Sunday, December 15, 2013

Leaning On Jesus, Where else do we go?

The last two weeks I have been hopping here and there, trying to do different treatments.  I have been getting my legs wrapped for getting fluids out of my legs (lymphedema) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Then everyday, at the same time, I would go to the radiation place, CARTI, and get treatment on the upper right arm area and the T-7 spine area of my body.  We had some bad weather that cancelled some of the appointments, but overall, I was plugging away going somewhere getting treatment.

This coming week is busy.  I will have surgery tomorrow, Monday, on replacing the stents that were put into my ureters 2 months ago.  I really need to have them replaced, there are symptoms that show it is overdue.  SO...outpatient surgery tomorrow, early in the morning.  If I feel pretty good, I will also fit in a radiation treatment in the late afternoon. Busy, busy.  That will FINISH ALL the radiation treatments...13 !!! Yay!
Tuesday till Friday will be finishing the lymphedema treatments...maybe.  We will see how my lower legs are doing.  The swelling has to go down. 

My heart is weary again, but not without hope.  I am trusting the Lord to carry me day at a time. That's it.  All I can do.
Please pray for our family during this very special season of love...that God will clear our eyes to look only at him...the Savior of the world, come to rescue us from our messy lives and be forgiven by His love.

BIG NEWS in our Family !!!!  Our son Jamie (23) just got engaged last Sunday !!! :-)  We are SO happy to have a beautiful, loving daughter-in-law join our family next summer.  God orchestrated their love and it's all come together so sweetly. Yay God!!!

That's all. Please continue to pray.  I am so grateful for your faithful prayers.

Lord, thank You for walking with us for 2 more weeks and keeping our hearts strong.  Please let the stent surgery go well, no side issues, no complications, please.  We need You every hour, most holy One.  When I whisper Your name in prayer, no matter how quiet the whisper, You hear me.  And if I am crying out in need, You are there.  Thank You, for loving me.  I love You God.
Yours for all time,

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Already

December 1, 2014.  Time is flying, zooming to finish the 2013 year.  Thanksgiving has gone by, and our hearts have turned to the season of Christmas.  Wow.  I am SO thankful to be today.   Thank You God for sustaining me month by month, day by day.   In June, at the time of the wedding, I wasn't so sure about what Thanksgiving would look like, but I got to celebrate with my precious family, eat too much (yes, even for my appetite)  and talk and laugh with loved ones all weekend. God is good!
Last Monday I started radiation treatment at CARTI in Searcy. Excellent doctors, excellent staff.   My doctor set up a plan for where they were going to radiate.  Both days they worked on marking the spots with Sharpies... (a nice version of tattoos for cancer fighters.)  I also had radiation treatment on those spots both days.  They are amazing... trying to get it all going quickly in order to back off some of the pain in weeks ahead in those areas. They are treating my spinal T7, the head of the humerus  and the humerus, some nodules in the chest area, and my right clavicle.  I went back on Friday with our oldest son, Jesse, who was here for the weekend.  I will be going this coming week to get the radiation daily, and then part of next week.  I think the total number of treatments will be 13.

Last week I also saw the urologist. He wants to schedule my next stent replacement surgery right when I finish the radiation.  That is an outpatient event, every two months.

Lots going on with me physically right now.  Here are some specific prayer requests:
    *Radiation this week and next will go well.  No damage to those areas, and
      especially no damage to the trachea and the lungs.  Healing will come.

     *Going to begin lymphedema treatment on the fluid in my legs this week.
       Three times a week I will get a special massage and wrapping treatment
       on my legs.  This is an 8 week schedule.

      *Next week I will have stent surgery.  Please pray for kidneys and stents to
        be healed.
       *After the radiation,  I may begin chemo again.  We will re-evaluate then.

There's also lots going on with my heart, emotions and my mind too.

