Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Update

Good news, bad news!  The bad news is, the last chemo regimen I was on...kicked my butt and the cancer progressed.  I had to be admitted into the hospital twice within 3 weeks time.  The good news is, I'm feeling much better now!  I am on a new regimen that I believe is working, and we are searching for clinical trials where I might be a promising candidate.  A friend of mine had me meet a wonderful man of God who prayed over me. He told me I had to leave expecting something to happen.  Well I am expecting!  I am full of hope and happiness and I believe I am going to get my healing.  We can't always be on the mountain top, there are valleys to travel through as well. I am not alone though.  I am at peace and I am held.  God is good!

Please do not be concerned as I do not post here often. I am no where near the end of my life and my quality of life is great.  I am just spending the majority of my time with my children, my family, getting lots of rest and doing whatever makes me happy!  I do not enjoy spending too much time behind the computer screen, although I am still very active on facebook.  I will post here when I have updates and time or if God places a message on my heart.  God bless you all!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Update

Hi yall!  I apologize for not posting lately.  Honestly, I just haven't felt up to it.  I just had my second round of the new chemo regimen on Tuesday and it's been agreeable this time!  The chemo pills made me sick, so we switched to a 46 hour drip from a pump and while it's a bit of a pain to be hooked up for 2 days, it's not that bad.  My only problem now is the pain.  When we get this tumor shrinking and the pain disappears I will feel normal again!  This chemo doesn't make me tired, or effect my blood counts the way the harsher chemo did.  No scans scheduled for a while, we're going to give this chemo time to do it's thing.  God is still in control!  Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Update: God is My Strength



Just posting a little update, as a lot has been going on during the last few weeks!  My little man, Luke, is now ONE year old.  My sweet girl, Taylor, will be starting the first grade on Thursday.  We took a vacation to Pigeon Forge a couple of weeks ago.  I love the mountains and our cabin was gorgeous.  We had to cut our stay short, however, because I started having intense pain in my ribs.  We drove 7 hours and went straight to the emergency room at Trident, so I could be checked for blood clots.  A chest CT and X-ray revealed that my chest was totally clear.  No clots, no tumors.  But there was a new 3 cm tumor on my liver.  Only the top of my liver was visible with the chest CT, so my oncologist ordered a PET scan to see if there was anymore cancer activity.  The PET scan revealed good news and bad news.  The good news is the cancer in my lungs is completely gone, the lymph nodes in my belly are fine, it's just the one tumor on my liver and the lymph nodes around my liver.  While it is disappointing that I didn't achieve a long remission, I am so, so happy that we're not dealing with a widespread cancer anymore.

Today I have started a new chemo regimen.  I'll have an infusion of oxaliplatin every 21 days and take capecitabine (a chemo pill) twice a day for 14 days.   Then I'll have a week off before my next infusion.  My oncologist felt this would be the most effective regimen for me because we believe that my cancer may have started somewhere in my gastrointestional tract.  We can't be sure though.  My daughter and I prayed this morning that God will work through this chemo and kill all lingering cancer.  I've had a rough time of it for these last few weeks and I am so ready to feel good again!

You know, when you lay there with very little strength in your body.  The devil will take that opportunity to tell you that you are weak.  You are only what your body is physically capable of.  However, this couldn't be further from the truth.  Our strength comes from within, and God is within us.  Yes our bodies may let us down, but God never will.  God is our strength and our hope.  I have hope for a future without cancer.  There is no need to worry about the time, God is always on time.  I need only be still and wait.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chemo Break Update




Sorry I haven't posted in a few weeks! I have been super busy with my children, and loving every minute of it :). My Luke, who will be one in less than 3 weeks, does not like Mommy to have much computer time unless he is banging on the keyboard!

So I have been on chemo break for a month now. I had a few days where I was ready to take on the world, and then I quickly learned that I need to take things a bit slower. I'm beginning to have much more energy and I am feeling more like myself before chemo. I had a great follow up appointment on Wednesday. Nothing new happened of course, it was just a follow up, but I asked some questions I had been afraid to bring up before and I feel so much better after talking about it. I had been having some pain in my back and through my ribs for a couple of weeks, but it is gone now, so my doc feels sure that it is just from the chemo I was on. It does take quite a while for it to get out of your system, and also I carry Luke around all the time and he's heavy.

I asked if my situation has changed in the grand scheme of things since I first walked in the door and she said YES. I asked if my "5 years" was maybe looking like more and she said YES. I've responded really well to treatment and chemotherapy has come so far in the last 5 years, there will certainly be new improvements in the future. I know that God is my healer and I believe I am healed by His power. And I also know that only God knows when my life here will end...but it sure felt good to hear that from my oncologist that day. I have struggled while in that pain. Satan took the opportunity to attack and to be honest, I cried almost every time I looked at my children because all I could think about was things turning for the worst and having to leave them. There were moments when I felt like I had failed in my faith, but looking back, I don't believe that is true. I am human and we cannot comprehend God's understanding. I'm His and He knows my heart. He is mine, and I know He holds my future. What a comforting fact, right?

My cousin and I have been doing laps around the ballfield near my house. Today we decided to take on the Cooper River Bridge and we made it across and back! We got up early because we live an hour away, and walked a total of 5.5 miles. The view was beautiful and so was the experience. I'm certain we will be feeling that walk tomorrow! Also, my hair is growing super fast. I wake up every morning looking like a cockatoo and it's awesome. My sweet Taylor is getting ready to start the 1st grade, and my sweet Luke is beginning to take steps. I am so overwhelmed with how blessed I am! God is so good! He never ceases to amaze me with His grace. More soon :).


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Defeating Giants


I went for walk this evening and I was able to jog a little more than last time.  I get so overwhelmed with gratitude during moments like these.  I am just so grateful for the strength and the energy to do what I want.  I do not take these victories lightly.  We all want this.  We all want to win our battle and we all want to not only live, but have a good quality of life.  Many are not able to experience this.

On my walk I noticed a small bird chasing off a much larger bird and I thought of David in the Bible.  We all know the story I’m talking about.  David was not some great warrior.  But he was brave and he had an amazing faith in God.  When David informed Saul that he needn’t worry about the Philistine giant, Saul said to him “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”  But David was confident.  He had fought off lions and bears while watching his father’s sheep and he declared, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”  We know how the story ends.  David took down the big bad giant with a stone.  He wore no armor.  He had no sword, no spear.  He had faith and a stone and he gave God all the glory.

