Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Update on Lil' Pilgrim Pals Father.....

Dearest Pals,

It has been so long since I wrote you all a real update on my dad and our family in general, and so much has happened. I will try to recap in chronological order.First the swelling in my dad’s foot went down so much that it almost looked normal: he was shuffling about without crutches for short distances; he didn’t have any pain; he had so much energy that he would go without napping easily. And then it all changed for the worse: the pain came back in his foot, the swelling returned to look like what it did last year, and his energy waned. I don’t know what happened, only God knows. At any rate, as everything began to bother him again, his morale grew very low again, too. My mom always tells us that she can tell us something until she is blue in the face, but we will only see it when the Spirit reveals it to us through God’s work in our heart. So it goes with my dad…we children get so frustrated that he isn’t happy, etc. but that doesn’t change his attitude. Only God can do that.

It is so hard some days. I stay busy so as not to think about it, but that doesn’t change the situation…Two weeks ago the hospital visits began again after a small break after chemo. First he went to the orthopaedic dr., and then for a CT scan: we haven’t gotten the results yet. However, he did have an x-ray, in which he saw that nothing had changed either way in his foot. Changes take a year to take place and be noticed, so this is good news in that it hasn’t gotten any worse. However, on further review from the doctors, they decided to tell my dad he will need 5 radiation treatments on his foot, 5 days in a row. That is NOT good news. I cringe just writing it. He is so exhausted after a trip out, and they are asking for 5 consecutive days out?! When my mom told me, I expressed my concern, but she gently reminded me that it is my dad’s decision to go with it, or re-schedule it. She said that she will do the research and contact his childhood friend who has been such a help, having gone through cancer and now a naturopathic doctor and she will give my dad the info so that he can better answer the doctors. It eats me up just thinking of it.

They don’t know what a busy time of year this is for us….Speaking of which, my sister and I were looking forward to a trip to Ottawa on May 1st, but my aunt called the other day to say that she is coming up at the beginning of May for my mom’s birthday!!! This is my favourite aunt, on whose birthday I was born. I am soooo excited! Two weeks later we are going to Ottawa as a family with other homeschooling families apart of our newspaper to visit Parliament, several MP’s, and museums. That is a joy to look forward to, as well. If only every day were half as much a joy…I’ve stopped dog-walking for now…my client moved away and left me their duplex to manage, and some work to take care of. A different job than I’ve ever dreamed of, but fun and rewarding all the same.

Speaking of fun, my siblings have been selling Habs flags at the corner, and they are really having fun! They’ve sold over half of the amount purchased, and are making a lot of profit off it.This post is really long, but I wanted to share a song that my youngest brother really liked from my sister’s Greater Vision CD, and it has really touched all of us. I’ll leave it in a separate comment if someone can just post it separately please.Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Love and Prayers,LPP


Vicki said...

LPP, rest assured we continue to pray for your precious dad (and surely appreciate the update). Wish I could give you a big hug! May the Lord strengthen your dad's heart and draw him close. These are difficult times for your family and we pray that God's grace will sustain you and cause you to rejoice even in the midst of uncertainty. I'm glad you have some 'fun' things to look forward to - these are sweet blessings, aren't they?

We love you, girl. Keep us posted.


Terry said...

Dear Little Pilgrim Pal..
I just now read this about your dear dad and I feel so bad for him.
Only those who have gone through cancer must realize what he is going through and what he is thinking.
It must be so hard for him at his time.
You children are a blessing around him and so is your mom.
The Lord will never forsake him and I think he is a very brave man that he wants to go through these treatments again.
I am sure that I would never know what to do if I had to!
I guess just as our Vicki was going through her time of operation and her now road to recovery that the Lord must show Himself especially near at the very right time!...........Love Terry

PS..What a pretty picture those children must of made as they sold those flags. What a good idea too!
Usually about this time when my brothers, Teddy and Gary and sister, Betty welcomed the spring in Trenton. Ontario, we would pick bouquets of lilacs and sell them door to door; Three cents for a small bunch and a nickel for a big one
Oh the sweet memories of it Hebrews 11:1!!!
Your post has reminded me of it this very day....

hebrews 11:1 said...

Dearest Mrs. Gaines,

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and comfort. I wish I could get that hug, too! ;) Sometimes I just feel so lonely, so forgotten, I wish a friend would pass by or call. Occasionally I answer the phone when someone calls inquiring on how we're doing, but I almost always lie..."we're doing fine," I say. What am I supposed to say? It's a miserable day, my heart is aching, my dad's pain is very difficult for him?! And if he were to hear me say that, it would discourage him, not to mention the person on the other end who will just say, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." I hate myself for lying about it, because I try to always be honest about everything, but it does not comfort one when another person is just as down as I am feeling! I need some sunshine, and encouragement...like what I see hear.

My dad got the call this mroning to start radiation...he is there right now. Tomorrow it's at 2:45, awful time for traffic, and we don't know the time for Friday, and next week.

Okay, I have some GOOD news everyone. I was looking at the results we received today from the latest blood tests and ct scan. He went from having 4 tumors in his liver, to--from how they describe it-- one small one. The rest of the liver is fine. The tumor in his lung shrunk, too. His white blood cells have soared, which is great, as have his platelets...as side note to that, my aunt whose in ministry had soemone pray for him two days before the blood tests, and she saw his platelets grow as she prayed. They were so low before, and he was having occasional nosebleeds, too...Praise the Lord who is faithful to answer prayers!

Love and Prayers
and hugs to you, too,

hebrews 11:1 said...

Dearest Mrs. Shirkie,

Thank you for your kind comment. It really is hard for him right now. Just before he left for the hospital he was gasping in pain from the pain in his leg. Mind you, I fidn it is always tied to what is going on around him, his thouhgts, etc. He was doing fine until he asked my mom to pass him his scan results from November which he never saw previously. He couldn't understand a bit, except that to him all he read was tumors and metasticis everywhere on his body. Yes, those scans blew me away, too, when I read them in February, and I was able to interpret most of it, and the body parts mentioned.

I wish I could think of him as brave...but I heard that fear in his voice and it still haunts me. I wish I could forget it, but it comes up again and again, especially when he doesn't question the doctors or the receptionist who calls to give him an appointment at such and such time-whether-or-not-that-is-a-good-time-for-us! Get over it, I tell myself, but then it comes back again when he has a restless sleep and my mom doesn't sleep well because he is tossing and turning. He doesn't have peace those nights. I know, we are going to be without income altogether; the future is dark; his children are growing and be wants to be there for them; but I'd rather him be here for us now and just have peace. If God provided for us those years he could work but was unable to find employment, He can provide for us now...there's no difference.

Selling flowers sounds like fun! Those were the days....as my mom would say. Actually she usually sings that oldie, "Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end..." I forgot the rest! :) Yes, my siblings look adorable out there...I snapped a shot of them with our neighbor and her two little ones. I may send it to you sometime.

I hope the sun is shining brightly there as it is here...it is amazingly warm, and the sun is great for my dad. We drag him outside when we can, and it brightens and warms him right up ( he is often very cold).

Love and Prayers,


jel said...

LPP, many huggs!!!

donna said...

LPP.....the rest of the song goes....

We'd sing and dance forever and a day, we'd live the life we choose , we'd fight and never lose,for we were young and sure to have our way....those were the days...oh yes those were the days...

lots more to the song, but I bet that is what your momma sings...it is the part I usually sing...how I love to sing

those were the days...oh yes those were the days!!

praying for all here


donna said...

LPP...here is the answer to the question you asked on my blog...(I wasnt sure if you would see it over there)

this is the only song I know that starts like that....we used to sing it in girl scouts...yeah.... I was a girl scout :) :)

you've got something in your pocket, it belongs across your face, you keep it very close and near in the most convienent place. im sure you'll never guess it, but if you guess a long long
tiiiime... you'll take it out and put in on, its a great big happy smile!!!

sound familiar? I'm thinking I must be the same age as your mom to be singing the same songs as she!!! or then again, I could be older....:) :)


hebrews 11:1 said...

Oh, yes, that's the one!!! And she wasn't a girl scout, but that's the one for sure! I can't believe I actually forget half the words, but my sister can tell you that...she gets so made with me when I get the words wrong on a country song she likes..."It's ROOF of this empty house, not TOP of this empty house!" I've heard a zillion times from her...well , that's just because I always sing that line out of frustration when I miss my next-door neighbor, which has been quite often over the past year that he and she have been separated. But that's another story!

Yes, I think a few Pals are very near my mom's age, if not the same age. She'll be 52 in May, even though everyone says she looks so much younger, but she has no problem with saying how old she is. A bunch of her old friends from college have been getting in touch with eachohter lately, and she's showed me the photos...it's so funny to see all these people the same age, and some look so much older, and others younger. Most have children around my age, and I don't think there's any as young as my three youngest siblings.

If I think of another line my mom sings, I'll let you know ;) Or if she sings us one...that would be nice, that means she is cheery!

Love and Prayers,