Sunday, December 16, 2018

Final List of TRUST Posts

Well, it's been a good year of writing about TRUST; but I'm ready for something new. I am praying about a new topic to write about in 2019. But, for now, here is the final list of TRUST posts from 2018. Take some time to read the ones you missed, or maybe just read through your favorites again.

Thanks for following along with this series.

TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018:  TRUST
TRUST #2:  My Unexplained Pain
TRUST #3:  God Works All Things for Our Good
TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past
TRUST #5:  Trust in God's Love for You
TRUST #6:  Trust God's Decision on Leaders
TRUST #7:  A Simple Plan to Help Us TRUST More and Worry Less
TRUST #8:  Trust God to Meet Your Needs (Carolyn McIntosh's Story)
TRUST #9:  He Never Leaves Us Nor Forsakes Us (Daneille Snowden's Story)
TRUST #10:  Following God's Lead (Charity Vanderhoof's Story)
TRUST #11:  Trusting Christ with a "Death Sentence" (Mike Phillip's Story)
TRUST #12:  The First Moment of Real Trust in God
TRUST #13:  Trusting God to Help Us Find Our Way (Daniel McIntosh's Story)
TRUST #14:  Trust God to Listen to Your Heart
TRUST #15:  How to Trust in God When You Don't Know How
TRUST #16:  Trusting God When Your Family Turns Against You (Rein Schmidt's Story)
TRUST #17:  Prayers Can Show Our Trust
TRUST #18:  What Faith Means to Me (Guest: Carolyn McIntosh)
TRUST #19:  "Trust" Quote from Chip Ingram
TRUST #20:  Romans 15:13
TRUST #21:  Twila Paris "Do I Trust You?"
TRUST #22:  "Trust the Engineer" (A Quote by Corrie TenBoom)
TRUST #23:  A Father Who Can Be Trusted
TRUST #24:  Allowing Our Son to Go and Do
TRUST #25:  Trusting the Reliability of God's Word
TRUST #26:  Lauren Daigle "Trust in You"
TRUST #27:  EL is 2 Year Seizure-Free
TRUST #28:  Tis So Sweet to TRUST in Jesus
TRUST #29:  A Review of TRUST Posts
TRUST #30:  He Will Carry Us Safe to Shore
TRUST #31:  Ideas to Help Grandparents Share Their Faith with Their Grandchildren
TRUST #32:  Remember His Wondrous Works (Guest: Carolyn McIntosh)
TRUST #33:  HYMN:  Trusting Jesus
TRUST #34:  Do Not Worry About Tomorrow
TRUST #35:  Choose to Cease Striving
TRUST #36:  David Nevue and Psalm 5
TRUST #37:  Selah "Lord I Trust You"
TRUST #38:  Nahum 1:7 
TRUST #39:  A Good Report on EL's 6th MRI
TRUST #40:  Trusting There is a Reason for Delays 
TRUST #41:  Has My Cancer Returned???
TRUST #42:  The Biopsy
TRUST #43:  The Biopsy Results 
TRUST #44:  Trusting God to Supply All Our Needs  
TRUST #45:  Cancer "Processing Mode"


If anyone was working on a trust story that you didn't finish, feel free to send it my way when you get it done. We can always benefit from more trust stories.



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

TRUST #45: Cancer "Processing Mode"


I'm posting another TRUST post today instead of on Sunday, because I have information to share that I know many of you have been waiting to hear.

I finally had a consultation yesterday with my Oncologist.
 
Here are the facts:
  1. This is a NEW cancer, totally unrelated to my first cancer from 6 years ago.
  2. The cancer is Stage 0 - which means it is currently non-invasive. (This is good news because my first cancer was stage 2.)
  3. The cancer is High Grade - which means it started growing quickly, and will continue growing quickly. So, even though it is currently Stage 0 (non-invasive), it could quickly change into invasive if it is not removed. 
  4. The cancer is 97% Estrogen Positive, which means Estrogen is what is making it grow.
  5. The cancer is also 1% Progesterone Positive.
  6. The best course of action is a mastectomy. I will be seeing my surgeon for a consultation on December 20th. 
  7. I will not be needing any kind of bone scans or PET scans before surgery. I will not need to have them done at all, unless the pathology report after surgery contains new information that would require more testing. 
  8. I have been taking Tamoxifen for the past 5 1/2 years in order to block the estrogen my body makes. If I had not been taking it, this new cancer might have happened a lot sooner than it did. However, it is apparently not working on me as effectively as it should. So, my doctor told me to stop taking it.
  9. After my surgery, I will begin taking a different medication (I don't know the name of it yet) that should hopefully be more effective.
  10. If all goes as planned, and they don't find any "surprises" in my pathology report, I will not need chemo or radiation treatments.

