Friday, February 16, 2018

Boundless Love

I don't want to write this post.

It is far more enjoyable to write about blessings. I know that many of you care about us and have prayed often for us and by writing this I may give you a bad day.

But I also want to be honest about our journey and beg again for your prayers.

Ed had an MRI this week and found that his tumor is growing.

The news is a kick in the stomach. In some ways this is harder than hearing the original diagnosis in May. When Ed was so sick, it was almost a relief to learn that he had a tumor that could be operated on. It was devastating to learn that the tumor was glioblastoma multiform (GBM), but some patients respond well to treatment and have several good years before the tumor begins to regrow.  Of course we hoped that Ed would be in that small group. We also knew that God is greater than statistics and He could choose to destroy Ed's tumor.

We've had several bio-marker tests done on Ed's tumor since his surgery, none encouraging. Ed's tumor has the ability to repair its DNA which makes it hard to manage with chemo. It also contains extra growth protein that help it grow even faster. This is not imaginary monster under the bed. Neither is it sleeping. This monster is alive. With fangs. And venom.

So the MRI report this week is not totally a surprise. Just very disappointing. All hopes of a semi-normal life this year has been crushed. We now need to decide what kind of treatment to pursue. None of the options sound appealing. Ed could choose to have another surgery or take part in some of the new experimental trials for immunotherapy.

Right now Ed is feeling very well. He has no symptoms from his tumor. It is hard to think of starting a treatment plan that may make him feel sick in hopes of halting his tumor. But if we do nothing, Ed will likely start feeling the effects of the tumor's pressure on his brain.

We hope to meet soon with the neuro-surgeon and oncologist teams from two of the bigger hospitals in our area. Please pray for us that God will give us clear direction on the next step to take.

God is with us even now. If God is near to the brokenhearted, maybe He is nearer now than last week. We do not feel forsaken, just sad.

Last winter, Ed preached at weekend revival meetings at a youth Bible school. He chose "Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me" as his theme song for that weekend. Since then I've had a copy of that hymn near my Bible and it has become my theme song for this past year.

So grateful that I'll never find an end to God's love.

Jesus, Thy Boundless Love To Me
by Paul Gerhardt
translated by John Wesley

Jesus, Thy boundless love to me
No thought can reach, no tongue declare;
Unite my thankful heart to Thee,
And reign without a rival there.
Thine wholly, Thine alone I am;
My soul with constant love aflame.

They love, how cheering is its ray!
All pain before its presence flies;
Care, anguish, sorrow, melt away,
Where'er its healing beams arise;
O Jesus, nothing may I see,
Nothing desire or seek but Thee.

O draw me, Saviour, after Thee!
So shall I run and never tire.
With gracious words still comfort me;
Be Thou my hope, my sole desire.
Free me from every weight, nor fear
Nor sin can come if Thou art here.

Still let Thy love point out my way;
How wondrous things Thy love hath wrought!
Still lead me, lest I go astray;
Direct my work, inspire my thought;
And if I fall, soon may I hear
Thy voice, and know that love is near.

In suffering be Thy love my peace,
In weakness be Thy love my pow'r;
And when the storms of life shall cease,
Jesus, in that important hour,
In death as life be Thou my guide,
And save me, who for me hast died!

There are various tunes used with these words but here is a video with the tune that we sing. (If viewing by email you may need to click over to the blog to see the video.)

79 comments :

  1. Praying for your family. Thank you as always for your words- they reach many hearts.

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  2. Please rest assured that we are praying for your family.

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  3. We will be praying that you find the right way forward for all of you, knowing that you are always held in God's hands. Thank you for sharing the video of the wonderful singing !

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  4. I'm so sorry, Gina. I think of you often. God's grace hasn't run out. His spring is abundant and well-fed from endless resources. Love and prayers!

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  5. I feel so sad for you and your family. Praying for you all.

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  6. Praying for you and your family, Gina. You are a true and powerful testimony of the love of Jesus that touches my heart and makes me want to know that love in my own life. Thank you for that.

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  7. I am very sorry. Praying you all feel God's nearness.

