Saturday, December 31, 2016

By 2016 ... Hello 2017

As we leave 2016 behind and welcome 2017 it is a good time to reflect on what we have been through in this past year.  I love to take time to see what all I have been through and the changes that have occurred.  Do you do the same thing? 

This has been not a very good year for me and my health.  I haven't felt my best all year.  I knew something was wrong but didn't know what was going on.  I was dealing with some awesome fatigue, weight gain and swelling.  I am not sure how many times I had been to the doctor and he kept saying that nothing was wrong.  He did all kinds of blood work but nothing showed up.  My thyroid numbers were the best they had been in years, if ever.  However, I was feeling horrible.  Then in August I had surgery and found out I had cancer.  I went through radiation and ending the year recovering.  

I personally haven't lost anyone this year, but I know several people that have lost a loved one.  There is a family that lost their daughter in a car crash as she was headed  back to college.  And other families that have lost a loved one in 2016.  I pray for these families - that God will give them comfort and strength.  

In my daily devotion reading this morning, it was really good as I reflect on this year.  It was spot on.  I am currently reading "A Woman's Journey to the Heart of God" by Cynthia Heald.  It is so good.  Recommend it for anyone!!  Today's chapter was called, "Willingness to Endure."  I wish I could tell you every word from it, but I will share some high lights.  

Jeremiah chose endurance because he knew the destination was worth it.  Endurance is that capacity to stay under the load, to remain in the circumstances, without fleeing or seeking the easy way out.  Perseverance is a quality we must exercise on a daily basis. 
God had applied pressure in Paul's life to keep him from being prideful, but along with the affliction God supplied Paul with the grace to endure.  "My grace is enough; it's all you need.  My strength comes into its own in your weakness." We need to let things happen.  Stop focusing on the handicap and begin appreciating the gift.  When God places us in a difficult situation and declines to eliminate the pressure, it is comforting to remember that His grace enables us to keep going when the road is rough.  For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.  
I endure because I get up each day to walk with God.  I endure because I love God and I want my life to please Him.  I know that every trial in which I stand firm will add to my maturity.  I know that it will deepen my ability to accept and handle whatever I encounter in life.  His Word sustains me; He stand beside me; His grace is sufficient; He gives perseverance and encouragement.  I want the whole tour; I don't want to miss out on anything the Lord wants to see or do.  It is the only journey in which we do not have to endure alone.  
When through fiery trials they pathway shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be they supply;  The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Thy dross to consume and they gold to refine.  
In reading this chapter this morning, I realized that I am stronger than I thought.  I have endured this year and I have come out stronger on the other side.  I know that God did not leave me alone.  He was with me each step of the way.  I know that through His grace I can handle anything that comes my way.  I want people to see God through me and my trials.

So if you are going through a trial or some tough times, please know that God is working in you.  He will NOT leave you alone.  Don't give up!!!  Just keep clinging to God and His promises.

I am not sure what 2017 has in store for me or my family.  I pray that whatever it may be that God will give me His grace to get me through it.  I love this journey that I am on and I don't want to miss one thing God has in store for me.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

It continues .....

I went through a bunch of emotions with finding out I had cancer yet again and of course a million questions.  The one that kept coming to mind was, "Why, me?"  then ... "Why, again?"  Did this have anything to do with having thyroid cancer just 15 yrs ago?  What did this mean for me?  Man many questions.  What kind of treatment did this type of cancer mean?

My ENT was great and answered so many of my questions.  He said this type of cancer can't be treated with chemo (I am so thankful for that) and it usually gets treated with radiation.  He said that he wasn't sure if I truly needed it or not.  They did get all the nodule when he did the surgery, so if he did do radiation it would be for precaution measures.

So, my ENT sent me to an Oncologist to get his opinion.  After visiting with Oncologist he felt like it would be in my best interest to get the radiation - every day (except for weekends) for six weeks.  Oh joy!!  I had no idea what  I was in store for with the treatments.  I didn't know what to expect.  I was really hoping that I would have gotten started on the treatments right away, but my insurance had another idea.  For some reason there was an issue - really weird - and they said it had never happened before, to anyone.  It took a couple of weeks to get it all straightened out, but they finally did.

I am not going to lie, the thought of radiation, scared me to death.  The unknown is always scary .. and this one wasn't any different.  For my first visit they had to make a mold/cast that I would wear each time.  It covered my whole face down past my shoulders.  They fasten it down to the table each time.  It kept me from moving.  My very first treatment I had such anxiety before I got there and then before they fasten me to the table.  I prayed and prayed, more than I ever have before.  I prayed for peace and calmness to get through the treatment.  Thank God that he heard my prayer and answered.  There was a calmness that came over me that only could come from God.  This just didn't happen with the one treatment it was with each and every treatment.  A calmness that can only come from God.

The first couple of weeks of treatments went by pretty easily.  No complications or problems.  Then the 3rd & 4th week hit along with all the side effects that go along with radiation and where mine was located came it's own set of side effects.  I am still not sure which one was the worse, the fatigue, sore throat, bad taste in my mouth or the blisters inside my mouth.  None of them was fun.  I had to eat a lot of soft foods and drink a lot of water and/or tea.  Drinking hot (not too hot) tea with lots of honey did help coat my throat.  I had to make sure that I was eating enough to keep up my strength and to not lose a bunch of weight.  So, I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted without worrying if it was on my diet or not.

My journey will continue ....

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Another journey

I have been meaning to post for a couple of months about the new journey that I have been on.  I just haven't had time or really felt like it.

A year ago, I found a knot on my neck, just below my right ear & chin.  I didn't think anything about it, but asked my doctor the next time I went to see him.  He put my on an antibiotic because he thought it was an infection.  It didn't work.  I actually forgot about it for the next few months.  This summer I remembered to ask the doctor about it again, mostly because it was starting to hurt.  He referred me to an Ears, Nose & Throat (ENT) doctor.  Of course, I requested the doctor that had removed my thyroid in 2001.

The ENT doctor sent me for a MRI.  The MRI showed that there was a small mass in the nodule that was in my neck.  The doctor told me I had two choices:  one, I could have it removed and second, I could do a biopsy and see what it shows.  Well, like my thyroid, there wasn't a choice.  It was surgery.  I didn't want to take any chances.  I chose the same thing with my thyroid and when they removed it it came back cancer.  I was thankful then that I had chose surgery over biopsy.   So, here again, there wasn't a chose for me.  I scheduled surgery to have the nodule removed.

The surgery went well and recovery only took two weeks.  They sent the nodule off, like they always do, and it came back cancer.  Again?  I made it through this once but why I am going through this again?  I just didn't know what to expect or what this meant.  Did I have to have treatment and if I did, what kind?  My life as I knew it was changing ....