Writing

God renewed my passion for writing about three years ago. I had it when I was little then it died off, as the creative bits of me were replaced with interests of a more scientific and concrete nature. I am sure it was He who rekindled it within me, in preparation for expressing this encounter with evil cancer and death. However, I don’t know if it was His original intention for me to pursue writing all along or not. Regardless, I know the novel I wrote a few years back was practice for blogging and whatever writing I will do in the future. Since the cancer journey began I have wanted to write about it, in more detail than this blog, but knew it wasn’t the time. But I’m quite sure now is finally the time. Passages and stories from my book (or articles, too early to tell) come to me whenever I’m not focusing on the kids. I’ll be driving, exercising, or trying to sleep and really good stuff comes to mind. I rarely am able to write it down before I forget, but I’m trying.

‘m going through this blog from the beginning as sort of a starting point for the book. I get anxious before opening each post, afraid I will be embarrassed by what I said back then, or that my heart will hurt so much when I re-live those moments that this time I won’t survive. But each time, God carries me through. I am amazed by the way He clearly carried me through the worst days. I am encouraged by the grace He gave me and the love He showed me through all you readers and friends.

So far, these memories have come back from reading through the blog: 

–I actually didn’t think it could get worse than finding out I had cancer (before we knew it had spread; Acts 1:7, “He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”)
–Suddenly had to wean Naomi and she was so distraught…but she finally took a bottle on Thanksgiving! (Matt 7:7-8 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”)–The first very sick person I ever saw, who made it all so real. I am still so sad thinking about her. She was young and her mom had to be a strong advocate for her. It was so pathetic and heart-wrenching to hear her mom begging for a bucket for her daughter to throw up in, as the daughter couldn’t hold a bag. The pessimistic side of me thinks that young woman has probably passed away by now. I pray for that whole family and wish I had the presence of mind to reach out to them back then. (Matt 17:20 “Jesus told them.”I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.)
–The love, love, love God showed me through all His children. (Proverbs 11:25 from the Message Bible “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”)
–It has always been about my not wanting my babies to grow up without me. With His grace, they won’t have to. (Mth 6:26, “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?”)

When I first started blogging I was fearful of going public with my innermost thoughts and fears. I hate to be judged and knew I was exposing myself for just that. But being able to be honest on here is what makes it cathartic for me, and is how I bond with you all. I am still amazed by the outpouring of love I have received from it, and am certain that it is the attraction we each have to vulnerability that makes it a success. So, in addition to thanking each of you for reading, praying, and loving on me, I suggest that everyone considers writing down the details of their trials. It might help someone someday, whether it’s the writer or the reader.


2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Tests

Got the PET scan results today…no cancer! It’s been at least a year since I had any evidence at all of cancer. I knew I was healed of the life-taking disease last Groundhog day (who knew that was a real holiday?!), but there was still a bit of minor cancer in my original tumor. The scan I had around last Memorial day though showed no cancer cells at all. And it’s still gone a year later. He did it, He kicked Satan and his disease out of my body and replaced it with healthy, viable cells (Deuteronomy 7:15).

Remember when Dr. Litton, the special expert I saw at MD Anderson, told me I would never be cancer-free for even a day? Me too. That was a lie from the destroyer, meant to blast any hope we had left into tiny shards that would poke at anyone whose path we crossed. But God Almighty turns all things the enemy intends for evil into good. That bad news is now part of my testimony, which I will continue to share at every opportunity. The testimony that cries, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)

Around this time last year I got to share my story when the Ride for Hope gave me their “Hero for Hope” award. It was an honor to share what God did amongst a secular group, and it was really cool to get that award. It is a great group of amazing people and raises funds for the TMH cancer center. That event will be held this weekend and they need volunteers. If you live in Tallahassee and have time, please volunteer! Or if you are a bike rider jump into the race! You can get more info at http://therideforhope.com/

If you are reading this, even if I don’t know you personally, thank-you for supporting my family and me through thoughts, prayers and shares. I had a deadly disease that by all accounts could not be cured with medicine. Now it’s gone. God did that. Because so many of us asked and believed He would do it. He did it for His glory, so that all would recognize His awesomeness. If you don’t see it now, you have your reasons. It doesn’t matter what those are, they all boil down to you being closed off to the Holy Spirit. All of us have those moments; for some they last seconds, for others a lifetime. The truth is that we all have a chance to open our hearts and accept Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Doing that will take us down a path to spending an eternity with the Lord. But most of us won’t go that way. In many ways it’s easier not to believe and follow God. But if we don’t we will suffer because of that choice forevermore. I pray that this experience God has involved me with will be the catalyst many need to decide to take the narrow path toward the Lord. 

“Enter through the narrow gate.<span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

PET scan and Ballet

I had a PET scan on Thursday. Dr. Crooms sent me because it’s been a year since my last one. The one last year was the first PET scan I had ever had with no cancer at all. I haven’t gotten the results yet but know they will be clear. This will mark one year without any evidence of disease. During the test I had no nerves. I felt like an old pro, I wait for the results without a hint of fear. This confidence comes from God (2 Cor 3:4) and is one of the hugest internal improvements I’ve had since the start of this journey with cancer.

Abigail has the confidence from the Lord, too. I was reminded of it this weekend at her dance recital. I can look back on the day I was healed as the best news I’ve ever received, but as for best experiences ever, it pales in comparison to watching Abi do ballet. Her first recital was this time last year and I felt the same both times. Watching her dance with the grace of a five-year-old brings up every emotion I have felt since I had her. Her sweet smile brings me peace and joy. As she gallops across the stage I remember the ups and downs of bringing a child into the world to love, trying to carry her through the difficult times, and seeing her land seamlessly on her feet after all she’s endured. All my prayers about her not having to lose her mom were answered and nothing hints that she’s had to become wise beyond her years. Instead she exudes love. She shines like the brightest star, not like someone with doubts, who looks over her shoulder for danger, someone who fears taking a deep breath. She poses with the grace of a young lady who is entirely secure and for that I am extremely grateful and motivated. There is nothing more perfect than watching her dance and I know the Lord enjoys seeing His child perform, too. I know that we who struggle with adversity are hurt but not destroyed (2 Cor 4:9), and we should all strive to dance for Him as though we too were happy five-year-olds.

2 Samuel 6:14, “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord.”

God has been so amazing to us…always! He answers prayers, looks out for our best interests, and changes our hearts to line up with those interests. How great and majestic is He? How He loves us better than our earthly fathers! How He aches with us, yearns for us, sees through us. He is the Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth and all good things. He is to be feared not because of what He can do to us but because of His awesomeness! Everyone gets a chance to draw close to Him. Your chance is now.