Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life has been so busy as they try and fill my head with all this knowledge, so I can make a well informed decision. LOL! Yea, whatever. Last Saturday night, I went up and spent the night with my mom!! Sunday, right after church, there was a 90th birthday party for one of mom's friends. I know she could have gone by herself, but they were calling for rain, and I didn't want mom to miss it. She has been looking forward to it for a couple weeks, asking me, "Is this weekend Arabelle's birthday party?" I enjoyed the time spent with my mom on Saturday afternoon, as we sat in the swing and watched the birds. I didn't bring the boys with me to mow her grass, since I was planning on staying the night. But as we sat there, and she made several comments about the "white flowers" (white clover, LOL!) in her yard, I decided to go ahead and mow it for her. Several weeks ago, in lieu of cash, a guy offered a mower to Keith as partial payment for the concrete job. Keith took it, and we put it at mom's. Now I don't have to load up the mowers and pull the horse trailer up there once a week to mow her grass. After the yard was mowed, we sat in the swing with some ice water and admired the birds at the bird feeders, as well as the freshly cut lawn. Sunday morning, it was so good to once again visit and fellowship with all the people at First Baptist Church Festus-Crystal City. I guess it doesn't matter how long your gone, or who is in the pulpit, one church always has a special place in your heart, and for me, that church is "good old First Baptist Church Festus Crystal City". When we arrived at mom's Sunday School class, it was full to the brim. I delivered mom, then backed out and told them I would go to "my" Sunday School class and meet up with mom in the sanctuary. We had a lively discussion in our class about the "law" vs. "grace" out of the text of Galations 2 and 3. It was very very good, and if any of you need a brushing up on that subject, I urge you to get out your Bibles and read a couple chapters. After church, we went to the birthday party and mom enjoyed visiting with many of her friends. On the way home, we stopped in for a visit with a friend of mom's who now resides at Autumn Ridge. Mom and I have visited her several times during the past several months. But on this day, when she saw me, she said, "My, you've gotten heavy!" Yea, folks, as I have shared with you, they have me on steroids, which one of the side effects is, yes, you guessed it....weight gain. I have gained about 16 lbs in the last 6 months. I can't tell you how good it made me feel to have her notice that!! NOT!!!!!! Oh well, sometimes the truth hurts. I just keep telling myself, a year from now, this will all be behind me. We are coming up hard and fast on my surgery date. Actually, 9 days from today?? Yikes!! Yesterday, I was at the hospital all day. They put me through a battery of tests they like to refer to as "Pre-testing". I had a MUGA scan, which is where they inject you with some dye, then wait 15 minutes, then take pictures of your heart valves working. They took me into the room, covered me with a warm blanket, and told me that they needed 3 pictures, and that each picture would take about 10 minutes. I plugged in my music in my ears, and closed my eyes, and laid very very still for 30 minutes or so. LOL! We then went to 1st floor, Pre-planning for Surgery, and had an EKG, a couple more sticks in my arms for blood draws, and they then sent me to have a chest x-ray. Finally, around 3:30 or so, Keith and I were in the car, headed south on 55. I know how hard it is for Keith to sit up there in those waiting rooms, and just wait, for hours and hours. So, yesterday, I took my lap top, complete with a couple DVD movies! I got him set up in a larger lobby waiting room, and he was good to go. And, when I was all done, and went to fetch him, he was actually, like, "just a couple more minutes Babe, they are about to rescue his family!" I like that response!! I will try and write more tomorrow, but this morning, I have to head back up to Barnes, for my weekly dose of Herceptin, and meet with the doctors to button up some last minute details. They did discuss my case with the "Tumor Board" last week, and the plan is still contingent upon what they find during surgery/mastectomy. If they find that I have had a complete response to the chemo drugs (all cancer is gone), then they will not recommend radiation. If they find any residual cancer, then, yes, they will recommend radiation. And, as far as my lymph nodes, they will test them, and only remove what they absolutely have to. I know God is in control, and I also know we don't get to pick and choose our "mission" in life. If we are believers, true believers, then we accept the assignment God has for us. I don't know who or what is being touched by this walk I am on, but God knows what He is doing, and I trust God. God loves me, and has a plan for my life. All He asks from me is obedience and a willing heart. I am trying to be that. I admit, on some days, I question the plan. I am like a small child, with questions for my Father. I don't always get an answer, but I can feel my heavenly father loving me, and I trust that. That is exactly where FAITH comes into play. That was part of our discussion Sunday morning. How would you explain FAITH to an unbeliever. What words would you use. You have to use words they would understand, and better yet, accept. We got lots of answers, lots of good answers. But the truth is, even for Christians, FAITH is hard to put into practice. It is easy to say you have faith when everything is going your way, when your paycheck gets deposited into your account every week, or when your healthy and your kids are all doing ok. On those days, FAITH is easy. I have said, faith is like a muscle, and when any muscle gets excercised a little more than normal, then said muscle gets sore, you have some pain to deal with. That would be why lots of people don't exercise!! They don't like pain, don't want pain. But pain can't be avoided in this life. Pain is guaranteed, but misery is optional. I heard Barbara Johnson say that at one of our Women of Faith conferences and have never forgotten it. When your faith is being stretched, it is painful. But a necessary part of growing stronger. I know God is working on me and my faith, because there is some pain involved in my life right now, both spiritual and physical. But, like the song I heard yesterday on the radio, there's always gonna be a mountain, I'm always gonna want it moved. But, I know God is in control, and if He is allowing these things in my life, then there is a good reason for it!! I just need to stretch and grow. I can do this, with God's help. I don't know how people who don't have a faith in God get through any of this, I truly don't. I certainly would not want to even try. I love my God, I trust Him and His ways, and I love my life. I feel truly blessed that I have such a loving and supporting family and lots of truly amazing friends. Keep on Praying!!

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