Friday, December 21, 2012

Striving to make my heaven IN heaven!

After 5 long months of pain and symptoms, I got the most amazing news. Everything looked great on my CT scan. There looks to be a possible cyst on my left ovary, but nothing in my area of pain. I finally feel like myself again. I know in my heart and I stand on my confession of faith that I am healed, but when you consistently have pain in a scary area, it is hard to act as if everything is fine, because it's not.  Even though I still don't know what is causing the pain, I know what is is NOT! The burden that has been lifted is unexplainable.

When I heard the news from my CT scan, I was home alone sitting on my couch about to eat lunch. After I found out the good news, I was so overcome with emotion. I dramatically put my lunch on the coffee table and sprawled out on my living room floor in the most violent cry you have probably ever heard:) My mascara was ALL over my face and I was inconsolable. I'm sure I was a sight to see, but it was a precious moment with my Savior. I just kept yelling thanks to the Lord over and over, followed by apologizing to him over and over for ever doubting Him in the slightest. I tried calling Josh and couldn't reach him. He tried calling me back and I missed his call. When he came home, we hadn't talked yet. Let's just say I had to quickly tell him the news was good, because by looking at me or hearing me, he probably thought something was majorly wrong:) Oh, the joys of living with me!!!

After hearing the news, I have been so giddy. Little girl giddy. Like skipping around the house, wanting to do cartwheels in the front yard giddy. No exaggeration. I'm excited to go to the grocery store, clean my house, play with my dog--just doing anything I have such joy that I haven't had in a very long time. I always try to choose joy and choose happiness regardless of my situation, but to actually feel it bubbling up inside is an indescribable feeling. So, I am enjoying this joy with overwhelming thankfulness to my God.

1 Corinthians 15:57 "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

As far as the pain is concerned, we are not too sure what the next step is. I am meeting with my G.I. doctor on the 27th to see what the next step is. Please pray that we can know what to do to stop my pain in the most natural way possible. I am trying a lot of diet changes to see if that helps. I am already eating very healthy, but will be experimenting with taking some foods out of my diet to see if that helps.

I am reminded through all of my pain, fears, and hardship to make my heaven IN heaven. If I had a "perfect" life, or if things went just as I have planned, why would I want heaven? My heaven might be here on this earth. That is scary. I know I've shared it before, but I am looking forward to heaven more than ever before. I long for it--- for Jesus to come back. I think we often hear about storing our treasures in heaven, but I don't know if I have ever truly understood what that meant. Not that I understand fully now, but I know that these experiences have helped me realize that I often long for my heaven to be on earth. Do I believe I will have blessings on this earth? Yes. Do I believe God has favor on my life and wants to give me the desires of my heart? Yes. But, I want to desire heaven---not heaven on earth. As blessings come my way, I am praying I am reminded to not make earth my heaven. I will strive to be in awe of my blessings and always keep a heaven- focus. I can rejoice and thank God for trials, as it causes me to long for a kingdom that will stand forever.

Romans 8: 18-19 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed."

So, the next time I head to Houston will be the second week of January. Please continue to pray for my oncology check up and my ultrasound check up--that everything will look perfectly. That check up will  be about 8 months since my mastectomy. That is so hard to believe, but I am so overjoyed. Josh laughs at me, because I can turn a light comment to a serious one in a heartbeat. I don't mean to, but it is just where my mind is. He will say something like, "I can't believe Christmas is coming," or "Your surgery will be here so soon," and I will comment back and say, "I'm so thankful I'm alive" or "I just thank Jesus for getting me to this point." So yes, the mood can change pretty quickly in the Taylor household, but it is just constantly on my mind. Big events or milestones can send me into a tailspin, as I become overwhelmed with thankfulness for God choosing to keep me here on this earth. I can be so extremely sensitive at times, and I am thankful for those who have endured my tears, fears, anger, joy, and ever-changing moods. I've always been very even-keeled, so God is teaching me much with all of these different emotions!

Josh and I are slowly but surely sending gifts and thank you's to so many of you who have gone above and beyond for us. We pray you are beyond blessed this Christmas season. Through my own struggles this Christmas season, I have experienced sorrow and struggles in a joyful season. It makes me ache for those who are struggling during this time of year. To seemingly have no joy in a season that is supposed to be full of joy can be overwhelming. God has made me more sympathetic and empathetic towards those suffering as I have suffered myself. Once again, God uses my struggles for His glory.

Praying you all have a very Merry Christmas. Join me in being in awe of Christ, as he was born on earth to save me and have relationship with ME. OVERWHELMING! I am copying lyrics and the youtube video to my favorite Christmas song below. There have been many car rides as I have belted it out and cried. It doesn't even feel like a Christmas song to me, and I wish it was played all year long. I remember listening to it last year around this time, and I felt it took my thoughts and they were put into a song. Enjoy. May Christ continue to be born in me!

Be born in me
By Francesca Battistelli

Everything inside me cries for order
Everything inside me wants to hide
Is this shadow an angel or a warrior?
If God is pleased with me, why am I so terrified?
Someone tell me I am only dreaming
Somehow help me see with Heaven's eyes
And before my head agrees, my heart is on its knees
Holy is He. Blessed am I.

Be born in me, be born in me
Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me
I'll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem
Be born in me

All this time we've waited for the promise
All this time You've waited for my arms
Did You wrap yourself inside the unexpected
So we might know that Love would go that far?

Be born in me, be born in me
Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me
I'll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem
Be born in me

I am not brave
I'll never be
The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy
I'm just a girl
Nothing more
But I am willing, I am Yours

Be born in me, be born in me
I'll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem
Be born in me

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Good results and CT abdomen scan scheduled

Well, God makes himself famous again... My tests went really well yesterday. My doctor said that he took some biopsies (which is standard) and it looks like I might have gastritis. I am still trying to research what exactly it is and how I can help it. He sent something off to test for the gastritis that he thinks may be a bacteria that an antibiotic might clear up. I do not like taking medicine and would like to do things as natural as possible, so pray that I can help heal my body in the most natural way possible. Outside of that, he said everything looked good.

