Monday, September 26, 2011

Almost a month post radiation

Radiation has left a lovely brown rectangle on my neck....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

10 days post radiation!

Wow! Neck looked so much better here! This was about the time I started feeling the worst though. Thankfully my neck had healed and I didn't have to worry with treating it as I suffered through the worst of the radiation side effects. I told my boss on a wednesday "I've pushed as far as I can. I'm going home and I'll be back when I am well. For 3 days I thought I was going to die. I have NEVER been so tired in ALL my life. My whole body ached with exaustion.
After that weekend, I came back to work and worked half a day on Monday. Then I worked a little longer each day until I made it q full day that Thursday.


8 days post radiation

Another photo 8 days post radiation.

8 days post radiation

This pic was taken 8 days after I finished radiation. I remember thinking how desperately I wished my throat would heal as quickly as my neck was healing!

Monday, September 19, 2011

God Will Not Give Us More Than We Can Bear

If I have heard this phrase once, I have heard it a hundred times over the past 3 years. Just the other night someone who I look up to spiritually said with great confidence "Scripure tells us that God won't put more on us than we can bear".
This phrase has been both puzzling and troubling to me over these past 3 years as I had 2 bouts with cancer and experienced spiritual warfare not only personally, but in our ministry. A week ago, I was helpless to the havok that radiation was unleashing on my body and I thought to myself...."This is definately MORE than I can bear!" But how can that be? Afterall, I have been told over and over again that God won't give me more than I can bear.
So, I went digging, and here's what I've found:
There is no scripture that tells us that God won't give us more than we can handle. There is no scripture that tells us that God won't allow more than we can bear. I've searched and I just can't find it. Now, if someone can give me book, chapter, and verse where it says this, then I will gladly recant this statement, but I am confidant that you will not.
What you WILL find is 1 Corinthians 10:13 which states
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
This verse is referring to TEMPTATION. God does allow us to be tempted to sin, but He NEVER sets us up to that the ONLY option we have is to sin. God is loving and ALWAYS gives us an alternative to sin.
We misquote this verse and use it to apply to hardships, sickness, and all sorts of troubles...which seems harmless enough.
I can find comfort in telling YOU "God won't give you more than you can bear". When I tell you this, I reassure myself that you are okay. You may be freaking out, but you are just over reacting. Afterall, God won't give you more than you can bear. You can handle this problem on your own.
I assure you, after hearing this phrase at least a dozen times last week when I truly thought I was going to die if I got any sicker...this phrase is not as comforting when you are on the receiving end. In fact, it caused me a great deal of grief. I thought, "well, what is wrong with me then? I am fairly certain that this is way more than I can bear!"
Now that the side effects of radiation have gone their merry way and I am feeling more myself, the thought hits me....
If God did not give us more than we could handle, then what need would we have for Him? I mean, in day to day life, if I could take care of everything all on my own, then why would I need a relationship with Christ? Doesn't make sense, right? First of all, I most assuredly can NOT handle every day life on my own much less things like cancer and radiation. I cannot handle losing my voice ( I have not been able to talk for almost a month) and I cannot handle the possibility that my voice may not come back, that the cancer may come back, or that there is no absolute guarantee that all the cancer is even gone! So, logically, it doesn't really make sense that God would not give us more than we can least this is the case in my life.
In fact, LOGICALLY, the opposite is true...God WILL give us more than we can bear so that we will turn to Him, seek refuge and safety and comfort in Him. Logically, God WILL give us more than we can bear so that He can teach us to depend on Him and show us how powerful He is.
Still, logic is only logic if not backed by scriptiure. Sometimes there are truths in Scripture that we learn from reading about the people in the Bible and learning from their relationships with God. To determine if God actually allows/gives more than His children can bear, we have to look to His word.
It doesn't take long to see the fact that God does indeed put His children in positions where they NEED Him....because they cannot continue without Him....
Over and over in Scripture we see men and women who are given more than they can handle... David could not have defeated Goliath on His own, Regarding himself and his fellow workers in the gospel, Paul wrote, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Corinthians 3:5). The 23rd Psalm reads "Yea, though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil for THOU ART WITH ME". and John 16:33 says that we will have troubles but to be of good cheer because GOD has overcome the world.
I'm not going to list any others. I am convinced and you can look for yourself. As a matter of fact, I think you SHOULD.
Over and Over again, God allows His children to be in situations where their ONLY hope is in Him.
Cancer was more than I could bear. God allowed it. Having cancer made me more reliant on HIM and dependent on Him and, on the other side of that valley, I trust Him even more than before.
So, I won't be telling folks "Well, you know God won't give you more than you can handle." anymore.
Instead, I will be telling them this.....
Scripture says that in this world we WILL have trouble. In my life, I have experienced things that I absolutely could not bear on my own. It was in THOSE times that I learned to lean on Christ, to trust my Heavenly Father, and to rest in the comfort that God can handle the things that I can't.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fwd: Rad burn. 5 days out

Just letting you know where I am in this. The edges are healing, the middle still has lots of blisters and peeling skin. Inside my throat feels like this looks.

