Excerpt: The Pursuit of God, The Human Thirst for the Divine, A.W. Tozer

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, The Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wondered so long. In Jesus' name. Amen
Excerpt: The Pursuit of God, The Human Thirst for the Divine, A.W. Tozer

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 10 A Time to Relax

Ecclesiastes 3:4 "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"
I pretty sure I can read, A time to Relax, in this verse!  :D

So, that is what we are doing for the next couple of days.  We left the house at 7 this morning to travel to Northern KY where Tim's parents live.  We stopped for gas and stopped again for lunch and still made it to Tim's dad's house by 3.  We visited them for an hour and left to get checked into the hotel before we met them for dinner at Frisch's Big Boy!  YUMMY!  :D

We were delighted to learn that some of the other family was going to meet for dinner, too.  Tim's brother, Jon and his wife, Lesley; Tim's Aunt Sheila (she is younger than Tim) and her husband, John; and Shane who is Tim's step mom's grandson.  So there was a total of 10 at dinner.  We had a great visit!  We never get to see them so it was really good to see them again.

The weather is rainy with high wind advisories.  I think most of the Trick or Treating was cancelled until tomorrow.

I booked our room on line last night.  When we got to the room, we figured something was messed up because our room was totally different from what I reserved.  We went to the desk to confirm that they had not made a mistake and given us someone else's room.  Somehow I ended up booking a handicapped room, but one was not available, so they upgraded us for the same price as what I booked. 

Tomorrow, we will check out and head to Tim's mom's house at 9.  Tim's other brother, Jeff and his wife, Linda are going to come, too.  We never get to see them, either, so that will be a nice visit, too!

Tomorrow afternoon we will head to WV where we will spend the night at Elisabeth's house in Buffalo.  Jessica is bringing her three boys down from Lancaster, too!  Also, our son, Nathanael is going to bring his daughter, Adalina over and go out to dinner with us, then come back to the house to visit for awhile.  Saturday we will head back home.

Monday, Nov. 4th, we have to be at the hospital at 7:15 so Tim can get prepped to have the port inserted and begin the high dose Interleukin-2 administration.  Can't wait to see how the Lord answers our prayers!  Thank You, Lord, for what you are doing already for Tim!  Thank You for the wonderful explanation that Robin has given us to help ease our fears of the unknown!  Help us to Trust You Completely!  "For there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey!"

Here's some pictures from our day:

Photos of the sun coming up this morning.  The first one is taken in my passenger side rear view mirror.
 This is heading up the hill (Fancy Gap) in Virginia.

We were pleased to be able to fill up the car in Wytheville, Virginia for $2.99/gallon!

Here's the group for dinner.  From left to right going clockwise:
Tim, me, Jon (Tim's brother), Lesley (John's wife), Sheila (Tim's Aunt), Shane (Reba's grandson), Tim's dad, Reba (Tim's step mom), Aunt Betty (Reba's Aunt), and John (Sheila's husband) is taking the photo.

So, here is our upgrade from a room with 2 queen beds!  It is a suite!  :D

 See the jacuzzi?  :D

We skyped with Jessica and Chance and Thad tonight!  Thad sure loves his papaw!  Have I ever mentioned that I love being a grandma?!  :D  Til tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 9 Stress Test Behind

We left for the hospital around 11:45 this morning.  We had some paperwork to return to the financial office, so we had plenty of time and still had time left over to wait.  Robin, the coordinator that we have been dealing with and who has explained everything so wonderfully to us, met us in the lobby in the Cancer Center.  She had a notebook with her to show us what the port looked like that will be inserted under the skin and that is how Tim will receive all of the injections of the IL-2.  Very interesting.  And, since it is under the skin, it will remain there throughout the length of the treatments.

