Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Janie Update 12-29-09

Thought you'd all like to know that Janie is doing ok. We went in at 10:30 this morning and were driving away by 11:20! She had a brief wait and then they took her in to a little outpatient surgery room. They numbed her up and made the little cut and slid that little tube into the area where the air 'bubble' was. They knew they were in the right spot because they put the other end of the tube into a dish of water and it made air bubbles...meaning that the unwanted air was escaping.

They then attached a little gizmo called a Heimlich (of 'The Heimlich Maneuver' fame) valve which allows air and fluids to only flow in one direction: out. I guess most of the air was supposed to be gone by the time she got to x-ray; they wanted pictures so they could track the progress of the re-inflation of the lung. The real goal is

Monday, December 28, 2009

Janie Update 12-28-09

Here is the text of an email that Janie sent out tonight...we'd of course crave your prayers and thank you all so much in advance!

The Day Has Come And It Is Tomorrow!

Happy Almost New Year Everyone!

I am still trying to get through this one! So, I innocently went to my regularly scheduled appointment this morning for a nice breakfast of chemo, radiation, and chest x-ray. It's the first time I had chemo AND radiation at the same time! I just wheeled my IV pole right into the radiation room and away we went! Got my chest x-ray last. Just a follow-up to make sure everything was A-ok! Hahahahahahahah!

My surgeon (we're not actually on a first name basis but I did get a personal phone call from him. . .) called at about 2:15 this afternoon to say that my right lung has collapsed about 30% and he'd like me to meet him in a treatment room tomorrow morning at 10:30. Eek! So I will have the chest tube after all. I really feel like

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Since the President's speech pre-empted Charlie Brown's Christmas, well, here is Linus's speech...a classic for a reason. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Grandfather? Clock

Do anything to not get this job!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Great Show

Was Switchfoot totally sick the other night? Why, yes, yes they were! I wasn't sure we'd make it after the Monday we'd had, but we'd bought the tickets a long time ago, and Janie felt well enough - so I drove a handful of kids up to Burlington. Small, venue, only 200-300 people. Jon Foreman got down in the crowd and stood directly in front of Daniel. Crazy and fun!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Janie Update 12-16-09

Hey Everyone!

Thank you for all your prayers for my poor right lung.  They are working!  I had a follow-up x-ray on Monday and it is getting better.  The air pocket is smaller and for that we are very grateful.  That's the good news.

I have been having some pain in my right hip and after all the x-rays of last week they have finally determined that it is indeed another spot of cancer.  I was given two choices on how to handle it.  I could go on a pain patch to control the pain but it would have no effect on the cancer.  Or I could have radiation, which would hopefully kill the cancer in that spot and eliminate the pain.  That is risky because I have already been radiated twice in the pelvic area, both right and left hips.  If I chose radiation I could not have radiation in this area again. I knew right away that I didn't want to start on a pain patch.  That just seemed to doom and gloomy to me. So......

My right hip is once again tattooed, sharpie markered, and ready to go.  I start treatment tomorrow (Thursday) and will have a total of 10 [in a row...every weekday until December 31]. Both my oncologist and my radiologist think

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thought for the Day

Becca posted this today on her blog and I like it:

I was reading my Bible today and I found this chunk in James 3:17-18
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
It kind of struck me that these are the traits that I am meant to exhibit if God’s wisdom is in me. So when I ask for wisdom or discernment, these are the things that I should see change in my behavior. Anyways. Just a thought…my challenge for the day!
Also, my piece of minty gum is no longer minty and i feel like I am chewing on a plastic cotton ball. The end!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Shopping

I guess the mall won't be so bad after all...we are so spoiled.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Poem

John Piper's Christmas poem (from 23 years ago today) imagines a visit by Jesus to the stable where he was born...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grinches Really Can't Steal Christmas

Our friends Tim and Rose emailed us with some unhappy news...and a healthy, God-pleasing attitude about it if you ask me:

"I did want to ask you guys for prayer-in case you hadn't heard--
Our house was totally Burglarized while we were away for Thanksgiving!  All four guitars were stolen and all our sound equip. and even "TJ's" car, right out of the garage!  That was recovered within days-including drug stuff, but SOO many things were taken!! (Jewelry, Ski boots, etc,etc) Weird feeling, but Thank God our Real Treasure is Stored up in Heaven!
We are So Thrilled to have Matthew [home from Iraq] with us for a few weeks!  Thank you for Praying for his safe return!!
WE Love You guys and Thank God for our Christian Siblings!
Have a Blessed Christmas season!
We'll be in touch,
Love, Tim and Rose"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Janie Update from 12-9-09

Here's a note from Janie that she sent to our email/prayer list - updating friends about her latest developments:

Thanks for tuning in again!  My follow-up chest x-ray showed no change so we are going to watch and wait.  This involves taking a strong cough medicine (my new best friend) and having periodic x-rays maybe once a week to make sure things are staying the same.  Of course there's always the "if you get short of breath or are in pain go straight to the emergency room" advice.  Which I was given.  I am trying not to be aware of every breath that I take!

In other news, I also had a full work-up of x-rays of pretty much all the bones in my body.  There is a questionable spot on my pelvis so they thought it might be wise to check the other bones, too.  We aren't bothering to plug the Christmas tree in - I shall be the

Janie Update from 12-7-09

This was sent in an email to friends who pray for Janie...I realized I needed to post it here for those who get news of her through the blog...

Merry Christmas-time!
Today Janie said, “I have learned that when I go to the cancer center on Mondays there is no such thing as an uneventful day.”  Today was definitely no exception to that little rule. We went in for a treatment today with a few questions, mostly regarding Janie’s cough. “Is it from mere(?) post-nasal drip or is it from a grapefruit-sized tumor that was maybe growing on her lungs?”

Well, Dr. Eisemann put in orders for a torso CT scan to get a good picture of her lungs. While they didn’t find any new tumors (for which we are relieved and praising God!) they did find that Janie’s right lung has separated a bit from its usual position (it has ‘sagged’ if you will) and as a result,

Saturday, December 5, 2009

White Christmas?

My sister-in-law Wendy taped this MFI volunteer's recollections of Christmases in Haiti..."back in the day." It's only 5 minutes long; be patient - I promise, its not what you think.

White Christmas from Wendy Karabensh on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Herman J

We called him Herman J. We didn't know what his real name was. We didn't bother to find out. He was skinny and pimply and greasy and probably poor. He was new to our 8th grade bus. I never knew where he lived: he got on in the morning before me and got off after me in the afternoon. Looking back, I see now that he was miserable. Angry. Wretched.

My friends teased him because of things he couldn't help. The teasing wasn't relentless in that it didn't last long - not hours even many minutes really. It was relentless in that it was just a bit at a time...daily. All they'd do is briefly welcome him onto the bus. "Hi Herman J!" "How are ya Herman J!" "How was school today, Herman J?" He wouldn't answer. He'd just look out the window.

We had one of each in our group: