Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:36 PM, CDT

By God's grace and the help of family we made it safely down to Mexico. I was originally booked for a Sunday flight so I could start getting radiation. 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the airport we got a call saying the flight was cancelled. We didn't get on anything for Monday either. The storms made all the Monday flights fill up quickly. We thought a good friend might be able to get us a good deal heading out on Tuesday but that would mean us flying standby. Because of the storms there was no longer room on that flight either. He told us that Milwaukee has a very reasonably one way direct flight to San Diego. We called Katelyn's family to see if someone would be willing to drive us there in the morning to catch an 8:30 flight.

Josh and Hannah were picked for the task. My wonderful father-in-l​aw took several seats out of their big van and put a mattress in there for Katelyn and I to sleep in on the way up. We met them at 3:20 and were on our way to Wisconsin. The bumpy ride caused some discomfort in my back, but I slept pretty well on the 4 hour drive. It sure beat being crammed in a seat on a connecting flight. We made to the airport in great time. We checked in and the lady ended up bumping me up to first class free of charge. What an enormous blessing, thank you Jesus!

We made it to our gate and I got drugged up for the flight. Vicodin plus Morphine still didn't take away the pain I had. The back wasn't as bad, it was the pain radiating down my whole left leg from pressure on a nerve. The flight started off smoothly. I was pretty comfortable​, and thought I would be able to get some sleep. Wrongo! I had had a hard time driving to Dr. Schock's office in the week and that was just sitting for 10 minutes. How would a 4 hr flight go? One minute at a time it felt like. Luckily I had enough room to kneel down in front of my seat and put my arms on my seat and get some relief. The people around me probably didn't know what was going on. We finally arrived in San Diego around 11 am. We were picked up and I was able to lay down in the back of the van for some much needed relief.

We crossed the border and headed straight to radiation. By this point my left leg is extremely numb from sitting on that long flight. It had not gotten near that bad at home. Radiation went fine and we came back to the clinic for some more treatment. They gave me some detox and I tried to rest. The back pain has been slowly getting some relief but the sensation in the leg is getting worse. When I try to sleep in any position pressure gets put on the leg and I can't sleep. I probably got about 3 hours of sleep last night. Still far from ideal.

Dr. Rubio talked to us about the previous culture and said that it was mainly dead cells that were causing the inflammatio​n. He said it doesn't help either that you are skinny because you don't have any fat to cushion the swelling. We are planning an MRI for sometime in the next few days to see what we can find. He also is going to call his physical therapist to see if she can help relax my leg and bring me some relief. All I want to do is sleep. No pain med I have taken in the past month has been able to allow that to happen. No number of times during the night spent crying out in pain to God has allowed that to happen.

That has been the hardest part. We know we have so many people praying for us, our friends, families, church families, complete strangers. Katelyn and I cry out to God every night. We put on our spiritual armor. We pray in the name of Jesus, we cast off, we declare death on the cancer cells, we come against anything standing in the way of the healing, and `all we get is a dial tone coming from the other end. That has been so very difficult. I know God has been there and is with me at all times, but during the hardest times I want to be able to feel him the closest.

We know that He has a purpose for all this. We trust and cling to His promises. We know that He will never leave us or forsake us. We know that all power is given to him in heaven and earth, and lo he is with us always. We just don't always feel it. I know someday I will look back and see His hand throug​hout the whole journey, but for some reason in the midst of the suffering you just don't see it. Jesus endured it. Job felt it. God didn't give him answers, just more questions. Like Job I know that my Redeemer lives, and that is what keeps us going. Through all the tears, sleepless night, pain meds, IVs, flights, everything.​ He is with us. In Him we live and move and have our being, so I'm not going to give up now. He has a mighty plan and purpose for our lives, and I'm not going to let some disease of the enemy keep my family from doing what we are supposed to do. We have all been purchased with a price, not of something incorruptib​le, but the precious blood of Jesus. A lamb without blemish. Let us all live knowing that we are His!!!


Ben and Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. I feel like my words are so inadequate, but I wanted you to know that you and your family are in our prayers!! We are so sorry to hear of you going through this painful time. You bring so much glory to God through your attitude. Love and prayers from the Hartter fam

Mouseymom said...

Trusting when you are met with unanswered prayers and unmet needs has got to be the hardest. We are so sorry that this pain is zapping you and stealing so much from you. Praying Praying for relief. Nick and Tricia Zaugg

Kenj said...

Please know that Benj and I are praying for you and your dear family. I am so sorry for your hurt, your pain, your sleepless nights. But, your trusting attitude is so encouraging and is an example to so many of us! God is answering your prayers somehow. We love you guys and will continue to lift you up in prayer. Benj & Kristen Hodel

Anonymous said...

I don't want to pretend to even know what you are going through but when I was looking for a verse this morning to encourage you I came across Romans 5:1-11 (message version) and I had a mental picture of something beautiful.

"We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand- out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. There's more to come. We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop Passionate patience in us, an how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert Expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling short-changed. Quite the contrary--we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit."

Your standing and shouting His praise, in the middle of your battle, is noted by your brothers and sisters and it deepens our faith! You continue to shout Abba and declare His goodness even when you "hemmed in with troubles". Your expectancy is breathtaking and your passion is rooted and grounded in knowing Christ.

Praying for the work of the Spirit, both to speak words of life as well as healing, and that your containers would continue to overflow!

You are hemmed in, in trouble but also like Psalm 139 He has enclosed you in front and behind! I love that picture! Praying for rest and relief!
Much Love!