Below came from Don about an hour ago. The family came back from Whidbey tonight. They had originally planned to stay only Friday night, but Heather enjoyed being there so much they stayed Saturday night as well. Don’s feet continue to feel like they are recovering from the neuropathy. His morphine dosage is also dropping because he does not have as much pain in his feet.

Skip, for Don & Heather

I had quite a surprise when I arrived at our Whidbey beach house about 4PM on Friday afternoon. How many surprises are we going to have on this journey? The downstairs was very cold. After walking around a bit I discovered that the skylight in our hallway was broken and all the Plexiglas was on the floor. Then I entered our bedroom and discovered one of our smaller windows was completely broken and all the glass was outside in the grass- a break in! It must have been during the last few days since there was no rain water in the hallway. I began the dreadful walk to see what had been stolen. After about a 15 minute survey I discovered only two things had disappeared- our computer movie projector and a High Fi Apple iPOD speaker system- we were lucky! They must have been in a hurry because they forgot the remote controls and many other electronic pieces that were close by. I looked a bit more and discovered they also took all our keys on our key rack which included keys to the upstairs, downstairs, garage, boat house, boat, firewood storage, and elevator- maybe we weren’t so lucky after all! I guess they figured they could come back at their leisure and take their pick of items.

I grabbed a large tarp in the garage and covered the broken skylight to protect it from rain. I also picked up all the Plexiglas in the hallway and duct taped a piece of cardboard on the window to keep the cold out/heat in. I must say I felt pretty good running around trying to make things look a little better before Heather and the kids arrived on a later ferry. I had some numbness in my feet and occasionally I had to drag my right foot up the stairs but the pain was minimal.

About 6PM I headed off to the Teleios Retreat, just before Heather arrived. The retreat was at Ray’s, a long time board member, who has a beautiful beach house just north of Langley. We shared a great meal together followed by some personal sharing. About 9PM I started fading and had to leave the party. By the time I arrived home I realized my body was telling me that I had a long day and pushed myself perhaps a little too hard. The kids, Heather, nieces and friends were all playing games and full of energy. I greeted everyone and slithered off to the bedroom. I was tired enough that I had a good sleep only waking a couple of times. My feet were numb and cold, and I did take some quick acting morphine to cut the pain about midnight so I could sleep.

Saturday morning started a little more energetic than my evening ended Friday night. While still in bed I mentioned to Heather that we needed to call the police. Just a few minutes later sheriff Jim Johnson arrived at the door. So much for my morning coffee and shower! It took the sheriff about 2 minutes to figure out how this happened- the burglar broke in through the skylight and entered the hallway, then went into the bedroom and broke out the window to have an easy exit- why not the front door? The sheriff said he was most likely on drugs. We mentioned to the sheriff a troubled kid down the street that had broken in a few years ago and the sheriff felt it could be him since he knew our house- he had just gotten out of jail and was arrested again 2 days ago.

Our neighbors Al and Cris are building a new house next door to us. Al came over Saturday morning and mowed our lawn. Then after a little discussion he had his contractor strip the skylight and secure it with plywood- he did the same thing for the window. They are just amazing friends. What would we have done without them? The nearby locksmith came by and changed all of our locks in about 2 hours.

So what looked like a nightmare became a blessing. We are so thankful for loving friends, willing to drop everything to help us. This is really what it is all about. Bad news can become good news- it all depends on how we choose to view it. We also reflected on how bad it could have been if we hadn’t gone to Whidbey this weekend. Either the house would have been damaged from the rain or the burglar and friends could have come back with the keys to our house and cleaned us out.

Today, Sunday we had a leisurely morning, remembered daylight savings time and made it to church along with Joanne and Wendell Demaray. They are as close to parents as I have, having known them for over 25 years. They are both our heroes in many ways. It was a real blessing to see Joanne walking with a cane after hip replacement, knee replacement and complicated surgery to repair a broken femur, all in the same leg, all within the last year! Joy and suffering are all a matter of perspective. Joanne always reminds me we have choice.

Tomorrow is a rest day then chemo on Tuesday. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

God is Good- all the time- God is Good.


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2 Comments so far

  1. Gary Means on March 11, 2007 2:36 pm

    Hi Don,
    I’ve been sharing updates on your progress on my blog. There are a number of people following your story and praying for you. I just posted the picture of you and Heather.
    Even though I may have said this before, but even though I really don’t know you all that well, only having spent a few hours with you during my freelance work on Simio, and then a couple hours during the interview, I view you as a friend. I suspect that this is a common experience. You are a very warm and giving man.

    It has been wonderful getting the updates from Skip. I pray for you and your family, and am excited when I hear news of the doctors being astonished at times, greatly encouraged at other times, and of your doctor praying with you.

    It sounds as if you are surrounded by supporting family and friends. I’m so glad to hear that. It makes such a difference, doesn’t it?

    I am optimistic about you, your doctors and Jesus beating this cancer.

    In His grace,


  2. Howard Wright on March 11, 2007 2:38 pm

    I’d like Don to know that I’m headed to Guatemala this Friday for two weeks, including a week’s medical mission volunteering in a friend’s reconstructive facial surgery and cleft palate clinic. Then, on to the Antigua house where I’ll order pizza delivery from the phone number of “Don Valencia”!

    I’ll check in when I’m back; all the best to you and your family.

    Howard Wright.

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