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Monday, April 18, 2016

life = change

my life just like everyone else's goes through ebb and flow.  this last year and half my life has been ebbing exponentially more than other years.

 on march 2nd, 2015 i was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer with metastasis in my liver....there are only 5 stages. yikes.  that in and of itself was a bit mind blowing.  by march 13th (shows you how important it was) i was having surgery to remove the cancerous tumor and the metastasized place on my liver. 

 while this was going on my brother-in-law was waging war on prostate cancer, my mother was dealing with heart blockage and a number of other health issues, my brother had cancer on his face, my best friend's daugther's father-in-law was diagnosed with stomach cancer and just passed away last night, my son-in-law had just conquered a death threat from mrsa,  and recently my best friend, maday, had a brain aneurism and while in surgery suffered a stroke, she has had really great care and is recovering but has a lot of rehabilitation that she and all of us, her family have to participate in, which takes a lot out of a family.

and then as recently as the last months, my father-in-law, came to visit us with Dave's mom, he fell in our upstairs guest room and was rushed to the hospital with Afib but in his case a very low irregular heart beat.    he proceeded to have a pace maker put in and medicine to regulate his heart but was told to go home and have aortic value surgery asap.  dave drove them home to merritt isand florida from our home in franklin, tn,  just two days after his dad's surgery.
the day after they got there my father-in-law, bennie wanted to go for a walk on the beach with dave.  they walked and talked about life, love and of course Jesus because bennie loved Jesus with his whole heart.  as they departed from the shore bennie reached out to dave and said "hold on to me" but shortly after that collapsed to the sand and he was gone. he died right there on that beach with dave grasping his hand.  dave called me in utter distress from the sandy shore of cocoa beach and i prayed for peace to cover him and bennie. 

this is not to mention all the other things like children suffering from anxiety, dabbling into dangerous drugs, and drinking their lives into the ground and just the toll that life itself takes on you.  you all know what i mean. 

needless to say it has been quite the year of tough times, emotionally and physically.

many of you that know us and our family and we have already experience some really hard times in this world. 

but i have to tell you even though we have been put in the fire, tried, and tested...we still have hope. 

we have hope. 

as life has thrown seemingly every challenge at us from all sides i am ever aware of what a wonder life is.  i have an appreciation for just how precious our time is with family and friends.  

after my surgery in march my family came from their respective corners of this world to care for me  as i was recovering...this was an enormous message of their love language to me. 

time = value   i felt valued by them for the time they invested in my recovery. 

my daughter, esther, with two small children at home came at the most intensive time, during surgery and right after, leaving her children, grace, 8 and garnet, 4  at home with their dad, brad,  who took them to work with him the entire time esther was with me.  my daughter, rachel raising her two girls, gwyne, 15 and ellery, 11 with her husband, eric and working full time was right there taking care of my needs as well.  then my mother who was putting off her own health issues and is 82 came and took care of my family in the best possible way, cooking and keeping their spirits up, and making sure i had what i needed. my sister came just as i was feeling somewhat better and had to keep me from doing too much by planting some of my spring garden...that i was not able to do. my own hubby and children were there too. always putting me first,  making sure i had the love and support i needed. plus my good friends, making meals and making sure my family was well supported.

it was a time of pulling together to make the whole family work.  

it has been very intense with little wiggle room to breathe.  all the while researching as much as we could about the disease that was trying to take my life from me.  

we have all spent countless hours trying to determine the best possible route for me personally to take with my diagnosis. i do have a family history with my mom having had colon cancer when she was 70.  she also had surgery.  

with a lot of prayer and research and contemplating, i have made the choice not to have chemotherapy or radiation. my oncologist for surgery and after care aren't too happy. but this is my life and my choice.  i am making a lot of different life style adjustments. but there is no map or real guidelines for this choice.   there is so much information out there and it can be quite confusing because there are experts on both sides, really on many sides. but for me and my family it has been a quality of life choice. i have decided to go at it from the point of let's find out why my cancer decided it could develop on the inside of my body.  i have started seeing a chiropractor to maximize my nervous system that runs every organ in my body including my brain, colon, liver and all other organs. right now it's intensive with three times a week adjustments until i have my spine lined up as it is supposed to be.   i am incorporating acupuncture once a week. i have changed a lot about my eating even though i was already eating mostly organic and farm fresh. i am off sugar, which is an enviroment  cancer loves to reside in.

i have add countless tests, scans, and blood work done over the course of this last year.  my last two ct scans have showed no signs of cancer. all of my blood work has come back clear of any signs of cancer. according to the statistics...i had only a less than 2% chance of making it.  but God isn't concern with stats...He is focused on what can be done...what was already done on the cross. the healing that is mine to proclaim over my own life.  the ultimate show of love as a good shepherd, as a Father. i am a living, breathing result of His love for me.
and i am grateful.

i have been on a journey to be at peace for at least 11 years. a real life sojourn of seeking it out and pursuing peace.   seeking ways to add a peaceable life in this ever-increasingly chaotic world we live in.  one of the ways i have come to understand how to be at peace

is being grateful.  in times of turmoil...focusing on the areas of my life that are good, that are fulfilling,  that i'm passionate about, that bring to mind how wonderful life really is.
adding up all the things i'm thankful for puts life into perspective.
there are many other ways i have sought to be at peace but i have found being grateful one of the ways you can easily add being at peace to your life.

i wanted to thank you my family...every member of it and the part you played in my healing. i could not have done this without you.  i love each one of you.
thank you to my extended family of believers who have prayed for me and been there with encouraging words.  i love each one of you.
thank you to all my friends near and far that have blessed my life with you being in it. i love each one of you.
and finally and most ardently thank you to my heavenly Father whom i count on everyday to be with me and keep me on the right track of life, change, time, value, love, healing, gratefulness, and peace.

my love to each one of you,

phillipians 1:18-21

so how am i to respond? i've decided that i really don't care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so i cheer them on!
and i'm going to keep that celebration going because i know how it's going to turn out. through your faithful prayers and the generous response to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything He wants to do in and through me __will be done.__
i can hardly wait to continue on my course. i don't expect to be embarrassed in the least. on the contrary everything happening to me in this jail(sickness) only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether i live or die. they didn't shut me up; they gave me a pulpit?
alive i'm Christ's messenger and dead i am His bounty.
life versus even more life! i can't lose.
in other words,
for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.