Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bring on the New Year

The year of our Lord 2009, was the most difficult year of my life.

In January, Michael's hours at Disneyland were reduced from part-time year-round to part-time seasonal. We knew we were going to miss that steady income.

In February, Michael's sister suffered a stroke.

In March, we learned that our IVF had failed. Four little embryos full of our hopes and dreams fizzled in my womb. Thankfully, we have two frozen embryos so our hopes and dreams live on for now.

By May we knew that Michael had cancer, but it was unclear as to which cancer it was.

Come June, we were pretty sure it was renal cell carcinoma, and that was very scary as there is no cure.

In July, Michael had a radical left nephrectomy. The kidney and the tumor removed were about the size of a small football (11 cm). It's a wonder they were able to complete the surgery laparoscopically.

In September we learned that Michael's cancer was too aggressive and was spreading too quickly for him to undergo the HDIL-2 treatment. That was a real blow to us. He started Sutent on 9/11, and we immediately saw an improvement in his health.

In October my dear grandmother passed away after being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in June.

By the end of November, Michael's health was in decline once again and he began losing the precious pounds he had managed to put on the previous month.

In December we learned that the cancer was sprouting out of his scalp, and that Sutent was not as effective as it needed to be.

It has been a hard, hard year full of the kind of events "other people" deal with. How did this happen to us? Why now? What does the future hold? Lots of questions, and few answers.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Clinging to that and His many promises as we head for the uncharted waters of 2010.


Sandra said...

This has been a difficult year for you. Throughout it all I have admired your strength and especially your faith. I know you could not have made it through it all without it. May your faith be even stronger and deeper next year and may it bring positivity and happiness.


Kathy and Joel said...

You've been through so much...too much. 2010 has to be a better year. It just has to.

Michelle with a K said...

Hugs and prayers my friend...

dawn said...

Stay strong. Although I do not know you in person I have followed your journey for so long and I feel as if I know you. The path that you are on currently is dreadfully unpleasant and I can't imagine how you walk it with such grace. You are truly an inspiration to many of us.

My wish for you and Michael in 2010 is a simple one:
Answered prayers.

AprilMay said...

Dawn put it so beautifully! I agree with everything she said. This has been my most difficult year as well, which means that we both have something to look forward to right? And most importantly, we have our hope and faith the the Lord to sustain us!

Julie said...


M3 said...

Sending you good wishes and prayers that 2010 will be a year of love and good news.

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I hope and pray that 2010 is a better year and I am here for you girly along the way..

Alex and Jill said...

You have had such a tough year and have been such an inspiration to so many. You handle what comes at you with such grace.

I pray 2010 is full of many blessings for you and Michael!


Parisienne Farmgirl said...

I read your blog all the time but so often am at such a loss for words to comment. I don't want to patronize you with cheerleader comments every time I sign in or tell you every week what an inspiration you all seems so trite.
All I really can say is that your faith in the Lord is amazing. I get really mad when I contemplate all that is happening to you and I don't even know you.
You said it so well when you put "other people" in quotes. Just the fact that you get out of bed to tackle another day is a testimony to the Holy Spirit in your life...
Once again words are failing me.
I want to badly for things to change for you - as simplistic as that reads, that is what I think every time I read a posts - that I just want things to change for you.
Whatever this refining process is...or maybe it's just a fallen world...I don't know.
But your faith...surely you will hear "well done" someday.
Love, Angela

Kudo said...

What a year it has been for you and my heart bleeds for everything you have had to endure. I know it is so much more then you even share. It is so hard when we don't get to know the plan and our faith has to take over. Your faith is so strong and it will get you through. Prayers flying for you both.

Tamara said...

My love and prayers are sent your way, my sister in Christ.

JoAnn in NJ said...

I echo your prayers that 2010 is a better year for you and your family. I've also had a hard year, but it's been a walk in the park compared to yours. God Bless.

Polar Bear said...

Sending hopes and prayers that 2010 is all you dream it to be.

My thoughts are with you and Michael.


Nonnie said...

Hopefully you can put 2009 behind you as the worst year of your life and move on to one of the very best!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, Joannah...I'm here...crying with you, sitting with you...standing with you...praying for you...and will continue to be here for the long haul...with you for the journey through the good and bad...My heart breaks for you...I love you...Janine XOXO

Shelley said...

Joannah, you and Michael are always in my thoughts and prayers. You've been so strong this past year through the most difficult of circumstances. I hope that 2010 brings you both relief, restored health and lots of good news.


Calico Sky said...

Joannah, can I be honest? I have no words, none. You have been such a strong believer, such a strong person, a strong wife, a strong grand-daughter, a strong daughter of the King. I'm just amazed at all you've been through, at all you've overcome. There are days I want to cry for what you are going through, but I equally want to cry in awe at the grace you have. You are an encouragement and a joy. You are reverend and filled with love. I will be fasting once a week for you & Michael this year.

Hugs Kate x