Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I have entered the dark days a day earlier than last treatment. Tonight I'm feeling very yecky in the gut, and a low-grade fever, diminished appetite and sleep deprivation are all working overtime tonight to get my spirits down. I am trying to remember that last treatment, I came out of the cave on day 6, but knowing that doesn't help me right now. I have to walk through the fire of these side effects until they are spent.

I am quite sure I will not be blogging in the next few days. I am having a hard time even praying for myself right now, so I am trusting in my many prayer warriors to stand in the gap for me right now until my fighting spirit gets its footing once again. Thanks.

PS. Kirn, happy birthday!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Round two went off without a hitch. Well, that's not technically true. The med tech tried two different times to hit a vein for my blood draw and she didn't know what she was doing. Thankfully, she called on a "higher-up" who got it right away. For someone who hates needles, it was not a pleasant 10 minutes. But the infusion went well. SO FAR, and we are only 8 hours out, the new drug is not wreaking any havoc. The 3 hours of infusion was probably the most relaxed I've been all week. A warmed blanket, my Scriptures to read, my MP3 player with soft music.....hmmmmm.

My little corner by the fireplace

My uber-nice infusion nurse, Nancy

The fireplace next to my chair

My oncologist mentioned how much she liked my "She's A Fighter" shirt twice during my time with her. She even wanted to know the brand!! (Thanks again, Peg)

I got a whole 3 hours of sleep on my steroids last night, and tonight will most likely be worse than that. I may have to spring-clean the basement all night for something to do! No, it did not get done in the spring.

Last treatment, my tough days were 3-5. We'll see if that is true again or if it really is not a pattern after all. Maybe each treatment is different.

D drove over after teaching his 3-hour class today.....thanks to my friend Lynette who gave me a ride over, and it worked out that she had errands to do there anyway. D and I decided that after 2 trial runs where I have had him with me, we both think I can go it alone in the future. I am neither sick nor drowsy after chemo, so there is really no reason for him to go with me and spend 4 hours sitting in chairs (which he will lovingly do again if I want him to). But I say, I can do this! I am woman, hear me roar!

OK, so I am generally not a person who opens up her Bible believing that what you open to is what God has for you that day. I know people who do believe this. But today, just before Lynette picked me up, I grabbed my Bible and opened it and it fell to Jeremiah 46. I am thinking, oh, maybe not. But then my eyes dropped on these verses and they were amazing for today's chemo preparation. Another wonderful healing Scripture for me!

Prepare your shields, both large and small,
Harness the horses, mount the steeds,
Take your positions with helmets on!
Polish your spears,
Put on your armor!
What do I see?
They (I insert cancer cells) are terrified!
They are retreating,
They are defeated.
They flee in haste without looking back
and there is terror on every side!

Why will your warriors (cancer cells) be laid low?
They cannot stand, for the Lord will push them down.
They will stumble repeatedly; they will fall over each other.

v 3-5,15

It was so powerful and I used that visualization while I closed my eyes in my chair. I unwaveringly believe that God is doing just that.....defeating those cells, pushing them down, making them retreat.

Boatloads of thanks for all the prayers today. I viscerally feel the protection of God while I sit in infusion and it is because of all of you lifting me up.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I took my first dose of steroids this morning in prep for tomorrow's chemo, and already, after 1/2 hour, my cheeks are reddened and puffy. I should look great by tonight :)

So....this is a housekeeping detail, but one I wanted to include here. SO many of you have told me that you have wanted to comment on my blog but have not been able to. I even tried it myself on the library's computer to see if I could do it and could not. My niece Rachel solved the problem by telling me I had to change a blog setting to enable "anonymous"  people (people who don't have blogs themselves or people who don't have a gmail email) to leave comments.

I changed that setting and now it works! So, you need to click on comments at the end of my posting, and scroll down to the comment box. Where it says choose a profile you want to scroll down to ANONYMOUS. This means that if you want me to know who you are, please sign your name at the end of your comment. After you write your comment, click on post comment. A series of letters will come up that you will have to write in a box, then click on post comment again. It's easy now that the blog author knows what she is doing!!

