Something to hold on to...

"Today I am one day nearer home than ever before. One day nearer the dawning when the fog will lift, mysteries clear, and all question marks straighten up into exclamation points!
 I shall see the King!"     Vance Havner

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Amazing Weekend and Deep Thoughts

*** I hope you make it to the bottom of this post***

This was an amazing and refreshing weekend. It is so fun to go on vacation with 30 of your close friends! We traveled about 3 hours away for husband to participate in a Christian softball tournament. The team we went with this year is a mix of oldies (literally) and some young guns. As far as the tournament goes, I have no idea of where we placed. We won the first two games, then lost 2 in a row. That was it for us, as it is a double elimination tournament. After the first two games, we all enjoyed a picnic under a tree, which we all brought something and pooled it together. Later that evening we practically filled a restaurant, then we had church.

Let me tell you, my favorite thing about the weekend is really not softball. To be honest, half of the players would tell you the same thing. It is so much more than that. Our simple church service was probably one of the best we have all year. Something about a small group of friends joined in worship is really special. We all sat in our "bag" chairs, on the lawn of the hotel, and began by singing a couple of worship songs led by one of the guys on the team. The mood was immediately set to become real before God. Instead of a "sermon" one of the guys said that after the singing we would just open it up for anyone to speak whatever is on our minds. Another one of our guys got up immediately and posed a simple question, which he then gave his own answer . "How are you spiritually, how is your walk?" He was very open and honest with his own answer, and let us know that he was not where he should be. Then the first guy talked and after answering for himself, he turned the question directly to me. I knew already that I had to talk, because I had that jumpy, nervous feeling, where if you don't talk you will explode. I decided to stand and face everyone. Most of them knew that I have been diagnosed with cancer, not everyone knew that the summer began with me having a heart attack. I had to give a rundown on the summer and then get to the heart of the question.

How am I spiritually? I am still processing that one. I think that when my spiritual world and my physical world collided earlier this summer it definitely forced me to become more dependent on God. I know in a profound way that this life can be short, and that our very next breath is a gift from God. I pray more. Not only desperation prayers, but prayers of thanksgiving and many prayers of praise. Not only am I praying more, I am listening. That is probably one of the single, most important changes in my spiritual life. I am more in tune with what God is telling me than ever before. I never want that to change.

After I spoke, two of the guys spoke, and it was quite humbling. They very openly and honestly expressed that they were not at all where they wanted to be spiritually and that they desperately wanted to get their lives back on track and to put God where He needs to be . Their brokenness was beautiful because you could see their hearts. I thought later how I am in reality better off right now than many people in the world. I am physically sick. Spiritually I am getting stronger. As much as I do not like cancer, I do not EVER want to become spiritually sick.

Another thing has me thinking tonight. It was brought to my attention that I should not be using the phrase, "my cancer" because by saying that phrase I am taking ownership of "this thing".


I have given that a lot of thought. I do not know the person who said that, it was reported to me by my sister-in-law. I do know though from her that the person who said it is a very sweet person and a mighty prayer warrior. I know her intentions are the best. I feel though that I might very well continue to phrase it that way, or perhaps I will not. I personally do not fear saying it. I know that the Apostle Paul spoke of his "thorn in the flesh" and in fact claimed ownership of whatever it was that troubled him. I know that Jesus mentioned "this cup" when He truly did not want to experience what God has planned for Him. I feel that by claiming it I am not approving of it, I am not really accepting it as anything I desire. I am simply accepting the fact that it is what it is, I KNOW that God can still change it if He chooses, I KNOW that this is not from God. This is from the world. I do not now, or will ever believe that God "gives" people cancer. I believe He allows us to walk through these trials, that He is right here with me, and that He will cause good to come from it. He did not however cause it.

There are many things in this life that we accept. Including the grace, love, mercy, and healing that God provides. I KNOW that God is bigger than "this thing".

