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Category Archives: Cancer

Update – 4/20/07

If you’ve assumed I completed my treatments on Monday, you have assumed correctly. I have finished! Not exactly as scheduled, but I still finished on Monday. When I arrived shortly before 8:15, I was informed that the computer was down. I said, “Are you kidding?” and was told, “I wouldn’t kid about a thing like that. Welcome to your last day!” Since I had a 9:30 podiatry appointment, I had to start my treatment by 8:45. About 8:30 Christina told me that I might as well go because they would definitely not get me in by 8:45. There was one afternoon opening, which she offered to me so I could still finish on Monday. Naturally, I took it. When I came back, they were behind, so I had to wait awhile. But, around 5:45 I got in. I walked out the door at 5:58–a “free” woman! 🙂

I will write more later. I just wanted to make sure you all know that I have indeed completed my treatments.

Thank you for all your prayers over these past few months. Continuing prayers will be greatly appreciated. Praise God for His faithfulness! May I learn from Him and always be faithful, too.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2007 in Cancer

 

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Update – 4/15/07

Sorry for the delay in getting this update done. I ended up working for a few hours yesterday when I would ordinarily have been writing this.

Well, tomorrow is it! My final treatment. Praise God! It will be #28. In a way, it seems like the time has gone by fast, but in another way, it hasn’t. It will likely feel strange to get up at 5:10 on Tuesday and know that I can actually do my entire exercise program for the first time on a week day. I am so looking forward to that! Those 10 pounds I gained after surgery are in my sights and they’ll go fast. Then, I’ll get back to work on getting down to my ideal weight, which will take a lot longer. However, I am planning on participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Houston next April. I’ve got a year to get ready to walk somewhere between 13.1 miles (1/2 marathon) and 39.3 miles (1.5 marathons). I’m just going for the 1/2 marathon at the moment, but if God has more than that in mind for me, I know He’ll let me know.

I don’t really have a lot to tell you tonight. I am a little tired, as I have been the last week and a half. I expect that will be resolved in a couple of weeks. I intend to take it easy for the next two weeks and not push myself hard. I do plan to resume my full exercise schedule Tuesday morning, however. It’s not all that strenuous, so there shouldn’t be any issue with that. I’ll just be adding 20 minutes or so of weight training and 30 minutes of great stretching. I’ll be going slow on the weight training, since I haven’t been doing it regularly.

I have some skin peeling occurring right now. It just started this week. At the recommendation of Dr. Eyre, I’m using a topical antibiotic to prevent any infection. He recommended that before the peeling started.

I had some blood tests done last Saturday through HealthCheck Labs. I got the results Thursday. My cholesterol is up, which is only indirectly related to the radiation therapy and is primarily due to my reduced exercise program and straying from the healthier foods I had been eating. The two results that are directly related to the therapy are below normal homocysteine and white blood cells. Neither is exceptionally low and should not pose a serious problem. I am taking some supplements to correct the homocysteine issue, although I don’t want to overcorrect, as high levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack. The WBCs should replenish on their own, but I don’t know how long that takes. Everything else was within normal limits.

I am seeing my podiatrist tomorrow after my treatment. I have decided that I must need to get new orthotics since the stretching I’ve been doing helps but has not permanently resolved my right hip and knee pain. The hip doesn’t hurt often and the knee only hurts going up and down stairs, but it’s been going on for months. I gave the stretching a try and now it’s time to bite the bullet and get new orthotics. Of course, that pretty much necessitates getting new shoes so I don’t put new orthotics in worn down shoes. That will not help. So, guess what I’ll be doing next Saturday! You got it–buying shoes. Maybe they’ll be on sale. I can always hope! 🙂

James should be completing his radiation treatment this week, also. I don’t know if he’ll be completely done or if he has other treatment to do. I’m hoping to see Liz tomorrow morning. She had to go back to work last week, but James told me Mondays are her day off. Please keep praying for James and Liz.

I think this will have to be all for tonight. Have a great week and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus!

Oh–if you haven’t heard, my article “Look to Jesus” is the “Essay of the Week” at FaithReflections.com. I don’t know when they change the essay, but it’s still up at the moment. It’s at http://www.faithreflections.com/default_files/Page364.html. They’ve been working on their site, so if you can’t find the article, you can just read it on this site, if you haven’t already done so (or if you want to read it again). Just click “Look to Jesus” in the sidebar on the right.

May God bless you all! Thanks for all your prayers and please keep praying!

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2007 in Cancer, Prayer Requests

 

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Update – 04/08/07

22 down and 6 to go! My final treatment is still scheduled for April 16th. I told Dr. Eyre on Tuesday that I have decided not to do the boost and he replied, “That’s reasonable.” I made that decision based on information I received over the weekend that shows the chance of local recurrence for me is only 3% and the boost will not affect that (statistically speaking). I trust that God provided that information at the right time so that I could confidently make the right decision. There cannot be a 100% guarantee apart from God’s divine intervention. I know He will do that if that’s part of His plan for me.

