Carol Wilson Update

Stage 4 Cancer brought many challenges--and also a host of loving and praying friends. Almost-daily postings to this site are to help my friends walk with me through this journey, and to express my gratitude to them and especially to God...On 7/8/08 Carol passed through that final curtain of death and is now healed. We thank God for her life and "arrival"! Chuck

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Good Morning

For some reason, my brain insisted on a wide-awake, front-row seat at the "chemo-cancer match" last night. Personally, I'd have preferred to sleep through it. No problem, I'll catch up on sleep today. Chuck needs to go to work, and Lisa needs to write a paper for her graduate school course, so I have a perfect opportunity to rest, and will do so. Other than feeling sleepy, I feel great.

I asked you once to pray for my assistant editor, very pregnant, that she would sleep well. She gave birth to Samuel on Sunday afternoon. We're all thrilled. (Now, no doubt, she has good reason to lose sleep for awhile.) I also asked you to pray for grandson Jeremy, who feels so called to spend next year in mission (Africa). I'm delighted to tell you that he's beginning to see cracks of light around the door that seemed locked tight. Thanks for all your prayers.

I'm so grateful for your love and prayers. I'm asking God during these days to direct the chemo at all the cancer cells and zap them dead.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Chemo went well

It's another hallelujah! The chemo therapy went without incident (I slept through much of it), and after we returned home we had lunch (tasted great), and now I've had a nap. It's 3 pm here. Just want to thank you for praying, and let you know that I'm doing great and filled with thankfulness.


Chemo 8:45 a.m.

Someone told me yesterday they were praying that the chemo would be kind to my good cells and brutal to my cancer cells. I'd like that! I'm grateful that my blood numbers are good and I'm able to have this treatment as scheduled.

It was wonderful to be in Sunday School yesterday. In the afternoon we went to see "The End of the Spear." I'm usually disappointed in movies, but not in this one. It was satisfying in every way, and I hope you'll get to see it while it's still showing.

Later today we'll try to get online and let you know how the morning went.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Getting Out

Guess what! I get to go to Sunday School today (no hugs or handshakes)! Only if you're a member of our class, or if you've been our guest there, will you understand why that makes me so happy. During our almost 9 years in that class, as teacher Tom Bowers has led us on a relentless pursuit of God, we have been prepared to see and trust God in all the circumstances of this cancer. Besides, it's the lovingest group you could ever wish to meet.

Last night I was having one of those rare awake times, so I turned on my CD player. Lisa (who arrived safely on Saturday) had slipped in a CD by Michael Card ("Sleep Sound in Jesus"), and I sat there listening to those beautiful lullabies. Then my mind wandered to you faithful prayer partners, and I almost gasped in awe. To think of the tremendous power of our combined prayers! I know God has been hearing your prayers and blessing me through them. Then my mind wandered to Iraq, where my cousin's son David has just been deployed. I ache for him and hundreds of thousands of other people who for freedom's sake have willingly entered a war zone. So I wonder if I could ask us all today to unite our prayers on behalf of the military: that God will turn back the evil plans of the terrorists, that He will give wisdom to leaders both American and Iraqi, and that He will personally protect the men and women who are standing in for us in this struggle against terrorism, both in Iraq and elsewhere. Thank you.

I was already falling asleep as the CD ended with a beautiful blessing: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you. And give you peace. And give you peace. And give you peace forever.



Saturday, January 28, 2006

Thanksgiving on my mind

I woke up this morning with thankful thoughts. I'm thankful for you faithful family and friends. And especially for God's kindness and faithfulness. The surgery, 6 weeks ago next Monday, has healed well and even the naso-gastric tube and other indignities are only fading memories. (All I have to prove the surgery happened is a "stem to stern zipper scar.") I'm feeling so much better this week, ready for chemo to be administered again on Monday. I'd be glad to not have the nausea and infections with fever this time; I understand they were not related to the chemo after all. I am definitely breathing better. So you see why I'm thinking only thankful thoughts this morning.

We've heard from a few people who can't send comments directly to this blog, although it works for some. I'm not technologically able to help with that. You can always write us at How we love you!

Carol and Chuck

Friday, January 27, 2006

Breathing Better

I'm daring to hope that the cancer has slowed its manufacture of fluid. I can't tell for sure, but this morning I am definitely breathing more easily. My left lung still twinges when I inhale, but that's better too. So once again, thanks so much for your prayers, and thanks to God for His kindness.

Today I'd like to finalize planning for the next SIM magazine so that even if chemo #2 (Monday 30th January) knocks me flat for awhile, we'll be far enough along to avoid panic later in February. I'll be working at home so I can rest as I need to. Thanks for helping by prayer.

A friend related this season of my life to the rests in music. Here's what she quoted: "There is no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it. In our whole life-melody the music is broken off here and there by 'rests,' and we foolishly think we have come to the end of the tune. God sends a time of forced leisure, sickness, disappointed plans, frustrated efforts, and makes a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives; and we lament that our voices must be silent, and our part missing in the music which ever goes up to the ear of the Creator. How does the musician read the 'rest'? See him beat the time with unvarying count, and catch up the next note true and steady, as if no breaking place had come between.

