one. (If you don't have a blog, I'll leave one for you in the comments section.)

So let's see if we can't cheer ourselves up a little, okay?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

At a Loss for Words

We're back in Yorkton. We decided that the boys needed a little bit of normalcy, so we're home for the week and then back to Saskatoon for the weekend. Obviously, this back and forth stuff can't go on. We have some thinking to do about whether Glen should quit his job and try to find one closer to home, so any prayers you could send our way to help us with our decision would be appreciated. Honestly, the thought of selling our house makes me want to throw up a little. I love this house. I know some of you will think I'm nuts, but I do love it with all of its faults. Sigh. And I don't know how we could EVER afford anything near Saskatoon. And I don't want to rent again. And I hate moving. And... I don't know how I could bear to be this far away from Mom and Dad while things are the way they are.

I want to write a post updating you on Dad but my heart isn't in it. Mom wants me to make a blog just for updates and stuff, which I think is a good idea and I will do. I think it'll be good to keep this blog separate. It's easy to get so focused on Dad that I can't see anything else around me, not even my babies, and I think I need to try to come up for air sometimes and just... Breathe.

I also want to write a post about the shootings in Virginia, but I suppose I'm having trouble finding the words. It feels surreal to me to come back from Saskatoon where I spent a week with my dad who wants so badly to live, and who I want so badly to live... On a ward filled with people dealing with the same things we are dealing with... To see a story about a person who placed no value on his life or the lives of all his victims... It's hard to comprehend. I can't imagine what all of those friends and family are going through, to suddenly lose people they loved to such senseless, violent, tragic deaths. I can't wrap my brain around it.

Actually, I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around anything right now. I haven't cried for days, not even when I watched the news yesterday. If you know me, you know that this is not a natural state for me. Usually, I am empathetic to a fault and have trouble separating myself from other people's pain, even people I don't know. Right now though, aside from feeling confused, I'm not feeling much of anything. I think maybe it all is just a bit much for me right now. I feel tired. Overwhelmed. Numb.

But there are people out there today who would gladly trade their troubles for mine, their pain for my numbness...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hope Dawns Like The Morning

When Dad first got diagnosed God gave these verses to two of us...

Proverbs 3

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,

2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you prosperity.

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.

8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

And confirmed them with these verses, especially the last one...

Psalm 49

1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,

2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:

3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the utterance from my heart will give understanding.

4 I will turn my ear to a proverb...

And that is what I am trying to do... Turn my ear to a proverb, and believe that God has heard our pleas for Dad's healing. Sometimes this is hard to do though. Yesterday it was hard. Today was a better day though, for me anyways. Dad had his MRI and it looks like he won't need surgery to stabilize his compression fractures, which is great news. This means his treatments can go ahead without being interrupted by a surgery. The doctors have everything worked out for the next nine months and are hoping for a remission at the end of that time. This is also good news, and lets my heart hope that Dad will be like these survivors that Johnny directed me to on the internet. Their stories are so encouraging and I and have felt the hope of fifteen more years with Dad wash over me like a warm sunrise. Mom has said to Aunty Orla, and I have said to Glen, that fifteen more years would be okay. I would take that and be happy. I would. Maybe some of you out there will think, but hopefully not bother saying, that I am settling for less than my dad deserves, and giving up on him, but until you've tried to come to terms with the even the possibility of losing someone you love in the very near future, you don't really know how good fifteen more years can sound. And right now it sounds so good. SO good.

So that brings me to the verses that my Aunty Orla read in a mysterious bible she found in a closet at her cabin...

2 Kings 20

1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover."

2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4 Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5 "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.' "

So I am trying to hope. The problem is, if I am honest, and I try to be... I'm so scared to hope. I'm scared to be disappointed. I'm scared that we are looking for hope so hard that we are clutching at straws. I'm scared that if I let myself hope... If I really grab onto these promises and let them take me where they will... That if I am disappointed I will never be able to forgive God for breaking, what seem to us to be, His promises. And that's hard. Because right now, with the warm rays of hope bathing my upturned face, I can't bear the thought of turning away.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Today was a long day.