I want to be like David.  I want to stand in front of my giant and proclaim that it is defeated.  I want to be fearless because I know my God will rescue me from my circumstances.  He’s never failed before, He will not fail now.  God never changes.  He is the same now as He was in the biblical times.  He is still working miracles and showing us His grace.  It’s just not as advertised as all the negative things going on in the world today.  I’ve said it a million times…God is bigger than any of this!



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chemo Break

Chemo #16
This is it, my last treatment!  This isn't how I pictured it.  I expected it to be after a clean scan.  It's a little bit scary, not being on chemo...but it's also very exciting.  I want to be strong.  I was worried that I wouldn't be feeling genuine joy today.  I've been emotional and a little conflicted for a few days.  But last night I sat on my back porch and had a good talk with Jesus, and today I have so much joy in my heart it might burst.  I am so blessed!  I have come SO far in these 5 1/2 months.  In January...I walked into this place, a dying woman.  Pain had become so much a part of my life, I forgot what it felt like to be without it.  There is nothing but life in me today.  There is no pain.  There is no sickness.  I will not be sitting around waiting for the tumors to grow...I'll be enjoying life and claiming my next scan will be clean, just like I did last time.  While I'm not on chemo, I am still "on" the blood of Jesus.  God is good!  By His stripes, I am healed!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Choice Is Yours



In life we get the impression that we have so much control.  We make plans and set goals at a young age that shape our futures.  Go to this school…get this job…buy this house.  We think we have control over our bodies.  Want to lose weight?  Diet and exercise.  Want muscle definition?  Work out.  Want a new hair style?  Pick one and go for it.  And then something like cancer comes in and tries to take over every aspect of your life and you have no say so whatsoever.  Your body betrays you.  You are deteriorating.  Suddenly, those goals you set for 5 years from now are simply just to be alive.  To make it.

It may seem like cancer has taken away any control you might have over your life, but the truth is…you do still have a choice.  You choose how you are going to handle this situation.  Yes, it might knock you down but you have the choice to get back up and keep fighting.  You are strong, you are courageous, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  There are no impossibilities.  The same God that made this entire universe took the time to make YOU.  He adores YOU.  You are not just another statistic.  He’s going to help you get through this in one way or another, but YOU have to decide.  He wants you to choose to love Him, to accept Him.  He will not force you.

You cannot go through something such as cancer unchanged.  You do have a say so in how it changes you.  You can be bitter.  Or you can be blessed.  Spending the rest of my days being blessed sounds a lot better than spending them being bitter, don't you agree?

So I have big plans.  My goals from the beginning of this were to grow old with my husband and watch my children grow up.  I’m focusing on that and believing that will be given to me.  God has brought me so far since January.  Just 5 short months ago, when I looked in the mirror, I saw death.  Now, I see nothing but LIFE.  I see a promise.  I choose to believe in that promise.  I’m going to make it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

On The Battlefield


Fighting for your life.  What does this mean?  To me, it means I'm fighting cancer among other things.  Really, I am in two separate battles.  One is physical.  The chemo is coursing through my veins, killing everything in sight.  The good news is the bad cells are taking a big hit.  The bad news...so are the good cells.  So my physical battle will be put on hold soon.  I welcome the break.  It will be good for me to gain my strength back and enjoy that freedom, physically.

The other battle is mental.  It is 100% in my head.  The way I see it is like this:  I am standing on a battlefield.  On the opposing side there is chaos.  There is death, despair, pain, defeat, fear, mockery.  They are all big horrible monsters chomping at the bit.  They want to destroy me.  Looking at them, I wonder...how can I deny them victory?  They are so much bigger than me.  I am small and weak.  They are many.  I am alone.  Only I'm not alone.  There, standing in front of me is Jesus Christ.  He is shielding me!  He has taken every attack for me and He is still standing firm.  These monsters...they look at Him and drop to their knees.  They cower in fear.  They are blinded by His radiating light.  The monsters realize they have no power here, they cannot get to me.  But they will wait.  They will wait for any opportunity to sneak an attack.  But as long as I let Him, Jesus will be right there, protecting me.

Do not be intimidated by your monsters, no matter how large, or how many.  You have the ultimate protector, but you have to give Him the opportunity to protect.  I hope that my visual will help someone in their battle.  I'm on your side.  I want us all to win, this fight for our lives.

Isn't it comforting to know, God is bigger than all of this?  There is our hope.  There is our anchor.  We will not be moved.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Simply, Let Me Stay Here




Let me start by saying, God’s work is not done in me.  There is still healing taking place and one day I will be free of this cancer.  That is the “big picture.”   Complete healing.  Cure.  But it is important not to lose sight of the little details along the way.  My attitude could easily be, “Yes, everything is small right now.  But the cancer is still there.”  That is not healthy thinking.  If you focus on the negative, that’s all you’re going to have.  This is all a part of God’s plan for me.  I keep saying, “I’m going to get my miracle,” but the truth is, every day is a miracle.  Every single day is a gift to be treasured.  We are owed nothing in this world, to be here is an honor.

Every day I simply ask God to let me stay here.  When I sit outside, “Let me stay.”  When I watch my children, “Let me stay.”   When I look at my husband, “Let me stay.”  Well, here I am.  I just celebrated my 28th birthday a few days ago and I feel good and I am here.  The tumors and nodules are very small right now and though the cancer is still there, so is hope.  Hope is always there.  God is answering my prayers, even though I am not cancer free just yet.  Every day that I wake up is an answered prayer.   So do not be discouraged if your “big picture” doesn’t seem to be happening right now.  God is listening.  God is working.  Stay positive and trust in Him.

We all know that is what is expected of us.  That’s what God wants, is for us to trust Him.  Sometimes this is easier said than done.  Kind of like when my Dad is driving.   It might get tense.  Things might get a little scary.  But if I just close my eyes and trust that he indeed knows how to drive, I enjoy the ride much more.  Haha.  But seriously, when I let go of my worries and let God take control, my burden was lifted.  He carries it for me.  I enjoy life more without the worry.  Yes, I still have concerns in the back of my mind, but God is dealing with them.  I am comforted.  So close your eyes, and trust God.


Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Scan and Update

 




 Chemo #13


We talked to Dr. Saylors about my scan today! All my tumors, nodules, everything has continued to decrease in size. Some of them are too small to even be measured! The tumors on my liver were measuring 4 cm. They are now around 1 cm! My lymph nodes were the size of ping pong balls and are now the size of lima beans.  Praise God!

We have come to the point where the harm from chemo outweighs the benefit. I am so very tired and I'm tired all the time.  I want to feel good again.  I will finish this cycle (a cycle for me is carboplatin + taxol one week, taxol only the next week, then a week off) and maybe one more cycle. Then I will stop chemo.  I will be checked regularly and I will go back on the chemo if the tumors grow.

I am happy with this decision. Yes, I still have cancer.  But I am alive, and I will live on!  This is not to say that God will not take this cancer from my body this instant!  I still believe God will heal me. My idea of a miracle was that the tumors would disappear, but THIS is a miracle too.  I will elaborate on this in a future blog, there is a lot I'd like to say this subject.  My most fervent prayer was that I would watch my children grow up, and I will!  I am thankful!  I will continue to walk by faith; even more so while I am not taking treatment.  God is so good!  My Father truly has his hands over me.  He is my shield, my anchor, my refuge.  He is everything!  Though I am weak, I lean into His strength and His grace and I am whole.  I am swaddled in His love!


 Thank you all for your prayers and support!!  By His stripes, I am healed.

Monday, May 18, 2015

This Too Shall Pass






When I began chemotherapy in January, it hit me hard. I was sick. My body was still weakened from the effects of cancer. However, I got stronger. It happened quickly and it was amazing. All my pain, my fatigue, everything just seemed to disappear. Although I was on chemo, I felt better than I had in months. I honestly did not mind getting treatments. I was just so thankful to not feel the way I did before. I actually felt like myself again. Sure, I was out for a couple of days after treatment, but once I got over it, I was able to do whatever I wanted to do. I felt completely normal. There was no stopping me.

But now I'm not "bouncing back" the way I used to. Chemo puts me out for about 3 days, and then...I'm still weak. I tire easily even on my week off from chemo. My inner child is pouting and shouting, "I want to play!" I don't even look like myself anymore. I look worn. I feel worn.

This too shall pass. I will try to be patient. God is strong FOR me. Soon, there will be no more treatments. Soon, I will be strong. I used to run every day. Oh how I loved to run. Soon, I'll be back on my feet. When Taylor asks me to play tag, my answer will be YES.  Soon.

When life gets you down, carry on, carry on! It is easy to get down when you aren't feeling well. Especially when you feel bad every day. Focus on the positive. Focus on your progress. If you're not making progress right now, focus on your goals. Remember that you are not alone, God is right there, in the good times and the bad. You are precious to Him, and he is cradling you like a newborn babe. Get alone with God; have a conversation. When you open yourself up completely to let Him take control, the battle is not yours anymore.  He will fight it for you.


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, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Awareness For The Unknown



Tonight I want to raise a little awareness for people like me with an unknown primary cancer.  Not knowing what kind of cancer you have can be scary.  I know, having cancer is scary enough, period.  How do you know you’re receiving the right treatment?  Will you ever find out what kind of cancer you have?  Would it make a difference?  Could it save your life?  I’ll use myself as an example.  I have widely metastatic cancer.  This means the cancer is in multiple organs in multiple places.  My cancer is in my liver, lungs, and throughout my lymph nodes.  But it is not lung cancer and it is not liver cancer and it is not lymphoma.  My cancer is CUP, Carcinoma of unknown primary, because my original tumor has not been found.  They can tell that it is aggressive, but not where it started.

I believe I am getting the best care possible in this situation.  My oncologist is very wise.  She has me on two types of chemo:  carboplatin and taxol.  Together, these have a “blast effect,” since we don’t have a specific type of cancer to target.  This chemo attacks everything.  As you can see, it’s working wonderfully!  I chose not to fear the “unknown.”  I feel like God has even more room to work in the mystery.  I am very curious though, and would like to know what kind of cancer it is.  The lymph node that was removed for my original biopsy is still being studied.  So maybe one day.  If you find yourself in this situation, know you are not alone.  This happens sometimes and it does not doom you.  There is always hope!

God already knows what kind of cancer it is, and he is doing work.  He knew this before I was even born.  When we completely put our trust in Him, there are no limits to what He can do.


Proverbs 3:5-8
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; 
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Reflection




I’ve been asked a few times, what went through my mind when I got my diagnosis. That may seem like a simple question, but it is actually very hard to answer. It was like one big thought, broken up into many layers. What stayed up front and center, were the beautiful faces of my children. Behind that, the numbers; how old they would be when I died. Behind that, the events I would miss. And behind that, a memory of Taylor saying her bedtime prayers. I ask her what she is thankful for and one thing that made her happy that day. Her answer is always the same, “You Mommy!” This is the hardest layer to deal with. Taylor loves SO big. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve fussed that day, or if I wasn’t any fun. I’m still her number one. The thought of her grief was more than I could bear. When I got that news, and saw my life laid out before me with not much time left in it, the little things suddenly became the big things. The hard times suddenly became insignificant. Those times weren’t hard. This was hard.

So now, as I’m waiting on my upcoming scan, I find myself often reflecting. I don’t ever want to sink back into that hole I was living in. I don’t ever want to forget how valuable these precious little moments are and how absolutely blessed I am to be here. This scan is going to be a really big deal, and I'm already planning how I'm going to celebrate. This is going to be it, no more cancer. Could I be so blessed? Blessed enough that my journey with this disease would end so quickly? After all, it’s only been 4 months. Yes! I most certainly could be. Like I've said over and over in this blog, nothing is too big for my God!

These are some moments I won’t ever forget. I’m sharing them with you, because I want you to thank God every day for the little things in your life, because they are the big things.

