Saturday, December 27, 2008

Looks great! Little full, lotta sap.

I have received some really great cards and notes of encouragement the past couple of months, but I got one the other day that had some awesome words that I thought I would share:

"No ocean can hold it back.
No river can overtake it.
No whirlwind can go faster.
No army can defeat it.
No law can stop it.
No distance can slow it.
No disease can cripple it.
No force on Earth is more powerful or effective than the power of prayer."

These words are so true. Prayer has become a whole new thing for me. Sure, I've been praying for many, many years, and I'm still praying to the same God, but I have gotten a new glimpse at how effective prayer really is, just as the words above describe. Do not dismiss it as a mere ritual. Do not downplay its power. Do not underestimate God's ability to hear you and work miracles.

You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I know I sure did. Rather than giving a play by play of my day, I thought I'd share some of my favorites from the whole Christmas season.

1. Favorite moment from Christmas: opening presents with the fam and watching my niece and nephew. They are just too cute for words, so I suppose that's all I'll say about that.

2. Favorite food on Christmas: the delicious steak my Dad cooked, which was accompanied by a baked potato, layered salad, and garlic bread. stomach is growling just thinking about it.

3. Dessert: It's really tough for me to choose one favorite Christmas dessert because we always have so many delicious sweets. But, I think I am going to have to go with my mom's coconut cake. It's a classic.

4. Movies: I absolutely LOVE Christmas movies--even the really cheesy ones that come on the Hallmark and ABC Family channels. My favorite, though, is White Christmas. A family favorite, however, is Christmas Vacation. It's funny every year. And in case you haven't noticed, it's also the inspiration for the titles of all my December posts.

5. Music: I am kinda picky about my Christmas music. The radio stations that play nothing but Christmas music starting the day after Halloween (it gets earlier and earlier every year!) run me nuts! All they seem to play is Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Jingle Bell Rock, and Feliz Navidad, with a few other songs thrown in the mix that are sung by screechy voices. It runs me nuts. This year my top pick has been Travis Cottrell's new CD, Ring the Bells. His voice is smooth like butta.

6. Decorations: I really love looking at Christmas lights. My Dad is an expert at putting up exterior lights and our house always looks awesome. Because our house always looks so good, we tend to criticize the lights at other houses. I know, it's awful..but some of them are REALLY bad. My mom and I were driving around looking at lights a couple weeks ago and we came to a house with a reindeer in a tree. That's right, in a tree. We about killed ourselves laughing. I'll try to get a picture before they take it down.

Christmas was special for me in a new way this year. I don't think I can describe it without sounding all cheesy and sappy, so I'm not really going to try. I have so much to be thankful for that just being together as a family to celebrate Jesus was more than enough for me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"And why is the carpet all wet, Todd?" "I don't KNOW, Margo."

I don't know this family. I had not even heard of them before I came across this blog. But they need our prayers. Please read their blog and lift them up in prayer.

Save the neck for me, Clark

Cancer is so limited.
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith in Christ.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot quench the spirit.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot lessen the power of the Resurrection!
-author unknown

Saturday, December 20, 2008

If I woke up tomorrow morning with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am right now

Sorry for the lack of updates. Since I am no longer isolated in my bedroom I have not spent much time on the computer. Here's an update:

After my week of being radioactive, I went to the hospital on the morning of December 7th. It was nice to get out of the house. :) I was scheduled for the first scan of the morning, so it was not yet busy, which was nice. The scan itself was not a big deal. I laid on a table and listened to Christmas music for about two and a half hours. After the first couple of pictures the tech told me all he saw was radiation in my neck (meaning there was still thyroid tissue there...completely expected). There were still some more pictures to take, but while I was laying there I was thinking of how we were going to celebrate as soon as I got home. The tech told me afterward that there was definitely residual tissue in my neck, as he said earlier, but there was also a questionable spot in my chest. I was thinking, "WHAT??!! I just made plans to celebrate the fact that the cancer hadn't spread!" But what actually came out was more along the lines of, "huh?" The tech couldn't tell if the spot was on my lungs, sternum, or if it was just my normal anatomy and nothing to worry about. The last round of pictures he took was a 360 degree set. He told me he would look through all of those and would be able to tell for sure whether or not the cancer had spread and, if so, where it had spread to. The doctor would call and let me know in the next few days. My spirits were instantly deflated. It took about 15 minutes to remember that I still did, in fact, have a reason to celebrate. Jesus has given me true, eternal life. He has not taken that away, and He will never take that away. And for that we can always celebrate.

