Friday, February 29, 2008

Why Dogs are Man's Best Friend and not Women's Best Friend.

Doesn't she look innocent, snuggled up to Dave like a little lap dog? Well, let me tell you the real story. I left her outside because I didn't know how long I would be away for the day. My lovely son decided the night before to put the bag of garbage near the trash can instead of in the trash can when I asked him to take it out. When I came home, our sweet little innocent dog decided to inspect every morsel of it. So much so that it looked like it snowed in our backyard. This however was not the end. No, it gets even better! Not only did I get to clean up trash the size of confetti, but then she vomited all over her dog bed and the floor around it in the middle of the night. I know some people say, all dogs go to heaven, but I think my dog just lost her salvation!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Today I was able to sit by my dad's bed and keep him company for a few hours. I really enjoy every minute of it and I want to be there because I hope it shows him how much I love him. While we were there, a social worker came by to ask him how he was doing. My dad is a very gifted speaker and he is very articulate. He is always able to express himself in a way that makes you want to listen. He described how hard it is mentally to think about having a terminal disease. Your body is feeling so ill, but inside you want to fight. He said it is so different from something like the flu where you feel lousy, but you know it will end soon. This is different because there may not be an end to the physical sickness, and it starts to make you depressed. You are completely out of control in every area of your life. He did a way better job of explaining himself and I always enjoy listening to him. Then the social worker asked Katja and I how we were doing and we both smiled and said fine. I wasn't really feeling like talking to her much, but I love how my dad is so open about what he feels. He then told her about Dave and how the two of them were diagnosed 2 weeks apart, and she looked at me and said that is really hard, you are going through a lot, are you sure you are handling everything ok? I said yes, but tears came to my eyes and I couldn't stop myself from getting emotional. I started thinking on the drive home, what do I really think, and how am I handling it? I realized that the only way I am "handling" this is because I have a personal relationship with God, and He has given me faith to believe in Him and His Word. The Bible says that God is good and He only does good. He never promised us a totally happy life that is 100% free from suffering, but instead He is making us more like Himself through these trials. (James 1:2) This world is filled with lots of trials, but this life is only a speck on a timeline in comparison to the time we will spend with God in eternity if we are His children. Paul said, "For the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." It breaks my heart to see all the sadness and suffering that I see at the hospital everytime I go, but I know that this world is not the end. I am sure I am a child of God and I know that I will be with him in heaven for eternity. I don't know if my dad will be healed, and I don't know if David will be healed, I want both. I just don't know what God's plans are. I do trust His character, and I do trust what he says will happen in the future. Romans 8:24 says, "For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is not seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perservance we eagerly wait for it. So, I am trying not to be anxious about tomorrow, and I am trusting that God is working all things for the good of those who love Him. He is all present, all powerful, and all knowing. I am glad He is in control and I know the end will be good, even if I don't completely understand the path there.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ups and Downs

David was able to get treatment number 3. His counts were up again and his potassium was down. We are back to a regular diet. Yeah! He is home sleeping now. We met two ladies in the treatment room, both of them go to Grace Baptist. I told one of them we would pray for her. Her name is Miriam, and she my age. She is fighting breast cancer for the second time, however this time it is stage four and has completely spread throughout her body. She has a daughter that is Avrielle's age. She was so cute, and even though most of the time she had tears in her eyes, she was smiling and she knew that God is in control.
I asked about my dad today and they told me that he had had the worst night he has had since he has been there. They gave him some tranquilizers to try and calm him down so he doesn't cough as much. I was sad to hear this since I just wrote that he seemed to be doing better yesterday. It's a wierd feeling to be rejoicing and disappointed at the same time.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Better Day

