Friday, November 30, 2012

Wild Honey

I thought of this title last week when I was going to post, so sorry it's a bit later than I wanted.  On the family front, the excitement of last week was the Thanksgiving holiday.  We had Wed-Fri off work, so on Wed we did a Sauder family wood cutting/splitting day at the timber.  One of the trees we dropped last winter had a hive of honey bees in it this summer, so we left it alone then.  I decided to cut into it as only a few bees were flying.  Of course the furthest one away from the action got stung (Leann), but it was really fun for the kids.  We just got into the very end of it but you could scoop out honeycomb, and then chew it and spit out the wax.  The taste was really good, and of course the kids were going wild on the pure sugar.

On the health front, I continue to be plagued by poor balance when walking.  Some days are up, some down, but on the whole I have had a harder time keeping my spirits up.  It's hard to be as cheerful when you feel your body declining.  But overall I'm still really thankful that I can still enjoy being with my family.  And when I'm sitting or sleeping I have next to no pain or discomfort.  Looking back to last spring, I didn't know if I'd even be here, let alone going to work and cutting wood.  Next Wed/Thurs we are going to Mayo.  Wed afternoon is a couple scans, a couple more Thurs morning, then meet with the oncologist on Thurs afternoon and hopefully come home that evening.

As for prayer requests, I'll ask for the obvious that my walking will get better again.  But if it's not God's will to heal me, then pray that I can keep the right attitude.  And please be prayerful that we have wisdom next week if there's any decisions to make when we are at Mayo.

Thanks so much for your prayers & support.  I continue to be amazed at how many are praying for us, often daily.
Derek & Leann

What I'm Learning from Cancer #9

1.      There is Power in prayer – I have always known that prayer made a difference, but it was a blind faith.  Now I know for a fact, and am convinced of it.  I have felt so many times where I could just feel that Leann and I and our family were being carried along by prayer.  I have come to learn as well that it helps when others tell you they are praying for you.  As I knew so many were praying for me, any time I was tempted to be discouraged, I knew that I would be letting those people down as well if I did not have faith.  It’s like a sort of accountability.  If someone says they are praying for you, and then you remain discouraged, it’s like saying you don’t have faith in God’s power.  Let me encourage you in something here.  If you are praying for someone regularly, it will help them if you tell them that.  It will bind you together as brothers or sisters in the Lord.  It will encourage them and keep them going.  Don’t brag all about that you have a huge prayer list, or who all it includes.  But to that person you are praying for, be open.  They will then share more specifically what they need prayer for, and it makes it easier for you to continue praying.  The rest of you have probably been on the right track for years, but this is definitely something I see now as a major omission of mine in the first 18 years of my Christian walk.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November update

Time continues to fly by.  I've been relatively busy at work with a couple day trips each week so it feels like I'm spending less time with the kids on their school.  The last week or two I've noticed my balance getting worse.  When I'm in a crowd, I feel less stable and like I'm going to bump into someone.  Walking takes more effort and I feel myself thinking about it.  We're not really sure what to attribute this to.  It could be tumor growth around my brain, or it could just be a long term effect of the whole brain radiation.  I haven't been in much pain, and even have pretty much stopped taking ibuprofen or tylenol, so I'm thankful for that.  I've been fighting congestion/sore throat/etc. so I have felt wiped out the last few days and spent more time taking naps or resting on the couch.

As for prayer requests, just pray that my sense of balance can improve.  It has slowed me down enough that honestly it's easy to be discouraged at times.

I just finished making a list of all the teachings of Jesus, and #1 by a factor of 2:1 is "fear not"  The thing Jesus taught the most was not to worry about the future.  He must have said this so many times because he knew that would be my nature.

Thanks for all your prayers and support,
Derek & Leann

What I'm Learning From Cancer #8

1.       Communion with God - Trials and hardship give us more desire to read the word & communicate with God. At times of ease we can lose that desire pretty easily.  I don’t know that I necessarily read the word a lot more, but I spent many hours lying in my hospital bed and on nights when I couldn’t sleep just talking with God.  Praying for others.  Praying about how I should live in the future.  If you feel like you are just floating or drifting through life, I encourage you to pray for enough hardship that you will be drawn closer to God.  You don't have to pray for cancer like mine, but pray that God will give you something tough enough to draw you close, but something that is still bearable (and He has promised that it will be).  I am reminded daily of my weakness.  Hardly an hour goes by where I don't think of the cancer.  It's not all bad to have that reminder of how weak we truly are and how much we need God.