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
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.

    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.



    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.