Archive for November, 2008


On the one hand, most of our day was peaceful. On the other hand, we are concerned that Dan’s incision is not draining well, redness that started around the edges of the incision has now spread  to a width of 2″ and about 4″ long.  The red area is extra warm. This afternoon Dan’s personal Dr. prescribed antibiotic to stop the infection.  

We have an appointment with the surgeon Monday at 9 a.m.  If he again refuses to debred it (clean it out well so that it can drain properly), we are going to get a second opinion.  The way it is now, the incision cannot heal.  The edges of the incision are sealed to his leg; the excess fluid accumulation is causing painful swelling and now infection has set in.  We don’t know what to think.  We feel confused – one doctor and 3 Home Health nurses say the wound needs to be cleaned out.  The surgeon says, “No.”  

Please, pray that God will heal Dan – heal the wound, heal the cancer, heal whatever is causing the cancer, heal broken relationships, heal whatever is wrong in us.  We trust God, but we are not so sure about which humans we can trust right now.  “God is a God of peace, not confusion.  Everything should be done properly and orderly.”  I Corinthians 12:33,40. — Anne and Dan

November 30, 2008 at 4:33 am Leave a comment

Surrounded by Love

The fast move to Saginaw to protect Dan from catching Dottie’s cold was exhausting. Paul and Melissa are extremely thoughtful, anticipate our needs, and help in so many ways.  We have been pretty tired the last two days, so we have been taking it easy…slowly getting things accomplished.  

God has surrounded us with love — Paul and Melissa are “going the extra mile” for us.  Shelly, the Home Health nurse is very experienced in caring for cancer patients and wound vacs…and so kind.  Today Brenda and her sister, Sheryl, brought groceries, flowers, even a fun knit shirt for Dan and a warm fleece top for me.  The Bankes delivered our mail.  When I thanked Melissa for all of their many kindnesses to us, she smiled as she said, “We are family.”  Yes, intentional followers of Jesus become family.  We thank God for the loving family He has brought to us.

As we count our blessings, we join the angels in singing, “Glory to God in the highest and peace to men on whom His favor rests,” Luke 2:14.  May His favor rest on you. — Anne and Dan

November 29, 2008 at 5:59 am Leave a comment

A Surprise Thanksgiving

A Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you!  We have much to be thankful for even though we won’t be spending Thanksgiving with any of our kinfolks. However, we will celebrate our blessings with Paul and Melissa Bourland, Family in the Lord, who helped us today to move to their house in Saginaw, TX, just West of Ft. Worth.

Two very unexpected things happened today.  First, the surgeon cancelled Dan’s appointment to have his wound debrided. He was “on call” today, and just took a chance that he might be able to see patients.  A few minutes before we were to leave the house to go see the Dr., we got a call saying the appointment was changed to next Monday.  Let’s see…we are to give thanks in all circumstances because we know we will grow as a result.  We must need lots of growing!

The second unexpected thing was that Dottie texted as soon as she got to the States from ministering to missionaries in Europe.  She warned us that she has a very bad, bad cold.  (In the past she has encouraged us to protect Dan from illness.)  We called the Bourlands to accept their earlier invitation to stay with them. They dropped everything, got our rooms ready, and by the time they got to Dottie’s, Charla Arnold had already suddenly appeared at our door to check on us.  The 5 of us got us packed and loaded to go just as Dottie got home.  I can feel the stretching…but God continues to provid all of our needs.  Praise God! He is ever faithful.  —  Anne and Dan

November 27, 2008 at 6:20 am Leave a comment

Say a Little Prayer for Dan

Dan sees the surgeon tomorrow, Wed., 2:30, to have the wound debrided – cleaned out.  (This will not be fun.)  There is what appears to be a small hematoma forming on top of where the wound should be closing, and dead tissue is blocking proper drainage of the wound. Please, keep on praying for Dan’s healing, and say a few special words for Wednesday about the wound being cleaned successfully, the hematoma completely removed, Dan’s skin being free of irritation from the tape, the incision healing successfully.
When we told the Lord to make us tools fit for His use, we did not know what we were asking.  What we did know was that we were imperfect pots. We did not know it would take a cancer for which there is no known medical treatment to break us.  We’re still spinning on the potter’s wheel while God shapes us into who and what He wants us to be.
It’s rather scary at times, but we look forward to the time when we can indeed be more like our Savior. We’re thankful that His grace covers us and will last through eternity. “The Lord is the true God, he is the living God, the eternal King.”  Jeremiah 10:10.  “Jesus will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High….His kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:32-33 — Anne and Dan

November 26, 2008 at 5:35 am 3 comments

Angels Unawares May Visit

Today was a mixed day.  The good news is that Natasha came again to chop veggies, study the Bible with Dan, and help and encourage both of us. Natasha brought a little electric chopper that really went to work fast on onions, and things that need to be chopped fine. She seemed to know just what we needed…angel in disguise?   I had another good visit with Reka.  AND, Dan had a fine study with the Small Group Bible Study in Sfantu Gheorghe.  Six year old Tomas attended for the first time.  It was delightful to see him and all the rest of the group of our close friends/family.  

The not so good news is that when the nurse changed the dressing on Dan’s incision, she said, “The tumor growing behind the new tissue is pushing outward making the opening larger.”    I slipped right into despair and hopelessness.  But then, I remembered…my Lord is in control.  Whatever happens, we will be okay because of Jesus.  That sounds quite simple minded on the one hand, but on the other hand, we believe that because of God’s promises in the Bible to us.  

Sherrie explains it quite well — “Happiness is something we choose — no matter what happens in our lives. We choose happiness or misery by the way we choose to think about our circumstances.  We can either find the good and cheerful, or the bad and miserable in every circumstance.  The choice is ours to make every single day.  Sure we will cry tears of sadness in sad times….

We can choose where we” live” in our minds.  One fact is consistently true: Believers can always be happy that the Lord loves us and saves us–every single day–in every single circumstance.  No matter what happens, the Lord loves us and saves us–that is something to be joyful about every single day.” — Anne and Dan

November 25, 2008 at 5:39 am 1 comment

On a Cloudy Day, You Can Choose to See the SON!

We’ve been thinking a lot about our choices lately especially since Dan has a sarcoma that has no medical cure, and the incision is not healing.  Yesterday was a day “made in heaven” just for us.  Today continued the blessings. It’s easy to be positive on days like this.  We had a good visit with our grandson, Michael, at church. We talked via Skype with our son in the Gospel somewhere in Eastern Europe. Then God used us to help Reka work on a challenging situation. Our son, Bob, in North Carolina, and Dan’s sister, Bonny, in Oklahoma, phoned us.

The excellent sermon today talked about the fact that we do choose our attitude, our approach to life.  Dan and I choose to do our best to let God help us glorify Him.  He has done so much for us — always food on our table, clothes on our back, a roof over our heads, jobs so we could work our way through university, and much much more…He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross to pay for our mistakes, our unkind choices, our pettiness, our impure thoughts, our anger, our self centeredness.  Shall I say more?  We want to give God the glory for HIs forgiveness, and His faithfulness in helping us through every trial.  We are who we are today because of God’s grace.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16  Do you realize that you are one of those in the world that God loves so much?  No matter how many clouds come in your life, you can always choose to see the Son! — Anne and Dan

November 24, 2008 at 6:42 am Leave a comment

The Sun Is Always Shining

Even though this has been a very challenging week, it ended with much joy.  God filled our day with love.  Melissa, our friend for 8 years, came this morning to help me cut vegetables with my new vegetable slicer.  While she was here, Glenn and Lani arrived from Houston!  We have been friends about 20 years. Marjorie, a friend for 5 years, phoned from Colorado.  All these fine people walk with the Lord…intentional followers of Jesus, and help support our work in Romania.

While Glenn and Lani were here, Adolf and Reka Skyped us from Romania.  We were so happy that they could “meet” each other.  To top our day off, Dick and Hanny phoned from Holland…best friends for almost 50 years!   We celebrate that Dick’s cancer is going away!!!

Dan remains about the same – no fever even though the incision shows no improvement.  The Home Health nurse comes each day to clean it with saline solution, and put a new silver carbon bandage on it. We hope that the wound vac can be put back on after the surgeon cleans out the incision next Wednesday.  Though sometimes we think we are alone, God has not forgotten us. Look at all the love He filled us with today.

