August Update

Campfires and s'mores

Spending time at Sandy Pines has been important for us this summer.  Sandy Pines is a member-owned campground in Allegan County.  It is 27 miles from our house in Alto. We have been enjoying many days there.  It could be sitting around a campfire in the evening or hanging out in the hammock reading.
Eric and Savi sharing a stack of books on a summer afternoon

Sandy Pines has many special events.  We've enjoyed a Halloween celebration in July and Christmas in August.  I have decided that summer is a much better time to have these special days.  Trick or treating without a winter coat is great fun.  Decorating your place for Christmas in warm weather is fun.

For Christmas in August, the entire park becomes a Christmas wonderland of lights and inflatables. Santa even comes and greets the golf cart visitors.  

Viewing Christmas decorations from a golf cart

I know I haven't updated our family blog recently.  There are two reasons for this.  First, our journey has had some ups and downs and I've been busy attending to the day-to-day issues for Tom and I.  Secondly, in one sense our journey is so much like what all cancer patients face, I haven't wanted to bore you with too much information. 

So here goes our August report.  On August 1, Tom received his last dose of the first type of chemo. It was a milestone for us.  There were four treatments with that type of chemo which were spaced two weeks apart.  Fatigue was the worse side effect.  He lost some hair but not all.  His nausea was controlled with the medications.  He also experienced strong hiccups and some mouth sores but those subsided too.  

He had developed an infection in his nose that required another round of antibiotics.  Although the first antibiotic didn't work, the second type handled the infection.

On August 15 we returned to begin the second type of chemo.  There will be 12 weekly treatments; however,  that hasn't started yet.  I'm learning that we certainly can't make plans because we aren't in charge anymore.

On August 15 Tom's white blood cell count was too low to receive chemo.  We returned the following week-August 22.  His blood count had rebounded but he had shingles.  That meant no chemo that day either.  

Tomorrow, August 29, we are hoping he is healthy enough to resume his chemo.  I'll post an update tomorrow.

We haven't been able to do much socializing.  Tom has been advised to stay away from large groups of people.  He also shouldn't shake hands or hug.  This has been one of the hardest part of this journey.  

I did spend the day of the eclipse with some dear friends-my support system.  Collectively these friends have been through some of the toughest experiences that life can contain.  

We had a lunch and watched the eclipse.  Then we spend time in prayer for each of us as we seek to minister to those God has placed in our lives. 

My attempt at a eclipse viewer that didn't work well.

Friends for life!
Thank you for your continued prayers and cards.  We are touched by the many expressions of love and caring.


  1. We're continuing to pray for you and Tom. Please continue the updates!

  2. Thanks for sharing this update! Know that you guys are in our prayers mornings and evenings...and in betweens! Will look forward to the hope that Tom can have his treatment today!!! XOXOXO

  3. Hello Brenda! I want you to know that you and Tom are in my daily prayers and I have not forgotten him or you! Thank you for this update. It was almost as if I knew what you were going to write. I suppose God had impressed upon me specific ways to pray for him and you; however, if I can pray more specifically, please let me know. I know I will be praying for the shingles and blood count to continue to stabilize...also for the next round of chemo. I know this is a hard time for you both. I smiled when I read about your campground, and I am delighted that you were able to make precious memories there! I love the idea of Christmas and Halloween in the summer! Great fun! Greg and I also belonged to a campground and spent many years there, enjoying the quiet and beauty, but we began to use it less frequently and sold it two years ago. I enjoyed having you as my professor and learned so much from you. Monday, I start another class. 3 to go before I get that Master's Degree, but I slowed down, just taking one class each semester. Taking 2 classes a semester and teaching full time was just too stressful. Professor Schmidt seemed to understand. I don't know if I sent you these verses, but I was reading them today and thought of you and Tom. Psalm 9:9-10 "The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You." God bless you, dear Brenda. I am so happy to see pictures of your family and friends. It looks like you have a strong network of love. Take care. I'll check back soon! With love and prayers, Carol Munyon


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