It’s Saturday October 6th and I realize it’s been a several days since I have written. I have always been very candid in my blogs and I don’t expect that will change. This has been a very hard week for me and consequently for my family. While most of the time I am up and feeling well deep within my soul, there are other times I am tired and crabby- someone you don’t really want to be around.

Tired of blood transfusions, needles, chemo, neuropathy. Tired of having difficulty hearing, forgetting so much and sleeping all the time. Tired of being a shadow of myself. Tired of CT scans, MRI’s and PT scans. Tired of antibiotics, infections and pill boxes. Tired of unexpected trips to the hospital, being cold all the time and walking around with an ostomy bag in my pants. Tired of fighting so hard just to be normal, to live for my family and friends. Tired of God stringing me along. Tired of the accidents I have in public with my ostomy bag, tired of being crabby to my wife, tired of not being able to be much of a dad to Bo and Johnny, tired of being tired.

So there you have it. It actually feels good to just let all of that out. Now at the same time I don’t want you to worry about me. As you know, Heather is amazing, regardless of how I am feeling or acting- she perseveres, picking up medicines at the pharmacy, keeping my pill boxes filled, making meals for the family, being on high alert for sounds I may make that indicate I have fallen or need help of some kind, is a father and mother to Bo, takes care of running the house and the family.

In addition I have family and friends who care for me – you read this blog, you know who you are. But there are many of you that I know and never see, or some of you I have never met who write and encourage me as well. I also have several men in my life that I meet with on a regular basis who challenge and encourage each other around the principles of following Jesus.

So when I feel tired, I am not alone and I feel like I let a lot of people down. I know that I am fortunate and blessed many ways and to be tired feels like I am not acknowledging that. I think about how much worse things could be- I have seen patients fighting for their lives in far worse situations than me.

But to be tired is to be human- to know that there are times that your body/mind/soul is just exhausted and it doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else, it doesn’t mean God isn’t good all the time. It simply means I am human, trapped in a body that feels all these things and is fighting a battle with a very evil warrior. This warrior doesn’t care about your pain or your family, it just wants to grow and take over every organ in your body until you breathe your last breath.

The irony of this is that at some point in our lives, we all breathe our last breath and death is not the end. Death is the beginning. Death is the victory that leads to life, eternal life, an amazing timeless adventure than none of us can taste or describe until we experience it. We get glimpses from people who have had near death experiences¬Ě but these are only small tastes of what dancing in heaven will be like. Dancing on the edge of heaven is the closest we get in this world. That’s why I love the sense of dancing on the edge of heaven- it encourages us to live every day, breathe every breath. It causes us to appreciate everyone and everything around us. It simplifies life.

So there you have it, a glimpse of my week, my thoughts and perspectives. I know I will feel stronger next week and my perspective will change. In fact I am in the hospital right now getting 2 units of blood and that alone will boost my energy level.

Heather and I met with Dr. Doug Lee, our oncologist on Friday and it was a sweet time. He is a good man, a dear friend and brother. He has an amazing gift of viewing all the data and coming up with plan that builds hope- that looks at the glass half full by reviewing all the victories we have experienced in the last year. While the tumor in the colon did catch us by surprise, the balance of the tumor growth has been minor. We did agree that it appears the Taxol/Carboplatin is no longer working.

We agreed to switch to a new chemo drug called Gemcitabine (Gemzar) and continue with Tarceva. We will monitor progress by CT. At some point we will look at the colon again by colonoscopy. At some time we may use radiation on the intercostal muscles between the ribs and the colon. I am also back on antibiotics, amoxicillin and cephlaxen, for an infection I have at the site of the previous liver tube.

Next week is a new week and I look forward to whatever adventures lie ahead. Thank you for your prayers.

God is good, all the time, God is good.

Note from Skip: Bo likes Roosevelt High School, & went to his first Roughriders football game last night (they lost, unfortunately). He is still having shin problems which prevents him from running cross-country races. Johnny is doing well in Germany. The family has communicated with Johnny through Skype (with webcams). Heather even got on Skype and talked to him for an hour earlier this week. D & H are looking into a trip to Europe over Johnny’s Christmas break to meet him somewhere.

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7 Comments so far

  1. Randor on October 6, 2007 4:53 pm

    Thanks for the update Don! Your updates always help us be more specific on how to pray! Your “battle” encourages me to press on with my own battles, one day at a time!
    Thanks for being so transparent and being such an encouragement to me!


  2. rakemorales on October 6, 2007 6:16 pm

    Thanks for your honest sharing. And for the reminder of what it’s all about.


  3. Heather Knapp on October 6, 2007 6:45 pm

    Thanks for your words, Don. You’re right–you aren’t alone. Your mind and spirit are living inside a body that is waging war, and we’re on the sidelines, cheering for you. You will win. But please keep in mind that feeling ‘sick and tired’ of feeling ‘sick and tired’ doesn’t make you less brave or less of an inspiration; it reinforces that you are a human being. Thank you for so openly sharing both your optimism and your vulnerability.

  4. stan on October 6, 2007 8:54 pm

    Your sharing of weak moments actually help strengthen many others, me included. Thanks for the transparency and being human, questing for the Spirit. No matter what transpires in the future, you have won the battle against the dark force! The time from now on is just to mop ’em up and give ’em hell….what else can they do to you? They have lost. Thanks for continuing to be beacon while dancing in heaven for us all to witness.
    We will keep praying and questing the Lord.

  5. Tammy on October 6, 2007 11:24 pm

    Don, my heart fills with gratitude everytime I read your messages. I am so blessed by them, thank you for sharing. I once read that the day you are born and the day you die have no significance, but the dash in between the two,which is your life journey is what counts. God is so good because he blessed us all with the gift of choice, regardless of circumstance. You have used your gift wisely by choosing life. Don, you are one of my heros! (Heather start making those t-shirts:)I am honored to share this human experience and this generation with people like you.

  6. Jeff Brown on October 7, 2007 9:17 pm

    Don, Thank you again for your courage and honesty. I cannot even imagine what you are and have been going through. I do know that you are one fearsome warrior of God on this earth who has a throng of witnesses both here and in heaven rejoicing at your victory in the battle that you fight. May the Lord continue to give you strength and courage and healing to your body.
    With a warm embrace,
    Jeff Brown

  7. andydavidson on October 9, 2007 5:01 pm

    You are smooth in front of the camera Aquaman, like you could give Brian Williams on NBC a run for his money. Thanks for hosting another special tool group night on Sunday. Enjoy your heavenly Canlis restaurant reunion later this week.
    Love you brother,

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