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Count It All Joy

Knowing that the trial of your faith bringeth forth patience

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Cancer

The Journey Continues

Today marked another cancer checkup with a skin screening at my dermatologist. The past week has been filled with anxious thoughts mixed with whispered prayers for God’s strength and protection. I know that God is able and that He is allowing me to walk this path for some reason that I may or may not ever know.

And as I suspected, I did not receive encouraging news. I have not allowed myself to really show emotion, I have tried to keep myself busy and focus on other things. To give a little perspective in 2015 when I had my surgery to remove the spot of Melanoma, at the follow up doctor appointments the doctors always closely checked my scar for any signs that color was returning and up till today it’s been good. Today, the dermatologist let me know that a dark spot has returned. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ This is not a definite sign that the cancer has returned, but she let on that she was very concerned. I recently had either a spot of acne or a boil come up either right on the scar or smack dab under it and it was super painful. Doc let me know that she wants to know immediately if that happens again.

They did chuckle at me, but had to reprimand me too, I had used the pedicure set that I got for Christmas on a black spot that was not symmetrical on the bottom of my foot (please don’t do that if that happens to you) instead of waiting to show it to my doctor. So, from now on, no more filing off any funny looking spots before doc sees them.

I have to return to see her in 3 months now instead of 6. As I have another condition that she’s monitoring closely as well. Am I discouraged, not in my Christian walk no, but in my health walk yes. It’s been 1 1/2 years of clean, good reports so at least I’ve had that long! And who knows maybe this will be nothing as well.

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We Give Praise

There are many things for which to praise the Lord and I don’t want to fail to praise him for those things.

I realize that I don’t update this blog that often, that’s because there really hasn’t been a whole lot recently to update. Which I’m so grateful for.

I had my checkup a couple weeks ago and it went very smooth. I have no active spots of cancer at the moment, although there is a pretty big, darker mole that doesn’t have a look alike spot that they are monitoring on my back.

Each appointment I have a skin screening and they check any darker moles that I have or any spots that I have concerns about. This helps to keep my risk of developing a higher level cancer spot down as I have these checks every 3 months. I was concerned about the check in August simply because of it being summer and the fact of being outdoors in the sun and I despise the way that sunscreen feels on my skin and sometimes even feels like it’s burning my skin. But thankfully I don’t have anything.

So, I have many things for which to be grateful:

  1. My care team is all on the same page.
  2. I have regular checkups.
  3. I don’t have any active spots.
  4. I have a support system of friends and family who pray regularly for me and especially around checkup time when my anxiety gets the best of me.
  5. I have access to more knowledge about preventing skin cancer.
  6. I have excellent medical care.
  7. I’m blessed with God’s love and care and know that He knows what’s best for me.

 

Another Day, Another Joy, Another Trial…

The last few days have been hard for me. I was to have my 6 month check up with my oncologist on Wednesday, but had to put it off another week due to transportation issues and the fact that my doctor is an hour away. It’s these times when I must wait and have time to think about things. If you’ve never been given that diagnosis of Cancer, then you probably won’t understand these feelings, fears, and forebodings that come along with it. Every few months you go to see a doctor and hope and pray that you will get a clean bill of health. It’s certainly something to live under the cloud of that fear.

I know I have so many things for which to be grateful, and I am grateful. I’m grateful that I was able to spend the Holidays with my family, I got to have another Easter picture with my family, I got to see my girls turn 2, I’m getting to see Spring awaken again and I can still feel the sunshine on my skin. There are many who have walked this solemn road before and came through it with joy and lived many, many more years.

I was recently asked if the doctors think that it will come back, and I had to answer honestly “Well, I was told that since I had it, I will likely develop another spot in my lifetime.” So, I guess that’s why I live with this feeling of fear and foreboding. I also know that God is watching over me and knows every twist and turn of this dreaded disease, and he allowed it for a reason. My prayer is that God will help someone else through it and draw them to himself.

This is my family on Easter this year. I loved the way we all ended up coordinating. Hubby bought the girls dresses, his tie and my scarf and we just all fit together. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it.

Cherry Blossoms

Another Surgery

This past week I had another minor surgery to remove the rest of a spot. This was just an outpatient surgery, with local anesthetic, I was really nervous about it. I was afraid that I wouldn’t get numb enough and I would feel things, well, I was about right. They did have trouble getting the area numb and I felt when the surgeon started to sew me up, but it wasn’t too awful.

The results of this spot just came back and they were negative for any cancer. Thank the Lord!! He certainly has taken care of me. I get nervous every time I go back to see the doctor because you just never know what they will say. I have another check up at the end of March, then again in June and August. I see either my cancer surgeon or the dermatologist every 3 months.

