Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 160 What's Up With Me?

Me me me me me me ................  I'm feeling sick of me this morning.  I didn't write yesterday because I slept  almost all day except for a short trip to pick up some art from a show.  Friday was a productive day, so what's the deal?  Oh my gosh, could it be depression?  I don't get depressed.  I'm either feeling really sick or feeling less sick, but not depressed.    Maybe it's because I'm disappointed that I don't feel better this week off from joy juice.   I don't know.  Whatever it is, I don't feel like doing anything. 

I had planned on church this morning.  That means shower, wash my hair and try to fix it which is becoming a more and more hopeless job.  I don't have the energy to shop for a wig.  Guess I could order something off the net which is what I do with almost everything.  Or I could just leave it and quit worrying about it.  No one really cares about how my hair looks except me. 

My gosh, what a pity party today.   How much sadder could that be?  Maybe it's the weather.  Overcast and dreary.  I actually like rainy weather so it can't be that.  I don't know.  I probably should erase this maudlin diatribe.   It could be so much worse.   I know there are so many out there dealing with much more than I am.  I just don't feel like fighting, I don't feel like being cheerful, I don't feel like being hopeful.

Okay, that's it.  I'm not putting pressure on myself to do anything, to go anywhere, to feel any sort of way.  I feel what I feel and that's it.  I think I need to create something today and I think I need that more than anything.  Not sure what.  Not necessarily a painting.  I just want to make something.  I need to put my hands to work. 

Okay, that's it.  I just talked, or rather wrote, myself out of this funk.   I'm gonna make something.  Maybe a pie for my SIL.  Maybe I'll play with some collage.  I don't know.  I'm just gonna walk around the house until I decide what it's going to be.  I'll let you know tomorrow. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
You are so good to me.  When I dig myself into a pit, You always provide a ladder to get me up out of it.  I would be nothing, nowhere without You.  I give You, Lord, all the praise, honor and glory for everything good in my  life.
I'm grateful this morning for the home where I live, for the air I breathe, for the creativity you instilled in my soul and for the privilege of using that creativity to earn my living.  I am truly blessed.
Father, I know that those others out there fighting this enemy experience the same downs that I do.  I ask that You give them the same hope You give me, that same ability to go above those downs. 
Thank You, Father, thank You.
In the precious name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah,

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 158 Coasting Into Round 7

Wednesday was only a semi productive day and yesterday, Thursday, was a greatly productive day.  No nausea free day yet but meds are handling things so I can paint.  Thank You Jesus.  This means that today and tomorrow, I'll be able to paint as well.  Then Sunday is Cowboy Church at the Ft. Bend County Fair, the Texans game and Monday starts bloodwork and shopping for Joy Juice days that start again on Tuesday.    It seems my routine is pretty well set now and that's about 4 good paint days out of 14.   I am hoping that if I'm more careful about eliminating fats and spices from my diet, I can keep diarrhea at bay and work my way into 5 paint days per cycle instead of just 4.

One thing I have been diligent about this round and that is my supplements.  I've only missed on the worst days.  Nothing tastes good much any more except for sweet and salty so I keep a bag of spice drops open to grab one every once in a while.  For some reason,  Campbell's soups have become my lunch of choice.  Probably because of the high sodium content.  Not the new healthy choice ones, the old fashioned ones that have been around forever.  Anyway, I'm just happy with vegetable soup and chicken noodle.  I may have to venture out this week and add chicken and stars to the mix.  Before this week, it's probably been 10 or 15 years since I've had canned soup.  Weird..... but I don't question.  I'm just so happy whenever I can think of something that doesn't come out of the fridge that I can eat. 

Spoke with friend Renee.  She's still just a little sore from her surgery but is going back to work next week.  What a miracle that is.  Praise God.  Friend Frank had his second round of chemo this week and several days out was handling it well.  My best friend, Darlene, sent word that her precious siamese, Chanel, has been diagnosed with a tumor and is having surgery on Tuesday.   What a hated enemy cancer is.   Bonnie Franklin is now fighting pancreatic cancer. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
If ever there was a plague on this earth, it is cancer.  It destroys from within and takes your most valued and precious children.  Everyone who prays with me daily is joining me now to raise our voices in united prayer asking for a complete cure of cancer, eradicating it from the face of the earth so that the word cancer becomes nothing more than a postscript in history books.
Thank You, Father, for the thousands who are being cured daily.  We ask that the numbers of the cured be increased ten thousand times over. 
Thank You, Father, for blessing me and all of the prayer buddies that join in prayer for others.  Give us a productive day where our main focus is on doing Your will and knowing that, no matter the circumstances, You are. 
In Jesus' precious name.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 156 Moving Mountains

Yesterday didn't go exactly as planned.  Joy Juice showed up and showed out about 10am.  I got one box shipped and then a minor meltdown.  It's been a few weeks since I've had a cry over this but it made me feel better to cry while I gritted my teeth and chewed out nausea and weakness.  I'm sick of it.

