Our Family

Our Family


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Green Halloween Mask=Claustrophobia"

I started my clinical trial pills this past Tuesday.  There were so many mixed emotions going through my mind before I started the medication.  I have to have a light breakfast before taking the medication, then wait 2 hours before I can eat anything.  I came home to eat some cereal so I was alone when I took the first pill.  I became so overwhelmed with emotions and pleaded with God to give me strength to trust in Him.  I know He lives inside me and He can take the medication and destroy every bad cell growing in my body.  There can be many mental side effects so I am trusting that my mind can stay focused and not give any room to Satan.  We've had a very busy week at work preparing for our DNOW weekend.  We ended up with 367 students and 42 Host Homes.  The kick off began last night and we had Drew Worsham, a Christian illusionist do an amazing performance.  The whole weekend begins tomorrow night and will end Sunday after church.  There will be close to 600 people participating throughout the whole weekend.  I have plenty of people helping me and making sure I pace myself and not wear out.  I am thankful to say my mind has stayed sane and I really haven't felt any side effects.  On Tuesday my hemoglobin was low and they were considering giving me a blood transfusion, but today I was retested and my numbers went up to where they needed to be.

I went in this morning to get fitted for my mask for the upcoming radiation I will be receiving.  I had a peace all morning and really felt I could handle having a mask put over my face.  I am so thankful for the nurse that was with me and she highly recommended I take medication.  I told her I knew many people were praying for me and that God would give me the strength.  She still recommended the medication.  I hesitated for a moment but decided God gives man knowledge and there is no shame in taking medication to help with side effects.  She started with my legs and hip area making the markings on my body and getting the mold made for my legs.  We then went into another room where the "green mask" came out.  They told me to shut my eyes and the minute the cold, slimy, wet mask touched my face, I asked if they would take it off and let the medication work better.  They ignored my plea and told me I would be fine.  I immediately went into prayer mode and began calling on the name of Jesus.  The mask was a green gel substance that was wet and completely covered my whole head, shoulders and part of my chest.  They mold it to your face, then have hand held fans to cool the mask off to help it to set.  I was so relieved when it finally came off.  The worse part was that I had to go back into the CT room and have the mask put on again, then it was screwed down into the table.  I am so thankful for prayers, for the name of Jesus and for praise songs that kept my mind occupied.

Now that you can see what the mask looks like and add claustrophobia to the equation, you can see where it was a difficult situation for me.  The black buttons around the edges is what they nail down to the table to keep you from moving.  My heart still races just thinking about having it on me again. I get the pleasure of donning this contraption every day for three weeks ( 15 treatments) when we get back from San Diego.
But at least we will be kicking some cancer butt!
All prayer is welcome !!! 
Psalms 4:1 "Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!  You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!"

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

Monday, September 23, 2013

"I Need His Strength"

I go in tomorrow morning to start the first day of the clinical trial study.   I have to admit that these past few weeks my body has struggled with pain and not a lot of strength.  I think I've allowed my mind to be consumed with not feeling the greatest that I've had a hard time of staying focused on day to day living.  Tomorrow will begin a new chapter in my life and I'm ready for the cancer cells to die off and for my body to regain strength.  This week is one of our biggest weeks for our youth.  It is our DNOW (Disciple Now) Weekend.  Students have until tomorrow evening to get signed up and as of today we have a total of 323.  We take all the students and divide them up into Host Homes.  Families in our church allow students to spend Friday and Saturday night in their homes along with a college leader.  We have 3 large rallies at our church over the course of the weekend where we bring in a speaker and band.  Food is provided for the whole weekend to everyone that is involved.  I know God's grace and strength will see me through this week and my prayer is that I will be feeling good enough to go on a vacation with Tony this time next week. 

Below is something I read in my daily reading called "Jesus Today".  And as always, God's timing is always perfect!

"My unfailing Love is your "FUEL"-the best source of energy for you.  This glorious source of strength is limitless, so it is always abundantly available.  You tend to get quite focused on your health and energy.  There is a place for such concerns, but they can occupy more and more of your thoughts.  When you are preoccupied with the condition of your body, I slip from the center of your mind to the periphery.  At such times, you are unable to receive much help from Me.  The remedy is to repent quickly-turning away from obsessive thinking and turning wholeheartedly toward Me.  

The more you focus on Me, the more access you have to My unfailing Love.  This supernatural source of energy flows through you freely as you look to Me in trust.  Not only does this increase your energy level; it also provides a pathway for Me to love other people through you.  So let My limitless Love energize and empower you as you walk along your life-path close to Me."

I received several phone calls, texts and visits today and  many told me they would be praying for my strength for today and the rest of this week specifically.  I truly felt God's power pick me up today and He gave me energy to get my job accomplished for today.  We ended the evening with dinner out with all the family and for some reason, that always re-energizes my spirit. 

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"In My Life, Jesus"

Well it has been a week since I last blogged so I will update how everything has been going.  I received Zometa (a drug that strengthens your bones) last Tuesday and was not prepared for the side effect it would have on my body.  I usually do not take pain medication other than Tylenol and I am so grateful my doctor basically made me get a prescription filled.  The pain was so severe during the night and next day that I had to miss work and sleep most of the day away.  So thankful this was one of the first times that I was not able to function and decided my job would be there for me the next day.  Tony is blessed to work for a company that has been very supportive and allows him time off anytime he needs it.  He was able to stay home and nurse me back to health.  All I could picture during the pain was that my bones were actually being made stronger and that the pain would be worth it.  I will receive this medication once a month and will be more prepared the next time with medication before the pain hits so hard.

Tony and I were able to go for a long walk on Friday and enjoy the amazing weather God brought to us.  We took Hudson out on Saturday for a walk to the waterfall in Bella Vista and enjoyed watching the innocence of him exploring everything.  There are a lot of posted signs along the trail telling you about different plants, trees, etc and he had to stop and read each one and as he's reading each one this is what he says, "saw the big waterfall, now going to the little waterfall". 

We met with the oncologist/radiologist today and were encouraged with his plan of treatment and his outlook on how everything looked with him treating me.  He showed us the CT/PET scans and this is the first time we've actually seen any scans.  He went over all the different areas that "lit up" basically showing the cancer spots in my body.  He feels with the radiation treatments, he will be able to zap the bones in my back and on my upper thighs and alleviate the pain.  I will go in a week from Thursday to have a mold made of my body along with a CT scan.  I will have to have a mask made for my face because he will go in around my throat to pin point the pain in my neck/back area and the mask/ body mold will help hold my body in place for the targeted radiation. For a normal person this doesn't seem too stressful, but for a claustrophobic person like me, lots of prayer and maybe an anxiety drug will help to get me through this procedure.  I have no doubt God will get me through everything.

I will start the clinical trial chemo pill one week from today.  It will be a daily pill, once a day and lab work every two weeks.  God's timing is always perfect.  Tony and I are flying to San Diego/Coronado Island for our postponed vacation in less than two weeks and both my doctor and radiologist seem to think the treatment plans will all fall into place and not effect our travels. 

God's grace has continued to give me strength each day and the many, many prayers being offered up for our family is definitely the reason we continue to find find hope and keep our trust in our Savior.  We are so grateful for the outpouring of love that is constantly being given to us.  To God be the glory, great things He continues to do.



I believe every heart needs a healer
Someone to walk through the fire
All I need I have found
Everyone is looking for a Savior
When it feels like the world is going under
All i need i have found

In my life, Jesus
More of You, Jesus
You are the One
You are the One
In everything, Jesus
My heart sings, Jesus
You are the One
You are the only One

Everyday there's a hope to remember
Yesterday's been washed in the water
All i need I have found


I believe every heart needs a healer
Someone to walk through the fire
I have found

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

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"His Strength"

I knew today would be a big day to find out the results from all of the test ran last week.  As I was driving to Highlands for the appointment, I told God that no matter the news, I would still praise Him.  Tony, Jordan and David met me there.  The doctor came in and didn't seem too concerned or surprised with the findings on the CT/PET scan.  Here is the news I received:

I found out the pain in my back for the past several weeks is due to cancer in my bones.  They started me on an IV drug today called Zometa to help strengthen my bones, then in a few weeks I will have radiation to target the cancer in my bones.  I also have a potential spot on my liver and spots on my chest, leg and lungs.  The lymph nodes in my abdomen have increased as well.   Since I haven't had chemo for the past 3 weeks and knowing that I have genetic mutation tumors (growing rapidly) my doctor didn't seemed surprised, but was grateful that we have a plan ahead of us with the new clinical trial targeted drug.  For some reason, I'm at peace with the news given to me today.  I know God wasn't surprised with any of it and is already sovereign over all my days.  I know this peace wouldn't be possible if it wasn't coming from knowing Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior and that my eternity will be forever with Him.  I would rather have cancer and know my eternal destination than to be healthy and not know where my eternity will end up.  Some may wonder how I can be sure of my eternal destiny and one of the greatest verses in the Bible says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16.  

