Finishing Treatment Soon: Wahoo!

My VERY happy news is that I get the last dose of my every-3-weeks-for-a year-cancer drug Herceptin on Monday 11/20 and the surgically implanted chest port comes out in December. I thank God for helping me every single step of the way through my journeys through Cancer Land. This was Round Two for me in my battle. I sure am hoping for the best possible results and that it’s gone for good this time. The reality is that cancer is sneaky and does not fight fair. I’m plum out of breasts and it’s nature is aggressive and prone to wander and multiply in life devastating places.

I’d appreciate prayer as I make changes and find my way back to healthy, trim, and fit again. Both times I was diagnosed I was slender, in peak physically-fit condition, and thought I was healthy as a horse but obviously wasn’t. Now I am over weight, the toxic drugs have taken a toll on my whole body, my left knee is injured which makes exercise much more challenging, and some bad food habits and excuses have crept back in which all need to bite the dust pronto. How I need the Lord! Good thing He has fresh starts and His help available 24/7/365. I’m a work in progress as we all are and very much appreciate prayer when you think of me. Thanks from the bottom of my heart, friends. 

Friendly Obstacles

by Unknown Author

For every hill I’ve tried to climb,
For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat and grime,
For blinding storms and burning heat,
My heart sings but a grateful song
These are the things that made me strong!

For all the heartache and the tears,
For all the anguish and the pain,
For gloomy days and fruitless years,
And for the hopes that lived in vain,
I do give thanks, for now I know
These were the things that helped me grow!

‘Tis not the softer things in life
Which stimulate man’s will to strive;
But bleak adversity and strife
Do most to keep man’s will alive.
O’er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep,
But brave hearts dare to climb the steep

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“A pearl is a healed wound.  An oyster protects itself from irritation and suffering and the result is a priceless pearl.”–Kristen Welch

 

Father, please take the challenging stuff that finds it’s way into the oyster shell of my life and make something beautiful for You out of it all, a lovely pearl.    Carve me into a trophy of Your Grace, Lord.  Mold and fashion me into a vessel that pours out Your love to others.

 

 

Why God (Sometimes) Doesn’t Heal People We Love

I’m at the emergency room. Today was not a good day. I decided to go horseback riding, something I haven’t done in a few years. It turned out to be a big mistake! I got on the horse and started out slow, but then we went a little faster before I knew it, we were going as fast as the horse could go. I couldn’t take the pace and fell off, but caught my foot in the stirrup with the horse dragging me. It wouldn’t stop. Thank goodness the manager at Toys-R-Us came out and unplugged the machine. But He had the nerve to take the rest of my quarters so I wouldn’t attempt to ride the Elephant. 😉
Why God  (sometimes) doesn’t heal people we love:
Life oftentimes confronts us with unexpected circumstances, which leave us in a state of despondency, fear and anxiety. We begin to question God’s love for us. We wonder if we can really trust Him. At such times, there are three absolute truths about God that we must believe if we are to trust Him. We live under the three-fold umbrella of: 1. God’s perfect love, 2. His infinite wisdom and 3. His absolute control.”
—-Charles Stanley

Article: “What Your Friends With Cancer Want You to Know”

 

 

 

“I Shall Not Want” -Audrey Assad

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

 

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

 

 

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

 

No, I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

 

When I taste Your goodness I shall not want


 

http://cancer.baydakh.com/2016/02/12/what-your-friends-with-cancer-want-you-to-know-but-are-afraid-to-say/

Gianna’s Gift

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Yesterday I got this email from a precious young woman who is a special friend of our girls:

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My Hair Donation in Honor of a Strong Woman I Know

Dear Paula and Family,

 
My birthday was March 4th,2017. I decided that I wanted to do something different to give back to those I have met throughout the years who have struggled from issues such as low self esteem, cancer, and suicidal tendencies.
 
So, I shaved all of my hair off. I will be sending it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths!
You may view the videos of me having it shaved off below, and feel free to share them with others:
 
 
 
Thank You Mrs. Paula for inspiring me as such as sweet, strong, woman of God.
 
I love you and will continue to keep you in my prayers. 😙
 
God Bless You,
Gianna
 
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Thank you dear Gianna for making the donation of your pretty hair ( to  http://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/about-the-program ) in my honor and in the honor of others!  I was moved by your lovely gift that will bless someone else who has lost her hair as I have in my battle against cancer.   BTW, you rock the bald look with those gorgeous eyes and dazzling smile!  You are beautiful inside and outside, Gianna!  Thank you! We love you.
P.S. Gianna was not referring to me in her reference to honoring those with suicidal tendencies with  with her hair donation.  Just thought I’d clarify that so nobody worries about me in that regard. 🙂  I consider every day as a precious gift from God, am hoping to live ’til a ripe old age,  and won’t be leaving this earth one moment before He takes me Home Sweet Home.
 
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“How big is your God?

Is He big enough to heal your marriage or heal your child? Is He bigger than a positive MRI or a negative evaluation? Is He bigger than your worst sin, greatest fear, or biggest dream?

If He is bigger than all of those things, then pray like it.”

-Mark Batterson

“God’s Grace Will Keep Pace With Whatever We Face”

"Cancer is only going to be a chapter in my life and not the whole story." ~Joe Wasser, Lymphoma Warrior:

 

 

Below is a  link  about  responding to people that we care about who are hurting when we don’t know what to say or do to help them.  I’ve been on both sides of that situation.  Sometimes it’s really hard to know how to reach out to people  that God brings into our lives who are going through tough times. We need His wisdom and good communication so we can best be the Lord’s Hands and Feet and Mouth Piece to each other! 🙂  

http://bronlea.com/2013/06/02/letter-to-a-hurting-friend/

I’m off to get my “IV Vitamin H” this morning and see my oncologist.  The every three week Herceptin is not really a vitamin of course, just a nick name for one of the big guns in my arsenal, a “targeted smart bomb ” of sorts for over expressed Her 2 cells.  I’ve switched from Wednesday to Monday appointments now I am no longer on weekly chemo.    Not a big deal except I discovered in the switch that I needed to make sure my infusion appointment was not scheduled even one day closer than three weeks apart or insurance would not pay for it which IS a great big huge deal with it’s price tag!  If you are interested in what Herceptin does for me ( I consider this drug a humongous gift from God to me and my fellow Her2 Warrior Sistas), here is a good description: http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/targeted_therapies/herceptin/how_works

 

 

“GOD’S GRACE WILL KEEP PACE WITH WHATEVER YOU FACE”

I like this quote.   Thanks for passing along Art’s words of wisdom, Margo.

 

 

1 Timothy 1:14 (NIV)

14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Thanking God for grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus! ( 1 Tim 1:4 The Message)

 

Paula

 

 

 

The Best is Yet to Be

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Funny stuff:

 

“Had any other situation been better for you than the one in which you find yourself, Divine love would have placed you there.”  –Charles Spurgeon

“Think about this. The One who created and controls the world, the One who is the ultimate definition of what is loving, true, and good, and the One who alone has the power to finally defeat sin has chosen, because of his grace, to wrap his arms of faithful love and protection around you, and He will not let you go.” (Paul Tripp New Morning Mercies Jan 13)

God is encouraging me in many ways and I am so very thankful to be feeling better! 🙂  I am making February my “Phase One” month to concentrate on detoxing from the chemo and to work on building back up my body and returning to healthy, trim, and fit…one step at a time making progress in my body restoration/renewal/revival/ and re-all good things process.  I like the expression, “Don’t look back.  You’re not going that way!”   No matter what is ahead, my future is bright with the Lord in charge of my today and the rest of my life, and the best is yet to be!

Paula

 

 

 

 

“I Pay My Oncologist Big Bucks For This Hairstyle!”

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Q:What did the bald guy say when he was given a comb? A:  “Thanks, I’ll never part with it” 

Here’s a funny song this lady made up:

 

 

When I was on chemo in 2011 and my hair was falling out in copious amounts after the first infusion, I asked one of my daughters to buzz cut it for me which was empowering. We did it together on vacation with my husband and kids supporting me through the tears and laughter. I lost nearly all my hair every where on my body that time (except I still had to shave my legs which was a kicker!)

