V Blog Experiment

Elisha and I have this idea to video blog along side one another as I journey into this second round of chemo infusions to kill the ovarian cancer that has grown back in my body. It’s not a bad idea. As you can see, we are both fairly comfortable in front of the Canon Powershot!
This is in my body now!
The experience of getting that port place in my chest was overall not too bad. My incision is healing. Itching, and the strips of tape over the incision should fall off soon.

A Word of the Week for Me

Psalm 116

1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“LORD, save me!”

5 The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.

8 For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the LORD when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the LORD
for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, LORD;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD—
in your midst, Jerusalem.

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  1. Psalm 116:19 Hebrew Hallelu Yah

Tuesday Emotions

I have been reading a blog since my first diagnosis. This was way before I realized that I, too, may be dealing with a chronic cancer diagnosis. Turquoise Gates.

The writer of the blog, Genevieve Thul, is suggesting exploring emotions every Tuesday for a month.
I am not sure what it all means, but I, without hesitation, signed on to her proposition.
What am I feeling today?
My predominant emotion today was peace. That is- peace- until… it was interrupted by a high level of annoyance. That emotional steam was brought on by a group of students that were acting verbally cruel to one another, and were disrespecting me with lack of compliance to my directives within in my classroom. I am a middle school teacher.
I felt this type of contentment today.
I felt at ease with all my student groups in school today.
I felt very focused on what students were saying today-not just getting all the objectives out and having them engage in writer’s workshop.
I was really listening to many of them, and what they had to say about anything-topics that came up were mid-terms, school, my cancer recurrence and impending treatment, and why an eighth grader can’t have a latte when she needs one during school hours.
The only time that peace was shaken today was by a group that group of fifth grade writers that hurled their negativity in my classroom- like a booming train. They seemed to have momentarily railroaded my peace.
In fact, when that fifth grade group came in with their usual complaining boisterous ramblings. My patience for this type of behavior suddenly became null-zip-void. I reacted, and immediately halted all planned activities to do this one activity I felt would get them in touch with a positive attitude towards each other and their teacher-me! I thought it would get these kids to think about seeing the best in someone else. I thought it would confront their offensive ramblings.
We picked names and wrote a letter to that person that included positive compliments and words of encouragement. These were my only 2 criteria for the “letter to a fellow writer” (a classmate) 1. State the positive in that person, and 2. Give them a compliment. 7 out of 11 students could do this on the spot assignment without a problem. We read them to each other. I was amazed and stunned at the positive insight these kids had in a moments notice. I wish I had some of the letters here at home with me to quote.
I get really upset-borderline angry-when I hear the constant complaining and negative comments my students make towards each other. Lately, it had been getting out of hand with this one particular group, and I had let it go too long, and had been spending a lot of energy trying to teach over the chaos. But today something snapped in me, I and just burst forth this spontaneous assignment. I may have to re-do it with “less emotion”, and more direct delivery next week.
Sadly, There were four students that somehow could not just state the positive only. They wrote a litany of complaints first as if to air the recipient’s character defects, and then barely wrote the uplifting words I had so hoped to solicit with this activity.
It has gotten me to think about habits. Negative talk is like a bad habit. Easy to do-Hard to break.
It takes more effort to be positive.
Ahhh. but, overall, so much more energizing than the constant negativity.
Peace. Negativity. Miffed. Emotions can be fleeting.

Pan Mass Challenge


It has always been an idea (I won’t say dream) of mine to ride this challenge.
Well, actually, Elisha has been bugging me about it since my first season of battling the ovarian cancer.
I am just sending out the link thinking perhaps some cyclists I know might want to be part of this great cause.
There's a lot riding on this. The Pan-Mass Challenge registration is open for Heavy Hitters. Every rider, donor and volunteer gets us closer by the mile.

Family Covenant

Always be honest

Proverbs 12:22

Count your blessings

Psalms 34:1-3

Bear each other’s burdens

Galatians 6:2

Forgive and forget

Micah 7:18

Be kind and tender hearted

Ephesians 4:32

Comfort one another

I Thessalonians 4:18

Keep your promises

Romans 4:21

Be supportive of one another

Acts 20:35

Be true to each other

Revelations 15:3

Look after each other

Deuteronomy 15:11

Treat each other like you treat your friends

Matthew 7:12

But most important

Love One Another deeply from the heart

I Peter 1:22

I thought about what I want to bring into this new year all day long as I prepared to journal my first entry with the “Writing Through Cancer” project. As I was eating dinner with Elisha tonight, and looked up at our funky kitchen wall pictures and sayings, I saw our family covenant. I typed this out the day we moved from the comfort of Abba’s House to our new home here. I wanted so much to uphold these biblical principles. I fall way short, but want to bring these into the new year to continue to grow in these commitments to my family members much more deeply.

That is what I want to bring into this new year.

Also, I want to carry the rich and good memories from my lifetime, so far, and leave the bitter moments behind.

I also leave in 2011 any unforgiveness in my heart towards anyone in my life that wounded me. No need to bring that in. Done.

Writing Through Cancer

“I beg what I love/ and I leave to forgive me.” What in the years past do you want to leave behind? What do you want to retain in the coming year how will you shape the life you want out of the material of your past and present?

This is the writing prompt for the first week of January 2012.
I joined a online workshop with a writer in San Diego, CA, and this is the first prompt. Her website is called “Writing Through Cancer” When I signed onto her journal project, I was not fully aware of the impending physical situation of mine with the cells turning to tumors.
Perhaps between playing the harp with the music therapist at MGH, and writing with an unknown facilitator, I will begin a journey infused with creativity as I am infused with the drugs (once again) that will kill the cancer. (once again)

Intricate Snowflakes

It is the first day of a new year. No snow in New England, yet.

My morning began with everyday activities of getting out the door for church with an eight year old.
Today felt different.
I had a sense of deep longing this morning as Elisha and I made our way into the santuary at church.
I love the worship there.
I can get lost in the music unto God.
January 1, 2012 marks a very signifant journey for me as I come into it with the knowledge that chemo treatment (round # 2 in the ring) will begin before the month is over.
“You see sickness and impossibilty, where I see health and all things are possible through me” was brought forth in a profetic word of hope today. HealingHope.
I cling to that good word, and to the God who has made my body, and has set my feet upon the rock to endure this next storm.

Good Morning, It’s God

This afternoon, as I pushed away the anxiety that my current health insurance dilemmas were causing, and the fears about seeing my oncologist tomorrow for what in my mind seems like a-well, the “it is time for chemo treatment” talk- a beloved colleague of mine walked into my classroom, and handed me a sheet of paper. She breezed in and out, as if on a compelling mission to make sure I had this unusual word of encouragement in my hand. It read in her daughters fun middle school aged script:

“Good Morning!
I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I don’t need your help. If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the things for Jesus to do box. It will be addressed in my time, not yours.
Once the matter is placed into the box do not attempt to hold on to it, or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removing it will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is a proper resolution. Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest my child. If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away. I love you.”
I was floored as I read this-quickly, and then again more carefully later, and now really deeply as I include it in my blog entry.
God never misses a beat of my panicked heart when it comes to this journey of cancer, and its treatments.