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He Whom God Helped

 How can you guys afford this clinical trial? That’s a question we’re asked from time to time.  Today’s entry is dedicated to the incredible resources available to those fighting cancer. In our first 12 months of treatment at MDAnderson Cancer Center we have traveled to Houston 23 times.  Mostly, we depart from Phoenix but of course, this summer we have started in Alaska the last five trips.  All 23 trips were on Southwest Airlines except the five Alaska departures.  Southwest has an arrangement for MDAnderson patients, whenever we need to change a flight there is never a fee, even up to the last minute.  In spite of some Southwest debacles around the country we have been very blessed with Southwest Airlines. Our hotel stays are generally 1-5 days in duration.  Initially, we explored the charitable housing options offered to patients, we tried several hotel chains, and we have now settled on staying at the Rotary House which is owned by MDAnderson and is connected directly to the hospi
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Still Shrinking

“Do girls know about shrinkage?:   George Constanza  We often joke about shrinkage because my tumors continue to shrink with every CT Scan.  We return to MDAnderson every 28 days and I get a scan every other visit.  Each one has shown the tumors smaller that the scan before.  I would say, the prayers are working…we could have only dreamed the new medicine would be this effective.  God has us in the right place at the right time. The doctors have a matrix that shows my overall cancer has reduced by 19.4% in just 7 months! The last visit I had another rise in the protein in the urine.  As I’ve mentioned, this is the only side affect I have experienced.  The good news is it doesn’t manifest itself so that I feel any affects.  It’s mostly a doctor concern to protect my kidneys.  The protocol is to reduce my dosage by 50% for the next treatment.  But, as my doctor has pointed out, the dosage hasn’t affected the drug’s ability to kill my cancer.  My tumors continue to shrink regardless of th

Home Sweet Home

Do you know the signs of an Alaskan Springtime? We knew we were home on May 10th, our first full day in Alaska.  Here’s how we knew:  there were only sporadic piles of snow in shady spots, tiny little green buds appeared on all the bare trees, every car was filthy dirty from the long winter, and gravel and dust was everywhere from road maintenance…but we felt right at home!  Then, the exciting clues started to show their presence; we saw the first float plane of the season in the air, two Bald Eagles flirted in the skies above the neighborhood, Diane spotted a moose on her way to Barb’s house and the beautiful snow capped Chugach Mountains backdropped the city.   We hit the ground running this past week, or should I say swimming? Here’s a story about the most amazing thing that happened the first week. Days before we left for Alaska, Emily Hale invited us to be present for their kids Taylor and Austin’s water baptism. They are 6 and 9 years old respectively and made the decision to be

Good News Wednesday!

 My sister Melissa sends me a “good morning Sunshine” text every morning.  This last Wednesday, waking up in Houston, I responded to her, “it’s Good News Wednesday”.  Our most important meeting that day would be with Dr Yap to discuss the results of my CT Scan.  During this week of Easter we are mostly familiar with some of the names of the days leading up to Jesus’ conviction and crucifixion…Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday for example.  But, until Diane and I did our morning devotion last Wednesday I hadn’t heard of Holy Wednesday, sometimes referred to as Spy Wednesday.  We learned from the devotional speaker that Holy Wednesday is Good News because Jesus announces that his death will save God’s people not from Rome or poverty, but from death itself (John 11:51-52) Well, Holy Wednesday was good news for us this year!  We found that the two measurable tumors in my abdomen have shrunk!  The CT Scan was all very positive news.  Dr. Yap was pleased with the progress.  Remembe

I Am A Child of God

I AM a child of God….but I haven't always been. Many of you have noticed how my Faith has increased.  It’s very easy when you need God the most! From time to time I will share stories from my past as evidence that I haven’t always been following God. Today, I want to tell you about some of the prayers we receive from so many of you around the country and around the world.   At Christmas time shared with Diane that I was interested in finding a cross to wear.  Diane and I stopped into a few jewelry stores but nothing really struck my fancy.  I wanted a smaller cross, gold, and sort of bold without being bejeweled.  Something unique.  We decided to wait until later and time went by without finding anything I liked.   A few months into the new year we met up with our friend Dia and her daughter, Maria.  Dia is an Alaska/Arizona snowbird who we’ve known through pickleball for many years.  Dia loves to travel the world.  She had recently returned from a five month trip through Europe, G

We Feel The Love

There’s nothing like palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze! We had a restorative, relaxing vacation on the Big Island. It has been over a year since we’ve been on an actual vacation.  Our dear friends Annabelle and Paku are tremendous hosts. They somehow kept a surprise from us in the weeks leading up to the trip. They picked us up at the Hilo airport and we spent the first night at their place in Volcano.  Volcano is the village right outside of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park near the Kilauea crater at 4000’ on the mountain.  The next day we were instructed to pack a bag and get in the car not knowing what they had in store for us. We drove over the Saddle Road to the leeward side where it is usually warm and dry. The leeward side (Kona) gets an average of 18.9 inches of rain per year, in contrast with the windward side (Hilo) which averages 145 inches.  Imagine our delight when they pulled into the Mauna Lani Resort! The Mauna Lani Resort is 3,200 acres on the coast near Waik