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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ladies,

It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Please get your mammogram and look after your “girls.”  It was 5 years ago this December that I heard the news that I had Breast Cancer. The doctor was confident it wasn’t cancer. The routine mammogram and ultrasound said it wasn’t either, but my GP was cautious and he issued a biopsy. It was that biopsy that confirmed it was cancer. What I have learned from my cancers is to be an advocate for yourself and your health and ask lots of questions. 

Round 5 & 6 Complete!

These past few weeks of treatment have been rough.  I went into round 5 with concerns of even having it as my white blood cell count was very low and up to the last few minutes they were trying to decide if I could handle the next round. However, my oncologist decided to change my chemo dosage and give me less so that I could stay on schedule with the treatments.  I was happy about that as they give you a schedule in the beginning and it's best to stay on it as I want the end to be near.  I was nervous at the same time... wondering how my body would handle it at such a weakened state.  The biggest concern at this point is infection so I have had to stay away from a lot of fun things and crowds to avoid picking up anything.  The week was rough, as I spent it at home and battled through the nausea.  On Thursday I finally turned a corner only to be back in the cancer clinic on Friday to see if I could do it all over again. Once again, I wondered if the white blood cell count would even increase due to such a weakened state...  but thankfully the count came up a bit and they gave me the same lesser dose that they did the week before.
I am just battling through this round with some weakness and nausea, but I am happy to say that I can just about see the light at the end of my long tunnel!!!
I have had this past week off so I can recover and then I have two more treatments to go and I should be done!!!!
It has been a long spring and summer and I have once again found myself mainly at home recovering and enjoying my back yard and the warm summer we have had.  There has been lots of days of sadness and tears, wishing I could have been doing things so many people got to do and enjoy. However, once again, I am always reminded that this is my journey, this is God's plan for my life and although I often don't understand it, I have to trust.....

My prayer now is that I will get stronger and my body will be able to take on these final two chemo treatments and that all tests will show I am cancer free and I can move on from this 5 year chapter of my life!!

I found a quote the other day while I was sitting in the chemo chair that I put on instagram but wanted to post it again for those that aren't on instagram.

All that is BEHIND you was in preparation for all that is yet BEFORE you!

I am clinging to this quote and believing that there will be great things ahead for me and my family and that I will continue to be able to help others battling through their cancer journeys. 

A scripture verse that has been one of my favourites, that I have shared before in my blog, people keep sending to me and even this morning my daughter in law did as well, so I guess this is one that God really wants me to take in and apply to my life.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Thank you again for your prayers,  your love and support... that is what is getting me through each and every day

I am so blessed... forever grateful... forever changed.

Half Way

I have reached the half way mark!!!

I had chemo round 3 on Friday the 31st, the day Stephanie and Andy moved into their new home and out of our basement. A day filled with mixed emotion. I am so happy for them, but miss having them here with us. I was happy that I was able to be apart of the move and help out in small ways. That week was the roughest week so far with chemo. I was nauseous the entire week and had problems trying to get it under control. What a battle! For those that have done chemo before certainly know all the physical and emotional struggles you face daily. I was worried this past Friday going to the cancer clinic and was wondering if I would even be able to have round 4 of chemo, as I just didn't feel well enough. Thankfully my kidney was ok as well as my red blood cell count. My white blood cell count was very low, but high enough to give me the chemo. I have to be careful with the low white cell count and I have to be careful for infections. Thankfully one of my chemo nurses got another prescription for me for a nausea pill that is expensive but seemed to help me, so I am thankful for that. The 3 pills helped nausea, but I have felt like I have been hit with a bus! I have been completely wiped out with no energy. I hope this changes soon.

I am once again so thankful to live in BC and have the excellent care given to me at the Cancer Clinic and the many amazing nurses taking such good care of me. Every time I go to the clinic and have many things done to me, I am truly thankful that we have a care system that covers so many things we take for granted. The only things we have to pay for is the parking and then the drugs I need for nausea, etc. I can't even begin to imagine without medical care what all the chemo drugs would cost me!!

