A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Overwhelming Gratitude

We received a Christmas card, on Christmas Eve, from Dear Friends, who I have known since I was a little girl.  It was so nice to hear from them, but most of all, the handwritten note is what meant so much to me.  She had gotten our Christmas photo card in the mail showing our many Blessings.  She told me that she is currently reading a book called "364 Days of Thanksgiving".  It's a devotional, and the goal of the Author is to spur "overwhelming gratitude, which leads to overwhelming generosity".  The secret, he says, to overwhelming gratitude is :  open your eyes.  My Friend said:  "You two have done that and your faces show it.  "Godliness with contentment is great gain."  God is good!"  It meant so much to me to have someone who knew me in my childhood/teenage years, and knows my struggle with depression, see in my eyes and face, that we are grateful and content.  I truly am!  I couldn't ask for more.  Well, OK, I'd gladly have my depression taken away....but other than that....Life is Good!  We are so blessed!  We have each other, our new home, and our precious Mookie boy, but most of all, we have a Savior who will never leave us!  I've found that my contentment comes from God and from realizing His many blessings to me.  Of course it took me years of hard times to be able to get to this point, but I am truly content.  God has Blessed us!  I pray that you can find contentment in your life, and are able to see your Blessings, even in the midst of hard times.  Life is tough, but God is Faithful! :-)

Merry Christmas! :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Debbie's Christmas Caring Bridge Update

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 5 hours ago
This year was the last year that all 4 of our kids performed together in the Lamb of God Christmas service. They did a wonderful job last night! Lexi and Hannah both played handbells. Lexi had 2 individual readings, and spoke very clearly. 

Scott ushered, so I was happy to be able to sit with my friend Jackie and her family, since I was alone. It was such a joy to watch and listen to the children singing praises to God and sharing God's Word with the congregation.

Since I last posted, Scott has been doing OK. The past week has been a struggle with eating. He is hungry and wants to eat, but fears how it will make him feel. This is the hardest part of the chemo and weeks following. It is getting better the further he gets from treatment. He starts back up with chemo on January 3rd, however, and he hates thinking about going through this all over again. It is a huge struggle for him, and I hate not being able to make it better for him! 

We are going to have time in the next week and a half to spend time with both my family and Scott's family. I am so thankful for this time that we have been blessed by God. I pray that we all stay healthy and are able to enjoy and cherish every moment!

From our family to yours, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas and God's richest blessings to each and every one of you! Please cherish every moment that you have with loved ones! No one knows what their future holds, so treat everyone with love and kindness when you have the chance.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Debbie's Request For Help and Update on Scott

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 11 hours ago

  Last night around 5:30PM, I took Scott's temperature because he hadn't been feeling well. It was 100.7.  Because of the fact that he has no spleen, we are supposed to take him to the hospital with a fever over 100.4.  He is not able to fight off infection on his own. 

 We are so thankful for the new 24 hour cancer care clinic in the center for advanced cure building next to the cancer center at Froedtert.  They just opened this as a trial run less than two months ago.  Scott and I have already used it twice.  Let me tell you, it is the biggest blessing for us right now! We no longer have to sit in an ER with all of the other germs and be exposed to all of that.  

Scott was able to get the one on one attention that he needed last night, and after fluids and an IV antibiotic, they were able to send us back home. We are so thankful that he was not admitted overnight. 

His labs came back looking pretty good, and his fever was gone by using Tylenol. The only results we are waiting on is his blood cultures. Those will take a couple days. 

I have a request from all of you. If you are willing and able to be a back up to come and stay overnight with our kids at these last minute moments, please let me know. I would like to have a list of people to call instead of relying on my 2 go to people all of the time. I really don't want to get anybody burned out with my problems. I am so grateful for the love that has been shown to us. If I don't ask, I won't know who is able. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Scott has remained fever free through the night. At least he was at 3:30AM. I will check again before I take the kids to school. 

Please pray that we can stay out of the hospital until our appointment on December 28th. I know how much Scott hates going, and I hate having to take him more and more every time. The unplanned visits are the worst, of course. We're just happy to be home so quickly this time and not 5 days like the last chemo round.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Scott - Another Round of Chemo Finished

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 10 hours ago
Today was Scott's 4th and final day of this round of chemo. He will stop at Froedtert on the way home from work tomorrow at 3PM to get his Neulasta injection. Hopefully that will boost his white blood count back up quickly. 

It has been a very busy week for Scott, and he hasn't missed a beat. I'm truly amazed by this man! Not only did he have chemo and work every day, but he had something every night except tonight. He even went to a board of education meeting on Tuesday and ushered in church last night. Tomorrow night our 3 oldest have basketball games at our school. It's their last home games at Lamb of God for this season. Scott will be helping run the scorer's table. I'm not telling you all of this to brag. I'm just so proud of the dedication that Scott has for God, his job, his kids/family, and their school. Believe me, he doesn't want praise and never asks for anything in return. He has always been a humble guy. 

I don't see his smile as much as I used to, but I saw it last night. As I walked up the stairs from dinner at church, he stood there in the back of church ushering. As he handed bulletins to the members and visitors, he greeted them with a huge smile! He may have been tired and not feeling the best, but no one would ever know that. I strive to be more like him. 

