December 29, 2008

The Sunday before Christmas, our pastor mentioned a lot about how God's plan involves children. One part in particular stood out to me. He said, I'm sure it didn't happen quite like this in Heaven, but can you imagine the world in such need of redemption and God gathers all of the angels around. He says "Okay, here's the plan. We're gonna send in a child. His name will be Jesus."

God became flesh on that day, and His effect on the world would be more paramount than any other event in history. At the end of our church service, little children came out into where we sat, dressed in camoflauge like little warriors. They took adults by the hand and led them under a curtain up at the front of the sanctuary. The idea was to come before our Father the same way a child would, able to dance without any inhibitions.

This idea has played out in my mind over the last week, as I went for scans and treatment last Monday, and then going through Christmas. My niece, Olivia, is five years old now. She prays for me to get better every night. Awhile ago, I was told that she asked "Does Jesus really hear me? Why isn't Amy better?" All of my other nieces and nephews pray for me as well. My sister in law, Gwen, was remarried in June to a really nice man who's wife passed away from cancer also. I gained two more nephews who have had such a sad similar event happen to one of their parents as Jeff's kids. God brought a friend into my life, who is now one of my best friends and only a few years older than me. She has been battling cancer for almost three years now, and she has three very young children. Someone else very close to me has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and she also has three young kids. I have been praying for a man who found out a month ago that he has advanced melanoma. More and more I am finding myself familiar with young people who are fighting cancer. The children in our lives are our future prayer warriors. I shouldn't even say future, because they are warriors right now. I believe God turns a special ear to their requests. This cancer battle that Satan was waged is affecting kids too. Their lives will be forever impacted by these experiences. My prayers lately have been for all of these children, these warriors small in stature, but mighty in faith. That Satan would be defeated and God would build a strong group of healers and prayer warriors.

As I said, I went for scans last week. On my trip three weeks ago, the hospital was so busy. As I sat in the waiting room, I looked around and thought, "You know, there is a reason why we are called patients (patience.. get it?)". But this week, everything seemed to be expedited. My mom and I tried a slightly different route through Illinois so that we would bypass going directly through Chicago. We were afraid of hitting holiday traffic. This route took a bit longer, so I arrived almost a half hour late for my appointments. I had a bone scan and also a CT scan. The following day, Tuesday, I saw my doctor's assistant first thing in the morning. She let me know that they are still watching the same areas of bone, and also a spot of "increased activity" on my left hip. She never specified what it was for sure, but did say that it is so small no measurements were taken and it was not too concerning as my CEA levels are down to a 22 now. She said all in all, the treatments seem to be effective. I was started back on a bone strengthening IV medication as well as calcium supplements. I have been going to physical therapy three times a week to regain full motion following my surgery from September. I have recently been using weights and things, which has caused me to be a bit sore. I am not sure if this could contribute to what they saw on the scans or not. My mom and I started home right away on Tuesday evening, and had to stop near Toledo for the night due to the weather. We made it home safely on Christmas eve morning. The IV chemo that I received on Tuesday magnified the effects from the oral chemo that I had finished just a few days prior, and on Christmas day, I woke up with a lot of pain in my hands and feet. The day after Christmas, I was prescribed an oral steroid to reduce that inflammation. I was told to delay my next round of oral chemo for another week, which will push my return visit to CTCA until around January 19th. They are working on getting a new medication approved by my insurance company that should reduce this side effect in the future.

I know that my journey has been long so far, and believe me, I am tired. Thank you so much for continuing to pray for me and for the day when I hear that I am done with all of this crazy chemotherapy! Please be in prayer for all of those fighting this disease, and the little warriors affected by this battle as well. Pray that their faith would be multiplied.

And, of course, I could not forget to include a picture of the newest addition to our house, Brody. He's an 8 week old golden retriever, and he is fitting in nicely!

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year. Here's to healing and a break through from cancer in 2009!

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