So what comes along today?  My daughter sent me Joel Osteen's word for the day.  In it, he says the following:

"Instead of talking to God about how big your problems are, talk to your problems about how big your God is."

Okay, I did that.  Yesterday and today.  My God is bigger than nausea.  My God is bigger than weakness and malaise.  My God is certainly bigger than cancer.  He is in the miracle business and performs them daily.  My miracle I'm expecting today is a productive day, a day in which what I planned for Monday and Tuesday finally gets done.  I can do it, in Jesus'  name, knowing that God has my back today and I am walking in His favor and grace. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I feel like a warrior today.  I am speaking to my mountains and sending them into the sea, in Jesus' name.  Today is a day of joy, of favor, and of productivity.  I can do all things through God who strenthens me.   Today, Father, I am believing for the strength and endurance to accomplish what I need  to.  With You, I can do it.  In the name of Jesus Christ, I banish all negative influences to the sea along with any other mountain standing in my way. 
Only through You, Lord, can I accomplish the impossible.
Thank You, Father.  Thank You.   It's all You.
In Jesus' precious name, the name above all names, the one true Messiah.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 155 Rescued

Yesterday was another day down with meds............. but today is another story!  Thank You Jesus. 
A little energy is creeping back into my body, I feel hopeful for a productive day.  My plans are to wire paintings and ship to a collector in Arizona and my gallery in San Antonio.  Then I'll start the large commission I planned to start yesterday and start another commission order that came in yesterday.  God is so good to me.  One source of my income was eliminated and He replaced it with commission after commission after commission.  Only You, Father, could do that.  It is written that when a door is closed another one opens and He opened that one for me.

It is just another confirmation that He is taking care of me. 

" Because you love me," says the Lord, "I will rescue you; I will protect you for you acknowledge my name.  You will call on my name and I will answer you; I will be with you in time of trouble, I will deliver you and honor you.  With long life will I satisfy you and show you my salvation."  Psalm 91:14-16

I hope you'll forgive my personalizing  but this is my verse and I want to feel like God is speaking directly to me when I read or recited it.  When I read these verses, I know that I am healed, and long life and my salvation are secure.

Do you have a verse that speaks to you the way this one does to me?  If not, please borrow mine or search and read until you find the one that you are sure God placed there just for you.  If nothing else, read Psalm 91 over and over until it soaks into your soul and calms any fears you have.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for Your words of comfort.  Thank You Father for the knowledge that You are with me whatever I'm going through and that my salvation is secure.
Father, I ask today that You extend the same comfort and security that I feel to each and every other person out there dealing with this enemy.  Let them know that if they acknowledge Your name, you will honor and deliver them. 
Thank You, Lord, for everything you do for each of these cancer warriors, granting them victory so complete that they never have to deal with this enemy again.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above cancer, the name above fear, the name above pain, the name above all names.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 154 The Power of Patience

The weekend did not go as I had expected.  After making it through the typically worst days, Thursday and Friday, I thought I would be up and ready to go by Saturday and Sunday.  Not so fast, grasshopper.  I obviously ate something I should not have and, let me tell you, hell hath no fury as an angry colon.  Oh my gosh.  Back to the couch for another two days.

I had plans to start a large commission over the weekend, to finish up a small one, and to earn some more money for the Lord and me.  It all belongs to Him anyway, and I'm honored every time I write a check of thanks.  So, why another setback?

Today's devotional in Streams in the Desert speaks to that.  George Matheson describes times when he felt he was to do God's work but was forced to turn back or to stop and heal from an unexpected illness.  In his words:

" But I finally remembered that the Spirit requires not only a service of work but also a service of waiting." 

Sometimes there is learning in the waiting and an opportunity for prayer and reflection and study that wouldn't have happened otherwise.  Whatever the reason, I accept it with gratitude knowing it's from God.   This short poem completed the devotional for today.

When I cannot understand my Father's leading,
And it seems to be but hard and cruel fate,
Still I hear that gentle whisper ever pleading,
God is working, God is faithful, ONLY WAIT.
Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You so much for the timely words in this little book.  Only You know exactly what I need and when I need it. 
Thank You for reminding me that it is all in Your timing, not mine.
My healing will come and I will gratefully receive it when You say it is time for it.
When I think that I can't deal with this for another three months, You send me word that I can.
What a great and awesome Father You are.
I ask your healing blessings today and the power of patience for each and every one of us fighting this terrible enemy.  Give us the strength to take advantage of our "down" time to use it to bring us closer to You.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 151 Another Praise Report

What an awesome God we serve.   Friend Frank met with the drs yesterday and they were astounded at the results from his first chemo treatment.  He's on schedule for Round 2 today so prayers please for even more astounding results with this round.   Thank You, Jesus.

Day 3 has usually been the worst for me.  Yesterday, I went in for disconnect from the pump with a smile on my face.  That is a first.  I've written before about staying ahead in the count with the antinausea meds and it made a huge difference.  I cannot tell you how difficult that has been for me in the past.  My history is to wait until it's time to go to the er before I resort to taking a medication of any sort.  I may be a slow learner but I eventually learn.  Same round today for Day 4 which usually comes in only a little easier than Day 3.  I fully expect Saturday to be a feel good active day and I'm excited.  As a matter of fact, I usually don't even blog on days 3 & 4 because I feel so poorly and here I am, up, awake, happy and typing away. 

