A Quick Note…

My husband and I will be with my daughter Laurel and her husband Jeff for a time starting next week. She has her cancer surgery on Thursday. Please pray it will go well and that they will get it all! And pray for my husband as he tries to care for me and Laurel’s need’s while her husband is working so that their insurance will continue. This cancer treatment is very expensive and they are only insured through his insurance!

Last weekend as I enjoyed my  time with my girls,  something happened in my body overnight Saturday night. I woke up with severe onset Ataxia again (spastic limbs) and my shaking tremor greatly increased. I had a CT last week to see if whatever it was in my brain. Or it just could be another acceleration of my MSA. I know many of you are praying I will get better. Unless God does a real miracle and cures me, I won’t get better. I will continue to go down hill until He takes me home with Him.

I may not have written of this, but I told my kids and my husband and others in my family: when I was so sick a month ago, I really went to the Lord and asked again, “WHY must I bear this, Lord?” He said, “I was to be the voice in the wilderness.” You see, not many of my group, have Eternal Hope, have faith. He said I was the only who told anyone who was crying out for help in desperation, how to come to know Him. Everyone else is praying that has faith, which is great,  and maybe why I am here. I am God’s answer to their prayers. I told Him it was too big of a job for me, for one person, and me sick too. He replied, “In your weakness, is My strength.” And so we go on. Now we all know exactly why He has kept me alive all these years. I am very privileged and honored, but as you can imagine just walking on faith. Kind of like the movie with  Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones having to step off the cliff in faith, and the stones came up, one by one to take him across the ravine to the last Knight, who was guarding the sacred chalice. You probably know the film and the story, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.  I understood what he was doing right away as I felt I had been living like that for a long time. Au contraire! I had no idea…

Cindy

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What A Month!

Last time I wrote, I was begging for prayers! We still need them, but I wanted to tell you what God has been doing, because He is listening to all of you. I thank you so much and so does my daughter.

The last week of February, my regular asthma and Bronchiectasis really kicked into high gear and I was in the ER twice. I have  also been hit very hard with low thyroid numbers all of a sudden. Yes, the dreaded MSA has attacked it. It is an organ too! I had no idea that the thyroid controlled so much of a person’s well-being (heart and lungs, but also extreme fatigue, the arteries and veins in your legs working well/or not!) I was sleeping 14-16 hours a day and it wasn’t enough. It was scary. I spoke with my provider and found out that the medicine doesn’t even start working until you have been taking it for 6-12 weeks! I told him I might die by then. I hated being so dramatic, but I have never been so weak and that was scary.  But then, last week I finally was able to see my pulmonologist and he put me on a higher and longer dosage of Prednesone than the ER had done. So far, that has been great. Lots what my husband calls false energy. Whatever, I’ll take it. I have been able to work again, finish up my doctor’s appointments and tests, even go out to lunch with my Sunday School ladies (which is a rare thing). Loved it! 

As for my daughter, she let me pray for her last week while we were on the phone before her last chemo appointment. What a privilege it is to pray for our children, really all our loved ones. They tell her the tumor has shrunk dramatically. I say Hallelujah to that! Now she is resting her body and getting ready for the major surgery she has to have on April 4th.  I would ask that you all circle that date on your calendars and keep her in prayer please? This is a long, very involved surgery. I don’t want them to find any surprises and it to go well!!

She and I had a rather long conversation on the phone today. We were able to speak of so many subjects close to both our hearts, I think.  It’s amazing that we are sharing a lot of the same symptoms too, even though our issues are so different. Still, I can’t help but remember 2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we maybe able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

I may have mentioned that I am involved in an online Bible Study through Bible Study Fellowship International. I haven’t been able to attend since moving to the Panhandle because the location was so far away, even when I did drive. We have ladies of all different ages and backgrounds and places in the US that wanted a Monday 4 pm study like I did. I am so grateful for them as well. They have been so faithful to pray for me and for my Laurel. When we have prayer requests in our group, we actually do pray them and guess what? God Answers! What a great blessing it has been to see our faith and prayers in action come to fruition.

Cindy

Please Pray!!

Laurel had truly bad reactions to her chemo drug last week, so they are starting her on a new one this week. Please pray that she won’t react to this one. She needs the chemo to kill the cancer cells. The tumor is shrinking, but not enough yet.

I have been praying that God would reveal her purpose in this to her, but she has to listen to hear Him! She knows that so far, she has been blessed and it hasn’t been as bad as many others have had it. Still, this one drug is so important.

So please pray with me that she will be still and listen and that she won’t react.

Thank you!

Cindy

Our Update

It seems a little funny to be saying “our,” but that is my new reality. First and foremost, what is going on with my daughter and then what God is teaching me through my own issues as well. I’ll be completely honest. It has been very difficult and almost overwhelming! But the God who made me, knows exactly what I need, when I need it! I finally have very caring doctors and nurse practitioners who are able to help  me because they listen! How unusual that has been in my life until I moved here. So I am very thankful for them all.

That said, let me tell you about my daughter and how she is doing. Her PET scan showed that the cancer had not metastasized beyond the breast and two lymph nodes. Apparently there had been a good chance that it had gone to her brain, but again, it has not. She started chemo the middle of November and we had a “Shave the Head party” the night before Thanksgiving at my other daughter’s house with all the family gathered around. How brave she is!! There were no tears, except for mine, when I escaped to the bathroom for a few minutes. That was a hard thing to watch, but she didn’t want to go through the hair falling out and they had promised her that by that weekend it would start.

The hardest thing about the chemo is the bone pain. This was totally unexpected, at least on my part. I’m not sure about her’s. They usually tell her what to expect, when. Still, she said this is the worst pain she has ever experienced in her life. Whatever bones it is hurting, if it’s her knees, as an example. She says it’s like she has been beaten with a baseball bat and her knees have exploded! She asked for specific prayer on those days when she was expecting the bone pain. I put out the word to my Bible study class, Sunday School class and whomever I spoke with. And believe or not, the pain is much easier and she is better able to handle it! Only God could make this happen! She has one more of this particular kind of chemo treatment the day after Christmas, then they start adding other chemo meds in too. Again, we are asking for prayer that she can get through these treatments. 

I have known so many women who have gone through breast cancer chemo, but none shared the details of what they have actually gone through. It’s ugly awful. The other prayer we are asking for is that the tumor will greatly shrink through these treatments.

As for me, I will start neuromuscular physical therapy in January. I have no idea how it will be different from regular PT that I have had before and didn’t help. I am still riding my recumbent bike and doing the stretching exercises with the big elastic band. But none of that has helped with the balance or kept me from falls. I fell twice over Thanksgiving and injured my left hand and wrist and am now wearing a brace, grateful I didn’t break it! But oh my, it hurts!

 I have discovered a new research program which believes they have discovered the “why” of Parkinson’s, Parkinsonism, MSA, ALS, etc. I did sign up to hopefully be a part of their drugl next year. It is not supposed to have any placebos with any patients, or side effects. What they have done so far is remarkable and really could represent a “cure.” That would be pretty awesome for so very many people!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Happy Birthday Jesus!

Cindy

What A God Of Miracles!

The last time I wrote, my youngest daughter had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, in very short order, she has seen the breast oncology reconstruction surgeon and today, the oncologist. They’ve told her that even though it is stage two, it’s a very aggressive cancer. She is going to go through 20 weeks of chemo which will be very strong with two different meds. The first month to eight weeks every other week they will be letting her body rest between sessions. If she is holding up well, they increase to every week until they are done. Then she rests her body for a month, before having the first of several reconstructive surgeries. Once they are done, she has 12 weeks of another medicine she needs and then she starts radiation. The doctor told her and her husband that she thought they would be done with this before their first anniversary next September!  Yes, that is a long time, but they have to get the tumor smaller and she will also have a PET scan this week to see if the cancer has moved beyond her breast. Once all the work is done, she will take Tamoxifen for five years.

So you may have read all this and wondered at my title. It is literally true though in that the lump was found about a month ago. I know it is just about impossible to get a mammogram, then an MRI, and a biopsy and a meeting with the top breast oncologist reconstruction surgeon in Atlanta–who also told her it would take a week or two for her to see the oncologist–but somehow, three business days later she is meeting with the oncologist who wants to start her life saving treatment next week! This gives her time to have a port put in (surgery tomorrow) a brain MRI, a PET scan and an EKG!

