Archive

Archive for the ‘Our Cancer Journey’ Category

There are those moments….

May 12, 2014 2 comments


Settled in, loving my new ministry–
and I might do what?

Let’s start with the end of the story. I know, that goes against all the rules, but I think it’s one of those times to break the rules.

The end of the story goes like this: I’m closing on a house next Wednesday!

Yes, you read that right. No typo going on here. Going over my options, financially it just makes more sense to buy than rent down here in Florida. I figured it would take time to find what I was looking for at the price I wanted, but I had time on my side. Start now, I reasoned, and I had plenty of time.

Looking at it that way, I started this process shortly before Jamie left so I could have his input. We went out one night together with the realtor. There was the villa in a nice location that needed too much work for the price; the perfectly priced small home in a neighborhood where police stopping by for domestic violence served as entertainment; two fixer-uppers in good areas that were so involved it was exhausting just to think about it; another with potential if the price ever came down; and then we walked into the last house—and it was a pleasant surprise. It had everything on my mental checklist and was nice besides.

“You really should jump on this one,” the realtor told me, apologizing in the same breath for being pushy. “It’s just the chances of finding another one this nice in your price range is pretty low.” Having followed the market for the past year, I knew she was right.

But how do you admit to your realtor that you really weren’t expecting to find something that quick and you aren’t quite in the decision-making mode? That, in reality, you are more in the window-shopping mode?

I went home and prayed about it. … Then I put in an offer.  Things just started falling into place.

Once the offer was accepted, I was going to say something—but then the inspections were taking place in short order, so why not wait for those?

The inspections passed—and by that night my realtor called to let me know everything else had come in. Paperwork that usually takes a few weeks to process showed up on her desk in a few days’ time.

We were all set. We were ready to close. The realtor suggested we move up the closing date from May 28 to sometime next week.

Right. Next week. Just over three weeks from when I first looked at the house.

Now we’re back to the end of the story: I’m closing on a house next Thursday.

But I guess that’s not quite the end. I may be moving in June—or may possibly be renting it out for about six months. I’m good with either, just waiting to see which way the Lord directs all involved. Your prayers are appreciated!

UPDATE: A quick update since this post may have confused you! Remember that move into missions I heading towards? Well, it happened! On April 1, 2014 I moved to Florida to begin working at NTM in their communications department. I’ve been posting on my NTM blog—but not here. Sorry! The above is a post I copied from my NTM blog from last week. 🙂 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I’m a mother of four great sons. I’m a widow who has transitioned back into full-time missions with NTM as a staff writer in their communications department. I’m also an author of three Christian suspense novels: BetrayedIdentity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) Greater than that, I am a child of God with a passion for God, my family, and writing! If you want to connect with me, join me on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and Pinterest. Interested in updates by email? CLICK HERE!

Have a question? Email Me!

Advertisements

There are those moments….

January 3, 2014 4 comments

There are those moments.

I glance up from the computer screen to the calendar hanging on the office wall.

I reach to flip to the next month. The new year is passing us by.

A lump forms in my throat. Tears begin to well, but I fight them down.

Now is not the time nor the place. But the feeling remains.

As the year hastens on, I can’t help but feel like it’s hastening on to the death of my beloved.

I want time to stand still.

But it doesn’t.

There are those moments.

Picking out a Valentine’s card is supposed to be a joy.

Instead, I’m fighting for composure as I search for the perfect card.

A card that doesn’t brag on how many more years we’ll enjoy together.

A card that doesn’t brag on growing old together.

Valentine’s cards don’t say how much you’ll miss them.

Ten cards later I finally find it.

A card that simply tells him how much I love him.

A card that tells him how much he means to me.

I smile through the tears.

There are those moments.

Our eldest son is saying his goodbyes.

He’s heading off to basic training with the Air National Guard.

He’s mature and calm on the outside, but jumping up and down with excitement on the inside.

It’s a moment he’s been waiting for.  It’s his moment.

My husband hugs him good-bye. A poignant scene.

I can’t help but wonder if this is the last good-bye.

I wonder if  my husband will ever see his son again.

But this is not a moment for mourning for the what-ifs.

It is a moment for rejoicing for my son.

There are those moments.

Family day at the New York State Fair.

My husband and I are walking hand in hand through the noise, the sights, and the cheerful faces.

