Thursday, July 21, 2016

I have Cancer-I get to say what I want.

Today has been a wild day for me.  I did not sleep well and woke up feeling very uncomfortable.  I had to go to the doctor's office to do lab work and by the time I got there I had thrown up several times.  I proved it in the waiting room.  I am pretty sure that did not lighten the mood for all the chemo patients. That is my excuse for the delay in posting this update.

In times like this I can't help but to relate to biblical stories the experiences that we have.  I think God really does give us stories and examples that relate to current situations.  This morning I began the update and included a reference to my favorite Bible story.  I think technically to be a good Christian it is suppose to be either the Christmas or Easter story but it is not.  It is the story of David and Goliath. I have yet to repent for that.  However, I didn't want to be too hokie or get 'to religious' on people so I second guessed it this morning and sat the computer aside to go vomit.  Fast forward about 3-4 hours and I was in bad shape at the doctors office.  I was dehydrated so they could not find a vein to put the IV in so that I could get some nausea medicine and fluids.  Three veins collapsed, I was about to faint, one nurse had my face in her hands and kept saying, 'Heather, stay with me, come back' and Andrew looked terrified.  In the middle of all that, suddenly a third nurse came in the room exclaiming, 'Hey! How we doing today?!?' in the sweetest way.  On her scrubs were all these yellow chicks and little quotes like 'chicks rule' and 'chicks are cool' and randomly 'david and goliath'.  All I could focus on in that several second moment were the words david and goliath. She left the room just as suddenly as she came and I really thought I must have hallucinated or made that up.  So after everything settled down I asked the main nurse if that was real.  They sent the lady in and we told her just what I have said here on this blog and she agreed to allow Andrew to take a photo of her shirt so I have proof I didn't make this up.  I take that as a sign that it was meant for me to relate this to David and Goliath.  Plus I have Cancer now so I am pretty sure you get a pass for everything.  Whatever you want, you can just say -sorry people, Cancer, shrug your shoulders. Am I right?

And now for building of a giant:

We met with the oncologist yesterday.  I really must say we have an exceptional doctor.  He spent two hours with us going over a vast amount of information.  We so appreciated the patience he exhibited in relaying all of this.
When people hear cancer I think most of us would associate it most closely with death.  There are so many variables.  The last few days I have been focusing on collecting enough information to choose my treatment. It seems a little impossible and overwhelming because there is so much to think through!

There are still some questions as to what exactly the origin is and how this cancer is spreading.

We are going to do a 3 phase CT scan on Friday evening.  This one will be slightly different than the first and will provide a clearer photo of the areas that are harder to see or biopsy.  We will also have an MRI done to make sure that there is nothing in my head.  I am pretty sure Andrew would verify that there is not.

The Dr. will take that scan before a conference of some of the nations leading cancer doctors and liver surgeons on Tuesday for them all to evaluate.

The Dr. thinks it is stage 4.  His recommendation based on what he knows right now is that I take chemo to hopefully shrink the areas of cancer.  The likelihood of it being effective is about 50%.   If the cancer were not responsive to chemo, the average life expectancy would be approximately 4 months to 2 years.  However, all things are relative and it is rare for someone my age to have this issue so the statistics could be somewhat different for me.
If the cancer is responsive to it and it shrank to a size the surgeons would agree to operate, then we would remove the areas of cancer through surgery.  I would go on to live life with a funky looking liver and a scar the size of the great state of California. The Giant appears larger with each step.

He spoke with us about other clinics where we could get second opinions.  We are looking into other options as well.  We want to make an informed decision and while chemo/surgery is currently the frontrunner option, we are still checking out the options.

The Phillistines were some Bad A people.  They came out against the army of the Isrealites for 40 days.  Each army on a designated hill for a showdown.  As if that wasn't enough, they had a certain seasoned warrior that was around 11 feet tall who was equipped with the best weapons and to top it off he had a shield bearer who would walk before him so that he could be protected from you while he attacked.
Each day that massive man would walk to the front of the Philistine line and look out across the valley to the Israelites and shout for someone, anyone, to fight him.
I have often wondered what this must have looked like.  Did the Israelites just start looking around at each other, and run?  Did they just stare in disbelief? How did this end every day these 40 times?  How embarrassing!
I do believe God allowed those forty days because he was building up the giant.  He was showing what seemed to be an impossibility and bringing to light the disbelief of his people.  He had shown himself to fight impossible battles plenty of times at this point and the fact that the Israelites army had no courage or belief is such a load of bull.  But don't we all do that constantly?

In the background there is another story unfolding.  A man named Jessie had 8 sons.  Three were there on the hill with the Israelite army.  One, the youngest, was a sheep herder and was busy fighting lions and bears to save the sheep.  Jessie asks him to go and take food to the brothers on the battle field.  When he got there he heard the armies lining up and the giant come forward to make his daily speech about sending a champion to fight him.  David was appalled at this and then he volunteered.  His brothers were furious with him.  They thought he was just being conceited.

But the thing I love about David and that I would love to implement in my life is that he wasn't volunteering because he had assessed the giant and himself to see who was stronger.  He didn't stand around thinking about the statistics and likelihood of scars or wounds or even death.  He knew God.  That was all that mattered.  God is absolutely stronger and more powerful that giants and cancer.

I am never going to be able to paraphrase the best part so I just attached it here.

2 Samuel 17

 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome looks, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

One stone! He didn't even need the other four.

I would like to be like David with such belief that a miracle can be accomplished through this situation.  I may have to wait out a 40 day wait period of God building a giant so that it is very obvious that it is in fact Him who saves me.  At some point I have not decided yet, I will ask that everyone who knows and is willing, will fast.  On that day, we will see what the Lord will do.  When we come against this in the name of the Lord Almighty, I pray for there to be a moment where 'the whole world will know that there is a God in Isreal who saves'.


  1. I love your heart and I believe that you are like David in that you know God intimately and have full reliance on His power to defeat any enemy.

    I am going boldly before the throne and asking for complete healing that will make His name famous.

    PS - I think it's time for that mo-ped and nose ring!! You can use the C card if anyone has an issue with it.

    PPS - After seeking God, your number one priority right now needs to be taking care of YOU. Although we are happy to receive updates, there is no need to have an excuse or apologize for the timing updating the blog. Love you, friend!

  2. Count me in for a fast!! Can't wait to see what God will do! Love you friend. Your courage and faith are such a testimony to his goodness.

  3. Wow! Even in the midst of all this you are an encouragement. You're in my thoughts and prayers! ❤️

  4. Your exuberance for our God is infectious. Thank you for sharing. It gave me goosebumps. Definitely lifting you up and looking forward to hearing reports of how the God of Angel Armies moves in your life to glorify His Name to an unbelieving world.

  5. Heather-you are such a LIGHT! You radiate beauty in every sense of the word. You have such a gift of storytelling and laughter.
    I love the thought of you as David standing on top of all the glory to our God who is mighty to Save! I'll go fetch you a stone girlfriend!-Sara

  6. Heather, I'm friends with Amber and Dave. It is an honor to read your blogs dear woman of faith. The body of Christ is praying with you and Andrew, God's will be done in your lives.

  7. You don't know me, but i was told about you from
    A friend.... I am in the midst of a messy divorce and am feeling so defeated and hopeless... I have been on my knees praying for you wife and kids all day everyday... Begging God for a miracle.... I've been down and out... And tonight at almost midnight I get a text about you... I read you post and I have hope... I know the God we both serve is bigger than your cancer, bigger than my marriage, and bigger than the giant... I needed you tonight! God sent me to your page for perspective and hope... Thank you for writing this post! God def used you tonight to help me!!! I will pray for you! Our God can do big things!!!!

  8. Last thing... The Red Sea Rules by Robert J Morgan.... It has been a blessing to me.... Maybe it would be to you! Thanks again

  9. Anonymous
    You and I haven't met. You are a friend of a friend. Thank you for your courage and your strength. I learned almost 3 years ago that my sister had multiple cancers in multiple locations. Most concerning was liver however the prognosis was very scary. All in and the whole person spiritually, emotionally, physically, and every ally one can imagine has resulted in a 6-24 month probability of survival to a recent visit of "healing, remission, and limited cancer along with a zest for life that is remarkable! My sister and I have researched, contemplated out of the box treatment, cried, laughed, trusted, believed, persevered, felt love, given love, found peace, struggled to understand, sought to understand, hugged others in dire situations and accepted love and support from so many we never knew or will know. All together it comes back to 3 John 2!
    Many hugs and thank you for what you write and your unwavering faith! TM and LG