Sunday, April 26, 2009

Surgery 4 - Post op

Friday's visit with Dr S was just great! First and foremost, no bad news! Yippee!
For those that know medicine and have been actually keeping up with the medical part of the blog, the scar tissue that caught his attention when this all started is still there. The cancer was on one side of the scat tissue and the CIS was on the other. The scar tissue is benign and evidently is not hurting my voice because my voice is fine now. How crazy is that???? I have many thoughts bouncing around in my head about that, but need to get ready for church. I'll sort my thoughts and post again later.
On to the non-medical part of this adventure...Dr S accused me of "yappin" too much. Really? Doc, is that a medical term? Cracked me UP! Dr Norris (was with Dr P and took my stitches out) was there and thanked me for the cookies. Dr S said, "Cookies? Y'all got cookies?" I told him that I told Dr P that I'd make her cookies of she'd give me stitches and she did, so I did. He said "so, she gets cookies, and I get 3 page e-mails about unexplained neck pain." He went on to tell me that my neck pain is from the dissection. "If you have a huge bump on your head and there is a broken 2x4 lying on the floor, do you think your headache is from gettin hit in the head, or from the coke you drank yesterday?" gotta love sarcasm! MAN!
there were a few more funnies yesterday, but again...gotta go get ready for church.
So, all is well. We now have a picture of what "normal" is in respect to my cords and will monitor once a month for the next year. I will have to have one more surgery to make sure everything is still clear, but we are letting me completely heal first.
Looks like we are out of the valley and basking in the sunshine!
Thank you all so much for praying for me over the past months. Thank you for traveling this road with me.
Have a GREAT Sunday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Surgery #4 Follow Up Visit

I cannot believe it has only been 2 weeks since my last surgery, but it's true. Tomorrow is my post op visit with Dr S and I woke up this morning with a tiny knot of dread in my stomach. Guess it's a physical reaction. There is no reason for it. This is going to be a great visit. I already know that I no longer have cancer! There's nothing else he could tell me tomorrow that could be "bad".
Funny how my body reacts to things...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Battle

