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.