Thursday, March 31, 2011


Had a fun night with 3 of my "inner circle" .....precious women who have been there for me since day 1 of my diagnosis, and have helped carry me this far with their love and encouragement and faith. I love them all. These are friends for the long haul and I could not be more blessed (and they are a ton of fun besides).








Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The Lord made another passage in the New testament jump out at me today. I was reading the 6th chapter of John. You all know the story. Jesus is sitting on the mountainside with his disciples as a great crowd of five thousand is gathering to hear Him. He looks at Philip and says, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”

Jesus asks the quintessential rhetorical question here. Verse 6 tells us He asks this only to test Philip. Jesus knew exactly what he was going to do to provide food. 

Philip, taking the words of his Master literally, answered with sincerity, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Andrew, Peter’s brother, also concerned about “the problem” that they think Jesus has, then speaks up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will THEY go among so many?”

Can’t you just picture the disciples? A large crowd…..I mean LARGE. The feeding of which is humanly impossible. No catering services here. No food markets on the hillside. I imagine the disciples are getting antsy and a bit frantic. Especially since they think Jesus is asking THEM for advice! Their Lord and Master, miracle worker, is not knowing what to do?? To the twelve disciples, it feels like a no-win scenario filled with angst. But then Jesus steps up, blesses the fish and bread and it multiplies before everyone's eyes, enough to feed the entire crowd (with leftovers to boot).

In studying this story, God encouraged me with the reason why Jesus asked Philip such an irrelevant question. Jesus was making a point. He wanted Philip and all the other disciples to acknowledge the fact that there was no human solution to this problem. It was the epitome of hopelessness. Jesus did it that way so God would get all the glory for the miraculous provision that was going to happen.

Not only did the disciples witness the miracle, but verse 14 tells us about the crowd’s reaction, “After the people saw the miraculous signs that Jesus did, they began to say, ‘Surely this is the prophet who is to come into the world.’”

Mission accomplished? Absolutely. 

According to medical science, stage 4 lung cancer is a pretty hopeless fix to be in. But I serve a God of miracles, a God who delights in impossiblities, a God who doesn’t want us to look to anyone or anything except His power and might for a solution.

And I do. Without wavering.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I had to put these two pics on my blog just for one person in baby brother, who loves blood and gore and stuff like this. Ever the antagonistic big sister, I hope his stomach lurches a whole heap when he sees this. (C, I finally got my payback for the time you cut your head when I chased you through the front door... you savage)

Taking a pic of one's own head from behind is near impossible!!!


My friend Amanda sent me a bundle of the ACS daffodils the day before we left for Florida. I felt so bad that I would not be able to enjoy them, but my friend Angie told me to put them in water and stick them in the frig for the 8 days we were gone. Lo and behold, when we got home, they were still budded! Took them out and within 3 hours, they were in full bloom and lasted 6 days!! A note of spring in an otherwise wintery-feeling week.

My head is healing. No more pain, just soreness and tenderness. They will keep the staples in until next Monday because of the skin flap they had to deal with. My burn is healing and my pulled scapula is 100% better. Chemo effects from last week are all gone. Things are looking up.

Dick did not think he would have any access to internet on his trip since they have sparse and inconsistent electricity, but somewhere they found an “ancient and slow” computer and he was able to let me know that after a stressful travel-gone-wrong 22-hour ordeal, they made it to their destination. I hope whatever access he has to this computer, he can continue to use it periodically to update us since cell phones don’t work in the DR. I miss him, but am thrilled he has this opportunity to experience a different culture for 2 weeks. I am staying busy with carpenters in and out and doing some deep spring cleaning in the bedrooms and den…..too many cobwebs in corners, too many piles of “stuff” sitting around.

I had a gift certificate for a massage and I went today to use it. A full hour. Felt like I melted into the table. If I ever won the lottery, my splurge would be to hire a full-time massage therapist to come over every single day and give Dick and me massages. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket someday. Who knows.....

Friday, March 25, 2011


Most of us who read to our children remember the Judith Viorst classic, “Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Such as been my 24 hours.

My week post-chemo has been lousy. It’s not that I have been overly brain-fogged, or overly nauseated, or overly fatigued, but just enough of a combo of each of those has made me feel lousy. And then the past 24 hours….

I pulled a muscle (scapula) and it was quite painful. Decided to lay on a heating pad for the pain and the sustained pressure and heat on the scapula caused a burn on my back the size of a silver dollar….a painful burn, I might add…..located right on the spot where I had pulled the muscle. Not 12 hours later I fainted in the hall in the middle of the night and bashed my head into the edge of the heat register as I crumpled to the floor, my husband finding a 6 inch pool of blood within seconds of him rushing to me.

I now have 8 staples in the gash and am on antibiotics to prevent infection (apparently there was a little skin flap out that had to be put back and they wanted to be proactive).

My husband is on a lengthy work-related trip; my NCAA brackets have been blown out of town tonight, my head is unbelievably sore, my hair is full of crusty blood, and my suntan is rapidly fading.

