Thursday, April 30, 2015

Test Results. Next Steps.

Test Results!

Great news!  The chemo is working!  The tumor in my breast has shrunk by 50% in volume!  Woo! Hoo!  Praise God!
Next Steps.

Here are the next steps.
May - July
 I have weekly chemotherapy infusions of Taxol.  I just had the first one on April 30.  The oncologist said this round of chemo should be easier than the last two months.  So far, so good.  The only side effect is pain in my knees, so I have to rest a bit more. 

I'm guessing in August I'll have surgery to remove whatever, if anything, that remains of the tumor as well as a few lymph nodes. 

September?  October?
After I heal from surgery, I'll begin 6 - 7 weeks of radiation.  Ug.  One day at a time.

For now, I'm getting ready to greet my son.  He's on his way over.  Hopefully, my daughter and grandbabies will be here soon as well!  Therefore, this will be a short post.  Time to live life!

For today, this is my truth!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Living Life. Church. Pick Me! Get Out! Next Week.

Living Life Through a Miracle

I'll make you a bet.  I bet you that after hearing how rough Round 3 of chemo was, a bunch of you were praying.  Let's look at the stats.  After Rounds 1 and 2 I had about 10 out of 14 good days.  After Round 3 I was down for just about the entire 2 weeks.  It was harsh.  Really harsh.  Some of your read about this experience.  And that’s when I bet you prayed for me.

We are now into the 10th day of Round 4 and I have had 7 out of 10 good days!  Unheard of!  Praise God!  The power of prayer is awesome indeed!  This is my miracle.  Thank you everybody!  Thank you, Lord!


I love my church!  We go to Heart for the World in Las Cruces, NM.  God has moved so many times in my life there that my heart has been irrevocably changed.  Many times it’s a quiet whisper and other times it’s a funny little “God wink” to let me know how very much He loves me.  At times others know how He’s moved in my life and other times it’s just between He and I.  I love meeting Him there.  It’s wonderful.  It’s encouraging.  It’s God. 

He has raised a group of prayer warriors for me from my church that truly love me and, more importantly, love the Lord.  I am truly blessed. 

I finally made it to church today – the first time since before Houston!  Yea!  It was wonderful to be encouraged by Pastor Dale and my group of prayer warriors.  I even met people who are praying for me – and I didn’t even know it!  Wow!

And the sermon was amazing!  I'm sure they'll post it soon, but here is the link to the series: 


It really spoke to me.  I realized that I cannot let my current situation impact my desire to minister – I just have to get a bit creative.  Fatigue is my reality – but not my lord – God is my Lord.  He is showing me ways I can be used in spite of cancer and chemo.  And I, God help me, am willing. 

Pick Me!
I want to be used of God, but, I also know that in saying that, I need to hold on and be ready for the ride of my life.  I agree with Pastor, suffering produces in us compassion – if we let it.  Here’s my take.  We can choose to be bitter or better through our suffering.  In my past, I would become bitter.  However at some point in my journey with Him, and I cannot pinpoint when, I learned to become better through suffering.  And God helped me by filling me with His grace, mercy, strength, joy and faith.  I am richer for it.  As Pastor said, I am now saying, “Pick me, Lord!” Eeesh!  Kinda scary……….but, exciting!  Pick Me Faith…..interesting concept, huh?

Get Out!
Then Pastor said the Lord says to “Get out of our comfort zone.”  My comfort zone has certainly been invaded.  Through this journey, I’ve learned that I am used to giving, ministering and taking care of others.  Now, however, I am learning to receive, be ministered to and gracefully accepting the fact that others are now caring for me.    However, this does not mean I’m helpless and unable to be used of God!  I just have to be a bit more creative and open minded to how He can use me.  I need to be more sensitive to His voice.  Praise God!

Next Week
Next week I begin a new chemo regimen.  Instead of bi-weekly, I'll be receiving twelve weekly treatments of  Taxol.  It's supposed to be easier than what I've been blasted with the last two months, not easy, but easier - whatever that means.....

After these next 12 weeks, it's surgery to remove the tumor in my breast and that lymph node.  After I recover from surgery, we're looking at 6 - 7 weeks of radiation. 

Please pray for me.  On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I get really nervous and depressed as I dread the Chemo Thursdays.  

God has truly blessed me.  I was able to go to church, He shared a vision with me and I have you - my loving family and friends.  Life is good.

And for today, that is my truth.  Love you all!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Finally, I Have Something to Say. Quotes.

Hello My Dear Friends and Family,

My chemo session on April 2 really kicked my but - really.  Usually out of the 14 day cycle I have 10 good days - this time I had two, maybe three.  As one good friend wrote in a text, "I know this is harsh."  Yes, my friends, it was harsh.  So very harsh.  So much so that all I could focus on was me, nausea, discomfort, getting through. 

Celery has become my new best friend in all it's crunchy goodness and blandness.  I love me some celery!  Add some peanut butter on a good day, or some hummus!  Yum!

Thank God V. has arrived from Okinawa so I have a live in friend on top of all the wonderful support from my friends and family!  Your cards, text messages, birthday gifts and jokes are the best!  I reread them and try to respond as best as I can.  Please know they are much appreciated!

My same friend wrote several quotes that really spoke to me. 

"It's not falling apart, it's falling into place." - Heard in a Bible study
This hit home for me.  I'm not falling apart, though it feels like it.  I'm using what medical advances there are to fight for my life.  As useless and weak as I feel, I'm not, I'm fighting for my life.  That was something another dear friend texted me.  So, there, I have it, I'm not useless and weak during this season, I'm fighting for my life.
I know - a weird source, but I love the image!
"When I went thru a past difficulty a special person told me
to run the race there are places during the trek that your prayer can on be for
the wisdom and blessing of endurance"
It sounds great, it really does.  But the blessing of endurance?  That is really deep.  Endurance can indeed be a blessing, though I will continue to ponder this point for a while.  This particular friend always gives me something to ponder.  This quote reminded me of Romans 5:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
And hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,
who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5
Even though the last two weeks were harsh, I still had peace with God.  His Word is a light unto my path - even if I didn't have the strength for my usual daily Bible study, even if my only prayer was "Help!", even if..............I have peace with my God. 
Suffering cannot be explained - it just is.  The question of why can be debated, discussed, analyzed to death.  As one who is suffering, I simply don't care to debate, discuss or even analyze it.  It just is.  As a very young Christian, verses 3 - 5 blessed me immeasurably.  I guess it taught me how to attempt to go through trials somewhat gracefully. 
Another friend told me I inspire her!  Can you believe that?!!!  I inspire someone!  She said I have taken the positive out of the situation and clung to it, made it huge, made it important.  Perhaps, that is because I view this scripture quite literally like a ladder:  suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope - the highest rung on the ladder. 
These last two weeks, I barely survived, I didn't have much hope.  Let me tell you that is a dark, harsh place to exist.  Today I had another treatment and I don't want to exist in the dark, harsh land of mere endurance.  I want to hope, I want to thrive, I want the joy of the Lord. 
So, as a friend suggested, I'll nap on my swing on my patio to indirectly soak up God's sunshine and nature.  I'll sit on my bistro table and read or crochet or simply sit in the beautiful garden my son planted for me.  I'll listen to praise and worship music.  I'll suffer, yes.  But, I'll persevere.  Then, as I sense right now, my character will be molded by my Lord and Savior.  Then, I will have hope.  And I will wear my banner of hope with confidence - because He who I hope in has poured His love into my heart through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to me - ME! AND YOU!
So, please join me in the journey with my Lord and I, a journey up a ladder that leads to hope.