11.21.06

Not feeling so well…

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 11:23 pm by Libbie

A quick update so as not to leave you hanging.

Al has been feeling under the weather again these past few days. When he had such a good day last Thursday we hoped that perhaps the Sunday-to-Wednesday low period was an aberration and that the return to feeling pretty well on Thursday was a return to a continuing norm. But over the weekend he felt unwell again, and that has continued since. He is coughing up blood consistently, which hadnít been the case for several weeks, and except in the moments right after he clears some blood from his lungs he feels all-over yucky, not just breathing-wise, but in his stomach as well. A lot of smells and tastes–even ones that are ordinarily pleasant–are starting to bother him. Every now and then he runs a low-grade fever, and fever or no, he is extremely fatigued all the time. He also said on Monday that he is starting to sense that his cognitive faculties sometimes play tricks on him. Itís not that he is out of touch with reality, or that he loses track of who and where he is, or anything like that, but he can have trouble tracking conversations, and his mind makes odd connections that donít make sense, or some such thing. He couldnít quite put into words what it feels like when it happens. The good news in all this is that his headaches are not severe, or only occasionally. (I think that is accurate. Iíll check that with Al tomorrowóthe headaches may be worse than I realize.) Read the rest of this entry »

11.16.06

Feeling Much Better

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 12:57 pm by Libbie

We want to let you know that Al is feeling much better today and to thank you for praying. His head hardly hurts, he can cough and not feel as if itís going to explode, and his fever and nausea are gone. In fact, he feels as good as he did before last Sunday, which is certainly not something we had counted on happening again. We thought he might have turned a corner that he wasnít going to recover from. Whether all this is because he just had some sort of bug, or because of increasing the steroids, or in answer to peopleís prayers, we donít know, but each of those solutions comes from the Lordís hand, since he alone is the healer, and weíre very grateful.

11.15.06

Update 11.15.06

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 6:47 pm by Libbie

Last night we heard back from our radio-oncologist with the results of last Fridayís MRI of Alís brain, which measured the effects of the first surgery in August and the subsequent whole-brain radiation. The good news is that the remaining 10% of the tumor that was surgically removed in August looks great, and there are no new tumors visible. But the bad news is that the three tumors that showed up on the August MRI appear to have grown somewhat in spite of the whole-brain radiation. Itís possible that what shows up on the films is just swelling from the radiation, but it is more likely that the melanomas resisted the radiation treatment and have continued to grow through it. Read the rest of this entry »

11.08.06

More alive than ever

Posted in From Al & Libbie, General, Reflections at 10:52 pm by Al

As Libbie mentioned in her note yesterday, we had†a memorial service for a dear friend from church today. I was struck during the reading of the scripture for the homily (2 Corinthians 4:7-18) by the words that God’s power is shown even in our dying bodies. I can honestly say that in these past few months I have felt more alive than almost any other period in my life. God has been near and showing his goodness at every turn, large issues and small. While I would not have chosen it this way, the recent months have been a special time of knowing and seeing God and his love in powerful ways. Read the rest of this entry »

11.07.06

Update 11.7.06

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 11:24 pm by Libbie

Today we had an appointment with our oncologist at Penn. She had the results of last weekís CT scan, which covers from the neck to the pelvis, and they show that everything seems to be pretty stable. The large lung tumor has grown slightly, but not dramatically (itís still about the size of an orange), and there are no new tumors in any of the other organs. Thatís better news than we were expecting, so weíre very thankful. Read the rest of this entry »

11.03.06

Psalm 22 and Psalm 23

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Reflections at 5:36 pm by Al

The number 23 follows the number 22. Basic arithmetic. Any five year-old knows this as soon as they learn to count. Apparently I had forgotten how to count when I read the psalms. Psalms 22 and 23 are next-door neighbors, they follow numerically. And they follow one another as the Spirit intended when he led those who organized the psalter in their ordering of the psalms. But somehow I never saw the connection. In fact, I have been reading and re-reading each of these psalms recently, treating them as if they had nothing to do with one another, silos standing beside one another, containing two different, unrelated kinds of spiritual nourishment. Read the rest of this entry »