Monday, July 27, 2009

Celebrating our Wedding Vow renewal today

Celebrating our wedding vow renewal

Today is a blessed day as my sweet hubby and I are celebrating the renewal of our wedding vows after 41 years of marriage. Last year, he asked me to marry him again, which I did with great pride and excitement. God has given us another wonderful year together filled with His precious love and grace.

This is a double blessing because my doctors did not believe I would live another year. Guess they just don't realize how big our Heavenly Father is and that Jesus is our Healer. I was prayed over yesterday at church for healing and I am convinced that Jesus has completely healed me. I look forward to my next PET scan so that my doctors can take me off my chemo.

I don't know where the Lord will take me along my journey to the next chapter of my life. Whatever it is, I Iook forward to it with great excitement and pray that He use me to His glory and honor. Wherever He chooses to take me, I know it will be an exciting, wonderful and blessed trip.

May you have a very blessed day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Praising God, doctors were wrong.

I know it has been some time since I last journaled and time to catch up.

I Praise God that it has now been 13 months since my oncologist gave me 4-11 months to live and here I am. I rejoice and thank our Heavenly Father for watching over me these months and keeping me from the pain from cancer. It has now been 11 months since I have had to take any morphine for the bone cancer pain.

This has been a wonderful year filled with God's blessings. I have been through some tough months with my liver functions being 5X higher than they should be for a few weeks. Then I came down with very painful Shingles. Good news is I got a 5 week break from my chemo treatments. All is well now and I began my treatments again 2 weeks ago.

I have been blessed in so many ways this past year. Not only has our Heavenly Father heard and answered prayers going up on my behalf but continues to show me His sweet love through so many sisters and brothers in Christ. I have been driven to all my chemo treatments, friends have brought food, gifts, sent encouraging cards, and come to visit and call on a regular basis. I have been blessed by precious little children drawing pictures for me, making me tie dye shirts, making bracelets, etc. Another dear sweet friend (her name is Shirley too) gave me a prayer shawl that she had knitted for me. She made me cry because she said she prayed over me the whole time she was making it for me.

We were blessed because our daughter Dianna and two of her sons came to visit us this past week. Unfortunately it was way to short for grandpa and I but so grateful for the wonderful time we did have together. They were also a great support for me and took me to my chemo treatment while they were here. We are also looking forward to our other daughter Sandy and her children coming to visit at the end of this month.

Gee, my blessing go on and on and on.Thank each of you for being such a precious angel in my life, for your love, your support, help, and encouragment. I do thank God for each one of you and know I am blessed beyond anything I can ever imagine. To think this is just a taste of what heaven will be like. Wow!!!!!

Well, I pray you too continue to be showered with God's blessings daily.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Praising God, doctors were wrong.

I know it has been some time since I last journaled and time to catch up.

I Praise God that it has now been 13 months since my oncologist gave me 4-11 months to live and here I am doing very well. I rejoice and thank our Heavenly Father for watching over me these months and keeping me from the pain from cancer. It has now been 11 months since I have had to take any morphine for the bone cancer pain. This has been a wonderful year filled with God's blessings.

I have been through some tough months with my liver functions being 5X higher than they should be for a few weeks. Then I came down with very painful Shingles. Good news is I got a 5 week break from my chemo treatments. All is well now and I began my treatments again 2 weeks ago.

God continues to shower me with His sweet blessings. Not only has our Heavenly Father heard and answered prayers going up on my behalf but continues to show me His sweet love through so many sisters and brothers in Christ.

I have been driven to all my chemo treatments, friends have brought food, gifts, sent encouraging cards, and come to visit and call on a regular basis. I have been blessed by precious little children drawing pictures for me, making me tie dye shirts, making bracelets, etc.

Another dear sweet friend (her name is Shirley too) gave me a prayer shawl that she had knitted for me. She made me cry because she said she prayed over me the whole time she was making it for me.

We were blessed because our daughter Dianna and two of her sons came to visit us this past week. Unfortunately it was way to short for grandpa and I but so grateful for the wonderful time we did have together. They were also a great support for me and took me to my chemo treatment while they were here. We are also looking forward to our other daughter Sandy and her children coming to visit at the end of this month.

Gee, my blessings go on and on and on. Thank each of you for being such a precious angel in my life, for your love, your support, help, and encouragment. I do thank God for each one of you and know I am blessed beyond anything I can ever imagine. To think this is just a taste of what heaven will be like. Wow!!!!!

Well, I pray you too continue to be showered with God's blessings daily.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Another challenging week

I did not get my chemo treatment again this week. When I went for treatment, doctor informed me that my liver functions were high. He said it might be a fluke but didnt' want to take the chance so they ran another blood test. Doctor called me late Friday night to tell me the results and that he had no idea what is causing this problem. He said my liver functions are 5x highter than they should be. I have to go back on Monday for more tests and depending on results, I may have to go back into the hospital.

The good news is that I have a break from chemo for a few weeks. The bad news is that the cancer may spread faster. I am also going through lots of pain with shingles on my backside.

I have not let my husband and daughters know yet because I did not want to ruin my daughter's 40th birthday bash last night in Georgia. My hubby will be home today from Georgia and I will have to tell him the latest news and then call our daughters. Please pray they not worry to much about the news.

