Monday, February 26, 2007

Jobs, Arms and Letting Go...

Dear friends,
It is Monday night and I just have to write an update to any of you who are following our lives through this blog. I am amazed that so many are reading this blog who I don't even know. I hope these entries are helpful and honor God. They are certainly honest if nothing else!
We got the great news this evening that Laura got a job with Cingular. She will be trained in executive sales in Atlanta for 6 months (nice housing provided) beginning March 13th, then will be located somewhere to continue working for the company. The man she interviewed with in Denver already told her that he would like her back at this office if she wants to live in Denver after the 6 month training is over. She has less than two weeks to find and buy a car, pack, get things she needs and let us give her a graduation party on March 9th before she drives to Atlanta on the 10th. She finally got at least informal word from Grove City that she did indeed graduate in Dec., so it is time to celebrate! We are so proud of her! She had two job interviews and was offered both jobs. Pray she and Greg would find her just the right car - hopefully this week.
Finally some news for us from the board: We received word last Thursday that in cooperation with our church here in Denver, arrangements have been made to receive any money at the church that comes in for us from our supporters. They will get receipts from the church. We have also been told that there has also been another anonymous account set up at the church, that we can draw on if our regular support account is low. The goal is to give us time to be able to process what has happened and what our next step should be. Greg has received many job offers, but none of them is just the right job so far. We are so grateful for this gift of time to discern what our next step should be.
Pray for me to keep learning what the Lord is teaching me. I am realizing things day by day that are helping my hurting heart. Tomorrow I am going to see a counselor with a friend to help me sort through the injustices piled up in my spirit. All the staff were such a family of co-workers, and seeing others hurt and confused at how we were/are being treated, is a struggle for me. I feel like I am on the brink of discovering what God wants to show me. I will share what I learn with you soon.
My left arm, today for the first time, hurt some and has a little extra swelling which made me wonder if it has gotten some lymphodema started. The scar tissue from Radiation is getting thicker, and may be blocking the flow of the lymphatic fluid out of my arm since my nodes under that arm were removed almost 8 years ago. Please pray that I would not have to deal with this time consuming and painful condition.
I am scheduled to see Dr. Bourg, my oncologist, next Monday, and have lots of questions for him. The blood work that just came back showed that I have 3 liver numbers elevated. Before now it was only 2. I am hoping for answers to that and several other questions when I see him. May God bless you and help me find answers. Blessings- Nancy Fritz, 303-791-9306 Cell: 303-885-7545

