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May 13, 2007
#87
Dear Praying Friends,

I didn't think this could get any more difficult...
but it has.

Recently Lisa has begun to have hallucinations. At first she was only saying relatively harmless things, though it was compounded by the fact that her mother, who lives with them, has Alzheimer's and couldn't distinguish what was real in Lisa's statements either.

While that is disturbing enough, in the past few days it has taken a bizarre and dangerous turn. Lisa's hallucinations have taken on a paranoid character, and that could cause serious trouble.

Rich checked her into the hospital for a medical evaluation two days ago. No tumor growth was observed, and no physical issues were determined to be the cause of the hallucinations. A psychological exam was also done, and some meds were prescribed, but so far no progress has been made. In fact, during the psych exam, Lisa expressed suicidal thoughts as well.

Lisa will be transferred to a close-watch ward at a long-term care facility for an undetermined amount of time. She will continue to be evaluated and her medications will be tweaked in the hope that the hallucinations and the suicidal tendencies may be abated. When that happens and when she is more accessible I will let those who wish to visit know of how to do so.

PLEASE PRAY!
- Pray for Lisa, that the hallucinations and suicidal tendencies would cease.
- Pray for the children (Emma, Ethan, Kia, Blake, and Sierra), who will be traumatized by Lisa's absence.
- Pray for finances & child care situations. This development puts a considerable amount of financial strain on the Fox family for various reasons. It will also become more difficult for Rich to continue being the primary caregiver to his kids.
- Pray for school selection in the Fall, and for a good work situation. Rich still desires to find a way to be Sierra's caregiver until she needs to go to school as well. He's considering opening a daddy day-care home business, or something like that.
- Pray for Rich to have endurance, strength and wisdom. Rich has been so incredibly faithful as a husband and father over the past three years. Yet he's been emotionally/spiritually/mentally without his wife for a long time, though she's physically present.

Under the Mercy,
Del

May 13, 2007
#86
Dear Praying Friends,

First, please accept my apologies for the long period since the last update. Next, Rich and the kids wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day.

Here's the latest news on Lisa... she has continued to feel "better" since coming off of some medications that kept her groggy and sleepy all day long. Now that she doesn't sleep so many hours, her body is getting healthier because she is getting the exercise of being up and walking more often.

Unfortunately, while she is more physically healthy, her memory has continued to deteriorate considerably. This is true in spite of the fact that the most recent tests show that the brain tumor has not grown, but actually diminished in size. The tumor shrinking is good news, of course, but is little encouragement when the effects of the tumor and the two surgeries to remove it have taken so great a toll. Plainly put, most often, Lisa just doesn't seem to be Lisa anymore. At this point her most vivid memories predate even her marriage to Rich, which means she doesn't always remember that he is even her husband, much less the names of her children.

There is more disappointing news on the financial front. The expenses of caring for Lisa and her mother (who has been living with the Fox family for some time, and has needs a considerable amount of care), as well as a nanny for five children have continued to be a large source of stress and anxiety. Rich's church has been able to help with a generous amount of assistance on his mortgage, but that source is now exhausted. Many friends have also helped financially over the last 2 1/2 years. But the financial burdens are so great that now Rich is having to consider dramatic life changes for the family such as selling their home to downsize, putting the kids in public schools (and Sierra into daycare) and giving up on the home-schooling efforts he and Lisa have worked on for so long. Rich is facing all of this with great trust in God, but the disappointment of his hopes, and the struggle to make ends meet, with no positive improvement in the health of his wife can't help but leave deep wounds on his heart.

So, please continue to pray. Pray for Lisa: that God might restore her mind and memory, and continue to bring healing to her body. Pray for Rich: that he might have strength and endurance as he faithfully leads his family through this lengthy storm. Pray for the children: that they might somehow come close to Christ in all of this tragic experience.

On a brighter note, the attached photo is Rich and Lisa's youngest daughter, Sierra, at her birthday party on May 6, when she turned 3! Sierra herself is a walking miracle and one of the very bright spots in the life of the Fox family. Two weeks after she was born she was hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia. She was hospitalized for seven weeks, during which she came close to death several times. The doctors said that it was a miracle that she survived. They also said that she'd likely never be developmentally normal due to brain damage, and that she likely would not ever be able to walk! Well, God had other ideas on that, and Sierra has continued to develop quite normally, including running around in all the ways any three year old should! So, when you pray for the Fox family, don't forget to say a HUGE "Thank You!" for Sierra.

Under the Mercy,
Del

Jan 27, 2007
#85
Dear Praying Friends,

Rich told me that the other day he was trying to encourage Lisa to sit down at the piano and play a bit. She hasn't played at all since she became sick, but he asked her to sit down and play a bit. She said she would do so after he took his nap. He teasingly closed his eyes and snored for a few seconds, and then said "Okay, I'm awake now..." Whereupon Lisa moved to the piano and began to play Heart & Soul! For any of you who may have been at their wedding years ago, you may remember that Rich did a special rendition of this classic song, by playing the melody by pecking out the piano keys with his nose. So, while Lisa was playing the other day for the first time in a few years, he quickly got on his knees and repeated that amazing feat, accompanying her as she played. Later on, when the kids arrived home, Rich once again got Lisa to play, and they repeated their performance for all the kids to see. This brought, not only howls of laughter at Rich's antics, but also some of the brightest smiles of joy that they've experienced in a long time. For Blake and Sierra, whose young memories are filled primarily with their mother as a cancer victim, this was the first time they've ever seen her play the piano. It was a powerful moment of joy for a family so beset with suffering for the last three and a half years.

Well, please continue to pray for Lisa. She is not YET healed, but she is still with us, and there is therfore still hope. Pray that God would eradicate the cancer in her brain, AND that He would heal her brain so that she might return to full, normal health.

Under the Mercy,
Del

Dec 27, 2006
#84
Dear Praying Friends,

My sincere apologies for not getting this out several days ago. It's been a hectic week and I kept forgetting to send an update.

Lisa did indeed make it home last week before Christmas. The bleeding in her digestive system seemed to have been from ulcers, which when looked at had stopped bleeding.

You can pray that the ulcers would heal and that she would have not more intestinal complications.

Also, please continue to pray for healing from the cancer as well, and even that her memory and brain function could be healed back to normal after the two surgeries she underwent beginning almost 2 years ago now! I know these are tall orders that test our faith. But to ask God can do a miracle is only as hard as being willing to accept the answer. There has been no clear answer yet, so I choose to continue asking!

Under the Mercy,
Del

Dec 19, 2006
#83
Dear Praying Friends,

Here is a brief update from Rich:

Everything looks ok. Some small ulcers are making a lot of blood. They should heal very soon. Biopsy results of these should be back Wednesday (tomorrow). If they are ok, she may be home tomorrow night. Thanks for your prayers.

RACHMANA (Hebrew for "Mercy"),
Rich

Under the Mercy,
Del

Dec 19, 2006
#82
Dear Praying Friends,

Lisa has not been able to leave the hospital yet because the bleeding in her digestive tract has not stopped. They are doing a colonoscopy today. Please pray that they will be able to determine the problem quickly and accurately and that they can take appropriate measures.

Under the Mercy,
Del

Dec 16, 2006
#81
Dear Praying Friends,

Rich called from the hospital today. He had been told that Lisa would be discharged today but unfortunately Lisa seems to be bleeding in her digestive tract somewhere. Rich discovered this himself and had to push the nurses to take his concerns seriously. He is concerned that the nurses are not being very attentive or concerned about Lisa.

Please pray that Lisa's digestive system would heal, whatever the problem may be. Also pray that the doctors and nurses would be able to properly diagnose and treat the problem with the attentiveness they should show to Lisa.

Under the Mercy,
Del

Dec 12, 2006
#80
Dear Praying Friends,

Lisa had to be admitted to the hospital due to trouble with her digestion and bowel movements, and some other concerns. Please pray that the doctors can make a good and clear diagnosis, and for Rich as he navigates all the issues regarding hospital stays, and Lisa's fragile health once again.

Under the Mercy,
Del

Nov 30, 2006
#79
Dear Praying Friends,

I spoke with Rich and he said there is good news. The the MRI went well and showed that the tumor had actually shrunk somewhat! The doctors couldn't be exact but were encouraged by the decrease in size. Also, adjustments were made to the shunts in Lisa's head, used to drain away fluid and pressure on her brain, and that went well as well. No surgery will be needed!

