Monday, July 25, 2011

What I've learned about me

Will have my 3rd radiation treatment this afternoon.
I hate this more than I could have ever imagined. My throat hurts and I was tired all weekend.However....I did get a lot of rest this weekend and am not as tired today. Voice is almost completely gone.
I'll talk to Dr C this week about pain meds.
My biggest fear right now is that my throat will swell shut. I have never been one to worry or to be afraid, but I can honestly say that I DO dread the wrath of radiation.
I got an e-mail from an old friend last week telling me that she knew how strong my faith is, but is sure that I am struggling with this. Her e-mail was touching because i have not "talked" to her in a very long time, but it also prompted me to stop and consider the state of my heart as I embark on this leg of my journey. I found myself asking "Am I struggling? Am I saying 'i'm okay' just because that's what I say, or am I REALLY okay?" Her e-mail made me stop and ask myself, "is my faith shaken by this turn of events?"
I am thrilled that I have had the opportunity to examine my heart in this way, because it is so easy to lose sight of what I TRULY believe. I would be lying if I said I'm happy about this situation. However, I REALLY am okay, and i am so thankful that God used an old friend to give me a nudge and prompt me to examine my heart... Here's what I discovered about me....

Much has happened in my life and I am a different person than I was when I faced this 2 years ago. Maybe not so much different as I am much more of the same. I believe more than ever that things are either of God or of Satan. I am more solidified in my faith than ever before. I believe more than ever that spiritual warfare is very real. I believe more than ever that Satan is prowling around like a lion looking for devour. I believe more than ever that Satan will use whatever and whomever he can to wreak havoc on God's people. I believe with every fiber of my being that my battle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities of this dark world. I declared war on Satan a year or so ago. Took a stand and declared that I am NOT afraid of him or his minions. I even joked that this was possibly not a good idea. I believe that Satan has me in his sights and would be lying if I denied that he has wounded me severely, but I can honestly and truthfully tell you that I still am not afraid. I am even more excited than ever to be in the battle. God is sovereign. He is in control. Looking back now, I can see that God Himself prepared me for this 2nd battle with cancer. I trust Him more than ever. I believe His ways are best especially when I really do not understand what He is doing. Again and again, He has carried me through things that I thought I would literally kill me, but in the end these things have brought me great joy because they deepened my relationship with my Savior. My heart has ached more than I thought possible, but God was there all along holding on to me. God is good and loving and always knows what I NEED. God is merciful and gracious to me. He has not left me alone. I trust Him completely and know that He will use all these things to bring Glory to Himself and can confidently tell you that I am perfectly okay.

If you ever knew me, you knew that I wanted more than anything to be used by God. That is still my greatest desire and has only been multiplied over the past 6 months. I serve God. That's what I do. Many do not understand, but I love Him and have gladly surrendered my whole life to Him. If He can use me better when I have cancer, then I am glad to have it. I am finally beginning to grasp what Paul meant when he said that everything else is rubbish compared to knowing Christ. More than ever, there is nothing I want more than to let others witness this Awesome God I serve and to see how much He loves His children. He alone is the only thing I cannot bear to lose. Jesus said that in this world there WILL be trouble, but HE is with us always. I have learned to lean heavily on this promise. Though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear NO evil. Not because I'm all brave and stuff, but because GOD's rod and HIS staff comfort me. So, I'm good. I really am. I'm sick... no denying that. I am grieving the loss of Nanny- the most amazing Christian woman I have ever known. I dread how sick the radiation will make me and I hate that my family has to go through this. But I am not struggling and I am not worried. I am really truthfully honestly okay.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Catching up

As I have said before, it is harder to keep up with what is going on that I imagined it would be. I did get my radiation mask made, simulation done, and PET scan done almost 2 weeks ago on July 8. Will include a pic of the radiation mask at some point.
My Nan went to heaven on the following Sunday after a successful surgery on her carotid artery the day before. Can't talk about that yet. Don't want to get upset before I go to work today. I left here and went home Sunday afternoon ( July 10) and stayed in Tennessee until the following Saturday. We buried Nan on Wednesday the 13th. On Saturday (the 16th??) I drove on into KY and went to my other Grandmother's 90th birthday celebration. Spent the night there and came home Sunday afternoon.
Sometime while I was in TN I talked to Trey and he said that the PET scan did not show cancer in my lymph nodes or anywhere else other than my voice box! Super excited about that!
While I was home with my mom, hubs and the kids went to east tn to go white water rafting. They got home Monday. So we were uneventful for 2 days. Today is Thursday. I start radiation today at 4:15. Left my phone at home yesterday so I missed the phone call and did not get the message until later last night. Will find out exactly how many treatments we're going to do and hopefully a few more details today. I really thought we wouldn't start til Monday, but the hubs thought it would be this week. Guess he wins this time!
That's all I've got for now. Need to get ready for work.