Butterfly Sparks Designs

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The tumor is gone!

Hi friends,

Today I was at the doctor for my weekly check up. As he examined the lump in my breast, he said, "That tumor is gone!" I had wondered the same thing myself this week and responded by saying, "I thought maybe I was losing my mind." He said, "No, you aren't losing your mind. You are losing your tumor."

I am so thrilled to report that despite a long wait to see my doctor today, he brought me such good news! Indeed the tumor is undetectable by physical examination. It has completely "disappeared." In addition, he told me that the brain MRI is totally clear. He showed me where the report said something like no indication of metastatic presence. There's nothing on my face, either! It was so much fun to celebrate! My doctor even got excited with me. Gave me a hug and congratulated me! I realized he probably doesn't get to give good news very often. He was blessed while I was blessed! How sweet is that?

As soon as I got in the elevator I called Mark! Then Ashley! Then my mom! I was hurrying to make a 1:30 ministry team meeting at the office. I walked in about five minutes late and of course only a few seats were left - one right at the front. As I came forward, I asked if I could make an announcement. My pastor was gracious and let me tell the whole team my good news! The room broke into applause! You should have seen Mary Jo's face. She stood to her feet with a shout of victory.

I've been making some more personal calls tonight, but I just can't wait anymore to broadcast the good news far and wide!

I have to continue treatment as we can't tell if the cancer is totally eradicated until after the scans - and the hip area is still very important and a big unknown. We'll do two more rounds of chemo, followed by updated scans and see! But I'm believing it is totally gone...Only 6 weeks and 2 rounds of chemo...that has to be more than modern medicene. I believe it's the power of prayer!

Thanks to so many warriors who have been standing on the wall with me, praying and believing for supernatural healing. I know that there is another round or two in this battle, but I am so encouraged. Please hang with me a little longer - don't abandon the post! I believe this sickness will leave and not come back again. I love the verse in Nahum 1:9 that says "Affliction will not rise up a second time."

Will you help me spread the word? Someone told me this past week (Rick Laurence, I think) that the word testimony means do it again! I am so motivated by the idea that my testimony of healing would create an environment for God to "do it again." Need healing? Then let's testify!

Thanks for being my friends and warriors!

Blessings back to you.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Late night meditations...

About to turn in for the evening - just meditating on God's plan and purpose for this season in our lives. Although I do not believe that God brings cancer to me, nor that it is His will for my life - I certainly don't believe He is surprised nor overwhelmed by the circumstance I find myself in.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers (her) out of them all. Ps 34:19.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. Is. 43:2

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Ps. 23:4

I've read all these verses hundreds of times in my life and can glibbly quote them. But suddenly, through my own affliction, fire, and sshadow of death, they have become real and obvious. There's another verse that says something like - why do you act surprised by these circumstances? Yet - I'm surprised!

There is a lovely woman who works in the outpatient surgery area at the hospital who said to me during my first two weeks of biopies and scans, "Don't spend time asking why me. The real question is why not me?" I think she's right. Affliction comes in many forms and each of us must persevere through our own shadow of death. For some it's emotional, some physical, some through loss, some through struggle, all through pain. I'm trying to navigate in a place where there is no real understanding of how I arrived at this moment - and instead trying to continually turn my face toward what lies ahead.

Some of you might be familiar with a book called Strengths Finder. It's a big hit at my office and almost our entire staff has benefited from this material. Basically, you buy the book, use the passcode in the back to take an online assessment, which then tells you some revealing things about yourself! Now what I love about this book is it tells something great about you! (Who wouldn't like that?) It's always delivering good news!

In the months prior to my diagnosis, I had been a little obsessed with leadership development based on strengths...spent a lot of time thinking about it and observing myself and others. I am realizing how much God is a strength provider and finder. All that is good within us, He placed there. I'm simply digging in the field of my life (and in some of yours) to find the pearls of great value. And then - trying to figure how to maximize the impact of those pearls for His kingdom.

In the last week or so I'm beginning to obcess again. I noticed that my 5 key strengths have been kicking in and how important it is to go with my strengths. Here's me:

1) Strategy

2) Relator

3) Belief

4) Positivity

5) Developer

I have to admit strength number one can get me twisted up on this journey. God keeps telling me to look ahead for His sign post - because as I already confessed - I can't find the thread of strategy in the past - the how, why, or when of disease. I think if I look forward, He will reveal some overcoming strategies to me. I think He already has. I need to pay attention...like a jigsaw puzzle - trying to bring the pieces together to create a clear vision.

My relator is in full swing - loving communicating by writing and in person with friends, family and co-workers. The more I relate - the better I feel - the more encouraged I am - the greater my faith - because you are lifting me up!

Belief - well - you know - I believe!

And positivity! I'm really pressing into this strength. Not only am I staying with my own personal tendency to expect a positive outcome - but I'm leaning into the relationships which support this vein of thinking.

The other day at the doctor's office there was a couple at the end of the row who started out talking about how faithful God is - but somehow deviated into a conversation about all the wickedness in the world. They just kept talking loudly about horrible situations and circumstances. I moved as far away as possible. I opened my Bible on my phone and started to read - anything to try and drown out their words.

There was a young lady a couple of chairs from me who obviously felt terrible. I asked if I could pray for her and when she said yes, I said, "Move down here. They are speaking death down there, and we just can't take it!" It sounds kind of rude now that I read it...

And finally developer - well, I don't know if this strength is in operation right now. It seems all my focus is on developing the muscle of faith in me and nothing to do about recognizing the potential in others. I trust that this struggle will produce a fruit that I can share - a seed of hope I can cast - friendships and opportunities that will allow me to encourage another. Maybe this will kick in as I get closer to the "other side."

How about you, friend? Are you pressing into your strengths? Have you dug in your field to find a pearl of great value? It's there! I promise! He sows in our soil so richly and your top 5 or 10 or 20 strengths are so unique and so revealing. If you find yourself in a season of affliction, I hope that you will grab hold of your own pearls and hang on with all your might.

My soul - wait silently for God alone; For my expectation is from Him. Ps. 62:5

In You I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame nor let my enemies triumph over me." Ps. 25:2

So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. Heb. 13:6a

Sweet dreams!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hi friends,

I've been wanting to blog for the past few days! I drive down the road and think about the things I want to share and I wonder if the people in the car next to me think I'm crazying. I'm either singing or praying or "writing" out loud. I caught myself daydreaming the other day and realized I really better put my mind to driving!

Before I share an update about me, I'd like to give you an update on my mom in law - Molly. She and Julie were supposed to leave for Boston today. However, this week the Boston hospital called and invited her to participate in an upcoming clinical trial. There is a new drug they are testing which they hope will have the same effect on the body as a liver transplant. Right now, a liver transplant is the only "cure" for this disease. Although Molly could qualify for a liver transplant, there is great concern that she is too weak to tolerate such a difficult procedure. To participate in this trial - and if the drug is effective - could be a huge answer to prayer. Of course, she indicated she would like to participate and as a result her trip has been moved back to August 10th. Now here's the prayer need - the clinical trial has a blind placebo. Patients receive either the drug or the placebo by random selection. We can not afford a placebo. As I read this morning, not even the physician selects who receives what. So - will you pray with our family that the great physician will put His hand on this test and deliver a potential life extending opportunity to my sweet m-i-l? I know you will - and I want to thank you for praying for her already. This is an example of the favor of God - just when you reach the end of your own hope - He brings a fresh breeze!

It's been ten days since my chemo treatment and I am so thrilled to report that my mouth has not broken out! My tongue felt a little strange on day 8 - but some good friends laid hands on me and we just bound that burning tongue and asked God for a favor.

I'm feeling so much better. It definately takes a full week to get any spring in my step. I returned to work on Tuesday and found it a real struggle to get there. Once I was there, I did okay - but still came home early and went straight to bed. Wednesday I ended up spending the vast majority of the day at doctor's offices and by the time I finished my legs were shaking - so home again - nap again - tired again. But on Thursday, that resurrection power overtook me and I spent a full day at work and felt great! I'm amazed that when I am experiencing the deep fatigue, it feels like I'm never going to feel good. But once I feel good, it's like I think it couldn't have been that bad. A lot of this disease is keeping your mind in check. Telling yourself the truth and not getting confused. Thanks again for all the prayers during the past ten days!

I guess you saw the photo above. This was taken at Laugh and these are my two good friends who came to a Gateway women's event for the first time. That's Teresa Wilkins on the left and Kelly Porter next to her - and I guess you know that's my Ashley on the right. I am so glad we captured this moment.

Now these are my Gateway buddies. Katy Davis, Elizabeth Laurence and Elisa Michieli. As you can see, we are quite a team and I love these girls! Thanks Natasha for the awesome photos. I'm proud of this one too!
I had to finish the two MRI's that I cancelled a couple of weeks ago. On Wednesday I did one at the hospital and on Friday one in the office. While at the office yesterday my doctor gave me the good news that the breast tissue MRI from Wednesday was all clear - again confirming that there is no additional cancer present! Thank you Jesus! I had the brain scan on Friday and I'm feeling confident that there is nothing on the oribital bone of my face. I just don't think there's anything there. I'll keep you posted!
While I'm going about the business of my life and learning this new norm of living on a three week cycle - I'm somehow deeply contemplating so many things. I've begun to really press in and study about nutrition and I feel like I'm listening to all the advice with one ear - and tuning the other to hear what God is saying. I'm observing my life in a way as an outsider and I have to tell you that every single day I am amazed at the favor that I am walking in. I don't know why I am finding favor at every turn - but over and over - grace is being extended to me. From little things like a friendly smile or a warm greeting - to big things like compassionate caregivers or massive grace at work - it just keeps coming. I also have noticed that I have received a lot of public affirmation. My situation is very widely known and in several gatherings I have been the focus of intense public prayer. I'm wondering what's up with that? The other day I told God that this would be an awesome time to just miraculously heal me. So many people are praying and watching! It would be good for His reputation...tee hee! I don't know if He laughed, but I laughed. Just processing how widely God has spread my prayer covering and thanking Him for your amazing love and support.
Thanks to John's friend Sam and her mom for a delicious meal the other night (those mashed potatoes almost put me in a coma!) Thanks, Kathy for the chicken quesadillas - to Stephanie for the sloppy joe's, to Amber for the taco soup (eaten within the hour of arrival!), to Laura for the chicken parmigan...The meals just keep coming and they are such a blessing. I find that I can do one thing - like in the morning I can get ready or I can clean house - but if I do both it really fatigues me. Dinner has been a huge blessing. I can work - but when I come home I don't have a lot left for household chores. Mark and the boys have warmed up our gifts of food - we sit down and have a family meal together - I help clean - and then I'm resting again. Thank you all for serving not just me - but all the Greenwood clan.
I'm off this morning for a prayer leader's retreat at Mary Jo's house. We had dinner together last night with our spouses and it was so much fun. They prayed for me - powerfully - prophetically and I was once again so blessed. Today we are talking about the anointing of God. I'm so looking forward to stirring up the passion for prayer within my own heart and pouring out a little of the prayer that has been poured into me. I'll let you know how it goes.
After that - John is playing in a baseball tournament in Southlake! I can't wait to sit at the ball field (in the shade of course) and cheer him on. This is a normal part of our family life and I've missed a few games over the past two months. I have a gorgeous new sun hat given to me by my friend Melissa - and I can't wait to "work it" at the park.
I'm thinking of you constantly - amazed at the number of new friends who are stopping by for a read. I am honored! By the way - welcome to the gentlemen who my husband and boys met on a hunting trip last fall. He tells me that a few Oklahoma boys are checking in - and they are sending him notes of encouragement and prayer! So glad you stopped by and thanks for encouraging my husband and boys - can't tell you what that means to us! As you remember me and my needs, I am remembering you and yours. When we agree together, nothing is impossible.
Trusting in His goodness,

Friday, July 24, 2009

Have you seen this?

Thanks to the many friends who sent this link to me. I hope you will take a moment to watch and experience! It moved me.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hair Cutting Party

Just wanted to post the photo I promised a few days ago of John and his friends at the "hair cutting party!" As you can see, quite a few of his friends helped celebrate. This photo really makes me laugh! I'm not sure everyone submitted of their own choice! At any rate - John is on the far left - and these are some amazing young people who care a lot about our family! I am so impressed with them!

Hi friends,

Just a brief update so you'll know I'm still hanging in there! Tomorrow will be a week since my last treatment and I am on the upward swing! Not as deep a hole as last time, but it still takes a full week to really be able to function. I was explaining to my coworkers today that the fatigue just pushes you down and you really just have to wait it out!

Thanks for your continued prayers, texts, and comments. I read them all and even when I didn't respond, I was blessed. Lots of people stopped by to say hello and bring food - some I got to see and some I didn't. I really regret missing a visit on Sunday afternoon that I had planned - thinking I would be so ready for company! When I had to cancel at the last minute...well...yuck!

I have a full day tomorrow - starting with one of those MRI's that got cancelled a couple of weeks ago. I report at 7:45 am for that - with my weekly doctor visit to follow. Then - finally some fun! I'm hoping to meet up with Melissa for an early lunch or a late coffee. Melissa and I used to work together at Gateway before she left to become a full time mom. She has been a constant source of encouragement since the day I met her and we have so much in common that it's like getting to hang with your sister! She's in town with her little man - Isaac - and I can't wait to get my hands on them both. Hoping I feel well and can really enjoy the visit!

This morning before I went to work I spent some time putting scripture all over the downstairs. I've been working on getting that done for awhile - but somehow this morning - I actually got them plastered around the house. I hung them on the light switches, the microwave, my bathroom mirror, where I sit at the table - pretty much any place that I thought my eye might find to rest. I listened to another amazing healing testimony while getting ready this morning and I am reminded fresh that God's word is medicene. I must take it daily trusting it will not return void! I did this while the boys were gone to their sports camp. When I came in tonight, Mark commented that I'd put the word everywhere. At the dinner table we spent a few minutes talking about why I'd done that...As usual, Matthew was the first to respond. He gets me, I think!

By the way, thanks for praying for Ashley. Her swelling is beginning to come down and she's feeling much better today. I anticipate she'll return to work tomorrow. A really special thanks to the Hamp girls for being good friends and nurses. They came over to our house and took care of her one evening and then last night they took her home with them for awhile - iced her, nursed her, loved on her. You are some awesome young women! And thanks to my mom in law - Juli - for taking her on Saturday and navigating a very stressful situation. You are the best!

Also wanted to let you know that my mom - Marilyn - and her friend - LC - had a great day together last Friday. All those appointments got done with grace and they had a good time together on top of that! Thanks LC for being an amazing friend.

Mark's mom - Molly Greenwood - is having some real health challenges of her own. Molly has been recently diagnosed with a condition called Amlyodosis. (I did not spell that correctly.) This diseased has coated her nerve endings with a protein that is causing massive neuropathy and digestive difficulties. Over the past two years, she's lost most of her mobility, her strength and even her body weight. My sweet sister in law - Julie Lang - has done an amazing job of caring for her mom, finding the right doctors and persisting in the face of this struggle. Molly's condition is advanced and very few doctor's offer her a lot of hope.

This weekend, Julie and Molly will be travelling to Boston to meet with a team of specialists. They will be there for three days of extensive testing and then travel home. We are hopeful that some measure of strength and mobility can be restored! My mother in law is a very faithful woman who is praying for me daily - in the midst of her own battle. She recently told me that even if this visit does not offer her help, she hopes her own case study may bring help and healing to someone else.

Would you add this to my special prayer requests? Travelling will be very taxing for Molly. I know she's a little worried about it. Julie will have to handle all of their needs and navigate all of the issues related to helping her mom. My heart is crying out for them to find favor there and a word of hope. God can do anything - nothing is impossible for Him.

Thanks for dropping by again!


Friday, July 17, 2009

I choose life!

Good morning friends,

Yesterday was a big day for me. Michele Reising showed up around 11 and took me to meet with Sara Weirman. Sara is an 8 year cancer survivor who shared with me some great life coaching tips. We met last Spring in a women in leadership development class and I immediately fell in love with Sara's transparency and passion. We talked a little about the underlieing causes of disease and I got some homework for the next couple of weeks. Then we spent some time talking about nutritional changes. She made us a smoothie out of strawberries, bananas and fresh spinach. I know it sounds weird, but it was pretty good. Then she made us a tuna salad with no tuna - just nuts! It was delicious and beautifully plated! Thanks Sara for sharing out of your wealth of study and knowledge and healing. She gave me the jewels that she had to dig out of the ground. I asked her to lay hands on me and pray that I would have an obedient and willing spirit to make the necessary changes in my life to support long term health.

Thanks Michele for driving me. I loved our private conversation in the car and I won't forget the things we shared. God has plans that we can't yet see. Learning to rest and war, stand and be still, trust when we can't see. You blessed me so much.

Mark came and picked me up at the clinic and we had a sweet drive home - just talking about what God has been saying to us - and knowing that regardless of any bumps in the road ahead - He has us firmly in his hand. Just agreeing on His goodness, purpose and plan. My husband is a faith filled man standing guard over us in this season. So grateful that He has the wisdom of Daniel and the heart of David. Thanks God for this special gift...

Elisa came over as soon as I got home bearing gifts and food again. Thanks to Chelsea (who cooked) for the delicious dinner. The chocolate silk pie was a huge hit! Mark took one bite and said he was going to put a note on it that said no one else could have any. Too bad - with company and the boys only one small piece remains this morning! High praise to you! Elisa and I got to have some girl time which I have so missed with her. We share a sisterhood that is divine and anytime I can get a few minutes with her it makes me happy. She's off on a trip for the weekend this morning and I'm asking God to refuel her body, mind and spirit. She really poured herself out for LAUGH and needs to recuperate.

Just as Elisa left another amazing Abilene friend arrived. Wendi Hancock stopped by and we got to hang out for a long time together. Wendy is an amazing mom of 4 boys and we've known each other for years. Her stature is tiny - but her spirit is huge. We ate together, talked together, read the Word together and then we watched the DVD of LAUGH (thanks Elisa) together. It was such good medicene for both of us. I love you Wendi!

This morning I woke a little more fatigued. I can feel the tiredness in my arms - that's why I'm blogging so early. The fatigue is amazing to me. It comes at you like a locomotive. You can feel it coming a long ways off and when it arrives it just sort of blows you over. Part of Dodie Olsteen's testimony is about how powerful symptoms can be. How they stand in the face of your healing and taunt you. When Mary Jo was praying with me on Monday and she said that I am more well today than I was a month ago, I realized how I must lift my eyes away from my body. In the natural, I am worse. But in truth the battle has been going on for awhile inside of me - and now it is in the open. I can fight what I know. In the face of symptoms, if I can quote the word and push through I can become an overcomer. I'm not saying that I don't rest or deny the reality of the battle in my body - but I'm setting my face like flint to push through as much as I can - declaring that the battle happening on the outside is a manifestation of the victory on the inside. I choose life. I choose to be a fighter. "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live." Deut. 30:19. I got up showered, dressed, put on a little make up, made my bed and gathered my Bible. Tired or not - I need the Word.

Thanks to Kelly Workman for the very precious gift of a compilation CD with worship songs selected just for me. I've got it playing right now. Worship is so powerful! "If anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, he hears him." John 9:31. Thanks for the personal note, the lyrics and for sharing your word with me last week. NO! I agree. No!

Prayer requests:
1) Many of you know that my mom, Marilyn Weston, lives near me. (I'm an only child.) She and I had planned a full day of medical check ups for today for her. I'd planned to take the whole day off and make the most of our time together. I am so grateful to LC Allan for taking my mom on those rounds today. LC and mom met in life group at Gateway in 2006 and they have a sweet affection for one another. I knew LC was the person to stand in the gap for me. Would you pray for my mom and LC today? It's not easy to allow even a good friend to be near to your weakness and there is a lot of important updates for today that I really needed to hear. Just asking God for grace as even my mom is impacted by the circumstance. Praying that today will be a day of peace, hope and that all that needs to be accomplished will be done.

