Friday, November 13, 2009


Memoirs of Mommy


Nichole Greene

1976 – 2009



Norm would like to invite you to take the time to record a thoughtful memory or story about Nichole. These stories will eventually be compiled in to a keepsake book to be treasured by Norm & the children in years to come.


HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS:

  • Please make sure your story is descriptive of Nichole; one that paints a clear picture of who their mommy was, as seen through the eyes of her friends and family
  • Be sure to include pertinent details such as dates, places, shared experiences, as well as how she impacted your life
  • Handwritten notes add a more personal touch but need to be legible…otherwise it might be best to type it out
  • Upon completion, please return to Norm at the address listed below:

Norm Greene

29719 Fitch Ave., Canyon Country, CA 91351

gmbfoto@hotmail.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nichole's Obituary

This is what will go into the Los Angeles Daily News tomorrow and Thursday...

NICHOLE GREENE
1976 - 2009

Nichole Bernadette Greene devoted her life to serving and following her Lord and King, Jesus Christ. She died Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009 at Tarzana Regional Hospital after battling cervical cancer for more than a year and a half. She was 33.

Born and raised in Sherman Oaks, Nichole was a devoted, loving wife and mother, who served the Lord and was a witness to His power of forgiveness until the moment she went to be with her Savior. She loved supporting missionaries, enjoyed swimming and anything having to do with Italy. But most of all Nichole cherished the fact that she fulfilled her lifelong dream of being a wife and mother.

Nichole is survived by her husband, Norm, and four children, Ansel, 7, Noah, 6, Josephine, 5, Levi, 2, her mother Virginia and father Serge.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley. The service will be broadcast live on the Web at http://bit.ly/Rnzyz.
To make a donation to the Nichole Greene Memorial Fundraiser, go to
http://bit.ly/1xTYvt.

Her favorite passage in scripture was Hebrews 11:1-3
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible."

Norm and her family are praising the Lord for her endless joy and for all those who came alongside her during her struggle.
--
written by Brian Harr, a close friend of Norm's that works for the Los Angeles Daily News

Sunday, November 8, 2009

To Norm

Going to church this morning, I was reminded of God's care and compassion for us. He's given us a great gift to us in His Church. I know that there are many people (including me) even now praying about how they can care for you and your family in the future. Please allow God to show His care and concern for you through the service of His people.


Love,
Jay and Jennifer

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Praise the Lord for His perfect ways. Norm was right there with Nichole this morning as she came into the presence of Jesus
Dear friends and family -

Our precious Nichole is now in the presence of her Savior - rejoicing, pain free, in His glorious company. She has left a legacy of lovingkindness towards those who know her and an example of faithfulness towards her King whom she trusted and served with all her heart, might and strength...even in the midst of intense suffering. Let us remember and praise God for the work her Father in Heaven wrought out in her, by the power of His Spirit and give thanks for the testimony she left behind.

Please remember to pray for her family while they mourn the loss of their precious loved one.

All glory, honor and praise be to God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who has always, and perfectly, been her faithful Comforter...
with love from her friend,
Stacey

The Sweet Greene Family


I just love looking at these sweet faces. These are pictures I took of the family around a year ago. I just wanted to remind us all to keep praying for them as they face this most difficult season of their lives.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

To her House

On Monday, Nov.9, Nichole will be taken by ambulance to her house, where she will be under hospice care to keep the pain as low as possible.

Friday, October 30, 2009

This is an exerpt from an e-mail sent today by Patti who has faithfully organized care for the Greenes.
She also includes (towards the end of the e-mail) some words that Nichole wanted to share with you today.

Sincerely,
Carina

Oswald Chamber's wrote
" All of God's people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them.  God is at work bending, molding, and doing exactly as He chooses. Why is He doing this? He is doing it for one purpose --that That He may be able to say " This is my man and this is my woman." We have to be in God's hand so that He can place others on the Rock, Jesus Christ, just as He has place us"
 
Our sweet Nichole is indeed extraordinary. She so desires for those at the hospital who have witness the service and the love of  body of Christ to be saved. By way of encouragement, she wanted me to tell you to continue to be a witness to those in the hospital. Your love for the Lord and care for Nichole has spoken volumes to those who are watching. She mentioned that there were a few persons who have expressed interested in visiting our church.  Praise God!  I was very blessed by her love for the Lord and her love for the lost. She is such a great testimony of grace. She also, wanted me to relay a message to all the caregivers spouses. Please pass this on to your sweethearts. She is so grateful for you sacrifice and support . She is aware that the sacrifice was very much yours as it was for your loved ones who served.  She is indeed grateful for your service. Thank you.
 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I know that many people depend on this blog for updates on how Nichole is doing, and I have been attempting to gather some information (though I've moved to the other side of the country...). I still receive email updates on how we can help Nichole, so I thought I would post this now, though I hope to speak with someone who knows a bit more soon. I think it is safe to say that the end is near. Nichole seemingly has several blood clots in her legs, and is battling for physical comfort each moment of the day. She is unable to get rest, and is in severe pain, and yet she has still managed to maintain joy in the Lord and longs for heaven. This earth is not our home, and Nichole is ready to go home. Please pray for the family as I'm sure not many of us can even imagine the difficulty of this trial for them. These precious kiddos are being cared for by the Lord, yet they will (and already have) miss their mommy. Pray for Norm, Ansel, Noah, Josie and little Levi. Such a sweet family experiencing the most difficult of trials.

"We will stand as children of the promise, we will fix our eyes on Him, my soul reward, til the race is finished and the work is done, we walk by faith and not by sight."
This is our sweet Nichole. She desires to finish strong and bring Glory to God. Please pray that if it be His will that Nichole's last days on this earth will be pain-free and restful. She longs for heaven but know the Lord is Sovereign and is resting in Him.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Desiring to go to Heaven

I was at the hospital with Nichole today, and she said to me (several times), "I want to go to Heaven." Please pray that God would grant her desire swiftly and painlessly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oct. 20

This is a heartfelt and sincere plea from a dear friend of mine, and a dear friend of Nichole.

This is a desperate plea for everyone to devote some time this week or
every day to pray for Nichole Greene. I've always known she has had an
immense tolerance for allot of pain but what she is dealing with now
seems close to inhumane torture. God is sustaining her in an amazing,
almost peculiar way, when one considers the onslaught of agonizing
procedures and mishaps she's been racked with. Besides the fact that
she is a mere skeleton with skin, nothing is working right in her
body. Where some may have the mercy of a concentrated area of pain/
discomfort, or a cohesion or some predictability of symptoms, she's
been granted an extension of utmost suffering.

Our Lord was despised and rejected by humankind; a man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief. In this world God is letting Nichole partake in
that likeness of Him. And my security is that one day
she will make up part of His treasured possession - she will be made
like Him. I wish all of you knew Nichole and what a treasure she is to
earthen vessels. Our God is good. The time that He is allowing for
her to go through this is serving as maybe her last opportunity to
strengthen the body, and indeed that is what He is doing.

Under the physical tortures of no sleep, pain medication that is
causing confusion, pain from surgeries and a body riddled with cancer
that cannot be masked by the medication, bags attached to her
everywhere, tubes through her nose to suck out vomit in her stomach,
and... much more...we have heard her mumble, "I can do all things
through Christ who strengthens me." Please pray for a continued inward
sanctuary of her mind that only God can provide. And please pray for God's will to be done quickly. I can
hardly understand the torture but I do maintain God is good in what He
is doing. She is His.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oct. 14

A note of encouragment from as dear sweet saint...

To say she needs our help, encouragement, and PRAYERS is to say a lot, but at this time prayer and physical help seems to be at an even greater measure than it has been for in a while!!! As you know I was there last nite and this morning and I have seen Nichole in many phases of this disease and all that it has done to her, and all that God has allowed is beyond me. I just do not know how she, in her humanness deals with all the poking and prodding, tests and surgeries, procedures and disappointments, the tubes and doctors, people in and out, the Alzheimer’s screaming guy in the room next to her and……all the ups and downs she has been through. It is way beyond description and to say it’s incredible what she has been through doesn’t quiet do it!!!! Do I understand why no …except to say with great assurance that I know God does and HE is still in control.

As I sat next to her bed last nite and sensed the very presence of God I knew how she does it all. Yes it is only by and through and with God’s grace and goodness and sovereignty. So where does that leave us….right where it should….praying and trusting and then for those that can go beyond that….it takes us right to her side. Along with Jesus we go, some can’t because of family, work whatever that’s the reality of life. I know some who would go but just can’t….and I fully understand, and for those folks, I encourage you to continue to pray!!!!

I know God is the one who really takes care of Nichole and can work without our participation but, what a blessing it is to be a part of His great work if only to watch it happen. He has never left her side AND NEVER will!!!!

Certainly we know it has only been by God’s grace, and most definitely I know He sees her, and has never taken His loving eyes off her BUT…..I’ll tell ya for this human for this sinner it shakes my socks off to see her go through all she does. So folks I would just encourage all of you to PRAY to ask others to pray and ya never know by passing the word around maybe we will find others who will then be able to go to Nichole in this her time of real need.

She never goes through it alone, God is always with her. Many of you have been very supportive either at her home, or by her side. Many of you in prayer and God is the one who needs to direct who and when one goes to Nichole to help out. Somehow I just felt compelled to encourage you….each of us…to remember to pray, to continue to trust and to then see HOW God answers our prayers and isn’t that always a blessing. God supplies our strength, He answers our prayers, He has already been through tonite and tomorrow with us and with our precious Nichole…….IN HIS great Love a sister in Jesus

Oct. 14

Another testimonial of God's grace written by a friend of Nichole's.

As you know, I was just with Nichole yesterday. My heart came away heavy with many thoughts and emotions, but two things prevailed... Our Lord is good and my love for my dear sister continues to grow! She's a brave, strong soldier who takes no credit for herself. In the midst of her minute by minute pain management struggle, she managed to asked me how my family was doing and how I was doing! She does not demand. She acts with kindness. She is polite and says "thank you" often. She even showed some humor! She asked me to help her w/ some leg exercises, and after a while she was concerned with ME and told me to please not "hurt myself!" I'm the healthy one, I am the helper and her concern is not for herself but for me! Nichole may be quiet but her thoughts are right on, and when it comes to things that pertain to the Lord, she is sharp! Her love and devotion for the Lord continue to be fervently on fire. Nichole asks for little but you come away with so much. You come away in awe of her strength, which is the Lord's. You come away in awe of her faith, given to her by the Lord. You come away a bit more sanctified than when you first walked in... Knowing that we have NOTHING to complain about and EVERYTHING to be thankful for. The Lord in His infinite knowledge has allowed Nichole to go through this fiery trial, and I shake my head often and think how much I (along w/ many) are being sanctified and convicted by watching our dear sister fight with all she's got. I continue to pray for her family... Her husband, her kids, her mom and dad who all ache as they watch her suffer so much physical pain. I continue to pray for a miracle, that our Lord will make her whole again.

Blessing on this beautiful rainy day!

Friday, October 9, 2009

by Jennifer Jane Ostroff-Uwarow 1974-2009

This was written by a very dear friend of mine two years before she died from a rare cancer. Her courage was, and still is, palpable and contagious.


">Friends have been telling me how brave I have been these last twenty months. True it is that the past has had daily afflictions-the symptons of that curse we have all been dealt...but the idea of a personal valiancy makes me pause and consider those symptoms. I have not felt brave. The wasting away of my earthly home, the destruction of my outer nature, the tent constructed of chest and arms and ivory skin and brown hair is progressively being dismantled. While I haven't lost heart, it more than occasionally seemed misplaced or hiding. The Apostle Paul reminds me of the objective inner reality that "I am of good courage" and not only that, but "I am always of good courage." (2 Corinthians 5:1-10) How does the impossibility of courage become not just possible but guaranteed?

God is Himself preparing me for a change of address. I am moving out of this dirty and deteriorating temporary shelter that is me into a heavenly and lasting home, never to be relocated. This new home designed by God "eternal in the heavens" will never need a remodel. A raw look in the mirror and the insufficiency causes a sigh of shame: scars of imperfection, a pale color caused by weakness, a chair beside me to relieve the burden of standing. I still haven't removed the old calendar taped to the mirror. July reflects that last chemotherapy appointment. I should probably take down that reminder of painful moments gone by, yet the human capacity to count-down to painful days not yet marked will still be there. Taking another glance at my reflection, I know that it will be difficult to say goodbye to the eyes staring back at me. I want to live. I really do want to have this scarred body for just awhile longer. As Paul says, "not that I would be unclothed" I want God to "further clothe" me so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

So what do I do? Regardless of how many Januarys I will have to purchase new calendars it is my aim to please the Lord and I think I am biblical in saying it is courage that pleases. I am learning that I can bring delight to the heart of God by believeing something that is really hard to believe...so hard to believe because nothing here can prove it to me and there is little discoverable evidence available to convince myself of it. Such belief is so crazy, I might venture to say it requires faith? I am to live believing the claim of Philippians 1:21 that "to live is Christ and to die is gain...to depart and be with Christ...that is far better!" To take hold of that and to trust such truth is what produces the courage that pleases God. My life here is Christ and when I die, then my real life is even more Christ. I suppose that is why Paul could say, "with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death."

I've been in many worship services with music that extols the better-ness of being with Jesus. I always sing with some hesitancy. Pleasant moments talking with mom and dad...silly moments of laughter with my twin sister...peaceful moments resting in my husband's arms...will it really be better? I can't know for sure. Well, I can know by faith, but not with a knowledge gained by sight.

When my husband and I moved to the desert, time necessitated that he secure a home for us without me first ever stepping inside. Being rather selective, it took a small degree of trust on my part to believe that he was moving me to a dwelling capable of safety and beauty. He did a pretty good job. The cupboards aren't ideal and the fixtures were a bit brassy but despite these features I am content with our home. Home is where he is. Our Lord knows our deepest hope and what will ignite great joy in our soul and newly glorified body. He is moving me into that house where every expectation will be far surpassed and the ugly features replaced with divine designs. I will be home. Home because that is where He is and by faith I know it will be far better.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oct. 6

Nichole is weak, but getting stronger. She is more alert. Nichole has every intention of fighting this thing with all her might. Pray God continues to strengthen her and her family, and help her in this battle.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oct. 3 update

Nichole has been in the hospital longer than anticipated, due to her intestinal problems. Please continue to pray that God will provide (maybe through you?) people to help her throughout the duration of her hospital stay.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday, Sep.27.

Nichole has been admitted to the hospital for some tests in connection with stomach pains. She will most likely return home during the week. Please pray that she will be kept comfortable, and that God will again provide helpers to be with her during her long hours in the hospital.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home Again.

Nichole is now at home in the loving presence of her family.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some joyful news

Several more people have enlisted in the Lord's army by volunteering to help Nichole fight in this war against cancer. Nichole is much encouraged by this, and, I can't say for sure that it is directly related, but Nichole's heart rate has stabilized significantly. There are still needs, though. Nichole really needs help in the morning hours (8am-12pm) when breakfast is served, and all the doctors come a'pokin' and a'proddin'. The overnight shift, though difficult to do, is very necessary and helpful. From 9pm-8am is the time when Nichole gets most confused about exact hours that she needs to know, and she really needs someone there to help her keep track of things.

