Sunday, June 26, 2011

Below the surface

Had a great weekend with family and friends. Getting ready for Sunday School and Worship Service, but wanted to stop and write before another day goes by.
On the surface, everything is so very uneventful. I found out that I can get my radiation where ever I choose. That's good...but I don;t know how to choose. So, I'm praying about it and asking God to guide me to the right place. Maybe it doesn't matter, but what if it does? I just don;t want my throat burned up. I want as little damage to the good parts of my neck as possible. I also want someone who can help me understand all of the side effects and who can explain the risk of getting a seconfary cancer from the radiation against the benefit of the radiation.
Most of all, I need someone to explain to me why I have this cancer again. I absolutely do not smoke or drink and those are the primary causes of it. If no one knows why it came back, then how do we know it won't come back again...maybe that's another reason for the radiation.
Maybe this battle will be one I fight for the rest of my life. Had no idea that I'd be here again.
So, on the surface, things are pretty uneventful. There is a lot going on below the surface though. God is working on my heart and preparing me for the rest of this journey.
Its kind of interesting how much the way I view this whole mess affects my attitude. I REALLY believe that God has ALL of this under control. I REALLY believe that He is going to heal me again. Not so sure that I won't find myself right here a third or fourth time, but never the less, I do believe that He will heal me.
When I focus on the cancer and all the "what ifs", I get anxious and aggrivated and frustrated.
When I focus on my family and friends, I get sad.
Wen I focus on the doctors, I get nervous...what if they are wrong, or miss something, or mess up?
BUT when I focus on Christ and all He has done for me and all the ways HE has blessed me and used me...I'm okay. Really okay.
I believe that GOD never fails. I believe that He has a plan and a purpose in ALL things. I believe that He does not give His children more burden than He will help them carry. I believe that He loves me and that He absolutely knows the name of every fear and uncertainty that I have. I also know that HE knows exactly what the outcome of all of this is going to be. I believe that His ways are not mine and His thoughts are not mine....and I don't have to understand what He's doing in order for Him to accomplish His work in me.
We live in a fallen world. Our lives and our bodies bear the scars of the sinful world we live in. Bad things happen. God never fails. Even in the midst of things such as cancer, God is at work. I want to be used by Him. I want my cancer journey to be a testimony to my Father in Heaven. I want my cancer journey to encourage others to know Him more intimately, to trust Him more, to live for Him more. I want those who know me best to witness the effect of God's presence in my life.

Father God,
Thank you so much for this quiet time with you. Thank you for speaking to my heart and reminding me that there are massively amazing things that can come from this. Thank you for reminding me that You have got everything under control and that people I love are watching my relationship with you grow.
Lord, draw me close to you. Give me peace and rest as we walk this road. No one can help me Lord but you. Only you can give me peace and strength and courage. Thank you for surrounding me with incredible friends too numerous to count and for the encouragement they provide.
I love You Lord and I am oh so grateful that you love me.

As Always,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

And the Verdict is....


After waiting all yesterday afternoon for my phone to ring, this completely anti climactic. I truly expected more...and am oh so very thankful that this is it.

Doc S said that I'll get a call from "them" this week to schedule an appointment.

I'll find out more then.

Last time I had cancer, I was very desperate for God's presence. I remember clinging to Him with absolute desperation. This time around, I know He's with me. I know He will get me through this. I know He is in control. I know He will not leave me. I know He prepared me for this.

Maybe that's the key. He prepared me for this. Not only has He grown me in my relationship with Him, he has placed amazing people in my life to help me as i travel this road. I have a huge support system in general, and an inner circle of precious women who are mature in their walk with the Lord and are constantly reminding me of our Father's promises and presence.

I don't know what else to say right now. I am not at all even a little tiny bit excited about having to get radiation, but am relieved that it is not combined with a neck dissection and chemo. I'm still not sure if I am truly at peace or just numb. I do know that I am absolutely honestly okay. I am not falling to pieces and I am not freaking out. I can't sleep, but I have suffered with insomnia before.

I know that this is all going to be okay. I have matured in my relationship with Christ in the past two years and my trust in Him is more matter-of-fact and less desperate. Maybe that's a thought to expand on later today.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Prayers for peace

I thank God for who ever it is that is praying the I have peace! I have been sitting here thinking "I should be anxious, nervous, or at least upset." the tumor board meets tomorrow. They are probably going to recommend radiation and possibly chemo. Even though Doc S didn't see anything on the ct scans, they could see something and recommend to remove more lymph nodes. Oh LORD!! I do not want that surgery again!!!! Actually, I don't want radiation or chemo either. I want this to just go away.
Still, I have the most bizarre peace. I know God is with me. I know God has already worked all of this out for His glory. I trust Him completely.
So tomorrow the tumor board will make their recommendation.

Please Lord, stay near me and give me strength for what ever they say. Lord I know you already know what they will say. I know that you know what I will need and I trust that you will provide it.

No matter the recommendation tomorrow, there will be relief in knowing that this maddening stage of waiting is over.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 20, 2011

What ever you ask

I started this year off hoping that God would place in my heart an understanding of what Paul felt when he said that he wanted to know Christ in His suffering, His death, and love God so much that everything else seemed like garbage in comparison.

Perhaps I was a bit Hasty and terribly naive to ask God to grant me this request. Never the less, I did ask, and God in His goodness and sovereignty has granted my least as much of it as I can bear.

The thing I was MOST naive about was thinking that I could share such a journey in its entirety. I will try to do a better job.

3 weeks ago I saw Doc S about my voice. I've been getting progressively more hoarse for a couple of months. He looked at my vocal cords and saw suspicious tissue growing there. He took a picture for me to look at and told the resident in the room to get me scheduled for surgery.

2 weeks ago I had surgery on my vocal cords. After surgery, Doc told the hubbs that it could be scar tissue. I had a sick feeling in my gut that this was not going to be scar tissue. I have been looking at pictures of my vocal cords for 2 years. I know what they look like and I knew when I looked at that picture Doc's office that it was not good.

Last Sunday I sat on the floor and told God

"I really don't like this. I do not want to walk this road. I don't understand why, after 2 years this would be happening again. BUT i trust you and I know you have a plan and a purpose. So if I have to walk this road, please just don't make me walk it alone. I'll do whatever you ask if you will go with me. If this is the way it has to be, then draw me to Yourself and allow my life to bring others closer to You as we travel this road."

A week ago today Doc told me that all the samples they took came back positive for cancer. This realization steals my breath and makes me want to vomit. My family is devastated. It is hard to make the people who love us most understand that God uses ALL things for good for those who love Him...even cancer.

Last Tuesday I had all the CT scans done so that my case can go before the tumor board. They will determine the best course of treatment. Everything was busy last week. I didn't have much time to sit and think about all this. At some point I remembered my chat with my Maker. "I'll do what ever you ask".

Today Doc S let me know that he did not see anything on the CT scans! First bit of good news! Now, the oncologists could see things differently...they did last time. But for now I am celebrating the POSSIBILITY of not having to have my neck dissected again!

So, now you are up to speed and i can stop fretting over how much is happening and how I'll never get caught up on In The Battle. (I don't like entering a story in the middle).

I've gotten a clearer picture of something else too... in death Jesus was completely submissive to God. Completely submissive....whatever You want me to do, I will do. Jesus understood God's plan. Jesus KNEW God's heart. Jesus KNEW what the result of His life would be. I do not know these things. I do not understand. I BELIEVE that God has a plan and a purpose, but I don't understand it....or my role in it. And while I will never compare myself to my Lord and Savior, I am so thankful that God has blessed me by allowing me to understand a bit more about my Redeemer...and so thankful that God only gave me a tiny taste of these things.

As always, I wish I'd never stopped writing. I wish I'd shared with you day in and day out...especially over the past 3 weeks. It has been an emotional roller coaster! I pray that as we travel this road together that God will reveal more of himself to you. I will be as candid as i can bear, and as honest as I can stand to be.

On a slightly different but related note....I have been writing a monthly devotional on Victorious Living at The Hem of His Garment and last month I ended with "Next month we'll talk about fear". How about that?

When you talk to Jesus, please mention me.