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Dec 24, 2009

Love this one!

While looking through photographs for Andrew's service, we found this one taken about 2 years ago. I had not remembered it. I LOVE IT. I LOVE HIM.
To try to tell you how difficult it is to know Andrew is no longer in our presence would be such a shallow expression to convey deep pain.
On the rare occasions that I was sick or had a migraine, Andrew would check on me. He would offer me water or whatever I might need. He often paused, closed his eyes and then would say, "I prayed for you, Mommy." When he was little he called me "mommy" which was eventually replaced with "mom." But over the past few months, he had started calling me "mama."
Just a few days before he went to heaven, he was eating his breakfast and he told me, "I want to spend some time with you today, Mama."
We talked about some things we could do together despite the paralysis of his left arm.
Since he went to heaven, I keep hearing him say, "I want to spend some time with you today, Mama."
We were determined that Andrew's service would be an expression of worship to the Lord as well as a way to share who Andrew really IS to those who don't know him like we do.
As my friends on the praise & worship team sang, "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of our God...," we raised our hands in worship to our Lord and Savior who is ALWAYS HOLY AND ALWAYS WORTHY OF WORSHIP.
During our time of worship, I could "hear" Andrew's words again, "I want to spend some time with you today, Mama."
It was then that I knew in worshipping the Lord, I WAS spending time with Andrew for I knew that he was also worshipping the Lord. And so in worshipping God, I am able to actively participate in Andrew's life in Heaven. And some day I will see Andrew's hands raised in praise...both the right and the left.
More pictures and more words later...

Dec 23, 2009

Just a few glimpses of one of my favorite faces!

Summer '08
I took Andrew to the skate park. I love this picture.

(Click on pics to enlarge.)

Ski Trip '07
Such a sweet smile.

Summer Trip of white water rafting '07
We stopped at a national park for a picnic and Andrew ran and jumped and when he landed this one, he fell and tumbled down the slope. My mother's heart jumped out of my body! He was ok...just a little scraped up.

In a little while, I will share the beauty of his service on Saturday, 12/19. For now, just know that we worshipped the Lord.
We were led in triumphal procession and the fragrance of Christ was spread.

Dec 16, 2009

Andrew smiles in heaven now

Our beautiful, precious Andrew passed from this earth to heaven yesterday. He was scheduled to start treatment yesterday, Dec. 15, but the aggressive tumors grew too fast. He had been sleeping next to me for weeks and he woke up around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning complaining of a terrible headache. He vomited and asked to go to the hospital, knowing it was the only way to get the pain relief that he needed. A cat scan revealed that his brain was full of the cancer and there was nothing medically to be done for him. Soon he was unaware of anything, although we believe his spirit was aware of our presence.

We stayed beside him and soon family and friends gathered in his room. We prayed, cried, loved on him and told him everything we wanted him to know. We were privileged to have him in our family for 12 years.

We sang and we kissed him. He was not able to breathe on his own. After removing the breathing tube, he never even tried to breathe. Soon he was no longer with us. I lay beside him in the bed and loved him. The nurse and I bathed his body. I gave him his first bath and wanted to give him his last.

Thank you so much for your outpouring of prayer, love and support in so many ways. I will be posting pictures of Andrew at some point. They are pictures to celebrate his precious life with us. I told our children yesterday that we will always be a family of 5. Andrew just made it to heaven ahead of us but I know it won't be long until we join him there. This life is just a breath. God is good.

Dec 3, 2009

Edited/Rizpah here...

Edited: Treatment with Temodar first then a resting phase followed by the phase 1 study using Avastin, Irinotecan and Temodar.

Yesterday we were all in church together. The Christmas program was wonderful! Our pastor asked our church to be in prayer and fasting for Andrew on December 17.
We pray for a miracle of healing to take place in Andrew's body.
He told me again this morning that he needs to get better, that he wants to get better.

Andrew had his simulation today. That is preparation for radiation. He should be starting within 10 days. They will call.

I think we have decided to go with a phase 1 study being conducted at All Children's Hospital here in St. Pete.
The combination of drugs has shown some promise. This is a hard decision because the potential side effects are greater than standard protocol. But after lots of research I am leaning toward the phase 1 study. My husband and I are going to give it a few days and pray about the treatment path.

Andrew is going through a lot right now. As you can imagine, this is very hard on a 12 yr. old.
He is on a wait list for physical and occupational therapy. That is very frustrating. We are limited in what we know to do with him as far as improving his function. In the meantime, his left arm dangles at his side and he walks crookedly and slowly. And the left side of his face does not cooperate with his right side.

Meanwhile I am...
Persisting in prayer despite the medical prognosis...BECAUSE of the medical prognosis.
Trying to make these days "normal" for all of our sakes.
Hoping Christmas will bring a miracle for Andrew and many others.
Keeping two words in my mind...BUT GOD.

Prayer requests for Andrew:
healing, of course
improved function on left side
no more headaches
restful sleep at night
hope and happy days
no negative side effects from treatment
a cure

I love you all for your continued prayers and sweet encouragements. God is Good and trustworthy.
"By His stripes, Andrew is healed..."

Nov 25, 2009


Andrew made it fine through the surgery yesterday. Thank you for your prayers!
He has been out of it mostly. I think this may be all the morphine he has had since Saturday. But you may find it funny to know he has watched a lot of The Food Network when he is awake. He and I used to snuggle together and watch Emeril years ago. Now he likes Alton Brown. It must be the scientific aspect Alton Brown brings to food!

Hopefully Andrew will be discharged some time tomorrow. Some good friends are fixing Thanksgiving dinner in their home for our other two children and my husband and I will eat with Andrew at the hospital.

We are staying local to do the radiation and chemo. We just can't leave our children and our support system again. It was too hard on the whole family before.

But I am also still researching alternative treatments to be used in conjunction with traditional protocol. We did not want to have Andrew go through the radiation and chemo because it does not cure this type of cancer and we hated to put him through the side effects to no avail. However, we are hoping it will give us more time.

Andrew's diagnosis is a GBM stage 4. It is the deadliest brain cancer and very rare in children. We are told there is no cure. BUT GOD.

I keep coming back to that because we know that God heals and we have heard of miracles happening for people who were sent home to die.
We continue to believe, hope, pray and breathe faith. Last week we were at our weariest and, to be honest, I thought I was near a break down at any moment. Sleep deprivation is a bad thing.

I am still praying for so many of you that have requested prayer. I don't have all the answers but I do have my faith and trust in a good God. I pray and believe because His Word tells me to. I persist because Jesus gave us the parable of the persistent widow. I trust in Him because He is trustworthy.

Happy Thanksgiving! We have our son so our day will be full of thanks.

Nov 23, 2009

Surgery Again

Please remember Andrew in prayer tomorrow (11/24) as he goes into surgery again around 10:00 a.m. est.
He has been in All Children's Hospital in St. Pete since Saturday. All Children's is 30 minutes from our home. We did not want to be separated from family and friends again.
He will have a debulking of the tumors. Following a short recovery, he will begin radiation and chemo. He began having excruciating headaches and vomiting last week.
There is no medical cure for this kind of brain cancer which is rare in children. BUT GOD.
We have put him over and again in God's kind and capable hands. We have not given up on Andrew's miracle. We still believe.

