Saturday, September 27, 2008

A better day

Loved Ones,

Today was a better day for Ray. The chemo's effects seem lessened and he had more energy which was great for the soccer games.

Our girls patience at the many demands we face continues to amaze us. We are so blessed to have so many loving friends and family to watch them and we are so thankful that they adapt and have fun without us. We are very grateful for the prayers which we know make this possible. And, oh the joy when we return home!

We heard this song based on the prayer of St. Francis on Thursday. It has been running through our minds ever since. We especially hope that we can live the mission of the second verse.

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy.

O Master grant that I may never seek,
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

not alone and not afraid --
kristin and ray

Friday, September 26, 2008

Let's hear it for our girls!

Loved Ones,

It was a harder day. Ray and the girls were just about to go to a movie when he got sick. I was so proud of those girls. They did not complain at all that they couldn't go. Just sat down at the kitchen table with their Bible coloring pages and colored.

Though he's still tired, he's feeling better so we are hopeful for a movie tomorrow after Nora's "doubleheader" soccer game.

Ray and I spent time praying together for healing at a healing mass. We left refreshed.

We thank you for your continued prayers and we look forward to our weekend together as a family.

"Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:4-5

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Loved Ones,

Ray is doing better today. Tired, but not as bad as yesterday. We are so relieved and thankful. And that white blood cell shot. Great stuff!

We had good news from the final genetics breakdown. We now know definitively that there is no genetic link in Ray's cancer. Praise the Lord! We are so very thankful to have this final confirmation.

We attended a family funeral today which again reminded us of how thankful we are for every minute with our beloved family and friends. We are thankful for all of you.

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him... strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Round 8 Concludes

Loved Ones,

We are learning more and more about the chemo side effects which we have been told multiply with each round. Ray's biggest struggle is fatigue. The chemo knocks him out which we hate. But we know that this signifies its strong work and impact. So praise the Lord for that and we will be patient as we are so grateful for the Lord's hand in the powerful impact of the chemo. We pray for patience though for Ray as he endures it and the rest of us as we struggle watching him struggle and as we miss him while he rests and recovers.

We are thankful also that any neuropathy from his chemo has been minimal -- an answer to prayer -- as this side effect can delay or stop chemo.

We are very worried for the White Sox. I mentioned once that they seem to do well when Ray is feeling good and bad when he is feeling tired. Goodness. Ray better rebound quick so they can clinch the title.

Our girls are not quite better so we pray speedy recovery for them and protection for Ray from any girl-carried germs.

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.” Isaiah 41:17

not alone and not afraid --
kristin and ray

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chemo Continues

Loved Ones,

Ray had an ok day -- a good morning but by the afternoon the chemo impact had returned. Now we remember why we all loved that chemo vacation so much! It's mostly tiredness and lack of appetite, so bearable, but not so fun.

However, we continue to be so grateful for the chemo and its God given power, so we are thankful tonight for the chemo! And we pray for God's continued healing.

Ray needs a bubble to live in this house with our girls! But they are doing much better tonight and we are glad for Ray's white blood cell shot!

And, we are so glad for our girls! Germs and all, their sparkling beauty and personality lights our days and our nights! What a joy they are to us.

"But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children."
Psalm 103:17

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

P.S. I know some of you dropped off the list when we were in Houston. I've divided the email so hopefully it will stop truncating. Always let me know if you fall off and I'll figure out how to get you back on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Round 8 in Progress!

Loved Ones,

Today was a good day! Ray's white blood cells had improved enough for chemo. Praise the Lord! They probably have not had people as excited for chemo as we were! All of Ray's numbers look good. His hemoglobin and platelets along with his liver numbers all looked stable or improved.

We met with the nurse practitioner as well. Though the CD of Ray's scan had not yet arrived, we were able to compare the reports from his scan in July and in Sept. It looks like in July there were still lesions measuring 4 inches. So this truly was a wonderful improvement. We'll meet again with Ray's doctor in a few weeks and usually she pulls up the scan for us to see. That will be great! On our way to a clean scan next we hope!

So tonight we pray for miraculous impact of this chemo! We know God has been answering our prayers! And this makes us say "Lord I believe!" and renews our prayers for total healing.

As usual we cannot seem to go to chemo without returning to a child who has thrown up. This time two! Hopefully not a stomach bug! But we have Ray's white blood cell shot in the fridge waiting to be given Thursday so that should help!

We thank you for your many emails and prayers today. We are so grateful for God's many answers.

We have used this verse before, but it is the right one today.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Preparing for Round 8 -- We hope!

Loved Ones,

We had another good day today. Ray is doing his best to gain a little bit more weight before chemo begins again. Though he was tired today, he had difficulty resting. We pray for a good night's rest tonight.

We go for chemo tomorrow morning; we hope that Ray's white blood cells will be high enough to move forward.Our day today was filled with different emotions. The joy of holding a tiny baby god son. The sadness of an unexpected death in our extended family.

Ray and I have always loved rejoicing with those who rejoice. We're good at it. We've had so much joy!

Through our journey, we are learning more about weeping with those who weep. We feel that surely this must be a purpose of experiencing adversity -- this opportunity to truly have compassion for those experiencing grief and pain. We are doing our best to listen to this lesson and offer the comfort to others that we have received from Christ -- and from his body, made up of all of you.

Thank you for being a part of teaching us this lesson.

"I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul." Psalm 31:7

not alone and not afraid --
kristin and ray