I asked about my gallbladder, liver, and kidneys and he said that he is unable to view those organs in the tests. I thought that all of that could be looked at during these tests, but I was wrong. The doctor is has ordered me a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis to make sure everything is ok. It is scheduled for this upcoming Monday, the 17th.  So, I am extremely thankful and definitely relieved that these tests went well, but of course, I have the waiting for the return of the biopsies and abdomen CT scan coming up. I am trying to just rejoice in the moment, and trust God to take care of tomorrow- I will rejoice in today. So, I should hear from the doctor soon to get the biopsy results, and now I wait until my CT scan on Monday.

I am thankful a CT scan is scheduled because it is a very in depth scan, and one I wanted to have for a long time, but have waited for and trusted doctor's timings on all of these tests. I am doing ok emotionally...trusting God with all my heart. I am human and get very scared... I once again beg you all to pray for a clear CT scan. Trusting that this test will be clear and I will have even more peace of mind.  Once this test is clear, cancer is ruled out for affecting the pain in my abdomen. God knows that this test needed to happen for my peace of mind. Trusting Him...

I am reminded of people who were counted righteous by their faith in the Bible. The one that sticks out to me is Abraham. It is funny how many people I have been able to identify with in the Bible through my suffering- Jesus, Mary, Abraham, Paul, David, Job...I have literally felt a bond with these people! I know my suffering pails in comparison, but there still is more of a bond.

As you know, I have also felt many bonds with other breast cancer survivors, and my friend, Erin is one of them. God healed her supernaturally from stage 4 breast cancer. I found her blog last spring and she has been a constant encouragement to me, and our treatment has been similar and around the same time frame. I hope to meet her one day. Check out her awesome blog:

When I was about to get my bone scan in October, I wept at Erin's words as she commented on my blog. I happened to read it in a weak moment in my bathroom. She said, "This is not cancer, you're just under attack because of all the awesome things you do for the kingdom. God answered your prayers for TOTAL healing already. You claim that healing and don't stop, no matter what you hear or fear. This is a great chance for you to live out your faith--believing in what cannot be seen. There are no what-ifs or action plans for worst-case scenario, because that would be like not believing God healed you entirely. Remember, Abraham's faith was credited as righteousness when he spoke things about his future that seemed unbelievable. This is your Abraham moment, and I know you are a righteous woman!

Father, please help me have the faith of Abraham- faith for my healing, faith for my future, faith for living a long life, faith that you are taking care of me. I want to go where you say go, even if that means not knowing where I am going. I want to believe in you for children of my own, like Abraham did, when circumstances would say differently. I pray I am righteous in your eyes father. I believe Lord; help my unbelief.

Hebrews 11:8 "It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going."

Romans 4:3 "For the Scriptures tell us, "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith."

Oh, and God gave me awesome news today as I am trying to stay focused on him and not on these scary tests. My surgery scheduler called and my breast implant surgery is scheduled for February 1st! I am so excited and thankful. I trust that God is holding my hand and giving me bits of hope to carry me through these tests. He is such a good God. If there is one thing that is true, it is that God is good.

PLEASE PRAY FOR ME AND MY CT SCAN ON MONDAY!!! You've prayed me through before and through my last test... I NEED it again. I am one needy person. Just being honest of where I'm at... 

The joy that will come when the CT results are good....cannot explain!!! Pray, fast, join me with expectation of these good test results....

Below are some pictures from our blessing cruise. I am going to call it our "hope" cruise, because it was there God gave me hope I desperately needed. To those who helped make this trip possible, we pray God blesses you more than you can imagine. May you reap the blessings of what you have sown into me!!!

2 Corin. 9:6-8 "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
At a show one night

Having fun dancing the last night!

 The girls at dinner

In San Juan, Puerto Rico

In St. Thomas

One of our formal nights

Monday, December 10, 2012

Reminder to pray for me Tueday, Dec. 11th

I just wanted to write a short post to remind you all to pray for me tomorrow. I check in for my tests at 2:30 and they should begin at 3:00. I am having both an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. We should find out results from these tests as soon as they are over, so that is definitely a relief. It should just last an hour or so, then I will wake up and go over results.

God has given me an amazing peace of mind. My symptoms have remained, but my spirit is at rest. I just continue saying a verse that I say often.." I am holding fast to my confession of faith without wavering, for He who has promised is faithful." I am continuing to believe that my confession of faith is complete healing and that it will be revealed in every test done.

I am asking you to pray right now as you read this and any other time I cross your mind. We have seen what happens when we come together and pray. Let us not stop doing this because the storm as seemingly settled, but may we be encouraged to press on harder than ever because of what we've seen God do when we do what we are supposed to do! I've said it before, but many of His promises are conditional and I (we) must continue doing our part of those promises.

I am begging you to pray with me tomorrow for clear results. Looking forward to posting the good news... Love you all...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Breast Reconstruction Surgery coming soon!

