Monday, February 2, 2009

Here we go again....

*****See update to this post below*****


"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40: 28-31

Tuesday begins phase 4 of CJ's chemotherapy regimen. Phase 4 is termed 're-induction and re-consolidation' in that it is very similar to phase 1 which began on September 19th. CJ will receive some of the same medications he did in phase 1 as well as some new ones. It will last about 49 days and during that time CJ will probably experience a bit of deja-vu as he will be back on steroids, receiving leg shots again, and probably will even get a little home health chemo again late in the phase.
We do have some concerns and specific prayer requests for this phase that we would like to share with you. One of the medications CJ will be receiving is known to affect heart function as well as liver functions. We would ask for increased prayer for his internal organs to be free from any effect from the chemo. Ask God to completely surround his heart, liver and kidneys with a barrier that the medications can not penetrate. Another medication is a steroid that is known to cause necrosis of the bones and joints which can be painful and debilitating. We would ask for specific prayer for protection over CJ's bones as he receives this medicine. We would also like to ask for prayer for CJ's perseverance as he becomes more and more weary with the appointments and treatments. I think the break over the last 16 days was good for him and he enjoyed the new level of freedom we gave him to see friends, family, and attend events, but it also makes it difficult to tighten the reigns again. Although he has embraced everything really well considering all he has been through, for some reason 7 weeks sounds like forever to him right now. And although I want to ease his apprehensions by making promises of what is to come at the end of the 7 weeks.......maintenance, with appointments only once or twice a month.....I know that I can't. I learned my lesson on the day of his first MRI that I can not make him any promises. That was truly a day of 'broken promises' that I will never forget and I don 't ever want to repeat. The only promises I can make him are those that come from Scriptures. Because the Author of those promises can not lie. "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19 So I comfort his weariness not with my words but with the words of Him who said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Although we enter this phase 'consolidated' as a family and stronger for all we have been through from September until now, at times, it seems like we are reading the same book but are all on different pages. CJ seems to be on the chapter that drags on and on and never seems to end. Yet he knows he has to stick with it to get to the next chapter and finish the book to fully understand the story. Chris seems like he is stuck in the concordance, looking up this term and that term and cross referencing topics. I think sometimes he misses the wonder of the story because he is so focused on the details. It is like trying to enjoy a book and edit it at the same time! He points out all the little details I miss as I read my chapter more introspectively and try to stay focused and not miss anything as the story unfolds. There are times I get so concerned with what page everyone else is on that I sometimes forget what page I am on. But mostly I get too focused on trying to see the heart of the Author behind the words on the page that I sometimes miss some of the important details. Allie, well she is the book worm who just stays dedicated to whatever chapter she is on at the time. She reads each chapter faithfully sort of like she reads her Bible. She resists the urge to skip a day, and resists the urge to read ahead. She seems to somehow be on whatever page we are all on even though we are all on different pages. And of course, Brett and Corey can't read yet so we just read the chapters to them as the story unfolds. Even if we are a little scattered all over the pages at least we are all reading the same book. It is a good book, full of twists and turns and exciting characters. There is heartache and drama, excitement and adventure. Confusion and suspense and yet it is full of hope and promise. Oh and did I mention the Author of the story? Wow!

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.."
Hebrews 12:2


UPDATE:

We went in today as planned, gave blood, got his port accessed, prepared for the chemo, but were then sent home when the doctors realized they forgot to order an echo-gram for his heart before beginning this phase. So we are now scheduled for an echo-gram on Wednesday of this week. Please pray that his heart is healthy and that if there is any cause for concern that nothing would be overlooked by those who administer the test and those who read the results. With this adjustment we will begin this phase on Friday instead of today.

CJ struggled a bit this morning as we prepared to leave so I sat and prayed with him before we left. I prayed that God would strengthen him, and see us through the day. I prayed that God would keep our eyes fixed on Him and not ourselves. And then I prayed that God would surprise us today with His presence and care. I asked that we would see His little surprises throughout the day and sense His nearness. That seemed to help CJ and we continued to get ready. But when daddy got up to say goodbye, CJ began to struggle with leaving again. (I think I have to keep those two separated)

Usually, CJ relishes being able to sit in the front seat with me and have me all to himself and we would talk the whole way there. But not this morning! Today, he climbed in the back seat (almost as a protest to having to go) and he did not speak a word to me the whole way there. I began to try and engage him at first and use the wonderful art of distraction I have really learned to perfect over these past few months, but for some reason I sensed the Lord asking me to leave him to Him. So instead I prayed and kept silent. I was willing to talk if he wanted to but unless he engaged me I was going to wait. After a few minutes, I was tempted to put on some worship music to cheer him up but realized he needed more than just worship music. So I put on the Bible on CD and we listened to the book of Hebrews. Have you read Hebrews lately? Wow! That is a rich book! This is just a smattering of what CJ heard today on the way to the hospital....

