Thursday, January 29, 2009

Brad had another good day. The four of us took advantage of the cool weather and made a trip to the park by our house. Our neighborhood duck was there...still wandering. We've had a random duck in our yard the last 2 nights. I have no idea where it came from. There are no ponds or any bodies of water for miles, so who knows how he got here. Today he just seemed confused. Poor guy. My kids of course think it is great. Every time Kaelyn sees him she says, "I get him, I get him." Then we have to convince her that the duck does not want to "be gotten" or held in any manner. My children have absolutely NO animal fears. They are so unafraid it actually makes me nervous. Zeke will run right up to the back of a horse...Kaelyn likes to approach stray dogs...they make a great combination. I can only invision the types of creatures they may find when they get a little older and try to bring into my house.


I went out this morning to run an errand with Kaelyn & I got pulled over right in front of my house for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. Ugh! I'm not sure what was more embarrassing...getting pulled over....or getting a ticket 50 feet in front of my house.

Usually I get really anxious when I see a cop or see him put on his lights...this time it was a different experience for me...I really didn't care. It seemed like such a minor detail in the whole grand scheme of things. I just kept laughing in my head as I thought of different dialogues I could tell this, "Don't you realize I really don't have time for this? I mean, I really don't." or "Here's my website address...once you read through my family's last year, then you can decide if you still want to give me this rediculous ticket?"

But, of course, I didn't say anything...just a polite smile and a "thank you" when he handed me the pink gift. Really...I did...I told him "thank you." Ok, he was a nice man and he was just doing his yucky of a job as it must be.

Ok, I just had to vent a little.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to online defensive driving I go!

Zeke took this stunning picture for me...he is becoming quite the photographer...he captured my feelings perfectly! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The cold weather did help....Brad slept really well last night. I slept even better...almost 11 hours. I'm still fighting this cold and in order to sleep at night, I have taken Nyquil...that medicine knocks me out! Each night before I lay down, I just give Brad instructions to punch me if he needs something because it is doubtful that I will hear him once I am under the Nyquil intoxication :)

Brad started Hospice exactly one month prior from today. As we were meditating this afternoon, we talked about how frightening that Sunday was and how neither of us thought we would be sitting together, on our bed, meditating on January 28, 2009. Life is just full of never know what to expect. I am so grateful for the big improvements that we have witnessed in Brad's overall health. Two weeks ago I could barely leave Brad's side due to his constant breathing difficulties. Today I felt confident enough to leave him alone in our room while I worked in the office for several hours. His improvements are so encouraging and we are so grateful.

Brad just refuses to give up. He is the strongest, toughest, most focused, most determined man that I know. He is willing to try almost any treatment, make any lifestyle change, read any book that he thinks could help his situation. I am so proud of how he handles his situation. I am proud of his attitude, his determination, and most-importantly his confidence in the Lord.

I read this verse today and it reminded me of Brad's fight.
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble
for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you.

Thank you for loving our family and so faithfully praying for us. God certainly hears our pleas.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brad had an ok day today....he didn't sleep well last night and therefore, felt pretty tired throughout the day. I also think the weather hasn't has been unusually warm and muggy here. The weatherman has promised a cold front tonight...yippee! Brad and I generally sleep better when it is cold. Nothing like a cooler night so that you can snuggle in your bed!

Backyard Baseball

Zeke is never without a playmate. This afternoon he convinced both his Grandpa's to come out into the backyard with him to play a little baseball. Looked to me like there was a lot of creative rule-making going on...especially from Zeke. But, they all seemed to be having a good time. My children are so blessed to have such devoted, loving, playmates in their grandparents. I love nothing more than watching the kids play with Granddad, Papa C, G.G., & Nonnie...what a blessing they are to our family.