So, my mom and I headed to Houston last week and had a great visit. She has taken me these last 2 times and she is always willing to take me! I have a great mom! We got to visit some with the Stanfill's on Wednesday night and then headed to my appointment in the morning. I received my final expansion! They were not able to expand my left side to match the right because of the radiation done on that side and just simply couldn't stretch much more. So, during surgery they will make the right side smaller to match the left, since the left cannot be expanded further. This means that I will be slightly smaller chested than I was before my mastectomy, and I am at peace with that. When I had my lat-flap surgeries, we thought there was a chance I wouldn't be able to expand at all, so I am thankful to have breasts of any size:)
1 Thessalonians 5:18  "In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

The soreness from the expansion is going away now and a surgery date is in the process of being set! During my lat-flap surgeries, I thought I wouldn't have surgery intil April or May, but that has changed. Dr. Villa expressed that he would feel comfortable doing my final surgery in January or February! His staff is supposed to call me in the next week or so to nail down an official date, but it will definitely be in January or February. Crazy to think I won't see them until the day before my surgery. To go from seeing them every week or every 2 weeks to a month or 2...surreal, but of course a good thing. I will see Dr. Villa for a pre-op appointment the day before surgery and have surgery the next day. I may have to stay overnight in the hospital, but if I don't I will at least need to stay in the Houston area. I may or may not have drains...a lot of these decisions will be decided in the operating room. But regardless, at the most, it should be a 4-5 day Houston stay and then we can head home! It really is exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I can't believe it is December 5th. It is interesting to talk to Josh and read his writings of what he remembers from all of last year's events. It is crazy to be going through something alongside someone and have so many different experiences and perspectives. Things he remembers I don't remember at all. Things he thought about, I didn't think about at all. Things that were significant to me, weren't to him and vice versa. You all know I am long-winded at this point, but one day, we will write all of what we went through down. My version may not fit, blog-style:) I do know that when December 1st hit this weekend, I remembered how much I was awaiting December 1st last year, as it was my 1st ultrasound check-up after I started chemo. It was our first tangible, physical sign that my cancer was going away...Praise the Lord for December 1st. A new month, a new hope, a new sign of what God was doing in me.

"Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." Lam. 3:23

I shouldn't have to go back to MD Anderson until the beginning of January. I will have my 3 month appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Litton, as well as have my follow up ultrasound with Dr. Strom. To remind you...2 months ago, I had a breast ultrasound that showed 2 lymph nodes that had not previously showed up on ultrasounds. This concerned Dr. Strom, but he thought there was a good chance that the new ultrasound equipment was just allowing them to see lymph nodes that were always there, but had not been detected by previous equipment. These lymph nodes looked completely benign, but he wanted me to come back in 3 months to do a follow up- which is what this appointment in January will be- so please, please pray for this too.

I wanted to update you all on the surgery and thank you for continuing to pray for me. My symptoms have seemed a little better this week, so I can't thank you enough for your prayers. God is giving me more peace about these tests coming up on Tuesday. I can't eat anything on Monday or Tuesday, so it will make me fast and pray and believe God for a good report. Please consider joining me. I will remind you all as Tuesday gets closer to pray. Once again, I need you to fight with me. Please put on the WHOLE armor of God...for you and for me. I love you guys.

Eph. 6:10-17  "A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Posted below are some pictures from Thanksgiving and from a Tacky Christmas Party we had on Friday night. I also ran in a 5K this weekend to raise money for Leukemia research. My great friend, Angie helps put this race on, and she is a leukemia survivor. She has held my hand through my journey. (that is an understatement) Thanking God for new beginnings, fun, and the ability to run!

Bowling with the Taylors after thanksgiving lunch

Our Tacky Christmas party with our wonderful friends!

After the Scrooge 5K

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I am thankful for HOPE!

I am thankful for HOPE and LIFE this thanksgiving. Josh and I were gifted something that I don’t know if I can ever repay. Someone anonymously paid for us to go on a cruise vacation with his parents and 2 of our friends. It was very last minute and we had such a great time. They ability to repay this person is literally impossible, because what I received wasn't just a wonderful vacation---I received hope on this trip.We had fun, laughed, and did a lot of relaxing. My symptoms, as far as the pain in my ribs/stomach ceased dramatically as well as my stomach issues during our vacation. It was on this trip that God gave me a bit of light of hope---of life and of fun. We got back a few weeks ago and we continue be amazed at other's generosity.

I’ve always noticed how one’s current situation can make something wonderful seem not wonderful at all. For instance, a girl who was just broken up with and goes on a trip of a lifetime—even though the trip is amazing, she can’t even allow herself to have a good time because she is heartbroken. That is what it has somewhat been like for me. I haven’t been able to, or I guess, allowed myself to fully enjoy moments because I can retreat to my fear. This trip, with of course the full help of the Holy Spirit allowed me to have rest, hope, and life. We had SUCH a wonderful time. Pictures to come…

Since being home, my symptoms have returned, which makes me wonder if anxiety has something to do with all of this. It’s hard for me to accept that, because I wouldn’t consider myself an anxious person, but I pray that is what it is. The pain is very real though. We went and saw a G.I. doctor on Monday in Monroe and he suggested an endoscopy and colonoscopy. It is scheduled for December 11th. When I think about it too long, I can feel myself start to go into a full-scale panic attack, so please, please pray for me. I pray for relief once I get good news from these tests. I just have to remind myself to be expectant from the Lord. He has shown himself faithful over and over again. I can just get so scared with the what if’s…

"But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats." 1 Peter 3:14

My expansions have continued to go well, and I should have my last expansion on this Thursday, Nov. 29th. My P.A., Alisha, said that there is a good chance that we could schedule my surgery date during my visit this week. That is exciting. They are so ready to be done with me…they normally don’t see someone for so long like they have seen me. I am ready to be done too, but I will definitely miss them. 

My husband had a birthday on the 25th of October (he turned 28) and I just have to take a second to share about him. We were in Houston on his birthday, once again seeing doctors for ME, when I want to celebrate HIM. The Stanfils continue to open up their home over and over and made him feel so special (as usual). We woke up to a sign and balloons, as well as balloons on our car. Looking forward to all of his birthdays to come when I am so far from all of this and attention can be given to him.