"Not without design does God write the music of our lives. But it is ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the 'rests.' They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not to destroy the melody, not to change the keynote. If we look up, God Himself will beat the time for us. With our eye on Him, we shall strike the next note full and clear. If we sadly say to ourselves, 'There is no music in a rest,' let us not forget 'there is the making of music in it.' The making of music is often a slow and painful process in this life. How patiently God works to teach us! He waits for us to learn the lesson."

That resonates with me.

Thanks for your love and prayers.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Share the Prayers

During the nine years that our dear pastor, Charles Page, heroically battled multiple myeloma, we were reminded often to offer up Urgent Prayer Support (UPS) every time we saw a UPS (United Parcel Service) truck. And every time, Dr. Page would add, "When you pray for me, please also pray for at least one other person you know about who is suffering." I'm sure he felt, as I do, that he didn't want to be the sole beneficiary of our prayers. I appreciate, more than I can ever tell you, how faithfully you continue to pray for me and encourage me. And I am confident that God is answering your prayers by helping me to feel so well, and in many other ways also. So today, may I encourage you to "share the prayer." Whatever you ask God to do for me, please ask Him to do for others as well.

Many have told me that they specifically pray I'll sleep well at night. No wonder my nights are so good! (You wouldn't expect that, sitting up in a recliner, would you?) My precious assistant editor is expecting her first baby in the next few days, and not sleeping well at all. When you pray that I'll sleep well, could you mention her as well?

The decision to go "fun" was a good decision. Lots of us have had a good laugh over my new blonde look the last couple of days. Someone loaned me 2 blonde wigs and an auburn one. And the American Cancer Society gave me 2 that very well match my own color, so sometimes I'll probably still look more "normal," whatever that means.

I spent the afternoon yesterday at the office and it went well. Now today is scheduled for lots of resting.

Thanks again.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Good Wednesday Morning

It's almost 8 o'clock! I spent a couple of hours "just thinking" during the night, and I'm thankful to have made up the sleep this morning. I feel ready for the work I've planned to do today for the next SIM magazine.

My left lung still catches and twinges when I inhale, but not as severely as yesterday. For awhile I was thinking about getting an xray to see if it had been damaged by Monday's procedure, but now I think it's just uncomfortable due to irritation from all those months when it was scrunched up by the sac of fluid beneath it. I'm really glad to have it relieved.

Thanks for continuing to read and pray. God hears your prayers. And He is good!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Let's Have a Fun (Blonde) Day

A friend--very scholarly and mature--wrote to say that once my hair fell out (by the will of my Father, as in the Heidelberg confession I sent the other day), he hoped I would wear fun-colored wigs. Fun? What's fun about bald? I certainly had intended to wear wigs as close as possible to my own ash brown hair. But I've been thinking a lot about his wish. Fun is good. Fun is where we find it. Fun is cheering and healing. So, yes, I will wear fun (not funky) wigs. And I hope you'll laugh with me.

I'm thankful that my doctor was able to find a radiologist who would work me in early yesterday afternoon to drain fluid from my left pleural cavity. After 5 procedures on the right, this is the first on the left. It was surprisingly uncomfortable, and indeed (17 hours later) I still feel sharp twinges when I breathe deeply. I think it's because that left lung has been compromised for several months and it's struggling to regain its place. There's still some fluid left, because I "had" to cough and the doctor withdrew the needle immediately rather than risk a puncture to the lung. But I'm breathing very much more freely with 1100 cc. of fluid out of there. (I don't think it was negligence to the left lung; every xray and ultrasound showed more fluid on the right than the left. But I'm sure glad it's been done now.)

A friend in Africa made the effort to find several Bible verses about God's breath, and then she turned them into prayers for me. What a gift. He first breathed life into our human father, and now every breath we take is by His will and kindness.

Please take a deep breath. Now purse your lips and exhale completely, then inhale deeply again. Now, say Thanks.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Player # 12

We watched every heart-breaking minute of the Carolina Panthers' loss to the Seattle Seahawks last evening. Note to the rest of the world: this is American football. Each team has 11 players on the field. But the Seahawks claim a 12th player: the spectators. Indeed, decibel measurements prove that theirs is the loudest stadium in the country. They even raise a huge flag with the number "12" on it. The announcers last evening indicated that "Player # 12" had actually given an advantage to the home team in that game.

So I got to thinking about you all. In this struggle, we might say that arrayed on the field against the 300-pound monsters called "cancer" are my family and I, the doctors and nurses, and the genius pharmaceuticals that have been developed in recent years. And you are Player #12--you who encourage us in so many ways by your love, prayers, emails, notes, calls, visits, and meals. What an advantage you give us!

But this analogy has a big flaw, because I haven't mentioned God. And not one of us could manage this struggle without Him. Let's say He's on the field beside and inside us, and He's the coach, and He's there in the stands too, encouraging all of you and us. We realize that so many of you, even as you encourage us, are carrying burdens almost too heavy to bear. We pray for you, and want to remind you that God knows and cares, and He is with you.

I'm going to call the doctor first thing this morning to arrange to get a lung drained again. My breathing has become so restricted that I really must do this. (Because of the fluid, the entire weekend was nothing but rest, with no air to do anything at all. I need to be able to walk, or my muscles will turn to cooked spaghetti.) Also this morning, I'll get blood drawn to try to determine how my red cells, white cells and platelets are handling the chemo.

Thanks again for all your prayers and encouragement.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

My Only Comfort

Dear Friends,
Thank you for your faithfulness in checking this site and praying for me. My health stays pretty much the same these days, except that breathing has become very difficult. I may have to "give in" and get at least one lung cavity drained again soon. I rested almost all day Saturday; maybe I tried to do too much on Friday.

A few nights ago I was sitting in my recliner as usual and before going back to sleep, I was trying to recall the words of a beautiful old Christian confession that begins "My only comfort in life and death...." I couldn't remember it, so I wrote to my friend Carol in Illinois for help. She sent the following, along with a note about how relevant it is to someone in chemo! (Sometime this week my hair will probably begin to fall out, and a neighbor is standing by to give me a buzz cut.)

My Only Comfort

My Only Comfort in life and in death is that I am not my own but belong body and soul to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my heavenly father.

In fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him, Christ by his Holy Spirit assures me of eternal life And makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Heidelberg Catechism, 1563

Isn't that beautiful?


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Times like These

Two prayer requests: It feels as though what I need most is to be able to breathe freely. (It's now 10 months that my breathing restrictions and cough have been seriously bad.) The fluid is still building, and I appreciate your praying for it to slow down. But I realize this is only a symptom of the real problem; there's lots of cancer in there, invisibly causing fluid and other "dastardly deeds." So the deeper need is that God will direct the chemo straight at the cancer and zap it. Thanks.

A couple of days ago a friend sent a quote from a book she was reading, "Beyond All You Could Ask or Think" by Ray Pritchard. It was so good I thought I'd pass it along:

“In times like these, we need to stand fast on the truth of God’s sovereignty, and we need to hold on to the truth written down in the word of God. What you know can save you when life tumbles in around you. When the ground seems unsteady under your feet, remember what you have learned. Go back to the first principles.

Then he lists these truths that we know to be true:
God is good.
God is faithful.
He will never leave me.
His mercy endures forever.
This is no mistake.
God has a purpose.
He is working out His plan for me.
God still loves me.
The Holy Spirit indwells me.
Jesus is alive today.
He will return someday.

Friday, January 20, 2006

What do you think?

Thursday was another wonderful day. We could conclude that I was just lucky. Or that the predictions of chemo's side effects were too extreme. Or we could fall to our knees in gratitude to God for His kindness in answering your prayers and helping me feel so well. What do you think? Now, let me add that if tomorrow turns out to be yucky, I promise not to conclude that God has ceased to be good nor that you have quit praying.

I'm also thankful to report that it's been a very good week in terms of planning and writing the next SIM magazine. I've been doing this for 5 years now, and can't remember a time when ideas and words came so smoothly. Thanks for your prayers there too.

A note about "body" stuff. All these years my body and I have had a friendly deal: I wouldn't bother it and it wouldn't bother me. Wow! Has that changed! Now I have to pay attention to everything. (Small indications can lead to big problems quickly if not cared for.) I can't believe how much more time it takes! One small example: I need to rinse my mouth at least 2 times a day with a flouride ACT rinse, and every couple of hours with a mild salt solution to minimize dry mouth and mouth sores. No problem, just time-consuming.

Today I plan to spend a couple of hours at the office working with our photo manager on photos to go with the stories for the next magazine. I'll spend some time writing too, as well as resting, reading, listening to music, lunch with Chuck, and a short visit with a friend.

Your love and prayers make such a difference. Thanks from my whole heart.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Yesterday I found an old clipping in my home office. It says that the Chinese word for "crisis" is made up of two characters. The first represents danger and the second is opportunity. Crises come in many forms; cancer is only one of them. And obviously, this cancer is dangerous. But I think the Chinese have it right. It's also an oppportunity. Let's not miss that!

This is shaping up to be a hallelujah week. A little writing, a little resting, a little walking around, a little interaction with friends or loved ones (usually phone), more resting, and then a good night's sleep. Sounds enviable?

I hope to hear from the doctor today about that latest infection, and I also hope he'll have a plan for treating it. I'll be thankful to be rid of it. But I'm really feeling quite well. Thanks again for all your loving, caring and praying.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

God Sees Everything

This thought lulled me back to sleep at 4 o'clock this morning: God sees and knows everything. My Creator sees every cell in my body (yours too). He tracks every drop of chemo, and can direct it to the very cancer cells that need to be destroyed. He sees all the cancer cells (thousands?) the surgeon had to leave behind when he sewed me up. He can reach out His finger and stop the cells that are producing more fluid to inhibit my breathing, saying, "Stop. That's enough." He can do the same with the cancer cells that are burrowing their way further into my diaphragm--or any other space where they're not wanted. What a great comfort. So then we ask, how can He pay such minute attention to all 6+ billion of us--our very molecular structure--plus all the other wonderful things He has made in the universe. Answer: He's bigger and smarter than we can imagine. Even paying all this attention, He still has plenty of leisure to enjoy His life and friends. So I slept until 7 a.m.

Yesterday was again a good day. How I appreciate your prayers! We were able to get a photograph taken--it'll be nice to remember my real hair.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Another “Hallelujah” Day

I’m thankful for another good day on Monday. Again I walked to the lake and back. My cousin came bringing 2 dozen gorgeous roses and the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. Ever since surgery 4 weeks ago, I’ve been in a mental fog with no interest in reading—no books, magazines, newspapers, not even listening to books on tape—only reading messages from friends. Suddenly the stupor has lifted and I’m devouring the book. Already I wish I could somehow send a copy of it to each one of you.

Jeremy, Justin and Lora made it safely back to Michigan, with no rain to test their technological magic with the wipers. Sue and Jeff also returned to Michigan after 2 days of cuddling their new grandson Joshua in Wisconsin.

It seems I still have a pesky intestinal infection, and I’d appreciate prayer for it to clear up. Both the doctor and I hate to start a 3rd consecutive round of antibiotics.

I think I’ll be able to do some good work today on organizing the next SIM magazine.

By the way, Google automatically dates these updates by its own clock, which is on Pacific Standard Time. If you wonder how early I’m up, add 3 hours to the posted time. I assure you I’m getting a full night of sleep.

I need fresh words to tell you how much we appreciate your love and prayers.

Carol and Chuck

Monday, January 16, 2006

A "Hallalujah" Day

Our dear friend Charles, who survived cancer and chemo a few years ago, called his good days "Hallelujah" days. Well, I had one yesterday! Not only was it special because Jeremy, Justin and Lora were here--not to mention my faithful husband Chuck. But also I felt well. Temperature normal. Ate dinner and kept it down. Walked to the lake and back. (In truth, I stretched an easy 10-minute walk to 25. But I made it). As dessert to the day, the Panthers beat the Bears. Good day, all of it.

"Hallelujah" is Hebrew for "praise the Lord." So really, every day, bright or dark, should be a hallelujah day, shouldn't it? I find that when I express praise to Jesus, it lifts me out of the yuck somewhat too.

Now the kids are driving back to Michigan. I'm asking for a bit of energy today to begin working on the next SIM magazine. First, a nap.

You wouldn't quit praying just because I had a good day, would you? I appreciate you so much!


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Measuring our days

I used to measure a day in terms of achievement: a gripping article written, a great meal served, a room cleaned, a friend helped. Now I measure a day by its share of meaningful conversations with dear friends, encouraging e-mails and cards, naps, and glimpses of God's grace. While I do look forward to regaining enough energy to go back to work, I also realize the value of set-aside times as well.

Thanks so much for your prayers. I continue to sleep well at night, I'm coughing less, and the lung problems aren't increasing as quickly as they were earlier. I need to learn to be more aware of what's going on throughout my body so I can recognize when things are abnormal and take remedial action before a crisis occurs. I've taken my health for granted for so long.

On Friday my wayward brain traveled often into the future. Always with dread. Thank God, He taught me that I need only enough of His grace for this day (sometimes for this moment), and I'm going to try to live in the present. Each day is a gift, and is filled with gifts. The key is to recognize them.

Thanks again for all your love, caring and prayers.

Carol and Chuck

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Resident Nurse ... taking off

I figured I should leave a note here for all of you as I take off today. After being here for 3 of the last 4 weeks, I feel like I'm leaving "home". I guess, that's very appropriate actually. It's been a month of many new experiences. And there is much to be thankful for.

**My bosses are being wonderful. When I am home, I am picking up the work that I can, but that is significantly less than I am supposed to be doing. Even so, they are encouraging me to spend as much time with Mom as possible.

**Joshua was born without complications, and all are doing well. I'm so excited to be able to hold him this evening ... but am also thankful that I wasn't "needed" there while I was "needed" here.

**Jeff and Jeremy are graciously picking up all the slack at home. Thankful for a family that supports my desire to be here.

**Thankful for so many of mom and dad's friends here who have been so supportive. Having meals provided for us has really lifted the load here. I felt able to spend time with both of them instead of cooking all the time. We have been wonderfully spoiled!

**Thankful for a mom who has built a friendship with the grandkids that is so strong. She has had such an impact on their lives. And they value it so much that they were eager to spend their weekend making the trip to spend time with her. (Even thru a rather eventful trip - thankful for safety there, too!!)

So ... It is with mixed emotions that I am leaving. I know those of you around Charlotte will continue to support them over the next weeks and months. I know all of you are keeping them constantly in your prayers.

Thankful for all of you.

Saturday Morning

Justin, Jeremy and Laura arrived safely at 3:30 AM this morning. They drove in very heavy rain for about the first six hours, and got through the mountains before the predicted snow arrived. Early in the trip, their windshield wiper broke, but they were able to rig up a string arrangement that Laura operated as needed.

Carol had a fair night. The cough seems to be somewhat better, but she continues to run a temperature that we cannot get below 100.5 even with the help of Tylenol. Also, she continues to have nausea problems that are uncomfortable and prevent her from eating much. She has the sensation that food is just waiting in her esophagus to come up...I'm sure that you get the idea.

We continue to be so thankful to God for His peace and for being with us through this journey. Also, for you dear people that are praying and communicating your love to us in so many ways. We do read and reread your emails and cards, but feel a bit guilty that we have not had time to reply to each one. Hopefully life will become more normal one of these days so that we can be responsive.

Recently a dear friend wrote "I am convinced that each of us is an important project of God's and some day we'll see ourselves from his point of view and be amazed at all that was going on that we were unaware of while we were in the middle of it." Thank you Lord for trusting us on this journey. May our lives honor and glorify you as we travel this new road!

Our love to you all,

Chuck...and Carol too

Friday, January 13, 2006

Sweet Sleep

Carol had a good sleep last night, even after sleeping most of the day yesterday. She is still running a temperature, but we are trusting that the antibiotic will arrest the infection. We are so thankful for this, and for all of you who have been praying. We are blessed!

Two of our grandsons (Justin and Jeremy) and friend Laura will be driving from Michigan tonight, leaving after their classes. We anticipate their arrival around 2:00 AM Saturday, and they will be returning on Monday. Pray for safe travel during their eleven hour trip. Carol indicates that being so fatigued, she is afraid that she may sleep through their visit.

Daughter Sue, who has been a great blessing, will be flying to Chicago Saturday afternoon to meet husband Jeff, then they will be driving together to Madison, Wisconsin, to spend time with new grandson Joshua. Pray for safe travel for them also.

We pray that each of you will have a great weekend, enjoying fellowship with family, friends and our wonderful Lord.

We are blessed by you and your prayers!

Chuck...and Carol too

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ad Nausea

Yes, we needed to experience this episode as well. Not nice! Had a couple upsetting incidents this afternoon - although they seem to have settled somewhat for now. (Rice is boring!)

The fever was resolved for much of the day ... although after several hours of napping, seems to have returned. The doctor is suspecting some sort of infection, so has prescribed antibiotics. His nurse made it very clear that the infection is not related to the chemo ... it hasn't had time to "do it's work yet"... this is just one of those things that unfortunately happen at times.

The fatigue continues. It may be somewhat related to surgery still, perhaps recent chemo, perhaps having too much fun yesterday.

Please pray that whatever bug is making itself known gets knocked out quickly. That spirits remain encouraged. That the inevitable ups and downs are taken in stride, part of the process.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. You mean so much to all of us.


Thursday Morning

Thanks for caring.

The fever hovers around 100.5, so we will be calling the doctor this morning. I'm thankful for a pretty good night's sleep. Nevertheless, I feel totally fatigued this morning. All of this is to be expected with chemo, and I just need to learn to go with the flow.

I have such wonderful caregivers.

God is good.

Love, Carol

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


It is about 10:00 PM, and Carol is running a fever which is of concern, and she has asked me to get this information on the blog for all of you who will be checking this evening.

Thanks for your prayers,

Chuck...and Carol too

Glorious Morning

Dear friends,

This morning I awakened with the strong feeling that God, in answer to your loving prayers, had carried me through the night in perfect comfort! I feel rested, with no nausea or any of the other symptoms I'm trying to remember to watch for. (That one I wouldn't need to "remember to watch for," of course.) Thanks to you all.

May I quote a prayer from a book, "31 Days of Praise," which a friend sent as soon as she heard of my cancer? I return to it again and again.
"I praise You for Your sovereignty over the brod events of my life and over the details. With You, nothing is accidental, nothing is incidental, and no experience is wasted. You hold in Your own power my breath of life and all my destiny. And every trial that You allow to happen is a platform on which You reveal Yourself, showing Your love and power, both to me and to others looking on. Thank You that I can move into the future nondefensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for You hold the future and You will always be with me, even to my old age...and through all eternity."

Incidentally, I want to give lots of credit for my wellbeing to my wonderful doctors and nurses. The very fact that we were able so quickly to get into their busy schedules is itself an answer to prayer.

Family updates: Daughter Sue will probably fly out on Friday, in order to go cuddle little Joshua. That same day her younger sons Justin and Jeremy, and possibly Justin's friend Lora will drive down to spend a couple of days encouraging us and making us laugh. Jeremy strongly desires to spend part of next year in Africa, and we're trying to network some opportunities for him. I wonder if you'd be willing to pray with us about that as well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I'm writing with a very thankful heart. The chemo went extremely smoothly--no nausea, no pain, just a bit of sleepiness. Dear friends, thanks for all your prayers today.

I don't mind if you write to tell me that the fatigue might set in later; it very well may. They sent me home with wonderful pills for nausea, so they really don't think I'll have to deal with that. To quote Sue, "It feels good to have that over with."

Carol, for all of us

The Best

This is the long-hoped for, long-dreaded day. It seems the cancer had gone so far and caused so many problems that we simply must try to drive it out. But I'm so aware of the possible effects of chemo. Also aware that sometimes it doesn't work. I said in the beginning that we are safe in God's hands, and so we are! Nevertheless, I'm facing today with a mixture of feelings. A friend sent this quote from C.S. Lewis: "We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us. We are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." I guess that's it.

You are so dear to be still reading and praying along with us after all these weeks, when I know there's so much going on in your lives too, so I want to thank you.

I can feel the congestion on my left lung, but I slept very well last night.

Joshua William Slager was born at 3:08 Central time this morning, and all 3 members of the family are doing well. What a gift from God! Our daughter Sue is a very beautiful grandmother.

Carol and Chuck

Monday, January 09, 2006

Wheeeee! Breathing Again!

The folks in radiology removed 1.1 liters from my right lung this afternoon (Monday), and the relief is amazing. I’m so thankful. There’s almost that much fluid also in the left, and we’ll see how that works out. Next: tomorrow, I get my teeth cleaned in the morning and then we start chemo at 2:30 pm. I’m so glad nurse Sue is here with us. She’s wonderfully encouraging and practical.

Could you pray with us about another matter? Sue is about to become a grandmother, which will make me a great grandmother. The timing is being moved up, because Liz (James’ wife) developed pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) which is a threat to both mother and baby. So now, Monday evening, they are stabilizing the blood pressure and after that they’ll decide whether to induce or go to OR for a C-section. James and Liz live in Madison, WI, and of course Sue and Jeff would love to be there! Soon, we hope. We pray for a safe delivery for both Liz and baby, and smooth recovery for Liz and healthy growth for baby.

Thank you again for all your prayers, words of encouragement, and loving thoughts. We love you more than we can say.

Carol, for Chuck too

Breathing Tighter

Fluid is rapidly building up around Carol's lungs, and we need to have it removed prior to the start of chemo on Tuesday. I have left a voice mail for the oncologist, hoping that we can arrange a thoracentesis today. Carol is thankful that she has been able to go two weeks since the last procedure.

We appreciate your love and prayers!

Chuck...and Carol too

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Breathing Tight

Carol had a reasonably good night of rest sitting in the chair as usual. We are however aware that pressure around her lungs from fluid build-up is greater this morning. We are praying that she will be able to make it through the weekend without going to the ER, and we will be checking with the doctor early on Monday.

We can't thank you enough, for your love, concern and prayers. Your sharing in this adventure with us is a tremendous encouragement and blessing. We are thankful that while we feel that we have the best of medical help available, our trust is in the Lord, and we fully trust His will, His way and His plan through all of this.

As Daniel prayed for his people, we too pray: "We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful." (Daniel 9:18b)

Our love to each of you,

Chuck...and Carol too

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Saturday Morning

Thanks for your continued interest and prayers.

Daughter Sue and Jeff arrived safely yesterday afternoon, and Carol had a fair night. We are feeling a greater urgency for prayer regarding Carol's breathing. The doctor tells us that normally about half way between the first and second chemo treatment (about 10 days) fluid production should diminish. We are aware that God is neither limited by, nor bound to, "normal." We continue to pray for His perfect will.

Thanks for your prayers, concern and messages. We appreciate y'all!

We love you,

Chuck...and Carol too

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday -- Progress

Chemo will start Tuesday at 2:30 pm. Unfortunately, they didn't have the drugs on hand for today, and there were no openings for Monday. (So on Monday we'll shop for a wig.) I'm so thankful that my breathing is continuing about the same, so I feel confident I can wait.

Chemo will be administered every 21 days (we'll switch to Mondays after this time), followed by another drug the following day to hold up the white blood count. Sorry I can't be more technical here.

Dr. Boyd, the oncologist, seemed somewhat disappointed that the surgical pathological report calls it an endometrioid cancer. He says that's harder to treat. But he is not pessimist, nor are we. It is definitely Stage 4, since it's moved above the diaphragm. So the buzz on ABC News about the additional treatment for ovarian cancer isn't indicated in my case. Dr. Boyd says the prognosis will be easier to state after we see how quickly the CA 125 marker drops. (We learned today that prior to surgery it was 8445. I think normal is somewhere under 60.) So, I think that's enough medical stuff.

Sue and Jeff are driving from Michigan today, and Sue will stay for the entire week, so she'll be here to help with this first (probably most difficult) chemo treatment.

I am SO encouraged by all your loving notes, and I sense your prayers. I'm going to have to be very careful about infection, so when you choose not to come to the house when you may have been exposed to something, please know that I'm very grateful and I take it as an act of love. Even when totally healthy people drop in, I'm limited in the amount of talking I can do because of restrictions on my breathing. But I can listen.

God is good.

Carol and Chuck

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Post-op Complete

He have just returned from the post-op appointment with the surgeon.

He is very pleased and recommends that chemo get started as soon as possible.

Thanks for your prayers.

Chuck...and Carol too

Thursday AM

For all of you early risers, here is the early report at about 6:00 AM.

Carol did not have quite as comfortable a night as the previous one, but this fits the pattern that we have anticipated with ups and downs.

We meet with the surgeon today at 3:30 PM, and will get a blog out after that. Prayer points that are on our minds at this time are:

1. Extra strength/stamina for Carol as we travel into town and fit into the office schedule late in the day when appointments often do back up.

2. Wisdom to ask the right questions, to have a solid basis for many new decisions that will be coming our way.

3. A good report regarding healing from the surgery, so that we can proceed with the needed chemo treatments to arrest the remaining cancer and the build-up of fluids around the lungs and throughout her body.

4. Continued peace and and wisdom as we travel this new and unfamiliar road together.

5. Through this meeting and all that is before us, that we will glorify our Lord and Savior!

Thanks for your love and prayers!

Chuck...and Carol too

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Thoughts from Chuck

Today…January 4th…The date, we were told, was the earliest appointment available to see an oncologist, one whom we were not familiar…and we were assured that there was no way that we could get an appointment with our preferred oncologist or get on this cancer journey, until some time after that time.

