Monday, November 29, 2010

Dashing Through The -- What!! 80 Degrees in December!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, His love endures forever - Psalm 136:1"

Hi Everyone!

Mike and I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving Holiday, whether you took a trip away or brought the entire family to you, we hope it was memorable and a great way to kick-off the Holiday Season! We had a very nice Thanksgiving. The cold weather unfortunately did not come till the evening of Thanksgiving, but it made for a perfect day for the kiddos to play outside and everyone gather together for a wonderful feast!

This year Maggie and Rafa hosted the Festivities and it was such a great time to have us all together and now that the boys are all getting older, they have a lot of fun with it too and enjoy the fellowship of each other and their cousins. Maggie cooked her 1st Turkey and it was oh so good! Shamra, Jenn and Mike provided some very scrumptious sides and boy oh boy were we full to the gills! We were thankful that Mike was feeling good and spirits were high and a lot of good Uncle Mike time was gotten in along with a new family game that Maggie and The Boys have become addicted to – Angry Birds (on the IPad), by the end of the day, Kevin and Grandpa Boggs was even getting their feel for it!

The week went on and we put up our tree and all our d├ęcor! It was nice to continue some Family time also throughout the weekend with a visit from my mom and lunch with Cousin Will and Sarah. Sarah’s sister was in town with their kiddos, so we were able to meet some more extended family. Finally we wound it down with a relaxing Sunday for what we anticipated to be a busy week for us, but as we all know and I have learned with Cancer, our schedules change daily.

In my last update I wrote that Mike would under-go a spinal chemo today (November 29, 2010) which he did with no complications (except we are just not ever going to get used to that 12inch needle!! Ouch!). I also wrote that he would under-go a new chemo agent to be added to his chemo treatment this Wednesday, but learned today that it can only be administered 2 weeks after the spinal chemo he received today. Furthermore I learned this is due to the chemo that will be added to his additional agents that he already is being given, this new chemo (if it works, with results from research since it being a clinical trial) this will replace Mike having to under-go the spinal chemo any further. This chemo will do the same thing in it will attack any Cancer in the nervous system. So for that reason his Oncologist Dr. Tsao decided to administer it all together in (2) weeks vs. separating it. I know!!! It changes daily, but we trust them all completely and know they work non-stop to cure Mike and find the best treatments for him, so we must continue to pray and have faith everyday as we have been.

On the flip-side, Mike will have MRI’s of the Brain and Spine done on Thursday and next week we will meet with the Neurological Clinic to discuss the results from the Full Brain radiation and the current spinal chemo he has received. We are both anxious to receive these results, for the PET Scan came back good, we continue to pray that all tumors in the brain and any Cancer cells in the Nervous System, Spinal Fluid and ones that have attached to the spine are disappearing as well…

As always, we continue to thank you ALL for prayers, uplifting words and spirits sent our way. We appreciate the phone calls, messages, texts and letters! You all are truly Heaven Sent and we are beyond THANK(FULL) for each and every one of you! We continue to pray that Mike remains in the “Strong Like Bull” state of mind and he is blessed with a magical holiday season with Family and Friends!

From our Family to Yours, we wish you a Blessed Holiday Season and we will all keep you updated as we continue on our journey!

XOXO Lyndie

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Charlie Brown Had The Great Pumpkin -- We Have MD Anderson

“The Difference Between Those Who Are Able To Rise ABOVE Their Adversities & Those Who Get STUCK In Them Is OUR Attitudes. A Key to Enjoying YOUR Life - Find Something to Be Thank(FULL) For EVERY Day - Victoria Olsteen”

I find this statement to be so true. I am thankful today that through our adversities and thus far in our journey, we have been surrounded by Family and Friends who have continued to lift us up with their high-spirited attitudes and with that, it has kept us above the “funk” that could otherwise bring us down.

