Monday, December 31, 2007

Pathology Report

My doctor called today to let us know the results of the pathology report. Two places in my neck did show up as cancer. Also, the biopsy of my gum was ruled as cancer, though just superficial. Nothing surprising to me. Of course, not what I wanted to hear, but not surprising. I will now need to see my medical oncologist to see about a maintenance treatment program, possibly monthly Erbitux. When I go to get my stitches removed next week, the doctor will remove a little more of the gum tissue, just to make sure he got it all.

What else can I say for now??...but another word of testimony to God's timing and faithfulness.
My first devotional email I read today was:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:27 NIV


Not so surprising since He has been using this particular verse in my life for over 24 years. But then I proceed to the next devotional email, one that doesn't come daily:
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:26-27

And both of those before we got the call from my doctor!

Yes, He will remind me of everything He has said to me!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Off to Birmingham

Merry Christmas!

We celebrated Christmas with family on Sunday by enjoying Christmas dinner and opening presents. I'm glad we decided to have Christmas on Sunday rather than today. We were able to have a long leisurely, fun-filled day and not have to be so rushed since we have to leave for Birmingham today. With all of that in mind, none of it would even be thinkable without, first and foremost, the Christmas-time celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Thanks to my children and their spouses, I have a cool way to help pass the time on the trip today. They all pitched in and gave me an iPod Nano! The inscription on the back reads, "Let My Lifesong Sing To You"! Is that not the coolest?? Again, a God thing! The iPod was already on its way with inscription and all before I had to tell them that I was going to be having surgery again.

Well, I've got to get busy so we can leave shortly. By the way, here's the verse in my email for today:
"My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep."Psalm 121:2-4, New International Version

Friday, December 21, 2007

Not So Odd After All

Well, 2 for 2, PET scans don't work on the particular area of interest on my body. Yes, they can show whether there is metastasis to other organs. That is helpful, definitely.

I noticed a little bump...knot...lump on my neck a few days ago, wondering if it was something I should get checked out. Sunday night I wore a mock turtleneck sweater to church. It bothered my neck so much, I decided it was time to get it checked. I called my radiation onc's nurse Monday morning, and she told me to come in that afternoon. After examining me, my dr. said he felt it, too. He was going to go get a CT scan set up. He came back in to tell me it would be the next afternoon. He was going to have them do in at 2mm sections rather than 5mm sections like in a PET scan and most CT's. He told me to come back to his office when finished getting the CT scan. He would then walk over to see what it showed. So that's what I did. He came back from radiology to tell me it did look suspiciously like a lymph gland was involved. He had already called my dr.'s office in Birmingham as he wanted me to see him this week. He was in surgery and would call me as soon as possible. His schedule nurse called me Wednesday morning to tell me that he wanted her to go ahead and schedule surgery since he definitely would be removing whatever is there. So I will have surgery December 26th. We will go up to B'ham late Christmas afternoon.

As I was going back to work on Monday after first seeing my radiation onc, I had the radio on listening to Christmas music. Right in the middle of this Christmas music, the Casting Crowns song, Voice of Truth, comes on. I'm at first thinking how odd that they are playing this song in the middle of Christmas music! Then it dawned on me! This is not odd at all! God is talking to me! If you've read my blog from the beginning, you know that God has used this song many times in the last few years during diagnosis'. I just thought, "How awesome of God to reassure me of His presence...that this did not take Him by surprise...He is still in control". Then on Tuesday after leaving the onc's office late afternoon, I had a little more Christmas shopping to get done. So my mind stayed busy with that for a couple of hours. Once I was on my way back home, again, radio Christmas music playing in the background, my mind starts wandering on what I've just found out. Then, again, there's that song, Voice of Truth. What peace and comfort there is to know you are in the presence of the Almighty God who hung the moon and stars!

I was hoping to be able to wait till after Christmas to tell this news, but God had other ideas. My B'ham dr. had them schedule my surgery on a day he was supposed to be off. I have such great doctors. That means a whole lot...soooo much. My family will be having Christmas together on Sunday rather than Tuesday since we have to leave Tuesday afternoon to get to B'ham. That way we won't be rushed and can enjoy being with family and enjoying Christmas.

I guess we'll be waiting till after surgery to find out what this is going to be. For now, I'd appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers on my behalf...and my family's behalf. Only God knows just how far prayer takes us in times like these!

In a book I was reading while waiting for my CT scan and the results:
"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7
"He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:3
And on Thursday from an email devotional:
"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-- the LORD, who remains faithful forever." Psalm 146:5-6 NIV

Monday, November 12, 2007

Good News

I had a routine PET scan last week ordered by my doctor. He called me this morning to tell me that it looked like a good report. He said there was a little activity on the right side but the numbers were below what he would be concerned over. He said it was probably due to the surgery in that area and radiation twice to that area. There was no sign of spreading to other parts of my body. He said he would keep a watch on me and order another scan in 6-8 months. So that was good news. He had a full day of surgery today but took the time between surgeries to call and let me know the results he had received. That means a lot. He's always called me to tell me the results from tests and such. I really appreciate that about him. He called me on my cellphone at work since I wasn't home. My battery died right about the end of the conversation. (blushing-I mean how embarrassing is that to have your cellphone die while talking to your surgeon!) He was even nice enough to call back to my cellphone and leave a voice message of what he was saying when the battery died.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

He takes me back to bring me back

I know I haven't posted as much lately...been wondering what God might want me to do with my blog now. It kinda bothered me that I didn't have a 'fresh' word to share with anyone who might read it. However, I think God impressed on me today that the blog wasn't started just to keep others informed of what was going on with me for a few months. It is, also, here for me...to come back to and refresh myself with the wonderful words God has spoken to me. Words of love, faithfulness, commitment, understanding. If it means taking me back to bring me back, I'm all for it. It is my desire to share God's words with others, though, whenever He leads, and I mean to do so.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hope for others

Love is just as quick to say, “I have hope for you.”
You can say those words. You are a flood survivor. By God’s grace you have found your way to dry land.
You know what it’s like to see the waters subside. And since you do, since you passed through a flood and lived to tell about it, you are qualified to give hope to someone else.
What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this?
So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. (2 Cor. 1:3–4 TLB)
From A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God’s Love
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2002) Max Lucado

*I hope the "flood" I've passed through qualifies me to give hope to others.

Monday, October 1, 2007

So Like God

In the last week I'm learning more about God's covenant relationship with us. It has been coming up here and there. For instance:
"...and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me." Jeremiah 32:39-40 NASB (italics mine)God's promise to put the fear of Himself into my heart...not a fear of being afraid of Him but in reverence that He is sovereign. He is in control AND He will keep His promises.


Having faith in God's Word:
"But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:6-8 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
To be in covenant relationship with God I am to live in confidence and assurance that God will be faithful to keep His promises. This covenant relationship is to be based on trust, faith, and obedience. God wants me to literally trust Him at His Word, put my faith in Him and those very words, and obey by believing Him, His word to me.
I don't want to be a doubter that is not able to receive what the Lord very much wants to give me. I don't want to be unstable in all my ways but firmly grounded in my trust and faith in, believing, Him. He is so gracious to continuously work with me to make me what I want to truly be...and most important, what He wants me to truly be.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Colorado pics

I've finally gotten some pictures to scan. The first ones are from Garden of the Gods Park. It has magnificent sandstone rock formations. http://www.gardenofgods.com/home/index.cfm


Some pics of Balanced Rock:

That's Michele's 2 sons on the right.

Michele and sons with Cathedral Valley in the background.

Pike's Peak was awesome.
http://www.pikespeakcolorado.com/ It was so neat driving around Colorado Springs. There were times that it just got closer and closer as you drove...like you were going to drive right into it.There were many places you could get a picture of Pike's Peak.

The Olympic Training Center was one of the first places we toured. http://www.usoc.org/12181_19096.htm
We got to see the training areas for many of the Olympic competitors. We, also, got to talk to some that were training, as well as coaches. There was an interactive area where you could test your physical abilities, which was quite fun.


Pikes's Peak Avenue was near the training center and the daily drive.

We got to visit Focus on the Family (http://www.family.org/) and Visitor Center on Saturday. They had so much to see and a lot of fun things for children. Michele said she takes Matthew and Aaron there to play when it is very cold while she sits close by and reads.



This is a monument of James Dobson, Sr. He was quite an accomplished artist and painter. Many of his paintings were displayed. I'm fascinated by artwork and paintings. I could have stayed in there for hours just looking at his paintings and those of others who have done special works for Focus on the Family. It was like visiting an art gallery.


One morning Michele took me through the World Prayer Center. There has been a global community of thousands experiencing real-time prayer through the Center and their website: http://theworldprayercenter.org/
The Prayer Center "is open for the dedicated purpose of continual prayer, praise and worship".

