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Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Step One Of The Clinical Trial"

I received the phone call today that I passed my first test of getting approved for the clinical trial and the research coordinator wanted to meet with me to sign appropriate paper work to start the next step.  Tony, Jenna and I went in to meet with the coordinator and she did a great job of explaining and answering all of our questions.  I will have several test ran in the next few weeks to make sure everything matches up to begin the trial.  I found out that Steve & Susan Goss' sister-in-law is already part of the same clinical trial.  We are sisters in Christ and now we will be sisters in a clinical trial.  Sheila Goss is about 2 months ahead of me in the study. 

"Clinical Trial Sisters" 

I will no longer be going in for chemo treatments.  I will take one pill a day and have lab work done every two weeks.  There are many side effects that can occur but that can come with any drug you take.  I am praying God will give me continued grace and strength to rest in Him and know that He is working all things out for my good and His glory.  We are not promised tomorrow, so I want my today to be used to honor Him and be thankful that He gave me another day to live and breath life. 

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"An Open Door"

After seeing my doctor yesterday, I told her to only call me today if she had good news about my cancer markers.  Around 4:30pm this afternoon she called to let me know my CA 125 had gone down by 53 points.  She told me she had better news.  After 3 months of waiting, she finally connected with the clinical trial doctor at MD Anderson.  We've been waiting to get results of my tumors that were sent off for more in depth genetic testing.  I don't know all of the details, but this is what I know so far.  There has been a genetic alteration in my tumor and the testing shows that there is a genetic mutation.  It means the tumor is growing out of control.  I was wondering what the good news was about this finding.  The good news is that God has given us hope that there is a clinical trial available that I might be considered for.  The better news is, that the trial would take place here at Highlands and not at MD Anderson.  It has been proven that other patients that have this same genetic mutation in other forms of cancer have had success with this clinical trial.  I don't think they have tried it for Ovarian Cancer but they are wanting me to participate in the trial.  I am waiting on a phone call from Highlands tomorrow to go in and talk to the research team.  She also informed me that I would have to be off chemo for 1 month and since I didn't have it last week or this week, I already have 2 weeks behind me.  It will probably take 2 weeks to get all of the paper work pushed through in order to start the trial.  God has already worked out so many details today that He continues to show me that He's got this and all I have to do is find my rest in Him.  I am so thankful for His goodness and faithfulness in my life.  He continues to carry me through the storm and I am grateful that my life is in His hands and not my own.  I have sought Him for wisdom in several areas today and He has given me a clear path and the right direction to go.  Lamentations 3:24NASB "The Lord is my portion", says my soul, "therefore I have hope in Him."

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"My Little Hero-Xander Moore"

I saw my doctor today and she has decided with my cancer markers being up, it was time to switch my chemo treatment. I do get to have one more week off from chemo since I will be traveling to Virginia this weekend for a friend's daughter's wedding and I will start my new round of chemo next Wednesday.  It's not actually a new chemo to me, it is the original one I started with.  The only difference, I will be doing a weekly dose verses every 3 weeks.  She is putting me on Taxol and I will continue with Avastin.  I know many have wondered why I still have hair while I'm taking chemo.  I could lie and say I was wearing a wig, but the truth is, not all chemos make you lose your hair.  Since I am going back on the original chemo drug, I will lose my hair again.  I am so thankful I kept my hats and will probably be on the look out for more cute ones. Hair loss is no big deal to me, living each day and enjoying the life God has blessed me and having time with my family and friends is what matters to me. 

I guess you can say another chapter of my life is about to take place and I am thankful that God is in control of each chapter.

