Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's Up Doc?

Frozen in time this picture is, but this bunny on the median of a subdivision was frozen hoping not to be noticed by us.  That is just how I have felt for the past two weeks.  FROZEN.  Not knowing many things about my prognosis, treatment and outcome of my diagnosis just seems to freeze my steps.  Because every day gets a bit better I can let my guard down just a bit allowing me to move forward with baby steps.  With hands lifted (gently) starting to believe I am a survivor and what I am made of because He put it there.
So what's up doc, was last Wednesday when I got the word of discovery.  Yesterday was meet the new doc day, Dr. Rebecca Barrington, and I can honestly say, I LOVE HER! She listens, she explains, she wants, she empowers, she is passionate, she prays, she hugs, she laughs, she takes the time for each one, she cares and she is here where I live, for such a time as this in my life.  Thank you God.  Sept 13th starts chemo then radiation to follow.  I already have our Christmas card designed.....on my head!

 Staying pretty close to home. With my peeps close at hand, helping, overwhelming community outpouring, and being able to feel the strength in numbers, I recover.  Relinquishing control, accepting help from others, and recognizing my limitations has never been long suits of mine.  I have had a mindset that I can do most anything myself, without help.  Selfish really. The healing has begun in me to love the way love is intended to be.....a gift of giving AND receiving.  Realizing how little I knew of my Savior and excited how much He has in store for me.  I believe I will receive as I achieve.  No longer feeling like I am hanging on by my nails, which need manicuring I might add, I feel confidently assured of decisions made as the Holy Spirit's leading has not led me astray, to the very place I need to be, in His rest.  What does all that mean?  I am resting as I am working hard to press onward?  Seems like an oxymoron actually, but somehow the resting is part of the work.  A quieting in my self to make time for God's handiwork to have its way in me.  Step aside He is coming through and boy will He ever come through....always.
Faith is not that God can.....it is knowing He will.
"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise You , for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,  And that my soul knows very well."
Ps 139: 13-14  I feel His covering, His weaving the lining and fabric to this story, this journey, this incredible opportunity to praise Him and see His glorious works manifesting all around me.  Who wouldn't want that, I mean really?  More Lord, I desire more of You every day as prayer shawl wraps itself around every prayer spoken and knitted into each thread.  This too will be a unique shawl that I will wear for only a while, but will not be my legacy for He has known all along.
So a trip to Barnes and Noble and I feel as though I am getting geared up for the battle.  A journal to document, a dry erase to hang outside so people can leave notes if I am resting when they come by, a 2012 little calendar book that starts in June to keep appointments etc, a book about using nutrition as a weapon and lastly the only pretty cookbook I could find  in the entire store with pictures and recipes for fighting cancer in the kitchen.  Of course it did dawn on me......maybe I should write my own cookbook.  First dinner party will be all about pink.  After all the treatment plan is throwing the kitchen sink at me, thank you God I love to do dishes and there is no other place I'd rather be than in the kitchen.  The spiritual nourishment I have consumed already is lacking nothing in wisdom and grace.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fighting Fire with Fire

This photo is magical to me.  I see lots of things. A Love, God heart at the base, a person standing tall with right hand extended pressing on and away from evil nipping.  What do you see?
Whenever anyone gets the news of cancer their world seems to STOP.  That was my world two weeks ago today. Breast cancer. STOP. Surgery. STOP. Mastectomy. STOP. Chemo. STOP.  Suddenly I was forced to STOP.  Taking the news pretty well, trying to be brave and strong knowing what I had to do, I pressed on into the dark unknown, trusting God, seeing God all around as decisions had to be made, but still feeling out of control on the inside.  Stinking thinking thoughts came into my head like, what if I die, o gosh people will come to my house and its not clean, maybe people will read my journals, I want to be a grandmother, I don't have time for this, I have a wedding to plan, is this really me they are talking about, this is gonna hurt, how will I keep up with my old life, I am racked with fear, and I feel so out of control.  Round and round and round it went in my head like a bad record that has a scratch and it kept skipping and skipping. Til finally I was able to let it go.
It was Friday after I got home from the hospital and I was so racked with fear, so afraid the people I love would not know how to take care of me, one who is a nurse, HELLO! I broke down into the deepest most healing wail of a cry that I have ever experienced in my whole life.  On and on I cried from down deep in the depths of my gut it came rushing out.  Filling my lungs with air forcing out any worry, any hurt, and fear and any doubt.  Then something really strange happened.  My sowing in tears suddenly turned to reaping in joy. I began to uncontrollably laugh.  Everything and anything anyone said I would burst into laughter.  Needless to say my children who were there thought I had flipped my lid, but then they too began to laugh.  It was the best medicine anyone could have given me and I wish I could wake up every day like that.  So cleansing, so deep and reassuring that God is in charge and I can let go of all my burdens to Him.  It was what needed to happen if I was to move forward on this spiritual journey, not just a medical journey.
Everywhere I went leading up to my surgery God had both my hands in His.  It takes us sometimes a world stopping moment to open our eyes and ears to see that He is all around me.  He introduced me to women who could help me on this journey before I was even diagnosed with Lingerie Line (see vimeo in previous post), crossed my path with women who went through exactly what I was about to up at Laity Lodge, played the song Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys as I walked into So Fast Printing to wrapped up wedding invitations, He placed all the right nurses and doctors to take care of me during surgery and has brought a new light into our family causing grace and peace to reside.  Already blessing after blessing of His faithfulness.  He provided every step of the way leading up to, through and I know He will beyond.  He provided a caretaker for those taking care of me in my sweet brother in law, he provided ways and means for some of my children to be with me, He gave my husband an understanding boss and job where flexibility is in his job description, He provided a sister who's loving hands knew exactly where to touch with healing balm that washed over me like anointing oil, He gave me a community that covered me in so much prayer I felt like I was carried with each new step I took.   God is teaching me how to respond to His Love.  Spiritual journeys often start with brokenness, loss, struggle, but it always leads to a deeper awareness of His presence. My questions to God about why this is happening don't keep me from following, submitting, worshipping and loving God.  It has giving me a taste of the freedom in joy I desire.  I want the fullness of God, but how often do I resist the path He takes me on to receive it.  If only I were more willing more often I would benefit from this joy in my life.   I must keep learning how to surrender to what really matters.  Suffering (God's gift) is the only thing that can strip us of our ego.  He can't use me if I don't allow Him everywhere, everything, everyone.  I have to let others be the body of Christ, wrapping me, caring for me, buckling my belt, washing my wounds, being the hands and feet of Jesus, pushing me forward, supplying me with kindling and showing me His Love.
The pathology news was good, nothing new, nothing unidentifiable, so we could all exhale once the doctor's words were out of his mouth.  Tumor was 2.7 cm, contained, stage 2, only two nodes effected that were not bundled or sticky, and I can wait til after the wedding to start chemo.  Who knows maybe I won't lose all my hair.  I have enough of it.   I am confident that this will get out whatever cancer remains in my body, fighting fire with fire.  Much like forest firefighters they sometimes have to start a fire in order to stop a fire.  My fire comes from above and will be  a covering, burning away the chaff allowing new growth.  A fire so big that it will light up the sky within my heart.  A fire that sends a signal to the heavens and all those around me that I am battling a war that rages within that is being contained and extinguished by the very healing Hand of God.   He and I will push through the flames and the smoke filled rooms making sure every corridor, every chamber and every cell is not left uncovered.