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Home from Turkey

Hi friends,
We arrived home just after midnight on Sunday. We had a great trip. We had a very good time with the workers we visited and they said that we encouraged them. We were with them Thursday-Sunday and then the next Saturday for 1/2 a day. Their girls are precious- 2 1/2 and 4. We babysat for them the first Saturday so they could have an early Valentine's Day date. Valentine's Day is huge in Turkey. At least as big a deal as it is here in America.
We got to attend an international fellowship with them on Sunday morning and met a woman who used to work at our office. We went with them on a ferry to the European side of Istanbul the first Saturday. They live on the Asian side. It is an amazing place. That narrow waterway between the two sides is the only access to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea, so the ships were lined up by the scores waiting for their turn to go through.
Our hotel for the days we had to ourselves was across the street from the famous Blue Mosque. The calls to prayer were blasted from a minaret there 5 times a day, and echoed from other mosques nearby. We saw the Topkopi Palace, the cistern, the Hagia Sophia (church built by Constantine and converted into a mosque- now being restored back to the original), the archeological and art museums, and the Blue Mosque.
We met many interesting people. Greg received a wonderful sultan's hat for his birthday from a man who works at the hotel we stayed at. Greg also had 2 massages while we were there and really enjoyed them. I am not supposed to get massages yet- too soon after radiation, so Greg had mine. Greg and I shopped at the Grand and Spice Bazaars, ate terrific Turkish food, talked to Turks and other tourists and rested. I got a chest cold and lost my voice for Valentine's day, and Greg had an intestinal flu on the way home, but we were able to do what we wanted in spite of that. This trip was a gift from our church here in Denver to help us recover from all that is going on with our ministry, plus we were able to visit and care for our friends there on behalf of the church. What a blessing it was!
I discovered when we got home that somewhere between Frankfurt and here, the smaller bag that I had in my carry on got lost. We were so tired by then, Greg was feeling very sick with a fever, and we had to switch seats 2 times on our long overseas flight due to a broken seat, so I don't know just where it happened. It had a pen and flight information in it, so I had it out to use those at some point. It didn't happen in Turkey, so your prayers were answered if you prayed for that! It contained my license, a credit card, debit card, our digital camera, some email addresses of people I wanted to keep in touch with, and a gift for Allison. No one has tried to use my credit card, so there is a chance the airline will find and return it to me. At least we can pray.
We got word there that on the 13th, back here in Denver, the doors closed for the last time on Initiative 360. A meeting for staff was held that morning, keys turned in, and staff were told they were laid off as of 5:oo that day. This was very unexpected and a shock to all. We only got paid through the 13th this month and have health insurance until the end of next month. (It looks like those of us with pre-existing conditions will be able to stay on our insurance after that if we pay a higher deductible- if we still live in Denver.) Although I understand that all I-360 bills will be paid and the closing happened when it did to assure that, it still feels very sad. When my friend Deb and I went to get our paycheck today, we were told we had to sign the guest book in the lobby and that we couldn't go into the office because we might be accused of stealing corporate property, so we talked to our friend in the hall. Greg and I still haven't been told anything by the board regarding our situation. There has been a little phone tag, but no conversation.
Tomorrow evening we have invited over a few friends/ mentors to help us think through the options we have currently in front of us. We would appreciate your prayers for that time. My strength is gradually coming back. I am still getting over the chest cold I got in Turkey (1st time I have been sick since before all of my cancer treatment began- that is amazing!), but I think I am doing better in general. Our last dinner came yesterday, so I am now back on duty. My jaw is healing gradually and the nerve is very slowly coming back. My bottom right jaw and lip is still numb since surgery a month ago. I had an ovarian ultrasound yesterday to recheck the cyst I had last summer. It is still there but a little smaller. I had blood drawn today to check my white count (which was still below normal last month) and my liver (some numbers high last month). I am beginning my 2nd month of Famara. It is a hormonal drug that is supposed to block cancer cells from growing, and so far no bad side effects are evident. Hopefully there won't be any. I will see my oncologist next month and he will let me know if any tests are needed to make sure the cancer is gone now that treatment is done. I appreciate your prayers for my health.
My friend Sharyl, who scheduled friends to bring meals for us, had both knees replaced while we were on our trip. Please pray for her for healing. And our neighbor across the street lost their son while we were gone. His snow mobile fell through the ice on a lake and he drowned. I am so sorry for their loss. Loosing my camera doesn't seem so important in light of really hard things like that. I am grateful that His mercies are new every morning. Well, I have written way too much, so I will stop. We are still looking for email addresses for any of you wanting to receive our email updates. Please send them to My email is if you want to contact me, and you can call us at 303-791-9306. Laura has 2 job interviews this week. Good night for now and God bless you! Nancy

Monday, February 12, 2007

Update from Turkey

Dear friends,

It is Feb 12th and Greg I are sitting in our hotel room in Istanbul, Turkey. The last call to prayer happened a little while ago. The famous 6 minaret mosque is across the road from here. We have finished meeting with our friends and will meet with them again next Saturday before heading home on Sunday. They were fun to spend time with and I think we were able to help them which was the main point of our coming. These next days we are tourists and are enjoying the city and relaxing together. Tomorrow we plan to see the sultan’s palace. This is an amazing place. It feels safe and the people are kind. The kindest ones are the carpet salesmen who are very nice to you and then try to get you into their shops so they can sell carpets to you. We are not in the market for a carpet, but it has been interesting to learn how they make them and the different types. They are really beautiful but not in our budget!

