1. I am thankful for the Lord! His Peace and Joy, that today, is definately my strength! Early this morning My daily reading began in Romans 5. The Lord knows just what we need every day and I am thankful for His word that is a lamp unto my feet.
2. I am thankful that even when I didn't know quitting work last May was going to be such a blessing and provide me opportunities like this to be here for most of my summer with my Dad. God already knew :)
3. I am thankful to have the opportunity to see my Dad in a whole new light. To see his strength and perseverance in the battle of his life! Wow.
4. For the prayer covering that my husband gives me daily. Knowing that I am covered provides strength, peace and an assurance that I cherish more than I could ever describe!
5. I am an animal lover and being here has allowed me a new type of love. A horses love. Oh my, When I was preparing to leave the first time to drive my kids back home I went out to tell the horses good-bye. Bailey, a rescue horse is huge! He is only 4 1/2 yrs old but is the sweetest horse I have ever known. He wrapped his head literally around my neck and gave me a hug in a horse way. It was so powerful and touched me deep! I have been praying for Bailey because he has some serious issues with his feet and might not make it. But everytime I spend time with him in the barn I learn how loving these animals are. I am so thankful to have experienced Gods creature and the love that he gives.
Ok I am not one that watches the Bachelorette ......BUT......Through you all I have learned about Jillian and her chosen one, ED. Anyway, Jillian was sporting this awesome necklace and we have an opportunity to win one!!!
Isn't it awesome! If you would like to enter the giveaway the rules are posted here but hurry the giveaway ends tomorrow night at midnight!! Hope somebody we know wins!!! I chose the Red "L"
I am thinking... how grateful I am my Dad is being treated at Mayo and how blessed we are to share these days together. How much I cherish my husband who seeks the Lord for our family and leads us just as the Lord so desires him to.
I am thankful for... my friend Lynne, who months ago (prior to my dads diagnosis) gave me a book by Dennis Rainey. "The greatest gift you can give your parents" It is giving a tribute to your parents in writing. I had started this for my dad prior to all of this and then the Lord had me back off because I began writing in fear of losing him, but last night I was prompted to get back to it and I finished it. I am now praying as to when I give this to my dad. I can't wait!
From the kitchen... lots of fish and veggies. Dad taught me how to make fish tacos.....oh my they are YUMMY!!
I am wearing... my pajama bottoms and shirt watching a movie with Dad. He is working from home today. He has been extremely fatigued lately.
I am reading... When Jesus speaks to your Sorrow by Nancy Guthrie, Take 2 by Karen Kingsbury, The Principle of the Path, and Leotta's Garden by Francine Rivers
I am hoping... my daughter gets her summer reading completed before school starts!! ;)
I am praying... for Alleluiahbelle (Happy Birthday today) and her husband Ron, Ellen, Mary, some friends back home and my husband and Dad. His fatigue is high and his cough has returned and is strong again due to reducing the steroids further this week.
Around the house... things are quiet. Dad is resting alot so we are watching alot of movies together. He has his own Blockbuster video storeright here at his house....seriously :)
One of my favorite things... SKYPING my family every night, seeing their sweet faces before I go to sleep is such a gift!!!
A few plans for the rest of the week... Dad lives right down the street from an outlet mall so I am going to go get some shorts for my husband and mail them to him. Dad has chemo on thurs along with radiation every day this week
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you..
These are flowers my Dad gave me this past Sunday :) aren't they gorgeous! He picked them out and put them together...just for me
love and blessings to you all!
p.s. Some have asked about the blog interview. Kat posted it last sunday. To read it go here
The Lord gives us creative ideas, nudges us with kind words or scripture for others in need and drops things we might do in order to help others in certain ways! Well, this is just what HE has done for my dear friend Kat over at HEART2HEART. She heard the Lord speaking to her about sharing new blogs with her readers and also uniting us with even more "believing" bloggers! How awesome is that! God is sooo GOOD! When I was reading this idea I told KAT how awesome I thought it was and couldn't wait to meet the new blogs that she would be introducing. Little did I know she would email me and ask if I could be her first interview! I was and am very humbled but I also knew the Lord was allowing this opportunity for His purposes! Thankyou Kat for hearing the call and being obedient.....
A few days prior Kat also gave me an award!
The only rules are to pass it on to others, and let them know on their blogs :)
I skipped last week, not on purpose, but just failed to post Dad's note. This week, I wanted to share this and thank each of you for your continued prayers, love and support. Walking this out with the Lord has taught be so much. I have had to dig deep and praise the Lord, the deeper I dig, the deeper the Lord takes me. I also couldn't have done this without all of you~ your daily encouragement, the assurance that I have in knowing you truly are praying because I get to see the manifestationbefore my eyes, is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given ! This week I have experienced God in some powerful ways and truly want to express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart and from my Dads as well. There is no way to deny the Lord in any of this. Here is Dad's note from Facebook for this week.
Doug Woods: Why I Am Grateful I Have This Disease
Doug's Notes|Notes about Doug|Doug's Profile Why I Am Grateful I Have This DiseaseShare Yesterday at 10:30pm This week‘s medical treatments were very similar to last week’s. I finished 5 more radiation treatments (bringing the total to 8 of the planned 28) and another chemotherapy treatment (for a total of 2 of the planned 4). So far, I feel good and haven’t suffered any significant side-effects. I am still very grateful that everything has gone as well as it is.
It may be sometime before I know what effect the treatments are having on the tumor. I can’t really tell if there is any improvement or not. I am very hopeful, but, at this point, there aren’t any tell-tale signs - one way or the other. I met with my radiologist this week and she was pleased with my health but she doesn’t have any other information about the impact the treatments are having on my tumor. It is a wait-and-see situation.
Before I point out a few of the positive things that cancer has brought to me, I want to share a little story. When I first started attending AA meetings there was one man who caught my attention. His name was John S. He always wore tennis shoes, slacks, a plaid shirt, and a red baseball cap. Like me, he was bald and said he wore the baseball cap because people accused him of streaking if he took it off.
John was sober 34 years at the time I met him (1977). The thing I liked most about him was that he was the happiest person I have ever met in my life. It was his contagious happiness and smiles that caught my attention. He had what I wanted. Over the next two years he taught me more about dealing with life than anyone I’ve ever known.
John always introduced himself by saying he was grateful he was an alcoholic. After hearing him introduce himself this way, I pulled him aside one night and asked why he said he was grateful he was alcoholic. I told him I wasn’t a bit grateful to have the disease and that I didn’t think I would ever be grateful to be an alcoholic. John just smiled and told me that I would be grateful someday but it was going to take some work. He explained that his life was the best it had ever been and he gave the credit to the fact that he was a sober alcoholic. He suggested that I begin introducing myself in the same way and that I would find within a few weeks or a few months that I was becoming grateful to be an alcoholic. Another way I’ve heard this described is: “It’s the action you’re taking against your thinking that will make you different”.
At my next meeting, I introduced myself by saying that I was grateful that I was an alcoholic. I almost choked when I said it, but I continued to introduce myself that way and over a period of a few months I found that I was becoming aware of how grateful I was.
This may sound very weird, but there are times that I feel grateful to have this disease. Dealing with this disease is teaching me many things I would not have dealt with. It has improved relationships that might not have been amended and there is more.
One thing contracting lung cancer has shown me is how powerless I am. Being powerless is a hard pill to swallow, but I have done it before. The first time I had to admit powerlessness was when I tried to stop drinking. I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed spiritual help and I needed the help of others like me. I needed the help of my family and friends, and the help of many others. When I finally admitted that I couldn’t do it on my own, I was able to begin to deal with the problem. Cancer is even more compelling, because for some cancers (like lung cancer) there isn’t a cure – but there is always hope.
I’ve mentioned several times in the past few weeks that this cancer has taught me how to deal with my fears. I live “one day at a time” and I believe the outcome is in God’s hands. I’m doing everything I can – maintaining a positive attitude, eliminating sugar, eating a healthy diet, resting when I need to, etc. I believe all of these things are helping.
There are several other things that I find are beneficial from having this disease. For instance, as a result of contracting this disease, I have a new appreciation for what I have in my life. The relationships with my wife, my daughter, my son, and numerous friends are closer now than they have ever been. My children and I talk daily and our focus is on important things.
Another benefit of this cancer is that I don’t hang on grudges or resentments – they aren’t worth the time or the pain. My experience with grudges and resentments is that they eat away at me. The person for whom I hold the grudge or resentment goes unscathed. I’m the one who suffers. Letting go of grudges and resentments and things that bother me makes my way to recovery free of several obstacles.
In this same vain; little everyday annoyances bother me less, in part because I feel more justified in releasing myself from negative people. Since the future of my disease is unknown and unpredictable, my time is too precious to waste. I want to focus on living in and savoring the present moment and getting as much out of life as possible.
In many ways I have become stronger, more confident, more aware of my personal resources and less socially inhibited. In several instances, I found my voice and I was more likely to stand up for myself. I have emerged out of the awareness of how alone I am in living with this life-threatening illness and how I must be my own advocate in the arena of the medical world. I have learned to ask for help when I need it and I have seen how people have rallied around and supported me in my time of need. I feel more loved than ever before.
This cancer is not something I wanted, but now that I have it I can see that it has driven me to make some needed changes. In this respect, I am grateful I have it. Doug
Taking Spiritual Authority today was such an amazing thing to experience! I told you earlier about all of the things that lay heavy on my heart but also explained how I was speaking the Word over the situations all day. I would like to share what happened yesterday with my dad.
We had just finished his radiation treatment and were driving home together. We opted to stop at the local Publix and grab a frozen pizza for dinner since my stepmom was going to attend an AA meeting and it would just be the two of us. As we are walking into the store I was just reveling at how I love these particular evenings....just me and dad, no big meal.....just a a frozen pizza and being together. Well as we stepped up onto the sidewalk almost to enter the store,he sways away from me and says "Loren, Woah I am feeling lightheaded" grabs the pole and the next thing I know he is face down on the cement. His face is actually in a sticky bush and he made a horrible groaning noise as he went down. I was in complete shock and fear. I was trying to help him up and especially get his face out of the sticky bush but was unable to lift his body. It was just dead weight. My dad was unable to help himself up, he had no control over his muscles whatsoever but was at least conscious. It took a bit for us to get him to where he could sit up and then a bit longer before he could stand up. When he did he kept saying his arm had gone numb. He was completely pale in color and at this point insisted we continue to do our shopping!!!! I was so upset at what had happened but couldn't believe he wanted to go in the store and shop! I stuck to him like glue and prayed all the way through the store. When we walked out he handed me the keys and asked me to drive. I asked him what he thought had happend. He said he didn't know but that his right arm had gone numb. I said, "Dad that wasn't just your arm it was your whole body." He knew I was right, and I said we have to call the emergency # when we get home.
Years back I had a friend who had cancer and towards the end of some of her chemo/radiation treatments she started falling and it wasn't long after that that we lost her. This was my first thought when Dad fell.....this was the first attack of fear.
The second attack of fear was when we found out that my dad had 3 spots on his brain & that the cancer had spread my Dad had shared with me that we had an uncle in the family who was diagnosed with lung cancer and then it spread to the brain and within 2 months he was gone. These 2 things went over and over in my mind. I also continued to have the picture of my dad falling and that horrible moaning play over and over in my mind and I would just break down in tears and then pray and surrender this to the Lord.
Upon returning home, we called the doctor and dad explained what had happened.....she said it is dehydration and that he has to start drinking water .....LOTS OF IT! my dad used to drink starbucks obsessively when he received his diagnosis he stopped immmediately, Now he drinks tea, unsweetened but still it is dehydrating him. So he accepted this and began drinking water immediately. Later in the evening I asked if he would please make an appt with his radiology doctor to tell her about this episode which upset him but he did it and today we saw her and she agreed. Dehydration. I am praying this is true. I am praying there is nothing else going on in his brain and truly it was nothing more than just a lack of water.
He is back to himself, praise you LORD!
While in the dr appt. today at mayo my daughter was having her 4 wisdom teeth pulled, She had called on the way there and I was able to pray over her on the phone and I could hear in her voice how badly she wished I was there. My son called me when the procedure was over and was so upset and seeing his sister like that and bless his heart he was being so strong, I don't understand why they allowed her to come out still bleeding. My husband sent me a pic of her and it is pitiful. When they got home my son asked me to Skype them and as soon as my daughter saw my face on the computer she started crying and so did I. When we get to heaven we will not have pain, nor sorrow, no tears! I wished at that moment the Lord could put me in my house so that I could wrap my arms around my precious daughter but I know the Lord has her in HIS. My husband and son are loving and caring for her and she had some friends show up and bring her a malt and brighten her night.
I know the Lord does not give us more than we can handle and this too I prayed and thanked HIM for today. All 3 patients are home doing well. Mom is recovering nicely, my dad is soo much better today and my daughter is doing better by the hour. God is Faithful. He was with all of us! He provided peace, strength, Power and provision! I praise HIM tonight for He is worthy to be praised!
I am going to ask you all something. Jesus is the LIVING WATER. No one comes to the Father except through HIM. My dad knows God but he doesn't know Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. Please in praying for him pray for salvation. This is the most important thing my dad needs Thankyou!
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Today I am leaning on WORD!!!
We had a situation happen with my dad yesterday that has caused me great concern and I am speaking this Word over me again and again! I like the Message version, it says at the beginning....DO NOT PANIC!
We found out yesterday as well that my daughter has to have 4 wisdom teeth cut out today at 2:30! She kept my husband up most of the first night I was gone, in pain, and I called the dentist and he took xrays and found out that yep it was her wisdom teeth. The oral surgeon happened to have a cancellation (I say it was the Lord!!) So she was able to get in which was a good thing because her teeth are growing sideways and pushing on the other two and are impacted and would have had to wait until September to get them removed soooooo THANKYOU JESUS!! My husband will be wonderful with her, he is a wonderful nurse!!!
My mom also had surgery on her finger this morning but I talked to her and she is doing great.
Last night I just had to surrender all of these to the Lord, the Great Physician, their Father who loves them more than I and to lay them at the feet of JESUS and ask the Holy Spirit to minister to each of them in the way only He can.
This blog world has just absolutely amazed me. I have met some of the most amazing and precious people! Today I was blessed by Edie at richgifts! She made my dad a prayer button. We were sitting at the Mayo Clinic waiting to go into Dads treatment and I pulled up my friend Andreas blog and saw my dads prayer button along with two other men who are also needing prayer right now....Jim and Ron. Well, it brought me to tears and it touched my dad soooo deeply! I was like Dad....this isn't even my blog! He was SO moved!
My friend Andrea was so sweet to ask Edie to make this button for my dad and If I am not mistaken she also asked for Edie to make the other two! She has such a beautiful heart and always an encouraging word for those she visits so thankyou Andrea for your friendship and for being a part of this gift!
