Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 246 Have a Blessed Christmas

I'm in the process of packing for an early morning flight to Beaver Creek, CO.  Not sure how I'm going to handle the stress of the flight but I have my strong grandson to carry whatever I need him to.  Have surgical masks to keep out the flu bug, double sets of flannel underwear, plenty to read  and...... I'm off............

Wishing a Blessed Christmas to each and every one of you and I'll be back here for New Year.
Hugs and prayers,

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 245 Heal me Lord.....

and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved for You are the one I praise."
Jeremiah 17:14

I was given this verse by friend Lisa who is fighting multiple myeloma.  I've had a good and bad week.  The good was time spent with friends.  The bad was the rest of it was spent on the couch with an energy level of about minus five.   Nausea reappeared in the evenings and I got nothing accomplished. 

The week before Christmas is not the time to be down.  So much I wanted to do.  I've cried over doing nothing.  Is this still the chemo or something else?  I can't even allow those thoughts to enter my mind. 

"You restored me to health and let me live."
Isaiah 38:16

I have to focus back on my healing.  It's too easy to allow lethargy to take me nowhere, to allow my mind to wander to places that do my health no good.  I have to shore up my stamina.  Tuesday I'm flying to Beaver Creek, Colorado, with my precious little family.  I have extra thermal underwear to stay warm and surgical masks to wear during the flight to keep the flu germs away.  Probably most of my time will be spent in front of a fireplace and that's okay.  I think just the change of scenery will be good for me. 

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another beautiful, warm and humid Texas day in which to love, thrive and heal.  I thank You, Father, for Your healing mercies that are filling and surrounding me and every other cancer warrior out there.  I thank You for Your traveling mercies that will protect us during these days in which we join with family to honor the birth of Your precious Son.
Bless us, heal us, save us so that we may praise and honor You.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 242 Gifts from God

That joy juice is still doing it's job.  The neuropathy has spread from my toes to the balls of my feet.  Hard to tell if I'm wearing shoes or not wearing shoes.  The inside of my mouth, my lips and the tip of my tongue are numb.  Weird.  At least the nausea is only a little in the late afternoon.  No meds necessary.

I visited my colon surgeon yesterday for a six month checkup.  He's so proud of his handiwork and tiny scar he left that he hardly checks on how I'm feeling.  Just in case he has asked, I would have told him I'm getting better every day in every way.  And I am.  Little backslides but not big ones.  There is truly a light at the end of the tunnel.

But what I want to talk about today are friends.  Lunch with my friend Darlene on Monday and with my friend Tineke today.  Those lost pounds might get found quickly.  God blessed me with two wonderful friends that took care of me in the hospital and want nothing in return but to see me strong and healthy again.  Two more angels in my life. 

I feel blessed and so hopeful today.  I know on some level that everything is going to be okay.  I'm not sure what "okay"  means but spending time with my friends takes me back to pre-diagnosis days.  What a blessing that is.  I wish that feeling for all my friends fighting this enemy. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank you for this brisk and beautiful day and for the privilege of spending another day with loved friends and family.  They are truly gifts from You.
Special prayers today for Your healing mercies on my warrior friends fighting cancer.  Grant them total victory.  Let them open their hearts to the loving care of the friends You've gifted them with.  Let them receive the intercessory prayers of these friends and bask in the love that is being sent their way. 
Thank You Father for friends.  Thank You. 
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 240 Santa Came to my House

What an awesome day I had yesterday.  My long long long time best friend Darlene came to visit loaded down with birthday and Christmas presents.  Woo hoo.........  Then she took me to lunch which was a first in quite a while.  No naps yesterday but I did sleep until 8:30 this morning which is pretty late for me.

Inevitably our conversation yesterday went to the tragedy in Newtown.  We turned on the tv and got the latest updates.  What good can come of this?  At first it appears that no good at all can result in the deaths of these precious children and women.  But as Darlene and I talked we discussed how much God's name was being used and not in a profane way for a change.  People who probably had not said a prayer for years were moved to pray for these families.  Newspeople who only used the word God in their show to talk about taking prayer out of school or moving nativity scenes off courthouse lawns were suddenly speaking of God and their faith and their religion in an entirely different way. 

Last night before Monday Night Football (yes, I'm a football fanatic) one of the speakers addressed a tweet sent out by Tim Tebow.  For not the first time did they actually read the scripture on air but quoted the chapter, book and verse.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Psalm 147:3

The parents of these children are speaking out for no hatred, that it's okay to be angry but not to hate.
What an incredible lesson for us to see their strength, love and understanding break through the veil of horror that has befallen them. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for the precious lives of those lost in Newtown and for the lessons You have allowed us to learn from them.  Thank You for the strength of the families to come out and speak love and not hate.  What a great example of Your compassion they are as they honor the ones that were lost.
Father, I ask Your healing mercies for friend Frank who starts radiation treatments tomorrow to shrink the tumor he is fighting.  Touch him and shrink the tumor into nothingness, never to return.
I ask Your blessings on all the warriors fighting cancer today.  Bless them with the strength to overcome this dreaded enemy so completely that the word cancer becomes obsolete.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 239 The Cycle Ends

Only as I awoke this morning did it finally start to sink in that I'm done with chemo and that today is not part of the cycle of recovery and then preparation for the next round of infusion.  Finally this morning I am beginning to feel the freedom that I so longed for the last six months, a day without thinking about cancer or chemo. 

So, what's next?  I have two months that should be nausea free in which to get back to my flax seed smoothies, carrot/apple juicing and trying to focus on alkaline and antiangiogenesis foods.  That's my job.  Medicine has done what it can for me thus far.  I'll admit I suffered tremendously with it but that time is past.  I know that God is in control, but I still have responsibilities. 

Six months on the couch mean that I have to start working physically to regain my strength.  God gave me a strong and healthy body that was invaded by a ferocious enemy, but I need to do whatever I can to make sure that invasion is over.   Exercise is my next step.  I won't walk outside because of seasonal allergies but I will start a gentle workout at Body Designer.  That will move some of the muscles that haven't moved or stretched in a long time.

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on...."
Phillipians 3:13

So, my work is cut out for me for the next two months.  Then I start a round of testing just like the one last spring to make sure the enemy hasn't invaded another part of my body.   I won't feel cured and safe until I reach that point.

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another glorious day on your beautiful earth.  Thank You for loving me,, for healing me, for protecting me from the enemy.  You have given me authority over all the power of the enemy and I need to remember that daily as I prepare my body to be at it's best.  I ask that You give me the taste for the right foods to nourish my body and the energy to strengthen it. 
I know that whatever I ask in Your name will be granted.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 237 At A Loss For Words

I read this morning looking for words of comfort for the tragedy that took place in Newtown, Ct., yesterday.  There were no words.  I scoured through verses that had touched me before but it seemed I couldn't find them. 

Finally, I realized it wasn't words I needed but a feeling, the feeling of love and protection that I pray for others so often.  What I was really looking for was that feeling of being wrapped in God's love and peace and care and understanding.  Only He can understand what went on yesterday in that little school.  Only He can understand what drove a young man to commit such a horrible crime.  Only He was there to comfort the little bodies, taking their souls into the folds of His arms.

I can't imagine what the parents are going through today now that reality has sunk in.  Do you turn to God or do you turn in anger from God?  Time will tell.  My thoughts go back to the Amish school a few years ago when a man broke into the school, assaulted and killed several students.  The community decided as a whole to forgive him.  Will these parents ever be able to reach that point of peace where they can forgive the man who so brutally stole their future?  Could I?  I don't know.

Maybe if they can embrace these three little words, they'll be able to honor their children's memories and still reach a place of peace and solace.

"TRUST IN HIM."         
Psalm 37:5

That is something those fighting cancer have to do daily.  The trust has to be total and unquestioning, knowing that we are in His hands and His mercy and compassion are there for us.
How fortunate we are to serve such an awesome God. 

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
We pray today for the parents and families of the children lost yesterday.  We know that the children rest safely in the comfort of Your arms but it is the families who need our prayers.  Bless them, comfort them, reassure them that they'll be with their loved one again some day in a joyous reunion.
We love You, Lord, and thank You for everything You do for us in our time of need.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 236 Done!

Or at least I'm sort of done.  I went in yesterday and Jennifer disconnected me from the pump for the last time.  I thought I would be so excited and feel like I had reached a milestone but I don't.  I just feel like I'm off the leash for the next two months to let the chemo get out of my system and then the testing starts again:  pet scan or cat scan, colonoscopy plus time for well woman exams to make sure nothing new has cropped up in that area since my last one.    Maybe once I've had all the new tests run with good results I'll feel relieved.  I wonder if the threat of cancer will always be like an albatross around my neck and if I'll be second guessing every little twinge that pops up, wondering if it's a harbinger of worse things to come.

Okay, I need to get out of these doldrums today.  I'm done!  No more chemo!  Praise God.  Numb digits and nose bleed today but after next week, it's all recovery.  I know that it'll be less and less nausea, less and less time on the couch.  Time to restore and rebuild what I lost while the chemo was killing off the cancer. 

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call and the Lord will answer, you will cry for help, and he will say;  Here I AM."
Isaiah 58:8,9

Okay, I think I'm feeling better.  Funny how God's word can change things in an instant.  How awesome to know he's there regardless, to feel the fear disappear and the relief that I was seeking suddenly appear. 

Thank You, Father.  Thank You. 
I'm so grateful for all You do for me every day.  I thank You for another glorious day in which to enjoy living.  I give You all the praise, honor and glory for guiding me through this process of healing.  I thank You for guiding me to the right doctors even though it took a long route.  I thank You for guiding me to the scriptures I need daily to get through this with the spirit of healing and gratitude that I should have.  I ask Your forgiveness for my whining and self pity when so many are enduring much worse than I can even imagine.
I ask Your healing care and comfort today for Lisa as she goes through another procedure to defeat the enemy we call cancer.  
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 234 Almost Done

Let me say first of all that we have passed 5000 pageviews on my little blog.  Thank you to everyone who checks in and prays for me and with me for other cancer warriors.  I'm honored.

Went in yesterday for infusion and found out my blood count is still really low.  Dr. expected it to have jumped and it didn't.  White cells did come up some so that was good.  Liver enzymes still high.  So, that means I didn't get the oxilliplatin again.  Glad not to have to endure that but a little nervous at the same time.  The rest of the treatment is ongoing so I'm being infused while I'm writing this morning with the pump tucked into a fanny pack and secured around my waist.   It's the last one, praise God, and I'm feeling the weariness of the last six months.

This is me in the spring, feeling good and with no idea of what was to come.

Here I am getting hooked up for my last pump.  Twelve pounds down, half of my hair gone, dark circles around my eyes, lots of loose flesh and pretty weak.  Shudder.............     

" Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed (by cancer), for His compassions never fail."
Lamentations 2:22

Special prayer request today for my friend Lisa that I wrote about last week.  She has been diagnosed at Stage 2 multiple myeloma and will need another bone marrow sample taken to tell where she is within that stage.  Next is chemo, then harvesting her stem cells over a period of time.  Once enough good stem cells are collected, she'll have a transplant.  A long journey for her but she is one of God's warriors and will be victorious over this in His name.

Friend Frank that we've prayed for many times is finished with chemo for now and preparing for radiation treatments.  Prayers for a good outcome with that.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I love You so much and am so grateful for another beautiful day on this glorious earth that you imagined into creation.   Thank You for loving me and all of us in return.  Where would we be without You?  I can't even begin to imagine.
I ask for Your healing mercies today Lord for Lisa and for Frank.  Let them feel the comfort of Your
loving arms as You prepare them for the battle to come - one that is waged in Your name.
I ask special blessings on their medical staff, on their caregivers and on their church families that intercede for them daily in prayer.  Special blessings too for everyone who reads this blog and prays daily for these warriors.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 231 Beginning of the End

Ha ha ha.  That sounds rather ominous doesn't it?  Not so.  Tomorrow starts the process of my last joy juice.   Six months, twelve treatments of 50 hours of infusion each.  I'm about to make an appt for my bloodwork to be done tomorrow.  Then Tuesday starts the three day process of chemo. 

The weather is not cooperating.  It is supposed to be cold and windy on Tuesday which is the day for oxilliplatin.  Yikes.  That neuropathy reacts to cold resulting in purple hands and feet and stinging sensations.   I'll be wrapped up tight with gloves, extra socks and lots of mufflers wrapped around my throat and face.   I had none of that this last treatment without the oxiplattin but my fingertips, toes and mouth are experiencing neuropathy not associated with cold.  My fingernails, toenails and teeth feel loose.  They aren't, but the numbness of the digits have strange symptoms. 

The blessed scripture I was led to today addresses all of the above.  2 Corinthians 4:17,18.

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal."

As I face this upcoming treatment with a little hesitancy and concern, I have to remind myself that it is termporay.  Six months ago, I couldn't see the end and, even though this is the last one, it is hard for me to imagine being without all the side effects that I have been living with these last 24 weeks.  I have to take my blinders off to see the unseen.  I know, that sounds like an oxymoron but it isn't.  It is so easy to focus on what is happening right now and forgetting about what is to be, the unseen. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for helping to put my priorities in order.  Thank You for helping me to focus not on the seen which is temporary but on the unseen, that which is eternal. 
Thank You today Father, for blessing me, for healing me, for loving me, for forgiving me and for keeping my eyes where they belong. 
In Jesus' precious name, the name above all names.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 229 Life is a Canvas, Paint it with Faith

Those are the words inscribed on a beautiful stone paperweight that my daughter gave me last Christmas, never knowing how meaningful those words would become. 

I was thinking this morning about faith and the healing of the woman with the issue of blood.  She just touched the hem of the Lord and He said, "Your faith has made you well."  Then the centurion whose servant was ill.  He had such great faith that he told Jesus he knew Jesus could heal the servant from afar.  He didn't even have to visit the sick man or touch him.  It seems as though Jesus could just think a healing into being.

Wow, what amazing faith is that?  In most cases we believe for a healing but prepare for the worst.  Does that mean a lack of faith?  I don't know the answer to that.  Sometimes I think it isn't a lack of faith but we don't know what is in God's plans for us and maybe the illness is for a reason.  Certainly not for punishment.  I'll never believe that.  But maybe to take us to another level of awareness, of acceptance, so that we may "consider it all joy." 

This morning I was led to a beautiful scripture in Isaiah.

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear, then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and he willsay: Here I AM."
Isaiah 58:8,9

A couple of years ago at Wednesday night services, we watched a teaching video of Bruce Wilkinson, the author of the small book The Prayer of Jabez.  He related being in a meeting with other pastors.  When asked individually what they prayed for most, they each replied "more FAITH".  Even spiritual leaders deal with faith. 

I hope that today is a day of faith for all of us as we face whatever challenges are coming our way.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You Father for another glorious day.  I thank you for the rain a few days ago and for the sunshine today.  I thank You for wrapping me and my fellow cancer warriors in the comfort of your healing arms.
I ask today Lord, for the faith of a mustard seed so that I can move the mountain called cancer out of my life. Please give that same measure of faith to everyone fighting this enemy whether it is in the test tube of a research hospital or the treatment rooms of the oncologist or the warrior fighting the fight in their body. 
We believe in the destruction of this enemy so complete that it can never return.
Thank You, Father, thank You.  It's all You, Lord.  All You.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 227 A Recipe for You

I am feeling really well today and in the kitchen and I thought I would share this recipe with you.  It started out as a Weight Watchers recipe and, diet or no diet, this has stayed one of my favorites.

My challenge is to keep as many antiangiogenesis ingredients in my daily food as possible.  For information on these foods that are believed to inhibit the growth of rogue blood vessels that feed cancer cells, go to .  I'll note which ones are antiangiogenesis. (AA)

                                                                   Turkey Meat Loaf

2 tbsp olive oil (AA)
1 cup minced onion (AA)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms, chopped (AA)
1 cup shredded carrots, chopped (AA)
1 tbsp. minced garlic (AA)
1 lb ground turkey (AA)*
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup ketchup (AA)
1 tbsp worcestershire
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp salt

Cook onion, mushrooms and carrot in olive oil until tender.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Add turkey and remaining ingredients to the pan and using your hands, mix well.  Form into a loaf shape and place in a pyrex dish or place in a loaf pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes.

***Notes:  Dark meat turkey is AA.  White meat is not.  I buy ground turkey at Walmart in 1lb. chubs.  The super lean one is mostly white meat so I buy the one that is 85% lean as it has more dark meat than the other. 
Once I've shaped the loaf, I smear it with yellow mustard, then with ketchup and then with a dash or two of worcestershire sauce.  You can top it with whatever topping you like on your meatloaf. 
Add bell peppers, squash, celery or whatever other veggies you like to use.

