Butterfly Sparks Designs

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Time!

One of the "benefits" of a serious diagnosis (or maybe it’s of any significant life “challenge”) is that it makes you acutely aware of time. You can’t help but spend some of your suddenly precious time thinking through both your past and your future. And questions? Well there are lots of them, but two that will drive you crazy if you let them are….

How much time do I have left?
How much time have I wasted?

I can easily vacillate between these two, battling the extremes of fear and regret – ping ponging like a table tennis ball - all the while failing to get any grip on either my mind or my life. It is so much easier to entertain the “what if’s” rather than the “what now’s” of life.

Suddenly, I see myself on this journey and it’s as if my life is a Monopoly game and someone is trying to move me from start to finish without my permission. I failed to pass go and collect my $200. I didn’t buy enough property or build a real estate empire. I didn’t ride the railroad enough times or contribute often enough to the community fund. I stomp my foot and declare “I want another chance to go around the board again! To do everything!”

It seems to me that I can choose to focus on all that’s been lost and all that might never be or I can choose to live and live well! It’s time to put my focus on the now of life. I need to ask myself “what NOW?”

I’ve got some dreams that I have been carrying around. Dreams that haven’t yet come to pass! Dreams that cancer is trying to steal from me! Dreams about love and relationships and hope and transformation and blessing and purpose and power!

I’ve been carrying them, but I haven’t been focused enough on doing the things required to bring them to pass. I’ve often been attending to the urgent, rather than the critical. I’ve made the classic mistake of waiting for “something” to happen, rather than intentionally working toward a goal.

Intensive Focus/Time Invested = Momentum.

I need some momentum in my life to help me redeem the time. I’m turning “forty something” in a few short days and suddenly looking down the road toward 50 seems pretty good to me! It’s TIME!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. NIV

There is an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth. MSG

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven. AMP

Ec. 3:1

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Early Detection is the Key

Breast cancer will affect an average of one in eight women at some point in their lifetime. It is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women. Studioes have shown that, when detected early, the chance for successful treatment of breast cancer is nearly 100%.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good friends help get you through!

Thanks for being such encouraging friends. I didn't realize that my prior post was quite so raw. After I posted, the outpouring of support sort of woke me up. Many of you reminded me that when in the boat with Jesus, not much is required of me except simple faith. I am still resting, but believing a gentle breeze has filled my sails and I am making progress again. I needed to be reminded that Jesus is the source of my strength and that He will propel me to the other side as He sees best. More lessons in faith and trust. I am so blessed!

I return in the morning for round #8 of chemo. My doctor says that I do not have to receive any more of the "blood of Jesus" and because of this, this round should be easier. I pray it is so.

I am scheduled for a lumpectomy of December 3rd. If all goes as anticipated, I will only be in the hospital for a few hours, returning home on the same day. In addition, the doctor is telling me that the recovery will be quick and easy. Again - I pray it is so.

More chemo will follow surgery. I don't know what strengths or for how long, just that we will continue for a season. Radiation also to follow.

My doctor is both agressive and conservative. I've moved from battling active tumors to a treatment plan that is focused on preventing recurrence. I sense in the spirit that we are closing doors - one by one - eliminating the potential back doors that cancer so loves to navigate. It totally reminds me of how the enemy works. If he can't get his way in a particular place - he loves to slip around to the back and try another entry point. I am glad that my doctor knows what he is doing in the natural and glad that I can see the spiritual parallel. It gives me strength to cooperate and believe for total restoration.

Today, I was blessed to share the vision of Pink Impact 2010 with about 60 volunteer leaders. I am always amazed by the power of sharing the why behind the what. Today we talked about the reason we do what we do, (including the "foo foo" decor that our men's ministry loves to tease us about) is to prepare an environment for the Holy Spirit to come and be with us. All of our work and planning and effort would be fruitless, without His presence. We are going for deep transformation in ourselves and in the women who attend. We could plan a whole conference and it be really pretty or cool or a good experience, but simply return us to the same place the next day. Praying that all we do is Spirit led and uniquely opens each woman's heart to receive an authenic, personal, life changing encounter with God. What an amazing honor it is to co-labor with the many to position the one for grace! Blessed - blessed - blessed!

Here's a passage that has been blessing me. Psalm 139: 1-6 O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in -- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Thank you Jesus for your continual awareness of our circumstance and great need for you, that you thoroughly know us and have great compassion for your children. Thank you that you have hemmed us in - going both before and behind us! You are a great God and a source of continual comfort and joy! We take refuge in your love. Bless my friends who have so faithfully blessed me. Pour out mercy in great measure on their needs and be to them all that you have promised. Amen.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Just finished round #7 of chemo and due to my own lack of paying attention, I put my body at great risk.

