Monday, January 31, 2011


I have had such a good week. And I can’t tell you how that feels. I worked portions of 3 days last week which I really enjoyed, and then Sam came home for the weekend (always a treat for us), and then today, I worked my first full day since my diagnosis. My friend Lyn, the secretary at one of our elementary schools, was not able to be at work and I got called in to sub for her. I savored 8 hours of NOT THINKING ABOUT CANCER!!!! School secretaries have non-stop action, and I was so tickled to be that consumed by student and parent issues. I can’t thank Lyn enough for needing to be gone!!

I have been self-limiting my 2 jobs because I have wanted to minimize my exposure to germs during the chemo and radiation, and praise God, I have not had as much as a sniffle. But certain jobs have much less risk of kiddie germs, and Lyn’s job is one of them. I said to Dick tonight as we made dinner, “Today reminds me of our old life. I could almost forget the cancer.”

We are awaiting the birth of our newest great-niece or nephew on Wednesday, unless he or she decides to blow off the induction and show up tomorrow, but my niece is already more than a week overdue, so we don’t think the wee one is in any hurry. Every new bundle of joy in the family is such a gift. We all are anxiously waiting the phone call…..

I get my blood draw tomorrow and am counting on it being normal, as all the other CBC’s have been. At least there will be no vein issues. I am sticking with the finger prick!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Dick and I knew early on in this journey that there would be very few people who would be able to believe that standing on God's Word for healing was the only way we could approach this diagnosis. Standing on His Word for healing has made all the difference. We only pray with people who believe in my healing and confess that it is happening based on the hundred or more healing promises we found in the Bible. There have only been a couple of people who have questioned us about this, and we explained ourselves the best we could, but I have continued to believe that there is a better way to explain it. Well, apparently God thought that same thing, and as I started out on my walk the other day, I had a dialogue with Him. No, it was not audible, but could have been. It was so clear the Holy Spirit was giving me more tools to be used in my future. Dick and I firmly believe that there is a healing ministry out there that needs us! I share my conversation with God with you, only in hopes of a light bulb moment for you. The way God has explained this is worth reading.

Mary, do you believe you have eternal life?

Sure I do, Lord..

Why do you think you have it?

Well, because I made the choice to receive you as my Savior thirty years ago. I committed my life to following you and accepting your gift of salvation. I am saved, therefore I have everlasting life after death.

How did you know to do that?

You say in your Word that if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved, and you’ve said that as many as receive him will become children of God. You’ve said that those who accept you as their Savior will have eternal life because of your son’s death.

So you read this in the Word? And you believe it is truth?

Yes, Lord.

So do you ever question that you have eternal life? Keep praying for it?

No, of course not. You’ve said my name is written in the book of life forever.

Oh, so you read my promise for eternal life, and you stand on that and never question that
you have it.

No. Never.

Hmmm. Say, what about love? Do you know how much I love you, daughter?

I know well, Lord.

How do you know?

Well, your Word says that you love us with an everlasting love and that was proven when your son died on the cross. You loved the world so much that you gave Him up as a one-time sacrifice for sinners to assure our eternal life. I will never understand how long, how high, and how deep your love is, but you have promised it to me.

So you just assume I love you and you never fret that I have stopped loving you?

No, never.

You never wake up some mornings and pray, “Oh, Lord, I plead with you today to love me.”


So, you take me at my Word that you are covered in my love and receive it without question.


Hmmm. What about the forgiveness of your sins, Mary?

What about them?

Do you believe I have forgiven you of your past, present and future sins?

Yes, Lord, you have said in your Word that when I became your follower, you washed me white as snow, that my sins are wiped clean. You have promised that if I confess my sins, you are faithful to forgive them. You cast them as far as the east is from the west.

So you see that in my Word, and just simply believe it?

Yes, Lord, I do. Your Word is your will and your will is your promise. I stand a forgiven sinner.

Do you ever doubt that they are forgiven and feel the need to pray to me about re-forgiving you?

No. I believe it was a one-time promise fulfilled.

Hmmm. Interesting.

You are making a point about healing, aren’t you, Lord? It’s brilliant.

Ya think? If my people, who proclaim to be my followers start picking and choosing what they will and will not believe in my Word, then they are sorely missing out on the abundant life. If someone believes in my promise of their salvation and believes in my promise to love them and believes in my promise to forgive their sins, or any of my other promises, why can’t they believe in My promise to heal disease here on earth? It was what my whole ministry was about!

It seems almost ridiculous to think of me praying to you every day for things like salvation or love when it’s a done deal. It is a little absurd! I accept all those things as your promises and receive them and never question that they have all been fulfilled.  


So when people pray and beg to be healed, they are doing exactly that!! They are asking for what has already been promised. It’s almost an insult to you, except that they really just don’t understand! All they need to do is accept that it is already fulfilled. And that in your perfect time, it will happen!!

Bingo again, daughter.

It is all about unwavering faith in your promises, Lord, right? If it is easy to have that kind of faith in all of your other promises in your Word, it should be easy to do it for healing.