Mike underwent a PET Scan on Monday and today we met with his Oncologist for the results and the next plan of action. Just as our other visit, though I prayed for peace and limited anxiety, I wasn’t anxious thinking we would receive anything negative (though I do now prepare for ANYTHING), but I was antsy all day at work until we were sitting in the Doctor’s office…not the car ride, not the elevator ride or the waiting room…I was READY to see Dr. Tsao face to face! The nurse came in with all smiles and said the Dr. was on her way in and the PET Scan results were very good and we have a good report! I have learned from the past to NEVER again take what the Nurse says and run with it, but shoot, she wasn’t providing anything negative, so I will take good…for now until the Dr. arrives!

Dr. Tsao walks in all smiles as well and just looks at both of us and tells Mike he has done not just Very well with the chemo, he has done EXTREMELY well and the report, though it does not show any DRAMATIC changes, there are NO New Tumors, NO Spreading and The Cancer IS Shrinking! All his soft organs remain healthy and unaffected by the Cancer and the Cancer that was located on the Pelvic Bone has SHRUNK a HUGE deal and is almost non-apparent. She informed us that she will continue to administer the current chemo agents he has been given (this starts Next Wednesday December 1, 2010) and with this he has also been approved for a clinical study and will receive a new chemo agent along with his treatment. With this new agent being added and it being a clinical trial, it will be monitored more closely and administered every (2) weeks vs. every (3) weeks. This was the same chemo that Dr. Tsao was going to administer, but with it being recommended by Mike’s Neurological team as well, they are choosing the clinical trial route. He will still receive the Spinal chemo as well (starting Monday November 29, 2010) and another in December. Mike did so well with the first rounds of treatment, we pray that he continues to do well with these additional agents and stays strong in mind, body and spirit!

As I end today, I must say this is a GREAT entry into our Thanksgiving Holiday! We are not through the woods yet, and our journey is not over, but we are surely on the road to recovery and the healing continues! We both continue to thank you all for your prayers, messages, phone calls and the efforts of all Prayer Warriors involved. Every prayer is being heard and felt – GOD is surely with us on this journey, we are for sure of that, without a doubt!

With Thanksgiving here tomorrow, while we join our Family and Friends to enjoy a memorable fellowship, please know that you all are with us in spirit and we share this monumental holiday with you as well! May GOD continue to bless you and yours and thank you for sharing your faith and spirit with us!

XO Lyndie

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Thanksgiving Holiday FULL of Thanks!

“Do NOT Be Anxious About ANYthing, BUT In EVERY Situation, By Prayer And Petition, WITH THANKSgiving, Present Your Requests To GOD; And The PEACE of GOD, Which Transcends ALL Understanding, WILL Guard Your Hearts And Your Minds In Christ JESUS – Philippians – 4:6-7”

What a year it has already been and now we sit here just days away from Thanksgiving Feasts that will be prepared, and cherished time with family and friends that will forever be in our memories for years to come!

This year, though it has offered many trials for Myself and Family, I cannot be anything but FULL of Thanks. This year started off like all others – full from Christmas festivities and back to work into a new year with all sorts of new beginnings that were in store for us. Beginnings that were not journeys we had planned for us, but as I learn day to day – all that we encounter and all that we become a part of, IS GOD’s plan.

This year I feel Mike and I have become closer. Closer to each other, closer to our Family, closer to our Friends and closer to GOD. It seems daily our faith is tested and at the end of each day, as I mentioned recently, we may be a little bruised, but we are still standing at the end of each day because of GOD. This Thanksgiving, I am FULL of thanks that we are able to spend this holiday with our family and loved ones – all of which have come together during this journey and though you all lead such busy lives with your own work, family and everyday going ons – when you are needed, you have come. FOREVER we are grateful!!

This week, November 22nd Mike will undergo a PET Scan to show results of how well the chemo is working throughout his body. I continue to have complete faith that the news we will receive on November 24th will be GOD sent and Mike will continue on the road of healing. Mike has continued to do so well with the chemo, other than feeling tired and a few headaches. He was supposed to have been given a spinal chemo on Monday November 15th, but he came down with a stomach bug after he returned from Vegas (I think it was the All-You-Can-Eat Buffets ;) He unfortunately was pretty sick the entire week but as of Friday has gotten his appetite back and is looking forward to some Delicious Home-Cooking on Thanksgiving Day! The spinal chemo has been rescheduled for November 29th. In early December he will have a MRI of the Brain and Spine to report how the spinal chemo is working and how the Full-Brain radiation affected the remaining tumors that were not able to be removed by surgery.

