Friday, January 31, 2014


We have seen God on this road.  This week, through various contacts and second medical opinions, He has clarified the way.  We ask for FULL HEALING and believe it will come.  We also ask that it will come in HIS WAY and in HIS TIME.  Whatever will best accomplish His purposes in Jenna, in us, in His kingdom.  She is in His capable, loving hands.

We are pursuing lots of natural remedies that have been building up her immune system and we will continue to do that throughout this whole process.  The Lord has also given us some great traditional medical resources and we are thankful for them.  Our insurance is covering everything and we are super grateful.  

At this time the TREATMENT PLAN is:

1.  Surgery on Monday, Feb 3, to remove her stomach (total gastrectomy).  This is meant to eradicate to the primary cancer.  They will connect her esophagus to her small intestine.  They will also take out her belly button (!!) where the umbilical tumor that she first noticed was.
2.  During surgery they will employ a localized peritoneal chemo.  This procedure infuses & circulates anti-cancer drugs into the abdominal cavity.
3.  Post recovery from surgery (approx. 6 weeks), she will begin intravenous chemo.

It is a relief to have come to some decision and now we will be praying and waiting this weekend, getting ready for Monday, when the BIG ADVENTURE continues!

We plan to tell the Drs. Monday to make sure they check to be sure that there is STILL a tumor in there before taking out her whole stomach!!  Who knows what road the Lord is going to choose??

THANK YOU for standing with us.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


This just melts my heart.  Jenna´s dear & talented Mexican musician friend composed this instrumental piano piece for her as she began this journey.  We didn´t know yet that she had cancer...just that something was very wrong. His desire to bless her & bring her comfort is reflected in the title:  CALDO DE POLLO (CHICKEN SOUP!)  It is definitely Chicken Soup for the Soul!  Sit back and enjoy....It starts of soft & light - turn up your volume and peruse your fb while you listen...or read it´s meaning below and be BLESSED.

Héctor Vega, you rock!!  Hopefully we can help make you famous!!

Below is his description of the meaning behind the various parts of the composition.  HERMOSO!!!!


It begins delicately, sweetly, tenderly like those peaceful moments in the Lord.  Like when you walk underneath the presence of the All Powerful One and in those little details, the ones that you hardly pay attention to, that bring colour to our walk.  The song begins to take on more colour.  It is increasingly more stable, with more direction and a certainty that it is indeed walking. And then the moment comes when our Faith confronts our fears...a mixture of dark uncertainty of not knowing what´s going to happen and that hope in the full promise of life that the God of centuries promised us.  Afterwards moments of reflection come, those which perhaps we see in the prayers of Job before everything was taken from him.  Job 42:1 ¨Then Job responded to the Lord: 2 I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ´Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?  Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 You said, ´Listen now and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.´ 5 My ears  had heard of you; but now my eyes have seen you.¨

And that is where we realize that whatever happens, we will be safe under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91).  That´s when the Lord gives us His peace in such a strange way, in a way only He can.  The song begins to change into a hymn more than anything else.  Something simple, nothing pompous, all the contrary.  Full of honesty, simplicity and humility.  In Deut. 7:9 there is a little phrase that I love: ¨Know then that the Lord your God He is God.¨ He is God and He will keep being God no matter what happens.  My prayer is that God moves His powerful hand in your life.  My question is:  What if He doesn´t or if He delays?  Will He still be God? Will you keep praising His name?  I know your answer because in spite of the short time we´ve known each other, my eyes could see that you are a girl of Faith, who knows God and praises Him.  And I know that you will praise Him and that is why I praise Him from here with you.


Empieza con algo delicado, dulce, tierno como esos momentos de paz en el Señor. Como cuando caminas bajo la presencia del Todo Poderoso y que son esos pequeños detalles, los que casi ni les prestamos atención, pero que atraen color a nuestro caminar. La canción empieza a tomar mas colores. Cada vez mas estable, mas con un rumbo y certeza de que se va caminando. Es ahi cuando llega un momento donde nuestra Fé se enfrenta a nuestros temores... la mezcla de esa incertidumbre obscura de no saber que es lo que pasara y esa esperanza en la promesa llena de vida que El Dios del los siglos nos prometio. Pero después llegan los momentos de reflexion, aquellos donde quizás pensamos en la oraciones de Job antes de que su mal le fuese quitado Job 42:1 Respondió Job a Jehová, y dijo: Yo conozco que todo lo puedes, Y que no hay pensamiento que se esconda de ti. ¿Quién es el que oscurece el consejo sin entendimiento? Por tanto, yo hablaba lo que no entendía; Cosas demasiado maravillosas para mí, que yo no comprendía. Oye, te ruego, y hablaré; Te preguntaré, y tú me enseñarás. De oídas te había oído; Mas ahora mis ojos te ven.

Es ahi donde nos damos cuenta que pase lo que pase, estaremos seguros bajo la sombra del Omnipotente (salmo 91). Es cuando el Señor nos da de su paz de una manera muy peculiar, de la manera que solo El lo sabe hacer. La canción se empieza a convertir mas en un cántico que en cualquier cosa. Algo sencillo, nada pomposo si no todo lo contrario. Llena de honestidad,  simpleza y humildad. En deuteronomio 7:9 hay una pequeña face que me encanta; "Conoce pues, que tu Jehová tu Dios es Dios" El es Dios y lo seguirá siendo pase lo que pase. Mi oración es que Dios mueva su mano poderosa en tu vida. Mi pregunta es. que si no lo hace, o se tarda? Seguirá Él siendo tu Dios? Seguirás alabando su nombre? Conozco tu respuesta porque a pesar de ese poco tiempo que estuvimos conviviendo mis ojos pudieron ver que eras una muchacha con Fé, que conoce a Dios y le alaba. Y se que le alabaras y es por eso que yo le alaba o desde aquí contigo. 

Por Héctor Vega 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


There is a phrase in Spanish, ¨me da igual,¨ which means ¨It is the same to me.¨  It is perhaps closest to the
phrase in English ¨I could go either way.¨ or ¨I have no preference.¨

This is the place I stand today as we go to the hospital to do the last exploratory surgery and get the results of a biopsy which could change the course of my daughter´s life.

I don´t mean indifference in the irresponsible or aloof sense of ¨I don´t care.¨  I mean the place of indifference that one comes to in the ¨Desert Fathers´sense¨ of being at peace with whatever the road is.  Of being indifferent to my preference, to my logic, to my desire, to my viewpoint, to my will.  It is both a terrifying and sweet point of surrender to the will of the Sovereign God and His choice of a perfect, good and loving plan.

In the last few weeks of tests, wondering and waiting, the ¨wake-up¨ moment came when the Dr. finally said they had found ¨the source of the bad cells.¨ He seemed so sure.  I guess we had been hoping they wouldn't find anything besides the little umbilical tumor that had begun this whole mysterious search.  Today this will be confirmed or not.  The Drs. have absolutely no explanation as to why one so young would have this kinds of illness - to be specific, stomach cancer.

In the 4 days between his sober announcement and today, there has been a swinging back and forth between fear and faith, reality and shock, hope and sadness...and waiting.

By faith, we have asked for healing, gathered faith-filled praying friends to exert their faith to pray for healing and have proclaimed our own mustard seeds of childlike trust in Rapha, the One who heals.

In the quieter moments of surrender, we have sat in His presence and whispered ¨not my will, but Yours.¨ We have acknowledged His right to choose whatever tools He deems necessary. We have expressed our trust and hope in His sovereign, complete vision of life and the kingdom.

In the more raw moments of struggle, we have cried, asked questions, fought off a fog of sadness and fatigue and challenged the logic and injustice in all of this - especially in one so young, in one who is one semester away from graduating from university with honors, ready to take on the world.

In our rebellious, warring moments we have raised our voices to proclaim the power of the Resurrected One over her, we have been furious at the enemy from whom all forms of evil derive, and we have taken out all kinds of ammunition in the The Fight:  Scriptures, prayers, fasting, anointing with oil, proclamations of faith and truths about healing and faith and the character of the New Testament Christ.

In the end, perhaps it could best be described that I have chosen an expectant peacefulness. Whether the road is a miraculous healing or a new journey in illness previously unknown to us, miraculously (I seriously mean miraculously!), I seem to have faith for it.

My indifference is a victory.  My indifference is a gift.  My indifference is a reflection of praying friends.  And my indifference is a reflection of the kindness of the God I have walked with since my youth and have come to know and love with all my heart.  He has proved Himself very worthy of this childlike trust.

Today as I accompany her into that hospital, I can truly say:

¨Me da igual.¨

Here is an old Ignatian definition or expression of ¨indifference¨:

¨For this it is necessary that we become indifferent to all created things so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what helps us praise, reverence, and serve God.  This detachment comes only if we have a stronger attachment; therefore our one dominating desire and fundamental choice must be to live in the loving presence and wisdom of Christ, our Savior.¨ 

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish founder of the Jesuits

Photo by:  hockadilly


(A mother's reflections as we wait for final test results 
on some suspicious cancerous cells.)

Such joy & sorrow mingle down,*
entwined together as holy friends.
My heart whispers trust,
but my body trembles.
Love grabs at me when I look at her...
...she is beautiful & precious to me.

The questions around her health 
fill me with a certain pain,
Yet the beauty of her spirit
is sweetness.

The need for healing, for intervention
create space for a miracle -
the one in her,
the one in me,
the one that everyone around us needs.

This need is making room for Him,
causing a deeper leaning.
On the One who is Life,
On the One who is Love,
On the One who is Good.

Healing is in His hands
as is wholeness of heart.
We stand together on this truth
and throw ourselves into His arms -
the arms of One who knows fully
how joy & sorrow mingle down
as holy friends.

Yes, we wait quietly in that place
with these sacred companions.

*Reminiscent of the line from the hymn When I Survey:
"Sorrow and love flow mingled down..."
by Isaac Watts

Photo by:  Valstar2011

Friday, January 24, 2014


Every path with cancer starts somewhere.

Ours started around the time our daughter came home for Christmas 2013 after a challenging semester abroad in Beirut.  She had begun to have some eating problems while there that everyone kept attributing to the stress she was under.  She did not normally throw up when under stress or struggle to eat or lose weight.  Her health became her biggest challenge on that Global Learning Term and somehow with a ¨bandaid¨ pill from a local doctor to help calm her stomach so she could keep her food down, she made some improvement. With friends praying and a timely, encouraging visit from her Dad, she seemed to turn a corner.  We were proud that she persevered through very trying circumstances - cultural, linguistic, health, political, work load, etc. 

When she got to Spain, a lot of the symptoms stopped.  That made us think all the more that it was stress related. (And isn´t everything?!) I was concerned & anxious to find ways to help her manage stress & to have a physical.  In the first week she was here she said casually, ¨I have a little ball behind my belly button...feel it?¨  She saw a Dr. and our story began to unravel... 

Was I concerned about her health?  Yes.

Did I think she had anything serious?  No.  It never crossed my mind.

And that is how I think it starts for a lot of us.