Monthly Archives: May 2010

Dreams Do Come True

What a weekend!!!!  It started on Thursday night with a surprise at my front door.  Mom was coming in late to be delivered from the airport by a friend.  A knock on the door reveals my bestie, Pam when I open it.  Didn’t see that coming.  As we quickly said our hellos and I got over my shock.  We were typical girls and began catching up.  It was a late night but well worth it.  The next morning we headed off for happy hour complete with two cocktails of ‘Jenn’s Juice’.  Fortunately for me I get a great Benedryl induced nap with every happy hour.

Saturday afternoon we girls headed to Oklahoma for a visit.  John had made plans for us to visit with friends in the evening, I had no idea what was in store.  After we settled mom and Pam into where we were staying for the next couple days, John and I set off for dinner with friends at their home.  As we arrived we set off through the yard to the patio that overlooks the water where a private table was set with a candle lit dinner, a picture says a thousands words so here we go….

 

 

 

After dinner we headed to another favorite spot by the river where there was dessert with a very pretty present waiting…..

 

 

In that pretty box……

After I said “Yes”!!!!!…….

And we continue to live HIStory…….

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”  —  Psalm 61:10

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Today Looking at Tomorrow

Some things stay the same and some things get better with each passing day.  First, I have been able to completely come off the steroids they started when I was told that it had spread to the brain.  With each day I feel better and feel like I will get back to ‘normal’.  I have to laugh as I write that, will I ever define normal the same?  What’s still the same?  I’m still on driving restriction, this independent girl is learning life lessons through all of this.  God is definitely preparing me and teaching me.

I have had a sweet parade of friends visit.  It is overwhelming the friendships that have journeyed through the years and by the way, how in the world are we old enough to have 20 year friendships?  Aren’t we still 14?  This is crazy!  As my friends have all gone home, John came into town for a visit.  Of course, that was the highlight of my weekend.  We treasure the time we get to be together.  It must be love for him to spend endless hours on the road.

Looking forward to a visit from my mom this week.  We are truly blessed that she is able to come for a visit.  It is never easy to be 1100 miles, 16 hours away during this journey.  We have agreed that God has taken care of all the details, they’ve been able to be here when necessary and able to visit as we need.  We are blessed more than we will ever deserve.

An update, I have a happy hour on Friday with “Jenn’s Juice”.  So far I’ve had 2 since radiation and I’m handling all well.  I will continue with 2 additional happy hours as scheduled for now.  I will have another Brain Scan soon but at this time do not know when.  Both doctors are consulting to make sure it’s the most effective time to get accurate results.  If you ask me, let’s just get it done…God is in the miracle business so no matter what the results I’m going to walk it out with HIM.

Last update, finally got a breakthrough with the Short Term Disability.  You’d never believe me if I told you all the most ridiculous things I’ve heard over the past few weeks.  God provides….the person I got yesterday finally reviewed my claim and approved it.  The best part of this story, she was leaving on vacation today and gone for a week.  If she hadn’t done it yesterday it would have sat there for yet another week.  She was also able to start some other steps in case I need additional benefits for longer amount of time.  She was definitely a God-send yesterday.

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.  They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.”  —  Psalm 89:15-16

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I Can’t Be Silent

Happy Humpday!!!  The weekend is coming…it’s been a good week.  I’m doing well.  Each day I feel is one step forward.  I’ve been able to stay home alone for a couple days.  I feel those times are bittersweet as I get to see how much I am able to do on my own and I am so overwhelmed with the out pour of care that I’m receiving as well.  Friends have continued to take care of me even when “I’m home alone”.  I’ve been taken to lunch to get “out”, I’ve had dinners cooked and brought to my home.  No one to worry, I’m eating well.   I’ve got some friends who can cook.  Maybe I should consider writing a cookbook from all the meals that have been brought.  I haven’t had anything I didn’t like yet so watch out FoodNetwork.

Today is sweet as 2 friends make their track across the country to visit for a few days.  I look forward to our “girl” time and catching up.  They have said that they are coming to cook and take care of me and I have NO doubt that they will.  It just goes to show you never know where the relationships we make through the years will take us.  I know we all have them and this season has been the ultimate reveal to me ALL of you.  I can not grasp it in my mind how each of you continue to daily to support me.  I love you all and I often feel overwhelmed in not being able to express my gratitude to each and every one of you.

This week has had some sweet and precious time with our Father.  I have seen good and bad for myself and others.  He continues to be the same loving, caring, all mighty God in all of those times.  He is the same never changing.  For myself, there are times when I need to be challenged to push a little, isn’t it always easy to be lazy.  I know, no one would question me for being lazy, but lets be honest, we all have to get out of our jammies. 🙂  He reminds me that He is always here even when I’m alone.  He knows our thoughts and cares for us just the same.  My needs are no bigger than yours.  He wants to be as real and present in all of our lives and He is if we open our eyes and ears to Him.

He’s continued this week specifically with 2 things:  His ways are higher than our ways.  Yeah, remember that one when you think you’re at your breaking point.  He trusts us with these tribulations and trials.   I know one thing, I couldn’t do it without Him.  No matter what we’re walking through He already has it and all He wants from us is surrender and obedience, I know not easy but I promise it is easier when we let go.  Trust me, I have to walk this one every day too.

The second thing He’s shown me this week was specifically today, and timing is everything.  It is regularly that I pray for strength and stamina, it’s the only way I make it.  I could not do this on my own.  So as I was in my devotional, He delivers with His sweet words again.  This is what excites me and why I can’t be silent in His work….take this one with you today.

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”  —  Psalm 29:11

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Update to Celebrate

Good morning to all, first let me thank my sweet friend Nicole for her kind words, sweet encouragement and continued support.  I thank ALL of YOU for continued prayers, love, messages, phone calls and I could go on forever.  You will never know how much you all have impacted my life.  Please know that I could never walk this without you.

So much has happened over the past week since my last post.  I apologize for taking so long….so let me catch up.  I was able to spend some much-needed time of rest with my love.  We laughed until we cried.  We were actually able to have ‘real’ dates.  I got to enjoy long naps in the quiet country, what more could a girl ask for?  It was heavenly.  My favorite parts of my time there were sweet moments with the Lord as He continued to show me where I’m headed and remind me of His promises and from where He has brought me.  He continues to blow me away with His word and His people.

I returned to Dallas, bittersweetly.  John returned home and my sweet friend, Kelly and her mom arrived for a sweet visit.  We have had an awesome “girl” time.  We unashamedly admit that we stayed in our jammies one day.  It was the best.

With all the rest and fun with friends came a much-anticipated day on Friday.  It was my first doctor appointment since my radiation finished and the possibility to get back on the treatment path.  Well, let the celebration begin……good check-up, I went to chemo yesterday and I’m feeling good.  I will do my best here to explain the plan but please know that it is a little confusing even to me so I’m going to share it with you the same way I’m tracking it (keeping it simple):

  • I will continue weekly on Fridays with ‘Jenn’s Juice’, it will be the same medications and one new medication that works in the blood to choke any tumors being “fed” by blood.
  • “Jenn’s Juice” has a specific rotation and the doctors/nurses will keep track of which “juice” I get which week and Jenn simply shows up each Friday for “Jenn’s Juice”.
  • At this time it looks like I will finish this course of treatment in June.
  • I’m still not able to drive.  Please pray for me and those who have to chauffeur me. (more prayer needed for them)
  • As of yesterday, Dr. Kerr, Oncologist, will consult with Dr. Munoz, Radiation, to determine when the next brain scan will be scheduled.  The reason for this is to make sure they do it when we will get an accurate result.

Overall, I feel good.  I feel better with each day.  I have begun to wean off my steroid which makes life much easier and will improve over the next few days.  I continue to praise God for each and every moment and day.  He is the only one who is giving me the strength and stamina to walk through this and He continues to heal my body.  I stand in His victory.

“On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.”  —  2 Corinthians 1:10

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An Opportunity to Help – Please Share

Watching someone you care about go through a difficult season is not an easy thing. If you happen to be across the country … well, that adds another dimension entirely. One thing about distance, though, is it certainly gives God room to blow your mind with the big picture of how He works.  The last six months have been a roller coaster, but one of the most amazing, inspiring and humbling parts has been seeing you in action.

Yes, I’m talking to YOU.

In fact, I felt so compelled to talk to you directly that I’ve basically resorted to blog piracy, commandeering the control panel while Jenn wasn’t looking.

So one diagnosis, six months and 38,000 blog hits later I’m reflecting on this crazy journey without a single doubt that God knows exactly what He’s doing by bringing each and every one of YOU into Jennifer’s life.

THANK YOU:

  • For your thoughtful cards, presents, calls, visits, FaceBook and blog comments
  • For bringing meals, running errands and doing household chores
  • For being selfless chauffeurs, driving to and from appointments, treatments and airports
  • For the listening ears, compassionate tears, strong shoulders and encouraging smiles
  • For donating to Jenns’ Medical Fund and for honoring her in your efforts to raise awareness and support breast cancer research
  • For being PRESENT for the good and the bad
  • For your undiminished FAITH
  • For your PRAYERS (pause and repeat that last one at least 100 times)

I’ve watched you become the hands and feet of Jesus for my friend. Your acts of love and service aren’t the result of specific requests but are an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. These acts are seamless, selfless and offered with utmost sensitivity to Jennifer.