Good news is that since I will not have to schedule chemo treatments, my hubby and I can go on our annual trip to El Paso, Ruidoso, and Alburquerque the week of the 23rd to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. Yeah!!!!!!

I know God is still in control and not surprised by what I am going through. Why He chooses to allow me to go through this I don't know but my prayer is that I honor and glorify Him though all this.

I am blessed with the Bible studies I am taking on Mondays and Tuesdays and love the time together in His Word and with my sisters in Christ. They continue to bring me encouragement and support.

Well, I guess that is all for now, I will blog later with any updates.

Have a very blessed day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Great Praise report from my oncologist yesterday

My husband and I went to see my oncologist yesterday to get results from PET scan done on Tuesday. We were excited to hear that cancer is stable and no new growths. Praise God. Thank you all for your continued prayers on my behalf. God continues to hear those prayers and is answering.

Doctor also told us that he is still amazed that my renal functions are great and he still can't understand it. He says test show that my 1/3 of kidney I have remaining continues to work almost as good as two full kidneys. I tell him that the answer if very simple, The Lord, my healer, continues to have his hand on me.

Doctor is concerned that I do continue to loose weight. He thinks the weight that I thought I had gained was only fluids. I am down to 109 now and he has started me on Marinol to try to increase my appetite. In one way, I am really lucky because I can eat everything and anything I want. I just don't have much of a desire to eat. When I do feel hungry, I get full with only 4-5 bites of food. He says that it is good for me to eat sugar to gain weight. Wish I liked sweets more. lol

We were also told that if I don't start to gain weight, he may have to stop giving me chemo treatments every week and cut in half. Danger then is that my cancer may begin to spread again. Danger if I continue to loose weight is that I won't be able to fight off any infections.

I am still at total peace and know God is still in control. I was also told that I would have to be on morphine for the rest of my life to help with the pain. But God has other plans for I have not had any pain for about 7 months now which means no morphine. YEAH!!!!

I am feeling sad though because my counts have been down and I will have to miss my beautiful daughter's 40th birthday bash in Georgia. Doctor does not think it will be safe for me to fly at this time. I will miss her big bash but will be with her in love and spirit.

God is good all the time and I am excited to see His hand on me and my family and friends. I am blessed daily with His love through so many people and He continues to provide rides to chemo, encouragement, love, and support through so many of you.

I read this the other day and was so blessed, I want to share it with you.

"it seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God (gave us the victory).. Now, God, do it again... so those whith heavy hearts will come out laughing, with armloads of blessing"Psalm 126

When you have a heavy heart, when life deals you a difficult blow, God wants to turn things around in your favor. Not only does He want to bring you out, but He wants to bring you out with a smile and better off than you were before. He wants to give you the victory and fill you with armloads of blessings!

You might be thinking, "That sounds too good to be true. You don't know my situation." But understand, God wants to overwhelm you with His goodness. He wants you to feel like you are living in a dream.

The scripture says that He delights in the prosperity of His people. In other words, it gives Him great joy to bless you. You can be certain that when you stand in faith, even when it's difficult, God will reward you. He'll fill you with His peace. He'll give you supernatural strength. He'll give you the grace you need to face those challenges. You can be sure that He'll always lead you into victory and fill you with armloads of blessings.

God is allowing us to go through trials right now, my cancer, house burning down, and pressures at work for my husband. However, I still know without doubt that our Heavenly Father continues to walk beside us and will never leave us.

I love this scripture and I lean on it often.

Isaiah 43: 2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

He knows what you and I are going through today and it is no surprise to Him. Lean on Him with whatever you are going through and He will see us through on the other side more blessed than we can even imagine.

Have a very blessed day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

my chemo treatment yesterday

I want to thank you all for keeping me in your prayers. My friends came to pick me up again for my chemo treatment yesterday and all went well. Praise God.

My weight is back up to 113. My blood count went from 1500 to 2400 and my blood pressure went down to 138/87. BP meds are working and God is answering all your prayers on my behalf.

Feeling tired today and taking it easy on what I eat not to get sick to my stomach. Otherwise feeling good and able to play on my computer. Yeah!!!!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful day and have a great weekend.