I don't get out much these days (4 times in 4 weeks is where I am I right now). It makes Brad uncomfortable when I leave the house, so I try to limit my leaving frequency. However, there are a few things that I really needed that I could not do for myself. One of those things included a had been 4 1/2 months and the split ends were starting to look pretty ragged. To help with my predicament, my sweet friend Allison Garcia came over on Monday afternoon to cut my hair and to cut Zekel's. I usually cut everyone else's hair, but I just wasn't getting it done. Zeke also DETESTS having his cut, so I passed him off on Allison...I figured her experienced hands could better chase his wiggly head. Here we are with the finished product...TA DA! Thank you Allison for coming over and saving my hair!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I am loving the colder weather today. I know that some around me do not share my opinion but I am one who believes that it should be cold in the winter. I liked it so much that I didn't even put on a coat or wear any shoes when I went outside (probably not the brightest move being that I am recovering from a cold) but I wanted to FEEL the cold air. It was breathtaking and wonderful. As a Houstonian, I do not always get my way...but I got it I am thankful for this cold Sunday.

Sorry about the long delay between posting this time. I am finally starting to feel better...I think I am about to get over this nasty cold. :)

Brad has been having a good weekend. I continue to be encouraged by the fact that he is needing almost no "extra" medication. He has only needed morphene just a couple of times in the last 9 days. Three weeks ago he was needing morphene numerous times daily. That improvement alone is so encouraging.

Sleep has been coming more consistently...a huge blessing. As Brad has started to recover from the respiratory infection, he has had fewer and fewer coughing attacks. This is one of the most welcomed changes because the coughing attacks often leave him breathless and needing morphene.

This afternoon we were blessed by having our life group and our church praise team come join us for worship in our home again. The singing during these gathering has been our favorite part of worship and it has always been great....but today....WOW! It was AMAZING to have such a wonderful group of singers circled up in such a small space. Brad turned to me afterwards and told me how much it reminded him of devo singing with the AFC. It was so powerful and so uplifting. Words cannot express how greatly we appreciate the sacrifices that are made by others so that we can be a part of worship together with our friends and family. It has meant so much to us both and has truly been the highlight of our week.

I continue to be amazed at the wonderful works that God is performing in our life. Brad continues to improve with each day and I am excited to think about how well he will be doing by this time next week.

Trust-In HIS Timing
Rely-On HIS Promises
Wait-for HIS Answers
Believe-in HIS Miracles
Rejoice-in HIS Goodness
Relax-in HIS Presence

Come Near To God & He will come near to you.
James 4:8

(we received this on a card recently....I like it so much...I decided to share it)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More of the same...Brad still continued to have a great afternoon and evening. We were blessed with a visit from Carol Ann & Steve this evening. We prayed and meditated together with them which of course left us feeling great! I know that Brad is going to continue this trend and have a great night's sleep.

Thank you for the prayers. We love you all.
Brad had another good night of rest last night and seems to be doing really well again today. He has been off almost all medication for the last 2 days....that is encouraging to know that he isn't having to rely on it. He has had an increase in appetite and is overall having a really good day.

On a side note, I think I am catching a cold...I am forcing down the Airborne and Vitamin C in hopes that I overcome it quickly. Thank you again for the prayers...they are certainly working!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We were blessed with a better night of sleep last night...HOORAY! The coughing was much less and Brad was able to string together at least 7 or 8 hours of rest. I couldn't have been more thrilled. He has also had a much easier day...easier breathing...better eating...calmer stomach. Thank you for the prayers!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

For several weeks Brad has been suffering from what we believe is an upper respiratory infection. We have been waiting to see if his body would fight off the infection on its own, but after several nights of endless coughing and next to no sleep...we have decided to try an antibiotic in hopes that it will take care of the infection and in turn, alliviate some of the coughing. To add to Brad's sleeping challenges, last night he was plagued with nausea from late afternoon until 2am. At that point, he was able to "orally expel" some of that discomfort and he seemed to feel quite a bit better afterwards. We aren't certain if he has a stomach virus or if the medications he is taking have caused the stomach issues.

With the coughing and the nausea, Brad hasn't slept in several nights. I am praying that tonight is better for him.

On a good note, despite the stomach issues, we have seen other improvements. His breathing has improved, he has needed less medication to stay comfortable and he has better energy than he had last week. I believe once he gets past this stomach bug and the antibiotic helps him clear out the infection, that he will feel altogether better.

