The Colonel Chronicles
My dear friends and family,
I started writing The Colonel Chronicles as a way to inform and involve our friends and family of our journey with cancer. Originally the intention was to get the details to you to answer your questions, address your concerns, and notify you of any changes in health status, treatment, etc. Beyond that simple fact, I have been writing each week as therapy for me as I watch one of the people I love the very most fight for his life. It is exciting to me, and somewhat of a mystery, to hear the stories of how these words on a computer screen are helping others with their current life battles. I take zero percent credit for that. God is constantly at work in and around all of us. I ask God to write this email and to form the words in ways that will somehow glorify Him.
You have heard me use the word “prayer” in many of my emails. Maybe it was when I was talking about going on one of my many long walks to process and pray (or sing to the top of my lungs – my parent’s neighbors probably think I am nuts) or maybe it was when I have listed specific things to pray for on any given day. I have been taught to pray my entire life (to which I credit the spiritual foundation from the Fabian and Leach families) We all know that prayer can be quick conversations with God throughout the day or night or it can be the kind of “fall on your face and beg” kind of praying. God hears them all. So many of you (I emphasize the word “so”) have told us that you were praying for us. We hear it in your words, see it on our computer screens in your reply emails,and read it in the cards you send. That is completely overwhelming to me. With everything that is happening in life right now (just turn on the tv…) it is humbling and amazing to me to think that you would take your sweet time to pray for my precious Daddy as he battles cancer, my fabulous mother as she is Main Caregiver and Head Honcho (oops – don’t know if I want Dad to read that or not…) for myself as I try to be an extra set of ears, hands, and brainwaves right now, for Thom and Summer as the distance from us is hard and they are looking to transition to a new city and jobs. Our family is grateful that you pray and that you care.
Miracles do never cease and we are seeing evidence of those each day! We were able to travel to The Sandy G (beachhouse) from Wednesday to Sunday of this past week. If you didn’t read another word of this you would know that compared to a month ago this, in itself, is a miracle. We are off of chemo this week so, we just packed up our bathing suits, the infusion materials, books to read, and headed to the coast! While Dad was not able to do some of the things he is accustomed to doing he conquered this challenge like the trooper that he is! He is willing to use a cane and wheelchair as needed for extra curricular activities. There are many people (men and women) that would find it easier to stay home than to have to compete with crowds or be seen in a wheel chair. But, oh, not the Colonel! He said he was more than happy for us to “push him around” (we had many good comebacks to this comment) For those of you reading this that knew Papa (Colonel’s Dad) you know that Fabian men and canes are a risky, scary thing. Papa had a way of pointing and poking with his cane that wanted to make each of us throw the thing out the window! Papa would poke your tires as you were leaving the driveway to check the tire pressure. So, the Colonel seemed to have an evil, wide eyed, grin when he was able to begin using a cane. He did poke Mom in the rear with it ONCE (please note the emphasis on the word ONCE) Bettie set him straight on that and if he knows what is good for him, that will not be happening again. He had better remember who is in charge of those daily infusions! He sat in the chair on the sidewalk while we shopped in a jewelry store and threatened to hold out his cap like he was asking for donations. As I was pushing him around Broadway at the Beach he would use the cane to “clear the way” (poor people) or “row” with the cane like he was in a canoe. It was quite hilarious! We enjoyed cupcakes that Thom and Summer had delivered to us from a gourmet cupcakery at the beach! Sweet! (literally!) We ate at our favorite restaurants and he was able to sit under the canopy on the beach for about 2 hours late Friday afternoon. Please know that none of this was “easy” for him. Each step and movement takes more effort than ever. I believe the fact that he is willing to try these things that take every last ounce of his energy continues to show his fighting spirit!
We had our monthly appointment with the doctor yesterday. This was our first official visit with Dr. Ann Hutchison who is taking Dr. Jones place. She was thrilled with Dad’s lab results yesterday which showed that his overall levels continue to drop and his weight continues to go up! He gained a little over 4 pounds again this week. (Thanks G for that grilled steak and Thom and Summer for those cupcakes!) Dr. H believes that the chemo is working and that things are going very well. She told us that he would not be gaining weight if his cancer was growing or spreading. He does still love to eat and is staying on the appetite stimulant (which, by the way, is a female hormone…if you are a female battling weight stuff, let’s just ponder that fact for a minute….) He will also continue the daily infusions. Dad has completed two “rounds of chemo” and will start his 3rd round on Monday. The plan is to have 3 Mondays in a row (11th, 18th, 25th) of chemo and then back to the dr the following week. At this time (completion of 3 rounds) he will have all of the body scans repeated so we can truly see what is happening. It was joyful music to our ears to hear Dr. H say, “You have clearly turned a corner!” See?!?! I told you God is hearing your prayers!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I read a great sermon from D.L. Moody this morning. His commentary to the verse above is this “Look at the 6th verse of the 4th chapter of Philippians. “Be careful for nothing, but in everything” – mark that – “by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” He doesn’t say He will answer all, but He says, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”He tells us to make our wants known; to make our requests known to Him by prayer and supplication. It is right to come and make our requests known.”
This sermon was delivered on Jan. 6, 1874! What an amazing and awesome God that this timeless truth is still relevant in 2011! Thank you for making your requests known to our loving Father on the behalf of my family. We are feeling the peace of God that passeth all understanding….
Much love to you,
** I am loving hearing from people I don’t know and meeting you through email! Feel free to forward to whomever you would like. We have no secrets here. You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments. I am working on getting this in a blog format in conjunction with another blog that I have. Hopefully more news on that next week. **