Team Bertschy!

For: Beth and Jason Bertschy
Organizer: Team Bertschy
of $50,000 goal
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This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Every fairy tale goes a little something like this: the princess meets up with her prince and they live happily ever after. That’s what we all would like to believe in – happy endings where love wins out and conquers all.

Once upon a time…

Beth, a nursing student at Arizona State, met her best friend, Jason, at a Diamondbacks baseball game. Amid the boisterous crowd and Jason’s equally boisterous friends, Beth and Jason exchanged numbers and so began their relationship. Every day since their first meeting, they had to be together - the princess and her soon-to-be prince.  Their love blossomed as a friendship and grew, over time, into a love story that was meant to be. As Beth tells it, “Jason and I were best friends from the beginning, which is how I knew we would end up married and together forever.” Forever began on October 1, 2009 with a small, simple beach wedding. “Friends forever…united in love” 

Forever is now in jeopardy. This fairy tale love story of Princess Beth and her beloved Prince Jason is being threatened by the evil scepter of cancer. Diagnosed in May of 2012, one year after the sudden death of Beth's mother, this turn of events recast  this princess and her prince into a nightmare. At first, doctors did not know what type of cancer Jason was being ravaged by, nor what his prognosis would be. Princess Beth refused to accept uncertainty; if Beth and Jason were going to battle cancer, she wanted to know details. Amid a flurry of paperwork, MD Anderson was the place to go for an answer, and Beth and Jason got one: ureter cancer, one of the more rare forms of cancer. A rigorous plan for chemo was crafted by a team of doctors – necessary since this form of cancer is so rare. Prince Jason fights to keep going- he has had urostomy tubes to help drain his kidneys when the tumor occluded his ureters, and has recently undergone surgery for a colostomy and pain pump. The deepest and most painful cut- he can no longer hold his 2 year old son, Beckett.

How do you tell a little boy, a precious prince himself, that Daddy is sick, in a fight for his life? That Daddy wants to be there when he learns to play baseball- a passion Daddy loved? Beckett just wants to be nestled in the love and security of Daddy’s arms... his innocence prevents him from understanding that Jason is fighting for the chance to hold him, and Mommy, once again. Yet, even being so innocent, Beckett is perceptive enough to know that something is wrong. He gives Beth and Jason kisses when he sees their tears, and asks "payers {prayers} for my dad?"; he is just like Prince Jason, kind, nurturing and compassionate.

Such a young couple in love with a beautiful son – ready and willing to make a difference in each other’s lives. Princess Beth tends to others’ needs as an ICU nurse, working nights full time to support her family, and attending school part time to become a Nurse Practitioner. Prince Jason delivers messages from loved ones as a UPS employee, although currently on disability. Their plan was to have more children and enjoy their careers, family and count their blessings. 

The medical bills are daunting and multiplying at a staggering rate; just one of Jason’s chemo medications is $9000. In Beth’s own words, “
I have no vacation time at work and I'm not quite sure how we'll do it, but we have to. They (MD Anderson staff) are more hopeful down there and they are the ones that are ordering his chemo. Even with insurance the bills are cumbersome.”

This story isn’t just some fairy tale turned tragic. This is the life Beth, Jason and Beckett now have… and it is life they are willing to fight for but they need more love and more financial help surrounding them to beat an adversary like cancer.

This family deserves a HAPPY ending. The Princess and the Prince, with their little boy, are willing to do the fighting…and for those who are touched by their honest love story, we ask that you help them reach a happy ending by making a contribution to help defray the formidable costs ahead.

“All in all...cancer sucks and it changes everything. What we, at 27 and 31, planned for a year from now has changed completely. We have to take it a day at a time and no further than that.  Sometimes minutes at a time. And at this point, we hope we get another year together. We want more but we've learned that absolutely nothing in this life is guaranteed. So we go on...."

