Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Potential for going home-

We are eagerly awaiting discharge. I guess I would be more eager if I had bags packed... ha...  ok ok I am simmering down. My mom is with me, and going to help get my stuff together. YAWN I can hardly wait to be home. 

Thanks for the love! Will hopefully post more from home!

Been quiet.

So we have been quiet the last few hours. We did get the results back from our dr. The tumor was a stage 2 glioma. And since he was unable to get it all we will have frequent monitoring, and meet with an oncologist.

Cancer. Brain cancer. Its a low grade tumor, the dr feels like at this point its a wait and see, with potential of radiation. Most of the tumor was removed. We are thankful. Since its only in stage 2 it was captured early. The dr presented this as though it was good news not bad.

How are we? Joel is doing quite well. He is so positive. Thankful for the chance to fight this.

Me? I need to get off the internet, stop crying and put on my big girl pants. (at least some clean pjs.)
I know this is far from over, far from a death sentence but brain tumor in my husband is scary enough, yet alone.... the word Cancer. So maybe I am over tired, maybe the emotions of the last week are catching up with me. Joel is certain this is the case. We are set to discharge home today. I can not wait. Yet I can. I need some sleep. And evening snuggling our daughter, it will be medicine for our souls.

God is still good. We are SO THANKFUL this was found early. This is one of the richest blessings.  We are still believing that Joel is so much tougher than this. Joel feels like its 90% mental and he can and will beat this.

We are still so hopeful of normal life although we will never be the same. We dream of riding bikes with Evey. Going to Hawaii as--- she is obsessed with going...  and well we just love it. But for now we take today. We pray we get to go home. We pray it goes smoothly.

Pray for complete healing of the remaining tumor. God has brought it this far and we believe fully our next scan could be completely cancer free. Pray the seizures are done. Pray for our transition today. Pray for me, as I am a bit nervous today. Please keep praying. Thank you for you love prayers and continued positive thoughts. Pray for laughter and joy in the minutes and days ahead. We still firmly believe the best is yet to be seen. This journey is not over, but we are not alone.

Praying4Joel this is my life calling, Please let it be yours.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Guess what?

Guess who has been up walking?

Guess who did stairs?
Guess who couldn't take a picture because she was so nervous!?

Guess who is out on the therapy patio enjoying real air?
(It appears as though he may try and escape.)

Guess shouted "YAY DUCKY FEEL BETTER!"?

at the sight of this photo? Yes our princess.

Still waiting for Dr. to come talk with us. He saw us in the hall and said he would be chatting soon today. Yes, it was awhile go. Am I restless? Yep.

Joel and I are feeling positive. We are encouraged about our future but are taking it one day at a time. 

"Feel Good"

Joel talks about how he "feels good" We still haven't heard  from the doctor, and are at peace. We are watching a little mindless TV, and Joel is resting again. He slept some this morning... His mind is tired.

Me- Well I am still in my PJs. I am eating. Thanks to friends and the staff.  MumMum brought me a fun craft I have laid out to start- mostly to keep me busy. Honestly in down time, I rest. This journey is genuinely exhausting physically and emotionally. But we are encouraged and supported from yet another wonderful nurse, and compassionate staff.

I am proud to work in this hospital. The kindness and love shown from the ER, ICU, Pastoral Care, O.R. and Neuro directly caring for my husband is overwhelming.  Not to mention the support from staff that is not directly involved house wide has been amazing. (Especially Peds, NICU and my RT department) So please keep sharing. I feel the love and compassion. Way to live the mission friends. (Our mission is to "Carry on the loving and compassionate mission of Jesus Christ.")

Joel is blown away and has a new respect for my job. Its hard to be a patient and patient family when you are so used to living on the other edge.

So I am going to start my scrap fabric wreath... or shower.... craft... shower... crafting wins.  Never mind we are going potty now...  then a walk. Joel runs this show.

Keep praying love you.

Yet another hospital morning.

Hospital mornings. Hmm much different from morning at home... I can't wait for a home morning. Making breakfast. Snuggling my baby... watching wonderpets... looking forward to a nice morning at home. Joel is looking forward to saying goodbye to middle of the night wake ups... although I will still do this. HA and saying goodbye to 4 times  a day blood sugar checks.

But we both know that stability and consistanty are the goals here before we can go home.

Pray for pathology report to be clear, Pray for NO seizures. Pray for the ability to figure out his medications and find what works best for him.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Anxious for nothing.

