California Dreamin' Part 2 and more!

Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement today. This morning I finally had the PET scan that we’ve been waiting for. This is a full body scan that will reveal the status of cancer in my body. I’m praying that there is no evidence of disease! On Wednesday I will meet with my doctor and get the results! I can hardly wait. I know they will be good, but the question is how good. I am honored that so many believe with me for divine healing and health. How could it help but be good news? I am scheduled for round 7 of chemo this Wednesday. I’m getting so close now I can taste it!

I want to give you an update on the rest of our trip to LA. I told you that we were greeted at the hotel with an amazing basket full of goodies!

Here's a picture of Ashley and I with the ocean in the background! The views were amazing.

The only bad thing about the whole weekend was that we never did see a star! Ashley was a little disappointed – but not too much. We had fun looking for one anyway. I had imagined that we would at least see some paparazzi or some limos or maybe some really expensive cars. But frankly, the people of the city look just like me and you! Other than a late night trip to Hollywood Boulevard and a brief time in the car rental line (those guys don’t even live in California) I didn’t see a whole lot of “unusual” characters. I think their reputation is unjustified!

This is the shopping area called the promenade where we spent a lot of time at H&M!

Don't want to bore you but couldn't resist putting in one picture from the farmer's market. The produce was huge and beautifully displayed. I've got more snaps if you like food!

We did make our way to the GodChicks event and really had an awesome evening. They went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. I met an amazing woman named Karen Barringer who is a missionary and pastor in Lima, Peru. She’s about a year into a battle with breast cancer. Her hair has just begun to grow back (she was absolutely beautiful) and she was asked to share some insight into her journey.

Karen Barringer and me at the Pink After Party!

The main thing I took away from her is the power of just believing God for His best. There’s a certain peace that comes on you when you realize that regardless of outcomes – He’s still consistent, faithful, steadfast. Sometimes I wonder when “it’s” really going to hit me. Day after day I know the circumstance, the potential outcomes and the long term risks! Yet, I just keep believing for healing, for restoration, for long life, for hope. That has to be the presence of God living in us! There is a resiliency that comes from the trusting in God.

During the evening, Holly taught on what God’s Word says about healing. She then shared the scriptural way to pray for healing (lay hands, anoint with oil, ask with faith.) They opened their altars and a team of about 25 ladies prayed for about 300 of the 550 or so present for any kind of physical healing. They did it in about 15 minutes. That’s somewhere around 10 ladies each! I was so impressed with the authority, order and confidence with which they ministered. Of course I went forward for prayer!

This picture of Ashley was taken in the auditorium of Oasis Christian Center.

After that Ashley and I made our way down Wilshire Boulevard to Rodeo Drive. We drove around looking at all the expensive shops and then headed back to the hotel. It wasn’t as impressive as I imagined, but it was clean and beautiful and very nice. In the end, it was two city blocks of stores! We tried to drive through in and out burger but the drive through line had about 25 cars in it – at 10:30 at night. We decided we were more tired than hungry and gave up! Maybe next time.

On Sunday morning we worshiped with our home church via the internet, (heard Reinhard Bonnke – wow!) drove to the airport and came home. I had fully anticipated being exhausted when I arrived on Sunday evening, but the truth is I came home feeling so much better than when I went. I was refreshed!

On Monday morning I reported to the doctor’s office – fearful that I’d be in big trouble with my doctor for going out of town when he asked me not to. He gave me a “look”, asked how I felt and said we’ll see what the numbers say! My counts were excellent! He smiled and was happy for me and not even offended. I’m telling you – I really like this man. So gracious!

My counts have remained excellent all week! I felt better last week than I have felt in months. I told several friends that I realized on Monday or Tuesday that I felt like myself. I just had extra energy, my mind was clear, my attitude was positive. I just didn’t feel sick! I even asked the Lord if maybe we’d broken the back of this disease. In the end I decided to enjoy it as long as it lasts. I’m learning to be grateful day by day – even hour by hour!

