Monday, March 5, 2018

Be of Good Courage

I wondered out loud to Ed last night what we would ever do without Sundays. I can't imagine not having one day a week that is set apart as different than the others. A day when I don't feel guilty about the laundry piles or the dirty floor.

Sometimes Sunday can feel like the busiest day of the week even though we avoid doing our usual work and shopping on that day. There are Sundays that we leave the house before church and don't return home until bedtime.

Yesterday was one of those busy Sundays. We left the house extra early because we needed to pick up our boys who had spent the night at their grandparent's home. After church Ed's mom joined us for lunch. Ed's sister and her family stopped in for a short visit after lunch. I caught a short nap before my friend Regina came over and took our family photo. Then we gulped down some supper and headed to a friend's ordination service. We arrived home late, but as Ed and I were sipping a bedtime cup of tea, I could still say that Sundays are a blessing.

Even with the scramble of getting children ready for church and a two-year-old who does not sit still, the songs, the messages, the Scriptures, and the conversations were soul strengthening. This next week looks crazy. We could have spent the day trying to catch up on work. But far more important was the opportunity to gain an eternal focus and be reminded to cling to our Rock, Jesus Christ.

Ed has decided to have another brain surgery. He knows what is ahead since he did this only ten months ago, but it seems his best option.

Tomorrow Ed goes to the hospital for a draw of his white blood cells. He plans to join a clinical trial in immunotherapy that will attempt to find cells in his immune system that can fight his cancer. Next week, on Tuesday, March 13 they will remove his brain tumor and take it to the lab. If they can find white blood cells that can attack his cancer in the lab, they will try to multiply those cells into huge quantities (a process that could take months) and then give them back to Ed.

This treatment has been successful in some cases, but is still in the experimental stage, especially for brain cancer. There is a lot of unknowns that may hinder the treatment, but at this point, Ed wants to take the first steps and see what happens.

God has been so good to us these past weeks. I still feel very sad that Ed's cancer is growing so rapidly, but I also am finding first hand how it feels to be carried by God over rough trails. We are still finding joy.

I was reading Isaiah 41. I've always loved verse 10, but this time I noticed verse 6. "They helped every one his neighbor; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage."

This describes our Sunday. This is what many of you have done for us in person or by cards and email. You've reminded us that God is with us. You have assured us of your prayers. You have sent us special Scripture verses and poems.

Thank you so much for your support. You help us know that we are not alone. Please pray with us that Ed's surgery next week can be successful and his recovery speedy.

38 comments :

  1. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. It does seem that immunotherapy is the coming thing in medicine and I'm glad to hear that you all are looking toward this as a possible solution. Here's hoping that the surgery will go as planned and some of those useful white blood cells that can do the job will turn up and start working for you.

    Where there's life there's hope and optimism is always a plus.

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  2. I will be praying; and I thank the Lord for your witness and encouragement that always points us to the one true Source of strength!

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  3. I will be praying for your family. Hope that all goes well and you'll get good results from the surgery!

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  4. I am praying for Ed and your family. I pray that the God of all hope will give each of you peace beyond measure. You amaze me when I read your posts. Your faith, hope, and graciousness is a tangible witness to the One who holds us in His hands.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  5. You and your family are in my daily prayers. You're also on several prayer lists. As I've mentioned before, I work for a faith-based hospital and you are remembered daily there. I know you are being held in God's hand. We gave a surgeon on staff here and all he deals with are cancerous brain tumors. You'd be amazed (or maybe not)at the great strides they've made in the treating of these tumors. Love and strength,
    MaryO1230
    San Pedro CA

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  6. Randy & I were saying the same thing again yesterday...what do others do without observing a day of Sabbath rest? We cherish ours and need the refreshment. Praying for you in this continued journey...we love you!!! Randy & Eunice

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  7. Gina, I'm sure you appreciate all the prayers and thoughts and blessings that are sent your way. I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your witnessing to God through your posts during these times of trouble for you and your family. It's very uplifting to the rest of us, even though I'm sure there are times when you feel discouraged and don't necessarily write about those. I will continue to pray for you, Ed, and your family. I'm also glad that Ed is taking part in this immunotherapy trial. Even if it doesn't work for him, and I pray to God that it does, his participation may help provide the answer for future patients with the same disease.

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  8. Dear Gina I have been reading your post for a very long time now I live in N.Ireland and I just wanted to let you know that you Ed and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.Meg

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  9. I pray, Dear God if it is your will please find those cells in his immune system and multiply them and help him, Amen.

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  10. Dear Gina,

    I wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog posts for a long time. I have followed you in your joys and in your trials. Thank you for your faithful witness even when you are struggling. You have encouraged so many. I am so sorry that your husband’s cancer is growing again. However, his love for his family is so evident- that he is willing to do whatever he can to fight it. I know this is so hard- you both are so strong. Praying for encouragement, hope, peace,and strength. May God bless your family.

