Monday, April 1, 2013

Weeding life's garden

We have been experiencing unseasonably warmer temperatures across Oklahoma in the recent months and one thing that I love about warm weather is the ability to get outside and get my hands dirty in the flower bed.  I have also experienced a change in work status in the last couple of weeks....ok, I am now unemployed and on the job search.  Funny thing.  About 8 or 9 months ago I thought that I was really suffering in my job and things were not good.  Corporate buy out and take over, new company, new rules and regulations, you know, the whole she-bang.  I had what I thought was a great opportunity in front of me to work for someone I genuinely respected.  To make a long story short, about 8 months later, we both agreed that things were not playing out the way we had envisioned and hence, I am job hunting.  So, on one of the first afternoons of my newfound time freedom, I was sweeping off the front porch and admiring an absolutely gorgeous afternoon sky.  There was not a lick of wind blowing and the birds were singing and a few neighborhood dogs barking.  I glanced over to my very neglected flower beds and thought maybe I should clean them out.  So I gathered my supplies, plastic bags for all the dead leaves that had accumulated over the past 6 months, the hand rake, the garden know all the goods to really get to work.  As I am deep in my work cleaning and cultivating, I realized that there are times in life when we have to get the weeds out.  We have to clean up our situations and our attitudes in order to prepare for new things to be planted and to grow.  One thing I had not done in quite some time is to clean out the weeds in my life.  So I began to pray and to ask God's forgiveness for various things I had let take over my life's flowerbed.  I had let other people infiltrate my thoughts about myself and therefore affect me as a person.  One thing I know for sure is that God loves each and every one of us and he wants us to be joyful.  God wants us to have good things in life.  He does not withold blessings from us, sometimes we have to clear the weeds out to see them.  God is love and He loves us.  Clean out the weeds in your life's flowerbed and enjoy the blessings that God has for you.  Love is one of the most important things that we can possess in life. And the great thing about love is that we are commanded to give it away.
In Colossians 3:12-15 we are told, "therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." Don't continue to carry bitterness and malice in your hearts toward those who you feel may have wronged you. Forgive them and show love since this is what we are commanded to do. When we are able to do this, God will give us peace in our hearts and lives. Who knows? You may be the example that someone else needed to see in order to help them weed out their life's garden.
Blessings to all,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Katie's Journey!!! Let the Healing Begin!!!!

I have had several crazy days!!!! It seems that Satan is trying very hard to place obstacles in my path to keep me from writing Katie's story and placing it right here on this blog!! Our computer crashed Friday, I felt totally disabled and didn't quite know what to do? We are closing on our house Friday and there is never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Grrrr!  Well the hubby went and purchased a lap top!!!! YEAH!!!! You can't keep a good woman down!!!! Life is better. :)

Let the Healing Begin!!!!!!

The day had come for Katie to be discharged from the hospital. The team of physicians had met to discuss Katie and her recommended treatment. Her physician told us that because of the lymph node involvement they would be recommending that she do radioactive iodine treatment. We didn't know anything about this and knew that it was time to get to work learning. They wanted Katie to heal from the surgery and wanted her thyroid hormone level to increase before treatment could start. This meant she would be feeling the awful effects as she did prior to surgery, even worse, due to the levels being raised so high. She was very scared. I could tell, just by looking at her. She just kept asking, " how did I get this?" It was never why with Katie. It was always how?I I tried to explained to her that there are so many things in life that we will never know the how or whys too. I did tell her that I felt God presented this to her early in her life for his own reasons and for her best interests. I said, "Your dad and I are so grateful and thankful this was found when it was. I said God is preparing you for something great in your life Katie. He needs to mold you, strenghten you, give you wisdom, and mold your faith. Just surrender honey and let him do what he needs to do. TRUST him and never doubt! He loves you more than you could ever imagine. She said, "Mom I am very lucky, aren't I"   

Trying to keep Katie non-active so she could heal and recover was a bit of a task. She felt pretty good and thought she could still go and do the things she did prior to surgery. HA! she figured out pretty fast that her body was in need of rest. We spent alot of time just taking it easy and watching her sleep. I hadn't really done this since she was a baby/toddler. How peaceful she looked when she was sleeping. I wondered what wonderful things God must have in store for her?

