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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Chemo Day"

I went in early today for chemo and was done by 9:30am.  My friend Theresa went with me and we enjoyed catching up with each others lives.  She is in the midst of planning a wedding for her daughter and thankful for this season in her life.  I was able to go in to work and God blessed me with a very full day.  I did not get home until 9pm this evening.  We are getting ready for camp and there is a lot of work to be done.  As of tonight, we are taking 170 students to camp.  What a blessing to be a part of an amazing youth group!

I turned in my CT report from MD Anderson to the nurse @ Highlands and they were going to scan it into the system for the doctor to read tomorrow.  My oncologist was at a different location today.  The clinical trial specialist from MD called today and said they had scanned my CT reports I brought.  He wanted to know if we were still interested in having their radiologist read them and give me a report.  I told him we would love for someone to give us information from somewhere on how my scans were looking.  Between MD Anderson and my doctor I would believe we should know something by tomorrow. 

I am so thankful for such a great day of health and a good appetite.  So many continue to encourage me of how much they pray for me and there is no doubt that God's faithfulness is carrying us each and everyday.  I never want to take lightly the unmeasurable amount of grace poured out over my life. 

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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"His Peace"

We are so thankful to be back home and to have had a 3 day weekend to rest and recover.  I have not received my CT scan from MD Anderson that was to be mailed to me or received any follow up phone calls.  There is a perfect peace that everything we went through last week was God's confirmation that MD Anderson is not meant for me.  I know they have done great things for many people, but for some reason that is not the direction that God wanted us to take.  The prayers so many prayed for us I believe were answered in a great way.  We are so thankful for the prayers and the peace we feel at this time in knowing God will continue to direct our paths. 

I will be going in to Highlands tomorrow morning early for lab and chemo.  We are waiting to see how the CT result from MD compares to my latest CT done in March.  It will be interesting to see what the scans show as far as improvement or not.  We've already been in contact with Cancer Treatment Centers of America and had some great information given to us.  They have given me a sense of peace that if we are to go another direction, that would be our next step.  It seems they treat the whole body and not just the disease. 

I am resting in Jesus tonight and trusting in His grace and mercies for each day He chooses to bless me with.
Psalm 119:49-50 "Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.  This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life."

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

Friday, May 24, 2013

"His Master Plan"

Before our journey back home began this morning I read from a devotional book called "Jesus Today" and the following words were exactly what I needed to hear spoken to my spirit today:

I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  I know how confused you sometimes feel-and how much you long to find the way forward.  You have tried so many different things; you have been so hopeful at times.  Yet your hope-filled paths have led to disappointment.  I want you to know that I fully understand how hard your journey has been.  I also assure you that I can bring good out of every bit of it. 

This is the way of wisdom: trusting Me no matter what happens in your life.  It is through trust that you follow Me along the right path.  There are many things that seem random or wrong as you go along your journey.  Yet I am able to fit them all into a comprehensive plan for good-My Master Plan.  So don't be fooled by the way things appear at a given point in time.  You are looking at only a very small piece of a massively big picture.  From your limited perspective, your journey may be confusing , with puzzling twists and turns.  However, from My limitless, big-picture perspective, I am indeed leading you along straight paths. 

Proverbs 4:11 "I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths."

Romans 8:28 "We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose."

Proverbs 20:24 "A man's steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?"

We spent the whole day traveling home with diversions and flight delays due to weather.  I am thankful to be home again.  My heart has been a little heavy today but I am so thankful Tony has been with me this whole week and that God spoke truth to me before the day began.

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

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"God Is Not The Author Of Confusion"

Our day began with going to the main building of MD Anderson.  I don't know if overwhelming is the right word to use.  Tony's description-it's like the first day of high school and everyone is wondering around trying to find their lockers and classrooms.  It's amazing that this is an everyday scene at this hospital.  We were able to find our destination fairly easily.  When we walked up to the check in desk we were greeted by a very friendly guy named Eric Colemon (same name as our son-in-law).  He told me I looked familiar and said Happy Birthday!  He knew my birthday is on Christmas and his birthday is the day after.  It was encouraging to be greeted by friendly people.  We didn't have to wait long before I was taken back for vital signs, then put into a room to wait for the doctor.  We were met first by a "fellowship" (resident) doctor.  He went over all my information and was very helpful.  He seemed to think since I had an appetite and was feeling better that the chemo I have been on must be doing some good, contrary to what the doctor we saw on Tuesday who didn't agree with the chemo combination I am on.  We met with several ladies that had us sign paperwork allowing MD to do further testing with tumors that were sent off April 2012 and to do a more in depth genetics/DNA.  Here is where things get a little tricky.  We brought paper work from when my surgeon sent off my tumors and also the report was sent from my original genetics testing, but they couldn't find any record showing we had brought this information.  We gave everything including previous CT scan disks to the first doctor we saw on Tuesday but nothing had been uploaded into the system.  Later the clinical trial doctor came in along with a young man that manages the clinical trials.  She immediately told us about a clinical trial that I qualified for as early as June.  We asked her about my CT scan that was done yesterday and she said there was nothing to compare it to.  We told her that 4 scans were brought with us and given to the doctor on Tuesday.  We also informed her my cancer marker from Tuesday had gone down almost 50 points from 2 weeks ago.  She began to back track and seemed flustered and said we could take my CT scan done yesterday back home and have my oncologist compare it to the past CT's to see if there was progression in my disease.  This left Tony and I completely confused of why we were at MD Anderson in the 1st place and we could have stayed home to have a CT scan done to compare.  We thought the purpose of coming to Houston was to get a second opinion and to see if they agreed with my treatment plan I am currently on or did they have a better solution.  The fact that none of my information that was faxed or we hand delivered had been looked over or compared to the current CT I had yesterday had us questioning why we were even here. The clinical Dr then agreed that if I was feeling better and had an appetitite, why change the current treatment.

We know God is not the author of confusion and will make our paths clear on which direction we are to take.  Maybe coming to Houston has confirmed to us that Highlands Oncology is doing a good job and ultimately our faith and hope remain in Jesus and His healing power.  I am not leaving Houston discouraged.  I am going to continue to trust in the One that has created me and know His plans will never fail me.  I do not have a peace at this time that MD Anderson is the proper solution for me.  If we are to eventually seek further testing, we feel Cancer Treatment Center in Tulsa might be our best option.  I will hand deliver my latest CT report to Highlands as soon as we land at home tomorrow and wait to see how the past CT reports compare. 

We fly out tomorrow morning and I'm excited to be back home. All the prayers for me and Tony have been felt this week.  We have a peace and calm that God has been with us through the ups and downs and His purpose will prevail. It would be easy to grumble and complain but that is not what glorifies my Savior.  He has a purpose and a plan over my life and I have complete confidence that this week was not wasted.  He showed us some new direction to take and our eyes will remain on Him.  We will continue to keep our hope in Him and not in man wherever He leads us.
We were blessed to be able to spend time with our family this evening and have a great home cooked meal. Thank you Kacee!! We will always cherish anytime with our family and the extra blessing of seeing our grandchildren.  The time with them has made our trip to Houston worth it.   

Psalm 107:19-22 "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their distruction.  Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!"

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"His Eye Is On The Sparrow"

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

There is no way I could continue in my "pity party" after all the words of encouragement I received from text, email, Facebook, blog and phone calls.  The prayers of so many helped me rest last night and I was able to wake up this morning refreshed and refocused on what God has for me and not what I think should happen for my day.  Yesterday while waiting on our shuttle, I was sitting on a bench crying and 2 little sparrows came over by us and Tony reminded me that God watches over those little birds, and that God's love is even greater for me.  This morning Jordan sent me a text with the following song attached.  I did not talk to Jordan all day yesterday and she hadn't even read my blog.  God used so many last night and today to get my thoughts back towards Him. 

