Friday, August 21, 2009

The Big Reveal

So I have been completely busy and overwhelmed lately. The last chemo that I took on Monday kicked my booty big time! It hit me harder than any other chemo has as far as fatigue, malaise, and belly pain. HOWEVER...I am done with chemo and the Lord has restored my health from this past week and from the cancer so I'm not complaining at all.
On another note though, I'm ready to let you all in on what God has called me to do through this breast cancer. I, along with my good friend and fellow breast cancer survivor Lynne, have started a "Care Group" for ladies with breast cancer or those who are survivors. We are calling ourselves "SEE Pink." The SEE stands for Serve, Empower, and Educate. We are hoping to make connections with other women in our church to start with, but eventually want to reach the whole community of Clarksville. This is a burden (a good one) that God has placed on my heart and I am honored to be able to do it. My role in this group is to SERVE. I will be in charge of making sure that current cancer patients receive meals on chemo days, transportation to chemo if they need it, cards, care packages, phone calls of encouragement, prayer, hospital visits, grocery shopping, childcare etc... My heart is just set on making sure that these ladies want for NOTHING. Lynne is going to be more in the education role. She has a heart for educating women on early detection, testing, advocating for yourself, etc... She is an excellent, charismatic speaker who will be amazing at this role.
We are kicking off our new Care Group on October 18th and are praying that the Lord will bring people to us. We are advertising in many ways and are planning the day out already. After that initial meeting, we are hoping to get our group members together twice a month. On one of those nights, we will have a guest speaker come and talk about nutrition, exercise, makeup, etc...and then we'll just chat. The other meeting of the month will be a total girls' night out. We'll watch a movie, chat, do pedicures, cook, eat, etc...
We have started a blog and have 3 posts so far. Check it out. The first is just a welcome that goes into detail about us and the next 2 are stories about the Be Strong ring.
We also have an email address that is so if you want to contact us, you can do so at that address.
Please pray God's blessings upon this venture. I know that we have been called by Him for this and that He will take care of the details.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Wanted to Share

I wanted to let everyone know that...


I will post more details and reflections that I have had recently some time in the next few days. Not feeling so well right now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Training Update

So the 1/2 marathon that I am running is just 12 weeks away and I am getting more excited and nervous about it. I know...12 weeks is a good ways off so I need to not get nervous about it now. I don't have a specific goal time that I want to finish it in, my goal is just to FINISH it. The coach I have been working with says that for a first race finishing should be the only goal.
So, I am running 3-4 days/week and am up to 3 mile runs per day (for the most part). Not too bad since I am still getting chemo. I admit that it has been harder these past 2 weeks because my body is taking a beating from the chemo, but that will be over soon enough and I can move on.
And that's about it...hopefully I will be able to move up to 4 milers soon. We'll see. I definitely cannot wait to be able to run outside more consistently so I am praying for cooler weather to come upon us.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Don't Think It Could Be More Clear

If you read the previous blog entry, then you will know I have been praying for confirmation from God about the purpose to which I think He has called me. I've known all along that this breast cancer diagnosis was NOT in vain as the Lord always has a plan and purpose (Jeremiah 29:11), and now I have received my confirmation. Let me share it with you. It is a devotional dated August 7th and I read it a day late (after praying for the confirmation). Actually I wasn't late because God knew it was for me on THAT particular day and what's really cool is that I have been reading other devotionals lately so I hadn't picked this one up in quite a long time. So, on with it...

Often our struggle as Christians is not in deciding whether we should obey Christ but in obeying immediately. We may acknowledge our need to follow Christ and commit ourselves to do what He has told us. yet when God reveals His will to us that is the time to obey. God's revelation of His will is His invitation to respond immediately. Timing our obedience is cruscial. Invitations from God come with a limited opportunity to respond. Some opportunities to serve Him, if not accepted immediately will be lost. occastions to minister to others may pass us by. When God invites us to intercede for someone it may be critical that we stop what we are doing and immediately adjust our lives to what God is doing. Missing oppotunities to serve the Lord can be tragic. When an invitation comes from God the time to respond is NOW.

So the confirmation is there and I have already started pursuing my calling. I'm thrilled about it and will go into more detail later. Pray with me that the details will just all fall into place as I know they will since God is in charge.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Could it Be???