Edie has an amazing gift and uses those gifts to glorify the Lord and help those whom she doesn't even know. I am one of those people! I have been so humbled at the things in which the Lord has done. I shared with Edie how along this process the Lord has just shown His Faithfulness and whispered along the way "I am with you ALWAYS" and this button was just another one of those examples! Thankyou Edie for being an instrument of HIS love, of HIS faithfulness and for making such a beautiful button and to all who read it and pray.....THANKYOU!
There is a button on my side page if anyone would like to add it to their own blog as well. Thankyou so very much!
Wow! How can a week go by so quickly??? It seems like just yesterday I was getting in the car heading home with my kids! The week flew by and I cherished each day as a family, was able to spend some time with my step-daughter and grandaughter :) She is crawling everywhere, saying dada and mama too now and has the cutest silliest little grin you have ever seen....well I know I am biased but hey! :) My mom came over and spent the night because my husband had to go out of town so thought it would be a perfect way to spend some extra time with my mom. I was able to do her hair and we didn't go anywhere just enjoyed the day with one another and the kids! Saturday my honey took me on a date early and then we had some friends come over and had a GOOD PRAYER TIME and caught up with one another! On Sunday we had all of the family over, except my brother because he went to St Louis to enjoy a baseball game. We cooked out and it was a beautiful day and the Lord blessed our time so very much.
I returned to Florida today and was so happy to see my dad. He looks so darn cute with his hair gone and honestly looked so much better than I had expected. Each time I had talked to him last week he sounded awful and I was really scared. So seeing him as I got off the plane tonight was such a relief! I have to say the enemy was at work today ATTEMPTING to attack me with fear and anxiety to an extreme. I don't travel well alone anyway, but let's just say when I went to order a hamburger before I got on my connecting flight in Dallas and came out only to find they had moved my gate and I had 10 min. to get there and dropped my lunch and made a huge mess of ketchup, mustard, pickles etc all over I wanted to cry! Well, the enemy didn't win, never does and seriously the Lord just washed over me, then and there, I just laughed it off, picked it up, and moved on. Got to my connecting gate just in time to board and as I was walking to my seat I felt the Lord with me in a way that was so powerful. I can't even describe ~ it was just that Peace that passes ALL understanding and HE was with me. That is how He has been through this whole ordeal and I am humbled to the core!
I have to share this.....as we were driving to the airport my son says to me "MOM, when you skype (where you can talk to each other via the computer, seeing each other too) me one night I am going to turn the computer to the tv and put my arm around the computer (which will have my picture in it) and we will watch a movie together ok ??? Is that not precious??? He is soooo sweet! I am blessed beyond measure!
Well Kim over at Homesteaders Heart has asked us to share our most embarassing moment with you today! I have so many that it has taken me a bit to narrow it down :)
When I was newly married my kids had asked me to make some cupcakes. So I went to the grocery store and went to the aisle that I would find the ingredients. After searching and searching I got on my cell phone and called my mom and said "MOM, where do I find the cupcake mix????"
Have I EVER lived this one down??? NOPE! but guess what??? They now make cupcake mix :)
My other most embarassing moment was when we were attending a play at one of the nice theatres where, you know, everyone dresses up and all. So the play was over and we were exiting the building and I happen to notice a TV ANCHOR and told my kids "Look who is here!!!" As I was telling them and not trying to be loud or obvious, I turned around and POW! I ran smack into a pole with my FACE, FOREHEAD, NOSE! oh my! I never knew if the anchor saw me but everyone else in the auditorium did and my sweet family couldn't stop laughing!! They were sooo concerned ....NOT!!
Today has been a day! Being home for such a short period I had many appointments to make and wanted to get the majority of them done in 1 day so that I wouldn't be away from the kids soooo....I was able to make most of them for today and left early this morning with my phone and my new kindle2.
As I mentioned a few days ago my sweet husband purchased this as a surprise for me when we returned from Florida. I tend to read quite a few books at one time and carry all of them in my purse! I am never sure what I will want to read... it depends on my mood. Right before I left for Florida I found out I have a tear in my rotator cuff and need to have surgery. So since that isn't possible right now my husband wanted to help lessen the load in my purse (he is soo very thoughtful, plus I have wanted one for quite a while too!)
Well, the kindle2 will do so many things ~ read to you, bookmark your pages, highlight passages for you, PLUS download a new book in 60 seconds for less than what I would pay at any Walmart, Sams or Barnes and Noble! Oh ya! Listen to this! IF you have an IPHONE, you can also download the KINDLE app and if you are reading a book you can click on that app and begin reading where you left off on your kindle!! Needless to say I REALLY like it! I have been impressed with their customer service to. The first night I had it, I downloaded a book by accident and didn't even realize it until I saw it on my online banking so I called and asked if it was possible to get a refund. Guess what? For any book I purchase I am allowed 7 days and if I decide to return it, no problem, just call and ask and they will gladly refund and remove it from your Kindle library! NICE HUH!
