Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oncologist Visit

If there were three words that summed up the emotions of today, it would be overwhelmed, dependent and love. 

Overwhelmed - Our visit with the Oncologist was very informative and helpful.  We met with two doctors who were full of compassion, care and knowledge.  I showed up with my list of questions and concerns and they answered each one.  Granted, I didn't like some of the answers, but that's the reality of what we are facing.  Most likely, Susie will face some level of radiation treatments in the next few weeks/months.  Our doctor team (oncology, surgeon & ob's) will meet and come up with a plan.  There isn't a standard treatment for pregnant people with astrocytoma's.  They will let us know next week what they think the best course of treatment will be that takes into account Susie and the baby.  There was so much information - a lot of it scary, but true.  The thought of what lies ahead for us is completely overwhelming.

Dependent - All along, we have known our need to be dependent on God.  Being dependent on Him is a good thing.  Just like it's good for Sy, Talya and Charlie to be dependent on me as their earthly father.  Today, I realized in a new way, that we are completely dependent on our heavenly Father.  We are dependent on Him for wisdom as to what the next steps are, for strength for the journey that lies ahead and for healing of Susie's brain.  Apart from God's help, there is no way we will get through this.  We thank Him that He is true, loving and faithful.  We thank Him that especially in our moments of weakness, doubt and despair, He loves us with a perfect love.  So tonight, we ask him for wisdom, strength and complete healing over Susie's brain.  

Love - Throughout the day, I was reminded of how much I absolutely love my wife, my kids and the life the Lord has blessed me with.  I love it so much, that I don't want any of it to change.  It's a true joy to love Susie and live life together.  For those of you who know me, you know that I felt this way even before she had a brain tumor!  We always say how blessed we are, and it's true.  God has blessed us with so much - each other, our kids, great friends, family and an opportunity to serve people all over the world which we love.  As I get ready to lay my head down tonight, even though it's been one of the most grueling days I've endured in a while, I am reminded of love.  God loves me and Susie.  I love Susie.  I love our kids (even the one who keeps waking up and screaming at 11:35 p.m.).  I love our life.  Thank you Lord for loving us and blessing us with the privilege of knowing you and experiencing love on a daily basis. 

That's enough for tonight.  Thanks for praying for us, caring for us and helping us.  We truly appreciate it.  Today was a tough day.  We thank God for granting us the strength to make it through and the hope for  His mercies for tomorrow. 


  1. Ephesians 5:20 says to be thankful for everything. As I have experienced the yuk things in life, I have learned why I thank God for everything-- I thank God in the name of Jesus Christ, because He is with me. I don't have to go through it alone. He gives me peace when my knees should be knocking. He rocks me to sleep and He delights in me, singing over me!

    I am absolutely confident that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.

    Please know there is a mama in Iowa who is standing in the gap for you and your family. much love to you ~Dena

  2. In 2 Chron. 20:12, King Jehoshaphat prayed out to God in a hopeless situation, "For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."

    Thankful that still today, when people face the impossible, they still turn their eyes and hearts to God. The fact that you all can glorify God in such an unreal time is an incredibly beautiful thing!

    Praying for you all!

  3. Hi Ben,
    I just found out about the situation your family is facing, and will definitely be praying for your family. It seems like you are doing everything you need to be doing: being positive, praying, rallying with family and friends. Everything else is up to God. Take care.

  4. I wrote this on my blog a few years ago. I know it's a simple illustration, but that's me...simple.. I hope you will find it encouraging..

    The first time I cried with my child was when he got his first vaccination. Remember that day moms (or dads). They're about 2 months old. Just starting to smile and coo. Everything up to this point has been all about making them happy, comfortable, loved. Nothing could be farther from their minds or yours than pain. But the day comes for their first vaccination. They're smiling cooing and then...and then....waaaaaahhhh...."What just happened?" I couldn't stand it either. To see my child in pain was more than I could bear, so I cried too.

    A few nights ago, Allie and I were up late just talking. We turned to the subject of why God allows bad things to happen to good people. I had to be honest. I certainly don't understand that one. Yes, I can logic myself and scripture myself into "understanding", but down deep, I don't think I really do. Allie made a great analogy using her own vaccination story. Just before she was to enter Kindergarten, she had to get the dreaded "booster" shot. This is a repeat of a vaccination she (and most kids) received as a baby. Probably her last shot had been around 18 months of age, so she didn't really remember that prick, stick and sting. The nurse came in and told her to "look at mommy and blow on her hair". Oh my...the look on her face as she started blowing then screaming was more, again, than I could stand. So pitiful.

    Allie said, "I didn't understand what that shot was for and I didn't understand why you were letting someone hurt me like that. There was nothing you could have told me at that moment that would have made me understand. All I knew was the pain was terrible and you were not stopping it. But now, I know that the shot was to prepare my body to fight something that could be worse. It was to make my body stronger to fight off an attack attack that could be going on right this minute, but because of that vaccination, I don't feel the effects of it."

    Wow...what great insight and perspective. Sometimes the pain that we're screaming about, blaming God for, asking why, is not for now necessarily. It's that "booster" shot for the attacks that could come later. He loves us so much that he is willing to allow pain in order to make us stronger for something he can see that we can't; he understands but we don't. His heart breaks as a father or mother watching their child suffer, but knowing that it is necessary. His protection and love does not always come in the form of warm fuzzies. Sometimes it's like the prick, stick and sting of a booster shot.

  5. Ben, just want you to know that Steve and I, and our whole family continue holding you and Susie and the kids close in prayer. We have engaged other Christian prayer warriors who are standing with you too. May you feel His loving arms around you at this time, and the hugs from so many of us who love you guys. Praying humbly, yet boldly, for healing for Susie and protection for her and the baby, and for strength for all of you.
    Love, Nina