If you have a gmail email address, you can choose the Google profile, and they will ask you for your user name and password. Ignore the other profiles!

Look what the cat dragged in Saturday night....

It was so great seeing Sam. He came home after commentating his first Dordt College hockey game on Saturday afternoon. We listened on the webcast and he did a great job. Soon he will start broadcasting the JV basketball games. He went back after an early dinner in order to watch the Vikes game with a bunch of his buddies who are all Packer fans. Would have loved to have been a mouse in THAT corner!

Speaking of eating earlier yesterday, friends Jeanne and Duane brought us such a delicious dinner last night. Cajun chicken and pasta and a bowl of fresh steamed veggies (at least 5 different veggies). We have enough for at least 1 and maybe 2 more meals this week, which is such a blessing when I won't feel much like cooking. Jeanne and Duane, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It was great!!

Specific prayer requests for Round #2 of chemo:

1) That the new drug they are adding to the chemo cocktail would not present any of the side effects that it can cause (fever, chills, headaches, jaw necrosis).

2) That once again, God would protect my healthy cells from the toxicity and that He would target the drugs onto the cancer cells.

3) That with my 3/4 dose of steroids, I would feel a bit less jittery, that I might get a couple hours of sleep each night (at least) and that the steroid crashing on days 3 and 4 would be lessened.

4) That nausea could be controlled with my 2 anti-nausea drugs.

5) That God might use me to encourage someone else in the infusion room tomorrow.

6) That Mom and Margie would have a safe trip to Vermillion on Friday.

Thank you so much in advance for lifting me in prayer as we head into round two. I am so humbled by so many praying. We will be 1/3 done with chemo treatments by 2:00 tomrrow!! I do not have any fear of the unknown anymore, which is nice. Unless I react differently this time or react to the new drug, I pretty much know what to expect and when. I feel so bathed in love and say thanks is so inadequate.

Let the weak say, "I am strong."   Joel 3:10

Friday, October 22, 2010


In an email yesterday, a friend of mine made a comment about the fact that my cancer diagnosis has made me more dependent upon God rather than made me mad at God. I'm glad she brought up the subject because it has given me pause to collect my thoughts on that matter; and I am "answering" her in this blog post.

From the moment I was told I had metastatic lung cancer, it is true, I have never been mad at God. I have felt broken, profoundly sad, and devastated, but I have never been angry with God. How can I be angry at my Creator when He didn't cause the cancer?

I think there are many different theological paradigms that one might consider in times of trial/crisis/tragedy. Mine is quite simple, actually. I know that God NEVER causes His children pain or suffering of any sort, and I believe that there are sound reasons why He does not prevent those trials from happening.

A father does not inflict pain upon his children. Our Heavenly Father is incapable of hurting us. His character is defined by love and grace and mercy and undeserved forgiveness. He loves us infinitely more than we can ever imagine. Suffering is not of God. Never. So to be mad at God for something he loathes right along with us is absurd. God is deeply moved by our pain, as any father would be. He despises satan for the broken world we now live in. So what I know to be true is that the God I love and serve HATES this cancer inside of me and is grieved that I have felt this pain.

Which leads to the next why, if God loves me so much, didn't He prevent this from happening when He has the power to do so? Again, my understanding and my belief is this: God has 2 reasons why he does not prevent a trial.

One, God sees that the trial is exactly where He wants us to "be" to fulfill His purposes. Or two, God has every intention of bringing us through the trial, once we have learned the life lessons that He has laid out for us on the table of suffering.

In my case, then, 1) God did not prevent my cancer because my purpose in this earthly life has been completed, and the days ordained for me have come to an end. OR, (and this is what I have unwavering faith in) 2) God has every intention of healing me of cancer once I have learned what He wants me to learn from this trial.