love and hugs,

My embarrassing moment

Have you ever been embarrased by trying out a new recipe? No? Well I managed to do just that, I love to cook and try new recipes.I wanted to make a new recipe and can't even remember what it was now because it has been over a year ago. The recipe called for arrowroot. I am embarrassed to say, I had NEVER heard of it before. I figured ok, it has root in the name perhaps it is something like gingerroot. Well, I was totally wrong.I went to our local grocery store and could not find this treasured arrowroot. Went to Walmart and again no luck. I figured, ok, I will go to Sun Harvest, surely they will have it there. I walk into Sun Harvest and low and behold, there is the arrowroot. Unfortunately, it was in a 1/2 gallon container and I had to put it into a plastic bag. No problem. I get my plastic bag and put it up against the opening of the jar. Good, got it into the bag with no problem. Oh Oh, Problem. I forgot to put the bin number on the bag. Again, no problem. I sealed the bag shut so I will just write on the bag. I began to write the number on the bag and all of a sudden it looked like I had sent out a smoke signal. There was arrowroot all over the counter, tops of jars, and in between the jars and counters. Of course, I look around to see if anyone was watching. Good, no one saw me. I start to look for a paper towel, tissue, something to gather the arrowroot to pick it up. There was nothing around. I ALWAYS have tisses in my purse but not this day. Can't find a thing to clean my mess and still no one around. I look for an employee to get some help, none around. Ok, I can do this. I begin to scrape the arrowroot from the tops of the jars onto the counter and gather it together with the side of my hand. Good, I finally get it all in a neat little pile. Now, I go to pick it up in the palm of my hand and poof, looked like I was sending out more smoke signals. Still no one watching me so I again gather all the arrowroot into a small pile with the side of my hand. This time, I am going to gather it with my fingers so not to send more signals. I gingerly try to scoop up the pile of arrowroot from the counter. Poof, now looks like several mini smoke signals going through my fingers. I am still watching to see if I am being watched. No on around yet. After all, I don't want to be embarrassed.I finally give up and walk away with the mess still there. I then realize that there are hardly any customers and I could only find one employee. I said "excuse me sir but someone made a big mess on the spice isle that needs to be cleaned up." I walk away and there on the isle where I found the employee was a small jar of arrowroot with all the other spices. I did not even think to buy it, I just wanted out of there fast. I also look back and wonder, why didn't I think to scoop the arrowroot off the edge of the counter into the bag. But then, I would not have such a fun story to share.As I look back, it dawns on me there were no employees in the store because they were all in the security room watching me on video. I also think the one employee smirked as I told him about the mess and he was trying hard not to break out in laughter.Well, I hope you enjoyed reading my embarrassing moment and it brought a little joy to your day. I am feeling a little down today and wanted to bless others who may be feeling the way I do.God Bless and keep you,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

No chemo this week

I was picked up for my chemo treatment this past Thursday by my dear friends, Frank and Angelica. When we got to the hospital and my vitals were taken I was surprised.
My blood pressure was 147/107, temp was 99.3, and I have lost another 6 pounds in 7 days. I am now down to 106.

Did get hooked up to IV for treatment but nurse saw my vitals and paged my doctor to let him know what was happening. They were also concerned because my white blood count was 1500. Should be around 4000-5000. 1500 is the cut off point for receiving chemo. Good news is my fiends did not have to wait for me 2-3 hours and I have a little more energy today. Bad news is my dear friends had to drive around 55 miles one way to get me to the hospital.

I was blessed though because I got to spend time with them before they begin to travel again.

Progress with the fire on our home is going slowly but going. At least my hubby and I have gotten over the complete shock of loosing our home and personal things that can never be replaced. We can't help but get frustrated and anxious at times but know that God is still in control and He is walking beside us through all this.

I don't understand why our Heavenly Father would allow this to happen now with my cancer and all but do know He has a reason. My prayer is that whatever it is he wants us to learn, we will do so with flying colors and honor and glorify Him above all.

With all the negative in our lives at this time, I continue to see our Heavenly Father's hand in it all. He continues to show his love through so many people in so many ways. His blessings far outweigh the negative in our lives. I read recently that when we are walking in the way of the Lord, Satan is not happy. He is not happy and is trying to discourage us and make us give up on God. Well Satan, speak to the hand because I am a daughter of the Most High God and will be for all eternity.

May you have a very blessed day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I was totally blessed at Tokyo Steak House

Yesterday, my hubby and I were taken to Mother's Day dinner by our very dear friends David and Josh at Tokyo Steak House since I will be at my mother's on Mother's Day.

David, without our knowing, had called the restaurant ahead of time and told them about my fight with cancer and my prognosis. He also explained to them how my hubby and I had saved his life by sending him for surgery when he was dying.

The staff went way out of their way to bless me and the guys. After we had completed our dinner, seven of the staff surprised me by singing Happy Mother's Day to me and presenting me with a cake which said "Happy Mother's Day Shirley". I was so blessed, I was thinking how there were seven people from the restaurant singing to me in Chinese but how seven is also God's perfect number. Coincidence? I do not think so.

With all we are going through, I do not believe that was by accident, especially since one of the staff laid hands on me and prayed over me. God is soOooo awesome and continues to bless my hubby and I and show His perfect love through so many people.

We are truly blessed,

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The aftermath of house fire

Still feel like we have been punched in the stomach from loosing our second home to fire last weekend and still trying to catch our breath again. We know that God has allowed this to happen for a reason and He is still in complete control. We do wonder why He would allow this to happen at this time with all we are going through with my cancer. But it is not for us to question his souverignty. We continue to hold on to our faith with the help of prayer warriors that are lifting us up in prayer.

There are times when I feel weak in inner peace and strength but then I focus on Him and His strength lifts me up again and His Word brings me comfort.

Through this, we have been truly blessed. God has brought friends back into our lives that we had lost contact with and we have been blessed with many new friends and prayer warriors from around the states and the world. I thank God that He is bringing His love, encouragement, and comfort to us through so many people. I would never have imagined that I would be blessed with new friends because of a fire.

