Saturday, November 1, 2014

A year back in Canada already!

We can’t believe it, but we have been back in Canada a whole year! It’s been a busy year – here is some of our news:
Pat at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Pat’s final diagnosis was Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkins Lymphoma, stage 3B. This is a slow growing cancer so it is more than likely that Pat was sick even before we left Canada for Nicaragua. The treatment for this type of lymphoma is chemotherapy called ABVD  (4 different drugs administered every other week). Although Pat tolerated the chemo fairly well we had a scary few days in the spring when he developed an infection due to the effect the chemo had on his blood’s ability to fight infection. He spent a few days in hospital hooked up to IV antibiotics. Pat finished his chemotherapy in late June, but was unable to attend the Regional Convention because his blood levels were too low and there was too much risk of him catching something with the crowds. A PETscan was done in early August and it unfortunately showed that there are still some lymph nodes around the bowel that have not been cleared of cancer. Just this week they repeated the scan and we are waiting to find out the results. In the meantime Pat starts radiation next week and the original plan is that he receive 30 treatments, so he should be finished in early December.

Pat & Debbie - July 2014
I was able to get a job with my old employer which was a huge relief because I wasn't looking forward to job interviews. Although I wasn't able to take my old job back I am still in the Accounting Department working under my old boss – so I’m happy about that. We have been settled into our own apartment since March and it is only about 10 minutes from my work. Our apartment was generously furnished by brothers and sisters who found/gave us second hand furniture. Pat felt well enough in the spring to paint and so it is a nice, cozy place to come home to. We are truly grateful to Jehovah for taking such good care of us and the many dear friends that he used to do so!

Both of us were able to Auxiliary Pioneer in August – 30 hours – glad to be part of such a historic month of activity. Once September rolled around we were exhausted both physically and mentally and headed south to Cuba for a two week stay at an All-Inclusive. It was just what we needed to recharge ourselves – two weeks of not having to think or worry about anything except whether we wanted to swim in the ocean or the pool!
Enjoying Cuba! Sept. 2014

When we left Nicaragua last October, we had no clue that our stay in Canada would be this long. We are keeping our goal alive to move back to Nicaragua and hope to do so in the future..... We miss our lives being 100% focused on the ministry and our brothers and sisters. So, for anyone out there that is reading this and are wondering about moving to another country to be a Needgreater we urge you to do so. Even if it is only for a short while - you will never regret the time that you spend doing it!