Saturday, April 29, 2006

Early bird blog ...

Did'nt sleep too well last night, but used the time to think and pray.
Chemo went well yesterday. However, I am ready to leave when it is through. It usually takes 3 hours total including blood work, seeing the Dr. and of course the waiting in between. The infusion totals about 2 hours. There are some people who have to spend 6 hours straight for infusion alone, so I am a light weight compared to them. The nurses are great and I am a thankful lightweight.
Here are the results of my blood work. My Platelet count was lower than last week but still within limits and my white count was below normal. As a result of the reduced white count, I will be receiving two shots of Neupogen next week on (Monday and Tuesday) to provoke the bone marrows natural production of this factor. This is to get ahead of the game before my next Gemzar infusion. As many of you know, the white count is directly tied to your bodies ability to fight off infections. We want to keep this number as normal as is possible. The rash has now spread to my upper chest and back and around my nose, under my ears and some around the mouth. The Dr. gave me some things to do if it gets worse. The cramping hit after midnight into the morning, but the Lord helped me get through it. Praise His name.
My parents are in town so they brought me to and from my treatment with a few stops afterwards at Sears and Wally World (WalMart) - that's a tradition. Sears has a very interesting tool section. I don't go there very often, but alot of there products are proudly stamped 'Made in U.S.A.' - go Sears!
Last night the American Cancer Society ( or 1-800-ACS-2345) held an event at the State Fairgrounds. There were all kinds of booths from various groups and organizations/churches and a ton of fun stuff for the kids with all the games, jumping things and even a Rock Wall to climb. I walked in the Survivors walk, but then I sat in the less populated temporary cafeteria the rest of the time and talked with Charles Harper. Charles heads up the "HOPE" ministry through Healing Place Church which is a ministry to those dealing with or survivors of cancer. He has had cancer himself and still takes treatments to prevent a relapse, so he's walked in the shoes personally. If you want to have some good food and let the kids play until they drop, check it out. It is going on all day Saturday April 29th. Purple is the color of the Survivors shirts.
Cancer vs. the other "C" words - "Community": When cancer strikes your home, community - family, friends, church, workplace and neighbors all can play a part in helping you win the battle. It is a blessing to know that you are not alone. There are alot of people mentioned above, who are willing to help in many different ways. Community is a good thing.

Psalm 29:2 " ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness."

Friday, April 28, 2006

Prayer request ...

I have a special prayer request for Robin's cousin Barbara. She had a small bowel transplant last year and was doing well. This week she had to go back to Nebraska to the Hospital which did the tranplant for a possible obstruction. Pray she will return to normal function in Jesus name.

Heading to chemo now, got to go.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped. (Psalm 28:7).

God Bless, GW

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cool day ....

How about the cool weather? What a blessing. I decided to do some things on the 'honey do' list. I tried to fix the clothes dryer timer but the part would take 3 or 4 days to come in - so that project has been put on hold. You ladies will love this one - I then vacuumed half of the house since I already had the vacuum out using it to clean the dryer wires and parts. Then I did the dishes, cleaned the stove top, scrubbed the double sink in the kitchen and put on a load of clothes. So you see, I do run my house, I run the dishwasher, dryer and vacuum.

My parents are coming in today. They like to be here in order to drive me to get my 'chemosoby'. It is nice to have family close enough to do that type of stuff.

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Great word.

Just wanted to post some quick lunchtime thoughts. Have a good day. Be a blessing.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Made medical news ...

Tarceva was featured today on channel two news at 5 pm. Silvia Weatherspoon interviewed Dr. G. Miletello about the drug and the positive outcomes that patients are having. Tarceva was initially created for lung cancer and somehow they figured out it was effective on other cancers, too. It was approved 11/2005 by the FDA. Thank God for people who do the hard work of research and development - for without them, people like me would be out in the cold! Or assume room temperature short of a miracle. I take Tarceva (pill) once per day everyday and the Gemzar IV once per week. So far cramping and a mild rash on the sternum and my scalp are the only side effects - and that is all I am expecting. One day, hopefully sooner than later, this type of thing (cancer) will be in the history books just like TB or chicken pox.
How about the rain? I know most people can sleep better when it is raining - and some of those people live in my house. The grass is already looking better and you know all of the little creatures are relieved and revived.
An update on Shellton the snapping turtle who lives in the pond. Bob had about 8 fish he had caught on a 'stringer' which he had laid in the pond at the waters edge. He went to go eat lunch or something and came back in a few hours - he had 1 1/2 fish left on the stringer! Looks like Shellton likes fish, too.
Have you ever put something somewhere so as not to lose it? I seem to have lost my list of the other "C" words. So I will be working off of memory until I find it in that place I put it so I would not lose it.
Here is one "Consider" - Matthew 6:28-30 "and why take you thought for raiment (clothes)? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow; they do not labor or spin ..... wherefore, if God so clothed the grass of the field , which is here today and tomorrow is cast into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith"?
So, I say unto you my friends, consider the lillies. Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 are really good to help regain the proper perspective on life.
Please remember to pray for Michael H., Jill H., Christi W., Lloyd Kogel – all battling cancer and/or recovery and little Austin Barber (heart/lung transplant). Thank you.
Here is a good quote I saw on a church reader board, " Faith does not make things easy, just possible."
Go out and be a blessing wherever your day takes you. GW

Monday, April 24, 2006

Wow ...