My kitchen is starting to smell really good and I'm hungry.  Just have to figure what veggies to pair with the meatloaf.

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
I ask today that you give me and my fellow warriors a taste for the foods with healing natures and foods that will discourage the growth of cancer cells.  Guide us to those with the knowledge of what is best to eat so that we can fight this enemy nutritionally.  Teach us to love those foods that are natural and healthy and those foods that can help heal our bodies.
In Jesus' precious name.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 226 Enjoying Good Health

I think I have mentioned before that my favorite Bible is a Women of Faith Study Bible.  It has worn pages, coffee stains, tons of torn out articles and devotionals tucked inbetween pages and highlights and penned notes on almost every page.  It is like a beloved old friend.

This morning I was directed to the 4th verse in 3 John.

"I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."

The note that I have penned at the bottom of the page is "Your body thrives as you thrive spiritually."
I think the reason I was led to that verse is a long conversation I had with a friend last night.
Lisa is a beautiful young woman, a leader in my church family, with a beautiful spirit and a fervent love of the Lord.  After having dealt with a melanoma a few years back, Lisa has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  Throughout our conversation, Lisa praised Jesus for His goodness and love. 

I am asking for prayers for Lisa today and in the coming days as she deals with this enemy.  The myeloma has not been staged yet so we are praying that the urine and blood tests reveal low protein which would put her at stage 1 unless, of course, she has already been supernaturally healed.  Stage 2 would mean lengthy treatments to harvest stem cells for a transplant. 

Lisa gave me a verse that she prays daily and I want to share it with you here.

"Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are the one I praise."
Jeremiah 17:14

Thank you for including my warrior friend, Lisa, in your prayers.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You for your daughter, Lisa, and for all she has done for You and Your church.  I thank You for the love for You that shines from her face and in her words as she gives You all the praise, honor and glory.
Father, You said that wherever two or more are gathered in Your name, there You are also and that You inhabit the praise of Your children.  As those who pray with me daily join me in prayer today and in coming days for Lisa, I know that You are in the midst of those words of healing, support, and miracles. 
I thank You in advance Father for the good report on her tests.  Just wrap Your healing arms around her, comfort her, and let her feel Your love for the special warrior that she is, fighting this hated enemy.  Defeat it so profoundly Father, that it never returns.
I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above pain, the name above cancer, the name above myeloma, the name above all names.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 225 Another Angel

Throughout this journey, God has placed many angels in my path and I am grateful.  In this time of giving, I think I need to acknowledge another one.

Many friends have asked what they can do for me.  I know those offers come from a place of love and giving.  My repeated answer is that other than prayers, which I am honored for each one, there is nothing they can do for me.  It would be too easy to let myself become an invalid with others waiting on me when I could be doing things for myself.  It is very important to me to stay independent.

A few weeks back, the men who mow for me were here when I was hooked up to the joy juice pump and feeling and looking extremely pale and weak.  Juan asked what was wrong and I told him.   In his broken English, he said the would say prayers to God for me.

In the meantime, the tree in my front yard was looking terrible.  All sorts of volunteer weeds had turned into small trees and it bothered me every time I looked outside at it.  On Friday, Juan showed up with a crew of men and they cut down the volunteer trees, trimmed the main tree and told me the next time they were back they would trim the hedges.  When I fearfully asked how much I owed him, he said nothing.  He is just hoping for me to get well.

In the 15th chapter of Deuteronomy, it says to give generously and do so without a grudging heart and because of this the Lord will bless you in everything you put your hand to.  I think that Juan is being blessed and I give thanks for him.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You for Juan and his generous giving and ask that You bless him in everything he puts his hand to.
In this season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, I ask that giving be not limited to loved ones but to those in need.  You tell us many times throughout the Bible to be generous in our giving to the poor.  Where there is no extra money, remind us that we have clothes no longer used that will cover and warm those who have none.  Open our hearts and minds to what we may do for another in need.  Let this be a true celebration of more than just a Christmas tree with lots of brightly wrapped presents underneath.  Let it be a celebration of Your love and compassion and generosity.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 221 I Am Blessed With Good Health and Favor

Yesterday was weird.  I happily went to the Dr to get unhooked from 50 hours of joy juice then came home and went straight to sleep.  I woke around 2pm, nuked a frozen meal for lunch and back to sleep until 6pm.  Woke, had a half of a cheese sandwich and an apple and was in bed by 8:30 and slept to 7:30 this morning.  I guess that's my body recouping from the onslaught of chemicals.

"Lord, I thank You, that through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, I have passed out from under the curse and have entered into the blessings of Abraham whom You blessed in all things - I am blessed with good health and favor."  Galatians 3:13-14

I am blessed with good health and favor.  What an amazing affirmation for me to remember throughout today.  After all, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

I have been thinking about decorating for Christmas and have done nothing.  Not sure if I am going to get into the boxes or not.  Everyone is posting pics of their beautiful trees on FB and it makes me want to.  Maybe that will be my goal for today.   After I take Chipper for a Canine Influenza shot.  I don't get flu shots but Chipper does.  Oh Jo.............sometimes I think I have my priorities a little skewed. 

The more I write the more excited I get about this blessed time of year.  It is such a time of love and giving and, I hope, forgiving.   The one thing I never want to do is to carry bad feelings toward anyone throughout the year.  I hope if there is someone in your life that you have distanced yourself from, you will at least send them light and love from your heart to theirs.

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this special time of year in which we share the joy of the birth of Jesus.  Help us to remember the love He brought into the world and to share that love, not just with friends and relatives but with everyone we come into contact with.
Help us, Father, to release any anger or resentment that we feel toward another.  We can do it by just closing our eyes, picturing them and sending them Your blessings.  Remind us daily to practice love and forgiveness.
Father, we give special thanks for our friend Renee today.  She has finished chemo, surgery, radiation and is cancer free and waiting for healing for her final surgery.  Thank You for blessing her with Your healing mercies.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 219 Bad News Good News

The bad news is that my blood platelets were too low to take a full compliment of meds yesterday.  That means that oxilliplatin, the big kahuna, was left out of my cocktail.  The good news is that oxilliplatin was left out of my cocktail yesterday.  I'm still hooked up and pumping two of the three chemos plus all the extras that go along with it.

The dose of benadryl sent me home to sleep for four hours.  Then the steroids kicked in so I was wired enough to not sleep last night.  The time off from the one chemical is going to give my platelets and white blood cells, which were lower than last time, an opportunity to rebuild and I won't need the shot to jumpstart the bone marrow for the white cells.   Yay!   

"I am fearfully and wonderfully made."         My new mantra.

It is so nice to wake this morning without trembling hands, a trembling voice, and not having to drink water from the side of my mouth so it doesn't pass the scaly feeling in the back of my throat.  This just sort of gives me a glimpse into what it's going to be like after my next/LAST round.  I know that I am going to heal quickly and get back on the road to strength in a very short time.  Why?  Because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

I have been slacking off on my supplements because I've really been in the dumps the past few weeks, in case you haven't noticed, but am so encouraged today that I reordered BetaGlucan.  I only have one dose left and I don't want to run out.  I'm convinced that it is one of the things that has kept me from getting flu/cold/allergies through this.  That and staying in my house and out of crowds as much as possible.  I really just get out to buy groceries once a week and to ship paintings.  I also reordered AlgaeCal for bone density.  I already had osteoporosis and bone loss is another side effect of chemo.  If you're curious about either of these, you can find out about the clinical studies being done on BetaGlucan for supporting immune health at  I learned about AlgaeCal on Dr Oz show and it, along with a booster, are proving to restore bone density. .   That along with vitamin D, multivitamin for women and a probiotic has helped me so much.  I keep all of them in a basket plus my 3 antinausea meds on an end table by the couch where I veg.  I've moved them from the kitchen to the nightstand to the end table.  That's the place where I see them most often and remember to take. 

I'm planning a busy day today.  I'll let  you know tomorrow how I feel after I'm unhooked.  Time to get on with this glorious day.

Precious Lord/Jehovah Rapha,
Thank you for another beautiful day.  Thank You for the crisp mornings and the sunny afternoons.  Thank You for my home to shelter me and my car to transport me.  Thank You Father for my talent that allows me the money to honor you and to pay my bills.  Thank You for my precious family and for my church family that pray for me.  Thank You for the followers of this blog that pray for me and for the other warriors fighting this terrible enemy.  I thank You for the new discoveries made daily to wipe out cancer in all it's forms.  I thank You for the strength You give my fellow warriors to weather the storm.  After all, as a child of God, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and healing is in our dna.
Thank You Father, Thank You.
In Jesus' name, the name above all names.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 217 Family, Food, and Football

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  The 20lb turkey turned out perfectly.  It was a joint effort since my son in law had to come take it out of the oven and then my grandson had to come transport it to daughter's house.  Food was delicious and Texans won.   All that with a layer of nausea hanging over everything.  It came late on Wednesday and has hung around for the duration.  I've tried to take as few meds as possible but had to resort to two of them yesterday.