Today Dad had an appointment at the cancer clinic. Today we took him out to the car and he tried to get in, and his pain was so unbearable we had to take him out again. Today for the half hour it took to get him in a vehicle, Mom and Uncle Peter and I watched him suffer and couldn't help him. Today I cried some tears of relief when we finally got him "comfortable" enough to ride to the city lying on a bed in the back of our van. Today I felt a weight lift when paramedics took over and put him on a stretcher and wheeled my strong dad into the emergency ward. Today my poor dad finally got some help and some medicine to help his pain. Today we had to leave him at the hospital again. Today I felt helpless and lost.

But... I also felt the weight of our pain shared by others, and right now I have the comfort of knowing we aren't alone in this. Just like in the westerns Dad loves to watch and read, the wagons are circling, and our family is surrounded by people who are stronger and smarter than we are right now. It's okay that I can barely summon the brain power I need to remember my name, and I cry every time I let myself think, and all I can pray right now is, "Please." It's okay because other people know my name, and they are thinking of all of us and praying.

So don't stop. We need you to surround us with your prayers. And just knowing you are out there helps so much.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Some Information

It occurs to all of us over here that I should give you guys all the details straight from the top. Or, at least the middle, since we believe God is over and around us.

It has been confirmed that Dad does have multiple myeloma. They have started chemical therapy, which involved high doses of intravenous prednisone and should help get the myeloma cells under control and eventually help with his bone pain. It will also make him more vulnerable to infections and has some side effects that won't be fun. The myeloma makes his bones leach calcium, so that needed to be flushed from his system because all that calcium is bad for his kidneys and bones. He also had some kind of treatment to strengthen his bones, because they are very soft. He had scads of tests done so the doctors could get a clear picture of how his disease is progressing and what treatments will be most effective.

For now, the doctors will continue to monitor his blood to keep an eye on his kidney function and to make sure he isn't anemic. He'll be having further bone strengthening and prednisone treatments over the next three months, then he will be reassessed and they will start more intensive chemical therapy and likely some stem cell treatments. He's on a renal diet, which limits his potassium, sodium, and protein intakes, because his kidneys can't filter that stuff out for him. He isn't bad enough to need dialysis though, so that's good news.

Dad's in a lot of pain and it is hard to watch him moving so slow. He is usually so active and full of fun, and it is a big adjustment for all of us, especially him, to have him so slowed down by his body. Hopefully, he will improve, but it is likely that he will never get around with the ease he did a few short months ago. It seems so unbelieveable to us that only a little over a week has passed since we first heard the words multiple myeloma. Our world is so different than it was, and finding a way to live in it is a consuming process.

There. I was reading some blogs tonight from my wonderful family and since information can so easily get mixed up we thought one of us should lay it all out for you guys. And since Mom didn't want to, and Dad doesn't want to, guess who got stuck with the job? Oh wait, you don't have to guess do you? I had to clean the fridge today too. Laziness. I'm telling you, I'm surrounded by laziness. ;) We have the computer moved upstairs now, so hopefully Dad will be back online as soon as we find him a comfy chair to sit in.

Thank you all of you for all of your prayers. (Please keep praying.) I'm going to leave you with some verses I read, and prayed, in Psalms this morning, just because.

Psalm 6 (NIV)

1 O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.

2 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint;
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.

3 My soul is in anguish.
How long, O LORD, how long?

4 Turn, O LORD, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.

5 No one remembers you when he is dead.
Who praises you from the grave?

6 I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.

7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.

8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the LORD has heard my weeping.

9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayer.

Together Again

Just this one more time I have tons of words and nothing to say. We're home. Dad's home. Two weeks ago we were here and Dad was still walking around. He was sore, but walking around. Now we're here and poor Dad can't walk without help and he's more than sore. He's a tough guy though. I can't believe he was going without ANY pain killers and he had a compression fracture and broken ribs. If that had been me I would have been curled into the fetal position whimpering, not going out for walks with my grandchildren.

Anyways, just being together makes all of us feel better. The boys make everything, even a walker, a little funner... So that's where we are.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

After God's Own Heart

It occurs to me that some of you out there are strangers. It occurs to me that you don't know how close my dad and I are. It occurs to me that you don't, and maybe can't, understand what this VERY RECENT news is doing to my world.

