Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mountain Removal: "The Death Angel has Passed Over, Celebrate!"

Dear Persevering and Anointed Friends,

Yesterday, two specialists gave their opinions regarding my current "trial."

During the first appointment, the plastic surgeon looked at my left graft site and declared quietly, that it was dead, and I would lose it. Last Wednesday, my breast surgeon apologized several times, saying that she was sorry, but that the tissue was dead and will be lost. By all medical accounts, this tissue is dead. The medical term for dead tissue is termed necrosis. Necrotic tissue is black, hard, immovable...lifeless. As a nurse, looking at the tissue with physical eyes, I agree with their assessment, BUT I have been declaring life over this dead tissue. If Jesus can raise a dead man (Lazarus), why can't He bring life to a little bit of dead tissue?

Since last week, I have seen this dead tissue puff back up, and am now even seeing pink, healthy tissue at its base and up the side. Yes, God still needs to bring this dead tissue life, but I am seeing the first fruits of declaring life!!!! Praise be to my Beautiful Friend!!!!

Hebrews 11:1 (New King James Version)

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

During the second appointment, the oncologist interpreted the pathology reports on the tissue taken from the left breast in detail. Apparently, the previously unknown cancer is fed by my own estrogen, progesterone, and HER-2/NEU (a genetic mutation of the human growth hormone). The doctor is questioning the HER-2/NEU positive status, because it is generally not seen in this type of cancer, and dramatically changes the course of his recommended treatment. The cancer tissue has been sent to California for specific testing of its 21 genes, one of which is the HER-2/NEU. 

If, indeed, the tissue is HER-2/NEU positive, then the new biolytic agent known as Herceptin will be prescribed. After sharing my research on this drug with Strongman, his response was, "Yea, real nice stuff. Sounds like something I would give to off someone." (See link for information on why Strongman said this).

Out of curiosity, the doctor asked how I came to decide to have the left breast removed. I repeated to him, what I typed above and also, said I was not at peace with the Tamoxifen treatment. His respectful reply, "That's not logical." I quietly replied, "Faith isn't always logical." I think this shook him a little, because He whole-heartedly believes I need to take Tamoxifen (See link for information on why I am uncomfortable with this).

Chemotherapy...the cancer they found was 6 mm (very tiny), but invasive in that it had broken through the milk duct into the surrounding tissue where it could have had contact with my bloodstream, possibly sending rogue cancer cells any where else in my body. Chemotherapy is generally not recommended is for cancer 6 mm or less, the HER-2/NEU status will play an important part in the doctor's recommendation for or against chemotherapy.

The "incidental" finding of cancer in this tissue, was definitely a God-ordained act. It was God who gave me peace to go with the bilateral mastectomy. I listened to the doctors, prayed, and had MANY praying for me, and came to a decision based on peace. We all know why God led the way to the double mastectomy; to remove the unknown cancer and to make His glory to be made manifest through me.

Obviously, please pray that the staining test (a very subjective test) used to determine the original HER-2/NEU status was inaccurate and that on the genetic level (more precise) the Her 2 status would be NEGATIVE.

Wouldn't it be awesome if the California genetic pathologists would determine that the cells are actually benign? The mucinous cell can either be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). If my oncologist questions the validity of the HER-2/NEU positive status, why not let's find out that the actual cancer diagnosis is incorrect. Let's pray it into reality!!!

Continue to declare life from death for the tissue in question the left side, I am seeing life return!!! Praise the Lord Who holds me in the palm of His hand!!!!

Wisdom and continued peace. Also, for God to make each step and responsibility of my healing apparent. I want Him to make all decisions regarding my whole life, not only this small part of it!!! My desire is to co-operate with Him, not blindly live my life by human wisdom.

I had a rough night of intense chest muscle spasms Sunday night into Monday. I was feeling so good on Sunday, that I only took one muscle spasm pill instead of the normal four. The med I am on should be weaned off slowly, not cold turkey, and as a nurse I should have know better. :( On Monday, I was drained, tired, and very sore from the previous night, which affected me emotionally.

The best part...PRAISES!!!!!

My dear and true friend Patti B. prayed for me on Monday as I shared my heart and my physical pain with her. She declared life and healing. And even after viewing the dead tissue (she's a nurse too), refused to believe in what she saw physically and continued to stand with me for life from death. How much better a friend can a person have? :)

Since Monday, the pink tissue is increasing and is overtaking the necrotic tissue...yea, Life overcomes death!!!!

