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Kathryn Suffers a Major Setback (Jan 21, 2014)

21 Jan

Maria_Magdalene_praying
Kathryn has taken a turn for the worse. I know from personal experience just how dangerous and damaging the steroids are, which is why the doctors are desperately trying to cut them back  – but her body is also failing without them. Please consider sending a card or note to help bolster her spirits, and pray for the whole family. I have been both the one who was so sick and one of the family of someone so deathly ill. I promise you from personal experience that it is equally hard to be in either position as both leave you feeling helpless, frightened, and overwhelmed.  As a parent I can tell you , would be far easier for me if I could simply exchange places with that child – but alas we cannot. It is in these dark times that the only real comfort we have is our faith. When faced with darkness, it provides the light and hope from God that our souls need to find their way.  That faith is reinforced strongly by your cards, letters, and notes of support – they are candles in the darkness for this family and  they let this family know that they are not alone in their faith and that others are praying both with them and for them. Please take a moment from your day to say a short prayer for the comfort of the whole family – as Kathryn cannot help but to see the anguish in their eyes as they witness her suffering. Just a small act of compassion, done with great love, can do more to change the world than you may ever know.

Thank you ALL for your support,

-Colin

UPDATE POSTED 01.20.14 @ 10:57 PM

Prayer Warriors please join us in walking this journey with Kathryn and her family. It seems as though her body is not responding very well to the decreased doses of steroids.

Kathryn had a bad night last night. She has a low grade fever, which has to be watched very closely because it can spike very quickly. She has hip, knee, back and shoulder pain and needs help walking.

Kathryn was doing so well with her chemo treatments. She took a trip to Walmart and was even fixing her own snacks. Kathy told us she even had the strength to help straighten her room. The family was looking forward to spending some time together for the MLK holiday. After a rough night Kyle and Kathy brought her for her Chemo treatment this morning and received the news that her Ferritin levels are rising once again.

Kathryn did receive chemo today but with this news about the Ferritin, they were told not to come back for the Thursday treatment. Also, because the Ferritin levels are going up again and the fact that her body is reacting to the decreased steroids, the doctors decided to increase her steroids again until the Ferritin levels go down.

Kathy says that the cards and prayers Kathryn has received have truly lifted her spirits. She and Kyle are very grateful.

REMINDERS:

***** DONATIONS ******
KATHRYN GARDNER BENEFIT ACCOUNT
at any WHITNEY/HANCOCK Bank

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

THANK YOU AND KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING!!

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Abortion within Marriage (Reblog from Biltrix)

16 Jan


Abortion is a holocaust of untold proportions, the damage it does to families and marriages every year is beyond measure. In this post I think Biltrix managed to transcend the biological and legalistic issues and get straight to the heart of the matter. There is a 5 minute video here, and it had me teared up, but not why you might think (No Gore, dead fetuses, religious ranting, or other assaults of that type – just one womans short story. Simple, to the heart of the matter, and well made). It was the callous indifference of the husband and anguish of the wife that really touched my heart. To the mother it was a child, to the father an inconvenience. What have we come to that a human should even think like that? Please give it a read and watch the video. It opens with some mind numbing but well documented and shocking statistics on Abortion you probably never knew. Like These:

A survey of post-abortive women found that:

  • 28% attempted suicide
  • 31% experienced suicidal feelings
  • 60% commented that the decision to abort made their lives worse
  • 94% regretted the decision to abort

Tell me how you can love a woman, and do this to her? Not about her rights, not about laws or legalities – just basic human decency and compassion. Tell me that you think it’s OK to do this to a woman or even encourage her to do it to herself. Now imagine trying to do it to your wife! Whatever you do to her, you also do to yourself – you are one flesh! After watching the video, I promise you will have a new perspective on abortion.

Please pass this on, especially if you know of someone considering an abortion.

Read all about it here: http://biltrix.com/2014/01/16/why-do-94-of-women-who-had-abortions-say-they-regretted-the-decision-to-abort/

Biltrix posted this one – if you like this then please check out the whole Blog, authored by REAL Catholic Priests and Theologians.

Keep them in your prayers and bookmark their blog – they are truly doing the Lords work on a variety of fronts.

-Colin

What’s Going on with Kathryn?

14 Jan

kathrynAll,

I have been deluged with requests for an updated status. Don’t think I’ve forgotten, she stays in my prayers every night and every day. Here is the latest as of this evening. She is far from out of the woods, but then again the doctors never thought she would make it this far! Prayer Works! Praise God!

Can I get an AMEN! – Then you keep right on prayin’ she still needs your prayers. Yes YOUR prayers.

Please SHARE this as WIDELY AS POSSIBLE – and keep those cards and letters coming! Words of encouragement are very important – and they let her know just how many are thinking of her and praying for her. Send her a postcard with a short note, have your kids draw her pictures, write get well on a napkin and put it in the mail to her.

-Colin

UPDATED POSTED 01.13.14 @ 10:58 PM.

Kathryn has done well so far with her chemo treatments. She had a chemo treatment today. They checked her blood levels again.

GREAT NEWS, her Ferritin level in her blood has come down to 2,500, it had gotten as high as 40,000. This level should be less than 200.

The doctors are very excited to see this improvement and explained that if at her next chemo treatment which will be this Thursday, January 16, 2013 it is below 1000, they will be able to cut down the chemo treatments to only one treatment a week instead of two chemo treatments a week.

The doctors have been slowly lowering the dosage of steroids she had been receiving. This will start to cause Kathryn to start feeling more of the effects of the chemo treatments. They have to start lowering the dosage, because there are negative long term effects if you stay on steroids too long.

Kathryn was able to attend noon MASS this past Sunday. She has been stir crazy being stuck inside all this time. It was great for her to be able to get out of the house for a little while, but she was exhausted afterwards.

As far as her schooling is concerned, Kathy (her mother) has contacted the school board and has gotten the ball rolling on that issue, she is waiting on a call back tomorrow with details as to how this will work.

The family needs your PRAYERS now more than ever. We pray that these treatments work and that GOD will grant her a COMPLETE FREEDOM from this disease!!

Things are definitely looking better now, but the doctors have warned the family that as they take her off the steroids, things may get worse before they get better. The doctors DO NOT want any of us to get a false sense of security. Kathryn is NOT out of the woods on this matter. SO CONTINUED PRAYERS ARE NEEDED.

REMINDERS:

***** DONATIONS ******
KATHRYN GARDNER BENEFIT ACCOUNT
at any WHITNEY/HANCOCK Bank

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

THANK YOU AND KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING!!

Kathryn Finally Home – On Outpatient Chemo

6 Jan

Kathryn

All,

I wanted to make sure I passed on this latest update that Kathryn is finally home and doing outpatient Chemotherapy. It is truly a wonder to watch prayer work in the lives of others around you. It is a reminder of God’s love ,and in the inherent goodness of humanity. I hope that those of you who have prayed for her find great joy and reinforcement in of your faith in her recovery, as I do. When so many pray together the heavens are stormed, and when they pray in humility and God chooses to grant their request it is an amazing thing. Please continue to pray for her and her family, and remember that each of you had a part in both her survival and her recovery. Whatsoever you have done for the least of his people – THAT you have done for him.

PLEASE REPOST OR REBLOG AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE  TO SPREAD THE WORD TO ALL WHO HAVE BEEN PRAYING.

With the Greatest Love – and Deepest Faith –

-Colin

POSTED 01.06.14 @ 8:29 PM.

Kathryn went back to the hospital for her two hour chemo treatment today and her body handled the treatment without any complications and she was able to come back home tonight. Her blood levels continue to improve. Kathryn will be doing these two hour chemo treatment twice a week for the next eight weeks.

Kathy will be meeting with Kathryn’s school teachers tomorrow to start setting up the home study program for Kathryn so that she can get back on track with her education.

If anyone can help with dinner for the family on Monday’s and Thursday’s That would be AWESOME. These are the two days each week that Kathryn has to go to her chemo treatment and it is an all day affair.

PLEASE CONTACT MARIANNE BELL @ 985.285.5359 SHE WILL BE COORDINATING THE MEAL SCHEDULE FOR THESE TWO DAYS.

Please continue to pray that Kathryn’s body can continue to handled all the chemo treatments over the course of the next eight weeks. The treatments are making her weak, but she is in good spirits, so your prayers are definitely working!!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE, SUPPORT, AND PRAYERS!!

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UPDATE POSTED 01.05.14 @ 9:38 pm.

GREAT NEWS!!!
The doctors have allowed Kathryn to come home today. Her blood level and her liver indicators are all starting to get down to normal levels.

She will have to go back tomorrow, Monday, January 6 ,2014 for a two hour chemo treatment again, but they are hoping that it will be as an outpatient only and that she will not have to stay in the hospital. She will then have to go back again on Thursday for another chemo treatment. For now the doctors are thinking she will have two chemo treatments a week for eight weeks.

During this time period her immune system will be very weak and vulnerable to any sickness, so please call the house before you just pop in for a visit, as the chemo treatment will be very exhausting for Kathryn.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT KATHRYN CAN HANDLE THE CHEMO TREATMENTS AND THAT THEY WORK!!

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UPDATE 1.4.14 @ 9:18pm

The Gardner Family, want to thank all of you who were able to attend the prayer service last night as well as those who prayed with us from home. Kathy was overjoyed to hear us recount the details of the evening. Today Father Rareshide visited Kathryn! What a blessing! She was also visited by her sisters and cousins. I am sure that wore her out.

Kathy told us the most recent blood tests revealed that the liver enzymes are still going down and are now at 98!That is almost normal.
Her Ferritin level is down to 15,000 from 40,000.

Because these numbers continue to go down, it looks good that she will be able to go home tomorrow. Then she will have to return for outpatient chemotherapy treatments on Monday.

Prayer Warriors, she is not out of the woods yet. Kathryn still has a long way to go. We do know that GOD is on our side and He is definitely walking with Kathryn on this difficult path. Please continue to pray that Kathryn stays strong and her body will handle these treatments.

I encourage each of you to write her a letter or have your little ones draw a picture (her favorite color is purple) and mail it to her at the following address:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

Kathryn Gets a Horrific Diagnosis – and Needs a Miracle!

31 Dec

katheryn

Everyone –

Kathryn has had some major setbacks in treatment – Please pray with us.

-Colin

UPDATED 01.01.14 @ 2:06pm.

Kathryn started the chemo treatment late yesterday afternoon. It was suppose to take 9 hours for first treatment. 40 minutes into the treatment Kathryn had an adverse reaction. Her fever spiked, her hands and fingers turned purple and her heart rate went up to 230 beats per minute. She yelled out in pain which awakened Kathy. The doctors immediately stopped the treatment. They got her settled down and were about to restart the chemo, when some of the results came in from an earlier spinal tap, indicating that she had a fungus growing on her brain. The Doctors had to stop all chemo treatments and immediately and start her on a round of antibiotics, which took 1.5 hours. After the antibiotics were administered, they re-started the chemo treatment at a lower rate late last night. The problem with the lower rate is that it will take 22 hours to administer rather than the initial 9 hours. She will have to go through 5 days of this type of treatment in the hospital.

As for the fungus issue, the doctors think it was in very early stages and it has been rectified.

The doctors have decided to do a liver biopsy today to identify what is happening with the liver.

The family is VERY STRESSED!! It seems that there is an obstacle at every turn and it is getting to them. PLEASE PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND COURAGE FOR THE FAMILY!!

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Everyone,

Katheryn has a diagnosis. I have included the infor from the family below. The news is heartbreaking – but in Christ there is always hope. Please keep her in your prayers. Have masses offered, send cards or notes of support, include her in your rosaries and novenas, and/or stop to remember her and that she is fighting for her life each day. Even the smallest actions done with great love will have a positive effect. Please do not forget her family – I know in their position I my suffering would be just as great watching the child suffer (I have been the one suffering in the hospital). I promise that every prayer matters – even small short ones. For many of us Christmas is not over – please continue Christmas by remembering her each day and offering a prayer on behalf of Kathryn and her Family with great love and compassion. Pray for her doctors as well.

Mark Shea offered the most eloquent prayer I think I have seen yet, and I am reposting it here for everyone:

Father, hear our prayer for her complete healing in body, soul, and spirit.  Give her caregivers grace, peace, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, skill, creativity, and the proper technology to assist in your healing work.  Give her and all who love her grace, peace, strength, consolation, faith, hope and love.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Mother Mary and St. Luke, pray for them all.

To everyone who has been praying, sent cards, notes, and even just kept her in their thoughts – thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Please Share or Repost this anywhere you see fit, church bulletin boards, prayer groups on social media, facebook friends, etc…

Yours in Christ –

Colin

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REMINDER FOR EVERYONE THAT WANTED TO SEND CARDS:

All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch Road
PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

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UPDATE POSTED 12.31.13 @ 2:03 PM.

HELLO EVERYONE

The final diagnosis is that Kathryn has a very rare blood disorder. It is NOT Cancer, but it is treated in a similar matter.
She has Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)

Here is some info on HLH and a link for you to read more about the disorder:

“Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare but potentially fatal condition in which certain white blood cells (histiocytes and lymphocytes) build up in organs including the skin, spleen, and liver, and destroy other blood cells. This causes fever and damages the liver and spleen, resulting in enlargement of these organs. HLH may be inherited or it may be caused by certain conditions or diseases including infections and immunodeficiency (inability of the body to fight infections). It most commonly affects young infants and children.[1][2] Treatment includes antibiotics or antiviral medications to treat or prevent infections, and chemotherapy and immunotherapy prior to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation”

LINK: http://www.histio.org/document.doc?id=243

The good news is that Kathryn’s doctor Dr.Rishikesh Chavan, MD was a resident in Houston and worked under two doctors that wrote the treatment protocol for HLH patients.He is the one that finally identified the disorder when all the other doctors were stumped.

Kyle and Kathy are seeing GOD’s hand in all of this, because if they had not gone to Tulane Hospital, they would never have had Dr. Chavan as Kathryn’s doctor.

Starting today, Kathryn will be treated with chemo over the course of the next eight weeks. The doctors will monitor her progress and how she handles this first treatment. then the decision will be made on how the following treatments will be handled. Whether they will require additional hospital stays or not during the eight weeks of treatment.

One of the biggest concerns, that the doctors have is that her liver enzmes are at 2,000 and they should be at 35.

SO PLEASE PRAY THAT THE LIVER STARTS TO REPAIR ITSELF TO AVOID PERMANENT DAMAGE OR THE NEED FOR A TRANSPLANT.

Also, we have been asked by many people if they can send donations in for the family. I am currently setting up a special benefit account at a local bank for Kathryn. I will update everyone once I have this done.

PLEASE GOD, ALLOW YOUR HEALING MERCY TO FLOW THROUGHOUT KATHRYN’S BODY!!!

Kyle and Kathy Gardner have asked us to continue posting updates for them on this event page to answer the questions that many of us have. This allows them not to have to field so many phone calls.

So I will be posting updates as they call us with any new information. If you would like, please contact us directly via FACEBOOK messaging and we will answer any questions of their behalf for now.

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UPDATE*** POSTED ON 12.31.13 @ 8:56am,

The Gardner family is meeting with the Doctors this morning to go over the treatment plan.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THEIR DISCERNMENT THIS MORNING!!

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Emergency Update on Kathryn 12/30 7:48 pm CDT

30 Dec

Kathryn

I Just received this. For everyone praying for Kathryn – thought you should know ASAP.

EMERGENCY UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!
POSTED ON 12.30.13 @ 7:48 pm

The Gardner’s received a call from the doctor about an hour ago and were told to immediately bring Kathryn back to the hospital. Her liver enzyme levels are elevated from the test they ran on some of the blood that was drawn earlier today. They want to get her back on IV medication and prep her for treatment immediately.

THE FAMILY IS VERY CONCERNED, PLEASE PRAY THAT KATHRYN WILL GET THROUGH THIS BATTLE!!!

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POSTED ON 12.30.13 @ 5:16 pm

Today the Gardner Family went back to the hospital to review the diagnosis and discuss the plan of action for Kathryn and here are the results of that meeting.

The doctor’s have identified want she has as:
Systemic Onset – Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SO-JIA).

This is the umbrella diagnosis under which they are classifying this disease. There are a spectrum of different symptoms and additional diseases under this diagnosis, so the doctors took more blood today and are sending it off to Cincinnati, Ohio for some additional testing to confirm their findings as to what phase/stage Kathryn is in to start the proper treatment. They want her to return in 10 days once those results are in.

This disease has attacked Kathryn’s immune system and muscular system making her weak and susceptible to sickness, therefore she will not be able to attend regular school, so the family is setting up a home study plan with the school system for Kathryn to continue her education, this maybe for approximately four weeks and then maybe she can start back to school on a part-time basis.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR KATHRYN!!

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REMINDER FOR EVERYONE THAT WANTED TO SEND CARDS:

All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch Road
PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

-Colin

Latest on Kathryn (12/26/2013)

26 Dec

 

Kathryn and Santa Holding Hands

Kathryn and Santa Holding Hands

All,

My apologies for not getting this out yesterday. I left it sitting unsent in a browser window while I helped my wife finish up Christmas Dinner. Thinking I had already finished it, I didn’t get back to it until asked by a multitude of readers this morning. Thank ALL of you who reminded me, in doing so you also reminded me just how many people are following the plight of one little girl and her family at Christmas.

Kathryn and her family gave me a great gift this year in particular, especially for those struggling with the holidays. Christmas is not about YOU or ME, Christmas is that one short time each year when we celebrate the Birth of Christ – and in doing so try to emulate his love and compassion for all humanity in some way – with great love.

In answer to those who have asked, Cards and notes arriving late is not a problem – and NO she is not nearly out of the woods yet, the diagnosis has not been made nor has any long term treatment begun as yet. So continued prayers are very much appreciated. Here is the address for those who missed it earlier:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch Road
PMB # 335 
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

Now onto the latest update approved by the family –

UPDATED INFO ON KATHRYN GARDNER !! SHE IS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!

A PICTURE OF KATHRYN HOLDING SANTA’S HAND TODAY!

Okay, We have a lot of good information. First of all Kathryn was moved into her own room late yesterday evening. The Doctors have been monitoring she all night and this morning.

Kathryn had SANTA CLAUS visit her today with a huge bag of goodies.. THAT WAS AWESOME! But the best gift was that the Doctors gave the okay for her to go home tonight and spend CHRISTMAS AT HOME WITH HER FAMILY!!!

!!!!!!!!!! PRAISE GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The medicine she is on is stabling her enough that the doctors feel confident in allowing her to go home for Christmas. She will have to return on Monday, December 30,2013 to start the treatment plan to treat the autoimmune disease she is dealing with. The doctors are still waiting on a couple of results to come back before they label the disease, so we are not out of the woods yet, but this is a great set in the right direction.

Due to Kathryn’s immune system being so weak, the Doctors have asked that she not be exposed to many people, especially anyone that may have a fever or is sick. I know many of us want to go by the house and visit, but Kathryn is still sick and and NOT feeling 100%. She is still very weak and tired and sleeping a lot.

SO PLEASE, IF YOU WANT TO VISIT:
PLEASE CALL THE HOUSE IN ADVANCE! PLEASE DO NOT JUST SHOW UP! SHE MAY NOT BE UP TO SEEING VISITORS AND BECAUSE THE DOCTORS HAVE REQUESTED THAT HER EXPOSURE TO OTHERS BE AS LIMITED AS POSSIBLE.

Please allow the Gardner family to spend some quiet time together as a family during this Christmas season.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT THE TREATMENT WILL WORK AND PRAISE GOD THAT SHE IS ABLE TO SPEND CHRISTMAS WITH HER FAMILY!!!

I’d like to thank all those who have read about Kathryn, followed her plight, shared with their friends, and kept her in their thoughts or prayers. Each of us can make a difference in another persons life for the better.

Thank You and Bless You All!

Colin

Address for those Praying for and Thinking of Kathryn this Christmas Season

23 Dec

Kathryn

Many of you have been offering prayers for Kathryn over the last few days (See prior post). She is pumped being up on steroids to keep her stable right now and the Doctors are very much hopeful that test results expected this afternoon will enable them to make a proper diagnosis and begin treatment. That said, she is far from out of the woods. Her family is hoping very much that they will have her stable enough to move to a regular room by Christmas Morning. I have had more than a few requests for her address so that people can send cards and notes of support, encouragement, and prayer to help bolster her and her family in this difficult time – as well as to remind them of the grace of God – and that when any child suffers, we all feel it. Even those who do not believe as we do.

As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in her position, those prayers and especially the cards and notes mean more than most people will ever know. If you are one of those who would like to send Kathryn or her family a note, prayer card, letter, a childs art, or christmas card I have attached the address below (with their permission). Allow yourself to be a part of making a child feel valued and loved not just by her friends and family, but by all of humanity. When we lift one of us up – all of us are lifted with them.

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch Road
PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who have and are praying, had masses said for her, who shared this blog or passed the word via social media, and all those of you who just took a moment out to remember her and/or her family during your day. Thank all of you in advance for sending her a note, card, picture, or other token of support.

This is a season for giving and I believe that it’s the small things done with great love, that have the most impact on other peoples lives.