Today has been stressful. Joel had been doing so great. But this felt like a step back. It was... thankful it was here at the hospital--- I find my heart being anxious tonight. Seizures SUCK. let me just say that much. He has been so lethargic and painful today compared to yesterday. Yetvwas still eager to get up and walk with PT. He is such a trooper. He did pretty well. He drifts to the side when he walks but this will improve.

So far his heart rate is improved tonight. Praying that the extra steroids and seizure meds are what he needed.  Due to all the meds, Joel was a bit disconnected and slept. Expected but stinks.

Yet in my heart I keep hearing:

 "Be Anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 4:6-7

Tomorrow we may get our pathology results back. We are obviously eager to find out. I still find it hard to believe that one week ago our life was changed. I want to be home and start our new normal with out the constant fear of seizures. I do have peace as I face another day of unknowns and what ifs.

I appreciate that people are respecting our desire for space, for Joels mind to heal.

We did find out his echo was normal. So his low heart rate is from his brain? potentially

Pray with me. For rest- and that Joel has a much more normal heart rate tonight. AND NO SEIZURES. Pray for continued protection and peace for Joel, Princess and Myself. Praying for good results tomorrow. Pray for MumMum Papa, E and Marky as they are our primary supports.

More stable afternoon.

Joel woke up enough to eat a few bites. He didn't loose any abilities with the seizure but is doped up from all of medications afterward. Thankful I was with him, as he would have fallen otherwise. It lasted close to minutes.

I am getting restless.. I need a craft.. I do love to craft so my mama is going to help with this today.... pintrest has so many ideas but I need to have non-sewing machine or nasty smelling paint activities. So E and MumMum are on it....

A dear friend of mine is going to be doing a thirty-one gifts party with for us. I really hope everyone can take a look at all the neat bags, organizers and other nifty things this company offers!!
http://www.facebook.com/events/176246222479368/  This sale starts on the 1st of February! There is a new line coming out that day!

One week ago our life was so different. I am in awe of how fragile each moment and day is. I am thankful for my husband and his desire to protect our daughter, and care for me through this. I love him.

Feeling the love and prayers. Keep em coming. Joel says he can too.

Dong it! a Seizure!

This morning, we were greeted with an eager dr. who was more than willing to discharge us. While eating breakfast Joel had another large seizure.  As much as this stinks and as many bad words as I said, I knew this would/could happen.

While getting on the elevator this morning for coffee I had a brief thought that he would have a seizure in the car. My own mom had a simular feeling, as did our nurse. Fortunately he did so still in the hospital. We were able to keep his head safe and give him the medications he needed. 

With a tumor the size of Joel's I highly expected to see a seizure or two. I was pleased but apprehensive that we had not.

Post the seizure. He did go for a little CT run just to make sure the pressures in his brain are not to high, new bleed, herniation ect. 

Joel is tired. Thankful we had a wonderful evening, which in no way contributed to this seizure. Its just that his brain is still PISSED. I am mad. I said words I don't normally say. But what other words am I supposed to say while you hold your husband through a major seizure. I am worn out. I feel like I two had one. ha. ok, ok, here I go being dramatic. But its hard work watching this too.

I decided my mistake was putting on eye make up today. Since we were going home and all I wanted to look as good as I could in PJs. Ha oh well. We are blessed today to have an AMAZING nurse! (She knows her stuff and has compassion beyond words) And its my work weekend so I have my support team, just a few phone calls away.

We are asking for NO visits today. We He is very tired after all that. He told me he still feels positive. He knew this was a possibility... but I guess we just needed a few more days here. He is moving all arms/legs talking and recovering fine. He remembers some of it, states it felt like he was getting shocked. He said "sorry for scaring you" which may have made me cry... I was sorry he had to hurt... I probably held him TOO tight... he.. he

Please keep praying for no more seizures. (I have a hard time holding him well enough to protect his head. I swear the strength to do so is super human.... But I am not nearly the big girl I used to be... haha... wish I was home and the hot tub was working HA! Just kidding.) Thankful we are here, where we need to be. 

Pray for rest, protection and continued provision. We remain thankful, and optimistic for this is not unexpected. I would have a seizure too if my head had an empty space in it. Pray for continued wisdom and peace. We still believe this is all part of the journey and the best remains to be seen.  God remains in control. He did not cause this. He brings us through it though. 

Just like the waves. We feels God's grace washing over us daily.... We are still blessed.

Here is a picture of our princess with her Ducky last summer at the ocean. Yep the Oregon beach was amazingly warm.

How to help-

We had a much better night. 

We face a potential day for change- going home?! We are excited, thankful and ready to sleep. I did promise to share how people can help- we will have none of my income, and a limited income from Joel. hard pill to swallow. But God has been and will continue to be faithful.