First, the love my family and I have received from my community and, thanks to this blog, people all over the world. The fear in my daughter’s eyes as I explained to her why Mommy has been so sick. Then quickly telling her that this cancer won’t kill me, while silently begging God to let that be the truth. When my husband went with me to my first treatment, even though he had not been to sleep since working the night before. He was so jacked up on coffee, I couldn't dwell on the fact that this was the day I was starting chemo…because he would not be quiet, haha. Night after night of my Daddy sitting on the stairs when I would come out of the bathroom from being sick. He knew there was nothing he could do. He just wanted to be there for me. Both my parents peeking in on me when they thought I was sleeping, just checking to make sure I was ok. My husband refusing to go to sleep until I fell asleep, one awful morning when I was in so much pain. How excited my uncle was to walk into the house and see me sitting upright on the couch. Things started looking up at this point. How my Granny couldn't sleep unless she saw me that day. My brother going with me to treatment and then a blood transfusion immediately following. That was 6 hours of me sitting in a chair! The joy my parents showed while I ate that chick filet sandwich, the first meal I had eaten in weeks.

There are 100’s more, but you get the point. We are blessed! Even when things are bad, we are blessed.

A Tribute To My Mom






In honor of Mother's day, I want to share with you how amazing my Mama is. She's been amazing all my life, but this last year has been the toughest, and she has been my rock. July of last year I was REALLY pregnant and I was really tired. I would get so upset because my house was a wreck and I just couldn't keep up.  I always feel better when my house is clean. There were many days when I would come home from work to a spotless house, because Mama had been over to clean all day. This was a really big deal! I would feel pure relief when I walked in the door, and you just can't put a price on that.

Next, the real challenge: facing the fact that her little girl (even if I am grown) has stage IV cancer and has been given no hope for survival. If you would have seen my Mama when we got that news, it would have broken your heart. She has taken such good care of me, not only as a child, but as a patient. When things were bad, she helped me into the shower, combed and dried my hair, cleaned the toilet every time I got sick so at least I had a clean toilet to hang my head over. She fed my family, washed our clothes, took care of my children, anything she could think of to make life easier for me. She lifted my load and added it to her own. She stayed so strong for me. I remember one day I was very weak from not eating/etc and I was in so much pain. Daddy was trying to convince me to let him take me to the hospital for fluids because I was obviously dehydrated, and he wanted me to get pain meds through IV so I could have a little break. I didn't want to go to the hospital. I have a bad habit of brushing off everything that's wrong with me. If I'm not feeling well and I talk to you, you won't know it because I'm going to grin like an idiot and tell you I'm good. I only complain to my husband lol. Anyway I was sitting there, trying to make a decision and all of a sudden I couldn't hold it in anymore, I just burst into tears. Mama started praying and crying right along with me. When I hurt, she hurts. When I couldn't eat, she couldn't eat. She allows me to get the rest I need to get better. She never complained the first time. She is selfless and caring and a beautiful human being on the inside and out.


I love you Mama, you are my hero. I'll never question my ability to be a great Mom, because I've learned from the best.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Do Not Live In Fear



When I started this fight my sole purpose for survival was to be here for my family. After speaking to many other cancer patients and survivors over time, it has become so much more than that. I want to be an example. I want to be for someone else, what so many are to me. I'll explain. When I was first diagnosed, I felt absolutely hopeless. It could have very well drove me crazy, the thought that this disease was going to kill me in such a short time. Just knowing "what" was going to kill me was enough to make me miserable. I was not the least bit positive. I was terrified. I hope I never forget what that feels like, because I realize how incredibly blessed I am to have HOPE. Just to be able to let go of that fear, to let go of that dispair, is a miracle in itself; a precious gift from God. Not everyone can let it go, which is totally understandable. Saying that it's hard, is the understatement of the century. It can very easily take over every aspect of your life, every thought. My heart breaks for you, if you are living in fear. But if I can give even a glimmer of hope to you, my friend, it is such a blessing to me. It gives me so much purpose. I've had so many survivors share their testimony with me, and each time I thought..."Wow, if God saved them from THAT, surely He can save me too." Sometimes, that hateful little voice was there whispering, "but your liver"..."6 months"..."not curable"..."it's not the same." Let me tell you! The devil is a LIAR. He wants to see you cower in fear! But GOD is BIGGER. Bring your fear, bring your despair, and lay it down before your Father. You don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Jesus carried it for you on the cross, and by His wounds we are HEALED.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Invaded

Thursday morning as I was sitting in the chemo suite preparing to get hooked up to chemo round 10, I received a text from my brother saying my home had been broken into.  We've been staying with my parents while I'm on treatment because my husband works shift work and my Mom helps me tremendously with the kids.  Our home is only about 3 minutes down the road so we are in and out often checking on things.  We knew there was a possibility that we could be burglarized while we were away so we did not have many valuables there.  So thank God they did not get much, but they did get some things.  What really broke my heart though was not what they took, but the fact that they know what my family is going through.  Everyone around here knows my situation.  And they used that.  They broke my back door and went through my things, my children's things.  I almost did not take my traditional picture I take each time I get chemo, because I didn't think I would be able to smile with that on my mind.  BUT, I did it.  I smiled and I encouraged those that I could through facebook and kept on going.  The person who invaded my home, does not have the power to invade my heart.  They will have to answer for the terrible things they have done.  Like I've said in a past blog, satan is angry when we do God's work.  Tuesday night I gave my testimony at a church in Hemingway and it was an amazing night.  They had worship and prayer and God was all over that place!  So although I am attacked on different occasions, I am not broken.  I am still standing and I'm not going to change my routine.  I was honored to be the speaker at Andrews Relay for Life last night and I pray that my story was able to give someone hope.  There is always hope!

Two high five's for chemo #10

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Claiming My Healing



I had chemo round 9 on Thursday. God has blessed this chemo that runs through my veins. I'm not afraid of it, and I'm not afraid of cancer. My God is bigger than all of this. I can't believe it's almost scan time again. Just three more weeks!
Tuesday, I took a nice long walk, just me and my dog Bella and the woods. I spent some time being quiet, and just listening to the breeze through the trees. Then I prayed and prayed, asking for healing. Suddenly, I stopped! I started thanking my Father because the work is already done. I believe these next scans will confirm that. I do not believe there is any cancer left in my body!

So I have been thinking about how it must feel to get that news. I can't even imagine how overjoyed we will be!  I'm trying to understand the term "remission" because I know that is the word that will be used.  So I've been researching cured vs. remission and I found an article that really helps me embrace that word instead of letting fear linger there in the cracks.  If I believe I am healed while in remission=I am cured!  If I believe that it won't come back=I am CURED.

