Tuesday, December 22, 2015

His Mission

I have put off writing this blog for a while.  All of "his family" needs an update though. So here we go. His mission on earth is entering its final weeks. He sleeps much more and his breathing is becoming more labored, although he utters not a complaint. The areas of squamous cell are continuing to disfigure him.  Again I thought of sharing photos but I wish for you to picture how you know him and offer these last few weeks in prayer for him. He appreciates all the prayer and I feel his suffering is a little less because of all the offerings being made. Please continue prayers for my parents and the siblings. My meditations lately have been on Matthew24:36, Isaiah 53, and 2 Corinthians 4:7-18.
I know a lot of you are busy with Christmas preparation but truly remember it is all about that baby in the Manger many years ago and the love He poured out his whole life for all of us unconditionally. He waits for all of us with open arms.  God will soon be calling Father Joseph home and how great it is to have this comfort that he will not be alone.  https://youtu.be/CHV6BjuQOZQ

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Father Joseph Sharing a Blessing

This was a video I captured back in January 2015.  His speech is a little changed now. It is harder to pronounce any Bs in words but he is still carrying on wonderful conversations.  Pray for us as we go forward with future preparations.  I know several of you have lost loved ones.  It is hard to grasp that one day you see them then the next they are gone.  Let us cherish each other now in the moment because none of us know the day or the time of our eternity.  God bless all of you out there in your struggles and triumphs.  God is ever loving and merciful

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Latest Update

It is hard to know where the cancer is spreading.  One can sit and speculate for hours, but God is whispering "Be still and know that I am God".  My older sister shared with me that God is taking him little by little literally as his skin is overtaken little by little by the cancer.  The left side of his face is a little thicker as the cancer from the lip spreads inward.  He commented that he feels that there is fluid in his ear on the left side also.  So we can tell it has spread a little deeper in the left side.  He is still able to eat scrambled eggs and small cut up fruit and oatmeal in the morning.  He tries to drink his milk from a bottle with a small opening but 1/3 of it dribbles out the other side due to the gap in his lip.  It is a little hard to watch as he has to wear a towel to catch the drool and extra fluids.  Maintaining his dignity is first and foremost as we all care for him.  Before making a suggestion one must be thoughtful about what to say and ask being sensitive to his abilities.
Mentally he is sharp.  He is not walking as much due to fatigue and shortness of breath.  He says he prays, eats, and sleeps. It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming soon.  A year ago  December 30th the doctors said to go home for quality of life not knowing when his time would be 3,6,9, or 12 months...
Please pray for continued peace and God's will in his life.  For all those with Facebook send a picture of your family or group of friends saying hello to him.  I know he would love to see all of you this way.  Know he is waving back and praying for each and everyone one of you.  Make this Advent special.  While you light your candles offer a special prayer for him as he continues to prepare his way...
Please also join the Feek family Joey and Rory as the world prays for Joey and her cancer journey.  There is a general world wide prayer vigil tomorrow night at 9 pm est.  Check out Rory's blog page
thislifeilive.com
 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Things that should seem so simple

I just went to LA Fitness and cancelled Father Joseph's membership. They have been billing him for the past several months and it just occurred to us as we were paying his bills. It seemed like it would be a simple thing to do just walk in and say I need to cancel a membership for my brother. It however brought back memories of when Father Joseph would say I'm going to get back there someday I'm going to walk 3 miles I'm going to do it. .. He says even though this cancer has disfigured him it cannot take his soul and the ability to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ in communion and the graces of the sacrament of confession. He will never cancel that he has a lifetime membership.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What Can I do for Father Joseph Peek?

Many of you ask "how can I help" or "what can I do"?   Of all the things you could do, one stands out the most.  Pray. Pray for our mom and dad and their walk over the next few weeks/months.  It  is hard to watch our brother and hard to watch their  son on this journey.  Pray for peace and understanding. http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/prayers-against-despondency.html Join and pray through Saint Joseph http://www.catholictradition.org/Joseph/joseph7.htm
He is very tired these days and his schedule changes.  He is very gracious and thankful for everyone and their part in this journey.  He continues to say through the sacraments of Communion and Confession he is able to take one day at a time. 