Another tourist attraction that was within driving distance of Colorado Springs was Bishop Castle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_Castle



It was a wonderful trip. Though, I have to say the highlight was probably being able to watch Michele's 15 year old son training with his partner to one day compete in the Olympics in Ice Dance. It was a great privilege to watch him in his practices with his coaches and to observe him one day as he tested to advance to Junior Nationals.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Home Again


I'm now home after spending 11 days with my daughter and family. It was so good to be able to spend the time with her and Monkey Girl...as well as the Monkey Boys and Sarge.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Baby Girl

Well, there's nothing like a newborn baby to lift your spirits, especially if it's your very own granddaughter. Yes, she was born Friday night. She and Mom are doing just fine. I have the privilege of being with them for a week to help take care of them, the Monkey Boys, included...oh, and Sarge, too. So now it's 3 & 3...3 super grandsons and 3 delightful granddaughters. Oh what fun! Just had to share the wonderful news with everybody while I had a chance!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Run to God

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the One who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!" Proverbs 3:5-7. (The Message)

Who Am I

My dear daughter shared an email with me today from a women who has battled brain cancer for two years. Here is a quote from her email that speaks volumes to me:
"Who am I to question God, the maker of heaven and earth? He who fills the clouds with rain and snow? He who tells the oceans where to stop? He who created our world and every plant and creature on it? He who has carried me (not just walked with me, but CARRIED me), through all my previous challenges only to be covered with blessing on the other side. All I can say is Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life: I will sing praise to my God as long as I live! "

Friday, August 31, 2007

The source of hope

This was the verse in an email devotional today:

"They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them, he rescued them from the grave."
Psalm 107:19-20
(NIV)


It went well with a Max Lucado passage quote I, also, read today, "And we are forced to see him for what he claims to be: our hope."

We never know what 'trouble' may come our way. Oh, we can all know there has been, is being, or will be some sort of 'trouble' we will face in this lifetime. It has been so important for me to keep ever before me that He is my hope and salvation...that I'm not consumed by the troubles brought into my life. If not for His faithfulness, I would have been consumed. He sends forth His Word. That's His way of reassuring us that He is our hope. His Word is alive. Let it speak to your heart.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Practicing the Presence

Good words from Max Lucado:

Practicing the Presence
by Max Lucado

How do I live in God’s presence? How do I detect his unseen hand on my shoulder and his inaudible voice in my ear? A sheep grows familiar with the voice of the shepherd. How can you and I grow familiar with the voice of God?
Here are a few ideas:

Give God your waking thoughts.
Before you face the day, face the Father. Before you step out of bed, step into his presence. I have a friend who makes it a habit to roll out of his bed onto his knees and begin his day in prayer. Personally, I don’t get that far. With my head still on the pillow and my eyes still closed, I offer God the first seconds of my day. The prayer is not lengthy and far from formal. Depending on how much sleep I got, it may not even be intelligible. Often it’s nothing more than “Thank you for a night’s rest. I belong to you today.”
Give God your waiting thoughts.
Spend time with him in silence. The mature married couple has learned the treasure of shared silence; they don’t need to fill the air with constant chatter. Just being together is sufficient. Try being silent with God. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10 niv). Awareness of God is a fruit of stillness before God.
Give God your whispering thoughts. Through the centuries Christians have learned the value of brief sentence prayers, prayers that can be whispered anywhere, in any setting.
Imagine considering every moment as a potential time of communion with God. By giving God your whispering thoughts, the common becomes uncommon. Simple phrases such as “Thank you, Father,” “Be sovereign in this hour, O Lord,” “You are my resting place, Jesus” can turn a commute into a pilgrimage. You needn’t leave your office or kneel in your kitchen. Just pray where you are. Let the kitchen become a cathedral or the classroom a chapel. Give God your whispering thoughts.

And last, give God your waning thoughts.
At the end of the day, let your mind settle on him. Conclude the day as you began it: talking to God. Thank him for the good parts. Question him about the hard parts. Seek his mercy. Seek his strength. And as you close your eyes, take assurance in the promise: “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4 niv). If you fall asleep as you pray, don’t worry. What better place to doze off than in the arms of your Father.

From Just Like Jesus, Copyright (W Publishing Group, 1998, 2001) Max Lucado

Sunday, August 19, 2007

There is now no condemnation

"Steadfastness in believing doth not exclude all temptations from without. When we say a tree is firmly rooted, we do not say the wind never blows upon it."  John Owen

Friday, August 17, 2007

Inspiring--Cancer's Unexpected Blessings

Here is a link to an article written by Tony Snow about dealing with cancer in his life. It is inspirational. A little long but worth the read.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/july/25.30.html

My Father Loves Me

I'm back from my Colorado trip. It was great, and I had a great time. I don't have pics that I can post yet, but soon.