Yes, it is going to be a hard first year of marriage and of treatment. But I know my Lord who gave her both physical and eternal life has her by the hand and will be walking, sometimes carrying her through this. And then through the following years with meds and follow ups and tests. It is hard. I walked a similar path long ago and I didn’t have anything like she has, but you still wonder has it come back every time you have something wrong with you again. AND YOU KNOW I ALWAYS HAD SOMETHING GOING WRONG!

As for me, I just know that somehow God will keep me together for her. For the first time in years, “She needs her mama.” So I am working hard on my physical therapy and have asked for speech therapy help. It will help me with my swallowing and choking problems when I eat and well as some voice issues. Just part of the disease…

What I am asking for–begging for— are your prayers for my daughter, first and foremost. Then secondly that both of us as her parents will also hold up and be able to be there for her and her husband.

Thank you,

Cindy

Some Things I Learned Recently

This is a very hard post to write. I’ve learned some things recently that are being taught in Bible classes and churches. As a result, I have done a study on what exactly the Bible says about each idea. I realize I don’t have a lot of time to perhaps keep your interest if this isn’t for you or you don’t agree. But I am compelled to write this. I don’t get up easily at 5:30 AM unless God won’t let me sleep any longer. This is one of those mornings.

In studying the Bible, of course I have learned of God’s “predestination” of the saints. I don’t believe that this means He chooses some to be His and some not to be. He has given EVERY created being free will. WE ALL HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE. FOR HIM TO BE OUR GOD, TO ASK HIM TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, ACCEPTING WHAT HIS SON JESUS CHRIST DID ON THE CROSS, (DIED FOR EACH PERSON WHO WAS EVER BORN) AND AT THAT MOMENT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD COMES AND LIVES WITHIN YOU. John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world might be saved through Him. When I look up the word world, that means everyone who has ever been or ever will be born. EVERYONE. So as some would say, there are elites or chosen, that really no one has a clear choice at one time in their lives to choose for Jesus Christ. The Word of God says everyone has a choice, over and over and over. To not have a choice means that taken to their logical conclusion, that even hell and all who suffer there eternally are foreordained by God. God is so rendered morally ambiguous at best and a moral monster at worst. I believe that it is everywhere free will is assumed in the Bible. It is necessary to preserve human responsibility for sin and evil and it is necessary to preserve God from being responsible for sin and evil of any kind. 

Some will say  “Well, if God created all things, He must have created evil.” NO!! A thousand times no! To say so is to take away the impeccable nature, the pure righteousness, infinite love and grace of God. So where did evil come then? You may remember the story of Lucifer, the created angel of light. He wanted to be like God and have the power of God. So he chose to lead a rebellion in heaven with many other created angels, who also chose to follow Lucifer. There was a battle, but of course God and His mighty angels who chose God won as they will every time. Lucifer and his band were cast out and HELL and the Abyss was created for them. God did not create it for people, but in His foreknowledge, He knew that some day people He would create would not choose to accept HIM as their God or His Son as their Savior. It is not that HE chose, but that we all make our choice. So God allowed the entrance of sin and evil into His good creation but did not cause or coerce.

I believe that it is very important to write this as some might believe that God has sent evil or just bad things in my life to bring me to Him. I would say to that, “Absolutely not!” I have said many, many times how my Lord God has taken care of me in spite of my hard headedness and strong will. Yes, I do believe that things, many things really bad or hurtful in so many different ways happened to me because HE allowed them as way to make me see I am absolutely nothing without HIM and how much I needed HIM as my Savior and my God. Sometimes, little children come to God and they don’t go through all these things. However, I know how stubborn I was.  I didn’t want anyone including God to tell me what to do. I could have turned away from Him in anger and hate with all that has happened to me. I chose to go to Him. He always knew that eventually I would. He is God and knows all things including the future. But it was my choice. It is still my choice every day whether I follow Him by studying His Word, by speaking and listening in prayer. But He has given me the  peace I can have regardless of how sick I am, what is happening in our family or extended family or my business world or the world as we know it today. I know it is there for me, but I have to reach out in trust and thanksgiving to Him. He never leaves me. It is me, when I am in sin, that walks away from Him. Again, my choice.  But how wonderful it is, when I walk back to my Savior and say I am so sorry. I know I have already been forgiven of every sin I have ever done or ever will do. That work was done on the cross by Jesus shedding His perfect blood for me. Still, the Lord expects us to be salt and light to the world. How can we, when we are behaving as the rest of the world does? Sometimes that is my sin. I want very much to be salt and light to the world He has given me to speak to and participate in and with. But again, every day I make that choice. Doesn’t mean He loves me any less or more bad comes my way, but you see now that I have tasted of the Source of Peace, I can’t do without it.

