Sunday, December 4, 2016

Roller Coaster

Ok, here we go...

Debbie had a CT scan on Wednesday and we had an appointment on Thursday to find out the results. 

The doctor told us that Debbie isn't stable any longer. Most of the tumors/nodules remained unchanged to slightly smaller. A couple of them were slightly larger. The most concerning however was a new mass in her right lung. It is small 7.8mm, but they are telling us that it wasn't there on the last scan.

We weren't prepared for this and it has taken a few days to process. 

It's sort of a punch in the gut. Everything is different, yet everything is the same. We are still surrendering the outcome to God. We are still turning over the entire situation to God. We still are believing that Debbie will be healed and whole. We will not live in fear. We will continue to live in the truth and we will fight.

The plan right now is to have Debbie get scanned in 2 or 3 months to see if there is growth. We will determine the plan of attack at that point. Meanwhile, we will be researching our alternatives.

Please join us as we continue to pray for healing and for there to be no mass on the next scan. We rebuke cancer in Jesus name! We are also praying for wisdom and discernment regarding treatment.

Thank you!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Scan to Scan

Debbie has been feeling ok on most days. Good on some days...bad on others. She couldn't really describe how she felt. She just felt wrong...and very tired.

Debbie's blood work  hadn't been ready at the consultation, so they weren't able to go over it. She received a call one day saying that her thyroid levels were very low and that she needed to start taking medication for it immediately. She has hypothyroidism. This was caused by the IL2.

Hypothyroidism has many side effects. Some of the ones Debbie is experiencing are extreme fatigue and hair loss. She estimates that she has lost more than 50% of her hair. 

As we processed the information from the CT scan consultation and the blood work, we began having more and more questions. We called and spoke to the nurse practitioner that was involved with Debbie's treatment. 

Debbie asked if she was in agreement with the doctor's plan to not carry out Weeks 5 & 6. She said she agreed. She explained that Debbie's body had been pushed as far as they were comfortable with. Debbie only received two doses on Week 4. Debbie would likely only get one or two Week 5  and they may not even have her go through Week 6. She said that Debbie's body had responded as well as possible to IL2 and that her cancer was stable. 


The doctor had told her that she had no evidence of disease. I don't know about you, but NED is very different than your cancer being stable.

We had planned on speaking again with the doctor, but he was on vacation for two weeks and we hadn't had the brain scan yet. So...we waited for the MRI.

Debbie finally had her brain scan. She was very strong and went with the regular MRI instead of the open MRI. God helped her through it. For a brain MRI, Debbie is strapped down and has headphones put on. There is a metal cage that is snapped shut over her face. She is supposed to remain still for 45 minutes. If she moves or the image gets messed up, they have to start all over again.

The results showed no cancer in her brain!

Thank you Jesus!!

Debbie made an appointment with an endocrine specialist to help with her thyroid issue. We wanted someone that can focus on this one area. The medication takes awhile to kick in and is tricky to figure out the correct dosage.

We had a consultation on Wednesday with doctor Smith. It was mainly to clear up some of the questions we had, but also to do blood work. He said that depending on her thyroid levels, he would probably have to increase her medication. They have to start out the medication at a lower level so it won't shock the heart. He reiterated about not having her do another round of treatment and told us that another round of IL2 could have killed Debbie. He was positive that the treatment had done it's job and was happy with her results. He told Debbie that her cancer was in remission. He told us that if a persons cancer comes back, it is typically within 2-3 years. She needs to be scanned every few months and won't be dubbed "cancer free" until 5 years of clean scans.

Dr Smith called back later that day and told Debbie that her thyroid levels were near normal and he wasn't going to increase her medication! Thank you Jesus!!

All of this has been challenging for us to know how to convey Debbie's situation to others. We
have to stick with the facts...the truth.

The truth is we are very thankful and blessed. We know Debbie has been healed. We will take the rest of this journey scan by scan. It is challenging to not have it all wrapped up in a neat little package, but we will continue to surrender the outcome to God. He is the Great Physician and Healer!

Mark 5:34 "Daughter, you took a risk of faith and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Miracle Believed, Miracle Experienced!

The family at Cannon Beach

Debbie had her CT scan on Wednesday and the consultation was Thursday. The scan showed that the large tumor is gone and the lymph node is normal size. Dr Smith is not having Debbie go through treatment weeks 5 & 6. He says that the risk outweighs the benefit for Debbie. He says that the treatment has done what it was supposed to and was a success. He was a little concerned that Debbie has still been experiencing some headaches and nausea, so he has recommended a brain scan to ensure the cancer has not spread there. Once the scan comes back clear, Debbie has to get scanned every 3 months for at least a year. 

We are still processing this information. We are incredibly overwhelmed and thankful to our Amazing God! We had surrendered the outcome to God. We have believed that Debbie was going to be healed. We have daily thanked God for her health. We have daily thanked God for her healing. We have prayed for NED (No Evidence of Disease) and that's what we have received!

