Nate Goebel. 1981 - 2013.
Tuesday, November 5
My brother departed this world Sunday evening… he was with family, without pain, at peace, and had no doubt he was headed to a better place. I sincerely thank everyone who donated, prayed, offered encouragement, and kept him and his family in their thoughts during this past year. I know they all truly and deeply appreciate all your prayers and support.
I imagine Christina may post something eventually but as you can imagine it’s a tough time right now. Facebook was updated the other night but I just wanted to provide an update for anyone who might only be following the blog.
Monday, October 28
Nate has been feeling much worse the last two days. He stopped being able to get up on his own or walk at all. Our hospice nurse came by today and told us he is in complete liver failure. We knew this was coming, but even the nurse said it came on quick.
They transported him to the hospice facility. We’ve talked about what Nate wanted when the time came so that’s what we are doing. Lizzie is with my parents and I’m staying with him until the end. Could be days, could even be longer but they don’t think so. He wants quiet and peaceful place to die and this place feels very peaceful.
He keeps saying he’s at peace and he’s ready anytime God wants him. I’m happy for him even though I’m not quite there yet. Please pray for his mom, dad, brother and sister. In some ways this is harder on them than for Nate. I can’t thank everyone enough who’s been praying for me and Lizzie through this. It means the world to me. We praise God and thank him for everyday we’ve had together. His mercy endures forever!
Saturday, October 12
I finally found the energy to post today. I seem to have less and less energy each day. Mornings are the hardest here. It takes everything I have to get out of bed each morning even though all it involves is putting my legs over the side of the bed. As rough as all that is, the hardest part is the waiting.
In my struggles to be patient with my declining health, and my quickly slipping strength, I’ve tried to find things to help me not get frustrated. In my search I’ve run across the song “While I’m Waiting”, by John Waller. The song really spoke to me, especially this specific section of the main lyrics:
While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race even while I wait
Even though it seems I’m just waiting right now, I can do all these things. I can still serve, worship, stand strong without fainting, and keep running my race. I’m not done yet. God is going to keep me around until He’s ready to let me go home. I love my family very much and enjoy the time I’ve had to spend with them, but when God’s ready to take me, I’m ready to go.
How He's doing
Tuesday, October 1
(Christina here) Hi friends and family=)
Nate’s been in the hospital since friday night. He’s going to be here for a few more days and is getting really good care. The disease progression has been making him very anemic and weak so all the blood transfusions and steroids he’s been getting have really helped him feel more like himself. Nate and I have a lot of peace at this moment. The doctors say he’s dying regardless of what they do. Good thing Nate and I already knew this and have trusted God with this or it would be a little tougher right now. He is looking forward to heaven and so am I. He’s just going to beat me there. His focus has been changing to having joy for the remainder of his life here and less on trying to stop what’s happening. Hospice is helping and will continue to help him be as comfortable as possible when we go home. He read the verse, “To live is Christ and to die is gain,” to me last night. We both know that heaven is way better than here! He wanted me to pass on the joy he has in Christ right now and also that he is incredibly happy to be eating as much doughnuts and coffee as he wants!
How things are
Thursday, September 26
I have good days. I have sucky days. I have days where I can almost get stuff done. I have days where I actually want to get out of bed.
I have days where I can almost forget I’m dying of cancer. Almost. I know I"m in God’s hands, but it’s very hard. Things are getting harder. I’m getting weaker. It’s harder to get around the house. I don’t move as fast as I did before.
It’s hard to be upbeat and positive where I am. I try to enjoy the days as they come, make the most of them with Lizzie and Christina. Sometimes all I can do is sit on the couch and hope to feel better.
I do know that God’s hand is still in this. That he is still blessing me daily though it’s hard to see it sometimes. I am glad that i’m still here to spend time with my family.
Friday, September 13
So we finally moved into the new house in Madisonville, KY. It’s nice, but packing and moving, yet again, has been rough. I haven’t been able to do much unpacking and watching Christina work very hard sorting things away has been a humbling experience. I used to be able to help with stuff like that. I placed a lot of value and self worth on my physical abilities.
