Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Latest update from Denita

Thanks for all the prayers.  My head is spinning with all that has happened in the past week.  It's unbelievable the difference one day can make.  As I said in my last email Saturday was a really hard day for Glenn as he suffered from the effects of the steroid they had been giving him.  He didn't have a great night that night and called me quite early Sunday morning asking if I could come down to the hospital.  Overnight (Saturday night) things had gotten worse.  His pneumonia got worse, he developed a fever and his cancer count had gone up.  The doctor told us in the morning that the bronchoscopy test did not show pneumocystis, so he was going to take him off the antibiotics he was on and would put him on a stronger one to see if that would have any affect on the pneumonia.  Glenn slept most of the day on Sunday, and we were pretty worried about him.  When I saw him Monday morning, however, he had a slight fever, but he had had a good sleep during the night and was feeling quite a bit better.  As the day progressed, he continued to improve and today he is better than I have seen him for 2-3 weeks.  The doctor told him this morning that he will be having an x-ray tomorrow and, as the antibiotics have to be given intravenously, if homecare can be arranged to do that, he will probably be able to come home towards the end of this week.  Phew....the roller coaster ride of emotions is incredible!  Anyways, this just confirms to me that prayer is important and so I just want to say again thank you.



Monday, September 28, 2009

Please… no more health advice.

May I make a request that you please not send me any more comments encouraging me to try this or that diet.  In the last 6 years I had heard of them all and tried a few of them that I thought seemed reasonable.

But frankly few of you seem to realize that cancer is multifaceted and what works for one may not work for another.  I also find such comments of little comfort as I struggle to check my emails a couple of times a day.  It is very frustrating to have to deal with multiple unsolicited health advice, regardless of how well-meaning it is. It is too reminiscent of Job’s friends.  Hence, I am not approving any of these comments, nor am I going to read them.  I am simply asking for your prayer; not for your advice.  Thanks for your help in this way.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Glenn is hospital (update from Denita)

Before I shut my computer down for the night, I thought I'd better send out an update.  Since Glenn started taking the antibiotics this week for his pneumonia, he has been so nauseous.  When he couldn't quit wretching this morning, I called the doctor and they have decided to put him in the hospital so that they can give him his meds intravenously.  We still don't know for sure what kind of pneumonia he has, so he is having some tests for that, but I feel a whole lot better knowing he is where he can get the care he needs.  When he gets sick like this, I feel so helpless.  I'll keep you posted when I know more.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Update from my dear wife

Thought I would send out a quick update as I know many of you don't read Glenn's blogs.  The past couple of weeks have been rough for Glenn.  Even though his blood levels have been up above the 80 mark for 3 weeks in a row now, he has been feeling increasingly worse - very tired and having a lot of problems with his breathing.  Sunday and Monday he woke up with nausea and wretching/vomiting, so yesterday we made a special trip to see the doctor.  Again his blood levels were fine, so the doctor decided to do an x-ray to see if that would show us anything.  Sure enough, something has shown up on his left lung and the doctor is pretty sure Glenn has some form of pneumonia.  Since the doctor isn't sure what kind of pneumonia it is yet, he started Glenn on a couple of different antiobiotics and has ordered further tests.  Today (Tuesday) Glenn will have a blood test to test for CMV and we are waiting for a call from the respirologist for an appointment for a bronchoscopy to test for another kind of bacteria.  If the bronchoscopy shows that Glenn has pneumocystis, the treatment for that is high a dose of antibiotic for a longer period of time.  Glenn was quite worried last night about how he was going to sleep because every time he would lay down, he would get panicky.  After a bit of a struggle and some intense nausea, he was able to get to sleep and actually slept all night.  We covet your prayers again at this time.

Please continue to pray for David too as we still haven't gotten to the bottom of his problem yet.  Some days the struggle seems too heavy, and yet I'm am confident that God is good, He has a plan, and He will give the grace and strength we need for each day.



