Redeeming suffering

Thank you LORD for a good week, for the beauty around us, your creation, your love, and your children. If we choose to see it, we see your goodness all around us. Thank you all for walking with us.

Monday Theresa had her second chemo treatment. This one went better, much less nausea, and didn’t seem to hurt as much. This possibly could be because she is on Prednisone for her pericarditis. She still is tired and wiped out. She went to see the surgeon Wednesday and is set up for her port placement a week from Monday. Theresa and our son had a good visit with him. We met with the funeral home on Wednesday as well.

As Theresa has stabilized, we stopped Hospice on Friday and will resume it when her needs increase. For the past few weeks, Theresa has a mixture of symptoms related to the pericarditis, cancer, and cancer treatment. The intensity of the symptoms vary from day to day as does the dose of medications needed.

Her pericarditis still causes significant chest pain. Some days it is intense and she needs to take more for it. We think the prednisone is helping, but it is anticipated her symptoms will last 3 months or so. It does limit her activity. She does get pretty winded going up the stairs, even slowly, and has to be in a wheelchair when out to appointments, if there is a distance to go. Daily activities such as driving, shopping, cooking are not on the radar any time soon.

Her cough, which was the first symptom in all this, has been doing on since December. The cough is off and on all day, with times of spasms of coughing. Movement, laying down, and speaking cause it to worsen. We think this is from the cancer, though don’t know for sure. It can be decreased with medications, but still persists. As you can guess, the coughing tires her and she wishes it would go.

Her cancer treatments lead to excessive fatigue, she just can’t get enough sleep at times. It has also caused nausea, stomach upset, acid reflux that is hard to control, and lack of appetite.

Nights are the hardest. Many sleepless nights, due to the symptoms, but does get sleep in the morning hours. Daytime distractions help.

Theresa has learned how to persevere gracefully through her lifetime. This lesson can’t be learned through ease of life, only through hard times with Christ at her side. She has had her share of hard times growing up, in the Military, as a mom, and the last 3 years with the cancer. She has taught me a lot about God’s showing up and sustaining her when doubt and exhaustion sets in and how He holds tight, renews her strength and tenderizes her heart. He truly walks with us and provides himself at the right moments.

Philip Yancy writes in Disappointment with God (185-86) “…At once, the cross revealed what kind of world we have and what kind of God we have: a world of gross unfairness, a God of sacrificial love. No one is exempt from tragedy or disappointment – even God was not exempt. Jesus offered no immunity, no way out of the unfairness, but rather a way through it to the other side. Just as Good Friday demolished the instinctive belief that this life is supported to be fair, Easter Sunday followed with its starling clue to the riddle of the universe. Out of darkness, a bright light shone.”….(211-12)Good Friday demonstrates that God has not abandoned us to our pain. And Easter Sunday shows that, in the end, suffering will not triumph. Therefore, “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds,” writes James; and “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials,” writes Peter; and “We also rejoice in our sufferings,” writes Paul. The apostles go on to explain what good can result from such “redeemed suffering”: maturity, wisdom, genuine faith, perseverance, character and many rewards to come. It’s a matter of time, Paul says. Just wait: God’s miracle of transforming a dark, silent Friday into Easter Sunday will someday be enlarged to cosmic scale.”

Amen. Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers.


  1. Fred & Jackie Etter says

    Paul I’m so sorry about all that has happened to Theresa since I last asked about her. Our prayers for
    Theresa, you and your family. The Lord will be with you all.

  2. Debbie says

    Such beautiful words for the soul. Theresa is my fighter, my Angel Friend, she has taught me much about forgiveness and love for which I will eternally be grateful. Love you all very much

  3. Debbie Fine says

    Such beautiful words for the soul. Theresa is my fighter, my Angel Friend, she has taught me much about forgiveness and love for which I will eternally be grateful. Love you all very much

  4. Paul Paynter says

    Your blog is an inspiration to read. Therese is probably maturing way past many of us who are much older. What a witness she is as she goes through some very difficult suffering with grace and faithfulness. Our prayers and hearts go out to her. May our God greatly bless her, you, and your family.


    Thank you do much for so poignantly sharing your journey with us. I can’t imagine the intensity of the emotional and physical rollercoaster you and Theresa have been on for the past 3 yrs. You are wise to keep you focus on God as your source of healing and wisdom to strengthen you as you continue on. I am hopeful for continued time and healing for Theresa.
    Please give her a hug from me.

Leave a Reply to Nannette Hoile Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *