Wow! What a day. The biggest one yet for Tara. She had a 6:30 check in at the hospital and an hour or so with me and two of her good friends before they took her off to prep for surgery. By 9:30 they were administering anesthesia and by 10:30 making the incision.
From sternum to pubic bone she was opened up by Dr. Gostout and her team. Removed was 7.5 liters of ascites (fluid from the cancer), a few girl parts that she no longer needs, multiple tumors and cancerous lymph nodes. Several lymph nodes were pressing on her aorta in her upper abdomen as well as some tucked under her liver. The skill and precision of the surgical team was on full display.
For 9 hours the surgery went on. Prayers ascended from every corner of the US (Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, New Mexico, and more) and as far away as Thailand. Tara came out of surgery and I got to see her briefly around 7:45, a precious kiss, then I saw her again around 9:45. This time I couldn’t get myself to leave. So now I sit on a recliner in her room, thanking God for bringing her through. And not just bringing her through, but doing it with tremendous hope. They were able to get more of the cancer than they anticipated, including the mass in her chest near her her lung. That was supposed to require another surgery in the future, but they were able to reach it through her diaphragm now.
Now it is time to heal. There is pain in each breath for now. Tubes in her chest and abdomen to drain fluid and ascites. Monitors connected and IVs set to administer the necessary drugs. God, please comfort my wife and sustain her.
God also sustained me through his spirit, a few close friends, and his word, which came alive again today through the encouragement of the readers of this blog who posted comments. Many of your comments are straight from scripture and that is so uplifting.
Many of you are wanting to help us in a tangible way. We are so honored by that. So here is what would mean the most to Tara and I. First, go love on your spouse and your children like you never have before. Use our experience as a lesson in your life. Second, go and give. Give blood. Give your time (taking your family with you) to serve at the Salvation Army, Next Chapter Ministries, Boys and Girls Club, your church, or anywhere else that will help someone else. Also give some of your money away. It really will be the most rewarding thing you can do with it.
Jay and Tara
I am so thankful to know that everything went so well yesterday. God is so good always. You all continue to be in our prayers as healing and treatment continue for Tara and strength and peace for all of you. (I have a friend in China who is praying for you as well – your testimony is far-reaching!) I was blessed and humbled by Tara’s prayer the night before surgery. We each need to pray to be consecrated and set apart because we can live in His Holy Presence each moment of our lives. Thank you, Tara, for the lesson. I pray that you all will feel overwhelmed by His presence.
Jay and Tara.
Thank you for sharing your journey with so many and being a living testimony of God’s infinite power, love and mercy.
It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.
Lamentations 3: 22-23
May He bless you both with comfort and rest now, and strength and healing with the days to come. Continued prayers, and I am going to make it my #1 goal to tackle every single thing on your to-do list! Thank you for reminding us all of what we tend to take for granted!
I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” On this food and this “work” you will all be sustained. So relieved that the surgery is completed and praising God for the work they were able to do. Continuing to pray. It’s awesome that when we seek Him we find Him. He will never leave you or forsake you.
I am not sure if you know who I am by name but I know you would recognize my face as I volunteer with VBS and Disciple Kids, last year on Saturday nights and I have just started again on Sunday mornings for the 2nd graders so I know your sweet Jenna! I have been praying for your entire family and woke this morning at 4 am praying. I finally had to get up to see if you had updated on Tara’s surgery and am once again amazed at God’s greatness. I will continue to pray for healing for Tara and for peace for your family.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.”
I am so glad to hear that the surgery went well and that the doctors were able to get at what they needed to. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything we can do to help you and your family during these challenging times – we are here for you.
Thank You Jesus! We are so thankful for His overwhelming presence – covering yesterday’s every detail (and every moment that has passed and will come)! We cry out to Him for His strength and comfort in Tara’s every breath. Continuing to trust Him for His provision of healing and grace for the days ahead. And through all of this, we praise God for His faithful servants (you guys!) – for you have allowed yourselves to minister to others through your suffering. What faithfulness in times of hardship! Thank You Jesus!
In speaking with Tara right after her diagnosis, her main concern was that her humanness wouldn’t overshadow the glory she wants God to have through this. Doesn’t that sound just like Tara?? Tara – well done, my friend! All Glory to God! You and Jay are staying on course – pointing us all to Jesus and the things in this life that are truly important.
We continue our fervent praying – for each moment of recovery and future treatments. Can’t wait to see you! Love you much!
Praise God for a good day in surgery! Tara and Jay, you both are such blessings to us all. May God continue to grant you all His perfect peace during such a challenge!!
Thank you Jay and most of all Thank you God! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise God all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Praise God for giving answer to all our prayers. They continue on Tara’s behalf and her family’s. We love you. Get some rest. You will need it in the days ahead. Tell Tara we love her.
