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  Anthony Fairlie
Anthony Fairlie
Meeting God in the hospital.

Let me recap my stay in the hospital on Friday night we went to the emergency room because I had not had a bowel movement since Tuesday, and I was in distress to say the least.  They put an NG tube in me, that is the tube that runs up my nose down my throat and in to my stomach.  Even though is was very uncomfortable, it began to relieve some pressure so I was thankful to God for that.  So for the next three days I sat with the tube in, unable to eat or drink anything, I was able to mouth and whisper words but that was it.  I had a lot of family and friends come to visit and I know a lot more people out there were praying for me.  But a wonderful thing happened during those three days.  While I laid there in that bed God ministered to me.  I had this tube in my throat and I felt is every time I swallowed, my mouth was parched I couldn't have anything to drink. The only relief I had was Elizabeth could take a small sponge with water and moisten my lips with it. During that time God was meeting me and ministering to me.  I was not in despair or frustrated.  Some one had bought a basket of snacks in, and people would bring in pop and water to drink with their snacks.  Some thought they should go out in the hall so not to frustrate me but I let them know it was ok. I was glad that people I love and care about were able to enjoy these things even if I couldn't.  Love seeks the best for the ones loved  even if we can't be apart of it.  The doctor said that on Monday he would do another colonoscopy to make sure he could try to put a stint in otherwise he would have to do a colon ostomy. So during that weekend I spent  that time in anticipation of removing the NG tube and getting an Ice chip.  I was not frustrated anticipation I was like " come on hurry up." it was hopeful anticipation. The water on my lips was like the promise of the gospel. It was a taste of something wonderful and the anticipation of the ice was going to be like heaven. So I waited with joy as God met me there in that room with caring people all around.  Finally around 5 that evening  we  did the scope, after the doctor said do you want the tube out I nodded yes. He pulled it out  and Elizabeth said "do you want some ice?" yes I nodded she put a small Ice cube in my mouth my eyes flew open the feeling was beyond description yet, The Holy Spirit  communicated to Elizabeth exactly what I was thinking and feeling. She said, so all 4 of my kids heard "He is in Heaven"  I was.  It was pure joy and gratefulness to God for all that He had done and was doing. It was a hard time but I wouldn't change it for anything to be that close to God, it is worth it. I hope this encourages you and when hard things come to you, and they will, I hope you will find God where you are and meet with Him too.  God Bless.  

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  Anthony Fairlie
No suprise to the Father

The surgery that was plan on Wednesday at 5 got moved to 2 which was a blessing. We all went down to the surgery room Elizabeth and Kids said I love you and see when you get out. The  family members from both sides said there good byes as I was wheeled out of my room.  So I went into surgery they prepped me and then the next thing I remember was waking up. The surgeon said, "we were able to put in the stint.'' Fortunately everything stared to work my bowels started to move and the pressure was relieved.  The stint will not hold forever sooner or later it will fail so I will have to have a colostomy. Right now we are looking at the 28th of January to have that done and to allow the chemo in my body to dissipate. The chemo knocks down my immune system and that makes for a higher chance of infection.  By the 28th the chemo should be gone and the risk of infection should be low after I recover I will start chemo again.  Thanks for all your prayers and support. 

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  Anthony Fairlie
Unexpected Turn.

Hello, This is Esther Dad's youngest daughter.

A week ago things took an unexpected turn, dad was having some pain and things didn't seem quite right, on Friday morning dad got his pump off and they gave him fluids and eventually sent him home. Later that evening we went to the ER we have been at the hospital ever since. Dad has a blockage right where the tumor is, (The large intestine) this blockage is caused by the tumor dying leaving scar tissue. Eventually the permanent solution will be a colostomy. However because chemo was just last week there is medicine in his body that makes him not heal, so doing a surgery is risky. 

Right now the blockage is causing issues with breathing and uncomfortableness, we have two options, the first is to put a stent through the tumor to hopefully relieve the blockage, the surgeon does not know for sure if this will work, he wont know until he gets in there and tries, if that doesn't work then they will do the colostomy. The surgeon warned us though, with either option if things were to go wrong things would go very wrong and dad probably wouldn't survive the complications and wont survive surgery. Surgery will be any time this evening after 5pm. (12/19/18)

Dad is hanging in there, we have been reading scripture and listening to worship music. Lifting our eyes to Jesus knowing that he is the author and perfecter of our faith. We know and trust that God is Good and in control. We pray that no matter what happens God will be glorified. Dad is ready to fight, and ready to start feeling better! We couldn't be here without your prayers. We are so thankful for each and everyone of you. Continue praying for us and that God would be glorified through us. 

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  Anthony Fairlie
Merry Christmas

Hello everyone I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. And now with Christmas on the horizon I hope you are able to enjoy the holidays. I know I am going to make a conscious effort to focus on the important things and try and not get bogged down with the stress that often comes at this time of the year. Let me update you on where we are with the cancer. I had a second CAT scan before my last treatment the results were pretty good. None of my tumors grew and a couple shrunk a little. Which was very good. My Dr. was really encouraged, she reminded us that she cannot "cure" my cancer, she can only extend my life and mange my symptoms. We did make a change to my chemo I had been taking two drugs together, but one of them not only kills cancer but attacks the nerves in my hands and feet as a result I have numbness in both. It use to go away but as time went by it lasted longer and longer, well it is pretty constant now. So we dropped that drug and we are just doing the one. The Dr. referred to it as chemo light. She said we had a number of chemo options but she wants to hold off on them as long as possible. She said they are like bullets once she uses them they are gone, so we will do this for awhile and check again. So that is where we stand.

Well, my goal as I said above is to not get bogged down by the stress of the holidays but focus on what is really matters. The most important thing is Jesus Christ, not just because this is the time of year we are reminded of His birth but because it should cause us to think of why He came. The purpose of His coming at all, was to make peace with us (mankind), up until then man had been at war with God ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. God sent Jesus to be a peace offering from God to us. That is why the angels proclaimed to the shepherds " Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward men." I know a lot of people think that God was calling for peace between men. Which would be great but it didn't happen nor has it ever happened, and that is not what God was saying. I often have to remind myself when I read the Bible it is not from my perspective it is from God's. That is why what God was saying is "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will towards men. God was declaring the war over. He was no longer angry with mankind. That is also why it was significant that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. In ancient time when kings were at peace they rode donkeys, but when they went to war they rode horses. That is why the next time Jesus comes to earth He will be riding a white charger, a war horse. So this year I am making the effort to focus on the reason Jesus came to earth and to focus on spending time with those I love and hopefully encourage them to not get dragged down with dread, just wanting to get through Christmas. Instead to think about how God sent His only Son to make peace with each one of us. And not get caught up in shopping and running around to make this person or that person happy. Well I'll finish here God Bless and thank you all for your prayers and support.

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  Anthony Fairlie
Hello again.

Yeah its been awhile. it is time to bring everybody up to date. October was a pretty good month. back on the 20th. We, Elizabeth Isaac and I went to the Iowa vs Maryland game, It was a lot of fun. It was a cold and windy, but a sunny day. Where we were was mostly blocked from the wind and we were in the sun the whole time so we stayed pretty warm. Plus Iowa won so a good day all around. Then Elizabeth and I along with Hannah flew down to Phoenix to visit Esther for the weekend. We flew down Thursday night and came back Monday evening. We were able to see her campus and where her classes are. It is kind of funny because she has 4 classes in 2 buildings and one is on the other side of the campus and the other is right next to her building she lives in. Of course she has to walk to the other side of campus between each class. She has about ten minutes between classes and she needs every one to get to her classes on time but she does it. We were able to meet a lot of her friends. She has a real nice group of friends they really look out for each other. In fact just yesterday Esther had to have some surgery on her mouth, wisdom teeth and such. The Dentist said she would need somebody to stay with her for 24 hrs. Well they all took turns staying with her and getting things for her. We are very grateful she has a good community of friends. We had a real nice time spending time with her.

Well, I just got done with my 12th chemo treatment. The Dr. scheduled a CAT scan to see how things have changed and what we might do different going forward. We will have to make some decisions at that point depending on the results of the scan. The Dr. was pretty positive mostly based on my reactions to the treatments. My blood work has been going in the right direction this whole time. My iron and red blood cell counts has been increasing the whole time and I am still able to work. I am not having any harsh side affects that wipe me out for a couple of days. So I am thankful to God for His kindness.

The things you can be praying for are that the results on November 13 of the CAT scan would show great progress. That God would show Elizabeth and I what to do, if we go light chemo, take 3 months off or visit Mayo again. This will happen on November 14. Elizabeth and I want to thank you all for your prayers. Until next time when I blog again.

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  Anthony Fairlie
I'm back.

Well, I could give you all an excuse why it has been so long since I blogged last. The truth is things came up and I just didn't feel like writing anything. Here is a recap of some of the things we have done. Elizabeth and I celebrated 25 years together on July 31st. Then the weekend after that we the family minus Caleb and Kylellen,( They couldn't get away) Plus my sister LuRie. Went to the Omaha zoo, for 2 days. It was a great time to get away and enjoy the animals and hanging with the kids. I should also mentioned they were the 2 hottest days we could have asked for , but we did ok with it.

