Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Recap. Merry Chirstmas!

December 24, 2015
Merry Christmas to Everyone!
               I hope and pray this letter finds you all in the best of health and spirits!  I pray you know how much each one of you is loved and appreciated for the way you have touched our lives.  This newsletter will be a bit different, but then again 2015 was indeed a very different year for our family and friends.  Since Thanksgiving, I contemplated whether or not to send out a Christmas letter, then, this morning, I realized that I ABSOLUTELY HAVE to.  The desire to share with you, my loved ones, God’s mercy and grace overflow - I am compelled to share with you His goodness and grace.
               Late October 2014, I was visiting a family member who was fighting breast cancer for the SECOND time.  The night before I was to fly home, my dear dad let me know that another family member had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Right then and there I prayed, “God, things usually happen in threes, who is the third person?”  His swift response was, “You.”  Okaaayyy.  Me.   So that night, I knew, even before the mammogram and doctors’ phone calls, that I had breast cancer.  And you know what?  I was peaceful in the knowledge that God would answer my consistent prayer as I faced various health issues:  “God, please let me learn what You want me to learn from this.  And please let me be a blessing to the doctors, nurses, medical staff and anyone else I come in contact with during this season in my life.”   Throughout the following year, He was faithful to answer this prayer as well. 
               The Wednesday before Thanksgiving Ray and I listened to the radiologist who read my many mammograms tell us that the location of the tumor was difficult to operate on and he highly recommended that we begin our journey at MD Anderson.  Not surprisingly, the LORD had shown me that we would be taking a road trip to Houston and even which quilt I would be hand sewing the binding onto.  We began sharing this news with our children, family and friends.  At this point, I started a blog which I still write in occasionally:  .
After a several months battling with our insurance company, we were in Houston where the doctors discovered the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes.  That was scary to hear.  Despite that news, there were so many opportunities to encourage and be encouraged by my dear family, my dear friend who drove from Dallas to visit us, the staff and residents in our hotel!  I would go to the lobby/dining area and hand sew.  This was a conversation starter so I shared with as many people as I could and, by God’s grace, encourage and be encouraged.  I decided to continue treatment with the wonderful surgeon and oncology team I had already met with in El Paso.  I somehow knew my purpose in Houston had been fulfilled and there was no reason to return. 
               After 6 months filled with 16 grueling chemotherapy treatments, a lumpectomy and ancillary node dissection, 6 ½ weeks of radiation and now facing 1 – 2 years of recovery from all the toxins, I am finally cancer free!  Hallelujah! 
               Lessons learned?  Here’s just a few:

1.  “Let the Big C (Christ) take care of the little c (cancer).  Praying Through Cancer by Susan Sorensen and Laura Geist. 
2.  Live more fully, love without reservation and with all my heart and laugh with gusto daily.
3.  "God is bigger than the boogie man.” qtd. Raquel, a youth from our church.
4.  Some things just don’t matter – most things actually – so simply (I know it’s easier said than done.) let them go.
5.  El Paso has a great radio station – KLOVE.
6.  Life, and you my dear, sweet loved one, are beautiful. 
                   Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!

Celebrate Life!

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