Thursday, February 26, 2009

All is Well.

I want to say thank you to everyone for their concern, comments, cards, letters, books and most of all your prayers. People I have never even met personally have let me know they are praying for me. This means so much to me. I know it is by the grace of God and the prayers people are praying for me that has kept me fairly sane, (or at least my “normal”!!!), during this waiting process.
It’s wonderful how the Lord knows exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. Just like a loving Father wrapping his strong arms around and comforting his child and letting them know all is well. I woke up feeling a bit down this morning. I’ve had what seems like a permanent sore throat for weeks and while feeling of my neck and doing some more of my self diagnosing this morning I can now feel what seems like a lump on the side of my neck. For a few minutes, while showering, I allowed myself to get discouraged and even depressed. For awhile I allowed myself to dwell on “woe is me.” Then as I was stepping out of the shower the Lord showed me I had lost my focus. I had turned my eyes away from Him and onto my own imaginings. He hasn’t changed. He is still in control. His grace IS sufficient. Whatever I may face walking this path, He is with me. I may not understand, but I don’t have to understand. I have to trust.
I can’t say enough how thankful I am for the prayers that you are praying for me. I know my journey has just begun and this road may get long and dark. I know I will continue to need the prayers of God’s people more than anything else anyone could do for me. Please pray for God’s grace for me and that even when times get dark I will not lose my focus, but I will continue to seek His light.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just Waiting And Praying

I haven't wrote any updates in awhile because there is really nothing new to tell. Right now we are just waiting and praying. I still have the appointment to go see Dr. Netterville at Vanderbilt on March 2, so until then I probably won't be learning anything new. This will be my first appointment with him and some people have asked if he will schedule the surgery then, I really don't know. Dr. Scarbrough has told me that I will need a PET scan before surgery to make sure the cancer hasn't spread. I don't know how quickly I will be able to have the tests. The waiting is starting to seem a little long, but I know God is in control and if it was His will that I got in sooner I would have. The wait has also been a blessing in a way too, I was able to go to all of Kiah's basketball games, I couldn't have imagined missing even one of them. The Lord is GOOD!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day

When faced with uncertain times in our lives there is nothing that becomes more precious than God, family and friends. I have been blessed to have them all. During this time I have experienced the precious grace of God. I have had so many friends and family show their kindness, compassion and concern in countless ways. And I have had my husband.
A man who puts his all into every thing he does in life. He loves, cares and works with every ounce of his being. He never does anything with any less than 110%. Wendell’s, birthday is December 26. One day after all the months of hustle and bustle of preparing for the Christmas celebration. By the 26th of December I am usually so wore out, that the last thing I want to think about is planning one more event. So normally my husband’s birthday comes and goes with one little present (Wrapped in Christmas paper, sad I know), maybe a cake, and possibly a meal out. So over the years I have tried to designate Valentines Day as his day. I have always been successful in running off all the kids, making sure they have something to occupy their time somewhere other than home, and concentrate on making him feel special. (When Jess joined our household she didn’t quite grasp the concept of how important this day had become to Wendell & I. So there are some funny stories I could tell regarding this…..but no time now!) I have grown to love Valentines Day. It is one day a year that hopefully I convey to my husband how special he is to me. Over the past few weeks he has been here for me in every way. I am so blessed to have him for a husband. He is an amazing man...
Wendell is a people person, I know this is such a surprise to most. HaHa!!! He has a genuine deep seated LOVE for people. He truly cares for others. He never ceases to amaze me. One example….This past fall, during an annual camping trip, he met a man camping with his family, began talking to this man and eventually found out this man had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Wendell showed such compassion and concern for this man, he cooked and took to him practically every meal, and has even been to visit him after we returned home. Anyone who has him as a friend has a TRUE friend.
As a father…. My kids are TRUELLY BLESSED!!! Although he can be stern, (on rare occasions), he is such a push over when it comes to his kids!!!! He is the dad that would sit in the floor for hours, with his kids, when they were too young to even understand the concept of the game, and play Monopoly, because that was the game they wanted to play. I used to sit and watch, amazed at the joy on his face and the patience he showed playing this game with kids way to young, but loving every minute of spending time with them. He’s the dad that, after working all day, would load them up in the car and go back off the mountain, to get ice cream or candy, when they asked. I could not have designed a more loving Father for my kids.
As a husband…..Wendell is the kind of man who has always put me and my needs and desires before his own. He is the romantic every girl dreams of. I could spend hours telling of the little things he has done to make my life special… candles illuminating the sidewalk and porch for me when I returned home…. romantic dinners…. Flowers for no reason “just because”… yellow balloons tied to my car and at various points of view on my drive home….love notes mowed in the field….I could go on and on….
So, Wendell, what I want to say to you is, I Love You. I am truly Blessed to be your wife. And as God has chosen for me to walk down the path that now lies in front of me, I am so thankful that you are beside me. You are my strength, my inspiration, and the greatest love of my life. You know me and love me like no one else ever could. I am so BLESSED to have you as my husband. You are my promise.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