We will continue to keep you posted.

Thanks again for all of your prayers and support!


Monday, July 11, 2016

Stick and Stay

The first week at home was tough for Debbie. 

The headaches came back as well as some nausea. This time she actually threw up a few times too. This is significant because she hasn't thrown up since we've been married. Her skin is peeling and itchy and can be very irritable. She has been very tired and needs a lot of rest.

Debbie pushes through all of this and doesn't do what she feels like doing. She does what she knows will help her. She gets up, walks her 3 miles and takes care of whatever business she needs to take care of. She continues to turn everything over to God and trust Him for everything.

If she did what she felt like doing, she may curl up into a fetal position and sleep all day. We have learned that feelings come and go. Feelings are fickle. We don't live our lives led by our feelings. We walk by faith, not by sight. It is a decision each day to focus on God and not our circumstances, to focus on the positives and not the negatives. To stick with God and stay with God no matter what.

We heard a great testimony at church yesterday. The scripture that was talked about was Phillipians 4:4-9. It was a powerful reminder about what we are supposed to do.

We pray that this message
encourages you and that you let God meet you wherever you are.

Phillipians 4:4-9
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Stick and Stay

The first week at home was tough for Debbie. 

The headaches came back as well as some nausea. This time she actually threw up a few times too. This is significant because she hasn't thrown up since we've been married. Her skin is peeling and itchy and can be very irritable. She has been very tired and needs a lot of rest.

Debbie pushes through all of this and doesn't do what she feels like doing. She does what she knows will help her. She gets up, walks her 3 miles and takes care of whatever business she needs to take care of. She continues to turn everything over to God and trust Him for everything.

If she did what she felt like doing, she may curl up into a fetal position and sleep all day. We have learned that feelings come and go. Feelings are fickle. We don't live our lives led by our feelings. We walk by faith, not by sight. It is a decision to focus on God and not our circumstances, to focus on the positives and not the negatives. 

We heard a great testimony at church yesterday. The scripture that was talked about was Phillipians 4:4-9. It was a powerful reminder about what we are supposed to do. Stick with God, stay with God.

We pray that this message
encourages you and that you let God meet you wherever you are.

Phillipians 4:4-9
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Home on Friday!

Week 4 was a tough week. Everything happened quicker and was intensified. Debbie ended up having only two doses out of 14 possible. Each dose quickly brought side effects. Some of the side effects were new. With each dose, more Neo was needed to regulate her BP and it took longer to come down on the Neo. 
On Thursday, the doctor told us that Wednesday mornings dose was her last dose of the week. He said that they had stimulated her immune system enough and he was happy with only having two doses. At the beginning of the week, he had told us to expect only two or three doses.

We ended up getting home Friday morning - a day early! It always feels so great coming home!

Debbie is now beginning the long process of getting back to normal. She needs to shed the water weight, slough off the peeling skin, heal from the picc line, and let the IL2 run its course through her body. It usually takes five or six weeks for her to get back to normal.

We were blessed with the staff more so than ever this week. This was more answered prayer. We always pray for every person that will come into contact with Debbie during her treatment. We pray that each person makes wise decisions in Debbie's best interest and that they are caring and kind. We also pray for no infection, no errors, and continue to pray for maximum effectiveness and minimum side effects. We continue to be so thankful and feel so blessed the way God takes care of us through this whole ordeal. He has provided in so many ways!

What's next?? 

Debbie will have a CT scan at the end of July with a follow up consultation the following week. We will find out how well the treatment is working. We are continuing to pray for NED (No Evidence of Disease) We will also find out when Week 5 & 6 are.

This means we will have six to eight weeks off of treatment to enjoy the summer!

This also means that we will posting less frequently.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

God continues to fight this battle for us!

And we rest with our outcome surrendered!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


A pic from our walk last week

Because this is Week 4, Debbie's body responded quickly to the IL2. 
Debbie had her first dose at 3pm yesterday. Her body reacted quickly and her blood pressure dropped to 60 by 7pm. She was itching uncontrolably, nauseous, feeling sick and hallucinating (she saw red spots all over me) The nurses quickly got everything under control. She ended up getting on the Neo quicker than she ever has before. 

Her BP has been a roller coaster and trying to keep it under control has meant higher doses of Neo. Higher doses of Neo mean less doses of IL2. If the Neo dose goes too high, she has to go to ICU where other methods are used to help get her BP under control. 

All of this could be really stressful. But it really isn't. We could be sick with worry about "What if?" We have surrendered the outcome of this whole process to God. No matter what happens, we will be good. 
We surrendered the outcome before we started treatment. 

We are children of God. Nothing can change that. We are totally and completely loved by God. Nothing can change that. We have our foundation. This has given us peace that surpasses understanding. This has given us the strength and courage to endure this process. God has provided for us time and time again! 