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  8. Dear ones, my tears flow, and I lift you up to the throne. He will carry you. May the words of this song come to your mind especially at moments of uncertainty.

    Diane

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  9. I’m praying for you and your sweet family Gina. The Bible promises God is always near to those who call on Him. I pray that He will guide your decisions in the way forward.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  10. I enjoy reading here and getting a glimpse into your life! Lots of love and prayers!

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  12. Prayers... for you and Ed, for your children, your family, your friends... not one tear is hidden from God. He cares and holds you.

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  13. I am so sorry, Gina! I've been rejoicing in your good days and so this is disappointing to hear. May you feel God's arms surrounding you each moment, and I pray you'll find clarity and peace about the way forward.

    Mary Beth Martin

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  14. You and your family are being prayed for in Hawaii. Thank you for keeping us updated about Ed.

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  15. Continuing to pray for you all. Such sad news, but it's all in God's wonderful hands. He will direct your paths in the right direction. God bless you all!

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  16. I haven't sang this hymn in a long, long time. Praying for you and your family.... that you will have peace in the midst of this storm.

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  17. Gina I am so sorry. If any of your hospital visits involve ones in the Washington DC or Baltimore area and you need a ride or a meal or a place to stay or anything else, please let us know. jsmathis at comcast dot net

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  18. My heart aches for you all. Praying for you. May you feel His boundless love right in the middle of the hard.

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  19. Praying for you! My daughter had the same and she has surgery & God healed her after continuous prayers ! May God bless you and your family!

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  20. Sending prayers for you and your family/

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  21. I am praying God's healing on your husband and I am lifting all of your family up to the throne of God. Jesus loves you this I know and He is the same on the mountaintop as in the valley. Be blessed and encouraged!
    Mikki

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  22. Praying for healing and God's will to be done. You are in His care.

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  23. Sending prayers. Believing that God will give you the strength and courage you need.

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  24. So sad to hear this, Gina. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

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  25. Gina, my heart is broken over this news. Iwill be praying for you and your sweet family. Jesus will get you through this difficult time.

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  26. Praying & will continue to do so. ((hugs))

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  27. I was a student at bible school that year and I don't think I'll ever forget that weekend. It was one of my highlights. And that song means so much more to me since then! My prayer for you, as you walk the path God has called you to, is verse 3. God's grace is sufficient!
    >>Krista Burkholder<<

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  28. When our son had an inoperable brain tumor, we took him to the Burzynski Clinic in Houston after he started progressing after radiation and chemotherapy. We had several good months on that treatment. While his oncologists were skeptical, one of them afterwards told me that the treatment had definite anti-tumor activity, and there was no other explanation. May the Lord hold you very, very close to his heart! Our times are in His hands, and though we do not understand, we can trust Him.

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  29. Dear Gina, you and your precious family will continue to be in my prayers.

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  30. Dear Gina, I'm so sad for you after hearing this news. How confusing it must be for you all. But I also know you will be alright for underneath you are Everlasting Arms! Jesus is your Rock and Anchor in the times of storm. He will see you through! Remember He wept at Lazarus' death. He understands! He cares more than we can know! I will pray for you all dear family. Stay strong in our Saviour!

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  31. Sister, I am so sorry about this sad, so sad news. I recently heard about your blog & learned your story. May God be near you, the broken-hearted! We are from a similiar church in Indiana.

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  32. I'm so sorry Gina. I can't imagine the heartbreak to hear this news about your soul mate. Been following Brad's journey also. Your family is going through a lot. Praying for you.

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  33. I am so sorry Gina. It was good to hear Ed preach when we were at Yarrowsburg as guests of Ann Horst. He preached about the widow and the oil vessels. May He fill your vessels with love and comfort and wisdom in the coming days.
    John and Teresa Brunk

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  34. Praying for you. I'm outside Baltimore, so not terribly close but not that far by car either (And I love to drive). Is there some physical help you need, such as grocery shopping, spring yard work, etc., that I can perform for you on a Saturday. You would bless me by allowing me to be of service to you.