I am thoroughly enjoying home schooling my Fire (who sets a warrior example for me) without the pressure to get done before leaving for work. Sorry, PPI friends; I do Love you though!!!!

I am worshipping Jesus freely with my whole body; I have no limitations and complete range of motion, which continues to surprise every doctor I see.
The Lord has continued to open up doors for me in order to encourage others going through similar circumstances. I even have made contact with a lovely lady from Florida who just had brain surgery. Many of you may not know that I had brain surgery 23 years ago. That particular trial and how God guided me through is still encouraging people 23 years later. PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE!!!

Yesterday, I received an email from Chuck Pierce regarding Passover and the statement, "Passing over into a season of Triumph!" Immediately I heard, "The Death Angel has passed over you. Celebrate!" I proceeded to call my friend Lori N. and ask if we could celebrate the Passover Feast with her family in April. Lori said, "Yes!" :)

Last night, I slept in my bed for the first time since my surgery, freely moving on my back and from side to side without one single chest muscle spasm. YES!!!!

I continued to be overwhelmed (in a good way) by the Love, support (emotional and physical) and prayers by friends, family, the Body of Christ (through many churches in unity) and people from my community and the world (through my Internet connections).

I marvel at how God takes a difficult situation and uses it to propel us into our destiny. For months preceding the diagnosis, I prayed for God to stir up my heart's embers of passion for Him and for His people again. He answered my prayer. Oh, how I Love Your ways, Abba!!!!

I praise God for discovering like-minded, passionate lovers of Jesus through this trial by fire. I am blessed by you!!! (Elise J.)

For those of you who read these updates with struggles of your own, please be encouraged! There is a God Who cares about everything that hurts you. He desires for you to open Your heart to His great Love for you. I am a living testimony to what His Love can accomplish!!! I will be forever grateful...Thank You, Jesus!

With Much Love ALWAYS...

Beautiful Grace :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mountain Removal: Glass Half Full?

Dear Precious and Appreciated Friends,

Do you live your life seeing it as a glass half empty or do you live as though the glass of live is half full? This was the conversation I had with the women employed by my plastic surgeon on Wednesday. One of the women remarked, "You have a really good attitude about all of this." I responded, "I try to look at life as a glass half full with the help of Jesus." Little did I know, testing of my half full statement was soon to begin.

The next stop was my postoperative visit to my breast surgeon. She asked me to raise my arms above my head, which I did, and then I went through all possible range of motions with my arms/shoulders to which she responded with surprised eyes, "Amazing!" Remember, post bilateral mastectomy patients should not be able to regain full range of motion for weeks to months after the procedure. I did have a little help from my Friend, though! :) Thank You, Jesus!!!! I praise and honor You for how You care for me!!!!

The surgeon then proceeded to explain the pathology report from the surgery. As expected, cancer was found in the right breast, but ONLY in the area identified by the biopsy with No lymph node involvement!!! Thank You, my Beautiful Friend!!!

Then she began to explain the findings of the left breast pathology report. Remember, having the left breast removed was a prophylactic (elective) procedure due to the chance of cancer forming at a later date and my choice of not undergoing Tamoxifen therapy. An "incidental" finding was invasive mucinous carcinoma (extremely rare cancer) on that side as well. Since this cancer was not expected, no sentinel node test had been performed so the extent of metastasis (spread) is undetermined. The pathologist was unwilling to definitively document a "clean margin," meaning confirming the cancer was not close to the healthy tissue line. The surgeon read my face as she revisited the idea of Tamoxifen therapy as well as possible chemotherapy and now the need to see an oncologist. Friends, I will be honest, my awesome peace was attacked in that moment. The surgeon then pointed her finger toward Heaven and said, "Apparently, there is Someone looking out for you."

As the surgeon left the exam room, I began to get dressed, and with tears in my eyes, I said to Strongman, "I'm not leaving this room until I get my peace back!" I began to thank Jesus, my Friend, for the fact that the cancer was already removed, and thanking Him for granting me supernatural peace throughout this "ordeal." I felt Him minister to my emotions as I reported to the desk to make more appointments.

Strongman and I then went to the mall for lunch. While using the ladies' room, the Lord reminded me of the earlier conversation with the women at the plastic surgeon's office. Glass half full? I thought to myself. Then God broke in saying, "Not a glass half full; you are a cup running over." Thank You, Jesus, for Your encouragement at just the perfect time!!!! I Love You!!!!!!

Psalm 23:5 (Amplified Bible)

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with [a]oil; my [brimming] cup runs over."

