Kindred Spirits

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

His Strength Alone

"Go in the strength you have...." Judges 6:14

 But Lord, my strength is small. I feel so weak…and frail.

Can you stand?

 Not without You Lord.

 Then take My hand.

This is how I approach tomorrow friends. The Lord has provided in so many ways over the past three weeks, but now I stand afraid to face another treatment and begin the process over again. I wish it was over. I wish it had never begun.

Tomorrow I will walk into the Cancer Center again, not as a visitor, but as a patient. I will have my blood assessed at 8am. Trusting all will be well, and I’ll move on to see my surgeon/oncologist for 9am. After consulting with him, Lord willing I will proceed to the treatment center and another round of meds will be pumped through my body killing diseased cells and bringing healing.

I ask that you would pray the treatment can be given as scheduled and nothing detour it from happening tomorrow. I pray for journey and mercies as my sister and I travel to Sunnybrook, leaving just after 5:30am. I ask that you would pray there would be no reaction to the drugs this time. I would love to avoid the rush of feeling I endured at the previous treatment, as well as the rash that manifest itself. I pray if the CT scan is scheduled, the results will indicate my lymph nodes are not enlarged. This will keep me from needing radiation. I pray the recovery this time will go smoothly and my body will not resist the treatment, but receive it well, allowing it to do the work for which it is designed. I pray for my relationship and reactions with medical staff, other patients, and volunteers. May they see Jesus. I pray I will have a good night’s rest tonight. I did not sleep well last night at all. I ask that you would continue to pray I will accept the changes taking place. I’ll tell you, looking in the mirror isn’t getting any easier. It’s hard to believe the "Princess" status, even while wearing the tiara. Pray I will be conscientious to eat the proper foods and drink enough so my body will benefit from the protein and fluids. Please pray I will continue to choose to spend daily time in God’s Word, even when I could make what would seem like valid excuses. I need Him. I desperately need Him. Please pray I will not be nauseated and I will be a good little girl and take my medications when needed. (I threw that request in especially for Diane.) Please pray for my sister as she accompanies me. Pray the Lord will give her strength for the day. Please pray as my "boys" hope to go up to Muskoka Bible Conference Center this weekend that they will enjoy the rest and they will be kept safe. Please pray for my precious friend Eithne who is giving up her time to care for me if my guys are away.

My friend Nancy shared a verse with me on the weekend. "But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head." Psalm 3:3. I am so thankful the Lord is my shield. A shield doesn’t prevent the attack, but it protects us in battle. Yes, there have been many days lately where I have felt the enemy’s fiery darts, but the Lord is continuing to give me victory.

"Even though I'm walkin' through
The valley of the shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him
Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone
And I've been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will ever need
And He will carry me."

(He Will Carry Me – Mark Schultz)

Placing myself in His arms. Needing Him to carry me,
Joy "Faith"

Please continue to pray for Diane, "Hope".  The memorial service may be over, but the journey without her mom has just begun.  Please pray the Lord will continue to minister to her heart.  Love ya friend. Wish we were together right now.  HUGS

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It Is Well With My Soul

I found myself sitting at her memorial service Monday night, numb. Everything had happened so quickly since I returned from Canada. On the way to the airport I received the call telling me mama wasn't doing well.  Of all the times I had flown, this time God's provision had already given me a direct flight home.  I believe He allowed mama and I to cross paths in the sky, for when I arrived at the hospital she had already gone to be with Jesus. Maybe it was mama who had caused some of that turbulence up there. (smile) God's perfect timing!

It was extremely difficult for Joy to refrain from getting on a plane and following me home. Her compromised immune system determined she should not travel. I don't know if you have ever had a person willing to stand in the gap for you, but this is truly the basis of our friendship. I pray you will experience this type of friend sometime during your lifetime, if you don't enjoy such a relationship already. Not being able to travel, Joy could pray, and that is exactly what she committed to do.

