Seeing is Believing!!!

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Living our Life 
always seems to have it’s challenges
but doesn’t everyone?
It is hard to believe that 
we have been married for 42 1/2 years…
who would have thunk?
We know a few people who didn’t think our marriage would last
but we did!!!
How you ask??
Because just over 42 years ago,
Ron and I gave our marriage to the Lord,
in the back of our little red pickup.
I would say Datsun but some of you wouldn’t have a clue what a Datsun was.
Just know it was a small little pickup
sort of like this one,
though ours was red with a raised canopy on it
Image result for 1975 datsun pickup with a shell
we liked that little red truck
except of course when Ron’s brother, John along with a few other friends put it up on blocks on our wedding day!!!
And because of God,
our love for God 
and our love for each other
we have been married 42+ years!!!
When we moved to Waco, TX in Summer of 2016 we had our “5 year plan”
work for 5 years, 
buy another motor home
and get  back to full time RV living.
Well that was our plan,
but not necessarily God’s plan.
When we lost our job at MCH in October 2017 we decided to go back to full time RV living then, we had the trailer
and so that is what we did!!
We began applying for workamping type jobs; you know at campgrounds.  Ron was done with being a home parent and neither of us really wanted to go back to being managers of a 55+ community…heck we could live in one if we wanted too!!
So we accepted a job at Hi~Road Campground in Mt. Carmel, UT just outside of Zion National Park.
We planned to be there through October 2018
One of the many beautiful views from our trailer.
But working in the high altitude,
doing a job we weren’t hired to do,
we felt it was time to move on.
So back to Texas we headed
as Gate Guards!!!
the blue dot is where we are located.
On the corner of 516 & 3398 in Barstow, TX
where there is dust, dust and more dust!!!
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And it is the perfect place for us,
for today,
for such a time as this.
You see,
this is the easiest job we could ever ask for 
especially with what we have faced in the last 55 days.
When we first found out Ron had breast cancer and had to have surgery,
our minds did wonder how it would affect our job.
But we couldn’t have asked to have a better job 
for such a time as this.
The surgeon asked Ron if he did any lifting for his job.
Ron replied “I pick up a clipboard, a few pieces of paper, a pencil and then take about 250 steps, give or take 10 or so, write down what truck has pulled in, filled in some boxes and walk back the 250 steps or so to our little home on wheels.
She told Ron “that’s perfect, once you stop taking pain pills you can go back to work.”
Ron has surgery on 
Wednesday, July 18,
recuperated for about 24 hours
and then we returned to our little home on wheels
and relaxed and slept for the next two days.
On Sunday, July 22
Ron returned to work
moving a bit slower,
but working and we are so thankful
for the job that the Lord opened the door for us
to be here in Texas
as such a time as this…
…being able to work and rest as needed while recuperating from 
his surgery!!!
and for that we give 
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because
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and 
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And so we can say without a doubt,
that each and every day we see how
God is taking care of us,
providing for us, 
and we will continue to trust and believe in HIM
and
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We are blessed beyond measure
and are so thankful 
that Ron continues to recover from his surgery
and we look forward to see
where 
God 
will 
lead 
us 
next!!!

Pondering…Part III

YET
I continue to wonder
what is it God would want me to learn from this journey,
this journey of the past 55 days
and as they continue in the days and weeks to come
to be INTENTIONAL,
to be FLEXIBLE,
to LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY
to TRUST in HIM
to GIVE THANKS
not only for the big things…
Ron is CANCER FREE!!!!!!
but also for the little things
22 friends who have given financially to us
as that is one BIG THING – being able to pay the oncologist on the day of the appointment and save 25% of the bill!!!
to buy lots of fresh fruit and veggies,
to have gas to make it to the various doctor appointments,
on the horizon Ron sees the surgeon this week and next, the oncologist again in three weeks – and we have the gas money for every one of those visits
to be KIND to those we meet each day,
to SHARE what we have been blessed with with others,
to LOVE one another, cherishing each smile,
each email, each note, each phone call
to be THANKFUL for another day to enjoy God’s creation
just as Christ tells us
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remember 
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and
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with that
I want to say
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Pondering…Part II

