Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You"ll Get Through This

January 2012, Max Lucado started a sermon series called, "You'll Get Through This".
When I heard this announced, I thought, "I don't want to hear this."  I wanted to go to a new church!
If I heard it, then it would mean something was going to happen that I didn't want to happen.  Several times in my life, when tragedy's were happening, my safety mechanism was, "If I don't know it's happening then it's not happening."
Because I had this attitude as I sat through the first couple of sermons with my defenses up.
Then I missed church because I was taking my first trip in an ambulance.
 I stepped over the chasm from the life "before" to the life "after".
I put the bumper sticker, "You'll Get Through This" in my car window.
And Max Lucado spoke what I needed every week after that.

God used him to hold me up when the rug was being pulled out from under me.
Max is a humble man. Great Spirit-filled man of God. He prayed with me. He prayed with Logan. He is calm. And he believes God still heals today. He spoke God's words into our lives on many occasions not even knowing he was doing it. I am so thankful he is my pastor and so thankful I was in  his church at the time I was.
All divinely directed.
I always tried to stay positive. I didn't want to break down because I knew who was still in control and still holding me. I also knew the power of believing positively. :) I asked for lots of prayer.
But there were times, when Logan had to make me look him in the eye and help me get my focus back. I thank God for him.
There were moments when I wondered if I would still be here in March.
But then in March, we took lots of family pictures in a field of Texas blue bonnets. Those were taken moments after a cat scan.
In our minds we often recited the mantra Max had us repeat every Sunday for three months:

"You'll get through this. It won't be easy. It won't be quick. But God will use this mess for good. I won't be foolish or naive, but nor will I despair. With God's help,  I know I will get through this."

By late April, mid May, Dr. Garner was concerned because nothing she was trying was having any effect on the family of tumors in my abdomen. I still did not feel sick at all and to the amazement of my treatment room nurses, my hair had not even begun to fall out.
Then Dr. Garner decided try a "chemo cocktail" of five different chemo's. This was used quite often she said. However, my system did not take well to it. I became....? I am trying to think of a word that means sicker than sick.
Days ran into weeks and all I can remember is the edge of the bed, a little of our bathroom and a lot of the treatment room bathroom. I would stay in there for hours on end. They would have to route the other patients down the hall.
On top of the chemo making me ill, every kind of "nausea" medicine they gave me, reversed on me and made me sicker than ever. I finally tried Dramamine and it gave me some relief. But I had to take mega doses of it so I was always walking around like a zombie. This became ever apparent the second day I was taking it, when I informed Logan and Ashley that I felt well enough to drive myself and Candace to the medical center, they could go on to work.
I don't remember driving 35 miles there or back. My family told me later I was within an inch of pulling the car through the garage door. I talked to my son, Brandon, and didn't remember. So I yelled at him three days later for not calling and checking on me. :)
Needless to say, from then on, someone else always drove me to the medical center.
But none of it lasted long.
This chemo treatment became toxic to my system. Not only was I sicker than my doctor had ever seen anyone, but then I couldn't form words. I knew I wanted to say something but only jibberish would come out. That is when  my doctor stopped everything.  It had became toxic to me. She said she didn't want to kill me in the process of trying to save my life. 
Dr. Garner, is the best. She has such a heart. She and her nurse, Becky, are believers and they would be praying for me. It was comforting to have my caregivers believe with me in the One who has all power to heal.
It was during this time that I was thrust into the full effects and understanding of what so many people go through with a chemotherapy treatment. And I told Logan, "I'm sorry, about whatever happens. But I can't do this anymore."
I completely understood why there are times when people going through similiar situations, throw in the towel. It becomes....just not worth it anymore. It becomes more than you can bear.
As I slowly recovered, I began looking in the direction of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. It  is not easy to get in there. A lot of red tape. It took me about six weeks to finally get in for an appointment.
During that time, my hair was finally thinning, so the girls and I went to try on wigs. We had a fun day and Ashley bought me a RED wig! :) It was beautiful. As time, and then the hair went, wigs would become more important and I would get one a little more my color.
Also, during this time, Dr. Garner sent me to her colleague so I could go on a clinical study.I wasn't sure I wanted to go to another doctor.
 She sent me to Dr. Papadopoulus. She said everyone calls him, "Papa". I closed my eyes, smiled and thought, "Ok, God." You see, one of my favorite books is, "The Shack". In that book, God's name was "Papa". I knew He was still with me.
Through the whole year, to this point, God had sent me so many constant, "God winks", to let me know He was right with me, in control, holding me.
He was still sending me these messages when I went to MD Anderson.
As I always do in an oncology waiting room, I spend my time there praying for all the sick people that surround me. But this hot July day, I felt a little distance from God. I asked God where He was? A few minutes later, Logan and I were ushered into an exam room to wait.  There on the wall was a white board with an arrow pointing upward and the written words, "Trust Him". :)