Monday, September 21, 2009


This morning we went to the clinic after feeling like roadkill again wehn I woke up. After a chest x-ray, it clearly showed that I have some sort of pneumonia. They will be treating me for both the "garden variety" and a more complicated one that need a bronchoscopy to diagnose for sure. So here we go with the antibiotics again. But at least we know what is wrong. But man, I feel bad and the humidity today only makes things worse.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Job’s friends

While I appreciate the good intentions of most people, I do wonder if people are the least bit aware of the message they send to someone who is chronically sick when they send them books like “Why Christians Get Sick” (like I got this week) or information on the latest health or vitamin craze that worked from so-and-so’s cancer (a totally different kind from mine). Again, I know people mean well, but it feels so much like the advice of Job’s friends who didn’t know well enough to stay silent in the face of long-term and unexplainable illness.

As my health continues to decline, I really don’t need to be told that I could have done something differently or that it is time to try some radical, unproven, expensive treatment. As I have shared before, we have decided not to pursue this approach, largely because there is pretty much no chance that it will do anything more than just make my remaining time nasty and unpleasant. Perhaps this is what I am going through now. And yes, I keep hoping for some relief from what I am experiencing. And I will look for that. But an ultimate cure? No, that is not on the horizon; of this I am sure. I just wish people could realize that life is more than living at any cost.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I’m discouraged

It hasn’t been often that I have fallen into a pit of discouragement, but I have to admit that I am definitely in one today. I woke up early this morning feeling weak and like I was suffocating. Struggling through the morning, I finally started feeling a bit better around 12:20 pm but, to be honest, it has been a terrible, no good, rotten day.  I tried to do some writing on Mark 4, but can’t seem to concentrate long enough to do it.  My nose is constantly running and my ability to type seems to be getting worse as the numbness in my left hand, while not getting worse, is obviously here to stay.  I have never been a good typist; now I am seriously bad and makes it hard to write much.  I really could use your prayers.  So could Denita. Unfortunately, when I get up early, so does she, as in my present state there isn’t much that I can do on my own.

I was so hoping that the meds for high blood sugar would help. Maybe they still will. But I was sure feeling better yesterday than I am today.

On a positive note, I have a meeting on Monday that I am looking forward to (if I can drag my sorry butt to the office).  Please pray that God will guide.  I’ll give you more details later as I am able.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weekly update

For the third week in a row, my blood levels are stable.  But why, then, am I so tired and out of breath?

We may have found out why.  High blood sugar level.  In fact, really quite high. The cause?  Probably the prednisone I have been on for years.

So, hopefully with the new med, I’ll be back to a greater sense of normality in the next few days, once I start on it tomorrow.  I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, please keep praying.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Breathing not so easily

One would think that with good blood result that I would be feeling batter than I am.  For the second week in a row, my haemoglobin levels are well above what I need for a transfusion (they were identical this week than last).  And my platelet levels have actually increased from last week!  All of this ios great news, as it shows that my body is still creating what I need.

But at the same time, my stamina and lung capacity is markedly worse.  As long as I don’t exert myself much, I’m okay.  But walking, climbing stairs, carrying things even a short distance, exhausts me.  Both yesterday and today I ended up having to take a nap in the morning just to recuperate from rather light exertion.   I am finding that I can only work at the office for half a day now before I have to come home.  I can work from home alright, but that’s because everything is right at arm’s length.

I am going to start some breathing exercises to see if I can’t build some capacity.

Add to that, I am really worried about Denita. She is so tired all of the time.  She needs a rest so badly, 

Friday, September 11, 2009

Join in the Heroes of Heart Gala

I have a great family!  I really do.  And it’s things like this that remind me of this.  The following is something that they have written up and asked if it could be posted on my blog.  So, with a real sense of unworthiness for the kind words that they have written (because I know that I am not nearly worthy of the accolades), I am honoured to urge you to get involved in the Heros of Heart Gala on September 19 in Didsbury, Alberta. If you can’t attend, check out for others ways that you can support this worthy cause.