2) Tomorrow Ashley is having her wisdom teeth cut out under anesthesia. My mother in law has graciously agreed to come and take her and then stay with the two of us until Mark is available. Please pray for grace over this surgery and for a speedy recovery. I'm feeling sad that I can't take care of her to the best of my abilities myself, but so grateful for the support. Easy quick procedures and healing for her mouth, please!

3) I ordered a new hair piece that arrived yesterday and I'm so disappointed. I had to pick the colors over the phone without really seeing them and it arrived looking strawberry blonde. I wanted light chocolate with a blonde strip. It's definately not going to work in this color. I've got a call into the company to see if I can return it, but they are custom made per order. If I can't return it I'm wondering if my hairdresser can die it - it's made of human hair. Anyway - please pray for favor. It's expensive and I think I would really enjoy wearing it because it's a much cooler style for summer. But the color is a disaster! EEK!

I pray you have an awesome day! That God would send you a ministering angel. That you would be buildt up! That all your needs would be met. That He would be your source and comfort. Thanks for reading and for responding. Your comments are life to me and lift me up over and over again.

Resting in Him,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chemo Day Two!

Hi friends,

Thanks for all of the texts, emails and phone calls today. I knew many of you were thinking of me and I so appreciate it.

Laura Byrne picked me up bright and early this morning and I so enjoyed my day with her. (This is a terrible shot of me but really cute of Laura.) She shared a miraculous healing testimony about her dad and we talked about the WORD most of the afternoon. So wonderful to share encouragement with such an amazing woman. Thanks Laura for everything - especially for your patience with that awful chair. You blessed me.

I got some good news today. Today the doctor examed the tumor in my breast and it appears to have broken in two. This means the tumor is dissolving - and a strong indication that the chemo is working. I immediately thought of Pastor Marcus' prayer which I have been saying everyday. Either submit to authority and obey or die! Dr. Khan said that he wanted to run scans after 4 rounds of chemo. I had expected that after 6 or 8 rounds. I took that as an encouragement that he wants to see how effective it is at 4 weeks.

In addition, tomorrow I go for the shot that makes you produce white blood cells. This time instead of giving me the 24 hour version - they have gotten approvement to give me a slow release version that should work for several days. I will go in tomorrow and then I'm not required to report back until Monday - unless I'm feeling bad. I think this one change could make week 2 a lot easier for me. I'm hopeful my WBC will go up and stay up! Another thing that will save me money, time, energy and be just as effective. Thank you Lord!
Two different survivors told me to eat ice chips while receiving the "blood of Jesus." Apparently keeping your mouth cool during delivery has a strong potential to prevent mouth sores. I ate a whole cup of Sonic ice and I'm praying it does the trick. Would love to skip the burning tongue! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

I had chemo in the Carrollton office today which is a lot closer to my home, smaller and a totally different atmosphere. The nurse, Rene, is awesome. (By the way, I found out she lives in Flower Mound about 2 blocks from my home!) She is so bubbily and energetic and basically won't allow negative comments on the floor. Laura said she has a calling for this job. She's been with my doctor since 1979 - they are simpatico! Feel so blessed by her care.

While receiving chemo today I took a special gift with me. Julie Kavanaugh spearheaded an effort to make me a blessing box for the day. It was delivered to the office yesterday and as you can see from this photo - it's basically a party in a box. Filled with scripture, testimonies of healing, gifts - all specially prepared to be beautiful and encouraging. When I opened the box in the chemo room it created some excitement. After we looked at a few things, Rene said that she would like for me to bring it again tomorrow when I get my shot at the McKinney office. She wants to show it to the staff - all except one person - who needs some encouragement. She's going to get the office staff and patients to contribute to a blessing box for a very special friend and co-worker. The prophetic gift of healing is all ready being multiplied.

Here's a picture of me in the chemo room today with my very special gift. I don't even know the names of all the ladies who contributed to this beautiful box - but let me say that I appreciate each one of you. I am overwhelmed with the care and attention that went into it and am going to hang up some of these things around the house. So much encouraging and beautiful scripture!

Last night I hard time sleeping because of the steriod shots. But I put the time to good use. I prayed, I read and God gave me some strategy for prayer with my family. I made some notes on future blog topics and maybe even got some ideas for teachings. I'm amazed at all of the thoughts roaming around in my brain - now imagine that multiplied by the "upper" effect of steriods. I got to bed about 3 am and still felt fine when I got up at 6. However, I am so tired now...I'm going to call it a night and get some rest.

One last note - some of you may remember our comedian for Laugh from last summer - Jinny Henson. Jinny's daughter (Maggie Lee, age 12) was involved in the bus accident in Lousiana last week. On the way to church camp the bus had a flat, flipped and wrecked. Maggie Lee has a brain stem inury and is in an induced coma. If you feel led, would you add your prayers to the many being lifted up for her and let's ask God to heal her. We've sent a note from Gateway women to Jinny to let her know we are aware and that we are standing with her family.

God bless you, my friends.


When I got home tonight, the Wojciechowsli's brought dinner - taco's with the fixing and some amazing cookies, muffins and fruit. Thanks Erin and Kyle for being so sweet. Kyle and John are playing football together on the 9th grade team at Flower Mound High School. This has given me a chance to make friends with Kyle's mom - Erin - and she is so precious. Thanks guys for the great dinner and the many times you have helped me by transporting John - even in the last month. You are a great friend.

Monday, July 13, 2009

So much to share...

Hi everybody,

So much has happened in the last couple of days that I don't know if I can really get my thoughts together. Mark took me out on Saturday afternoon in my wig and we hit a few stores. He says that people won't really notice it's a wig - but when we were walking in the store I just kept pulling and tugging on it. After awhile I realized that people will probably know my hair is not my own if I keep sliding it around on my head. I felt like a child who can't control their hands. I told Mark to swat my hands if he sees me touching it in public. It's like trying to get used to a retainer or something - you think about it all the time. Here's a picture I took of the two of us on that day. He's handsome in blue!

We stayed out so long that we just decided to go onto the 5:45 service at church. My head was so tender that I had to take the wig off and put on a scarf and hat. I didn't plan to show up at church the first time with a scarf and hat - but I did - and it was fine. Everybody is so kind to us!

On Sunday we attended the evening Encounter service - and indeed we had an Encounter with the great I am. I met with God - like had a "counsel" with Him. I asked Him some very specific questions and got some answers. I'm still processing this amazing exchange - so I'm going to wait to share what happened. Let me just say that I believe the word of the Lord. Then a lot of friends surrounded the two of us and prayed. It was powerful and while they were praying for us I felt heat in my hip bone - it felt exactly the same way it did on the day I received radiation to this bone - hot and deep inside my body. It was such a strange sensation. I believe He touched me and I'm on my way to restoration!

Today was such a great day! It started with an early visit to the doctor - all numbers still great - and then to the office. When I arrived I slipped in the back door and made my way down the hall. When I walked into the women's suite it was so quiet. No movement, no noise, no laughter! I stepped into the suite, greeted my friends Elisa dnd Elizabeth and set down at my desk. It wasn't quiet after that. I realized that I'm a little like Matthew - noise and stuff follow me everywhere. Elisa, Katy and I stopped at 11:30 to attend healing prayer for Gateway staff. Katy's been battling some significant health challenges of her own so we decided to take advantage of this "perk." No surprise - another sweet visit with Jesus! Truly, I can hear Him right now - and the Word is so rich to me. Several prophetic words over all of us and a stirred up faith that God heals and He's in the midst of all of our circumstances. Thanks again Pastor Mary Jo for being an amazing leader, warrior and intersessor. The rest of the day was pretty much a blur - I made it til 5 - but I am so tired tonight. Glad I can lay in my bed and talk to you!

When I got home John and his friend Josh were at our home. The boys came downstairs to help me with something and I saw that they both had new haircuts. (John has been wearing a bleached blonde mohawk for a couple of weeks - something that he and his baseball team had done for the triple crown tournament. Yes - it was crazy looking!) Now their head's were buzzed short and clean. John told me that he and his friends buzzed their heads and cut my initials into their hair today to show their support for me and for John. They used the initials MG for Mrs. Greenwood! Apparently several of them are now bearing letters in my name! I called John's friend Chase - who came up with this game plan - to tell him how much that meant to me. He said that all the mom's were doing something nice for me and this was what they could do to show they cared. Chase's mom is sending photos from today's mass cutting - and I'll post as soon as I have them. I love these boys! They are really good kids and I'm so impressed with their creativity and honored by their sacrifice! Made me smile from ear to ear!

Then Matthew came home. Here's a couple of photos from camp that my friend Beth sent me! As you can see he had a great time. His dad picked him up and helped prepare him for the great "reveal". As soon as he got home he wanted to see. He said he might cry but he wanted to see! So I showed him. He just looked shocked for a second, but no tears! Then he brought me a gift he bought for me at camp. It's a little duck who is bald on top except for one little tuft of hair. He said it reminded him of me! LOL! Isn't that great?
He had a sweet encounter with Jesus where he was able to lay his fears at His feet. He's quoting the word like a preacher and spent a few minutes with me tonight reading to me from Revelation! His favorite new verse is John 14:6 - Jesus answered, I am the way, the truth and the life. When He says it - he says it with authority! He's glad to be home but says he doesn't want to go again. He missed home too much.

So all in all - it was a great day! I'm blessed beyond measure and so grateful for your friendship. I hope you had a great day too....

Much love,


Saturday, July 11, 2009

She will survive!

Hi friends,

I'm so glad to tell you that my hair has been gone for 24 hours and I am still breathing! That's a joke - sort of! Seriously, yesterday afternoon Mark and I went to the back yard and he just quietly shaved it off. My husband was amazing. He gently ministered to my head while my heart broke. He kept telling me I had pretty blue eyes and it was going to be ok. Even though I was intellectually ready - even made more ready by it falling it out by the hand fulls - it was still a "sucker" punch, a low blow, a hit below the belt. I had some encouragement today just in time...

Elisa, Marcia and Chelsea came by my house unexpectedly and brought me two beautiful scarves and a very sweet response to my bald head. (Thank you) I went across the street to visit my neighbor Tracy and she gave me another beautiful scarf and another sweet encouragement. (Thank you, too.) Then the Brecheens stopped by. Not only did they bring delicious food with lots of extra fixings - but they brought their children and all of them - from the youngest to the oldest - laid hands on me and prayed for healing. When they prayed, Pastor Marcus declared that the rebellious cancer cells in my body understand authority and because of Christ's authority, they would submit and come into order. He declared they would either obey or they would die. I felt better after that!

I've been working on those three verse I told you about a couple of weeks ago. I've had so many amazing suggestions and it seems that the Word is speaking to me like never before. Even at Laugh when Kerri read the passage about passing through the fire that would not burn me, I felt the Word quicken in my spirit. I know that three won't be enough, but three is a good start. I want to share the ones I've picked and why...

Verse #1 - I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
Without faith I can't please God and this passage reminds me that a little faith goes a long way. If I mix my faith with action, I have a promise of deliverance. I think this is the passage that says God is ready to heal me. He's waiting on me to pick up the sword and command sickness to move out of my way. Even Pastor Marcus's prayer is about speaking to the mountain and telling it to move. God's saying to me - "If in faith Jan says to the mountain 'move from here to there', it will move, and nothing will be impossible for her.

Verse #2 - The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Romans 8:11
I'm reading Romans 8 almost every day. I am alive to Christ but dead to sin. Since I am dead to sin, the consequences of the curse are broken and sickness has no right to rule in a my body. I believe He is quickening the parts of my body that are diseased with His resurrection power and that life is reigning in me.

Verse #3 - I shall live and not die and declare the works of the Lord. Psalm 118:17
This verse is especially powerful to me. I'd like to share a little story that will help you understand why.

Telling out children about this “leg of the journey” was the most difficult thing we’ve encountered so far – far worse than any treatment or procedure or even losing my hair. We knew it would be hard to tell them, but I was especially concerned about telling Matthew who is 9. Matthew is definitely the baby of the family, having all the traditional characteristics. First of all, he never wants to be alone. The more the merrier. He will not be left out of any conversation, adventure or trial. He is completely unfiltered, pretty much saying and doing whatever crosses his mind. He loves people and like his mommy makes friends easily. He’s pretty much pure joy to us – except when you are really tired and wish he would just be quiet! He has been processing out loud the whole time – free to be sad when he’s sad and happy when he’s happy.

I knew it would be heart breaking to tell him and it was. Mark gently told him the news – honest but straightforward – and he melted into a puddle of desperate tears. As we weeped together, our hearts were broken. But in typical Matthew style, he immediately began to ask questions. The ones nobody else would dare to ask. Once he calmed down and got a few answers he couldn’t wait to tell someone else.
Luke (our 12 year old) was told right before him and while Matthew was being told, Luke went outside and told all the boys in the neighborhood. So then we had a typical brother spat because Matthew didn’t have anyone to tell – which served to lighten the air significantly and return us to a little bit more normal state. He and I then went to tell our neighbor, which gave him a safe place to say the words, “My mom has cancer.” Thanks to Tracy and Richard for a beautiful response of grace and making Matthew feel honored in his confession. All night he just kept saying, “It’s so shocking. My mom has cancer.”

That evening, I went to bed before Matthew. In the morning, I wandered into the kitchen very early. There at the end of the counter where he usually eats his breakfast was a piece of paper and a black sharpy. As I drew near I read the words “She will survive.”

The night before, while I was laying my head to rest, Matthew was the first to make a prophetic declaration over my life. I knew the moment I saw it, it was my word from God. I lifted it up to Him and said if a nine year old can respond in the first few hours of such a disaster with a declarative word – rather than speak fear and death over my life – you, God, are going to have to do something spectacular! Matthew has prophesied I will live and not die.

Matthew is coping amazingly well. Just last week he said, "You know it's not so shocking anymore." There's also been a really funny comment about how he was going to have a hard time getting used to seeing me in a long, black wig! Like I said - he's honest and has no filter. I'm so glad there's no filter on his faith! He's at church camp this week and I can hardly wait to find out what God is saying to my littliest man.

Loving you lots!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Laughter is good medicene!

Good morning friends,

I have been up since 5:30 am reflecting on the amazing things that happened last night at Laugh. If you weren't there, I have some very exciting things to share with you. The evening was so much more than I expected. First of all, my driver and armor bearer last night was my own sweet daughter Ashley. Here's a recent photo of the two of us. (Thanks babe for driving me, going early, keeping up with all my stuff and for being my friend. I'm so glad I shared the evening with you!)
Pastor Debbie Morris (whom I love with a whole heart) told the ladies of my diagnosis - that in itself was enough to release a flood of compassion, love and encouragement toward me. But in addition, our guest, Kerri Pomarolli, in obedience to the Holy Spirit released an anointing for salvation and healing on the room and lead us in a petition for miracles. Somehow we went from laughter to war and it was powerful. Thank you Kerri for being obedient to God - and for being hysterically funny! The laughter was good medicene and prepared my heart for a divine encounter.

While Kerri was praying I was asking God for salvation to rule in the house. If you don't know Jesus, you don't know hope. I was seeing the words spoken over me (miraculous healing, release of my destiny, hope restored) multiplied across the room - that the "need meeter" was showing himself magnificent in each body that is fighting disease, sickness or infirmity. Matthew 18:19 says "If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven." Well last night, there were 2 or more - like 1500 of us - agreeing in prayer. God's word does not fail.

I like to ask God each year for a word for that year - something personal that will tell me what He has in mind for me. By mid-February I knew that my word for 2009 was "resolute". Resolute means steadfast, unwavering, without doubt, fully committed, with no duplicity. As soon as I heard it, I realized I was going to have to fight. I thought I might have to fight to stay in the ministry, or fight to hear God, or maybe fight to remain stable. Little did I know what loomed on the horizon. I am fighting for my very life.

This morning I was reading Dodie Osteen's book called Healed of Cancer (given to me last night by a very special friend, Janet Stephenson - thank you!) and I came across a verse that made my heart leap. I've searched the Bible for the word resolute and can't find it! I knew that steadfastness was the character of the Lord and I found some confirming verses for that - but I had not really laid hold of a passage that spoke to me about being resolute.
Guess what I found this morning? Hebrews 10:23 - "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." I will not waver again. Not because of my faith, but because He is faithful. My faith has been quickened by the outrageous, lavish, abundant declaration of God's goodness toward me. I believe that I am healed when everything in my body is saying something different. I take authority over my mind, will and emotions - removing duplicite thoughts and becoming single-minded. I command the root of cancer to die and leave my body whole and restored. Resolute.

Last night was what I call a "mile marker" moment in my life. I will never forget where I was, who I was with, or what God said. I am so grateful that He allowed me to share it with so many precious women of God. You will be a testimony and reminder to me that He has spoken and He is faithful. Thanks to each of you who prayed with me last night and who even now are petitioning heaven on my behalf.

More wonderful things happened yesterday - Angie Monroe brought my family delicious fajitas - enough to feed an army. She also brought me an amazing gift that included a pair of pink boxing gloves and manna from Heaven because I am a fighter. Then she revealed one last surprise! I received a whole album of notes of encouragement from my co-workers at Gateway Church. Each note hand written and a personal exhortation of love. I was totally surprised and totally overwhelmed. I've already read each note twice and just when I think my heart can not be more grateful - I feel it break again and a fresh flow of thanksfulness pours out. I am undone again.

With a heart bursting with gratitude,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cancer is so limited!

As I am about to walk out the door to attend LAUGH, I wanted to post something that Mary Jo sent me in the past few weeks. I've been in my bathroom picking out what to wear and styling my hair for what will surely be the last time for months to come. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that tomorrow (after we shave the hair) everyone will know that I have cancer. There won't be any person who with a second look can't tell. That makes you feel like cancer is so powerful - that it can take away your privacy and your hair. I looked back in the mirror again and realized that I'm still there - tomorrow I'll still be there - and next month it will still be me in the mirror. I am learning that cancer is so limited.

It cannot cripple Love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.

And it can't take me from me. I'm off to hang out with the girls - to rejoice in the opportunity to encourage one another and to do what I do - which is be happy, encourage, love life, celebrate God's goodness! It really is limited.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Home again!

Hi friends,

It's so good to be home again. I enjoyed the lake and our family time a lot but it's awesome to sleep in my own bed and have my wireless access again. I had hoped to post a blog late last night, but by the time I drove home it was 1:30 am. (Thanks, Cindy, for riding back with me! You made the trip so much fun and I am so glad for the time with you!) Obviously - I couldn't keep my eyes open!

I am happy to report that I felt great at the lake. Mark and I had a little time alone on the golf course - he played and I drove!

I can tell the radiation is helping my leg. It's still weak and my gait is awkward, but I can sit squarely on my bottom again with no pain, cross my legs and be still for a long time and I've noticed that my pace has quickened over the past few days. In addition, turning over in bed and laying on my left side is a lot easier and doesn't make my leg ache.

I am feeling so good that I am planning to attend the Pink Night at Gateway tomorrow night. I've been looking forward to LAUGH since last year and I am so thrilled that I'm not going to miss it. Something happens inside of me when all those beautiful ladies start coming through the door. I just love it! Elisa told me today that it is a sell out crowd! How could I miss that? It's so strange to attend a Gateway women's event and have no responsibilities. I'll just be one of the girls - laughing and loving with a lot of friends.

I'm going to take a stab at returning to work for a couple of days next week. It's time to get Pink Impact up and moving again and I have to admit - I want to be right in the middle of the planning. Even though I have another round of chemo next Wednesday, I'm grateful that I have a couple of days to work with our team and whet my appetite for things to come.

Today brought another doctor check up (counts still up!) and a visit to a really sweet place in Plano called Survivorgals. There I had my wig shaped, brought it home
in a box, along with a whole kit of products to take care of it. My hair is beginning to shed a little today, which made me cry again. I feel a little bad because my mom was with me today and I made her sad because I was sad. At least we were sad together! Tonight Mark listened to my story about the wig and reminded me again about what is important. Next thing I knew Matthew was modelling it for me. First Matthew - then me! We laughed. How grateful I am that I can afford one and that it's custom cut just for me.