Any donation you can afford is deeply appreciated. Passing along this story of love and hope is appreciated. The ultimate goal is for Jason to recover. The immediate goal is to help defray medical costs so this loving family can focus on positive energy and health rather than anxiety and worry about bills.

With your help, we can help write a line in Beth and Jason’s story:

And the Princess and her Prince, along with their beloved little boy, lived happily ever after.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 16, 2014 by Team Bertschy
Hello everyone! It has been a while since I last updated this page and felt I should at least put a brief update. Many of you are following the updates on facebook...not sure who follows what or how often. 

Jason has been deteriorating more all the time. He has become very weak and (surprisingly enough) even more frail. He gets frustrated with how fast he fatigues lately. His pain has become increasingly more difficult to control and I hope that as this progresses the pain is something not only medication, but God will help control. Speaking of God, I watched a documentary the other day about the healing ministries and it literally took me to my knees. In a nutshell, the documentary was about regular people, believers in Jesus Christ, that go out to random people on the street and pray healing over people that are in need of it. There is actual footage of the blind regaining their eyesight, the deaf regaining hearing, tumors disappearing, and those confined to wheelchairs that actually get up and walk...then push their wheelchairs home! It was amazing! Those who were healed were amazed and awed at the power of Jesus' healing mercy. The message from the healing ministers was simple...just go out and do it! Jesus gave us all the tools to perform miracles in this life and to heal the sick through his name. We need only to lay our hands on the sick and command healing to their bodies in the name of the Lord. Several people have prayed healing over Jason lately and while I haven't seen his tumors shrink in front of my eyes, I have seen him go from being in excrutiating pain to falling asleep comfortably within a matter of minutes (after saying he felt a warmth rushing all through his body). All because of the power of prayer. Does everyone get healed? Quite simply the answer is...yes. However, and I've struggled for years to get to this conclusion, the healing doesn't always physically occur in this life.

I believe every situation that occurs in our life is meant to bring us closer to God. Now whether we follow and see the signs is another story. We CONSTANTLY try to fight God and think we know better...we don't even know we do it. We call that voice inside of us intuition..telling us, advising us against something we want. But then when we choose what WE think we need and it crashes and burns, we blame God for our troubles. Why me? Why are you letting this suffering occur? But if we listened to that "intuition" advising us against something, perhaps we would see that God was trying to intervene and save us from that suffering in the first place. We do have free will after all. I'm not trying to create a parallel between having cancer and ignoring God...therefore you get cancer. Absolutely not...that's not it at all. My point is simply that we need to let God lead. Give up trying to be in control of your crazy life (I'm a prime example of this NEED for practice!) and ask God to take you where your MEANT to go. The understanding will come later and ask that your understanding be lead by faith. We have an entirely loving and compassionate God who is likened in Scripture to a parent. When we suffer, he suffers. When we hurt, he hurts. When our hearts ache for peace, God's heart aches for us to reach out to him for it. Its there just waiting for us to recieve it. And the best part is that it's free! It comes with no strings attached, no conditions...his love is simply unconditional. We need only let him in and start listening. I'm working on that part...listening. Listening to God's timing instead of insisting on my's a work in progress but I hope I'm getting better. 

So, let God lead you where you are MEANT to be. Whether that takes you to Africa, to a new job, or to the bedside of someone dying from cancer....let GOD lead you and figure out the rest with him when the time comes. I think what has helped me through this the most is realizing that GOD didn't allow this to happen and that I have never truly been alone through this experience. Not only have we met some amazing people who are now great friends, but GOD has walked me through this. HE has known this suffering and he's always been there...even when I was mad at him and didn't know if I should believe anymore. He never left me...instead he sent me answers to my prayers and sent signs that I prayed to see. He listened, he answered me, and he loved me through it all. Even through my doubts. I didn't deserve it and I don't deserve it now, but I know GOD will love me (me=my family ;) ) through whatever comes. This is true for all God's children...for every single person that walks this earth. We need only let GOD lead. 