Nicole Johnson from Women of Faith has put into words, and in a very dramatic way, what I have been feeling lately. She does a routine which is really about breast cancer, but the phrase she proclaims at the end sums up my feelings exactly.

"I have cancer, but cancer does not have me!"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We are off again

Tonight I am busy packing for another get away. We are heading to an annual softball tournament that my husband plays in with a group from our church. We do this each Labor Day weekend and we love it. Even when our team does not do so well we have a blast. It is like going on vacation with 30 of your closest friends. I am tired tonight and have a lot to do, but I am anxious for the chance to get away again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How did I miss this?

Sometimes God speaks to you in subtle ways, and sometimes it is as if He slaps you in the face to get your attention. Today was one of those slappin' days. I was at cardiac rehab, minding my own business, walking on the treadmill. I brought along my ipod, (yes, this old lady has an ipod- it was a "freebie" a few years ago when oldest bought his Mac computer, he already had one, so mom has an ipod!)

Anyway, I was walking along and enjoying my music when a song played that I have heard many times. I guess this time I really listened. It was as if God said, "Anita, pay close attention to this song, I am trying to tell you something". The song is, "Until" by Mark Harris. Mark Harris used to sing with the group 4Him. This song is on his solo album. The words are below, and after you skim over them you can read what I truly believe that God was telling me through this song. I just wish I could find it on YouTube or somewhere for you to hear.

Until: By Mark Harris

It is it unfair to say that You are leading,
Then try and face this mountain on my own,
Why am I scared, I've never stopped believing,
And You never left me alone.
Well, I can get ahead of where you've led me to,
But I will trust Your heart enough to wait for You ...

Until this mountain moves,
Until the path is clear,
Until Your voice is the only one I can hear.
Until I see Your hand,
Until I know Your heart,
Until I trust the grace that's carried me this far
I will be still, until ...

How could I have ever seen this coming,
It's not like I've been running from Your will,
Tell me why each day's another mystery,
Waiting for Your truth to be revealed,
I try to tell my heart to trust what I believe,
And wait on You through all of my uncertainty ...

Until this mountain moves,
Until the path is clear,
Until Your voice is the only one I can hear.
Until I see Your hand,
Until I know Your heart,
Until I trust the grace that's carried me this far
I will be still, until ...

Be still my heart of worry,
Be still my restless soul,
Be confident and certain,
Be still and know

Until this mountain moves,
Until the path is clear,
Until Your voice is the only one I can hear.
Until I see Your hand,
Until I know Your heart,
Until I trust the grace that's carried me this far
I will be still, until ...
Oh, I will be still, until

I have been so anxious for my surgery. I even commented recently that I felt as if this time while I am waiting is just wasted time. Today changed that. I believe that God is preparing me in the best way possible for my surgery, and the days up to then are planned so that I will face this surgery fully prepared. This song refers to how we try to get ahead of God instead of just waiting "until". I have to admit that I gave no thought to what God might have in store for me in these next few weeks. I even said to Him, that I just wanted it over with. However, every day I am hearing from friends and family, every day I am hearing a special song or scripture brought to me by a friend, or something I have run across on my own. Literally, EVERY day. There has not been a single day since my cancer was announced that I have not gotten either a phone call, a card, a word of encouragement, or a word of someone praying for me. It is so obvious to me now, that these days before surgery are not just a scheduling problem due to a busy doctor or a tied up O.R. No, they have been planned by God so that I could face this surgery, this cancer, in the very best way possible. Had I rushed into surgery I would not have the scriptures or songs that are now planted in my heart and mind. I would not have realized the huge support I have through family and friends, and most importantly, I might have put my confidence in doctors rather than realizing with all of my being that God is truly in control.

So, I will be still, I will wait, I will trust and I will have confidence in God's timing. September 10th is THE day for surgery. I just wish I could pick up on these lessons a bit sooner.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Great News

I have not mentioned this yet on this blog because I was trying to protect my boys, but today I received some great news. I don't know how much you know about my cancer. Medullary Thyroid Cancer actually has 4 sub-types, three of those types can be hereditary. Because I have children, I had to be tested to see if I carry the mutated gene that is responsible for those three types. It took 2 long weeks to get the results back from my blood test.