I’m smiling. Enjoying the day.

The chances of him being here with me next year are… .

I refuse to finish the thought.

Instead, I intertwine my hand more tightly with that of my husband’s.

I push the thought aside and concentrate on the here and now.

There are those moments.

And then the culmination of all those moments.

The visit when the doctor admits there is nothing else they can do and hospice is called in.

The sudden deterioration in my husband’s condition. A blood loss that can’t be compensated for.

Awaking to find that my husband’s frail body is now but a shell.

He has been  graduated to glory.

There are those moments.

I’m so thankful that God is in all those moments right there beside me.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I’m a mother of four great sons. I’m a widow who’s transitioning back into full-time missions to work with NTM’s Communications department. I’m also an author of three Christian suspense novels: BetrayedIdentity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) Greater than that, I am a child of God with a passion for God, my family, and writing! If you want to connect with me, join me on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and Pinterest. Interested in updates by email? CLICK HERE!

Have a question? Email Me!

A Gift from God

February 3, 2013 6 comments

When hospice came in, I began to make plans for the inevitable, knowing that when the time came there would be too much to do while too many emotions clouded my mind. I remember sitting down to write a tentative obituary, attempting to sum up my husband’s life in but a few words. It seemed an impossible task—until God brought a story to mind. A story I had heard many times over the years. A story from his mother. 

Laura became pregnant with Matt during their training to be missionaries. Realizing that this would mean she would miss many of the classes, Laura was far from pleased. One night her displeasure was brought short. She had a dream, and in her dream she had a baby boy whose name was Matthew.

Upon waking, Laura told her husband of her dream and they looked up what the name Matthew meant. It means “a gift from God.” That day Laura’s attitude did an abrupt 180 as God’s message became loud and clear. This pregnancy, this son, was a gift from God.

And so the obituary was written. In a nutshell, Matt’s life was a gift from God to his family and friends, which he gave back to God in a lifetime of service.

THE OBITUARY:

SKANEATELES | Matthew Cochran, 51, of Skaneateles, died Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at home, after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Matthew was born in Williamsport, Pa., to Francis and Laura (Taylor) Cochran. His mother always reminded him that his name meant “a gift from God.” Matt has been just that to his family and friends. He has been a gift from God and a faithful servant to God. Raised in Venezuela by missionary parents, Matt followed in their steps. During missionary training, he met his wife, Rosie, and they returned to Venezuela. After serving 20 years with New Tribes Mission, ministering in remote tribal locations, they moved to central New York, where Matt spent several years ministering to migrant Hispanic workers, before taking the pastorate at the First Church in Skaneateles, in September of 2009. He is survived by his wife, Rosie Cochran; four sons, Joseph (Jen), Jamie, Tyler, and Tyrel; his mother, Laura Cochran and two brothers, Fran and Keith (Rebekah). Matthew was predeceased by his father, Francis Cochran; his sister, Melissa Cochran and his sister-in-law, Janet Cochran. Family and friends are invited to call from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at the Second Baptist Church, 1 Herman Ave., Auburn, following with a memorial service at 7 p.m. with the Rev. Brian Hill officiating. Brew Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Published in The Citizen from January 31 to February 1, 2013

(Link to the obituary.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons (and a wonderful daughter-in-law!), and author of three Christian suspense novels: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing!
If you want to connect with me, join me on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and Pinterest.  Interested in updates by email? CLICK HERE!

Have a question? Email Me!

Categories: Life, Our Cancer Journey

A Glorious Hope

February 1, 2013 26 comments

DSC00019

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
~ Psalm 116:15

Words at times fail. After losing much blood since Sunday, I could hear Matt’s breathing changing to that strange rattling sound off and on during the night. At five on Wednesday morning I still heard him breathing, but at seven when I checked on him his body was here, but his spirit was reunited with his Savior and loved ones who have gone on before.

The hardest day of my life was also my husband’s greatest graduation. He is with his Savior. He has been ushered into glory. Can I really begrudge him that? To be free of his cancer-stricken mortal body? To be fully comprehending the love of his Savior? How he must be rejoicing to see his earthly father up there and other friends and loved ones. No, there’s no way I can begrudge him any of that. 