I have been so blessed in this journey, even through the suffering!  I thank God for my suffering; I learned so much in those dark days.  I thank God for the pain; I learned how strong I am with God's grace.  And I truly appreciate what it means to feel GOOD.  Of course life will never go back to the way it was before.  There will always be scans, etc.  I am forever changed by this!  I mean that in the best possible way.  God is so good!  Life is so good!  Count your blessings.

Here's that article I was talking about:

http://sunriserounds.com/is-remission-cure/

Vacation and Meeting New Friends!


Hey yall! It's past time for an update I see :). This time last week I was on vacation in the beautiful Gatlinburg Tennessee. We go every year, but this year I enjoyed it more than ever. I made it to the top of Clingmans Dome (I was off of chemo that week and had recently had a blood transfusion, so that helped!). You couldn't wipe the grin off of my face! The view was absolutely stunning. Then the next day we spent the whole day at Dollywood and had a blast.  Luke was such a good boy, he loves stroller rides.  Taylor was finally tall enough to really enjoy the rides, so she was super excited about that!  I rode a couple of roller coasters.   It was awesome.   I felt good and strong, and I just really needed that time away.   I ran into a man who shared his cancer story with me.   He was so positive!   I think we should always try to encourage one another.   I also had two other occurrences that touched my heart.  I watched an elderly man enjoying a carousel ride with his adult son (assumption). And a lady came over to me and grabbed my hands with tears in her eyes.  She said she was so glad she saw me today.  She is losing her hair and has been having a hard time dealing with it.  But somehow seeing me made her feel better about that.  I am incredibly blessed.

When we came back I got to meet an awesome group of people, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults! They took time to visit the patients at Charleston Cancer Center during their journey on their bicycles from Baltimore to the Florida Keys. I really enjoyed the visit! This is their website if you'd like to check them out: http://www.ulmanfund.org/






Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Are You Ready?






I wasn't sure about sharing this one, but I keep feeling pressed to share this view of death/dying. So I’m going to obey, here it goes.

We're all going to die, unless Jesus comes back to take us home before that time comes. Some might say, “Why worry about that now? We have plenty of time!” Wrong. We all need to think about the end, as depressing as that may sound. It’s just reality. Are you ready? I wasn’t. The thought of death absolutely terrified me. I wasn't sure what would happen to me afterwards. Have I lived a life that is pleasing to God? Do I have that relationship with Him, that will ensure my entry into Heaven? The thought of an afterlife was so huge, so beyond my understanding, I wasn't even sure I believed in it. All of this changed when I found out I was dying, when my end didn't seem quite so far away.

After accepting a closer walk with my Savior, I am not afraid of death. I know exactly where I am going when I take my last breath. It will be easy. Peaceful. I will walk…no, run, into the arms of my Father. I still can’t wrap my mind around it, and I’m not sure that I ever will, really. But I know I’m ready when my time comes, and that’s a good feeling. Those that we have lost, they are rejoicing in Heaven! They will never suffer again, they will never shed a tear. No pain, no sadness.

Don’t get me wrong, I am fighting with everything I have to live. While I love my Father and I look forward to meeting Him in Heaven, I want to live here on Earth as long as I can. I want to be with my family and enjoy His blessings for the rest of my long life. That is the part that still scares me; leaving my babies, leaving my family. I feel like my death will be easy, but the thought of my children growing up without me is unbearable. So the battle is on, and glory to God it is already won. By His stripes, I am healed!



John 14: 1-4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Monday, April 6, 2015

God Picked This One Just For Me




God picked this one just for me. God knows what my future holds, because he holds my future. He knew when I met Patrick Cox 14 years ago, he would be the perfect partner and friend in this battle, although I would have never thought so back then. The people who love us, fight with us. They fight with everything they have. I cannot imagine being in Patrick's shoes. I would much rather weather this storm myself, than watch him go through it. He is so strong for me. The day we found out how bad the cancer was, was the last time he let me see him break. He has been my rock ever since. He would not accept it. Death was never an option for me in his eyes. He would not let me accept it. No matter how sick I got, his faith was just as strong as mine. When I was hurting, he would do everything in his power to make me more comfortable. I remember one night in particular, Patrick had been working all the overtime he could get, because we knew I would not be working, and he was so tired. It was late. But he persistently tried to stop my pain before he would go to sleep. He got pillows and tried to set me up all comfy. When I was dry heaving in the toilet, nothing left in me, he would rub my back and tell me everything was going to be ok. Those things may seem small, but they were actually huge. It's not easy to let your husband see you this way. Weak, losing more eyebrows and pretty little eyelashes every day. But he makes me feel beautiful, even when I know I look my worst. He loves me unconditionally. He is such a great Father, husband, and friend. He is a fighter. I'm so glad that God put him on my team. We cannot be defeated.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Even Better News



I received #7 of 8 today. We will continue on with chemo after #8. Dr. Saylors said that 70% was a estimate by the looks of the scan, but when she actually measured the tumors... ALL tumors have shrunk by 80%. This has exceeded her expectations and we are just so excited! God has really come through today. I was not expecting even better news at my appointment, that one took me by surprise! And my friend Mr. Claud got his good news. That just made my day! I do believe I have smiled all day long. I am so blessed and I have been surrounded by nothing but hope and happiness today. Please continue to pray for Mr. Claud as you pray for me. I believe in my heart that by the grace of God, he will claim victory over his cancer.

I'm being lazy bones this evening, I am very tired. They will be checking my blood even on my week off from chemo now and I find this comforting to be watched so closely. If the chemo starts wearing me down my doctor can adjust. But I am handling it beautifully, I think. I am being taken care of. By my Father, my family, my doctor & nurses.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Great News!


                                            


I had a scan today to see how my tumors are responding to the chemo. While the cancer is still there, all tumors have shrunk 70%!! I will take that! God is so good. I will be sleeping very well tonight :). I will get all the details next week when I meet with my oncologist!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Why Does God Allow Suffering?