Christina constantly reminds me that it’s because Christ died for me that I have value, not due to any worldly strengths or abilities. It’s good to be reminded of my eternal value vs what we think is so important here.
As for my days here, I try to help with Lizzie as much as possible, which isn’t a lot on some days. It seems my days vary from decent to good. I do have some rough days when I just want to sit on the couch and hurt. Sometimes I do just that. I don’t sleep much these days. Neither of us does really. We’re both VERY tired.
Christina through all of this has been my hero. Not only does she take care of the daily house stuff, she takes care of me, takes care of Lizzie, and everything else here. It’s a HUGE job and she does it with a smile. God couldn’t have given me a better help partner, wife, and friend. I am truly blessed.
The Runs; )
Monday, August 26
(Christina here) Nate’s been too sick these past 10 days to do much of anything including posting an update. He and Lizzie caught some kind of bug that gave them a high fever and really messed up their GI’s. Lizzie recovered quickly but it’s really hitting Nate hard. His immune system is already so down that this has just been miserable! Please pray for him. This has been so rough. With God’s help, we’ll get through this.
Thursday, August 15
I am getting sicker. I have joy. This may sound like a contradiction. It’s not though, because I have peace about where God has my life at this moment. God said he loves me and I believe it. I used to say that before, but it means so much more now that I have to live it everyday. Christina and I are choosing everyday to believe in God’s goodness and love. We believe he has a plan for our lives regardless of whatever trials we are facing. Because our trials are greater, our trust in God is being proved and strengthened everyday. This brings me joy. I hope in Christ. Christ endured much worse than what I’m facing so that I may have peace with God. This gives me great perspective. Living is not the most important thing to us anymore. I know where I stand with God today and I know I’m going to be with Him when I die. I wish everyone knew that kind of joy. I wish all my friends and family could feel that joy with me.
Moving and other things
Sunday, August 11
A lot’s happened here in the last week or so. I guess I should start by saying where here is. Here, is Madisonville, KY. We moved from Tucson Arizona, to Kentucky. It’s good to be back in the Midwest, but as for the rest of my family and in-laws, they are still adjusting. It is HUMID here. I’ve forgotten just how humid it gets out here. I do miss that about Tucson.
We’re still waiting on our household stuff to catch up to us. We happened to pick the worst moving company on planet earth so delay after delay has been the norm. Our stuff was actually supposed to beat us out here and be ready for us by the time we got here. Well, 2 weeks later, that is not the case. The drivers swear they’ll be here tomorrow morning with our stuff. But, then again, we’ve heard that same line at least 3 times over so far and they haven’t delivered yet.
Well, while our stuff is hopefully being delivered tomorrow morning, I have an appointment with my new oncologist. He’s new to town and supposedly awesome. I’m a little nervous about it so we’ll see how that goes. Not nervous about the appointment really, but finding the hospital. I haven’t driven much out here since we relocated. For a town of around 25,000, it’s seems about as sprawling as Tucson, just MUCH less dense. Oh, and I didn’t know this about Kentucky, but evidently they don’t believe in funding for street signs. Almost nothing is marked out here. That’s gonna make it a challenge for sure.
Well, a new adventure has started. We’re making a new home here, and we’ll see how that works out. We should be in a house soon, and out of our small temporary condo pretty soon. Can’t wait!
Late night thoughts
Tuesday, August 6
It’s just before 2am in the morning here. I’ve been up for about an hour and a half now trying to go back to sleep. I haven’t had any success. I laid awake for the longest time, pleading with God to spare my life, to let me life a long full life….crying into my pillow. I don’t usually bare my soul so much on here as I am right now, but this is where I am tonight and how I feel. I fully believe that God’s will will be done in my life and if it’s His perogative to take mine, then so be it. I know that somehow it will bring Him glory. I also know that if it’s all the same, I very much want to live.
