Friday, May 1, 2015

Farming with Faith Through Cancer

One never knows what tomorrow will bring.
Celebrate each day!
I have tried to sit down and write this for several weeks... perhaps blocking my ability to post anything else that has been happening in the world of faith, family, farming and food. perhaps I struggled because it confirms a reality, perhaps because I am humbled by all who have stepped up to help, perhaps because it is still hard to talk about. BUT today, I am committed to sharing and moving forward!

Spring 2015 is a farming season we were not too sure about last fall. And oddly enough, not because the farm was struggling. We had good crops coming off the field, we had good equity, land, moisture, a plan for planting and labor. We had a good foundation in faith. We even had financing all in line for the 2015 farm season. What we didn't have was our health.

On September 5th, 2014, confirmed on Sept 8th, we found out that my husband had Leukemia. At that time he was VERY ill and although they doctors hoped that he would be able to recover from the side effects (dangerously enlarged spleen, lack of appetite, and pain among a few other things) from this cancer, nothing was a for sure. As treatment was started to improve his excruciating high levels of while blood cells and some of his side effects, we learned quite a bit.
We learned that Leukemia is not curable, only treatable/ manageable at best. We found out that he would most likely be on one form or another of Chemotherapy ( in a pill form) daily for the rest of his life. We had no idea how he would respond to the treatment. We didn't know what the future was going to look like, but we did discover that our employees, family, friends and the businesses that we did business with had our back and were willing to make harvest and the farm continue and ensure we were taken care of! That's what small town rural America is all about- right!

Now, that famous saying.... God doesn't give us more than we can handle... for several weeks I wanted to let God know exactly what I thought of him at that moment.... and yes, I would have not been polite and if God was a human standing in front of me, he may have called 911 and pressed charges. But he isn't human and he is a great listener who provides strength when we need it the most!

So, 7, almost 8 months have passed. It has been a true roller coaster. Steven was in the hospital for 2 weeks. He has had weekly blood draws in Bismarck, 55 miles ways, since discharge. After about 5 months they switched to every week and now Steven has his blood checked every 4 weeks. We meet with the oncologist in Bismarck every other month and have been to Mayo Clinic in Rochester 3 times. Yes, he really does take a form of Chemo everyday- twice a day in fact. As tired as this medicine makes him, it is for the best! All of his blood work continually gets better. The doctors have repeated several highly skilled tests analyzing cells in Steven's Bone marrow- now that is a story-- a need stuck into your hip bone with almost not numbing medicine and no sedation, no thanks! All results are looking VERY good!

When it is said that God answers prayers on his own time and that there are many things to be gained from struggle, as painful and tough as it may be, I'd have to agree. As of 2 weeks ago, the doctors could not detect any cells that cause the Leukemia that Steven has!!! Saying that we are ELATED, would be an understatement.

Although this is what we feel to be "our miracle", it doesn't mean the doctors were wrong when they said Steven's Leukemia wasn't curable. It means that for the time bring, we are doing everything right. We will still have to check blood monthly, check cells for mutations - which cause the cancer, and make sure that none of the side effects from the chemo is taking hold.... so far being tired is the only one he has and that is something we can live with!

But when all is said and done, we realize that everyone has a burden or two to carry. This just so happens to be one of ours and by having it enter our life we haven't let it take over, but show us all that we have to be thankful for...we have so much.. Faith, Family, Friends and the ability to do what we love, Farm!

Here's to farming season 2015 and our whole new outlook on life!


  1. Yes, Katie, God, family and friends help us to continue our life and head toward a goal we projected at one time. So glad your family has a positive outlook and heading into a 2015 farming season. Thx for sharing...blessings to your family

  2. We are then reminded to thank HIM for good report cause that's what we were praying for, Thanks for the blog, we'll keep remembering to keep those requests known to HIM.

  3. This is an answer to so many prayers and truly God's work. Love you Heger family.