 Katie to this day has had a very difficult time keeping her calcium levels up. Blood draws are very common at our house. When they do a thyroidectomy they try very hard to save the para thyroids. These aide in the absorption of calcium in ones body. They say that eventually these tiny glands will kick in on their own. Katie's are being stubborn and to this day, do not want to kick in. When calcium levels are low, this can effect muscles in the entire body. A persons heart is the biggest muscle. If levels get to low or drop to fast, she could have heart damage. She becomes frustrated and I do feel for her. Taking medication 4-6 times a day is not easy, and for a teenager, its a pain!! . I just keep reminding her that everyone is different and medicine is not excluded from the equation. That is why they call it "practicing medicine!" Nothing is absolute or concrete!

As her parents, we where both healing on a whole different level. /we had such a struggle over the past 2 years and now we finally knew why. The signs where all there, but at the time, you just don't know what or why things are happening. Katie had big problems at school, at home, socially, every area of her life. Alot was said and done. Now the coach and I where having the guilt set in like a ton of bricks!!!  The past was the past and we both knew we could not go back and undue everything we said and did. We could only move forward, with Gods help.  We had sooooo much healing and work to do personally and God is still at work daily to make sure this family is completed healed!!! I am so glad that he cares enough for me and my family that he takes the time to complete his ultimate work through us!!!

I hope everyone went out and voted today. Remember that the Father is in control and he is allowing things to happen for a reason and for his purpose!

Have a Blessed Day!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Katie's Journey!!!! The Diagnosis!

As the journey with Katie began, it is important for me to tell the events that lead to her diagnosis. It was July and we where packing up the house to move to our temporary home until we finalized the purchase of our home.  The 2 older girls had gone to get their sports physicals at school.  When they returned home, Katie informed us that the PA had discovered a lump in her neck. I didn't think to much about it and thought, " we need to go to her doctor and check all this out before school starts." This would start a chain of events that kept us wondering in the valley. Waiting became such a normal common feeling for the coach and I.

Every test, every doctors visit would lead us to more tests and another doctor. The coach received a phone call that Katie's ultrasound showed blood flow to these nodules and her blood tests where out of whack. She would need to have a fine needle biopsy to determine if she had cancer. They told us " prepare for the worst and hope for the best." Are you kidding me! They let you get away with telling people this? We are talking about my child!  My emotions where on a roller coaster ride! I was scared, angry, resentful! We tried to go on as normal as we could for the next 10 days. Waiting again was a familiar feeling!! Being a nurse, I all of the sudden found myself on the other side of the fence. I did not like this! The patient was my daughter and I was not dealing with this well. I was so accustom to taking care of horrible situations and being the one in control while at work. I was no longer in control and God was showing me daily to TRUST him and have FAITH!

My mind began reflecting back to the end of school.  Katie had always been my one child that was so full of energy and ready for anything. Since she was a toddler, she was the last to go to bed and the first one up everyday. She wore us out with all her energy! She was sleeping 16 hours a day. No energy, constant fatigue. Not feeling good. Aches and pains. She even told me, "mom I am soooo tired and just don't feel good." At the time, I thought she was being a teenager. Not the case! Deep down I wondered what is wrong with her? Is this typical? I just could not put my finger on it.

The day of the needle biopsy was sobering, to say the least. The physician explained that after collecting samples from Katie's cells,  the pathologist was questioning the slides and was questioning what he was seeing. He felt that she needed to have surgery. The plan would be to take half of her thyroid and tumors. He would send off the tissues for pathology. If they came back as cancer, poor Katie would have to go back in for another surgery to remove the other half of her thyroid. When we left his office Thurs. afternoon, we received a phone call that Katie had been scheduled for surgery Mon Aug. 6th. WOW!!! What is the urgency, I thought! They keep telling us that it is probably nothing. Panic began to set in with all of us!!!! We had everyone praying!!! Face book, email, text, phone calls. Anything we could do to get the word out and widen the prayer circle, lifting this child up!!!

When we arrived the morning of surgery, Katie was ready!!! I knew when she told me "Mom God is the great physician!!! I trust the surgeon and he is a good guy!" I knew right then my baby was ready physically, emotionally and spiritually! She would be facing this mountain head on and she was not going to back down. God all ready knew her outcome and the story book of Katie's life!!!!

The next 4 days in the hospital was an experience that will live in my heart forever. The courage my child showed was one that I viewed in total awh and amazement! So grown up, yet still a child! I was taken back several notches!! The rug had been snatched up underneath us. God grabbed me up and put every circumstance into perspective. She was given to me on loan, by his mighty hand, his doing, not mine. He showed me that he is in control, not me, not Katie, but my Heavenly Father. Katie and I both have very controlling personalities!! God was showing us both to take a back seat in all this!! Depending on him for everything!!!  He already knew her outcome. He wanted us all drawing closer to him and depending on him. I needed him to hold me up because I could not do this alone! It's Humility!!! He was showing me Humility! Alot to take in, but I knew it was for a reason, his purpose, and my best interest. Cancer was not what we wanted to hear, but it was what we were given. The pathology reports showed thyroid cancer and lymph node involvement! What next!!! Again, we waited and we prayed!!!!

Have a blessed day,

PS: Today is my mothers birthday! I woke up this morning and thought about what today is. This sweet lady went to be with our Lord and Savior 12 years ago, after her long battle with cancer! Boy, do I ever miss her! Love you Mom!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Willing to Share!!!!

Hello to ALL!!!! I know that it has been forever since I have blogged!! To be quit honest, I have not had the time nor the energy to devote my time. I have truly missed it!!!I know its time, I am ready, I am willing  to share the many experiences that our family has gone through. I have prayed for a long time for the Father to show me where to even start to share with others the valley that I was walking through. My want and desire is to help others and help them with similar circumstances as mine. To show awareness and the effects of childhood cancer and maybe, just maybe, I could be a blessing to someone else.

There is absolutely no way to tell this story in 1 or even several blog entries, so please bare with me! :)  I tend to ramble!! lol! I am going to try very hard to have a series of events that happened with stories and pictures that follow one another. This way I can time line everything. Makes it easier for me to write and you to read. So here we go!!!!!! Katie's Journey!!! The story of an adolescents battle with cancer and her spiritual growth. Her families struggle with her diagnosis and how truly awesome and faithful GOD is!!!!!!

Our dear sweet 14 year old was diagnosed with thyroid cancer August 6th, 2012. The coaches ( my husband) cell phone rang, the surgeon gave the news! Katie has cancer!!!! I had to believe and trust that God would work his hand through the surgeon and the medical team. The coach and I both felt like we had been hit with a sledge hammer! I remember sitting there trying to wrap my head around everything. How in the world did our daughter develop cancer. What next? Why, Lord? Please, let me trade places with her!!! We cried, we prayed, and we sat there numb!!! We rallied every prayer warrior in our inner circle of family and friends. We both knew that our lives, along with our daughters, where about to change forever.

We where told that if anyone was going to get cancer, this was the one they wanted. It had a high survival rate and the younger you where at diagnosis the better your chances. We would later learn that Katie was 1 out of 5 kids in the OU Children's Hospital (Pediatric Endocrinology) that had thyroid cancer. I didn't know how or what to feel after finding out this information? It was time to get proactive for Katie!! The coach and I did not have time to feel sorry for ourselves or the situation. We had to learn all we could to better help our daughter. It seemed like every time I talked to family or pondered on scripture. Psalm 139: 13-18 kept coming to my mind. God had a special plan for this girls life! He was molding her for his will and plan for her life and the special things to come. I thanked him and praised him, even through our pain. I needed him and he never left us!!!!!!!

Each of us has a specific task to complete for the Lord while here on this earth. What is your task or special gift? How can he use you for his purpose? Are you willing? 

Katie is doing great!!!! She is such an inspiration to her mother!!! Weekly blood draws still continue. We will go back for her big check up Dec. 5th to see if she responded to her treatment. Pray for her please? 

Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prayer! The best medicine.

Wow!  It has been a while since I have been on this blog.  I have missed this a lot!  I have allowed myself to get down in the recent weeks about so many things.  But, just when I think that everything is going wrong, God has a way of showing me how thankful I should be. 

After nearly 10 years working in the hospital I had an opportunity to change the course of my career path.  This opportunity put me into a physician's clinic that is based on Christian values.  A rarity?  Yes.  But this particular doctor is an amazing man.  One of the things I love is the fact that on our patient sign in paperwork there is a place at the bottom where a patient can request prayer.  The other thing that I love is that as an office, we follow through with this request.  I am so thankful to be in a place where I can practice my skill as a nurse AND my knowledge as a child of God.  So often we get caught up in the hum drum world of going to work and coming home, only praying for those who request it in Sunday School or Church.  Co-workers, family, friends, acquaintances....they all need prayer and it's OK to share our gift with others.  God answered my prayer when I was searching for a path, a purpose, a change....

God is so good!!  Now to find the balance again....fitting regular workouts back in to my schedule is a must!  Minor adjustments here and there....we'll see.