God does work in mysterious ways indeed. I do ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers as we work with our insurance company. My hubby needs prayer as he worries about my health, work issues, and now the fire and really needs to be lifted up daily.

Thank you all for being such a blessing more pecious than jewels in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement and hope to keep us going during this time of trials.

May you have a very blessed day in the Lord,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

old home burned to the ground

This has been a very trying weekend for my hubby and I. We were called Saturday night around 11:30PM by our previous neighbors and were told that our other home had burned down and the firemen were still fighting the fire.

We arrived at the home around 12:15AM on Sunday and when we arrived, there were 8 fire trucks there fighting the fire. The fire was so big, firemen from 3 stations were called. When we arrived, the right side of the house was already completely gone. One of the Fire Marshalls took my husband closer to the home and told him to be prepared because the house was gone. There was one portion of the wall on the left side of the house still standing but very insecure. The firemen said they were going to have to pull it down for safety reasons. My husband and the firemen suggested that I might not want to see them do this so my husband walked me back to the end of the drive way so I could not see what they were doing. Our driveway is several yards long and curved around many trees so you cannot see the house from the street where our car was parked.

The firemen finally told Dennis that there was nothing more they could do and we may as well return home. That was around 4:15AM on Sunday. We got home at 5:00AM. We did make it to church at 9:00AM and then went straight to our old home from there. When we arrived, we were surprised to see three fire trucks still there. They had been there all night long.

We were told by the fire marshalls that they think the fire may have started either by a riding mower that was still in the garage or electrical. We were also told that because everything is so charred it may be a "black hole". They may never know the cause of the fire.

The home is completely gone, it is so hard to see the remains of what was once our beautiful 5400 square foot home all gone. We have lots of beautiful memories there with our daughters, sons in laws, and g-children visiting us, family coming over for get togethers and swimming parties.

We are blessed in the fact that no one was living there or hurt. Also, the firemen did a great job of keeping the fire from spreading to our neighbors. That was a miracle as our home was surrounded by hundreds of trees and we have been in a burn ban state due to there being no rain for months.

Our swimming pool is also destroyed. It is filled with bricks and lumber from the house. However, we had a shed to store our boat and that was not even touched.

Well, I guess I have finished venting and sharing my feelings for now. I do Praise God for keeping everyone safe as they worked on the fire, for keeping the fire from spreading to our neighbors, and for the fact that no one was in the house and harmed.

Hard to believe this rubble is what is left of our 5400 sq. ft. home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am totally blessed

As I sit here in my quiet time, I continue to be amazed at how I can see God's hand in my life on a daily basis. I see His love that surrounds me daily through soOOoooo many people and how He has been answering prayers that I have prayed with friends.

I am blessed to have a precious hubby who always stands by my side loving me through the tough times and the good. He is always encouraging and always finds new ways to help, love, and encourage me. Through now 6 times with cancer, never once has he given up on me or God and run away. Instead, he is my strong tower that I can run to when I need a shoulder to cry on. He does not try to fix the problem just allows me the time to "vent" when I need to.

My beautiful daughters that continue to call and check on me and show their love and support. They are always upbeat and positive and I know I will be comforted just hearing their sweet voices. I am blessed with two wonderful sons in law that love my daughters and grandchildren and support them in all their dreams.

My sisters and brother show their love to me with their prayer, love, encouragement, and support.

God has also blessed me with sisters and brothers in Christ that are always there for me. They have brought us meals when I can't cook. They take me to my chemo treatments every single week so that my hubby does not have to miss all that work. I am called to see if I need anything from cleaning house, laundry, or shopping.

To all of you, thank you for being such a precious jewel and blessing in my life. I don't know how I can ever express the love and gratitude I feel for each of you.. At times, I just sit and cry (good tears) because of all the ways I see God loving me through each and every one of you. Thank you for being a very important part of my life. I just pray for all you have done for me, I can somehow pay it back and/or forward.

I love you all,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Still loosing weight

My hubby and I went to see my oncologist today and all is well. However, he is very concerned because in 6 days I have lost another 4 pounds and now weigh 108. I am also feeling more tired lately, so we will see what the Lord has planned for me.

It is beautiful weather here today and I love NOT being cold for a change. Perhaps I will take my chair and sit on the porch so my puppy can also enjoy the weather. She loves to sit on the sidewalk and check out everything both up and down the hill. Good thing she can't talk, she may be tempted to gossip with all she sees. he he

I hope you are having a very blessed day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

True Love.....I've seen it!

Hi everyone, it's Terry and I have been asked to be a guest blogger today on Sweet Shirley's blog.

Have I told you all just how much I love this woman? Have I told you what a truly AMAZING person she is? Have I told you how much she loves God? Have I shared with you how she brings a smile to EVERYONE'S face? Have I shared with you the love that I have seen between her and her husband?

Well, I could go on and on about all of the above, but today I want to focus on the love between Shirley and Dennis. I have seen it first hand, and what a warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I am with them.

You can read in a previous post, written by Shirley, about how Dennis has stood by her as she has dealt with cancer, not just once, but SIX times.

What I want to do is tell you what I have seen from Dennis.....

