I realize that I have not updated you in a while now. We continue to wait on the Lord for many of the “big” things we are dealing with in our lives at the moment. But in the mean time, our day to day activities continue.
Health-wise, things remain much unchanged since I began my new chemo regimen three months ago. I did have my three month scan this week and it showed that everything is holding steady. The cancer has not grown anymore or spread anywhere else! Praise the Lord! When my cancer began to grow again in July, it was at a quite alarming rate, so we are thankful that this new chemo has stopped the cancer in its tracks.
We have not seen any shrinkage in the tumors yet, so we have begun to be more aggressive by skipping my “off week” in the chemo cycle and pushing forward with weekly treatments with no breaks for my body to rest and recover. As long as my counts can stay up and my side effects are tolerable, we hope to continue and see the cancer respond by shrinking. My lab counts have started to drop at times from the new chemo now, so I have gotten a couple of shots to boost my white blood cell production. These shots have side effects of head aches and aches in my bones and joints, but have not been too bad. So far this has worked and my counts have been up in the normal range again for the last two weeks! I have become even more fatigued as my body has no rest time. I now have to take a nap nearly every afternoon and plan my daily activities carefully so I do not overdo things. I am very thankful that Asher naps nicely each afternoon to give me time to rest! Usually an afternoon nap gives me the energy I need for the evening. I am also very tired on Fridays and Saturdays after my treatments. Pray with us that these more aggressive treatments will be effective and we will see the cancer begin to shrink!
Ministry-wise, my fatigue has somewhat limited my part in our church planting efforts, as well as Eric’s. I have not been able to begin leading a new Fall study with my Bible study gals due to my low energy and other family and church needs. Eric has also had to help out at home more by watching the kids while I rest and taking on more of the cooking responsibilities. This has taken away from the time he is able to devote to his pastoral duties.
These past few months we have devoted much of our ministry time and efforts to building a Strategic Mission for the church. This vision will allow us to refocus our attention and energy on growing our church family and building relationships in our community to show God’s love and share His hope with those around us. You can see and listen to more on this Strategic Mission to Connect, Grow, and Serve together on our website: benningtonbaptist.com. We covet your prayers as we begin implementing this plan. We see God at work in many recent opportunities and know He can do great things with His church in Bennington. We are waiting on His perfect timing. We also see Satan attacking in many ways to distract and deter us. Pray that we can stand firm in the Lord and overcome the obstacles that lie before us with His help and strength.
Personally, we are so thankful for many blessings in our lives! God continues to give many opportunities to be encouraged and to help and encourage others in our day to day activities in the Bennington community, as well as the medical and cancer community. We are thankful for the time and energy we can spend helping in our community through the kids’ school and many community organizations and events. We are so thankful for the many individuals that continue to help by sending monetary gifts, clothes, meals and food, and providing childcare. Our family was also chosen to be this year’s recipient of the proceeds of a Breast Cancer Benefit Dinner a local Omaha restaurant does each year. We were so humbled by the love and generosity shown by the Harvest Cafe owner and employees, as well as all those that came out to support this event! Thank you so much for blessing us as we serve our wonderful Savior and wait on His perfect timing in our lives. Psalm 27:14-15 says:
“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”
I want to leave you with a few pictures of our amazing miracle Asher as we celebrate his 18 month birthday! I still look at him and think of all the miracles that had to happen for him to be here with us. I cannot imagine our lives without the “happiness and joy” of Asher!