Friday, June 19, 2015

Roller Coasters

Here's my update i sent out today:

Welcome to our roller coaster……

This morning Michael has his pet scan…..he had the first one - radiologist saw something above his bladder - doctor wanted more scans so he had two.  We haven’t a clue what this is….something new. Please lift up prayers that it’s nothing…..or that if it is, radioactive iodine went straight to it and killed every bad cell.  

Today, it is my assumption that the scan lit up everywhere the iodine went…..this is a new place….we didn’t know about before.  

Thank you for prayers.  WE know that God is in control….He’s got this.  We just were so hoping for closure.  It’s been three months yesterday that we have been dealing with this and we thought we saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Please pray with us that Michael will be completely healed from this dreaded disease.

Love you guys so much.  Thank you for loving us….for praying with us.  It truly does mean the world to us.  We claim Jeremiah 29:11.  God’s got this!

That was my email.....this knocked the wind out of me.  Now there's a place above his bladder.  God help me lay this at your feet and not worry.  I don't know what in the world i think i can do about it....and do i really want to be in control?  No God, i want YOUR will in our lives.  Help me TRUST You Lord.  You Lord know how much i love Michael.....You know he is the other half of me.....this storm has raged now for 3 months, and i realize i am's NOTHING compared to what YOU went through on the cross.....But oh My sweet Lord in Heaven....i lift THIS request up to You right now Lord Jesus....i pray SO hard that this glitch isn't something serious.  I pray Lord Jesus that Michael will be COMPLETELY healed Lord....cancer FREE Lord Jesus.  And i pray that he will be able to enjoy the golden years of his life....with me by his side....and that we can magnify You in all that we do and say.  Lord please heal my Michael....and i know he's not truly mine....He belongs to YOU Jesus.  I love him so very much and i pray Your mercy and grace in this storm Lord....i pray for lives to be changed because of this storm....i pray for complete healing for him Lord and i lay that desire of my heart right at your feet.  EASE my fear Lord....HELP me trust You Lord. Take my worry and throw it as far as the east to the west Lord Jesus.  

Thank you for loving me in spite of all my sin....all my fears.....You know my heart, inside and out Lord Jesus.  I pray sweet Lord, that You will fill my heart with Your Holy Spirit and that MY life....our lives together....will reflect You.  

I love you Lord.  Thank you Lord - even in the storm.  Thank you.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015


This is the song that i heard on the way home yesterday that brought me to tears….i pictured the waiting room….i pictured the living room full of hands being held and praying….…you guys have been this for me…..

"You've Got A Friend"

When you're down in troubles
And you need some love and care
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon i will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I'll be there
Yes I will
You've got a friend

If the sky above you
Grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep your head together
And call my name out loud
Soon you'll hear me knocking at your door

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
Ain't it good to know that you've got a friend

When people can be so cold
They'll hurt you and desert you
And take your soul if you let them
Oh, but don't you let them

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You’ve got a friend

God blessed me SO sweetly when he gave me each of you.  I don’t know how we would have made it through without God’s sweet love shown through you guys….and your husbands.  Thank you for loving us like you do.  KNOW that we love you beyond all measure.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Birthday Fairies

Wrote this story for Avery Grace - a friend invited me to a writer's workshop with her and you have to bring an original short story with you to read to the class.  I wrote the story....but have never had the guts to take it to the workshop:

Birthday Fairies

It was that time of day when magic happens.  The moon was just beginning to cast her yellow glow into the evening sky and the cicadas sang the last notes of their sweet songs for the night.  The stars were just beginning to wink in the navy skies.  

Avery was perched on the rocking chair by her window, gazing intently between the branches of the mighty oak tree that grew in her front yard.  She hoped to see tiny lights peeking through the leaves. Where were they?  Had they forgotten that it's August?  

"Avery Grace?" momma sang from the kitchen.  "Have you brushed your teeth?  It's time for bed honey.  Daddy's on his way to read your bedtime story, so hurry and get your pj's on and get those teeth brushed!" 

Avery climbed down from the big old chair and hurried to the bathroom.  She loved when daddy read her stories at bedtime.  He would tell her great tales about kings and castles and princesses.  She loved to hear his voice go up and down,  loud and soft as he told her tales of Once Upon a Time. Daddy always made the books come alive and Avery could imagine herself running through a forest path or up the staircase of a beautiful castle on a hill.  

Avery brushed her teeth and hurried to her bedroom.  She grabbed Teddy Bunny,  dove into her bed and pulled the covers high over her head.  She giggled in anticipation as she heard her daddy's footsteps.

"Avery Grace?  Where are you?" said Avery's daddy as he entered the room.  He picked up a pillow in the corner.  "Nope, she's not under there!" he said in a low pitched, bear-like voice. He walked over to the closet and peeked inside.  "Nope, not in here" he said in his funny, squeaky voice.  "Hum, I can't find my Avery at all!"

"HERE I am!"  Avery yelled as she threw off the covers.  "I am ready for my story daddy!"