We know that God is actively working to heal Brad's body. We prayed specifically for obvious improvements in his breathing and energy and God answered our prayers. Please join us in prayers for restful nights and continued healing. Thank you for your continual prayers for our family.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Treatment

On Saturday Brad started a new alternative treatment that uses organic foods, organic food supplements, cellular detoxification, vitamins, New Zealand glandulars, enzymes, herbs, & vitamins to support his immune system and weaken the cancer cells. The program includes A LOT of supplements that are taken every 2 hours through the daytime (and even one dose at 3am).

Mom & Dad spent 3 hours on Saturday helping us sort and organize all the pills. There really are lots...Brad ends up taking about 75 pills each day along with a few other liquid and powder supplements.

Here is a picture of the monthly supply on our kitchen table. Kaelyn was also lending a hand to "help." :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thursday night's sleep was rough, but last night's sleep was an improvement. Brad woke up frequently but didn't stay awake long. He has been pretty up and down with the way he has felt over the last couple of days. He had an ok day yesterday, but then we had quite a scare in the afternoon because he just couldn't seem to catch his breath. Fortunately after several minutes Brad was able to calm his lungs down and get past it.

We went to bed pretty early and things seemed to calm down some after that. So far, today has been better. I think we are just going to take it easy and see if a calm day helps.

Painting Projects

Pat, Scott and Troy came over this morning to work on painting the playhouse in the backyard. For quite some time we have been meaning to coat the wood with a selant and we never got around to it. The guys offered to take on this project, so right now they are on the structure, painting away. Zeke was thrilled that his house was being worked on. THANK YOU Pat, Scott and Troy for painting our playhouse! We REALLY appreciate it!

Zeke really wanted to lend a hand in the playhouse painting, but because I felt certain he would be a little more "help" than they needed...we diverted his attention to crayola paint on paper. Then, of course, Kaelyn decided to help Zeke with his creations. There sure is a lot of painting going on around here!

Snuggling Siblings

Kaelyn is becoming more and more attached to her big brother. When he walks into the door she screams, "Bubba, Bubba home!" and then goes racing toward him....he of course, eats it up. This morning she saw him for the first time as he was sitting in Daddy's recliner. "My Bubba!" she called and then she scrambled over to him and climbed up into his lap. They sat and cuddled with each other for quite a while. So sweet.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Outdoor Nap

Here is a photo of Kaelyn and Papa C. "resting" on the lounge chair outside. It was COLD today so they must have stayed warm through shared body heat. BURR!

School Visit

I had the opportunity today to go by Zeke's school to visit his classroom. Zeke is always referring to friends in his classroom and I was glad to finally be able to put a few faces with some of these names. Zeke really enjoyed introducing me to some of his friends and it was great to see him in his school environment...I can tell he really enjoys his time there.

At the end of the day, Zeke was given a moment to share with the class about his trip on an airplane to Germany this summer. The students are studying transportation, so Zeke was asked to share about his flight and his international travel experience.

I really enjoyed my visit. Here is a picture of Zeke with his sweet teacher, Mrs. Barlow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Praise God for a GREAT Day!

Brad slept well last night and had a wonderful day today....much less coughing....more energy....feeling better overall. He even felt good enough this afternoon to spend time outside in the gorgeous weather AND he still had enough energy to have the guys over to play cards. Thank you God for a considerably better day!

What a welcomed answer to prayers. We are praying for continued improvement tomorrow just like today.

Here are a few pictures from this afternoon...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Brad had a wonderful night last night...very restful, very little was great. The day was a little irratic with Brad's condition....he woke up feeling alright, but then started to run fever again....he was still feeling pretty tired through most of the morning. The afternoon had several coughing spells and some breathing difficulty...but overall he used the nasal oxygen (instead of the mask) most of the day and was able to go with less medication. Brad has felt the best this evening. In the last couple of hours he has had no coughing, very good energy and feels quite well. He just turned to me and said how much he hopes to feel this good when he wakes up tomorrow.


Please continue to make your presence known. We know that you are right here with us, carrying us through this health crisis. Lay your healing hands on Brad tonight and restore his health. We know that it is within your power to provide complete healing and we know that you will extend your healing power on my sweet husband. Send your angels to remove all the cancer and blood clots from his lungs. Open his lungs so that he can again enjoy the taste of extended, full, oxygen-rich breath. Replace all those dark cancer cells with new, bright, fresh, life-giving cells that perform their function properly.

