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Tonight we put up our Christmas tree, the first Ravella/Gilbert tree. Actually we have two trees. One is artificial. It is perfect. It has p...

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Our Memories

Andrea's phone call, "I found a lump in my breast, but I'm sure it's nothing

The doctor saying, "It is invasive ductile carcinoma."

Walking into LB's office and for the first time telling someone, "Andrea has cancer."

Writing my first email to family telling them Andrea had cancer.

Feeling helpless while waiting for Andrea is come out of surgery.

How naive we were when we first went to chemo, two kids in an adult world.

Watching the first chemo flow from the IV bag into Andrea's port. It was bright red like Kool-aid, and wanting to run away.

The outpouring from friends, the decorations put on the house by the 90th wives after Andrea's two surgeries. The countless meals and the end of treatment party.

Placing my hands on Andrea's back praying as she threw up. Praying for God to take away Andrea's nausea, in the middle of my prayer she threw up again. Stopping the car time and time again while Andrea opened the door to throw up.

Our last appointment with Andrea's first oncologist. When we asked her what do we do now that the treatment was over. "Nothing, if it comes back you just try to give you a good quality for the time you have left." The feeling as if we had been punched in the gut.

Going on our vacation in Europe when Andrea finished treatment. Napping after lunch under the tress in Tuscany.

Andrea unable to get up after the 4th of July fireworks due to the pain.

Dr. Atkins calm demeanor as he turned on the tape recorder as he told us Andrea's pain in her hips was incurable bone cancer.

Walking into the Duvall's house and telling LJ Andrea's cancer was back.
Picking Nic up at the airport and telling him Andrea's cancer was back.

The power of prayer and the tangible feeling of friends lifting Andrea up in prayer. The many answered prayers.

My sisters, Eileen and Mary going to NYC Sloan Kettering Hospital for a second opinion.

Going to the beach with the Duvall's.

Skip's prayers of faith for Andrea.

Going to hear Chris Tomlin in concert and experiencing the best praise service in my life. Hearing 4000 people sing together and thinking this is a taste of heaven.

The people of SMOC, Dr. Atkins office. Andrea's first visit, Susan and Myrtle. The chemo babes, everyone of them. Andrea being sent for a brain scan and being told it was negative. The office staff signing a hat for Andrea.

The highs and lows of chemo.

The look in Tracy's eyes when she told me Andrea might have a tumor in her brain.

Our friends in North Carolina, As Andrea described it, "Being held in a hammock of love and prayers." More then friends more then family, it was a unique bond of perfect love from one person to another. I think never to be repeated again in my life here on earth.

Andrea's Mom and sister coming to visit and surprising Andrea.

Gibby and Kellie coming from Turkey and Thailand to visit Andrea.

Andrea's visiting Kellie in Colorado.

Andrea Maureen and Eileen on a get away to Colorado.

Gina's prayer for Andrea's healing, the ladies laying hands on Andrea.

Pushing Andrea in a wheelchair at Target and running into Christy, her kindness to us in an uncomfortable situation.

Jacklyn's prayer in the department store.

Lisa driving one hour every week to take Andrea to chemo.

Sleepless nights and time in the prayer closet.

The utter feeling of helplessness and despair but the supernatural light feeling from God.

Wayne's prayer for Andrea.

The pray shaw given to Andrea at church.

Hearing the diagnose when Andrea went into ICU.

Seeing Gina coming out of the ICU the first morning.

Sitting with Leigh, Gina and Mandy in the ICU waiting room.

Maureen and Nouhad coming to help when Andrea went into ICU.

Witnessing in awe, Andrea's faith, courage, and strength.

Andrea's first words after the ventilator was removed. She put her arm around my neck as I bent down and said, "I love you.

Having oxygen delivered to the house.

The prayers of children like Anna, Emiline, and Alli.

Our last appointment with Dr. Atkins.

Not wanting to leave the SMOC chemo room. Saying goodbye.

Endless doctors appointments.

The anticipation while waiting for a CT result.

Praying outside the doors while Andrea was having a scan done.

Calling for Andrea's tumor marker, hearing the nurses voice and knowing they did not want to give me the bad news.

Sleepless mornings, sitting in the office writing this blog.

Andrea sleeping with a bible under her pillow every night and holding it up to the doctor while she was in ICU.

Waking up and seeing Andrea sleeping with a Bible over her chest where she is hurting.

Taking Dr. Atkins for a ride in the F-15E.

Countless cards flowers and letters from friends and friends of friends.

Witnessing God power and how He uses the Body of Christ to answer prayers. Watching how God uses something I first assumed was about us to touch others.

Reading Psalms and relating to the feelings behind the words.

Learning first hand the power of the Bible.

God's faithfulness, answered prayers, and the real feeling of God's peace.

Andrea's Memories

How helpful Jim and the boys have been.

Everything people have done for me.

People praying for me.

Roz bringing soup to the hospital. All us girls getting together for lunch in my room after ICU.

Lighting my luminaries at the Relay for life.

Speaking at Relay for life banquet.

Tuesday lunches with the girls.

Having lunch and friends in the chemo room.

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