Monday, June 29, 2009

Surgery went well!

God definitely took care of me this week...especially when I needed it.  The day of my surgery, I was very nervous and anxious.  As they brought me back to get me prepped for surgery I was assigned a nurse that was gift from God.  She was a cancer survivor and living cancer free for over a year now.  Being able to talk about our journeys together gave me a sense of peace and relieved my anxiety.  She was such an encouragement to me.  Little does she know how much she did for me that day.   The surgery went smooth and I woke up nausea free.  The doctors were awesome and did a great job!

The next day, I had to go to my daily radiation therapy session.  I was so weak and not feeling well from the surgery so I was having a hard time thinking about being pinned down to the table with the mask on.  I was in tears in the waiting room really needing a break to recover.  Surprise, surprise, the machine broke down so I was able to have the break I so needed.  Another gift from God!  

The first few days following surgery I was pretty sore.  I spent a lot of time in bed and sleeping. But, I am already feeling so much relief not having the pressure to eat.  I am so glad I made the decision to have feeding tube put in.  

Exhaustion is starting to set in and I have been taking a lot more naps lately.  They were right when they said radiation will literally zap you from all of your energy.  I am feeling very out of sorts lately.  The combination of surgery, new pain meds and radiation/chemo has really taken its toll.  My body is trying so hard to adjust...I have never been one to handle medications very well.  I am just glad the surgery is over so that I can now focus on getting to the end.  Once this week is over, there will only be 3 weeks left.  

Thank you to all of you that prayed for me during my surgery.  I definitely was at peace and felt your prayers.  Please continue to pray that my side effects will be manageable, that the vision in my right eye will be spared and that the cancer will be gone after radiation is completed!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Utter Helplessness

Psalm 34:17-18 "The righteous cry and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

I read in a devotional this morning that this prayer can't be mindlessly recited from a book, because it comes a from a condition of utter helplessness.  It says, "Lord, I'm empty.   I've come up short again.  I haven't got it.  Only you can provide the answer.  God does respond to this humility that expresses utter dependance on him.

This best expresses how I have been feeling...utter helplessness.  I have no control over most aspects of my life.  No control over my body.  I am subjected to the instructions from the doctors and rely heavily on those around me to provide for my family and my kids.   And today, I will be given a feeding tube to provide my body the nutrition it needs to get through the rest of radiation therapy.  I will no longer have the ability to make the simple decision on what to eat for the day.  There is not much left that I am able to control in my life.    I am humbled and have nothing left to do but have utter dependance on God to get me through this.  I am relying on the promise that the verse above provides.  

The sores in my mouth are getting worse.  They are growing more so in the back of my mouth and in my throat causing me to gag a lot.  I am hoping that after this day is over that I will be able to get back onto my pain management regimen.  I am holding off on my pain meds today so that I will not have any serious reactions from the anesthesia and medications they will give me during surgery today.   I will be having radiation today at 11:00 - yes no rest for the weary even if they are having surgery.  And then surgery at 3:00.   Please pray it will go smoothly with no complications.  I will feel so relieved once this is day is all over.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Press On

Today has been a much better day.  I have been able to get my pain under control.  It is still there, and eating is difficult, but I am not wincing as much as I have been these past couple of days.  The Lanacane the doctor prescribed has done wonders on the sores in my mouth.  It only gives temporary relief, but I will take what I can get.  If I am consistently take my pain medication my throat isn't as bad.  It is amazing how a little pain relief can change your attitude! And now, I feel like I can Press On.  I just need to deal with my anxiety about my surgery tomorrow for the feeding tube placement.

When my daughter Mackenzie found out I was going to get a feeding tube, she was so excited.  Before Mackenzie came home from the NICU at Children's Hospital, they gave her a feeding tube.  She has had one ever since.  It has become a part of her body and it does not even phase her.  I have often thought every child should come with a feeding tube.  Especially on the days they refuse to take medication or eat their vegetables.  Mackenzie has reassured me many times that I have nothing to worry about.  That it is easy to have a feeding tube.  That I should not be afraid.  But it is not the actual feeding tube I am worried about.  It is the actual surgery.  Never have I worried about going under or having surgery...but since my body has already endured so much affliction and has been pumped full of medications, chemotherapy drugs and radiation I wonder if it can handle the stress of surgery. I will feel so relieved once tomorrow is over and done with it.  Please pray that the surgery will go smoothly tomorrow, that I will not have a reaction to the anesthesia, that I will not loose too much blood due to being on a blood thinner and that the pain will be minimal.  Thank you all for the prayers and encouragement!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bonfire anyone?

