Sunday, February 28, 2010

3 Days and Counting

After a restless night, I woke up to the cheerfulness of my daytime nurse proclaiming, "It's Sunday!"
Sunday means that I have been in the hospital for three days. I expect to be here for at least two more.
Sunday means that I get to try a clear liquid diet. I haven't had anything to eat or drink since Thursday.
Sunday means that I get to take a shower! I am looking pretty rough.
Sunday means that God's people are gathering together in God's house. I am missing it.

The cancer is back, more abundant and aggressive than we first thought. I wish I were at church meeting with God this morning instead of in this hospital room trying to make sense of Him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chapter 2

I have had thousands of really great days in my life. Joyous events stand out in my mind...holidays with my grandparents, graduations, the night a scavenger hunt led me to a diamond ring and a marriage proposal, my wedding day, the day I got to tell Hubby that he was going to be a daddy, the births of each of our sons. For the most part, each day is a happy one and I go to bed at night satisfied that I am very, very blessed.
Yesterday, however, was not one of those days. Yesterday was the day that we had to tell our children that their mommy has cancer. Again.
I would give up every single one of my good-day memories if it meant that I could have kept yesterday from happening. Forever etched in my mind will be the swollen-from-crying-green eyes of my oldest son as he looked at me and said, "Mommy, please don't die."
Tomorrow I will go back to the operating room. The plan is for my oncologist to remove the 2 tumors that are growing in my abdominal cavity and on my colon, to apply intraoperative chemotherapy, and then to insert a port for post-surgery chemo access.
My heart is torn, and my emotions are raw. I am scared. I am angry. I am thankful. I am still blessed.
A lot of things will change for me in the coming days. I will be sick, I will be weak. I will not be able to attend Goliath's scout meetings or to cheer for my 5-year-old karate kid from the sidelines. I won't teach preschool, I won't do much cooking, and I will not take Baby to the library.
But in the midst of my heartache, my God remains the same. He was faithful before, and I believe He will be faithful again. I wish so much that I could understand why I must endure this. Little Middle asked me yesterday, "Mommy, why do you have to have cancer?" The answer could only be, "I don't know why God lets bad things happen to good people." But I do know that the God who gave me those three precious boys holds me and my cancer in the palm of His hand.
And knowing that I am safe there is enough to make today a better day.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS." Lamentations 3:22-23

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A New Song for a New Challenge

Don't know where to begin

It's like my world's caving in

And I tried but I can't control my fear

Where do I go from here?

Sometimes it's so hard to pray

You feel so far away

I am willing to go where You want me to

God I trust You.

There's a raging sea

Right in front of me

Wants to pull me in

Bring me to my knees

So let the waters rise if You want them to

I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You.

I will swim in the deep

'Cause You'll be next to me

You're in the eye of the storm and the calm of the sea

You're never out of reach.

God You know where I've been

You were there with me then

You were faithful before, You'll be faithful again

I'm holding Your hand.

There's a raging sea

Right in front of me

Wants to pull me in

Bring me to my knees

So let the waters rise if You want them to

I will follow You, I will follow You.

God Your love is enough

You will pull me through

I'm holding on to You

God your love is enough

I will follow You, I will follow You.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day

This morning we woke up to a rare Texas snowfall. School was cancelled, and we enjoyed our snow day!
The boys wolfed down their breakfast, and we headed out to explore the neighborhood bright and early.

The park is even more fun in the snow!

Abby loved playing in the snow.

Daddy got all decked out in his camo gear to help build a snowman.

This is the snow in the back of Hubby's truck, right around midday.

We measured 4 inches of snow in the yard in the early afternoon. By the end of the day, we had close to 7 inches.

We had a rotating pile of coats/gloves/boots in front of the fire drying out in between trips outside!

A few snowballs made their way into our freezer for safekeeping.
There was a LOT of snow on the trampoline...

and on the slide.

Hubby "shoveled" the snow off the trampoline.

What a beautiful day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Almost two weeks ago, I spent a long morning in a Dallas hospital doing my bi-annual CT scan. I dread going; I am relieved to the point of tears when it's done. Five days after the test, I couldn't take the waiting anymore, so I called my oncologist's nurse. She returned my call later that day and said these words: "There are no abnormal masses, but..."

It appears that there is pelvic fluid accumulating due to an increased thickening in the mesenteric region in my upper abdomen. She was quick to point out that it could be caused by any number of things. The "C" word hung between us on the phone line like a dark cloud. She didn't say it, but I sure was thinking it.

The next day, the nurse called me again. She said that Dr. M had reviewed the images from the scan, and wanted to schedule me for a PET scan. The PET scan is a more sophisticated test, and will produce more exact images of my insides. Any "questionable" cells will "light up like a Christmas tree!" after I am injected with radioactive material.

I am waiting to find out exactly when the scan will be. Turns out my little test comes with a hefty price tag, and the guy who writes the checks at the insurance company may need to be persuaded.

I've had all sorts of thoughts and emotions, not the least of which is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the next phone call. Fear of what could happen. Fear of the test. I love this quote from Beth Moore: "Christ is never intimidated by the depth of our need and the demonstration of our weakness. I'm so glad I don't have to keep a stiff upper lip and set a good example for others to follow when I am all alone with God and hurting!" I'm so glad, too.

It was during some alone time with God this weekend that an answer "accidentally" came to me through music. I wrote the lyrics of this song down in my journal this morning. That way, regardless of how this thing turns out, I can go back and remember that I learned (again) that I don't have to be afraid.

Because I am safe.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Their First Rodeo!

In February 2008 Hubby had the flu. Because of my desperate need to occupy the kids and get out of the house, we accidentally discovered the wonderland that is the Fort Worth Stock Show, and a great family tradition was born. This year, we decided that our 3 little cowboys are finally old enough to appreciate (and sit through) the rodeo. We decided to go in the middle of the week when it wasn't so crowded, so on Tuesday afternoon, I went to the boys' elementary school and withdrew them for an "appointment." They were SO surprised!

As an extra surprise, Papa drove down from Abilene to go to the rodeo with us. The boys were so excited to see him!

The rodeo was great! We really enjoyed the calf scramble...

the real life cowboys...

and of course, the bull riding.

Rudy the Rodeo Clown was a favorite for Goliath and Little Middle!

Baby's favorite was the blue cotton candy.

When the rodeo was over, we walked through the stock show and saw the exhibits. There was plenty to see and do!

We test drove some big tractors,

enjoyed some tasty treats,

and admired some amazing animals!

I might not mind so much if my babies do indeed grow up to be cowboys.