Updates & Prayer for Ginny Smith

May 30, 2007

May 29 Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ginnysmith @ 3:20 pm

Dear family & friends,

 To all of you who have written us on this blog….thanks. It means a lot to us during this time. I will try to give you an update on Ginny’s condition and progress.

Last Friday, we had a consultation with our doctor at Cedars Sinai Hospital who is a mulitiple myeloma specialist. When we entered the doors of this very special place dedicated to the care and treatment of cancer patients we began to realize how vast this illness in our generation. Cancer patients roamed the halls and sat in the waiting room only glancing at Ginny in a wheelchair… unable to walk. They smiled as if to say “Welcome, we understand”.  Some used walkers, wheelchairs and cains. Many were bald from chemo. Others were accompanied by family and friends awaiting their diagnosis or treatment.  It was a world of humility and unpretentousness.  We were here because we needed help.

Our doctor is the consumate professional, renowned for his research and specialty. When we wheeled Ginny in to his examination room he realized the severity of her illness and the extent of her constant pain. After hearing her story, he affirmed some important things. He claimed he was seeing about a 90% remission rate with his multiple myeloma patients. This doesn’t mean a cure but kicking back the cancer enough to perform a stem cell transplant. Beyond this it is a battle to keep the cancer in remission. Those percentages were not discussed yet. He also believed Ginny should begin to feel better every week. We haven’t seen that much progress yet but we are looking forward to days like that.  The doctor showed us x-rays of Ginny’s spine. The cancer has compressed at least one place in her spine. It is likely causing some of her constant pain.  We have been referred to another specialist who performs a “kephloplasty” or a proceedure that enters the spine and fills those weak places with a cement to strengthen the bone there. It is hopeful this will relieve some of her pain.  No date of this proceedure has been set. He was also hopeful that a new cancer drug just approved may offer her some promise if needed.  If all goes as hoped we anticipate a stem cell transplant some time late in September. Until then it is our goal to relieve the pain and endure the cancer treatment.  We have some rough days and nights as well as some enjoyable days.

Our family and friends, like you from church and Ginny’s school keep lavishing us in love.  Mondays through Friday volunteers from our beloved church come to care and encourage Ginny so I can go to the church or study at home. I am fulfilled in being able to preach again and be with the people who have loved us so much.  We believe the Lord is revealing his love to us through you.

Because of the overflow of cards, letters, emails, meals and flowers I cannot begin to thank each of you as I would like. But please accept this note to all of you who pray for us and share your love for us how deeply appreciative we are for you.  We hope Ginny will soon have the strength to visit her school to say farewell to her students and fellow teachers for all they have done for her. She is officially retiring in June after twenty-four years from teaching. We also hope to get Ginny to church sometime soon even if it means coming in a wheelchair. 

We are convinced that “because God is infinitely good whatever He does is good.” We believe cancer is our enemy… not God. We find comfort in His Word and His promises. We realize God is gracious in giving us such a great family and circle of friends. His grace is also evident in the doctors and hospitals we visit.  We are convinced with God’s strength we will see better days. For our Lord has promised, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ( 2 Cor. 12: 9)

If any of you have need for prayer please write us back on this blog sight. We will be praying for you.

Comforted by God’s love

Don & Ginny

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15 Comments »

  1. Dear Ginny and Don, I want you to know that I am praying for you. I often think of you and how strong you are because God is with you all the way. Keep up the fight and know that you are loved and prayed for.

    Love,

    Kathleen

    Comment by Kathleen Schlick — May 31, 2007 @ 11:29 pm |Reply

  2. Dearest Ginny,

    Comment by rae kalklosch — June 1, 2007 @ 2:27 am |Reply

  3. Dearest Ginny,
    Valencia will never be the same. No more black and white checked windows!! Thank you for convincing me–I loved them!! Retirement is fine-though you have many challenges ahead of you. I honestly think of you nearly every hour. I will call soon. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love, rae

    Comment by rae kalklosch — June 1, 2007 @ 2:32 am |Reply

  4. Dear Ginny,

    I am so encouraged by this physican at Cedars-Sinai, the protocols and also the treatments. You know me the long time employee of a pharmaceutical company I am amazed at the efficiency of some of the newer drugs.

    I stand with all the prayer warriors on your behalf.

    Love, Kathy

    Comment by Kathy Criner — June 2, 2007 @ 12:21 am |Reply

  5. Hi Pastor Don and Ginny-

    Just a quick note to say hi and that you are both constantly in my prayers. I’m saddened to hear of Ginny’s retirement but rest in the assurance that God has a plan and it is good, as you said. Continue the fight and rest in God’s love and comfort. Love you both! Heather

    Comment by Heather McAllister — June 2, 2007 @ 1:38 am |Reply

  6. Ginny,

    Please let me know when you are feeling up to company for a wee bit. I have a great book I’ve been meaning to bring by for you. You are in our prayers. My students have been praying for you every morning after our pledges!

    With love,
    Robin Jennings

    Comment by Robin Jennings — June 2, 2007 @ 2:03 am |Reply

  7. Ginny:
    We had a Cordillera retirement dinner last night – Katie Kelly, Marji Jacobs Hall, Jane Moss, and myself are all retiring this year. You were missed and my heart and love are with you. Teaching with you remains as a wonderful few years memory. Your kind words and wonderful smile stay with me. I’ll be out of town for a week but look forward to hearing that you are feeling less pain and more comfortable.
    Love, Suzanne

    Comment by Suzanne McCord — June 2, 2007 @ 2:35 am |Reply

  8. Hi Ginny:
    As Suzanne mentioned, we just had a Cordillera retirement party, and many people who were there spoke of you. We all want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love,
    Toni Sullivan

    Comment by Toni Sullivan — June 2, 2007 @ 1:58 pm |Reply

  9. Dear Ginny,

    We continue to hold you up in prayer, while God sustains you through this trial in your life. We are grappeling with accepting this as I’m sure you are too. Sin and Satan are clearly our enemies, but is cancer really the enemy? It is definately painful, and intrudes into our lives. Yet, if all that God does is good, and all that God allows in the lives of His servants is filtered though His loving hands, then all that God allows to come our way is good, is ultimately for our good, and for our growth. If we receive blessings from the Lord, we are quick to say, yes this is not an enemy but a blessing! Yet, when the same loving Lord sends us cancer instead, should we not also in the end rejoice over what God has sent our way? Are not our trials meant for our growth, maturity, and for us to see what is in our hearts, and so that endurance has its perfect work? And if so, then these trials…are they not meant for our good?

    Job, while enduring tremendous pain and agony, said as you know, “If He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Even while scrubbing his diseased skin with pottery while sitting in dust and ashes, he remained trusting, and he remained focused on God’s goodness and grace through it all. But Job grew in the dust because he knew God is good and gracious, like you do Ginny.

    So when trials come, and I think cancer is a trial, we should pray that God would not remove it, until such time as He sees fit, and until we have learned what God really wants to teach us while enduring it. So often we pray that God would remove the trial when really we should pray that God would give us grace to bear it, and the strength to remain faithful through it, so that by God’s grace…our endurance grows while bearing it, and endurance has its perfect work, and so that we would be an example to others who are looking to us to find out how we would deal with pain. That is the witness of our life.

    We can also pray that God would heal, as we are, and should, but our strength also grows in the waiting…Remaining faithful even in trials proves that our responses to pain ring true with our faith.

    May God grant you Ginny the grace to accept this trial of cancer as a gift from His hand to sanctify, encourage, strengthen and bless you. And may God grant us who are praying with you through this critical time in your life, faith to trust that all that God does is good, and is meant for our good. Cancer may be our best teacher to teach us about God, His love, His sovereignty and His grace. And if God desires to use cancer to teach, along with His Word, a good book or a good sermon series, then praise be to God for His indescribable gift.

    Our prayers are with you,

    Mark and Cherie

    Comment by Mark and Cherie Day — June 2, 2007 @ 7:26 pm |Reply

  10. Dearest Ginny,

    Brooke took care of your class teaching Da Vinci (you would have been proud to see her in action). We love you, and are praying for you and your family. xoxo, KTABCT

    Comment by The Peck Family — June 3, 2007 @ 2:45 pm |Reply

  11. Dearest Don & Ginny,
    This evening, while I was praying for our oldest son Aiden, God overwhelmingly put you on my heart. Consequesntly, I went to the EFCFLH website to check on your progress and learned of Ginny’s condition for the first time. As Erin & I read your latest blog, our hearts were saddened to learn of Ginny’s difficult days & yet we felt a sense of calm with the knowledge of our Savior’s sufficiency. We will pray that as you press deeply into this thorn you experience the amazing peace & comfort that will never leave you or forsake you. We will also pray for Ginny’s healing, rest & refreshment. To God be all the power, honor & glory forever…
    With Love & Respect…Don, Erin, Aiden & Declan Jorgenson

    Comment by Don & Erin Jorgenson — June 5, 2007 @ 2:54 am |Reply

  12. Dear Ginny,
    I have not been at school very much this year so I was unaware of your illness. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. You have meant so much to our family first as Katie’s teacher then Patrick’s. We will be sending positive thoughts and prayers for you and your family.
    Love always,
    Nancy & John Sullivan
    Katie, Johnny, Erin and Patrick

    Comment by Nancy Sullivan — June 6, 2007 @ 3:22 am |Reply

  13. Hi Ginny,
    I just found the Ginny Smith website. Jack and I are praying for you constantly. We have been through this a tad last 10 years with my blood disorder. ( We were at UCLA) 6 or seven years ago) It brought me back to all we went through) Only blood isn’t painful. I can’t even imagine. I know God is so faithful and by reading Don’s words you so trust in that. So we live so close- could I come see you some afternoon- just to pray. I know you have many faithful people caring for you .What a witness as to how God intended his body to work. Thank you for sharing all this. I know it helps people.
    Love and prayers.Jack and Bonnie 1 Chronicles 29:11-Thine O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all.

    Comment by Bonnie George — June 6, 2007 @ 1:40 pm |Reply

  14. Dear Ginny, thanks for the updates…its good to know how to specifically pray for you. We want you to know that we are, we are upholding you in prayer as you walk through your journey. We are encourged as well as we see how you and Pastor Don trust the Lord completely with all of it.I am reminded of Pilgrims Progress( I love that book) and the journey of Christian and staying on the road of trust is so important through the hardships and trials that we face. Also in our study on John the Baptist this week with the gals, I am reminded that next to Christ He was the greatest man who ever lived…what was so great about his faith? I think he had one focus… Christ must increase and he must decrease…one single focus the Lord. I hope that this week you can also just keep that focus and that walking by faith,on your journey, find all the ingredients that make up your own faith in Christ. He is our strength…run and cling to Him always.

    In loving prayer for you

    Mark and Cherie

    Comment by Mark and Cherie Day — June 7, 2007 @ 4:57 pm |Reply

  15. Hugs and kisses and prayers from all of us. Love, KTABCT

    Comment by The Peck Family — June 11, 2007 @ 2:07 am |Reply


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