We both have an amazing group of friends where we live. I love how Joy's friends accept and love me and my friends do the same with her. One of Joy's specific prayer requests for me was that I be surrounded by loving friends. Her request was answered.  My friends surrounded me with love, caring for my every need, and they continue to do so.  Thank you to all of my special peeps here at home, afar, and in cyber space who ministered to me. I wish I could hug each one of your necks.

I keep thinking the Lord is alternating days of emotional emptiness with Joy and I. It seems like just when one of us has almost caught her breath, the other looses theirs. The Lord continues to give us each strength to offer the other support, even in our own brokenness. 

I was thinking back on the memorial service Monday night.  As the words of the old, yet timeless hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" washed over my heart, the pain and emotions of the day caught up with me. I stuggled to keep my feelings in check, but no longer could the tears be denied.  The heartache rushed through my soul and I felt so out of control. The emotions I had been trying to surpress since mama's death found a way to breathe. Why is it I feel I have to contain my emotions? Is it Fear? Pride? Control?

Honestly none of us have control over anything in our lives. God does! "It Is Well With My Soul" was written by a man who lost so much in his life.  It is so easy sometimes as Christians to praise God in the good times, and not so much in the harder times. I sat there during the service gripped by emotion, yet saying to my Heavenly Father, "It Is Well With My Soul."  The irony of this song being played that night, was that it is my favorite hymn. No one in my family knew this until after the service.

If you are struggling with a "season of difficult times" maybe these lyircs might help make things "Well With Your Soul."

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!

It is well ... with my soul!
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It was only the very next day and Joy needed me to stand in the gap for her! "IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!"  Sisters, Joy needs all of us to stand in the gap for her!  It has only been 2 1/2 weeks since chemo began and her greatest fear is coming to pass. Joy's hair is falling out! No matter how you have prayed, or felt you have prepared, this has taken Joy by surprise because it came too soon. Again I pose the question, "What do we really have control over?" (Nothing) Women, regardless of what people say, let's face it, we are vain. Maybe it is the whole Eve and apple thing, I don't know. But just imagine if you woke up tomorrow and were suddenly bald. What would your reaction be? For Joy, she knows it is part of the healing process, but she still must go through this valley.

Tomorrow, Friday, at 10:00 a.m. she will be having the hair that hasn't fallen out, shaved off. I appauld your courage my friend.  I know what strength it took to pick up the phone and make that appointment.  Will you stand with Joy as she takes another step toward healing?

Please leave a comment on the blog letting her know you will stand with her as well. I know it will encourage her heart.

"It Is Well With My Soul"

Standing in the gap for Joy (Faith)
Diane (Hope)

I just talked with Joy and she said things went better than expected. In fact we shared a lot of laughs as she 
recounted some of her adventures and blessings this morning. Check out her Facebook page for some fun conversation on her wall. As of noon she had chosen not to look in the mirror, but that will happen when she is ready. Thank you for all your prayers. Please continue standing in the gap as she adjusts to her wig and "no do." 
Standing in the gap for Joy "Faith"
Diane "Hope"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Living to Living

Friends today I come to you with a divided heart...not in loyalty, but in location, and unfortunately I can't be two places at the same time.

Please join with me today in praying for "Hope", Diane, and her family.  Beginning at 10am this morning her life will journey through a path of visitation, funeral, and memorial service.  A sweet mama is in the arms of Jesus, but her husband and children are missing the woman who held their family together. 

Diane needs prayer for strength today, physically and emotionally. I have been in touch with her a couple of times already and the Lord is carrying her, but her heart is so broken. Please pray that the Lord will more than provide for her every need.

Funerals always impact my life. I attended one for the father of a new friend of mine a while ago. In our understanding he died too soon. He was only in his early 60's. Although I never had the opportunity to meet this man, his funeral impacted my life. The tributes and memories shared by family and friends were beautiful. We viewed a slide presentation set to music, tracing the journey of his life. The one thing that really spoke to my heart was that this man had truly lived.

He was an adventurer. Fear didn't hold him captive. He lived out loud. He wasn't afraid to follow the dreams God had placed in his heart, and yet he didn't take foolish risks. He enjoyed life to the full. In many ways he has gone from living to living.

Gail Conklin has done the same.  She has gone from living to living.  I never met Diane's mom, but I cherish her, if for no other reason, than giving me the precious gift of her daughter who has become my dearest friend.

Diane resembles her mom in her early years.  There was no denying the likeness when Diane showed me her parent's engagement picture. The clear complexion. Soft skin. And goodness, we can't forget the dimples.  Both she and her mother have those distinct beauty markings when they smile.

Diane's mom will live on in Diane.  There will be traces of her in the way she holds her hands, curls up to sleep, smiles at a precious sight, and ministers to others. 

I wish more than anything that my health had made it possible for me to be with Diane today.  For reasons I struggle to understand, I find myself miles away, but my heart, my love and my prayers are all with her.  Please join me once again in forming a circle of love around my friend.  Let's stand with her, upholding her, so that wherever she turns she feels the arms of a friend.  So thankful that the Friend of all friends is holding her close to His side and carrying her though all that lies ahead today.  She rests in her Father's arms.

Love ya kiddo...holding your hand and not letting go,
Standing in the gap with "Hope",
Joy, "Faith"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cycle 1, Week 1

Praises and Prayers For Cycle 1 Week 1

There are so many praises this week, I pray I don’t leave any out. I feel they need to be listed so as not to miss any of them.


The day following the first treatment was good until midday.
Friday Joy felt well enough for a two hour outing.
Joy was able to challenge a few fears regarding treatment and conquer them.
Willingness of church family to help with meals has continued to be a blessing.
Family members continue to show their love by helping whenever and wherever needed.
Mammogram & ultrasound reports cause no immediate concern.
Joy's Dad was given a room in the local hospital, his pneumonia is clearing up, and he could possibly be coming home soon.
Being able to 'let go and let God', even when the surrender is difficult.
We both were able to return our desire to attend She Speaks this year to the Lord, trusting He knows what is best for us.
Discovering the mouthwash process was not as complicated as originally thought.
Joy was able to go to her son’s birthday party for a short time Sunday and be with her family.
Energy to go for a drive on Monday, visiting Joy's previous home, touring the quaint little village.
Praise for a beautiful weather day today and fun at the lake enjoying God's creation and the gift of each breath.


There are still issues with surgery recovery (ie: strength, stamina, swelling, breathing)
Praying the projected side effects of chemo ie: nausea, fatigue, achiness, loss of appetite, mouth sores, etc... stay away.
For understanding and acceptance of this season in both our lives.
I (Diane ) will leave on Thursday (tomorrow) . Pray for a safe journey and easy-as-possible good bye for both of us. (side note: Air Canada went on strike this morning. Joy thinks this could be an answer to
Returning to each of our lives and adjusting is always difficult following these visits.
When Joy as the CT scan, please pray that Joy's lymph nodes won't be enlarged so that radiation will not be required.
Please continue to pray for my (Diane) mother. She is still in intensive care (see the side bar for her update).

I am reminded writing these praises and prayer requests that nothing ever happens to us without first passing through the permissive Hand of our Heavenly Father. It may not be what we would define as "good", but God can use it for our good. Many tragedies have taken place on the earth that have yielded beauty. Ruins burned beyond human recognition, yet still we can rise from the ashes with our Heavenly Father.

The passage of scripture that keeps coming back to both Joy and I this week is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

"There is a time for everything and a season for very activity under the heavens; a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to search and a time to give up; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to mend; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace."

What season is your life currently living? The Heavenly Father knows the exact time for your season to begin and end. Just because there is "a time for every season," God’s time frame doesn’t always line up with ours. Even when seasons hurt the deepest they can bring the greatest victories for Christ. Know that He sees you, knows you and loves you deeply. This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Standing in the gap with "Faith",
Diane, "Hope"