As daddy snuggled down beside her she pulled teddy bunny close.  "Tonight can you tell the story about the birthday fairies daddy?  I have been looking for them but I think they have forgotten!"

"Okay Avery.  I will tell you all about the birthday fairies!"

"Once upon a time there was a little girl" her daddy began. 

"And her name was Avery Grace!" said Avery "and she had big brown eyes JUST like me!"

"Yes" said daddy as he continued his story, "Avery's momma and daddy prayed for many years and asked God to send them a little girl.  They both dreamed of a baby girl,  and what she might look like...what she might be like.  God heard their prayers and very soon, a little baby began to grow in mommy's tummy"

"That was ME!" said Avery with a big grin.

"Yes, dear one, that was YOU" said daddy with the sweetest sound in his voice.  "We started getting a room ready for our new little baby.  We painted her room..."

"Periwinkle blue" Avery added.

"Yes, the softest blue.   We bought a white crib at a little consignment store in town - and we found a beautiful blue rocking chair that fit just perfectly in the corner of your the window.  We dreamed of how we would rock our baby girl in our arms, reading her books and telling her stories."

"and NOW the birthday fairies daddy?" said Avery, her brown eyes flashing.

"One evening, right before your birth, your mom was sitting in the old blue rocker watching me as i put the finishing touches on the toy box i made for you."  Daddy turned to look at Avery and smiled as he saw the joy written all over her face.  "Your momma looked out the window and her eyes flew open wide.  "Shawn, come here!" she cried.  

"As they stared out the window into the dark August night, hundreds of tiny lights flew in and out of the branches of the old oak tree."  

"Shawn, can you believe this?  How many fireflies do you see?  It seems like hundreds!"

"We both stared for the longest time in awe of what we were seeing" said Avery's daddy.  "The tree out front seemed to be alive with the light of the fireflies"

"Then I told your mommy i thought the tiny lights were birthday fairies and that God had sent them to announce the birth of our baby girl" Daddy said with a smile.

"But daddy i think they have forgotten my birthday this year.  My birthday is in FIVE days.  I have been looking for them since dinner and i haven't seen ONE" Avery whispered with the saddest little voice.  

"Let's go to the window and look now Avery Grace.  It's later and darker outside now.  Sometimes, when there's still a little light from the sun peeking through, it's hard to see them. But when God pushes the sun to the other side of the earth and the skies turn dark, their little lights shine brighter "

Daddy gathered Avery up in his arms and held her tightly as they both gazed out into the dark night.  

"LOOK! " cried Avery.  "I SEE them!  I see the birthday fairies!  They DID'NT forget my birthday!"

Avery and her daddy stared for a long time and watched as the birthday fairies danced around the leaves of the tree.  Little lights twinkled on and off, on and off.   

"Daddy, they are dancing!  They are blinking on and off and dancing a birthday dance for me!" Avery said with a grin.  

After a long while, Avery's daddy lifted her into bed and tucked her in tightly.  She bowed her head and began her prayer "Dear God, thank You for my family.  Thank you for my momma and my daddy. Thank you for my friends and teddy bunny.  Thank you for the birthday fairies in the tree by my window.  Thank you for loving me.  I love you with all my heart.  Amen"

Before your bedtime prayers tonight, look into the dark night sky and you too might just see birthday fairies dancing in the moonlight!

More stormy emails

An update BEFORE the iodine:

Happy SUNNY June 1st !

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update.  Michael is doing AWESOME.  Tomorrow begins week 3 without thyroid medication - to date, he hasn’t really had the horrible side effects the doctors warned us about.  He does tire easily - but emotionally he’s doing great and  he’s pressing on with his walking to keep moving forward with his strength.  We prayed things would go smoothly and they have!  Thank you Lord!  

We have an appointment on Monday, the 8th, to have another swallow test.  He’s doing amazingly well with that we THINK.  We won’t know for sure until we get that test, but after our last meeting with the speech therapist, who urged him to practice swallowing, he’s been having a morning cup of coffee and lots of popsicles!  A few weeks ago, when he took a drink, he coughed afterwards much of the time - but now, he doesn’t cough at all.  We are hoping and praying that’s a GOOD sign and that everything is going exactly where it needs to go.  We will also get a blood test that day to see if his thyroid levels are good and if they are, they will give him the radioactive iodine soon and our prayer is that it will go to every single bad cell that might still be in his body and that it will kill those cells - every single one of them!  Please pray God’s hand in this AND for HIS guidance afterwards as we make decisions on beam radiation.  Still so many decisions to be made!  We need wisdom for those decisions.  

His voice is still just a whisper.  He’s doing exercises he was given to help those vocal chords work again.  We were told at our last meeting that his “false vocals” are doing all the work, but the speech therapist will be working to get his good vocal chord taking over soon.

Thank you so much for prayers.  When i look back, and see how far we have come, i am just amazed.  Only God could have carried us through all this and we give Him all the honor and glory.  

Your prayers mean the world to us.  Thank you for loving us and lifting us up in prayer.  We love you!