One of the hardest things we fight against in the ministry is ourselves. I can't speak for every person called to the ministry, whether they are full time, behind the pulpit, in the mission field, teaching Sunday School, ministering to the people they work with in their secular job, or otherwise...and would like to think that there are SOME ministers out there that do not fight this battle. But every minister, man or woman, that I personally know does fight it. It is a huge battle in the War against self and it is the battle between what I want from my ministry and what GOD wants from my ministry.
This is complicated by the fact that few understand the ministry. I personally have family members that meant well when they asked if Calvin would get a promotion when he got out of Seminary. How do I explain to them that a promotion in the Ministry could consist of living in a tent in some forsaken part of the world? Or working in an inner-city church ministering to the homeless, or taking a pay cut to minister to an elderly congregation in a small church in rural Kentucky, or planting a new church and taking a secular job as well because a new congregation cannot afford to pay a pastor? A "promotion" in Ministry is not the same as a "promotion" in the secular world. GOD's agenda is not the same as ours. Moving "up" in ministry can easily be viewed as "stepping down" from a secular viewpoint.
One of the things I most admire about Joshua and Calvin is derived from one decision that each of them made.
Calvin was approached by a church a few years back. He was hesitant about moving his family and told the search committee that he would pray about it. They immediately responded that they would pay him xxx amount of $$ and said they hoped that would help him make his decision. It did help, but not in the way they planned. Their secular view of ministry helped him to know that he was not supposed to go to that church. The salary they offered was more than the both of us made at the time and he said he would never be absolutely certain if he took the job for the money or because that was where God wanted him to be.
Joshua took a pay cut and moved away from all of his friends and family to minister at Pearson. I have tremendous respect for both of these men because of their view about ministry. They want what GOD wants. Because I know this, it is easy for me to follow them.
The battle is simple...Am I doing this for God, or am I doing this for me? Is this what God wants from me to accomplish HIS agenda, or is it what I need to do to accomplish mine? Is this what is best for the KINGDOM, or is it what's best for me and my family? These are questions that go through my head every time I stand at a crossroad in my ministry. Sometimes there just isn't that much visible difference in the wide and narrow paths....or maybe I just don't want to look hard enough to see the difference.
I stood at the crossroad again yesterday afternoon, all last night and this morning. Thankfully, God, in His mercy and goodness, has grown me over the past several months and has revealed more of His character to my very soul than I ever imagined possible. So, at this crossroad I TRULY felt Him standing beside me, watching me look at both paths, and all I had to do was turn to Him and ask, "Which one, Lord? Which one do I take?"
The first path leads to (potentially) everything I could ever dream of. The opportunity to quit my "day job" and go into full time ministry, the opportunity to write a book, the opportunity to make "FLO" the next "E-Women" or "Women of Faith". This path leads to recognition, praise...being "somebody who makes a difference". This path leads to becoming someone who is "doing big things for God", making a difference in women's lives, this path leads to being "somebody". Well, it has the potential to lead to these things.
The second path leads to more of the past few years. Late nights preparing for Bible Study lessons and Sunday School Lessons. Early mornings just to find time to have a moment alone with my Savior. Answering anywhere from 10 to 50 e-mails a day from women who need prayer or who need to be redirected to their Savior, the Lover of their Soul...between preparing reports and creating graphs and spreadsheets and such for the job that pays my bills. Meeting with the Ministry team over lunch at Cracker Barrel and trying to hammer out major details of FLO while we inhale our lunch and get back to our "real jobs" within the allotted lunch hour. Typing blog posts and FLO e-mails between Saturday laundry loads, while carrying on conversations with my 4 year old about her puppy and her imaginary friend, helping my 10 year old with homework, and/or refereeing arguments between them about who gets to sit in the "big chair" and who gets to lay on the couch while they watch cartoons, making sure the new puppies don't pee pee on the carpet or chew up my shoes, and finding the remote for Calvin. In short, the second path leads to working my first love into the rest of my life.
While the first path seems to open doors and opportunities to put my first love, well... first, the second path seems to keep my first love in second place behind the rest of my life.
So, I stand at the cross road. These are my two paths, as best I can understand them. Beside me stands the One who really does know what the two paths lead to. So, this morning, after I had thought about it all night and told Him about it all night...this morning I asked Him, "Which one Lord? Which path do I take?"
My answer was simple "What did I do, Kris?"
People followed Jesus. Now, before you gasp and scream "Blasphemy!!!", I am NOT equating myself with Jesus. Believe me, I know my place and it is remarkably close to the bottom. But here's the thing, and it's pretty elementary. People followed Jesus because Jesus showed GOD to them. That's what He did, over and over and over and over again. Everything He did pointed to The Father. People knew GOD in ways they never imagined because they knew CHRIST. People's lives were changed because they came in contact with Christ.
Now Jesus is the bridge between people and God. Through Jesus, forgiveness is found, Through Jesus, hearts are healed and people are restored.
He preached the Sermon on the Mount and people followed Him afterward because He did NOT talk to them like the religious leaders. Over and over and over again, people followed Christ because He opened their eyes to the truth about their GOD...and about their relationship to HIM.
I believe with every fiber of my being that if we lead women to Christ Jesus, HE will do the same for them that HE did for the people in the Bible Stories.
So, I know which path to take....the second one. I will take the path that allows the people God has placed in my everyday life to see HIM in me. I will take the path that brings women to CHRIST because of who HE is, not because of who WE are. I will take the path that does not bring praise and recognition here and will instead wait until I stand face to face with my Creator. I would rather get a "well done" from Him than from any one here any day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

