Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Six Months!

Ok, first let me say that I am sorry that I did not do a very good job keeping up with this blog.  I admit that I have done this before and truth be told I will probably do it again.   I love to write and I always have a million things running through my mind...but having the time to sit down and write them out is a different story...maybe one day. that I got that off my chest let me say that I can hardly believe that is has been six months today since they removed the cancer from my body...nine months since my first mammogram.

So much has happened, so many thoughts and emotions.  For several months afterwards I walked around in a fog.  Not quite sure what to think or how to act.  Life kept going.  I kept working and taking care of my children...but I still felt (and sometimes feel) off.  I can't really explain it.  It is not something that you can really put into words.  I could try, but it would definitely be babble!!  The reoccurring thought of 'is this real' entered my brain a lot. 

It was. 

It still is.

Now I am celebrating being a survivor.  I am not taking anything for granted and living each day thankful.

Six months...that is half a year!!

In some respects it seems like just yesterday, but in other ways it really seems like it was a lifetime ago. I find myself every once in a while thinking about all of the different 'lifetimes' I have had.  Childhood, high school, early adulthood, children...children now entering puberty.  Each season really does feel like a lifetime (I think this puberty thing just might be) and it is really hard to wrap my brain around the fact that in each of these seasons it was me and how much I have grown and changed.

Now when I say 'it was', that does not mean that this season is over.  Cancer is never over.  I will forever have checkups and tests.  I will forever have scars...physically at least...I am letting God slowly heal the other scars.  As I have said before, cancer does not just attack your body.  It attacks your brain and your heart.  It changes the way that you see and do everything. 

Now whenever I hear of someone who has cancer, it is like living it all over again. I can not just be a bystander...I am in the game.  I know exactly the way they feel when they hear the news, I know the fear and sadness.  It is very difficult to remove yourself from that. 

But on the other hand, empathy is a good thing too and God is using it. This is just the beginning of a new season of been there...done that, lets talk.   I know that when I am going through something, I really want someone who has been there...done that.  Today I get to have lunch with my sweet friend Lisa who has been there and done that with cancer. We will talk and she will fill me with Truth and then this weekend when I see a sweet friend who is right in the middle of her battle we will sit and talk and I will fill her with Truth.

That is the Body. 

That is rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn.

It is good...It is a new reality. 

There is no way to go through something like this unchanged...nor would I want to.  I have learned that I am not immortal, I am not in control and I am not bullet proof.  I have also learned that I am beautiful, I am loved and I am redeemed. 

I will take redeemed over in control any day.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reality Check

It seems like just yesterday I was twenty.

So full of energy and youth.

I am not twenty anymore...I am forty (getting VERY close to forty-one!)

Now I would say that I have embraced aging well.  I don't think about it too often and when I do I usually find myself not able to believe that I am forty.

Actually, I usually don't feel my age.  Most of the time I still feel very young and still love to do so many fun things and spend time with younger people.  Only on occasion do I feel it...usually when I have to get up from sitting on the ground really quickly and I find myself making that grunt noise that I used to cringe when my mother made, especially in front of other I understand.

Ah with age comes so much wisdom!!

But yesterday I had a reality check.  I was checking out at a store and after the lady finished ringing me up and I gave her my debit card she asked me for my ID.  She looked at the picture several times and said that it did not look like me.  I explained to her that when you renew your drivers license on line they continue to use the same picture they have on file and that picture was nine years old.  They only update the expiration date and if your address has changed.

She kept looking at it and then said 'you look so young in that picture, like a teenager'. 

Now again, I am very thankful that the Lord has tamed my tongue and given me self control.  Because in my mind I was thinking 'lady, that was nine years ago...there is a HUGE difference between 31 and 40 and you have no idea what I have been through'.

All I did was smile.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Monday, June 20, 2011

If Only One...

If only one woman hears my story and takes getting a mammogram seriously, it is all worth it.

If only one person hears my story and listens to what the Lord is telling them, it is all worth it.

If only one person hears my story and obeys the Lord, it is all worth it.

If only woman hears my story and realizes that her worth in the Lord is not her physical beauty but that of a gentle and quiet spirit, it is all worth it.

If only one person hears my story and realizes they are a sinner in need of a Savior and understands that is Jesus and accepts Him as his own, then it is all worth it.

It has been such a blessing to hear friends tell me that they have shared my testimony with other people.  I have prayed that God would use this for His glory.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.   Romans 8:28-30

God has worked everything together for good...maybe not what I would have picked.  But He chose cancer to conform me more to the image of Jesus.  He has refined me and called me trust in His goodness even when everything looks bad.

Oh how I pray that for others.

I do NOT wish cancer on anybody, but I do pray that the Lord breaks each of us and humbles us to become dependent solely on Him.

I got to share my testimony with my church back in December after having a car accident and the Lord immedately provided me with a free vehicle. I then got to share my testimony again a couple of weeks ago on the importance of obeying the Lord.

A sweet girl came up to me and said how much she loves to hear me give my testimonies and to keep giving them.  My first thought was uh, no...a car accident...cancer...I would really rather not give any more testimonies any time soon, thank you!

But as I thought about it more, I realized what a priviledge it is to be used by God. 

He chose me.

He used me.

