Butterfly Sparks Designs

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm still walking!

Hi friends,

Thank you for the continual prayer over the past few days. I got slapped by the chemo monster and since this is a new fight for me, I failed to duck! Next time I hope to be better prepared and be able to navigate with a little more grace. My husband has been an angel to me the past few days - I scared him and me a little - but He's been the warrior and the nurse and I appreciate him so much.

I am coming up out of the hole of fatigue and I'm just resting on the arms of love. A friend sent me a text on Sunday morning and told me that when the sheep are ill or weak, the Shepherd comes to them. I weeped and allowed Him to come to me! He is indeed gentle with me in this season.

Thanks to all those who have been signing up to bring us food! My friend warned me that you can gain weight on chemo - and I bet it's true. My appetite is returning and I have been enjoying home cooked meals all weekend. Thanks to Alena and David Moore who brought yummy's on Saturday, my neighbor Carla who showed up at noon on Sunday, my inlaws brought homemade goodies last night, my neighbor Tracy brought me a chick-fil-a milkshake and I just got to visit with LC who brought me some home cooked loving for tonight. In addition, a sweet family dropped by while I was at the doctor and left some amazing bread and the Word of life for me. I have a little refrigerator magnet now that has a cute green frog and reminds me to Fully Rely On God! Blessing upon blessing are mine.

I made my first visit since last Thursday to the doctor today. Did a simulation for the radiation treatment which will be Thursday and had my blood work done. Bummer - my white cells were low again so they gave me "the shot". I should be more peppy by tomorrow. Hey - I have a tatoo now - 3 actually! I asked for little hearts, but they declined any special requests!

My mother in law and father in law came today and drove me to my treatment. My father in law is just recovering from a complete hip replacement and has only been driving 2 days! We ate lunch at a restaurant - his first meal outside his home in over a month. He's pretty amazing! We kept laughing about how long it takes us to get to the car, in the car and out of the car. He reminded me it's really not so bad. He's still walking and I am too!

Tomorrow and Thursday hold a long line of appointments. Two more MRI's, a surgery consult, a regular doctor visit with more blood work and radiation. I'm disappointed that my schedule is so crazy as I really hoped to get to the office this week - not to work (don't tell anybody I said that) - but for the fellowship. People give me energy and life and joy and I really miss the dynamic, energetic, inspiring work that I've been privileged to do. I'm laying it down until He says I can pick it up - but I sure want to be saying hi to everybody everywhere!

I am so amazed at the outpouring of kindness demonstrated to me and my family. Every note, text and prayer are logged in my files - beginning to build and accumulate a deep well of awe. I feel a little embarassed - not by your love - but by the rawness of my need for it - and a little stunned that simple acts of kindness carry so much weight - so much impact. The fruit of the Spirit is powerful, long lasting and sweet.

I'm praying that the Shepherd would come to you and me today, that He would make Himself known to us - that together we would bring Him honor and glory - and I'm praying that the enemy would pay dearly for His attempts to discourage us!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday's Update

Hello everyone,

I'm posting a quick update on Jan's behalf. I spoke to her earlier today, and she asked me to update you all.

Jan is really struggling with fatigue and just doesn't feel very well due to the chemo treatment she underwent last week. She had hoped to blog and to get out for a little while today, but ultimately didn't feel strong enough to do either. So she's feeling a bit discouraged. She'd hoped she'd have "bounced back" by now from the fatigue she'd been fighting over the weekend.

Her friend, Amy, returned home over the weekend as well. Some ladies from Gateway have been spearheading efforts to provide the family with meals, etc. I will post information about how to get involved with that later. Jan is so blessed at all the love and support that has been sent her way!

As you know, it's difficult for anyone to stay "up" emotionally when your body just feels awful. So now's the time for us to kick our prayers into overdrive! Let's believe God for a breakthrough for her today.



Friday, June 26, 2009

Too tired to post - or so I thought!

Hi friends,

Started early with another procedure to be sure my port was working correctly (all good news!). Then off to the doctor for another shot - which I didn't have to take because my bones were super producing white blood cells! I don't have to go back tomorrow either. Thank God. That shot makes your bones aches. I told them I'm healthy!

