Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Day at Home

Loved Ones,

Another day at home. We are so grateful. Ray's family was able to come and be with us for a belated Christmas gathering. It was great to be with them.

Ray was up and down the stairs a few times today and we were so glad he was able to be with us each time. A lot of exertion when you've been in the hospital! We are hoping the IV nutrition kicks in pretty soon to strengthen him. It was a long haul without nutrition, so he is catching up.

He is plagued by mouth sores, but we are doing our best to keep on top of them and hope that there is some relief soon.

Our prayer requests are many. This is a harder time so we pray God's peace, hope and encouragement for each member of our family including our extended family. We pray greatly for strength and courage. We pray for communication to speak the words on our hearts and to battle all of this together. We pray for wisdom and guidance as to how to spend every minute. And we pray for divine wisdom as to how to meet the needs of our girls.

We give thanks for our nurses and doctors who aid us every day. We are so grateful for them.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Friday, December 26, 2008


Loved Ones,

We are so glad to be home from the hospital tonight!!

Ray's fluid procedure went well. They pulled off lots of fluid and are sending us home with medicines to try to keep it from accumulating so quickly.

Ray is feeling just ok. The nurse was here for an hour tonight teaching us about the IV nutrition. It's a pump at night so Ray won't have to drag it around during the day which is great. Hopefully that will help Ray to get stronger.

It's a little scary coming home! At the hospital everything is monitored so closely. We will have to wean ourselves from the daily labs -- that was such a nice report every morning. Some of Ray's liver numbers are still going down. His bili though is up a tiny bit, his doctor thinks this may be from the IV nutrition, so we will just monitor that closely.

We are so grateful for our families. They have worked TIRELESSLY to help us come home. Our friends too, with presents and activities for the girls, helped to make the time while we were away more fun.

We pray for strength for all of us. We pray for peace, for wisdom, for guidance. We are joyful to be reunited. Still, the girls will have to have patience with the time demands of caregiving. And, we pray for good time for all of us to be together when Ray is feeling strong.

We beseech our God for restoration and healing for Ray.

"Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him for he achnowledges my name. He will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation." Psalm 91:14-16

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas in the Hospital

Loved Ones,

We had a lovely quiet day in the hospital. The girls woke up at 6 am for Santa, and had a great time. They were here all in all for 24 hours and it was wonderful to be with them. Nora said, “There's no place like the hospital because that's where my mom and dad are.”

Ray is pretty tired, so tonight they are giving him a unit of blood as he has low hemoglobin. It looks like plans are in order for the fluid drain tomorrow, and then we should be able to go home. Praise the Lord!

Some of Ray's liver numbers are still dropping, others seem to have stabilized. It would be so wonderful to get down to normal ranges before we leave. So that is our prayer.

We are so glad to have had this Christmas day together. We look forward to our homecoming tomorrow.

As always, we pray for Ray's healing and continued strength.

A friend sent the words to the last verse of Away in a Manger yesterday. A Christimas prayer.

"Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay, close by me for ever and love me I pray. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit them for heaven to live with thee there."

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Loved Ones,

“Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the hospital
Not a creature was strirring
Not even those in PJs High School Musical

The stockings were hung
By the bedside with care
In hope that St. Nicholas Soon would be there...”

The girls are fast asleep in the hospital's “family room” waiting for Santa who has already arrived in Ray's room. How wonderful that the hospital could arrange this in a lovely private room!

Though we would love to be home, with fluid already accumulating in Ray's abdomen, the doctors anticipate the need for another fluid drain on Friday. So it is better to be here to prevent any breathing problems if the fluid accumulates quickly.

After the fluid drain procedure on Friday we should be clear to head home, provided that nothing changes.

Ray's liver numbers are still dropping a little bit. We would love if they would come down to normal before we go.

We are so thankful to be together!!! Joy, joy, joy!

We pray God's healing hand on Ray and our whole family as we celebrate this Christmas.

We are so grateful for your prayers! We pray God's blessings on you this Christmas -- that it will be a Christmas you will long remember.

"For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Is. 9

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Quiet Day in the Hospital

Loved Ones,

Ray had a quiet and stable day in the hospital. His first in awhile.

His liver numbers dropped a little more; his IV nutrition continues.

An incredible praise is that Ray went a whole day without throwing up. I can't tell you how that gladdens our hearts! Even more, he drank some juice and said it tasted good. Praise the Lord!

It looks like we will be here another couple of days while they regulate Ray's IV nutrition and he gains a little strength. Patience!

We continue to be so grateful for your prayers for Ray and our family. We pray so hard for Ray's strength and restoration.

"Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.” Psalm 86:1-3

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Monday, December 22, 2008

Some Progress

Loved Ones,

Ray's liver numbers continue to improve. If they continue at this rate, they could be in the normal range by tomorrow. His doctor is amazed.

The procedures to drain fluid were sucessful. Almost four liters had accumulated so with that taken care of, Ray can now breathe on his own.

Our prayers are focused tonight on Ray's restoration. It has been a long haul!! He is very weak and tired. We pray that God would lift him up in every way -- physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We ask for God's healing and gentle touch on the head of his son Ray.

And we pray continued strength and blessing on our family large and small as we walk this road.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:1-5, 10

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Better Day

Loved Ones,

Some good news today. Ray's liver counts went down instead of increasing. Praise the Lord!

I asked his doctor to what she attributed the overnight changes. She named a variety of possibilities. I told her that we believe it is the prayers and she said we may be right. To God be the glory!

We pray for continued improvement in Ray's liver tomorrow. Just processing the chemo and IV nutrition could raise the numbers so it is not a perfect measure. But we pray that his liver status will continue to improve.

Ray is fighting hard and had a tiring day. Due to all of the IV fluids he has retained a lot of fluid in his abdomen. That was making it more difficult to breathe today. We have addressed that with some medicines, and he will have another procedure to drain some fluid.

For now he has oxygen to help him breathe and we pray that this continues to do the trick.

The chemo will run for five days so Ray will be tired during that time. We are doing our best to adress Ray's symptoms to make him comfortable while he fights the fight.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers for Ray and for our family.

"But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall" Malach 4:2

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Praying Hard

Loved Ones,

Ray's liver situation worsened overnight. We began chemo this evening with two chemo agents he has had before. They have not yet been combined together however and they will run for five days. And, we have added another non chemo drug to lessen the blood flow to Ray's tumors.

Our chemo choices were limited by Ray's liver's weakening status.

We are hopeful that the chemo will be able to arrest the development of the tumors in order to recover liver function.

We are in constant prayer for Ray's healing, his strength and his endurance. These next few days will be critical to determine the chemo's ability to reduce the tumors.

Our God however can heal at any time. And so we hold tight to this hope as well.

In addition to all these prayers, we pray for our family. That God will meet the needs of each person and that he will especially watch over our girls on this rocky road as we cannot be always at their side.

"In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death.And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.'" Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to theLORD, saying, "Now, O LORD, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good inyour sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: "Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you."

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray