Monday, February 18, 2008

I guess it saves me the effort of posting pictures. If anyone at Oasis reads this...if you could keep the cord that connects our camera to our computer in a nice safe place until we come back....anyway...we have found an organic food coop in San Diego which seems amazing...I never thought we would find relatively cheap organic food so easily...for dessert yesterday we shared a piece of organic blueberry soy cheezecake for under 3 dollars...(notice how a picture would have been nice here)...anyway...have a good day everyone

Sunday, February 17, 2008's nice to have my 'sign in' option in English instead of Spanish. Just a note to say that we are now in San Diego. I'll go do some research on the San Diego Transit System while Ramona sleeps.
Thanks so much to those of you who prayed for us during this trip,

Friday, February 15, 2008

This picture was taken yesterday. This is facing north from the hospital. Those of you in colder climates may appreciate the fact that snow shut down roads in southern California yesterday. As well, there is a risk of frost in San Diego tonight....

We watched a movie last night.

This is some of our supplements. The great thing is, that if you buy as much as we do, they give you a complimentary suitcase.

This is our last movie night. Popcorn covered in olive oil and veggie salt actually tastes amazing.(Dayna, take note of the blanket.)

Olive oil and veggie salt provides an excellent segway into the world of food. We are a few days from entering the world of health food on our own. We have learned a lot in the last two weeks about what is healthy and what is not and it's time to put that into practice in reality.
Nutrition in the realm of cancer treatment/prevention is an interesting subject. We have been told here that nutrition is only about 10-17% of what affects your cancer. Making up the other 80+% would be things such as stress or getting plenty of rest. Having said that. Studies here have shown that those who maintain their diet, live longer. Disciplined eating habits seem to be a pretty big key to living in such a way as to keep the cancer away. When your eating habits deteriorate, other good lifestyle habits seem to follow. Anyway...we haven't entirely figured out all the details of what we (especially Ramona) will be eating...but...we need to eliminate or nearly eliminate dairy (some organic dairy may be okay) and continue without white sugar and white flour. Meats can include some fish and chicken, eliminate or nearly eliminate red meat. much as organic. This will be quite a challenge and....will obviously have exceptions. All of these changes have reasons...which you can likely research on your own....if you want... At first when we get home we will have incredibly many judgement calls to make and it feels like we need to relearn how to eat. We want to create good habits without going overboard. For is much better to eat pesticide covered fruit than to eat no fruit...
Anyway, we're trying to bring openness to the topic of food...and....
to those of you who eat with us....just ask...
One of our next steps is to get beyond a life that focuses on focus purely on food now would be quite a defeat too.
Sleep good ya'll,
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Things are starting to wrap up here. It almost feels scary....we just got here and now were getting ready to go home. This is the prescription that was given to Ramona today. Some treatments end tomorrow and by Sunday, we head to San Diego. Tuesday....Home. Have a good evening,
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Every morning, I get up early and go down to the 2nd floor to get my makeup done. It's part of the routine here. Good looks equals good health. Whatever...not funny....anyway...this picture was taken last Friday. We were asked to be part of the Oasis photo shoot. Since it is the 45th anniversary of the hospital and they haven't taken decent pictures of the hospital in a decade they decided it was time. Pictures were taken all over the hospital...and we were chosen to be on a few of them in the chapel.

On Friday....the pictures never happened. Daniel Kennedy the CEO "lost faith" in the photographer early in the day and everything was today they had a new photographer and we did the makeup all over again. Daniella was the makeup artist. She has some type of head position in finances but she formerly worked in a did the makeup today.

The picture that you will likely find in the promotional material in the future will be somewhat like this I assume. Dr. Contreras (head oncologist) is an amazing man. This is a posed praying position, but after we finished the pose he told Ramona he had actually been praying for her.

I love this picture.

One last note is regarding Sharon. She passed away early this morning. She miraculously regained kidney function when they thought she wouldn't make it, but then she developed pneumonia and that was too much. Pray for Steve and their families.


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Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm not sure what's up with the photography. We went out for supper with Ramona's parent's and other than a picture of the menu this is the only shot we have. I'm eating ostrich burritos with nopalitos (cactus). Speaking of Ramona's parents, they should be landing in Winnipeg anytime.
Today was a day off of treatment. This was good because Ramona spent much of the day sleeping. We also went to the beach late in the afternoon.

I once heard some great relationship advice. "Everyday, you need to kiss for 10 seconds." Which I find to be great advice, I mean, you try kissing someone on the lips for 10 seconds while you're angry. It is possible to give a quick little forehead get the picture. So part of the strategy is to get a camera with a 10 second timer and then use it on a beach where due to the waves you can't even hear the camera. And you just go and....well...anyway on another note....
(a quick note that upon review of my writing Ramona says we don't follow the rule so...ya...we'll work on it I guess)
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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mom and Ramona "swimming" at Rosarito Beach on Saturday. Ramona needs a lot of encouragement to go swimming. Please help me.

Church this morning. Dr. Ernesto Contreras had the sermon. It's absolutely amazing to have an M.D., the son of the founder of the hospital talking to us.

We can't find anyone named Pedro, but we found this.