One of the most difficult side effects for me so far has been the blistering of my mouth. Earlier last week there was a time where I literally wondered if I opened my mouth and stuck out my tongue if it would blaze like a fire breathing dragon. Someone said to me that chemo works like fire in your bones – burning the body from the inside out. The burning of my bones and tongue made me think about the purifying work happening deep in my body – the effects are a “sign” that the chemo is working. (Gives me a new appreciation for the instruction to give thanks in all things.)

Two times Mark and I have received prophetic words about fire. Someone once said there was a fire in our home – initially it was an unholy fire causing strife and contention – but God was transforming it and the fire in our home would be a holy fire drawing many. More recently someone said I am a spark, starting many small fires in thousands of places. On the other hand, Mark is a blaze – bringing light to all who come near. A spark doesn’t exist without a fire and a fire doesn't exist without a spark. Together, we make a roaring fire...

The Bible talks about two kinds of tongues of fire. James 3:5 says “... the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body."

I find I am a woman of unclean lips. It's like God has been placing a coal in my mouth, burning my tongue and purifying my heart. Surely my tongue is being tamed for God’s purposes. What is so painful now is developing a reverence in me for the capacity of my mouth to be a spark for good or for evil. Purifying from the marrow of my bones to the tip of my tongue for a purpose I can’t yet fathom. When His work is done in me, I am confident He will transform this natural tongue of fire for the supernatural one in Acts.

“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2: 3-4 How I want to be a woman who's tongue is purified and speaks according to the Spirit.

Special prayer requests:

1) Would you pray with me that every prophetic word spoken over our lives would come to pass? That we would be a light in dark places, that we would run hard after the things of God, that our children would outrun us in the Kingdom, that a gift for marriage and family and healing and deliverance would come to pass?

2) Matthew leaves for church camp in the morning and by the time he gets back I will probably have lost my hair. I'm doing my best to prepare him - but it will still be a shock.

3) I don't know how to be a good steward of the lavish, abundant, overflowing prayer and support that has been so graciously poured out on our behalf. My heart is humbled by the grace and broken by the thought that so many in my situation do not have the same kind of support. I want to share the overflow with others in need and I don't know how.

Hope to see so many of you soon - either at Laugh or work or worship or in the neighborhood or the grocery store or even in my own home or yours. I miss you terribly!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Were at the lake house tonight. All the kids plus Mark are in the pool. There is no wi-fi service so please forgive typos and short postings.

Today the reality of how long this fight might take sat on my spirit. I woke up tired, a little unsettled and facing a non working phone. By the time Mark got home I was struggling. We loaded up and headed out, distracting me from the path of my mind. Still feel a little solemn. Not depressed. Just counting the costs, measuring my resources and preparing for the next few days.

I'm wondering how my mind can be here, after the amazing message brought by franklin turner (I hope I got his name right). I thought the whole auditorium was going to turn and point at me. It was inspiring and encouraging and sobering. Let us go...how long does it take to go to the other side?

God,s talking to me about tongues of fire, burning bones, and power. Hope to post something about that tomorrow.

Grateful for each of you and for the honor of sharing.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Job 42: 1-6 - The Message

Job answered God: "I'm convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes? I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, 'Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers. I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I'm sorry—forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise! I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor."

Making progress in everyway!

Dear friends,

It's 3:04 am and I am up again! It's not so bad. I've tended to have some sleep issues as I've gotten older and I often find that after a few hours sleep, I wake up and it takes me awhile to get back to sleep. I so wanted to post yesterday, but because I was having so much company, fun and a night out, I just didn't have the strength before bed. I'm taking advantage of the quiet time. I feel the Holy Spirit close to me tonight.

Yesterday was an amazing day. First of all, two very precious ladies showed up at my home in the morning and totally pampered me. I was feeling better so I put on my clothes, "styled" my new hair cut and welcomed them. They did my laundry (not a small job at my house!), ran errands, cleaned out the refrigerator, vacuumed. All kinds of things that I'm used to doing without a thought. Thank you Paula and Marsia for ministering to my body, soul and Spirit. I so enjoyed my time with you. You are amazing.

Then I had a real treat! Jonya and Craig Schuman, long time Abilene friends, came to see me. Jonya is also battling breast cancer and is almost 2 years into her fight. She just finished her sixth chemo treatment a week before I started. This next week she gets a report on her newest scans and finds out where she is in the process! Can I ask you to please pray with me for a good report? A good word in due season is a like apples in settings of gold. She has been faithful in her walk and has never wavered in her faith. When I call to check on Jonya she ministers to me! I just call and ask what God's been doing and she begins to speak amazing revelation and wisdom. We've been friends for many years, raised our kids together, shared many ministry opportunities and she's like a sister to me.

When she came in the door last night she was wearing her wig. Before she got from the front door to the living room, Matthew blurted out, "Is that a wig?" Jonya gave him a sly look and said "yes, it is - do you want to see?" Well of course he did! As she took her wig off - he screamed - this exaggerated, funny yell - but still one of shock. Jonya just laughed and hugged him and let him touch her head. Then he was off - over another shock and better prepared for the days ahead - all because my friend is real and forthright and honest. Frankly, I thought she looked elegant in a manner of speaking. She has these amazing dimples, beautiful blue eyes and an outrageous laugh. She's free in this area - so I'm choosing to be free with her. What an inspiriation!

Then off to Romano Maggiano's for dinner. Neither one of us got sick or felt bad - even though it was quiet an outing for both of us! The conversation was inspiring and I'm so grateful for their going before us. On the morning Jonya heard of my diagnosis and called me, she told me I know that no one wants to be a member of this club, but I promise you that what God is about to reveal in you and through you is worth it. It's worth it! Can I just tell you that I love this woman!

At work there's been some discussion about what community means - trying to figure out how to help people feel a sense of care and belonging in the midst of a large church environment. I have to admit that this "community" I am experiencing is amazing and beautiful and changing me. I'm both humbled and exalted. Awed and lifted up. I don't recommend the disease, but I highly recommend submitting yourself to the hand of those who love you and letting God minister to you through them.

The last four days my blood counts have been low, so over and over I get the shot! Please pray with me that today my numbers are amazing. I'm hoping to go to a lake house in New Braunsfels with extended family on Sunday through Thursday. If I can get a release, it will be very restful for me! My kids are big enough that I will literally rest while they swim and play. We've had this planned since the first of the year and it's the only vacation we have planned this summer. Yesterday the doctor was giving me the shot and said something about maybe Monday I wouldn't have to have one. When I mentioned again my plans, he quietly indicated I should prioritize treatment before vacation. I'm working to see if I can find a center in the area who might take my counts while gone - so that I could go but give a daily update on my status. Could you pray for favor with that?