How is this affecting me?
  • I'm experiencing what you might call "processing mode." I have received all the information, and now I am working through different thoughts and emotions. Even though I have had cancer before, its not any easier this time around.
  • I am so thankful this cancer was caught early. Things could be much worse!
  • At the same time, I'm feeling a bit "down"about needing to go through another mastectomy. 
  • I am also wondering what is making ME so prone to this type of cancer, especially since I have no family history of it. (My dad had prostate cancer, but that's not quite the same). I want answers, but the answers may not be revealed in my lifetime. 
  • Through it all, I'm still TRUSTING in God's plans for my life, and I know He will be there to help me and my family through this.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

TRUST #44: Trusting God to Supply All Our Needs


I have told this story before, but felt it was worth repeating . . .

When I was a young girl around the age of 5, my family lived in Minnesota while my parents were serving with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship). They were doing deputation work (appointed to represent the ministries of CEF to others) and did not receive a regular paycheck. Their income was provided by the support of other Christians, and some weeks were financially leaner than others.

During one of our leanest weeks, there was a period of about 4 days when our cupboards were almost bare; but, through faith, God supplied for my family’s needs in miraculous ways.

On day one, we all sat down for supper and were getting ready to eat what was left in our cupboards - some crackers with butter on them (and my sister thinks there might have been a little bit of popcorn as well). We all held hands and Dad prayed, just like we always did before a meal, thanking God for what we had, and also asking Him to provide for our needs. Then, my brother remembers Dad telling us to enjoy our meal, because we didn’t know when or where we would be eating the next one. Soon after that, there was a knock on the door. No one was there. However, a sack of groceries was left anonymously. We were all so excited to see how God had provided for our needs. We had enough food for a good meal that night, as well as some leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

Day 2 - At breakfast, we all prayed again before us three kids left for school, asking God, in faith, to provide for our needs. Later that afternoon, some friends of ours called and said they had made too much supper, so they asked us to come over and join them. Of course, we said yes, and had a nice meal with our friends that night.

Day 3 - We all prayed again before leaving for school. That afternoon, my brother and sister received a small check for a paper route job they had. It was maybe around $6.00, which was worth a lot more 40 years ago than it is now. My dad gave the check to them and asked what they wanted to do with it. They said, “Let’s go to McDonald’s!” So, that was our meal for that night.

Day 4 - I don't remember it, but I’m sure we all prayed again that morning. Later that day, an income check finally arrived. It was enough to provide for our family’s needs for the rest of the month.

God is good, and we can always TRUST in the fact that He has promised to supply all the needs of His children. Not always what we WANT, but exactly what we NEED (both physically and spiritually).