The appointment scheduler called us this morning and said that our insurance was telling MD Anderson they had to wait 3 days before doing a CT scan on me.  I'm not sure I will  ever understand the insurance world when a doctor puts in a request and they can refuse treatment due to their policy world.   God took care of our insurance and soon after my conversation with the scheduler, I had a CT scheduled for this afternoon.  I also have an appointment tomorrow morning at 10:50 to meet with the clinical trial doctor (Dr Wheeler for prayer by name).

It is so easy to get caught up in your own world that you forget so many are hurting around you.  Coming to MD Anderson has opened my eyes to see that this "cancer" world is ugly and the fight for survival is bigger than my mind can comprehend.  We've seen so many people that are hurting and barely getting around. This is an on going battle, but I'm thankful the battle is not mine, but the Lord is fighting it for me.  I win in the end no matter what.  I had a sweet lady sit next to me today and we had a great visit about God's promises and goodness and she reminded me of those truths. The incredible thing about her name is that it is the same as my grandmother Vera Mae who impacted my life immensly when I was growing up regarding spiritual matters. I've never known anyone else with that name and I know God brought her into my path today for a great reason.  It was His reminder in a big way that He does have everything in my life under control. I met another man from Canden AR that was told over 13 years ago that he only had 3 months to live and he's still alive and doing well today.  These two were placed in my path today and I thank God for his reminder.  All 3 of us shared of how this journey is not ours but it is for the Lord and to keep our eyes on Him and to make Him known. 

We were able to go to dinner tonight with our kids who live in Houston (Chris & Kacee) and grandchildren (Addison, Cadence and Jaxon).  So thankful to have this time to spend with family and grandchildren who always make your life more complete and happy.  Thank you for such love and encouragement from so many and I am so grateful for all that God reminded me today of how great He really is!!!

Psalm 103:1-5 "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not his benefits, who forgives all your inquity, who heals all your disesases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satifies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Anticipation, Frustration, Disappointment"

We arrived at MD Anderson at our scheduled time of 9:30am.  I had filled out a lot of paper work prior to my visit.  We waited about 15 minutes before my name was called.  We met with a lady and signed documents and returned to the waiting area.  After 3 1/2 hours of waiting we finally saw a doctor.  She was not the doctor my original appointment was set up with, but asked me a lot of questions, then left the room to consult with my doctor.  They soon both returned, did a physical exam and told Tony and I they would meet us in the conference room.  I'm not sure what I expected to hear, but my heart was very discouraged after our meeting.  We were basically told that with my diagnosis "clear cell carcinoma"', an uncommon residual of Ovarian cancer, would be better turned over to a clinical trial.  The chemo drugs I have been on would not be effective.  Tony and I left to go eat lunch and my heart was very heavy.  It could have been the fact that it was 2pm and we had not eaten lunch.  There is so much to be grateful for but at that moment all I could see was darkness of sick people all around me.  When you let your guard down, Satan moves in quickly to steal your joy.  I was mad at myself for being so emotional and couldn't seem to get it under control.  I went to have lab work drawn then returned upstairs to meet with a scheduler for tomorrow's appointments.

We met with the scheduler and were sent to have an ultrasound on my leg.  Since having chemo last week my right calf muscle has felt like an on going leg cramp and they wanted to rule out a blood clot.  I did not get done with my ultrasound until after 5pm.  The radiologist could not get in touch with my doctor.  I was told there are small blood clots in my leg and that my doctor would have to give me a treatment plan.  We left MD Anderson feeling very defeated today.  I felt like a "number" that was lost in some sort of processing.  We do not have any other appointments scheduled at this point.  I was told a CT scan would be done tomorrow and a meeting with the Phase 1 doctor for a clinical trial study would happen tomorrow as well.  We are not sure what the next step is.  I do know that I had set my expectations so high for coming to Houston and after a long crazy day yesterday of trying to get here along with the tiredness of the day of waiting, my emotional roller coaster went crazy.  We returned back to our hotel a little after 6pm emotionally drained.  We've decided to call it an evening and refresh ourselves with food and rest and praying for a better day tomorrow.  We know God is in control and will trust in Him and not in man.