It’s very hard sometimes when I’m holding Lizzie’s hand in mine and Christina’s in the other, walking somewhere with the sun shining and people smiling to remember that I have advanced cancer and may not live much longer. It’s something that I’ve been able to keep shoved into the back of my mind for the most part….something that I can’t dwell on, that I don’t dwell on because I know that there is nothing I can do change the outcome of my illness. I know there are lots of things I’m doing such as my supplementation and juicing, and radical dieting, but I know that in the end, it will be God’s decision as to whether or not I stay here. As I told Christina the other day, all I can do is my best. I won’t die because I caved and had a slice of pizza when I shouldn’t have. No matter what I do, it will ultimately come down to what brings God the most glory. My continuing to live, or my death.
At times I think that I’m entitled. I have so much to live for, so much left to do with my life, that there simply isn’t any way that it can be curtailed, cut short so soon. Who am I to think that way? Am I any more special in the eyes of God than the poor homeless man on the street barely getting by? By no means. To think that I am is pure arrogance. I have no more right to continue living than he does.
I would easily give up every single solitary worldly possession, desire, dream, goal, and plan, for the simple assurance that I won’t die of cancer. Rambling over for now…
The cost of feeling better
Saturday, August 3
You’ve probably noticed already if you’ve been following me much, that I’ve been really dragging these past few months. A good friend of mine got me started on a few new vitamin supplements and my wife added one she hoped also would help this past month. They both said I might feel a little better after a few weeks. After taking them faithfully in addition to everything else I take….I do. I feel like I have slightly more energy and am just a bit more clear headed. Not a vast improvement, but with the way I’ve been feeling, even a tiny bit of energy is a great improvement!
It seems like for every improvement, there’s a price to pay. In this case, literally. It’s an age old question. Why does everything that is good for you have to be SO expensive? I’m coming to the end of my supplement supplies and I need funds to buy more. If anyone can help, I’d be very grateful. Thanks!
Not Homeowners Anymore
Thursday, August 1
We sold our house. It hasn’t closed yet, but it’s just about to. We are all moved out and currently living with my wife’s parents. When things got tougher earlier this year, they came to us with the offer of living with them until things resolve. Not being able to work and having big medical expenses made it tough to try to pay our mortgage, utilities and all the other costs of owning a home. We loved our house and Christina really made it a home. But that’s the beauty of family. We will make a home wherever we live. Thankfully we didn’t leave any bill unpaid or even miss a mortgage payment. It’s been a close call some months! I still have all my medical and supplements to pay for, but all the stress of moving was worth it to eliminate everything else. I’m so grateful to all the generous and awesome people out there who have been helping us pay for my treatment. You guys rock! I pray that God blesses each of you for the prayers, love and support you’ve sent my way. So long to the house that we’ve had the joy of owning for the past four years!
Focusing on the good things
Tuesday, July 23
It seems right now, cancer aside, that life has thrown its share or challenges at us big time. My Social Security Disability is on the verge of either being denied or approved, but we only have a few days to get the into back to them. I’ve torn something in my right arm that doesn’t seem to want to heal. It’s only a twinge, but it’s a very annoying one. My night sweats are more frequent now than they have ever been. I had a reprieve for a few nights which was nice, but then last night they were back in full force. I had to change clothes 3 times.
It’s easy to focus on how hard things are without realizing just how blessed I truly am. Yes, I really did say blessed. I know I’m dying of cancer, but I do still feel blessed. God has given me a beautiful wife to love and care for, an amazing little miracle baby that’s the coolest thing in the whole world, a great job for a long time where I was able to meet some great people, and a wonderful house for my family and I to live in. Even in my illness, He has been faithful to provide for our needs since I’ve not been working for months and have had no income at all. Our bills have not gone unpaid and we have not gone hungry. God is indeed good. When I’m tempted to look around and think of how much things suck, I’m reminded of just how much God has done for my family and I and it’s humbling to be reminded of that. I need to be reminded of that…
Friday, July 12
This is a screen capture of my latest PET/CT scan. Today was the first time I’ve seen these images. I had wondered how much cancer was in my lungs. Now I know. This was as of a few weeks ago anyways.
