Saturday, September 13, 2008

How are you doing?

How are you doing? Since this is a frequent question asked I'll try to give my best read. Actually it is too early since it has been a little over a week since we got the news from the cat scan. Physically, I find that I get tired more easily. Sometimes I can make it through an entire day but sometimes, I crash in the afternoons, or fall asleep in the late afternoon. I don't always sleep through the night. I'm not sure if it is because of the pressure on my brain or because of the out of sync sleeping schedule.
Before the cat scan, I would have described my head sensation as "fuzzy brain." Some may contend that is no change but now I know what I was feeling and still do is the pressure from the mass on my brain. I also have pretty steady low-level headaches.
Mentally I still feel that I have good cognitive ability. I am not sensing any loss of alertness when I am preaching or teaching. My congregation or students at the college tell me nothing has changed in that area. I do find that I have to concentrate more to be sure I don't lose mental focus.
Emotionally, I think I am still doing ok but we will see how I am after surgery since I don't know what kind of physical shape I will be in. For that I am trusting in the grace of God and a great physical and spiritual family.
Dottie and other family members continue to drive me around. She is first in line and says she likes the time together. Not too bad for 36 years of marriage. Not being able to drive is teaching me dependance on others, something I haven't been too good at. I plan to keep pressing on in my pastoral and teaching responsibilities. I think it keeps me focused and also from getting side tracked. It is probably good mental and emotional therapy. Dottie and I try to get to our community center each week for some work out time. Before this I was looking at the 1500 meter run in the senior olympics. Now I see I am preparing for a different kind of race. We also continue to pursue the best nutritional lifestyle we believe is appropriate so that my body is in optimum health for healing.
Cards, emails, and words of encouragement and the load of prayers have been amazing. It such a privilege to be a part of God's community of people.

It is still a mystery to me with regard to God's timing in all of this. I came back from vacation ready to move ahead in some great directions at Southwood. I am very excited about my preaching series in Philippians and some new ways to handle my preaching. I have outlined the series with 15 key ingredients that address real joy in the midst of real life. I look forward to each Sunday and now to have my involvement interrupted is something I will have to wait and see why the Lord has this timing. He is good, always! (Mark 10:18).
Thanks for all your prayers. It means a lot.


Joshua said...

Uncle Joel,

Glad to hear you're still able to carry on with your work. Especially when your work can have such a profound impact on so many people.

We're praying for you here. I'll look forward to some good reports.

Sharon said...

Dear Joel and Dottie,
I guess our lives seem to cross paths about every 10 years or so! I believe it's been that long since I happened to spot you (Joel)at a store in Lancaster, PA (much to my amazement!). Anyways - my sister (who is still at Hinson) told me about your tumor, so I went to your church website, and found your blog. Just wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. God is good, and it is often in the struggles and turmoil(I have MS)that we most experience his grace and goodness. You are in my prayers. With love, Sharon (Lundy) Fasnacht