Harder Family

Harder Family

Friday, May 29, 2015

What If We Were Real?

I have been mulling over some things for the past few days and thought that I'd write them down. It doesn't necessarily have to do with cancer or our situation, but just life in general. We don't have cable, so we don't watch reality shows. Despite not having cable, we have heard of the Duggars, and even met a few of them at a homeschool convention a few years ago. The thing that struck me with the whole situation is how the family worked to protect their seemingly perfect image, how they covered up sin, and how quickly the world has jumped all over them, condemning them. 

To be honest, I personally can understand from experience both sides of the arguments being presented. On one hand, you have the victims of sexual abuse. They should have been protected and treated with extra care and compassion. They also should have been taken to a professional counselor to help them process what happened to them. Forgiveness has to be given to someone who has hurt you, and it is the hardest thing one can do-to forgive someone who doesn't deserve it. On the other side of the argument you have Josh, who has confessed to doing wrong. He admits that God has used that time in his life to bring him to a personal relationship with Jesus. If he truly confessed his sins, God's grace covers his sin (not that he shouldn't have also been held accountable here on earth for his wrong doing). I think the biggest thing that people have had an issue with is how the Duggars always presented themselves as the perfect, godly family while knowing they were far from perfect. In reality, none of us are perfect. We are all in desperate need of a Savior to redeem us from ourselves. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are all depraved sinners (separated from God because of our wrong doings). So my question for myself, my family, my church and the church as a whole is - what if we were real? What if instead of walking around with masks trying to be the "perfect Christian", what if we were honest with those around us with our struggles, our fears, our doubts? Wouldn't that be real? God uses our weaknesses and struggles to draw us closer to Him. He also uses these things in our lives so that we can minister to others. The danger in trying to conceal or stuff sin under the rug is that God's light will always reveal it. Proverbs 28:13 says, "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." What if the Duggars had been honest and real? What if instead of trying to conceal and cover up their son's sin, they came out and were honest? Would there have been difficult times? I'm sure there would have been, but how much more could God have been glorified through that mess? Can God still be glorified in the situation? Yes. Just open the Bible and your find story after story of man's sin and God's redemption. 

I recently read Laura Story's book "When God Doesn't Fix It" and enjoyed some of the insight she gave in her book about life and hard times. Here is a section from her book. "I went back and looked at some of those heroes of the faith, and I discovered that God didn't call me to be like them. He never asks us to be like Noah, David, Daniel, or any other biblical example-except Jesus...He wants us to model our lives after Jesus...Their stores aren't in the Bible because these characters are heroes. Their stores are in the Bible because God is the hero of their stories...Just as the faithfulness of the men and women whose stories are told in the Bible points us to Jesus, so can their brokenness. In their brokenness, hurts, and sorrow, we see their humanity. We see their need for a Savior...The reason God wants me to tell my story isn't because He wants me to be embarrassed talking about my lowlights or bragging about my highlights. He wants me to tell my story because my story points to Jesus. My life is but one minuscule, very broken story in His much larger story of redemption...God can redeem not only every life, but every season of our life, every addiction, every lie, every failed marriage, every finacial crisis, every jealous thought, every bad mood, and every deep, dark secret. He uses our lowlights to demonstrate His power. No matter how deep our pit of sin is, God's long arm of redemption reaches down, pulls us out, washes us clean by the blood of Jesus, and welcomes us home. When we let others know where we came from and how He saved us from our own pit, we become an extension of that arm of redemption...God wants each of us to share our stories..."

God had laid it on my heart a few months ago when we first found out about Wayne to journal what God was teaching me. I started this blog as a way of remembering how God has carried us through each day and each trial that we have faced. Our journey is not over and neither is my story. I will continue to share my story and be open as God leads. I have only shared my testimony with a few people in my life. I am far from perfect and God is continually working in my life each day. To keep things extra real around here, I've decided to share my testimony with whoever reads this post. 