I have had a lot of struggles since starting chemo but in amongst the dark times I continue to receive little blessings that give me hope and encouragement. In my 5 year journey I have learnt countless lessons and have learnt a lot about myself and others.  One thing I am thankful for is that Randy and I were raised in similar homes where both of our sets of parents modelled to us the importance of being friendly and kind to everyone we met, trying to show love to everyone even at times when it isn't easy :) Even on days when I am battling my nausea or anxiety I work on doing this with everyone I meet. It's at these times when you don't feel like it that you have someone say I made their day, which means more to me than the other person :) I count those the little blessings that keep me going.  Our moto to our kids has always been "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," which I hope sticks with them because I believe we receive more of the blessing on our end by giving and doing for others.

I have met some amazing people on my journey that are battling cancer with me or have beaten it, or are going through it, or have lost the battle. Today I heard of another amazing Godly woman that lost her life to cancer too soon... these are days I have lots of questions and there is a heart ache inside me that is so deep that I can hardly breathe. Just when I thought I couldn't get through this day the way I have been feeling physically, I am stopped in my tracks and taking my eyes off myself and thinking of a family who just lost a wife, a mom, a grandma, a friend... these are times that don't make sense!!  

It all comes back to reminding ourselves that life is short, live each day to the fullest... we don't know what is in store for each of us and how long we will each be here on this earth so don't sweat the small stuff, love each other, enjoy each and every day we are given and make a difference in someones life.

Thanks again for your love, support and prayers... it's what is getting me through each and every day.

2 Chemo Treatments Complete

I thought I would give you all an update today as I have been getting messages from many wondering how I am managing. Last Friday I had my second chemo treatment. Thankfully my blood work and my kidney function was good so I was able to proceed with the treatment. I was also able to come home and have a nice family dinner to celebrate Andy's birthday. Its amazing how you cherish everything you can when you are going through so much.  

It seems that a pattern has been established after these past two treatments. It all hits me like a brick wall on Saturday after treatment - thankfully I have some good nausea medication to help, but I struggle the whole weekend as well as Monday. Finally, Tuesday seems to be the day I start turning a corner. I still don't feel "well", but its manageable. It amazes me how the body can handle such strong drugs like chemo. All those drugs being pumped through your veins, travelling through your body destroying any possible cancer cells, but also destroying good cells.  You feel different - and why wouldn't you. Everything is just off and you notice things like your skin, hair, and taste is different. It affects everything. I take all those temporary changes in stride with hopes that the short term suffering will give me the end results that I hope and pray for which is to be cancer free for time to come.

I was saying to my kids at different times this week that there has to be a light at the end of my tunnel. That through 4 cancers in 4 years, and all the suffering, all I want is to live to tell the story of the miracle of my life. I continue to be thankful that I am alive and living and surviving, but I long for the day to feel well and healthy and strong and to be able to do all the things most people do normally.

I had a few rough days this week battling more emotionally than anything and feeling sorry for myself and wondering how much more I can go through... only to learn of others going through their struggles. I realized that I had to smarten up and give myself the talk again about focusing on all the good and not looking at others lives. When I think about my journey,  I know I am a walking miracle and I hope I have many more years to live and show others of Gods faithfulness in my life.

With all that I have gone through, I am thankful for many things I have learnt these past 5 years of my journey. Not only about myself, but of others. I am thankful that I have learnt at the age of 50 what it often takes people in retirement to learn... and that is to truly live life one day at a time... its such a gift. I hear people my age all talking about their goals and retirement plans. For me I just think, "I just want to live another day and enjoy everything about it."

I often wonder why some of us suffer more than others. Why do some of us get cancer, or other illness, lose a job, lose a child, suffer from mental illness, go through wars & famine, while others worry about losing there homes to fires, etc. and others seem to sail through life. There are no answers to these questions. My only hope is in Him. I continue to learn that I have to accept my life as it is. This is His plan for me and it is all out of my control. God is the only one that gives me any sense of peace in the suffering. It's only when we truly surrender it all to Him. That's all He wants of us, so I have to be thankful for the many things I am learning daily about myself, others and my faith. 

I have had this week off... no chemo yay!! I just had to go for a bandage change for my PICC line  which is giving me some discomfort with a rash and some irritation so I pray that clears up. I continue to pray for God's healing and that my one kidney continues to handle everything and that my blood count is good so that I can battle through chemo next week.

I appreciate your continued prayers and support. I am so humbled by the many of you that keep encouraging me and supporting me and my family on this journey.

My scripture verse for this month is Isaiah 40:31 (very fitting for me)...

"But those who hope in The Lord will renew there strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Check out the new song added on the sidebar: "Touch The Sky" by Hillsong United.

