Monday, January 31, 2011
"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties ~ Oswald Chambers"
Hi Everyone –
Below is the latest update from Melinda pertaining to Kenny as of Sunday Afternoon
Sorry I haven’t updated all of you sooner. I get so turned around and upside down it’s a little hard to figure out what I did when. Kenny is doing so good!! He still insists on getting out of bed for every meal even though it totally wears him out. He even sometimes falls asleep between bites (which is actually pretty funny) but he keeps pushing himself. His spirits are good for the most part but he is frustrated with it all, which is certainly understandable.
They took the drains out of his chest last night so he’s a lot more comfortable now and able to move around a little better. He still uses his “EZ Button” quite a bit but told me he didn’t use it at all through the night last night so that’s a good sign. The blood doctor came in again today and said that his platelets look good and that he is doing fine. It still baffles them as to why his blood won’t thin out but we won’t know the outcome of the big blood tests they did for a couple of weeks yet. That will hopefully bring a long term solution but in the meantime they are “managing it”.
It is our hope to know more tomorrow when we see his surgeon again. I’ve never looked forward to a Monday before but am looking forward to tomorrow when the hospital comes back to life a little. We are obviously anxious to learn what to expect in the short term as far as how long he will have to be in ICU and then of course the long term.
I will let you all know what we find out! Thanks once again for all the good thoughts and prayers! We love you all!”
Melinda Greeson | Senior Property Manager
Saturday, January 29, 2011
"No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it - Guy H. King”
I have just spoken with Melinda. She was able to get a good night’s rest last night and was on her way back to the hospital to be with Kenny.
I was over-joyed to hear how he is doing and the power of prayer continues to lift Kenny up! He still remains in the 72 hour critical period, but is on the downhill side. He is coherent and sitting up. He remains in a great deal of pain (and this is of course to be expected) but his over-hall evaluation from the Doctor is that he is doing well.
He will be in the hospital for the next week or so and under close Doctor Supervision to ensure all is functioning correctly as he is healing. The “special blood work” that Melinda mentioned that was being taken yesterday is for a special test they are conducting to find out why Kenny’s blood is thick and not thinning as it should. The y are afraid that if it does not start to thin, then he will be back in the same position he is today – She was told the test results will take up to (2) weeks to get back. Please pray for the researchers to find why this is happening and that Kenny will move forward with the proper treatment he will need, even if this includes being medicated in the future.
Melinda does ask me to relay to you all that she and Kenny are so grateful for all the prayers, phone calls and emails she continues to receive…she truly knows they are working!! She will continue to keep us all posted moving forward.
Thank you all for responding so strongly to this prayer request and continuing to do so!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective – James 5:16”
I know you all have witnessed the Power of Prayer while joining us on our journey with Mike and how POWERFUL it REALLY is!
I am sending this out today for a dear friend of mine. Melinda Greeson my former manager who has become a very good friend is in need of our prayers right now. Her husband Kenny Greeson went in for some testing for an irregular heartbeat last night, and upon test being run this afternoon, he suffered a Severe Heart-Attack. They have flown in a surgeon from the Med Center to perform the surgery – a Triple Heart By-pass.
Please lift this man up with your prayers and ask for a successful operation and FULL recovery.
You all are amazing people and I am faithful that he will feel each and every one of your prayers.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
“The Hard Places We Are In Are Not Distractions. We Are Not Being Side-Tracked. This IS HIS Way. ‘Find Me When You Seek With ALL Your Heart, Not JUST The Parts of Your Heart Crying For Ease, I WILL Be Found By YOU – Jeremiah 29:12-13’” – Exert from “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst
I know this week has been with what seems like emails one after another, but this week we have been blessed with great reports over and over!! I wanted to ensure that I include every meeting with Mike’s Clinical Team for each area that the Cancer is affecting.
