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Fasting Tuesday Week #16: Strength for Today, Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Cade finished his first day today of his last 5 day chemo in this protocol. My mom is here taking care of the girls in the morning, and like everyone else we are back in the swing of the school year. Eden told me today was "real school", as opposed to last week's fake school.

Our scans last Monday led us into a very tumultuous week of waiting, but looking back I am extremely thankful for the delay. It meant when we did get the phone call, Eden was back in school, and our hearts were prepared.

We explain in the video in more detail, but the bottom line is that they saw four new small nodules in Cade's lungs that they assume are tumor. There will be no certainty until they can surgically removed and put under a microscope.

We are praying that by the end of the next six weeks, these nodules have completely disappeared. And if they haven't, that upon resection they show only dead cells. 

On Wednesday, our oncologist meets with the solid tumor team and will present Cade's scans to the group. We are asking for divine wisdom, in the moment, to make decisions and a plan if the worst case scenario happens. We are praying that Cade has LIFE.

I think together we are processing this news. In many ways, when news like this comes, it feels like all the lego-like pieces of faith that were built in the past 31 weeks was suddenly knocked to pieces. But I know God can and will rebuild a new monument of faith. We are asking that our hearts would be prepared for what is ahead, and that we would be like Abraham in Romans 4, who "hoped against hope".

This specific chemo group Cade is receiving this week typically results in an inpatient stay due to febrile neutropenia (a fever with no white blood cell count), and we are so thankful for family who steps in to help during these times. Please pray with us that Cade does not start to run a fever next week, and that we avoid another inpatient stay. 

Please pray that this chemo group continues to dissolve and melt any and all nodules and scar tissue in Cade's lungs even further. We are hopeful that by our next scans at the end of this six weeks, we see even more improvement, specifically in these new nodules. 

While the dust has settled around this news, we are emerging with a certain determination to live. And to live well. We are praying that even in this waiting period, we would live faithfully, hopefully, and fully. We are praying that Eden, Cade, Haven, and Lilyan, have childhoods that are marked by sweet family moments, encounters with the Living God, and deep joy and innocence.

In many ways, I have felt a healthy shift in my own heart this week to celebrate Cade's living. For the past nine months, it has been a temptation to pity him, to look at him and see all that he isn't doing...but for whatever reason, this week has given me new eyes to see what he IS doing. He might not be able to play sports or go to school or wreak havoc that all little boys seem to make, but he is able to smack a mean baseball in our backyard, chase his sisters inside our house, swim in his grandparent's pool, take boat rides, laugh a lot, and love life. Instead of seeing him as a little boy with his life on pause, I am seeing how much life he has had here.

I am reading this book right now by Timothy Keller about pain and suffering, and I loved a quote in it about suffering that said, "Suffering is not an interruption to a great life, but it is part of what makes up a great life." For whatever reason, when I can embrace this season not as some short-handed stinginess on God's part, or a pause button in our lives, I can really live. Psalms says that all the days ordained for us were written in God's book before a single one came to be. I am thankful that God knew these days were written into our story. It gives me hope that the meaning and the richness of this season will only be more and more realized as the years go by. It doesn't take away the pain, the sadness, the grief, but it does elevate it and help me carry it better. I am also reading a beautiful book about how God writes redemption into our stories, because redemption is His story. Both of these books I want all my friends to have.

I was reading a story in the new Cultivate album this week about a family who lost a baby at 37 weeks pregnant, and in the account they tell how they prayed and believed for life until the very end, and even spent hours praying over the baby's lifeless body in a morgue, asking God to raise her. What struck me about this story was the process God brought them through to grieve, which involved many questions, and much anger. But eventually they emerged with a single thought: "We always want to swing for the fence."

No matter the outcome, we want to be people who swing for the fence. Who believe God for big things, and who have the tenacity to believe through storms and zero visibility. Who are undeterred in faith by scan results, darkness, and confusion. I want to be that kind of person. Not because it's fancy or flashy, but because "without faith it is impossible to please God", and the "just shall live by faith". Faith is the oxygen we are called to breathe, the atmosphere we swim in, the spiritual life to our bodies. I need more faith. Please pray for us to increase in faith over the next leg of this journey. Our faith is of greater worth than gold to God.

I still want new lungs and a new kidney for Cade. I still want justice from my adversary like Luke 18 says. I want my son to live a long life. And I want his story to bring many many people into absolute confidence in the goodness of God in the land of the living.

"Did I not tell you, that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" John 11:40


Comments

  1. I am praying for you, your family, and Cade. You have taught me so much and I am tangibly able to apply what you are teaching me about the Lord as we head into our first day of chemo for my father in law who has stage 3 pancreatic cancer. He is a missionary in Burma who flew back to US to immediately begin treatment. Upon arrival we had 4 Burmese people, who just "happen" to be in the States in Chicagoland, come to our house and pray over my inlaws. God is so, so caring. Interceding on Cade's behalf~the Winkelmans

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  2. This prayer for healing is from Joan Hunter's Healing the Whole Man Handbook. In Jesus' name, we curse the root of the cancer cells and command the spirit of cancer to go. In Jesus' name, we repent for generational curses and break every generational curse now, on the mother's side and on the father's side. We repent of any bitterness or unforgiveness. In Jesus' name, we command all electrical and magnetic frequencies to come into perfect harmony and balance. We curse all prions,now, and command them to dissolve and be absorbed by the body. In Jesus' name, we command the body's defensive "killer" cells to multiply, attack, and destroy all cancer cells. We command healing to any damaged tissues and organs. We command for normal function to be restored. And in Jesus' name, we speak new organs, new lungs and new kidneys for Cade. Thank you, Jesus, for this creative miracle; and for pouring out shalom, peace, completeness, and wholeness over this beautiful family. Amen.

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FEASTING TUESDAY #23: Those Who Dream

We are so thrilled to share with y'all the good news from this week's scans. We explain at length in the video we made, and share some other cool stories. The bottom line is that Cade's four new lung nodules we saw on the scans in August were completely gone- and based on some new findings our oncologist feels confident it is the result of an infection and not the disease. We are not doing surgery, we are done with chemo, and CADE IS GOING TO SCHOOL!

We will re-scan in three months to check on the scar tissue to make sure it is not growing, and to monitor him. We are so thankful to have this break, and we are hoping you fully celebrate with us. Our minds are still pretty blown- we had an emotional whiplash of a week last week, and I am personally still very much processing and absorbing what all of this means. In essence, I feel like I am emerging from hiding with my family, and it is amazing how many new decisions need to be made.

But this is what relationship with Jesus…

Glory of God

"Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.

And He said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.' 

Jesus wept.

Then the Jews said, 'See how He loved him!' And some of them said, 'Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?' 

Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, 'Take away the stone.' 

Martha, the sister of him who was dead said to Him, 'Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.' 

Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"


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