Back on the blog

We started this blog back in 2011 under the title A Guided Journey, when Jonathan was first diagnosed with a brain tumor. It has sat dormant for a few years, but recently, with the recurrence of the tumor, we thought this would be an effective way to communicate what we are going though currently. So, we started the blog back under the new name Eyes on the Unseen, a reference to 2 Corinthians 4:18, which has continually reminded us to keep an eternal perspective in the midst of our daily circumstances. Thank you for joining us on the journey.

December 2016 was a health whirlwind for our family. On December 7th, we went in for an MRI, which showed significant tumor growth. The doctors did an almost immediate biopsy, and on December 15th the pathology report showed that Jonathan’s brain tumor had progressed to a grade 4 Glioblastoma. On December 21st, we started an aggressive treatment plan including two weeks of targeted radiation and two forms of chemotherapy, all at the same time. This Thursday January 5th, we finished radiation and one of the chemo medicines. In the next few weeks, Jonathan will get two more infusions of IV chemotherapy. Then, in early February, we will have another MRI to see what effect the treatments are having on the tumor and we will make decisions about further treatment based on that.

In the middle of all of this, God has provided and cared for us in so many ways. One of the clearest evidences of God’s grace has been YOU, particularly our family, Small Group, Brook Hills church and Westminster community. You have faithfully prayed, loved, and cared for us. One of the principal apologetics (defenses) for the Gospel is our love for one another: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35. You have clearly and loudly declared the Gospel by your love for us. We want to thank you for your prayers, your concern, your calls, food, encouraging cards, generosity, and help with our kids, among other things. We have constantly felt how God has strengthened and sustained us during this journey. We are incredibly grateful for you! We hope you are encouraged to know that your prayers have been answered in that Jonathan has, so far, only had minor side effects to the treatments. Blood work, energy, an overall health have been good. Our family is doing well. We have been open in our  communication with our children about all of this, and although difficult, God has provided the strength and the peace that each of us have needed.

Please, continue to pray that Jonathan’s health would remain strong and that our family would continue to rest in the strength God provides.

Please, pray that these treatments would be effective in combating the tumor.

Please, pray for wisdom in decisions we need to make about next steps in this journey; specifically concerning the challenges we face due to the significant weakness and loss of motor control on the left side of Jonathan’s body caused by the location of the tumor. Continue to pray that this will improve.

So many people have asked what they can do to help and honestly we have been overwhelmed and not always known what to answer. We are so grateful for our small group, and for the BH pastoral staff in the way they have coordinated much of these details. In the weeks to come, we have identified a few practical ways that people can help.

  • Continue praying.
  • Meals are a true blessing!! We are trying to be diligent to eat in a way that will accommodate the specific diet Jonathan has been encouraged to follow to promote good health during this treatment. We have found a system that is working really well for us. If you would like to support us by providing a meal, simply go to https://www.katiesplates.com,  purchase a gift card, and send it to elissouders@aol.com. The website will walk you through the process. Elisabeth Souders will be our coordinator and she will take those gift cards and put them towards our meal plan.

 

Today, the Lord has reminded us of Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

 

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