Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 311 Slow Down

Two days ago I wrote about God speaking to me and telling me, "Slow down and just love me."  Since then I've been putting it onto practice and I can't even begin to explain how calm I feel.  My prayer times begin with just loving Him.  Sometimes my prayer time is just loving Him and nothing more.  No thanks, no requests, just love. 

Funny that it took a word directly from God to settle me down.  It's sort of like I was searching for something and not finding it, not really knowing that I was searching at all.  My morning starts with prayer time for others, then coffee and reading the Bible, two daily devotionals and then inspirational reading and then prayers for me.  Then when I turn on the computer, more daily devotionals.  God didn't take that away from me, just calmed me down and relaxed me.  I am enjoying the readings much more and receiving much more from them. 

How awesome to be able to settle down, close my eyes and do or think nothing, just feel love reaching out from me and coming back to me at the same time.   God is so good to have shared that word with me and I am so happy to share it with you.  Try it and see if it doesn't make your day better.

Today is my first appointment with my gastroenterologist since diagnosis back in April of last year.  We'll set a time for my next colonoscopy and talk about the elevated liver enzymes.  I am believing that it is nothing more than chemo induced and since chemo hasn't totally left my body, I think once it does that my liver will return to normal.  After all, I still have numb fingertips and my feet and legs are numb up to my knees.  There is a medication to help with this but since there's no pain, I choose not to take any med.  Every medicine has a negative side effect and I am going to let this just wear itself out. 

I have stayed faithful with an antiangiogenesis diet and have been exercising regularly with the treadmill and yoga.  That and lots of painting puts me in bed earlier than in the past and that's good because I'm up earlier to start my day with God. 

Good news is that artist friend Hannah just was retested and is cancer free six months out.  Sadie who is at St Jude's being treated for brain cancer is regaining movement in her hand which has been curled since surgery back in December.  Praise God.

And remember, slow down and just love Him.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I love You so much and thank You for loving me back.  If there is a purpose for me here on earth it is to love You more.  You are my creator, my father and my savior and I give You thanks for Your showing me how to love You.
Lord, today I thank You for continued healing for Sadie and Bethany and for my friends Lisa and Sharon and Frank.  They all love You so much and praise Your name daily through this storm. 
Thank You Lord for another day in which to feel Your love and share the wonder that You are with others.
In Jesus' precious name.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 309 A Word from God

It seems like every day God reveals something new and profound to me.  Usually it's something so obvious that I am almost ashamed that it needs to be shown but I guess that's just another example of the frailty of the flesh.

Yesterday was an awesome day.  Church was wonderful.  Pastor RO asked me to give my testimony and, of course, I cried through it.  I doubt anyone understood what I said and I certainly didn't say what I wanted to say other than giving God all the praise, honor and glory for my healing.  So much more to say but maybe later. 

I came home and turned on Christian TV and watched Sandra Kennedy and Joel Osteen and Tom Leding and finished up with Rick Warren on Oprah's LifeClass speaking on his book, A Purpose Driven Life.  What I took from it mostly was that since God created us, we have to look to Him for our purpose and not to ourselves.   Lots to think about from that show.  I've never read his book but this may be the time for me.

This morning I again delved into the Bible and some inspirational readings.  I had my prayer time praying for others and for me.  Then just a little while ago, I had the most profound revelation that I think I've ever had.  God spoke to me in my mind and it was this:

"Slow down and take time just to love me."

Wow.  I'm covered with God bumps just thinking about it.  I read, I write, I pray and I love God but I don't ever just seem to take the time to shut it all down and just feel his loving presence, to return that love to Him so that He knows how much I truly love Him and how grateful I am for all He does for me every day. 

However as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no mind has conceived", the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.                     
                                                                                                                             1 Corinthians 2:9

Father God, Jehovah Rapha,
Please forgive me of being so consumed with study, learning, prayer asking blessings for others and for myself that I forget to just take time to do nothing other than to love You.
Help me to be ever mindful of how much You love me and the sacrifice You have made to prove to me how much You love me.  I am so grateful to be Your precious child and I thank You, Father, for being my precious Lord and Savior. 
I love You Lord.  I love You.  It is all about You, Lord. 
In the precious name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 307 Not Done Yet

I am still on an emotional high from finding out that there was no longer any cancer in my body.  I feel so blessed and so grateful, so happy to be a child of the Most High. 