On the cancer front. I had a cat scan to see how the tumors were responding to the chemo. That was on Monday the 20th, we got the results back on Wednesday the 22nd before my chemo treatment. The results were good, all the tumors had shrunk, to varying degrees. Unfortunately we, Elizabeth and I were disappointed. We had begun to build up false hope the they would be all but totally gone. The chemo doctor reminded us that I will never be cancer free. I will be on chemo for the rest of my life. The only way I will get off chemo is, 1. the chemo isn't working, 2. my body can' take it any more, 3. I just want to be done. So sooner or later cancel will get me. So we have been working through this with the understanding barring a miracle I will die from this. I'm not discounting a miracle, ( I find it best not to tell The Lord what He can and cannot do) but we cannot operate on that presumption. Just a note, I use I and we interchangeably, I when I am talking about my thoughts, and we when I am speaking about Elizabeth and me. So we are working through this reset of the situation. So for now we are going forward with chemo. It is shrinking the tumors and I am tolerating it pretty well. I am able to keep working. I'm not getting violently ill like some do. So I will keep going as long as the Lord allows. Furthermore the Doctor said I could take a short break if I wanted. I could take a month or two off from chemo and pick it back up. Of course the cancer could regrow she couldn't say either way. But that is an options too. For now we are staying the course with chemo and work. We are spending time thinking about the future and working through that, please pray for us as we do that. Thanks for that.

You know as grim as this may be, and it is. It is not as bad as it could be. I remember on a number of occasions saying that I hope when I die I will be around to say good-bye. I have watched as my mom and aunts withered away for dementia. And I hoped to be alive and alert so I could be with people, so far God has answered my prayers. It may not be so at the very end, but for now I am able say and do things with total awareness and that is a gift. Plus I really don't know how long I have, maybe six months, maybe 2 years like the doctor thought, maybe longer 5-6 years. But I know that in a short time I will die. I think of the young girl last winter who was driving home from a yoga class in Iowa City, who was killed when a man decided to drive south on the north bound interstate. She was in her early twenties and engaged to be married. Do you suppose when she got in her car that night that she had any idea she would not reach home. So knowing it is coming is a gift too. So while it may not look like all sunshine and roses for me, God has been very gracious to me and Elizabeth. In addition Elizabeth and I really want to make the time we have left, whatever it maybe, count. We are hoping to go visit Esther in October, I have not been to her school and it will be a nice little get away for a few days. We may visit more people too, we will see. Well that is all for now. Remember God is good all the time.

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  Anthony Fairlie
The Benifit of family and friends.

I have to apologize. I had started this post about a week ago but my computer wiped it out when I hit the save button. So we got that situation and got it corrected. Back on July 14th family and friends came together for a benefit for me and my family. I was truly overwhelming to see so many people come together on my behalf. There were old friends, new, my family, and their friends, and there was Elizabeth's family, cousins, cousins of cousins, friends of friends. I wish there was away I could thank everyone personally, for being there. There are so many who did so much. the committee they worked so hard to make it happen, to the businesses that gave prizes so generously. Family and friends who donated prizes to everyone who came to be apart and many who took part on the online auctions. Saying thank you to everyone seems so small. The best I can truly do, is to ask God to bless each person who blessed us. Thank you all.

I also am fully aware that the one, I owe the most is God, the giver of all good things. He is the one behind it all. I think of Nehemiah and Ezra in the Old Testament. How when they wanted to restore Jerusalem He move the hearts of kings to provide the money and material for it. Time and again. God would move in the hearts of people to accomplish His goals. It is all for his glory. When He blesses us we are to respond with thanksgiving and gratitude and to see behind the gift to Him. The love of God toward us is so great is scandalous. When we take the time to look deeply into our sin and then look deeply at the cross of Jesus, you begin to scratch the surface of His love. Then when you add all the things in this life, like the benefit, family and friends. You realize His love is so great, it is scandalous. God bless all of you.

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  Anthony Fairlie
Good news to pass along

I want to update you on the treatments. The last treatment was my fourth, The Doctor wanted to see if there was any change in the tumors. When they first discovered my cancer they did a marker of the tumors. She, the Dr. wanted to check it again. It is a blood test of some kind. Any way the marker was 14.9 they want it less than a 1. The test they ran before my last chemo was 3.6. Obviously a big drop so we are praising God for that. Thanks to all of you praying for me. God bless.