Here we are at that date, with so much behind us, looking forward to the post-operative appointment with the surgeon tomorrow afternoon and the next oncologist meeting on Friday morning. Only our GREAT GOD could orchestrate anything like that. I am not sure how that all works, but He knew the urgency and responded to your many prayers. Thank you Father and dear friends!

For the third time, I am again this year, planning to read through the Bible using the New Living Translation of the One Year Bible. I have found that to be refreshing and a great blessing as well as a challenge the past two years. And I am excited about what God will be teaching me about himself as well as myself this year.

As I began reading on the first, I was again thrilled with that first chapter of Genesis “In the beginning God created…” and then in vs. 27 “So God created people in his own image:” WOW…I spent some time meditating on that little, but oh so BIG statement! If you let the Holy Spirit direct your thinking, you can spend a lot of time there. Then reading in Matthew “And she (Mary) will have a son, and you (Joseph) are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins”. When I got to Psalms, I could hardly contain myself. Check out Psalm 1:1-6…where we read about the joys of following the Lord…and vs. 6 “For the Lord watches over the path of the godly…”. Well that gives you a small sample of the beginning of the New Year for me. It is our prayer that 2006 will be a year of dramatic growth and maturity in the Lord, for each of us.

Recently I was reading an article by Chris Tiegreen, where he said “God speaks. You’ve staked your eternal life on that fact…Throughout history, God has spoken through priests and prophets, through visions and dreams, through a burning bush and a stubborn donkey. And He still speaks, even in the recesses of your heart.” I trust that each of us will tune in to His voice today.

We love you all,

Chuck…and Carol too

Optional: Words of Encouragement

On Sunday morning I offered to send a copy of the many encouraging Bible verses and other words from friends to anyone who requests by e-mail. Today I'll respond to all who did so, but I just thought I'd put the document here in case others of you are also interested:

Words of Encouragement from God and Friends
(only a few of the many treasured messages received)

“Your path led through the sea, Your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock.” Psalm 77:19,20 (from Joan and Homer) “We may not see His ‘footprints in the sand,’ because we are out in deep water in the midst of the storm, but He is there. I grew up where the daily tides were the highest in the world, and I had great awe and fear of those waters. On a calm day it was beautiful, but during the storms the sea was frightful. We are praying that God will lead you through this difficult time.”

“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” Ephesians 3:16 (from Bea & Max)

“I thank God for every remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you.” Philippians 1:3,4 (from Andrea and Roger)

“O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come. Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth…You shall comfort me on every side.” Psalm 71:17-21 (from Carol and Ralph)

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God…you are precious and honored in my sight, and…I love you…” Isaiah 43:2-3 (from Dotsie and Gary)

“Although He died on the cross in weakness, He now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in Him and have God’s power…” 2 Corinthians 13:4 (from Barbara)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” Psalm 46:1,2 (from Jeanne) Ever since learning of your illness my prayers have been for God to make His Presence very near to you both, knowing He will hold both your hands as He walks with you, bringing you His fresh peace and love for each day’s needs.

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 (from Doris and Bob) When our vision is clouded by circumstance, God sees clearly. When our understanding is shadowed by questions, God knows perfectly. When our path is shaded with uncertainty, God leads faithfully.

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26:3,4 (from Elsie and Clarence) As you wait upon the Lord, you learn to see things from His perspective, move at His pace, and function under His direction.
Waiting times are growing times and learning times.
As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace; as you sense your weakness, you receive His strength; as you lay down your will, you hear His calling; when you mount up, you are being lifted by the wind of His Spirit. When you move ahead, you are sensitive to His timing. When you act, you give yourself only to the things He has asked you to do. (quoting Roy Lessin)

“Thanks for creating the blog to allow us to pray intelligently, even though that only helps us—not God, who already knows all of the needs.” (from Roberta)

“Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-36 (from Mary and Dave)

“For Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” Psalm 108:4 (from Gerry and Jim)

“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters. He led me to a place of safety, He rescued me because He delights in me.” 2 Samuel 22: 17-20 (from Tim)

“Breathe on me, Breath of God. Fill me with life anew. That I may love what Thou dost love. And do what Thou wouldst do. Breathe on me, Breath of God. Until my heart is pure. Until with Thee I will one will—to do and to endure. “ (from Carol and Steve)

“I pray that you will experience the loving embrace of Jesus and will rest in His arms. Lock your eyes on His face and know in your heart that He will never let you go.” (from Sara)

“Nearer my God to Thee, Nearer to Thee, Even though it be a cross that raises me.” May God wrap His all-sufficient arms around you and draw you closer than you knew you could be—as you and He do battle together. (from Gretchen & Dick) Also: “If this obstacle is from You, Lord, I accept it. If it is from the devil I refuse it and all his works in Christ’s name.” (Isobel Kuhn)

“Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone.” Psalm 33:23 (from Donna, Stuart and Rachel) Also: “Our hope in difficult times is not based on positive thinking, wishful thinking, or natural optimism. It is a certainty based on the truths that God is in complete control of our universe and He loves us.” (quoting Rick Warren) “May you find hope in knowing that the Lord is in control of your life and is tenderly taking care of you, and may you find rest in His great, unending love for you.”