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  35. So very sorry to hear the sad news. I had been rejoicing that things had seemed to be going so well for Ed and that he was feeling well. May you feel the Lord's nearness. This world has so much heartache and disappointments. "Heaven will surely be with it all..." Love and prayers

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  36. I'm so sorry. You write so well, Gina. Grace and peace to all of your hearts.

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  37. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, the good and the bad. Our thoughts and prayers are always with you and your precious family. ((Hugs and blessings))

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  38. My heart is breaking for you and your family. I will continue to pray for you all.

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  39. Keeping y’all in our prayers.

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  40. Lifting your family in prayer....may you find rest and peace and feel the guidance of your loving heavenly Father.

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  41. I like reading here. Praying for you in your decisions and sending lots of love to all of you.

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  42. Gina, it’s been awhile since I’ve been on your blog, but a friend shared this on FB tonight! I’m soooo sorry you guys are having walking this journey and I’m praying for strength and God’s grace in abundance! May His peace be all around you and your family! Love to you, Your Long lost friend, Tancy

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  43. Gina, I'm so sorry to hear about Ed. My prayers go out to you and your family.

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  44. Gina, what can I say except that I will continue to pray for you and your family. Big hugs from across the ocean.

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  45. Continuing to pray for you and your family. Thanks you for sharing the hymm. It definitely blessed my day.

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  46. Heartbreaking. Praying for you all.

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  47. Oh, dear Ed & Gina! Our hearts are breaking with you over this news, and yet trusting God is still walking right beside you! We're praying He will give you wisdom and also the medical team, and grace, peace and strength for this journey. We love you, and know Jesus shines clearly through you and your family!

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  48. This is from a devotional by Corrie Tenboom:

    My a dying Savior’s love
    And a risen Saviour’s power
    And an ascended Saviour’s prayer
    And a returning Saviour’s glory
    Be the comfort and joy of your heart

    Do you fear the possibilities of this new year? Trust the Lord that in these coming days He will be your hiding place.
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,
    who abides in the shadow of the Almighty,
    will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
    my God in whom I trust. Ps 91:1-2


    I am praying for you and your family.

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  49. Our thoughts and prayers, Gina. <3 I'm so sorry.

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  50. Jesus is there when the clouds break in anger;
    Jesus is there when the thunderclouds roar;
    Jesus is there when the tall mountains crumble,
    Giving His strength to your soul...

    I pray that those Everlasting Arms will remain a Reality.

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  51. Continued prayers for you and your family as you face decisions. May your find God's grace sufficient.
    Blessings, Glenda

    He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
    To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

    His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
    His power no boundary known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

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  52. Gina, I am so sorry. I am a long time reader and praying for your family. Cheryl

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  53. continuing to pray for you all, may God hold you all close.
    Sue

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  54. We, our family, our church continue to pray for Ed and for all of you and for your medical team.

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  55. I am so very sorry. May God wrap you in His arms!

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  56. My heart is sad for you. May it give you comfort to know I am praying in Oklahoma. May the Lord hold you and Ed extra close.
    Sumer

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  57. Praying for all of you and believing that God is holding you close.

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  58. sweet Gina my heart is sad for you, Ed and the children. I know god has a plan for us all and that we can't see that plan until he's ready for us to. I pray for you everyday and I know we have spoken privately and if there is anything I can do for you and the family please let me know. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and add you and your family to my prayer list in my church. keep having faith even when the days are hard.

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  59. I have been praying for Ed's healing. I do not know you personally in real life, so I will admit, it feels a little odd, but I do pray for Ed's healing, wisdom, strength, peace and guidance.

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  60. Sorry to hear this and praying much for you. One step at a time God will make the way plain and give you peace.

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  61. Prayers are being flung heavenward steadily on Ed's and your behalf. Warm thoughts are heading your way.

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  62. We pray for you so often. God loves you so much and feels your hurt with you.

