Monday, March 28, 2011

Mountain Removal: Feeling Great and Going Back to Work!

Dear Caring and Praying Friends,

This morning permission was given for me to return to work on "desk duty," 1/2 shifts for two weeks and return to normal job duties after that! Last week, the infectious disease doctor gave his approval to return to work! Today was my third specialist appointment since the previous e-mail; there is much more great news to report!

Last Wednesday, the breast surgeon informed me that the "tumor" from the left side, which was sent to California for the special genetic testing, had been rejected twice due to "not enough material." Each cell, normal/cancerous, has its own genetic code. What I hear in the statement, "not enough material" is that they couldn't find even one cancer cell to check its genes. Praise God!!! She then told me that my case was presented at a breast conference of breast surgeons and oncologists, because it was so unusual. She said half the oncologists recommended chemotherapy and herceptin, while the other half said it wasn't necessary.

Again, she expressed her recommendation for me to begin Tamoxifen (estrogen hormone blocker) or as an alternative, if I desire, to surgically have my ovaries removed. NOT!!! I feel Peace about not pursuing further treatments and ended up canceling the oncologist's appointment for this week. I am learning alternative ways to curb any "extra estrogen" in my system through diet and exercise, and have learned some shocking things about what I have been eating. My lifestyle requires a "makeover," but I am willing! I will have a "buff body by fifty!" :)


· I am able to go back to work!

· "Not enough material" was found to genetically test!

· 50% of the oncologists agreed with my point of view!

· I continue in perfect Peace in regards to this situation!

· The infection is almost gone. There are two red spots and very slight swelling, but I am still taking antibiotics!

· I have not taken any pain medicine or valium for chest cramps since last week!

· I was able to attend worship service this past Sunday, the 1st time in several weeks! I really missed corporate worship and all the great loving I get from my CCC friends!!!

· The plastic surgeon gave his approval for stretching and light weight training.


· The continued support of ALL of you who care about and Love me. I am the richest woman in the world!!!


· That my transition back to work would be smooth and without undue fatigue.

· That the infection would leave even more quickly.

· That I continue hearing direction from the Holy Spirit regarding my lifestyle. A few days ago, I heard Him say a single food item. Then, I had an impression to check out estrogen levels in that item, which turns out is higher here in the US than other countries. God truly is my Daddy telling me what to do and not to do!

· That I don't become offensive in my attitude towards any of the specialists who are treating me. They truly are only recommending what they have been taught, which factors out God entirely. I like my doctors, even though I don't see eye-to-eye with them at times.

· That this affliction would not rise up a second time!!!

With Much Love ALWAYS...

Beautiful Grace :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mountain Removal: No Soap Operas For Me!!!

Dear Persevering and Praying Friends,

Right now, I'm feeling like an unwitting star in a medical soap opera, in which I attended no audition. Bam...the part of leading lady dropped in my lap! Yes, it seems that way with the most recent piece of news received yesterday from my plastic surgeon. It turns out that the organism responsible for the infection in my left side is MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), known by the press and most of the public as the "super bug." These bacteria resist most antibiotics and was the reason the incision on the left side never healed. It also is the reason the cellulitis formed, resulting in the need for more surgery to remove the left expander.
I do not desire your pity. I desire a holy compassion to be stirred up in you to pray that this "super bug" is totally, completely, and forever annihilated from my system!!! It was compassion that drove Jesus to heal, and if we are to be like Him, we need that same holy compassion.

Matthew 14:13-15 (New King James Version)
"And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick."

Please pray for the following:

 Obviously, that the MRSA is resolved quickly before it can spread to other areas of my body.

 That my strength returns. I am washed out most of the time, and I'm getting weary of lying around. This is to be expected as my body wars against the infecting organism.

 Wisdom, Wisdom, Wisdom! As a nurse, I knew that an unhealing, draining wound was not a healthy sign, but I kept my nursing knowledge to myself to not make waves. As a patient, I didn't want to tell the doctors what to do, but if I had been taking care of a patient with my symptoms, I would have been on the phone daily asking for intervening orders. I am scheduled for two doctor's appointments tomorrow, one with the breast surgeon for a postoperative check and the other with an infectious disease doctor. Lord, I need to ask wise questions while continuing to be respectful.

 Most of all, please pray for Strongman, Consecrated and Fire. This has been very hard on them, and each of them responds differently to that stress. My desire is that this trial would draw us closer together!