I slept yesterday .............. a lot.  I ate healthy.  I even made a trip to the farmer's market the day before and cooked up a big batch of fresh out of the garden collard greens.  Greens are important in getting my blood platelets built back up.  Pretty tasty too.  I'll probably have some more today.  Just wish I had some cornbread but .............. no need.  I'll just add a baked sweet potato and that'll suffice.  That and dark meat turkey sausage for antiangiogenesis.  I'm doing good.  Thank You Father. 

Robin Roberts who has been such a great example through her journey with breast cancer is currently in the process of undergoing bone marrow transplant for another cancer that surfaced.  In the midst of all this, her beautiful Mom passed and that had to be a huge obstacle to see over.  Prayers for her today.

Art friend Betty who has had me on her church's prayer list and who prayed with me over the phone weeks back asked for prayers from you prayer buddies for her Mom.  You may remember the picture of her beautiful artist mother, Harriet,  who defeated colon cancer years and years ago.  Betty writes that Harriet is in pain, mostly in a wheel chair and starting treatment with a chiropracter in hopes of becoming more mobile. 

What a blessing it is to be able to give thanks, to pray for others and to honor our blessed Father by staying close to Him.  There is nothing too big for Him to accomplish. 

"......the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were."
Romans 4:17

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Father, this morning I bow before You, honoring You, blessing You and in huge gratitude to be able to serve You in whatever way I can.  I thank You, Father, for answered prayers.  I thank You, Father, for the honor of praying for others.  I thank You, Father, for the friends that come together with me daily to pray together for others.  Thank You Father, thank You.
May we always remember that You are faithful and will not allow us to be tempted to give up, because when we are tempted You also provide a way to stand up under it.
What a great and gracious God You are. 
Thank You for hearing our prayers for healing in Frank and Robin and Harriet today Lord.  Give them and everyone fighting this dreaded enemy long years of life in which to further serve you.
Thank You.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 150 Looking Ahead

Looking back over my life, I have always been a task oriented person.  Way back in real estate days, my office attended a seminar to determine our personality type.  One of the questions asked was what sort of animal we saw ourselves as.  Some of the agents said they were eagles, others were stallions.  I saw myself as a horse hooked to a gristmill with blinders on just focusing on going around in circles until all the grain was ground.  Hmmmmm............   I think this tendency is part of what has frustrated me so much during the treatment.  I've always just been in control and take care of business and suddenly everything was pretty much out of my hands.  The only positive things I could do was diet until surgery and then the nausea took over control of the diet.  That and firing my first oncologist.  I guess that was a big step actually, but certainly the right step. 

When I was so deep in the malaise of the treatment, it was almost impossible to look past the end of 6 months of treatment and life back to normal.  All I could focus on was what I was dealing with at that moment.  One of the thoughts that crossed my mind was that I should prepare a treasure map for After Joy Juice.  I didn't even know what to put on it but after this morning I know.......I know....

Most of my income the past few years has been derived from doing art shows and festivals.  They're hard work but I loved every minute of meeting with my collectors, visiting with art students that come out and connecting with other artists that I only see year to year.  Last fall I started feeling like I just didn't have the strength to do shows any more.  I was the last one packed up and the drive home was torture.  I did one show this spring and then had to cancel the rest.  I thought it was my age catching up with me.  That wasn't the case, as we all know now.  Today, I received an email notice of one of my favorite spring shows and it sparked a new enthusiasm.  I'm feeling now like I'll be able to make it.  I'm taking my focus off what's going on now and finally looking to an artful future and getting on with my life.   I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do but I can sure plan and work toward it.   Thank You Lord.

"Whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is any thing worthy of praise, think about these things."    Phillipians 4:8

Prayer request came from Robert and Rosemary, music ministers at Texas Cowboy Church, for a friend who served as best man at their wedding.  Mario has battled diabetes for years and has now been diagnosed with a cancer in his neck.  Please pray for healing for Mario.

Precious Lord,  Jehovah Rapha,
I come before you today Father in humble gratitude for another amazingly glorious day.  I thank You for the privilege of another day here on this beautiful earth. 
I thank You Father for my healing, for forgiving my weakness and doubt, for strengthening my body and my will power. 
As those who pray with me daily raise our voices as one, we are asking in Jesus' name for healing for Mario and that You will be with friend Frank and the medical staff as he goes back today to decide on further treatment. 
Lord, bless everyone out there today dealing with cancer, give them the strength to put their faith in You and to know anything is possible.  It's all You Father, it's all You.
These things I pray in Jesus' name, the one true Messiah.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


What an awesome day yesterday was.   First of all, friend Renee who we've prayed for many times posted that she went for her first postop checkup and was declared Cancer Free!  Praise God!  Next step is radiation to take care of any little rogue cells floating around in her system.

Secondly, I met with Dr. Popatia yesterday about the same time that Renee was meeting with her doctor.  Blood work showed that the cancer cells have come down 1.3 points to 9.2.  Liver enzymes were down.  And the Petscan showed no evidence of cancer anywhere in my body from brain down through all the organs.  Praise God!  I don't know which of us was more excited.  Since I handled the last lower dosage of the oxilliplatin so much better than in the past, Dr. P  kept this week's dosage at the same level.  I went in for infusion and immediately fell asleep for the next 2 1/2 hours.  Went home, ate healthy, and slept for another 3 hours.  Wow, those must have been really healing naps.
Day 2 of Joy Juice and I'm doing well.  I think I will consider myself cancer free when the bloodwork shows the cell level at 3 which is normal.  So, that is what I'm praying for and working toward.   I had even gained one lb.  First time in my life I've been excited to see the scale go up.

I saw on last night's news the story about the young volley ball player at Memorial High that was diagnosed with lymphoma in April and is back with a fuzz of hair and on the volley ball court playing her same great game.   God is good..........all the time.  Still praying for friend Frank that he can take some more treatments to help defeat the cancer he is fighting now.  The prognosis only belongs to doctors if you don't give God a chance to show up with His own prognosis. 

I was reading through Bill Henderson's book this morning on defeating cancer naturally.  I disagree with his recommendation not to take chemo, but the rest of the book has lots of incredible info.  I followed the dietary and supplemental protocol fairly closely for 4 weeks prior to surgery.  I think it had a huge effect on the success of the surgery as well as getting my cholesterol level down to 88.  My cardiologist was in shock and could hardly believe I had achieved that without meds.  Now that the nausea is at a more manageable level and since starting probiotics the diarrhea is greatly reduced, I think I can tolerate the best foods and supplements for me again.   To read up  on Bill Henderson, go to

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You infinitely for the good reports that are coming through every day.  We are so blessed to be a part of Your kingdom, your cherished children that You love in a way we'll never truly understand.  We love you too, Father.
Lord, I ask today that every cancer warrior out there takes a proactive part in their victory over this disease.  Let them look to You first, and then to the medical community and then to the naturopathic community to help them stay their healthiest through the journey.  You have already given us all the information we need to know.  We just need to be diligent in studying, affirming, praying and giving thanks for every single day, regardless of what happens that day.
We thank You Father for another great and glorious day.  Thank You for my prayer buddies that pray daily for You and for all the warriors fighting this hated enemy.  Bless each and every one many times over for every prayer they have sent up for others.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 148 IF is a mighty big word

Eons ago, there was a song that was either named IF is a Mighty Big Word or that was a refrain in the song.  Anyway, God woke me around 5am to talk to me about the verse I wrote here yesterday.

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you."
John 15:7

My first tendency was to skip to the second half of the verse and focus on that while reciting the entire verse.  Not so fast, grasshopper.   IF is a mighty big word in this scripture.  As Pastor RO often says, with God, it's like checkers.  You move and God moves.  That's true here too.  Jesus places a double responsibility on us in the first half of this verse in order to enjoy the second half.

He speaks of His words.  You know, those written in red.  He stresses the importance of everything that he has taught or will teach us from His time here on earth.   To be in Him, we have to have Him at the forefront of everything we do, think and feel.  We have to meditate on His words.  Then we can ask whatever we wish.

Sometimes the IF is not written but is distinctly implied.  John 14:15 says

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.

Here Jesus is saying if we ask in His name, He will do it. 

"Forgive and you will be forgiven."  Luke 6:37

IF you forgive, God will forgive you.

"Give and it will be given to you."  Luke 6:38

IF you give, it will be given to  you. 
I'm thinking that some of you will read Jesus' promises now in a new light.  At least I hope you do.  No more focusing on the promise until you've discerned the requirement first, the big IF.

Yesterday was another good day for me.  Except for another nail in a tire and having to buy a new tire.  Good news is I wasn't left on the freeway with a flat tire.  Thank You God.  I was able to juice and have the flax oil/cottage cheese smoothie at mid morning to kick cancer's butt.  I ate more veggies than I've eaten in 4 months and my sweet little tummy tolerated them.  My colon is healing and I'm grateful.  I feel like I am finally able to take part in my healing by staying more alkaline in my diet and focusing on the best foods to defeat the enemy.  Today at 11:30, I'll get the results of the petscan from Friday and start Joy Juice, Round 6.
Everyone have a great and blessed day.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this gorgeous day.  I'm excited to see all that You have in store for me today. 
Father, I recognize my responsibility first in asking for healing for me and for all those out there fighting this enemy.  In Luke 10:19, You gave us the authority to overcome the power of the enemy and there are few enemies worse than cancer.  I thank You for that authority and I accept it in Jesus' name.  I ask strength for my fellow warriors so that we can complete this fight until cancer is wiped off the face of the earth. 
I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above cancer, the name above all illness, the name above pain, the name above all names.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 147 It's Going Good...........

