Today is July 10th, day before my 55th birthday, or as my dad likes to say the 34th anniversary of my 21st birthday. For many years I have always felt I had the energy of someone 10 years younger and acted accordingly. This is my first birthday that I feel not just my age but at times 10 years older than I am.

While we have had a wonderful time at Whidbey it has not been without pain. I have been very weak and don’t have the energy to do much. I went to Dr. Lee’s office and my hematocryt is 33 which means my weakness is not due to the need for a transfusion. Maybe I am a little dehydrated, something I need to always be concerned about with an Ostomy. I think I may go in for IV fluids this afternoon.

This morning I was just dragging and our neighbor Wes came over and anointed and prayed for me. It was a sweet time. After he left I just sat on the couch and cried- not really from pain but just from exhaustion from being a shadow of myself. I am usually so active. To be weak and have limitations from my liver tube can be discouraging.

As I sat on the couch, Jaime came in and asked me how I was doing. I tried to tell her without tears but I couldn’t do it. She laid her head on my shoulder and gently rubbed my arm. She seemed to take the pain away. We have been close, like family for several years along with her husband Adam and boys Josiah and Asher. Today happened to be Tuesday morning, the prayer and sharing time of several of the women in the neighborhood at our home. Heather made a yummy breakfast. Jaime asked me if I would mind if they all sang for me. Next thing I knew in came all the women and I was bathed in worship songs followed by prayer.

They really lifted my spirits and maybe even my physical strength. I got a call from Dr Lee shortly after and I am going back into his office for several tests to see why I am so weak.

In Seattle we are having a heat wave- not the 126 of Death Valley but 80-90’s for our city. I love the warm weather- it reminds me of the many years in Sacramento. Here a 90 degree day is breaking news and we are going to have 3 or 4 days of it. I’m sure there will be special news reports on how to avoid dehydration and drowning in the cold Puget sound. Oh please!

I hope all of you are getting time to enjoy summer. It is a wonderful time of year when many of us also take vacations together. Cherish your time with friends and family, live every day as if it were your last.

Remember, God is Good, all the time, God is Good!

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10 Comments so far

  1. bartmorse on July 10, 2007 3:37 pm

    Dear Don,

    I have been quietly reading the emails, blogs, and watching the new “vlogs” (which I love) from Los Angeles since your battle began. Just wanted to let you know that your perseverance is a constant inspiration to me, especially after reading a posting like today’s. You put a visual image to James Chapter 1, which is no small feat. Thank you Don.

    Bart Morse

  2. paul goeller on July 10, 2007 11:42 pm

    hey my dear brother…Don, paul here: this time writing from Spokane…our daughter and Andi and her husband Glenn are with us on a short road trip…(Glenn is a Naval aviator, currently doing his flying from a desk in the Pentagon)…they flew out to Portland and Viv and i drove up from Chico to meet them in Portland and take a little road trip though the eastern Washington wine country…we’ve had a great time! tomorrow we head for the Emerald City and a quick stop to see family…then Glenn does the STP ride (Seattle To Portland)…we’ll meet him at the end of the ride and then Glenn and Andi fly back to DC…

    i quietly read through your blog entry just now (everyone else is in bed) and felt such a sense of kinship with you…i have been coming back to “His strength is made perfect in weakness” often over the last two or three years as i have struggled with acute physical, vocational and spiritual weakness…i am praying for the miracle of being able to LIVE in that weakness without anguish or bitterness…your ordeal and your willingness to keep working through it keeps me going in a profound way…sure love you brother…you are very much on my heart these days and tonight especially…paul

  3. Deneil on July 11, 2007 12:13 am

    Happy Birthday Don!!!

    Glad to hear that you made it to Whidbey and that you are home.

    We just returned from Glenns Ferry, Idaho where we spend July 4th. It was unusually hot – in the 100’s.

    Hope you have an enjoyable day and feel like you are 10 years younger than you are.


  4. Randor on July 11, 2007 12:16 am

    Happy Birthday Don! I hope you are asleep cause it is 12:08am Wednesday! Debbie and really enjoyed seeing you on Saturday, I know you were tired, but it is great whenever you can see one of your real life “heros!” You truely are a great example for so many of us. I know it is hard, but I also know that God will give you the strength to not only “hang in there,” but to thrive!… Randy
    PS Your hair looks great, even if it isn’t chocolate brown yet!

  5. kls80 on July 11, 2007 8:34 am

    Good morning Don! Happy Birthday! Just wanted you to know you are sooooo special to me and I am thankful for you. Have a wonderful day and I will see you later for cake.

    Love you,

  6. jennygiles on July 11, 2007 9:22 am

    Lord Jesus,
    We are clay in Your hands. our lives are not our own, our very breath comes from You. like adam, You mold us, fashion us, and breathe life into us. we belong to You.
    i confess Jesus. it is a scary thing to have nothing else to hold onto but You.
    when did we ever have anything else to hold onto but You Jesus? You made us.

    Jesus, be the stronghold in Don’s life. may he rest in Your strength and not always need to be strong. may he find healing in rest and peace in this knowledge.
    please let the doctor appointment go well. lead the doctor on where to look, and give him wisdom.


  7. art curtis on July 11, 2007 10:48 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Don.
    Sometimes I feel so caught up in your on going battle that I forget about things like birthdays. I hope that your doctor can help you by figuring out why you are so weak. Again your community of friends have come through with support and their faith. That is wonderful.I hope you can get back to Whidbey for some additioonal R & R that seems like a magical place for you.

    I will not be going on any trips this summer because I am envolved in two huge projects which will keep me in the studio and at the drawing board to the end of the year.


  8. dangeric on July 11, 2007 11:12 am

    I just wanted to share a quick story with you since you’ve been such a enthusiastic supporter of my black comedy, EXPIRATION DATE, where the main character Charlie Silvercloud is out shopping for coffins in anticipation of his death. After a screening earlier this month at the UTAH FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL, a young mother came up to me afterwards and tearfully thanked me for the message of the film–the need to keep dancing in the face of death. She also thanked me for it’s humor and said, “I didn’t know if I’d find it funny because I too have been out shopping for coffins today”. She went on to tell me that her 12 year old son had been fighting an illness his whole life and was finally succombing to it. She told me that he was a big fan of movies and would love the comical and respectful celebration of life and death. I sent her home with a copy and thanked her for the gift she had given me. For some reason, this incident made me think of you and your dance in the face of death. Sometimes you are dancing hard, other times, like today, you are dragging—but you’re always moving, and the witness of your struggle washes over all of us like a warm wave pushing us closer to God. Thanks for that brother. Happy Birthday.
    rick stevenson

  9. gregu on July 12, 2007 8:42 am

    Hi Don and Happy Birthday!! I have been over by your house everyday this week hanging out while Weston goes to an art camp from 1 – 4 over off Ravenna. I was hoping to drop by for a visit but forgot you were still at Whidbey. Really looking forward to Tool group this Sunday though. Thanks for the posting above – your honesty and transparency throughout this process is really encouraging and it’s so great to be able to walk along with you and pray specifically.

  10. hollythompson on July 12, 2007 3:29 pm

    Hope you had a good birthday, Don! We’re praying.
    Dave, Holly, and Judah

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