The fresh wind of God's Spirit will keep the flames going till His work is complete in me.  He will use this for His Glory, His purpose under heaven, and His delight will be my reflection.  I am ready with hopeful anticipation the battle that is just over the hill knowing I am fully armed, fully equipped and stocked for the months ahead to meet and greet whatever dead wood that needs clearing, whatever piles of leaves that need mulching and whatever fires that need to be set in order to stop the fire from spreading.  Forgetting what lies behind and setting my eyes on the prize......Jesus who will be walking through the flames with me, just like Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego in Daniel 1-3.
I was always the designated fire starter when camping, in our fireplace and at my boarding school lounge, so the love of a good fire and the ability to keep a fire going, I guess you could say, has been a gift.
A little song I remember from Camp Mystic:
Here we are all together as we sing our song joyfully
Here we are all together as I pray we'll always be.
Join we now as friends to celebrate the coming of the Lord thankfully
Keep the fires burning tender them with care as we all join in and sing......

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Secret Garden/Lingerie Line

This is my interview about a unique boutique called The Secret Garden in Fredericksburg, TX that is the host for Lingerie Line for better breast care specializing in the most feminine wear after breast surgery.  With my recent diagnosis the timing of this meeting could only have been orchestrated by God.  He is always faithful.

Answer these two questions for a chance to win the giveaways:
 A Liz James necklace that I am wearing int he video  LizJames.com   A sampling of gifts for someone you may know going through breast cancer or for you yourself from Lingerie Line.

1. How many years has Kathy been in business with the Secret Garden?
2. What Mexico city does Jennifer go to with Lingerie Line?

The first to email me both right answers wins both prizes......btc1959@mac.com

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Semper Fi....Always Faithful.

This saying that is so near and dear to our US Marine Corp, Semper Fi, meaning "Always Faithful" is becoming near and dear to my heart for various reasons......one my sweet son in law is a Marine,secondly I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and thirdly I know my God is always faithful. My prayer for my surgery is much like the USMC, get in, get out and get it done.  I will undergo surgery on Wed morning of this next week.  My request from you, my friends, is that God would protect my lymph nodes and the rest of my body.  I have a wedding to plan and I plan on being there. PERIOD.
Taken from the movie Remember the Titans when coaches little girl says, "Not gonna lie, I wanted Hall of Fame real bad".... well not gonna lie, this stinks, not gonna lie I am scared and fear like a bully is trying to rob me of my peace.  God is in charge.  He will have a glorious story to tell and those of you who know me I love to tell a good story.  It will not define me, I will still be me and it is just body parts that have done their job and did it well.  I am happy to give them up if it means they save my life.  Life giving a second go round in many ways as only God can orchestrate.  A second life, a rebirth and a colostrum of blessing that is part of His promise.  
In Jesus Calling for July 7th: " Trust Me in all your thoughts.  I know that some thoughts are unconscious or semiconscious and I do not hold you responsible for those.  But you can direct conscious thoughts much more than you may realize.  Practice thinking in certain ways----trusting Me, thanking Me----and those thoughts become more natural.  Reject negative or sinful thoughts as soon as you become aware of them.  Don't try to hide them from  Me;  confess them and leave them with Me.  Go on your way lightheartedly.  This method of controlling your thoughts ( taking captive to Christ) will keep your mind in My Presence and your feet on the path of Peace."  
This song has really been helpful to know that God WILL make me stronger through all of this.  Listen to it and enjoy.  Maybe you are dealing with a giant wave in your life.....I trust, I believe He will make you stronger.  Click on the name to take you to the video on YouTube.
This is just what I needed to read, just what I needed to listen to. Holding my hand already, God is evident in every step I am taking. I know and trust God with this challenge set before me as He will walk with me, and gives me only what He knows I can handle.  Semper Fi!
I appreciate your prayers and will get back with you with a good report as soon as I am able.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Vimeo of Birthfeet Day

This is a tribute to those who wear their birthfeet everyday and the efforts of Soles4Souls.