Day +3

We had the delight of much company this morning!  First, our friend Peter stopped in while his wife Margo was getting some lab work done. He is always an encouragement to our hearts. He prayed for us and shared a joke and we shared some laughs together!  Thank you, Peter, for taking the time to see us; and thank you, Margo, for lending him to us for a few minutes! Please pray for Margo as she continues to battle cancer. Then, our dear friends from our church back home in Merlin came to visit. Thanks for visiting Martin and Catherine! Josh shared with all of us how he has been motivated to persevere by watching salmon on a video swimming upstream.  He said he feels like a salmon pushing against the current upstream in order to live and give others life  Despite all the difficulty, he pushes forward with a purpose that he would live and get back to Merlin Church to share the Word that gives life to all.  It’s refreshing to see him acting more like himself now.  I was also glad to see Josh using the iPad to watch a beautiful documentary on creation.  It was so awesome to watch different landmarks and exotic animals. Josh kept remarking on how incredible it is for anyone to not believe there is a God after seeing his handiwork displayed in creation.  The distractions help get his mind off the pain and discomfort while hopefully helping to pass the time faster too.

Meanwhile, Katelynn drove the kids to OHSU and met up with Martin & Catherine down on the 9th floor, which ironically is actually the main floor of the hospital (it was built on a hill) Her and the kids got to wave hello to Josh and I above them, from below by the tram station. We had cut out some large hearts on bright red construction paper to distinguish Josh window from the array of other windows along the hospital building wall.  They all quickly spotted Josh on the 14th floor, and he started dancing like a monkey.  Afterward, they took the kids and Kate out for lunch and grabbed a box of donuts.  On their way back from the tram they got to “see” Daddy from the window once more.  It was hard for Josh to see the kids from far away and not be able to hold them, but it was really good for the kids to get to see him. Noah asked why he couldn’t see Daddy in person.  We decided that if he stays healthy he may be able to go up and see him without Nathan who sadly still has a runny nose.  The kids had a great day the rest of the day!

Overall, Josh did so much better today! He walked a mile, took a shower (this itself is a mission for BMT patients), ate throughout the day, and even wrote a song/ poem of thanksgiving to the Lord!…

“God of all strength, God of all might, you hold on tight

You never give up on any one of our souls

In the tempest of life, you’re still in control

Cause you’re the unchaining God, in an ever-changing world

You are the fountain of youth, our very lives you restore

You are the anchor of our souls and the steadfast rigging of our hearts

Jesus, you are the moorings of my soul ”

Written by Josh Seibert on March 21, 2017

Day +2

Today I found Josh doing much better! Even though he still feels lousy; his spirit is up! He said, “I still don’t feel good, but God has been very kind to me.”  The nurse he had today was one he had in the beginning, back when he had some energy.  He and I had the opportunity to have a long theologically conversation with her and shared about our hope in Christ.  She had enjoyed it as she remarked how she enjoyed talked about philosophical things. She remembered our conversation and in her effort to cheer Josh up today; she felt compelled to pray for him even though she is not religious.  She seemed to have noticed that when Josh is able to minister to others it really helps lift his spirit so she wanted him to be able to do that. Moreover, she wanted to help Josh by letting him help her.  It’s interesting yesterday at church the pastor here in Clackamas taught on John 4 where Jesus is vulnerable and thirsty so he asks the Samaritan women for a drink to later give her the living water of eternal life. The pastor mentioned how sometimes we need to be humble and vulnerable in order to gain inroads into sharing the good news of Jesus with others.  Well in a way, that is what God may be doing though Josh’s weak and dark hours.  We will get to have her as Josh’s nurse again two more days this week.  It’s been nice to get to build relationships with different nurses, especially if we get them again. Please pray for the salvation of those around us.

The other thing that really encouraged Josh today was getting a visit from a man named Doug, whom we met through an old friend of mine names Miho from LA. Doug and his wife Linda live the in Portland area and have been convicted to help our family. Doug felt led to visit Josh and encourage his heart. He read some Scripture aloud, and then read from one of both of their favorite author’s–Johnathan Edwards! Josh said Dough has a very good bedside personality. He was blessed by his short visit.  For the most part, Josh has not felt well enough to get many visitors. However, he also needs the encouragement from time to time.  Visits are easier for him than phone calls. As long as the visitor is healthy and flexible, it’s really therapeutic for him. If you’d like to visit, please check with me prior to coming through.