Blessings to all,

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gaining Through Losing

When I was enduring my dads battle with cancer, I literally was lost and didn't know it at the time. I needed help and direction and God had a plan for the both of us. The journey that my dad took me down remains deep  within me daily. I truly got to in vision a piece of my dads journey. Seeing Heaven through my daddy's eyes. The only way to really explain it to anyone is it was if he had one foot in the flesh world and one foot in the spiritual world. He was transitioning to his eternal home. Many in the family thought that my dads mind had been altered due to the illness or the medication. He was absolutely crystal clear in his mind. The agitation was from him not wanting to let go and transition. He loved the Lord with every part of his being. He didn't have to talk about his faith. He lived it!! I remember him sitting on the edge of his bed one night. He was fading physically and the chemo was not doing anything but giving my dad some empty hope to still hang on and fight. He was struggling with what to do. He said, "Honey, I just don't know what to do?" I knew that he was literally torn between 2 worlds. I wanted to be very selfish and tell him to keep fighting for his children and grand children. I knew I could not ask this of my daddy. I told my dad that he would know when the time was right for him to make decisions. I told him I loved him and would always be here for him.

You see, when I lost my dad, I gained his insight that he shared with me along the way. I truly know so much more than I did before our journey together. I got to experience a very small piece of what we have to look forward too. Heaven is real! I seen it through my dad. I remember asking my dad one morning what he was seeing? He teared up and was speechless. He said that he was unable to even get close to explaining what he was experiencing and seeing. He said my mind was not able to conceive it. Almost two years have passed since his passing. I have looked back and know that all we shared was not only for his purpose, but also mine. Not all will ever get to experience this type of insight that I did. When we lose someone we want to believe that they have moved onto Heaven. I don't know why I was the one chosen by my daddy but I know that I needed to be worked on too. God knew that I needed to see what my dad was going through.

 My faith has grown and the Fathers gracious love endures. As I was slowly watching my dad slip away, I would be gaining through this precious mans loss!!! The grace that I observed that the Father poured out on him was nothing short of amazing. I seen my dad transition with such ease and grace. When he finally let go, the Father was laboring him for his spiritual birth into Heaven. I was right there and got to see it with my own eyes. Not many even get close to realizing what is truly going on. A woman will labor the birth of a child. We labor to be born and "some"will labor to die. I was right there when this mans heart was stopping and his spirit left his body. His spirit was being born and leaving for his eternal home!!! I cried tears of joy, yet my selfish flesh part cried because I wanted him to stay a little longer. I knew he was meeting his Lord and Savior. Daddy's crown would be the most beautiful and magnificent. He would be told, "Well done J. Bill you "faithful servant" for I am very pleased! I smiled and thought I will see you soon daddy!! I Love You!

Thank You Father for the courage to share just a piece of this incredible journey!!!

Have a blessed day everyone,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Opportunities and Open Doors..........

With the end of the school year wrapping up to a close, we have been very busy. I had always wondered how other parents did it. It can seem overwhelming to try and keep up with everything. We went on a field trip with my youngest this past week. I love to try and be at everything my kids are involved in but as a nurse working 12 hour night shifts, it is almost impossible to attend everything. Grrrrr! I just hate having to be responsible!! HAH! Wish I had that money tree in the backyard! The coach says, "even if you did have a money tree, you would forget to water it." HAH! He is probably right!

Last week was national nurses week. I am a little late but I want to say thank you to all of my nursing family and what an honor it is to know you, work with you, or have crossed paths with you. I have met so many wonderful people in the line of work that I do. I feel very blessed that I am able to meet a whole array of different people from every walk of life. I will admit that there are times, more often than not, that I wish very different for my life. I start wondering what life would have been up to this point, had I chose something different as my occupation? Then I stop and look around at who and what nurses represent, I quickly realize that God chose this path for me for a reason. No matter what I will eventually end up doing with my life, I will always be a nurse.

 I have a lot of people ask me why I chose to be a nurse? It was something I have always known I was suppose to do. God paved the way and allowed me the opportunity. The door opened wide and it was up to me to walk through it. :) Life is like that! We each have sooooo many opportunities. We are the ones to decide whether we walk through an open door or not. Its called FREE WILL!!! We are given a choice in every situation. This is something our Heavenly Father chose for us. He will never force us into anything. Its our decision. What an awesome loving Father!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mothers Day yesterday!

Have a blessed day everyone,