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

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Faith Is The Refusal To Panic"

Our day began headed to the airport for a morning flight to Houston.  Soon after our arrival we were notified that the plane we were scheduled to leave on was still in Dallas.  Our connecting flight to Houston would not be possible.  All other later flights from DFW to Houston were booked.  The American Airlines ticket agent was very understanding about our need to get to Houston, so she worked with United and got us on a direct flight later in the evening.  We almost got on a 11:15am flight but a couple that was originally scheduled for the flight showed up at the last minute and filled the last two spots.  Our United flight was scheduled to leave at 6:30pm.  We went home for lunch then I went in to work for a few hours.  We arrived back at the airport and boarded the plane at the scheduled time.  We knew it was important for everything to be on time with all the bad weather headed our way from Oklahoma.   Everything seemed to be going smoothly until we got to the runway and we weren't going anywhere.  Within a few minutes we were told that our plane would be headed back to the terminal due to bad weather.  Tony and I were thinking that an airplane ride might not be for us and that driving all night might have to be an option.   

I went and sat with our bags while Tony waited at the ticket counter to see what our options might be.  The skies outside were extremely dark and threatening.  I heard a loud noise and thought someone was rolling a cart down the main aisle, but quickly realized it was the wind blowing extremely hard and everyone began running to the bathrooms.  It was like a scene you see on television, where the wind and rain come in extremely fast and all those round you are taking cover.  I didn't like the fact that Tony and I were separated.  All the women and men were going to the appropriate restrooms.  My phone rang about 10 minutes later and it was Tony asking me if I wanted to meet him in the family bathroom across the hall.  I was happy to be with him again.  We didn't have to wait long before they called off the tornado warning.  We returned to our gate and were told there was a chance our flight would still be able to depart.  Within 30 minutes we were back on the plane and able to depart Northwest Arkansas.  

The view from the plane was the most incredible light show ever.  It was as if God was showing off His power and majesty all around us.   Words cannot describe what we saw from the skies!  

My friend Joni Hartman felt led today to start a prayer chain for me and Tony for the next several days while we are in Houston.  She sent out an email and put it on Facebook asking for people to take an hour time slot to pray for us.  She called me before our original 6:30 flight to tell me that every hour time slot was filled and that some of the time slots had several people praying.  That means 24 hours a day we are being prayed over.  How do you comprehend such love of others and also know that it ultimately is God's mercy and grace being poured out over you?  We serve an incredible God that continues to lavish His love upon us.  May we all be diligent to pray for families in Oklahoma that have lost loved ones and looking for lost individuals.  

We are not sure what lies ahead for us on this journey but we do have the calmness and peace that no matter what, God is in control.   We are not guaranteed tomorrow but we only have the very second we are living in, to bring Him glory and honor.  This life is not about us, but it's about leading others to a saving knowledge of our Savior.  Ephesians 2:4-5 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved."  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." 

We have safely landed in Houston and so thankful for God's provision to get us here.  We are also grateful that David and Jordan will be staying at our house all week taking care of Oscar, the dog, and our home.

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

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"A New Chapter Begins"

A new chapter in my life will begin this week as we embark on a journey to MD Anderson.  I have been asked if I was nervous or scared and I am thankful to say, "No I am not."  I am actually excited to see all that God has for me.  My first appointment will be Tuesday morning at 9:30am.  I was told to expect to be there for several days and I'm not sure what the plan will be, but one thing I do know, God already has the plan figured out and all I have to do is to continue to trust Him. 

God's love has been poured out over me this weekend and my heart continues to be overwhelmed by His goodness and grace.  My prayers is that I won't get so caught up with others blessing me, that I forget to be a blessing to others.  There are people all around us daily that are hurting and if we keep our eyes and ears open, God will show us their needs. 