An update on upcoming chemotherapy

This past month has been full of many activities, parties and celebrations as well as Randy's gallbladder and hernia surgery. I am happy to say he is doing well now and getting back to normal. We are quite the pair! He is now ready to take care of me as I start another hard part in my journey! It has been 10 weeks since my lung surgery and I feel good. Just as I am now getting stronger, I have to fight the battle of chemo! 

I saw my oncologist yesterday and I start chemo this Friday. Everyday I have appointments for preparation for chemo and will have a picc line put into my arm that will stay there for the 12 weeks during my chemo. I have to have this as I have very poor veins since my last chemo. I cannot even begin to put into words the anxiety and fear I have going into this chemo session. I did ok the last time I had chemo which is just over 4 years ago. However, since then, I have had 3 major surgeries and have lost some organs along the way. My prayer is that I will be able to respond well to the chemo and that my blood work will be good. My prayer is also that this picc line will be ok, that I won't be sick or have extreme side effects, and that if there are any cancer cells left in my body that this chemo will kill them and I will be cancer free!!! 

The doctors never offer a lot of hope or encouragement while you go through so much both physically and emotionally, so I have to continually look to The Lord for his strength and for a peace that is unexplainable. I have to keep reminding myself that my days here on this earth are numbered like everyone else and that I only have today so I try not to think about what will happen in the days and months ahead. I have to look only at my life and try not to look at others. If I do look to others then I ask the questions of why do I have to go through so much while others are healthy... but once again I keep coming back to the fact that it is my journey and there is a reason for so much physical and emotional pain and suffering. I often wonder how much more I can endure but there is a reason for all of this and I know that God continues to use me in my suffering to help others and continues to refine me and change me to hopefully become a better person with more love and compassion for others and to focus only on the good things in this life... like friends and family and relationships. God continues to give me not only his peace but joy through the suffering, hope for a future and his love and mercy. Life is so fragile. I work daily on looking at my glass half full, count my many blessings in this life, and try to keep positive.  Without my faith I cannot even imagine where I would be or how I would cope. I lie awake in bed most nights with songs and scriptures flooding my mind, it gives me such comfort and peace as I continue to face a battle that doesn't seem to end. I long for the day when I will get a report that says I am cancer free! That is my prayer. 

Please pray that I respond well to chemo this Friday, that I don't get sick, that my one kidney can handle it all and that my blood work remains normal so I can keep pushing through the chemo in the weeks that lie ahead. Thank you so much for your prayers and support I appreciate it so much.

Our weekend

What a weekend we had!! Friday night was the Relay for Life in Langley where we as a family participated once again for the third time since I was diagnosed with my cancers. What an amazing event that the Canadian Cancer Society puts on each year in many municipalities across Canada to raise funds for ALL Cancers!!!

My daughter in law Alison is the one that gets us all going each year and registers "Team Senges" to participate in a 12 hour relay for life walking or running the track. It is so emotional on so many levels. As I walk the survivor lap in my yellow t-shirt with all fellow survivors, along with our care givers, it is very moving and so supportive to see so many having survived the many cancers that affect so many of us. Cancer has no limits and no boundaries. It hits people of all ages, colours, sizes and shapes and camps out in our bodies trying to take over but we fight back!!!

In the late evening at the relay, there is a time where we light luminaries for those who are fighting or have lost the battle to cancer. Everyone at the relay gathers to walk a lap around the track following the bag pipe band playing Amazing Grace. It can only bring you to tears as we reflect and think and remember so many people we have lost, as well as all those fighting!!!
What an emotional time it was. As I walked the track several times with friends and family, thanking God that I am still here alive and surviving my 4th cancer, it gives me hope and a sense of energy to keep on and keep fighting this horrible disease that keeps wanting to take me out!!

On Saturday night I celebrated my brother in law and sisters in law's 50th anniversary. While there, I had the privilege of meeting one of my new cancer friends that I have been corresponding with for months as we both have been battling our cancer diagnosis. We hugged and chatted about our journeys and we both attributed our faith and the body of Christ to the reason we have had so much strength to keep on fighting. There are no words. On the days that I can't find the strength to pray, others are there to pray for me and support me in countless ways. 
After weeks of stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and overwhelming concern for a multiple of reasons, I have decided to proceed with chemo once again. I am scared and worried beyond words but I know I need to do this for my husband and my kids and future grandkids. They keep me going!
I will be starting chemo the week of July 6th and have no idea what the outcome will be but I put my trust in my oncologist and the system and I hope and pray that IF there is ANY CANCER that it will be gone with the chemo that goes through my veins. The list is long of what I need prayer for... but at the end of the day I just want to live, be healthy, and survive!! 

