Thursday, August 9, 2012

“Faster, Higher, Stronger”

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2

The London Olympics have coincided with the doctor’s allowing me to begin my range of motion stretches. As they go for gold, I’m just trying to lie flat holding a broom handle and lift it over my head to touch the floor along with about 15 other stretches! It is painful, but I’ve been able to tell the difference already. The surgery left my left arm very stiff and the radiation will increase the amount of scar tissue. So pray that I will be consistent with my stretching especially when school starts back!

Today begins my 9th day of twice daily treatments; one at 8:30 and then again at 3:00. Once school starts on the 16th, I’ll switch to 7:30 and 3:00 treatments. I am scheduled to be finished with radiation on Aug. 28. Please pray that I will be able to endure the redness and irritation to my skin as it worsens over the next few weeks and for the fatigue that will also be cumulative in its effect. I want to be able to complete the recommended number of treatments and I trust the Lord to allow me to do this. I see Dr. Go today along with my Herceptin treatment. I’m tolerating the Arimidex (hormone blocker) relatively well and have gained 4 pounds since I went off the oral chemotherapy drug, Tykerb, 3 weeks ago. I will probably go back on it after radiation, but the lower dose will help with the side effects.

I want to thank all of you who have prayed, sent cards, sent restaurant gift cards, and prepared hot meals for our family. It has been such an encouragement to us and helped in such a practical way as I have slowly made progress recovering this summer.

Next week I’ll have both of my “babies” in high school. I can’t believe it. It will be a new experience for Anna being a freshman this year with new teachers and harder subjects. Joey will be “top dog” as a HPCS senior. In just a few short months Joey will be filling out college applications. It will be an exciting and busy year; a perfect time to meditate on the verses above and trust the Lord to help us be “Faster, Higher, and Stronger” in our walk with Him.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Divine Control

"How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" Matt. 7:11

"Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit, and it works on this principal-God is my Father, He loves me, I shall never think of anything He will forget, why should I worry? There are times, says Jesus, when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but trust Him. God will appear like an unnatural father, but he is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the notion of the mind of God behind all things strong and growing. Nothing happens in any particular unless God's will is behind it; therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him." Oswald Chambers

I am finally updating my blog and apologize for the wait. It has been a long road and it is still winding its way in all different directions. The final results of the surgery were not as we had hoped. They were not able to clear the margins of cancer and had to even do a skin graft to be able to close. I've been going back and forth to the plastic surgeon as they are checking the skin graft and the donor site on my leg to make sure there is not infection. My oncologist wanted me to go to Emory for a second opinion so I went on Tuesday. Upon their recommendation, I will be going on Arimidex which will block my hormones and going off of the daily oral chemo Tykerb for now, as well as continuing Herceptin by infusion every 3 weeks. The radiation oncologist recommended doing the radiation even though I have had it before, so I went to be marked for that today. I should start the week of July 30. It will be 2 times a day Monday through Friday for 5 or so weeks. Please pray for minimal side effects and that the skin graft will not get infected. There is a chance the radiation could damage the skin graft and it would fail.

Thanks for all of the cards, meals, and mostly prayers for all of us!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

As Treasures of the Darkness Grow...

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

James 1:2-4

When trials come no longer fear
For in the pain our God draws near
To fire a faith worth more than gold
And there His faithfulness is told
And there His faithfulness is told

Within the night I know Your peace
The breath of God brings strength to me
And new each morning mercy flows
As treasures of the darkness grow
As treasures of the darkness grow

I turn to Wisdom not my own
For every battle You have known
My confidence will rest in You
Your love endures Your ways are good
Your love endures Your ways are good

When I am weary with the cost
I see the triumph of the cross
So in it’s shadow I shall run
Till You complete the work begun
Till You complete the work begun

One day all things will be made new
I’ll see the hope You called me to
And in your kingdom paved with gold
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old

Thursday, June 7, 2012


"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Romans 8:35

"God does not keep a man immune from trouble; He says-"I will be with him in trouble." It does not matter what actual troubles in the most extreme form get hold of a man's life, not one of them can separate him from his relationship to God. We are "more than conquerors" in all of these things. Paul is not talking of imaginary things, but of things that are desperately actual; and he says we are Super-Victors in the midst of them, not by our ingenuity or by our courage or by anything other than the fact that not one of them affects our relationship to God in Jesus Christ. Rightly or wrongly, we are where we are, exactly in the condition we are in. I am sorry for the Christian who has not something in his circumstances he wishes was not there! "Shall tribulation...?" Tribulation is never a noble thing; but let tribulation be what it may-exhausting, galling, fatiguing, it is not able to separate us from the love of God. Never let cares or tribulations separate you from the fact that God loves you. "Shall anguish...?" Can God's love hold when everything else says that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice? Either Jesus Christ if a deceiver and Paul is deluded or some extraordinary thing happens to a man who holds on to the love of God when the odds are all against God's character. Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things. Only one thing can account for it-the love of God in Christ Jesus!" (Oswald Chambers)

