Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We're Back!!

The boys on the subway
OK, we are back! Vacations rock, don't they?! We had an AMAZING time in Washington DC. We had 2 days for traveling and 9 days for sightseeing. We took a day off right in the middle to rest our weary feet, but we did and saw A LOT.
Dave showcasing some fossils

We had four of the kids with us the whole time, with the fifth coming over for 4 days at the beginning of our trip. It was so wonderful having the whole family together, warms my heart. We all experienced our first subway ride on the Metro, quite the experience. Day 1 we left the hotel with plans for the zoo, as we boarded the Metro we saw tons of people all decked out in St. Paddy's attire. We found out the was a shamrock festival at RFK stadium. Hmmmm, sounds like fun, right? Well, as the train filled with the revelers, some had begun the "celebrations" already and were quite loud and merry. Upon second thought, we surmised it would probably be better to find something to do that didn't involve thousands of drunk people. We got off at Metro Center station and headed for the Museum of Natural History. It was amazing, as I am sure I will describe everything, amazing! After that we had some yummy burgers at Ollie Burgers, the dude reminded me of the soup nazi. :)
Iwo Jima Memorial
Day 2 Davis flew in on a red eye and as soon as he got there we headed out to Arlington Cemetery. It is so beautiful there. Lots of walking up a big hill but we made it up, wheelchair and all, just in time to see the changing of the guard and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Then we saw the Iwo Jima memorial. I always forget how big it is, and so beautiful.
Day 3 we hit the National Archives, which was awesome. How amazing to see all those documents that birthed our country. Then we headed to the Air and Space Museum. Again, the history is so amazing! I love seeing all the supplies the first astronauts had with them, and the story of the Wright brothers.
Day 4 was spent at the Holocaust Museum. All I can say is wow. It always amazes me that it started with one evil man and that he attained so much power. To think that one evil man is responsible for so much death and destruction, unbelievable. I pray we never let that happen again.
Day 5 was spent RESTING our weary feet! I've never walked so much in my life!
Day 6 was TONS more walking but so worth it. We saw the Washington monument, the WWII memorial, which was beautiful. The reflecting pool was all torn up, redoing the bottom, so that was a bit of a bummer. Then we saw the Lincoln memorial, one of my favorites. Then we walked through the Korean memorial and the Vietnam memorial, again, beautiful. I think that was the day we walked by the White House and I got a great picture of the family standing in front of a big bus (with the White House behind it of course). It drove by at just the wrong time! We also discover a Law Enforcement Memorial that we didn't know was there. Dave found a couple of names of officers he knew and he had attended their funerals. I'm really glad we found that.
Day 7 was spent at the Museum of American History, I loved all the pop culture stuff, Dorothy's shoes, Archie and Edith's chairs, the original muppets, etc.
Molly and Isaiah overlooking the Potomac
Day 8 we rented a car for the weekend and drove to Mt. Vernon, Gen. George Washington's estate. Wow, it was so amazing. The view of the Potomac River is beautiful, they have kept the opposite shore line from being built up and it still looks like it did 250 years ago! I guess at one time someone wanted to build a waste treatment plant over there and thank God it didn't happen. The Mansion and his tomb were my favorite. At one time he had 8000 acres, the property is currently 500 acres.
Day 9 we drove to Gettysburg, PA. My favorite day of the trip. Although we were all a bit tired and grumpy, the pivotal battle there during the civil war just fascinates me. We took a self guided tour of the battlefield with a CD that took about 2 1/2 hours. The battlefield had more than 1400 memorials to different battalions and platoons and companies, some very small and some spectacular. There was also a great museum about the civil war.
Goofy on the plane home
Truly, the trip of a lifetime. Memories that will never be forgotten. It was such a blessing to have spent so much time with my family and the only thing that would have made it better is if Davis could have spent the whole time with us.
P.S. The best food day was s'mores table side at Cosi.
mmmmmmmmm, s'mores

If you're brave, come browse ALL the photos!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Washington D.C.

OK, y'alls, we are headed to DC on Friday, any last minute ideas for must see stuff? Please post your ideas here. Thanks!