Please pray:

· ... that I would maintain supernatural peace, enabling me to continue to hear His voice directing my path, and also, so that I can continue to be a witness to others during this "trial."

· I know many of you on this list are prophetically gifted!!! PLEASE as you intercede on my behalf, if you hear the Lord's direction as to my next step, share it with me. I believe I am "mature" enough in the Lord to discern His voice through others, but I desire confirmations as to what I already feel in my heart. :)

· Continue to pray against infection, especially for the left graft site.

· Nights can be difficult. I still cannot sleep in a "normal" recumbent (laying flat) position. In addition, I still at times have some, let's say, intense chest muscle cramping at night.

· Genetic testing is highly being recommended. I am wary about genetic testing because although the HIPAA law protects my results, if I would be BRCA positive, then my sons would also "need" testing. If they would be positive, they would be ineligible for health or life insurance. Did you know that men also could develop breast cancer?

· BRCA positive women also have a 47% chance of developing ovarian cancer.

In spiritual circles, there has been the phrase coined, "You're going on a demon hunt." I do not want to fall into that trap. My desire to see Jesus, in all of His glory, and then live with His glory emanating from me. All of this other "stuff" is a distraction, and I am sick of it!!! Fear will NOT stop me from speaking about my Beautiful One!!!! Fear will NOT pressure me into treatments and tests. Only the Spirit of the Living God will lead me!!!

No longer will I live looking at life, positively, as a glass half full! I will live my life as God has spoken, as a cup running over!!! I would encourage all of you to do the same!!!! As Christians, our destiny is to be running over with the power, the Presence, and Love of the One True, Living God!!!!! AND our call is to "run over" onto all we meet!!!!

I Love you ALL in Jesus!!!

With Much Love ALWAYS...

Beautiful Grace :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mountain Removal: Time for a praise update!!!

Dear Friends,

Have you ever felt so grateful and super-loved by Jesus that you have to "force" yourself not to be so overzealous as to not be obnoxious? Well, I have felt that way, especially the last several days!!!

My surgery was Thursday, February 3rd at 7:30 am. One lymph node was removed under my right axilla (armpit), which was determined to be cancer free. Yea, Jesus! I was discharged from the hospital Friday the 4th, feeling fantastic and already was having abnormally (supernaturally) fantastic range of motion in my arms and shoulders!!! By Saturday, though I started becoming lethargic, by Sunday I was not able to keep food or fluids down. I was readmitted to the hospital for emergency IV fluids as my blood pressure was quite low. Low enough that I warned the girl wheeling me to my room that I felt that I could have a seizure. :(

It was determined that narcotic pain relievers and I don't get along very well. No drug addiction future in store for this girl!! I was discharged Monday after I proved I could keep down two meals. Without the narcotics, I became a "new" woman!!!

The type of surgery I underwent is kind of new for the US (my breast surgeon told me I was her first attempt), France has being doing it for years. It's called a skin sparing procedure. Basically, my outside will be roughly the same (less some battle scars, which Fire thinks is cool), but my inside tissue was scooped out. The danger with that type of procedure is that the "skin" may not have enough blood supply to live. I was told the skin had a 30% chance of dying. On Tuesday the 8th, I noticed some blackening on my left side, which of course indicates tissue death. I called my plastic surgeon and saw him first thing on Wednesday the 9th. He admitted that, yes, some of the outer layers of skin will slough off, BUT the tissue underneath is healthy. Again, Praise Jesus!!!! He was so pleased with my progress that he removed the two JP drains, which really helped in improving my previously "alien-like" appearance!

I missed the call from my breast surgeon on Friday, who was going to give me the pathology results of the tissue removed from the surgery. :( The reason I missed her call was that I didn't hear the phone ring. I was worshipping with loud music, dancing with Jesus like I never even had surgery !!! This is the miraculous praise of this e-mail. It is medically not possible to have regained full range of motion that quickly after a double mastectomy. Can you understand now why the zeal and passion I feel for Jesus has been uncontained?

The doctor left a message saying she would call me over the weekend or on Monday, so I'll fill you in when I get the report. (I know it will be a good one!)

My discomfort is being controlled by alternating Tylenol and ibuprofen. I am down to 1/4 of the normal dose twice a day of Valium to control the chest spasms. The reconstructive process is kind of rough on the chest muscles as a foreign object is shoved underneath them.

I specifically want to honor my husband as he helped me with everything I needed in the beginning from sweeping the floor to seeing that I was eating and drinking to sleeping the floor next to the couch in case I needed him during the night to give me my meds, empty my drains and help me walk to the bathroom. He's bathed me, prayed for me, always tells me I'm beautiful and loves me unconditionally. I knew there was some reason I married the guy! :)

My sons were right by my side holding my hand during my drugged out on narcotics episode. Children are a gift from God!!!

A special thank you, to my "Baby Bro," who stayed with Strongman during the surgery (thanks Lovely Sissy Simply Beautiful for sharing him with us). Also, a huge thank you to Pastor B. who was with me after the recovery room. She held my hand and prayed for me. I will forever be grateful!!! I am told that as I awoke, I talked even more than usual!!! Apparently, I talked about Jesus and then gave a psychological analysis of Romeo (from Shakespeare's, Romeo and Juliet). The problem was that Tony said it got a little obnoxious after repeating myself five times. OOPS, SORRY!!! The next morning my night shift nurse told me she never had anyone give her a literature lecture after awaking from anesthesia. :)

I want to thank you all for praying, speaking words of life, feeding my family, Loving and just plain old caring about me and my family. At times, I have cried uncontrollably (thank you, iBeJulio's Momma) at the overwhelming Love I have been receiving from you all, and at other times, I have laughed uncontrollably due to the overflow of blessings received!!! Sometimes I laughed and cried simultaneously! ;)

Best of all, Jesus, My Knight with Eyes of Flaming Fire, has revealed Himself to me in even deeper ways (physically and supernaturally). There is no doubt in my heart that I am His beloved and He is mine!!!!

Because you prayed and supported me, I have walked this "trial" out in supernatural Peace, which has allowed me to touch others for Jesus! You may have prayed for one, but this one's impact on others can only be determined by Heaven, you ALL have a part in that reward!!! I have numerous God stories to share, but then this already lengthy e-mail would morph into a novel. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

With Much Love ALWAYS...

Beautiful Grace :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dear, Faithful Friends,

I am not able to do stairs at the moment, but my sweet Strongman has set up a temporary computer system here in my living room. I didn't have all the email addresses, so I hadn't sent out a mass update, but Tony just uploaded my addresses, so here it goes.

In one word...JESUS!!! Surgery went fantastic, the graft appears healthy (yea), the range of motion in my arms is weeks ahead of schedule (can't wait to start dancing again), and I was discharged on Friday morning. The only bump in the road was on Sunday, I started becoming nauseated and lethargic and eventually couldn't keep anything down. I ended up being readmitted to the hospital for IV fluids. Apparently, my toleration of narcotics is minimal. My BP was dangerously low. I told the girl wheeling me to my room to watch me for signs of seizure activity, because I felt as though one was very close.

I was discharged yesterday afternoon after I proved I could eat and keep it down. I am managing my pain on mostly Tylenol and less than half of the narcotics. Still need the Valium at 1/2 to 1/4 of the dose to manage the muscle cramps, but really I am doing well!!!

BUT enough of me. I was able to pray for my night shift nurse who was having pain in her knee d/t degeneration. She cried because I prayed. My surgeon walked in on me as I was worshiping (with headsets on) my hands raised to Jesus. :) I've told so many people how Jesus has given me peace through out this ordeal. I could go on and on and on. Satan meant to shut me up, BUT my mouth is speaking more and more for Jesus, so he (the evil one) might as well give up!!!! :)

The immediate prayer request is for the left graft site. It appears to be becoming necrotic (dying). Please speak life over it. Necrosis can spread and cause infection, and I won't have it in Jesus' name. I WILL NOT REMAIN SILENT!!!

Today I received a blessing that made me cry uncontrollably. When Jesus heart is manifested through His people, I can't help but to weep. I feel so loved, more love that can be contained, that it has to overflow my eyes!!! Jesus, You are beautiful through Your people. Thank you, Beautiful iBeJulio's Momma! I Love you and I Love your family!

Another one of my faithful praying friends, "Pure-Hearted Intercessor", gave me the most wonderful gift today. As she was interceding for me, she opened her eyes to find a white feather on her left knee. For those of you who know me intimately, you know Jesus gives me feathers as a sign of His Love and protection. My friend will be presenting the feather to me as a beautiful gift from my Jesus.

How is it possible that one woman can be so blessed? Only by Jesus!!!!

I will not trust in the horses and chariots of men, but I will trust in my God, Who covers me with His wings and hides me in His shadow. A lovely place to be...ALWAYS!!!!

Thank you for praying, standing and loving me!!!

With Much Love ALWAYS...

Beautiful Grace