Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our trip thus far!

We are having a great trip so far! Despite a rough start to the morning with a sick princess, she rallied around but has a fever tonight... I do too. Pray Joel stays well.

I am far to tired to post much but will share some pictures of our fun adventure!

The California academy of science was great! The aquariums were amazing!!

The place we are staying is comfortable with an amazing view!!

Pray sleep is just what the dr ordered and that Joel stays well!!

The bright orange fish is funny cause Joel caught this fish and had to toss it back when he went deep see fishing with his dad...

The cars on steep hills crack Evey up!!

Nice weather at times! It's made walking in some rain not too bad!!

Our view... Beautiful at night too!!

Random aquarium photos! Really worth the money we only really made it thru that much.., but there was a lot more to see!!

Princess loved flying! The Public transportation ride was fun! But exhausting!!

Will post more later. We are excited that we are so close to the hospital!!

Keep praying!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

We made it!

We are here! Waiting for dinner and thankful our place is comfy. Will post more tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What exactly is going to be done?

So I know the question has been asked, what all is going to happen at UCSF ,that could not happen at Riverbend? My home hospital took great care of us, and was able to remove a lot of the tumor. We thank our surgeon for stopping when he did, as we have no major deficits. This took skill.

So....What is going to be done?
Well the rest of the tumor has to GO!!! Yes, this is obvious.

But HOW?! --Glad you asked!
Well to start with-- UCSF is a leading brain research facility in the world. It is in the top five hospitals in the nation.  Good start I think. But the techniques and skills used by these surgeons are nothing but cutting edge. HA! No pun intended~ Ok so maybe a little. We still have our humor.

Brain mapping- This directly quoted from UCSF it describes it better than I can---

Brain Mapping

The brain is the most complicated organ in our body. Every area has a specific function that controls everything that we do. For years, doctors have had a rough map of the brain, but never to the degree that they could operate and know for sure how to avoid every critical portion since each persons brain is unique, causing variations in the map. This fact, combined with the sheer complexity of the brain, has challenged neurosurgeons for years.
Through groundbreaking research pioneered at UCSF, an advanced brain mapping technique has enabled doctors to remove as much of a brain tumor as possible while minimizing the impact on the crucial areas of the brain that control movement, speech and the senses. By using three-dimensional imaging technology to operate on the brain, surgeons can accurately target their dissection down to the smallest degree. The goal is to remove all or most of the tumor without producing any permanent neurological deficit in the patient.
During the surgery, the patient is awake for a portion of the surgical procedure to help surgeons with an understanding of the functional areas of the brain near the tumor. This allows doctors to map out their path to a successful surgery while minimizing impact on healthy, vital tissue. The patient is allowed to return to consciousness after the brain has been exposed, and then interacts with the team as they stimulate areas of the brain near the tumor.
For example, the neurosurgeon may stimulate the brain where it controls feelings in the mouth and gums, causing the patient to experience tingling or tongue twitching. Language testing is also performed. Once the areas of the eloquent cortex have been identified, the patient is put back under general anesthesia and the surgery is completed.


Brain Mapping thoughts~

I have to be honest. The mere thought that my husband is going to be under the knife with the best, is a bit exciting. It is more than I could have prayed for given the circumstances. And to really be honest.The medical side of me wishes I could watch. Yes, yes I know. But honestly my health care friends.. I know I am not the only one whom in which would ever consider even saying something of that magnitude out loud.  Besides haven't we all wondered if our husband has a brain? I am just saying...

Joel is also excited, but he has been talking about a scene from Hannibal. OY!! YUCK! But in all reality we are both relieved that there are so many good things happening around this inconvenience. 
So be offended now. I have not been drinking, I am always this honest, (its hard for some to accept)  but am I rather excited. I feel like we are just days away from a big football game... ha! 
I know our God is good, and I am ready to be on the other side of this operation. But I am very very thankful for the way this  has all fallen into our laps. 
Shoot me your questions if you have more?! I will be rather bored in the days ahead... 
So do know our spirits are strong, and our humor is quick- Please continue to follow and pray and support our journey ahead!