As I continue to sit here and listen to the hum of the fan,
I felt something land in my bra (I know you can picture me…wanting to scream but I can’t as I don’t want to wake up Ron) so I frantically feel around, pull at my shirt, can’t find anything BUT I know something went down there,
then I feel it, I shake it out and it falls on the tablet,
I try to squish it, it doesn’t want to die,
so I push hard with the thumb and hear and feel it at the same time
SQUISH!!!!
Not sure what it was, it’s not a fly,
not a bee,
but it has wings, over 1/2″ long
and now it is staring back at me,
but it’s dead so I can get back to where I left off…
**********
YET
WONDER
DO NOT misinterpret what I am going to be writing,
this is from my heart, deep in the recesses of my mind,
we are so thankful for the many prayers that have been said on our behalf,
for the money that has been sent to help us out
YET
STILL WONDER

where has everyone gone???
Facebook says I have 473 friends,
Ron’s Facebook says he has 226 friends
and we have 124 mutual friends
that’s a total of 575 friends between the two of us,
and that’s just on Facebook
what about friends who aren’t on Facebook?
friends made along the journey of life,
friends from the military we still keep in touch with,
friends from the many churches we have attended and been a part of,
friends from all the different jobs we have had over the years,
friends we have connected with due to different circumstances in our lives
~~ births of children
~~ death of children
~~ common ground ~ RV’ing, writing, 4-wheeling 
~~ schooling
I think you get the picture
so many have prayed for us and with us
and we are so thankful
and then I wonder
AM I BEING SELFISH?
IS IT ME? OR IS IT THEM?
so many say
“let me know if there is something I/we can do”
and yet we only hear from a handful of people
Yes we live a very non~traditional life,
we are not physically surrounded by friends and family,
our family is spread across many states 
and we have friends in many more states,
I don’t want to sound ungrateful
because I’m not
I’m just confused
especially by those who specifically say
“let me know if there is something I/we can do” 
and then we don’t hear from them again
this journey we have been on the last 55 days
has me thinking about my own life,
about the things I say to people,
like
“I will pray for XXX”
yes, I usually send up an arrow prayer,
you know the ones sent in haste just so I can say I prayed for XXX
about when I say
“let me know if there is something I/we can do”
do I really mean it?
do I follow up?
sometimes yes, often times not,
so why does it bother me so much that people have said
“let me know if there is something I/we can do”
I know why or at least I think I know why
because
we get busy with life,
we don’t know exactly what to do,
because in reality we are selfish beings,
I was chatting with a friend earlier tonight
and one thing she said is that most people don’t intend to not do what they say they will or want to do.
but life gets in the way.
Life just gets in the way.
Ron has asked many times over the past weeks
“I don’t know why this has happened to me, but I know there is a reason”
I have wondered to, 
why? how come?  
we may never know
but I do know
that one thing I have learned over the past few weeks
and have been reminded of
is 
I/we need to be more intentional
with the words we say
and the things we do.  
If I ask someone,
how can I help?
I need to be able to follow through with their request
Not just offer because it sounds good
or it’s the right thing to say
if I can’t be ready to fulfill their request,
I shouldn’t ask how can I help
instead 
I should say
may I do XXX for you??
XXX could be say a prayer,
fix a meal or buy a meal,
pick up some groceries,
send a note of encouragement,
send $$…I know one person said to me,
money is tight but here’s $20,
and that’s how I want to be,
to be able to give a little because all the little’s add up to one big lots!!!
YET

