** The Latest:  Not much new; just continued loss of function/dexterity/strength in my left hand (has been getting gradually worse since October, but definitely worse over the past month).  As you can imagine, this has been both very frustrating and very inconvenient; and, still, I’m reminded to be grateful that my right hand remains just fine.  That being said, I’m feeling great otherwise; even the blood pressure spikes being caused by my current treatments have been kept under control. 

My next MRI is this coming Wed. (Jan 12); I’ll head down to UW Med. Ctr., get some images of my brain taken (when did that phrase become routine?), and meet w/ my neuro-oncologist to talk about what they see (and, furthermore, how about that phrase?). 

My current state of mind is this: whatever the scan’s going to show is already up there.  I’m more praying for the peace of mind to take on whatever the docs tell me is happening up there; if it’s good, I want to remain grateful for God’s provision, and retain my focus on how God would use me during this chapter of my life.  If it’s bad, I’ll need wisdom to work alongside the docs, who also will need wisdom, as we revise the plan once again.

Thanks for your continued prayer; I’ll update as soon as I can

***Scan update (1-12-11):  brain scan results = sort of inconclusive. I didn’t get the impression things were much better, but feel reasonably confident they weren’t worse. I’ll talk w/ my local guy on Tues, and see what he thinks. In the meantime, we stay the course, and remain grateful that I’m doing pretty darn well relative to others in this situation…***

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…Plans are funny things.  Take this past wknd, for example.  Some friends and I decided to go see the once-in-a-lifetime Picasso exhibit in Seattle.  Times were coordinated with several layers of attendees,  one of whom took the initiative to purchase his tickets online.  The rest of us did not, but decided to forge ahead anyway.  On the road (about a 2hr drive from my house, on top of the 1hr. my friends had already driven), we encountered a freak, unannounced snowstorm that quickly found us negotiating several inches of snow.  After hearing that things were worse closer to our destination, we decided to throw in the towel on Picasso…which ended up being pretty much what everyone really wanted anyway.  Getting shut out of online tickets meant not losing $23 a head.  Not meeting my Seattle friend meant him not going to an exhibit he really wasn’t that crazy about seeing.  And changing our plans in the immediate vicinity of an outlet store mall meant two of the girls in our party of four got to do some high-end discount purse shopping (I think you don’t have to ask if that’s what they really wanted to do).  Later, we got to tromp around one of my favorite close-to-home areas, showing it off to my out-of-town guests, who then got to travel home before the roads became an icy mess.  None of those things would have happened if we’d stuck hard & fast to our original plan of driving a really long way, then spending a lot of money, to look at some (admittedly) pretty awesome, but pretty weird, paintings.  Plans are like that, I guess…

…A friend recently reminded me of the simple profundity of a classic passage of scripture (Psalm 23).  I then realized that often, the simple and profound are crowded out by the busy and immediate, the loud and the unimportant, the things that won’t last:

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in paths of righteousness

For His name sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of

the shadow of death,

i will fear no evil;

For you are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table for me in the presence

of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Forever.

…There’s no rule that says this blog has to be profound all the time; especially when I just want to go sleep.  So, for your amusement, Felipe Beach proudly presents today’s corny old-school country song:

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