God is so good. Even in Colorado He let me know how much He loves me and is aware of the struggle I have had in believing Him fully. I went with my friend and her husband to their church on Friday night after I got there. Her pastor prayed for me. Before he even knew my circumstances he said, "You're more to God than you think you are. Jesus is very important to you." After he asked about my recent circumstances and I explained a bit about my struggle to believe God's word to me, he said, "Ask God to help you to believe. In the natural you will have those battles. Faith will rise up in you because there is a gift of faith. You're his daughter, and He can't refuse you." Okay, how would this man know how much the reference of daughter has been brought to me over and over in the last few months. But God...that's how. God uses one special word over and over to confirm His working in me...in spite of myself. I love my Father. My Father loves me!

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Bow Before Him

God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them. Luke 18:7 New Century Version

"When we come to God, we make requests; we don't make demands. We come with high hopes and a humble heart. We state what we want, but we pray for what is right.
We go to him. We bow before him, and we trust in him." Traveling Light  Max Lucado

Catchin' You Up

Well, I haven't had to update you on anything lately...which is a good thing. I'll just be glad when the bumps and dry skin are all gone away. (I do now empathize with people who have chronic dry skin!) I have looked forward to feeling better from the Erbitux; however, I've had a UTI (urinary tract infection) to try to get over for the last month. Even now I'm not feeling great because of it. I'm praying I don't have to go back to the doctor on Monday since I'm due to leave for Colorado on Wednesday. I'm so looking forward to the trip, and I want to feel better before then. My radiation site is still not completely healed. It's seemed to have gotten worse since I finished the RT's. I believe the Erbitux is making it slower to heal, slowly but surely.
Also, my daughter is due to have her baby girl in September. I definitely want to be up to par for that event. Unless her circumstances change, she will be having a C-section, and I want to be as helpful as she might need.
Thank you for your prayers for my friend who had the biopsy. It was benign, PTL. Her dad is due for surgery the end of August. I'm sure she would appreciate your continued prayers on his behalf as it is very serious.
(I'm sure I'll have some neat things to post soon after I return from Colorado.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hebrews 11:1

Everything was okay with my doctor's appointment today. He said he'll plan another PET scan in about 4 months.

I got this Scripture reference a week ago in an email. I get a daily Scripture email, also, and this was the Scripture on Sunday. Then Sunday night it was the Scripture in my Max Lucado devotional. I think God is meaning for me to put this down in my spirit. I liked the translation Sunday night:

"Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it."  Hebrews 11:1 (New Century Version)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Maker of heaven and earth

I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

I finished my 8th and final Erbitux treatment on Thursday. It is so good to know I don't have to go next Thursday for that infusion of Benadryl, Decadron, and Erbitux. Also, after this weekend, I can begin putting the side effects behind me. That will be very nice for my body to be able to get more back to normal. My Colorado trip is less than 4 weeks away. Hopefully, my body will have mostly recovered by then.

We make our one day trip on Tuesday to see my surgeon for a follow-up visit. I think he might be surprised to learn that I've now got 8 Erbitux treatments behind me as he thought they were given once a month. Even my radiation onc didn't realize it was a weekly treatment.

(Please pray for a young friend of mine who has already battled breast cancer once. She will be having a lump removed on Thursday for a full biopsy. Tests so far do not show anything alarming, but pray the biopsy finally gives her full peace of mind. Also, her dad found out last week that he has very serious prostate cancer. It has been an overwhelming week.)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Hold back the tears

Today I went for an already scheduled orthodontist appointment. My orthodontist decided I needed to have new retainers made. Therefore, I had to have new impressions made to have the retainers made like he prescribed. Since I've had 3 surgeries in my mouth, my range of motion is limited in my jaw. So the technician uses smaller trays for making the impressions. However, not even that made it easier today. The Erbitux is making my mouth really sore with ulcers and extra sensitive on the right side where I've had the surgeries. Oh my goodness! It was not fun to have her pull on my mouth to get those trays in place! She could tell it was very painful for me and apologized. She assumed it was because of the limits of my mouth to open. I told her that it was actually because my mouth was so sensitive in reaction to the treatments I've been getting for the return of the cancer in my neck. She acknowledged that I had been battling this cancer for a while (as I was in braces when I had the very first surgery on my tongue). She then asked me if it was okay for her to add me to the prayer list at her church. Of course, I told her that would be very nice. She then told me how she believed in prayer and that we just don't understand why some things are allowed to happen. It was all I could do not to burst into tears. It was just so like God. He just has this thing about timing, you know! He is just so good to me. Who am I, that He would use an orthodontics technician to, again, let me know that He is very aware of the battle that I am fighting...to assure me, once again, that there is power in prayer. I need that to hold onto so much. Like I've shared before, there are other voices that try to come in and displace The Voice of Truth. Thank God, He loves me enough to intervene on my behalf and say, "I'm here. I know your struggle. You are not alone."

"For I know the plans I have for you...plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, June 29, 2007

Abundant Life

The following post is in response to questions posed in a Max Lucado devotional on abundant life. I don't know exactly when I journaled this, but I thought I'd share it. As Max said in the devotional, "Your goal is not to live long; it's to live."

I believe both of my grandmothers aged gracefully, still full of unconditional love and wisdom. What is the difference between living long and really living? Living long is just adding another year to your life. Really living is making the most of every year God gives--whether long or not. Some people fight the natural aging process mostly out of fear. I would think fear of the unknown, fear of losing control-not being in control, having to be dependent on someone else, maybe.
Looking over a lifetime and evaluating its worth should be done in the light of God's word and His purpose--individual purpose. How can we enjoy the life God gives us--by realizing and accepting that we aren't put here for our own pleasure but for His pleasure and for whatever purpose He has always intended for us. I would think old age gives more ability to enjoy life. You have become seasoned by the good and the bad, wisdom gained from it all...and the fullness that God continues to add through children and grandchildren.
I guess to me the best stage of life is watching my children with their families, especially when they choose to point their families to God. The most challenging, to me, is raising and bringing my children up in the admonition of God and hoping I've done it right to keep them pointed to God--no matter what kind of choices they may make in their future.
To keep from feeling discouraged about growing old, again, is to focus on God's purpose for us to be here--even when growing old. Oh, dear God, that I will never lose sight that I'm not here for myself, but for You--and that Your purpose for me and my life will continue to the last day that You give me here on this earth--no matter what age I might be!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alas, two more weeks

Well, I did finish my last radiation treatment today (woohoo); however, I will be getting two more Erbitux treatments.

My dr. said from the first appointment with him that it would be 6-8 treatments, depending on how I tolerated them. Well, since I'm tolerating the Erbitux pretty well, it was the consensus of the dr., my husband, and myself that I would get two more treatments. So I have two more weeks to go. My rash is much better, my skin isn't as dry, but I still feel horrible over the weekends. It was our feeling, though, if I don't do two more and, say, the cancer returned, would we wonder if I should have done it. I know God's got the big plan and sees the big picture. At present I strongly feel I would have been out of God's will to refuse two more treatments. So here we continue in part of this plan God has for me. I give Him all the glory and praise for anything and everything He is doing in me and through me.

Friday, June 22, 2007

One more week

Well, I have four more radiation treatments, and I found out yesterday that I have one more Erbitux treatment...so I will finish it all next Thursday. Woohoo!! I will see my Erbitux dr. on Thursday. I was scheduled for an appointment on July 5, but the nurse told me yesterday that they must have made a mistake when setting up my schedule.

My skin is getting a little red from the RTs, but I'm thinking I'll be fine for 4 more treatments. I started feeling the effects of the ET yesterday and into today. As long as I've taken Tylenol, it hasn't gotten me totally down, yet. I'm thankful I'll have only one more weekend to get through after this one. I'll then be able to start completely getting over the side effects of the ET. That will be wonderful. (I can't help thinking about those that have such a hard time with chemo, though. What have I got to compare to that!!)

Psalm 138:8 (New King James Version):
The LORD will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Monday, June 18, 2007

So Neat

So many times when I get in my car to go to my radiation treatment each day, one of the songs I've mentioned here 'just happens' to be playing on the radio. Today it was two back to back, Voice of Truth and I Will Lift My Eyes. So neat of God!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Just Believe

God knows my struggles. He never condemns but continues to confirm His word to me.

Today I watched a movie I had recorded on DVR to watch when I had a chance. It was The Nativity Story. The first thing that spoke to me about how much God wants one to believe what He says to them is when Zacharias was stricken silent...because he did not believe that God would allow his wife, Elizabeth, to bear a son in her old age (Luke 1:20). Mary went to spend time with her cousin, Elizabeth, after she learned she would also bear a son, the Son of God. Elizabeth said to her, "Blessed is she who believes the Lord's words" (Luke 1:45).

