Monday, April 20, 2009


At physical therapy today, my husband got to come with me. I had a series of new tests today to compare with when I was initially assessed. For example, today I had to touch my left shoulder with my left ear. Before, I was only able to get my head down 18 degrees. My 'goal' for today was an increase of 10 degrees. I was able to bend my head a full 50 degrees. My physical therapist admitted that was better than HER "scores". So then I had a ton of other stuff to do that would rate my dizziness. Before, my dizziness ratings were really bad. In fact, I was listed as severly dizzy and a fall risk. Today, I was rated as completely normal. I couldn't keep the tears away and my husband was grinning ear to ear.

My therapist told me that she would love to keep seeing me, but honstely can't justify a reason for me to keep coming in. I'll finish the week out and then discharged on Friday (I was scheduled to go until my next MRI appointment in June)!! Then, she asked if I would mind if they used me as a case study because no one in the building had ever seen such a radical "improvement". How awesome is my God???

17 long months... 17 months of pain, and medication, and sleepless nights, and worry, and misery - and there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel because the tunnel has been blown up and I am in full sunlight!!!! How precious is the God that I serve?? Of course, He didn't have to touch me at all. I could've died 17 months ago when death looked me in the eye... But to radically heal me?? I mean, RADICALLY??? It's so hard to explain how WONDERFUL I feel, because it was hard to explain how horrible I felt before.

But when God touched me, I wasn't promised healing. I was promised a restoration - and you just don't even know how TRUE that has been!!! Being healed is just the beginning!!! Relationships that I never thought could ever be revived again have began to breath... Promises that were made to me so long ago are beginning to be fulfilled... Parts of me - my personality, my desires, my prayers - have resurfaced and are becoming a part of me again... For so long, I was in a famine... So lost... So confused... So hurt... Oh but that famine is over!!! I am dancing in the rain! The wonderous rain is washing away all that I had settled on and restoration is budding and blooming all around me...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I don't know how to express my thoughts, but I'm not at a loss for words! LOL

Staying up late just because I want too... because I'm enthralled in a book or because I'm covered in paint and glue or because I'm writing a love letter to the One that I love the most...

Showering in the morning and feeling the warm spray on my skin... lifting my head up towards the ceiling and allowing my eyes to rest upon the ceiling above while I lift both of my hands high to my head to rinse the shampoo that I've been able to lather there...

Being able to complete a thought without my mind feeling foggy and desperately grasping at words right as they erase right beyond my reach... And having the confidence to once again make friends and speak to those that already love me...

Listening to the cheerful laughs and yells of my children playing as their youthful voices pierce the heavens and never once clentching my head in pain...

Racing my dog around the yard and then joyfully falling on the ground laughing and rubbing her head with glee as the crazy girl barks in my ear and licks my face...

Skipping to answer the high-pitches of the ringing phone and smiling ear to ear when I hear the warm voice on the other end asking me how I am... And truthfully responding...

Curling up beside my husband and hearing his voice saying my name as we have a conversation because I'm not too exhausted or in too much pain...

Making it two full weeks with the only tears that stream down my face being those of complete and utter joy and not curling up in complete and utter pain and dispair...

Hearing my prayers that are now full of such gratefullness and wonder of my God instead of sorrowful wimpers asking Him why He spared my life if each and every day would be sheer misery...

Waking up each and every morning feeling the way that I always knew was possible, but have only actually felt for the past 2 weeks now...

Having my God prove to me that His word is not a lie and everything that I've always thought about Him is absolutely right... He IS my healer... He IS my provider... He IS my EVERYTHING!!!

Having the physical therapist ask me to repeat excercises because she's in disbelief of what I am able to do instead of me struggling and panting for breath unable to finish each task...

Walking across a clean bedroom floor because I have the energy to clean my house or excercising in the gym more intensly than I have in my entire life because I am now able...

Looking forward to another birthday to celebrate life and all it's wonders...

And each day praising God over the seemingly simple things that I have missed for 17 loooong months....

Once again enjoying to listen as my daughter talks my ear off about her friends and her favorite games and boys that she thinks are cute... Actually enjoying myself at her soccer practices because I'm not doped up on pain medication to half-way function or because the bright rays of the sun split into my head....

Once again playing with little toy cars in my sons' room making "Vroom-vroom" sounds or watching the same movie with him over and over again enjoying the scent of his hair as he snuggles in my lap...

Having my husband turn to me and say, "Babe, I don't want to be rude, but I would really love to go home and spend some time with you..." Because it's been sooooo long.... So long since we've actually talked about anything other than "it" or "it's" consequences...

