in review: days 32-35 & update.

Oh my, it’s been quite a while since I have written! My fingers miss the tapping, my soul misses the rejoicing/reflecting that writing brings. Here is where I battle, I wrestle like Jacob with God and here at these keys is where I learn how to submit, submit.

days 32-25.
Chemo a few of weeks ago was pretty “normal.” (How strange that chemotherapy can become something “normal” in one’s life…)

The best moment of the week was receiving news finally on surgery decisions by my doctors. They have collectively been reviewing my most recent scans, and together came to the conclusion that surgery might not be the best option for me. Which I am overjoyed by and was so blown away by when they told me! I’ve been thinking all of this time that I might have to have another intense surgery and dreading doing it. Considering about refusing it if it even came down to it. As I’ve been praying about the decision and guidance of the doctors, all I could think and feel was NO whenever surgery came to my heart and mind. But I knew it was just a feeling and wanted some sort of explanation and reason as to why I felt so strongly against it. So after many months of talking about the possibility of surgery, imagine to my surprise Nick coming to me and encouraging alternatives to surgery!!!

The Lord answers prayers my friends, and that is proof!

He answers our prayers to guide us in all our decisions.

He brought vision and insight to the doctors of Children’s and the James, observing my body, my scans, my life, and seeing the glimpses of alternatives, the lines of invisible hope that swirl around the medical images of my femur, my pelvis, my hips of the past 10 years.

Lines of hope leading us to now radiation of my hip instead of surgery to remove it.

Radiation at the new OSU James Cancer Hospital! Which I have done radiation before (at 13: lungs, at 18: lower back/hips) and because of that radiation is still only a possible hope. Radiation—like chemotherapy—is effective at fighting cancer but also is effective at fighting against my life, increasing my chances of developing a secondary cancer later in life. (If only poison could be selective!)

So I go to the new James this Tuesday to see a radiologist who has been reviewing my scans again. See if the line of radiation’s past vision, its steady eye on my body, is close to where I had radiation before. If the current eye would have to stare deep and long into the same area as the last time when I was 18, then radiation is more than likely a no. They won’t re-radiate tbe same spot because of the earlier mentioned side effect.

Please then pray for this meeting this week with the radiologist! That the vision of the scan, of the doctor, are in unity so that I can have radiation once again!

I have received a couple of best Christmas gifts ever this year!

gift 1.
Getting 3 weeks off from chemotherapy instead of 2! So now I have not only this week of Christmas free, but also next week of the New Year!

Originially I was to get chemotherpy next week.

I didn’t really want the first thing I did of the new year, of 2015 to be chemotherapy.

This extra week feels like the gift of normalcy. Even though I get 2 weeks “off,” I spend the first feeling not like myself at all, sick, sleeping, in darkness. That is not living. And as my body recovers, the second week is living: of visiting with friends, of driving, of feeling hungry and eating and enjoying food again, of going to coffee shops and drinking coffee again, of reading, of engaging the world, of feeling like myself again.

Those 7 days go by way too quickly.

To have another, extra 7 this time: a wonderful gift!

gift 2.
I help lead a high school homechurch named Trump that I actually attended when I was in high school. I love them. And they completely set me up!

Every year we do a White Elephant Gift exchange, and I got set up to be the first one to pick a gift. I get up, and they’re all shouting at me, saying, “We should help you pick out your gift!” And I tell them, “No! Why would I let you since you won’t be doing that for everyone else?!” They are adament, so I let them guide me to the gift and they point to a small gift bag. As I pick it up, they’re shouting, rejoicing! (And in this moment, I am very confused as to why a White Elephant gift would be so exciting to them.)

The gift: small, slim, unwrapping green gift wrap. An envelope. An envelope? “Open it, open it!” Green, green like the gift wrap. And on envelope, a number: 1302. Wait, that’s $1,302 dollars! Oh my! Wait, WHAT?!!?!?!?!

Stephen gets up and explains to me that when I missed the Bible study last week, they got together and decided to collect money for me. Their goal: $1,000! And they exceeded their goal! And their and their families generosity has prompted others to continue to give to me. This is all too much, too much!

This is evidence that the Lord is clearly at work here in these high schoolers lives at Trump, that He is renewing and tumbling their hearts to be molded more and more into His. Naturally selfish people into now givers. Miraculous grace! Transforming grace!

This must be what Paul felt like when he received the monetary help of the churches while in jail:

philippians 4

It was good of you to share in my troubles… 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Oh yes, what joy that the church brings collectively as they collect their resources to give to one another, to think of another what that member is suffering, even when they don’t have to! Gratitude, gratitude.

Oh young hearts and families, what you did was a beautiful sacrifice, of giving yourself and I don’t feel worthy of it! And yet that is our grace we receive, and He continues to give us grace upon grace through His Body’s members.

Thank you for giving me grace, for letting me feel God’s hand physically on me once more through you.


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