God has given Scott strength that I'm sure even baffles him. I'm so thankful that Scott and I were raised in such wonderful Christian homes with excellent examples to follow! 

Today is the 17th anniversary of my Dad's death. My Mom was blessed to find another wonderful man to spend her life with. My Mom and step Dad Don and Scott's parents are still here, and we are blessed to have them in our lives! We also have wonderful siblings/spouses, nieces and nephews. Even though we don't get to see any of them very often, we love it when we get the chance to spend time together.

With Christmas quickly approaching, I can't help but stop and count my blessings! Life isn't easy by any means, but it could be so much worse. Scott and I have 4 amazing kids and wonderful families on both sides (even extended families). We have so many great friends and we know that we can turn to them if/when we need them. Thank you! We LOVE you all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tonight I'm Giving Myself Permission to Just Be Sad

My Dad with his Grandson Trey. Trey was the only Grandchild he met.  Trey was 5 when Dad passed away.
     Today was a rough day for me.  I thought that after 17 years, I should be able to get thru the anniversary of Dad's death without being sad and letting it affect me like it does.   But, you know what?  I decided to give myself some Grace.  The loss of my Dad affected me deeply and profoundly.  News flash, I know, but I'm human!  Humans have feelings.  I have feelings.  Painful memories such as the loss of a close loved one, they resurface sometimes, and of course they would resurface on the Anniversary of his passing.  This is completely normal.  So I'm not going to tell myself not to be sad.  I'm going to allow myself to just be sad tonight, knowing that tomorrow is the Anniversary of his passing.  Even Jesus wept.  I miss my Dad.  I miss having a Dad.  He missed my Wedding.  He never met my Husband.  I was 25 when he passed.  So much life has happened since then.  I'm sad for all the things he has missed in my life, yet I would never want him back.  Selfishly, yes, but he is pain and worry free in heaven.  I listened to this song hundreds of times (alone in my apartment in WI, alone in my car) after his passing and shed lots of tears while listening to it.  Thanks to my Sister Pam who posted this song today and reminded me of it.  It has a healing effect for me, just listening to it again.  I'll warn you that the video itself is really lame, but the words.....the words touch me and bring me peace.

     I pray that if you need peace regarding the loss of a loved one, that this song would bring you some peace and comfort.

     Saturday Jonathan and I will celebrate our 7th Engagiversary, and 6 months of having Mookie in our lives.  I will allow myself to feel happy then.  But for tonight, I'm just sad, and that's ok.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scott's Appointment and Updates on Their Kiddos (My Nieces & Nephews)

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 5 hours ago
First of all, how can it be December already??? I just can't get over how fast time flies!

Today's appointment went well. Scott's liver counts are still elevated, but Dr. Charlson doesn't seem to be too concerned about it right now. His platelets are good, and his white blood cell count is high enough to start chemo on Monday. It's not up to the normal range though. 

We talked things over with Dr. Charlson. Here is what we decided to try this time around: 

Scott will be doing 4 days of Irinotecan/Temozolomide and keeping the additional Vincristine chemo on Monday. He will not be having chemo on Friday. He will be going to Froedtert on Friday to get a Neulasta shot, which should help boost his white blood cells back up a little bit. 

He will also be starting an antibiotic this Sunday to help with his stomach issues that one of these chemos causes. We are doing everything in our power to avoid another hospital admission! 

The nurse encouraged Scott to tell me if he is experiencing any side effects or isn't feeling well. Then, I can address our questions with the nurses over the phone. It's unbelievable how much Scott can tolerate before I finally notice something isn't right. He just keeps going. The man NEVER complains. I know how blessed I am in this way, but it can be very frustrating for me, as his wife and caretaker. I'm the only one looking out for him. He would never go to the hospital if I left it up to him.

I haven't mentioned the kids in such a long time, so I'll give a little update on them. 

Lexi just turned 14, and is in 8th grade. She decided that she will be going to Wisconsin Lutheran high school next year. She is currently in her basketball season. She's getting good grades and is very responsible.

Hannah turned 12 in September. She is in 6th grade. Her and Lexi are in the same classroom this year (6th-8th). She is also in her basketball season. She is on B team and will fill in on Lexi's A team as needed. She is  maintaining her good grades as well.

Tyler is 10 years old and in 5th grade. He is on B team for basketball. He gets very good grades and is an active boy. He will be starting baseball practice next Sunday (a pitching clinic). He loves playing sports!

Myles just turned 7, and he's in first grade. He is starting to read really well and gets good grades. Since our school doesn't start sports until 3rd grade, I signed him up for basketball through the West Allis recreation department. He loves sports just like his big brother. 

Our children keep us going constantly, and we are so blessed to be involved in every aspect of their lives! God is good! 

Scott's cancer is definitely on all of our minds, but keeping the kids busy and involved in the things that they love is so important! It doesn't allow time to sit around and think about it. 

The unknown future can be hard on all of us, but it's such a blessing to be able to tell the kids that God has a perfect plan for our family and will always take care of us. That doesn't mean that we don't struggle and get overwhelmed by all of it. It does mean that we lean on God for strength daily. 

 Please pray for an uneventful week of chemo and for him to remain healthy in the weeks following. God Bless you all!