Please pray that God guides the hands of the surgeon and that there will not be an infection as was the case last time.
Pray that there are NO Ill Effects of the surgery.
Pray for us to have the wisdom of God on how to proceed with Andrew's care and that we are led by His Spirit as we talk with our son.
And please include our other children in your prayers. Andrew's big sister, Audra, is 20 and his big brother, Avery, is 15. Avery is not expressing his emotions and we are concerned about this.

Thank you for your prayers and your concern and your outpouring of love.
I'll let you know how things go when I can.

Nov 13, 2009

Looking Good!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked Andrew to draw a picture for me. He drew himself on his skateboard! Can't wait to see him skating again. You can be sure I will videotape it for you!

This morning Andrew weighed 97.2 pounds! (He has gained 13 pounds since being home.) His hair is growing out and soon will cover the scars on his scalp. He looks great and feels great, too.

These are some of the things we are doing:
We have cut out all refined sugar and make sure Andrew eats some raw vegetables and fruit every day. He has learned to really enjoy eating apples (organic) for a snack or as a dessert. If you are wondering what the black bag is in the picture from the prior post, it contains a pump. The pump is infusing vitamin C 24/7. We are also using the feeding tube to give him the Budwig "cocktail" twice a day. He has a physical therapy evaluation on Monday and we meet again with his doctor on Tuesday.

We continue to stand in faith on God's word for Andrew's complete recovery from cancer and its effects. Have I already mentioned how much I hate cancer? If not, I HATE CANCER. A couple of weeks ago I found out a friend from college days is going through a similiar situation with her 14 yr. old son. Her son, Britt, was also diagnosed with cancer (brain & spine). He started radiation and chemo this week. Please pray for Britt's complete healing, too!
I believe the enemy is attacking this end time generation because they will be on the front lines of spreading the gospel in these last days. Pray that none of the evil schemes of the enemy will thwart or cut short the purposes and plans of God for this generation! "Oh God, deliver us from evil."

Above all, we pray about everything all the time!

Bless his sweet heart, Andrew rarely complains. He asks us often if he will be better by Christmas. He is bored with not being able to play like he used to...just this summer. Because the tumors affected his left side, he cannot use his left arm/hand/fingers at all. He also has weakness in his left leg which makes it more difficult to walk. But we believe this is a temporary condition! We speak life and recovery and restoration to him on a daily basis.

Is it hard? Yes, some moments are very difficult for me. But I thank God for my husband who is a rock! And I thank God for all of you who pray for Andrew and our family. It means so much to us. Thank you for the cards. And I haven't forgotten those of you who asked me to add you or a loved one to my personal prayer time. I am praying for you!
A very special woman emailed me this week and asked me to pray about a specific need. I tried to email you back but was unsuccessful. You told me about your son. I would love to respond and if you would like me to, please email again with a return address. In the meantime, "God loves you and is pleased with you." I felt impressed to tell you that.

Have a Happy Day! "He hath made me glad."

Nov 9, 2009

I Love Sundays

Yesterday (Sunday) all five of us sat shoulder to shoulder at our church. What a great day! When our pastor welcomed Andrew back to church after such a long absence, many stood and clapped for him. That blessed us so much. I leaned into Andrew and whispered in his ear, "People love you, baby." Then our pastor directed his father (one of my favorite people) to anoint Andrew with oil and pray the prayer of faith (James 5:14-15).

Praise was lifted, the Word went forth, the Body of Christ loved on us and our family was blessed!

I wanted a picture of the five of us back in church together but our oldest son was ready to go and already in the van and our daughter had driven herself and had already left for home. Oh well. Some things never change! A family picture of any type is always a challenge.

Last night as bed time neared, Andrew and I were talking and I said, "Wasn't it great to be in church this morning?"

His reply: "I was excited!" And then he added, "I enjoyed Pastor Randy's message."

The message was the first in a new series our pastor is preaching entitled, All Things Have Become New from 2nd Corinthians 5:17.

What a fitting theme for our family. ALL things have become new, indeed!

Nov 5, 2009

From One Skateboarder to Another

A friend made a contact and Tony Hawk made a phone call to Andrew! Yesterday at 5:54 p.m. Tony Hawk called our home and asked to speak to Andrew. I had no clue who was on the other side of the line. But Andrew recognized the voice of Tony Hawk and they chatted for a few minutes. Thanks, Tony Hawk!
Thanks, Kathy for setting this up. And thanks to Paula, who weeks ago contacted Tony Hawk's "people" and Tony sent Andrew an autographed picture.
Andrew told me a few nights ago that he dreamed he was skatedboarding. I believe he will be on that board again! He has a vision and so do I.

Nov 2, 2009

Get A Life~Vision!

About a week ago the Lord impressed me to get a vision! A vision of Life for Andrew. In other words, Get a Life~Vision! A life vision for each of our children. A life vision for our family and our home.

Nearly a year ago, I was out walking with Andrew. He was skateboarding and was a little ahead of me. We had just rounded the top of our street. I could take you to the very place where a thought came to me regarding Andrew. It was, I believe, a heavenly thought.

I saw him skateboarding and loving life and the phrase "unusual ministry" came into my heart. Let me tell you that those two words have been something I have clung to like I would a canteen of water in a desert place.

Both my husband and I have "seen" Andrew as a young man, healthy, happy and whole. These spiritual pictures have "seen"us through tough times lately.

I have also had "snapshots" of the futures of my other two children as well. When my oldest son was still a baby in my arms, I got a "vision" for his future! Even though now I do not "see" it in the natural, I "see" it with spiritual eyes. As for my daughter, her gifts have always had lots of volume so they are easy to "see" and easy to hear.

I believe that God impressed me last week to get a vision for Andrew's future. I have held this vision up to God in prayer and I am not letting go of it.

God, Himself, said he knows the thoughts or vision he has for us and it is for hope and a future!

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope" Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV.

The vision I have for our family is for hope and healing. I want our home to be so saturated in prayer than no one enters or leaves our home without sensing the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I told my daughter Saturday that the two most important things to me are that our family knows God intimately and that we make Him known. Everything else I have ever been interested in pales in comparison. Everything else is but a shadow. A living, growing, breathing, "bride" relationship with Christ, the Son of the Living God, is my highest desire.

Yes, one day I will renew my interest in recipes and decorating for the seasons and in shopping my closet. Those things are fun and are a blessing to my family and to others. They are gifts to enjoy. I finally took the spring wreath off my door last week! I found my fall wreath and fluffed it up a bit. A neighbor brought a pumpkin by and it is on my porch. Maybe by Thanksgiving I will find my indians and pilgrims to display. I truly believe that is a part of "keeping" a home and my family enjoys a change in scenery now and again. And so do I!

However today my heart is in making our home a healthy environment and a holy place where the peace of God rules and reigns.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Andrew and our family. I love you.