My husband researched all of the e-readers and after all that he read, it was confirmed that overall the Kindle2 was the best option and then Amazon had come down 100$ since they had released a new Corporate version.
It has been awesome so far and I know that when I have more time and am back in Florida I will be more acquainted with it but anyone looking into it, I am highly recommending it! I also have to thank my friends Clif and Sally who are independent book reviewers and recommend books often on their blogs! I am very interested in being a book reviewer but now I guess I must find out if doing that on a Kindle2 is an option :)
Outside my window... The sun is shining, my flowers are so beautiful! My husband did such a great job keeping them alive while I was away :) Thanks honey!
I am thinking... how sooo many people have really tough battles going on right now and how God is helping each and everyone of them! Thankyou Lord!
I am thankful for... sooo very much! The Lord, his rest, comfort and refreshing! My family and friends ~ here at home and my bloggy ones :)
From the kitchen... not cooking alot this week but tonight we are headed to my stepdaugthers house for dinner!!! thanks Krista!!
I am wearing... my pajama bottoms and top taking it easy still today....love summer :)
I am reading...My husband surprised me with a Kindle2 so I have downloaded some new books to begin reading when I fly back to Florida.....Thankyou Honey!!!
I am hoping... to see my friends while I am home! to get everything done while I am here and that all goes well with my dad as he begins treatment tomorrow
I am praying... for Alleluiabelle and Ron, Mary, my DAD, my son who is struggling with me going back to Florida, some friends here who have had some serious physical situations ~ One lost his left eye in a firework incident and the other found out she has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She is in her 40's and has two sons! Matt and Steph who are camping with their friends but their truck broke down, but they are seeing the best in the situation and asking the Lord to show them what HE wants them to see
Around the house... lots of family time this week....I LOVE IT! I am so very blessed
One of my favorite things...experience the Lords love at a whole new level! Last night we were talking and sharing with my daughter and her friend Tyler. At the end of the discussion we were praying over and for them and as I was praying I was thanking the Lord for being with us especially "in the Fire" and I just felt HIM wash over me and the Holy Spirit was ministering so strongly! Thankyou Father!
A few plans for the rest of the week... I am getting my hair done (cut and color) wahoooo! and a massage! my mom is coming to spend the night :) and will be doing her hair on Friday! Just being together as a family....is so very precious
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.
Dad's hair started falling out just after I left. I had cut it before and we were surprised that it hadn't since they told us it would. But he said that if it did he would just shave it off and so.....he did. He also lost a bit of his sideburns so he opted for the goatee (sp?) I think he looks so cute and can't wait to kiss his little bald head!
Fridays my dad spends time reflecting on the week and puts these notes on Facebook for his friends and co-workers to read. I have just been copying and pasting to share with you, our prayer warriors! Since I have returned home, my stepmom told me His hair has fallen out and parts of his beard and sideburns too. WOW~ that happened fast!
Thankyou all for your encouragement and prayers, having each of you on this journey is such a gift! What an awesome army of believers you all are!
Now, here's Dad
Each Precious Day Share Fri at 4:41pm It’s been a very active week regarding my health.
I finished the radiation treatments on my brain yesterday. That is a welcome relief! They won’t run another MRI to confirm that they killed the spots for several weeks or possibly a couple of months; however, they were very confident that they eliminated them. As I explained earlier, they growths were really small so I am confident they are gone.
Also, I met with my oncologist and radiation physician and we discussed next steps for dealing with the growth in my chest. They presented three options: (1) radiation only and then chemotherapy only, (2) chemotherapy only and then radiation only, or (3) the combination of the two at the same time. My oncologist and I discussed all three and, at first, she said she was reluctant to do both at the same time because of the negative side effects. I explained to her that I wanted to be as aggressive as possible in treating the main growth and, if I can tolerate the combination, I would like to move forward with option 3. I believe that the sooner I start chemotherapy, the greater my chance of stopping or slowing the spread and by radiating the growth they may shrink it and make it possible for me to get off the steroids. My oncologist didn’t take much time to think about it and said that because of my good health she would approve option 3.
Yesterday, I went into the Mayo Clinic and completed the preliminaries to begin the radiation treatments. The radiation treatments on my chest will begin next Wednesday and run for about 5 weeks and I will start my chemotherapy treatments next Thursday. I have an appointment with my oncologist on Tuesday to go over the chemotherapy procedure and the treatment expectations.
Cancer is an insidious disease. It doesn’t discriminate against anyone – young or old. It attacks all races. It leaves children without parents and it takes children from their families long before they should go. It cripples, maims, and forces surgeries that should never happen. It is rampant throughout the world and the progress in finding a cure is very slow. I continue to see some promising research take place, but many of the trials are far from completion and even if they succeed, there is the business of taking the trials and making them into productive treatments
Many know that Lance Armstrong is a cancer survivor and formed LiveStrong, the Lance Armstrong Cancer Foundation. I came across one of his commercials the other day and I think it captures the feelings that most people have about this disease. I thought you might like to see it
This week has presented some new challenges for me emotionally.