Asking for help of any sort is never easy.
So one easy way to help is to bring us food or just some basic items.


Above is the link for a system called meal train. It is a set up system for donating dinners and scheduling when you can feed the hungry steroid taking man.

If you are not in the area and want to mail a card, gift card or whatever-- Please do-- cards are so encouraging to Joel

J&J Dougall
PO Box 40702
Eugene, OR 97404

Household tasks and making a few things safer for Joel will not go away- email E   If this is something you want to do...


We are exploring other options IE paypal account, fundraisers, and well whatever. If you have ideas or want to help- email E         


It stinks to have ask for help-- talk about swallowing my pride. But I know that it indeed takes a village and our God is faithful to continue to provide.

The first few days until the staples are out and as Joel regains more balance we will stay at my parents house-- they will stay at ours and take care of our dog. They  have an ideal home, one living floor, a walk in shower, tall toilets ect.... and well we have lived with them before -- so we are not feeling like this will be far at all from home.

We are so thankful beyond words for the generosity thus far, the meals, coffee and money/gift cards already have eased this journey so much. We are able to get everything we do need to get Joel home and keep him safe. THANK YOU! (you know who you are)

Whatever you do, or can give-- you can always pray. Pray this is benign and not cancer.  Pray Joel is running sooner than later. Pray we can get back to life--- and work. Although we will never be the same.

We are already so blown away. Your love has truly surrounded out hearts and minds these last days. Not to mention the peace and love of God. 

Off for coffee. But first this is one of our most favorite photos-- Evey loves this...its on our bedroom wall.... aww my bed.....

Will attempt to take pictures of my man walking. Its AMAZING. God is good.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good day.

Drain has been removed from Joels head. He is walking BEAUTIFULLY!! Its AMAZING!!! I finally got to hug him--and tonight a shower! (Maybe) At least a walk.

I went out with princess and tried to find a size 8 duck hat-- ummmm impossible. Joel had a good day. We   He gets worn out easily but did get to snuggle his little girl for a few minutes. 

Honestly I was quite tired today- our nurse last night was sweet but ummm busy. Not sure how else to say it... YAWN praying our nurse tonight well lets us sleep more than that. We did get a wonderful nap.

Joel is eating fine- steroids make him a bit hungry.  His mood is positive, his memory--- well its amazing as ever. (Mine how ever...) Joel and I did get  a laugh out of the brief thought that our Princess is being raised by two brain injuries. (I had a severe concussion 2 years ago-- whole other blog entry)  We will learn to adjust and cope- however I foresee many sticky notes in our future. Joel says. Doubt that.

Boy he is witty and faster than ever. He denies needing to re-learn anything.. he feels great... He is ready for bootcamp----  (NO NOT YET JOEL)  He has decided in all his neuro experience there is more room for his brain... So he feels like he will now be faster, smarter and maybe even have new super powers. He explains that his brain has now been set free, as it was being held back by the tumor.  I do wonder if some of its the steriods... But I don't mind we are laughing and eating and napping and walking.  His eye are sparkling.

Get this rumor- We may even get to go home tomorrow.... (Clicks heals) There is no place like home!!! Its just a maybe. Not set in stone. We can hardly believe how much our life has changed in just one week. To go from appreciating a long weekend together... to appreciating the huge fact that we are alive is mind blowing... 

We are blessed. We can not deny this. We are changed. Our life is changed. His brain is changed. Our world has changed. Joel is so strong. 

As for the future. We don't know all the details. We are thankful. We are at peace. We are confident that the best is yet to come. The pathology report is pending. We may know as early as monday. But again we remain firm in knowing the hardest part is nearly over.

So blessed and thankful for the love and prayers that have been poured out on our behave. Please do take minute to reflect on your own life, do not take anything for granted as they are all gifts. Every day, every moment they are gifts. No matter how sorrowful, bitter or joyful. Be thankful.

God is good. We are unworthy. His grace knows no boundries. We rejoice tonight in knowing that love truly does conquer all.  Joel says that was dramatic. I must agree. 

Pictures to follow but Joel is ready to walk. 


Well guess what? Joel stood up--- walked to the bathroom and did AWESOME! He is now saline locked--- aka, he gets drink his fluids rather than iv fluid. He is having some pain this morning, but who wouldn't. We are getting pain under control quicker already and thankful.

I am planning on leaving the hospital GASP!! For a few hours to take my little princess to the mall. I can hardly wait!

It is cold outside--- these windows are poorly insulated.