God Bless and Keep you all,

Colin

Prayer Request for Katherine

20 Dec

Maria_Magdalene_praying

**** UPDATED CONTINUALLY – PLEASE CHECK BACK TO SEE LATEST STATUS IN ORDER OF RECEIPT *****

Everyone,

“Our Dear friends’ beautiful 13 year old daughter, Katherine, is in the pediatric ICU tonight with a sudden and unknown illness. She checked into the local hospital on Wednesday morning but today was transferred to a major hospital in the city as initial attempts at identification of the cause and treatment failed and her condition continued to worsen. Doctors originally were thinking viral meningitis, but that has now been ruled out.  This wonderfully faithful family needs a miracle tonight!  Thanks in advance, and God bless.”

I just got this message tonight regarding a beautiful young lady I know personally. I realize that all of your are not Catholic or even Christian, but the Lord hears all prayers. Please lift her up in you prayers tonight, even if it is for just a short moment to close your eyes and ask God to watch over her and/or heal her. You may never realize the difference prayer can make. I have experienced it personally and am making this request of you because I know firsthand what a difference every single prayer will make. With the human doctors stumped, only the divine physician can truly help her. If you are not sure what or how to pray – I have included my own personal prayer for her below.

Dear Lord,
I beg you to watch over this child and care for her, I humbly request that your grant her physicians skill and wisdom, her nurses fortitude and caring, and her parents faith and hope. May you please send angels to stand guard at her bedside, and the Holy Spirit to envelop the family and bring them what peace and hope they are able to accept.
Amen.

God Bless You All, and most especially please bless Katherine –

Colin

UPDATE ON KATHRYN

katheryn

Kathryn made it through last night!

Kathryn’s fever is still up and down. The rash she had is starting to clear up with the steroids. Additional X-rays were taken overnight. We should start getting test results back today on all the tests that were ran yesterday. Doctors have already been in this morning making more evaluations on symptoms and progress.

Kathryn is opening her eyes and can speak in short words when the oxygen mask is removed.

The family wanted to pass along how thankful they are to all of you for your continued prayers and support. Please continue storming the gates of heaven with your prayers!!

****** THANK YOU & MAY GOD PROVIDE US STRENGTH ******

POSTED ON 12.21.13 @ 1:02PM

UPDATE ON KATHRYN (From her Family)

The doctors are doing a Bone Marrow sample today. It will be a bit tricky because of the pneumonia and fluid in her lungs, but it is needed to find out what is causing all these issues.

She is starting to get some color back in her skin and is starting to talk in more complete sentences. Kathryn was asking questions like

” Where am I”
“Can I go to the bathroom”

She is smiling and can now raise her arm to touch her face.These are all good signs!! But the main concern is what is causing all of this and will it happen again.

More updates to come as we are made aware of them. Thank you for your continued prayers!

UPDATE ON KATHRYN:

POSTED ON: 12.21.13 @ 6:18PM

Bone Marrow sample has been done, due to the weekend and the holidays the results will not be in until Monday, December 23, 2013.

Kathryn had two of her sisters visit with her today. (Kassidy & Kimberly). They had an AWESOME visit. Kathryn was smiling and laughing with them. Symptoms seem to be improving but all of the results that have come back from the test so far are all showing up negative, so we still do not know what has caused all of these issues.

The doctors have advised Kyle and Kathy that they will be in the hospital until after Christmas. Hopefully if Kathryn continues to improve they will be able to move her out of the ICU before Christmas.

POSTED ON: 12.22.13 @ 12:16PM

***** AN UPDATE ON KATHRYN ******

Good Morning Everyone

As the test results start coming in, the Doctors are starting to narrow it down to what is causing these symptoms. The Doctors have determined that we are dealing with an autoimmune disease, they have narrowed it down to five that it could be, but they are waiting on the results from the bone marrow sample to officially label it. The bone marrow testing results will not be in until Monday afternoon at best.

So here is where we are, Kathryn is on a very high dosage of steroids at this time. This is making her comfortable for now. The Doctors have done this until they can identify what disease they they are dealing with. Once the disease is identified then they will start the proper treatment. As they begin the treatment they will back down on the steroids and pray that the treatment starts working or all the symptoms would return.

The plan is to have the disease identified on Monday and start treatment, if it does well than maybe move Kathryn into a regular room sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday. SO WE PRAY THE TREATMENT WORKS ONCE THE DISEASE IS IDENTIFIED!

Many people have asked about visitation. At this time ONLY IMMEDIATE family may visit one at a time because she is in ICU.

When she gets into a regular room you can make plans to visit her. I also was asked about making cards for her, I think that is an AWESOME plan. I would tell those individuals that are interested in doing that, to go ahead and start, so that the cards would be ready for when she its into the regular room, we pray that it is before Christmas Day, but there are no guarantees on that.

If she is in her regular room for Christmas, the family plans on having Christmas as a family in her room, we pray that will be the case.

***** AS SOON AS WE KNOW WHEN SHE WILL BE IN A REGULAR ROOM I WILL POST IT IMMEDIATELY!! ******

Please continue to pray for a proper identification of the disease and for the treatments to work once they are started early next week.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT!!!

Your thoughts and prayers ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Bless you all,

Colin

This High Price of Artificial Birth Control

18 Dec

Nuvaring_with_quarter

Let me ask you a question, and let’s be honest with the answer. Is it worth risking the life of your wife or even paramour (if not married) to artificially prevent contraception?

Think on that. We’ll get back to it.

The Catholic Church has made it’s ban on artificial contraception as infallible doctrine. It is not subject to change or revision. Many people are angered by this, but what they really should be angered by is the number of women dying of breast cancer because of the hormone based contraceptives, the number of women having strokes because of the hormone based contraceptives, the number of heart attacks women suffer from hormone based contraceptives, among other things. These are not just happening to older women.

I know, now you want to tell me how much safer newer contraceptives are – like say Nuvaring?

I was hoping you’d go there. Before you muddle on any further in your thoughts – you need to read this article in Vanity Fair magazine (Don’t worry there are lots more out there from other media outlets).

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2014/01/nuvaring-lethal-contraceptive-trial

Now that you’re finished reading, I want you to honestly answer the initial question about whether or not the ability to make free with your wife, like she was made of rubber and inflatable, without fearing conception is worth putting her at such risk? You see somebody needs to explain to me the kind of love and/or marriage that allows for one person’s wants or needs to overpower the health and welfare of the person they supposedly love. I’ve already written about my own struggle with the Church teaching on NFP – it’s a popular read and if you’re not already familiar it’s here. Do your own research on the side effects of the pill, nuvaring, hormone infused IUD’s, and recoil in horror as I did. Forget the Pink Ribbons and “Save the TATA’s” slogans – if you want to protect your wife from such horrors, get rid of those hormone laced pills, shots, and devices. There are fantastic benefits to doing so it you do – for you as well as her.

Sex, Intimacy, and NFP

I would like to think, that with a little common sense and some gentle introspection most rational people can stop rationalizing what they personally want long enough to see the truth. Artificial Birth Control HARMS and  KILLS WOMEN. It also lowers libido and can cause weight gain and depression, among other non-lethal side effects, which is often treated with more dangerous hormones and just leaves your sex life in a downward spiral. Is this something you would subject a woman you love with all your heart to, just so that you can have sex with her on command and avoid conception?

If you just answered “Yes” then you don’t understand what love really is.

If you just answered “No” then I would ask you – What are you going to do about it?

Yours in Christ,

Colin

What will I say?

13 Sep

There is a popular song by Mercy Me called “I Can Only Imagine”. I like this particular rendition because stylistically I play it the same exact way they do, right down to many of the nuances. I also like it because the lyrics sing to me (for the record – my wife does not like the song). I have been there waiting for that moment, for Him to come – and wondering what I would say. Knowing that nothing would be sufficient.

This time it will be different, he will want to know what I have to say for the reprieve. What did I do with that extra time? Could I explain how I had not wasted his gift on me?

Would I tell him about the 4 beautiful children he blessed me with? The faith he restored? My rather miraculous recovery that I’m sure He helped with? Maybe I could tell him about my financial support for the church or the needy where I shared his bounty with others?

Well, after much introspection – I want to tell him how I did something He asked of me of my own free will, rather than trying to take credit for things he did for me. I think I will tell him that I loved my Wife with all my soul, I loved my children with all my heart, and that I tried my best to love humanity too.

Not that I have succeeded thus far, but I am a work in progress. You see, I do pretty well with individuals, but when taken as a group I start to fail at loving them all at once. So small steps are the best I can realistically do as I try to master compassion and love on a large scale.

Why that you ask? It all crystallizes to this point – Love is the one thing we do for Him. It teaches us to surrender ourselves and become a servant to Him by serving at least one other person in his example.  True Love is not forced, nor does it seek reward or recompense, it just is. We learn to experience joy in serving rather than being served. Whether or not it’s the right answer, and whether or not it’s enough to avoid disappointing Him, I will be able to look at myself without shame and regret. Hopefully, it will be enough that I dare to look up into His face when the moment comes.

What would you say?

Colin

For My Beloved Wife

31 Aug

My Wife With Mickey Mouse

My Wife With Mickey Mouse

For my beloved wife:

I would like to take a moment to “out” myself as being hopelessly in love with my wife of over 21 years. Call me crazy, but I look at her and still see the lovely girl I married all those years ago. Of course, it’s one thing to say it to her in in our home, on the phone, when passing her in kitchen, when waking up, or going to bed – but I wanted to say it more loudly, without shouting it from the rooftop.

My wife is a woman of very deep emotion, and often few words to indicate what swirls in those depths. I cannot usually read the details, but the emotions are loud and clear most of the time. This year her birthday was a milestone at that point in life when birthdays just serve as a reminder how much older you’re getting. As usual, disasters tend occur on her birthday – either environmentally catastrophic ones like Hurricanes Isaac and Katrina, or personal ones like children destroying old photographs, the cat shredding the VHS video of her wedding, or the children shattering one of her favorite things. This year circumstances conspired with me to do something for her and the children simultaneously (our youngest daughter would turn 7 our first day at Disney!) and avoid the birthday disaster zone for her. I wanted to give her memories, happy ones. Both of us are big fans of Disney in general and I dare say we would both call it our “Happy Place”. Her parents never took her as a child. So when we first went to the one in Anaheim while I was stationed in San Diego, she too was hooked. I thought about this beforehand and moved heaven and earth in the background to make it happen for the whole family – so we would all have those memories together.

You see, of all the things I could give to her or the children – happy memories are one thing they can never break, never lose, and they can never be stolen. The best part is that when viewed in hindsight even the small burbles in the trip are filtered out by the brain and the happiest moments are the ones in sharp focus. We have both reached a point where neither of us want things anymore. I still bought her a bouquet of flowers on her actual birthday and took her to dinner – but did not bother with trying to purchase useless trinkets to clutter our lives or desk drawers. One day both of us will be gone, and unless we are very lucky (like a few recent couples in the news) we will endure some period of time on earth with nothing but our memories of each other to sustain us outside of God. After we are gone from this world, we will only exist in the memories of our children and the memories of people whose lives we managed to touch in some special way. Make those memories happy ones.

