There is authority in and power in the name of Jesus

“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad…”

Lord Byron

 Gosh, I have been dreading this for days and weeks! Everyone made it so endurable that I walk away feeling like I experienced a shower of love. The kinds of showers that grows your heart to a greater capacity to receive. We’ve all met people who had a Big Heart. I want to have one of those.. A Big Heart! Thank you God for growing my heart.

Prepare yourself to see the word therapy written down and know that I mean chemo. I just can’t call it chemo. It is tied to so many bad implications. Realistically today’s therapy really doesn’t compare to the way it was used like a loose cannon in the days of past. Doctors are so specific in the way they prescribe it. That’s why I had to wait for more tests to be done before we got started. No doctor is going to prescribe a medication for you that has more consequences than the disease they are fighting. Not to mention all the in-between blood tests to monitor ever organ and blood count. So from here on out I am going to call it Therapy!

We left for Therapy about 10am on Wednesday morning which was only about 45 minutes after I spoke with the nurse who said they had an opening! This is NOT a typical way to start your first day of therapy! For me though, it was a better way. Last week I had read a three-ring binder filled with possible side effects and it had me so freaked out that I just wasn’t ready and ultimately glad that therapy was postponed last week.

I had a dream a few days before we started that I was in agreement with the rest of my body parts that we were ready to get therapy. As if they could talk to me?

That dream came on the heals of a MUGA-Scan test that I took on Monday. The MUGA -Scan measured all the functions of my heart valves so we could have a baseline knowledge of its health. If I end up needing more aggressive treatment recommended by the Mayo Clinic they will want this test. The most significant part of having this test was the positive self talk I found during it. As I lay there strapped to the table and arms pinned down to a tiny one foot wide table and a massive diagnostic machine over me within inches of my very scarred and flat chest, the fight internalized. All of a sudden I heard the 15-year-old Clark High School cheerleader in me begin to chant.

V I C T O R Y. Victory, Victory, that’s our cry!


Go Fight Win! Defense Jesus Defense!


Push ‘m Back!


R.e.- R.e.b.- R.e.b.o.u.n.d. Rebound!


Then I could hear the almost audible sound in my ears of men marching. Thousands of marching boots. I could visualize Gladiators holding spears in the shape of a cross and marching, looking for the enemy.

It was then that I remembered that there is a protein structure outside our cells called Laminin. It forms the shape of a cross. With all this strength of mind, I knew there was authority and power in what Jesus has asked of me. To Believe! 


Laminin is a protein that is part of the extracellular matrix in humans and animals. The extracellular matrix (ECM) lies outside of cells and provides support and attachment for cells inside organs (along with many other functions). Laminin has “arms” that associate with other laminin molecules to form sheets and bind to cells. Laminin and other ECM proteins essentially “glue” 


Hello Therapy Room

Hello Therapy room, filled with 3 aisles of yellow reclining chairs. Each aisle had six chairs facing one another, three on each side-with IV poles on the side of each chair. The gigantic window that stretch from one end of the room to the other and from top to bottom created an outdoor/ indoor environment. Almost like a sun room.

The lady who sat directly across from my reclining chair in our sunshiny room, is considerably older than I and barely a hundred pounds. She looked like a pro at this with her shoes kicked off and a nice bulky book to read. She was so darn cute I could have put her in my pocket. I instantly loved her. She looked up out of her pages a few times and I caught her glance while I was being hooked up. She could tell I was a newbie. I think I saw a twinkle in her eye as she simply sent an encouraging smile across the aisle. Taking her lead, I reclined my chair, kicked off my shoes, snuggled in my pink furry blanket my favorite aunt gave me with my name and a pink ribbon done in bling-bling. I sorted through the Susan G Koman bag of goodies and entertainment that I packed for Gilligan Island’s 3 hour tour ( treatment lasted for 3 hours) and picked out my “Crazy Love” book that was given to me by a wonderful Christian sister. It wasn’t long before my aisle buddy took off her little beanie to show my husband and I how her hair was holding up and shared her story about having the hair dresser cut it very short but not totally off as it began to fall out. That little twinkle in her eye disappeared and I saw a vulnerable woman with her insecurity covered by a little beanie. A quick glance back to our books gave us a little break from the eye contact that was about to produce a tear or two. Unspoken rule #1 DO NOT CRY IN THE THERAPY ROOM! When in doubt think about others.

