Monday, June 27, 2011

Victory Sunday

"And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." (Act 2:24)
Sunday, June 26 has come and is gone forever.
Praise the Lord!
I was asked to preach, and I did preach on that day at the Rosenort Fellowship Chapel. I know I had a herd of sheep praying for me, and so I had nothing to worry about. Preparation week had gone well, and now just to speak forth the word I thought the Holy Spirit had given me to say.
When I got to the church, I was indeed very tired. We prayed in the pastor's office, and I was assured everything would be alright. I struggled through the message. I had not the energy I needed to put more into it. But I left it all on the pulpit. I gave it all I had.
And the rest of day I paid for it. We were invited out for lunch, and after that I crashed into our bed at home till this morning.I told Julia yesterday that Sunday's message might just be the last one I will preach here on earth (and nobody is ever going to ask me to preach in heaven when we have Jesus as our Teacher there).
I simply express deep heart-felt thanks for praying for me about this past Sunday's sermon. Thanks for praying.
I will post the message on my blog shortly as it needs some tiny editing.
In Christ our Lord,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And the Doc Said....

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Peace and grace to you, and love that is uncomprehendible from the Holy Spirit.
The water keeps arising. Certain body parts are bulging with water retention.
And yet the Lord Jesus has filled me completely with His peace, joy and calm assurance that all is well.
I voiced some concern on my blog post yesterday that I was ready to be admitted to the hospital until they could resolve the water retention issue. My doc seems not to have such concern over the water issue. So I will not either. I will start taking some pills for that tomorrow and see what happens. So no hospital admissions. YEAH!!
The doc advised me to increase the morophine by one pill a day. There are interesting things that come with morophine. There are times I might look about totally spaced out. Don't worry, somewhere out there is Chuck Friesen. This morning was a classic. We were finsihing up on our prayer time with our Loving Heavenly Father when I asked Julia, "When are they going to shorten Mom's hoe for her?" Reminds me of the movie "A Beautiful MInd" starring Russel Crow.
Anyhows, on a different note, with which I close....
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  Eph 1:3.
Thanks so much for your relentless, on-going, persistent prayers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Sunday Surprise

There are many times when the Lord does more than we ask of Him.
First, thanks so much for your prayers as I went riding on the Morris Youth for Christ Bike Fund Rasing Ride. I had energy, strength, stamina, a good appetite so I could enjoy the tasty foods, safety and a super time of fellowshipping with other bikers who love God more than Hogs. And the weather was unbeatable. One could not have asked for a better day of clear skies, calm winds and warm temps. It was perfect. All praise and thanks to God our Creator Lord and King.
Having about emptied the tank on Saturday's ride, I was not expecting Sunday to be a stellar day, but God gave me a nice surprise. I felt pretty good on Sunday. Stephanie (my niece) invited Jule and I to her Father's Day BBQ, and it was a really very special time together. Thanks so much, Stephanie. In spite of how I pushed myself on Saturday, Sunday turned out fantastic. What a blessing to have a family behind one in such times as these.
Tomorrow we have another DA (doc apptment) and I will ask about the fluid in the legs. I will not be surprised if they admit me for a night or two to see if they can get the swelling down. But we will see what they will do with me.
Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hog Times

"What shall I render to the LORD
for all His benefits toward me?
I shall lift up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the LORD" Psalm 116:12-13

I am coming off a tremendous weekend of good riding and safe riding. Saturday Jule and I went to Wpg with the Hog. We did some light shopping, then visited Mom and family in Landmark. I really was a good day of beautiful weather. I did ingest 2 percocet tablets and it seemed to really help me. Yesterday four of us went to Tim's in Swine Crack for another treat.This time I went cold turkey. No drug assistance, and it was not a problem.
I really thank God Almighty, King of the Universe and LORD of all that which has, is, and will exist, that He is granting me strength to ride bike. There for a little while I was not sure how much riding I would do this summer. The pain killers are working very good, but I don't want to over use them. My big prayer requests are two: Energy, strength and power to do the bike ride on Saturday. And then for wisdom guidance and direction along with ESP (energy, strength, power), for message prep for RFC on June 26.
Thanks so much.
On a personal note. Julia and I have both noticed that my feet are swelling so much. They get to be almost gross. We went to the Pan Am Athletic Support Store and found some nice hip length socks that I wear now. Yesterday was the first full day with them things on, and it worked very well. Swelling of the feet is not a good sign, but we are praying and trusting God for His ongoing care
Thanks to you for all you have done for us, God bless you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cop Outs

"I don't understand what you are going through." "I can't even imagine what you must be good through." "I have no idea what it must feel like to be in the situation you are in."
Those are stupid, silly and blatantly ridiculous cop out statements that MUST BE AVOIDED!!!!
Yes, I am deadly serious in saying that.These statements have got to go!
I know you can't understand what I am going through. Here is the dirty little secret: Nobody needs to understand what the other person is going through in order to be an encourager to the suffering person. Are good counselors good counselors because they have experienced everything their clients have gone through? Not a chance! Good counselors are people who are gifted and are willing to work at trying their best to enter into the client's world and then seeking out the best coping strategies.
Why do our friends use these cop out statements? I have some theories.
They are not willing to take time to try to enter into our world. They are focused on their world, and their world is peachy great, and if you and I would just adopt their ways of doing things, then our world would also be peaches and cream. Here is the irony of it all. These are the people who say they cannot understand what you and I are going through, but they are at the front of the line when it comes to giving you and me advice.These are the people who have a book for you and me to read, or a CD to listen to, or a TV program to watch, or a retreat to attend, or anything for us to do as long as they don't have to be involved,  and if we will just follow what is written in that book, or listen to the CD 24/7,  we will get our lives together just as their life is together.
That saddens me, and quite frankly, I find zero encouragement from such people.
Another theory I have for why people use cop outs is because they are to afraid to try to understand our scary world of cancer, death, chemo and vomiting. They are too fearful they may not cope with the information you and I give them. These people are turtles. Just let me climb into my well protected world, and you who are struggling, STAY AWAY from me.
How sad. Recently a friend confided in me about the strange absence of his best friends during a really difficult time. "Where are my friends?" he was asking. They are turtles. Retreating into their fortified walls of security far away from you and me and our problems. Turtles turtle because they don't know what to say. Well, they have already acknowledged that they actually have nothing to say since they can't anyhow identify with you and me, so they are correct- they don't know what to say. The first positive sign.
I have a wonderful friend in whom over the years I have often confided in. This person does not always understand what I am going through, but that's alright. This person is such an encourager because she/he goes to make the effort to try his/her best to understand my world  I live in. She/he asks pertinent questions about me. He/she is slow to share from her/his own life. But the key is that this person tries desperately to understand my situation. I always leave his/her home feeling much better than when I came.
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things, as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15
Thanks for your prayers. I really cherish them all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Managing Pain

Know pain, no gain
no pain, know gain.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the King of Glory and Lord of all lords, to Him be the praise, the glory and the honor. His name is worthy of all the praise our human bodies can muster.
I have had some wonderful days lately, and there have been some not such great days of late as well. Yesterday was indeed a full day with Palative Care coming for a morning visit to our home. It's really neat to simply go through things that one could deal with in the future- to be able to talk about those things now while one is still in good shape. These people want to help us, and care for us. There are lots of things to discuss during a time like this, and it's good to get it discussed.
Over the course of the disease my feet have begun to swell up. It's not a good sign, and so we went to the doc to see what could be done. The cause of swelling feet is water retention which could be caused by a few things like a shortageof Vitamin B12, or blockage in the liver of some kind, or lack of Harley rides.
While we were at the doc, we also discussed pain management. Up till now I really did not have a good mechanism in place for dealing with pain. But the pain is getting greater, and I needed help. So the doc started me on a morophine program. I took the pills yesterday, and for the first time in a LONG time I had a restful, peaceful, relatively pain free evening as Julia and I watched "The Rainmaker".
Dear friends, once again Julia and I thank you so much for your caring concern in the form of emails, cards, phone calls and other ways. What a blessing to have such a huge support network behind us.
Thanks so much.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday's Victory

Thank-you for all your prayers concerning my preaching assignment on Sunday- yesterday. Your prayers were all answered. I am so blessed to have such a prayer base behind me. Julia and I extend our deepest thanks. It was definitely the prayers of the people the helped me through the sermon, and this includes the preparation time. I hope people realize the real battle in sermon work occurs during preparation time. Anyways, to God be the total glory.
Perkaset, no idea how to spell that, is a pain killer drug recommended to by Melvin Friesen. And it works, but differently for me than for others- at least so it seems. It is a narcotic painkiller, but for me it seems to be a perker upper. I have used it before to take away pain, and it simply perks me up and helps me fly through the day. Side-effects? I have not noticed any yet. Anyways, I have taken perkaset before key events that I really want to be at. Last Sunday was a classic example as I so very much wanted to be at a baptismal lunch celebration for some friends of ours who had 2 of their children the were baptized. It worked! I breezed through the afternoon celebrations without a problem. Praise God for a drug like perkaset. Bottle says warning may cause drozziness and dizziness. Does not seem to affect me that way.
Anyways the next sermon is scheduled for June 26. I am asked the prayer band to start praying again as I prepare for that. I love preaching, but I don't like choosing topics.
This past Sunday's sermon notes can be found under Sermons, Writings and other Composition on the right hand side of the blog. Just click on the little picture and the takes you to the library where all my other writings are posted for anyone to read.
Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

After the Fact

So how am I feeling after our decision- now that it has been a few days. I feel no different now than I did a week ago, except I am glad I have no more treatments to dread. Now I have nothing to dread. I have peace, and I received a wonderful phone call from a friend who encouraged me by saying she thought I had made the best choice. That was encouraging! I know I made the right choice.
I don't think I have shortened my life with this decision- in fact, I may have lengthened my days. If I can start to feel a little better, that would give me more life I would think. So I don't see it as oh now we just sit around and wait for my death. No, I don't think that has been altered. When I feel my worst, I just want to go home to Jesus anyways. I will be faithful till my last day on earth.
The next steps are working on pallative care procedure. Yes, the "p" word. I was asked by my wife what I thought of that phase of my life. I am ok with that. These are people who care for their patients and they just want to make their patients as comfortable as possible. They are there to help me. They know how to do this, and I am sure they do it well.  Should I need hospitalization, my choice of care is Boundary Trails. It gives my biker friends a reason to make a trip on their bikes (should it come to that).
I would so much desire to get at least one spell of feeling stronger and feeling good enough to do something fun with Julia, like go to the races on bike at Grand Forks. My wife loves that kind of stuff. Especially if it is the World of Outlaws. But we will take it one day at a time and see what we can all do yet.
thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Greetings dear Blog readers.
Yesterday was the last of May for 2011. May 31, 2011 has been lived, and that day ain't ever going be lived again. It's done. That was the day (yesterday) when Julia and I went for a serious visit with the oncologist at Boundary Trails. Dr. Bob Menzies is truly a very classy doctor. The nurses at Cancer Care are truly one of a kind. All are very supportive in one's journey.
Yesterday I decided to terminate further treatment with Cetexamub.
There is no further resource or treatment the medical field has for my case. This is it. Cetexamub was the last kick at the cat (or whatever one kicks these days to stay in good standing with PETA).
Dr. Bob admitted that while the biological based treatments like Cetexamub take longer to work, there is no indication that Cetexamub was doing anything drastic. He said I had a valid point, and he never tried to talk me out of stopping treatments. My rationale was that since I started Cetexamub about 11 weeks ago, I have felt nothing but successively worse each week. My skin is doing all kinds of crazy things. My strength is getting less and less. My pains are not getting less. My eating is getting more and more limited. There really are not many positive things that have come about due to this treatment. It has not done enough to make it worth paying for the terrible side effects.
Do I think I have shortened my life span by stopping treatments? No, I think I have increased my life span with this decision. I am hoping that when the drug wears off in my body, my  body will make a bit of a resurgence where hopefully I can have a few better months, and then go home. There is one unfinished writing project I would like to complete, and I will need to be in better health to do that.
Was the decision hard to make? Not really. It was really a matter of realizing that I feel lousy, tired and fatigued most of the time, and coming off this drug I can't imagine I will feel any worse- only better.
The other deciding factor was that the cancer I have is medically incurable. I was told that from the start. This is not a cancer for which medicine has a cure. Therefore, what is the point of taking a drug that makes me feel this pits and yet carries with it no promise of a cure. I don't see that point.
So now what? Do we just sit back and wait for the day when I die? Well I suppose that is one way of looking at it, but I did not expect to live this long in the first place. I have done better than I thought I would. No, we don't roll over and wait for the final curtain call; we continue boldly to do what we can still do. And that is my attitude till my dying day. There is always something the LORD has for me to do.
Your prayers are deeply cherished.