Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good Early Morning

Bruce and Avic Holding

Thought I should do a quick update.  Have had a terrible time with my eyes and the computer screen makes me dizzy!  Nothing new for those of you that really know me!  Anyway, I was terribly sick the day of my treatment.  Thursday and Friday I was very weak.  Friday evening I worked through the nausea.  I knew not to eat very much, but I guess I hadn't remembered that I should eat more often.  I have a routine of getting up around 4 am and having something with protein before heading back to bed.  The ladies of my church have been wonderful.  Bringing meals and sitting with me while Randy and Christa are busy.  Yesterday morning, Sunday for us, Christa came home and told me that the Holdings who were stationed here 3 years ago were visiting their family on Okinawa.  The Holdings are dear friends to us and really did so much around the church while stationed here in Okinawa.  They were always trying to be a blessing to all.  I was so excited to hear they were in church that I managed to get a shower and Christa did my hair.  Then off to the evening service I went to see them.  Made me cry to see them.  I know they didn't come to see me specifically, but I do believe that the Lord's timing was perfect and exactly what I needed yesterday.  The verse below perfectly describes the way my soul felt yesterday.  The Holdings were "good news from a far country."

Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

I could only stay for a short part of the service and then had to get home to rest.  It was so nice to see everyone!  Well, that is all for now.  Sorry such a short update, but I know some of you were beginning to worry.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  They are appreciated more than you know.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today the Ugly Battle Begins

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

Well, the day is here!  Armed with my basket full of items for every side effect listed in the paperwork, I prepare to meet the dreaded "Terminator", Chemo!!!  I almost called the chemo the battle, but it really isn't is it?  It is a defensive weapon, an ugly one, but one never the less.  I am so thankful that the spiritual defensive weapon the Lord gave me brings peace to me at this time.  There are times in my life when my Bible hasn't brought me peace.  It is like a two edged sword and cuts to the very heart of an issue in my life.  I have to face this chemo much as I face the word of God.  I don't always like the side effects, but I sure like the outcome!  Cancer is my physical battle and even if I am not cured and this dreaded disease takes my life as it did my Mom and my Aunt Jeannie, I know that ultimately I have won!  Heaven is my home and that spiritual battle was already fought and won by the Lord Jesus Christ!

I spoke with my previous pastor's wife yesterday.  She told me that her favorite name for the Lord is "Emmanuel" - God with us.  I had experienced this very part of the Lord the day before in a special way:

Monday I had a heart function test (it works great) and then saw my doctor one last time before chemo. Before that day I had been so apprehensive. As I mentioned in the previous post, I have that great stone of fear to roll away.  Mainly fear of the nausea and vomiting from chemo. I took care of my mom while she had lung cancer and I remember the 'sick' part of the chemo process.  VERY different from any flu or food poisoning you might have had.  So I have been talking to the doctor about everything I have read about medications for nausea and after our appointment last week, I wasn’t sure he really understood. Monday when I went in, there in English was a typed out paper with all the meds he will be using and he found that the hospital just started using the number one nausea drug for chemo, Emend!!!! I left the office almost excited for chemo, ALMOST!!! When I got home, Christa had made this wonderful cranberry baked chicken for dinner. Then around 7 pm the mailman knocked on the door with a package. It was a "Pink Package" from our very dear friends the Noonans and their church in Rochester, Minnesota.  Christa and I had soooooooooo much fun opening it and looking at everything! My favorite items were the pink wash cloths!!!!! And the pink tic tacs! I am going to wear the pink heart socks that were in the box for my chemo today.  By the end of the day, I felt like the Lord had picked me up and set me in His lap and stroked my head soothing my spirit and soul!  He was with me on that day in a special way and I know He is with me today.

I am still nervous about this chemo thing.  Last night Randy asked me what time I wanted to head to the hospital.  My appointment is at 9 am.  He wanted to be sure to leave when I wanted as I am an early bird and must be 15 minutes early for every appointment even though we usually wait for two hours!  I told him we could leave around 11 am.  He just smiled at me and asked, "Oh you want to arrive late?"  My gig was up.  He knew where I was going with that statment and he reminded me of all the reasons why I must go on.  Mainly on my doctor's recommendation it lists all the treatment choices and next to the word "none" - it says "NOT recommended".  Oh well.  Guess I will.