It gets me down but through it all, I was able to turn out the turkey, dressing, turkey gravy, giblet gravy, cucumbers for Logan and a coconut cream pie for my son in law.  Oh, and some peanut brittle.  The last two days were spent working on a paddle with Logan for his "big bro" at the fraternity he is pledging.  That was fun.  Lots of time to talk.  It made me realize how seldom we get quiet one on one times with our loved ones.  So much talk is around the periphery and not deep down communication.  Doing some sort of work or craft together is the best thing.  Heads down at work and our minds are free to wander and to share things we might not ever have gotten around to before.  I learned things about him and he learned things about me.  Blessed time.

Today is blood work day and then tomorrow starts Round 11.  After that just one more.  You would think I am excited to get it started and over but the last two rounds have been so rough that I am really dreading it.  I know I can talk myself out of the doldrums but not sure how at this moment.  Well, actually, yes I do.  My little notbook of verses is here on my desk with all I really need to get myself back up and going.

"I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works, that I know very well."  Psalm 139:14

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  My body had taken a beating since June.  First a surgery to remove part of my colon and I bounced back from that.  Then 10 rounds so far of a foreign chemical being pumped into my body to kill any remaining cancer cells.  My body has hung in there, looking and feeling a little worse for wear but ready to get back to normal the second they disconnect the pump from Round 12.  Okay, I'm already starting to feel better.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You Father for Your words that can restore my spirit and my mind, body and soul, just by reciting and meditating on them.  Help me to daily find the right words to keep myself in a positive frame of mind, knowing that I am healed and that every cancer cell in my body has been obliterated so completely that it will never be able to take hold again.
I ask this same healing for every warrior fighting this same enemy.  Show them where to find Your words that will fortify and restore their spirit with the strength to win the war.
I ask these things in Jesus' name, the one true Messiah.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 212 Good "Firsts" for a change............

Good day yesterday.   In fact, it was so good that I took Chipper for a walk.  That was the first time since starting Joy Juice that I've had enough energy to take my handsome guy out for a walk.  He was so excited.  After that I took him to the vet for a bath and did my shopping for Thanksgiving.  Even though it required two 2 hour naps to get through the rest of the day, I made it without any nausea meds. 

While in the grocery store, I ran into a friend I had not seen in several months.  She did not know of the diagnosis and the first words out of her mouth were "Jo!  I didn't recognize you."  I thought but didn't say "That's okay.  I don't even recognize myself."  A little bit of a downer but I know it's only temporary. 

I was thinking yesterday, after receiving not the best news from a friend, how much easier it is to pray for others than it is to pray for myself.  I'm sure that I'm not the only person to feel that way.  I think that's why when the little book, The Prayer of Jabez came out, it was such a hit.  For the first time, it gave us permission to pray for outselves and to not feel guilty about it.

The reason for thinking about this is a prayer request from my church for a friend's daughter in law who is four months pregnant.  Lots of issues with the baby including her kidneys not working causing huge cysts on the baby's arms, the danger of brain damage, heart problems and on and on.  For some reason, I instantly knew that little girl was going to be a blessing to everyone who knew of her, regardless of the outcome of her birth.  It seemed like every few minutes I could see her and I would stop what I was doing to pray for her.  I know that prayers are going out for her from so many areas, that she can't help but be blessed.  I could just feel God's presence every time I prayed.  If she does nothing else, that precious child has helped others by taking their prayers to a higher level.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
I ask your healing mercies on the little girl, waiting to be born into this world, totally unaware of the nature of her birth and how many are sending her prayers for love, health and healing.  Maybe she does know.  Thank You for the honor of being able to pray for this child.
Father, thank You for the knowledge that it is okay to pray for myself, asking Your favor, love, and healing for me.  Even though it isn't easy to do, please remind me daily to ask for those things when I stop to give thanks for all You've done for me. 
Life is so precious and I don't want to take it or You for granted.
I love You Father.  I love You.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 210 Thank You Lord

Well, I'm over my pity party and feeling somewhat better.  Nausea has stayed around but I've been able to manage without meds since Saturday.  I was up part of the day Saturday and cleaned my bathroom and bedroom and, yes, it took most of the day.  Not that it was that dirty............well, maybe it was.  Then it took all day with many laydown rests inbetween for me to get the living area and kitchen done yesterday.  My house is sparkly now and it feels good.

I'm excited about Thanksgiving.  My bestie, Darlene, is coming out to spend the day with me and the family.  My only task is to cook the turkey which is usually a snap.  Or at least it was until my precious little girl got a TWENTY POUND TURKEY!!  Oh my gosh,  I don't have the strength to lift that right now.  I guess it'll be okay because my grandson will have to come put it in the oven for me and come back to take it out.  What a treat that's gonna be.  Any excuse to get his handsome face over here for a visit. 

Two art sales this week so I'll be packing and shipping.  Then family and football all day Thursday.  I am more excited for the holiday season than I've been in years.  Sort of like my birthday.  Not just another Thanksgiving.  It's THANKSGIVING.  And not to forget that giving thanks is the most important part of it.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another beautiful day.  Thank You for the freedom to live and worship in a country that was built on Your principles.  Thank You for my family and for my church.  Thank You for my art that gives me independence and the ability to share with others.  Thank You for Your healing mercies that You shower daily on each cancer warrior out there fighting this dreaded enemy.  Thank You for loving, blessing and protecting each of us.
I ask special healing mercies Father for my childhood friend Judy who is undergoing surgery today.  Bless her with skilled surgeons and a quick recovery.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 207 Just Two More

You would think that since I'm receiving the same chemo every two weeks, the side effects would be the same.  Not so.  The neuropathy this time has been pretty intense.  Nerve endings in my fingers and toes feel like electrical shocks every time I touch something that isn't warm.  I have the temp in the house turned up above where I like it but it seems to be helping.

I was unhooked from the pump around noon yesterday and the symptoms have eased a little.  My salivary glands still hurt terribly with my first bite of food and tear ducts are even worse if my eyes water.  Hopefully today is the last day of this and by tomorrow I'll be getting back to my version of normal.

Just two more.  I keep telling myself.........just two more.  Just two more and I'll be done.  Just two more and no more nausea, no more neuropathy.  Just two more and my hair will start to grow back.  Just two more and my head and hands and legs and voice won't shake.  Just two more and I'll have the energy to exercise a little and start to get some muscle tone back.  Just two more and I'll start back on the anticancer diet that I can't stomach right now.  Just two more and I'll have my life back. 

Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself today.  Sorry about that but I just get there once in a while and it's almost easier to give in to it and get it over with than to fight it and have it lingering in the back of my mind for a longer time. 

Friend Rachel posted this scripture this morning and it helped.  Thanks Rachel.

"Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."    Joshua 1:9

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Please forgive my whining and self pity.  I know there are so many that are much worse off than me. Just let me remember that You are always with me, holding me in the palm of Your hand, wrapping me in Your loving arms.  I am so grateful and love You so much.
Thank You for all  You do for me all day every day.  Give me the strength and courage to weather this storm as a child of Yours should...with faith and knowledge that no matter the outcome, it is all good.
In Jesus' precious name,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 205 No Shot!

Huge thank you to everyone who prayed over my bloodwork.  White cells again down but not enough to require a shot.  I'm so grateful because it sets me back a few days and I don't want it interfering with Thanksgiving.

Just a quick note today.  Had reaction to cold again yesterday during infusion and still today.  I'm in flannel pajamas with a big sweater, two pair of socks and periodically I have to put on the big warm gloves.  I have to warm water in my mouth before I can swallow.

My voice and hands and legs are shaky and I'll probably need a full compliment of nausea meds today but I get unhooked from the pump tomorrow and it'll be all uphill from there.

Thank You Jesus for all You do for me and for all of us.  It's all You, all You.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 203 The Day After...........

Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes.  They all came true because I had a memorable evening with my little family.    Though we're few, the love is huge and I'm so grateful.

I looked at myself in the mirror in Mel's house last night and I was shocked.  The mirror is larger and lighting is different from mine and I saw for the first time how much hair I've lost, mostly in the front.  I sort of look like those guys getting hair transplants where you see little plugs of hair poking up out of a bare scalp.  Not a pretty sight.  Oh well.  I just realized that I don't care.  I worried early on about getting a wig if this happened but now I've decided it's just not worth the trouble.  Lots of women have thin hair and, besides, it'll grow back once chemo is over.............I hope.  Not that I don't care how I look.  I do.  But there are some things that are just not worth worrying about.

I had an ah ha moment yesterday.  I ran in to Walmart to pick something up and the lady in front of me in the checkout line turned out to be someone I hadn't seen in several years.  We hugged and when she asked how I was doing, instead of telling her I was going thru chemo for colon cancer to explain why I look like a pale balding old lady, I just smiled and said, "Great."   I didn't realize until I had left the store what an important moment that was for me.  I did not identify myself as a cancer fighter/survivor/victor.  Just me.  Jo Edwards and I'm doing great.

I'll be leaving in a few minutes for blood work and then tomorrow the start of treatment #10.  Five months down.  I won't make light of it because it's been a really difficult five months but there's light at the end of the tunnel.   Only two more treatments after this one, then a pet scan and I'll be done.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this cool and cloudy day, a sign of a change of seasons, and for the excitement and anticipation that change brings.
I thank You Father for taking me through the last five months, wrapped in Your healing and loving arms.  Thank You for all You've taught me through this. 
I ask that same comfort for each of my fellow cancer warriors out there.  I ask Your healing mercies for each one as they face another day of challenges.  Teach us to count it all joy as we draw closer to You through these changes.
I ask special blessings on the medical staff and care givers that tend these valiant warriors.  Give them special insight into what is best for each one of us.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 202 Happy Birthday ................

to me!!!!  I think that from now on, birthdays are going to have much more meaning than they have ever had before.   Before it was just another birthday.  Now, it's ANOTHER BIRTHDAY!!  Praise God!  I'm so grateful to be here and in relative good health.  I know that nothing will ever be the same again and that's okay.  Change is good.

Yesterday's Daily Word was about change and this statement has stayed with me.

"Just as the seasons change to allow God's life giving cycle to do it's powerful work, my life changes to allow God's life giving presence to do it's work in me."

I have to say that in the midst of a diagnosis of colon cancer and in the midst of six months of chemo, I've never felt so cared for or God's presence so intensely.  Something good can be found in every situation and if it is bringing me closer to God through my situation, instead of screaming that I want my life back, I can only say Thank You Father.

So, I have a restful day planned so I can spend the evening celebrating with my precious daughter, son-in-law and grandson.  They're frying oysters and shrimp for me and I can't wait.  

I have a prayer request for me today.  I'll be doing bloodwork tomorrow and if my white blood cells are too low, I'll have to have another shot to supercharge my bone marrow to produce more.  I had one after the treatment before last and it was the sickest I had been in a long while.  I'm asking for prayer that I won't need that shot this coming week.

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another day on this glorious earth that You breathed into existence.  Thank You for another year to worship and honor You.  Thank You for change bringing You closer and more present in my life.
Father, I ask today that you bless my body with strong white blood cells so I won't need another shot next week.  You are the miracle maker and I am asking this in Jesus' name.
I ask Father that every cancer warrior out there today feel Your love and healing presence in their life as they go through the same changes that I am going through.  Bless them, strengthen them and let them appreciate all that You are doing for them every minute of every day.
In Jesus' name, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 200 Not Alone

It's hard to understand the ups and downs of this crazy treatment unless you're going through it or have been through it.  I try to analyze what I've done, what I've eaten, what I should have done to make the difference in a good Monday, bad Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and now....a good Friday.  No rhyme nor reason to it.  I guess it's just how my body is assimilating the chemicals and which med is taking precedence over the other. 

Every time I have joy juice, I receive a list of the meds that are mixed into this divine cocktail.  Last time it was seven different chemos plus the meds I take orally to control the side effects.  What a strong body God has given me to be able to handle all of that stuff.  Thank You Jesus.

One of the scriptures I read this morning was this:

" Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure."   Psalm 147:5

That tells me that He knows everything I'm going through.  He understands what I'm dealing with and I'm not alone.   Truly comforting because I do feel alone sometimes.  No, I don't want anyone helping me.  For me, that would be like giving up.   The more independent I can stay, the more normal I feel.  I know some people don't understand and I'm so grateful for all the offers of cooking and shopping for me.  Those are things I can't relinquish. 

For two mornings now, I've been able to drink my own french press coffee.  For the past four months, it's tasted like mud and I finally found McD's coffee.  No need now.  Yesterday I cooked chicken breasts and veggies.  Making headway because I have been unable to stand the smell of food cooking.  I think my body knows only 3 more treatments and it's getting prepared for getting back to the food I need to be eating rather than eating whatever my stomach can tolerate.  Yay!

Two special prayer requests today from Grace who has been a great friend to this blog.  She is asking for prayer for Darla who, after a bout with breast cancer 20 years ago, has had it reoccur.  She is also asking for prayer for Charlie and Doris as Doris has been put in a home for Alzeheimer patients.  Thank you in advance for those of you who pray with us through this blog. 

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for Your unmeasureable understanding as You hold each of Your children in the palm of Your hand while they are dealing with sometimes seemingly hopeless illnesses.
We ask Your healing mercies today for Darla.  She was a victor over the enemy in the past and we pray that You strengthen her for the fight she is in today, giving her such complete victory over the enemy that he never returns.
We ask also for special mercies and blessings on Charlie and Doris as they step into another phase of her illness.  Grant them the peace that surpasses all understanding as they deal with the day to day heartache of this illness which is an enemy in itself.  Bless the families, doctors and caregivers of each one of these special people and let your comforting arms surround them as they feel the power of your love.
We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 198 God Bless America

Just a quick update  on me..... Monday was an awesome day.  Yesterday not so much but I did get out to vote and run necessary errands and then down for the count.  I'm up today, but not feeling so well.   Probably more couch time but if that's what it takes to get me up and going maybe tomorrow, so be it.

What I want to do this morning is take my focus off cancer and chemo for a bit and talk about  the election.  I know, everyone is so glad it's over.  Most of the people I communicate with voted for the other candidate.  I expected to open emails and fb this morning and see lots of angry rants and defeatist posts.  Not so!

All of my readings were uplifting and encouraging and I'm so proud of everyone.

"The Son still shines."
"God is still on the throne."
"Pray for our leaders."

Then friend Rosemary sent out this Verse for the Day.

"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people...for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."      2 Timothy 2:1-2

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for the understanding and guidance you are giving the people of this wonderful nation that still counts You as our Lord and our God.  I ask Your blessings on each leader, that you inspire them to follow Your teachings in each decision they make.
I ask also that You touch each person fighting cancer today, that Your healing spirit move mightily within each one of them, girding them for the fight and that You gird our nation and leaders for the fight to protect our right to follow and worship You.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 196 Better Yet!

Oh my gosh, I got up feeling great this morning.  Started right in painting and painted for a few hours.   Laid down for a nap after and realized I didn't need or want a nap.  What's up with that?!  I'm excited.       Thank You Jesus.   My appetite is good and nausea is at a minimum so no meds necessary so far today.  Yay!

Tomorrow is election day.  Probably most of you have already voted.  I haven't, as the polling place is only 1/2 block from my house so I usually wait until the actual day to vote.   If you haven't voted, please be sure to.   Friend Grace reminded me how important it is to pray before voting to make sure we are guided to elect a leader that will lead us in a Godly manner and protect our right to worship our God.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."   Psalm 33:11

I have a special prayer request today.  Ray, whose wife and daughter are part of my church family, has received news that cancer has spread to his liver and other parts.  Please pray for his healing and for his family who care for him daily.  He has some chemo treatments left so prayers that they are powerful and effective. 

Friend Frank's family reports that he has another treatment and then will have time off for the holiday.  My upcoming treatments are timed perfectly so that my birthday and Thanksgiving both fall on my off weeks.   Last Thanksgiving was when I first started feeling so poorly that I thought something serious might be wrong.  This one will be a celebration and a true Thanks Giving.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You so much for my good health today and for being able to do the things that I'm meant to do.  I give You all the praise, honor and glory.
I ask today Father for a miracle as Your healing mercies grant Ray more time with his family, more time to love and worship You, more time to be an example of what prayer can do.
Thank You for the miracle You're working in Frank's life as this journey brings him and his family closer to You than ever before.
Father, I ask Your blessings on our nation as we go to the polls tomorrow.  Guide each one of us in making the right decision as we choose which candidates to elect.  
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 195 Better, Praise God

Yay!  I'm feeling better.  The only thing left from the treatment is my palms are very sensitive.  Chipper's soft fur feels like cords when I pet him.  Weird.  That's okay, it won't last forever and it's not debilitating.  I'm just excited.  I know that I'll have to rest a couple of times today but I think I'm ahead of schedule for recovery from my last round of joy juice.