Let me preface this by saying I haven’t given up – not be any stretch of the imagination. I still have a very positive attitude and I continue to make changes each day to fight this thing. The debilitating effects that this cancer may have on me are not imminent. I feel pretty good most days. I live one day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time.
Equally positive, I am about to begin the treatments that I’ve wanted for two months. Wednesday will be the first time the doctors have treated the main growth and they are going after it with two forces – radiation and chemotherapy. Add in all of the prayers that are taking place and I am very hopeful that they will succeed in producing some really positive results.
That said, every now and then, I get a little deeper understanding of the overall gravity of my situation and the thought slips in about how ominous this disease is. Most of the emotional weight comes from my own vulnerability. Up until two months ago, I rarely thought of being sick or of death and getting lung cancer was nowhere on my radar. Part of the reason I quit smoking so long ago and took such good care of myself was so that I wouldn’t have to deal with something like this. The best laid plans of mice and men…
I thought I’d die of old age or get run over by a truck or something. I always idolized my grandparents and they lived well into their eighties and my mother is still living and will be 88 this September. That’s what I foresaw in my future – an active old man with a lot of energy and a lust for life.
Now it isn’t as certain – and in actuality it never was. We all have but one day and it is today! Getting this disease has made me more aware of how precious each day is and I am very grateful to be a part of each and every one. I know that as I go through this I will cherish each day to the fullest! It’s too bad that it took something like this to make me more keenly aware of that fact, but it did.
Well, my dad finished his radiation treatments on his brain this past Thursday and won't begin the new treatments for the tumor in his Chest until next week. As I was listening to the Doctor saying he would have this short break until the next treatments begin and then later that day I got to go to work with my dad and he was sharing with his secretary that he planned to work quite a bit next week until his treatments began I felt like this might be the right time to return home for a few days. It would allow me to help out my Dad and stepmom not have to fly both of my kids home and also to get my car back home. I told my husband this was the situation and he said that maybe I should come home and I shared that was what I was thinking but asked him to pray and then we would get together later and see what the Lord spoke to each of us. I didn't want to do anything out of the Lords will and I especially didn't want my emotions leading me at this time. I prayed throughout the day and felt that the Lord was saying to go home but I am big on hearing confirmation! I told my Stepmom was we were considering and she said "I think this makes to the most sense right now" 1st confirmation. Later my brother called and we were able to resolve our issues and he said "I really think you should come home and take a break before dad starts chemo"~ out of the blue hmmmm. confirmation #2? When I spoke with my husband, he said the same thing and I truly felt peace about my returning. confirmation #3.(my husband and I have learned that when there is a decision to be made we each seek the Lord individually, and listen to HIS answer and come back together, if we both have the same answer then we trust the Lord has given us this unity and we proceed) (I know the Lord can and does use us to help or speak in situations like these but my ultimate confirmation comes from HIM)When I spoke with my dad about it, I could tell he was having a hard time with me leaving but he also shared that he knew I couldn't stay forever and would be very happy for me to return. This was the hardest for me to handle and almost where I allowed my emotions to lead me. God tells us to seek HIM, to pray always and to not lean on our own understanding. While it is very hard for me to leave and be away from my dad for this week, it is also wonderful to hold my grandaughter(she is crawling now too!), see my stepdaughter, spend time with my mom and stepdad and catch up with some friends, and of course be with my Husband. His love, support, prayer covering and overall willingness to be there for me no matter what has drawn us together more than I ever imagined possible. I am so blessed to be his wife!
I would encourage anyone going through a tough season in their life or maybe just needing an answer for something, to seek the LORD, ask for HIS manifest Presence! He longs to be with us, to fill us, to encourage, to speak, to comfort and to pour out wisdom, love, joy unspeakable and yes when we are in the middle of a storm, HE longs to show us HIS mighty Power, Strength and Sovereignty. We must be still, we must seek, we must listen and be willing to HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING! Open our ears Lord, and our eyes too!
You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you.
I love to study the Word and at times I go to commentaries to see what they might have to say. Mathew Henry is one of my favorites and this is what he said for Isaiah 26 verses 1-4. These words speak so deeply to me at this season in my life and I pray they will speak to you as well! The Lord longs for us to walk in peace. Jesus said that He came to give us Peace. May each of you allow Gods peace to wash over you today!
Mathew Henry Commentary Isaiah 26 Verses 1-4 "That day," seems to mean when the New Testament Babylon shall be levelled with the ground. The unchangeable promise and covenant of the Lord are the walls of the church of God. The gates of this city shall be open. Let sinners then be encouraged to join to the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in peace; in perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in him, but shall receive from him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him in all our ways, and rely on him in all trials
Please visit other posts and be encouraged here Charlotte and Ginger are the loving vessels for this wonderful blog! Thankyou Ladies!
Outside my window... dark, cloudy and rain rain rain
I am thinking... How much the Lord has spoken to me today....refreshing me and saying "I am with you, I love you and I love your Dad. I will be with all of you, trust ME and walk with ME."