The kids are doing well at home. Jesse and Jenni are with Laura and she is in charge. We still need to do some processing of our own lives and would appreciate your continued prayers for that as this week unfolds. We got an email from the I-360 board last week which included these statements:

…After looking at the latest analysis of our financial situation and activities, we realized that we had to make an excruciating decision to begin the closure of I360 as it now exists unless the management team's efforts succeed in bringing other organizations alongside who are willing and able to help. Several organizations are in talks with the management team now, and the board is hearing from others who just want to know how to help.

It appears that after everyone's best efforts, I360 is not to be – certainly not as envisioned…

Wow, that was a sad email. I am having to process this 27 years of work and relationships being gone. 104 people no longer having employment with this company who did 6 weeks ago. No office to go to, friends and co-workers scattering, all of us trying to figure out what to do now. This is hard, but I still know we are in the arms of a loving God who will take care of us. So losing this ministry is very sad, but was taken totally out of our hands, and there was nothing we could do to prevent it. I am sure that the Lord will take us and all of our friends and co-workers through this. I don’t know how much processing I can get done this week, but I do ask for your prayers.

I met a man named Mohamed today at the bazzar who also has experienced cancer. I just felt I should mention mine to him and he poured out his story of a brain tumor he currently has is his head. I asked if I could pray for him and he let me. It was a very special connection. He calls me Mrs. Nancy. Who knows who God has for us to meet here this week. I will write again when I get the chance. Blessings- Nancy

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Girls Picture

We fly to Turkey today!

Dear friends, I still need to put the finishing touches on my packing, but we are pretty much ready to go to the airport at about 10:00 a.m. We are going to Turkey to visit and encourage some friends, and then to have some time for Greg and me to be together and process our lives and possible next steps. Please pray that we would be able to truely help our friends and encourage them. They have two little girls I am looking forward to spending some time with also. Pray that we would not have anything stolen while we are there. Besides Laura having things stolen in November while there, we have heard many stories. We plan to be very careful, but we desire the Lord's protection as we will be staying in a hotel part of the time. We got home late last night from seeing Jenni in the All State Choir Concert. It was really excellent. It was in Fort Collins which is about 1 1/2 hours away. She was there for 3 days and thinks they rehearsed at least 18 hours together. It was obvious they had worked hard and had lots of talent. I saw the jaw surgeon on Monday and he said all is healing well with no infection. My jaw is still aching and tingling from the nerve damage, but he said that if I have seen some improvement already, that probably means I will see complete healing of the damaged nerve in about 3 months. I am taking vitamins and meds with me and will be able to rest while in Turkey- especially during the 2nd part of our trip. Please pray for Laura as she cares for Jesse and Jenni while we are gone. Many friends are in the wings if needed. We will probably be able to receive email through Greg's account I am very slowly healing in my connective tissues. They are still dehydrated from radiation and chemo and all the drugs related to my treatment. I am able to do most of what I want/need to do if I get some extra rest in between. Well, I need to finish up some details before leaving, so I will sign off for now. We plan to return very late on the 18th of February. Happy Valentines Day to you and thanks for all the birthday wishes for Greg. He will turn 49 in Istanbul. Please email us with your email address if you haven't already, so we can put your on our electronic prayer letter list. Laura is interviewing about a job today and has several resumes out, so please continue to pray that she would find a good fit in the right job. I haven't cried since the night I wrote my last blog, so thank you for your prayers. I am doing somewhat better I think. Oh, I have to tell you an amazing story! Our Aunt Beth is in Florida and while sleeping last Thursday night heard a noise like a train going by. She got up and looked out the window and could only see lots of rain. She thought she must have just imagined it. The next morning she looked out the window and the view across the street was empty where there had been houses. The tornado came that close to her! Amazing! We are so grateful for God's protection as there were no deaths from the tornado in her area. Wow. I wish you God's best and I will write on the 19th if I am not too jet lagged when I get back. God bless you! Nancy Fritz