Such simple things I took for granted until I couldn't do them, and now... Well, now, each time that I can lean over the sink and brush my teeth without leaning onto the counter because of dizzyness; every time that I can listen to the music in the car turned up loud; each and every night that I sleep with no interruptions; each morning that I arise without the dred of facing another day... Every tear that warms my cheek NOT because of pain but because of sheer JOY - I just can't thank Him enough!!

God did what I always knew He could do. He healed my body. But He did so much more than that! My Shepard provides my every need... He led me beside still waters... He restored my soul... I have walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and He held my way the whole way through it. He is my Comfort! He has annointed my head... My cup runneth over! Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I DO dwell with Him forever and ever and ever.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rambles running through my head...

Sometimes I think it's a dream... Have I really been healed?? It's amazing that I can do things that I had sort of gotten used to "avoiding". I have gone to the gym almost every day now, and yesterday I biked for 5 1/2 miles in 20 minutes! That's crazy! I didn't do that BEFORE!! AND I didn't even take a nap yesterday - I have taken a nap everyday for like 17 months because I just couldn't function without one! LOL

Everyone tells me not to overdo it, but I'm so curious as to what I can do. Like, I haven't been able to put my head under water because the pressure difference just killed me, and now I am just dying to "test" it out.

It's sort of odd and surreal to go from such extremes... I felt so horrible, and now I feel better than ever! I mean, I love it!!! It's just a little odd. LOL

It's after midnight and I used to complain about being up all night because of pain, and now I'm up all night because I'm too excited to go to sleep!! I've been trying to cram in all the little things that I've wanted to do for so long... But it's funny, because I wake up at 7 and don't feel all sluggish... It's great!!!

May is National Brain Tumor Awareness month, and I really want to do SOMETHING. I've let it creep up on me... Anyone with ideas?? I know that I'll use the power of the Internet to share little facts and stuff every day through the month, and I'm going to talk to a couple doctor's offices to see about putting up a little display. I would really like to get little grey awareness bracelets for my friends and family... On my self address labels I have a picture of an MRI with the words "Proud Brain Tumor Survivor" at the bottom of it. Guess that's a start.

And even though I have been touched and feel so great, I haven't at all forgotten those of you that are still struggling. I haven't forgotten the pain and fear that I lived in for over a year and a half. Saturday I actually get to visit with someone living with an inoperable brain tumor. His tumor is benign, but it's in his spinal colum. I hope that our visit is as uplifting for him and I am excited about it.

So my brain is just jam packed with all that I want to do that I haven't been able to do in so long. It's just absolutely amazing to feel so wonderful!! I can't even describe how great I feel!! Before I would dread when people asked how I felt because I either lied and said "fine" or I just felt like a broken record. Now when people ask how I am, I just want to cry and twirl and jump up and down! LOL I should try that like in the grocery store tomorrow - the cashier would think I had lost my mind! If only she knew, I've just gotten it back!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And still, MORE proof!

Today was time to document how far I can turn my head in PT. 15 days ago, (5 days before God touched me) I could turn my head 23 degrees. My goal to reach by today was an increase of 5 degrees. Wasn't it a pleasant surprise when I could turn my head 53 degrees!! SEE!! More proof that God healed me! 53 degrees is pretty normal! HA

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I ran a guy out of the gym today when I started praising God audibly because I WAS IN THE GYM!! ME!!! I was able to work out!!! I hit 20 minutes on the elliptical like it was nothing and just started magnifying God because 11 days ago, that wouldn't have been remotely possible!!!!!!

Before I could sleep because of pain - now I can't sleep because of excitement of being healed!

I have believed that God is a healer for 21 years out of just blind faith. But now, I KNOW that He is a healer!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

MRI Results

For 42 days, I lived in constant intense pain. I had a horrible headache, and my neck hurt. Plus my neck was very stiff. The pain kept me up at night and after about 20 days or so, I started feeling REALLY discouraged. If you've ever dealt with chronic pain, then you can probably relate. I was absolutely exhausted and began wondering why God spared my life 17 months ago just for me to live in such intense pain. Much to my husband's horror, I told him that I would have rathered die than feel so wretched for the rest of my life.

The pain was too much for me to make my PE class, and I BARELY made C's in my Microbiology class. My nursing entrance exam was coming up, yet I was in so much pain that I didn't even study for it. I just couldn't.

I didn't understand why God hadn't healed me because I believed with my whole heart that He IS a healer. I know many don't believe that and I know many of you are going to begin to think I'm crazy as you read on, but I don't care what you think because I know what I know.