Heroes of Heart Gala: Courage runs in the blood

In honour of Glenn, a true hero in our eyes, the Penner family has taken on a special event on September 19 in the multi-purpose room at the Didsbury Memorial Complex. His courage and determination have touched us in the deepest places of our hearts and we want to celebrate that.

The “Heroes of Heart Gala” has something for everyone. This is no small event; if you’re in area, you won’t want to miss it!

Ladies young and old, if you enjoy classical string quartets, be sure to purchase your tickets in plenty of time and reserve a seat. The Lilly String Quartet ( is a highly professional ensemble, all of whom play with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. They have recently returned from a Western Canada tour and are ready to touch your heart with the sweet sound of strings. Tea and squares will be served at 3:00 pm. Those who purchase a ticket to the tea will be able to purchase a ticket for half price for the evening event.

At 5:30 we kick it back western style with beef on a bun, silent auction, photo show and sale, and live country entertainment. We will have local talent, Monika with a K who will also have a band with her. Her band includes pianist Jerry Proppe ( and guitarist Brent Saklofske (, along with a drummer and a bass player. We will also hear from Mary Ellen Goslin, award winning vocalist and yodeler. Bidding for the silent auction begins at 6:00 and closes at 8:00. The evening will also include a twist on a traditional “murder mystery dinner”. It will be a sort of “Theft Mystery Dinner”. Guaranteed, some fiend will show up who has the audacity to steal a prize from a fundraiser! Participation is optional, but those who choose to join in will have fun gathering clues and showing off their sleuthing skills. Participants in the mystery will be entered into a draw to win an exclusive door prize. Curious? Purchase your tickets early so you’ll be sure to get in on the action!

Children will be thoroughly entertained as well. The Giggle Gang ( is a local clown troup and Whitney Huget-Penner from Calgary is a very talented face painter. There will also be games, prizes and we're working on having a visit from some balloon animals. The children will be as entertained as the parents, so if Mom and Dad want an evening off and burn off some of the kids’ energy at the same time, this is a great time to do just that.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. Our September 19 gala is in anticipation of the fifth annual Light the Night walk in Calgary, a five kilometre walk along the Bow River. Our Llamas with Hats team is walking in honour of Glenn, our friend, uncle, brother and mentor. While we’re unable to care for him personally, our love, our prayers and our support are always with him.

There has been a long line-up of sponsors throughout Olds, Didsbury and Carstairs who have thrown their support behind this event. People can visit our sponsors’ page to find out more. You can also listen for our public service announcements on 96.5 CKFM between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the following venues:

Didsbury Computers – 2016, 17 Ave, Didsbury
Front Porch Realty – 2009, 20 Ave, Didsbury
Fun Times Hobby and Cycle – 5026, 50th Street, Olds
No Worries Tanning – 330, 6900 46 Street, Olds
Carstairs Family Pharmacy – 120B, 10th Ave S, Carstairs

All of the details for the event are at

Monday, September 7, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A lot of worship songs aren’t for “blokes” – Matt Redman

Some pretty good comments here.  It does feel sometimes like a lot of contemporary worship songs are written from a “Jesus is my boyfriend” point of view.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Unusually well today

Just wanted to drop everyone a note to let you know that I am feeling better today than I have for a couple of weeks. Might have something to do with having slept in until 8:15 this morning, but regardless it feels good to feel good. Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blood levels good

This morning I had my blood tests and whatever is causing my tiredness, it is not my blood. Thank God. My haemoglobin levels are the 90’s and my platelets are into the 60’s for the first time in a while.  I just think it’s a combination of alot of things. Keep praying.  Thanks

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I’m not feeling well

bouncingball I have to admit it, the last couple of weeks I haven’t been feeling well. Tired, short of breath, my attention span wanders.  I am noticing that, like a ball, each time I hit the floor, I don’t seem to bounce back quite as high as I did the time before.  The cracking of my ribs set me back and I am not bouncing back to where I was before that even though my ribs no longer hurt.  Guess I am finding a new normal…