Sunday, April 21, 2013

Healing vs Healing

A diagnosis of cancer has caused me to look at things with a different perspective. I've pretty much taken for granted that I'd always be healthy and some day die of old age. Now I don't think that way. I'm more aware that none of us knows how long we'll be on this earth. And although physical healing is what I'm praying for, it would  be meaningless without spiritual healing - salvation! A healed body means nothing if that's all there is. Thank God there's more! Jesus Christ is the ultimate sacrifice. His death, burial, and resurrection conquered death...conquered sin...and gives us eternal life. THAT is healing!

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
~ Mark 8:36 

The sermon at church today was on handling wilderness times. It went right along with what I've been learning the past several weeks.

God leads me to the wilderness so that I can learn to FOLLOW Him.

God lets me get hungry and thirsty so that He can SATISFY me.

God tests me so that I can become STRONGER.

God takes me to the end of myself so that I can begin anew WITH Him.

God is good all the time. All the time God is good. Some day I will have a perfect body and perfect health for all eternity. That is peace to my soul while dealing with struggles on this earth.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I had a great opportunity last night to share about my journey to a ladies group at First Christian Church in Siloam Springs, AR. They are ministry partners with Cookson Hills (, which is the ministry where we serve. They had a linen shower and presented our ministry with lots of new bedding, pillows, and towels. What a blessing! I was asked to represent Cookson Hills Christian Ministries and share my story.

If you know me at all, you know that speaking in front of a group of people is NOT in my comfort zone. In fact, the first thing out of my mouth when asked to speak was, "But I don't speak in front of people." Well, my friend/mentor who invited me to share is in a Bible study with me where we're going through Francis Chan's book Forgotten God. We had just finished meeting together where we challenged each other to look for ways the Holy Spirit was working in the next week. My friend ever-so-lovingly reminded me to just let the Spirit work! 

Those who have ever been in Bible studies with me know I can hardly talk or pray out loud without crying! So, as I prepared my talk, I prayed, and God answered. I spoke without my voice shaking and without crying. The power of the Holy Spirit is an amazing thing! I actually had fun!!!

We had refreshments after my talk, and guess what color the punch was??? LIME GREEN!!! No one besides my friend/mentor who invited me to speak knew what I was going to be sharing. At the end of my talk I explained my lime green jewelry. So when the punch was set on the table, everyone made a big deal about it. God is good!

I'm usually a behind-the-scenes person, but I'm not going to go through cancer without making the most of it. If that means giving my testimony in front of a group of people, then I'll do it. I'm trying to make the most of every opportunity to share what God is doing in my life. 

Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.
~ Ephesian 5:15-17

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chemo #3...and Surgery

Not my surgery - but my husband's. Yep, another surgery for the Williams family... and another deductible... and another out-of-pocket amount... Daryl had a lipoma removed from his upper arm. For someone who really hates needles and blood and was stressed about the IV, he took it like a man and did great! Praying pathology is negative!

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:19

My third round of chemo went well. I was worried that my blood counts might be too low for chemo because of how they dropped after the first treatment. Thankfully they were basically the same as last time, so we were good to go with chemo #3. If all goes well with the next three treatments, I'll be done! But I know there's a chance my oncologist will want to do two extra rounds. I'm okay with that. Whatever we need to do to get rid of ALL the cancer cells. I'll have a CT scan before the next treatment and then a PET scan after the 6th treatment.

I was finally brave and asked for my official diagnosis as to what type of lymphoma I have besides the general non-Hodgkin. I didn't really want to know before - just wanted to get started with treatment. There are about 60 subtypes of NHL that fall under two categories (rarely a third): B-cell or T-cell. I have two types under B-cell: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. And these two types fall under two different forms of NHL - yay for me!

Aggressive NHL, also called fast-growing or high-grade, makes up about 60% of NHL cases in the United States. I have the most common aggressive subtype - diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Indolent NHL, also called slow-growing or low-grade, makes up about 40% of NHL cases in the United States. Again, I have the most common indolent subtype - follicular lymphoma.

Hmmmm... 60% + 40% = 100%. I guess I have the total package! I wonder what the statistics are on having both... So there's the nitty gritty of my diagnosis. Not that it really matters since ALL of it will be GONE soon!!! 

My chemo day went as usual - waiting... blood work... waiting... vitals... waiting... doctor... waiting... and finally chemo! Oh, and I got my big comfy chair - without kicking anyone out!!! I've had different chemo nurses each time, so I always learn new things. I learned that one of the anti-nausea drugs is probably what keeps me awake the night of chemo. It's actually a corticosteroid (Decadron) working in cahoots with the Prednisone!

The day was uneventful - premeds (Tylenol, anti-nausea, and Benadryl) and then chemo. I pretty much snooze off and on all morning during the chemo. We've seen one couple each time we've been there, and Daryl and the husband talk guns and politics a little bit. This time there was a lady one chair over from me who cried during the first half of her chemo until she fell asleep. I felt so bad for her and prayed that she would be filled with God's peace and mercy and know it was from Him. I'm glad she had a daughter/friend with her! And I'm so thankful for all the prayers, support, and encouragement from my family and friends!!! 

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
~ James 5:16
I was so tired after this treatment - more so than after the last two. I couldn't keep my eyes open on the way home, went straight to the couch, stayed on the couch with my eyes closed even when a friend stopped by to see Daryl's new gun (He must be a good friend for me to stay on the couch like that!), and after supper put on my jammies and went back to the couch. Thankfully, I slept fairly well that night and felt rested for Daryl's turn in the hospital. Are we having fun yet?

Maybe "fun" isn't the right word - but we've been so blessed by family and friends helping us with getting the kids to and from their activities, mowing our yard, gifts and cards, encouragement, and lots of prayer. So in that sense, seeing God's people doing God's work is definitely FUN!

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
~ Hebrews 13:16

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Top Ten List

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, my sister sent me a Top Ten list of why chemo isn't too bad. Now that I've started my chemo and am actually bald, I've adapted her list a little:

10. People are really nice to me

 9. Less time in the shower and getting ready

 8. No more shaving

 7. ...or plucking

 6. No more coloring the gray

 5. Save money on hair products

 4. Fancy new scarves added to my wardrobe

 3. Instant new hair style with my sassy new wig

 2. No bad hair days or "bed head"

And the #1 reason chemo isn't too bad (besides KICKING CANCER'S BUTT)...


There really are benefits to being bald! I've had fun with my new hair style and new glasses. I appreciate my family, friends, and co-workers who have been so encouraging and supportive. We're all just having fun with it the best we can!

A cheerful heart is good medicine...
~ Proverbs 17:22a