These past few days have been rough.  I have been an emotional wreck.  When my family tells me you can do this, I just want to yell back and say NO I CAN'T!!!  THIS IS AWFUL!!!  The pain is intolerable.  This morning I broke down and just sobbed...I did not want to go to my appointments today.  Unfortunately, I had no choice if I want to live.  So I dragged myself out of bed and got ready.

8:00 AM - Appointment with Lucy. She is the Physician Assistant that works with the Oncologist.  If it weren't for Lucy, I would not have gotten this far.  She is so understanding and gives me the perspective I need to calm down.  After discussing the pain I have been experiencing, she decided to put me on another pain medication that is given through a transdermal patch.  It will give me constant pain relief when combined with the other pain medication I have already been taking.  Lucy also gave me some medications that will help with the mouth sores.  She was not surprised at the level of my pain - patients that get reduction chemotherapy before radiation have a tendency to experience the side effects much earlier and more severely.  We also decided that this week I will have a feeding tube put in. I am feeling relieved, but anxious at the same time.  I had such a difficult time with anesthesia with my port surgery.  But I think it will help me get through the rest of treatment and through the recovery period.  

8:30 - Chemotherapy Shmeeotherapy -  Yes, that is how I am starting to feel about chemo. So done with it.  At least I am not getting the nausea I had with the reduction chemo. Back to the hot and cold flashes as a result of the pre-meds which includes a steroid.  I might as well be going through menopause.

2:30 - Radiation - I think I am going to burn the mask they put me in when this is all said and done.  Bonfire anyone?  I have a love/hate relationship with radiation.  Love that it will cure me...hate that it is the only path to a cure.  

The hardest part of it all...I feel like I have hit a wall.  I have been shaking with anxiety about what is to come.  I can't take my Ativan because combined with the pain medications I would not be able to stand up straight.  So I am going to have to learn to manage it mentally. What amazes me is that I make the conscious decision every day to subject my body to the things that cause pain and mutilation.  It's crazy!!!  Amazing what one will do to survive.   

I love the messages that everyone left me on my last posting.  They bring tears to my eyes. Please keep them coming.  I cling to each and every word written.  

Much love,

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I am lying in bed waiting for the Tylenol to kick in.  Avoiding the pain medication that was prescribed yesterday.  I have an internal struggle going take the Oxycodone or not to take the Oxycodone.  I am sure the pain will get to be too much to bare and the taking the pain medication is inevitable.  My throat is hurting, my tongue is raw and sores are breaking open in my mouth.  Eating is getting to be extremely difficult.  My taste buds are fried so everything tastes terrible.  It hurts to swallow.  I dread meal times.  And it is just going to get worse.  My attitude towards a feeding tube has completely changed.  I can't stand the pressure to eat and making sure I don't lose weight.  

I am having a difficult time this morning keeping positive.  This is definitely going to be the worst thing I have ever been through in my life.  At this point, I am not sure how I am going to get through this.  I hate not having a choice.  I must submit myself to the radiation and the side effects that go along with it.  I am angry that I have cancer in my face...why does it have to be in the face?  Radiation would be much more tolerable if it was somewhere else in my body.  

Since the pain started, the light at the end of the tunnel seems distant and too far away. Five more weeks of radiation seems unachievable.  I am so discouraged.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

It is starting to happen...the side effects from the radiation have begun.  Today, I have a really sore throat and my tongue is very tender.  It is making swallowing a little difficult. And from what I am told it is only going to get worse.