The treatments are going fine, although my skin is definitely getting dry and I am getting more tired. Please pray that this does not get worse. Dr. Eyre will decide on Tuesday if the radiation doseage needs to be reduced for the last few sessions. It’s often necessary to do that because of the skin irritation. So far, it’s just like a bad sunburn, but with no blistering or cracking of the skin.

I have also been experiencing some indigestion since the second week. I did talk to the nurse about this and she said it’s not directly due to the radiation. She suggested that since my eating habits haven’t changed, maybe it’s from stress at work, but I said that’s not likely at all. She then said that the radiation is definitely stressing my body, so maybe it’s that stress that’s causing the problem. I don’t know, but with only 6 more treatments to go, I’ll find out soon enough. I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist on May 1st for a consultation about a screening colonoscopy. If this indigestion hasn’t resolved by then, I’ll ask him about it.

I worked 10 hours on Wednesday, which was apparently not a good idea, since I was tired enough on Thursday afternoon to leave work at 3:30. I was asleep by 5:00. Friday, I made it through the day, but was again tired by the end of the day. I got home about 6:40, laid down about 7:40 with a DVD playing, and was asleep around 8:00.

Please continue to pray for James and Liz. James is really struggling to make it through his treatments. We serve a loving, all-powerful God who can get James through this ordeal. Please pray that James will hang onto Jesus, the Great Physician, and will know the peace and comfort that only He can provide.

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3, ESV)

Don’t forget:
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Happy Easter, everyone!! 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2007 in Cancer, Prayer Requests

 

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Update – 3/31/07

I just finished my walking, weight-training, and stretching workout. I can definitely tell that I need to somehow fit more stretching into the week. I have some hip and knee pain that I firmly believe is due to some tight muscles, but I am having a hard time getting some stretching done each day to loosen up those muscles and find out for sure if that’s all that’s wrong. But, this radiation business will soon be over and then I can do my stretching every day before heading for work. Right now, I really don’t have the desire to do much of anything when I get home from work, but I think I need to try to do the stretching then.

Well, enough of that. I walked Monday through Thursday and took yesterday off, knowing I would be walking and weight training today. I’ve lost 2.5 of those 10 pounds I told you I gained after my surgery. It would be nice to get the other 7.5 off by the end of April, although that’s a little bit faster pace than I prefer (1-1.5 pounds/week).

I have now completed 17 treatments and have 11 to go! Still only minor skin rednes and no serious fatigue.

Prayer requests:
1. My one all-consuming, over-riding prayer request always is that God’s will be done. He knows far better than any of us what needs to happen in each of our lives. So, for me, I want His will no matter what that entails.
2. Please continue to pray for James and Liz. James is still having significant pain and is not able to eat much.
3. My continuing requests:

  • That God’s sustaining grace will continue to be seen in me during this journey and beyond.
  • No greater fatigue or skin irritation than I have now.
  • A quick end to the occasional twinges of pain caused by nerve damage (usually ends weeks to months to years after treatment; sometimes never).
  • No other adverse side effects.

Thank you all for your prayers. Don’t just keep the faith–pass it on!

May God bless you always as you strive to do His will!

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2007 in Cancer, Prayer Requests

 

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Update – 3/27/07

Yeehaw! I’m half-way there! 14 down and 14 to go. Just wanted to let you all know that. Have a great week!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2007 in Cancer

 

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Preparing for Rain

As I crawled into bed around 1:40 a.m., I thought, “I’ll just sleep until I wake up. Let me turn the alarms off.” I did that, except for one that I set for 1:00 p.m., just to be sure I didn’t sleep the whole day away. I woke up around 7:00 a.m., which would be a reaonable time to get up on most Sundays, leaving me sufficient time to get ready for church. Today, I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. About 8:45 I woke up again. This time, as I lay there with my eyes closed, my thoughts went quickly to two scenes in “Facing the Giants.” In the first, Mr. Bridges tells Grant Taylor, “The Lord will send the rain. You need to prepare your field to receive it.” Then, near the end of the movie, after sending the second-string kicker in to attempt a 51-yard field goal that could win the state championship game, Grant tells an incredulous assistant coach, “I’m preparing for rain.”

Mr. Bridges’ words have come to mind several times since I first heard them. With them comes the question, “what is my field?” Today, my field is my body. I have been doing what I know to do to help my body through the surgery in January and now the radiation therapy. I have been exercising, eating right, trying to get enough sleep, making sure I get the nutrients I need to boost my energy levels and immune system, and conserving energy as much as possible.

My spirit is also my field. I have been reading my Bible as I walk, praying, listening to the Bible as I drive, and listening to Christian music, Bible readings, and sermons at work. So, my spirit has also been going through the process of being prepared to receive the rain that will bring spiritual growth. Part of that preparation involves regular attendance at Sunday morning worship services. I almost missed it today, but, thankfully, God reminded me through the recollection of those movie scenes that I need to keep preparing to receive the rain that He will send when He decides the time is right.

I can’t help but note that it is because I have, for the past few years, focused on feeding my mind with the things of God that I saw “Facing the Giants.” What we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and think about with our minds really does influence our behavior and thoughts later. For me, it was a very positive influence as I decided I needed to get to church and prepare my field to receive God’s rain and experience the growth that will follow.