Then went to the wig shop. Met the most precious lady and got through with only one small burst of tears! Even got a scarf for the in between days. Amy was with me every moment. We took some pictures, but I'm too tired to post tonight. I'll try tomorrow.

Thanks to Julie Kavanaugh - who's going to be organizing some meal support - I'll have to get her email address to any of you that are interested. (I got to meet Lauren for the first time - what a beautiful child.) Lynnell Tysl came to see me too and brought me a beautiful bracelet to wear. Thanks girls for the gifts and for your hearts of service. After that, took a long nap which was yummy! Then tonight on top of everything else, Amy and my neighbor Tracy began to sort through the boys clothes. So much is happening around me and I'm just sitting in the recliner playing princess.

Then guess what? The guys from Flower Mound G8 showed up this afternoon to help put our back yard fence up that was blown down in the recent storms. Every need met by a heart of a servant.

Thanks to J. Fox for giving me some ideas on how to battle cancer with the word. I'm looking for three key scriptures to hang onto during this process. Amy and I have been reviewing all the great ones posted on facebook today. If you want to send a suggestion, please do so quickly. I want verses that will bring death to cancer and life to me.

Today the Lord is reminding me to give thanks in all things. To magnify His name. To draw near to His throne. Strength for the weary and hope for the hopeless. Please pray that I will be radiant with the presence of God as I am making new friends in a new place that I don't really want to be. I find the cancern center to be a very spiritual environment. There are no restrictions on conversations about prayer or God or hope or power. I'm not saying anything, yet everyone is talking to me about their faith. I'm so grateful that God brought me to this doctor - this clinic - this help. But nobody wants to join this club! Pray for me to submit to God's hand in this situation and that I would go through - rather than around - fully trusting Him in the wilderness to produce something amazing that will bring Him honor.

I gave thanks for you today!

Blessings abundant.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

26 years and counting!

Hi guys,

Today is our anniversary - 26 years! With all that's going on, I almost forgot...but Mark remembered! He wanted to nice evening out but under the circumstances, our sweet friend Amy is cooking a beautiful home made dinner. Best gift of all, don't you think?

All my life I've said I wanted to live a long time - maybe 100. Mark always says I'm silly. You'll be the last one, no friends and lonely. But I've always loved life. So today, I just began to ask Him for long life. (I figure go big or go home!)

We were meeting with a doctor who's about to do radiation on my leg and he began to tell me how being mid-life really improves my chances of longevity. He just began to speak some life over me while I sat there, even said 20 or 30 years. Amy and I looked at each other and grinned.

I had kind of a miracle day. First of all, I'm not feeling sick. The meds are awesome. However, the steriods are making me a non stop talk box. I am ADD today. Lost my phone, credit card, wrote down wrong dates, said the poo in front of my doctor and in general talked a lot. I was glad Amy was with me because Mark might have been mortified!

Another victory today - they are going to do radiation on my pelvic bone because of the pain it is causing me. Due to my schedule in July they have decided to do it in one session rather than 10 consecutive days. I will receive less overall radiation, spend less money, spend less time, not run the risk of sores on my skin, get the same level of effectiveness, kill the cancer in the bone and improve the other medicenes chance of strengthening my leg.

All of this happened because I went to the church office today to visit for 30 minutes and by the time we left my leg was hurting again. I mentioned it in the hallway at the doctors office to Amy while waiting for a shot. Someone heard me, told my doctor and when I went to check out they said he wanted to see me. Tada! Killing cancer quick next week!

Seriously, I know the favor of God is on me in this moment. He is going before me opening doors and closing others. I am simply being in the moment. Thank you for all the kind words, hugs, gifts, and thoughtfulness. I am actuely aware that I have much to learn about how to be kind to others in times of struggle.

Also - got the most amazing flowers from my Gateway Family today. I'll post a picture later! They are gorgeous. And my precious friend Loyce sent me some gift certificates to order some encouraging teachings! I am a blessed woman.

