Friday, October 31, 2008

More Details

I spoke with Norm for a while this morning so that I could keep you all posted on any news, and to find out more details. As you have heard, there were cancer cells found around a lymph node on the opposite side from where the surgery was directed. There was a marble-sized tumor there, which they did remove during the surgery. However, as you read yesterday, they have discovered that there are still cancer cells in the area. Norm told me this morning that once the cancer hits the lymph system, chances are it has spread. There is still hope that they wont find cancer cells throughout the whole lymph system, but that seems unlikely. The doctors have diagnosed her with stage 3 cancer. There are 4 stages of this cancer- stage 4 is when the cancer attacks the other internal organs of the body (which has not happened). God could obviously do whatever He wants to do, so we can pray and ask that the cancer cells have not spread throughout her system!! As I have urged in previous postings, let's ask God to do a miracle so that Nichole's life can continue to speak for His glory and the expansion of His Kingdom! She is still faithfully trusting and rejoicing in Him, and telling every person she encounters the good news!!
Right now, the doctors have samples of Nichole's cancer and they are testing those cancer cells to see how they react to certain types of Chemo treatments. They then will dose her with two different Chemo treatments at once (for a certain amount of time), then proceed with two different ones. They seem to be doing all that they can to attack this cancer with full force. Please pray that Nichole's body will heal quickly and be strengthened to endure these Chemo treatments. Her body doesn't handle Chemo very well, (she has gotten very sick, nauseous, and has been unable to keep food in her system) so she will need the Lord's grace and kindness to endure! Please begin praying for this now!
At present, Nichole seems to be doing well. She is completely off of pain medication, which seems miraculous in my mind, knowing the surgery she just had. She is taking short walks every two hours. She still isn't ready for visitors. Rather than checking in with Norm, I will try to keep you posted as to when she is ready, as I'm sure will Sue. If you aren't on Sue's email list, you can email her and ask to be added ( I have been posting her email updates on the blog as well. Nichole and Norm are being well taken care of. Someone is at her side 24 hours a day to take care of her. People have been spending the night with her, and others have taken several hour shifts to be there to care for her. What a testimony of the Body of Christ to the doctors and nurses! I imagine that Nichole is the only one on her floor that has such enduring support! I'm not sure who those people are that have been caring for her, but thank you! Thank you for being a light and a testimony by caring so deeply for Nichole and the family.
I asked about the kids as well. Noah and Ansel are enjoying school more and more. However, all of their little worlds have been turned upside down, as you can imagine. They haven't had their "normal" life for quite some time now, and as you can imagine, this would be extremely difficult. Their mom hasn't been able to be mom. Dad has had to take on more responsibility, and evenings (as we all know!) trying to feed the kids, play with them, get them ready for bed, bathe them, etc, can be more than enough for mom and dad to handle together, let alone for Dad to do on his own. Pray for Norm! Along with caring for the kids, he has a lot to think about, and is caring for his sweet wife as well. And he is still going to work everyday. And we think our own life is overwhelming...take a moment to put yourself in Norm's shoes. Your life is a breeze, isn't it?
I asked Norm how he was doing. He said that he and Nichole are still trusting the Lord, knowing that God causes all things to work out for our good and for His glory. They have spoken in real terms about the future, and Nichole is prepared for heaven. Whether she will be there soon, or if God prolongs her life miraculously, she is ready. As she told me before, I will quote again. "Norm is not mine. He is the Lord's. My children are not mine. They belong to the Lord. He loves them more than I can, and He will take care of them. Of course I want to be there for them, but they would be okay without me." Once again, I am amazed at her perspective. Humble, and truly trusting in the Lord. Both she and Norm are trusting the Lord as they think about the real possibilities. Norm also said that they have been enjoying their time together, and laughing together. They have to be careful how much she laughs, because laughing hurts her tummy! Praise the Lord for this exhibition of joy in trial.
During another memorable conversation I had with Nichole she said this, "All that matters here on earth is that God's Kingdom is grown, and the church is built up. This trial seems to be accomplishing that, and I am so glad for that." Nichole has proven over and over that this is what her life is about. She has been boldly proclaiming the gospel in every circumstance, and has been such an encouragement to the body of Christ, building us up and encouraging us by her example of how to endure trials.
To honor Nichole, and to bring glory to God, reflect today on the things that are important to you. Could you say with Nichole that "all that matters is that God's Kingdom is grown, and the church is built up?" What in your life do you cling to that supercedes or clouds your vision? What is more important to you than God's priorities? What do you think about or worry about that doesn't matter? Resolve to cut these things out of your life and to focus on eternity. You could die tomorrow. Have you done all that you can today to honor God, spread the gospel, and build up the church?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Please Pray!!

