Monthly Archives: April 2012

Adversity

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I am SO very sorry that it has been two weeks now since my last post. This was not my intention whatsoever. However, life has been eventful for me since I last posted. I will try to give you the short version of what has been going on in my life since I last wrote. My last chemo treatment was not so great. My blood counts are still at the same low and before the nurse even started giving me any drugs, I started gagging. 😦 While I didn’t get sick during the treatment, I did get sick again right after it was over. I came home and slept most of the evening and Thursday seemed to be a better day.

Friday night I woke up in the middle of the night (3 am) to the sound of the tornado sirens going off. I quickly woke up my mom who woke up the rest of the family and we headed to the neighbors to take shelter. Saturday, Nanny and I played games with Will’s daughter Ashlei in the afternoon and then my whole family went to watch my sister perform in OSU’s “Spring Sing” on Saturday evening which is a show put on by the fraternities and sororities at OSU. Unfortunately, I was not able to go due to the many people that attend this event. While they were gone, I hung out at Will’s with the rest of his family who was preparing for the huge storms we were expecting to get that evening. Luckily, Stillwater was not hit that night but a small town called Woodward was hit hard. We are still praying for them as they rebuild their homes, businesses, and grieve over the loss of their possessions and some loved ones. Sunday, I “helped” Will and Ash clean out their attic. By saying “helped,” I mean that I sat and kept them company while they did the work. πŸ™‚ Nanny went home for the week on Sunday and that was hard to let her go, even though its only a week.

On Monday, I had lunch with a friend and then ran some errands with Will’s mom Jennie that afternoon. My parents were both starting to get colds on Monday so I hung out at Will’s parents that night to try to avoid getting sick. However, my immune system is so low that it was almost unavoidable. I woke up Tuesday morning at 5:30am with a sore throat. 😦 I was supposed to go to school that day but instead I spent most of the day trying to get ahold of my oncologist, who was out of town, to try and see if I could take some medicine to get over this. I didn’t have school Wednesday so I used that day to try and recover. Thursday I still wasn’t feeling well but had been on antibiotics for over 24 hours so I wasn’t contagious. I went to school and it was good to see my classmates whom I hadn’t seen since January before all of this began. Friday I started feeling a little better but was still pretty worn out from going to school all day the day before. We had class again Friday and also took graduation pictures. I spent the evening at Will’s parents for a nice family dinner.

This past weekend, we were supposed to go back to Missouri for a shower for my cousin who is getting married in June. However, my mom and I still were not feeling well enough to travel. Although I was very disappointed that I wasn’t able to see family and friends from back home this weekend, I also did not want to over-do it and end up in the hospital due to getting even more sick. Instead, I decided to find out just how sensitive I am to the sun. I sat and watched Ashlei’s soccer game on Saturday afternoon and was only out there for an hour. I didn’t think it would be a problem but I got really burnt. 😦 Guess I will know to take an umbrella next time. I also dropped by my friend Emily’s tea party and had some wonderful desserts. Sunday was a pretty lazy day. Will and I went to church and then just hung out for most of the day. Nanny came back yesterday evening and I’m really glad to have her back!!

Okay I think you are all caught up now. As you can see, my last couple weeks have been very eventful and I encountered some things that were definitely unexpected. However, I made it through and learned a few lessons. πŸ™‚ This week is going to be very busy as well. Nanny is getting back to her cleaning routine and we have several errands to run this afternoon. Tomorrow I have to go back to school for the day to watch my class give presentations. Then Wednesday is my 7th round of chemo. We are on the downhill slide! Please pray that this time goes better than last and hopefully my blood counts will be higher this time as well.

My devotion that I read last night was called “Learning the Art of Acceptance.” The scripture it referenced was Job 2:10 which states “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” It talked about how we always want to be in control of our lives and it is hard when God throws us a curveball that was not in “our plan.” I am one of the world’s worst at planning my life and future without seeking God’s will. I think God gives us these curveballs to let us know that He is in control and ultimately He will have the final word. This devotion also quoted Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer which states “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I love this! After 3 months, I can honestly say that I have accepted my condition and even my bald head πŸ™‚ I now just pray that God will give me the courage to change the things that He wants me to change and the wisdom to know the difference!

Thanks once again for the prayers! I will try to do better at writing blog posts more often. It’s hard to believe that my graduation is in a little over two weeks. While I have waited for this day for 7 years now, its almost bittersweet that its finally here. However, I can’t wait for summer and hope that I am able to sit by the pool soon, even if that means sitting in the shade! πŸ™‚ I am praying for each and every one of you who is going through a difficult time right now. May you seek God during this time and draw closer to Him more than you ever have. God bless!

Joy

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Ever since I finished week 4 of my Beth Moore bible study last week I have wanted to write a blog about joy but just haven’t found the time until now. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m trying to preach on this subject but God has just laid it on my heart to share it with you so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. While I love all of my weekly studies with her, this one made a special impact on me at this particular time.Β The title of our weekly study was called “The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength.” The first day’s lesson talked about how we should find joy in the fact that if we believe, our names will be written in heaven so that one day we will rejoice with Him.