Today Dr. Tsao walked in with a HUGE smile on her face and said after reviewing the PET scan she was “Excited” to report the progress of Mike’s treatment! With all areas that the treatment is fighting, ALL AREAS are moving forward with SHRINKING, SHIRINKING and MORE SHIRNKING! The cancer that spread to his bones is reacting VERY well to the chemo and his bone mass is growing back daily! All other areas continue to be getting smaller and no new spots have developed!! I can only quote what the report reads, but it says there is “A Trend in downwards of intensities including through the chest area and others.” The report of course has a lot of other verbage that I will be GOOGLING later – but I feel confident with Dr. Tsao’s HUGE Smile and Pearly Whites Gleaming today along with her NP Vikki, that the report is a VERY GOOD ONE!! It was a touching visit today!! It is Aunt Cissy’s last day here in Houston, and she was able to be in the room with us all and share the smiles and hugs that were overflowing from each of us!
We look back and it not even being a complete 4 Months since Mike has started treatment and less than 6 months since his surgery and all combined, he is truly continuing to beat ALL odds!! GOD is surely continuing to shine upon us daily and with our continued faith and trust in him, he continues to bless us beyond belief! Wow – what a concept, huh? GOD does not ask much from us, but when he does ask, I shall do and he WILL provide as he is doing for us now and know he will follow us through this journey till Mike is cured and years beyond!
In closing as always, Mike and I along with our Family thank you so very much for ALL of you Prayer Warriors from EVERYwhere that are have joined us on this journey and continue to join daily – For YOU continue to lift us UP. YOU instill us with Strength to take on our day. YOU provide words that hold such power and spirit that continue to Strengthen our Hearts, Minds and Souls. It is ALL of YOU that we continue to keep in our prayers, just as you do us – It is YOU we continue to Thank GOD for!
Mike receives chemo today, so please continue to pray for minimal side effects, a healthy appetite and continued energy to get out of bed as he has been doing daily and build, build, build that strength!
Till next time (and hopefully the emails won’t be so bombarding moving forward ;) haha!
Monday, January 24, 2011
“The Best Way To Spread (GOD’s) Good Cheer, Is Singing Loud For ALL To Hear” – Buddy Elf in ELF (But I added my own version :)
I know I just emailed yesterday, but with the good news we received today, I just could not contain myself from not emailing yet again!
First of all, Mike did really well with his lumbar puncture this AM! Aunt Cissy and Maggie were there for that and though it was unpleasant, he remained calm and did really well! Funny though now he is “getting used” to them, they told us today that they will not be so current moving forward – haha! Go figure huh?
After all that was done, we met with Dr. Groves’s (He is the Brain / Spine Doctor) Nurse Practitioner and Our Clinical Nurse, Sang, who is administering the clinical trial. She was able to answer all our questions and provide good reports that as of today (these being the results from the previous Lumbar Punctures and Brain / Spine MRIs that were performed last week) Mike has NO Cancer Cells in his Spinal Fluid, NO Cancer Cells on his Spinal Cord and No Cancer Cells or New Growths on or around his Brain! The current reports did however show that the Spinal Bone (which is different than the actual Spinal Cord) does still show the metastasis is there, but there are no new growths and they remain stable. Dr. Grove’s joined us soon after this news and was delighted with the results and used the word “encouraging” for Mike’s continued success with Treatment! It was a very joyful visit and we continue to be so happy and thankful for GOD to be working to heal Mike daily!
Dr. Groves NP and Dr. Groves himself, did however say that to ensure Mike remains strong through this and continues to build muscle that he has lost with the lack of activity he is used to, that it will be good for him to start slowly exercising and Maggie even recommended finding a swimming pool locally to help with resistance training – all great ideas, so we continue to pray for the minimal side effects with chemo and that Mike can focus on strengthening his body! He also has had a lack of appetite do to treatment, so they were able to prescribe him a med to hopefully enhance the appetite. Prayers for that continue as well.
Today as I write this, Mike is undergoing a PET scan that will enable our Oncologist (The Beautiful Dr. Taso) and her NP Vicki to let us know with our visit on Wednesday 01/26/11 how treatment continues to do throughout his entire body and the bones. We continue to be optimistic, though even with good news, the rigmarole of all the appointments can be draining at times BUT daily we are thankful for being so close to MD Anderson and being placed in the best hands for Mike’s Diagnosis and Recovery!