So 42 days passed... I didn't give up on God. In fact during that time I prayed for healing to fall on a young girl in the middle of Lowe's (complete with crazy stares and all). Maybe God hadn't healed me, but my Bible says that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I did not understand why He hadn't touched my body, but I still knew that if He could heal back then, He can heal now.

On April 1st, I had an MRI. 38 days into the pain. On April 5th, we had a visiting Pastor at our church. I was so exhausted, and weary, and hurting that it's a miracle that I kept dragging myself to church, yet I tried very hard to act as "normal" as possible for my husband and kids. I had been looking forward to our service because the visiting Pastor is a younger guy and draws some younger people that don't normally come to church. I had been praying for the service because I wanted God to speak to them, but I was in a shock when God spoke to me.

The title of the message was, "In Case Of A Famine", and it was really good. I knew for sure that I had been in a "famine". Not feeling good totally interupted my life - including my spiritual life. I felt so totally alone and like I was just walking circles in a desert. I felt hopeless. But In Case Of a Famine...

Towards the end of the message, the visiting Pastor started talking about a "young darling" that had battled one infirmity after another. I knew in my core that he was talking to me. I mean, there was the brain tumor, then all that the post-surgery brought, the swelling build-up, and now this constant pain. I began to sob and stepped forward and he allowed God to speak to me in ways that I can't even explain. And I felt the heaviness on me lift and I felt like life had been breathed into me again...

Today is day 8 that I have been pain-free. I don't care what anyone says, God touched me. I didn't change medicines, I didn't change doctors, I didn't change anything. I just woke up Monday morning with no headache. I slowly turned my head to the left (and was able) and felt no pain. I slowly turned my head to the right (and was able) and felt no pain. Slowly I sat up, and there was no pain!!!

So today, April 13th, the results from my MRI came back. Due to where the tumor was and where the fluid likes to build up, the MRI showed a bulging disk in my neck that had more than likely been pinching a nerve. So I wasn't crazy!! That explained the 42 days of neck stiffness and the pain in my head & neck. But get this, I got the results of the MRI 8 days AFTER the pain has completely gone away. 8 days being pain-free and there hasn't been any treatment of the bulging disk because we haven't even known about it!!!!

Proof that my God touched me! Here is more proof. Remember how I've barely made 'C's in Microbiology? Remember how I couldn't even study for the nursing entrance exam? I took the test during the days of pain, and was one of the first ones done because I did an awful lot of guessing. Well, guess who got a letter congratulating them for their acceptence into the nursing program this summer.... ME!!! I know that God had a hand in that because there are people in my Micro class with much higher GPA's than me and that made MUCH higher on that nursing test than me that have been put on a waiting list.

So see, Jesus Christ IS the same Lord that was written about in the Bible. And you know what's mind blowing about that? If He performed all those miracles then, just think of what He can do now...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hold My Heart (by: Tenth Avenue North)

How long must I pray
must I pray to You?
How long must I wait
Must I wait for You?
How long till I see Your face
See You shining through

I'm on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I'm on my knees
Father, will You turn to me

One tear in the driving rain
One voice in the sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One life, that all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart

I've been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye
But if there's no other way
I'm done asking why

I'm on my knees
Begging You to turn to me
I'm on my knees
Father will you run to me

So many questions without answers
Your promises remain
I can't see but I'll take my chances
To hear You call my name
To hear You call my name

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is a fantastically easy way to support Brain Tumor Awareness!

Do you shop online? Did you know that a portion of your purchases can be donated to the National Brain Tumor Society depending on where you shop? There are hundreds of online stores connected to, including favorites like The Gap, Staples, Nordstrom and even Home Depot!

Registration is free and, when you select the National Brain Tumor Society as your cause, any purchases you make through the iGive mall will help support our programs nationwide.

So visit right now and register! Pass it on!

So I learned a VERY valuable lesson today...

If you've been following, you know that Monday I was still on cloud nine when I went to my physical therapy. So today I walk in and my therapist asks me how I am and I tell her that I feel great and I'm all excited. So she lays me on a table and is going to massage my neck, so I'm thinking "Ah... nothing better than a nice massage..." Oh no... It wasn't a nice massage at all. In the 14 months of on/off PT, I have never been worked as hard.

I lay on this table, and she starts to massage my neck, and then - ouch! She pulls my head. Then she twists and turns and I felt neck muscles stretching that I didn't even know existed! LOL However, she did say that what we did today they weren't planning to be able to do with me for another couple of weeks. :-D

So the lesson learned is - be prepared for a little pain when you start rejoicing and showing your excitement!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Still dancing...