Will be over soon though!

Sent from my iPhone

Fwd: Rad burn. 5 days out

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kris Williams <>
Date: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 4:00 PM
Subject: Fwd: Rad burn. 5 days out
To: In The Battle <>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kris Williams <>
Date: Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM
Subject: Rad burn. 5 days out
To: Baker Thompson <>

Just letting you know where I am in this. The edges are healing, the middle still has lots of blisters and peeling skin. Inside my throat feels like this looks. Will be over soon though!

Sent from my iPhone

Having WHINE with my cheese!!!

Date: Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 2:51 PM
Subject: cry baby cry baby... Suck your thumb.

Email to family and friends

Good Morning!
Hope you are all doing well!
I have been a cry baby the past week or so. As most of you know, I had the FLU last week...totally NOT cool! Was really sick for about 5 days. Really really sick. Like, in the bed sick. Not moving sick. Oh my was terrible...AND IT IS OVER AND I AM BETTER PRAISE GOD! Well, then the skin on my neck started to really act up. it has gone from pink, to red, to maroon-ish and it hurts. Really hurts. Wakes me up at night hurts. Some psycho cross between a bad burn and a bad case of poison ivy. HAve not found anything to quiet the stinging or to keep it moist enought that it doesn't feel like it is going to tear when I turn my head. UGH! See, there I go again.... Told ya! CRY BABY!!!! hahaha
We're down to 2 treatments! The machine was down yesterday. Otherwise today would be IT! The END! C-Ya LATER!
But no, we still have 2. So....hoping that all goes well and TOMORROW is the END!
On an even more amazingly positive ear stopped hurting!!!! No...really...this is MAJOR BIG NEWS! Really. Ear pain is a sign of laryngeal cancer and I have had a significant ear ache every minute of every day for at least a year. (thought it had to do with my neck disection) I realized the other day that my ear DOES NOT HURT!!!!!!! This is MAJOR BIG AWESOME news!!!!!!!!! This is happy dance kinda news! Also, my neck does not ache. my skin on my neck feels like is is being burned with a blow torch, but the INSIDE muscle type tissue no longer aches!!!!!! This too is MAJOR BIG NEWS!!!!!!! GOOD GOOD GOOD stuff!!!!!!! ALSO> Stacy, my sweet friend here at work, who sees me each and every day, told me today. "I know that the radiation is taking a toll on you and that it is doing all this stuff to you, BUT I was just thinking this morning that OVERALL, you look better than you did before you found out that you had cancer again. You look healthier and more sparkley than you did earlier this year...when you had cancer and didn;t know it. I think the cancer was making you sick and you just didn;t know it." I think she may be right. I like to sparkle....that's good.
So, that's the latest. Thank you ever so much for your prayers and support along this journey. I am praying that it is almost over. Please pray as we wait for the side effects to peak in 2 weeks, that my neck and throat do not get much worse. So far, my neck is only peeling. There are no open sores. Please pray that we will find something that will soothe the tissue on my neck that is so itchy and sore from the burns. Mostly, please pray that this is it...that the radiation obliterated the cancer.
Also please remember to pray for my family. Izzy asked me the other night "Mama, will I ever hear your voice again?" They are all dealing with this like champs, but little things like that let me know that this is wearing on them too and they have concerns and fears too.
I am looking forward to feeling good and sounding good for Christmas with my friends and extended families this year!
On a side note...God has been showing off as of late. He has allowed my precious husband and I to live a couple of sermons over the past weeks. I am so thankful that HE keeps us close and guides us with a STRONG hand so that we can bask in HIS glory when He works in us. Not only has He guided us, pushed us, and carried us as we have walked this road with cancer, He has also blessed our souls beyond measure by demonstrating HIS restorative power! I am convinced MORE than EVER that God's goal in broken relationships is RESTORATION and that when we TRULY put HIM first and seek HIS will, even the most battered relationships can be made whole. I have seen it happen twice this summer and both times I have been left breathless at God's power! He is so good to us and I am so thankful not only be His child, but to be allowed to serve Him!
Love you all!!!!

Fwd: 3dys post radiation

UGH!!! Looking for something to soothe this mess. Sticks to my pillow at night. Hurts so bad it wakes me up! I HATE this.
I know it could be worse, as SO many people are quick to assure me. I HAVE seen worse at the institute. Still, thinking about how much worse it could be does not change how bad it is.