I was blessed to be able to go to their home one night last week and prepare dinner for them. This is not the first time that I have been able to do this, but this is the first time that I have actually stayed and ate with them.

It started like any other meal one might have. We prayed, we thanked God for the meal, for our friendship and for our time together in christian fellowship As we sat there and laughed and talked, Dennis decided to share how he felt the day that he and Shirley renewed their vows.

I have NEVER been so moved in ALL of my life!!!!

There sat this 62 yr. old man, sharing his love for his wife as if they were 20 yrs. old and just married!!!! He told me that he didn't think that he would be emotional during the service....he laughed it off and said that he new it was important to Shirley to have this ceremony, but that he really didn't think that he would be "moved" by it......rofl

I'm laughing, because even as he is tell me this, he had tears forming in his eyes. He told me how he almost melted into the carpet when he saw his wife of 40 years being walked down the isle by his (their) two beautiful daughters....and that is when it started....he told me that he could feel the tears in his eyes and he thought "I have to keep it together"....

He was so overwhelmed with emotion thru the whole service....he said that Shirley never stops amazing him....she had just got out of the hospital on Friday and the service was on Sunday. He told how impressed he was when it was time to recite the vows that they had written for one another....(we all sat there laughing as he tells how he had to read from a piece of paper, and then when it was Shirley turn, she proudly recited 5 min. worth of vows FROM MEMORY!!!).

The two of them kept looking at one another as the story was being told....every now and then one would reach across the table and take the others hand and give it a ever so slight squeeze. Both of them just glowed as the story was told. And I was so blessed that they shared it with me.

Dennis even told me how he felt when everyone came back to the house to help celebrate! He said how important it was for everyone of them to be there. How much it meant to him to see the christian fellowship taking place in celebration of the love that he and Shirley share!

He truly does love his wife and it can be seen when you see the two of them together! Thank you both for showing me what true love looks like!

Let me share with all of you out there in blog world a few pictures that were taken of the two of them.....a wonderful friend, Deanna, blessed them with her talents and took these great photos. If any of you reading are in San Antonio, and need some family photos taken, you might want to give her a call.....she does GREAT work! (Thanks again Deanna for doing this for our dear friends). Here is a link to her website:

And now for the pics.....ENJOY!

How sweet is this?

I love that she is holding his hand!

Out on the back deck....

We had to take some on the motorcycle, they love
riding together!

I love this shot of her resting on his shoulder!


Are you feeling it yet? Can you see
the love between them?

I know you can now!!!! Simply an

And of course, I have to include a few shots of just Shirley! I love you Shirley!
MORE, MORE MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My minutes in Heaven

In my previous blog, I wrote how I had been sent to Turkey from Greece for an emergency surgery and was pronounced dead.

The second I heard "time of death 9:36", I floated through the ceiling, the roof, and through the clouds. The time it took to reach the "light" was in the blink of an eye. When I got to heaven, I saw loved ones that had passed on, some years before. I thought it was strange, they had formed a line on either side of me and were smiling at me but not coming to great me. At the end of the line they had formed was the brightest and most beautiful light I have ever seen. I knew without doubt that it was God and I was not afraid. I didn't walk toward it but more like I floated toward the light. All I could see was the right hand of God reaching out toward me. I said "God, if it is my time I want to stay, but please take care of my babies for me". At that time, my girls were 3 and 6 years old.

Immediately after saying that, I felt the Lord put his hands on both my sholders and made me do a 180 degree turn back to where I came from and said "It is not time, you must go back and raise your children". I came back through the clouds, the roof, ceiling and back into my body.

I soOOooo remember in heaven what I saw and heard. It is more amazing than any words can ever describe and I was there for only a few short minutes. I can't wait to see all that I did not see. For instance, the face of my Lord and Savior. I was in His presence and could see his right hand but that was all.

I could look directly into the bright like and it did not hurt or blind my eyes as the sun does. It is the most beautiful white immaginable and the glory of God can be felt all around.

There was the sound of 1000s of angels singing. In my soul, I know they were singing praises to God but in a language I have never heard before. It was like I was surrounded by beautiful voices from every part of heaven. I could hear them and sense their presence but I could not see them. It felt like the singing was coming from within my body.

I remember the temperature being perfect with just a whisp of a breeze in the air. The smell of all kinds of sweet fragances filled my nose. I was in total, complete, and perfect peace and truly wanted to stay there.

I adore my babies and my husband but now understand when scriptures tell us there will be no tears or sorrow in heaven. I adore and love my family and I knew and remembered they existed, but in heaven, I did not feel any tears for them or sorrow. I know it must sound cold but I am convinced that is what God means in scripture when he tells us there will be no tears or pain in heaven. Otherwise, I would have been crying my heart out for them.

At the time this happened, I was not walking with the Lord as I am now. I had grown up Catholic. I had no doubt there is a God but did know know then that I could have a real and true relationship with him. When I became a born again Christian, I was amazed to find out that our Heavenly Father desires to have a close relationship with us. John 10:14 says "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me". Even though I was not walking with the Lord then, He knew I would become His precious daughter in time and will spend eternity in Heaven with him. Perhaps that is the reason He allowed me to see what my eternal home will be like. That is definately why I do not fear my cancer even though the doctors continue to tell me I have only months to live.