Wow! You know what that stands for? "With Out Words". Another way of putting it would be speechless. God continues to bless in so many small ways, just reminding us that He is actively working in our lives. I just have to keep my spiritual eyes and ears open to see it and hear it. Receiving is something we've had to get used to. I'm used to giving more than receiving. Giving is more comfortable to me personally. I've always had that desire since Jesus changed my life to want to give and to help. I really never considered if I may one day be the one having to receive help. It is humbling, which is good, for humility is one of the things God desires to see in his children. It is also revealing as to how many people sincerely do care. This type of education cannot be taught or studied, it has to be experienced in person. Thanks to all who hear the voice of God and are obedient. He is incredible.
Medical talk ...The hicups have stopped. I don't know why, they just did. Some cramping/bloating type stuff for the past two days has replaced the hicups. Some fatigue is noted. Food still tastes good, but there are a few things on the menu I have noticed are tasting a little different. Regardless, I plan on eating the best I can and being consistent with everything (meds and all) to bring about the desired outcome during this time.
Green talk ... Fire blight got my pear blossoms, all on both trees except for one pear which actually developed. The big tree was loaded with blossoms, but this can happen so fast it will make your compost cook! The thing to spray, come to find out, is copper sulfate / hydrated lime also know as 'Bordeaux mix'. It is supposed to be the most potent organic fungicide available for numerous plant diseases. Maybe next year .......
Don't get me started on the gas prices ... I want to keep the victory subject ...
The family is doing well. Summer is fast approaching. School kids are beginning to see the finish line, as well as their teachers! This is going to be a great Summer. Be sure to wear sun screen. Plan on having fun with the family and friends. Do not put it off any longer.
Please remember to pray for Michael H., Jill H., Christi W., Lloyd Kogel – all battling cancer and/or recovery and little Austin Barber (heart/lung transplant). Thank you.
Closing quote: " When the flaming missles of Satan pass through God's hedge of protection, they cease to be Satan's destructive missles and become instead the refining fire of God." (Jim Logan)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hicups ...

First question, what is the most effective way to stop hicups? Any and all suggestions are welcome. This started yesterday after my chemo treatment. I know the last time I saw a rabitt, I tried holding my breath and drinking water real fast but to no avail! The headache has gone and there is no residual weakness. Slept good last night. Praise God.
I was supposed to take the Tarceva pill this morning at 7 am, but I was belching strawberries from last night - huh? So finally around 11 am I was able to take it. You have to take it on a completely empty stomach or it can lose a % of its effectiveness. Another fact is that you have to thoroughly wash your hands after touching the
pill. So reading the label is good.
Secondly, our outgoing e-mail is not working properly. When we attempt to "send", it completely kicks us off-line. Very aggravating, but just know that we are getting all of your e-mails and we are not ignoring you. Russell had a funny comment about 'no moe chemo'. I had to laugh.
Warning, medical talk ahead!
There was also a medical question about the mouth sores from Christi W. a potential side affect of the chemo. Here is what the nurse told me: Mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder) with 1 quart of water (sounds like grandma's remedy). Rinse and spit 5 small mouthfulls - 5 to 10 times per day, especially after brushing. Brush with a softbristle toothbrush after you eat anything. Do not let food particles stay in your mouth - using a waterpic set at a comfortable pressure level is also very helpfull. Make a fresh batch everyday, don't use yesterday mix.
From what I understand, this prevents the sores from forming since they start in the mouth and work their way down to the digestive tract. So the idea is to stop them before they start. If this mix does not do the trick, definitley notify your Dr. for something stronger. Do not use alchol based mouthwash either. Using dental floss may cause bleeding which, in the case of the chemo I am taking, may cause easy bleeding if the platelet count gets below normal - and then it may be difficult to stop the bleeding. Staying on top of any and all symptoms with a journal is a good idea. Don't be afraid to call your Dr. with symptoms either.

I read a really good qoute from Kirk Douglas, he said this in response to a question about his stroke and the resulting speech impediment. " So what if my stroke left me with a speech impediment? Moses had one , and he did alright." What a way to look at his situation.

If you read this and don't have a home church you regularly attend, come visit us at Hosanna on Goodwood Blvd by Airline Hwy - right across from Woman's Hospital. Service starts at 10:15 a.m. Hope to see you there. George.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Chemo-soby ?

Chemo-sŏby is the correct pronunciation I believe ( ŏ as in pot). {If you don't get it, I get you a hint -Lone Ranger.}

The IV chemotherapy was administered this am and so far everything is fine. I did feel a slight bit “jittery” since taking it but that is probably related to the steroid given just prior to the Chemo drip. My legs feel a little weak which can be attributed to the (Gemcitabine) Gemzar and a slight dull headache. The infusion lasted as they said – 100 minutes. I will start taking the pill form chemo (Tarceva) tomorrow morning. Apparently Tarceva is more prone to cause mouth sores, so I was instructed on various things to do and those things to avoid. This regimen will be followed until early July. So far I feel very good about the people in charge of my care.
One of the nurses wanted to meet me. She had bought one of the raffle tickets CVT was promoting because she new of me but could not put a face to the name – since we sometimes scan patients for the oncologists. She was aiming for the big grill for her husband and was convinced that the grill would be hers. I assured her that everything was done above board during the drawing even though she did not win.