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  63. Gina,I am so sorry to hear this news.You have been in our thoughts and prayers since you shared Ed's diagnosis.We are on the battlefield as well as my husband is struggling with a serious health issue.We will know what our options are this week. He is our refuge and strength and may you find comfort and peace in His presence. We will continue to keep you in our daily prayers. Psalm 46 Psalm 62:1-2

    Angela

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  64. Praying for all of you as you walk through this deep and dark valley. Trusting God will give you wisdom and strength. Diane

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  65. Jeremia 29, 11
    Praying for you

    Marion

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  66. Oh, Gina, I am so sorry to hear this news. Even though we have never met, I feel like you are a friend. Thank you for sharing this song. It was a blessing to hear and was encouraging to my soul as I go through a present trial. I will print out the lyrics and put in my Bible as a reminder to be praying for you all.

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  67. Gina - you and I knew each other online years ago when we participated in an on,one Tuesday gardening club (an Oregon cottage). Over the years, I’ve never forgotten you bc I use your recipes weekly! I just came to your blog to check on a gardening technique I remember you talking about and I saw this devastating news.
    Here’s what I want to share. There is a podcaster in the secular universe who was diagnosed with the exact same type of tumor as Ed. He underwent a trial drug that actually shrunk the tumor. Here is an excerpt from his webpage, “On October 21, 2009, Bishop appeared on Carolla's podcast and reported that his most recent MRI showed that the tumor had shrunk significantly and his treatment is ongoing.[5] Bishop announced that he is undergoing therapy using the angiogenesis inhibiting drug, Avastin”

    His name is Bryan Bishop and he wrote a book about his brain cancer called, “Shrinkage: Manhood, Marriage, and the Tumor That Tried to Kill Me,”. I have not read this book, but have heard him speak on several occasions.. for some reason the name of his tumor stuck with me and I just checked and it appears it is the same one you reference. Maybe check out his story and thisdrug? I will pray for you. Thank you for sharing your gifts, talents, and life with us!

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  68. May the Father draw you both close with His loving kindness. May His Kingdom come with new power and strength to uphold you as you keep your eyes on Him. I pray healing to come and that your testimony would bring Him glory! Praying for you. He can do beyond what we can ask or think. Be encouraged and know He is for you.

    Kimmie
    Mama to 8
    one homemade and 7 adopted

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  69. Oh my goodness, this is so sad to read. My husband and I both immediately started praying for Ed and your family. May God continue to strengthen you ~ Linda

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  70. Dear Gina, your family continues to stay in my prayers..I am sending you links I have found helpful, maybe God will direct you in some of these ways.

    all videos really good, this is only place I have been able to find to watch free... watch video 1 at 1:15 about Hoxey cancer clinic, but many, many other testimonials about cancer alt. treatments and info. from doctors :

    https://www.cancertutor.com/global-cancer-documentary/


    https://www.chrisbeatcancer.com very informative website about cancer from guy who beat it with natural therapies and many, many testimonials of others

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctd-QF982mA&feature=feedf video about Laetrile and cancer studies done on it at sloan kettering

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  71. my tears are flowing for your darling Ed....your are in my thoughts and prayers....

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  72. Praying for you and your family is this difficult time. Praying for strength for the journey and wisdom for the medical people.

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  73. Dear Gina,
    You, Ed and the children are in my thoughts and prayers daily. Yesterday, the Lord gave me some verses from Psalm 37 for you, during my devotions:
    ..."the Lord upholdeth the righteous. The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and He delighteth in his way. Thought he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand. I have been young and now I am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken..."
    I pray that these words from the Lord will comfort and strengthen you and please know that we are praying for divine direction and healing.
    Gail

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  74. I have followed yoiur blog for years, and have been praying for Ed and your family. My family now joins me. May God's comfort and encouragement in the valley be yours, and hope and expectation of God's goodness as well.

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  75. Though I have never met you, I have followed you for years. My heart is breaking for you, Ed, and your precious children. So many mysteries of sorrow in this life ......this one is crushing. I am praying, praying, praying. I am so very sad. Dear Lord.............help, please help.............

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  76. Walking by faith, not by sight. Prayers continue, that Gods will, will be done. He loves you and your precious family. Praising that He is in the storm with you, to guide and lead you. Love, hugs and prayers.

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  77. Tears and prayers.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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