I attended the funeral of an 11 year old boy yesterday, Xander Moore, that lost his fight with cancer.  He was my hero and inspiration and honestly none of it makes sense.  I don't understand why his parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members have to face such an horrific loss.  There is no doubt this young man trusted Jesus to take care of his life and he had no fear in death.  He was ready to go, but I don't think others were ready for that day to ever take place.  I'm sure Xander would love to let everyone know that he didn't lose the fight, he gained the victory of seeing Jesus face to face and knowing eternity was worth living for. His short years of life impacted more people than the average 50 year old adult could ever hope to impact.  His funeral service was a reflection of the many people that he touched and I'm sure so many more that couldn't attend that would have been there for his family.  I pray my eyes will remain on Jesus the way his were and that no matter how many days of life I have left, may each day count for God's glory. 

Click here to read the post I shared about Xander last year-almost a year to the date.

I Timothy 6:12-16 "Fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time-he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in the unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.  To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen"

I believe Xander fought the good fight of faith and there were many witnesses to testify about his life.  I pray many prayers will continue for his family as they fight hard for God's grace to reign over their grief.

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Though You Slay Me"

Instead of having chemo today, I went and used a gift card that Bryan and Jenna gave me on Mother's Day for a massage.  I didn't skip chemo, this was my off week.  So thankful for the blessings of today.  Jenna, Hudson and I went for a walk tonight, while Tony, Bryan and Richard went for a bike ride.  Tony ended up walking with the walkers.  The weather has been incredible and I am so thankful that instead of it feeling like August, it seems like we've almost hit the Fall season.  

Hudson taking over the bike riding!!!

God continues to give me grace and strength each day.  I found out this past week that my cancer markers have gone up higher than they have ever been.  I can't explain why my numbers continue to increase, but God continues to carry me through this journey and reminds me that He is in control of it ALL.  He allowed me to wake up this morning, breath, feel good and enjoy time with my family.  So many things to continue to praise Him for in the midst of the storm. 

Below is a song I heard today and wanted to share it with others.  I have included the lyrics but also ask that you listen to the song in it's entirety.  John Piper speaks near the end with a powerful message. 


I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who's broken
The one who's torn me apart
You struck down to bind me up
You say You do it all in love
That I might know You in Your suffering

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I'll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I'll know every tear was worth it all

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

Though tonight I'm crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You're still all that I need
You're enough for me
You're enough for me

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Jordan, David and I took my parents to the airport this morning.  We were able to help them get through security and wheel them to their gate.   Their plane was delayed about 30 minutes so it was nice to have extra time to visit.

David, Jordan, Grandad & MawMaw

Grandad & Jordan

MawMaw & Jordan
I had chemo this afternoon and my friends Kathy Hedges & Theresa Bonds were able to stay with me.  Everything went great with no complications.  I spoke to a lady that was having treatment and asked her if there was anything we could pray for her about and she said "hope".  My heart was saddened because I don't think she has the Hope I have in Jesus Christ and I'm not sure where you can get hope without Him.  She did not allow us to pray with her but I told her we would all three be praying for her. 

I love it when God allows my path to cross with those that I've been praying for and never know if we will ever meet.  Today one of those meetings took place.  I've been praying for a lady named Sheila Goss.  She is the sister in law of some of our dear friends, Steve & Susan.  Tony and I met up with Sheila & Susan for dinner.  It is amazing the instant bond you feel when someone is going through or has gone through the same struggles you have.  I truly enjoyed visiting with Sheila and now have a face to go with my prayers for her. 

Sheila &  Me

Sheila, Susan & Me
Below is a song that ministers to me and I pray it will do the same for others.  My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.  Christ alone, Cornerstone, weak made strong in the Savior's love.
Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of ALL.  I will continue to rest in His unchanging grace. 


"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Family Memories...Priceless"

In January of this year my dad went in for an outpatient surgery and ended up in ICU on a ventilator.  We weren't given much hope that he would ever leave ICU, but he did.  He was in the hospital for several weeks and we weren't given much hope that he would get out of the hospital, but he did.  He was then put in a rehab facility and we weren't given much hope that he would ever get to go home, but he did.  We really never thought he and my mom would ever be able to be back in Bentonville, Arkansas, but they did.  With God, ALL things are possible!!!