It also occurs to me that some of you have ideas of what I should and should not be writing on MY blog. I think you need to know that I have never wanted my blog to portray a Becky who doesn't exist, and a Becky who wasn't completely devastated by this news wouldn't be me. My blog is for me first. It is a place for me to put my thoughts down, to make sense of my world, to share my heart with the people who love me, and to open my life to people who don't. Unlike some of you, I am not an anonymous somebody. I am a real person, and what you see here are glimpses straight into my heart. This is not, nor will it ever be, a place where I can be a shining example of perfection. Because I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be.

I've been reading a book about Bathsheba and David over the last few days to take my mind off of things when I need to sleep or just calm down enough to get food past the huge lump in my throat. It's supposed to be just a fun distraction, but this morning, when I read that some of you think I am being selfish by giving myself a place to express some of my emotions and share them with my family, some of the things I have been reading gave me strength...

David, a man after God's own heart... That's what I would like... If, at the end of my life, God told me I was a woman after His heart I can't even express what joy that would give me. So, I have to say, the comments telling me to be positive, to hide my true feelings from the world, lost a bit of their power to hurt me. I've been immersed in David's life and the criticism just couldn't take the hold it might otherwise have. Don't get me wrong, it hurt that someone read what I wrote, read the song of my heart, and still found it within themselves to judge me. It just didn't hurt as much as it could have. I felt better knowing God doesn't judge me the in the same way. He doesn't judge any of us that way. Just look at David. He wasn't perfect. Not even close. He got angry with God, sometimes he felt deserted and hopeless. He never hid his emotions or tried to put a pretty face on his anguish. And still, he was a man after God's heart.

Do you know what that tells me? It tells me that God can take my pain. It tells me that my pleas and my sorrow aren't falling on deaf ears. It tells me that I don't have to be positive at all times. God doesn't expect it from me, He just expects me to lean on Him. And I am. I have not "given up hope". I have been holding on to every scrap of it with every bit of strength within me. But I don't have much strength. I am struggling. I am aching with pain and fear. I am crying out to God to restore my hope and my faith. I wonder if some of you thought before you commented that a week ago I had no idea that any of this was coming? I wonder if you thought about the fact that my life, my family's life, will NEVER be the same again? No matter what happens with this disease, my world is changing, and right now, RIGHT NOW it doesn't just feel like it is changing, it feels like it is being ripped and shredded into tiny pieces and all I can pray for, BEG God for, is that He will take those pieces and somehow work a miracle and put them back together for me. Because right now, RIGHT NOW, I can't.

And for those of you who are concerned about my dad... For those of you who are concerned about how badly I am hurting him with my honesty... If you knew me, if you knew my dad, you would know that there is NOTHING I could do to hide this from him. He would know. He would see it, and if I tried to cover it with a bright smile and some cheerful platitudes he would see straight through me. He knows my heart without me saying any of this to him. And trust me, what would really hurt him would be to know that there are people out there making me cry.

So. I am turning on the comment moderator for a while. Your comments will be posted once they go through me, so that the only person negative comments from strangers have the power to upset is me.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I'm Trying

You know when you have so many words to say that whatever you say really doesn't say it? That's how I feel right now. We don't have a concrete diagnosis, or a prognosis, or any of that stuff yet, but it is looking very much like all of Dad's problems are coming from something called multiple myeloma.

If you know anything about me, you know that I am not dealing well with this news. I would never say that one of my strengths is being able to trust God in these types of situations. I hate feeling powerless, and I really struggle to place someone I love so deeply completely in God's care. I don't know what I think I can do, but somehow I have it in my head that Dad is just too precious to me to "Let go, and let God." I'm still holding on with all my might. Yes, I know that it should be the opposite. I know, in my head, that because Dad is so important to me, I should be happy to be able to give God the situation and trust that He will take care of things. It's just so hard to actually do it. But... God has been here. He has been speaking to me in that still small voice. Softly and persistently telling me that He is here. He cares. He hears me and He has his hand on my dad's life. So I am trying to trust. Trying to hope.

Speak to me
Help me to hear
Let me know
You are near.

Lift my head
Hold me close
Yours is the voice
My heart knows.

When the world seems cold
And I've lost my way,
When it seems as though
Sorrow's won the day,

Speak to me
Help me hear
Let me know
You are near.