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He is Able to Give Abundantly More...

It has been some time since I have updated this blog and I apologize for that. Things have been changing quickly around here and I am doing my best to take care of my amazing man and the two others seeking to become like him. 

Today marks the day we went to the ER close to midnight, Brian had an MRI, and then just after midnight, found out that he had this terrible tumor growing inside his head. The shock has not worn off, honestly. I still cannot believe how this thing came from out of the blue and has forever altered our lives. What is so crazy is that since then, we have met and have become acquainted with so, so many others that have the same diagnosis. Glioblastoma Multiforme, stage 4, possibly the deadliest and fastest growing adult cancer. Unbelievable. My heart is so heavy for them, but it is also so encouraged to see so many brave and wonderful souls fighting the fight and keeping their faith, their hope, and their spirits high. 

Our precious Brian. Things for Brian have not gone medically well these past couple months. But let me begin with stating that we are still praying for a miracle. God is able. He can do anything at any time and if it is His will, He can heal Brian. Glory be to Him whether He does or chooses not to. We trust that He has a perfect plan for us and that is where we stand. 

After my last update in April, Brian began the new chemotherapy, Lomustine, and continued with the Avastin and Optune. His blood tests began to show that his platelets were low and there was some concern that he would not be able to take his second cycle. Also, he got a terrible rash that lasted a couple weeks. They believe it could have been a reaction to the new chemo. I felt so badly for him. On top of everything, the poor guy had an itchy rash that plagued him. It was such a blessing to have some remedies that helped with the itchiness until it went away. And it went away just in time for us to get his platelets back up. Right when we got results that his platelets were up enough to start the second round of chemo, everything took a turn for the worse. 

June 5th, the very same day of the more positive blood test, Brian experienced his first seizure since all this started. And it was a doozy. It was full blown tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure. Fortunately, it happened while he was just about to take a nap, so he was safely in bed. It was terrible. Trust me, you never want to see someone experience this. Both of the boys were there and it is something we will never forget. The blessing is that Brian has no memory of it, which is common for all those who experience it, thank God. The paramedics came and he was brought to the ER, at which he experienced his second tonic-clonic seizure. They then admitted him to the hospital.

While there, he was very out of it and it was so hard to see. I stayed with him in the room the entire time. In addition, he must have pulled or strained a muscle in his back during the seizures, because whenever he needed to move he had so much pain. X-rays revealed nothing, so it must have been muscular. The pain slowly went away over the next week and a half, thankfully. 

To top it all off, they did an MRI which showed significant growth of the tumor. Given all that had happened, it was not a surprise, but was certainly devastating. The treatment wasn't working and the tumor was growing. Rather than continue with infusing Brian with poison, the doctors recommended, and two other neuro-oncologists that I consulted confirmed, that taking Brian off all treatment and seeking to make him comfortable was the best thing to do. It's a very hard thing to grasp, still. But as I mentioned before, we have not given up hope and we are praying for our miracle. We are also continuing his natural supplements in the hopes that they will reach and shrink the tumor. 

Since his hospital stay, Brian has lost most of the use of his right hand, right leg and has experienced some vision loss in his right eye. The right side of his face also shows some loss of muscle use. His speech has sadly also suffered terribly. It is so incredible to see this when it has just been a year since he was diagnosed. My heart is so heavy for him- to see the man who was once so loving, active, engaged, intelligent, charming, fun and athletic - struggle so much. We have arranged the home to make it accessible for his walker and wheelchair. Hospice, oh how I hate the word, has begun. It has provided help and support on many levels, but I am not ready to give up and I am looking forward to getting the "hospice graduation" certificate that was mentioned at our consult. 

It has been a mighty change around here, but God is providing strength and comfort on a daily basis. We have been blessed beyond measure by the same incredible outpouring of love, help, and support that we have been throughout this journey. We see the hands of God on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, in the hands that come here in person and virtually, to lend their help, their hugs, their expertise, their know-how-to-organize-and-fix-all-things, their food, their financial assistance, their prayers and countless more. We could not do it without them. I know it's all part of God's comfort being poured on us and I will be forever grateful. 

