Friday, August 26, 2011
from Bob (dictated to Patra)
It has been a busy week for the Buggs. Our daughter Jenny began homeschooling Andrew (first grade) and she is very enthusiastic about his learning. As always, Jenny's schedule is full so we pray for her as she begins this new adventure.
Our grandson Austin started kindergarten in Gainesville and we love it when he calls us to tell us about his day. He is enjoying his class, his teacher and his new friends. Emily started a new job too. She is the director of preschool ministries at Westside Baptist Church. We look forward to seeing how God will use her.
(Austin's first day of Kindergarten!)
Our daughter-in-law Sharon is a reading coach in Tampa and had her first students this week. She sure misses little Avery and Riley while she is at work but tells us that her days are going quickly because she is very busy.
Adam began his last year of law school this week and will be interning with the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office. it should be a busy and exciting year for him.
Tuesday, Patra and I had a visit with a longtime friend and her mom. We attended West Flagler Park Baptist Church (Miami) together and went through elementary, junior high and high school. We had a wonderful visit talking about people that we knew and our days growing up.
It has been another good week for me. I have really enjoyed feeling better and last Sunday I was able to attend both the worship service and Bible study at church. It was a tremendous blessing and I had no problems.
Unfortunately last week, a good friend Will, passed away after a long battle with cancer. Will was one of the most faithful men I have known and he will be greatly missed. Patra and I pray that his wife will be comforted during the days, weeks and months ahead.
As always, we are so appreciative of the prayers of our friends and family. We know it is only by the grace of God and the prayers of his people that we have come this far in the journey.
"Dear God, we thank you for another good week. We are thankful for the opportunity we have to be with our children and grandchildren. Father I thank you for every day that you give Patra and me . We do pray for our friends that are going through the "tall weeds." We pray that they will be comforted by your spirit and that they would be encouraged by the promised of your Word. Help me to remain faithful to you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Until next Friday, God willing.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011 "Another Good Week"
From Bob (dictated to Jenny)
“For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NLT)
It’s been another good week. I haven’t had the need to go to the hospital and I’ve had no obstructions. On Sunday, Patra and I went to my Bible study class at church. That was really a good day. I got to see so many people I haven’t seen in many, many months. People who have been praying for me regularly and it appeared that they were glad to see me too. The teacher did a great job, and I really enjoyed the lesson (which was an introduction to the book of Jonah). I look forward to going back to Bible study class.
On Tuesday, Patra loaded me into the van, and she and I made a trip to Gainesville to visit with Emily’s family. That was another great day. Seeing Emily, Austin, Anderson.
We were glad that James was able to return to work after his emergency surgery last Friday. (After some problems with kidney stones, the doctors had to do emergency surgery last Friday afternoon.)
While at Emily’s, I had a little problem with my blood pressure and passed out, however, Patra and Emily were able to keep me from falling to the ground and hurting myself.
I have intentionally not spent much time trying to imagine what heaven will be like. It seems to me that any human imagination would be inadequate. However I was struck this week by many things that I’m sure about heaven:
In heaven, I will never have a hospitalization, EVER.
In heaven, I will never have any obstructions, EVER.
In heaven, I will never need an NG tube, EVER.
In heaven, I will never experience pain, EVER.
In heaven, I will be in the presence of God, FOREVER.
2 Corinthians 4:17, shown at the top of this post, indicates that the problems we have now are nothing compared to the glory that we will experience in heaven. I have clung to that verse many times and realized that the problems I am having now will soon disappear.
Again, we are so appreciative of all the prayer partners that we have. We continue to pray for so many friends that are experiencing health problems and difficulties.
Dear God, thank you for another really good week. It has been so enjoyable being able to get out and see friends and family and I thank you for that. Please be with our friends that are experiencing difficulties, please comfort them and encourage them and their family members. I pray once again that I will be faithful to the very end. In Jesus name, Amen.
Until next Friday, God willing.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
from Bob (dictated to Patra)
This has been a really good week!!!
I haven't had any difficulty with intestinal obstructions and haven't needed to go to the hospital. I feel better than I have in many months. I know that we are able to write these words this week because of your faithful prayers for us - thank you. Patra and I are also praying that we will stay on this new path for a bit longer. Dialysis continues to exhaust me, and I still pass out sometimes with feelings of dehydration after a treatment, but this is our new normal and we have learned to live with it. No, it doesn't get easier, we have just adjusted our expectations. We see so many who are worse than we are in "Dialysis World".
