CDG PRESSING ON…Miracles do happen!

Hello my fine friends!!

I know.  My blogging has been pathetic.  I am sorry for the long absence since my last blog.  I think that I had writers block subconsciously as I was working thru treatments and scans these past couple of months.

I have missed you.  I hope you feel the same….

Well, let’s get to it.  There’s a popular Christian song that goes, “Praise Him in the morning, praise Him in the evening, praise him all day long” and I have found that it’s a whole lot “easier” and perhaps even more joyful to praise Him when thing are going well.  However, how about those times when you find yourself just barely making it thru the day—is it easy then?  Heaven’s no!!  As I have been grinding it out this past year I constantly have to remind myself that I need to be thankful for “all things” and “all circumstances” because God has me right where he wants me.  He makes no mistakes and who am I to question the great I Am?  (My Lord and Savior)

However, I find this particular praise to be quite joyous and wonderful.  I just received my scan reports (MRI and CT) which have revealed some wonderful news.  Praise the Lord!  (PTL). If you will recall I HAD two pesky cancerous nodules in my right lung that had been wreaking havoc in my bronchial tube.  In fact, in the past 12 months I have had to have two procedures where the doctors had to go into my bronchial tube via a metal tube in my throat and laser out the renal cells so that I can once again breathe out of that lung. This my friends has not been on my top ten list of fun things to do in your time off!! :-). Anyway, the MRI has revealed NO EVIDENCE OF CANCER!  Please join me in cursing this cancer at its root in Jesus name so that it NEVER comes back.  Secondly, the MRI”s show that ALL 5 vertebrae lesions have either stabilized or shrunk with the exception of the Occipital lesion.  I will comment on this is a few moments.  Additionally, two critical vertebrae–C4 & T4 have actually begun the process of growing bone which means the absence of disease!!  Praise Him all day long!

While this is great news, we must not drop our guard!  We must continue to pray for complete healing.  I am reminded of several promises of healing in the Bible.

Below are a couple to chew on and memorize for those of us fighting disease or living alongside a friend or family member with any type of disease:

And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us:  and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him”. 1 John 5:14-15.

And in Matthew 21:22  “All things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive”.

This is not to say we will get anything and everything we pray for.  It seems that only when our faith comes in alignment with God’s will our prayers are answered.  For those of us that have not always gotten answers there are two promises I think about. First, Roman’s 5:3-4 tells us “We glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation results in patience and patience results in character, and character in hope. Then, in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”.  Either way, healing takes place here on Earth or in Heaven—a win-win scenario.

In my last blog I told you about and wrote one of the Scripture Confessions I read everyday.  I thought is would be excellent to include another confession as getting healthy is all about “wholistic” health—health physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  Positive self talk (or confessions) help us start the day in a positive, health affirming mindset which is so critical for your recovery from any disease. God wants us to expect good things and think about good things.  In fact, in Philippians 4:8 we are reminded (encouraged) to the following:  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”.  Even the Apostles in the early ages knew that “right thinking” was the way to go.  This particular Scripture Confession is all about SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH:

I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  The joy of the Lord is my strength, and His strength sustains me.  I am full of energy; I am vibrant and full of life and vitality.  God in me is stronger than any weakness in my flesh.  It doesn’t matter how I feel because I am not moved by feelings.  I speak supernatural strength, energy, and vitality to my body.  Weakness, tiredness, and weariness, I command you to get out of my body.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I have dynamic energy and indomitable strength.  I am undaunted in my faith; I am strong in the Lord.  I am courageous and fearless.  Greater is He that is in me than me that is in the world.  His strength rises up in me.  He puts me above my feelings.  I am strong in my spirit.  I am strong in my mind, and I am strong in my body.  My strength is renewed like the Eagles.  God increases my strength.  Therefore, I am not weary”.

There are others as I mentioned in my last blog.  You can get them either on or on Amazon.  Again, I would highly recommend this for anyone struggling with sickness in any of the four areas I mentioned earlier.

Finally, let’s talk about that darn bump on my head.  No, it’s not from Terry taking a frying pan to it, although I am sure at times she is tempted to do so.  This bump is known as an Occipital lesion.  This little devil wants to break right into my skull so it can have it’s way in my brain.  However, we are not going to let it.  This Friday, I meet with the Neurological Surgeon and Radialogist/Oncologist to discuss how we are going to wipe this troublesome little critter off the face of this earth!!  I am sure this has to do with my good ol’friend Cyberknife.  Pray that there is no collateral damage because I am already demented enough at this point in life.  I don’t need any more help.  🙂

Friends, I feel the need to share with you one more thing.  I was on a walk the other day and ran into a good friend.  We did the typical niceties and then she dove right in with some serious questions one in particular I thought was unique and highly unusual.  She asked me “what was the best thing that has happened to you since getting cancer”?  To me,  that’s like asking a leper what he likes about the leper colony—can’t imagine too much.   But then, as I searched my soul for a response it dawned on me God truly is blessing me through it all!  He is surely teaching me patience and humility, but perhaps more importantly, he is teaching me to find the good in all bad circumstances.  So, do you want to know how I responded to this great question?  I said there were three particularly good things he was blessing me with via the disease.  First, I get to spend a whole lot more time with Him by reading the Bible and praying each day.  Secondly, I am able to spend more time with my love of 35 yrs, something I definitely wouldn’t be able to do if I was still working full time.  Thirdly, it has been a blessing to spend a great deal of time with my kids and grandkids whom I had put on the “back burner” due to my busy work life.

The moral of this story is that no matter what you are dealing with in life—find the good in it.  Be positive.  Find God and praise Him for his wisdom, grace, and glory.  You might just find that “you are right where you are supposed to be” for the time being.

Please, if you would like to talk or communicate feel free to do so knowing that what we share is in complete confidence.

Sending love and sowing seeds of faithfulness,

Craig D. GILES, aka Papa G

CDGPressingon…at the foot of the Throne.

Greetings my fine friends and family members!

I hope that the Spring weather has brought a “new song” in your heart!  The coldness and solemness of Winter is now behind us.  I look forward to warmer days and a brighter future!

I felt that the title of this blog was appropriate as I find myself “at the foot of the Throne Room” asking the Lord for wisdom, courage, strength, and healing on a daily basis.  A good friend of mine jokingly said to me, “this cancer stuff is a heck of a way to want to improve your prayer life”!  What the heck.  When is the last time you can think of regarding a time that Craig Giles took the easy way to accomplish anything?  No sense in changing now.  LOL.

Even in this darkness I have found joy and contentment in the Lord.  I feel the warmth of your prayers. (pls keep them coming!!!)  I have found rest in the Lord as I don’t have the added stress and responsibilities of a Vice President of Sales and Marketing in business.  I have felt the warmth of the Sun on my face mid-morning when I would typically be at work…..and not on a weeks vacation.  There are blessings to be had my friends in every situation if you take the time to look and listen for them.  I am truly thankful to God for that.

One of the many things that sustains me and keeps my spirits up on a daily basis is something Terry and I do together called Scripture Confessions.  Basically, we read scripture outloud reminding ourselves of the various promises from God in the Bible.  In this case, a friend of ours gave us a booklet with several of them. We loved them so much we bought the leather version of the booklet for Terry and I.  You can get it on Amazon for $12 (leather version) or $2 for the paperback booklet.  James Riddle is the author and Harrison House is the publisher.  I thought I would share with you one of the confessions we recite on a regular basis.  This particular scriptural confession happens to address the issue “When You Receive a Bad Report”.  It is the following:

     I am not shaken because of bad reports; I choose to believe the Lord’s good report.  Bad news doesn’t faze me a bit because I have learned to trust God and believe His Word (Amen!!) even in the midst of challenging circumstances.  I don’t deny that sickness exists; I just deny it has a right to exist in my body.  The word of man doesn’t change the Word of God.  I don’t deny what the doctor’s word says; I just deny that it is the final word, because God’s Word supercedes the word of men.  I choose to believe God’s report that says Jesus paid for my healing as my substitute on the Cross.  His report says the law of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  His report says that healing and health are my right and privilege.  God’s Word says that by Jesus stripes I was healed, and that is the report I choose to believe.  It doesn’t matter what the doctor says; I am healed.  It doesn’t matter what the medical tests say; I am healed.  It doesn’t matter what my body says; I say I am healed.  God’s Word says that I am healed, and I believe it.  That settles the matter!!

After speaking this outloud there are specific scripture to back up the premie sof this scriptural confession.  You don’t have to have cancer for this to be effective in your life.  It can be said for any type of bad news as it relates to sickness.

So, you see my friends.  The Bible tells us Christ took on all sin and sickness—we are healed by his stripes!  He created a new covenant that all people can participate in!  This is not an exclusive, high priced Country Club.  You are welcome to join the Kingdom by accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior along with repenting of your sin.  Easy–Peasy. I am not a fool and obviously God does not answer all prayer as  WE want him too.  He is supreme, omnipotent, all knowing.  Ours is not to question why, but to do (obey) what His word tells us.  He knows whats best for us.  I accept this in my life.  To me, there is no other way to real truth and life.  I am “pumped” that I don’t need to worry about my life—someone more qualified than me is handling that department for me.  (thank you Lord!)

This brings me to the next steps in my treatment.  (Talk about building patience and perseverence)  Today, I go to St. Joe’s to get 2 MRI’s and another CT Scan.  Apparently, the C4 and T4 vertebrae want to add a bit of excitment in my life.  They figured they would succumb to the crappy renal cells and threaten degradation to my spine which in turn could lead to paralysis.  As I have mentioned in previous blogs, it can always be worse.  Always look at the bright side of things because Lord knows there is plenty of crappy stuff in life.  So, I am looking at the bright side.  I am going to get 2.5 hours of scans today so that the Neurologist and Radiologist can get the most accurate read of the spine so they can create a dynamic, highly effective, Cyberknife radiation game plan.  This means I will be getting 3 to 5 Cyberknife treatments to tackle the C4 and T4 vertebrae issues in the next week and a half.  ( I start these treatments this Wed May 4th)

Friends, pray that this plan completely irradacates the cells.  That it stops them in their tracks.  Supernatural hitmen that completely wipes out the problem!! 🙂  Nothing is beyond God’s miraculous reach!

Other that this, my spirits remain high due to God’s grace.  He is alive and well in our life and I am thankful for that!  My family and good friends Sue and John Barry are putting together a benefit for me at the Vivo restuarant in Apple Valley May 21st to assist in mitigating out of pocket medical expenses mainly due to the alternative treatments I do to keep my immune system strong and healthy as well as my blood counts.  I am thankful for family and friends that have come alongside of me during the darkest days of my life.  Praise God for this!

I leave you with this wonderful promise from the old testament.  It’s one of my fav’s:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  Psalm 91:1-2 NIV

Sending Blessings out to you, wishing you ALL the best!

Craig, aka Papa G








CDGPRESSINGON….Faith & Reality

Hello my fine friends and family members!

I know that its been a while since I last wrote.  I believe I had a bit of “writer’s block” as I have been waiting to share with you my experience after radiation and the Opdivo drips (a new type of Immunotherapy just approved for Kidney cancer patients, it’s been on the market for a year now specifically for lung cancer) that I have been taking the last four weeks.

Before I get into the details, first things first.  I thank Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior for the protection and grace he has given me through this entire ordeal.  For those of you praying for me, I have felt his presence on a daily basis.  He has never forsaken me as he promises in His word.  In Psalm 118:5-6 the Bible (King David) talks about how the Lord will be with us in times of distress.  However, in order for Him to be with us we must “call upon him” in prayer and meditation.  Psalm 118:5-6 says, “I called on the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.  The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man  (or disease) do to me?”  The Bible tells us that “no weapon formed against us can prosper.” Sure, our physical being can be shaken.  But, with Christ all things are possible.  He will never forsake me, nor leave me.

This my friends and family are the promises I count on daily.  It is my faith that sustains me.  Some people say that I am “religious”.  I totally disagree with them.  I am not religious as religion has proven it can get in the way of having a “personal relationship with Christ”.  Religion can get in the way due to formality, traditions,  formal beliefs, ecumenical bias, etc.  Jesus came to become our Savior, to start a movement agains sin and evil.  Its all about your heart.  He even talked against the “religious people” of his time because their heart was not right with their beliefs.  Simply put, I believe I am a “man of faith” that is centered on Christ and has no religious affiliation.  It may be that you are confused by the actions of some religious people.   Perhaps, their actions don’t align with their verbal beliefs.  As a result you have been turned off or have turned away from God.   In fact, you have quit going to church because you feel that it’s hypocritical of them.  Well, we all make mistakes and we all fall short of the glory of God.  Therefore, I advise you to forego judging others and look to Jesus as the gold standard.  Afterall, he was and continues to be the only perfect person to walk this Earth.  Okay, enough of this.  Allow me to give you an update.