Watch over Brad tonight as he sleeps. Cradle him in your arms and provide him with the comfort and all-consuming peace that only You can provide.

We know that you are actively working in our lives and we are so grateful for the blessings that you have given our family. We have been blessed in more ways than we could have ever imagined. Thank you for the days we have had together. We are consumed with support and love of countless people in our life. Thank you for sending so many friends and family to help us at this time. You have provided for every need.

It is in Your precious name that I pray,
Baby Caleb came over for a visit this afternoon....he is SO cute! Zeke was fascinated by him...he was fake punching little Caleb fists into his face so that he could fall back against the couch. He kept trying to make Caleb laugh. Poor Caleb was probably having sensory overload with Zeke all over him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brad had a difficult night last night....more fever...more coughing spells. We both went to sleep finally at about 5:30am and slept for several hours. Fortunately we have not had a night like that in a really long time. Brad did have a little more energy today....once we finally pried ourselves from the bed. He has had to rely on the oxygen mask most of the day.

We covet your prayers for good sleep and more energy tomorrow. We love you all.

Goodnight Kisses

Monday, January 12, 2009

An Answer to Prayers

Brad continued through the day to have some difficulty breathing and a lot of trouble staying awake. By 4pm I felt his head and determined that he was yet again running fever. Brad shared with me that his continual inability to stay awake was really concerning him (& me & everyone else in the house)...he was afraid that his exhaustion was due to a lack of oxygen. I tried to reassure him that his body needed to rest in order to heal. He said that he was fine if healing were the reason, but he dreaded the idea that his condition could possibly grow worse. He & I sat together in the living room and prayed fervently that God intervene in a way that would prove instantly that He was working to heal Brad. It reminded me of the times that Michael Harbour tells us, "Lord, we believe, help us with our unbelief."

After we prayed, I gave Brad ibuprofen for his fever. After about twenty minutes, he started to feel better, he stayed awake the rest of the evening, and just went to sleep at 11:30pm. I am so thankful for a more encouraging evening. I pray that Brad has a good night of sleep, that he wakes up feeling even better, and has more energy. Thank you God for answering our prayers.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We were very blessed again today to have our life group provide service for us in our home. It has been such a gift to have friends and family close while Brad is unable to get out of the house right now. We are so thankful to have such wonderful friends to organize a song service and to bring lunch for everyone.

Brad had a more difficult day today. Thankfully he slept very well last night, but he remained very tired most of the day. At times he finds his oxygen mask dependency and his lack of energy very discouraging. He has also started to run some fever this evening.

We know that God is actively working to heal Brad. I pray that Brad feels better tomorrow and finds a way to stay positive amidst any additional health difficulties. He continues to amaze me with how he always stays so strong and positive, despite the circumstances...I am so proud of him.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

More Silly Faces from Kaelyn

Silly Faces To Share

Zeke and Kaelyn are on a "silly face" kick. Zeke decided to taek over my camera and walk around posing everyone for photos. Here are some of the shots that were taken yesterday.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Miscellaneous Pics

Brad & Matt sporting their Panther's gear just before the game on Saturday night. Thank you Uncle Gene for the jersey....Brad loved it!

Brad rocked Kaelyn (& himself) to sleep yesterday afternoon. So cute!

Saturday evening the women got together for a "Girls Night Out" at Gringo's to celebrate Valerie's birthday. The waitor even made her get up and go into a bigger room so that the restuarant could sing to her.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Brad has continued to stay on the same course the last few days. He generally feels better in the morning and then begins to tire in the afternoon. Today he had another big coughing spell at about went off and on for about 4 or 5 hours. He just gets so tired of coughing...poor guy.

We have continued our meditation/prayer sessions several times a day. Yesterday afternoon we prayed over Brad in our bedroom. As I was sitting there, listening to the prayers of those around me I began to think of how happy I am that my children have been able to witness the faithfulness of our friends and family as they continually shower us in prayer. I was reflecting on what an important part of their life, this particular experience has been. Remarkably, just as I was thinking that thought, I heard "Momma, Momma" I opened my eyes to see Zeke seated on a chair next to our bed. He then said, "I want to go next." As Meme finished her prayer, Zeke chimed in to pray for all those who are sick and for God to help his Daddy' knee to feel better. It was such a sweet moment...I was so proud of Zeke for sitting there quietly listening to the prayers of everyone in the room and then for deciding to join in with his own special prayer.

