Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Light the Night Walk 2014

We are so excited to have raised $2,024.50 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with a matching gift still pending. THANK YOU to everyone who donated to TEAM TERRI. Words can't express how meaningful it is to have the support of family and friends after being on the receiving end of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's research and patient programs. Our lives will never be the same, and now we will always be an advocate for LLS and its mission to CURE blood cancer!

Here are snapshots of our evening...
Walking for me, my father-in-law, and a friend
He's walking for me :)
Gold = In Memory
Red = Supporters / Caregivers
Lighting the Night as we walk
My sweet family

Trying to line dance at the end
Pre-Walk Fun and two honorary team members

 From the fullness of His grace we have all received 
one blessing after another.
~John 1:16

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Finally, biopsy results. We woke up Friday to a downpour of rain - which made for a stressful drive to Tulsa. I had the song by Building 429 "We Won't Be Shaken" going through my head, so that's what I posted as my Facebook status. While driving, we commented on how the words fit the weather - through fire or pouring rain...

My oncologist wasn't sure what all my surgeon had done, so there was a little bit of confusion. Hellooooo, why am I here? Anyway, after he tracked down the pathology report, he came back in the room and said it's all good! HALLELUJAH!!! He wasn't worried about anything and even moved my 3 month checks to every 4 months. Of course, if I notice any changes, I need to see him right away. Otherwise I'll have another CT scan (of my chest, abdomen, AND neck) in 4 months!!!

Because we've been so emotionally drained, we've actually had more Happy Tears than Happy Dances. We celebrated with some friends for dinner and then watched God's Not Dead. So good! Our family definitely wants to proclaim that GOD'S NOT DEAD!!! God is good all the time! All the time, God is good! And my tears let loose at church today during every song we sang. I have so much more to be thankful for than a clear biopsy report!

In some ways I'm happy to never think of cancer again... at least not for the next 4 months (well, except for my scheduled port flushes). However, I realize cancer is now part of my story, part of my purpose, and something that keeps me sweetly dependent on God. 

Jessika shared with me parts of a devotion she read the night before getting my biopsy results. 

You get closest to Jesus in the tough times, 
not the good times.

Don't panic when the waves come; 
just see them as something 
you've got to ride on and go through 
in order to find the good part of life.

I love that she shared with me... and I love how she read just the right devotion at just the right time.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

More Waiting...

Last Friday I had the CT scan done of my neck. Thankfully it was normal...especially after realizing my last scan did not include my neck...and I've also had pain on the left side of my neck for several months but figured it was fine since my last CT scan showed no suspicious findings. When I found out my neck hadn't been scanned earlier, I started freaking out that I had a big alien tumor growing in my neck causing the pain. Talk about relief to hear the scan was pretty much normal and that mild cervical spondylosis - a fancy term for arthritis - explains the pain!!!

The lymph node that I can feel measures 1 cm - which is the high end of normal and the low end of enlarged. My surgeon decided to do a needle biopsy... even though it's right next to my carotid artery and proved to be a little tricky. 

Dr. Bruns totally rocks, and I watched the whole thing on the ultra sound monitor!

I felt like I had been karate chopped in the neck and was very glad for the weekend. Then we began our wait... for a week... 7 days... 168 hours... Plus we've waited over 2 weeks since my original appointment and over a month since I noticed the lymph node. No stress - HA!

I had been doing pretty well with being patient and easy-going about the wait, but yesterday showed that deep down I may be a bit anxious. Actually, it's been a hard week for all of us, and we all show it in different ways - meltdowns, tears, not sleeping, being irritable, etc. Sometimes the littlest thing will hit like a brick wall, and you can't keep going without a time out and a deep breath.

God is faithful and has used our family and friends to encourage us with Scripture, kind words, thoughtful gifts, and prayer. And just watching the news each day shows us how blessed we are, even if we are a little stressed. So we wait one more day... and trust God... and build more character!

Isn't it neat how a passage of Scripture you've read over and over is suddenly just the right verse at just the right time? That happened at Bible study this week with 2 Timothy 4:17. It's a great reminder that God is with us and giving us strength. He is using us to glorify Him through our journey and will ultimately rescue us! God is good!!!

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth.
~ 2 Timothy 4:17

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I want to be THAT tree... the tree described in Jeremiah 17:8.

I've used Jeremiah 17:7 as my mantra during PET scans and other freak out moments on my cancer journey.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.

It was just recently that I paid attention to verse 8.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.

I want to be THAT tree...
...planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream - the stream of living water. I need to be in God's Word, studying, memorizing, applying it to my life. I need to be growing in my relationship with the One who blesses me!

I want to be THAT tree...

...that does not fear when heat comes - when I find a lymph node, while I wait for a CT scan and biopsy, and especially while I wait for results.

I want to be THAT tree...

...with leaves that are always green - peace in the storm and strength in the trial.

I want to be THAT tree...

...with no worries - Besides, who by worrying can add a single hour to his life (Matthew 6:27)?

I want to be THAT tree...

always bearing fruit - showing evidence of God working in me. 

...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 1:6 

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