Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thank you

I just wanted to thank all of you for the phone calls, emails and comments on the blog. It is once again amazing how many prayers are going upward on our behalf. It's been really encouraging for me to sense that Earl & I are not at all in this alone-we have a huge Christian community backing us up.
Earl & I have both for the most part experienced a lot of peace today. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Today was one of those days that I long never to repeat. We found out that the tumors are back in my lungs. I had an appointment with Dr. Ferguson, my surgeon, this morning and asked him a bunch of questions. He looked over the CT that I had taken on the 15th of February. He confirmed what we already suspected-there is a tumor on my right lung and a few smaller ones. In reality this doesn't really change anything medically. I will still continue with my radiation. I have 3 weeks left. After that they will do MRIs to see how my hip and armpit tumor have responded to the radiation. I'll go home for approx. 6 weeks and then come back for my armpit and hip surgery. Dr. Ferguson also confirmed that these surgeries are both quite intense and will probably require some bone being removed. Only after these surgeries are done can we even consider doing anything with my lungs. It's pointless to deal with the 'little tumors' when the 'big tumors' are causing the lung tumors. I really have no idea what will keep going on in my lungs-there is still hope that surgery could be done there as well.
It's frustrating when I realize that time is so important. If I had come to Toronto sooner and had my surgery sooner, maybe I wouldn't have any tumors in my lungs. It's hard to be positive when I have chest pain and have shortness of breath and know that there is something inside of me killing me and there is absolutely nothing I can do about that except pray and try to cling to hope.
Last night I spent a lot of time on a sarcoma site on the internet. There were a lot of stories from others who also have sarcoma. It was interesting how many of them were Christians. It was also terrifying as I read story after story of people with different kinds of sarcomas or even the same kind I have, synovial sarcoma ,who were fighting desperately. Many of them had part of them amputated and others had their sarcoma returning. There were very few who had success stories. I realized once again the seriousness of my disease.
The last few days I've spent a lot of time dwelling on what it really means to live. I think about what my life is all about and if I've accomplished the purpose for why I was created. I think about how to really live when I am constantly faced with death. I realize that having death staring me in the face forces me to think thoughts that many don't until they're older. Have I done with my life what God intended? What am I doing now that is bringing glory to God? How many people have I influenced for Christ?
I don't want to have to think these thoughts. There are thousands of dreams that I still have. Thousands of things I want to pursue and tell people. And yet how can I do that realizing that I might not have years left? And yet no one has that guarantee. Really my life is no different than anyone else's. No one knows if they'll live tomorrow or get to do all the things that they desire. I guess my challenge through this all is to live life to the fullest. Pursue the things that are important now, before you can't.

My heart is so full tonight. I'm clinging to the hope that God is the Healer, God is a God of Miracles. My life is in His hands. I long to be healed and have my life make a difference. Maybe this is my plea to everyone out there who can dream, who are healthy, to all the people that I am a little jealous of-make your life count.

I apologize if this blog comes out preachy. With tears streaming down my face I've written down my heart.

Oh and to all of you who are praying for the pain in my arm to not be as bad while I'm having radiation-I'd just like to let you know that it is a lot better than it was in the beginning. My arm is almost used to it.
Thank you

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hey everyone. It's been one of those not-so-fun kinds of days. The CT shows that there is "something" in Ramona's lungs. The doctor said, "Don't worry, Don't worry, Don't worry" and such type things but it's hard when we let ourselves believe Ramona's lungs were actually clear. He also said it might only be scar tissue in the lungs. The day was spent adjusting our minds to that concept and trying to round up information to send to Mayo. Just wanted to keep prayer warriors in the loop. Thanks.

PS Information like this is pretty vague. We are trying to figure out what is actually going on. As far as medical information is concerned we'll try writing a long detailed blog later. Good night

Monday, February 19, 2007

Feb. 19

Hey ya'll. I've been trying to post more pictures but it hasn't worked so I'll keep this blog short until I can figure this out. Ramona's parents are living with us here right now. They came Saturday morning and will be flying out tomorrow. It's really nice to have them here. In fact as I'm sitting here everyone is in the kitchen making brunch. Ramona is feeling okay I guess. She feels tired, like they predicted. At this point there is no visible sun burn from the radiation. The radiation schedule is as follows
Mon.: 3:45 p.m. Radiation

Tues.: Ramona's parents fly home in morning. 3:45 p.m. Radiation

Wed.: Radiation 9:15 a.m. Meet with Dr. Catton, hopefully he will know if the recent CT Scan shows Ramona's lungs are clear

Thurs. Radiation 8:15 a.m. Kevin and Karlene arrive in the evening
Fri. Radiation 3:00 p.m.

That's the schedule for this week. Ramona is given her radiation schedule 10 days in advance.
In other news, it's been amazing for us how transportation for us is being provided. We have often taken the Transit system, but everyone one here at AIM was going to make a schedule so that they could take us instead of having to be jerked around on the Subway. Then we also heard that someone wanted to let us use her car. So she'll be here tomorrow to drop off her car. We feel people rallying around us here in Toronto too. A big thankyou.

Yesterday we went to the People's Church. It was ironic for us that in this giant city that Joanna and Sam and Bonnie here at AIM happened to go to the same church......oh end of story...brunch is ready...

For now,
Earl and Ramona

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Luckily for me I'm not intimidated by all you people out there who actually spend time on with your computers learning how to make things look good. Anyway, as Ramona is sleeping and I'm...well...whatever...I thought I'd post a few pictures. This is Jason taking a few shots at the Hockey Hall of Fame. From his shooting it became apparent I should have learned him a few more things when he was still young and teachable. Anyway...all this to say we had a lot of fun hanging out with Jay and Lisa the first few days here.

This is Lisa recreating a pose from when she was 1 year old (in CN Tower). For family historical reference see my mom's Creative Memories books.

Completely changing the topic, this is the lamp in our bedroom in the Princess Margaret Hospital Lodge. There were other factors that kept us from staying there but this was a large one. And by the way, We really like staying in the AIM guest house. We appreciate them figuring out rides for us, and it is very nice to be around people we sort of know and are getting to know better all the time.

On the subway Mony once tried to sleep. Who would have thought that a camera flash would wake her up.

The CT scan is done today and for the first time we're actually sitting down and wondering what to do and what we would like to be doing when medical things aren't happening.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Radiation begins

For those of you who fear that we may have fallen off the face of the earth....the answer is no, we are quite safely in Toronto. We did not have internet connection for a few days and so that is why it has taken awhile to blog.
We flew in to Toronto Sunday morning and were picked up at the airport by Sam & Bonnie Thomas who are working for Africa Inland Mission, the same building that our apartment is on top of.
Monday morning Earl's brother and sister flew in so the last few days have been filled with lots of touristy things. We 'climbed' the CN tower, went to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Earl & Jay went to a Leafs game, etc.
I don't know how to describe radiation. On Monday I had a trial setup just to make sure that everything was measured correctly etc. I thought that this would take maybe 15-30 minutes. I was in there for about an hour and a half. There was a bit of confusion and minor problems that I don't really understand cause I don't understand their lingo. Anyway everything worked out okay in the end. Yesterday the real radiation began. It took about 50 minutes. I am getting radiation in two spots so that's why it takes so long. Radiation in and of itself is not painful. I can't feel anything different. The only way I know that it's happening is cause everyone goes out of the room and this big arm circles my body stopping at certain angles makinga buzzing sound. However, I have to put my arm above my head in a very awkward position while doing radiation. This might not sound too bad but I have to hold it there for 25ish minutes. It ends up falling asleep and still I'm not allowed to move it. I have to admit this hurts incredibly much. When I finally am allowed to move it, it is pretty floppy. That is the hardest part of radiation.
Right now I am waiting for Earl to get back from the airport as he brought Jay & Lisa there. Radiation begins again at 3:45. Tomorrow I'm going for a CT scan as well. We're hoping that it will clarify that the lungs are clear.
Thanks for your prayers

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I just read our last post and was excited to find out that we were in Toronto a week ago. Wow, it feels like a bit of a blur. Anyway, since that last post radiation has been scheduled to begin on Monday, February 12. Or, I guess, Ramona has a pre-radiation appointment on the 12th and radiation technically begins on the 13th. Our flight leaves Winnipeg at 7:50 a.m. February 11th. We will be staying in an apartment located in Scarborough in the Africa Inland Mission Head Office. We are incredibly thankful that that is working out. Ramona spends some time looking for places to volunteer when we're out there. True to my nature, I'll begin looking for something any day now. We're pretty excited that my brother Jay and sister Lisa are coming to hang out with us shortly after we get there. Ramona hasn't been feeling incredibly healthy in the last couple of days, and we always wonder if that means something. It's hard not to worry. Mildly changing the subject, Missionfest in Winnipeg was incredibly encouraging. Singing with 1700 ish people and listening to Steve Saint and chatting with friends was awesome.
I guess these are merely facts for now. When we're sitting around picking our noses and wondering what to do (apparently, i'm told, thats disturbing) we'll write stories.
-Earl and Ramona