Thursday, September 29, 2022

September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - 2022

 As I sit here, thinking 🤔 about September being Ovarian Cancer Awareness month I remember where my cancer journey started. In April of 2003 I was at a point where I could not lay down to sleep and felt bloated, we had no clue what was wrong.

We ended up going to a clinic in our area and they immediately set up some tests at the hospital. I had had a ultrasound on my abdomen and as we were leaving, I told Scott I felt a little lightheaded and was going to just sit down while he went for the truck. About that time a nurse came outside, she looked at me and said, “honey you don’t look good,” she went inside got a wheelchair and we headed back inside.

Come to find out I had an ascites, which is fluid buildup in the abdomen. A doctor came in to let us know that they were going to drain off the fluid. So, as they tried, they were having trouble getting the needle in. So they took me back to the ultrasound area so they could watch the needle insertion. They drained over a liter of fluid. Wow, did I feel better. I thought I was ready to go home and eat something. That did not happen, they admitted me to the hospital.

That evening a doctor came in, he did not introduce himself, he said, “ma’am you have a cancerous tumor, and I will be back tomorrow to examine you.” We were shocked and the tears began to flow. That evening I got my Bible and started looking up verses on “faith” and “healing”. The 5th verse I read was II Kings 20:5 “…I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee:…” Immediately I had the peace of God and knew He was going to be with me.

I eventually ended up at MD Anderson in Houston, TX. God was so good to get me there. My first call from MD Anderson was to find out what kind of insurance I had, “I replied, we don’t have insurance”, they replied, “then you don’t have an appointment.” My husband started making several calls back to MD Anderson and reached a lady named “Tara”. She said, “we need to get your wife an appointment ASAP.” Long story short, she got us on a program at MD Anderson and my 1st appointment was May 19, 2003.

We showed up for my appointment, we got to meet Tara, with all of us crying, we hugged her neck and thanked her for everything. I had surgery the next week and began chemo. Every time we would go back, we would try to contact Tara. Scott would call the hospital, and nobody knew anyone named “Tara”. We never saw her again, she was our “Angel”. Thank you, Lord!

I received 6 rounds of chemo every 3 weeks with blood work every week. So, I went 6 years cancer free. In December 2009, while waiting for the doctor to come in, a lady came in for me to sign papers for a study I was on for the recurrence of ovarian cancer. As I was signing the papers, I thought to myself, “what if it recurs?” The doctor came in and she said, “your cancer is back.”
Wow, my thought was NOT AGAIN!

So, I got into my Bible again and God gave me another verse John 11:4 “…This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Peace from God again and we have been giving God the glory ever since. So, I had surgery again and was scheduled for another 6 rounds of chemo but due to reactions to chemo, I think I only had 4 rounds. Since May I am now 12 years cancer free. To God be the glory! I have had a “Great Physician”.

So, wherever you are in your cancer journey, just remember every individual is different, each situation is different, so DON’T compare yourself with someone else. Don’t get on the internet to investigate your cancer, just trust the Lord for his direction and healing. I had researched the first time and it was very depressing. I thank the Lord for my doctors, nurses, etc. but I know who the”healer” is, my Lord!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

January 2022

 Happy New Year!

I hope I am better at keeping up with my blog than I was last year.  Life just gets busy as I am sure you know.  We all have busy schedules and life to live. So I am going to start off with reporting my news on my last doctors appointment at M.D. Anderson in Houston, TX.

My appointments started November 8th, first of all I had my blood work CA-125, then a mammogram, then a bone density tests, and finally the doctor exam. All my tests turned out good. My CA-125 was 11.1 and anything under 35 is good.   Then on Tuesday, November 9th we both went to our primary physician to have blood work for our prescriptions. 

