Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting Ready

This past week I have been going through so many different emotions. My mind is scattered and unfocused. I often sit down at the computer to write a new post on my blog but find it hard to write about what I am feeling. So here is an attempt to let you know what is going on in my mind and in my life.

The holidays came at a good time. They were a good distraction for me and somewhat kept the surgery off my mind. But now that they are over I have more time to think about what I am about to face. I go through moments of panic and extreme fear. The unknown is so difficult. The surgeons can't give me a definite answer of what exactly will happen. There are so many factors that will affect whether or not the eye will be removed, how many teeth will be removed and if they will reconstruct my face with tissue or bone. My surgeon is still confident they will be able to get rid of the cancer, but there is no guarantee. I am starting to come to terms with what is about to happen. I just want so badly to get rid of this cancer that I am willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to make this happen. However, I wish I knew 100% that everything was going be OK.

The stress of this journey is definitely taking its toll on my family. I really hope that it will end after this surgery. We desperately need to get back to some normalcy. Lately, my kids have not been acting like themselves. Kendall has been acting out a lot and has been difficult to handle. I realized she is taking this the hardest. She often asks me about the possibility of losing my eye. She wonders what will happen, if I will still be able to see, how they take an eye out etc... You can tell it has been weighing on her mind. Last night, she came into my bedroom with a face that showed she was fighting back tears. She was so concerned about my eye again. I asked her if she was scared about mommy having surgery and she nodded yes with a quivering mouth. I explained to her that mommy will still be mommy whether or not she loses her eye. And that eyes are not what makes a person a person but what is in their heart. She also asked when my hair will be long again. The changes she has seen taking place with me physically has been hard for her. Seeing the fear she is facing is so hard for me. I can hardly deal with my own fear, but to see my child battling with it makes it so hard. I worry that if anything should happen to me that she would fall to pieces. Mackenzie has been a little stronger. Yet, she is not one to wear her emotions on her sleeve. Instead, Mackenzie tends to show regression in her behavior. Her speech changes and she displays behavior that is not age appropriate. She has become very clingy. Jason is still rock solid. But this is the time of year his stress level increases. He faces a lofty sales goal for 2010 and combined with my health problems I know it is weighing on him.

I am still being graced by so many people from many different walks of my life. God has not failed to show me his love and comfort this past week. I have to share with you a story about an encounter I recently had with Kendall's bus driver. She is one of those bus drivers you hope your child will get, especially in Kindergarten. She is amazing with the kids and so warm and friendly. Kendall is often singing songs at home that she has learned from her bus driver. Before Christmas break, I gave the bus driver a gift from our family to thank her for being so wonderful to Kendall. When I handed her the gift, she said to me, "You and I have a lot in common...we need to talk sometime." A few days later, I receive a note from her. The note explained a recent leave of absence she took earlier on in the school year. She had her own battle with cancer which required surgery. When she explained to the kids on the bus why she was gone and in return one of the kids announced that Kendall's mom has cancer. In the note, the bus driver said that when she heard the news she immediately asked the prayer chains that were praying for her to begin praying for me. The prayer chains extend through three different states. The note brought tears to my eyes. This woman, who I really don't know, felt compelled to pray and ask others to pray for me. There are so many people out there praying for me...more than I will ever know.

I am spending most of my time getting ready. Getting things organized so that things will run smoothly while I am in the hospital and taking the time to recover from surgery. The calendar has been updated with the kids' upcoming activities and appointments. Instructions have been written and taped on the refrigerator. My hope is that everything will be organized enough so that things will be easy for our parents as they will be taking care of the kids. My wonderful neighbors are once again organizing meals for our family while I will be in the hospital and recovering. I will be giving my blog information to a family member so that they can update all of you during and after the surgery. I hope that I will be able to begin blogging again within a few days after the surgery.

This past week, God has continued to remind me the importance of BELIEVING. I find this theme everywhere I go and in everything I read. I know God is trying pound this idea in my head - to BELIEVE that good things are going to happen and that God will heal me. I am finding that 60% of my mind believes this will happen and the other 40% is still filled with fear that the cancer will never go away. I think at the beginning of this journey the ratio was 20/80. So I am getting there!

Mark 5:36 "...don't be afraid; just BELIEVE."

Galations 3:2-5 "I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing - if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you BELIEVE what your heard??

Mark 9:23 "...everything is possible for him who BELIEVES."

James 1:6 "But when he asks, he must BELIEVE and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

"BELIEVE in God, BELIEVE in life, BELIEVE in yourself and your future." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Healing is an inside out process. It begins in the heart with a glimmer of hope. The more we trust in it the stronger it becomes until we are mended - body and soul. Good things happen when we BELIEVE."

Prayer requests:
1. Pray the cancer will be gone after surgery
2. Pray for wisdom for the surgeons
3. Pray my eye will be protected
4. Pray for peace before and after surgery
5. Pray for strength
6. Pray for Mackenzie, Kendall and Jason
7. Pray for a quick recovery after surgery


Anonymous said...

You sound much stronger than you think you are Sue. I have all the faith in the world that you will come out of this just fine. That's not to say it won't be a struggle but you will get through this and life will return to normal for you, for your girls and for Jason. It's going to take a while but you just have to believe that it will happen. And you and your family are always in our prayers and our thoughts. Just believe.

Susan Thomas

Anonymous said...

I know you will get through this with much strength from the Lord as so many continue to pray for you. Please keep us updated as much as possible so we know how to pray. I will be praying for your whole family

Anonymous said...

Dear Sue,
Your cousin Beth and I work together at Wedgwood in Grand Rapids. Our HR team prays for you on a frequent basis. Your journey and thoughts in the blog are such a powerful testimony to all of us who read it. May God's peace, comfort, encouragement be evident, and strengthen you in these days ahead.
"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go" Joshua of my favorite verses.
Blessings to you. We will be holding you up before the God who cares about every detail.
Molly Guillaume

Anonymous said...


I think of you every day. We are all behind you, supporting you, and loving you. Spend every spare moment loving your family. That is what your girls will remember about this experience, your love, strength, and faith.

John said...


Meredith sent me your link....just looked through it - your faith in The Lord is amazing!
How can I pray for you?

JB (John Bosacker)(