Archive for July, 2009

Fish Fry

Ricky and his dad brought back a ton of fish from their fishing excursion in Mississippi.  Yes, I spelled that out loud as I typed it.  Go ahead.  Do it!  M I S S I S S I P P I.   Alrighty then…  So, we had 80 fish fillets to fry up.  So what do you do?  Invite the family to come and eat it! 

We have promised our friends the Gortners some fried fish all summer, so I hope that it was worth the wait!  We had a great time and ate a ton of fried food.  Fried fish, fried taters, fried hush puppies!  Oh my!  A little banana pudding to top it off and you’ve eaten enough calories for the week!  You’ll see Lily working on her chin ups in one picture.  No, I don’t have her do them at home.  I started P90X last week and this is my bar.  She just had to show everyone how good she was at it =)

Here are two of the four bowls of fillets ready to get battered and fried.  Unfortunately, the bowls have got a stench that won’t go away now.  I almost passed out when Becky stuck it on my head to take a whiff and the bleach after that didn’t help!  Fish stink!  Don’t put them in plastic.  That’s my tip of the day.

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Ricky and his dad getting the fryers ready in my garage.  You might be a redneck if…

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The men doing their manly deep frying thing.

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Tyler, Riley, Anna, and Lily hanging out waiting for the goods!

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Tyler, Mike, Ganny, Nana, and Hannah!  Bring on the good stuff!

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All the fried stuff.  Fried fish, fried taters, and fried hush puppies!  The fruit was just to help us feel better about all the grease =)

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Lily showing off her skills on my pull up bar! 

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The best part…

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PS  After I posted this it got me thinking about the fish fry we had last summer when we got home from Taiwan.  Click here to read about our fish fry from July 20th of last year.  My, how things have changed in a year!

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How Does Ricky’s Chemo Work?

Okay, so I have had a ton of questions about Ricky’s chemo and how it works each month.  It is much different than traditional chemo that is taken for most types of cancer.  Since Ricky’s cancer is primary brain cancer, he must take a special type of chemo called Temodar.  It is an oral chemo that is  known to pass the blood brain barrier, which IV chemos do not do.  Here is his arsenal for the next five days.  These came via fed ex today.

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That is approximately $6000 dollars worth of medicine.  For 5 days worth!!!  The pills on the right are his chemo pills.  There are 4 boxes with 5 pills in each one.  Every night at 10 pm, he takes 4 pills which equals 400 mg of Temodar.  He will take 4 pills every night for the next five nights.  Does it make him feel nauseous?  Absolutely!!  That’s where the other pills come in handy.

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Each pack contains 2 pills called Kytril.  This is a new medicine for Ricky this month.  He did take Zofran, but unfortunately that stopped working for him the last round.  We are praying that these little guys work much better.  He will take the first one at 9 pm tonight which is one hour before the Temodar.  He will then take one every 12 hours for the next week.  Even though the Temodar’s last dose is Friday, he will stay on the anti nausea pills for a few extra days.  The days following the treatment tend to hit him pretty hard.

So, tonight is round 8.  We thought it was round 8 of 12, but it looks like we may be in for a longer treatment than expected.  We won’t know more until our next appointment in Houston.  We are praying about this decision, as it is ultimately up to Ricky and not the doctors whether he continues to go more than 12.  He said that he is tired of feeling sick and fatigued, but is not sure if stopping treatment is the right thing to do.  So, please pray for wisdom on our parts for that major decision heading our way.

As for now, we are enjoying the summer!  The pool has been a second home for the kids and I.  Not so much for Ricky, as he must be very careful in the heat.  Here are a couple pictures of the kids with some friends at the pool.  Oh, I can’t forget that Lily and Riley both passed their swim tests at the Y last week!  They told me today that Riley is the youngest to ever pass the swim test.  He gets his athletic ability from me… =)

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In the Middle of Something

So I heard this sermon the other day that really hit hard.  I’m sure most of you know the story about Moses and him leading his people out of Egypt.  They made it to the bank of the Jordan River and sent spies ahead to check out the promise land.  The spies came back with stories of “giants”, but the land flowed with milk and honey.  They were scared and turned back. Not to mention this river that they needed to figure out how to cross. They ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.  Sounds like fun, huh?