We feel so thankful and blessed. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ready for Week 4

Tiger & Debbie bonding

We can't believe that two weeks have flown by! 

Week 3 ended up being pretty good. The treatment did hit Debbie pretty hard for a couple of days after we got home. She was VERY nauseas and had another crushing headache that lasted for most of a day. She had to take meds and sleep a lot. All the water weight came off pretty quick. Her skin is still all flaky and usually doesn't clear up on this shorter break.

Debbie loves horses. 
She had one growing up and has always dreamed of owning one again. God has known this and has been giving Debbie many blessings. God brought some special people into her life. Debbie has been blessed by Sharon & Susan, two women that live down our road. They have horses and barns and riding arenas! Their willingness to share and spend time with Debbie has meant the world to her.

She has been riding Susan's horse named Tiger. I think she is falling for this big guy. She hopes to lease him and ride him ongoing. She got to ride on Saturday evening and she said it helped her be ready for Monday (when she begins Week 4). It was something to dream about and be grateful to God for providing a desire of her heart. She looks forward to getting out of the hospital and riding him soon.

We head back to the hospital tomorrow morning. The picc (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) is scheduled around 8am and her first dose will be at 3pm.

I will keep you updated from the hospital.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Answered Payers

Debbie received the 11pm dose last night. This was her 4th dose. The doctors expected her to only get 4 or 5 doses, so this is a win. We have spent all day today weaning off of the Neo. The nurses think they can have her off of it by morning, so hopefully we can satisfy all of the requirements to get home earlier on Saturday.


We started out Week 3 with many of the nurses congratulating us on being here. The staff was truly happy that we were there. They explained that most of the people they see for Weeks 1 and 2 don't come back. The only people that come back for Week 3 are the ones that are responding to the IL2! Sadly, 90% of the people don't make it back for Week 3.

We have heard more stories from the staff about tumors the size of tennis balls disappearing and people being cured. We have learned about other indicators that the IL2 is working such as reduced platelet levels. Debbie started Week 3 with her platelets around 335 and they are currently at 105!

This week has been tough. Being confined to a hospital bed, hooked up to monitors and pumps, having her blood pressure rise and fall like a roller coaster and being made sick by the IL2...all in a normal week of IL2. 

But honestly Week 3 has been somewhat of a breeze. Honestly. You can ask Debbie. 

She hasn't had any headaches, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting, shakes or rigors and hasn't had much nausea. 

This is exactly what we (us and all of you) have been praying for...Maximum effectiveness and minimum side effects and discomfort.


Thank you team!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Daily Bread...and coffee

Day 2 started with the verse of the day from ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:14-17‬ ‭MSG

"There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”

I drink coffee everyday.  It is an important part of  my day‬‬. 

Today's verse of the day was a reminder for me about how important being in God's word daily is. More important than coffee!

God's word is alive and living! 

Reading His word has shaped us for this task. God has really been faithful to us throughout this whole process. His words comfort us and give us peace. Even before we found out the treatment was working, we knew we were going to be fine no matter what happens. 

We expect healing. We expect a miracle.  

We will trust God with everything we have and in everything we do!

Update on Debbie:
We had a quiet night last night other than the constant waking up for vital checks. 
She has had 2 doses out of a possible 4 (2/4/14) She is back on Neo to help control her blood pressure, so she is all wired up and constantly monitored. This also means she is confined to the bed. No new side effects so far. We are currently waiting to see 
if the Neo will be at a low enough level to receive the 11pm dose. 

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Day 1 Week 3

Debbie posted this today on her Instagram account:

It's me. Back here at the hospital for week 3 of IL2 immune therapy treatment for the kidney cancer that ended up in my lungs. I look ungrateful but I'm not. I look like I don't want to be here but that's  a lie. I look like I'm alone and without hope or comfort. Again a lie. I am so grateful for where God has placed me at this moment for this event. He has prepared and designed me to endure this very thing. I want to be here. I'm choosing this with my free will. I'm choosing to fight rather than give up! I am not alone. Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. The Holy Spirit brings me great comfort that he is running ahead fighting this battle for me. And if that weren't enough God has given me family and children that love and honor their mom and daughter in a precious way and the love of my life to come and be by my side for 7 nights and days! Oh and did I mention a team of people praying for God to work in this situation. To bring total healing to myself and many others. No this is the face of a girl who knows she is exactly where she is supposed to be!! Yes! This is good!!! #theloveofgod #peacelikeariver #thejesuscollective #fightorflight #thegodlifehaspurpose #prayforrevival

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Ready for Week 3

Looking down at Beacon Rock

It has been awhile since the last post.