Here is an update I received from Sue Leber last night. Please continue to pray for Nichole and Norm!

Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah Ps.36:6, 7

Beloved, as I mentioned Monday, Norm and Josie were down with a flu bug. It seems it was a 24 hour one and they are doing better today. But I can’t say the same for Nichole- she is feeling a little nausea and running a little fever. But Norm says she’s of good spirits and clinging to Christ.
There has been some news from the doctors in regard to the lab work done on the tissue samples and lymph nodes taken during the surgery. There seems to be many cancer cells found in the lymph system sample (NOT GOOD NEWS) and the doctors are planning to start Chemo as soon as they can determine the best treatment for this type of cancer. The samples will be sent across the country and tested with different Chemo’s to see the most effective results before they can begin.
Although this is not the news we all were waiting for, it is the news God has planned for Nichole and the Greenes at this time. Nichole is fully aware of her purpose through this trial and has been witnessing to doctors, nurses, her mother and father, and yes- the hospital’s (female) Chaplin as well. Even after the doctor told her about the lab results, she was compelled to share to her nurse that it is Jesus Christ that she clings to and put all her hope in, then she shared with this women the gospel.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. Prov. 3:5-7 Pray! Pray! Pray !

Monday, October 27, 2008


Nichole is resting and recuperating at the hospital. She needs this time of peace and quiet to recuperate fully. This isn't a time for visiting. She really needs to rest her body and her voice, and asks not to be overwhelmed by visitors. One at a time is good, one that has checked with Norm, who is overseeing the visitor schedule. Nichole was able to walk today, and asks for your continued prayers.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Today Kurt and I (Julie) met Norm and the Greene kids at the "Fairmont Fair" down at church and spent the day with all nine kiddos while Norm went to spend time with Nichole. We had a great time, and the kids were a blast! They played all sorts of games, bounced around in bounce houses,ate lots of fair food, and won lots of fun (noisy) prizes. We have 5 oinking toy pigs running around our house right now, and I know I saw at least a couple in the bag the Greene kids brought home... Norm was really appreciative (haha)! As far as fairs go, this fair had the cheapest tickets and the best prize prices (not sure if that's good or bad)!
I spoke with Norm for a few minutes about Nichole. The news from the surgery is really good news, in light of all of the different possibilities they were facing. The cancer had not attached to the pelvic wall (which most doctors would not even operate on once they discovered it, but would stitch the patient back up and call it done). They also found that the cancer had affected little of her important internal organs, so they had to remove very little of that tissue. It seems that the doctors were encouraged by what they found. The only bad news is that they did discover another growth on the other side (from where they were looking) in a lymph node. They removed that growth, and will do chemo and radiation to try to stop that from growing any more. Norm seemed encouraged! On a pain scale, Nichole has said that she feels only a little pain- on a scale of 1 to 10, she feels like the pain is a "2". Praise the Lord! Nichole is sleeping a lot these days, and will need to rest for most of the day in the next couple of days. If you want to visit Nichole, please wait until at least Monday, then you can give Norm a call to see if Nichole is up for visitors on any particular day. Thank you for your understanding!

Camdyn and Josie posing for a snapshot

The girls (and Levi!) having fun

Cubby Bear (looks like he's in pain or losing his head or something!), McKinley and Josie

Norm with the kiddos- Levi, Josie, Ansel and Noah (Noah's holding their loot bag- a garbage bag with quite a bit in it...)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Morning

Sue Leber sent me this email update. She is unable to send out a bulk email at this time (hotmail won't allow her) so here is the latest news.