It’s hard to know what to feel these days. I don’t despair. As Marilla of Anne of Green Gables said “Despair is turning one’s back on God.” I will never despair. It’s very hard to stay upbeat with my energy level plummeting, strength at an all time low, and not so great possible outcome. However, God gives me just enough strength, just enough energy, just enough hope to get through each day. He truly is my daily bread. I don’t know what else to say…
Updates and such
Tuesday, July 9
Well, it’s been more than quite a while since I last posted. Lizzie is back home and doing just fine. She’s 100% again and playing and having fun like always. We have no idea what was wrong, but we’re just glad that she’s back in good health again.
As for my stuff, the saga continues. I’m still taking vitamin C, slowly upping my dose. I haven’t seen any response either good of bad from the high dose I’m taking. I don’t feel like I have any more energy, but then again, I’m not sure how much energy I would have if I weren’t taking it. A friend sent me some other supplements that are supposed to be VERY good. I’ll start taking them in earnest tomorrow. They have to be taken 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
It’s hard to maintain a positive outlook and be optimistic in the face of what seems inevitable. But I am. It is a struggle, though. I have great days and I have sucky days. I’m still here and thus I must stay positive and enjoy this time with my family, my wife and my little Lizzie. My Social Security Disability is still up in the air, but we’re hoping it’s approved this time. Only time will tell on that accord. Updating Life Insurance policy and such.
Well, life goes on : ) Please keep praying for my family and I. Thanks, and God bless you all!
Little Lizzie is sick...
Friday, June 28
There’s nothing like a sick baby to take your mind away from your own issues and focus on the needs of someone else. That isn’t to say I’m self absorbed, but sometimes things just feel a little overwhelming if I dwell on it too often. Lizzie has bee in the University Medical Center since about 2pm yesterday. She was throwing up over and over again and couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. She’s doing fine now, but the nurses want to keep her till late tomorrow for observation. We still have no idea what caused the uncontrollable vomiting. My poor little girl. It breaks my heart to see her hurting. I’m very glad she’s doing better and will likely be home tomorrow afternoon if not later tonight.
No real updates as for as my stuff goes. My liposomal vitamin C intake is steadily increasing. Today after I take my last does I’ll have taken about 12,000mg of Vitamin C. That will steadily increase to 22,000mg if I can get that far without complications. I’m going to hold at that point and see how my body reacts for about a week. As of right now I don’t think I notice a difference. I feel more tired than I ever have and my energy feels less and less each day. Please continue to pray for my family and I. Thanks!
Sunday, June 16
My first traditional chemo treatment is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:15am. Only it isn’t going to happen. It’s going to be cancelled first thing in the morning. The simple answer is I have felt no peace at all about chemo on Monday. When I brought this up to Christina, she admitted to feeling the same way. I’ve always tried to say things in the most positive way but there is the reality of how things actually are.
My oncologist stated during our appointment last Friday that, given the fact that my cancer did not respond to 25 chemo treatments in Phoenix, that it is most likely resistant to chemo now, or has always been. We don’t know which. We do know that undergoing high dose chemo treatment this late in my diagnosis, which at this point has been changed to terminal, will not reverse my prognosis. It will just make me sick and weak for what is left of my life. Chemo will eventually lead to hospitalization away from my daughter and wife. I would eventually die in a hospital somewhere. When I die, I don’t want it to be in a hospital. I want it to be beside those I love and care about.