Though our hearts feel a great void and loss, and we grieve deeply, we do not grieve as those that have no hope. Why? Because we know Matt took God at His Word. He recognized that he was a sinner, incapable of earning his way to heaven through any good living of his own. When God said He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins; and that Jesus rose the third day victorious over death; Matt believed Him. He confessed with his mouth, he believed with his heart, and by doing so accepted God’s free gift of eternal life. We know Matt is in heaven with his Savior and that we have the certain hope of a future heavenly reunion. What a glorious hope that is.

Funeral arrangements have been made. Both the Calling Hours and the Memorial Service will be held at:

SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH
1 N. Herman Avenue
Auburn, NY

The times are as follows:
CALLING HOURS: Friday, February 1, 2013 at 5-7PM
MEMORIAL SERVICE: Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7PM
A fellowship time and refreshments will follow after the service.

(Link to the obituary.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons (and a wonderful daughter-in-law!), and author of three Christian suspense novels: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing!
If you want to connect with me, join me on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and Pinterest.  Interested in updates by email? CLICK HERE!

Have a question? Email Me!

Categories: Life, Our Cancer Journey

The Prudence of Planning

December 3, 2012 21 comments

It still looked like night when we pulled out of the driveway. Closer to the hospital, as the sun started to brighten the landscape, we stopped at Tim Hortons for breakfast. When you know you have a hard day ahead of you, you’ve got to start it out right. We had our good start. A nice chat over a good breakfast and coffee.

At the hospital, there were no blood tests or CT scans preceding this appointment. There was the mutual agreement that the stent was definitely doing its job, evidenced by the now absent jaundice.

Then came the conversation we knew was coming. We knew because it had been brought up for us to consider at the last visit, but put on hold for this one. We’d already had the “prepare yourselves” talk. Now we were to have the “get things in place” talk. We were thankful we’d had time to mull it over in our minds, to digest it, and to pray over it.

We all agreed that at the moment, with the jaundice gone, Matt’s condition is not critical. He has his good days. He has his bad days. But he’s not having critical days. Yet the recent scans show that the tumor enveloping the pancreas, which hadn’t grown in months, is growing again; signs of constricted flow are now evident in the splenic and portal veins encased by the pancreatic tumor; and the burden of cancer on the liver is quite extensive and continues to grow.

With the results at hand, and barring complications, the doctor’s best estimate is a matter of months. Though we recognize that it could be more than a matter of months if the Lord permits, we understand the prudence behind the recommendation that it is best to get hospice in place.

Hospice. There, I’ve said the dreaded word. In a way it changes everything—-yet it changes nothing. It’s the finality that the word conjures up in our mind that makes our voice catch as we say it. Yet life goes on. We continue with our lives despite the fact that we will be meeting with hospice tomorrow to get prepared. Matt will continue to have good days and bad days. For now he’ll continue to preach, to frequent Walmart, and to nap more than he ever has in the past. We will not forget to live. We’ll get out together, we’ll try to keep Tim Hortons from going out of business, and we’ll enjoy each other. We will continue our lives as normally as possible for as long as we can.

How are we holding up? Probably the best answer is that we’re being held up in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. If I can compare this to the poem “Footprints in the Sand,” we’re at that point where there is only one set of footprints. He’s carrying us. The burden is great, but not greater than our Savior can bear for us. Does that erase the tears? No. Does it remove all sadness and grief? Definitely not. But it makes it bearable. It makes it possible to praise Him in the storm. Pray with us, that we would remember to praise Him in the storm. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons (and a wonderful daughter-in-law!), and author of three Christian suspense novels: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing!
If you want to connect with me, join me on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and Pinterest.  Interested in updates by email? CLICK HERE!

Have a question? Email Me!

Categories: Our Cancer Journey

A Successful Procedure!

November 14, 2012 8 comments
Digestive system diagram showing bile duct loc...

Digestive system diagram showing bile duct location. (Photo credit: Wikipedia ~ Public Domain)

Our Monday evening plans changed when my cell phone rang just before 3:00 p.m. that afternoon. Answering it, I learned that Matt needed to be in Rochester to have the stent put in the next morning. After making arrangements to stay at the Hope Lodge, we headed up that evening after work.