All's Right with the World...mine anyway

Have you ever had a period of time when you feel like things just could not get any better? Ever had a period of time when things just seem to fall into place? Ever had a moment when you realize that everything is “right” and you just wish you could stay right there?
That’s where I am today. This has been a WONDERFUL week for our ministry, from a planning standpoint. We now are on the verge of having an official logo to go along with our blog so that we will have a visual attachment to the ministry. (Not exactly the golden arches, but it is a start!) The FLO blog has had over 300 hits in just 3 days, which totally blows my mind. So far we have hits from Mississippi (duh), Tennessee (my mom and childhood friends are all there), Texas ( the Spa Girls), and the UK (Anna, one of our young adults…she and her hubby Jeremey are in England with the Air Force). I am waiting on my friends in Destin to sign in and then am sooo looking forward to see how it spreads! We are starting another GREAT Bible Study on Wednesday…so the Flo Ministry is just going great!
To make things even better, I have somehow managed to keep my laundry caught up this week and do not have 14 bazillion loads of dirty clothes waiting to be done on Saturday! (Can I get an Amen?) The house is relatively clean, and if I really put my heart into it, I could probably get the floors swept, mopped, and vacuumed; the stuff that has to be dusted…dusted, and the bathrooms cleaned tonight and- TaDA!- could have tomorrow to…work in the yard. Unless it rains…and then I wouldn’t have to do that either! Anybody know a good rain dance?
We are going over to have burgers with some friends tomorrow night. They are a sure thing for laughing til your sides hurt, so that will be GREAT…and Don makes a mean burger!
Then Sunday is CHURCH! Talk about blessings! I don’t even know where to start. I think back to when Calvin was filling in as Interim Pastor 2 summers ago (has it really been that long?) and we were praying about whether or not to turn in his resume’ to the pastor search committee….and then look at where we are now…WOW! Talk about blessings! I cannot express what a blessing it is to be Calvin’s wife. It is amazing to watch him as he serves God with all he’s got. I know few people who truly seek God’s will in what they do…he is at the top of the list. Joshua came into the picture in January (really? Seems like we have known him for ever) and began to round out Pearson’s Ministry team. Those two are absolutely unbelievable. They are like brothers. I have never seen a more perfectly matched pair for ministry. Joshua almost immediately became a part of our family. Not just at church. I mean the kind of family that drops by, looks to see what’s in the fridge and plays the Wii with the kids. My point is, God has so obviously brought us to this point. Everything fits just right. Every ministry in the church is growing. Sunday school classes are growing. People are growing spiritually, and it is the most wonderful thing in the world to be able to be a small part of what is going on!
I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday that I am not dreading. No bad news this time. Just get to hear Dr. S tell me how amazing it is that the cancer is completely gone. Well, that is as long as I can get rid of this cough and fever. If not, then we will also have to talk about that. Maybe it will be gone by then and we can just talk about the good stuff…like no cancer and no more surgeries for 3 whole months! WooHOO!
So, right now everything is right….and I am so grateful. Just like I crawl into my Creator’s lap and cry when I am broken, I want to run to Him and wrap my arms around His neck and embrace Him in a big bear hug when things are this good. I want to rush to Him and tell Him all about my day. I want to just thank Him for making everything fall into place in every area of my life. Even if it is only for a short time, I am truly thankful.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a little fever, but don't really even care!

This has been such a great week! We have had over 300 hits to the FLO Blog since yesterday and THAT is super exciting. My older brother has offered to help us promote the site, even though we’re “just girls”-ha ha His “job” is something about web trafficking or something like that that I know NOTHING about. He said he wanted to set up a twitter something for us and I told him the only thing I know about twitter is that the old Owl told Bambi that Thumper was “Twitter Pated”!

We are starting a super amazing Bible Study on the 22nd….Angela Thomas’s “Do You Think I’m Beautiful?” and I can’t wait!!!! You can read an excerpt from the book here : . It is GREAT!

