Mortal Showers Bring Eternal Flowers

More Holiness Give Me

From Scott
Hello everyone we are doing good. My counts came up and I got my chemo, thanks to a lot of prayers and help from heaven. We had some fun as well.  At St Jude we painted some wine glasses (wine glasses at a children’s hospital?) that will be sold for 50$ each. The wine glasses were fun to paint and will bring in funds for ST Jude. We also went to a concert and met a guy named Jay. We became fast friends.  I’m almost done with chemo and I will hopefully be home in a couple of weeks. Then I hopefully only have to leave GA 2 more times to get chemo.
From Brianna
So yesterday we went to the hospital so Scott could get some outpatient chemo in the Medicine room and also get some occupational therapy done.  Occupational therapy went well, Scott showed his therapist how to do the EFY Line dance. This involves a lot of arm lifts and movement.  She was impressed!
After occupational therapy, we found an activity going in the cafeteria lobby.  Kids were painting glasses.  The painted glasses would be auctioned off for 50$ a glass and all the funds would go to St.  Jude.  We all had some fun painting the glasses and designing the patterns.  photo(2)photo(3) photo(4)
From Mom
This week we finished another chemo.  Scott went in Wed for Labs.  Thankfully his counts were  starting to rise instead of fall.  That made me glad.   This chemo was relatively easy in comparison to the many he has had in the past.  He does not seem to be  immediately sick.  As we grow closer to the end of chemo I have been having mixed emotions. I will be so glad to put cancer behind us and move forward.  Yet, I have begun to wonder if I have been changed enough.  I know I have been changed. I am learning to trust The Lord at all times. I am learning to be grateful in any circumstance; I am learning to love others and appreciate their differences.  I am learning patience. I am learning to manage stress and its affect on my body.  I am learning to do and manage stressful situations without choosing to feel stressed.  I am learning about faith, Faith to be healed, and the faith to accept The Lord’s will above all.  He knows best.  I hope to someday be able to truly be like the Savior and not shrink, and always be fully committed to “Thy will be done.”  But have I been changed enough?  I begin to feel I want to squeeze all the juice out of this lemon I can get.  If we must do hard things then I want to be changed.
We are so many months in to chemo and cancer I kind of felt like we were on the down hill slide and that I was not growing as I once was.  I had not journal-ed enough to remember all I had learned.
This last week or so left me feeling like it wont be as easy as I had thought.   I felt concerned after the platelet reaction that blew up Scott’s face. (We will probably need several more transfusions before we are finished with chemo) Then Sunday we went in for labs. He had enough platelets to not get a transfusion, so I was glad about that.  But not by much, and his ANC or neutrophils were going down.  This is unusual he usually has very little reaction to the Methotrexate, It has typically been an easier chemo for him.  Yet his body was continuing to fall 11 or so days after chemo, and is taking its time at recovering.  Tuesday I went out to grab some groceries and when I returned Scott announced that his elbow was hurting. He was afraid he had damaged it badly.  I really did not like that.  We have just gotten him closed up.  He is finally sealed up like a normal person and can get wet with out concern. I recognized a familiar heavy feeling, like when we first began this battle. I began to realize I have more to learn, way more ! I began calling upon all I had learned in the past few months and trying to put it to work for me.
By Wednesday Scott’s body had begun to make platelets again, and his ANC was rising, albeit very slowly.  We were glad about that. Now we were grateful that he is well enough to take chemo again.  (that is a crazy thought to be grateful for chemo.  But there are many moms who’s kids have run out of treatment options and would love to have the chance to have chemo again. Cancer is a weird world) His arm appeared to be fine, maybe just a stressed tendon.
So now to face the beast of Chemo. This week was doxorubicin.  This chemo is given as an IV infusion in Scott’s port.  It takes only an hour, on two consecutive days, which is easy and he shows  no sign of sickness from it.  But Doxo  is a cardio toxin and we will not know its effects for many many years.  We have done all we can do. We fast every time Scott gets chemo, we have prayed and it is in The Lord’s hands.  Hopefully The Lord will provide yet another miracle for Scott’s heart to be uninjured.  But more than anything I know that what ever road we are called to walk The Lord will go with us, make the way possible and teach us along the way.Wed  we made new friends in clinic check out the video of our friend Markell.   (I  really think you will like it.  you will see all the places Scott sees daily, and many of the procedures, nurses etc that are a part of our lives) Markell is back at St Jude fighting again.  This is his 6th time to fight Osteo. (The same cancer Scott has)
Wed afternoon chemo and Wed night we were given tickets to the Grizzlies game, but we gave them away for a quiet movie night.  Brian flew in, he and I went out to Thai dinner ALONE!  It was delicious!

