I read somewhere long ago that every cell in my body is listening to my thoughts. My friend Deb recently shared this quote with me along with a few of her impressions and I’ve been thinking about it’s implications in my life and especially in this cancer battle:
“The expectation of an event causes the same set of complex neurons to fire as though the event was actually taking place, triggering a cascade of events in the nervous system that leads to a whole host of real emotional and physical consequences.” from The Happiness Advantage. This is a psychological study of people who excel and seem happy in stressful, overwhelming circumstances. Basically, fully expecting something to happen produces all the same emotions and physical reactions as if the event actually happens. To repeat: We can fully experience all of the same anxiety and depression about an event JUST by expecting it to happen. I’m wondering how much grief I have caused myself over the years worried/expecting the worst to happen. Even if the worst does happen, I don’t need to experience it all weeks ahead of time. No wonder I’m exhausted”.
I don’t really understand how the mind/body connection works in the healing process but back in 2011 I began a running list of “Cancer Fightin’ Words” that I’ve added to periodically throughout the years. I’m now in Round Two of my battle with Her2 positive (Triple positive to be exact) breast cancer. It picked another fight with me that I plan to win. Now’s the time to evict any remaining cancer cells that have dared to linger and toss them curbside for Waste Management to haul away to the dump! Here’s to making my body a healthy home for me to live a long life in that’s completely unwelcoming to cancer. Here’s to replacing any “Stinkin’ Thinkin'”/dread/fear/worry/dwelling on the “what-ifs” that creep in and exchanging these with an encouraging, positive, full-of-hope and optimism mind set with eyes fixed steady on the Lord!
Tomorrow (11/9/16) starts the first in a weekly series of 12 IV Taxol and every three weeks for a year Herceptin in my arsenol to fight my very personal war against cancer. Truly I am taking measures I wish with all my heart that I did not have to resort to but I do not see a viable alternative. Instead of staying stuck in the “YIKES!” reflex, I am trying to gear myself up to get back into my confident “Cancer fightin’ Warrior Woman” mode, complete with symbolic war paint and all and try to choose “HAPPY” while I am at it. As I prepare myself for the battle ahead, I just looked up my long list of positive affirmations that I wrote over the years in my blog years along with some that folks graciously have shared with me. I’ll be adding to these periodically in the “reply” spot below this thread. I am trying to stay positive and upbeat in the midst of all this tough stuff and frankly, that is not easy . It helps me to steer clear of the slippery slope near the pit of discouragement when I speak truth from God’s Word and look at the positive side of things then act AS If something good is already true even if circumstances or emotions seem to tell me opposite . In other words, I don’t necessarily have to FEEL a certain way, (like courageous) in order to affirm it and then try to walk in it with God’s strength. If you have additional positive affirmations you’d like to include for me (and for others reading here who are also battling cancer or illness or hard things) for us to think about, I’d love to include them in my list in the replies below. Thanks in advance!
– Feelings and circumstances are not in charge of my life. God is. Out with all defeated, negative thinking and in with positive “self talk”. I do not have room in my mind and life for one iota of negativity.
I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. Yes-sir-eee. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. (Amplified Bible )
-–HER2 cells are easy for HIM2 abolish into oblivion: God will do what is best for me.
–I’ve got great Polish longevity genes in my favor!
My constitution is strong with an amazing resiliency for overcoming sickness and recuperating from cancer and the treatments of cancer that I’ve done in the past and am doing in the present to heal.
I am grateful for all the tools that God has used and continues to use to make me strong and well.
I have all the reserves I need to heal from the inside out and without complications.
I have a great big resolve to proactively take excellent care of my body and my body is responding well to my healthy lifestyle by getting stronger every day.
I appreciate my many blessings more than ever. My cup OVERFLOWS with them!
The Herceptin I took every 21 days for a year back in 2011 was like a pin-pointed laser weapon, specifically eliminating Her2 positive cells with precision. It will do the same for me again in 2016-2017, only eradicating it for good this time.