I've been standing on a teaching my Senior Pastor spoke a few months ago. He talked about how our Spirit is fully redeemed at the moment of salvation. Our soul (mind, will and emotions) is being sanctified throughout our lives - becoming more and more like the image of Christ, and finally our body is being redeemed, even as it decays, waiting to be glorified in eternity. I can testify to the truth of this in a totally different way. My Spirit is not ill. As a matter of fact, the worse I feel, the more I am aware of the "rule" of my spirit. I have been commanding my soul and body to submit to my Spirit. If my mind, will and emotions are stayed on the truth about who I am in Him and what God has revealed to me, I stay stable and upright. This supernatural peace can only be because my Spirit is ruling over my soul. So why not command my body to submit? I'm telling it to get in alignment with my Spirit - to be healed - to receive resurrection life - to prosper and be redeemed. When I speak to myself like that this, I feel powerful rather than weak - even if I'm weak. I'm meditating on it...don't quite have it all sorted...but I'm practicing in faith before I have full understanding. Like when David commanded his soul to worship God...

I want to thank so many of you for sharing survivor stories with me! The morning I went to my first chemo treatment, I woke up and thought "when I go in there today, I don't want to hear any pregnancy stories." I find that when a young woman is pregnant, older, more experienced moms sometimes want to tell their war stories of birth. I remember being pregnant with Ashley and thinking, why would you tell me that? I'm pregnant. I can't go back. I have to go through with this, and that is not encouraging.

As I'm entering this difficult journey, I know there are lots of "pregnancy stories." As a matter of fact, I have a couple of my own that our difficult enough. I know what can happen. I just don't want to spend my energy on battling negative thoughts. However, I find I misjudged people in this circumstance. Not one person has felt the need to share about the gory details, to emphasize the fear and pain, or to share a disasterous end. Instead, I've heard survivor story after survivor story. Each one comes as a little bit of a surprise and enters my spirit like a drop of water in the desert. People are so kind, so encouraging. They want to bless. I am so grateful. I've thought today that maybe I could ask the girls who made my blog if we could add a survivor story section - a place where we could "feature" all the good stories that people have shared. There are a lot more miracles, healings, restorations and victories!

Okay so I went from a tiny blog to a massive one. I apologize for being so verbose! So much is going on around me and inside me that when I start to share I find it hard to make it brief. I might need an editor! Thanks for hanging in with me...

Mary Jo gave me this verse today from Job 42:5 After all the hardship that Job went through, He answered the Lord with this comment: My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. I am believing that I am being given ears to hear and eyes to see! He is showering mercy on me.

Let me hear from you, my friend!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Today I was changed!

HI friends,

It's late and I'm going to have to be brief. Mark is asleep beside me and I don't want to disturb his rest - but I am choosing to post a quick note because today I was changed. Let me share that God snapped my mind into alignment with HIs and I was able to let go of the whole hair thing. 7:15 am - with a mouth swollen and blistered, fresh off a miserable night's sleep and experiencing real discouragement. I climbed into the bed as Mark climbed out - opened my phone to glance at the blog and as I read a very special note from Dana Miller - snap - I got it. It's sad to loose your hair - but I haven't lost my life or this fight! I experienced a deliverance from dread in a moment of weakness that fueled my whole day. I got a new, short hair cut that I like - and Ashley will help me show you - but more importantly - I got in alignment with His priorities and my heart is light. I'm counting on an awesome night's rest because my dread has been broken. He is so good!

loving u,


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Laugh - A Pink Night

Hi ladies - just thinking about all things PINK today and wanted to encourage you to attend Laugh - Gateway's upcoming women's night. I'm hoping this will be my first public appearance - maybe sporting my new do - and it won't be the same if you don't come. Elisa Michieli and her team have been working nonstop to create something special for us! Only 1700 seats available so don't forget to register now. Lots of surprises and fun! Visit pink.gatewaypeople.com for info and to register!

Do you like my picture?

Thanks to Amy Ford for posting my brand new photo on the blogsite. This photo was taken for an upcoming edition of Studio G only a few days before my diagnosis. Thanks to the amazing staff in the Gateway Media Department for taking it and for letting me use it! We had a lot of fun that day!

What do you think? I think my hair looks pretty good - and since it's all about the hair right now - I'm kind of glad they got a photo where it looks nice. I invest a lot of my husband's hard earned funds in high/low treatments and a great stylist. They tell me when my hair grows back it might be a totally different color, thicker, or even curly. I guess it's good bye to my old bob and hello to something surprising! You are still praying for me, right?

Speaking of my hair, it's still here, but dry and brittle. In addition to the blood tests which tell the doctor the chemo is working, I can tell the chemo is working it's way through my systems. My skin is dry and kind of creppy looking, (that's creppy not creepy) my stomach is doing flip flops and tonight during dinner my mouth blistered. Did you know that you could treat mouth sores with a high tech treatment called cryotherapy? That's a very fancy, scientific word for eat ice chips as fast as you can to reduce the blistering! It's working. My mouth feels better than an hour ago. Thanks to my fellow survivor Marianne Kalush for that tip!

Many thanks to Lisa Moseley for coming to my home today and driving me to my appointments. I wasn't so chipper this morning - so she helped finish getting ready and we headed off for our first appointment of the day. Bad news - my blood count was lower than the day before - therefore, another shot - and an antibiotic and a mask and a restricted diet and activity schedule. Good news - he cancelled my other two appointments for the day saying I didn't need to hang out in doctor's offices - go home.

So by 11, I was back home - in bed again - and being severely tempted to feel sorry for myself. Lisa prayed over me while we waited for the perscriptions and I'm convinced that the tide began to turn with her intercession. By 1:00 I was up, emptying the dishwasher, fixing some lunch and thinking "I feel better." I wonder if this is how cancer recovery is - a roller coaster of good moments, mixed with bad and the one consistent factor being you just keep going! I keep getting the same advice in lots of place - just don't give up! Somebody must have prayed for me (you know who you are) because I pulled out an audition dvd for Pink Impact and for about an hour I thought about how much God wants to share His heart for women. Needless to say, I was revived. This is a little trick I'll have to remember.

Thanks to the Sailor's for another amazing dinner! My boys are so happy! Blessings to this young couple as they are days away from welcoming their second daughter and still ministering to us by bringing food in 100 degree weather. Praying for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

I've been thinking a lot about the goodness of God. How only He is good. I'm confident that cancer is bad - not from God - and not my destiny. But somehow, God who is good, will take my momentary circumstance (bad) and turn it for my good and His glory. Satan must be truly frustrated by the fact that what he intended for evil, God will turn to good. Here's the verse I'm meditating on today: But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water, and I will remove sickness from your midst. Ex 23:25 - That's good!

I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you the best news of the day! My bone marrow biopsy came back clear! So grateful for every piece of good news! Narrowing down the scope and infiltration so that we can target our attack!

With love,