"But for you the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings and you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall."  Malachi 4:2

I really thought that once I was declared cancer free, that I would conclude writing in this journal, close it up and be finished.  Then I received word yesterday about our friend Ruth that we prayed for months back.   She had been declared healed after four years of chemo for lung cancer.  When she went for a checkup recently, spots were found on both lungs.  I'm not sure if she goes back into chemo or what, but she is in need of our healing prayers and for us to lift her up in light and love. 

That was a reminder to me that once done with cancer doesn't mean done forever.  It tells me that it requires a life long vigilance to be as careful with our bodies as we can, to revere them and to give thanks daily for the blessings of good health.  It seems to me that to thank God for our good health and then to do nothing to preserve it is sort of like thanking God for the influx of new money and then flushing that money down the toilet. 

Next for me is to set a time for a colonoscopy which I'll have done annually for a while.  :(  Then to find out why my liver enzymes are so high.  Often that's a sign of liver cancer but not this time.  Praise God.  Chances are it's chemo induced with no permanent damage.  I'll continue to share antiangionenesis recipes here and continue to ask for your prayers for other cancer warriors.  I hope you'll continue to allow us to pray for your friends and family that are fighting this same enemy.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You for another gorgeous and glorious day here on this earth that You spoke into existence.  I love You and promise to honor You in all I do today.
Lord, I ask Your healing mercies on Ruth.  She has had a long journey and even though it seems the journey is not over, just bless her, love her, comfort her and show her doctors exactly what to do to eradicate this enemy from her body so completely that it never returns.
I thank You Father for healing me, for everyone who prayed for that healing and for the medical staff that You directed that healing through. 
You are the one true God, the Great Physician.
Thank You, Father,  Thank You.
These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Oh my gosh, I am just so excited that I could jump up and down.  Praise God.  I just got back from Dr. Popatia's office.  The results of Tuesday's pet scan is that I am free of cancer.  I just feel so blessed and so grateful and give God all the praise, honor and glory. 

My daughter was with me and everyone in the office was just as excited for me.  So next is a colonoscopy to take care of any precancerous polyps that may be there and at the same time to figure out what's going on with my liver.   I think it's from the chemo and will correct itself in time as will the neuropathy but will see what Dr. Manji has to say about it.

Thanks so much to everyone who has prayed for and with me through this journey.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Forgive me for my doubt, my unbelief as I struggled with worry this past week.  Thank You for being there for me every time I called on You through this journey.  I know that You hear me, that You have always heard me.  You are my all Father.
Thank You for being with me as I continue the journey to heal my liver and the neuropathy.
I ask special blessings on every person that has prayed with and for me through this.  You have gifted me with the most wonderful friends.
I love You Lord.  I love You.
In Jesus' precious name, the name above all names.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 304 No Longer Radioactive

I went for my pet scan yesterday and it's quite a process.  No food after midnight.  Then they gave me glucose to excite any cancer cells.  After that the radioactive dose for the picture was taken out of a long glass vial that was safely stored in foam in a lead lined case.  Only one small dose per case.  A 50 minute rest wrapped in warm blankets and then the 20 minute scan.   I was warned not to go around children or pregnant women for the next six hours after the scan because of the radioactivity in my system.   Wonder what they'll come up with next.

This was to find out if cancer has taken hold anywhere else in my system, most importantly my liver which has shown issues for the past several months.   I told my daughter this morning that I feel like my recovery has reached a plateau and maybe it's the weight of waiting to see what the scan says.  I did sort of freak out last weak over results of the blood test but I am settled down from that.  Just anxious to meet with my oncologist tomorrow to hear good news.