I am so grateful that I'm not alone in this journey and God has placed so many wonderful people in my path.  I believe another new chapter began in my life today.  Many people are praying for me and I'm okay with whatever the outcome is for my life, but I ask for prayer for my family.  My husband and children see me everyday and feel helpless sometimes on what they can do, but I pray God will continue to give them the grace and strength He continues to give me.  Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

Thank you Gabardi family for my beautiful flowers that were sent today.   

I've had many people send me the following song this week and decided to post it on my blog.  I John 5:4-5 "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"  It doesn't matter how bad the news may be in our lives, if we keep our focus on Jesus and trust Him to save us, we can overcome anything with Him on our side! 


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

Monday, September 9, 2013

"Approved For Clinical Trial"

I received word today from the research coordinator at Highlands that I was approved to start the clinical trial.  We thought tomorrow would be the first day to start taking the "targeted" pill, but after the researcher talked to my doctor, they realized I had to be off chemo for 4 weeks and Avastin for 6 weeks.  I will go in the morning for blood work and to discuss all my test from last week and set up the date to begin everything.  I know Who's in control of my days and can trust that this decision didn't surprise the Lord, so I have no need to fear or worry. 

Here are the words I read today in my daily reading:

"When your energy is running low, connect with Me-your Strength.  Sometimes I pour abundant energy into you as you spend time in my Presence.  At other times I energize you only bit by bit, giving you just enough strength to keep moving slowly forward.  Although the abundant provision is more dramatic and satisfying, do not be discouraged when I choose to give you strength sufficient only for the moment.  This may be My way of keeping you ever so close to Me on your life-path, leaning on Me.  This closeness helps you hear My whispers-telling you of My delight in you.  To hear these whispers clearly, you must trust that I, the Sovereign Lord, am in charge of your life and that your journey-though difficult-is full of blessing."

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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Ovarian Cancer Awareness"

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.  I have been on this journey now for 18 months and I feel a new chapter is about to begin in my life.  It is amazing how the "C" word can change your life as well as family and friends.  I would never recommend that anyone Google Ovarian Cancer because the internet does not give you much hope of survival, especially when your diagnosis was discovered in stage 3 or 4, but you should Google "signs of ovarian cancer" for early detection.  I  honestly thought this battle would be short term and I would move on with my life, free and clear of cancer and be healthy and active again, but for some reason God isn't finished with me telling His story. I do know that this journey would be so much more difficult if it weren't for the amazing support system God has so graciously blessed me with.  I have been so honored, overwhelmed and in awe of the love I've been shown on a continued daily basis.  Not one day has gone by on this journey that I haven't received some sort of support whether it was a card, text, Facebook message, phone call, flowers, surprise pedicures or someone just asking how I've been doing.  I will be forever changed and grateful for the unconditional love shown to me.  If you have doubt that God is real or alive, I'm here to testify that He is so alive and worth serving.  He has been so faithful to me and there is nothing I could do to deserve His grace, that's why it is called "grace, Amazing Grace". 

I went to Highlands yesterday for blood work, 13 viles worth, echo cardiogram and an EKG.  Tomorrow I will have a CT/PET scan.  I will know Monday if all my test are in the right range for me to begin the clinical trial.  If all is well, I will meet with my doctor on Tuesday and take my first pill.  To think that research continues daily for a cure for all types of cancer and diseases is amazing.  What an awesome testimony if the trial I'm about to embark on is the cure for Ovarian Cancer.  I still cling to the fact of what my doctor told me many months ago.  She is here to treat me, but God is the One that will ultimately heal me. 

I decided to re post my video from when I shaved my head for the first time.  That night will always be special to me because I knew I wasn't alone on this journey and I felt like God was allowing me to watch my life from an out of body experience. 


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