I thought I was through the worst of it! Then last Wednesday my counts were very low. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic and recommended I be careful. (That means get the medicene, wear a mask, don't eat raw food, go home if you can.) I left his office and went straight to work thinking I would pick up the antibiotic on the way home.

I forgot.

When I got home I wasn't feeling well, (big surprise) so I put on my pajamas and climbed into bed.

The next morning my counts were so low that most of them would not register on the computer. To top it off I had begun to run a low grade fever. My doctor was not happy to find out I had not bothered to follow his advice.

He immediately sent me to the chemo room where they quarantined me, hooked me to an iv and began antibiotics. My fever continued to slowly rise during the day and in the midafternoon it reached over 100.

At 3:00 he decided to put me in the hospital until my counts were up. They ordered a bed, I packed a bag and Mark came home to take me. I alerted friends and family and people began to pray.

Mark had been home about 30 minutes when my doctor called back. They spoke togther and for some reason Dr. Kahn agreed to let me stay home and see if I could get through the night. (I think that was because of prayer!) I began to take meds to keep the fever low and made it through the night. The next two days I was watched very closely and had to return for more IV antibiotics. My numbers finally rebounded on Saturday.

It's been a week today and I still have not regained my strength. My legs are weak and my body is tired. I feel like a balloon that's had the air let out of it. All that strength I had gained seems to have evaporated. I am weary in every way - spiritually, emotionally and physically. Several additional things happened over the weekend that are private, but reminded me that I have been pretty much listening to counsel, but only doing the parts I want to do. I am under conviction and trying to figure out how to adjust.

Ever thought about just quitting? I've never thought of myself as a quitter, but right now in this seaosn, I realize that if I could jump ship from illness - I would. The thought of relief from the consequences is a huge temptation. Obviously, I'm not quitting - because I can't! Even if I could, I don't think I would. But I do feel a little "lost at sea." I've begun to wonder if my efforts are really moving me any closer to my destination. I am alone in the boat and drifting.

I need to consult my compass and reset my sails so that I can go on to the other side again. As soon as I have the strength, I'll get up and do that....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Still Happy Dancing!

Hi friends,

Well, it's been a week since the good news and it's been so much to celebrate with many of you. Many people joined me in the "happy dance." I'm still grinning from ear to ear! Coffee Chat was a blast! It was a great opportunity to celebrate with so many sweet friends - and the message was inspiring! I'm committed to finding my voice. Are you?

I've been experiencing the consequences of round #7 this week and with each day I long more and more for the "less difficult" version of chemo that my doctor mentioned. Hoping that in the new year I will be feeling better and really have the energy to focus on building my immunity and strength while cooperating with the treatment plan.

Yesterday, I met with a new surgeon and the meeting had a totally different tone and direction from my last one. We will be scheduling a lumpectomy within the next three weeks. If everything goes as anticipated (that means clean margins and nothing in the lymph nodes) I will have a day procedure and a week or two of rest. Two incisions and no tubes. In addition, there is a possibility that I won't need radiation - but obviously we won't know the exact protocol until the pathology reports are returned.

I feel blessed by the projected outcome and I'm just ready to get it over with. After months of refusing to even think about it - because it stressed me out - now I'm just ready. Let's just get it over with. I'll keep you posted on the exact date and related information.

I am more convinced than ever that the Word of God heals. I've been reading a "new to me" book on healing. I am reminded again that something happens in our bodies when we eat, drink or speak the Word. I am so fortunate that so many people used the Word to help me in the past few months. In the next season, I must step up to the plate and take more responsibility for spending time in God's word in order to sustain my health. Here's my latest verse! Nahum 1:5 - Affliction shall not arise a second time!

I'm getting ready to go the Young Women's Retreat this weekend. I'm so looking forward to the peaceful location, the great women and a chance to just relax. This was one of my favorite activities last year - so I have high expectations. Believing for a fresh wind in my spirit - and in my body would be nice too!

Could I ask for some continued prayer?

1) Health for my whole family - battling flu like symptoms while my counts are so low is very limiting. Luke and Matthew have both missed school and they have a lingering cough. Trying to keep us all seperate and using lots of hand sanitizer!

2) My mom in law - you know.

3) My mom - getting her second cataract surgery in the next 2 weeks.

4) Ashley - dealing with some health issues that will require wisdom on our part.
Here's some good news! Last week I went to DBU and sat down with the financial aid officer. The end result was that they finally worked with us and I am so grateful for the plan we developed. She's re-enrolling - which was really up in the air.

5) Work - some new transitions happening that are really great. I need wisdom, flexibility and creative ideas to maximize each person. I love team development! I love this team!

6) My men - they went deer hunting last weekend and had a blast. They are headed out again this weekend. This is a highlight of their year and a great time with their dad. They are careful and well trained hunters - but still young and three of them at once is a lot for Mark to manage. Safety is the priority!

With love,