Posted on April 12, 2014 by Team Bertschy
It is with much regret that I tell everyone that Jason is not doing well. He had a procedure Monday to remove an infected port-a-cath and afterwards has had issues with bowel obstruction again. What this means condensed...we are back to the beginning. Back to where the hospice journey began. Ive had a sickening feeling in my heart for about a week and I just feel like this might be the end of the road. Granted, we have been here before and God gave us the miracle of time. I can only hope and pray for that again. The only caveat to that prayer is who exactly I'm praying for and who it is benefitting. Jason has fought this battle arduously and with great optimism. Until recently he has been that he is tired. He is tired of hurting and of having to rely so much on others for his daily care. It pains him to not be able to participate in life the way he's used to and he just wants to feel normal again. If love could fix him, he'd be fixed...we all know that. But God has other plans...don't ask me what they are because I haven't a clue. I only wish I could understand. So, this will be my prayer.
(It is easier for me to write this now because I don't know if I'll have it in me later. )

Dear God, 

Please send your Holy Spirit down upon Jason and our family. Wrap him in your heavenly mercy and love. Comfort him with your fatherly warmth in both his waking and restful hours. Hold him in your arms and take away his pains, his frustrations, and all of his worries. Love him as only you can and let him feel the strength and power of that love. 

Please give our family the strength to be strong for Jason through these days. Give us smiles to replace our tears and happy thoughts to replace the sad memories that cancer has left us with. May we always remember and be ever thankful for the time we have had together. Time no one said we would have, but were blessed with by your grace alone. We know that it is not from this physical world that we come, but from our true home in heaven. And that we will all be called home to you at some point in this journey of life. If it is time for Jason to come home, please greet him with open arms. Please allow his most beloved friends and family that have gone before him to show him the way and keep him in line! ;) We also know God that there is no sorrow, no pain, no time in your heavenly home. Jason will know he will see us all if no time has ever passed. However, those of us left behind will feel the pain of physical time. Please grant us the strength to remember his laugh, his touch, his courage, his loving nature, and give us the courage to go forth with life sharing the gifts Jason will leave with us all. Just as Jason wants us to. We thank you for keeping Jason with us this long and we are all blessed to have borrowed time. Please keep him with us as long as Jason wants and needs to be here. For this I pray with my most sincere heart. 


This is my prayer is written from my heart and it is how I feel I've prayed for a long while...I hope it will be yours as well. 

Thank you for all the prayers thus far 

Posted on February 7, 2014 by Team Bertschy
Sorry it has taken a while for me to write any updates! Spring semester has started for me again and between taking care of the boys, homework, tests, and working out going back to work I've been pulled ten ways from Thursday! goes. 

Jason had a difficult recovery period after his most recent hospitalization. He was diagnosed with sepsis, which is an umbrella term for a very serious bloodstream infection that has created systemic effects, and became deathly ill. He was given aggressive iv fluids, blood, and antibiotics. After a week or so at home he started to improve little by little. Then this past week we all got sick with whatever this nasty bug is that's going around. Beckett had horrible fevers and respiratory problems, which Jason inevitably got. My body was able to fight through the respiratory stuff but unfortunately I got the stomach portion of that bug. It was not pretty for any of us! We pretty much quarantined our house, took baths in Lysol, and drank green tea and mucinex like it was goin' out of style! Jason is still somewhat sick, battling the chest congestion, but hopefully he will kick it soon! I made sure he was on antibiotics quickly and started him on breathing treatments, decongestants, etc right away so I'm hoping that helped. We shall see. He still battles pain on a daily basis with the pressure in his pelvic area being the worse. He had a nerve block performed on Christmas Day and it helped somewhat, but we may be looking at needing to do that again. Jason really doesn't want to do it because he says it hurt, but if it helps as much as it did the first time it's worth it. Jason understands that too and we will just have to see where this goes. 

Now the serious, mushy stuff...

