About Me

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I am a person who loves life and loves capturing it in pictures and recording it in many ways. I have been happily married for over 40 years to my wonderful husband Mike. We have raised 4 daughters, were foster parents for 11 years and are now raising 2 of our grandchildren. They are the love of our lives and the light in our eyes. At this time in our lives, we would expect to be planning for retirement, but instead we are planning for the future of these children. Starting over so to speak. At the ripe old age of 50, I found myself as a mom of a pre-schooler again so it's the second time around for us, thus my title. We attend church and teach Sunday School. Life is never dull, as you can imagine. Enjoy the pieces of our lives and allow this grandmother some bragging rights occasionally, ok very often.
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Friday, January 29, 2016

The Latest

Mike's bilirubin (yellowness)  level is not dropping as fast as they had hoped. So they are going to see about trying radiation to shrink the area around the bile ducts. One of the chemo drugs cannot work if the bilirubin is too high. The oncologist is trying to coordinate Mike's treatment with a surgeon at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. Until we hear from the surgeon we are just waiting. "They that wait upon the Lord shall their strength." Hopefully this will happen soon. Mike asked the Doctor today,
 "Am I this weak and sick because of all the bile in my body?"
 "No, you are this weak and sick because you have cancer!" he answered.
Pretty straight forward huh? He did add that the bile in his body added to the weakness.
So we are still at the beginning of this journey. We did meet an angel in the waiting room today. She was receiving her last chemo treatment. She has had 18 treatments is 18 weeks and was still working. She left work to come do her treatment and was going straight back to work. She shared some encouragement with us and offered her prayers. We did the same. I wish her all the best!
Until we know more, please keep the prayers coming.






Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

We went to our Chemo Information meeting today and we are now know more than we ever thought we would about chemotherapy. We were all set to begin chemo tomorrow but got a call tonight that they were going to cancel chemo for tomorrow. Mike's bilirubin is still too high. The chemo won't work if it's too high. So we are back to square one. We thought the drainage tubes would work faster than they are. I guess we can't get in a hurry. We are thankful that they didn't let us get to the appointment and then tell us this. So we are a little frustrated and uncertain at this time as to what's next. I'm hoping we get some direction tomorrow. Please pray for:
Bilirubin levels to go down
Drainage tubes to be working correctly
Mike's pain & fatigue
We appreciate all the calls and texts and prayers for Mike. God's got this!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Good Friends

Mike will begin chemo treatments next Wednesday. We covet your prayers for him. We have heard horror stories about the effects of chemo. We have an information meeting on Tuesday which will help since we are clueless. We have enjoyed the visits and the meals that we have been blessed with. We are amazed at God's timing of encouraging words just when we need them.
We had a visit today from some of the fathers and sons from our church in Georgia. We have known these guys a long time. It really meant a lot to us. AND THEY BROUGHT FOOD!!! God is so good. They had a great visit,& shared some time in prayer. I read a blog post today and it was just what we needed. It was written by my friend Amy (bytheword.net). In part it said...

~~"How do I find peace in troubled times? Jesus answered this question in John 16:33
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."~~

And finally "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." ~John 14:27
Some of our prayer warriors

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Biopsy Report

Well, the biopsy came back positive for cancer cells. Which the Doctor told us would happen. It is just hard hearing it and seeing it written. Before that, there was a very small chance it was something else. So we move on to step 2. Begin chemo asap. We have an appt at the Cancer Center in Rome next Friday but the Doctor doesn't want to wait that long. So next week we will begin the process of shrinking the mass. Mike has ups and downs. I wish I could take his place.
This is an excerpt from "Jesus Calling" yesterday. We are clinging to this promise.
"On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I may be doing something important in your life, something quite different from what you expected. (You can say that again) Don't try to figure out what is happening. Simply trust Me and thank Me in advance for the good that will come out of it all. I know the plans I have for you, and they are good."

Please continue to pray for Mike. Your prayers are lifting him up and sustaining him during this difficult time.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

At Home

There is not much new to report, Mike is at home resting and trying to regain some strength. My biggest obstacle right now is trying to get him to eat. He has no appetite. We have been so overwhelmed by all the prayers being prayed on Mike's behalf. A few have asked for our address to send Mike a card or note of encouragement. I think that would do him a world of good so here it is:
Mike Blackwell
905 County Road 385
Centre, AL 35960
He will have another biopsy Monday at 7:30 and I pray this is the last one and they can get what they need. We did find out that the chemo he needs will NOT cause him to lose his beautiful blonde hair. God is good!!
I will share with you a prayer that has really kept us going and we will continue to pray during this journey. I hope it helps you as much as it is helping us.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the thing I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking,as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonable happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen




Thursday, January 14, 2016

Oncologist Appt.