And so I did. I began to just pray for my new friend with the same chant I learned from my 15 year self as a cheerleader. I was going to be her personal cheerleader for the rest of our treatment. Another Aisle buddy joined us. He has melanoma and it was his first time too. So, I prayed for his healing. There were more people who came to the therapy room. One other young man with testicular cancer had his laptop open with pictures of his two little sweetheart children. I met him earlier.. so I prayed for him. Another lady I saw as I went to the bathroom had such a look of disappear on her face that was so intense that I felt it when I walked by, so I prayed for her too. The room filled with more and more patients and I prayed for as many as I could see.

When I got tired of reading I listened to an iPod that my daughter gave me last year for my birthday. First song was Matthew West. “ Strong Enough” Before you listen to the beautiful song join me in this experience of looking up at the Therapy dripping from the IV. Gratitude overwhelmed my heart and I felt it’s expansion was greater than the cold fluid entering my body. I could only think of it as a gift straight from heaven. God knew that I had cancer and no insurance. He knew that I had just lost every penny to my name from 2006-2012 in the real estate crash. A grand total of one million dollars. Busted broke and at rock bottom. He was there when all three of my daughters moved out-of-state within 6 short months. My Lord has buffered it all with His tender mercies and as a loved one reminds us; with His grace upon grace.

Listen with me again!

The bracelet on my hand in this picture was given to me by one of my best friends. She took it right off of her wrist and put it on my wrist. I thought it extraordinary as she has worn this bracelet everyday for as many years as I can remember. I know the sacrifice was hard for her. It doesn’t compare to the blessing of wearing it over the vein that carried the curing therapy to my body.

Bald is Beautiful

Having your head shaved sort of compares to skydiving, I would imagine. I woke up on Monday morning with an excessive amount of hair left behind on my hairbrush. I noticed that my head was tingling all day that day. I imagined it was the follicles in my head letting go of the hair. It was so itchy, but I was too afraid to scratch my head in fear that the hair would fall right out! By Tuesday night it was coming out when I ran my hands through it! I hadn’t washed it since Sunday because of the horror stories I heard from other survivors that it came out in the shower! Wednesday morning I woke up and put my hands on my head to see it was still there instead of on the pillow and  it was, whew. I made it! I made it to the appointed day to shave my head.

About a month ago I popped in a little boutique called “The Wig Cottage.” They specialize in helping survivors make the adjustment from hair loss to wigs and scarves. With my whole head of hair intact, the staff helped me pick out a wig that had the same texture, style and color as my very own hair. I tried on some fun wigs and each time I turned to my husband for his opinion. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I tried on the Lady Godiva wig. Long blonde wig, went down to my waist with surfer bangs. I looked about 18 and could see the real adventure of this wig thing… only to turn and look at him with a disappointed head nod… nope that one wasn’t the one!


Finally, I settle on the strawberry blonde “Malibu.” It was a perfect match even down to the roots! It looked like my hair on a really good hair day. I also picked out a baseball cap with extensions sown in and a nightcap. No, not shot of whiskey, a little flannel hat to keep my head warm at night-time because after all you lose 80% of your body heat through your head. There was special shampoo for my head and the wig too. Also, some soothing glaze for my itchy head.


All of these things where right there waiting for me at “The Wig Cottage.” I made the appointment exactly two weeks out  from my 1st treatment as recommended by the staff there. I barely made it! I had a client in the morning and one in the afternoon. So, I thought getting my head shaved between clients on a lunch break was perfect. Although, I was a bit concerned that if it were an emotional experience; would I be able to carry on the day? That was the mauling thought as we pulled up in the parking lot. The morning distraction was sweet and I didn’t have a minute to think about it until I saw the “Wig Cottage” sign.  Nervous and anxious, no return, big deep breath… okay, I’m ready.