I know that ONLY God knows the number of my days here on earth and when He is ready, He will take me home to be with him for all eternity.

My journey to heaven, if only for a few brief minutes, has brought me peace during many trials and deep valleys in life. I would like to say that I was His perfect child once that happened but I am human and still stumbled time and time again. I don't know why he would allow me this priviledge and perhaps not to everyone. Maybe it is so that I can share this trip with others to give hope and encouragement.

I pray, especially if you are going through some tough times, that you and I can remember that God does love us unconditionally and wants what is best for us. After all, he sent His only Son to die on our behalf that we might have eternal life with him. Just because we go through some deep valleys does not mean that He has turned his back on us. Perhaps, He is choosing to allow us to see for ourselves where our faith is when things are not going perfectly in our lives.

It is easy to Praise Him when all is well. However, can we still Praise Him when all is not going perfect in our lives?


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Time of death 9:36AM

We were stationed in Athens, Greece in 1979 when I was aero vacced to Turkey for an emergency surgery. It was scary because I had to go alone for a major surgery in a strange country. My husband had to stay home for work and our two precious daughters who were 3 and 5 years at the time.

I boarded the plane with several patients and I began my journey with a bang. I was not paying attention to the seating in the plane. We began to taxi off and I passed out. I had not noticed that we were facing the back of the plane and it completely threw my balance off. I was attended by the doctor on board and a couple of nurses and then I was fine for the rest of the trip.

We arrived in Turkey late in the evening and settled into my room and prepared for surgery first thing the next morning.

My surgery went well and as only God could plan it, there was one friend from a previous base that was there at my bedside when I woke up. He worked in the hospital and saw my name come across his desk so he went to visit me. He walked into my room and what a relief to see a familiar face because I had been scared being alone. He asked me how I was feeling. I told him "I feel fine but I had a very strange dream". He told me to tell him my dream so I did.

I told him that in my dream I was floating just below the ceiling and felt like I was watching myself in a movie. I saw the nurse take me from the OR to recovery. However, in the hallway, I heard her yell "CODE BLUE". She began to give me mouth to mouth and was beating on my chest. As I watched this I thought "why don't I feel anything"? Many other patients were gathered around us by now and the doctor that had done my surgery showed up at the same time the code blue cart showed up. The doctor told everyone to get me into the recovery room away from the other patients and out of the hallway. He then hit me with the paddles to get my heart going again but nothing happened.

Next, he had my right hand in his and was still trying to get a pulse. He turned to the nurse on his right. Looking at his watch he said "We,ve lost her, time of death 9:36. Go contact her husband". In that instant, I floated through the ceiling, the roof, and past the clouds into the presence of our Heavenly Father. I saw many loved ones that had passed away years before and they formed a line on either side of me. However, they did not greet me and I thought that was strange. At the end of the line they had formed was our Lord in all His Shikaina Glory. I could not see His face but His right hand reaching out toward me. I said "Lord, if it is my time I want to stay here but please take care of my babies". At that point, He put his hands on each of my shoulders and turned me around 180 degrees and said "it is not your time, you must go back and raise your children". As I was going through the line of loved ones again in reverse, they were waiving at me. Then, I came back through the clouds, the roof, and the ceiling and into my body. There was a sheet over my head which I pulled back and saw a nurse there with her back to me. When she heard me, she ran out of the room and I never saw her again.

When I had finished telling our friend my dream, he went pale and said "I have to get back to work now". Within 5 minutes, the nurse I had seen in my dream came into my room and said "I hear you had a dream". To which I answered yes and she said "tell me all about it".
I told her exactly what I had told my friend and she too went pale. Then she said "everything you said happened, happened exactly as you said".

I was dead for almost 5 minutes. By God's grace, the nurse was not able to contact my husband and tell him I had passed away. God had planned for him to be in Crete for the day and not in Athens. God was and is ALWAYS in complete control.

I remember what I saw and felt while in heaven but I am very tired now after going to the hospital so will have to finish my story another day.

May you have a very blessed day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Surviving cancer for the 6th time.

Good morning,

I pray that you and your family had a very blessed Easter. We had a wonderful day beginning with going to church to watch the Easter drama. I have read it and seen it many times but was so touched again yesterday. Seeing what Jesus had to go through for you and me to be saved. Seeing Him carring his cross, his bloody back from the beatings with the whips, and then hearing the hammering of the nails into his flesh. I lost it and could not hold back the tears for someone who loves us so much, he would choose to do this for us. It was a wonderful drama and many people were touched and several received Christ as their Savior. What an awesome way to begin Easter.

Then, my husband and I got to meet a precious family that I had been in contact with via cyberspace. It was great to meet them in person and what a wonderful family they are. Please do be in prayer for them as husband Tony is in need of a kidney. People from Harvest (total strangers) have been tested to see if they match. God is so awesome to put into the hearts of total strangers to offer a kidney. Being in the family of Christ beats all. Just a sweet taste of what heaven will be like.

After church, we went out to eat and my hubby even took me for Chinese. He he. That is amazing because he is not crazy about it.

Came home to rest for a while and then in the evening a very precious friend offered to come and take pictures of my hubby and I. That was a blessing because I had been wanting to do that and she does it for weddings, parties, etc. I look forward to putting some of her pictures in my next blog.

Well, I pray you have a great day today.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Having complete peace through cancer

You have just been told that you or a loved one has cancer. What do you do? How do you feel? What fears do you go through?

As a born again child of God, I have the "complete and perfect peace of God that transcens all understanding," Phil. 4:7
I became a Christian in 1979. Unfortunately, for many years, I did not walk as I should have as a Christian. There were years when I thought I could manage my own life and walked on the fence line. I knew I was saved but still did not have a true relationship with my Heavenly Father. Not because He didn't want it but because I did not spend time in His presence getting to know him better. Then, I was fearful of what would happen to me after I died. Now, I have complete peace that when He chooses to take me from this world, I will be in His loving presence for all eternity. I know I am going HOME. This is why I have no fear in my journey with cancer. I am in a win/win situation. Either God will heal me here on earth for the 6th time or he will take me home where I will NEVER have to face cancer again.

As Easter approaches in a couple of days, it is a great time to remember what He has done for us. Christ came to die for us but as we celebrate Easter, we must remember that He rose and now sits at the right hand of God. He died on our behalf and took our sins to the grave so that we might be with Him in heaven for all eternity.

I woke up this morning around 2:00AM with these thoughts on my mind for my blog. Perhaps it is because God knows someone would be reading this blog who does not know Him as Lord and Savior. If that is you, it is very simple to become His child and know beyond any doubt that you too can be guaranteed a place in heaven when your time comes.

We are all sinners and none of us can "work" our way to heaven nor can we be perfect enough to get there. God tells us in His Word:
Romans 3:23-24
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace throught the redemptions that is in Christ Jesus....

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlsting life.

If you have never received Christ as your Savior, what an awesome way to celebrate this Easter. Simple ask Him for forgiveness of your sin and invite Him into your lives, thank Him for dying on our behalf. If you do this then go tell someone and share the great news.

He tells us:Rev: 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

He is waiting for you, open your door to Him and have everlasting life with Him. Have a very blessed Easter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Surviving cancer for the 6th time

Yesterday I had a great day as I was able to make it to Bible study. It was wonderful to see friends I had not seen in a while and meet new ones. It was especially exciting because we had prayed as a group for a dear friend to get a job she had interviewed for. Just as we had finished our prayers and began our study, she received a call and was told that she had gotten the job. How awesome it was for us all to share in God's answering her prayers together.

Today has been another wonderful day because again I got to see God answering prayers. Several days ago I received an email that had been passed on from a friend of a friend. The prayer was for a kidney to be donated to someone in need. Through the wonders of email, I have already become friends with the people asking for prayer and can't wait to meet them. God has answered all our prayers as well. A total stranger to them has offered to donate a kidney to him. What a blessing and how exciting for me to be just a small part of God's work.

Went for my lab work today and get accessed to the port for my chemo treatment tomorrow. Excited because a dear friend I had not seen in a few months is going to take me so we get to catch up again. At least until I fall asleep on her. Not because she is not fun to be around but because of the meds. lol

Well, hope you all have a very blessed day and you too get to see some of God's handiwork to give you hope and encouragement.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Surviving cancer

I was getting ready for what I thought would be a routine doctor's appointment that day in 1994. Little did I know how my life would change and what the Lord had planned for me.

As I was getting ready for my appointment, I heard a voice say "you have cancer". I was home alone but the voice was so clear and loud that I turned to see who was speaking. Since I had always been very healthy, I shurgged it off as my imagination. I took a few steps and felt like something inside me had burst. The pain only lasted a few seconds but the pain was so intense that it brought me to my knees. As I lay on the floor, again I heard the voice say "you have cancer". I prayed and asked the Lord, "Lord, if that is you speaking to me, please give my doctor wisdom".

I went to my doctor and he said that all looked good and sent me on my way. As I was walking in the hallway, I heard someone calling my name. I turned to see it was my doctor. He said "in case something else is going on, let's get some x-rays done". I know God was in control because my doctor had already sent me home. When I got to x-rays to schedule an appointment, God was there. Normally it is about a 1 1/2 - 2 week wait to get an appointment. They took me in immediately. By the time I arrived home (I did not have a cell phone at that time), there was an urgent message from my doctor telling me to get back to the hospital NOW. Of course, it was later in the evening by the time I got the message and the doctor was gone for the day. First thing the next morning my husband and I went to see my doctor. We were told that I had a tumor in my right kidney and it had to come out immediately. I was put into the hospital that day and had my kidney removed the next morning. After surgery we were told that I had renal cell carcinoma and that type of cancer would return. There was just no way of telling when or where it would hit again. The turmor had grown inside my kidney and burst through. That was the pain I had felt a couple of days before. Doctors told us the tumor was the side of a softball.