– Cancer does not stand a chance with My Daddy, who is my personal Great Physician in charge. If God wants to heal me, I will be healed in His perfect timing. It’s an effortless snap for Him. If that is not His very best for me, then He has something even better.
–My B cells and T cells and Killer Cells, my entire army of white blood cells along with my whole immune system is fighting hard and tirelessly for me every second of every day. My bone marrow is thriving. I have all sorts of strong defenses working on my behalf. I will fortify them by taking excellent care of myself, nourishing myself with excellent fuel, soaking up ideal amounts of fresh air, clean water, and sunshine, moving my body with invigorating activity and exercise. I will keep very active as I am able. I will continue to work on being strong, healthy, and physically fit. I did it before and I can do it again with God’s help and enabling power.
– My body is strong and resilient and I am beating cancer and getting healthier every day. I have every reason to be full of hope.
– In Christ I am an over comer. I am a victorious child of God. Nothing is too hard for God and I am His.
– I nourish myself with wholesome foods that build my body up and make it stronger.
– Paula is not a giver-upper. She is a warrior. She is a fighter. She is a soldier for the Lord, on His mission in life.
– Paula is a breast cancer survivor and a thriver, that’s what she is.
– Paula is busy living an abundant life in Christ.
– You, Paula Girl are FULL of courage. You are brave because the same God who was in the lion’s den with Daniel is with you every moment. The same God who walked through the flames with Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendigo is holding YOUR hand in the fire you are walking through now , Paula. Take heart. Take courage. God is with you all the way. He will never, ever leave or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 is a promise.
I don’t need to defend myself before you, oh cancer cells (or chemotherapy). My God, whom I serve, is able to deliver me from your hand. And even if He does not, I will not worship and serve you! (Paraphrase from Daniel 2 – the answer Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego gave to the king who was threatening to throw them into the blazing funace. ) (From Nita)
Because of all God has promised in His Word, I have a positive, hopeful outlook on life and a positive expectancy for each day I am blessed with. What would you like me to do today, Lord? What’s next, Papa? I want to fit into YOUR plans. Please guide and direct me and help me not to waste this precious resource of time.
I have been blessed with an awesome immune system that is a powerful source of defending my good health.
I am very happy to be alive and thriving and every day I am on this earth is a gift from God. Heaven is an even bigger free gift waiting for me at the perfect time of His choosing. My Father has numbered my days and I will joyfully see Him face to face when HE says so and not a moment before. I am in excellent Hands for this entire journey.
I am firmly resolved to do whatever it takes to get healthy, be healthy, and stay healthy the rest of my life. It’s rewarding and fulfilling to take measures that build my body and spirit up.
I have healthy, positive ways of dealing with stress and overcoming challenges that come my way for a season.
I make no space in my thought life for negativity: I only have room for positivity. I reject emotions and attitudes that do not line up with what God says in the Bible about how I should be thinking, my thoughts will dwell on His “whatsoevers”. God is in full control of my life and will give me all the help and grace I need for all He allows.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoeverthings are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Perseverance and tenacity are my middle names (besides Victoria :).
I have a strong will to live a full, abundant life every day as my Savior intends.
I can leave my future in God’s Lap and rest in Him, full of joy and peace.
My spirit soars with the freedom I have in Christ. My thoughts hum with satisfaction and contentment because God makes no mistakes and is wise in what He allows in my life–He has a purpose and a plan for everything and He could not love me more than He already does. When I lack wisdom, I will ask HIM for wisdom.
Emotions and circumstances do not rule my life: God does.
When I am handed lemons with any aspect of this cancer diagnosis and treatment, I will make lemonade. The healthy, on-plan sweetener will be my attitude as I draw from God’s strength.
When I am dealt a round of lousy cards I will play my hand to the best of my ability with grace and dignity. The game’s not over ’till God says so.