We will find him if we seek him with all our hearts. 
He will make sure you find him and that you know he is there.
The rest of the year found me in a clinical study marking off the days and weeks according to doctor's appointments, treatments and cat scans. I lost all my hair, had constant watery eyes, complete numbness in my fingers and toes, hardly a taste for any food and terrible bone pain, making it very painful to move at all.
Early September a series of  God guided events led me to the Nature's Presence store here in Boerne. That is when D'Ann came into my life. Immediately she loaded me down with all kinds of natural supplements and set up a charge account for me. She kindly and sternly told me I was never to run out of anything or I would answer to her! 
I started taking:
Vitamin C powder form (mega dose)
Cell Food
VitaMineral Green
What a God send she was. If He had not brought her into my life, I would never have been able to afford all the supplements.
Within two weeks of taking the natural supplements, my hair started to grow back at an alarming rate.... in the middle of taking chemo. This led Dr.Papa to request my wig removal every visit, so he could watch the hair growth process. :)
He is bald on top... he asked me if I thought it would help him. (Oh, and he okayed the natural supplements).

Except for the bone pain from the destruction of my bone marrow, I was feeling terrific.
It had been a long year. Max was right, it wasn't quick and it surely wasn't easy. But God was always right in the middle of the mess and He was showing himself, teaching me and others and being glorified through it.
I felt more than ever that I was going to get through this.

Friday, March 22, 2013

It's Good To Be Alive

Well, this is not what I thought I was going to be writing about today. But it seems to the subject of the day. So....
Take a very deep breath and let it out slowly.
Isn't it so good to be alive?
I mean that in a very grateful way.
As we all know, we are not guranteed tomorrow. This is the only moment you have for sure and the only one you can do anything about. So please, please try to make it intentionally great!

I had a young friend that works at a local establishment, tell me today, a friend of hers died from an accident at his job.
 He was 20 years old.
She said she was devastated for a few days but now she is trying to live each day, so grateful and so thankful. She was telling all her customers today how grateful and thankful she was to be HERE in this day. That they should be as well.
One of my best friends from high school lost her sweet mama last night. My heart, love and prayers go out to Andrea, Toni and Lisa and their families. I loved their mom, Judy. I spent many hours sitting and talking with her. She didn't know it but she filled a void in my life at the time.
Since I have not been back "home" in a very long time, some people, like Judy, are still in my mind the same way I left them 33 years ago.

