GOD'S HAND

     “You mean the hair falling out kind of chemo?” I edged the seat across from the oncologist as my husband, Sam, gripped my hand in the chair next to me.

        Eighteen years ago this month we sat in  Dr. A’s office and heard the words of my greatest fear.  “We think you have cancer.”

     At the time I was a 40 year-old mother of three beautiful girls ages 14, 10 and almost 2. 

     Four months prior to this appointment we had learned I was pregnant with our fourth child. Though unexpected we grew to anticipate the newest member of our family with great joy. 

     After experiencing migraines and unusual symptoms during this pregnancy my ob/gyn took more blood tests and ascertained a problem. He was concerned enough to send us to Dr. A.                

     “Less than 1% of the population are diagnosed with choriocarcinoma. A cancer of the lining in your uterus.” When Dr. A left the room, Sam and I held each other and cried. 

     How was this possible? I was young, healthy and busy wife, mom and sometimes counselor. 

     The series of tests that followed were intense and painful. 

     My arms were bruised from needles and a pic line that had been inserted for the chemotherapy. The pic is a wire that they run from an opening in your arm to get the medicine in without damaging the veins from constant probing. As painful as the physical injustices on my body, there was no comparison to the raw emotions of loss. Grief hit me like a tsunami. Loss of my dreams for another child,  my health, and our newest little blessing. It seemed an impossible situation to endure. 

     Things became graver still when an MRI revealed that the systemic disease had traveled from my uterus to my liver. Three spots specified tumors had started growing. 

     In spite of the danger to my life I could not shake the doubt that our baby may be alive. If that was true, could we try and save her by holding off on the necessary chemotherapy that would save me but, most assuredly harm a fetus?

     Time flew by as Dr. A’s office scheduled me for a D&E. The same procedure used for abortions. We were told that the condition in my uterus had so softened the lining it could be dangerous for me to wait. 

     A dilation and extraction was not an option for me. 

     As a Crisis Pregnancy Counselor I knew unborn babies were often referred to as “tissue.” Now, we were told, this baby was a lump of tissue?

     A registered letter arrived at our door threatening me with the possibility of death if I failed to follow the perinatal doctor’s orders. Finally, he agreed to give me an ultrasound so I could see there was no living child.  

     The ultrasound picture delivered the final blow instead of the typical outline of a baby mine showed a fuzzy mass.

     That night I dreamt of a baby’s coffin and the reality of what we were dealing with sank in.  In 16 weeks we’d gone from  the joy of expecting a child to a scary cancerous situation

    About eight weeks into the stringent rounds of medicine, my hair began to fall out. We struggled with the knowledge that we were dealing with a deadly disease and there was no guarantee I’d make it. 

     My husband coped by researching the disease and I spent as much time as I could with our sweet girls. 

     In need of hope I traveled to a nearby city to attend a conference where prophetic prayer was available.

     I remember laying on the chairs nauseous and weak as I waited for the team to pray for me. I was the last person in the room when it was my turn.

     Without explaining my situation, the first woman stood in front of me and said my full name. Then she said, “The Lord says, ‘I know your name.’”  I won’t ever forget those precious saints who told me the cancer would be gone in three months.

     Encouraged, I played the taped prayer at home for my husband. We stood on that word. And, three months to the day of my diagnosis, I was declared cancer free. 

     What a miracle! After my first test results came back we were told instead of an expected 10% drop of the cancer marker there was an incredible 98% drop! We often share our story to those who are going through difficult times.

     As wonderful as the miracle of the healing had been a greater change had occurred in me. I would not ask to go through cancer. However, I no longer judge those who have faced a similar situation. 

     It’s not for me to judge whether a woman makes a choice to have an abortion.  And, though I am thankful that I didn’t have to choose between my life and my own child’s,  I have compassion for those who do.  

     

See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
— Isaiah 49:16 NIV

READY TO REFRESH? 7 SURPRISING WAYS FOR A MENTAL HEALTH DETOX THIS SPRING.