I just spoke to Norm this morning. (Fri. 10/24 ) Nichole is doing great, it looks like she may be removed from the ICU by the end of the day or tomorrow, and they think about 10 days to recover in the hospital. THIS IS GOOD NEWS!There will be a much longer recovery time for Nichole once she is home. There was some conflicting stories at the hospital last night about the length of the surgery. It ended up not beginning until about 4 although they had asked her to come in earlier. It lasted only a few hours just as they expected and they were able to leave all surrounding organs alone. They did find very small C'cells in a lymph node in the pelvic area, which they removed. Which means the Lord must want to use Nichole to witness to more people, as she will undergo more radiation and chemo treatments.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Surgery is Over

This is an email that was sent to me a few hours ago from Sue Leber. Praise the Lord! (Sorry about the misinformation on the last post).

I just got off the phone with Norm and they are closing the incision ( 7:55 pm) This is good news, they said if the surgery lasted about 3-5 hours then they probably got what they were looking for. Nichole should be moved to the recovery room soon.

Please pray for Nichole as she comes off the anesthesia. She is such a small girl, but needs strength!

Surgery Update

At around 7:00 or 7:30, the doctors said that they needed around 4 or 5 more hours to complete the surgery. It seems they are pursuing the cancer hard and doing all that they can to remove every bit of it. They are probably testing areas to see if the cancer cells are gone, then going back to cut them out as needed- the reason that it is taking a long time. I will update again hopefully in the morning, but if I do hear tonight I will post tonight. Keep praying!!
I just arrived home from the hospital. Nichole went into surgery about 3 pm this afternoon. It was such a joy to see her fully trusting the Lord and confident of His sovereignty. Norm is surrounded by both of their families and friends from the church. Please continue to pray for the kids (especially Ansiel and Noah) as they are adjusting to school. We should soon know the extent of the surgery. I'll try to keep you posted on what I hear. Thanks for praying for our sweet sister.


Hello all! Nichole's surgery time was changed at the last-minute today. Instead of the original plan to go in at 3:00 and have the surgery begin at 5:00, she left shortly after noon and should be in surgery by 2:30 or 3:00. Please pray for Norm and Nichole, as well as the kids. The older ones likely understand in part what is happening, and we want them to learn to trust the Lord through this. Pray for Nichole and Norm's continued trust in the Lord, no matter the outcome of the surgery. Again, pray for the doctors as they perform the surgery. Pray that there would be no unwelcomed surprise findings, and that they would be able to take out all of the cancer! Wouldn't that be a blessing! I'll let you know as soon as I find out any details of the outcome.
In addition, please continue to pray for the boys as they are transitioning into the public school. It is quite a change for them both! Pray that they would be able to adjust to all of the new constraints (sitting in a classroom all day!), and that they would enjoy their new venture. It would be a great blessing to them if things went smoothly so there would be no additional challenges at this time in their lives. Pray for Noah and Ansel! Thanks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I received this update from Sue Leber today and I think it helps to answer some of your questions about the upcoming surgery.
Nichole will be going in for her surgery on Thursday 10/23. at 5:00 pm, she will need to be at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank about 3 pm that day.
She and Norm ask for your prayers and the Lords strength through this time. They give thanks to God for so many of you who have come along side of them through this trial. Thanks for all your kindness and love.