“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus tells us that we will have suffering in this world. Though, we do not suffer in vain. He uses our trials so that we may draw closer to Him. Through them, He can show us His mercy and love. God has a plan for our lives, long before we are even born. Everyone has a purpose, and everyone matters. We are all God’s children, and what He has done for me, he can do for you too. God has done some pretty amazing things for me lately. If it were not for my suffering, He wouldn’t have had the opportunity to bless me the way that He has! What a tragedy it would have been, to be blind to what I am seeing so clearly now. I was alive before, but I wasn’t really living. He pulled me up from the bottom of the pit and He rescued me. He took me in His arms and he comforted me. He gave me faith so strong; it cannot be moved by the enemy! I find hope in everything, even something simple as looking up at the sky. The same God that created that great big sky, created me and you. Nothing is too big for our God! He is bigger than our troubles! He is bigger than cancer. He is bigger than depression. He is bigger than the problems in our marriage, the problems at our jobs, the problems with our children, the problems with our finances. He can see us through any situation! Imagine what the world would be like, if we all had an unshakeable faith in God. We all need this. He gave this to me, so that I can share it with you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Now Not Later



When we visualize our life, we generally picture a lot of time being involved, right? We believe there is always “later.” Well, that was me. I was a “later” person. There were things I wanted to do with Taylor, but I’d put them off until later. I wanted to date my husband, but we would do that later. I wanted to have a closer walk with God. There was always time for that, later.

We are not promised tomorrow. “Later” may never come. There is only One who knows when our time is up. He could come for us all any given moment. So I want to be a “now” person. I want to take advantage of every moment I can, and make them into sweet memories. I want Taylor and Luke to have the best childhood to look back on when they are my age. I was blessed with that childhood. When I look back on my life, I have so many good times to hold on to. I’m looking forward to making many more! So if you’re putting things off until later, ask yourself, “what am I really waiting for?” Take advantage of the time you have! Be productive. Be happy! :)


Mark 13:32
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Be On Your Guard




Life is a precious gift and it should be treated as such. Protect yourself. The devil is a liar! He wants to see us fail. He knows our weaknesses and he preys on them. But God is love, the lover of our souls. Call upon Him and He will cover you. We are His children. Satan has no power in His presence. 

Corinthians 16:13-16 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.

We were given this life because we are strong enough to live it.  We all face challenges, that's just apart of life. They don't make life any less beautiful. The trick is to praise God during those challenges.  Hand over your worries to our Savior, He will rescue you!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Just A Little Update



I think it is important as a cancer patient to feel good about your doctor. And I totally do! I know God placed me at Charleston Cancer Center for a reason. They are wonderful, and the chemo is working for me. I am going to continue down the path I have chosen, which is prayer and chemo and trying to adjust my diet. I feel better than I have in months! I am not sick. I have complete faith that I am going to be healed. I had chemo number 5 today! I'm always excited for chemo day, because I am one step closer to scan time. My doctor thinks we should get good results from this scan because I am feeling so well! So we will do that in the next couple of weeks. I did need a blood transfusion today due to a drop in my red blood cells but I didn't feel bad. Just a little tired. I am so blessed to be able to witness to such a large scale of people! But I do need rest and time with my family, so bare with me :). I will read and reply to everything. Yall are wonderful. Your testimonies, encouragement, and prayers mean so much to me! Thank you all for reading about my journey. :)

Bold With Strength In My Soul



"In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul." Psalm 138:3

I've never felt any kind of "calling" until recently. I've watched other people obey God and make themselves a witness in one way or another, but that was never me. I didn't think I would even be able to "hear" it if God spoke to me. I have always been shy and I've always kept to myself. I was a lazy Christian. Sure, I prayed and I loved Jesus. I never stepped out though. I never talked about Him. I wasn't focusing on Him. I was distracted with everyday life, with "things." God wanted more from me. We have to slow down and listen! He has given me the desire to understand His Word. He has given me the desire to turn this test into a testimony. I praise God for this calling! I am not the same person I was before. He has made me bold and strong in my soul! On the outside, I may look like a lamb, but inside He has made me a lion! I will defeat this cancer, it will not defeat me. I speak nothing but life over my body. Dying is not an option, not until He sees fit. And when I do meet Him, He will say "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

We Must Be Courageous



Finding out I could die while my children are still so young was devastating. I’d never felt so hopeless and out of control. The reason I am dealing with this so well now, is because God gives me comfort through his word. I am nothing without Him. When I am weak, He carries me. When I handed my worries over to him, I felt relief. Why am I so sure I’m going to beat this? Aside from having total faith in God and in prayer, I am sure because I have to be. What other option do we have, in a situation like this? We can’t curl up and wait for death to take us. We must be courageous. I thank God that He gives me courage. We must fight. I thank God that He gives me strength. I can’t imagine my children growing up without their mother. I have to be here for them! I have to be there for the scraped knees and broken hearts. I have to be there when they go to prom, graduate, go to college, get married, and have children of their own. I have to know my grandchildren. Why do I believe God is going to heal me? Because when I read those healing scriptures, I believe with my whole heart that He is speaking to me through those verses. I believe because he poured his peace and love upon me. I believe because 100’s of people are praying for me every day and I have an amazing support system. When I am sitting in that chair, hooked up to the chemo…I know God is there. There is more than medicine coursing through my veins!

We are tested through fire.  With faith, God will bring us through it!

Daniel 3:24-27
Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God,come out! Come here!”  So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Written By My Dad...






My story is being shared on manninglive.com, and this was something my Daddy wrote in the comments. I thought it was really nice and wanted to share...