I was blessed to be raised in a godly Christian home. I believe it gave me a good foundation from which my faith journey began. Both of my parents loved and served God faithfully. I was exposed to the Bible and the gospel message at a young age. I also saw my parents live out their faith. It was more than words. My mom would teach English to Spanish ladies in our area by sharing God’s Word with them, she had Bible studies in the house with unbelievers in our neighborhood, my parents brought complete strangers into the home through foster care and just loved on these abused kids, and my mom would also do little things, like help blind ladies cross the street. My parents shared the truth of God with me and when I was around five, my mom asked me if I wanted to know Jesus. I told her no and ran out of the room. But God was working on my heart and I came back crying saying, “Yes, I want to know Jesus.” Although I walked through this with my mom, I’m not sure I truly understood what I was doing, but my heart was open to God and the work He was doing in me. I think this was evidenced in my life with decisions I made and my uncertainty lead me to rededicate my life a few times during that time. I remember a missionary coming to church and speaking about the Lord with such a passion that it made me cry. There was another time that I was about eight and I was looking at a Bible book that had a picture of Jesus Christ on the cross. I started crying thinking about the pain He suffered for me. I can see how God was drawing my heart to Him and working in my life. I don’t think it was until I was thirteen that I truly grasped the whole truth of the gospel. Sure I could tell you all the right answers (having grown up in the church), I knew God was working in my life and I had said “the sinner’s prayer”, but I don’t think I truly understood that I was to count the cost and I was to pick up my cross and follow Him. At thirteen I went to camp and the speaker talked about being a bondservant of Christ. I had never heard it talked about that way…marking my life for God of my own free will that I am His. It was this day that I truly acknowledged God as my Lord and my King and the day I believe I was truly saved. Before then I didn’t realize that once I choose to follow Jesus, my life was not my own. I am to follow Him and become like Him. 1 John 2:3 “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” I continued to grow in my knowledge of Him in my life, I depended on Him, and had a deep faith in who He was and I saw Him use me in others lives as I was obedient to Him. 

This faith would be tested though a few times in my life. I’ve had people ask me how I have such a deep faith and trust in God, well it wasn’t from easy times. The first time that my faith was tested was when I was fifteen. God started revealing some things in my past that I had been hiding because they were too hard to deal with. It was during this time that I had to depend on God with a dependence that was unfathomable. Philippians 4:13 was my lifeline “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” I started seeing a Christian counselor to deal with these images and memories that were coming to my mind. I prayed and asked God to reveal anything that was hidden to bring me freedom. Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and hidden things that you have now known.” This verse is in reference to knowing more about God, but God used it to speak to me. During this time I remembered being abused by my own Grandfather when I was nine when I went and visited them. That was very hard to deal with but then I started remembering even worse things, things that I wouldn’t dare wish on my worst enemy that had happened to me. God was so faithful to me during this time and helped me each step of the way. I remember one particularly hard day after a long, hard counseling session. That night God gave me dream where He was holding me in His lap as He comforted me. It reminded me of my favorite chapter in Psalms during this time.  
Psalm 91 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say[a] to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

During this time I had to depend on God and just hold on to His Word. I would listen to scripture songs on CD to counter the lies I had heard. I had to believe Him for who He was, and not let go of that for a moment. Sure I had questions, “why me God?” “What have I done to deserve this?” But then I would remember that Jesus was innocent and yet He suffered the most cruel death and He did that for me. I clung to verses like Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God is omniscient, omnipotent, and all sufficient. As Job encountered God in Job 38-41, I had to trust that God, who holds the universe in the span of His hand, who controls nature, who created everything from one word, had a plan for my pain and anguish. I trusted in who He was and I believed that He would and could get me through this and would use it for His glory. The next hard step was forgiveness. I didn’t ask for any of this, and yet I felt the Spirit prompting me to forgive those who had abused me. I read Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” I take scripture like this seriously. So, I went honestly before the Lord and asked Him to help me forgive those who had hurt me. I told Him that in my humanness, I didn’t want to forgive them. But ultimately I didn’t want my unforgiveness to separate me from communion from God and I knew that a bitter heart would only further destroy me. 

