Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 284 A Milestone

At least I think it's a milestone.  I'm continuing to feel good in spite of the pain that has started to come with the neuropathy.   At least, praise God, it is sporadic and something I can deal with.  But, that's not the milestone.  The milestone is that for the last two days, I have felt so good that I haven't had to lay down or nap during the day.  Before, 3pm seemed to be my cutting off time and I would hit the couch, sometimes with a nap and sometimes not, and be there for the rest of the day.  Now, I'm continuing to paint until about 5, then cook dinner and work on little things around the house.

I attribute reaching the milestone to several things.  Diet is a big part.  My meals are focused on fruits and veggies with lowfat dark meat chicken and turkey and fish playing a minor part in the meal.  No junk, no fried foods, no soft drinks, very little processed food.  This takes a little more time to prepare but well worth the effort. 

I have continued my sessions at Body Designer on the theraplex beds and this week Kathie has cranked the level up to 8 which means a pretty good 1/2 hour workout.  It's strenuous enough that I am a little sore from it.  Kathie continues to advise me to walk but I don't like the cold or the effect of the stuff in the air so I am going to the Y this afternoon to sign up so I can use their treadmills on the days I don't go to BD.  My insurance company sent me a free membership to the Y and I need to take advantage of it.

The most important part of reaching this milestone in my recovery is the strength and fortitude God has placed in my heart, the knowledge that He is there encouraging me and cheering me on in every accomplishment I make.  He gave me a strong body and I haven't always honored Him with the care I have shown it but I am learning more and more every day to be grateful for His grace and His love and His healing. 

"Have I not commanded you 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

Father God, Johvah Rapha,
Thank you for instilling the strength and courage to meet each day with a new understanding of how You are working in my life.  Thank You for guiding me to the right foods and the right exercise for my body so that I am better able to honor You in everything I do.
Thank You for giving me this beautiful day to enjoy.  Thank You for another insight into the immeasureable love that You feel for me and for the privilege of loving You back.
I love You Lord.  I love You.
In Jesus' precious name.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 281 God Cares

I had a blessed weekend.  I spent Saturday with my best friend, Darlene, and went to church on Sunday.  The message was just what I needed.  I learned there that friend Lisa is having more trouble with chemo.  She receives the chemo in pill form and injections.  They have narrowed down the allergic reactions she is having to whatever is in the injections.  She can't not take the chemo so please join me in prayer that her body accept whatever it is she needs to be healed.

This morning I turned on the TV and Dr. Ken Hutcherson and his wife were the guests on James Robison's show.  Hutch has been battling cancer for 8 years and at one point about four years ago was advised to call in hospice.  He tells of being sick from the chemo, cleaning himself up and stepping into the pulpit to deliver a message and then having his wife have to help him to the car.  He considers the cancer a blessing because he believes God allowed him to deal with it in order for him to grow in his love and knowledge of Christ.  Wow.  On top of all that, now his wife has been diagnosed with cancer and they are starting the journey all over with her. 

I don't think I consider the cancer a blessing but I know that I am not afraid of cancer.  I have been to the point of being so sick with the chemo that I was ready to die and think that once being that sick, there is no longer a fear of death either.  I don't know if I can count the cancer a blessing, but I know it has changed my life in a profound way.  It has changed the way I live my life, the way I eat and the way I rest and the way I exercise and the way I forgive and the way I pray and the way I try to honor God in everything I do.   I am a different person.  I am a better person.  I am a child of God and I know that I am loved and blessed with every breath I take.   Every day here on this earth is a gift and I am grateful.

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another wonderful day here on Your earth.  I am so grateful for every blessing from You and recognize and honor You for each one.
I ask today, Lord, that you touch Lisa and allow her body to accept the chemo that will heal her of multiple myeloma with no further allergic reactions.  Guide the medical staff to administer whatever else she needs with it to lessen the side effects. 
I ask Father that you be with her husband and with every care giver out there to a cancer patient, that You bless them and give them the strength to be the best partner ever in the process of healing. 
Thank You Lord for the privilege of learning more fully what an awesome God You are through this journey. 
I ask Father that You bless Ken Hutcherson's ministry as he and his wife fight this dreaded enemy in a way that demonstrates Your healing love.
Thank You, Father.  Thank You.
In Jesus' precious name.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 279 Remaining Faithful