Sunday, December 2, 2018

TRUST #43: The Biopsy Results


One week after my biopsy, a call finally came in from Dr. B. It was a Tuesday evening, around 7:15 p.m. The caller ID showed who it was, so we knew it my doctor. [Yes! Finally!] David and I quickly left the room and put the phone on speaker so we could both hear. The conversation went something like this:
ME: Hello?
Dr. B: Is this Victoria?
ME: Yes it is.
Dr. B: Have I caught you at a bad time?
ME: Ummm, no, now is fine. [I had been watching a new episode of "The Flash" with my family, and we were getting ready to eat ice cream like we always do on Tuesday nights, but this phone call was definitely more important than that.]
Dr. B: Ok. Well, I told you I would call you with your biopsy results.
ME: Yes.
Dr. B: It is not invasive cancer, which is good. However, you do have sort of like "pre-cancer" cells.
ME: Is this what you would call DCIS? [DCIS = Ductal Carcinoma in Situ - a non-invasive form of cancer contained in the milk ducts].
Dr. B: Yes. That is what it is.
ME: Ok. I had that extensively on my other side, along with an invasive tumor. So, I know what that is.
Dr. B: I am at home right now and don't have your file. How long ago was that?
ME: Six years ago.
Dr. B: Ok. I will give your Oncologist a call tomorrow, and will look at your history a little more closely. Then, we will determine what to do next.
ME: Ok. That sounds fine.
Dr. B: You might be okay with just a lumpectomy, but I will know more after discussing with your Oncologist. But, we don't want to wait around too long on this, as it has a potential to change quickly.
ME: I understand.
Dr. B: Ok, then. I will talk to you soon.
ME: Thank you for your call.
We hung up the phone and David gave me a hug. We were not surprised by the news, but it was not what we were hoping for either. At least, there isn't any invasive cancer, so we are very grateful for that.

Unfortunately, I will be facing another surgery, and I am not worried or scared about it; but, to be honest, I just don't want to go through this again! Surgery is painful, and inconveniencing, especially during this time of year.

But . . . if that is the best option, then I will accept it. And, I will continue to TRUST in a loving God who will be with me through it all. He is my refuge and my strength.

I now have a consultation scheduled with my Oncologist for December 11th. We will know more about my case at that appointment.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

TRUST #42: The Biopsy

It was a Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy - my first one, and hopefully my last. Stereotactic, meaning the accurate positioning of a probe inside a specific part of the body by using three-dimensional images or diagrams. It is less invasive than scalpel surgery, and reportedly more accurate at finding the precise location for biopsies.

My husband (David) and our daughter (EL) went with me to my appointment. Dr. B recognized us from my previous surgeries with him. He is such a kind, caring man. He sat down in the room with us and asked, "Are you scared?"

I shook my head no.

He asked me why, and I said, "You did a good job on my other side, so I trust you." It was 6 years ago when Dr. B performed a lumpectomy on my right side, followed by a mastectomy, and 3 different port-related surgeries. I trusted him then, and I had no reason not to trust him this time around. Although, I was still praying for God to guide his hands, and that the results would be accurate.

I was taken to the procedure room and saw a table with a hole in it. I was instructed to lie down on my stomach and, after I was positioned correctly, they raised the table and worked underneath of me. I found this photo example on RadiologyInfo.org:
First, a few pictures were taken, similar to a mammogram but not as tight. Then, once they had their mark in sight, I was numbed up with Lidocaine. It apparently numbed me up on the outer part. However, when it came time for them to insert the biopsy device, I definitely felt that. They said I would hear a pop, and I sure did! It reminded me of a harpoon, and left me with a sizable ache. Shortly after that, they asked if I needed more Lidocaine, and I said yes.

As they began taking samples, I still felt some mild pain, but it was at least tolerable. I'm guessing they took around 5 or 6 samples. Then, they inserted a small titanium marker that will remain in place to keep track of where the biopsy had been taken.

I bled a lot when they were finished. It's possible the needle hit a vein when it went in. But the bleeding eventually slowed down enough to put Steri-strips and a band-aid on the puncture wound. After that, a couple more mammogram pictures were taken, and I was sent on my way. The whole thing was done in less than an hour.

I hugged David as he left for work, and gave him an extra squeeze to say, "Thankyou for coming."  I love that man. He took time out of his busy schedule to be with me for this. A friend of ours had agreed to come with me and to sit with EL while I was having the procedure; but David said he wanted to be there, so he came instead.

After the appointment I was okay to drive, so EL and I went shopping at Walmart. It helped keep my mind off of "things." Waiting for biopsy results is never easy.

I'm hoping and praying for good results, of course. But, no matter what they are, I will choose to keep TRUSTING in my Lord. I have been through too much already NOT to place my trust in Him. He is my God, and my rock.

If all goes as planned, I should have the results in the next day or two.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

TRUST #41: Has My Cancer Returned???


My annual mammogram was on Wednesday, November 7th. It was done quickly and I left there without a concern. It has been 6 years since I was diagnosed with cancer on my right side and, so far, the left side had always been fine.