Prayer requests:
1) My hip won't fracture. Apparently the bone is very weak and my doctor expressed concern again today.
2) Ashley is in Florida visiting a friend. Safe travel and comfort.
3) Mark is doing 6 claims a day in blazing heat! Pray for his safety, nutrition, strength and all things related.
4) Amy - please pray blessing on my sweet friend. She's worked non stop today and is a pure joy to me. It's like being mothered - or maybe sistered - it's wonderful. Praying blessing back on her and her family.
5) The red devil would become known as the blood of Jesus. There was more talk about it today - and it's a scary medicene. We prayed that it would do it's work and leave my body quickly - and that it would submit to the blood of Jesus bringing healing without pain.

Have I said thanks today? Well, thanks. You are awesome!

One more gift!

These beautiful roses were brought to me from my sweet co-workers, Elisa Michieli. Some of you might know that I have worked very closely with Elisa for the past couple of years and she is very precious to me. We share an office, hearts, and life. I'm missing her a lot during these weeks at home! She said she picked them because they were happy flowers. Elisa - you are a happy flower in my life. Thank you so much for coming to encourage me.

Just wanted to thank a couple of friends for some beautiful gifts. If you look at the base of these beautiful flowers, you will see a "courage" angel from Willow Tree. My friend, Jonya Schuman sent it to me. She says to look at it everyday and remind myself I am courageous, even if I don't feel like it. This particular angel was also a favorite of my very dear friend, Lee Ann Phipps, who valiantly fought this battle and went to live with Jesus in 2006. It is very precious to me! Thanks Jonya!
Now the flowers! Aren't they amazing. Thanks to Kelly and Jessica Shepherd for this amazing gift. They have been here several days and they are still amazing! Everytime I look at them I am encouraged. So thoughtful...just like you!
PS The bananas and limes are just good gifts from God! Yummy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chemo Day One!

Dear friends,

Today was chemo day one. Before I started, I met with my doctor who said the the brain CT scan looked great and that my heart also is healthy. I do have to do 2 additional MRI's next week as he wants to be very thorough. So far all additional tests have been excellent. Amy arrived to sit with me just as I finished my doctor appointment. She took great care of me today - Thanks, Amy!

At 10:00 I sat down to meet with the doctor. I knew a group of friends were meeting to pray for me at the same time! I sat down in the room by myself, put my phone down, closed my eyes and imagined myself in the room with all those precious people. I thought about how I would want to receive if I were there and began to pray in the Spirit. Right away I felt the presence of God. Peace just came upon me again. He stayed with me all day. Amy says I acted really nice in the chemo room - so I guess that a sign! I just want you to know that my family and I can feel the power of your prayers. We are literally moving in a peace that has to be supernatural. I don't have adequate words to express my appreciation, but my heart is bleeding love and gratitude.

Apparently the next two days are the most potentially difficult for me. One of the drugs they gave me is red in color and when they hung the bag the whole room gasped. They call it the red devil because of it's reputation for side effects. I will be taking a lot of nausea meds and steriods for the next two days to keep things in check. I feel great tonight and believe I'll feel good tomorrow.

Wig shopping is on the immediate future. I will probably begin to lose my hair within the next two weeks. I'm trying to believe what I know, that it's just hair - but you know I am vain and I wish this one would pass on by! So many things are worse for my others, you would think I could just let it pass on by. My friend Jonya Schuman - who is also battling this same disease - please add her to your prayers - tells me that there is a certain freedom in it once you accept it. Just flip on your hair on and you look great! I pray to have half the grace, wisdom and sense of humor about the whole thing that she does! She is a sister to me in every way! Now even more!

I'm remembering many of you also walking through personal issues. There is enough prayer to bless us all. May God's peace roll back on to each of you. May He assign a warrior to you. May He whisper his hope and love. May you be comforted. May you know Him deeply, passionately, personally.

I love you,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One more little surprise I meant to share....