As with every procedure, the risks and possible bumps in the road have to be discussed before you sign on the dotted line and get on the table. As we went over the possible issues that could arise with yesterday’s procedure, we realized there was the possibility that there were more blockages than had shown up on the CT scan. If they existed, they would become apparent as they performed the Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography—or ERCP for short.

We learned that the obvious blockage in the lower part of the bile duct rarely causes issues for the doctors, but if there were blockages further up they are not always able to open those. And obviously, if you can’t open up ones higher up, you can’t access the lower blockage either.

Not the greatest of news as Matt signed the papers, especially considering the poor track record we’ve had with treatments that should work just not working in Matt’s case. Once again we had to remind ourselves that the results have been, and will continue to be, from God. These have not been random results that have taken God by surprise.

In all the circumstances of each of our lives, it really boils down to if we believe that the God who created the Universe, that clothes the grass of the fields, that knows the number of hairs on our heads, if we believe that He knows what He is doing in our lives. Do we trust Him? And maybe more importantly, are we ready to accept His plan for our lives over our own desires and plans? 

But back to the procedure. The doctor stepped out into the waiting room as soon as he was done to let me know the only blockage they encountered was the one in the lower part and that they were able to successfully unblock it. A metal stent was in place and Matt was headed for the recovery room. This was one procedure that worked!

With Matt still pretty drugged, worn out, and sore, we opted to spend a second night at the Hope Lodge before heading home. It was a good move.

We’re home again, unpacking again, and looking forward to not needing to return to Rochester for the follow-up appointment until the week after Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving together with the extended family. We have much to be thankful for.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons (and a wonderful daughter-in-law!), and author of three Christian suspense novels: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing!
If you want to connect with me, join me on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and Pinterest.  Interested in updates by email? CLICK HERE!

Have a question? Email Me!

Categories: Our Cancer Journey

A Somber Visit

November 10, 2012 23 comments

We stopped by the pharmacy at Walmart to pick up some of Matt’s meds before heading up to Rochester on Thursday. Under the glaring fluorescent lights, my suspicion that Matt was turning yellow was confirmed. I looked once, then again. Were his eyes really turning yellow? They were.

Back at the car I expressed my concern to Matt who admitted he had been wondering the same thing. His added comment that his urine had been dark for several days did little to dispel the growing concern. But we went on. We went out for supper. We settled into the motel for the night. We would wait until tomorrow.

Tomorrow. … Tomorrow the labs would confirm or deny if Matt really was jaundiced. Tomorrow the CT scan would show whether the jaundice was caused by a blocked bile duct—or whether it was a more ominous sign of liver failure already in progress. We would wait until tomorrow.

Tomorrow has gone and gone. The serious, yet sad, demeanor of our doctor as he sat down said it all. It was obvious that this visit was different. He was out of hope to offer. And for most of his patients, hope in a treatment is all they have. Thankfully we have a greater hope. An eternal hope.

The CT scan showed that the  tumors on both the liver and pancreas continued to grow despite the last treatment. A second treatment will not be happening. We’ve reached the end of the options to fight the cancer itself.

Though the labs confirmed Matt is jaundiced, the CT scan revealed it was due to a blocked bile duct and not due to immediate liver failure. Semi-good news. Without remedying this situation the best guess is we would be looking at only weeks before Matt’s body would not be able to fight it any longer. Thankfully, a relatively minor procedure usually remedies this. Plans are being set in motion for Matt to have a stent put in place by means of an endoscope this coming week, with a follow-up appointment on November 30.

The prognosis? Not so good. Though the stent will eliminate the immediate threat, the tumors continued growth is not good. Though the doctor admitted one never knows for sure, he would have to say we’re most likely looking at a matter of months. This visit was definitely different. This was the “prepare yourselves” visit.

Though our hearts break and the tears flow, we have a great assurance that sustains us. Our hope has not been in treatments or results. If it were, we would now be left hopeless. We do not need to sorrow as those that have no hope (I Thessalonians 4:13), because we have an eternal hope. A hope in our Heavenly Father. We covet your continued prayers as we face even harder days ahead.  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons (and a wonderful daughter-in-law!), and author of three Christian suspense novels: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing!
If you want to connect with me, join me on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and Pinterest.  Interested in updates by email? CLICK HERE!

Have a question? Email Me!

Categories: Our Cancer Journey
%d bloggers like this: