Friday, November 16, 2018

Newton's Law and Prayer

Newton's First Law of Motion states that an object at rest stays at rest until acted upon by force.

I didn't plan to prove a law of physics the last few weeks, but I'm finding it hard to get back into blogging.

The past month has been hard. And I don't like to write about hard things.

Some of you have contacted me saying that you hope I'm quiet because I'm having fun with my family, but, just in case, you are praying.

Thank you. I've needed prayer.

I keep thinking about the post I wrote about asking for prayer for the things heaviest on our heart. So many of you have held us up in prayer this past year, and I know you are a safe place for me.

But this past month I was afraid that if I shared how things were at our house I'd spill out something like "Brain cancer is hard on a marriage." Or "I feel like I'm losing Ed by slow inches."

I'd rather write a book review.

Last month's MRI had showed what we thought was inflammation caused by scar tissue. We had decided to give it time to heal before trying more treatment.

Ed continued to feel well as far as no pain or headaches, but his fatigue increased. He struggled to concentrate which made it difficult to work or even hold a conversation. These symptoms are common for those with a brain tumor in the frontal lobe, but it was frightening to feel like I was losing Ed as his personality changed.

Brain cancer is brutal. It is not content to affect one area. Because the brain is the control center of the whole body, it can affect the whole being. For Ed it means that no longer does he have the motivation to conquer projects and initiate new ideas. Because of his distraction, he needs help to work through even common tasks.

Thankfully his memory has not been affected. We still have so much to enjoy, and I have blessings to count. But I also worry about the future and grieve our losses.

This week was Ed's monthly battery of tests as part of the research study he is participating in. On Tuesday we spent the day at the clinical center moving from one floor to the next for his MRI and other tests. We had planned to meet with his doctor the next morning, but before we left for the day, Ed's doctor told us she had time to discuss his MRI. There did not appear to be a huge change in the tumor (thank you, Lord) but the swelling had increased significantly. While it is impossible to know exactly if the inflammation is caused by the tumor or scar tissue, the signs point to scar tissue. Because of Ed's other symptoms the doctor immediately put Ed on a higher dose of steroid for the night and planned to discuss our further options in the morning with the rest of the team.

Instead of fighting rush hour traffic only to return to the city in the morning, we decided to spend the night at a hotel down the street. We were able to relax, enjoying window shopping in the ritzy shopping district. We try to make the best possible use of our "doctor dates."


In the morning we met with Ed's team of doctors. We decided to give Ed several doses of an infusion of a medicine that acts as a super-steroid. Typically this medicine works quickly to reduce swelling that is caused by scar tissue. Sometimes it can take weeks to get approval for this medicine, but Ed has amazing doctors. Ed was able to get his first dose in the afternoon before we even left the hospital.

This was the first time Ed has received any of his cancer treatment by IV, but it went well. A special blessing was that we had a Christian nurse to do the infusion. She told us that she prays each night for the patients she will have the next day.

I think we are already seeing some positive results of the medication. Ed seems a little more alert the past two days. Ed plans to get another infusion in three weeks and will probably have a total of four infusions. We pray that he'll continue to improve, and the side effects will be minimal.

So now you know why it meant so much to hear from a number of you this week. When I feel too weak to pray, God sends others to pray for us. Medical decisions are never easy - especially for someone like me who spends hours reading about drugs and their side effects. But once again we felt carried by God and knew His amazing peace.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. (Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11)

27 comments :

  1. We are continuing with prayers for you both. Our God is a great God!

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  2. Oh Gina, Those verses, I have read them over and over.
    Tears flow as I read your post. The psalm is so true. God is all you need for your journey.
    A hug,because I care.
    love and prayers, Diane

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  3. Gina, you are all in my prayers.

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  4. Gina,
    We've never met, but I've been following your blog for some time. Your words bring to life the reality of your situation. My heart breaks for what you are going through, but I praise God that you know His amazing peace.
    I pray that you will continue to feel the comfort of God, and I pray that the inflammation in Ed's brain will go away.

    W.

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  5. Thank you for sharing. We have never met but I always pray, even when it's just a book review posted. Keep the faith, sweet sister. Keep the faith. We love you and God has this, even as our hearts break for you under such trials!