As always, we continue to thank you all for the high spirited emails, messages, photos, cards, phone call and all! They truly do lift our spirits daily and continue to instill strength within us…even on our toughest days (which thank GOD are few and far between).
I will continue to keep you all posted as we receive results Wednesday and we will pray for GOD Given results and continue to know the healing DOES Continue!!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
“Fireproof Doesn’t Mean That a Fire Will NEVER Come, But That When It Comes, You’ll Be Able To Withstand It.” – Exert from Fire Proof – The LOVE Dare
This is just a short note to say hello and let you all know that I will keep you all posted with the results we receive this week after Mike and I visit his Oncologist on Wednesday. As I wrote in my previous email, he underwent a few MRIs for The Brain and Spine this past week and will undergo a PET scan tomorrow (01/24/11). I continue to be high in faith that the results will provide a positive outcome and GOD will continue to bless Mike with his healing hands.
Mike remains hopeful and in good spirits as well. We were able to get away this weekend to one of our favorite places in The Hills – no cell phones, no TV -- Just walks through the woods, Moonlit strolls, Campfire Conversations and just a time to really reconnect. We had the time to really put into perspective of all going on in our life and allow ourselves to become one all over again. We will continue to move forward while making the choice to be AND stay on the same page. Mike and I are truly blessed to have had this weekend.
We continue to thank you all for the prayers and believe me as I always say…They ARE Working and we feel EVERY ONE of them --- from Near and Far!
In closing, we love you all and are forever grateful for each and every one of the relationships we have with you and the strength you provide us on this journey.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
"Spiritual maturity isn’t measured by how long you’ve been a Christian, How much you know, Or how often you go to church -- Spiritual maturity is measured by the way you treat other people -- It’s measured by the love you allow to operate in and through you” Joel Osteen
I received this quote from a friend today. I am a huge fan of Joel Osteen. I have been for a while. As I have said many of times, I feel I have always had faith throughout my life and I have remained close to GOD. I know I have lost myself a few times along the road of life, but always knew that GOD was there and because of him, I am where I am today. Joel Osteen along with another lady who I have come to love with just a simple book (that I so feel was written just for me) by Lysa TerKeurst ‘What Happens When Woman Walk in Faith’. Both of these people are a huge inspiration to me in the ways they teach with love and optimism.
Through this journey I have introduced you to many aspects of Mike and I’s relationship. Our relationship with each other, our relationship with family, our relationship with friends and our newly found shared relationship with GOD! It has been quite a rollercoaster of emotions since Mike’s diagnosis and though we have been truly blessed and have had so many new people in our life that you know have only been placed by The Lord --- Well with the good, there is the bad. At these times when I find myself feeling these feelings of turmoil, at that moment, I stop, take a deep breath and if I look down – In my hand is what I realize I have AGAIN tried to take back from GOD and handle myself. I cannot believe I continue to do this!! I am human, so I suppose I have an excuse, but it’s not good enough.
There are daily battles that I face. Some important (at least to me) and others not so much – but do you notice ever that it is the smallest of items that eat away at us. It is those feelings that we allow to consume all of our time as we strive to figure out a resolution to them. These small minuet parts of our life, that usually unattended to REALLY do jus t go away.
I had lunch with a lady who has become a dear friend of mine in the short time that I have known her. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and Praise GOD after 2 years and a recent PET scan, she is Cancer-Free! When I am around her I cannot explain the feeling I get. We have a lot in common… She is newly married and endured this battle with her husband of only FEW days – Yes, They were married a few days and she was diagnosed. We both work in the same industry and so we can share a lot in that subject! But over anything else, she shares a relationship with GOD that is so strong, that she can vouch that to this day, this is HE is the reason she is where she is and Cancer Free! She continues to inspire me. She reassures me no matter what, when I am down, that with one smile, one hello or even a jubilant laugh, you can change the course of your day. There are a lot of people like this is the world…and if you have the chance to know one, take advantage and love them – hold on to them. As the quote above states, your Spiritual Maturity is measured by the Love YOU ALLOW to operate through you – gosh isn’t that so very true
In closing, Mike continues to do so well with treatments. He remains “Strong Like Bull”. He will under-go (2) MRIs this week (This will be Brain and Spine) and Monday he will have a PET Scan done (for the lung and all other areas affected.) Our appointment with our Oncologist is Wednesday 1/26/11 to discuss the reports and update as to how all the treatment is working in his body. We continue to pray for GOD Given results and know that HE continues to cleanse Mike of this Devilish disease and it will be GOD’s victory this year when Mike is Cancer-Free!