The only “not-so-wonderful” part of this week is that this is the week I always get sick after I have surgery. Not sure why that is and I really don’t like it much. BUT I started coughing yesterday and today am running fever. Par for the course. It won’t last long. I have not had anything serious since my first surgery, when I got Pneumonia. This will pass soon. That is the only negative from this surgery (and I fully expect it to be over by Monday). The pain in my neck is still there, but I am sure there is a logical explanation for it too. I’ll find out on the 24th what Dr S thinks it is from. I e-mailed him yesterday and haven’t heard from him. I am sure if he thought it was anything, he’d have let me know.

Only 4 more “whole” days until I can TALK! I am so excited! I feel like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!
I have my post op appointment with Dr.S on the 24th and am sooo looking forward to a visit where nothing is wrong! No scheduling surgery, not talk of cancer or weird growths in my throat! Just “Hey how ya doin? Fine, and you? Good, How’re the kids?” okay, maybe not THAT relaxed, but definitely better than the visits we have had in the past!

I truly feel like God has opened the doors of heaven and is letting the blessings shower down on me. It feels like everything is right in my little world. What a welcome relief!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fun Stuff

Today was I needed today. I needed to laugh and to just be happy. Tonight in FLO Bible Study, we talked about the difference in being Joyful and being Happy. I am normally joyful. Today I was just plain everyday happy.
Had lunch with the Ministry team. We had great fun making fun of me writing my end of the conversation. Turns out that my facial expressions have become...more my silence. We laughed at the other girls feeling the need to talk with their hands or even take the pen from me and write themselves. We were all feeling a bit silly I suppose....but it sure did feel good. God has indeed blessed me with some amazing women to be in my close circle of friends. I love watching how we each relate to things differently. I love watching God work in their lives and allowing them to see him work in mine.
Tonight we "unveiled" the FLO Blog. Here's the link : This afternoon, i sent an e-mail out to my friends that are not part of our Ladies Bible Study and told them about the blog. By the time I got ready to leave for church, we had 132 hits!
At church, Joshua let us use his laptop to let the ladies in Bible Study see the blog and see how to sign in and all that fun stuff (some of them don't know a blog from a booger...neither did I a year ago, so I am not making fun!). So I got to church, and he had even set the laptop up for us! I was super impressed at this extra effort on his part because the men in our group of friends tend to make fun of FLO. One calls it "the secret society". Calvin and Joshua call it our Kumbayah meeting. Anyway, Joshua went the extra mile to help us introduce our blog. What a sweet guy! I found him, thanked him, and went to find Christa, Christie, and Lindsay. I wanted to sign on and show them how many people had hit the blog so far. Found Christa and Lindsay. Went back to the PC. Clicked on the link....and Kumbayah began to play. THOSE RASCALS! I have to admit, putting our "theme song" on our blog was...well, they got us good. I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I was a bit freaked out that everyone who visited our blog before we could fix it would hear the instrumental version of the old "last night of church camp sitting around the campfire" song, but it WAS a great prank.
Come to find out, Joshua, being much younger and much more computer savvy than we are, set our blog up as a home page on his lap top or something. At any rate, he did NOT add it to our actual blog. Again....many laughs from that one.
So, today was a great day. Almost normal. I really needed it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Be Still

Some days are just better than others. Today is one of those days.
Today is one of those days when it seems like God chose to stand a little closer to me. Now, maybe He did, and maybe He didn’t. Perhaps I simply chose to take a moment and bask in His embrace before I got started on my day. Perhaps He is always the same closeness to me and I choose not to acknowledge his presence. After all, I am a busy girl with important things to do. I do not always have time to stop and just “be” in the presence of the creator of the universe.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Crazy as it sounds to say it, that is how I live much of my life….too busy to just “be” with God… I cannot imagine that I am alone in this. I would think that you too may go through your days without stopping to just be with God.
May I be so bold as to challenge you? Stop, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, exhale, and just be in His presence. Just for a moment. Picture Him standing by your chair. Relax into Him and feel the warmth of your Creator’s perfect embrace. Rest your head on His chest. No questions, no requests, just be in His presence. Close your eyes and listen for the beating of His heart and embrace the enormity of the fact that the creator of the universe LOVES you…YOU! He loves you with a love so pure and perfect that no human love can duplicate it. He loves you just as you are right now, flawed and imperfect. He just loves you. So take a moment and just let Him.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Weekend 2009 part 1