On average, a patient going through chemo/radiation, looses about 15 pounds.  It gets very difficult to eat and it can be painful.  So it is rare for a patient to not get a feeding tube.  I more than likely will get one placed before it gets too bad.  I am determined to do whatever I can to avoid the feeding tube, but I am not going to be unrealistic.  I went shopping today and purchased the ingredients to make all different kinds of smoothies and shakes.  I also purchased some protein powder to add to drinks giving me some extra calories.  I was told that if I don't want a feeding tube, then I need to be creative with blending foods that will be easy to eat.  I am starting to get really nervous about this.  Mackenzie thinks it will be very cool to have another family member with a feeding tube.....

The good news is that I learned that the goal of this treatment is to be cancer free. Chemotherapy does not get rid of the cancer...Radiation is the cure.  The majority of the cancer cells have been destroyed by the two rounds of chemotherapy I already had.  Now, the radiation will take care of the rest.  So if all goes well, I could be done with treatment by August.   After the 3 months of much needed rest and recovery, they will do some more scans to determine the success of the radiation therapy.  If there is no more cancer then I am done.  If there are some cancer cells left, then they will do surgery to remove the rest.  Since I responded so well to the chemotherapy, they are hopeful that the radiation will do the job.  This have given me so much hope and I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel.  It is just going to be hard road to get there.  

My white blood count has also dropped to a dangerous level.  Unfortunately, they cannot give me the shots that will boost the white blood count.  It does not work with radiation.  So they will monitor it and hope that it goes back up.  If it does not, they will stop chemotherapy until my counts go back up.  This also means that I have to be very careful to not expose myself to a lot of people.  So I will remain cooped up in the house.  We also need to be very careful who Mackenzie and Kendall spend time with so that they don't get sick and expose me to germs.  We found out last week that someone in Mackenzie's class was diagnosed with the swine flu the last week of school so she might have been exposed.  As you can imagine, we were very alarmed.  That is the last thing we need to worry about.  I think we are in the clear now since the incubation period is only 2-5 days.  If Mackenzie would have had any symptoms they would have appeared by now.

Please continue to pray that the side effects of the radiation will be minimal and that I will be able to continue to eat and maintain my weight.  Also, please pray for me and my family to be protected from germs and viruses right now.  Lastly, please pray for strength to get through this radiation treatment and that it will work!!!  Thank you!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

One week down, six more to go...

Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-33  "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.  I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.  For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.  Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men."

Since being diagnosed with cancer, I have found it is easy to fall into a pattern of anger and bitterness.  It is easy to question God and his existence.  Why would God allow things like this to happen?  No one should ever have to go through this.  I admit, I have had many moments like this....being angry and questioning God.  Why God?  Why me?  It would be easy to just turn my back on God. Unfortunately, it is times like these that cause people to turn on their faith and have doubts that God exists.  

After a lot of soul searching and self discovery throughout this battle, I have come up with an answer to all of this.  Whether it is right or wrong, this is the answer I am choosing to believe.  This is my answer...

Who or what else do I have to cling to for a hope and a purpose in all of this?  What are the other options?  I certainly don't have the strength to rely on myself to get through this nor do I have the ability to heal.  I can only rely on friends and family for love, support and encouragement. The doctors have the medicine and the technology to kill this cancer, but not once have they been able to give me any guarantee.  No one but an almighty God can give me the strength, the perseverance, the peace to get me through this.  And only God has the power to heal.  By choosing to place my life in God's hands it has given me the opportunity to experience God on a deeper level.  I have a better understanding of his love for me. When I place my trust in God, I can see his compassion and his faithfulness.  When I start to place my trust in other things, I feel scared and shaken.  Believe me, I am not always perfect at doing this.  It is something I continue to work on.  Yes, the anger comes back every now and then and the doubt consumes me at times.  But, I find peace when I have faith and trust in God once again.  

The first week of radiation/chemotherapy is done.  Except for a couple of days of nausea and heartburn, it went relatively smooth.  No side effects from radiation yet, mostly from the chemotherapy.  The Radiation Oncologist has me taking a lot of preventative measures to minimize the side effects:  Liquid Tears eye drops, salt and baking soda mouth rinses, fluoride treatments, skin care and more.   I am nervous going into the second week. I am hoping the side effects from the chemotherapy will be the same and not cummulative and that the side effects from the radiation will continue to hold off.  This past week, the Radiation Oncologist did say that there is no way they are able to avoid my eye during the treatments so there will be damage to my vision.  Worst case scenario, I lose the vision in the right eye.  During the treatments, I can tell when the radiation beams are hitting my eye.  I can see bright lights flashing.  It is very alarming and I am praying God will protect my eye as much as possible.  One week down and six more weeks of treatment to go.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hats, Hats and more Hats!