As always – I know it I do not even have to ask, for I know Mike, Myself and Our Family remain in your daily prayers for continued healing, continued strength, continued courage and unfailing faith instilled is us. For ALL of you, not just this Holiday Season, but EVERYday we are FULL of Thanks. Mike remains in great spirits and reminds you all he is “Strong Like Bull”.

I wish you all a Thanksgiving Holiday FULL of Thanks. A time to reflect on how far we have come, how far we have come as a family and how far we have come as friends. Each of our relationships is different, but none more important than the other – we are all in each other’s lives for a reason – for as I continue to know it is GOD’s Plan. He has brought many of you into Myself and Mike’s life at just the time that seems none other than GOD Sent – and forever we both will be FULL of Thanks for this!

I close today as we welcome the Holiday spirit into our homes – We wish you warm wishes and that this Holiday season as you are crowded around a delightful Thanksgiving Feast, as you Travel far or bring Family in, as you break out the Christmas decorations this week and nestle on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa while the Lights of the Tree and the faint smell of Turkey and Dressing fill the air – know that here in Houston, TX we are thinking of you and FULL of Thanks to have you in our lives.

OXOX Lyndie

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ask Not What HE Can Do For US – Ask What WE Can Do For HIM

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives – Genesis 50:20”

I ask myself that every day! I really do. When at times I feel I have fallen short I remember that GOD knows me. He knows my every thought, he knows my next move. All he asks of me is to Praise him and live my life the best I can for him. I wake up every day with this in mind, and though times I may fall short, I know that he continues to be here and know my heart.

Today Mike started his way back home from Vegas – I have been screaming with excitement in side! He had a nice trip, spent quality time with Kevin and Grandpa and it offered him time to get out of town, away from Hospitals and Tests for a week. In my previous emails (and I as I never fail to mention – I sometimes write too soon and it all changes up on us ;) Per his schedule, he will receive a spinal chemo on Monday. The following week he will undergo a PET scan and we will visit with his Oncologist. I pray every day that the meeting with Dr. Tsao will hold once again news of progress and that the chemo (along with GOD) is working and the Cancer is shrinking and disappearing – FOR GOOD!! I will forever believe in the Power of Prayer and remind you that every prayer that is said, every well wish that is sent our way is heard and felt – so keep them coming – Our GOD is so Good!

As I ask for continued prayers for Mike, I do also take this time to ask a prayer request for my Cousin and Aunt as well. Both which have received news of Cancer Diagnosis. My Cousin James has been diagnosed with Throat/Neck Cancer. He will receive a PET scan this coming week and learn of more details. They have said they will most likely perform Radiation and chemo 5 days a week (not sure of the length of time). If it does not shrink, then they may have to perform surgery. Our Aunt Julie was diagnosed with Cancer and is now undergoing Chemotherapy. She will be receiving her 2nd treatment starting Monday. It has been a complete shock to the entire family, but just as with Mike’s diagnosis, we all continue to Trust and Know GOD is complete control. We will continue to praise him and pray for healing throughout their entire bodies.

I was SO Mad when I received this news – I was so mad. Then I was sad. I received the email below today from a good friend and again, I prayed and know that GOD is bigger than all of this and will continue to take this all for us, even when at times, we fall short and The Devil inserts doubt – once again I shout “Screw You! Devil – we will continue to be victorious and GOD will NOT forsake us!”

Thank you Gina for this:

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry. Two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone!!

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise, whether in splendor or behind a mask of clouds. But it will rise. Until it does we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn. This leaves only one day: TODAY.

Any man can fight the battles of just one day. It is when you and I add the burdens of two awful eternities - yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down.

It is not necessarily the experience of today that disturbs one's peace of mind. It is often time the bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore live one day at a time.”