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  Anthony Fairlie
Gone fish'n

I had a great opportunity the week before last to spent some time with my sons Caleb and Isaac, along with my father-in-law and my brother-in-law. When Ken, my brother-in-law, first found out I had cancer, he asked me if there was anything on my bucket list I would like to do. I said yes, I would like to take Isaac fishing. Isaac likes to fish but I haven't taken him much. He said great, maybe do some cat fishing on the Cedar river. Then a couple of weeks later he called and said there might be a chance we could go up to Minnesota to a cabin on a lake. Ken has neighbor whose mom has a cabin on a lake in Minnesota, and they have several extra roll away beds and she likes to get to know people by inviting them up and spending time with them. Ken's neighbor, Dave had invited Ken and Julie(Ken's wife) up to the cabin. But after a year they hadn't made it up there. Dave mentioned it again and Ken, always thinking, mentioned me and my situation. Dave made a call to his mother and it was set. So Saturday before last the five of us headed up north on a four day fishing trip. We met Dave's mom, Lois Krisstlow, Dave, his wife Kyla and their kids. They are great people. Lois is the type of person who has never met a stranger. Her house was on a small lake and just across the highway was a larger lake with resorts and a lot of cabins. So while a couple of us fished on the small lake using a small boat Lois had, the other three went with Ken and his boat to the big lake. We had a great time. The fishing was great, we caught a lot of Bass, Northern Pike, lots of Blue Gill and some Sun Fish. We didn't keep anything just caught and released. Like Ken said a number of times," A trophy is nothing but a memory, we want to make memories." He is right, The great thing was spending time with Caleb, Isaac, Ken and DuWayne, (my father-in-law.) And getting to know Lois and her family. The fish we caught was icing on the cake. It was a great time, big thanks to Ken, Lois and Dave for making it happen. Especially Ken, he really extended himself to make the trip come together. Thanks Ken, God bless.

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  Anthony Fairlie
The Giver of all good things.

Well I started the 3rd round of chemo today ( Yeah,) but seriously it is going pretty good so far I'm not too tired, some side affects starting up but nothing severe hoping it stays that way.

(put this down for few days)

The Lord has brought to the fore front of my mind how blessed I am to have Elizabeth as a wife. She has, and continues, to extend herself in so many ways. It is not surprising really so many times in the past she has extended herself to so many people, a lot of people have eaten her lasagna or chicken and rice dinner through the years. There has been many times she has watched kids on short notice because people had an issue come up, and needed some one to watch their kids for a few hours, or a couple of days. She's even took calls in the middle of the night to go to their house to watch kids so they could deal with a crisis that came up. So it really isn't surprising how she has served me during this time. She is a testament to God's kindness to me. It is kind of funny how I was so nervous before we got married. How bad was it? Well Dave Miller, the pastor who married us still says I was he worst case of cold feet he has ever seen. But God was gracious to me and gave me the courage to say I do, to marry her. After asking Jesus to be my Lord and Savior it was the best thing have ever done. We haven't always had a lot of money, but truthfully I was never, so rich as the day I married Elizabeth. James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." That is Elizabeth, a good gift from God to me, our kids, and so many others. Now she isn't perfect she has sin and faults like everybody else, That is why she has put her trust in Jesus Christ too. But I can't think of anybody else I would want to through life and cancer with other than Elizabeth. Later this month we will celebrate 25 years. I hope God will give us a few more. So thank you Lord for giving Elizabeth for a wife a further testament or your loving kindness to me.

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  Anthony Fairlie
Staying focused.

I know it has been awhile and I said I would write more frequently. I actually had a column done and was editing it when it disappeared and I couldn't find it, that was on Saturday. So between the frustration and my work schedule, I put this on the back burner.

Well I have a week to go before round 3 of chemo. The good and bad is my hands have a little tingly feeling in them and they are very sensitive to cold things. It is also hard to drink cold drinks, both are side affects of the chemo. Fortunately that has faded and I can drink cold drinks again. So far that fades away a few days after the chemo. Hopefully that won't change.

I had titled the post, Staying Focused. Because I have been struggling with sliding back into old habits. Becoming quiet, withdrawn, losing interest in reading the Bible or praying. You would think a person who is facing cancer and has been told they have stage 4 cancer, and 2 years would be successful. Would be focused on what is really matters. But the sin nature is still very present. And even in the face of death rebels against God. Which when you think about it, it really speaks to the depth of depravity that is in me, and you. Furthermore my struggle is not unique to me. Every one who calls themselves a Christian has the same struggle. As Galatians 5 say " For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh , for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do." So I would ask you to pray that I would not give in to my fleshly desires and patterns, but to remind myself of the truth of the gospel. That Christ has defeated the flesh nailing it to His cross, so that I can rest in Him. As Romans 8 says. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin an death." Please pray for both Elizabeth and me as we go through this together. God Bless you all for your support.

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