Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Day with Lots of Help

Loved Ones,

Ray's vomiting continued to increase last night and this morning and with that and the mouth sores, his doctor stopped the continuous chemo pump today. So far it seems to have alleviated some of the vomiting. It may take a day or two before any related symptoms are relieved.

Ray had a few minutes tonight where he wasn't hooked up to a pump or IV pole. He was happy to be free -- even for a minute.

We are praying for a good day tomorrow, now that the chemo has stopped. And, we pray restoration and healing for Ray as he sleeps.

We had SO many helpers today. I think four different people shoveled or snowblowed our driveway in the ever growing snow. All family members and friends that arrived were put to work! And that helped to get us through.

We thank you so much for your prayers.

"This is what the Lord says: Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing...But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds." Jeremiah 30:12, 17

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Prayers

Loved Ones,

It was a harder day. We did get to the local hospital for the fluid drain. Thankfully! They took out almost 5 liters. We are so relieved that we weren't waiting through the weekend as it was already impacting Ray's breathing.

Ray's had a hard day of symptoms with the beginnings of mouth sores and more vomiting. We're connecting with his doctor to see if it might be time for the 5FU pump to conclude this round. We'd been told that as symptoms worsened that would be discontinued. So we pray that we can reach his doctor and that if that is a next step, the logistics with home health would work out.

We did have one bright spot today as labs from yesterday showed Ray's liver numbers going down a little bit, for which we are thankful.

We pray tonight for encouragement for Ray and for strength. This is so hard! We pray for God's mighty hand to sustain Ray in every way -- emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually.

We pray that the symptoms would alleviate so that Ray can have a restful weekend. And we pray without ceasing for God to deliver Ray from this illness.

"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12

not alone and not afraid --
kristin and ray

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Better Day

Loved Ones,

With great joy I write that title! It was a little better day. Stable, no downturns. And, with no clinic visit, Ray was able to rest and come downstairs for a little bit.

With my folks and Ray's sister at home with Ray, the girls and I even went to the library to stock up on reading material which will come in handy during the coming snowstorm.

We are weighing whether to have another fluid drain procedure tomorrow or wait until Monday. We are working on scheduling this and on determining if there is a better way to handle the fluid rather than constantly doing this procedure.

We are so gladdened by a stable day. We know it is because of your prayers. We thank God for this answer to prayer and we pray that he continues his healing work in Ray.

As I rocked Lucy to sleep tonight I sang a song we had in our wedding. As I sang the last verse I thought it captured our thoughts and hopes tonight.

"Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!"

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Long Day

Loved Ones,

What a long day at the clinic! My precious cousin babysat for 12 hours for a one hour infusion! We are grateful for her and for the dinner from a neighbor that awaited us when we arrived home.

Ray did get the drug he needed today however, so we are glad of that. His liver numbers are on the rise again so we are working to determine the cause. Ray's doctor will talk to the nutritionist who puts together the IV nutrition. Hopefully some adjustment can decrease the load this puts on the liver.

We have a new medicine to try to help with the heartburn caused by the irritation in Ray's GI tract. We pray this helps!

The fluid seems to be building quickly in Ray's abdomen, so we may have to return to our local hospital even yet this week for another procedure to drain. We are glad we don't have to travel all the way downtown for that.

It's been a long haul since November. For Ray, he's battled the chemos, then the cancer, then the chemo, pneumonia, throw in a little dehydration. He is ready for a little time off! We are praying so hard for a respite for him. That there would be a little time in the next two weeks before his next round where he would feel good and have time to get stronger. So, we pray for restoration and encouragement.

Our hearts hope so dearly for Ray's healing.

"It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not take away his help from you or give you up, so have no fear!" Deuteronomy 31:8

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Loved Ones,

We thank you for your many well wishes for our anniversary -- it was encouraging to read your thoughts and verses. We were able to spend a little time together tonight and reflected with thankfulness on our eight years. The girls were part of the celebration today too and they enjoyed our wedding video. Especially the dancing!

The chemo has hit Ray pretty hard this time around so Ray had a very quiet day as moving around was pretty painful due to the irritation in his GI tract. We have to go back to the clinic tomorrow for one of Ray's medicines, so they'll check him out to see if there is anything else they can do to relieve his symptoms.

How much we all pray for healing and relief for Ray.

This verse from our wedding had new meaning for me today.

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other." John 15:16

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Report

Loved Ones,

Ray had a well timed procedure to drain fluid from his abdomen today. We were so happy the fluid was pretty stable through the weekend and we got into our local hospital just as his oxygen levels started to be impacted. It was very successful and we are thankful. He is doing pretty well, tired from his day but otherwise ok. The 5FU and mouth sores etc. will hit soon so we pray for a little bit of respite until that storm begins.

Tomorrow is our 8th anniversary. The girls and I watched some of our wedding video today and it was precious to recall those days. We pray for joy tomorrow even amidst the challenges of our present time.

We continue to pray for our girls as Ray's struggle is really impacting them. We pray for wisdom in all things related to these precious lights of our lives.

We continue our prayers tonight for restoration and healing for Ray. That he would grow stronger daily and that this chemo would work miracles by God's grace.

"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, January 4, 2009

Thankful for this Weekend

Loved Ones,

We are thankful for another quiet day. Ray had another day of rest and seems rested. No vomiting, his mouth seems healthy and his fluid accumulation is about the same. We are so grateful for all of this.

The day was full of quiet moments. A movie with the girls, quiet time with Ray, reading and talking with the girls before bed. With so much commotion over the holiday this day seemed like a day that everyone could recharge a little bit. We are so glad for it as we know how deeply it is needed by all.

We are thankful for this whole weekend. We pray that Ray would keep growing stronger and that God would work miracles against the cancer. We pray for constant assurance of God's presence and his promise to share every burden. We pray that this week would go smoothly -- each medical procedure or appointment.

"The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days." Deuteronomy 33:25

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray