Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Official update

Donard came home from the hospital Friday (Feb. 20) around 5:30 p.m. Micah (oldest grandson) spent the night here in case we needed him in the absence of an adjustable hospital bed or for any reason at all, but everything went well. Donard is very weak, and sleep consumes more time than being awake. Everything requires great effort, but we continue to be grateful for good pain control. For now we will concentrate on being content with baby steps of progress and attempting to discover a workable routine that keeps up with med schedules, drain tubes, wound care, bandage changes, and meals fitted somewhere among periods of rest, rest, and more rest. Thank you for every investment of time, expressions of concern, and especially for your faithful prayers. Being home four days ahead of schedule is just one of many evidences of God’s blessings.

With a grateful heart,

Rose Ann

"This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;

Great is Thy faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:21- 23

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pappaw is home!

I realized that I haven't yet updated now that my Pappaw has come home from the hospital! He is still doing very well considering the major 12 hour surgery and was able to come home in less than time than they thought he might. He is getting around the house a little bit with the help of a cane. Thank you so much for your prayers and please continue them as he still has 6-8 weeks of recovery at home.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For good

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
I've gone awhile without posting anything "deep" but I have had this saved in my drafts intending to write it down for awhile. It kept being in the back of mind through various events in my life and in those of friends.

I suppose this verse is one of the most used verses in the Bible, right alongside Psalm 23, John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13. As we are all well aware sometimes the most used scriptures and stories get somehow overlooked in their significance to our lives. How many times have we quoted these verses without much thought to what they really mean? Surely I am not the only one to do this. :-)

As you go through the valley of the shadow of death you often wonder--okay God you said that ALL things work together for good but I just don't know HOW you can mean this to be good! I've asked that myself many times over the last few years. How can this be good? It isn't even YOUR WILL that these things should happen, we know it from Your Word! How can You let it and how can it be GOOD? I mean some of the testings in the Bible I think well duh, God made good out of that sad situation--but that wasn't a situation that seemed to go against His Will. During one such time of pondering I had one of those light bulb experiences...God didn't say that it WAS good but that it would work together FOR good. A simple thing to some but a dramatic difference to myself and the way my silly little mind works.

When I looked back over the events of the last several years it amazed me just how many "good" things had happened because of the place I was in. Things that would never have happened if I hadn't been there and yet they were able to happen because of the trials and testing God lead us through. It has been hard, and it has hurt and still hurts and we are still in that valley but as I looked back I could not wish any of those things away. If you had asked me five years ago to choose a path and shown me all the hurt and despair of this road I still can't say honestly I would have chosen this path. But I have seen how God can use this FOR good in my life and in the lives of my family. And perhaps one day I will say that I would gladly walk through that path again for the good that it brought...but right now I am just clinging to faith and hope that God knows what He is doing and that we are walking through the valley of death.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Latest on Pappaw

From my Mamma today:

"The doctors seem to be surprised at how well Donard has done in only 4 days post surgery, and we give God all the glory! It is possible that he won't have to be in the hospital for the expected two weeks. Being in a significantly weakened condition for some time before surgery has made getting out of bed, sitting, and standing require even more effort than would have resulted from surgery alone. The smallest tasks are exhausting, resulting in extra sleep during the day as well as at night. We have to keep reassuring him that family members are there to assist when he needs help and not to visit. It is okay to sleep, and visiting can come when he is well again.
MD Anderson is strong on pain control, and for that we are very grateful. Donard has experienced no nausea and is in good spirits. Thank you so much for all your prayers and expressions of love!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Random quotes from Joel today:

"My nose is running out!"

"Oh it's the Muffits!" (Muppets)

"It's not lipskip it's makeup." (lipstick)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

6:30 (ish) Update on Pappaw

This was a bit longer of an update because the main doctor was finishing up and came out to personally fill the family in. He says overall his part went well, took longer because the tumor had to be drilled out of the bone (usually the bone is softer in radiation patients and can almost just be scooped out). He had to have a small infusion of blood, some extra platelets because of the length of the surgery (it is much longer than anticipated). The titanium cage was not needed, only two ribs were removed and some sort of concrete filling was made to go in the place of the ribs. The doctor was very optimistic and said things went very well and says Pappaw should be back up on his feet in no time (hah hah!). He did say that the cancer was invading one of the ribs quite a lot and expanded it to 3 to 4 times it's normal size which could be what Pappaw had been interpreting as gall bladder pain. This is good news in that it seems a lot of Pappaw's pain should be relieved after the recovery. Plastic surgeon started about 6:30. His job is to somehow pull the muscles up over the concrete so that it does not rub directly against Pappaw's skin. If he is able to do it the preferred way it will take him two hours, but if he has to do something they referred to as a flap it could take three to four hours so we are definitely still in this awhile longer. Thank you for your continued prayers!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pappaw's surgery

Pappaw's surgery begins around 7 AM tomorrow morning. Your prayers are greatly appreciated! I will try to keep updates posted on my facebook/twitter status as they are available.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

lots of sick kids :(

We have had lots of sick kids around here lately!! Starting on Friday last week several of them began running fevers and coughing. By Sunday six of them were sick from Luke all the way down to Joel. They've been pretty pathetic and the couches have been covered with invalids huddled under throws. ;-) Reuben in particular has been spiking some high fevers several days in a row (in excess of 103). The others seem to be mostly better although there are a few fevers here and there.

Me: "Why aren't you watching Macgyver with Joel?"
Reuben: "I'm going to throw up on Mom's bed!"
Me: "You think you're going to throw up??"
Reuben: "Yes."
Me: "Micah can you give him a bucket?"
*a few minutes later, Reuben has a bucket and goes upstairs to watch TV with Joel who shows up shortly thereafter*
Joel: "I need a bucket too."
Me: "Why?"
Joel (in his most pathetic voice): "I'm sick."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

surgery scheduled for my Pappaw

Here is the latest update from my grandmother about Pappaw.

February 1, 2009

Numerous complications have delayed updates, a downed computer being just one. Thanks to Micah’s efforts (our oldest grandson), we are back online again.

Donard is scheduled for surgery on February 10, 2009. The projected 8-hour surgery will involve removal of the 10th rib (right side) and one to three vertebrae.

A titanium cage with rods on each side held in place with screws will replace the vertebrae. The hospital stay is expected to be two weeks with additional rehab possible. A variety of neurological symptoms led doctors to the conclusion that this area must be addressed through surgery, since chemo had no positive results there and all other options are exhausted. Delaying surgery could ultimately result in paralysis. Disease in the lungs will continue to need treatment after surgery recovery.

Needless to say, we may be out-of-touch for a lengthy period of time. There may be opportunities to read e-mail, so please continue to send us your news. We may have little or no time to reply, but we will welcome any connection with the outside world. We are grateful for your notes of encouragement and for your prayers on our behalf.

“This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;

Great is Thy faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:21-23