Butterfly Sparks Designs

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Praise Jesus for His Sacrifice!

So thrilled to update you on my doctor visit this morning. My PET scan is totally clear showing no evidence of disease! When my doctor shared, I simply jumped out of my chair and started leaping in the air. I think I almost hit him! He told me to stop it so I wouldn't break my hip. Big tears and big smiles all around. Mark was with me and I just sat down in his lap and gave him a big hug.

Relief is so sweet! How I wish each of you could experience the release that I experienced this morning. Waiting on the Lord and believing for a natural manifestation of what you know in your spirit has been a stretch of my faith as never before. I have had to believe more deeply, declare more loudly and stand more firmly. Even now I sense again that standing is still required! Each of us must take our spiritual position, lift our sword and shield and stand until the natural aligns with His Word and His promise. Hard to do but easy to say! Compassion is being expanded in my heart.

Even though I am healed, treatment will continue out of wisdom. I am receiving chemo today. I was told early on that every round of chemo you can tolerate significantly contributes toward cancer not returning. Cancer cells are microscopic and every cell simply can't be detected by our current tools. Therefore I am taking chemo today and in the future to ensure we are destroying any secret rogue cells that might still be hiding!

I will see a new surgeon this week and together we will determine the plan of action. I am anticipating a lumpectomy early in December, followed by targetted radiation. In addition, my doctor will continue chemo post surgery. When you cut the body you can cause any cells in the primary tumor location that are unknown to be released into the blood stream - therefore - attack again! He tells me that I could have up to another six months or so of chemo - but with a different "cocktail" that will be much easier on my body. Even a possibility of my hair beginning to grow!

I will also be receiving a drug called herceptin (a hormone blocker) for up to a year. Since the cancer is estrogen and herceptin sensitive, I will be controlling these areas for a long time to come. Again - he tells me that herceptin is easy on my system and I should tolerate the treatment much more easily than the current regimine of drugs.

All in all, it was a remarkable day.

When I pulled into the parking lot this morning I remembered the day I pulled in and received a confirmation that indeed I was bearing breast cancer in my body. As I battled with apprehension, I reminded myself that it will be a better report than that. Asked God to make me steadfast and strong regardless of the outcome. So grateful I've learned that a bad report does not equal a bad God. He's good all the time, standing ready to meet our need, uphold our hands and deposit new measures of faith.

While I am rejoicing, I am keenly aware of many near and dear to me who have not received a manifestation of healing. I feel humbled that I have been granted a reprieve of sorts while others are deeply in the battle. Praying that God would do for each of us what he has done for me. I pray to be mantled to be a minister of healing. That I could share both my testimony and my faith - and that would create an environment for knowing Jesus as Jehovah Rapha - the God that heals me!

How can I thank each of you for your continued faith and support over the past few months and even in the days ahead? I am also keenly aware of the tremendous prayer support that has been mine. You are a blessing. A mighty army. Amazing friends. Gifted encouragers. Strength bearers. Powerful Intercessors. I am grateful for every prayer, card, meal, and thought that you have sent my way. I have been humbled by the process of learning to receive and in my weakness made grateful for your gifts of love. Thank you so much!

I (Jan) will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my (Jan's) lips.
My (Jan's) soul will boast in the Lord;
let the afflicted (that's me - and some of you) hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me (Jan);
let us (you and me) exalt his name together.
Ps. 34:1-3

I am deeply blessed!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reports in the morning!

About to call it a night, but decided to share some inner feelings. Mark and I are reporting together at 8:30 in the morning to the McKinney office to receive the results of my PET scan together - and hopefully to hear and agree to any corresponding changes in my treatment plan.

I have felt so confident all day. I know it's going to be good. How good? I'm not so confident. Feeling a little apprehensive tonight. Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on one exam. Reminded to believe the report of the Lord first - and checking all other reports against His. If led, pray that I remain steadfast - regardless.

Some very precious friends got bad health news this week and I am reminded again how cruel sickness and disease can be. Praying for an encouraging word, a divine intervention, even miracles again.

