Thursday, May 31, 2012


I have a big praise tonight. My PET scan was very encouraging. God has reduced the size of my tumor from 2.5 cm to 1.8 cm, and has reduced the metabolic activity within the tumor from 10 to 6. I am humbly grateful to my Healer, Jehovah-Rapha, who continues His healing process, and I have total faith that I will see the completed work in His time!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I am back home in SD. Spending a week doing medical tests and reconnecting with my man after 2 1/2 weeks apart. I am also battling a terrrific head cold. By God's blessing, I have not been sick for 21 months, and this has kicked me down pretty hard. I am most concerned about my compromised immune system from chemo to fight it off. If you would like to pray, please pray that I could suppress my coughing during the scans so that they do not have to re-do them! I'm sure coughing doesn't do lung cancer any good.

I had a wonderful 4 days with my best friend Susan from Athens, Georgia. She came up to the lake. We had a great time relaxing and well, just being and doing what best friends do.

Sam moved to Minneapolis on Sunday. Starts his internship on Friday. Like any parent, I am praying for his safety driving in the big city, for a job to support himself doing the unpaid internship, and that no hindrances would pop up to him reaching this goal. He is so excited about jump-starting his future career by making all these contacts. I can't wait to watch over the next several years as he goes after those career dreams, and see what God has for him. This mom is pretty sure he will reach them.

My head is too congested and pressured to write any more. I will fill you all in on the backside.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


With the results of my next PET scan 2 weeks away, I have been forming a resolve that no matter how much cancer activity they report I have, I won’t grumble or be swayed in my faith that God is healing me. Each time I have received disappointing news, I have felt vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. How the enemy loves to crush spirits. I have told God I didn’t like His timing. I have entertained doubt and was a good hostess for a couple days.
This time, they can tell me my cancer has doubled in activity. But I am determined not to give testimony to my senses. What I see and hear has no bearing on faith. I will give testimony only to what God’s promises have told me. If faith is the evidence of what is unseen, then what I see on those radiology reports that does not jive with the Healer’s promises is irrelevant.
It is not surprising that God has drawn me into the fourteenth chapter of Numbers this week. God told Moses to send out spies to check out “the promised land.” Moses instructs them to analyze the soil, the crops, the inhabitants and the cities. Good general info to have when relocating.
The explorers returned to report their findings to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community. They brought back samples of fruit and then proceeded to grumble about the land they traversed. “Sure, the land is flowing with milk and honey, but the people are powerful and the cities are large and fortified.”
Caleb, one of those sent, tried to intervene, claiming the Israelites CAN and SHOULD go take possession of the land for he knew God would support them. But his fellow spies continued to rip up God’s promise and no doubt were rolling their eyes at Caleb. They had seen what they had seen, for goodness sake.
The spies incited the community to come down hard on Moses. A major pity and grumble party ensues…..”If only we had just died in Egypt” was the lament. Bring out the violins.
They forgot about The Promise. They doubted God when the news was not what they wanted to hear. They bore testimony to what they SAW with their senses. God’s word was forgotten.
Joshua, also one of the explorers, pleads again with his people that God will do the leading, that they should not rebel against the Lord, that they need not fear the people living in their promised land because the Israelites, with God’s protection, “will swallow them up.” I’m sure the mass of listeners, in light of the report they just heard about walled cities and giant-size residents, thought Caleb and Joshua were both in denial.
Joshua’s words fell on fearful, deaf ears. God’s promise was trampled by His chosen people who feared what they saw instead of believing what He had told them.
God had heard enough. Their lack of faith would not go unpunished. “Not one of you will enter the land I swore to make your home except Caleb and Joshua. As for your children, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. But they will be shepherds here for 40 years, suffering for your unfaithfulness.”
Devastating news for a people who once “had it all.” God’s love, protection and promise were all theirs. They squandered it with doubt. They chose to trust what they saw and heard instead. The cost was God’s blessing.
The Lord got my full attention in Numbers 14. If my PET news is not what I want to hear, I do not want to be a doubting Israelite. I want to be a Caleb. I want to be a Joshua. I want to pursue the healing promises I have found in Scripture and believe to be God’s truth. I want to move forward in faith, despite what any radiologist can tell and show me.
After 21 months of dancing with incurable stage 4 cancer and standing on God’s word for healing, I know one thing to be true. Radical, unwavering faith is many things, but at the very least it will look to others like complete denial.