To bring you up to date, I just completed 10 radiation treatments on my right rib.  There are 3 ribs negatively impacted by renal cell lytic lesions.  Since we don’t know how the immune system will be impacted with both the Opdivo immunotherapy and radiation done simultaneously, we decided to attack this rib because it needed the attention and we are thinking that by treating this area (which is indirect) we may be able to directly stimulate the immune system to attack the 6 lytic lesions on my vertebrae.  I have been doing far infrared saunas everyday to manage the pain as well as coffee enema’s.  That’s right, I said coffee enemas’.  Never in my life did I think I would ever do this, but they help stimulate the liver and colon to expel toxins from my body.  Let me tell you my daily coffee breaks have taken on a whole new meanig.  🙂  I continue to juice each day as well so that I get crucial nutrients and phytonutrients directly in my body at the cellular level.  Pray that this strategy works indeed.

As I continue to wade through this journey I have found that it is best to take one day at a time.  My motto is now, “plan for the future, but live day to day.”  As I do so scripture tells me in John 16:33 the following; “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulations; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  This my friends and family is what allows me to sleep at night.  I know that I worship a God that is ever present and never ending.  Therefore, I know he’s got my back.

I continue to pray for many of you.  I have mentioned this before, but if you wish to talk or need prayer for anything in your life please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Afterall, folks I’ve got the time!!!

Be blessed and wishing you health, happiness, and success!

All the best,

Craig, aka Papa G


CDGPRESSING ON: A winter’s tale of despair, setback, and finally, the Ultimate Hope

Hello my fine friends and family,

As you can see by my title it’s been a “rollercoaster” ride lately.  However, I want to remind you (and affirm it myself) that God is ALWAYS good thru every trial, tribulation, and triumph.

Listen to this, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.  2 Corinthians 4:18

What a profound piece of scripture!!  It sends my spirit miles high as this is what drives my existence.  To think that we are to live just 70, 80, or 90 years and then it’s all over is is such a farce and a lie the evil one wants people to believe.  This thinking represents such a huge gap in what God wants for us versus what many people (unbelievers) think is what they need to settle for in life.

I created the title above to illustrate what emotions I go thru on a regular basis with the exception that I NEVER give up HOPE in Christ because as the Bible tells us, “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”.  I feel despair at times because of a medical system hell bent on selling drugs and radiation versus looking at alternative Immunotherapies that work and have been demonstrated to do so in countries such as Austria, Germany, Mexico, and others.  These countries are not bound by the bureacracy of our current health care system.  They have managed to work along side of drug companies and minimize governmental redtape.  In my case drugs and radiation are not curative, just palliative.  This means I have to seek out other methods to find a way to kill the dreaded cancer cells within this body.  The setback I am speaking of is that once again I had to have my bronchial tube “laser reamed out” to get rid of renal cells desiring to cover up my right bronchial tube thereby obstructing my breathing and leading into deadly pnuemonia.  Don’t get me wrong this part of our health care system is excellent.  The fine doctors and nurses at the Mayo Clinic were able to “ream out” the bronchial tube and restore my breathing.  Praise God for professionals such as these!!

This brings me to the Ulimate Hope–Jesus Christ.  In John 11:4 scripture tells us, “When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘this sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorifed through it.”

This is his promise to us—life eternal.  Our life is but a “blink of an eye” here on earth.  However, because of Christ’s death on the cross he defeated sickness and death FOR ME (and you) once and for all.

For now, I am asking all our friends and family members to pray for wisdom, clarity and discernment regarding my next treatments.  I am looking into Immunotherapy with the idea of stimulating my immune system in “hyper-drive” so that it can kill the renal cells.  I am thinking of a procedure that uses my cancer cells combined with a special serum to create a vaccine which would be injected a minimum of 4 times over a specified time period.  Or, a similar treatment that combines a specific juice diet as well as other vaccines that stimulate the immune system.  Either way the treatments will be expensive and out of the country.  We are seeking God’s will and direction in this process.  Won’t you please join us in prayer as we determine our next steps?

Many Blessings to you as you find your path toward the light.

Craig, aka Papa G

CDGPRESSING ON:  Facing the future, the unknown, 100%.

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for coming back to my blog and keeping up with what’s happening on the CDG Pressing on battle.

