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stage 4 love

Stage 4 cervical cancer.

The doctors say there is a 9 cm tumor in Joey’s sigmoid colon.  Even though the cancer is now in the colon, they said it’s the same cells as before (she was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year and had surgery last June to remove the tumor), and that the original cancer has now spread to a new organ and the tumor and cells are rapidly growing, so that is the big concern.

As I write this… my wife is in her garden, the baby on a blanket near her.  She’s weeding her squash, and broccoli and kale, and the cucumbers that have just poked their heads up out of the soil.  But she’s not just tending to her vegetables – she’s tending to her soul.  Walking and talking with God.

 

And all the while, she’s growing healthy food for her husband and baby to eat.  Food that God makes, not science.  The kind that you can’t put a price on, at least not in a grocery store.  That’s one of her passions.  She doesn’t do it because it’s easy (especially for her right now), she does it because it’s important to her.

There are many things that are very important to my wife, and those things never change, they never waver.  Not through good times or bad times, not through tears or joy.  She knows what the good stuff in life is and she reaches for it and pushes away the things that don’t matter.  She’s always been this way.  I wish I was more like her… and that it came easy to me.  I have to work at it.  It’s just part of her… like breathing air, or loving Indy.

 

One of the first songs we ever wrote together was about the things that are important to her, and now 13 years after writing it… day in and day out, those things that were important to her, still are.  We recorded that song a few years ago and made a video for it that not many folks have probably seen.  One of my favorite things about making music videos or television shows or even these blog posts… is that we get to capture a moment in our lives.  Forever.

This moment was April 1st 2010…

 

If you know Joey, you can imagine that she doesn’t just want to go through chemo and radiation (and surgery again if needed) to aggressively treat the cancer, she wants a place where that will integrate natural diet and supplements to help counteract the chemo and radiation effects and build her immunities back up to help fight the cancer cells… a place that will embrace her faith as a part of the healing process.. and that isn’t afraid to take some unusual approaches if needed to try to heal her body.  And above that, she wants a place where she feels like she has real hope.  So do I.

So next week, we are going to Chicago to have Joey looked at at a cancer treatment center there.  We will take Indy with us and one of Joey’s sisters will be with us while she’s there for a few days being evaluated.  Our hope is that we’ll spend a good portion of the summer there, and then by harvest time in her garden, she’ll have her rubber boots on and will be up and down those rows gathering the harvest that the Lord has provided.  And like most falls, she’ll spend countless days canning and freezing and cooking what she grew, the hard way.

 

I can’t begin to tell you how much love and support we’ve received in the last 5 days through emails, calls, texts, flowers, cards, gifts and above all prayers.  Prayers and more prayers.   Prayers for the cancer to go away… prayers for strength for Joey through this… prayers for me and Heidi and Hopie… and oh, the prayers for our little Indiana.

We’ve been shown lots of love before from friends and family, from fans and strangers.  But this… this is a whole other level of love.  From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

a prayer for cancer

There are few words scarier than the word “cancer”.  In our culture these days, we usually think that’s as bad as it can get.  But when you hear a doctor say the words “the cancer’s come back”… it’s a whole new level of scary.

Last year – this exact time last year actually – Joey went in to surgery for cervical cancer.  The doctors felt like they got everything and after a few weeks of healing, she made a full recovery.  And now here we are again, faced with a similar situation.

Over the last couple of months, Joey hasn’t been feeling well.  She had hoped that it was just a stomach virus or an intestinal issue, but after many tests and biopsies, it turns out that it’s more than that.

On Thursday, Joey had a port put in for chemotherapy and radiation.  She starts the treatments in the coming week.

Here’s what the doctors think…

With six weeks of chemo and radiation, the tumor may reduce in size and possibly even go away completely, and if so, she won’t have to have any further surgeries.  If the chemo and radiation doesn’t work like they hope, Joey will be in for an even tougher road ahead.

Here’s what Joey and I know…

God has a plan, and His plan is our plan.  Each day that we’re given is a beautiful gift from Him to us.  And while we will pray each day for a miracle, we’re gonna live each day as if it’s a miracle.  And it is.

“Lord, as believers… we trust you completely and pray for your will to be done.  Not ours.

But as flesh and bone, husband and wife… we pray for complete and total healing in Joey’s body, so we can grow old together, holding hands in rockers on our front porch watching the sun go down.

So that our sweet little baby Indiana can not miss one precious moment with her mama.

Amen.  Amen.  Amen.”

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