Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Stage VI leaves me speechless

I can't sleep. My mind has landed on thoughts and prayers for various people and situations. It's been far too long since I last posted, but as they say, no news is good news. For the most part. 

I had scans in August that showed some growth on a few cancer spots in both lungs. The rate of growth is consistent with what it has been and grows fairly slow, thank goodness. There are over a dozen spots we are watching now. Because of all the various surgeries and treatments since 2010, I always have some pain & discomfort though I've had more pain lately.  As far as we can tell it is caused by scar tissue/past surgery and radiation damage that is flared up for some reason. I do have a bit of a cough that has lasted about 5 weeks now. I believe it's allergy related, but could use some prayer (and perhaps an inhaler) to get rid of it and be sure. I don't believe it's symptomatic of the cancer, but of course it concerns me at times. We are in a "wait & see" stage for treatment, but there could be an immunotherapy type clinical trial open locally in November. We are praying that this will happen if it's something necessary for me right now. God knows and I trust that. I'm grateful for sustained living! Not just the gift of being alive, but the ability to really live. To participate in so many things with family, friends, church, athletics! 

Please join me in praying my cough away, for clear direction on a clinical trial and for more sustained living! And give praise for another birthday! I started this cancer journey at 34 and now I'm 41! 

Pray for my friends who are on trials, leaving home & kids to temporarily live in another state for treatment. I know how that feels - January - April 2013 felt sooo long. Pray for those on trials here, some are running out of medical options. Pray for their families, there caregivers, their kids, their doctors. 

All cancer is terrible. Stage VI leaves me speechless at times. I'm thankful the Lord hears the groanings of the Spirit in prayer when we don't have the words. (Romans 8:26) know who you heart is with you. πŸ™πŸ»✝️πŸ‘†πŸ»

Monday, June 5, 2017

5 years a Miracle, 50 more to go

I'm laying in my bed thinking about this night 5 years ago. The night of my very own miracle. Some may say June 5, 2012 was not a miracle. Some may find it easier to believe that these highly educated and experienced oncologists made a horrible mistake. No friends, these doctors at Md Anderson don't gather 30 people in a room for a 15-18 hour surgery, having the patient rent an apartment for a month 10 hours from home, and tell me I will feel like I've been in a bomb explosion....and then it's a mistake. Dr L had to swallow some pride that day and have courage to abort that major surgery and not be able to scientifically explain the change he and his colleagues witnessed in my case. I remember this past experience because it helps increase my faith for what miracles could still happen in my future. And the future of others. I remember because it overwhelms me that I would receive an undeserved gift such as this. Just like my underserved gift of salvation. All I have to do is believe and it's all mine. ✝️ 

On this night 5 years ago I rested in that Houston apartment hardly able to believe what had occurred. Sleepless, I received a text from my sister that she thought she was going into early labor. The stress and emotion of June 5th brought us an early born, miracle baby, perfect and beautiful. Created to be the middle child in today's Preston family. Born June 6th, 2012 was my little nephew, who I like to think of as my miracle baby. 

Happy birthday little man. God has big plans for you. How do I know? Well, I'm a middle child too.....and I just believe. 


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Oh Be Still My Seeking Heart

I had a scan done locally on Wednesday, but I don't know the results yet as my doctor is unavailable until next Wednesday.

I awoke with an awful headache on my scan day. I cannot eat or drink 3 hours prior to my scan so I was thankful that I still had time to eat some breakfast and take some medicine. After medication I babied myself by laying on a cold pack and then on a hot pack. Still not feeling great I took to a hot bath to see if that would help. Unexpectedly, in the quiet, God met me there and took captive my every thought. He took my mind off my pain and instead focused my thoughts on His love for me. On His love for all of His children.