I didn’t tell my stylist that I was a wreck inside. I’m sure she already knew. She simply turned my chair so I was looking into my husband’s eyes instead of the mirror. He stared back at me, never looking away.  I heard the buzz of the shears and experienced the greatest relief of itchy head that is known to man. Oh my goodness, it felt so good. I know now why a dog’s leg moves when you scratch its belly. Ahhhhhh……………I didn’t even care that she was taking it off.  No more worries that it’s going to fall out at the wrong time or suddenly. No more stray hair flying in my eyes, mouth and nose. I can wash and scratch my head! I think when people describe skydiving to me that’s what they are talking about. Scared to do it, but so glad they did!

Once she shaved my head she put my wig on immediately so still didn’t have to look at my bald head until I got home. I was so thankful!  With


 wig on, she turn me around and started to give me a hair cut by cutting the wig to perfection so it was custom to my face and taste. What a great experience. Once I finished my day and got home I was able to take the wig off and look at my head in the privacy of my own home. It wasn’t so bad. I found a few childhood scars that prompted some memories and stories that I repeated to my husband. Tried on my hat, used a hand-held mirror to see from every angle, and sent a few pictures of my bald head to those who asked, practiced putting on my wig and ended up just wearing a scarf for the rest of the evening.

Here’s the best part of the day. There was a package waiting for me when I got home. It was from a woman named Joy, who is a survivor. Inside the package was a scarf that Joy was passing on to me. The scarf was given to her by another survivor. She was also Stage II. The scarf is stunning and was purchased in Paris. She sent a beautiful card with it that had the most charming words of encouragement that congratulated me for making it through diagnosis and surgery so far.  It was a message of Hope that arrived at precisely the right moment. Coincidence?  No, that’s how much my God loves me and that’s how much He wants me to know that He is with me.

Round 2 and half way done!

Some people ask if chemo therapy hurts. No. It’s as silent and sneaky as the disease of cancer itself. Of course if you are like me and you don’t like needles, don’t like looking at them or feeling them, then I’d say- yep being a human pin cushion hurts. Otherwise, the only thing you can feel is the cold liquid pumping into your veins. Then a few days later it sneaks up on you with a queasy stomach, head ache, metallic taste in your mouth and a wide variety of other side effects that peak about 10 days after the drip. Weeks later you may lose your hair, coloring, nails and sense of humor. This is what happens when poison is used to eliminate fast growing rebellious cells.

So where can a cancer fighting patient find joy? It’s in all the beautiful people you meet along the way of the journey.  Yesterday I had my second round of treatment and went to a beauty class all in one day. The class was called “Look Good Feel Better.” A nonprofit organization that generously gives beauty supplies to women going through chemo treatment. I found them when I was doing my research months ago through the American Cancer Society. I went to get support and encouragement, but quickly found that giving support and encouragement felt way more natural. Everyone was in the same treatment stage.  They had either just had their second round or going to have it in a few days. We compared war stories like old army buddies. We giggled at our bald heads, no eyebrows while swapping new wigs, scarves and hats.  “Look Good Feel Better” gave us a healthy supply of new make-up which we applied in each other’s company while exploring new colors and techniques. For a couple of hours yesterday, I found a spot of humanity in this whole process. I forgot that I was being treated for cancer and just felt the kindred friendship of my new buddies.  It occurred to me that this was just the same feeling as the first day on a new job, sitting next to a stranger, the first day of school and maybe even the first time behind a wheel. It is just a new experience.

Then reality hit at the very end of class when my new friend Carol age 70, a real pistol, told me that her daughter 45-year-old  Dawn was in Chicago dying of liver cancer as she was battling breast cancer. I could have sat there for hours to talk with her as the facilitator were turning out the lights and picking up the trash. I’ll pray for you Carol and Dawn too as I waved good-bye! My God, why? Why must this woman be tormented to be away from her dying daughter while she takes her own cancer treatment? All of a sudden my circumstance became so minimal.

