Friday, September 30, 2005
It has taken a while for me to write about this but here at last is the other big thing God ministered to me when I was first told the doctors thought that I had lymphoma.
I had a hard time that first day thinking about what my family and friends were going to go through when they heard about this. I knew that it would be hard on them and I didn’t want to see that. I was starting to stress about what they were going to have to deal with.
God helped me out. He reminded me of how I believe that He got me through rough stuff in my life. And how that I know that He used the trials and all to strengthen me, grow me and enlarge my vision. That was easy for me to acknowledge. I know that He has done all that and that I am who I am today because of His love and grace getting me through each obstacle.
Then He asked me the question, how could I believe that He was big enough to work in my life and take care of me in the rough times but not trust Him to take care of the ones I love in the tough times? How could I look at the stuff in others lives and think that they would be better off if it wasn’t taking place? How can I think that God is not using things in their lives to strengthen and grow them? Would I stop the work of God in their lives?
These were very big questions. As I pondered what He was showing me in asking those questions, I realized how carnal and earthly my mindset had been. Basically it boiled down to that I wanted to be in control. I wanted to control the things that others had to deal with. I wanted to be in God’s position.
I repented and let it go. I do not want to see hard things come into the life of my children, family and friends. But I have to let God be God and let Him work in their lives the way that He sees fit. He is working in their lives, just as He is in mine. He has good plans for them and I can trust that He is taking care of them and let Him do His job. :-)
It has been amazing the difference that letting Him have it has made in my life. I am not worried about it any more. I know that He has a plan and a purpose and is going to work it out in a powerful way.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
We had a good trip to Oregon/Washington. We had to come back sooner than planned, but had a good time anyway. I felt so good while up there. I had so much energy while I was up there it was amazing! God is really doing something in my body; I was going up and down stairs and even sprinted a few times with no problem. 3 weeks ago that was a total impossibility. It feels so good to be more myself.
I did have to stay in the hospital for 2 days when we got back. Not because I was sick or anything but because I had to have some tests run and a medi-port put in.
It was really funny. I walked into the hospital and checked in. Then the lady at the desk says, “Okay, hold on just a second and I’ll get you a chair and take you upstairs.” She meant a wheelchair! I said that I could walk, no problem. “I’m sure you could but I have to take you up”
So, incredulous, I sat down and off we went. It was downright hilarious. I couldn’t help but ask her if I should look really sad and sick as we passed people. I also wondered about wheelies. She wasn’t allowed to do that. *Sigh*
She took me to my room and there was a nurse getting my bed ready. The girl pushing me got me as close to the bed as possible. I asked if they were going to lift me onto the bed too. Fortunately, they didn’t have to do that. :-)
I got changed into the official hospital garb. A really stylish, high fashion outfit. :-) Pretty soon another wheelchair came for me, this time pushed by a young black guy. I was just getting situated and another chair showed up! (I was supposed to have two tests from two different departments done and they both sent for me at the same time.) They worked it out and off I went with the first guy. I thought it was worth asking him about wheelies. Same answer, although, I think if I had really worked on him he might have done a little one.
He took me to have my sonogram done on my kidney. My CT scan had showed that my right kidney was swollen because a lymph node was swollen and pushing on the tube that goes from my kidney to my bladder. The concern was that it might get shut off completely. So, my doctor ordered a sonogram to see what needed to be done. He was thinking maybe a stint should be put in or something like that.
So I had that done and then was wheeled off to have an echocardiogram. (Which for those who don’t know is simply a sonogram of the heart.) The girl asked me if I thought I could walk into the room. Could I walk? I jumped out of the chair so fast I think she kind of shocked. Jokingly I told her that I could race her down the hall and win. It was obviously not the normal response from a patient!
The guy that pushed me back to my room wouldn't do a wheelie either.But I think he would have been even easier to get to do one. He asked me if I minded going by the front part of the hospital, it would be a faster route to get back to my room. I didn’t mind, if he didn’t mind me slobbering and acting crazy. He didn’t, but I am not a good actress and couldn’t do it! :-)
My doctor came in the next day and told us the results of those two tests. The echocardiogram was normal, as expected. And as for the sonogram of my kidney, it was normal! The doctor said that it was probably an overreaction by the radiology doctors. I disagreed. I asked my doctor if he had seen my CT scan. He hadn’t, he was just going on the printed results of it. I saw my CT scan and I could see the right kidney was swollen. I told my doctor that I had seen it and with my untrained eye I could see the swelling. I told the doctor that I had gotten better, and he said it appeared so. I know so. I know God healed me. Lymph nodes were swollen, pushing on that tube. The only explanation is that the nodes went down.