Prayer requests: A good situation for physical therapy for Andrew, more movement and control on his left side (this would so encourage him), a job for my husband, uninterrupted joy in our home and, of course, 100% recovery for Andrew

Oct 27, 2009


Edited to add: Andrew is gaining weight. He told me last night that he got one of his toes on the left foot to wiggle. A wiggling toe is cause for rejoicing around here! Now to get that left arm, hand and fingers moving again!
"Therefore I have set my face like a flint..."
This scripture has been echoing through my spirit for weeks. The scripture is found in Isaiah 50. It is a picture of Christ's flintlike stedfastness of his devotion.
Here is the context:
"For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed."
For many weeks, the Lord has strengthened me during the most horrific moments with these words, "Daughter, set your face like flint."
Up until now I have not shared this with anyone but all week it has been on my mind to share it with you here. Maybe you are going through something in which you feel like giving up or giving in. Let's face it, there are some things we go through in life that are VERY DIFFICULT and it is tempting to give in to the despair that threatens to overwhelm you. It is tempting because you think that you might find relief in the giving up. But then the Lord speaks to you down deep inside and He tells you to hang on and set your face like flint. There will be no disgrace to the one who trusts in her God, whose heart rests in Him.
So many times lately, as I have gone about the normalcy of life back at home, I have cried out to God in my private moments. The cry always begins this way, "Father, Abba, Daddy...Daddy, Daddy..."
This daughter of the Most High God has the privilege of calling Him, "Daddy." And in that relationship, I can set my face like a flint and lean into him as He wraps His loving arms around me and does not shrink away at my falling tears. In Him I will never be ashamed.
Update: Andrew is doing well. We are consulting some of the finest minds concerning his nutritional needs. I am learning how to shop and prepare foods differently. It is a challenge but one I can embrace. We are determined to do all we can to support Andrew in all ways. And God remains Andrew's healer. Today was a good day! We have laughed and we have loved one another. We are together in our home. We have beautiful neighbors who are generous to offer support in a variety of ways. We have friends who will stop by and pray with us when I call on them. We have family who remain in stedfast prayer and support of us. We have long distance friends who are a continual source of support and prayer. AND WE HAVE SISTER BLOGGERS WHO HAVE BEEN SO ENCOURAGING TO CONTINUE TO PRAY, LEAVE ENCOURAGING COMMENTS, EMAIL AND SEND CARDS AND GIFTS.
We are blessed.
I promise to post recent pictures soon!

Oct 22, 2009

Good to Be Home

It is good to be home. I wish life were normal ~ normal as in what life was before the diagnosis of cancer. We continue to seek the best for Andrew in all things. We pray about everything, believing that God is answering our prayers for wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.

We need to put weight on Andrew and that is our priority at this time. But, we are being very careful about the kind of nutrition he is getting. Sugar is not a good thing when cancer is present. We are going organic where possible and I got my juicer out of the back of the pantry.

The hospital experience was exhausting to all of us and especially to Andrew. I was growing increasingly concerned for his mental state. Just thinking about that brings tears to myself and him, also. So we are putting it behind us.

Our plan is to get him in optimum health and boost his immune system. Then we will go from there.
Thank you to so many of you who have sent cards, gifts and even checks to help with our expenses. I am slow in getting back to you but I know you understand. My mother, who has been staying in our home since the beginning of September, is going to return to her home in MS this weekend. She needs to get back into her nest. I will miss her dearly because she has been such a prayer partner and a warrior in intercession. But she needs to rest now.

We continue to confess the Word of God over our family on a daily basis and many times a day. We treasure your intercession and your beautiful words of encouragement and faith in God's Word.

Prayer concerns: Andrew is still dealing with nausea, although much less vomiting (Thank the Lord.)
He is adjusting to the shunt and is upright more each day. When he is up for very
long at a time, he gets a headache.
We are praying that his brain makes new pathways so he has use of his left arm/hand/fingers and better use of his left leg/foot/toes. When he has regained some weight, energy and strength, we will pursue aggressive physical therapy. For now, we do "range of motion" here at home.

With God ALL things are POSSIBLE!!!

Oct 18, 2009

Going Home

Friday the doctors decided that the high powered antibiotic (rocephin) was causing the side effects. I believe it has also been the source of stomach upset. Andrew had been on zofran round the clock for nausea but still had nausea.
Since being off the antibiotic, his white cell count went back to the normal range. And he has not had a fever since Thursday afternoon.
We brought him to our hotel room on a day pass and plan to be discharged in the morning. I hope and pray it doesn't take long. Since being out of the hospital he has eaten more. If he feels queasy, we stop and pray. So far so good. He has had slight headaches and one throbbing headache. We pray.
We have to get Andrew home and build up his body, help him regain his weight and build his immune system.
Please continue to pray that he gets a normal appetite back and regains weight and strength. We are depending on the power of God and not the wisdom of man.
I'll continue to update.

Celeste Welch sent a wonderful, faith filled couple our way. They offered to come to the hospital room and pray. We felt the power of God in the room.
The next day, Beverly Dru and her husband surprised us with a visit. They also came in like sunshine and interceded our Andrew's behalf! Each couple came just when we needed the Body of Christ.
Saturday morning I called my new friend (the wife of the couple sent by Celeste) and she drove over to pray with me in the hospital chapel. What a powerful time of prayer.
My parents drove up from Clearwater on Saturday and spent the evening with us and part of the Sunday in the hotel room with us. While my husband tended to Andrew in the hospital, I got some rest knowing my parents were right there with me. This morning my mom and dad and I interceded in prayer for quite a while before I went back to the hospital room.
On a day pass, we brought Andrew back to the room with us. Unfortunately they will not "allow" us to let him stay overnight in the hotel and take him back in the morning for discharge.
Thank you all for praying so fervently that we could go home. Please pray that our drive back tomorrow is uneventful. Just joyous.

Oct 14, 2009

In Need

We want to go home. We need prayer.

Oct 12, 2009

Monday Morning Update

Andrew is in surgery now to have a shunt put in. Because he still has the infection and even had a fever as they took him into the OR, he will not get a port today. Too risky. They will put in a feeding tube in his stomach. He has gotten very skinny and needs to be fattened up.

We continue to stand on God's Word and that alone, as we pray against the curse of cancer and all of its effects. God is always faithful and true to His Word which is a reflection of His character. To know God, read about Jesus. He said that if you have seen Him, you have seen the Father. Jesus only did and said what He saw the Father do. Jesus spent many hours on this earth in prayer to His Father. Jesus was a bondservant to His Father and went about doing the Master's business.

That is my desire ~ to be a bondservant, knowing and doing the will of the Father. Always on a mission to be about the Father's business.

Yesterday a woman I did not know previously talked to our pastor after church and then asked us if she could come pray for Andrew. She felt led to do this upon the pastor's Sunday morning request for prayer for Andrew.
She made a 5 hour round trip drive to come to the hospital room and pray for our son. She said she had thought about coming on Monday (today) but that God told her she should come yesterday. So she obeyed, not knowing that surgery was scheduled for 8:00 this morning.

The prayer on our hearts and lips this morning is from Psalm 19:21: "Many are the plans in a man's heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

I have not forgotten to pray for so many of you who are facing difficult situations either in your health or your mind. I continue to call out your name before Lord, coming against, fear, sickness and disease.

Oct 7, 2009

A letter to Andrew

Dear Andrew,
On a pillow on the floor I lay face down this morning. I cried out to God to bring relief to you. I asked our Father for words to pray. Groaning in the Spirit I know He heard me. I reminded Him that we ARE walking by faith and not by sight. I asked, "What else can we do?" "How else should we pray?"

And it was then my ancient friend Rizpah, again, came to mind. Rizpah, who beat off the birds by day and the beasts by night. So I forcefully commanded the "birds" and the "beasts" to leave your bedside in the Name of Jesus, that matchless Name, under which every other thing that has a name has to bow.