I like this quote from C.S. Lewis, "Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different."
This reminds me of ...
...complaining about life and situations. Then looking back years later and saying those were the best days!!
...day to day routines with precious little ones, then all of a sudden you look back and everything has changed, they are all grown up
...going through the same day to day routines as I have for the last two years in this house, in this place.
 But even over a short two year time span... things are different and
I look at life differently.
 Problems don't get as blown out of proportion because they are not the most important thing.
I take a lot of very intense mind pictures. Trying to grasp and capture moments and beautiful scenery. Like I am trying to breathe it into me and become one with it...to soak it up completely.
And of course, my days are filled with lots of taking care of ME.
For anyone out there, who has read about my intense healing regiment and then thought it wasn't for you or you just couldn't do THAT!
Well, I hope anyone who is reading this who has cancer or knows someone with cancer will have some second thoughts about trying the supplements, juicing, vegan eating etc... that I have posted. These are all natural God given items given to us to eat and heal and be well.
Believe me when I say there are so many people who have already and who are finding more and more that this is THE way to heal. This is the way to get better from cancer and lots more degenerative diseases.
An oncologist from MD Anderson Cancer hospital in Houston just purchased 500 juicers for his patients!
Please don't let this go without trying it first. It breaks my heart to hear about people who are on Chemo or who are dying from cancer and they have not tried giving their bodies all it needs to heal.
This is important!!
Give your body living food.
Give your body LIFE.
 I feel so much better than I did last year at this time. But...all is not perfect in my world....oh, believe me.
This "unwanted guest" that has came into our lives has caused some chaos, with a mountain of financial issues, on going expenses for supplements and tons of vegetables and so much more. But so what?
My life is not cancer.
My life is not my finances.
My life is not living expenses.
No, my life is so much more.
God wants us to have an abundant life. That doesn't mean abundance in "things".   It's abundance in love and relationship with him and others, enjoying all the good He gives us.
The sky is so blue and beautiful and spring is bursting out all over here in central Texas.
I have family to hug and laugh with.
There are heavenly fields of colorful wild flowers everywhere!
New spring green leaves on the trees as I look through them into the warm sunshine. (Sorry you have snow, Bonnie)
I hope I can live a life from now on that lets God know I am so thankful and grateful.
I am not guranteed tomorrow but for today...
It's good  to be alive!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

One Thing Remains

When you think of things that remain, do you instantly think of things that are left over, or something that stays the same? Or is it both?

From 49 years, I had left over memories, photos, memorabilia, scars, baggage, an ungrateful heart and a bad attitude. I wondered what the new year of 2012 held for me.
I had plans.
So did God.
He was about to shake out my life and see what remained.
I knew God at an early age. When I say, I KNEW God, I mean that I accepted Him in to my heart. I repented of my sins. I said the sinners prayer. I asked him to be Lord of my life and to save my soul and give me a home in Heaven one day.
Those of you who are familiar with that prayer and the Bible's instructions on this, know what I mean.
I was saved.
Even though, from that time on I was sure I was going to Heaven when I died, getting to know God was a lifetime classroom. Of which, I was not always the best student. I am stubborn, I don't take NO well and I can be very manipulative.
I deeply desired to know Him more but I was afraid to surrender to Him. If I did he might cause me to get cancer to teach me a lesson. Hahahahaha.

That thought came from a poisonous thought that was fed to me at a young age that God is just waiting with a yard stick to smack me!
God didn't give me cancer.
 But he took what was meant for evil to me, and he turned it into good.
Because that's how much he loves me.
The past 14 months was something I never wanted to happen to me. But I would NEVER have wanted my life to go on without it.
 It HAD to happen and I NEEDED it.
Amidst all my stubbornness and independence, I still always deeply believed all the great truths in the Bible. So when I was told I had 9 tumors in my abdomen and the doctors had hardly ever seen this type of cancer and they weren't sure how to treat it and they had never really had any positive results for this type....All of that SELF fell away.
I knew the only one who could help me was God.
He was all I had. There was no where else to turn.
He was my rock that was higher than I was.
His grasp that was tighter than anything that had a hold on me.
He is stronger than cancer.
I believe he still heals everyone who comes to him and asks for healing with a believing and thankful heart, just the same as he did when he walked the streets of Jerusalem. It is like Max said this morning. He always heals, whether it is instantly, gradually (me) or ultimately.
I chose to hold on to him with every bit  of life in me, leaving everything in his hands, not mine. I am human and far from perfect. There were times when the world's "death" diagnosis tried to beat me down. The mind can wander to terrible places. This was not an easy journey.
The Holy Spirit gave me strength and through that God was glorified.
I did the chemo.
 Seven different ones. I was unsettled with taking all of them. I was constantly looking at other avenues. God brought all the natural things into my path that I should be consuming to be well. It still took personal one on one convincing for me to step over the conventional line to try what should have been my natural first recourse.
Through the natural supplements, eating lots of veggies and good things, specific juices and detoxing enemas, God is healing me. And He is being glorified because others are  hearing about him. Some can say God has nothing to do with it. But they would be sadly mistaken. God is the one who created all the healing elements I ingest. And God is all powerful, and who we will all answer to in the end, so inspite of what I eat or do, he could still choose to take me home now.
It is all by  his hands. And the prayers of so many play a part.
Cancer is not a death sentence like the medical world wants us to believe. He has made a way for our bodies to heal. Money and power don't want you to know about it. Many in the world make their livelihood from our illness. (These are not all bad people. I have been blessed to have wonderful care givers.)  It sickens and saddens me now that I know the truth of a better way.
I hate seeing SO many sick people at the cancer "treatment" center. My heart hurts for them. Not only because they are inflicted with this disease, but also, I hate seeing them being inflicted with chemotherapy.
I know, there are people who are cancer free because of chemo. But I believe there is a better way and a more permanent way.
If anyone has any questions about the juicing and supplements, I would love to talk with you about it. :) I know it is a lot. It can occupy your day completely. But it is better to be juicing at home than being a victim, chained to a pole, while a liquid, that is somewhere between white lightening and plutonium, fires through your whole body killing just about everything in its wake.
And I would hope that anyone who has cancer would also be taking the Ezzeac Tea. It is highly effective against cancer. If you would like to purchase it from Nature's Presence here in Boerne, Ms. D'Ann will give you a discount if you tell her you read about it on my blog. :D

I want to write more sometime about all the "Stuff" God shook off of me this past year. I am so thankful that he is what was left.
One of the most precious things God taught me is how very much He loves me. (I can't even describe it!!!)  I will have to write a blog about it sometime. And how faithful He is. How he is ultimate in power. How he cares about every bitsy piece of our life and wants to be involved in it.
 And when everything else is gone he isn't just leftover. He and his love was and will ALWAYS be there.
One Thing Remains
And it goes on and on and on .....

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In the Blink of an Eye

First of all, everyone who asked for my health regiment have to know, God does the healing. He is the ultimate healer and the only way that any healing is ever possible. It is by all the good things He gives us for our bodies, it is by His almighty power, it is by prayer, it is by the cross where He took all these sicknesses and diseases along with our sin. So He gets the glory. Only through Him is this possible.
The last few days I have spent a lot of time at the START center getting prepared for the surgery I had yesterday to remove my metaport and today trying to recover from the anesthesia. It knocks me for a loop. :)
When I was checking in today in the triage room, I observed a very thin, frail, elderly lady who was there for treatment. She wasn't a typical elderly lady. I could tell she was once very fashionable. It was almost like her life just fast forwarded transporting her to this day. Her hair was still long and her clothes still of a young woman's style. But now her body was bent, her hair gray and white and cancer was taking her life.
She was sad.
Her life had been changed in the blink of an eye.
As was mine in Januray 2012.
The doctor in the ER said, "You have multiple tumors. One on your pancreas, one on your liver and several throughout your abdomen. Nine or more. I'm so sorry."
All of a sudden one day your whole life turns a corner and you find yourself in a place you never wanted to go and there is no going in reverse.
You MUST choose to go forward.
It is the only way out.
Sometimes this change steals the life we knew and the life we want. But you have to know, when this happens to you, and it will in one way or another, He is still in control. He never fell asleep,and no other force or power is stronger. These things are all as a result of a fallen world. He knew all these fearful things would be used against us. Which is why He tells us in scriptures "Don't be afraid" or "don't fear", 365 times, one for each day of the year.
We wonder where He is.
We may not always see it right away but He is right in the middle of the mess.
The 2012 Mess has given me the opportunity to trust him like I never have before.
 What seemed like it was the end of the road was actually an opportunity to open my eyese and see something I had never seen before.
Through these "blink of an eye changes" that can hit our lives, we HAVE to trust and lean on the One who calms the storm. If we don't the "fallen-ness" of this world WILL over take us.