............ and I'm so happy.  Saturday was a great paint day.  Even got in a little yesterday.  I went to church to honor God and say thanks for all He's done for me through this.  What a great church family I have.  Hug from friend Anita and she told me she had prayed that morning that I would be in church.  And, there I was.  Lots more hugs.  Lots of supporting words.  Great message.

I've written before how when God sends a message He always sends confirmation.  Friend Cindy gave a beautiful testimony yesterday about God's moving in her life once she began to declare God's favor over her life.  She also quoted the scriptures she prays over and over throughout the day.  One of them was John 15:7.

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you."

What a powerful statement Jesus made with those few words.

At the end of the service, Pastor RO gifted each of the women in the congregation with a cd entitled "Secrets of the Vine for Women."    It is by Darlene Wilkinson and is based on Bruce Wilkinson's book, "Secrets of the Vine" which is in turn based on .................  you guessed it ..................... John 15.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.  Both John 15 and the book.  The author explains the importance of good works or fruit and how to go from just fruit to more fruit to much fruit.  It's a tiny but powerful book and his wife took it to another level personalizing it for just women.  I listened last night until I fell asleep and when I woke about 2:30am to put something in my tummy, I finished listening to it. 

I finished the day with a little shopping for the fridge and watched the Texans win another game.  If you haven't picked up on this yet, I'm a football fanatic.  A little high school, some college but not so much now that my grandson isn't playing, and I love love love the NFL.

Today I'm still feeling good but not quite as good as yesterday.  Bloodwork at noon then pick up prescription for the three day anti nausea med that I take with joy juice.  I'm so grateful for the good week that I had even though there were a few bumps along the way but so so so much better than it's been.  Thank You Father that it continues.

I was reading last night that Warren Buffet just finished radiation for prostate cancer.  I thought about the members of my church family that have had or been touched by cancer.  It occurred to me that cancer is no respecter of persons.  It touches the richest, the poorest, the Godliest and the most evil, the strong and the week.  Even to my precious little Rocky Dale who died last November with a malignant tumor on his spleen.

Most people, however, say that having cancer had a positive effect on how they lived their lives after the diagnosis.  I certainly won't say I'm thankful for it but I do know I'm a better person and a better Christian already for this having had this experience. 
Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another glorious day in this incredible universe that You simply thought into existence.  I'm grateful to be here to enjoy Your world and to love and bless You throughout today.
Lord, I can't say I'm grateful for this journey but I do accept that You in Your infinite wisdom have a reason for everything.   Whatever it is, I accept it and will do my best to honor You in the journey.
Lord, I ask that for everyone fighting this enemy without the love and support of a church family, You will guide them to a group that will hold them up in prayer and show them that they are not alone.
Teach them to declare that today, they are walking in God's favor.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names, the one true Messiah.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 145 Pregnant women, stear clear

In Texas speak, that means get outta my way.  I had the Petscan yesterday.  I remembered being shot up with lots of sugar on an empty stomach,  not good.  What I didn't remember was the radioactive juice that was used along with it.  All went well until I was leaving and the technician's last warning was this:
"Don't come into contact with pregnant women or children under 10 for the next seven hours."
Whaaaaatttt?!  I was so radioactive that I was a walking danger to anything under the age of 10, for goodness sake?!   Well, that can't be good for any of us.  Oh well............ Too late to worry about it now.

Of course, my little sensitive tummy reacted poorly to all of that stuff so I spent the day on the couch.  Never even turned on the computer.  The evening before, I cleaned out my fridge anticipating Melanie delivering the new (to me) fridge.  It staggers the mind how one person with no food in her fridge can get it as dirty as mine was.  That was the most work I'd done in four months.  Whew.  But, it sparkled.  Mel dropped off her gorgeous big fridge and I'm in hog heaven.  Gonna have to do some shopping for that big silver baby.  Yippee............

Feeling pretty good this morning.  Checked FB and found that friend Renee who we've prayed for many times had her surgery this week after completing all her rounds of chemo and is home.  Next step is radiation and that gorgeous warrior will have kicked cancer's butt.  I'm so happy for her and her family.  She's a true fighter and no one ever doubted she would come out on top of this experience.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this gorgeous day, for the rain renewing and rejuvenating all the plants, trees and gardens.  Everything is so lushly green today, happy and smiling heavenward.
Thank You, Lord, for keeping Renee in the palm of Your hand through her journey so far.  We are confident that You'll take her through to a successful conclusion, defeating cancer so profoundly that it'll never return.
I thank You Father for the good report to come on Tuesday as I review it with Dr. P.  I'm believing for no new evidence of cancer in Jesus' name. 
God, You are so good and I feel so blessed knowing You have my back through this journey.  I thank You for all the prayer buddies who join with me daily in prayer.  Bless them many times over as they pray for others.
I love You, Lord.  It's all You.  All You.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 143 Great Expectations

Well, yesterday was a lost day.  Totally lost.  I finally made myself get up and walk around the house for about 10 minutes just to get off my back.  Sigh..............  And then there's today.  I'm feeling good.  Up early, drove Chipper to the vet for a bath.  Have plans to paint before visiting with Dr. M this afternoon for a colon checkup.  Tomorrow is the big day.  Petscan is scheduled to see if there's a reason for the up in cancer cells that showed up in my bloodwork the past few weeks. 