Thank you for supporting my daughter with your prayers and encouragement. While awaiting a scheduled biopsy on a swollen lymph node, my wife encouraged Whitney to keep an appointment she had previously made with her gynecologist. Her doctor found that her liver was enlarged and had a CT scan done that same afternoon. My wife and I waited anxiously for the result as we tended to the children. Whitney’s voice was strong as she explained she would need an immediate biopsy, but the words “numerous tumors” and “cancer” were too dreadful for her to utter without breaking down. We immediately called my mother-in-law to come watch the babies as we rushed to be with her so she would not have to drive home alone. We live about an hour away from her doctor’s office…actually, we live about an hour from everywhere. As you may imagine, my wife and I were crushed as we felt our daughter had been handed a death sentence. I had “googled” enough in the days since her supraclavicular lymph node had swollen to 3 cm’s to know what metastasis to the liver meant. We were almost to her doctor’s office when she called and said the surgeon had looked at the scan and thought it was lymphoma. Lymphoma has a high cure rate even in the 4th stage. What a relief! But even so, this brush with death had changed everything about how we looked at life…and death. So, the fight was on! We had hope from the doctors that this cancer could be beaten. That was Thursday. Then the call came late Tuesday evening that the pathologists were “puzzled”. It was not lymphoma. I took the call and I knew what the doctor was saying without him saying it. I quickly adopted his avoidance of certain words as I explained more “tests” were needed. Two days later the oncologist would lay it out in more certain language that left no hope for a cure…”months without chemo” and a not-very-convincing performance of “with chemo…years”. It was a knock out in round 1. Whitney had already lost 12 pounds in as many days and the all we could do was pray as she cried in pain. And I’ve found that mothers who have gone through child birth can take a lot of pain. The hydrocodone would have helped if she could have kept it down, but the cycle of nausea and vomiting would not allow her to keep any food down for long. The catch being you need to take the pain meds with food or you will get nausea and vomit….a cruel dilemma indeed. I took the next week off from work since she had a doctor’s appointment almost everyday for a port-a-cath implantation, brain MRI, upper and lower GI’s and her first round of chemo. And we crammed in an emergency room visit for a couple of IV’s in between as she was becoming dehydrated. It was during this week-specifically, after Tuesday’s brain MRI that I witnessed the fighter arise. The fight was back on! She took herself off the pain meds and faced the pain head on—pain that had ruled her life for weeks. Within 12 hours the pain was down from a “10” plus to a “5”. By the next evening it was gone. Round 1, Whitney. The nausea subsided as the pain meds lost their influence on her body. She was eating chic-filet–of all things this is her craving during this ordeal–on the same afternoon of her first chemo treatment. Then, the effects of the chemo threatened to take round 2. That’s when the gloves came off. Whitney was raised in a Christian home thanks to her mother, Ramona. She held up the family until I found, discovered, accepted, received, surrendered to salvation about 9 years ago..not sure what word fits. Perhaps, they all do. Whitney had been a Christian for years and I had witnessed the change in her life and her faith. But now I was witnessing a star being born. Not the Kristofferson/Streisand kind of star, but a star rising into a sky of stars that we look to in awe and wonder. We all have those stars in our lives as God displays His love, hope, and power through those who take hold of faith and shine through the night to a world that has too quickly forgotten to simply look up. Whitney is my star. I will always look up. Thank you again for sharing her story.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Make Those Changes


Cancer doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care how old you are. Cancer doesn't care if you have children who need you, or a husband/wife that would be destroyed if they lost you. Cancer is an ugly thing and I hate it. But at the same time, I am thankful for the changes I have made in myself since I found out about that ugly cancer. My Mama says I don't even talk the same way. I am happy. I am in love with life and I will fight with the whole armor of God to keep it. Sunday, Sydney Brant Photography (amazing), took our family pictures. I was hoping to get them taken before I lost my hair, but my husband was working a lot and I wasn't feeling well. However, I'm really glad I did it now. I will cherish those pictures forever. I will always be reminded of this time in my life, when I woke up and realized how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away. I will be reminded of the warmth and joy I feel in my heart and how absolutely blessed I am. I don't ever want to take life for granted.

I have good news for you! You don't have to go through something extreme to change your perspective. We can change at any given moment, that's the beautiful thing. We have the opportunity every day to change the rest of our lives! I recommend reading the Bible, there is some great stuff in there. You'll find so much encouragement for any situation. It's important to talk to God every day. He is listening, I promise you that. Think about it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Am Brand New



I was dying and I pleaded with God for my life!! "God please let me live, I want to live! Let me stay with my family!"  And now I am being healed.  There is not a cell in my body that doesn't believe that.   I am so in love with life now!  I see it with new eyes.  I am BRAND NEW!  Don't take your life for granted.  You are precious!  Jesus loves you.

Daughter, your faith has healed you...




When we do God's work, the devil is angry! He will slither into our minds just like the serpent in the Garden of Eden. He may try to tempt us into disobedience. Or he might try to weaken our faith, like he tried to do with me today. I had a great day and I felt really good. Suddenly, Satan puts these thoughts in my head "You may feel good now, but this cancer will catch up with you." "Treatable but not curable." "This cancer is going to kill you." However, I am reminded that my God IS the cure. The devil is a LIAR. God has given me peace. I have had so many people tell me that when they pray for me they feel peace, and that they know I'm going to be ok. This is confirmation! I should not feel this good, but I do, because God is working miracles in me. There is no circumstance too extreme and nothing too big for my God!
Mark 5:34
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
This is one of my favorite verses right now. This verse makes me feel so much peace and love! I will never lose my faith. I'm sure this will make that nasty old devil work harder to bring me down, but guess what? He can't do it. I have too many people praying, too much support, too much confirmation, and too much faith in the almighty God to be defeated.

What I Want People To Get From My Testimony




Sooo I'm thinking (sometimes this is dangerous lol). And I ask myself "What do I want people to get from my testimony?"

First and foremost, I want people to share my faith in God. There is so much ugliness going on in the world right now, and we need Him more than ever!! I want people to know the power of prayer. I cried out to God and he gave me the courage, strength, and peace I need to get through this battle! He heard my prayers and he gave me answers. I want people to realize how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away from us. I want them to value their time on this earth with their families. I want them to hug their children a little tighter. I want them to believe in miracles, because I will get my miracle. You will see! I feel it in my bones. If I'm getting this across to you, then I am doing what I believe God wants me to do. And it makes this battle worth the fight. This is my blessing. I am blessed!

A lady who works at Belk in Georgetown touched my heart so good today!  She came around the counter and held me and prayed for me.  She declared that my next scan will show that I am clean! I've been claiming healing over my body from the beginning of this, but so soon?   Why not?  I'm claiming it!  My next scan will show no cancer.  Nothing is too big for my God!