Some of you need miracles too! As I pray, I'm asking that He would place a pray in your heavenly prayer bowls and that soon - even right now - they would tip and release healing virtue on you and yours.

Monday, October 26, 2009

California Dreamin' Part 2 and more!

Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement today. This morning I finally had the PET scan that we’ve been waiting for. This is a full body scan that will reveal the status of cancer in my body. I’m praying that there is no evidence of disease! On Wednesday I will meet with my doctor and get the results! I can hardly wait. I know they will be good, but the question is how good. I am honored that so many believe with me for divine healing and health. How could it help but be good news? I am scheduled for round 7 of chemo this Wednesday. I’m getting so close now I can taste it!

I want to give you an update on the rest of our trip to LA. I told you that we were greeted at the hotel with an amazing basket full of goodies!

Here's a picture of Ashley and I with the ocean in the background! The views were amazing.

The only bad thing about the whole weekend was that we never did see a star! Ashley was a little disappointed – but not too much. We had fun looking for one anyway. I had imagined that we would at least see some paparazzi or some limos or maybe some really expensive cars. But frankly, the people of the city look just like me and you! Other than a late night trip to Hollywood Boulevard and a brief time in the car rental line (those guys don’t even live in California) I didn’t see a whole lot of “unusual” characters. I think their reputation is unjustified!

This is the shopping area called the promenade where we spent a lot of time at H&M!

Don't want to bore you but couldn't resist putting in one picture from the farmer's market. The produce was huge and beautifully displayed. I've got more snaps if you like food!

We did make our way to the GodChicks event and really had an awesome evening. They went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. I met an amazing woman named Karen Barringer who is a missionary and pastor in Lima, Peru. She’s about a year into a battle with breast cancer. Her hair has just begun to grow back (she was absolutely beautiful) and she was asked to share some insight into her journey.

Karen Barringer and me at the Pink After Party!

The main thing I took away from her is the power of just believing God for His best. There’s a certain peace that comes on you when you realize that regardless of outcomes – He’s still consistent, faithful, steadfast. Sometimes I wonder when “it’s” really going to hit me. Day after day I know the circumstance, the potential outcomes and the long term risks! Yet, I just keep believing for healing, for restoration, for long life, for hope. That has to be the presence of God living in us! There is a resiliency that comes from the trusting in God.

During the evening, Holly taught on what God’s Word says about healing. She then shared the scriptural way to pray for healing (lay hands, anoint with oil, ask with faith.) They opened their altars and a team of about 25 ladies prayed for about 300 of the 550 or so present for any kind of physical healing. They did it in about 15 minutes. That’s somewhere around 10 ladies each! I was so impressed with the authority, order and confidence with which they ministered. Of course I went forward for prayer!

This picture of Ashley was taken in the auditorium of Oasis Christian Center.

After that Ashley and I made our way down Wilshire Boulevard to Rodeo Drive. We drove around looking at all the expensive shops and then headed back to the hotel. It wasn’t as impressive as I imagined, but it was clean and beautiful and very nice. In the end, it was two city blocks of stores! We tried to drive through in and out burger but the drive through line had about 25 cars in it – at 10:30 at night. We decided we were more tired than hungry and gave up! Maybe next time.

On Sunday morning we worshiped with our home church via the internet, (heard Reinhard Bonnke – wow!) drove to the airport and came home. I had fully anticipated being exhausted when I arrived on Sunday evening, but the truth is I came home feeling so much better than when I went. I was refreshed!

On Monday morning I reported to the doctor’s office – fearful that I’d be in big trouble with my doctor for going out of town when he asked me not to. He gave me a “look”, asked how I felt and said we’ll see what the numbers say! My counts were excellent! He smiled and was happy for me and not even offended. I’m telling you – I really like this man. So gracious!

My counts have remained excellent all week! I felt better last week than I have felt in months. I told several friends that I realized on Monday or Tuesday that I felt like myself. I just had extra energy, my mind was clear, my attitude was positive. I just didn’t feel sick! I even asked the Lord if maybe we’d broken the back of this disease. In the end I decided to enjoy it as long as it lasts. I’m learning to be grateful day by day – even hour by hour!