Jeremiah 17:14
Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. (NIV)

And then after it:

Just wanted to update you on Corley  (aka Papa) - 

He had his radioactive iodine on Friday morning.  No side effects to speak of.  I will say though that on the Thursday before his treatment he was super tired….a little agitated and thinking that the symptoms were from anxiety about the iodine treatment but mostly from not having his thyroid meds for 3+ weeks.  I just thought to myself how God kept those horrible symptoms away from him for nearly 3 weeks and they only reared their ugly heads the day before treatment!  The picture the docs painted was so grim for the entire 3 weeks he was off the meds!  He was almost giddy for most of that time (not the depression they anticipated).  Friday he was good - yesterday not so good.  But just tired, not sleeping well and achy all over.  Today he’s better.  It’s been really strange this life of living in the same house but in separate beds, separate rooms, paper plates and plastic utinsils - i have to stay 6 ft away from him at all times - he has to shower many times a day per the nuclear doc’s instructions.  All the radiation will seep out of his pores.  That doc told him that most of the radiation would be gone in 48 hours.  We are being cautious though and keeping the separate living quarters for five days - and seven for pets and children.  Come Friday at 11:30 though, he’s a FREE MAN!  We are SO ready to have our lives back - so ready for normal. This storm started March 18th….We are looking forward to hopefully calm waters ahead.    

As i have said in past emails….storms are not all bad.  Through this storm, i can’t tell you how much we have grown in our faith - so thankful God didn’t leave us where we were in our faith!    I told Michael i want to build an altar and name it “we are so thankful” - so that we will never ever forget God’s mercy and His grace in this storm.  Around every turn, God has blessed us beyond measure. We are closer to each other….closer to Him and we are closer to friends and family that we love so much.  

Love you BIG….thank you for continued prayers that this treatment will kill any cancerous cell left in his body.  We look forward to seeing you guys…doing life with you again!  

and this is the answer from Sherrie Kulwicki:

Couple of things:

Seeing light - radioactive and 'at the end of the tunnel.'  ha

3 months - from death (fearing what could have been the worst) to life (God's resurrecting MC to health)

Making an altar - I had some friends who were in business (I think it was a dairy) with their best friends and for some reason things fell apart and their friends betrayed them.  It cost my friends a ton of money.  But they determined to never falter in their faith and put an 'altar' to the Lord on their kitchen window sill.  It was a milk carton.  I thought that was the sweetest thing. You need to find something that totally speaks to your journey.  

Truly love the witness you and MC have been!!  SO proud to be your friend.  Looking forward to life together.

My reply to Sherrie:

I really do think i will make an altar - i don’t want either of us to forget this journey…..i just feel the journey was to draw us both closer to HIM……and i pray every single day the prayer “bless us indeed, Please keep Your hands upon us and keep us from evil - and please increase our territory” - He increased our territory in this too….we had people praying for us that we didn’t even KNOW…..and i DO believe many hearts have softened through this....many that we are praying for to receive Christ, that we are praying will  come to know Him as their Savior.  This journey meant something….not only to us, but to others.   I don’t want us to forget the despair….the prayers soaked with tears…..i want to REMEMBER.  

Love you and can’t wait to DO LIFE with you guys again!!!!!  Praying now the cancer is GONE for good and that his voice will return.  God’s mercy and grace has showered us through this entire things….praying for those desires of our hearts to be granted too. Giving HIM all the glory for ALL He has done!

And here's another from me to a friend, Doris:

God has just blessed us BIG time through all this…..we are amazed!!  And it’s those sweet prayers from our precious friends that keeps us before the throne.  We are SO looking forward to NORMAL!!!! Even the smallest things….we just take for granted every single day.  Cheese….oh my goodness CHEESE.  He’s been on this low iodine diet and can’t have dairy….well, for breakfast he’s been having omelets (no yolks tho….only the whites per the iodine diet) and what the heck is an omelet without cheese?  I have gotten very creative in my cooking =)  But today, at 11:30 (oh and he informed me of this EARLY this morning) it’s been 48 hours and he can have ANYthing he wants to eat… lunch time came and i made pulled pork soft tacos (with left over pulled pork) and i just loaded that sucker up with cheese =)  Thanking the Lord all the time for CHEESE!!!  To be able to go out to a restaurant and EAT….oh my goodness it will be SO nice.  And when his voice comes back, it will be even better!  

And this from Annette (thanks for reminding me to document!)

This is so good to read...hope you are keeping all these should really do a blog!   I am so thankful that things have gone as smoothly as they have for Michael...and I could certainly understand if part of his feeling bad on Thursday was from anxiety...this is all so much and the radioactive iodine has unfolded to be so much more than I had imagined.  As you say, Friday at 11:30 will be another point of celebration.  Praying for you both as you get  there, love you, Annette:-)

I didn't document each and every email....oh how i wish i had - As i said in one of the replies.....i never want to forget....God's mercy and His grace met us at every turn.....We give Him ALL the glory!!!!