Sunday, January 15, 2006

More Details...

Hello everyone! I am writing to you from my new laptop, and although I don’t show it I am very excited. (No one could tell from how I am bouncing around how excited I am. I hide it very well.) I am now a mobile writer and will be updating my blog more often. I have so much to write.

I don’t know just where to start on all this. So much has happened and I have learned so much. God has done so much in my life in the last few months. I guess I will just try to do a brief overview and give as many details as will fit.

The Worst I Could Imagine
I left you all hanging at MD Anderson during the week of testing. I’ll start from there.

As most of you know, I was looking for a treatment that did not include chemotherapy. We were hoping that MD Anderson would have something like that. They didn’t. They only offered the standard regimen of chemo and told me that nothing else would work. If I didn’t do chemo, I had 6-12 months to live. I could feel that I was getting worse. But I still felt that I wasn’t supposed to do chemo. I really asked the Lord about that while I was there. It was hard to deal with the doctors and would have been much easier to just do the chemo and trust God with it. When I was first diagnosed that was what I had peace about but then felt He said not to do it.

MD Anderson recommended looking immediately into whatever other treatment I was going to consider. So, October 31, 2005, the day we left MD Anderson, we decided to call the Burins clinic. We had heard about them before and their clinic was in Houston. They got us right in and so November 2, 2005, we went to talk with them. They have had very good success treating many types of cancer, combining conventional methods with other research. While we were there in the initial consultation, I felt like the “don’t do chemo” lifted. I was shocked. I had told friends that if God made it clear that it was His plan for me to do chemo then I would. But I didn’t foresee Him doing so at that point. After the doctor left for a minute I told David what had happened. He said that he had felt the same thing.

We did start treatment with the Burzinski clinic that day. They recommended doing their treatment along with chemo. They had research that showed that it helped the chemo to work better than without it. So, I took that treatment for a month while we decided where to do the chemotherapy along with it. We decided to do treatment at MD Anderson and went down there. We hoped that they would be willing to work with the other clinic. They weren’t. In fact they insisted that if I took treatment with them that we couldn’t do any other type of treatment while in treatment with them. No herbs, no high dose vitamin C, no teas, nothing. A multivitamin was the only form of that sort of thing they would allow me to be on. If I wouldn’t agree to that, then they would not treat me.

David and I took the weekend to think it over and pray about it. The worst part about it was that it seemed that God was leading us to do treatment with them anyway. I say it was the worst because all of a sudden God was calling me to walk down a path that was the worst path imaginable to me. I found that I was relying on the things that I was doing more than I had realized. I could trust God to take care of me, but when He called me to trust Him only and nothing else I started shaking in my boots. I had to come to the place that I would trust Him no matter what and would walk even the path that didn’t make sense to me. It was not an easy choice or road for me. I didn’t want to lay down my will on the issue, but as He led me through that “fire” I found a new freedom that I had never had. I was no longer afraid of the chemo when I laid down my fears and decided to follow Him.

I have done 2 rounds of chemo now and although it makes me feel horrible and so drained afterwards, God has been so good and big in the middle of this time. Each time He has shown me things and done things in my life that are so special and precious to me. I am just amazed at how during the worst time in my life God has been so big and good to me.

Also, I am seeing a healing take place in my body. I don't hurt all the time anymore and the tumors that I could feel in my neck are gone. My abdomen is not all swollen anymore and I am wearing size 8 jeans! :-) I am taking care of my kids again and have plenty of energy.

So, to sum up the above, I didn’t want to walk this path. I didn’t want to walk through this fire. But when I submitted to him and did, I found that it is where I wanted to be after all. The things that I have learned and where I am now in my walk with Him is where I wanted to be anyway. I just didn’t want to go through the fire to get here.

The Other FireThe other fire was more what you think of when you think of fire.

Jan 1, 2006 we started home from Houston. I had just had a round of chemotherapy and they had taken me off of it the day before. I was pretty drained really. While on the way home we got a call from our pastor. He was wondering if we had heard about our town being evacuated due to fire sweeping across the countryside. Also, the fire was or had been in the vicinity of our house. We had not heard and were shocked to hear it. David’s parents live close to us and we wondered about them. They didn’t answer their phone.

We drove until we made it to our pastor’s house. David dropped me and the kids off there and he and our pastor, along with another friend, left on the back roads to work their way in to our house.

What David found was shocking. It was all gone. The house, shop and greenhouse were totally gone. The fire had swept across and just burned it all. Our house is nothing but a pile of rubble. Only the metal skirting and anything that doesn’t burn is left.

As you can see from these pictures, there is nothing left. The top picture is our house and beyond the greenhouse. The bottom picture is the heap of metal that was David’s shop.

The miracle is that our new house survived. For those of you that don’t know, in 2004 we moved in a 3 bedroom house to fix up as we had time and money. We hadn’t done much as we have not had the money and then with me being sick and all we had no time and no money.

This picture shows how close the fire got to our house. You can see that the woods beyond the house are burned and that the grass under the trees close to the house is burned. All the way around the house there is not one bit of scorched grass. It is as if that house was in a bubble because the fire was all the way around it. Keilah says that God said, “No fire, you can’t burn our new house,” and he picked the fire up over the house and set it down on the other side. It sure looks that way when you look at the house.

The fire was so hot that it melted our cast iron in the other house. David and I went over one day and dug around in our rubble, looking to see if anything survived. We didn’t find much, nothing really. Then David found something that shocked us both. He found a porcelain cross that had hung on our bathroom wall. It was laying on a rock totally unharmed. It had the words, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it.” David picked it up and read it and then he said, “Well, I guess we will.”

Needless to say, that cross is now one of our favorite possessions.

Something I learned in the fire is that God is always more than enough. If I am following Him and trusting Him even my house burning down and losing all my things will not devastate me. I know that I am in the palm of His hand and that nothing can move or shake me. It is an awesome feeling to know that I can not be moved or shaken by any circumstances around me.

I am headed down to MD Anderson tomorrow for CT scans and then chemo. Your prayers are much appreciated! I will try to update as I can.
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