Monday, May 14, 2012


To all my friends and family that I email frequently, I am quite out of the gmail loop right now. Our dial-up interent, which we thought was terrible last year, is almost painful this year, and even if I can get gmail on the screen after 10-15 minutes of waiting, I often cannot even get into the inbox. I am giving up. SO.....I will be reading and answering emails only once a week when I go into town to the library. It is difficult to not be able to get my mail and my facebook messages and read my friends' blogs, but it is what it is, and that is the price of living in the middle of nowhere. Just wanted you to know I am not ignoring any email from any of you!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I am grateful beyond words for the experience of being a mom. I am grateful to God for the gift of our one child. I am grateful to Sam for being the kind of kid that makes motherhood such a joy. And I am grateful to my amazing mom who continues to fill my life with love and compassion and understanding. She is beautiful inside and out, and I have been blessed to have been raised by a mom that I could emulate. I am at the lake with my two guys.....could not ask for a better Mom's Day! Happy Mother's Day to all my mom friends!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


My visit with the oncological orthopedist went very well today. I do need an MRI on that R hip on June 1 to confirm some things and to look closer at the blood supply to the hip and at the labrum (cartilage around the edge of the hip socket). However, from strictly a bone point of view via x-ray, they saw no necrosis and no osteoarthritis in either hip. Praise God for that initial assessment! Dr. R pretty much said that yes, it is the radiation that is responsible for the pain and throbbing and stiffness, exacerbated by the side effects of chemo. I will have to live with the collateral damage from the radiation, and this is it. There was good news about my hip tumor. While most cancer patients with mets to the bone find that the cancer eats away at the bone and makes it brittle and porous (resulting in spontaneous breaks), my tumor has sclerosed (has healed hard and dense). This is another big praise. So, unless the MRI shows some new concerns, the thoughts from today were promising. I am grateful beyond words for all of your prayers. I had a lot of apprehension about today and was bracing to hear "hip replacement." Hearing "you need an MRI" was a relief, and we are now trusting God that those results will be good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


My sweet friend Angie, knowing my apprehension about the appointment tomorrow, 
sent me this:

She also sent me a quote that just smacks of truth: When you go through difficulty and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during a test.

Love you, Ang. I am saying both of these things out loud as I do housework today!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Family Welcomes Home #1 Son

Sam is home. Family life back in the ol' swing of things. I have to smile at how well he and I know each other. In church this morning (where Sam had his old gig back as drummer in the praise band for one week), they showed a video clip of a German missionary talking. Subtitles were underneath. I turned my head toward Sam, cupped my mouth as I started toward his ear to whisper something to him, and he turns to me and whispers "no" in answer to the question I never even had to ask. We started to laugh because we each knew that the other knew exactly what had not been said. And after church, when I asked him to verify my unspoken question, he said it, verbatim. Must be another only-child thing!!!

We will open up the cabin this weekend. Water system on, dock and boat in, and plant 1000 seedling pines around our acreage. With the pain in my leg so bad, I don't know how much help I will be with the planting. I have apprehension about the doc appt on Wednesday for my leg. I am not sure what I want to hear, but it is akin to waiting for PET scan results. You need to brace for news you don't want and try to keep faith in healing. As Sam reminded me today, I need to remember that whatever the results, they are man's words, not God's words. Whose do I trust more? Sam is right. And I will be relieved to know the truth either way.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


A special member of our family is celebrating a birthday this week. Her name is Pearl and she just turned 16. Pearl has been with us since before we moved to Vermillion. We adopted her as a newborn in Duluth back in ‘96. She came as slightly damaged goods. Some prankster filled her gas tank with gravel while she was still on the car lot, and even after the repair, Pearl was never the gal she should have been. She has never had any acceleration power for passing others. We loved her anyway.

She toted Sam with his juice packs and pre-school friends back in 1996. She was both wheels and motel (they were too poor for Super 8) for him and his 3 buddies on a 2010 road trip through the Great Lakes and Chicago. In between, she has been a loyal provider for 16 years. She has heard our arguments, kept our secrets, absorbed our laughter and tears, and eavesdropped on some major discussions. She knows the gravel road to the cabin without being steered, and she has put up with hoards of dirty trash in her back end for dump runs. She’s been a faithful gem, and given us little to complain about except for two A/C overhauls.

She has a squeak now, though old ladies can have those. Cosmet-ically, she has aged pretty well. She sports just a few age spots as you can see. 

Her one and only mishap occurred at the hands of the only 14-year-old who was allowed behind her steering wheel. I dare say that Pearl probably forgave him before we did. I think she trusted her young charge, and we trusted her with him. If our new young driver needed wheels, he got Pearl, so they are a tad bonded. I think Sam is grateful he never gave Pearl any more trauma than the infamous freshman light pole dent.

The freshman dent.

She has held us all in her safety net for 16 years, and we appreciate every week we still have with her. In honor of her birthday, Pearl hit a milestone; her 175,000 miles a sign of her tenacity and grit. Though her younger garage mate, Rosie, has only lived 125,000 miles, she doesn’t hold the place in our hearts that our Pearl does.

Happy birthday, ol’ gal!!