I got a call from my doctor's assistant on Tuesday afternoon, December 9th. She told me the cancer had not metastasized! I asked her about two or three times if she was sure. :) She was sure. That night we went out to celebrate. Even though I had resolved on Sunday to celebrate life in Christ no matter what the doctor said, it was so sweet to hear that news. We celebrated our good, good God and we celebrated answered prayers. We went to a delicious Mexican restaurant, and it was good.

Friday, December 5, 2008

You taught me everything I know about exterior illumination

My radioactive days are coming to an end...woohoo! I go to the hospital on Sunday morning for a whole body scan and I'll get the results sometime between Monday and Wednesday. The only thing standing between me and the scan is a bottle of Fleet laxative. Oops, was that too much information?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

it's a beaut, clark

Surgery day: about 10 hours after surgery. The flowers are from my Dad's office.

Day after surgery

Two days after surgery: going home!!

One week post-op: the doctor had just removed the steri strips about an hour earlier

Two weeks post-op

One month post-op

Saturday, November 29, 2008

glow little glow worm, glow and glimmer

Well, I am officially glowing. And not because I am overflowing with happiness or anything like that. I had my iodine radiation pills yesterday. I went to the hospital to take them, fully expecting some guy wearing a space suit to bring me the pills based on what others had told me. Well, I was disappointed. A tech wearing plain old scrubs brought me the pills. They were in a lead box, which could have made things a little exciting, but he opened it up for me and handed me the plastic canister the pills were in. What's exciting about that? Not much. But I am officially radioactive and am in isolation for a few days. I also have to flush the toilet three times every time I pee. It's annoying.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

normal [redefined]

i only know what day it is by looking at the letter on the tab of my medicine container/organizer thing. (yes, i have one of those. it's orange.)
spending an entire day in pajamas is acceptable.
sleeping the entire day is also acceptable.
there is nothing good on daytime tv.
or nighttime tv. thank goodness for netflix.
i have suddenly become aware of all the disgusting preservatives and other unpronounceable chemicals i have been putting into my body for the past 24 years.
but i still crave mexican.
i used to think compression stockings were for old people. but now i have a pair. i am wearing them right now. they are useful during all of my lying around time.
i have a new appreciation for really good nurses. and doctors.
God does not get surprised.
but He will cry with you if you need Him to.

i used to think of cancer as something that happens to other people.
but cancer has happened to me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On my knees

God has shown me that in stormy seasons of life it is OK to be emotional. It is OK to be sorrowful and it is OK to be distressed. But it is not OK to disobey God...even when I am emotional, sorrowful, or distressed. During this storm in my life I have two choices: fall apart or fall to my knees. One will leave me ragged and hopeless. The other will leave me in the arms of a Strong Tower, a giver of peace. Today I choose to fall to my knees and I pray that tomorrow I'll have the wisdom and strength to make that same choice.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm working through one of Beth Moore's "Personal Reflections" studies and during my study time today I read words that I so needed to hear. God has a funny way of doing that. Beth said, "If He gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion if only we'll let Him finish the work." And later she said, "I truly believe that if we're willing to see, God uses every difficulty and every assignment to confide deep things to us, and that the lessons are not complete until their beauty has been revealed."

Enough said.

Monday, October 27, 2008


A few weeks ago I woke up with a pain in my neck that felt like I slept wrong. When I touched my neck I felt a lump on my thyroid. So, I immediately made an appointment with the doctor. After visits with multiple doctors, blood work, ultrasounds, and biopsies I have come to learn that I have thyroid cancer.

I think it was when I learned I needed a biopsy when I knew that I had cancer. It was one of those gut feelings. I prayed God would rid my mind of any thoughts that were not from Him, and that thought just would not leave. During the time between when I thought I had cancer and I was officially diagnosed with cancer I just felt like I was floating...kind of like everything was in slow motion. The waiting part was the worst. I envisioned myself sitting in the doctor's office, having to hear the words that everyone prays they never have to hear. But when I was actually there and the doctor was telling me I am going to have to have surgery soon, a wonderful peace washed over my body. And that's when I knew God is going to get us through this and do some mighty things along the way.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

this is really for me

I have recently been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and decided to start this blog to document my journey through this trial in my life. The blog is mainly for me--so I can remember this journey and so I can journal my thoughts. But, I thought other people might like to tag along. And it's a good way for me to update my friends and family without making a hundred different phone calls. :)

Here we go.