Pondering….Part I

As I sit here in the quiet of the wee early  hours of the morning with just the hum of the fan, the lights around the shade shack and soft glow of the moon my mind wanders over what has transpired in our lives over the past six weeks.
YES we are grateful and thankful,
but sometimes the raw emotions just come flowing through
Can it only be six weeks?  It seems like so much has happened and that the roller coaster of life has taken us on a spin making us wonder what is going to happen today, what news will we hear, how do we respond, how will others respond.
55 days since the lump was found
77 days we have been gate guarding
68 days to go before we leave on a time of renewal and reuniting with friends and family, seeing parts of the US never seen before (at least by us)
when you say it in days ~ it seems like a long time
five and a half weeks
doesn’t sound too much
one and a half months, seems even shorter
but it has been a lifetime
in those 55 days
Ron found a lump in his left breast,
all by sitting with his arms crossed across his chest.
He didn’t say anything for 24 hours ~
out of fear, thinking it might go away,
one of his sisters had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last two years,
his dad and all of his uncles on his dad’s side have had some form of cancer,
his mom and many of her siblings,
two cousins, one on each side of his family
…does he have cancer?
…why him??  why us??
haven’t we dealt with enough crap in our lives
BUT then I find myself asking
why not him?
why not us?
why should life’s struggles not be a part of us
God doesn’t tell us that life will always be a bowl of cherries (thanks Erma Bombeck)
but wait, there are pits in those cherries along with that sweet delightful taste
so why not him? why not us?
so we began the journey of finding out just what was this lump ~~
there were ultrasounds and mammograms,
more ultrasounds and more mammograms,
biopsy
and waiting, lots of waiting
and then the call with the diagnosis
Yes, Ron had breast cancer
(remember men do get breast cancer ~ surprisingly another man in the community was diagnosed the same time as Ron ~ two men out of the thousands that live in the Permian Basin of Texas)
meeting with the surgeon,
setting a date for surgery,
telling family ~ how do you tell your two boys, who are men in their own right, that their dad has breast cancer?  how do you soften the blow?
you don’t ~ you just say it
and then you wait for the silence,
no one knows what to say, so there is silence
and lots of nervous laughter
Ron has always told me that I am “special”
well now I get to tell him he’s “special” too!!
and then we have to let the rest of the family know,
and then our friends and friends we call framily (more than friends but not blood relatives ~ you know who you are)
sounds of silence then words of concern,
sounds of silence then words of comfort,
sounds of silence then offers of help,
“let us know if you need anything”
“call if you need to talk”
“we are here if you need me/us”
then reality hits…
finances…we have no insurance, where is the money going to come from to pay for ultrasounds ($1250 each time)
mammogram ($250 each time)
biopsy (don’t know how much ~ and Pink the Basin has covered most of it ~ thank you to those who donate to this organization here in Texas)
doctor’s appointments ($125 here, $200 there, $383 over there with more to come)
pre-op tests
genetic testing ~ recommended by the surgeon and the oncologist ($750 total to have the test taken, run and read)
surgery (was told to expect $10 to $15K, now we are seeing it might be $20K or more)
follow up appointments with the surgeon, the oncologist, more labs
…wondering when will it end???….
So we do something we don’t want to do,
that is against our nature, aren’t we the ones to help others, but we find ourselves having to …
ASK FOR HELP
through mightycause.com
and PayPal
thewanderingworkentins@gmail.com
and we ask friends for help,
and we have heard from some,
$1683 has been donated to help with 
Ron’s medical bills
and we are so thankful,
words can’t express how thankful we are
YET

Surgery and Home

We are happy to report that Ron’s surgery was a success!!!
Dr. M said surgery went well though Ron had a hard time in recovery. 
He tore out his IV twice!!  And kept trying to get up.
BUT once the anesthesia was out of his system,
he was the happy Ron we all know and love!!!
Medical Update:  
~ tumor was 2.5 cm
~ tested two lymph nodes ~~ both were clean and clear!!
~ we see the oncologist on Tuesday morning;
we don’t anticipate the need for chemo or radiation 
but won’t know for sure till then
Ron is able to return to work
which we will do starting Sunday morning at 6am.
We are not sure of what our schedule will be
but we will work it out.
The nice thing about our job is we set our work schedule
and we have an alarm system o let us know when trucks are coming in
so catnaps are on the agenda.
***********
Some have asked how funding is going for Ron’s surgery and medical expenses.
We were told at the hospital we do not qualify for assistance from them because we do not live in their county 😦
and are having problems finding funding
1) because Ron is not a woman
2) can find for chemo assistance
Reality is that the resources for women with breast cancer are plenty and readily available, for me it is a totally different story, which is very sad
Our fundraising has raised $1633 so far,
our expenses so far:
$125 for initial appointment: paid cash in full balance 0
$1250 for initial mammogram & ultrasound: paid $200 ~ balance $1050
$284 for BRCA test: balance $284
$250 for processing of BRCA test: balance 0
$200 for initial visit with Dr. M: balance $200
$387 for upcoming initial oncologist appointment: balance $387
Anesthesia: unknown
Hospital: unknown
Dr. M surgery: unknown 
So you can see we have and will continue to incur some major expenses.
If you are able to help in any way, we would greatly appreciate it.
Donations can be made through 
Paypal ~ use thewanderingworkentins@gmail.com
(no fees)
or 
Thank you all for the donations and most of all for your prayers and support.
We love y’all!!!