There are so many words that describe Josh, but the main one that sticks out to me and those closest to him is loyal. His loyalty to me throughout all of this is indescribable. I apologize to him so often for having had cancer, and he of course is not happy with me when I do this. I can handle thinking of my own hopes and dreams not coming true, but knowing that his are affected when he wasn’t even the one who had this disease can make my heart hurt in ways that are indescribable. His response is always the same: “I wouldn’t want to be married to anybody else.” I see other 20-something couples with happy-go-lucky lives, with babies, with exciting futures and I feel such deep pain at times that he doesn’t have that. We, in faith, of course believe that we will have that in Jesus’ name, but of course our situation has been so different than that of the typical, young, married couple. I have to believe that God has called us out and that he has such big plans for us...more than we can imagine. We continue to hold to the promise that he will restore our land, as we seek Him with all of our hearts.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile." Jer. 29:11- 14

Josh has cuddled with me, given me my shots, helped me remove fingernails and toenails (gross!), brushed out my loose hairs, shaved my head, held my hand, made me laugh, cleaned and kissed my mastectomy scars, cried with me, prayed for me, emptied my 13 drains, massaged my sore body from neulasta shots (bone pain), held a bucket for my vomit, fed me, driven me to Houston 40+ times, reassured me over and over and over of Jesus’ healing me, cleaned my back scar incisions, learned all the breast cancer terminology, dealt with my ever-changing emotions, and has made me feel more beautiful than ever before. This was my 10th birthday with him and I realize each day just how blessed I am to be married to my best friend. God has truly made us one.

I will never forget when I got my 2nd round of chemo and we were going to put in a DVD in our laptop to watch a movie and our wedding video happened to be in our laptop. We decided to watch it. By the end of my chemo, all the nurses were in my chemo room watching our wedding video and we were all crying. I remember when we were checking out and making my next chemo appointment and Josh looked at me and said, “I would do it all over again.” We both just held back tears as we thought about our wedding day in 2006, when we had no clue what our lives would look like. I am so thankful that I have a husband who took his promise to God and myself seriously- to be by my side, regardless, in sickness and health. Thank you Lord for giving me Joshua Mark Taylor!

"As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."" Eph. 5:31

We had a wonderful time in Tennessee with Josh's extended family for Thanksgiving. God also gave me bits of hope in different ways during this trip. His love and care for me overwhelms me at times. Now I am home and just wrapping up with this school semester. I only have one more in-class semester...then a 9 month internship and dissertation and then I'll be done! Thank you Jesus for walking me through all of this. I will make sure and update after my appointment on Thursday as I should get my final surgery date:)

Please, please pray for me and this pain in my abdomen/ribs to stop. Pray for clean results from my tests on the 11th. Pray for me to allow God to be everything He is- He is love, and his love casts out all fear. If I truly allowed His love to cover me, there would be no room for fear. I am learning what it means to accept His freedom and allow Him to fully love me. I can make my own prison at times and lock the door behind me. I know I am not living in the freedom He gives when I do this. Thank you for praying for me. I love you all.

I have posted some pictures below of the Salon 7 fundraiser day and Josh's birthday.

With the Salon 7 girls and my awesome check

What an awesome salon and stylists!

At Josh's 28th birthday dinner

What he woke up to at the Stanfill's on his birthday

The balloons on our car!

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 2011 Re-Cap

We (I) have fallen behind a little on the re-cap.

If I said the month of November 2011 for us was a blur I am not sure that would be even close to adequate. I have tried to go back and read our posts and it is truly surreal to read it and re-live some of that. As I have said in other posts I believe we were protected from a certain percentage of fear due to our desire to not tie in to other peoples experiences. We knew it wouldn't be easy but if we had known what the year would look like we would have been shocked.

The things that stick out to me about that first month were obviously the trips back and forth to Houston. We also went to Thanksgiving with my family in Tennessee where we had rented a cabin. That was a neat experience but still odd in the fact that life was going on but we were living in shock.

Another huge item for that first month for me was the fact that we had a house that was about 40% finished. On one of our first trips down to Houston we were eating at Cheesecake Bistro and I got a call  that became one of the biggest blessings anyone could give us. Jonathan and Tara Hill completely took over the completion of our house. I said it in an earlier post but imagine the best person in their field finishing your project, indescribable. I could go back to where I was standing during the call but I can't explain what this meant for Aly and I.

Another huge moment came at a night that Coach Robert Mitcham and Claiborne Christian School had a night to benefit Aly at a home basketball game. To say that Aly and I care about those kids might be the biggest understatement I could make. The night meant the world to us.

A little funny note about the house. I am easy to convince when it comes to my ability to save money so when I went to build this house I asked Martin West if he thought I could wire it myself and it was a very quick yes on his part. In that situation I am not one to argue so that is what I did. Each time I needed to know what to do which was often I would call and Martin would tell me the same thing he had told me before and I would hope I got it right. Little did he know his pushing me to do this in August would lead to some funny conversations in November. We had at least 3 or 4 conversations on the phone where he would call me and say, Josh do you remember what you ran (which gauge wire) to this light or that switch and all I could describe was by color. So needless to say Mr. Martin and my other friends that finished got to deal with some odd things I am sure.

What Jonathan and Tara, Martin and Vanessia  and all the other people did during this time enabled me to mentally get away from everything to have a chance to help Aly. People gave me the chance to do right by Aly by them picking up where we needed help. Worry was going to be a part of our life but when people stepped in financially or with their time or talent they eliminated hurdles that made it easier for me to be with Aly.

I simply could not have been to Aly what I have tried to be without the help of other men and women at times absolutely taking hold of parts of our life.

We were never able to experience the lows that could have been possible. If we had not known that we were spiritually covered to a level that we cant explain then there would have been much less peace and  sleep. Aly and I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that God was hearing request on our behalf daily if not hourly and therefor we never felt the low we could have felt going at it on our own spiritually.

When people picked up the load in our everyday life they also stopped Aly and I from being worried about making life happen on a daily basis. It was clear very quickly that if there was a need then it would be met. There were people sowing into us in ways and amounts that blew us away.

