Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water…

(BEWARE: Tedious health update ahead)

There’s no pretty way to write this post, so I’m just going to lay out the facts of where we are now with everything with me… prepare to be bored, or just skip this post if you like. But if you skip it, please still pray for us. There’s lots coming up for us. Lots I wasn’t expecting, and I am discouraged.

My mind and heart race back to the question I have struggled with throughout this whole, painful process. Do I truly believe that God is sovereign even when life is hard? Or do I just take the good in my life and curse Him for the bad? There is no other answer than to say, like Lynn Eib in her book, “When God And Cancer Meet”:

Let God simply be God. Let Him be the unfalteringly faithful God, willing to strengthen us for any and every circumstance. Let him be the incredibly sovereign God, wise enough to know how and when to answer any and every prayer. Let Him be the mighty awesome God that He is, powerful enough to heal us at any and every level–powerful enough to heal… body, mind and spirit.

He is God and I am not.

–Monday brought another appointment with my oncologist, and I am still struggling with iron-deficiency anemia, so she decided to give me an iron infusion… right then and there. They hooked me up to my port (Bri loves to talk about my Matrix plug-in), and infused iron straight into my bloodstream. I had a lovely little nap in the chair, then headed home and suffered one of the worst headaches I’ve had in months. This left me pretty weak and fatigued for Tuesday. But now I’m up and around like normal. Or like whatever normal is for me now. Hopefully, this will help me turn the corner on fatigue, too.

–However. Don’t you just LOVE howevers? The doc is concerned that there is blood loss somewhere because of the anemia, so I get to go see a gastroenterologist in a few weeks so he can check out my stomach and colon to be sure everything is okay there. Joys.

–My next heart scan is in a week and a half, and already I am having nightmares about the search for veins that will accompany it. Last night I woke up shaking so badly I thought I was having convulsions. So, let’s just add panic attacks to the list.

–Once that heart scan comes back, the doc and I will decide whether to continue my treatment or not. She is not against discontinuing treatment from this point on, because there is no medical data to determine whether 10 months of Herceptin is any worse than 12 months. If my heart hasn’t regulated, then I will definitely be done with the Herceptin treatment.

–Now… let’s step back in time 10 years. When I had thyroid cancer. I had my thyroid completely removed and went to UVA to the 4th top endocrinologist in the nation (he has since retired). They did some follow-up and then began maintenance of my thyroid levels, etc. They determined that no other treatment was necessary because they couldn’t see any remaining thyroid; it had been completely removed. So I had one follow-up scan, no further treatment, and went on my merry way. However, what they failed to tell me was that the cancer was in two of my lymph nodes. As my mother-in-law so eloquently put it, “WHAT CRACK THE SIZE OF THE GRAND CANYON DID THAT FALL THROUGH?!”

Okay, I think I’m done ranting about that now.

–I am seeing an endocrinologist at another hospital now. First visit with her was a month ago. And my levels are all off. My meds got messed up at the cancer center. Add to that she found evidence of remaining thyroid tissue, so I am now facing an ultrasound of my neck along with a scan (that requires THREE, let me repeat that, THREE injections that can’t be done through my port. Translate… they’ll have to search for veins.) Once the scan is done I may also have to undergo radioactive iodine treatment. I am still processing all this, so feel free to send me questions, but I may not have answers.

–All my doctors tell me they aren’t concerned. But I am. “Don’t be concerned,” were the words I heard one week before I received the worst news of my life.

The battle is not done. Please pray for my heart. That I would choose to look at God instead of my circumstances. That while fear (and pain) is very real, it would not overcome. That I would truly believe that God is unfalteringly faithful, incredibly sovereign, and the mighty awesome God that He is.

