Friday, May 16, 2008

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

I haven't blogged for a while because I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Dallas to see my Aunt.  Those that know me, know that 2 years ago my Aunt (pictured on the left with my mom) was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer that was in the late stages of the disease.  This is a slow (most of the time) growing cancer that she has apparently had for up to 10 years before they found it.  A year after her diagnosis, the cancer picked up speed and the docs decided that it was time for chemo.  She started a powerful chemo cocktail last Sept. and our roller coaster began.  

First, I need to tell you that my Aunt is my 2nd mom.  She is the one who led me to the Lord and I am forever grateful.  She took me in after college while I looked for a job in a city I never had lived in.  She got me involved in a wonderful church and always included me in everything she did.  I met my husband at this church, so in a way, she is responsible for that too!  She is an amazing Christian and my prayer warrior.....we are very close.

As she started her chemo, it was clear from the start that it would be very difficult.  She was horribly sick and couldn't eat.  It was hard to watch her go through this from far away, knowing she was by herself (she lives alone).   But early into the process, God gave me a verse:

Duet. 7:20  Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished.  Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God.

I felt God was telling me that the chemo was the hornet that was going to come in and drive out the cancer.  God and I went 'round and 'round about this verse until he made it clear to me that it was for me and for my Aunt.  And so I shared it with her. 

Over the next months, I watched as the chemo took its toll on her.  It was definitely like a hornet, so ugly and painful.  She couldn't eat but maybe one bite at a time and lost a significant amount of weight.  Some days, she couldn't walk from her chair to the door.  She dealt with many other side effects.  I have to admit that I was very scared.  I cried out to God many times to remember the verse, to bring her back to health, but that I would accept His will....whatever that was......I just didn't want to see her suffer.  The last time I saw her, scared me to my core.  You see, I walked another friend through lung cancer many years ago and my Aunt had the "look" that she did toward the end.  The spark was gone from her eyes, she was so thin and frail.....but her faith was strong.  

Toward the end of March, the docs decided that the chemo had done all it could do and was probably now worse for her than the cancer.   They stopped the treatment and scheduled a CT scan for the next weeks.  My Aunt was so excited to be off the chemo, but it scared me.  My first thought was that they were giving up on her.  Those couple of weeks were long, but the CT scan came back that the tumors (she has many) had ALL shrunk significantly!!!!!  The doc said that he had never had a patient with her type of cancer respond so well to chemo.  Praise God!!!!! 

Since then, my Aunt has slowly gained weight, is getting her strength back and living life again!!  I had a wonderful visit with her these last few days.  We laughed, ATE all our favorite food, stayed up late talking and she even drove me to lunch at a tea room!  Her sparkle is back in her eyes and my wonderful Aunt is enjoying life again.  What an amazing God we serve.  I can not explain to you how I feel in my heart, it is exploding with joy!!

My Aunt will have a CT scans every 3 months now.  This does not mean that she will never have to do chemo again, the tumors are still there.  But I am praying that they will remain where they are and not grow.  However, if they do, God will carry her (and me) through it just as he always lovingly.  

The picture above was taken 2 weeks ago.  You can't even tell that she has been through all this.  I am so blessed to have her in my life!  I love you Aunt Mary Nelle and am celebrating with you!!!

Thank you, Lord, for being among us.  You are a great and awesome God!!!


Elaine said...

She is BEAUTIFUL! And your heart, Sara, is just as beautiful. Thanks for sharing her story!

Becoming Me said...

Praise God. His truth is so profound. Thank you for posting this. I just posted about a miracle that happened regarding my grandfather.

Linda said...

Those are some gorgeous ladies. Sara, I'm so glad you enjoy Ken Lee. At least I have accomplished one thing in life due to the blog: the spreading of Ken Lee love. I don't live in Madison,IN; I live in Muncie, which is much more north. However, I have been to Madison, and it's gorgeous. Oneighty is amazing; I'm very grateful to be a part of it.

Linda said...

Oh, shoot, Sara, I combined your comment with another person's about Madison and wrote that to you, SORRY! I'm at the library working on a book proposal, and I'm very distracted by a man across from me who is talking out loud to himself. He seems very sweet, but it's distracting. So that's my excuse!

Christine said...

Incredible! God is amazing! Always faithful. Always good.
Thanks for sharing, Sara.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

What a lovely lady! Thank you for letting us in on the journey.