We love you Father Joseph!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Video of Father Vincent Capodanno

Here is a video on Father Vincent Capodanno.  May we all live to serve others by the example of his life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLR-rJYPlQo

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September 4,2015 join All Saints Alliance of the Two Hearts

The Alliance of The Two Hearts takes place this Friday September 4,2015. They meet every first Friday/Saturday  http://www.allianceoftwoheartsgeorgia.com/  This day is also the anniversary of Father Vincent Capodanno"s death and the following day September 5,2015 is the anniversary of the death of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.  Father Joseph has participated in the past with the Alliance of Two Hearts and Missionaries of Charity.  If you are available Friday night consider joining at  All Saints for a spiritual refreshment.  Father Joseph will not be there. As always we continue praying for you out there and the many trials and thanksgivings you experience.  God bless you all.

Monday, August 31, 2015

A LETTER FROM HIS SISTER DENISE



August 30, 2015



His hollowed, hallowed eyes say so much.  Hidden beneath the gratitude and love, one can see the suffering and the surrender.  He has been such a valiant suffering soul.


Wound care three times a week for the past _10_______ years has taken its toll.


He is a suffering Christ.
    The circular wound on the crown of his head- once all scabby - now has a crater about one inch in diameter.
    Having gone through the pain of radiation and the resulting blisters, his lower lip is disappearing more and more to the point that only half the lip remains.  Keeping saliva within his mouth is an added challenge.
    His breathing has become more and more difficult.  Simply walking to the bathroom is hard on his lungs.
    The wounds on his back are multiplying as though he were scourged.
    The wounds on his feet are coming back with a vengeance.
    The wound on his left side is bigger than my hand.


My dear brother,
    In an age where people are so concerned about how they look, I  have watched you endure with such patient endurance, the stares of others, the pointing of their fingers, the gossip about your appearance.  
I have watched you struggle to get into the bath water before wound care and moan as the water hits your open wounds.  I have heard you say, “Jesus, you know how much I love you,” as you got into water that was a little too cool.
    I have watched you take a towel and press it to your enlarged side wound and say, “Jesus, I love you,” before you tear it away.
    Whenever I hear Enya, John Denver, or Louis Armstrong, they make me think of wound care - how their voices helped “distract” you from the moment.
    I once got the courage up to ask you if you had asked our Lord to be a victim-soul.  Your reply, “Since day one, I have offered my sufferings for priests.”


How I long to bring you comfort!


I am so grateful to assist with your wound care - a necessary evil.  And yet this showing of compassion causes you so much pain which weighs so heavily on my heart.


I am so sad that you suffer.
I am so sad that you are dying.
And I will be so sad when you are no longer with us.


These emotions can be so conflicting - I want you here, but I know you suffer.  I don’t want you to suffer, but I don’t want you to die.  We all hang on to hope - we want you here with us.  


I’m scared of the grief, of losing a sibling, of losing you.


In the end, it isn’t what we want.  We must remember to submit ourselves to God’s will - to surrender all --- our fears, our wants, our sorrows, our joys.
And yet, I still wonder ….   
  • did I comfort Joe enough?
  • did I spend enough quality time with him?
  • did I apologize enough for all of the grievances I have caused Joe from youth to now? (being one year and one day apart in age has brought us both some memorable occasions)
  • did I cause Joe more pain during wound care due to my lack of medical expertise or for any other reason?


Why am I so weak?  Why can’t I place all of my trust in Jesus? The spirit is willing; the flesh is so weak.


I think of Our Blessed Mother who had the strength and the grace to watch her Beloved Son be scourged almost to the point of death, then watch as her Beloved Son carried the cross of our sins, fall, and struggle to stand back up, then watch as the nails were hammered into her Beloved Son’s hands and feet, then watch as her Beloved Son struggled to breathe as He took His final breath, and finally, hold her Beloved Son’s torn up Body in her arms.


