April 21, 2012



We made it home around dinner time this evening.  Just wanted to say thank you to each of you for your prayers, emails, cards, encouragement!   Even though we're home, it certainly doesn't seem like he's 100%. . and I know that's because he isn't.    I don't like to see him hurting, but am thankful that each day that passes brings us that much closer to him being back to feeling 100%.

God has been good to us. . has provided meals for the family while I was staying up there at the hospital with him.  Has provided a supportive DMS staff ( my sonography program) who have been willing to work with me and allow me to miss time from school so I could be there for Bryan.   The simple fact that God allowed us to find this cancer before it had a chance to spread:  Well, that's just still hard to believe!!  We're so grateful.

Continued prayers are needed for strength, and no complications during the healing process.  I'd really like to see the Lord draw us closer to Him and to each other during this time as well.  Bryan has already said how he never wants to forget how I was there for him during this time.  And here I've felt pretty much helpless in the matter because I can't make the pain go away.   Yet is has been an honor to be there to help in every way possible.

And without you all holding us up in prayers before the Lord, we'd be in a different situation.  I've been so tired, and on the go for sooo long now, that I've not actually had time to mentally process all that has occurred, so it's really hard to grasp just how good God has been. . .but I readily admit without God's goodness, this would have turned out to be a totally different situation.  So I thank the LORD!

I better close for now. . .he'll be needing his next dose of meds around 2:00 a.m. . . which is just around the corner!  

Many many thanks!!

Thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:4

April 20, 2012

Update from Hospital

Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.   Isaiah 41:10

Hi everyone. . as I type this I'm sitting on a cot in Bryan's room. . .he's waiting for the 10 p.m. vitals to be taken, then he wants to try to take another walk before we try to get a few hours' sleep .  The next vitals are taken at 2:00 a.m..   His oxygen levels aren't 100% but they're better than they have been for the past few days. . so that's good news!

Today he was taken off the morphine drip....not because the pain has subsided, but because the Dr wants to let him go home tomorrow. . .so they have to get Bryan off that IV pain meds.   I would like to say that he adjusted fine and dandy to that.  But, it has been a rough go of it.   Around 5:00 p.m. his pain was so bad that he could barely whisper and was just shaking.  thankfully the pain pill kicked in. . .and he was able to rest for a little bit.

The DR said that he thinks Bryan can go home tomorrow sometime, so maybe he'll be able to actually rest at the house, as opposed to being here in "Grand Central Station" (that's what this hospital wing sounds like---even on the midnight shift.)   As a side note, Bryan said to share with you that he and this bed are not getting along very well.  The SICU had a nice air-adjustable mattress that adjusted every time he would try to move. . now that we're on the regular floor, he said it feels like he's sleeping on the floor.  LOL

Okay....it's time for our last walk til 2:00 a.m.    Just wanted to say thank you to each of you!! 
I'll be in touch, and thanks again for praying.  Your thoughts and prayers and been such an encouragement to us both!!  We could not have made it this far without the strength of the Lord each and every day.  . and we know it's because He's answering prayers from everyone on our behalf.

I'll be talking to you all soon.

Until then,
Goodnight from Sentara Norfolk General.

April 18, 2012

Update from hospital

Hi everyone.  
Yesterday was surgery day . . . Bryan went in around 11:40 and they called from the OR around 12:30 to let me know they had begun.   I didn't get to see him til about 8:00 p.m. last night though.

They were able to save 85% of his kidney and only remove the mass.  Pathological reports show that it was cancer. . .although we won't know the exact kind for several weeks.  More than likely was renal cell carcinoma, since that's the most common renal tumor. . .but I won't speculate at this point.  If it was RCC, we can be thankful that God allowed them to catch it in time!!  That particular cancer doesn't respond to treatment once it spreads out of the kidney.  The Dr said the margins came back clear. . so that means they got it all.   So...we can look back and thank the LORD for Bryan having kidney stones last summer.  that allowed them to do a CT scan and find the cancer early!!

The surgery went as smoothly as possible.  The recovery was a bit rough though. Due to the pain, and Bryan having sleep apnea, Bryan was not able to take deep breaths and that caused his oxygen levels to be too low.  he was in recovery for several hours, and they never let me go back to see him.  Once he was stabilized, they transferred him to a step down unit (unit below ICU, but more intensive care than a regular floor room).  Due to the incision size and site, his pain has been bad.  He's okay as long as he doesn't move.   However, the DR wants Bryan up and out of bed today.  so our goal is to have him sitting up and in a recliner between the noon and one o'clock hour.  He has asked for prayer re: that, due to the pain.  He is high risk for blood clots . . so we want to try our best to prevent that. . .at least Bryan is willing to try.   He'll do his part, and you all can uphold him in prayer, and we'll trust the Lord to strengthen and enable him.
We may be in the step down unit for a day or so, then to the regular floor through Sat. or Sunday.

We both thank you so much for your prayers.  I can tell God has been with us the entire way.  In fact, before we left the house yesterday, I drew a promise card from my "Bible Bread Box" and asked the Lord to give us a specific verse to claim for Bryan.  I went to pick one card, but saw a pink one sticking up, so I grabbed that one.  It said, For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD."  Jeremiah 30:17. 

What better promise could we have asked for.  It was as if the Lord sent a direct phone call to our hearts!  :) :) 
By the way, I was able to get internet access here in the hospital, so that's why I'm updating this blog. . but that means I have to do homework now.  BOO!!!   :)
Thanks y'all for your prayers, phone calls and emails!!  My class has been taking care of us for meals this week too.  They've been a blessing to us too!
Will be in touch soon.

April 10, 2012

Surgery: One week from today

Hi everyone.  .just a quick note.  Bryan's surgery is one week from today.  .  .The surgery is supposed to begin at 12:00. . . we are to arrive by 10:00.   The DR told him on last Thursday that he really wants to try and remove only a portion of the kidney, but there's a risk of him not being able to stop the bleeding, so if that happens, he'll have to take the entire kidney.  He said that Bryan really is going to need two kidneys. . .  .so . . . that makes me wonder. . . but anyway, I don't know if I'll be able to do any more updates before next Tuesday because I have four big tests: one tomorrow, one Friday, and two big ones on Monday.  And honestly I have not even studied for the last three. . only tomorrow's.  I also have a huge presentation to prepare for that is next Friday. . .strength is needed.

There are so many people who are  going through difficult storms and hurting. . . and one thing that this situation has taught me is:  I get so caught up in the storm, and our difficult circumstances, that my eyes have neglected to truly see the burdens of others  to an extent that I could make a difference in their lives, regardless of what we're going through.  I definintely need God's help in keeping everything in the proper perspective.   . . . and a few hours sleep would probably be nice too.  ;o)

Thanks everyone for your prayers.
I'll be in touch as soon as I can.
Much love

April 2, 2012

Worrier ~or~ Warrior?

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against...the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground... 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:11-17

Just a quick thought tonight.  Are you and I a worrier?  Or a Warrior?  Say those two words quickly, and you'll find they sound alike; but what a difference their meanings are!!  
You and I are in a battle every single day!   Why would we even attempt to enter the battlefield without first preparing for it?  We prepare by putting on the WHOLE armour of God. . and by praying.  It seems that the battle actually is won in the time that is spent praying

The enemy wants us to think that WE are supposed to fight, on our own, and in our own strength.  But notice the last verse in our text: Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  The sword is our defense and weapon.  What is our Defense?  Actually it's not "what" but WHO!  Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1) ....The knowledge of God's gift of grace surrounds our minds, then we acknowledge that the battle is too big for us by seeking God.  Take the Lord by His hand, and now we are equipped with our DEFENSE and WEAPON!  Jesus is the One Who will fight our battles for us, if we ask Him to. . .He will strengthen us with HIS mighty power to overcome the difficulties we are facing!

I encourage you to not be a worrier, but bravely be a WARRIOR!  Prayer Warrior!  The Battle is won when we are on our knees in prayer! 

Thank you for your prayers on our behalf!  Your continued prayers for Michael, our family, and for Bryan's upcoming surgery are very much appreciated.

God's grace is sufficient.   And by His grace, we will be warriors and not worriers! :)

Dear Father in heaven, thank You for this lesson!   Life's circumstances are often difficult, but it's usually in the difficult storms when You teach me the deepest lessons.  I pray that You will encourage others to be a prayer warrior and not a worrier.  I wonder if it is prideful to be a worrier?  Because it seems that if I worry, I am putting myself in the position of responsibility to overcome my situations...quite frankly they are too much to attempt to overcome in my own strength.  That IS pride!  Please forgive me for being a Proud Worrier, and make me and my friends who are reading this, PRAYER WARRIORS.   Our victory is only found in Your Son, Jesus!  In His name we pray, Amen.

This being the week of Easter, I will post one of Bryan's favorite songs that God has helped me record.  May the Lord use this to bless you.  and Happy Easter! :)