Thursday, July 29, 2010

Get Up And Dance!

Get up and dance and shake that bootie! It is time to celebrate! MRI results...STILL CANCER FREE! Never before have I been given the results of a scan so fast! My MRI was on Monday and later on in the day I received a phone call with the results. I was in the middle of eating dinner when I received the phone call. Needless to say, Jason, Mackenzie, Kendall and I were filled with joy and relief. The celebration involved ice cream sundaes with the works and many thanks being given to God! An end in sight is coming into view.

Unfortunately, the celebration is somewhat bittersweet. My focus is now on the next surgery which has been scheduled for next Wednesday. After much deliberation, my surgeons have not decided to use the fascia from the side of my head to repair my face. The original plan to use the skin from my cheek will be put into action. This surgery HAS to work. We are beginning to run out of options. My surgeon and I are not confident this will work, but it is the least evasive procedure. If this procedure fails, I will be undergoing a massive procedure which involves removing the majority of the skin on the right of my face and replacing it with skin from my leg. Again, no guarantees this procedure would work.

While I am so relieved to still be cancer free, I still need your support and prayers, Pray this surgery is successful and that my face will stay intact. I pray and hope that this surgery will work so that I can move on with my life once and for all.

Love to you all,

Sunday, July 25, 2010


This Summer, I decided to read the Chronicles of Narnia with Mackenzie and Kendall. I don't know who is enjoying it or the girls. It has been fun to journey into the world of Narnia filled with creatures and characters with biblical parallels. I don't think the girls are understanding some of these parallels, but with discussion I am able to explain who represents who and what represents what in the story. The other night, we were reading one of the final chapters of the Magician's Nephew. Narnia had just been created by Aslan the lion (C.S. Lewis uses this character to represent God). If you have seen the movies, you will remember what a magnificent animal Aslan is. Powerful and strong, yet compassionate and loving. He is a protector. He is a friend. Upon meeting Aslan, the boy in the book, Digory, is fearful of Aslan, yet drawn to him. He realizes Aslan has the power to heal his sick and dying mother. He would do anything to save her and Aslan was his answer. Aslan wanted to send Digory on an important mission to help save Narnia from evil, but before he left, Digory felt compelled to ask Aslan for a favor for his Mother.

"I asked, are you ready?" said the Lion. "Yes," said Digory. He had for a second some wild idea of saying "I'll try to help you if you'll promise to help my Mother," but he realized in time that the Lion was not at all the sort of person one could make bargains with. But when he had said "Yes," he thought of his Mother, and he thought of the great hopes he had had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump came in his throat and tears in his eyes and he blurted out: "But please, please-won't you-can't you give me something that will cure my Mother?" Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself. - The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

I was now reading the story with tears in my eyes. I chose to read on, but now that I think about it I wish I would have explained to the girls how meaningful this exchange was between Aslan and Digory. If we had the opportunity to see God's face right now, I know we too would see tears in his eyes feeling my pain and my sorrow as a result of my battle of cancer and the issues I am currently facing. God is a compassionate and understanding being...knowing and feeling our sorrows along with us. I want so badly for my children to know and understand this side of God.

The story continues with Aslan sending Digory on a mission to find an apple to plant a tree. The purpose of this tree was to do a great many things including save Narnia. Digory was sent on this journey with no understanding of what its purpose was. Little did he know that Aslan's purpose for Digory's journey was not only to help save Narnia but to also to save his Mother.

In the midst of our trials, God sends us on a long journey to learn something about ourselves, our faith or to serve a greater purpose. Sometimes we have to embarq on this journey without knowledge of whether or not we will get through our trial. But at the end of our journey God will accomplish great things. I look forward to the great things God will accomplish after this journey I am on is over.

"What I give you now will bring joy. It will not, in your world, give endless life, but it will heal. Go. Pluck her (Digory's Mom) an apple from the Tree." -Aslan's words to Digory in The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

This week is an important week. Tomorrow I will have an MRI to determine if the cancer is still gone or if it has come back. The results of this MRI will be life changing. I will also find out when the next surgery is. As of now, I am planning as much as I can before this surgery as I anticipate a long recovery. My Summer will end when this surgery takes place. I hope to make it to the cabin one more time. It all depends on whether or not the surgeons determine if it is safe to wait a couple of weeks to perform the surgery.