Today the Oasis trip took us to downtown Tijuana.
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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Some visitors dropped by last night :)
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Friday, February 08, 2008

CT Results

It's hard for me to stop from snickering to myself as I post this. If you are like Ramona and myself you will think you are some kind of genius doctor and be concerned about "what does this mean or what does that mean?". So anyway, while you are analyzing on your own the picture of a photocopy of a CT scan, you probably see the white dots on the lungs. Those dots apparently are NOT cancer. That is simply the way the lungs are. We told Dr. Carbajal that the previous CT scan showed one 8mm tumor on the right side. So.....he went downstairs to look again and invited me down so I could see the full CT Scan together with him. (The CT report in Spanish would have been a little difficult). Upon further investigation, there was still no indication of tumor in the lungs. Although it is definitely worth a few high fives around here, we try to keep it all in perspective. The Dec. '06 CT scan also showed the lungs to be clear, but it was only a few months later before tumors were again growing and visible on the scans. The news is absolutely as good as could be expected, but only time will tell whether the tumors will stay away. This continues to be the purpose of the Oasis of Hope. The treatment should destroy any microscopic tumor as well as strengthen Ramona's body enough to keep anything from growing again. Thanks for praying.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Today Ramona had fewer treatments. This means we had more time to actually relax outside today. The treatment is designed well. These treatments do exhaust her body and she needs a day like this to recooperate.
This is me running in the water. Also, you can't see it clearly, but there is a huge ship in the background. I guess it must be from the U.S. Navy.

Notice two things in this picture. 1- The green truck. These coastguard guys came and yelled at Amos and I. Spanish yelling sounds kinda neat. Anyway, we came to understand that they were warning us of the big waves and riptides. 2- That rickety looking fence is the U.S.-Mexico border. Due to the battleships and circling helicopters, we tried to keep most of our parts in Mexico.

We are in the northwest corner of Mexico.
Things you could pray about:
-Ramona's knee still is causing much discomfort
- Sharon's (mentioned yesterday) health is noticably declining.
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Last night I was so sick of having rice for every single meal. Although I like rice, I was simply sick of it. There's an organic restaurant within walking distance, so Earl & I went there last night for night snack. I am supposedly allowed to eat there occassionally. We enjoyed some frozen yogurt. As you can tell I've got a hot water bottle on my lap. Last night I can some intense leg cramps. The knee that got hurt the other day really started bothering me and I was also experiencing a lot of pain in my foot and ankle. After some pain meds and hot compresses I finally had some relief. I struggled with it to some extent all evening and the night. This morning it was really bad in my thigh. The same area where I had a lot of pain after my hip surgery was really cramping up. I talked to the doctor and he gave me an anti-inflamatory drug and some pain meds. After awhile they really kicked in and I feel way, way better now! I'm not sure why I'm suddenly having this pain. I'm hoping positive things are happening inside my body and this is just part of the healing process.

This evening Earl & I went to an amazing spa that is within walking distance from the hospital. We got passes from the hospital and are able to go to the spa whenever the passes are available. This place is huge. The picture is of the hot tub. There were two other pools in the same room as well as a huge work-out area upstairs. It felt super good for my leg to get some heat in the hot tub. Prior to our time at the spa, Earl & I, the missionary couple here, as well as one other patient listened to one of the patient's companions share their story. This couple is maybe in their 30s. They have traveled the world searching for help and quite literally landed at Oasis of Hope's doorstep. The husband is a Christian while the wife is not. She is having intense pain and has numerous tumors. Listening to the husband share their story broke my heart. His love for her is so intense and he is totally at a loss. Each day he watches her suffer intensely. They just arrived here and hopefully the treatments will give some relief soon. We spent some time praying together for Sharon & Steve. I love this place in that we can meet with other Christians and share our stories, pain and fears and have people surround us who understand, who have gone through the same thing or are going through the same things. The reason I share this story is that I know many people read this blog and I know that many of you are Christians. Tonight Sharon & Steve are on my heart and I ask that you join me in bringing them to Jesus. Pray that God will not just give Sharon relief from her pain, but that through such a horrible experience, she could find God.
Thank you and good night
(Each morning at devotions we share what we're thanful for-this morning I was thankful that my stomach pain has almost completely disappeared. Thank you for praying about that.)
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Missing Pictures From Previous Post

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This is what I chose for lunch. I was just thinking you might like another look at the food.

This specifically caught our attention. Good creativity (if you like the taste). This is a hardboiled egg with the yolk removed and filled with a rice mixture. The yolk is what is most unhealthy...I thought it was quite brilliant myself.

This represents a huge answer to prayer today. The Perftec caused a reaction for Ramona the previous time they attempted to administer it. As I'm writing, Ramona is half finished the bottle (imported from Russia, maybe that is why it looks like a bottle for juice) and has fallen asleep. Ramona's stomach is not quite right, but we talked to the doctor and he does not think it is anything too serious. A few other patients have been feeling queezy too. Maybe something with the food?? Anyway, another beautiful day here, but also a day filled with treatment, so Ramona may not be able to spend much time outside. A highlight of the day was a presentation and question and answer time with Dr. Francisco Contreras. He's the chief around here and an amazing communicator too.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hey Lisa, Helmut and Gisela really like your work on Ramona's toes.
As you can see, the sun was definitely shining today.