 That our family as individuals and as a whole would be drawn closer to the "One and Only Super God," Who always trumps any "super bug" named on this earth. His name is Higher!!!

Philippians 2:9-11 (New King James Version)
"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

 Please contact me with anything you may be sensing regarding this trial. The Lord speaks in wonderfully varied and mysterious ways. Please don't dismiss what He may want you to speak to me!!!

Many More Praises:

 The plastic surgeon stated the infection looked 90% better than last Wednesday. You might say, well, she was taking antibiotics; of course, it's getting better. In reality, the first antibiotic (Avelox) was completely ineffective for a skin infection. According to the sensitivity report, the MRSA was completely resistant to the second antibiotic (Cipro). Why is it then that I am 90% improved? By One, name alone...JESUS!!!

 Just as the diagnosis of cancer didn't scare me, neither did the diagnosis of MRSA. This, my friends, can only be attributed to God's grace poured out on me. Faith is not always rational, and HE GETS ALL THE GLORY!!!!

 I haven't been physically dancing in worship lately, but as I listen to worship music while going to sleep at night in my "holy imagination" I am dancing away with Jesus. He's the best Dance Partner!!!

 I had a visit today from the "Merry Maids" who showed up to clean my house and fold laundry! What fantastic friends with which I am blessed! I Love you ladies!!! Your hearts' shine Jesus through your actions.

 I received a prophetic word from a young girl through her daddy, and it brought me to tears. After simply explaining to his girls the trial I am walking through, this young girl added, "she's like Job ... 'blessed be the name of the Lord' she praises Him through it all." "Then she basically added 'neat' what God did for Job after the trial was over." I want to hug you Sweetheart, can you ask your mom and dad if you can visit me?

 I praise God that my friends are not like Job's friends. I have received so much Love and support that at times a "good overwhelm" consumes me and that all gets given back to God in gratitude.

 For my "Spiritual Advisor" whom I call for guidance and prayer. Her prayers are so powerful that sometimes I feel as though I will "blow up" in the Spirit! Thank you, Sweet Lady! I Love and appreciate you!!!

 For no pain medicine needed except at night and am weaning off the Valium for chest cramps, as pain and cramping have not been a problem since the JP drain has been removed!!!

 Most of all for my Jesus, who constantly keeps me held close no matter if I feel weak, being carried by His strong arms or if I feel strong, dancing aside of Him as His Bride. I couldn't be more blessed!!!

There are people all around us who are hurting physically, emotionally and spiritually. Lord, stir up our compassion, the same compassion that moved Jesus to heal, let that healing flow through us!!! In the Sweet and Powerful name of Jesus!!! AMEN

With Much Love and Appreciation,
Beautiful Grace :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mountain Removal: Beautiful Heart, Chosen One

Precious Friends,

Wednesday's surgery went well. The expander was removed, the incision was cleaned up, and a sample of the fluid was extracted in order to determine the infecting organism. This hospitalization was one of great favor and blessing for me!

On Wednesday into Thursday, I didn't get much sleep because of all the vital signs which needed assessed, so instead of actually sleeping, I put on my CD headset and worshipped all night! At some point during the night, I met a nursing assistant, Marcos, from Brazil. He couldn't pronounce my name with his Portuguese accent, but it was awesome the way he said it. Randomly, he told me what my name meant in Portuguese. Bella refers, not to physical beauty, but to a "beautiful heart." He said, "You know, like King David in the Bible?" Then he told me Ann comes from the name Hannah, which means "chosen one." He then referred to Hannah who cried out to God, and He chose her to be the mother of Samuel. For all of you that know me well, you know how I responded. ;)

Multiple Praises:

· I had only slight nausea after the surgery, which quickly resolved.


· My pain is confined to the insertion site of the drain and is being controlled with ibuprofen and talwin; I am NOT sick from the pain relievers, just a little more loopy and tired than normal. :)


· I was able to advise my nightshift nurse, who is currently looking for a church to attend. :)


· I no longer feel sick, and the incision site will be "pretty" once it is healed!!!


· I continue on antibiotics for the infection, which looks better each day!


· I received a card with some money in it. No signed name, no return address. Thank you! What a mysterious blessing!


· My surgeon gave me the ok to start walking as tolerated!


· I have a wonderful friend who did grocery shopping for me, then refused to let me pay her. She then helped chop veggies for supper and fold wash with me as we visited, but the most wonderful gift she gave me was the feather which just appeared on her knee as she interceded for me during the initial surgery. Thank you, Dear, I Love you!!!