Well, we finally got some rain! We could have used more, but I’ll take what I was given.

I have another prayer request - for Grayson Allen, he was recently diagnosed with type I diabetes. He is doing well now that he received medical attention thanks to his mothers quick thinking. Diabetes runs in his mother’s family, so she had a blood glucose meter and tested Grayson – his blood sugar level got up to 600! Thank God he was able to get it under control.
We know several families who have young children with diabetes. There is alot of hope that this disease will one day be history. Just like many other human afflictions.
Also, Please remember to pray for Michael H., Jill H., Christi W., Lloyd Kogel – all battling cancer and/or recovery and little Austin Barber (heart/lung transplant). Thank you.

Hope you all have a great weekend. See you in church, even though you might not see me. Since I am full bore chemo now, I'll have to limit exposure for sure now. Remember Psalm 103.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chemo starts tomorrow ...

We met with the oncologist today. I will be taking two types of chemotherapy. One is an oral (pill) form 'Tarceva' which I will take once per day (you would not believe how much just the pills cost!). Tarceva acts on the signals that tell cancer cells to multiply. The other is an IV form in the 'Gemzar' family (have yet to find out how much this one costs). I will take it just like a regular IV once per week for 7 weeks, 1 week off and then 3 weeks on, etc at an infusion rate of 100 minutes each time. This will be less than two hours - just enough time for a good book to get boring but too long for a nap. Thankfully, I will not have to have a port since the Gemzar is easy on the veins. Before the first treatment is an educational session about the do's and don'ts while taking treatments. I am excited to get this started so we can kick this cancer in the proverbial butt once and for all. I hope to be an encouragement to the other cancer patients while taking my own. Hope is what is needed since so many times it is lacking with this type of disease.
My parents are in for a few days, so they will be driving me to and from Mary Bird. They have been such a great help as well as so many others. I definitely feel like I am not alone in this fight, which provides much encouragment.
About movies ... there are so many out now and in the past which appear to have potentially been good ones, but the language, sexual content and other things makes them undesirable. I often said in the past if they would take out the bad language they could sell more tickets. There is an animated/computer generated one out now called ' Wild ' which is about animals displaced by humans building subdivisions, etc. trying to take back there land. It looks to be a funny one. 'Ice age II' was a funny one with a good message.
About books... I am reading through 'The Imitation of Christ', which is a very old book. I believe it was written about 600 years ago. Thomas a Kempis is thought to be the author, but possibly Gerard Goote, founder of 'Brothers of the Common Life' of which Kempis was a member, could be. I don't think either man would be concerned about getting the credit if they lived by the priciples laid out in the book. Regardless of who wrote it, this book goes very deep into the spiritual life of the believer - thoughts and actions are covered thoroughly. You have to read some and then chew on it the rest of the day. It is difficult to get more than a few pages without wanting to re-read the page you just finished. But this book does come with a warning, if you read it, you may experience an improvement in you spiritual life. So reader beware.

Quick joke - Q. Do you know why Baptists don’t drink?
A. Because it could lead to dancing.
Okay, one more -
Q: What do you call a Presbyterian drinking Mountain Dew?
A: A Hyper-Calvinist.

Have a great Friday. Be a blessing. GW

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Movie critic?

My first movie critique ...
If believin’ the way they does, makes them the way they is, it bides lookin’ into sometime”. This was a line in the movie ‘Loves Long Journey’ spoken by the character named Scottie. He was responding to another character (Cookie – the cook) as they were both talking about a young couple having a church service in their home out on the Prairie. He saw something in this couples actions that impressed him enough to say this. Now that is a life well lived. This movie is a part of a 3 movie series adapted from a book called ‘Love Comes softly’ written by Janette Oke. I highly recommend it to the whole family – watch it together, too. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
We need some rain, but one lady told me to watch what you ask for, 'cause you could get a Hurricane'. I guess she's right. We need a steady, moderate drizzle all day long - and also that everyone driving in the rain would remember that they are inded driving in the rain. We forget sometimes.
C.J., the "NEEM" product you recommended works - it is organic and you can spray up to harvest day. NEEM is an extract from - you guessed it - the Neem tree (Azadirachta indica). This has been used in India for centuries to protect stored grains. It is affective on mites, insects and nematodes. The best part is its low toxicity to humans and other mammals. If you need something like this for your garden, be sure to check out the label before you buy. As always, take all of the necessary precautions with this product as you would with any poison.
I went by work for about 4 hours on Tuesday. It was kind of surreal - like I was in a movie. It was great to see everyone and catch up on the new people hired and other details I have missed. You don't realize how much you miss your work friends until you've been gone for months - and the humor/laughter is still there.
Tomorrow is my appt. with my Oncologist. We hope he will be ready to get the chemo going soon - the sooner we start the sooner it will be over. I not looking forward to it, just getting through it. But God is in control and I will hold His hand through it all. I have been feeling good, with the occasional bump in the road, but definitely better than a few weeks ago. I still have not gained much weight back - 157 lbs and holding. But I am eating regularly and as much as I can tolerate.
I went to church tonight and sat in on the royal Rangers meeting - I did not participate in the activities part since some of these guys could knock me down - they are getting so big. It's great to watch not only my son growing up, but also many of our friend's sons which are in the class. Time passes so fast.
I hope everyone is having a great week. Keep looking up and be a blessing.