Those that may want to visit Nichole as she recovers in the hospital, the Greenes have asked for you to speak with Norm the evening before your visit, in case she is not up to visitors and so she can rest and recover. She will be in ICU for a day or two if all goes well.
Norm and Nichole welcome prayer warriors to come on the day of surgery,
Thursday, 10/23 between 4-5 pm

I am hoping to speak with Nichole soon and post another update for you. Please continue to check the blog, so you can know how to pray for them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Sorry about the confusion about the date of the surgery! It has been clarified by another of Nichole's friends in the last post. She will be having the surgery at 5:00p.m. on this coming Thursday, the 23rd. Mark your calendars and remember to pray for them. I will keep you posted.
If you are interested in helping the Greene's with anything, please email Sue Leber ( She is coordinating all of the help for the Greenes. Shoot her an email and let her know that you are interested in helping, and she will send you the schedule. Thanks so much, Sue, for all that you are doing to help them out! Your eternal reward awaits!
Please continue to pray for the Greenes as they spend time together this week. Pray that their time is sweet, and that they continue to trust the Lord! He is the Great Physician, and will guide the hands of the surgeon, whether he knows it or not...isn't that amazing? God's sovereignty rules over all, including the details of the operation, the competence of the surgeon, the outcome, etc.
Let's continue to pray for them, and plead with the Lord for a successful surgery! We desire for Nichole to live many more profitable years. Her testimony of faith, her boldness with any who encounter her, her godly parenting and "wifing"... she has been through the fire and has remained faithful. Her's is an example for us to follow! Let us pray to God for His mercy and healing grace.

Thursday, October 16, 2008



Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I just spoke with Nichole a few minutes ago and she is doing well! She and Norm returned from Chicago yesterday where they had a few doctor visits, but mostly just enjoyed what they called their "second honeymoon". They enjoyed their time together and did many touristy things (visited the Sears Tower, and "painted the town red" in Nichole's terms). Thank you for your prayers for their time there.
The doctors there at the cancer treatment center confirmed that Nichole should proceed with the surgery, and told them that they would receive the best care here in Los Angeles. The surgery is scheduled for this Thursday at 5:00p.m., and should take 4 hours. This is a radical surgery, and will require quite a recovery period. Nichole will be in the hospital for a couple of weeks (at least), and will not be able to do much for quite a while after she comes home.
The doctors (5 total that Nichole has seen) have generally agreed that the surgery has somewhere around (probably less than) a 50% success rate- meaning that there is around a 50% chance that they will get all of the cancer and "cure" Nichole of her cancer. There are other possible complications that would decrease the success rate. Pray that the surgeon's do not find these "complications"!
Nichole has also asked that we pray for the people that she was able to witness to in Chicago. She had the opportunity to speak with several cancer patients, and some with little hope for survival. She also was able to be a light to doctors and nurses there. Pray that they will remember her hope and her perspective- as we have all witnessed, Nichole is facing this with such courage because of her hope in the Lord and her total trust in God. How can anyone not see this, even as they interact with her for a short period of time! Pray that many would search for the Lord through Nichole's testimony!
Ansel and Noah will be starting school soon (at the local school). Pray that this would be a smooth transition, not adding any emotional stress to the boys, but rather blessing them with friends and good teachers. Pray that they would get the best teachers, and would make friends quickly and settle in easily to the transition.
Nichole is also asking for prayer for her new doctor who will be performing the surgery. He has been called a "pioneer doctor" in his field, and will be using creative and new ideas for Nichole's surgery. Pray that he would be successful! Pray also for Nichole's testimony with him as she shares the gospel with him and displays Christ to him.
We have all been so encouraged to watch Nichole go through this trial and to hear of her faith in the Lord. Haven't you? Nichole is a glowing example of Christ and has blessed so many and encouraged all of us with her example. Please let her know how she has blessed you with a note or comment (here!). Your encouragement means a lot to them! I'm sure her testimony as she has gone through the fire has blessed you and touched your heart, and caused you to evaluate your own life and heart in light of her circumstances. Please let her know!
Lastly, I would ask you if you could consider helping the Greene's as they are finishing up their guest house. They need to have someone move in to help take care of the family while Nichole is unable, but several things need to happen for that to be possible. The most important of their needs is that of setting up a septic tank. If you have any experience with this (plumbing, etc.) please let me know. If you are handy, could do research, and take care of this for them, that would be great! Let's relieve the burden from them and help them out! Let's care for them and allow them to be blessed by the body of Christ, and I guarantee you will be blessed even more!! You can email me if you can help, or if you have any questions. Thank you again for your care and support of the Greene's, and please continue to pray for them during this time!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Norm and Nichole left for Chicago today to see a specialist there. This is the "last opinion" before proceeding with the radical surgery the doctors here want to do. Praise the Lord that they were able to make this trip, and be comforted knowing that they've done their best and can rest in the Lord's care. Pray for the kids while they're away, and pray that they would receive the best care while there, and enjoy the time they have together! I'll try to keep everyone up to date with the news. Thank you on behalf of the Greenes for your care for them!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I spoke with Nichole last night and again, was encouraged! Nichole is certainly leaving the sweet savor of Christ wherever she goes, and is a shining light for the gospel!
Yesterday, Nichole was invited to a "Cervical Cancer Convention" of sorts (at a Hilton!), and had the opportunity to interact with doctors and other patients that have experienced cervical cancer. Nichole was excited to tell me about her interview on camera. She was asked, "How are you dealing with you situation emotionally?" To which Nichole immediately launched into a gospel presentation. She told them of her hope in Christ, her eternal home, and her loving God. She was so excited for the gospel to be heard, and it sounds like the Lord gave her just the right words. The video may be circulated among doctors and others, so please pray that certain parts will NOT be edited out, as we know our media likes to do... Many, I'm sure, saw a sure hope in her eyes like none of the other patients had, and she spoke openly and clearly about the Lord! She would love it if you would pray with us that we will meet some of those people in heaven someday!
Nichole has also asked for prayer for her doctor, Dr. Friedman. He is Jewish, and he has been seeing Nichole since early on, and Nichole has had multiple opportunities to share the gospel with him. She may change doctors soon, but wants us all to pray for Dr. Friedman with her.
Norm and Nichole are waiting for the pathology reports to be seen by another doctor so they can make a decision about the surgery.
1. Please continue to pray for their wisdom in making a decision. Pray that Norm and Nichole would rest in God once the decision is made, knowing that they did their best, and that our Good God is in control, no matter what the outcome!
2. Please also pray for the kiddos! There will be a lot of people in and around the Greene household once again, which can be difficult on the kids. What precious kids they are!! Pray that the kids would band together, love on each other, and be a help around the house, as well as to be cooperative with all of the helpers.
Thank you, again, for your prayers and encouragement and help. Norm and Nichole covet your prayers through this fiery trial!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More Prayer, Please!