My Bible study this morning was still focused on the exile of Jews to Babylon and their return and the restoration of Jerusalem.  I've mentioned before how much I love my Women of Faith Study Bible.  I do love it.  It's written on, highlighted, underlined, smeared with coffee stains, has bits of papers with notes tucked inbetween pages here and there and it never fails to speak to me every time I open it.  Thank You Father.  I know that is You.

As I was reading this morning, there was a sidenote that had great meaning.

"In this identity deficient generation, God tells us who we are:  Chosen priests who make up a holy nation of people who belong to God.  You are His chosen child, His beloved, a priest(ess) with full access to the very throne of grace."

I know I am His beloved child and I am so grateful to have Him to turn to in all of this.  He is my savior, my comfort in all things.  It is only through His walk with me that I am able to endure, not just what I've been through, but whatever is to come. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I am so grateful for Your words of comfort that You give me each day.  I would be nowhere without Your guidance. 
I thank You that I am one of Your blessed children.  I thank You for giving me access to the throne of Grace.
You are my everything and I love You, I praise You and hope that I glorify You in everything that I do.
Thank You for another day on this glorious earth that You spoke into existence.
In Jesus precious name, the name above all names.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 302 Handling Disappointments

This morning I was studying Dr. Sid Buzzell's overview of the time of the Jew's exile in Babylon and the rebuilding of Jerusalem.  At the end of his talk, Dr. Buzzell said this:

But then there's always the story of the Ezras and the Nehemiahs and the Esthers and the Haggais and the Zechariahs and the Malachis who say, "It may appear that God has abandoned us, but we know better.  And the way we handle our tragedies and our disappointments is we don't shake our fist in God's face, we come and embrace God.  And by faith we get the strength that we need to handle those disappointments and those tragedies in our life."

I know I shouldn't be surprised but I am constantly amazed at how God always gives me the words that I need to hear just when I need most to hear them most.  Those words come from so many different places and sometimes it takes a round about journey to find them, but they're always there.  He always has a way to communicate directly with me.  Some times its during prayer or through the words and writing of others, but He never lets me down.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for always being there for me.   Thank You for helping me to find the comfort in the words of others to calm my fears and strengthen my faith.
Let these words I am sharing today be the same comfort to others that they are to me.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 300 Better

Two days of being weepy and feeling sorry for myself are over.   I know the elevated liver enzymes don't necessarily mean cancer has spread to my liver, but it was my first thought and I have to admit that for a while I felt alone and abandoned by God.   I was just feeling like I've been through so much and have remained faithful through it all, how could He possibly allow me to face more.  Not a question to ask. 

I have worked hard to heal from the effects of chemo.  I work daily to strengthen my body through eating the right food and exercise.  I will tell you, however, that after leaving Dr. P's office, I drove thru McD's for the first time in weeks and had a big old McFlurry with M&Ms.  Talk about comfort food, it wasn't what I needed or even what I  wanted but for some reason it did make me feel a little better.

So, this morning I woke with a song in my heart and a spring in my step.  I feel like I can face anything and I feel so blessed and grateful for my family, for my church, for my art and my art family, and most of all for God's love and protection.  He is good, all the time. 

Pet Scan is set for Tuesday and I'll get the results on Thursday.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love (for God), I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. "   1 Corinthians 13:1

Heavenly Father, Jehovah Rapha,
I do love You.  I hope my words and actions are a reflection of that love in everything I do every day.
Please forgive me for two days of doubt and self pity.  I am stronger than that and I know You are there for me to take me through whatever is to come.
I am asking in the name of Jesus Christ that You heal me.  I am prepared for a battle that I pray I don't have to fight.  
Thank You for this glorious day. 
It's all You Lord.  All You.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 298 Good News and Not So Good News

I am just back from Dr. Popatia to go over the labs from yesterday and to get my port flushed.
The labs............ Cancer numbers are down from two months ago.  They're still higher than they were before surgery but at least they have come down.  That's good.  Thank You God.

White blood cell count is up from two months ago but still way below where it needs to be.  Seems like the effects of chemo are still lingering.  Still good news.  Thank You God.

