Tips on how to REALLY survive cancer
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for praying for me and for Rick too. We have felt so blessed, loved, and cared for. I can't even begin to express all we are thankful for. We have seen God's love through all of you.
Back on December 18, 2009 I received word that I had invasive lobular carcinoma. After getting off the phone with the doctor it really sank in what I had. I was in shock and alone with my 4 and 5 year old students. I prayed and asked God to give me a verse that I could cling to during this time in my life. He gave me Psalm 118:24 that says, "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." I began a silent discussion with God that no, this verse wouldn't do, not for this situation. I was scared. But the only verse that would come to mind was the same one. Then I was reminded by God of a gift I had received from a student that said, "Every day is a gift from God." As I thought about it later in the day I began to realize that yes, I could rejoice in "this" day if I looked at "this" day as a gift from God. Just taking one day at a time and rejoicing in it. I honestly have to say that as I looked at my cancer in this way God began to work in my heart and life. Every day in-spite of all the fear of the unknown I still had much to rejoice and be glad about. Little things like what one of my four year old students said when I explained that I was very sick and that I would have to miss a lot of days at school, the student said, "Mrs. Warken, there's this purple liquid that if you take it it will make you all better. You can buy it at the dollar store!" How I have laughed over this! Then the girl next to her piped up and said, "Yeah, there's this orange thing you put on your tongue and you keep it there till it all melts, that will make you all the rest of the way better!" I love these kids!
Then a most wonderful thing happened. I was able to lead the grandmother of one of my past students to the Lord. I had been praying for her for four years that I would be able to share God's love with her and in January at school sitting on the desks I showed her in the Bible how much God loved her. After praying and asking Jesus to forgive her of her sin and to be her Savior, she went and told her Grandson, his teacher and the church secretary what she had just done. It was so amazing.
My husband, children, parents and siblings, and extended family were all constantly there with me and for me. The cards, flowers, phone calls, books, videos, meals, emails, facebook messages, visits, care packages, verses and sooooooo many prayers from friends, literally all around the world were amazing to me and another reason to rejoice. God is so good to me and Rick. Thank you my family and friends.
Today we received word from the medical oncologist that they believe that I am doing well and that they were able to remove all the cancer. The results of the last test came in today indicating that I would not need to do any chemotherapy treatment! No radiation treatment as it had already been ruled out. The only treatment now is a hormonal pill I take daily for 5 years called Tomoxifen and a visit to the doctors office every 3 months while on this medication. The test indicated that there is only a 7% chance of recurring cancer. I am undergoing reconstructive surgery and so far it is going well, a bit uncomfortable and itchy but it is nothing compared to what it could have been!!
So as I close, I again thank each one of you for your part in helping me to rejoice in the Lord! and if you are facing your giant as Joshua and Caleb and the children of Israel did upon entering the Promised Land, remember "...Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
What a precious promise to cling to!
I love you all.
One more thing..If you wouldn't mind would you please pray for my many friends who are still undergoing cancer treatments. The one area that is hard to rejoice about is knowing that so many are still a lot worse off than I am. I know God is in control of everything, and yes we have to trust Him, but it's still hard. You are never totally sure you are healed with this disease. Prov. 3:5 & 6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."