Thursday, March 12, 2015

Grace Undeserved

I admit, with humility, that I've never really struggled with feeling "undeserving". Perhaps it has to do with my comfortable, safe a middle class, christian home, 2 parents, you get the picture. Recently, with the good news of my cancer getting smaller, I now understand what it means to feel undeserving. Not undeserving because I'm not worth the good news and hopeful outlook. But, rather, an overwhelming feeling of awe that God has been so gracious to me...When there are others fighting cancer, that are given the number of days they most likely will have until their last day, or some that have recently lost part of themselves because their child has lost the earthly battle with their disease (though they have gained freedom in their eternity). Seeing this, it makes me 1000x more grateful! 

But God's grace abounds even if the news wasn't good. And therein lies the mystery of wrestling with trials. God is there in the pain. God is there in the joy. God is there as death stares you in the face. God is there as you look into the eyes of new life. He is never absent, and that is what brings the grace. The hands that carry you through both the valleys and peaks. Those hands that I do not deserve, none of us deserve...but they stretched out anyway, on that cross, welcoming our everything, being enough for our every situation. The cross x-ed out whether we deserve His grace or not. It's not our choice or anything of our own account. He made us worthy. And for that I will constantly feel undeserving.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (Paul writing)
But he said to me, " my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknesses. " Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so 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.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Abundant Life

The thief does not come except to steal, and kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:10-11

The definition for abundant(ly) is present in great quantity, more than adequate, over sufficient; well supplied with something.

I love how the Lord doesn't just give us life, but that we would have it more abundantly! And while this life can be pretty good, this earthly life isn't "it"...we have an even better life beyond this...eternity with Him. Something I've seriously had to ponder this past year. I made the decision back in 2nd grade to follow Jesus. Looking back over the decades I see God's abundant love and mercies that He has poured over and into my life. They have become more clear and even more evident these past few years of my journey. When I look I can see Him everywhere! When I don't look for Him and keep my eyes on me, I become subject to the thief~stealing my joy, stealing my hope. 
I'm choosing to keep my eyes on Jesus. Yes, it's easy when things are going "good". But I'm choosing the abundant life all the time...full of joy and hope! 
Thank you, Jesus, for your abundant goodness and your unchanging promises, no matter what my circumstances. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Fellow Warriors

During my first time around on this thing I met two incredible ladies. God orchestrated our friendships out of His goodness, knowing I would need a few ears to listen and mouths to speak to me, that were in the fight currently. Just as with anything, it takes one to know one. And for the 3 of us, this provided tremendous comfort in a special way. 
Stacie fought Breast cancer while pregnant. I met her in my Doctor's office. It's not every day that you see a bald, scarf-wearing pregnant lady. 
A few weeks later, in Target, I met Dana. Again, not every day you run into another mom who is around your age, having no hair, a toddler in tow. 
Then, shortly afterwards, they met each other at their common acupuncturist ! What?! It was totally God ordained and the holy spirit's prompting. 
They have been great support these past 3 years. 

A few months ago these girls told me that they wanted to host a fundraiser for me, to raise money for my hyperbaric oxygen therapy, that insurance will not pay for, because it's not considered treatment for breast cancer. I know that this treatment has been key in helping me feel energized and possibly kicking this thing down. Stacie did hbot when she was going thru treatment in 2012 and is the one who told me about it. I'm so thankful she did!

These girls are amazing, they both have families, businesses and other commitments, and yet put this whole evening together, as a blessing to me. It was overwhelming! It was mostly all their generous friends, who don't even know me, coming to support me in my road to recovery. Thank you Stacie and Dana. You hold a special place in my life and you help me fight so hard, because you know what it's like. I feel undeserving of such kindness, but you give me strength on this journey!

                        "The Britton" swim suit 

Dana has started a company called Hula Belle. It's geared toward helping women feel confident, when "the girls" aren't normal(my words:). Beautiful! She has named a style after myself and one after Stacie.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Remarkably Unremarkable

We met with Dr. H today to review my scans. I had a feeling that it would be a positive meeting considering, apart from the slight fatigue and hand/feet soreness, I'm feeling pretty darn good!
Both the Pet and Ct scans confirmed that the chemo is having a great affect on the cancer! I've been on the oral chemo 5 months now and today was pay day for that! The words used by the scan diagnostic findings were "unremarkable". I've never in my life been sooooo thrilled to be told I'm unremarkable!:) Well, okay, it's not saying I'm unremarkable, but rather that almost all the places where there were traces of cancer are no more! My oncologist said there are just 1 or 2 spots that lit up on the scan. But nothing new and a definite decrease in lit up spots from my previous scans. My tumor marker went down .3, making it 21.5...And while that's down just a smidge, any decrease is positive! 
I'll continue on my chemo for one more cycle atleast, and then we'll discuss what I'll do from there. It might mean staying on chemo (which may sound a bit crazy) or possibly switching to another medicine. I definitely want to continue with the scans. While they do not show everything (remember in October, the negative surprise when my ovaries were removed and an internal camera picked up cancer cells blanketing the outside of some of my stomach & liver? Stupid sneaky bad cells) they are pretty helpful.
Will my cancer ever be fully in remission? Technically metastatic cancer does not go into remission. But thankfully I serve a God that doesn't work on technicalities! If He sees it best for me to be completely healed, then I will be completely healed. If He sees it best that I live with cancer until the day I go to be with Him, then it will be. Honestly, today, my heart is overwhelmed with His abundant mercies. He has answered prayers for healing. He has given me more than I ever deserve. 
My heart danced with joy when we presented the kids with pink balloons after school, in celebration of God's love and mercies and great kindness in giving us this gift of good news. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Being Thankful in the Circumstantial Rituals

I performed my 3 month cancer ritual today, which I first began last May. The Pet/Ct Scan.
It has become as familiar as a dentist appointment. I pick up conversations that I started a few months ago. Dan, Claude, and the blonde nurse that is just a few months younger then me but looks 30, whom I can never remember her name, but speak to her as if I do.
It is so easy to forget to be thankful in the mundane. These circumstantial rituals. The things we do day in and day out, or, in this case, every few months:).
I'm thankful that Dan is at work every time I need an IV start. God totally hooks me up each time!
I'm thankful I have insurance that covers such procedures & medicines ...I cannot imagine having to pay the $2800 for my bi-weekly chemo!
I'm thankful to have so many praying for me.
I'm thankful that I am at a place where we anticipate the scan results with great hope and much prayer, that the cancer will lessen.
I'm thankful for His promises and His faithfulness to each of us, in everything...even these cancer rituals.

I will delight myself in Your statutes, I will not forget Your word. Psalm 119:16

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"Feels like a holiday"

That's what we kept saying yesterday, "it feels like a holiday". My side of the family was all together this weekend. It seemed to only happen a few times a year in the past, but with group effort, we are fixing that. Most of us went to Disneyland Friday. Saturday we spent walking, lounging, eating and chatting...until Ben, Kate and the girls had to catch their flight. A weekend highlight was watching the cousins together. True, priceless entertainment. It makes me reminisce when I was that age and the good times my cousins and I had at family get togethers. Having 4 children gives me joy in knowing they will have an even fuller house when they all get together, 20 or so years from now. All grown up, with families of their own, creating more joy, love and memories.

          Dog Cousins;)

Blog Archive