Liver enzymes which should be down are even higher than they were two months ago.  They have gone up steadily for months.  According to Dr. P, it can be an indicator of either liver disease or bone disease.  Liver disease is a typical progression of colon cancer and I admit I feel pretty bummed about this and had a mini meltdown on the way home.  Still feeling weepy so am going to have to get a grip on this. 

Next step is a pet scan.  I'm waiting to hear from the office to see when it's scheduled for.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thought this journey was over.  I want this journey to be over.  If it's Your will that I have to travel further, I accept it and will continue to do everything I can to bring You honor every day.
Thank You, Father, for blessing me, for loving me and for healing me.
I love You Lord.  You are my all.
In Jesus precious name,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 297 A Full Time Job

I am starting to realize that taking proper care of myself is almost a full time job.   First and foremost is the food I eat.   I have almost completely given up restaurants and drive thru.  I feel that not knowing who is preparing your food and whether or not they are healthy has a big influence on how rapidly flu and stomach viruses are spread. 

Since I try to eat as much fresh food as possible, grocery shopping takes time.  It isn't just a once a week trip but several times a week.   I have found it is important to have lots of prepared food on hand not to give in to running to BK for a Whopper Jr. or Jack in the Box for some tacos.  Oh, that thought just made my mouth water.  So, that means lots of cooking from scratch. 

Next is exercise.   Diet and exercise means "thinner" to most people.  To me, it now means "stronger and healthier".   I exercise to build back the muscle mass that I lost from almost seven months on the couch.  I exercise to build back white blood cell count.  I exercise to help my body fight cancer and other diseases. 

Today, I went for labwork in preparation of visiting with my oncologist tomorrow.  Then I went grocery shopping for some veggies and ground turkey to make a veggie turkey meatloaf.  Then to Body Designer for a full body workout there.  Back home and am prepping the meatloaf, then I'll paint the rest of the afternoon.  To keep diet and exercise in proper perspective, it takes self-discipline. 

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7

I'll be visiting my oncologist for the first time tomorrow since finishing chemo.  We'll look at the results of blood tests taken today and I'm looking for three things.  First and most important is that cancer numbers are down.  Since chemo really affected my liver resulting in enzymes elevated to the point that they compared to someone with cirrhosis of the liver, I'm looking for normal liver enzymes.  I'm also looking for a normal blood count.   If you're wondering...... yes, I'm a little nervous but I know that God has my back. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You for this glorious and beautiful day.  I am so grateful for another day here on earth.
Lord, I know that You are there for me tomorrow.  I know that I am healed, regardless of what the reports may say.   I know that I am in Your hands and I am trusting You for the best outcome. 
I love You Lord.  I could not have made this journey so far without You.  You are my all, my everything.
Thank You, Lord.  Thank You.
In Jesus name I pray.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Day 295 Cancer Brings Out the Best in Us

That's probably a weird statement to some people but in the last year it has been my experience that cancer does bring out the best in people.   And it's not only people fighting cancer but also their friends and family.  Pastor John Hagee said, "God does not allow a challenge to come into your life unless He has a divine purpose for it."

Yesterday at church, the daughter of my friend Lisa, who is fighting multiple myeloma, got up in front of the church to speak.  It was emotional for her to remember her high school classmate who died from cancer last year but she is helping to raise money in his name to fight childhood cancer.  She spoke eloquently and I know her family and her friend in heaven were proud of her.   If it had not been for cancer touching her life so profoundly, she probably would not have stood in the pulpit to address the church and ask for their support and help for her cause.  But she did and did it beautifully.

It seems lately that I am hearing more and more cases of cancer attacking the young.  Thank God for places like St. Jude's where Sadie is receiving treatment for brain cancer and Texas Childrens where Bethany is being treated for liver cancer.  Those are adult illnesses and our children should not have to go through what we older adults are dealing with...... but it seems like they are. 