In most stories there are acknowledgements. Mine is no different.
 In telling this huge story that God has been writing through me this past year, there are quite a few people who I need to acknowledge. And what is so cool is how all of these people are part of a puzzle whose pieces fit in perfectly in 2012. God used each of them. Here are just a few:
Aisha who first bought cookies from me in Saudi Arabia and later adamently, insisted I was going to be apart of the Gerson Therapy by sending me everything I needed along with many long instructional and encouraging letters.
Several dear friends who helped us financially
So very many friends, family and  many I don't even know who prayed earnestly  for me week after week.
My Pastor, Max Lucado whom God sent to hold me up while the rug was being pulled out from underneath me
Dr. Siberidou, who told me not to eat meat, to laugh and enjoy life
Ann Voscamp who taught me to be ever so grateful and thankful
Angie Smith who taught me not to fear
C. Baxter Kruger who helped me see how much God loves me
D'Ann who pushed me and carried me into the world of natural supplements
Michele who loved me and treated me like "normal" no matter what was going on and who let me run away to her house when I needed a vacation
Dr. Allison Garner, Becky Stephens and Carolyn who were not only a great doctor and nurses but encouraging prayer warriors
Dr. "Papa" whom God is using in great ways
Jerry and Lindia who offered a great diet and much prayer and hope
Art and Gail Castenon deep fasting, prayer warriors who loved on us in sweet ways
Candace and Ashley, I can't even find the words to thank you for your sweet love, help, prayer, encouragement, and laughter. I couldn't have made it through without you.
Logan, what a gift and blessing you are. I could never have asked for anyone to love and care for me more than you have.
I am sure there are more people to thank.
More people who have came into my world all because my life changed in the blink of an eye.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In the Middle

Do you always start at the beginning of a story or are you one of those people who likes to read the last page first? How about starting in the middle of the story for a change.  This is actually a grand place to be. Right at the peak, in the heat of the action, in the middle of the plot....past the explanatory beginning and awaiting the glorious ending.
 Like where I am right now.
 In the middle of my story.

Last Tuesday my oncologist told me my cancer was reversing, shrinking. He wanted to know what I was doing. As a matter of fact, when I arrived at the START center, there were many people on the third floor wanting to know what I had been doing. I found myself writing down my new healing routine for many nurses and patients and then for my own doctor. You see I have over 9 tumors in my abdomen. Some on a couple of major organs. I am one in less than 20 people to have ever had these kinds of slow growing tumors. And no one has ever had any success with reversing and or healing these tumors. So the fact that mine are reversing and shrinking is a very big deal. He is inquisitive and eager for new information.

 He is a scientist. His specialty is clinical studies and creating new drugs for cancer patients. He is very open minded. In the middle of the clinical study, I was on last fall, I approached him with some natural supplements that I wanted to start taking. He looked them over and said," Sure why not." I was giving him the respect of showing him, but I think he already knew I was going to take them no matter what he said. :)