Debbie has been getting better everyday. She  continues to grow stronger and the side effects are fading away.
 She has been doing all her normal activities including her daily three mile route.
On Memorial Day, we went on an 8.5 mile hike on Hamilton Mountain. She did great! She didn't do as well as she thought she should do and had to overcome some frustration.

June 6th is here already. It is time to go back in to the hospital for Week 3.

Just to recap - Debbie is all done with the first round of treatment which consists of 1 week of treatment, 2 weeks back home, and then another week of treatment. She is scanned 4 weeks after to track the IL2 progress.

We are asking for prayer for this week. 

Specifically prayer for:

Proper picc placement, wisdom and  guidance for each caregiver that comes in contact with Debbie, continued strength and peace for Debbie. 

We are asking God for a miracle - that Debbie is completely healed!

Thank you for being part of our team!

We are overwhelmed with all the support God has provided through each one of you.

We are expecting great things and are very excited to see what God is going to do!!

We will be posting often to keep you posted through Week 3.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It's Working!

The IL2 is working! Thank you Jesus!!!

The biggest tumor has shrunk from 17mm to 13mm. The doctor is pleased with her progress and how well she has recovered.

Debbie is scheduled to go back for Week 3 on June 6th.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Praying for NED

I know it's been a few days since we've posted...

The truth is that not much has changed since the last post. Debbie is still feeling ok. She is still tired. Her body is working very hard fighting this crud. She is fighting and pushing back as hard as she can.

We found out today that her CT scan will be May 6th. The doctor visit to go over the results will be on May 10th.

We are praying for NED
(No Evidence of Disease)

Please join us 

We are praying and believing for complete healing and for there to be NED in Jesus' name!

Just to clarify, The results of the CT scan will determine if Debbie will be scheduled for Weeks 3 and 4 of IL2. There needs to be improvement (shrinkage of tumors) or at least no growth since the CT scan immediately before Week 1.

When scheduled, it will be the same cycle again. Week 3 of treatment, 2 weeks off, Week 4 of treatment, 4 weeks until CT scan. 

There will be up to 3 cycles total.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Immediately after treatment, Debbie felt OK. She wasn't gripped by nausea and didn't have the crushing headache. We were prepared this time. We had the logical medications for the side effects that happened last time.

This IL2 stuff doesn't have a pattern. It affects each person different. It can affect that same person different each time.

The headaches came back on Tuesday. The nausea came back too. Debbie fights it as much as possible with the medication, but doesn't want to over-medicate.

She wanted to exercise even though it was uncomfortable with the extra water weight and swelling. She has been doing her normal three mile route every day...even when she doesn't feel like it. The extra weight is almost gone.

She says that she doesn't feel right. She says that the IL2 affects every part of, smell, stomach, head, skin, even when she feels ok, she doesn't feel right.

You may see her out and about. She is trying to get back to normal everyday activity. She fights through the pain and nausea like a warrior. She is tough! She takes everything to God. She has a great attitude and stays positive (most of the time) She told me the other day that she was specially made by God for this project.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Done with Week 2

Saturday went SOOO slow. It was a day of patience.

Debbie's last dose was on Friday around 9am and she wanted out of there. The doctor on call was surprised to hear that we wanted to leave on Saturday. He said as long as we go through all the requirements, he would release her.

Debbie needed to get weaned off of the Neo and have her blood pressure stabilize. She finally got off of it at 3pm. She had to be stable for two hours before they would walk her around. After passing the walking test, she needed to have the port removed. They do that procedure in her bed. The port is a tube that is 7"- 8" long that delivers the IL2 or other IV fluids and how they draw blood daily for labs.  When they pull it out, Debbie has to stay flat on her back for 30 minutes. Then they go over the discharge paperwork with us. Nothing is quick about the last day.

We got out of the hospital and home around 7pm last night.

This morning Debbie felt pretty good and wanted to go for a walk. We started out and thought we would just go down the driveway. Debbie felt OK and asked if we could do the "short loop". So we kept going. At the turn off back to our house, she said if I was willing to continue going slower, that we could do our normal route (approx 3 miles) we kept going. We did the whole route!

Just to clarify...Debbie was on her back, confined to her hospital bed for a week. She gained 10 pounds of fluids from the treatment. Her feet were swollen and tender. Her skin is on fire and itchy. The bandage on her neck is uncomfortable. She doesn't feel right. She doesn't know what is going to happen or how she is going to feel. After Week 1, she had constant headaches and nausea. So when I say Debbie feels pretty good, that is with all that going on! The woman is strong! She does have grit!
It is so exciting to see her finding her identity in Christ and developing her Kingdom authority!

On the walk, I asked her if she would want to go to church since she is feeling ok. She started listing the reasons to not go. We decided to go home and have breakfast and see how the morning goes. Debbie said she would plan on going and that we would abort if she didn't feel well.

We went to church!

It was great to get to church to worship our creator.

We are so blessed!

We have so much to be thankful for!