If you disagree with me, I would urge you to ask God to show you all His scriptures concerning our choices. In every case where it talks of God wooing or drawing, there is text above or below that talks about choice. Read the whole thing. Don’t just take a scripture here and there and make a doctrine about it. The books of John, Romans and First Corinthians are great starting places.

Cindy

Its Late, But So Much Has Happened…

Those of you who have been following me for a while know that my life can change on a dime! And Sunday it did. I had been doing so great, but sitting there as the service was starting up, I was having trouble getting enough air. I thought if I could just get out in the atrium with my inhaler to a vent, I wouldn’t cause a stir. Au contraire! I got to the vent, took a hit off the inhaler and promptly passed out. I heard, “there she goes!” Thank goodness there were people around me and someone to catch me, I guess. Someone went and got my husband and my purse which has a little personal air spirometer, but I couldn’t hardly make the ball go up. So I knew I was in trouble. And then once we got into the car, my right arm starting just aching horribly, then my chest. I felt a lot of pressure. We were too far from our hospital, so we went to a small city hospital ( never again) but of course once I was stable and had to stay because of my heart issues ( you can’t leave against med advice or medicare won’t pay).  We hear a man screaming down the hall, “let me die, I want to die. I want to commit suicide.” Over and over he was yelling and screaming that!  I knew right then we were there to pray for that man. Which of course we began to do. I couldn’t know his name because of HIPPA of course, but God knows who he is. 

Because for some reason they didn’t get my BP med dosage correct, my BP soared and with it came the most awful headache I’ve ever had. It was with me all the time I was there. I kept telling them I needed more meds. I got them just as I left but it took me 3 doses of meds when I got home and this morning to get it back to what is normal for me and no sick headache. I did have absolutely wonderful nurses! Sunday night, my coughing went south and I was running out of strength to cough anymore ( by then I’d been at it for over 3 hours. Hard, rib cracking, muscle pulling, coughing. Finally I got some Solumedrol-my miracle drug, and no coughing for over 2 hours! I also got cough syrup and Benadryl  2 hours before the Solumedrol, but they didn’t work. That’s what happens when things go so far. NOTHING works except Solumedrol. How thankful I am that I live in a time that the medicine exists!!

The reason I had to stay over night was to have a cardiac stress in the am. But honestly, I have never had a stress test that took all day! Management agreed with me when I spoke with them late in the afternoon. If you’ve never had one, you can’t eat or drink or take your heart meds until you’ve the test completed, so you see why my body went a little nuts!!  At least it was over and we left at 7 pm. 

So what else could good could possibly have come out this? I tell you honestly when you can’t sleep for any reason, that’s one of the best times to commune with the Father and  I had hours. I, of course, was praying about my condition, but He led me  off to so many other subjects. I have to admit, it was kind of wonderful. He was right there and bad as I had it. I knew it and until I started really going downhill, I had been praying and praising for all the blessings, for that man, just for everything He brought to my mind to talk about. I guess I have been a little too busy for all that special time with Him. I write about it. I pray alot, but do I listen? The first time God spoke to me was after I had been on a long praise to Him and just ran out of words. I think He said FINALLY!!! I did apologize. I like to talk, but I have been learning to listen over the years. 

Two things I have learned: One thing He desires, is to be my very best, closest friend. He already knows everything about me. It’s silly when I try to hide anything from Him. He is constantly reminding me that I am His Righteousness. Glory!!! Remember I just wrote there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. That is truth.

Late enough and it’s long enough, don’t you think? G’ night!

Cindy