Appreciation for Life

Six months after Chris was diagnosed and he had experienced setback after setback, we could have easily started feeling sorry for ourselves. But we had a reality check that I documented in my journal:

Wednesday, we were riding the shuttle van back to the hotel from MD Anderson. We stopped at a children’s hospital to pick up a mother and her nine-year-old son. She struggled to lift him into the front seat. He apparently had brain cancer, as he was bald and lacked motor skills and had tremors. The mother was cheerful, as was the boy. He sang with the radio on the way to the hotel (or at least attempted to sing). We were all laughing because he was so happy, and it was so touching.

Is Cancer Insurance Worth Having?

Years ago, after listening to Dave Ramsey say that cancer insurance is a gimmick and isn’t needed if you have good health insurance, I agreed. But then my sister-in-law developed cancer and had previously purchased cancer insurance after her mother and sisters were diagnosed with cancer. It really helped them with extra expenses not covered by regular health insurance. I was finally able to talk my husband into allowing us to purchase cancer insurance in 2006 after his father died of cancer and his sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It was one of the wisest decisions we made.

You don’t truly understand the financial impact of cancer until it strikes your own home.

Roaring on the Radio

I had an opportunity to share about God’s faithfulness during an interview about Cancer on Two Wheels and His Love Carries Me on “The Review with Joy and Company” on live radio. It may not have been a loud roar like a lion, but it’s the loudest my lamb’s voice can do without becoming hoarse.

Although I was panicking and filled with anxiety the weekend before the interview, Joy, Rose, and Rosemary put me at ease, and it was an enjoyable experience. With each speaking engagement, I am becoming more confident as I share our story in speaking engagements. Here is the link to the interview on Facebook Live.

2018 Christian Literary Award Competition

Cancer on Two Wheels and His Love Carries Me are nominated in 3 different categories for the 2018 Christian Literary Awards. In addition to the Henri Award (which is voted on by a review panel of judges), the readers have a chance to vote on their favorite book/author for the "Reader's Choice" in each category. Voting is open from October 1-15. Please vote for one of our books in:


Grief & Terminal Illness
Testimonial
Non-Fiction

Here's the direct link for the voting. https://christianliteraryawards.com/cast-your-vote/

Caring for a Family Member with Alzheimer’s Disease

In today’s world, so many people find themselves in the role of caregiver for elderly parents, spouses, disabled children, or siblings. Nancy has spoken with many of these caregivers and shares their unique stories on her blog www.faithfilledcaregivers.com. Nancy feels that with God, we can offer help and hope to each other and find victory through sharing our stories. Nancy encourages you to read her blog and know that you are never alone.

Strengthening Faith

I have a confession to make. I used to open my Bible only on Sundays. I tried reading through the Bible many times over the years but lost interest because I was reading it as merely a historical book instead of the living Word of God.

We were driving to Houston once again, a captive audience listening to sermons on our favorite Christian radio station.

Robert Jeffress preached first. “It’s important to read your Bible every day, preferably first thing in the morning before your day starts.”

Chuck Swindoll was next. “I suggest reading your Bible first thing in the morning before starting the day,” he said.

Then came David Jeremiah’s sermon. “The ideal time to read the Bible is first thing in the morning before your day starts.”

Finally, Charles Stanley came on. I’ll give you one guess what the sermon was about.

“Okay, God, I got the message!” I shouted. His voice may not have been audible, but His message came through loud and clear. I needed to deepen my knowledge and strengthen my spiritual walk to make it through the tough times ahead.

Caregiving

At a Cancer Encouragement Group meeting I attended without Chris, the survivors updated the group on their status. After I told how Chris was doing, the leader then asked me, “How are you doing, DeLayne?” No one had ever asked me that. People would often ask Chris how he was doing with me standing right next to him, but it was as if I were invisible.

I was caught off guard by the question. I burst into tears, touched that someone cared about me. Someone understood I was suffering too. I later read an article regarding this phenomenon and became aware it would help me to discuss my feelings with other caregivers.

A Roaring Lamb

I tell in the introduction of my book how God led me to write His Love Carries Me. (Refer to the “Peek Inside” feature on the Home page.) But there is more to the story that explains why I have two publishers’ logos on my books.

Homes of Hope

My younger son, Shane, was Chad’s shadow. Whatever Chad did, Shane did. Their lives always seemed to be intertwined as best buddies. After Shane graduated from college and was unhappy with his chosen career path, he decided to try his brother’s dream career. Shane, too, became a professional bicyclist, before he quickly realized that was Chad’s dream—not his. Here are excerpts from what Shane wrote in 2014 (shared with his permission):

More Than Sport

My older son, Chad, just finished racing his first Tour de France, and his professional cycling team, Team Sunweb, helped Tom Dumoulin place second overall. As proud and excited as I am for him and for them, Chad will be the first to tell you that there is more to life than just sports. Below are excerpts from a blog that he wrote about a life-changing experience he had in 2013 (shared with his permission):

Paying Homage

Chris enjoyed leatherworking as a hobby, and when Chad and Shane were young, he taught them a bit of the craft. In Cancer on Two Wheels, Chris talks about how he taught Shane some more of leathercrafting when Shane was in middle school. The last time they shared this hobby was Thanksgiving week 2013. After his father’s death, Shane decided to teach himself more of the skill as he worked through his grief. His ability has far surpassed anything his father knew how to do. I thought you’d enjoy hearing how Shane decided to pay tribute to his dad by making this his living:

The Art of Taking a Pitch

Both Chad and Shane have inherited their father’s talent for writing. Here’s a blog that Shane wrote in September 2016 about a lesson he learned from his dad in baseball that reflected how Chris dealt with life during cancer:

His Hero

In my book His Love Carries Me, I refer to my husband, Chris, as “Shane’s hero.” The following is an excerpt from a blog written by our younger son in October 2016 (shared with his permission) and explains why his dad was his hero:

Years ago, my mom reached out to friends and family for us to write letters of appreciation to my dad for the impact he had in our lives. I had this memory, clear as day, that I decided to write about.

Blessed by Accident

Chris and I were blessed with two wonderful sons who have remained best friends over the years. I have included in my book His Love Carries Me the story of Chad and “The Accident” in Spain, but I thought you would appreciate the story from his brother’s viewpoint from his blog, which Shane wrote in March 2016 (shared with his permission).

He Was Going to Play Baseball

People frequently ask me, “Did your sons get into cycling because of their dad?” The answer is, “No. Chris got into cycling because of our boys.” Whatever sport they became interested in, Chris wanted to become a part of to spend more time with them. (Okay, to be honest, he also wanted to make sure they were safe when riding on streets with motorists during their earlier years.) But then he, too, got bit by the cycling bug and loved to be on the bike even if Chad and Shane weren’t around.

Since our older son Chad is currently racing in the Tour de France, I decided to share (with his permission) a blog that he wrote in March 2011 on how he became a cyclist.

Living the Dream

Well, yesterday was quite the exciting day. Chad officially became a bike racer in the eyes of the American public as he entered his first stage of the Tour de France. Although he has seven Grand Tours already under his belt, because the general public in America has never heard of those races, those tours don't count.

Chasing a Dream

Our older son, Chad, was scheduled to graduate in December 2010 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Although he had already received a job offer from the company where he had interned, we weren’t surprised when he called Chris in October to say that a couple of semi-professional cycling teams had shown an interest in him. He didn’t ask his dad’s opinion of what he should do, but Chris sensed he wanted to. Our son apparently couldn’t get up the courage to make this career change after we had put him through four years of college.