Thank you Jesus!

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Grit courage and resolve; strength of character.  synonyms: courage, bravery, backbone, spirit, strength of will, toughness, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance.  

My mom likes to do hard things.  She's physically strong, emotionally strong, and spiritually strong.  She is not afraid of a challenge.  This isn't rooted in pride but grit.  When going through the process of having cancer and 'watching' for cancer, it is an up and down journey.  There are lots of opinions of different Dr.'s, this Dr. says hopeful things, that Dr. says the opposite and on and on...there came a time when my mom had to decide not to go on the ride any longer.  She wasn't moved by what a Dr. said or didn't say.   She became unwavering. 

My mom stayed true to who she is.  A diagnosis doesn't change that.  This does not mean its easy, it's a decision.  This photo was taken a couple months ago.  She sent it to me laughing about what she did that morning.  In the middle of the season of up and down she had to decide if she was going to be 'sick' now.  Should she slow down?  Should she stop doing things she loves that are hard?  Nope.  My mom goes on a run everyday, rain, snow, heat, nothing keeps her from going outside.  This particular morning obviously it was snowy and icy, she found her workout was only bearable if she stayed in the crunchy grass but not on the pavement that was covered in a thick sheet of ice. She literally had to crawl on her hands and knees to cross over every driveway.  She pushed past every obstacle that came to stop her fear, pain, and pride.  To me this photo is not a silly thing that she did one morning, this is a picture of true grit.  When I was told she was having one last dose this round, this photo came to my mind instantly. Then I remembered a sermon series we did when grit stood for Grace Released In Turmoil.  Oh, Jesus you are good.  Understanding Gods faithfulness and His goodness and His mercy doesn't mean there is no action on your part.  My mom still had to get on her hands and knees and crawl, she still had to choose to take another dose that comes with so much pain and suffering.  But God gives His grace in the middle of this turmoil.  

I could not be any more proud of my mom or 'Derbs' like I call her.  She is such an example for us all!  I think we all can learn from my mom and show a little more grit in our everyday lives.  

I love you all, your prayers towards our family is a big splash of love...Thank YOU!  


Friday, April 15, 2016

Last Dose of Week 2!

This is Friday.

We didn't have the 7am dose and Debbie was feeling pretty good. She had planned on being done with doses for Week 2. She was even starting to entertain thoughts of possibly getting to go home today.

She had been turned down on the Neo throughout the night. She was at 95 (Neo) and they typically want her under 75 to get a dose. We had been told that she could refuse a dose even if they wanted her to have it.

The doctor came in around 830am and was pleased with Debbie's recovery. Much to Debbie's dismay,  he wanted her to have another dose. She was visibly upset. She asked for clarification. He repeated.

She agreed to take the dose. She is so strong!!

Doctor Smith said we could go ahead and do the dose and not wait until 3pm. The later she has the dose, the longer we have to stay at the hospital. She had the last dose a little after 9am.

The last dose had a couple new side effects. She got the shakes and a fever. They gave her some Demerol and warm blankets.

With the fever and some nausea, she lost her appetite. I have been feeding her ice for the last hour or two.

Her skin is starting turn red and puffy. She calls it the IL2 peel.

Now we wait to see what happens with her blood pressure...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Walk Through the Doubt

I'm not gonna lie. This is tough. We both have times when we are struggling.

But God gives us what we need when we need it.

The message at church last Sunday was very timely. It was about doubt and how faith and doubt aren't mutually exclusive. You can experience both at the same time. However, doubt in faith can breed inactivity.

In the book Unmasking the Devil, John Ramirez talks about this same thing:

"Another error we make is that we focus too much on the circumstances and situation. We sit and ponder it, and that gives the devil great power to crush us in our circumstance. Instead of just looking at or glancing at it, and then focusing on the solution that God already has promised us to come out of it. We need to stop spending too much time in the ashes of the circumstances, so the enemy won't get the best of us in the season we find ourselves in."

We need to stand firm! We need to walk by faith. We need to walk through the doubt.

Today's verse of the day comes from Isaiah 40:27-31

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, 

or, whine, Israel, saying,God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”?Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Not much to report today.

Debbie hasn't had any doses since Tuesday morning. She has been recovering and getting the Neo reduced all day. It looks like she will receive the 11pm dose.

We believe that we have found a good combination of meds to control the nausea.

I got to run home to shower and take care of some tasks.

We are halfway done with Week 2!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Day 2 Week 2

They told us that during Week 2, everything would happen quicker... They were right. Even though we had a better idea of what was going to happen this time, there is no set formula for this. No one besides God knows exactly what is going to happen to Debbie.

Her reaction has happened quicker than Week 1. She has gone on Neo again (to control her blood pressure) and has to be continually monitored. She has been nauseas all day and has been on Reglan, Zofran and Compazine to get it under control. Her skin has reacted and she feels like it is burning. It is a ruddish color and she looks as if she has spent time in the sun. Her appetite has decreased.