I just love it when a plan comes together. I love it even more when I am allowed to be "on the inside" as the plan is laid out.
Last night, we observed the Lord's Supper and the choir led worship. I do not believe anyone attending the service could have possibly walked away saying that they went to Pearson's "Easter Cantata" or "Choir Special" or "Easter Musical". Last night was so much more than an "Easter program".
The powerful message of the Cross was overwhelming as we watched Christ be crucified while the Choir sang "He Chose the Cross". The entire service lead up to the Lord's Supper and by that time, I know I was not the only one who was overcome with the enormity of Christ's sacrifice and the sacredness of His command to "Remember" each time we partake of the bread and the wine.
There was a spirit of reverence and of awe last night that I have not experienced in ages. I truly believe that we were there to meet Christ last night, and we did.
For those that know Joshua and Calvin, and for those that feel committed to pray for God's Leaders, please pray fervently for them. Things are happening in our little church. There is excitement in our church family. I do not expect Satan to sit idly by and allow our sweet little congregation to grow. Please pray with me that our leaders will continue to keep Christ first and that they will not allow Satan to discourage them.
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where I

In March I wrote a Post titled "Where I am". I hate where I was then, but am so glad I put that "rough spot" into words. Actually, I am glad I wrote about the past 8 months because now it all seems like a dream. I am tempted to say "oh, it wasn't that bad". I am dangerously tempted to say "I was never closer to God than when I had cancer"...ooh! That is a dangerously prideful statement to make. Truth is, there were times that I was closer to My Father than I have ever been...but there were also times that I was painfully far from Him as well. There are sweet moments with my Father when I rested in his embrace and just waited for Him to heal me. There was also a time when I threw a temper tantrum that any 2 year old would be envious of. There were times when I felt God so close to me that I could hear His heart beat and feel the warmth of His breath...but there were also times when I felt completely and utterly devastatingly alone. In all those moments, the only thing that changed was "me". God never changed. His plan never changed. He never wavered in His love or support. HE remained constant and steadfast and sure the entire time. My feelings and emotions changed, God stayed the same. That is important to remember.

I am glad that I was prompted, pushed, and ordered by family and friends to "keep writing" through those dark times. It is a good reminder of what happens to my heart when I take my eyes off Christ. Looking back, I do not believe that God ever left my side. I truly believe He walked through those darkest times with me. It was when I took my eyes off of Him and brought the focus on myself that the darkness absolutely overwhelmed my soul. What grief I would have been spared and what burden would have been lifted if only I had stayed focused on HIM rather than myself! The circumstances would have been the same, but my experience would have been drastically different had I kept my eyes on my Savior. That is also something to remember!

Looking back on the past 8 months, they really don't seem that bad. Seems like they went by in a flash. SEEMS like that road was nothing more than a short detour. I am so thankful that my natural tendency to write overrode any desire to be a "good preacher's wife" and pretend like everything was always "fine". I never want to forget how My Father held me, pushed me, let me struggle, and then carried me through various legs of that journey. I never want to forget the complete peace and indescribable comfort I found in HIS embrace when I had cancer. I never want to forget the brokenness in my soul that was a result of me taking my eyes off of Him and focusing on myself.

I had hoped that, when this was all over, I would know "why" I had cancer. I had hoped that someone would come to know Christ because they walked this road with me. I had hoped that some one's faith would be renewed or restored by walking this road along side me. I had hoped for something amazing to happen in some one's life so that I could say "this is why I had cancer". In reality, it was me who needed to know Christ more intimately. In reality, it was me whose faith needed to be deepened and broadened and stretched. In reality, it was in ME that something amazing and wonderful happened. I have, over the past 8 months, walked hand in hand with my Creator through the darkest valleys of my life thus far...and He has proved faithful to His word. He never left me. He never forsook me. He never slept. He held me in the palm of His hand and sang songs over me. He comforted me and soothed me and drew me to Himself.