Then after 40 years Joshua is going to lead them to the promise land.  He knows that he has the river to cross with all these people.   The river was in his way.  River=problem.  So what does he do?  He sends the presence of the Lord before him and the people.  He sends the Ark of the Covenant before them and lets them know that the waters will part once it enters the river.  How many of us can say that when we are faced with a problem, we send out the Lord’s presence?  What about praying for a problem instead of trying to “fix” it ourselves.  I am so guilty of trying to fix my own problems.  However, God wants us to trust in Him and let him fix them for us.  It might not be quick.  It might not be easy.  But if we trust in Him and give them to Him, he will take care of them.

So this “problem” of a river is before them.  Joshua and the people praised God for what he was about to do.  They had faith that the Lord would solve this problem for them.  Did they moan and complain?  Nope.  Did they sob and ask why?  Nope.  They praised and worshipped for what they knew would happen.  The priests carrying the Ark dipped their feet into the water and it parted.  There they stood on dry land.

Problem solved.  Right?  The people walked across dry land and the priests stayed in the dry part of the river with the ark.  When all had passed, they could have stepped up and out.  The problem was over.  How many of us pray for a problem and are happy when it is solved.  Then we tend to forget about it.  We may whisper a quiet, “Thank you Jesus” and then go on like it never it happened.  Not Joshua.

He then placed twelve stones in the center of the Jordan river as an alter.  He continued to worship and praise God in the midst of this “problem”.  He also ordered that twelve men carry shoulder size boulders out of the river to take to town and build a memorial.  He wanted everyone to see the smooth river rocks as proof of what the Lord had done to get them there. 

This is the part that I like best.  When the priests stepped out of the dry river bed with the Ark, the river returned to normal.  This “problem” was no longer there, it was then a miracle.  How many problems in your life have turned into miracles?  How many times have we looked at what could have been a disaster but turned into something so good?  Do you praise God before, during, and after all of these times?  That is the hard part.  It’s hard to praise Him when things are tough.  It’s hard to praise Him when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But He deserves it!  He can turn your problems into miracles.  The people of Israel stood and looked forward at the Jordan and saw a problem but looked behind them at the Jordan and saw a miracle.  It all depends on which direction you are looking.

I know that through the past 11 months we have had plenty of problems.  Ones that seemed like they would never end.  Ones that we are still in the process of getting through.  Ones that are no longer problems, but miracles.  I have tried so hard to praise Him throughout.  When I heard this story about Joshua, I couldn’t help but relate our own situation.  When we found out about Ricky’s tumor, we were crushed.  However, we used the power of prayer and sent the Lord ahead of our situation.  He helped us find the right surgeon and then the right neuro oncologist.  Even though we were faced with speech problems, radiation, chemotherapy, mood swings, sleepless nights (I could keep on going), we tried to find even small things to be thankful about. 

Were we disappointed when Ricky came out of surgery and couldn’t speak?  Absolutely.  However, we praised God that he had all of his motor skills.  Were we disappointed when the doctor said he could remove 100% of the tumor, but only got 90%?  Yup.  But we praised Him that it was operable because so many are not.  Were we disappointed when the tumor was a very rare Grade III Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma when they thought it was a Grade II benign tumor.  YES!  But we praised Him that it was not a Grade IV Glioblastoma that would have been even worse.  I could keep going on and on, but I think you get the point =)  Praise Him in every situation. 

So, this cancer diagnosis is the river in our lives.  We are 100% positive that God is working a miracle in our lives. We try hard to praise Him even during this difficult time.  God is the same now that He was before the cancer diagnosis.  He deserves the same praise that he did 11 months ago.

 Remember that on the other side of every problem is a miracle.