"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust Him."  Nahum 1:7

This was posted on FB this morning.  How awesome that we can be nurtured anywhere we turn.  I added it to my journal of favorite verses.  Nahum isn't a readily quoted book but what an wonderful promise to come out of it.  I know the Lord is good.  I know he's my refuge in times of trouble.  I know He cares for those who trust Him.  I feel so grateful to have Him on my side through this. 

What I'm looking forward to now is three more treatments and then regaining my strength.  I cannot wait for that.  Lots of things I simply can't do now and that doesn't set right with me.  I've always been an "I can do it myself" kind of person.   It's been a good lesson to have to rely on the help of others and even more, to rely on the prayers of others. 

It crossed my mind the other day that there are probably some people who have never had anyone pray for them.  Not because they're necessarily bad people but because they simply don't have God in their life nor does their family or friends.  How sad.  I was wondering what I could and I thought that when I'm out and about and see someone that looks lost spiritually, I can silently send them blessings.  Maybe I'll challenge myself when I next run errands to see how many people I can bless. 

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank you for starting me back on the road to recovery.  I feel better and I give You all the praise, honor and glory.  It's all You, Father, all You.
Help me this week to keep others in the forefront of my mind and prayers.  As I pray for my fellow warriors fighting this enemy, let me remember to pray as well for the lost and forgotten.  Let me bless each one I pass in some way.
I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 194 Still Shaky

I slept all day Thursday after getting unplugged from the chemo and all day Friday.  I had no more reactions to cold, but I'm still sort of weak and shaky and old friend, nausea, is back.  I wrote morning pages this morning and I hardly recognized my handwriting.  It was sort of tiny and squiggly and looked nothing like the writing on the previous pages. 

What kept coming through this morning in my writing was gratitude and thankfulness.  In a way, I just feel so fortunate that I'm able to paint a little, not much but enough to have enough sales to stay current with bills.  I'm so grateful for the people that follow this blog and pray for me and for others on the same journey that I'm on.  I'm thankful that I only have THREE MORE TREATMENTS and then I'll be able to work on getting my strength and some muscle mass back.   Right now I resemble a deflated balloon but I know that once I'm done with joy juice,  normal will quickly return. 

I'm grateful for my precious family, my church family, my friends, my home, my little animal family that sticks to me like glue.  Chipper Dale, my golden, takes every step that I take.  Crystal, my white cat, loves when I'm down for the count so she can snuggle up with me and not share my attention with Chipper. 

Most of all, precious Father, I am grateful for Your protection, Your healing and knowing that no matter what happens, You're there with me and for me. 
I humble myself before You in gratitude for Your loving presence.  I ask that same knowledge of Your love and protection be felt by everyone else out there fighting this dreaded enemy. 
I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 191 Another First

I'm too weak today to sit up very long so just a quick update.
Went in for infusion yesterday.  White blood cells up, platelets down, otherwise okay.
I had a reaction to the cold temp in the Dr's office yesterday so they had to stop the treatment for a while.  My palms started stinging like ant bites and while I watched them, the looked like someone had painted them with iodine.  Covered up and wearing thick gloves because this is not an unusual reaction for patients on oxilliplatin.
Another big dose of benadryl and I am still sleeping that off.  Up side is that all day yesterday and so far today ..........  no nausea!  That is a wonderful first and about the only time in the last four months that I've been without that heavy muddy feeling in my stomach.

Thank You Father.  I am grateful.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 189 Morning Pages

I had an awesome weekend, in spite of being married to the bathroom most of it.  Oh well, only two more months and then my body can start returning to normal.  And I'm excited.  Bloodwork today and tomorrow starts Round 9 of 12.  It seemed like an insurmountable mountain at the beginning but I'm learning to talk to  my mountain as I go through this process.

I've promised a couple of times to talk about "Morning Pages" and today is the day.  Way back when, I was at a standstill with my art career.  Someone suggested I read Julia Cameron's book, The Artist Way.  And I did.  Julia is a writer who hit a creativity block in her writing and came up with some exercises that helped her past her block.  One of the exercises is called "Morning Pages".  It is daily writing of three notebook pages, yes three, in the morning and, yes, every day. 

I know what you're going to say.  That's too much.  If you journal, most of you only journal a paragraph or two.  Morning Pages is not really journaling.  It is a way of clearing your mind so your creativity can come through.  If I run out of things to write about, I can start writing my shopping list or daily to dos.  Shortly my mind and my writing take me to another place to resolve whatever is bothering me or may be on my mind.  Many times I have started with a wrinkled forehead and grumpy face and by the time I'm finished, the forehead is smooth and I'm smiling, excited about the day to come.

I have not written Morning Pages through this journey up until last week.  I think perhaps I did not want to internalize what I was dealing with.  As long as I could keep it on the surface then there were certain aspects of the journey I could avoid thinking about.  Most of the posts I've written have dealt with the physical aspects of this journey and I've only occasionally delved into my true feelings.  That's mostly because, by avoiding,  I don't have to face my true feelings.  I wonder how that is going to change as I continue to write my Morning Pages?   I'll keep you posted.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another glorious sunny, cool, and crisp day here on earth, the creation you imagined into being.
Thank You for my family, my friends, my church family, and the new friends I've made throughout this journey.
Father, I ask today for strength and energy for each of Your warriors fighting this dreaded enemy, cancer.  Bless them with the resolve to see the fight through to complete victory. 
I ask special blessings for friend Sharon as she goes through surgery for colon cancer tomorrow.  Be with the medical staff as they perform their version of miracles and with her family as they support her through her journey.
These things we ask in Jesus' precious name, the name above all names.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 186 Hope!

I woke this morning feeling great.  Thank You God.  I felt excited and hopeful for all the good things to come.  I began to think about decorating for Christmas, working up flowerbeds in the spring, turning the soil in my little raised gardens for veggies and herbs, repainting the living room, rehabbing some antiques.  Pretty ambitious, huh?!  I know that after I finish with joy juice, I'll have to start to work on my strength.  Body Designer and maybe a free yoga class for cancer survivors at Memorial Hermann. 

I often stay so focused on right now that I don't look ahead.  Maybe I need to do more looking ahead.  I have learned not to plan too much for one day but it's hard not to take advantage and overdo it on days that I feel like this.

It's all about hope, hope and standing on the promises of God. 

" but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."              Isaiah 40:31

This morning I sat down at my desk in the bedroom for the first time in a long while.  My little One Minute Devotional was still at April 23rd, the day I was first diagnosed with cancer.  What a toll I have allowed this condition to take on my life.  I used to study there every morning and write my "morning pages" - I'll tell you more about those another time.  I haven't been there for six months.  I just moved to the couch where I ailed and felt sorry for myself.  Not to say I won't have more of those days but maybe this is the beginning of the end of them. 

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
I humbly thank You for this beautiful and glorious day.  I thank You for the energy and sense of well being that I am feeling today.  I know that I'm walking in Your favor today and nothing can keep me down and I am grateful.
Lord, I want to share this good feeling with all my fellow warriors fighting cancer today.  I want to send this same sense of hope and strength to each one of them as they fight their individual battles. Let them know that the time is in sight when they will soar again on wings like eagles, and will run and not grow weary and will walk and not be faint.
It's all You, Father, all You.
In Jesus' precious name, the name above all names.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 185 Back in the Kitchen!

Wow.. In spite of a really rough weekend, I felt good enough yesterday to paint and to fix dinner last night.  Instead of a frozen meal, I fixed a healthy tuna salad with boiled egg and apple.  Tuna and apple are both antiangiogenesis.  I made my own coffee this morning.  Still tasted a little muddy and certainly not as good as McD's but it worked.  Scrambled an egg and pan fried some left over baked potato.  Coffee, olive oil for the potatoes and a little tomato catsup.............all antiangiogenesis. 

If you've missed some of my past posts, there are certain foods that discourage the thriving of rogue blood vessels that feed cancer cells.  Lots of evidence now shows that including more of these foods in the diet can help prevent cancer.   You can learn more about it at .  

For some reason, I'm craving fruit the last two days.  Pineapple juice seems to be the only thing that satisfies my thirst.  That along with apple and pears have made me pretty happy.  I should have purchased red grapes when I was at the store.  They're antiangiogenesis too.  I'll pick up some more when I get ready for next week's round of joy juice. 

I praise God for this recuperation because I thought the whole week was going to be a loss.  Not so fast grasshopper.  My God is in the miracle business and anything can happen at any time.

I spoke with long time friend Sharon on the phone last evening.  Sharon beat breast cancer years ago and has now been diagnosed with colon cancer.   Her surgery is scheduled with my surgeon so I know she's in good hands.  Prayers that she'll come through with a good report that the cancer was contained and she won't need chemo.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another glorious day here on this earth that you thought into existence.   We love You and are so grateful for every minute to spend honoring You and with our loved ones.
We ask special healing mercies for Sharon today and protection for her as she has surgery next Tuesday.  Father, we know she is in Your hands and she walks in Your favor.  We are expecting good reports from her doctors after surgery.
Thank You Father, for the strength and fortitude that You've given each warrior fighting cancer today.  Thank You for the healing information that leads the researchers daily closer to an answer as to how to eradicate this dreaded enemy.   Bless the researchers, the medical staff and the caregivers that work with these warriors daily. 
We ask these things in Jesus' name, the name above pain, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 184 Up Down Up Down Up Up Up

I had a good night's sleep and woke this morning feeling fairly energetic.  Thank You Father.  I did get out yesterday for a few groceries which always makes me happy because the walk around the store is the most exercise I'm getting lately.  Took care of bills and did a little cleaning.  My plan for today is to paint.  Praise God. 

I was contacted by a new follower yesterday who said God led her to my blog because her husband had just been diagnosed with colon cancer.  Prayers today for this new friend's husband that the report comes back good and the cancer has not spread. 

Friend Renee is back at work while having radiation treatments daily.  What a warrior she is.  Thank You God for her healing. 

Psalm 91 is my favorite chapter for God's protection.  This morning I read an earlier chapter in Psalm and this verse is almost a precursor to Psalm 91.

"O God.  All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings."    Psalm 36:7

Then I read this statement in the book, Regret, Rehearse, Rejoice:

"Look for God in the midst of all circumstances."

We have to know He is there in order to take refuge in the shadow of His wings.  Someone once said to me that feeling God's presence was like putting on a overcoat, wrapping himself up in God's love and protection.  I like that.  I know that whenever I turn my thoughts to God, I am immediately wrapped in that love and protection, that I can feel it and I can block out all fear and negativity.   What an awesome God we serve.

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
I humble myself before You this morning in gratitude for another beautiful day, another productive day, and the knowledge that You are here with me right now.  How amazing to feel Your presence and not just think it.  Thank You Father, thank You.
I ask special healing mercies on our new friend whose husband has just been diagnosed with colon cancer.  I am asking for a good report that the cancer is contained and has not spread.  Whatever the report, we know that Your report is the only one that matters.
Thank You Father for stealing Renee to weather the treatments to send cancer running from her body never to return.  She is one of Your special children and we're so grateful for her healing.
I am asking strength and fortitude for everyone out there fighting cancer today.  Make each one of them a victor in this battle.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 183 I'm Back, Again

Well, this has been a part of the journey I didn't anticipate at this time.  I was thinking I had the treatment pretty well figured out and under control and knew which days were recovery days and which days would be productive days.  Not so fast, grasshopper.  I was unhooked from chemo on Thursday, then went in for the shot to grow some more white blood cells on Friday.  Not too bad on Saturday but Sunday was another story.  It was bad enough for a mini meltdown which I haven't had in weeks and weeks.   Weak and shaky and, of course, the big N.....nausea.  Mel delivered food and I didn't get up until yesterday.  No body aches so far and I'm grateful for that. 

Now, here's good news.  Insurance sends a nurse practitioner once a year to make sure I'm lucid enough to take my meds.  Please.........   She checked blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen absorption, and for neuropathy.  A little neuropathy which is a side effect of the chemo, but other than being really pale, she said I was very healthy for being on chemo.  Yay!!! 

"Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."            I Thessalonians 5:16-18

So, I have plans for today.  Not sure how far I'll get with them but I'm working on a list.  Whatever I can't finish today, I'll just put off until tomorrow.  I feel like I've earned the right to a little procrastination.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You for bringing me through another challenge.  I couldn't do it without You.  Forgive me for not praying when I'm at my sickest.  If it's a lack of faith, I ask that You strengthen me in my faith in You.  I know You're there for me and for all of us all the time.
I ask healing blessings, Father, for friend Barry who was in a motorcycle accident over the weekend and is in the hospital.
Thank You Father, for taking friend Frank through another round of chemo successfully.
Father, I ask special mercies for each cancer fighter out there today.  Strengthen us, fortify us for the battle against the enemy.  Help us to defeat the enemy so completely that it never returns.
I pray these things in the name of my precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 177 Midnight Musings

It's day 177, barely.  A little after midnight and I'm wide awake.   Tuesday's infusion went well.  I'm all hooked up for today and tomorrow.  Bloodwork was good as well except white blood cells are very low.  I'll go back in on Friday for a shot that will force the bone marrow to manufacture more white cells and Dr. P says I should only need the one shot since I ONLY HAVE FOUR MORE TREATMENTS TO GO!!  Yay!!!

Not sure why I'm up so early except that I had to medicate on Monday and slept about fourteen hours Monday night.  Guess I'm all caught up.  Went to sleep last night around nine and up at twelve.  I hope by the time I'm finished writing my little eyes will start to feel droopy and I can go back to sleep.

I was thinking again while I was at Dr. P's for infusion yesterday how lucky I am.  We all looked like we were wrapped in cocoons.  Each of us in a recliner, a neck pillow behind our head and wrapped up tightly in  one or two blankets.  During the hours I'm there, I hear about what other patients are dealing with.  One lady yesterday who drove many miles to come to Dr. P for treatment is also dealing with diabetes.  Part of the chemo cocktail is delivered with a healthy dose of steroids.  The steroids makes her blood sugar spike and, in addition to the chemo, they have to work to balance her diabetes meds with the steroids.  One elderly lady has a large tumor that is causing her much pain.  Dr. P is working to shrink it with chemo before she has surgery.  She's so sick she has to have someone help her to walk to the restroom.  Some people have family that come with them for help.  Some people have hired nurses that come in with them and stay during treatment and a chauffer to drive them home.  In comparison, I am healthy and strong.  I'm able to drive myself, do  my own housework.....barely....., paint enough to get my bills paid,  take care of my animals and my plants, and praise the Lord for all He has done for me.

"But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing for You.  Spread Your protection over them."    Psalm 5:11

"Then Your light shall break forth like the dawn, and Your healing shall spring up quickly"
Isaiah 58:8

What an awesome God we serve.  I am so grateful for every little thing.  Yesterday when I went for my McD coffee, I just had to thank Him for that coffee and for being able to drive to get it and for having the  money to pay for it.  When I stepped out of my car, the feeling of gratitude hit me like a jolt of electricity.  I say this in my prayer often, but it's all Him.  All Him.  All my good is from God and I know it.  He is the unfailing source of my healing, my supply, and He has plans for me and I am grateful.  I don't know those plans but whatever they are, I know they are for my highest good, either now or later. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I humbly kneel before You in gratitude for everything You do for me.  I thank You for the largest and the smallest blessings.  I know they are all from You.
Father, I ask today for healing for the lady with diabetes and for the lady with the tumor in her abdomen.  Let Your light break forth and Your healing spring up quickly.  I thank You in advance for what You are doing for each of them.
Help me today, Lord, to keep You in my every thought and every deed, in every breath.  It is only through You that I have the wonderful life that I have.  I feel the love You have for me and I love You too.  Thank You Father.  Thank You.
In Jesus' precious name, the name above diabetes, the name above cancer, the name above tumors, the name above all names.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 175 Start of Round 8 Week!

It's hard to believe that after this week, I'll only have 4 treatments left.  Wow!  I'm so excited.  Bloodwork today, infusion tomorrow, hooked up to pump Wed and Thursday and then starting recovery again.
I've had a hard time managing the nausea this cycle.  Usually by now I'm off meds or limiting them to the evening.  Today I started with them at 8am.  I was down all day Friday and trying to play catchup in the studio on Saturday.  Sunday was church and what a blessing it was to get back there.
I study and listen and watch some sermons on tv but nothing takes the place of the peace and energy that comes from being part of a spirit filled congregation.

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing."  Hebrews 10:25

I sort of equate it to watching a football game on tv, which I do a lot of.  It can be exciting but nothing replaces the energy of being in the midst of a huge crowd of fans all rooting for the same team.   I love to watch Joel and David Jeremiah, but it doesn't take the place of being a part of a church family.  If you don't have one or feel unfulfilled where you are going, find another church.  But whatever you do, find one.  The blessings are incomparable.

Praise report from Renee.  She has started her radiation treatments which will complete step 3 of her 4 step journey to cured. 

Prayer request for long time friend Annette who prays with us daily.  Annette has a bad staph infection on her face and it needs healing quickly.

My new neighbor across the street, Earnest,  came over this weekend to introduce himself.  He has prostrate cancer and is on dialysis.  He travels three mornings a week at 4am for 3 hours on a dialysis machine.  In spite of all of this, he has a mobile car detailing service and serves as a deacon in his church.  What an incredible example he is.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for yesterday.  Thank You for Texas Cowboy Church, it's leaders and members who all love and honor You in the purest way.  What a blessing it is to be a part of that church family.
Father, we ask in Jesus' name for a sudden and complete healing for Annette from the staph infection that has invaded her body.  That is an ugly enemy not unlike cancer and we pray for it's total elimination so complete that it will never return.
Father, we give special thanks for the healing journey that Renee is on and for how far You've brought her and for taking her through to a complete healing.
Father, we ask in Jesus' name special healing blessings for Earnest today.  Strengthen his body so that he can fight and have victory over the enemy cancer.  We know that Your hand is what lights the fire leading to complete health and victory.
We love You Lord.  We bless and honor You.  It's all You, Father, all You.
In Jesus' precious name, the name above all names.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 172 Being Bolder

" Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."               Hebrews 4:16

After I read this scripture this morning, it struck me that I need to be bolder and more direct in my prayer requests.  I'm sharing that because as I am bolder, so will those of you who pray with me.
There is nothing bolder than praying in the Word.

"Help us, o Lord our God, for we rest on You and in Your name we go against this multitude (of cancers)"      2Chronicles 14:11

I have several prayer requests today, so settle yourself down, connect with spirit and join me in holding these people up in prayer, in bold prayer.

First I had a call from a friend, Lillian, a past client.  I haven't seen her or spoken with her in a few years.  It turns out Lillian had colon cancer in 1986, was left with only 6" of colon and has remained cancer free for over 25 years.  Now she is losing her eyesight and asks for prayers to stop the loss.

Lillian's step-granddaughter, Ashley, is only 26 years old and has been fighting multiple cancers for over 3 years.  Currently it is lung cancer that she is dealing with.

Friend Gracie who has been a great moral boost for me throughout this journey is having her gallbladder removed this morning.  She asks for prayer for her and her surgeon for an easy and successful procedure.

Friend Frank met with his oncologist yesterday.  His lymph nodes are down and he has gained some weight back, Praise God, but they are having a hard time adjusting his coumadin so this next chemo has been delayed for a week.  We want to pray for the blood to normalize so he can go forward with treatment.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
We come boldly before Your throne today interceding for your children in need of healing.  We ask  specifically for healing and restoration in each case.  We love and honor You and ask Your help in forgiving others so that You may forgive us, cleansing us so that we deserve to be heard.
Father, we ask in Jesus' name that You stop the degeneration of Lillian's eyesight.  Even though we know the timing of miracles is in Your hands, nevertheless we ask for her healing and restoration of the sight she has lost to be suddenly.
We ask in Jesus' name for the total remission of cancer in Ashley's body,  so profoundly that it is completely obliterated, never to return.
We ask in Jesus' name for total success in Grace's surgery today, that you guide her surgeon in the process and strengthen her body for a complete healing.
We ask Father in Jesus' name for a supernatural healing for Frank, that his blood flow as it should, that, if it is your will for chemo to be a part of his healing, that it be administered as needed and his body accept it and the cancer cells be destroyed forever, never to return.
Father, we give You all the praise, honor and glory as we rest on You and You give us authority over all the powers of the enemies as, in Your name, we go against this multitude of sicknesses.
We ask these things in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 171 Back Online

I was without my computer yesterday .........grrrrr.   Finally connected with a neat guy named Clay from Houston in the Little Rock call center that got me all fixed up.   Thank You Father.

I was able to have a productive day on Tuesday.  Today's word from Joel Osteen speaks to taking yourself out of your routine and everyday surroundings.  I did a little of that yesterday.  Took Chipper for a much needed bath, had lunch at TJinn's and then walked around Michael's for a while before shipping some more paintings, picking up Chipper and back home.  That was a huge day for me and meant several hours back on the couch.

The thing about chemotherapy is that it is different from other medications.  If you have an illness, you're given meds which, along with the cure, will make you feel better and stronger.  With chemotherapy, you're given meds which make you feel worse and the longer you take them the weaker  you get.  I've always considered myself strong and fit and able to do most everything on my own.  Yesterday, when coaxing Chipper into the back of the van, as I always do, I went to step up into the van and couldn't.  There was not enough strength in my legs to lift myself up.  I ended up having to set on the floorboard and swing my legs in and then crawl to a spot in the back where I could get him in.  This morning, I vacuumed and just that and moving the couch had my heart racing as if I'd just  run a mini marathon.  Back to the couch.  Now I have to rest up to get enough energy to go paint and, believe me, painting does require energy.... maybe more mental than physical, but energy nevertheless. 

More trees to paint today.  Friend Teri posted a picture of a bronze tree on her fb page today along with the scripture which I've personalized:

"The Lord stands beside me and is my protective shade."          Psalm 121;5

I still have my Trees of Many Colors to start and will as soon as I have the galleries supplied and the commissions done.  It keeps sounding like forever to get to that point but I actually was in the studio two days earlier this round than I was the last round.  I should be able to catch up today on lots of work and maybe get a little ahead of myself.  Woo Hoo.............

Blessed Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this glorious day.  Thank You for the energy to create and produce work that honors You in the process.
Thank You Father for moving me a few days further along the path to cured.  I kneel in humble gratitude for every thing You do for me, no matter how large or how small.
I ask special blessings on friend Frank today as he goes to see his oncologist.  Let Your hand be the guide to his healing and recovery. 
Thank You Father for your healing mercies for everyone fighting this enemy called cancer.  Keep us in the palm of your hand today and let us feel the protective shade you're covering us with.
I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 169 Order and Harmony

I felt almost normal for a while this morning.  Drove to McD's for coffee.  My coffee tastes like mud and I used to love WB coffee but it tastes like mud now too.  Only McD's coffee is working for me and it's wonderful.  Had a late night last night watching the Texans win another game.  My guys. :)  Up early, had coffee and breakfast and now nausea is making it's way back into the picture.  I don't want to take meds for it because other than the nausea, I think I may have the energy to paint some today.  If I don't rely on meds, it's going to have to be mind over matter.  Not sure how good I am at that but I'm williing to give it a try because once I start on the meds, it's back to the couch.  What a couch potato I'm turning into.

Today's affirmation in the Daily Word is:

"I am filled with the life, strength, and energy of God"

"The joy of the Lord is your strength."  Nehemiah 8:10

I am really going to have to meditate on this.  It'll have to be quiet time and selah.  That means "to ponder."  Actually one of my favorite series that I've painted is called "Selah."  I have a large commission I'm working on now of that same series.  I guess my thought is that the viewer will want to clear his mind and just look at the painting.  The symmetry and repetition of the trees has a very calming effect.  It's all about order and harmony.   I think in some way, illness is disorder and disharmony in the body. 

So, I have my marching orders for the day.  Affirmation and meditation.  Then to paint.  What an awesome, glorious day this is going to be.

Thank You Precious Lord, Jehavah Rapha, for the strength, the life and the energy of God flowing through my body.  Thank You for the ability to overcome nausea without medications, but by setting my mind to focus on You and Your healing spirit that is moving mightily within me right now.  I ask in Jesus' name that the same healing spirit move mightily within each and every person out there fighting this enemy named cancer.  You said that You have given us the authority to overcome all the powers of the enemy and we stand on that promise today, Father.   You said that You are not a God of disorder, but of peace.  I pray that peace touch the lives and hearts of each of Your warriors as they are overcoming the power of that enemy.
These things I ask in the precious name of Jesus Christ, the name above pain, the name above cancer, the name above all names.