I have been forced to stand at the door of mortality and knock to see if the door was open. It takes a little more courage to do that then knocking on doors to sell Girl Scout cookies, but not much more.  Without Jesus, I would not be strong enough to do this. The most courageous person I know is my sister. Once we were standing on her front lawn at 2 am in the morning and a car came screeching by out of control. It slammed into a block wall perpendicular to her house. I gasped and put my hand over my mouth in disbelief. I was paralyzed by the sight. My sister’s reaction set her feet into motion and she ran across the street to see if the crumbled up car had a survivor. There was a girl inside still alive and a call was made to 911. All of this happened before my hand came away from my mouth. I was paralyzed with fear and no courage.

I don’t watch scary movies because I know that my lack of courage will keep me up at night. Cancer is one crazy scary movie! So, when people say that I am courageous and brave. I just laugh because I know that’s not me! That has to be God in me. His word says to focus on noble things, so I do. His Word says that I (the weak) am strong, therefore I am. His Word says that He will strengthen me and I have witnessed this first hand. Thank goodness that the weakness in my character, basically a coward, is where God is illuminated in me.

Several times Christian women have spoken out and told me that they felt the need to encourage me with Psalm 91. There was one young lady who is a friend of my son who had a beautiful quilt made with scriptures all over it for me and sent it home with a book about Psalm 91. What a blessing it has been to read line by line details about this promise of protection in Psalm 91. The verse that jumps right on my heart is

Psalm 91:7

A thousand shall fall at you’re your side, and ten thousand at your right hand;

but it shall not come near you.

I believe that I am healed. Not by my own understanding, but that of my God. I can’t ignore the repetition of scripture that people share with me that bequests my belief! God doesn’t Promise me everything I ask for. But this time I just KNOW that I know that he has promised me this. I will hold on to this promise and speak it out loud as often as I can.

Getting back to standing at the door of mortality and waiting with sweaty palms for an answer to my knock. I’ve asked myself a few questions. When I see the face of Jesus do I want to tell him about all the things I’ve done and accomplished or do I want to know that I did all He wanted me to do? Do I want to have a million dollars in the bank or do I want to touch a million lives? Do I want accolades and approval from man or do I want to walk in the confidence that Jesus perfected of my life? What do I really want out of this life for the rest of the days I have?

I have waited at the door of mortality and decided that it is not going to open for me today. I pivot on my rear heals and about-face setting out to search for His sheep to feed, looking for a million hearts to hold with the confidence that God has a perfect plan for my life. Time to be obedient and do the things I know He wants me to do. I will abandon my plans and chose His for the rest of my life.

And this is the gift that cancer gave to me!

The Spring of 2012

Earnest Hemingway wrote one of my favorite quotes in A Moveable Feast. I love his description of spring. It is so accurate in my opinion to the lessons in life. We know all winter long that we have a hope of spring in the next season. Consider the many different scenarios that define a winter season in life. No matter how dismal the shortened days of winter are, we still hope for newness of life. We are somewhat tormented when cold temperatures, wind and rain seem to suspend spring. Still, there is hope in our patience. We see no good reason for the delay of spring…. until we see and smell the bloom!
I didn’t love the day I was diagnosed, but the parallel timing of my circumstance to this favorite quote was sublime. My diagnosis came in the dead of winter on December 15th.  Stored away in my heart was this quote and the hope of spring which I think about often. I was so excited to know that in the darkest days of treatment that the grass would turn green and the fruit trees would swell with sweet fruit. I am thrilled that the timing was merciful. This is my third chemo treatment and the rose bushes are blooming! It is something beautiful to focus on and be grateful for.

Two weeks after my first treatment, I proactively shaved my head to avoid the trauma and frustration of  my hair falling out, but now I am shiny bald. Being bald because you shave your head is empowering. Being bald because the quarter-inch nubs have fallen out  feels entirely different. It is violating. It is exposing. It is humiliating.  I had a moment in the process that spoke clearly to my soul that I was not in charge. Swollen faced from the steroids, sunken eyes, rashes, metallic taste in my mouth, enormously tired and grey complexion; I finally break from the constant beating of cold rains. I don’t know the woman with the disfigured body in tears who stares back at me in the mirror. Hope. Therefore, I hope for spring, a newness of life and I hope that the frozen river will flow again. This basket of blooming roses point to spring and are a fragrant reminder that something wonderful lies behind this winter.

There is a great transforming purpose to this stripping down that brings humility to fullness. My motives have been exposed. I’ve been controlling  life while trying to find some sort of security. I trusted God while I was searching for this security. Am I the only one who looked for security in the world? I thought financial security would make me invincible. It obviously didn’t. The market changed and security was fleeting and cancer came anyway. Truthfully, I never felt as much fear as when I was financially secure. I laid awake many nights fearful that the money would be lost. My motives have been uncovered as I discovered that commitment and loyalty to family would provide security. It didn’t. People are human and as unpredictable as spring weather. When they are afraid, they hide. People can’t secure you because they are imperfect and flawed. My motives have become transparent to my own eyes as I saw that security can’t be found in my status. It can’t. Pride is woven so eloquently in affluence that you can barely see where one ends and the other begins. Pride fails and pride falls every time. Pride refuses to secure you. These are all the things I worked for, all the things I tried to control, all the things that motivated me. Not one of these things protected me, rescued  or gave me peace when I received my diagnosis of  breast cancer. It is not a bad thing to have any of these things. However, I was motivated to find security in these things and that was like a cancer of a different kind. I mentioned that I trusted God while I was busy working towards “success” in these areas. Blind, blind, blind… but now I see.
Why not trust God for my security? He has financially provided for us. He has been a rock solid infallible family member and  glorifying His status has given me indescribable security. The kind that changes your countenance.

I’m re-prioritizing! Re-organizing! Re-evaluating! Spring Cleaning! Part of me had to die in this winter, as Hemingway suggests. My fast growing cells had to die and my wrong motives also had to die. Thank goodness I will never be the same again. I’m busy about the task of spring cleaning closets, drawers, thoughts, behaviors, relationships and patterns. I won’t get it all done over night, but at least I’m working in the right direction.  I have a new motivation and new purpose. Everything just looks different in the spring of 2012.  Can you imagine? Every action, every word spoken, every detail was based out of a self-serving motivation. Gosh, I’m so glad that there is a spring around the corner of every winter.

One last treatment next Tuesday, May 1st and that’s the last of the wind and the cold, wintry light of this season. I hope I haven’t wasted a morsel of all that cancer has to teach me so far. I’m not looking forward to the next round since my body is already compromised. I’m sure that there will be more wisdom coming and I think it has to do with……. ( to be continued)

A Moveable Feast  is a set of  memoirs written by Earnest Hemingway about his life and internship as a writer in Paris. His book was published the year I was born in 1964, three years after his passing. Just an interesting footnote, thought I’d share it with you.

I’ve flipped my wig!

Moments of doubt. I think we’ve all had them, right? Maybe I’m alone in this, but I don’t think so. If you have ever doubted, have you doubted liked me? I doubt if I am making the right decisions, I doubt whether I am loved, accepted or even liked from time to time, I doubt strengths and I doubt weaknesses, doubt, doubt, doubt, doubt. Then with my creative mind I assume. Assuming PROVES that all the things I doubted must be true! Holy cow… you must think I’m a little crazy just admitting this, but I’m pretty sure you’ve had these thoughts too. Let me give you an example; I discovered that every time this blog is read.. the numbers are tracked and a report is generated for the writer’s information. Well, I read that report and 4,000 people have read my inner most thoughts about my journey through cancer. Wow, I got a little intimated by that little fact and I began to doubt. Doubt that my writing was good enough for 4,000 people to spend a single moment of their time on. So, I assumed that my insignificant thoughts should just be kept to myself. You’ve heard the phrase; Kids are to speak when they are spoken to. That was my father’s rule, may he rest in peace.  I’m equivalent to a big kid waiting to be spoken to. I say this with a giggle because several people are asking about the next post!

So, I apologize to anyone who has been following my journey. Let me share the last few months with a bird’s-eye view. As you can see, I’ve flipped my wig! Man oh man, 110 degrees is just too stinking hot to wear a fur hat in the middle of summer. My hair started to grow back about a month ago, which has really been exciting!  In fact, I woke up this morning with a little pillow head and had to scoop a little water in my hand to splash down a couple of smashed hairs. More than one person has made mention of my Jamie Lee Curtis look-a-like style. Wow how liberating it is to towel off and go! I actually feel sorry for women who build their joy around a good hair day or bad hair day! For me, it’s a bad hair day everyday. You know what? I’m going to be happy anyway!