I can clearly picture Herceptin in my arsenal of weapons against breast cancer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48VSU4AZ-L0. I have an effective, multimodal approach to target and attack with a vengeance EVERY single Her2 positive breast cancer cell that might dare to linger. It is beautifully dealing with all Her2 protein over expression for me. This monoclonal antibody is like a well designed missile: specifically targeting Her2 receptors. It’s extended half life is allowing for CONSTANT exposure to tumor cells and in the unlikely event that there are any left after the mastectomy and all those rounds of chemo and radiation I’m knockin’ ’em dead every 21 days, both on the intracellular and extracellular level. It’s BINDING to Her2 cells, flagging each and every one for total destruction by my own God-given immune system which is fighting hard on my behalf. It is inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells so that my healthy cells can thrive and flourish. Thank You Lord, for Herceptin! Please make it work on my behalf. I am Yours and my hope is in YOU, God.
Psalm 139:5. You hem Paula in – behind and before; You laid your hand upon her.
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with Paula, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in Paula, he will quiet Paula with His love, He will rejoice over Paula with singing. ( it’s amazing to think that the Lord sings over us!)
Psalm 32:7 You are Paula’s hiding place; You will protect her from trouble and surround her with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 121:5. The LORD watches over Paula – the Lord is Paula’s shade at her right hand; the sun will not harm her by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep Paula from all harm – He will watch over her life; the LORD will watch over her coming and going both now and forever more. (From Pam)
My body and mind are strong and I am healthy, happy,and free and able to live to be 100.
I give my system the right foods to empower it to live completely fulfilled and healthy! (From Karen)
“I will live a hope-filled life every day. I will handle my problems as opportunities in a different, more effective manner, based on the power of advanced mathematics; “You + God = Enough”
(…even MORE THAN enough!)
Personalizing Zig Ziglar quotes by putting them in the “First Person” for myself:
“I cannot tailor-make the situations in my life but I can tailor-make my attitudes to fit those situations.”
–My take-away: I choose to have a great attitude and grow and learn and change for the good through challenges. God will give me all the grace and help I need to respond positively to these opportunities for growth.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
–My take-away: I will motivate myself daily to promote vibrant health by living a healthy lifestyle. It does make a difference and it does matter. It feels really good to take excellent care of myself. I can take better care of my family and have a greater ability to reach out and be a blessing to other people when I am taking good care of myself.
“Positive thinking will let me do everything better than negative thinking will.”
–My take-away: I am a happy, joyful, creative, positive thinker and doer. God has blessed me in countless ways and He is a wonderful, personal, forgiving, loving, life-changing Savior who wants His very best for me. No wonder I have so much to be praising and thanking the Lord about! My cup surely overflows with blessings!
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
–I will set do-able short term and long term goals within my control that will positively influence my health: like what I choose to eat, what exercise I do each day, getting daily fresh air and sunshine, plenty of water, doing my best to promote adequate rest/sleep, being grateful, holding no grudges. I will carry through healthy outlets for stress like praying, reading the Bible and growing closer to the Lord, fast walking, rebounding, writing, doing things I find enjoyable like gardening, listening to music, reading, writing,reaching out to others, spending fun time with family and friends.
–”Every day I beat my previous record for number of consecutive days I’ve stayed alive.” (Andi)
–I love being a Mom to three precious kids now and I’m going to love being a grandma in years to come and watch them grow up too. Maybe I’ll even get to play with my great grand babies some day!
–2011: The mastectomy, chemo, and radiation wiped out the majority of unwanted, unhealthy cells–evicting them from my body forever. If there are any left, Herceptin is putting Her2 cells to sleep for good and hormone blockers will put them in absolute starvation mode, wasting away to nothingness.
–My body is loaded with thriving, bursting-with-vitality cells that energize me. I am able to recover beautifully from the pro-active measures I needed to take to be strong and healthy again.
–What a blessing my God-given, robust immune system is; fighting for me every single moment.
–I am fighting to win.
–My future is bright because God is in control.
NED and I are life long bosom buddies. (HA! Just thought that one up and love it!) “NED” is the medical terminology for “No evidence of disease”.
“Don’t tell God how big your cancer is, instead tell your cancer how big your God is” (Unknown author)
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass it’s about learning to dance in the rain!” (Unknown author) My “Happy” song to accompany me when I dance around in the rain : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM
I am an active and proactive participant in my own, well thought out health and wellness plan. After consulting with expert health care professionals, I get to make the decisions that are best for me.
“Yes is a world and in this world of yes I live.” (e.e. cummings–shared by a friend)
–The Lord has designed my body in amazing ways to recover. So far so good: as far as I can tell, I am getting healthier and stronger and am overcoming cancer.
–Every day of my life is a precious gift for me to unwrap and enjoy. God’s plan is for me to be a blessing to others.
“Self limiting beliefs create their own realities. Our minds filter out any evidence contrary to our beliefs.”
The Herceptin is doing it’s job marvelously, specifically targeting Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 cells: blocking and binding them up completely, rendering them totally inactive just as it was intended. My body will continue to tolerate and respond to the medication with no resistence whatsoever. The medication zooms directly and exclusively to the Her2 positive cells, leaving all healthy cells alone and intact to function at their peak performance. My heart and lungs are strong and will stay strong and so will the rest of me. The Her2 componnent will go from overexpressing itself to underexpressing itself, becoming ”Her2: a powerless wimpy wimp”. I am a warrior against cancer and my body melts away cells that harm and multiplies healthy cells that thrive and flourish. I am healing. My body is designed to render harmful substances as harmless, flushing them far, far away from me, getting them out of my system completely.
The chemotherapy and radiation were tools that God used for my good in 2011 and they will be effective again, only permanently this time. Those therapeutic agents hunt down cancer cells which are hiding, expose them, and knock them off so they can be thoroughly eliminated. My body is in full blast repair and restore mode. My strong immune system and every cell in my body is on a mission to bring me to optimal health, even better than before.
I am fortunate that I can use hormone therapy. It is to my advantage that I can use Tamoxifen to target my estrogen and progesterone recepter positive status so that I can block hormones that would feed the cancer and instead I can mercilessly make cancer die of starvation. Although I might wish that I did not have to resort to hormone altering medication or the other measures that I took, it is Ok. I can get beyond that. God can protect me from side effects and give me grace should He allow me to experience any of them. Serious side effects apparently are rare with Tamoxifen and I will be in the majority of women who take this drug without a problem. (Took X 5 yrs then moved on to Femara)
I choose to reject fear and doubt and embrace hope, gratefulness, and full enjoyment of every day that God blesses me with. God is in charge and I have every reason to be overflowing with joy because of His kindness towards me personally.
I dwell in God’s goodness and love and ALL the things I am going through are working together for my good and God’s glory.
Cancer was with me for a reason and a season. It’s a great time for that season to be all wrapped up and finished, never to return again. I have learned many valuable lessons that will stay with me and serve me well as I let go of every negative aspect of cancer including unpleasant memories. I put them all behind me with a renewed appreciation for my many blessings, moving forward stronger and in health that is improving every day.
I can take all the time I need to rest, rejuvenate, and renew.
When my body is uncomfortable, I can relax, breathe deeply, release any tensions and modify my reactions as needed. It is within my control to make myself much more comfortable.
I will accept the things that I can’t change with the grace God supplies me with and I will change the things that I can with His help and strength. I will have the wisdom to know the difference.
Any and all positive lifestyle choices and changes I make all add up to significantly contribute to my healing.
Worry has no place in my life: confident expectation in my great big God does.
I have every reason to believe all the treatments I went through in 2011 were totally worth it and extremely effective. The same is true now. I am alive and still have a lot of happy living ahead of me.
I am combating and putting “stinkin’ thinkin”” in it’s place and replacing those kinds of thoughts with Scripture and “Cancer Fightin’ Words”.