The second day’s lesson talked about being surprised by joy. I think this was the lesson that spoke to me the most because it talked about finding joy in the midst of your circumstances. Many of you may be familiar with the apostle Paul writing from prison walls in Phillipians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice.” Beth Moore states that losing everything was worth it to Paul because he discovered that “to know Him” was greater than any loss he would suffer. I think it was perfect timing that I read this not only because I too am going through a trial of my own but also with the celebration of Easter this past weekend. It really puts things into perspective to think about Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. Our preacher yesterday made a perfect point when he said that Jesus could have saved Himself and not had to struggle any longer on the cross but then we wouldn’t be saved. If He could overcome the grave, then I know that I can overcome cancer with His help.

The third day’s lesson talked about restoration joy. This day’s scripture was Psalm 71:20,23 ” You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; and my soul which You have redeemed.” Beth talks about how God gives us trials in our lives because He desires to reveal His joy to us through restoration. I find hope in 1 Peter 5:10 which states “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

The fourth day’s lesson talked about how we will find joy if we abide in Him. One of my favorite verses that it gives is from Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all of your heart.” It is so sad to me to think that many people never experience the joy of the Lord because they do not seek Him and His word. It gives several reasons why believers lose their joy as well including the following: when our outpour exceeds our intake, when our talk exceeds our walk, when we become “wonder junkies” (looking for God in miraculous events and failing to see His gentle whispers), when we are exhausted, or when we feel all alone. I think all of us are guilty at times of at least one of these.

The last day’s lesson was called “my joy and my crown.” Paul calls Jesus Christ his “joy and crown” in Phillipians 4:1. We are to share this with others and fellowship with other believers to experience His “joy and crown.” Beth ends the weekly study stating that everyone is looking for happiness that comes from within and if you are a believer in Christ you have it. We should be willing to share anywhere, anytime just like 1 Peter 3:15 states “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

I really hope that there was someone reading this that needed to hear these words as much as I did when I completed the study. I also hope that everyone had a great Easter. I had a busy but wonderful weekend. To give you a little recap, I stayed in with Will on Friday night and we watched “War Horse” which is a great movie! Saturday, I went shopping in OKC with my family and then visited with my neighbor’s daughter Ashley and her husband Heath which was great because it had been so long since I had seen them. That evening we had dinner with some wonderful friends, Emily and Brian. Sunday we went to church, had Easter lunch with my family, and then watched the kids in Will’s family hunt Easter eggs! It was a somewhat sad evening because it was the end of the Masters golf tournament which I love but I was glad to see a great win by Bubba Watson.

I have chemo again this Wednesday which will be a big milestone- halfway!! I seemed to recover a little better this time than I have before so hopefully this next week won’t be bad either. Especially since I will have to be in class all next week. Thank you once again for your prayers. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful support group of Christian believers. To God be the glory given. As the chorus of the new song by Jeremy Camp “Overcome” goes “Jesus, worthy of honor and glory, worthy of all of our praise, You overcame.” If He overcame death, then we too shall overcome our many circumstances and find joy in Him.

The Little Things

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So I don’t really have a lot to write about but I want to keep you all updated on what’s going on in my life and not go too long between posts. This past weekend was a lot of fun! Nanny and I spent the day together on Saturday and luckily I felt good enough to get out and run some errands and watch a movie with her! We also did Ashlei’s birthday party on Sunday and although we couldn’t do much outside due to the heat, it was still a good time! I owe a big thanks to Will’s sister Ashley for helping us out and letting us have it at her house. I had so much fun sitting outside on Will’s parents back porch with the kids that evening as well.

I have learned more and more the past few days about just how bad “chemo brain” actually is. I am usually really organized and am able to have everything in order. However, Will’s sister quickly learned on Sunday that I am not on my “A game” these days. I couldn’t think of anything that we needed for the party and had to apologize several times for being so dense! πŸ™‚ Then just last night my mother and I were talking about graduation and I seriously could not remember if I called last week to order my cap and gown or not. Luckily, my call log showed that I had and when I called again today to make sure they were very understanding! It’s amazing just how bad it affects your memory. I hope the long-term effects are not this bad.

I finished getting everything in order for my graduation today! Cap, gown, and graduation announcements are ordered; class dues are paid; and I have been working on finishing up my final portfolio. It’s getting so close! My chemotherapy just happens to fall on the Wednesday before my graduation. I asked the doctor this past week if we could switch my chemo day that week so I would have a little more time to recover. He highly recommended that we didn’t because research has proven that reoccurrence rates are lower when you stick to a schedule. He told me that I should have plenty of adrenaline flowing that day to get me through the day just fine.

I have been thanking God this week for helping me to feel better sooner! The only thing that is still really difficult for me is the lack of energy. I think that sometimes effects my mood more than anything because I am not able to do the things I was normally used to doing. I walked a mile through my neighborhood last night with my mom, Will’s mom, and Will’s niece and my legs ached the whole night. I am not complaining because I am so glad I was able to walk that far! Besides the rain today, the weather has been so nice and I have loved being outside every chance I get! I used to complain that our deck was shaded all afternoon because I couldn’t lay out in the sun. However, now I am loving the shade because I can sit out there all day! πŸ™‚

It’s the little things that make me so happy right now! I love the sunny warm weather, being around kids (if they aren’t sick), and spending time visiting with friends and family! I am so happy that I still have one more week before my next round of chemo. Hopefully I am able to have another fun weekend and celebrate Easter with the people I love. God is good and I am still so thankful for the many blessings He has given me through all of this. I once told a friend that was going through cancer that God never gives you more than you can handle. I am now trusting my own words because I know He is making me stronger with each day that passes. Thank you so much for your prayers! He is so good ALL THE TIME! πŸ™‚