As I close tonight and sit here, I just continue to Praise GOD for all he HAS Done, All he Continues to DO and all He WILL Do. Though the news we have received is heart-breaking, we could allow complete despair to set in – and though we might have those passing thoughts, we must continue to focus. Mike and I continue to be blessed beyond belief and I trust GOD will continue to work in our families lives as well.

We thank you ALL for the time you take daily to pray for us, to lift us up in prayer – Healing has begun and will continue! You all remain Powerful Prayer Warriors and FOREVER we are grateful!!

We Love you ALL Very much – I will continue to keep you posted.

XO Lyndie

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No It's 4 Year Old Super Heroes!

"The steps of a man are established by The LORD, and He delights in his way; When he falls, he will not be Hurled headlong, Because The LORD is THE One who Holds his Hand - Psalm 34:23-24"

Wow! What a weekend!! Beautiful weather graced us here in Houston, TX – for that we are very blessed!

Mike left for Vegas early Saturday morning, and though it was bitter-sweet, I know he is going to have a wonderful and MUCH deserved time with His Dad Kevin and Grandpa! As soon as he left out, I decided to stay up and kill some time – you know I ONLY have 7 days to do so, so I managed to clean the entire house, go grocery shopping and run errands ALL by noon…ok, so now just 6 ½ more days! Aye!

Sunday kept me quite busy as it was the day of ALL super-heroes across Houston to join forces and celebrate Trevor & Williams 4th Birthday!! My those boys have grown and Sunday was complete with 30 Cake & Candy filled Kiddos flying around in their most creative Super Hero costumes! It was a lot of fun and even Batman & Spiderman showed up for the excitement!! Maggie truly knows how to throw a party, and this is one to always remember! The kids were adorable and all the parents equally sweet! It’s so fun to have nephews and to be a part of such events as this – they have grown so much in the past few years and are developing into little men!!

Overall the weekend actually was not that bad, due to being married to an avid Hunterman and Fisherman, weekend trips out of town are not out of the ordinary, but eeeek, facing the entire week alone is something that I have never done, but praying for strength. The “wet-nosed” kiddos will keep me entertained, and a part of me is sort of excited about the idea of watching ALL my shows un-interrupted! Haha!

Mike continues to feel well and remains in great spirits and is happy to be in Vegas with Kevin and Grandpa! He has already shared some fun road trip stories and it seems they have already had quite a fun journey!! They are staying at The Golden Nugget (one of my favorites Downtown, especially after following the reality show) and will be in Vegas all week and head back home Friday. As I said, its bitter-sweet, because I miss him so very much, but gosh my heart is happy he is feeling good and was able to be a part of this memorable trip!

I thank you ALL for continued prayers and well wishes for Mike, Myself and our family! This journey continues to make us stronger daily and GOD continues to be with us through this ALL! Mike remains to have no side effects other than being a little tired. When Mike returns he will receive another spinal chemo and new Pet scans will be done in December. I continue to pray and have complete faith that GOD is allowing this chemo to do the job and heal Mike!!

I will keep you all posted and as the holidays approach upon us, I wish you all a VERY Blessed month – this month is one of which we give thanks, and Every day I continue to be thankful for My Husband, My Family, Friends and new friends that we meet along the way on this journey – You ALL are great inspirations and GOD could not have placed any better people in our lives – We will continue to Praise him for this!!

Till next time – XOXO Lyndie

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Viiiii-VA Las Vegas

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work - 2 Corinthians 9:8”

Can you almost see it? Elvis in his Bell Bottom, Be-dazzled Jump-suit with his thick, thick “chops”, dark sunglasses, famous Greasy Lavish Do and that quivering lip? Well just about every Corner and Hotel Lobby in Vegas is covered in them and in the very short time (pending chemo continues to treat Mike well) Mike along with his Dad Kevin and Grandpa will be off to Vegas for their Yearly trip! It will be Mike’s first time to join them on this traditional trip and he is stoked! I am happy for him as well, though I will miss him SOOOOO much, I know this will be so good for his spirit and get him out of the Houston area away from The Med Center and offer a nice change of pace from that which he has become accustomed to for the past few months!