I have already begun to plumb the depths of what God has hidden for me in the dark cavern of cancer. I already have seen profound changes in myself regarding sensitivity and concern for others, life goals, exponentially-increased levels of devotion to and love for my husband and son and entire family, forgiveness, persistent prayer and Bible study, patience, what is really important in life, the empty nest, what friendships are authentic and which aren't, and gratitude for the magic of an ordinary day. It is staggering to realize how many of these life-lessons lie in the throes of suffering. Life will never be the same, nor would I want it to be. There have been far too many changes in my heart and soul that are positive for me to want to wish this trial away.

Do I wish I did not have cancer? Yes. But do I appreciate all that it is pouring into my life from God's hand because of cancer? Oh, yes.

And so I wake each morning, not angry at my Savior, but praising Him for another day, for awakening my ears and eyes and heart and soul to truths He wants me to learn, and for keeping me on the path to find every treasure, every jewel He has hidden for me in the darkness.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Hab 3:17-18

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


My best friend from high school sent me this great shirt. Its inaugural wearing is going to be  next Tuesday when I go to chemo. Peg and I were cheerleaders together, and I remember one cheer we used to do....."We will fight, and we will win, and we will fight and we will win." Peg, I am claiming that cheer for myself! Thank you, sweet friend, for your prayers and your cards and your belief in miracles. I cherish what we have always shared, even though miles and years have separated us. This shirt rocks and it is gonna be worn-out in no time!! I love you!

And no, the cabbie cap is not because my hair is coming out. I am just having a bad hair day today. I never got a haircut when I got home from the summer because of my diagnosis. I figured I might as well save the money for a cut if there was a chance of losing it all, and my hair is in disrepair!!

My Wednesdays are always special days with my two amazing prayer partners. Julie, my friend and boss (at the nursing home), and my older friend Mary Ruth, are such Godly women with such huge hearts for the Lord and His work. They are both so precious to me, and the prayers on Wednesdays in this house are powerful and moving. Today they anointed me again with oil before we prayed. I cannot believe how every need we have taken before the Lord on Wednesdays has been answered. These are the two women who changed the course of D's and my life when they (and God) moved us from despair and hopelessness to believing that God's will for HIs followers is life and health and that healing is possible. We will never be able to thank them enough for their commitment to us.

I talked to my doctor later last night and got the actual number for my hemoglobin count. It was 13.6!!! A normal woman would have an 11 or 12 count. For a woman receiving chemo, it could be lower than that! I KNOW without doubt that God is protecting my healthy cells as the chemo is dripping into me. This is such a confirmation of His provision. All those prayers for healthy cells to be kept safe were answered!

Margie is coming again later next week to be with me, and is bringing my mom with her. D has a conference to go to, and he'd feel better if someone were here just in case a new side effect might kick in that needs attention. I'll be in good hands again!  Mom and Margie are both such  natural caregivers.

Tomorrow I go for a follow-up appointment with the radiation oncologist. I called the office and told them I didn't feel I needed this. There is nothing he can do but ask me if I had any side effects. There is nothing to examine or palpate. I told them I could do it over the phone. It was in vain. I mean, I guess they can't force me to come, but there is no use burning bridges either in case I need their services again. They are I will drive over to Yankton tomorrow and do this.

The bills are coming in and they are staggering to say the least. Health care charges HAVE to become controlled in some way. I worry about us already being over our yearly limit. I'll have to check that out. Guess how much every radiation session was?? Bear in mind that I got 30 SECONDS of radiation each day. $860 per 30 seconds. They charged me $1100 to write up a treatment plan (what did that take.....10 minutes?). Why don't the insurance companies fight these outrageous charges??? I guess I better not get started or my blood pressure will go up.

Thank you all for continued prayer. We have a long ways to go, but God is faithful to hear each prayer.

Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, "Be removed and be cast into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he asks.   Mark 11:22-23

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Many of you who are family and close friends already are following Sam's blog about Minnesota sports. While his father and I have worried that he may be spending too much time blogging and not studying, we thoroughly enjoy his writing and his wit and his sports IQ. So, to those of you who may be interested, coming from a proud mom, you can check it out at His newest post is pretty entertaining!


