Masthead header
Joshua Casteel (In Memory) bio picture
  • "If I am bound to the belief that God is in control of the cosmos, and miracles can and do happen, then there is no 'hypothetical situation' wherein God's ability to perform miracles through the faithful actions of the merciful ceases to be a possibility."

    Joshua's above words continue to resonate with us, his family, friends and acquaintances seeking to live out that same belief. Though he is no longer with us bodily, we strive to faithfully remember and testify to Joshua's witness among us, through the establishment of The Joshua Casteel Foundation and other initiatives on which we will continue to provide update through this website. Thank you for joining us.

    "The just man, though he die early, shall be at rest." (Wisdom 4:7)

    Joshua was diagnosed in early November 2011 with stage IV lung cancer (adenocarcinoma), which ultimately took his life on August 25, 2012 at the age of 32. The many of us who survive and love him will continue to pursue the heavenly justice to which Joshua (in life, and now in death) testified.

A few Quick Things

Hello Everyone! No, there is no good reason why I am still awake tonight besides I am trying to get things done that have been hanging over my head for some time. It will feel good to have these things out of the way, even though I’ll be tired!

First of all, we borrowed a “hot spot” from someone to give us internet access and I thought I knew who it was from. Turns out I have absolutely no idea where it cam from, but I would like to return it since we don’t have a current need for it. If its yours, send an email to naominoelthompson@gmail.com.  Thanks!

Also, I want to give you a better sense of what your money is being used for when you make a donation to help Joshua. I’m sure some will be used for medication or doctor bills, but the bulk of the money is being used for his food costs to support his juicing. Just for him, (not including my mom), our estimate would be that they spend easily $800 a month, and that primarily covers just the produce being used to juice. Some of you may have seen a picture of my mom’s fridge and fruit platter that gets filled each week after grocery shopping. Its unbelievable. We are so grateful for your generous and faithful giving, as we feel the juicing has literally transformed the way he feels and the energy he has. He told me the other day that he can tell more of a difference if he hasn’t had his juice than if he hasn’t had his pain pills. Josh looks amazing! He’s lost over 50 pounds, and although we are really hoping that he plateaus here soon before his weight gets too low, he is doing extremely well.

Well, I will try to update more at another time, and I know Josh is in the midst of drafting an update about this whole experience  for him . But for now, I’ve got to get my bootie in bed. Morning is coming early!

January 10, 2012 - 10:23 AM

Carol Schoof Dutenhoeffer - Our prayers continue for you Josh, but also your whole family. Without family and our Heavenly Father where would we be. I had to have fusion of C5-6-7 on the 22nd of Dec., and low and behold Larry had a heart attack on the 28th. He had two stents put in and on the 28th needs one more. I could do nothing to help him. My family took over completely. God was really watching over us. Larry thought he was having sympathy pains for me so I finally told him to call the Dr cause it wasn’t going away. His appt was for 4 PM I called and talked to the nurse, told her his symptoms and she said get to the hospital. If we had waited he would have died. His heart attack was not like a man usually has. I told him later that it was his feminine side coming out. Kristi be comforted that only one set of footprints are in the sand, and until we are strong enough our Heavenly Father will carry us through all of this.

January 10, 2012 - 4:26 PM

admin - Thank you Carol, I’m so sorry to hear about Larry’s incident piled on top of a very heavy load already and as you’ve so rightly shared…there was no coincidence in the trial that God allowed to be added on. It is so obvious Who was in control. Wow!!! And yet you must have felt very helpless And shocked. Thankfully not so helpless that you couldn’t advise him to go in right away. He used you well in your weakness, didn’t He? While I know you both have some difficulties yet to face as you both recoup, I’m thankful for your faith which is obviously sustaining you. Just know that we are praying for you both also. Yes, we are being carried, there is no doubt…How does God keep us all from spilling over onto the sand? Big, Big arms. 🙂 Love to you both, Kristi

HOPE in the NEW YEAR

Happy New Year Everyone.  We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years’ celebration with your family and friends.  We did.  I hope Naomi posted our ‘Christmas Card’ where everyone can see it…she sent it to  me via e-mail.  I’m assuming she posted it.  Now that was a trick to get all 10 of us, five of which are children, sitting, looking forward, not crying, and smiling when the camera is sitting on some piled up boxes and it’s taken by a delayed flash that one of the adults pushed and ran over trying to look calm and happy.  But after about 10 tries we finally came up with one that was at least presentable.  (Madeline had her crazy little face but that just shows more of her cute personality).  And you could probably not tell that at least three or four of the adults were sick with either cough, colds, or sore throats.  What you can’t see on the ‘surface’ of peoples’ lives, right?  And guess who was the most healthy individual of the bunch?  Yup, Joshua…all that good nutrition he’s getting from juicing and eating healthy is keeping him in great shape.  We’ll never discount the prayers, however, as being an integral if not the most integral part of his condition improving on a daily basis.  He needs his naps to stay healthy and he can really see the difference when he doesn’t get them, but for the most part he’s doing really great!  We’re so thankful.

We had a slight scare the other night with his eyelids starting to flutter (which was the main symptom before his seizure).  So as not to tempt fate and be proactive, this time we thought we would go into the ER before it got worse and potentially lead to a seizure.  As it turns out the doctor felt it could be a result of a long day of visitors and no nap and he was just tired.  So we’re trying to make sure he gets those naps in.  I still get SO scared if I think a seizure is possible (left-over from experiences with Rick I’m sure), but I am calmed down again now and attempting to not live in fear, but assume he is getting better day by day and not focus on what ‘could’ happen.  It is one BIG  goal to learn how to not live in hyper-vigilence when you’re caring for someone you love.  I sure hope the Lord gets me down the road on that one going through this again (round two).  If nothing else I will certainly have gained compassion and understanding for those who have to go through similar trials…hmmm, I think I’ve read that somewhere. 🙂

Then as if there wasn’t enough excitement in our Holiday celebration, I managed to drum up a whole lot more and got into a car accident.  (At the intersection of Blairs Ferry and Center Point Rd.,a fairly busy intersection)  I was going through the intersection on a late yellow light and a young woman turned in front of me.  It was quite frightening also.  She spun completely around and we ended up hitting and landing side by side on the riders’ sides.  My car ‘may’ be totaled, her’s not so bad.  THANKFULLY neither of us were seriously injured.  I thought I was just a little sore the following day but the second day after, I moved wrong in trying to get out of bed and I couldn’t move at all without a searing pain going up and down my left side.  And I had a very bad migraine.  So Joshua now became the caretaker and he helped me to his bed (it can go up and down) gave me a muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory , migraine medicine, and I slept the majority of the day.  By that evening I was much better.  I’m still somewhat sore but the bad pain has not returned.  You know, someday, I’m sure we’ll look back on all of this happening at the same time with some form of humor, but right now I, for one, am ready for a little less of…everything!!  Except your prayers…:-)

Lastly, today we had our first appt. with the new Dr. and it went extremely well.  She was very attentive, involved and stressed her style as being one of working together as a team.  Just what we wanted and need.  We left feeling very strong confirmation that we made the right decision in changing.  It felt so good to leave feeling supported and encouraged rather than stressed.  So thank you for praying for us in this big decision.  Which also reminds me that I have some good news about Joshua’s C-2 vertebrae that has cancer present that I asked you all to pray about.  ABout a week ago, before going to bed we were praying and I put my hand over his C-2 and it was quite enlarged or swollen.  (I didn’t say much about it to him…just asked you all for prayer).  Several days later, I went to pray and put my hand on his neck and it was almost flat!  I had him sit a couple of ways to see if his position changed things in any way and it didn’t.  My only explanation is our prayers!!  He will have another PET Scan in February, so we will be able to more clearly compare the affected areas to the last scan.  We’ll know more specifics then. But thank you, thank you, thank you…and please keep praying.  Each prayer matters and I know is heard and answered in God’s perfect way.  As I said before, our prayers are that you will receive GREAT blessing as a result of your generous gifts to us and your prayer…really the giving of yourselves!  We are so blessed to have each one of you in our lives.

Prayers that we will ALL be filled with HOPE for the new year…

With Love to you all,

Kristi, Joshua, and Family

 

Casteel Christmas 2011

January 3, 2012 - 10:57 PM

Shauna Flammer - Kristi, look at you and your cute family. I have thought about you a hundred times since our good times on 4th North. I visited with Kathy on the phone last week and she told me about your life and your husband and son. I am so sorry to hear about all you hard stuff. It also sounds like you have been blessed in your praying. Life is certainly interesting isn’t it? I think back on the fun times we had as roommates. Steve and I are preparing to go to Hungary in two weeks for an 18 month mission. We will be teaching English and Steve will teach German in the town of Saporon on the Austria border. We will both teach music. We will add our prayers to yours for you Josh. I am so glad to find you again. Love, Shauna

January 13, 2012 - 5:26 PM

melinda tomsic - Hey Josh and family,
It was so good to see you after Christmas and wonderful to meet your mother. Love the photo of your family.
I am so glad to read the updates and hear how you’re doing. I know about chemo side effects–it’s good to know the meds are working but … When you get to other side, though, it’s all worth it, for sure.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I think about you often and am so excited that you are going to start teaching soon. I know you will be fabulous. Having some (much more modest) experience at teaching writing, I know how rewarding it is.
So hang in there, kiddo, and know that I am available if you need anything. I am having trouble getting the meal plan/contribution pages to load–it may be just my computer, but I thought I’d let you know just in case.
Best regards, Melinda Tomsic

January 14, 2012 - 12:10 AM

admin - I’ll check with Naomi or Chad about the meal-plan sections. Good to meet you also Melinda.

Quiet but Thankful Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve to Family and Friends!!

 The house is silent (Joshua is resting), Naomi and family are celebrating with Travis’ family and Rebekah and  family come tomorrow.  I put up the Christmas tree today and will wrap presents in a little bit.  This is not much different than last year, except Joshua didn’t make it home until dinner time and then we went to Mass.  We tried to go out for dinner but found nothing open so we came home and he cooked a good Italian dish.  Tonight we’ll probably do something similar but it will be a little more uniquely healthy. Last year was actually the first time I had spent Christmas Eve day alone and it was fairly lonely, so having Joshua here this year is so nice…even though we didn’t do a lot of Christmasy things…We juiced!!!  🙂  (one of the most important activities of life right now).
However, our going to Mass tonight will be his first time to attend since he went into the hospital Oct. 30th.  Thank you, Lord.  We’re hoping his back will hold out for the whole time but he can always get up and walk around.  It will be nice just to be there.  He has gone out for a couple of hours twice this week and he looks and feels much better.  We’ll take a picture tomorrow for our Christmas picture and you can see the ‘new and leaner Joshua’…he’s lost almost 40lbs which as I mentioned he’s not terribly sad about, but the ‘diet’ is not something he’d recommend of course.  He put on a pair of jeans he hasn’t worn since college or grad school a couple of days ago and it felt really good…You have to find a little humor and look for the good side of things when in crisis.  He’s so good at that anyways.
I’m assuming you’ll read this after Christmas, so we will say hope yours ‘was’ wonderful.  One BIG gift for all of us is that good friends of ours (the Gullicksons) brought over enough food and drink for our entire Christmas meal.  And it all looks so yummy.  Thanks so much again Kathy. Travis was really thrilled when he heard the news because he had volunteered to cook Christmas dinner.  It will just make the day so much less hectic and will give us more time to spend together enjoying the day and each other.
Love to you all,
Kristi, Joshua and family
December 29, 2011 - 11:36 AM

Rodger Routh - Merry Christmas, and a very healing new year.

December 31, 2011 - 1:26 AM

CTN - Happy New Year, Shua. And all the Casteels. May His grace be new every morning, none more so than this coming reset.

December 31, 2011 - 10:40 AM

Joseph Clair - Happy New Year Shua! Thinking of you today and of that Lebanese restaurant across the street from our flat at 107A in Oxford. Ha! I send love and peace and prayers your way today.

January 2, 2012 - 11:10 PM

Lee Mickey - A blessing for the new year….
May God Bless you and keep you!
May God’s face shine upon you,and be gracious to you!
May god look upon you kindly and give you peace (and good health)!
(paraphrased from Numbers 6:24-27)

Prayer Request and Christmas Blessing

Hello Everyone,

First of all I wanted to let all of you know of a current very important prayer request. I have felt prompted all day to get this out to you all. As you know Joshua is done with his first round of radiation. They did not do the tumor at his C-2 (at the base of his neck) because they are hoping that the Tarceva may effect that one. There are also one or two in his lower spine. These tumors were not on the first scan so they appeared fairly quickly if I am understanding the Drs. correctly. The C-2 being so close to the brain is of concern to me and the wait will be one to two months before the next scan unless our new Dr. feels differently. This concerns me somewhat. So if we could all pray that the Tarceva (or God’s direct intervention) would target these areas in particular in these next few weeks we would really appreciate it. Radiation carries risks, especially to the surrounding organs and areas, which is why they are waiting, but we all know that it can spread quickly. Thank you again, everyone for your love and prayers. Knowing we can count on your prayers is such an encouragement. And we have all seen thus far what prayer can do.

Now I want to extend our family’s wishes for a wonderful and blessed Christmas with your family and friends. And I want to thank all of you for all you have given to us…in every possible way. We are so blessed and will be thanking God for each one of you as the best gifts we could have ever received.

Love and Prayers to you all,
Kristi, Joshua, and Family

PS. We plan to send a family Christmas picture (our version of a Christmas card when everyone gets home.)

March 7, 2012 - 3:52 AM

Minster Winston Allen - Please take me serious. I don’t want to die. My side is hurting. It could be Appendicitis. I do not know. I cannot sleep. I have not been to the doctor. I feel I would not make it. Please rebuke DEATH off me. I feel that JESUS and the PRAYER WARRIORS are my only chance. This is an S.O.S.!!! I don’t want to die cause of this. I don’t want to die!

March 11, 2012 - 12:32 PM

genesis - Lord Jesus, I pray that I be granted divine mercy and favour as I am being subjected to trials, afflictions and accusations. Lord save me, heal me, deliver me, vindicate me, prosper and establish me and my family in Jesus name. AMEN!