As my life went on, I continued to study God’s word, attend church, and pray. God brought Wayne into my life and we started our life together. God called us to Chicago for Wayne to attend Moody. I was able to take a few classes at Moody as well. I took Systematic Theology where we talked topics like Who is God, Who is Christ, Who is the Holy Spirit and what are their roles. It was an amazing time to grow deeper in my knowledge of who God. But, as life gets busy, I started having kids and although I would try to make time for God, He wasn’t a priority. There was always laundry, dishes, and diapers to change. I would study God’s word, but I didn’t spend the time I needed to. It has been my prayer for years that God would draw me closer to Him. I was tired of feeling like I was on a treadmill not going anywhere in my walk with Him. I thought I was growing. I mean I was faithfully serving at church, I would read my Bible, I would pray, I was trying to grow closer to Him. I never wavered in my love for Him, but I felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. I was hungry and I wasn’t sure how to get more of God. So, I continued to pray that God would draw me closer to Him, but I wasn’t sure how to attain that. About a year ago, God started working on my heart. He started pointing out things that I was holding on to. One thing was pride. I was a “good” person, I mean especially when I look around at those around me. I was like the Pharisee at the wall with the tax collector. God showed me that I should compare myself to Christ (who is our example), not others. I was singing songs one Sunday at church and I thought to myself: “I’m singing these words, but do they really mean anything to me? I’m singing God is my all and everything is His, but is that true?” It bugged me that I didn’t think that was true. Back in December 2013, as I was preparing a message for the women’s conference, I came across testimony after testimony of people in the persecuted church who had such a deep faith in God. It reminded me of my faith back when I was 15. I asked God, “how come I don’t have that kind of faith? I want that kind of faith, the kind that would be willing to lose ALL for you!! Help me God to seek your face.” Wayne and I were talking through 1 Peter and we were asking each other questions about what we were learning. We were both hungry. During this time we thought that God may be calling us to adopt or do foster care and so we started pursuing that for our family. I was believing God for a big miracle, trusting Him to show me how big He was…little did I know what I was praying for. I thought I was praying for a sibling group for our family to adopt, but God closed that door and opened a much better one. I felt like God was asking me to do something drastic, but I didn’t know what it was. I started reading the book “Radical” by David Platt. It was challenging and made me think about things in a way that I hadn’t thought about before. God was showing me that He calls us to go all in with Him. It’s not a show up on Sunday, study the Bible and pray, give a little money and time. He wants ALL of me, not just part of me. He was reminding me of being His bondservant. I thought I was giving my all to Him, but God started showing me little ways that I was holding on to pieces of myself. Then in March of 2014, we started the series “Behold Your God”. If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it. God started opening my eyes to the fact that I had created an image of God that wasn’t one that honors Him. I had made church and even my devotional time more about me then about Him. Sure I could say it was about Him, but after watching the series, I realized just how much of my life was focused on ME instead of HIM! Things like “what can I get out of this, how does this impact me?” God showed me that it is all about Him. Every time I read His word, I should be looking for what God is trying to teach me about Him. So here I stand on this journey of faith and trust in God. It isn’t a momentary decision I made with one prayer, it is a life-long dependence on God and a life surrendered to God, even if it means suffering and pain for Him, as I experienced as a young girl. God has done all the work in my salvation and there is nothing I can do for Him to love me more, but we are here to glorify God and that is what God has been teaching me. My life is not about me, it is about Him and bringing HIM glory!! I look forward to doing what Revelations 5:12-13 says, “Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Amen


What if each of us was real? What if we showed the world that we are all in need of Savior? None of us are perfect. The only perfect one came down to earth over 2,000 years ago and His name was Jesus Christ. He came as the perfect lamb who took away the sins of the world. Only through His death and resurrection can anyone experience forgiveness for their sins. Let's stop parading ourselves around like the Pharisees pretending we have it all together. The world isn't blind and neither is God. Let's show the world that we only have it "together" when we are relying on our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Knowing God

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” 
― A.W. Tozer

This simple but profound truth is what defines us. We cannot get around it, we cannot elude it, and we cannot ignore it. Even the atheist is defined by their view of who God isn’t.

It has been a while since I (Wayne) posted on the blog, except for a quick thank you to my wife this morning. I would like to personally thank each of you for all your prayers over the last three months. I could feel Him carry me when I had no strength of my own, which was often. This has been the ordeal of a lifetime, literally. I am sure that the Lord is not finished with me yet. This is just the opening act.

I would like to thank all the doctors, nurses, and therapists whose guidance was so encouraging. I could not have done it without you.

What comes into your mind when you think about God? I have meditated on that for a longtime, especially the last three months, and I am still in awe with the plan of salvation. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) 

How amazing is the plan of salvation? The words elude me to describe the love and mercy that God displayed in the plan of salvation. It was the purpose of the incarnation, Jesus becoming fully man but remaining fully God. As the perfect Lamb of God, He took all of humanity’s sin, shame and guilt and bore it on the cross. Taking the full force of God’s wrath for a rebellious and stubborn people; a people opposed to God, a people rejecting the very existence of God. There is nothing we can offer and there is no sacrifice large enough to cover the wrongs we have done. We are totally in debt to Jesus Christ because we are purchased by His precious blood.

John 17:1-5 says “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify You, since You have given Him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.”

It is the ultimate pursuit of life to try to comprehend an incomprehensible God! Our sole objective in life is to get a glimpse of His unending holiness, glory and majesty.

Thank you Rebecca!!!

Words cannot begin to describe the way I feel about my wife, the mother of our six precious girls, teacher, master administrator, patient advocate, super caregiver, just to name a few of the extraordinary hats she wears on a daily basis.

Thanks Rebecca for being my co-laborer through this, and remaining by my side when it was all I could do to hang on. I felt powerless, at times, but our relationship firmly planted on the rock of God has sustained us through this trial. Now to regroup and take the next trial head on, whatever that may be. My heart does trust in you!

Proverbs 31:10-31

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

All that packaged into this!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

God's Provision

1 John 5:14-15 "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him." 

Philippians 4:19-20 "And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good! Wayne and I met with Dr. Uhm this morning at Mayo Clinic. We were very impressed with the quality care we received during our visit. Mayo Clinic is very organized and well run. I would highly suggest going there if you ever get cancer or have a complicated health issue. The doctors sat down and spent a lot of time talking through everything with us.  It was a very informative and encouraging appointment. Dr. Uhm told us that the care that we received so far is the exact regimen we would have received at Mayo Clinic. He told us to continue with the plan that is in place (do chemotherapy 5 days on and 23 days off for six months and get MRIs every two months). We asked him about trials and he said that he wouldn't pursue any trials unless the cancer came back. He said that Wayne has many genetic markers that show that his cancer will respond to normal treatment. He said our best bet for now is to proceed with normal treatment and wait and see what happens in the future. 

The other encouraging news that we found out today that is that the Mayo pathologists looked at Wayne's tumor and said that it is a grade 3 tumor. Dr. Uhm said that grading a tumor is subjective and can vary from pathologist. Regardless if it is a grade 3 or grade 4, Dr. Uhm said given Wayne's genetic markers, age, surgery resection, etc, Wayne had an excellent prognosis. Praise The Lord!!

