Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This is the week everyone gets back to their old routine. Vacation time is over. School is back in session. The decorations are back in the attic. Back to normal.

We have a new normal. We have gone through new normals before. And over all, we are each adjusting pretty well. Our decorations are not up yet. I still get up and turn on the tree lights each morning. School time was sporadic today between appointments, and Frank's vacation time is about to morph into disability. But all these "new normals" come with new blessings as well.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

I am so appreciative of the decision to home school right now, and I think the kids are too. The time together is good, and hopefully we'll have some flexibility with our schedule.

Frank got the second dose (of 4) of Velcade on Monday at Dr. Weir's office. Getting chemo in a new place was sort of different after 6 years of the same routine. Another new normal. Our nurse couldn't pronounce Thalidimide. And the Velcade had to be special ordered since they don't "give it very often". In contrast, Little Rock has Velcade sitting on the shelf, in bulk, with their own full time nurse that does nothing but handle Thalidimide. Frank filled in the gaps for them and now she's a pro on all the above. It's a beautifully equipped and quiet facility. Everyone was nice and it all got handled as it should. Best of all, we drove back to our house and slept in our bed at the end of the day. Blessings..... Awesome!

We also met with Dr. Lee about the radiation to his pelvis. They measured him and got him all ready yesterday, and he stared today. Dr. Lee says he's planned 5 treatments. This should shrink the tumors that are causing the shooting leg pains and give him relief. We are looking forward to that! I have been so worried about the stability of his hips. I hope this makes him stronger and reduces his discomfort.

This week is filled with more appointments. We see Weir again and get labs Wednesday and Thursday is the 3rd installment of Velcade.

The kids are doing okay. As parents we are watching them closely to see how they are handling things. I am seeing healthy signs out of them so far. Emotions are showing that have been stuffed in the past. Chandler sleeps with us about every other night. We are saving money on electricity... one more person makes it hot, so we don't need our space heater! Another blessing... We've told the kids to come to us anytime no matter what and I'm glad they are listening.... that is the real blessing ~ I was just kidding about the heater.

I have told you this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Frank and I are in good spirits. Frank tells the same kind of stories, but sometimes, without any warning, you just start crying. I'm pretty good at holding things together - at least I used to be. I'm ok until I'm alone. In the shower or the car. (I can feel you nodding your head in agreement.) I took Zach for a haircut Saturday and started crying in the salon and couldn't stop. I'm was so thankful that 2 of the girls that worked there were Hope people and were very understanding.

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.
John 14:1

Thank you so much for the comments on the blog. Frank really does look forward to reading them. Thank you for the emails, calls, hugs, meals, Facebook messages, etc. We feel loved and cared for in so many ways.

But most of all for your constant prayers as you lift Frank and the rest of our whole family up to our heavenly Father. We feel it. We couldn't live without it. And we are so appreciative.

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
2 Corinthians 4:17


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting an update...I have been thinking about you. Still praying for everyone.
Love, Jane

Cindy said...

Thank you for your witness. Our God is an wonderful Father!

We will continue to pray for strength and many happy days for your family.

In His Grasp,

Wright, Cindy & Family

Anonymous said...

we were so thankful to be able to worship with you on Sunday ... and to give and get hugs and the laughter. You are in our prayers!
much love,
Ben and jennifer and the girls

Anonymous said...

I have kept your Christmas card out on my kitchen counter and Frank's HOPE card is in my wallet where my license should be so that many times a day I am reminded to pray for all of you and to just simply send warmth and love your way.
Sheri & crew

Anonymous said...

Your entire family is on our hearts, minds, & prayers constantly. Every time I look out the front windows or at the security cameras & see your house, I am overwhelmed w/ the urge to bring dinner, hugs, spend time with you or just help in any way we can. We know how precious your family time together is right now & we don't want to take away from that, so we've been trying to honor that. But please know that if you need ANYTHING--groceries, a ride for the kids, help w/ school or Casey & Moses, a shoulder, a hug, a margarita, something fixed, someone to punch, a place to scream or vent, the house cleaned, another margarita--ANYTHING--ANY TIME--DAY OR NIGHT--call or come over. We are all here for ALL of you! Your entire family is simply awesome & has shown incredible strength & faith. I am in awe of you! I pray that our family can mirror yours--what a blessing that would be. That being said, Cole & McKennah end each day playing the "I Love You" game w/ me...to shorten it--whomever gets to "I love you to infinity & beyond & back again" first, wins. (They didn't realize until they were older that there are no losers in the game. :)) My point here: Frank, Peggy, Chandler, Zach & Chase--we love you to infinity & beyond & back again! Colleen, Brad, Cole & McKennah

Anonymous said...

Frank: (I want to tell you this story to encourage you, I hope it doesn't upset you.) Last night during Cole's prayers when he prayed for you (1st, as always), I told him that he needed to also pray for Miss Peggy, Chandler, Zach & Chase. I didn't say why. But he figured it out. (I haven't told McKennah yet.) We hugged & cried for awhile & we talked about you & God. I wish you could've heard him. All the sweet things he said about you. He really loves you--& looks up to you. He asks people to pray for you all the time. He decided that God must need a really good angel to help Him, but that he wished He'd let you stay here a lot longer. :) I told him that hundreds of people that you have touched feel the same way. Then he asked that when you're an angel, when you're not too busy guarding Peggy, Chandler, Zach & Chase, would you please watch over him & McKennah? He said that would help him not miss you so much. :) I told him that the best way to honor you would be to be the kind of man that you are when he grows up. His eyes lit up w/ a smile--he liked that idea. He said not only was it because you are the best Christian he knows, but because you will always be close to his heart. Frank, you are an amazing person; and it's obvious to even the youngest of your friends. Colleen

Anonymous said...

Frank and family,

My prayers are that God will give you comfort and joy.

I haven't talked to you much since I left Elliott but you and your family have always been in my thoughts.

May God's Love fill you always.
Grace and Peace.

Elizabeth, John and Kimberly Vaughn
and our 1st grandson, 4month old Matthew

David Morris said...

I love you people!!!! We prayed for you in my team meeting this morning. You are wonderful and God is awesome!

Anne Hillman said...

Frank: Quite often, I think about our visit last Thanksgiving over at Neely's. It makes me smile remembering our talk about our childhood days and what we remember the most. I enjoyed our visit so much with Peggy and yall's wonderful, beautiful children and ALL of the Gang! :-)

Much love & God Bless,

Anonymous said...

I carry my Hope Card daily from you. You are the reminder for all of us that we must place our trust in Him. It's a privilege to be your friend. We are here for you always. Kristy & Lute

amy said...

We love you and you remain in our prayers! ~Amy and Steve Hale

Barbara & Scott said...

Love your blog notes, we are honored to be "privy" to your thoughts and prayers. It helps us all so we can pray for specifics and we just feel close to you all. Love and prayers, Barbara & Scott

Sharon Avery-Fields said...

Hey Carlton family, here is a story you may have heard. It really blesses me. You guys are truly my rock, you amaze me every time I read your blog. I will never understand why things happen. I hope this little story brings a smile to your faces. Love you,

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry."

She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.

She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."

She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God trusted you with your troubles because He knew not everyone would handle them the way you do.

God Bless

Robin Davis said...

I just read a quote from Helen Keller that said, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."
Thank you both for sharing your hearts with the rest of us.
Joe and I are praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys had to climb out of bed to catch up on your blog...was all tucked in praying for you but just felt the need to touch base and see what God was doing.
I am so thankful that you can be here in Memphis and climb into your own beds at night and cuddle with your children. I pray each night that God would tuck you all under His wind and you would rest and dream deeply inhaling his love all night long. Love Paula

Diane Davidson said...

Much love and prayers going out to you. I have to say Colleen's post about sent me over the edge....going to have to fix the mascara now!

Leesa said...

Hello Cuz! Loved your blog today. I am truly amazed at how you manage to keep your crazy sense of humor! May God continue to bless you and your family. Love, Leesa

Anonymous said...

Several times over the last year or so I've tried to leave messages and I can never seem to figure it out. I'm giving it another try. Words can not express how much we love each of you. Ya'll are a blessing to us. I found a note I had written years ago. I don't know who it was from, but it's good.

"Serenity isn't freedom from the storm....but peace within the storm"

My prayer for each Carlton is that you feel the LORD GOD Almighty's presence.

Love, Sonia