Monday, September 29, 2008


I got the pictures to upload to facebook so below you will find the link for them. Be forewarned if you are a little squeamish, the last couple are of the incision 2 days after surgery.

Promised Pics

So I know we've been promising pics of the head shaving shindig and for some crazy kids in Botswana, a pic of the after surgery incision. For some reason they are not uploading to the blog (I keep getting an error message). I will continue to try and get it working and if nothing else works will post them to my facebook and just link it. Thanks for your patience. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Recuperation is proving to be yet another chance to exercise patience--which I am not very good at. We are 9 days out from the surgery and I am very frustrated at what I can't do, especially now that I'm getting a little stir crazy.
I got to get out of the house Tuesday to go see the brain man. I have a hematoma (bruise) and basically look like my head is that of a new-born (think cone head with soft spot) and so we had to have it checked out. He said it looks fine but to call right away if it starts oozing (ewwww). I then got to go grocery shopping (those motorized shopping carts are surprisingly maneuverable) and had lunch at Jason's Deli. This was my first big outing since the surgery and I paid for it yesterday. I'm finding the most frustrating thing of this recovery is not knowing where my limits are. I feel really good physically--at least most of the time--and so am under the impression that I can actually do stuff like I could pre-surgery, well maybe not quite like I could but at least more then I could do post-gall bladder surgery. So the fact that I am coherent and mobile make the confinement to the third floor all the more frustrating (my stair climbing has been limited to about 1/week) Add to that staying on the computer too long makes me feel ill, as does reading, and it makes for a pretty boring day. If anyone has movies they want to share I'd appreciate it--there's only so many times you can watch animated ones. Thanks for letting me complain and to Melody for visiting and bringing lunch. It was a nice break in the monotony. I'm hoping to get to come to church on Sunday. We'll see if the warden a.k.a Mom releases me for good behavior :)

Prayer Requests: Patience, quick healing, be mindful to give thanks (cause this could have been a whole lot worse).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just a quick thanks

to all who have been praying and bringing meals and keeping up with the blog. I can not begin to tell what an encouragement it is to hear from all you. I have to apologize for this post being so short but I can only handle about 10m on the computer at the time. Will have Brad post more soon on recovery and my confinement. thanks!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


For those who would like to visit Heather, she is at Brackenridge hospital on 15th. She has been moved to room 936. Visitation is 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. She is begging for people to come visit, she's getting bored... a sure sign of healing. :)

For those who can't make it down to the hospital, her direct line in her room is 324-7936. She would love to hear from you!

Heather is actually being released today. We should be leaving around lunchtime. So, alter your plans of visitation and come see us at home!


mir·a·cle /ˈmɪrəkəl/ –noun
1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3. a wonder; marvel.

There are a number of ways of looking at the events of the past three weeks. Heather and I have presented our perspective and concluded that all evidence points to God's sovereignty throughout this time of tribulation. Some disagree. Some are on the fence. All agree that it has been an intense ride.

Right now, I would like to give you a very small glimpse at the timeline as it unfolded.

Saturday, August 23
Money has been tight. We have just wrapped up a series on Money Matters at The Stone and Heather and I have committed to stick to a hardcore budget in order to increase giving and be able to make a larger impact in St. John's.

School is starting on Monday and we have not been able to get school supplies for our boys. So, we make the logical decision to transfer money from savings in order to go school supply shopping. However, it can wait until after we go and pick up our grocery order from Angelfood Ministries (

On the way to the car, a lady from our apartment complex stops me and tells me I need to take my boys to the leasing office. Apparently, there is a church who is filling backpacks with school supplies and giving them to the residents for free.

Monday, August 1
I am sitting at my cubicle, feeling sorry for myself. I'm really getting down on myself for not finishing my degree and getting a better job to better provide for my family. I am a comfort idolater and, while our needs are being met, I would fell more COMFORTABLE if we had a larger financial cushion. At any rate, I'm worrying myself sick.

I pray and give it to God. I haven't provided one single thing for my family because, ultimately, He has given as we need from his abundance. Peace.

While sorting through my email, I stumble upon an old email that says I have a check that was not deposited, for $125. I call the HR office and state that the check was not received. The lady on the other end said she would reprint the check and asked if I would like to have the second check reprinted, as well. Second check? Yes sir, for the amount of $325. In my doubt, God is faithful.

Tuesday, September 2
I received a call from Heather's neurologist. It's a brain tumor, she says. I'm completely numb. I think I'm going to pass out. I quietly thank her and silently grieve. I cry out to God, praying that He be sovereign and glorify His name in this. Later, I find out the tumor is a meningioma which is 99% benign. If you have to have a brain tumor, this is the one you want.

I have a team meeting where I have won two awards, yielding another $125.

