Numbers are in. It has been nearly a week since I got the numbers back for the tumor marker. I didn't intentionally keep them to myself, in fact, I have shared them with many in person but haven't quite found the time to come on here to share. I have only had this lab drawn twice that I am aware of. The first time it was 200 and this time it was 205. Before I said anything, the nurse told me that even though the number has gone up a few digits, they consider it to have pretty much stayed the same. Okay I thought, well I was really hoping & praying that the number would have dropped significantly but it didn't. Was kinda bummed about that but reminded myself that I choose to trust God and my Hope is in HIM. Those that I shared the number with told me that they thought it was good. That it probably means that the cancer has stopped growing because it didn't really increase. Yay GOD! And a friend shared with me that even when her dad was free and clear of cancer, his tumor marker number didn't come down to normal levels right away. So I decided, it didn't matter to me what the number was, like my necklace says, I will Trust God! And that is exactly what I am doing.
Much has happened since the last time I was able to share. After we got home from Christmas with family, our son Braly, decided he was ready to move back into his room. We've been raising our kids to be close to each other & lean on each other, especially in hard times (which is why it kinda breaks my heart every time they fight & are mean to each other or 2 of them exclude the 3rd). Well, ever since I was diagnosed, Braly didn't want to be alone in his room, him being the only boy & all, so we moved his bed into the girls' room and he has been sleeping in there since. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing this. It has been good in some ways for all of us. It has been somewhat convenient for us to put them to bed with them all being in the same room and at other times, it is downright difficult because if they start talking, it can be harder to get them all to sleep and if someone isn't sleeping well, then perhaps none of them truly did & they all seemed to catch the same colds faster & easier (though I don't really know if proximity had anything to do with it.) Anyway, Braly decided it was time to move back into his room so he started cleaning it & preparing it for what he had made his move in date. He even hauled the vacuum upstairs and vacuumed his carpets. I was in the living room and I heard the vacuum turn on, then off. Then on, and off again. I was wondering if they were goofing around & trying to break our expensive vacuum so I went upstairs to check on things and when I walked into the room I did not expect to find my son standing on a chair carefully taking all his Star Wars figures off each shelf, asking one of his sisters to turn the vacuum on, getting all the dust off the shelf, then having one of them turn it off and painstakingly placing each character back on the shelf in a nice, neat line. I think he may have even categorized each shelf though I didn't take the time to figure out his system. Needless to say, I was impressed. After he cleaned his room up, he asked me if I would help him some more. He wanted to move his shelf around in his "Boy Cave" and explained what his goal was. I gave him some options and over a few days (it might not have taken me that long in previous years because I simply love organizing & having a fresh start to the New Year helps motivate me) we moved his toy shelf to a completely new location under his bed which without the bottom bunk below makes it more of a loft. We placed all his Lego containers on the top so Sadie couldn't get to them as easily & placed some of his put together objects like a helicopter & ship on a top shelf under his bunk. We went through all his bins & put the toys back where they belong and then finished cleaning & decluttering the "Boy Cave". We gave the whole room another vacuuming and he decided to move back into his room a week earlier than his original plan. He's thrilled to be back in there though some nights its harder for him to fall asleep. God created him to really enjoy being near people so being in a room alone can be hard at times. He's such an amazing & spectacular boy though. I sure am glad that we were blessed to have him in our family. :)
I love organizing things & was able to purchase a few containers to get a few more things organized. This year, I concentrated on getting the kitchen put back together. It has been out of sorts for months now. Snacks, sweets, meds, all sitting on the counter and we don't have a ton of counter space in the first place. I used containers to put snacks in them in hopes it would be easier for them to find their way back into the space and behind locked doors or up high so Sadie can't snack on things at her leisure that have little nutritional value for her growing body. She didn't used to fancy the treats but that has changed in the last few months. I finally found bins that work fantastic for all the meds & vitamins we have in this house. I have yet to print & attach labels to them but at least they are divided into categories & are easy to find & use. And when I open the cupboard to get something out, it doesn't fall on the floor or make me go crazy looking at the mess. It is very pleasing to the eyes. :) We received some money for Christmas and decided to get rid of our microwave for cooking or heating up food and purchased a Toaster Oven with Convection for a healthier option. I have read that it isn't the radiation that causes problems like everyone originally thought, but rather that the molecular structure of the food is changed. And with the cancer not being hereditary, according to the genetic testing that they did on me, it must be something in my environment and so I am starting to learn how to use a toaster oven to reheat things quicker than waiting for our big oven to heat up. I am also teaching the kids how to use it as we go along. It is going to be an interesting experience since they have to use oven mitts & be very careful not to burn themselves. But I have every confidence that they will get the hang of it (so will I) and the food will taste better & we will be healthier with this option and it won't take that much longer to heat our foods up & it will be fun.
