NEW CHALLENGES

I know that I have said time and again how faithful our Lord is, but this summer again in particular instances, He has shown once again how loving and involved in each life, He is! As I speak with people each day, I am still astounded at how He leads me to certain people who either need Him or know Him and we can rejoice together! As usual there have been physical challenges as well, part of the reason I haven’t written as much. I have found that most of the time it has been all I could do to do my work for the day. I had thought that after I had back surgery to remove a cyst off of my spine which had wrapped itself around several nerves and caused me great pain and difficulty walking, was really past the bad stuff! I have had blocks in my neck before and I did need that before we were finished with everything. Unfortunately my problem is at C2/3 and they cannot fuse it or I could never move my head again! So I was told the best thing was to burn the nerves and that would take care of the pain. The problem though, has been an extreme side effect called Ataxia. You lose the control of your legs.  Sometimes I am walking and it is just as if I don’t have any legs at all, they give out on me. So I fall or just sit down abruptly. Most of the time, when I am walking, though, my legs just look spastic. My doc has assured me that this will clear up within another week! I hope so. So far, it has been 3 weeks today. What I have read, says 7-10 days. Physical therapy will start working with me this week and see if we can speed up the process.

My other issue is spiking blood pressure. It goes very high and then will get down to a reasonable level. We are working with new meds on that! This is a problem that my mother had. Hers would just go up and down and up and down too. Its very weird. I have a great internist though and like I said brand new medicine to take.

So any of you who know me would know that I would go straight to my Lord God about all this. He has set my path. I know this like I know the back of my hand. Yesterday, He reached out to me through my devotional. Many of you know I read Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. So yesterday was talking about the human body and inevitable effects of aging. That even if I were a superb athlete, which I am NOT, most cannot maintain their fitness over many decades. But this is specifically what it said ” Do not be anxious about the weakness of your body. Instead, view it as the prelude to My infusing energy into your being. Though the process of aging continues, inwardly you grow stronger with the passing years. Those who live close to Me develop an inner aliveness that makes them seem youthful in spite of their years. Let my Life shine through you, and you walk in the Light with Me.” Isn’t that beautiful? And of course the first scripture verse was Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. This particular scripture is one that I have really gone to the Lord about many times in my life. If you’ve read my stories, you know that I don’t have a perfect body according to human eyes, human thoughts. What My Lord has taught me through all of these things is that I must depend on Him for my very breath and heartbeat; that the people he has me meet through the issues are put there for a purpose. So please pray that I will be mindful of these things as I recover!

I mentioned that God had been faithful, oh so faithful. I cannot begin to count the ways and He wouldn’t want me to! But He has just blessed us so incredibly this summer in ways we never would have dreamed. Still, our Lord knows our heart and our deepest longings. I believe that if we are faithful to Him, He answers us!!! One of the ways I can talk about is my business that finally it seems that it is coming together. I know that I am going to get better as God even went before me and has arranged a business trip (short) to Houston in 3 weeks. I have been wanting to go for a year and now it has all come together in perfect timing for everyone. I know my Lord. I will be ready.

One last thing I will leave you with is from my devotional today. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Remember that all good things-your possessions, your family and friends, your health and abilities, your time- are gifts from ME. Instead of feeling entitled to all these blessings, respond to them with gratitude. Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My Hand!” Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

Believe me, this is a truth from the Lord. I have had this happen. But He has restored everything. Now, I have to hold onto the lesson.

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!

 

MY ARM UPDATE

I have progressed to being able to type  for short periods. I don’t have to use all caps, can use punctuation, paragraphs and the sort so I thought I might finally be ready for an update.

