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Huber Family

Monday, June 03, 2013

Haven't Heard From Us In Awhile?

Yes, Joni is continuing her treatments here in Scottsdale.  I know that it has been 2 weeks since I last reported and I can't really point a finger on the reason why I have been uninspired to write.  I think the unfamiliar way of life here is starting to get to me.  I'm pretty much a person who is most comfortable in  normal, consistent, non-adventurous situations.  A risk and adventure taker I am not.  I also very much enjoy working with my hands which I have not done for over two months now.  Ok, enough of the excuses, its not often in life we get to control our circumstances so I should have been prepared for this journey.

Joni is ready to get out of here and I certainly cannot blame her.  A daily dose of needles, meds, blood draws, yucky feelings, new symptoms, old symptoms, supplements, nausea, sleeplessness, etc all have a way of wanting one to "escape".  We have two weeks of treatments remaining but that may be cut short because I want to have enough resources to get a good start on a home protocol which will be critical for Joni and the rest of the family.  Lyme is similar to cancer in that it can be in remission and then reappear with a vengeance. It is critical to do as much as possible to prevent recurrence.  The home protocol of liposomal vitC, colloidal silver, rife machine, far infrared sauna, supplements, etc, etc, etc is quite daunting but we are committed to the course as finances are available.  I'm already preparing to work, work, work when I get home to do all I can to help my wife and family.  We did some simple testing on the kids while they were here to get an indication of how things are with them as it concerns lyme and its co-infections.  I am also doing some testing specifically with metal poisoning because of the trade I have been in for most of my working career.

Joni is going through her treatments much better than before.  She was unable to do her last IPAC treatment because her white blood cell count was driven too low by the Rocephin she was getting.  We were a bit discouraged by this because it is the best weapon to use for her neurological issues. It's funny how we got to the point where we were disappointed in not getting the IPACs when at first we didn't know how Joni was going to get through them.  Remember, this was the treatment that caused Joni to collapse on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.  Her last two weeks will include more high dose IV vitC and silver.  This is in addition to the several other treatments she has been getting everyday.  Joni still gets sick from the treatments but her recovery time has been greatly reduced.

Pray that we will make the right decisions that we are facing.  We have to decide on whether to stay for the entire course of treatments or use the money to get started on the home protocol. Second, we need to decide if we should get the port removed from Joni's chest before we leave or keep it in for future treatments.  Joni wants it out and we don't feel we will ever be able to get additional treatments so the decision seems obvious, but it does take $15,000.00 if we were to repeat the procedure. We covet your prayers on these two specific issues.

We have enjoyed attending Heritage Baptist Church in Avondale, AZ for the past two weeks. I wish we could have connected with these folks earlier but Joni's health did not allow. Tonight, Lord willing we will be the guests in a home of a couple that attend there.  They have opened up their home to us to stay if we desire. Pastor Jason (can't remember his first name) is teaching through a series on the Ten Commandments.  This past week he taught on commandment #3 "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain".  What a great job he did!  This commandment has been so minimized in our generation.  I'm looking forward to next week if we are able to attend when the highly controversial commandment #4  "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy" will be discussed.

I have two recommendations for books if you are interested.  These two books have been an incredible encouragement and conviction to me over the past few weeks.  The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by the puritan Jeremiah Burroughs is the finest work I have ever read on the subject of contentment.  I am amazed by the powerful truths contained in this work.  I guarantee that you will see contentment in a way you have never viewed.  It is a book that I will read over and over again.  Thanks to Jim Zes who sent it to Anthony where I was able to intercept it.  I can't seem to absorb enough of it.  The other book was recommended by our doctor here in Scottsdale.  I was very impressed with our first visit with Dr. Oertle as he suggested we start a thankfulness journal, a forgiveness journal and read One Thousand Gifts written by Ann Voskamp.  His recommendations reminded me that healing is so much more than just the physical aspect.  This book is a little difficult for me to read due to my literary limitations.  It is written in a style that is not the norm for me but I am completely in awe of the truths that flow through its pages.  These books open up a whole new world to who God is and the work that He is doing in our lives in every circumstance.  We Christians must have a better understanding of God and how He completes His work in us.  I am "blown away" with all that God is teaching me.

I have also been reminded again on this journey that life truly is a vapor.  Joni and I were blessed to meet a couple here at Envita by the names of Greg and Maggie.  Greg, who is in his mid 40's was diagnosed a few months ago with stage 4 pancreatic cancer that had metastasized to the liver.  Greg went through a series of chemo therapies and then made it to Envita to get some boosting of the immune system.  Our first and only encounter with this couple was brief and we were looking forward to spending more time with them. When we looked for them one day we were told that they had gone home to enter hospice care.  I found them on the internet and was able to write a brief note to them before finding out that Greg had passed away this weekend.  I no longer try to wonder why God does what He does.  I am finding out that to spend more time thinking about my responsibilities does a whole lot better.  Although God can be known, many of His ways are beyond our comprehension.  I'm just so thankful that I am tethered to the Rock of Ages.  While we make mistakes such as not sharing our faith as we should, I know that He makes no mistakes.  I am compelled to live more like Christ when He reveals death to me and isn't that what He has taught us in His precious Word?  In dying we shall live.

We are looking so forward to returning home to Floresville, and then some day finally making it all the way home to be with our Lord.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Great and Marvelous

I will always fondly remember my days singing in the choir at North Love Baptist Church in Rockford, Il.  Pastor Dan Outler was our music minister and a great friend indeed.  He always held a high standard in what the choir and congregation would sing to praise and honor the Lord and I would like to think that his influence lives on in my life today.  The inspirational times in that choir are some of the best memories in my life.  When I took the kids up to see the Grand Canyon (about 3.5 hrs from our home away from home) this past Thursday, I was reminded of a song we used to sing from Majesty Music if I recall titled Great and Marvelous.  God truly is great and marvelous.  His creation, ways, judgments, laws, and will are too.  I see His greatness as I behold the beauty of the Grand Canyon and I see His greatness as I experience and see His work in my life as well as in the lives of so many others.  I am totally unworthy to be blessed with a wife who loves God with all her heart.  She has just recently made friends with a young woman from India who claims that Joni is her first friend in America.  Joni has a gift for truly caring about others and making them feel important.  I remember her sister Dee Dee also having the same gift. I am also so unworthy to have 12 children who absolutely love one another and enjoy doing things together.  God blessed me with a daughter (Katherine) who worked everything out for her 6 younger siblings to make a 15 hr trip to see their mother.  Not too many people get to experience what it's like to take trips with all those young ones.  And even less are able to say how much they love being with their brothers and sisters during and after a trip like that.  She is amazing!
She has flawlessly run the household in our absence for 7 weeks now. God blessed me with a daughter(Kristalyn) who joyfully made meals, shopped, washed laundry and kept things in order as Joni and I spent the day at the clinic.  God blessed me with children (Brenton and Benjamin) who make things fun for their younger siblings and show them that they are valued. It was such  good therapy to see them playing in the hotel pool together.  God blessed me with children (Kaylianna, Christian, Justin) who wanted everyone at the clinic to know that they were thankful for them taking care of their mommy. Their notes to the staff were an absolute hit.  All these things are miracles from God.  Yes, it was great to see the creation wonders of God portrayed in the Grand Canyon, but His wonders are manifested in the lives of people all around us.  Without Him we can do nothing.  Without Him there is no good.  Without Him our life would consist of what we could get out of it.  As for me, I can say that He has granted me fulness of joy.  I am surrounded by His greatness and goodness whether it be to look over the span of the Grand Canyon or look into the eyes of my smiling children.  The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.

Joni has been responding well to her treatments as of late.  The most troubling for her at this point is the high dose vitamin C IV therapy.  She will be doing more of these after next week if we are able to stay for her entire protocol.  Right now she has completed 10 of the 12 IPAC treatments.  These were brutal when she started them.  It would take her at least 6 hours to recover to the point where she wanted to get up out of bed but now she gets an hour or two of rest and is able to function quite well.  Her terrible headaches and nausea are far less frequent.  She is still very tired and does not have the brain function improvement we are desiring.  All in all we are very encouraged.  We know that our home protocol will be rigorous and expensive but we are ready to embrace God's plan for us.  I am learning so much here.  Its easy to learn this stuff because I was always interested in the medical field even though I don't even like to give our animals shots.  Others can do the nitty gritty and I'll stick to storing up all the brainy stuff.  No pun intended there. (shots-stick, get it) That was for my kids who are constantly rolling their eyes at my "marvelous" humor.

Some key finds for Joni have been:  chronic lyme disease and several co-infections, parasites, very low VitD levels, very low magnesium levels, energy cell level virtually 0, adrenal function poor to name a few.  It's hard to believe someone with such a proper diet and lifestyle (and a good husband) could be so ill but that is what lyme disease does. Well, I guess you could scratch the good husband part. I was checking to see if you were still with me.  Our plan is to finish out 4 more weeks here in Scottsdale but we don't have the money for that at this time.  We came with enough money for 1 week of treatments and we have been here 7.  That doesn't include the port procedure, an ultrasound to eliminate the possibility of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, an mri and ct scan of the brain to eliminate anything other than lyme that could be causing Joni's neurological issues.  We have quite a story to tell but we want it to be complete before we give the details.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below,  Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Amen.  My kids often hear this admonition from me and I pass it along to you this evening- Finish Strong!  It not only will be worth it all when we see Jesus, it is worth it all now.  Look around and see the goodness and greatness of our Lord and sing with me Great and Marvelous are Thy ways  Lord God Almighty....who shall not fear Thee and bring glory to Thy name...Thou alone art holy, Thou alone are worthy....

Monday, May 13, 2013

Special Guests

Yay, the Huber kids have arrived in Scottsdale!  Joni, Kristalyn and I were so excited to see Katherine, Brenton, Benjamin, Kaylianna, Christian and Justin pull into the hotel parking lot about 6:00 pm Sunday evening.  We were anticipating their arrival on this past Friday night but circumstances beyond their control delayed them until last night.  The account of their delay is what I would like to share with you as I apply it to the thoughts I shared in my last post concerning Ps 57.   David's circumstances in Ps. 57 were life threatening and traumatic so I don't want you to think that my situation is to be equated with David's but I was able to apply some very important truths to a situation that was on the surface very troubling.  If you remember, David rejoiced and exalted the Lord in the midst of distressing circumstances and that is what God is trying to teach me.  Here is the latest on His work in my life.

I first need to take you back to the year 2002 when our family had moved from Loves Park, Il to just north of San Antonio.  We were able to purchase a very nice used 1997 15 passenger van off ebay.  This was an amazing vehicle and served us well for over 9 years when it suddenly and unexpectedly became unusable.  We went for over a year using our other vehicle which could only transport 5 of us at one time.  We had the option to not go anywhere together or take two trips.  Then on Thanksgiving Day 2012 the Lord used some dear friends to provide for us a van that would carry us all. Well, 8 out of  9 is really close.  We have been so excited to use our 1999 Honda Odessey van over the past 6 months.  Joni says it is the perfect car for her.  We had to do some repairs and get 4 new tires for the kids to come and see Joni for Mother's Day and all was well when they pulled out of Floresville on Friday morning at 5:00 A.M.  After 2 1/2 hrs on the road, Katherine called to inform me that the car was broken down on the side of the road.  I was able to call some dear friends (wow, can't believe the gifts God has given to us in the way of friends) who came and rescued the kids and had our car towed to the nearest town.  Later in the day I was informed by the car mechanic that the transmission was junk.  All of a sudden discouragement began to flood my heart and mind.  I had just spent $2000.00 getting the van in "perfect" condition not just for the trip but for prolonged use and now it had a failure that quite possibly would cost more than what the car is worth.  On top of that the kids would not be coming for a much needed visit having not been with us for 6 weeks now.  I usually look at these circumstances as simply beyond my control so there's no since in getting too upset,  but that is not how God wants us to look at them.  He wants us to rejoice and give thanks in everything for this is His will in Christ Jesus concerning you (me). 1 Thess 5:18.

Thank God I have a wife who is my helpmeet to see the truths of Scripture and apply them. First, the van was a gift from God freely given.  Second, the $2000.00 that was spent to get the van fixed was also a gift from God freely given.  Third, my kids were safe and in the loving care of friends.  Fourth, the car is towed off the road and in the safe keeping of a mechanic.   Fifth, another dear friend offered to get it back to Floresville which is 2 hours away.  Sixth, a rental vehicle was provided so that the kids could still come and be here.  These are just the huge, obvious blessings that surround this "bad" situation.  Believe me, I am far from immediately dropping to my knees and praising God for these times but I am learning.  What if God was protecting my children from an accident, or storm, or encounter with some unseemly characters?  What if God wants to bless me with transportation beyond my dreams?  What if He wants me to empty myself of all expectations?  What if He wants to make my way impossible humanly speaking?  What if He wants to make some people needy so that others can give? Think what life would be like if we never had opportunities to meet the needs of others through our time, our caring, our resources? This I know, God wants me out of the way to do His perfect will and it is not going to look like what I would design.  Do I still have questions about what our family will use for transportation when we get home? Yes, God does not want us to sit idle when there is something we can do.  He doesn't want us to neglect our responsibilities and still expect Him to pour a bucket of blessing on us.  You know, He even does that at times because of His grace.  What a great God I serve.  Can you imagine a world where every Christian rejoiced and sang praises in their personal prison?  Then we truly would be peculiar in a better sense than what we are now perceived to be.

I hope you will come along with me as I try to apply the precious truths of our great Guide, the Holy Scriptures.  Love them, embrace them, apply them and never leave them.  The next time it seems the world is crashing down, remember God is the Sovereign Lord over all and He doesn't need to use a "good" thing to bless us.  We are blessed in all things.  We just need to use a different set of eyes.  And now I think I'll go down to the hotel pool and see my healthy kids swimming and laughing and enjoying the blessings He has granted.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Windows of Hope

Though we still have 5 weeks left in our treatment schedule, which I am sure will have many peaks and valleys, I am delighted to report that Joni has had some encouraging signs popping up now and then.  On two mornings this week Joni has expressed to me that she has felt a calm in her body that has not been there for a long time.  On another occasion she told me she was able to mentally process some thoughts easier than she usually can.  She reacted less severely to her roughest treatment on Wed and Fri.  These are precious events for us.  We realize that we are most likely in a lifetime struggle with Joni's condition but boy does it feel good when relief shows up.  Joni is now half way through her most rigorous treatment (IPAC).  She has taken six which were for Kristalyn, Brenton, Benjamin, Kaylianna, Christian and Justin (see other post for explanation).  Now 6 more for the older kids.  She continues to have her blood oxygenated, edta chelation, hydrogen peroxide, biological pushes, antibiotics and high dose vitamin c (60,000 mg) all through IV treatments.  She also detoxes by far-infrared saunas, ozone saunas, hydro-therapy colonics, epsom salt baths, himalayan salt baths, enemas and other techniques.  Those things along with a very good diet and some supplements are the responsibilities we have embraced to restore Joni's health.  This keeps us busy all day long but we are determined to act on the knowledge God has given us.  When we fulfill our responsibilities it is much easier to accept the results no matter what they may be.  Joni may never be completely cured but that is God's business.  Ours is to follow where He leads and do our part.

For all my chef friends out there, I cooked some chicken breasts on the hotel grill, and we invited a co-patient and her mother over for supper before their departure back home.  It is such a blessing to make friendships with such loving and caring people from all over.  Many of them have a strong faith in the Lord which confirms to me that God is doing a great work to advance His kingdom in this land even if it seems at times that all is doom and gloom.  I personally do not believe we are polishing a sinking ship.  God is doing amazing things across this world even if it is not as prevalent in our own country.  Wake up America and receive from the God of heaven and earth all the blessings given to those who trust in Him.  Going back to the grill thing, I must admit I was somewhat forced into it.  This guy just doesn't like to prepare food.  Grilling is about the only food preparation I can somewhat get into.  Where is Chef John Long from Floresville when I need him?

This week we enjoyed a visit from our dear friend Lori from back in the San Antonio area.  She came over Mon night and used essential oils to give Joni a great massage.  She also helped her do some exercises which will be used in the days ahead.  Her giving and joyful spirit was a beautiful example of the ministry we all can have when we empty ourselves of selfishness and live each day for the glory of God and the good of our neighbor.