I am turning to Mary to help me with my overwhelming grief about my beloved brother’s scourged body, about my beloved brother’s struggle to walk from A to B, about the pain my beloved brother experiences in the taking off and the applying of bandages and ointment to his wound-covered body, and about my beloved brother’s final breath.


Our Lady of Sorrows,
pray for us.




POEM WRITTEN BY FATHER JOSEPH'S SISTER, SISTER MARY AGNES IN 2009 OF A TIME MANY YEARS AGO

J.M. + J.T.


By Sr. Mary Agnes of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
In honor of her brother Fr. Joseph Peek



“Who’s that behind the mask?”
Oft that evening they would ask.
As “nurse” I accompanied him one fall
To a Naval ROTC ball.


‘Twas All Hallows’ Eve
And from his I ne’er took leave.
Though the mask fully covered his head,
The eyes declared this “old salt” far from dead.


My brother date played well his part
And fooled all sailors from the start,
Yet as the gala night wore on
His true identity was demanded upon.


Years later his features are again disguised
But the light still dances from his eyes.
“Who’s that behind the mask?”
A man who has ever kept on task.


An alter-Christus who is true to his name,
That other priests might be the same,
Suffers as He did from foot to head
And lights the way in this valley of the dead.


The mask has fallen for we see
No longer Joe but Christ in he
Raised up to draw all men to You,
“This is My Body” repeated anew.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Father Joseph is still well alive mind body and soul

I apologize if I shocked people with those pictures. These are his wounds he has walked around with for 10 years or so. These wounds wax and wane in different locations on his back legs arms   He gets wounds changed and redressed three times a week. His squamous cell carcinoma sites are worsening and his breathing is labored with exertion.  As I reflect on his wounds it comes to me that we are to see Christ in each other and reflect Christ to others. His reflection is that of Jesus Christ scourged.  He offers each time of change for the priests of this diocese. He offers his body and soul each day to God. I have more pictures I will share with you eventually. He is truly a silent sufferer. As we go into September and beyond will you also give your all for the mission God has called you to complete in your life?  Prayers for all of you .

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy 50th Birthday Father Joseph and thanks for the blessing


Our Mission His Mission

Long pauses are not always comfortable. Sorry for the long pause.  Since last writing Fr Joseph has had several events occur.  He underwent 5 tooth extraction and dental cleaning.  I know the doctors would wish to remain anonymous but I wish to thank them from the bottom of my heart. They are Dr Joe Pausa and Drs. Stephanie and Sean O'Rourke.  They were very compassionate and carrying for my brother.  This occurred early in July so it would be after his trip to his sister in Erie and before his 50th birthday.  He is able to eat a little better since the surgery and still able to drink. Thanks be to God. 
Lord Jesus he gives you his all... 

God bless these feet the many miles they have travelled to spread the good news of Jesus Christ!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Anniversary Father Joseph

On Monday June 22 Father Joseph Peek celebrates 13 years as an ordained Catholic priest serving the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He began his path of priesthood and his path of physical suffering at the same time. Many of us will attend mass at 7PM at All Saints Catholic Church where he resides. He may or may not be in attendance all depending on his strength. If you wish to send him any words please comment below and we will read them to him. You may also wish to mail him a card.
   His lip has a small gaping to it where he had radiation in February.  The doctors are discussing to see the best plans as far as tooth removal and bringing the lip back together. His spirits remain good. Thank you all for your prayers. Again we pray for all your needs especially for those who suffer alone.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Already a miracle

i was texting with a friend today and in the conversation we discussed how life saving miracles might mean something else to God.  She said that we are in exile and our attachment to this world makes us think of 'miracles' in a different way than maybe God intends. 
Sometimes I pray that Fr Joseph is healed miraculously.  Sometimes I pray that God takes him easy.  But mostly I pray that God's will be done. 
This week I was cruising about my typical day checking off my list of things to do and feeling good.I got a text from my sister Margaret saying Fr Joseph's lip is infected and that she emailed me a picture.
That picture took my breath away.  I had no words.  Just pain.  Pain for him.  Pain for my siblings being so close.  Pain for me being so far away.  Pain for my parents struggling to understand.  
And so I gathered the kids around and we prayed.  We prayed the rosary for healing.  We prayed the rosary for a miracle.  
But when I looked back over my texts with my friend tonight I realized- he already is a miracle.  