In August we were at a meeting in Burlington, Iowa and we had gone out to eat on Saturday, with the pastor and his family. During the night I woke up throwing up, so we thought I had food poisoning. I continued to throw up so we stayed in Burlington a few more days and even went to the emergency room where they treated me for food poisoning. On Wednesday we decided to travel home to Bourbonnais, IL. I just couldn't hold any food down so by Friday night we back in the ER. We were informed I was a sick lady and that they were going to admit me. They tried first to see if I would be able to stop throwing up but I continued. So they decided I would need surgery. On August 24, 2021 I had major surgery for a double hernia and bowel obstruction. It was awful and it took me quite some time to recover. Because we live in our 5th wheel full time I had to go to my sisters to recoup, while Scott continue on going to meetings. It was a long journey because I was so weak before the surgery, it took longer to heal.

In October I started loosing my hair. Everyone kept saying it was from the anesthesia. I guess I never realiz3ed it with my cancer surgeries because I was taking chemo treatments. My hair just continued to fall out. I mentioned it at both my doctor appointments, my primary doctor suggested I go to a dermatologist. So Wednesday before Christmas I saw the dermatologist and she said it was stress and a major surgery. It could take 6 months to a year for it took grow back. She told to get on some vitamins and gave me some topical solution to put on.  It seems it is not coming out as much as when it started. 

So as of May 2021 I have been cancer free for 11 years. Praise the Lord! God has been so good to me. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Cancer, Now What? - January 2020

Cancer, Now What?

            Have you or a loved one been told they have cancer? It is one of the worst things to go through. You know the saying “been there, done that” I have not only been there, but have been there and done it twice. I HATE CANCER! It is devastating, to the one going through it but also their family and friends.

            In April of 2003, I was told I had stage 4 Ovarian cancer. A lot of folks first thoughts may be “why me, “am I going to die?”, “what about surgery, chemo and radiation”, “how much it is going to cost”, and “what are we going to do?”

            After our initial shock, crying, and praying together when everyone left my room, I grabbed my Bible. I began looking up verses on faith and healing. I knew I was going to need some strength from the Lord. The third verse I found was II Kings 20:5 “…I have heard thy prayers, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee:…” Immediately the peace of God flooded my soul. I called Scott and shared this verse with him. In my heart I knew I was going to be OK. I never asked the question “Why me?” but “why not me” was my thought. I never thought I was going to die. My heavenly Father was there and was going to take care of me. I continued to look up verses. I laid there in my hospital bed praying and thinking about the verse He gave me. I remember laying there with tears running down my cheeks while knowing and feeling such peace. My Father, the Great Physician was going to go with us through this great trail in our lives.

            Several other verses that helped me were I Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Psalm 57:1 “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:13 “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”  This verse was always on my mind when going through tests and surgery. I would hold onto His hand. I have shared these verses with other cancer patients more times than I care to remember.

            So I went six years cancer free and in December of 2009 during a yearly checkup was told that the cancer was back. I again immediately got into my Bible again and the Lord gave me this verse John 11:4 “…This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” So in January 2010 I had surgery and chemo again. Both times having chemo, I lost my hair. The first time was rough but not so bad the second time. I tell people about losing their hair, “at least there is not any bad hair days.” As of May 2019 I have been cancer free the second time for nine years.

            What to do when you are told you have cancer. DON’T PANIC!! It is NOT necessarily a death sentence. Get treatment as soon as possible.  Keep focused, stay close to the Lord! Don’t start researching your cancer on the internet. Scott came home one day and I was sitting in front of the computer crying. He told me to stop looking up things about my type of cancer. I decided to keep looking up verses in my Bible, pray, and continue to ask others to pray.  Don’t go through it alone.

            I am thankful for all my doctors and nurses at MD Anderson but I know it was my “Great Physician” who healed me. I give Him all the glory.

            Every year in January I go for my yearly checkup. Once you have had cancer you are never the same. You have the anxiousness of going to the doctor, having tests, and then waiting for the results. “Is it back?” “Am I OK for another year?”

            Cancer is everywhere; it affects the young and the old. Most of us have been there or have known someone who has had it or is going through it. I think the main thing is to stay focused on the Lord. He can and will get you through it.

            Some people want to isolate themselves and not share with others. I immediately wanted to share I had cancer so others could be praying. If you know someone going through this awful disease, pray for them and their family. Maybe you can reach out to them, call them, send a card, go with them to doctor appointments, go with them to pick out a wig, (that is fun), spend time with them is major. A person if left to himself, may not be good.

