Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's a New Day...

Dah-dah-ding! I woke up this morning to the sound of my phone letting me know that I had been text messaged. A good morning message and a reminder that someone was eager to see me today put a sleepy smile on my face. While I rested in bed, my eyes wandered from a beautiful rose given to me the night before to a soft glow coming from the morning light shining through my window. There were no rough seas this morning, no crashing of waves. Instead there was a calm, peaceful silence in which the Lord’s sweet voice welcomed me into the day. Good morning, my daughter and my joy, the winter is over and today is your spring. A joy filled my heart like warm sunlight after a hard winter. A new day has finally come.

The flood gates opened and happy tears finally fell. God used this morning – the text, the rose, the sunshine – to tell me, I’m eager to meet with you April, you are special to me, and this day has been created by me for you to enjoy. What a sweet, sweet song He sang over me this morning. "Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety." (Hosea 2:18) How merciful that He has fought my battle while I have been so helpless and today I am able to rest. "I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD." (v.20) Praise His name, how amazingly faithful and good he is to those who acknowledge Him as Lord.

Somewhere in the middle of April I lost some of my original fervor I had when I first found out I'd be facing a deep valley of trials. I guess my weakness kicked in and to consider it all pure joy - including the needles, the pain, and the scarring - became harder and harder to delight in. But this morning brings things back to perspective. Today I am saying – you are not my master, Lord, but my husband (Hos 2:16). He does not delight in my suffering, but he allows it to happen so that He and I can delight in mornings like this when I am completely humbled, face down, and grateful to my sovereign Lord.

What an amazing fresh start I get today. Anxiety has been removed and in its place is the fullness of life through His faithfulness. How tremendously blessed we are, even if the day turns out to be just average – we get to live today. I get to feel the muscle and tissues that God created in me, miraculously heal and recovery. Relationships will blossom through the shared blood of Christ. He will be worshipped and glorified around this world today, if not by His precious children than by the flowers of the field and the rain which falls only at his command.

He is great, powerful, and mighty, worthy of each word that flows from our lips. Lovingly fear Him today and seek more and more of His goodness.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I am a cancer survivor…

Praise the LORD. He is way too gracious and merciful. I’m a cancer survivor now. My pathology report from my last surgery came back completely negative for any remaining cancer cells. You can imagine the huge relief that feel over my parents and me as Dr. Casas told us this news today.

There is a happy cry that wants to come out of me along with a cry of exhaustion. For the past couple of days, I’ve had a continuing fever and very swollen throat. My doctor thinks I might have strep throat. So this adds on yet another medication to my already impressive stack of drugs. It is hard to be sick on top of trying to heal my leg, but the good news prevails. I HAD cancer. It’s in the past and I can happy cry after all.

My parents had another session of 20 questions with Dr. Casas today. We found out that between Dr. Casas and his partner Dr. Maale, I am the first case of my specific type of cancer in the last 4 years to have been low-grade. Every other case as been very aggressive and has required radiation and chemotherapy. They receive about 9 myxoid liposarcoma patients per year. What amazing mercy the Lord has shown me.

How BIG is our God? “For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him? O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you? You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” (Psalm 89:6-9)

On February 27th, I told one of the nurses that my God is bigger than tumors – a statement that I thought, but now one that I know. What a blessing that at only 22 I’ve learned the healing power of prayer, the sovereignty of God, and the inferiority of myself. I’m thankful that I am no longer foolish in my youth to think that I am invincible. In my weakness, He is made greater. In my humility, I can only boast of One name. Jesus.

I can rest now. The anxieties are gone and life will soon be back to normal. In a few days I’ll be out of the house. In a few weeks I’ll be walking again. In 40 days I’ll be flying to Europe. In a few months I’ll be playing volleyball. And for the rest of my life I get to look down at my super hot 7” scar and remember that the Lord is Faithful, He is merciful, and He is good.

So PRAISE His name today. If you have been reading this blog and have been praying for the past 3 months, Praise His name today. Tell others of his wondrous deeds and bless His name. He has been faithful to answer our prayers.

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (Psalm 30:11-12)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Post Surgery #2

Arggg… feeling like a train wreck right now. Surgery #2 was definitely worse than the first. Here’s how things went down…

5:30am, Thursday morning check-in. Surgery started around 8am. My anesthesiologist was much better this time. He didn’t use the tube that goes down your throat so I was able to wake up a lot quicker after surgery. I got out of surgery around 9:30am and was in recovery for almost 3 hours. That was horrible. I was awake for most of it and people all around me were snoring, moaning, and complaining. It was gross – I just wanted to be out of there. I got back to my room at 12:30pm.

This time they had a drainage tube coming out of my leg and a pain medicine button that I could push every 10 minutes. During surgery, Dr. Casas cleared out the old scar, scar tissue, and swelling, and took out about ¾” extra muscle. It was much more invasive than the last and much more painful.

I was nauseous all day and around 4pm they gave me an anti-nausea shot that knocked me out for the rest of the evening. They kept me over night and I slept pretty well.

In the morning, they pulled out the drainage tube (that really sucked) and took me off the pain pump and switched me over to pills. I left the hospital around 1:30pm.

So, praise the Lord that the surgery is over! It was horrible, but it’s behind me now. I’m hopefully 100% cancer-free (we’ll find that out in about 7-10 days) and this will be the last time to have surgery.

Thank you so much for the prayers - surgery went well and I’m on the road to recovery!

Please continue to pray for protection from infection and a fast recovery for my muscles.