"It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes." Psalm 119:71

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Comfort from Others

Laura Shook's current blog called "Overload" explains how I've been feeling lately. She says her doctor said it was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hmmm...


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I had a dream last night. Kind of hard to explain. Put your "dreamcaps" on and suspend reality for a moment.

I was in a giiiiiiant room (so big I could only see one wall of it) that was holding an entire ocean and beach. I was with a lot of acquaintances, but no one I would consider in my "inner circle" of friends or family. The tides were pushing us along and everyone was in a hurry to get to the sandy beach, which was still miles ahead. I was holding to the wall, saying, "What's your hurry? Enjoy the ride!"
Now, it doesn't take any kind of psychiatrist to read into that dream, does it?

I don't like to say that cancer changed me. Because there are plenty of people who go through cancer and come out the other end pretty much the same, only balder. I like to think that God changed me. That I gave him control over all aspects of the cancer instead of being stubborn and clinging to my own sense of control.

I recently read a book called, The Middle Place, about a woman very near my age, my family-type, and my diagnosis. She remained firmly in charge during her breast cancer. And, so, she didn't ride the waves willingly, wondering what she could learn. In fact, at one point in the book she says to her husband, "Do you pray for me?" and he says 'no.' She says, "Yea, me neither."

If you can't find God when you're staring down the barrel of a gun, when can you find Him? God, I pray for our stubborn, self-absorbed society!

Thankfully, God helped me turn to Him again and again, rather than depending on myself. I don't know why I'm different. I'm just as stubborn and self-absorbed as Betty and Bob. I don't know anyone who can put themselves aside without seeking hard after God and asking over and over for your desires to look more like God's. You've heard me say it before, and I prayed it a lot. "God, I want to want what you want."
I don't know of any other way to stop being blinded by the world than to just ask God to show you-- even when it hurts. I learned a lot. And, yes, changed a lot. It was such a drastic change that I sometimes forget not everyone will immediately be on board with my new way of thinking!

I've got a "here and now" attitude. As in, I won't worry about tomorrow. God will take care of that. I'll, instead be concerned about those who are hurting today, those who need help today, those who can find joy today.

Matthew 6...

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ten Years

Ten years ago today, Terry reached for my hand during a church service and we made our relationship "official" with a prayer.

We'd been dancing around dating for a few weeks and during a "Great Escape" service in a Baptist church in East Texas we decided to date exclusively.

And thus began the ride of my life!

If you know a college student who'd like to meet a Christian guy or gal to date, or just needs to prioritize God back into their college life, send them to 6&West. The new college night in Northwest Houston. Their website says:

 6&West is a weekly worship experience for college-age students and young adults in Northwest Houston.

- A weekly event where we can join our voices, hearts and minds in worship and fellowship to form, well... the body of Christ.

- A place where students can feel free to invite their non-Christian friends to hear about the faith,hope and love we experience in Christ, and also have a little fun together.

- An event not affiliated with any particular church, but a partnership of Christ-followers from all over our community.

Tuesday nights at 7:00 p.m. on the campus of Copperfield Church.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Without Wavering

I've had mixed emotions since I finished treatment. In many ways I want to put all of this behind me and not think of it anymore at all. I'm so tired of doctors that I haven't even scheduled a consultation with a plastic surgeon yet. Even though getting the reconstruction will do wonders!

The truth is that most of the time I'm really, really ok with everything. But there have been a few hiccups along the way that have been frightening that many of you don't know about. I think I might have mentioned several months ago that I've got a large knot on my ankle. All of my doctors have done a physical exam of it and they all say its a ganglene cyst. And I'm sure it is. But everytime I see it, I think, "tumor."

In November my elbow swelled up and got really hot and red. I called the doctor and they said it sounded like classic symptoms of "lymphedema." So I worried for 24 hours until they could fit me in to be seen. Turns out I had the most unfortunately placed spider bite ever.