I had two of my dearest friends that I grew up with come in town on Saturday.  They drove 8 1/2 hours to hang out with me for the day and had to leave early Sunday morning to return home.  Judy Lynn and I became friends in 4th grade and Deborah Mae and I became friends in 10th grade. (Debbie claims I was mean to her in 9th grade so that is why we weren't friends until the 10th grade)  We've always called each other by our first and middle names.  We did not go to school together but attended the same youth group and have remained friends throughout all these years. 

Judy Lynn, Deborah Mae, Me (Janet Leigh)-1981

Judy Lynn, Me & Deborah Mae-1981

Judy Lynn, Me & Deborah Mae

We had a large group of people come to our home tonight to pray over us before we leave tomorrow. 
Ephesians 3:16-19 "that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."  Apart from God, I would have no way of understanding how much love has been poured out over me and my family.  Just when I think we've been blessed more than I can comprehend, more blessings continue to fall upon us.  We had so many come to our home tonight and pray and several brought gifts with them for me to take to Houston. 

Judy Lynn gave me an amazing purse and Deborah Mae bought me a new pair of shorts.  Maureen Mangrum made me my first quilt ever!!  I know she prayed over the quilt while she was making it.  My heart is full tonight from such love and grace!!  Others brought me snacks, roses and a new testament Bible to give to someone that I may have a chance to share Jesus with while I'm away.  Thank you to all that came to our home tonight to pray and for so many that couldn't come but continue to pray for me.  My life has been strengthened and will be forever changed by the love shown to me by others.  I am blessed!!!!!!!!

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"MD Anderson Bound"

I had decided that today was the day I really wanted to hear from MD Anderson.  I got on their website and found a place to request an appointment and decided it wouldn't hurt to fill out the information (just in case my paper work didn't make it to them).  I was able to put in my name, address, phone number and was looking for the box to check for my diagnosis, when my phone rang with a number from Houston, Texas.  I was so excited to hear that the lady on the other end was from MD Anderson.  She asked if it was a good time for her to call and I told her it couldn't be a more perfect time.  I posted on my blog yesterday how I feel God is telling me "He's got this" and He reminded me of that in a big way with me trying to take over this morning to push everything through more quickly.  I am so thankful to say my appointment is next Tuesday, May 21st.  We are so excited for this opportunity that God has given us and are trusting Him for all the details.  I must remind myself when I become inpatient, that He really does have everything under control and His timing is always perfect.  

I had both chemo drugs today for treatment.  My friend LaDonna went with me.  She has a lot on her plate and has 4 kids, but wanted to take time out of her busy schedule to spend with me.  Thank you Ladonna for being a blessing to me today.   Everything went very smoothly and so thankful that I have friends that want to go and spend time with me.  God continues to bless me immeasurably more than I could ever imagine. 

Me &LaDonna

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Making A Difference"

My youth pastor and his wife from my high school days came to Bentonville today on their way to Springfield and had lunch with me.  Kevin and Pam came into my life my sophomore year of high school &  they are still serving at the same church I grew up in. Kevin is now serving as the Pastor & they have been at Trinity Baptist for 34 years.  There are times in your life when you can go back and have markers of when God moved and impacted your life and used others to help in your journey.  Kevin and Pam both made a difference in my life and are still part of it today.  My parents still attend this same church and many times when I can't be there for my parents, the Kennedy's are there to serve their needs.   I remember Pam taught me how to pray and not be afraid to speak to God out loud in front of other people.  I can still remember it like it was yesterday and I will always be grateful to her for that moment in my life.  We have many great memories together.  My relationship with them has helped me realize that you can impact other's lives and make a difference no matter what age you are.  I think about the young people God has placed in my life over the past years and pray that I can make a difference the way Pam and Kevin made for me.