You may be wondering what we are going to be doing instead. Surely we must have another option or idea that we will be implementing since chemo is off the table. There is. Is not guaranteed by any means to reverse my terminal prognosis. However, there are studies and tests out there that indicate it has done both in some individuals that were considered terminal as well. This treatment will be administered at home and is known as Liposomal Vitamin C. I mentioned it briefly in my previous post. It is the most potent form of Vitamin C known, and I will be dosing between 30-50 grams a day. To put that into perspective, you would have have to take a whole bottle of vitamin C, orally, DAILY, to even come close to the amount I’ll be consuming.
By maintaing a high blood concentration of Vitamin C, I have a small hope of reducing if not eliminating cell damage from cancer. Vitamin C is mega doses has been proven to kill cancer cells if the blood concentration can be maintained somewhat indefinitely. There is no guarantee of this, but others around the world have done this with good results. The best case scenario is that it will slowly begin to reverse my condition and improve my health. Worst case is that it would do nothing more than extend my life expectancy a significant amount. It could add months to my possibly short life.
The first decision to pursue traditional chemo was made in haste. We had felt at that point, that chemo was the only place left to turn. A last bastion of hope, one might say. We have since reconsidered. We have to make the tough decisions for what is right for me. This has been so tough. We’ve cried and talked and prayed and this is my decision. I want to really be here as healthy as possible for as long as possible. I still have hope. It would take an act of God, but I may still make it out of this=) I value all my family and friends who have been supporting and loving me during this tough time. Thank you and we love you!
Friday, June 14
This will probably be the hardest post I’ve ever had to blog. I’ve kept a few things back this week in preparation of finding out just how advanced my cancer truly is. I had a PET/CT scan on Tuesday, and an MRI of my brain on Wednesday. My follow up with my new oncologist was Today. I didn’t want to tell anyone any of this in advance because I feared the worst but wanted to hear good news. I found out everything today a few hours ago.
There was good news and bad. There is no cancer of any kind in my brain. That was the extent of the good news. The rest was all bad. My cancer is far more advanced at this point than it was when I was diagnosed. The cancer is the bone marrow of my spine has spread extensively, approximately 10 times what it was earlier. The cancer in the rest of my body has either grown or stayed the same. There are a few small exceptions where the nodes have shrank, but they are only tiny areas. The worst news was yet to come. The cancer has now spread to my lungs. I have multiple cancerous nodes in both lungs now. As things progress, I would eventually suffocate as my lungs fill with cancer.
We spoke in detail with the oncologist about potential treatments. We have reached the conclusion that the IPT therapy we first pursued was either totally ineffective at treating my cancer, or that we were simply incapable of doing enough of it to make a difference due to lack of funds. We did spend approximately $50,000 on chemo to this point. Sadly, it has had little to no effect on my cancer. It may be that my cancer has become partially resistant to chemo and may not be treatable at this point. We do have options.
Against everything we think and know to be true about traditional chemo, Christina and I have decided to pursue this type of treatment. Starting Monday I will undergo what will be the first of 4 trial traditional chemo treatments. The goal of these treatments is to determine if my cancer is still treatable by this method. There should be notable results if it is. If there are no results, then my cancer has mostly likely become resistant to chemo. In that case, there is an alternate type of chemo that is used that will basically nuke my entire body to the point my bone marrow will die. A bone marrow transplant will have to done at this point as my existing bone marrow will be mostly dead. If I reach this point in treatment I will most likely be hospital bound as I will be too sick to live at home.
There is one other thing we will be doing in addition to chemo. It is called Liposomal C. This is vitamin C bound to a lipid (fat). It is bound to a fat that is similar in composition to what the body’s cell walls are made of. This facilitates easy transfer of the vitamin C into the cells. This type of vitamin C is supposed to be approximately 100 times more effective than what’s normally taken orally, and more than 4-8 times as effective as my previous vitamin C IV per gram. I will be taking massive doses in addition to chemo. Hopefully it will help offset some of the sickness and nausea.
This is probably the hardest time so far during my illness. Christina and I have talked in depth about how harsh traditional chemo is on the body and how we wanted to avoid it at all possible. We both know that it will end with me in the hospital at some point if we pursue it to its conclusion. I won’t be at home to play with Lizzie, to help change diapers and to feed her. We won’t be able to snuggle on the couch and watch Veggie Tales. I won’t be able to chase her around like I do now. Life as we both know it would change forever.