My left breast was removed in 2011 and my right one in 2016 . I miss them and the 13 lymph nodes in all but it is a small price to pay to being alive and healthy.
I would have found it much more difficult had I lost one of my eyes, or legs, or arms or ability to speak. I am so fortunate, so blessed. God and my husband and children and other family and friends love me exactly as I am and I can equate the removal of my breasts with the choice to do all I needed to do to LIVE and get healthy again. Others don’t even know any difference. I can deal with this loss with self-acceptance and God’s abundant grace. If I ever choose to do reconstructive surgery, that is an option for me at any time. Right now breast prosthesiss are a perfect match for me and I can remain this way for good or change my mind any time I feel like it if I want to. I have all the time I need to make careful, well-thought out decisions that are a custom fit for me personally. I understand why some women do reconstructive surgery and why some women don’t and there is no wrong choice.
I read about a lady who read in a medical journal that “A cancer cell is, in fact, a weak and confused cell.” Yep…and getting weaker and more confused all the time, floundering against the arsenal of weapons that we let loose to overpower any stray weak and confused Her 2 positive cancer cells…adios forever!
With God’s help, I will beat Her2 positive cells, they will not beat me.
I am a more than a “survivor” of Her2 positive breast cancer, I am a “thriver”, living an abundant, full life. I am “more than a conquerer”. I am a victorious overcomer through Christ who strengthens me.
I am energized and running, full-blast ahead, on the road to full recovery. I had to run some sprints in my race and now I am in it for the long haul–steady, with my eye on the goal . God has a most wonderful prize for me at the end of my journey and the beginning of the next. I can keep going, keep going, keep going with my eyes on the Author and finisher of my faith, enjoying every day I run my race.
I am a “Strong Polish, Amazon Woman, a regular Cancer-Fightin’ Warrior” that’s what I am (!) and my quiver is full of sharp arrows that pierce and destroy cancer: arrows like prayer, like resting in the fact that God will always do what is best for me and He is WAY stronger than the most aggressive cancer out there. I have used arrows like smart/skilled doctors, surgery, chemo, radiation, Herceptin, and hormone blockers. These have accurately targeted cancer cells, like finely tuned missles, pinning them down and rendering them harmless.
I can picture Her2 cells shrinking smaller, and smaller, and smaller then poof—ALL gone–not even a super powered ultra magnification microscope can detect any trace because there are none left to detect.
This morning I am putting on my classy, bright pink boxing gloves by getting my port hooked up to my every 21 day dose of intravenous “Vitamin H”. Herceptin is mercilessly knocking the daylights out of cancer for me. Thank You God, for the gift of Herceptin on my side of the boxing ring! Go get ’em Herceptin! Knock ’em dead Herceptin, so that I can live! Thank You Lord, that no matter the physical outcome of this match that I am fighting so hard in and rooting so much for, I am a winner BECAUSE OF YOU! Thank You for the assurance of the final outcome.
I am a cancer fightin’ gal, with my Herceptin boots on, hanging on tight to Jesus, squashing any Her2 remnants that dare bare their ugly heads
“Choose joy, moment by moment, Paula…the kind that has nothing to do with circumstances and emotion and everything to do with God and His goodness. Because the joy of the Lord is my strength: I can choose joy like my weather, like my very own sky. Like my very own oxygen.” (adapted quote from aholyexperience.com)
“Paula, have you surrendered to despair because of your past or the inevitable situations in your life? Stop it! The greatest days of your life are before you. The past is over. Stop living life looking in the rear view mirror. Look forward. Press on! The best is yet to be, God never consults your past to determine your future, Paula.”–Hagee (personalized)
“SET BACKS ARE ONLY OPPORTUNITIES TO REVIEW THE LESSON, PAULA.”
“I WILL NOT BE ASHAMED OF MY SCARS. MY SCARS ARE THE BRUSH STROKES IN THE MASTERPIECE THAT IS MY LIFE.”
Gratefully His beloved child,