Literally a couple of weeks prior I had taken her and the whole brood, unexpected by everyone in both the style we stayed and the timing, to DisneyWorld in Florida. Our 7 year old got to eat with Winnie the pooh for lunch, and attended Cinderella’s wedding banquet and got to meet the entire wedding party for dinner! My wife loves the characters, as much as the children – and all the roller coasters you can find. I saw to it that they got to eat lunch and dinner almost every day in a character dining experience and put them in an upscale resort, instead of the value resort or the Days Inn an hour away. Having done Disney many times over the years – this was by far the best trip of them all. We had time in the middle of our park hopping to enjoy the nice resort, and with the deluxe dining plan the ability to sample restaurants and cuisine at the parks finer venues which thrilled my culinarily inclined wife to no end. The children cheered over not having to eat chicken nuggets or Pizza every time we supped, as the quick service value dining plan reduced us to previously. Most importantly, the week was filled with smiles and happy memories of time together for all from end to end. (Highly recommend the Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Park Hopper passes, and the Deluxe Dining Plan!)

Whether you are a Catholic or not, there is a lesson here. Life is not about money or things, it’s about experiences and memories. Whether they be catching a fish, floating a river, exploring a cave, hiking in the woods, throwing a ball, playing a game, floating down a river, going to the beach, or going to Disney World. Memories are more valuable than things – all the expensive gifts in the world will never make up for your presence, for saying I love you, and for all those moments we fail to take the opportunity to make a happy memory. What do you think?

Yours in Christ,

Colin

Impediments to Embracing Catholicism

27 Aug

Buddy_christ

So many seem so lost and confused about the faith today. I’ll call a spade a spade, say the unpopular,  and attribute it to poor catechesis and an overly permissive clergy and catechists who have allowed a few bad apples more concerned with “butts in the seats” than the truth to run with the ball. Take this for example before you get your shorts all in a bunch about my thoughts.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23473169

The job of the Catholic Church is to lead you to Heaven, not to coddle you and make you feel good. Sometimes that means telling you uncomfortable truths and rebuking you for heretical beliefs, gently sometimes – but firmly always. God is my father, not my “Buddy”, and to think of him otherwise demeans both Him and our relationship.

Here are some of the most common issues people struggle with. If you answer “Yes” to any questions below immediately consult the Catechism and keep reading and rereading all the references until you understand – understanding is at the root of believing. Keep questioning and investigating your Catholic faith. I have, and the more I learn the more I find that the faith comforting rather than conflicting. It also becomes easier to trust, and surrender to yourself to God and his will as expressed through the magisterium.

  • Faith – Are you struggling with submission to God? Do you still believe some things, but not all of what the church teaches as required beliefs? Do you avoid the confessional at all costs? Have you participated in any way in an invalid sacrament (such as a wedding involving a divorcee who does not have an annulment)?
  • Sex & Marriage – Do you think that the sexual morality taught by the church is out of touch with reality? Do you think the Church is morally “out of date”? Do you support Gay Marriage? Do you think that Divorce is OK? If you are married do you use artificial contraception?
  • Sin – Do you have trouble accepting that which the church defines as sin? Do you have issues believing that sin creates a barrier between yourself and God? Do you think that the Church needs to revise what it defines as sinful to keep up with modern standards? Do you doubt the efficaciousness of confession?
  • Real Presence – Do you not believe in the literal real presence of Christ in the eucharist or believe it a symbolic only? Have you ever received the Eucharist with unconfessed mortal sin?
  • Infallibility – Do you think that the Pope is infallible in all things? Do you truly understand how limited and tenuous the thread of instability is?

To be honest NFP was the biggie for me. I was adamant about not letting the church dictate my sex life. It made me angry, it frustrated me, and in the end it changed me. Learning the church was right and understanding why in a very personal way very much put the whole issue of obedience into perspective. It is only when we have humbled ourselves that we can truly learn and grow in faith. You can read about that experience here:  https://catholichusband.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/sex-intimacy-and-nfp/

Remember that faith is a work in progress, not a destination. We will all fall and falter. The important thing is to pick yourself up and keep pressing towards a goal you will only attain when this life has ended. Never let doubts or hesitation keep you down – root out heresy and disinformation in your faith and stay the straight and narrow path.

Godspeed on your journey,

Colin

My Birthday, and The Gift that Keeps on Giving

24 Aug

20130824-150643.jpg

Today I get another day older. I’m a little wiser, and a lot less narcissistic. I also know that nothing material of this world will last, but that small things done with great love are eternal. One small act of kindness, love, or compassion can change a persons life. At the very least it can bring a moment of happiness to another.

That said, my birthday wish this year is that everyone who reads this post might perform some small act for another with great love. It can be something as small as a kind word to someone in need or as large as you desire, as everyone has different gifts and different means at their disposal. Be creative, and bring a moment of happiness or solace to another – I promise you that you will not regret these actions when you face judgement.

This does not have to be to a stranger. Learning to love, be kind, and be compassionate begins at home – but it should not stop there as we are all God’s children. Even the grandest designs are accomplished in steps. If you finds it suits you, then by all means keep walking – we all have a long journey together ahead.