Monday, April 17, 2006

91 degrees F ...

I passed an electric sign today which shows the time and temp. and it read 91 degrees F. In the shade with a breeze I found it to be okay, but if you are in the sun with no breeze it feels like good ole' Louisiana summer time weather. Time to get out the sunscreen. Did you know that on the Jewish calender we are in the month of ' NISAN '?
I found 3 varieties of Blueberries (Tifblue, Climax, Premier) at Louisiana Nursery to round out to 10 the number to be planted. I have heard having more than one variety increases the yeilds. We will see. That Nursery is a nice one to visit if you need anything for the yard or garden.
Thanks to Wil, I was able to get the Dingo auger machine back to the rental place early this morning. We had a good visit on the way there and back. I rented it from a place off of Airline Hwy - almost to Prarieville - as you know that is a long way from where I live. It was well worth it, especially since he was the only place with an available machine.
Public schools are closed for the holiday this week so traffic was on the lighter side. Have any of you used the new system on Airline at the Seigen/Sherwood Forest intersection? It's a weird design but is supposedly expedites the traffic more efficiently.
We need to pray for rain. Things are getting crispy. We also need to pray for God's will to be done. Please remember to pray for Michael H., Jill H., Christi W., Lloyd Kogel – all battling cancer and/or recovery and little Austin Barber (heart/lung transplant). Thank you. Continue to have a blessed week. GW.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Another Easter has come and gone ...

Can you believe Easter (as it is called) is already come and gone? How did you celebrate yours? Hopefully with those you love and care about. There is so much meaning packed into this time of the Christians's Holiest of weeks. Church was great. I bet you know Who Pastor Don was talking about. Worship was awesome. We also saw alot of people we have not seen in a long time after the service.
Can you believe I ate Lamb today? I thought it was a roast (beef) until they told me - but i would have figured it out after putting it in my mouth. It tastes different, kind of 'musty'. But it was good never the less. I suppose if that had been what I was raised on since a child I would not think anything of it.
This is a good time to take inventory of our spiritual lives. Are there things we need to do without vs. those things which we cannot live without? Do we honor God with our heart and our lips? What about with our time and resources. (I'm getting convicted myself while writting this stuff down). The truth is the truth. If the Holy Spirit shines His light in our heart and shows us things we need to change, then go with it. It is only for His Glory and our good that He does it. In my minds eye I can see Jesus saying, "I gave My all, so what's your excuse, George?" No excuse really compares. But thankfully God is patient, kind and understanding - slow to anger and rich in love.
For those who like green thumb type stuff, read on ...
Saturday, Keith and Bill from church and Randy my brother in law came over and planted 20 fig trees ( 4 varieties), 6 citrus trees ( 5 varieties), 1 pear tree and 1 ornamental tree. We used an auger (a big drill bit for the ladies) to dig the holes. Randy is now the specialist at working the "Dingo" auger machine while Bill and Keith placed the trees. I watered and threw fertilizer in the holes. Keith asked if I liked figs and I said yes, me and Robin love them fresh or canned, he said you better! The fig trees were about 2 foot high except for a few bigger ones - so a major crop is still a few years out. So if anyone likes figs, wait a few years and then call me. I also will put out about 10 Blueberry bushes.
Blueberries and figs are low maintenance fruit producing plants with little or no pest/disease problems. The citrus trees are also fairly low maintenance - you just have to watch out for the swallow tail butterly. They will deposit their little orange eggs, about the size of the tip of a pen, on the newer growth. If they hatch out they will consume alot of your leaves if you do not beat them to it. The caterpilers look like bird droppings - I kid you not! My mother showed this ugly looking thing to me on her orange tree in New Orleans a few years ago - and it really looks like bird poop. But it sure does turn into a beautiful butterfly - I guess there is hope for me after all!
Let's hope everything planted grows and does well.
I sure do appreciate the labor these guys put out - I had been wanting to do this since we moved here, but something always seemed to come up. Give and it shall be given. I guess you could say this was "a planting of the Lord".
Remember, God is in control. Start this week with a new and fresh outlook. Christ has Risen! He defeated death, hell and the grave! Go out and be a blessing.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday ...

And a good one it is! We have our two, Jonah and the three cousins at the house all day. They keep you young. The cousins spent the night last night and the A/C went out, which I mentioned in a previous post. Well, that's when it pays to have a brother in law who can figure things out and also who has a next door neighbor who is an A/C man with the needed parts on his truck. We got it fixed (yes, I did do something, I passed him the tools) in about an hour. We are now chillin at the house.

Let us not forget the price paid, in addition to Christ, by all of those who have gone before us to prepare a better life for us. How many became martyrs because they wanted others to be able to read the Gospel in their own language? Killed by so called Christians. I was reading through a book about the martys of old and it is amazing the reasons given as to why they were killed. We humans can be incredibly vicious. You would think things like that would be relics of the past but even today Christians are being killed for their faith. Jesus said it would be tough.