Jason and I have talked a lot about the past lately. Some of it is reminiscing on fun times while other times it's a deserperate inward attempt to mentally retrieve those days again. We look at pictures and Jason doesn't see 'Jason' anymore. He sees someone that is frail, thin, and has "tubes everywhere". He sees someone broken. We've spent a lot of time, usually at night after Beckett is asleep, talking about that. I listen to his frustrations, his tears, and I cry with him sometimes because I feel frustrated too. But then I remind Jason of what I see. I see my best friend. I see a kind, genuine hearted young man that loves me with a passion unparalled. I see a fierce young man who looked defeat in the eye and has refused to lose the game to cancer's rules. I see the person I love unconditionally. I see the person that, one day, I will have to love enough to let him go. And I pray every day for that day to be a long ways away. But at the end of the day I still see Jason. Just the way I've loved him for all these years! Always have, always will! 

And Jason usually apologizes to me, "I'm sorry you have to go through this. If you wouldn't have met me, you wouldn't have to deal with this.". And I understand that too but I would do again in a second. There have been so many good things that have come from this journey. Beckett being the biggest blessing of all! Any other choice or path I could've chosen would never have ended up with that little angel being in our lives. He has made some of our darkest moments brighter and has given me reasons to smile when I didn't feel as if I'd ever smile again. I wish I could have the same life, same people, just different circumstances. Cancer sucks...take that away! All I know is that God has a great plan in action here. I've struggled with that thought for a long time now...succumbing to God's plan and praying for that instead of my own plans. But it says so in our Lord's prayer, "thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven"...thy will, not my will. No matter how much I want to change it, my plan could never be better. Because God sees things we cannot and puts things in motion to bring us closer to Him. "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." Romans 8:16-17. 

Keep praying! We feel it and we need it! Pray for better days of comfort specifically for Jason and days where he can spend some time with Beckett. Beckett really wants that. Breaks my heart to see him miss out on it. No kid should have to endure this kind of pain but Beckett is tough and he is doing ok. Just pray for my boys please! Thank you to everyone that has donated so has made a huge difference in Jason's care. 

Posted on January 15, 2014 by Team Bertschy
Sorry it has taken so long to post additional updates. For those of you that are Facebook followers you know that Jason was admitted to the hospital over the holidays; both on Christmas Eve and then again on New Years Eve. Long story short...his confusion (which I repeatedly tried telling people) was a result of a kidney infection and not terminal restlessness as was previous thought. Since then he has had a long course of antibiotics and was given IV fluids and blood during his hospitalization and is doing much better now. He is no longer confused and aside from severe lymphedema (swelling of his legs caused by impaired lymph node reuptake of fluid) he is doing much better. Thank you to everyone for the prayers and for those that were able to make it to the hospital to see him. He has given us so many "near death" scares it's unreal, but Jason is a fighter and he is resilient. His doctor even said Jason was like "a cat" with all these scares it's like he has nine lives! It's humorous now because Jason is doing better but I fear the number as it gets closer to nine. 

I was talking to a friend the other day and the subject of marriage and marital trials came up. Things like: How can you even bring yourself to do half the things you've done for Jason? How can you change his dressings and stick him with needles? Doesn't that just break you heart? Is it lonely to not have date nights? Stuff like that. I find it eye-opening of just how different my life has become when I talk to other "normal" people. The things I do everyday and hurdles we jump through have become our "normal" and we don't dwell on it too much anymore. It's just something we have to do, so we do it. And most of the time we try to do it with a smile on our face even if our hearts are breaking. And besides, what is "normal" anyways?! So my answer is simply another question, what wouldn't you do for someone you loved? What mountain wouldn't you try to move? For me there is nothing I wouldn't do and no mountain I wouldn't try to tackle to do what needs to be done for my family. There is a passion that exists in true love. Not simply true love defined as that between couples but within a family, and that could even be taken further because family means so many different things to different people. This passion is indescribable, unbelievable, and amazing. It's a love that is honest and fearless; understanding and whole; nonjudgemental and all encompassing. I think of it like this...I remember the day Beckett was born and when I first looked at him, held him in my arms, and looked into his beautiful blue eyes I thought, "My God, how have i EVER managed to live life without you until now? I've loved you forever and I just met you!". And honestly, I felt that same way about Jason when we first met. I never thought it possible the whole "love at first sight" thing but it does happen. Their is a passion, a chemistry that develops between people who are simply meant to find each other in this chaotic world. I am so lucky to know that kind of love. And my love for Jason has been mirrored with the same kind of love from him. He has made me a better, stronger, more confidant person and I owe him the love I give him every day. I only wish it could be forever.

