Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How is Your Heart?

I’ve been asked this question many times last week by different people. I finally figured out as I wrestled over my answers that my heart was ready to trust our Lord. Coupled with the question was a song that started to play in my head early last week. The song's title is “Awaken My Heart” and I haven’t heard it in over a decade! Why it started to play in my head while I was praying was surely a mystery. As I listened to the words though, it implored me to know the Lord’s love and to love Him in return. Yes, with a heart that’s awakened, I could love anew. And more important, I could trust the one I love, the same one who loves me and wants me to trust Him. How could we truly love someone we do not trust? My heart is ready to trust.

I admit that this might mean pain for Eric, discomfort, suffering, despair, whatever else, but we can trust the Lord’s heart. He loves us and will only allow Eric to go through what he may for a higher purpose, possibly for the building of his character. I know we will thank Him for it afterward. He is always up to something good.

Please ignore our other prayer requests and agree with us in prayer for the following:

1. That the Lord constantly be glorified in Eric’s circumstances.
2. Regardless of what we want, that His will, will happen, and not ours
3. That we rely solely on God and are unified as a family.
4. That Eric will be prepared physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, for what’s in store for him.
5. That we trust the Lord completely no matter what happens to Eric.

On the way home from the hospital. <-- We don’t know why Eli is wiped out but this is usually how Eric looks after a treatment.

We thank the Lord for the many miracles we’ve seen already in Eric’s life. As one friend kept saying who’s been around many cancer patients going through horrible side effects, he’s amazed at Eric having hair, having energy, and having no pain nor nausea. Lastly, I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend who’d gone through what Eric is going through right now. She shared about what the Lord taught her as she suffered during her treatments. Later as we prayed, I knew the Lord allowed me to meet her to give me a glimpse of Eric’s future. He won't become sterile because of the chemo, he’ll have his own children, he'll have his own ministry, and he'll have a maturity brought about by this illness. What an amazing God you are, Papa. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nose Bleeds

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
Matthew 21:22

The nurse said Eric’s white blood cells (WBC) were low but not quite that low to receive the chemo last Friday (16th). We need to pray that the chemicals would stop eliminating his WBCs so Eric can keep receiving his treatment. Either that or we can pray for new WBCs to multiply fast and plenty.

Playing solitaire, listening to music, on Facebook, while
receiving his chemo -->

The treatment last Friday took the usual 11-12 hours long to administer but it was uneventful. The doctor indicated that Eric’s lymph nodes have shrunk considerably. She was pleased that Eric is responding to the treatments well and made a mental note not to prescribe anti-nausea medication to him next time as he has not needed them. One week later, we are also grateful that Eric still has lots of hair. =) God is answering our prayers.

The nurses are always careful that the toxic red chemo (there's also an orange one) doesn't spill. It is disconcerting that it goes in his body!

On Saturday morning, Eric had continuous nose bleeds for the first time. I think it alarmed both of us that it took awhile before the bleeding stopped. Eng quickly pointed out later that nose bleeds are side effects of the chemo. I began to accept that and hoped that the next nose bleeds wouldn’t be as much nor as long as the last time.

The next day, talking to a friend about Eric, I told her about his nose bleeding. As she asked whether it was happening still, I asked Eric, “Did you have a nose bleed today?” Our two other sons both yelled, “I did!” Eric said, “No.”

If all three of them had nose bleeds maybe it wasn’t a side effect after all but more because of the air that they all breathed. I obviously have a lot to learn about the verse above. We’ve been asking for minimal side effects and the Lord has been answering. Thank you for believing in what you ask for in prayer. I’m learning and believing with you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

To Shave or Not to Shave

<-- Off to school with a mask to protect against infections.

Since his hair started to come off, Eric would consistently find fallen hair on his pillow or shirts. He is one of those who gets bothered by off-the-head hair (be it hair in his soup, your neck, shirt, actually even hairbrushes!) so you can imagine his consternation each time he finds hair almost anywhere his head has been. It could be why he’s contemplating shaving his head. Once it’s done, there won’t be any more misplaced hair to contend with! It’s interesting how we let things like a piece of hair on our meat bother us. Even more interesting is the fact that our God would care to help us deal with our quirks. Eric is certainly learning to deal with his idiosyncrasy! Everyday for the past week, he’s been forced to handle his fallen hair better. Will the Lord never stop in helping us become better people? Apparently not!

With a cap to hide his thinned hair. -->

The great news is, Eric is supposed to have lost his hair 2-3 weeks after receiving his first chemo (which was March 19). It’s been almost 4 weeks but his hair, although thinned, is still there. We are grateful for the hair that the Lord continues to allow Eric to have. Thank you for praying! He’s also been eating well, full of energy, and infection free.

Please keep praying for him as he receives his next chemo treatment (the first administration of the 2nd cycle) this Friday, April 16. Bless you!

Oh, he decided not to shave his hair but wear it for as long as he's able. =)

Monday, April 5, 2010


<-- Eric doing homework while waiting for his chemo medication.

My cancer survivor friend prayed that if Eric’s hair does fall out, that it won’t be upsetting to him and that he will just roll with the punches and be able to have peace. Today, while Eric took his shower, he called out my name and said, “My hair is coming out!” Later he asked, “What am I going to do?” At this point, I haven’t even been able to get past the initial shock of the first question! (Why was it even happening, and so soon?) Finally, I asked him not to worry since we could clean the hair off. I also added that I was sorry.

As a teenager, losing his hair is the one thing about his illness that Eric doesn’t like. What was he going to do was a good question. He finally came out of the bathroom looking the same to me but he was convinced that his hair thinned and he had evidence! He later decided to go out with his friends wearing a cap (rolling with the punches?).

When we did talk about the possibility of losing his hair, I told him that I’d rather have him bald than not have him at all. I told him that we haven’t specifically asked for prayers that his hair be preserved. When he thought about it, he decided that it wasn’t important and that he’d leave it up to you to pray on his behalf. He said, “Hair or no hair, life goes on.” He was dancing again tonight (evidence of peace?).

Eric is doing well 3 days after his second dose of chemo. Thank you for praying for him, that his body be strengthened and protected against infections, and whatever else the Lord lays in your heart. =)