I had the MRI of my shoulder that I had said I would have after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it showed that I had fractured my shoulder-and 4 weeks later not healed and that I had 3 tears in different places including the rotator cuff! When I saw my doctor, he was surprised about the fracture as I was, not so much about the rotator cuff tear but the others absolutely! He said “No wonder you hurt!” And I said, ” Did you think I was faking?” He of course did not, but thought that I was in an inordinate amount of pain for what he had thought I was dealing with! Actually I think the fact that I manage with the pain that I deal with at all is a miracle and be able to work too. So now that the shoulder is so very complicated, he has decided to pass me up/down to “more qualified” surgeon doctors in his practice! I guess I should be thankful as my daughters thought. I really liked him though, and now at the end of the year, I have to start all over with a new doctor. He knew I wasn’t happy about it, but advised me that anybody would insist on the fracture healing before operating.

So on to my next challenge! I had to have GYN (female) surgery on the 19th. This is NOT SOMETHING I AM GOING TO DISCUSS HERE! Surprise! I know that I have been really open about my foibles and life and all, but except to say that if I had not had this surgery, that sometime in the near future, my life could have been at serious risk. That being said, it also was terribly painful! The doc said, oh, it will be like you had a baby. Ok that wasn’t so bad except that’s when I found out I was allergic to iodine. They used to put it in a spray on solution for episiotomy incisions. THAT was much worse than having the baby! So I thought, it couldn’t be that bad! WRONG!! This is 62 like having a baby! God did not make us to have babies at 62 except as He has reminded me Sarah at 100 had Issac -in the desert and with no drugs! So I guess i need to quit complaining except that I don’t seem to be healing well here either.

Why have I shared such information now with all of you? Because I know you pray for me. So I am asking for all of your prayers… it has made such a difference in my life before… I need to heal. I know I have the immunity issue, but I wouldn’t have thought that would impede healing, maybe it is, I don’t know. The Lord has not told me He will not heal me, he has just offered comfort in other ways. My dear husband is doing his best to feed me nutritious things that will promote my healing… but like I said, the shoulder fracture was still “very fractured” at 6 weeks, so I only know to go to the Lord in prayer. 

I remind Him of all of scriptures on healing like the familiar Isaiah 53:5  …and by His wounds we are healed… This is important for all of us though James 5:16 …pray for each other that you may be healed… and 1st Peter  2:24 …by his wounds you have been healed.  But I do think the key is praying for one another. So while I am praying for ya’ll, please be praying for me!

Goodnight and God bless!

What A Lovely Weekend!

I feel so privileged to have family that loves one another! This weekend my husband and I spent with my sister and her husband who recently moved to Charleston and with our move in February, to Atlanta, now we are just 5 hours apart! The Lord blessed us with great weather and so we were able to go out in their boat and explore the coastline, the river, and some of the canals. We saw the lot where they are going to build her dream house after years of building and designing so many others’ dream homes.  Of course, my sister out did  herself with dinner last night. I even had to  bring home the recipe for the salad; it was so great!.

I  ostensibly went over to work with her to help her with marketing her business only to find out God had already been working on her behalf and teaching her Himself! How much better is that? And the stories she was telling me? Well, suffice it to say, her stories just as miraculous, wonderful, and quirky as mine are because we serve an awesome God!!

Last Tuesday night,  I started my Bible Study Fellowship class. It was a new group, in a new location because of our anticipated move  next spring. To me, it was like coming home in so many ways. Not  that the first group I attended was not a lovely group of ladies, it was. But this group simply reminds me in so many ways, of my friends at home-it’s just comforting. And the material is all new! New features and in depth scriptures! I really like it. It is like it is all brand new to me–like I have never studied it before. 

The other  very nice news from last week is that another sister–the one in Florida, is coming up to go to the Women of Faith conference here in October. that is so special to me! It seems like we have been going forever. I know at least for 10 years and now even with the move, it is nice to know that we won’t be stopping that tradition either!