· How Jesus takes a stormy situation and gives peace in the midst of it! I Love you, Friend!!!


· A special thanks to P. Thom who encouraged me previous to Wednesday's surgery with the story of how Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law. Thank you for sparking my "holy imagination," which manifested physically as increased strength the next day. Bless you, P. Thom!!!


· The awesome way God created our bodies...I took a sample from my drain (I know, gross), and observed it under our microscope. I identified red blood cells, white blood cells, and even saw what I believe to be the infecting bacteria (I used gloves), which looks like a "spike ball." I took digital pictures and in one shot, I saw two white blood cells surrounding the "spike ball." I'll attach the picture (if you're interested), but your computer may not be able to "read" it.

Prayer Requests:

· No more infections!!!


· That this current infection would be eradicated completely and quickly.


· I want the JP drain out as soon as possible; it hurts!


· I want to go back to work, not only for the income, but I miss my co-workers, and the kids! Right now, I am considered "totally incapacitated." for two weeks. :(


· I haven't received the results of the genetic testing yet, and when I do, I want God's path for me to be completely apparent!


· Peace and strength for Strongman as he works to provide for our family, while he continues to "nurse" me back to health!

Thank you all for standing with me. I Love to witness the Body of Christ rising up as one and feel honored to be a part of a Bride, whose eyes are fixed on Her Beloved and then responds with His heart!!!

Which Much Love and Appreciation ALWAYS,

Beautiful Grace

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mountain Removal: Surgery


Surgery scheduled for today at ~ 1:00 pm. Thank you for any prayers you offer on my behalf.
Love you ALL!

Beautiful Grace

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I went out of the house for the first time since my infection began on Monday,
not counting doctors' appointments.
My heart was overwhelmed to see this beautiful little flower.
My heart heard, "The winter is past. The flower blooms. Spring is coming."
Jesus, gave me this flower! ♥

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When Circumstances Knock Us Down, We Will Get Back Up in the Power of Jesus!

Dear Friends,

The beginning of this week was rough for me. Starting Monday night at 7 pm until 1 am Tuesday morning, I had severe chills and nausea. Tony piled comforters on me, but I didn't actually warm up until 4 am. Tuesday morning my temperature spiked to 102 F combined with severe weakness, body muscle aches, and nausea. I'd like to say I was brave about the whole thing, but I was so weak at one point that I couldn't even get off the recliner, and I cried like a baby. The family practice physician's assistant was sure cellulitis (infection in the fluid between the cells in the body) had begun on my left side. He started me on antibiotics and told me if I was not improved by Friday that I would need to be hospitalized. I saw the plastic surgeon yesterday and he concurred with the original diagnosis and treatment.

Both medical practitioners, multiple friends, and family have advised me to take it easy and rest. Rest seems to be the place where God is calling us, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I really didn't feel I was overdoing it. Actually, I had been feeling great.

Many Praises for Jesus:

· The infection stirred up those nasty chest spasms on the left side, BUT last night I slept in bed spasm free the whole night! :)

· My fever has resolved. I have returned to my "normal" subnormal body temperature. My strength is returning. Yay, Jesus!

· On Tuesday, I literally was a wreck, emotionally and physically. I wept and cried out for Jesus. Peace flooded my soul as I worshipped Jesus in my sickness. Jesus, You are my Best Friend!!!

· I praise God for my Fire, who literally completed his school work while tending to me. I Love you, Fire!

· I am thankful for Pastor B. who prayed for me over the phone. You are a blessing to many, Pastor B.!

· For Hillside's faithful prayer chain organizer, Barbara L. who called the prayer warriors together to pray on my behalf.

· Out of concern, my friend, Faithful Intercessor, called to check on me. Dear, you consider others before yourself. You have the heart of Jesus!

· I am thankful my parents were available to drive me to my Tuesday doctor's appointment (Strongman was working close to Maryland). I Love you Mom and Dad!

· Early Tuesday morning, I couldn't take laying flat in bed any longer, so I got up to sleep on the recliner. My faithful husband insisted on sleeping next to me, just in case I needed him. Strongman, you truly show me Love in times better and worse! I do Love you!

· The left side incision becomes more shallow every day!

· I was approved for desk work at my place of employment on Tuesday!

· For ALL who continue to pray for and encourage me. You are gifts from God!!!

· I was free from nausea all day today and actually was hungry for lunch!