Thank you so much to all who have helped in the past, and to those who have yet to help. Your service to Nichole does not go unseen to God. "If you help one of mine in my name, you have helped me", says Jesus "and your reward is in Heaven."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A matter of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 103 tells us that God knows all about us, our strengths and our weaknesses, the things we can do, and the things we can't do. He knows our hearts. We are accountable only to Him, and to our own conscience. We are called to serve God with a clear conscience. (2 Tim.1:3.) We will all stand before God's judgment seat, and we need only concern ourselves with His judgment of us. "The kingdom of God is a matter of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, and anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men." (Romans 14.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"The harvest is plentiful . . . "

"The harvest is plentiful" (there are many needs), "but the workers are few" (many needs are going unmet). "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." I would also add to please consider going yourself if you can.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Help Needed

Nichole is greatly encouraged when people can come and sit quietly in the room with her for several hours at a time, and even overnight. The Greene kids are also in need of some loving care and watchful eyes while they wait at home. Knowing her children are being well tended to is a great encouragement to Nichole, and also a great help to Norm, allowing him to go see his precious wife or work on projects around the house. "Let us not become weary in doing good to others, especially those of the household of faith."

To see how you can help, please e-mail Jennifer, juniperzoo@hotmail.com or Patti, hal19229@yahoo.com. Anything you can do is appreciated.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Aug. 31,'09

Nichole is in a tremendous amount of pain due to a large blood clot in her leg.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

News and Needs

The news about Nichole is all good. She is stronger and more alert each day, she is walking better and farther (150 feet!), and she is now on a soft food diet so that she has actual food for the first time in 3 weeks. Nichole's breathing is better, and she is able to sit up for longer periods of time. All this good news does not mean she is in any less pain, though.
A concern and prayer request from Nichole is that there would be more people volunteering with childcare at her house. If you have some free hours to serve in this way, please e-mail Patti (hal19229@yahoo.com), or just sign up on her calendar. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Recovery.

Nichole is still in the hospital recovering. She's had yet another surgery in addition to the major surgery for which she was admitted. She is able to walk some, and she looks better. Future treatments are as of yet undecided; the main desire of the Greenes and their loved ones is just to get Nichole through this recovery smoothly, and to have her at home as soon as possible. There is no need to worry about tomorrow, as each day has enough trouble of its own.

I would like to reiterate my offer to help anyone else to help Nichole. The hospital is farther than I should be driving, so if someone needs me to watch their kids while they go to help Nichole, I would be happy to do that. Please write to me at juniperzoo@hotmail.com if I can in any way facilitate your helping Nichole. Thank you.

Spiritual Acts of Worship

1 Corinthians 12 teaches us that each member of the Body of Christ has special abilities that only they can do, and that we must all use our unique gifts towards accomplishing one goal. I can write, and so that will be my way of serving Nichole and her family and all who read the blog. I can not be of much help at the hospital, nor am I good with domestic chores at the Greene's. Some of you are, though, and could put your gifts to great use in either of those ways. I want to spur you on and encourage you to love the family, this family specifically, and the Family of God as a whole, in this way, by doing these good deeds. I know some of you are very far away, and your prayers on behalf of Nichole and her family will rise to God as a sweet incense. He is particularly pleased with our prayers when we come to Him having our hearts cleansed by Jesus' blood, and when we come before Him with boldness and faith. Please consider well how YOU might serve the family, and encourage others to do the same. Blessings to you.




Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday update

Nichole's recovery is going really well. She was able to walk about 100 ft or so and she sat up for about 1 hour in the chair. She also has been doing some physical therapy. Each day she looks better but of coarse she is still in a lot of pain. When I say the recover is going well that means just the basic protocol for a surgery of this magnitude. She is doing above average which is good. She still has the NG tube which causes a lot of discomfort and sometimes pain when someone moves it. We hope to remove it on wednesday. We have 24 care for Nichole which really helps physically and mentally.

As far as the surgery goes the operation went well. The doctors felt they did a good job as far as some of the technical aspects and we hope and pray there will be no infections and everything works properly. Many have ask about if they found more cancer. Yes they did. They found little ones about the size of a grain of rice around the area of the surgery. They also found more in the lymph nodes and higher near the sternum. People have also asked what is our next, chemo? Right now we are just working on surgery recovery, the next step will be decided weeks if not months from now. Pray for wisdom from our Lord. As far as Nicholes release date that is also to be determined on her recovery rate. If she continues to heal well we are looking at 10 days but if for some reason it is slow it could be three weeks.

Thank you for all the ladies who have come by our side in the very difficult time. And also the husbands who have supported there wives and even the sitters who have watched there kids so the moms could be with Nichole. Nichole and I pray that your hearts would rejoice and that you would have a serving heart to the Lord like in ephesians,
Eph 6:7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, we love you...
norm

Saturday, August 15, 2009

update

Nichole's breathing tube was removed 12pm on Friday. It made her a lot more comfortable but she is still in pain as of yesterday.
Today they removed two more tubes and Nichole is able to talk. She still is in ICU and there is no word when she will be out. Maybe Sunday? Her pain level has gone down some and she feels well enough to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, she must be feeling better.
Norm
"How is it going Norm?"
" Good."
" Are you doing O.K.? "
"I'm fine"
"No, How are you really doing?"

Well if you really want to know keep on reading.

First of all forgive me if you have had this familiar conversation with me before. I know there are a lot of brothers and sisters out there who love Nichole and I very much and are concerned about not only the temporal things that we are going through but also the eternal. We both have practiced James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trails. This verse is all to familiar with most christians and needs to be put into practice whether your going through a great trail or a really small trail. The question that comes to mind is how can we have joy in such a unjoyful time. First of all christians are commanded to look upon them with all joy. Our Lord provides His children with the fullness of joy when they are willing and uncomplainingly enduring troubles while trusting in Him. He will always use them for our benefit and His glory and we can trust the Lords promises and His goodness to us. Our joy is knowing the Lord more, who is the source of joy, by becoming more sensitive to His presence,His goodness, His love, and His grace.
Nichole and I are full of joy and the only thing that stops that joy is our own sin. Whether it be a big trail like cancer or a small little trail like when you come home from work and you noticed four little tornadoes just came through your house and knocked every object to the floor. Remember your joy in in our Lord.
norm

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday, Aug. 13, '09

Nichole's surgery went as well as it could have, and she is now recovering in the hospital.

Surgery update

Nichole began her surgery about 2:30 pm wednesday . 7 1/2 hours later the surgeons finished and came to talk with us. Nichole is in ICU stabilized still under antithesis for probably most of thursday but that is uncertain right now. Absolutely no visitors and we will keep you posted on post care for everyone who has signed up. Please continue to pray for her recovery and His glory through this trail. I will post further details of the surgery later this week. Thank you everyone for your prayers, your gifts of love to our family, and your obedience to the King as the body of Christ has come together and taken care of us in so many different ways. May God be given all the glory!
Norm

Monday, August 10, 2009

Surgery

The surgery is scheduled for this week. I cannot say for sure when exactly it will take place, but the tentative plan is for later this week. One prayer request from Nichole comes from Romans 12:12, that she will not be overcome by this evil, the evil being the constant pain she has, but that she would instead overcome that evil with good.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The latest

I don't know much, but the surgery was postponed again. There is a large blood clot in Nichole's leg, but I don't know if that has anything to do with the postponing of the surgery. In the meantime, Nichole remains in horrendous pain. Please plead to the Father of all on her behalf.

Friday, July 31, 2009

postponed again

The surgery is now planned for Wed., Aug 5 at 2 pm.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Surgery Update

Nichole's surgery has been postponed, most likely until Mon., Aug.3. Her colon had to be irrigated, so she is now in the hospital on a liquid diet that will help get things moving, so to speak. She is comfortable, and well taken care of.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Upcoming Surgery

Nichole will be having her surgery tomorrow afternoon, Wed., July 29. The surgery is so extensive and major (maybe 10 hours!), that Norm is taking the day off to be with her. Please pray that no cancer will be found, that things will go smoothly, for a speedy and easy recovery, and that God would accomplish what may seem impossible to us, that is, that Nichole would be able to return to her previous role of a healthy wife and mother soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nichole's spirits

Many of you ask about Nichole's spirits. She is not easily swayed or shaken by her feelings. Nichole is settled and grounded in her saving faith. Nichole does have excruciating pain, and feels discouraged at times, (like anyone in her position would), but her spirit remains the same as it has been since the day God saved her. Her spirit, like that of all Christians, is a spirit continually revived by God Himself. Thank you for praying for her spirit, and thanking God for the spirit of righteousness that He has given her. Please continue to pray for her physical well-being.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 24

Nichole met with the surgeon who is going to perform the surgery to correct her urinary tract and colon problems. This surgery will also determine if cancer is present. Please pray that it is not. Please also pray for a painless recovery from this complicated surgery. So complicated is this surgery, and so many uncertainties are involved, that Nichole has been feeling discouraged, and has found it difficult to think rightly in the midst of it all. Nichole spends much time lying in bed, and feelings of uselessness come over her. She tries to fight these feelings and remind herself that she can serve God on earth the same way the saints serve Him in Heaven-by adoring Him, worshiping Him, and giving Him praise for being worthy. Please pray that these reminders will be effectual, and that she will know and feel that her life is not in vain.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 23

(This is Shawni, the Greenes' nanny, updating for Nichole...)

