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 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. :)