I DO NOT carry this gene.

I have the sporadic type which occurs in 80 % of medullary cancers. There are no words to express how grateful I am of that news. God has just heard groaning of thanksgiving because I don't have the right words to use to thank Him. We deal with things differently when they are just about us, but when it threatens your kids it is a whole different story.

I have had a week of good news in a summer of one bad thing after another. I needed this. Now I can concentrate my thoughts on mentally preparing for my surgery.

Say a prayer of thanksgiving with me tonight, okay?

Monday, August 25, 2008

No news

There is nothing new to report tonight on my health issues.

Sometimes when there is nothing new going on, you would think I would almost feel "normal" but, to be honest, this cancer thing is on my mind 24/7 . Even when I am truly busy doing other things, it is still there. It worms its way into your brain and plays havoc with your thoughts. I almost feel like these days where nothing is going on are wasted days. I have said it before, I am ready to get this show on the road. I just wish I did not think about it all of the time. Truthfully, my thoughts are not all gloom and doom, I have many peaceful thoughts where I know God is in control, and where I imagine myself having a very smooth surgery and recovery. I know I will be well taken care of by family and friends, and I know I have a good medical team looking out for me. But even knowing all of that, it still consumes me. I do not like to feel so self centered.

There have been a few moments where I have come as close to having a panic attack as I probably ever have. I wrote how nights are sometimes hard, ( they are getting better) another time where I am vulnerable is in the shower. You can cry in the shower and get by with it. That has only happened one other time though since I was given the news. However the other day, for some awful reason, I started second guessing all of the surgical plans, and let my mind fill with doubts. I am over that now. I need to say that I have a wonderful husband. He is my thought processor through all of this. When those crazy thoughts and feelings surface, I run them past him. He listens. He also shares his wisdom. The cool thing, is that no matter how crazy I get, he listens first. I love that. He is a wonderful sounding board and lets me get those crazy feelings out.

My boys are dealing with this differently. If you know our boys then you know they were born different. Oldest is quieter and is having a delayed reaction to all of this. Although it has been nearly a month since my diagnosis, he is just now emailing his friends and talking about it. He rarely talks about it at home, and just a couple of nights ago he and I had a long talk about everything. Youngest on the other hand, put out a note to all his friends within minutes after hearing the news. His way of dealing with it was to get it off of his chest immediately. He did the same thing on the day of my heart attack. They are different and I think that they are both just dealing with it in their own best way.

Cancer just changes everything.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The $20.00 Challenge

****Thank you so very much to those of you who commented on my last post. It is just good every now and then to have a feel of just who is reading. Sometimes I get kinda raw in my posting and I just need to know who might be reading. I know there are others that read and do not comment, and that is okay.

Now, just so you know that I've still "got" it. I had a very successful shopping trip this afternoon! I don't have pictures, so I know it is boring without pics, but take my word for what I am about to share about the power of couponing!

I started with a $20.00 bill that husband gave me after church.

1st Transaction, stopped at CVS after church:

2 "big city" newspapers-- total $3.50

2nd Transaction, went to Walgreens while husband was napping:

2- 8 oz bags of Mexican blend cheese
2- 8 oz bags of cheddar cheese
3- 18 oz jars of Peter Pan peanut butter
4- Glade Plug Ins
I had coupons for everything and due to store sales and coupons and a $5.00 Walgreens Register Reward from a deal last week my total (drum roll please) was--$ 3.85

3rd Transaction, I went across town to the "big" CVS:

2 small boxes Malt-O-Meal Cinnamon Toasters cereal
2 boxes Nabisco Premium Saltines
1 Kotex Liner
1 CVS hand soap
1 bag of pretzels -donated to the troops

Here, due to coupons my total was a mere $ .78 (yep, 78 cents!) I earned $1.49 in Extra Bucks

4th Transaction, came back by the CVS by my home because the other one was out of Pepsi:

2- 12 packs of Pepsi
2- 12 packs of Diet Pepsi
I had a $2/$10 coupon and $5.00 in Extra Bucks , so I spent only $ 5.39 (earned $3.00 Extra Bucks)

My total for the day from my original $20.00 is: (including newspapers I bought to sweeten the coupon stack)

$ 5.39

$13.52 !

