Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Another treatment behind me, I don't count them down because I don't want them to be over. I hate, hate, hate the sickness, the fatigue and the sadness that comes with each treatment, but with each treatment comes an appointment for the next one. Oddly enough, that is a comforting thought. It's a little paper reminder that seems to say "see you in two weeks".

I think the sadness is the scariest part of the treatment phase. The sickness only makes me sick, it's not contagious, the fatigue will pass with a lot of sleep, but the sadness has the potential to infect everyone around me. I can't stand to inflict that on anyone else so I try really hard to keep it to myself. Unfortunately, Steve catches the bulk of it. He hears my fears, my thoughts for the future....

I spend a lot of time in prayer. I've moved beyond asking God for "stuff" or favors...I've begun communicating with God. I no longer cry out for Him to fix me, I cry out for His presence. I want to praise Him at all times (Psalm 34:1). Sometimes through the sadness it is hard to sing praises. This weekend my plea was for God to allow the praise to flow through and wash away the sadness. While my sadness doesn't completely disappear, I am able to praise Him. The song "Praise Him in the Storm" comes to mind. Although I have sadness, I also have abundant joy! I am more joy-filled that I have ever been! I know my God and my God knows me - I truly cannot think of anything better than that!

A few verses I would like to share...

WHATEVER HAPPENS, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)

REJOICE in the Lord ALWAYS. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE OF GOD, which transcends ALL UNDERSTANDING, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 4:4-7)

Glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together (Psalm 34:3)

Through the love of Jesus Christ, I am FREE INDEED!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Today is THE day!

The power of God is not necessarily found in heavenly revelations or visions. (my thoughts on a seed Pastor Kevin planted 9/12/10)

The power of God can be seen in these things, but is not limited. Somedays the power of God may be displayed in giving you the strength and willingness to get out of bed. Those that have chosen to depend on God (and by that I mean those who have realized that their every need relies on God) rely on his srength and His grace to open their eyes, rise out of the bed and put one foot in front of the other. I do not expect to get up in the morning and see this huge finger of God pointing me in the direction I should go, but I do expect to feel His presence as I go through my day. When I don't sense His presence I need to step back, humble myself and admit I have made a wrong turn. How do you want to use me today, Lord?

Having a terminal illness brings the question of "how long do I have" into vivid focus everyday. But really I'm not different than anyone else. None of us know our day or hour to begin eternity with our Saviour. Maybe if we all thought of ourselves as terminal we would get busy doing what God has willed for our lives.

How many opportunities to serve God have I missed? Countless I am sure. How many times have I been focused on my career, getting my bills paid, diong what I wanted to do? How many times have I put the will of God behind the will of me? I shutter and I am ashamed that I could ever think my will should come first.

Loving Father of heaven and earth, forgive me for ever putting me before you. I never want to do that again. I ask you to remind me when I start putting myself first. Thank you for your forgiveness, for your never ending love. I want to be an instrument for you. I want to wake up each morning anticipating how you will use me and I want to lay my head down at night thinking of the glorious things you have done each day. Thank you God for this day, for this hour. Amen

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blessing upon blessing.

Today was another chemo day. They are so routine now and I really don't mind going. Connect my port, take my blood, temperature, bp, listen to my lungs and then pump me full of toxic waste! :) I like to visit with the nurses. Different nurses touch my heart in different ways. Those that I've seen the most are always an encouragement to me. One in particular I feel a special connection to because her family has experienced colorectal cancer, and another nurse - well sometimes we just about have church right there in the hallway! We attend the same church so on Thursday mornings we rejoice about the awesome way God moved in the service the night before. I wonder...does everybody in the sanctuary know that God is moving there or do you have to be looking for it. Personally, I don't see how people don't sense his presence...but that's not my judgement to make (thank goodness)!

I don't know what my tumor markers are this time. I will probably find out tomorrow. They went up a smidge last time so I can't help but wonder if they have gone as low as they will go.

I think about this journey alot. The struggles, the decisions, the very long dark nights. But my thoughts always turn to the blessings we have received during this time. For many years I thought I had a relationship with God, but it wasn't until "cancer patient" was listed by my name that I begged God to come into my life and never leave me for one second! Our relationship became stronger...then I became a "terminal cancer patient"...when my emotions started spiraling downward He was there to catch me.

