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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Questions answered!!

So many people have been sending me messages of encouragement, prayers and questions.  I am so thankful for each of you thinking of me and loving me across the world.  I have people praying for me in Europe, Africa, North and South America (according to geography as taught in Costa Rica – there is no Central America, only North and South)!!!  I so much appreciate everyone sending me things and letting me know that you have not forgotten about us and I have even learned of churches where I might not personally know anyone and they are praying for me because you guys are passing along my situation.  So thank you so much.

I am writing this about midway through my infusion on Sunday afternoon.  I am feeling up to it, so I thought I would go ahead and answer some of the questions that many are asking and others many be wondering about, but not asking.  So here we go….

1.  Why a chemo drug when you do not have cancer?  Answer – THE DEFINITION OF CHEMOTHERAPY WOULD BE A MEDICATION THAT DESTROYS OR KILLS CANCEROUS CELLS. IN MY CASE, THE MEDICATION IS ELIMINATING CELLS THAT ARE PRODUCING INFLAMMATORY SUBSTANCES IN AN ABNORMAL MANNER, BUT NOT A CANCER. THE SAME APPLIES FOR METHOTREXATE.  THAT WOULD BE THE B CELLS THAT ARE PRODUCING THE AUTO ANTIBODY ANTIJO1 THAT IS ATTACKING MY LUNGS.  THE METHOTREXATE IS ANOTHER CHEMO DRUG THAT I ALREADY AM TAKING ONCE A WEEK.

2.  Don’t you feel that you need to come back to the US and to SC to your wonderful doctors here at MUSC?  Answer – YOU ALL ARE EXACTLY RIGHT.  THE DOCTORS THAT I HAVE AT MUSC ARE FANTASTIC!!  GOD TRULY BLESSED ME WITH THE ABSOLUTE BEST PEOPLE TO DIAGNOSE AND TREAT ME.  HOWEVER, HE HAS ALSO CLEARLY CALLED JACOB AND I AND THE KIDS TO LIVE AND SERVE IN COSTA RICA.  HE HAS ALSO GIVEN ME FANTASTIC DOCTORS HERE AS WELL.  MY DOCTOR IS THE ONLY RHEUMATOLOGIST RECOMMENDED BY THE US EMBASSY AND HE IS EXCELLENT.  THERE IS A FANTASTIC PRIVATE HOSPITAL HERE CALLED CLINICA BIBLICA AND SINCE WE HAVE INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE, I AM ABLE TO BE TREATED AT THE BEST HOSPITAL IN ALL OF COSTA RICA!! I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TAKE MY TREATMENTS IN MY OWN ROOM WITH A FLAT SCREEN TV WITH FOOD NETWORK TO WATCH (I love food network and cooking and we don’t get this at our house)!!!  IT OBVIOUSLY HAS WIRELESS BECAUSE I AM WRITING AND POSTING THIS!!  🙂  WE ARE HAPPY WITH MY CARE AND DO NOT FEEL AT THIS POINT THAT GOD IS TELLING US TO RETURN TO THE USA.

3.  Are you able to handle the chemo well?  Do you need extra help?  Answer – GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH THE GREATEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD.  JACOB HAS STEPPED IT UP AND HELPED WITH THE HOUSEWORK AND SO HAVE THE KIDS.  THEY ARE PATIENT AND QUIET WHEN I NEED TO BE AND THE KIDS HAVE BEEN FOCUSED DURING HOMESCHOOLING AND HAVE BEEN FANTASTIC.  LAST TIME, IT TOOK ME ABOUT A WEEK TO GET OVER ALL OF THE TIREDNESS AND MOST OF THE STOMACH PAIN AND NAUSEA.  OUR NEIGHBORS JORGE AND ILLIANNA HAVE BEEN WONDERFUL.  ILLIANNA HAS BEEN SENDING FOOD AND OFFERING TO HELP IN ANY WAY THAT SHE CAN.  I TAKE AN HOUR WORTH OF PREMEDICATIONS BEFORE WE BEGIN THE INFUSIONS TO INSURE THAT MY BODY HANDLES IT AND THEY SEEM TO BE DOING THEIR JOB!!  🙂

4.  Is the chemo working?  Answer – WE TOOK BLOODWORK ON FRIDAY TO MAKE SURE THAT WE COULD GO AHEAD TODAY WITH MY SECOND ROUND AND IT SHOWED IMPROVEMENTS ALREADY.  THERE IS STILL AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT BUT ON THE FEW DAYS WHEN I WAS NOT TIRED, I FELT BETTER THAN I HAVE IN A VERY LONG TIME.  WE ARE VERY HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS SO FAR AND LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING HOW MUCH I IMPROVE WITH THIS IN THE FUTURE!!

