Sunday, April 22, 2012

It’s been a year since I found out I have stage IV breast cancer that has spread to my bones.  I can’t believe it’s been that long.  I go through good times and bad, or I guess depression.  This last week I had a few bad days.  Those are days when I cry and don’t handle things well.  This past week I’ve been struggling with the down side.  I think getting a disabled parking
permit didn’t help.  When Chuck asked me to see about getting one I took the paperwork to my Dr. thinking if she approved it she would only approve it temporarily - meaning 6 months.  But, she approved it permanently.  That, I must admit, surprised me.  It doesn’t expire until 2016.
I’ve been in a bit of a fog since that happened.  I think I haven’t been accepting all of what I’ve been told and know about my cancer.  Of course
I know attitude, diet (sugar why can’t I hate you), etc. can affect the outcome.  How do people get through something like this without knowing God and having a relationship with Him?  I don’t know how it is possible.
I heard a sermon today about anxiety.  I really needed to hear it.  No matter what your circumstance you need to trust God.  Trust that He is in control and knows what He is doing.  Trust that He can and will take care of you (me).
Don’t give in to anxiety.
·                It leads to unwise decisions
·               Steals joy and peace
·             Wastes time and energy
·              Can very negatively effect your health
I know these things but sometimes the reality of “living with cancer”
hits hard. 
I met a nurse the other day who told me radiation can mess up your heart.
She also told me if she got breast cancer again she wouldn’t do anything about it.  I asked her what she meant by anything and she said, no treatment, surgery, nothing.  That surprised me.  She said she didn’t want to go through all of it again.  She had stage I.  But, she also said that now cancer doesn't kill people like it used to they just live with it like people live with diabetes or other diseases that don't go away.
I wish I could just stop going through all of it.
Tomorrow I get another Xgeva shot.  This seems to be causing a lot of pain and I would really like to skip it.  But the Dr. said it takes 3 – 4 shots before it even begins to work so tomorrow’s number 4.  We’ll see what happens.

Here’s the sermon notes from today:

By Dr. Charles Stanley
 Key Scripture: Philippians 4:4-7
I. Introduction: Emotions greatly influence how we live our lives. They are a gift from God, provided so we can enjoy life and relate to others, but how we express them determines whether they are beneficial or detrimental. Either we control them, or they control us.
Anxiety is the most prominent emotion people are experiencing today. It’s important to realize that feeling anxious is not a sin, but the Lord doesn’t want us to live in a continual state of dread because of life’s uncertainties. It’s important to understand what we should do with anxiety and how long we let it control us.
II. What is anxiety?
A. In the New Testament, the word anxiety means, “to be distracted or pulled apart.” This is the opposite of peace, which means, “to be bound together.”
B. It can also be defined as “dread, apprehension, and uncertainty” and can be caused by past events, a present situation, or future possibilities.
C. Sometimes, anxiety is a fear of not being in control or of feeling vulnerable.
III. What are the sources of anxiety? First of all, know that God is not the creator of anxiety and that worry doesn’t fit our identity as followers of Christ. Instead, we should trust God (Matt. 6:25-26). It’s important to know there are: 
A. Legitimate causes. Some things are just naturally going to create anxiety. For example, if you didn’t study for an exam, you have reason to be nervous.
B. Inappropriate reasons. At other times, our worries are caused when we feel we might not get what we want. It could be some possession or a relationship we want, even if we know it’s not right.
C. Unacknowledged issues. When we don’t deal with the cause of our anxiety, it takes up long-term residence within us, causing all sorts of emotional and physical problems. This is not the way God wants His children to live.
IV. Why should we avoid anxiety?
A. It isn’t scriptural. In one passage alone, Jesus said, “Do not be anxious” three times (Matt. 6:25-34). He explained that it is unnecessary because the Father will provide what we need. We simply can’t accept a lifestyle of anxiety when Jesus is our Prince of Peace. 
B. Anxiety has a negative effect on every area of our lives because it:
1. Divides our minds. Apprehension pulls us in two different directions, making it hard to focus on important matters.  
2. Slows down our productivity. Because we are distracted with worry, we can’t give anything else our best efforts. 
3. Affects our personal relationships with others. It’s hard to keep our anxieties to ourselves. When we’re filled with fear, we burden those around us.  
4. Leads to unwise decisions. Those who are overly concerned about the future are prone to make hasty decisions to stop feeling uncertain.
5. Steals our joy and peace. It’s impossible for us to be fretful and peaceful at the same time.
6. Proves to be a terrible waste of time and energy. Uncertainty, frustration, and worry are exhausting and achieve nothing and can even have a devastating effect on our health.
V. What is the correct way to deal with anxiety? With so much at stake, it’s foolish to give in to anxiety or seek quick, temporary relief. Instead of worrying, you should:
A. Bring your worries to God. Whatever is troubling you is a matter for prayer. The first step to freedom is confessing your fears to the Lord rather than let them rule you (Acts 18:9-10).
B. Come to the Lord with an attitude of thanksgiving. In the midst of your apprehension, you may not feel grateful, but when you think about God’s loving involvement in your life, you can’t help but praise Him (Phil: 4:6-7).
C. Come with a threefold conviction. Remember the Lord loves you unconditionally and wants the best for you. Also, He has the desire and power to help, so you can expect Him to do just that.
D. Recognize that anxiety is a faith battle.We must believe that God will replace our anxieties. If we surrender our concerns into His hands, we can have His amazing peace—even if all hell breaks loose around us.
VI. Conclusion: As great as all these promises are, they will not be yours if you give Christ your worries with one hand and take them back with the other. True freedom is only possible when we finally admit that a burden is too heavy to carry. Remember, no one has to live in anxiety; it’s a choice. Freedom and peace await those who give their worries to God and leave them in His hands.