I began taking Spirulina, Chlorella, VitaMineral Green and Earth, all from Healthforce.
Spirulina, because it is a  complete protein. The earth's oldest food; so very good for your body. A study was done at Harvard that showed that Spirulina reduced tumors.
Chlorella because it regenerates cells 4 times faster than anything.
VitaMineral Green because it is a superior, nutritionally dense, therapeutic green superfood powder, which nutritionally supports blood sugar, detoxification, the immune system, liver, kidneys, blood, bones, colon, pancreas, muscles, brain, regularity. It is all the nutritious vitamins I needed.
And Earth because it contianed the ingredients to Essiac Tea which has been proven to cure cancer by the testimonies of many.
I also started taking Cell Food by Lumina Health. It oxygenates and feeds the cells. It is WONDERFUL!! I put a drop in every ounce of liquid I drink. MD Anderson has proven that 110 drops of this a day will cure some cancers. It is good for whatever ails you or just to keep you healthy.
Lastly, L-Glutamine powder to detox and reverse the effects of the radiation from all the cat scans and the damage from the chemotherapy.
The results of taking all of this in the middle of a chemo clinical, that had stripped my hair from my body, within two weeks, my hair started growing back. I started to feel lots better.
In December, my doctor told me when he compared the cat scans from Janary through December, there was only an 1/8 inch difference in my tumors. Not significant enough to call it anything, really. I decided I did not want to continue the clinical study. It was destroying my bone marrow, causing lots of bone pain on top of the fact that it was not helping me. My doctor agreed with my decision saying if I had continued, within a year I would have been completely incompacitated. He wanted to start me on a new study. I asked him to give me a couple of months first.
I knew I did not want to take any more chemotherapy. Throughout the whole year I had taken seven different kinds of chemo and I never felt bad at all until THEY gave me something. I did not like the damage it was doing to my body. I added mega doses of Vitamin C powder from Healthforce to my regiment. But now what?
I believed from the beginning I was going to be healed. I believed God was healing me. We had prayers pouring in from literally all over the world. Logan, (my wonderful husband), saw healing visions while praying over me in the hospital during my diagnosis. All year long, it seemed, the natural way of healing message was being sent to me by many unrelated sources. I would gather books and websites and testimonies and read and read and then...put it side.
Except there were a few things sitting in my house so big I couldn't just toss them aside. Boxes. Many boxes that had arrived in the mail from a very persistant distant friend overseas. She strongly believed in, and had witnessed one of these natural healing methods I had read about. And she was ADAMENT that I was to get on this program right away. So adament, she started mailing me hundreds of dollars worth of equipment and supplements and sending me long messages filled with instructions over the internet. I decided I would start trying them Jan. 1. Then Jan 8. Then after my birthday, Feb. 2.
I started hearing about other healings using this program. Finally , my husband pushed me into starting it one Saturday. I have never looked back.
The program is called the Gerson Therapy. You can read about it at www.gerson.com and anyone interested should read the books, "The Gerson Therapy" and "Healing the Gerson Way".  This program makes sense to me because God made our bodies to heal. Not just from a small cut or a large cut. He does nothing half way. He made it to heal from everything. We just have to treat it right and give it the natural things on this earth He put here for us to give our bodies. The Gerson Therapy consists of taking 13, 8-10 ounce juices a day. One practically every hour. There is a fresh squeezed orange juice, 3 plain carrot, 5 carrot/apple and 4 green juices. These are all made with specific vegetables and fruits and all organic. A juicer must be used.  A blender or smoothie maker will not work. A juicer separates the juice from the pulp. Also, eating a vegan diet with a few specific foods such as oatmeal, a little brown rice and a little rye bread, some honey and organic brown sugar. There is no salt, no sugar, no meat nor meat products. (the diet is in the book and on the website)
The other very important procedure you have to perform on this program are coffee enemas, 3-5 a day.I know, I know... I just lost many of you or grossed out the rest of you. I was skeptical myself in the beginning. But here is the thing....if you are drinking this many juices during the day and eating this many vegetables ( in the juices alone for one day there are almost 8 pounds of carrots) your body is flooded with tons of good enzymes and it starts pushing all of those bad toxins out into the blood stream. At this point you HAVE to get rid of those or those bad toxins will cause you to become very ill. The enemas flush the liver and organs of toxins. 
The coffee enemas are made with distilled water and organic coffee. I thought I could never, ever do this. After I tried it, it wasn't so bad. After the second one, I had it down. It is not as bad as it seems and it actually makes you feel so good afterward.
In doing the Gerson Therapy there are several supplements they require. I could only add a few of those to my routine because I am on blood thinner. I started taking Tri-iodine from www.terrynaturallyvitamins.com ( the health food store in our town sells it) this is the iodine our body needs, Pancreatin (www.thekeycompanyusa.com three of these with every meal and three in the evening. This breaks down the outer covering of the tumors exposing them to all of the natural things you take to reduce the tumors. Potassium powder mixture from www.thekeycompanyusa.com and Curamed which is a great pain reliever but the best thing about it is the turmeric inside that reduces tumors. www.terrynaturallyvitamins.com.
On top of all of this I drink REAL water. www.drinkrealwater.com Real water is high in alkaline and is infused with negative ions. Cancer cells cannot live in this type of environment.
Back to last Tuesday...when I told my doctor about the Gerson Therapy, and wrote it all down for him, he was intrigued and told me this may be a whole new holistic way of treating cancer patients. Well, I appreciated him being open minded but it is not new. The American Medical Association just used their muscle to stifle Max Gerson many years ago. A very sad thing considering all of the many lives who could have been saved. You can read the history of Max Gerson on line.
A friend of a friend of mine had pancreatic cancer. When they opened him up they just closed him back up it was so bad. They sent him home to get his affairs in order. He started the Gerson and four months later he was cancer free. That was 11 years ago.

My doctor told me to keep doing what I was doing and to come back in three months and he would do cat scans again. In the meantime, I hope he looks at this with a broad mind. I think he will. He is a good man. His nickname is Papa. That blew me away when I first heard that. In one of my favorite books God's name is Papa. All part of my story.