I hope that this answers your questions.  If you have anymore, please send them and I will try to answer them.  I have always tried to be transparent through this entire process so that God could show how He is working and how sometimes He uses modern medicines to work His miracles in our bodies!!  I am happy and encouraged.  🙂

“He says, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I’ll accept my weaknesses, even brag about them, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ” 

– 2 Cor. 12:9-10

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Posted by on October 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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“This is my desire….

to honor You.  Lord with all my heart, I worship you.  All I have within me, I give you praise.  All that I adore, is in You.  Lord I give you my heart.  I give you my soul.  I live for you alone. Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake, Lord have your way in me.”  Those are the words to the song that I found myself listening to tonight as my infusion has just ended and I am trying to sleep.  According to my doctors and nurses, it should have made me very sleepy and I should be asleep right now.  I was listening to my iPod and meditating and worshipping and I realized, “I’m awake, He wants me to write.”   So I will write.

More words now to the same song right now as I write, “And I will live for You.  And I will live for You.  And I will live for You.”

So, wow!  What a day.  It started with us thinking things were looking so great on the scan of my lungs.   And what results we had gotten looked like all of my medications were working fantastically.   But we had more blood work out there, so we were waiting…..

More words from my iPod at the moment, “Jesus, I’m living for you name.  I’ll never be ashamed of You.  Take, take, take it all.  Running to the one who heals the blind.
Following the shining light.  In Your hands the power to save the world  and my life.”

We got back some results and Dr. Manley came to let me know.  He wanted the opinion of the lung specialist.  The lung specialist said that he could see me around lunch.  So I called Jacob and told him that I was going to see another doctor around lunch, but I am probably going to be able to go home around 2, so if he could come then.  So the doctor came, was very thorough and did an exam and wanted to re examine the scan of my lungs.  After a bit, he came back and said that he had talked to Dr. Manley and he felt that something was missing from the print out of my lungs and he was going to go down stairs and look at the original on the computer to see if there was something missing and if was not still in the computer, he was confident that I needed to do it again.  So we waited….

More from my iPod right now, “What to say, Lord? It’s You who gave me life and I Can’t explain just how Much You mean to me now That You have saved me, Lord I give all that I am to You That everyday I could Be a light that shines Your name Everyday, Lord, I’ll Learn to stand upon Your word And I pray that I I might come to know You more That You would guide me in every single step I take, that Everyday I can Be Your light unto the world.  Everyday, it’s You I live for.  It’s You I live for everyday.”

So he came back and said indeed they had the original in the computer still and infact they had missed the inflammation where I had been feeling burning as I was exercising.  So he had talked again to Dr. Manley and Dr. Manley would come up in a bit and let me know the treatment they had agreed upon.  So in a bit, Dr. Manley was here (he was running back and forth from his office in the next building over to the hospital).  He explained all the blood work to me and what the lung specialist and himself had discussed and I needed this new drug infusion.  It would be best to do it today.  So I called Jacob back…..

My iPod right now, “You go before me.  You shield my way.  Your hand upholds me.  And I know You love me.  At the cross I bow my knee.  Where Your blood was shed for me.  There’s no greater love than This.  You have over come the grave.  Your Glory fills the highest place.  What can separate me now?”

I was very emotional because it was just a roller coaster of a day.  Up and then down.  Jacob encouraged me.  I called Johnny and talked to him about it.  He encouraged me and prayed.  I called my parents and explained it to them.  Then I put it on facebook and sent out an email to our prayer partners.   The nurses started coming in and giving me all of this preventative medicine, pills and 2 different IVs.  And I was a bit overwhelmed.  I think because of just a huge range of emotions all at once.  And the responses started to come in on facebook and in my Inbox……

My iPod right now, “Saved by your mercy.  Found in Your Grace.  Totally surrendered to Your embrace.  And there’s nothing more than You.  See Your perfection.  I’m lost in Your peace.  Your faithfulness sings over me.  And Your love is alive in my soul.”