Today went much better than expected. I was a little nervous about bringing nanny to the hospital because it didn't seem like good timing, and everyone agreed. Katja will try tomorrow instead. She has been so amazing through this and she is such a blessing to my dad. She is really working hard at getting everything in order and still comforting him at the same time. I think my dad should be feeling a little bit better before we try to bring my nanny, since she took the news so hard yesterday. My dad did seem like he felt a little better today. He was more energetic and he talked about wanting to come home at the end of the week. He was also able to swallow some soft food and liquids too. He and David were having a contest to see who would lose their hair first. David had a two week head start, but I think my dad is winning! Avrielle and Chandler made another build -a- bear and named it Tiger Hockenberg. They dressed it in golf clothes and bought it a bag of clubs. They also recorded a message that said, "We love you so much Papa, feel better soon" They were so proud to give it to him. They also both wore their USC tee shirts to cheer him up. Avrielle asked Katja what else she could do to show him that she cares since they couldn't see him much tonight. He began to cough right when they got there. Katja suggested calling on the phone, so Avrielle asked if she could call him from school during her lunch recess so she would make sure not to wake him if he was sleeping. Both kids love their Papa so much. Rick and my mom brought some beautiful photos that Rick took on his camera to decorate the hospital room. Again, it was nice to have the whole family be together again today. Thank-you to everyone who helped shuffle the kids around for me this afternoon. It means so much to me.

comic relief

I just thought you would all enjoy this picture of Chandler. I don't know how he can be eight years old and STILL get ice-cream all over his face!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Today was an emotional day. As you can see comparing the pictures today to the ones 2 weeks ago at Disneyland, a lot has changed. It was so nice to all be together and I am thankful for the time we can all express our love for one another. We are all praying for the radiation to work, but we also are realizing it may not. It is going to be hard for Tracey and Andrew to go back to Arizona on Tuesday, but it was good to spend time with them, and I'm so glad they were able to come. Tracey and Andrew came with me to my nanny's house to tell her that my dad was in the hospital and things were more serious than we knew before. She had a really difficult time hearing the news, and it was very sad to watch. The most touching part of the day though was at the end of the night when our whole family was together back at the hospital room and my mom was holding my dad's hand to comfort him. My dad will have his third radiation treatment tomorrow and will continue to have them for the rest of the week. His next chemotherapy will be on Thursday. David's next chemotherapy will be on Tuesday, so this week will be a busy one. I am thankful that God has allowed David to feel really well this past week. David has said that he feels like he doesn't really have cancer this week. Thank-you for praying about his shots because he didn't have bone pain at all this time around. The Lord is really being gracious and not giving us more than we can handle at one time. I know that He is answering all our your prayers on our behalf, and we are thankful for you.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Update on Dad

My dad checked into the hospital this morning after he awoke and saw that his neck had completely swelled up. It looked like a parallel line from his ears to his shoulders. The tumor is right in the center of his chest putting pressure on the superior vena cava, trachea and esophagus. Blood was able to go to the brain, but I guess it was being restricted on the way back down which created the swelling. This also explains his difficulty breathing and the huge amount of coughing he has had lately. He had radiation this morning, and will have it for the next few days. The doctors are hoping that this will reduce the size of the tumor and alleviate the pressure it is putting on everything. Pray that the radiation works! He is also getting steroids in an IV to help with the inflamation. My sister Tracey is trying to drive out on Sunday to visit. Pray for her because she is in the middle of moving to Colorado. She and her husband Andrew are trying to get there to start new jobs by March 1. Pray also for David. He was working outside at the shooting all last night in the pouring rain and he is super tired. We appreciate it so much.


My dad was admitted to the hospital in the middle of the night. We are on our way there now and I will update tonight.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pray for Dad

I talked to my dad this morning, and he is really not feeling well at all. He had one round of chemotherapy, but the tumor in his lung has grown in the last two weeks not shrunk. The doctor is going to try and do radiation tomorrow. He is exausted and not able to sleep for more than 2 hours. He has also lost his appetite. Pray for him to have some relief from the coughing, and the radiation tomorrow to help. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hurts So Good! (Well... not really)

Counts are up!

The nurse called us tonight to tell us that David's white blood cells are up to 4.0. This is good news, but because it is artificially created, he still has to give himself injections for the next 3 days. Last weekend when he had the shots, they gave him a lot of bone pain, so please pray that he would still be able to work the rest of the week, and not have as much pain as last time. I am very thankful that his counts are up because Avrielle told me she had a sore throat today, and everyone close to us seems to be fighting the flu. Also, please pray for my dad to stop coughing. He was going to come to the kid's speech meet at school today, but he is not able to stop coughing for more than a few minutes. We are hoping the the chemotherapy will shrink the tumor in his lungs to give him some relief. The constant coughing is exausting for him, and makes it hard for him to even talk. Thank you so much!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


This is a picture of Avrielle getting a "woopification" from the checker master. David had no mercy on her. His favorite move was a triple jump leading to a king. Ouch! Chandler tried to take him on, but he didn't fare much better. I didn't play because I didn't want him to have to end his winning streak. I'll let him glory in his victory for a little while longer before he challenges the real champion of the family.

Enjoying a relaxing weekend

We were so thankful to spend sometime outside in the sun this weekend. Our friends Wes and Sylvia Hebner drove up from Carlsbad to visit, and we all enjoyed a day at the park together. The neat thing about it all was that they wanted to minister to us because so many people had just ministered to them. Their new baby Hunter was just in the NICU for a week with RSV. So many people from their church family encouraged them with meals, babysitting etc, that they wanted the opportunity to do the same for someone else. It was so fun to catch up with them and go to church with them this morning. I would have posted a picture of their family, but it came out blury. Overall, David is feeling well. He is definitely more tired than usual, but that is to be expected. He will get his blood tested tomorrow night to find out what his white blood cell counts are. I will try to post them Tuesday or Wednesday when we find out. If they are low, he will give himself the shots everyday leading up to next Tuesday. He will also have a heart scan on Wednesday because one of the medicines he takes in his chemo can have serious heart side effects which the doctors are trying to closely monitor.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Random Reasons Why I Love My Husband
1. He is gentle and patient, and he doesn't raise his voice.
2. He never acts stressed or anxious, and he calms me when I am.
3. He makes me laugh.
4. He picks up things from the market when I ask him to.
5. He irons better than I do.
6. He always drives whenever we go somewhere and fills up the tank with gas.
7. He is humble and submissive to God's will.
8. He is a loyal friend.
9. He tucks the kids in bed every night and sings them a lullaby.
10. He loves God and desires to read His word.
11. He knows what to say to cheer me up.
12. He gives good advice when I'm not sure what to do.
13. He protects us.
14. He is nice to telemarketers. (I would just hang up on them.) Don't tell.
15. He is a hard worker.
David,I am so thankful that you are my husband, and it is an honor for me to love you in sickness and in health.
Love, Lauren

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2nd Treatment

We are home from the second treatment. David's white blood cell count was 1.9 so the doctor decided to go ahead with the treatment. He will give himself the injections starting next week for 6 days, so they the counts won't fall any lower. He is doing well today, and is sleeping now. My friend Elena is bringing dinner tonight, so that I can take care of him and help the kids with school stuff. It is such a blessing to have her do that today. David's next treatment is supposed to be on the 26th, and he has a Muga heart scan next Wednesday. Thanks for praying for us today.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Still Learning

One thing that keep coming up in this trial is how much I really have to trust God. In the beginning we read an article by John Piper called, "Don't waste your cancer." One of the points he made was that you will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God. He says, " The design of God in your cancer is not to train you in the rationalistic, human calculation of odds. The world gets comfort from their odds. Not Christians. Some count their chariots (percentages of survival) and some count their horses (side effects of treatment), but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7). God’s design is clear from 2 Corinthians 1:9, “We felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” The aim of God in your cancer (among a thousand other good things) is to knock props out from under our hearts so that we rely utterly on him." That lesson had hit me again this weekend. Everyone has told us that David's cancer has a 90 to 95% cure rate which we like to hear. My dad has a 14% 5 year survival rate. Which we don't like to hear. Either way, it is tempting to listen to the rates whether good or bad. I tried to tell myself not to get too excited about David's 90% rate because God is still soverign, and in reality it really doesn't mean a whole lot. I do have to say that it is always in the back of my mind. This Friday, when the doctors told us that he has so few white blood cells, that a paper cut or dirt on a carrot could give him an infection that would put him in the hospital, it really brought me back to the Lord. The funny thing is I thought I already learned this lesson. Being a police officer's wife, I worried about him every night when he left for work. We were newly married and he worked the night shift. Every unexpected knock on the door(twice in the middle of the night), I immediately thought the worst. It was a very good thing for our marriage because I knew that every night he went to work, it could be his last. It definitely made me treat him a lot differently, and we kept very short accounts. I always kissed him and told him how much I loved him. As he promoted and got a desk job, I worried less and less about him being in danger. However, in the last few years, his job has him getting called out to bad areas usually in the middle of the night, and I have to trust the Lord for his life again. Whenever people asked me "Don't you worry that your husband is a police officer?" I would usually answer Yes, a little, but I know that he is not going to die because he is a police officer. Psalm 139 says that God has ordained his days before there was one of them, and if he dies it will be because the Lord has planned it from before the foundation of the earth, not because of his job. I now have to tell myself the same thing about cancer. God has all of our days numbered and as much as we would like to be in control we aren't. Any of us could die at any time for any reason. God is good and He is in control. Knowing that, it should really encourage all of us to treat the people around us better and live lives that are bringing God glory all the time. It is one of those things that I know in my mind, but it is good that God is reminding me to do it. I hope it encourages you to do the same!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Low potassium meal suggestions

One more thing... We were told today not to eat any potassium for the next two weeks. (Potassium is in pretty much everything we have been eating in the last month) If any of you know of some low potassium meal suggestions please e-mail them to me. I have a list of foods to avoid, but some meal suggestions would be helpful as it is easier to figure out what you can eat rather than what you can't. We are all trying to use the computer, so it is hard to get time to research this. Dave for work, Avrielle for school, and me for some other things I need to do, but I need to start cooking like this ASAP. Thanks so much!

No Drugs For David

We were all geared up for David's 2nd round of chemo today, but he wasn't able to get it. His white blood cell count was too low. He started at 8.0 and to get chemo, you have to have around 4.0. His count today was 1.5. He will have to give himself injections to raise the white blood cells artificially over the weekend and hopefully by Tuesday he will be able to try again. He still feels fine, but if he is exposed to a slight infection of any kind, it could be extremely dangerous. They even told us not to eat any raw fruit or veggies because they could have germs on them! Please pray for David to stay healthy and be able to keep his normal routines like going to work, church etc without getting sick. My dad started his chemo yesterday and is handling it pretty well so far. He even went to the mall afterward to go hat shoppping. I convinced him to buy the Goofy hat at Disneyland which you can see in the end of the slideshow. He is going to wear it to his treatments. I thought it was a great idea and it will definitely give everyone there a good laugh.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Off to the dentist

I thought I should probably write something today, but I wasn't sure what to post. Then, I got the idea to tell you one of my silly everyday thoughts that the Lord is teaching me. I have a dentist appointment today, (I hate going to the dentist), and I had a Doctor appointment for a physical yesterday.( I hate going to the doctor too.) I really didn't want to make either of these appointments, not because I don't like going, but because I didn't want to get anymore bad news. I wasn't sure if I would be able to handle if I had cancer too, so I didn't want to go. We talked to a man in San Diego a few weeks ago, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins while his wife had breast cancer. They were both in their 40's and his wife passed away. I told Dave that I don't think I could ever go through a trial like that. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how dumb that is to say. God is the one who decides how much we can handle and what is necessary to refine us to make us more like Him. He is the one who promises not to give us more that we can bear. God is already in the future, and He already knows what is going to happen. He ordained it all. No plan of His is going to be thwarted because I don't want to get a physical or go to the dentist. He has been totally faithful to me so far, why would I doubt and be afraid? I do still doubt, and I am still afraid sometimes. It is truly a moment by moment process of growth. I have to tell myself what is true. I just downloaded the song "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns on my ring tone, so it will remind me to listen to The voice of Truth whenever I hear it. So, if you call my cell phone it will really minister to me:) Now, I'm off to the dentist!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008


We are about to leave for Disneyland, but I wanted to tell you a quick little story about DOC. When Avrielle first found out that her dad had cancer, she wanted to make him a Build-a-Bear. While we were away, Diane Gelles took her to the store and they picked a bear named Patch. Patch had patches all over his body like he had been in surgery. They put four hearts into Doc (one for each person there) and held hand and prayed for Dave instead of making the usual wish. Then, Avrielle picked out doctor clothes for him and named him Doc. The best part is that Doc carries "Gos-pills" in his coat which are the cards in front on him in the picture. David is supposed to take these 3x a day. They are verses such as: Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 103:1-4, Psalm 57:1, Joshua 1:8-9, Psalm 57:9-11, Psalm 119:75-77, and Psalm 18:1-3. Avrielle typed them all herself. I can't write them all out right now, but you will be blessed if you read them. David was really touched at how much everyone helped her to make this happen. She really loves her daddy, and she had so much joy giving it to him.