If you have not planned on going to Church this Sunday, do it. Get in God's flow.

Have a great friday. GW.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Another crazy day ...

The A/C went out at our house today, how about at yours? Hope yours is working. Thankfully it is cool outside tonight and we can get some relief like the old timers did - by opening the window! I can remember when I was very young having only an attic fan, not A/C. When the attic fan was on , it would draw the air through the windows. The curtains would be pulled out like a sail by the air coming through the window and the sound would lull me to sleep. I don't know how we made it? I guess we were just used to it. My parents grew up with very little of the luxuries we enjoy today and they came out just fine. They also have a greater appreciation of the things we enjoy, too. The only thing that bothers me is that this unit is only 14 months old.
Anyway ...
Can you believe how Jesus is coming under attack by the media (film and books) around Easter? I guess that's how you make more money since people's interest in things religious is possibly hightened. Jesus has big shoulders and He can handle anything the world can through at Him. I just hope people realize foolishness when they see/hear it.
We watched the "Moses" 2 part movie at the beginning of the week and it was okay - I guess Charlton Hesten spoiled me. The new one just looked like it was "thrown together". I prefer the original version.
How about gas prices? Almost $3.oo per gallon - I saw one today $2.85/gal. I heard one plan was to not buy Exxon or mobile gas which would force them to lower their prices to draw buyers back. This would cause the other competing companies to lower their prices and so forth and so on. Sounds like a strategy to me. The only problem is that I buy Exxon gas all the time. I'll have to think this one over.
Quick joke -A rabbi, priest and a preacher all three walked into a bar together. The bartender looked at them and said, "is this some kind of joke"? Get it?
Seriously ...
Jesus said to keep asking , keep seeking and to keep knocking. So keep on doing what He said. We have so many that need prayer for some really heavy problems, let's keep praying. If you would, please lift up these folks to God for a miracle - Micheal H., Jill H., Austin Barber., Christi W., Lloyd Kogel and my friend Amy's mother Mrs. Douglas.
Cancer is a wicked adversary, but God is still the Author of Life and death. God is not asleep nor is He on vacation. He has not forgotten your last request nor are His ears shut to your present needs. He is generous and giving even when we feel we are the least deserving. He loves to give good things to us and most of all He loves to give us Himself. As any parent knows, there is no greater blessing than for one of their children to come and sit by them for no other reason than just to spend time with them. Our God is good and worthy of all praise. He does all things well.
Remember all He has done for us this Easter week as we celebrate the Resurrection of the Messiah. Enjoy your weekend. GW

Run through the rain ...

This was forwarded to me by someone from church. Some of you may have already received it in your e-mail. I post this for many of those who have not read it before. We all need to hear the message of this story on a frequent basis. Read and apply.


A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worriesof my day. The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said. "What?" Mom asked. "Let's run through the rain!" She repeated. "No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied. This young child waited about another minute and repeated, "Mom, let's run through the rain." "We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said. "No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm."This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?""Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'" The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. Noone came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a youngchild's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.”Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If God let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said. Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles.They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But theywere followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing. Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories... So, don't forget tomake time and take opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Send this to the people you'll never forget. It's a short message to let them know that you'll never forget them. If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in a hurry. Take the time to live!!! Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other -- and don't forget to run in the rain!

God Bless. GW

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Before lunch ...

I was doing some cleaning up around the house and I recalled what Robin had told me she thought when she saw that the bumper of our car was on the ground and realized that we might have a 'hit and run' situation. She thought, "okay Lord, are You setting us for a blessing?" I thought to myself similarly "Lord, what does this mean?" I have to admit we have learned to release things to Him before we try to take it up ourselves and get all nervous or upset. This comes from alot of trial and error. As you know, he worked it out very well.
So, the next time something happens to you, before you react release it to God and trust He is in control. Remember the word says that He causes all things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Robin gets her wish ...

Can anyone guess what Robin has wanted for the past 5 years? She has been begging for, complaining for, hinting at and wishing for a van for 5 years. You know me, not wanting to spend any money much less buy a vehicle. Why do we need to buy another one while the ones we have run okay and are paid for? Well, the wreck in Houston has given us - me - an excuse to move towards getting a newer (used) vehicle. We were looking for a 2004 Toyota Sienna and could not seem to find any, other than a few, but they were all 2005 models which were out of our price range. We had to drive to Hammond to get it but the dealership treated us good and we believe we got a great deal. So when you see Robin sporting her van, make sure she is doing the speed limit, not eating or drinking in it or talking on her cell phone unless at a red light. Then you can call me and I get onto her (haha).
Another beautiful day. We did enjoy the ride over to Hammond. I had Robin drive by the University and the two places I lived off of West Pine street while with Chi Alpha Christian fellowship (XA). One of them is the "Dameron House", it is either the oldest or one of the oldest homes in Hammond. They even have a sign in the front - it must be registered. Let me put it to you this way, you could not have played a game of marbles on the floor of that house. There are alot of great memories there - over 4 years worth.
The last car we bought, Bryan was about 4 months old. I had a video camera and took some footage of Lauren and Price LeBlanc doing the 'dahlin' routine. It was funny. So this time they learned alot about buying a car which I think has convinced them that they do not want to have buy or have to sell cars for a living.
We give God the glory because the one we bought had been on the lot for so long that they were going to send it to another dealership this week. They had reduced the price and finally put it on their Internet site to try and sell it. We found it this morning. Robin was getting nervous about us not being able to get what she was looking for. I told her that if God wants us to have a 2004, we will find a 2004. She called one of Lauren's friend's dad who referred us to a web site which led us to this particular dealership. God gets the credit for not just giving us what we need, but even some of the things we want. Our eyes are not on the fluff and the stuff - just Jesus. Now we just need to use it wisely and to His glory.
Baseball is in full swing now days. The parks are full of kids playing ball. America's favorite past time. It is good for the kids to get out and play team sports and run around. Summer is right around the corner too.