Josh got himself to do five laps today and ate some oats, a cup of chicken noodle soup apples with peanut butter and some pudding!  Thank you all for your faithfulness and fervent prayers! Today Josh’s white blood cells counts are at the zero point, so please pray for him to stay healthy for his body to regain strength.

The kids are doing well. However, Nathan seems to be possibly fighting something. His nose was a bit runny–clear mucus only, but then it cleared up. The kids have not been doing visits with Josh anymore, just to play it safe. So prayers needed for them with the emotional toll of not being able to see Daddy and vice-versa.  Noah at times just gets upset that he cant see Josh, and Nathan sometimes doesn’t understand. Today, Nathan asked where Daddy was. I told him Daddy was in the hospital, and he said, “No, he’s not!” So I ended up showing him some pictures from a few days ago.  He spends a long time looking through the pictures and then seemed satisfied. We are working on trying to Face-time or Skype again soon.  We are all at some level experiencing a loss. Josh feels like he’s lost his way of life, for the time being, in return for one of suffering and isolation.  I feel like I have in some capacity lost my husband.  Most times I don’t give it much thought.  Other times if I get lost about town or someone on the city street yells at me, it won’t take much for me just to break down and cry. The kids must feel the same way.  It’s a very difficult trial we are going through. Your prayers, love, and encouragement are much appreciated! Thanks!

Day +1

Time has been ticking slowly within the hospital walls. What was supposed to be Day +2 is still merely day +1. Josh’s transplant ended up taking longer than the anticipated 10 hours. They started administering the bone marrow cells at noon and didn’t finish till about 3:45 a.m. Therefore, March 18th ended up becoming his Day 0; thus making today March 19th only Day +1. We are told we’ll have to count up to 100 days of treatment in order to be potentially allowed back home in Grants Pass.  We are learning, however, to take it one step at a time. The first goal is to try and get Josh out of the hospital. He’s got a little less than three weeks to go depending on how soon his blood counts start going up. Yet at this early stage, his counts are expected to bottom out until they hit zero before they begin to increase.

Josh has been physically feeling lousy.  He gets frequent headaches, nausea, blurred vision, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, bloating,  diarrhea or constipation; and some of the side effects of his medications that attempt to alleviate those symptoms are drowsiness, irritability, and depression. It takes most of his strength to just shower.  Please pray Josh would feel well enough and continue to push himself to walk daily. He did a lap today–good job babe! Some days are more of a challenge than others. I got a chance to talk and pray with a woman in her 70’s whose husband also just got a transplant a couple weeks ago, and she said the same holds true for her husband in terms energy level. The nurse staff tells us this is all pretty common for their patients. Even though Josh may be young, in the FA world he’s an old-timer. Plus, he has an ‘old’ man’s disease. So I may just start calling him my beloved old man as his term of endearment.

Despite all the suffering and the immense hardship, this is for Josh and our family, God has still been showing us his steadfast love in seemingly little ways.  The day Josh got admitted we had prayed for a room with a nice view of Portland since prior to that we had toured the unit and seen what a spectacular view it had.  The first room Josh had was not one with a view, but it was still nice. The main problem there was a lady who kept him up all night wailing and screaming.  Yesterday, they moved Josh to another room, which ended up being more spacious and has an amazing view of Portland.  We can also see the sky tram that on the 9th floor from here.  Our favorite nurse thus far, suggested our children go to the tram area and wave to Josh and look for him through the window.  Thank you, Kathie!  Another grace of God is that we’ve had the same nurse for the past three days.  For a while, it seemed like he was getting a new nurse every day and it was hard to communicate well with a new person so often.

The friendships we are forging through these circumstances are golden.  We are starting to meet some new people from the church that put us up in the duplex. I’ve gained a new friend named Kara from the bone marrow association who connected us so we could talk to someone who’s been through a transplant before.  The most amazing thing is that she also ‘happens’ to be a Christian. She and I have much in common even though we live in different states. Also, yesterday the in-laws of my friend from back home in LA, came over our house to meet our family with a mason jar full beautiful sunflowers to cheer us all up and brought some things we needed and a special frozen treat for the kids.  Thank you, Doug and Linda! Thanks, Miho for sharing our story.  We are uplifted by all the love, prayers and encouragement from friends and family!  Josh has not been able to get on his phone much, sometimes even to FaceTime with the boys, as much he would love to do so! So we appreciate your understanding with Josh not returning calls or texts.  I’ve gained a new job of being Josh’s secretary, caregiver, advocate and his everything right now.  We hope this blog helps everyone stay in touch, know whats going on, and how to pray more specifically.  Blessings!

