Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Carlee Update

Many of you have probably already recieved this e-mail from my mom. If so, disregard this post. :) For the rest of you, here's an update on Carlee and what's going on around here. Thanks for your prayers. I say that so often that I'm afraid it probably starts sounding shallow and I'm frustrated by the limited adjectives I use :). But I don't mean it that way. I truly ask God's blessing on each of you who pray for Carlee. God has used you, our friends, to lift us up when we're drooping time and time again. And we're very grateful.
From my mom:

Hello dear praying friends and family,

I have wanted, in vain, to send an update for a couple sorry to always be asking for specific prayers and then not reporting back on the answers )-: Some of this may be old news to those who get on Carlee's blog, but just let me recap the last month:
Carlee's PET scan came back showing no signs of cancer. That was a huge praise, but we are also aware that those scans don't show every cancer cell.
The door closed for Carlee to get a second opinion at the Clinic, but she was able to get into Ireland Cancer Center. The oncologist there gave some options regarding further treatment and confirmed that what she has done up until this point was right on target.
Nathaniel went back to Nome nearly two weeks ago and is staying in touch via phone and internet. He's ticketed to come back to Ohio around March 23rd.
  • Carlee's lymphedema hasn't seemed to be nearly as bad, but she has misplaced her sleeves which help with the swelling. So could you please pray she will find these??
  • Carlee's been having daily radiation for the past 3 weeks. It is going well, but she is beginning to show some redness and signs of burning. Please pray that this would be minimal.
  • She has begun taking Xeloda, a chemo pill that enhances the effects of radiation. Unfortunately it also enhances burning and scarring. Along with Xeloda, she started Tykerb this week, another oral chemo pill that was recommended. It shows much promise in killing her type of cancer and preventing recurrence. She is going to take the Tykerb as long as she is getting Herceptin infusions (which she gets every three weeks until July). These pills seem to be causing nausea and alot of fatigue. The past two days have been especially hard. She started taking anti-nausea medication yesterday. Please pray that her body would adjust to these drugs, and that her energy level would increase and her nausea would decrease.
  • I know that with 5 small children in a home there is a certain level of noise, discontent, bickering and drama that is to be expected. It seems, though, that there is a bit more at times than is reasonable. Add to that a tired and sick Mommy, and ...well...I think you get the picture (-: As a proud grandma I will be the first to say that my grandchildren are sweet, well behaved and loving. That said, would you please pray that there would be peace, cooperation, joy and obedience amongst the youngest members of this house- actually, us older members could use the same thing!
  • The children seem to get up alot at night, which drains Carlee for the next day. Please pray for a spirit of slumber to descend on the children and stay on them from 9pm until 8am.
  • Regarding the future, Carlee was advised by a top doctor at Sloan/Kettering in New York to take a very strong chemo for a couple months after the radiation. He is the only one who has suggested this, and she and Nathaniel are praying that the Lord would clearly show them if this is His direction. I would most likely mean staying here in Ohio through that treatment. Please pray for wisdom to know what, if any, further treatment she should pursue after radiation.

Finally, I wanted to share something I was reading this morning in John 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be full." I want that joy that Jesus is talking about! He possessed a greater joy than any person has ever experienced, even in the face of Calvary. He promised to share His joy in all circumstances with the believer who abides in Him. Would you please pray that each of us would abide in Christ and experience His joy in the midst of this trial? We can have joy (delight, gladness) in the knowledge that God is our Sovereign ruler, the sustainer of our soul and life, the One who loves us supremely. We can have joy in knowing nothing will come into our lives today apart from His will. Please pray that our home would be filled with His joy in everything we might face, from dirty diapers to cancer and everything in-between.
Thank you for the prayers, meals, support, encouragement and love that you have poured on us. We are so grateful!
With love, Lin

Here are a few pictures of our littlest boys that I thought I'd add. :)

BATH TIME for the Chubster:
"Aunt Dani you won't actually... this picture to people will you??"

Here you can just barely see his two little front toofers. Now he can bite us.

"A hot bath...a lotion is good!"

I love messing around with Wes's hair! Here you see the Einstein 'Do paired with a Superman curl.

