Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Every Morning

Loved Ones,

When Ray appeared this morning I thought of the verse about God's mercies being new every morning because he really did look a lot better. Though it was a tired day, his nausea was better. Thankfully.

We all went to Nora's soccer practice and later while he napped the girls and I played and went to the pool.

While it is hard to watch Ray endure the chemo, we are so glad for its work! We pray without ceasing for his healing and that God will continue to carry us through.

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and he will say: Here I am."

Isaiah 58:8-9

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Friday, August 29, 2008

Round 7 Concludes

Loved Ones,

Today was a rougher day for Ray. He is tired and very queasy. We are hoping this will pass soon.
Our pharmacy benefit plan denied coverage for the shot Ray usually receives to boost his white blood cell count. We're praying that Ray's body will rebound quickly so that he isn't too much at risk of infection or illness. Particularly from our girls! We'll check his counts early next week to make sure they aren't too low, and if they are we'll figure out a new plan But for now, we are praying for protection from illness.

These quiet weekends when Ray isn't feeling well are always a challenge. We're praying for time for Ray to recover and enough activities to keep us from missing him so much while he rests! Over and over, the swingset is a blessing!

We also pray for courage and peace as we await the results of the genetic tests and look toward Ray's next scan in a few weeks.

We received this verse from a friend today. Indeed, belief in Christ's power and care, no matter the circumstance, is the work of our faith.

“Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29

not alone and not afraid --
kristin and ray

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Driving Out the Enemy Cancer

Loved Ones.

Ray had a pretty good day. He is tired. But not too bad with the nausea so that is good. He still had a pretty good appetite as well.

We did hear from our doctor today with regard to the pathology determination on Ray's cells. Ray's cells are of the diffuse type than can be the hereditary type of cancer. However, his doctor assures us that this does not mean that it is hereditary, just that more tests will be necessary to determine this. Pathology is working on one test and geneticists will do the other. We should hear back in a week or so with one test but the rest of the tests will take six weeks So this will be a prayer request until then! And we very much appreciate your prayers.

We continue our prayers for Ray's healing and so appreciate the many emails assuring us of your prayers for the same. You could not give us greater support than this.

"There is no one like the God of Israel, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, 'Destroy him!''

Deuteronomy 33:26-27

We pray for God's continued miraculous work, driving out our enemy cancer.

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Round 7 Underway

Loved Ones,

Ray's chemo is underway. All of Ray's numbers are holding steady. Our prayers about his body's ability to restore itself and heal enough to receive treatments on time have been answered week after week. Since the initial week where Ray's platelets were low, they have held steady. The same for his white and red blood cells and hemoglobin. This is wonderful. We are so glad to be able to continue the chemo on time!

Ray's liver numbers are also holding steady. Though it is not the dramatic improvement from our early rounds, stable is ok. In terms of his bilirubin count, you can't get more normal than normal!

Ray's doctor says that she expects to hear from pathology tomorrow about Ray's cell type. If his cells are of the diffuse type, we will proceed with genetic testing to determine if a hereditary gene mutation caused the cancer. If his cells are not of the diffuse type, we will proceed with rejoicing!! So we are eagerly anticipating her news.

As always, with the chemo going through Ray's body we are ever prayerful for God's power to augment his treatments -- ridding his body of cancer.

We are so grateful for your prayers. We know they are being answered as we simply could not have enough strength for this journey of our own might.

As we wait for answers on this hereditary question and as we anticipate the news of Ray's progress after his next round, these verses comfort us:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

"We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Loved Ones,

We had a good day. We had wonderful family and friends who visited with us and brought us food. This evening my cousins brought gazpacho. Why didn't we think of this before? A great soup filled with vegetables! Ray liked it a lot.

We have been praying today about Ray's doctor's review of his pathology slides. She has not yet gotten back to us on how the slides look and whether or not the cells are the type for the hereditary stomach cancer. We are praying that the cancer is not this type and that it will not put our family at greater risk. We are beseeching the Lord with this prayer.

We are focused on Ray's seventh round of chemo tomorrow -- that God will pour out his healing on Ray, ridding his entire body of cancer. This is our heart's prayer.

Thank you for going with us tomorrow as we fight another round of this battle.

"But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me." Psalm 55:16-18

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tonight's Prayer

Loved Ones,

Ray had a good day today. His appetite finally seems to have returned. He said he ate more than 10 raviolis tonight! And squash! It's always great to see that.

We take such joy in walking Nora to and from the bus. And Ray's sister and nephew were here so we had fun visiting with them.

We heard from Ray's doctor tonight saying that she will review his pathology slides tomorrow, and will hopefully have more answers for us in terms of the cell type and thus the potential hereditary nature of Ray's cancer. We are praying earnestly that his cancer will not be the hereditary type.

In addition this, our prayers are focused on round seven of chemo which will begin on Wednesday. We have this seventh round and the eighth before Ray's next scan. So we are really praying for dramatic healing for Ray to be evidenced in Ray's scan which will take place at MD Anderson.

Thanks to many people, the details of our trip to MD Anderson in Houston are working out. We are looking forward to going, we are prayerful about what we will hear in terms of Ray's progress and treatment outlook, and we are hoping for some nice time in Texas with our girls and our sisters who live there.

We continue to be so grateful for your prayers, especially in this time where we are prayerfully waiting for God's healing for Ray.

"But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, Answer me with Your saving truth." Psalm 69:13

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

PS I heard from several people that they didn't get their emails while my computer fell prey to a virus. Sorry!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Sunday

Loved Ones,

We had a lovely day today. Ray was feeling pretty good and took only one midday nap which left us with lots of time together as a family.

This afternoon we went to a local beach to play and followed the beach with a pizza dinner in downtown Naperville. It was so nice to be together. Especially the pizza felt so normal.

Earlier this weekend Ray and I had talked about how much we mourn our past life. As we meet our kids' teachers, walk them to the bus, build castles on the beach, we are constantly reminded by how different our life is from the year before.

When we have even a small glimpse of our normal life, it fills us with longing for a time when cancer is not a factor in our life. Our faith gives us hope that Ray's next scan will show God's healing of his body, far beyond what we can ask or imagine.

Thank you for joining us in our prayers for his restoration to health.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray