Away in a Chamber…A Christmastime update on Marc

As many of you have kept Lance's brother Marc in your prayers, below is an update from his wife Hope.  They both continue to inspire...

Away in a Chamber…A Christmastime update on Marc

Today we casually packed our belongings (can stuff procreate?) and are now settling in for our last night in a lovely one-bedroom bungalow rental in Bend, OR.

During the past two months, Marc has been a client of Bend Memorial Clinic’s hyperbaric center to finish the treatment series he started in Portland four months ago. He did a total of 77 “dives” in the space age looking chambers that combine 100% oxygen with high pressure to infuse the body with the oxygenated blood.

The goal was to revitalize the tissue in Marc’s brain that was adversely affected by the gamma knife radiation. Our hope is that Marc will regain some of the vision that he lost as the radiation became active half a year ago. In 2-6 weeks we will have a better measure of the treatment’s help/success.

Initially, I kept thinking of this as a detour. A treatment to try to remedy the negative effects of a previous treatment. Hmm, that reads like a detour to me. But as we take moments to stand firmly in this experience, I realize that this isn’t a detour—it is life. If we keep looking beyond, we’ll miss what this part of the pilgrimage offers. And Bend has offered us a much needed time of rest, reconnection, prayer, and break from routine.

Tomorrow, December 16th, will be one year exactly since the gamma knife procedure in Seattle. The day will be marked with one last morning walk to Lone Pine Coffee Roasters (our local fave) for a macchiato and a cappuccino. Then we’ll load up our Rav4 and head home, thankful for this time of sanctuary in, not from, our life.

We’re grateful for each and every one of you. We wish you a blessed holy season and a year ahead of mighty grace and peace.

Love, Hope and Marc


Bee a Tervis Tumbler

Every morning I make a pot of Tazo Earl Grey Tea which then sustains me through the day in my Tervis Tumbler. (It’s iced and sweetened of course, I am a good Texas gal and all.)

Those who know me know that my Tervis Tumblers are always at my side. I love them. If you have one, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, they are those iconic mid-century insulated tumblers you’ve seen for years.
My goal lately is to be more like my Tervis Tumblers. Why?

Tervis Tumblers are:

Virtually Unbreakable – Now I know I’m not virtually unbreakable. As a matter of fact I am easily broken, but, through faith, this jar of clay can be a Tervis Tumbler…I know it to be true. I just have to keep remembering...

Dishwasher Safe – Yep, that’s right, easy clean up. When things get messy I want to be easy to clean up. No more excuses, no more blaming and no more grudges. Life’s messy. We can either be the that dirty stained wretched glass that must be soaked in vinegar and scrubbed by hand or know, that through the Dishwasher of Grace, we can start all over sparkling clean.

Reduces Condensation – In other words…no sweat. This is a great feature of the Tervis Tumbler. No sweat rings! How I would love it if I could have fewer sweat rings, less stress and more peace. In times of stress when the sweat rings are coming on, I vow to take a moment to reflect on those who model a life of peace. What are they doing? What are they not doing? What can I learn? How can I change?

Double Insulated – The world can be full of things which hurt, challenge, exhaust and deplete. We can hide from them, lash out at them or, insulate ourselves as best we can through a strong faith. It’s not easy and even the Tervis Tumbler doesn’t always keep the hot hot and the cold cold. Sometimes the hot is just too hot and the cold is just too cold. I hope to work daily on building a faith that can buffer even the hottest hots and coldest colds life can offer.

So…striving to be like a Tervis Tumbler? Yep. I’ll let you know how it goes….

Bee Thinking:
2 Corinthians 4:7

Peace, Love and Happiness
G. Love and Special Sauce

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Bee a Working-Stay-at-Home-Helicopter-Single-Republican-Democrat-Fill-In-the-Blank-Mom

I have finally come to some acceptance that I am a working mother.
Now, that's pretty convenient in light of the fact that my youngest just started Kindergarten.
The pressure to be a stay-at-home mom is a little less.
No more feeling guilty over missing play groups, park dates, MOPS meetings or having that special Sesame Street time together mid-morning.
Fewer "How do you do it?" inquiries in a tone that is more accusation than compliment.
Less internal battles over the stay at home vs. working mother guilt wars.


Do I wish I had more stay-at-home time? You bet.
Do I have regrets? Wish I didn't but I do.
Do I feel I miss out? The fact is, I did and I will.

What have I learned from this?

Being a mother is filled with the best intentions, effort and decisions we can make at the time.
We are hard-wired at the birth of our first to make choices in favor of our child's best interest.
I’ve wasted a lot of energy trying to be a working-mom who tries to do all of the stay-at-home-mom things simultaneously and perfectly.
Doing things is not the same as being a mom.
All moms are doing the best they can at the time with what they know to be true for their children.


I haven't really come into some acceptance that I am a working mother at all. What I have come to accept is that I am Just-A-Mom.

Being Just-A-Mom trumps working mom, stay at home mom, strict mom, lenient mom, helicopter mom, independent mom, single mom, and the list goes on. Just-A-Mom is just enough for our kids. They know that and we would be better served to know that too. These young years go by fast, embrace yourself with the love that your children embrace you.

One day, I will have a heartfelt and incisive examination of this time in my life. Right now, I simply don’t have the time…
…being just a mom and all.

Bee Thinking:
Psalm 90:12

Song of the Hive:
Wash Away
Artist: Joe Purdy

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Bee Hopeful...Even When the Rain Comes

This post is going to be a bit different. Hope and Marc are beautiful, strong individuals. We pray for Marc's healing and Hope's strength as they continue on their journey. Marc and Hope, many are lifting you up and holding you in their hearts.

