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As the summer wore on I felt more and more tired and ached all over. I coughed and hurt and my son Jay said I complained a lot, which was not my style. Early in July I noticed a small pea-sized lump under my left jaw, which quickly grew to the size of a walnut. I went to see my Family Practice physician on July 22, who suggested getting this lump checked out with a CT scan. He did not think it was something serious, but said "let's be safe." Praise the Lord he wanted me to have it done, because it came back showing lymphoma. Surgery was scheduled for August 24, and a follow-up PT scan confirmed that I had non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
After seeing an oncologist, I was told I needed chemotherapy right away. I did not want to have chemo because of what I had seen Juanita go through when she had lymphoma, and so I began to investigate some natural ways of curing it. I also wanted the elders at our church to pray for me, along with some friends, which took place on September 4. My brother suggested to me that we ask people we knew around the country to pray at the same time the elders were praying, which we did. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the response of so many, and felt unworthy of all the attention and affection shown to me. (We figured out later that people were praying in 16 states across the country, many whom we did not even know, which was very humbling, to say the least!)
I felt led to get a second opinion from the doctor at Baylor Hospital who had treated Juanita 12 years ago when she had non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He explained very clearly that because I had both slow-growing and fast-growing types of lymphoma, I had two choices: either to be treated with chemotherapy, or very possibly die in 10-12 months. I chose life, and then I wrestled with God that night. He popped a picture into my mind that was in the front of our church when I was a child, of Jesus praying in Gethsemane with the drops of blood on the rock. Very plainly He told me that He did not want to go through with what was facing Him either, but that He did it for me, and how He wanted me to submit to the chemo and lift Him up in the process. In Psalm 139:16 it says, "Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all of my days were written in Your book before a single one of them began."
I feel this is part of His plan for my life and my job is to lift Jesus up however and whenever possible, and He will draw men to Himself. Wow--did He ever!! I was admitted to Baylor Hospital on September 26, began my infusions on September 28, and had one round of chemotherapy--five days of continual infusion--and have had the privilege of praying with nurses, patients and doctors. Despite an initial bad reaction to the first drug, which had been administered too rapidly, it has been a wonderful experience in many ways, and I anticipate this will continue for five more rounds, or a total of six weeks of round-the-clock infusions, every three weeks--one week in Baylor Hospital and two at home--through the middle of January. It will be a very different life for us for the next few months, but we are hopeful and trusting God to get us through this challenge.
It is because so many of you have prayed and continue to pray that God is using your prayers to do His work in me. Thank you!