On Nov 9 I wrote about Mrs. Vanessia West being given a clean bill of health and there being no more cancer. When Aly was diagnosed it became clear to us what we had not done for the Wests during Mrs. Vanessia's treatment. As we told each one of their family members and we have said to other people, we did not show them the love we were shown or would want to show. This truly broke our hearts because now we knew what their family had gone through from April-November and how little we had done. That will not happen again.

On Nov 13 I wrote about Aly beginning to lose hair but even in that I was sure that if she were to be asked about Canaan that she would give a report that beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was ours for the taking. I do remember that time I was just in utter shock at her ability to continue living. Most of the time you find yourself in awe of peoples athletic achievements or other things but to daily be watching Aly, my wife deal with cancer the way she was dealing with it was an incredible thing.

On Nov 18 I wrote about Aly telling the Dr. she wanted less sedation for her port surgery because we had some stuff we needed to get done that day. Again, my wife is crazy strong.

On Nov 19 Aly wrote a verse that I have heard her say a lot and it is a verse I can literally picture being to Aly and it is that Aly will live and declare the works of the Lord. I believed and believe now more than every that my wife will live and will continue to declare the works of the Lord.

At the end of November we flew back from Thanksgiving to Houston to get chemo and they would not give it to us because of low ANC count. They didn't realize who they were dealing with still at this point and told us to just come back next week. That was a Friday. We were there Saturday, Sunday after church and then Monday, they didn't know it but Aly was told she needed chemo and she wasn't leaving until she got that round.

As a husband that was one of the early points of me realizing the tangible fight that my wife's body was going through.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Your blog comments comfort and challenge me...

Can't believe it's been another week already. The Salon 7 fundraiser was absolutely amazing. I was able to hang out there some on Friday and it was awesome- the auction items, the food, the radio station, the t-shirts, the donations...INCREDIBLE! It was so odd to be at something that was for me. Josh and I both struggle accepting gifts from others and letting others help us with things, and this was an ultimate example of that. When I walked in on Friday, I realized that all of those people there were there for me. I feel so unworthy and have to switch that unworthy feeling to thankfulness, and that is just what I did. They raised $8,000!!!!! Yes, I didn't put too many zeros, eight thousand dollars!!!! This will cover our deductible that will be due at the beginning of the year and should cover any tests that insurance won't cover. One could not believe the weight that this fundraiser has taken off of Josh and I. We could have never imagined this much money to be raised. In the medical world, what seems like a lot of money to us is pocket change! We are continually reminded that God will provide for us. Thank you Salon 7 for helping us with expenses and just loving us enough to do this for us. I still really can't believe it all happened. I am overwhelmed at everything you guys did! You are Christ to me!!!

Josh and I went to Houston last week for an expansion and everything went well. We think that I am fully expanded on my right side, but we still have more to expand on the left. It is possible that next week will be my last expansion. My doctor also said that he thinks I could have my exchange surgery sooner than I initially thought. It should happen in March or sooner:) That was some surprising good news because we were thinking that the earliest it could happen would be March. I love when God gives me those little moments!

Thank you all for praying for my test that I had run last week. Everything came back negative, which was good, but we still don't really know what is going on. I had a gallbladder, liver, and kidney ultrasound on Monday and everything looked normal as well. SO thankful!!! If symptoms continue to persist into next week, they want to do some G.I. tests. Please pray that symptoms cease and that I don't even have to do these tests. When I have a test coming up, I can become so paralyzed with fear. I get frustrated with myself for getting to that place again when God has proved himself over and over. I still need lots of prayers for fear to cease, symptoms to cease, and complete healing.

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." Deut. 7:9

One thing that has been particularly helpful to me since October 17th is reading the blogs from a year ago on the date they were posted along with the comments. At the time they were written and we received comments, we were in "survive" mode, and I didn't really have time to read them all and let them sink in. So many of you gave us such good advice on how to seek God, have faith, and how to put my beliefs into practice. Others of you expressed your love for us, or how you were praying for us. To read what we were experiencing at the time, and then reading your responses to our pain and story is something that uplifted me at the time and maybe even moreso now. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each post and the comments from a year ago. One person on the blog commented on how many wonderful Christian friends we have. I can sometimes take that for granted and not realize that we are the exception...WE ARE! I am so blessed by all of you...

"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." 1 Thess. 5:11

Last of the hairstylists at Salon 7, Jil Dasher (one of the most beautiful women I know), is participating in and encouraging a challenge called "No Make Up November." It is put on by Rave Ministries, and it encourages women of all ages to go without make-up for the month of November. Its' purpose is to bring attention to the pressure put on women to be what society calls "beautiful", rather than God's definition of beauty. Check out Jil's awesome blog and Rave Ministries' website.

So, here's to a whole month with no make-up. Praying it gives me the opportunity to share with others about finding my true beauty in Christ. I never fully understood what that meant until I was stripped of all "womanly beauty." My breasts, my hair, my eyelashes, my eyebrows, my nails...all I had left was me. I truly think I felt most beautiful during my chemo when I came to the realization that God saw me more beautiful than ever before- fully seeking Him with my whole heart, in complete desperation. Praying I will only get more beautiful in His eyes... Join me on this month journey:)

"Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful." 1 Peter 3:4-5a.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Salon 7 Fundraiser and Life Lately

Hey guys,

It feels like a while since I've written and it has been a busy, great last couple of weeks. As you saw from Josh's post, last week made a year from my initial diagnosis. I am so thankful beyond words. I had the chance to share last week on my 1 year diagnosis anniversary. I spoke to the CCS chapel about how my love for God has changed over this last year, and how his love for me has impacted my journey. Although I cried most of the time, it was an honor to share some of what God has done in my life over the last year- I feel like I have so much to share! It is so hard, and just simply impossible to share the things God has done in my life in a "speech" or an "interview." I could literally talk all day long and still not begin to explain how this past year has impacted me and my relationship with God.

