Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not much time to write, but must say SOMETHING because I am SO excited!
I saw Doc S last week and got the "all clear" from him...that makes me 19 months cancer free! Still a bit anxious about the 2 year mark, since that is when the cancer returned last time, but, for now I am excited to have made it this far with no recurrence.
JA, my voice therapist suggested Physical Therapy for my neck a few months ago. We've been making small improvements, but last week, we discovered that the scar tissue in my "skin" versus issues with my neck muscles is the "problem". Today, we worked on the scar tissue again...well, Angela worked, I thought I was going to meet Jesus. I felt like the BIGGEST baby, but OH_MY_GOODNESS that hurt!!!!!
However, now that she has loosened up some of that scar tissue, my voice is SO much better! I still may never sing a solo and I still battle with dry-throat and those sorts of things, but my voice sounds SO much better...I cannot even describe the improvement!!!!!
I can honestly say that, if this is as good as my voice gets, I'm okay with that and I have not been able to say that in a VERY LONG time!!
I can sing in the shower and in the car and THAT is a VAST improvement!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It has become increasingly harder for me to find time to write. Now that I am not "sick", radiation is over, and my Dr. visits are spread out more, I am able to focus on getting back to "normal". Also, I am not at home in the bed with nothing to do these days!

However, "normal" is nothing like what it was 5 years ago when this all started. All in all, it is a good thing, in most areas it is a great thing. Cancer taught me, my family, and my closest friends that God can do amazingly great things in the middle to terrible circumstances, if we follow Him through the valley. God grew me through those years of being sick. He matured me spiritually and emotionally.

There were some other things that went on during that time that forced me to "grow up" as well, things that I won't go into here because it would only reflect poorly on the people involved. I learned a lot about forgiveness and about how HARD it can be to forgive someone. I learned that the best way to deal with gossip is to confront it head on, get everyone in a room and talk it out. I learned that people will make assumptions about a person based on THEIR history and THEIR feelings and beliefs and emotions more so than on those of the person they are making assumptions about. I learned that God can use ALL "bad" circumstances for His Glory....if we turn to Him and follow Him and do things HIS way. I learned that you are responsible for your actions and your matter how you FEEL.

Galatians 2 talks about dying to self and letting Christ live in me. This is a wonderful feel-good concept, unless you really look at what it says and really commit to live this way.

Galatians 2: 19-20 says:
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

It  is easy for me to claim "I no longer am bound by the law!!" It is, however, just as easy for me to place that yoke of bondage on others (you need to be in Sunday School, you need to be in church, you need to read your Bible every day, you dont need to wear skirts that short, you need to stop using foul language, you need  to....). God did not call me to be the legalism police. How often we act as "fruit inspectors" and pass judgement on people and their spiritual condition without even CONSIDERING what FRUIT is!!! Galatians 5:22-23 says "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
When we "inspect" people's spiritual life, what do we look for? The ONLY things we can use to determine whether a person os TRULY growing as a Christian is to inspect their fruit...
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. THESE are the things we are given by the Holy Spirit. A person who never misses a Sunday morning church service, but is not kind, gentle, peacful, joyful, faithful, patient, loving, and self controlled is just another body inthe pew on Sunday Morning. Being there every Sunday does not make a person a mature Christian. Yet, we are often more concerned with someone's church attendence than we are their God given Fruit.

It is easy to claim grace for myself and trust God to forgive me. IT is harder for me to extend that same level of grace to others.

It is easy to say "I am not the person I was before I knew Christ", but much harder to "die" to what I want for MY life every day so that I can be who GOD wants me to be.

It is easy to trust that Jesus died for my sins so that I can go to heaven when I die, but harder to live each day as a new creation in Jesus Christ.

It is hard to live and speak and act and love in such a way that those who see me do not see me, but see CHRIST in me.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
So simple, yet so complex.

So, not that I am "well", my posts will naturally move on to other marriage, kids, work...all the stuff we all deal with every day.

BUT before we go there, I am 6 months cancer free (the 2nd time) and my voice IS improving. I am doing physical therapy to correct a lot of the damage done by all the surgeries and radiation...and to correct bad posture habits I have developed along the way.

I'll see Doc S on Friday for my bi-monthly check up. I am taking the rest of the day off to spend with the kiddos.

I'll let ya know how the Dr visit goes.



Monday, January 14, 2013

Just Catching Up

So much time has passed!
I am healthy, so far as I know. My next appointments are the 24th. I'll see Doc S and Dr Pak as well as see Josie for Voice therapy that day. If anything is amiss, they will find it! I don't expect anything to be wrong though, I am just impatient and want everything to be "normal".
Had my 1 year Cancer- Free anniversary  August 31 of 2012.
Have had a few minor surgeries to correct damage done by radiation. (Mostly to remove the webbing between my cords) Funny how many things are a result of cancer treatment.
Last procedure was done about 7 weeks ago. Still hoarse and can't sing. Have decided to just give up on singing. I'm teaching right now either. Really not sure what all this is about. Is it because I am ungrateful for what God HAS done in my life? Is it because I have not used my voice to bring glory to Him? Is it just the result of having cancer on my vocal cords twice, 9 surgeries, and 28 rounds of radiation to cure it? Am I just impatient?  I don't know the answer to these questions.
I DO know that is is much easier for me to get my thoughts in order when I can get them in print. I do know that I have a natural ability to totally spaz out when I speak, because I cannot contain my excitement / emotions. On top of that, my mind wanders and I have a terribly hard time staying on topic. Maybe I am just supposed to write. Maybe I seek too much approval when I speak /teach. When I write, I just write. I don't have to please anyone or worry about anyone's feelings or worry whether or not someone will like what I say. Like I said....Maybe I should just write and forget about speaking, teaching, or singing.
I don't know. I am just trying to get back to that place where I am willing to do what ever God wants me to do...or to be available and willing to be used by Him however He wants to use me rather than wanting to serve Him in the ways I feel I am best suited. I know that telling God how I should serve Him is wrong. I know that being prideful is wrong. I know all these things. I realize that God may very well just be making me take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Marriage is harder than I'd anticipated. Being the parent of a teenager is harder than I anticipated. Being the parent of a strong willed child is more trying than I expected. Maybe I just need a break. I'm taking one, whether I like it or not. I can blame it on my voice, or lack of voice, but the truth is, my family needs me...or a better me. I have failed Calvin as a wife. I have not been supportive of him and his ministry because I have been building my ministry. I have failed the kids. I have spent time helping other moms with their kids and families and neglected mine.
Anyway, I'm dealing with a lot of different stuff.
While I'm here, I might as well go ahead and admit that I have been totally convicted of having an unforgiving heart toward some people. This is tough and is another reason I have pulled away from teaching. I can't tell others to forgive their enemies if I can't forgive mine. I don't know when I will get there, but I know that i won't have peace until I forgive them.
On the other hand, I HAVE forgiven several other people and have sought forgiveness from others (also very hard to do), so I know it is possible. Just gotta get my stubborn pride out of the way and submit fully to God.