Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beginning Chemo Today in the Hospital

Loved Ones,

We are taking Ray in to the hospital now. It is clear that the cancer is progressing rapidly and his chemotherapy needs to begin as soon as possible.

We are so grateful for your prayers for God's miraculous healing hand in this new round of chemo.

"But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place, free from restriction to the comfort of your table laden with choice food." Job 35:15-16

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Friday, November 28, 2008

Continued Prayers

Loved Ones,

We are so thankful for all of Ray's medicines which are making things a little more bearable for him. Of course they make him tired, which is a bummer, but better that than nausea and pain!

We continue to keep in touch with Ray's doctor as his symptoms continue to grow. Our hearts are burdened for Ray, as it is a heavy load he bears.

We are looking toward Monday, praying that the chemo addresses his symptoms, and praying for miraculous healing power.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and songs, which lift our days.

"He will tend his flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs in his arms; He will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Loved Ones,

Happy Thanksgiving! We continue to be so grateful for all of you and for your prayers. We pray that you felt God's gentle hand upon you as you celebrate with family and friends.

Ray is feeling better tonight than he was Tuesday and Wednesday. Since he was having such trouble keeping things down, a homecare nurse came today and gave IV fluids and anti-nausea medication. That has helped Ray to have a better day. And we are so thankful for that. We were all able to go this evening to Ray's sister's house for Thanksgiving with his whole family.

Of course our downtown Chicago plans had to go by the wayside. They were perhaps a little ambitious! But we watched the parade on TV from home.

We continue to focus our minds and hearts on Monday's new chemo round. We are thankful for this opportunity to battle anew. And much more thankful that we do not battle alone.

"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Prayers for Thanksgiving

Loved Ones,

This Thanksgiving we are thankful for you. We are so honored and blessed by your prayers.

Tonight we pray very hard for Ray. His symptoms continue and they make it very hard to eat, sleep or be comfortable at all. We pray that his spleen shrinks fast! That he has some relief from the pain and discomfort and that he is able to eat so that his weight loss slows.

We pray that God holds back the tumor growth until next week when Ray's new chemo begins, and we pray earnestly that by God's power this new combination of drugs will work even more powerfully in Ray.

We pray that God will carry Ray gently, sustaining his heart and spirit, while he patiently waits for the relief from these latest issues, and for the healing he needs so desperately.

We thank the Lord for so many answers to prayer, and we wait in hope for many more.

"Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

PS I won't send an email tomorrow. We are staying downtown with Ray's family to watch the parade on Thursday morning. So Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good News

Loved Ones,

I am writing early to let you know the results of our day.

The good news is that Ray's doctor believes that his increased symptoms are not coming from the tumor growth in his liver, but from his spleen enlargement which she attributes to one of the drugs that she is discontinuing. Praise the Lord!

There is certainly some growth of the tumors in Ray's liver, but it is not overwhelming, nor unexpected given his tumor marker numbers.

She is optimistic about the new chemo regime and is checking out some additional medicine to give in combination with the chemo.

Because it is cram packed at the clinic, and more importantly because she does not believe there is a risk to waiting, Ray's next chemo will occur as planned on December 1. So, our Thanksgiving plans are back on track! Lots of fun and pictures, pictures, pictures, before Ray loses his hair!

We are so relieved at this news. Though there is certainly some work to do still in shrinking the tumors, we are not anywhere close to where we started and there are some good drugs ahead. And, the tumor growth was not what we had feared given Ray's symptoms.

As always, God was with us, not just in these answers to prayer with the results, but in assuring us of his constant calm presence.

And we know that you were there too. Thank you for surrounding us today. I am somewhat surprised that the scan did not reflect the cloud of angels around Ray. Then again, perhaps it did.

"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1

not alone and not afraid --
kristin and ray

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Preparing for Ray's Scan on Monday

Loved Ones,

We had so much joy at our twin nephews' baptism. What precious boys! This was such a beautiful part of our day!

Ray's symptoms continue and we are so glad for the scan, labs, and appointment tomorrow to determine where things stand and figure out a plan of action.

We pray for wisdom for our doctor in evaluating Ray's scan, labs and symptoms, and in setting our course of action.

We pray for peace, wisdom and courage as we progress through our day tomorrow. We pray that we would be free of fear and anxiety. And as always, we pray for God's hand on Ray's very head -- protecting him and healing him.

We give thanks for the many hands that make it easier for us to go without worrying about our girls. And most importantly for the many prayers that surround us.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray