Sunday, January 24, 2010

2nd Request For Prayer

Hello Everyone,
Thank you so much for all of your prayers.  The last three weeks have been very eventful for all of us.  My father was diagnosed on Wed. Dec. 30th and decided to go home for the holiday.  His two sisters came into town on that Friday and we all spent the weekend together.  At times, if we didn't think about our circumstances too much, it was almost as if we were just spending time together for Christmas.  It was wonderful.
My father returned to the hospital on Tues., Jan. 4 and by Thurs., he started his chemotherapy treatment.  The treatment consisted of 7 days of a continuous drip of chemo through an IV.  The doctor told us to expect his white blood cell count, red blood cells, and platelets to decrease drastically after the 7 days.  At this point, his body will be unable to fight any kind of sickness or infection until his body begins regenerating.  This is considered the riskiest point of his treatment. 
Today marks the 9th day after the chemo has ended and he is having a number of complications.  He has an obstruction in his intestines which is keeping him from passing fluid or gas.  As a result, he is being fed intraveneously, which also causes difficulties.  Please pray for his body that the obstruction will be worked out on it's own and for the tremendous pressure his body is going through from all of the treatment. He has been battling high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, bloating...daily it seems like something new.  Also pray for his white blood cell count to begin to grow as there is not much the doctors can do until that number increases.
Despite all of the discomforts, my father is still desiring to get through this.  My mother has been living at the hospital with him and does not plan to leave his side.  They are both clinging to the Lord and looking to Him for daily sustenance, physically, spiritually and emotionally.  My mother tells me of how together they read the bible daily.  I am humbled and blessed at my father's courage to fight this battle against cancer and my mother's unwavering devotion and care for her husband.  In the face of this tremendous trial in our lives, I must say that the Lord is proving Himself mighty. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Urgent Request

Hello Everyone,
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years with your families.  We certainly did as my brother is home safely from Iraq and we all managed to be together at the same time to celebrate.  I thank the Lord for such a blessed memory. 
In the last couple of days things have happened so quickly that I have not had the chance to call or ask for prayer sooner.  My father has had several small health issues that hadn't resolved themselves quickly enough in the last few months.  After one final visit with another complaint of a lingering cough he was given a blood test that indicated that he needed a blood transfusion.  He was admitted into the hospital on Tuesday and underwent more tests.  By Wednesday night, the doctor diagnosed him with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  It is a rare form of Leukemia that causes a rapid growth of abnormal blood cells and interferes with the production of red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells.  On Tuesday his platelet count was 50,000 and on Wednesday it was 29,000.  A healthy adult has between 450,000-150,000.  The oncologist's prognosis is that he will have 3-4 weeks to live without treatment and has given him three options that may or may not increase his life taking into consideration his age. 
We know that the Lord is the one in control of my father's life and that the doctor's prognosis may or may not coincide with the plan that the Lord has for him.  My mother has such an incredible perspective with the understanding that the Lord has blessed her with 34 years with my father, but if he wants to keep him around a little longer she would be so appreciative.  Nonetheless, it is still difficult for each one of us to deal with such unanticipated news.  My father jokes about his condition now and then but is very disappointed and fearful.  He was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday night for the holiday weekend and we went to have sushi as is the great Iwasaki tradition when any big news comes our way.  My aunts have come in from out of town to be with us and we have been getting together everyday to enjoy one another. 
My prayer request comes in five parts:
1.  That we will be able to hear the Lord's voice as we call out to Him for guidance as to which option would be the best for my father.  We will all be coming together as a family to discuss his options and he will be seeing the doctor on Tuesday.
2.  For physical strength and endurance for my father if he undergoes treatment.  Our hope would be that his cancer would go into remission and that his sister would be a bone marrow match for a transplant. 
3.  My father has prayed to accept the Lord into his heart many years ago, but it is unclear if he has an assurance of his eternal destination.  Please pray that in the next few weeks he will have that assurance. 
4.  That his two sisters who are visiting with us will also give their lives to Christ.  May our witness to them be powerful and effective. 
5.  For each of us to have the hope to believe that the Lord can make a miracle happen, but the grace to accept whatever the Lord's will may be. 
My aunt was asking me how I am dealing with the news, and it was wonderful to tell her that I know I have the spiritual support of all of those who belong to the body of Christ.  I too am fearful of what the future my hold for my family, but those fears quickly dissipate as I remember the power of Christ's love and comfort and the great cloud of witnesses that surround us.  Thank you for joining together in prayer with us.