I reminded our Father and I reminded myself that you are in covenant relationship with Almighty God. I told infection, nauseau, headache, pressure behind your eyes, the spirit of depression and all traces of cancer that their "game" is over. I told all of these unholy things to go to hell where they belong.

If an evil person entered our home, it would be unwelcome and I would scream and pick up the nearest object as a weapon. I would beat if off and away from you, your sister and brother. I would fight, scream, kick and bite the intruder. I would protect you with my own body and I would cry out to God to intervene.

Son, cancer is unwelcome. It is not our friend and it is evil. Cancer is cells gone ballistic. Even the oncologist agreed that cancer can be considered an intruder.

So there is no confusion, son, let me remind you that God is not the author of sin, sickness or disease. He is the healer. Remember the story of Joseph? I reminded you that Joseph's brothers had an evil plot to take his life. But God had a different plan for Joseph. God turned the tables on the evil plan and brought Joseph through every hard place and in the end, Joseph was a shining example of the intentions of God for each of his children. Joseph was a dreamer and God had a plan for the dreamer. And God has a plan for you, dear son.

Often over the past few years, I have heard you talking quietly and when I ask about it, you tell me that you are talking to yourself and that you do that a lot.
So don't stop talking to yourself. Remind yourself of God's goodness. Tell yourself that God IS your healer and that His plans for you are for hope and a future. Stir up the gift of God within you, evangelist. And then talk to others about loving, praising and living for God.

Son, you have much fruit yet to bear and I trust God to fulfill His plans in your life. You must trust Him, too.

Finally, sweet son, if you see my lips moving but don't hear words, you will know I am reminding myself that we WILL see the goodness of God in the land of the LIVING.

Rest well. You had a rough night and I will fight for you while you sleep.
I love you more than you could ever know.

Specific ways to pray today:
Pray for a stop to nausea and vomiting. This started again last night even though he is on zofran around the clock.
Pray for a stop to headaches and pressure behind the eyes.
Pray that the excess fluid in his brain begins to be absorbed into his body.
Pray that Andrew has real joy and happiness today. He is lonely for home.
Pray for no more roommates. This makes everything so much worse!!!
Pray that my husband, Dan, and I stay strong and encouraged so we can help one another and also keep Andrew in good spirits.

I have been so touched by your comments and emails. You really have no idea how much I rely on you. The days drag and the nights are noisy. But God is here. And so often you are His "hands" extended this way.

Oct 6, 2009

Andrew ~ Today

Edited to add: There will not be surgery today. No shunt today. No port today. Lab reports show bacteria so that will have to be dealt with first. No flu either. But I knew that.

WAITING ~ Andrew was scheduled for an 8:00 surgery this morning for a shunt and a port. The shunt goes in the head to drain excess fluid and the port was to be put in for the chemo drugs.
But last night he ran a high fever so fluid was collected and now we are waiting on the lab report on his blood sample. The nurse also had an order to swab for flu. So we wait and Andrew is thirsty and he is hungry. But we wait. Mostly we wait on what God will do.

ANOTHER DELAY ~ Last night and this morning I began to pray Proverbs 19:21: "Many are the plans of a man's heart but it is the purpose of the Lord that prevails."
We have to believe that when we pray in faith asking God for His will to be accomplished according to His Word, then we receive His will. So even though we want to avoid the shunt for lots of reasons, we have placed this day in God's hands. The doctor who was planning to put the port in came in early this morning to tell us it was too risky with the threat of infection. So we know the port is out for now. This will further delay chemo and radiation. For those of you who have been with us since the begining of the diagnosis, you know we have had many delays in cancer treatment.

PLANS ~ We don't know if each delay has been of God but we have to believe He IS ordering our steps. Again, "Many are the plans of a man's heart but it is the purpose of God that prevails."
FAITH ~ Anything you receive of God you receive by faith. Salvation, healing, wisdom, all things that pertain to life and godliness ~ all are received by faith. Then you keep walking by faith and not by sight. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Faith is substance. Substance is matter. Matter exists. We speak those things that are not as though they are ~ evidence of things unseen.

Go forth today receiving by faith what you pray according to His will. We have His Word so we have His Will available. All you have to do is read His Word to know His will. His will is for us to have abundant LIFE. His will is to save. His will is to heal.
No doubts. No wavering. Stable dependance on Him...on His Word. Confident in our Creator.

Oct 3, 2009

Rizpah and the ROCK

Have you "met" Rizpah? Many years ago I heard about a woman named Rizpah. This mother literally guarded her sons night and day for months, beating off the predators that would desecrate the bodies of her boys. Rizpah was a concubine of King Saul and she bore him two sons. Seven sons, two of which were Rizpahs, were hanged to pay a debt to the Gibeonites. Their deaths were to make atonement between the Gibeonites and the house of Israel because of what the Lord called "Saul and his bloodthirsty house..." (2 Samuel 21:1-14).

Rizpah's story is recorded in just a few verses. These few verses are a summary of what I'm certain for Rizpah seemed a lifetime lived out in nightmarish conditions.
Rizpah's name literally means "hot rock." As her sons hung dead above her, she spread out a sackcloth for herself on a rock "from the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven." Rizpah guarded the bodies of her boys, keeping the birds off by day and the beasts off by night.
Can you feel her pain...both physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally? Can you put yourself in her place...loving her sons even in death. Death could not sever the relationship between mother and child.
Rizpah went to great extremes to protect the bodies of her boys. To have the bodies ravaged by birds or wild animals was considered to be the worst possible insult and desecration of the dead.
And so, Rizpah denied herself the comfort of her home, to care for the corpses of her boys.
In what way will we deny ourselves in order to guard the bodies, spirits and souls of our children? I know that many times we deny ourselves sleep when our children are sick in the night. We deny ourselves things we need when our children are in need or in "want." We deny ourselves many times for the sake of our children.

But what we also need to deny is FEAR that threatens our FAITH. We must deny the lies of the enemy that question the authority and goodness of God. We must deny evil influence and ungodly access to the minds and hearts and bodies of our children.

We know the threats that exist in this modern world. Like Rizpah, we must make a place on a rock ~ the ROCK which is Christ Jesus. We must stretch ourselves further than we ever thought possible. We must stretch our faith and increase it through the Word of God. We must fight off the birds by day and the beasts by night.

Now almost 2 weeks in the hospital, my husband and I (and visiting friends and family) pray over our son as he lies in a bed with a tube draining spinal fluid from his brain. He battles headaches and dizziness and pressure behind his eyes. I tell him he is stronger than he has ever been and when he is on the other side of this, he will have a great testimony to share. He will have a great praise to lift up. He will tell others who may walk this same road, "I know how you feel" and it will be true.

We beat off the birds of depression and sadness from Andrew's mind. We beat off the buzzards that bring negative thoughts to rest on him. We beat off the beasts of infection and cancer. We bloody their noses and we kick out their teeth. We mark off a barrier that the birds and the beasts cannot cross. We have drawn a line. And we remain on the ROCK.

Sep 29, 2009

Steady On...

Edited to add:
I had a comment that questioned the verse I quoted from James. Yes, verse 5 is talking about "wisdom" but James' conclusion is "...for let not that man suppose that he will receive ANYTHING from the Lord..."
I think James says "anything" because he means "anything" including wisdom. But if he were only referring to wisdom, why use the word "anything"? I think James was making a point about guarding against vacillating between belief and disbelief.