 

Transplant Day!

God is so good! His love is inexhaustible and it’s displayed brightly through his people. Today Josh received his new bone marrow!! It was surprisingly an anti-climatic event.  It was thankfully not very exciting in that there weren’t any major complications. Josh’s blood pressure was a bit off but they said it was an expected effect of getting the infusion.  The medical team anticipated allergic reactions so they gave him Benadryl beforehand and also slowed the infusion so that his body wouldn’t react. We are hoping and praying the Benadryl will help Josh sleep better tonight without the awful side effects of nightmares he couldn’t wake out of last night from taking sleeping pills. The transplant should take ten hours to fully go into Josh’s bloodstream.

Now, all we do is wait and pray that the two systems would work together to kill Josh’s disease, then colonize with the new system. The major risks come in the upcoming days and months ahead; they are host vs. graft disease and infections which Josh is too weak to fight off. At this point and till Josh’s new system begins to reign in his body and do away with the old, he will have little to no immune system. So we pray that God would protect Josh from any infections that could attack him.  The other thing we pray for is that there would be only a small amount of host vs. graft in order to extinguish his old system of cells, yet not too much that it would damage his organs or end up taking his life.

Our good friend Jason, shared with us his likening of Josh’s bone marrow transplant to our need to do away with the old man in order to make room for the new.  The old man functions in the flesh, but the new man created in the likeness of Jesus through faith in Him lives by his Spirit.  However, in order to make room for the new, the old must be done away with as much as possible.  Jason and Becky took the boys to a fun bounce house place with their young kids. Then they took us all out for dinner to celebrate Noah’s birthday, and bought him a new Lego set, which he loved!  Thanks again Metcalfs! We pray for their safety as they drive back home to Arizona tomorrow morning.

We had about a dozen or so friends mail Noah birthday cards and gifts, and I’m told more are on their way!  We also had the family pastor from our respite church here take Noah out for ice cream this morning.  Thank you Pastor Ken! At the end of the day, Noah was floored by how much he is loved!  I reminded him that he is much loved by God first, then the outpouring of that is seen through others. Thank you all who have poured your love into our family and to Noah!

We are humbled by all of your love, financial support and your deep concern for us.  The prayers mean so much to us during a time when all we can do is hold on tight to our faith in a sovereign God who hears from heaven the prayers of his children, and answers in his perfect wisdom and time. Many prayed at noon as Josh started his bone marrow transplant. Thank you!!! Keep praying! This is only the beginning of a long journey through a very dark valley, but in the end, we trust it will be all worth it.

 

Day -1 till Transplant

The roller-coaster ride we are on is scary and not a fun one.  It’s more like one of those rides you wonder why you ever got on, and wish there was some way to get off–only it’s too late or else you plunge yourself out of your safety seat and onto your immediate death.  I think this would be a way to describe how Josh feels right about now. The only difference is that Josh did not really have much of choice… He didn’t sign up for this because he thought he may get a thrill out of it. He only did this because to do otherwise would mean his bone marrow would quickly deteriorate beyond repair, and he would have surely died of this disease shortly.

As much as we love OHSU and the friendly staff, hospitals are no place to take a vacation. Poor Josh has been in the hospital for a whole week and has about three more weeks to go. The few times I’ve been in hospitals for the birth of my children it has merely been for one night I was ready to go home.  I can only imagine how hard it is for Josh who has never even been in the hospital overnight before. Prayers for endurance and for him to get on a good sleeping schedule are much appreciated!  Josh’s room in next to a lady who wails and screams all night and it is disturbing his sleep. He has prayed for her, which may be the reason shes next-door, but at the same time, Josh needs rest to be able to recover and be strong again.

Thankful at least the boys had a fun day today at a children’s science museum in Portland called OMSI.  Our sweet friends–the Metcalf’s who drove our from AZ to see us took them out with their lovely family of eight. They have a 12 passenger van and picked them all up and even paid their admission.  It was such a relief to know they were in good hands and Josh really needed me there with him almost all day today.  I got there at 9 a.m. for his full body irradiation and left the hospital at about 6 p.m. Plus, the kids just really needed to get out of the house with other children. Thank you, Jason, Becky, Asher, Micah, Sarah, Lydia, Caleb, and Josiah!!! We love you guys and appreciate your friendship.