God is good.
All the time.
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine.
God is good.
All the time.
And through the darkest night His light will shine.
So much going on.  So many people diagnosed with cancer every day.  Now that I'm on the mend and I can focus better on others instead of what I'm going through, it is almost overwhelming.  But this week I learned a great lesson. 
A friend of mine has gone through a couple of years of financial troubles and consequently lost her home among other things.  But she told me that through it all, she remained faithful.  God has just blessed her with the most awesome job that will solve her financial problems and she gives Him all the praise, honor, and glory.  It is all Him.  Her words, "Through it all I remained faithful" have stayed with me since she told me her story.  Through the illness I dealt with, I remained faithful.  Other friends dealing with this awful disease are remaining faithful.
How does someone going through troubled times deal with it without God?  I just can't imagine.  He is such an amazing comfort through those times.  Rather than begging for relief, feelings of gratitude surface to thank Him for just being there and for the knowledge that, no matter the outcome, it is all going to be all right.
"Have I not commanded you 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,
Thank You for comfort You give those who know You.  Thank You for the strength and courage to weather any storm knowing that You are at the end of it. 
Thank You Father, for another day to grow in Your love and the knowledge that You are always there. 
No fear. 
Thank You Father.  Thank You.
In Jesus' precious name.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 276 MIA

I know, I've been missing in action but you all have not been far from my thoughts.  I had a house guest, my cousin from Atlanta, and we spent hours and hours talking and, of course, eating plus a day trip to Galveston.  She left yesterday and I miss her already.  Good time.

I realized how hard it is to eat right, exercise and take supplements when my routine is broken.  I don't know if that means I'm not as committed as I should be to doing the right thing or if I was just excited to be out of the routine for a few days.  Probably the latter.  Now I'm ready to get back on track.  So that means AA foods, exercise, rest and paint.

So many of my favorite art festivals are coming up and I am just not sure what to do.   I feel really good, praise God, but my strength is not where it needs to be.  I hate to plan and paint for a show and then realize that I'm not able to do what I need to do.   I just don't know.  I'll have to pray about it.  I guess I'll know when I'm ready and not to push things.  Besides, I have testing coming up again next month so I guess I should get through that before I plan much.

Well, that was almost a defeatist statement, wasn't it?   I feel so good that I know I am healed but somewhere in the back of my mind is the thought that ........ maybe ...........   Well, you know what that thought is.  I don't want to give it power by giving it voice.   Neuropathy still hanging on but the other good news is that with last shampoo just a very small hair loss.  Finally!  I think that means it's done falling out and should start growing back in.  I'll be so glad because I'm tired of just slicking it back to cover up the sparse spots.  Although, it has made getting ready a fast routine. 

I'm excited and ready for a beautiful and busy day today.  I hope the same for everyone reading this today.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this beautiful day.  I am so grateful to be counted one of Your children and blessed by the grace of just knowing You.
I ask today Your healing blessings on my daughter Melanie as she copes with a bad foot.  Please touch her and heal her from all pain and inflamation.
I ask that You take away the nausea from friends Lisa and Sharon as they continue their chemo treatments.  Prepare their bodies to accept the meds and pinpoint those meds to do the work that they're intended to do with perfect results.
Thank You Father for all Your blessings.  It's all You.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the name above pain, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 271 Turkey and Veggie Chili

Well, two days of lingering nausea and the neurpathy which seemed to be subsiding is back in all it's full blown glory.  I can't get warm, my fingertips are shriveled and I feel like I'm walking on some sort of cusion.  No pain and in spite of all of this, I still feel good.   Thank You Father... All in Your time.

I am going to share with you another AA recipe.  I cut this recipe out of the Chronicle probably twenty years ago and make it regularly and it has involved into the following.  It's best made the day before so the spices can meld perfectly and full of AntiAngiogenesis foods.  Hope you like it.