I wanted so much for my journey to impact some one's life "out there". I wanted so much to encourage someone, to help others through their dark times. Most of all I wanted to show Christ to someone. I wanted to show the "world" what a relationship with Christ can really be like. I wanted the "world" to see that to know Christ is not the same as doing all the right things and going to church every time the doors are open. Knowing Christ is walking with Him every day, through every battle, every victory, every defeat. I was sure that I had cancer so that God could speak to someone "out there" through me. How much more prideful could I possibly be? I needed sifting. There were some impurities in my soul that had to be sifted out....pride being the main one.

When I started this blog, it was before I knew I would be battling cancer. The "Battle" in the title actually refers to the Battle we all fight every day.
Ephesians 6:11-13 (New International Version) says...
11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I am in shock. I am stunned and dumbfounded.
Dr Schweinfurth e-mailed me this afternoon and the cancer is gone. Pathology was COMPLETELY BENIGN. No cancer, no dysplasia...COMPLETELY BENIGN! I cannot even begin to express what I am feeling. Complete and utter relief, absolute Joy, but most of all gratefullness. What perfect timing. God has brought me out of this dark valley just in time to see the Easter Sunrise!!!!!!!!!
I am SOOO doin the Happy Dance!
Hugs all around!

Thursday...2 days post op

Well....the waiting is the hardest part. I really have nothing to say except that I REALLY wish I knew what the pathology results are. Good or bad, we can move on once we know. If they are good, we can get on with celebrating. If they are bad, we can figure out what the next steps are.
oh well, I guess I'll be waiting a while longer....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

4th surgery - day 2

Ahhhhh! Peace and quiet. Calvin is at work, Brian is at school, Izzy and mom in law are at Mom in law's house, Hershey and Snicker are sleeping in the kennel. No one is asking me questions. It is quiet and I can relax. There is just something "wrong" about not talking when folks are talking to you. Mama always said it's rude to not speak when spoken to. I'm not sure if that is what stresses me out or not, but I am definitely much more relaxed now that I am alone.
I am still amazed at how "normal" I feel after this surgery. I don't think I was "under" for even an hour and I am sure that helps.
So, now we are just waiting to see what the pathology says. I e-mailed Dr S and asked if he'd call me when he gets the results. I think I forgot to ask him yesterday. I can't imagine him NOT calling me though.
It sure would be nice to get the all clear this time. It sure would be nice to know that this is over. Still any regression will be cause for celebration. Regression would be a diagnosis of any level of Dysplasia. I think that, from where we started, moderate Dysplasia will be a great report.
It's still hard to believe that I can feel totally fine and not be fine at all. Before cancer, I could use my body as a good indication of whether or not something was wrong. Now, it is not my body that tells me whether or not I am okay, it is the pathology report. Everything rides on the pathology report.
While I am cautiously optimistic that this report will be a good one, I am also aware that it might not be. It is hard to accept that cancer just kind of does what it wants. While we are doing all the right things to combat my cancer, it has not yet given any indication that we are beating it. We did get ahead of it in the fact that it had not moved into the lymph nodes before we took them out. Other than that, I still have no idea what it is going to do next. That's frustrating to me.
So, the best news we could get from pathology is, of course "all clear".
Good news would be that the cancer has "regressed" to some level of Dysplasia.
Okay news would be that it is still CIS and is still only on the right cord.
Bad news would be that it has again progressed to Invasive Carcinoma or that there is now cancer somewhere else, in the tissue above the cords or on the left cord. I don't know what the tumor board would recommend if it progresses again.
No matter what it is, all we can do right now is wait. While I am waiting, I am totally basking in the wonderfullness of the blessing of a perfect recovery from surgery. I feel great and am so very thankful for that!
If we get a good pathology report, I plan to go on back to work on Monday. If we do not get a good report and I need to get more tests run, i will wait until all those are done before I go back. That will give me time to adjust to whatever the news is. No matter how "okay" I am with all of this...and I really am okay, sometimes my emotions betray me. No matter what happens, my faith isn't shaken, I am still totally trusting that God's got this and that I don't have to worry. I still believe that my only duty is to keep walking this road and keep giving Him glory at every turn. BUT, if the pathology report is bad, it takes a little while for my emotions to get back in line with my faith.
BUT until I get the report, i am going to enjoy a few days off of work!