Thanks for stopping by again! You are faithful friends.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

California Dreamin'

Sitting in the lobby of the historic Culver Hotel in Culver City, California. Just drove by Sony Studios, Culver Studios and Kirk Douglas Theatre. Ashley and I are travelling together and experiencing a girl's weekend in the City of Angels. We arrived yesterday to 80+ temperatures and clear skies. The people here say it's hot, but feels like resort weather to me.

In typical Jan and Ashley style, we've seen and done a number of destinations in the past twenty four hours. Last night we drove down to Hollywood Boulevard and saw the walk of fame, Kodak Theatre and a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. (Well, sort of - we saw it from the sidewalk!) We ate dinner at Mel's Drive In and then shopped - shocking - at Sephora's. I guess a great store is great everywhere.

We had a wonderful night's rest (I slept completely through the night for the first time in over a week) and then off this morning to Santa Monica. We experienced the local farmer's market - which was amazing - and then shopped at H&M at the promenade. This part of the area is so beautiful and I see why people would like living here. We then drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu and had lunch at Paradise Cove. Huge amounts of seafood, great views and sand between our toes. We really feel like we are on vacation now. We've returned to the hotel for a rest before heading out this evening for the real purpose of our trip.

We're going to be joining the women of Oasis Christian Center, more commonly known as the GodChicks, at a event called a Pink Night. A couple of weeks ago this event was brought to my attention and something inside me just felt an urge to be here. Maybe it's the fact that they are celebrating breast cancer survivors, or maybe it's the fact that they are praying for those of us currently in the fight, or maybe it's the fact that they are calling their evening a Pink night (certainly talking my language), or maybe it's that I'm hoping that God will show up to meet with me. Regardless, I'm excited in my spirit to worship among them and looking forward to all their plans. They evening sounds awesome with a promise of worship, messages of hope and a pink after party to boot. I'm sure we are the perfect guests for this event.

Tomorrow we'll return home and resume our normal life style - doctor visits and all. I left town with my counts low and my doctor expressing concern about travel. He won't be thrilled when he learns I decided to risk it. Please pray with me that my body would be strong and that no infection could overtake. I believe I'm here by divine unction and I'm asking for divine protection. I feel wonderful today!

Acts 3:16
By faith in the name of Jesus, this (wo)man whom you see and know (that's me!) was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him (her), as you can all see.

Oh that by faith, we would all be made strong, completely healed.

Love to you,

PS - The trip won't be complete if Ashley doesn't get to see at least one celebrity! She's cracking me up! Everywhere we drive she can point out the various locations from all different kinds of television shows! Surely - someone we can call a celebrity will cross our paths! It's kind of hard to identify a famous person when you are driving, driving, driving everywhere! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A change in schedule.

Late this afternoon I got a call from my doctor's office. I had an appointment in the morning for my next PET scan. I've had it for almost a month. Well, apparently, they finally called the insurance company today to verify that they would pay for it -only to find out they won't pay until after four months since the previous scan. So at 4:00 this afternoon my appointment was rescheduled for October 26th. So no scan this week, but still scheduled for chemo on Thursday. No big deal - I'm confident it's going to be a good report and one more round of chemo before the big day only makes it more likely!

I really appreciate all the positive feedback about my recent post on making that appointment and keeping it. I know it was a "in your face" read! So many of you have shared that it moved you off your seat and into the action. I'm proud of you and I'm blessed by you! So grateful that we don't all have to learn by our own mistakes - like me!

In a couple of days I get an opportunity to speak to the single mom's of Gateway Church at their monthly gathering called Renew. I'm so excited and honored. I'm working on some remarks related to a topic that's been on my mind for months. Hoping it will relate and bring some encouragement to all of us.

I wanted to give you an update on some recent prayer requests.

In regards to mom in law, Molly - please keep praying. I love this woman! No matter how bad she feels or how much the struggle is costing her, she always thinking of others. She's praying for us on a daily basis and walking in faith. She's been very ill again. Please pray with us for her healing, her symptoms to be bound, for hope to reside in her heart and for the Holy Spirit to comfort her.

Ashley seems to be doing well at school...got through that awful week of exams and lots of work. She's a little bummed this week because she's working a 40 hour week while her classmates are on fall break. Hard now - but lucrative later! We received a decline for financial assistance based on our circumstances. I'm waiting to see the final bill and just trusting we'll be able to work things out in the end. If I worry about finances, it really stresses her out! So I'm trying not to fret! Praying rather than worrying!

Here's some fun news! The last time I wrote about Mark I asked you to pray for his job situation. Well, guess what? Within 2 days of that post, some type of storm damage happened somewhere in the area and suddenly he had new claims again! He's still working! Thank you friends. Thank you Lord. I'm just saying...it's a miracle again.

As I head into round 6 of chemo, please pray for me. I have really struggled over the past two weeks with simply not regaining my strength. I have been so tired, my legs are wobbily, the bottom of my feet blistered and I've been having to really evaluate how much I can do. Today was the first day I've felt like myself in this whole three week process. Now I begin again on Thursday and I'm hoping it won't be like this again. The good news is that I have not developed another urinary tract infection and my counts have remained great. I think this stuff just makes you tired, and I suspect "tired" gets harder to shake as you proceed. Only 9 more weeks of this particular regimine! I can do it, right?

Thought you might enjoy seeing a photo of John and his date, Amanda. They were going to the Flower Mound High Homecoming Dance. They looked cute together!

Now this is a really funny picture! This is Amanda's mom, Dawn, and me holding the all important mums - one for Amanda and one for John. I'm laughing because we forgot to take the photos at home and ended up holding them in the parking lot. I was thinking Mark would take a close up of them - but instead we ended up posing! What is even more funny is I'm wearing what I call my "hippy hair." Not too many people have seem my second wig - and I don't think you would recognize me in this photo unless I told you it was me. Yes, that's me - on the right!

Sending a big hug, a giant smile and a great big thanks to you for being my friend!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Coffee Chat - A Pink Night - October 29th

Hi friends,

I've been working on this "Coffee Chat" over the past few weeks and I'm getting so excited about it. The entire team would love for you and your friends to join us for a really fun fall evening. Here's the promo from the Gateway site - complete with instructions on how to register! Event is free but seating is limited.

Gather your family, friends and co-workers and join Pink (Gateway Women) for some nonstop coffee chat time. The Auditorium will be transformed into a Pink Coffeehouse, complete with fresh brewed java, iced-cold Frappuccinos, biscotti and much more!

Pastor Arnita Taylor will share some of her favorite tips on how to invest yourself in the lives of others. By special request, the evening will include an extended “unplugged” worship set featuring our own Gateway worship team. When you walk into the coffeehouse, you’ll enter a gathering place for the local Pink community. Grab a cup of coffee, and see who shows up!

This event is free; however, registration is required and seating is limited. Children’s ministry is available by reservation only on a first-to-register basis.

Register Now For the Event and Children’s Ministry at pink.gatewaypeople.com.

For more information, contact Katy Byrne at 817.552.3758 or email pink@gatewaypeople.com.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Notes from an old journal

Today I was searching for something in my office and I came across an old journal entry from the Summer of 2008. It spoke to me again. I decided to share...

You are enough for me. I trust. I stand on the precipe of change. Voices everywhere whisper words of threat. Every step seems loaded with trepidation. I'm looking, listening for you. I find it hard to come to the edge of the precipe and stand still. I hear you say free fall. I lean into the wind and just fall. If you slay me, still I will praise you. I'm falling. Changing places. Moving into postion. Trusting. Afraid, but trusting. Persecuted, but not held back. As I fall, I begin to smile. What was fearful is now restful. I wait. You will do what you will do. Mercy on whom you will have mercy. All things together for my good? Okay. Since you say so. Nothing is impossible for you. Even disappointment will work for my good. I bow down in the moment of pressure and molding. I trust you.

He is faithful and we can trust him! Hope you will lean into the wind with me and just free fall. What was fearful is now restful!