Friday, October 19, 2012

Better couple weeks


Another two weeks has flown by!  In general I've been feeling better.  I don't know whether it's due to extra prayers from all of you, or whether it's just a mental thing with knowing the tumors are smaller.  Either way, we are just thanking God that I'm feeling better and for each good day.

Last weekend we cut down a big, dead hickory tree in our yard.  In case you can't tell, cutting & splitting wood is one of the things I really enjoy doing just for "fun".  I was a bit sore after that but nothing painful, and the actual work went good.  I was able to run my saw for a few hours, and I'm really thankful for that.

Lainey is still a really good baby, but she's had her moments when she cries.  We aren't going to complain, because she's still the best we've ever had.  But we have found out that she is actually a baby and knows how to cry with some volume.

Chemo again next Monday morning and then it's a busy week at Precision.  Leann and I are in the process of planning our 10 year anniversary trip, which is coming up next March.  That is my next milestone I have my mind set on.

Thanks again for all your prayers that we can feel,
Derek & Leann

What I'm Learning from Cancer #7
Being willing to accept help.  This one I believe is harder than helping others, at least for me.  We’re proud to be German-Americans who can take care of ourselves right?  Wrong.  Let’s just call it what it is, pride.  James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  Or if it’s not pride, maybe it is too strong a trust in our own strength.  There are numerous scriptures that tell us to love one another.  They give me a picture of a mutually dependent group of believers, not many lone soldiers living their own secluded life.  I think back to the olden days, the idea of a barn raising or threshing bee, where all the neighbors would get together to help the other.  We need to re-institute this in our community and church.  We have become too affluent and self-dependent and therefore I think we have lost a lot of the connections amongst our church family.  If we helped each other and worked together more, we would have better relationships with each other, we would know what was happening in others’ lives, we could be a true help to each other.  When’s the last time I spent an evening or Saturday at someone else’s house or farm, just helping them with a project or even just the normal duties of life?  Maybe Leann and I feel this so much because we are forced to come to grips with the fact that I can’t do all the physical work I used to.  I’ve had to ask for help on things I would have done myself before.  It’s been hard but I think in the end I have a much better appreciation for others and know them better.  Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have a need that we can help with.  I can’t move heavy furniture but anything less intense physically, we would love to help.  My conclusion is that we must fight against our desire to be independent and work towards being more involved in each other’s lives.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dr McDonald followup

Since we were out in Indiana anyway, we set up an appt to drop off our scans for dr McDonald and touch bases with him.  He showed us the scans and it was truly amazing.  The tumors have shrunk and it is unmistakeable.  The spine tumors are probably about half the size they were previously.  The brain tumor is smaller as well, but not quite as much so.  This was really encouraging to actually see. He is surprised and says this is very good news.

He can't explain why I have had more stiffness and pain, but at least it is not due to growth of the cancer.  We are needless to say for thankful that we stopped to see him.

Derek & Leann

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mayo conclusion

The last week has been harder on us.  I continue to feel more stiff in my neck and back and it reminds me of after surgery.  It was harder to pull my socks on, harder to move around.  But then yesterday we heard from the surgeon and oncologist at Mayo.  "We both think that things look good and there has been definite improvement in many areas of the brain and spine"  So I guess we are unsure why I don't feel as good when the scans don't really show any problems.  We are thankful though that it is not the tumors growing.  I have to keep my situation in perspective.  While I'm not able to work physically all day like a 20 year old, I probably have less handicaps than some around me.  I can lift things when I need to, I can drive, I can go to work, I can pick up and hold Lainey.

We are leaving this afternoon for Indiana and spending the weekend out there seeing friends from the last year's treatment.

Keep praying for us above all that we can have the right attitudes, and continue trusting in God.  I think some of the afflictions I feel may be just that, to keep me from thinking I'm going to live forever.

Derek & Leann

What I'm Learning From Cancer #6
Encourage others - I used to be really self-conscious about writing a card or saying a kind word to someone in need.  I feared that my words wouldn’t come out right, or I would say the wrong thing.  Let me tell you that we received many hundreds of cards.  Some had 2 pages of writing, some had 2 lines.  But I never thought that what anyone said was weird or dumb.  Don’t let that fear inhibit you being a witness and encouragement to others.  It’s not as hard as you might think.  Just get in the habit of encouraging others and sending a card when you hear of someone who is sick.  The same goes for visiting someone in the hospital or who is confined to their home.  I appreciated everyone who came.