Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Quiet Day

Loved Ones,

Ray had a quiet day filled mostly with sleep as he recovers from the chemo. We are glad he was able to rest. He has a lot of fluid accumulation but no vomiting. We praise the Lord for control of the vomiting and pray that the fluid will be manageable until we can get it drained. We are glad so much of these things can be done from home: fluids, chemo, IV nutrition, IV meds, etc. And, we are glad for nurse sisters to help out as we have learned that home health means you do a lot of it yourself!!

With Ray resting it was really nice to be with the girls who did karaoke and played. Our highlight was build a bear where the girls made bears with a special message from daddy that they can play back by pushing the bears' hands. Treasures.

We pray for rest and restoration for Ray and all of us. We continue to pray for wisdom and freedom from anxiety. We are grateful for this weekend together. We pray that God would work healing miracles through this chemo.

"May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. As smoke is blown away by the wind, may you blow them away; But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds -- his name is the LORD— and rejoice before him.
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Summon your power, O God, show us your strength,
O God, as you have done before." Psalm 68:1-3.19, 28

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Night at Home

Loved Ones,

We were relieved to hear at Ray's clinic visit today that Ray's liver numbers were still holding from New Years Eve. His doctor is attributing the vomiting and increase in his liver counts from Wednesday to dehydration. As we were already there, she went ahead and did Ray's chemo that had been scheduled for next week. So that is one thing off our list. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get every drug today so we do have to return next week for the new drug to block blood flow to tumors. Bummer. The trips take a lot out of Ray so we try to limit them as much as we can.

Tomorrow we'll get Ray's chemo pump for home and they'll start that, which will run over the next few weeks. And, we'll be doing more fluids and even IV medicines from home to try to prevent dehydration from occuring again.

We pray tonight for strength and endurance for Ray. This is a lot to have the chemo just as he's recovered so we pray this next round will have minimal side effects and that the tiredness will pass quickly. We pray that all this fluid will not collect too quickly as we have plans to get that drained soon but hopefully not this weekend! We pray especially tonight for restoration -- that the chemo will be able to beat back the cancer so that Ray can get stronger and feel better. Of course we pray always for healing.

Many times in December, a Friday clinic visit turned into a hospitalization. This thought weighed heavy on our girls and we are so glad to return to them tonight. We pray for a good weekend together and continued wisdom in how to parent them best through this time.

We pray for strength that equals the many tasks in our days and we are so thankful for the aid of our families who help us to juggle all those things.

"But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:18-22

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Day

Loved Ones,

Ray had a very hard and sick night last night but has shown some improvement today. We are so relieved. His doctor thought today that dehydration may be causing all the vomiting so we did some IV fluids this afternoon. That helped a lot!

We are going to see her tomorrow at the clinic so that she can evaluate Ray's symptoms and determine a plan for chemo.

We were so glad for my family here today so that I could focus on Ray. Even the girls got a little time with him which was wonderful for all of us.

We pray for a restful night for Ray and all of us. We pray always for healing, for strength. We are always grateful for God's mighty and mysterious hand.

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." Ephesians 1:18-21

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Loved Ones,

Ray's mouth and lips are doing a little better today. We are so thankful! Thank you for your many prayers. Tonight we pray for continued relief from vomiting as Ray had some trouble this evening.

Ray's labs came back this afternoon. His liver numbers are going a little higher. We are in touch with his doctor and we may try to fuss with the formula for his IV nutrition as this can sometimes cause more difficulty with the liver. We may also move Ray's chemo up again to Monday the 5th. We are so thankful for Ray's doctor, emailing with us on New Year's Eve.

We pray earnestly that these numbers hold and don't go up anymore until Ray's body is ready for more chemo. And we pray for wisdom for Ray's doctor as she weighs all these factors.

We are thankful for our New Year's Eve party today with our cousins and our 6 pm "countdown" with daddy and the girls. We are very thankful for a new year together.

"And lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." Matthew 28:20

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Precious Day

Loved Ones,

We had a quiet day but one with precious moments. How we cherish our times together.

We heard from one of Ray's nurses that his doctor wants to do chemo on January 7. She is not sure about the continuous chemo from home as his mouth has taken such a long time to heal. We pray for her wisdom in making these decisions. And we pray that Ray's mouth would heal!

Ray will have labs again tomorrow. We are praying so hard for good results.

We pray for trust and patience. We pray for peace and joy. We are grateful for our day.

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up 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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Numbers Holding

Loved Ones,

We got the results from Ray's first labs since we went home. His liver numbers are holding. They are about the same as when we left the hospital. We were relieved to hear it. And his blood numbers: white blood cells, platelets, are all improving.

One of Ray's doctor's plans is to put Ray on a continuous low dose chemo pump from home. That was to begin today. Because of Ray's mouth sores however, she decided to hold chemo for today to give his mouth a bit more time to heal. We are not sure when it will begin.

Based on his numbers she will also determine the next date for his larger chemo dose. Since his blood numbers look good that may be sooner than later. But I don't even know what that means!! This may also be determined by his mouth sores.

So, for many reasons, most of all for relief (!), we pray for Ray's mouth to heal.

We are so glad Ray's numbers are holding. We pray for improvement! We pray for the IV nutrition to strengthen Ray. Most of all we pray for God to sustain Ray in every way by his very hand. And for his grace to hold up the rest of us as well.

We want to say also: thank you for your emails and for the many things that all of you have done to help us. I am still doing the best I can to respond as much as I can but we want you to know that even if you don't get a response, you are part of God's sustaining hand, your words, your calls, your gestures. Thank you for being part of that.

A friend sent a verse today about the Israelites in battle. They were afraid. But that day the Lord "thundered" in battle. And at the end of the story was this verse.

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

A good verse for today.

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fear Not

Loved Ones,

Ray is doing ok. His mouth sores are really bothering him, bleeding and making it difficult for him to drink. We are trying new medicines just this afternoon; we pray that they assist his healing process.

Ray mostly spent the day recovering from his big day yesterday. We did however, have a little church service with the kids. When the girls were not fighting, it was lovely!

We pray tonight for relief from anxiety -- that God will be bigger than our worries and fears. We pray for patience and hope. We pray always for healing, and always for strength. We pray for wisdom in how to spend every second of the day. And, we pray that God's very real presence will be always evident to ourselves and our children.

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray