Today brings the following journal entry from this beautiful MCFL family, showing the beauty of human life even amidst suffering:
Dear Friends and Family,
[ Bill was diagnosed with cancer and his family has been reporting their journey through the disease, and their reports have given us an example of human dignity. This is how to treat our fellows -- with love, not with doctor-prescribed death. ] Each day on earth together is a gift and we thank God for His strength day by day. Recently Jeanne encouraged us with her assessment of her Dad's journey with pancreatic cancer over the past 15 1/2 months since diagnosis - of the four aspects of our lives - spiritual, emotional, cognitive and physical - the first three are going well.
The daily grind of dealing with the strong chemotherapy drugs and abdominal pain has taken its toll on Bill's energy, strength and weight. As mentioned in the last update, the "balancing act" continues. We are so grateful to have completed 20 cycles of chemotherapy; 11 of the initial chemotherapy and nine of the second line of FDA-approved medicines. We are thankful that the last CT scan showed "no new sites of cancer". Bill's oncologist has provided additional long-acting pain control and plans to continue the same schedule of infusion every other week and repeat the CT scan before Thanksgiving.
Bill's cheerful heart is a reflection of his close walk with Jesus throughout the day and during the nights of frequent awakenings. From the deep resources of Bill's brain, he recalls many songs (some silly) from his childhood. The hymns, devotionals and God's Word provide HOPE. One of the promises from the Bible that we've experienced is from Romans 15:13 "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit".
Above all you [ our MCFL community ] bring us continual encouragement by reaching out to us in many ways as you... send cards, e-mails, [make] phone calls, and arrange for healing masses for Bill. We are grateful as you continue to let us know that you're "with us" on this journey. We are so blessed by the many visits of family and friends who brighten our spirits and bring us joy. Each Sunday we are so thankful that our grandsons, Nathanael & Joshua, in seminary and college, make time to call us and share their busy lives. We look forward in the coming months to the visits of very special friends, phone calls and all our children & grandchildren gathering together at Thanksgiving. Signs of autumn are in the air - beautiful maples, boat on dry land and gardens "put to rest".