My parents flew into Bentonville this past Friday and we were blessed with great family time together.  I am so thankful for the time we were able to spend together and will always cherish these moments.  I took quiet a few pictures, and I think sometimes, pictures speak louder than words.  

Friday afternoon visit to the waterfall in Bella Vista-Jordan, my mom, me

Jordan and David

Saturday visit to Crystal Bridges-Priceless picture!   
Jenna's parents took us on a boat ride Saturday afternoon-Thank you Chuck & Mary!!!

MawMaw & Grandad

Jenna, Rhett & Mary (Jenna's mom)

David & Jordan

Bryan & Tony
Thank you David & Jordan for having us over Saturday night for dinner.
Saturday swim night. 

Me & Baby Rhett in his speedo

Aunt Doe swinging her nephews

Thank you Bryan and Jenna for providing dinner Sunday night.  MawMaw & Bryan

Grandad & Jordan
Jordan, Grandad, MawMaw, Bryan and Me-Love this picture!!!

Grandad & Mawmaw with their great-grandchildren

4 Generations!!!!
We had a full weekend and my parents fly home Tuesday morning.  God is so good and I am so thankful for all the memories we made this weekend.   His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. I can honestly say my life has been richly blessed and I never want to take God's blessings for granted.  He's given me such joy to be with my family and continues to show me so much mercy and grace.
 Psalms 44:8 "In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever."

Thank you Mother & Daddy for flying here to see all of us.  We love you very much!!!!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Chemo Party"

My dear friend Kathy Hedges went with me to chemo today. Jordan joined us for lunch first then we headed to Highlands for treatment. Kathy is a prayer warrior for so many people.  She is a bible study leader for a group of amazing ladies on Monday nights and has been a part of seeing so many people come to know Jesus by her boldness for the Lord.  She taught me that when you tell someone you will pray for them, not to wait, but pray immediately.  She makes it a point when she is out eating to ask the  waiter/waitress if they have any needs she could pray for and uses the time she prays over the meal, to pray for them.  She has not only been a mentor to me, but has been an amazing mentor to Jordan.  It doesn't matter if you are a teenager, young adult or older adult, Kathy makes time to put you into her schedule to mentor and pray for you.  

While we were at chemo, Theresa and her daughter Jennifer showed up so Jennifer could tell us goodbye before heading back to Virginia today.  Jordan soon followed so she could see Jennifer one last time too.  It was like a party at chemo today.  So thankful for so much love and support from my friends and family.

Jordan, Me, Kathy, Jennifer & Theresa

Jennifer, Kathy & Jordan

Jordan & Jennifer
Over the past few months God has given Theresa and I a passion to minister and pray for people while at Highlands.  Through that time we have bonded with a mom and daughter named Susan and Caroline.  They were at chemo today so I was able to introduce Kathy to them.  When Jordan came in I introduced her as well.  Through conversation, Jordan realized that Susan was her teacher in 6th grade at Springhill.  Susan's mom is the one receiving treatment.  Though it can be sad and difficult, it is a blessing seeing mom's and daughters supporting each other.

Jordan and Susan Briscoe
 Below is a fun song we sang in January at Passion 2013.  Just a small glimpse of what I feel like Heaven could be like, praising and worshiping with almost 70,000 people.  I am so thankful for this day and want to continue to give all the honor and glory to my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is so good, all the time!


"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Summer Is Ending"

Our summer has quickly come to an end for us that work with the youth at our church.  We have summer interns every year that come in at the beginning of summer and spend 10 weeks working with us and the youth.  I always feel like the minute they arrive, the summer is almost over because it goes by so quickly.  I am always thankful to meet new college students that have a desire to invest in junior and senior high student's lives.  Below is our team that worked together planning mission trips, camp, bible studies, swim nights, lunches and hang out times for students.  Thank you guys for a great summer!

