Thursday, September 20, 2012

Counting Blessings with Pictures ~ Part III



The waves seeping back into the sea through the rocks makes lovely music. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Counting Blessings with Pictures ~ Part I

So this past midsummer a trip was planned to visit Jennie's sister and brother-in-law in northern California. After learning that the cancer had returned, I debated for quite some time whether I should still go out. I decided to go although I did choose to shorten the trip by a few days. 
It was a wonderful blessing! My heart was refreshed by walking through great quantities of God's inspiration. Some of the most stunning and ruggedly beautiful country I have ever seen. The next couple posts will be a small kaleidoscope of our trip together. Most all of the pictures were taken by Jennie - I was too busy wandering about or having wonderful conversations with dear friends. 
~ Enjoy!

sisters :) 

Bug's Beach 

 One of those rare sunny days along the coast!

Tidepool hopping - no pictures of the graceful blue-green anemones and lovely purple and gold starfish due to camera safety regulations.

The lights of San Francisco from Muir Beach overlook

Monday, September 3, 2012

Choosing Joy

"I don't have any good news for you today." My oncologist came - all slumped,

He explained the PET/CT results - metastasis to my lungs and multiple lymph nodes. We talked about treatment options and he printed out the information on the standard set of chemo therapy. Lots of questions.

"So with this level of metastasis how much time do you think I have?"

"6-12 months. . . it's hard to say." There were tears in his eyes.

The past couple of weeks have been a blur. I have been praying for wisdom for many complex decisions. Doing the research. Spending time with family.

The EBUS procedure to biopsy on one of the nodules in my lung was positive for cancer (The same type as last year).
The Echo was normal and showed a strong heart.
Sifting the research on clinical trials - made easier by amazing spreadsheets put together by friends.
A second opinion visit at Vanderbilt offered little new information
A trip to National Institute of Health for further insight into clinical trials.

After much prayer and thorough investigation into many options, I have decided not to pursue traditional medical treatment and have chosen instead an alternative therapy approach. Including lots of juicing and a mostly raw diet, charcoal and clay treatments, hydrotherapy, daily jogging, and lots of sun. So far energy is increasing and I feel more energetic than I have this entire year so far.

Each day God has been hugging my heart with the most beautiful blessings. Each day a journey of choosing joy.

So what is one to do when the doctor says you only have 6 months? Some would consider it a death sentence. How do you live with a deadline? If my days are numbered how shall my life count?

Some people have bucket lists to be filled up with souvenirs of experiences. But while life experiences are gifts, to make a gift a goal seems a narrow purpose. Should our focus be on pouring out rather than gathering in? Giving to others gifts of the heart. . . of eternal value?

As my friend Ann wrote;

"Because not only have we been given the most fantastic story of Grace to share, but the only thing worth gaining is the memory of the giving of yourself — and that will outlast time."

On August 6, 2012 I remember that I wrote in my journal, "God, please teach me how to live like this. Poured out in free flowing gratitude to You."

Truly, the most ancient man has only lived a brief breath of history. And what takes our breath away  - they are the moments worth counting. Moments measured in quality - not quantity.

Wealth is measured in joy. And I am the richest person on earth!

"Blessed is the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!" Psalm 68:19