Wednesday, April 21, 2010


things that make us cry......
  • complications
  • nausea
  • feeling like we can't do anything like normal people
  • not being able to take away jenny's cancer
  • not being able to visit family
  • being in the house all the time
  • not being able to make jenny not hurt

things that make us laugh....

  • our dog zoey, who thinks she is the center of the universe, and she's the reason why jenny is home all the time
  • julie and julia
  • shaving each other's heads
  • ridiculous nicknames we have made up over the past month like dragonheart and pickles (i'll let you guess which ones we are)
  • lee crane's facebook posts

things that make us smile.....

  • cards
  • rainbow sherbert
  • emails
  • messages on facebook
  • just knowing that we spend more quality time together now than any point in our marriage
  • our beautiful nephews noah and caleb
  • when a friend is willing to work for me so that i can be at home with my wife. thank you to him and his beautiful family for their sacrifice.

things that we long for.....

  • the end of chemo!
  • enough energy to do everything we feel like doing
  • the beach!!
  • to feel good enough to go to church every week
  • a calm stomach to eat anything that we want

things we are learning....

  • going through this without God would be impossible for us
  • the tough stuff builds intimacy in a marriage way more than the easy stuff
  • we are surrounded by an incredible support system
  • our families are strong, and prop us up
  • people who we don't know pray for us all the time. simply amazing.
  • sometimes pulling out a B in anatomy II is okay when you're working 40+ hours a week and dealing with cancer
  • God is most definitely in control (thank goodness!)

Jenny has felt good the last few days. We've been able to make it outside the house, have a date, go shopping, and just enjoy the weather. We have our third chemo treatment on Thursday (22nd). Please pray that Jenny's white blood cell count will be high enough for her treatment, and that she won't have to get another shot to increase them. Thank you SO much for all of your continued prayers. We love you! --j&j

Monday, April 5, 2010

my God is mighty to save

I've been thinking about tomorrow for five days now. This past Thursday we went in for a chemo treatment but found out that my white blood cell count was too low to handle a treatment and I was sent home... to wait. Tomorrow I go in to re-test my levels to see where we go from here. If they are still too low, I will have an injection tomorrow, chemo Thursday and another injection on Friday. Now I will tell you that on Thursday I had a bit of a hissy fit with God. I wasn't expecting to have to wait another week for treatment. "This throws off my whole schedule!" I yelled (in my mind) in the car on the way home. It's a good thing we have a patient God, you know? I mean, can anyone relate? We are just so conditioned to timing and scheduling and wanting things on our terms. All I could think about was this setting us back a week, a week wasted. God had other plans in mind. Can I just say thank God for my friends? My sister was so precious that day. I called her to tell her the news and she said very calmly, "I can hear in your voice that you're disappointed and that's ok. But this means you get to feel good for a few more days. This means you get to go to church on Easter." She was right. After going to church yesterday (which, by the way, Easter is my favorite Sunday at church), I knew that God delayed my treatment for that exact reason (well, and to remind me that yes, HE is still in charge!). I can't even tell you what that service did for my "insides" as we say in our family. East 91st Street Christian Church always does something special for the Easter Service. Every year it just knocks your socks off and this year was no different. After singing together and getting pumped up about what we were celebrating, something happened. It was one of those moments that you would just give anything to bottle up so you could pull it back out and live it over whenever you wanted. We had just listened to Derek talk about how God not only had victory over the grave but He has victory now in our lives, in our circumstance. The band started playing a song ("How He Loves" which is just the coolest song) and as the band played there was a line of people all the way off the stage and around the back. They came on stage, one at a time holding a cardboard sign. The first side of the sign explained a circumstance or insecurity in their life that they had been through that might seem hopeless but then after you read it, they turned it over and it read how God had had victory over that circumstance. John and I wanted to share a few of the circumstances with you.

"High school dropout. Loser, will never amount to anything...... IU Business School, Honor Student. Glory to God!"