God knows my days and knows my path so I continue to put my trust in Him and I hope and pray that I live to tell the amazing testimony of Gods' continued faithfulness, healing and grace as I continue to walk my journey.

One of my devotions this week from Jesus Calling was this:

"Rest in me, my child, give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking my spirit to take charge of the details of this day. Remember that you are on a journey with me. When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant companion who sustains you moment by moment. As you gaze anxiously into the distance, you don't even feel the strong grip of my hand holding yours.
Remembrance of me is a daily discipline. Never lose sight of my presence with you. This will keep you resting in me all day and every day."

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - "Pray continually."
Psalm 62:5 - "Find rest, o my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him."

This was a good reminder from someone like me who worries and thinks to much of all the what-ifs. I need to trust and rest in the fact that God has this and it is all out of my control.

Thank you to all of you who came and walked and ran the track with me and my family and showed so much support and for the many of you that donated to the Canadian Cancer Society Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Below are some pictures of our wonderful evening!

Randy and I walking the survivor lap to kick off the Relay for Life!

Randy and I walking the survivor lap to kick off the Relay for Life!

Our family - my supporters!

Our family - my supporters!

A group shot of those who came to support Team Senges! (Missing a few people who came later on though!)

A group shot of those who came to support Team Senges! (Missing a few people who came later on though!)

Team Senges banner lit up at night time. Banner designed by my daughter, Victoria. The names at the bottom are to show support for those who have fought cancer.

Team Senges banner lit up at night time. Banner designed by my daughter, Victoria. The names at the bottom are to show support for those who have fought cancer.

Pathology Report Update

I saw my surgeon today as a follow up since my surgery, which was 13 days ago. The news was, once again, not what I was hoping for. But it doesn't really surprise me honestly - I have become quite used to getting news I haven't wanted! Post surgery, my surgeon told me that the pathologist who was in the surgery thought the nodule on my lung was stage 1 lung cancer. But it turns out after more testing that it is a secondary cancer to my bladder cancer one year ago. The test results came back that it was one tumor on my lung and that no lymph nodes had any cancer in them. However, a secondary cancer is never good! I now have to go to the cancer clinic to meet with an oncologist to see what they suggest. I won't lie, I don't think any further treatment would be an option at this point with one kidney. I don't want to put any more stress on it that would compromise the kidney.
I actually just don't know what I have  to say. I have so many emotions running through my mind right now. Mostly thoughts of anger and frustration. How can it be that one woman can go through 4 cancers in 4 years? I have been reading books and blogs on fellow cancer friends who have battled one cancer and I think "oh my I have had 4!" I guess what some of my friends and my kids say is that I should write a book! As I sat in the waiting room today I thought how can this be? How can this be my life? How did I get here and what does tomorrow hold?
My devotion today was from John 14:27. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid!"
Once again I find myself in that same place I have found myself these past 5 years... a place of surrender... a place of uncertainty... a place of no control.
I guess this is my journey... suffering through many tests, appointments, surgeries, treatments and on and on. I wonder how one family can go through so much and survive! I told my kids that although this is so unfair and so hard, I hope and believe that my journey has made them sensitive and kind people. I hope it has made them compassionate toward others going through any other kind of heartache. That is what life is about - loving each other, caring for others, and being kind and compassionate towards one another.
For now I continue to breathe. Take it moment by moment and I trust and believe God has my days here on this earth numbered so I have to live my life fully and completely as if I only have today.
People ask me how do you stay strong. Trust me - I have my moments my days. But in the end it's my faith and the many praying for me and supporting me! So I say to you don't fight, don't focus on the nothings, love passionately, be kind, say you love someone often and always, and be thankful.

Much love and thanks for your love, support and prayers!
 

Home Sweet Home

I'm home!

After six days in the acute thoracic ward, they released me around 5:30pm. Today consisted of a lot of waiting around! I had to wait for the results of two x-rays today in preparation for removing the chest tube. 