Today we met with Dr. Khan, the oncologist in Rome. He has ordered a third biopsy since the first two didn't show any cancer cells. Mike will begin 4 rounds of chemo at the end of this month. It should take about 3 months. We are hopeful this will shrink the mass. Please continue to pray for our family, especially for Mike's:
Complete healing (if God chooses to do so)
Minimal side effects from the chemo
Peace of mind
We thank you all for your continued prayers, please keep them coming.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Home Sweet Home

We are so happy to have Mike at home where he can rest and heal. He has been pain free today for the most part just very weak. He had a couple of short visits today from friends and Pastor Eddie. Everyone is so worried about him. The new tube seems to be working and doing its job, so far. Praying it continues to do so.
Tomorrow we meet with the oncologist at the Harbin Cancer Clinic. I will post an update after our appointment. We are not sure what to expect. This is all so new to us. We were treated again to a wonderful meal from our Sunday School class. Words cannot express how much we appreciate all the love and support. It's been very humbling for us to be on the receiving end but it sure has been a wonderful experience. I know I say this every day but we really do appreciate all the love and prayers from all of you. Please continue standing in the gap for Mike. I need him to grow old with me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

3rd Time's the Charm

So, the new and improved larger tube they put in yesterday was defective. The valve had a crack in it.
Soooooo, they will put in a THIRD tube at 2:00. Mike said if they would just take him to Home Depot, he could fix it himself. The good news is, it's a short procedure and they will give him some "I don't care" medicine. As soon as the procedure is done, we can go home! He is in good spirits and the pain isn't as bad as it has been..
Yesterday I lost my car keys in the hospital, which is kind of a big place to search. I called security and they had no keys turned in. I went back to the restroom I visited upon arrival and came out looking flustered I sure. The two little volunteer ladies sitting at the information table asked me if I needed some help. I explained I lost my keys.... They held up my keys and said "These keys?"
They said they had been sitting there for hours wondering whose keys they were. I told them I had called security but they didn't have them. They said that they were going to give them to security but they hadn't been by their desk. So I hugged them both and returned to Mikes room to pack up and leave. When I came back down, they were gone with a sign that said to visit the after hours info desk. I never would have found them because I had already called security before I began searching . I just appreciate how God orchestrated the whole situation so I could find my keys. So, if God cares about the little things like lost keys, He's definitely got this cancer thing in the bag.

Specific prayer request for the new tube to be in good working order.
That Mike would continue to feel better & eat more.
We have a good visit with the oncologist Thursday.

Our Sunday School class is providing dinners this week and the first one was delivered last night .
It was amazing! We have an awesome group of friends in our class. We love and appreciate every one of you.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ups & Downs

Mike had a really rough day yesterday so we called the doctor who wanted us to go back to the hospital. His bilirubin levels were going up, not down. They admitted him & replaced the tube this morning. The original tube was blocked!! So they will watch him and make sure the new tube is functioning properly. Specifically pray that this procedure WORKS and that his pain decreases. Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement and advice. We appreciate it more than you will ever know.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Reality

Mike is having a rough day today. He is in a lot of pain. We aren't sure how much is from the surgery and how much is normal. He doesn't want me to call the Dr. but I hate seeing him hurting and there is nothing I can do for him.I am praying of course that he has some comfort. He hates taking any medicine normally but we are existing only until the next pain pill is due.

I am so ashamed of myself for all the cancer commercials I have turned off, all the cancer ads I've skimmed over, all the cancer facebook posts I've ignored. I'm just being honest, it didn't apply to me,,,,,UNTIL NOW!

This is a roller coaster ride, for sure. Specific prayer request is for Mike's pain to subside. That is first and foremost. Blessings today include a visit from a dear friend and the offer of meals being provided for the whole week thanks to our Celebrate God Sunday School class. My word for the year is APPRECIATE (I will post about that later) and I am soooo appreciative of everything. We are so humbled by all of you. Please continue to pray for Mike. I am praying tomorrow's post will have better news.

Hugs




Saturday, January 9, 2016

Great News

The CT scan showed NOTHING ELSE!!!!! Praise God. Going home today & going to rest and recuperate. His appetite is returning so that is another praise. Please keep the prayers coming, we truly feel them all. His spirits are improving with every message and word of encouragement we receive. We love and appreciate everything that has been done for us.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Surgery Successful

Mike came thru surgery fine and is in a room. He will stay overnight so they can monitor him & should go home tomorrow. The Dr. said everything went well. The biopsy results should be back Monday or Tuesday. They were not able to do the CT scan yesterday so they will do it in the morning. Thanks for your continued prayers and good thoughts. Keep them coming.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

C T Scan Today

We are heading to Rome today to have a C T scan to determine if there is cancer anywhere else in Mike's body. He is still uncomfortable but hopefully after tomorrow he will start feeling some relief. He will have a biopsy tomorrow morning and then will be admitted to Redmond Hospital in Rome. Specific prayer requests:
1. This is an isolated mass and they find nothing else.
2. Biopsy reveals positive results.
3. Drainage tube is successful and offers him some relief.
Special thanks to:
2 angels (you know who you are) who have stepped up to get the kids to and from school for us.
Mr. Charlie (our neighbor) brought some good old country food to try to encourage Mike to eat.
We truly appreciate and feel all the prayers going up for us. We continue to be amazed at the outpouring of love and support from everyone. Keep the prayers going please. We love each and every one of you!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Update on Mike

We have had so many calls & messages I am just going to post about Mike on this blog. That way whoever wants to stay updated will be able to

. Mike started getting sick about 2 weeks ago. He began turning yellow right after Christmas so we were concerned it was his liver. He had an MRI done earlier this week and last night the Dr. called with the results. They found a mass on Mikes liver & he is pretty sure it is cancer. It's too big to remove. They will try to shrink it after taking care of some other things. First things first, they will do a CT scan tomorrow at 1 to make sure there is no cancer anywhere else in the body. we are in total shock, cancer never crossed our minds.Please keep us in your prayers. We are absolutely amazed at the outpouring of love and support from everyone. We know God's got his hand on Mike and our family. But please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this unknown territory.
Until next time......