In a million years, I never thought I would be able to say, "I am so glad to be going to chemo next Tuesday!"  But I am! My second treatment does not need to be delayed because my CBC panel looked good today. PRAISE GOD!! My white blood count was slightly lower, but for a chemo-receiver it was nothing to be concerned about. My "composite score" (whatever ratios they are assessing) was very good and so all systems are go for #2. Bring it on. I am ready for God to slay these cancer cells and I believe He is doing just that!

I told my oncologist I want to take just a half a dose of steroids this round and she said I sure could do that if I wanted to. If the rash (that the steroids are preventing) appears and is worse than the steroid side effects, then we will go back to full dosage in round 3. But I am relieved to know that I may not have those sleepless nights, body jitters, and the after-steroid "crashing."

Last night I had a wonderful talk with one of my best friends from college days. I had to call and thank her for the amazing care package she sent me. After 13 years of not seeing each other, Jo and I caught up as easily as if we were in the dorm again. She reminded me of our antics......well, that's not true.....she reminded me of some of MY antics, and I can only blame my crude brothers for teaching me those things which shall remain nameless. Jo, I wrap myself in my chenille blanket every morning to read my Bible and I feel you hugging me. I love you, old friend. We have rich memories, don't we?

I have felt great this last week of my first cycle. I feel God holding me in His arms every second of every day, and I can honestly say that the joy and calm I have are mine only because of God's grace. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness, indeed. Every time D and I pray our healing Scriptures and take God at His word for healing me, we feel His nod. We continue to stand on God's Word as God's will. He himself says: MY WORD IS TRUTH (John 17:17),

I started two big projects recently. One, is the editing of a book I have been writing for 9 years. I have gone through it once, and I have sent the manuscript off to my dad to edit again. My hope is to get that done by Christmas. I also have about 200 pictures to get into scrapbooks, and that will get me up-to-present-day. I have taken over the den, which now includes an 8-foot -table   pig sty. I know there will be days or weeks where I can't do either job, but when I am feeling good, these are two projects that, once accomplished, will make me feel 10 times lighter.

And speaking of feeling lighter, I am actually feeling heavier because I have now gained back all of the 6 pounds I had lost after my diagnosis. For those of you who have been praying for that weight gain, THANK YOU!!!

I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire and he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand!
Psalm 40:1-2

Sunday, October 17, 2010


D and I had a great weekend away at this B&B in a small Iowa town. I tried every which way to convince my dear husband that a deep double jacuzzi, like the one in our room, would be mighty nice at home......but he was the ever-practical man that I know him to be......yeah, I know there is no space for it......but oh, it would be nice!

We were the only people in the whole house the first night, and met one other couple this morning at breakfast. It is the breakfasts that I really love about B&B's. White china and white linen and literally, a 3-course gourmet breakfast each morning served by the sweetest hostess. I got recipes for everything! There is just something about being served breakfast.....

We took a walking tour of 32 historic homes in the town.....mostly Victorian, Italianate, and English cottage architecture. Here was my favorite.
It was built in 1896 for $8,000. Would love to have seen the inside! Would NOT like to heat the place!

It was just so relaxing.....everything we did for 2 days......and we did NOT talk about cancer! We found ourselves dreaming about what we are going to do in retirement someday. It just felt so good.

Our room had a stock of movies and we picked out an oldie for Saturday night, A HUMAN COMEDY starring Donna Reed (who grew up in this little town) and Mickey Rooney and the actor who played the wizard in The Wizard of Oz. Had never even heard of it before, but it was wonderful. With a World War II backdrop, it was a story about loss and love and honor and dreams and sacrifice. They just don't make movies like this anymore.

God blessed our entire trip, and we are ready to take on the new week!! I get my blood levels taken on Tuesday. Wonder what my red's and white's are doing these days. We'll see!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Since our anniversary was muddied with pre-chemo anxiety, and my birthday will be cloaked in Chemo #2 steroidal side effects, D and I decided to get away this weekend while the "feeling good" lasts!! We found a beautiful old Victorian B&B in a small town between here and Omaha, and I just happened to have a stay one night/get one free coupon from American Historic Inns that they are going to accept!! It is supposed to be gorgeous Saturday, so we are hoping to scout out some apple/pumpkin festivals in these small towns, check out the Loess Hills Scenic Highway, and we may even go into Omaha to the zoo if the winds pull us that direction. It will be great to get away.

