31 January 2008

Thank you for praying!

No sign of cancer!
I woke up this morning at 4:15 a.m. to begin my journey. I had a great quiet flight with an amazing view of the sunrise! Believe it or not, last night I somehow remembered to check-in for my flight online and when I checked out my seat assignment for some reason I felt like I should switch to the other side of the plane. The only seats open were by the window even though I usually like to sit on the aisle. All that to say, if I had not been sitting in the window seat on the right side of the plane I would have missed the most beautiful picture that God was painting for me. I first started paying attention because in some of the clouds I could see the lightning that was flashing underneath them. The clouds would luminate every few minutes. And meanwhile, the sun's light was just starting to peak up over the cloud horizon just to the left of the stormy ones. Oh my goodness! I was so amazed and even though I've been on tons of flights in my life, I shamelessly pulled out my camera and started taking pictures. When the sun finally came up over the edge it was too bright to look at for more than a second. I could feel the heat even through the couple panes of glass. Oh, can I even tell you what a gift that was to see. What a difference it makes to see things from a different perspective. Down below it must have been stormy and rainy, but up above it was the most glorious thing. God was sweet to remind me that even things like cancer are all woven into purpose for his glory when seen from an eternal perspective. I'm telling you, it was so so cool! It was like Psalm 19:1-6 was playing out in front of my own two bleary eyes... "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heart. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; it rejoices as a strong man to run his course. Its rising is from one end of the heavens, adn its circuit to the other end of them; and there is nothing hidden from its heat."
Goodness, and I know you'd really rather just hear about how my mom is doing! I drove up to the hospital and was able to hug my daddy and a few of my mom's close friends about 15 minutes after she went into surgery. We actually had a delightful time laughing and sharing stories during the almost 2 hours my mom was in surgery. Finally, whew, deep breath, the doctor walks out to give us the news that the two sentinal nodes were cancer negative!!!!! Yippeeee! And, that the surgery went perfectly well! Exhale. My poor mom spent an hour in recovery while we walked down to the cafe and ate Thai chicken and apple quesadillas with peanut sauce (clearly, we're not in Texas!) Shortly after, my dad and I were able to go see her and give her a kiss. She didn't look too chipper and was in a lot of pain at first, but she was quite the chatty thing. We soon got her dressed and in the van to go home where she told her friends that she had decided beforehand that she would be okay no matter what the news about the cancer. So sweet that she had come to that place of trusting Jesus, but for me, even sweeter that they didn't see any cancer! They will have a full pathology report probably available Monday.

At the moment, my mama is asleep snuggled in her bed and my dad is picking up the prescriptions. I can't tell you how good it is to be here. Thanks for praying. Thanks for caring. And if you actually read all this, thanks for your patience beyond measure. :)

28 January 2008

Good News!

I just talked to my mom! The doctors she and my dad met with today basically agreed with the first opinion which is great news! She will be having the lumpectomy (the less invasive surgery) on Thursday to be followed up by radiation. Thanks for praying!

Big Day for My Mom

Hey, my mom sent out the following e-mail about her big day today. Thanks for praying...

Dear ones,
Thanks SO much for the covering of love and prayers from you. Since some of you are wondering how things are going, here is some info. Tomorrow morning, Mon. Jan 28, I'll have blood work and chest x-ray done for my expected lumpectomy on Thursday. Richard and I will spend all Monday afternoon at Fox Chase Cancer Center for my second opinion for surgery and treatment. We'll see a surgeon, an oncologist, and a radiology oncologist and a social worker. Tuesday afternoon we'll see my surgeon Beth DuPree for my pre opt visit for the lumpectomy Thursday Jan 31. During surgery she will clear out the cavity surrounding where the lump was, and also examine the sentinel lymph node, or others if there is cancer in the first one.
If Fox Chase Cancer Center recommends a mastectomy, (with reconstruction), I would likely comply, though this could mean delaying surgery, possibly a couple of weeks because of surgical schedules. I am taking a number of questions to ask tomorrow, as we'll be with each doctor for about an hour. The necessity of removing any traces of the malignant lump, 8mm by 6mm, that was excised during the biopsy is the first need. Second is for the lymph nodes to be clean of cancer or "pre-cancer". Third, and extremely important, is for us to choose the route with surgery and treatment that will be effective in keeping any cancer from recurring.
God answers your prayers in all kinds of ways to bring smiles, faith, or encouragement to Richard or me. I actually cooked supper last night. Stir fried cabbage and cornbread! And.....God reminds me of His words like: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5 And, Let the weak say, I am strong. Joel 3:10
Love and thanks....