Nichole is home from the hospital after a two week stay. Praise the Lord, she does not have a blood clot in her leg, does not have any infection in her blood, and is finally free of the C-Diff infection. She is now waiting for her doctors to set a date for her next surgery, which should fix several problems, and will also determine whether the cancer is back or not. She has an appointment with her surgeon tomorrow. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good news on July 22

The best news is the good news of the gospel, but I know you are all wanting to know about Nichole. Nichole is at home, feeling better, but dealing with unpleasant side effects of the medicine that is helping her feel better. Nichole can still use help around the house, and as my own health is unpredictable, I would like to remind all who read this of my sincere offer to help you to help Nichole. Whatever I can do from home (watch your children), I will gladly do. Just drop me an e-mail juniperzoo@hotmail.com. Thanks.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16

It seems Nichole was released from the hospital earlier this week, but shortly after arriving at home, she checked herself back in to the hospital due to intense pain. Please pray that she will be relieved from pain soon and able to return to her family. Thank you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 12 update

Nichole is currently in the hospital and expected to be released soon. She had a small surgery last week that went very well, and did help some with pain relief. With the good news, there is also some bad news, and that is that the doctors have discovered a large blood clot in Nichole's leg. With that bad news, there is also more good news, that being that the reason for her recurring, painful infections was found. There is a hole in her inner workings allowing toxins into her bloodstream. If and when this hole is fixed, Nichole will have a great relief from these painful infections. Thank you for keeping the Greenes in your prayers, and serving in whatever capacity you can.

Nichole will be home soon, and could really use some help this Friday, July 17. Please call her if you are able to help on that day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 7 update and more

Nichole is at home, waiting for a surgery that will tell her if the cancer's back. This surgery will also ease the pain in her kidneys and the pain caused by the obstruction in her colon. There are many things that must be considered before setting a date. There are many opportunities to serve and help her family, especially with childcare in the afternoons. If you would like to be included in an e-mail list to receive updates on the current needs, please e-mail Patti at hal19229@yahoo.com. As she is mostly bedridden at this time, Nichole's focus now is on worshipping God in spirit and in truth, as He calls all His children to do. Nichole asks your prayers in helping her see past the frustration and helpless feeling of lying in bed most of the day, and instead greeting each new day as a joyous opportunity to worship our great God.

If you would like to help, but feel that you can't on account of your own kids, please know that I will gladly watch your kids so that you can help Nichole. Due to physical limitations, I can't make a commitment to help Nichole except from my own home, so I would be glad to make it easier for someone else to help her. If there is any other way I can facilitate your helping Nichole, please e-mail me at juniperzoo@hotmail.com.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Updated and corrected Update June 18

Nichole has been told her cancer may be back. Her doctors want to perform another surgerry to have a look; they are suspicious. Her family and friends are looking for doctors in the States who are qualified to perform the needed surgery. If none are found, there is a doctor in Germany familiar with this type of pelvic cancer. However, this would call for much sacrifice and much fund raising. Please pray that doctors will be found in the States. Please also pray that Nichole would get some relief from the excruciating pain she is in. Meals and notes of encouragement are most appreciated at this time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekday help

Nichole will be in great need of help in the afternoons, from 3-7:30 pm. If you would be willing to help, please contact me at juniperzoo@hotmail.com. I would be happy to provide childcare so that you can help Nichole.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Immediate assistance

Nichole was just released from the hospital, yet again, this time with an IV bag, and so she could use some help around the house. Please call her if you can help.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Afternoon help

Nichole will be needing help around the house in the afternoons, 3-5 pm, starting on June 13. If you might be available to help out some days please e-mail Jennifer Morrissette, juniperzoo@hotmail.com. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I spoke with Nichole today and wanted to clarify the reason she has taken so much time to write out her story, and ask that you pray for her. This testimony is going to be used (in part) for an event called "Stand-up", which may be televised on major networks, and you should be able to find on you tube. The event is a fashion show that Nichole has been asked to participate in and could potentially reach many people with the gospel! Please pray that they would not edit out her references to the gospel, and that the event would successfully raise awareness for cervical cancer (and research money) so that Nichole may even reap direct benefits. As always, Nichole's foremost concern is that the gospel is known through her trial- wherever she finds herself. Thanks so much!
I also wanted to ask for you to check your calendars and see if you might be able to help the Greene's so that Norm can take Nichole on a mini-vacation to celebrate their 9 year anniversary. They will be getting away, and leaving the kiddos with Shawni. Shawni will need some help- during the day, and in the evenings, and even with dinner. If you are able to help, please either contact Nichole directly, or email Sue Leber, who is coordinating efforts. They will be gone June 2-4. Thanks again!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Story

I am a wife of nine years to my husband Norm and a mother of four children. Ansel is seven years old, Noah is six, Josie 4 and Levi 2. It has been a year now since I was first diagnosed with a baseball sized cancerous tumor, positioned at 9 o'clock on my cervix. My life is forever changed!

I first have to thank my gynecologist Dr. Frields. Because of his thorough and diligent exams, my condition had only advanced to a stage 2B instead of a stage 3. It all started with a slightly abnormal pap-smear test. Standard practice would have been to wait six months and then to retest. Not standard practice for Dr Frields. He keeps going until he gets an answer. One of the tests he performed was a colonoscopy. It didn't look too bad under the microscope, but out of precaution Dr. Frields took biopsies at nine o’clock on the cervix. We were shocked with the the results, as it was diagnosed as "adenocarcinoma in-situ", an advanced case of pre-cancer. The next week Dr. Frields had me come in for "conization", or scraping off of the bad cells. When he began the surgery, the condition of my cervix was such that he could not proceed. He took more biopsies at the area of detail on the cervix. The results presented us with our second shocker, it was cancer! Adenocarcinoma class1, stage 2b, well differentiated. In plain English it was a cancerous tumor the size of a baseball positioned at nine o’clock on my cervix. It had been stealthy growing for years! The tumor likely started through my last two pregnancies. One doctor said the changes in my cervix may have started in my late teens. The scary part is, I was consistent with getting my yearly pap-smears and they were all clear (with the exception of one pregnancy) until April 2007, which only read slightly abnormal, yet I actually had a monster of a tumor alive inside of me!

After Dr. Frields' explanation of my condition, my question for him was,” is there hope?” "Absolutely" was his assuring answer. My tense body gave way to more relaxed position. That Monday started the wild ride to fight for my life and the introductions to the characters who would fight alongside of me. As Dr. Friedman, (gynecologist-oncologist) did a pelvic exam, sweat formed on his brow. The tumor was unusually large he explained, but he had a game plan. Chemotherapy and radiation-both internal and external. So we began that phase of the battle... and in I walked to what looked like the cancer headquarters, a very busy medical oncologist office. Doctors, nurses, patients-all moving here and there, it was a lively place. Norm and I stepped into the office of our next commander in chief Dr. B. , where we sat down and mapped out a plan of attack. Dr. B. speaks with energy and enthusiasm. I walked away feeling like we could beat this thing! I was hopeful.