Most of you already realize the spiritual powerhouse that Jennifer Cunningham is. She’s touched many lives through her ministry service. She is one of those rare individuals who extend faith and friendship without any boundaries. You’ve watched her go toe-to-toe with cancer and say “MY GOD IS BIGGER.”

I’m stepping out in faith to share another opportunity that we have to serve Jennifer. As many of you know, Jenn is no longer able to work. Although disability benefits are pending, they cover only a percentage of her previous income and medical bills are coming in daily.

There are MANY ways that you can help Jenn:

  1. Donate to Jenn’s Medical Fund – it’s safe and simple to donate online.
  2. Help us get the word out by sharing the link to Jenn’s Fund via FaceBook, Twitter and email – frequently.
  3. Launch your own fundraising efforts in your local community to benefit Jenn.

The last thing that our sweet friend Jennifer would dream of doing is to directly ask for financial support.  I hope and pray that this message has honored her heart while ensuring that you are fully aware that this is a VERY REAL NEED. It’s a need beyond Jennifer’s control and that gives many of us another opportunity to reach out in a very practical way to meet day-to-day needs like rent, groceries and medical expenses.

For each of you, I am thankful. You touch Jenn’s life in ways that minister to the heart of every single person who knows and loves her. Thank you for helping us spread the word and meet the need.

With gratitude,

Nicole

“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
– 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV)

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:1 (NIV)

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HE Provides

First let me say I had the best night’s sleep in weeks.  I actually slept in until 8:30a.  That’s a huge milestone.  Sleep is a rarity, although I rest often deep sleep is not always the luxury.  So it is welcomed and celebrated when it comes.

Another praise, I am looking forward to a few days of change of scenery.  My sweetie is coming to take me out of the city for a couple days.  So grateful to have time with him and see how God continues to lavish us with this amazing relationship.  Grateful for his family and friends who have taken me as one of their own and care for me as if I’ve always been there.  Look forward to a little more R&R in Oklahoma.  God is so Good.

With all the amazing things God continues to do in my life through this season, there are so many facets that I learn more about myself and Him everyday.  The more I learn about myself the more I know I choose Him every time.  He continues to remind me He provides and I know He does, I’ve seen it time and time again.  Yesterday was a reality day and He spoke so clearly to me that He provides.  He also spoke to me that something I NEVER want to ask or speak to anyone, He reminded me that I’ve promised to be open and transparent in all things in this journey.  How’s that for accountability?  I don’t like it when He feeds my words back to me…

As my prayer warriors, I come before and ask for the following in prayer:

  • My Short Term Disability Insurance would be processed immediately, in order that I would begin recieving some income while out of work.
  • I would be wise with less income.

“There is nothing you need that I cannot provide” — God

“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”  —  Psalm 95:2

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Shedding Happens Again

FIRST….Let’s CELEBRATE the completion of 14 radiation treatments.  It has been another leg of the journey to endure and I praise God that He has carried me through with stamina and strength that I can not explain.  It is only by His grace that I have endured the past 2 weeks with any wits, strength and success.  I celebrate in the victory that it is finished.  It will be a couple of weeks before we do any testing or scanning so we continue to pray for complete healing.  They have prepared me to experience continued fatigue but have said the other side effects such as fogginess and weakness will begin to fade.  My prayer is to quickly wean off the steroids, they have been my worst side effect.  Although necessary and I know that I have to take them, not so good for this girl.  Oh well, you got to do what you gotta do.  I will be thrilled to kick them to the curb, I’m just sayin’.

One other side effect they prepared me for that came this past weekend in a big swoop was shedding.  All the hair has left my head.  No worries, I’m still holding out for my prayer of a red and curly return….here’s just a second chance to get my way.  I hope John might like red curly hair….what the heck, if you get a second chance at different hair, I’d like to special order.  We’ll see.  It was returning curly so we’re half way there.  On a serious note, I’ll take whatever I get.  The huge blessing in all of this is if you got to live in Texas in the summer and wear a wig, bald is the way to do it.  Texas is known for big hair but I certainly only need one layer through the summer.  Praise God for the small details.

It has been a great weekend.  My dear sweet friend, Nicole was here from San Diego.  She has taken great care of me.  And of course, had to screen John while she was here.  Don’t you worry, she made sure he was all that I said he was and so much more.  She has definitely given her seal of approval, not that I was worried.  We just laugh….poor guy, he must feel like I’m putting him through the ultimate screening committee.  I’m not too worried because I know that his friends love him just as much and I’m sure I have some screening to go through myself.  They’re probably much more discreet than our team.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  —  Psalm 16:11

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