Monday, June 5, 2017

Living With Cancer

We are figuring out what it is to live with a cancer diagnosis.

Much of life feels normal, like little girls playing with the newest litter of kittens. 

Some of life is returning to normal, like last Sunday when Ed was feeling well enough to go to church - the first time we attended church as a family for a month.

But with cancer, every day together feels like a gift. 

We continue to be blessed by the help of others. Before he got sick, Ed was planning to cut down some unwanted trees at our neighbor's for firewood. My family came one evening last week with chain saws and wood splitter.

They started with a tree in our yard that had been hit by lightning several years ago.

The children pitched in with their energy.

The little ones had to watch the action from inside.

And my mom and sister-in-laws tackled my very weedy garden.

By the end of the evening our woodshed was stuffed full with more than a year's supply of firewood. Other ways friends have blessed us this week are by helping install an air conditioner, getting our truck inspected, and fixing the motor on Ed's dust collector. 

The brilliantly beautiful weather allowed us to have several picnics with friends this week.

My dad made a dutch oven meal with fresh strawberry shortcake. June joys!

The staples in Ed's head have been removed and his hair is growing back enough to nearly cover the scar, though he still has swelling on the right side of his head. Every day Ed gets a little stronger and several days he went to work for a few hours. Ed was especially thrilled to get permission to drive since my chauffeuring skills were taxing his (and my) patience. 

The last two weeks Ed has spent a lot of time with people. Whether business contacts, an acquaintance that we meet at the park, a church friend who invites us for a picnic, or an old friend who stops in for a visit - Ed has spent hours in conversations. I love that Ed views each one as a ministry opportunity and gift from God. 

When faced with your own mortality there is nothing that matters besides the eternal souls of people. 

And life with a cancer is only possible because we know the resurrection power of Christ.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever believeth in me shall never die." John 11:25-26


  1. Gina, for some reason, (maybe the sweet pictures), this post had me really tearing up! Thank you for being very REAL! God's blessing on you & your family! Still praying....

  2. Sweet Gina,
    I have been praying for you all. Ed is looking well and I'm happy to know he is able to work for a few hours. Those are such precious pictures. It's a blessing to have family and friends to help out.

  3. Gina, thank you for sharing and showing us how things are going for your family. We will continue to pray for you.

    I especially loved this that you wrote: "When faced with your own mortality there is nothing that matters besides the eternal souls of people." Wow. That is so very, very true. What a wonderful perspective!

  4. Gina, Thank you for sharing. Your posts always encourages my husband and I as we too struggle with cancer in our own home with our son Ambrose. Every evening, Ambrose and I pray for your family before we go to bed. It encourages him to know that he is not the only one battling cancer. Stay strong in the Lord!

  5. Gina how wonderful thst friends and family are rallying around. That is the way it should be of course. I continue to pray for your family and even though I live on the other side of the world I often think of you all and wonder how you are going. Big cyber hugs from Australia.

  6. Even though we have not met face to face, I feel like I have gotten to know you and your family over the years of me following your blog. You are so creative and loving and blessed with family and friends galore. I am wrecked for you with this diagnosis but I feel that you and your family will come through this stronger and closer than ever. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. Hugs from Colorado.


  7. Dear Gina, I pray and will continue to pray for your sweet family. I am so happy you have a network of support to give you practical help during this difficult time. A dear friend of mine and a dear family, also with 6 children, have been struggling with the cancer diagnosis of the father. I have watched it unite our community as we come together to offer support and have realized that blessings are abundant, even in the darkest of times.I know it will be the same for your sweet family as you feel the love of friends near and far.

  8. It is wonderful to see how your family and community are coming together to help. what a wonderful blessing from God. Yes, His Word is most important, but sometimes we just need flesh and bones to see it played out in real life. Praying for strength and courage for all of you as you go on through the days ahead.

    We are thankful for the strong testimony of your family and this blog too as it is reaching many with the truth of God's Word.

    Wish I could give you a real hug but I know you are getting many of those from fellow believers around you.

  9. So thankful to see that Ed is doing so well! We remember your family often in our family prayers and our church has been praying as well. Thank-you for sharing your heart and the faithfulness of God!

  10. I don't often comment but just had to after seeing this post. What a beautiful reflection your family is of the body of Christ aiding each other!!
    Your CHILDREN have been on my heart! I was 9 years old when my dad was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. They will continue to be in my prayers!

