Archive for June, 2012

How I am feeling

So, it’s been two weeks since my very last treatment. Did you catch that? LAST. It’s over. I don’t have to take anymore. My evening doesn’t revolve around making sure I am home between 6 and 6:30 so I can take the shots at the most opportune time.

The most common question is how am I feeling? I feel AMAZING!!!!!!!!

I think the emotional high carried me for a couple of days. I left the doctor’s office without even asking about coming off the meds, how I would feel, and how long it would take before I could feel more “normal”. At that point, I didn’t care. All I knew was that I could stop putting that poison into my system.

Mentally, I feel more like myself. I can reason. I feel more initiative. I can plan. I can think. I can recall things. AND, I can stay focused for increasingly long amounts of time. I’ve started setting some goals and identifying some projects I want to work on. I am also thinking about volunteering at the cancer center. I feel so different emotionally – grateful, compassionate, and looking for opportunities to share. I have no idea what God has in store, but I’m looking forward to heading down that road.

Physically, I am still tired, but it’s not all day, every day. I don’t have to stop and rest when I walk from my car to the door at WalMart. I don’t have to take a nap as soon as I get home from work. Nor do I sit and watch tv from dinner to bedtime because I have no energy to do anything else.

Once the temperature gets below 90, I am going to start walking again during lunch. I am, however, going to take it easy returning to my former, active self. (Besides, my doctor hasn’t given me the “all systems go” yet; but that’s coming.”)

Thursday, I have my PET scan at 10 am. The next Thursday, 7/11, I will meet with the doctor to get my results. I completely expect everything is going to come back clear. While that be the case, I must admit that if I allow myself to go there, I am terrified about how I will react if the news isn’t good. But you know what; I am deciding not to go there. I’m just going to hang on to what I know to be true and real. God’s got this. Whatever happens is to His glory. We’ll deal with it – whatever, whenever. NO WORRYING!

I also have a couple of meds that I need to get off of, but those are going to require a doctor’s guidance and watchful eye. That’s the depression and anxiety stuff. One thing at a time. Good days are ahead.

Before I go, I would like to ask you to pray for Joey. I don’t know him, but he is a dear friend of some friends of mine. He is battling cancer and having a hard time. Joey has touched many, many people in his young life. Please pray for his family and friends that are walking alongside him.

God is so good. My prayer for you is that He opens your eyes and allows you to see how much He is working in your life. This last year has taught me that even when times are bad, if God has decided to use my life and circumstances for His glory, then it’s a good thing.

Gratefully keeping the faith. Much love to you all.

Exceedingly Abundantly More

Scripture promises us that “God is at work throughout all of history, from generation to generation. He is able to do more than we could ever imagine.” My favorite translation of this verse is the NKJV. It says that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine. And He does it for our delight, because He loves us, and He wants us to love Him.

I knew God had this entire thing in His hands from the very beginning. But today, I was afraid. I’m sure that God was just laughing because he knew what was going to happen.

I went to the doctor this afternoon and, as I shared from this morning’s post, I was more than just nervous. All I could imagine is that Dr. Elia would tell me something had gone terribly wrong. She was going to tell me that I had to continue the shots (or something), that this painful journey was not yet going to end.

I know I’m strong, and that God is holding me up, but I just didn’t think I could continue this beyond what I had expected, which was June 30.

Well, God had a surprise for me. I am DONE!!! No more shots!!!!! Somehow, I had miscounted. Dr. Elia and I counted three times, and each time, Saturday, June 16, was my last and final and the end of my shots. Can you imagine the smile on God’s face when he asked himself, when am I going to learn?

I’ve gotta tell you, I am shaking I am so excited, relieved, grateful, humbled…there aren’t words to describe my joy.

Would you please stop and thank God for his work in my life. I believe with all I am about that He has got great things in store for me. Like He has told me for years, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”

I am living proof.

A Spark of Fear

Today is my last “in treatment” appointment with Dr. Elia. Just another milestone in this incredibly painful, but joyful, journey.

While I am very, incredibly, unbelievable excited for this madness to be over, I have to admit that there is a little tiny spark of fear attacking me. What if it isn’t over? What if it comes back and I have to do this again? What if one of these thousands of moles sparks the cancer again? What if? What if?

In one breath, I say that I couldn’t do this again, yet in the next, I know that God is in control. I would do this again for my children, if nothing else.

Joyce (one of my biggest encouragers, and cancer survivor) says that is normal. For a while, every bump, headache, knot, ache, will have me questioning whether or not it is cancer.

For example, I have a knot in my stomach. Now I know this isn’t cancer because it came up right after one of my shots, and it hurt for several weeks. And, it is getting smaller. As a matter of fact, I have to really poke around to find it. So, do I point it out or not?

If I don’t tell Dr. Elia, it cannot possible be more cancer…right? Seriously, not talking about something doesn’t mean it’s not there. And, again, I remind myself of the One steering this ship.

God knows what is going to happen, but I find myself just begging that this is all over. I want to get on to the next chapter, to be able to use this experience for God’s glory. I really do. I just hope the next chapter is not a continuation of the last 13 months.

Selfish? Maybe, but very honest.

Let’s face it, I AM counting down

I have been trying to be patient, not wishing my life away, not counting the treatments, weeks, shots, etc. But I am failing miserably at that. I have been counting down the remaining time probably since week 1.

May 13 was my surgery. Followed by 4 weeks of daily infusions. A small break, and then the shots. Fortunately, I am able to give myself the shots. That saves me a lot of time, and a lot of money.

So, last night, another treatment. I ONLY HAVE 7 LEFT!! (if you’re counting…) Maybe when I get to my last one, Hannah might look at me when I inject the meds. That girl has quite an aversion of needles.

Thank you to everyone who continues to send emails, cards, texts, everything. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such a cloud of believers, who continue to pray for me daily, especially when I don’t have the energy to do it myself.

My last shot is June 30. Independence Day 2012 will hold so many different meanings for my family. (Yes Tommy Tarter, we will be celebrating your birthday as well.)

My family at Antioch, the prayer blanket has been a tremendous blessing. Early in the game, I was feeling very, VERY bad. Nathan brought the blanket up to me where I was lying down. He covered me with it and reminded me that I am covered in prayer every day by people who love me. Since that night, I have always slept covered in prayer. Thank you, Gina, for thinking of me. Thank you, my family, for loving me.

Before I go, I have a prayer request and an invitation…

First, the prayer. My reactions to the last several shots have been brutal. Almost like it was in the beginning. I think I may have been a little prideful about being one of the few people to have completed these shots, and God is gently (HA!) reminding me that I’m not the one steering this boat. I am not the one getting myself from day to day. It is God’s strength and provision. However, if you would lift me up and ask God to ease my pain and sickness, it would be appreciated. Even if He doesn’t, it’s okay. He’s God, and He knows what is best.

(If you are one of those people who doesn’t believe that God may be using this to teach me something, just let it go. I am going to continue to take everything as a blessing or lesson. I believe with all that I am that He is THAT involved in my life.)

Now, for an invitation – if you are in the Blue Springs area on Sunday, July 15, would you consider joining me, my family, and friends, as we celebrate what God has done and continues to do in my life. We will be having lunch at First Baptist Church, Blue Springs, starting sometime between 12:30 and 1pm. It will be a time for me to say thank you to so many who have walked with me. And, a time for me to thank God for His healing.

This would have been an impossible journey without Him, and without all of you.

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