Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Chemo #13

Vince had his 13th chemo on Tuesday, Dec. 22. It was the one day outpatient treatment. He did extremely well, again! God is hearing all your prayers! He is so close to the end! We are praising God for His healing hand on Vince's body!

Our Christmas was so nice, we had a party at our house with Jim's family (30 relatives) last night and then today we had my parent's over for a few hours. It was nice to be able to spend some time with all our loved ones. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, too!

Prayer Requests:

George-should be having his 14th and final chemo any day now, he has Ewing's, too. Pray for
minimal side effects and a healing 2010! He and Vince have journeyed neck in neck and
they are victorious!

Danny-his dad passed away just a few weeks ago. He is a teenager and needs lots of prayers
headed his way!

Tafi-my friend who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 2 weeks ago. She is starting her first chemo
on Jan. 6th. Pray for strength and endurance as she begins her battle.

Tyler-pray for healing on his knee (Ewing's patient finished with treatment)

Brian-pray for healing in his back (Ewing's patient finished with treatment)

Friday, December 25, 2009-Pastor Greg Laurie

God Is with Us

"Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people."
Luke 1:68

Immanuel: God is with us—God came to us. What a staggering thought. It is really the essence of the Christian faith and the Christian life. All other religious ideologies essentially tell you that you must do something: Do this, and you will find inner peace. . . . Do this, and you will reach nirvana. . . . Do this, and maybe you will make it to heaven. But Christianity says it is done—done for you at the Cross, paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Being a Christian is not merely following a creed; it is having Christ himself live in you and through you, giving you the strength to be the man or woman He has called you to be. Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20) and "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).

The message of Christmas is God with us. That is important to know, especially during those times when we are going through great difficulty. The psalmist said, "If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me" (Psalm 139:9–10). It is great to know that God is with you wherever you go.

The Bible never teaches that we will have problem-free lives as followers of Christ. But the Bible does teach that we never will be alone. And because of that, we don't have to be afraid. As Ray Stedman said, "The chief mark of the Christian ought to be the absence of fear and the presence of joy."

That is the message that this sin-sick world needs to hear: Immanuel—God is with us.

Greg Laurie [Signature]

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chemo #12 Update-2 Weeks Post Chemo

Vince and I came home from the hospital on that Sunday afternoon (Nov. 29th). I kid you not, every time we leave the hospital it feels like Ground Hog day...the movie! Same thing over and over, only instead of McDonald's we went to In N Out. YUM! Vince always wants that familiar comfort food and I don't mind it either (smile:)

Thanksgiving was very quiet in the hospital. The chemo ward has 26 beds and only 7-9 were occupied the whole 6 days we were there. One of the nurses asked Vince if he chose to come over the holiday and he said he did, because we knew it would b
e less busy. On Thanksgiving Day, Mindy, Bobby, Gianni, Mikmeo, Veronica, & Jim all came to the hospital and we went to a local deli for our dinner, and we had hamburgers, pancakes and salad, since we had the turkey dinner the Sunday before he went in. It wasn't very good, but we did get to spend time together and for that we are thankful:)

Soon chemo will be no more! With only 2 treatments left, it's a bittersweet time. We are so grateful that he has gotten this far and has endured the treatments extremely well, and we are able to finally see an end it sight, it's incredible to say the least! To be able to see your son be slammed with such a rare cancer diagnosis, and then to watch him go through all that he has with such a strong will and determination is what makes us so proud of him. It brings tears to my eyes to type those statements because you never, ever, expect this to happen to someone so young, but unfortunately cancer has no boundaries, not even for little babies and children. All you can do is dig deep in your faith and know that God is in charge and you are just along for the ride.

I can't believe it's been 15 mths. since he started chemo! I sometimes think that this was all a bad dream. The moment you find out about the diagnosis it puts you into a whole new dimension, kind of like the "Twilight Zone" of the cancer world. Sometimes you just feel so alone and isolated from the outside world and you don't really even want to concentrate on anything other than getting your child healthy. It took me about 1 yr. before I even really cleaned my house. How's that for deciding what's important and what's not. LOL! It doesn't matter if my house is clean or dirty, but the energy it takes to clean it, was something I just couldn't muster up and I'm not even the patient!

I am finally feeling like I can move on with my life and endure the rest of the battle with my head held high! Our family has quite a story to tell of how cancer can be beat! Jim is celebrating 10 yrs. of being "CANCER FREE" as of Jan. 11th, so that date is quickly approaching and what a wonderful testimony he and Vince have! God has been so good and we are so grateful! I am so proud of my men! They are truly my HEROS!!

When Vince and I came home from the hospital I asked him if he thinks about dying and he told me that he doesn't think about it at all. He feels very positive that he is going to be cured. What an amazing attitude! He did say that he was scared of dying, just because it's the unknown. Such a common thing, don't you think?

Being a Christian is all about faith, and I especially cling to the verse in the Bible about what it says in Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Vince saw the doctor on Tuesday for his 1 week post chemo appointment and as we were driving in the car, he kept telling Jim and I that he is going to tell the dr. that he is NOT going to do anymore chemos. He said he is DONE! Well, we kept telling him not to get his hopes up and whatever he told us would be something that we would have to trust him with and that he knows what's best for him. The doctor has already lowered his original chemos from 17 to 14 and now Vince wanted to stop at 12, but we knew that would probably not happen. So, again they compromised. Since the hospital is the hardest treatment for him (emotionally it's like a dark cell in prison, but physically it's easier on the body) the doctor agreed to let Vince do 2 outpatient treatments (they are only about 6 hrs. long for one day) so that is the plan at this point. Vince was giving him the "evil eye" the whole time they were figuring it out....LOL! I don't blame him one bit! I don't know how he has endured this treatment for so long and kept such a great attitude, I think I would be a mind! Hahaha! It's about time he is fighting back! LOL!

We have built relationships with quite a few nurses at the hospital and many of them are Christians and have been praying for Vince, and we, or at least I (LOL) will miss seeing them, they have been a huge part of his healing and tender care. We are so grateful for each one:)

His next chemo will be on Dec. 22nd. Please keep him in your prayers that it goes as smooth as possible and that there are no side effects! We love "status quo" since he has done so well in the past.

I have a special prayer request for my wonderful friend, Tafi. She was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few days ago. This is her Please keep her in your prayers as she is having an MRI on Tuesday to find out about what her next step will be. Thank you:)

Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas!

These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter 1:7

For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
James 1:3