What are you watching and listening to? Are you thinking on the things of God or the things of man? In this hedonistic world in which we live, it is hard not to think about the things of man. The challenge and exhortation of the Apostle Paul sets a high standard before us. Let us strive to meet it.

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things. (Php 4:8, WEB)

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2007 in Cancer, Reflections

 

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Update – 03/24/07

I just finished a very good workout: 30 minutes walking on my treadmill while reading my Bible and praying, about 15 minutes of weight training, and finishing of with 40 minutes of total body stretching. It was great! I don’t get to do all of this during the week right now, so I really enjoyed it. I know my body will benefit. I gained 10 pounds since my surgery. Now that I’m back to exercising and eating right, I hope to get that off quickly and resume my trek to my ideal weight. As soon as I finish the radiation therapy, I’ll be able to add 20 minutes of weight training and the 40 minutes of stretching to my morning walk and still get to work on time. That should help the “post-surgery pounds” come off faster.

Speaking of when I finish the radiation therapy, I didn’t get a treatment on Thursday because the computer was down. That treatment will be added to the end, so I am now scheduled to finish on April 16th. The four treatments I did have this week went smoothly. The aloe vera gel seems to be working well to prevent skin irritation, but the real test is yet to come. The real test is also yet to come for the fatigue factor. Right now, I’m a little bit tired, but nothing serious. I’ve been making it through a full work day just fine (often yawning most of the way home). 🙂

Prayer requests:
1. I serve a big God. He can do whatever He wants, however He chooses to do it. Please pray that His will is done. This request takes precedence over all other requests.
2. Please also pray that God will continue to demonstrate His love to James and Liz, that they will feel His presence and His strength, that He will remove James’ pain, that James will be able to retain the food he eats, that the treament James undergoes will be successful, that James and Liz will know without a shadow of doubt that God will take care of them in this life and in the next, that God’s glory will be shown in them as they go with God through this valley they are in.
3. Please pray that:

  • I will draw closer to God as a result of my walk with Him through this time.
  • God will continue to guide me in what I say and do and show His glory through me.
  • He will bless my doctors, radiation therapists, nurse, and all of the others who have been and will be part of the medical team through whom God has chosen to work.
  • I will continue to experience nothing more than minor skin redness and minor tiredness through this time of radiation therapy and that there will be no other negative side effects.

Thank you for your prayers, cards, comments, and emails. I have saved them all. They are greatly appreciated.

I love you. More importantly, God loves you. He loved you so much He sent His Son to die for you. Don’t you ever forget that!!

Have a truly blessed week!

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2007 in Cancer, Prayer Requests

 

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Update – 03/21/07

Traffic was certainly a nightmare this morning – an hour and a half for a 45-minute trip. But, that’s not why I’m writing.

As I hugged Liz this morning on my way out, she said they are having a tough morning. So, please keep James and Liz in your prayers today. Thanks.

O Lord God, please surround James and Liz with Your love. Help them to feel it today more than they’ve ever felt it before. Father, You are the God of all comfort, so I ask You to comfort them during this difficult time in their lives. Please give James strength and peace. I know disease exists because we live in a fallen world, but You, God, walk with us through these hard times. Help James and Liz this day to feel Your presence. Let them know that You love them and will take care of them. Show Your glory through them, Lord. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2007 in Cancer

 

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Update – 03/18/07

I neglected to note in yesterday’s update that my plan to walk and read my Bible first thing in the morning, then leave by 6:45 to get to the Lighthouse and spend 30 minutes working there before heading over to the treatment center worked quite well last week. Traffic was a little lighter last week, due to spring break, so I got to the Lighthouse a little earlier than usual. I expect traffic will be back to normal this week, but that’s OK. I still won’t have to rush to get from there to the treatment center.

The only problem I find is getting involved in whatever document I’m working on and forgetting to take a drink of my tea. Consequently, I usually ended up drinking my tea very quickly after my work session. I really could take a little more time to drink it, but I like to get there a little early in case they’re ready for me early or I need to see the nurse (Tuesdays).

So, all things considered, the plan is working well. I still need to get my stretching and weight training done, but I haven’t managed to squeeze that in, yet. Maybe this week.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2007 in Cancer

 

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Update – 03/17/07

Well, folks, I have 8 treatments down and 20 more to go! After Tuesday’s treatment, I will be more than 1/3 done. That has a nice ring to it. From a treatment standpoint, this week was pretty uneventful. I don’t really have much to report. I am a little bit tired, but nothing serious. I am trying to conserve energy, so I’m not going to any evening activities. I go home from work, stopping at the grocery store along the way, if I need to, and the post office. Then, I have some dinner, check my email and get my clothes and lunch ready for the next day. That’s all I’m committing to do during the week until I’m through with my treatments. Whatever else I get done will truly be a blessing from God, and He has surely blessed me thus far! May He continue to do so!

Thank you for continuing to pray for my medical team and me. We all certainly need your prayers, so please keep them going, and please don’t forget the couple I told you about yesterday. May God bless you all, my faithful friends and His loving servants!

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2007 in Cancer

 

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