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  6. Thank you for sharing about what's been going on with Ed and your family. May God continue to give you strength for whatever you may face. Isaiah 24:15a has become meaningful to me since I discovered it: "Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires..." Continue to look to Him and glorify Him! I'll continue to keep you in thought and prayer.

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  7. Gina, I am so very sorry for your pain. I will pray.

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  8. Gina, thank you for the update. I will continue to pray for your family. Yes, being a carer is hard. I know first hand but God is our strength and our refuge.

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  9. Continuing to pray for Ed , for you and your family.

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  10. Oh, Gina! I was missing you, and wondering... You are definitely in my prayers! -Lovina Baer

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  11. Gina, I have been reading (and enjoying!) your blog for a long time. When we found out in July that my husband's mother had been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, I re-read (several times) many of your posts. They were such a help as we were accompanying her through her cancer journey. Now, it is my turn to be a help to you, and so I will be praying for you...for strength and patience to get you through the times when Ed is not able to do the things you so desperately need him to, for comfort and hope when you feel like you are "losing Ed by slow inches", and most of all, for peace and faith, to help you draw nearer to God. God's power is demonstrated best in our times of need...please continue to lean on Him during this extremely difficult time, as He is doing a mighty work in both you and Ed. My heart goes out to you...

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    Replies
    1. Oh Heather, I'm so sorry that you have to know gbm personally. I hope your family feels God's care.
      Gina

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  12. I’ve been praying and do continue. ♥️

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  13. Continued prayers for your family, Glenda

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  14. Praying for you and your family! I lost my my 62 year old mom 12 years ago to gbm. It is a brutal journey but God is there every step of the way. TEARS are a language God understands. Christie Rhodes

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  15. It's not much coming from an internet stranger, but I just wanted to say that my husband has a condition that has taken away his motivation and certain abilities. It is hard to not admire your husband like you used to, in certain ways. The biggest help for me is remembering how "the greatest of these things is LOVE". He still understands love and comfort, and sometimes it can feel good, resting in just the basics: LOVE. Everything else can be stripped away, but love is the most important thing. I am finding it to be a very profound lesson, and one that is affecting other areas of my life for the better, too. A person wants REAL comfort, and happily I've found some, there.

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  16. I have seen the weariness of caregivers. Please know your readers are keeping your whole family in our thoughts and prayers.

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  17. Surrounding you all with my prayers, words that just came into my head; 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding' God bless you all. Sue xx

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  18. I've continued to pray for Ed. What a blessing he could get the medication so soon. (My sister is an infusion nurse who is a Christian also. She lives in PA). May God strengthen you, sister.

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  19. You are right - though the earth be removed, God is a very present refuge and help - and that's what I'll be praying for you and for Ed. Thank you for updating us even when it's hard - even those of us who are just your anonymous online "friends" - so we can be praying. - Suz

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  20. We pray for you so often at our house, but admit that when you are absent for a while, it does make us wonder...........and then we step up the prayers even more. Simply cannot imagine how you are putting one foot in front of the other, except that God must be carrying you and Ed. No doubt family, church and friends are a big help. Oh, Father, please be near to Ed, Gina and dear children.

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  21. Thanks for helping us to know how to pray for you. You're heart is so brave & beautiful!

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  22. Continuing in prayer for Ed, and you, and all yours. May you feel His presence when concerns overwhelm you.
    God bless and keep you,
    Carolyn

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  23. Dear Gina,
    Praying for you, Ed and the family, cancer is a draining roller coaster, but I'm glad Ed's drs are trying something to help the scar tissue. Praying it will help.
    Praying for your family, cancer is hard on everyone. I found that praying was the only thing I could do, I definitely prayed a lot for God's peace in my heart and strength. A sign in my kitchen says "Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day." It make me smile on the harder days and reminds me to look for God's hand in the day filling it with blessings.
    Prayers and hugs to you all
    shelley p
    from over the pond

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  24. You are so often in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for letting us know how you and Ed are going. Sending love to you all.
    Wendy xo

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  25. Oh, Gina, I'll be praying for you.

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  26. So good of you to post. Thankful to the Lord that He is providing relief thru the meds. Bless you as you continue to draw strength from Him as you minister to your hubby and children. God is faithful and He will carry you thru. Prayers...�� Also thanks for being real, I know from minimal experience that the cancer journey is hard and we wives must look to the Lord to be our husband in trying times. ❤️

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