Sunday, November 30, 2008
I haven't felt like a healed person in so very long. Cancer changes everything, including how you think at times. First let me say for my fellow MCCers that yes, my story was the Cancer Sucks story- and I stand by it!!
Now let me tell you a bit more about me. It was 1990 when I was finally able to face who I was, what I had done to myself to mess myself up, figured out how I got there, and found a Jesus who could forgive me of it all. The moment of truth was just that, but the healing took a very long time. After a few years I was able to really give that past over and forgive myself. I have been spiritually healed for almost 20 years of the bondage that college antics brought but it is a continuous process as many of us know. But I fully believe that when Jesus wants me he'll take me and I'll be in Heaven singing a bunch of Aron's songs! My spirit has been healed for so long- at times needs to be re-healed and will continue to need healing as life moves on.
My spirit is in God's hands and I have such confidence in that. I know Jesus heals, I know I am healed, and now Mike just hit it home. Different kinds of healing- spiritual, emotional, physical. And my experience is similar to his in that healing has never taken place quickly. In fact it has always been painful and at times seemed impossible. But I knew during some of those times that I had to work hard at fixing what I was being told to fix, with the help, strength and love of Jesus. Nothing has come easy. Marriage, a continuous place to go to find things to fix about oneself. Parenting- ADHD, Celiac, teenagers... another constant source of healing. Friendships, keeping them truthful and current is not always easy. Nothing about my life has been easy- probably nothing about any of our lives has been easy. So why would I expect cancer to be easy.
Now, I never did! Let me make that clear. Surgery was very hard, waiting was and is the worst, CT scans, well they suck too. Constant blood monitoring, isolation or at least it feels like that at times, confusion, problems with my eyes and ears, looking sicker than you feel all because of chemo. It does take and take and take. But it can't take away my hope, my love, my spirit. It can only take my life-maybe- and that is secured by the blood of Jesus. So I truly have nothing to fear but fear itself- and I do have fear. The thought of starting with these children and this husband and not being there for the growing up part, the adulthood part, the grandparent part, the retirement part, the empty nesting part scares me. On the one hand I'm closer to that than others, on the other hand we just never know when it is our time.
So for now I wait in the security of my bond with Jesus-
I am healed in the spiritual sense, continuously so. And now I will fight, like I always have had to do, to heal myself physically. It's never been easy to heal, but it's always happened. So it stands to reason that this physical healing will be hard as well. So I will do my part, and Jesus will do His and in that I can rest. I wish it was always peaceful in my heart and mind, but I can work on that too. I'm a stubborn firstborn, overachieving sister, mother, friend, teacher, wife, aunt, babysitter, leader, woman and child of the Healer.
Now being transparent has not always been a strength of mine. With certain people, yes, but telling my story, or people knowing about the difficulties life has presented has been privileged info. So for those of you who thought this life has been a cake walk, please erase that vision of me. Replace it with a Sumo Wrestler!!
Love you all,
Monday, November 24, 2008
Good morning everyone,
At this very moment I am feeling good, hopeful, and so glad that chemo is over. I do have a CT scan on the 4th and a doctor visit on the 9th which will include my CA 125 test, so I will feel more at ease when those are done and the results are GOOD.
I don't know how I would have gotten thru this part of the journey without my parents. Many of you know that they came a stayed with me to help with the kids and cleaning, laundry, food, shopping, and believe you me I tried to stay 'down' longer than I needed but they are smart and caught on. Oh I'm kidding!! There is nothing I can do or say to thank them enough except to say I am so blessed to have parents who are able to drop their lives for their children. Thank you so much mom and dad.
And then there are all the people in Port Huron, where both Tim and I grew up who have been praying for me, my family and my parents. I can't even imagine how many prayer lists I was on but I need you all to know that I always knew there were prayers being listened to by God. I made it thru something I didn't think I had the strength to go thru and God brought me thru. For those of you who were a part of that, again, words fail me but thank you. I know one of my parents best friends went to their church every day to pray for me....That puts a lump in my throat. I received a card from my favorite middle school math teacher- that's 30 years ago!! It's so humbling.....
And of course my friends and church family who are near and far. If you are far, please don't be discouraged that you couldn't be here. I know you were praying, I know my family was on your mind, and I know cancer strikes everybody in many different ways. But know you can always call. Many can attest that I will tell you if I feel like crap and can't talk- but mostly you can hear it in my voice. But it should be all upswing from here.
Many have asked what the next steps are. I'll tell you what I know: The study goes on for several more months. I am being re-randomized into 2 groups, one that gets the Avastin and one that doesn't. Obvious prayer there. But know that if at any time something happens and Dr. Hicks believes I need the medicine I will be taken off the study and put on the Avastin. A bit of relief there for me. Of course I will feel much better after the CT scan and CA125 are done and results in, but I am a bit more calm right now. And I suppose that if those results aren't good, then I don't know....Can't go there right now. I'm going to enjoy my few weeks before all that. Regular blood counts today and next Monday, just the white/neutriphil counts. But I'm pretty sure I'm not avoiding crowds unless it's really low.
Yes, I'm going to the womens banquet, yes Shelly is coming with me and I hope my sister. Mom, do you want to come?? Sharpe Thanksgiving is on Wednesday and Willey on Thursday so we'll be well fed. And tonight is Ham and cheesy potatoes. And now feeding us is done. THANK YOU FOR FEEDING US. That was a huge blessing especially since I know it was so hard to go gluten free.
One more thing- I was kidding about the black hair, although it is possible. I don't have black hair yet anyway. However, it is either totally gray, which I've earned, or toe head blond, which I'm not sure about.... But, if it does grow in black, I will spend one day in the world of Goth. I have black clothes, even a long black coat...... Now for the makeup...
Well, I'm quite the chatter box this morning. For a while we'll keep this site going but I am so hoping it won't be necessary for much longer!!
Thank you for praying, for following what God asked you to do for me and my family, and thanks for pushing out of your comfort zones to take care of us.
Love to you all,
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Did I mention dinner is so good when others make it!! Thank you to all who have cooked for us. I think we're done with that- but you know, if you ever have the urge to drive yourself crazy trying to cook a gluten free meal you just go right ahead!!
Did I mention that it was my last chemo?? I am starting to feel really excited. I'm a little nervous to get too excited. Blood work every week until week 3 then CA 125 again and just the study drug/placebo. That only takes a half hour and I can drive myself so that is good. I think I have about 17 more of those treatments, putting me into summer time. The prayer there would be that I get randomized into the group that is receiving the Avastin. I am going to be re randomized-not sure why that is just how the do it. We are fairly certain I have been receiving it the last 5 treatments. so that is good.
Did I mention that I was upset because I thought I wasn't going to see Mary again, the wife of that new couple we met last chemo receiving iron... I just really believed God wanted us to see each other again- and for me to be there for her if her news is not good. But God is always good, and so in your face sometimes. He did that to me the whole service in church with Aron original song, the message, the hugs. I just really needed church on Sunday. And wouldn't you know the minute I was done with my treatment Mary and Jim came in. I'm not kidding. So we talked for just a bit. She doesn't know a whole lot yet but she seemed a bit more at ease. I now have her email so I can stalk her like I do others!!! Maybe she's on facebook! Anyway, that was such a blessing.
Did I mention that I talked with Chris, the NP and she said again, no worrying, she and Dr. Hicks are not worried and they have seen this trend before. My CT scan is on December 4th- yuck- but will bring answers. Until then I am stepping away from the ledge I've been teetering on and letting God handle it for me. I've already proven incapable. So right now, I'm away from the ledge- tomorrow may be a different story.
