Saturday, September 6, 2008

Update from Ray

Loved ones,

This is Ray. I figured it was time for me to write. First, to say thank you for all your prayers and support. God has shown himself many times to us through the acts of family and friends. I've been behind on my thank you's, so I wanted to take this moment to say thank you to everyone who has been so kind to us. It truly amazes us the support we have received from all of you, and others. Simple thank you's just do not convey our gratitude to everyone.

I'll try to write every once and while, but will leave the regular updates to the expert...Kristin. I don't think I could write to you all and not say how much of a rock Kristin has been to me through this whole experience. She continues to give me strength to fight this enemy.

Today was a good day. I felt good enough to do a little lawn work and was able to attend Nora's first soccer game. She scored a goal! Watch out Mia Hamm! We were also able to attend my company's annual employee picnic (we only live a few blocks from my work). It was good to see and catch up with people from work and the girls had a wonderful time eating cotton candy and riding horses. Right now the girls are watching, as Maggie says, "Anne of Green Bagels."

Last night's Sox game was great. A friend set me up with two tickets in scout seats (right behind home plate where scouts from other teams sit). Free food and drinks, a place to go inside and watch the game, a huge buffet table. I now know how the other half lives and I like it. We were probably on TV a couple of times as well, we were so close to the field. But the best was when I came home to a picture Nora drew for me. It was of me and grandad sitting in the stands watching the game. She had a field, players, bat and ball, and seats. She is going to be an amazing artist (and soccer player).

This last round of chemo has been a little more difficult than past rounds of chemo. I've had some trouble building my weight back up to where it should be. It is amazing how all the "good for you" foods have very little calories and all the bad foods are loaded with calories. If it was the other way around, I'd be over 200 pounds. I also feel more tired than the past few rounds, but I also feel like I am getting a little less sleep, especially during naps. So our prayers for today are for God to help me put on the pounds and get more rest.

We also ask for God to continue the healing process in my body and to continue to alleviate our fears and anxieties. We both have read a number books on battling cancer. Some of them mention how fears can overcome you, take control and be detrimental to the healing process. This is where God and his Word play such an important role. For we know, because God tells us over and over in the Bible, that it is through our faith in God, and his Word, that we can beat back these fears.

This verse was sent to us today from the mom of a good friend of ours.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

not alone and not afraid --


Friday, September 5, 2008

White Sox

Loved Ones,

What a fun day for Ray. Friends sent him SCOUT seats for the White Sox game which he attended tonight with my dad on his 63rd birthday. A good time was had by all! We are so glad for this fun opportunity, and that Ray was not too tired to go!

We continue to pray for Ray's appetite and strength. He is still very tired (two naps today) and is doing his best to eat but still feeling pretty weak.We talked to Ray's doctor today who said that the genetics test has been delayed. We will likely not get the results for another week.

We thank you for your continued prayers for Ray's healing and that the results of the genetics test will rule out a family link. These prayers are always on our hearts.

Instead of a verse, we quote a part of the Catholic mass sent by a friend. It is a beautifully encouraging prayer for us today.

"Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy, keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ."

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Thanks for the Encouragement Today

Loved Ones,

Another good day today. Ray had a visitor from DC while the rest of us went to Bible Study this morning. A great afternoon nap, welcoming the girls from school and then he and I were able to watch a movie! Always a joy -- a normal joy.

Ray's appetite is still down, but he is working hard to try to gain weight so as to be at a stronger spot for chemo next week.

Thank you for your many encouraging emails today. They are a feast for our hungry hearts.

"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40:1-3, 5

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Waiting and Hoping

Loved Ones,

It was a good day. A full day. We had some great visits with Ray's family and friends. We also were able to attend the ice cream social at Nora's school. We were glad that Ray's energy held up for all of this. He's tired this evening.

I forgot to mention last night that yesterday was Maggie's first day of preschool! The middle child! Always forgotten! Don't tell her I forgot! It's been so nice to have all of these treasured moments. And photo ops. She's a fearless one that girl! Mommy, Daddy and Lucy were waving hard but she walked happily into school and didn't even look back!

In addition to our constant prayer for Ray's healing, we pray tonight for protection for ALL of us from anxiety and fear. There are so many unknowns -- and these unknowns can give way to worries. However, we cannot change the fact that we simply do not know the future. And thus, we cannot let worry, fear and anxiety rob us of joy and peace. We are choosing to trust and we are doing the best we can to live that. And so, we thank you for your prayers that help us to have victory over fear and anxiety. We know you share our burden.

We look forward to new mercies tomorrow and we are grateful for everlasting hope.

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."

Psalm 130:5

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Loved Ones,

Some good news today. God is answering our prayers about Ray's white blood cell count which is normal. This is great. We are going to keep a close eye on it to monitor, but we may be able to do without the shot that boosts the count. At least this time! Please continue the prayers that he would be protected against infection or illness.

He is still tired but doing his best to rest and feel better. Ray's weight is very low but thankfully, his appetite is perking up and he is eating a little better. We pray for a big appetite! And a big weight gain!

We did our best today to follow our own advice from our email last night and persevere in prayer. Especially as we anticipate Ray's next scan and wait for genetic tests results, we persevere! We thank you for your prayers that accompany our voices.

"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." 2 Thessalonians 3:5

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day

Loved Ones,

We had a good day today. It was great to see our local political friends marching in the Naperville Labor Day parade. And the girls got lots of candy!

After a long nap and a family lunch, we went to the pool for the last time. While Ray was pretty tired today he was able to come with us. So that was great.

We look forward to fall with our thoughts on the coming trip to MD Anderson in Houston. As Ray recovers from this round of chemo we are so glad that after the next round his progress will be evaluated and treatments assessed. We are hopeful for progress beyond that which we could ask or imagine.

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer." Romans 12:12

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Better Day

Loved Ones,

It was a better day. Though Ray is still tired, he had some wonderful visits today with family and friends. How we cherish those times. I can't tell you how much it lifts our spirits.

It was a good day for just enjoying the day. Not focusing on what will happen the next day or the following, but simply treasuring the moments. This is a big lesson from cancer. In truth, it's something that is true for everyone, but it feels more true for us now. We are blessed to have today! Savoring each moment is a real joy.

We know how much we are in your prayers and it makes all the difference. I got four emails from my aunt at a prayer service with much of my family. We know these prayers are lifting and sustaining us.

"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him."
Nahum 1:7

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray