Archive for September, 2008

A Word Fitly Spoken

Dan had a pretty good day.  His energy level is better.  His appetite is better.  The look of death is gone from his face.  Dan and I know that God is not finished with us yet.  We have a lot of growing to do because we are far from perfect.  We grow through trials, through suffering.  God is allowing cancer, abandonment by people we love, unkind words, fatigue to all be in our life.  If we choose to hang on tight to Jesus, we will make it through all this, and come out stronger, wiser, closer to God.  A beautiful cousin, inspired by God, sent this encouraging message today – words so fitly spoken:  
“2 Corinthians 12:9-10
‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’
Our prayers will be with you and Dan. And we know that through this all, Jesus will be victorious.
Love, D and S”
Our grateful thanks go out to all of you who stand with us in this battle.  We will let you know as soon as we learn the test results from last week’s aspiration. Please, keep praying! — Anne and Dan
 
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September 30, 2008 at 5:47 am Leave a comment

LST Honored Us

Much to our surprise, Let’s Start Talking decided to honor us with their annual Heart of the Servant Award. Five hundred people gathered for dinner Saturday evening to celebrate that God is with LST as we help people improve their conversational English.  We were humbled to be honored for simply listening to the Lord, and following His leading to help good people in Third World Countries.  We are blessed each time we take Let’s Start Talking somewhere.

Speaking of blessings, our son, Bob, and his wife, Donna, from Raleigh, NC, are here for 3 days. Dan has had two more good days.  The weather is sunny, warm.  And, I, Anne, am still able to stand on my feet and chop raw vegetables for Dan’s special diet…1 cup of fresh carrot juice 5 times a day , a big salad made with raw vegetables and fresh almonds 2 times a day, 1/2 cup cottage cheese blended with flax seed, 4 tablespoons flax seed oil and fresh fruit 2 times a day. And, 1/2 cup sauerkraut first thing in the morning (I’m glad I don’t have to make the cottage cheese or the sauerkraut!)

Please, keep praying that God will dissolve every part of the mass in Dan’s body and heal whatever is causing his right thigh to continue to swell.  We are thankful that If he props his leg up at night, it does not give him problems.   

 

Something to meditate on – Is being an intentional Follower of Jesus worth it?  Dan said that he is encouraged and motivated by what Paul wrote to the Philippians in chapter 3:10 -11, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”…to joyfully spend eternity with God. — Anne and Dan

September 29, 2008 at 4:22 am Leave a comment

This Has Been A Day

The best news first – Dan is OK.  The place they aspirated is very sore when he moves.  But on with the story — We were promised Dr. Reddy, a very good, experienced doc.  Instead, a young doctor drew out 30cc of fluid. As he was doing this, he said,  “Well, that is strange.  It looks like old blood that has separated out.  Just the shape and look of it is like a hematoma.”  The mass could not be drained because it is made up of many tiny cells. Each cell would have to be drained individually.  The Dr. got the 30 cc by breaking through several cell walls with a very thin needle.

Half of the fluid will go to one lab to be tested for infection.  The other half will go to a different lab to be tested for cancer. AND, Dan’s mass has already filled up with new fluid. Tuesday or Wednesday the report may possibly be ready.    

No one has any idea what is next. ( Wikipedia has an accurate description of a hematoma. Dottie found a list of 178 things that can cause a hematoma.)  My question…the Dr. said there was a mass that was consistent with cancer in the first x-ray.  Now, there is no cancer showing up in the x-ray.  Could what is there be the dead cancer in the process of dissentigrating?

Bernie, a doctor in research at Duke University, friend of Bob’s, called tonight. He had the answer to my question.  He said a dying cancer can very well look like a hematoma.  This one in Dan has so many tiny cells of fluid that it is basically impossible to drain.  

Bernie said this disintegrating mass could create infection so watch for fever, pain; report it to Dr. immediately. This afternoon, Dan realized that part of the mass had broken off and migrated to his upper right thigh. That broke off on Thursday/when the pain stopped.  That is what hematomas do if they are not disintegrating…they make more tiny cells, break off and migrate.   So, there’s something to add to your prayer.  We’ll call our doctors first thing Monday.

We are okay.  I felt numb/shattered when we left the hospital with such strange information after being there 4+ hours rather than 2.  But my mood improved when our son, Bob, and his wife, Donna, came in from North Carolina to be with us this weekend.  It’s good to have family with us.

Keep praying for dissolving of the masses, healing for Dan, and peace for all of us who are concerned. Even though this is a very challenging experience, we keep sane by choosing to remember that God is with us. He has not deserted us.  James 1:2-4 reminds us, “Count it all joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” — Anne and Dan

September 27, 2008 at 4:41 am 1 comment

Life Is Full of Surprises…

but God is always there for us.  Why have we been sent on this journey through the fearful Darkness, up and down rough paths, stumbling, falling?  Do we have to know the answer?  I think the reason is not important.  It is what we choose to do in the midst of challenges.  Did we suffer heartache and despair? Yes, we certainly find ourselves there at times. However, God is always with us.  The Darkness cannot hide the Lord because God is Light, and in Him is no darkness according to God’s Word.  

In a few hours, Dan will be in Radiology at HEB Methodist for a drain procedure.  Dr. Anderson decided this afternoon to try aspiration first – stick a needle in the mass bulging out from Dan’s abdomen, and take as much fluid out as possible.  If that doesn’t work, the Dr. will make a hole in Dan’s abdomen and drain more fluid out. He does not know exactly what to expect, but they are prepared for the unexpected.

I asked Dr. Anderson again today, “The C-T Scan in July showed a cancer inside the mass?”  He replied, “”It showed that there was a mass consistent with a cancer.”  Wednesday of this week, Dr. A. said, “the C-T Scan done Sept. 5 showed nothing that looks like a cancer.  There is fluid and something anomolous that is not consistent with cancer.”  Do you think God has heard your prayers to dissolve the cancer?  WE DO!

The Dr. said he cannot guarantee if Dan will be able to manage stairs for awhile after this procedure.  So, guess what, God, who is full of surprises, brought friends tonight to pray over us.  As they were leaving, they offered to let us or Dottie stay at their place…there are no stairs for Dan to climb, and a shower he can simply step into.  They are leaving Monday for a month.  Then, Dottie said, “You don’t have to leave here.”  So, what we may do to give Dottie a break, is go over there on the days Dan is able to shower, spend the night, and come back the next day.  That way, the mail  Dottie will have some quiet time AND relief from all these raw veggies.

I’m not sure, but I think God must be rolling with laughter at how we’ve made all these plans, and time and again had to change plans.  I am sure that God has not only a sense of humor, but a very loving spirit and will continue to provide for all our needs…and yours. Please, continue praying for Dan’s healing and that God use us as tools in His hands to glorify the Lord. — Anne and Dan

September 26, 2008 at 5:07 am 1 comment

Minor ? Surgery for Dan

Friday, this week, Sept. 26, 10:45 Texas time,  Dan will  have a 2 hour Drain procedure in the Radiology Dept. at HEB Methodist, Bedford.  The mass in his body is as big as a grapefruit.  But today it was discovered that the inside of it is mostly fluid.  The Dr. will open the mass, look at the substance that is not fluid but also does not look like cancer.   The Dr. will  drain out the fluid. 

A study will be made of the stuff they remove.  Maybe the people who work there on the weekends will do the lab work and make a report.  Maybe we will know Wednesday or Thursday what the report says.

Dr. Anderson’s nurse said that the doctor who will drain the fluid from the mass, Dr. Reddy, a woman, is very good.  It is somebody in the HEB Radiology Dept. that ignored Dr. Anderson’s orders to compare the contents of the July x-rays with the Sept. 5, 08 C-T Scan.  They simply gave the outside measurements of the 2 “pictures” of the large mass.  Then Dr. Aurora, partner in Dr. Anderson’s group, saw Dan.  He did not look at Dan’s records or the X-Ray we brought for him to look at.  He read the Radiologist’s report, told us Dan had Stage IV cancer and was dying.  BUT that is not true! 

Dr. Anderson, himself, compared the two X-Rays this morning.  We should be rejoicing, but we are quietly thankful to God that Dr. Anderson looked at the pictures, and that there is something unidentifiable in the X-ray, that does not look like cancer. God is busy with us.  Thank you again for your prayers.  Keep praying that Dan will be okay, and that we soon return to our home in Sfantu Gheorghe if that be God’s will. — Anne and Dan

September 25, 2008 at 4:52 am Leave a comment

The Father’s Love

Today was another good day. We are so blessed and we don’t understand why God is helping us so much.  The only answer we can imagine is explained in this song – “How Deep the Father’s Love.”

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss.
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life.
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything –
No gifts, no power, no wisdom.
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.”

— Anne and Dan

September 24, 2008 at 3:42 am Leave a comment

Overwhelmed with Gratitude

Our hearts are so full tonight as we look at how blessed we are.  I don’t even know where to begin.  Dan has been pain free for 5 days.  His energy level is increasing. Dan is enjoying the tasty vegan regime and Budwig recipes to fight cancer.  A couple we love very much was back at church Sunday.  Curt, one of our favorite Shepherds, dropped in this evening to visit and pray over us.  (How many favorite Shepherds is one allowed to have? )  We are surrounded by loving Christians who are Intentional Followers of Christ. Dan had a fine Small Group Bible study in St. George this morning. Rodger Fulton is all by himself IN ST. GEORGE DOING LST.  HIS SCHEDULE IS ALMOST FULL!!!

And, just now, our very first “adopted” granddaughter (a new graduate of ACU) wrote this -“I have known for a long time that short term medical trips are something I want to do, but as I have spent more time outside of the US, I have realized that I may one day want to devote more of my life to helping those who really have no where else to go. I do not know if that will mean 1 year or 20 years, but I am open to the possibility if the opportunity presents itself and I find myself in a position in which that can happen.”  We are so very grateful for this devoted Christian family, and the others like them whom God has brought into our lives to mentor and love.  Now, we need help.  They are serving us joyfully bringing much comfort into our lives.

The interesting thing to me is that what she said is almost identical to what Dan told me before we even became engaged. Being the son of a missionary to Fairbanks, Alaska, Dan told me of his great desire to devote his life to serving the Lord, and especially to one day serve overseas.  His quest to be an Intentional Follower of Jesus is what has made of him the man he is today.  The words to a song keep coming to my mind, “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.”  We are very blessed! — Anne and Dan

September 23, 2008 at 4:26 am 1 comment

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