I am thankful for... the Lord and His love, my family and my friends here on this blog and back home who give me so much love and support and prayer warriors....OH MY!
From the kitchen... Dad says "We have never eaten so good" They are very appreciative of my cooking and I can even see Gods hand in me "planning meals" 6 months ago and how that has been such a gift while being here
I am wearing... jean shorts, black tank top
I am reading... the Word
I am hoping... that my brother and I can work through some very difficult issues that have come up
I am praying... Gods will be done and that I trust HIM everyday knowing He is in control
Around the house... taking care of horses is a new thing for me but I am truly enjoying it, I am loving mowing and so proud of my kids who continue to be so willing to do whatever is needed and are thankful to be here with their PAPA
One of my favorite things... seeing the transformation literally before my eyes of my Dads relationship with the LORD. It is more than I could have ever imagined! I am humbled and blessed to see this wonderful relationship form and grow!
A few plans for the rest of the week... Mayo tomorrow and dad will make the final decision as to whether he is going to do both chemo and radiation. I told him I would pray for complete clarity in his decision. Thursday is his last brain radiation and then we will see what happens from there and when the new treatment begins. Will Dad be able to visit his mom.....stay tuned.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
This is Dad and I on the 4th of July. I had a mouth full of apple cobbler and my sweet daughter wasn't patient enough to let me SWALLOW :) before snapping this photo. OH WELL...it was a wonderful evening for us as a family!
Today has proven to be a tough day all the way around.
We met with Oncologist and she was going over Dads treatment options and continued making the statment...."we want to do what will give you the most time" with the options being chemo only, radiation only or doing them together with this option being the hardest on my dad. After agreeing to the most aggressive of the 3, my step-mom asked how much time she thought we were talking about. This question hasn't been asked up to this point and it has been hard to hear and harder to deal with in my heart.
She said most likely 1 to 2 years but probably no more than 3 to 4.
The first thing my Dad says to me in the car afterward was that the time statistics mean nothing to him and that he will be in the 10% that make it longer. My dad has amazed me and his positive, fighting spirit will prove to be something I admire no matter what! He knows this will be difficult, He knows there is no known cure but hopes that will soon change, He knows that each day is a gift. He is fighting and researching, hoping and trusting too.
I am struggling, hurting, but I know the Lord is the ONE in control, He is bigger than any statistic and HE is the Great Physician. He loves and cares for my Dad more than anyone..... I trust in HIM, in HIS WILL, and know HE will carry me, my dad and all of us during the days ahead no matter the outcome. I am so thankful to have this time here with my dad and for now....this is where I will remain.
This is yet another note from my Dad. Thank you all for reading this, for your prayers and again your words of encouragement! I have seen so many changes in my Dad over this past few weeks. His relationship with the LOrd is one in particular. We had a family meeting tonight while my Dad took my brother to the airport. We discussed w/our kids how the Lord is moving in so many lives but most importantly in the heart of my Father. My husband leaves tomorrow evening and it will be so hard to let him go but I know how very blessed I am to have his love and support while I remain here in Florida. Many of my friends back home have asked "when will I return, or do I have a plan?" I am taking this one day at a time. We have an appt. with the radiologist and the oncologist tomorrow and we hope to receive some answers to our questions. One of Dads desires is to go to Missouri and see his Mom, my Nana before he begins chemo. To do this would only be possible IF he is able to have an MRI This Friday AND to receive the results stating that the Brain spots are gone and no more radiation is necessary on his brain. The Lord knows Dads heart to see his mom and we are trusting in His Will ....day by day. I will let you know what we find out tomorrow, in the meantime, here is the note from my Dad.
My dad's blog - Stay away from the Internet Share Yesterday at 11:30am
I do not have much new news on the health front this week. Yesterday, I completed the sixth radiation treatment on my brain – four more to go! During the first few days, the only side-effects I experienced were some nausea and a few tender glands around my ears; but that all went away in a couple of days. Other than those annoying little side-effects, I felt pretty good.
Today has been a good day and the third good day in a row. I’ve felt better the past three days than I have in the past three weeks.
One of the reasons I believe I feel better is because my radiologist changed my meds and put me on a light steroid. The best thing about the steroid is it is also an anti-inflammatory and reduced my cough. That was a very welcome change. The down-side is the steroid hypes me up most of the time and I don’t have the energy to do anything with this need to get things done.
There’s a common theme among some of the people who have dealt with cancer – either personally, with a friend or with a relative. Several people that I talked to about having cancer said the same thing: “Stay away from the Internet”.
Unfortunately, I heard this message a little too late. I subscribe to the idea that “knowledge is power” and I started researching the Internet before I talked to the people who knew the risks and dangers of reading some of the information on the Internet.
For me, I started my knowledge quest when I received the biopsy report following my endoscopy. Although the results were incomplete, the laboratory noted that the specimen was “suspicious for non-small cell lung cancer”. Of course, I hadn’t ever heard of non-small cell lung cancer so I went straight to the Internet and Googled it.