My mom suspects she had placenta previa when she delivered him.  He was born so black because oxygen was denied to him for a long period of her labor because of the previa.  He also was born with a hole in his heart, a mitral valve prolapse, the doctors called it. 

When he was a young boy he was awful in school- misbehaved, was lazy, procrastinating at every turn.  He would forget his homework, forget his books, push things off until the last minute- that actually followed him through seminary as well- but I didn't tell you;-)

As a teen one night he snuck out and rode his bike on all surface streets from our house in northeast atlanta to the airport south of Atlanta.  He carefully mapped out his route and waited for the perfect moment to make his move.  He did it, just because.

He taught me to ride a bike.  I'm not exactly sure of how things went but it might have been like this...
After dinner Dad brings up that everyone should check their bike tires and he could pump the flat ones up to spec.  Everyone says his or hers bike is fine or not.  Joe looks to me "how's your bike?"  My eyes get big- " I don't have a bike!  Remember how I left the tricycle in the yard when the bus came last year and the garbage man picked it up?"
"Not a tricycle, a bike.   You are in first grade- you should ride a bike."
"I don't know how"
"Wha?!?!" 
And then he took it upon himself to teach this 7 year old how to ride.  

When we played basketball he was always quite awful.  Until he learned physics.  Then he nerded his way to a "new form".  He would actually use this mantra when he'd shoot the ball.  He'd get the ball, leap up into the air with his short beige shorts and his neon white long legs, cock his arm, and chant "new form" and what followed was usually more often than not a "swish".  

When he was training as a rescue swimmer in the navy he used to get on the high board at the pool and tie himself up and jump in like he was Houdini.  He'd surface and be calmly and slowly undoing the ropes.

When he'd visit me at lunch in elementary school he'd gain friends with the boys in my class by swallowing orange segments whole and balancing a cafeteria chair on his chin.  Also doing magic tricks with crayons.  His best trick was shoving it up his nose and pulling it out of his neck.  This reminds me of a time he won $20 at a bar.  He took his dog tags chain and put one end up his nose while he held onto the other end.  He then coughed up the nose end and proceeded to "floss" his nasopharyngeal space.  

See what I mean?  A miracle.  A walking, talking, miracle.  And I had the pleasure of growing up as this miracle's little sister.  
So while I pray for a miracle, I also pray in thanksgiving for the miracle that exists already. 