I had an appointment with my cardiologist this week. I was interested in learning more about the surgery that had been done a few weeks ago to create a window in my pericardia sac (lining around the heart). I was under so much medication at that time, I did not remember what the procedure involved. As he explained to me I was surprised to learn how large the window was as he held his fingers to show about a two inch gap. This "window" should remain open allowing any buildup pressure of fluid to be released helping my heart to continue beating. Since that procedure, I have not felt any tightness in my chest, have not had difficulty breathing and have not had any more episodes of congestive heart failure or fluid in the lungs. That procedure and my new hospital bed at home which keeps my head elevated when I sleep has made a huge difference in my comfort level. I am so grateful for the "break".
I also asked him why I am so skinny. I eat huge meals and try to gain muscle, but I continue getting thinner. At this appointment, I weighed 133 lbs. My usual weight was 205 lbs before I got sick. The doctor explained in such detail that I can't begin to describe it, but the bottom line is, this is all caused by my disease and I probably won't be able to gain weight or muscle. It is getting harder and harder to stand because it feels like I am standing on stilts (and looks like it too when you see my bony long legs).
My shingles have finally healed and since getting out of the hospital for the bowel obstruction, I have not had to take any pain medications. It is amazing how much clearer my thinking is. One of the great benefits has been that I have been able to read my Bible again. I have spent some time this week in 1 Samuel and it has been a real joy to read the history of the Israelites.
Patra and I continue to deal with the reality of our journey. The reality of my situation first hit me when I was in the bone marrow transplant wing at Moffitt Cancer Institute. Although I was pretty much confined to my room, I could hear noises outside the door. One night I heard a commotion in the hall. Later that night Patra heard what had happened from a family member when she went to the caregiver coffee room. The young man in the room next to me had died. I realized that this is serious business - life and death. There really has not been a day since then that I have not been aware of the issues that are involved in my journey.
I have unexplainable peace knowing that God is in control. There are many times that I wonder why he has allowed me more days than the doctors predicted. Patra has a friend who continues to pray that my living will baffle the doctors so that only God would be clearly seen through this journey... that His glory and power would be so evident... that only He would receive glory and praise. I whole heartily agree.
Patra and I again thank you so much for your prayers and support . As I have said before it means more than you will ever know. I would ask you to continue to pray that I have no more obstructions. As we pray every night, it is my #1 prayer request that I remain faithful to God until the very end.
Dear God, thank you for a very good week. I pray that I would not have any obstructions. Thank you for our friends and their prayer support. May I be faithful to the end.
Until next Friday. God willing.
Friday, August 5, 2011
From Bob (dictated to Emily)
First, Patra and I want to thank all of our friends for your prayers and support. You have been incredibly generous and faithful in praying for me. Last week was one of my most difficult weeks (with the obstruction), and this week has been a very good week. We continue to monitor every day to make sure that there is not a recurrence of the obstruction.
Sometimes I am reminded of an old western movie as I continue in this journey. I picture a gunfight between two of the cowboys. Cowboy 1 fires a fatal shot, but instead of falling to the ground in agony, Cowboy 2 continues to shoot back! No matter how many times Cowboy 1 shoots those deadly bullets, Cowboy 2 continues walking forward towards his nemesis. Sometimes I feel like Cowboy 2. No matter how many “bullets” my body encounters, it keeps fighting! I won’t go through a litany of all the procedures and treatments that I have been through, but I do feel like I keep getting shot. For some reason God has continued to allow me to stand on my feet and move forward.
This past week Patra and I were sitting in the living room when we heard a loud boom. The house immediately went black as we lost all electricity. There had been a power failure in the neighborhood, and we were without power for a little over an hour. I was reminded of my need for power in our modern world. We couldn’t watch television or use the computer (because there was no internet). I laid on the couch and very quickly felt the temperature rising as the air conditioning unit sat silent. I must admit that I was worried that my ice cream was going to melt in the freezer.
This power failure reminded me of my need for power in the Christian life. When we accept Christ, he sends his Holy Spirit to live with us. The Holy Spirit is our source of power as we live this Christian life. If we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, then we are living our lives without any power.
When I began this journey through the “tall weeds” and began to fight this “nasty little disease,” I realized that the only way that I would be able to survive is if I tapped into God’s power of grace. I may not have always been as faithful as I should have been, but everyday I look to God for strength and power in these difficult days.
I meet with my cardiologist next week, and we will continue to try to adjust my medication to prevent my heart from getting out of rhythm. I continue in dialysis three days a week.
The grandchildren continue to be a joy to watch. They are all enjoying the pool and the two oldest boys are swimming like fish.
Austin, Bob, and Andrew
In Isaiah, your Word says that You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on You. I am so appreciate of the peace that you have given me over the many months of my disease. I pray that my mind will stay focused on you and that I will continue to keep your perfect peace. I am also thankful for my faithful friends who have prayed for us and showed us they loved us in the midst of this. I thank you that this week I have had no obstructions and I would ask you to allow me to continue to stay healthy and out of the hospital. May I stay faithful to you until the very end. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Until next week, God willing,