Yesterday was his 2nd chemo treatment for the lung, and he did really well with it and as we approach our full 24 hour mark on to our 48th hour, he still feels good. We pray that the side effects remain minimal (if any) like they did this last time and he will not have much downtime before the trip. (Please keep in your prayers for his continued strength.) Thus far he has become the “Super Man” in chemotherapy and is defying all odds of what we anticipated with chemo. Now I know, I know, I sometimes speak too soon in my emails, but you know, GOD has been so good to us thus far, I trust him completely that he will continue to take care of Mike with these treatments and provide him comfort and minimal pain – YES, HE is THAT Good!

Before we went in for treatment we sat in the waiting room and a lady came up to us and started to talk with us and asked Mike what type of Cancer he had. It is not uncommon for patients to be-friend each other and even family and friends of patients to be-friend one another while waiting for hours it seems sometimes between appointments…so it wasn’t strange at all, you sort of bond. She introduced herself and she too has/had Stage IV Lung Cancer. The most interesting part of the conversation was that she too had Dr. Tsao as her Oncologist. We begun to discuss how great she was! How thorough and how dedicated to the practice she is. Maggie I know had researched her and knew many things about her and from that we were very impressed. This woman though proceeded to tell us how Dr. Tsao graduated when she was 16 and achieved getting her Masters within a few years and right out of college she was called by MD Anderson to be Head of Research. (I myself have not seen any of this, but of course it does not mean it is not true and from what I know of her already, I would not doubt it!)

Anyhow, we discussed how both she (the patient) and us for Mike prayed for GOD to place us in the hands of the most skilled/educated minds and hands at MD Anderson. It is not as if though you can call up and ask the Front Desk to put you in place with the top Doctors and Surgeons and expect those results. Nope, we just had to trust that GOD would lead us and place us in the presence of these people that throughout this journey our medical care would be handled. This lady proceeded to tell us how 2 years ago, she was given a prognosis of 4 months – she had 15 tumors in her lung. This day as we sat and talked with her she informed us that she had just met with Dr. Tsao that AM, and the Cancer was GONE! (She will have to undergo a few more chemos to ensure that all is clear and clean) She said when Dr. Tsao told her this, she sat there with tears in her eyes along with the Doctor and her nurse with tears as well, with Dr. Tsao telling this patient that through this, she knows that it was because of GOD, this woman’s faith, the prayers and the positive spirits that she was surrounded by, this is what has made this possible today. I sat there in amazement and imagined this beautiful doctor, who is VERY straight (with a slight bit of sugar coating) but overall a straight-shooter, sit there and say that it was GOD. I loved this and was so thankful this patient, whom now is a friend along this journey, shared her experience with us.

Now, I do not know a lot about politics, so therefore I don’t talk about it. I don’t speak one way or another about Obama or Bush or Proposition this and that. But I do know My GOD/Our GOD and again , in the midst of our waiting to be admitted to receive Mike’s chemo, and after it being a grueling LONG day at the hospital for him (he had been there since 10:30 AM it was now 5:00 PM), I felt GOD interceding and placing yet another person in our life. A person with a success story of how their faith and trust in GOD brought them through this journey. This journey that is not always pleasant, but it is not a dead end either.

I LOVE talking about what he has done for us, what he continues to do daily and all the hope and trust I have instilled in HIM for all he has in store for Mike and I when this is over. I receive so much joy out of sharing blessings and stories with others – not just regarding Cancer, but any aspects of how HE has blessed someone in a time that they had no light at the end of your tunnel and HE was given it all to handle and take over, and HE did.

I end tonight with continue thanks as always, for all of you that reach out daily to Mike, myself and our Family. We are So very blessed to have such wonderful, caring, HUGE-hearted people in our lives that will stop at nothing to ensure that Mike is comfortable and knows that daily he is lifted up with Prayers, Loving Spirits and continued wishes for him to be cured and Cancer-Free! You ALL everyday fill us both with so much love and kindness -- this is what makes each day just that much better to wake up and take on whatever comes our way!!

We love you much and close this with Many Hugs and Kisses!!

XO Lyndie