thanks again to everyone for your prayers and well-wishes!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

4th surgery/ day 1

Sometimes it takes something really bad to make me realize how blessed I truly am. Now that I have said that, I am thinking of so many more things other than what I intended to get on "paper" tonight.
What I was going to write about is the simple fact that I truly feel completely normal after this surgery. It is amazing! No headache, no grogginess, no nausea, no crankiness, no pain to speak of- other than the expected sore throat. Really, it is like I did not even have surgery today! I am totally amazed! But, all things are relative and the LAST surgery included the neck dissection and THAT was, this is nothing compared to that.
Other things that I am grateful for today...
My over-the-top mom in law. I couldn't have a better one. That sweet lady will do absolutely anything for us. She kept my babies last night and stayed with me this afternoon and is spending the night here tonight. I am sure she will stay with me tomorrow if we ask her to. She is completely selfless. I have never met anyone else like her. It is no wonder Calvin is so amazing. He has a GREAT mom.
Calvin is the other "thing" that is a true blessing to me. That poor man has been through it with me the past several months. He takes every step down this road that I do and patiently watches as God grows my faith. I am sure that there are times he wants to shake some sense to me, but he is patient, loving, understanding, and completely devoted. I could not have a better husband.
My Brian is my gift from God. What I did to earn enough favor with God for Him to entrust that precious boy to me escapes me. Brian is going to do HUGE things for God. He is wise beyond his years. I love to watch him grow in his relationship with his creator. The 10 year old smart mouth, I could do without, but I remember being worse to my mom than he is to me!
Little Izzy is like a ray of sunshine in our lives. She brightens my every day with her outlook on life. She is fearless and does everything full speed. She is independent and brave. She is just one cool little girl. She has brought spunk and excitement to our lives.
God has given me the BEST friends. I have not had a close group of friends in years, but over the past few years, God has blessed me with godly women who are willing to overlook (or point out when needed) my many flaws and make the sacrifices necessary to be my friends. You know who you are and I want you to know that I absolutely could not make it through life without you. You are a blessing to me in more ways than you can ever know.
As thankful as I am for all of these people and relationships, the one relationship that makes every day worth living is my relationship with Christ. He is my savior. My Savior! He loves me despite my thoughts, fears, angry outbursts, doubts, frustrations.... He loves me in spite of myself.
When I think of all the blessings of this life, I am instantly reminded of the greatest blessing i have received. Christ dying for me ad reserving my place with HIM in heaven is the blessing that will never be "trumped". Compared to salvation, all the wonder of this life is...well, nothing.
So, at this stage of the road, my surgery is behind me, and the pathology results are around the next curve, I am at peace only because I know who planned out my life. I know who calls me His Precious daughter. I know that God is in control of this and that he has already sacrificed Himself for that I can spend eternity with Him....I can do nothing less than give Him everything I have until then.