Somewhere though I lost a dime, because I only have $6.38 left in my billfold. I guess with these deals I can part with one dime. It does hurt though...

Youngest is all moved in to his new apartment. It is a nice apartment and he has very nice roommates. One of the guys formally went to the Bible college that youngest had attended, so he knows him well. This is a very nice, clean, new apartment right on campus. From what I hear, these guys like it kept neat. Music to my ears. We unloaded him, took he and his friend out to a good lunch, then to WalMart (of course) to purchase some groceries and necessities.

I am taking it easy this evening. I do not like to be on the run all of the time. I am tired and will let husband and oldest son pamper me tonight!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Youngest is Leaving Today / Special Request

I made cookies! I don't think I have made cookies at all this summer until last night. It felt so good to bake. If you know me, you know I love to bake, and if you look back on a past post of mine, ( just click here) you will see how much I love to bake for my boys. I just love to send them off to school with a fresh batch. I did not do the marathon baking as I did before, but youngest son has 2 plates of soft, extra-chocolate, chocolate chip cookies.

Today we are packing up youngest son and getting him settled in his campus apartment as he goes off to obtain an art degree. He is a talented young man and will have a good year. I have to be honest though, it has been so good to have him around here this summer. When mom starts off the summer with a heart attack it is not a good thing. Having my two boys around has really helped. Oh believe me, there were days when these guys did not want to do anything, but overall, they have helped a lot.

I am going to make a request in this post. I have been very personal lately and have been revealing nearly everything as I find out what is going on medically. I would just like to know who is reading. Many people tell me that they read my blog, but I would like an occasional comment. If you are friends and family, please let me know that you are keeping up. Any and all words of encouragement would be so appreciated. You can leave a comment as "anonymous" but can describe who you are in the comment, or you can sign in to an account and use a name. Comments make my day. Each day I am receiving cards in the mail and I cannot tell you what a huge blessing that is. I am getting cards from people I have not seen in years, people I once worked with but due to school employee shuffles, I no longer see, and many many cards from friends and family. I would also love a few notes on this blog. So, if you read regularly, just let me know .

All for now, we need to leave soon. There are college boys waiting for cookies!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cause for Praise

I do not have breast cancer. I do not have breast cancer. I had to say that twice. However, there are some cells there that are not really what you want to develop so I have to have a further surgery. Not extensive, but nonetheless another surgery. I will meet with a surgeon to discuss this on the day before I have my thyroid out. I have no idea when all of this will take place.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Youngest son is preparing to go back to college, and that always means a few extra shopping trips for things to get him ready. Tonight we went to about 4 places picking up some things he needs personally and for the apartment. I think he is basically set. He will do most of his final packing tomorrow and when I get home from school we will run through the checklist to see if he is done. We are taking him back on Saturday. Although this is a lot to take care of right now, it is a good distraction. I like sending my boys off with a little TLC. Hopefully I will have time tomorrow evening to bake him a fresh batch of cookies to take to his apartment. He would love that. I would love doing it.

Wrong surgery date...

I told you I was tired. Surgery is the 10th of September, not the 6th.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What a day...

I am tired and may fall asleep while posting, but I want to update on with the latest news. Today was a full day for me. First, I had the sterio-tatic breast biopsy. I will not give many details on that, except to say it took two hours and was not fun. I am not sure when I will get the results of that.