I started this post early in the morning, but seem to be moving a little slow today. Thankful for a quiet day.
Joel is doing well. His spirits are high and we are ready for whatever. We miss home. We miss being in our own bed and we miss our dog, tv bathroom... haha... pretty much all of home. But we are so thankful and glad that he is where he needs to be today.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Missing our Princess.

So Joel and I are missing baby girl tonight-- 2 days without my princess.. my heart needs her kisses. Soon. She has had a good day. Playing with G and L is one of her most favorite things!!!

 Love this little girl. Love this man. mmmm I am blessed. Couldn't help but pull out some of my favorite photos-- from when she was little. 

Keep praying for my Husband and Ducky to his little Princess.

I have on my eager face.

So now that we are that much closer to being home---- crossing fingers! We will have things I will need help with. I am formatting that list now, and will be placing E in charge of delegating many tasks. (She rocks like that)

It may be some of the chores Joel had been doing- doggie doing/yard stuff. All the way to potential furniture moving. We would also appreciate meals, and Meal train is already being set up. More information to follow

WE DO NOT HAVE A DISCHARGE DATE YET. He still has to work with PT, get drain out. have stable blood pressure blah blah blah boring details.

I am only saying this because I know so many have offered to help, after we see Joel with PT- We can plan better. One hurdle is stairs. Pray for balance within his brain. Endurance. Overall strength.  NO MORE SPEED BUMPS!
Pray for continued rest, patience and wisdom for myself. And pray for our little princess as she is getting a cold. (Princess do need mama's when not feeling well, but MumMum/Papa and Aunties will have to do!)

Its so hard to ask for help, but I know that it takes a village, and this I can not do all on my own.
We moved to a new room.  And boy oh boy are we glad to be this much closer to whatever is next. His new MRI was very encouraging. The doctor removed a TON! But the brain is filling in well appropriately. He even had a ventricle re-forming! AMAZING!

So in the words of the doctor--- this is an OLD tumor, meaning its been there a long time, which is logical because we would have seen more side effects if it was starting earlier. As for cancer vs not the jury is still out. We remain very hopeful given our discussion with the doctor and the mere fact God is in control.

Pain is an issue--- It sneaks up on us everytime-- fast and furious. But it controls quickly. Keep praying for this to control quickly.

He looks AMAZING!!!

We are eager to begin the journey to get home. We are so into the dream of a great nights sleep at home. 

So well I guess tomorrow we will see what we need- how far we need to go to get home, and when! PT/OT plans on Evaluating him tomorrow. EAGER! He is eager! We are both missing our little girl so badly that is almost hurts. We are relieved that she is having a wonderful day with her cousins. 

We are slowly letting visitors in- His parents got to visit. 

Dictated from Joel

So Joel wants me to let everyone know that he is doing ok. He had a repeat MRI ran this morning. And we are battling his Blood Pressure. Its vitally important that it comes down, as a higher blood pressure increases the pressures in the brain. Causing more problems.

Long story short  Joel is back on IV blood pressure meds, and is feeling a bit blah. As of now we are keeping life quiet. Right now we are listening to NPR and enjoying the mere fact that when we close our eyes its a small feeling of normal.

Yep we listen to NPR--

Battle has been won.

Lord, You are good and your mercy endureth forever --- You are good and your love endures forever---- 

Is the song of my heart this morning. This chorus has been streaming throughout my veins as I awaken from another brief nap in the ICU at Joel's bedside. 

So thankful that my husband is alive, talking, moving, breathing and even eating.

Praising God that we get to fight this together, as we are one. 

This is not a fight against anyone-- only this stupid tumor.

But the reality is its a battle not any other friend or ANY family member can fight directly-- Even our parents. They have the role of supporting us in battle--Sharing the load---  but this is ours!

 We choose daily to give it to God-- who is our strength.  We fully know that ultimately this battle has been won. We will win the day. But we still have to fight! We know who has gone before us.  And we are so thankful to our friends and family who are behind-- Got our backs!!!

Thank you to wonderful friends and family who understand this. Thank you for supporting us, and asking what we need and want, not just assuming. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You make this road easier. 

Good morning!

Good morning my blog reading buddies. I slept for several hours away from Joel last night. It as so hard on me, but it was best for us both. My mind is a little clearer and I am ready to face the day. Yes I am showered before even 430am.... So for my friends that really know me, know that well morning is not my best time. For this man I will do anything. Awake dressed (in more comfy clothes) and drinking some superfood.

This is my television. Yep his heart rate is in the 30s, but his blood pressure and everything else- STABLE!! No seizures. Follows commands and well sleeps like a log   resting well. Many kisses and hand squeezes this morning while he was awake briefly. With neuro checks every hour, my man must be exhausted. This will take time.