Hutch, Jordan,Hannah Raye, Heather, Me, Hannah, Cody & Keith

Tony and I took Hudson hiking late Sunday night to see the waterfall in Bella Vista.  We knew from all the rain that the water would be flowing heavy.  The minute Hudson got out of the car, he ran most of the hiking time other than a short time on GPa's shoulder.  We didn't go until almost 8pm and there was no one around except for the 3 of us and someone smoking something in the brush close by.  Hudson smelled the smoke and held his nose and said "something stinks".  We didn't plan on Hudson spending the night, but since it was so late getting home we decided he should.  He was sick Friday night and Saturday with a stomach virus so we figured it would be good to give Bryan and Jenna a night off.  Around 1:00am this morning he was crying and I walked into his room and he had thrown up all over his bed.  All he could say was "GPa, I want my GPa, GPa, GPa".   As sad as he was, this was music to Tony's ears.  When most kids get sick, all they want is their mommies.  GPa and Hudson have stolen each other's hearts and it is a precious sight to see them together.  I've never seen such a bond in my life and I am so thankful that Tony has these moments to cherish.  Even though this past year has been challenging with my health issues, Hudson has been the balance that has kept Tony's sanity, and for that I am so grateful.

Today I had an unusual day at Highlands Oncology.  Instead of going in to see the doctor, have blood work or chemo, I was able to get a massage.  What a nice change.  I've decided that insurance should cover massages for chemo patients.  It was such a blessing and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I could see this being a weekly appointment before my scheduled chemo.

Tomorrow I will go in for chemo and for some reason I don't dread my appointments anymore.  It just seems like part of my life and for that I am grateful that I have been able to go about my daily routine.  I couldn't say those words at the beginning of this journey, but with God I truly find rest in Him and the plan He has for my life.  He will never fail me.  He already defeated the grave and in His name I have overcome. 

Psalms 23 "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Friday, August 2, 2013

"Words Of Encouragement"

I'm not sure why I am still amazed with the things God shows me in my life and knowing it is Him speaking very clearly to me.  I don't believe in coincidences but I believe in the Holy Spirit guiding and directing my life.  I have a system when I'm reading my Bible and today part of my Psalms reading was in chapter 18.  I then read a chapter in Proverbs, then went to my daily reading.  Today happened to be 2 Samuel 22.  I quickly realized these were the same words I had just read in Psalms and it was as if God was speaking to my heart.  I could rewrite both chapters in my blog but that would take a lot of space.  With tears streaming down my face, I knew God was speaking clearly to me as I read the words in my Bible today.  Verses 28-30 "For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.  For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  This God-his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him."

I received 3 envelopes today from a young man that grew up in our youth group.  He has since graduated from college and lives in Springfield, MO.  He is part of a Life Group and he and other young people in his group took the time to write me words of encouragement and sent me scripture verses to let me know they were praying for me even though they had never met me.  I'm not sure why I wore makeup today with so many tears falling.  Thank you Matt Potter and your group for taking the time to encourage my spirit and life today.  It amazes me that God continues to show me His love through so many people.  I never want to take for granted the many prayers that have been and continue to be lifted up on my behalf.  God is so gracious to me.  My daughter's friend Jessica didn't know about these letters that were sent to me today and I have not seen her since November.  She was at Jordan's house this evening and we had a chance to visit and she told me her community group still prays for me each week.  God is showing me that through others faithful prayers, I can have peace, perseverance, refreshment, joy, trust, healing, faith and so much more. 

Jordan, Bryan and his boys came over tonight for pizza while David and Jenna had to work.  We decided to take a trip to downtown Bentonville for the "First Friday on the Square".  We made it around the square amongst many people but we didn't last too long.  GPa and Bryan heated up quickly carrying 2 little guys around.  I am so thankful my children enjoy hanging out with their parents. 

Hudson, GPa, Bryan, Rhett, Me & Jordan
So thankful for this day and for God's grace and goodness in my life!!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."