            So the question “cancer, now what?” Continue on, stay strong, stay focused, let others help and share in your trial. Somewhere down the line you will be able to help others going through cancer. I can’t count how many cancer patients we have met while traveling. We immediately connect with them, because we have been there. So we may not know why we go through the trials in our lives, but we sure can be a help to others going through the same trials we have traveled.  Look for a need and fill it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Great Physician - August 2019

The Great Physician

Welcome to the Great Physician
Office hours are as you come,
He's a Specialist in all problems
And His day is never done.

He can heal a heart that's broken
He can mend the spirit, too,
No matter what your ailment
He does have the cure for you.

His fee for service never alters
He serves rich and poor as well,
He's our one chance for Salvation,
He alone saves us from Hell.

There's no fee for services rendered
All He asks is that we believe,
That He bled and died to save us
And all His blessings we will receive.

Do you have a special problem
That is troubling you this hour?
Then just simply leave it with Him
You can find no greater power.

Don't delay in seeking treatment
Please, my friend, don't hesitate,
For His office is soon closing
And He'll shut and lock the gate.

I wouldn't want you to suffer
While the Doctor's so close by,
Your whole life will be much better
If my Physician you will try.

Just wanted to share "The Great Physician" with you.  All of us go through the trials of life and the best place to get help is from the Lord.  I am so thankful for my Great Physician, He has healed me twice from cancer.  

Again, as we continue to travel down the roads of our country we continue to meet other folks going through the awful disease of cancer.  Recently, we stopped by our old work place and got to chat with a co-worker who is going through cancer.  The report they have given her is not good.  So as we stood there talking, I asked her if she knew she has a home in heaven.  She said she did.  Folks don't take it for granted that people are saved and on their way to heaven.  Ask them, share the gospel with them, because their eternity depends on it.

Everyday people are dying and we as Christians are the ones who need to be sharing the gospel with this lost and dying world.  Let's not miss an opportunity.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

May 2019

     On May 27th, it will be my 9th anniversary of being cancer free.  I am rejoicing!  I continually give God the glory.  This is one of the verses God gave me.  John 11:4 "...This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."  He is the "Great Physician" and "Great Healer".  There is no other that can perform miracles.  Men try to say that they can "heal" but they are liars.  It is up to God how He heals people and when.

     When I was diagnosed with cancer the first time (April 2003) I never once questioned God.  "Why me?"  This was my thought "Why not me?"  I know one thing, I could of never made it through that valley without Him.  Then again when the cancer returned (December 2009) I knew immediately I needed to lean on my heavenly Father.

     As we have traveled down the road, we have met so many people that have had or are going through cancer.  Our hearts are immediately knit with these folks.  We truly know what is is like.  It is awful!  Many times when we are going through some trial in our lives folks will say, "I understand" or "I know what you are going through."  They do if they have been through that same trial in their lives.

     I never realized the vast number of people with cancer, young and old.  I remember while I was going through treatment, friends of ours, 5 year old son was going through brain cancer.  They would often send names and stories of other children with cancer so we would pray for them.  It got to be so overwhelming, I had to stop reading all the new ones.  All I would do is cry.

     Even today, every time we turn around there is someone else with cancer.  We have a list of names of cancer patients right now we are praying for.  Yet we know who the "Great Physician" is.  We added a name just this past Sunday of another young mom with cancer.  It breaks my heart.

     A couple of weeks ago, a young girl and I were out soul winning.  When walking up the driveway I notice a breast cancer decal on the back of their vehicle.  I knocked on the door and began talking to a lady.  After awhile I asked if she or someone close had cancer.  Immediately she began to cry, her mom had recently passed away from breast cancer and she also had a grandchild with cancer.  The young girl with me asked the lady, "can I give you a hug" and the lady hugged her.  I began to share some about my cancer and again our hearts were knit.  We chatted some more and she said that she was saved but was not attending church.  I prayed with her before we left, please pray that April will get back into church.