Cancer vs. the other "C" words: Complete (John 17:3 -4 NIV) " Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." Jesus had many things to do and by His own admission, He completed them. As followers of His, we also have something to do. Not all are as obvious as if written on the wall in plain sight. Not all of them are easy. But never the less, we need to follow Christ's example and complete the work that He gave us to do. In doing so we bring glory to God. Whether you have cancer or not, the problem must not stand in the way of you fulfilling what God has for you to do - we still have to follow Christ. If you do not know what you are to do, just ask Him yourself. He will reveal it to you as you endeaver to follow His will.
Please continue to be in prayer for those mentioned in my previous posts.
Continue being a blessing whever you go. GW

Sunday, April 09, 2006

What is the deal?

Have you ever noticed when you buy a new car how you begin seeing the same car everywhere you go? The other cars were already around you, but until you bought one youself you were not as aware. Is it just me since I was diagnosed with cancer or are there alot of people finding out they have cancer? Have any of you noticed this. Is it Louisiana? The petro-chemical industry? If anyone has an answer please let me know.
A friend of mine from college, Amy, e-mailed that her mother was diagnosed with cancer in the lung and brain. She had surgery to remove the brain tumor. A follow-up PET scan revealed cancer in the hip, lung, spine, sternum, right abdomen and groin. She asked for prayer for her mother Mrs. Douglas. Thanks for taking a moment to bring her name before the Father.
Church was great this morning. Pastor preached on having a 'ready mind'. In short, he covered being ready for temptation from the enemy who is always looking for an opportunity to bring down the believer. If he cannot bring you down, he will try to get you to back off of prayer and reading the Word and just drift away. We have to be vigilant. Stay in the Word and prayer. Worship was awesome.
Today was a beautiful day! I hope you all got out and enjoyed the weather at least a little while.
I took my 30 minute walk and really soaked up the surrounding sights and sounds. The Honeysuckle vines are blooming and boy do they smell good. I had to bring Robin some inside so we could enjoy them a little closer to home.
Cancer vs. some other "C" words - Cross: What other symbol is so readily recognized throughout the world as the Christian Cross? But does it represent just another religious symbol to most? Or does it carry in their minds the truth that the Cross is the power of God unto Salvation (of the soul)?
During this Easter season - a time to be reminded of the Resurrection of the One Who died on the Cross - may we hold dear to our hearts the Cross on which our Saviour died, knowing that He hung there for all of us to purchase our pardon. But the good part is that the story does not end there . . .
Please continue to be in prayer for Michael H., JillH., Christi W., Lloyd Kogel - all battling cancer- and little Austen Barber who needs a heart lung transplant.
Go and be a blessing Monday morning. GW

Friday, April 07, 2006

Windy day...

I felt like i was back in Houston the way the wind was blowing today! The Independence park looked like a dust bowl situation while we were waiting for Bryan to finish his ball game. Back at the house it was windy minus the dust - much more enjoyable. The states north of us were catching some really bad weather today.
My parents are in till Sunday. Always good to spend time together with them.
Lauren had a really hard practice today then came home feeling bad. She was going to bed and then lost "her cookies" a few times and then started feeling better. We prayed for her to be able to get through it quickly and for her body to get rid of whatever was causing the problem.
I have recent experience in the area of tolerating uncomfortable physical stuff. It ain't easy, but you just have to try your best to look through the present challenge with the eyes of faith and see the other side - and see yourself making it through it and getting it behind you - all to the Glory of God.
Cancer vs. the other "C" words - "Covered" : Romans 4:7-8 " Blessed are they whose trangressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him." Talk about a good feeling, to know that God does not hold your sins against you because of what Christ did for us on the Cross. Those who choose to follow Christ have been covered. Cancer is scary in the here and now, but not being covered by Christ has present and eternal ramifications. He stands at the door of your heart knocking. All you have to do is open your heart and let Him in.

I spoke with one of my CVT Doctors - Dr. Berry - he and my other Dr.'s (they are also my employers) have been such a huge support to me. This just adds more fuel to the fact that I have always felt that CVT was and is the best job I have ever had. It is a great place to work if you like helping people. Hey to my fellow techs also - they are like family and have been a great encouragement and support. Hope to see ya'll soon.

Please continue to pray for the following friends who have been fighting the good fight against cancer:
Lloyd Kogel - he is new to my list, I put his story on the last post. Needs a miracle has not been given much hope since a recurrence of cancer.
Michael H., Jill H., and Christi W. All recoveirng from various surgeries and some having follow up chemo/radiation.
Austin Barber (and his mom and dad). Austin is in the hospital with a lung infection. He is awaiting a heart/lung tranplant.
Did ya'll see the story about the dog with no front legs? He walks around on his back legs upright like a human. Quite a story about overcoming obstacles in life.
Talk more later. God Bless and have a great weekend. GW.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dirt on my knees ...

The lady who backed into our car in Houston had a funny story to tell as to why she was where she was on Wednesday. She says to me, " look at my knees, you see that dirt? I was in my garden trying to plant my tomato plants when my husband came out and told me he had run out of his medication. So I came to the pharmacy to pick up his prescription and as I was leaving I backed into you car. " We both laughed and found out that she is growing about 12 different varieties of tomato plants - some I have never heard of.
Yesterday evening and into this morning I was feeling pretty rough in/on the left side of my abdomen - possibly due to being poked and prodded by a few doctors and then riding back home the same day. It lightened up a few hours, but then it was on and off till the present. I think a good nights rest is what I need.
The wreck has forced our hand concerning buying a newer used vehicle. We met with an insurance adjuster today. Apparently we have several options which we are praying about. This is not a good time to get a car note (even a low one) with everthing that is going on, but we believe God always has a plan. He will make a way because Jesus is a Waymaker.
I would like to solicit prayer for a man who is about my age, married with 3 kids who was diagnosed with Melanoma about 6 months ago. He has gone through chemo/radiation. Now the cancer has returned with a vengence and is in many areas/systems of his body. He needs a miracle. If you would put his name on your prayer list - Lloyd Kogel - I know he and his family would appreciate it. "All things are possible to him who believes" and "with God, all things are possible" (Jesus)

Here is a really neat story sent to me by Eileen Williams.

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car,or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing. If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her. As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell. Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see. Good friends are like this..........You don't always see them, but you know they are always there. Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours.
"I'll pray for you, you pray for me."
What a beautiful story! I don't think I can top that one, so I will say God bless and good night. Have a fantastic Friday. Go and be a blessing!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sideswiped at Subway ...

We are back from Houston - again. This trip was uneventful, that is once we actually got on the road to B.R. No traffic to speak of, once out of Houston, which has not been the norm on all of our previous trips. Maybe that was the Lord's way of helping us considering what happened on the way out of town. Here is how it all started . . . . .
We had our 9 am appt. with Dr. Wolff - the M.D. Anderson medical oncologist - which went very well - I will cover what he discussed with us a few paragraphs down. We left from that appt. and went to Texas Children's Hospital to visit with Austen Barber. He is the 12 year old we met at the RV park while I was recovering post op. in February. He is the one who needs a heart/lung transplant. Come to find out he was admitted with a lung infection and will probably stay for about 2 weeks in order to clear it up. We had a good visit with him and then headed out towards the 610 loop.
It was getting close to lunch so we were discussing where to get something to eat and of course Subway was an agreed upon place. We finally found one. While finishing up our order and getting our drinks, Robin turned towards the car and she noticed that the front bumper was lying on the ground. What? We went outside and apparently someone had backed into the front of our car. The damage was the front passenger side turning light (busted), the hood was crumpled and the bumper (it's actually the plastic cowling which covers the metal bumper) had one bolt on the drivers side still connected. A lady got out of a suburban and walked over towards Robin and said she was backing out and did not see the car. She said she was not going fast and stopped as soon as she noticed that she had hit something. Robin said some people would have just left the scene, but this lady said, " oh no, I'm a christian and I could not have done that - I would not have been able to sleep tonight ". Well, not only is she a christian but also a retired pastor's wife who has a son who is a pastor. Both are Assemblies of God. We continued to talk while contacting the insurance company. I am now on her personal prayer list as well as her church's list. She said her and her husband pray every morning at 5 am and have for years. I had to walk to a nearby store to get some rope to tie the cowling back to the front of the car's metal bumper. It worked all the way to B.R. We looked like the "Beverly Hill Billies" coming down the street!!! If I had to get hit by someone, I guess I could not have been hit by a better person. The insurance company has already lined up an adjuster for us tomorrow. We missed about one hour of drive time but made a new friend in Texas.
As for the Dr.'s visit, he said it would be okay to have our chemo/radiation treatments in Baton Rouge and that he will be working with our oncologist here (Dr. Patten). He also discussed how serious this type of cancer is and that only about 10 to 15 people out of 100 are even eligible for having surgery - in other words, the disease had progressed too far and surgery was not an option for them. I feel blessed in knowing it was caught fairly early. He added that we need to hit it soon and hit it hard because this type of cancer, if it relapses, is almost impossible to treat successfully. He added that he has seen many miraculous things happen during his career, too. So, we have about 2 more weeks of recovery and hopefully some weight gain before starting chemo.
I continue to solicit your prayers for myself, Jill H., Michael H., Christi W., and Austen who I mentioned above. God is merciful and gracious. Thank you.
Cancer vs. some other "C" words - Creator - God is my Creator. He knows that i am made of dust and what i can and cannot handle. When He was finished with His creation, He said it was good. Man fell through his disobedience and was separated from his Creator, but the Creator, true to His character, made a way for man 'the creation' to be reconciled to 'the Creator' once again through Christ. Every day is a new creation of God and every day the Creator can create something new in the hearts of those who are open to Him. Like King David said in the Psalms (Psalms 51:10) 'create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me'.
Creator, another inspiring 'C' word.
More tomorrow, cause this ole' boy is tired! Love ya'll. GW

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Met with surgeon ...