 

Weathering through the bone chilling cold this winter had my skin cracking from the constant blasts of dry heat of our furnace. 

While I treated myself to a replenishing facial at the local day spa, I began thinking about ways to take care of myself during the long months of December, January, February and March.

After brainstorming I did some research for new ideas on a quick refresher. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and these short breathers have long term effects for your health. I wanted to share  them with you~ now all I have to do is use them myself!

  1. Read a good book during your lunch break.
  2. Sit in your heated car at a park or near a creek and watch the water or the wildlife nearby.
  3. Do a digital detox. I keep going back to this but with so many handheld devices grabbing our attention, it only adds to the stress of our already full weekday.  Turn off that phone for a few hours. Get away from social media, the news, the fitbit and do something you’ve wanted to do but have not had the opportunity. 
  4. Call a relative or a friend to watch the kids for a few hours.
  5. Take some moments for a DIY facial, manicure and/or pedicure.
  6. Take a day off from work and relax. 
  7. Take up stretching exercises. I have found relief from years of sitting at a computer by incorporating stretches. You can find a good book or tutorial on youtube on the subject. 

Finally, Here is a bonus recipe for you to use for a basic body scrub made from ingredients you can find in your kitchen. 

Sugar Scrub Ingredients

        1/4 cup sugar (Large granulated brown sugar works best!)

        1/4 cup oil (olive oil or coconut oil work great)

        Optional: essential oils of your preference. (I love lavender or similar floral scents)

Let me know what you think! What are some ways you treat yourself?

SIMPLE SMOOTHIES AND JUICE RECIPES FOR THE BODY AND SOUL

It’s January. All the Christmas decorations have been taken down. 

The once bright snow lies dingy on the side of the road and cabin fever is setting in.

The geese are only now beginning to fly south for the winter and spring time seems light years away.

So what’s a person to do?

One thing that makes my winter days brighter is to start the morning with a glass of fresh squeezed juice.

 Especially from the citrus family.

Orange juice, grapefruit juice, mandarin and tangerines. My taste buds are popping at the thought. 

I have a friend who believes that typically healthy people get sick more in the winter not because of germs but, because of eating habits.

Think about it~ halloween arrives in October with it’s sugary treats. Quickly followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. That’s three months of treats and overeating rich foods that we don’t normally enjoy. 

Along with the added stresses of shorter days, less sunshine and heavier work/school loads we have a cocktail of pressures to suppress our immune system.

Our bodies have now been subjected to an overload of excess sugar, adrenalin and mental burn out. 

I agree with Andrew Weil who says, 

 

                               “You can’t afford to get sick, and you can’t depend on the

                                  present health care system to keep you well. It’s up to

                                  you to protect and maintain your body’s innate capacity

                                  for health and healing by making the right choices in how

                                   you live.” 

 

If you have a blender, and most folks do, why not whip up some sunshine with a quick and easy smoothie?  Also, an investment in a good juicer will go a long way to help you stay healthy and happy through the rest of the winter. 

To help you get started or if you are already juicing, here are a few of our favorite recipes. 

RECIPES

1. Hubby’s favorite Smoothie

 

2 bananas

 12 ounces Strawberry kefir

1/2 cup of cut up strawberries

Add sliced fruit to the kefir in a blender and enjoy! 

 

2. Hello Sunshine

6 organic oranges~ peeled 

3 tangerines (or other sweeter orange)

1/4 cup of organic raspberries

This one is my absolute favorite! If you have a juicer 

throw the ingredients in, mix the juice well and enjoy!

If you don’t have a juicer remove the seeds before putting 

the fruit in your blender. 

 

3. For Your Sweet Tooth

6 unpeeled large organic carrots (scrubbed well)

1 organic honey crisp or other firm apple that has a bite to it will do

We use the juicer for this delicious vegetable juice when we want

to give our digestion a break from the holiday goodies.

 

So now that you know some of our healthy drink favs, feel free to use the comment section to share yours!