I have kept up my prayer time with God (it's something I really, I mean REALLY enjoy doing) and I have been doing a decent job reaching my goal of spending time in His word daily. After going through the last few blog entries, I realized that I have not shared some of the neat things that God has been doing & so I want to share. I promise you, it will be long, but I think it is well worth it. The day after my appointment, a relative sent me a prayer for me to pray. I don't know that I will share the prayer here but I can tell you this, I read that prayer with faith, confidence, and belief & as I read it, I had goosebumps all over. I actually copied it & pray it often. I do that with many of the prayers I receive. Anyway, the next day I remembered that I was sent a link to a site that had some teachings on healing. I found the link, went to the site, and kind of quickly scrolled through some of the testimonies about healings that had happened & people were sharing. One caught my eye so I clicked on it and read. It was very touching & talked about a young boy, very close to the age of our Sadie when his parents found out he had cancer all over in his body. He received treatment for months & didn't seem to be doing as good as the doctors had hoped when his parents started listening to a teaching seminar about healing. It was titled "God Wants You Well". There were things that really spoke to me in their story and so I started looking into this teaching & I of course started praying for God's direction with this. I wasn't sure whether this is the direction He wanted me to go or not so I prayed. A few days later, a friend of mine emailed me and was encouraging me and she used the phrase "God wants you well". Coincidence? Not to me. More like confirmation that I should start listening to it but there was a bit of fear & perfectionism in me that made me wonder whether I should or not. There are like 5 parts to this series and each are about 2 hours a piece. Where was I going to find 2 hours to sit & listen & take notes in my day. So I didn't start it for like 2 weeks. I finally told myself that there was nothing wrong with listening to it in parts, whether it be 10 minutes, 15, or even longer if I could manage the time. So I turned it on. I'm the kind of person that learns best when I take notes in color (imagine that lol). And that's exactly what I started doing. I am about 20 minutes into the teaching & am already learning & being encouraged & had something else be confirmed for me. Last week I was explaining something to my kids about how sin is sin no matter what it is. God doesn't place degrees of badness on things, whether it is a lie, stealing, or murder, sin is sin. And when I was telling them this, I believe that the Holy Spirit revealed to me that sickness is the same. It doesn't matter if it is a headache, common cold, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, or whatever, sickness is sickness. And then when I started listening to the healing series, the pastor said the same thing. It's so cool how God works!!!! I am seeking in the Bible and praying for God to guide me to read & understand what he wants for me to learn. I am looking to spend as much time devouring His word that I know exactly what & how to pray. And I am excited to be learning & have this hunger for the word of God! When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I prayed that God would give me the faith & belief of the woman in the Bible that touched Jesus' garment & was healed. I only told my sister that I was praying this and never expected what happened last week to happen. My sister doesn't live in the same town as me and she doesn't know the friend that messaged me to tell me that when she has been praying for weeks, when she thought of the story of the bleeding woman that was healed, she immediately thought of me. She didn't want to bring false hope nor did she know why she was supposed to share this with me but she did last week. That's when I told her that I had only told 1 person how I had been praying to have faith like that woman. What does it mean? I take it to mean that I am to continue to seek God, learn from his word, and to have a faith that I will be healed. I thank each one of you reading this blog that have been praying for me and for my family. We are doing well. (though if you asked our kids they might not fully agree since we took away all screen time this week for the older 3 to see if it will help their attitudes toward each other lol). God hears each prayer that is offered up and I have been praying for many of you that have expressed needs. This morning, Gabby brought Sadie into our room because she was awake at like 3am or so. It wasn't until nearly 4am that I had enough of her climbing on me and pouncing on Adam's head & that I was able to actually wake up enough to carry her downstairs to get her some milk and lay on the couch with her to help her fall back to sleep. As I waited for her to calm down & fall asleep guess what I did? Yup, I prayed. Do you know that I cannot ever remember a verse popping into my head as clearly as one did this morning to me. I repeated it over & over again because I wanted to be sure to remember it after I awoke and to share it with you. And what I didn't realize until I looked it up today was that it is only the second half of the verse. The part that was as clear as day & what I thought about all day long was "greater is he who is in me, than he that is in the world." ahhh....I LOVE that! Where are those cool emoticons when you need one? Right??? Here is the full verse.
1John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
So uplifting, encouraging, amazing, positive...just what I needed! God is greater than anything and everything in this world. He's greater than all sickness, even cancer. I started looking up a few other verses and these are a few I thought I'd share.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
And God is for us. After all, He loves us so much that he sent his son to die so that each and every one of us could, if we choose, ask for forgiveness and go to heaven one day to be with God. I don't know about you but my one and only son Braly means a heck of a lot to me. I don't honestly know that I could sacrifice him, even for 1 person. That had to be soooo hard for God, as a parent, to make that choice. I know sometimes, my husband & I have to make difficult choices for our kids because we know that it's what's best for them. And that doesn't involve their death. So it must have been really difficult for God to make that choice. But he did it because he loves us so very much that I'm not sure we could ever comprehend the love he has for us. Then I was lead to read these two verses about the Holy Spirit, whom I believe has been helping me learn more lately, because I am being even more of a willing vessel, more so than I was before.
John 14:16-17 (Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit)
…16"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
Totally amazing to me how God works and reveals special things to us when we are seeking Him & His guidance. I love that I am craving His word and that I have been blessed with not only the "God Wants You Well" series (which you can download as a podcast from itunes for free, yes free from Andrew Wommack) but a few people from our church have given us some CDs to listen to of other pastors on healing. I have always believed in healing but I am learning more about it now and I can't wait to share even more.
I pray that you are blessed by the words I have shared. That God is working in your life the way you need Him to right this very moment. I pray that you are receptive to what He has in store for you and that you will share what you are learning from His word. His word is truth, it is life, and Jesus is living and wants to be a part of your everyday right now. I pray that God continues using me to share His love for you and that you will feel His presence in your life. I thank you once again for the prayers, encouraging words, compassion & kindness you show our children as their teachers, delicious meals, love, and help each of you have blessed us with during this time. It has been 2 1/2 months and so many of you have been so faithful in helping us in many ways this whole time. Thank you doesn't seem enough so that's why I pray for each of you. Until next time....
P.S. Be sure to sign up for the emails so you know when my sporadic writing actually happens & is posted. LOL Top right of the page is the place to enter your email. There might be a confirmation email sent to you, if so, be sure to click the link in it. I'm not sure exactly how it works as I haven't signed myself up. haha :)