I know that drinking lots of fluids is very important right now but drinking room temp water is not very appetizing when trying to drink in volume and water is about it for me.  I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners but have found that a tiny bit of Crystal Lite powder in the water bottle makes the water a lot more palatable.  I think I'm going to try adding a bit of fruit juice to the water now to see if that will work as well.  Certainly a lot more healthy, even in minimal amounts. 

When I was reading this morning, I began to page through my Bible, reading the scriptures that were highlighted and notes I had made next to many of them.  Years ago, I purchased a Women of Faith Study Bible.  I've since purchased a few to give to friends.  I took "Study Bible" in it's title to heart and have used the wide margins for lots and lots of notes along with the highlighting.  I've also referenced certain verses back to books I've read that used that particular verse for a lesson.  If you hesitate to write in your Bible, I highly recommend buying one like mine, with wide margins made for taking notes.  Write all over it.  Use it, love it, study it.  Keep your family Bible pristine, but not this one.  You'll learn to love it in a totally different way because it's yours with your own notes and your own thoughts. 

I heard yesterday that actress Kathy Bates had just had a double mastectomy after defeating uterine cancer 10 years ago.  You have to know that she is a fighter and won't take this as a setback but a step forward in getting on with her life.  Wow, I just said something profound.  I'm going to have to say it again, applying it to myself.  I do not accept cancer and joy juice as a setback but as a step forward in getting along with my life.  That's my affirmation for today.  Every round of joy juice, whatever the side effects, is a step forward in getting on with my life.  I hope you will use this as an affirmation for yourself and whoever else you know fighting this enemy.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another glorious day, another day to live and to love and to work and to anticipate my future, cancer free.   I am so excited today as I move forward in this amazing life You've given me.  I feel like the energizer bunny today.  The enemy can't keep me down.  I know that no weapon formed against me will prevail or prosper.  I know what You have promised and that Your words do not return empty.  I know that You said to ask and believe to receive.  I am asking for a total healing from cancer for me and the many other fighters we've prayed for on this blog.  As we join together as one voice, knowing that when two or more are gathered in Your name, there You are also, we thank You for the medicine and the miracles to eradicate this terrible enemy.
These things I pray in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 142 Short.............

I had high hopes for a good painting day but draggy and nausea back.  I just wanted to post a couple of things before I take some meds and head back to bed.

First is a praise report.  Friend Sue wrote that her stepson, Carlton, who we prayed for in early days of this blog was just back from MDA for his second checkup since finishing chemo.  Cancer free again and doesn't go back until January.

We've prayed for my friend Linda several times in the last few weeks.  I'm really not free to go into details of her case but she went in for a two day stay at the hospital for a procedure that resulted in more surgeries and a two week stay.  She went home last week and is now back in the hospital.  Please hold her in your prayers today for a complete recovery.

Prayers are yours today, dear friends.  Back tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 141 No Regrets

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24

I was thinking this morning after reading in Regret, Rehearse, Rejoice, a precious book sent to me by friend Janice, how easy it would be to look back with all the "if only's" and second guess everything I've ever done to date that might have had a negative impact on my health.  How easy to let the "if only" maybe even shift blame from my actions to blaming others for this journey I ended up on.  If only I had taken better care of myself.  If only I had chosen a different doctor who would have been more diligent in ordering tests.  If only, if only, if only.

What a terrible waste of time that is.  Looking back only steals the joy from today.  I don't ignore where I am physically, but as I've written before, this diagnosis has taught me to truly focus on today.  Sometimes today is pretty awful but, by the grace of God, I'm always able to find something positive.   It just seems like something good happens to me every day.  How lucky am I?!   It's early and I'm expecting more but here's my tally for today already:

1.  I ate oatmeal for breakfast.  The last time I tried to eat oatmeal, I suffered a good part of the day and had placed in on my Never Eat This Again List.  That tells me that my colon is getting healthier.
2.  Opened emails this morning and had a funny one from friend Grace who never fails to make me laugh with her sharp wit.
3.  Opened another email and it was a confirmation on a large commission for a complimentary piece by a collector.
4.  My fridge is not cooling well and I think it's too old to spend money on to fix.  Precious daughter Melanie gave me her fairly new fridge since she won't be using it at her new house.
5. I have a little more energy this morning than yesterday and, so far, no nausea. 