So far no hair loss, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. The cumulative effect of the chemo sometimes promotes hair loss in one of the later cycles. ACS sends people gift cards for scarves and wigs to be used on their web site, so I am ready to order if I need to.

I may have been watching a little too much Chilean television the past 72 hours (I mean, you did not have tears rolling down your face at the miracle of that rescue operation??) but I feel like saying mucho gracias to dear friends Angie and Chris, who surprised us with warm pumpkin pie and warm banana bread, respectively, this week!! We so appreciate your thoughtfulness. And Jeanne, your gift means the world to me. I read it multiple times daily and let the words settle deep inside me. Annie and Mae, thank you for pestering your oncology co-workers with questions on my behalf this week....I feel as if I have a personal medical corps at my fingertips!! Love you all.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He  will call upon me and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With LONG LIFE I will satisy him, and show him my salvation.     

                                                           Psalm 91:14-16

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I was channel surfing on the DVR menu this past weekend and I ran across the Hallmark movie, The Magic of Ordinary Days, starring Keri Russell. It had already started, but after reading the synopsis of the film, I made a mental post-it note to watch the entire thing if it was broadcast again.

The title of the movie triggered my muse and spoke to my soul. Hmmm. Ordinary days……

I talk to God a lot when I walk my 2 miles every day. On more than one occasion, I have explained to God how I would answer Him if He were to audibly ask me why I wanted my life spared. It would be something along these lines: I want to serve You and Your people here on earth with my whole being, and I want more time to simply love my family.

And now I know I would add a final clause to my answer……to simply love my family within the magic of ordinary days.

Since day one of this cancer diagnosis, when I felt utterly hopeless, I have dared to ask myself how I would want to live out the remainder of my days. Would I want to travel the world? Visit all my friends around the country?Would I want to remodel the very outdated bathroom in our house? Have lots of parties or cash in my retirement IRA and spend it? A legit question, methinks.

I can answer it. There is only one way I want to live out my days, whether that is 5 years or 30 years. I want ordinary days. I want the familiarity and mundane routine of “ordinary and usual.” I want time to wake up next to my husband and rub his head, do my Hy-Vee shopping, have lunch with D on our old pedestal dining table, check on my elderly neighbor, take my walk, play a little piano and write some emails, clean my kitchen, call my boy, do loads of laundry, make dinner and cozy-in with a quilt and watch a movie. I want ordinary days.

Cancer teaches you the value of these days. A day without excess or fear or chaos. No highs, no lows. No drama, no hitting any emotional or circumstantial jackpots. A day with immense possibility for simplicity. A day open to love and service.

I think I took these days for granted. I was always looking ahead to where we might go on spring break, or what day we might leave for the cabin or what projects we needed to accomplish around the house in the upcoming season. I was always a step ahead of life. That was me. It is me no longer. I have found yet another treasure in darkness. The magic of an ordinary day.

Cancer has taught me many things. But this lesson is perhaps the most tangible and relevant. I have gleaned how I believe God wants me to live the days He has ordained for me……I will be grateful for my simple small-town life on a Missouri River bluff where I am deeply cared about by my church family, friends, and co-workers, and where I am loved beyond measure by my family. I will delight in giving back what has been given to me, and I will treasure the gift of each very ordinary day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I don't know if there is rhyme and reason with chemo, and if every treatment is similiar to the one before it, but if so, then days 3 and 4 are the really tough ones. I can not adequately describe the side effects of those days. Coming down off huge doses of steroids after not sleeping for 3 nights gave me a grave "downer," complete with feeling emotionally very low, exhausted, very jittery and as if I was in a bubble. My sensory systems were all impaired, probably due to the very real "chemo brain" that I was warned about. You can't focus and you can't track as well. Add that to the steroid jitters and queasiness, and you have a couple bad days.

I was so grateful Margie was here when I reached the moment of saying, "I can't do this." She held me while I cried through it and gave me a compassionate, loving, and firm "lecture" about how I AM already doing it, and set me back on my fragile path. Her support and love for the 3 days she was here was irreplaceable. I will never be able to thank her enough for all she did physically and emotionally for our family.

Day 5, today, has seen glimpses of improvement. The jitters are less, the 'bubble" is starting to weaken, and I have only had to take 1 nausea pill today. I am sleeping better too. Other than a case of constipation (which is an expected side effect and one that seemed so inconsequential the past few days that I wasn't even paying attention), I am fairing better today and if this upswing continues, I am counting on feeling more like "me" sometime this week. What a blessing that would be!!

I am grateful for no vomiting. SO grateful, you have no idea. Because vomiting means not eating, and not eating means lost weight, which I cannot afford. Never did I consider that in my lifetime I would have profound gratitude for not hurling!!!

D and S (who was home for 5 days and it was so great to be together) brought the Total Gym from downstairs to the living room for me so I can get on a good exercise program, and can watch TV or a movie while doing so. Yeah, it looks a bit like Curves in our living room and the thing is twice as big as it looked downstairs, BUT until a Christmas tree needs to come in, we will keep it up here.

My next "hurdle" will be blood counts, taken on the 19th. If the CBC shows plummeting levels, chemo could be delayed, which is never good. Please pray this week that my white and red blood cells are staying strong, multiplying, dancing, exploding with endurance and NOT being killed by the chemo!!  Thank you for the answered prayers for few side effects. They could have been so much worse! Though I have had some, I managed them and persevered through them, and THAT is the answered prayer!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I am two days post-chemo and fairing pretty well. Had some queasiness today, took my meds and kept it to a point where I could still eat. The steroids I had to take for 3 days have been tough. Slept 3 hours the first night, had only 45 minutes of sleep the night of chemo, and last night I only got about 4 hours, so I am physically wiped out and tired by my body's standards, but the steroids keep your mind on "GO" and you feel buzzed. Tried twice today to take a nap, but could not doze off. My sis has been pushing me to drink water to flush the steroids out a bit faster, but I have a feeling I may have another tough couple nights. The dosage was quite high.

My beautiful sister Margie is here from Fargo, taking charge and just hanging out with me. S is home too and he loves that she is here (she is a rock-star auntie!). Margie and I so wish we lived in the same city! We are so grateful that she made the trip down to be with me in case the side effects went very south. Praise God.....everything so far has been manageable. I JUST NEED SLEEP!!

Thanks for JoLynne and Kim for great meals the past two days. Not having to think about meal planning is just such an amazing gift to our family. Thank you for continued prayer that side effects would continue to wane over the next few days, and that I might have 2 "normal" weeks before the next treatment.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


#1 is OVER!! Chemo went very well. The infusion center was really comfortable. Very spacious room with wood floors and a fireplace, comfy recliners in private curtained areas spaced far apart, your own TV, family chairs, and super-nice infusion nurses. This first time I was hooked up for almost 3 hours. Next time they will be adding a dose of Zometa (for my bones) which will add another 1/2 hour, but still very manageable time-wise.

D studied lecture notes and listened to Spanish tapes (he is going to the Dominican Republic in March to supervise PT students from USD and Creighton and treat patients). I spent time reading my Bible and devotional and then took out my MP3 player and went through some very good guided imagery/affirmation podcasts that Anna sent me from Kaiser. I finished out the treatment with some Allison Krause, The Canadian Tenors, and Selah......and it was time to (literally) RUN to the bathroom before I left a trail across the floor. It was worse than the worst pregnancy-induced urgency you've ever had. I should have taken a break half-way through, but didn't need to go then, but boy oh boy, I learned my lesson!!

The first set of side effects, if I have them, will start tomorrow and last 3-4 days. The next set will appear days 7-10 and this is when my white and red blood counts, as well as my platelets could plummet, requiring more shots, and a possible hold on the next chemo treatment. As the doctor was telling me this, I was saying to myself, but you don't know my God.....I believe He will protect those cells and that any dips will be minor.