So now to prayer requests: my back has gotten seriously bad for me. Turning or changing positions in bed or in a chair has gotten to being a very difficult proposition. I am having to use more medication than I like to use even though I know I have it for this very thing! I do have a last block planned for Tuesday. If it doesn’t hold, the doctor says I am most probably going to need surgery as I have been dealing with this problem for over a year and have had multiple blocks, which make me the perfect candidate for the procedure. They call it band-aid surgery these days-out patient procedure, but between this and another female issue, I may be spending a little more time than I would like or have planned with doctors. I would love it if the Lord would just make it all just go away. Please pray to that end.

Goodnight! God bless.

BURNED NERVES!

 

Well, I had so hoped that my life in the fast health lane and quit for a while and I do still have high hopes for it, but today, I suffered through the burning of the nerves in the facets (joints) in the vertebrae in my lower back. I had 4 nerve blocks previously, but nothing lasted very long. Having had to endure all kinds of pain in my life, I still say that nerve pain is the worst. So when I finally saw Spinal Pain Specialists associated with my hospital and introduced to me by my daughter when she was getting her own block for a herniated disc issue-totally different from mine, I was amazed by the exam  and their conclusions. And really so far the treatment has been borne out by where the last 2 blocks that they did were placed.  I just would like to change positions –in bed, in and out of a chair,  and regain  my ability to stand or walk for a while. The doctor says I will get all of this back! and Without Surgery! Today I just had some Twilight sleep, they call it. What I hadn’t expected was hurting when I woke up! I didn’t with the others,  but to burn nerves, bigger needles are used and go through muscle and  so the “side effects”. But if it works…WOW!

Prayer requests oh so many and I don’t exactly know how to write them so that they are anonymous-prayer for a dear one that all that needs to be remembered and done-in other words keep all the balls in the air at all times, so that absolutely nothing falls. for another dear friend, continued healing, someone’s dad diagnosed with cancer, for all the planned Bible Studies that will start up when school starts back, including my beloved BSF. For us to find a church home where God wants us, for my daughters-one a new job and the other a solution to her “back” problem. And for our nation, I am with Billy Graham, America can come back to God! All we need is for God’s people to pray!

G’night and God Bless!

Cindy

 

OH GLORY! OUR GRACIOUS LORD ANSWERS!!

I have just come home from one of the most glorious Good Friday Services  I think I have ever attended! The Holy Spirit was there and just blessing us through the music and through the speaking of the Word. What was really special was that my sister had arranged with a couple of her “prayer warrior friends” to anoint me and pray for me before the service. What was REALLY GREAT was that my foot woke up! It had been asleep since I woke up “frozen” that Friday morning the 15th! Now that gives  me REAL HOPE that the rest of the things they prayed for me will happen as well. This important because today I was referred to a hematologist because they can not get my blood numbers to stabilize with the Coumadin I am on. It doesn’t seem to matter if I am on a lot or a little. I can have way too much or way too little-like today-way too little, but two bad nose bleeds and I’ve never had those before! That’s like the opposites of each other! How many times have I remarked I am strangely and wonderfully made??

Now let me tell you about MADDOX!  About midnight right after I posted my request that you pray for him, and you must have started immediately, because his mother said the ketones started coming down after midnight and NOW HE IS HOME! HOME FOR EASTER!! THANK YOU DEAR ONES WHO LOVE JESUS  AND LITTLE ONES TOO!  I found out that Maddox has to have insulin shots 5 times a day. I say, let’s all pray for his total healing so that this is not something he has to deal with the rest of his life. Let him learn early the healing touch of Jesus. So Please Pray and I will let you know when the Lord heals him.   

Now I will close with this blessing from Hebrews about the BLOOD of Jesus which is the only reason we are all here today together and looking forward to celebrating His resurrection on Sunday–because without that shedding of BLOOD There would have been NO RESURRECTION to celebrate.

Hebrews 13: 20-21  May the god of Peace who the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead  our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equp you with everything good for doing his will and may he work in us what is what is pleasing to him through Jesus  Christ, to whom be glory for ever  and ever.  Amen.