A few years ago, my grandmother passed away at the age of 103. Before she passed, she had a huge tumor on the side of her face. It was disfiguring. My mamaw was ready to go on to heaven but the family prayed that she would be healed from the tumor before her journey "home." God answered that prayer and before she went on to glory, Mamaw's face was completely healed. There was no tumor at all! It was a Miracle.

God has instructed me to look only to His word. I must be obedient to that. When I look at His word, Jesus healed ALL who came to HIM.
This is MY child lying in a hospital bed. Medical intervention provides little hope for a positive outcome...that means there is not much hope for survival even with chemo and radiation.
This is life and death to us. We come to Jesus and Him alone for our hope. We do not look to the wisdom of man. We look to the power of God. My purpose is not to offend. My purpose is to go by the Word and that alone.

Yesterday I had a discussion with my daughter. We have had daily phone calls, FB communication and text messaging. She is a full time journalism student and works part time. She leads worship, playing her guitar. She is very protective of her little brother, especially now. We have been having deep discussions on the whole aspect of healing and miracles. You are probably not surprised that has been the topic of most of our family conversations.

Our family has no doubt that healing is God's will. Our family has no doubt that believing and not wavering in your confidence in God plays a large part in seeing healing and miracles manifest. James 1:6-8: "But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Believe His Word. Refuse to doubt that He will do what He says He will. Unbelief is the enemy of faith. Settle it in your mind! When you have settled it, don't allow yourself to become unsettled. Don't be anxious about anything; Pray about everything. Everything you receive from God is received by FAITH. We walk by faith ~ not by sight.
So, steady on...saints...steady on.

Andrew ~ Eating but needs to eat MORE or feeding tube is coming. So we have to work on this TODAY. Has had physical therapy twice today and a visit from Rosie the golden retriever who makes bedside visits.

The nurse told Andrew he could have cake and ice cream if he wanted it because they want him to increase his calorie intake asap. When she told him he could have sweets, he glanced at me as if I were going to say something about the sugar. Oh...he knows me well.

The last cultures they have taken did not show any new bacteria growing so that is a VERY GOOD REPORT TODAY!!!

Because of that report they have changed his antibiotics to one that is more specific to the infection he is fighting.

According to the surgeon we will be here several more days.

Wherever we are...the fragrance of the knowledge of HIM is spread everywhere.

Love to you all!

Sep 28, 2009

It's A New Day!

Did you know that you may be the deliverer of a miracle? God looks for volunteers to carry out His agenda.
Several years ago, I heard a Christian woman say that God doesn't need her! What?! I think what she meant was God could use her or use someone else ~ that it didn't really matter. That sounds to me like someone trying to be humble. Like someone misunderstanding what "humble" really is.
Let's talk about "humble." The Bible tell us in Numbers 12:3 that Moses was more humble than any man on the earth. Think of all Moses accomplished as he partnered with God! God spoke with Moses face to face (Numbers 12:8). God's anger was aroused on behalf of Moses when Aaron and Miriam spoke against him. Moses' humility came as a result of the relationship he and God had. Moses was willing to risk the criticism and loneliness that sometimes comes about when one steps out and up to the plate to do what God has instructed. Moses cared more about God's opinion of him than he did of the opinion of others. That's what made Moses humble.

It seems to me that when we look through the Bible, we see that God looks for specific people to carry out his plans. All of David's brothers were marched out as candidates for King. But David was the one God chose for the assignment.

Think about the miracles that God does. Very seldom in the Bible do we see that God does a miracle without "partnering" with one of us! All of us can point to examples when God broke through time and space and touched earth without a human "partner." (The ten commandments, writing on the wall..etc.) Sometimes He sends angels. But most often miracles are "wrought" by the Power of God working in a human being.

Our part is to believe that God can and will do what He says He will. The Bible tells us that we have the mind of Christ but it also says you should "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus..." Phil 2:5.
See my point. We have the mind of Christ but must still let the mind of Christ be in us.

More later...

Sep 26, 2009

Our Miracle Child ~ Andrew!

Weeping endures for the night, but JOY comes in the morning. Tuesday night and Wednesday were very difficult days for us. I felt like I was losing my "fight." But my husband was able to be strong when I was weak. After surgery I slept on the sleeper chair while my husband waited on Andrew through the night. Even though I heard every monitor beep and every exchange of words, just being able to lie still was refreshing.
My husband and I have a pact. No matter what we hear, no matter what someone else's belief may be, we are taking our spiritual authority over our son. God gave him to us to steward his life and we intend to steward well while he is in our care.


We are the ones, who other than God, love Andrew the most in the world. We are the ones who conceived Andrew following a rough patch in our marriage. Andrew was our "miracle" child. He cemented our love and commitment to one another and to our family.
From the time Andrew was a little baby, he always had a smile. For a while, his dad called him "Smiley."
We want that smiling boy back again and we KNOW we will have him.

Yesterday I thought about the Apostle Paul's words, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor..."
In thinking of those words, I also thought about how we Christians believe that God has a purpose and a plan for each of us. I have asked God that Andrew fulfills the plan and purpose for his life. For Andrew to live is for the cause of Christ. I want our family's purpose and the individual plan for each of us to go forth. It is the enemy of our souls who attempts to thwart God's plan. He is the one who wants to take us out to keep us from fulfilling our purpose on this earth.
I want our family to go together (alive) in the rapture of the Body of Christ. This is what I am asking.

Again I am reminded of the scripture in Eph. 3:20, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine according to the POWER THAT WORKS IN US, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
God does the miracle and the healing...but he expects us to do the work of believing, praying and receiving. And if you have ever been in a position where with man, the "work" seemed impossible, then you know how much "work" is involved in keeping your faith built up, your fear down and your belief in the POWER of God to manifest the outward sign of an inward healing.

It was Jesus, the Son of God, who said that with God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).
Do we really believe that ALL things are possible with God? Do we REALLY believe that? Or is it just a comforting thought? Belief or thought? You must choose.
I choose to BELIEVE. I choose LIFE.

Our warrior, God's newest recruit in HIS army, ate a little bit of a banana today. He sipped a little bit of Ensure and reported it to be "nasty." Sergeant Mom had to get stern with him about eating real food because word has it that if he doesn't eat today a feeding tube will be necessary.
If you could see Andrew's shaved head, you would see he looks like he just got the "new recruit buzz." Still handsome though...just waiting for that smile!

Be encouraged today that whatever you are facing, WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. Don't give up the good fight of faith! It really is a fight sometimes. Fight for your marriage, fight for joy and peace in your home, fight for your health, fight for your children's spiritual growth, fight, fight, fight soldier. FIGHT! Yes, the battle is the Lord's but he needs you to do your part. Why else would he tell us to put on the full armor? Because we have to fight.
Melanie, Dan, Audra, Avery & Andrew (Ted, too)
* All of our family and friends appreciate you sisters (and brothers) interceding and encouraging me...all of us. My husband has been so thankful for the support you have given me. It truly has kept me built up when I have needed it soooo much. And I am still praying for those of you who have needs.

Sep 24, 2009

There Is a River

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of our God;

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of our God;

So I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad.

There is a fountain full of grace and it flows from Emmanuel's veins,

It came and refreshed me; It came and it healed me; It came and it washed my sins away...

And I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad.

I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad.