Home again

WOW! 4 hours from the time we left the house to the time we got back home!
Surgery went GREAT today!
I feel fine aside from a whopper of a sore throat! I mean, I feel totally normal. No side effects from the anesthesia at all! Maybe this really is going to be the surgery that ends it all! At any rate, this is the best I have felt post surgery.
Dr S. told Calvin that the cord that has the cancer looks normal. Now, only the pathology will tell us for sure, but there does not appear to be any new growth, at least not to the naked eye. I can already tell a difference in the way my throat feels now that the new growth is gone! And for those that were asking about my breathing, yes, it is easier to breathe now.
I am a bit drowsy and rarely can justify taking a nap, so I am going to take one now.
Thank you all so much for your constant prayers and well wishes! It is so comforting to know that there are others going to God on my behalf!
If indeed we get a clear pathology report, then I will not have to have surgery for at least 12 weeks. That surgery will just be a biopsy to make sure that the cancer has not returned.
Whether or not this is the end of this stage of my journey, I am still completely surrendered to Christ. I know that He has brought me through this, the hardest time in my life to date. The past 7 months have been surreal. The past 7 months have been like nothing I can even begin to describe. A precious friend talked to me the other night about the "dark night of the soul". That truly describes some of my days and nights over these past few months. Some days, I am totally okay with all of this...a warrior in the battle. Other days I feel like a helpless prisoner of war. Some days I have felt completely defeated spiritually and that is the absolute worse feeling I have ever known.
As we enter Easter Weekend, I am again reminded that God has done everything that He needed to do already. He gave me the only thing I truly need when He died on the cross and rose again, defeating death once and for all. When i asked Hm to be my Savior, He sealed my spot in Heaven. This is all I will ever truly need. He owes me nothing.
So, whether the pathology comes back good or bad, I am okay. My soul is secure. My Father loves me.

one more time

The kids are at my mom in laws, I spent time last night explaining to Sweet Izzy that when I come home from the hospital i won't be able to talk at all for 4 weeks. (note to self: put a calender on the fridge so we can count down) She said "can you eben whiffer?" (can you even whisper?) Nope. No whispering either. She is okay with that. Then I talked to Brian. I told him that it is going to be worth it because after this I'll be able to talk again. He said "maybe". I hate that the most. He knows enough to know that we have thought that every surgery thus far was going to be the one that would bring the news we all want so much to hear "no more cancer".
Maybe this one will be it.
I have come to look forward to the surgeries in a weird sort of way. at least it seems like we are doing something pro-active when we are scheduling and having surgery. It's the waiting and wondering what the next test is going to tell us that is so terribly hard. as long as i have cancer on my cords, CIS or otherwise, there is always a little part of me that is wondering if it is "growing" in between surgeries.
At least this time I do have an explanation as to why i can't talk and I have actually asked God to please let it just bee a Granuloma.
What ever it is, it is coming out today and we'll know in a few days what it is and what the cancer is doing.
I should be in the OR around 8 this morning.
I'll post again when I am home and awake...and on pain meds....ha ha
Have a great day!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

4th Surgery will be Tuesday April 7

Went to see Dr S yesterday morning and got some promising news. I have a huge growth in the area just above my cords. He thinks it is a Granuloma. It is blocking about 2/3 of my airway and is preventing my cords from touching. I am so relieved! The picture of this thing leaves absolutely no doubt as to why I cannot speak! Thank you God for answering my prayer! I have no reason to think that I won't have my voice back once this thing is out of my throat.
We couldn't see the cord underneath the Granuloma and that's the cord that is misbehaving, so I have no visual indication of what this next biopsy will reveal.
I did ask Dr S if he was going to call me a few days after surgery and tell me that the Granuloma was not a Granuloma afterall. He said that normally he would say no, but since this is me we are talking about, all bets are off and anything is possible. BUT He said that this thing truly does not look anything like cancer.
So, MAYBE we are in for some really good news this time!
Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday Morning. He will remove the Granuloma dn biopsy the cord again. I would think that he'll call me as soon as we have the pathology results, but I am going to ask Tuesday Morning to make sure he is planning to.
He did say that he will "prescribe" a longer period of voice restriction this time....and I am none too hapy about that. BUT my sweet friends Danyelle, Tynes, and Teddie gave me dry erase baords and a cool book what I have put "commonly used phrases" in.
Total silence for 4 weeks is sooooo worth being able to talk afterwards!