May through August 1 was miserable. The toll of the chemotherapy and radiation were hitting me hard. I suffered. This is a standard treatment and cervical cancer is very treatable. Waves of church members streamed through our house, coming in two shifts a day, to care for the children and me. Laundry ladies, cleaning ladies, drivers and busy moms sharing meals with us. We were carried through this stage in the battle. Bathed in prayers, lavished with love. For most women the story ends here, but not for me. My story has a twist.

After all of my treatments more biopsies were done. Dr. Friedman has me come in to talk about the results. Norm and I sat across the table from Dr. Friedman and his devoted nurse. Levi, the baby, is sitting in daddies arms playing with a book. Then came the devastating news. The cancer is still there alive and well and moving. The first wave of treatment didn’t completely work (it did stop the growth some) so we must bring in the second wave. A pelvic exoneration. A barbaric gutting, just about everything below the belly button is removed. Without this lifesaving surgery, Dr. Friedman explained that I have less than a year to live. With it, I have a ten percent chance at a cure. With death staring me in the face, my faith is revealed. To this potentially devastating news, I boldly reply in my heart that the greater disease that I am carrying is the disease called sin, for which I have a 100% cure- Jesus Christ!! I have the reality of Heaven to look forward to because of my Savior’s death and resurrection. Jesus lived the sinless life I could never have lived and died the death that I deserved because of His Amazing Grace. Yet with this life sentence, I still am in the battle to win and live. The next month sent me on a search to find a more hopeful prognosis that would involve less of a drastic surgery. Approximately seven opinions were introduced including a trip to the Illinois Cancer treatment Centers of America. With the advice of a Doctor friend from church, we were introduced to the next character in my story, a long haired pioneer, Dr Eisenkop, who is one of us (cancer fighter). He fought and won yet still everyday is dealing with the casualties of his own battle with cancer. He is a fighter. I can see it in his eyes. I wanted the opinion of this man, who may offer another option to a pelvic exoneration. You see- a pelvic exoneration is not often performed, because it is not often needed, though it is the standard second line of defense in my situation. Well, I am not a statistic, and my cancer is not the standard. I needed someone brave enough to think outside of the box. Dr. Eisenkop is the man. Yeah! Hope was regained! In October, three days before my daughters fourth birthday, Dr. Eisenkop performed a type 5 radical hysterectomy with bladder reconstruction- a surgery he invented. My bladder and colon were saved. The surgery went well, but once again, the surprises were not over. Positive biopsies on me lymph nodes were found, one was distant. The prognosis on the pathology report read “not good”. Another bad prognosis, yet my hope had not diminished. There in my hospital room, the agonizing question churned in my mind. Do I fight? Having just suffered through a long summer of sickness due to chemotherapy, the question comes up, "Should I do it again, not knowing if it would even work?"' You see, I began to learn that the monster I had living inside of me was not even seen before (visibly-first hand, only on scans) by my doctors. No one could give me a clear answer because they didn’t know exactly what they were dealing with. While this monster was waging war to take over my body, my heart was debating as to whether I would let it win or not. This is when the Lord did et another work in my heart. The real question now seemed to be, "Do I believe God is able and big enough? Do I have faith?" "Yes!" was the answer I knew, and needed my heart to be convinced of. God is bigger than my cancer. He is in control. "Yes!" God is able to use the means of chemotherapy to heal me. My faith, grounded in the ability and power of God, was the answer to my wavering heart. The real question isn't if I will get better but when? I believe if I am not "cured" in this life, I will be in the next-where I will be eternally with Christ, in a new, completely "cured" body. Why do I believe this? Because that is what He promises me in the Bible. So now, because of these things, I choose to fight. To pick up my weapons and get back on the front line.

And thank You Lord. I was lead to Dr. Garcia at USC. Yet another character in my story. He was the only on that I have met who has seen this kind of monster before. Only once. Yet hope was once again resurrected! A mild chemotherapy was prescribed , with little side effects. So this is where we are now. Since my surgery, it has not been an easy road. After my surgery I had a fever for about eight weeks, hospitalized, and on Christmas Eve diagnosed with a c-diff infection which I may have picked up in the hospital. The effects of the radiation have also damaged my uterus. I have had two kidney infections, three nephrostomy tubes placed to drain my kidneys, three stints in my uterus and massive pain in the pelvic-thigh region that is relentless and constant, and which I am trying numerous drugs to relieve. Now for the good news: I am "NSD", or "No Sign of Disease"... for now. Bottom line: it hasn't been an easy year. Nine surgeries, five hospital stays, twelve blood transfusions, and a whole lot of suffering. Yet, praise be to God, through all of this my heart has soared! God has given me joy, peace and strength because of Jesus Christ my friend, my Helper, my Great Physician and Lord. I cant tell you my story without telling you about my relationship with Jesus Christ. It is my story because God is the author of it. It is His story.

This battle with cancer for most of us is not only a battle against this nasty disease, but a battle for hope. My hope has waxed ane waned in this battle, yet my hope has been anchored on the bedrock of a cliff that is higher than me. Jesus Christ is my life, my love, my Savior.

I am only one voice in a ocean of women who’s lives have been forever change by cervical Cancer. Without the support of my husband, caring doctors, family and friends, I do not know where I would be. I am Nichole Greene and this is my story.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Practical help

Beloved, it has been a long time since my past update on the Greene Family, and I apologize. I received a call from Nichole tonight and she is feeling overwhelmed and could use some help.

She needs help with meals Mon., Wed, and Fri./ or Sat. for their family of 5 and help with the children on Friday afternoons and Sat. as well. Nichole has some appointments coming up a she will need rides for them.

I will be putting together a calendar as we used before and you may sing up for helping in the same way. But do to the mail scam, I may not have everyone’s addresses as before, so please feel free to pass this on to as many people as you know that would like to help as well as pray for this family.

The needs are Childcare help for every Fri, noon to 5pm, Sat noon to 5 or 6pm.

Meals for every Mon., Wed. and Fridays, and this Sunday evening would be great!

Nichole will need rides to some appointments, the first is coming up on this Monday, 4th of May at 4pm to USC, as well as May 14th Thrus. At 11:am until 3/4pm to Sherman Oaks and a ride to her appointment to USC on the 26th of May (Tue) at 10:30 am.a ½ hr. visit. All are to and from the Greenes home.

Nichole would like to get a ride every Sat to Palisaids, if anyone is available for that.

And on Wednesdays to a local appt. in Santa Clarita as well.

Please contact me at my new email address momleber@gmail.com if and when you can help. And please pass this on to others that may want to help.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I got off the phone with Nichole a short while ago, and wanted to post an update. Norm has been home for a while now, which has been a great help, but will end shortly...
Nichole is going to be in need of much help in the coming days. She told me tonight that she has been trying to do things on her own and take care of the family, but has recently realized that she is not able to keep it up and has been a little discouraged. The needs they are facing now include meals, and some help on Friday afternoons (around noon to 6:00), and Saturdays. They need someone who can take around three hours sometime during the day Saturday to drive Nichole to an appointment, and also someone (or someones!) to help with the kids. Please consider if you are able to help. You can email Sue Leber, who is continuing to faithfully serve the Greenes at lebersue@hotmail.com. Let her know your availability, and she will coordinate with Nichole.
Nichole is still suffering from severe pain as a result of the radiation, which did tremendous damage to her kidneys. Please continue to pray for her, and consider how you may be able to serve the family.
Thanks!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

May 1

The latest news is that there were no visible signs of cancer, but then again, there were no visible signs of cancer for a long time when there was a cancerous tumor growing undetected. Nichole's current pain is due to the many surgeries she's had, and surgeries to fix the surgeries. She is again in much pain due to a fever.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I spoke with Norm today for a short while, and Nichole has been through two small kidney surgeries in the past two days (Monday and Tuesday) as noted in the previous post. She had been down with a fever since Friday, and had been in the hospital once again, trying to figure out what was going on. Since they did have to cut through some muscle tissue to get to the problem, she is now in some pain once again.
Praise the Lord, she got back some results from biopsies taken a few days ago trying to determine if the cancer is back, and the results were negative! Please continue to pray that the chemo would do it's work, though she is on a much smaller dose than at least one of her doctors recommended. God is in control of all things!
Pray that Nichole would not be in severe pain from the continuing kidney problems, so that she would be able to function as a mommy to her precious kiddos and wife to Norm!
Pray also for Norm, as he is obviously bearing a heavy burden as he attempts to make ends meet financially, bears the weight of caring for his wife, is needed to take care of the kids as well, and is remodeling the bathroom which "exploded" (my terms) and needed to be fixed. I think it would be easy to forget that Norm is bearing an extremely heavy weight in this trial as well, so please include him in your prayers!
Please continue to uphold the Greenes in prayer, and continue to encourage them with your notes and phone calls- even comments to them on the blog. All of the encouragement and all of your prayers help to carry them through. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7, '09

Nichole had another surgery, and will be coming home tonight. Norm is still on hiatus, so he is at home doing some construction there.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sue Leber NOT in Africa

There is a scam going around, an e-mail saying Sue is in Africa. She's not. She is just fine. Delete that e-mail.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Surgery

Josie and Camdyn were so excited to see each other!