Thank you for being patient and for checking in even when I haven't posted. I know you love Brian. I know you also want a miracle. Thank you for your persistent prayers. I believe a miracle can happen at any time. Because God wants to give us abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.

The song "Even if" by Mercy Me has been going through my mind often. It's a good one. It's a hard song to sing but it represents the truth of where we are right now. Here it is if you want to take a listen. 

Bless you, friends. 

Now to him who is able to do 

immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, 

according to his power that is at work in us, 

to him be the glory in the church

and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, 

for ever and ever! Amen

Ephesians 3:20-21

 

 

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Comments (23)

  • Shannon Pell
    Shannon Pell

    To the Smiley family: Your courage and strength are an inspiration. Your love for each other - that I read here and that I can imagine given the terrific human being that Brian is - amazing. That you've not received the news we'd all hoped, or the miracle you and so many of your friends have prayed for, is heartbreaking. Please know that I will continue to offer my prayers alongside those of so many others. A friend in Iowa.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Manuel Medeiros
    Manuel Medeiros

    Thank you much for posting this sad yet hopeful story. Brian, you, and your family are in my heart and prayers.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Nicole Spangler
    Nicole Spangler

    You and your incredible family are in my thoughts. xo

    one year ago · Reply
  • Mellissa DePaola
    Mellissa DePaola

    I'm very sorry to hear the difficult news but your faith and strength are such an inspiration. You all continue to be in my prayers every night. Thank you for sharing.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Catherine Nieto
    Catherine Nieto

    I too know that God could instantly heal Brian but I also know that God sees the bigger picture and He most definitely has an eternal plan for all of us. My father was in hospice whe he had cancer and I still look back on that as a time of peace and overflowing love. It got to the point where I did not want to see my father suffer and the hospice workers kept him comfortable and provided such wonderful support. Life is so fragile but you have lived it to the fullest and the love you have for Brian is so beautiful to see. Thank you for letting us experience that through reading your blog! ❤️

    one year ago · Reply
  • Debbie Habecker
    Debbie Habecker

    I am sorry to hear this news. I will continue to keep you, Brian, and the boys in my thoughts and prayers. Debbie Habecker

    one year ago · Reply
  • Michelle Meier
    Michelle Meier

    The Meier family have been holding your family up in our prayers. I would like to ask that it be ok to have our church, Lakeside in Folsom pray for all of you also. I have some info from when I had cancer and a cancer tea that is from the natural herbal healers academy that was a God sent for me. A girl I knew named Michelle wasn't given much time. She changed her diet, her use of aluminum cookware, or anything else aluminum, she cut out, cannned anything, only fresh bread because of the mold, no microwave and pretty much everything Fresh. And drank the cancer tea, 3x per day that comes with directions and how to steep it and store it. I may even still have the amber bottles you could have that it has to be stored in. Her and I followed the plan and are cancer free. If interested send me your email address to [email protected]

    one year ago · Reply
  • Jana long
    Jana long

    Oh Lisa! I am so sorry for the news....I will continue to pray for a miracle, for comfort and peace. I love your faith and trust in Him - I have no doubt that God is holding your family firmly in his loving arms.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Wanda Hill Rouzan
    Wanda Hill Rouzan

    Life can seem so random and sometime appear so unfair. But some truths are eternal, I believe. And one of those truths is that perfect love casts out fear. Hold tight to your love when all else fails. --Wanda Hill Rouzan

    one year ago · Reply
  • Linda Rodgers
    Linda Rodgers

    I pray for Brian and your entire family daily. I will continue too. Lisa you are an inspiration to those around you and are gifted in many ways. God made you 'for such a time as this.' Love you

    one year ago · Reply
  • Lois Spellman
    Lois Spellman

    Your family is amazing. Always new when he was a young man he would grow into an amazing person. You all are an inspiration to each one of us. my prayers are with you. Peace.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Laurie Jennings
    Laurie Jennings

    I wish I had words, but I don't. I give you my love. <3

    one year ago · Reply
  • Jeffrey Firestone
    Jeffrey Firestone

    Still praying for a miracle! :) May God continue to bless Brian, you, and the boys!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Lynne (camera)Hamilton
    Lynne (camera)Hamilton