PS. Hi all...this is Joy, aka "Faith". I just want to add a brief note to this post Diane has written. She would never say this, and will probably wish I didn't, but I just have to share with you what a blessing it has been these past two weeks to have her here with me. I have lacked for nothing. She has been by my side, anticipating my every need and knowing instinctively what to do to ease my discomfort and minister to my heart. She has quietly moved about the house doing routine tasks...filling my water glass (I'm a sponge), preparing meals for my family and I, responding to my every request. There were a couple of days after my treatment when I just needed to know I wasn't alone as I experienced the chemo's effect working through my body, and she would sit silently beside me. Every now and then I would feel her hand just rest on my back as she would check to make sure I was doing ok. I know this trip has not be easy on her, especially physically and emotionally, yet she has put her own needs aside, sacrificing for me because of love. I cannot thank the Lord enough for the timing of her visit. She is a friend in a million and I'm so blessed to call her my best friend. Thanks kiddo. Love you tons. Cherishing each moment we shared and holding on to precious memories until we're together again. May God richly bless you for the blessing you have been to me. HUGS

Dear Friends....please pray for Diane and her family.  I just received an email that her mom passed away.  My heart is broken.  Diane did not make it home in time to see her mom.  I can't help but feel that if she hadn't been here she would have been with her mom.  Again, I do not understand God's timing, but we will continue to trust Him.  Yes, we are both in difficult "seasons".  Please pray the Lord will be her peace at this time.  Pray for her as she continues to be a testimony to all those in her family and circle of friends.  Pray for her heart in this loss and for God to be her strength through the days ahead.  May He grant her a peace that is beyond our understanding.  Love ya my friend so very much, and wishing I could be there now for you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Round One Complete

June 6, 2011 will be remembered in the history books as "Round one complete, with all praise, honor and glory going to the Lord." Joy has successfully completed her first treatment of chemotherapy. We began our journey pulling out of the driveway at 6:15am yesterday morning. Since she is not able to drive yet, I quickly became an international driver with a great introduction on their busiest highway.

We arrived around 8am at the Odette Cancer Center in Toronto. We had prayed for, and received, traveling mercies and a parking spot easily accessible to the entrance. Joy didn't have much of a wait before she was settled in for her treatment. Because this was her first time it made for a longer day and more anticipation of what was to come. Things ran fairly smoothly throughout the day. All of the nurses who looked after our precious Joy were wonderful. Due to the length of her treatment Joy was given a "bedroom", complete with four other people. (smile) There was always a nurse in the room tending to the patients. There was one bump in the road when she developed a small rash about 15 minutes after the first drug started running through the IV. As soon as the nurse saw what was happening, she called the surgeon and administered an antidote which had Joy back on track in no time.

If one knows what to look for they could see the Father's fingerprints all over this medical staff who were taking care of our Joy. I think about how the  pharmacist sat tenderly beside Joy's bed, respecting her privacy as she spoke about her medicines and answered her questions. Volunteers came around with cookies at just the right time. Other patients watching as Joy took this chemotherapy into her body to win the battle against cancer saw the quiet courage of my best friend. I watched her stay vigilant for those other four people in the room yesterday. I have no doubt she went before the Father on their behalf many times during the day. As she would glance around the room her heart was heavy for the woman to her left, the young lady and other two men across from her. Each of these roommates were there for the same purpose that had brought her here, to beat this nasty disease called cancer. Prayer is a mighty and powerful weapon, do not doubt it's power!

We finally arrived home at 6:12pm almost 12 hours after leaving in the morning. Joy rested in the evening. Round one was over.  We were both totally exhausted after facing so many unknowns, but the day was a testimony to the Lord. Last night I watched her yawn and nod off as I was working on writing this post. Thank you for all your prayers and support. Please keep the encouragement coming. I will write more soon and post some pictures.

A praise report from today is that the follow-up ultrasound after Friday's mammogram showed no cause for alarm to the technician.  We are rejoicing over this good news.

Joy's father is still in ICU and may be moved to an out of town hospital due to lack of beds. This would cause hardship on the family. Pray for God's grace and wisdom.

Will you pray this prayer for anyone that may have cancer?

Father, we pray that You touch every cancer patient, heal them or grant them
sufficient grace to make it through. We pray for all the doctors and nurses taking 
care of these dear ones. We pray for family members and that You, Lord, will comfort 
them and grant them peace.
We ask all this in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.

Standing in the gap with "Faith"
Diane "Hope"

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Sweet friends, I want to begin by thanking you for the many words of encouragement, emails, phone calls, gifts, meals, cards, shared Scripture, hugs, love and prayers that continue to flood my heart.  I wish I could respond to each of you individually, but please know that every message is read...many times...and you are all ministering to me in very specific ways.  As I've often heard my friend Moira say, "I'm drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed".
Friday was an extremely difficult day.  While at the hospital having the mammogram completed, Sunnybrook called with my first chemo appointment.  It begins tomorrow...Monday 8:30am.  I've been told to prepare to be at the Cancer Centre for 6-8 hours.  I won't deny, receiving the date so soon was a shock, yet I'm glad to quickly be continuing the healing process.  Thanks to my friend Elaine, I have been fuelled with resources to help navigate this journey, and although apprehensive, I feel better equipped to face the coming day.
I expect to be at the hospital until late afternoon, at which time, there is a possibility I might still see my two friends from North Carolina before they board their plane to head back home.  I am praying the Lord will make a way for a quick reunion and some time of prayer.  Oh to just hug their precious necks.
Diane will be taking me to the hospital tomorrow.  I don't know which one of us is for facing chemo, or Diane for driving on the 401 for the first time!  Having her here with me right now is a gift.  The Lord's timing is always perfect.  We've had many moments of laughter and smiles.
My next appointment is already scheduled for Wednesday, June 29th at 8am.  At that time it will be two treatments down, and four to go.  Doing the math, by Gord and my anniversary in October, this all will be behind me.  Trusting the Lord for complete healing.
I'm hoping that wig shopping will be on the agenda this week.  I had to laugh at some of your responses and suggestions for new hair colour and style.  I might not even recognize me!
With this treatment schedule comes some decisions that need to be made regarding activities that had previously been put in place for the summer.  I want to believe and trust that the Lord would keep me from any adverse side effects and that I would remain strong and active over the next few months, yet for the consideration of others involved, conclusions need to be reached and cancellations given if needed.  Please pray the Lord will guide me confidently through this process.  He liberally gives wisdom to those who ask.  Letting go of these plans will not be an easy surrender if that is what God asks of me...but I will trust Him and follow.
Friday also was a difficult day as my mom had to call 911 for my dad.  He is currently in the hospital battling pneumonia.  He is still in Intensive Care in Emergency.  As he is in isolation, I am unable to see him.  My mom and sisters have strongly advised me to stay away, but it is very tough.  Our family is an "army" when one is sick.  We rally around and offer support 24/7.  It is unbelievably hard listening to his updates, and unable to visit and give him a big hug and tell him of my love.  The medical staff keep telling us he is a very sick man.  He has virtually no strength and is unable to eat.  He is struggling with periods of delusion, but that could be a result of the fever and/or low oxygen levels.  The timing is extremely unfortunate...struggling to understand...but God.
I know I can count on your prayers as I continue this journey.  I pray I will get a good nights rest tonight and that tomorrow will be a good day.  Diane gave me a pedicure last night and we spent some precious time together over the past couple of days while my "boys" took a break and headed to Muskoka Bible Conference Centre for the weekend.
As I reflect back over the fears that have desired to undermine my joy and courage, I was so thankful for my Pastor reminding me to "Fear not, the Lord who is your light and your salvation will cover your head."  No wig or bandanna could come close to His covering.
I'll be sure to let you know how the day goes as I am able.  Please check back here for updates during the day as Diane will be posting them from the hospital if I give her a break from entertaining me  :)
Hugs and love to you all.
Continuing to trust His plan...choosing to follow,
Joy, "Faith"
Hee what do you think?  Do we look ready for a day in the big city tomorrow? Girls just wanna have fun  :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Treatment, Tears and Treasures

Precious Friends,

It has taken me the last 24 hours to process and ponder what all I will share with you here today. Yesterday's appointment was long. We left for the hospital at noon, and didn't arrive back home until after 6pm. As I'm weary from a restless night, I will go straight to the details.

