Janice Update 12.31.2013

December 31, 2013

Dearest praying family and friends,

It is a year today that began the difficult journey for Janice and us all with glioblastoma multiforme. We now know more about this pernicious brain cancer than we ever imagined we’d know or needed to know. It is hard to put into words our feelings as we walk this very bumpy path, hence our lack of words over the past few days updating you on things in ICU. We knew the joy of being together as family at the same time we experienced a sense of weakness. (Tim Challies’ blog has a great piece worth reading today on Strength = good; Weakness = bad and More…)

I will do my best to update those of you who love us and pray diligently for us. Thank you for praying for supernatural strength for us as we seek to rest in the strong Arms of our Eternal God. Please do not stop praying for us; your faithful acts of intercessions carry us to the Father and in ways we cannot describe, give us stability in spite of our sadness. We know less now about explaining the dynamic of ‘prayer’ and ‘praying’ but know of more of the comfort of the Spirit as the Lord answers your prayers on our behalf. Psalm 73 has helped us this week to understand a little better the mystery of the grace of God toward us as we pray, especially vv. 23-29:

‘Nevertheless, I (we) are continually with you, you hold our right hand. You guide us with your counsel, and afterward you will receive us to glory. Whom have we in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that we desire besides you. Our flesh and our hearts may fail, but God is the strength of our hearts and our portion forever…But for us, it is good to be near God. We have made the Lord God our refuge that we may tell of all Your works.’

It is now almost 10 days since Janice had her second surgery to deal with the new growth of the tumor that returned this past fall. The surgery was a major resectioning of the aggressive tumor and she continues to need to be in ICU at Desert Regional Medical Center. Her speech has improved and she is gaining more strength in her right side. Her arm and hand are gaining strength slowly and with her right leg, will require daily rehabilitation. This is due to the spasms in her brain. A brain angiogram yesterday showed that this should improve as her blood pressure is stabilized and meds are monitored carefully.

Visitation is limited to her immediate family because of Janice’s need to not be overstimulated; she tires very quickly by even simple conversation. As well, ongoing procedures that occur throughout the day so she requests privacy. Knowing you are praying for us and thinking of us as you let us know through e-mails and notes, is encouraging. We read them to Janice and they serve as a reminder of your kind thoughts.
Our requests for prayer are:

  • that Janice will be able to maintain a reliable blood pressure level so she can move into a normal ward
  • that the brain spasms that occur would diminish
  • that her right side would gain strength – her hand is still week though she can lift her arm
  • that she would begin to sit up for longer periods and that rehabilitation would happen soon as she learns to walk again
  • that all this would happen in a timely manner so she can come back to Redlands to a rehab facility and be near us
  • that Janice would continue to know the Lord is with her – our times talking about the Lord are sweet and she loves to be reminded is safe in the Arms of Jesus
  • that Morgan and Connor would continue to know the love of God in their hearts

After being with us for a wonderful week, Steve, Jula and family have left as has Cat. Heather and her children are still here. Heather is helping us with many details related to matters concerning Janice’s work and home. Connor and Morgan are still basking in the warmth of having been with ‘the cousins’ during these days. For that we are grateful. We cannot describe how wonderful it is to be part of the body of Christ and your presence in our lives is a treasure.

In Christ, Gary, Elizabeth for the family

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13 Responses to “Janice Update 12.31.2013”

  1. Jeff and Kathi says:

    Our hearts are heavy with all that lies before you but we also know that our God is very big and very gracious and very loving and He knows the plans for each of us. We pray that even today Janice that you will feel His loving arms and that your immediate family will also know His peace!
    Our prayers also include the list your Mom sent with a special emphasis on your ongoing recovery so you can be in Redlands! Glad that your kids still have some time off to relax with cousins :) We love you all!

  2. Rayna Pfau says:

    You know that i am constantly praying for all of you. Thank you for the updates.

  3. Donna Lusher says:

    Janice, you and your loved ones are in my prayers each day as you meet this unsought, unexpected and almost overwhelming (except by our Lord) challenge. We know you are safe in the arms of Jesus each and every minute, and pray you sense His presence in a special and ongoing way. I trust Him to give you the strength and perseverance each day for therapy, for speaking, for remaining at peace and calm, and doing all needed so you can come closer to home in Redlands as soon as possible. I love you and miss seeing your sparkling eyes and smile. Our Father is able to care for all that concerns your heart; release it all to Him and put your energies to recovering. I look forward to seeing you when the Lord allows, dear sister. God bless you.

  4. Charles Cochran says:

    Gary, Elizabeth and Janice,
    I have been earnestly in prayer this whole year about Janice and I will continue to be. I am very familiar with Sen. Kennedy’s disease. May God especially manifest Himself to all of you and especially to Janice in all the details needed. I will never forget.

  5. Sharon Carey says:

    Dear Janice and family,
    Please know that we are praying for you daily. Yesterday during our nightly prayers, I was touched when our “little” Matthew referred to you as “Aunt Janice.” You are family, and we love you very much!

  6. Ron and Deborah Berger says:

    We continue to pray for all of you daily. We think of you so very often. Truly, I was inspired the other day when Gary was in church with Morgan and Connor. …..I know how difficult it must be to let your mind think of anything else but Janice and her care. Our God is ALL powerful and we LOVE all of you.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Ron and Deborah – you are so right in that our eyes are focused on this path – with great thanks to the Lord, we know He is with us as much as He was with the two disciples traveling to Emmaus – He keeps showing us Himself in His Word and we are comforted.

  7. Lana Smylie says:

    I continue to pray for you all throughout these challenges. Feeling helpless, how comforting it is to know that our Heavenly Father has you in His powerful hands. May you continue to know His peace. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help–do errands, laundry, cleaning, etc. Just give me a call. Love to you all!

  8. Colleen Tinker says:

    We love you, Gary and Elizabeth, and Janice and Morgan and Connor. We pray always for you, for His strength and peace and provision and power. We thank Him for putting you all in our lives.

  9. Elizabeth Inrig says:

    We are deeply touched by the ongoing strength provided by our Triune God and for the faithful prayers of the saints. What would these days be like without the love and care of the Good Shepherd and the Body of Christ? Hard to imagine.

  10. Mildred McKenzie says:

    May the Good Lord giving you His life giving strength.

  11. Paula says:

    Elizabeth you and your family are in our prayers daily. We pray for your mother’s heart and Gary’s strength as he leads his family. We pray for security for Morgan and Connor and for Janice’s symptoms to greatly improve and for her to rest under the shelter of His wings.

  12. Betty Odak says:

    Death is something what we will never understand yet inevitable. The pain and tears are real, and yet, the Lord has promised to wipe those tears someday.