The next day, I got a phone call:
"The doctor saw a change in your pictures this year as compared to last year, so we need you to come back in for a few more pictures, so we can get a closer look."
I got off the phone and could tell my heart rate was up, but I had too many other things going on to dwell on it. So, my prayer was short and simple:
 "Not again, Lord. Please. I don't want to go through this again."
Tuesday afternoon (the 13th) was my next appointment. I expected to just have the pictures taken and then be sent home like always. But this time was different. They escorted me into a private room, said the pictures would be sent over to the doctor right away, and then someone would come in to talk to me about them.

My daughter, EL, and I sat in the room together. The room was quiet and comfortable. The only sounds I heard were of EL flipping through a magazine . . . as well as my thoughts going through my mind. I wasn't nervous, really. In fact, I was pretty calm, considering. I guess, more than anything, I just felt a little discouraged. I didn't want to be going through this, and I didn't want this "inconvenience" in my life.

When the nurse came in, she didn't beat around the bush. She said they saw small undetermined calcifications. They could be nothing, but they need to be checked out, especially considering my history and the fact that this is the first time they have shown up on that side.

So, I have been scheduled for a biopsy for this coming Tuesday. 
  • Am I scared? Not really.
  • Am I worried? Not exactly.
  • Am I nervous? Maybe a little.
  • Do I TRUST the Lord to be with me and help me and my family through this? Absolutely!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

REVIEW: Ellie Claire Art Journals

Do you enjoy writing in a journal? Do you enjoy creative coloring? Are you looking for a journal that is different than just a bunch of blank lines? Look no further. I was given 3 journals to look through, with the Ellie Claire imprint, and they are unlike any other journals I have seen or used.  You might find what you are looking for with one of these options.

The Illustrated Word, from the Museum of the Bible, is an Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal that includes intricate coloring pages as well as lined pages. There are 40 color illustrations in the journal, inspired by the Museum's collection of illuminated manuscripts (early Bible and book manuscripts that were intricately illustrated to make the Biblical text come alive). These 40 illustrations have been recreated as line drawings for the purpose of coloring and creating your own treasured keepsake.



Illuminate Your Story is also from the Museum of the Bible. It is a bit smaller in size than the first journal I mentioned but it is easy to hold and includes some extra features such as:  an attached cloth bookmark, an elastic strap to hold the book shut, a pocket on the inside of the back cover to hold keepsakes, and an elastic band on the spine to hold a pen or pencil. This journal is unique in the way it provides a step-by-step guide for drawing illuminated letters (like the S on the journal cover). In the introduction, you can also learn about the history and significance of biblical illuminations. So, this smaller journal is BIG in many ways. It provides opportunities for learning about biblical illuminations, for developing a skill, for writing your stories on the lined pages, and for being creative.
Faith & Lettering, is the final journal I was able to review. It is not from Museum of the Bible, but from hand-lettering artist and graphic designer Krystal Whitten. This one is probably my favorite out of the three. It has pretty colors inside and out, and provides practice room for learning how to hand-create different lettering styles and embellishments. It also includes pages for Bible journaling, as well as lined pages for writing down your thoughts.

It really depends on your "style" and what you are looking for in a journal keepsake; but I think I will start out with the Faith & Lettering Journal. It fits my style the best out of the three. But, all of them look great and give new meaning to the phrase "creative journaling."

If you are looking for a unique gift to give to your creative family members, consider one of these journals, or head over to WORTHY PUBLISHING GROUP to see loads of other Ellie Claire journals that are available.

 

    Sunday, November 11, 2018

    TRUST #40: Trusting There is a Reason for Delays


    My husband, David, has not had much chance to sit down and write a "Trust Post" for me. But, he recently told me about something that happened to him on his way home from work, and said I could share it.

    While getting into his car, he somehow dropped his cell phone and it bounced underneath of his car. He had to bend down and reach under the car to retrieve it, which took maybe a total of 5 seconds of his time. He could have easily grumbled about the delay, even though it was a short one. But, instead, he wondered if maybe there was a reason for it.

    It was getting dark out because David had stayed later that evening. So, it was harder to see things out in the fields. As he was driving through the country, a deer jumped out in front of his car and he just missed hitting it. He figured, if he had met that deer just 5 seconds sooner, he would have definitely hit it. Remember ~ It had taken him 5 seconds to retrieve his phone from under his car.

