Topic: What do you ask for when you pray?

Hello.

To begin, I'd like to thank everyone for sharing such personal experiences that in normal everyday life is so hard to do.  All the stories, whether they be good news, introductions, in remembrances, helpful hints, etc. - they all help someone out there.  Truth be told, I usually come visit the site when things are on a downturn for my dad (72, diagnosed Jan 06).  I usually end up crying after reading but it is helpful. This disease is such that many times you feel alone.  It's so difficult to find a support group for this disease.  It seems like everyone knows someone who has cancer, but very few know someone with cc.

Recently, I started praying again for the first time in 20+ years.  I know it's a cliche to turn to God when the chips are down and we want to ask for something.  But the weird part was that I found myself not asking God, but thanking.  Thanking for:

- spending more quality time with my family over the last 20 months than the last 20 years
- my dad being around to see his son get married when the doctors first said he was going to be gone about a year earlier
- my mom being the strongest, most caring, most unselfish person I've ever known in my life
- my new wife being so supportive and caring for my parents and understanding for me (skipped our honeymoon)
- dad's doctors and nurses being more than just medical practitioners but human beings with hearts
- the family trips we took together that we never did growing up
- my cat and his fuzz therapy for me
- my business partner allowing me to take care of what really matters - not the business
- coming to the realization that "it's only money"
- finally seeing what life is all about
- that there are people out there who genuinely care for and want to help perfect strangers with their words, experiences, and presence (even if not physical)

But now I find myself sitting in front of this computer, crying more with each line I type.  I have been praying to God to ask for help.  It is clear that dad is doing poorly and the trend is going downward.  The problem is I don't even know what to ask for anymore.  Do I ask God for dad to go quickly and peacefully with the least pain/suffering?  Do I ask God to give us as much time with dad as possible, fully knowing that he will experience extreme physical pain and my Mom emotional pain?  Do I ask God for the miracle cure for dad even though there are so many people with a loved one that are equally or more deserving?  One day I ask for one, the next day another, and switch again the next day.

I feel horrible asking God for any one of those things and feel so lost right now.  What makes it even worse is that as bad as i feel, it can't be even a tenth of how my mom feels since she spends every waking hour taking care of dad and every sleeping moment worrying in her dreams.  And then my dad is struggling so hard to deal with things physically, and possibly more emotionally as he keeps all his thoughts inside.

I don't know what to pray for anymore....but I need something to believe in.

Is there anyone else who feels the same?  If we don't know what to ask God for ourselves, maybe we can pray for each other.

Maybe we could arrange a set day/time where we all pray simultaneously for each other.  We may have different religions and different names for what we call our higher power...but we all share the love and care for someone with cc.

Please let me know if you would like me to pray for you and your loved ones.

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

I won't hesitate a second.  Please pray for Charlie, Carol, Sarah and Ben.  Charlie is my husband, age 52 diagnosed end of May this year with cc.  I'm 49, Sarah is 19 and Ben is 16.  I ask anybody and everybody to pray for Charlie if they will.  I would be glad to pray for your Dad, you and your family.  As long as you're praying from your heart, God hears you.  So don't worry that you don't know exactly what to pray for.  I pray for miracles for us all and also know that God is in control and has a plan for all of us so I know that His Will will be done. 

Thank you for sharing your story.  I'm so sorry about your Dad.  I too have seen so many "silver linings" come out of this experience.  I'm glad you have so many things to be thankful for. 

I'm the main support for my husband.  I pray to be more like your Mom.  I started out doing pretty good, seeing the good coming out of it, being positive, etc., but lately I've had more trouble with depression (a chronic lifetime problem).  I feel that the disease has swallowed me up too.  Every friend or family member (bless them) wants to talk non stop about every detail.  I just want to scream sometimes and say, "Please, can we talk about something else for 5 minutes?"  I know I sound selfish, but cc is like a monster that is enveloping everything in a black cloud right now.  It is so overwhelming worrying about Charlie, our kids, finances, etc.  I should be on top of the world because next week Charlie is having one of the lobes of his liver taken out.  That's great that a surgeon wanted to take a chance on him.  If I can't pull out of this depression by then, I'll put on a happy face and move forward as best I can.  I'm so tired of being strong for everybody.  Thanks for listening.  I'm Carol and I'd like to have you and your Dad's name if possible.

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Carol,

Thank you for your reply.  I know that you are stronger than you know.  I'm in my 30s and am at least able to help my mom out with finances and being the caretaker for all medical affairs.  Sarah and Ben are at an age where they are too old to not be affected but not old enough to do much to help with respect to the mundane adult concerns.  Charlie is fortunate to have you.  Something that gives me a little solace is that when my grandmother passed last year, my mother was more at peace with it because she did everything she could while grandma was alive.  The worst feeling is when the one you love is gone and you say to yourself why couldn't I have been there or done that for him/her.  I know that my aunt feels that way.