Andrew's headaches are only relieved by morphine. He has asked me to sing over him and rub his feet. He talks very little. He is very tired of all of this. I have told him he will have to fight and not give up. I remind him of how determined he was to learn new skateboarding tricks.

Please pray for relief from the headache. Please pray that the infection leaves quickly. Please pray that Andrew keeps fighting.

Last night I asked if he wanted me to read to him. He said, "Read the Bible."

I read Psalm 27, 91 and 97. Then I told him the story of the persistent widow and how Jesus used this parable to teach us to keep on asking, keep on praying and not give up.

I told him somehow he had to look past the present circumstances because there will be an end to it. He asked me how he could look past what was happening. He asked me why God doesn't just heal him.

All I can tell him is that we have to keep praying and believing that healing will come because God doesn't lie and He is the One who tells us He is the Healer.

Then I sing some more and I rub his feet and his dad keeps cold cloths on his forhead and eyes. We thank God for what He has already done and for what we beleive He will do.

It is very difficult right now. But we still believe in a good God who is the Healer. We still believe for the miracle to be completed.

Seeking The Kingdom First

It's me. I have few words today. I have cried a river of tears in the past 48 hours. Although the first lab report showed no infection, infection came later. Andrew had to go back into surgery. The surgeon reopened the incision and cleaned out infection. Andrew's skull bone was infected so that was removed. He has a titanium flap to keep the shape of the top of his head. Because the surgeon needed to shave two wide areas on top of his head, we opted to have his entire head shaved. We just told him that today. I think that is the least of his concerns. His head is wrapped turban style and there is a temporary drain for the fluid and another drain that is deeper in his brain to drain spinal fluid.
So far the cultures that have been tested are good. The spinal fluid was sent to the lab a few minutes ago and we should know something about that in a few hours.

Specific prayer: Pray that test results are good ones. Pray that when Andrew is moved, the roommate situation will not be a source of stress. He is being moved today. We have no control over that. Picu is quiet and the nurses are great here. But we will not be allowed to stay here.
Andrew has had a headache today. He had Tylenol, then Percoset and finally morphine. Pray that the headache is gone when he wakes and does not return.We were told this morning to expect to spend about 2 weeks in the hospital.

Finally, pray for my husband, myself, our other children and my parents. This, obviously, affects the entire family.
We need your prayers to strengthen us in this battle for our son's life and health.
I need YOU, YOUR prayer, YOUR faith.
This is where I was directed in God's Word this morning: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" Matthew 6:33.
These are the very words of Jesus. They are precious to me this morning.
Again, thank you for praying for Andrew. We still believe in a miracle and 100% recover. No backing down. No giving up. No giving in. We owe that to our son.
Melanie & family

Sep 23, 2009

He's in surgery.

Just got an update that my brother is in surgery right now.
They are draining the wound on his scalp and cleaning it up.

Pray there is no infection and no more complications.

Thank you!


*They may do an MRI today.Pray it shows NO TUMORS!

Emergency. We need your prayers!

Please continue to pray for Andrew. Last night Andrew had a headache and was throwing up. My parents decided to take him to the ER early this morning.

We're just praying God orders all of my parents steps today in order to carry out the healing in Andrew's body.

I felt like God gave me 3 words to describe today...

I believe that TODAY is the day of completeness and wholeness and rejoicing! Thank you for continuing to stand and agree with us for a complete and total healing with absolutely no more invasive surgery, NO chemo, and NO radiation in Jesus name! We're asking for it all! Thank you and we love you!


Sep 22, 2009

The Bracelet ~ Hearing HIS Voice

A few months ago I felt impressed by the Lord to give my favorite bracelet away. This bracelet was only worth about $40 but I wore it often. It was silver and had crosses in different styles on it. The person to whom I felt I should give it is an older lady who had earlier refused my offer of gas money. I wondered if she would refuse the bracelet, too. I wondered if she would even wear the bracelet. I wondered if she would be able to clasp and unclasp the bracelet.

Because I thought I knew more about this precious lady than God did, I did not give her the bracelet the first time I felt impressed to do so. A couple of Sundays I actually didn't even wear the bracelet to church. If I didn't have it with me, I couldn't give it away. Then, there was the thought that maybe God wasn't telling me to give the bracelet away at all. Maybe it was just a random thought I had! Not.

Finally, I decided that I would stop trying to excuse myself from obeying God's leading. On a Sunday morning while getting ready for church I decided to obey God that day about the bracelet. By now I just wanted to get give the bracelet to the lady and be done with it! That morning there was an altar call and this lady went for prayer. I went down to pray with her and talk to her concerning her need. At the end of the prayer time, she looked at me and said, "No one has ever told me what you did. I'll be thinking about this for a long time."
It was then that I took my bracelet off and put it on her wrist.
She didn't refuse! She loved it!
I was so relieved.
Several times when I would see her at church she would simply hold up her arm and show me she was wearing the bracelet. She told me that it reminded her to pray!

I have no idea why God wanted me to give away a relatively inexpensive bracelet.
But I do know that He wants us to obey His voice even when we don't really understand the significance of the action.

If we don't train our spiritual ears to hear HIM when all is well, how will we discern HIS voice when we are in a dark valley...even the valley of the shadow of death?

"But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" Hebrews 5:14.

I wrote about another time that God prompted me to give something away. You can read about it here. (Be sure to read parts one and two.)

We are headed back to Shands in Gainesville today. Andrew is scheduled Wednesday morning to have a "port" put in for the chemo drug.
Thursday morning he has another MRI. I am asking God for this MRI to show that HE has already removed all traces of cancer.
HE is a good God, mighty to save! HE is trustworthy. We continue to obey HIS word and come boldy before the throne with our petitions. We continue to hear HIM speaking words to us that we cling to as we walk holding HIS hand through this valley.
One final thing: Yesterday we called to find out if the fluid that was drained from Andrew's head showed infection. IT DID NOT. PRAISE GOD FOR ANOTHER ANSWERED PRAYER.
Thank you all for praying about that!
Melanie & family

~(Pictures taken 12/08)~
Andrew...out on a limb. But we know Jesus is the vine and we are the branches! (John 15)
Brotherly love...Avery & AndrewAudra & Andrew

Melanie, Dan, & our boy, Andrew

Sep 20, 2009

Pictures of Andrew

Andrew and I went to an Art Fair in June. He likes graffiti art!

A favorite thing this summer...visiting Phillipi Park to rock climb, and pose on this tree for Mom's camera.

One day after brain surgery. That is not a bandage on his head...just a cold cloth. The surgeon only shaved a little hair.

Today (9/20/09) after a shower and shampoo. Andrew's hair covers the incision. When Andrew smiles a genuine smile, it is perfect. Here it is for the camera...so it's crooked. I don't care!

Sep 18, 2009

Why Wouldn't I Ask for All?

Did you ever hear of God doing a 1/2 way miracle? Neither have I. What He begins, He is faithful to complete. And we KNOW that God began a MIRACLE for Andrew on 9/11. Before surgery, the surgeon warned us that Andrew might lose cognitive abilities, might be permanently paralyzed, might have a stroke, might not even wake up!
He woke up. He is Andrew. He remembers things from the past and things from this morning. He is walking as well as he was before surgery and we are believing that all loss of function WILL return.

And so we continue to persist in prayer. We continue to believe. We continue to watch our words.We are not giving up. We are not giving in. We are not settling for less than God's best for Andrew and our family. God has been glorified, is being glorified and will continue to be glorified.