Guest Post by Ron Workentin

A note from 
Ron came to me yesterday afternoon and asked me if I would share the following on my blog with our friends and family.
I am so glad that my Father in heaven tells of His love in the Book He has given.  Wonderful things in His Book He has written but this is the greatest that 
Jesus Loves Me.
This song has been in my head for quite a while now. 
It has been quite a while since I have been to church.  It isn’t that I have anything against church, it is just that with the jobs I have had this year I can’t get there.  One of the things I do is think back on the songs that I know and love from years past.
One of my friends wrote on a Facebook post the other day.  She said the Bible doesn’t say that we won’t be given more than we can bear, but that God will bear our burdens for us.  I have seen this truth proven out multiple times throughout my life.  If I were to list all of the things that God has done for me it would take years and years to write it down.  Like I have said in the past “God hasn’t failed me yet and He isn’t about to start now.”
At this point in time I am unsure about what the short term future holds.  (When I say short term I am talking about the next 5 to 10 years.)  However, I do know what the long term future holds for me and that is glorious.
As I think y’all know I discovered a lump in my left breast on June 6th.  Since then I have had mammograms, ultrasounds and a biopsy done.  On July 2nd, we found out that I have breast cancer.  Yes, men can get breast cancer too, just like women.
On July 18 I go into the hospital to have my left breast removed.  I am not looking forward to this but it is what it is.  When I said that men can get breast cancer also, it is true.  It is very rare for men to get it.  Less than 1% of all breast cancer patients are male and less than .0002 % of men get breast cancer.  This just shows how special I am.
I was writing this while waiting for trucks to come in.  I have had some come in and I lost my train of thought.  This is one more way that God has taken care of us.  After my surgery I can’t pick up more than 10 lbs for at least two weeks.  That is okay as the heaviest thing I have to pick up is a clipboard with some paper on it and a pencil.  What we are doing is the perfect job to regain my strength.
I covet your prayers and good thoughts at this time.  I pray that I will be able to continue seeing God’s blessings in my life.

Upcoming Surgery Details

Ron had his pre-op appointment yesterday, 5/12.
Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18 at 6:30 a.m.
We are planning to leave Pecos/Barstow about 4:30 a.m.
Ron is expected to be in the hospital 24 to 48 hours.
He will be at Midland Hospital, Midland, TX
I will be staying at Hope House
just across the street from the hospital.
Prayer requests ~
~ for anxiety levels to stay low
~ for God’s guidance of the surgeon’s hands
~ for all of the cancer to be able to be removed
~ funding continue to come in
Praises ~
~ wonderful company to work for who have gotten coverage for us for four days with the understanding that we may need a few extra days
~ for the $663 that has already come in towards the hospital bill
~ for the driver who brought us dinner the other night
~ for all those praying for us ~ we feel them  ~ God’s Peace is Amazing!!
Requests ~
Please feel free to share the link below of our fundraising campaign
Donations ~
there are two ways to donate:
PayPal
thewanderingworkentins@gmail.com
(no fees associated if you use friends/family)
or the link above

Thank y’all for your prayers,

your donations,
sharing our needs,
and encouraging notes.

Holding Pattern

One week to go!!

Ron is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, July 18.
We still don’t have a time, just the date.

We have been doing research,
looking for assistance with funding.
We have been told the surgery will run between $10 & $15, OOO

One thing that was suggested to us was to do fundraiser
So that’s what we did

It is not easy to ask for help
but have been encouraged by many that people want to help others 
they often just don’t know how.

Since many of our friends and family are a distance away
this is a tangible way for you to help us out

There are two ways to donate to the fund:

PayPal

thewanderingworkentins@gmail.com

(there are no fees if you use friends/family)

OR

through mightycause.com
You can click on the link above and go to the website.

Most of all we covet your prayers

~ for physical healing for Ron
~ Ron has had some pain in his left side where the lump is located, 
so please pray for the pain to lessen to nothing!!
~ for strength and stamina for Ali
~ for financial responsibilities to be met
and
continued thanks for the peace that passes all understanding
that is surrounding us.

As well, please feel free to share our fundraiser page 
or this blog post.

God is Good
All the time God is Good

and we know He will provide for our needs
even the one that seems so out of reach right now.

To give you an idea of the cost of Ron’s care
~ $50 for gas each time we have to drive to Midland
Ron has a trip tomorrow for his pre-op appointment
Wednesday, July 18 for surgery
Thursday or Friday to return back to Pecos
One week later another trip to Midland for follow up
= $200

~ surgery
$10 to $15,000
this does include the doctor and anesthesia and hospital stay
barring any complications
WE ARE PRAYING FOR NO COMPLICATIONS!!

~$250 for the genetic test, BRCA
that Dr. M had performed last week
this test is important as it will let us know if our boys and grandchildren 
will have a disposition to this type of cancer.

Thank you so much for reading our blog,
praying for healing for Ron,
praying for peace for the both of us,
praying for the hands of the surgeon

Thank you for the donations that have been made.
As of 7.11.18
8:06 a.m. CT
$225 raised!!!