I am putting together a list for my prayers and will definitely have you, Charlie, Sarah, and Ben in my prayers.  Thank you for having Bill, Amy, Charlie, Linda, and Richard in yours.

Carol, my thoughts are with you and your family for next week - Richard

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Peace and kindness to others
Courage
That I be present in each moment whatever it brings
That my body will rid itself of this cancer
My bile ducts flow freely
My liver be able to heal and grow.
That I will be well
That I be grateful and truly present in each day that I am given
That I will love and give back  for all that has been given to me.
That we will gain the wisdom and courage to heal our planet.
and specific prayers for friends, loved ones, and others suffering from this disease and other hardships.

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This is a very personal thing for each of us.  Group prayer is a part of many cultures and religions and gives strength to many.

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Hi I will pray for you and your father and the rest of your family, also for all of Carol's family. I will also send all the good and positive thoughts I can your way. I ask that you also pray for my husband, Rand.
When we were told that Rand had CC I felt so lost and still do at times but I'm learning to live in the moment, to be present in all my thoughts specially when when Rand is up and around.
Carol, I have finally started telling friends and family that I don't want to talk about every detail and even don't want them to stop by or go over to their houses for dinner, etc. Those I have told say they are so glad I told them. Family and friends have nothing but good intensions you just have to let them know, they will understand.
This site is a wonderful place to go to share feeling and thoughts and I appreciate all of you.
Thanks

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Hello Richard,

I have found myself asking many of the same questions that you have expressed over these last almost two years since Dawn

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

What a wonderful subject.  For those who are tired of answering all the questions, you might consider a blog.  I started that when Joe was diagnosed 15 months ago (Coburn). I couldn't possible email  everyone and keep them up to date. I wanted to spend my time with Joe and the kids who are grown and out of the house but they are always your kids.  Joe is 67, he has had a wonderful life and having God in our lives is the only way we could get through this disease.  Everything was  going smoothly until about a week and a half ago and then he got his queasy stomach back again.  We had finally gotten to the point where we didn't think death was just around the corner but you never know and we just try to live each day to the fullest.  Currently we are in Ohio helping out our daughter in law who was just diagnosed with Stage 4 carcinoid tumor.  We thought that maybe this is why Joe went through this so he could relate to Heidi and her fears etc.  We pray daily for all the people with cc and their families.  We have up and down days but we know we have a lot of people praying for us and we count on the grace that comes to us to face each day and use each day to God's glory.  Joe has been able to talk to so many people about God because of this disease that normally he wouldn't have had the opportunity.  He has said many times.  Having cancer isn't so bad.  Having cancer without God is impossible.
Thanks to all of you who reply.  Just when we need to hear something good or encourageing or hear someone else is down, it helps.  Thanks to all of you  God Bless.  Mary Anne

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Fatherson -

When we don't know what to pray, or cannot put our thoughts into words, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf, and offers up our prayers to the Lord.  The Lord hears our groans, which is sometimes all we can get out.  From the experience of my husband's diagnosis and battle with cholangiocarcinoma, my faith was strengthened, and it was strong prior to his illness.  Your faith WILL sustain you during this difficult time, and we are all praying for you and your family.

Joni

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Oh Maryanne,

I'm so sorry to hear about Heidi.  We've followed your blog all along.  I'm sad to hear that Joe is feeling queasy again, but I hope that this will subside as well.  Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Stacie

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Thank you to everyone for your messages.  I wanted you to know that all of you have been specifically mentioned in my prayers at night, and especially Carol and Charlie for God's helping hand this week.

Richard

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Richard, thank you so much for your prayers.  You and your family are in mine. I wrote down all your names and put them in my Bible.  Surprise, we're off to Chapel Hill Tues. a.m. instead of Thurs. so keep the prayers coming.  Charlie will be undergoing his liver resection probably about noon tomorrow.  I pray for healing and comfort for your Dad.

Carol

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Val, thank you for including us in your prayers.  You and Rand are in mine too.  You're so right about just telling friends and family what we need.  I took your advice so that every minute isn't taken up talking about cancer.  I hope Rand is having a good week and wish you all the best.

Carol

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Carol,

I hope that things have been going well at Chapel Hill.  My prayers are with you and Charlie.  I've also been praying for strength for Sarah and Ben.

Richard

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Richard, we're doing well.  Charlie's just very very sore, but doing well.  How is your Dad?  I hope you'll have a blessed Thanksgiving with him and your family.  You all are always in my prayers.  Thanks so much for praying for Sarah and Ben too.  They've been a little lost, but much better now that we're home.