I confess that although I believe that I will prevail thru this disease I get pretty tired of the mundaneness of the fight.  Each day is filled with roughly 4 hours of actively fighting the disease homeopathically.  Don’t get me wrong I believe that everything we are doing to fight this disease sans the heavy drugs is the best way to go.  I feel good, my energy is good, and darn it I look pretty good….. :-).

BTW, did I mention that I am now “retired”?  Yes, that’s right.  Long term disability is the new normal for this dude.  In order to fight the disease full time I figured I had better give up my 60 hour work weeks.  They really are not conducive to trying to get healthy.  I remember not too long ago Terry and I were having a little spat.  I was all wound up about some work obligations and she was following me around the house firmly reminding me to call this doctor and remember that apointment until I had finally reached the end of my rope.  I remember telling Terry, “what do you want from me? I am trying to do my job and trying to get all these other things done regarding my doctoring.” Her rebuttal truly shook me and woke me up.  She plainly and clearly responded back to me, “I want you to fight for you life like I am doing.”  This was a tiny weenie bit of a wake up call.  (that’s a major understatement) So, after much thought and prayer I decided to get serious about getting back to health again.  I decided to pursue long term disability so that I could spend all of my energy on getting healthy.

Some folks might feel anxiety or fear about leaving such a great job.  But, our God assures me that he has my back.  In Psalm 112:6-8 we are told, “For (the man who fears the Lord) will never be upended; others will always remember one who is just.  He does not fear bad news.  He is confident; he trusts in the Lord. His resolve is firm; he will not succumb to fear before he looks in triumph on his enemies.”  I truly believe that God the Father will provide for all our needs and that he has been with me and my family through the many challenges and trials we have faced since the disease reared it’s ugly face two years ago after 5 years of remission.

So, now that I have the “retired” part out of the way I can bring you up to date regarding my recent trips to “Cyber Knife” hotel.  It turns out I have 6 lytic lesions.  That’s greek for cancer in certain bones.  I have one lytic lesion in my right and left lung rib each and 4 lesions in my back mostly near or on the spine.  The reason we had to make 5 trips to the Cyber Knife hotel was that the nasty C decided to land on my C-1 vertebrae.  Yea, that’s the one that keeps your head attached to your spine.  I think I may have mentioned this in my last blog.  Anyway, it was decided the best course of action would be to use the Cyber Knife to radiate the C-1 area.  We had to do five treatments which is why I call it the Cyber Knife hotel—-it seemed like I lived there for 2 weeks.  Now, after 5 treatments my neck is still stiff but not as much as before AND I believe we stopped the C from damaging any more of my C-1 vertebrae.  The next course of action will be to figure out how to eliminate the other lesions naturally.  We are looking into treatment options as we speak.

If you or a friend or a family member is dealing with tough stuff such as this—whether it’s cancer, drugs, alcohol, mental illness, etc., I would encourage you to look to God’s word to give you comfort and confidence.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have scripture and God’s promises to lean on daily.  I especially love Psalm 91:14-16, The Lord says, “If you love me and truly know who I am.  I will rescue you and keep you safe.  When you are in trouble, call out to me.  I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.  You will live a long life and see my saving power.”  I know that I am healed.  It’s just a matter of whether that’s here on earth or in Heaven.

Wishing you all a joyful Christmas.  One filled with joy, happiness, and great family memories.

Be blessed and a blessing to others this Christmas Season!!

All the best,

Craig, aka Papa G

PRESSINGON….Setting sails for the next challenge forthcoming…..

Hello my friends and loved ones!

It’s about time I gave ya’ll an update.  I realize all of you know this but I will state the obvious—-life is full of ups/downs/challenges.  As I have mentioned in past Blogs things can ALWAYS be worse no matter what circumstance or situation you find yourself or a loved one in it can always be worse–trust me.

Today, I spent my afternoon at the Minnesota School for the Blind.  I happen to be the on the board of a non-profit called the UMOGD Sight Preservation Foundation.  Each year we hold a golf outing in the optical community and raise funds for the school so that they can use the funds for special projects.  This year we raised $40,000 “for the kids”.  (we have raised $376,000 the past 12 years including this year) We are in the 2nd year of a 3 year pledge to raise $120,000 to be used toward a specially designed Oval Sports Track for both the School for the Blind as well as the School for the Deaf which is across the street.  Anyway, my point is when I see these precious kids who are afflicted not only with visual impairment (most blind), but also physical disabilities it just breaks my heart.  However, I love coming down to see the kids put on a special thank you reception as we hand over the cash.  I think of all the people today that have their health and still complain about circumstances in life.  Take a ride down to Faribault, visit the school and get a new attitude on life!!  These kids find joy even in the most mundane of life.

This is a good segue to what’s next for Craigles’, aka Papa G.  I happen to have taken on a few new friends in my body.  They are called “Lytic Lesions”.  Sounds kind of sexy heh?  Not really.  They are quite bothersome.  I have four of them in different parts of my back and ribs.  One of which is on my C-1 Vertebrae.  Such a happy spot for my new friend.  Remember the song from Disney “the shoulder bone is connected to the neck bone, the neck bone connected to the HEAD!  Yes, this is the vertebrae that connects to your skull.  So, the Lord in all his Glory,  is challenging me to continue placing my faith in him.  (I don’t believe He brings on bad things to our life.  I believe that special duty is Satan whom I rebuke everyday!)  Anyway, my faith does not waiver.  I completely believe He is in control and He wants what is best for my life.  In Lamentations scripture talks about how grief comes into our life.  Yet, our God is always there for us to call upon him.  It says in Lamentations 3:32 “Though (The Lord) brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love”.  Indeed I have felt his compassion.  Do you know how?  From all the cards, gift baskets, texts, phone calls, and personal conversations I have had with many of you.  You have been there to give me encouragement and I believe this is God’s way of showing us compassion.  He is such a good God and I am thankful he works through many of you.  I am ashamed that I do not hold him up in greater reverence on daily basis.  In Ecclesiastes 3:1 the Lord tells us “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven.”  This is a season of my life where I have been tested physically, mentally, and emotionally. When I feel like giving up and falling down I think of our Lord and how he must have felt as non-believers were spitting on him and cursing him as he walked to be hung on a cross.  I have no idea of pain relative to what Christ went thru.

I am here to tell you that He has never left my side.  Have I suffered a bit?  Yes.  But, He has been right there by my side in Spirit giving me hope and inspiration thru his faithful promises in the Bible.

So, I am asking for your thoughts, prayers and support as I face Cyber Knife radiation therapy to eradicate the Lytic Lesion on my C-1 vertebrae next Wed and Friday.  Won’t you please stand in the “throne room” with me shouting up to God to heal me and guide the physicians to be most accurate in killing this beast?

Sending you all my prayers and thoughts each day in humility and thanks,

Papa G aka Craig

CDGPRESSING ON: Focused on living strong……..

Hey Everyone!

Guess what?  We had and UNeventful drive back home (26 hrs of pure fun).  No Kidney stone or Bronchial issues this time.  We laugh and joke about this, but I thank God for his grace and mercy during our trip home.  

One of my favorite ways of mentally managing this “sucky disease” is to read a devotional we keep out on our coffee table of which we freely peruse daily.  The devotional is called Jesus Today, Experiencing Hope through His Presence.  The author is Sarah Young.  If you’ll indulge me for a moment I would like to share with you what this particular devotion says.  It’s about living joyfully even amidst adversity.  It talks about calling us to live joyfully in the midst of our struggles.  (All struggles be they health, personal, work, relationships, etc.) As I have mentioned in the past your TRUE character is revealed as your go thru the fire.  Also, I believe that as a result of going thru the fire we are refined if we allow God to work in us and thru us.  We cannot expect God to hear us if we are angry and bitter as we go thru struggles in life.  It is when we bring these struggles to the foot of the cross (to Jesus) when we are given the opportunity to experience true joy in our suffering.  

Now, let me say that I am not the “poster child” for outwardly showing my joy in times of trouble.  Often time I get uptight and frustrated.  But, after I have a chance to slough these emotions off it is then at that moment God does his work in me.  In Isaiah 40:10 the Bible tells us that “The Sovereing Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him.  See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.”  Psalm 100:4-5 is clear about the fact we should “Enter his gates with THANKSGIVING and his courts with PRAISE; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

It’s pretty clear to me that God is calling us to praise him for the good and the bad we experience—-that we should never let people or circumstances “steal our joy”.

When I was at (what we call) Cancer Camp this past two weeks it was clear to me that even though people  have very serious illnesses we had created an environment of support, laughter, love, and personal care.  Even though we were all fighting tough stuff we found time to concentrate on others needs by lending a helping hand, smile, and support.  We all made a conscious effort to bring JOY into the room!

I wonder what you’re struggling with at this moment?  Have you brought it to the foot of the cross?  You know He tells us in Isaiah 41:10 “I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.”  I hope you will take the time to share your troubles with the Lord.  He promises us that he will listen and walk with us thru these tough times.

So what’s next you ask?  Well, starting next week I go back on Chemo pills (the breakfast of champions) for 3 months, monitor my blood levels, get Xgeva shots once monthly to chase the cancer from my two ribs and part of my back, continue with my 30 supplements a day, stay off sugar, and eat mostly organic vegetables, grass fed beef, wild salmon or white fish, and exercise 2-3x per week.  I have every intention of putting this cancer back into remission.  In the words of the great Winston Churchill, I will never, never, ever give up!  Praise be to God!

Friends, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for your support.  I hope this journey and this message of hope will help you and/or your loved ones in some way.

I am blessed and fortunate to have your support!

Living Strong in Christ,

Craig aka Papa G

CDGPRESSINGON: The second adventure in Reno.

Hello everyone!

Let me tell you.  Life sure has a way of making things interesting.  So, I left you with that fact I was having Bronchial issues.  I ended up going to a Pulmonary Specialist that through a broncoscopy found Renal cells had blocked my large bronchial tube creating a “mucous plug”.  So, this was a fun one to deal with.  Almost as fun as the Kidney Stone Adventure.  Following the pulmonary visit the doctor told us, “It’s not an emergency, but it’s an emergency”.  So, I found my self trucking down to Rochester the next day to spend some time with my newly found Mayo friends for another day of gut splitting fun and laughter.  They had to do yet another broncoscopy, but this time they thought it would be really cool to put me out and insert a long metal tube down my trachea then into the bronchial tube.  Once lodged correctly ( I am sure my swallowing technique was challenged in a most formidable way as the doctor told Terry I tried getting up “several times” during this delightful event) they would then insert a probe and a laser to “roto rooter” the renal cells out which then would open up the bronchial tube—alas we had success!!

Praise God for his goodness through all of it.

However, I must confess I was a bit taken back by this renal cell growth news because of the wonderful news I had received in June.  This my friends is why we must have the faith of a mustard seed.  We never know what is coming at us.  But, as I have told my children through the years….”it doesn’t matter what happens to you, it’s how you respond that defines your character”.  I must admit I was having some serious character issues at this point.  But, the Lord and I talked it through (not like he was sitting next to me, I’m not delusional) we spoke to each other through prayer and the study of his word.  And his word tells me that he’s “got my back”.  the following are just a couple of his promises:

Psalm 55:22 tells us to “cast our cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall”. 

Psalm 91:9-10 tells us “If you make the Most High your dwelling even the Lord, who is my refuge then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your house”.

One of my all time favs (which I read nearly everyday) is Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am you God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.

So, this brings me to my current situation.  I now have 2 lytic lesions in my right upper ribs, 1 lytic lesion in my left lower rib, and a spot near my lower right lumbar area which are all causing me pain (which is bothersome, but liveable).  To chase these nasties away we have increased our dosage of Gemzar and Dacarbazine Chemo three times weekly for two weeks.  I have already had 3 days of Chemo.   Additionally, I will be taking an injection once per month (at a mere $2K per shot) to in the words of Doc Forsythe “chase it from my bones”.  That’s a relief.  A little pain to drive out the pain.  These treatments will be ending September 11th.  Then, I will go home and start on a Chemo pill at a lessor dose than regular standard of care so that I can live a “normal life”.  This will go on for 3-4 months while I continue to check blood counts every two weeks and then full MRI scans sometime in Nov-Dec.  See.  I do have something to look forward too besides the Holidays!!  🙂

I don’t think there’s anything normal about this!!  I do know that nothing in life stays static and this is my new normal.  I know that there are many of you reading this blog that are either suffering with this type of disease or have friends or family that are doing so.  My heart, prayers, and thoughts go out to you as this can be all consuming.

So, this brings me to what have I learned lately?  Well, I have definitely learned that I have a large, wonderful group of friends and family members that pray for me daily and support me thru notes, texts, cards, and phone calls—never stop this please.  It has a way of encouraging me that is beyond measure.

I realize that my family is far more important than anything else I have or do in life.  My wife is a phenomenal help mate that works harder at getting me better than I do.  (But, this is changing)

I look forward to spending more time with my kids and grandbabies with more immediacy.

I have learned that one MUST remain completely mentally tough and steadfast in believing that you will prevail.  That this is not going to get me down.  That the promises of God is what drives and sustains my positive attitude….there is nothing He cannot accomplish.  But, we must ask through prayer giving him thanks and praise and worship Him through it all—the good and the ugly.

I hope that you will find there is no problem in life you cannot overcome.  But, you must prepare yourself to handle it through giving it to the Lord.  That’s right.  Give it to Him.  Release it into his grace and pray that you will grow in a personal relationship with Him.

One last thing, as I sit in that infusion room and look around me I see people that are doing well and then there are a few that may not make it beyond a few months.  But, one thing I know is that I will be healed.  It may be in this world or in the next in Heavean.  But, by God’s promises I have been healed it’s just a matter of where and when that healing will be appropriated.  It is my wish that the timing is now.  Won’t you all go to the throne room of God with me in prayer to beseech his mercy?

Blessings to all  of you!

Craig aka Papa G

CDGPressingon: Grinding faithfully thru Bronchitis

Hey Everyone!

I’ve gotten a bit lazy lately.  It’s been a while since my last blog.

Summer is going well—it’s definitely my favorite time of year for obvious reasons.  The forth of July fireworks, the Giles/Huber brother golf event, lazy days sitting in the Sun, golfing til after 9:00 PM, walks around Coblestone Lake with the love of my life, morning coffee on the deck over looking the lake, frogs and crickets playing a symphony each evening, and on and on.  It’s delightful.

I am reminded how blessed I am with family and nature all around me.  Yet, health struggle continue to TRY and get me down.  I said try because no matter what I believe God is healing me and I continue to trust His word everyday for healing and good health.

The latest little health incident has had me coughing for nearly 3 weeks now.  Recently, I found out that I had both a secondary lung infection as well as Bronchitis.  The results of a compromised immune system–the new normal it seems.  This week I will be following up with my Internist to ensure I am overcoming the infection as well as bronchitis.  It’s had a negative impact on my energy, but not my spirit!!

I have been thinking about how I can help others deal with their challenges in life be it health, personal, financial, emotional, etc.  I am reading a book called Praying For Healing While Planning a Funeral—sounds a bit morbid heh?  It’s actually very good.  It’s about a family dealing with lung cancer.  It happens to be the husband/father that has Stage 4 lung cancer (he’s an athlete and never smoked), their trials, tribulations, faith walk, and ultimately the appropriation of healing in this lifetime rather than in eternity.  As I read this book it continues to occur to me that we live in a fallen, difficult world and people need hope and inspiration.

People need HOPE.  All types of people—black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, etc.  Cancer and sickness is color blind!  Many people try various things to try ad get well, but I believe there is just ONE TRUE author of HOPE in this world and it is Jesus Christ.  Why do I say this?  Because the oldest and greatest book of all time has many promises in scripture centered on HEALING in this world.  Below are examples of these promises:

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.  (he took on all sin and eliminated it for us thru his death and resurrection)

1Peter2:24  Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the tree (cross), that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes we are healed.

Exodus 15:26  I am the Lord who heals you.

Exodus 23:25  Serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water.  And I will take sickness away from the midst of you.

Mark 16:17 These signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues, they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

There are many more, but these are some of my favorites.  You should say these out loud and pray them out loud.  It will be a sweet, sweet song to our Lord as you cry out to him regarding any of the issues I stated above.

As I continue to pray for healing that is appropriated in this life time so that I can continue to witness to others,  enjoy my family and grandchildren I am filled with HOPE for better days to come.  My prayer and wish for you is that you will step out and experience something that is REAL—-Jesus Christ.  Many people have tried to dismiss Him but no one can because he is sovereign.  There is none other like him, not Allah, not Muhamed, not Buddha, only the one true Savior that has stood the test of time without a doubt!

Jesus tells us that if we will come to him he will be drawn back to us.  Then, we can be part of his family.  The divine family of believers.  As I think back to my benefit my signature piece of scripture is Proverb 3:4 Trust in the Lord with all your heart!  Indeed I trust him implicitly with my life and I stand on his promises.  Won’t you join me?

All my love and blessings,

Craig aka Papa G