Rich was very encouraged by this news, and wanted you all to know things went well.

We need to continue praying for Lisa though. These are good signs, but Lisa is still a long way from healed and restored. Those are things that, in Faith, I belive are still possible. Please pray for a miraculous healing of Lisa's health and expecially of her brain. Pray that her memory would be restored and healed. Pray that she would be able to more completely be able to relate to and function with her children and Rich.

Under the Mercy,
Del

Nov 27, 2006
#78

Rich emailed me this message to pass along to all of you, regarding Lisa's procedure tomorrow, and how to pray for her.

Thanks,
Del

--------- from Rich Fox ---------
Wed am is an MRI. From there if ventricles are clear great. However if not they will decide to check the valves in both shunts and make sure the lines that release the pressure in Lisa's head and drain it to her abdomen are clear. This then would lead to more surgery.

Pray also for our finances with the City of Lombard. They offered a compromise that's pretty strong but we'll take it. However they still have to officially agree in writing to what they said verbally. We could win in a court of law, however, it is my belief that God would not want us to go that route.

THANK all of you who pray. Thank you for you're messages of encouragement and sorry for not responding to all of them. Now that God has taught me how to pray I'd like to pray for you. If you are struggling with verry sick child or spouse and you are so tired and weary email me with your situation. Gods glory is upon us and He has sent us a helper his Holy Spirit to guide us. Tell God how you really feel, pour out your soul to him tell Him how angry you are or how lonely you are. He can take it, really He is God he can handle it.

Richard

Nov 23, 2006
#77
Dear Praying Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just spoke with Rich and heard that Lisa's checkup yesterday showed some good news. The tumor in her brain has gotten smaller. It is great news that the tumor has not grown, or continued to be aggressive. This is mixed with some bad news though, as the shunt in Lisa's head (to drain off fluid on the brain) has apparently clogged, so Lisa has some fluid on her brain that needs to be drained off, and the shunt will need to be fixed or replaced. A surgery is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.

Please offer some prayers of Thanks that the tumor has diminished, and please pray for the surgery on Tuesday, that all would go smoothly, and that the shunt can be successfully replaced or repaired.

Under the Mercy,
Del

Oct 24, 2006
#76
Dear Praying Friends,

Rich has begun to research assisted care facilities for Lisa. Several factors have conspired to make it very difficult to continue caring for Lisa at home, including Lisa's inability to care for herself, along with the care of Lisa's mother (who also lives with the family) who is less and less able to help in Lisa's care, the pending departure of the nanny who has served so well, and the financial burden of continuing to hire live-in care. Please pray for wisdom as he reviews the options presented to him. Pray also for him as he navigates the very complicated emotions that come with these kinds of decisions.

Also, please continue to pray for the financial situation in general. The board meeting I described last time did not rule positively for Rich in the issue of the variance. Rich is still hoping for appeals to win over this decision, since it would have make a big impact on their financial situation.

Under the Mercy,
Del

Oct 14, 2006
#75
Dear Praying Friends,

Lisa did not have to be admitted to the hospital the other day. She came home later that evening. As i said then, she was a bit frightened by the siezure, and so far the CT scan indicates that it was not caused by a significant regrowth of the tumor. They don't know what would have caused it then, of course. So please pray for Lisa's peace of mind, and that the doctors could determine and address the problem if possible. And of course, please continue to pray, even now, for a complete eradication of the cancer in Lisa's brain.

The scheduled trip to Texas was cancelled due to the siezure and fear of possible further episodes. Please pray that the Fox's might get to visit family there soon.

Rich has also asked for continued prayer about their financial situation. In particular, there is an important board meeting in Lombard on Monday evening that will decide on issues related to a property variance. If the variance is passed it would mean a significant financial benefit for Rich and the Fox family. If it does not pass then it would affect them quite negatively. Please pray for a positive outcome.

And one last prayer request for the Fox's, their current nanny who helps take care of all five children, will be leaving in January to attend school. Please pray that a new, suitable nanny will be found to replace her.

Under the Mercy,
Del