Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sweetly Broken, Wholly Surrendered

If you've been following along you know that I began sharing about my cancer journey in November 2010 when I was originally diagnosed with he very rare Primary Vaginal Adenocarcinoma. With a huge amount of help from my doctors, my family, friends and even strangers I successfully navigated my way through multiple surgeries, chemo, external beam radiation and internal radiation (Interstitial Brachy Therapy). I gratefully completed this journey in late March 2011 and I was fairly certain this was the hardest path I would ever travel.  In the same way that a hiker stops at the top of the mountain and looks back reflecting over what they just experienced, I too reflected over my experience and wished I had trained harder (memorized more Bible verses), trained longer (had my kids raised before diagnosis) and trained more often (prayed more often, read my bible daily, told people I appreciate them more). My lack of training for this particular trail didn't impact me, because my tour guide held my right hand tightly up and down the trails.  "You will hear your Teacher's voice behind you.  You will hear it whether you turn to the right or the left.  It will say, 'Here is the path I want you to take, walk in it." Is. 30:21  Oh how I've been thankful for my Teacher's voice, for there is no better trail guide than Jesus!

Recovery from this journey took longer than I expected; and honestly I am still recovering in ways unseen. However, after a couple set backs (my abnormal pap and surgical biopsies/scrapes) I finally hung up my "finisher" medal and shared my celebratory pics in December on Facebook and in Christmas cards. I finally felt it.....believed it even......I was a cancer survivor. I willingly became part of this accomplished, amazingly strong group of people. A mighty success; a sad addition to my resume.

Early 2012 I began to feel more alive, more myself, much stronger; so you can imagine the shock when I learned early March that I had another abnormal pap. Just like last November it was an A-typical glandular cell which meant I had to go under anesthetic and have multiple biopsies and scrapes once again. My Gyn-Onc said her antennas were up, but she could not imagine it would turn out to be cancer already. Sadly, the during the out-patient surgery my doctor could feel a hard growth higher in the vaginal wall and the biopsies came back malignant.  We were stunned, knocked off our feet, even paralyzed by this news. I couldn't help but ask God "WHY"? 

Now two months later there are many signs that God is at work once again in my life, even in the midst of more bad news.  Sometime soon I'll share the story of how we've gotten to our decision point, or even better, the proof that God is alive and real in the midst of suffering.  For now, please pray over the next step in our journey with us. 

Billy & I will be living in Houston, TX for the next month to pursue my "cure"!  This was a long and hard decision and the journey getting here has felt steep.  I've settled into the fact that there is a rugged and difficult hike ahead. I'm planning to proceed with the one and only option I've been given....a Total Pelvic Exoneration.  The OU Cancer Institute only performs this surgery twice/year on average whereas MD Anderson performs it 12/year. My surgery will not be common, but my hope for a cure is felt by all cancer patients alike.  Today's suffering is worth it, as our hope is a long lifetime of precious mundane moments

Join me in prayer over upcoming appointment days, great sleeps/steady hands/compassion for surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, counselors, family and friends.
*Wednesday, 5/30 - Meet with 3 surgeons, 2 counselors, blood work, physical exam, PET scan, CT scan
*Tuesday, 6/05 - All Day Surgery

This morning we studied Jonah in community church and we learned 4 good lessons from his story.  I told the pastor afterwards I thought he was speaking directly to my row of weeping people. 

Lesson #1 : God's will is not always the same as my will!  (His is bigger and better.  His will is not to make sure we are happy, but it is to make sure we are more like Him. -  Jonah 1 & Romans 8:28-29a)
Lesson #2 : Being out of God's will is a dangerous place to be! (God will do what he must to bring you back to Him and His plan will prevail. Jonah 1:15-17) There will be thanksgiving when you are in His will.  Jonah 2:9
Lesson #3 : When God steps in and interrupts your life He IS thinking about you! (When God's plan is fulfilled he will step in and help you. Jonah 4:10)
Lesson #4 : Be careful - Learn from God's interruptions.  (We cannot only have faith and love God when life is good.  Jonah 4)

Jonah's journey shows us that God is in control and he cares about every single step we take and all people we meet along the trail.  I pray that as I put one foot in front of the other I will listen for my Teacher's voice helping me to be faithful and transparent so that those I encounter will see God's will in action. 

In the words of a song from church this morning.....may I be sweetly broken; wholly surrendered.


  1. Kristi, those are amazing lessons we all need to cling to... So beautifully written.. You and your family are in my daily prayers and in the arrow prayers that go on all day!!! God has blessed you even in your suffering!!! My heart hurts for you and your family!!!

  2. There is nothing so beautiful as a heart that knows God and accepts the road ahead - even when it looks dark and scary. Your choice to trust God on the narrow path is beautiful, Kristi Dawn. We are so proud of you! The woman you have become is an incredible testament to God's grace.

    We are looking forward to seeing God's hand at work in your life in the coming weeks. The world might think that God has turned His back on you, but you are showing the world what it means to be a beloved child of God - one who knows The Father well enough to understand that everything He allows is for our good.


  3. In HIS name and on YOUR behalf I pray ALL of these things...

    We pray for blessings
    "We pray for peace
    Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
    We pray for healing, for prosperity
    We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
    All the while, You hear each spoken need
    Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

    'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
    What if Your healing comes through tears
    What if a thousand sleepless nights
    Are what it takes to know You’re near
    What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

    We pray for wisdom
    Your voice to hear
    And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
    We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
    As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
    All the while, You hear each desperate plea
    And long that we have faith to believe"

    I can't wait to give you a big squeeze when you come back and place my sweet baby boy in your arms so that he can be wrapped up in his Aunt Kee Kee's love!!! But then again, maybe he will wait for you to come back to arrive!! I'll miss you.

  4. Beautifully said. You are a blessing to all who know you. You're in our thoughts and prayers, lovely lady, warrior woman.

  5. Your courage and faith continue to be inspirational, Kristi. So sorry that this is your path. We will keep praying to the One who hears, and loves and heals.

  6. Beautiful Post. You inspire me!

  7. I read your blog yesterday and had no words to reply. This morning I have been praying Eph 6:10-18 for you. Hold high your shield of faith and we will continue making supplications for you.