Turkey Veggie Chili
1 large onion, chopped  (AA)
2 cloves garlic, minced  (AA)
2 tsp olive oil  (AA)
1 lb. ground dark turkey meat  (AA)
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes plus one can of water  (AA)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp oregano leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cloves  (AA)
1/4 tsp allspice
1 15 oz can cooked pinto or black beans
1 or more jalapenos, chopped, fresh or canned (AA)
1 cup diced green peppers  (AA)
1 cup diced carrots  (AA)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup whole kernel corn
Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large deep skillet.  Add turkey meat and stir until browned.  Add tomatoes and seasonings.  Heat until bubbly, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes.  Add the veggies, cover and simmer another 20 minutes until carrots are softened.  Adjust seasonings.
You can add whatever other veggies you like such as potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms or even rice.  I like to serve the chili over a baked red potato or for a protein filled breakfast, serve it over an over easy egg on a soft corn tortilla.   As chili, you can top it with sour cream, grated cheese and cilantro.  Hope you like it.
Heavenly Father, Jehovah Rapha,
You created healing in the bounty of this beautiful earth.  You created food to nourish us and keep us healthy.  I ask today that you turn our tastes and desires to those foods that balance our health, stimulate our immune system and that we learn to eat only until we're satisfied. 
Forgive us for veering away from the natural foods You provided us with to distorted and chemically altered foods that offer no support to the functioning of our bodies. 
Grow us today and every day in the knowledge of what to eat and what to do to be the strongest and healthiest and best example for honoring You in everything we do.
In Jesus' precious name.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 270 My Artwork

If you're familiar with my work, you know that I primarily paint trees in oil with a huge emphasis on light and shadow.  The style is often surreal and sometimes a little more realistic, but always with the shadows evident beneath the canopy of the tree.

"The Lord stands beside you and is your protective shade."   Psalm 121:5

What a comfort it is to consider Jesus standing next to me and me resting in the comfort of the shade his earthly body makes.   I have often been inspired by the Bible in my creations.  The painting of green trees on a green field represents the beginning and is named "Genesis". 

The painting of a red sky over a red field with the beginning of trees and a small bird in the distance is titled "Renewal" and was inspired by the flood story when Noah sent out the birds from the ark to determine if the water was subsiding.  When the third bird didn't return, he knew that the earth was renewing itself.  The bird in the distance represents the bird that didn't come back.

The painting of red trees over a green field is titled "Selah".  It is my hope that someone viewing this painting is taken in by the horizon that, for me, represents a new beginning and that in viewing it will take time to reflect and contemplate the symetry and repetition and feel the calmness that it is meant to relay.

I have often painted a scene representing Jesus' healing of the blind man outside Bethsaida.  After putting mud on the man's eyes, his eyesight was only partially restored and he said, "I see men as trees walking."  Of course, after that Jesus touched him and his sight was completely resotred.  The painting, titled "Men As Trees Walking"  portrays slender leafless trees next to the water. 

You can see more of my work at and .

Heavenly Father, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You for the healing and restorative nature of creating works of art that are inspired by You.
I thank You Father for the time in the studio that allows me to put the lingering nausea and neuropathy in the back of my mind, forget about it for a while and concentrate on just creating.
I thank You Father for the steps that I'm being able to take to return my life to normal.  Normal except that I have a greater knowledge of Your love and caring. 
Thank You Father for allowing me to honor You with my paintings.
I love You, Lord.  I love You.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 269 A Sunny Day, Finally

Thank You Father for the sunshine!
It seems like it's been weeks since I've awaken to the sight of sunshine coming in through the windows.  What a welcome sight it is.  I feel excited and renewed and that I can accomplish anything today.  I feel good, the sun is shining and life is wonderful. 

This morning I was listening to my favorite sport show and, of course, all the talk was about Lance Armstrong.  One of the speakers is going through his second bout with cancer and spoke of all the help and support he had received through the Livestrong Foundation.  One thing he said has stayed with me.  He said, basically, that cancer has one goal and that goal is to kill the person who has it.  It just reinforced that cancer fighters have a lifelong battle in store and that we have to use every tool possible to overcome this enemy.  I have had contact with Livestrong and I can tell you they are sincere in trying to help people with cancer and are there to search out resources to meet your needs.  Whatever Lance might have done that was wrong, establishing the Livestrong Foundation was certainly something he did that was right and it has helped millions of people.

Sadie has her first radiation treatment today and she just met a young man who came to St. Jude's in 2001 with inoperable brain cancer and is now healed and making his last visit.  To keep up with her journey, go to Sparkle on Sadie in Facebook. 

This prayer was posted this morning by friend LouAnn from Godly Women Daily.  I find it so beautiful and poignant that I want to share it with you who pray with me daily.

