Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We wanted to let everyone know that services will be held at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church on Saturday April 11, at 10:00 a.m. The church is located at 1595 S. Alma School Rd. in Chandler on the corner of 202 East (South Loop) and Alma School Rd.
Posted by Luke Little at 7:54 PM
Face to face....oh what a wonderful site! A husband, a dad, a grandpa, a brother, a son, an uncle, a friend and a servant of the one true God has reaped the benefits of believing in the Lord Almighty.
Posted by Russ at 8:30 AM
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I have rehearsed what I wanted to write to you over and over in my head several times and now that I sit here before the computer I stumble with the words.
Today will be the last posting on the blog until the time comes for Rusty to meet our Heavenly Father face to face. If it is the Lord's will to heal him...beleive me we won't need the blog to announce that as we will be lifting the roof top with glorious praise!
Sadly the cancer is moving much faster than we had hoped. As a family we will be spending precious time with him here at home.
Rusty knows that he is loved by each and everyone of you. What an absolute blessing you are to us. If you wish to post a comment to Rusty we will glady read all of them to him.
We love you all,
Robyn, Ashley, Cody and Luke
Posted by Luke Little at 4:50 PM
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Many of us have been to amusement parks at least once. We all know the routine. You jump in the car early in the morning to get there right when the park opens. Getting closer to the park your excitement causes you to look intently for the bright colored thrill rides. Finally arriving, you jump out of the car and rush to the entrance of the park. Hearing the themed music playing, you wait impatiently for the gate to open. It's finally time! The gates swing open and you push and shove to get through the crowds as quickly as possible. Once in the park, you run to the biggest, most thrilling ride. You wait in line and observe the speed of the train. It goes this way and that way, back to the top, quickly down, through a loop, twists and turns, and then back into the boarding station. Suddenly you begin to have second thoughts and wonder if you should continue. Can I handle this ride? Fear begins to creep in. There is that one friend with you in line that always comforts and nudges you to continue on. The gates to the train then open. You're hesitant. Your friend, along with that inner adventure in you pushes you to climb aboard and take your seat. The lap bar locks! There is no going back. The train pulls forward and begins its assent. With the loud, "Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick..." in the background, fear explodes inside of you. You either begin to shake or have a quiet, pale look on your face. At the top, you take one good look around and then... the drop, twist and turn, then the loop, then the corkscrew, back to the top, down again, and then you are brought back into the station. The lap bar releases and with a smile on your face you jump out of the car. You feel in a way stupid that you feared the ride at first and now are filled to the brim with satisfaction.
Posted by Russ at 8:03 PM
Saturday, March 28, 2009
When we lived in Papua New Guinea our newsletter gave us the opportunity to share the mighty works of GOD in that country along with needed prayer requests. The newsletter was such a blessing to us. It was a way we felt connected and loved by all our friends and family while we were so far away. I shared with Russ the other morning that I feel like this blog is kinda like our newsletter. God has given us this wonderful opportunity to share HIS amazing grace and love for our family and on top of that our prayer requests. Truly our cup runneth over!
Monday, the 23rd was what we call the "scary day"! Russ was overcome with such pain, nausea, uncontrolable shakes, fever and a few other symptoms all within such a short period of time. Hospice got to our home in record time. Tammi, his Hospice nurse, was great. She was the calm within the storm. Russ was able to rest peacefully through the afternoon and into the early part of the evening. We truly see God's fingerprints all over this. He gave us the wisdom to sign up for Hospice the week prior...thank you Lord! ...and thank you for all your prayers.
Sometimes I think the word "hospice" paints a grim picture for many so I would like to share with you that hospice is truly looked upon as a blessing to us. Please know that Russ is very mobile and active. (Right now he is making Cody an egg mcmuffin) He does however, tire easily and is on pain meds 24/7. Hospice helps us by no more trips to doctor office's, hospitals or pharmacies. Tammi, the nurse comes once a week or more if we need her. She has helped with getting pain meds under control and monitors Russ's symptoms with the hopsice doctor.
After the episode on Monday I have told everyone that Russ is looking like a "million bucks." Thank you Lord for all these precious days you continue to share Russ with us!