20 responses to “Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water…”

  1. First…I am praying the last paragraph for you, as you asked.
    Second…which of those following your blog would choose to skip this one?! Those who know you, love you, and are interested in all aspects of your life. Those who don’t know you, and read your blog, I will venture to say, also love you and pray for you and are interested in all aspects of your life.
    Third…I’m with your mother-in-law. While doctors are human and not the gods that people (I) sometimes expect them to be, how do they NOT TELL you about the 2 little (BIG) lymph nodes?!?!?!?!?!
    Fourth…Okay…I’m done…
    I love you, my friend,
    maretta

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  2. Dear friend,

    Praying that the PERFECT love of our Savior will cast out your very real fears as you walk through more valleys. He promises to keep us in perfect peace if we keep our mind on Him. Praying this peace for you today and always.

    Moni Kaye

    Like

  3. Please, please, please read the following.

    An apple a day keeps the doctor away…but orange juice cures cancer…

    At least that’s what researchers at the National Institutes of Health are reporting. To be fair, the treatment requires way more than a few glasses of orange juice. In actuality, it requires massive doses of intravenous vitamin C.

    Just how promising is the treatment? Well, Dr. Scott Greenberg of the Magaziner Center for Wellness in Cherry Hill, NJ has treated several patients successfully.

    For example, one of Greenberg’s patients was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to his brain, and yet another had breast cancer that could be seen protruding from her chest. Both were told their situations were grim. However, after several months both patients responded well to the vitamin C treatment, and today both are doing well and appear to be cancer free.

    In fact, the breast cancer patient is past the critical five-year mark—typically considered a full remission.

    While some researchers believe the treatment works by killing the cancer cells outright, others believe it is vitamin C’s powerful antioxidant protection at work.

    Both theories are right, to a degree. You see, just like chemotherapy, vitamin C produces hydrogen peroxide in the body—the same stuff you’ve been using to kill germs on cuts and abrasions all your life.

    Hydrogen peroxide has a powerful oxidizing effect inside the body. And while oxidation (often referred to as free radical damage) is largely considered a bad thing, the flood of oxygen that results from the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide within the body actually destroys cancer cells—leaving healthy cells unharmed while super-charging the immune system.

    However, unlike chemotherapy, side-effects are essentially non-existent. And, although the vitamin C treatment is not currently covered by insurance, the price of each treatment is only $125. Compare that to chemo and radiation therapies which can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Dr. Greenberg says that the therapy can be used in conjunction with more traditional therapies. But, just as is the case with chemo and radiation, the treatment doesn’t work for everyone. But it’s certainly worth the effort for patients battling with cancer.

    Until next time,

    Allan Spreen, M.D.
    NorthStar Nutritionals

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  4. May God hold you tightly in His arms, for when we are weak and feel we cannot go on, Oh, praise Him, for HE IS STRONG! Our prayers are with you and your family. I can only begin to imagine how hard this is with your little ones! Being a wife and mother is tiring and exhausting (although so worth it!) under normal circumstances! I pray God will give you strength minute by minute as you face these new uncertainties and still try to care for your family! Love Because of Him, Rochelle

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  5. My precious sister,

    We cannot be discouraged, for the love of God has been poured in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Love that will bear us up under anything and everything that comes our way. It believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love that covers a multitude of sins. May we be able with all the saints to comprehend the height, depth, width, and length of His love and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge that we may be flooded with God Himself.

    Your servants have come to cause you to depend on His grace and this grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in your weakness and the most beautiful response you can have is to cast all your cares on Him. This glorifies Him as you are announcing your absolute inadequacy to do anything of yourself. He wants all of your cares for the Son has set you free. Let the roots of your being go down deep into Him, draw from the living water.

    Let’s walk in Him, our new life lived to God.

    In His love we are knitted together,
    Judie

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  6. My dearest Angie.
    I’m praying for you right now…I’m praying that you will continually look to God for comfort and strength; I pray for your heart that you may see God’s goodness and love through all this. I know how it feels to have a questioning heart. Although my health problems as a child and even now doesn’t nearly compare to what you are going through, I find myself constantly questioning God and even more now as I get ready to face another surgery next week. When we question God and struggle with our hearts, it is then when we need to run TO HIM not AWAY from Him—a lesson I’m even learning daily. God’s faithful is great and will continue to be great to you and your family!