 

 

 

 My oncologist told me that on the chemo regimen that I was on this time that I might not lose all my hair, it might just thin out.  I got it cut very short when a lot of it started dropping out and it did thin considerably. I am grateful though to have been able to keep about 1/8 – 1/4th of what I used to have and I’m glad I didn’t buzz cut it this time.  I consider what I have left, my head start on a new head of hair.   There are areas that you can see through to the scalp but it is starting to grow back now which is a blessing.  I’ve been trying to have a little fun with this baldness thing by sporting a variety of looks with a couple wigs in different colors and styles and using pretty scarves and hats when I’m out.  At home, I’m usually “as is”.

 

 

🙂  You might enjoy this commercial  that my friend Jacque shared with me (I did,thanks Jacque!):

 

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/Ahoz/coffee-mate-every-day-is-a-chance-to-stir-things-up

 

 

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Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered! (Matthew 10:30)

 

Thanking God from Whom all blessings flow, including the gift of hair,

 

Paula

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No Mo Chemo!!!!!

What do you call an agnostic who is both dyslexic and an insomniac?

Someone who lays awake at night wondering if there is a doG. 😉

 

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I was scheduled to have my final chemotherapy infusion tomorrow, but due to worsening neuropathy symptoms, my oncologist and I both felt it best to skip it.  I am happy to be done with chemo, hopefully forever!  What remains in my treatment now is nine months of IV Herceptin every three weeks to complete one year of that medicine and an oral hormone blocker to reduce my risk of cancer recurrence.  I am grateful not to need radiation as well.

 

Thanks for praying!

 

Paula

 

 

“I tread no path in life to Him unknown,

I lift no burden, bear no pain, alone;

 

 

My soul a calm, sure hiding place has found:

The everlasting arms my life surround.”

 

Robert Browning from “God, Thou Art Love

 

27 Years Ago Today…

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Thank You dear Lord, for 27 years of marriage to my best friend, John.  We are two sinners who both mess up plenty, saved by God’s grace, who desire to learn to walk closely with the Lord and each other, day by day through the ups and downs of life.  I am so very grateful for John who loves and cherishes me both in sickness and in health til death does us part.  I have been accepted and cared for and loved whether I have breasts and hair or none of these because of cancer, whether overweight or slender, during heartache and tough times or immense happiness and great times.  I am so very grateful to share and “do life” with the Love of my life!  Thank You God for this 27th wedding anniversary to remember both Your faithfulness and loving kindness as well as my dear husband’s. Here’s to many more years together!

Paula

Renewed Focus on a Balding, Pimple-Headed Day :)

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I have about 100 little sores all over my  scalp that have been popping out after the last chemos that have been bugging me.   I sure am glad they aren’t plastered on my face, ha, ha!!! When I went through chemo in 2011  I had a mouth full of chemo sores and they crept down my throat and up my nose and this is MUCH easier!  Our skin is a major excretory organ and I know it’s probably a good sign that my body is trying to eliminate the junk.  Yesterday though  I was feeling rather sad and crabby and low about having a balding “Pimple Head”.     I was feeling sorry for myself and self pity  is never a good thing. My remaining hair is in a really funky state as I haven’t buzz cut it yet but probably will soon. I  pictured  sticking a brown paper sack over my head with eyes cut out instead of gratefully using the beautiful hats, scarves, and wigs I have.  There are a lot of adjustments in self image that come along with cancer and honestly, yesterday I was feeling pretty ugly all over.

 

 

This short, fun video clip below , “Christmas Presents” was just the reminder I needed today .   It makes me smile and I  love it and I hope you do too!!!!    It got me to thinking that these sores are an object lesson in the “Pimples of Life” that every one of us has in various forms and where we choose to focus when hard things happen or when life isn’t going the way we wish it would. May God give us fresh perspective and eyes to see the blessings and gifts He is LAVISHING on us that are so easy to take for granted.

 

 

This song was also another lovely blessing to start my day:

 

 

Here’s to a wonderful weekend for all of us with hearts overflowing in gratitude, which is always our very best choice in the midst of the “Pimples of Life” we all deal with sometimes!

Paula