We are enjoying all the visits, phone calls and oh so many added extras you are blessing us with.
God Bless you all so very much
Robyn for the Bishops
Posted by Russ at 6:37 AM
Monday, March 23, 2009
It is amazing to me how many people are following my Dad's blog. This website has made it even more apparent to me how lucky and blessed my family and I are to have Dad as our Dad, Husband, Brother, Grandpa, Uncle and/or friend. I want to say thank you to all of you for your prayers, comments and words of encouragement you have provided for my family. They are greatly appreciated and are read numerous times throughout every day.
As I say thank you for all of your prayers I ask tonight that you say a little extra prayer for Dad. For now my family would like to share only that my Dad had a difficult day and is at home sleeping now. We ask that you pray especially for his comfort and rest at this time. Please pray for my mom and brother as well, and that they take care of themselves, not just my Dad. I also ask that you pray for wisdom for the hospice team taking care of Dad. They are wonderful and have responded quickly when needed by my family.
This is a vague post I know, however what my family needs is a simple extra prayer at this time! Thank you all for following my family and walking alongside us during this long journey. You are all appreciated and loved.... Thank you.
Ashley for the Bishop Family
Posted by Russ at 9:09 PM
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I honestly don’t know where to start. It has been seven days since the news of Russ’s prognosis and what a week it has been. We will continue to update the blog on Russ’s condition and share with you God’s amazing love! You have been ever so faithful to continue this journey with my dear sweet husband. I can’t tell you enough how Russ enjoys hearing from each and every one of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
A lot of you ask how Russ is doing and what, specifically, you can pray for, so we thought it best to be forthright and honest with you on our blog updates. My updates may be a lot more emotional than Russ’s so bear with me. From time to time Ashley or Cody will also update the blog.
As you can imagine this past week has been a tough one. We have had talks that I never thought we would have to have, “yet”. One of the harder tasks this week was calling Hospice. The Hospice nurse arrived at the house this afternoon and Russ is officially set up. What Hospice will provide right now is pain management, a weekly visit by the nurse to check on Russ’s vitals and to evaluate any new symptoms that may have developed. Russ currently has abdominal swelling and constant pain that has been quite intense on some days. Currently the pain meds he is on makes him very tired so we are hoping that Hospice will be able to help him with meds that won’t make him so tired.
As a family we will be celebrating Russ’s 48th birthday on Friday. It will be one we will all remember. Please continue to keep Russ in your prayers along with our precious children. Our emotions are all over the place. We love you all and thank you, thank you for everything!
God’s love is sufficient!
Robyn for the Bishops
Posted by Russ at 9:25 PM
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
After several phone calls today we were finally able to get an appointment this afternoon to see the oncologist. I really wanted to talk to him today and get the results of the PT scan before I go see my surgeon tomorrow morning. After just a few minutes of waiting for the doctor he came in with a somber attitude and sat down beside us. He began to explain that he had just got off the phone with the radiologist who read the PT scan and the news was not good. He told me the cancer is definitely back but this time it is in two areas of my abdomen. It is in the area where the lymph nodes were removed during the surgery and also in the lining of my abdomen. This time the cancer is not in a tumor form like the last time but now it is numerous cells spread out in the two areas. He called this "seeding" which really means that the cells are planted within the tissue and multiplying.
Posted by Russ at 9:14 PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
We've received several emails and a couple of comments on the blog asking about the scan results today. Unfortunately, we don't have any results yet. This morning I went in for a PT scan, (also known as a "PET" scan), and despite being uncomfortable during the scan and for several hours after, it went well. The only problem is we now have to wait until Thursday morning for the results. I have an appointment with my surgeon that morning and he'll go over the results then. Our main concern right now is the pain that I'm feeling in my abdomen. It seems to be in more than one place and continues to worsen over time.
Posted by Russ at 10:59 PM
Friday, March 6, 2009
The roller coaster has been used over and over again to describe the ups and downs of life. I think its because of the exhilaration and excitement you feel when you rise to a peak and the enormous pressure you feel on your body when you sink to the bottom of the valleys. Nothing can describe the lives of cancer patients and their families better. We all have those moments of great hope when we're told "your cancer has gone into remission" or "the scan is clear" or "you have completed your treatment". Robyn and I were told two of those three last week by my oncologist. My CT scan was clear so he took me off of the chemo treatments one month early. Those were the words we were waiting to hear and once we heard them we felt as though we were on the upswing of our personal roller coaster, hoping the ride would soon be over.