Levi, happy little guy that he is!













Waiting for dinner...the kids have such a good time together.











Norm was fixing one of the swings for the kids and Levi, Macy and Camdyn were so interested...











Ansel and Noah












The Greene's new pet goats... the kids had a great time playing with the goats. The goats had no idea the kids wanted to "play", so they were terrified... I'm sure they'll soon get used to the commotion of kids. They were too cute!

I didn't realize that Nichole had surgery this week, so am thankful for the previous post. I intended to post some pictures from last Friday when Kurt and I and the kids were able to spend some time at the Greene's house, but hadn't gotten around to doing that yet, so here they are. I will try to speak with Nichole today and give another update on how she is doing.
As of last Friday, Nichole had been in a lot of pain from her kidneys. She has been on heavy pain medication, but when the meds begin to wear off, she described the pain as "close to child-bearing". Most of us women can relate, but as she said, with child-bearing, there is an end to the pain and then such an incredible blessing that follows that the pain is worth it...anyway please pray that this surgery would decrease the pain that she was in every day and give her relief so she can serve her family and enjoy her days with an ability to think clearly (this is certainly clouded by pain!). Thanks!
Once again, if anyone needs any sort of carpentry (finished carpentry work is best), please know that Norm is a very talented carpenter and will be on hiatus for three months. The family would certainly appreciate any side jobs that you may need to have done as they need the continued source of income.

Friday, March 20, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

Nichole had a surgery on Wed. the 18th. She is recovering, in a lot of pain.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I spoke with Nichole on Saturday, then was able to visit with her and Norm for a while at church yesterday. They both had smiles on their faces, and were glad to be at church (though Nichole was struggling with severe kidney pain). They sat through first service in their fellowship group, then sat in the back of their van in the handicapped parking space closest to the patio, so they could listen to the service from the comfort of their van (with the back door open). It was so sweet to see the line of visitors standing next to their van after the service...
Here is the latest information on Nichole's medical condition. Her kidney is giving her much pain. She is unable to sleep much at night because of the pain. Both kidneys are enlarged and problematic, and she will need a major surgery soon to help to specifically see what is going on, and if they can correct it. They are still doing some preliminary testing to attempt to more closely pinpoint what is happening there.
Since Nichole has had a fever after each dose of IV chemo, she will no longer be going in for those treatments. She is only taking the chemo pill, which has much less side-effects.
Nichole is on very strong pain medication (two patches) for her hips (I believe) and kidney.
On the financial side, Nichole has been looking into some clinical studies that she may be able to take part in. Insurance does not cover most of these trials, yet Nichole may want to try to get in on one, which would mean financial strain (or impossibility). Please know that Nichole did not ask me to post this on the blog. She has said over and over that she knows that the Lord will provide all of their needs, and has seen His care for their family so clearly through the generosity of the body of Christ.
To further add to the burden, Norm will be on "hiatus" from work for the next three months. Norm is an incredibly talented finished carpenter, and an extremely hard worker. All that to say if you are in need of any cabinet work or carpentry, please email me and I can get you in touch with Norm. He is available around the middle of March for any side jobs you may have waiting
to be taken care of. My email address is kurtjulieandkids@gmail.com

Saturday, February 21, 2009

new

Thank you to all who sent birthday greetings money and gifts. I am so emenously blessed by all of you. We feel carried through this trial by the loving hands of the saints. Know the Lord is blessed and pleased by your sacrifical love.  Thinking back to a year ago I am such a different person today. I thank the Lord for the lot in life He has given me.  He is Good and He is Wise and I am a worm, a redeemed worm. Alot of people ask how I am doing, how I am handling the trauma in my life. For a while I was a bit bothered by the question becuase I did not know how to answer. Well it came  to me the other day and quite simply you "roll with it". What I  mean is you take whatever God brings in life with thankfulness and by His  grace adjust. It steams deeper though, you see I know what I deserve- Hell. So any grace God gives me I joyfully recieve there is no room for compling when I know what I truley deserve. Even then sometimes pride creeps in and I complain Shame on me. As a sidenote I am so blessed by God in by so many ways.  
thank you to Julie Gephards for blogging for me forgive me please for my laziness in not blogging my self, the truth is me and the computer dont really get on all that well. 
thank you again.
Nichole

Friday, February 20, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICHOLE!!!

I stopped by Nichole's home today to wish her a happy birthday. Nichole turns 33 today, and has appreciated all of the birthday wishes and cards and gifts she has received.
Nichole has not yet had the major kidney surgery, but will be meeting with the doctor and is anticipating this surgery in the next couple of weeks down at USC. (Sorry for the misinformation) She is feeling well, though still in some pain, especially at night. She is looking forward to a date-night tonight with her husband, so pray for her energy!
She looked well this afternoon and was in good spirits. She was unable to have her chemo this week since her blood counts were low, but will be back on track next week, all things being equal.

Continue to pray for Nichole and Norm as they daily live in this "life crisis". It is easy for us to "visit" the crisis now and again as we read the blog, hear updates, and even serve the family, but so easy to resume our lives and neglect to uphold the family in prayer on a regular basis, as well as bear the burden with them... Again, I encourage you to see what you can do to help edify the Greene family and help bear the heavy burden they are carrying. I certainly need the reminder myself. Not only are they dealing with the difficulty that cancer presents, but there is a host of other difficulties that accompany this life crisis...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just wanted to add a little bit of info... Nichole spent Friday night at the hospital after her fever and pain would not subside. She had a CAT scan done, and both her kidneys are enlarged. This could be caused by several things, but chances are she will need another extensive surgery in the near future to deal with the problem. She came home this afternoon (Saturday); the fever is down but she still doesn't feel very well (nausea etc). Keep praying!!
--Shawni

I spoke with Nichole last night (this is Julie) and she will be having surgery at USC sometime this week, it looks like.

She also told me that she won't likely be receiving blood from the Encino-Tarzana Medical Center, so it would be better if you could donate at St. Joseph's Hospital (in Burbank) or even down at USC at the Norris Center, where she will have surgery. Again, Nichole is A+, but would like to encourage any of you to donate blood on her behalf since she feels like she has used up some of the blood bank...

Nichole is so appreciative of the support she has received from the Body of Christ as a whole. Last night she commented that there are people that she doesn't even know who are sending her cards, gifts, and supporting their family through this difficult time. She is conscious of the Lord's providential hand through this trial, and I would say that it is largely due to the support she feels through the body of Christ.