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." 4:14

"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering." 2:10

"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil-and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death......because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted" 2:14

So I would say that he was visibly less agitated when we got there. The amazing power of God's word to break strongholds, and soothe weary souls did its miraculous work. We stopped to get him a muffin in the lobby and he noticed they had hot chocolate. We never had realized this before all the times we had stopped. So he ordered a cup and when he were waiting for the elevator and he was sipping his hot chocolate, he said, "Mom, do you think this is one of the surprises from God?" I just smiled and said, it very well may be! God completely understands the warmth of a good cup of hot chocolate! Combine that with some scripture and you are set! And as you know from above, CJ did not receive any chemo today. He was deaccessed and allowed to go home. Now that was a surprise! And since I no longer question God's way of answering prayers...we accept it as His gentle reminder that He sympathizes with our weakness. He sensed CJ needing an extra day or two to begin this phase and we thankfully receive it.

Love to you all...the George Family

22 comments:

Heather said...

Just wanted to let you know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow, as you are everyday. I love & miss you guys soooo much!
Oh, got some snow here tonight so I will send a pic to the cell phone in the morning!
Love
Aunt Heather

Anonymous said...

Dawn and Chris,
When I read your post, I thought about our Lord's instructions to not worry about tomorrow (aka take one day at a time). The Lord must know we can't really do that without His supernatural peace and gift of faith, so your family here in Virgina will be praying intensely for you, CJ, Allie, Brett and Corey as you take one day at a time, and we will pray that CJ's organs are protected and the cancer eradicated!We love you! Aunt Karen, Uncle Terry and everyone else in the family who are sleeping right now at 2am. lol

Anonymous said...

Dawn and Chris,
My thoughts and prayers are with you as you enter this phase in CJ's treatment. Thank you for keeping us updated with your thoughts and prayer request.
Love,
Wilma

Anonymous said...

You all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. We love you, and continue to trust God for His provision for you guys.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose.

The Gonzalez Gang
Marcos, Becky, Gabriel, Amanda and Sophia

Anonymous said...

"Do not fear for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strngthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.".... "I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says, 'Do not fear; I will help you.' Isaiah 41

praying for you CJ....
to our EVERLASTING GOD.

-kim
(boca raton)

Alexa said...

Dear George Family,

You are such a precious family. Praying for this new phase. That God will just continue protecting CJ, give all of you persevering strength, peace, and joy that only God almighty can give.

As I was praying this morning, I was reminded once again that it is so very awesome that we are not praying to a god created by human hands. No! We have the privilege of approaching the throne of the King of Kings and lord of Lords. That is too wonderful to comprehend. He is God! and He is the ONLY ONE who really knows and can understand our pain, weaknesses, and things we go through. And He hears! and sees! and loves you with his perfect love. And He has said "never will I leave you nor forsake you". NEVER

So I pray that you may feel his strength and power with you throughout this whole phase. That your hearts will be filled to overflowing.

Hebrews 4:14-16 "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Much love,
Alexa

Anonymous said...

CJ and family;
Thank you for sharing this road the Lord has you on in such an open manner, the way you all continue to point your own hearts toward the Lord, and encourage those around you to do the same is a testimony to the Lord's faithfulness and your determination to not only follow but Glorify Him no matter what. Thank you. We are praying for you and trust in the Lord's hand for CJ's healing and to meet each and every need of your family as they surface. Let us know when and how we can serve any of you.
As Jeremy and Nico say: "BIG,BIG, BIG, BIG hugs for you all!" -The Abegg Family

Tammi said...

Dear CJ-
You look so great Dude! So great, what a wonderful picture of you - except you should be wearing a GATORS Hoodie!! (Hee hee, just kidding, "Go Miami" But please don't tell anyone in Gainesville I said that for you or they'll be after me!!) I love you and I miss you so much. I am going to pray, pray, pray for you. When I am not talking or doing something that requires absolute concentration I will pray without ceasing for you.
I Love You,
Aunt Tammi

Anonymous said...

As you begin this last phase of your treatment, we continue to pray and intercede for all of you daily.

Acts 17:24-25: “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.”

On our knees in prayer,
The Fabregas'

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody, I know seven weeks seems like a lot, but when you take it one day at a time, with God's grace, you will reach the end and be shocked at how short it seemed. I am also praying for God to protect CJ completely, that there would be no side affects at all. Love you guys!

-Joel

Anonymous said...

Dawnie:
What a great metaphor! The use of the book. As we read your words there is no question as to your perspective and what you are feeling for your family. You are truly a tallented writer. And, though you take no credit for that because it is the Lord who inspires and leads you, non-the-less, as they say at the end of a performance "Author"! "Author"!

Anonymous said...

Genesis 28:15 Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go. GODS words are powerful and truthful, can lift your spirits soaring like an eagle in flight, and I praise the great I AM for all the little blessings of this day. my prayers are cried out to our GOD all day long on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

JUST A LITTLE NOTE TO LET YOU KNOW I AM PRAYING HARD!! AND THINKING ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY! STAY STRONG AND KNOW THAT WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH! THE RODRIGUEZ BUNCH!!!!

janet s said...

Dawn, as I read your update I could see how God comforted CJ and was with you both all day...having you play just the right CD with the scripture He wanted CJ to hear, answering prayer and surprising you both. You are tuned in to His voice.
It's easy for us to just go through our day and not see how God is with us, protecting us, speaking to us, or guiding us. I love how you acknowledge His presence and provision. We serve an awesome, loving and caring God.
We are fervently praying!!!
We love you!!
The Sedanos

Amy Derrickson said...

Hi Dawn,
During my prayer time this morning, God really impressed you all into my heart. I'm sorry to say that it has been almost a month since I have read your blog, so I was unaware of the phase you are in.
I am praying for strength for you guys and CJ and praying for God's protection over CJ during the next 7 weeks. I pray that all goes well today during his test and that his heart is sound.
I love you guys and have been so blessed by your story, insight, and Godly wisdom.
Much love to you all from Virginia.
Amy

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me O LORD and I will be healed, save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. All praise and glory to the one and only GOD, for all the blessing still yet to come to you C.J. and the family.

Ily(hearts) said...

Hi George Family,
I too am glad that GOD gives us surprises. I love surprises!!! Anyways we will continue to cover Cj with our prayers. We love you and miss you all.
The FIgueroa's

David Bush said...

It's great to hear that you have a few more day to prepare. I'll keep you all in my prayers while you wait!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

Well a few days ago, I was reading in "A Gospel Primer for Christians" and something really stood out to me. The title is Perspective in Trials. At first I would look at the title each morning, and then close the book, thinking, "I'm not really going through any specific, or tough trials, so I don't need to read this chapter." But one day I decided to just read through it, and see what God does with it. By the time I had finished, I was greatly encouraged, and fully aware of God and how He works all things for good for those who love Him. So basically, after all of that, I thought that you guys should hear this. It's kinda long, so bear with me.

"More than anything else I could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ. Preaching the gospel to myself each day provides a lens through which I can view my trials in this way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them. I can then embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God's good work in me."

When I read this I thought of you guys. I pray that this may help you through these upcoming trials, and that you may see God twice as big this week. I'll be praying for you all. Thanks again Mr. George for last Monday, I had a great time!

Joey

Martha said...

Hello George family!!!

I am sorry I have not comment until now, I have been very busy at work and school, also I am been arraging everything to send my sister a package of medicines and clothes, but you have been in my thoughts and prayers all the time. I am SOO happy CJ is fine and he looks so good, also I remembered that God always know our needs, even before we know we need, I feel and I am sure he is with each one of you guys, he is with CJ all the time, there is no question about it, he reminds us everyday of praying for him (CJ), I will specially pray for his heart and bones, but also for him to keep strong and full of faith, because he is a precious God's child, and God will not only take care of him, but will heal him completly, I am not questioning that either, because we are all praying faithfully for this to happen, in the name of Jesus it will be done! I now Praise the Lord because it has giving me the assurance of this in his word.

With much love and in Christ,

Martha

Anonymous said...

Hi guys,

Are thoughts and prayers are with you as you begin this new phase. But we are confident in the knowledge that God is guiding you through it.
Much Love

Nicole Alberto Ana

Anonymous said...

Numbers 6:24-26 The LORD bless you and keep you, may the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. Will continue to pray for GODS love, grace and peace to fill your hearts and minds, as well as your home. you are very loved.