Posted by Russ at 7:16 PM
Saturday, February 28, 2009
We've previously spoken a little bit about cautious optimism and this week has brought a little of that back again. I visited the Oncologist last week and we discussed the possibility of taking me off of chemo. This was his idea and it surprised me when only just a couple of weeks before he said I'd have to continue with it through the end of March. Now, he thinks I may be ready to stop chemo but he wants to do another CT scan just to be sure. The scan is the only way to determine whether or not there are any further tumors or growths.
Posted by Russ at 6:42 AM
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Last week I mentioned that I really wanted to get caught up on a few projects that I've put off since I learned of my illness. One of those projects was to tear up the carpet in the living room and dining room and lay tile down. On Saturday morning I got up and convinced myself to tear up the carpet and see how I was feeling. After only an hour I had the carpet, padding, tack strips and glue all cleaned up and in the trash. Since that went smooth, I convinced myself to layout the tile and mix up a little thinset to lay the first few tiles. I continued working on it slowly and methodically, and by the end of the day I had laid tile in half of the room. Physically, I began to ache in muscles I haven't used in 9 months. My legs and lower back ached and my knees were so sore I could hardly walk...
Posted by Russ at 8:38 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Since the last time I wrote I've had a couple of ups and downs with regard to my treatment. On Friday, February 6th, the day after my last chemo treatment, Cody and I were able to attend the FBR golf tournament in Scottsdale and had a great time spending the day together watching our favorite sport. Later that night I came down with a fever which lasted until late Sunday evening. The fever grew to a high of over 103 degrees and was caused by the chemo drug killing off my white and red blood cells. I was pretty anemic for the next several days but I was able to make it through each day at work. On Wednesday last week I went in for a blood test and my blood counts were too low for chemo treatment on Thursday. In place of the chemo treatment, my doctor sent me in to the hospital to receive a blood infusion. After 5 hours and two units of blood, I was able to go home and felt much better over the weekend. Since then I've been feeling like my old self again. I'm now preparing myself mentally for my next appointment, which is on Thursday of next week, when I'll see the doctor again and receive my next chemo treatment.
Posted by Russ at 8:09 PM
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I probably don't need to remind you that 8 months ago my doctors were not very optomistic that I would live through the impending surgery let alone through the end of the year. Now here it is January 28th and the eve of Cody's 18th birthday! So, when I say it's an incredible blessing to be here to see my son reach the age of adulthood you can really believe it. And that's not all... This month I also got to be here for a milestone birthday for Ashley and to see Reaghan have her first birthday! It's been a great month!
Hearing the prognosis from the doctors was devistating to say the least but the journey since has been life altering and incredibly fulfilling at the same time. Life altering because we have learned to take things slower and take time to enjoy the simpler things of life. Fulfilling because we have drawn closer to God and become more dependent upon Him to meet our needs and to help us find contentment in His plan for our lives.
Enjoying life and finding contentment seem to be in short supply around the world today considering our economic times and social environment. On the other hand, those who are seeking God and striving to become more dependent upon Him are growing by leaps and bounds. Statistics tell us that when things get difficult and the stress of life becomes unbearable people seek God to help them through. This is good news because it's okay to seek God when things get out of our control. God is standing by waiting to hear from any one who is going through a difficult time no matter what kind of pain they are experiencing.
If you are someone in the throws of devistation or caught in a whirlwind of pain, I urge you to seek God and allow Him to carry your burdens. He is ready and waiting for you to rely on Him.
Blessings to you all,
Russ and Robyn
Posted by Russ at 6:22 PM
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Can you believe it's been more than a month since my last update? My apologies to all of you who watch for updates regularly. I have no excuse other than I've really been doing well which has caused me to be more busy with life than usual. In any case, here I am and I'd like to give you a quick update this evening and then catch up a little more in a few days.
Posted by Russ at 9:08 PM