My God Is Good And Merciful


Let me tell yall how God has been working these last few weeks! For months I had horrible back pain, my doctors believed it to be from tumors pressing on nerves and things. It's been gone since BEFORE chemo started! I do suffer from pain now, but only after my injection and that is a common side effect. I'm able to manage it. Tumors shrinking? Disappearing? Next, I had nausea and vomiting for weeks before we found out about the cancer. That was one of the reasons I went to the doctor because it was a everyday thing. Now I only experience that a few days after chemo. On my week off from chemo it's nonexistent. I believe that is only a side effect from the chemo and no longer a symptom of my cancer. Another thing, fatigue. I had extreme fatigue every day for months. Now, I am tired after chemo for a few days. This last week that I've had off from chemo, I've felt downright normal as far as energy goes. When I first started chemo I couldn't hold a conversation without getting winded. It was so easy to get short of breath because of the cancer in my lungs. That's not a problem now. Things are happening and I'm EXCITED! I will take the bad days as they come, because I know good things are coming! BIG things are coming! Glory to God, I am healed. I say it every day and I believe it with all my heart! My God is GOOD and MERCIFUL. He loves me and He comforts me. He takes away all of my fears. I am not afraid.

Searching...


I went out to dinner with my husband last night. After all that crazyness I think we've decided next Valentine's day we will stay in! I finally found a couple of hats that fit my tiny head at the mall. On the way home, I was thinking about life before cancer. Not even two short months ago. No one really knew, besides Patrick and my parents, but I was pretty unhappy. On the outside, to everyone else, I was happy. On the inside I was searching. Something in my life was lacking. I let it drag me down every day, usually when I got home in the evenings. I was looking for something that I didn't even know what I was looking for. It took cancer to open my eyes. I needed to give more time to God. I needed to PRAY and READ his word. I needed to LISTEN and let Him guide me on a daily basis. I needed to get back in church, and most importantly make sure my babies were there. I needed to THANK HIM for all the blessings he's bestowed upon me. I needed to have more FAITH. I took my life for granted! All these little things that we stress about on a daily basis...OH they are NOTHING. Don't let them ruin your day. Cherish your family and cherish your TIME on this earth. Cherish your health. We are not promised tomorrow.

No Hair...No Worries



I've gotta say, having a bald head feels pretty good! And it sure saves me a lot of time in the morning. I still shock myself a little when I walk by the mirror. But I am so relieved that I didn't wake up to a pile of hair on my pillow. That's the part that upset me, watching it come out in my hands. This is much easier than I thought it would be. I was planning on getting a wig as soon as possible after having my head shaved. I mentioned this to my husband the other night and he asked me "why?" Well, I didn't really have an answer for that. After all, it's what's on the inside that really matters. Who cares if I'm bald? Who cares if it's a little more obvious that I'm a cancer patient? I'm not ashamed. So no wig for me! Come as you are.

For Better Or For Worse


For better or for worse...in sickness and in health. We never thought we would be facing any serious health issues after only 6 years of marriage. I am so thankful that God gave me such a great husband to support me in this battle. When I get down he lifts me right back up. He is so sure of me. So sure I'm going to beat this. So thank you heavenly Father, for the blessing of my marriage!

The Day They Gave Me A Number


I was very optimistic about Hodgkins.  My age, symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, it all fit. There was no doubt in my mind I was going to survive this- no problem.  I had never been put to sleep before, and yet all of a sudden doctors were putting me under every other day it seemed for a biopsy or procedure.  I came to like it, actually.  I knew in just a minute I wouldn't be feeling any pain.  I just wanted to sleep.  The pain in my back had been excruciating from tumors pressing on nerves and whatever else.  Praise God that pain is almost nonexistent on most days!! (Hello, miracle.)  I got so sick, a reaction from the pain medicine, I lost almost 15 lbs in 2 weeks.  But the cure rate for Hodgkins is wonderful and I didn't let any of that get me down.  Well, we found out it wasn't Hodgkins.  When we finally met my oncologist, my parents, brother, and Patrick were all with me.  She came in and informed us that they weren't sure about where this cancer originated from yet, but it is very aggressive and fast spreading.  It is in my liver, lungs, and lymph nodes. She says it is stage 4 and it's treatable, but not curable.  I broke.  I was scared.  I cried.  Patrick held me as he cried.  That's when the question of "how much time am I going to lose from this?" came up. Six months or less without chemo.  Five years is very optimistic with the chemo.  My poor parents, Ryan, Patrick.  All I could say was "I don't want to die."  A million things could have run through my mind, but all I saw were my children.  I am not leaving them.  I will beat these numbers.  God knows my heart and he knows my desire to stay with my family.  I believe he will give that to me and I will forever glorify His name because of this.  I don't think about dying now.  My faith is strong and God has given me peace.  The sickness, probably losing my hair, all of that- I will take gladly!  Because I'm going to live.

The Day I Found Out I Have Cancer



I was on the way to a routine obgyn visit. I had a few days off and I'd been in and out of the doctor's office anyway for nausea, fatigue, and a lump I found after the Christmas church service. I was scheduled for a biopsy the following week and things seemed to be moving pretty slowly. I thought about it all the time, wondering what could be wrong inside of me. I did my research and knew there was a possibility that it was cancer. I never focused on cancer though. I'm only 27, cancer doesn't really run in my family. I've always been healthy. I just had a baby! My bloodwork was fine.

I brought up how I'd been feeling to my obgyn, Dr. Martha, and she immediately took action. She noticed my liver felt enlarged and sent me to the hospital for a cat scan. After a few hours at the hospital I was sent back to my obgyn's office for them to discuss the results with me. Dr. Martin, my doctor who delivered Luke, came into the room and immediately my red flags flew up. He sat down across from me and told me how hard it was for him to tell me what he had seen. My cat scan was very discouraging. My abdomen was full of tumors. He said it had to be cancer. I felt the tears start, then stop as I went back into shock. How do I tell my husband this? My parents? They were all waiting on the results from the scan. Dr. Martin asked if I would like him to pray with me. I said yes and he did. How wonderful, to have a doctor who will pray with you! I went to my car, called my parents, and broke down. They kept passing the phone back and forth, scurrying about. They immediately came to me. I called my husband, Patrick, at work. All he could do was repeat "there's no way, it can't be." Of course he was just as shocked as I was.

I met with Dr. Martin's recommended surgeon who was very optimistic. He was certain it was Hodgkins lymphoma and I was going to be just fine. I'd have my biopsy the next day. I rode home, not sure how I felt. I was just thankful that nobody gave me a number. I was going to live, that was the most important thing to me. I never felt bitter towards God. I trust him completely. If anything, it was a wake up call. He needed my attention. He certainly has it now!