It is hard to tell, but on the top of this port there are 2 silicone-type circles that the needle will be inserted into to administer the IL-2.  For those of you who are scrapbookers or paper crafters, the circles remind me of the "self-healing" cutting mats that you use with your exacto knife or other cutting tools and you cannot tell where you cut through the mat (if that makes any sense).  Anyway, this devise is maybe 1/2" thick and 1 1/2" oblong.  As you can see from the diagram, the little tube at the top is inserted into an artery or vein.  Not sure which.

Once again, it is hard to tell from the picture, but this is an example of what it will look like under the skin (the grayish area being the skin).  The port will stick out just a bit, but not enough to be bothersome.

Beneath the little butterfly thing is the needle that is inserted into the silicone circles shown in the first picture.  And the IL-2 will be injected into the blue end of the tubing.  I don't remember if this remains in the whole time he is in the hospital or not.  I'm thinking they change it every couple of days, but I don't remember.  I'll be able to tell you more about it beginning this coming Monday.

The informational booklet we read and sent to some of you was a little bit outdated.  We will be able to have cell phones there, but they will just not be able to be used if a doctor is in the room, of course.  But, to save minutes on my phone, I will send family member the phone number for his room once we get settled in.  That way you can call it.  We cannot place any long distance phone calls from the room phone.  Also, there is wifi internet throughout the hospital (imagine what that bill must be each month!), and I will have my laptop, so the first couple of days we will try to skype with some of you.  But after the first couple of days, as the fluid starts to build up, Tim will feel less and less like conversing.  Plus, I've always wanted him to grow a beard to see how it looked on him.  Well, we might find out this week, because he is not allowed to shave because of the injections making his skin sensitive.

OK, I've got to get up early tomorrow for traveling.  Love you all!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 8 The Unseen Hand

The Unseen Hand
written by A.J. Simms
Sun by Marty Stuart
The Unseen Hand:

Verse 1
There is an unseen had to me,
That leads through waves I cannot see
While going through this world of woe,
This hand still leads me as I go

I’m trusting to, the unseen hand,
That guides me through this weary land
And some sweet day I’ll reach that strand,
Still guided by the unseen hand

Verse 2
This hand has led through shadows drear
And while it leads I have no fear
I know t’will lead, me to that home
Where sin nor sorrow ere can come

Verse 3
I long to see, my Savior's face
And sing the story saved by grace
And there upon that golden  strand
Ill praise him for his guiding hand

That same Unseen Hand that guides us from day to day is the Comforter that the Lord promised to us when He returned to heaven.  He said He would not leave us comfortless, and He didn't!

John 14 
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

And what comforting words to leave with the disciples (and us) - BECAUSE I LIVE YOU WILL LIVE ALSO!!!  If that isn't a promise of heaven, I don't know what is!  Are you ready to meet your Maker?  I sure am!  Even so, COME LORD JESUS!!!

So, today's project to tackle was NC Medicaid Application.  I printed out the 12-page document so I could fill it out before applying on line.  The question that always stumps us is about disability.  Tim is not really disabled, however, throughout the course of these treatments, he will be disabled (really, I would consider it incapacitated) and not able to work for 2 weeks out of the month.  So, I've been answering that he is NOT disabled, but I don't know if he will be considered disabled or not.  I need to talk to the people at the hospital about that.

If you remember, I mentioned that the hospital was "supposed" to be having someone call me to walk me through the processing of that form.  No one ever has, and yet they want it "on file" as being started so there are no interruptions in the treatments for lack of payment.  So, I decided I had better go ahead and start the process, anyway!  Even if I have to go back and change something later.  We will have to provide other documentation, anyway, because they want our SSN's verified, taxes verified, residency verified, yada, yada, yada!

Another item off the TODO List!  :D  At least for now!  Tomorrow, the stress test and another item off the TODO List!  Thanks for continuing your prayers for my dear hubby!

I meant to post these pictures Sunday night, but forgot.  Tim mentioned to me a week or so ago that he would like some pumpkin bread (he spied 2 cans of pumpkin in the cabinet).  But, poor guy, I kept forgetting to find a recipe with everything else going on.  But, finally on Sunday afternoon, I found a recipe and made the bread.  It turned out so pretty!  It is a little heavy, but it has a good flavor.  We bought some cool whip for it yesterday!  YUM!  That is chopped pecans on top.