At 1:00 I saw an ENT surgeon. Turns out, not only is this guy an ENT surgeon, he is also a head and neck oncologist. That was very reassuring, in that he knows my cancer, and the best treatment. Surgery is set for September 10th. It will be long, about 6 hours. He will totally remove my thyroid, and perform both central and lateral neck dissections. We are taking an aggressive approach because with this particular cancer, surgery is the only defense. It does not respond to chemotherapy, radioactive iodine, and usually not to external beam radiation. The best result is to attack it while it is still in the neck. My CT scan was clear, which is great news. There is no definitive way to know at this point if any lymph nodes are involved. That will not be made known for sure until after surgery. Since we are taking the aggressive approach surgically, hopefully if any are involved, they will soon be gone. I will be in the hospital about 2 days, and will rest at home about 2 weeks before returning to work.

I am very tired tonight. I plan to go to work tomorrow and meet the new class, I was told by the teacher I work with that only 6 students were there today. We may have a smaller class this year, at least for a while. That would be nice.

I am also sore. Frozen peas are nice to have in the freezer, they make a wonderful ice pack.

Good night all.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I have commented many times on this blog of just how blessed I am. I have the best friends anyone could ask for. I have received so many cards, phone calls. offers to help , and many many prayers since my cancer was announced. Tonight I want to share two items I have received.

On Sunday a friend came up to me at church and gave me a bracelet that she made. She makes beautiful jewelry all of the time and I must say I have always admired it. When she first learned of my cancer, she stated that she wanted to DO something. (So many of my friends have expressed that helpless feeling of wishing they could physically do something for me.) After thinking about that for a while, and thinking about cancer in general, she designed a special bracelet, and included the scripture from Isaiah about how God makes beauty from ashes. She got to thinking of how an ugly piece of carbon can be turned into a beautiful diamond, and how God could take something as ugly as cancer and turn it into a beautiful testimony. The bracelet shows rough black beads to represent the carbon, then beads which seem to be slightly polished and refined, then the crystals to represent diamonds. What an encouragement to me, as I wear this bracelet and think of just what God is able to do. She included a copy of Chrystal Lewis' song: Beauty for Ashes, and I have played it repeatedly in the car since Sunday.

(You can click on this picture to read the verse)

I also have a special group of friends, which I have commented on before. We are all friends from church and get together often. They came and prayed for me the night I first got my diagnosis. One of them got the idea of a special ribbon which shows that they are my "Prayer Warriors" and will proceed into battle with their prayers. Another one of them made the ribbons and they plan to wear them to tell the world that they are my prayer warriors. That was such a tender, thoughtful thing to do. I am overwhelmed at the love I am being shown already.

Today I returned to school, and it was overwhelming there as well. So many came up to me to offer words of encouragement and to tell me they are praying.

I am seeing God "with skin on" everywhere I look.

Now for the latest:

Tomorrow morning I get to drink a "delicious" berry smoothie drink before I have my CT scan. I do not think that this berry smoothie will taste anything like the truly delicious ones that my youngest son makes, but it is suppose to help with the testing , so I will drink it. The CT will be of my neck, chest , and abdomen. Hopefully the results will be ready for the surgeon I am seeing on Wednesday.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back to School

Normally I would be just a little bit excited about going back to school, but this year I am not. Hopefully tomorrow when I get there I will feel a bit better about all of this, but right now my focus is just elsewhere. I will be taking two sick days right off the bat due to medical testing and a doctor's appointment, so I won't be there much this week anyway.

I will let you know how it goes.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Respite from the Battle

Husband and I just returned from our two day get-away. I have to say that getting away was beautiful medicine for my soul. We really did not do much or go to any big attractions, rather we rested, and enjoyed each other's company immensely. We spent our time dining at some of our favorite restaurants, shopping (not so much for me this time) and sleeping!

How wonderful sleep is right now. I feel like any I am able to obtain is a precious thing. We slept until 10:00 A.M. our first morning. That is quite out of character for us, but it was so needed.