16 January 2008

On a more positive note :)

Hark, here's the long awaited pics from my day in New York a few weeks back! I probably walked about a trillion miles that day, but it was absolutely a glorious time tromping around by me'self just going and doing and seeing whatever made my little heart happy. Just being in the big city made me happy too cuz it reminds me so much of living in the Bul!
The Christmas display windows at all the department stores were amazing as usual!

My favorite pic of the day!

A display window outside of Tiffany's - I saw a ring inside that cost $70,000.

I know it's not much to look at, but this is where I rested my tired little feet after the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was an amazing Turkish restaurant where I had cay, coban salatasi, ekmek, and manti! It was absolutely incredible and even the outside reminded me of Turkey. It's called SipSak and I think it's at 2nd and 49th...just in case you're in the neighborhood and want to stop by. Afiyet Olsun to me! :)

A Christmas tree inside the New York Public Library - who knew that place was so beautiful!

Not my daddy's Home Depot.
My attempt at a random artsy photo.
The humongo Rockefeller Center tree!
I had never been to Central Park before and was amazed at how beautiful and serene it really is right there in the middle of the city. It goes on for miles and even has a zoo right in the middle of it!
What can I say? When you're a lone pilgrim in the Big Apple you have to take these goofy pictures of yourself...I tried to take it when nobody was looking. ;)

10 January 2008


After some final Christmas shopping on December 22 I brought some spaghetti home for us to eat. When my sister and I were finished eating, we had a conversation something like the following...

"So, mom called today."
"She got the results of the biopsy.'
"Ohhhh. And?"
"It was malignant."
(and a few minutes later)
"Don't worry, I'm gonna be the glue."
"You're not very good glue. You're more like silly putty."

And so began the last couple weeks. We've all got new words to use now. Words I don't like and words I don't like to use. Especially out loud. But, if you're going to talk, if you're going to listen, if you're going to be in this, then you have to say them and you have to hear them. The power of them is more than I can bear at moments. Sometimes I want to scream, "I'm not doing this! I can't do this! I can't talk about this!" But, I don't scream. Instead I cry. Sometimes I laugh. I ask people to pray. And now I write. Since the day after December 23 I've had strings of words and phrases running through my head. I just got tired of it all rolling around in my head. Maybe if I finally write them the roll will slow down a bit. My brain won't stop I suppose, but still at least a new blog can start writing itself in my head. Here's the new list of words in my vernacular. Words I could do without...especially without my mom being the subject.

double masectomy
how ARE you
such horrible news
so good that you're here right now
it's been a tough 24 hours
teeny weeny bit of cancer
it's still cancer
smaller than a centimeter
smaller than a pearl
what size pearl
breast cancer
early detection
life saving
matter of life and
I wonder if she realizes my mom and dad had cancer
chest wall
check the lymph nodes
you're not going to die of cancer
how does she know
on edge
second opinion
(even now hearing my sister on the phone)
higher risk
25% higher
more real
you're a strong person

And the list keeps growing. I can actually talk about it without crying now, well at least sometimes that is. I'm trying to wrap my brain around the fact that even though I the word cancer and am so very very afraid of it. There is another word that is bigger. That word is Jesus. And that word makes me want to cry too. But it's all I've got at the moment. But God.