Great Weekend!

It has been a good weekend at the Masters’ house! The best part of the weekend has been that Greg is feeling better! Still not great yet, of course…but better! His appetite is much better and he is sleeping better at night. His stamina and energy level is still pretty low, but overall he is feeling much better. He does have a bad place in his back that is causing him a lot of pain. We are not sure if this is related to the Neulasta injection, or the disease, or if he just hurt it somehow. His labwork that was done on Thursday was good. He was able to go into work every day this week. We are so thankful that we have an extra week between trips to Houston this time. If not for this extra week, we would be back in Houston right now! Instead, we will enjoy this week at home and pray that Greg continues to feel well. We will return to Houston next Sunday.

Our weekend was full and fun! Katie came home on Friday evening and she, Emilie and I had a “girls’ night”…..out to dinner then home for ice cream while we watched Les Mis! For his birthday, Jake’s aunt and uncle blessed him with a ticket to the Braves game on Friday night. It was Chipper Jones retirement night…and Jake was so excited to be able to go! He had a great time!

Chipper has been Jake's favorite player for a long time!

Chipper has been Jake’s favorite player for a long time!

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Ready to go!!

Ready to go!!

Yesterday, we went to Greg’s sister’s house to celebrate Emilie’s 18th birthday! How do they get so old so fast??
It was a great time with family….talking, eating, presents, cake and ice cream, game playing and LOTS of laughter! Unfortunately, Katie had to head back to camp last night.

The Birthday Girl!

The Birthday Girl!

Typical

Typical

Proud Mom and Dad!

Proud Mom and Dad!

Love my kids!

Love my kids!

Greg's parents

Greg’s parents

Greg's sister and her husband, with their daughter and her husband

Greg’s sister and her husband, with their daughter and her husband

Emilie and her cousin, Michael

Emilie and her cousin, Michael

Emilie’s actual birthday is today! We started the day at church, then took Emilie out to lunch. Later in the day, Emilie spent time with some of her friends and Greg, Jake and I enjoyed some pool time! (Well, they enjoyed the pool. I enjoyed sitting poolside reading….in between retrieving the ball that they kept throwing out of the pool!)

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Having fun!

Having fun!

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SO thankful for such great family time this weekend and looking forward to a great holiday week! Please continue to pray for the following things:

1. That our family would handle our present circumstances in a way that pleases God and points others to Him.
2. That Greg’s back would begin to feel better.
3. That Greg’s final labwork…tomorrow…will be okay.
4. That this would be a good week for Greg…increased energy and stamina, continued good appetite and good sleep at night.
5. That Greg’s body would be completely healed of ALL cancer!

The Lord said to me, My grace (My favor and lovingkindness and mercy) is enough for you (sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully); for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves more effective in your weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! 2 Cor. 12:9

Trusting His Plan,
Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

God Is So Cool!!

So, after my post last night about being tired and growing weary in this “battle” that we are in. And posting about how I needed to get rid of wrong thinking, and replace satan’s lies with God’s Truth. And being reminded that we are the victors though Christ Jesus…this morning I pick up a devotion book that I haven’t read in weeks and this is what I read:

Triumphant runner! I pray that you will not grow tired or weary of the race that is set before you. You have been designed by God to succeed and to fulfill a calling that is only yours and no one else’s. I pray that you will throw aside every weight and sin that would so easily entangle you and slow you down. In the name of Jesus, you will run in the freedom and power that have been given to you by His great sacrifice. You are more than a conqueror in Jesus, and I pray that you will strive for the excellence you have been called to and that you will succeed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Isn’t God SO cool! Always the Encourager! Always the Comforter! Always the Listener! Always the Counselor! Always the Lifter of my Head! Always the Lover of my Soul! Always the One who has what I need!

I always ask you to pray for our family. Today, I pray for you! I pray that you will experience the joy, the love, the peace that only our Heavenly Father can provide. I pray that TODAY you will take the time to read His Word and get to know Him better! He is ALL that we need!!

Trusting His Plan,
Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

A Little Better Every Day

Greg continues to get a little better and a little stronger each day! His appetite has improved and he has felt less nauseous. We are hoping that he will begin to gain back some of the weight that he has lots. He does have more energy, but still tires out easily. He went back to work yesterday. He’s also been walking in the neighborhood some. He had bloodwork done yesterday and all came back ok. His hemoglobin continues to be low, although it is a little higher than last week. We are thankful that it’s headed in the right direction! So, for the most part, Greg is doing well!

We are thankful that Greg is feeling better, but we have had a few days where we are struggling with keeping our thoughts and emotions in line with what we know to be true. Greg is tired of being “a patient”, my heart is breaking watching him be a “patient”, and we are getting frustrated with the amount of time that melanoma is taking from our family. Some days this “battle” seems so overwhelming and never-ending. These are the days that I know I need to spend extra time with the Lord and in the Word. These thoughts are not from God, but from satan. This “battle” will NOT consume us and it WILL end! We have God on our side….we are the victors! God’s Word is what I need to combat the lies of satan. So just as God so often does, He gave me words of encouragement this morning. Words to remind me that we are not in this “battle” alone, words to remind me that we have nothing to be afraid of, and words to remind me that He will NEVER forsake us!

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Ex. 14:14

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Ps. 91:1

Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith? Mark 4:40

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Is. 42:16

God’s Word is so powerful and so relevant to our lives today. We are not the only family that is going through a hard season in life…many, many others are, as well. If you are also facing difficulties, I encourage you to read God’s Word. Read, asking and expecting encouragement….He is always faithful to give it!!

Trusting His Plan,
Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Quick (?) Update

Just a quick update to let you all know that Greg is doing okay since we got home. He continues to be weak and fatigued. His appetite is poor and he is having a hard time making himself eat. Today seems a bit better than the previous two days, though. He’s trying to eat small portions throughout the day, instead of three regular size meals…this seems to be working some better. We are praying that his eating gets back to normal soon, as he is continuing to lose weight.

He had labs drawn this morning, and they all came back okay. His hemoglobin is low, but not low enough to require a transfusion. He has been able to do some work from home and we are thankful for that. The fluid retention seems to be less this time as does the “chemo burn”.

Greg is scheduled to return to MD Anderson on July 8 for tests/scans followed by an admission on July 9 to start round 3 of biochemo. This is such a harsh treatment on his body and it’s hard for us to even think about going back for more. Please pray that he feels better soon; we would really like for him to have at least one good week (more would be great!) before we have to go back.

In other news, Jake and I finished his math for the year today! What a relief! Now we just have to finish Science. It has been hard keeping up with our homeschooling this year with all that’s been going on. Jake has been taking tennis lessons and seems to really enjoy it.

Emilie continues to enjoy her job at Chick-fil-A and also does a good bit of babysitting. She is trying to make her final decision on where she will attend college in the fall. She wants to either go to Point University or Clayton State….both have campuses in Peachtree City. That way she can live at home and continue to work while in school.

Katie is loving being a camp counselor at Winshape Camps in Rome, Ga. She stays really busy, but loves what she is doing. We miss her, but get to talk to her several times a week, and see her periodically on the weekends.

We continue to be overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness to us throughout this journey that He has set us on. It is not fun or easy, but He continues to show us His love and provision through our friends and family! Daily we are blessed by encouraging words, gifts, meals, cards, acts of service, care for our kids, prayers, phone calls….I could go on and on! We could never express our appreciation for these things. Things that to you seem like “no big deal” are a HUGE deal to us! Greg and I often talk about how we are ready to be on the giving side, rather than the receiving side….because we truly know how much all those “little things” really do bless others! We know that every good gift comes from our Father above, but we are thankful to each of you for allowing Him to use you to bless our family!

I know I said this was going to be a quick update. Ends up not so quick afer all….sorry!

Please continue to pray for increased strength, energy and appetite for Greg. Also, that his labs will continue to be okay.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Prov. 11:25

Trusting His Plan,
Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Home……FINALLY!!!

Well, after arriving at the airport around 1:30 for what was supposed to be a 3:15 flight, we finally got home around midnight last night!! Long and exhausting day. The flight kept being delayed and delayed due to bad weather in Atlanta. Poor Greg was feeling miserable by the time we actually got on the plane. It was not a good flight for him at all! We had requested a wheelchair to meet us at the gate, but it wasn’t there. They called for one, but after waiting for a while I went looking for one. Found one not in use, and decided to just push Greg myself. It wasn’t easy trying to push him and juggle the bags, but he carried most of them in his lap and we finally made it through. Not our best travel experience! Just thankful that we are home now!

Please continue to pray for Greg as he is very weak and continues to have a poor appetite. Please pray that the Lord would renew his strength and energy and that his appetite would return. He HAS to eat, so that he can get stronger.

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Trusting His Plan,
Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Going Home!!

It’s official! Greg is being discharged today! We are so thankful to be able to leave. We are just waiting for his PICC line to be removed. We are hoping to make one of the flights today. Seats look good, so hopefully we won’t have a problem. We were originally scheduled to be back here on June 30 for the third round, but have asked to push that out one more week to return on July 7. That way we can be home for Emilie’s 18th birthday and the 4th of July. Plus it will give Greg’s body one more week to recover before we do it all over again.

Greg is still quite weak and doesn’t feel great, so please pray that the trip home will not be too taxing for him. Pray for increased energy and stamina.

Thank you all for praying us through this week. It was an extremely rough week for Greg, but we are praying that the end result will have him saying it was worth it! He will have scans before the next round to see how well this treatment is working for him.

Trusting His Plan,
Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

A Few Pictures From Our Week

Enjoying the sunshine!

Enjoying the sunshine!

Round two complete!  First time outside in a week!

Round two complete! First time outside in a week!

"The Park"  A nice quiet place inside the hospital where I enjoyed reading and eating some of my meals.  (Often, Greg couldn't tolerate the smell of food, so I had to find somewhere else to eat.)

“The Park” A nice quiet place inside the hospital where I enjoyed reading and eating some of my meals. (Often, Greg couldn’t tolerate the smell of food, so I had to find somewhere else to eat.)

Better than the view of a brick wall that we had last trip!

Better than the view of a brick wall that we had last trip!

The view from our room.

The view from our room.

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