Shawni, I also wanted to encourage you. Nichole has said to me several times that she doesn't know where they would be without you. Your service to their family has meant so much to her, and has been an incredible blessing since it is done with such a sweet spirit and willing heart. The sacrifice you are making to serve them will reap eternal rewards. Those kids are so blessed to have you there consistently loving them and caring for them. You are making such a difference to the Greene family as a whole and I am personally thankful to you because I see how much Nichole is able to rest at ease knowing that when she is unable, you are there loving and taking care of her kids. Their trust in you is without hesitation and complete. You are certainly playing such an important role in their lives right now. I pray that your soul is satisfied in the Lord through your service to them!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Update

It's been a while, and I apologize for the delayed update. Anyway, I just visited Nichole for a short while and she is doing okay. She has a slight fever right now, and is wondering if it is going to go up or go down...
The kidney surgery was successful. What needed to be done, was successfully done. We praise God for that.
Nichole resumed chemo treatments after the surgery, so seems to be back on schedule for that. (Sort of...though she is behind) She is waiting to see if the fever is due to the chemo treatment (this was a common side effect in the past) or something else. She is in a lot of pain right now- pain specifically around the kidney. Please pray that the pain would subside. If it doesn't, the doctor will want to do a CAT scan to see if there is some problem.
Nichole also wanted me to let you all know that she has received many blood transfusions that have literally saved her life. She is so grateful to the unknown blood donors who have generously given, and would like for us to contribute to the blood bank on her behalf. If you are A+ and would like to donate directly to Nichole, she would be grateful for that. She could receive your very blood for the next transfusion. Please contact the Encino-Tarzana Medical Center to schedule a time to donate. She has also expressed that she would much rather receive blood from someone she knows than from a random donor. You can designate your blood to be specifically for Nichole Greene. I am waiting to hear back from the medical center for specifics on how to go about donating, and I will post them when I receive them. However, the phone number for the medical center is 818 881-0800 and they can direct your call to the blood donation center, where I'm sure they can help you. Please leave a comment on the blog indicating if you have done that, so Nichole can specify when she goes for another transfusion.
Please continue to pray for the Greenes. Nichole specifically asked for prayer for wisdom for them in the decisions they are making. If she continues to feel sick and have a fever with the chemo, she would like to consider alternative methods, since quality of life is important to her. However, with alternative methods comes a host of other challenges- financially, locationally, etc.
We know that our God is in complete control, but we would still pray for a miraculous healing to take place in her little body. Pray that God would be most glorified in healing Nichole of this cancer and giving her more years of life to live for His glory, as she has been so faithful in doing through the fire!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Survivorwoman, part deux

My last post was entitled "Survivorwoman" because that is how Nichole referred to herself. She was telling me how she enjoys the show SurvivorMan, and she has adopted the mentality of a survivor. She told me at length of just one of the many trying ordeals she has had to maneuver through in order to survive. She is determined. Her next survival test will be another surgery on Monday. The plan is for her to be back at home Monday night. Please pray for her endurance through the many tests and trials. Nichole hates surgeries, but in her own words, "You do what you have to, right, Jen?" Yes, Nichole, you do what you have to.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Survivorwoman

I just finished a long interview with Nichole in order to get the material to write this post. First, I asked about her priorities. Her one priority is to please God in all she says and does, and especially in how she responds to this trial. When asked how she can best live out this priority in her life, Nichole was quick to respond that she believes she can best please the Lord by putting her family first right now. She mentioned at length her appreciation for her husband and for his love towards her, especially in this very difficult time. Nichole was also adamant that her readers, her fans, know how deeply touched she was by one special pastor's visit to her in the hospital on an extremely busy day. Our church was celebrating 40 years of faithful ministry to our congregation on Superbowl Sunday, so with the busyness of all the celebrating, and the excitement of the big game, one very special pastor spent a good amount of the day in the hospital with this one dear saint. For Nichole, this was the epitome of all that a true, loving pastor should be. This act spoke more than many sermons, and Nichole was deeply touched. On asking what else she wanted her public to know, Nichole wanted me to express her sincere thanks to all who have been faithful prayer warriors on her behalf, and have served her in the mundane tasks it takes to run a home. She also wants to extend a special thanks to those who patiently put up with her computer-unsavvyness, and especially to those who, knowing this, persist in giving her encouraging notes written on paper and sent through the US Postal Service. Nichole would personally thank every one for every act of kindness done for her. No good deed goes unnoticed.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Nichole is HOME!!

Nichole was able to come home from the hospital yesterday afternoon, not as planned. Praise the Lord! She was recounting to me tonight the difficulty of being in an isolated room- and describing how she was posting pictures from women's magazines (scenery) so she had something other than bare white hospital walls to look at. She was certainly in good humor tonight, even though she is still not feeling up to par. The fever is gone (for now...), but she is anemic and unable to walk around the house without help. She is also sore from the surgery, and is anticipating another surgery later this week if all goes as planned. Of course, she is constantly aware that all is going just as the Lord has planned, even if it means that certain "planned" things don't happen!
Nichole is still remaining focused on the Lord's sovereign plan for her life, and is thanking Him for the provision of opportunities for His gospel to go forth. She was able yesterday to have an hour long conversation with her "room-mate", a Jewish older woman. Nichole described her as "ripe for the gospel", and this woman was asking many questions of Nichole. Nichole would love for us to pray for Elenore, who seemed to hang on to Nichole's words. Continue to pray for all of the lives Nichole has impacted with the gospel! This woman was also very interested in keeping in touch with Nichole. Pray that this would happen, and that Elenore would come to know the Lord through this interaction.
With all of the added kidney problems, Nichole has been unable to receive her chemo treatments. She is very behind, which concerns at least one of her doctors. Pray that she would be able to get back on schedule for these treatments, and that the effects of missing the treatments would be minimal.
We pray, asking the Lord for all of these things, but we also remember that His plan is never interrupted by things that "go wrong". He is holding each detail of Nichole's life in the palm of His hand, and caring for her in just the way that He sees fit. She is resting in this, yet as you can imagine, at different times she struggles with becoming anxious about certain things. I have been amazed, though, in her confidence in the Lord through it all. I am sure that her faith is sustained through your prayers as well, so please continue to uphold Nichole and her family to the Lord daily in prayer!
She has said many times that she is so thankful to each of you who prays for her, encourages her, visits her, helps with the kids, has given to the family, etc. She wishes she could write each one a note of gratitude, but many of us have strongly encouraged her not to take any of the precious time that she has when she is feeling well to do this. That time is so limited, and needs to be spent with her family.
Please continue to uphold the Greenes in your prayers!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Update from Sue Leber

Beloved, I received this information this evening. The fever is back to the ‘up & down’ thing with her blood counts off as well. They also told her today that the virus is back, which changes things for this week. She will be staying in the hospital until the fever is gone and the virus under control. She will not be having Chemo until she is doing better as well. She is in a private room, she is contagious and understands if folks make the choice not to visit but YES, she can have visitors. Visitors must be healthy & no children allowed. Visitors will simply be required to were a gown & gloves. She asked that if folks are going to visit please come between the hours of 10 a.m. & 2 p.m..

Sue still faithfully ministers to Nichole, even when dealing with a host of other things. The Lord sustains! If you would like to visit Nichole, please email me and I will give you the information you need to see her. My email (again) is kurtjulieandkids@gmail.com.

Kidney Update

I received an email from Janet Linahan detailing some of the issues that Nichole is dealing with as she spoke with Nichole on a hospital visit. Praise the Lord that she is feeling so much better now that the fever is gone. Here is Janet's note:

I was able to get down and see Nichole tonight at the hospital. She is recovering fine from her "procedure" involving the kidney Friday night. I'm guessing they won't let her go home until Monday. She is in some pain from where the tube is coming from her kidney. She was up and walking a little before I left, but her blood counts are low (anemic) so she feels a little dizzy and can't really move much without help.

They don't know what's going on with the kidney, and how it will be resolved. Her normal doctor is out of town, so there are a lot of unanswered questions.

Just having her explain all the issues involved with her kidney really brought to light how fragile all these issues are. One little infection could really be a very big problem.

She really doesn't like being in the hospital. I think Linda Adrian was going to try and spend the night with her tonight. She doesn't like being alone AT ALL ... thankfully I think someone was with her most of the day today. However, tomorrow she is expecting it to be slow. If you know of anyone who could go visit her, maybe you could pass that along. She is at the Providence Tarzana Medical Center. It might be good to call first. She really likes phone calls, too.