I still feel great!! God definately touched me Sunday morning and I have felt great ever since. I've been singing and dancing and skipping around all day!!! ME! It's just wild! I mean, just a few days ago I was lying in the darkness of my room crying in pain. Walking caused pain to shoot through my head. And here I am dancing around!!

You know, during this time of my physical infirmity, people have said that God doesn't heal anymore. People have said the things we read about in the Bible are only for the Biblical times. I have refused to believe that. Hebrews declares that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever more. But I must admit that I started to question God. I believed He could heal out of faith, but now I know He is still a healer because I have been radically touched. And a "professional" has even taken notice - yesterday my physical therapist was shocked at how excercises that I couldn't even do last week I was able to do yesterday with no problem at all! Tomorrow the physical therapist that specializes in nuero patients is going to re-evaluate me. I cannot wait to see her reaction!

And while I am happy and rejoicing for myself and my children and my husband, my heart feels a little heavy tonight. My brother is deployed right now and I just have him on my mind a lot. Pray for him and all of our soldiers and the families left waiting on them. I can't wait to see him. Last time he saw me, I was a miserable sickly sister, and now I have a silly grin on my face and can't stop dancing and skipping around! He needs to see that...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thus saith the Lord - Part II (LOL)

Well, I must admit that I am still walking on clouds after yesterday... I woke up this morning and slowly turned my head to the right, then I slowly turned it to the left - and there was no pain! I sat up and had no headache! I went to my physical therapy appointment today and my "numbers" astounded my therapist because my tolerance level for dizziness and pain are WAY better than they were just last week.

In the car, my son and I popped in a Casting Crowns CD, cranked the volume up, and sang along!!! And I never cringed!!! The loud music didn't bother me and his 3-year-old screaching in the back didn't bother me!

I won't lie and say that I have been healed completely because I haven't been, BUT that's not what God said anyway. My neck is still stiff and as the day goes on I'm losing energy; however, I can honestly say that I feel the best that I've felt in way too long to remember!!! Unless you've been in constant intense pain, it's probably hard to relate, but I have danced and waved my hands in the heavens all day praising God for a day of relief!

Yesterday, one of the things spoke to me was that I'd have some "Thus saith the Lord's" and ironically enough, this is the scripture that I came to today to meditate on:
"Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."

In Isaiah, God said He was looking for a foundation stone... a tried stone... How would stone be tried? I'm honestly not sure, but I do know when gold is tried, it's put in fire... Tried... Diamonds go through being all cut up and stuff... Tried... Sounds a little painful...

I think that it's a fair call to say I've been tried in the last 17+ months... I've been physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially "tried". There have been days that my faith in a God that hasn't relieved me of my pain has been questioned by others and there have been days that death has taunted me. There have been days that my family seemed totally expanded and days that this infliction has cost me relationships... There have been days that we've had ramen noodles for dinner and there have been days that the bank account looked dangerously low. There have been days that bill collectors call all day and that the mailbox overflows with medical bills. There have been multiple nights that I've laid awake and cried in pain and there have been days that I've laid in the dark of my quiet room in pain. Oh yes, I think it's fair to say that I've been tried!

But He doesn't stop there. This same stone He calls precious... He calls sure... Whoa... (Ain't my God good?) Cause I don't think I'm precious and I'm not so sure about being sure, but if I know I've been tried then the other two descriptions just come along with it...

Then, notice the last part of that verse - if you believe, don't make haste. Believe what exactly? One chapter before and you'll note that Israel had been destroyed, demolished, held captive, etc., so maybe that believe is to believe that Israel can be restored. How can that be applied to today? Try this (totally my own words), Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I am looking for a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: and if you believe that I can restore an entire city with just one stone (cause His promise was to restore Israel), then you believe that I can also restore you...

WHOA!!! So Sunday morning, something that was spoke to me was that some of the things that I've lost... some of the things held captive and destroyed... that those things would be restored unto me. You don't even KNOW how much I'm praising God right now.

My health has just been a little piece of His puzzle. I'd been destroyed long before my brain tumor. I'd watched some things be demolished years before my surgery. So here He is, my God, that cares so much for me that He sent along this seemingly horrible thing to allow me to be tried... because all He needs is a tried stone to rebuild... to restore...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thus saith the LORD, about this time tomorrow...

2Kings 6:25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

2Kings 7:1 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.

Alright, so I'm not going to even try to repeat the message that I heard today in which God spoke to me, but I will share some of what I got out of the scriptures that were read from and the things that God personally said to me.

First off, the first verse tells us there was a famine in the land. In church today, the visiting Pastor broke this scripture down and talked about what a famine actually is, but my focus isn't so much on that first verse because I know that I've been in a famine. I've been in the desert, in a desolate lonely place for quite some time now. I've felt alone like no one could hear my pleas for help. I've felt like I was just wondering in endless circles.