Pax Christi,
Colin

The Hard Truth of Contraception and Abortion

16 Aug

sauppe_pic2-240x336

The picture above is Fr. Timothy Sauppé, S.T.L. is pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Westville, Illinois, in the Diocese of Peoria. He wrote an article you really need to read.  It addresses the heart and soul of the Catholic Church and the next time someone tries to tell you that their marital choices aren’t affecting other people, or that  it’s none of God’s business – direct them to his article (or mine if you’re feeling generous). Contraception and Abortion are destroying the body of the Catholic Church, it is wasting away like that poor hamster your 7 year old can’t seem to remember to feed. Very literally, what you do to HIM you do to yourself, and if this article does not help you see the hurt you are inflicting on the Church, or if you are one of those many selfish cafeteria Catholics, then you may be beyond any compassionate outreach.

He opens like this:

June 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A stranger came into the sacristy after Sunday Mass. In an incriminating huff he said, “I have been away from the area for fifteen years; where are the people? And now you are tearing down the school? I went there as a kid.”

I put my hands up to quiet him from further talking and I calmly said, “Let me ask you a question: How many kids did you have?” He said, “Two.” Then I said, “So did everyone else. When you only have two kids per family there is no growth.” His demeanor changed, and then he dropped his head and said, “And they aren’t even going to Mass anymore.”

Go here to read the rest:  http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/priest-youve-contracepted-our-parochial-school-out-of-existence/

Yours with Prayerful Meditation,

Colin

Meditations for the Assumption of Mary

15 Aug

Fulton Sheen

I’m a huge fan of Fulton Sheen. For the feast of the assumption I have taken a few selected quotes of his to recommend for meditation. The Assumption seems like an excellent time to pray for our wives, the mothers of our children, entrusted by God to be the vessels and caretakers of his ongoing work of creation. It’s also a good time to meditate and pray for ourselves that we might be worthy of them.

Here are the four quotes to meditate on:

“In every friendship hearts grow and entwine themselves together, so that the two hearts seem to make only one heart with only a common thought. That is why separation is so painful; it is not so much two hearts separating, but one being torn asunder.”

― Fulton J. Sheen

“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Life Is Worth Living

“It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Seven Words of Jesus and Mary: Lessons from Cana and Calvary

“Most of us love a non-self, or something extrinsic and apart from our inner life; but a mother’s love during the time she is a flesh-and-blood ciborium is not for a non-self but for one that is her very self, a perfect example of charity and love which hardly perceives a separation. Motherhood then becomes a kind of priesthood. She brings God to man by preparing the flesh in which the soul will be implanted; she brings man to God in offering the child back again to the Creator.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Life Is Worth Living

 

Yours in Christ,

Colin

Pregnancy, Change, Marriage

10 Aug

12-01-2007 03_53_47PMWhether expected or a surprise, pregnancy is a time of great change – for you as a husband into a father, for your wife into a mother, and for your marriage which becomes a new family. In truth this is a time of great change and transition for you as  well as for your wife. Each woman is different and each pregnancy is different. This makes setting any specific expectations impossible. I can however assure you of one thing – this too shall pass, it may pass like a kidney stone, but pass it will.

Here is some advice from someone who has been through this 4 times:

Your initial reaction is important. More important than you know! Don’t make the mistake of letting your fears and apprehensions overshadow the joy when you respond to the news of an impending birth. First impressions matter, and she needs your support at that moment more than you will understand. Allow your happiness and pride to be what shows, hold any apprehensions and fears until you can work them out. Truth is that most of those fears and apprehensions will work themselves out. I know how the rush of mixed emotions can be overpowering – but this is a place where a little care with your speech and actions can make or break the tone for the next few months, and even the whole marriage.

The only thing for sure is change, and your wife will be undergoing physiological changes beyond her control. She may happy and stable one minute and in tears and despairing the next, especially if this is her first child. She will also be undergoing physical changes as well, more than just the expanding belly – her hips will be widening to accommodate the coming birth, and her breasts may be tender in preparing to feed the coming child. During some periods her hormones may make making love more pleasurable for her than ever before, and at other times painful, or even distasteful. Enjoy the glow which accompanies pregnancy, it will make her seem more beautiful than ever. Be emotionally and physically supportive, so that she is reassured. As at all times in marriage, but especially now ,she will need your love. She alone carries a gift of God to both of you, but it is a heavy burden to bring that life to bear and you must help to carry her through it.

Most importantly, you need to focus on adapting to the new reality and embracing it joyfully. Your life is changing and God will give you the strength to adapt to your additional responsibilities. Your marriage is also changing to accommodate the new addition to your family who will consume necessarily your wife’s time and attention as well as your own. Sharing in the care of the child will not only help you bond as a father, but also help bond you to your wife even more deeply than you imagined. Set aside/arrange time for yourself and your wife to be together alone, and set aside breathing room for your wife to pursue her own interests at least a few hours a week. Even letting her have a respite to go shopping alone while you hold down the fort for a few hours can have a tremendous effect on her mental state and morale.

Your marriage will continue to change as children are both born, and move away to start their own families. Never view your family as an impediment to your dreams but rather as support in achieving them, and let them be your inspiration. Most importantly, they are the ones with whom you can share your joy and your achievements with. You will even find that those dreams change over time, changing from your dreams for yourself to dreams for your family – this is that seminal moment when one discovers what it means to me to be both husband and father.

Please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments section –

Colin

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