A busy day of packing, thank yous and laundry. I am so blown away at the generosity that has been shown to us. God has been so faithful to provide.

Princess is busy today, as has Joel been. I think the stress of the days ahead weigh in all our minds.

Continue to pray for peace, clear thinking and joy even when its hard.

Thanks for following us. Hope you like the new update to the blog! It is a work in progress. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Countdown grows shorter

We have been trying to have a good attitude with the whole Cali trip thing... Princess will be with for one week and fly home with my parents while Joel is still in the hospital. This is really most ideal for her. I am so thankful my parents will be with for surgery. As I will also need them. .. Not really a fan of waiting. This part is my least favorite. But we will have fun the days before!

I am frantically attempting to pack, organize, and pay bills for our three week absence from regular life.. I am making progress at a steady rate.

This morning we went and visited a friend who has baby chicks! Princess loved them.. But she was also in love with the beautiful miracle baby that these friends have.

Pray I get everything done that has to be.. Continue to pray for health and peace. Joel and I have shed occasional tears but continue to have peace. Our God is bigger than cancer. So we remain confident. Keep praying. Thanks for the love and thoughts and prayers you encourage us!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Tonight after work, we did what all people under tremendous stress do. We went to the carnival! We played a
Few games road a couple rides... Princess and I did... Ducky watched And we won some quality prizes including a strawberry shortcake puzzle...

Honestly we have been feeling the stress of the impending surgery the last couple days.. Each time the paper chain gets shorter, I often cringe. I know God is in control... But the silly what ifs sneak in... what if Joel is paralyzed, what if the cancer is worse, what if... What if... What if I let go? What if I understood I have no control? What if any one had a guarantee for tomorrow? What if?

So we cope, we pray and we trust.. We rejoice, we praise, we cry, we pray and maybe we go to carnivals. We know God is bigger than all the what ifs. But that doesn't mean our faith matches what we know every second.

So continue praying as this next battle is so close, I can feel it. Be praying for Protection over Princess, Strength for Joel and wisdom for me. Also pray for health for all three too continue.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Snow fun

Joel and princess have been playing outside this morning... We have a lot of snow for spring.

Me, I played but ultimately became focused on making breakfast and hot chocolate.. We have a gas stove top. Which obviously would still work when our power is out... Umm so I spaced this fact today. I may have gotten out a patio table, the camp stove and pots in a dark garage... Then spent one hour outside cooking... Only to sit down and realize the stove would have worked. Yep.

That aside we are having fun!!

Happy spring!!

It's spring in Oregon! I guess it really is a weird year! This is our back yard and street! Princess will be so excited! Now only wish we had power! At least we have skylights!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quick thoughts!

Starting to gather all the items that need to come along to Cali! I love the thought of packing but not so much the act!

We are doing well... Enjoying normal minutes and activities!!

Joel is doing well but pray this silly cold leaves our house! Sinus pressure is hard for Joel in particular.

Princess did better this last weekend and was quite pleased to have me home!

I survived a busy weekend of RSV.. Tis the season!! And I work one more weekend!

More changes coming soon! Stay tuned!!

Pray as we prepare for our next surgery April 4th!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Old has gone...

Just thought about asking Joel to go get me a coffee.. Then I remembered he can't drive yet...

I am not complaining, but it's these moments that remind me how things are not the same. I am thankful for so many things. We have and will continue to survive so many things in days ahead. A simple coffee just reminds me that there is no going back. The old is gone and new has come.

My heart breaks at times for my once very independent husband now needing me or others constantly. I know this is the hardest part about a repeat surgery. 24 hour care and complete dependence on yours truly. I love him dearly so I don't even think twice about this season. Thankfully Grace and love and humor have infiltrated even the hardest moments! I know this will continue in days ahead!

Do pray as we enter another work weekend. Pray for our village as they fill my shoes. Pray for Joel and that his frustrations will be few, as his heart is reminded this is only a season. Pray for Princess as my working was hard on her last weekend. Pray for me as I seem to be tired at times. Go figure.

Thank you for your prayers, love and support!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick post!