If you recall, I bought these mums either the last part of August or first part of September.  They were beautiful and the blooms were just so thick!  The blooms really lasted quite awhile, too.....longer than I expected.  When they died, I snipped them off because they were ugly, for one thing.  But, the plant was full of buds that I just knew would bloom as soon as I got rid of the dead blooms.  Nothing happened for a couple of weeks, yet the plants were full of buds!  So I asked my dear, green-thumbed mother-in-law what I was doing wrong!  I was so relieved when she told me I wasn't doing anything wrong, it just wasn't really quite time for mums to be blooming in the first place.  She explained to me that Walmart forces the first blooms to get people to buy them.  But, mums aren't supposed to bloom until October, anyway!  WHEW!  That made me happy!  And it reminded me of the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2   "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;"   Don't you love the consistency and order AND promises of our GREAT and AWESOME GOD!!!  :D

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 7 Wait no More!

We got the call today for Tim's scheduled stress test.  It is Wednesday!  We also received another list of items we need to pack for the hospital stay, so back to Walmart we went!  We talked more with the coordinator who answered the questions we had from the brochure she sent us to read.  Then she asked us some questions to see if we understood what the treatment involved and the side effects that could take place.  I told her that I was still waiting on someone from the business office to call me to help walk me through the NC Medicaid application!  I may end up having to tackle this on my own!

Every day we learn of more and more people who are praying for Tim and it is just so encouraging and really helps!  Every day Tim is receiving get well wishes in the mail, too!

So, now that we have the schedule for the stress test, we have made some plans to get away for a few days the last part of the week.  We will be going to see Tim's dad and mom and will also stop by Elisabeth's house on the way back home and spend the night.  Jessica is planning to go to Elisabeth's also, to see her dad before the treatments begin.  So it will be a reunion of sorts that won't last very long.  :(  But, we will take all the time we can get with our family!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 6 Wait on the Lord

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

One of the hardest things to do, in my opinion, is to have to wait!  I would consider myself a very patient person when it comes to dealing with other people.  But, waiting drives me insane, sometimes!  Especially when you are waiting on one piece of information so that you can plan other things around it!

And then I read verse 14 of Psalm 27 and I have to stop myself in my impatience and realize that I'm in the "waiting" mode because God has put me there for a reason!  In HIS time.....I'm in HIS time zone, not mine!  I may never know the reason for the waiting period.  But I can be assured that it is for my good and His glory!  So instead of being impatient in the waiting, I will wait on the Lord and do as Psalm 136:1  instructs: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Nothing we can do will hurry the Lord!  Nothing!  So, I will wait!  I've already mentioned in previous posts that we are waiting on Tim doing the stress test before he is admitted into the hospital one week from tomorrow on November 4th to begin the cancer treatments.  We were hoping to be able to go to see his mom and dad and also take a few days of vacation just to get away by ourselves before the craziness of the treatments begin.  Everything hinges on when the stress test is scheduled!

The church gave us a gift tonight for Pastor Appreciation Month.  Calvin spoke for the church and gave us such a nice complement of being a blessing to them and that they considered our whole family, including kids and grandkids, as part of their families!  They love them all!  And we are so blessed to have a church that really loves and respects their pastor and takes good care of us!  Also, totally unexpected, we were given a gift from one of the other couples of the church.  These gifts will help us in the expense of getting away for a few days, Lord willing!