--
Peace,
Elizabeth

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ERIE, PA TRIP

On Friday May 22nd Father Joseph his mom and dad and two siblings went to Erie Pennsylvania to visit his oldest sister. She is a Carmelite nun living in the convent up in Erie, Pennsylvania. She was transferred there from the Alexandria South Dakota convent in March. This was truly a blessing for Faher Joseph. The thought of having to go to Alexandria South Dakota would be an awesome burden at this time in his life.so God continues to show that He is in charge and made this trip much more reachable. The group met at All Saints and left at 6 a.m. Friday morning. A kind parishioner drove them to the airport. Father Joseph was able to go through the special assistance Lane at TS A and he had the special pre checked card from TSA as well as the others in the group. This time he walked through the scanner instead of needing a pat down by the TSA worker. The flight went smoothly and landing was soft. It only took 10 minutes for the rental car to be ready, he enjoyed a little lunch with his aunt sister Denise Roche, and then he drove in the backseat an hour and a half from Buffalo to Erie Pennsylvania.He had a little rest then wound care change dinner and a visit with sister Mary Agnes ,his sister whom he has not seen in the last 2 years. Saturday he was able to concelebrate mass with Father Rouch and his brother Father Kevin Peek. He was able to visit his sister again 2 times that day. The weather was more than awesome. For those of you who are not familiar with the Carmelite way of life when one goes to visit a family member in the convent they have to sit in a sitting room and visit the sibling through a grate. You see each other face to face but you're not allowed to hug or shake hands. Sunday he was able to visit again. The Feast of the Holy Spirit was truly a blessing for Faher Joseph. It is hard with a chronically ill patient to try to make sure that the needs are met at the other end as they are met in their own home. One of the things that help Father Joseph on the strip was his essential oil diffuser. These essential oils have brought him a calming sense.The power of smell cannot be underestimated. Therefore if you or a loved one has chronic pain or suffering it would benefit you to research and use essential oils.We also are in the process of seeing essential oils may be able to be used topically on his squamous cell carcinoma. Father Joseph truly enjoyed his visit with his sister. He returned through the rain Monday evening and again was met by parishioner who graciously drove him back to his rectory. He was grateful for his comfortable bed and familiar surroundings. Thank you for all your prayers and support that helped make this trip run so smoothly.
His strength is such that he is awake for about 2 hours and sleeps 2 hours. His graft-versus-host disease wounds are pretty much staying the same and we hope that these will progress to healing at some point. We are happy that he is able to eat and talk. His nieces and nephews have benefited from him teaching them memorable things such as singing playing chess games telling stories and just sharing time.Please continue to keep him in your prayers as we know you will and we continue to keep all of you in our prayers thank you

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Finally posted the Puerto Rico trip video

Click here to view on YouTube.

As always- thanks a million (as our dad says) for your prayers!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Quick Update

The squamous cell carcinoma on his lip that was radiated looks better than it did but will never go away but by a miracle. The back of his neck has healed up rather nicely. His left arm looks good with just a small area of pressure. The right arm was never treated because of the scleroderma in the elbow and radiation being contraindicated in that case. So that lesion stands out  and is a good 2 inch by 2 inch in size. His left side gvhd ( graft vs host disease) lesion remains the size of a grown man's hand fully extended and his back has two small areas of gvhd spots. He is talking better and is taking the comfort foods most of us have had: Simple Shepherds pie, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, plain baked tilapia with butter.  Still drinking the boost.
We ventured to the oralmaxilfacial doctor the other day and he was told that two teeth need pulling.
Please pray for a smooth go at that and a quick healing time.
Thanks again for all those out there who have offered there struggles and discomforts up for him.
God bless all of you and your families, you are in my prayers.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Past video

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C570f_2QSac

This is a video from Father Joseph at the mass offered for his healing in December 2014.
Audio is very quiet so listen closely.
God Bless all.

The Simplest Things

I had not completed thorough research on mouth radiation prior to Father Joseph's treatment.  We  therefore encountered a few interesting situations along the way.  One thing I would like to stress is that the incidence of dehydration increases greatly and the caregiver should monitor ins and outs closely to stay ahead. Doing the research I read of several individuals who had issues with this. Luckily with Father Joseph he was able to stay ahead and avoid the need for a nasal gastric tube. Praise God.  The other issue is healing time. After further research it seemed four to six weeks for recovery. This is for the general population without other complications like Father Josephs. Therefore it was a given to pick Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday as a target date for being able to eat again.. I am happy to report that he has reached his goal and has had sweet potato soufflĂ© and was able to shred some meat and enjoy the taste. He has had some breakfast items and is continuing to expand his diet.  Over the time of his recovery it was just boost plus and vhc boost. Some of us were about to start the Father Joseph boost challenge.  We are thankful to God as we near the completion of the Divine Mercy novena that he has had this ability to eat again. Most of us take eating for granted. Please thank God for all you get to eat and pray for all those who go to bed hungry tonight.
Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Simple Request of Father Joseph

There is an individual who is putting together a book of sorts.  He/she is compiling stories of how Father Joseph has affected individual's lives or lives of their families. He says this is not for him but for his parents  and others to read later.

If you have a story to share please send to :

Share My Story / Father Joseph Peek
6650 Bentley Trail
Cumming, GA 30040

Thank you and God Bless your day!

