Lots of Updates

There are so many updates to share that I might not get to anything juicy today. I’m having a hard time getting my act together this fall. I took on too much so am always either overly busy, or so overwhelmed that I shut down.

I just got back from Jacksonville, where the latest FABA conference was held. That is the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis, and I haven’t been there in two years. I used to work for the company and have very few fond memories from it, meaning that I was losing sleep about going. In many ways it was as bad as I expected–it was the first time I’d seen all these people since before my diagnosis, so some people were weird to me and others didn’t recognize me. As a result of that and several other variables, I feel much more socially awkward than before. I noticed I had virtually nothing to say to people, so sometimes even avoided conversations rather than risking sounding stupid. My hair has grown in nicely but is currently at an awkward length, so tons of people who didn’t know about the cancer stuff talked about it. They said they liked it, but I am repulsive so doubt they meant it. Those talks generally turned into an awkward cancer conversation. I tried to avoid it, but people would keep asking why or when I cut it, so I had to say something. It gave me a great chance to tell people about how I was miraculously healed, but..I wasn’t really in the mood. I just wanted things to be normal again. I don’t actually want to be the one sitting around the coffee station telling them how I’m supposed to die soon. They just wanted to get a packet of Splenda and make small talk. They didn’t want the girl with bad hair to remind them of how mortal they are.

The highlights of the conference were when people (some were barely acquaintanes) pulled me aside to say how moved they were by my story. Some said they grew closer to God through it and, as I’ve mentioned many times, that makes it totally worth it. So, I need to focus on that.

There are other bits of recent good news, too. I saw Dr. Rassam before I left town and he said he’s not going by the book with me anymore, because I’m atypical. So, he’s sparing me the radiation that goes into regular PET/CT scans and instead will just get me tested if I have symptoms. He took my blood and all my markers were negative again.

I was interviewed for the Tallahassee Democrat (our local newspaper) last week. They are focusing on breast cancer stories throughout October, which is BC Awareness month. I did a written interview, then the reporter took a video of me sharing the story to be posted online. Wouldn’t you know–I royally messed up the video report. I misspoke and had weird, nervous inflections. So, I went home and prayed about it. Then a week later the guy emailed a big apology–the video somehow was messed up so he needed to reshoot it!!!! Coincidence? “Sure”. The second time went a lot better and I’m excited about it, because most of the stories will not have the same message of hope that mine does.

I do have to report some bad news, too. Both of the people I requested prayer for reccently, Angela Faddis, and Steve Kalogeras, have passed away. Those are the first unanswered prayers out of all the ones I’ve posted. Steve died almost 2 weeks ago and the funeral was last week. Angela survived a few weeks longer than expected but died yesterday of colon cancer. She was my age. Her husband had quit his job to take care of her. They set up an in-home hospice and her little children were with her until the end. I am so saddened by this. She loved the Lord and is with Him for eternity, but I know she didn’t want to die. Not at the first anyway. I imagine that by the end you kind of want to put the rest of the family out of their misery. That’s the worst part of the hospice stuff, to me.

I’m still wrestling with this issue of whether everyone can be healed on earth. I can’t get past it, because it changes the whole perspective. Most say no, but some of those who think it so are those who then are healed. My take home message from being healed is that God healed me because a) we all asked and b) I (with at least a few others) believed that He would answer. That His word is literal and true. His word says to pray and believe it will be done and it WILL be. Literally, it will be done. For me, it was done. For Angela, it was not done, and I have a hard time with it. I won’t presume that it’s because she and her family didn’t believe she would be healed, because that’s almost like blaming them for her death. I guess it goes back (again) to that stuff I keep mentioning about God putting desires in your heart, and that’s how you pray. But if that such an important thing, why is it barely mentioned in the Bible? It says TONS of time to pray and believe. It barely says that God gives you the desires of your heart, and that could sort of be interpreted differently.

I guess that is it. Enough sad and confusing issues for one day. This year at BSF we’re studying Genesis so I’ll probably bring in points relative to that. For now, remember that He created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1). He created each of us. Planned it all. Formed us in our wombs. Why? For His glory. It’s individualized because we’re all different people, but we are all working together. Every move we make should be pleasing to Him, even if it means living like an alien in this strange land.

“They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thess 1:9-10

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