Josh will be receiving his bone marrow transplant tomorrow March 17th at noon.  This will be a day that will be marked on our calendars for the rest of our lives– a day where we hope to look back and proclaim God’s faithfulness every year.  We hope it will be a sort of new birth with a new bone marrow and new life as a result.  It really pales in comparison to the new birth that God offers us in his Spirit through faith in Christ. This past Sunday the pastor here at our respite church in Clackamas preached on John 3 and the new birth… I don’t think it’s a coincidence!  God has a much bigger purpose for allowing all of this to happen in our lives and it goes beyond just Josh or our little family.

“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[e] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f] 15 that everyone who believesmay have eternal life in him.”[g]

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

John 3:1-21

Day -2 till Transplant!

imageThe countdown till Josh’s bone marrow transplant is winding down and the day is quickly approaching! Friday, March 17th, Josh will receive new bone marrow from an unrelated donor age 23 who is a nearly a perfect match. The Lord has been very kind in his provisions, love, and support through his people.  Yet, the suffering and pain are very real and raw. It’s something that Josh is enduring with much grace. It’s something our entire family is experiencing in different ways.  Please pray for our whole family and for Katelynn, our volunteer live-in nanny.  This is the most difficult thing our family has ever gone through… pray especially for our children throughout this trial, that they would know that God is good and loves them and that they would love Jesus more than ever.

Refreshingly, today Josh did better–his temperature and blood pressure were normal and he hasn’t needed oxygen again Praise God! His new missionary and pastor friend Peter came in and visited us and blessed us with the reading of scripture and prayer.  We got to walk around the unit together with a number of times, laughed together, cried together, and even got to pray for another couple going through similar circumstances with a father of 4-year-old daughter having a transplant soon.  We hope to have been used to plant seeds for salvation and that we form a relationship with them for the next couple of weeks that Josh and he will be staying in the hospital.  It’s almost an instant bond to share in the same sufferings. In a like manner, is our relationship with Christ. He suffered so much more and he did nothing to deserve it.  When we suffer for our obedience to His will, we suffer like Jesus did on the cross. When we suffer the consequences over sin, we suffer like Jesus–only he never sinned but suffered over OUR sins! When we suffer watching others we love suffer, so does God as he watches all the pain and death that was caused by the fall.  Thankfully, it doesn’t end there though… our bond with Christ takes us into a beautiful eternal destination… a place where pain and sin and death is no more and where we will share in his joy forever.

Please pray for my dad Servando-he will have surgery for prostate cancer tomorrow–March 16th. Even though his surgery is minor compared to Josh’s treatment, it’s still scary and like everything comes with risks. Pray for everything to go smoothly and for peace that would clearly be from Christ. I wish I could be there to encourage him on and pray for him in person.

I really enjoy keeping Josh company and being at his side. I hope that I will stay well enough to visit him daily.  I’m thankful for the time I get to be with my beloved.  Also happening tomorrow morning March 16th–Josh will be undergoing a mild treatment of radiation. Even though his chemo is now over, he may still experience some more symptoms including his hair falling out. We were encouraged to find our Josh will be able to receive massage therapy from his hospital room to alleviate some of his symptoms. Please pray for both the radiation and the effects of the chemo. At the same time, pray that Josh would be encouraged and have faith that God can use even some gnarly drugs to bring about a wonderful cure and grant him more years of life to come. We take comfort in knowing God is present, that he abundantly loves and watches over us, and is powerfully answering prayers for Josh according to his good and perfect will.

 

Day -3 till Transplant

imageThis morning when I tried to call Josh he sounded drowsy and all he said was that he couldn’t talk because he didn’t feel well and had to go. So I got on the phone with the nurse and asked her for an update. She said Josh had a rough night and had to be put on oxygen and had a fever they were trying to reduce, but was doing well. Frightened by the thought of my husband on oxygen, I asked her if his symptoms were “normal” side effects of the chemo; to my relief, she said yes. Noah was concerned about daddy so we prayed for him.  Nathan wanted to set the table for daddy when we ate and I kept telling him daddy would not be eating with us today. Not taking no for an answer, Nathan said it would be for when daddy came home from the hospital… so I obliged.  I decided to go about my normal routine with the boys in the morning and visit with Josh once Nathan went down for a nap.

