Saturday, May 27, 2017

I know the plans I have for you

There's a verse in Jeremiah 29:11 of the Bible that gives me great comfort. It says, " For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I was thinking a lot about this verse today, in fact, when I woke up this morning, I was thinking about it. I'm a planner and I find security in knowing the plan. It's so much easier when there is a plan and I know exactly what's about to happen. Since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, all my plans have gone out the window. I've had to learn to be flexible. Instead of having a solid plan A, I've had to learn to be willing to move from plan A to plan B or even plan C, D, or E. It hasn't been easy, especially since I'm a type A personality. I like to be in control of things. I need to understand the plan.

I've never liked change. I like things to remain the same unless I get the urge to change them. Little changes don't bother me too much but big changes do. And it seems God has some big changes in store for us in the near future. 

My husband and I have been feeling a stirring in our hearts. It seems God is getting ready to move us. We don't know exactly when or exactly where but we know it's coming. Even if we don't know the details, we know God does. He knows the plan. We've been doing a lot of praying lately and asking God to give us the details, but He hasn't yet. This has been difficult. I like knowing the plan! I don't like waiting and I don't like wondering. My husband is more patient than I am. He doesn't mind waiting. I admire that quality in him but sometimes I wonder how he can be so calm and collected when we have no idea what the future holds. 

I guess God's continuing to teach me to trust Him completely. That's one area He's been working on in my life for some time now. I hate to admit it, but it's easier for me to trust when I know the plan! Maybe that's why He hasn't revealed it to me yet. He wants me to learn patience. 

So....as we wait, I'm trying my best to be patient. I'm trying to trust completely. I feel like a child sitting in the backseat of the car while my parents get ready to pull out of the driveway. I keep asking a zillion times where we're going and all they'll tell me is, "It's a surprise!" I feel eager and excited but also frustrated and confused. I sit in the middle of the back seat fidgeting. I want so badly to know where we're headed but all I can do is look out the window, watch, and wait. 

The destination looms far ahead of me. I can't see it. I am so curious it makes me crazy but I have to wait. I know God's timing is always perfect. I know the plans He has for me are good plans, plans that will be beneficial for my future. I know God loves me and wants the best for me. Knowing all these things help me stay put...but it's really, really hard. 

I can't wait to see what God does in the days ahead. I'm going to be watching and waiting for His revelation to come. Until then, I'm going to try super hard not to bite my fingernails down to the quick...I know the wait will be worth it. So, I wait.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Life Is Good!

It's a beautiful Saturday morning and I was up before the crack of dawn. 6:00 a.m. doesn't seem an appropriate time for waking when one is retired and has absolutely no obligations whatsoever, but 6:00 a.m. is perfect for me. For the past couple of weeks, I've been able to sleep like a normal person. This has been a major accomplishment! For the past two and a half years, I've suffered insomnia and haven't been able to sleep without some form of medication so it's wonderful to wake at 6:00 a.m. feeling rested and ready to meet the day.

My postings have been slack, I'll admit, but that's a good thing. It means life is good and I've been busy. It feels great to return to normal instead of living under the shadow of what if. Daily routine feels wonderful. Even doing a load of laundry feels amazing.

It's hard to believe we're already nearing the end of May. Time flies by so fast! In July, I'll be celebrating my third cancerversary. And while my oncologist won't say I'm cancer free, I feel cancer free! I'm so happy to finally be free of having to live my life as a victim. I am a victor! Maybe you're thinking I'm always positive about things and that's not necessarily true. I have my good and bad days but, I try to focus on the good days and let the bad days slip away unnoticed. I don't have energy to waste on negativity.

So today, I'm celebrating the goodness of life. I am blessed beyond measure. I'm feeling physically well and I'm claiming I'm cancer free. Those are good things to celebrate, don't you think? I sure do!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Another Cancer Scare

The call from the Gastroenterologist came in today. I had almost forgotten we were expecting to hear news about my husband's recent colonoscopy. We'd had a good feeling about it. It was just a routine test. Although he's had polyps in the past, we weren't concerned about this tiny one they'd found on this test.

For the past few months, my husband's had a nagging feeling. He knew he needed to get another colonoscopy. Since his mother and father both had a history of cancer, he wanted to stay on top of things. I was surprised by his insistence on getting the test scheduled. No one likes to have a colonoscopy, especially when you have to do all the nasty pretest prep, but he was diligent.

When the call came in, he was at work. The tone of the nurses's voice wasn't concerning as she gave me the results of his biopsy. Since I was expecting nothing but good news, I was a bit surprised when she said the polyp was precancerous. It had been so tiny on the photos the doctor had shown me. I wasn't prepared for the overwhelming emotions that came after I hung up with the nurse. While I was thankful, I was also fearful. My husband has always been my rock. He's the calm one. He keeps me grounded when things are out of control. As I began to go down the road of "what ifs" I got very emotional. God knew we weren't prepared for another dance with cancer.

After notifying my husband of the report, I encouraged him to think positively. We had gotten a good report. There wasn't any active cancer. The tiny polyp was only precancerous, meaning the cells, if left untreated, could turn into cancer at some point. The doctor's office assured me they'd recheck him in another three years and for that I'm grateful. We'll definitely stay on top of his colon health.

Isn't it funny how we take good health for granted? When anything threatens our health, we immediately become fearful and that's probably a natural fleshly response but Phil and I have chosen to put our faith in God. We're going to trust that He has only good in store for us and for our future. And even if we have to face another round of cancer one day, we know God is faithful. He's going to be right there beside us walking us through every single step of the journey just like He did with me. Knowing that brings us great comfort. So today, we celebrate good news! Even if it didn't come quite the way we expected, it's good news. No cancer! Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Writing a book is difficult!

I haven't written on my blog in some time now. I have a good reason, I've been working on my book. Writing about my cancer journey in a book format is challenging. I've never written a book before. People tell me it will be a piece of cake. Each year, at the end of the year, I've had my blogs printed into a book format to save for posterity's sake. Friends tell me I should be able to just cut and paste from my blogs and the book will just fall into place, but not so! Writing and re-writing dredge up memories that cause emotions to kick into overdrive. I've been working on this book for a couple of months now and I'm only up to chapter four because of having to process old memories once again. I don't like reliving my cancer journey. It wasn't easy the first time around and it's certainly not easy this time around either. But I'll do it because I'm hoping my story might inspire or help someone else who's going through breast cancer. I want my cancer to count for something positive.

Writing is challenging also because of the long hours of typing. Lymphedema makes it difficult to say the least. I try to write early in the day when the swelling hasn't flared up yet but by mid morning, my arms are so swollen, I have to stop.

It may take a year or more to get this project done. There's no time limit. I don't have publishers beating down my door to get hold of the manuscript. In fact, I'll probably end up self publishing because if you're a little peon like me, publishers aren't interested. They prefer to go after well known authors or celebrities. I'm not expecting to get paid for my work, although it would be quite nice to receive a little money on the side. I certainly wouldn't turn it down if an offer came my way...

So, that's what I'm up to...just writing. Life is good and fairly normal. I'm so thankful to say it's normal for a change. For the past couple of years it hasn't been even close to being normal.

On July 9th, I'll celebrate my third cancerversary. I'm looking forward to that. I'll have to plan some sort of celebration. It's hard to believe it's been almost 3 years since I was diagnosed. God is good!

The Homeschool Lesson

I’ll never forget my eight-grade year of high school. It was such a pivotal year for me. I’d just become a teenager and had entered the wo...