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