I will be taking anti-nausea drugs prophylactically starting in the morning, so I am hoping that will keep me eating for the next few days! I actually would welcome the side effect of fatigue. I had to take powerful steroids yesterday, today and tomorrow, and they do not let you sleep! I got only 3 hours last night and a 50-minute nap this afternoon. It is likely that the next 2 nights will be sleep-free as well. This is to be expected on this drug. By Thursday I hope I can crash. I think tonight I will just stay up til 4 and read rather than toss and turn in bed:)

Your prayers were feathers on my back today. Thank you so much for praying. The day went so much better than I ever thought it would. God is so good.

Psalm 107:19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth His word and HEALED them, and rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love.

Sunday, October 3, 2010



I had to show you my "ruby slippers" sent by my niece Annie, who tells me that I need 3 things to navigate through cancer treatment: the mind of the Scarecrow, the heart of the Tin Man, the courage of the Lion, and my ruby remind me that I, like Dorothy, have had the power inside of me all along to travel this winding yellow brick road of chemotherapy and find my way home to health. (Plus, I have GOD, and Dorothy didn't!!) 

Yesterday morning I felt anxious because I was feeling some discomfort on my left chest wall. Immediately my mind went to its worry center and I started wondering if the tumor had grown and I was now feeling it. It has, after all, been 8 long weeks of diagnosis and testing (which should have been only about 3 if the biopsies had produced enough tissue in the first place). Within minutes, the phone rang and it was my doctor. She had just stopped by her office on Saturday morning and saw my test results and thought I might want to know that the tumor was unchanged. It has NOT grown. Major relief!!

S came home for an overnight. We love it that he is close enough to do this. He will be home for almost 4 days for his fall break, and we can't wait. Had a wonderful visit from friends Larry and Cindy to end the weekend.

So....Tuesday is C-Day! Am I apprehensive? Yep. I am. The ol' fear-of-the-unknown creeps in. I will be so glad to get this first round of chemo out of the way so I will know exactly what to expect in further treatments (once every 3 weeks). D will be there with me, which means so much. My sister-in-law, my sister in heart, my sister Margie is coming from Fargo on Wednesday to be here with me for a couple days after round 1. She is caregiver extraordinaire with a compassionate heart beyond measure and she is one of my major anti-cancer prayer warriors. I am blessed that she wants to be here!

My prayer requests are pretty much down to the cellular level tonight.

1) That God would protect my healthy cells as the chemo flows through my veins, and that the chemo would only target the cancer cells, keeping my immune system in check.

2) That my white blood cell count would remain stable so that infection doesn't set in (to my wonderful church family: I won't be shaking any hands in church for a while to keep germs at bay)!

3) That I would have few side effects, and that any would be manageable with meds.

4) That I would gain back the 4 pounds I have lost due to stress, and that my appetite would increase. I need calories right now, but I have always had a super active metabolism and weight gain is tough. 

5) Please pray also that God might use me in the infusion center to give a word of hope or encouragement to someone who needs one.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for praying!

I feel so bathed in God's mercy and grace and peace tonight. I am so thankful that He has brought me to this place from the agonizing pool of grief and sorrow and hopelessness that I felt 8 weeks ago. I feel His love sustaining me on an hourly basis. And I continue to thank Him for the healing I believe He will do/is already doing in my body.

Psalm 119:49   Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me HOPE. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your PROMISE preserves my LIFE!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Before D and I went to sleep last night, we held hands and prayed for more wedding anniversaries to celebrate. For 27 years, we have traversed that universal marital highway called FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE. With all the trials that life has thrown at us, we have faced them together and stood strong. And now, as the highway has veered off onto IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, we continue to travel step-in-step, our cadence measured by faith, determination and trust in God and each other. After 27 years, you understand full well that it is not what challenges you face that make or break marriages, but who you have chosen to face them with. I chose the best.

I love you past the moon, Babe. Our 28th will be even sweeter.