I survived my first days back at work. Fortunately they were quite steady... Maybe a bit too steady but, it was fun to be back and working all over the hospital. It's exhausting... If you have never worked 13 hours, yet alone providing at times critical care then you have no clue! Hehe that aside I love my coworkers and patients. It was nice to be normal. Tired... Darn daylight savings time... But really quite normal.

Joel and princess survived. It was hard on him and I to be apart.. Very hard on princess too! Joel and I have developed a bit of routine and he can be himself without having to think about his lack of filter...

We have the big details worked out for California now working on smaller details! We are so thankful for generous friends and family. You have lightened our load so very very much!

Will post more later! It's super windy and rainy snowy weird weather here today.. And it's nap time in our house.

Pray for an organized mind as we pack, continued progress for Joel, and peace to surround our daughter.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A quick shot of normal

Today is the last day before I go back to work... I will work weekends until we leave for surgery so I may extend my leave out long enough to get Joel well, on his way back to recovery.

Pray for us in this. I work in the same hospital where Joel was treated initially... Who knows there may be a few emotions with this. Mostly thankful as the care we had was truly outstanding! Also I may have jammed my toe this evening and it's puffy and sore!!

Pray for Joel as- he will have others helping him. Pray he is learning coping skills and has a restful few days.

Pray for Princess- she is a Mama's girl to the max these days. She understands that she is going to be away from us for awhile when we stay in California and she returns to Oregon. She has been doing well but tonight is a bit amped up.

Today we had fun! E took pictures of our family yesterday and I am thrilled to post them hopefully Monday!!!

We continue to be thankful beyond words. Trips to the post office have yielded thoughtful and generous gifts . Often bringing us to tears. The blessings keep coming. Every card filled with deep love carries us farther each day. Thank you.

Here is princess driving her cool car! This one is for you Carr! She loves her mustang too!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Another day

We are continuing to be thankful daily for generous friends, co workers, orthodontists, and family... It eases my burden greatly... To pay all the bills and have my amount nearly perfectly match what's due... Well it could only be God.

My quiet is easily translated at busy. We are home, there is unpacking sorting cleaning and shifting happening... I am preparing for round two while still fighting round one at times.

Joel is doing better everyday. Rest and consistency are crucial for him. His patience and ability to cope is improving. His mind is sharp and fast... Which at five am......

Princess is doing better. Time home is good... But she does miss papa...

Me? I have good days and bad ones too... My heart is at times heavy with stress though I know God provides... The what ifs are often not my friend... And frankly sleep can feel restless. I am returning to work for the next three weeks so I can extend my FMLA leave until after his surgery and he is safe again. Seizure risk returns post op for awhile.

But I rejoice in God. Even through tears, I am thankful we can fight this cancer. I am thankful that my husband has had a change in his heart that only God can bring. I am thankful we can bank sperm for future, if indeed we need to start chemo and radiation. No one human knows the days ahead- but we plan. We plan for an abundant life. We dream and trust.

So please pray. Pray for peace in days ahead. Pray for continued provision as we plan San Francisco. Pray for protection over us physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Thank you for your love, support and prayers. You have lightened our load in this.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A lazy day

This is a bit of normal... and we made cupcakes... Yum... Rainbow chip with strawberry frosting!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012


We are home. It's a bit surreal. Life seems normal, but so far from it. The normal moments we all have taken for granted...eating dinner together nearly brought me to tears of thankfulness...

Enjoy those normal moments friends for they are precious..

Oh and thanks chip... We won another day!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

April 4

Well the date is set... Tickets are purchased... No other details yet- except we are thankful for willing compassionate people who are trying to help us. I am in short a small town girl... I love my hospital.. We are going to a city... It is far from my home.. Stress aside I am choosing to have faith in God's continued provision.

Pray for this too... Pray I find a pot of gold... Ha but really God provides so we are hopeful.... Lodging is a challenge in the area but we know this will work out... Pray with us

Pray for us as a family. This will be the longest time princess will be away from us... I suspect it will be hardest on me.

Thank you for continued love and support.