AYMCYM

Three months ago Father Joseph was told by the oncologist just to go home and enjoy the quality of life. She could only estimate at that time 3 months,6 months 9 months etc. If you ever have to go to or deal with an oncologist, you will realize that they have to bear the worst news. They must share what the worst case scenario would be. You can listen and be downtroddened or you can keep positive and live for the Lord.  Upon hearing the news all of Father Joseph's siblings got together one weekend in January. We enjoyed food, fellowship, and faith.  We all gathered unsure of what lay ahead. He shared a quote with us: Accept your mission,  complete your mission.  Many feel that this quote shows signs that he has given up and succumbed to the cancer and gvhd. On the contrary. He sees his mission to be the best graft versus host disease and squamous cell carcinoma patient. At present he lives a symbiotic existence with those two.  When I show people pictures of his wounds they say he must be on round the clock pain medication.  Amazingly he isn't.  In February he had the radiation treatment to one arm the neck and lip area. He suffered and still suffers the aftermath of the lesions in his mouth caused by radiation. (If you ever have a loved one or yourself needing mouth radiation,  do your research on the types and  where they are offered and if insurance covers.Father Joseph was limited to the Emory University healthcare system where he has received all his care thus fat.
When you or your love one has to have mouth radiation make sure they begin on their mouth wash prior to the beginning of the radiation treatment. They will continue on this mouthwash throughout the treatment and then after the treatment until they have healed up.  Some individuals might not be able to tolerate food so you must find high calorie liquid substitute for them to take. I was able to find the very high calorie boost formula online at MVS discount sales.. We were able to buy it bulk for Father Joseph. They have the best prices. We used silvadene for several days on Father Josephs arm but there's also a cream known as jeans cream that several patients who have had radiation treatment have used with great success.
At the sibling get together in January we discussed how we didn't know what the end of life looks like. We discussed funeral mass and burial plans. We discussed other topics to consider. All the while I had this strange feeling that we were be preparing for someone else. Little did I realize that God would be calling home our niece and nephew before the rest of us. 
So "if today you hear his voice harden not your heart" accept the mission that he has given you. Let His light shine through you so all the world can see.
Thank you for all your prayers for Father Joe. I pray for all those out there dealing with cancer of any sort I pray for those who  just received your diagnosis, all receiving chemotherapy, all who are under going radiation, and all who have been told to enjoy quality of life. I pray for the families of these individuals so that they receive the support they need during this time. May God bless all of you.

Father Joseph was able to eat some scrambled eggs yesterday. Small steps but big ones. Continue to pray for his intentions. Thankyou.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Update 3/26/15

From Denise:

He has lost some weight.  Although he still cannot eat anything, he is adding to his beverages of choice.  He continues to drink Boost Plus and Higher Calorie Boost, but the other day he tried a frosty from Wendy's and on another day, he tried some tea - his very favorite drink.  He struggles somewhat with the straw, but we can see improvements are being made, baby-step by baby-step.  His talking is more understandable for which we are all grateful, especially those of us who are horrible at charades and sign language.

Our hope is for continued improvements in his ability to talk and in his ability to eat.  We hope that by Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, he will be able to eat.


--
Peace,
Elizabeth

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Father Joseph update 3/16

On Saturday Fr. Joe walked 1/3 of a mile. On Sunday, he attended 10:30 Mass. His mouth wound looks a little better. When he uses his special mouthwash, he is able to speak better. He still is unable to eat. After wound care, we went outside on the porch and sat in rocking chairs. Some parishioners came by to say hello. Fr. Joe was conversant and even sang a bit of a song. His strength and the strength of my sisters simply amazes me.