God doesn't want me to struggle to believe His words to me. He doesn't want me to have unbelief...doubt. He just, simply, wants me to believe.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Nothing is Impossible

From my devotional last night in Grace For The Moment (given to me on my birthday by my dear daughter after my breast cancer diagnosis in November of 2000)

He Still Moves Stones
Max Lucado

I am the Lord, the God of every person on the earth. Nothing is impossible for me. Jeremiah 32:27

We need to hear that God is still in control. We need to hear that it's not over until he says so. We need to hear that life's mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out. They are simply a reason to sit tight.
Corrie ten Boom used to say, "When the train goes through a tunnel and the world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through."...
The way to deal with discouragement? The cure for disappointment? Go back and read the story of God. Read it again and again. Be reminded that you aren't the first person to weep. And you aren't the first person to be helped.
Read the story and remember, [the] story is yours!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Will Lift My Eyes

I Will Lift My Eyes
Written by Bebo Norman and Jason Ingram


God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near, calm my fear
And take my doubt

Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild

I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You

Had #4 treatment today. I think I've got about 2 weeks left for radiation. That's going good so far. I felt really bad Saturday and Sunday and into Monday some from the Erbitux. I guess that's the way it will be till I finish. The rash seems much better, but the itching is still bothersome...and dry skin!! I'm dry as the Sahara!! I can't complain too much, though. There are people having a much harder time with treatments for cancer.

This cancer has been so relentless that I still struggle with believing this treatment is going to fully eradicate the cancer and fully believing God's Word to me that I will be healed. That can be a matter of prayer to my prayer warriors. You know I can't do this alone. That's why God has so many prayer warriors on my behalf. What an overwhelming blessing. The thing is, God knows exactly the significance of prayer in our lives, whether our own or those of others. That is just one of the many awesome ways of His Sovereignty in our lives.


A nice music video if you would like to hear the rest of the song.

Friday, June 8, 2007

God is enough

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Three Erbitux down, four to go. I didn't sleep well last night. I really think the treatment has something to do with that somehow. My face has the pinkish rash like after the first treatment. My legs were aching, which has happened after each treatment. I just have general malaise a couple of days after, so I try to rest as much as possible...even during the week, too. Radiation treatments are going well. I've been able to use an aloe vera spray with Lidocaine. That eases the burning feeling and, hopefully, will help keep any burns at bay.

I've had a pretty good week. I was able to put in more hours at work this week. I am free to be flexible with my hours, so that helps a lot. The rash was pretty itchy on Monday night. It is on my face, back, and scalp. I took some Benadryl, and that seemed to help calm it down. The rash seems to have improved in the past couple of days. I'm just wondering if the treatment will cause it to flare up again. It seems to be a mild case even though it is quite a nuisance at times.

God is faithful always and through your prayers. I will continue to share any special words He speaks to me.

Friday, June 1, 2007

After one week

Okay, it's been a week since my first Erbitux treatment, and I had my second one yesterday. The acne-type rash did start a day or two after the first treatment. I felt pretty bad from Friday to Monday...achy, fatigue, weakness...general malaise. I was better enough on Tuesday to go to work for about 3 hours but went straight home after my radiation treatment at 1:15. The same for Wednesday. With my appointment being at 10:30 a.m. yesterday, I knew the Benadryl wouldn't be worn off enough to go to work...and I don't work on Fridays anyway. Even though the Erbitux dose was almost half the amount as last week, it still took long enough that my husband took me straight to my 1:15 RT appointment when it was finished. It seemed the Decadron I had been given might have helped to calm down the rash a bit, but lo, it was in full force again this morning. It has been on my forehead and nose, but looks like it is spreading out on my face and I can tell it's on my scalp as well. I'm using Neutrogena Anti-Itch Moisturizer when the itching and stinging start bothering me too much. At least I can use makeup ;) Hope this is not TMI(too much information)! I didn't wake up feeling bad this morning like I did last Friday. I started feeling it coming on more this afternoon. But my goodness, when you cut the dose to almost half, that's got to help some! The radiation treatments are still going okay. I'm so hoping my skin doesn't get burned too much. I had that experience during my last RT's and that was no fun at all.

