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

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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

No Good News Today!

My youngest daughter, the child of my heart called me tonight to let me know the results of her breast and lymph node biopsies. I am so sorry to say that they called early this evening to let her that she has cancer. I knew this was coming because I spoke with God about it last week and He told me that He and she were going to walk a hard path for a while. Still, you hope and pray for a miracle!

Her tumor and the lymph node are large and very involved. She said that the doctor wants to do chemo and radiation before taking anything out. Frankly, she is scared to death! I understand. She is only 42 and newly married. 

Still, I told her that God is on HIs throne. That she had to turn to Him for comfort and understanding and peace. There is NO PEACE without Jesus Christ! She has faith, but I tell you from experience that this is a different, harder walk than anyone can imagine except those who have gone through it. If it were not for Him, I would have NEVER survived all that I have!! And believe me at this moment, I would take her place so that she wouldn’t have to go through this. But God said I mustn’t interfere in their relationship and how it will grow and be close like mine and His. I would never sacrifice all the lessons I have learned through my own trials to get to the point of our relationship too.

This morning’s devotional said that the more praying we have in our world, the better the world will be and the mightier the forces against evil everywhere. Prayer for me is just talking to my Abba Father as He promised to be when He took my dad to be home in heaven with Him. Believe me when I say that since this started 10 days ago/2 weeks? I have been praying constantly, either by voice or Spirit. All I am asking of those who read this post that you be praying too. Her name is Laurel.

June 13th Was My Birthday!

IMG_0615As many of you know, I consider it quite an accomplishment when I get to celebrate another birthday! And so it was this year too! First, I should count my many blessings: my husband of 34 years whom I love so much! My wonderful kids-actually grown women now and son-in-law, and 3 fabulous grand girls! Then there are all of my extended family, my 5 siblings and their families. I have such great sib in-laws, and nieces and nephews and 2 grand-nephews. Then there are my cousins and their families. I look back through the pictures of my life and it has passed so fast so far! I have so many wonderful memories. Not that I plan on stopping making memories, but today I feel very blessed. The picture which I will attach and am going to try to change on the Gravatar is what we took last Friday night. I was full of fresh oysters, shrimp and pompano (a wonderful fish)! All fixed at home, so far we do it better than anybody we’ve found locally! And I do make this wonderful salsa to go with the fish and shrimp. Marvelous!

As I have said so many times, it is the Lord’s blessing that I am here. We do believe that we are living in Paradise on earth anyway, back in FL. I have been able to find some genuinely caring doctors who have gone above and beyond to see to my care. I thought that I would simply see a breast reconstruction surgeon when I got to FL as that was what I was cautioned by my oncologist. I had a lump that was needle biopsied after an MRI couldn’t tell clearly what the lump was. When I brought the MRI to the FL surgeon and we discussed the lump, he said he wasn’t as concerned with getting that out as he was with the picture of my other breast. He showed us that it clearly showed the implant was millimeters from pushing through my skin! This would have been catastrophic on many levels he said. Immediate overwhelming infection, and less so, they couldn’t put the implant back in for 6-12 months. He emphasized the need for immediate surgery which I couldn’t believe they got approved so quickly with my insurance company. Once he got in, he said he found a mess. The previous breast surgeon I had after my double mastectomy had put in silicone implants, one that ruptured. When he replaced it, he never bothered to clean out the silicone. So it’s been flowing around loose in my body for all these years. It probably has something to do with the immunity disorder that I have as I have read that the silicone ruptures did lead to immunity issues in people. All I can say is it’s a good thing he is retired!!! Because of all the mess, it took 3 hours to do my surgery.  This surgeon has been incredible. I asked him about his bill and he said I would never see one. I asked if he was sure that Mentor would pay for my implants, he said absolutely. The hospital care was great too. Even his follow-up care has been above-board. He saw me in the office on a Sunday last week because of course, I have some infection. But he wanted to check me himself instead of sending me to the ER. Can you believe that? And he had already driven an hour out-of-town to do military stuff for 9 days. He is the only guy they use!!

Today I had another block in my back after seeing a neurosurgeon who wants to do a sacroiliac join fusion which he thinks will help my pain hugely. But the catch is being off of my right leg weight for 6-8weeks and I live in a townhouse. I need a stair lift and right now that isn’t doable anymore than more surgery is–maybe late this fall? In the meantime, I have a great pain management doc and he schedules me really fast. We saw him Wed and I had the block today. I have no pain at all in the joint. It usually takes a few days for the muscle going over to my hip to get the medicine to, but here is hoping it works for a while!

