Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Good News for Me!- Becky

I know Jonas just posted but he didn't mention the result of my appt, so I thought I'd fill you in on that. Everything looks great, I'm feeling great... and when the doctor read the notes from the hospital (from last week) comparing my first catscan to last week's catscan, they said that there is a "marked difference in size of the tumor, showing a significant improvement" since the chemo has started it's work. So praise God for that!

And again, I know he touched on this in his post, but please do specifically pray for us to have the energy to keep up with our kids. I told Jonas one day that the chemo was wearing me out enough to feel like I can't even manage my own children...but he assured me it's probably not the chemo because he's also worn out completely :). SO! We would appreciate your prayers with our kids...for their behavior, the energy levels to be manageable :), and their sleep schedules to lengthen. And then for us as we attempt to keep up. Especially for Jonas as he usually gets up with the kids every morning and does the bulk of the hard stuff with them. I can see he is WORN OUT and I wish I could do more to help him out. But that's why we have God's strength to get us through.

Over and Out.

Life back to Normal? by Jonas

It's a strange thing when someone you love has a sickness that you can't see.  I know Becky is sick, I know that Lymphoma is a BIG DEAL and that she's not feeling 100% but I don't see the disease.  As life starts to get busy, it's easy to forget how serious all this is.  Today we have an appointment to see the oncologist to see how Becky is progressing.  On these days I feel the weight of this sickness again pushing down on me.  I never thought that I could become burned out or tired.  Turns out, I can.  I'm not so far gone that I can't function or that I'm in danger of getting ill.  I'm just saying that it's amazing the toll that this brings into a family.  I am so grateful for my faith and for God's grace.  I've certainly needed it.  Enough about me.
Becky is doing pretty well considering.  She's as beautiful as ever, even though she doesn't feel like it.  Her smile and laugh are infectious and calming.  She's slept pretty good for the most part, with exception to my random snores in the middle of the night.
The boys are testing my ability to NOT eat them like a praying mantis eats it's young.  They are fully boys!  Running, screaming, crying, all for no plausible reason.  Truth is...I LOVE it.  They are amazing and keep both Becky and I smiling.  Most of the time our smiles are masked by our extreme exhaustion.    
If it wasn't for my parents and siblings we would be completely lost at this point.  They've taken the kids off our hands when we need it and watched them when we have our many appointments.  The people who have sacrificed their finances to help us pay our bills are constantly on our minds.  I'm blown away by how amazing  you all are for even considering helping us.

Please continue to pray that this process goes relatively easy considering what it is.  Basically that Becky would feel as normal as possible during her treatment.  Of course that the cancer would NEVER return and that God's peace would be over both of us.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

We Interrupt this Programming...

Sorry to pull a PBS and interject with an outside call-to-action, but I wanted to keep everyone abreast of the financial situation in the Woods family, should you be (or have you been) able to help.

First, praise God, and thank you! Through the efforts of the Woods' friends and family, we have been able to bless them with just under $2,000. That's amazing!

Second, to update on what their needs are:

Becky's treatments have so far been covered by insurance, and so the medical expenses are not the bulk of their financial stress. Also, their home church has been integral in providing meals for their family. However, the lack of income from Jonas (primary/only breadwinner) is where the majority of their financial gaps are surfacing.

They are in need of some more financial help as they continue to figure out how to make ends meet without their usual courses of action. If you can give a lot, GREAT! If you can give a little, GREAT!

Please prayerfully consider how God would have you uplift the Woods family in this time. Whether in money or in prayer or in both, we can continue to help them as they face the road ahead. None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something.

Thanks for walking this road with them.