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Psalm 103:1

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day Five

The verse showing on my perpetual desk calendar is Psalm 16:8 "I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."  The quote to go along with it is, "The highest pinnacle of the spiritual life is not joy in unbroken sunshine, but absolute and undoubting trust in the love of God." ~ A.W. Thorold

No one in life can say they have had sunshine every day of their lives, unless maybe they didn't live very long.  God sends rain on the just AND the unjust, so that definitely means that the sunshine will be broken!  But, just because there are dark days doesn't mean we can't rejoice in the love of God!  He truly IS love, but He is also a judge.  And He will judge sin.  He will judge sin that has not been atoned for (made obsolete; removed) by the shed blood of His dear Son, Jesus Christ.  How do we appropriate (apply) the blood that was shed on the cross to our sins?  By faith.  Faith is confidence or trust in something we have not seen.  Heb 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  None of us saw Jesus being born to a virgin, live a sinless life, die on the cross then come back to life in 3 days and then return to heaven.  None of us saw any of that.  So, how do we "know?"  We have faith that what the Bible tells us is the truth.  God's Word is truth!  Jesus said in his prayer to God for the disciples and us in John 17:17, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

The problem is the doubts and fears that want to creep in and take over when the sunshine is broken and the clouds begin to roll in.  And we all have those times in our lives.  Our lives are like roller coasters.  You are either on the mountain or in the valley.  If you are on the mountain today, the valley will invariably follow!  So, how do we keep from having the doubts and fears?  The only answer I have is what the Bible says.  And since we know from John 17:17 that it is the truth of God, we know we can trust it.  Here are a few verses that I need to remember personally as Tim and I travel through the valley of fear:

  1. Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
  2. Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
  3. Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
  4. Judges 6:23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
  5. Psalm 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
  6. Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
  7. Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
  8. Luke 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
  9. Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
  10. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
  11. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We still did not get word of when the stress test is scheduled.  Tim told me today that he has been having slight headaches and has been having pain in his abdomen.  It scares me!  He  N.E.V.E.R. ever has headaches.  When the oncologist talked to him about the results of the PET scan and MRI he mentioned there were suspicious spots showing up on his chest, on his left wrist, on one of his buttocks, on his intestine and 2 places on his skull.  So, he figures that maybe the pain in his abdomen is in the area where the spot showed around the intestine and probably the headaches are from the spots on his skull.  However, the headaches might be stress headaches, too.  Can't imagine WHY he would be under any stress!

We spent about 2 hours trying to get the SSDisability application to go through.  We had to complete a report that asked about the doctors and the hospital visits and the tests that have been done and the surgeries and the upcoming treatments, yada, yada, yada!  Then, we had to complete the application.  We changed one answer from no to yes and then it accepted his birth date.  If you remember the first time I tried, it told us that the youngest age had to be 61.  The answer that we changed from a no to a yes was this:  During the last 14 months, unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions that have lasted or are expected to last at least 12 months OR can be expected to result in death.  Well, when I answered NO the first time, it was because I did not read all the way to the end of the question.  Since we know this is stage 4 cancer, we also realize that the Lord may not see fit to heal Tim.  We have to be realistic about this, even though the thought of that really hurts right now! 

So, one more item checked off of the TO DO list.  Now, if someone from the hospital would just call us about the stress test AND help us apply for the NC Medicaid on line.

A song.............

Trusting Jesus
Edgar P. Stites, Lyrics 1876
Ira D. Sankey, Composer 1876
Copyright: Public Domain
Main subject:  Trust
Scripture:   John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 
  1. Simply trusting every day,
    Trusting through a stormy way;
    Even when my faith is small,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
    • Refrain:
      Trusting as the moments fly,
      Trusting as the days go by;
      Trusting Him whate’er befall,
      Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  2. Brightly doth His Spirit shine
    Into this poor heart of mine;
    While He leads I cannot fall;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  3. Singing if my way is clear,
    Praying if the path be drear;
    If in danger for Him call;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  4. Trusting Him while life shall last,
    Trusting Him till earth be past;
    Till within the jasper wall,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Found here:  http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Trusting_Jesus/

Friday, October 25, 2013

No News is NOT Good News!