Cancer Surgery.jpgI know that this blog has been about my cancer journey, and I would like to keep it about that. I just don’t update here that often anymore since there really hasn’t been much to report. Which I’m grateful for, because that means I’m doing ok. However, I recently had some other health issues, ended up to be the Calcium Crystals in my ears were out of whack, man that can really mess you up and make you pretty sick. I could hardly walk without hanging onto stuff. Ended up going to the ER by squad because I had no idea what was going on. Boy did that doc get it wrong. He said I had some inner ear infection/virus and it wasn’t that at all.

I have also been having trouble with my heart. It’s been racing for no reason, so I’m not on medicine to lower my heart rate and bloodpressure. It makes me feel very weak and shakey, almost like I’m having a low blood sugar attack. Hopefully that will straighten out soon.

And we Thank the Lord

I wrote last week about being nervous about my first dermatology appointment and that I thought I possibly had a few more spots. The appointment went pretty good and most of the spots that I was concerned about the dermatologist said she wasn’t concerned about. There was one spot on my lower abdomen that was a bit of a concern and they did a biopsy that day and I got the results back yesterday. And, THANK THE LORD it is not cancer! The doc said it did have atypical cells which means that it’s highly recommended that I have the rest of the area removed so as to avoid the possibility of cancer in the future. They are not sure whether or not that particular area could become cancerous or not, just with a patient that has my history they highly recommend my having it removed. So I will be getting scheduled for another excision of the area which can be done outpatient right in their office.

I am nervous about the outpatient procedure since it seems that anytime I have procedures done with local anesthetic I nearly pass out. But I guess that’s why it is done with a doctor overseeing the procedure.

The Ups and Downs of the Journey

Just thought I would pop in and give an update on my cancer. I am scheduled to see the Dermatologist on Tuesday of next week for a check up. I’m a bit anxious as I think I may be developing some questionable spots. I don’t really fancy being cut on again, but realize that it may be necessary. Melanoma is not a picnic or walk in the park, but then when is cancer ever either of those two things.

Just a few things that I’ve learned about this dreaded diseaseย is that once you have it, it’s never very far from your mind. Once you’ve had one spot then you constantly worry about every spot, freckle, or dot that starts to turn dark or change colors.

I found out that one thing good that has come from this diagnosis is that it has brought awareness to the rest of my family. And, I’m guessing that each time I go for a checkup from now on, I will be somewhat nervous about it. But, I must just keep trusting God that He knows exactly what is best for me and my little family!

I hope to be updating after Tuesdays visit with good news! ๐Ÿ™‚

And yet again God is faithful!

I wondered if I should update my blog, but I figured I would go ahead and do it. I don’t have much to update in the way of cancer updates. I was scheduled to see the dermatologist next week, however, I just got a job as a receptionist for a physical therapy office so I’m going to have to reschedule that appointment so I can work it out with my work schedule. I have wanted a job like this for as long as I can remember and am so excited that I finally landed one. ๐Ÿ™‚ It helps that we have a friend whose husband is a Physical Therapy Doctor and just opened a new office. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m also grateful that we have family available to watch the girls for us, so we know that they’re safe and able to be in their own surroundings. Also grateful that the schedule worked out so that I have transportation to and from work and it’s not that far from home. I believe that I will be comfortable in this job and I’m so excited to be here! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been praying that God would supply what we needed as a family, anyone who has a family and is working on a degree for College will understand that at times it gets super tight and you have to be very frugal. And I don’t intend for any of that to change, but I’m grateful that God supplies not only our needs but our wants as well.

Maybe His blessings come through…

My heart aches for a friend and her family today, they lost their dad and she lost the love of her life suddenly last night. As I lay trying to soothe my frightened daughter last night, we had a power outage and she was scared of the dark, I reached across her and held my husband’s hand and thought of how I would feel had it been my little family. It brought back a flood of memories of the shock of losing my dad almost 4 years ago. I can remember that flood of shock and tears and aching I felt. I can remember getting off the phone with my mom and just repeating “Oh God!! Oh God!! Oh God!!” and sobbing. It seems life never really prepares us for the moments that leave us reeling, aching, grieving and questioning.

This morning while preparing for church the song “Even In The Valley God is Good” kept running through my head so I listened to it 3 times in a row. It brings comfort that truly even in our valleys God is still good! Another song by Laura Story comes to mind which prompted the title of this post and its simply called “Blessings” there is aching in this life but we may miss out on the blessings in disguise if we fail to recognize that even with that ache, that loneliness, that grief God still has a way of comforting, holding and letting us know He is there.

I know recently I’ve been aching with another friend who lost her fiancรฉ 2 weeks before their wedding, then I rejoice with others who welcomed new little ones to their families, and still others who were married. Seems life leaves us in a mix of emotions at times and we just have to pick up and go on. I guess what I’m trying to say is that even in the times when life seems unfair, even cruel we can still trust in the One who sees the big picture and knows that we are frail children of dust. Tears are a language that God understands.  

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