Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Next Step

My sister, Amy, and I will head back to Houston on Wednesday April 1st to meet with two people.  One is for Integrative Nutrition/Medicine and the other is to learn about any clinical trials that I may qualify for.  Thankfully, the Houston rodeo month is over and we are able to get MUCH better rates so that we can fly via Southwest again this time. 

Please be praying that God goes before us and makes it clear the path of treatment that we should follow. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement once again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Be Still and Know I Am God

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
  I will be exalted in the earth." Psalms 46:10

If you've seen my story in the KLRC mailings lately you know we listen to Christian music in our home and cars all the time. Hence, I'm sure I've heard this song, but it never stuck with me....until today. I was scrolling through Facebook this morning and came upon a post (by KLRC actually) and it led me to watch this Casting Crowns music video for the first time. I watched it several times because the lyrics stood out as if they were speaking my heart right this minute.

It's a very surreal feeling to realize and believe with my whole heart that I serve a God who is able to do anything I ask of him, but instead He's chosen to leave me in this trial. A trial that I do not believe God put me in, but he allowed it to come upon me because I live in a fallen world. I find myself needing to do the mundane tasks of keeping my home clean and folding laundry, sorting mail and so on....but I'm not able to focus on them. My time goes by and I wonder what I did. I'm realizing that these times are spent sitting quietly with Jesus as I soak in the realness of this situation. Accepting that I have been chosen by God to authentically live out this teeny tiny role as part of a humongous story. A story that will one day end only with joy, peace, and pain free glory to the sovereign One. Although this is a painful realization, I become more willing as I sit. "Be still and know that I am God" is taking on an entirely new meaning.
If your eyes are on the storm
You'll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You'll know I always have and I always will
And not a tear is wasted
In time, you'll understand
I'm painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Results - March 2015

If you follow me on Team Kristi Prayer Warriors via Facebook, you have some of this news.... 

Billy, my brother Joshua, and I left a week ago Sunday to drive to Houston. We had planned to go to church and leave early afternoon, but because of the recent snowstorm we took off early in case of bad roads.  God went before us and melted the ice and snow off all the way through the Dallas area.

Monday, I had a CT with Barium (on my least favorite things list) and Contrast to look closely at my hip pain site and throughout the pelvic/abdomen.  The amazing news is that they found NOTHING in this area.  My Total Pelvic Exenteration, with its 50/50 chance of a cure got rid of all the cancer in this area.  This is a huge praise and gift from God because if the cancer returns in this "radiated field" (as the dr's refer to it) my outcome would be dire.

Tuesday, I had a CT assisted biopsy of my right lung where the largest "spot" is seen on the prior CT scans. They had me lay on my tummy, which required creativity in itself, as I haven't been able to do that well in over 2 years now. The went in below my right shoulder and got a good sampling without any complications at all.  We learned that 30% of patients have a lung collapse during these biopsies and I did not.  Thank you Jesus for that too!

We enjoyed an afternoon and evening out on the big city of Houston while we waited for results. The laughs and distraction was just the right thing for us on this trip.

Wednesday morning I woke up pretty nervous. I had this feeling that God wasn't through with this story yet.  This wasn't the miracle story that would have the impact He wanted. I thought about two conversations with strangers from the day before.  One was a man who had glioblastoma (brain tumor) 5 years ago.  They had given him a very slim chance to live 18 - 24 months and here he was to tell us about it 5 years later.  We also met another sweet woman who passed on a book called "Praising" to me and told us her daughter had breast cancer at age 25 with a double mastectomy.  Her doctors didn't expect her to live at that time and here she is almost 40 years old....15 years later, beating the odds. 
We always talk to people about their stories, but they are usually in the thick of the battle.  This is the first time I've sat and had people share their stories about beating the odds and I began to feel that this was God encouraging us for what was to come. It made me very nervous.

We sat across from Dr L and learned that the biopsy showed metastasized cancer in my lungs. This means it is the same type of cancer from before, not a new kind, but it has moved in the body. I have multiple spots in both lungs and so surgery is not an option. This news is such a hard blow to accept because we know we serve a God who is big enough to intervene, to give miracles, to answer our cries for help. Yet, he didn't.....again. But when I look at the full picture, I know without a doubt that God is the author of this story and He has me close at heart while He writes.  My emotions don't "feel" this way, but my heart knows.  If these spots had been found before my Total Pelvic Exenteration they would have refused to do the surgery that has given me these two years of life.  And now, 2 years later, there are some new clinical trials that I may be a candidate for.....and who knows. I may be the evidence that it can be a cure!  This is such a stretch and nothing our "scientific" doctor would even let us believe right now, but we're fighting to stay positive and full of Hope.  We are fighting with constant remembrance of Gods faithfulness over and over in this journey. We know this story is not over because when I am weak He is strong. Jesus is the ultimate Healer! He is the healer of our bodies, our hearts and our souls. As hard as it is to face cancer a 4th time we know without a doubt that God has us in this place for a purpose. A purpose much bigger than we can comprehend.

Now, we wait for an appointment to learn about treatment options in detail so that we can choose.  Six months ago there wasn't a choice...it would have been standard chemo.  Today we hope and pray for a clinical trial option so that we can have a choice in treatment.  Praise God for this timing.

Thank you for holding us up with your prayers, cards and messages of encouragement.  We all need it so much and appreciate you. 

Today's verse of encouragement to stay bold in the Hope of God.
"Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised." Hebrews 10:35-36