The last Chemo treatment was May 1st. Looking back on it I can say it all went so fast. Believe this or not but my last chemo was the scariest. Because the conclusion meant one thing; we were done fighting hope we got it all. The doctors said good luck, no guarantees. If it comes back I will live 2-7 years. I have follow-up visits every 3 months. That might sound intense to you, but for me it seems like someone let me out of jail! I must have my estrogen level tested every three months to make sure the medicine I’m taking is eliminating the production of that hormone. I’ll take that medicine for 5 years. I wish I could take it for ever, but they say five years is enough. The estrogen hormone was feeding the cancer. So if they stop it, cancer will not have food to grow. Here’s a big surprise, we found out that fat cells produce estrogen too! So It’s time for me to finish the weigh less project that I started last year. 45 lbs since last Sept  2011 have slipped away. I need another 15 lbs and then I’ll be right where I want to be.

Doubt and assumption. What a rip off! Let me remember that for the future. Love others! Don’t be concerned with the nay sayers and trouble makers. Acts of kindness are good for you, much like eating vegetables. The problem is that I’m the biggest nay sayer in my life! I must not ever doubt the Promise I have in God nor doubt the hope I have that all the cancer was eliminated with treatment. I must have Faith. I must wake up every morning with a grateful heart for another day. 2-7 years if it comes back. I gulp that down when I needed to be reminded the true importance of this life. It is not my to-do list. It is not my career. It is not my security. It is not whether I am accepted. It is simply to live a joy-filled life. Right now, in order to do that I must be reconciled in every relationship. Got work to do!

Much Love to You- Think Good Thoughts…. until we talk again!

Why God? Round 4

The day before my 4th and final  round of treatment I had lunch with a dear friend. She admitted to me that she had often asked, why God after she heard of my diagnosis. Why did it have to happen to Sheri? I was touched that she thought so much of me that she would approach God with this question on my behalf. I admit that I also pondered why, God? Did you catch where that comma was placed? Why, God?
I feel compelled to explain why I chose God instead of asking why He chose me for this trail. In fact it never even occurred to me to ask Him why I had to get this deadly disease.  I want to try to describe to you like trying to describe a color to a blind man who has never seen. This is why I chose God. 

I’ve been called lots of endearing names such as bible thumper, super religious, Jesus freak, self-righteous and holier than thou. I love all these terms of endearment because they are a beautiful exchange for other names I was called when I was a very young girl by one of my dad’s girlfriends whom I called mom for several years. As a seven-year old I heard  her substitute my name for Stupid and Dummy. They stung like hollow point bullets that explode in you creating great damage to the internal body As I got a little older  at about 11 and in the 5th grade I can vividly remember the back of her hand hitting my face as a casual occurrence Its companion Ugly and Idiot numbed my ears. By the time I was in Jr High school the nick names became more elaborate statements that predicted my future rather than one word triggers and physical assaults. You should have never been BORN, you’ll NEVER amount to anything, you are WORTHLESS became not only a mantra spoken to me, but one I began to say to myself.

This woman who  was responsible to mirroring the world to me taught me very early that I was an under dog. (If you are a parent DO NOT handicap your children this way! ) By the time I reached high school the dreaded girlfriend had expired her welcome in my father’s house as her gambling addiction was revealed…. then her abuses were revealed. She abused herself far greater than she abused me. I was able to forgive her in the years that followed. Darn it if the damage had not already been done though

I remember wanting… wanting to go to college. I love education. I love learning, but that’s not the route  I took. This underdog began to hang out on the wrong corners with the wrong crowd and fell from track athlete and cheerleader to a true underdog I was convinced that I was. By the time I was 16 I had already been  victim to date rape. More evidence that I was indeed merely Worthless. There are a million details between the lines of this paragraph and the timeline of my life, but now is not the time.

It was at the end of my marriage to my children’s father that I asked God why? Why was life so hard? Why did He hate me so much that he would allow all these things to happen to me? I fell down to my knees and just surrendered. God, I tried the best I could to live a decent life and I failed.

The mantra continued….I am a failure, I am worthless, stupid, a dummy and perhaps I should had never been born. So there you go, God! You can have my life. Take me home now, this life is too hard. OR, you can have my life and do with it what ever you want to do. I’m done, I don’t have the answers, you do.

That was the last time I asked God why. From that day, I have carried a peace within me and a knowing that my life is not my own anymore. I gave it away. I gave away the torment, confusion and I was given so much forgiveness that I can’t help it if it spills on others. The same with grace and mercy. I got an insatiable hunger for the Word and the Truth found on the pages of His love letter. I simply disciplined myself to apply His Truth to life and the transformation began. It hasn’t stopped and honestly it never will stop, because no one really arrives at the doorway of perfection and  that’s okay.

Now my children were teenagers when I surrendered in 1999. I know that they know their mom has faith, but I’m not sure if  they know why? Until now. Ironically, my dream husband lived almost right behind me on a few streets over. We married in 2007 and I kid him often about waiting so long to find me.

Asking God why I got cancer wasn’t even on my radar. Asking God to use my cancer to give others hope and stretch the many observers to a deeper faith is my top priority.  God is SOOOO Divine. I was broken, busted, crushed and trampled many times but NONE like this last time.He has rescued me AGAIN!

And that’s Why, God!!!

Reconstruction…Not Just Yet!

I just need a minute, a minute without being poked and stretched and monitored. Reconstruction sounds wonderful but I’m just not ready for another procedure. My husband, the faithful man that he is, entertains our many life changes that cancer has brought to our lives. We are making great strides since the worst of treatment rendered my legs almost paralyzed only being able to walk the length of my house to the neighbor’s next store.  We are training for a 5K! It’s a  S L O W progress but we can finally run for 10 minutes straight. Wow, what a difference. 

There are more changes that are coming to our house. Today I threw out all of our scratched Teflon pans and I’ll be exchanging plastic Tupperware for glassware. I’m on the lookout for anything broken in my house, heart and mind. I will repair, fix or throw out. Reconstruction just needs to wait a minute.

I’m enjoying the run without breasts to strap down and hair to manage! This reminds me to tell you about a wonderful little place called, Carols Post Mastectomy Specialists (702) 568-9595, where I found the prosthesis. The attendants there are very compassionate and full of secret hints and suggestions for us amputees. Boy, I laughed and giggled as I tried on prosthetic breasts. I tried an A cup and a DD! I asked if I could have one of each, but chose something in between. There are special bras that fit the prosthesis so I got a few of those too. It always feels great to get a pretty new bra. You know, these strap on breasts will work for a few more months.

I had a checkup this last week and found that my white blood count is very low at 4.6. The normal count is somewhere between 11 and 4 so you can see that I am on the low-end. Doc says it is normal to have a decreased WBC after chemotherapy. I’m trying not to tremble with fear because I realize that if I get sick, I won’t be able to get better without an immune system. Doc says that it was only a 3 in March! Gosh, I guess that’s why they call this a fight! My original instinct was that if I let the doctors do what they do best and if I do what I can do making better choices than God could do what he wants to do. I believed then and I believe now that the healing is mine for the taking. Am I strong enough in mind, body and spirit? Probably not; I can ask for help though. God’s Spirit will guide me through this maze of recovery and restoration. I’m certain that I’ll be alright. The answer is in listening to my convictions and responding quickly to that still quiet voice. Here are a few convictions I’ve heard: Don’t eat sugar, exercise, think good thoughts, be kind and forgive. I have motivation like no other to live right… Live-strong!

I’ve got to go… looking for more broken stuff to get rid of! Much love my friend.