Pam, Me & Kevin. Thank you for blessing me today!!!!
God continues to show me that He is in control, and as Hudson would say "Hudson's got it", but instead it is God telling me "He's got this".  We are waiting on our phone call from MD Anderson and praying we will have an appointment to go there by next week.  God provided the resources in a big way today for us to go and not have to worry about the finances.  This journey has been more than I could have ever expected with blessings upon blessings from the Lord.  God has used so many people to show us how much He truly loves us and I don't think a day has gone by that He hasn't shown me His great love.  It would be my fault if I missed His blessings because they are truly there every morning and day.  Great is His faithfulness!!

I will be going to Highlands tomorrow for chemo and I'm believing and trusting that God will watch over me, but most importantly, use me to help encourage others the way He continues to encourage me.

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

Sunday, May 12, 2013

"A Blessed Mother's Day"

I am thankful for Mother's day, for being a mom and my mom still being alive. Motherhood is something I couldn't wait to experience growing up.  I always thought the Lord would come back before I would be a mom.  I am thankful He has allowed me these last 27 years of life to see my children grow up and become the young adults they are today.  It was a blessing to be able to attend church today and see all the little babies being dedicated to the Lord.  No one can prepare you for how fast time goes by raising your children until it really happens.  I believe that is why grandparent hood is so special, because you appreciate the time and how fast it is fleeting and try to enjoy every moment with grandchildren. 

Jenna's parents invited our family over for lunch today.  Chuck, her dad, always does an amazing job of boiling crab legs, shrimp, potatoes and corn.  My appetite was so good today, that I ate more than I usually do and enjoyed every minute of it. 

After lunch we all went out on the lake in the Kerby's pontoon boat.  We couldn't have asked for a more peaceful relaxing day.  It was like God gave us the whole lake to ourselves and we all enjoyed time together.  What a blessing having the family together on such a special day.  Thank you Chuck and Mary for always making us feel so welcome and for the amazing meal that comes along with it.

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

Friday, May 10, 2013

"God's Confirmation"

Who would have thought a year and a half ago, that I would be excited to say that I was going to MD Anderson?  I don't know if excited is the correct word, but I do have a complete peace about going and the opportunity that will be before me.  I called  my surgeon and oncologist today to see about getting a referral and wanted a peace about the direction of going to Tulsa or Houston.  By noon today, the oncologist nurse called me to let me know the referral was being sent and that my doctor would be calling me later in the day.  Around 5:00pm I received her phone call and she was on board with sending me to MD Anderson without any hesitation.  She believes this is a positive move for me.  I was told that MD Anderson should contact me within the next week.  I truly feel this is confirmation from the Lord in Him directing my path.  Everything moved so quickly today, just from a phone call made this morning.  Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."  Thank you to all that prayed over this decision and the encouragement that my family has received about this next chapter. 

Tony and I were blessed to drive to Bartlesville, OK today to see our family.  Chris (Tony's son) and family were there for a wedding.  They live in Houston and we wouldn't have missed an opportunity to spend time with them being so close.  We were able to eat lunch with them and hang out while the kids swam.  It is amazing how fast time goes by.  When Tony and I married, Chris was only 14 years of age and now he has his own family and is the pastor of an amazing church in Houston.  We will be blessed to spend more time with them while at MD Anderson and thankful for God's timing and provisions. 

Chris, Kacee, Addison, Cadence & Jaxon

Cadence, Jaxon & Addison

Cadence & Addison
Thank you Pate family for blessing us today.  I am so thankful God allowed me to feel so good to make the drive and hang out with our amazing family.  Proverbs 17:6a "Grandchildren are the crown of the aged" 

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

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Second Opinion"