Thanks for stopping by again! You are faithful friends.

Love,

Jan

A change in schedule.

Late this afternoon I got a call from my doctor's office. I had an appointment in the morning for my next PET scan. I've had it for almost a month. Well, apparently, they finally called the insurance company today to verify that they would pay for it -only to find out they won't pay until after four months since the previous scan. So at 4:00 this afternoon my appointment was rescheduled for October 26th. So no scan this week, but still scheduled for chemo on Thursday. No big deal - I'm confident it's going to be a good report and one more round of chemo before the big day only makes it more likely!

I really appreciate all the positive feedback about my recent post on making that appointment and keeping it. I know it was a "in your face" read! So many of you have shared that it moved you off your seat and into the action. I'm proud of you and I'm blessed by you! So grateful that we don't all have to learn by our own mistakes - like me!

In a couple of days I get an opportunity to speak to the single mom's of Gateway Church at their monthly gathering called Renew. I'm so excited and honored. I'm working on some remarks related to a topic that's been on my mind for months. Hoping it will relate and bring some encouragement to all of us.

I wanted to give you an update on some recent prayer requests.

In regards to mom in law, Molly - please keep praying. I love this woman! No matter how bad she feels or how much the struggle is costing her, she always thinking of others. She's praying for us on a daily basis and walking in faith. She's been very ill again. Please pray with us for her healing, her symptoms to be bound, for hope to reside in her heart and for the Holy Spirit to comfort her.

Ashley seems to be doing well at school...got through that awful week of exams and lots of work. She's a little bummed this week because she's working a 40 hour week while her classmates are on fall break. Hard now - but lucrative later! We received a decline for financial assistance based on our circumstances. I'm waiting to see the final bill and just trusting we'll be able to work things out in the end. If I worry about finances, it really stresses her out! So I'm trying not to fret! Praying rather than worrying!

Here's some fun news! The last time I wrote about Mark I asked you to pray for his job situation. Well, guess what? Within 2 days of that post, some type of storm damage happened somewhere in the area and suddenly he had new claims again! He's still working! Thank you friends. Thank you Lord. I'm just saying...it's a miracle again.

As I head into round 6 of chemo, please pray for me. I have really struggled over the past two weeks with simply not regaining my strength. I have been so tired, my legs are wobbily, the bottom of my feet blistered and I've been having to really evaluate how much I can do. Today was the first day I've felt like myself in this whole three week process. Now I begin again on Thursday and I'm hoping it won't be like this again. The good news is that I have not developed another urinary tract infection and my counts have remained great. I think this stuff just makes you tired, and I suspect "tired" gets harder to shake as you proceed. Only 9 more weeks of this particular regimine! I can do it, right?

Thought you might enjoy seeing a photo of John and his date, Amanda. They were going to the Flower Mound High Homecoming Dance. They looked cute together!

Now this is a really funny picture! This is Amanda's mom, Dawn, and me holding the all important mums - one for Amanda and one for John. I'm laughing because we forgot to take the photos at home and ended up holding them in the parking lot. I was thinking Mark would take a close up of them - but instead we ended up posing! What is even more funny is I'm wearing what I call my "hippy hair." Not too many people have seem my second wig - and I don't think you would recognize me in this photo unless I told you it was me. Yes, that's me - on the right!

Sending a big hug, a giant smile and a great big thanks to you for being my friend!

Love,

Jan

Standing in the need of prayer...

Hi friends,

Do you know this song? It's me, it's me, it's me Oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer...

I have been in bed for five days - and I'm still weary. I had a relatively easy weekend following chemo. I rested well and managed the pain much more effectively. I really expected to feel good on Monday and return to work on Tuesday - like I've done for the past two rounds of chemo.

However, on Monday I was still exceedingly tired and I slept almost all day. I got up Tuesday morning and went to a breakfast meeting at work. I was really weak, but determined to press through. During breakfast I got really ill and thought I might pass out. My co-worker had to drive me back home - where I spent the rest of the day in bed again.