I feel myself making a turn on this journey. God has a purpose for me - and my purpose is not to sit around and wait for people to feel sorry for me. God is challenging me to step out of my comfort zone. He is showing me that people are lost and people are hurting. Cancer has given me a new outlook. I've always been bold to talk about my faith in front of a safe crowd, but cancer has given me an urgency to step out further. Once you go through the surgery, recovery, chemo and radiation people's opinions don't scare you anymore.

I think of the friends I have met the past several years. People that I would have not known had it not been for the big C. Nurses, people I've met in the waiting room, support groups, loving folks at church and the list goes on and on.

Of course, I think about Ama. I call her my Nigerian friend. She has not lived in this country very long. I'm not sure who had a harder time understanding the different languages....my southern drawl stumped her as much as her beautiful Nigerian accent confused me. Were it not for cancer I would not have had the privilege to meet this wonderful woman. Ama was diagnosed with cancer one year after her husband had died of cancer. She has two small children. She had a friend that went to church with someone that I work with...you see God had to make all those connects! We started visiting with Ama weekly. We went with the purpose of housework, laundry, etc. Ama wanted to visit with me, so Steve did the chores (surprised?). I could go on forever about the visits with Ama, but I will say this - I have never, ever in my entire life heard someone pray a more beautiful prayer than Ama. I hope that my reward in heaven is to stand near Ama as we worship our Savior.

I've typed alot tonight. It is hard to sleep the night after chemo because of the drugs...of course I have medicine to counteract that - but I might not wake up until sometime Saturday! But before I sign off, I want to share the verses that God has put on my heart this week. I repeat them as I go to sleep and they are my first thought when I wake up...

I will extol the Lord at all times, His praises will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord, let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:1-3

I invite you, please let us exalt his name together! The glorious and mighty King!

Freed Indeed!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This is good.

Today has been a fantastic day! I'm spending the weekend with some of my favorite people - my sisters and all of our daughters are spending a long weekend in Fairhope. We have a lot of shopping and eating planned. But the thing we have done most is laugh. We have that special bond between us that is I think is so rare. We all have the same off-kilter sense of humor and we can each make fun of each others idiosyncrasies and not get our feelings hurt.

Sue is usually the butt of most of our jokes. She just makes it so easy for us. :) The most amazing part is that the sisters three have passed this along to our daughters. I am so thankful for this bond.

Several times today I have stopped and thought, "this is good".

I am looking forward to more laughing and more memories tomorrow.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Be Holy"

What a glorious day! My first thought when I woke up this morning was, Yay! I'm off today! Most days that I'm off work is for a chemo treatment or the days following a treatment. It is rare for me to take a day just for the heck of it. So on this momentous occasion of an off day, I was up at 6:00 and getting a start to my day. The weather is a little cooler this morning and my back deck was calling my name. I made my favorite breakfast (waffles, peanut butter and blueberries) and my wonderful hubster made my coffee.

I love my back deck - overlooking the pool that Steve keeps so sparkling clean and the beautiful flowers that Steve nurtures and the birds that Steve feeds twice a day. Yep, Steve does all the work and I just sit and enjoy. I am spoiled rotten.

I have had alot of conversations with God on this deck. I have talked with Him through my tears and fears. I have been angry, not a God but my situation. I have felt helpless and hopeless. He has talked to me through His Word and the calming Holy Spirit. No matter how much I am sinking in despair when I meet with him, he always sets me back on solid ground.

This morning on my deck is pure joy. The extreme heat has kept me inside most of the summer, so the opportunity to pray out here is all the sweeter.

I am a list maker - I always have a running list of things I need or want to do. It's a good tool to use to compensate for "chemo brain". I started my list for the day - pay bills, do laundry,.....
I set my list aside and started my quiet time with God. As I flipped through the pages of my Bible the words "be holy" jumped out at me. God had an addition to my "to do" list!

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled, set your hope full on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 1 Peter 1: 13-16

In this scripture God said to me, "today, be holy. Don't be all herky-jerky and react to things of this world. Don't let the situation of the day dictate how you live. Stay focused on Me, be intent on My will."

It is so easy to get caught up on the roller coaster of my emotions. My physical ailments are hard to ignore and the thought of the future is scary - but God knows if I "prepare my mind", "be self-controlled" and "set my hope" on Him, I will have the life that He has intended for me to have.

Thank you Lord of my life for meeting me where I am. For caring for my every need - whether large or small.. For your word that speaks to me so cleary. Thank you for this day and for this moment. "It makes me want to shout, hallelujah, thank you Jesus!"