I don’t think that it was a coincidence that I had this procedure on a Wednesday night.  Because everyone was letting me know they were going to go to their churches and pray for me.  I started being prayed for all over the world.  Prayers were coming in and rising up for me.  I believe that it honored God and He was so pleased and He truly blessed this time.  For He granted me a tremendous amount of peace.  I had to sit here for a little over 5 hours just letting this cancer medicine enter my body.  I had some strange sensations and my stomach is not feeling great at the moment, but all in all, I was able to handle it well.  Dr. Manley came to hang out with me for a bit so that I had someone to chat to as well!  So nice of him to take time like that.  I also had a sweet friend send me an awesome song on facebook that God used to sooth my soul.  I am so blessed to have so many people praying for me.  It humbles me to call on your guys and your love that you pour out for me each time I need it.  You guys have blessed and honored and given glory to God my/our Great Physician, Father, Friend, Never Give Me More Than I Can Handle, Always Beside Me, Savior, Guide, …..

Right now on the iPod, “Take me, mold me, use me, fill me.  I give my life to the Potters Hands.  Mold me.  You guide me.  Lead me.  Walk beside me.”  “Falling on my knees in worship, giving all I am to seek Your face.  Lord all I am is Yours.  My whole life I place in Your hands.  God of mercy, humbled, I bow down.  In Your presence at Your throne.  I called.  You answered.  And You came to my rescue and I want to be where You are.”

And guys I am not sure what more to say, but “Thank you.”  Thank you for being there for me.  Thank you for going before the only One that could truly help me in that moment.  Thank you for giving Him the chance to bring Himself glory through your prayers and His response by just blessing me with His peace and patients while I had that treatment and allowing my body to handle it well.  Thanks.

My iPod right now, “In my life be lifted high.  In our world be lifted high.  In our love be lifted high.”

I feel that is an appropriate place to leave this.  🙂

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Farmer Jacob

So for the last 3 or 4 weeks, Jacob has been going out to the farm with Andre and Manuel.  He has been going with them to help them harvest whatever is ready to be harvested.  It has offered him the opportunity to spend time with the guys in their environment and they have not only become better friends, but Jacob says that they love to discuss spiritual matters while they work.  It has been a time that all 3 seem to really enjoy and look forward to each week.  Apparently, Andre and Manuel are the only people around that grow bokchoy.  They have a big market for it in San Jose with some oriental restaurants.  They gifted us some a couple of weeks ago and instructed me on how to prepare it.  And I absolutely love it!!  It is so yummy!!  Well, at some point Jacob told Andre how much I loved it, so he has made sure that he sends some with Jacob each time they see each other!!  I am not complaining!!  I absolutely love it!!  Another benefit is that Jacob comes home each time with a small portion of what they have reaped…. bokchoy, carrots, radishes, cilantro, etc….

Here is a photo of this week’s portion….

Jacob's portion

We have found that we have so much that some has started to go bad before we can use it.  So another ministry has developed.  We have started to look in the fridge each week to determine what we cannot eat or use and Jacob takes it with him as he goes and visits people.  They seem to really appreciate it.  We have found a way to not only clean out our fridge, but also to help those who have less.  Win – win situation 🙂  I would encourage you to consider how much food you throw away each week and even if it is a small amount, is there someone that you could give it too that could be blessed by your sharing?  You too could keep a clean, organized refrigerator and also be blessing another family with your extras before they go bad.

Not only are Andre and Manuel benefiting spiritually by Jacob coming with them each week to help harvest their vegetables, but it is an extra worker basically on their farm.  Jacob is making their job easier by assisting them in their harvest.  It reminds me of Matthew 9:37-38 “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.'”  We firmly believe that each Christian is called to spread the gospel where the Lord has placed them.  He is harvesting all over the world.  Are you one of His workers?  Are you helping in The Harvest?  Would you ask the Lord of the Harvest to send you to where He needs a worker or workers?  Just some questions to ponder.

 Lizzie helping wash the veg!

Lizzie helping cut the veg!

Some of the washed and ready to steam veg!

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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