Sunday, November 19, 2017

Weary in the fire

Isaiah 43:1-3

At 2am this morning, I began to read one of my devotionals which really struck me... Here's an excerpt:

"When you determine to take a stand in faith and refuse 
to give in or give up when the fires of life are blazing, 
you’ll make your enemy very, very angry indeed. Things 
may heat up for you before you see the hand of God move
 on your behalf. But never assess the power or goodness of 
your God by the heat of your fire.

The time that passes between the utterance of your prayer
 and when His answer is delivered is called “the testing of
 your faith.” Most people tend to give up when they pray 
and then nothing happens. Most people become negative, 
fearful, or bitter when the temperature of their fire is 
multiplied by seven. However, it is vital that you remember
 that the goodness and power of your God is unaffected by
 the temperature of the fire. "

This is all so very true... And the enemy is becoming very angry with our family right now. Things have been "heating up" more and more and I am becoming so very weary. Between the exhaustion from being unable to sleep from the steroids, and now all sorts of new crazy symptoms, it's getting hard to not give up.

I came down with thrush this week. Fuzzy feeling with white spots in my mouth, bleeding lesions, and then pain feeling like my tongue was being peeled off in strips. Thankfully medicine and natural remedies have helped this tremendously over the past few days and I'm on the mend...

The day after the thrush occurred, I began a new symptom that pretty much showed up out of nowhere as I began walking up some stairs to pick up my kids at our Friday morning Bible study. My knee locked up and it became so hard to walk and bend. I figured I had just moved it weird and continued on. It unfortunately didn't get any better and when we got home, I looked closer at my legs and found my knees were swollen and looked strange. As the day went on, the pain got worse and I had to literally limp out from radiation because my left knee would not bend without tons of pain. Unfortunately this pain has only gotten worse over the last day and I've found I have literal fluid pockets all round my knees. Apparently this can be a side effect from the steroids. It can also affect my thigh and calf muscles which is why my legs are in so much pain. The steroids are also causing swelling everywhere else and in my face as well. These steroids are just horrible! And unfortunately I have no other option as they are completely necessary to keep intracranial swelling down. So unfortunately this is just more stuff to endure over the next several weeks of radiation and being on steroids....

While I know it could be SO much worse, it was just one of those moments where that final straw  kind of broke the camel's back. This whole season isn't easy and these symptoms that keep getting added on make it so much harder. Our fire is being multiplied and I'm trying really hard to not become negative, fearful or bitter as it happens. I'm feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted and weary and so I guess this is my call out to please, please, PLEASE pray for our family. Please pray for us as we endure this fire. Please pray that we are able to continue to endure and fight and not give up. Please pray that we are able to continue to find and see joy. That we are able to continue seeing God's goodness and promises and power. Please pray for my kids as Satan attacks them each in various ways, trying hard to bring them down. Please just pray for endurance.

Please pray:
Galatians 6:9 
"Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."


Ephesians 6:11 
"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take 
your stand against the devil’s schemes." 


Romans 5:3-5
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we 
know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance 
develops strength of character, and character strengthens our 
confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to
 disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, 
because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."

(Also, side note. From here on out, my radiation time is at 2:45 instead of 4:00. I know many have chosen the 4:00 time to pray, and so I wanted to share this change)

I have no doubt that some of these attacks are occuring, because this morning, Ilana and Michael both take a full stand in their faith and fully give their lives to Christ in baptism at church! Because of this, I choose joy! Despite the pain. Despite the weariness. Despite the exhaustion. I am choosing joy in that these hot fires of life are NOT stopping my family from fully following our Lord. And I have no doubt it's from being covered so heavily in prayer.... So again, friends, family, and followers, thank you for all you do for us... To some of you, you may seem like a prayer is nothing. But for us. It's holding us up. Especially now where I seem to be hanging on by a mere thread... So thank you for blessing us with your prayer and your time.... Thank you for being constant encouragement to us....

Sunday, November 5, 2017

1:00am Writings - My New Normal

It's 1 o'clock in the morning... But I'm up and writing. God and I seem to have an unending date every day at 1:17am! So here's this week's update!

I'm at 2 weeks of radiation down. 4.5 weeks to go...

Things I have learned... Steroids are awful. They have so many crazy side effects! But I know they are beneficial, especially in my case. With having radiation to my head, I’ve been experiencing increased swelling in and around my right eye and horrible headaches. The radiation is causing intracranial swelling which is compressing on all sorts of nerves and blood vessels, which caused me to be in the most excruciating pain I have ever been in before on Monday. I was in so much pain I told Michael I literally just wanted to die. I’ve given birth to three babies without an epidural. I’ve endured kidney stones which I think was worse than labor. I would have preferred 10 kidney stones while giving birth, over the pain I was in Monday.  That was a really scary moment for me and the rest of my family to see me in such pain.  Michael rushed me to the ER, where they gave me a shot of morphine for pain. 