Today my goal is to live in today. I will not focus on what could be. What should have been and what is next now. But rather focus on the mere fact that I have my husband- alive. And we can eat breakfast together! I am so thrilled!

Tumor information, it will come, we will deal then. Maybe today---- maybe in a few weeks. I don't know.  Honestly right now I don't even care. We do have a ct this morning. Just for monitoring. Joel is responsive and appropriate as he has ever been.

 Am I tired? you bet ya. But I am a full time mom who happens to work full time. When am I not?  Who wouldn't be? Am I feeling ok? yes. Am I eating? Yes- I just started my favorite! A CHEESE stick. Yawn.

What can you do? Pray we are done and can recover. Pray specifically that this tumor is not cancer. Pray we can move on with life. Pray for continued protection over our girl. And pray for strength and wisdom for me as I help guide his care.

Joel wants to take princess to hawaii-- He said that was what he thought of as he drifted off to surgical sleep... I wish money was never an issue. Its a topic in the back of my mind. But we are thankful. We know God will provide, we just wish this all wouldn't have happened. We were trying so hard to pay off all our debt--- But God knows. And today I have peace. It will be what it will be.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thank YOU!

I have to be honest I thought we would get maybe 100 or 200 hits, this week, but NEVER EVER would I have imagined such a response. Its a virtual army of 1000s praying for my husband. Brings me to tears to think about the reality of what we are going through, and the amazing support we are literally surrounded by.

God is good. We are thankful. I have been asked by several, how I am staying strong. Several components. First God. Second my family- they are a rock-- That includes princess!!! Thirdly our work families- none other than AMAZING! Finally our "internet army" people we have never even met-- praying, crying and rejoicing with us. Its mind boggling that so many people care enough to read my ramblings.

Joel is sleeping-- and  the ICU is intensely busy... a small part of me wants to go work. I am feeling a bit board and all the action around is a bit exciting. But instead I will behave and go find a quiet place to sleep!! BORING!! I recognize fully that I am worthless to help Joel and remember all I need to without enough sleep.

With that Good Night.


Guess who is awake, and swallowing! and guess who is eating chicken noodle soup?!


Sitting back in the icu, same room as before ironically enough! Joel is resting. The nausea he had immediately following, came from his blood pressure being high. A very common thing after a portion of your brain has been removed. Thanks to some medications, we are now back within a healthy range.

Joel is breathing on his own! He moves his left toes well, with some movement in his left hand. The first thing he asked for was me!

All around he looks ok. He has a large bandage on the right side of his head, as well as a drain. He has multiple IVs, and arterial line to monitor his blood pressures, and the usual monitors. His movements have been purposeful. His speech slow but clear.  He is oriented to where he is. At this point no one except me is seeing him. This is a combined choice from Dr, staff and Joel. (and myself)

When the brain is insulted it requires two things. Sleep and time. So again, we take it day by day. This tumor was quite massive.

Please continue to pray. We still do not know what we are looking at. But we praise God because I still have my husband AND he is moving all extremities. The ICU is very busy tonight. I must say its a bit odd being a family member. Not that I was not compassionate before, but wow its hard to be a spouse of a critically ill husband. His blood pressure is down, and the meds are now turned off. He is sleeping beautifully and appears comfortable.

We will know more tomorrow.  Tonight I am relieved and thankful. I am so thankful.

Done. (ish)

We are in recovery. ALREADY!  Well Joel is-- I am anxiously sitting in a chair.  
Joel is stable, but having a hard time waking up and is still intubated last we heard. Dr was pleased with surgery, but felt like the surgery went well, He was not able to get all of the tumor, but that is not unexpected. Will pass on more as we know. But its killing me that he is in pacu---  right behind me... ( the recovery unit) He will go to the ICU shortly. I can not wait to see him-- and talk with the doctor more.  

humor of life.

Thanks Lory. Not kidding this was from todays news paper-- slightly ironic.

Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor. 

Win the Day.

"Win the day" summarizes the feeling Joel and I both had during a slightly tearful goodbye. The staff that surrounded me was amazing. And despite a little anxiety Joel hollers "Win the Day" mixed with "I love you's". So thankful for coworkers who cry with me, in that real moment. Thankful. So thankful for my family and friends

So we wait we pray, we read a book and drink some coffee. Maybe even a few angry birds. The doctor left confident. We can expect to wait. 3 hours to 9 hours. Dr Kokkino said he plans on taking his time, and not to worry either way. So I won't I have peace. Joel had peace. We laughed through the last minutes. 

Sneaking in some snuggles after I buzzed his hair.

Keep waiting with me. Keep praying. The best is yet to come.