As sad as all this crap is, I will end this post on a positive note. Christ is more powerful than any cancer. My faith in Him is not shaken. Should I die next week, my faith remains. I was put on earth for a simple purpose. That purpose is to serve God and please Him with my life. I have done that to the best of my abilities. I have failed miserably at times. By His grace, and His grace alone, I have always gotten back up after I’ve fallen. I may not live to see the end of this year. If that be God’s will for my life, so be it. I will continue to love my family, love my friends, and serve God till He calls me home. I want to live, but I want God’s will to be done in my life even more. Pray for that.
Been a long week...but a good one : )
Tuesday, June 11
Wow, it’s been a week since I’ve posted. It’s amazing how much Lizzie has grown in that short amount of time. She is now able to get up on any piece of furniture in the front of the house. She can’t quite make it up on our beds yet, but I’m sure by the time she’s 2, she won’t have any problems.
She also learned something else that’s super cute. She is now able to climb up on one of the breakfast table chairs, and then step over to her baby high-chair that is strapped to the next chair. She sits down and then looks at us like it’s time to be fed : ) I’ll post some video of that on here soon I hope. My bro just bought us a nice little camera to take pics and video of Lizzie since our old one broke a while ago. It’s nice to be able to record her growing up and all the silly little things she does.
I’ve sorta fallen behind on the yard work here lately, to put it nicely. My mother-in-law, Lisa, has been nice enough to hire someone to help with cleaning up the yard and hauling off some bulk trash that’s accumulated in the side yard. He’ll be helping with the weed infestation in the back as well. It’s much needed help.
It’s hard to just sit back and let someone do what you used to be able to do. I could have done all of this with no sweat a year ago. Now, the simplest thing like hauling the trash and recycling bins back to the side yard tire me out. Everything seems to take 10 times the amount of energy that it used to take. I’m very fortunate in that God has given me the strength to keep going, to keep doing the things that I absolutely have no choice but to do. He gives me just the right amount of energy to make it through each day and for that I am VERY thankful. If if weren’t for the grace of God, and the love and support of my beautiful wife Christina, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I’m just not that strong. I am thankful everyday that I have her. As for Lizzie, she remains strong encouragement to keep pushing, to keep getting out of bed in the morning, and to keep doing all that things I take, drink, and make for treatments.
I feel that I am being refined in this process of illness and trial. To what end I am unsure. All I know is that God has a plan for my life, great or small, and that since I woke to another day today, that it hasn’t been fulfilled yet. Time will tell. God bless you all, and good night!
Updates and stuff
Wednesday, June 5
So I haven’t posted in a while so I thought I would post tonight. Actually, Christina reminded me : ) So my bro Josh has been in town the last few days. He flies out tomorrow morning. It’s been up and down having him here, but all in all I’m very glad that he came. We had some fun hanging out, shopping, and watching movies. He got us a very nice digital camera to take photo’s of Lizzie with. Look for some more nice photos of her on here soon!
As for other things, having any guests at our house tends to disrupt my schedule of protocols and such. Well, truth be told, I kinda let it interrupt things. I look forward to getting back on a strict schedule in the next few days. I missed juicing a few days, but I’m back doing that again. I’m also back taking everything I should be doing again. It’s been hard to take my hydrogen peroxide therapy as we’ve been in and out of the house all hours going on errands and such. I’ll start that again full tilt tomorrow.
It’s so hard knowing what to eat these days. Christina and I are going to sit down soon and work out what we think I can and can’t eat and update that list. As for my Social Security Disability stuff, I got my packet from Binder and Binder a few days ago and will be filling that out as soon as Josh leaves town. I need to get it done and back in the mail to them. We’ll see what happens with that. Well, keep us in your prayers. Out for now!