Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Purple Hair

Those of you who know me, know that I would never, ever dye my hair purple-it's just not me. Well sometimes you do things you'd never do if you weren't in the situation you're in! Sunday morning as I was fighting fevers in the hospital, I noticed a few hair on my pillow and immediately my hand went to my head and gently pulled and sure enough, my hair was starting to come out. Instantly I decided to shave it and made arrangements to have a clipper brought in the hospital. However, Earl's sister and Earl thought it would be good to have some fun before I went bald and so this was my look for a few hours!
Right now, I am sitting at home and blogging. Again I'm not technically out of the hosptial, but thanks to an amazing husband who fights for me and an awesome group of doctors, I was allowed to come home for the night. I need to be back by 8 in the morning. Today I am feeling superb. I feel better than I have since before chemo. This morning something was simply just different. My white blood count is coming up and I believe that's a huge reason. My platelets are still super low, even after a platelet transfusion. It's not too worrisome at this point, but I have to be careful. I don't have a clue when I can come home for 'good'. I have not had a fever at all today, so that is a first since Friday night. As much as things are going in the right direction, the right doctors have to all agree that is is safe for me to be home. Fevers and possible infections for someone in my situation, are a big deal to doctors.
Now for the really encouraging part of my day. A year ago when I was in the hospital, there was another girl going through chemo as well. We were often in the hospital at the same time and sometimes hung out together. However, I had not seen her since then and have only sort of kept in touch. Today her mom came to visit. It was such a wonderful surprise and so good to chat, connect and relate. What was so encouraging to me, was how this woman has changed completely. Previously, she was stressed and worried(no one can blame her)but today she was fighting for her daughter, praying and believing that her daughter would live. The spiritual change was so amazing and so touching to hear that her and her daughter pray for me all the time. Medically, her situation is similar to mine. We both need miracles. If you think of her, please pray for her.
I feel like there is a spiritual battle raging. Ever since I openly stated that I believed God would heal me, a doctor has treated me much more rudely. Pray that the Holy Spirit does what He does best.
And so, that's my update.
A special thanks to Melissa who sits with me while Earl's in class and studying, to all those who've filled our freezer with food and for every single prayer.
I can't wait to get into my own bed
Good night
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Ramona is still in the hospital right now. She hasn't felt super good the whole time in the hospital, but considering her Neutrophils were zero for a while and the rest of the numbers were really low, I'm thankful for how good she felt. She continues to get fevers. The doctors don't know the source of the fevers.
....I guess I'll just leave you with small bits of vague info for now....I'm heading back to the hospital right away....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So, Ramona and I went out for ice cream last night. Unfortunately......it was our stuff left over in the freezer at St. B. Ramona is in emergency now. We went in last night around eleven p.m. Her white blood count is 0.1 and her platelets are 11. She is fighting with a fever too. Considering all the previously mentioned things she feels pretty good right now............as I'm writing this, I just got a call that Ramona is being brought up to the 5th floor.
Thanks so much for praying you guys

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So, how to sum up the last week?? I sit here not having a clue what to write, so much has happened, so much intensity...
The last everyone heard medically was that Dr. Wong came into my room trying to tell me the seriousness of a possible infection. Due to this potential infection, I have been on superbug antibiotics. These antibiotics can not be taken in pill form. Therefore, they did not let me out of the hospital on Monday, neither did they let me get out on Tuesday. Now Home Care is set up and a nurse comes to our house twice a day to administer my antibiotics. I was able to go home for a few passes on Monday and Tuesday and both nights were spent at home, that was awesome, even if we had to be back at the hospital early morning.
I'm sure a bunch of you are confused about this infection, so am I. Earlier in the week I had a fever which resulted in the blood cultures showing an infection. However, the 2nd cultures taken a few days later have not shown any infection. Apparently it can take a long time for these cultures to grow, so we wait and take precautions.
I feel like I'm super slowly starting to recuperate. The couch and I are great friends. :) My pain is for the most part under control.
Thank you so much for your prayers, comments and emails. We have been surrounded by support and I thank you. It blows my mind how many people around the world are praying-thank you. And as I genuinely thank you for you prayers, I long for more as I know that it's only through Jesus that I am healed. This weekend has potential for my white blood count to drop resulting in a hospital stay. Pray that the fever stays away.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Finally Home

Just a quick note to say that this morning we finally came home!! How amazing to be home. Earl & I are so exhausted so maybe tomorrow I'll fill everyone in all the details.
Good night