I did have to change my Colorado trip to August. That will give me at least a month to be finished with all the treatments before I go. That is something I can look forward to as I countdown the next five weeks. :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

The day after

I had my first Erbitux treatment yesterday. It was a double dose. They started the IV with Decadron and a large dose of Benadryl, then added the Erbitux. It took over 2 hours. I started out reading a book I took with me. Needless to say when the words started running together, reading the same sentence over and over, I knew it was time to close my eyes and quit fighting the effects of the Benadryl :) My dear husband took me to the treatment and was met by my sweet daughter-in-law a little later. She took me straight for my radiation treatment afterwards. Seems the medical oncologist talked to my radiation oncologist. The protocol is to wait till after the first Erbitux treatment to start radiation. So I don't have to get another radiation treatment till Tuesday. That was a nice break.

I didn't sleep very well last night. Don't know if it was because of the treatment or not. When I got up this morning, the rash had already made its appearance on my face. More on the right side. Right now it's just a pinkish-red rash. If only it could stay that mild--you think?? I've been achy most of the day, too. That's expected. Feels like when I have flare-ups of the Epstein Barr virus--achy, tired, headache--generally flu-like.
My next 6 treatments will be almost half the dose, so maybe that part won't be so bad. We'll see.

God's voice to me today

John 11:4: He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified."

Only that He be glorified!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Beginning of the End

Well, today I began the radiation treatments. I will have 25 daily treatments (excluding weekends and holidays). The actual radiation treatment will only last about a minute, so I should be in and out of that one. We saw the medical oncologist who will administer the other treatment. We are very pleased with him. He was so helpful and informative...very thorough. He seemed to know our mind and answered most of the questions we already were planning to ask. I will have 6 weeks of this treatment, once a week. Thursday I will have my first IV. It will be the largest dose and will take 2 hours. Each treatment after that will be about half the initial dose and will take 1 hour. This treatment is a monoclonal antibody, not a chemo. It will target only any cancer cells specific to the squamous cell carcinoma. I most likely will get an acne-type rash that can manifest in different areas of my body, not just the face. I'm nervous about that, but the doctor assured me they have a protocol to follow to treat different grades of the rash. He said it is good to have the rash as that shows the treatments are working. So I now start the beginning of the end of this relentless cancer. Thank you for your continued prayers. They are so felt and so appreciated.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Inner Grace

I want to add to yesterday's story.

I also received a sample of their new fragrance. Here is the note on that card:
["to know peace is to know God. within the context of peace we can know joy, love, and happiness. in the absence of peace, we own nothing but the turmoil of our minds that jump from one negative thought to the next. to find peace you must shut off your mind and open your heart to the only thing that matters; the gift of the present moment, peace personified."]

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matthew 6:33-34).

I'm living in the moment.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pure Grace

How did God show Himself to me today?

When I got home from work, there was a package by my door. I wondered why it was there. I hadn't ordered anything from this company. Inside was a bottle of my favorite perfumed body lotion! A card was enclosed from the company that this was a one-time-only complimentary gift. I was humbled and overwhelmed by this timely delivery. The lotion has the following message on the bottle:
[one of the best tools for longevity and good health is not just taking a walk outdoors but taking your walk while holding the hand of God. when we walk in gratitude for each and every moment, we empower ourselves by empowering our spirits, when we breath in nature through our eyes, ears, and lips, we become certain that not only are our souls eternal, but that God knows how to manage our lives, our troubles, our worries, and our days better than we do. so today and everyday "let go and let God."]

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How can God use cancer?

Trust the Master (via Max Lucado)

Here's the verse God gave me for today:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:9)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One Voice

I wouldn't be truthful to say it's not a struggle. I have many 'voices' vying for my attention. It would be easy to let those outside 'voices' crowd in and distract. 'They' come in many forms and ways. Some of them speak fear. Some speak discouragement. Some speak defeat. Some speak not much hope. One Voice spoke my name last Friday with the Bible study. It takes an act of the will and spirit to dismiss the other 'voices'. Those other 'voices' would love to take me captive--
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth (Casting Crowns)

I don't understand...but I believe. God knows I believe. He also knows I struggle...and He does understand!

(I had my stitches removed today and the doctor said I'm healing nicely. I'll see my radiation oncologist again on Friday to get my treatment mapped out. I will begin treatments next week. I will soon see the medical oncologist about the other IV treatment that I'm supposed to get once a month. It looks like my trip to Colorado may be iffy since my radiation treatments will be 5 days a week for 5 weeks. The nurse said to keep my plans as scheduled for now, though. We'll see.)

Friday, May 11, 2007

I don't know why it still amazes me!