It says in 1 John 4:18, "Perfect love drives out fear". How awesome is this statement of love?! I believe that there is no relationship that is perfect but love, and the concept of love, is inherently perfect. The love that exists between God and His children, between a husband and wife, parents and their children....that love, when expressed honestly, is simply perfect and it does drive out fear. Who do children run to when they are afraid? Who does a husband dying of cancer lean on in times of need and despair? Who do YOU go to when you are hurting and feel alone? No matter the label of the person or entity you lean on for comfort, it is undeniably the person you know who loves you and can drive out the fear because that is what love does best. It doesn't need to be spoken, only felt. I saw this beautiful adage the other day in relation to marriage and it said, "A 'perfect marriage' is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up one each other.". And AMEN I say to you all...this is the story of Jason and I...two imperfect people that REFUSE to give up on one another. Never have, never will. 

God bless! And thank you to everyone that has donated to this is has been helpful beyond words I could ever express on this page. 

Posted on December 24, 2013 by Team Bertschy
"Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom so that you will discover that He is the rock at the bottom"

- Unknown

This quote couldn't be more true and I'm feeling it these days. Jason has gotten increasingly more confused over the last couple of days and the fatigue is markedly worse as well. The feeling of watching this happen and is one I simply can't describe. It's almost something you'd honestly have to live through to understand, and I would wish this on no one. In situations like this you pray so fervently for time and yet time can almost play cruel tricks on your heart. When we hope and pray for time we are hoping and praying for QUALITY time, which in our dreams is reminiscent talks, quiet evenings as a family, and possibly playing games with our son. However, time can show you an immense suffering that takes place within the person dying from cancer. This is where the crutch of time becomes a cross that bears great burden. It's funny how our prayers evolve and change over time as we realize the results of certain answered prayers. I still pray for time but my urgent prayers, the ones where I literally beg God, are all for comfort and days laden without confusion. And those prayers evolve most prayers do. God promised never to abandon us...ever. During times of sorrow and strife we need to remember that God is carrying us through the burdens and is there with us through it all. I struggle with this sometimes and then I'm reminded of the blessings God has blessed Jason and I with. Blessings such as our little boy, time together since his diagnosis, and all of the wonderful people we've met along this path. You see, sometimes we become so disheartened by the journey, we forget to revel in the miracles we encounter along the way. They are there, we just need to look harder. I know I need to!

Jason is still my best friend and the person I love completely and without reserve. Caring for him as his wife and his nurse is difficult beyond words. Yes I'm a nurse by occupation but it's different when you're doing these things to someone you love so deeply. The context of the "game" changes a bit. The medication giving, the dressing changes, the bathing, the emotional reassurances, the tending to for little things...everything tears me apart inside. But I have to do it because no one else can. The hospice nurse brought up Hospice House again today and I entertained the idea only if Jason became so confused that keeping him home posed a threat to his safety. I want him home and he wants to be home, as would most people in this situation. I took vows when I married Jason that truly meant something to me and those vows said "In sickness and in health, til death do us part". I promised, he promised. And lets just say...I'm not one to make empty promises. 

God bless you all this holiday season and while I feel this next year poses some amazingly difficult challenges....I remain hopeful. We have to be...there is nothing to be found in despair or hopelessness other than ruin. After all...when we hit the bottom we need only to look up to begin to see the light again. I need to remember to keep looking up! 