I understand that sometimes we have to go through a process. Of course I get that. I've been through some "stuff" that took some time. So have you.

But my mother's heart is asking God for the completion of the MIRACLE and this week before treatment is scheduled would be fine with me!

Today I got to share with my personal doctor just where we stand on Andrew's 100% recovery. I have been seeing this particular doctor for about 3 years now.
Today I had to go in so she would write a prescription for me. I knew she would need to see me. No calling this one in because I haven't seen her in over a year!

Of course she asked me how things had been going for me. Now I hate telling what is going on right now but it is necessary in order to tell someone what we are believing!
So I gave her a brief explanation. Being a doctor, she wants to know the cancer type. I REALLY HATE THAT PART. But you know what? At the NAME OF JESUS, every thing that has a name has to bow to the NAME OF JESUS.
I have noticed that when I tell the diagnosed cancer, my voice is low and quiet. BUT WHEN I TELL THAT WE ARE BELIEVING FOR A MIRACLE MY VOICE IS STRONG AND AUTHORITATIVE!

I told my doctor: "We are Christians and 1000's of people are praying for Andrew. We believe that God healed, God heals, and God WILL heal!

She responded that miracles do happen. At the end of the appointment she hugged me and said she would pray for my son. I don't know what her belief is but she knows what we believe. God is a healer.

We live in a fallen world. The enemy is the author of sin, sickness and disease.
God is the creator, sustainer, redeemer and healer. What the enemy intends for our harm, God turns to our good and HIS glory!
Salvation was provided for in the death of Christ on the cross. Healing was provided for in the stripes on his back. Jesus went about preaching, teaching and healing the sick. There were so many miracles that He performed that if they were all recorded there would not be enough books! And He's just about to complete the one He began on 9/11.
Cancer is a terrorist. I declare war on cancer. Cancer...every kind...has to bow to Jesus!
And so we worship. We praise. We pray. We groan. The Holy Spirit intercedes and prays for us when we don't know how. Jesus is at the Father's right hand making intercession for Andrew...for YOU.
Makes you love HIM more, doesn't it? Makes you want to know HIM better, doesn't it?
He longs for more intimacy with you. He's calling out for you. He loves you so much if there had been only YOU, He would have given His life for YOU alone. In fact, HE did.

Sep 17, 2009

Simply Amazing! That's Our GOD

We had a good night! Praise God for that and so MUCH MORE. "Home" is a beautiful word.
We are home.

As we are awaiting the lab report on the fluid that was drained yesterday, we are believing that God has already gone ahead of us and we will get a good report ~ no infection.

Yesterday as we left our home to return to Shands in Gainesville, Andrew told us he was hungry. His appetite has been very good, maybe a side effect of the steroid he is on. So we stopped at our favorite place for quick food: ChickFilA. The drive thru line was looooong so I went in to order. The young man who took my order was Rob. He had such a gentle manner and I almost asked him if he believed in the power of prayer. I had a feeling he did. He offered to help me take the bags and drink holder to the car. Normally I would have refused, feeling that I could manage it. But through all of this we've gone through, any offer of help is welcome.

As we walked out the door, he asked me if I was on my way back to work. I told him no, that we were on our way back to Gainesville because our son needed to return to the hospital. Rob is from Gainesville and asked if we were going to Shands. I briefly told him what was going on and he asked for the name of our son. I knew what was coming. Rob offered to pray for Andrew. I opened the side door so Rob and Andrew could meet. I told Andrew he had one more person praying for him. Rob was very friendly to Andrew and got a smile from him. Just a quick little blessing that God gave us as we drove back not knowing what the next few hours would hold.
As I have said before, "We don't know what is in our tomorrow but we know God has already been there."

Following the CT scan, we went back into the surgeon's clinic where his PA drew the fluid from Andrew's head. The PA told me that there was a woman in the room next door who had mentioned Andrew and me and said we had been communicating online! Then she said the woman's name was CELESTE WELCH.
Celeste left a comment on my blog a few days ago. She was so encouraging and let me know that the same surgeon and oncologist had treated her 5 year old who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 10 months. PLEASE PRAY FOR VALERIE GRACE!

So right next door was Celeste and Valerie Grace. I walked out and Celeste and I hugged one another (3 or 4 times!). I got to thank her for her encourgaging comments and emails. Celeste had also contacted friends from her home church in Gainesville who emailed me offering their support. One of her friends was actually working on the PICU floor while we were still there and she came in to meet us!
Amazingly, Celeste and her family had just arrived from Ecuador yesterday morning and needed to have Valerie Grace seen that day by Dr. Pincus. Valerie Grace is beautiful and told me she would miss me! I got to hug her, too!

Can't you see how AMAZING our GOD is! "He makes; who can unmake?"

Celeste and I marveled at how we met yesterday. Who could have arranged that but God?!

Andrew is asleep now. I prayed over him this morning that he would fulfill the plan that God has for his life. I prayed that he would be a living testament and testimony for the glory of God. I prayed that many would come to know the beauty of Christ because of Andrew.
I continue to pray for those of you who have made a request. I am interceding on your behalf. God is a God of multiplication. I pray that as Andrew receives his MIRACLE that you will receive YOURS.
If you have stopped praying because you have grown weary or been disappointed, begin praying again! Ask God to give you direction from His Word that will reignite your "prayer fire." This is a SEASON OF MIRACLES.

Later today I plan to upload some pictures so you can see Andrew, crooked smile and all. As I blow dried his shampooed hair (per doctor's orders) I told him to let me know if it was too hot on the incision. He said since it was itchy, the heat felt good, like it was scratching it. I reminded him that when I had a bad case of poison ivy a few years ago, the hottest water in the shower felt good on my arms because if felt like they were being scratched.
That's when Andrew said, "I felt bad for you then, Mom. Is that how you feel now for me?"
I said, "Yes, son, I feel bad for you."
Andrew responded with this: "Don't feel bad for me, Mom."
"Why son?"
He answered, "Because it's not that bad."

My precious son, how I love you! And how I love your dad who has shown how tender he can be in his care for you. And how I love the Lord who is the Good Shepherd and watches over you, tender little lamb.

Pictures later...

Sep 16, 2009

Home Again!

I just wanted you to know that we are home again. It is a 3 hour drive from our home to Shands in Gainesville. Because Andrew started feeling fluid building in his head, we needed to go back to the hospital for a CT scan. Praise the Lord! The CT scan did not show hydrocephalus. If it had, he would have needed a shunt.

So the surgeon's PA used a needle to drain the "stuff" and they will send it to the lab. Since they would not have the report for about 3 days, and since Andrew was feeling fine otherwise, we got to come home.
Specific Prayer: Pray that there is no bacteria in the fluid and that it is simply fluid that has not reabsorbed properly...but should naturally over some time.

Tomorrow I will share a couple of encouraging moments that happened today. One is from a guy named Rob who works at our local ChikFilA. The other I am waiting on permission to share. But if you scan my comments, you will find out what I am talking about. What a "God ordained moment"!

One reason I am so glad to get home is because I need to be in my prayer closet this week.
I have discovered that in worshipping God we gain strength and in offering Him praise, we find our joy!