--
Peace,
Elizabeth

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sisters Update

Father Joseph's sister is out of ICU and back down in labor and delivery postpartum. She hopefully will be out early week.  She will have a long recovery to full physical health. Funeral arrangements have been made for  Jeremiah Joseph and Gabriella Immaculada.                                                            Funeral March 19,2015 at 10 AM at St Brendan the Navigator Catholic Church 4633 Shiloh Road Cumming, GA 30040.                                             Burial at Honey Creek Woodlands Cemetery  2625 GA-212 Conyers, GA 30094.
Many have asked how they can help. Prayers for the present and long road ahead would be much appreciated.  We can never underestimate their power and the power of God.  Friends of the families have set up a tilt fund at the following...
Click here to link to Christina and Mike's donation page.
Click here to link to Regina and Jose's donation page.

Thank you for all everyone has done. I will remember all of you at mass today in my prayers. For those of you going through your own sufferings I pray for you. For those who will be helping others through their suffering this week I pray for you. God help all those and may angels surround you.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sisters update

One sister is in ICU. The sister who had emergency c section yesterday. She went last night due to low platelets and hemoglobin/hematocrit. She received more blood products and platelets are at 70,000. The doctors would like to see her above 80 and climbing. So please offer your prayers for her and her health.
The other sister is at home recovering.
Thank you for all your prayers.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Father Joe's Sisters

I know this is a blog about how Father Joe is doing but I wish to take a moment to ask for prayers for his sisters. Two of his sisters and mine were pregnant and due any day. Today one sister went in and lost her son due to placental abruption and the other later went into labor and delivered her daughter stillborn. She did not realize that her little one had already passed two days prior. So it was not the stress of of the other sister's delivery.These two beautiful angels are in heaven tonight. Please pray for the parents and their siblings. At mes like this we cannot rely on our own understanding.  My sisters and their husbands have been a great witness. May angels surround them.
Father Joe is putting up a good comeback from radiation. Still only drinking boost vhc and milk. May God give him strength over these next few days. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Updated prayer calendar link

Here is the updated link for days up to March 14th.  More will be added as we go along.




--
Peace,
Elizabeth

His story my perspective part 2

Being from a family of 11 children it seems like there wouldn't be a problem finding a perfect match for his bone marrow transplant.  Instead of one sibling matching him he had three siblings to match his bone marrow.  The doctors had to narrow it down to decide which of the matches would be the best between the three.  There are two ways to do a bone marrow transplant from the donor.  My sister's cells were collected by leukapheresis instead of bone marrow harvest.  She received a medication that caused her bone marrow to produce immature stem cells.  These cells would go out into her bloodstream. The doctors would then collect the blood by an IV draw.  The blood would then be filtered and then administered to father Joseph.  After the bone marrow transplant he remained hospitalized receiving various medications to prevent infection and graft versus host disease. Father Joseph had a 30 to 40% chance of graft versus host disease.  He did develop this and subsequently developed the chronic type of graft versus host disease that lasts a lifetime.  His symptoms have included keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eyes for which he has to chronically use replenish eyedrops, fatigue, muscle weakness, and mouth sensitivity. He also has joint stiffness and has suffered from scleroderma a tightening of the skin.  Due to the scleroderma he cannot extend his right arm fully.  The most significant symptom he has dealt with throughout all of this is the skin rashes and wounds...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Get FJP updates on facebook




Regina has started a facebook page for ease in updating everyone on Father Joseph's health and prayer needs.
Follow "accept your mission complete your mission"


His story my perspective part one

Back in 2001 my older brother Father Joseph came home for Thanksgiving vacation. We were all impressed at his stature. He looked as if he had lost some weight in a healthy way. When asked what he was doing he commented "I just am not as hungry for a whole meal anymore or to eat seconds".  moving forward a few months I was finishing work on Valentine's day when I was told I had a call on line one. Picking up the phone I heard my brother say "I've just been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. How do I tell mom and dad?"  I learned some about this in medical school but since I work with children I don't see these cases.I asked him what his symptoms were he said extreme fatigue and looking back he said he remembered he couldn't keep up with the drill runs while he was on a military week in August in Quantico. That wasn't like him for you see he was trained to be on the Navy search and rescue team and had gone through rigorous training for that.I told him we will just take it one day at a time. I did some research and saw that Gleevec was available instead of the harsh medication of an interferon. there were several stories out there of success. This was good however his doctors told him with his type he would eventually need a bone marrow transplant to be fully treated for his luekemia. In the meantime he finished up seminary and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta in June of 2002.The first parish he started in was Saint Catherine of Sienna. Sometimes people offer up their suffering for certain groups or certain individuals. Father Joseph decided to offer up his suffering throughout all of this for the priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Prayers for warmer weather