Hearing good news has been a blessing today. Although the future is still uncertain, we are thanking God for this bit of good news. We will continue to take a day at a time and number our days, as we all should, but it feels like a load has been taken off of our shoulders. God gets all the glory for everything that has transpired...the strength that God gave Wayne as he went through treatment and rehabilitation, the strength and peace that God gave me through this entire ordeal, and the health that Wayne has with the diagnosis he was given. Only God can provide complete healing to Wayne. To the medical doctors, brain cancer is never cured. We will continue to rely on God, our Jehovah Rapha-our healer. Wayne's life is in His hands and God knows the future and the number of days He has ordained for Wayne.

The best news of the day is that today was our only appointment at Mayo. They told us to be prepared to be seen for 3-5 days while we were here. They normally have to run labs and pathology results while the patient is in town. I sent Wayne's tumor ahead to Mayo a few weeks ago, so they were able to run all the tests before our appointment today. That means that Wayne and I are going to have what my mom is calling a "mini second honeymoon" in Rochester, MN (don't you know this is the hottest trend in honeymoon?). The room is already paid for and I have my race on Sunday. It is going to be fun to just relax and enjoy each other after a long and tiring three months. A huge thanks to my parents for watching our kids for us!! 

What's next? I will run my 1/2 marathon on Sunday and then we'll head home. June 9th we will go get a MRI at Northwestern and have meetings with all of our doctors. After that, Wayne will start his six month cycle of chemotherapy. We will continue to update the blog and keep everyone posted. I want to thank everyone for all of your prayers. God used them to sustain us through all of this. Continue to pray for us and pray that God continues to receive all the glory for all that happens in our lives. This journey is not over, it has just begun, but we leave the future in the best hands...God's hands!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Finish Line

Hebrews 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Maybe it's the runner in me, but I always see things as a race. Finishing up this school year with the girls has been like that last sprint to the finish line. You push extra hard to reach that finish line. Once you cross the finish line you are exhausted, but you feel such an accomplishment that you finished the race strong. Today marked the end of our school year. The girls will be finishing up a few math lessons over the next two weeks, but we are officially done for the year. I feel like I just finished a marathon!!

This same race analogy can be applied to Wayne's battle with brain cancer. Instead of the end of the race where you sprint, I have found that this race requires a slow, methodical approach. If you run too fast, you'll wear yourself out and you will not be able to make it to the end. It reminds me of Aesop's Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady wins the race. As Hebrews 12:2 says, we are to run the race of life with this kind of endurance keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. One step at a time, one day at a time until you reach the end of the race.

Today marks the end of Wayne's radiation treatment. After taking one day at a time and adjusting to a wild and crazy schedule for the last six weeks, we have reached the end of this part of the race. As with any race, there were some moments where it was easy and other moments where the race was difficult. There usually comes a point in running a race that you hit a wall. At that moment you have a choice to push through and keep going or to quit. The beautiful thing about being a child of God is that He gives you the strength you need to keep persevering when you hit that wall. Sometimes that strength came from God's Word, sometimes from the encouragement or prayers of others, and sometimes it was Wayne and I encouraging each other to keep going. So far when one of us has hit a low moment, the other has been at a place of strength, which has been a blessing. We would remind each other in those low moments to take it one day at a time. God has been good to us throughout this whole process and has kept Wayne extremely healthy through all of his treatment, with a few minor bumps along the road. It is hard to believe that this first step is over, but it feels good to have reached this finish line.

The next step of this journey is a trip to Minnesota. Wayne and I are driving up to Mayo Clinic on Monday. We have meetings scheduled with a neuro oncologist to get a second opinion and find out if there are any trials that Wayne might be eligible for at this time. While we are in Rochester, there is a half marathon. Since my bucket list includes running a half marathon in every state, I decided to sign up for the race. I plan on running to help bring awareness for brain cancer. I recently learned that brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males between 20-39. Any attention we can bring to this cancer to get more funding and research, the better. Every mile I run will be for Wayne and all those fighting brain cancer. They experience pain and discomfort every day as they fight this beast. With each step I will be fighting for you. When I want to quit, I will remember each one of you and push through with God's help. 