Jena (Saaybe) Schaumburg

TO GIVE: go to and log in. Select "Send Money" and enter "," making sure to designate your gift as being to "family and friends" so that a fee will not be deducted. Your full gift will be given to the Woods family. Blessings, JS

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We Had a Scare

This morning in typical style my 1 yr old Liam woke up at 5am.  I was exhausted from going out with some friends the night before and felt pretty weak when I woke up.  But who am I to complain when my love is going through such a trial.  Anyway...Becky woke up with us to use the restroom before going back to lay down for a bit.  When she came out I was standing in the kitchen and she looked strangely tired.  She leaned into me and said that she felt like she might faint.  As she leaned on me she went limp.  Her eyes rolled back and she make a scary weezing sound.  I laid her gently to the floor as I  went into a panic, grabbed my phone and prepared to call 911.  Just then she woke out of it and told me to call our Dr.  We did and of course he told us to get to the E.R.
I drove like a madman and got her to the E.R. where they quickly admitted her.  Started to give her fluids and ask a million questions.  I was certain that she caught a virus of some kind.  With her white blood cells low, she can't catch even the simplest virus or it can be very bad.  To say the least I was scared and freaking out.  I'm SO TIRED OF BEING SCARED!  I'm not the type that gets scared easily.   Lately I've been thrown into these situations where I'm lost in my fear.  I'm not enjoying it.
Anyway....after 6 hours of tests they found that she was in relatively perfect health.  Blood work was perfect.  Turns out that chemotherapy has a tendency to dehydrate.  We just happened to find that out the hard way.  She was dehydrated.
We are home and tired but ok.  We are SO BLESSED to have amazing parents who watch the kids when we need them.  Such servants, such examples to both of us.
This is probably jumbled but I'm so tired that I don't want to proof read.  LOL

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My scrambled thoughts- Becky

Once again our sweet, precious one year old woke up at 4am and wouldn't go back down!!!!! so I'll do my best to share my thoughts and have them make sense. It'll be short,  just wanted to share something I read in my devotional.

The author is talking about how there are times in our lives when we are dodging baseballs...all the things life throws at us. Financial problems, depression, marital problems, disease, etc. She goes on to say " at these times, I felt I needed God to be my catcher, standing not behind the plate but in front of me keeping me safe. But sometimes God allows us to get hit by what life throws at us, for he knows that without adversity we cannot become more like him."

That really stuck with me. I had always been praying for God to mold me into someone who reflects Him in all that I do. Did I want the answer to that prayer to be going through a scary disease? No! (and not to say that I am now like God in all I do...SO FAR FROM IT!!!!!!) But it's definitely pointed my priorities, my thoughts, etc in the right direction and off of my own selfishness and worldly plans and desires. I've said this before but I do trust God. I know He only wants what's best for me and if that means going through this, I gladly will go through it because I know He's right next to me holding my hand...and sometimes carrying me. And I WILL get through this and maybe someday when I meet Him face to face He can better explain to me why this was the best plan :).

"We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4)

By the way... I'm feeling great so far!!!! Thank you for your prayers! Last cycle was such a different experience at this point due to me being in the hospital and not sleeping for 5 days, me getting over pneumonia, having my heart recently drained of fluid.... I was so tired. This time I've felt GREAT! I feel like I'm waiting for the day when it hits me and I'm WIPED out and that might still come any day now but maybe not :). I'm just GRATEFUL for having energy and having a good time with my family while they're here.

Did Jonas mention he shaved my head? Not with an electric razor but a handheld one with shaving cream? SCARY! My hair had started to fall out in patches so it needed to be done but it's funny how different I feel no longer having stubble to hide under. NOW I feel like an alien :) Or a roll on deodorant! :) I guess before I could have passed as someone with an odd choice of a hairstyle as a fashion statement but now it's pretty obvious I'm a cancer patient. Just weird. Didn't think a millimeter of hair would make me feel so vulnerable.

And as far as prayer requests.... seriously... PLEASE PRAY LIAM SLEEPS!!!! He's not been sleeping well at all this week and the waking up at 4 and 5am is killing us (more specifically killing Jonas since he's been amazing enough to get up with them in the mornings). We'd SO appreciate prayer with sleep in our kiddos so we can catch up on our rest.

THANK YOU ALL! And THANK you to those who are consistently lifting me (us) up in prayer, even when things seem to be going well. Please keep praying :) God is GOOD and I know he hears every prayer.

Friday, September 14, 2012

We Hold to This

14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold outc the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Phil: 2:14-18

In a day and time when it's easy to complain and complain and, oh yeah, complain, I take heart in this scripture.  This has been my theme scripture for a long time.  As Becky and I go through this journey called cancer it rings truer than ever.  It would be easy for me to ask why.  It would be easy for both of us to complain about this disease and the toll that it's taking on our lives and family.  We're not holier than thou and we DO NOT think that we have some superior knowledge somehow gained through our struggle.  HA!  We're barely hanging on.  But the entire premise of our lives is that we hold to what the Word of God (BIBLE) says.  This means that when times are hard, when thinks kick us in the teeth, we can come to this source and revel in it's words.  Today this one hit me again.

Take heart in the hope that is Jesus today.  As you go through your struggles note that there are things set in motion before the beginning of time that God has ordained for your life.  If we can keep our focus on this fact we can face today.  Each one of us is a vessel ready to be filled by something.  What we choose to fill it with is our choice.  Today I will make a conscious decision to fill it with love, hope, and character.  All of these things I've learned from watching my incredible wife.  

My beautiful wife has always been a light in my world.  Today I see her "Shining like the stars in the universe."  


Thursday, September 13, 2012


I never thought for even one second that staying home with the kids was an easy job.  I never thought that keeping the house clean was easy.  I never figured that doing the laundry was a simple job either.  Now that I'm home most of the month to help with these things I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.  It makes me nuts when the Dr's ask Becky if she has a job and she says, "no, i'm a stay at home Mom."  What?!  From now on I'm going to have to speak up.  This is a job that never stops, never has vacation, and as I'm finding out often starts around 5am.

Being a father is one of the greatest joys of my life but I often think that God makes kids cute and innocent so that we don't eat our young when they wake up this early.   Liam has learned a few words. The one he uses at 5am is Daddy.  He says it like a question, Daddy?  Oh man!  So cute.

Anyway...this post is probably really disjointed because it's too early to blog.  LOL

Last night I shaved Becky's head with a razor.  All her little hairs were falling out so we decided to even it out and just shave it smooth.  She thinks that she looks strange now.  She still looks amazing.  I've received so many emails and notes from people giving words of encouragement.  I can't thank you enough.  Cards and emails like this never really moved me.  Now I can't read these words from you all without a lump in my throat.  What's wrong with me?!  Ha!  Turns out that I may actually have a heart. Don't quote me on that.

Ok I have to go before Liam rips the laptop screen completely off.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Becky is here now in Providence getting chemo for the 2nd time. Becky has her parents here visiting so our chemo day consisted of playing games and laughing and probably having too much fun. She said she felt better this session of chemo than when she had her first so praise God! No more sore throat side effects during it. We met with Dr. Wittle's this morning to hear how she's doing. He was very pleased to see that all her counts were perfect. There's a number attributed to her lymph nodes and malignancy. When she came in for the first time that number was elevated at 364. You Dr. or Nurse people out there can correct me, but this is how I understood it. Now her number is exactly where it is supposed to be at 160. Dr. Wittle's said that it's no surprise that the number is so low. They expect that the actual mass should be almost gone at this point. This translates into, CHEMO is powerful stuff. Please continue to pray that God would provide for us during these next few months. It's going to be an interesting ride with me staying home with the kids. I LOVE it but it's hard not working right now. As I start to talk about what we're going through I'm discovering that this is not a message of sadness or depression but a message of HOPE and EXPECTATION! God is surely doing something amazing to us and through us. We're starting to see how amazing He really is. Here's some food for thought: As you read this and think in your mind that your issues are small or that the things that you're going through are minor compared to what Becky is going through, ask yourself this question: WHAT IS TOO BIG FOR GOD? In other words, you see your issue as small compared to what Becky is going through but God sees Becky's issue and your issue and everyone's issue as SMALL. God loves you so much. He is able to do anything! Nothing is too big or too small for God to help. Thanks for your continued support and prayers. We are in good spirits.