Yesterday, I received the an amazing gift from a complete stranger.  It contained the following letter:

Dear Sue,
In this box you will find a plethora of hats, all for you.  I have read your blog and admire the vitality and wisdom you have to internally heal yourself. You do not know me, nor do you know the dozens of people that helped to collect all these amazing hats.  Our "6 degrees of separation" connection is that we know someone who  loves you!  We don't want you to spend time thinking about who this box came from, no thank you is necessary.  Knowing you will have a big smile on your beautiful face when you open the box is "thank you" enough!  Cancer has touched us all in one way or another - survivors, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers.  The bad days, mornings, hours, minutes are vivid and the good ones too few and far between at this point.  We cannot just sit back and just strictly pray and wish for you, we wanted to physically do something (plus we're shoppers at heart and haven't met a hat that we don't like).  

Some of the hats you will love and want to wear all the time.  Some of the hats you'll take out of the box and say "that's not me."  Some of the hats are new.   Some of the hats are from cancer survivors collections from when they didn't have hair.  Some of the hats have been bought over lunch hour by someone who wants to make you smile.  Some of the hats will make you feel sassy and bouncy on a good day.  Some of the hats have big brims and will help you hide when you just feel rotten and lousy.  Some of the hats you can wear to bed and sleep in when the day is just too much to bear.  Some of the hats your girls will want to wear and were made by hand for the three of you.  Some of the hats are for spring and summer and some are for early fall. 
All of them are being given to you with love, hope, and excitement by very cute, stylish people.  We just wanted you to have a bunch to pick from to help you look even cuter than you already are for each and every day you don't have hair.  Don't try and figure out who sent all the hats to you, but instead know that there is a powerful force of love, guidance and mystery at work in this beautiful universe.  Soon you will look back on this horribly painful and exhausting time with a renewed outlook on life.  You have the strength to get through this and we are mentally helping you each and every day!  Love to you and your family.  You ALL can do this!
I was in complete shock when I opened the box as it contained 20 hats and scarves of all different shapes, sizes and colors.  But, more so I was overwhelmed by the love and kindness that these complete strangers chose to show me.   Why would anyone go to these lengths to show someone they don't even know and that they care about what I am going through?

This is only one example of how people have gone out of their way to show me love and kindness during my battle with cancer.  I want everyone to know how special you have made me feel.  I have never felt more loved in my entire life.  But most important, you have given me a new perspective on how important it is to go out of your way to be kind and to love important lesson I think I needed to learn.

The other day, I went through all of the postings left by some of you following my blog.  I came across a posting that was left by one our babysitters who cared for Mackenzie and Kendall for the past few years.  In the posting she included a passage that explains perfectly all of the lessons learned when battling with cancer.  It is as follows:

Making Friends With Cancer by Dawn Nelson

You make friends with cancer by heeding its call to consciousness, but letting it change your life.  You slow down.  You pay attention.  You stop doing things you don't really want to or need to do.  You prioritize.  You pace yourself.  You respect your body.  You spend time with those whose presence is healing.

You make friends with cancer by noticing the small miracles that occur daily--the chorus of the bird songs in the morning air, the intoxicating fragrance of one pink rose, the melody of raindrops, the heart melting sweetness of your children's smiles, the eternality of an ocean wave, the exquisite beauty of a setting sun, the presence of your beloved--which, before cancer, you may overlooked or been to "busy" enjoy or appreciate.

You make friends with cancer by letting love in.  You open your heart.  You tell the truth.  You ask for help.  You accept the profound generosity of friends.  You let whatever you may given return itself to you.

You make friends with cancer by allowing it to remind you of what is actually important in life and what is less so by forging a relationship with it that fosters new insight, by seeing the uninvited guest as an opportunity for learning and growth.

You make friends with cancer by accepting the myriad gifts and joys which life offers.  You don't waste time complaining about the things you cannot change or which you wish were different. You dance when you can, you weep when you must.  You notice what you have instead of what you don't have.  You practice thankfulness, and forgiveness.