Yesterday, I had a power port placed in my chest. It's a device that goes under the skin and allows the medical staff to give me medications without having to get an iv every single time. As I was lieing on the table in the x-ray room where they do the procedure, the nurse brought the power port to me to see. I almost laughed out loud. It looked like a perfect little purple pink heart. It's small, flat on the bottom, a beautiful shade of purple pink - even the cording was pink. I decided to believe that God was encouraging me. Now my second "heart" beats PINK...life giving port pumping right into my own heart healing and hope! I am PINK in a whole new way!

Love you much,

Just want you to meet my family. Left to right is John (14), Luke (12), Mark, Me, Matthew (9), and Ashley (18). This was taken over a year ago so the boys have growna lot!

Good news!

Hi friends,

I am so relieved to share with you that today my PEP scan came back clear. This means that the cancer has not spread to other organs in my body like lungs, liver or kidneys. Obviously, this is wonderful news. There are a few more tests still waiting results, but we are making progress. I also had an echocardiogram today and they said my heart was great!

Here's some more good news! A very precious friend of mine from my Abilene days, Amy Trabold, is flying in from Minnesota to spend a few days with me. Amy knows me well - really well - like been in your closet when it was a wreck well. She'll be here in time to go to chemo with me, staying for a few days to help me get some things in order for the kids, and be here to walk me through the first few days (please pray I cope well with the side effects.) I'm so exited and honored that she would come so far on such short notice to say she loves me. I know a lot of you would do the same if you could.

One of the things I'm going to have her help me with is figure out exactly what kind of help I need and how to ask for it. She's very practical and I trust she'll help me figure out how to ask for and receive help.

Tomorrow will be a long day. They tell me my treatment will take several hours - I guess I'm getting the super duper mix! I'm taking my computer and my phone so hopefully I can keep myself entertained with facebook and blogs! Maybe I'll send a note from the room...

Special prayer requests today:
Mark -- he's really tired and working extremely hard in the heat. A lot on his mind.
Chemo starts at 10 tomorrow. Would love some prayers for courage during that time.

Your posts today were such a blessing to me. As we drove to the various tests, I read them outloud to my mom and to Ashley. I'd laugh, then cry, then breath. I am so blessed by your support. So please keep writing. It's a joy to hear from you.

Love to you all,

Monday, June 22, 2009

Welcome to my journey!

Welcome friends and family! Thanks for dropping by my brand new blog - aptly called Journey with Jan. I find I'm on a brand new leg of my life trip - a little detour I did not plan. I would so honored if you would walk with me for awhile....

Special thanks to Amy and her friend for setting me up with such a cute site. I knew I wanted to chat, but I didn't know how to get started. I appreciate you setting me in motion!

A lot of you know that I've had a recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. In the past ten days I've had a whirlwind of scans, biopsies, blood tests and doctor visits. Today I received a medical port in my shoulder and I am scheduled for my first round of chemo on Wednesday of this week. I don't know lots of things about the days ahead, but I'll keep you posted as we journey together.

I want to thank you for carrying my family on the wings of prayer. My husband has been loved on, my children are stable and I feel a supernatural peace deep in my core. I am amazed that so many friends and family are storming the gates of heaven on our behalf. You are so appreciated and so needed. Please keep praying for us.

There was some discussion this week about my being overwhelmed with calls, text, etc. No way - please keep them coming. Even if I can't respond, your notes and calls are a huge blessing to me. Everytime I feel scared or threatened, I've opened my email or text or facebook and found faith right in my hand. I can't do without it! If you are interested you can find me on facebook and I also twitter. I would be honored if you care to "follow".

People are asking how they can help. I'm not sure yet, but I know I will need help. Mark is better at saying we need this or that. (Thanks, Eddie, for driving me today.) I think we'll be posting some immediate needs in the next few days. No obligation, just opportunities! Prayer is essential, food is nice and transporation may be an issue.

I know I'm not the only one walking through a valley. If you need encouragement and prayer, I hope this verse will bless you as it is blessing me! Glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord and He answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant. This poor man called and the Lord heard him. He saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them. Psalm 34:4-7.

Love to you,


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