Living in the Fog ~ Not Really!!

(photo taken by Gordie Earl; used with permission)

Our friend, Gordie posted this picture the other morning and immediately my heart resonated with it ~ you see it captures where we are right now, today in our life.

June 6, Ron noticed a lump in his chest/breast area. 
June 15, Ron was seen my a local nurse practitioner here in Pecos, TX
June 20, found Ron getting an ultrasound and a mammogram
(yes he said it hurt and I said well you now have a taste of what I go through each year)
June 26, found us sitting in the surgeon’s office in Midland, TX
June 28, Ron had a biopsy and another mammogram
July 2, we got the call that Ron indeed does have breast cancer.

YES Men get breast cancer ~ 1% of all breast cancer patients are men

July 3 we were back in the surgeons office,
glassy eyed (no pun intended) and trying to keep things straight
Surgery is scheduled for two weeks from today, July 18.

Now that you know the facts, let me add in the details
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We have felt God’s hand in each and every step we have taken.
**note a little ** by every time we SAW God’s hand **
Ron will tell you he was scared and even a bit embarrassed to think he might have breast cancer.
YES Men get breast cancer ~ 1% of all breast cancer patients are men

But with his family history of parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, cousins
all having dealt with cancer in many different forms
he knew he couldn’t not say anything.

So off to the doctor. 
** had the money to pay cash to see the doctor **
** had the money to pay cash for the ultrasound & mammogram **

headed off to see the surgeon,
wishing someone could go with us
** Brandon & Danalyn are stopping in Odessa/Midland for two nights on their trip to Florida **
** we got Grammy & Grandpa hugs from these three boys **

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** Danalyn went with us **

A bump in the road,
because we don’t have insurance, the Pink in the Basin, could pay for the biopsy if Ron had it at the Breast Center in Midland.  Scheduled for the next Thursday

We took the paperwork we were told to take,
wasn’t the right information but they made it work!!
** we didn’t pay anything and the whole appointment was covered **

Got the results on Monday,
saw the surgeon on Tuesday,
Surgery is scheduled for two weeks, July 18.

** Val, our boss, has been available to cover our station, every time **
Val and Cindy, her boss, are working to cover the time we need off for the surgery
** Johnny, one of our drivers is off the night of July 18 and has offered and will cover our station that night ~ helps Val in getting coverage for the station **

**
Friends have been available for the tears,
Our job is the easiest job ~ we pick up a clipboard, walk out to the trucks,
write down some numbers, talk to the drivers, walk back to the RV ~
thus meaning Ron will only miss a few days of work
and I will only miss two!!
**

This Picture

If you look closely you can see the first boat clearly,
the next few boats are a bit skewed
and then off in the distance
just a blurry mix of colors

We could clearly see each of the steps that
needed to be taken,
there are some steps we knew something about but not much,
and then there are steps we have no idea what they are going to be

YET
through it all there is amazing peace
Image result for peace that passes all understanding

and sometimes

Image result for peace that passes all understanding

And with each step we have felt that peace,
the peace that only comes from God.

Have we cried, you bet
Have we looked at each other and wondered, what next?, you bet

Yet, God continues to show us HE is with us

on our drive home yesterday

One friend wrote:
“God’s light shining through the darkness”
and another
“Rays of hope”

and we both just had a sense of peace that no matter the darkness
that tries to come into the picture
God’s light will always be there,
meaning God will always be with us
no matter what happens,
no matter
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where the road leads,

Image result for god is with us

and

Image result for god is with us

***

Now y’all know the story
and we ask that you pray for us

~ for physical healing for Ron
~ for strength and stamina for Ali
~ for financial responsibilities to be met
and
continued thanks for the peace that passes all understanding
that is surrounding us.

***

To answer some questions we have received:

Will Ron need to take chemo and/or radiation? 
We won’t know the answer to that until after the surgery

What stage cancer is it?
We won’t know that until after the surgery

How much will the surgery cost?
We have been told treatment could be between $10 & $15,000.

What are our future plans?
Right now, we will continue with our jobs here in Pecos, TX
as Gate Guards, like I said above, physically it is the easiest job either of us have ever had

Depending on how surgery goes and the treatment that follows
we are planning to leave here on the morning of October 1
to go to San Diego to see our grandson, Max, graduate from Boot Camp/Basic Training from the Marines

BUT as every RV’r knows
our plans are written in Jello
always wiggling and ever changing

and we will continue to

 love doing the Lord’s work wherever He plants us!