One more thing: We have THE BEST friends some of whom happen to be our neighbors, and we have THE BEST church family. And we have THE BEST sister bloggers (a few brothers, too). And I just want to tell you all how much you are ministering to our family. I am one of those people who has always been independant, not wanting to imposition anyone, and feeling uncomfortable in a position of "need." But God is showing me that I can change and I can accept help whether it be from the "bag boy" offering to help me with my groceries all the way to accepting cash from "anonymous" to help pay a bill. Church family, friends and neighbors who are friends have helped us in so many ways. We have received cards, askateboard magazine and a prayer shawl & a beautiful print from blogging sisters!
There have been other offerings of love, too. We appreciate all of the food that ha been brought over. My mother is here but she is in need of a physical healing, herself, so meals help out a lot!
Help in different forms has arrived from people we know, people we haven't seen in years and people we don't know at all.
But we know the hearts of those who have ministered to us.
Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep holding on to the promise of a MIRACLE in your life!
I'm still praying for those of you who have shared requests and I'm praying & believing BIG for all of you! Why not go for it? I really think it pleases our FATHER.
I'll post more tomorrow. I've got some good stuff to share!
Melanie & family
And, yes, "a crooked smile" from Andrew!

UPDATE - Back to Shands ~ HOME

Sorry to say, there may be a problem, so the surgeon wants us back for a cat scan. We're leaving but hoping to come back home soon. God has not left us, of that I am assured. We don't understand what is happening but we know God is good ~ always.
Please pray this latest thing is not serious. Please pray we can come back home for a few days after all. Andrew needs your prayer for hope and encouragment. I want him to smile today.

We're home. Yesterday was very hectic and followed a night of little, if any, sleep for me. My husband had stayed up all night Sunday so he slept on the sleeper chair. Andrew had a difficult night Monday due to a roommate being brought in around 10:30 p.m. It was a stressful situation. No details because I want to put it behind us. But because of information that is supposed to be private, yet how private can it be with a curtain between one patient and another, Andrew was frightened with what he overheard. He cried silent tears then asked me, "Why am I going through this?"

I lay as close to him as possible, trying not to cry myself. I did everything I could do to comfort him, protect him and help him relax. Then I stood guard throughout the night. Praying. Crying. Watching.

The next morning I became the "squeaky wheel" to get out of there fast. We were discharged around 10:30 a.m. but couldn't head home until we met with the doctor at the cancer clinic.
We also picked up a wheelchair to use when out of the house this week.

Yesterday was 21 days since the first visit to the family doctor. And here we are.

More later today...

Sep 14, 2009


How is Andrew? I had a question about how Andrew is doing today.
So I just asked him, "Andrew, how are you doing today?"
Andrew says, "I'm fine." That's it. That's all I got!
What I see: The physical and occupational therapists came by this morning and did what they do. Then they helped him out of bed to use the bathroom. That's when they were happy with the strength he had in his left leg. He does need help, of course, but we're happy with his progress after Friday's surgery.
The surgeon, Dr. Pincus, visited Andrew this morning and he is also happy with what he is seeing. He showed my husband the MRI from Thursday that we brought with us and the one taken Saturday morning after surgery. I just didn't want to see it.
My husband said the two scans were like night and day. Dr. Pincus feels there is about 20% of the mass left.
Dr. Amy Smith talked to us this afternoon and wants us to plan to be back Monday or Tuesday. She is reviewing the pathology report of the tumor that was removed and will call us tomorrow. Dr. Pincus thinks there is a possibility that the tumor is a different type than what was originally diagnosed. I have purposefully not given the type of tumor here because I don't want you to "research" it. Sometimes finding out what is known about certain types of cancer can be very discouraging. Right now I can't afford for you or me to be discouraged. It's not that we're putting our heads in the sand.
Dr. Amy and I talked Sunday afternoon and she layed everything out for me. My reply, "Only God knows the number of our days and we trust Him. We're going with God."
She told me that some people come in and are in such denial that they don't make good decisions. She also added that she doesn't see that we are doing that. She said that was proven Friday.
God has given us opportunities to share where we stand and who we are looking to.
We are seldom met with opposition. And on some occasions we are cheered on and even get an "Amen!"

What would you say is the biggest hindrance to Christians (the BELIEVERS) in asking God for the REALLY BIG STUFF as they pray? Most Christians, I would assume, believe in the power of prayer and have faith at least the size of a grain of mustard seed.
I believe the answer to why we back up in our faith when we need a miracle is because we have been disappointed in the past when we've prayed in faith believing and haven't received our answer to prayer.
Now I know what you're thinking. Sometimes the answer is, "No" or "Wait." I get that. But we are in a position now where we WANT, NEED and EXPECT a miracle of Great proportions.
Dare we ask for Andrew to be 100% restored? YOU HAD BETTER BELIEVE WE DARE TO ASK FOR THAT. If we are going With God on this, then why not ASK FOR ALL HE CAN DO?

I have been thinking about the biblical examples of Jesus healing people when He walked this earth. The woman who had been bleeding for 12 years aggressively moved through the crowd encircling Jesus and she touched the hem of His robe. She said to herself, "If I can but touch the hem of His garment, I shall be made whole." She didn't even ask Jesus to heal her. In fact, Jesus asked, "Who touched me?" Her persistence in faith appropriated the healing virtue resident in Him. (Mark 5)

The blind man heard the approach of Jesus and cried out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" The crowd tried to silence him. But the Bible says in response to them, "He cried out all the more."
"Son of David, have MERCY on me."
Now this is the part I like. Even before Jesus healed blind Bartimaeus, the passage in Mark 10 records, "And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus."

What I see from that passage is that the blind man was making a statement. A bold statement. Before he even had his miracle of healing, he was giving up the identity associated with a blind beggar. The poor and the sick wore garments identifying their status. They held out cupped hands hoping to receive the charity of passersby.
Baritmaeus was so SURE that Jesus would heal him that he didn't wait until his eyes COULD see again to discard the "label of a diagnosis."
And Jesus asked Bartmaeus, "What do you want Me to do for you?"

There was a lame man who lay by the pool of Bethesda (John 5). Many lay there waiting for an angel to come down and stir the water. The "first man in" was the fortunate recipient of healing. Bethesda had five porches. The number "5" is representative of "grace" and the Hebrew word from which "Beth" is derived means "house." Jesus, present in the House of Grace, walked by the man and asked him, "Do you want to be made well?"
Notice the lame man didn't really answer the question. He gave an explanation as to why he could not receive healing. His answer, "I have no man..."
In other words, he was in need of assistance. What he didn't realize is that in getting the attention of Jesus, he didn't need a "man" because THE MAN was at his side. There was no longer a need to wait on someone else to intervene and help him beat the rush on a miracle available to one person at a time.

I'll share more later. I need to help Andrew with his breakfast now. But know that I will be praying for all of you who gave me your requests. Some need a deliverance from fear, panic and anxiety. Others have asked for prayer regarding illness, including cancer. There is a precious five year old girl who has been recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her name is Kate. Then there is the beautiful high school girl named Rachel who needs a miracle, too! And my new blog friend battling ovarian cancer and then there is Peggy also diagnosed with cancer (lung).
There is Clint P.'s father in renal failure.
And also the "other Andrew" wherever he may be who needs a miracle.
God can HEAL ALL. Let's ask in faith, believing that we have entered into A SEASON OF MIRACLES. Have you caught the scent of healing on the wind? I have.
Love you all!