    I love you dear sister!

    Love,
    Becky

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  7. Angie,

    May you feel God’s arms holding you oh so tightly right now. Know that I am praying for you and eventhough I don’t know you very well, I am always thinking of you and praying for you. I’d like to share a few quotes with you that have really spoken to me this week. I pray they would encourage you as well.

    Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    You will revive me;
    You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    And Your right hand will save me.
    The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
    Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
    Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
    Psalm 138:7-8

    “Trust Me, My child,” He says. “Trust Me with a fuller abandon than you ever have before. Trust Me, as minute succeeds minute, every day of your life, for as long as you live. And if you become conscious of anything hindering our relationship, do not hurt Me by turning away from Me. Draw all the closer to Me, come, run to Me. Allow Me to hide you, to protect you, even from yourself. Tell Me your deepest cares, your every trouble. Trust Me to keep My hand upon you. I will never leave you. I will shape you, mold you, and perfect you. Do not fear, O child of My love, do not fear. I love you.” -Amy Carmichael (paraphrase)

    “We have a God who delights in impossibilities
    and who asks, ‘Is anything too hard for Me?’”
    Andrew Murray

    “When we deliberately choose to obey God, He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist us with all His almighty power” -Chambers

    Angie, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

    Love in Christ,

    Rhonda

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  8. Oh Angie, I didn’t know about the thyroid issues…my breath was taken away as I read that this is rearing it’s ugly head again. Unbelievable. We can, however, BELIEVE God to be faithful to you. He’s just not through showing Himself to you yet! I’ll pray that your vision of Him is clear and sweet during the next few weeks. And we’re going to pray the heck out of your thyroid tissue while we’re at it!!!! 🙂

    Love you sister,
    Kristin

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  9. Melissa Bruining Teeter Avatar
    Melissa Bruining Teeter

    My sweet Miss America,

    Girl, how many mountains do you have to climb??!!

    Still we praise Him for what He’s done, still we know it’s all about Him. I’m so glad we have a God who cares for us!!!

    Hugs to you, love to you. Miss you!!

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  10. Angie-I’m so sorry for something else to concern yourself with! A verse I’ve probably shared before; I love it for so many different trials & situations in life: Phil. 4: 19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
    My Mom comes to mind in this one (maybe she has a plaque in her house that reads:) “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you!”
    I know you know all these things & they are just meant to encourage you, but like others said I will pray that “God’s peace” will be yours today, tonight & to the end!! He can do that; we pray that He will!

    Love, Your Sister in Christ,
    Chanley

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  11. Dearest Angie,

    I am burdened with your burdens, and praying with you, trusting that even when we don’t know what we should pray for as we ought, “the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)

    The plaque with the quote that Chanley mentioned to you was actually given to me 22yrs. ago by a friend, between a biopsy and surgery for my mastectomy. I’ve shared it with so many, including you, when you first learned of your diagnosis. I’ve recently found the whole poem from which it was taken and will try to send it soon. It’s very meaningful

    So was another quotation, which I had forgotten where I’d heard, but recently was made aware, which has been the basis for a beautifully meaningful song. I have been planning to share it for one of your Wednesday songs. The quote was by Charles H. Spurgeon, which is:

    “God is too wise to be mistaken, and too good to be unkind.
    When we cannot trace His hand, we can always trust His heart.”

    The song expands this statement to “when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart..”

    The verses convey excellent Biblical truth, with one analogy (that I’ve always especially liked) being used. It’s that of His weaving us like a tapestry to be like Him ( the dark threads–our trials–being used along with the bright ones to complete the beautiful finished product He intends). To hear the entire song, go to “youtube-Trust His Heart” and click on, “youtube-Trust His Heart (with lyrics). It’s by Gerson Clark. You may already be famaliar with the song, but if not, I’m sure you’ll appreciate it!

