Eleven Days Too Long

June 1, 2015 Comments off

Brenda has spent the past elIMG_9037even days in hospital. We are certainly glad to have her back home now. She went in to have a tube put into her body cavity so they could drain the build up of pleural fluid present there. This unfortunately was followed by a partial lung collapse, a change of hospital and then into lung surgery and recovery.

So in the midst of this stress filled whirlwind our dear friends J John and Killy sent us a song that Dan Pringle had written and wanted it passed along to Brenda. Dan is an accomplished songwriter and producer from Australia. He and his wife Leah Haywood run “Dreamlab” and hang around with award winning artists like Celine Dion, Miley Cirus, Lady Gaga and many more. Now he has really helped Brenda Pue by sending her a song that touched us deeply. <Big Smile>

Now in my years of ministry I usually cringe when someone said they have a song the Lord gave them for me – they often did not give me much hope for the heavenly choir if that is how they were going to sound. LOL However this song was different. It was a message from God for Brenda and right when needed.

Brenda received permission from Dan to post the song so here it is on her Caring Bridge blog tonight.

If you are sometimes feeling tired, exhausted, frustrated and wondering if you can go on – you need to listen to this.

Thanks J and thanks Dan

Carson

Categories: Leadership

The heart of Jesus’ leadership was putti

May 26, 2015 Comments off

The heart of Jesus’ leadership was putting his spirit in his disciples, mentoring & teaching, and then setting them free. #mentoringleaders

Categories: Leadership

Idea: “What if we build a theme park whe

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Idea: “What if we build a theme park where no one knows the name Disney? Tokyo
Disneyland now the most profitable park.” -BWhite #outofbox

Categories: Leadership

“Sometimes improving the brand or organi

May 20, 2015 4 comments

“Sometimes improving the brand or organization is getting out-of-the-way of the next person with a great idea.” #mentor

Categories: Leadership

“However attractive your strategy is, it

May 20, 2015 Comments off

“However attractive your strategy is, it’s helpful to occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill #mentor

Categories: Leadership

100,000 Visits

April 25, 2015 1 comment

Visitor Sign

When you are ill, you often do not have the energy to be around people – even those you are close to. Visitors can take a lot out of you. This is one reason that people with cancer begin move into isolation.

FlushotAnother reason is the concern about picking up something. Cancer treatments weaken your immune system. They stop bone marrow from making blood cells that help fight infections like the flu or even a common cold. Brenda is at greater risk right now of getting an infection. When her immune system is compromised by radiation and chemotherapy we have to be careful about who she is with.  Our family and close friends have all been subjected to getting flu vaccine shots and encouraged not to visit if they are feeling sick in any way. We are thrilled with how healthy Brenda has been this entire journey. Not one cold, flu or fever episode.

Despite all these cautions, Brenda made the decision early on not to hide away in total isolation during her cancer journey. I understand this. Brenda has always lived life by sharing herself fully with others. Just because this is an awkward and highly personal season doesn’t mean she would hold back from trying to help others by her authentic sharing of what she is learning on the journey. Now we still do have visitors come to physically see her, but as public people we as her family are having to be careful not to overdo it and yet still provide Brenda the interaction with others that she desires.

So, our ‘daughter’ Kristin, her mother Sharon, and our ‘adopted daughter’ Steph became her communications team and set up a site and system where Brenda could share her journey via a blog and interact with many people whenever she wants and is able. Caring Bridge was selected for her journal and it has served us well. Brenda is able to post when she can and perhaps more importantly, read and reread the comments of visitors when she wants to.

Brenda has written about her experience with a lung cancer diagnosis. She is authentic and profound. Her faith and outlook have inspired people literally around the world. A friend from church, Tim Cunningham, began collecting all of Brenda’s writing and the vision is to one day create a book for cancer patients.

Thanks to all of you who have followed Brenda on this journey. Your comments and support for her mean more than I am able to express. This past week Brenda surpassed over 100,000 visitors.

That is a lot of visitors! Sure glad they were not all lined up at the front door. <Big Smile>

If Your Spouse Has Cancer…

April 22, 2015 6 comments

Hmmm. Interesting.

When talking with other husbands about my wife Brenda’s cancer diagnosis and current status they commonly say something like, “I don’t know how you do it!” Part question, part statement – it got me thinking what can you do? What am I doing?

Brenda was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. Her cancer is labelled as “terminal” and by that an oncologist means that it cannot be cured. (We realize the X factor is of course God.) This prognosis is something we never anticipated would happen, but it can and it did. Prior, I had never given one thought as to how I might handle such a situation.

When stating “I don’t know how you do it” a man reveals a moment of self-reflection. He is imagining being in my circumstance and wondering what he would do if faced with a similar challenge. So, at the risk of being superficial, let me share some of what one can do if your spouse is staring death in the face.

1. Remain hopeful. I’ve been helped by not thinking out too far in advance. You need to believe in your spouse and what God can do. We have Hebrews 6:19 hung above out door. hope

2. Don’t be selfish. There are many times you will be tempted to throw a pity party for yourself – but your focus must be on the care of your loved one. Put their needs ahead of yours. Use inspiration for your attitude from The Princess Bride where Westley’s response to Buttercup’s demands is always “As you wish.”

3. Try not to whine. Yes you have experienced losses but try not to layer those onto what your spouse is experiencing. Don’t be thinking about what you do not have. This is related to the point above but with more of an encouragement to view time properly. Keep a long-term perspective.

4. Make a point of celebrating. Treasure the moments when a deep richness breaks through. Laugh when you can. Soak up truth and grace in those moments – times when you feel so much love between one another that you would not really want to trade it.

5. Lower your expectations. Pain causes us all to act in ways different from how we normally are. This means there will be moments of ‘oddness’ we need to put up with it. Lift yourself above the moment and realize these are unusual days. Just get over it.painscale

6. Trust God. Regardless of the outcome I realize that I can trust God in all of this and that provides hope. Hope plays a HUGE factor in a cancer patient building up their immune system to help fight the cancer. Hope with them. Don’t place your hope in false or weak things. Don’t create false hope. Instead trust in God all of the time. Early on in our journey I realized God wanted me to fully trust Him. He actually wants us to live everyday like that. He is a God of hope.

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7. Be positive. Be a glass half full kind of person. You know the question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” It’s a way of determining if you are an optimist or pessimist. During a cancer journey you will experience all sorts of twists and turns along the way. Try, in each situation, to look for bright spots and recall with one another the things you are thankful for.glass half full

8. Focus on better days. Help your spouse not to dwell in the past. It is hard for them to remember what life used to be like when they had energy or hair. Instead, encourage them to save their energy for looking forward to enjoy one day at a time. Lean into each day and discover what purpose God might hold in it for you two to learn and experience together.

9. Be tenacious in your love and care. Keep doing all these things despite how difficult it might be. I have a coffee mug with the 1939 British motivational quote, “Stay calm and carry on” to reminder me. Make sure your loved one knows you are there – right there for them – always. Go out of your way to assure them by speaking their love language.keep-calm-and-carry-on-original

10. Take care of yourself too. Remember that to be any good in caring for your loved one, you must care for yourself too. Get rest; have close friends you can talk to; invest in others; pray; and arrange to have some breaks. Taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your spouse.Take Care

I did not start all of these things just because of Brenda’s diagnosis but because I love her. They were instilled in the covenant I made to her on our wedding day. It is found in a Bible passage that was read over us as a blessing and is from 1 Corinthians 13:4,6-8.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love does not want what it does not have.
Love…takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.

What might you add to this list?

Categories: Family, Living with Cancer