Follow us!

We are waiting. Joel has his hair cut shorter, the room is packed. We are confident. We have peace. I may be snuggling in his arms. But that would be against hospital policy now eh? ha

So if you would like to follow the day through our hospital smart tracking system.
Go here----> http://www.peacehealth.org/apps/SmarTrack/view.aspx?fac_mnc=SHRB

His number to watch for is 408870

Once again we are thankful for all the prayers and support. We feel them right now.

We are dreaming about our favorite place---- Hawaii... but right now we would gladly be home.

Game Day!

Good morning. So I guess this is the day! Its time to put on our game faces and fight fight fight! 

So what exactly are we fighting?

Well I will give you a quick idea without alot of extra jumble. 

This is a normal healthy brain scan. The main thing to know is the top is the eyes, the right side of the brain is on our visual left. And the brain should generally be symmetrical. 

Here is an image of Joel's Brain. He has a solid tumor surrounded by a unknown fatty/blood/liquid/infection whatever-- this is also part of the tumor. Also note that the brain tissue is being pushed around by this bully. Today it has to go! As much as possible! 

Joel is still asleep.Thankfully he did rest, and I did too. We have a battle to fight and I am firmly believing the battle has been won, and this will go smoothly. I am believing this is benign, and not cancer. 

While Joel continues to sleep, I am encouraged by friends, family and the fact that God is in control. 

Joel and I face one of our biggest battles today. I am thankful Joel will be asleep and not remember most of it. Me? well I will be surrounded by friends, family, love and all around more prayers than I can even imagine. 

Tonight in the ICU the mama bear inside me is in full protection mode for Joel. I am thankful that we are in my home hospital and that the care he has received has been full of love. I am so relieved that he will be in the ICU with my amazing co-workers taking care of him.

Once the tumor is out, our DR Kokkino, should have a basic idea of what we are looking at. The tumor will be sent to pathology as well. We are claiming right now that God knows. He has gone before us and prepared whichever road we are facing.

Noon. 1200- Pacific Time, is our go time. I ask that you pray. Pray specifically for Joel, as he has never had surgery. Pray for anesthesia as they are vitally important today. Pray for the techs and nurses and most of all for Dr Kokkino.

Do pray for me, our family and our little princess. Pray her little heart and mind are guarded and protected as she goes without seeing us today. We feel this is best. 

So this is it. Soon Joel will wake up, if he isn't too dizzy we will do a quick shower and plan on buzzing his head. Don't worry we will have fun! hehe
Joel is strong and young. This day will go well. Fast I wish, but I suspect these may be some of the longest hours of my life. But we fought to keep our princess inside until the time was right. We can fight this. 

So game on- what is intended for bad. I know is going to be good.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One more quick thought

My sweet girl told her Auntie E that she prayed for Ducky, with her favorite boys-- her cousins. She said that when the family was praying, that they all prayed. Gray said "Please make ducky all better" and Princess and L both said "Jesus."

I can only imagined she ended with a "GOOD MEN" Translation- AMEN.

This is childlike faith. love love love these kids.

Through the eyes of princess....

So I am first to admit it, our princess may be a little spoiled. But bribery does work well... we say she has to work for it. 

The first night was horrible when she left with her mumum. So many tears and screams. Pulling on me saying mommy please don't let go... Yep. Added to my already sick heart.

So last night I may have bribed her with a present. She didn't cry and in the morning she got her very own camera. She loves it. And well I thought I would share the day from her eyes. It is quite sweet.
 The car ride over to the hospital with auntie...

What you doing in a chair ducky?

 "Smile mommy""Smile Ducky"

 Mommy you take a picture of my ducky with me.

Oh how I love my Ducky!

 Here is the view from our window. We are up high!

 More scenes.

 My Aunt Mendy!!

Oh George! 

Strike a pose! 

George is filling out paperwork.

Mama is drinking tea.

 I brought my backpack!

Miranda made us amazing cookies! and yummy fruit! 

 George hanging out!

Self portrait. 

 Uncle Marky! He says BACON!


Playing wii with my Ducky!

This is beautiful.

So this is the beautiful afternoon. Tonight they are playing Wii more pictures to follow!

Praising because this is, medicine.

being together

So today Joel and I agreed would be about seeing family and friends. But we also agreed to make it a priority to spend time alone with our princess. We are struggling to parent and help her cope. We knew she needed time alone.

We are thankfully getting this. She is snuggling him in bed right now, and nearly asleep. I am thankful for a brief moment of normal.

Joel is doing well today, he is a little dizzy at times, mostly having difficulty with the relationship of where the ground is and where is feet should be. We suspect this is the tumor or seizure medication.