You make friends with cancer by not hiding from it or hating it, but by acknowledging it, accepting what it has to teach you and continuing  your journey, one step at a time.

I could not have said it any better.  I just wish it hadn't taken cancer for me to realize all of this. But one thing I do know, this is why I am going through teach me to trust in God and to learn all of the lessons cancer teaches.  After this is all said and done, I will never hesitate to reach out to someone in need whether it is a family member, friend or stranger.  My heart is more open to showing others the same love and kindness each and everyone of you have shown me.

PS - The biopsy of my lymph node was negative.  Thanks be to God!  Also, chemo and round one of radiation went well yesterday.  Except for a minor panic attack at the start of radiation, I made it through.  Hoping today goes much better!  Thank you for your prayers!  They are working!

Monday, June 8, 2009


The weather report said it was going to be a cold, overcast day with a possibility of rain.  I am at the start line, shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people and the friends that I have trained with for weeks to prepare for this day.  Adrenalaine is pumping through my veins.  I can feel the excitement and nervousness in the air.  It is my second marathon so I am feeling prepared for what is to come.  There is not a cloud is the sky and the sun has already started to beat down on our faces.  The weather report was wrong.

It is hot...90+ degrees and humidity beyond belief. We reach the 20 mile mark.  My body is hot and tired.  Kelly, who has not left my side, is keeping me going.  Up ahead we see Jason along with some friends cheering us on.  It gives me that extra boost I need to go a few more miles. Unfortunately, I am needing to stop and use the bathroom several times at this point slowing us down.  Something is definitely not right.  We reach the 23 mile mark.  There is Kelly's family cheering us on and her son Nick runs along with us.  It is keeping my mind off of what is going on with my body.  We reach one of the last water stops.  I make a poor choice and decide to keep going.  I want this race to be done.  I tell Kelly I will see her at the finish line and pick up the pace the last couple of miles.  Adrenalaine once again starts pumping through my veins as I see the finish line.  It is finally over.  I see Kelly coming up behind me with tears of joy in her eyes.  We hug and say "we did it".  It was a moment we will never forget and we are glad that we were able to share it together. Soon after, I feel myself falling apart. I tell Kelly I am not feeling well and duck into the medical tent.  I am now being placed on a cot and being hooked up to IV's.  I feel extremely nauseous and think I am going to pass out.  Nothing is working so they decide to send me to the ER.  I have never been so sick in my life.  I thought I was going to die.  

It is our first wedding anniversary.  I am 6 months pregnant with twins.  I have checked into the hospital to be on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.  The doctors want to keep a close watch on my condition.  It is unknown what is going to happen to the twins.  That evening, the doctor decides to do an ultrasound to monitor the twins.  Jason is out getting takeout to celebrate our anniversary.  Sudden change in plans...twin #1 is near death.  If we want to save twin #2 we have to take them out now.  Before I know it, a neonatologist is in my room explaining the risks, complications and chances of survival for twin #2 and asking for permission to not intervene with twin #1.  She was too underdeveloped to survive.  I am in shock at this point desperately trying to get a hold of Jason.  They were already prepping me for a c-section as Jason comes in the door and is alarmed to see what is going on.  He has a look of unbelief on his face while he is putting surgical scrubs on.  

I am on the surgical table, feeling extremely sick to my stomach.  I am aware of what is going on around me, yet unable to do anything.  Twin #1, named Aubrey, is being held by a nurse in the corner of surgical suite as she is slowing passing away.  Twin #2, named Mackenzie, is surrounded by doctors as they attempt to intubate her, inject a drug into her lungs to make them strong and get her stable.  Jason is trying to spend equal time between the twins and myself. Soon, Mackenzie is taken to the NICU where she was to spend the next 6 1/2 months of her life.  Aubrey passes away after 30 minutes of life. 

It is 5:00 a.m. and  in 3 1/2 hours I am about to go through 7 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy.  This may be the most difficult thing that I am about to go through in my life. I am scared to death.  I am looking for the strength and perseverance inside of me that I had to finish that marathon two years ago.  I am hoping for the healing that God gave to our sweet Mackenzie who is now a happy 8 year old little girl.  