It has been a great week and I have felt good, even after having chemo two days ago.  I have carried on with life as "normal" as possible.  I had forgotten that I was tested on Tuesday for my CA 125 (cancer markers) and had not heard from the doctor about the results.  I called this morning and had a peace that no matter the outcome of the number, I would be okay.  My numbers are up again, 395.8 from 392 a few weeks ago.  I didn't go into panic mode, I just thanked God immediately that He was in control.  I sent a text to Tony, Bryan, Jenna and Jordan to let them know the results. Here is what I said to them "CA 125 is up more but I'm trusting God and thankful for feeling so good.  My eyes will remain on Jesus!!!  His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness!!!!" Jordan responded back with this verse; Romans 4:20-21 "No distrust made him (them) waver concerning the promise of God, but he (they) grew strong in their faith as he (they) gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised."  She added; "May this be said of our family."  Tony soon after sent me a link to a Youtube video so I opened it up and figured he had sent a Christian song or something inspirational.  (Tony is great about finding a song for any word you could imagine) What's funny is that I put my cell phone on speaker so I could hear the song and there was an advertisement about Monster's Inc going to Disney World & Land and they would be open all night starting Memorial Day weekend.  I was so confused why he would send me that link until I realized that it was a commercial ad that I could skip.  I hit the skip button and below is the link he had sent me;


It is Dean Martin singing "Houston".  This was Tony's way of telling me, we are going to get a second opinion whether it be in Houston or elsewhere.  Our family has a peace that God will lead us in the right direction.  We are looking into MD Anderson in Houston and Cancer Treatment Center in Tulsa.  I would welcome any input from those that have been to either place.  I am going to talk to my doctors next week about a referral and see what direction they would recommend.  We keep saying "one more month" before we go elsewhere, and now it has been at least four months since we originally said those words. 

It is a blessing not to be in a panic mode or to have any fear in my situation.  I know no matter what happens in my life, I win in the end, knowing where I will spend eternity.  I don't have to hope I get into Heaven but I have a calm assurance that I placed my life and faith in Jesus and I have the faith that He died for me, forgave my sins and I am a follower after Him.  Philippians 4:4-9 "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."

Only God and God alone can give me the peace and calm I have in my life.  I will continue to keep my eyes on Him and I am looking forward to the direction He will lead our family in this next chapter of our lives.

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

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I have felt so blessed this past week and weekend.  I have never appreciated food and drinking fluids so much.  My appetite has been great and I can swallow so much easier.  I was feeling so good over the weekend that I started a couple of painting furniture projects and finished them.  After my home-makeover,  I was excited to re-do a few of my pieces.  I now have a new appreciation for those that do this for a living.  I don't think they sell their furniture for a high enough value for the time and effort it takes to transform the pieces.  My DIL, Jenna, thought it was therapeutic when she got to the staining portion.  I have to admit, I never found the therapeutic portion in my projects.  I was so happy and thankful for the transformation, but I enjoy it better when someone else does it for me, aka, Maegan.

Below are my before and after pictures:







I forgot to take a picture of the before of this piece, but it's my favorite   

I had chemo today and I was thankful that when I stepped on the scales, I had gained a few pounds.  I was blessed to have my friend Theresa with me today and also Jonathan and Amanda Waters joined us for their lunch hour.  Jonathan's mom passed away almost two weeks ago and I know it had to be hard to be back in the place he had spent so much time with his mom.  She was diagnosed with cancer in September of 2012 and she fought hard with so much horrific pain.  We are thankful she isn't hurting anymore but I know the family and friends have a huge hole in their hearts. 

Amanda, Me &Jonathan (thank you for being a blessing to me today)

Me & Theresa (my chemo prayer partner and friend)
Highlands seemed to have so many patients today, more than we normally see.  We saw several that seemed to be in a lot of pain and not doing well.  I met one lady today that was diagnosed in 2008 with Ovarian Cancer and is still on the journey of fighting this disease.  I met another lady today that was diagnosed in September 2012 with Uterine cancer and she is praying today was her last treatment.  I also was able to see Robyn Cole's mom today and she should be at the end of her treatments soon.  I am thankful to know I am on God's journey and no matter if it's a few months or whatever time He allows, He is in control of it all and not me. Psalms 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation."  He is my hope and salvation and I will trust Him!!

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