I had my pre-op this morning (including an EKG, blood work, and chest x-ray) and now I am having my Herceptin infusion at the Cancer Center. I've been encouraged today by a sweet saint at Greenville Radiology who told me as I checked in that she would be praying for me next week during my surgery. She told me her husband had been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma and been told he would not live. He is a 9 year (and counting!) cancer survivor only by the healing hand of a mighty God. It is wonderful to know that nothing can separate us from that love! I appreciate all of your prayers as I try to check off all of the things on my pre-surgery "to-do" list! I am trying to pace myself but I run out of steam easily! We'll be taking Joey to Boys State on Sunday and then Anna will be my little helper for the rest of the week at home as I play "catch up" around the house. I have an all day workshop at work on Wednesday which will keep my mind occupied the day before my surgery. Thanks again for the cards, sweet words of encouragement, and prayers!

Monday, May 28, 2012

"By my God I can leap over a wall."  2 Samuel 22"30

"God is the Master Engineer; He allows the difficulties to come in order to see if you can vault over them properly-"By my God I can leap over a wall".  God will never shield you from any of the requirements of a son or daughter of His.  Peter says, "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you"  Rise to the occasion; do the thing.  It does not matter how it hurts as long as it gives God the chance to manifest Himself in your mortal flesh.  May God not find the whine in us any more, but may He find us full of spiritual pluck and athleticism, ready to face anything He brings.  We have to exercise ourselves in order that the Son of God may be manifest in our mortal flesh.  Our God never dictated to His Father and we are not to dictate to God; we are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants.  When we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured out wine to feed and nourish others."  O. Chambers

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Patient Endurance

"Let the treasures of the trial form within me as I go. And at the end of this long passage, let me leave them at your throne. May this journey bring a blessing. May I rise on wings of faith. And at the end of my heart's testing, with your likeness let me wake."

My recent MRI results have shown a recurrence of cancer at the original tumor spot. At this time there is no sign of the cancer anywhere else, which is a blessing. I will have surgery on January 14.

I have decided to go on a daily "Treasure Hunt" from God's Word to remind me of His great and precious promises that I can stand upon.
Treasure Hunting-Day One
"Because you have kept my word about patient endurance." Rev. 3:10
"Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says-"I cannot stand anymore." God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands.

For what do you have need of patience just now?

Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith." Oswald Chambers

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Grace is Mine

"What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light called through the night to find my distant soul, and from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me, that I might live and in His name be known.

What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me; beneath His wings my weary soul may soar; all fear can flee, for death’s dark night is overcome; my Savior lives and reigns forevermore.

So I will go wherever He is calling me, I lose my life to find my life in Him. I give my all to gain the hope that never dies; I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him."

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

Who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Psalm 103:1-5

I received a great report on my PET scan. No signs of metastasis were evident. The PET scan would see large areas of malignancies so this is one piece of the puzzle and it is great to know that nothing large is out there! I had a severe headache last weekend so Dr. Go wants to do an MRI of my brain to rule out any problems there only as a precaution. In the meantime, he has cleared me to see Dr. Rippon next week to discuss a June surgery that will also involve Dr. de Brux, as well. This will be for some "unfinished business" as they remove more skin samples and make sure that we have clear margins. I will have a latissimus flap reconstruction on the left side to provide the needed skin and muscle tissue to replace any that has to be removed. I am planning on having a left mastectomy and the first reconstruction surgery on both sides. It will be a hard recovery, but a somewhat needed conclusion to this recurrence for me. It has been a long road of waiting and believing and I know the prayers that you all have prayed have spirited me through. Dr. Go said today that I had changed since July, that I am more confident and less fretful.

“In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song; this Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand."

Thank you for your love and encouragement on Facebook every time I post. It truly lifts my spirits and keeps me going. I appreciate your prayers for the fatigue, nausea, and general pain from the daily meds I'm taking. This is such a busy and fun time of year and I'm trying not to miss anything! I'll be with Joey and Joe at the Boys State Drop-In reception on Friday, then to HPCS to see the play, "Arsenic and Old Lace" with Anna and Avari. Then the weekend to wash, clean, and make a volcano with Anna worthy of destroying all mankind. We are actually using Noah's family and livestock (again!) for the utter destruction. Sorry, Noah! You survived the flood, but not Anna's volcanos!

I am praying for all of you as well as we "press on" towards the end of this school year!!