I will begin chemotherapy next week. I'm not certain of the date as yet. It will be confirmed by tomorrow. The first treatment will be administered at Sunnybrook, with subsequent treatments probably continued there as well. The surgeon described the course of action as the "gold treatment". It consists of two drugs being given via intravenous. I will be at the hospital between 6-8 hours each visit. I will be given six rounds of chemotherapy, one every three weeks over the course of 18 weeks. The one drug will cause nausea, but that should be handled by medication. The second drug will cause me to lose all my hair a couple of weeks after the first treatment. The surgeon gave me the name of a boutique to purchase a wig and suggested I head out shopping for that fairly soon. I've already contacted a couple of very close friends and we're going to have fun shopping for my new of these friends currently has purple hair on her Facebook profile picture. Wondering...should that worry me?

I also was told that cancer was found in my lymph nodes. I am going to be having a CT scan to see if any other lymph nodes are enlarged. If they are, a course of radiation will also be in my future.

To top it off, I have a mammogram tomorrow at noon with an ultrasound to follow. This is a follow-up from the biopsy done just prior to Christmas with results that came back inconclusive. I am praying that nothing more will be found. I know the Lord would provide the strength, but I feel so overwhelmed by everything else right now, and still trying to recovery from the surgery.

The good news is, my surgeon kept using the word 'cure'. He firmly believes that this course of action will leave me cancer free, it's just a journey I'm going to be on for the next few months.

Friends, with tears filling my eyes now, I ask that you continue to pray. Please pray for the courage and strength to face all that is ahead. Please pray the chemotherapy will do it's job. Please pray the medication I'm given will keep me from being nauseous and that the Lord will sustain me through the hard days. Pray that there will be minimal if no side effects. Pray that radiation will not be required. Pray that my mammogram and ultrasound tomorrow will show no cause for alarm. Pray for Gord and Chris. They are being great, but I know they are very concerned. Pray for me as I handle the loss of my hair. It may sound silly, but that has me very afraid. I just can't imagine the first time I look in the mirror and see my reflection without hair. Chris was trying to encourage me that it's going to save a lot of time getting ready every day, as he knows how long I fuss and fume over getting my hair to co-operate. Pray that I will be able to sleep and that God will guard my thoughts and mind as I trust in Him. Next Sunday, June 12th, we celebrate Christopher's 19th birthday. Please pray I will be feeling well that day and be able to enjoy the time together with family. Pray that even through the weak days I will not neglect God's Word or make excuses not to spend some quiet time with Him. Pray that my intimacy with the Lord will grow as I lean even more into Him. Pray that my life will be a testimony to all I meet of my wonderful Savior.

Last night I came home and phoned my dear friend Elaine in North Carolina. She shares a sisterhood in this cancer journey. She encouraged me with words of wisdom from her walk through chemo. As I've watched Elaine cling to the Lord through all He has allowed to touch her life, she has been such an example to me. I pray the Lord will grow my fragile faith and fill me with Himself.

Thank you all for your love and prayers. Honestly, I can't thank you enough. I feel the support and love of so many.

To end this message on a happy note...guess who is here. Diane flew into Buffalo today at 1:40pm and my guys drove across the border to whisk her away and bring her home to me. At this very crucial time the Lord has provided some girlfriend days, some smiles, fun and laughter, and yes some tears, but what a gift to my heart today.

Also, early next week my dear friends Renee and Leah from Proverbs 31 Ministries, North Carolina, are planning a visit to my home. I can't wait to see them again. They have encouraged my heart continually with messages, phone calls, love and prayers. I trust nothing will interfere or hinder their plans and that we can spend some precious time together.

Today I also rejoice that the cleaning team of "Grace" and "Mercy" (Eithne and Japhia), have worked hard to have my house looking like a palace. They have scrubbed and cleaned and ironed and polished, changed linens, done laundry...gracious I think my home is cleaner than it's ever been before.

Eithne continued to remind me when she was here that this treatment is a cancer cure. The Lord is working His healing, and I'm still just in the middle of my miracle.

Love and hugs to you all,
Joy, "Faith"

PS.  Further to the comment issue.  Apparently Blogger is having issues with comments.  They are working to rectify the situation.  If you have a Google account, it will not post your comments.  You can still enter as Anonymous and your comment will post.  Hopefully things will be fixed soon.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Peace's Promise

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 (NIV)

As the appointment to return to Sunnybrook and meet with my surgeon/oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre is only hours away, I have found myself growing anxious. This appointment will reveal more information, and the next steps in this journey to healing will be discussed. The other morning I was praying that the Lord would give me a verse for this next stage as I walk the road I am travelling, and the above verse is the one He provided through my friend Glynnis. The devotional that accompanied this scripture passage spoke to the "what if's" that often threaten to steal our peace. (You can read the article here: Facing the "What If's" with Courage.) Through Glynnis encouragement, I am telling Satan he has no place here and asking the Lord to cover my mind with the blood of Jesus. His peace passes understanding.

This last week has definitely marked much progress, although I am still very tired. As most of you know, the staples have now all been removed...over 40...and my family doctor gave me a prescription for cream to begin scar massage. This daily visual reminder of all that has happened, and all that is yet to come, is difficult to handle some days, but God is helping my heart process and accept as I trust in Him. There's just so much I never imagined would touch my life...not that I felt my life was immune, I just didn't dream it would be me.

To those of you who have called, emailed, and expressed desire to visit...I love you all so much, just don't have a lot of energy to respond to your messages or enjoy a visit longer than about 20 minutes. It's not that I don't want to see you, but the calls and requests are so many and I wish I had strength to see you all. Quite honestly, up until this point, only about three friends, outside of family, have made it in past my front door. My guys are being watchful, caring gate-keepers. Also, to those of you requesting I do things right now or make plans for the upcoming months, I'm just not ready to commit to anything at this point. I don't know the treatment that is to come or how my body will react and I don't want to carry the weight of disappointing you or letting you down. I'm sorry if I don't have the freedom to take anything else on at this time. I know your hearts are in the right place and you only want to encourage me with opportunities to look forward to, but right now making those types of decisions is overwhelming. Please understand.

Sunday marked a milestone as I made it out to church for the first time since the surgery. It was wonderful to share in a time of worship with my "family". My heart was so encouraged, but the outing completely drained me, and I spent the remainder of the day resting. I've also managed to get outside for some short walks. I try to walk at least an hour a day, but do so in segments. The weather this week looks conducive to fresh air, so I hope to spend some more time soaking up the sun.

Many days I feel very useless around here. It has been four weeks since the surgery, and I have another four, by Dr's orders, to do nothing. It's very hard depending on others for everything. My twin sister, Japhia, has been my "right hand". She comes weekly to clean, do laundry, run any errands...she has been so helpful. Others have delivered meals and what a blessing that has been for the entire family. When Gord arrives home from work all he has to do is heat a prepared, delicious dinner in the oven...thank you for helping and ministering to all of us in this way.

The past two days I have actually clothed myself in something other than a fresh pair of jammies after my shower in the morning. This too is a huge step forward. This dressing brings with it a desire to start living again. The secluded sanctuary of home has been a haven for regaining health, but baby steps need to start happening so that I don't become a hermit. It's very easy to allow cancer to build a cocoon. This little butterfly needs to spread her wings again and soar.

Please pray for wisdom and discernment for any decisions that will need to be made today as my husband and I meet with the surgical team. Pray for God's peace and presence to fill me as I walk into this cancer centre for the first time. Pray that the best course of treatment will be suggested for my care and cure and that my body is being prepared to handle, receive and be completely healed of this cancer. Thanks for standing with me. I know I don't walk into today alone.

Love and hugs to you all.
Trusting Him,
Joy, "Faith"

PS. We have received more emails concerning the inability to leave comments. We have changed the settings again. Anyone should be able to post a comment if they desire. PLEASE let us know if you are unable to do so and we will try to find our setting error. Thanks.