Well, it took several months to recover but God was awesome and walked with me the whole time. I was cancer free for 10 years. In 2004 I was praising God for healing me from cancer and that the doctors were wrong. My cancer had not returned. Then I heard His voice again say, "you have cancer". By now, I was getting x-rays every year and sure enough, I had another tumor on my left kidney. One third of the kidney was removed. In 2005 it had returned again in my left kidney and another 1/3 of the kidney was removed. By God's sweet grace, I am living with 1/3 of one kidney and doctors tell me they can't understand. What puzzles them is that that small portion of my kidney is working as well as 2 full kidneys according to my kidney function tests. I tell them it is very simple, my God is in control.

In June of 2006 the cancer had moved to my left lung and the whole lower lobe was removed. December of that same year, again it had moved to the upper lobe of my left lung and was removed. Because it was caught so early, my doctors agreed to let me get through the holidays before doing more surgery which was done in January of 2007.

In 2008 the cancer has moved to my bones and then the doctors gave me 4-12 months to live. The only thing they offered me was to keep me comfortable and out of pain with morphine until the end. Well, God has other plans for me again. I have not had to take any thing for pain in months and it has now been 10 months and I am doing great. I have to take chemo every single week for the rest of my life and I expect that to be a long time. I don't know why He would choose to allow me to go through cancer so many times but I know He has a plan for me. My prayer is that He use me in ways I can't even begin to imagine to minister to others going through any illness or deep valleys. I only hope the story of what He has done in my life will give hope to anyone reading this blog.

blessings from a cancer survivor,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thankful for:

June 23, 1968

I have had a very good day today. Had lunch with a couple of great friends before going to the hospital to get accessed to my port for my chemo treatment tomorrow. We had fun talking again about our Women's Retreat this past weekend and what a blast we had.

I have been thinking how blessed I am and thankful for my precious family. My husband who has stuck by my side even after so many times struggling with my cancer. I have heard of spouses leaving their loved ones when going through this because of fear or whatever. My sweet hubby has always been right by my side to encourage me and be my strong tower to lean on when I am weak.

I am thankful also for my beautiful daughters Dianna and Sandra who have also been there by my side and make frequent calls to check on me and let me know they are thinking of me and praying for me. They are so loving, caring, and thoughtful with hearts of gold. Their beauty is obvious from the outside but their true beauty comes from the inside. I have been blessed with two wonder sons-in-law and 6 of the most awesome grandchildren in the world. (Sorry world)

I have a sweet friend Terry who is coming over to help me with my blogging and to post pictures on my site. I am having fun with this one and hopefully it will keep me busy and out of trouble.
I have lots to be thankful for today and wanted to share it all with you.

I pray that you are also having a wonderful day.
July 2008
Our 40th Wedding Anniversary Vowel Renewal
The KISS!!!!

My beautiful family!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Surviving cancer for the 6th time.

In June of 2008, my husband and I were told that my cancer had returned for the 6th time. I now have stage 4 renal cell carcinoma that has moved to my bones. We were told that I had 4-12 months left to live. The doctors said the only thing they could do for me was keep me on morphine to help with the pain until the end. However, they do not know my God. It has been months since I have had to combat the pain and I am doing great. He continues to surround me with his perfect and complete peace that surpasses all understanding.

I have been blessed to have such a huge Christian family praying for me daily and I know my God is hearing and answering. By His precious Grace, I am living with 1/3 of one kidney and only part of my left lung remains. All the rest have been lost to cancer. Doctors continue to be amazed that my 1/3 of the kidney is functioning almost as well as two full ones. Also, with most of my left lung gone, I have no problems with breathing in any way.

I don't know why God has choosen to allow me to go through so much pain and deep valleys at times but I do know He is ALWAYS with me. My prayer is not for healing but that He be glorified through my times of struggling. I do know that I am in a WIN/WIN situation as His daughter. He will either heal me hear on earth for the 6th time or He may choose to take me home where I will never have to battle cancer again. Either way, I will be completely blessed.

My sister teases me that I am trying to sneak into heaven piece by piece thinking God will not notice. That is a great family joke now and I love it.

I have been praying that God would use me in some way to give hope and encouragement to others going through some hard times. Perhaps it is through blogging because so many people have told me the same thing. I have never done this before so please by patient with me as I learn as I go. You see, I know 1st hand what He has done for me and what He wills to do for all his precious children.

Today is a great day for me. I did visit my oncologist and was told that my PET scan from last week showed no new cancer cells. My weight has also stabilized and I am in no pain. I am also learning to blog since a very precious friend got me started. Great day today.

blessings to all,

Here I am Lord...use me

Hi, no, this is not Shirley, but her friend Terry....

I have taken it upon myself to start this blog for her....

So, look forward to hearing lots from this sweet woman soon...but until then let me share just a little

Shirley is a AMAZING woman!!! If you want to be inspired, just keeping checking in here to see how God is using her. I titled this post "Here I am Lord...use me" because that is the way that Shirley takes EVERYDAY. She has a story of survivoring that will just bless your shocks off!!

I met Shirley 4 years ago at a woman retreat. Little did I know then that she would become such an important part of my life! I just can not imagine my life without her in it.

As her profile states, she has been fighting cancer for over 10 years. And never once has her faith waivered!!! Never once has she doubted that God would use her to bless others!!!

I could go on and on...but I will stop....I want her to share her story. May she be as much of a blessing to you all as she has been to me!!!