Thursday (as the kids described), OT went well.  I think Scott could feel the upcoming chemo breathing down his neck.  So I was glad for the glass painting distraction.   All the kids enjoyed painting, and it made the time go very quickly.  Scott and his “Chemo buddy” Brianna made the most of their time getting the bright red infusion of doxo.  And we counted another one DOWN!!!  So 4 methotrexates and 1 doxo to go, if our scans continue to come back clear.  We went to get mail Thursday and the housing department let us know they will not be continuing to use the hotel we are staying in.  They are asking us to check out of here the next time we go home.  This is a problem because all of the other housing units allow only 4 people.  So the kids will not be able to come and visit.  It will be just Scott and I.  The Lord has provided miracles in the past, and we are praying that he again will.  It is important, if not essential that we keep our family together.  We are looking for other options, and hoping something works out. Our old stand by,the trailer, is not a great option now because of the cold and the possibility of freezing the pipes.
Thursday night we went to the Brad Paisley concert thanks to St Jude giving us tickets.  He is a big StJude supporter.  I was pretty concerned about taking our kids to a concert. But it was a pretty mild crowd and we sat with a bunch of other StJude folks.  We stayed long enough to enjoy it and not long enough to expose the kids to anything crazy.  We were home by 10:30.

We get some quiet time for the next few days. Scott needed to go and get a PEG shot today, other than that NO Dr appointments or needle sticks:)  The PEG causes his bone marrow to get to work and produce some serious cells, which he will need after this chemo.  His counts will shoot through the roof in the next couple of days, then begin to  plummet until about day 16 post chemo. We are again beginning to be super careful to stay away from all illnesses.  We should  be recovering until day 21.

No Dr appointments or hospital visits until Monday! That is a long time for us.  Our next chemo is scheduled for Feb 11th if Scott’s counts recover.

Thanks for taking this journey with us.  Thanks for praying for us.  I know the Savior has, and continues to walk us through this journey.  We have felt his love, and comfort. He has opened doors and provided miracles.  We have been tutored by him and taught to trust him more fully.  I for one, have so much more to learn.  And I am looking for the super glue to make it stick. I never want to forget, I want to be forever changed by the journey we have taken. ” More fit for the kingdom”  a quote from a beloved hymn (here is a link if you would like to hear it. )

lyrics for More Holiness Give Me.

1. More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff’ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.
2. More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.
3. More purity give me,
More strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy–
More, Savior, like thee.
Text and music: Philip Paul Bliss, 1838-1876

Markell’s video…

6 thoughts on “More Holiness Give Me

  1. Treena

    Thanks for being awesome Merling Family!! I am sorry yall had to experience such heart ache but CLEARLY handling it well!! THAT is inspiration to me!

  2. Rod Rivers

    We too are changed by being privileged to walk with you if only in a small way.
    Our faith is enhanced as we share in your family’s journey, struggles and the love that emulates from and through you.
    Our prayers are and will remain with and for you all.
    We thoroughly enjoyed learning from President Benson’s lesson on “Prayer” last week; Fruit well worth partaking of.
    Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives. Sue and I love you and look forward to having a first-hand relationship rather than the proxy relationship since moving into the Ensign ward.

  3. Mary Linde

    So glad you’re down another chemo treatment..just a couple more to go!!! It’s wonderful you have the opportunity to enjoy activities and make new friends. Painting the glasses looks really cool…know they were lovely. You guys are all so talented! As always, you stay in our hearts and prayers.

    Hope this week goes well for you all. We miss you guys!! Stay strong and rest assured Heavenly Father is with you every second.

    Love, Mary

  4. Jim Emerson

    Every time I see you, I see the Lords hand in your life. Most people who endure what you have gone through become bitter about their challenges. You smile and show such faith in everything, and that shows that the Lord is with you through this whole trial and giving you strength.

    As long as we have faith and put our trust in Him, he will give us comfort and strength. All is possible when we surrender to his will and live our lives in faith. Having such a strong family behind you is also a great blessing in your life.

    When I joined the church, I was told that my life would change dramatically. There is no way I could have foreseen how much better it could be. Having a testimony is the most comforting thing to carry us through all of the trials we have to face in mortality.

    I pray for you regularly, and look forward to seeing you and your family at church each and every week. You are an inspiration to all of us.

    1. aprileternal Post author

      So very true. Thanks for sharing your testimony with us. The gospel really does make life so much better.

      Thanks for praying for us, and for your friendship.

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