It's so good to be home and I can't wait to relax and get some much needed rest that lacked this week. I will give you a full update in the next few days, but for now I wanted you all to know that I am home. I also wanted to thank you for your prayers and for the support you have been to our family this past week. Please continue to pray for healing in my body as I have a lot of discomfort, and also pray for good pathology reports this coming week or so. Also, please keep Randy in mind tomorrow as he has his angiogram in the morning and that he will have good results from that.

Thanks again everyone. Your sweet messages kept me going this week! I felt so much peace and comfort during some really trying times. It wasn't an easy road for me in the hospital. There were a lot of lows, but your prayers and support kept me going.

Post Surgery Update

The following blog update is directly from Miriam, and written by Victoria and Stephanie.

Hello friends and family. I am alive and survived surgery! I didn't get the news that I was hoping for today with just removing a wedge of my lung. The surgeon had to remove the upper lobe of my left lung because it was stage 1 primary lung cancer. My surgeon was shocked that this was the outcome as she really believed she was just going to just have to remove this small nodule and only take out a wedge. However, she is confident that she has removed everything. So now, it is 6-8 weeks of recovery. 

I just want to thank you all for the support through texts, Facebook, and emails. The anesthetist and nurses couldn't believe how calm I was this morning, and that was due to all of your many prayers!

Please continue to pray for me that the pathology report will be clear and that I won't need further treatments.

I am in the critical care unit and my doctor thinks I will be here for 3-4 days. Victoria will continue to give my updates. We are praying for a quick recovery.



Surgery Date Confirmation

Well this has been a crazy week for me and my family to say the least! But we just keep going and trusting that all things will work out in the end. I found out today that my surgery is scheduled for this coming Tuesday the 28th at 7:45 am. This is the first surgery of the day so hopefully that means it will happen.

I ask for your continued prayers for good health as I have the surgery, and that the doctor and nurses will take good care of me. Also that the surgery will be a success and that I will live to tell yet another chapter in my journey. I continue to pray that they will be able to just remove a wedge from my lung and that I will recover quickly and heal completely. While I am in the hospital Randy will be going for some tests and appointments so I ask that you pray for our family as we have a lot going on right now.

In the midst of all of the uncertainty and what seems chaos with Randy and I right now there is a sense of peace and comfort that we have which we know only comes from our heavenly Father and we are so thankful for the many prayers and support and words of encouragement we receive from so many of you. We are so grateful for each of you! 

Update

Family & Friends,

I wanted to let you know that after spending 3.5 hours in the surgical ward getting prepped for surgery my doctor informed me that I was bumped and my surgery got cancelled! Needless to say the hours and days I have spent in prayer and mentally preparing for this day of surgery have left me completely exhausted. My doctor felt very bad and said this is a flaw in our medical system where people get bumped and surgeries are cancelled often. There is nothing that can be done about it and it’s out of my control so it is what it is. Honestly with all I have been through these past 5 years nothing is much of a surprise and I have learnt to just go with it. My surgeon is hoping to get me in next week first thing in the morning and get the surgery done.

I want to thank so many of you for all the prayers and support for these past few weeks but especially today. I felt your prayers and was quite calm considering what was supposed to be in store for me.

Please continue to pray that I get a surgery date for next week and pray for continued healing and strength for me and my family as it takes a lot out of all of us. I will keep you posted as soon as I hear about my new surgery date

Thanks again

 

The Day Before Surgery

How am I standing you ask…

When I took some time this past week to reflect on my life, and these past 5 years especially, I am in awe of how I am standing! I can only say I am a walking miracle and I am here because of God’s touch on my life. The real journey began at my first diagnosis of breast cancer. Along with this diagnosis there were two surgeries, chemo, radiation, Herceptin therapy, hair loss, body changes, being thrown into menopause, and it only continued from there. I thought that was the hardest time in my life. However, shortly after my recovery, I encountered a job loss. I once again found myself dusting off my resume to find another job, which was such a hard time at my age. Shortly after I got a new job I found out about my kidney cancer, and then eight months later, bladder cancer. I feel numb by all of it and think how can it be? How can a woman my age get two cancers, both kidney and bladder, which are primarily in old men and women? I will never know those answers.