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thankyou for posting those verses in the comments. That is really encouraging.
So...., this morning Dr. Wong comes back and essentially tells Ramona that this infection could be a big deal, and potentially fatal and things like that....and a transfusion needs to be done again...and was kind of....simply not to encouraging. Anyway, the cultures came back shortly after that showing absolutely no infection, for which I am super excited about. It is possible for the cultures to show something in the next few days if something grows..........but really...why go there.....as I'm excited about this news, I guess there is no reason to stop praying. We do realize that anything that does go wrong when you have no white blood cells is serious. Anyway, I had better go back to the hospital to try to speed up the transfusion and the technicalities that go with trying to get out of the hospital.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Things to be thankful for:
-Ramona has barely mentioned words like vomit, nausea etc.
-there is only one bag of chemo left for this round.
-Ramona has been able to be in the 'comfy' room the whole time
-Nursing staff is unbelievable
-Had some incredible times of worship in Ramona's room
-Met and spent some time talking to a Christian doctor, Dr. Foerester
-Awesome friends, family, and food

.....I don't have a good title for the next part. These next things sure don't keep us from being thankful, but are important to let you prayer warriors know about...and end up being pretty difficult sometimes
-Ramona seems to have some type of infection and may need to have a new PICC line put in if the antibiotics don't take care of it
-Ramona continues to have significant back pain. Morphine in small doses does not seem to take care of it.

My time at the kiosk has roughly come to an end. Thank you so much,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's a good thing that we felt peace before the chemo started. The chemo started yesterday at about 4 p.m. and....is just super tough. There is no proper way to describe it. On the first evening when we came to the hospital Ramona was feeling horrible to begin with, but, the struggle within her was absolutely huge. "I can't do it" she kept saying........and that makes sense to me....To knowingly put yourself into a prison cell and inject poison into you that makes you throw up, shuts your digestive system down, makes your hair fall out, etc...etc..., I don't know how else to explain it, but in my mind it's the closest picture I have to the Garden of Gethsemane. The unselfishness is amazing.... We know it is going to take something supernatural to get through this.

Ramona has really been struggling with anxiety too. She wanted me to post this, to have as many people praying about this as possible. Ramona has had small doses of drugs to calm the anxiety. Anxiety is physical and spiritual, and we know prayer works for both those realms.

Last night Ramona was getting a fever too. We're not sure at all what is going on. At first, the doctors suggested it might be tumors breaking down. Then as her temperature rose to 39 degrees they assumed it must be some type of infection. During the night they pumped her full of antibiotics. This morning her temperature is down atleast, but she was feeling pretty uncomfortable, and hadn't slept much during the night so she wasn't feeling too good when I left the hospital an hour ago. She was going down for an X-ray when I left and they're doing blood cultures and urine analysis to try and figure out what is going on. When I talked to her on the phone now, she was about to enter a morphine induced rest, which is a really good thing.

Hey Mark and Raelynn, thanks for the supper. We appreciate people rallying around us and encouraging us and brightening up those st. b walls.

Thank you Jesus that when you died on the cross you paid for sins and sickness.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quick note.
Ramona and I made it to the hospital around 8 this morning.
One blessing already is that Ramona's blood count looks good. (Yesterday's was filled with warning asterisks)
Chemo should start around 1:30. (Seeing as everything in hospitals always goes according to plan :) )
Where ever you are today you've got an opportunity to praise God. Thanks for agreeing with us for a miracle.

I'll see if I can print out the comments and bring them to Ramona
Well... I just spent an absolutely enjoyable evening at home with my wife and some of our friends. If you're confused, that' s okay I'll keep writing. First of all, I was mentioning that Ramona had huge amounts of pain last night. It was something unbelieveable. I don't know if I've ever seen Ramona in so much pain for so long. I know Ramona really wanted to thank the nurses for the amazing job they did taking care of her in the 2+ hours of agony before they could give pain meds.
In the morning a CT was done. The CT results weren't exactly what we would have hoped for. It was confirmed that the pain Ramona was having is a result of internal, tumor bleeding in her chest. In addition to that. In the past 2.5 weeks one of the tumors has tripled in size, and the rest have grown significantly as well.
Doctor Wong was at the point of trying to talk us out of chemo. I asked him if there was any other form of treatment he wanted to try. There is nothing he wants to do. The chemo, he says, has a greater than 0% chance of working. Better than zero, is a good thing.
Anyway, since by that point it was realistically too late to start chemo for the day we went home. We'll be back at St. B. tomorrow morning (8 am.)to get another CT scan done and then start chemo after that.
We spent this evening singing and worshipping God in our house with some of our friends. What an absolutely awesome time. It was super encouraging for us.
I hope these details help you know how to pray.