Continued Prayer:

· Complete eradication of the left breast infection

· Complete closure of the incision on the left side without an "overgrowth" of new tissue, which is unhealthy

· That the swelling on my left side would resolve quickly

· That no matter how my physical body feels, all emotions would be directed to the only One Who can help me

· That the Holy Spirit would teach me how to rest physically, emotionally and spiritually, no matter the circumstances surrounding me

· For continued guidance on all decisions and treatment options laid before me

· I will trust in You, Jesus. I will not trust in the horses and chariots of men. Teach me what that means Lord.

· That I would heal quickly, so I can get back to work.

I've been thinking about my emotional state on Tuesday. At first, I considered myself a wimp (satan's lie). The truth is I am more than a conqueror and a formidable warrior with Jesus on my side. Tears are not a sign of lack of faith, but are as Charles Spurgeon said, "liquid prayer" when directed to Jesus!!!

I appreciate and Love every one of you!!!

Most sincerely in Jesus,

Beautiful Grace 

Thought for today:

Lucy: "I knew it was You, the whole time. I knew it, but the others didn't believe me."

Aslan: "And why would that stop you from coming to Me?"
(From the Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian)

Does the unbelief of others ever stop us from "Coming to Jesus?"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mountain Removal: Following the Prince of Peace

Dear Friends,

The shell of necrotic tissue has fallen off, and the remaining tissue under it is pink and healthy! It reminds me of how in the purification process of gold, the dross or the (dead) worthless stuff comes to the surface of the gold to be skimmed. The necrotic tissue is the dross being skimmed off of my body to reveal the healthy tissue.

I continue to pray for the area, against infection. At this point the incision is still very nasty looking. In the physical, the scarring on the left will be much more significant than the right side, BUT my Jesus can take care of that too!!! I think it was Rick Joyner's book, The Call, where he describes the warriors who were scarred from the battle. In his vision/dream he watched God's glory pouring out like brilliant gold from those scars making them marks of honor!!!! My son, Christian, has a warrior spirit. He sets a fine example for me to follow, and he thinks the scars are cool, because of its warrior significance!!!

I saw the plastic surgeon on Wednesday, and he approved for me to return to work on "desk duty" and half shifts! Yay, Jesus!!! The doctor told me if I can tolerate the half shifts, I may increase to full shifts. The sticking point is still the incision on the left side. It definitely is healing, but still needs much more. The right side looks great! Praise, Praise, Praise!!!

Physically, I feel better in some ways than prior to the surgery, as I have begun an exercise program, which is no longer an option in my life. Ladies, do you know that,

"Studies show that exercise reduces breast cancer risk. The only question is how much exercise is needed. One study found that as little as 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2½ hours of brisk walking per week reduced the risk by 18%. Walking 10 hours a week reduced the risk a little more. The American Cancer Society suggests that you exercise for 45 to 60 minutes 5 or more days a week."
I also, am changing my eating habits. Definitely, more fruit and veggies, whole grains and less meat for this gal!!!

Emotionally, I am also doing very well. I had a mild teary episode earlier this week when Tony and I tried to make sense of all the bills pouring into our mailbox, but the Lord quickly soothed me reminding of the beautiful experience I had just about an hour earlier.

Every year a pair of doves nest somewhere near our deck, and that encourages me, because doves symbolize the Holy Spirit. Earlier that morning, I was in my kitchen, praying in the Spirit, prior to my teary episode, and thought I heard a coo. A little later, as I changed the left dressing, I sang..."If our God is for us, then who could stand against us." Loudly and distinctly, I heard three coos! Praise, My God, Who IS for (us) me!!!! God touched me first and then reminded me of that beautiful episode, when I needed it. Praise be to my God Who is the Best Encourager a person could have!!!

I am awaiting the oncotype dx test results, but already feel in my heart what to do next. I must follow peace, because Jesus is the Prince of Peace!!! Whatever treatments are recommended, my heart must be at peace, or I will not agree. So far it is not in my heart to take Tamoxifen, which the oncologist says I need. I have been praying for my Abba Father to make Himself absolutely clear about how to proceed, and I believe my earthly Daddy was his mouth piece when he said, *"Beautiful Grace, Jesus is in your heart. I'd follow my heart." I really Love both of my Daddies!!!! :)

Thank you all again for praying and caring!

With Much Love ALWAYS...

Beautiful Grace:)
PS *Dad used my real name, not my screen name.  :)