Miracles, Mercy and Grace

Written Sep 3, 2013 2:00pm by Cindy McMurry

Dearest Family and Friends,

We have so much to tell you and so many thanks to share but before I begin, I’d like to ask you to please pause and pray for our dear friend Margaret, her mother Mary and her family as they too face the difficult journey of cancer.  They are precious to God and need to experience his presence, peace, healing and comfort today.

Miracles look different today to me than they have in the past.  Leading up to this surgery, the surgery and the week following I’ve discovered that miracles come in many shapes and sizes, in voices, in touch, in breath, in strength of character, in laughter, in prayer, in humor and sometimes even in insistent voices.  God uses the strengths and sometimes the weaknesses in the nature he’s created in each in of us to accomplish his will.

This week I’ve spent a lot of time being the recipient of many blessings and watching God transform and work miracles in and through others.  I experienced a young child lay hands on me and say a prayer that I’m certain made God happy and the angels sing hallelujahs.  My young friends lifted their voices in song to God’s glory and as a way to encourage us.  Many friends who have struggled with their own spiritual walk joined together to pray, sing, read and listen to scripture, facing their own frustrations and fears to support and encourage us.  Each of these things are miracles.  And there are so many more…

To my darling husband John, Thank you!  I can barely type through the tears at how grateful I am.  You have been willing to be sleepless, to stay by my side, sleeping in chairs, sofas whatever was available to be near me.  You have not complained when I could not feed myself, or hold my drink, when my coffee was too hot to sip through a straw, when you had to go searching for whatever I needed and taking care of my most intimate and personal needs.  You’ve teased and laughed and coped through complete exhaustion.  And when needed, you allowed the doctor/husband/tiger and hero to come out.  For over three hours you comforted me tenderly, advocated for me with the staff, put yourself in physically awkward positions trying to calm my body that was out of control in painful spasms and were stormy when you needed to be in order to get me some relief.  Many years ago I told you I needed you to be my “Giant,” the person who would stand behind me and support me when I couldn’t stand or fight for myself.  I’m not sure “Giant” is even an adequate word… you are my Hero, my Lover, my Best Friend, my Giant Slayer… a Miracle in my life.  God has richly blessed me with you.  I love you!

My parents drove from WV to stay with us through the duration of my hospital stay.  My sister, Betsy flew to Indianapolis to spend time with us on Sunday and Monday.  Cathryn drove to Indianapolis to support John and me through my surgery and recovery.  Mom, Dad and Cathryn gave John a break (hello Barnes and Noble) and during that time my body went into rebellion again, with spasms that were equally as bad as in the night.  My parents and Cathryn did not leave me, they advocated, pleaded with staff to find a way to give me relief, massaged, prayed, played calming music, everything they could think to do to get me relief… meanwhile I was asking God for mercy… mercy Dear God.  I can never say enough thanks to my parents and Cathryn for helping me and being there during this time.  John desperately needed a break and even though he wishes we would have called him, he needed to take care of himself too.  It was difficult, but in the midst of this, there was grace, there was mercy and there was the miracle of family and friends.

I found myself amazed at the sacrifices other were willing to make on our behalf.  Some of you texted, some of you visited, some called, some wrote, all of you prayed.  The gifts and miracles continued…

Betsy went home and she and Rich turned around and drove to Louisville from Raleigh, NC to help me get ready for Taylor’s wedding (can you say Spanx?)  John worked hard to try to apply mascara… good thing we can both laugh… but his effort goes unmatched.  Cathryn persuaded a salon to open exclusively for me and an employee agreed to come in on her holiday weekend to apply my makeup and style my hair for Taylor’s wedding.  Bill attended all of the wedding events with us and hosted us for the weekend.  He made himself available to take me late, bring me home early whatever I needed because we all understood John needed to be available for all of Taylor’s events.  Taylor and Jeffrey added folks to the wedding guests just so I could have the needed help available.  Jeff’s parents, Rob and Renee welcomed extra guests to their barbeque to accommodate our needs.  When John was busy doing wedding events, Bill, Betsy and Rich made sure to cut my food, and provide anything I needed.  Bonnie and Meg encouraged us and were a source of joy.  My long time friend, Cindy Yerkes started a pinterest board in my honor (Cindy, I’m overwhelmed by your love!)  My friends, church family, Harlan “Sisterhood” and neighbors are bringing in food.  My Mother is coming to stay with us.  Libby’s caregivers and friend Marybelle made sure things have run smoothly for Libby, which was a huge relief!!!

You have each made this very difficult time much easier and I’m overwhelmed by your love.  I believe you are a gift of God in our lives.

I’m in awe of God’s goodness, his grace and the miracle of you.

I love you,
Cindy

This text has continued to remind me of each of you…

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matt 5:16

Your lights are shining brightly and God is being glorified.  I love you!!

Home

Written Sep 2, 2013 7:51pm by Cindy McMurry

Folks,

I will try to update you better tomorrow.  Just wanted to let you know we’ve gotten home.  Taylor’s wedding was lovely.  John is a SAINT!  He’s done more to help me than you can imagine.  I’m more blessed than I could possibly deserve.  God has been so good to me.

My pain is much less and I think we both will be able to sleep tonight.  More tomorrow…

We love you and thank you for your prayers,
Cindy and John

Taylor’s wedding

Written Aug 30, 2013 11:54am by Cindy McMurry

John has been so faithful to help me. I know he’s exhausted and he’s got a very important weekend ahead of him… The marriage of our lovely daughter Taylor. Please pray for his strength and peace. We want Taylor’s day to be all she’s dreamed of. The demands of taking care of me are not easy… But we want none of that to diminish the joy of Taylor’s day and the tremendous pride John has in her. Pray the days ahead will be filled with grace and joy.

Thank you. I love you,
Cindy

Great is thy faithfulness

Written Aug 28, 2013 6:36pm by Cindy McMurry

To say yesterday was a difficult day would an understatement. I had two sieges of muscle spasms that lasted nearly 3 hours each.

Today has been considerably better. The pain is managed and spasms greatly reduced. I plan to leave hospital tomorrow.

Many of you have prayed and continue to. We are so grateful.

We believe they got all of the cancer. They did an acromionectomy and partial scapulectomy.  We are so thankful to be on the path to healing.

Great is thy faithfulness oh God my Father…

We love you,
Cindy and John

Cindy has had a difficult night/day

Written Aug 27, 2013 8:20pm by John McMurry

Cindy bids me keep every one updated. Lord help me!

The local regional block used to treat Cindy’s pain vanished at 3:15 AM.
For the next 3 hours I was engaged in a conflict to get Cindy adequate pain relief with a resident doctor who was intent on showing me who was in charge.
We finally got Cindy comfortable with my pestering him all night.

The orthopedic surgeon comes at 8 AM. We put together a good pain plan and all’s right with the world, Right? Well anesthesia comes riding in shortly there after, thumping their chests regarding their great regional block. The young attending is annoyed that I increased the flow rate on the pain pump…it’s Novacaine for crying out loud (not really Novacaine but something very similar) AND the other attending told me I could adjust it…I was hardly adjusting OxyContin for crying-out-loud. Really?!??  This little power struggle is getting under my “Ive been up all night”…Skin!
Ok, what ever, Cindy’s doing better…just let it go.

So Cindy’s parents, her sister and Cathryn, Cindy’s friend are going to give me a 4 hour break…I of course, went down the street to a brand new Barnes & Noble; wouldn’t everybody after being up all night fighting for your wife’s pain relief? So I got a badly needed shower and luxuriated in 3 glorious uninterrupted hours in Barnes & Noble. I even exercised great will power and dutifully wrote the titles and authors down of 12 new books (I absolutely must have!!) so I could buy them after I finish the 35 books on my shelf I haven’t read yet.

So I get back to the hospital more-less refreshed. Then I discover that Cindy has had two serious muscle spasms. Terrible pain! The team of residents came back re-dosed her regional block ….this time with an appropriate med that lasts 4-6 hours instead of the subpar blocker that only lasts 1.5 hours (Well Duh!!!)

They give her ORAL  Zofran vs IV which I think is more effective.
They give her oral Toradol instead of IV Toradol (does oral Toradol even work??) and they max her out on get this, IV Tylenol. Yes, IV Tylenol! Cindy we are no longer in Kansas!!

So I guess we will see. Stay tuned…more will be revealed tomorrow. John, regarding Cindy’s odyssey through a resident run tertiary care center somewhere in Indianapolis.

Post-op Cindy is back!

Written Aug 26, 2013 3:30pm by Cindy McMurry

Cindy is awake. She is talking without any difficulty (always a good sign :)))). Pain is well controlled. We have a very nice room with a view. Doctor believes he “got it all.” No nausea.  Cindy’s parents and Cathryn are here distracting me very well. It would appear that Cindy has already become the nurses’ pet. I on the other hand, well my “intensity” has some of the hospital staff on edge. I am doing my Lamaze breathing and trying to “keep my powder dry,” in case a line is crossed. Any one with a family member in the hospital will know  exactly what I mean. More later.Thank you for your prayers and support. John and Cindy

Ground Zero

Written Aug 26, 2013 11:17am by Cindy McMurry

Cindy went back to the OR shortly after 11AM. They had difficulty putting an IV in. I suggested that they put in an IJ (Internal Jugular). It would have spared Cindy the discomfort of attempts in the leg and her arm. It is hard being a Surgeon-Husband, giving up control!! I’ll keep in touch. Thank you for your support. John and Cindy

Peace that Passes Understanding…

Written Aug 25, 2013 9:16pm by Cindy McMurry

My Dear Family and Friends,

As we prepare for sleep tonight I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you.  We have read each note, each facebook post, email, guestbook message, text message and card that has been sent. Your love and encouragement humble me.  Thank you!!!

It is so evident you are praying.  We are experiencing the peace that only God can give.  Thank you.

Please continue to pray for us that we will glorify God as we walk this journey.

We are praying for you to experience the wondrous love of Jesus tonight.

We love you,
Cindy and John

Another Day of Grace

Written Aug 24, 2013 9:46pm by Cindy McMurry

The time is getting closer for surgery.  We are in Louisville tonight, will have breakfast with Bethany and then off to Indianapolis in the morning.  My Mom, Dad, Cathryn and Betsy will all be in Indianapolis with us at various times.  We are so grateful for their support and willingness to sacrifice to be with us.  Surgery is Monday morning.  John has promised me he will update you.

We stand amazed at the support our family, friends and community have given us.  Last night many friends joined together to pray for us, anoint us and lay hands on us.  Several gave me prayers they wrote for us to bring with us, others gave us songs they’d written, still others blessed us with devotionals and gifts that are precious.  It was so beautiful… I’m still overwhelmed by their generous love and support.  Others have called, texted, written notes, and sent cards to offer encouragement and to let us know they are praying and that they love us.  Each of you are more precious to us than you could know.

In His Mercy we are blessed.

Thank you for loving us.

Thank you for praying for my friend.  Her Mother received good news this week and we all rejoice with her.

Our friend Janice Stamper shared a song she wrote with us last night.  I’d like to share the words with you.

“Great is your faithfulness each morning
With joy I sing about how great you are
No matter where I go
It is well with my soul
As I sing the mighty power of our God.

Chorus:
It’s another day of grace
Sweet amazing grace
It’s another day of living in God’s love and mercy.
It’s another day of grace,
Sweet amazing grace
It’s another day, another day of grace.

Beneath the cross I bow in humble worship
Then sings my soul & I surrender all
Love lifted me
The Rock of Ages set me free
Oh, sing hallelujah to The Lord.

Until face to face we meet our God and Savior
And the roll is called up yonder, let us sing
Hallelujah we shall rise
Resurrection’s great surprise
To God be the glory, let us sing.  ©Janice Stamper

As you bow in worship tomorrow, I pray you will be reminded this day is “Another day of grace, sweet amazing grace.”

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We love you,
Cindy and John