There is a candle pillar in the windowsill of my bathroom that beautifully displays Lamentations 3:22. I read it and thought how simple that verse seems to a long time believer in Christ. Almost taken for granted even, until I began to break down each phrase and each word and feel overwhelmed once again by the gift we have as a child in God's family.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases."
  Lam. 3:22

STEADFAST (faithful, dedicated, dialed in, unflinching, never wavering, no blinks or breaks or distractions, loyal and constant)

LOVE (tenderness, caring, passionate about, to delight in, unselfish toward, devoted to, a soft spot for, always interested, compassionate, good willed)

We are promised this STEADFAST LOVE, but from who?

THE LORD. Not one of, but THE LORD. Not other imperfect humans, but The Lord who has character and perspective that is perfect. Presence that is always with us. Devotion and Love for us that He was willing to die for.

And the best news is that THE LORD'S STEADFAST LOVE...NEVER CEASES!

It doesn't get tired or weary. It doesn't become selfish. It doesn't get overwhelmed or unstable? It is not conditional. It never comes to an end. Not for a moment. Not even once. Under no circumstance. NEVER. EVER.

Oh, be still my seeking heart. How encouraging to know that when my spirit feels unstable, weary or overwhelmed.....THE LORD is LOVING me in a STEADFAST, NEVER-BLINKING, NEVER-ENDING, NEVER OVERWHELMED or WEARY kind of way.

Thank you Lord for your life-giving words. Thank you for never growing tired or uninterested in hearing from me and speaking back to my spirit. Thank you for encouraging my heart to know that you are still in this fight with me, no matter how long it goes on. Thank you for your perfect character and your constant presence. Thank you for your STEADFAST, NEVER CEASING LOVE. ~ Amen.

Friday, February 10, 2017


Somehow, this morning, God brought me to re-read this post written by my sister, Danina. How her words caress my heart and re-inspire me this morning. May we all be more focused on making an impact presently because our eyes are focused on life eternal.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My BRAVE girl!


Look at how this girl of mine has changed since my big TPE surgery 4 years ago! I have a love/hate connection with this specific 7 year birthday picture. 

I feel so very sad that she had to be such a strong little girl that day with her parents in Houston. She knew she may not see her mommy for a month and that it was going to take a full year for mommy to recover from surgery. Yet, what a BRAVE smile she has. She is still that BRAVE spirit and even encourages me with her positive outlook. 

I love the generous outreach that friends and neighbors and family showered on Alyssa in my absence. This picture shows all of that with TWO birthday cakes, loads of balloons, flowers and a huge candy bouquet! 

I hate that she had to be so BRAVE, but I love how she saw the KINDNESS of people lived out in her life at such a young age. 

Thank you again to those of you who have chauffeured, hosted, encouraged and loved my kids so well these last 6+ years. My momma's heart  will never forget. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

4 years & reminded to be humbly grateful


Oh THIS PICTURE! I love all that is says to my heart. In June 2012 I was to have the horrific surgery (TPE), but I was miraculously saved from it for 7 more months of pure bliss. Yet the drama of that day put my little sister into labor with this big boy, my nephew. I think of him as my miracle baby because he came into this world as a perfect miracle as I drove 10 hours home through the night to meet him....miraculously saved from that terrible surgery. Why? Because the invasive cancer was no more! After five hours of surgically looking for cancer in paper thin layers of tissue, my doctor called off the TPE with no explanation as to where my cancer had gone. I KNOW! It was my Savior giving me the gift of time. I was given my very first summer not working outside of the home in 16 years! What adventures the kids and I had that year while we were all home together! 

In this picture, I also see this new sweet baby girl, born almost 3 weeks ago to the same sister. And although My cancer returned and I did have that horrible TPE surgery 4 years ago today, my Savior has given me the gift of time again. I have had FOUR MORE YEARS of adventures and memories and LIVING! I missed my Alyssa's 7th birthday, but today she turns 11, and I am here to celebrate! 

How merciful God is to choose more life for me. Today is a reminder and my little niece and nephew are reminders that I have been given a huge gift. And as long as I have breath I will give all glory to my Savior for the gift of time. I don't deserve it. I cannot earn it. I don't even understand it. It is just a merciful and gracious gift. I love you Jesus and I am humbled and grateful! ✝️πŸ‘†πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