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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Doug's Sisters

I don't often write about personal family stuff on my blog but I'm feeling the need to give an update about what's going on with Doug's family.  As many of you may know, Doug's oldest sister, Debbie, was diagnosed about a year and half ago with lung cancer.  Deb is a non-smoking, reasonably healthy individual and this was shocking and shattering news.  She has put up a valiant fight throughout these months enduring chemo, radiation, and severe side affects that have limited among other things, her ability to eat and enjoy food.  Deb is one of those people in life who is immediately likeable and generosity oozes from her being.  She spent her life teaching middle school kids and through the years I have met so many people who had her as a teacher who just cannot say enough about what  terrific teacher she was and what an amazing person she is.
His youngest sister Jan, fought off breast cancer several years ago but has had some incidences of recurrence in the years following.  She too has aggressively fought off this terrible disease with great resolve and steady strength.  Jan is one of the most remarkable people I've ever met, also generous to a fault, fighting for the underdog in her work and in her life, smart, protective, pro-active, funny and loving.
Today Jan is undergoing a procedure to eradicate a new spot that has emerged on her liver.  We are hopeful for a good outcome, but it's a somewhat tough procedure that will cause pain and discomfort for a bit.  She will take some time off work to recover, spend time with her own immediate family and also journey closely beside Deb.
Deb delivering a beautiful speech at her mom's 80th birthday party last February
Deb recently learned that lesions have appeared on her brain and the discovery of a tumor on her hip helped discern the source of some incredible pain she's been enduring.  Over the past weekend it was discovered that Deb was disoriented and so she went into the hospital for further testing.  Tests have revealed that the brain is swelling so yesterday she began a series of brain radiation treatments as well as treatment for the hip tumor.  The blessing of the hospital stay has been their ability to help manage the pain she's had for a long time.  Deb is not too forthcoming about her condition as she is so trained to put others first.  A good plan seems to be shaping up for her continued treatment schedule.  Deb is single and at this time cannot live alone.  A good plan is unfolding for where she can be so that she can get the support she needs.
Obviously this is an extremely hard time in our lives.  Living overseas during these critical moments of family crisis is the hardest thing about our life.  We are praying for discernment and wisdom about traveling to the US, especially for Doug.  Your thoughts and prayers are a welcome gift as we firmly believe that God's presence will sustain every one of us through this dark valley.
It's very hard to understand why so much health hardship has fallen on Doug's family over the past year or so.  We pray for healing, we pray for peace, we pray for comfort in the midst of incredible pain, loss and sorrow.  If you feel you can join us in these prayers, we would be eternally grateful.