In Puerto Rico Father Joseph was able to go for walks that lifted his spirits, helped him sleep soundly, and increased his appetite.  Since his return to Atlanta he hasn't been able to get out due to the poor weather and his low body weight as insulation.  He clings to the hope of spring.

Prayer request- as we make our way towards spring ask God to sprinkle a few bright and warm days into the week.  Just enough to allow Father Joseph some outdoor time.

~~~~~I've added a page on scroll bar at the top of the blog~~~~~~~~~~
It'll act as kind of a sticky note that stays up front.  It's the link tho Father Joseph's 24 hr prayer sign up calendar.  Go pick a slot today and join Father Joseph's mission.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Need special prayers today

Plans for Father Joseph's future care are being discussed by his superiors today.  Say a prayer that The best option is chosen.  
Maybe today forgo a cup of coffee and offer it up for Father Joseph.
Or instead of working through lunch take a walk and enjoy the sun- and offer that up.  Offering consolations up works too!



--
Peace,
Elizabeth

Monday, March 2, 2015

pictures from San Juan

Pictures from San Juan! Brought to you by Denise. Father Joseph is home now. Thank you all for your prayers and sacrifices.
He traded Palm trees and warm breezes for peach trees and atlanta ice freezes.

I will try and update again this week.
For now just continue praying for strength and courage on the journey.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Update from Puerto Rico: by Denise

SATURDAY:
Wish we got Joe in first class. Maybe we can get him and Margaret seats in first class for way home.  
We also learned to just let him walk through security. The extensive pat down was brutal to watch. I'm sure it wasn't so pleasant for Joe. If the guy patted Joe one more time on his side wound, I was going to lose it.
SUNDAY:
Joe's resting in bed looking right out at the ocean, feeling the fresh ocean breeze through his open door and window. Earlier he sat outside in a lounge chair. It was picture perfect when this suffering sailor stood with his hands on the railing and looked out over the sea.
MONDAY:
So this morning Fr. Joe went for a long solo walk on a pathway beside the ocean and through the palm trees. He came back and drank water with electrolytes. When he finished, he  wondered what else there was to drink. Great news!
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Thank you for all your prayers!
If you haven't signed up to fill a prayer hour please see an older post for the link to the sign up genius.  


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Father Joseph talks on death



 Or click HERE for the link to youtube

Sign up for a prayer slot: 24 hours of prayer


You have been invited to sign up for "24 hrs of prayer 7 days a week." Please click on the link below to view the online sign up sheet.

To sign up, go HERE.


First Week of Lent : update by Denise

Sending some pictures of Fr. Joseph taken this week.  Each day he is showing a little more improvement.  He was not able to eat due to the effects of radiation around his mouth causing his lower lip to swell and causing his inner mouth to be filled with blisters.  He is being a good patient with round the clock care.  He takes his meds every three hours, his Boost, his organic whole milk, his water, his Magic Mouthwash, and his aloe.  He has his vitals taken every three hours - blood pressure, temperature, pullsox (sp?), and respiratory breaths per minute.  His weight is taken at least once a day.  His bedding is washed every day.  His room is kept clean.  He is a good boy.  :)

Keep up the prayers, you wonderful prayer warriors.

Specific prayer request 
*Please pray for the ability to take in more nutrition.  His mouth pains him so- his daily intake has been limited by his pain to just a few boosts, a few glasses of water And some whole milk.

*please pray for Father Joseph as a few of his siblings (including a doctor and a nurse) take him on a "bucket list" trip to Puerto Rico today.  They will be there for the week taking in life and enjoying it one sip at a time.