Thursday, September 3
I've been asked to run sound for a gig downtown. I was surprised with a $50 gift card. I thought the job was unpaid.

Friday, September 12
A dear friend at work told several people I work with about my wife's condition. Several people donated to a collection for us. God provided several hundred more dollars in a way I never expected.

Monday, September 15
Several friends come and sit with me in the waiting room during surgery. The wait was pure joy as we just enjoyed each other's company. A touching gesture, to be sure.

Surgeon is out. All went well. He got what he went in after. I get to see Heather. She says she feels better than she expected. In fact, she said that 20 times. She had some good drugs that zapped her short term memory. I pressed my luck a bit too far. She began to remember me making fun. Oops.

Tuesday, September 16
Heather has been moved to another room. She says if I bring the boys, she will walk down to the waiting room to meet them... walk... down the hall... she had brain surgery a little more than 24 hours ago... and she's walking. Nonchalantly, she says yeah, they may release me tomorrow. We were scheduled for 2 days in ICU and another 2-4 days in a hospital room. The surgeon said her right leg would be weak for a while due to the manipulating he had to do with her brain. There is none. The staff are very impresed with her rate of recovery.

Folks, I can only think of one way to sum up this epic journey... miracle. God be glorified.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Over the First Hurdle...

Hey guys!

Heather went in to surgery at 8:00 a.m. At 11:00 a.m. Dr. Stokes came to the waiting room and announced that Heather came through just fine. He was able to get most of the tumor and confirmed it as benign.

She is on her way to ICU where she will spend the next day or two. She will not be cognizant or coherent today. We're expecting her to have a room by Wednesday or thursday and we would love for you to come by for a visit. I will update the blog with her room number.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. The worst, I believe, is past. Now begins the long and arduous road to recovery. However, God has been faithful throughout this process and will continue to be faithful. All praise and glory belong to Him!

The Cry of My Heart

It is 12:20am day of surgery as I begin to type this. I should be asleep yet am burdened by the need to take some time to share Christ with those who might not yet know Him or who have walked away from Him. There are probably some of you who will stop reading this after the first few sentences, but I ask you to continue to read. I fully expect to come through surgery healthy and healed but just in case I want the last words I speak (or type in this case) to be ones that encourage people to look to Jesus.
To those who say church is full of hypocrites, let me offer you the replacement word of sinner and confess that I too am a hypocrite. No matter how much I love Jesus, no matter how desperate my desire is to be like Him, it is my very nature to rebel, to sin, to put my selfish desires on the throne of my heart instead of my Saviour, but God being abundant in grace and mercy provides us with a helper in the form of His Holy Spirit and abundant forgiveness if we confess and ask for it.
TO those of you who were told the "condemnation gospel"--that's the one where someone comes up to you and rants and screams believe in Jesus or go to hell!--let me apologize to you and ask your forgiveness. This is not the message that Christ brought to us. He came to love us, to heal the rift that sin caused between us and God and to restore our relationship with Him.
It's now after 1am. I spent 40m writing (and deleting ) paragraphs about Jesus, and salvation and found what I wanted to say on the Desiring God website :

Please know that all of this comes from a place of love--love for my Jesus, and love for you. It is my greatest desire that you have a personal relationship with Jesus, that you be reconciled to God, and that we spend eternity together praising Him. Please. Please take the time to read the article. Open your hearts and your minds to who He is and what He's done for us. I love you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

VanityThy name is Hair

I cried a little today. Not because I'm having surgery or the risks involved with the surgery, but because the best option for my hair is to either walk around looking like a sixty year old half bald man (as in no hair on top) or I have to shave my head. Yes, i realize how totally stupid it is to get upset over my hair when I haven't gotten upset over everything else (insert proper psych term here) but it's my hair. It's the cute little haircut that I am so excited to get every time I go in to the salon. It's one of the very few things I am actually girlie about and now I have to cut it all off. The only option I could come up with so i don't completely lose it when we cut it (there is no way I'm letting them near it at the hospital--what do they know about barber-ing) is to have a big party and you're invited! Bring your potluck and your cameras to document this momentous occasion (seriously, we're gonna do potluck and a head-shaving ceremony; give my hair the sending off it deserves) and then Monday (6 days from today) I will go in for surgery. I'll spend 2 days in ICU and then at least another 2 on the surgical wing or something like that. After that it's no driving for at least a month. I'm either going to learn some bus routes or be calling on some taxi service from you loyal readers. On the plus side, household chores are pretty much out for a while; not lifting of things over 5lbs and no bending forward is allowed. I did not however get out of folding laundry. I'm allowed to do that if someone brings it to me. Guess i don't get a total vacation after all. That's it for now as I'm off to go look at hats. I imagine you'll be seeing me in them often over the next few weeks.


So, here's MY first official post.

We met with the brain man today to discuss our final prognosis and schedule surgery. So, here's what we found out.

The tumor has been growing for years. It extends toward the front of the brain and even further between the two lobes. Surgery will get most, but not all, of the tumor. A few weeks after surgery, we begin radiation therapy to fry a bit more of the tumor. There is also a cyst, kind of a brain zit, that the surgeon will "evacuate" while he removes the tumor.

We will be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. Surgery will take about 3 hours. Heather will be in ICU for 2 days and another 2 days in a hospital room for observation. She may get to come home by Friday.

Heather will be subject to annual MRI scans from now on. The doctor also spoke of the possibility that we may have to do this all over again in ten years, or so.

And here all along, I was thinking this wasn't going to be fun!

Surgery is scheduled for Monday, September 15th. Heather has decided she is going to throw a head shaving party on Saturday, a requirement of brain surgery. Be looking for an Evite. Additionally, if you do not receive an Evite, it isn't because you're not invited. We would like everyone to come by on Saturday and celebrate with us.

CELEBRATE?!? Absolutely! While I am currently experiencing a lot of anger and remorse through this ordeal, carnally, I continue to rejoice spiritually.

Christ willfully submitted to affliction, suffering, and shame to redeem the relationship that was broken through man's sinful nature. To bring us back to the Father, Christ suffered ultimately and willingly.

We have an opportunity to share in the fellowship of Christ's suffering. We're not enjoying it by any stretch of the imagination. This entire ordeal has been baptized in our tears. Yet, our hope is in Christ. He is our joy and our rock. If Christ did not suffer for our sins, if He did not die on the cross and physically rise again, victorious over sin and death, then we are a people to be most pitied. We have no other hope in this life, or after.

My prayer, OUR prayer, is that once the smoke clears and all has been finished that, no matter the outcome, God brings glory to His name... whether through us or in spite of us.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Independence and Isolation

I am the first-born of three kids; I have a younger brother then sister. I also have all the typical first-born characteristics: independent, parent-pleaser, rule-follower, strong-willed (some call it stubborn I say they just hate to be wrong and my way is better anyways). For example, a couple years ago I was able to go to Europe and tour London, parts of Ireland and some of Paris by myself. Several people couldn't believe I did it alone. I don't mind being by myself and doing things by myself. I actually like it. My favorite hobbies are very individual oriented (reading and photography). Unless absolutely necessary, I've been to all the doctor's visits alone and I find it difficult to ask anyone for help (this could be a pride issue--chewing on this one) because I want and like to do it myself or by myself.
Can independence turn into isolation? Our community group disbanded and we have yet to actively seek another. This summer I didn't work at the church but stayed home with the kids and had little to no contact with others except for on Sundays. I felt very isolated from life in general (I'm sure of you other stay at home moms can relate to that) and apart from the goings on in other peoples' lives.
Let me just say I don't think times of isolation are bad. We see Jesus frequently going off by Himself to be with the Lord and on the cross He suffered the ultimate isolation of being completely separated from God. God uses isolation to bring about change as He did with me this summer but we are not built to stay in it.
The isolation didn't start to bother me until the end of the summer when we started getting ready for the kids to go back to school and I realized I would have nothing to do while they were gone. I really started to feel isolated and alone. I began to wonder why I hadn't heard from anyone; was this isolation my fault; had I been lax in my efforts to maintain relationships that were once a daily part of my life; how do I go about correcting this; do I want to even make the effort to correct it? God really didn't give me a choice in that one.
For the second time in less than a year I am facing surgery; not a simple "day" surgery like for my gall bladder, but one that is major and carries greater risks and a much longer hospital stay and recovery time. I have no choice but to rely on others to take care of my family: spiritually, emotionally, physically, possibly financially (don't worry, we're not moving 3 days after this surgery is done) and to take care of me--the independent one who has no choice but to ask for help, because what do you know, I'm not superwoman. I have a community of people who are not just willing to serve but who are honored to do so, who genuinely care about the needs of my family and want to meet those needs because it is what Christ did for us. I am overwhelmed and humbled by their support and thankful to not be isolated anymore.
This also has me thinking about my neighbors--Brad likes to say they're called APARTments for a reason. How many of us have neighbors who might consider themselves isolated? Are we isolating ourselves and not being salt and light to them? What can I do to change this and truly serve them? More things to chew upon as I continue with the strange blessing that comes in the shape of a Brazil nut.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Breaking News

I just got off the phone with the brain man and the winner with post operative radiation. Congrats to all who picked that as the choice for taking care of the tumor. Seriously though, I go in the beginning of next week to have another face to face meeting and get all my important questions answered (like will I have to shave my head) and then we will schedule the big deed for either next week or the week after, which to me seems really fast. Yes I know I was complaining about it being a slow process in another post, what can I say, I'm fickle. I'll keep you posted with more details as they become available.