Fwd: Radiation burn

Starting to hurt. Wondering how much worse it will get. Starting to peel in the sides and under my chin. I cannot hurts. Still, compared to all the other ladies I've met at the cancer institute, I have NOTHING to whine about! I'm probably never going to eat broccoli and cheese soup ever again after this is done, but it has allowed me to eat and keep my weight steady and I like it.
So many of the patients are really really sick. I don't feel bad. I really feel pretty good. My neck and throat just hurt.


Fwd: New haircut

Decided to go ahead and get my haircut. Not sure how bad the radiation will be, but feel like this is as good a time as any to try out a new look. Its so much easier then trying to straighten my long hair.


#18 is today!!!!

August 16 email to prayer partners:

After today I will only have 10 treatments left!!! Hard to believe that this is even possible!

Radiation is going well...or at least better for me than most of the people I have met at the Cancer Institute.

Finally wore Dr Caudell down and broke through the "professional" barrier yesterday! Super excited about that! Up to now, I have felt like a name at the top of a check list. Until yesterday, he came in, checked off his list, and said "See ya next week".

So yesterday I told him that I understand that everything that happens to me is not a result of the radiation. HE seemed relieved that I had come to this realization. (He obviously does not know me very well) He sorta grinned and i said "BUT...we still need to discuss some things... First, I feel nauseous and have for about 3 days." He said "I didn't cause that" so I said, "Well, I'm gonna need you to fix it." I said "it feels like morning sickness..well, i guess you don't know what that feels like, do you...hmmm...i just feel like "bluh" all the I MIGHT puke any minute...I'm not liking it much" He laughed and I laughed and now everything is so much better! So we went over all the meds I am on and whether or not they could be causing the nausea and he prescribed something for me to take if it does not ease up.
AND I FINALLY got some answers on some other things too!!!!!!
He told me yesterday that my voice will be better when this is over (remember when we started there was a fear that I would lose it entirely and possibly for ever) I am over half way through with radiation and my voice is actually improving (sort of) over what we started with!
And here's what I learned about his feelings about the side effects.....
They rate all sorts of things to determine the toxicity of the radiation. A rating of 0 is healthy (no effects) and a rating of 5 is dead. (I told him, "Let's avoid a 5, deal?") A 4 rating means you are hospitalized. He said he expects me to be a 2 or 3. He showed me the chart of side effects they use to determine this and right now I am at 1 for my voice and 2 for my throat and 1 for my skin (on my neck). He expects me to be a 2 on my neck and possibly a 2 for my voice and 3 for my throat. He said "you are over half way through and maintaining your weight well" I told him that I am particularly gifted in that area. I think that won him over. I am no longer a row of check marks beside a list of symptoms. Hee hee (I'm the crazy person...which is okay)

He said that singing in the choir will be a long shot, but that he anticipates me having a speaking voice that is suitable for clear phone conversation. Super super super excited about that...and we'll see about singing in the choir.

Taking Loratab every 6 hours or so for pain. Eating really soft stuff...without a lot of salt or spice... and have upped my caffeine intake to fight the unbelievable fatigue. The fatigue has been the worst part. I have never been so TIRED!

I asked how he will know that the radiation worked. He said that they will check by looking in my throat starting 2 months after radiation is over to determine if the cancer is gone. This is what we have been doing all along. Still not totally sold on this answer, but didn't want to push my luck. I will address it again later.

Will see Doc S again on Friday so he can assess the damage to my throat.
I feel MUCH better about the whole thing now that I have connected with Doctor Caudell. I don't know how to explain the difference, other than to say that we actually had a conversation rather than me sitting there and him talking at me.
There are lots of other things going on too! God is just blessing my heart left and right this week! It's time for a blog entry on In The Battle, so I will go into that more there.
For those that read my ramblings on a regular basis, you know that I have strong convictions about forgiveness, spiritual warfare, about God having a plan, and about God's way being the BEST way....even when His way doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Not sure if I have actually put the following thought in print, but thought I'd leave you with it today...
As people, with our sinful nature, we want revenge. When most of us think of, or speak of, God "taking care of" someone who has wronged us, we are usually thinking along the lines of "What goes around comes around." I have experienced a beautiful new truth about God that is contrary to this train of thought. I have learned that when GOD works, people are restored to HIM first...and when a person is restored to HIM, they are naturally inclined to mend relationships with the people in their life. God's goal is not revenge, it is restoration. We would be wise to make this our goal as well. I have already put too many words on this page, so I will close by saying that this is just one more way that God has SHOWN me that HIS ways are truly best, especially when they go against my human-ness. (HA! That sorts rhymed!)
Thank you so much for sticking with me and praying for me all this time!
I am certain that YOUR PRAYERS get me through each day!
Love you all!!!!!