Friday, June 27, 2008

Shockingly Soon

It has been just over one week since Andrew finished his treatments. Andrew was feeling pretty discouraged, as he said he felt worse than he had during all the treatments. He was very exhausted, sleeping a lot until Monday, making his moods very low too.

Worse than the exhaustion, though, was the area around his mouth. His voice each day has increasingly become more hoarse, making it harder and harder for him to talk. His saliva, thicker than any mucous, has been causing him to gag frequently and up until last Saturday was causing him to throw up. His skin has been peeling off his neck, yellow slime slicking around it. But his pain meds are so strong that there were times he would scratch himself and wouldn't realize he was making himself bleed.

At the same time, being on the outside, and not experiencing the physical suffering that he was, which I'm sure made the days seem excruciatingly long for him, I felt so hopeful. I could see his energy increasing with each day and we had all gone bike riding together again on Tuesday, which is always a good sign. From the outside, I had learned that despite the downward dips, Andrew eventually floated to the surface again.

Nonetheless, Andrew was still in the depths. Andrew didn't feel human, he's been through so much suffering, so different than the strong, exceptionally capable man he was. Seeing people in public made Andrew feel so different than them, handicapped. Andrew hadn't consumed anything through his mouth in weeks. And he feared this was his life.

Yet. Last night, I felt hungry just as I was about to go to sleep, so I brought up a bowl of food to my room, thinking Andrew was still asleep, as he had retired a few hours earlier. When I arrived there, though, he was awake. I figured he wouldn't mind me eating, though, because he always sits with us during our meals anyway. I had a bowl of Indian food, Palak Paneer, which is basically a thick spinach sauce with tomatoes and spices. I had added too much water to the new brand of brown rice we had, so it was really soft. On top of the Palak Paneer, I had put yogurt to tone down the spicyness.

"That smells so good," Andrew said.

"Oh!" Whoops. "Wanna have some?" Why did I just say that?

"Fine...I'll just try some." I handed him my bowl. He took a spoonful, put it in his mouth, and made the motions of chewing, slowly. I had never seen him chew since before his surgery. He finished a spoonful.

Apparently, the sauce, over-soft rice, and yogurt was perfect for making it easy for him to eat.

I began to tear up.

"Is there more downstairs?" he asked.

"You can just have the rest!" I said.

He ate the whole bowlful. "Mmmm. That was so enjoyable," he said.

"Babe, you ate an entire bowl!" I said. I was tearing up more and truly was shocked.

He said, "It was really only five tablespoons."

Five heaping tablespoons. "You haven't eaten one teaspoon of anything at all in weeks. You're not even supposed to be able to eat at all through your mouth. And you're supposed to be worse off than ever right now."

"I didn't really eat it, I flushed it down with a lot of water. Course it was the most amount of food I've eaten in weeks," he said.


We prayed together to thank God for answering my prayer request that he would be able to eat a meal shockingly soon! Thank you for praying!

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints [believers] what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

- Ephesians 3:14-21


  1. We are praising God with you! You are in our prayers many times a day. We will keep praying for you to have endurance to get through each day, Andrew.
    The Felcyns (from WI)

  2. WOW! Praise the Lord!

    It is indeed a blessing for us also to be reading this occasion.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Auntie Bing & Uncle Mael

  3. Thankyou for keeping us all updated on Andrew.It helps so much to know how to pray,to remind me to keep on praying.I want you to know that little Sarah prays constantly for Andrew.When we ask what to pray about she always says"Mr Mark" My shy,quiet,timid girl even said it in church this morning to everyone!!
    Marion Turner and crew in Gtmo

  4. Andrew and Grace,

    We are rejoicing with you. Isn't it wonderful to know that the God of this amazingly huge universe hears our prayers and delights in our asking. We will continue to keep on asking, seeking,and knocking on Andrew's behalf.

    The Lewis family

    Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

  5. Amen! God is Most Definitely Good and that is Awesome Andrew got to eat that food. Praise God! For someone who had to learn to swallow again (meaning me) that is great progress. I felt different before, but now I really feel different. Hang is there Andrew because God is there with you and it doesn’t really matter what people think. Grace, you should be commended as well, you’re just being there is awesome. I know that Roxanne’s presence was a gift and now I cherish it even more. Good luck in your healing brother and may God be with you.

    Erik Greene from Marysville WA

  6. Wow! Isn't it beautiful to see that even your cooking mistakes (too much water in the rice!) contributed to making your meal just right for Andrew. Praise the Lord! We're rejoicing with you to hear of this answer to prayer.

  7. praise God! been praying for you through "PLEES." i apologize for being so MIA on the comments though! will continue to pray for your fam. love you guys.

  8. What wonderful news! Your blog always makes me cry at how unbelievably rich God's grace to us fallen sinners is. May He continue strengthening you both each day and revealing His amazing, steadfast love to you, His chosen children.
    -Erica Wainwright, WA