Each year we send out an end of the year newsletter via snail mail. This way we are able to bring everyone praying, supporting, and involved in our ministry up to date with what’s going on. Especially those who may not get our monthly email newsletters. This is the end of the letter year we sent out last week. If you didn’t receive one, we are very sorry. Several people who get our email newsletters we didn’t send this one, because we didn’t want to overwhelm you and you will be getting an email newsletter in December. Thank you again to all who have been praying, supporting, and been there for our family in any way this year!
Our 2017 FCA Leadership Camp at Campbellsville University is off to a great start. Over 60 kids from our Central Kentucky region of schools have joined over 450 students here at camp. Even though the rain came in right when they were supposed to have games and competition on Thursday afternoon the students took it in stride and actually had a time of afternoon Bible study with their huddles!
On Thursday evening, I (Andy) had the opportunity to teach a “Buzz Group.” A “Buzz Group,” is a short seminar that the students can choose to go to. We give them a bunch of seminars on various topics and they can choose the ones that interest them. I taught mine on how to deal with temptation. We looked at the example of Joseph and how when it came to temptation Joseph, “Got Buff, Got Tough, and Got Out of There!” I taught two sessions on my topic and had around 25 kids in each session. It was great to get to interact with the students and talk to them about things like spiritual disciplines, setting boundaries, and finding accountability partners. I can’t wait to teach again on Saturday night!
Before I close this post I want to ask you to keep praying for all our Leadership Campers. Pray for safety here at camp, but most of all pray that lives will be surrendered to Christ! Also, check out this video of over 450 students worshiping our Amazing Savior Thursday night!
It’s a day of Celebration in our family and in Heaven! After church today Maeven began talking with her brother Judah about His need for Jesus and prayed with him. I then was able to talk with Judah who very clearly told me “I want to follow Jesus!” We talked some more and prayed together and I am so excited that Judah know Jesus as his Savior and Lord! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do with my little guy. We are also so proud of Maeven for wanting to make sure her brother knew Jesus
Since our last post we have had a full week of various appointments, but finally have some direction in Erin’s fight with breast cancer. On Thursday last week we met with Erin’s cancer surgeon, her oncology doctor, and a genetic counselor.
First stop the the cancer surgeon. We found out right away that while Erin doesn’t have a fast moving form of cancer, there is too much of it to just perform a lumpectomy. The surgeon told Erin that right now her only choice is a mastectomy on the breast where the cancer is at and that she had the option to do a double as a preventative measure. After conferring with the surgeon and asking many questions, Erin decided she definitely wants the double mastectomy for both prevention and peace of mind. The doctor then set up an appointment for us to meet with a plastic surgeon and recommended we do the double mastectomy and start the reconstruction all on the same day.
Later in the afternoon, we moved over to the oncology office where we met with the oncologist. This was one of the best meetings we had as she was able to really explain all that is going on to Erin and calm some of the worries that Erin has had. The oncologist said the she really believes that surgery will remove all of the cancer and that even though there is no 100% guarantee that they won’t find anything else. However, she will be very surprised and doesn’t think Erin will need chemo or radiation at all.
The last person we met with last week was the genetic counselor who asked a lot of questions about Erin’s family. After that she drew some blood for genetic testing to see if there is any inherited genes that might have caused this or might be cause for concern about more cancer in the future. Given that there is no real history of cancer on either side of Erin’s family, we aren’t expecting anything significant to come back on the tests but we will wait to see.
Yesterday, we met with Erin’s plastic surgeon who explained the whole reconstruction and recovery process to Erin. It looks like all in all there will be about 3 surgeries over a six month period to complete reconstruction. Thankfully only the first surgery that coincides with the double mastectomy requires a hospital stay.
Over all, both Erin and I are doing better in processing everything, now that we have somewhat of a plan for what is going to happen next. Please keep praying as we are now waiting for the cancer surgeon and plastic surgeon to figure out when they can get together to do the surgery. It looks like it will be over 5 hours of surgery and so getting a time they can both work together for that long takes awhile is what we have been told. They are trying to get things scheduled during the beginning of December, but not sure yet. While they assure us the cancer won’t grow much during that time, it’s still a big fear for Erin. So as always pray that things move a long quickly and in the meantime for her to have peace from God.
We still see how God is working and taking care of us and are constantly amazed at all He is doing. We are also, so thankful for all our friends and family that are praying for us and have offered to help our family. You’re encouragement has blessed us more than we can express. Thank you and keep praying!
The past week or so has been crazy busy for our family but we are so thankful for the way that we have seen God working and encouraging us. This past weekend Erin and I had the privilege of going back to Chicago to take place in a missions conference at Bethel Community Church. It was great to catch up with many old friends, make new friends and share with many for the first time about our new ministry with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. We were truly blessed by our time with our Bethel Family and also very thankful to my parents who kept Maeven and Judah this weekend!
Yesterday, Erin and went to one of the health departments here in Madison County where we began doing some testing and filling out the paper work for a program to help with Erin’s medical bills. While paper work always takes forever we are praising God that Erin was accepted into a program that should cover most if not all of Erin’s tests, treatments, procedures and whatever else she may need. It almost seems to good to be true, but we are so thankful to see God providing for us.
Today, we took Erin to the St. Joseph East Breast Center where she had an MRI and some more testing done. The MRI is always a stressful time, but Erin did well and I was allowed to go in and read to her for the 4o minutes or so she was in the machine. When the MRI was completed we waited for a bit to meet with one of the doctors that had gone over her previous tests and now the MRI. The good news is that all over Erin’s cancer appears to be localized to the left breast and has not yet spread from the ducts to the tissue and lymph nodes. The doctor we met with did say that Erin has an early stage breast cancer that is slow moving, which is great to hear. She did however say that even though it’s slow moving and early there does appear to be a lot of it. She then proceeded to talk with us about some questions that Erin had and what Erin is thinking about doing as far as lumpectomy vs. a double mastectomy.
We will be going back to the breast center this Thursday to meet with the oncologist for more consultation and genetic testing, and with the surgeon who will be working to remove the cancer. It is looking more and more likely that in the end Erin will have the double mastectomy and so we also have an appointment on Monday with a plastic surgeon to begin talking about what reconstruction will be like for Erin.
Nothing is set in stone though and we still have lots of time to pray and lots of decisions to make. Please continue to pray for us to have wisdom in all these big decisions that are looming in the next few days. Erin is doing much better since first being diagnosed, but still has a lot of emotional highs and lows. Please continue to pray for her to feel the presence of God and be at peace during this battle with cancer. Please pray that while waiting and making decisions this cancer will be slow as the doctors have said and not progress any more. We also ask that you praise God with us for this program that Erin has been accepted in to that will help with most if not all the medical bills. Pray with us that it is not too good to be true. Lastly, please continue to pray for our monthly financial support with FCA. I have already had to cancel and reschedule some potential support appointments. Pray that I will be able to get and take the appointments we need for support raising and that the finances will come in. More than anything though, please keep praying for Erin!