Lord Jesus, heal me.
Heal me in whatever You see needs healing.
Heal me of whatever might separate me from You.
Heal my memory, heal my heart, heal my emotions, heal my spirit,
heal my body, heal my soul.
Lay Your hands gently upon me and heal me through Your love for me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 268 The Fruit of my Labor

My work is art.  My medium is oil paint on canvas primarily.  For years I have earned my living by traveling to art shows and festivals with a van loaded with tent and equipment plus a huge inventory of art.  When I was diagnosed with colon cancer on April 23, 2012, I knew that part of my work was at an end for a long time to come, if not forever.       

Outdoor festivals are hard work and require a lot of strength to set up and take down plus the energy to greet and meet collectors over a one, two or three day period.   I travel and do the work by myself. I have groaned about the work before but never about being able to interact with collectors about my work. 

As I began to face the reality of not having the strength or energy to do any of these shows last year, past collectors as well as my galleries began to order and sell my work to the point that I was able to stay current with all my medical bills which were numerous.  Even though I was only able to paint no more than a couple of hours per day two or three days in a two week chemo period for the six months I was taking chemo, I was able to produce and ship paintings all over the US.  God is so good.

I don't wonder how I was able to do that.   I know that the hand of God was upon me and that He carried me through that time, blessing my art and enlarging my territory.

"You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well."
Psalm 128:2

I am so humbled by His loving care and that He saw my needs and met them.  What an awesome God I serve. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
You repeatedly show the caring love You have for Your children.  How grateful I am to count myself one of Your children.  How grateful I am that You watched over me through the worst time of my life and throughout it all You allowed me to continue to use my creativity and to share the works that You inspire with others.  I love You so much Lord.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with that love.
I ask today that everyone out there fighting the enemy cancer understand how much You love them and that they feel Your love surrounding them and are comforted with the knowledge that they are never alone through this journey.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 267 I FEEL GOOD!

I feel like doing a James Brown jig and bursting into song because for the fourth day in a row, I feel good.  This is so exciting.  Nausea is gone and after healing prayer at church yesterday, I know that the neuropathy is leaving.   Actually my feet are feeling more normal.  Not yet on my fingers but that is coming, I'm sure of it. 

It would be wonderful to be healed instantly like Jesus did with the centurion's servant when He didn't even need to be present to heal the servant.  But there is also the lesson of waiting when Jesus waited three days to heal Lazarus and raise him from the dead.  It reminds that it is all in God's time and His timing is not necessarily what I would like it to be.  Regardless, I am grateful for each little nerve that regenerates to restore normal feeling to my hands and feet.  Thank You Father.

Pastor RO reminded us yesterday to be specific in our prayers.  I sometimes am and then seem to revert to generalities in my prayers.  For those of you who pray with me daily, I am asking you to be specific as well in your requests.   Precious Sadie and her family are moving into the Ronald McDonald House and she is scheduled for an MRI today.  Planned treatment for brain cancer at this point at St. Jude's for her is 5 1/2 weeks of chemo/radiation.   Friend Lisa has not started chemo yet for multiple myeloma due to several glitches.   Let's pray those glitches out of the way today.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
You are the God of miracles and we give You all the praise, honor and glory for the miracles that You continue to perform every single day.
Today, Father, we ask Your healing hand be present as Sadie undergoes an MRI.  We ask Your guiding hand be on the medical staff that is charged with her healing.  Let the chemo and radiation pinpoint every deadly cancer cell and blast them into oblivion so that she may emerge an example of Your loving compassion.
We ask today Father that You remove every roadblock that might delay Lisa's chemotherapy treatments so that she can start on the road to healing and recovery and that those treatments be amazingly effective so that she can continue to do Your work.
Father, it is all in Your hands.  It's all You, Lord, all You.
We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above brain cancer, the name above multiple myeloma, the name above all names.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 264 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It's absolutely gorgeous outside.  Birds are singing, the sun is shining and it is a privilege to just be alive.  How grateful I am for how far I've come since diagnosis on April 23rd.

Yesterday was a good food day.  I went to Body Designer and moved up to level 6 for my arms and level 8 for my legs.  Kathie reminded me how important it is for me to walk to continue getting the chemo out of my body so I took Chipper for a walk after I got home.   My last two chemo sessions were with limited meds because my blood count was so low.  When we were in Colorado at Christmas, a manicurist said the when her mother was going through chemo and her blood count dropped, the oncologist told her to walk every day and that was the best thing to restore her blood count to normal.  Now that I'm feeling better, I am going to try to do that daily along with other exercise.