Did I mention how much WE love and appreciate you all? Thank you for walking thru this with me, even though it is a really LONG walk.
Did I mention I think my hair is going to grow in black and straight?? I'm going goth folks!
Love and blessings to you all,
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I am still wondering about why the postponement had to be, but that is ok. We took some first steps toward family health this weekend. We joined Lifetime fitness and spent a little time there today. Austin played some basketball and Abbi and Jay did a little rock climbing. I am looking forward to swimming, myself. I like to swim- not so much into the whole 'upstairs' department, for sure not until my immune system is stronger. So tomorrow after church we plan to have our first real session there. Jay is going to love that children's area. So, one step taken. Food is next, but that is going to have to come in baby steps, but I'm eating way more veggies for those darn flavanoids... oh the learning to be done.
Which brings me to my CA 125 which was 29 on Thursday. Yep, that's up, but still within normal range. It is really hard for me to not focus on the numbers when everything depends on the numbers- like white cell count, neutrophil count, red cell all of which affected whether or not I could have my chemo. Numbers are the statistics, they make the rules, yet we're not supposed to focus on them. Well, I'm trying, but it isn't easy. The fear? If it is raising while I am on chemo, what happens when I am off.... I know our great God knows no boundaries especially numbers but my head is mortified at times. So Tuesday we try again, blood work first to be sure but my counts should all be good so in my head it is THE plan. My NP will be there also so I can ask all of those scary questions I have, and she is into holistic medicine also so I have a couple of questions about that as well and am glad I can get some straight forward, trustworthy answers about some of it.
Good night and God Bless,
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Well, I am postponed again, but we are going to try again on Tuesday. I think, and so does my NP, that my neutrophil count will be up. Right now it is 1.2 and it needs to be 1.5, so we're looking good.
I am feeling a bit better than earlier. I talked to Chris (NP) about the CA125 and what if it is a bit higher again and she did a great job reassuring me that anything under the 35 mark is good, to not stress out about it and that they would tell me if I needed to stress out. So I'm trying.... I do not yet know what my CA125 was today. I will find out in the morning when I schedule my chemo for Tuesday. Never been there on a Tuesday.
So, I'm coming to church- white count is good, and quite frankly I need some worship time. So see some of you then.
Thanks for keeping me lifted up.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
We had a really nice time tricks and treating and no-one got any rocks!! We walked for 2 hours and I survived. Plan to do a bit more walking this week with Jayson as long as it doesn't get too cold. Why does chemo make you so cold?? I feel like I am constantly on the verge of a Renauds attack, which I don't like so much!
I feel great, antibiotics working their magic. We changed to another one that doesn't tear up my already ruined tummy. Yes, I'm eating just fine (even better now that we have so much candy. YUM)
I was listening to my third day cd, revelation and song 10 just blew me away. I was cleaning and organizing Jayson's school/craft/crap stuff, trying to eliminate the crap... Anyway, it's about giving love and when you give love He returns it so much more. I just felt like that person, being given so much love because He loves me so much. It hasn't been so personal to me lately, so it was a reminder that Jesus is mine for the taking. Just very powerful. Here are the lyrics:
By: Third Day
Whisper softly to me
Share with me your heart.
And just ignore the world and what it does
I know that you’ve been hurting you’ve been torn apart
And I pull close to you in my arms
If you give love
I'll return the love and you will see
So much more than you gave away
Give it to me
Listen very closely as I sing this song
And please believe that I mean every word
When I say I love you
I mean it with all my heart
Let it be the best thing that you’ve ever heard
Whisper softly to me
Share with me your heart
Makes me love you so much more and makes me excited to be able to give love again soon.
As for prayer requests- simple complete and forever healing of my cancer. But please include little Noah, Alex's little buddy who is not doing well. For those of you who don't know who Alex is in my life, I am going to work on a write up and will post it in the resources section....Also my friend Angi and the brain cancer- I believe her radiation begins tomorrow.