Please pray for strength. Pray for good news! Pray for wisdom for my surgeons as they will be making vital decisions to heal my face. Especially pray for peace as I will be feeling a lot of anxiety in the weeks to come.

Blessings to you all,


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Voices in my Head

Voice of Truth
by Casting Crowns

Oh,what I would do to have
the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
You you'll never win

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the Voice of truth says "this is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
"Boy you'll never win,
you'll never win."

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the Voice of truth says "this is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don't seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
The Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
And the Voice of truth says "this is for my glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)
I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the Voice of truth
I will listen and believe
'Cause Jesus you are the Voice of truth
And I will listen to you.. oh you are the Voice of truth

These past couple of weeks I have really been struggling with listening to this voice of truth. Instead, negative thoughts have been consuming my mind. I am watching the hole in my face get bigger causing hopelessness to overcome me. I am really hoping that the flap from my cheek will be big enough to cover the hole. Step two of the procedure is tomorrow. And I am so afraid I am going to walk into the clinic, see my doctor's eyes widen with fear and hear him say this isn't going to work. The hole is too big. Yet, the biggest mind game I have going on right now is about the MRI scheduled for Monday. Voices inside my head are telling me that cancer is back, that I will get bad results. It is a constant battle...ignoring the negative thoughts and concentrating on the positive...on the voice of truth.

Some of the best words of wisdom that were given to me this past year were this: Sue, God is good. He is about life, not death. About peace, not anxiety and fear. He wants you to believe, not doubt. So if you are feeling fearful, uneasy or doubtful start focusing on the voice of truth (God) and all of these feelings will start to go away. I have found this advice to be so true and the best advice a cancer patient could ever receive.

This morning I had another meltdown. As the song says, the crashing waves were calling out my name reminding of all of the times I tried before and failed. Telling me I will never win. Again, I had to start my morning asking God for peace...for encouragement. I had to choose to listen and believe to the voice of truth.

Please continue to pray for healing. Pray for peace as I face this next week and the upcoming MRI. Pray that the hole will simply be fixed and not require massive surgery.

Thank you all for your words of encouragement....sticking with me until the very end...whenever that will be. Your prayers mean so much to me.

All my love,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Ativan Morning

You know it is bad when I resort to Ativan. I just took a pill as I am a bundle of nerves this morning. I am so full of anxiety that I feel like I can't breath. My back is tight and I feel like I am on the verge of breaking down in tears. I am trying hard to hold it together. I don't want my family to catch on and carry the weight of my worry and stress. If I am like this after a simple bone scan, I can't imagine what I am going to be like before and after my upcoming MRI. With that looming over my head as it is quickly approaching, I am starting to freak out. Yesterday's bone scan did not help to alleviate any of my angst. I thought the scan was scheduled to determine the viability of the bone underneath my eye. But something gave me the feeling my doctors are checking to see if the cancer has gone into the bone. I am trying not to let my fears overtake my rational thinking, but today the fear is winning. Thus, the anxiety. Thus, the Ativan.

These past couple of weeks, I am feeling the need to do the things I really want to do before the upcoming MRI. It all started with being able to go up to the cabin for the Fourth of July. It was an amazing weekend and I was thanking God for every day and every moment I was able to be there. I have learned to live my life in segments. I do what I can in a few months and try not to plan anything else beyond the next MRI or surgery until I have learned the results and feel it is safe to move on for the next few months. In the past, when I have planned things in the distant future, they end up getting cancelled due to bad results. I am trying hard not to live this way and I know it is not healthy. But it is my way of protecting myself and preventing myself from being disappointed. So I am finding myself going into panic mode. My next MRI is coming up in a couple of weeks and I am feeling the pressure to experience Summer to its fullest as I fear that it will be taken away all too quickly with bad results...again.

I am not seeing an end in sight. The hole in my face has yet to be resolved. I think I have my surgeons stumped. I am doing the best I can to trust God with this situation. I pray for strength and peace every day. It is something I have to do every morning so I can get through the day. I think I am walking around dazed and confused. I need some encouragement or positive news to come my way soon.