Wes adores his Poppie, who rides in a super-cool police car, and sometimes spends lunch break with him.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Girlfriends :)

It's not every day you get to spend 12 hours hanging out with an amazing missionary from Mexico.
And I did, yesterday!
Actually, it's just (JUST!?) my pal Ashleigh, and she's here in the states for a few short weeks. We sorta grew up together (literally within a couple miles) but, ironically, we didn't become close until about a year before she left for Mexico. We took the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class together and each week as we'd drive to classes together we became better pals and, more importantly, closer sisters devoted to the same Father. Ashleigh is one of those people whose wisdom and passion for God has been a constant blessing to me.
And like most friends, we share a lot of things in common:

We're wild about Indian Food
We have the tendency to do crazy things and dissolve into fits of laughter at random times
We have a mutual affinity for dark wavy hair (ha!)
...And a passion for Jesus.

Ash, as you go back to Mexico, God be with you. Remember that I'm praying for you and I love you very much. God is using you, and He is working in you as well. You're a treasure.

Here's us, at The Saffron Patch in the Valley. If you've never been there, you've pretty much never tasted good food.

Amanda, Ashleigh's sister, joined us as we broadened our musical horizons (and vocal talent) with Garage Band. (When's the last time I laughed this hard!?) In the clip below, I'm Alladin and Ashleigh is Jasmine. Please: laugh. Otherwise we will be very embarrassed.

By the way; we're not particular fans of Alladin; we just couldn't think of another song to record at the time. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Does this challenge you? :)

(I replaced "ponder" with "think". Strangely, I don't like the word "ponder", for some reason.)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Some random pictures and an update

I thought I'd post an update on Carlee and maybe a few pics from the past month or so. I don't update on Carlee that much because I know that probably, everyone who checks out my blog also checks out hers. But in case not, here's the scoop.
Praise God: she started radiation last week! There were many delays, and we are really glad that this is finally beginning. We're all hope and pray that her burns and side effects from the radiation will be minimal.
Right now the big prayer need is for wisdom for Carlee and Nathaniel. Although the docs have recommended a second bout of chemo, the verdict is split regarding exactly which chemo she should take. This is going to be Car and Nate's decision and it's tough to make it when so much is at stake.
And yet, even as I write that, I think back on the many, many times through the past 8 or so months that God has given the EXACT wisdom at the EXACT time it was needed to my sister. We don't need to beg Him to tell us what to do. We'll make our needs known, and He'll guide us down the right path when the fork in the road comes. Seriously; that a comforting thought!
In the mean time as all this medical stuff has been going on, Carlee, Nathaniel and the kids have settled in downstairs. We call them the "bottom dwellers". :) Nate will probably be moving back to Nome next week because Carlee's treatment has started. I'll miss him.
We've had a lot of happy times the past few weeks, and I'll post pics when I get a chance. One of my favorite things to do is sit with Carlee and mom after the kiddos are in bed, and turn on a period drama like Wives and Daughters or North and South and just chill after a long day! (Optimally done with chai and my cozy blanket. I have to have a blanket when I watch a movie or else it's just not right.)
So yes we've had good times, but often it feels to me like there's a cloud hanging over it all. Carlee and Nathaniel are so tired. I think that more than any particular thing, it's it's because this whole process has just worn then out physically and emotionally. I know they dread the parting this week too.
People here at home have been so kind. I'm constantly amazed by the love and support you pour on us. Bless you ALL for your gifts, your prayers, the meals, and conversations and the hugs. And for so many other things. In short, thanks for lovin' us.

God is amazing. And being His child, part of this family filled with love and support, is awesome.

And now, instead of jawing on I offer you that which, supposedly,
is worth a thousand words.

I'm in love with this boy: the cutest Chubster that there ever was.

I know Car and Nate have loved reconnecting with friends who they haven't been with in a while (like Tim, Cherie, and the kids!)

We celebrated Christmas last month with fmaily, since we were in Nome for the Holiday. Here you see Classic Uncle Tim on Christmas... bows around his neck and gift labels attached to his head!

The girls discovered what Carlee and I discovered long ago... Grandpa is the best cuddler.

Happy Birthday Mimi!

Carlee and I at Miss Molly's Tearoom

Shaina and I worked on our architecture skills at the Children's Museum in Cleveland. She was so patient and did a great job following the book's directions. :) We all had a lot of fun there!

"I like my Poppi. Hmm, I wonder if he tastes good...?"