-Rob (Jonas)

Here's a new picture that our sister in law Becca Arthurs Woods took of Becky.  Awesome stuff.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Adorable Wife

Ok, so I get that I've been a little sappy when it comes to my wife lately, but truthfully I'm feeling like a teenager again when I look at her.  It's not the hair or the lack of it, it's not the fact that she's going through this crazy thing called cancer, it's the gift that God has given to me called clarity.  Wow, I've needed some clarity.  Anyway...seeing God in her allows me to see her better and understand her better.  With that clarity comes profound love.  I'm grateful for it.

We're both anxious to keep the chemo sessions coming.  They are, of course, right on track but we're both wanting to speed it up so we can get to the end.  This is not a very good idea seeing as how the body wouldn't much appreciate an overdose of chemo.  This is why I'm not a Dr. although, if they ever needed me, I do have scrubs.  So...

Lessons learned this week:

- Silence is Powerful and sometimes imperative
- Victory can be found in anything if we keep our perspectives in order
- Real love is only conditional if we don't understand the definition of love
- God is TRULY a comforter
- Cancer can be a gift  (hard to type this but it's true in our case)

Phil: 2:15  one of my favorite verses.  I see my wife "shining like the stars in the universe."


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Answered Prayer

It's easy to forget about the blog when things are going great and I feel fine, but I suppose I should still continue the updates :). Aside from my port ACHING and healing up, I feel great! I'm not sure if my blood count is still low or not...but I feel good, I've been sleeping well...Only bummer is that I'm not allowed to pick anything heavy up (like my kids) for a week. So hard to see my adorable little Liam reaching and crying for me and I can't pick him up. But it's also awesome seeing how he's bonding so well with Jonas due to all of the time he's been having with them. Tuesday is my new chemo day (since I couldn't do it this week due to low blood count) so be praying for my recovery week after that. And please keep praying for Jonas as he's having to once again do most everything full time, especially when I'm (possibly) down and out for the week following chemo. He's doing a great job and doesn't complain but he's only human and I know he can wear out too. But my parents will be here so that will help. It's funny...before all of this happened or was discovered, I had been fervently praying for a few things: -Liam to sleep through the night! - Jonas and I to have a deeper, closer relationship -to be used and not just feel like I'm a stay at home mom that's stuck at home and exists without doing anything for God -and for my spiritual walk to deepen (and my whole family's) This whole cancer journey has DEFINITELY answered and is the process of answering those prayers. All of them. The first week when I was rushed to the ER Liam had no problem sleeping through the night at grandma's house... (little stinker... of course it's always easy when he's with someone else!). And obviously Jonas and I have learned SO much about ourselves, our priorities, each other... And even last sunday when I wasn't able to go to church with Jonas due to my blood count, I had an amazing opportunity when my neighbor who I NEVER talk to came out and started pouring his problems out to me. If you know me, you know I'm shy... I'm not the one who can naturally join in conversation with someone I hardly know. But, I realized that this was no coincidence and was an opportunity given by God and started sharing Jesus with him. He said he could see that we have peace, especially with me going through what I'm experiencing, and he wants that...and he doesn't have it. For an hour I poured out my heart to him about the reality of Jesus and how he cares and how he can have peace in his life.... who knows if he thinks I was completely looney or if he'll give God a try and sincerely call out to him and see if he exists. So please, please,please pray for my neighbor.... that, even though he doesn't believe in God, that he'll at least ask God if He's real! And seek him and his peace! and find him! It was just cool to see that God is already using shy little me :) and filling me with a boldness I didn't tap into before. I'm still not a natural at sharing! but I believe God gave me the words to say at that moment. And I'm so happy that I was able to plant a seed in someone's life and point them to Hope.

