Sunday, September 27, 2009

Focus Off of Me and On HIM!

Yesterday was Operation Serve. This is one day of the year that people from our church volunteer their time and go out to serve our city. We have different projects to choose from so that you can do something that you really do enjoy. Some of the projects this year were: Extreme Home Makeover...Neighborhood Edition (rebuilding and fixing up people's homes for them), a huge yard sale with all proceeds benefitting the Hope Pregnancy Center, Block Party for teens in the New Providence area of Clarksville, Fixing up and stocking Loaves and Fishes with food, fixing up some teacher's lounges at various schools, landscaping group homes, ministering to the elderly at several assisted living facilities, and there were about 20 other projects but I can't remember what they were.

So this year we had 1100 volunteers and we went out to the streets of Clarksville and tried to shine the light of Jesus as we worked. Chloe and I did the "Jump for Jesus" project while David served by making and delivering lunches to all of the volunteers. Jump for Jesus was where we went to Fieldstone Assisted Living and sang for the residents and then did a craft with them. Chloe was wonderful. She showed her big heart yesterday! She just hugged on and loved on the residents there. She was high-fiving them, laughing, all out giggling, singing, playing, etc... She was especially taken with Mr. George and Ms Isabell. At one point Mr. George went downstairs and she noticed he was down there when she looked over the loft. She asked if she could go downstairs and hug Mr. George so I let her do that. She was really concerned about him and why he wasn't upstairs anymore.

It was a fantastic day! And while it is supposed to benefit those who are being served, it never fails to benefit the one serving. I always feel more blessed after having served. Here are a few pictures of Chloe and I enjoying our time at Fieldstone.

Chloe doing a craft with Mr Keith

Love this picture. We've been talking about what it means to serve so today she got to actually put it to practice

Me and my girl at the "pep rally" worship service before everyone went off to their projects

Chloe with Mr George

Chloe with Ms Isabell

Chloe going around giving high-fives to all the men. She did this at least 5 times and they laughed everytime.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Feeling Really Lousy...

I don't know why, but since starting my radiation this past Thursday I have been so emotional. I was expecting this to be no big deal in comparison with all that I have already been through, but I'm not there yet. On Thursday when I went in for my first treatment, the session lasted about an hour. They had to mark me and get all of my measurements just perfect. In the process of doing that, they were calling out numbers, drawing on me with a Sharpie pen, and moving me and the machine all about. Now this is all NORMAL things that HAVE to be done, but I just laid on the table with tears welling up. All I could think about was "is this really my life"? I felt like such an experiment laying there as the slew of numbers were being called out and then my mind went to Chloe and her asking me before I left if radiation was going to make the cancer all better. I think it is so unfair that a 2 year old has the words cancer, chemo, and radiation as part of her vocabulary. We don't hide our conversations from our children because she is smart enough to know something is wrong but maybe that was a wrong decision. We are just doing the best we can with what life has thrown at us.
So anyways, after my session Thursday, I went back Friday with expectations that I would feel better...and I did until that night. For some reason last night I just couldn't stop thinking about the radiation and my fears of what is going to happen to my skin. I was told to expect burning, peeling and oozing because I have no breast on that side so it's directly hitting my chest wall. And the area that is having to be treated is so big! It's from above my collarbone down to about 1/2 way from my belly button, all the way over onto my left flank and up into my armpit. I may even have some issues with swallowing since it is so close to my neck area.
I know I can't let fear consume me. I don't know why I was better able to handle the possible side effects of chemo when I heard them. Maybe it's because I knew what COULD happen already. Or maybe this fear/sadness that I am having has to do with the fact that for a month, I had no treatment, no doctor appointments or anything and started actually feeling normal again and now I am back to being treated every day for 6 weeks. That's probably what it is... I am sure I will get used to this and all will be fine soon. I will take it one day at a time and make sure that I do all of the recommendations to help with the side effects of radiation. That's all I can do and I'll let God handle the rest.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Interesting Question

Yesterday I was interviewed by a journalist for the Clarksville Family Magazine. She is going to be telling my story in the October edition as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Anyways, one question that she asked me struck me so hard. I had to sit and think for a second and then I had to email her and clarify because I didn't think that I articulated it the way I wanted to. She wanted to know if there was only one thing that I could tell Chloe and Brody about this experience when they got old enough to understand, what would that one thing be. WOW!!! Only one...well, my answer to that is that I would want them to know that God is bigger than cancer and any other circumstance that may come into our lives and that we HAVE to trust that He loves us and is working it all out for our good. He never said life would be easy...He just promised He'd be with us!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Stole This...

from Beth Moore's blog, but you see, it was too good NOT to take and share so here it is.

My Dear Sister
God has not overlooked you
He has not ignored you
He hears every petition
And intimately knows
The heart beneath it.
Give Him full access
To all your longings
Pray every single day
To become a person who delights in Him.
When it seems to disappear
Remember to check your JAW
Are you jealous?
Are you angry?
Are you worried?
Roll it all on Jesus
He's strong enough to carry it
Big enough to handle it.
Trust God with all your heart
Now leave this place
And go into the world
And do some GOOD.

The line that strikes me most on this day is the third from the bottom...NOW LEAVE THIS PLACE. That's what I feel like has happened to me. I have left the place of cancer and for the first time since January 12th when I found the lump, I feel NORMAL!!! Like really normal. I don't think about it everyday and to be perfectly honest I don't think about it that much at all. Now I'm sure that will change when I start my daily radiation in 2 weeks, but for now, I've left that place and I am FREE! I'm going to do as Beth says and go into the world and do some GOOD. Anyone want to join in?