God Is So Good

I received a reply from Dr. Scarbrough in Florida after only a few minutes. Wendell and I are so grateful the Lord led us to him. He has been such a blessing in sheding light and giving us advice on the different aspects of our situation!
Well, the report said the cancer is a "Polymorphous low grade adenocarcinoma". (Which was not even one of the "choices" on the first path report!) Dr. Scarbrough said this is a lot better than the original path diagnosis of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma!!!!!!! He said he now feels more comfortable in my waiting to see Dr. Netterville in Nashville on March 2. This is a slower growing tumor and the quality of surgery I get will be important. If I get a great surgery I may not even have to have radiation!!!!!! God is so Good!!! I am so blessed to get this news today and so thankful. I was blessed yesterday, and the day before, and I knew I was blessed on Jan. 20th as I received the news I had cancer. God has been so good to me! I know God is in control and my desire is for His will to be done. He promised that his grace would be sufficient and it truely has. I have cried many more tears after getting the good news today than I did dealing with the "bad" news.
Thank you again for your prayers and concern. I know my walk down this road is not over but I still hold fast to His promise. His Grace Will Be Sufficient.
Just wanted to give a quick update. I recieved the pathology report back from Vanderbilt today and have forwarded it on to the Dr. in Florida to get his imput. As soon as I find out any more info I will post it here, I know by the number of hits my blog is getting, alot of people are concerned and praying for me. This means so much, and I promise to keep you informed. I am so Blessed!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"There is nothing, no circumstance, no trouble, no testing that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has come past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with great purpose." Alan Redpath

I have not found out anything new since last Friday. I plan to call Dr. Sewall's office tomorrow to see if the path report has ever came back from Nashville. Please, help us pray that God will lead and direct us in His will.

Friday, February 6, 2009

At the close of the business day........

After another day of endless phone calls and e-mails....We have talked to Dr. Sewall, Dr. Sewall's Nurse, the oncologist in FL.'s nurse, Dr. Netterville's nurse at Vanderbilt, and by e-mail to the oncologist in FL.....this is where we're at .......
We had decided to go ahead and have the surgery at Oak Ridge next week. I then composed an e-mail to the Dr. in FL telling him this and asking his opinion. I hit the send button, sat down, and immediately had no peace with this decision. So I immediately began to compose another e-mail to the FL Dr. explaining this. Before I could hit the send button to send this e-mail, I had a reply from him. Although he said having the surgery at Oak Ridge would probably be ok, he knows Dr. Netterville at Vanderbilt. He said he had been thinking about this for several days and thinks at this point if it were him he would wait for the appointment at Vanderbilt. I then called Dr. Sewall back. He has left a messsage for Dr. Netterville (who is out of his office next week), to call him about getting me in sooner.
I know it is a direct result of the prayers going up for me, that God let me know without a doubt I was making the wrong decision. Thanks to all of you, who are praying for me!!!!!! Please continue to pray that the Lord's will will be done in this and that we will know His will for us as we make each decision. There is nothing compared to the peace of God that comes from knowing, no matter what the end results might be, you have made the decision the Lord wills for you. I have peace.

Just wanted to give an update.

We still haven’t heard back from Nashville on the pathology report. But we have been in contact with an oncologist in Florida, who Wendell went to school with. He has been very kind in giving us advice on things we might want to think about doing. So I decided to go ahead and contact a surgeon’s office at Vanderbilt to schedule an appointment. After a long day, yesterday, of phone calls, I was told to have Dr. Sewall’s office send them all my records, but the earliest they could see me was March 2. That, being almost a month away, concerned Wendell and I. We then e-mailed this to the oncologist in Florida to ask if our concerns were valid and he said that was “a really long time to wait”. That would put surgery 5 or 6 weeks out. He told us to have Dr. Sewall’s office send him my records and he asked for our insurance info. So, we Contacted Dr. Sewall’s office today and they are faxing my records to Vanderbilt and also to Florida. As of now we still don’t know much of what our future holds… Vanderbilt? Florida? The only thing I am still sure of is God is in control. And I pray His will be done. I know that may sound strange to some. Some may wonder why I am not on my knees begging God for a complete cure. But in my heart, I know, that may not be His will for me. So I continue to pray for what I feel I need the most right now and that is His Grace to deal with this. I continue to hold dear His promise to me, that His grace will be sufficient.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No News