We met with my surgeon this morning. He said that I looked good for being almost 8 weeks post op. I bet he tells all of his patients that. We talked about several things and asked alot of questions. We got our moneys worth out him this visit. I realized how big a part he played in me still being alive and officially thanked him. Now that I am farther away from the surgery I do feel better in both mind and body and have realized how tough the initial 4 weeks of recovery were.
Of interest would be his comments about the cancer staging (stages 1,2,3,4 with 4 being the more severe) - he said it is a stage 2 b - a tumor with lymph node involvement. Nothing to frown at or take lightly, but God is still the One Who calls the shots in my life. We will meet with the Oncologist here (Dr. Wolf) Wednesday 4/5/06 and he will go over treatment options with us and explain risk/rewards type stuff. I have heard that he is very good by both patients and doctors alike. This will rap up our Houston visit.
We went by the RV park we had stayed in after the surgery and visited with some of the people who are still receiving treatments. One man has been here since January and has about 6 more weeks to go. Wow! We expressed our desire to the Doctors here that we would prefer to have any follow up therapy done in Baton Rouge.
LSU lost to UCLA - our guys were just not able to get the ball to go into the hoop! UCLA was on and LSU was not. It was unfortunate but you have to be proud of our guys for getting to the final 4 - that is a success in itself. You can learn as much or maybe more by losing as you can in winning, but winning still feels better.
Jimmy took us out to eat at ' NIKO NIKO's ' Greek restaurant this evening. It was very good but I will confess I ate just a little too much, but hey I am trying to gain weight, right? And when we got back, his wife Donna had homemade from scratch (she ground the wheat too) cinnamin rolls!!! Well, in order to finish off the evening I had to eat a small one. I could have eaten that for supper and I would not have felt neglected. Oh, and on the way home we stopped at a candy store that carries every kind of candy known to mankind - seriously. The guy at the store said this is the only store like it except on the West/East coasts. I told him I bet the owners are all Dentists.
We then visited with our friends at home for about an hour and laughed about stuff recalled from the past. Hey Carole, what's this about an ' incident ' ? Jimmy said you could tell it best.

God is always good. It's just our perception of the circumstances surrounding us that changes. When we see things through God's eyes, life is so much easier to live. I hope all who read this are doing well and that God is active in your life. If not, He is only a prayer away.
Until next time. GW

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ct is done ...

The CT is done, thank goodness. Two more days left and two more meetings with Doctors. Robin and I ate breakfast at the hospital afterwards. The theme of the cafeteria was waterfalls - hence the name The Waterfall Cafe. This place does not look like a medical facility. The architecture is quite impressive as well as the various works of artwork (paintings) and sculptures. Some of the buildings are connected via an enclosed tunnel system two or three stories in the air which is air conditioned - they even have electric cars to bring you to the different offices. I have yet to meet an employee who has not treated us with respect and courtesy. Thank God for places like this.

I am reminded of what it was like to be a little boy as I watch our friends children catch bugs and lizards in the yard and insist on moma looking at it or holding it whether she wants to or not. The simple things excite them and bring joy to their day. You should have seen them when the gekko's tail fell off onto the ground and then kept moving as if it was alive!

I just wanted to give a quick update. I will ad more as it happens. God Bless.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

In Houston ....

Thank God for a safe trip into Houston. We are at Jimmy and Donna's home. It is so cool to have friends willing to open up their home to us during this time of testing. We enjoyed catching up on things since it has been a while since we have seen each other. Donna is big into eating/cooking healthy. She makes all kinds of homemade stuff from scratch. I hope to get some recipes to bring home.
Robin and I ate at the Olive Garden after the first round of testing tonight since Monday morning is my CT. We have not had a 'date' like that in a while. It's so good to just be alone and talk to each other. If I could just get Robin to keep her hands off of me in public! (Now, I hope you all know I am kidding about that). Houston is still as big and confusing, as far how to get from point A to point B, but Robin seems to have it down. She is my driver and I think she likes it. I like it because she cannot tell me how to drive since she is the one doing he driving.
I stand corrected - Robin went on a Hosanna ladies retreat, not a Woman's Discovery weekend. She said it was really good. Everyone needs to have weekends where they can go and get recharged and refreshed spiritually. Life can drain us over time and wear us out. As a result, we become less effective parents and spouses. It is good to go off on a retreat and get back the proper perspective God wants us to have.
Jesus said for us to take up His yoke. For He said that His yoke was easy and His burden was light. The wages of sin and living away from fellowship with God are very heavy and burdensome. Everthing we do has consequences. So why not do it God's way and enjoy the Good consequences.
Have an awesome week. Be a blessing.