One Year Cancer Free

One year Cancer free! I embraced the joy of this the same way I might enjoy dancing on a deserted battlefield with a flowing white gown and tiara as my only weapon, knowing there could be snipers in the brush. My battlefield looks like Gettysburg, beautifully important and civil. Something wonderful happened in that place,  the echo of sacrificed souls whisper a reminder of the cost if it should happened again. The silenced war is a peaceful place for the survivors and the deceased once a new perspective takes place. Did I really dance on such a field? I thought the day would bring accomplished gratitude with it, but I wept all day and all weekend, not even a muster of celebration. Weeping is NOT the same as crying. You cry when you think about your circumstance, but you weep when you go about your day and the tears arrive anyway.

Perplexing how fast it went by and how fast I settled back into old habits of just living life. All my emotions of joy and pain, love and loss, fear and peace where bottled up and shaken on this anniversary.  Much like the pop of a bottle of Champagne, my tears couldn’t be contained. You would think I just received the news all over again. Delayed reaction I presume. Suck it up, put your shoulders back and march forward, keeping focus doesn’t allow for much reflection. That’s what busy will get you. One Year Anniversary is a bizarre acronym for revisiting that torn battlefield.

How could I not take a monumental stop to pause the world for just one day so I could say thank you to God for adding 365 days to my life so far. I was heading into the day with that very mindset when I called a colleague about real estate and coincidentally found her to be a survivor.  She is experiencing my greatest fear. She is a two-year survivor this month and they have found a mass on her lung. She seemed to be in good spirits, but I quietly crumbled on the other end of the phone. I quickly calculated if that were me I am only another year away from the hostile sound again. Time goes so quick.

Through an aware spirit I remembered the promise I made to God while laying on that PET scan machine. “I will write if you let me stay” A deal and bargain I made when all guns were calked and pointing at me.  Here we are at the point of epic celebration and I am sweetly and gently reminded that my word has not been kept… YET. I am so thankful that my Lord factors in my humanity and broken integrity when I don’t do what I say I will do. I am grateful that He tenderly prepares me to succeed at His plans for my life. I could have called any agent that all too important day, but I called the agent who would trigger my forgotten promise. I lift my glass of bubbly bottled emotion and celebrate 2013 as the year that counts.

Gone crazy, be back soon!

My crazy is showing again! Top ten reasons why you are not yourself:

#10 You say, “huh” a lot when people are talking to you.

#9 You find yourself thinking about what you are thinking about. AKA over thinking.

#8 Concerned with ME, ME and ME.

#7 You misunderstand a party invitation which is immediately followed by being misunderstood.

#6 Your husband says a week later, “Are we still talking about this?”

#5 You want to crawl in a hole because you know your Crazy is loose and could devour someone.

#4 You don’t really know what’s going on so you assume the very WORST.

#3 Your loved ones want to help, so they tell you everything you’ve done wrong.

#2 You want to be in your right mind, but instead you’ve actually left your mind.

And the number one reason you know you’re not yourself.

#1 You ask yourself and others, have I gone crazy?

This folks is what it looks like when your crazy is showing. This is war! It’s a spiritual war which has been requested and approved. If I belong to God, nothing can touch me unless it is filtered through His hand. It’s meant to reveal your crazy spot so you can grow. The bigger the war and chaos, the more we have potential for growth. After a non-stop crazy week of miscommunication, insult, correction and accusation I finally had some clarity.

These symptoms of craziness held the keys to a deeper truth when held up to the Light. When we stop trying to figure it out by way of reasoning or justification and stand circumspectly before God, we can get answers. This is the Lord’s Dwelling Place where truth and honesty is revealed and where no fear of harm and condemnation can be found. In this Dwelling Place we can come boldly to our King and ask for examination. I know that His Grace is mighty! I brought my Crazy to His throne room. He took it and gave me peace in its place.

In the still quiet voice of my heart, I heard Him say:
Forgive unmet expectations; remove the idols from your life that put people and things above My Holy name. Don’t bend in your integrity because it will cause you to have a skewed vision and misinterpret situations. Come under your husband’s covering and don’t walk outside of it, EVER.

The simple point here is that we must Abide in Christ. John 15:1-11 has the word (abide) 10 times. That’s 10 times in 11 verses! When you’ve plunged into crazy, tuck, pray and Abide in His love. Remember His promise to restore you and protect you in ALL circumstances. This was just a test!