The moment I start looking at others and see their successful lives, a life full of health, living life to the fullest, planning retirement, travelling, looking at the latest diet plan or fitness routine, I start to feel sorry for myself. But I soon realize not to compare myself to others, as this is my journey. And during the time of self-pity, I think about all my other cancer friends that I have known and friendships I have made. I take comfort in those friendships, as they fully understand what it means to truly enjoy every second of every day. There is comfort in knowing I am not alone. I know that I am not alone as my heavenly father said He would never leave me nor forsake me. None of us know our journey or what’s ahead, but there is so much comfort in knowing we have our Saviour to give us strength and peace in the midst of the “storm”.

These past five years are mostly a blur. Endless appointments, tests, blood work, ct scans, MRI’s , surgeries, chemo, radiation, hair loss, body changes, loss of organs, physical and emotional changes, financial strain from not being able to work, and the time of mourning. This journey has truly affected every area of my life.

Tomorrow I am facing another surgery. I find myself in familiar territory. I don’t know how many days I do have here on this earth, but I hope there are many. People say I am strong... But truth be told, I never have thought of myself as a strong person. My whole life I struggled with insecurities and lacked confidence in many areas. It is only now that I am realizing maybe I am strong having survived so much during my journey. But in all honesty, the strength is not mine. It comes from the Lord. He is my Saviour and He is carrying me every step of the way.

After spending this morning getting tests done and having a pre-admission meeting with the nurse and doctor, I feel overwhelmed with all that is involved in yet another major surgery. They always give you the worst-case scenario and outcome of the surgery and recovery. I left the hospital wondering how I can do this again.

Please pray that the surgery goes well tomorrow and that there is NO cancer!! Pray that I will have peace as I go through this week, as I know what is in store, and I don’t have a lot of energy or strength to face all that goes with my time in the hospital. Pray for complete healing. It is a lot to deal with but there is so much comfort in knowing so many of you that are holding me up in prayer.

I am so thankful and blessed to have so many amazing people in my life

Isaiah 41:10 says: “So, do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I posted a great song back in February that I am playing over and over called: “I am not alone”. It’s such a source of comfort for me as I walk through my journey. 

My Journey Continues

April is daffodil month. It is quite fitting that in the month of cancer awareness and fundraising, I once again find myself in the same situation as last year. If someone would have told me what my life would be like and the hard road I would walk down, I am sure I would say I couldn’t do it! I guess that is why God has promised that we only have today. Today is all we can handle and focus on. We all make choices, and for the many that have asked me this past week how I keep on going amidst the countless doctors appointments, tests, and results, I tell them I try and live just for today. As soon as I think about tomorrow, next week, or the future, my mind goes crazy with stress, fear and anxiety, which is far more than I can handle. I am not going to lie it has not been easy. This past Tuesday I received the news from the surgeon that they are going to perform yet another surgery on me to remove the “questionable” nodule on my lung by taking a wedge out of my left lung. I have been in shock and quite numb to it all.

I once again find myself waiting for appointments and tests that are required before surgery. The surgery looks like it will be taking place within the next few weeks. My mind spins with so many thoughts about my future and what it will hold. God keeps bringing me back to that place of “waiting” and living my life moment by moment. As I have said before, my life is in His hands and out of my control. As I shared with some family and friends earlier this week, my pastor recently spoke about our days on this earth. He said, whether we are 30 or 80, we don’t know how many days we have here on this earth. All that matters is our eternal life and where we are going when we leave here.

There is comfort in knowing where I am going when I leave this place, whenever that is, but I have to tell you I don’t want to go yet. There are things I still want to experience, like seeing Victoria get married, my future grandkids, and I want to grow old with Randy. I think that is what all of us want. Randy was recently in the hospital over Easter weekend with a major gallbladder attack. As Randy and I sat in the emergency room, I said these are things we should be doing as seniors - not in what is supposed to be the prime of our life! And yet again, as I start to feel sorry for myself and like life isn’t fair, I am reminded of the many blessings I have had throughout my life. I have to focus on those things instead of the things that I don’t understand and that are out of my control.

Once again, the love and support, and most importantly prayers, of so many of you through text messages, emails and phone calls, have overwhelmed me. There have been so many words and scriptures poured into me which brings so much comfort and a sense of peace in the midst of my uncertain future.