The next day they decided to put me on a different steroid that’s longer release and something I have to take 3 times a day instead of once in the morning, as the previous steroid was wearing off by the time I’d have radiation and the internal swelling would occur at night, causing the pain. While this steroid seems to be working (as long as I’m taking it at very specific times), it unfortunately is wreaking havoc on my body. My body and mind is exhausted, yet I’m unable to sleep. I’ve slept about 16 hours total in the last 5 days/120 hours. I’m able to sleep from around 10pm-1am and then I’m up the rest of the day... 

In a way, it’s been kind of a blessing, because I get some things done while everyone is sleeping (like making elderberry syrup, snooze tincture - I’m willing to try anything for sleep!!, homemade bread, etc), and I get a good length of quality time with the Lord. I’ve started doing 3-4 various bible studies and I’ve picked back up on writing my book that I’ve considered writing for years. Maybe God will use this time where I may finally complete it! 

But while I’m able to accomplish so much, I know my body is becoming weary and my brain is feeling all the affects from the radiation and the lack of sleep. I’m becoming more forgetful and confused and struggling with basic concepts. It’s weird... It’s like mom brain on steroids. Literally! 

Despite all of this, I find myself just consumed with joy. I’m constantly looking for things to be joyful about because I know how easy it is to dwell in our current situation and see all the bad and I do not want to be consumed with that. I know that despite our circumstances, God is still so very good!! And we are so, so blessed by Him. 

I have some great doctors who truly care... Not many doctors ever text you throughout the week just to see how you’re feeling. What a blessing it is to have a doctor who does this for me. 

My daily radiation time has become such a huge blessing and joy for me. I’m able to sit and talk in a women’s waiting room with other ladies going through cancer. I’m the youngest one in there by about 30-40 years usually, but it’s such an encouragement for me to talk to these ladies each day and I cherish the wisdom they speak of. I go into the radiation room and am literally strapped to the table with a face mask to prevent my head from moving at all during the radiation. This time has been so amazing to me as I lay there, giving back to all those who have prayed for our family over the years and I lay there in prayer for so many people who have shared their prayer requests with me. (If you have a prayer request, I would absolutely love you to email me at or contact me on Facebook. I would LOVE to pray for you!) 

I have found that through all of this chaos, God has drawn me closer to Him than ever before and I’m just so overjoyed and truly happy... Our whole family is constantly working on choosing joy, as well. It’s been hard for some of my kiddos who already struggle with change and depression and anxiety. This month, during November, we are really focusing on GRATITUDE for how good our Lord is and we plan to use this month to give back to Him by helping others. Whether in prayer or in any other way God sees fit - our kids are thinking and praying for God to give them ideas of random acts of kindness gestures we can do each week and they are just so excited to give to others!! What better way to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas than aligning our hearts to give and be thankful?

We are especially thankful for each of our followers, supporters, prayer warriors, family (church and blood) and friends. Your prayers have helped sustain us on the hardest of days. Your monetary gifts have helped ease the burdens of all these medical appointments. Anytime I start to worry about our finances, we get a random check in the mail or a donation on our GoFundMe and it’s just a constant reminder again, that God is good and He will supply ALL our needs and He reminds me to stop worrying!! 

I know so many have asked how you can help tangibly, and I really don’t know right now... Your support and offers truly mean a lot. Really, your prayers are so appreciated and I will try to update once a week with specific prayer needs. 

Here are a few for this upcoming week:

  • For my kids... This is all a lot to endure for them. I’m always the one taking care of them and I’m always home with them. With me being tired and struggling with pain, I’m not able to as much for them and I’ve had to rely heavily on my mom and sister and Michael. They are a huge blessing! But I know it’s hard for my kids to not see me being “normal” and to have me leave everyday for an hour or so for radiation. They’re all still reacting in many different ways to all the change and while I know it’s normal and okay, it’s hard for me to see certain ones struggling so much... 
  • For Michael - it’s hard for him seeing me in constant pain. He’s so incredible though at taking care of me. Such a blessing to have a husband that loves me and cares so much!
  • For my steroids to allow me to sleep a little longer than 2-3 hours a day and for the exhaustion it’s putting on my body to not wear down my immune system.
  • For the amazing people I meet every day at radiation. For their bodies to heal completely of each of their different cancers. 
  • For wisdom for my doctors in knowing what things to do for me, as I’m pretty much a guinea pig/experiment as they’ve never treated this before. 
  • For the deep, internal pressure in my head to subside. While the headache pain has decreased from Monday, I still struggle with the normal "dull, aching headache" I've had for the last 6 weeks. But there's now a new kind of "pain" which is more of just internal pressure. I'm sure it's from the intracranial swelling, but I'd love for that pressure to be minimal...
  • For God to be glorified through our entire family's circumstance. No matter the outcome.