Also, on a very positive note, Maggie and I discussed seeking out a counseling program (there are many offered by MD) and attending with our family. During all this time, Mike is our complete main focus, but we also are learning we need to take care of ourselves as well – and we feel this will provide the tools to do so, to continue to keep a healthy mind and soul for us all.
We all thank you as a family for your continue prayers for each of as well. All my emails are received, every text message, every phone call…As ALWAYS, we are so grateful for all of you and your continue support to us through this journey that will soon make history.
Because of YOU Mike, Me and Our Family are strengthened daily!!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
“I Have Not Stopped Giving Thanks for You, Remembering You in (OUR) Prayers – Ephesians 1:16”
Well well…Can we really believe it is already the middle of January? This is truly O-M-G! Time continues to fly by!
Mike and I hope that the New Year is treating you well and though it is flying by, we hope you are taking YOUR time to enjoy it!
Our New Year continues to be busy! We have company this week – Aunt Cissy from TN. She is Mike and Maggie’s Mom’s Sister and we are having so much fun having her here. She brought along her wet-nosed kiddoes, so this week we have a FULL house! (2 Dogs and 2 Kitties). I must say I am over-joyed to have her here – she just barely escaped the snow and ice in TN and made it quite fast! Thank you TN for letting her escape from the snow and Thank you GOD for a safe journey!
Mike remains to feel good and is accepting his chemo treatments like a champ. He really is a chemo Super-hero! He continues to have minimal side effects (nothing other than just being tired) and when he received his Lumbar Puncture this week (yes that HUGE 12” Needle) he took it like a champ! The nurses were even impressed with his braveness. Aunt Cissy joined him on this one, so I myself think it was the holding of Cissy’s hand and comfort that only an Aunt can provide was the key (and the fact, she was reporting back to me if he was bad ;)
The remainder of the month is busy for Mike. He undergoes 3 MRIs next week and a PET Scan on January 24th. The results from these we continue to pray will offer such good results as we have received during our previous Doctor visits. I continue to know and have complete faith that GOD is working on Mike and Mike is continuing to be healed daily! For this I am sure!
In closing as always, Mike and I thank you along with your Family for all support, prayers and good spirits sent our way! They ALL are received and to have you all on our side routing for “El Toro” is the best medicine for his soul!
I will continue to keep you posted as we receive results from his tests --- we continue to be on the path GOD has chosen for us – HIS plan – His Victory!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Oh and Trust in The LORD I do, we do! Another day walked in pure faith and trustful hearts has brought us yet another report of good news for Mike!
5:15 AM was way too early to be on the way to MD Anderson this morning to ensure we had blood work done by 6 AM to stay on time to get to our 8:30 AM appointment to only sit and wait to finally see the doctor at almost 10:00 AM (granted it is what is expected we have come to learn, so it is not though we didn’t expect it, I was just tired and hungry ) Anyhow, our primary Oncologist (The Beautiful Dr. Tsao) was out today on vacation, so all was a little backed up, but our substituting Doctor made it in and was very helpful and full of good news.
A few months back when Mike was diagnosed and after brain surgery he had returned back into the hospital to address an issue with his vision (which now is 20/20 restored!) and at that time they were worried about the cancer cells that were in the spinal fluid which travels through the spine and all through the brain. His last MRI’s showed that nothing new has developed in the brain region and due to radiation and chemo all had shrunk and nothing was apparent in the brain any longer – this still though did not rule out that he had these cancer cells floating all around and it was a huge concern to the doctors and we were told they were not sure how effective the chemo would be because it is a VERY hard area to treat ---- BUT as of 12/27/10 Mike has NO MORE CANCER CELLS IN HIS SPINAL FLUID NOR FLUID FLOWING THROUGH THE BRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise GOD!!
