Tag Archives: celebrate life

A Time to Rest – Bryan’s medical update

The doctor appointment on Tuesday went quite sideways to expectation. It’s a bit like a “perfect storm” where we came to the top of the wave thinking we might just make it over the crest, only to have our hopes dashed by yet another crushing wave. Such has been this long journey through cancer.

The bottom line is, because fusarium never actually goes away completely, it rules out the possibility of a second transplant, my only small medical hope for a potential cure. In light of my recent test results the prospects of using hypomethylating agents (“soft chemo”) to hold the leukemia at bay makes the doctor “terrified” for the potential “disastrous” effects it could have on my health. In my complex situation, with two terminal illnesses, there is only a slim chance the treatment would give us a little more time and a very large probability that they could actually shorten life because it would present an environment that is more susceptible to infections, including the existing fusarium which continues to persist after nearly 7 months. Each treatment yields ever diminishing prospects and ever-increasing risks. In light of this, the doctor suggests that we might consider enjoying the time that remains, without treatment. Having discussed this and prayed overnight and into today, we are at peace with this.

imageWe’re not giving up. We’re leaving it up to God.

We have persistently and repeatedly pushed against doors that would not budge. We’ve both endured the devastating effects that 3 1/2 years of “treatment” have wreaked on my body. Together we both have fought the good fight and run the hard race. Now, it seems to us, a time to rest and let God do what is best in the grand scheme of things. It’s been in his hands from the beginning and we’ve endeavored to honor him each step of the way, asking only for his perfect will to be done.

We have no real definitive timeline. It could be “weeks or months”. Or, God could still work a miracle. Thanks to those of you who have been praying and fasting to this effect.

Our intent is, as it has been all along, to celebrate the life God has given us, thankful for so very many blessings, and to live with the great purpose to which he has called us. Death is not defeat. For us, death is a graduation from this phase of life to the one in heaven that lasts forever in peace.

We intend to continue to live life fully with purpose and passion. We encourage you to do the same. Trust God. Ask for his very Spirit to teach, guide, comfort, and strengthen you, to follow Jesus daily. After all is accomplished and all is experienced, all that remains and all that counts, is faith, expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6)

Know how very much we appreciate your ongoing prayers and support. They are a treasure to us.
Bryan and Marcia


Living without complaint – Can you do it?


For years, I’ve had a note to myself that reads, “What goals can I pursue, that impacts the world in such a great way, that even if I failed would mean success?” Ending hunger came to mind. Even if we didn’t succeed in ending world hunger, ending it for someone would be success, right?


On a much simpler scale, consider “Stop Complaining.” Complaining is not “world hunger” but it is a drain our our emotional happiness, our relationships, and our productivity. And it’s COMPLETELY within our own power! So what if we simply vowed to stop complaining? Would it be possible? Imagine what your life would be like if you could cut out complaining? Would you become more aware of your relationships with others and your purpose for living? Would you experience more happiness and peace? Would your positive behavior encourage others to complain less?


You already know it’s hard to put the brakes on long-lived habits so you might even question if it’s possible to “give up” complaining. But what if we committed to this anyway, recognizing that every bit of complaining we avoid contributes to a more satisfying and happier life!


Jessica Hullinger wrote an article about people who signed up for the Complaint Restraint Project with the goal of living more positive lives not weighed down by negativity. Physicians tell us that grumbling is costly. When we exhibit negative and unproductive behaviors like complaining or getting angry, our brain emits stress hormones that harm the brain in small but potentially cumulatively damaging ways. This happens even when we listen to others complain. “It’s as bad as secondhand smoke,” says Jon Gordon, author of The No Complaining Rule. “It’s secondhand complaining.”  Even when we think it feels good to vent, it drags us down; it never builds us up. So how do we stop complaining, or at least reduce the impact of Negative Nancy in our lives? Hullinger has some helpful tips:


If it’s a fact and you have no emotion attached to it, maybe it’s an observation. But if it negatively affects the way you feel, if your insides churn or your muscles tense up, maybe it’s really a complaint.

Change starts with awareness. Keep track of your complaining comments. The numbers may astound you at first and give you more incentive to end this negative behavior.

If you have to be part of a complaining conversation, try to add something positive. Commit yourself to positive conversation – with others and with yourself.

Look for and focus on solutions. “Don’t sit around and admire the problem.” Do something about it!

If you find yourself complaining, add “But…” and say something positive. (“My legs hurt but I’m thankful I have legs.”) Yes, it seems awkward at first, but it will become part of your natural response over time.

Change your complaint to thankfulness. Saying, “I get to” instead of “I have to” nurtures our thankful hearts. (“I have to pick up the kids” becomes “I get to pick up the kids.”)


Maybe you won’t stop all complaining in your life. But every bit of complaining you avoid will make your life happier, and probably others’ too. So are you in? How about committing to stop complaining for one month? If you slip up, move on. Try again. It’s not about the power of positive thinking. It’s about the power of positive living. Living thankfully and celebrate the life you have.