Pictures have been taken all morning, mostly by Evey our little photographer and we had an amazing thai lunch courtesy of a dear friend. I have toliet paper now, after a brief complaint online about how hard it is my friends are providing. hehe its amazing how the little things are reminding us that God is faithful and we can have the desires of our hearts.

So we wait, we smile and laugh. We thank God for family who surrounds us, but also understands and accepts our need to take time for just the three of us.

This is good.

We are anxious yes with surgery. It weighs on my mind constantly. Oh how I wish it were me and not him at times, as I hate to see my husband suffer so.  But this is his battle... and now ours. His body has fought it beautifully and compensated so well. This is encouraging all around it is testiment to his strength, and the miracle of the human mind.

Thursday. oh Thursday I want to be done and over with the whole thing, but I also want to wait and freeze this moment. As they are both sound asleep, like nothing is wrong, or our world has changed.

Pray for us and praise God with us for these moments. The times that matter the most to us and our princess.

As for what do we need? Well your generosisty and compassion is AMAZING. Honestly we will we say what we need... but we just don't know what we need.... right now we have more than everything we need... bur when we do- as hard as it can be, know we will ask for help.

Evey adores her daddy, and in a beautiful moment today when she arrived she had planned chapstick and lotion for her "Ducky" She immediately rubbed lotion on his head and quietly but very determined said "he is going to be better." I can't help but relate it to the image of Joel being annointed by none other than his little girl- Who knows all so well that with GOD all things are possible.

Keep praying with me and for me. I know the best is yet to come.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

another set of exhausted ramblings

A quick post tonight as we are exhausted-- mostly from last nights neuro checks. YAWN. 

We have had a good evening. Princess came in with my parents. We are moved out of ICU, which means a more comfortable bed for me. Pizza was brought in by friends, magazines and warm smiles as well surrounded us all evening.

We met with the Neurosurgeon. Every discussion seems so surreal. A nearly out of body experience. Is this true? Is this us? Is that really my husband's brain in that scan with the LARGE tumor? yes. I guess it is. I will share the images soon. But, honestly I am struggling with looking at them. I just want to sob. They are a scary image to someone who knows a little.


I am calling all prayer warriors to be praying praying praying. Fraying that God will: Guide the doctors hands, That the tumor will remove easily and not be cancer, and that we walk forward in peace.

For better or worse, sickness and health. We have promised and have grown so much in these times. I am torn between gratitude for these seasons- as they produce a beautiful rainbow. Or curse them as they really are more challenging and painful then words can adequately describe.  The fear of losing your lover and father of your child is unimaginable and indescribable. So bare with me if I do fall short on words. 

But we go to sleep encouraged. No seizures today. We have been able to have a lot of time together. Our nurses have been AMAZING. Another day of steroids, means more time to reduce the swelling a little. 

So please keep praying for us. 

Your love and response is encouraging beyond words.

And do me a favor. Live today for today with us. Do not take a single moment for granted. 


We are honestly quite overwhelmed at the response from our friends, family and strangers. All the love, encouragement and prayers are truly saturating our lives. 

Today is going OK. As well as it can be going as we are waiting for major life altering surgery. Its stressful.  Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.  Waiting for the steroids to do their job. Dealing with the side effects from these- anxiety, lack of focus, higher blood sugars, and increased appetite. Waiting for the next step. Waiting for doctors. Waiting for the next meal.

We have laughed alot today. We are loving the time we are getting together. We found comedy television is better than news. It makes us kinda sad. Politics do raise Joel's heart rate... 

Evey has had a good day, she does adore her MUMMUM so very much. She loves her days at busy bee. I can hardly wait to see her tonight. We miss her so much.

We are supposed to be napping, while we wait for a bed to open up on another floor. For now we are still in the ICU.  He is very stable, slightly weaker on the left side, that is obvious with his exhaustion. Even after morphine though he is still not drowsy. Please pray for rest for him. When the brain is as unhappy as his, we deal with alot of exhaustion. That needs sleep. Unfortunately the steroids are not allowing him to sleep easily. So instead its quiet time. 

Our view on life has been so humbled by the mere fact that life is truly so fragile. We are amazed at the grace that abounds in the most stressful of places. 

We have been talking about the what ifs. On some levels we are praying and expecting the best, but attempting to be realistic about the potentials. Our original neurosurgeon came in this morning, we are still waiting for our surgeon to visit.

