Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Thank you all so very much for you continuing support, prayers and encouragement for us, especially over the last couple of days. As you can imagine we are emotionally depleted. Talking about things that seem so un-natural to talk about. Making plans that we dread making. Really just trying to wrap our heads around it all. There is a calmness surrounding us...God's peace no doubt.We are so very sad and scared, but we continue to seek God's wisdom and guidance in all that we do.

Nick continues to amaze me with his strength. Daily he is moved by the kindness of the people that God has placed around us. He talks about the love he feels from everyone. I tell you this so that you are encouraged and know that the Lord has put you in our lives for so many reasons. We feel the comfort of your prayers surrounding us everyday. It is an awesome sight to witness all the wonderful things that are taking place around us. It uplifts Nick(and me & Aaron) so much to see the many God things that are unfolding in our lives and the lives of so many of our friends and family. God has purpose for all of this. We talk about that a lot. Nick knows he will not realize the magnitude of all of this until he has left this earth and is resting in his sweet Savour's arms.

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Physically, Nick seems pretty good. We are still having trouble with his PICC. The home health nurse cannot draw blood. So now every Monday and Thursday morning we will go to Mayo for labs until he his finished with his antibiotic (August 24th). Also still a small issue with his wound, hopefully that will be cleared up in the next few days. We are hoping he can start chemo in the next couple of weeks. So we continue just to wait it out and pray it out!!

We know our Heavenly Father has set in place a plan and has a purpose for what is happening in our lives. Just as we want what is best for our children, so does our gracious Father want for us.

Everyday when we count our blessings we ALWAYS count you!

The Badidas

Prayer Requests:

Complete healing
No additional paralysis
No additional infections
No pain ( Glory to the Highest we have been blessed so far with this)
Daily emotional strength for the three of us.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Oncology Visit Update 7/26/2010

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13

My heart is so heavy tonight writing this. It is hard to imagine life changing so drastically and so quickly. You can think you are ready to hear what the Doctor says....and then you hear the words "terminal" and "stage four cancer". How do you even begin to wrap your head and heart around what is to come?

That is the news we received today. Nick still has the option to try chemo (a mild pill form) and he will. We ARE still praying for a miracle. The doctor would prefer he stay away from taking "heavy" chemo because of harsh side effects and since Nick's immune system is already weak it wouldn't be safe for him. Prognosis wise, this cancer typically dictates 6-9 months, but we all know that God works in His own time. This relatively short time span is yet another reason the doctor recommended a lighter chemo, because it provides a much better quality of life.

Nick said he's "halfway at peace" with it. I think there was a part of all of us that knew that it might not be the best of news coming at us today, but I don't know if the gravity of it has quite hit him yet. It did for me. The strength I normally have to lift him up just wasn't there today. I felt overwhelming sadness, as you can imagine. Aaron is more of a here and now kind of kid. I think it saddens him more to think of the times to come than anything today.

A BIG prayer prayer is that the tumor does not grow in a way that causes additional paralysis to the lower extremities. As you can imagine, that's one of his biggest fears right now, and would be a devastating blow to an already unbelievable situation.

We will continue to seek the Lord and pray faithfully to him to give us peace and strength during this time. We cling to his grace that gives us all eternal life, life that is far greater than our time together in this place. Even though it feels like this has been a battle that has already been going on for so long, we must rest our mind and know that God has given us all we need to endure. He is the Lord, the mighty Conqueror, and he will never stop fighting on our behalf.

Psalm 18:30-35

As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?

It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.

He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.

Standing on the Rock,
The Badidas

Friday, July 23, 2010

update Friday July 23rd 2010

Hope everyone had a great week!!

We did hear from the doctor about additional radiation and they are going to hold off on doing the blast. Since only five percent of the tumor responded to radiation and the tumor is so close to the spinal cord it would be to risky to do the blast.

But here is some good news, or at least I hope it is, Nick received a call this evening from Dr. Pirris about possibly starting chemo in a week or so. They are concerned with the Nick's right hand becoming so numb that he cannot use it. We have a 1:00 appointment Monday with Dr. Kim (the oncologist). We really need prayer over that appointment and over starting chemo. It really is the last option. It seemed to boost Nick's spirits to know that he could possibly start chemo earlier (ours too).

Everything that is taking place is all in God's perfect timing. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 8:6 "There is a right time and a right way for everything". At times I wonder with worry what time will bring. God already knows what will happen, so I just need to continue to trust in Him, particularly in the days ahead. He knows our past, our present and He certainly knows our future, in fact He already has His hand on it. That gives me peace in my heart, but my flesh still has that tendency to want to worry.

We have heard that old saying that "time is a gift so make the most of it" I am telling you those words ring so loudly to me and my family every day now. God is really freeing us from sweatin' the small stuff ". He is good at handling it ALL, big or small. We just have to let go and let Him.

God has sent us an awesome army to cover us in prayers, encouragement, and unconditional love and understanding. The picture in my head is that me, Nick and Aaron are walking on a very long path and from time to time we stop to look back and we see you all there walking closely, supporting us and loving right through this battle. What a blessing!!

The Badidas

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nick had an appointment at 3:00 today to remove his drain and get an update on radiation info. We had to laugh because it seems like if it can go wrong it will!! We went to Dr, Pirris' office to remove the drain and they could not get it to come out after much tugging. So we had to go to the plastic surgeon who put it in. He had to do a procedure to remove it. Thankfully it came out easily enough for him and without to much discomfort. The plastic surgeon was from South Africa and told us how he travels abroad once a year and does surgery on approx. 95 kids who have cleft palates. We did enjoy listening to him speak about his travels.

Nick was very emotional today. His right arm felt more numb today than ever before. So we are still in limbo right now as to how the Doctors are going to proceed. We hope to have more definitive answers tomorrow. Nick has been talking so much about life, family,friends the Lord. Sometimes it makes me joyful and other times it breaks my heart to hear about the things that he is yearning to do.

Ephesians 3:12
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Nicks boldness to talk about God and all he has done for us is amazing. I mean I can honestly say I do not know if I could do the same, if I were in the position Nick is in, with all he has going on, running into one set back after the next and not knowing what the future holds . Could I still be that bold for God? I sure hope so. It is remarkable to listen to him talk about how good God is taking care of him (of us) and how much he trust Him for everything. Even on the dark days (like today), through the tears, the fear, I hear him crying out to his Savour to take care of him and help him through. God has, God does, God always will!!

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Nick has such a grasp on trusting the Lord fully right now. I pray I can always be as bold and trusting as he is right now no matter what the situation is.

God is powerful and holy!! He wants us to be bold with our requests, comfortable in His presence and then trust in Him completely to take care of us.

Thank you for loving us and walking hand in hand with us as these days unfold and so much uncertainty lies ahead. We trusted God to take care of us and he brought us each of you!!

Trusting in His Authority,
The Badidas

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday, July 18th 2010

Nick is adjusting to the new schedule at home. We hook him up to the IV drip in the morning for a couple of hours and then again in the evening for a couple of hours. This will continue for 6 weeks. I have noticed that he has slowed down quite a bit since being home. He sleeps a lot. His motivation to walk & do some of things he was doing before has seemed to cease for the time being. We are just hoping that it is the high dose of anti-biotic he is on and once his system gets used to them, maybe he will regain some strength and energy.We will hear from Dr. Snead this week about the possibilty of doing a radiation blast to the tumor.

I feel like I have kind of been just existing.I have not been as obedient in His word lately as I should. Then I wonder why I feel so depleted. If I am not seeking His word on a consistent basis. I begin to feel empty, kind of bitter, a little isolated. All those things Satan wants me to feel. God has given me His word to help equip me from those negative thoughts and feelings. We know the Bible is more than a book. Trying to live It daily, is challenging, but so rewarding when you do. God's Word has become my great source of peace, encouragement and protection. Many of the scriptures provide comfort to my soul when nothing else can. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

I need and want the Word's of my precious Father to fill up my heart and soul. Without them I am empty, with Them I overflow with joy, peace, love and thankfulness!

God's love and blessing's to you all,
The Badidas

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Update: Thursday July 15th, 2010

Good Morning,

It looks like our patient will get to come home sometime today. You know he cannot wait!! He will come home with a PICC and have IV drip anti-biotic administered twice a day (each dose takes about 1-1/2 hours to complete) for 6 weeks. He will also have one drain in his back from the recent surgeries. Probably will have that for about a week before removing. Also, until he gets off the steroids completely (if ever) we will have to monitor his blood sugar and give him insulin. We will have home health care this go round to assist me in what to do.

Nick and I were talking yesterday about the mental and emotional tiredness we have been feeling so heavily this last week. We know it is to be expected, but also we know God wants us to rest our minds. As God would have it, my devotional (Everyday Comfort) this morning is called "Rest". I love how He encourages me!! His timing is perfect!

The verse was Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Now I have read, written and prayed that verse many times before. But it really pierced my heart this morning. God doe not want us to feel so weary and burdened. Not only does He want us to rest;He insists on it! He never intends for us to be so exhausted in our body and soul. The devotional ended with this, which I just loved: Ask God to show you where you can open up some time to rest your body and nourish your soul, close your eyes, and relax in His comforting arms. Just writing that brings me peace.

When we are going through trials in our lives we have to keep ourselves renewed. It is SO hard, especially when the trials last a long time and the outcome sometimes look very grim. We have to ask God to help us find those times, even if they are short, when we can rest our body and mind. It is His desire for us. I thank Him and glorify right now for sending this message to me. I will pray to be obedient to His word and to know when I am weary, I can find rest in Him and Him alone.

Please continue to pray for a healing miracle to fall upon Nick. Praying away all infections, and rest for us all, and for God to open doors in areas needed in our life right now. Thank you! We love you!

Resting in Him,

The Badidas

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday, July 12th 2010

Nick's headache has subsided after receiving a transfusion. He had gotten anemic. He will have his procedure tomorrow to remove the wound vac and close the area. The site looks good. He enjoyed seeing some of you who came to visit yesterday.

The pathology report is back and unfortunately the tumor doesn't appear to be responding to the radiation treatment. Not the news we were wanting to hear. What we will be in prayer for is that the part of the tumor Dr. Pirris removed on Wednesday will not grow back as quickly as before and Nick will have enough time to heal so he can begin chemo. But they still have to work on getting that tumor to stop growing. They will re-visit the possibility of doing a boost of radiation in the area. The problem is how close that tumor is to the spinal cord if any radiation touches the spinal cord it melts it and could cause permanent paralysis. Really what we need here is a miracle. We are still very hopeful and we have reason to be. The Doctors are working very hard. Prayers needed for a very fast healing of the wound, no additional infections, finances, emotional peace for Nick.

Although, today left me feeling shaken and sad, I will continue to declare and trust in the Lord's healing. I put up a very brave front today, as I always do for Nick, but the second I got on that elevator I crumbled. In my flesh I cried out Why? Where are you Lord, I need you? I heard His promise ....I am here and I will never leave you.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

I am clinging so tightly to those words. I cannot let them go. In them I find the only real peace and comfort that I have come to know. He has chosen us for a reason and I know He is refining us through all of this. In our flesh we get very tired, sad, lonely even angry.....But in God's grace will always find joy, protection, encouragement and peace. Hallelujah!!

I always want to thank you for you prayers and encouragement. You really have no idea how much they mean to us especially at this point when we are so weary. We appreciate each of you and thank God for bringing such truly tender people into our lives.

He Is With You Always,

The Badidas

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Room 525

Nick says he thinks he is up for some visitors. Even though he says he adores seeing just my face(and Aarons) for the past 5 days (lol) . He got a shave and a bath today and do not think it was all just for me!!!

Even though I am joking a bit please know he is still very weak and at times extremely emotional (the steroids are really making him out of whack). We would ask that you kind of refrain from asking him a lot of questions about what he has had done and what is coming up in terms of procedure, chemo, when he is coming home etc... he gets really confused about some of that and it seems to trigger a lot of the emotions in him. He is on a diabetic diet and can only have sugar free snacks. Many of you ask if you can bring him something to eat just be sure it is sugar free and low carb. However, I am not on that diet and am happy to recieve treats loaded with sugar and carbs. (Just kidding!!)

This has by far been the most emotionally and physically draining week. Sometimes it seems like you are making progress, but then you are hit with something else, and it is not of small magnitude. It sure does put so much into perspective for us.

Hebrews 6:18b-19a
We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Trusting in Him,
The Badidas

Friday, July 9, 2010

Update July 9th, 2010 5:32 PM

Thank you all for being so patient until I had time to update.

The procedure this morning went well. The doctor said it looked like it was healing pretty nicely. They will go back in Tuesday to remove the wound vac and finish the closure. If all goes as planned, the wound will hopefully be good and healed up in 10-15 days. Chemo is still at least 4 weeks out.

We spent quite a bit of time with Nick today and he was very emotional from a combination of the steroids, anesthesia, and all around mental exhaustion. They decided to go ahead and put him in a regular (non ICU) room. We asked him if he was ready for visitors, and he said that he might be ready to see people starting Sunday. We are just waiting for him to be ready.

That said, we want to give you full disclosure on the type of infection that the infectious disease team told us he had today. It is called MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). This is an exceptionally aggressive and hard to treat form of staph infection. The doctor did say that he was probably over the worst of it, but he will still be treated for 6 weeks with rigorous IV antibiotics. He will get a PICC line inserted sometime soon so that when he comes home he can get the IV antibiotics here. As a disclaimer, nobody who so much as has "the sniffles" should visit Nick just yet. Just as with any staph infection, it can be contagious. By Sunday, he'll have been on antibiotics for five days. Basically, it's in everyone's best interest to be healthy going in, and to visit at your discretion. We felt like everyone should be fully informed about what's going on in that respect.

His blood sugar is still rather off kilter (fluctuating between the 200s and 500s). They feel this is because of the steroids. The doctors are working on insulin therapy and a diabetic diet to keep it low. This is very important to get down so that he can heal quickly and properly.

Our Prayer Requests after today are...

1. Quick and complete healing of the infection
2. Quick and complete healing of the wound
3. For Nick to find emotional peace and comfort
4. Blood sugar regulation

Aaron heard it said the other day that effective prayers are "humble, specific, and expectant." I know this is something I will take into my time with God, and I hope that it can be with you in your prayers as well.

Humble, Specific, and Expectant,
The Badidas

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday, July 8th Surgery Update

Let's see where to begin.... we will start with the blessings, no tumors on brain, surgery went well today, hardly any bleeding, no additional paralysis, infection was not as bad as the Doctor thought and Nick was resting well when I left. Let's give God a big old shout out of thankfulness!!!

Now the other stuff.... Nick is in ICU for 1-2days. Dr. Pirris was able to remove some tumor. He will send that to pathology to get a report on weather it is still fast growing or has slowed due to the radiation. I think we know what we are praying for there! That will take about 3-5 business days to get those results. He also took a culture of the infection to see what it is. That will also take a few days. So I will keep you posted. They put in a vac to help with healing. On Friday he will have a procedure to remove the vac and kind of re-check the infection and then the plastic surgeon will use a special technique to close him up. That should take less than an hour.

You asked me to continue to post specific prayer requests. So here is what we need:

The healing to be much quicker than anticipated (then Nick can start Chemo).

No additional infections

That the radiation has started to shrink and kill off the tumor.

These are all so important right now!!

Dr. Pirris said this is more surgeries. Nick's body could not take it. The risk of infection would be to high. He was very confused when he came out of surgery and is still having some issues there. I just spoke to the ICU nurse and hopefully that will get better by tomorrow. He seems to be resting well. I will keep you posted as to when he gets moved to regular room.

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

I have consistently felt God's protection through all of this. I know that the Lord is taking care of us everyday. He cares about us and what is going on in our lives. I think we all experience trying times in our lives, maybe through marriage, children, health, finances. But God is there to pull us through those times. He wants us to cling tightly to Him and lay our burdens at his feet. He is like having that wonderful friend that says "I will do anything for you, all you have to do is ask, no conditions, no judgements, just all the love, mercy and grace you need." I always ask!!

God wants to be our provider and our protector. He wants us to seek refuge in Him alone and He wants us to trust Him. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; There is amazing peace and joy that comes when you trust in the Lord to carry you through the storm. Your are freed from worry, grief, guilt, whatever is holding you down, give it up, let it go and let God love you!!

You are all precious gems in the Father's crown. Thank you for continuing to bless us through your mighty prayers and sweet encouragement.


The Badidas

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

quick update/July 6th 2010

Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

I spoke with Dr. Pirris....preliminary reports on brain MRI show no tumors (he said he has to get radiologist to review it to confirm) and the abdomen/pelvis CT was clear PTL!!! Prayers at work! So we are still dealing with this one big nasty tumor that happens to be in a very bad location.

The infection unfortunately is not in an isolated area. Dr Pirris feels that since the tumor has grown much bigger and quicker than expected and now with the infection on top of it Nick requires additional surgery. Dr Pirris will do surgery tomorrow morning to clean out the infection and since he will be in the area of the tumor he is going to try and remove some of it again. He is concerned with further paralysis of Nicks right arm and possibly in the legs if this tumor continues to grow. Dr. Pirrish also said they need to know what kind of infection they are dealing with. They will be able to get a good culture tomorrow.

Chemo will be postponed now for about 4 weeks. Nick will probably have a wound vac attached this time to try and help promote healing.Nick had mixed emotions about the news. They were going to go ahead and make him comfortable tonight with some good meds. The surgery is scheduled for around 7:00ish and should only take a couple of hours and Nick will hopefully spend no more than a day in ICU. Aaron and I are heading up in the wee hours tomorrow morning. As soon as Nick is out of surgery and I have an update I will post new info.