Got to skype with Kara today.  I think I have mentioned that I do crafts with her and this is part of her homeschool curriculum.  She really does a good job and loves crafts of all sorts!  A girl after my own heart!  :D

We did some more visiting today and then went to Walmart AGAIN!  We forgot to get some slippers for Tim to wear at the hospital.  And we also got some fruit to add to the fruit basket I made for the member that was in the hospital but got home yesterday afternoon.  It didn't have enough fruit in it as far as I was concerned with the first.  I just thought that I should have taken a picture of the final product as it looked pretty good!  :D 

After I got back from delivering the fruit basket, I worked on the checkbook some and by that time the afternoon mail came.  There were financial papers from the hospital that I was expecting to receive that we had to complete and will take back with us when we go for Tim to take the stress test.  They already know we do not have insurance and we can only claim $250,000 with the Samaritan Ministries group.  So, the hospital is going to help us get set up for Social Security Disability and NC Medicaid and whatever those don't take care of, we will submit to Samaritan Ministries.

The hospital told us that we needed to get those applications started so that there would be no interruptions in the treatments for Tim.  Problem is that when we tried to apply on line for the SSDisability, an error on the first page of the application came up when I put in Tim's birthday.  The error said that he had to be at least 61 to apply.  The other error was in my answer to the question if he had been unable to work for the past 14 months.  When we told the girl at the hospital about it, she said there are no age restrictions and she did not know why I got that error!  GRRR!  I guess we will have to make a trip in person to the SS Department!  I'm sure the beginning of the paperwork pain has only just begun!

As far as the NC Medicaid, I was told that someone from the hospital would call and walk me through that online application.  I'm still waiting for that call, too!  AND we are still waiting for the coordinator to call us with the appointment for the stress test, which she said she would call today.  And, I received an e-mail telling me she was getting ready to call "in a little while" at 2:23 this afternoon.  That didn't happen!  I know we are not the only ones she is having to deal with, so I am trying to be patient!  Well, at least I've got the financial paperwork ready to return to the office there, whenever we get over there!

The weather was a bit warmer this morning than it has been the last couple of mornings.  Probably because of the cloud cover.  Tim didn't say if there was a frost when he went across to the church office.  But, it didn't get very warm through the day!  It was sunny, but very windy and it was a cold wind from that Canadian front.  BRRRR!  It is supposed to be in the mid to upper 20's here in the morning!  YIKES!  We put the hanging baskets back under the car port again tonight!  The purple mums are soooooooooo pretty!  The yellow ones are not blooming so profusely as the purple ones are for some reason!

OK, I think I will do some reading before bed.  Here's a picture of the horses Kara and I made today.  Love and hugs to everyone!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Normal Felt Good

Today being Thursday, we did our normal thrift store thing.  Out of the ordinary today was visiting one of the members of church in the hospital.  But, other than that, it was a normal day off.  We were able to separate the emotions of the last couple of days and just enjoyed the day with some laughter and normalcy.

We went to the hospital first but had to go back later as "he" was not in his room.  So, we did our four thrift stops near us and then went to lunch at KFC.  I ordered a chicken pot pie and Tim got his 4-wing meal that he usually gets when we eat at KFC.  The pot pie was really good!  :D

After we ate, we went back to the hospital.  The nurse was on her way to get "him" and bring him back to the room.  We were there maybe half an hour and then went to a few more thrifts east of us, then came home til time for supper.

We had decided we wanted to eat at the Thai Cafe in King and hit the thrift store while there.  Then to Walmart to pick up some items for Tim's hospital stay, then.....home again, home again, jiggity jig.  :D

Got to skype with Jessica and the boys tonight.  They played with play doh while we watched and talked to them.

All in all, we had a great and relaxing day.  Normal felt good!  :D

Here's some pictures with explanations as you go.

I have NO IDEA what this gally whomper is, but he looks very prehistoric to me!  Anyone know what it is?

My mums are starting to look very pretty again.  Hope the frost doesn't kill them!  We  have been taking the hanging ones from the car port down and placing them on the floor of the car port between our 2 vehicles the last couple of nights.

We had a temperature of 30 this morning and it only warmed up to 57.  It was pretty cloudy and windy!  But a nice day.  You can see the frost on the ground and on the church roof.

Took this picture at the hospital.

Here's what I had at the Thai Cafe.....Chicken Prik Paow Cashew with medium spiciness.  Very good!  Huge portions and so we have 2 meals for the price of 1 since we brought home leftovers!  :D

These photos show the cloud cover and also the rays of the sun shining through the clouds.  Love capturing the sun shining through the clouds!

And a few of the trees changing colors on the drive home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Day After.......And Kara and Adalina

Yesterday was emotionally draining for Tim and I.  We were expecting the worst, but praying for the best.  And yet when we received the bad news, I think we were in shock.  I don't think your mind can actually prepare you for that kind of news.  And when Tim prayed at dinner last night, "Lord, spare my life" I just lost it!  He had to take one of my night time PMs to turn his brain off!  I soooooooooooooo know what that is like!  It took me a little while to fall asleep, too.  But, realizing the seriousness of the health issue, both of us were compelled to spend more time near one another.  While I was typing some of his sermon notes from Buffalo Baptist, he came up to the "formal living room" where I was and read from his iPad.  Then, as I read and he watched old movies on his iPad, we were both in the "man room."

So today we spent an hour + on the phone with the assistant to Dr. Stewart, the new doctor on Tim's Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma case, Robin.  We briefly met Robin in May 2012 when Tim was getting ready for his first cancer surgery.  She took great pains in explaining the procedure that Tim would be undergoing and I will briefly describe that here.

First of all, the treatment is NOT chemotherapy, to which I am thankful for, because of all the side effects, not to mention the damage it does to your whole body.  Melanoma is an immune-based cancer and the treatment for such has really improved in the last 5 years.  Tim will have Immunotherapy with a high dose of Interleukin-2 (IL2).  Here is a bit of information I pulled off the internet:

"Interleukin-2 is a protein normally present in small amounts in the body. It does not directly attack cancer cells.  It has powerful effects on the body’s immune system and enhances the ability of some white blood cells, called T-lymphocytes, to target and kill the cancer cells.

The FDA has approved the use of IL-2 in the treatment of metastatic renal cell cancer and metastatic melanoma.  It has been available to patients since the mid-1980s, when the treatment was first offered in clinical trials. Fifteen to 20 percent of patients who received this treatment experienced shrinkage of their tumors. Some patients experienced a complete response after high-dose IL-2 treatment, meaning that their tumor went away completely. The majority of patients who experienced a complete response have stayed in a remission for many years. These successes led the Food and Drug Administration to approve high-dose IL-2 as treatment for metastatic kidney cancer in 1992 and for metastatic melanoma in 1997."

This high dose is to rev up or boost the immune system to fight the cancer, I believe.  There is a chance that it will not work and they would have to go to Plan B which she touched on briefly, but I didn't take notes on.  We will deal with that when and if the time comes.

So, for now, we are waiting on Robin to call us back with an appointment for a stress test.  Tim is already scheduled for a week's stay in the hospital the week of November 4th.  This treatment requires hospital stay and is monitored very closely.  While there are not side effects like in chemotherapy, there are still side effects that effect the immune system.  Robin will be e-mailing us the PDF document that we will share with family members and you can read it and understand better why the hospital stay is required, as well as the stress test.

So, assuming everything is OK with the stress test, and we have no reason to doubt that it won't be as Tim is completely healthy other than the cancer, he will spend a week in the hospital (5-7 days), be home for 1-2 weeks with no restrictions of duties, go back to the hospital for another 5-7 days of administration of the IL-2 and then back home again.  This is considered "1 course."  I believe he will be home for a month and CT scans will be made to see if the IL-2 helped to shrink the tumors.  And we go from there.