Also, I don't know how to say this. But if you are a Christian reading this. Do not limit the healing power of God. Our faith is being tested and we are far from perfect, but I do not appreciate when Christians either subtly or directly plant ideas of doubt in our minds.
We have many praying/encouraging people around us, for which we are incredibly thankful.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quick update for the prayer warriors
Ramona was having incredible amounts of pain last night when we came into the hospital. At this point it's speculation what was all going on. This morning will include a CT scan as well as other tests. Chemo will wait until the tests are done. We want to praise God that the pain has subsided and ask everyone to keep praying as we expect God to glorify Himself with amazing healing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

.........as I sit here I don't think I have the words to describe the supernatural difference in our house......and I don't even think I'll try....you've probably read the last few posts.... A big huge 'amen' to everything Ramona wrote. We're planing to go ahead with the chemo plans. A little bit of chemical is not going to hinder God from doing the crazy, unexpected things He has in store for us. Ramona is booked to enter the St. Boniface hospital tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Earl Cooke-healed!!!!

So I'm at my parents in Morweena. Earl is at a men's retreat in the Whiteshell with a bunch of men from Soul Sanctuary. Tomorrow we'll meet in Arborg for the Terry Fox Run.
First of all, I thank every one of you for your prayers, comments and emails. It absolutely blows me away how many prayers were lifted upward yesterday-thank you! I'd also like to thank the girls that I had supper with last night. Thank you for allowing me to be real with you and for caring so deeply-thank you for praying with me; you guys are awesome! Now, where do I start? I'm so excited about what I heard today, that I'll start with that.
A lot of you have heard me mention Earl Cooke before. (Check out the link to his blog) This last week, God miraculously healed him of cancer!!! He was also fighting sarcoma and at his last appointment with Dr. Wong, he was given hopeless news. The cancer in his lungs was spreading fast. He went in to the hospital on Wednesday to start chemo. He had pain in his ribs so tests were done and his cancer was gone! There is one benign tumor, but everything cancerous is gone. Needless to say Dr. Wong was floored! Wow, wow, wow! I've been encouraging Earl Cooke for months that he & I would be Dr. Wong's first sarcoma survivors- it's crazy to see that happening. It blows my mind what God is doing. He's constantly affirming me that He is in control and that He's in the healing business. Thank you Jesus-you deserve all honor, glory and praise!
My next story will seem stupid to many of you and I simply don't care. I'm not forcing anyone to read this blog-it's simply Earl & I pouring out our hearts, allowing whoever wants to listen, to listen. Ever since my last bout of chemo, atleast since January, I can not remember a time that I sweat. I can not remember ever smelling sweat on any of my clothes or on myself. Yesterday, I was sitting outside and smelled sweat. I couldn't believe it was me- needless to say I really stank.(Earl can definitely testify to that :) ) This was the first time that I had sweat in almost a year. To everyone else, this is nothing to be thankful for. Most people wish they wouldn't sweat. I on the other hand, long to be healthy enough to sweat. I have no idea why I suddenly sweat, but I take it to be another little sign that God is healing my body. I'll let you think what you want.
And so here I sit, trying to absorb it all in-so thankful that God is completely in control. We were created to praise Him, no matter what we're going through!
As for the decision on chemo, I'll wait to officially post that until Earl is back from the men's retreat. I will share that we feel quite strongly in a certain direction and have felt a lot of affirmation.
Please don't stop praying

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I sit here and cry. I just finished reading the comments on the blog and all the emails you've sent and I'm amazed. The crazy thing is that most of you, I don't even know! God is up to something pretty crazy, I really can't fathom it. Thank you for your encouragement-thank you for praying. I'm just so in awe of God today. Let me fill you in.
This morning, one of my close friends came over that I hadn't seen in a year. We had a great time chatting and in the process, she told me how God had healed her this past year! God had really been speaking to her about dealing with some inner stuff and as a result, she was completely healed of an allergy and other medical stuff. Talk about amazing. Talk about affirming. I just got so excited. Here I am, seeking God and the Bible for healing, and my friend, totally unexpectedly, shares her story of healing-wow!
This afternoon, after chatting with 2 pastors, about which direction to take regarding chemo, Earl & I went to the Light Christian Store. One of the pastors had suggested getting some Praise & Worship music and had suggested a certain artist, so we decided to pick it up on the way home. All day, I'd been feeling pretty miserable with pretty intense chest pain, so after a bit I sat down in the store. I always like to watch people and today was no different. I saw an obvious African couple go to the counter and I thought, proceed to buy something. I heard them talking about sales and discounts and so on and so I gathered that they couldn't afford to buy this kid's CD/book that they wanted to buy. They left the counter and returned the item. The woman was still dressed in her traditional African clothes and I started dreaming about going to Africa, etc. etc. This couple really got to me. I started to wonder if maybe I should give them some money so they could buy this children's music. I imagined that they had just emmigrated and were probably really poor. I didn't really want to give them any money-I was too shy. I felt stupid, I mean how do I know if they're poor? What if they'd be offended? Was it just my imagination? I couldn't knock the feeling, so after we payed for our stuff, I told Earl how I felt. He encouraged it and so he went and gave them some money while I went to the car. I don't normally have these kind of moments, so I went to the car and prayed that that money could be used for awesome things and that something good could come out of it. After a few minutes, this African couple and Earl come out of the store and they come meet me. Before we've even introduced ourselves they wrap their arms around me and start praying. (Earl had told them I was sick) Here we were, in the parking lot-2 white people and 2 Africans hugging and praying-crying out to God. I thought we must look pretty crazy, but I didn't care. Turns out this couple are missionaries from Nigeria. They are traveling around, speaking about healing and have even written a book on healing!!!! Not only that, their son had a tumor on his head and was miraculously healed and the father also was healed miraculously! Wow! What an incredible God we serve. They were wanting to buy children's CDs, etc. because they are passionate about children's ministries in their country.Earl & I were so overwhelmed and then we found out that they were working with a church that is within walking distance from our house. They are currently living right close by. We gave them a ride to the house that they're living and the woman of that home gave us delicious Nigerian food for supper. After supper, we attended the Bible study. Now, I'm just trying to wrap my brain around it all. I feel so blessed to have so many people praying for me. I'm just amazed how God works. It's no accident that I felt God speaking to me, to give that money. It made me wonder, how many times I miss out on incredible blessings, just because I use the excuse that I'm shy. Earl & I were blessed and encouraged way more that that money ever meant to us. Let me just encourage all of us to be bold-who knows the blessings you will receive!?!
PS. I'll try to do the Terry Fox Run in Arborg on Sunday. (hopefully bike) Love to see some of you there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes, so we received my CT results on Monday. Just as we expected, the news was dismal. In two months, the tumors have doubled in size and one is putting pressure on the blood vessels going to my heart. Yes, it's scary and overwhelming. However, I told Dr. Wong that Earl & I were believing for a miracle. That even though it doesn't make sense medically, I am going to survive. I said no to chemo for now, but am really battling if I made the right decision. Dr. Wong said that I need to make that decision now, because in a month or two it could be too late(meaning the chemo would make me too sick because my body would be too sick to handle it). I believe without a shadow of a doubt that God will heal me miraculously. However, I don't know when. I am so sick and tired of chemo. The thought of it is so overwhelming that I begin to cry. The worst part by far, is being 'locked' into a small space for a week. The surroundings are so discouraging and depressive. I can't battle chemo, it's simply too much for me. BUT, I know God would somehow help me get through it. So here is where all of you readers come in. I need you, every one of you that believes in the power of prayer & or fasting, to please pray for Earl & I. I'm asking as many people as possible, this Friday, to pray specifically for direction as to whether or not I should have chemo. (Medically speaking, chemo will only prolong my life, not cure the cancer.) If God speaks to any of you, please email us at earlramona@gmail.com. I want to go confidently in a direction and believe that God will show us which way to go.
Thanks so much for your prayers. I know hundreds of prayers are and have been prayed for me and I am so grateful. May I become a woman of God, that is one day used to impact the world and give God incredible glory. Know that every prayer is valuable and may God bless you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hey everybody,
Earl & I are now officially living in Winnipeg! We moved on Monday and are starting to feel settled in. Earl will be going to the University of Manitoba studying Nutrition and starts classes tomorrow.
My health is obviously weighing heavily on our hearts and minds. I had a CT scan last Friday and will receive the results on Monday. Unless God does an amazing miracle before Monday, Earl & I know that Dr. Wong will give us bad news. The tumor on my leg has grown tremendously and gives me a significant amount of pain. I try not to dwell on this because I firmly believe that God is healing me and that through a miracle I will survive this cancer. There are so many things that I am passionate about and long to do with my life. I don't believe that my life is over. God has wonderful things in store for Earl & I together. As much as I believe this, there are times when I doubt and fear so much. When I wake up in the night crying with pain, I wonder where God is. I get discouraged and just want to give up. Then when the pain is gone, it's somehow so much easier to trust and believe that God's in control. What a reminder to trust God-no matter how you feel, or no matter how things appear, God is still the same God and He knows what He's doing.
Pray for us to keep trusting. Pray for us that no matter how hopeless Dr. Wong sounds, that we won't let that get us discouraged, instead let him see that we serve the God who heals and who gives hope. Pray for us as we need to make decisions regarding chemo.
Thanks again for your prayers and support. Many of you have shown your support in tremendous ways-thanks for the food, the gifts, the money, the garden produce, etc. You may not receive a personal thank you note, but please feel personally thanked.