I would like to encourage you to continue to pray for my family and I during this time of walking through the valley. God has been showing me in many ways that He has a plan for my life. What that plan is, I’m not so sure, but with so many praying for me in the midst of my uncertainty there is a PEACE that is unexplainable that only comes from him. An email I received from Randy’s nieces has stuck with me all week. She reminded me that what I am going through is a part of God’s plan and that I am God’s sacrifice right now to further his kingdom. He is with me every step of the way and will never leave me.  We are all on this journey together… when one of us hurt we all come together and pray and believe for victorious results and outcomes so that all of us can be encouraged and learn from each of our hard times.  I know it is to help us all on our spiritual walk through this fallen world. God never said it would be easy, but being able to share the journey with so many of you is a privilege and a blessing!

As I continue on what feels like the “valley” of my journey, I want to share a song my friend Sherron sent to me the other day that is a comfort during this time when I feel alone, weak, and uncertain on my journey. I know that God is right here with me every step of the way and carrying me.


Waiting

For the past four years, or more, of my cancer journey I have often found myself “waiting”. Waiting for appointments, tests, doctors, results, and so on. I once again find myself “waiting” for results from my CT scan, as well as waiting for a few more tests to happen over the next few months.

A song that has been very meaningful to me throughout my journey, is a song called “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller. These past few days this song has been on my mind. I guess there is something to be learned through the time of waiting. It is hard not to put life on hold while you wait, it’s something I have struggled with, and continue to struggle with.

I am learning that through all the tests, and the anxiety it brings, there is nothing I can do. It is all out of my control! So I have to keep on living and carrying on with life while I wait. Like the song says: “I will serve you while I am waiting, I will worship while I am waiting.” There is a lot that I can be doing.

I grew up in a home where my parents celebrated everything and every occasion. This is something that I have continued to do with my own family. Before my cancer, I thought I always embraced every season and celebration. However, it has been since my cancer that I am finding that I cherish every celebration and love it with such a depth of thanks and gratitude. It reminds me that time has passed, another season has come and gone and I am still here and alive on this earth. It helps me enjoy each and every day and occasion.

So, my home is decorated for spring and Easter with the anticipation of a new season and so much to be thankful for.

A friend of mine put this quote on Facebook and I wanted to share the powerful words

“You never know how STRONG you are until being STRONG is the only choice you have”. This is so true!

When we are faced with hardship of any kind, you have to go through it and learn from it and come out stronger on the other side!


Do Not Be Anxious

Well I don’t know about you but I am welcoming in the spring and the good weather! We have been blessed here in Vancouver with lots of sunshine and the first signs of spring. All of the trees are in bud and flowers are starting to bloom. Spring is always a special time of the year for me. It reminds me of new beginnings and a fresh start!

As I continue to go through many tests for my health, I am clinging to my faith and I hope that all of the results will be clear and there will be zero cancer cells in my body. I continue to be mindful of my friends who are currently battling through their cancer and their fight! When you are faced with a health scare of any kind, your life is forever changed and you enjoy all of the little things in life. You even start to see things differently than the rest of the world. It’s hard to explain, but I know this is true for anyone going through health struggles of any kind. You cherish everything and try not to sweat the small stuff. I have learnt that if there is an opportunity to meet someone for lunch or coffee, or go for a walk in the sunshine and enjoy all of God’s beauty around me, I drop what I am doing and go for it! This is something I might not have done prior to my cancer journey, as I was more focused on my list of “to do’s” and all that “needed” to get done. Because of this, I often missed out on good opportunities. It is true that when we go through the valleys and hard times, we are forever changed and there are good lessons to be learned and hopefully we embrace them.

My devotion this morning from “Jesus Calling” was written just for me I think! As a busy week approaches, full of work and a stressful CT scan I have on Friday, I listen to the words of the following devotion. It is all about not being anxious!

“When something in your life or thoughts makes you anxious, come to me and talk about it. Bring me your prayer and petition with thanksgiving saying: “Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity to trust you more. Through the lessons of trust that I send to you come wrapped in difficulties, the benefits far outweigh the cost.
Well-developed trust will bring you many blessings, not the least of which is my peace. I have promised to keep you in perfect peace to the extent that you trust in me. The world has it backwards, teaching that peace is a result of having enough money, possessions, insurance, and security systems. My Peace, however is such an all-encompassing gift that it is independent of all circumstances. Though you lose everything else, if you gain my peace you are rich indeed.”

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

If you are facing a struggle of any kind in your life right now, like I am, I pray that the words in the devotion will bring you peace and comfort that only comes from our heavenly father.