Praise God! (from April)

Hello everyone! I wanted to give an update as we had my oncologist appointment today, my 3 week post-op appointment from my surgery, and my tri-weekly infusion treatment. I seem to be healing well, praise God! And Chris and I found out some more amazing news; my breast surgeon removed 11 lymph nodes which they suspected still had the cancer in them, as that is what is typical with the type of cancer I have. You usually have them removed with the mastectomy and then follow that with the chemo and radiation protocol which I was told about. Well when we met with all of our doctors they were so happy and shocked to report that NONE of the nodes had cancer in them any longer! They know they did at one point, as that is how my breast cancer spread from the breast to the lymph to the blood and to my liver. We knew the tumors on the breast and liver were gone, by the grace of God but they still had seen a “highlight” on my lymph nodes in my pet scan before the surgery so that was why they really wanted to remove them.
We also knew that there is no “cure” for the type of breast cancer that I have, that is why they give you about two years to live with this diagnosis; usually the medicines stop working after a few months and they move on to other medicines until they no longer work and it is usually within this time, as mine is again the most aggressive and fastest growing type. Well I have only ever had one type of treatment, and it has worked miraculously for me so they have never had to try a new chemo medicine. So the plan was after the surgery to do my 6 weeks of daily radiation and then two months of hard core AC chemotherapy, and then hopefully go from there. Well because they cannot detect or find any more active cancer at all my oncologist has said I do not need to do the final round of chemo! She said they have already gotten the best they could ask for; for no more cancer to be evident anywhere so they are choosing not to do the chemotherapy part and just keep my upcoming radiation as well as my tri-weekly infusion treatments for at least a year, along with the standard protocol for breast cancer, which is hormone therapy for 5 years. This has the bad side effects of placing my body into menopause but I was never on a “standard treatment” plan and today they started talking to me like I was! They said “five or ten years from now” where as before they never spoke of time or the future! It was so amazing to hear that from our doctors! We just kept saying “praise God! praise God!” There is no other way to explain any of this, it is only by the grace of God that any of this is happening. His healing power is so very real, and just so incredible. “I’ve seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new, that’s what faith can do. Overcome the odds “you don’t have a chance” , that’s what faith can do. I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains, hope that doesn’t ever end, even when the sky is falling. I’ve seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new, that’s what faith can do. That’s what faith can do. ” (Kutless, “That’s what faith can do)

I know the menopause piece is going to be difficult, as my oncologist is always upfront with me about things but I also know that the God who has healed me is also in charge of this, so He can make my side effects much more manageable. I also know that no day in the future is promised to us, but we are certainly rejoicing with the news we have been given for today and and praising Him for that. So I am asking that you please pray that it is that way, and that it is far better than I could have ever hoped for! It will be hard with these physical things and emotional and hormonal things with young children, but God has gotten us through so much that I know He will not leave me nor forsake me now. I also have to have a second surgery to re-construct my right breast in a few months so please keep praying if you don’t mind! I know that all of the prayer has carried us this far and I believe with all of my heart that it will continue to carry us, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to remember me in your prayers now and in the future. Our God is an awesome God! Mighty in power and just so amazing! Never give up my friends! No matter what people tell you remember that you, too, “can do all things through Christ who strengthens you” (Philipians 4:13) .

And one of my favorite verses that is on my bracelet is Proverbs 3; 5-6:’ Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” We do not always understand the reasons why things happen in life or why we must go through certain things that are difficult and painful, but we do trust Him with all of it. We have always asked God to use us and though this is not a path I would have chosen, since God has allowed this to pass through His hands for me I say “amen.” because what satan intends for evil God uses for good.

I have always felt in my heart God was going to use Chris and I somehow, and never knew exactly how but just trusted Him with that. I still do not know exactly how, but in December Chris admitted to me that he has stopped fighting with God these past couple of years and has decided to give in! He is going back to school to get a degree in ministry, something he was trying to talk God out of but has now accepted the nudge. He applied and got accepted to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and is going to start courses on-line in March. This is a huge step for us and it will no doubt be a long , hard road for Chris finding the extra time for him to do this online but we know if it is from God He will make provisions and allow it to be. So I am humbly asking for more prayer for us with this, and I thank you for that. It is just so truly amazing to see God’s work in our lives, and to know that He has chosen each one of us to spread His glory is humbling and amazing all at the same time.

Thank you for your love and your prayers; and please keep praying as we have a long road but a road that is centered on Him.

Love and God bless, April, Chris, Faith, Savannah Grace and Isabella Hope