I wanted to be sure to include two pictures that I took yesterday. One is of a spectacular sunset that we had at was gorgeous. The second picture is of David, Jerry & Margie Turner, Gloria & Von Burba and Sandra. These two sweet couples drove down from Granbury to meet with Sandra and David for dinner. It meant so much to our family that they took time out of their schedule to make the trip to Houston. They also participated in two prayer sessions, praying over Brad for God's complete healing. The prayers of these two couples were so special, meaningful and uplifting. We were so blessed to spend time with them and to have their encouragement.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Update

Brad has been feeling better the past couple of days and I couldn't be happier (well, maybe that's not exactly true....I would be happier if he felt completely better). Brad is still sleeping well at night and he hasn't had the same level of difficulty breathing that he has had last week. Thank you God for all of the healing and peace that you have given our family today. We are so blessed.

I also want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has given us support recently. I haven't given as many personal thank you notes as I would like, but I want to say how very grateful we are for the phone calls, emails, notes, visits, meals, gift cards, financial support, prayers, hugs, cards, and gifts that have been given to our family. We have been showered with an outpouring of love by all of you and we want you to know how much we appreciate all of your help. I want to say a special "thank you" to our home congregation (Southeast), A&M Church of Christ, West Houston Church of Christ, Riverside Church of Christ, Granbury Church of Christ, First Baptist Humble, Sjolander Road church, my Mary Kay family, Clear Creek ISD and a multitude of friends who have helped with medical bills and expenses. I know that there are many others who I am unaware of that have also sent support. We are so blessed by each of you....thank you.

Here are a few pictures from today that I thought you would enjoy.

Zeke & his daddy

Sherry & Gene painted our bathroom (which desperately needed it!)

Zeke "helping" paint...starting with writing his name on the wall.

Even the helpers need to take a little rest from time to time.

Each morning Kaelyn climbs into bed with her daddy to give him snuggles and to "watch Mi-ey Mouse." They are so cute!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Service This Sunday

Our wonderful life group organized church service at our home this morning. Knowing that Brad would not be able to attend service at Southeast, they very kindly made arrangements to hold service and lunch for us in our home. We were so grateful to be a part of service with our closest friends and family. The time was filled with scripture reading, lots of singing (which we love!), and we even finished the time together with a group meditation. It is such a powerful experience to be a part of a large group, sending up prayer on Brad's behalf, all in one moment...visualizing God's healing being performed on Brad's body. In a situation that often feels so out of control, meditation and prayer give us a very powderful avenue to speak directly & expectantly to God. While we don't have control over what is happening with Brad's disease, we do have control about how we respond to it. Our minds are so amazing sense of peace and hope always fill me following our meditations together.

Thank you to all those who helped to organize this special service for our family. We are so blessed to have your unwavering, continual support.

On another note, Brad has had his best day since Sunday a week ago. He has had better energy, easier breathing, with less coughing episodes. I couldn't be more pleased with his is so encouraging. Thank you for the prayers....we are continuing to pray for more of the same type of progress.

Yesterday we left Uncle Matt in charge of the children outside. After a few minutes Callie came running in to tell us that we needed to come outside to see the boys. They had covered themselves in mud from head to toe...not to mention most of the floor on my outside bathroom area. Uncle Matt threw up his hands and said, "I saw them, but I decided to let them." Then he went on to explain that it's hard to be the cool uncle...always having to push boundaries. Uncle Matt is fired from babysitting duties (of course that may have been his intention all along).

The last picture is of all four the kiddos watching Zeke's new "Danger Ranger" videos that he got for his birthday from Vick & Gene. Thank you Aunt Vickie and Uncle Gene!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Beaver College

Denise Perkins found a picture from 1996, with the guys performing Beaver College for the skit show on their mission trip to Asia (AFCO 96'). Brad is the cool guy, Mike P. is on top as the nerd, I can't tell who Stephen and some of the other guys are supposed to be....maybe they can remember and tell us in the commentary :)