I just wanted to let everyone know, even though it is Wednesday evening, we have still not heard back on the pathology report that was sent to Vanderbilt. Dr. Sewall's nurse has been very kind in calling and keeping us informed to the fact that they have not gotten it back yet and as soon as they do she will let us know and I will post it here.
Thank-You for your prayers, comments, and concern!!!! It means more than you can know to my family and I!!!!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

There will be grace!!!

I guess all of us, at some point in our lives, have known someone diagnosed with cancer. Has anyone else out there ever wondered how you would ever be able to cope if that someone was you? I have. I always imagined I would just crawl in bed, curl up in a ball, and be lost in deep dark depression. But then it happened!!! It's me!!!! And an amazing thing began to happen. The AMAZING GRACE OF GOD!!!!!! So let me fill you in.....

I came down with a cold, cough, and very sore throat. I don't exactly remember when this began but I think it was sometime in October. Upon examining my throat, to see if I could view the source of my pain, I saw the ugliest lump I had ever saw!!! I thought it was probably strep or mono or something like that.. so... I just went on with my wonderful, hectic life. The sore throat went away fairly quickly but the lump didn't. So after much procrastination, on Dec. 1, I went to see my family doctor who after a quick look, (I wasn't even sure my mouth had time to open when his light flashed by) he walked out saying something about a swab. Well, I left his office that day with a diagnoses of irritation and with a splint on my arm!!!!!! So once again I went back to my wonderful, hectic life. Friends and family who were aware of the lump kept telling me I needed to go to another doctor. So I finally made an appointment with Dr. Sewall, an ear nose and throat specialist, and went to see him on Jan. 20,2009. As we sat in the exam room waiting to see the Doctor I just silently prayed that what ever we found out that day that the Lord would just give me Grace. I know that God is in control, If it is His will that I go through this, then all I ask is for Him to give me the Grace to deal with it. When the Doctor came into the exam room he asked me what I was there for and I told him I have a lump in my mouth. With a little smile on his face, that said ok, another cold sore, I opened my mouth and he took a look. Then with a look on his face that confirmed, what inside my soul, I already knew, He asked if it hurt. Which by the way it does not. Well to make my long story a bit shorter he at first tried to compassionately ease my fears. He told me we would get a CT scan that day and a biopsy and we would get an ideal of what it was. After checking with the world's worst insurance co., which I pay a substantial amount in premiums to each month, It was determined the tests would have to wait 48 hrs. So we scheduled an appointment to return two days later. I can't explain really how I felt that day as Wendell and I drove home. I didn't feel like crawling into bed, curling up in a ball, and going into deep dark depression. God was already answering my prayer. I told Wendell that if this was the Lord's will for me, then I didn't need prayers for a miracle cure, if he prays for me, pray for me to receive his precious Grace to deal with this. I know the Lord has reasons far beyond what we may be able to understand, I may not understand why things happen but I know He is in control and If this is the road He is leading me down He never promised me a miracle cure, but He has promised His Grace will be sufficient. That is what I am standing on now. When we arrived for this next appointment we were informed that Dr. Sewall had a death in his family, and would not be in that day, but we could proceed with the CT scan but the biopsy would have to wait. So we scheduled an appointment for the next Wed. Jan. 28th. to have the biopsy. And His grace continued to be sufficient for me. On the 28th Dr Sewall reviewed the CT scan with us. He said there was definitely something there, a soft tissue mass. He performed the punch biopsy and said he would call me Friday Jan. 30th with the results. Most everyone that know me, know that patience is not one of my virtues!! But God's grace has been more than sufficient. So Friday I waited to hear the words I somehow already knew. It was Adenoid Carcinoma. I knew from my Internet research that this was probably the one that you would least hope for. Dr. Sewall, who is a very kind compassionate man, informed me that he had sent the pathology report to Vanderbilt for review, he should hear back from them by Tues. or Wed. and then we will make our game plan. So I continue to stand in the Grace of my precious Lord.