I couldn’t wait to see Josh and find out how he was holding up. It was like I could not get to the hospital fast enough. I rushed to the 14th floor to find him sitting up and having his vitals taken.  His fever had come down and his blood pressure which apparently had gotten low was just starting to go up but needed to continue to be monitored. I was so glad to see Josh was ok.  I wanted to cheer him up so I got out a gift and card from a dear saint our church named Marcy (thank you Marcy!) and began to read her card aloud to him.  However, before I finished reading the card Josh had gone fast asleep! This continued for all afternoon. The blood pressure machine would go on automatically to check Josh’s blood pressure and he would not even awake! Josh is such a light sleeper so it was such a surprise to see him sleep like this.  He hasn’t had much sleep so I’m thankful to see the goodness of God to let him sleep that well! Apparently, they gave him pain medication and Benadryl and that helped him feel drowsy, plus he hadn’t slept much for days. Praise God! The nurse would come in and talk to me and Josh was still asleep! As his nurse and I talked we found out later that she is a friend of our youth pastor’s wife Sara and had already heard that Josh would be hospitalized there for a transplant!

Eventually, the nurse had to wake Josh up for a nasal sample to make sure he is not sick. It tuned out negative for influenza but they are still checking for the common cold. They ordered Josh a smoothie since for lunch/dinner the night before he couldn’t keep food down and had tolerated a smoothie in the morning pretty well. During the time Josh was awake for “dinner” his good friend Jason got to come in briefly to visit and Josh said that was therapeutic to him. Thank you, Jason! Toward the end, Josh’s eyes were getting heavy yet he had been in bed all day so we all decided to go do a couple laps around the unit. I’m so proud of Josh–he worked himself to doing a mile! While moving around is good for him it also takes a lot out of him. We find that it’s all a balancing act and a game of playing the odds of the lesser of two evils. It reminds us of how much we all really need God and how ultimately the cure for all disease and sickness and pain is found only through eating of the tree of life granted only by faith in Christ who made a way for us to be reconciled to the Father.  So glad that one day all who believe in him will be granted access to the tree of life once more, to live eternally and never die again!!!

God truly did a miracle in sustaining and recovering Josh today.  Thank you Lord! The doctors decided to administer the chemo trough Josh’s IV slower and they are hoping that he will have a better night tonight. It seems like Josh’s symptoms get worst at night. So we need all the night owls praying throughout the night!

Day -4 till Transplant!

 

The most heart-wrenching part of Josh’s treatment has begun as we see some of the side effects of chemo kick in and Josh’s numbers drop.  It looks like its going to be a scary set of ups and downs and a roller-coaster of emotions.  Josh completed his third day of chemo today out of five total and has hardly gotten much sleep. He is really starting to feel exhausted. One of the side effects of hydration, which is essential for chemo, is that the overflow of fluids is can causes swelling and even breathing problems as some of that fluid went into his lungs last night. They addressed the problem and got him feeling better this morning! Thank you Merlin Church for praying right away! Thank you Lord for your quick answers to our prayer and using the doctors to help Josh! Please Lord enable Josh to get through this transplant and grace him with as little side effects and complications as necessary.

Despite all of these side effects and exhaustion,  Josh is still relentlessly praying for others around him and making others smile with his sense of humor.  So much so that that I worry he may wear himself out from so much ‘work’.  Yet he finds so much joy in his kingdom work of ministering to others at the hospital. Before being admitted he said it would be his goal to be like the hospital Chaplin. That is what Josh’s mission has been.  We got to pray for a believing couple today who are also in treatment while doing laps together.  Prayers appreciated for God to give Josh strength to be able to reach out to others and stay active while still pacing himself.

The kids got to see ‘daddy’ on Sunday afternoon and that was very special to all of us.  We had to wear ridiculous looking ‘duck’ masks to church that morning and that was a real challenge for the boys. I’m thankful to God that they are well during a season where it seems like everyone is passing around bugs and colds. Please pray they continue to stay well and they don’t lose heart with all the precautions they are needing to take for this season of our lives.  The isolation part of all of this makes things complicated with a family and social children that yearn to make new friends.

We were all encouraged to see our friends, the Matcalf family, who drove out from Prescott, AZ to see Josh! They weren’t able to visit with him this evening because he wasn’t feeling well. However, Josh was excited to see his friend Jason and hopefully he will get to feel better and visit with them all soon. Thank you “Met’s” (as Josh would say), for doing the trek up to Portland!