I think we can both safely say that we feel better after the conversation with the nurse today.  While he is in the hospital, the IL-2 will be administered every 8 hours and his BP checked every 15 minutes.  So, while he will have no restrictions when he gets home, he will be very tired because he won't get much more than a cat nap while in the hospital.  I will be allowed to stay with him 24/7 from what I gather.  That might not be necessary, probably, but we will see how things go.  That being said, there will be no reason for you, our children, to come and have to take time off work.  I will have my laptop there and we can skype as there is wifi throughout the hospital.

OK, now on to some pages I did of Kara and Adalina with some new kits that were release in the Scrap Art Studio shop today.  I'll put the credits below the pages as I know you are not interested in that part.

Credits for the top 2 layouts:
Color Play 15 Kit { Breathe } by Cilenia Curtis

Credits for the bottom 2 layouts:
CP15 Day Dream Bundle by Lynne Anzelc (aka Aria)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A New Fight Begins

Unfortunately, I have bad news about Tim. The cancer has progressed to stage 4 metastatic melanoma. The PET scan and MRI revealed there is cancer in various places throughout his body, including the brain. The oncologist referred Tim to another oncologist that specializes in the treatment of this type of cancer. He (the other dr) didn't call it chemo therapy, which attacks ALL cells, good and bad. It is a drug (??) that attacks only the bad cells. The way he talked (and you can believe that I don't really know what I'm talking about in trying to explain this) typically this cancer is "just under the skin." So, when I say "including the brain" I "think" it is on the skull at the base of the brain behind the right ear.

As I write this, I know our God is able to perform miracles, but I also know that He will be with us through the whole journey, and THAT may be the miracle that everyone sees! I pray for strength through this journey, whatever road we travel, but I'm not feeling very strong at this moment. Just know that I cherish every prayer you offer on Tim's behalf!

Right now, we are waiting for a call (within the next day or so) with appointment schedules, etc. to begin the treatments. I will keep you all posted.  Keep those prayers going always upward!  XOXO

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Birthday!

While Jessica and Elisabeth and their families visited us weekend before last, we celebrated a couple of birthdays.....mine, which was on Oct. 8th and Thad's, which will be on Nov. 5th.  When it came time to blow out the candles on the cupcakes, Thad was watching me blow my candle out while Chance was blowing Thad's out!  :D

Sunday, October 20, 2013


A message for our sweet granddaughter, Hannah.

Friday, October 18, 2013


We had such a good time at the Green Dell Farm in Thomasville, NC. Lots of photo opportunities. The weather was perfect, even if a little cloudy! It was actually good that it was cloudy because when the clouds went away, it actually got hot! Hannah had fun posing in front of this wagon filled with hay and pumpkins added for the perfect fall photo! 
Credits: A Scrap of Autumn Bundle by Lynne Anzelc (aka Aria) at Scrap Art Studio in the shop here: http://www.scrapartstudio.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=127_130&products_id=2040 Font is CAC Futura Casual

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


So fun!
Love the fall colors in this kit!
Color Play 14 Kit by Cilenia Curtis at Scrap Art Studio
Font is CAC Futura Casual

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apple Picking

This is a JUST BECAUSE page!  :D
The Graphics Fairy just posted this vintage image, so I quickly grabbed it to use in my layout.
Nature's Muse by b.j. designs at Aimee Asher Crafting in the Boutique here:  http://www.aimeeasher.com/shoppe/product.php?productid=6592&cat=0&page=1
Font is CAC Futura Casual
Poem from http://www.helium.com/items/1973232-a-sonnet-titled-picking-mermories


LOVE this picture Kara's mommy, Jessica took!  And the face paint on Kara is so pretty!  This background paper was the PERFECT fit!  :D  I recolored the flourishes so they could be seen against the background easier.
Credits ( Betty Jo Martin):
Nature's Muse by b.j. designs and found in the shop at Aimee Asher Crafting in the boutique here:  http://www.aimeeasher.com/shoppe/product.php?productid=6592&cat=0&page=1
Font is CAC Futura Casual

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sweet Thaddeus

Love this photo of Thad in the leaves from last year.  Hard to believe he will be 2 next month!