What do we need? Well I don't really honestly know how to answer that. Obviously we have stresses about work, insurance, money, bills... thankfully this all will take care of its self.  Our daughter is well loved on by family and we have offers of help from several friends.  So what we really need are prayers. We love hearing other peoples stories, good and bad. Its both encouraging and humbling.  I am sure when we go home, meals and gift cards will be so appreciated. 

But as Joel says we have everything we need right now, in this minute. 

This is what we are living for. Right now

Pray for Joel as he is quite restless. Pray I can continue to be level headed, and present. God has been really strengthening me in this time. No other way to describe it. We are both very positive and feel good things are yet to come.

Our mailing address is

J&J Dougall
PO Box 40702
Eugene OR 97404



Chosing to thankful today. Thankful that I have my husband. Thankful that we found this before it was too late. Thankful for the circumstances in which we found it. Thankful for several hours of sleep. Thankful my daughter gets to go to school today.Thankful I have my friends and family. I am thankful I get to fight with and for my husband .  Thankful.

We slept. Joel just woke up. We had to wake up every hour for neuro checks, but I finally slept a solid block. He feels good this morning. No headache. Praise God.  We will move to a neurology bed today.

Shocked a bit that there are nearly 200 blog views and its only been live for a few hours. But relived to know that prayers are being offered up.

We meet with his neurosurgeon this morning to discuss plans. This neurosurgeon is known for removing tricky tumors.

Today. Please keep on praying. I will update more as the day goes on. I am thankful I get to fight with and for my husband .

Monday, January 23, 2012

One day at a time.

Today marks the start of an unplanned journey. Sure we all make plans, but it seems as though our plans have failed in the past. I guess I should not have been to surprised that plans to work hard and be healthy are slightly delayed.

Joel has been going to boot camp. We have all heard of the type. RUN SKIP PUSH UP and DO IT NOW. He loves it. He has found so much determination in getting healthy. Today after class, he felt as though he was having a panic attack. The medics were called, and ultimately he was brought into the ER. 

Me, well I was sleeping. Little did I know how much our life was about the change. While sitting with Joel in the ER and trying to calm what I initially thought was anxiety I quickly realized something was not right. And with in an hour of waiting in the ER Joel had a major seizure (the turn purple, bite your tongue and roll your eyes kind). Our doctor was so kind an quick to get Joel to CT, where a quick scan was done. I went along for the ride, and there I saw it. Quickly all be it... but I saw a tumor. 

The moments that followed involved me praying to God mostly that I was crazy and hallucinating. Then the doctor grabbed me, took me to his computer, and said a few bad but tasteful words as I looked that the gosh, dong it screen. There it was. A tumor. Measuring 5x8cm. Tears welled up, the doctor hugged me. I go back into Joel, having to tell him over and over again. His memory was quite foggy from the seizure. We got mad, partially cause we were supposed to have a wonderful day off together... and take a princess to chucka cheese...  We cried, watched a little television, and cried more. We were thankful we had a wonderful day yesterday, working on projects around the house and watching movies with princess. 

Doctor visits, MRIs, friends, family and now the little dots with shaved on his head are painful reminders of what changes lie ahead. The tumor has to go. Surgery makes the tumor go. Yes and prayers. 

We don't know a ton about the tumor, except the actual mass is apx 3x3cm and the effected area is 5x8 cm. Its a very substantial sized tumor. Effecting the right Pre-Motor cortex. Yes there is some ventricle involvement, and yes there is a slight herniation occurring.Yes is has some vascular intervention. Is it cancer? We don't know until he gets in there. Most signs say no, some signs say yes. Does this suck? YEP are we still praying and holding onto faith. You bet.

Joel has had no symptoms that would scream "TUMOR IN BRAIN"  No headaches, NOTHING! Yep I am mad. 

Today is Monday. We need three days of steroids on board to reduce the edema in his brain surrounding the tumor. The surgery is well... brain surgery...  that about as scary as it gets. No way to soften that blow.

We are in ICU tonight. Mostly so he can be monitored, he is on seizure medication already, and praise God we have not had a seizure since this morning. 

His recovery will take time. The brain really gets quite annoyed when touched. We are planning a week plus here in the hospital. I am not sure if Joel knows this. As for me and my hyper-planning in life, don't worry I am still planning everything. Just most cause every other plan in our life is on hold. jobs, life, health, well everything. 

So for now we wait. We trust. We pray. We love. One day. One moment. Right now. 

I implore you-- please pray     For Strength. Wisdom. Guidance. Joy. Peace. Provision. 

We are so thankful for the love and compassion already. Its honestly quite overwhelming. 

Tonight I will sleep knowing that HIS joy will come in the morning. 

Please share my poorly written, emotional and exhausted blog with others.