Her dose count right now is 2/4/14 - she has had 2 doses out of 4, out of the possible 14 doses for the week.

Her 11pm dose isn't looking likely at this time due to the high rate of Neo she is on.

Continue to pray for strength, courage and resilience for her.

She is a very strong woman and is doing great under the circumstances. Thank you Jesus!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Back for Week #2

We are back in the hospital for the second week of IL2 treatment.

Debbie had her first dose at 3pm and was fine until about 6pm. She started getting nauseas  and her blood pressure dropped. She is right on the verge of going back on the Neo (blood pressure medicine)
They will check her vitals again around 10pm and we will see where we go from there. She is scheduled for another IL2 dose at 11pm.

We have a better idea of what to expect this time. They also tell us that this time things should happen quicker than Week 1.

She is sleeping right now. She has to sleep when she can. They wake her every 2 hours (or more) to check vitals, give her meds, or a dose of IL2.

Thanks for your prayers and support.

Talk to you tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Getting Ready for Round 2

Debbie is feeling almost normal...except for the itching and peeling. Her skin hasn't stopped since Round 1. The headaches and nausea have subsided.

She didn't want to go back after the first round, but God once again has prepared her for whatever the future holds. Her faith has been refreshed. She will be going in for Round 2 on Monday the 11th. She said that if it takes six months of her life to gain the rest of it...she can do it with Gods faithfulness. She is also looking forward to having 4-8 weeks off after Round 2.

She will have a CT scan four weeks after Round 2.

When the CT scans show shrinkage, she will be scheduled for Rounds 3 and 4...

Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

More to follow...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

First Day Out

Debbie has been feeling a little better everyday. Today the nausea and headache plagued her all day...sometimes worse than others.

She did drive today (can't drive for 72 hours after treatment) and went to her oldest grandson's (Preston) chapel service at Kings Way HS. It was a prayer service to send the kids off to Haiti for a ten day mission trip. Debbie's parents (Russ & Carolyn) came too and they all went for fish tacos at Woody's.

She is trying to get back to normal and be as active as she can.

She is a mighty warrior and I am very proud of her!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Turned the Corner

I am happy to report that Debbie has been feeling better this afternoon.

The last two days have been filled with nausea and headaches. The Lasix that was supposed to help her shed the water weight made her heart beat faster and irregular.  She couldn't sleep even though she was exhausted.

We were finally able to get a prescription this morning for the nausea. It makes her sleepy, but that was a good thing. Debbie slept for a few hours and woke up without a headache and wasn't nauseous. She was hungry and ate a good lunch.

Thank you Jesus!!

She has been feeling better this afternoon and has been moving around a bit.

Can't wait for her to get a good night's sleep and feel even better tomorrow!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jesus Paid It All

Easter is here and I have to share the importance of this day. 

Jesus was crucified on a cross for me, you, everyone... He didn't deserve it...He was perfect. (1 Peter 2:22) He didn't have to do it. He could have changed His mind.  He prayed to his Dad to take it away. (Luke 22:42) He volunteered to do it. He didn't complain about it. (Isaiah 53:7) He was beaten beyond recognition (Isaiah 52:14) and then took all sin upon himself to set us free. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Three days later He rose from the dead!

Jesus is The way, The truth, and The Life - No one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6) Without Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection, no one would have eternal life.
We have made Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives. He gives us comfort and strength to go through anything that comes our way.

Thank you Jesus!

Worst Day Yet

It was great to be home, but it ended up being the worst day yet.

The fluid buildup and swelling was painful. Different areas of her skin were inflamed and tender. Areas were starting to peel and flake off. Her mouth is very dry and her teeth hurt. Her lips are dry and cracking. The diarrhetic she took caused her heart to beat rapidly and irregularly. This caused her to feel bad through the night. We spoke to the on-call doctor and the nurse that discharged her. They said to drink lots of fluids and get lots of rest. Not a lot of help for us at the moment. They prescribed the diarrheic to help get the extra fluid out of her body. She isn't going to take that again, so we need to an alternative to be prescribed.

She woke up with the worst headache of her life and had to just sit in the dark with her eyes closed. She could't do anything... Couldn't even pray. All she could do was say Jesus - over and over.

They told us that the IL2 would come home with us. They were right.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Home At Last

My mom came home this afternoon. She has some side effects from meds, swelling and peeling skin but doing well overall. Looking forward to her own bed and a shower (which she has to wait another 24 hours to take). Rick was by her side the entire week and is able to be home for another couple days before heading back to work to take good care of her while continuing to recover.  She should be sleeping a lot over the next couple days since you don't get much sleep while in the hospital with people coming in to take your vitals, give you meds, etc. She has two weeks to "enjoy every moment" as she explained to me today before heading back to the hospital for another week of treatment. Thank you for your continued prayers. We have felt every one of them! So blessed by all of you and Happy Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Done with Doses

Debbie had her 3pm dose yesterday and it ended up being her last dose. So she ended up receiving 5 of the possible 14 doses. This is average. The main objective of this treatment is to push her body as much as possible and get as many doses in her as safely possible while boosting the immune system.