When I began this blog, I had to think of a name to sign at the end of my blogs. I mulled over several, but none really seemed right. Then it came to me to sign my name as Daughter of the King. After all I am a daughter of the Most High. Well, last night I tuned into a Bible study on TV. It was getting late so I decided to record it to watch later. I found time to watch it today. The teaching "happened" to be on Isaiah 53:1-5. I never record this particular Bible study program. The more I listened I realized God meant for me to hear it...to not miss it because I was too tired to stay up late the night before...to press the record button when I usually wouldn't do that. Then the speaker went to Mark 5:25-34, again realizing God had a word for me in this Bible study. Then verse 34: And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your affliction." I was just listening as it was being read on the program. When I heard "Daughter"...that was speaking my name! How much more confirmation does a person need??

I continue to be amazed each time God chooses to manifest Himself to me. I look forward to sharing many more 'amazements'. God is Awesome!!

Course of Treatment

Today we saw my radiation oncologist. As soon as my oral surgeon gives him the go ahead that I am healed enough, he will start treatments. It won't be extensive as the radiation I had 2 years ago. This will be a silver dollar sized area. It will be for five weeks along with an IV treatment called Erbitux which a medical oncologist will administer. It is not a chemo drug. It has been shown very effective in treating squamous cell carcinoma to the head and neck. That is the kind of cancer I have been dealing with since 2004 which is oral as well. I will see my surgeon next Tuesday to determine when I have healed enough to begin the treatments. A matter of prayer would be my scheduled trip to Colorado from June 20-27. I hope I don't have to cancel it.

As a post script I will give you a little bit of history of my cancers.
*Breast cancer 11/2000, lumpectomy, clean margins, no lymph nodes tested positive, radiation treatments
*Tongue cancer-SCC- 4/04, surgery, clean margins, no lymph nodes tested positive, no

treatments
*Squamous cell carcinoma spread to gum area 1/05, surgery, clean margins, no treatments
*SCC spread to lump in neck 7/05, surgery, one lymph node tested positive, radiation treatments
*SCC spread to gum area 12/06, surgery, superficial and clean margins, no treatments
*SCC spread through blood stream to knot in neck muscle, surgery, no lymph nodes tested positive, to begin radiation & Erbitux

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It starts and ends with His faithfulness

Last night I got my 6th diagnosis of cancer. God is always there showing His faithfulness before the diagnosis and then confirming His faithfulness after it.

The verse He gave me Monday was Psalm 103:2-3(NIV), "Praise the LORD, all my soul, and forget not all His benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases..."

Tonight I got this email:
Peace for Anxious Days by Max Lucado--When my daughters were single-digit ages—two, five, and seven—I wowed them with a miracle. I told them the story of Moses and the manna and invited them to follow me on a wilderness trek through the house.
“Who knows,” I suggested, “manna may fall from the sky again.”
We dressed in sheets and sandals and did our best Bedouin hike through the bedrooms. The girls, on my instruction, complained to me, Moses, of hunger and demanded I take them back to Egypt, or at least to the kitchen. When we entered the den, I urged them to play up their parts: groan, moan, and beg for food.
“Look up,” I urged. “Manna might fall any minute.”
Two-year-old Sara obliged with no questions, but Jenna and Andrea had their doubts. How can manna fall from a ceiling?
Just like the Hebrews. “How can God feed us in the wilderness?”
Just like you? You look at tomorrow’s demands, next week’s bills, next month’s silent calendar. Your future looks as barren as the Sinai Desert. “How can I face my future?” God tells you what I told my daughters: “Look up.”
When my daughters did, manna fell! Well, not manna, but vanilla wafers dropped from the ceiling and landed on the carpet. Sara squealed with delight and started munching. Jenna and Andrea were old enough to request an explanation.
My answer was simple. I knew the itinerary. I knew we would enter this room. Vanilla wafers fit safely on the topside of the ceiling-fan blades. I had placed them there in advance. When they groaned and moaned, I turned on the switch.
God’s answer to the Hebrews was similar. Did he know their itinerary? Did he know they would grow hungry? Yes and yes. And at the right time, he tilted the manna basket toward earth.
And what about you? God knows what you need and where you’ll be. Any chance he has some vanilla wafers on tomorrow’s ceiling fans? Trust him. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matthew 6:33-34). From
Every Day Deserves a Chance Copyright (Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007) Max Lucado


God wants me to live in the moment. Not in the past. Not in the future. He knows my 'itinerary'.

It's all about Him. It's all about Him in my life and my desire to let my lifesong sing to Him.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.