    Hugs from Texas,
    Crystal

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  11. Praying to our Almighty Father that He will direct the surgeons' hands to all the right places and remove all bad areas. Praying that the immunotherapy will be successful. Praying for strength and courage for Ed and the whole family. God bless you all.

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  12. I've lit a candle for Ed, that he may hold fast in courage and strength, and find healing; and for strength and peace to you and your family. <3

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  13. I have been reading your blogs for awhile but don't comment very often. I just want to say that your attitude of trust and courage during this difficult cancer journey blesses me! Praying that you will continue to find strength and Ed will experience healing.
    BTW, your soft sourdough recipe is the best!

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  14. Gina, I will mark the day of the op on my calendar although it might be the 14th by then here in Australia. I will be praying for Ed and the whole family. Big hugs.

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  15. It will be our privilege to pray for Ed's brain surgery next week. Didn't know that was an option. My husband asked if that was a possibility recently. Our hearts are heavy for your family. Yet, our hearts are encouraged with your testimony of God giving strength............and even joy. Oh my, even joy. Only God could do that, only God.
    More hugs from Texas,
    Kim

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  16. Be of good courage. I have private prayer time almost every morning, and Ed is on the list. Thanking God in advance (as Jesus often did) for smooth, effective procedure. Bless the hands of the Dr's, and the miracle of blood cells that heal. Praying for complete healing, Gods will be done.

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  17. thewarmfireplaceMarch 6, 2018 at 2:28 AM

    The advance in medicine is truly amazing, all of my family work in the NHS, I will keep you all in prayer and the doctors that are involved in all the procedures. God bless you all. Sue x

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  18. We are lifting you all in prayer. We pray for successful surgery and speedy recovery for Ed. We pray the new treatment the doctors are going to try will work for Ed. Blessings to you all ~ Linda & Bruce (New Zealand)

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  19. My thoughts and prayers for dear Ed. And for you and your children. My husband has survived stage four cancer and I am praying God can work a miracle on Ed. I set some time each morning to pray for your family and I just sit and think about you - and send you good thoughts. Your story has touched my so much....

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  20. Gina, thanks for the update. We continue to pray for Ed and all of you each evening as a family. Your steadfast faith and solidarity as a family are such a light in this dark world. Continue to trust in the Lord... we worship a sea-parting, crowd-feeding, storm-stopping God! He's got this! Thinking of you all!

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  21. Offering my good thoughts and prayers for a good outcome with Ed's surgery. Blessings..

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  22. We have it written on the calendar to pray that day, but we are praying now for all the needs that our Father can provide for your family even now.Praying that your trust and hope and courage will be strengthened each day.We're asking largely that our (your) joy may be full. :)

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  23. I am continuing to pray for Ed, as well as the rest of your family. I like your thoughts on Sundays..and your wiggly 2 year old makes me smile!

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  24. I am praying that each of you will continue to be carried in His hands through the coming days!

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  25. Continued prayers for you and your family! What would we do without a day of rest and Jesus!

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  26. Dear Gina

    Praying that all goes well with the surgery and the immunotherapy treatment. I know what you mean about Sunday's. Just taking a rest from the usual to do stuff that is life is wonderful, even when it seems busy. Definitely a day I couldn't do without.

    May you all be blessed
    shelley p
    from over the pond

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  27. You don't know me and I don't know you...but God knows each of us and when I pray...I just ask the Lord "to bless Ed", and He knows him personally as He does you and me....I'm glad I can pray for your family and God knows!!!

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  28. Take care..Have you looked into alternative hospitals such as University of Penn and Johns Hopkins? I hope Ed sees some improvement. Praying for you and your sweet family.
    Barb in PA

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    Replies
    1. Barb, China's brother posted on Instagram that they are at NOG for the surgery today so pretty much a top hospital.

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  29. We pray for your family every night. Thank you for updating us!

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  30. I'm praying for your family and will be thinking of Ed as he undergoes surgery on the 13th. May God rein in the fears and give you comfort as you walk through this procedure for a second time.

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  31. Clinical trials are long shots, but can sometimes work quite well. I've been on two treatments whose efficacy for my type of cancer was not known, but turned out to work far better than we had hoped. I will be praying the same for Ed.

    Cancer can be a roller coaster. So often, I find blessings and joys and lessons in such unexpected places. From a fellow roller coaster rider, I will pray for strength and trust and peace for all of you.

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  32. I am praying daily for Ed and your family! Even with the uncertainty you are facing, you bring such peace in your posts. God is our strength - and I can hear that strength in you! Blessings to you all!! Thanks for sharing!

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  33. My prayers are with you. I have been following your blog for a very long time and I know how shattering and unsettling this news is. For you, for your husband and for your family. I may not share the same religion as you, but I believe that all prayer will be heard.

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  34. Dear Gina and Ed. Saw this in the British Newspaper the Daily Mail. Thought it could help.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5492485/Could-400-year-drug-cocktail-beat-one-deadliest-cancers.html

    Barb in PA

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