I know I've shared this before but I love it:
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Rev. 12:11

I thought it was neat the way God timed my speaking to chapel- on the actual 1 year anniversary. I got a text from Ms. Jenny, one of my many encouragers throughout this, that basically said that me declaring what the Lord has done is basically giving the devil a kick in the face:) I hadn't thought about the actual day and what that was saying to the devil... I will overcome by Jesus' blood and the word of my testimony!

I also spoke at Delta Community College's breast cancer awareness program on the day after my 1 year anniversary. God's timing is perfect, isn't it? I hadn't spoke to a group since July and then 2 events, two days in a row, surrounding my anniversary. I was able to share my story with others, tell of Jesus' healing, and bring awareness to breast cancer and women being proactive. It was wonderful, and so many came up to me afterwards telling of how touched they were by my story. I shared the video that Josh made for me after my last chemo, and I am always amazed at how moved people are by it. People have facebooked me about it, emailed me, asked me where I go to church, hugged me, thanked me, cried with truly is amazing how God's story of healing me reaches so many people. God has big plans for me, and I know one of those plans is continuing to tell His story about me...and I will...forever and ever!

This past week has been kind of crazy because I have had midterms, but thank the Lord, they are over! I just turned in my last paper yesterday and did a presentation. I have been feeling much better with my back. It doesn't hurt much at all any more and just flares up from time to time. I went to the doctor this week in Monroe, as my oncologist advised that for the pain I am still having in my side and some stomach issues. They are running some tests to see if they can figure out what is going on. We should have some of the results on Friday. Please pray that the results can give us some answers or guidance on how to proceed and keep me the healthiest possible.

Satan has been attacking me this week- especially in my dreams. The worst possible nightmares you can imagine. God has been opening my spiritual eyes so much here lately and I am seeing and realizing things about God, Satan, and myself that I've never seen before. I am thankful for this spiritual insight, but I know that can sometimes fuel Satan's attacks. I'm standing firm, but I definitely need prayers. Thank you for praying for this... I need God's protection on my life in every way.

"But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy." Psalm 5:11

So, I am super excited about a fundraiser that is going on for Aly's fight on Friday. I get my hair done at Salon 7 with Stephanie Noland, and she is amazing. She is the one who rallied everyone together to get money for Racquel (my wig) and she washed and styled Racquel during my 6 months of no hair. The entire salon and the people who worked there have been some of my biggest supporters. Many of them go to my church. After I was first diagnosed, I went there to get my hair cut for the first cut and they prayed over me, loved on me, and cried with me...Stephanie also brushed my hair out of a rats nest that took place when my hair really started falling out, as she indiscreetly kept putting huge balls of hair into the trash can when I wasn't looking...they care about me, love me and pray for me... I could go on and on about them, but they are doing yet another thing for me- AMAZING, right?

Well Erin Goodfellow, another awesome friend and hairstylist at Salon 7 contacted me about doing a fundraiser. I had no idea what all they were is awesome. The fundraiser is this Friday, October 26th from 10a.m. until 5 p.m. They are shutting down the salon that day to do this- I'm still in awe! They have had many businesses donate items for a silent auction, they are selling plate lunches, and selling super cute salon 7 t-shirts. They are also selling pink extension and pink hair prodcuts that will go towards Aly's fight as well. I am working on Friday morning, but then heading over there that afternoon to hang out with these awesome girls doing all of this for me. To have people still supporting us and realizing we are still struggling is the biggest blessing. I want to be more like this. When I see people struggling, or when the "fight" seems to be over, I want to be insightful enough to realize they are still struggling, and I want to DO something. Thank you Salon 7 for being that example to me!!!

This is how I feel about Salon 7. They exemplify this verse : "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

Pictures are posted below of what Salon 7 looks like this week. Hope you will at least come by the salon and give me a hug or say hi. I will be there:) The address is 511 Hudson lane, Monroe La. From 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Please continue to pray for complete healing, good test results, protection from the evil one, and that God's story of my healing with continue to be shared! Over 235,000 views of this blog...making Jesus famous!

The front of Salon 7
Some of the "pink" hair products

 Flyers they have put out
Pumpkins at the Salon

Salon 7 t-shirts they are selling

Me speaking at CCS chapel being interviewed by my brother-in-law, Lee

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Today makes one year since Aly was diagnosed. As we came to this day I can honestly say there is more shock about it already being a year than anything else. We are still in the midst of this, but to go back through those first days is a bit overwhelming.

One thing I have told people is that we were protected by lack of knowledge. I had no idea what to expect. All we had to overcome were large amounts of fear, really large amounts. We were thrown into a fist fight which most fist fights are won by large amounts of fighting and some pain tolerance. We were just fighting to survive.

A little re-cap of October 17th, 2011

Oct 17, 4:30pm We were in the process of building our house and I had decided we would prep the sheetrock for paint. I don't advise this to anyone but me and Aly of course. We knew that Monday we would find out the results of Aly's spot she had removed. We were at our new house and had just walked in to our guest room to begin sanding when Aly's phone rang. She proceeded to walk away and sit in the corner and I knew what was being said on the other end of that phone.

I wish I could tell you I had many ideas of what to say or do but I didn't. When Aly got off the phone let's just say the details were foggy. I called the Dr. back to clarify what he had told her. I remember a few things from that day but not much else. I remember Aly's reaction, I remember calling my dad and then I remember seeing Lee and Rachel. I had never envisioned us having to tell our parents that Aly had cancer. I thought it would have been the other way around.

Oct 17, 7pm You just found out that you have cancer and you still have to let the dog out, eat supper which I am not sure either of us ate for at least a few days, and work toward going to sleep.

Aly's mom came over, and my parents were out of town.

Oct 18, ????am  You were told you have cancer and you still woke up the next day. Not sure what Aly says about this but in my mind I didn't know what it meant. Would Aly look different the next day? Would she start to look like someone with cancer? What do we do? We knew we were going to the Dr. office around 2:30 so it is hard to do anything useful with your day with that hanging out there.

Oct 18, 2:30pm. We meet with the Dr. who suggests we go to MD Anderson ASAP due to it's aggression.

Oct 18 3:00pm. MD Anderson starts getting calls from us. You tell people they have cancer and then they find out they cant see a Dr. for two weeks. RIGHT.

Oct 18 4:00pm. We didn't know what else to do so we went to the new house and started working. Not sure we got anything done but it beat sitting around being scared I guess. My brother and Brandon Brown came over to help.

Fast forward-

Oct 21- We went to Baton Rouge to meet with a Dr. who had treated one of Aly's family friends. He said for us to get a test run that he couldn't get us in that day. I then called Dr. Borders and asked if he could get us in to the one in Monroe and he gave me what to this day I consider to be one of the best pieces of info for me at that moment in that situation. He said "Josh, medicine does not work like this." I was trying to solve this like I solve a price that is too high on a building material-wrong game. He didn't say just that, but that was what I needed to hear and it settled me. As I look back, that was the first "be still" moment. We had an appointment at the best place in the world.

---One of the biggest points I will say about people dealing with cancer. It is your battle; it will look different than ours. Outside of confirming for you if Aly was given the same drugs, you don't need to know anything else. Information on the internet or from your friend's friend whose cousin knew somebody in our experience is far more a vehicle of fear than it is useful information.

You will not catch us telling people what to do or expect- it's not fair and most likely will not be the experience for them. Love them, pray and encourage them, and maybe they will not have any side effects. Telling someone else Aly's horror story doesn't help them deal with their situation.

Oct 23 6:00pm. Some of our friends put together a "party" for us to do what we weren't sure. That night turned out to be what I would consider to be one of the biggest parts of those early weeks. People spoke life to us. It was unreal. That night Ron and Amy Harris sang to us. Fast forward to today Oct 17, 2012 and Ron Harris came up to me and said, "Josh, I know you may think people see you guys and forget that you're still fighting now more than ever, but I promise Amy and I don't, and we love and are praying for you guys." This carries weight from anyone, but it especially carries weight from a man who lost a newborn child in 2001. I have thought about that all day today. I thought we were dying a thousand little deaths this year with every little blow that happened, but that puts perspective on our suffering.

Oct 24th We left early for Baton Rouge and then headed to Houston.

Oct 26th On Wednesday morning Aly had a mammogram and ultrasound. Our journey took a huge change, even though we didn't quite realize it, when they found disease in the lymph nodes during the ultra sound. This takes you from Stage 1 to Stage 3 and the only difference between terminal cancer and stage 3 is finding it in one more place. We didn't know this at the time- thank you Jesus.

Oct 26th 7pm We went to Lakewood church in Houston. Beck Payne sent a video of the kids at Family Church praying for us.

Oct 27th Early am? We arrived at MD Anderson for what would be a marathon day.
At 10am we met with Dr. Morrow who put a hurry on everything. In that meeting we went from cancer treatment to preserving fertility. We then went and had another meeting, and then came back to talk about fertility. When Dr. Morrow put the information out there, she said you need to start Chemo now which means you are giving up the idea of guaranteed egg preservation. I asked her to leave the room while we talked, and this even as I type it is unreal to think about, but we sat in a room in Houston, Texas and prayed and believed that God would let us have kids but what was most important right now was to get Aly treated. Mind you, the reason Aly found the lump was because she was told when you're pregnant your breast are sore, and we were open to having a baby. So in the span of 10 days we went from attempting pregnancy to knowingly endangering the possibility.

Oct 27th 3pm Aly got a Bone scan. At this point, all we had was bad news so to receive some good news we were happy. The scan came back negative.

Oct 28th Aly has her first round of chemo. I don't know what else to say except I was in utter shock. At this point we're almost two weeks into this process and the train seems to still be gaining speed.

Oct 28th 7pm We met at the Galleria to eat at a placed called Kona. Our friends, the Shows, were in town to hear a preacher at Lakewood, and we met them to eat. Something to stop us from talking about the fact that Aly had cancer and had just had chemo was welcomed.

Well, thats enough timeline for now. I'll pick up on the 28th at some point. It is 11:29pm- I'm crying, Aly is practicing her speech for tomorrow at Delta Community College about breast cancer, and Bella is snoring-we are quite the collection.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October is here!

Hey to my faithful readers:) Everything went well this week in Houston, and I cannot thank you for praying enough. We have had such a wonderful weekend. It has been a long time since we haven't done much over the weekend and relaxed. It was so, so great. We also spent more than a day in Houston, which isn't convenient for school and work purposes, but for exhaustion purposes, it was much more relaxed, which was wonderful.

Josh and I got back Wednesday afternoon after all my appointments. I had my ultrasound on Tuesday morning, as well as an expansion. I could go forever without an ultrasound and I would be oh so happy. Well, I will happily welcome a baby ultrasound when my time comes:), but breast ultrasounds- no thank you. They are the most nerve-wracking things ever, and I was reminded of that this time. This was my first ultrasound since before my mastectomy, so everything looked completely different on the ultrasounds, mainly because I normally would see lymph nodes, and all of my lymph nodes under my arm were removed. She basically looked at seromas (which are fluid collections) from my recent surgery, but also looked at 2 lymph nodes toward the inside of my chest. The radiologist came in and said that these lymph nodes looked completely benign, which was a relief, but once again, they are never the nicest, most upbeat people, and always come in with a quiet voice that makes you think bad news is getting delivered.

