Sunday, November 30, 2008
God's will is a mysterious thing. We heard a great sermon today about the "adventure" of following God's will for our lives. We know that His will is perfect, and we are not called to agree with it or even understand it. We are simply called to be obedient. Sometimes He reveals His will to us, but mostly, we simply must trust that He is in control and just go down the path we believe He has set before us.
We are certainly in that mode right now. We don't know why He has decided to have Tammy go through this at this time, but we are content in the knowledge that He is in control.
For several years, Tammy has prayed, "Use me in a mighty way." She has felt like God was preparing her for "something big"--something that can point others to Him. As we got involved in the missions work in Poland, first through our daughter and later being able to be a part of it in person, she thought that might be the "big thing." We came into contact with so many young people who came to love Tammy, and may come to a deeper relationship with the Lord partly because of Tammy's example.
But now we believe this is "the big thing." We believe it is part of the plan to draw others to Christ. Tammy is very much at peace with whatever this disease brings, because she knows that God can be glorified. If she is healed completely, as is our selfish prayer, then God can be glorified because of His power. If He chooses to have her suffer with the effects of the disease for a long period of time, He can be glorified through her faithfulness. If He chooses to bring her Home because of this disease. He can be glorified by her peace.
She very much believes Philippians 1:18-26: "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me."
We pray that you will be blessed during this time. We have felt tremendous support from so many family members and friends. We pray that every one of you will draw closer to Him as you deal with your emotions. Tammy is in great hands, from a physical standpoint with the hands of the physicians who are managing her care, and from a spiritual standpoint with the Hands of the Great Physician.
God bless you. Thank you for your continued prayers.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
It's Saturday morning and Tammy is a day removed from the blood transfusion. She has more energy this morning. She really wanted to cook a turkey sometime this weekend. (We were blessed to go to her brother's house on Thanksgiving.) She is starting with that. The biggest praise is not that we'll have more turkey for dinner, but that she has enough energy to work in the kitchen. Julie and I are watching her closely; we won't let her get too tired.
Tammy has such a sweet spirit, as those of you who know her will attest. She has a great attitude about what's in store for her future. We are anxious for the appointment Monday so we can find out more details. At the same time, we are resting in the Lord's perfect timing.
Friday, November 28, 2008
We have received numerous emails about Tammy. We appreciate all of them, and we apologize that we can't reply to every one of them. Just know that we read them all.
I am developing a chest cold, something I don't need, and neither does Tammy. The doctor has prescribed an antibiotic, which I will fill shortly. In the meantime, some dear friends are in our front yard raking and bagging all our remaining leaves. It wouldn't be good for me to breathe in the leaves, so this wonderful family of five is serving the Lord by serving us.
We had a long list of people to call, because so many people have offered to help. We appreciate that so much. We know that this is not going to be easy, but with the support of so many people who care about us, it will be easier. Of course, the best help anybody can give us is to pray for Tammy. We believe so much in the power of prayer, and we feel like we're floating on a large pillow of prayers. We're very thankful for that.
We'll post again when Tammy gets home so we can update how the transfusion helped.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We have been blessed to have Julie home for a long weekend. She arrived yesterday and will be here until Monday morning. She is such a joy in our lives. She is helping around the house and generally bringing sunshine into our lives.
Tammy is resting today. Julie and I are not letting her lift a finger. We're looking forward to going to her brother Mike's house for Thanksgiving. We'll be with all of her family, which is always a joy.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We believe strongly in the power of prayer. When you pray, you are speaking with the Creator of the universe. He made each one of us and He knows what's best for us.
Think of someone you are praying for. Imagine picking up that person and carrying them to the Throne of God. You lay them at His feet and say, "Lord, I can't help this person, but You can. Please take care of all their needs."
That's what you're doing when you pray. As you pray for Tammy during this time, please imagine carrying her to the Throne of God.
We love being carried.
First a little history. Tammy likes to donate blood every couple of years. She enjoys helping other people, plus she can get her cholesterol checked at the same time. She went to give blood in early October and found out her hemoglobin was low. They thought she might be a little anemic, so they suggested that she visit her doctor. She went to our family doctor and he did a complete blood test.
What he found was that all her blood levels were low. Her hemoglobin was 10 (normal is 12-14). Her white blood count was 1,600 (normal is 8,000 to 10,000). The doctor suggested that she repeat the test a week later to see if she had a virus that caused the levels to be too low. The next week the levels were the same.
She underwent a bone-marrow biopsy to find out why she was not producing enough blood cells. This is when we found the myelodysplasia. Our family doctor referred us to a hematologist, who we met with on Tuesday, Nov. 25. He wants to treat it as if it's already transitioned into leukemia, because if we don't, it will.
We are scheduled for a consultation with surgeons at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis on Monday, Dec. 1. This is one of the leading transplant hospitals in the country. The surgeons will review her records and most likely will schedule a bone-marrow transplant in the near future.
We'll make another post after the appointment on Dec. 1. On Friday, Nov. 28, she will have a blood transfusion. Her hemoglobin continues to drop.
Please pray for Tammy as she battles a severe lack of energy, plus the anxiety of not knowing what's ahead. Pray for her doctors as they prepare to treat her. Pray for all of us as we give her the care she deserves. Finally, pray that God's will be done. He is the Great Physician. It's hard to imagine, but He loves her more than any of us can. He has a perfect plan for her.