Our most urgent prayer request right now is that God opens doors for the treatment that He wants us to pursue and that He gives us the wisdom that we need. Please also pray that we continue to take a day at a time and enjoy every day that God gives us, giving Him all the glory. In about four weeks Wayne will receive an MRI to follow up on all of his treatment. After that point, Wayne will be begin a 5/23 chemo treatment plan. He'll be on five days of heavy chemotherapy a month. This will continue for one to two years. He will continue to receive MRIs every two months to see if the cancer has stayed away. The key during this time is to live life to the fullest for God and not fear the "what-ifs". 

Last radiation check up!!

Radiation graduation.

Pulling the last ring off for our radiation countdown. Only two days left of chemo!!

Custom shirt my mom made for my race (front)

Back of the shirt

**Reminder: Please send me any pictures of you in a beanie for Brain Cancer Awareness (rebeccaharder35@gmail.com). See this post for more information.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May: Brain Cancer Awareness

Matthew 18:19-20 "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

May is brain cancer awareness month. An actress in Australia, Carrie Bickmore, recently brought awareness at an awards ceremony. Her husband had battled brain cancer for ten years and lost his battle to it in 2010. She asked people to put on a beanie to bring awareness for brain cancer, which is one of the least funded cancers. I thought it would be fun if people who read this blog would take a minute and email (rebeccaharder35@gmail.com) or facebook me a picture of you wearing a beanie and pray for Wayne. I thought I would put a collage together of everyone supporting not only brain cancer, but Wayne and his battle. Once I get all the pictures, I'll make him a card with everyone's faces and I'll give it to Wayne. We are now in week five of treatment. Wayne is still doing well and we are thanking God every day for His blessings. We are scheduled to meet our new oncologist on Thursday afternoon. I'll continue to post everyone as we learn more. 

Here is the video of Carrie Bickmore in Australia.

Here are some samples of friends who participated today on Facebook.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Counting Down

Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."

We are counting down the days on Wayne's treatment. Our paper chains are disappearing quickly. Wayne finished week four of radiation yesterday and will finish week four of chemo tomorrow. He only has two weeks left! It feels like yesterday that we began this process. We are looking forward to this part of the journey being completed. We still are telling ourselves one day at a time. I met with some friends for lunch this week and we were talking about that very concept, numbering our days and taking a day at a time. One of them said that we are all to live like that. I told her that I agree, but it is hard to do under normal circumstances. We all like to plan ahead (vacation, school, career, etc). When you are put in a situation like we are currently faced with, you have no other choice then to take one day at a time. There are so many things to do every day that you can't even think about next week. That is one thing that has been a blessing to me during all of this. I am being forced to stop running ahead and coming up with my next plan or goal and I'm just enjoying each day that I'm given.

This week was a week of change for us. It is a long story, but we have decided to switch oncologists. I wasn't super thrilled when I first met our oncologist and my instincts were correct. We need someone that is an advocate for Wayne and is involved in our case. We found out on Wednesday that our oncologist's office didn't even realize Wayne had started radiaiton, despite emails from me and receiving weekly blood work from our radiologist's office, and we are a month into this process. That is not a doctor who is involved in our case or helping us out at all. I'm super excited to see how God opens doors. I called our radiologist and spoke with his nurse, who is wonderful. She spoke with the doctor and they gave us a recommendation for an oncologist at Christ Hospital, which will make communication between our oncologist and radiologist easier. The oncologist they recommended to us did his residency at Rush and a fellowship at MD Anderson. Those are two amazing hospitals for cancer. I'm looking forward to meeting the new doctor this next week and establishing a great relationship with his team.

May is brain cancer awareness month! If you want to show support, wear something gray. You can also donate money to great organizations like the American Brain Tumor Association or National Brain Tumor Society. The more awareness we bring to this cancer, the better. Too many people, like us, had never heard of this cancer before it struck our family.

I'll keep everyone posted as we learn more. Meanwhile, one day at a time!!