I'm still experiencing nausea in the evenings and the neuropathy in my feet has now spread from my toes to the pad of my feet and now to my heels.  It feels like I'm walking with someone else's feet.  I guess I'll call Dr. P on Monday to report this.  I had expected it to improve some by now instead of getting worse.  Of course, if that's the worst to come from all of this, then I am grateful.

I received a message on FB about a little girl named Sadie from Magnolia, Tx., who has been diagnosed with brain cancer.  She has had surgery at Hermann and is on her way to St. Jude today.  You can follow her journey on FB at Sparkle on Sadie.  Her journey makes mine seem like a walk in the park and just reminds me again of what a dreaded enemy cancer is.

Two people forwarded Joel Osteen's daily message to me this morning.  It is about the same thing I've been writing about this week and that's honoring God with our bodies by taking care of them.  In responding to one, I wrote that I can only imagine how happy God is when He sees us loving and caring for our bodies like the treasured gift that they are.  Life is a gift and it is a gift from God. 

" I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."         Psalm 139:14

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another day on this incredible earth that You created just for us.  We are grateful.
I ask your traveling mercies and healing mercies today on Sadie and her family as they travel to St. Jude to have the newest and best treatments to help rid Sadie of brain cancer.  I pray for total success Father as she embarks on the next let of her journey to cured.
I ask Father that each and every person reading this blog today be inspired to take better care of themselves, to fuel their bodies with the right food and to exercise their bodies so that they are strong and resilient.  Let them honor You as they show their gratitude for the life you have given them by caring for that gift as the treasure that it truly is.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 263 I'm So Excited

I don't know if it was waking up to the sound of birds singing after days of dreary rain or if it's the fact that, other than my hands and feet, I'm finally starting to feel normal, but I am so excited about today.  Maybe it's a combination of the two.  How great to see some sunshine today.  We need things to dry up a little before the next round of rain. 

I had a wonderful day yesterday.  Cooked baby limas and the cabbage and I'm posting the recipe here for you today.  Delicious ........... to me anyway.  Hope you like it.  Then I worked out 30 minutes of a 45 minute workout dvd.  I can't believe I lasted as long as I did.  Very proud of myself.  I'm a little sore this morning but that's okay.  I like the feeling.  I just feel like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing to get myself back to precancer condition.  Thank You Father.

Here's the recipe for:
                                                   Sweet and Sour Cabbage

1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped (AA)
1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped (AA)
2 slices turkey bacon, chopped (AA)
1 carrot, chopped (AA)
1 apple, chopped (AA)
1/2 large head of cabbage, shredded (AA)
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil (AA)
1 tbsp water
2 tsp brown sugar (use stevia if you're avoiding sugar)
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Add the veggies and saute, tossing gently.  Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a jar and shake well.  Poor over cabbage and continue to cook until it reaches the desired doneness for your taste.  I like mine a little crunchy so I don't cook it very long.
Also, I have made it without the bacon using a small amount of olive oil to saute the veggies in and it works well.  I add salt with the veggies rather than into the sauce but that is up to you however you want to do it.

(AA) - Antiangiogenesis foods that inhibit the growth of blood vessels that feed cancer cells.

Plans for today:  FO/CC smoothie, apple/carrot juicing this afternoon, visit to Body Designer and then back here to paint.

"In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."
Proverbs 3:6

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this glorious day and for another chance to honor You in all that I do.
Thank You for making my path straight to my healing and for the privilege of sharing this journey to recovery with others.
Thank You for the privilege of praying for others fighting this dreaded enemy.
Thank You for giving me power over the enemy and for instilling the knowledge into researchers of how to eradicate the enemy.
Thank You for guiding me to the best doctors and for guiding me to the best way to care for my body and to honor You while doing that.
It's all You, Lord, all You.
I am so grateful for even the smallest thing.  I know it's all from You.
Thank You, Father.
Thank You.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 262 Back on Track

It's a dark dreary day and I'm going to put some baby limas (AA) on to bubble on the stove.  Days like this require that a pot of something be simmering on a back burner sending a comforting aroma through the house.

I went Monday to spend the night with friend Darlene so I could take her to the hospital early Tuesday to have her gall bladder removed.  She came through like a trooper and had her home by just a little after noon.  God is good.  She reports this morning that she's only a little sore at the main site of the removal.

Friend Lisa had her first chemo yesterday and I've checked in with her to see how it went but haven't heard back yet.  I know she's glad to at last be able to do something proactive to eradicate the myeloma after weeks of nothing but testing. 

Yesterday was my first day up by an alarm in a long time and it was a shock.  I drove home in the fog and rain, hit the couch and then moved to the bed and slept for almost 11 hours, for goodness sake.  I feel good today.  Had my coffee (AA) this morning with some almond butter (AA) on 1/2 slice of toast and then my flax oil/cottage cheese smoothie with 1/2 banana, strawberries (AA), and a little coconut milk to thin it.  Delicious!  Today I plan to cook the beans and then the sweet and sour cabbage (AA) I cooked for New Year's.  If it turns out as well as it did before, I'll share the recipe on my next post.

I'm about to call and check on a time for Body Designer today or tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow since it's storming right now and 11:30 is my favorite time to go in.  I'm getting stronger every day in every way.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your body."  1 Corinthians 6: 19,20

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You Lord for the rain that is coming down on us today to nourish and prepare the plants for spring growth.
Thank You Father, for my strong body that is healing from the extreme infusion of chemicals and thank You for the privilege of honoring You by taking the best care of my body that I can.  I am so blessed and grateful.
Help me and everyone praying with me to make the right choices in the foods we eat today and the liquids we drink.  Let us feel empowered by those choices rather than feeling deprived of the junk that only serves to harm rather than to nourish us.   Thank You for Your guidance and constant reminders that we are in control of the choices we make and to focus on the choices that honor You.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 260 Character Building

I finally made it back to church yesterday and it was a blessing.  My church family was welcoming and I felt wrapped in their love.  God is so good.   Pastor RO was talking about attitude and he said, "No more bad days.  Those are character building days."  So that is my new mantra.  On days when I feel like I'm back sliding into the symptoms of six months of chemo, I'll just call those character building days.  Each one makes me stronger and more sure that God and I are in charge of my total healing.

I saw this posted today on FB and it was so profound I had to share it.

"And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in."

I visited after church with beautiful friend Lisa who starts chemo tomorrow, not today as I posted.  She is strong in her faith, excited to get started on the path to complete healing and coming out of the storm totally cancer free.   What an amazing example she is of hope and love and overcoming.

"Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths, guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my savior, and my hope is in You all day long."         Psalm 25:4,5

Heavenly Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another day on this beautiful earth, the temporary home You created just for us.
Thank You for the strength You have installed in Your children, the strength to weather the storm and to come out even stronger than before they went in.
Father, keep Your healing arms around Lisa tomorrow as she starts treatment to eradicate the dreaded enemy from her body.  Love her and bless her so that she may be a pure example of all that You can do.  You are a God of miracles and we are asking for those miracles to show up.
I ask also Father for Your healing arms to cradle my friend Darlene as she undergoes surgery tomorrow.  Make her healing quick and easy and bless her for being the loving friend that she is.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 258 Backsliding

It seems like I'm back in the middle of chemo.  I thought I was working my way out of it but apparently not yet.  Nausea was present all day yesterday and the neuropathy seems to be getting worse instead of better.  Hard to type with numb fingertips.  My feet felt like they were thawing out all day from extreme cold. 

I did go to Body Designer in spite of the nausea.  Had a good workout at a higher level than last visit.  That was good, but it's hard even to smile when I feel like this.  Other than a little cold there, I have stayed warm with layered clothes and two pair of socks.  Once home from BD, it was to the couch for the rest of the day.  I didn't have enough energy to empty the dishwasher and just let dirty dishes pile up in the sink.

Better today.  I cleaned the kitchen this morning and am dressed for the studio.  I need to go open a window to let the fumes from the oil paint and turp out before I go back in there to paint.  I'm planning on keeping my food portions very small today to see if that helps with the discomfort in my tummy.  Enough of this already. 

"My times are in Your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me."
Psalm 31:15

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for getting me through another day.  Forgive me for being disappointed in how I felt yesterday.  I am grateful just to be here and give You all praise and honor for taking me through this journey so far. 
I ask special healing mercies for my friend Darlene who is having surgery on Monday and for my friend Lisa who is starting her chemo on Monday.  Let them both heal quickly and easily.  Thank You for putting the two of them in my life.  I am honored to pray for them.
I ask that same healing for everyone fighting cancer today.  Bless them and heal them so that they are never faced with this enemy again.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above pain, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 256 Moving On

I'm so excited to relate that I went to Body Designer for 30 minutes on the machines yesterday.   Wasn't sure I could last that long and had Kathie start me out at a very low level.  Well, I lasted the 30 minutes easily and before my time was up, I was way up on the level of intensity.  That tells me that I'm going to be back to normal much sooner than I expected.  I have another appointment for tomorrow and I'm going to speed things up even more.  Thank You Father.

