You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2007.

A while back I went to a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game.  I love watching hockey.  Just before the players came on the ice, the lights in the building went out and the large screen above the ice showed the word HERO.

Then the word HERO went away.  And it came back again.  And went away.  Then the music in the building got very loud.  The word HERO came back.  Then the question posed on the screen was “what is a hero?”  And after that question there were flashes of Maple Leaf players scoring goals, making saves, body checking eachother and making plays.  The word HERO was flashed dozens of times while the players were being shown.

I thought to myself, ‘what b.s.’

A grown man, playing a game, being adored by many, making an enormous amout of money is a hero?

I immediately thought of Marisa.  SHE is a hero.

MdH

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And so, another results day down. I really don’t enjoy these days at all, and I’m certain that it is only through God’s strength that Mendelt and I get through them.

The news is kind of neutral. As of the time we saw our doctor, he wasn’t able to read the scan clearly enough to see if the embolization had worked/is working. He was going to let us know as soon as he found out. They did however see some very small spots (less than a cm) on my lungs and so recommended that I go on the trial drug. We had been kind of setting ourselves up for that and so the news wasn’t too disappointing. I would obviously rather not do the drug, but, for now, that is the best plan.

After the doctor left the room (to get a nurse to set us up with some paperwork) Mendelt asked how I was doing. I said–‘okay, I just keep looking for God in all of this and I can’t find him’. Mendelt replied that lots of people were seeing God in me and through me though. It’s a small consolation prize I guess. 🙂 We also commented that we know the God of peace, but don’t know the God of healing. I’d really like to know the God of healing….

So, we keep on going. Not much changes in our every day lives, except that when I actually start the drug, it’ll be 3 days the first week with the first day being a really long day and they put us up in a B&B! because the next morning I have to have more blood tests done. The following weeks it’s just once a week. Just. 🙂 That is the ‘pain in the but’ part….but, I think I’ll be able to go by myself or have the company of friends and have Mendelt come once in a while too. 🙂 My main concern is that the kids don’t have to be ‘shelled out’ here and there and feel like their lives are too unstable. It’s just the mom in me I guess.

So far, the known side effects of the drug have been very mild. Only 6 people in the world are on this drug at the moment and they entered the trial at the first stage and were given 200 mg (or whatever measurement they use) of the drug. Only 1 of the 6 felt any side effects and it was mild chills, which lasted only an evening. I’ll be entering at the second stage and will be given 400 mg which is better (according to the nurse) because it’s a higher dose and will hopefully shrink the cancer more effectively. The drawback of being in a trial drug program is that everything has to be monitored so closely because of safety issues, but also for scientific reasons. Once you enter at a certain level, you can’t go up. So, I’ll only be able to take 400 mg of this drug for the length of the test–which, if it works, could be for a long time. I can stop the drug at any time, and if something else comes up that is better for me, I can exit the trial drug program and do the ‘something better’.

Lots of information and lots more time spent at the Juravinski Cancer Clinic (JCC). I pray I either spend much more time at the JCC, because that means things are going well, or that I don’t have to ever go there again, because the God of healing has showed Himself….

Until the next time,

Peace and love,

Marisa

Two inspirations, and one fun thing:

First:  On Monday of this week I was a bit weepy and sad and Jacoba saw me looking sad and wiping a tear away and she asked me what was wrong.  So, I told her I was sad, but that a hug from her would really help me be happy again.  She gave me a big hug and then for the rest of the evening, whenever she saw me, she would come over and give me a hug.  It warmed and then melted my heart!  🙂

Second:  I called my friend Rebecca and after talking for awhile about life, she said thought of me while she was reading a book.  In the book, there was a man who owned a ranch and would take in troubled teens and work with them.  One day there was a forest fire very close to his ranch and he went out to help fight it.  At one point, he prayed to God and said “God, I don’t know if it is your will that this fire continues to burn and burns down my ranch, my livelihood, but I’m just letting you know that I’m going to fight this fire with all I’ve got until I do know what your will is.”

THAT, encouraged me and gave me renewed hope, because that is so true.  I don’t know how this whole thing is going to end, and I don’t know what God’s will is for me in all of this.  But, I’m going to fight this ‘fire’ with all I’ve got until I know what God’s will is, one way or the other.

One fun thing:  I took Jacoba to get her very first hair cut today.  She is 3 1/2 and her hair was getting very long (all the way down her back) and kind of tangly.  It was time.  It was a very sentimental event though.  We (Jacoba and I) went with my sister Christy to Christy’s hair dresser (Locke and Main) and Jacoba did great!  She was a bit shy at first and so the hair dresser suggested that Jacoba sit on my lap.  That worked really well.  It only took a few minutes for Jacoba to warm up and then she started talking about Sunday School, gymnastics, her brother (brudder) and how when she goes to Kindergarten it’s going to be boring….Christy video taped the haircut for Mendelt to watch when we got home.

I’ve had a really great week and have enjoyed a really nice energy level and have been able to do a bit more again.  That is a really great feeling.  I go for my CT scan on Monday and then get the results on Tuesday.  Monday will be no problem.  Tuesday will be a different story.  But, God already knows the results, and nothing will be a surprise to Him.  My times are in His hands and He already knows the outcome of this battle.  I’ll let Him fight it for me.

Peace and love,

Marisa

I want to clarify about Marisa’s birthday party on the 3rd of November.  It is for everyone.  Kids, adults, kids that act like adults and adults that act like kids.

I have fielded a number of questions about the party and would just like to clarify that you are all invited.

Peace and parties,

MdH

So, just came back from a quilting weekend…those without a quilting addiction probably don’t even get excited about those words “quilting weekend”.  But let me tell you, there are very few things that top this.  We turn the cottages’ living room into a sewing ’round table’ (it’s actually square) and we all set up our machines, sew away and tell lots of stories and jokes and laugh a lot.  It was very beautiful weather and so we could enjoy the outdoors as well.  The trees were in their full colour so the view was just breathtaking.  Some of us even saw a deer with antlers come right up to the cottage.  And, on the first day, we saw a rainbow.  We knew God was going to be with us that weekend.   Coming home was very nice though.  It was great to see Mendelt and the kids again.

As for how I am doing–my hair is growing back nicely.  It’s baby soft and fuzzy.  One morning I even woke up with bed head.  🙂  And somebody said to me that soon I’ll get to wear a little pixie pony tail on the top of my head–I can match Zekijah…..

I’m finding that since my embolization procedure, my energy has come back a little bit but it has hit a plateau and my activities are limited.  A short walk leaves me breathless and lifting anything more than Zekijah isn’t a possibility.  This is frustrating for me as I used to be able to do these things effortlessly.  The last couple of weeks I’ve got that ‘pregnant’ look again and wonder why that is happening again.  I suspect maybe because of the blood clot and the clotting that is going on in my liver?  I look forward to my cat scan when more answers can be discovered…

Hope to see lots of you at the party on the 3rd!  Somebody suggested wearing name tags, which I think is a great idea.  Then you can all ‘know’ each other.  I hope you don’t mind wearing the “Hello, my name is …..” ones.  🙂

Love to all, and yes, ’74 babies do rock!

PS–Betty (Steenbeek), do you think I could get your email address?  You could send it to us in a comment and then we wouldn’t post it if you didn’t want your address to go to a lot of people.  🙂

Marisa’s birthday is coming up. She is going to be 33. She’s a spring chicken.

I’m throwing a party. You are invited.

The party is on Saturday, November 3 from 1-5.

It is at a place in Pelham, Ontario, Canada called Agape Valley. The directions are

http://www.agapevalley.ca/location.html

Please mark it on your calendars. I will give you some more details soon.

Party with a capital “P”.

Peace,

MdH

We met with two of the blood clot specialist doctors. Neither of them were my regular thrombosis doctor so that was a bit disappointing because we had to retell my whole story.

The news is best described as neutral. There wasn’t much change or clarification as to my ‘situation’ but one nice thing was that they think this “clot” can be kept under control with half the dosage than before. But it still means a daily needle for the next 90 days until we meet with them again.

The radiologist who did the scan did tell me that I made a beautiful scan though.  🙂  She said that guys usually didn’t scan as well because they tended to be more gassy.  That was what she said–not me.  I don’t believe it for a minute…. 🙂  But she said they could see all my organs really well and that was good.  I don’t think she was supposed to tell me this, but she did say that compared to the last ultra sound pictures, it looked like maybe things (the blood clot) had shrunk a little bit but it was hard to tell for sure with an ultra sound.  But, things definitely hadn’t grown.  That was nice to hear….

So, we wait until Oct. 29th for my CT scan and then on the 30th I see the Clinical Trail doctor and he tells me the results.  We go from there….

I am full of thanks for all your support.

Peace and love,

Marisa

Yesterday Marisa and I met with the clinical trial drug oncologist.  We learned some more about the drug itself and the method of taking it.

Marisa has decided to not go on the clinical trial right now and wait to see how the embolization worked.  She has a CT scan on the 29th of October and then we will see what is happening in her liver.

Tomorrow we go to the Cancer Clinic again and Marisa has an ultrasound on her abdomen to look at the lump that they thought looked like a blood clot that is in the main artery that comes off her liver that drains the lower half of her body.  The jury is out on whether this is a blood clot or part of the tumour on the liver that has encroached in the artery.

This ‘thing’ is why Marisa has been taking an injection every night for the last 90 days.

Hopefully we find out some more tomorrow.

Marisa is such a trooper.

MdH

Marisa’s energy has been improving each day lately. She is getting up earlier and feeling stronger than the day before.

Marisa even went out for lunch today with MY mother, MY sister and MY sister-in-law without ME.

It surely is an answer to prayer.

Two people from the Smithville District Christian High School (SDCH) community came to our house today.  One was a former student (Jen Riebot) and one was a current student (Matt Zantingh).

They came to deliver a package of love and a big picture from their school.  Today was “wear pink for cancer” day where they raised money for us.

As I spoke with Ted Harris, the administrator, he told me that there are seasons to give and take and although ours is a long season, he said that the SDCH community is blessed to be able to help.

Blessed all around.

Thank you SDCH.

MdH

Marisa has been home for a couple of days now.  Marisa still feels weak and tired so spends most of her time ‘laying low’ though each day seems to be a bit better than the previous.

We are doing our best to continue.  But it is tough.  Sometimes very tough.

Today Marisa sat on my lap and shed tears.  Tears because her energy level is so low and right now she can’t do things that she normally does.  Her physical body is also still recovering from the embolization.

I used to say to Marisa that I would take the cancer if I could.  But I don’t know about that now.  I don’t know if I could go through this with the grace that Marisa has been given.  It is just above my thinking.

I think that her tears bear witness that Marisa has the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.

Please continue your comments, they are a source of strength for us.

Peace and courage,

MdH