chicago

[Guest Post] We’re Back

This is from a guest post today on my wife’s blog. Go check it out here: emilyelgin.com

 

Well we’re back in Chicago. And it’s go-time. The last few months have felt like go-time, but this really is go-time.

After a much-needed quick trip home for Thanksgiving, Emily and I arrived back 6 days ago. 5 of them, she’s been in the hospital. She just finished her 4th (and last) day of chemo yesterday. Her last ATG treatment was overnight last night. ATG is a heavy-duty immunosuppressant found in rabbits. (Happy Easter!) And today is the big day where the 32 million stem-cells will be reintroduced to Emily’s blood. From there, the docs will monitor her blood count, give her transfusions as needed, and wait for her nearly non-existent immune system to show some life again.

The main thing people have asked is, “How is she doing with the chemo?” I’m thrilled to report that outside of some fatigue, she hasn’t experienced many side-effects. She’s had very little nausea, which has been quickly treated by meds (and Queazy Drops from Tamara). The docs say that the chemo affects everyone differently, and no doubt God’s grace has been shown by how it’s affected, or not affected, Emily.
 
 
Two last things before I go:
1 – Emily is handling everything like a pro. There is a lot of resting and sleeping, but as you might expect, her joyful attitude and wackiness (in a good way) have brought smiles to all the nurses and patients we come in contact with. Her enthusiastic attitude has also kept her spirits positive in situations where most people’s may not be. We know this is because of God’s peace and strength, and through the prayers of our friends, family and even strangers.
 
2 – If you know us well, you know that Emily and I are both talkers. We like to have fun and are never short on words. But honestly, when it comes to the support and love we’ve been shown by everyone, we really don’t know what to say. We have talked many times about how amazing it has all been. From the outpouring of financial gifts…to the hourly prayer times…to the texts just saying she’s being prayed for…to simply reading this blog…we know that it’s all provision from God and because we are well loved. So thank you.
 
Please keep praying that Emily would respond well to the rest of the meds, transfusions, treatment, etc. She already has some ideas and plans for blogging once she feels better. Comment on her blogs and let her know that you are reading.
 
Thanks!
Keith

The Windy City (and by windy I mean freezing)

It’s cold here. Emily and I have been to Chicago a few times now for multiple doctor visits and tests, but typically it’s in the Spring or Summer. I’ve heard this 25 degrees with ice cold wind is nothing compared to December – February. We take a cab when we go out together, but when I’m out TCB, I just walk. It’s cheaper and it gets me a little extra exercise carrying the groceries through the streets of The Windy City. So yeah, the chapped lips won’t quit. But overall, it’s been great to be here with Emily, being a support and encouragement to her.

As for the medical stuff…Emily is handling everything like a pro. Her first dose of chemo wiped her out, energy wise, as she slept for almost two days straight. But for the most part, she avoided the worst momentary side effects. She has been herself everywhere we’ve been, and people love that. It seems that most people at a hospital are grouchy or depressed. She might have some anxiety but is generally joyful and you can tell it brings joy to all the people that meet her.

She’s started her blog and you’ll get a peek inside what it’s like for her if you want to check it out. She already has posted some great stories and photos. Check it out HERE and comment to show her some love!

Thanks for reading and loving us!
Keith

 

2 Months in Chicago

chicago

So here we are.

If you follow me or my wife on any social media platform, you’ve probably heard by now that we are in Chicago for the next couple of months as she undergoes an autologous stem-cell transplant to treat her aggressive Multiple Sclerosis. (Autologous means they take her own stem cells, separate the good from the bad, and reinfuse the good ones) This will include a lot of poking and prodding; chemo; nights in the hospital; walking everywhere; etc. Basically a huge disruption to the comforts we have in life.

Earlier this year when we were planning the live worship record, which released last month, I was simply following what it seemed God had next for me as a worship artist. As the process unfolded, it was clear that the theme behind the project was God being our hope in the ups and downs of life. In the midst of the darkness, He is light. (Title: Our Hope) But Emily and I didn’t know this stem-cell transplant was also in the works. So somehow, God worked all of this out and worlds are colliding here and now.

I honestly feel like God is telling me the Christian singer guy to put my money where my mouth is. It’s one thing to sing about God bringing hope and peace during the rough patches of life, but it’s another thing to live it out and let people see it. And he’s telling the husband and personal me, there is no separation. You are you and I and Me no matter what’s going on in life. The person you are sitting at home watching Netflix is the same you singing out the name of Jesus with a guitar strapped to you. I’m still figuring out what this all looks like…

So here we are. In the midst of the muck. Trusting in God. Placing our hope and trust in Him.

I’m going to keep updating my blog to let you know what’s going on here in the Windy City. And hopefully use this season to encourage you, and us, to keep looking for God in the midst of the chaos. He is at the center of it all.

 

ps. You can also follow Emily’s Tumblr as she’ll be updating it as time goes on in a much more creative way than me.