We continue to thank you for being on this journey with us. Always faithful in your prayers and encouragement for our family.

Prayers Needed For:

Minimal blood loss and minimal pain afterwards.

The biggest thing is HEALING...complete and total healing of the area and quickly. The sooner the better so he can start chemo.

No paralysis resulting from surgery.

No additional infections set in.

I am heading for bed now to try and get a few good hours of rest. I look forward to hopefully being able to deliver some good news tomorrow!!

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


The Badidas

Tuesday June 6th

Just walked in the door from Mayo. Everything went so smoothly this morning.... then we went to Dr Pirris' office about the infection. I do not think we were in there 5 minutes and he said Nick was going to be admitted to the hospital again.

They want to see what kind of infection he has. If it is localized around the opening, they will treat it with a high dose of anti-biotic through IV. (we need to pray hard that this is the case), if not Dr. Pirris will need to open up the area and clean out the infection (depending on what type it is). He really does not want to have to do this for various reasons. One major thing being Nick's body is not able to heal very well right now due to the radiation. Of course this prolongs yet again, chemo treatment which is very concerning to the Doctors and us. He really needs to start chemo asap,but you cannot while you have an infection.

It is kind of perplexing because he is not in pain nor has he ran a fever (we are so thankful for that). Around 6:30 they took him to radiation for CT Scan of infected area and they are going to go ahead and do brain MRI and CT of abdomen/pelvis....everything that was scheduled for tomorrow they will do tonight PTL!! He was glad too! He will be very tired and probably won't get back to his room until 9:30-10:00. He was exhausted, but in good spirits when I left. He was glad they let him eat dinner go figure!!

Prayers needed for:

Localized infection treatable without surgery
Clear Brain MRI
Clear Abdomen/Pelvis CT Scan

It is doubtful (unless it is something crucial) that we have any results this evening. Probably tomorrow morning. As far as visitation I will update you on that tomorrow as soon as we know exactly what we are dealing with. Who knows maybe he will only be there a day or two right? But I will update you all as soon as I know something.

As always we pray for God to reveal so we can conquer and defeat. Declaring victory in His name!!!

Will keep you posted.

The Badidas

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5th 2010

Wow, seems like this week flew by. I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th!! Thank you so much for checking on us. I know I have not updated the blog in a while, but praise the Lord I have not had to much to report on.

Our days continue to be up and down. One day Nick will sleep most of the day and then the next day he will be up and around. He went to the beach today and got some fresh air. I could tell he really enjoyed that. The worst side effects from the radiation seem to be periodic times of fatigue and difficulty swallowing. The only thing he has scheduled for tomorrow is blood work-up, so after that we will try to get in with Dr Snead to see if he can get something done about the swallowing issue. Also his scar on his back has a little opening on it that looks infected. We were told the radiation could cause the healing process to slow and possibility of an infection, so we will call Dr. Pirris in the morning and see if we can get in to see him as well.

As you see even though we only have one thing scheduled tomorrow, it may be a rather long day depending on availability to see the the Doctors. My schedule revolves around Nicks and how he is feeling on any given day. It has gotten better as he doesn't "need" me here all the time. In fact I think it helps him to feel more self reliant.

It seems lately everywhere we go people are striking up conversations with us.....they will ask Nick what happened (most people ask if he was in a car accident). Nick will tell them he has cancer and why he wears the brace. I hear him testify how God is working in our lives in so many ways. The miracles that we have seen take place so far. I am never more proud of him as I watch and listen when he speaks about the faith he has in our Lord and Savour. I watch him, standing there, in that uncomfortable brace, fatigue from the radiation, knowing he is unsure about the future, but still testifying about the goodness, love and grace of our Heavenly Father. It is an awesome thing!

God continues to give us strength, sometimes it is hard to realize that in the midst of the storm. But through His divine power we are strengthened with the endurance that we will need. Some days finding my joy is like finding a needle in a haystack....but I know God is glorified when I am joyful. It is a choice, the best choice!! We didn't chose cancer, we don't want to have to go through this, but we are on this path, and we CAN and DO choose to walk it with our Father at the helm of it all, hand in hand with our amazing friends and family who embrace us always, glorifying the Lord always!

Psalm 34:3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 86:12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

Romans 15:6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Say these verses out loud and know you made God smile!!

Glorifying HIM Always,

The Badidas