The hardest thing for me as a wife is to not be able to be by Josh’s side 24 hours a day. Josh has wisely wanted me home to give our children the mothering they need during this troublesome time in their lives having Josh in the hospital. Even though I know this is the best thing for them, it still breaks my heart not be there for my husband nor know if something goes wrong in the middle of the night. I do get to visit him every day for a couple hours and I’m definitely thankful for that time.  It makes Josh happy too. Thank you Katelynn for watching the boys while we visit! While, I wish I could sleep in the hospital with my beloved, I’m thankful to get to sleep in a comfortable bed at home with the kids. I can’t imagine how terrible it feels to be in a hospital for so long and having to try to sleep through noisy machines and nurses checking on you periodically throughout the night. Prayers for Josh to be able to sleep better are also much appreciated. Lastly, please pray for me to keep myself from drowning as waves of uncertainty, fear, and sorrow threaten to overtake me.

Day 1 of Chemo

Josh had his first set of mild chemo treatments this morning. He didn’t even “feel” the chemo. They simply infused it into his IV line thru his port! However, the port is pretty uncomfortable for Josh as it’s placed in his chest near his heart and seems to make his heart palpitate.  The nurses have loosened it up a little bit in an effort to make it more comfortable.  We praise God his heart rate is normal!  However, we pray for the port to not be cumbersome.  As far as the actual chemo, none of the renown negative side effects have kicked in yet. We are told that it usually takes a few days or even a week for him to feel the side effect of the chemo. The doctor did prepare us by informing us of things to expect such as hair loss, etc. We pray that his side effects would not be severe and that he’d be as strong as possible going into transplant this upcoming Friday! Tomorrow morning the kids will get to see Josh and they are excited about it! Please pray for them to not pass any nasty germs. While at church in the morning, the plan is to keep the kids away from others as much as possible. Its a sacrifice for them not to be able to attend Sunday school. They got some needed ‘Face-time’ with Josh tonight over the phone and were so happy they ‘fought’ each other over “daddy time” on the phone! =)

This afternoon while I got some sweet face-to-face time with Josh I even got to lock arms with him and accompany him on his exercise routine–a mile walk around the hospital unit, which is equivalent to 11 labs. It was cute to see several other couples walk or do laps together too! We joked with other patients and their spouses; and prayed for a young single lady who had done her transplant 40 days ago but was back in the hospital due to an infection.  Josh and I also got to share about biblical Christianity with one of Josh’s nurses.  We even had the privilege of having a special ‘visitor’ come in to see Josh. He was a man named Peter whose wife was also in the unit. He served as a missionary and pastor in Australia for many years. We got to hear him recount their story and the miracles God has done in keeping his wife alive despite doctors only giving her two months to live! Peter also gave Josh a copy of a self-published book he had written and there on the cover of the book was a picture of a shepherd and his sheep.  It ‘happen’ to be the exact same picture that Josh had on his computer as a screen saver for a long time–one of Josh’s favorites.  We saw it as a sweet gesture or affirmation of God’s love and care for us and a reminder that he’s our good Shepherd.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”Psalm 23

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.” John 10:11-17 

 

Admission into OHSU

Josh was admitted into the hospital tonight! I think we are all in a bit of a shock right now. Even though we knew it was inevitably coming, now it has become reality. Upon departure from our little home-away-from-home, Nathan cried when Josh said goodbye –he wanted to go with daddy. Watching him cry made me want to cry.  Yet, I have to be a strong example.  When I got back Katelynn said he stopped crying a couple minutes after we had left. Thank you Katelynn for having such a heart for the boys and remaining grounded. You are like a rock to them–it’s so good for them to have that love and stability!

The hospital unit where Josh will be staying and quarantined for the next four weeks is highly monitored for infectious control. Since I plan to visit daily, I must now wear a mask everywhere I go.  Yet, it is a small sacrifice in comparison;  Josh has to get used to putting on a mask and gown to simply walk out in the hall. Please pray for him to be at peace in his new ‘foreign’ environment. His room is very nice as far as hospitals are concerned. Plus, Josh says they’ve got the best ice–he loves his ice and cranberry juice! He still has a sense of humor too! He makes the staff laugh at his silly remarks and funny jokes. Josh is very social! I’m sure he with end up with lots of friends! He got to pray for the guy who delivered dinner to his room tonight! The main thing the staff wanted to do tonight was to get some hydration in preparation for tomorrow…Chemo treatment starts for Josh tomorrow morning! 😬 Please pray for Josh as he endures the next 4-5 days of chemo ahead. The nurse staff assured Josh of being able to anticipate and relieve most of the awful symptoms associated with chemo with medications.  Prayers coveted for Josh to remain steadfast and to be a light that would lead others to Christ!