I have had the most difficult of business weeks. I don’t think I could have managed without my devotional and all of the scriptures from Jesus Calling. Please pray for me that next week goes well as it is a very important week of interviews!

So now we have been here 3 months. Slowly making friends with our neighbors and people at the church. It’s been hard with me being down, but I hope to start having people over for dinner! And I can’t wait for Bible Study to start in the fall. Bible Study and Sunday School that’s where you make your best friends.

so I think that is enough of an update for now.

Cindy

 

CHANGES…

I know that it has been some time since I have posted anything. For my faithful followers and inquirers, I do apologize. I have been going through some of the most difficult times of my life, though, and as I have sought the Lord, today, HE has answered me, most graciously. 

Back in February, I had to go to the ER again, because they thought I had another clot in my lungs. It turned out to be pleurisy which is a really painful lung condition. it hurts when you talk, when you laugh and when you cough–all of which I do a lot! Unfortunately the CT scan showed a couple of spots on my lung. I wasn’t really concerned until my GYN doc who had found a lump in my breast just the month before (yes, I’ve already had breast cancer once) was really upset about the possibility of the connection of the two issues and asked me to see a pulmonologist for a referral to an oncologist for a complete check. Notice please, this wasn’t my idea, but my doctor’s. I saw a pulmonologist right away, unfortunately not my own. What a mistake, that!! He didn’t seem to even know what cough variant asthma was! Nor did he know how to prescribe my cough syrup! My pharmacist thought that was a riot! At any rate, he looked right through me. Ever had anyone do that to you? I had no idea what his issue with me was-I had never met him. My pulmonologist and  I had a good relationship. She had cough variant asthma as well, so she certainly understood my issues. I had a terrible cough when I was there and certainly could have used a shot of decadron which is what my pulmonologist in Tampa would have given me. He was only concerned with the fact that he couldn’t hear me wheeze. Cough variant asthma people don’t wheeze–we cough!! Obviously he was no help at all as it took me 2 days to get the cough medicine!

That night I had a really, really bad asthma attack. It was like back in 2011 when I had all those really bad attacks. I think I was so worn down from all I have been through this year physically and mentally, I just didn’t have much strength to fight the spiritual battle that I have been able to do since that May 2011.   On top of that, I started getting opinions from everybody about what I should do, or not do, think or not think. Truly if I had not had the Lord Himself to go to for truth, I might have listened to wrong advice, wrong opinions. I did have a great ER doc. He referred me to an oncologist/hematologist. She turned out to be one of the most caring doctors I have ever met! Unfortunately I am not out of the woods yet as to the spots on my lungs–I will have to have follow up scans every few months.  But at least she has me set on the right course for care!

My journey took me to Breast Specialists of Atlanta. I understand they are the very best. First my insurance company insisted on a mammogram, which is very difficult when one has had reconstructive surgery and implants after a double mastectomy! Imagine my surprise when I found out that I had silicone implants! I thought for the last 11 years that I had saline implants because the first implants had leaked. Well, unfortunately, so have these 11 year old implants! There’s a big blob of silicone right on the outside of my left side where one of the “problems” was! The second problem has turned out to be a benign cyst that I just got the news back on today!! PRAISE THE  LORD! I had so asked that I not have cancer back. I really didn’t know how in the world I was going to handle working with chemo and radiation! Thankfully, the Lord heard my prayers, those of my husband, my sister and my daughters, my brother and sister in law! How precious have they been to pray for me! No diatribes or opinions-just care. When someone is hurting, that is all they need to hear, love and support!!

So physically, bottom line for me at the moment is to get the implants replaced with saline and get that silicone, once and for all, out of my body! That’s the first thing I have to do when I get to our new home in Niceville, Florida! Yes, that is the reason for the title of my post today. I think a lot of you have known we haven’t been thrilled with our circumstances or the quality of the life here. My husband has always wanted to retire to the Panhandle! I would always say no, too many hurricanes hit there, no medical care, etc, etc. But he has spent the last four months doing research on the area and we’ve gone down there several times for weekends. I was wrong. There is good medical care, even a new hospital and where we will live is not in an evacuation area– it’s about 15 minutes from the beach across the bay bridge. And the people are so nice! It’s small town America! Call me corny, but I am ready for it! I don’t need the big city! We are so excited about this! We think we have already found a church too, but we will visit awhile till the Lord says for sure. And as for my Bible study? I can keep up with my BSF International or go back to Precept upon Precept by Kay Arthur. I did that for several years before I started in BSF.  Our church has some great choices for women’s ministry as well as men.

I could go on and on about how much better we think our lives will be in our new city. Our new home, which will not be much more money than what we are paying now for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apt, is a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath townhome with a garage and backyard patio! We will feel like we are in a home again. Last Saturday night, the people above us had a fight from 12:30-2:30 AM. It was very loud, lots of screaming going on. It was really scary. The weekend before, they were vacuuming at 12:30 am. Really and truly, I can’t wait to leave next week!

Oh and if anyone wonders what about my wonderful job? My boss said when I asked him if he minded me moving to the Panhandle, “no, you’re just changing a zip code and an area code. whatever makes you happy.” He’s great, isn’t he?

I’ll write again when we get settled.

Goodnight and God bless!

 

AND THE LORD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!

Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me  your decrees. ..  I keep your precepts with all my heart…I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold…Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.  Palm 119 67-74

I first wrote and underlined this passage in my Bible in June of 2011. I had just gotten home from the hospital after a bout with my asthma. This time the Lord did a lot of work while I was there. I have come home tired! He sold my sofa to one of the nurses and everywhere I turned there was someone to share with! My roommate, her husband, my nurses, even my student nurses. It really was glorious! And this was the scripture the Lord gave to me.

I know O Lord, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is your delight…I will mediate on your precepts…May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.

Then the Lord brought me back  there 2 months later. ..It seems I hadn’t been studying His precepts thoroughly enough, nor did I have an adult’s comprehension of the passage-just a child’s. So I prayed-and prayed that he would give me a hope that this feeling  would be understood as an adult. To that end, He started giving me passages on health. I always thought they were for someone else-more deserving-but on  August 26 of this year, I got a new scripture. I even told ya’ll not to get too excited! But I was excited-because it did seem for me as I could find nothing for anyone else! this time the scripture is from Jeremiah 17: 7-10,14-15

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, who confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.  The heart is deceitful  above all things and beyond cure who can understand it?  I, the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve…Heal me , O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved for you are the one I praise.  They keep saying to me, “Where is the word of the Lord ? Let it now be fulfilled” 

I first gave you those verses on August 18th and September 3rd. Then I was due for my Remecaid on September 14th.  Now these dates are important. USUALLY  by the week before the Remecaid is given, I have started hurting-not this time and certainly the week of, or absolutely, positively the week after. But as I write this, I don’t have any pain! Is that not the greatest thing in all the world?  So I would say that this is proof positive that the Lord God keeps His Promises! (now that I know this-there will be forth coming announcements)

Todays’ News-Aurora Colorado Mass Shooting

In Isaiah 24-most of the chapter is about how the Lord God is going to devaste the earth-this will happen in those last 7 years before Jesus comes back to triumphantly defeat Satan at Armageddon.  Already we are seeing the beginnings of this as our world’s face is ruined and people scattered due to “natural weather events” which are more violent, more often, in evey place in the world than ever in history.

Now we have mass killings starting-sometimes for stated reasons- like in the name of Allah, or “we hate everybody–but in Colorado, just a guy who went into a theatre armed and ready to kill and once done, just giving up to the police-no explanation, no brave words. I guess he didn’t like the movie! Of course this all plays into our Attorney General’s hands and his “we have no right to have guns policy” and his determination to get rid of what we Americans have always considered our inalieable right to bear arms. He will say if we had a no guns policy this would not have happened. I say if you are the criminal element, you can always put your hand on a gun. It will be the average citizen who will be hurt in this.

Still, the reason for my writing this morning is not my particular soap box, but to call you to pray for these families who have been suddenly hit by death or were one of the more that 40 wounded.  Pray this :You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord , the Lord is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26: 3-4

Remeber, the countdown has started in heaven. Things are only going to get worse here. Don’t delay your witness to your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors. What will it matter what they think when very soon they are facing eternity without a safety net? The ONE you could have told them about-if you believed enough, cared enough, loved enough-because this is what it comes down to. Satan will get them otherwise.

Oh how I love you all with the love God has put into my heart! How I understand so much better Paul’s writings now and his willingness to be poured out for those so that they too could know his Savior. As I told a Doctor this week, after you’ve had the Lord in your corner in the ER, how could you not tell everyone you meet of HIM and His love for them-and His Plan for their Salvation?