It should be. But people don’t EXPECT to be healed. They have such low expectations of my power and my majesty. This is one of the things I want you to share with people. CLAIM WHAT IS YOURS ALREADY. If I’ve said it, it is my will and it will be fulfilled. But their faith must not waver.

That is exactly what people don’t understand, Lord. So many people are praying FOR healing for me, and I am so grateful for those prayers, but they are unable to step over the line of faith and believe that your promises are done deals. Once and done. They are treating your promises as relative, when they are absolutes! I am so grateful for my unwavering faith, thanking you in advance, before scientific “proof,” that my healing is happening, or has already happened.

We'll talk again.

I hope there is someone reading this today that needs to hear these words, for "if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, we know that we have what we asked of Him."   1 John 5:14-15

I have my PET scan on February 10. Future medical decisions all hinge on those results. In the meantime, I am so happy to be back in the land of the living. Going to work this afternoon at school and tomorrow morning at the nursing home. Life is good.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Coming up from the depths today.....I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Have had some serious "thought time" to myself about healing while down in the tunnel. I will share it when I can put thoughts on paper. Thanks for the prayers!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Chemo went well yesterday. I got all 4 drugs at once, and even though the lab tech needed 2 sticks to find a vein, my infusion nurse found a vein on the side of my forearm that worked on the first try. Praise God for that. I barely felt the catheter go in, and it felt great the whole 3 hours. They asked me if I wanted to consider a chest port, but for now, I think I will stick to using my arm and hand veins until such a time as I have no veins left to access due to scar tissue.

I've spent the early morning getting all my errands done, laundry done, groceries bought and car gassed up so I am ready for my days in chemo-fog. I am usually sinking by about 3-4 on Wednesdays (today), and hopefully I will cycle out by Monday. My friend Susan told me to go to the library and get some books on tape and see if my mind can access the listening and comprehending while I'm in the tunnel. I did, and I will try it out. I am a pretty visual person, as opposed to an auditory person, so I don't know if my mind could wrap itself around a book that is being spoken to me. We'll see....

Thank you all for the prayers from yesterday. I so appreciate them. I'll update you all next week.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Tomorrow is my 6th and last chemo treatment in Round 1. I will find out tomorrow how long they wait before scanning my bod and seeing what has happened from the radiation and chemo. I am having all 4 of the drugs at once for this round, so I am hoping I won't have added side effects. Drug #4 alone doesn't give me any side effects, but last time it was combined, I felt much worse in my gut for several weeks.

I would be lying if I said that I don't have any anxiety over the future decisions that must be made.....go to a new drug.....continue on this chemo regime.....try a clinical nothing and is daunting. Brother Mike will walk through it with me and advise me from a medical standpoint, which will be a blessing.

While we continue to believe in God's willingness to heal me, Scripture gives no words about His timing, so I simply don't know what the immediate future holds.

Please pray that the combined regime tomorrow would be tolerated well and that the lining of my gut (which already has probably permanent changes and always feel roiled up) won't be worse. Pray that I can feel a sense of peace about the scan, and not be despairing if it shows no change in the tumors (this more than anything). To get back on the road of despair leaves us unable to function, and we CANNOT go there. Please pray that Jesus would be quick to calm my anxieties as we move from Phase 1 into Phase 2 of this journey.

I realized over Christmas break as I looked at my son sleeping that if someone in my family had to get cancer, I'm glad it was me. Not that I am glad I have it AT ALL. But if it came down to Dick or Sam having the cancer, I know I would be a wounded animal and begging God to trade places with either of them, and trying to bargain with God every which way. It would kill me if it was either of them. So, if it had to be one of us, I am glad it is me.

I thank you in advance for your prayers for this tenuous next few weeks and I will update as I know about timing of everything.

And if you have some spare prayer time left, please pray for my niece Gretchen, who is ever-so-ready to be done with pregnancy and needs this birth to happen ASAP. She reached the end of her patiently-waiting status a couple of weeks ago, and is doing everything she can to promote labor. So send up some prayers for water to break, contractions to start, and a non-complicated birth to happen NOW!!! Thanks!!


I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction, and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy, but have set my feet in a spacious place. Psalm 31:7-8

Friday, January 14, 2011


Gretchen Elizabeth, I suppose that motivating another person to do what they need to do is one of the hallmarks of a good lawyer-counselor. And so, with your caustic (but loving) remarks about my out-of-date thrift store jeans and complete lack of 2011 jean fashion, I present you with the following proof that I heeded your advice. Skinny tight AND "distressed"......are you happy now?

You have exactly a week to push that baby out of you. Don't make us wait any longer!!

Love you to the moon and back,
Auntie Em

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


My blood work was good again. They stuck me once and the vein collapsed on them, so the tech asked me why I wasn't getting my CBC done with a finger prick. She said all they really needed was about a teaspoon or so of blood. Since they always have taken a whole vial, I assumed they needed that much. I gladly told her to go ahead with that, and they got what they needed. It took a bit more time but I have plenty of that.

I had a really tough night last night. I felt as though all my faith was siphoned out of my heart and soul and lungs. I cried for the life I used to have. I cried for the life I now need to live in the land of cancer. I cried about the possibility that God will not heal me from this. I cried because I yearn to think about the mundane and now my thoughts are all about the serious. I cried because I have caused heartache to my family. I cried because you simply never hear of miracle healings. I cried for the days I lose every month lost in a haze of chemo.