But God has been with me, of course, yet my eyes have been blocked by the infirmities that this tumor has brought my way to see any light at the end of the tunnel. I've believed in the light, but sometimes my faith has wavered. Sometimes, as the pain overtook my body, it was hard to believe in anything other than the truth of my infliction.

Oh but that second verse...

Thus saith the Lord, tomorrow about this time... the famine will be over. Maybe it's just me, but the hope in that has rejuvenated me and wiped my weary eyes so that I can once again see the light at the end of the tunnel!! Friday night I prayed for God to wrap me in His strength so that I could go on, and today, He did that and even more. He wrapped His strong arms around me and kissed my cheek and whispered His love for me. At first I thought He must have me confused with someone else. Why would the God of Abraham, the Creator, the King of Kings love me? But then I remembered that God doesn't make mistakes. And so for whatever reason, He loves me.

This will end. Thus saith the Lord, about this time tomorrow... This pain will not last forever. The dizziness won't last forever. And while I'm enduring this trial, I have been drawn ever closer to my Father. I can honestly with my whole heart declare that He is my everything. I can honestly say that I love Him more than anything. I can say with complete sincerity that He is my I Am.

On the way home from church, my husband and I were talking about how my relationship with God has definitely changed in the last 17+ months, and so has his. So see, I always said that "this" was not just about me, and I don't believe it is. If my husband has been drawn closer to God because of my trials, then I am humbled and grateful. And I'm not at all proclaiming to be worthy of anything because I am not, but I don't believe that it will stop there. I believe that God will take what looks like such a hopeless situation, what seems unbearable at times, and use it to shine His glory on the lives of others. And that makes all this worth it!

I don't know why He picked me, but I am so incredibly honored! I told Martin on the way home today that sometimes I think He must have me mistaken for someone else. I mean, me??? Ugh! I wouldn't even pick me! I have ALWAYS been the last kid picked. But even if I haven't always believed in myself, God looked at me with a smile and saw something that no one else could. The headaches still hurt. My desk is still littered with thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. But He never promised that this would be easy. In fact, He said to pick up our crosses to follow him. That doesn't sound very easy to me.

But oh that light at the end of the tunnel... I haven't gotten there yet, but the glimpse that I've gotten is the most beautiful thing that my eyes have ever landed on.

God, I trust in you with my whole heart. Thank you for listening to my breaking heart. Thanks for seeing my brokenness. I feel like just a pile of rubble now, but I can feel Your hands sifting through and picking up the broken pieces of my heart and soul to put them together again. You are so worthy, Lord! I don't matter for a minute, and yet still You'd take the time to listen to me and to heal my hurting soul. And You chose to do this because You are my Father and I am Your child and Your love for me is beyond my understanding. So thank you. Thank you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let me tell you how I REALLY feel...

I want so badly to say something positive and upbeat and TRUE. I want to say that I'm dancing in the rain or blowing bubbles with my kids or anything besides having a dumb ol' headache. )-: Pretty bad right now... Martin called off Bible Study tonight. I HATE that. I look forward to Bible Study all week.

Like, I sort of feel like David must have felt when he was on the run and hiding in those caves. I don't doubt in my God. I still believe that He is a healer and a deliver. Heck, just today I prayed for His healing and comfort to fall on a girl I've never met in the middle of Lowe's. I can honestly say that I trust Him. I don't have any idea what He is doing with me, but I still believe in Him. What I'm worried about is ME.

Oh God, hear my cries! Is this pain forever? Do I just need to quit fighting it and learn how to live with the headaches and dizziness?

Here is something true: "Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy."

I know that He is with me. I know that He hasn't forgotten me. I still repeat the beautiful words of Psalms 23 every single day. He is my shepard. He did not create me to live in anything but peace and stillness. He leadeth me. He guides me. And yet believing that He's here with me doesn't make the pain any less intense. Knowing that He's here holding my hand through this doesn't make it any easier. I'm still walking through that "valley of the shadow of death". The only difference is, that I don't have to fear evil. But there is no where in that beautiful Psalm that says, "You will feel no pain and endure no hardships." And THAT's what's hard.

God, I believe that your grace is sufficient. Let me wrap myself in your grace and wear it like a cloak. Grant me the grace to get through this, Lord. I don't want to be down. When others see me, I want the joy that you have given me to shine through my pain. God, obviously this is what you've orchastrated for me, and I will walk through FIRE if you want me too, but I just need help holding my head up high. I just need you to wipe the tears from my eyes and reassure me that WE will make it through this...