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this challenge that has given me a small platform from which to share this journey and to glorify you throughout the process.  I don't know if this is Your divine purpose for me or not, but I am grateful for where You've led me so far.
I ask today that you reach out to the cancer researchers and medical staff and inspire them with the answers to cure childhood cancers.  These precious children are our future and we ask that you keep them safe and healthy.  Show their parents Your mercy as You guide them in how to keep their children as strong and healthy as possible.  Love them, bless them, guide them, and heal them.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the Great Physician,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 293 Another Milestone/Another Recipe

I thought it would take at least three months to get to this point.  Not so.  Yay!  I went to the Y yesterday for orientation.  Young Robbie took me through the treadmill, elliptical, and all the machines.   Not where I was before surgery/chemo but I'm hugely ahead of where I expected to be.  I'm a little bit sore this morning and am so grateful for that.   Back to Body Designer today for the full body workout on the theraplex machine and then back home to paint. 

God is good.  All the studies indicate that exercise is a great cancer fighter.  I have been blessed with a strong body that took a huge hit in 2012 but I'm bouncing back.  Thank You God.

"Exalted be God, my Rock, my Savior!"  2 Samuel 22:47

I'm going to share another AA recipe with you.   After all, food is medicine.

Vegetable Stuffed Potatoes
2 large Idaho/russet potatoes, baked
1 cup chopped onion (AA)
1 cup chopped carrot (AA)
1 cup chopped broccoli (AA)
1 cup chopped mushrooms (AA)
3 cloves garlic, minced (AA)
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil (AA)
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the onions until they're translucent.  Add mushrooms, carrots, and garlic and saute another five minutes.  Add broccoli and heat through.  I like my broccoli crunchy but if you like it softer, then just cook a little longer.  Cool before assembling.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the potato.  Mash and add sauteed veggies, cottage cheese and parmesan.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff the potatoes and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until they start to brown on top.
I have one half as a main course along with a salad but it would make a delicious side dish if you're really hungry.  Enjoy

I want to ask all my praying friends for special prayers for 12 year old Bethany who is at Texas Childrens Hospital with liver cancer and dealing now with blood clots.  You have all been so faithful in praying for the warriors fighting this horrible illness and I am grateful.
Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You Father for this glorious day.  You are the Great Physician, the healer of all ills.  I am asking today that You bless Bethany with Your healing mercies as You touch her, her physicians and her family so that she is cured of all evidence of blood clots and of cancer anywhere in her body.  I ask, Lord, that You eliminate it so completely that she will never have to deal with cancer again.
Thank You Lord for everything You do for each of us every day.  I am so blessed and grateful to be one of Your children.  Help me to make this beautiful day one of glorifying You in everything I do.
These things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 289 What Doesn't Kill Me

....makes me stronger!  Friend Dinah sent this to me today.  I cried all the way through it and want to share it with all my fellow cancer warriors and hope you'll do the same.

James Robison ran the tv show again today with Ken Hutcherson that he ran last week and I got much more from it today than the first time I saw it.  Hutch, as he likes to be called, almost feels honored that God allowed him to have cancer because God knew that he would use it to minister to others.  Amazing. 

I don't think anyone can come through this without a heightened sense of who the Father is and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to be one of His beloved children.  As there are more and more of us out there, our united stand on His word and His promises has to move others in a way that they might not be moved otherwise.

I want to be an example of what God's love did for me and what my love for Him can do for others.
Am I grateful to have had cancer?  Not sure I can answer that right now.  I do know that I have been loved and cared for and protected throughout this journey. 

Next week starts the testing process all over again.  Not sure how long it will all take but it will start with a blood test and go on to colonoscopy, pet scan, cat scan, mammogram and.....  I don't know what else but that's enough.  By the time I'm finished with all of that, I should glow in the dark.   Then I can truly say that I am a light for God.

Precious Father, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for another glorious day here on earth.  Thank You for another day in which to glorify your name.  It is all You Father, all You.
I ask Your hand today on the other cancer warriors out there.  Give us all the strength and insight to see through the pain and nausea of this illness to a path that we can take to help others.  Thank You for the platform You have given the victors to minister to others.  That is why we are here and we are blessed.
In the healing name of Jesus Christ,