March 2018 Update
Well, the past 3 months have been a bit of a whirl wind and I have been struggling on where to even begin. Maybe a good place to start is – why do I blog? I am just an ordinary 54 year old woman that Loves Jesus with all her heart. I love my friends and family so much that when I think of those nearest and dearest to me my heart actually hurts. Yes, I happen to have stage 4 breast cancer which I have been made aware plenty of times is a really really bad thing. But still why write about this?
Well, maybe in some small way at some point it will possibly make a difference. I am not certain actually. It helps me get stuff out of my head and focus where I need to focus. My hope is that someone else who is given a serious health diagnosis might read this and it could give them some hope. Hope for healing, hope for joy, hope for love and hope for a relationship with God. In the words of “Max Lucado”, “You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime, don’t be foolish or naive. But don’t despair either. With God’s help you will get through this.” This is a quote straight from Max Lucado’s book - You’ll Get Through This.
Throughout the past two years, I have altered my thought process from self reliance to God reliance. Without God’s help I am of no use.
Prior to going to Puerto Vallarta in January, I received a good medical report and good results from my MRI in late December. I have been challenged this year with balancing the efforts and value of travelling. On the trips to both Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, we had incredible experiences but my energy and well being fluctuated tremendously. For no obvious reason, I could pretty much do nothing one day and hike 6 miles the next. Tim definitely picked the short straw for a travel companion. The longer I am away from home; the more health challenges I face. So, we try to do as much as we can right away. No putting off anything till tomorrow. A couple of years ago, while on a hike in PV; I was stepped on by a horse. So, this year, I challenged myself to go on the same hike and face my fear. Well, embarrassingly, another horse came out when I was in a crowded area and I had an all out anxiety attack. I did not remain calm, nor did I ask God for help. I just panicked. What happened to the Let Go, Let God mentality? It is frustrating to lose control of your emotions yet not reach out to the clear answer – God. On our trip to Cancun, we went zip lining over the ocean which was a bit of a fear conquering moment for me. (last time I zip lined; I hit a papaya tree - true story) How I have never broken a bone; only God knows.
My last blood test was a few weeks ago and unfortunately; the tumor markers have increased. The oncologist was not concerned as this was the first time and they also go by MRI results. But, it definitely brings us more uncertainty. I was battling a cold at the time and hoping that this for some reason had an affect on the blood work results. The oncologist is changing the MRI frequency from once every 3 months to 4 months. I am trying to look at this as confidence in my health but I do realize it is really a budget thing. Last week, I had a gastroscopy which was a real treat. I have to have one every 6 months due to the damage that the ascites did to my veins in 2016. So, back to the oncologist on March 13th. Praying for blood work results that indicate that treatment is continuing to respond.
In the meantime, I am praying and listening and reading God’s word. God is using this quiet down time for me to just be still and listen and learn and believe.