It is all worth it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel Part 2

So the other day I posted that there was light at the end of the tunnel because everything was going along smoothly and I was almost done with doctors.

Then Tuesday night we were at Bible camp I was trying to lock an apartment door that was really hard to lock...I had to fiddle with it for a while, it was hot and I was tired.

I finally got it locked and then looked down at my right pointer finger.  It was swollen huge and purple.  It freaked me out a bit but I just rubbed it and the swelling went down some.

Later that evening I was looking at it and trying to figure out why my finger would do that.  I was putting the day together with having the PET scan earlier in the day and wondered if it was a side effect.

Then my mind went back to something that my oncologist talked about being careful about with blood pressure and needles...lymphedema. 

Lymphedema can happen when the lymph nodes are compromised and they send mixed signals through your body causing swelling in your extremities...I have learned way too much.

Lyphedema is not curable and can progress like cancer if not treated.

When I got that thought in my head, I started saying "Lord, really...why"?  Why more...I am so close to being done.  I can't do any more.

I had a pity party for about 5 minutes and then the Lord started showing me that even if it is this Lymphedema that there is still Light at the end of the tunnel.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

Whenever you have God there is always Light.  God is Light.  I can not base this Truth on my circumstances or what I think I can handle or how many more doctors appointments I have on the calendar.

I have to trust that He is in control and will get me through any situation. I belong to God.  He chose me.  He loves me with an everlasting love and even though we live in a fallen world where bad things happen every day He is protecting me and taking care of me.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

So once I had my perspective back I went to the doctor today and she said that it was just a broken blood vessel.  My body is still tender so things will effect me more.

No lymphedema.

Oh and she had the results from my PET scan back and they were all clear...cancer free indeed!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh Rosie

Oh my sweet suburban.

I love that you are big.

I love that you are red.

I love that you are 18 years old but don't look a day over make me look young too.

I love that you are named Rosie.

I love that people can see you from a mile away and know that we are coming.

I love that when I pull up to a stop sign I laugh at small cars and think about what you could do to them.

I love that I feel like a truck driver when I put the emergency break on with my foot really hard.

I love that small children jump when I start you up and you say vrrrooom really loud.

But Rosie we have a have two back seats and I have two boys...that is just an invitation for bad things to happen.

Rosie, that second back seat is hard to get you need to tell me when Alex tears up a styrofoam cup for no reason at all and I need to know where the other half of the Happy Meal went.

And Rosie, Dr. Pepper is not our friend.

I know that you love me Rosie and I know that you will help me...

Whew, I feel better now that it is out in the open.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel

The last few months of my life have been one medical procedure after another.  While I am thankful beyond belief at Gods mercy in my life, I'm not gonna lie, it has been tiring.

But I am seeing light at the end of this tunnel.  All of my bloodwork has come back good and today I had a PET scan, so as long as those results come back good next Tuesday I will be done for three months.

While this has been tiring and not something that I want to do on a regular basis, I do have to say that it has been extremely fascinating being so involved in the medical realm. 

I have learned a lot. 

Like today for instance I had this PET scan.  My orders all day yesterday were to eat a high protein, low carb diet. doesn't matter how much steak and mushrooms you eat, without some potatoes or bread you are still hungry. 

I didn't know why I had to do this, that was just what they told me.  And then today I could not eat anything until the scan which was at 11:45 this morning and then took 2 hours total...I was pretty miserable. 

Anyway, I get to the doctors and they begin injecting me with something and I asked her why I had to do the diet yesterday.

She explained to me that it allowed my cells to be depleted of sugar so that what she was injecting into me would go into the cells and they would be able to read if they were normal or not.  If my cells were full of sugar, the injected "stuff" would have gone into my muscles causing a false reading.


One, that the liquid knew where to go and two, that the doctors have figured this out.

If I were smarter and not quite so old I think I would be a doctor.

Medical science is vast.  I have seen surgeons, radiologist, oncologists...pretty much every kind of ist there is and each one knows so much about so many different things.

And it is all about our body.

The body that God created...imagine how much more He knows than the doctors ever that is really fascinating.

So pray that I get the all clear next week and that I do not have to do anything, at least for myself, for the next three months, and then that will just be blood work...I say myself because you never know with children, Alex had an X-ray yesterday because we thought he broke his arm on the ceiling fan (don't ask...boys).

Praise God all is well.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Recovery Is So Not My Nature

By nature I move fast and I think fast.

Because of that nature, I think that I should recover fast.

Right now I am moving slow and thinking slow.

This is hard.

I have to remember that my body went under anestesia and went through major surgery.

Praise the Lord that every day I get a little better, but I am used to going from sunup to sunddown without stopping and being ok with that.  I actually thrive on it.

I love to move and be on the go and be a part of things.

Now I go for a couple of hours and I need to lay down and rest.

I know this is normal and I know this is ok, but it is hard.

The Lord is teaching me a lot in this.  He is showing me to slow down and depend on Him and other people.  I have been so blessed to have so many people helping me.  I have gotten to see the Body be the Body and function like God intends for it to be done.

So pray that I will be ok going at the pace that I am going and not overdo it.  Pray that I would continue to use the opportunities God is giving me to be still and allow Him to speak to me and show me what He has for me.