Perhaps you just pay for an awesome Florida vacation on the backside.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


My sweet friend Nicole is one of the people in our inner- inner circle who is standing with us in complete faith that I will be healed, and like us, she is thanking God in advance for the victory. Last week she sent me this wonderful devotion she had just read. It aligns completely with our knowledge of God's promises. I thought I would share it with you all here. There is a gem of a message here for anyone who needs to believe that God's promises in His Word need to be trusted!

“The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, ‘Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!’”
Joshua 6:16 (NIV) 

Whenever I share my marriage story, I share the moment that I knew that God was calling me to hang in there when I wanted to give up. I was reading the story of the battle of Jericho in Joshua 6 and today’s verse jumped out at me. More importantly, one particular word jumped out at me: given. Past tense. It was already done even if from where the Israelites were standing it didn’t look done.

God was telling them, “Hey I’ve done this thing. You’ve just got to be willing to do something that sounds a little crazy to take hold of it. March around the city for seven days.” I know the people who were watching from the high walls of Jericho thought they looked crazy marching around the city over and over in circles.

Anyone who’s ever heard the old song about it knows that they did what He asked and received a great victory in return. Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down. But that’s not the only time that one of God’s people counted on something being given to them before it looked like it had been accomplished. In Judges 7 Gideon has snuck into the enemy camp and heard the soldiers there talking about a dream one of them had about their impending defeat.

Even though the odds looked stacked against them for a victorious battle, God was working behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes, in ways the Israelites could not have foreseen. Judges 7:15 says, “When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, ‘Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands.’” Again the word “given” is used. Gideon was counting on a victory that hadn’t happened yet, and was moving forward in confidence.

I think Gideon’s response here is key. He immediately worshiped God as sure as if the victory had already taken place. He trusted God completely even though the circumstances weren’t certain. After he worshiped God, he took action. He operated according to God’s faithfulness, not his own perspective.

What has God given you that you need to take hold of—even if it doesn’t look like it from where you’re standing? Freedom in finances? A healed relationship? A better marriage? A job in an unstable market? A dream He’s whispered to your heart? Can you move forward in worship and trust, counting on the fact that it has been given to you already? Focusing on what lies ahead and not what’s happening now? Given. It’s already happened. Are you living like it has ?    

 Here is what Nicole sent me a couple days after she sent the devotion that so deeply touched Dick and me:  

You are doing everything medically and spiritually necessary to allow God to work His miracle in you, I can't wait for the day of celebration when He reveals His healing in you!! THAT is what my focus is in my prayers...visualizing you and your family hearing those results.  Visualizing the doctors' faces, perplexed and amazed, as they give you the miraculous results.  The shouts of joy!  The phone calls!  The exhilarating news spreading from your mouth and fingers to the ears and eyes of all those that love you and prayed for the day to come!  I see that day in my mind and have complete faith in that day!  

We do too, Cole. We do too!!

Chemo went well yesterday. The biggest praise is that the lab tech got my vein on the first try AND my infusion nurse (my favorite one!) got the catheter in my arm on the first try too!! My last steroid dose is tonight so now maybe I can get a few more hours of sleep. Thanks for the prayers for yesterday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Last summer, I spent some time looking for condos in Florida for spring break. I had lined up a real nice unit on Siesta Key and was looking forward to our annual spring break week as a family. When my cancer diagnosis leveled my family, all plans for spring break were cancelled. I thought for sure we would be planning my funeral by this March. But by Christmas, once I knew that the chemotherapy was not ravaging my body, and felt sure that I would still be alive by March, we decided to start planning once again, and were lucky enough at that later date to find a unit in our time-share’s building for the week that Sam had off. God is so good. This past week we have been vacationing in Florida!!

Nope, we were not planning my funeral last week. We were soaking up rays, walking the Gulf beach, swimming, playing pool and shuffleboard and tennis (mind you, I was the designated ballboy for the guys’ heated matches, scrambling around the courts picking up stray balls and only played 3 tennis games and that only because my son, who knew I got a C in college in tennis, indulged me, let me serve from the cheater’s line and intentionally withheld his hardest volleys so that I could lose the 3 games with some dignity intact.....but, I digress). We had an amazing 7 days of 75-80 degree weather and sun, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the memories.

 I've always loved the orange glow from the sun setting
over the Gulf....we got the timing just right on this shot....

If you would like to read a 19-year-old’s humorous perspective on our choice of Florida venue, read the first few paragraphs of my son’s blog dated March 19, “March Madness in Person." Just click on the link here. The blog post is about the NCAA Round 1 games Dick and Sam went to see in Tampa on Thursday night, but he starts out with some reflections about our family vacation. It is all true, but we love it all the same!!

 March Madness/Tampa

Chemotherapy resumes tomorrow. My only prayer request would be that the side effects would be as minimal as they were last round. I will be sitting in the infusion room thinking about our Florida memories. Nothing better than going to your “happy place” when the poisons are swirling within! Thanks so much for your prayers.