Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday August 25th 2010

A long day at Mayo, but I feel like so much was accomplished. I would say the last couple of weeks (particularly the last week) has been the worst so far. One of the appointments we had today was a check-up in oncology. When Nick stepped on the scale, I could not believe it, since last Thursday he has lost 7lbs, and his blood pressure so high. He has pretty much become disabled in the last week. Not eating, not much drinking, VERY weak, pale, pretty much confined to the bed.

After a lot of prayers, tears, and a very long discussion with the oncologist Dr. Dyer (who was filling in for Dr. Kim today), Nick has made the decision not to continue chemo. They have to be able to get him to a full dose of 800mgs...he is only on 400mgs. Even at full dose, we just learned today IF it were to work (15-20% response rate) studies show it typically prolongs life a couple of months. In addition, Dr. Dyer said he is not comfortable increasing the dose based on the response Nick is already having. He is suffering. Nick says he wants to enjoy what time he has left. He misses church, seeing his friends, just the simple things he was able to do a couple of weeks ago and now cannot. He says it is more important for him to have quality over quantity.

As you can imagine it was a very tough decision, but hear me me when I say this, I know without a doubt two things....he has made the best decision for him, we have immense peace about it, and Dr. Kim being out today was no mistake. God knew who and what we needed when we went there today. Dr Dyer was so tender and what a Godly man!! Not only did we discuss the medical part of all this, but we dove into the spiritual as well. It was so great to speak with a Doctor that knows the power of God (and not just of medicene). Hopefully, in a few days Nick will start feeling somewhat better, at least to the point of being able to get out of bed and enjoying some of the things he was doing before the chemo. Who knows maybe he will feel like going to church Sunday!

As Nick struggled with making this decision, we talked a lot about the gift of wisdom that God gives you. He offers it to us generously and freely.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

I was reading one of my many devotionals the other day (thank you Lord for my devo's...I am a devotional junkie!!) and it said "His wisdom has nothing to do with the graduate degrees but everything to do with a humble willingness to sit in the school of the Holy Spirit." That was a stand up, raise my hands, and shout amen moment for me!!! Use God's word to gain genuine wisdom. Because we trust God wholly, and the wisdom he has so graciously given us, we can be at peace with the decisions we make (big or small). That is the peace we walked away with today and we give all the credit to our sweet Heavenly Father for that.

We have several appointments next week for CT scans, MRI's etc. Our prayers for a miracle are still laid at His feet daily. We also continue to pray for no additional paralysis. I look forward to Nick regaining some strength and hopefully being able to resume some normal activity in his life.

Praying faithfully for so many of our friends right now that are going through struggles of their own. Keeping our trust in God for His wisdom and guidance and knowing He will provide comfort and peace in the days to come.

We love and appreciate you with all our heart and soul!!

In the Glorious Name of Jesus,

The Badidas

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Morning.....just got through hooking up Nick to his IV. PTL we will be done with the IV meds Wednesday. I cannot believe we have been doing that for six weeks, twice a day. I so miss our old routine. As a family getting up, going to Church together. Every Saturday night Nick will say " I am going to Church tomorrow" but he is struggling right now with the chemo making him very weak and nauseated and is only on half the dose, we are just praying the side effects will subside for him.

I will be honest friends, this is getting tougher. I knew it would, but it doesn't make it any easier to witness. Your strength is tested with each day that brings on something new. Some days you JUST hold it together and other days, there is laughter and joy. Thank you so much Lord for those days. Everyday with Nick is a gift no matter how bad it can get. I am also blessed to have a son that is Godly and tender and probably doesn't even realize the support he offers to me and hid Dad. Every time he walks into the room, I see his Daddy's eyes light up! Those are the moments I have to gold back the tears.

If you let it, the anxiety can consume you, I confess there are days I have let it. Whether things are going good, or not so good we have to make sure God stays first in our lives. I HAVE to share with you the devotional I got a couple of days ago. It was a really bad day and I remember saying God I am feeling defeated and discouraged right me! I sat down at my computer and this was waiting for me:

Sometimes God says 'not yet' by Rick Warren
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay." Hebrews 10:36-37 (NIV)

"If you're discouraged, turn it around by remembering God teaches you patience during delay."
If you're discouraged because of God's delay in answering your prayers, understand the delay is NOT a denial. Just because the answer or the miracle hasn't come - yet - that doesn't mean God isn't going to answer or that he's forgotten you or that he doesn't care about you. It simply means "not yet!"

Part of becoming spiritually mature is learning the difference between "no" and "not yet," between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, "He who is coming will come and will not delay" (Hebrews 10:37 NIV).

God's delay may be a test of your patience. Anybody can be patient once. And, most people can be patient twice. And, a lot of us can be patient three times. So God tests our patience over and over and over.

Why? So he can see how patient you are? No!
He does it so you can see how patient you are. So you'll know what's inside you, and you'll be able to know your level of commitment. God tests you so that you can know he is faithful, even if the answers you seek are delayed.If you're discouraged, turn it around by remembering God teaches you patience during delay. Ask him to transform your discouragement into patience.
You may be going through difficult times right now. You're discouraged because the situation you face seems unmanageable, unreasonable, or unfair.
It may seem unbearable and inside you're basically saying, "God, I can't take it anymore. I just can't take it anymore!"
But you can.
You can stay with it longer because God is with you. He'll enable you to press on. Remember, you are never a failure until you quit. Resist discouragement and finish the race God has set before you.

I just love when God does that for me!! I have never thought of turning my discouragement into patience..Have you? I know he is testing our patience...I admit I need refining in that area at times. This devotional just encouraged me so much. His Word always pierces my heart and open my eyes to truth and change that needs to take place in me.

Our specific prayer request right now would be for the side effects of the chemo to subside or go away.

We are blessed to have a God that shelters us with His love, comfort, guidance and peace.

You are all amazing reflections of a loving and tender God.

The Badidas

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Today's visit to the palliative care office was really good. Dr. Shannon is our Doctor and we really liked him. You can tell he has a tender heart for patients with a terminal prognosis. He did prescribe Nick some meds. Let's pray they will help him not feel so depressed.

Our visit with Dr. Snead (Rad. Onc.) was uneventful really (that's OK we will take that).Since Nick had been in bad pain on Friday, they were prepared to do a radiation boost in case the tumor was flaring up, in an effort to try and keep that tumor from hitting the spinal cord (even though it can be a risk to the spinal cord, very medical stuff)
We talked in detail about it and all agreed that right now Nick is not in pain (that has been such a blessing!) nor do we see any additional symptom's from the tumor, so we will hold off on the boost. The radiation boost is a one time thing and would best benefit Nick if/when that tumor starts growing rapidly.

He started the next dose of chemo pills today. Prayers from those side effects to stay minimal...or better yet NONE!! We are kind in a wait and see mode now.....waiting to see what the chemo will do.

Continually Praying for:
A miracle healing
No additional paralysis
Depression to get under control
No pain
No more tumors

We serve a God of Miracles. Sometimes the miracles are not what we expect. But we should always be thankful for any miracle big or small. Like the fact that Nick is not is daily pain is a miracle to us. Thank you sweet Lord!! And that's just one!! I hope to be able to share them all with you in a blog one day. I know HE is not finished yet!!

Job 5:9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.

We will continue to commit ourselves to Him, the healer and restorer of life. Giving thanks for what He does for us daily and most of all experiencing all of God's wonderful love for us.

Blessings to all of our amazing friends and family!! YOU are a blanket of comfort everyday.

His Name Above All Names,

The Badidas

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

We got a call from Dr. Snead (Rad. Onc.) on Monday and they want us to come in for an appointment. It sounds like they are wanting to re-visit the radiation blast? We are a bit confused and have many concerns and questions, so we will meet with Dr. Snead in the morning to see exactly what is going on. Then we will meet with Dr. Shannon in Palliative Care and hopefully Nick will be able to get some kind of anti-depressant going. He also has some additional labs tomorrow. So a busy day at Mayo. I will update tomorrow evening on the info we received.

The chemo side effects seems to have leveled off some, but he is due to increase his dosage tomorrow. Everyday is different. But we are grateful....because we know it could be a lot worse.

I think I have reached the point in this of frustration and anger. Frustration that I have to see the suffering that Nick endures and I cannot do anything for him.Anger that this disease is going to cut my husbands life short, unless a miracle happens. Angry that this has turned all of our lives up side down. I am trying to be a good and faithful servant for God and for my family, but there are days when I feel like I fall so short of being anything but that. That is why I am so thankful that I have a God who is full of grace and loves me so unconditionally. The Lord is my helper, my light. my shield. He is in my heart, but that doesn't mean my life will be without pain, sadness or suffering. He uses these things to refine us, to grow us and to transform us into His likeness.

He sees our frustration, anxiety and fear as we attempt to make our way through these difficult life journeys, and when life seems so unfair and cruel, I know my sweet Lord is there and He is merciful and kind. I pray to see all of this as God sees it, to feel calmness instead of frustration, joy instead of anger, and to be a light to others just as Jesus is to me.

I am so a work in progress!!! And I am so thankful God is merciful and forgiving and will NEVER give up on me!! I praise Him for where He has already brought me to and where He will continue to take me.

For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD. Psalm 117:1

Nick just said for me to tell you all "he loves you". You are all God's faithful servants with your prayers for our family. A true reflection of His love and joy.

In Jesus' Name,

The Badidas

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

We were planning on going to church this morning,but my sweet man woke up very nauseated. He has some anti-nausea meds to take, so hopefully they will give him some relief. It looks like some of the effects of the chemo are starting to kick in. Also on Friday Nick woke up with a really bad pain in his back (he has really been blessed so far with no pain). That has subsided for the time being. We are not sure what is going there but the doctors will be monitoring it.

It is difficult to witness the pain and suffering he goes through. You know my heart breaks all the time for him. I hold back the tears in front him, because I want him to know he can totally lean on me. I know it gives him peace seeing me being strong. Although in MY private times it is a different story. When it is just me and the Lord, the tears are flowing. HE gets the brunt of my emotions. And that's just how God wants it. He wants to carry my burdens for me. Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

At times Nick feels a sense of hopelessness, who wouldn't in this situation. Even with his loving Savour by his side, it is still so difficult. I tell Nick he is an over comer in so many ways, by the blood of Jesus, by his testimony, by finding joy even in the midst of pain and suffering. The mountain is becoming a little tougher to climb these days. This is the time to really dig into our faith and wavering and no doubting allowed!! Even when fear and trembling comes upon us, we will release it to our gracious, loving God. By His amazing grace we will stand firm, trust, and know that through Christ we will have eternal life.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

So much love and and many blessings to you all.

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 1 Thessalonians 1:2

In the sweet and loving name of our Heavenly Father,

The Badidas

Thursday, August 12, 2010

MRI and Therapist Update/ Thursday August 12th, 2010

I will try to make this a quick one. Dr Pirris called with the results of the spine MRI and it looks like the tumor progression is not as aggressive. It is not smaller, but it is not bigger so that is a PTL and thank you Jesus for some good news!!! Second day of chemo and things are so-so. Nick is so exhausted, kind of foggy, forgetful. I am trying to get some answers on a few things that are going on with him. I must say I feel some frustration with the oncology department right now.

The therapist we were referred to was just that, a therapist (he cannot prescribe meds)hence my frustration, we were referred to him from the P.A. in Oncology and was told he would be able to start Nick on some that would help him. He was a very nice man and is going to refer us to Palliative is like a physician for the terminally a light Hospice care. I think that will be a blessing for the three us. They will be able to prescribe Nick anti-depressants. More hands on care especially emotionally. I will update you when I know more or if anything changes (and it usually does)!

The journey continues...and so we continue to look to our Lord for our strength, He is our refuge, our fortress and our loving God. He gives us strength when we are weary. He is gentle and humble and when we go to Him and are weak, He will give us rest. His grace is sufficient and His joy is our strength. Amen!!!

God's abundant blessings to you all!

In the Name of Jesus,
The Badidas

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

update Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Late yesterday afternoon we were told Nick had to come to Mayo today for some additional labs and also an MRI of his spine (the part where the tumor is) at 4:30. Ordered by Dr. Pirris (neuro). We have not spoke with him in several weeks, so we are not sure what exactly is going on. We are hoping he will call us early tomorrow with the results of the MRI. We are thinking he wants to see if that tumor has grown (or shrunk) any. I will keep you posted on that as soon as I know something.

Nick did start his chemo pills this morning. He is on the lowest dose available. He did have nausea and an upset stomach. That stuff is strong. no matter what the dose is. We will just have to see if it tapers off. He has some anti-nausea medicine also that he is taking to help.

He will go see the therapist tomorrow at Mayo that deals with a lot of cancer patients. I really hope that they can put him on something to help the depression. Nick is pretty good about putting on a brave front for most of you. But in the private times, he cries a lot. He is such a manly man and to see him so sad and vulnerable breaks my heart. I think he is going through many stages right now. Anger, denial, maybe a little acceptance from time to time. Some days I feel helpless and do not know how to console him. I think there are times when only the good Lord above can wrap Nick tightly in His arms and give him the peace he needs.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

There is no peace like spiritual peace. That calmness and serenity that covers you like a warm blanket. That's God's peace. He wants us to take comfort in that peace. Turning over all of our worries to Him. I consider it a sweet gift when my Heavenly Father gives me spiritual peace. When we submit our troubles to God, it shows Him we trust in and have faith in Him and He will restore us!!! I have experienced this many times in my own life.

Even though I am fortunate enough to experience those amazing times of spiritual peace.
I still have MY times. Times when I cry so much I don't think I could possibly shed another tear. My heart aches to see my husband go through this. To have to even imagine my life without him for one second makes me crumble inside. That's why I hold on to the one thing I know is strong enough to help me though this difficult faith in the perfect healer and restorer, Jesus Christ!

Our hearts are filled with love and gratitude for you all. We often talk about the special times we are able to share with friends and all the sweet memories we are making are priceless. Thank you for that gift. I will keep you posted.

Praying with Expectancy,

The Badidas

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday August 9th, 2010

What a week!!Some of it good, some of it not so good. Friday we had a visit with the P.A. at the oncologists office to discuss all the info regarding Nick taking the chemotherapy. A three hour appointment. We will have it delivered here this week (Tuesday or Wednesday) and Nick will start taking it that day. As with any chemo drug there are side effects. Some harsh, some mild. It really all depends on how Nick's body responds to it. He was also referred to a therapist that deals with cancer patients. He agreed to go, I was glad. He is already taking something for anxiety,but the doctor said it is a good idea to add a mild anti-depressant as well. We still live day to day. He trys to get out a much as he feels up to it. He slept all day today and barely ate. But Friday and Saturday he ate really good. So his appetite is up and down. Calling all my prayers we need to pray that the chemo will be kind to his body.

We have been talking a lot this week about the battle we are in. We know it is getting tougher.Some days seeming to be more then we can handle. We need to remember that God is there fighting by our side and that we are not facing the enemy alone. We just have to let Him lead and trust Him. And on the days we let go and let God, and I mean totally, are some of our best days. Then why don't we do it everyday? We were thinking maybe because we are a little hard-headed? LOL.

I was reading a devotional today that said "it is all right to take a break and let Him carry you for a while". God will lead the way...when we get out of His way!! I feel as though our Savour has been preparing us for this battle for a while. Just looking at how much we have grown spiritually and what a relationship we have with our Heavenly Father right now, my heart feels such sweet joy. Psalm 24:8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

I know from the letters and emails I recieve, there are many others who are facing thier own battles right now. I pray you to can be encouraged as we are, knowing that our Sovereign Lord is beside you every step of the way fighting on your behalf and will not stop until the battle has been won.

Psalm 18:32-34 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. (
I LOVE these verses)

We love you sweet friends and family and we know you are all there too helping us fight this battle with your love, support and prayers! I will send a quick post on the day Nick starts taking the medicene.

He Is With You,

The Badidas

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday, August 3rd 2010

It is been just over a week since the oncologist appointment and the not so good news, but because of the strength, guidance and protection of our Heavenly Father we are continuing to push forward and witness to all God's goodness.

So much is changing in our lives so quickly, especially our priorities. I mean with everything. I am almost embarrassed when I think about the "things" that I used to find so important. Things that I sought after that I thought gave me value and self worth in the eyes of others. Things that don't matter at all to us now. For us the freedom has come in knowing that our value and self-worth lies only in the eyes of our Savour.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting or having nice things. But we (me and Nick) have been guilty of letting those things take priority over our relationship with God. He already blesses us with so much. Why would we want more when He is ALL we need? I don't understand why it takes something like a prognosis of terminal cancer to make us realize what "things" really matter. I don't care what kind of counter tops are in my kitchen anymore. I just want my husband standing there laughing, sitting his coffee down on them, and sharing in sweet conversation with me every morning. I don't care that my wood floors....well are wood, as long as Nick is here to walk across them fifty times a day. Please know I am sharing MY heart and how God is transforming me (us) through this process. He always fills the desires of our hearts.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Here is what I know, I see my husband transforming in such an amazing way. Nick is in the battle for his life. That is the "thing" that is most important to us. He is a strong man with a testimony that I feel certain can change lives. He is a walking witness to glory of the Lord. That he is even able to find his joy, laughter and determination is a miracle in itself.

Joy, peace, health, family, real contentment and above all else a relationship with Jesus...these are the things that matter most to us now.

I cannot end without always telling you ,that we love you so much and praise God for you daily. Thank you for holding our hands, wiping away the tears and always supporting us with something that really is important to us, your love and prayers.

In the Loving Name of Jesus,

The Badidas