Today I went to the doctor, expecting to receive another dose of Avastin, my weekly check up and then head into work. Instead I learned that my white counts are low (the reason for my extreme fatigue) and as a result didn't receive treatment - but was sent home to bed again. I did get a booster shot this morning and I'm hopeful that by tomorrow morning my counts will be sufficient to resume both my work schedule and my treatment plan.

I did get some good news today! The MRI of my breast revealed that the tumor is 1/2 of it's original size - which was already small. Obviously, this is good news and means that the "cocktail" of drugs is effective and is making progress. However, it wasn't the report I had hoped for, leaving me with a strange sense of disappointment. The CT of my hip isn't as definitive as the MRI. He is confident the cancer is being killed - but the CT revealed that my hip bone is still very porous and now has a small crack in it. This is the reason for the return of the pain. He cautioned me again about being careful not to break the bone and put me back on some restrictions - like no lifting etc. He says I am responding well and that I'm to trust him. I do.

For the past few weeks I've been really struggling emotionally. Between the returning hip pain, recurring urinary tract infections, and general apathy, I find I am in need of some additional prayer support. I get easily discouraged by the length of the process. I really like to determine the problem, spend a day or so thinking about what to do about it, then do it! Then move on!

The problem with this cancer thing is that it just does not move on! When you feel good, you feel like you are making progress and you can easily believe that you are the victor. But when your body feels bad and your mind is tired and your emotions are flat, its much easier to listen to every whisper of the enemy. I'm trying to turn his voice away, but he is merciless - bringing fear and hopelessness and anxiety at every turn.

I realized again tonight that I've not been calling on my friends and family for the support I so desperately need. I've been drawing further and further away - rather than announcing at the top of my lungs that I'm struggling! I am reminded that one of the strategies of the enemy is to keep me isolated and my needs hidden. When I feel discouraged, I tend to close up - be quiet - wait for it to pass. I think that's a failing strategy in this moment. So friends, would you pray for me again? I am in need of healing - yes - and so much more.

Mary Jo asked me recently who's report was I going to believe. I believe the report of the Lord - that I will not die but live and declare His works!

Jan

Friday morning greetings!

Hi friends,

Thanks so much for all the additional prayer support over the past few days. I feel like some of the weight has lifted off my mind and I'm beginning to rise up again. I had a great visit with my doctor on Wednesday. We talked a lot about my visit with the surgeon and some concerns I had. He is really an amazing man. Both brilliant and compassionate.

We went ahead and scheduled my scans immediately. Yesterday I had a CT on my hip and another MRI on my breast. I'm also scheduled for an echo cardiogram just to be sure my heart is tolerating the chemo drugs without damage. I'll know a lot more about both the progress we are making and what comes next by next Wednesday. He really encouraged me to drink a lot more water as the reason I'm getting urinary tract infections is because one of the chemo drugs tends to settle in the bladder. More water, more water!

I already told you how much I enjoyed blessing box #3 - but I have to show you a picture. It was another beautiful display of love and support. I have all three boxes displayed on a shelving unit in my home and they really make a beautiful display. I can just open one at anytime and grab hold of  a truth or an encouragement. Thanks again to Julie and the lovely ladies who have loved on me over and over! I am blessed.

When I got home last night, I had some beautiful flowers. Thanks Chelsea! They are gorgeous. I hear you sent me flowers on your birthday.

Somethings not right about that. I think I should have been sending you flowers.

Last night I was able to attend John's first high school football game. On Thursday's they wear a cool "game day" polo for school. We snapped his photo on the way out the door at 7 am - so he doesn't look so happy. Jaguars won last night 19 to 0! Go Flower Mound.

I'm still feeling well this morning. Just cleaned my kitchen, ran some laundry, made my bed and sending you a note. Hoping and praying for an easy time - but either way - committed to going through.

Here's a verse I'm meditating on this morning. Heb . 10:35 - Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. I'm believing for a great reward and therefore, I'm standing resolute in the face of disease.

Love you and thank you again!

Jan