“I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your heart will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future He has promised to those He called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance He has given to His people.” Ephesians 1:16-18 (from Sylvia and Dick)

“The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you.” Deuteronomy 33:27a (from Maxine H and Marge & Gordon)

Suggestion to read Randy Alcorn’s Heaven (from Julie)

“He will preserve your going out and coming in from this day forth and forevermore”—and so He will! (from Nancy B)

“Jesus, Your Name is healing!” (from Rosalie—walking around her house singing this song at the top of her voice)

“So He will do for me all He has planned. He controls my destiny.” Job 23:14 (from Maxine & Charles)

“As for God, His way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.” Psalm 18:30 (from Lisa B)

(from Mona & Ed) “By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable.” (Jeremy Taylor
“God stirs up our comfortable nests, and pushes us over the edge of them, and we are forced to use our wings to save ourselves from fatal falling. Read your trials in this light, and see if you wings are being developed.” (Hannah Whitall Smith)
“I think that sometimes we miss out on the hope that God has for us because we insist on finding it where we want to find it—in the form that we want to find it—instead of opening our minds and our hearts to receive it as God wants to give it.” (Emilie Barnes)

“But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in Your hands.” Psalm 31:14,15a (from Lois and Walt)

“Of course we will pray for healing. But maybe this means that you’ll get to see Jesus sooner than anticipated.” (from Judy) How I appreciate her not fearing to mention the possibility of death!

Good Wednesday Morning

We both slept well all night. So thankful.

The doctor suggested I discontinue both diuretics, and I had already quit all the "as needed" meds, so I'm feeling more at ease, and the breathing is no worse. Tomorrow I see the surgeon, and expect him to sign me off to the medical oncologist, whom I'll see Friday morning. Next task: get a wig or two.

As I think about you--wherever you are--reading these messages and praying for us, my heart is filled with love and gratitude for you. I pray for you too.

Carol, for Chuck as well

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No thoracentesis today

I'd like to hear from whoever read the blog early Monday and prayed for Chuck as requested. Would you believe he slept until 8 am! Thanks for praying. Thanks, God, for answering.

I'm breathing well enough that I called to cancel the "stand-by" appointment for a thoracentesis this morning. That, too, is a wonderful answer to prayer. Now we continue to ask for enough lung capacity to keep functioning each day.

I'm having blood work done this morning. My body doesn't like taking so many medicines. (Sleep wasn't as good last night as it had been the past several nights.) Maybe we're squeezing out too much fluid? My weight dropped 15 pounds in the past 7 days. It'll be sometime Wednesday before we get results from the blood work.

As always, we are intensely grateful to you for your love and prayers.

Carol and Chuck

Monday, January 02, 2006

Monday morning

I appreciate you so much--you special friends who "hit" this spot regularly to see how things are going. Your love and prayers mean more than I could ever say!

Yesterday was gorgeous, and I enjoyed my walk outdoors, as well as a few short visits with healthy friends. Lack of lung capacity helps me listen more and talk less. (Now that's a switch!)

This morning it seems my breathing is no worse than yesterday morning. Typically each day grows more difficult. Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) we'll need wisdom to know whether to keep that appointment at radiology (25 miles north of here) for the fifth thoracentesis, or to cancel it and see how things develop. I don't find the procedure painful, but it carries some risk each time.

Please pray for Chuck; caregiving is tiring. Thanks.

Someone asked what symptoms led to my diagnosis. If you're interested, read on. If not, quit now. It was the cough and shortness of breath that drove me to the doctor again and again. But there was another sign, one I was even aware of, that should have helped us suspect ovarian cancer many months ago. That symptom is an extreme fullness in the lower abdomen. I was trying so hard to take off some pounds, and instead my clothes kept getting tighter. Girlfriends, be warned! There's also a blood test (CA 125) that I was aware of, but most doctors still don't include it in check-ups, and cockeyed optimist that I am, I never went after it on my own. Mine isn't actually ovarian, but rather peritoneal. It resembles ovarian and is treated the same. Thanks for asking and caring.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

I hope your celebration was wonderful, and your New Year will be best ever. I was just year ago this cancer was already raging (I was already coughing), but I had NO idea! Nevertheless, God knew, and during the past year He taught me more reasons to fully trust Him. I'm thankful.

Sue encouraged me to call the on-call doctor (although he doesn't know my case) about that infection, and he was happy to call in a prescription. Chuck, bless him, ran out--again--to pick up the medicine, and so I'm treating the nasty bug. (Sue said the infection takes a week to clear up, and they can't start treatment if infection is present, so once again I'm glad to have a private-nurse daughter.)

I walked outdoors yesterday, and will do so again today. It's Sunday, but we'll stay at home to avoid the many different bugs making the rounds. I'm so eager to be ready to begin treatment, as the doctor believes within 10 days after beginning, the cancer will slow down the "effusing," and I'll get some breathing relief.

Almost immediately after the diagnosis in early December, Pastor Tom Crow and his wife Jacqui from our church brought supper to our home and encouraged and prayed with us. (They faced their own cancer battle during the past year.) One valuable bit of advice from them was to keep a notebook with all the medical stuff, and to include a section for the Bible verses and other encouraging statements people would be sending. Wow! There's been a lot! Today I plan to spend time typing them all into one document. If you'd like a copy, send an e-mail to and I'll send it to you by e-mail.