Kindred Spirits

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.


Beth E. said...

I think it's fixed! ;-)

I sent you an email. Praying for you, Joy!

patricia e said...

yay to your cleaning team!

glad Diane arrived and you two are reunited once again - enjoy the sunshine!

love and blessings,

Catherine said...

Praying, praying, praying sweet friend. Hannah and I lifted you before the Throne of Grace just a short while ago as we said her bedtime prayers. Tomorrow we'll have more specific requests for Auntie Joy. God is so good!

Praising Him for allowing Diane to come now and be there with you.
Praising Him that you should have no nausea.
Praising Him that He has called your precious family and friends to be there loving you, supporting you, cleaning for you and praying for you...those both near and far.

Love you so much!

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Praying much for the battle that lies ahead.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Thank you for the update, Joy, and for your recent phone call. You know that I've got you covered from Fayetteville! So glad Diane arrived, seems just in time.