I was reading in the Psalms this morning and wanted to just encourage you all in a thought if I may.
Ps 57 has such a wonderful message which I desire to be my message in the days ahead.  The background for this Ps is David fleeing from Saul.  As you read it you will find David pleading for God's mercy and taking refuge under the shadow of God's wing in the midst of calamities.  He mentions crying unto God for salvation from those who want to swallow him up.  David tells us his "soul" is among lions and among those that are set on fire, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongues are sharp swords.  David tells us a net has been spread and a pit dug for him.  In other words, this man is in dire circumstances with no apparent way of escape.  But he does escape and here is how. First, his soul trusts in God.  What or who are you trusting?  Do our lives make it unmistakable to others that our trust is in God?  Second,  his comfort is under the shadow of God's wing.  Where do we seek comfort?  For some of us it is in a person, for others it is activity, for many it is food. Third, David expresses faith.  He says, "God will save me, He shall send forth His mercy from heaven."  I find myself often praying as the disciples did,  "Lord increase my faith."  Fourth, and perhaps most outstanding is verse 5. "Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Thy glory be above all the earth."  What? How does that fit into the context?  It fits perfectly when we get to the point in our lives where everything and I mean everything is about Him and not us.  It's easy to sing songs that say it's all  about God but that's lip service.  God is in the busy of doing an unexplainable work in the true saints of God and this passage reveals what it is.  In any circumstance I will have my heart fixed on Him (vs7). I will sing and give praise (vs8).  I will praise God among the people and the nations (vs9).
When we respond like this in any situation, we reveal the mercy, grace, and truth of the Living God.    We don't need to see healing to know God is real and performing miracles. We see it when the saints of God like David are exalting God even when he is running for his life and his soul is under attack.  I hope you will commit with me to have this passion.

I had an opportunity to act on this truth this week though in a far lesser degree and I hope to share it with you in the next post.  I am going to end now but I hope to write again later today or at the latest tomorrow.  God bless you all our friends and family for the outpouring of prayers, concern, cards, financial support and acts of true love.  We are most blessed.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Knocked Down but Not Out

It was a very difficult week for Joni in regards to how she responds to her treatments.  The IPAC treatments that are mentioned in the last update are very tough on her.  She handles the treatment well as they are administering it but within a half hour she is pretty much completely drained of any strength or mental awareness.  She is able to respond slowly when spoken to but she is basically like someone who has been under general anesthesia.  She sweats profusely yet shakes badly and has to have me help her walk.  After the treatments she spends time in a far-infrared sauna and an ozone sauna to help detox.  We head to our home away from home where she stays in bed for several hours before she "comes out of it".  this has been her typical Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Tuesdays go pretty well until her last treatment which is vitamin C IV therapy.  Joni is up to 40,000 mg of vitamin C at this point but will be going up higher in the days ahead. As a comparison, if you take 2000mg of vit C orally you will have an upset stomach and diarrhea.  With the IV's your body can receive much higher doses.  I have a friend whose wife was near death with metal poisoning and is well today mainly because of high dose vit C therapy.  Joni is only doing this treatment on Tuesdays but when she finishes her IPAC treatments in another 3 weeks she will be doing the vitamin C 3 days a week.  Thursdays are her only decent days so we really enjoy those. I have to keep her from trying to do too much because she wants to feel productive at least one day a week but even on this day she quickly tires.  Saturdays seem to hit her hard also.  Today she is struggling with detox headaches and her usual digestive system pains.  Sundays have been relatively quiet.  Last week we attended church where Dr. James White is an elder.  I have enjoyed some of his books and CD's and was glad to hear and meet him in person.

Please continue to pray for Joni to physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually  stay in the fight.  This is extremely hard for her.  She talks about her pregnancies and all its pain being worth it because of the souls God gives after the ordeal but this situation is harder to keep the end results in view.  She has to do 12 IPAC treatments so I told her to take 1 for each of her children.  My prayer is that these treatments will give a mommy back to her kids.  She has taken a treatment so far for Justin, Christian and Kaylianna.  I can't wait to see her have some energy back to be more of a participant in their lives. They are still very young and need a mommy to be able to read to them and enjoy their hugs when they just want to cuddle.

I am doing well though this is quite an adjustment from my normal everyday life.  I absolutely love taking care of my wife.  I would do anything for her. Well, almost anything.  I don't like to cook (that's where Kristalyn comes in) and too many minutes shopping probably would get me to my threshold.  Other than that,  bring it on.  She has cared for me for so long and now I am able to give back a little.  Joni would not be able to be here without me, so I continually pray for provision to stay here.  This treatment protocol involves so much mentally and emotionally and I want to give her the best atmosphere to heal.  It's very tough to see someone suffer, but if I can be of help to her I want to take a shot at it.

We have met more people with compelling stories.  There is a man here who had surgery to remove a tumor from his brain, took radiation and chemo 1 and 1/2 years only to see it come back.  The  conventional medical field told his wife to take him home to die.  She has him here to see if they can get help.  These people remind me how weak we really are as humans.  In a breath of time a strong man who has worked hard his entire life is brought to virtually nothing by a disease.  We enjoy seeing him make tiny steps in his efforts to heal.  His daughter-in-law was tearing up on Friday just by seeing him make the smallest responses to others talking to him.  When was the last time I stopped to thank God that I could hear, speak and see?  When was the last time I thanked God that I could experience the relationships in my life?  We are too busy to smell the roses.  God help me to slow down so that I can experience what really living is all about.  I thank God He has given me the privilege to understand just a little of how great He is and how small I am.  And then He tells me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Wow! God, the Triune God is an amazing God.   He is the Creator.   We are but creatures.  Why do we find it so hard to abandon all and follow the Lamb wherever He goes?

If this post does not seem to flow it is because I have been in and out trying to give Joni relief from a terrible headache.  I am trying a lot of techniques that I have been learning.  It really is neat to learn more about the body and some things to help her out besides just going to the medicine cabinet and reaching for some pills.  It takes more time but doesn't most things that are worth anything?  Again, we live life too fast.  If you are still up Sat night please pray for Joni right now for peace in her body, soul and spirit.  Blessings to you all and go forth to live for Him who gave you life.  As Jim Elliott told us, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Update on IPAC Treatments

Joni was doing so well with her other treatments that she thought she'd try a new one today.  If she was by my side while I typed that last sentence, I'm sure I'd have sore ribs about now.  When I report that she is doing well with her treatments what I mean is that she came through them better than we expected.  The treatments are like the diseases that they are fighting in that you really don't know when the reactions will rear their ugly heads.  Some people go through a difficult time at the beginning, some in the middle, and some at the end.  We take each day of treatments as a blessing for healing and if Joni happens to come through feeling well enough to get around that is even a greater blessing.

IPAC stands for Insulin Potentiated Antibiotics with Chelodinine.  Wow! I'm not even sure I spelled that correctly.  As I wrote earlier this is a delivery system used in cancer and lyme disease patients to get antibiotics past the blood brain barrier and into places where the bacterias and viruses like to hide.  If you research it, you will find negative things written about it just like you would with most of the alternative treatments that are used. As I also mentioned before, many of the alternative treatments in the USA are not at all alternative in most parts of the world.  Hopefully we will catch up in these areas someday.  I'm not convinced of that when I remember the Scriptures teaching us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  I actually get nervous about all the side effects that are listed for the prescriptions people use.  They are scarier than the side effects of these alternative treatments yet most people don't even think a thing about them.  That leads to another funny story about going to get a prescription filled for Joni.  I was taken back a little when the price rang up for $54.00 for 28 pills.  That seemed high but I left with the pills and began discussing my purchase with Joni.  She reminded me that I could get generic ones cheaper but I had failed to tell the pharmacist I would take the generic ones.  I went back to the counter to see if I could swap them out but was informed that the ones I had were the cheaper ones and were discounted even further by her.  I started to think back at the last time I had purchased drugs and I could not remember.  It has been at least 11 years or more that I have stood in line to purchase prescription drugs.  This is by the grace of God and a loving wife and mother who has saved our family countless money by not only keeping us out of the barbershop but also off prescription drugs.  She has a remedy for everything.  Her tireless efforts have reaped great rewards.