    So, the next time you are frustrated about a delay, take a deep breath and TRUST in the fact that God is in control. He may be causing your delay in order to spare you from an accident or a tragedy that is about to happen.



    Wednesday, November 7, 2018

    Hillsong Kids DVD "Can You Believe It?" (Review & Giveaway)


    Hillsong has a new DVD for kids that could be a great resource for parents and church leaders to use. It's called, "Can You Believe It!? - Songs of Truth."

    This DVD includes a 25-minute "radio show" called Funny Man Dan. In this show, there is humor, fun, interviews, and music videos featuring kids in action. The 4 music videos are:
    • I Give You My Halleluiah
    • My Best Friend
    • What a Beautiful Name
    • We Came to Meet with You
    In the show, the hosts mention how they chose 6 topics for what they believe about God and put them into the songs. Those topics are: (1) The Bible, (2) God, (3) Separation & a Savior, (4) Living for God, (5) God's House/The Church, and (6) The Best is Yet to Come.

    The DVD also includes a section of 14 lyric videos to sing along with; and these same songs can also be watched in a "Live from the Studio" section.

    MY THOUGHTS:
    Hillsong's desire is that this collection of fun and faith-filled songs will help children around the world declare God's love and grace for them. After watching this DVD, I can see how it could be a useful tool for instilling God's love into the hearts of children. In my opinion, it would probably work best in a group setting, but it could be used successfully in a variety of different ways, including in the home, church, Sunday School, youth group, and more.

    WATCH PREVIEW HERE:
    HILLSONG KIDS PREVIEW

    BUY HERE:
    HILLSONG KIDS "CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?"


    ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
    If you are already signed up to receive my posts in your e-mail, then you are already entered into this giveaway. If you are not on the e-mail list, then you can use the FEEDBURNER form located near the top of this blog. (NOTE: You may need to be viewing the web version of this blog in order to see the Feedburner form.) If you don't want to join the e-mail list, feel free to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment under this post. Entries will be accepted through Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. Central Time. A random drawing will be held at that time and the winner will be notified. Open to United States only.

    11-10-18 WINNER:  Melissa B

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

    Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

    Sunday, November 4, 2018

    TRUST #39: A Good Report on EL's 6th MRI


    On Wednesday, we took a trip to St. Louis for EL's 6th sedated MRI, and then a checkup with her Neuro-Oncologist. These brain scans have been necessary for monitoring the potential growth of a [currently] non-active tumor in her pituitary gland, and also a cyst in her pineal gland. Her last MRI was 2 years ago.


    These visits are never easy, but this one was probably the easiest one we have had so far. EL was in a fairly good mood and knew what to expect, which was helpful; but there was one thing they did differently that made a world of difference. Instead of using Versed to relax her during the IV needle stick, they used a mask with Nitrous Oxide (the stuff used in a Dentist office). 


    Versed was previously administered as a spray in her nose, which she hated; and it gave side effects that always made her wake up grumpy and angry. The Nitrous, however, was easy to use, smelled good (like cherries), helped her to relax during the needle stick, and she did not wake up with a nasty Versed "hangover." Woo Hoo!


    After she woke up, we gave her some apple juice to drink and waited until she could walk without falling over before leaving to get lunch. Then, after lunch, we met with her Neuro-Oncologist to go over the results.

    In the picture below, the left side gives us a look at the scan from Wednesday. The right side is a scan from 2 years ago. On the left, I circled and labeled the two spots of concern. The pituitary tumor is a small solid mass at the lower portion of the pituitary gland. The pineal cyst is harder to see because it is fluid-filled; but it can be seen inside of the pineal gland.


    I am pleased to report her MRI results showed no changes from the previous scan! The tumor and the cyst have not grown in size, and are not causing any problems with vision or with hormone levels. This is great news, of course; and we won't need to have another scan until 2 years from now, unless she begins exhibiting symptoms. Another Woo Hoo!

    We are thankful, grateful, and blessed, and will continue TRUSTING in the Lord - not just because of our good results, but because He is our God, He cares about us, and He is worthy of our praise.