Along this journey, I will be taking pictures.  My mother actually helped me to make this decision.  Years ago when my mother started her cancer battle she requested no pictures.  I regret this every day.  We have memories of our last birthdays and holidays, but no pictures.  Time and age weather those memories and I would give anything to have a picture of my mom sitting on the couch, propped up by pillows, sipping coffee and watching with her happy smile as we open our very special Christmas gifts from her.  My journey will be complete with pictures!  So here are a few from the other day with our students!  I will probably post more tomorrow.

Well, off to dress!  Remember not to miss the journey for the destination and don't forget that the Lord will be us, if we let Him.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Take ye away the stone."

Pictures of the sunrise this morning over the Pacific Ocean from our porch!

Tonight I was able to go to ladies prayer time and then the evening service.  I  must say that I really love my husband's preaching.  The Lord always speaks to me.  Tonight was no different.  My husband preached about when the Lord commanded the people to roll the stone away from Lazarus' tomb.  The Lord could have raised Lazarus from the dead with the stone in front of the tomb, but the people had to do their part and exercise their faith by rolling the stone away first.  He asked us, "What is the stone that the Lord wants you to roll away?"  Is it the stone of doubt, discouragement, disdain, indecision, or fear?  Hit me right between the eyes.  Fear is my largest stone right now.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of pain.  Fear of nausea!  I am going to ask the Lord for His help to roll that stone away!

After church we had some pictures taken.  I wanted some photos of us before I start chemo on Wednesday.  It was a blessing to see our people, sing songs, share praises, see the happy little children run, pray for one another, and hear the preaching of God's word.  I love our church!  I love you, Foundations Baptist Church!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Update on Hope

I talked with my friend and she was home by Friday evening.  She is feeling a little dizzy (is it really the meds?), but otherwise pretty good.  She won't know the results for about 10 days.  Keep praying for her!  Hope, glad you are home.  Sleep well!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pink Ribbon Day for Hope

Today is pink ribbon day for my dear friend, Hope.  She will be having a lumpectomy to remove her breast cancer and a sentinel node biopsy at 2 PM EST.  Please remember to pray for her today and send her hugs.  Hope, I am praying for you, for the nurses, and for the skill of the surgeons.  Praise the Lord we serve a mighty God!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Port Placement

Well, it is in.  I was awake for the whole thing, which I didn't mind a bit.  I really like my surgeon and here in Japan he is also my oncologist.  It went much smoother than I thought it would and I am so GRATEFUL to the Lord for giving me a good day.  Can't type much.  Just wanted to let you all know that the port is in.  I have an echocardiogram of my heart on Monday.  Just a test before they start the chemo.  It is standard operating procedure.  Chemo is set to start January 20.  Thank you for your prayers.

Please don't forget to pray for Hope on Friday as she has her lumpectomy to remove the cancer.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Journey Continues

Well, this weekend I picked up a cold!  YUCK!  So my chemo port placement was put off until next Tuesday, January 12.  My husband tattled to the doctor at our appointment yesterday and told him how I had been working on Wednesday and Thursday.  By Friday night I had a fever and was in bed.  The doctor asked me if I had forgotten that I had cancer.  I just smiled.  Pray that the chemo will start on January 20. 

Now on to the subject at hand, the journey continues.  My old pastor, Dr. Hyles, always used to say, "Don't miss the journey for the destination."  I  must admit that my mind is focused on completing my journey as quickly as possible and with this mind set I just might miss some things the Lord has for me.  I am trying to remember this as time tables change.  The other thing about a journey is that one usually collects souvenirs!  Something you pick up along the way to take with you along the rest of the journey.  I really didn't want something or someone else to have to travel this journey with me, but the Lord had another plan.  My friend 'Hope' has been diagnosed with the same cancer that I have.  She will be having a lumpectomy on Friday, January 15.  Please pray with me that the margins are clean, they get it all the first time, and that it has not spread to the lymph nodes.  Hope has strong faith and I know the Lord will get her through this time.  She is experiencing that great wave of grace that only the Lord can send.

Psalms 146:5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: