On November 2, I went to the doctor feeling shortness of breath. An X-ray revealed fluid on my lung which prompted a CTscan on November 3rd. Sitting in the doctor's office that day hearing the words, "ovarian cancer," seemed surreal. I felt numb. Things started happening quickly after that. On Monday, November 7th, I met my amazing oncologist, Dr. Thacker. She scheduled a biopsy on the 10th & chemo to begin on the 17th. I decided that feeling sorry or angry were counterproductive so I didn't go there. Instead, when anything negative started to creep into my mind, I put my focus on Jesus.
Things were on schedule until Sunday, November 20th. Don took me to the outpatient clinic at Siteman Cancer Center for evaluation where they found a mass obstructing my colon. On Monday, doctors installed a lung catheter, (there's a name for that but medical terminology is not my forte), and on Tuesday, Dr. Thaker & team performed a tricky colostomy. On Friday, November 25th, (my birthday!), I was released. I have been improving daily! Praise God! The plan now is to continue chemo treatments every Thursday for 8 more weeks. In 11 weeks I will be having surgery to remove the cancer & reverse the colostomy.
As I thought about the reality of my situation, yes, things were happening inside of me physically. For the most part I had been given intellectual news. Humans are triune beings consisting of the intellect, physical, and spirit. I figure, if I get upset, I'm allowing my intellect to take charge. Actually my spirit has a greater power at work than both my physical + intellect combined (multiplied by infinity!) I praise God that He has given me His Holy Spirit to live in me. 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
My support system has been nothing short of incredible! I am being uplifted daily by a vast army of prayer warriors! My dear husband Don, one of my best cheerleaders, has been by my side. My daughter, Holly, who lives in DesPeres has also been wonderful! She is "communications central." Thank God for her husband who is very understanding & my grandson Luke who knows how to make "mom-mom" smile. When my son, Paul, heard the news, he told his commanding officer who replied, "go, take 7 days." Paul is in the Navy stationed in Kings Bay, GA. He & his wife, Kristin, packed their car & drove all the way to St. Louis with their two daughters, (Rylee,4 & Aubree,2, who are such sweethearts). When my daughter, Christine, who is a missionary in Hungary, heard, her principal told her to take as much time as needed to be with me. They even purchased her airfare! God is so good! My daughter, Becca, who lives in So CA will be flying out in December. All in all, I consider all of these dear loved ones as my best birthday presents ever!!
On the spiritual side of things, I definitely feel God's strength, calmness & peace. Last year in Bible study, (Bible Study Fellowship), we studied the book of Revelation. One of the most important lessons I gained from this was to keep my focus on Jesus. I know God's Holy Spirit placed a song in my head that helps me daily. The lyrics to "Turn You Eyes Upon Jesus" are, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things on earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory & grace".
Some of the scriptures that have helped me during this time: 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (God is with me, helping/carrying me over each hurdle) Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (I know that God has a plan that is greater than I can think or imagine. I will wait to see what He will do.) Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (No matter what may happen, my assurance is in God. He IS with me and He will never leave me alone.)