Bless my precious husband for always being there for me and holding me and letting me wallow only so long before he reminds me that we do not give up our commitment to stand on God's Word about healing. He has been so strong in his faith in the Word. The Word is true and God is true to His Word. Either the Bible is all true or it is all a big lie. You can only view it one way. I know it is truth.

Today when I woke up, I realized that I have only one choice. I either believe in my dying within a year's time, or I believe in my healing, and spending the rest of my life testifying to the Lord's awesome power as Healer. The former does not allow me to put one foot in front of the dips me into despair and sorrow. I must hang on to the choice to live, the choice to stand on God's Word about healing.

I know He doesn't judge my temporary wavering. Jesus spent time as a human and knows emotions. I just need to get back and gird myself up again. My Wednesday prayer partners will be here today and it couldn't be a better day to have them cover me with prayer.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Hi blogger friends,

I have been remiss in my updates, but there really haven't been any to write about. Our son just left to go back to college on BAD roads (and tomorrow looks no better). I will be anxious for the next 2-3 hours until he is there. Hard to say goodbye this time. After being home for almost 4 weeks, the goodbye was more of a little rip in the heart! We had such an awesome time over the holiday.

Dan M., a 5th grade teacher, asked me to come and speak tomorrow to his 5th graders about being good visitors with older people. Dan does the greatest thing......he pairs up his kids with people from the nursing home and he takes them every week for a semester of interaction. They talk and play games and the kids take home a wealth of life lessons from these visits. Every year I do a short little stint about understanding the aging process. I am SO happy to be doing this again. It has nothing to do with CANCER!!!!!!  :) Dan's invitation was an answer to I am just sick and tired of ME and health issues. Ugh.

I will be getting my blood levels drawn tomorrow. Please pray that once again, my counts are in the normal range and we can proceed as planned with my treatment #6 next week. I try not to think ahead to all the decisions that need to be made after the last treatment in Round 1. Much will depend upon what the tumors are doing at this point. When I get ahead of myself, satan attacks my thoughts big-time and pulls me down. I have to take one step at a time and keep faithfully believing in my healing. Last night, Dick and I read my Sunday's healing Scriptures out loud felt powerful. I continue to take God at His Word in regard to His delight in healing His children, and I choose to believe He is doing it.

Jesus said, Thus far you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


The chemo-fog is behind me for this round. Thankfully, once again, I was able to watch some mindless TV which really passes the time when you can't read or write or converse. You know, there is an upside to the 5-day foggy tunnel. Since I do not see or talk to anyone, nobody can ask me, "HOW ARE YOU?"

Don't get me wrong. I am blessed to have so many people caring about me these days. But I am a shy person by nature and do NOT like being the center of any attention. I don't consider myself self-absorbed and though I fail at times, I have always tried to live an other-centered life. I like to blend into the walls for the most part. So, you have no idea how sick I am of ME. Of my condition, of my tests, my chemo-schedule, my side effects, my feelings, my concerns. And all of that comes up when people ask you how you are. I do my best to shrug off the question with a "Fine, thanks." But the question is always about me and I am just plain sick of me, and tired of being thought of as a "sick person" by people who know me.

I love being at home where my husband and son NEVER ask me that. It is, instead, I'm out of T-shirts....will you do some laundry today...........Mom, give me a foot's warm enough to take a bucket outside and wash the car, so can you do that?.........that's not exactly my favorite dinner food.........could you please sew up this seam?....... stop hogging the computer......

I don't feel sick at home, and I love that. My little brother still calls me names and tells me what to do (Mom needs to discipline him), my older brother calls to tell me he's sitting on a lake fishing and about his new retirement activities; my friend Jill always meets me for our walks with a "You won't believe what happened to me today," or "Well, what have you been doing today?"; and my best friend Susan continues to call and tell me her precious old-people anecdotes (she is the director of a senior center) and pours out her heart about her own struggles. Susan still sees me as her best friend who will give her my 2-cents worth of feedback and empathy, not as her sick best friend who needs or wants to talk cancer. I love it when people do not hone in on ME. Oh, I am so tired of me-ness. It has been 5 too-long months of it. 

All of that was to say that the time alone inside of myself in my chemo-fog really does my sense of self-worth a lot of good. I feel healthy because nobody is directing me back to thinking about myself as a fragile person with a "condition."

I will never be offended when people ask me that because I know the concern behind the common question. I never want my friends to be self-conscious about that. But I will really love it if you ask me what I have been up to the past week (where I can decide whether to tell you if I've been cleaning out my pig-sty storage room downstairs or reading a great novel, or if I am having chemo side-effects). Or if you tell me my jeans make my butt look too big. Or if you mention that it's time to go back to my old hairstyle.

Where did THAT soapbox come from? Oh, well, just puttin' honest feelings out there, not to offend anyone, but just sayin'.......

I have one week left of my sweet son's vacation to has been SUCH a great time with him home. Off to trek my 2 miles right now.....