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 not miss it because I was too tired to stay up late the night 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

*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.