My Friend Joan Died

August 13, 2016

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sending out an email from my desk at Eastside and there at the top of the distribution list was Joan’s name and email address. I tried to delete it but I couldn’t. I started crying. Hard. Fortunately everyone was in a staff meeting so I was alone.

Joan had breast cancer. She fought that battle but it came back-this last time in her brain. She had just recently gotten out of the hospital.

We met in April 2013 on her first trip to the orphanage in Rosarito. She was the kindest, most positive person. You couldn’t help but be drawn to her.

She had the best home-going I could have prayed for. She went to a musical production with her husband, out to dinner with friends. Then went to church on Sunday where everyone was glad to see her, hug her and just love on her. That night she died. I was in Mexico that weekend.

She had been helping me, answering my questions about the tests I was undergoing and just talking about the whole cancer fight.

Then she died. 

I miss her but I know it won’t be forever. Not long at all in the grand scheme of things. It’s nice knowing she’s there waiting for me.


Worship Therapy

August 13, 2016

​I used to do this for my Aunt Gladys. I’d be on the way back from taking her to a doctor appt and she’d be sitting there with TV face in another world. So I’d just start singing the old hymns. After a while she would start to sing quietly then louder, then in harmony. After driving around for awhile in worship therapy we ended up in the Taco Bell drive up because she was hungry. Then she’d tell me the old stories of her family when her dad led the church and her mom played the piano. Worship therapy, that’s what is. Able to reach us when nothing else can.

Dr Marc “House” Davison

August 6, 2016

My surgeon is House. He’s scruffy and abrupt.  He even uses a cane. I like him a lot.

My daughter who is pretty and social was with me and he started asking her questions – I had to point out that I was the patient. I’m sure that was a great disappointment. 

He asked me why I was having surgery rather than radiation. I told him I didn’t know it was an option and asked him to tell me about it. He said I would have to go to the Kaiser Hospital in LA for 3 sessions of high dose radiation or I could go for 3 weeks, 5 days a week to the radiation oncology center there in Anaheim. He told me the projected outcome for radiation or surgery were the same. Since cutting it out worked well 13 years ago, and I’m the get it over with type,  I chose surgery.

So he booked me for surgery on August 16th. I have a pre-op physical on the 11th. He checked the size of my chest and the space between my ribs and said I was a good candidate for the laparascopic procedure. Finally, being built like a linebacker is good for something! 

Then he started castigating me. He asked me where I was in July. I told him I was in Mexico working at an orphanage. He repeated the info to his assistant, scoffed almost using the f* word and told me that was no excuse and that I messed up his numbers. They’re supposed to see the patient within 3 weeks of referral and I was referred on July 6th so I got him in trouble. I told him when Kaiser sends me a survey I’d give him all 10s and add a nice note. He told me he wanted 11s. I said no problem. Then he hobbled back to his office without a goodbye or a nod of his head.

I love him! He’s got social skills like mine and I feel comfortable saying whatever I need to to him. Thank you God! The surgeon that took out my kidney in 2003 was like that. He did a great job and he didn’t freak out when I told him I had opened my draining incision up a little more with an exacto blade I boiled. I couldn’t get the packing in. He reached in a drawer and handed me some presterilized scalpels. Then he told me a story about a crazy guy that removed his own adrenal gland using mirrors. The guy got one out but passed out trying to get the second one out. So when he came to, he drove himself to the hospital. It was a great story and right up my alley. God has always gotten me to the right doctor at the right time. 

I’m still a little annoyed that Dr Nguyen didn’t mention the radiation option. I like having all the info and I wonder if there’s anything else I should know. I’m sure I gave him the impression that I would be in favor of surgery. It’s entirely scriptural…If thine eye or pulmonary nodule offend thee, pluck it out..or something like that in Judy’s Revised Version. I’m too impatient for anything else.


August 2, 2016

They moved my surgical appt back to Wednesday morning. Yay!

Patience – Not My Strongest Quality 

August 2, 2016

After the end of The Summer Of Mexico I was primed and ready to jump into the The Season Of Cancer. I had my surgical consult scheduled for August 3rd and would jump into it with both feet.

So this morning Kaiser calls and reschedules my Wednesday appointment to Friday. For heaven’s sake, it’s only 2 days!  *steps away to lay on the ground to kick and scream* 

In my Strengths Finder test, one of my strengths was Activator. Looks like it’s also my weakness. Doing nothing is anathema but that’s what God wants so I’ll cool my jets, adjust the timeline in my PERT Chart and wait.

God’s purposes cannot be thwarted or rushed. 

I’m going to need more popcorn.

Mexico Post-Mortem

August 1, 2016

I can’t believe it’s over. It was an awesome 5 weekends spread over a 6 week period. Months of preparation and hours of work and planning come to fruition. I know people were blessed. I hope most of all that God was glorified.

There was wonderful worship, deep fellowship and a couple of heart-breaking problems. I hugged a lot of people. I had to let go of things I couldn’t control which was just about everything and God never missed a thing. 

I revealed to the general public that I have cancer. That went way better than I expected.

Physically I was about as useless as I could be. But, I have never felt so used of God in my life. In my greatest physical weakness God’s strength was made perfect. 

I even felt loved on occasion which is tremendously scary. 

They team did some amazing ministry at the orphanage and in the valley surrounding it. I helped get them all there so that’s something I guess.

I am very happy. I thought I’d be depressed after it was all over. I’m not. I hope with my whole heart that God lets me stay useful. I know I’ll probably never again be as busy as I have been these last few months but I hope He gives me purpose.

You’re never poor if you’ve got something to give away.

God will take care of me like He always has.

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