Posted on December 19, 2013 by Team Bertschy
Well, the ostomy has stopped working yet again. Jason has become very weak over the last week and has hardly had any energy. This just takes it out of him and it seems like every time he becomes obstructed it's gets a little worse for him. More fatigue, more discomfort, more weakness. I literally hate it. I can't stand watching someone that I love so dearly suffer. If someone could feel their soul breaking, that's what it would feel like. I'm convinced of it at this point. I'm praying that the ostomy will work again soon and that we will get more time. That's what I pray for...always more time. 

I think what is bothering me the most lately is how this has affected my son and his relationship with Jason. When I think of father-son relationships I think of baseball outings and being chased around the yard. I think of rough housing and learning about tools and how to "put stuff together". Unfortunately, Beckett was only 1 when Jason was diagnosed and has only known Jason to be sick. Jason has never had to the opportunity to be a 'full-on' dad, no matter how much he has wanted to. And now that Beckett is getting older and wanting to play more organized games he notices that his dad can't participate. He handles it very well and I'm proud of how sensitive my child is to the suffering he sees in this world. But my heart breaks for him too. I know the feeling of being a child with absentee parents and I never envisioned that for my child. In fact, I did everything in my power to prevent it. However, another plan is at work here. Beckett has seen suffering and has watched Jason go through procedure, has watched dressings be changed, and medicine given. It has shown him empathy and I am thankful for that. I think a lot of people in this world lack empathy for others and it shows. Teaching children about walking in someone else's shoes is important to develop character and a decency towards humanity. Beckett is a sensitive child and it is one of the most beautiful things about him. Jason bears the same quality and I see so much of Jason in Beckett. Compassion, love, sensitivity, and attitude! Beckett is God's miracle...plain and simple. Jason and Beckett both share an amazing wonder of the world and it is a quality that more people need.

My hope for myself and for those that read this post is this...don't lose the wonderment of the world and the smallest things in it. Appreciate every thing, every moment, every person you meet. Be open to lessons hard situations present. And as always, love each other with a passion that others can't help but notice. 

I hope every one has a Happy Hoiidays and a very Merry Christmas! God bless!

Posted on December 15, 2013 by Team Bertschy
Hello everyone! I wanted to extend a small update on Jason. The ostomy is working (for now) and Jason's procedure the other day went well and both nephrostomy tubes are in working order. However, we are still battling pain and discomfort daily. It is so hard to get him comfortable sometimes and that is extremely frustrating for the wife and nurse in me! I hate seeing him suffer and feeling defenseless against this dumb cancer! I pray to God every night for better days and for pain free days...they do come but are far and few between. 

I actually ventured out of my house today, which is a rarity for me, and was captivated by the normalcy in which people walk around. It feels strange for me to be out of the house, it almost makes me feel guilty. I see other people walking around with their families and doing their Christmas shopping and I can't help but feel a slight pang of sadness. Sadness for an extreme "missing" of the normal everyday things people take for granted. Heck, even seeing someone wear normal clothes and makeup! Since we have very few outings we rock the no-makeup and sweats look well in my house! Not that there is anything wrong with that but it would be so nice to get dressed up and go on a nice date with Jason! We haven't been able to do that in so long. I miss that more than I can even explain. Jason rarely feels good enough to take a drive let alone go to dinner or elsewhere. I never thought I would crave normal so badly..just a chance to go back to the way things were. We have a new normal now and it is very complicated and stressful. Days consist of juggling a three year old's daily needs along with Jason's, which are complex. Medications, dressing changes, baths, and interplay between myself and nurses/doctors to get everything Jason needs at home. Sometimes I get sick of the UPS guy because all he ever brings is medical supplies! It becomes a depressing mantra...leave the TPN at the door, knock for the boxes of suction equipment, and ring the bell for medications. Almost every day this happens. However, I wouldn't trade it for anything "more normal". I love Jason with everything I have and everything I can give...every minute of every single day. There is nothing I wouldn't do for him and I will take care of him as long as I possibly can. He is my best friend and still, even through all this, can make me feel loved (even if he is bossy with me sometimes). So, here's to praying for more "normal"!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to this site. It is truly the only way I've been able to stay home to care for Jason. God bless!

Posted on November 28, 2013 by Team Bertschy
Thanksgiving...Christmas....the holidays. Magical times of the year when people are reminded to reflect on what and who they are thankful for. However, as I watch this holiday season unfold I am forced to ask myself, "Why do we wait until the holidays to express a thankfulness we should show every day?". I've said it in previous posts and feel obligated to thankful everyday in every way! Be thankful for your family and friends. Be thankful for your successes both personally and professionally, but don't forget what matters most between the two. Be thankful for the opportunity to laugh and learn to laugh at yourself. Be thankful for your strife for it can bring about great change in the lives of not only yourself but others as well. Don't miss opportunities to be thankful and to tell others how thankful you are for them...

I was asked the other day why my family isn't decorating for Christmas this year. Why no tree? No stockings? No presents? Don't you want to spend your last Christmas together with all sorts of decorations put up? My answer was quite It's not that we have hardened our hearts to the spirit of Christmas because that is most definitely not the case. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I thought about the conversation some and felt the best answer to this question is quoted in a beloved children's book. It goes something like this...

" And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, 
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
"It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes, or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. 
Then the Grinch throught of something he hadn't before! 
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

- Dr. Seuss in 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'

I thought of this passage from a book I read to my son and thought the message was perfectly stated. Christmas doesn't come from a store and it doesn't come from the decorations that adorn your household. While those things are good and are a celebration of the magic associated with Christmas, they are quite simply 'things'. Don't get me wrong...I love Christmas trees and decorating our mantle with the stockings as much the next person. But this year those things deter away from the time we want to spend together. Same goes for the presents. I was also asked, "What do you want this Christmas?", and my answer? Well, what I want is an intangible. Something that most defnitely cannot be bought in a store. I want time. Time as a family to enjoy just that...being a family. That is, afterall, what Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the holidays are all about. Being together and reveling in the beauty and majesty of those we love. Love is such a precious gift to share with someone and to give to someone. It is the one thing that can be given without money and felt for eternity. It is the message that Jesus himself preached to the one another. I still haven't given up on miracles either...I know they happen and I pray for one everyday. Jesus promised us that our prayers are not only heard, but answered. And since I'm in a quoting mood...I quote from Scripture Jesus' response to his disciples when they questioned him about the withering fig tree. 

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

I pray. I pray every day and all the time. I pray for strength, courage, and the ability to be compassionate to my husband during this time. And I pray at the end of each day for a miracle. But I also say 'thank you' too. For the day, the journey, my family, and for love. God bless and I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving among family and friends. 

Posted on November 14, 2013 by Team Bertschy
As we get closer to the holidays I feel like it's only natural to reflect on things we are thankful for. Most people are thankful for family and friends and are gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some people even hope for that end of the year bonus and think about what they will do with it. Lights begin to be strung, decorations pulled out of storage, and turkeys are placed in deep freezers for those lucky enough to have them. However, for some the holidays ring a much different tune. The lights are not quite as bright, the turkey is a hassle, and the Christmas carols just bring the wrong kind of tears to your eyes. The hope that rings true in most carols has lost the glimmer of faint heartedness and has taken on a much more real meaning. It's when 'when Christmas comes' or 'what will we get the little one for Christmas this year', is replaced by 'will you be here for Christmas?' and 'how will I get through the holidays from here on out without you?'...that just changes the joy of the holidays. It just does. And while I'm not painting a dreary picture of what the holidays sound like to me, I'm being honest about the feelings in my household these days. It's hard to be excited about the details we relate to the holidays when someone you love is dying. You think about things a bit differently and focus energies on what matters most. Time. Time together. 