I am really very excited. The lymph nodes in my neck that were big have gone down a lot. I can still feel them but can’t see them. And the ones in my groin have gone down a bit too. I know that God is doing something big. I know that He is healing me. Thank you all for your prayers. Keep praying and expect a miracle.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
We flew home last night and I have a doctor's appointment at 2 pm in Abilene today. Yeah, no fun but then again, no big deal. I'm not worried about it. I think David's sister is going to go with us also.
Be praying for us. We have many descions to make in a short amount of time. I don't have time to go into everything right now. Please just be praying for us. :-) I'll get to more details soon and Revelation #2.
Gotta get ready to go!
Friday, September 16, 2005
We found out what the biopsy results were and therfore know more about what kind of cancer we are dealing with.
Anaplastic lymphoma is what I am fighting. It is a high grade, aggressive non-Hodgkins lymphoma. From what I understand it responds well to treatment. It is in stage 3, which is pretty advanced.
Be in prayer for us, we may need to cut our vacation short to get back and start treatments soon. We will find out Monday if we need to do that. I am not ready to go home, but it is in God's hands.
On another note, we have had so much fun so far. Being back in the Northwest has been great. I am loving getting to see the mountians and all the evergreens. I still don't want to live here, but am glad that I am getting to visit.
We are at David's cousin's right now. I am posting from their computer, on broadband. Yeah, I could get really jealous. :-) It is fun.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
When I first started dealing with the swollen lymph nodes in my leg, I had the thought that God might show me something about healing in this. The longer I had the problem the more I thought that. In fact, around the time of my first CT scan I told David that I felt that God was going to fix my mindset and perspective on healing. I just had a strong sense of that. Sure enough, that was His plan.
I grew up under some of the word of faith teachings. While I believe that God does honor His word and there are great and precious promises in His word, I saw an abuse of the word and a mindset that was dangerous. In the teaching on healing, I had seen teaching that said that if you claim scriptures, have faith, get rid of sin and hang onto your healing that you will be healed. These teachings are found in scripture. But the problem I had was seeing this applied in a way that said that God HAD to perform just how we prayed if you did everything right. And what about the people that we prayed for that didn’t get healed?
What I had seen was a twisting of God’s word, a ditch, if you will. And also fears of praying God’s will in a situation, doing so was really anti-faith. When you try to figure out what God’s will is and then hold Him to it, there are bound to be times that you don’t quite see the whole plan. When God does something else it can lead to major frustration and even turning on God. I have seen this in my family and others.
Especially after I got married, God started showing me how faulty my view of Him was. This teaching fell into the category of the wrong view of God, who He is, what He does and how He operates. I didn’t give up on healing. I knew that was true.
I did have a hard time with knowing what to do and what to think about healing and praying for healing. I didn’t want to get back into that ditch. And many times praying scriptures for healing seemed like getting into that ditch.
It was right after the doctor told us that they were suspecting a lymphoma that God blew the top off of this festering issue and showed me His truth. It is so simple I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.
What He showed me was that I have been looking at the issue of healing through tunnel vision. Looking through just a small hole and therefore seeing only part of the picture it was hard to see what God’s truth on healing was. When I saw the full picture, I was amazed and in awe of His truth.
This is what He showed me. God does heal us. Here on earth we can pray, lay hands on the sick, believe and pray His word concerning healing. He will heal us. But we can’t limit the time frame in which we allow God to work. His promises are clear, He will and does heal us spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc. But is He limited to only healing here on earth? I think what we have done is put God’s healing into separate categories. We separate healing into the here on earth healing and then the healing we get when we die. What I saw was that it is not separate things. If He heals us here or in heaven it is still healing. There is not a huge difference. This is so simple but yet so mind boggling to me.
Suddenly, I was free. Free to boldly say that God is going to heal me. Free to pray and believe His promises. I know He will perform His word. I will be healed and healthy, whether here or there.
I am so excited about this that suddenly I am not worried about whether or not I have some lymphoma or not. It doesn’t matter. I know that I am healed and I am now in a place of understanding that I was not in before. It sounds crazy but I am just not worried about it. There are things I don’t know. I don’t know what God’s plan is. I don’t know if He is going to heal me this side of heaven or that side. But it really doesn’t matter! He will do just what He said He would do, and I can rest in His plan for me. It is going to be good. He is a good God and my good Father. I can trust Him. I am asking Him to heal me and believing that I am. Now I know that I am not in a ditch. I am resting in His plan and purpose for me.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
So, leave a comment!
One of his aunt's sisters was a hysterical type and was really hysterical when one of her kids would get hurt. One day her son injured his thumb some way and it was bleeding. She hit the panic button. She wrapped his thumb, threw him in the car and rushed to the emergency room. Finally, the doctor came in. The mother told him what had happened and how awful it was, etc. Slowly and carefully the doctor unwrapped the bandage, which was obviously bloody. He finally got down to the injured thumb. Carefully he exaimined it but could find nothing wrong with it. "This thumb is not hurt at all," he said. The mother was still in a state of hysterics and didn't believe him. The little boy said, "No, this one is," and held up the other thumb. On the was to the hospital he had unwrapped the injured thumb and rewrapped the other one. The doctor was not impressed with either of the two. The wound was really pretty minor anyway.
