Sunday, May 23, 2010

No News = More Good News for Today

Friends, it has been weeks since I have updated you on Dad's health and this great miracle of sustained life he and Sandy are enjoying together. Those of you who keep up with Encourager know that Dad's health is stable and he has undergone some recent tests. Despite the tests showing that the cancer still exists and that DG needs will require more testing soon, DG and Sandy have gone on a 3 week trip back to Missouri and all parts in between to see family, friends and many of you! Part of the trip was a surprise visit to see my grandfather. The report from DG and Sandy is that the reunion with Grandpa Wood was sweet. DG and Sandy continue to enjoy the company of siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, other family, and many friends. Here's a photo from one of today's visits.

Friends, please continue to pray for DG and Sandy. In about 10 days they return to Arizona for some more tests and the likelihood of the presence of more carcinoid tumors. But for now, please join us in continued thanksgiving for life and a life abundant.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Picture May Be Worth 1000 Words

But a video of DG having cell phone issues while PREACHING a funeral is priceless. If you were wondering how DG is really doing, here's some footage. If you get this by email, go to a browser and type in so you can watch the video.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy 64th Birthday Dennis!

Funny how three words that we say so often to so many can mean something so different this year.

Dennis was born in 1946 in the Ozarks of Missouri. His history is storied. He's well traveled, well spoken and today, he's off all antibiotics and feeling quite well.

DG will tell you the best two decisions he has ever made were meeting Jesus in a revival meeting at age 9 and marrying Sandy. He has served the Lord with a genuine faith and an authentic care for God's people for more than four decades. In recent years he has suffered these carcinoid tumors with endurance and as a living testimony of what God can do in and through a diseased body. DG has had 63 other birthdays but few have been as special as today.

With the bout of meningitis behind him, DG is back in action and feeling remarkably well. He spent yesterday celebrating with the grandsons (there was falling in the pool antics and other typical shenanigans at Grammie and Tapaw's house) and then spent the evening with all of us over for dinner.

Today, Saturday March 20, DG has the unique honor to be back preaching today. He's preaching a funeral of a friend. The family has long been part of Church on Mill.

Please pray for Dennis has he cares for this family and their loss. Pray for DG's strength physically and emotionally. His own journey and the ups and downs of recent months will obviously be a big part of how God uses DG to care for this family and the church family. Thank you all for your continued prayer and concern for DG. I'm sure he would love to hear from you and he promised me last night, he's just starting back at reading and writing email.

Click here to send birthday wishes to DG!

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you and are so thankful to God as we celebrate with you this year.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

DG Continues to Improve and Good News for Sandy

DG is now two weeks past the meningitis episode and has a week under his belt being home from the hospital. I had a good long telephone conversation with him yesterday. He was lucid. He does not remember a few days of his visit to the hospital. But this week, his thoughts are back in order and yesterday, he was ready to get out the house and accompany Sandy... to the doctor!

It's been a funny two weeks. From being nearly comatose with fever and riddled with meningitis bacteria only two weeks ago, DG had his picc line removed today and is now off the powerful meningitis antibiotics. He is back down to only one tube in his abdomen and is experiencing little pain. He's weak from another battle with infection, but his spirits are good and he's wanting to get some strength back. Praise the Lord!

Sandy also had a cyst aspirated this week and was reassured that it was indeed fluid filled and benign. As she lay on the procedure table, she heard a familiar voice. Dennis' IR (the interventionist radiologist that had performed many of his procedures and tube insertions) stepped to the table and performed Sandy's aspiration procedure. He was so relieved to tell her that the problem was little more than fluid and not to worry about cancer. Dr. D. said "the Woods can sure use some good news." I think he is right and with a good report, Sandy was greatly relieved too. Her procedure was quick and painless and she was home by the afternoon. Then, yesterday, she also went to the doctor about last year's episode with bladder cancer. She received a good report that the questionable spots had not returned. Again, praise the Lord!

I think now, we can all join DG and Sandy and ask God for a respite and some months of "normal". It would be good to go for a stretch without hospitals, procedures or antibiotics.

DG is by no means back to full health and he pretty week. He has lost more weight and he needs to continue to gain strength. Along with renewed strength, please also pray that DG can be strong enough to think scheduling a visit back to Missouri. My grandfather turns 84 in a couple of months and it has been almost two years (and many bumps and loops on this roller coaster ride) since DG has seen his Dad. They talk everyday by telephone, but I am aware that of all the things Dad and I have talked about lately, seeing Grandpa is on his mind and his heart. Please join us and pray for DG's strength to return and that there will be an opportunity for DG and Sandy to trek back to the Show Me State.

Friends, I am so glad to report DG's continued recovery (again). Your prayers are coveted and I so appreciate the words of encouragement that we received from so many of you. I'm reminded of the verse in Hebrews, that great "cloud of witnesses" spurring each of us on to enduring and finishing the race. DG, Sandy and the Wood family are so fortunate to have so many encouraging us on in the faith. And together, as we look to Jesus and what he did for each of us on the cross, I pray for each of you and that same endurance and encouragement.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:1-3

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

DG Home from Hospital

A quick update to let you know DG has returned home from the hospital. He's on some IV antibiotics (I'm sensing a theme here) for the next two weeks, but he is home. He and Sandy are thankful for your prayers and concern. Pray the infection continues to respond and that the severe side effects of this very strong antibiotic would be few.

More later and thank you so much for your prayers!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quick Post on DG's Progress

Just a quick update and as always a thank you for your prayers this week. It's Friday morning and I spent a bit of time yesterday evening with DG in the ICU. He was sleeping after many hours of testing and he was exhausted. I'm not sure if he was having an MRI or wrestling with the MRi tech, but he was tired.

Mom and I got kicked out about 7:00 p.m. for the ICU shift change and he talked with us for a few minutes. He remembered nothing of Wednesday and all was a fever-induced haze. But, last night he was talkative for a few minutes, he called my grandpa in Missouri on the telephone and squeezed my hand very hard when I dared ask him about his strength. Obviously his head was hurting quite a bit and they planned on some good pain meds to keep the pressure at bay during the night.

This morning, Mom got down there and a few minutes ago sent me this simple text message: Dad is getting into a chair to eat and they may move him to a regular room later today.

Remember, 48 hours ago a doctor looked at Mom and asked, "Are you sure you want to treat this aggressively?" And today, he's sitting up, eating and moving out of the ICU. God is a good God that hears our prayers. I said it yesterday and I'll say it again, Cancer may ultimately be the end of DG, but meningitis won't!

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. - John 15:7

Thursday, February 25, 2010

God Isn't Finished with DG Yet...

I should not be amazed by what God can do in 24 hours. How many times have I come to you almost dumbfounded to report another of DG's recoveries from grave and dark conditions.

Friends, Sandy got a call this morning at 7:50... It was Dad saying "I know my name today." He had already been visited by the doctor that saw him yesterday and she was astonished at his turn around. She said to him, "Dennis, they only call me to the ER in the most dire of cases." She went on to tell DG that she is totally amazed by his recovery. It is an total turn around.
From DG's 104 fever, blown pupils and non-responsiveness yesterday morning to DG's call to Mom this morning, the doc was amazed, we are amazed and we are so thankful. DG's head hurts and he doesn't remember much of anything yesterday. But what a total change.

Thanks be to God and thank all of you dear, special folks. Some of you have prayed and you don't even know us.

Please, keep praying. DG isn't out of the woods yet. He will likely be in the hospital for a bit. They need to make sure his brain is rid of all the infection as well as his other parts. Infection is often sneaky, it hides and long outlasts its welcome in our bodies.

We all know that one day, cancer will likely overtake Dad, but today, it doesn't seem like meningitis will.

Two scriptures were incredibly helpful to me yesterday. A dear friend of my sister forwarded our request to many and reminded me that when followers of Christ agree and pray in His name, God hears us. And another friend reminded me that in Matthew 7, Jesus simply reminds us...

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Thank you all for standing in the gap and asking on Sandy and DG's behalf.