    Thank you for the updates. I will continue my prayers for you and your amazing family.God is very powerful 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

    one year ago · Reply
  • Teresa Zucchet
    Teresa Zucchet

    Continuing to pray for you and your sweet family each and every day Lisa. Sending you much love right now and will continue to pray for a miracle.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Louis M. Vasquez
    Louis M. Vasquez

    My prayers are continually with you all. Know God’s love for you is steadfast and unchanging. May he renew your strength, bring you peace, and hold you all close. (Matthew 28:20 [". . . I am with you always"])

    one year ago · Reply
  • Carolyn Allen
    Carolyn Allen

    Wow that was a lot. My name is Carolyn I am one of Brian's secretary's just waiting on him to come back. While we wait, I know you have read many books, listen to many tapes, have prayers going up constantly. I want to share Robert Henderson he is on YOUTUBE. I just ran across this Apostle a few weeks ago when I was goin thru a family crisis. Please listen Ms. Lisa both you and Brian. This will enhance your prayer life and get your specific prayers answered. Please it won't hurt just listen to this Mighty Man of God on youtube, Robert Henerson "The Courtroom of Heaven" Praying with you and for you all. Carolyn

    one year ago · Reply
  • debbie chernoff
    debbie chernoff

    I also thank you for the updates. At the same time we are saddened, like you said, we do not lose hope. The prayers continue. Sending love and hugs. debbie

    one year ago · Reply
  • Stephanie Mitchell
    Stephanie Mitchell

    Thank you for the update, Lisa. You are all in my thoughts and heart. I miss you Brian! Our corner of the office has been quieter and a lot less bright since you've been gone. Thankfully, I can still hear your laugh! And, of course, see your smile. Because, you know, you're Smiley and the other Brian is ..... 😊 Sending you all my best.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Laurie Kessler-Silva
    Laurie Kessler-Silva

    Dear Brian, Lisa, and family, I will continue to keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for the updates. I hope God grants you a miracle and for peace and comfort. Laurie

    one year ago · Reply
  • Sarah Jacobs
    Sarah Jacobs

    Our family is continuing to pray for Brian to be healed. Thank you so much for these postings. It has been a privilege to read about your faith, service, and perseverance. From an essay by David Batty: “Hope is not a feeling—it’s not a tidal wave of joy in the middle of a problem. Hope is not the magic wand that makes the problem disappear. Hope is the lifeline that can keep you from being overwhelmed by the storms in your life. When you place your hope in Christ, you place your confidence in His promises that He will never leave you or forsake you—that He will do what is best for you. Even though you may be in the middle of a huge problem, hope enables you to be at peace, knowing that Jesus is with you every step of the way.”

    one year ago · Reply
  • Randy Duarte
    Randy Duarte

    To my friend Brian. The kid with the most fitting last name, "Smiley"! It was 39 years this month that we last saw each other, the end of our 6th grade year. Though our lives took us in different directions, different schools, I've never forgotten you! I've often wondered where you were, though I always knew what kind of man you grew into. The kid with the big heart, grew into a man with an even bigger heart! I knew you'd be successful, and I knew you'd find love! I do regret losing touch, but I am forever thankful for the friendship we shared as kids! Your smile is forever etched in my memory! My prayers are with you, Lisa, and your boys. Life is not always good, but God is! I too believe in miracles! I also believe that someday I will see that smile again, the smile of my friend, Smiley! God Bless You Always Brian! Your friend always! Randy Duarte

    one year ago · Reply
  • Sylvia Weber
    Sylvia Weber

    Dear Brian, Lisa, David & Jack I'm praying with you for total healing and restoration. Doctors have reached the end of their wonderful god-given abilities...now we will see what God will do. I'm praying Isaiah 54:10 over you: "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed", says the Lord, who has compassion on you." Rest knowing your Father sees and hears and loves you completely. His peace will sustain you when it feels like you can't go on. I trust God with you and sing...it is well with my soul. Sending loads of love and prayers from San Diego ❤️🙏🏽

    one year ago · Reply

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