Jay, we are in VA and are friends with Mark and Mary Claire. We are praying for Tara’s healing and for God’s grace to continue to overwhelm your family during this trial. We have suffered the incredible loss of a grown son to suicide and Mark and MC were there to hold our hands as we went through it. God’s grace is sufficient and He remains faithful. Hold on to it with all your heart. We have a group of friends lifting you up in a little country church just outside of Richmond, VA. Psalm 121.
Praise the Lord! I thought about you all so often yesterday.Thanks for the update and advice. Will continue to pray. Love Betty P
Praise God! What wonderful news as to the outcome of the surgery. You are right Jay……………..there are many, many people who do want to help in a tangible way. You have given us great ideas of how we can do that. Here’s one way we are helping in Fairmont ~ our church (Faimont Covenant, Tara’s home church when she was growing up) is organizing a Relay for Life team and has already started raising money. She will be honored as a survivor at the event in July. In the meantime, we will remain on our knees for Tara………..God Bless you and your family in a special way today.
Dear Tara and Jay. Add to your list Indiana. Lance and I and many from our church are praying with fervor for you to fight this battle. Our hearts are also with you and your family and all our ARC family.
Praising God for a successful surgery and praying for you all to experience the love of Christ today and to see Him as He is, completely sovereign and full of love toward you. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jay & Tara, we are friends of Mark & Mary Claire. Our family is praying for you. I know a little about the faithfulness of our God and prefer to share his words rather than my own. Our love to your family.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Praise God for a successful surgery! May the healing begin!
I am so thankful for your note and the good news! Wow! God never ceases to amaze me! It must have blessed the socks of God the Father to see His children all across the globe praying in one accord! The guys at work are thinking about you and Tara. Stay strong….hope the vending machine is stocked with peanut M & M’s – ha ha! Please give Tara my love….Blessings and peace….
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Life is so precious. Thank you for including blood donation as a way to help others. It never crossed my mind how important blood donation is until Stacy had her episode and now I am hooked on this simple way to give back. Enjoy this successful step and look forward to the euphoria of every little victory on the way to beating this. Perspective will now make each piece of good news the equivalent of the Chiefs winning the Superbowl.
Jay and Tara
Piper called me and updated us on what’s going on with you all. Life is so hard outside the garden – so thankful that we have hope. I am praying every time I think of you, which has been a ton. I can’t wait each day to read your blog posts because they have been so encouraging to me, to Jonathan and to our children. Aside from everything, Jay, you are an amazing writer – God may have a future for you there! Tara, I wish I could be there just to hug you and hold your hand. You are such an amazing woman. I will pray for strength just to “do today.”
We have been praying non-stop for all of you. The prayer that Tara made, for God to consecrate her because she knew God would be in the operating room and she was not worthy, was such a powerful image for me. All day yesterday I pictured God working hard in that room…guiding the surgeons hands, reaching in and taking even the smallest tumor that the doctors might not be able to see, holding Tara’s hand and at the same time keeping you company in the waiting room, Jay, and carrying each of your children through their day. He is such a great God and so worthy of our praise!!! I made you guys a CD of music that I pray will bring you great comfort and encouragement. It should be there soon but in the meantime, Have you heard “Let the Waters Rise” by Mikeschair? It’s on the CD…coming to you soon but worthy of a quick listen if you need a lift. Love you guys so much and praying constantly for healing, peace, strength and comfort.
Tara, I have seen and been in this situation many times before as a caretaker, and this report is an outstanding answer to our prayers. Drs. Bobbie Gostout and Frank Nichols are both believers and they and their teams were clearly were used by God to do this work. God remains in control and will be in control of your healing, recovery, and the needed chemotherapeutic response to achieve complete remission. That is my prayer today. Nothing is impossible with God. I also see God supporting you, Jay and your lovely children, and my prayer and confidence is that he will never leave you. Thank you for the updates on how we can pray and give thanks by loving God and serving People.
While reading about Tara’s update tears of joy stream down my face. “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. ” Romans 12:15 So many people were texting and calling one another yesterday asking if there was any news on Tara. The body of Christ is simply beautiful and we are tearfully rejoicing along side you.
Jay and Tara, we have been praying since Mark and Mary Claire told us. So thankful for God’s provision through the surgery and praying for His hand to continue to be on Tara. It has been a privilege to walk this journey with you in prayer. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jay and Tara, you are loved! you are prayed for! So glad to hear that they got even more of the cancer than they thought they could get. Praise God! Thanks for being an example of honoring God through this. Thanks for letting us get a glimpse into your pain and your faith. It is humbling and inspiring.
Our prayer this morning is for peace and healing for Tara and her family.
“Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” Isaiah 43:1-2
Jay and Tara and family,
We go to ARC and have a mutual friend Michelle Sanderson. We have been praying for you all. I had to check for an update at 2:30am while up feeding my little guy. Praising God for all His work in you yesterday! We will continue to pray for healing.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
So happy to read this news. All seven of you have been on my heart and in my prayers since hearing all this news. Tara, all day yesterday I was thinking of you and the helplessness you must have felt, as a mom especially, putting your trust not only in God, but in the surgeons to sustain you and wake you up. Your complete faith is inspiring.
Many times throughout the day when praying for you, this verse came to mind… Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” This verse has come to mean so much to me throughout the last few years. I hope this time brings you much healing.
Love to you all,
Tara and Jay, we are so thankful that you continue to be sustained. The scriptures shared by your believing friends are nourishing not just for you but for all who read this blog. Psalm 107:20 He sends his word, and heals them.
We are praying, from Florida (our temporary winter home), and we have family praying from Massachusetts. ~ Beth and Bill Taylor
Praise God for the good news from the surgery. Jacob came home from work last night around 9pm and one of the first things he said was, “How is Tara?” You were on our hearts and minds all day yesterday and we’ll continue to pray. I’m so glad Tara had you by her side, what a gift you are to each other.
Your posts in time of need have blessed many. For that I thank you. I pray that today Tara has the rest and healing she needs.
Marsha Hudson ________________________________
Jay and Tara,
We celebrate our powerful, faithful and loving God with you! Thank you Jesus for your role as Chief Surgeon yesterday and we continue to lovingly entrust these children you call your own to your loving and healing care.
“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” – Jeremiah 32:17,26-27
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Tara, you did it! You made it over that first mountain in the race. It’s the one that so many are never able to cross, and you made it triumphantly! What’s more, it was clear to all that it was not you who was running, but God who was carrying you. To Him be the glory! And He HAS received the glory. It is so clear through your blog and the comments posted here that He is the one doing this, and I know that is your heart’s desire.
The race is far from over, however. There are many miles left to run, and they’re going to be tough ones. It’s tempting to thank God profusely for the miracle of the mountain and then tell Him confidently, “I can take it from here” and continue on your own. As friends and family, it will be easy to breathe a sigh of relief that God brought you over the mountain, and then lose interest in the race and forget to cheer you on to the finish line. May we not do that. Lord, help us to continue to depend on You. As the path ahead gets long, and the drudgery of recovery and chemo drag on, let us not forget that You are still with us. Help us to hold onto the awe and wonder of this moment, and carry us through the days to come. We love you, Lord! Amen
Thanks for the update on Tara. We are so glad that you made it through the surgery Tara. We were praying for you yesterday and we couldn’t wait to hear from you. It sounds like your doctors knew exactly what to do. We would love to send you a card and would like to get an address where to send it. Tammy flew in on thurs. and will be here with us over the week end. She said she thinks of you with your little piggy tails and your cute smile. We hope that it won’t be long and you will have that big smile back on your face. You have always been just like one of our family. Please get well soon. Love, Mama Rita, Vince and Tammy
The Lord gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
I am so blessed by your testimonies. You do shine through the circumstances.
As we went through a lot of hospital time last year, I realized how HIS peace was so dear. I pray that you will have it renewed daily along with given strength from our LORD.
In my devotions last week the author had a quote that I copied and now share again, “We can either worry or worship, we can either panic or pray.” My comfort through dark days was increased when I prayed and worshiped with my Christian sisters and brothers.
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow! Now the healing comes! Thank you Lord for your miracles. Thank you Lord for Mayo Clinic & the wonderful team of Drs that worked on Tara. Thank you Lord for answering prayers. Lastly, thank you for our salvation, giving us hope & peace that passes all understanding! Judy & John Anderson
You can now add Texas to your list. I am not sure if you remember me but I went to Parkway with your parents. I so glad to here that everything went well for you. My family and I are praying for you all. One of my favorite verses in the bible is Philippians 4:13. For nothing is impossible with god. A very simple verse with a lot of meaning.
Jay and Tara, Thank you for your post this morning, it felt like we could all take a deep breath. I have been lying here thinking. . . a week ago I never would have dreamed to be posting a message of praise. I am realizing that every moment we pray we are praising God, for simply acknowledging Him with our fears and burdens and placing them in his hands. Today I am praising God for the success of the surgery and Jay I praise God for your gift of words, they have brought our family great comfort in a time where we have wanted to comfort you.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
You’re family is a blessing to us and we continue to lift Tara up to the Great Comforter in this time of healing. Love to you from The Forsthoffers
Way to go God! Yes!!!! So, So, awesome!
As requested, I am loving on the kids by taking them to the Home Show today (my favorite part of the show is seeing Maier kids running around). And in honor of Tara and to show love to my husband I am going to makeover the bathroom all by myself while he is out of town next week. I figure if Tara can fight cancer, I sure can install a toilet, vanity and flooring my myself! Here’s to a great week loving on the husband and family!
Have blast loving each other and your kids this week! And even better, knowing the Lord’s stillness in your hearts.
Jim, the kids and I (and lots if other folks out here in NM) are so thankful to the Lord for bringing Tara through her massive surgery. We prayed that the doctors would be excellent for the glory of God alone. I believe He has been glorified… big time.
Knowing you might smile at this and knowing that we love you and you love us, I thought I’d tell you what Jim said this morning about the fluid Tara had in her, with his permission of course. He said, “7.5 liters! That’s bigger than a Chevy Big Bock!” While concerned, he is obviously impressed. 😉 I hope it’s okay to not be serious right now. Love you, big brother.
Rejoicing with you on the good results of the surgery. God placed you in the hands of excellent surgeons and I believe if they could have looked in to the unseen in the OR yesterday, they would have seen many angels surrounding them as they cared for Tara. I believe Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians and therefore for us is fitting as we consider all God has done and will continue to do. Ephesians 3:14-21 ” For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Jay and family. Please know how touched I am by your testimony and spirit through all of this. I’ve been away on business this week, but praying each day that God would sustain you all. I’ll be home later this weekend and reach out to you then. God bless you all my friend.
Tara and Jay,
I am so happy to read that the surgery went well. May the healing begin and may strength fill Tara’s veins quickly. All day long yesterday I prayed for Tara to come through this and that they would get most if not ALL the cancer. God answered that prayer which was for many I am sure. We continue to pray for Jay to have strength to hold it together for the Maier Tribe and for smooth healing. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Thanks Jay for your words of encouragement and for the “reality check” of hugging our kids and spouses.
Psalm 48:14 ” He will be our guide for ever.”
Christ gives us the strength to do those things He has called us to do.
Dearest Maier Family,
Praise God this morning for this glorious news! I cannot count the times I have stopped and stood still to pray for you all this past week. God is good and merciful, and through Jesus you and your family are finding amazing strength. The verse Phil 4:13 is simple but powerful, and our family has reciting that verse this week as we lift you up into the strong arms of Jesus. We are so thankful that Tara has come through surgery and the surgeon’s hands were guided and skilled in their tremendous efforts. God is so good. We pray now that this same strength will sustain you, Tara, as you heal. That you might find comfort in your physical pain knowing that you are wrapped firmly in your Heavenly Father’s arms.
Thank you, Jay, for your courage and for your dedication to keeping us all informed. You are all loved by many.
Tara, Jay and precious children….I am Mark and Mary Claire’s neighbor and friend of 10 years. They have been a powerful force in my life and the lives of my husband and children. They are precious to me, so of course the Maier Family of Rochester is also precious to me. Tara, you rarely leave my thoughts. I praise God for your successful surgery yesterday. Your strength and faithfulness inspire me and the whole Maier clan continues to minister to me in ways that you may never even know. I thank God for all of you!!
Jesus said, “Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:19-20
Tara, my family and I are gathered in His name asking for complete healing for you and for strength, peace and comfort for the entire Maier Family!!
Jay and Tara, I am thrilled to hear how well yesterday went! I am truly amazed at how God is working in your lives. I have seen the face of Christ in your words and actions, as well as those who have commented on this blog. Thank you for being that reflection of Christ! May God continue to sustain, strenghten, and heal you!!
You made my day with your post! Thank you! It is a pleasure to pray for you all.
Thanking God for such a great and succesful surgery! May He comfort you and heal Tara by his mighty hand! Thank you so much for sharing this most difficult time with all of us. It is a great view of the faithfulness of our heavenly Father!
Jay and Tara:
Know that John and I are praying for you everyday between 5 and 6 am. Tara comes to my mind several times a day, so I pray for her then also. We praise God for the outcome of the surgery and know that He will continue to heal her. Know that all of you are securely in His hands.
Such good news! May you continue to heal and feel better each day.
“My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22
Jay and Tara….so excited to hear the surgery went SO well!!!! Some of my co-workers and I were praying every time we thought about you all throughout the day and I kept them updated as Leslie sent updates from Mark. WOW…..God is good. Now our prayers will turn to a swift recovery, that she will receive great pain control and that her spirits will remain high. You’re so right…Tara is a remarkable woman and OUR GOD IS AN INCREDIBLE GOD. HE is doing to get you all through this. Love you Jay and Tara.
Janet McEwen Broom
It’s so good to hear this update! I’ve been praying for you from MA (Gordon-Conwell)!