And then, the day before Thanksgiving all of those awful feelings came back when my oncologist was checking my mastectomy area and I pointed out a tiny lump I'd felt. I got more anxious by the minute as he took a long time to feel it. All the while, keeping his head turned away from me and saying, "Hmmm." He said it worried him and that I needed a fine needle aspiration of it as soon as possible. It was the day before a holiday so the nursing staff decided to try and be heroic for me and get St Luke's to fit me in to their schedule today. So I couldn't go home. I had to drive around the medical center for an hour while they tried to get me an appointment. In the end they failed. I desperately needed a second opinion. Lucky for me, my radiation oncologist is a Super Hero and I became his last appointment before Turkey Day.

I ended up having the FNA and, thank the Lord, the results came back negative.

Needless to say, it's been hard to forget my struggles and just move on with life. I don't worry about recurrence except for about 30 seconds every night around 9 p.m. The kids are in bed, the world stops rushing, the sun has set. I sit down to watch tv with Terry. I have an "oh yeah" moment where I think, "Yeah, everything felt too good. Things were going too well. I forgot to be worried there for 24 hours."

And then I smile, because I remember that my God told me not to worry. Simple as that. And so I will pray to Him and ask Him to help me with that. I'll ask Him to help me remember the words in Hebrews 10:8:

"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."


Without wavering.

And verses 35 and 36,

"Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise..."

Saturday, January 15, 2011


No, it's not coming in curly.
Yes, I put blonde high-lights in it.
Yes, I feel like a boy.
No, I won't keep it like this. (Egads!)
Yes, I'm happy to have any hair at all!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

28 Things I Learned in My 28th Year


1. That it's really true when people say, "At least I have my health!"

2. That eating organic isn't just trendy. It's the wise thing to do.

3. That nurses and medical staff can make all the difference in a patient's experience. If you're in this profession, I hope you realize how important you are to the whole system. A non-condescending, non-judgemental nurse is a blessing! 

4. That I should never serve coffee at an event if I don't have any creamer. (Hey, not everything I learned is deep or cancer-related!)

5.  Praying for God to "break your heart for the things that breaks His" will be time-consuming and mind-consuimg. It will be painful. But it will be worth it.
6. That my friends love me a whole, whole lot.

7. That being a Christian doesn't mean continually working on yourself. It means continually looking outward and serving others... and letting God do the work in you.

8. That a car ride with loud country music and the windows rolled down is good for the soul!

9. That physical appearance amounts to nothing. And counts for nothing.

10. That when people don't help, it's mostly because they don't know how to help.

11. That even when a person looks fine and seems to feel fine, I shouldn't assume they are fine.

12. That I sholdn't take myself so seriously.

13. That hospital gowns are infinitely ugly.

14. That chemotherapy is a fantastic diet.

15. That almost nothing will make you feel more terrified than when you can't concentrate or think straight.

16. That it's too easy to live in a bubble.

17. That I would be lost without those people in my life who feel comfortable enough to say, "Shape up!"

18. That over-commiting yourself does not equal good service.

19. That to little boys, every toy can be a gun, and every activity will end up in wrestling.

20. That, despite all the good it's doing, Tamoxifen is an evil drug that will make me a sweaty, red-faced woman for the next five years.

21. That maybe it isn't a coincidence that the idea of adopting a child was always rolling around in my head.

22. That it is really, really true that God will provide.

23. That my husband has strength and staying power (thank God!).

24. That my biggest vice is watching The Real Housewives (any and all cities) and it will always make me feel better about myself!

25. That my number one job as a parent is to produce children who love Jesus and pick up their cross daily for him. My focus should be on teaching my kids to plan for Heaven, not a big career or a big house.

26. That a relationship with Christ apart from obedience and Bible reading is empty and unpleasing to God.

27. That whether sick from chemo or sore from surgery, a dirty dish is still a dirty dish and it will always bother me! 

28. That I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phillipians 4:13

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Today I turn 29 and cancer-free.

What a difference a year makes!