Friday, June 5, 2009


Fear is starting to set in.  I am starting to get scared of the next step - radiation and chemo.  I am so afraid of the side effects that may or may not happen.  I am bracing for the worst and hoping it won't be as bad.  This next round of treatment will not be easy and it will be one of the worst things I will ever have to go through.  I am praying God will spare me from:

-losing my eye sight or my eye
-nausea and vomiting
-the inability to eat or maintain my weight
-severe burns from the radiation

I am searching for the strength to do this and I am not confident that I will have it.  I feel like my body is so frail already that I can't imagine what it will be like after this is all said and done. 

Please God, you put me in this situation, you need to help me get through it.  I need your strength more so now than ever.  This is when I need you the most.  Please God, spare me from the worst of it all and make the side effects tolerable.  God, I am willing to go on this journey with you.  Teach me what it is you want me to learn about my life and my faith, but be there with me every step of the way.  

Hebrews 12:1-3 "1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When will that day come?

I must apologize for disappearing for awhile...I think I had many of you concerned about what is going on.  I haven't had much to report lately.  I have been able to "pretend" that nothing is wrong for the past week.  It has been kind of nice to have a break and feel somewhat "normal" again.  But of course reality has set in once again.

This morning I had an appointment with my Oncologist.  I was able to get some of the results of the scans from last week, but not all of them.  As of now, it looks like the density of the cancer has diminished again.  The density is measured by a number.  Before treatment began, the cancer was at a "14".  After the first round of chemotherapy, it went down to "7.5"  Now after this last chemo treatment it is down to "4.9".  So that is good news.  Now it is up to Radiation to get rid of tumor and the rest of the cancer cells.  The Oncologist did say that a good reaction to chemotherapy is a good indicator that I will have a good reaction to radiation.  So the hope is that radiation will get rid of the rest of the cancer.  The biggest concern is that it gets out of the orbit of my eye.  I am sensing this is a major concern for the doctors which makes me feel extremely uneasy.  Whether or not I will need surgery after the radiation is still unknown.

Tomorrow I will be having a biopsy of a lymph node that has appeared to be questionable in all of the scans done thus far.  It is slightly enlarged which has the doctors concerned.  According to the scans it does not have cancer in it, but they are being cautious and doing the biopsy just to be safe.  If the lymph node does have cancer in it, they will need to do a higher dose of radiation on my neck which could complicate things and make the side effects worse.

Radiation and chemo will begin on Monday.  I will be getting chemotherapy once a week during the radiation treatment.  It will be at a lower dose than what I have been getting, but I may still experience some side effects.  Plus, getting chemo during radiation tends to magnify the side effects of radiation so I am extremely concerned.  Radiation will be given every day Monday - Friday for 7 weeks.  After the treatment has been completed, they will wait for 3 months before they do any more scans.  It takes awhile for radiation to take affect.  
So the journey continues and will be long.  I am not sure when this will ever end.  It is very difficult when there is no end in sight.  It is tough when I think about what I have been through thus far, which was very difficult to get through...and yet the worst is yet to come. Radiation is going to be a huge mountain to climb and I am worried I am not going to get to the top.  And there is no option to quit.  

When I am feeling like there is no hope I have found much needed encouragement by reading the book of Psalms.  Recently, I came across this verse...and reading it again has given me the hope I need to get through this.

Psalms 30:2-12 "O Lord my God, I called to your for help and you healed me.  O Lord, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit.  Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name.  For his anger lasts only a moment; but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.  When I felt secure, I said "I will never be shaken."  O Lord, when you favored me, you made my mountains stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.  To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:  What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down in the pit?  Will the dust praise you?  Will it proclaim your faithfulness?  Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.  You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."

Davids words in Psalms are exactly how I feel at times....begging God for Mercy and for his healing.  Feeling alone when I don't feel God's peace, yet feeling strong enough to climb this mountain when He sends me encouragement.  Praying that God will spare me from going into a pit of horrible side effects from the radiation.  Praying that some day my wailing will turn into dancing and that I will once again experience the joy that David talks about in this verse.  When will that day come?  Who knows, but I am going to need all the strength, encouragement and prayers I can get to get me there.