At home all the kids and Norm are sick (sore throat, pink eye). So when she does go home, she will really need to be careful.

Please continue to pray for Nichole!
There just happens to be a happy event on the way! A dear friend just reminded me that Nichole's birthday is on February 20th. She suggested a flood of cards to the Greene residence to arrive on February 20th, to remind Nichole how we have all been deeply enriched, sharpened, and brought closer to our Lord from her life. It would be an added encouragement, if you have the means, to include a money gift of any size. Nichole treasures words of encouragement and they have a lot of needs.

This was an update from Andrea Moore that I received. If you need the Greene's address, you can email me for it. kurtjulieandkids@gmail.com. Thanks!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kidney Issues...

Nichole was seen by the doctor today and found out in addition to (or possibly related to?) her other infection, her kidney is filled with fluid and needs to be drained. Tomorrow she will go in for this surgery, which will include being put under. Please pray for this procedure as it is no small thing to undergo. Hopefully this will alleviate some of her problems, including the fever. She is still not feeling well, but it does seem that her kids are doing fine, according to a friend that was with Nichole this afternoon.
-Nichole was prescribed a small dose of antibiotics, so please pray that they will treat the one infection without disrupting the other.
-Please pray that she will be able to keep food and water in her system, along with the antibiotics (which she couldn't keep down tonight).
-She also was struggling with her fever tonight and was shivering quite a bit. Pray for her strength!
-Nichole is uneasy about being put under and especially wants us to be in prayer for her in that way.
Let's support Nichole in prayer daily- even hourly considering the trial that she is enduring! I will try to keep the blog posted and updated regularly through these days that are particularly eventful. If you are able to help Nichole, please email Sue Leber who is still faithfully coordinating the efforts. She is also dealing with her mother's health issues (and surgery, I believe), so be patient with her response. Her email is lebersue@hotmail.com. Ask to be added to her list and you will receive her update emails and requests for help.
Lastly, Brenda was telling me that this evening Nichole, while struggling through her fever and suffering, was repeating the promises of God out loud to Brenda- reminding herself of the truth that she knows. Please pray that as she reminds herself, her heart would be comforted by these truths, and that she would deeply know the love and care that the Lord is extending to her, even through these most difficult of circumstances.
If you have a blog, I would encourage you to ask your readers to pray for Nichole in these coming days, and even include a link to her blog so others can easily find it and we can multiply our prayers for her and her family!

URGENT

The tears have been flowing and my heart is weighted down. I spoke with Nichole this morning and when I asked how she is doing, she answered with "not good". She so seldom says words like these. Even when she is in the pit (humanly speaking) health-wise, she is always repeating "the Lord is good". Those words did come today, yet there was definitely sadness this morning. She has a fever that is going up right now, due to another infection (we believe). She took her temperature while we were on the phone, and it was 102. Because of other complications, Nichole shouldn't be taking antibiotics, yet in order to treat this infection, she isn't sure if the doctors will be able to give her any. She is feeling pretty terrible as well, and hasn't been able to get out of bed because of how she feels.
As if this weren't enough to deal with, Levi was throwing up last night, three of the kids have pink eye, and Josie seems to be coming down with something (she was sleeping at 9:30 this morning). Are you having a bad day? In light of this, I bet your problems just diminished to nearly nothing. Anyway, she is off to the hospital yet again, telling herself of the Lord's goodness, and reminding herself that He is in control.
She asked for prayer, and which one of us wouldn't want to stop right now, take five minutes, and go to the Lord on her behalf? Whether you know Nichole of not, please go before the Lord! She has asked that we pray for her- that the infection would be treatable (somehow!), and that she would NOT have to stay in the hospital. Please also pray that Nichole's trust in the Lord wouldn't waver.
To be honest, while I was speaking with her this morning, my mind kept asking, "Why, Lord?? Why and how is this a good thing?" I couldn't stop from crying while wondering how the Lord could be glorified through this seemingly awful circumstance. Nichole is sick, unable to be a mom, and at this point probably unable to have contact with her kids because her weakened body would likely pick up their infections and be magnified in her poor, unhealthy body. She is faced with a battery of upcoming chemo treatments which break down her body even more (fevers, inability to eat and hold down food, etc.)
I'm reading "The Cup and the Glory" (a book on suffering) and will post helpful tidbits on suffering shortly.
Please consider how you can partner with Nichole and the Greene family in prayer, and commit to praying for them every day. Nichole is scheduled for a preliminary kidney surgery next Thursday (outpatient surgery) in preparation for another serious surgery. In light of her health situation today, I would imagine things may have to be put on hold again... please pray. Pray for Nichole, pray for Norm, and pray for the kids.
Though earthly hope seems to diminish, pray that we would all learn with the Greene family that our hope should not be fixed on this world, but on the next...that our hope is not to be on earthly good, but fixed on the Savior of our souls who has purchased us with His precious blood, and we all (who know Him) will be with Him in glory forever...are you prepared?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ansel's 7th Birthday Party



Nichole, resting on the couch and collecting cards for Ansel


Norm and Nichole, after the party


Me (Julie) and Nicole


Ansel's 7th Birthday Party


The Greene Family, birthday boy on the far left


Noah, eating his cake and ice cream (yes, sitting on the table)

Josie and Camdyn, playing in the kid room and having a blast in their pretend world. One of the beds was the kitchen, one was the couch, and one was the bedroom.

Sweet Levi and Josie
Ansel, the birthday boy with his brother Noah




Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Sweet Peek into the Greene Home

I spent the afternoon and evening with the Greenes today as we celebrated Ansel's 7th birthday. It was a great time watching the kids go nuts together, and just being in their home. There is a sweetness to their family that I'm sure has been enhanced through their situation, and it is a blessing to watch them. They love each other so much.
They received a Wii from Nichole's mom for Christmas, and set it up today. Ansel was so excited once they got it set up, and was playing (and flailing all over the place trying to hit that tennis ball) and having a great time. But as soon as he saw that Levi had woken up from his nap, he stopped for a moment, ran to Levi, and in his big brother condescending to little brother way, greeted Levi with a quick hug and "Hi Levi!! Hi Levi!!" A 7 year old boy, stopping in the middle of a brand new video game to greet his two year old brother... It was just sweet.
There was a sweet simplicity about the afternoon- Ansel wanted hot dogs for dinner, and we had chocolate cake and ice cream, and watched the five boys run around outside (occasionally making their presence known inside), while the little kids played inside (mostly). The adults convened in the "play room" and chatted while we munched on chips and drank soda. Nichole mostly sat on the couch watching the kids, snuggling with Levi, and talking with the moms (especially when he woke up from his nap), while Norm and her mom took care of the "party things" (hot dogs, cake, etc.). She did get up when it was cake-time and we sang to Ansel, but not for too long. She doesn't have much stamina, and is in some pain as well (abdominal) because of her recent sickness.
Nichole and I spoke for a while and again, I was encouraged. Her perspective is still amazingly focused on what is true, and she is still confident in God's perfect plan for her. She shared with me how she has recently been encouraged so much through reading the Psalms, and particularly Psalm 13.

"How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take cousel in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him,'
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me."

Nichole said that she could relate to falling into a similar pattern of complaining to the Lord, feeling like she has been forgotten by Him. BUT, then she remembers his mercy on her life, all of the kindness that He has shown to her (particularly through the saints!), and returns to a grateful, sweet relationship with the Lord, trusting in Him. Remembering all that she has been through, and what she is currently enduring (chemo pill, IV chemo starting Monday, and abdominal pain- having just gotten over a 9 week fever, etc. etc.), let's remember that her faith and hope have been tested and tried through the furnace, and be encouraged by her faithfulness!

Let's also continue to pray for the Greene family.
Pray that Nichole's abdomen would heal and she wouldn't experience the pain that she has been having.
Pray that she would not have a severe reaction to the IV chemo that she will be receiving Monday, and pray for it's effectiveness to kill the cancer cells!
Pray for her family to be strengthened through this trial, and for each of them to be dependent on the Lord.
Pray that more people would come to salvation through their family's testimony!