When I first heard the news about the scans not being good, I was certainly sad. I felt an urgency to do what I need to do to leave this world.   Write some important letters to loved ones.  Think about what needs to be paid attention to and what needs to not be given attention.  Saying what needs to be said.  Keep my eyes on Jesus and Life,  not focusing on death.   Such a balancing act! Too big for the flesh to carry out.  Only can be done with the Lord's Word clearly resounding in my ears.  I am going to the Scriptures constantly for hope, for His Peace,  for answers,  for His promises,  for His holy perspective vs. my earthly eyes, and more.

Daily, I am trying to manage the medical and walking by the Spirit.  I am leaning on the prayers of SO many dear family and friends  to hold me up, night and day,  helping me not lose heart. That is a huge, huge blessing from God and all of you!  Thank you!

Thank You.  You have faithfully brought me this far on this difficult journey.  I love You.  You have helped my whole family. Thank You.  You have given us answers to questions, wisdom for our doctors, guidance for our home.  Thank You.   You have sent troops of prayer warriors to step into the fight.  Unafraid to join the battle, they have been such encouragers to our family, Lord.  Thank You for sending them to fight and encourage.  I'm so, so grateful. Thank You again and again.  I love You, O God.  Help me with life today...and to not get too far ahead, but to "lean not on my own understanding, instead trusting in You, O God."  I love You.
Your daughter,
Lisa Carol

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mustard Seed Faith

I've been pretty slow about writing this blog...with reason.  Not because I could not tell you medical details, but because I don't know quite how to share my heart this time.

On Monday, November 4th,  I went to LR with our daughter Betsy to get scans.  First, I received CT scans of my head, chest, abdomen, and pelvic areas.  Then I also received a bone scan from head to toe.  We were told we would hear the results the next day or two.

Finally I did hear the results on Wednesday morning, November 6th .  The summary of both the CT and the bone scans were not good.  The summary was "progression".  Again.

The CT scans all showed progression (growth) of the cancer in various places.  Most were in places we already knew had cancer, some were new spots.  There were two new spots on my liver, small but new.  Then the bone scan showed progression as well. some in the old areas, but a couple of new spots were found on the skull. (Not in the brain, but the bone which is the skull.)  There are more details, but certainly that is enough for you to see overall my body has metastatic, progressive breast cancer.

Our hearts were very sad when we hung up with the oncology nurse. That is NOT what we were all praying for, but totally the opposite of our request before God. So many questions for the Lord.  And lots of tears dropping off my face. Since we heard the scan results, we have been going through a continual time of processing this in our hearts and our minds. We are trying to think what to do next, or do we stop "doing" things. What does our doctor, who, by the way, I've been with for 7 years now and totally trust, what does she think at this point? There's a boat load of questions swirling around in our thoughts.  All of these leading to the main question..."How long O Lord?  How many more days, weeks, years of life do I have O God?"

 King David was asking the same question.   Psalm 39:4  "Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting life is!" 

We have been leaning into the Word of God, which has always been our source of truth, knowledge, understanding. and comfort.  We are leaning on the Scriptures that say "Nothing is impossible with God.", and "All things are possible with God."   We don't need a perfect dose or a huge truckload of faith.  We only need faith the size of a mustard seed.  I know Tom and I have that much, by God's grace and love.

How am I doing?  Okay.  Just talking to God daily and OFTEN.  One day at a time.  I don't know my future, but I am all about trusting Him with each day.

Tomorrow I go to get a blood transfusion.  Takes about 5 hours from arrival to departure.  Then on Wednesday morning I will see the radiation oncologist here in Searcy to see if she can zap a few of spots. This should help with pain in those areas.  Then Wednesday afternoon I see my oncologist to discuss radiation and other treatment choices.

O Father in heaven,
Your Name is holy and You are so wonderful.  Thank You for walking me through this day.  It certainly was You that helped keep my heart strong, the tears tucked away for now.  Please restore my strength. Please wash away all side effects from fighting this disease for so long. And,  please completely come and rescue me from this battle.  I love You, Father. Forever and always.
Your daughter,