I bet that doctor never forgot that though. Carefully unwrapping a bloody bandage only to find a perfectly well limb underneath! :-)
Friday, September 09, 2005
Just thought I would post and let you all know that we don't know anything yet! :-)
Thursday, September 08, 2005
I survived my first surgery yesterday. It was quite an experience. I never thought that I would have any kind of surgery. But let me back up.
I went in for my appointment Tuesday with the surgeon that was to do a biopsy on my lymph nodes. I also found out the results of my last CT scan. The scan showed that there are lymph nodes swollen all over in my abdomen. In fact one is swollen and pushing a bit on where my kidney drains and so my right kidney is a bit swollen. I got to see my scan, and that was interesting. I guess not many people have ever seen their own guts, but I have now. J The doctor was really nice and just explained and showed me everything and answered all my questions.
Basically the scan led them to believe even more that this is some type of lymphoma. They scheduled me for a biopsy the next day. That was weird to think about. The surgeon decided to take a biopsy of a node that was swollen on my neck. He thought it would be easier to get to and easier on me.
So, Wednesday at 7:00am we went in and I started on another journey of totally new experiences. First, I was given a hospital gown and a sack to put all my stuff into. Everything but panties and socks needed to come off and go in the bag, my nurse instructed me. And unless I was a magician, I would need help getting my gown tied. I guess I achieved magician status ‘cause I tied it all by myself with no problem. J
I was then led to a hospital bed and healthy me got to get up and sit in it, lean back and the nurse even covered my legs with a light blanket. It was weird, I didn’t feel a bit sick but here I am in a hospital bed, getting my temperature taken and getting ready to have an IV put in. The third one in my whole life. It was a strange thing to be happening, but here I was. I kept thinking that this was the time to start freaking out. But God was with me and was keeping me in perfect peace.
I had a really nice nurse; in fact, all the nurses were really nice. I sat in the bed for an hour or so. During that time, the anesthesiologist came and introduced himself to me and asked questions. Then some of the staff that was going to be helping to knock me out came and talked to me. J They were especially impressed with my chart and told me that my chart had, “Extremely healthy” written in it. They said that I was the healthiest person they would see all day. That made me feel good! Then they came and said it was time. So my next new experience was getting to be pushed in a hospital bed! Weeee!
Weird and Spooky! :-)
Then, we went through these metal doors into the operating room. Oh my goodness, this is really it, I was thinking. They wheeled me over to a little bed, about 2 ½ ft wide. I got over onto it and laid down. The girls in there started putting a strap over my legs, hooking me up to a blood pressure machine, gave me an oxygen mask, the whole bit. I was thinking how scary this should or would have been but was just in awe at how peaceful I was. God is awesome. Then the anesthesiologist came in and told me he was going to give me the anesthesia. It was so funny! He was from India and so spoke with a foreign accent. “Okay,” he said, “take some deep breaths. Think about some place you would rather be than here. Imagine yourself there…. Breathe deeply.” I knew that I was about to be going out, but I thought this was hilarious! It was just spooky enough to be funny! I did think about being somewhere else. Oregon! J I started thinking about the mountains and the pine trees in the mountains. Then I felt a fuzzy, foggy feeling and I knew that I was about to go under. My last thought was, “Well, God, here I go.” And off I went.
When I woke up, I was thinking about trees and God. I was groggy and all but I just started talking about how happy I was that God had helped me and wishing that David could be with me. I was just so at peace. I was actually a bit excited feeling, thinking about how God had been so close with me. Pretty soon they moved me to a chair/bed thing and pushed me out to a 2nd recovery room and David came in. I was pretty groggy still and nauseas. They gave me something in my IV for the nausea. I slept some and then finally started getting normal feeling.
I asked David what the incision looked like. He told me it wasn’t too bad, just looked like a bad scratch, like if I had had a run in with a barb wire fence. That was really comforting. J Actually, it looks really good. They made an incision and took one lymph node out and then stitched it up under the skin and glued the top shut. So really it looks pretty good and I don’t think it will leave much of a scar.
The doctor said that he should have the results of the biopsy tomorrow. So, I will update on that when I get the news.
I am just so happy about how it went and how God was with me. I felt His presence with me so strong and felt His peace. I always knew that God was strong and big in our lives, but it is still good to see it. I can boldly say, He will go with you and be with you through anything.
We are still planning to go to Oregon for 2 weeks. The doctor didn't think it would be a problem. Yay! :-)
Monday, September 05, 2005
I have posted some here about what I have been dealing with lately physically but thought I would write the whole thing out so that anyone who is interested can see the whole thing in one post. There have been some new developments and anyone who reads this, I covet your prayers.
This is actually a copy of part of an email that I sent my aunt a few days ago."A few day after I had Sarah I started running a low fever and had a lump on my leg/groin area. I also had some back pain. My midwife came back and looked at my groin and thought it really looked like swollen lymph nodes. She sent me in to have it looked at. The NP I went to looked at my groin and said that it was a strained ligament in my leg, probably from carrying the baby. Nothing to worry about. The back pain was from having the baby and the fever was probably a urinary tract infection. She gave me some antibiotics and that was that. Well, I did get to feeling better some, but the lump was still there. And the fever left for a while maybe. Then I started getting tired again and fever came back, just a really low fever. Like, 98.9-100.2. Once it was 101. Very low. So I called the NP back and told her the deal. She thought I had a uterine infection then and over the phone told me she would just call in some antibiotics and see if that cleared it up. She did, I took them and while I was on the antibiotic, the lump on my groin/leg, turned red. Now, when I had had that come up to start with, my midwife kept asking me, "Is it red," "Is it red at all," "Can you see any redness", and then looked herself. There was no red. When it did turn red, however, I knew it was a danger sign, partly because of my midwife being so concerned about that. (Btw, my midwife is an RN too.) I called the NP. She was not able to look at me, she was going to be out of pocket, but said that I was probably going to need a DNC cause I had a uterine infection and probably needed to go to someone else. Which we did as soon as we could get in. I went to a different NP who worked with a doctor. She gave me a pelvic exam, (which the other lady never did), took cultures and all to send off, but said that she didn't think I had any problem. When she saw the lump on my groin her eyes got a bit wide. She said she was sure that it was swollen lymph nodes and wanted to get busy treating that immediately. She got the doctor to look at it just to be sure. He was sure, more than sure. I asked him what could have caused them to swell up. He told me what didn't cause it, and that was the birth of or carrying the baby. He said none of the female stuff is dealt with through those nodes.
So, Glenda, the other NP missed it. Bad. Cause this really is something to be taking care of. She told me many times, cause I kept asking, that it was not a big deal. Looking back, she just didn't take enough time with me. She didn't even give me a pelvic exam, and I had just had a baby when I saw her. I saw the contrast loud and clear when I went to see Marilyn, the one in Abilene. Her nurse talked to me for several minutes about my medical history, symptoms, etc and then Marilyn talked to me herself for about 15 min before ever even looking at me. That let me know right off that this was a whole different deal. And I was glad. And Glenda just assumed that she could take care of what was going on. I thought that she would refer me to a doctor if the need was there. Marilyn on the other hand has been checking very carefully it seems with the doctor she works with. She has asked him about everything she does.
I wasn't glad that they put me on some pretty nasty antibiotics that I couldn't nurse Sarah while taking. But it needed to be taken care of. Marilyn was very serious about it. I went back in a week and the redness was gone, but the swelling wasn't down much. She didn't like it and gave me more antibiotics and also said that she would like me to get a CT scan. She told me to let her know if I had any more fever or anything like that. The day after I saw her I had fever. I called her and told her and she wanted me to get in quickly and get the CT scan done. That was Thursday. I called Friday to try to schedule one and got in that day because someone cancelled. So we scrambled to Abilene and got that done. (Which was no fun, by the way. I don't recommend the drink they give you before you have it done. Mine tasted like old, ten year old Country Time lemonade that was really, really bad. Nasty doesn't even come close.)
They called us Wed. and had us come in and tell us the results of the scan. They said that they were suspecting lymphoma of some kind. Possibly Mono, but really not thinking that was a high chance. So, they wanted me to get a full CT scan yesterday and more specific blood tests. So we did that yesterday and I see a surgeon Tuesday. We don't know the results of the new scan yet but will early Tuesday. They did tell us that we will probably need to do a biopsy of the swollen nodes. There is now also one on my neck swollen a bit.
And that is where we are now. Either way, I know I am okay. God is taking care of me and I am going to be fine no matter what.
Oh, and btw I remember that lump being there while I was pregnant. It was sore but I thought that it was just from the baby. I did think it was swollen once but then thought it was my imagination. And it was not much swollen, just a bit, so minute that it was hard to tell. I never mentioned it to my midwife since I didn't think it was anything. :-( So this has probably been there for about 6 months."
I go in tormorrow for an appointment with a surgeon about a biopsy and to find out the results of the other scan. I will update you all then.
I have been learning so much during this time and have so much to share, it is really exciting. God has done a lot in my life during this time and I feel like I have grown 10 feet spiritually. It is so awesome.
Friday, September 02, 2005
I plan to post some more on this subject later.