Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Prayer for my Dad - Update

 Hey Everyone.

Just an update for all of you.

The last week with my dad has been both completely great and completely difficult.
I'll start with the positive. 

 The Completely Great. 

I can hardly imagine anyone denying God while being on their deathbed, but I can acknowledge that it can happen.
Thank God in Heaven - my dad believes in Him.
My dad and I have had three distinct conversations where he acknowledged all of the following:

- his sins
- his repentance from sin and his need for a savior
- Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord
- God's provision of a savior through his Son's death and resurrection.

Praise God.

If you've read the book "Heaven Is for Real" or have been in a similar situation as ours, you may know why that last sentence was written with a period and not an exclamation point.  Great joy combined with great sadness leads to a refreshed faith with a somber heart. 

 The Completely Difficult. 

I started on my way home on Tuesday unaware of what I was about to face.
My dad's decline has been exponentially fast, something that has caught us all by some degree of surprise.  We knew this time would come, but we could only imagine - not expect -  how it would be.  Dad now only has moments of clarity, no movement at all in his left arm and leg, and takes four different medicines for his seizures.  The days here range from watching him sleep to devising all sorts of "reasonable" explanations for dad not to get out of bed - something that could end up being fatal for him when he would inevitably fall. FYI: Dad's on blood thinners still for the clot in his leg - see the last post for more info on that.

 Prayer is still needed. 

We know Dad doesn't have much time left, but we have no idea when that time will be up.  What we need prayer for now is that my dad would remember that he has a place secured in heaven (John 14:6, Romans 10:9).  This is difficult for him to do, considering the nature of his disease and what complications it's causing on his brain.  My dad also need prayer for a peaceful passing.  He is in a lot of pain and is either unwilling or unable to express that pain to us.  He is also losing much of his cognitive abilities, which makes the days hard on him and on us.  Finally, please pray for us, that we would be under God's protection during this challenging phase of our lives.

Thanks for the support from everyone.  We definitely appreciate it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Prayers for my Dad

****I sent this message to some of you recently, but I think it'd be good to put this on here so more people can know and possibly be helped by our family's experience in the future.  Also, it gives a little information to those who have seen this news via other members of my family. 

I know this isn't the best way to go about sharing this news, but I want to let people know what's up with my father, especially those who have either been a big part of John's and my life, those who primarily know me and have gotten to know about my dad's situation for a very long time, or a combination of both. 

For many, many years - well more than anyone in my family or my father's medical team could have predicted - my dad has been fighting stage 3 brain cancer. After three surgeries, four or five series of chemo, and lots and lots of meds for his seizures and nearly any other kind of symptom he could possibly have, the cancer has finally started to progress at a significant rate.

We found out on June 8th that the tumor growth has crossed into the other part of my dad's brain. This past Monday, my dad was hospitalized for a blood clot that was brought on by the brain cancer - something neither we nor my father's neurologist could have predicted without the help of an otherwise unnecessary vascular physician. The clot spans the length of his leg and is particularly bad around the back of his knee. We're thankful the doctors were able to find this, and we hope that the clot can be controlled.

Many times in the past, I have asked people for prayers for my dad. I've asked for prayer that he'd make it through a surgery, that he'd get through yet another session of chemo, that he'd be relieved of his seizures. Now, I am asking for prayers for his faith in Christ. It's not common that a person and their loved ones get a "warning sign" for when their life is about to come to an end. I pray that, with this warning sign, my dad will find hope and peace in Christ's salvation, and have the saving knowledge of God's grace. If you feel so lead, please pray with me that these things come to fruition and that my dad has a peaceful exit out of this world and into the arms of God when that time comes.  

As a side note, we have no idea how soon the end will be.  Medical timelines have lost any sense of credibility when it has come to my dad's journey with this disease. 

Finally, I'm sorry that this message is going out to people electronically instead of from me verbally. While the last couple days have been a lot better for me emotionally, it's become really difficult knowing what to say and then having to say these things over and over again. Also, if I haven't talked to you on the phone in the last 7 months, I don't currently have your number in my new phone. Yes, I still haven't transferred my numbers, and yes, I have finally misplaced my old phone. I haven't lost it yet, however...that's to be determined. Let's just say it wasn't a good idea to try to use my old phone as a separate contact list.

Thank you for your prayers and support over the months/years/decades. I really appreciate it! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask.   I hope that sharing this experience can be a blessing to someone in the future.