I think I could title every blog entry "pray", but I'll try to be a little creative (see above). I spoke with Nichole today, and she seemed energetic and hopeful. She talks about the cancer like it was a pesty rodent in her house- "Agh- they tell me it's gonna get me in a year- not if I can help it! I'm gonna do whatever I can to get rid of this..." I mean to say that she is in good spirits and hasn't been dragged down (okay, I'll admit I struggled to come up with a good anaolgy, and don't think that one was good). She is fighting for her life because of her kids and her husband, doing all that she can to try her best to beat this. She is still trusting in the Lord's sovereign hand, and resting in His goodness to her.
Nichole has been pursuing other doctors to get second opinions, and would appreciate your prayers for her to be able to get more answers through cancer specialists. She has an appointment with a specialist in her type of cancer (next Wednesday, I believe), and is looking at other possibilities. Pray that God would bring her to the places that He wants, and that she would receive adequate information to make difficult decisions. The surgery that her doctors want to do would be radical, to say the least. Her doctors are wanting to do that surgery now, but Nichole is holding off to explore just a few more possibilities. Pray for her! She is encouraged, but please continue to hold their sweet family up in prayer!
Please also pray that Nichole would find balance with being on the phone (doctors, specialists, etc.) . She is finding that she is on the phone a lot, and is wanting to be cautious with that, since she has four precious little ones to care for! Thanks again on Nichole's behalf. She has been tremendously blessed by all of the phone calls and notes, the care she is given- the support of the Body of Christ.
One request... though Nichole would answer every call if she could, please opt to send her a note with your encouragement, so she can take the time when she has it to read and be encouraged! Thank you for your understanding! You can email me if you need her address!