Let me explain:

I feel like I am doing pretty well with this cancer thing during the daytime. I have a huge support group, I have many distractions and I feel I am not only putting on a strong face, but rather, I AM strong. God is foremost on my mind and he reminds me that He is in control. I know that there are doctors who think they are in charge of my treatment, but they are just a small part of the future God has in store for me. While it is way to early to tell if my ultimate healing will come in this life or the next, I do know that it will come from God and not man. One way or another, He IS in control. My mind knows that, and so does my heart. During the daytime I can praise God readily and lean on Him while putting things somewhat in perspective.

Nights, however are a different story. Part of the reason I slept so late that morning is due to the little sleep I got through the night. In the middle of the night, under the cover of darkness, it is as if Satan creeps in, ready to attack. He fills my mind with doubts, with fears, and with worries. The thing that bothers me the most, is that I let him. I lay there and let every "what if" invade my thoughts. I know there is an answer for this, yet lately I have allowed this to occur on more than one occasion.

My friend Reta once sang the solo part on a song that our choir sang. Those words are burning in my heart right now, as I know the need to put them into practice. The song is" I Bless Your Name" and this one verse speaks to me,

"Some midnight hour
If you should find
You're in a prison in your mind
Reach out and praise
Defy those chains
And they will fall
In Jesus' Name"

She even mentioned how she knew the feeling of those midnight hours when we feel so hopeless. If I could just remember to combat those feelings with praise I could stop them so easily.

One purchase I made this weekend was a 4 volume CD collection by the group Selah. This is amazing music and I plan to fill my days with these songs and with scripture, so that my nights will be prepared for battle. The song I referred to is on one of these CDs.

This next week will be huge for me. Hopefully I will get some answers and learn more of my treatment plan. I half jokingly mentioned to my brother that with all that has happened this summer, I was waiting for the "third" shoe to drop. I found out on Thursday, just before leaving town that I have to go on Wednesday morning to have a breast biopsy. Something unexpected decided to take up residency where it does not belong, and now we need to find out what it is. So, we throw one more thing in the mix. I will have that done prior to seeing a surgeon for my thyroid.

See what I mean about needing to go to battle?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Running Away from Home

It is not Tahiti, but we are leaving.

On Thursday afternoon we are heading to St. Louis for 2 nights. We are cashing in our 2 night stay certificate at the hotel we stayed at for our anniversary. No doctors, no medical tests, no results. Just an escape.

Today the doctor has called me twice with thoughts on different surgeons and testing. I do appreciate that, but I am looking forward to two days of nothing.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Today I received a phone call from the endocrinologist, not from her nurse, from her.

The calcitonin level was indeed quite high.

The diagnosis of medullary cancer has been confirmed.

While I feel I had already been given the worse news, I just didn't like it being confirmed. She is canceling my appointment with the surgeon that was set for this Wednesday and wants someone more experienced with this sort of thing instead of a general surgeon. I tend to agree. This surgery will be more involved and more tedious than a "normal" thyrodectomy. She plans on having a surgeon lined up for me by Wednesday and may still send me to Mayo in Minnesota. My insurance will not pay so well there, but we will work that out. As my sister said, that is only money. Again, where is Oprah when you really need her?

I am trying to decide how I feel today about all of this. I do not really know what this feeling is that I am feeling. It seems to be a strange mixture of normally non compatible feelings. I mean, most would wonder how you would feel both uncertainty and determination, both fear and peace, both denial and resolve. I just know that this is what it is and my best energies need to be spent on positive ways to take care of it, not dwelling on negative things.

One thing I know for sure, we have a big God and he has not failed me yet.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I might have a new addiction...

My family has been wanting me to kick the habit (Diet Pepsi that is) but I have always been very fond of my DP. Today might have changed that. Taking advantage of the Kraft coupon from All You Magazine, I bought a container of this Crystal Light in the Tangerine-strawberry flavor. It is delicious! I have 2 more of those coupons and I will definitely buy this same flavor!

I may need to go buy some more magazines.

In case you are wondering why, in the midst of all that is happening would I care to post about a drink mix? It is because I am trying to live my normal life and still get excited about bargains, and new things. I will not let this diagnosis change everything about me.

