Friday, September 28, 2012

Time Flies

Wow, the summer flew by!  I realize now it's been about two months since I last posted.  Sorry it went so long.  I know it's easier to keep praying when you know what's happening.  It's not my intent to keep you in the dark.  Thanks for those of you who have asked how I'm doing.

On the home front, we are back into our school year routine for about a month now.  We started a bit early so we'd have more flexibility with days off here and there.  Lexi is in 3rd grade, and does most of her school on her own.  Wesley is in 1st grade and is making a lot of progress.  I still need to read instructions now and then and do some motivating here and there but he's starting to be able to read the instructions and do the work on his own.

We've had a lot going since I last updated.  Lainey has not really slowed us down much.  She's a really good baby and only in the last couple weeks have we really heard her cry much at all.  It's a little harder for her to go to sleep sometimes now, we have to use the swing more.  But still, she is really the best baby we've ever had by a long ways.  So we've kept a busy schedule, gone a lot of places, etc.  I spent a week in Iowa at the  farm show and Leann and girls came out for a couple days.  We went with the Sauder family to Galena for a couple nights a few weeks ago.  Next weekend we are going back to Indy to visit for a couple days.  I've been going to work,typically just the afternoons, but some days it ends up closer to a full day.  I even split wood last week and hope to do some more today.

I've realized it seems like we've slipped back into that "going to live forever" mode.  It's hard to keep the perspective that my time is short and I should only focus on the really important things.  But my pain and stiffness has been increasing in recent weeks, so I think life will come back into the proper focus again.  People ask me how I'm doing and I say "not as good".  I feel like my attitude is staying pretty good overall, but I am not feeling nearly as good as I did around the time Lainey was born.  I think God just answered our prayers and gave us some really good weeks around that time.  Now I feel more stiff and at times during the day will have pain in my back and neck.  But to keep it in perspective, it's probably no worse than what Leann has with a sore back (which has plagued her for some time) and the afflictions that almost everyone have of one sort or another.

I had another set of followup MRI scans done a couple weeks ago.  In some areas the tumor is shrinking, in some areas it appears to be growing slightly.  The oncologist here asked we send it to the surgeon at Mayo's for a little better interpretation but we haven't heard back yet. I'm still taking the chemo drug Avastin every other week, and the plan is to stay on that until I reach the point where my quality of life has declined significantly.

In conclusion, thanks for all your prayers through the past couple months, and please continue to pray for us.  Above all that our attitudes and hearts can be right, and then as much as God grants that I could have healing and reduced pain.

Derek & Leann
Lexi, Wesley, Whitley, and Lainey

What I'm Learning from Cancer #5

        People that don’t look like me, act like me, or have my personality really care about me.  Many whom I would not have expected to care about my situation showed us great love.  While I brag about our church (we have really felt a lot of love from our church family), there were also cards from a lot of people we didn’t know, from other states, from other churches, etc.  Even in our own church, in the past there are people I have been close to and those I have not really.  This has drawn me close to everyone.  Even those that I would not normally talk with I have had good conversations with, I have received cards from, and they ask how I am doing.  I think that what I am trying to say is even if you don’t feel real close to someone, realize that they most likely care about you more than you realize.  If we listen to the news too much, we probably begin to think that there aren't many good people in the world anymore, but the reality is that there are still a lot of caring people around.