We met with Dr. Strom on Wednesday to go over the ultrasound and he expressed some concern over my ultrasound. The 2 lymph nodes that we found on the ultrasound were lymph nodes that had never been seen on an ultrasound before. It basically boiled down to him thinking that their new ultrasound technology is just simply allowing them to see more. He is thinking and hoping that these lymph nodes were already there. He said that he had been running around the morning of my appointment trying to look up old tests of mine  to compare because he was concerned. He was happy to have found an old MRI that showed the appearance of 2 small looking lymph nodes in the place where they saw the lymph nodes on Tuesday. To make a long story short, he wants me to have another ultrasound in 3 months, but he is confident that these lymph nodes have always been there. It is not normal for new lymph nodes to develop, so he wants to be sure this is not the case in my case. It wasn't bad news, but it felt like it. To see him kind of shaken, since he had been running around that morning, definitely shook us up. We are trusting and believing that the ultrasound was perfect, just like we all prayed for.  I have trusted him from my childhood, and will continue to trust him even now. He has proved himself over and over and over.

"For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence. "Psalm 71: 5

Once again, I am reminded of all God has brought me through. When I see how concerned doctors can get with me, it is scary. Dr. Strom said, "We will always struggle when it comes to you. Questioning if we should do a whole cat-scan work up, or no tests at all." I am thankful for these concerned doctors, but I just wish they would see that I am healed and stop being concerned. I know that thought for a doctor is "irrational" and they must do their job in monitoring me, but it is not the best thing for my mind to continue to have doctors so concerned. I am praying and believing that I will be a patient that they slowly but surely stop worrying so much about as they see me being restored to full and total health. I will just keep on trusting...

"[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is." Jeremiah 17:7

I had to keep reminding myself that it was a good visit!!! It just felt bad, but all of the information was good- no bad information. Praise God! I also got expanded a good bit, and my P.A., Alisha, was confident that we would be able to get me back to my breast size pre-mastectomy. Thank you for your prayers. I love when God answers our specific prayers so obviously. Up until my last visit, they continued to be discouraging about being able to be fully expanded, so I was so thankful for the change in thought.  I should only have to get expanded 2 more times, then we will wait 4-6 months to have the implant exchange surgery. So ready for that surgery- By then, Lord willing, I will be an aunt times 2, be almost done with my PhD course work, and I will be that much closer to the 2 year mark. Come on March and April:)!

I definitely have the "iron bra" syndrome that I've heard mastectomy patients talk about. It's name is exactly what it feels like. I feel like I have an iron bra on 24/7. I've heard that this is much better once you have the implant exchange surgery, as implants are much softer. I am ready for that...just to be comfortable. There were so many things I used to take for granted. I am still so blessed, but who would have thought I would ever feel bad for never thanking God for soft breasts? ha... Thankful for his grace and Him knowing my heart.

So, we will go back to Houston on October 25th (Josh's 28th bday) to get expanded, and then will go back 2 weeks after that, and we will be done with expansions:) Thank you Jesus. October will pass before we know it. There are so many memories in October and so many milestones that I am about to be able to celebrate. I am SO thankful. In fact today, October 14th, was the day of my surgical biopsy of my lump. I remember waking up to Josh and my mom and them telling me that my lump was benign and that it looked great...such relief, only to have the pathology come back 3 days later with my news of breast cancer on October 17th. Such mixed emotions...a second opinion doctor's appointment on October 21st, a cat scan on Josh's bday, the 25th, doctors appointments at MD Anderson on the 26th and 27th, and my first day of chemo on the 28th. From the time of diagnosis to my first chemo wasn't even 2 weeks. And October is breast cancer awareness month, so I am of course reminded of my cancer all month. It is beyond exciting to have these milestones upon me... I am so thankful. I can't wait to find ways to celebrate all God has done and to use these dates to continually share with my future children all that God has brought mommy through.

I know most of us have heard Deuteronomy 6 over and over, but I love it.

“These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the LORD your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. “The LORD your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. When you have eaten your fill in this land, be careful not to forget the LORD, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. You must fear the LORD your God and serve him. When you take an oath, you must use only his name. “You must not worship any of the gods of neighboring nations, for the LORD your God, who lives among you, is a jealous God. His anger will flare up against you, and he will wipe you from the face of the earth. You must not test the LORD your God as you did when you complained at Massah.You must diligently obey the commands of the LORD your God—all the laws and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the LORD swore to give your ancestors. You will drive out all the enemies living in the land, just as the LORD said you would. “In the future your children will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of these laws, decrees, and regulations that the LORD our God has commanded us to obey?’ “Then you must tell them, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand. The LORD did miraculous signs and wonders before our eyes, dealing terrifying blows against Egypt and Pharaoh and all his people. He brought us out of Egypt so he could give us this land he had sworn to give our ancestors. And the LORD our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day. For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the LORD our God has given us.’ Deuteronomy 6

I am speaking at 2 events this week: Claiborne Christian School's chapel service, and Delta Community College's breast cancer awareness presentation. I am by no means a speaker, so please pray that the Lord will get his message across and that I will get out of the way- that his story would be shared and that people would be touched, encouraged, and drawn near to him. God's story in me is something I want to share until I am an old, old, lady, and I will do just that. I proclaimed Psalm 118:17- that I would live and proclaim the works of the Lord and that is exactly what I will do.

Please continue to pray for my requests from the last post. My back pain is MUCH better, I believe that my ultrasound WAS perfect, and my expansions were successful!!! I'm still having the aching on my right side and need continued prayers for health. wholeness, peace, a wonderful follow-up ultrasound in January. Pray that Josh and I find ways to honor God in the month of October and the following months that have so many dates that will forever be ingrained in our minds.  Join me in PRAISING the Lord during this celebratory month of October.

"Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! For though I was poor and needy, he rescued me from my oppressors." Jeremiah 20:13