Again tonight, for the third time, God gave me this scripture about Dan, “…wherever you go, I will let you escape with your life.” Jeremiah 45:5b. God still has work for us to do.  We choose to believe, to live in hope, and to walk with Jesus no matter how rocky the path or what trials come our way. — Anne and Dan

November 23, 2008 at 4:49 am Leave a comment

In Limbo

On a scale of 1 – 10, we’re both about a 5.  We are grateful that Dan continues to be fever free even though the redness around the wound is increasing.  The Home Health nurse comes daily now that the wound vac is off. She is carefully watching the wound giving reports to the Dr. when the wound concerns her.

We can’t move forward because the wound is still producing dead tissue.  The surgeon won’t see Dan until his scheduled appointment Wed. next week.  Late this afternoon, the wound vac rental company asked for the wound vac machine to be returned.  We could not reach the surgeon or Dan’s wound vac Dr.  I told them, “Late Friday afternoon is not the best time to reach doctors.” 

When we were younger, we used to joke, “You can tell a person is getting old because all they talk about is their illnesses.”  Well, when you spend 18 hours a day doing your best to defeat a major illness, what else do you have to talk about – your latest trip to Disney World.  There is one piece of sweet news – Krista K. surprised us with the gift of a hand operated slicer that will make the vegetable chopping go faster. Once we get the hang of it, it will be a big help!

 Though this has not been one of our better days, Sharon G’s message gives us good food for thought — ‘To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.’ When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better.  Concentrate on this sentence.. ‘The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.’ ”  

We have hope because, “The Lord gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak….those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40: 29-31 — Anne and Dan

November 22, 2008 at 5:19 am Leave a comment

Faith When Times Are Tough?

Even though Clark told us yesterday  that this kind of setback – dead tissue in the wound – is normal, we are struggling to accept it.  The doctors told us that there is a possibility that the incision will never heal. So here we are…waiting…waiting on doctors to set up the time to clean the wound.  Why do I let it disturb me to not know when the Dr. will remove the dead flesh, if this can be done in the doctor’s office or in the hospital, will it have to be done many times, how long will this delay our return to Romania?

It’s easy to say we are “walking by faith” when things are going smoothly.  There must be a reason Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4 – 9, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thansgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me — put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.”   We need the God of peace to be with us right now.  Tomorrow is Grandparents Day at Kristen’s school, but we are not invited.  “Think about excellent things….the God of peace will be with you.” == Anne and Dan

November 21, 2008 at 4:22 am 1 comment

Two Steps Forward & One Step Back?

Dr. Hendrickson said this a.m. that there is dead tissue in the opening of the wound – she showed me the white “stuff” around the edges of the new flesh that had been filling in the cavity.  She put a special silver carbon bandage on the wound.  She will call the surgeon, Dr. Elieson…and ask him to clean out the dead tissue and lance the dime sized hematoma.
Dan’s incision has stopped closing. Fortunately, Clark Byroad delivered groceries and one dozen mixed colors of roses today.  He told Dan that he had the exact same problem several times when he had a wound vac…that it is normal.  The long talk they had helped Dan and me a lot.   
God sent Paul Bourland, a nurse who specializes in palliative care, on Monday to calmly discuss the difference between hospice and palliative care.  He pointed out to Dan that he does qualify for hospice which means that if they can find the right, cheerful, helpful person to do it, we can have someone come one hour a day to chop veggies.  If we move to another house in this area, we can have someone come clean house, etc.  He helped Dan understand that hospice care does not mean that he is dying.
Monday Natasha chopped so many veggies that I didn’t have to chop any for 3 days.   When Paul told Melissa that I need help with chopping, she wrote and asked to come Saturday to chop!  I am so thankful for all the loving care we are receiving.  More good news – again, tonight, the Lord gave me this scripture, “…wherever you go, I will let you escape with your life.” Jermiah 45:5b.  Rejoice all you who are in the Lord Christ Jesus for He is the one is helping us during these hard times, and who will help you escape with your life eternally. — Anne and Dan

November 20, 2008 at 5:05 am 1 comment

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