How is that for getting this day off to an amazing start.   Thank You, God.  I love You too.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I am rejoicing in this day.  Thank You for the weather, for my friends and family, for my home and for this wonderful country that we all live in.
I am asking today in the name of Jesus Christ that everyone who is fighting the same enemy that I am be able to rejoice as well and look past their diagnosis and their pain to find the glory in the amazing world Your hands made. 
Please, Father, give us all the strength to persevere as you reward us with Your goodness every day that we're blessed to be here.
In Jesus name, the name above pain, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 140 Back Among The Lucid

Days 1 and 2 of infusion were a piece of cake.  Day 3 and then Friday and Saturday were not.  But no melt down, no crying and I made it through again. Between nausea and anxiety meds I slept through a good portion of it.  Better living through drugs and Round 5 is done!  Here I am wide awake and feeling better.  Yesterday I took my pillow and blankie to daughter Mel's couch to watch the Texans with her and husband John.  Precious grandson Logan stopped by so I caught up on my Logan hugs for a few days.  The best!

Not sure if my body is adjusting to the joy juice or if it's because Dr. P backed off a little bit on strength because of bloodwork results this time.  Either way, it was certainly a lot easier than it has been in the past.  Praise God.  Just really weak.  Neuropathy still here and mouth sores starting so I'll get with washing my mouth with warm salt water. 

A little change in weather in South Texas and funny how that little chill in the air early in the morning is like a harbinger of better things to come.  I'm ready.  I want so badly to get outside and dig in my yard.  Between worrying about allergies and West Nile, I guess I'll keep myself inside.

During my flat on my back time, I found a video posted by a young woman in the ministry that was cured of breast cancer.  She talked about praying the Word.  Pastor RO often talks about personalizing scripture which I do and, for me, that is the clearest way of praying the Word.  So I went to Psalm 91 and wrote it in my little journal where I record my favorite verses and changed "you" to "me" all the way through it.  I've read through it several times and it speaks to me in a much more profound way than before.  Try it.  That is a truly powerful promise of protection.

My other reading this morning was for today in the book friend Cliffa sent me, Streams in the Desert.

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me."   Psalm 138:8

The devotional for today speaks of suffering.  It says that no one has ever developed a deep level of spirituality without having experienced a great deal of suffering.  It speaks of reaching a calm in the suffering.  Very appropriate for today.  Thank you, Cliffa.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this beautiful day and the hope it brings for more days like this and even better days to come.  What an awesome universe You have created.  Stepping outside, I just feel wrapped in Your love and my response has to be, "I love You too, Lord."  Thank You, Father, thank You.
I am asking, Father, that the same feeling of loving protection and supernatural healing that I feel today be felt by everyone we have prayed for on this blog and for everyone fighting the same enemy that I am.  Give us all a victory in this fight, Father, and let it be so profound that the word "cancer" is erased from the world's vocabulary.
I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, the one true Messiah.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 135 Praise Report

I woke yesterday feeling okay but with lots on my mind.  One of my thoughts was that I am going to have to make friends with chemo.  I think I have been resisting it and hating it almost as much as the cancer because of the side effects.  So, I decided I need a new name for it.   Dear Friend Lauren's stepdaughter named her chemo Glo Juice.  I think I'll name mine Joy Juice.  So that's what it'll be from now on.

Went to Dr. P's office at 1 and he checked me over and then sat down with me to talk about the blood work.  It was up again.  That was a negative to him but not to me.  For three weeks in a row, the cancer cells in the blood work went from 6 to 8 to 10.  We waited two weeks this time and with the direction it was taking, it should have been at 14 but it was only at 10.5.  That tells me in my optimistic way that it might have peaked higher and is on its way back down or the growth is slowing and will soon start the other direction.  Blood platelets were down so he had to back off a little on one of the drugs and liver enzymes were up.  Can all be from the meds but I am going for a Pet Scan on the 14th.  That's the scan where they shoot you full of sugar and it makes the cancer cells dance on the screen.  No dancing that day.  Don't want any dancing.

I took the three hour infusion easily.  My little beloved tablet let me hook up earphones to listen to two healing meditations.  Then I went for funny.  Art friends Jack and Mikki sent me an email about Jeanne Robertson, a comedienne  with a ton of clips on Youtube.  She's over 6' tall and was a miss South Carolina.  For you all raised in the South, you will laugh out loud at her pieces.  I did and I'm sure people were wondering what I was laughing at, wrapped up like a coccoon on a big recliner hooked up to three bags of drip.  No foul language, no sexual innuendos.   Just lots of clean humor.  Check her out.   The one I listened to was about Methodist Jeanne taking her best friend, Baptist Norma Rose to Las Vegas with her.  Don't miss out that one.

So, I am back with home with my pump full of Joy Juice.  I went all evening and until this morning at 7 am before I had any nausea.  I immediately took a med and am handling it well.  The neuropathy kicked in this time.  Palms and soles of my feet burn, I can't drink or touch anything even chilled.  My voice shakes, my head, hands and legs shake, sort of like palsy.  I'm sure that'll start to diminish as soon as the pump comes off.  Hair is still thinning in the front.  I saw something on a shopping network last week for a product that you rub on your scalp in the thin spots so the pink doesn't show thru.  Guess I'll give that a try if I see it back on again.  For now, it's just an old man's combover going on.

A special request came yesterday from two different people for Popps, a favorite among our church members.  He was just days ago diagnosed with an advanced lung cancer and his health condition prohibits a biopsy at the point.  In the meantime, he had an accident in the home and is in the hospital.  In addition to our prayers, I am posting a link to a healing prayer I found last night.  For anyone fighting cancer, this prayer is one to listen to and pray along with over and over.

Heavenly Father, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You so much for everything You have done for me.  I thank You for my prayer buddies and friends that have prayed for me to better tolerate these treatments.  You have answered their prayers and I am so much better because of them.  I ask special blessings on each one of them today.
Lord, we offer up Popps for healing prayer today.  He is so loved and so needed here on this earthly plain and only Your healing intervention can keep him here so that he can become a testimony to Your awesomeness. 
Please keep everyone else fighting this disease in the palm of Your hand today as we work our way through to discovering the spiritual growth that accompanies a diagnosis of cancer.  Special blessings on our friends and families who travel this path with us.  Wrap Your comforting arms around them and give them the strength they need to be there for their loved one.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name about all names.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 133 Up Down Up Down Up Down

Saturday was awesome.  I got in a great four hours painting and it made me so happy.  Bad times hit around 8pm and I went down like a rock with a big cry when nothing gave me any relief.  Yesterday was another laydown day.  I made it into the studio for only about 1/2 hour and bad time hit around the same time but not as bad as the day before. 

This morning, I slept to 7:30 and when I woke I felt ............. normal.   It's hard to explain what that was like.  It wasn't an "I feel good even though I'm still sick at my stomach" morning.  It was normal.  It was only temporary but I am so grateful for that glimpse as a reminder of what it was like BC (before chemo) and what it's going to be like AC (after chemo). 

Tomorrow, back to Dr. P to get hooked for another 48 hours of chemo to kill lots more of those pesky cancer cells.  That means lots of shopping today to prepare for the next few days.   I've found that the frozen meals are my best friend.  They're mostly low fat and the perfect size so as not to upset my tummy any more than it is already.  I've been keeping a sort of informal log of what I can eat with the least amount of repercussion. 

Yesterday I hesitantly tried Taco Bell's new Cantina Bowl with chicken.  I handled it really well, even with the corn and black beans.  Panera's lowfat noodle soup has become a standby.   KFC's mashed potatoes and Wendy's has a new chicken and berry salad and they sell a 1/2 size which is perfect for me.  No, I don't do fast food for every meal but I cannot stand the thought of food in my fridge and I don't want to even think about the smell of food cooking on the stove.  That's funny because I think I'm a pretty good cook and it's always been one of my favorite things to do, not just for me but for family and friends.  Oh well, AC those times will be back.

So, another awesome day in store for me today.  I hope everyone has a fun, family oriented and blessed Labor Day.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this day.  Thank You for blessing me with another opportunity to love You, to praise You and to honor You with my words, my thoughts, and my actions.
I ask special blessings for my fellow warriors in this battle against the hated enemy.   Cover them with Your healing protection as they spend this day with their loved ones, celebrating the freedom we have to work and to rest and to enjoy the profit of our labors. 
Thank You Father.  Thank You.
In Jesus precious name, the name above all names.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 131 I'm Painting Today!

I just had to stop to share that I'm up painting today.  Yesterday was bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.  Nausea and diarrhea were back with a vengeance.  After I got back from the lab, I hit the couch and stayed there until I moved to the bedroom.  Hardly could pray, no meditation, no uplifting videos online.  Nothing much but just wallowing in my own misery.

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24

And then the Lord gave me today.  Well worth the laydown yesterday to be up and in the studio today.  So many other things I need to do today while I'm feeling up to it but, no!, I am going to paint.  That's it.  Thank You Jesus!

Friend Janice sent me a precious book that was given to her and she passed it on to me with the instruction that when I am finished with it, I should pass it on to whomever God places in my heart.  Today's reading instructs us to stop regretting yesterday and quit rehearsing tomorrow.  It reminds us that the Apostle Paul said,

"....for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."  Philippians 4:11

What a great reminder for me.  I have suffered but nothing in comparison to Paul or to Jesus.  Mine is like a thorn in my thumb in comparison.  I have so much to be grateful for...a precious family, friends both old and new ones I've made through this blog, my art family that is growing all the time, my Church family that supports me spiritually in ways they don't even know.   I know that once I'm done with chemo, that my life will be so much richer than it ever would have been otherwise and I say,

 "Thank You, Lord.  Thank You."

So I'm about to have my second little breakfast.  Then back into the studio.  Oh, I don't want to forget to tell you that friend Frank went through his chemo fine yesterday.  He's been in the car business here locally for as long as I've known him and he's off to help someone buy a new car.  Awesome.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I don't even know how to thank You enough for all You've done for me through this journey, for all You've given me and for all You've blessed me with.  My heart is overflowing right now with gratitude.
I thank You for this incredible day, for my being able to spend time in the studio and for Your healing spirit that is moving mightily within me right now.  Lord, I ask for that same healing in everyone of Your children fighting this enemy.  Only through You, Father, can it be obliterated so completely that it will never return. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.