Recovery 2

Dave did amazingly well after surgery. He had surgery Monday morning and we left the hospital Wednesday morning. my parents stayed until Friday to make sure we were all settled in, what a blessing they are. It was so nice to know they were here with the kids. I could focus on Dave and didn't worry about the kids at all.
The first few weeks after surgery Dave did great. Almost no swelling, no headaches, no fatigue. He just wanted to get back to work. Then we had some issues trying to get him off of the steroids. Most of that story is in this post ~ ER. Then we had a second trip to the ER, described in this post ~ Flat Tire. I think with the combination of coming off of the steroids and the build up of chemo in his brain he is just a mess. He also started his first round of oral chemo the last week of February, he takes it for five days, once a month.
He is extremely fatigued, won't eat or drink and it takes me an hour to get him take his meds. He is not combative, he just keeps saying OK, I'll take it. Then fall asleep with his pills in his hands. We got some great stuff from Vemma, sort of like liquid vitamins, that I cannot get him to drink. If you could all continue to be in prayer for him we would appreciate it. We leave for Washington D.C. on Friday for a ten day vacation. I think we might rent a wheelchair so he can see everything without totally wearing himself out.
So the last month has been a challenge for all of us to say the least. We had a guest pastor today from San Diego. Pastor Jurgen was amazing, and as God usually does, his sermon spoke directly to me, to our trial. He spoke about breaking through. About persistence, continuing with prayer and praise and requests from God. He taught from Matthew 15. There is a woman who's daughter is demon possessed, she cries out to the Lord for help. When Jesus ignores her and the disciples try to send her away she continues to cry out. When Jesus said I came for the children of Israel she kneels before him and cries out for mercy, when he likens her to a dog she calls him master and says even the dogs eat the crumbs from the table. Then Jesus says she has great faith, then heals her daughter! Had she chosen to leave, or be offended at being called a dog and march away, her daughter would not have been healed. It definitely encouraged me to continue to pray for Dave's healing, regardless of how discouraged I may become, or what the doctors have to say. To press on, to have faith, to be obedient. I did the sermon no justice, but there ya go.
Dave goes for an MRI Tuesday, please pray for a clean scan. Thanks again for all the prayers and support.

P.S. Yay!!! He just drank his Vemma!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bottom of the Second

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The week before his second surgery was a good week. I had spent 16 weeks struggling with "the peace that passes all understanding".

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

I had a sense of peace but still wasn't at that point of transcending all understanding. My understanding was that I might lose my husband, and how could any good come of that????
About a week before surgery Pastor Juan spoke about letting satan curse us with our own tongue. It was almost an epiphany for me. I had been letting this go on for years. I was able to take my own thoughts captive, to stop the forever running tapes of "I'm a loser, ugly, fat, failure, etc." they've tried to sneak in a couple of times in the last two months, but I refuse to listen. I am a child of the most high God!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

Also, three days before the surgery we were in Phoenix for his MRI. Now Dave is not a communicator, I on the other hand, can talk communicate all day.  there was lots of drive time, so I tend to ramble. I was going on and on about my struggle with true peace in this whole situation. Dave actually interjected several times with many words of wisdom. About having faith, him knowing all would be as the Lord has planned, and not worrying.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Luke 12:25

So in my passionate ramblings I said "I just want the peace that passes all understanding!" several times while banging on the steering wheel. I guess I finally meant it, because the gracious Lord granted it. From that moment on I have felt peace regardless of the "what ifs", or how Dave is feeling that day, or what the doctors have to say. I now have the faith to go wherever God wants to take us. What I want doesn't matter. I still pray for complete healing for Dave, but I know whatever happens, to God be the glory.
So Dave headed into surgery, he was grateful for the doctors who wanted to be aggressive. He was not into the wait and see thing, he wanted to fight as hard as he could. Both of my grown boys waited with me until surgery was over. They got to see him for a minute or two in recovery before they left. I was grateful for their support.
The surgery was successful, all tumor removed, as well as dead tissue from the radiation. Th surgeon said only healthy pink tissue left. They also placed 8 chemotherapy wafers directly on the tumor bed, the most allowed. Praise God!