Health Update – 9-9-11

Hi everyone – just a quick note to let you know the latest on the health front.  I haven’t yet gotten back to blogging the way I had hoped to, but hopefully I’ll find time.  Today’s a good time to give a report because I have good news to share.

I had a CT Scan last week and got the results yesterday – everything is improving.  The doc went through and read the results on a bunch of the tumors they are tracking and all have shrunk.  At this point we are dealing in millimeters, so nothing dramatic, but a bunch of the tumors in my lungs went from something like, say 6 mm to 4 mm, or something like that.  The tumors in my liver also showed signs of shrinking.

Also, the CEA, which is a blood tumor marker, went from a 14 to a 9, that is good, the smaller the CEA number the better.

So, this means that this latest round of chemo is working, so I again give thanks to God for good news like this and for each new day of life.

I also give thanks to you, I know that God answers the prayers of His people.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty lousy, but that comes with chemo.  It’s not unbearable, but it is irritating to not feel like getting out of bed most of the time, at least during the weeks I am on a chemo.  I am taking an oral chemo called xeloda, which is 7 days on and 7 days off, plus I get Avastin, once every other week – I have to go to the hospital to get that by IV.

So, I have 7 days of feeling pretty lousy but I rebound pretty good the other 7 days and am able to enjoy life and get some work done.

So again, thanks for all of your prayers and I’ll try to keep you updated.

Posted in Health Update | 5 Comments

God is to be Glorified in Us, Not Useful to Us

So, as I reported awhile back I am going back to blogging.  But, since with the Lord a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day, the time frame on that is, well . . . let’s call it flexible.

But I thought I would share something today that I hope is helpful.  It’s a quote from Larry Crabb, sorry I don’t remember which book – I know it’s got to be from at least 10 years ago –

The goal is that God be glorified in us, not useful to us.

That sums up my life.  I think that sums up much of the Scripture and I think it sums up where we go wrong in so many ways.  I just can’t figure God out.  I can’t figure out why I can have one day that is so good I feel like I must be cured and then go for weeks without wanting to get out of bed.  I can’t understand why I, as His beloved child, am following pretty much the standard path of the cancer sufferer – doing good for awhile, the cancer abates when I’m on chemo and grows when I’m not.  My life pattern is one where, in order to keep the cancer in abeyance, i. e. keep it from killing me soon, I have to live a life of basic illness from chemo.  I can go off chemo and start feeling a little better for a time but then the cancer grows and death looks closer.

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Posted in Theology | 13 Comments

Blogging Resumes

For a number of reasons I have decided to start blogging again.  It’s something I do with a little bit of fear.  I know what I am an attention whore and I don’t want to fall back into my old patterns of seeking a bigger audience constantly.   Fortunately, I think the blogging world has grown to the point where it will be almost impossible to be a “famous blogger,” again, and blogging is also passe in light of some of the newer social media technologies.

Secondly, let me apologize in advance for pulling a Brett Favre here – I wrote those dramatic posts a while back about how I was hanging up my blogging cleats, and oh, well looks like I must have been kidding.  Actually, when I hung up the old typepad blog I did leave room for a return and that is why I opened up here at WordPress.  I also hope I am in the process of dealing sufficiently with the things I had mentioned before that I will be able to blog for better reasons.

Also, and this will move me into a bit more of an explanation of why I am blogging again, I am doing so at least in part for the therapeutic value. My buddy Dan Phillips mentioned that as one of the reasons he blogs and I had a conversation today that got me thinking it could help me.

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The Jollette Strikes Again!

Hello folks! Jollette here. For those of you who don’t remember me, I am the Jollyblogger’s daughter. Back when he was first diagnosed with cancer I signed on with health updates and kept the lot of you entertained while my pappy was out sick. And now I’m back to wreak havoc on my father’s blog!

Ok, not really.

I am here for two reasons: first to make an announcement and ask for any available help, and second to give a health update on my dad.

First things first. I’m going to London. Upon the turning of the New year, as well as the added bonus of graduating from High School, I decided that I would take a year off to work and travel. In the fall I will be working almost full time and studying part-time at the local comm. rftc x3632.783……….frrrrrrrrtgggggg        wb ,w444444444443

-My apologies. The new kitten walked all over my keyboard-

…..community college. Then, in late December or early January, I will be going with the comm. college on a two-week trip to London to do all the touristy things and instead of returning stateside with them, I will just. . . . . stay. I have friends in a variety of European countries, but not as many as I like, so this is where the request comes in play:  If you have friends in Europe (preferably Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland or Poland, although any country is quite fine by me)  who you think would be willing to help me out on my trip, (or if you yourself is in or from Europe) would you let me know what country they are in so that as my trip draws closer I can expand my list of contacts, I would be much obliged.

My parents are a bit more nervous about this trip after having seen the movie “Taken,” so I’m doing whatever I can to alleviate their  anxiety.

My second purpose for this post is to update y’all on my dad. He’s currently doing well. He has just started chemo up again, but this time it’s oral and not straight to the blood. Twice a day for a week by mouth, every other week. I’m not sure if it’s a pill or what but you can ask. This is his week off. He still preaches and still begs for your prayers. He wanted me to tell y’all that he will be posting sometime soon. “Soon” can mean a lot of different things for my dad, but I imagine he’ll post this week.

Well, as they say in Dutch, Goedemiddag (Good afternoon!)

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Dying to Self in 10,000 (or so) easy steps

As I closed things down at my old blog and started up here I mentioned that, over my years of blogging I developed a sense that I was engaging in much self-promotion.  As I suspected, many of you, the readers offered some kind words of encouragement in that regard, assuring me that my blogging had not come off that way.  I am, as always, grateful to you for that encouragement, but I had hinted back then that I may esplainify myself a bit more in this regard.

This nagging feeling that I was engaged in self-promotion is part of a larger aspect of my psyche that I have wrestled with for many years, many of those years being before the blogging days.  I will spare you a detailed journey into my psyche, except to sketch out a few patterns of thought and longing that became troubling to me in recent days.

At the outset I want to assure you that I recognize these issues as my issues alone, so this is not a commentary on anyone but me.

I became a Christian at the age of 16 through the direct witness of my best friend, our football coach, and indirectly through the work of the Fellowship of Christian athletes. My conversion was genuine, many questions were answered, assurances of eternal felicity offered and embraced and a new life was begun.  Continue reading

Posted in Health Update, Theology | 18 Comments

Hello with an update

Here it is, 1:00am in the morning and I’m having trouble seeping and I thought I would use this time to fire up a quick post.

First a few health updates.

My last scan, back in January showed progression of disease.  All previously known tumors had shown signs of growth.   Also, numerous news spots/lesions/nodules (never sure what terminology they are using and what means what) have been found on my lungs.

Doc said that the good news was that all the growth was small, and the new ones were very small so we are not in crisis.  Said I didn’t need to go back on chemo immediately, but probably would in the near future.

Well, the near future has come.  I had another CT scan last Friday and don’t have the results yet.  I’ll see the doc on this coming Friday and will find out the results and make plans for future treatment.

Our hope is that things have reversed and I can stay off of the hard chemo – maybe stay on this maintenance treatment.

I frankly haven’t felt well lately.  I had a good couple of days a couple of weeks ago – full of energy, worked from early morning into the night.  Was hoping this was a breakthrough but I went back to my old pattern and have been mightily fatigued in recent days.  It is allergy season though, plus I got a nasty stomach flu a few weeks ago and I also had a bad reaction to the barium I had to drink for my CT scan the other day.  So that may contribute, but basically I have been feeling terrible for some time now.

There is much good news though in all of this.  2 Cor. 4:16 is mine in these days:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

I’ve lost more than a step or two but I haven’t lost heart.  My inner self is indeed being renewed and refreshed.   If you or someone you know is going through a terrible trial, take it from me, God will sustain you in the trial.  He won’t necessarily deliver you from the trial, but will be with you in the midst of it.

Though my attention is often largely diverted to physical matters, I believe and I feel that I am surrounded by God’s grace.  Christ is sufficient.  My wife is a constant companion.  My children are a delight.  The church is stalwart.  And I have many friends out there in the cyber world who continue to pray.  Of all the things I feel, and I feel many things which are all over the map, gratitude toward God and toward all of you is what I feel the most.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

First Post

Hi Everyone – just in case any of you followed me from my old Jollyblogger blog on Typepad over here I just wanted to say hello and let you know I’m using this as a placeholder for future blogging.  I am not sure if I will blog much here.  I’m sure I’ll never try to recapture what I was doing back in the day on my Typepad blog, but I may do a few things.

If you never followed me over there I used to blog on topics related to Christianity – bible, theology, Christian growth and church life.

I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in December of 2008 and have used the blog to give health updates and write about topics of interest to cancer sufferers.

I may write about some of these things here in the future.  With my being sick I can’t plan on any regular blogging but I do like to have the option available in case inspiration strikes me or in case I need to put up a quick health update.  In the past I have been greatly encouraged as people have encouraged me and my family, and offered much prayer for us.  So, I do hope to be able to post health updates, if nothing else.

If you have followed me here from the old blog I’d love to have you leave a quick comment to let me know you are here.  Thanks

Posted in Uncategorized | 56 Comments