Doctor Smith came this morning and told us that they have pushed her hard enough for week 1. He said her CO2 was a little low and her Blood pressure wasn't stabilizing (also the Neo dose was too high) He told us no more IL2 doses this week. He is happy with how the treatment has gone.

Now, her blood pressure needs to stabilize and she needs to get weaned off of the Neo. Her electrolytes and phosphorus levels need to be acceptable. She has to be able to walk around without passing out. The triple lumen PIC needs to be removed.... I'm sure I'm missing some of the steps.

The goal is to be home by tomorrow evening.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Wednesday was a challenge to try to keep Debbie's blood pressure stable enough for her body to receive the IL2. We had to skip the 3pm, 11pm, and 7am doses. The title of this post reflects the status of Debbie's doses. She has had 4 out of 9 so far of the possible 14 for the week. The doctor is encouraged about her progress. They said her immune system has been boosted already and so they aren't concerned about the number of doses she receives.

Her skin is starting to react more and more to the IL2. It is a ruddy color with a rash. It is itchy and uncomfortable. She says it is a really strange feeling to have her skin really hot and feel cold at the same time.

She has been put on additional fluids - Calcium, Potassium, electrolytes... There are at least four bags hooked up to the IV at all times. They have a pill or a fluid for anything and everything...

She has begun to retain the fluids being pumped into her, so she is getting puffy. 

Her level of uncomfort is still only around a 3 (10 being the worst) She is still positive and staying strong!

The staff here is amazing! Every single person that comes into contact with Debbie is very kind and considerate. 

Thank you all for your prayers and support!!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Video From Kiara

     This is beautiful Kiara.  If you want to follow her journey go to Prayers for Warrior Princess Kiara on Facebook.  She had Metastatic Medullablastoma and has been cancer free now for 6 months.  She has gone through and is still going through a lot, all while remaining so brave.

     Her dad talks about how she recently had an IV attempt that failed that resulted in tears from the both of them.  Everything was delayed and Kiara went nearly 17 hours without food before sedation.  However post MRI and lumbar puncture she was all smiles waking up to her treat of oreos and chocolate milk.  He said "this girl is resilient beyond belief, she is a champion at facing and doing the hard things."  He said "I'm being taught lessons daily by my daughter, and I'm thankful I'm her dad."

     Not only is Kiara strong, she has a heart to pass her strength onto others.  She sent my mom this video message.  My mom said it was such a gift she wanted to share it with all of you.


This is the official video "Multiplied" by NEEDTOBREATHE.

We went to see NEEDTOBREATHE at their tour-de-compadres outdoor concert at the Portland Zoo in July. They were amazing!!

Kelly had us listen to this song on Monday. We envisioned Debbie's T blood cells multiplying in her body...killing the cancer cells.

We love music and believe it is a powerful medium. Music speaks to people in many ways and stretches across borders and cultures. God can speak through music. Does this song speak to you?


Continuing on the road to victory...

     We want to keep you updated with the latest information.  Yesterday went well.  My mom has not experienced most of the typical symptomsi of IL2.  No vomiting or diarrhea, no chills or shakes, no severe headaches, no confusion or muscle aches.  She says on a scale of 1-10 (10 being horrible pain and discomfort) she's at a 3.  Her main complication that we need specific prayer for is her blood pressure to stabilize.

     Her blood pressure is too low and she is on medication to keep it where it needs to be.  If the dose of the blood pressure medicine has to stay high to keep her blood pressure up, she can't get her dose of IL2.  She gets a daily dose at 7am, 3pm, and 11pm.  Because of her blood pressure, she wasn't able to get her 11 pm dose the first or second night or her 3pm dose today.  We are praying for it to stabilize so she doesn't have to miss another dose.  Her systolic pressure needs to be over 85.  She needs as many doses of IL2 as her body can tolerate during this 5-7 days.  Please pray with us NOW for her blood pressure to stabilize and thank Him with us for all of the miracles thus far!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Peace That Surpasses All Understanding

The first night was interesting.

The second dose of IL2 was scheduled for 11pm. All was well until Debbie went to the bathroom with the nurse (she is confined to her bed unless assisted by the staff) Debbie passed out in the bathroom and was quickly taken back to bed by three staff members. Her blood pressure had dropped and they started to give her fluids to bring it back up. After three bags of fluid, she was switched to "Neo" (neosanephrin). When on Neo, she is hooked up to machines and constantly monitored for her vitals. They are able to control the flow of the Neo and thus control her blood pressure.