Carol

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Dear Val, I hope your husband is doing well.  We're doing good.  You and Rand continue to be in my prayers.  Take care of yourself.

Love and Blessings,
Carol

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Carol,

So glad to hear Charlie is doing well.  I'm very happy that you guys can spend a nice Thanksgiving together.  The holiday is very timely ain't it.  Hopefully Sarah and Ben can enjoy it and not be sad.

We're going to have a tough week.  Actually the last week has been pretty hard.  It's so difficult because the preceding 2 weeks dad started to feel much better.  He suddenly had more energy, distension and swelling in feet pretty much went away, and even his labs showed bili coming down from 4.8 to 3.8 to 3.2 and then to 2.9.

With the improving liver function, onc gave clearance to start new round of chemo (gemzar) but dad literally started to get worse within 36 hours.  First he noticed urine was darker and then mom noticed feet and belly swelling.  Labs confirmed all this with big drop in cbc's and nutrition (which both had been going up) and increase in bili from 2.9 to 4.6.  To add insult to injury he started hiccuping that same night as the first gemzar/deca and it's been pretty unbearable for him.  This wasn't a problem in previous treatment rounds.

An interesting thing happened this past week.  It was actually my birthday and we spent it together as a family.  Dad put on a good face and was a real trooper.  However, that night he slept very poorly due to the hiccups.  So at 3 am he just lay there and mom woke up as well.  They started talking and out of the blue dad asked what's the point of living life like this.  On the one hand it's really sad to hear something like that, but on the other hand it was actually good to hear him express some sort of emotion because up to this point he pretty much hasn't said anything.  Although the message itself is not the most positive, it at least gives mom an opportunity to have a dialogue with dad about what he really wants to do.

Anyway, this coming week is going to be a bear.  Ultrasound on Monday.  Possible parasentesis and platelet transfusion on Tuesday.  And only if ascites go down then ERCP on Wednesday.  The hiccuping will definitely make the procedure more difficult.  Thursday will likely be hospital cafeteria turkey for us and clear broth and jello for dad.  It sure isn't carving by the tableside along with all the fixings, but at least we'll be together.

We can definitely use the prayers this coming week.  Thanks for keeping us in yours.

Richard

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Dear Richard, what a week ahead for you and your family.  I know that must be scary for all of you when your Dad started feeling bad after having some good weeks.  A late Happy Birthday to you.  I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this.  I hope that you all get some comfort from your Dad talking to your Mom about what he wants. 

Bill, Amy, Charlie, Linda and you Richard are in my prayers this week and every day.  You all have a lot to go through this week.  I'll pray for strength and comfort for you and God's healing hand for your Dad.  Like you said, I'm glad you're all together.  Let us know how things go this week when you can.

Carol

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

I pray for myself and others that I know that have cancer.

I also like the St. Francis Prayer.


Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make us instruments
of your peace.
Where there is hatred
let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
 
Grant that we may not
so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood
as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
 
For it is in giving
that we receive;
It is in pardoning
that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are
born to eternal life.
 
Amen

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

I am not a believer in a higher power...never have been, and Dave's situation has not changed that.  I send everyone who has shared their story on this board all the good energy and love I can muster from my heart.  Though that doesn't jive with most people's religious belief's, I am a true believer in the power of positive thought, so I don't think it matters what you call it, but what the intention is, and I hope you will all continue to keep Dave and me in your thoughts, prayers or whatever you want to call them, and I will all of you.  I cannot be honest with most people about this as they judge me for my beliefs, but I know the folks here will not.   Love to you all-Patrice

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Patrice, Like you said,  we all believe in something.  whether it's energy, a higher power, or the lord above the heart of someone caring for another is a tremendous power of loving, giving and sharing.  You and Dave will certainly remain in my thoughts and prayers, wishing the most positive good energy to flow your way.  I have many beliefs and one of them is without a doubt positive thought.  Patrice , you and Dave are in my prayers, thoughts, and other beliefs in the most positive way possible.
God Bless,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Patrice,

Thanks for your honesty.  We all believe in something, whatever we want to call it or even if we call it anything.  CC is truly a non-discriminatory disease.  It judges not on religion, race, gender, nor apparently even age.  The least that we can do is the same.

Patrice and Dave - you are most definitely in my thoughts and prayers.

Richard

Re: What do you ask for when you pray?

Thank you Richard and Jeff.  I knew I could count on my CC friends to stick by me no matter what my beliefs are.  Positive thoughts coming your way too.  Dave is not doing well right now.  His calcium has gone back into the dangerous levels and we are doing IV saline at home and Zometa (a drug to lower the calcium)  from what I have read this is not a good sign.  We are hoping he can keep fighting hard until the first of the year when our insurance will pay for him to go to the Cancer Treatment Center of America.
Patrice