I spent some time reading about this type of cancer. It was very alarming. Later, having heard peoples’ advice about the Internet; I knew immediately what they were talking about. The Internet can be a depressing and scary place to find out about cancer.
In my opinion, the Internet is a two-edged sword. It provides some harsh facts and also gives some hope and valuable information. In the case of the information about cancer, the Internet laid out some disturbing statistics; and, on the brighter side, presented some new treatments that are available.
Fortunately, I have a very positive attitude and I worked through the negative information to come to an conclusion that I am happy with.
Before I share some of the information I read, let me say that at first I was very alarmed with what I read. It is scary. I was afraid to share it with Barbie because I was afraid she would be very upset when she heard some of the statistics. I was also afraid to share it with others because I was afraid they would have negative reactions
Here are some of the statements I found on the Internet about the type of cancer I have (non-small cell lung cancer): • Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men (after prostate cancer) and women (after breast cancer). • Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) accounts for about 15% of all new cancers. During 2009, there will be about 219,440 new cases of lung cancer (116,090 among men and 103,350 among women). • Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. There will be an estimated 159,000 deaths from lung cancer (89,000 among men and 70,000 among women) in 2009, accounting for around 29% of all cancer deaths. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. • The overall 5-year relative survival rate for 1999-2006 from 17 Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) geographic areas was 15.6%. Five year survival rates by sex and race were: 13.7% for white men, 18.3% for white women, 10.8% for black men, and 14.5% for black women. • And a bit of good news: Despite the very serious prognosis (outlook) of lung cancer, some people are cured. More than 400,000 people alive today have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point in time.
When the doctors first discovered the cancer and after my PET scan, I was pretty sure I was at Stage III-A. The cancer was localized, pretty good sized (about the size of a golf ball) and was attached to my left bronchial tube and some lymph glands, but it hadn’t spread anywhere else. At that time, I felt my chances were really good. I felt that the doctors could reduce the cancer with radiation and chemotherapy and then remove my lung to get it all. I was more than willing to sacrifice a lung to live. There are a lot of people running, (OK – walking) around with one lung and having only one lung would slow me down but not stop me.
Last week I learned that my cancer had metastasized and there were three small growths in my brain. As a result of the change, my cancer stage changed from Stage III-A to Stage IV and the statistics are even more alarming. After working through this information and sharing it with Barbie, I realized that statistics are statistics and they do not pre-ordain a person to the positive side or negative side of the statistics.
For a number of reasons, I feel that I can work though this disease. First, for my age, I am in excellent physical health – except for the obvious. I don’t smoke or drink and I minimized my sugar intake again. I reduced the amount of fat I eat and I’m doing everything physically possible to beat this thing.
Equally important is my mental state. I am happy and I am not worried about this disease. I’m not angry that I have it. I have it and there is no reason to get upset about it. I am not depressed and 95% of the time I am not afraid. Sometimes I think I may not be in touch with reality, but then I cough and reality gets in my face again.
Finally, my spiritual life has never been stronger. I’m not begging God to let me live - I just want God’s Will to be done for my family, friends, and me. There is nothing better than to accept His Will because it is so Wonderful and Awesome. Having His Will manifest itself in my life is the best possible outcome for everyone – including me. I have a great deal of faith in this fact. It is in the acceptance of His Will that I find real peace and can deal with this disease.
So my recommendations to anyone who contracts a disease that is life-threatening: “Stay away from the Internet – until you can handle the negative information you may encounter”. Don’t play the Blame Game. Work on your mental state and work through the fear, depression, anger and other negative emotions that hound you. These emotions only make things worse. Recognize what a wonderful day each day is and what a blessing it is to be a part of it. And finally, get right with God. Let Him lead your life and accept His Will – whatever it is! It is in the acceptance of His Will that you will find peace.
Charlotte and Ginger host this blessed blog Spiritual Sundays and as we celebrate the 233rd birthday of our Nation this weekend may we all be in prayer for America. For our Leaders, for all those who serve and fight for our Freedom and their families, and for the hearts of those who may not know the One who longs to give them Eternal Freedom, Our Saviour....Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In Him is Freedom, Joy, and a Peace that passes all understanding. Even in the midst of pain, or storms that this world brings into our lives ~ Jesus will give you strength, He gives us His Word that truly is a lamp unto our feet, and He gives us the Holy Spirit to lead us and comfort us. He longs to set you free.....it is a Gift for each and everyone of us and it is the Will of Your Heavenly Father.
As we celebrate today please pray for our Men and Women who are or have fought for our freedom! And please take some time to reflect on the History of our Nation! WE ARE A CHRISTIAN NATION, always have been! No matter what anyone says and we do NEED God in AMERICA....again
This is a video that my kids Love! I hope everyone has a blessed and safe Holiday weekend! Please don't forget to pray for the many men and women fighting for our freedom and thankyou for your prayers for my Dad. He is feeling the best these past 3 days since I have been here! Everyone enjoy your family...cherish each and every moment!