This balance of controlling her blood pressure went on for a couple of hours. After consulting the on call Doctor, they held off on dose #2.

This may sound like bad news, but it is actually very good news.

Apparently, patients that have a drop in blood pressure and go on Neo have a higher response rate to the IL2. They kept assuring us that everything was fine and that the IL2 is working.

They have been able to get the Neo down to an acceptable level to administer dose #2 (or is it dose #3 because we skipped # 2...?) This dose is scheduled for 7am.

Debbie is in very good hands. God's got this! He is comforting her and giving her strength. He is giving her peace that surpasses all understanding. She is being lifted up in prayer by so many!

The scripture from yesterday was Romans 6:23 - But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more life on the way!

Thank you Jesus!

The staff has been wonderful! Debbie is in the best human hands possible.

My bride is amazing and I love her madly!

Monday, March 21, 2016

More Than Conquerors

     God is so good.  He has been preparing us for this.  Yesterday I saw that our journey up to this point was like boot camp.  Preparing the solider for war.  We'd been getting mentally, physically and spiritually stronger knowing all the while we would be deployed. I saw us graduating bootcamp and getting our gear, our weapons and getting on the helicopter to fly into battle.  As we rode in the helicopter,  getting closer to the battle field a strange thing happened.  There was an excitement and our hearts started pounding in anticipation. There was a feeling of "lets go!  We have all we need to fight and win. There is freedom for many on the other side of this victory."

     In the last few days we have been able to spend time with many of our family and friends and we have been loved on, prayed over and blessed.  We have been reminded over and over that "God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND." 2 Timothy 1:7.  We trust Him.  Completely. One of the wonderful things spoken over my mom to comfort her was the scripture, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39.  As I write this now, I feel that peace.  In days to come we will call on that peace.  And when we feel the wind and the waves, as the storm starts to rise we will proclaim, "Peace, be still!" 

     The truth is God is preparing us all for battle.  The war is all around us.  We've ALL been "deployed".  My mom decided the day she found out she had stage 4 cancer a few weeks ago that she only had 2 choices: to fight or to give up.  She chose to fight. What do you choose?  What is your battle?  

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angles nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8: 37-39  


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Prepared for battle.

Debbie was diagnosed with kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma, clear cell) in October of 2012.  The cancer was limited to her kidney so she had a radical nephrectomy, or the full removal of the kidney and cancer mass. Most patients who have a radical nephrectomy remain cancer-free and need no further treatment. 

As is usual for her type of case, Debbie had periodic follow-up CT scans in the months and years following her successful kidney removal. About 2 years ago, her doctors discovered some small spots on her lungs that looked like they could be caused by the original kidney cancer having metastasized. However, they were too small to biopsy so no conclusive diagnosis was possible. After an extended period of slow or no growth, the spots began to grow and multiply toward the end of 2015. The spots became large enough to biopsy and in February, doctors confirmed the diagnosis. Debbie has stage 4, metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Debbie and the family consulted with her medical oncologist about different treatment options.   Debbie’s doctor was hopeful that she was healthy enough for High-dose Interleukin-2 (“IL-2”) as a first-line treatment option. This treatment has been proven to offer a small number (8-10%) of patients a complete and durable response, leaving them cancer-free while another 8-10% have a partial response. 

After a series of tests, including cardiac and pulmonary organ function, she was found to be eligible and strong enough to endure the IL-2 treatment. IL-2 functions differently than chemotherapy, which is not effective on this type of cancer. IL-2 is an immunotherapy that supercharges your own immune system in hopes that it destroys the cancer cells. 

Due to the level of toxicity, IL-2 is administered in the hospital, usually in the intensive care unit.  Patients require close monitoring.  The doses are given every 8 hours over a five-day period.  However, most patients do not receive the full number of doses, as each individual’s ability to tolerate the side effects varies. The side effects are severe and include: vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, general fatigue, difficulty sleeping, itching and peeling skin, flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills and muscle aches; weight gain/fluid retention, low blood pressure and rapid heart rate. 

Debbie begins IL-2 treatment on Monday, March 21st.   Due to the nature of the treatment, visitors are not allowed.  She and the family invite your prayers in lieu of visits. 

After the 5-day period of doses, Debbie will be released from the hospital after 1 or 2 days of recovery.  She has two weeks to finish her recovery then heads back to the hospital (April 11th) to repeat a 5-day period of doses all over again.  After 30-days have passed, a follow-up CT scan will determine if her body has responded to the treatment.  If it has, the 5-day/2-week/5-day treatment cycle will be repeated once or twice again. 

Our ongoing prayer for Debbie is 1) She will be completely healed; and 2) She will have minimal side effects and endure them well.  We will keep you up to date as she progresses.  We love you all and thank you for joining us in this fight. #preparedforbattle.