     All I know, is that I am going to continue to give God the glory.  He has been so good to me and I just want to tell others.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

February 2019

     Today I have been thinking and remembering a very special person.  Some of you know who it is before I even mention her name, Kelly Moncofsky.  It was a year ago today that she passed away from the awful battle of breast cancer.

      I am so thankful for all the special times I got to spend with her and their precious family.  Then to be adopted into the Moncofsky family has been such a blessing to Scott and I.  Since we never had any children Jason and Kelly were like are own, and then to have 5 wonderful grandchildren is just out of this world.

     Since I first began this cancer blog it is unreal how many people we have met or have heard about that have cancer.  There is no age limit to this awful disease, it hits the young and the old.

    I also wanted to share this article that Kelly wrote for me to share on my blog.  I thought I would share it again.  When you read it, think about her friend, Jesus.  Do you know him?  Is he your friend?  If not, please make him your friend today.  Message me and I would be glad to share Jesus with you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Time To Start Over - January 2019

     Have you ever started to do something, messed it up and decided to just start over.  Maybe you were baking something,, messed up the ingredients or forgot to put something in it.  It was a flop! So start all over again.  Maybe you were sewing something, messed up the pattern or sewed it the wrong way.  Oops, rip it apart and start over.

     I don't know about you but I am glad to have a forgiving, loving, heavenly Father who wants and allows us to start over.  Here we are starting a new year, what are your resolutions or goals for this year.

     There are so many, I know many will say, "I am going to loose weight", "I am going to eat healthier", "I am going to find a better job", and on and on we go.  Also, many will say, "I am going to read my Bible through", "I am going to go to church more", "I am going to pray more", "I am going to learn how to win souls", "I am going to win more to the Lord" and all of these are good things.

     I don't know about you but sometimes I can make too many goals and it will overwhelm me.  This year I read a post about finding "A New Name for A New Year" well I listened to the video and then watched another video on all the different names for Jesus.  When Jehovah Jireh came across the screen and said "The Lord Will Provide", I knew immediately that was my name for 2019.  Many things that Scott and I are praying for this New Year, we know that "the Lord will provide".

     So I choose to seek the Lord daily and make short goals.  Already this year, I have chosen a name for 2019, and today I started a Bible devotional on prayer.  I am going to try not to set goals that are way out there.

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."  Jer. 29:13

"But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him will all thy heart and with all thy soul." Deut. 4:29

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:"  Ps. 139:23

     There are things that I am striving for but am not seeing results because I messed up and now I have to "start over".  It is OK to "start over" and we must continue to "start over" or we will just quit.  But it is so encouraging to see some of those short goals accomplished.

     I guess what I am saying is I am going to daily seek the Lord.  Make some daily goals instead of months and a yearly goal.  Do you ladies make lists of things you want to get down daily or weekly..  As you do what is on the list you check it off, and down the list you go.  Doesn't that make you feel good in that you have accomplished something?

     So I choose daily goals instead of the yearly goal.  Today I can read my Bible, pray, eat healthy, exercise, walk, send an encouragement card, call a friend, bake cookies, clean bathrooms, etc. You can look at your list and see what you have accomplished.  Don't get discouraged if you didn't finished the list, pick it up tomorrow and continue on.  Another list might be, pass out 5 tracts today, talk to someone about the Lord, visit a shut-in, etc.  The lists change daily and we can see our goals scratched off daily.  

     As I close this writing I would like to ask you to pray for me as I go to MD Anderson on January 8th for my year check-up.  I give the Lord all the glory for healing me of cancer twice.
      Recently we visited a lady we use to work with Becky Eastep who has gone through breast cancer and it is back.  She has already had a couple of surgeries to remove tumors on the brain and will be going through radiation treatment soon.  Please pray for her.  We have seen many others going through this awful disease of cancer.  A pastor friend, we got to see a family in Missouri that the man had cancer and is doing well now.  We immediately bonded with this family.

     As we travel we try to encourage those families going through cancer.  We know what they are going through and can share our hearts and prayers with them.  If you think about the different things in your life, there are things that you have been through that can help someone else down the line.  We may not know why or how come we go through certain things in life but be assured you can help others going through the same thing.

Each Day is a New Goal!

Picture before Cancer Surgery