We will not be having a big Thanksgiving feast or traveling anywhere for the holidays this year. Jason can not eat anything solid again and his colostomy has stopped working (again). We don't know if he will make it through these holidays. Only God knows that. What we do know is that the holidays aren't about the 'things' involved, it's about being with the ones you love. And the ones I love most live right under my roof. I may not get 40 more Christmas's with Jason, no matter how deeply I want them, but I may get this one, and that's what I'm praying for today. One last Christmas as a last holiday together. I hope for many, many more but I am praying specifically for this one.

Jason and I talked about loss and impact today. What it would mean for this household to lose Jason. And the brass bones of it would be that it would literally shake this house at it's foundation. It would affect every routine, every minute of every single day. When you're young and have young children life is different. You are in the beginning phases of starting your life as a family. You have careers, dreams, hopes, and children to raise. You are at the bottom of the mountain climibing your way up, not yet at the precipice. And then something like this happens and that mountain starts to tremble and shake. Everything you hoped for, prayed for, and dreamed of is halted. Your dreams change and instead of wishing for a promotion you pray for a second chance. A second chance at living. A chance to be healthy and vibrant again. What Jason wouldn't give to be able to chase Beckett in the backyard or teach him how to throw a baseball?! The little things that are so monumental in our lives and the lives of our children are the things we want the most. When your health is stripped away there is nothing you wouldn't sacrifice to have it back. And we all take our health for granted too often. Just think of what a day in your household would be like if one parent were deathly ill? Or, for those whos children are grown, what life would be like if your spouse was dying? Who would you talk to in times of lonliness, sadness, or despair? How and what do you tell your children? These are things Jason and I deal with every day. It is the worst sort of reality check there is. Every day is a battle for us, both individually and as a family. I pray every day for peace for Jason and I still believe miracles can happen. I just pray God has one left for us....

Thank you to everyone that has donated to the youcaring site and/or via other means. You are the ONLY reason I have been able to use my fmla to take care of Jason at home 24/7. Due to this arduous journey we've been for over a year, I've long since lost my paid time off. Not to mention losing my mom just before that. So, for this enormous blessing to my family I thank you from the bottom of my heart! And it is the most sincere gratitude I can possibly give. 

To end this long update I leave this wish to you all. My holiday wish to you is that you remember what matters most in life and that while your looking at holiday lights with your loved ones, remember to turn away from the beauty of the lights and gaze at your beautiful families. Don't count your presents under the tree, count your blessings as they lie in their beds. Stop looking inward and look outward. Make a New Year's resolution that is of the soul and not physical. Tell each other how much you love one another...every day is not enough. Hug each other tight and often! Listen to each other's stories and laugh as much as you can...while you can. God bless you all! 

Posted on October 18, 2013 by Team Bertschy
There are no words to express the sadness I feel as I watch Jason physically wither away from me. He has lost so much weight and has struggled through the hurdles each day brings. But he is a fighter and he refuses to give up easily. His struggles are things we so often take for granted...eating food, drinking water, and even going to the bathroom are challenges for him these days. He has tubes coming from practically every body part and has moments where I'm sure it would be easier to just give up. But he never does. He has never thrown in the towel and said, "Ok, I'm done with this.". Instead he has smiled at his company, tried to spend time with his family on good days, and gets through each day minute by minute. That's what we are all trying to do. Just take it minute by minute. 

Maybe it's not too late to pray for miracles. In fact, if you would have seen Jason a week ago you would believe in miracles that he's still here today. So, keep praying for the miracle we all so desperately wish would be granted and pray for more good days than bad. Pray for peace for all of us. And always, always remember to keep your family as close to your heart as you can. Life is so precious and it is cut short all too often. Remember to laugh more, love more fiercely, and fight less. Hold your children tight and never say no when they ask you to play. The days of our lives that we wish would just "hurry up and be over" are precious too...just stop, breathe, and notice the good in every day you're blessed with. 

As always, thank you to everyone that has prayed, donated, or sent well wishes our way. We appreciate every single one of you! God bless!

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