From Hope

Hi Friends and Family,

During Marc’s Seattle check-ups in mid-July, they told us that Marc needs hyperbaric treatments (high pressure/pure oxygen) at high levels right away if we are to have a chance of preserving and/or improving his failing vision. He has radiation necrosis and hyperbaric is commonly used to help the body rejuvenate areas of soft tissue (or bone) that are starting to die off (we want the evil-spawn cells to die, but unfortunately vital tissue and cells are also dying or narrowing from the radiation he had in Dec. to help squelch the last of his neuro-malformation.)

Insurance denied the initial pre-authorization and our follow up appeal. We loaded them with data, letters from doctors/surgeons etc., but no green light. We can’t wait for the corporate “yes” because each day matters. But we can follow the instinct/God leading “yes” that pushes us forward.

Soooo….Marc’s first appointment was Monday at Providence hospital in Portland. (The only hospital with this treatment in the region.) Marc needs 60-80 daily treatments. We'll fervently pursue all the appeal levels as we also explore other facility options (including out of country) that are not the financial equivalent of signing up for the "car of the week club." (Don't sign up for that, by the way, even if an eager, hardworking teenager appears on your doorstep with a clipboard and a smile.)

In Portland, Marc is close to his doctors and he can live with my sister, Dawn, and her family. (Thank you, Cadwells!) They happen to live 5 minutes from this hospital...a great blessing in all this.

It feels very good to move forward with the support of family and friends as we pray for wisdom at each turn. And healing…oh yes…bring on the healing.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

In this, we rest in the unknowing and are grateful for the peace that comes in spurts and waves...as it did during our road trip up here on Monday.

With gratitude for each of you. I know you walk alongside us, prayerful and compassionate. We take these gifts with us every time we venture forth.

Love, Hope (and MARC!)

Bee Thinking: 1 Corinthians 2:9

Song of the Hive:
When the Rain Comes
Artist: Third Day

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Bee a Miss Dodger

I watched a quirky movie over the weekend - Phoebe in Wonderland. I'm no movie critic so I'll spare you the summary, critique and commentary. But, it struck a chord in me.

One of the more powerful moments is captured below and in the trailer linked above. Watch the whole thing if you can, the trailer if you can't or just take a moment to read the quote below. It's beautiful...

Miss Dodger: At a certain part in your life..probably when too much of it has gone by... you will open your eyes and see yourself for who you are.

Especially for everything that made you so different from all the awful normals. And you will say to yourself, "But I am this person." And in that statement, that correction, there will be a kind of love.

Bee Thinking:
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Song of the Hive:
Artist: Anna Nalick

PS-To those who drop by my blog, thanks for sharing this process with me.

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Bee Crystal or At Least Try

This is from a friend of mine's blog that is worthy of following. She has a bazillion kids, responsibilities and reasons to go nuts each day yet keeps it all in perspective.

Crystal & Co.: Crystal's Life in Stacks

Bee Thinking:
Matthew 6:25-34

Song of the Hive:
Artist: Dana Parish

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Back when I was in graduate school, upon writing my thesis, I became stuck on a section of statistical analyses that I couldn’t get past.

I knew that I needed to have this particular function to appropriately analyze my results but I just didn’t understand how it worked.

It killed me.
I read.
I studied.
I tried different types of analyses to perform the function I needed.
I made my major advisor crazy.
I made myself crazy.

My Thesis Committee waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, one day, my major advisor had enough and assigned me to work with a doctoral candidate with a subspecialty in statistical analysis for the health sciences.

Finally a breakthrough was near.

I met Captain StatMan on campus in the bowels of the computer lab to go over my area of concern/complete block. He read my thesis, reviewed the format of my data and quickly ascertained that I indeed needed to use the dreaded function that I didn’t understand.

I explained to him this was all well and good but I needed to understand the function, not just use it.

He asked, or rather stated, “Why.”

I tried to counter that to be true to my thesis, I needed to understand every last piece of it to believe in it and defend it to my committee.

He stated, “Why.”

I rambled on about intellectual integrity, life long learning and something about all the dead crickets in the computer lab basement floor (they were very crunchy when stepped upon and the sheer volume of squished dead crickets made the floors slick but that’s another story for another day) and the tragedy of all the dead crickets.

He remained nonplussed with my reply and queried back, “How did you get here today?” I was fairly certain he was trying to see how quickly he could extricate himself from the crazy girl trying to finish The Thesis Fated Never to Be Completed so I quickly shot back “My car, why.”

“How does the carburetor work on your car?”

Now, he should have known not to ask a girl from South Hurst how a carburetor works (yes, this was before fuel injectors) as I explained in painful detail everything except the Bernoulli Principle and fluid dynamics.

He realized he was going to have to try harder.

“Okaaay…does the carburetor work without you knowing HOW it works?”

“Well, duh of course it does what’s the point anyway, I can see you need to get home and thanks for your help and, oh…I see.”




“I still have to know how the function works to incorporate it into my thesis.”

At this point he said, “Let me show you.” He chicken pecked in my representative data, wrote the code and voilĂ , after the clatter- whirr- whine- pause- line feed-swish of the dot matrix printer, the results were there in grey, sorta recognizable numbers.

“Too easy.” I said, “It works but I don’t understand how.”

“Not important-just make it work for your thesis and know that it does.”

Long story short, I gave up on my quest shortly thereafter for understanding the “how” of the analysis and trusted that it would indeed work.

Amazingly it did and my Thesis Committee had no interest in the intricacies of the statistical analyses. I graduated and lived happily ever after, or at least, finished my thesis.

Knowing the "how" is great, unless we lose the bigger picture of why we want to know in the first place. It's a lesson I keep re-learning...

Bee Thinking:
Proverbs 3:5-6

Song of the Hive:
Soul Shine
Artist: Beth Hart

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