    My love to you, your dear family, and parents,

    Carol

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  12. I wish I could say something as beautiful as the others above me have said. I’m not quite so eloquent…I wish I could say something so profound that it would wipe your fears, anger, grief all away. I don’t know what to say to offer comfort. No, I can’t do any of that, but I will pray for you, as you have asked. And I will be thinking of you Angie!

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  13. tears.

    and prayers!

    ~Scott

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  14. Angie,
    I know it’s been a long time, (you may not even remember me)…but I wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you. I had no idea of all that you’ve been through til I stumbled upon this blog a few weeks back (through someone else’s blog). My heart just breaks for you and Brian. I’m so sorry.

    Your children are just precious – I’ve enjoyed sneaking peeks at them for the last couple of weeks.

    Please know that I’ll be praying for you until . . ., well until your health is restored. He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion (Phil. 1:6)
    much love and affection (and a hug or two),
    Elyse Wade

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  15. YOU ARE LOVED ANGIE. I miss you so much. I miss joking with you and sharing my heart w/ u. Today at the hospital, a older woman and her husband approached the nurses station. The woman had her arm in his arm and you could tell that she had been crying. She was being admitted into the hospital (the diagnosis I don’t know). The wife continued to hold onto her strong man’s arm and then the nurse said that her bed was ready. “Right this way Miss Davis,” the nurse said. I melted inside.

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  16. Angie,
    Your faith and trust in God is truly a reflection of Christ. I am reminded of him accepting Gods will before the crucifixion. As you seek Him during this time, know that you are also being lifted up. May he fill you with his everlasting love and grant you peace and His strength.

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  17. Dearest Angie,
    OK…this is hard. All those who love you and read your blog are standing with you before the One in all of creation who can do something about every single cancer cell, every fear, and every new situation that threatens to blindside you.
    I’m including here the words of a song we just started singing at church, a new expression of Ps. 62, one of my favorites. It’s by Aaron Keyes and Stuart Townend.

    My soul finds rest in God alone, my Rock and my salvation,
    A fortress strong against my foes, and I will not be shaken.
    Though lips may bless and hearts may curse, and lies like arrows pierce me,
    I’ll fix my heart on righteousness, I’ll look to Him who hears me.
    Chorus: O praise Him, hallelujah, my Delight and my Reward;
    Everlasting, never failing, my Redeemer, my God.

    Find rest, my soul, in God alone amid the world’s temptations;
    When evil seeks to take a hold, I’ll cling to my salvation.
    Though riches come and riches go, don’t set your heart upon them
    The fields of hope in which I sow are harvested in heaven.
    Chorus:

    I’ll set my gaze on God alone, and trust in Him completely’
    With every day pour out my soul, and He will prove His mercy.
    Though life is but a fleeting breath, a sigh too brief to measure,
    My King has crushed the curse of death and I am His forever.
    Chorus:
    (I think you can find Aaron singing this on You Tube.)

    Angie, may you experience God proving His mercy in this trial. I love you and thank God upon every remembrance of you!

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  18. Melt Down
    LORD, the situation is overwhelming.
    It is hard to turn my eyes, my thoughts, my heart anywhere else.
    I am melting down–letting Satan rob me of Your presence,
    Allowing the cares of the world, sickness, frustration, serious, legitimate problems to choke out your truth and eternity.
    So many times in your Word, you speak, “Fear not”–
    To fishermen, to shepherds, to weary, troubled souls just like mine.
    Melt down–LORD–may I be awed by Your presence,
    Your protetion, Your lovek, Your holiness, Your glory.
    For I am safe, totally secure, melted down in your everlasting arms,
    Where there is strength in my weakness, rest for my weariness,
    Comfort for my soul, blessed hope for all eternity.

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  19. Angie,
    I’m so sorry you are facing more tests and uncertainty. I’m praying for peace in your heart as you overcome this hurdle.

    Like

  20. (((((Angie)))))

    I just don’t have any words. You are in my prayers, dear one.

    Like

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