Tahiti Anyone?

Anyone out there have connections in Tahiti?
Shoot, I would take Florida. Actually anywhere that I could escape to sounds good to me. I only have a few days though that I could spend on my get away.

Where is Oprah when you ned her?


I am not a very patient person.

I fool most people, but those that know me well know I do not like waiting.

I called the doctor's office today to check on my test results. Here is what I found out. There were two blood tests, one is very specific to the cancer that the pathology report found. The other test is a marker for many types of cancer. An elevation in either is not considered a good thing. The specific test results did not come back today and may not be in until later next week. The other one that basically says, "yeah, there is cancer in your body, but it could be one of several places," came back elevated.

I was asked how I was with that.

I feel I have already been given the worse news. I am just ready to get going with the treatment plan. Sure, a part of my wished for some blatant lab error, but in reality I guess I had resigned myself to the fact that I have cancer. I will not limit God though. Just because in my humanness I went along with the pathology report, I will not say this is the way it ultimately has to be. God can intervene at anytime.

Tomorrow is my family reunion. My family is large and scattered. I am the youngest of 9 children. Our parents are gone and our oldest brother passed away 20 years ago. We do not get together very often. We all live in 5 different states and tomorrow we will be together. The timing could not be better and I am sure that God had a hand in this. I will post pictures afterwards.

Have a blessed weekend.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


That is a new word in my vocabulary.

I saw one today.

I wish I had some big news to tell you, something definite in this new fight for my life. However, I left asking my husband, "So, after that appointment, what do we know for sure?" This doctor wants to confirm the diagnosis of medullary cancer, which is fine with me, these things need to be known for sure. It is not that she doubts the pathology report, it's just that there is a blood test that further confirms this diagnosis. I had the blood drawn today and will hopefully have these results before I see the surgeon next week. If this blood test shows a high level of calcitonin in my blood, then this is most definitely medullary. If the level is normal, they will have to do a second type of blood test because a normal test does not mean that it is not. Confusing? Tell me about it. If in fact all things point to medullary, this doctor may want me to go to a different surgeon because of the tricky nature of such cancer. If it is a simpler type of thyroid cancer she is fine with the surgeon I am seeing next week. She is pushing Mayo Clinic in Minnesota if it is medullary. My insurance does not pay so well at Mayo, so we will have to put that in God's hands if that is to be. So, I really do not know much tonight.

This is what I know for sure. My pathology report leans toward medullary cancer of the thyroid. A specific blood test is also needed to confirm this. I had the blood test today. I am playing the waiting game. If the blood test results come in before next Wednesday when I see the surgeon , the endocrinologist will call me with those results. She just does not seem too eager to act on medullary cancer unless she is for sure that is what we are up against. She did let us know that things get more involved and more aggressive with that type of cancer.

I wish I could take a long nap until the test results come in...

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Won!

I have never won a blogging award before, so I want to thank Mercedes for this honor, even though my blog has changed its focus as of late.

I would like to pass this award on to the following blogs! They all have been a huge help and encouragement to me.

More than Enough

Confessions of a City Gal

Why Ask Why

Northern Cheapskate

Green Stew

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4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.
- Don't forget this step. This is great free advertising!

5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Date Night and church

Last night was wonderful. Carving out wonderful moments is a priority right now. Husband and I went on at date. Now when I say we don't get out much, I mean it. We just do not take the time or money for regular date nights. Husband works on a lot of cars for people, many of them as a ministry and he does not have a lot of free evenings. Plus, we never feel that we can take the money for a proper date. We were blessed by two different people and that gave us a wonderful evening . A dear elderly lady from our church sent me a get well card after the heart attack. She inclosed a Red Lobster gift card. How thoughtful was that ? I combined that with a coupon and a bit of our own money and we had a great dinner. I also had some special movie tickets that my sister gave me, (she got them from giving blood or platelets!) which paid for our movie admission. So, we had dinner for two at Red Lobster and saw The Dark Knight, for only $20.00 of our money. It was so nice to just escape mentally for a while, and to be together with no distractions. Let me tell you how much I needed time with my husband...he shaved off his beard a week ago and I had not even noticed! Do you think maybe we don't spend enough time together? To be fair, there have been other things on my mind.