Today I need to clean house .............. not gonna happen.  I've aired out the studio and need to start some more paintings to replace the sold ones in my galleries.  I haven't painted since right before Christmas and I'm itching to get back to work and today is the day.  Thank You again, Father. 

Isn't the body an amazing and resiliant creation?!  To have poured chemicals that were so strong they can't even be touched into my body for six months and in just three weeks out I am starting to recover.   There can be no doubt that we were created by a Master Mind with the most intricate wiring and the ability to heal encoded in our dna.  Praise God.

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

I have been diligent to keep AA foods in my diet.  I juiced yesterday and loved every sip of my apple/carrot/purple grape juice.  Adding a little crushed ice makes it doubly refreshing.  I'll do that again today.   The fridge froze while I was in Colorado and it's thawing and being repaired today so everything is on the counter and no room to fix the flax seed/cottage cheese smoothie.  I'll probably have to buy new cottage cheese after setting out for several hours at room temp but that's okay.  Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back on that program as well.
To find out more about the flax seed oil, go to .

Blessed Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another day to enjoy life here on this earth that You created.  Thank You for the crisp air, the sunshine and the gentle breezes.  Thank You for another day in which to praise and honor You.
Thank You Father for the amazing creations that are our bodies, for the healing properties that You made part of them, and for the intelligence You imparted to the researchers and doctors to fight this hated enemy.  I ask that You continue to impart that understanding until a solution is found that will blast cancer to oblivion, never to be seen or felt or experienced again.  
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 254 So Long 2012

2012 is over and done with.  Praise God.  As I look back, it was mostly about illness.  The first part was searching doctors to find out why I was feeling so poorly and the second part was treatment once it was discovered what was ailing me. 

I can tell you that a diagnosis of cancer is a shock.  It sort of reverberates through the body but I was calm about it because I thought I could tolerate the treatment easily.  I've heard stories of people working through their entire treatment and not missing a day's work.  I had no idea that the treatment planned for me was going to be so difficult.  A couple of times I felt so bad that I thought maybe death wouldn't be such a bad alternative.  Now that I'm starting to emerge from the effects of chemo, I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

I'm just back from five days in Colorado with my precious daughter, son-in-law, and grandson.  With temps reaching eight degrees below zero, I didn't venture out much but I did have a large condo with a big fireplace and a wall of windows that looked out on snow covered mountains.  The travel part was tiring and required recuperation and my muscles are still too weak for me to step up into an SUV without a push from behind - not a pretty picture - but the nausea is minimal limiting itself to evening time and never bad enough any more for meds.  The main side effect is the neuropathy which continues in my hands and feet and mouth.  My fingertips are numb, my toes are numb, my tongue feels like after I've eaten something too hot and burned my mouth.  Weird.  These symptoms don't seem to be letting up but hanging in there for the duration.   However, if that's the worst I have to deal with, no problem.

So, now it's time to look forward to 2013.  Recovery and clean tests are what I'm looking forward to most.  Then rebuilding my inventory of paintings and venturing off into some new series is next.  Staying busy filling painting orders kept me sane through this process while this blog and the Bible and Jesus Christ kept me grounded.  How grateful I am to serve such an awesome God, who loves and protects me...a God who allows me to venture out and experience life even in what seems to be the worst of conditions, yet continues to comfort and protect me..... a God who allows me to continue to create through the entire process.  I feel truly blessed and so very grateful.

"The Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all your undertakings and you shall surely celebrate."   Deuteronomy 16;15

" ...and as long as he sought the Lord, God make him to prosper."  II Chronicles 26:5

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You for the days just past where we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ.  I thank You on behalf of every cancer warrior for another year in which to heal and the beginning of another year in which new medicines and treatments will be developed to fight and eradicate this dreaded enemy.
I thank You, Father, for giving me the strength through the treatments that I underwent to continue to paint and produce art that speaks to the heart of others and for bringing new collectors into my life. 
What a kind and loving Father You are. 
As we all begin a year anew today Lord, help us to set our goals and make plans that will please You and bring us closer to You in everything we do and say.  Let us feel the strength of your healing mercies and know that we are always wrapped in Your loving arms.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.