A couple of verses I read this week that spoke to me:
"...don't be afraid, I have rescued you. I have called you by name; now you belong to me. When you cross deep rivers, I will be with you, and you won't drown. When you walk through fire, you won't be burned or scorched by the flames. I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, the God who saves you." Isaiah 43: 1-3

"My people, you are my witnesses and my chosen servant. I want you to know me, to trust me, and understand that I alone am God. I have always been God; there can be no others. I alone am the Lord; only I can rescue you. I promised to save you, and I kept my promise. You are my witnesses that no other god did this. I , the Lord, have spoken. I am God now and forever. No one can snatch you from me or stand in my way." Isaiah 43: 10-13

Oh, and for the one who wanted to see a picture of me in a you go :) Let me just say that figuring out how to tie the scarves is not as easy as one would imagine!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Today I went in to have a port put in my collar bone area for future bloodwork, IVs, etc. I'm pretty sore right now and am hoping it heals up quickly. I won't be able to do chemo tomorrow after all since my white blood cell count is still pretty low. I'd so appreciate your prayers that I don't develop any kind of infection with my port incision area healing up. Because I am sore and little movements can hurt the port area, I've been sitting on the couch with my ice pack, watching my wonderful husband clean the house....fold 3 laundry baskets of laundry, do the dishes.... put the kids to bed... He's amazing. :) And he does it without complaining. I couldn't ask for a better partner through this experience. So please be praying my white blood cell count goes up so that I'm not at such a risk for infections, etc and I can go out and socialize some while I feel good! :) I'd prefer not to have to wear a mask while going out if possible. Although I know Jonas would come up with some creative design to draw on it, just to spice things up. :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting Used to the Looks by JONAS

Today we decided to get out of the house and walk around a shopping area.  Becky is still hunting for scarfs and head coverings.  I personally think that she is gorgeous without her hair.  She is still getting used to the idea.  She has it in her head that people will feel uncomfortable if she decides to go in public without some kind of a covering.  If you've known me for more than 3 seconds then you'll know that I don't give much weight to what people think of me.  LOL  Today I convinced Bec to go without a head covering to see how she could handle it.  She, of course, looked stunning!  I guess I was thinking that this would be a good thing to help her get over her fear of that.  (I should leave the therapy up to Dr. Phil)  She did get plenty of looks.  Some where curious.  Other's were straight up confused.  And still others were sweet smiling faces that said, "we get it and we're proud of you."  Every day I'm growing in my respect and pride for my wife.  I'm so proud to have found her, and that God would have her love me.

UPDATE:  We will be heading to the hospital tomorrow for Bec to get her "port" put in.  This will allow the Dr's to draw blood without having to stick Becky every time.  On Wed. she'll go in for her 2nd chemo session.  I asked her tonight if she was ready for it.  She responded with YES.  This is how we get this done.  The 2nd session means we're one more closer to the end.  I agree.  Pray that she'll maintain some sense of physical strength.  Her parents will be flying in from California on Sat. morning.  We're praying that Bec will have energy enough to enjoy her time while they're here.  Thanks for your continued prayer and support.  It means so much.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

No More Bad Hair Days!

Well, I finally did it. I shaved my head. I was losing enough hair every time I touched it to realize it was on it's way to falling out and knew I didn't want to watch it come out in large clumps and be traumatized, so after talking it over and crying with Jonas, we decided it was time. Talk about a bonding experience! I think we both had tears in our eyes as he picked up the scissors and chopped it off. Even for a husband, I can't imagine what a weird experience that must have been for him. But, as soon as he did it I felt relief. No more time spent worrying about when and how it was going to fall out. It was almost kind of freeing! Jonas actually loves it and begs me not to cover my head with hats and scarves. I was worried about my 4 year old son and how he would react the next morning to me coming out of my room with no hair. Although we had prepared him for that, I'm not sure anyone can be too prepared for the actual site of it. But when he saw me he told me I was still beautiful and then added that my hair felt like sand paper and I could now sand things around the house that need sanding. :) so cute. My 1 year old just laughs and then slaps or licks my head. Hoping that reaction changes soon. :)

I've been stocking up on scarves and practiced lastnight how to tie them and accessorize them and I won't lie, I'm pretty excited about all the looks I can do with those. And really, it is SO great to be able to wake up and not have to do a thing about my hair!!! I'm loving that.

Aside from the hair I've been having a wonderful weekend. Thanks again for your prayers!