We are getting daily reports of peoples' health being totally changed by these methods that are not practiced throughout our country.  I was so saddened when my mom spoke of a dear friend who has suffered through a multitude of devastating health issues over the years to the point where he doesn't even want to see another doctor.  It is this type of person that a true lyme literate medical doctor can help.  Most patients at the clinics we have been to in Scottsdale have sacrificed everything to be here.  Some have sold their homes, parents have cashed in their retirements and a host of other stories I could share.  They look at these treatments as being their last hope for a better quality of life.  We have an even greater hope than that but boy it would be wonderful to have these treatments return some life to Joni.  Anyway, these IPAC treatments have the potential to really take you for a loop and Joni was not spared.  She actually went through the one hour process pretty good except for being extremely tired but then things began to happen.  She said many of the areas that have caused severe pain over the years hit her full force for awhile.  To my amazement she was actually rejoicing over this reaction because she believes the medicines are reaching the very areas where she needs them to go.  She was able to walk out of the clinic and get in the car but when we were walking into the hotel she just laid down on the sidewalk and didn't want to go on.  Kristalyn and I got her up to our room where the pain and complete exhaustion continued.  Thankfully she is doing much better now and resting comfortably. Well, much better than before.  She is scheduled to go through 11 more of this particular "special" treatments.  Pray that things go better in the days ahead.

We had a gentleman come by and pray with us tonight.  He is from the area and is friends with some of ours.  Here is a man that showed the love and compassion of Christ in that he didn't even know us but paid us a visit.  Boy do I have a lot to learn from him and others who reflect our Savior.  Thanks go out also to Mandi and John Sauve who came to visit last week.  What a great visit we had.  Along with the visits we continue to get many cards from all over.  Some come from dear friends while others come from people we hardly know, but the love and concern expressed in each one is very special to us.  Thank you all for making our time here as good as it can be.

We look forward to tomorrow when Joni will take some routine treatments.  Pray for strength and healing.  We continue to get opportunities to share our faith.  It's pretty easy to share our testimony after someone is amazed that I look too young to have 12 kids.  Let me correct that.  It's pretty easy to share our testimony after someone is amazed that Joni looks too young to have 12 kids.  I don't want to steal her thunder.   God is good.  Our lives are nothing more than a testimony of the Giver of Grace.  We enjoy sharing what He has done for us.  Next time I hope to share with you how much people have financially invested in out trip and what is needed.  Sleep well everyone and may the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:7

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blessings in a "Switch"

I know it's hard to believe but often in my early years I needed the "switch" on the backside to set some things in order.  I am so grateful that my parents didn't follow the human reasoning of the day and spare the rod.  I was commenting online a few months ago about how Joni and I used spankings in the upbringing of our children. There were some comments that followed expressing the horrors that a parent could do such a thing to a child. I was able to share that my anchor is not the "professional" wisdom of the day and certainly not my emotions (Who likes to spank their child?) But my anchor is the Word of God and it instructs me to administer the rod as a form of discipline. That's good enough for me even though it may not make sense to most people. I always knew my parents were smarter than the Dr. Spock's of the world.

Well, our switch was of a different nature but it also was certainly for our good. On Monday morning, April 22nd, we switched our healthcare over to Envita Natural Medical Center in Scottsdale, AZ. Location wise it was uneventful since it is just 5 miles in a different direction than our former clinic and our home away from home sits right in the middle.  We are very encouraged by the atmosphere, the professionalism and knowledge of the staff and the aggressive nature that is employed in fighting diseases of the body.  We have met new friends, heard others share their stories of the destructive nature of Lyme Disease, and been further educated on what we can do to be active participants in our own fight against these terrible bacterias and viruses.

Joni has completed her first week of treatments which many are similar to what she was receiving before as well as a more aggressive attack with antibiotics and detoxification.  The next week involves an even more aggressive move that involves using Insulin Potentiated Antibiotics with Chelidonine.  This is rather complicated to explain but in a nutshell insulin is used to drop the glucose level in the blood which causes cells to open up more to receive their food (glucose) and at that time the antibiotics are administered to go in with the glucose. I know that is a very elementary description but you can research it further if you are on the technical side. Actually it bothers me to be simplistic because I do enjoy the complicated ins and outs of the treatment.  This drug delivery procedure is more useful for lyme patients whose bacterias and viruses have crossed the blood brain barrier and are attacking the central nervous system which is the case with Joni. This is a very controversial treatment in the USA but not in most other parts of the world.  One of its uses in the U.S. is to replace the normal chemotherapy treatment in cancer patients because it can use 10-15 % of the dose of chemotherapy thus greatly reducing the side effects of the drugs.  I wonder why the pharmaceutical companies don't want this to get popular? ( hint-hint)  Many of these alternative treatments that are used in conjunction with the more popular conventional treatments will be on the rise in the coming years in particular with diseases like lyme because traditional medicine has a pretty bad track record when it comes to the chronic cases. There is little hope for those with chronic cases of certain diseases unless you go outside the conventional treatments.  Someday people will not have to travel outside of our great country to get the help they need.