  11. Dear Gina,
    I haven't got to read blogs for a few weeks due to caring for my sons, I was sorry to hear your news but so blessed to read how well your husbands care is going. There is hope in the Lord in all things. 8 years ago my youngest son had liver cancer, I learnt then to totally trust God in all of his will for us as a family, he made it through the cancer. Praying for you and hubby but also all your children, blessings to you all.

    shelley p
    from over the pond

  12. It brings tears to my eyes for how your family is the "hands and feet of Christ" to you.
    I know the days cannot be easy; we are praying for you!

  13. What a blessing to have family and friends to help you and be there for you. Im so happy to hear that Ed is getting stronger each day. Our family dealt with cancer when my sister was diagnosed(8years cancer free now) and it is just like you said, dealing with cancer is only possible because we know of His resurrection power. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family. God Bless.

  14. So sorry for everything!

  15. Gina, what a wonderful post! I am so happy that Ed is doing so well. Hearing that Ed could go to church brought up a Hallelujah inside of me. I'm glad he has the okay to drive, that takes a small burden off of you. I am praying that Ed improves daily & that God will direct you on His path to full healing from cancer. And I am glad that you both have this opportunity to witness to people about our glorious Lord & Savior! Even out of the most devastating of situations comes glories unbounding! Your family & friends are just amazing! God bless you all!

  16. Dear Gina, I don't expect you to remember me, but I stopped in on your sweet blog for a very long time. Then I did lose my contacts and my sidebar when my computer stopped working. I never did find you again, until today. What I find interesting is that I just got home from visiting my dear girlfriend of many years that is fighting brain cancer. We are all trusting the Lord, but as you know some days are just harder then others. I am so glad you have such grate love and support from family and friends. I will also be praying for you and your dear husband and the children.
    Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow, Roxy

  17. It is so wonderful to see your family keeping on! I just love those smiles!! Bless your families for their help,it is so important to have support. I think of you often and we are still praying.In your trials, you continue to be a blessing to others. Thank you for that.

  18. Dear Gina,
    Praise God for Ed's improvements! So true about the only thing that really matters are souls of people. So happy to see your beautiful smiling family!

  19. God bless you and yours. Our family did receive a diagnosis of our daughter though we are still waiting for some details and treatment plan Wil be started. She was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer She is 24 years old. If you are interested you can find some information at

  20. Thank God for Ed's strength returning & the help of your family and friends. There is surely too much for you to try to handle alone right now.
    I don't know if you've heard of it before, but there's a a way of gardening that cuts down on a LOT of the work especially once it gets going good. It's called the BACK TO EDEN method and here is a link if you want to check it out:

  21. Thank you for the update, Gina, and we're so grateful to hear of the many ways you're being loved and cared for by family & friends. Such a blessing to hear of them being God's hands and feet! Continuing to lift you up in prayer to our Abba Father! ~Randy & Eunice

  22. I love these pictures that say so much about family and friend togetherness and support. And I deeply appreciate both Ed's and your attitude of ministering to others from where you are, even with cancer. You aren't just looking around for ways of being helped, but looking around for ways to help others. God bless you for that.

  23. Gina, I have been out of the loop for a while and did not realize what a turn your lives had taken. I am sorry for this valley - it can be hard to be mom, wife, and nurse. You have been in my thoughts and prayers! I know our God is faithful to see us through the valleys and the mountains. May He be ever faithful and close to you right now.

  24. I follow your sourdough bread recipes ( i haven't been on in a while) and just saw that your husband has cancer. We will be lifting him up everyday to the Lord in prayer and thank you for your sweet testimony. Blessings!

  25. Dear Gina,
    I have kinda fallen off from checking blogs much lately. I decided to come over here from a friends blog and was so sorry to hear about Ed. We will surely pray for wisdom for you as a couple in all the decisions that will need to be made. Praying for comfort for the whole family that only Christ can give. So happy to hear your family and friends are there right beside you helping you along.

  26. Dearest Gina,

    I always love to read your writings and see the pictures of your family, your home, your cooking and everything else. So much love, grace and wisdom speaks from your stories. It always makes me feel at peace.
    I just came back to your blog yesterday and was so startled to see the "c" word in one of your blog titles. I read up from when it all started and even now, in the most trying and difficult of times, you handle everything with such love and grace. You are an example and a true inspiration.
    I am so glad to see how much support you are getting from loved ones around you and mostly to know that the surgery went well and that your husband Ed is feeling better bit by bit. The US is so advanced with its medical treatments that I am confident that you are in the best hands.
    Thank you for all that you share Gina. We in turn will share our love, good wishes and prayers for you and your family. Big hugs from Hong Kong.

  27. I follow your sourdough bread recipes ( i haven't been on in a while) and just saw that your husband has cancer.



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