Monday, November 23, 2015


I feel much better than last Thanksgiving week when that evil chemo was destroying my liver, I couldn't walk stairs and had no equilibrium. I am on my old chemo and it has side effects, but I can run stairs and am not so klutzy. Some days I actually feel, at least for some hours, like my old life 5 years ago. I treasure every hour that feels "right."  

First Thanksgiving without our son. Another first-time empty nest experience to get through (and we will)! Sam and Gretch will be with her family and I'm sure they will have a great time. We will see them the next weekend, not for the holiday, but for cookie-making and tree-decorating. Should be fun!!

I haven't had the courage yet to get the Christmas decorations out-----so many made by or bought by Mom for me over the years. She made my tree skirt and gave me her Nativity set. She made my wreaths for me and gave me all her Spode Christmas china. Can you see why I don't have the courage yet? I need a day when I'm not at work to absorb the emotion and many tears that are going to come with the unpacking. She should be hanging the beautiful wall hanging she quilted for me. Yeah, this first holiday as an orphan is hard.

I truly do have a blessed life, though, when I count my many many blessings. I have an incredible husband, amazing son, sweet and beautiful bonus daughter, too many friends to count, a cozy little house, job, and a God whose healing promises have kept me alive for 3 years longer than I was supposed to live. All praise to him for all I have. So rich am I.

I have an oncology appointment on Wednesday. No test results to anticipate; for that I am thankful. Probably just a pow-wow about side effects and seeing if my doc knows anything further about the 3rd generation drug supposed to be here in a couple months.

For my loyal blog followers, I wish you a blessed holiday this week. Thanks for reading. 

Monday, November 9, 2015


Well, I have been on a double dose of chemo now for about 8 days. It has not made me any more nauseated than I am every day, but y'all know what chemo-constipation does to me. Well, now it is double that. Truly, peristalsis is dead. My blood pressure has plummeted as well, so I have had some swan-like faints. One in a jewelry store. Me splayed out in the aisle between the crystal and the thousand dollar Rolex watches. I made for much excitement with the older ladies in the store who wanted to drive me home!!! I am dedicated to do lots of blood-to-head exercises before I get up in the mornings.

Other than that, I have only to deal with the flashing lights in my eyes in the early mornings. Along with the vitreous detachment, I see a regular light show while I'm in the shower.

I can already tell that getting through these first holidays without Mom and Dad are going to be tough. While shopping for drapes at Penney's, they had on their Christmas music(I'll be Home For Christmas) and it reduced me to tears. I want to be shopping for their gifts and find out what we are having for Christmas dinner and share recipes. I know all "orphans" go through their first Christmas and make it to the other side. But it is not easy.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


I love how God gives you what you need at just the right moment. For me last week, he provided a supernatural encounter, clearly orchestrated by Himself. Dick and I try hard to live in the supernatural where the kingdom of God resides. We expect bold answers to bold prayers and fully expect that God still has signs, wonders, and miracles for those who profess faith in them and walk in the Spirit.

When my "divine appointment" was over, I was left overwhelmingly grateful to God that He found me, who is a "nobody" in this world, worthy of a supernatural encounter. Dick got in on the last part of the appointment and he received a word from God that brought us both tears.

I am blessed that my God cares enough in times of stress and discouragement to do something so lavish to encourage. It gave me increased faith that maybe, just maybe, it is the 11th hour in this cancer walk, and that healing is coming.

On a medical note, I am 2 weeks into the old chemo (the one that I quit a year ago because it was ineffective) and I am doing OK on it with the exception of the very severe chemo-induced constipation side effect. Seems like I am living on laxatives of every shape, size and consistency. Nothing seems to work. Peristalsis is dead.

I will have a decision to make soon. They want me to double my chemo dose to get closer to the recommended dosage. I am afraid that if I double the dose, my constipation will be highly out of control. It will be my call whether to stay on this "almost placebo" dose or risk doubling.

Please pray that my peristalsis would begin working with the laxatives and that I could have some relief. It colors my every waking day. Thanks so much.

Friday, October 16, 2015


I wish I could bring happy news to y'all as you check my blog, but we face challenges ahead. My tumors in lung and brain are growing and several new ones have popped up. They were going to radiate the brain tumors until they found "more pressing matters" in the lung. Until the 3rd generation drug comes out in December or January, they are going to put me back on the chemo that stopped being effective a year ago. I cannot take the 2nd gen chemo because it made me horribly sick and was destroying my liver. So we are asking God to protect me in both places as we wait.

Would it be easy to just throw in the towel? Oh, yes. I am so weary of cancer that I cannot articulate it. But then I think, what if it is the 11th hour? What if a miracle is just around the corner? What if? If I give up now, I will miss it if it is coming.

I think of the 19th century English preacher Charles Spurgeon who said:

We are here, like soldiers on guard, waiting for the dawn, and the night is deepening.We must stay on night watch. It is not for any of us to say, "We will desert because it is so dark."

Be of good courage, soldiers of Christ, and still wait on in patient endurance. Courage, brothers; the Lord has not forgotten us. We are in the dark and cannot see Him; but He can see us and he knows all about us. Let us not be dismayed, our glorious leader forgets not the weakest and feeblest of us, neither is any part of the battle-field beyond the reach of the great Captain's eye.

He is coming to turn the scale in the worst moment of the conflict, for the battle is the Lord's and he will deliver the enemy into our hand.

And so, we wait in the dark, maintaining our faith that He will turn the scale in His time.
Thank you in advance for any prayers prayed for my protection from side effects from the chemo and from enlarging tumors.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


God was meting out grand doses of favor on the night before the wedding. For our groom's dinner, we cruised down the Mississippi on a paddleboat. It could not have been a more perfect night. Not a breath of wind, short-sleeve temps, a slow sunset. 

Here are a couple snapshots of the evening:

Sam's best man James and his wife Meredith

The two dads

Sam and Dick

Gretchen with her sister and sisters-in-law
Gretch and her parents Sam, and us

Photo credits go to my sweet niece Gretchen who gave us the gift of her photography skills for the evening. She captured all the people and the setting so beautifully. No way to re-pay her for all the work she put into editing all the photos over the summer. Love you, Gretchie.

Friday, October 2, 2015


My Facebook friends have seen pics of Sam's wedding, but my non-FB friends who read this blog have not, So out of a staggering number of pictures, I picked out a handful to post here. It was such a magnificent day. And I have an amazing new daughter!

Sam seeing Gretchen for the first time

What a sweet addition to our family!
My awesome son with his mom and dad (below).

The best man's speech stole the show!!

Sam with his beautiful bride and Hieb cousins

Dordt College was well-represented by the 4 tallest guys in the wedding party, including Sam!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


This is just a quick update for my family and close friends who have been wondering about my biopsy results in Denver. Finally heard from my doctor. Here he is, this world-reknown researcher, making his own phone calls and talking with me as if he hadn't another task to accomplish all day. He even laughed about my new email address. He explains everything so clearly. Love this guy.

The biopsy of the fluid around my lung is cancerous. But the growing tumor has NO cancer! Amazing. 

God is healing me in small steps. While I have asked Him many times for the more immediate supernatural healing, He has chosen to mete out my healing slowly: the leg tumor, the tumors squeezing my bronchus, and now this new one. 

I am asking God, in the name of Jesus, to suck that fluid right out of there by the next scan!! Dr. C gave me a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. We are starting with Plan nothing.

I had my brain scan yesterday and made it thru without coughing....had many praying people covering that base. Results on Monday.

Five years and one month with Stage 4 cancer. Am very thankful today and every day to my Savior Healer.