This is the inside view of the church we went to tonight.

It was an evening of testimonies of healing and prayer for those with cancer

Earlier in the afternoon we walked past the church and the youth were putting up all these balloons outside. I was absolutely amazed with the youth. When cancer patients came forward to be prayed for, the youth group came up and were all praying. Because a few of us came from Oasis, they had someone on stage translating for us.
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Here at Oasis they do a really good job of having activities for people to do if they are feeling well enough. This is a picture taken on Saturday. Whoever wanted to could jump on the Oasis vans and head out on a twenty minute ride to Rosarito Beach. Ramona's knee was still not right so we did the wheel chair thing (I'm impressed with how well Ramona is handling it, but it's sure not ideal to hurt her knee right now when she could be out walking and getting excercise and soaking up the sun). As you can see, the shops aren't exactly crowded with people during rainy season.

Bruce and Vicky Northy are the leaders of Amigos de Esperanza. Essentially, Bruce is the pastor of the hospital. Ten years ago, Bruce had cancer himself and came out here along with Vicky and a missionary couple whom they were working for/with at the time. They came out here expecting there to be music or devotions or something every night, but there wasn't. So, the four of them started something on their own. The missionary couple visited all the patients in their rooms and every evening they pulled out a guitar and sang songs together. Apparently they had six people out the first night and after two weeks when Bruce's treatment was over they had 42 people out to sing. Anyway, Bruce has since been healed and over time they developed a ministry here called Amigos de Esperenza. This means that a couple will come out here and live here for a month at a time as spiritual leaders and to organize some activities here. Every weekday morning we have devotions at 8 a.m. Whoever wants to and feels good enough meets to sing and pray. This morning there were six of us.
I also read on the board that there is a time of prayer for cancer patients at the San Pablo Church tonight at 7. This is a pink church about 400 feet from the hospital.

This was the weather yester. We stayed inside all day. Bruce was also the one who made the popcorn and made sure there was a Super Bowl Party here yesterday. Having mentioned all the above things it's actually felt quite....slow here yesterday and today...the rain kept us inside on Ramona's day off Sunday. And today is also a day off of treatment for Ramona but something is not quite right in her stomach and she has slept quite a bit and.....just doesn't feel very good. That is something that can definitely be prayed about.

This is Amos. He is one of the people we've met out here. He is here to be with his mother who will be a patient here for another week-ish. Oasis very intentionally does what they can to make it feel like we're one big family. There are people from Norway, U.S.A., Australia,U.K., Mexico, and Canada right now.

Have a good evening everyone,
Earl last question. Somebody please explain the Mexican culture to me. I think it's some sort of status symbol to have a car with an alarm. We probably hear car alarms 25 times a day. I mentioned this to someone out here and he said that he saw a group of people sitting in their car and simply....... they just set of off the alarm.....because??????...I don't know...maybe it's a new form of alarm therapy...anyway...maybe the alarms are just a bit to sensitive...Amos and I bought some firecrackers....who knew that setting one off in front of the hospital would set off a car alarm too...
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Sunday, February 03, 2008


Food. For those of you who think it's impossible to live three days without any kind of beef. I've done it! Before we came, we heard that Oasis was going to have a quasi-vegetarian diet. I still haven't checked what quasi means but I'm pretty sure it means something like "Ha. No steak for you buddy" be totally honest with you I really love the food here. (I'll simply let Ramona tell you any of her opinions of the food herself.) You might not believe it, but one of the first things I'm noticing is that I don't have to eat as much. I'm used to eating my big plate of food, and then getting seconds and then finishing Ramona's food. It simply doesn't work that way here. It hurts my stomach to eat that much. This first picture is my food card. You can see that we've been here for 4 breakfasts and 3 lunches and dinners

This, I believe, may be a dish of some sort of green things. It is beside the potatoe salad. The edge of that plate may be the guacamole. They make absolutely delicious guacamole here with plenty of cilantro. Everyone else complains about the cilantro. Anyway, for breakfast there is is always toast and cereal that you somewhat have to mix and match on your own....plenty of every color of fresh fruit and if you want a certain type of fruit that isn't set out you simply ask the cooks to get it for you (or anything else for that matter)....they had a bean dish with tomato type sauce that that could go on the eggs or the beans I guess....I think I should just take more pictures...never mind this explaining (This green salad is probably beans, the other day we had looks kind of like peas or beans too)

This is the eating area. This picture is taken from where the pulpit was set up this morning. I can't quite see if the juice is still on the table, but half way across the room on the left is the table of juices. Fresh squeezed juice: carrot, green juice(contains long list of ingredients), apple, papaya, pineapple, barley (personal favorite),strawberry, are some of the kinds they minght have. In the far right corner, someone is standing by the cappuchino machine. This you need to pay extra for. In fact, even to get a coffee you would need to extra go ask the cooks for one. Which they gladly give to you. It's not part of the diet out here.

These are the cooks cleaning up after the meal
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