Joni has responded wonderfully so far to her treatments.  We understand that at any time she could get very sick as the "bugs" are killed off and she detoxes but so far her reactions have not been on the severe side. Praise God!  I am convinced that she needs to attack her case aggressively when I hear of other patients tell their stories of not even able to remember their kids names. Joni has days that she seems to be perfectly fine but other days when she is not able to fill out the simplest medical forms without great difficulty. The slightest stress completely incapacitates her.  This is a total reversal from the confident, adventurous go-getter she once was.  I used to get upset with her because we would get in the car to go somewhere and she didn't have a concern at all that we would get to our destination without a street address or map. (which is a must for me)  She would just remember the terrain having been there before and wouldn't you know it, we were there. If we didn't make it there and drove around and around it created no negative feelings in her probably because I had enough for both of us.  I share this not to say her way of doing things was best, how could it be when mine was, but just to share with you how much things have changed for her.  She no longer is confident in getting in the car to go down the street.  I dropped her off for a 5 minute look in Whole Foods the other day and went to find her after 20 minutes.  She had been in the return line with her purchase watching others return their items but it never registered.  Many of you probably know of a friend or relative who suffers with mind altering medical conditions.  This can be very frightening and depressing.  I am trying to help keep Joni from a continual noticeable progression of losing her ability to think.  I know this is difficult for many of you to comprehend because at times Joni can carry on conversations well with you but for somebody who lives with her I know the toll this disease is taking on her body and mind.  With God directing the doctors I am confident Joni can recover.

I encourage everyone to research more about their health conditions. We must be super aggressive in learning and understanding God's design built into our amazing bodies.  With all the food, air and water pollutants we are surrounded with the next generation has little hope for a great quality of life unless they build up their immune systems to fight these vicious enemies.  I know there are naysayers out there who think it's no big deal because modern medicine has an answer for everything but you are absolutely wrong.  The success rates for "cures" are completely distorted.  For instance, we are told that one is cured of cancer if it is in remission for 5 years even if the cancer kills them later.  That is not cure to me.  Besides that, what is the quality of life like for one who lives on prescriptions for every ailment.  All I'm saying is that we need to be proactive in staying healthy and not count on the professionals to mask our symptoms when sickness comes.  Joni's disease is not from an insect bite.  It's not the bugs fault.  It is the result of a compromised immune system that couldn't fight the disease.  This reminds me of the person who claims that the devil made him do it.  No, it's not the devil's fault.  If we took the instructions from the Lord to be strong in His might and resist the devil, the devil would flee from us.  In the physical world as well as the spiritual world we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  As the Scriptures tell us in I Cor 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  Our health is a serious matter that needs much more attention than what we are giving it.

I had hoped to be home a long time ago to be with the kids and do the work I was hired for, but as yet that has not been possible. The change in clinics made it necessary for me to be here and the start of the IPAC treatments on Monday make it necessary for me to be here at least at the beginning.  It's difficult to think about leaving Joni.  I need to be a protector and provider on two fronts.  I guess this is what it feels like for so many in our military who deploy.  Pray for them and especially for them who leave sick ones and troubling situations.

As for finances,  it looks like we have money for one more week of treatments and we will have to come home.  This will be a very incomplete treatment protocol to us and the doctors but we are not wavering in the trust we have with a Sovereign God.  If he orchestrates different plans, we are onboard.  He is our Shepherd and as Ps 23 says, "I shall not want (lack).  Lead on my Shepherd, lead on.  A heart of gratitude pours out for those who have been praying, thinking of us, sending cards and money to meet our needs.  I know that each gift has been a sacrifice.  As Paul wrote to the Romans so write I to you, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."  Forever grateful for our family and friends...