Church today was as I expected. I loved going before God in worship and being reminded that He is on the throne in good times and bad, although it was an emotional time for me. During the second hour, when husband and I work with the high school youth, we were surrounded by the students as the youth minister said a prayer for us. I felt much love and I know that many prayers will go up for me this week.

Today is a family reunion, and to be honest I do not want to go. I just don't want the questions and attention, but I will go nonetheless.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


This morning I got up early and went out before the heat is unbearable. I weeded. Quite therapeutic I might say. Now, since the heart attack I have neglected a lot of things. My yard does not stay in a very respectable state. Part of it is laziness I know, part is my busy schedule this summer. Cardiac rehab and doctor's appointments have taken up a big part of my days. Some days I just want to come home and vegetate.

My front bushes were in an especially sorry state. The overgrowth was not attractive, weeds had invaded the surrounding beds, and a concentrated effort was needed to put things back as they should.

I began early and quite determined. Each clip from my trimmers removed overgrowth and dry dead under-branches. Before I knew it I was attacking these bushes in a maniacal way. I felt sorry for the bush when I had finished, for my once full, lush weigela bush was practically naked. I felt even more sorry for the next bush, because it saw what was coming. For the moment, they are not pretty, but the dead has been removed, the over-growth has been cut back, and any invading weeds surrounding them have been cleared away. They will return to their once lush, beautiful condition soon enough.

As I did all of this I thought of my self. Cancer is really just like that. Invading, over-growth, that prevents me from being my best. I am so ready for the doctor to attack this. I am so ready to have everything that is possibly in the way to be trimmed. Even if I look different for a while, even if it takes a while for me to come back to the condition I should be.

I know I will have difficult moments. Tomorrow at church will be a beautiful, awful time. I will come before God in both worship and desperation. But today however, I am determined. Determined to fight this, ready to attack, and ready to be healed.

Let the weeding begin.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Less Numb

I am feeling a bit more connected to the world today. I still cannot believe what I have been told. But today my mouth works with my brain, my legs move at will and my eyes are not leaking. Husband went with me today to my cardiac rehab. I told the nurses there what was going on. They were shocked as well. I do have a bit of wisdom concerning rehab: Be careful if you start praying while on the treadmill. I was in the middle of a conversation with God and even decided to close my eyes. God got my attention just before I walked off the back of the thing. That would not have been pretty.

I came home today to a beautiful bouquet of flowers left outside my back door by my friend. I have been shown so much love. Last night my "sisters", remember them? The ones I posed with in our lovely bonnets, came over to talk, laugh, pray and weep with me. What a huge blessing to have friends who will come along beside you and love on you like that. My friend Reta reminded us of a song that had been on her mind all day, it is worth posting the lyrics, because it summed up her feelings toward all of this.

Standing in The Gap
~Babbie Mason

I heard that you were hurting

That you were suffering pain

But I didn't dare just turn my head

And look the other way
For when your heart is aching
My heart is aching too
Let me help you bear your burden
That's the least that I can do

I'll be standing in the gap for you
Just remember someone, somewhere is praying for you
Calling out your name
Praying for your strength
I'll be standing in the gap for you
Right now you may be troubled
But everything will work out fine
For the Spirit knows before you speak
What is on your heart and mind
So I'll be interceding
Til your standing strong again
The peace that passes understanding
Is going to be yours, but until then

So hang on my friend
It won't be long
And you have the strength
To carry on
For when two or three are walking together
It will be a much lighter load
For isn't that what a brother and a sister are for

I ask everyone who stumbles upon this blog to please stand in the gap for me. Lift me up when I do not have the strength or the words to do so myself.