Though our journey is not yet over and with this disease it does change daily, I will simply focus on the positive news at hand and run with it! Mike will be undergoing a few MRIs of the Brain and Spine along with a PET Scan later this month and we continue to pray and ask GOD for continued healing and trust that each visit will provide glorious news of GOD and Treatment kicking Cancer’s Butt!!
In closing today, we both remain so thankful and full of gratitude for all of you that continue to lift us in prayer and send us messages daily! A few months ago an email I sent out I felt such despair when the Doctors told us that this chemo “HAS TO WORK!” It IS our only choice. That very day, I gave it ALL back to GOD and did not look back and since that very day GOD has provided such strength in Mike, Myself and our Family to face this Devil Given disease that we did not know we had – strength beyond our wildest dreams! Today I know that not only is the chemo working wonders inside of Mike, but GOD has placed his healing hands upon him as well and is working wonders as well – wonders that we cannot comprehend nor understand ---- for we are not supposed to --- It remains GOD’s Plan!
I hope you all are continuing to have a Happy New Year and wish you much love and success in the coming month and just as you continue to keep us in your prayers and lift us up, please know that we do the same for you all as well!
Sunday, January 2, 2011
“By Day You Led Them With a Pillar Of Cloud, And By Night With a Pillar of Fire To Give Them Light on The Way They Were to Take – Nehemiah 9:12”
I like this verse. I feel reading it, it reassures me that in this New Year GOD will continue to provide us our fire we need to light the ways we are to take --- For as I will always remember it is ALL his plan!
Mike and I hope you all had a wonderful ending to your 2010 and an unbelievable entrance into 2011! We both ended this year with the ability to not look back at the year we have emerged from with sadness, but yet we looked back, thanked GOD and held each other’s hands and leaped forward into 2011! We know that this year will hold many challenges and the days will continue to change, but the strength we have been given this past year, we know we are stronger than ever, even a little wiser and there is nothing that with our hearts completely in it we can’t accomplish!
Years ago, I gave up on “New Year’s Resolutions” and just know that with each year that passes I will only strive to be me! I will strive to be the best of me. I will continue to be the best wife I can be, the best Family I can be, the best friend I can be. I will continue to know that with faith anything is possible and with the year coming to an end with all that is currently in place, GOD remains so good to us and will smile down on us and continue to be proud of us knowing we are not perfect and not even attempting to be, but in our hearts we yearn to be good people and faithful to all our beliefs and stay focused without losing sight on how far we have come and how much further he plans for us to go.
So many of you, Family and Friends in the year 2010 you all have accomplished so much and I am so proud! Many of you went back to school to achieve your degree you have wished for. Many of you have become mothers and fathers this year and with each day that passes become so good at being the best parent to your little princesses and princes. Many of you have succeeded in your own personal adventures with companies, continued success in your current career and the list goes on. I am so proud to know you all and see everyone’s growth!
As we enter our first week into the New Year, January is a busy month for Mike with treatment and testing. He will undergo chemo this Wednesday and then again next week. He will receive towards the end of the month a few more MRIs and I will keep you posted on the results from those. We continue to pray that Mike stays on the track he is on with limited side effects from treatment and that every visit brings news of chemo working along with GOD and the Cancer will continue to shrink – 2011 WILL be a victorious year for us, for Mike! GOD blessed us with Mike feeling good over the New Year’s weekend and we celebrated with Maggie and Friends at the Beach House. It was a great time with Fireworks, Good Food, Dances on The Beach, Golf Cart Rides, New Games, Karaoke, Dance Dance Wii and just a lot of bonding! Mike continues to feel good and is ready to take on 2011 – as always he remains ‘Strong Like Bull’ and El Toro is definitely ready to horn the devil in the rear and straight out of the picture!
In closing, I hope that as you wipe your eyes from the 2010 Fog and enter this New Year, you take a hold of this year and strive to conquer all of your dreams! I pray for minimal despair and much happiness for you, your household and all loved ones that surround you!