"12 years addicted to crack.... 22 years clean and addiction free."

"Diagnosed with leukemia when 3 months pregnant. Radical surgery followed..... 17 years of cancer remission." (and just then her 17-year-old son walked out on stage to join her.)

"5 years of infertility and stress on our marriage...... God's timing is perfect, just like our baby girl."

"Sexually abused as a child, unable to love or be loved........ Married 3 weeks ago!"

"Living a life of fear of being alone and never marrying....... In God I am complete."

"Lost my job, living in fear of financial ruin....... I love my new job!"

Story after story, circumstance after circumstance of God proving Himself. A few months ago I did a 10-week bible study called "Believing God." It was my second time to do the study. The first time changed my life and the second was equally as moving. In week 9 Beth Moore talks about how "For children of God, a perfect setup for catastrophic defeat is also the perfect setup for miraculous victory." Ephesians 1:20-21 says that God "seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, no only in the present age but also in the one to come." If we're not careful, we'll miss it - "in our present age" - He is above EVERY title. That means that whatever comes up against you, whatever opposition that faces you - you've got to know that your God trumps every title. There is nothing beside Him. There is no one like Him. He is beyond compare. So when we've been set up for what seems like defeat - He says we've actually been set up for miraculous victory. Do we even realize it? We think we've been set up by the devil but God would never allow us to be set up that way unless He said, "you have provided the perfect backdrop for Me to show off." Beth points out that God, in His perspective, is already laughing (while we're busy crying or having a fit), He's saying, "you can't believe how good this is going to be - oh this is going to be so good!" That is the hope we have in Him.

I am so thankful for this "speed bump" we had last week. I have been humbled and reminded of Him and His perfect plan for me. Sometimes it is hard when those things in life creep up - those thoughts of "what if" and "if this then what" .... those things that make us just want to grab control and we just get lost in them. But as quickly as we're tempted to try to cut Him out, we can just as quickly realize that He is the one in control. He has been all along. And thank God for that.

No matter what happens tomorrow, no matter where my levels are, it doesn't really matter. It is His timing, His plan. Thank God I'm not in charge because wow, would I ever mess it up! Some of you have written me or called me to talk to me about things going on in your life, your circumstance. I am praying Ephesians 1:18 over you, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you..."


Sunday, April 4, 2010

naw cat, no wbc's here, we all cashed out

as you may have noticed, there was not alot of new information from our chemo treatment on thursday. we had our appointment with dr. gupta, got some blood drawn, and got ready for our next installment. however, jenny's blood work came back a little less than stellar. her white blood cells have not come back anywhere close to the level needed to have another chemo treatment. so, having a treatment would have taken her white blood cell count to zero, and risked her getting sick. not wanting to risk it, dr. gupta is going to test again on tuesday. if the levels are still low, they will give jenny a shot that will boost her levels, and we will try again on thursday (the 8th).

having our treatment delayed was most definitely not a positive thing for us. jenny was a little upset at first, but she soon came to grips with it. this adventure is not one of our timing (to be sure, because if left up to me, we would not be on it), but we fully trust that everything will happen as it should in God's time. while not having our treatment did not fit our schedule, i am truly thankful for a small delay. jenny felt better wednesday and thursday than she had since our first treatment, and this meant we would have a few more days of that. not only has she felt better, but we have been blessed with warm weather to enjoy, as well as time to spend with our new nephews caleb and noah. nothing can lift jenny's spirits quite as much as holding babies! again, God's perfect timing shown through the birth of these little ones during a time when we would need an extra portion of joy.

this week, please pray that jenny's body will be a white-blood-cell-making machine, and that things will go well at the dr.'s office. also, pray that the insurance company will pay for the shot she needs to boost her immune system if need be. it is expensive, and while we will pay for it if we have to, i cannot fathom the excuse the insurance company has for not paying.

thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued prayers. we love you, and we continue to covet your prayers and words of encouragement during our journey. --john