You can also listen to the sermon here -
Do you know God?  (taken from In Touch magazine)
Perhaps you've never thought about God's calling on your life.  His first goal for you is
salvation.  If you don't yet know Christ that can change today.  All you have to do is confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved.  (Romans 10:9)
Then the holy spirit will come to live within you from that point on, empowering you to do all God has planned for you.  Won't you take this step today?  You can use the following prayer or your own words.

Lord Jesus, I believe you are truly the Son of God.  I confess that I have sinned against you, in thought, word, and deed.  Please forgive all my wrong doings and let me live in relationship with you from now on.  I receive you as my personal Saviour, accepting the work you accomplished once and for all on the cross.  Thank you for saving me.  Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.  Amen

You can get an All things are new kit from In Touch.

I had such a difficult time typing this - someone must really need to read it!

For the artists who read this go and look at this artists' work. It is absolutely beautiful and I hope to see it someday in person!
Makoto Fujimura's

here's his website:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yesterday I had to go to the Dr. to pick up a prescription.
Corey drove me.  As we were leaving the parking lot at the
Dr.  she swerved and said, "that's Shawn".  Shawn's a 
friend of Corey's that I've talked to on the phone who recently
started going through this breast cancer journey.  It was
amazing to me that we just happened to be there at the precise
moment that we would run into her.  As Tracy says,
"serendipitus" and a "God" thing.  We talked for a little.
It was amazing to see her and I'm so glad she was able to
get my Dr.

Corey took me to the dog park so I could see what it's like.
It's a lake by the old Navy base that I actually took a sailing
lesson in back in the 70's.  Can't believe how long ago that was.
It was really crowded.  Corey told me there were lots of places
I could sit in the shade and watch her and Minion and take
photos.  This husky had a bit of a scary look to him.  

 It was pretty there and a very nice relaxing day.

 See, coming at Minion he looked kind of scary

 Corey told me lots of benches to sit on.
See this one Minion's on.  I was standing next
to it taking his photo when some of the dogs
in the background (not small dogs) decided 
to start chasing each other.  They came racing over toward 
us and under the bench and right in between my legs.
Scared me, but thankfully they didn't knock me down.
Of course they'd been swimming so I got all
wet and yucky but it made me laugh.
 Minion was smaller than the stick but he kept fetching it.

 He'd do anything for Corey he loves her so much.

 Then another scary big dog came over and said hi to Minion.
 The trees were very inspiring.

The nice thing about this dog park is the dog wash.
 tired puppy
 Minion just wants to kiss Corey not be photographed
 Pretty girls, Jill and Corey and mini onion

Friday, April 13, 2012

They are having a fundraiser for Gwyn an artist who has stage IV breast cancer like me.   You can check out the information here.

I know what it is like to have to spend lots on co pays and everything else involved in this journey.
I have been blessed with family and friends that have helped with many of my expenses.  We could
not have made it without them and I thank God everyday for all of the help we have received!!