Monday, July 31, 2017

Celebrate and Praise

Six weeks ago Ed started what seemed to be a daunting treatment regime. Six weeks of daily oral chemo (7 days a week) and radiation (5 days a week.) 

They gave us the list of side effects. The type of chemo he was taking is usually well-tolerated, we were told. But after the first day of violent vomiting, Ed thought six weeks looked long. But with the help of an anti-nausea pill, he never had any nausea after that first day. 

But radiation had a whole list of side effects. We were told to expect that after a few weeks the radiation would cause swelling on Ed's brain and that all the effects he had with his tumor before surgery - the headaches, confusion, fatigue - even the possibility of seizures - would return. He would probably need to go back on steroids to control these effects, which Ed dreaded because it affected his ability to sleep. He was told he wouldn't be able to drive, certainly not work. 

I sat in the cancer center waiting room that first morning and figured I'd get to know that place very well if I'd drive Ed into the office every morning for six weeks. 

But that was the last time I sat in that waiting room. 

Ed has felt good the entire six weeks. Except for that first day, he has driven himself to his radiation appointments at 7:45 a.m. and then went to work. He usually came home from work mid-afternoon ready to take a nap. He still says his strength hasn't fully returned since surgery, but being able to stay busy has certainly helped him feel more sane.

Ed never had any headaches. He didn't need steroids. He has a radiation burn on his forehead and most of his hair fell out, but he has a great appetite, he sleeps well, and he says that if he had not been told differently, he would not know there was anything wrong with him. 

His oncologist says that Ed is doing so well because he is young and in good health. The doctor that is doing the ketogenic study says that the keto diet can help reduce inflammation and the need for steroids.  Maybe they are both right. But Ed and I are quite willing to give the glory to God. We know that so many of you have been praying for Ed. God is able to work a miracle of good health these last six weeks.

But I know that sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers the way we wish. 

Marlita is only in her early twenties and was diagnosed with cancer at about the same time as Ed. She too has a supportive church and a circle of friends and family who know how to pray. But Marlita has spent the last two months in and out of the hospital and her health continues to decline. You can check out Marlita's Caring Bridge. I don't know Marlita personally, but she is a friend of some of my friends. (Edit: On Tuesday, August 1, God answered Marlita's prayers by taking her Home.)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3-5
What's next for Ed? The plan is for Ed to have five days of chemo every month as a maintenance program. Since Ed responded so well to forty-two straight days chemo, five days looks relatively easy. 

Of course we are eager to find out if the treatment has made any impact on Ed's tumor. Is it growing? Staying the same? Shrinking? But the doctor says that there is no point in doing an MRI now because they can't accurately see the results until several months after radiation when the swelling has decreased. 

So we get to exercise some patience for the next two or three months.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

24 comments :

  1. What wonderful news! None of us know what our future will hold, from this moment to the next. I think that our Lord isn't through with Ed's earthly mission just yet. The two of you have such a far reaching ministry, I can only imagine the home church preaching ! Thanks be to God for all of His continued blessings for you, and thanks to both of you for all that you do to bless others..including me!!

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  2. It will be my prayer that the tumor will have completely disappeared when the next MRI is done.

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  3. It was wonderful to read how well Ed is doing. We will continue to pray for him. He is also on our churches "prayer chain". I will add Marlita to my prayer list also. Many blessings to you and your family.
    Betsy

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  4. I'm praying for Ed to have a full recovery, and that he can walk your youngest daughter down the aisle when she gets married:-)

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  5. We have also been praying for a miraculous healing! OUR GOD IS ABLE!!!

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  6. I continue to pray for Ed, you and your family and also through no action on my part, somehow I have been included with Marlita and her family. Since you have been sending us hymns from time to time, what do you think of "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross: (Isaac Watts)? His Love: so amazing, so Divine. Demanding our soul, our life and our all. I continue to pray for Ed and Marlita, God is sufficient! Thank you for keeping us informed. God Bless you abundantly, MaryBeth

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  7. Still praying, glad it has been going so well, working is just amazing !

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  8. Praise be to God! To Him belongs all the glory! I too are praying for Sister Marlita. May God's perfect will be done in her life. None of us are promised a life of ease. May we who are well, thank God for that blessing and never take it for granted.

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  9. Such good news, Gina. I will continue to pray for Ed and also for Marlita.

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  10. God is so good!

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  11. God is good! In all things. Healing can be here or it can Home in Heaven. As my Hubby always said, "either way I am healed."

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  12. Amen, what wonderful news praying that God will continue to bless you all. I am amazed by how well Ed has been. My son had liver cancer when he was 10, he's now 19, and I remember those chemo days and months taking one day at a time and trusting God as we walked that time. So to hear this news is so so wonderful. Also praying for Marlita's family at this time. I know we must trust God in all things.

    Thank you for sharing this news amazing
    Blessings to you all
    shelley p
    from over the pond

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  13. I just said a prayer for Ed's renewed health. And I also said a prayer for Marlita's family as God sustains them through this very hard time of loss. Ed is doing so well ... by God's mighty hand of healing! As Barb Wright said above: "God isn't through with Ed's earthly mission yet." May our glorious Lord bless your family!

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  14. Rejoicing in God's graciousness to allow good days during treatment for Ed, and continuing to pray! Also, praying for Marlita's family as they grieve and miss her so here on earth. We love you!

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  15. Adding prayers to the many others. Lovely blog post, by the way : )

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  16. How wonderful to see that Ed is doing so well. God has been with you from the beginning and will continue to be. So many miracles are in your post. The anti-nausea pill, being told of all the side effects to expect from radiation and experiencing none of those and so many more that we don't know of. I will continue to keep your family in my prayers and also Marlita.
    Psalm 77:14

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  17. Celebrating with you for how well that part of your journey was. Praise God!!! Will continue to pray as you wait for the next mri and then the results & that you will continue to experience God's peace & grace & healing!

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  18. So great Gina! We will continue to pray for Ed's complete recovery and also for Marlita's family. Thank you for keeping us all updated.

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  19. Thanks for your kind words and appreciate your thoughts and prayers.Marlita is Home. Free from the pain of the past months. Our hearts are broken, but God is real and we will trust. Diane

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  20. Chief Jonny's momAugust 5, 2017 at 8:30 PM

    I came to your blog tonight to see what the last update was with Ed's condition after meeting him at camp today. It was a blessing to see him looking so energetic. And to meet you. May the Presence of God continue to direct and bless you and your family!

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  21. I continue to read your blog and I am always encouraged - encouraged in my faith and in my prayer life. Thank you. Tonight I pray for your family, Marlita's family, and the Zimmerman family.

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  22. The Lord is so gracious, its so wonderful to read how well things are going for your husband :) We are continuing on in prayer for him (and you all). Blessings - Linda

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  23. Praying this morning for you and your family.

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