So for the past two mornings at 4 AM the Lord has woken me up for a date with Him. It's been the perfect time both mornings...perfect peace and quiet so I could sit and listen and talk to Him, and a very encouraging time in His Word. But the most exciting part is that I feel like he is FINALLY revealing to me the purpose in my breast cancer. Have I prayed for this? YES! Have I quite honestly begged for Him to reveal this to me? YES. Has there been a long time of waiting? OH YES- since the biopsy came back positive back in January!!! But I never imagined the way that he would reveal His purpose for my life to me. It came in the mail yesterday. A friend of ours sent Chloe a book titled "Mommy Without Hair" and was written as though a 4 year old was telling the story of his mom's cancer and how it affected his family. It was the cutest book and she begged me to read it repeatedly. While reading the book it was seriously like a lightbulb went off and the Lord was telling me that this is what he wanted me to do. No...not write a book although I do LOVE to write. I believe that this blog is a way to fulfill that personal love and hopefully encourage others along the way. Nope there was a particular page in the book that just spoke VOLUMES to me and I think it was the Lord doing the speaking. I don't want to go into too much detail at this time as I am praying for confirmation because the last thing I want to do is jump into something that isn't in His will, but I also don't want to put Him off either. I fully believe though that if this is from the Lord that he will increase my desire even more to do this and provide a way.
During my devotional time this morning, I just looked in my concordance for some verses on PURPOSE. This is what I found. My Bible explains Deuteronomy 1:1-2 like this in the notes "The Israelites spent 40 years on a journey that should have lasted 11 days. It wasn't distance that stood between them and the Promised Land. It was the condition of their hearts. God's purpose went deeper than simply transporting them to a new land. He was preparing them to live in obedience to him once they arrived. What good was the Promised Land if the Israelites were just as wicked as the nations already living there? The journey was a painful but a necessary part of their preparation. Through it God taught the Israelites who He was. He also taught them who they were: people who were fallen, sinful, prone to rebellion and doubt. He gave His people the law to help them understand how to relate to God and to other people. Your spiritual pilgrimage may be lengthy and you may face pain discouragement, and difficulties. But remember that God isn't just trying to keep you alive. He wants to prepare you to live for service and devotion to Him." And then finally in Esther 4:13-14, my notes explain it like this "After the decree for the Jews to be killed was given, Mordecai and Esther could have despaired, decided to only save themselves, or just waited for God's intervention. Instead they saw that God had placed them in their positions for a purpose, so they seized the moment and acted. When it is within our reach to save others, we must do so. In a life-threatening situation, do not withdraw, behave selfishly, wallow in despair, or wait for God to fix everything. Instead ask God for his direction, and ACT! God may have have placed you where you are for such a time as this."
So now the confirmation prayers begin and I 100% believe that God will give that to me sooner rather than later if this is really what he wants me to do. Please pray along with me. This would be a task that I have never done before and I will need to do lots of prep work planning, and research, but I am up for it and know that God will provide EVERYTHING I need.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Asking for Prayers

I am writing this short entry to ask everyone who reads this to please pray for my chemo buddy Kate. She is having a really hard time right now. Her porta-cath through which she gets her chemo is leaking and thus has to be taken out. She's been running a fever for a full week and they are thinking this is the cause. She still has several chemos left so pray that her veins hold out. Also she got word this week that her insurance is rescinding her coverage and thus not paying for anything. This is a HUGE ORDEAL!!! I have seen my bills from Vanderbilt and cannot even fathom having to pay for them. Being a cancer patient costs a lot physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. Please pray that God will allow this situation to be worked out quickly and that the insurance company will be forced to pay. I can't tell you how this has burdened my heart today so I know that the burden is much worse for her and her husband. I'm praying for them and ask that you do the same.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Vacation at Vanderbilt

Well it was hardly a vacation but I can't for the life of me figure out WHY this had to happen so I'm chalking it up to God wanting me to be still and rest hence the title "vacation."
On Friday morning I woke up just feeling really lousy which isn't normal for me on Fridays. Generally I am a ball of energy from the steroids but that day was total opposite. I took some medicine, took the kids to school, and came back home to lay down. By 4:00 that afternoon I was in some serious pain in my stomach and needed to talk to my oncology nurse anyways so I called her about my chemo schedule and just mentioned that my stomach was hurting really bad. After consulting with my oncologist it was decided that I needed to get to the ER right then as it could be gallstones, appendix, or obstruction. So, I secured babysitting. David called his mom to come up ASAP to relieve the babysitter and stay the weekend, and we set off to Nashville. To make a long story short, after lots of bloodwork, a CT scan, 30 hours in the ER, and 10 hours in an actual patient room I was discharged with a diagnosis of NOTHING!!! Yep that's right. There was no found cause for the belly pain but they kept me that long to make sure I didn't have a bowel perforation which can be caused by the chemo I take. I am 100% sure I did pass a kidney stone in the ER though so that could have been some of the pain.
Now, on to the really funny part (and for some this may be TMI but it's my blog so I'm telling it). While in the ER, they gave me tons and tons of laxatives to make me go to the bathroom to be sure I wasn't obstructed. Well the only ER bathroom was NOT private, had no lock on it, and someone had already walked in on me peeing once. I was not about to even THINK about going to do the real business in that type of bathroom. Heck I won't even do that in a stall in a McDonalds. I need the privacy of my own home for that. Anyways, I explained this to the doctor and nurse and told them that I needed to be discharged if that's what they wanted to happen. Shortly after that, the nurse told me that the doctor was admitting me (I was originally observation status) and I had a room. Here's the kicker though. When we get to the unit, which I assumed would be the oncology unit, it was the GERIATRIC floor and I had a ROOMMATE!!! Yes, I was sharing a room with a 90 year old lady. But the nurse assured me that she wouldn't be using the bathroom because she had a broken hip and couldn't move. Well that's great. At this point I just had to laugh to myself and deal with it. At least she couldn't walk in on me I guess. So, the rest of the night was spent sleeping and all was well...until 7 AM when her phone started ringing off the hook. And at 8 AM when her family members started coming in to visit. Poor lady couldn't eat because she was going to surgery and here comes her niece with a big bag of McDonalds eating it right in front of her. Then her nephew comes in and told 3different stories about his previous hospital stays all of which included a story of his roommate dying. I wanted to yell at him "DUDE, I AM OVER HERE!!! SHUT IT! AND FOR THAT MATTER, WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT PATIENTS DYING WHEN YOUR AUNT IS 90 AND UNDERGOING SURGERY SOON AND HER ROOMMATE HAS CANCER?!?!?" Some people just don't think...
Shortly after that, my doctor came around and gave me the all clear to go home. Thus ending my vacation at Vanderbilt. What a trip it was...hopefully one to NOT be repeated ever again.