Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Health Update

My Dear Friends,

It's been a while since the last update and many of you have been asking how I've been. I am grateful you are thinking about me. Thank You! :)

Physically, I am stronger, trimmer, and have greater endurance. My lifestyle change has been steady with the dramatic overhaul in my dietary choices and regular physical exercise. Emotionally, I am amazed at the peace in which I continue to walk. Overall, I am much healthier now than prior to the diagnosis of cancer! Thank You, Jesus!!!

There has been some confusion regarding the surgeries that are coming up. I am scheduled for the next phase of reconstruction on July 15th in which the surgeon will remove the expander from my right side and replace it with a permanent prosthesis. The expander is kind of like a framed balloon filled with a saline solution, which is used to stretch out the chest muscle and surrounding tissue in order to create a pocket for the permanent implant. The surgeon will also place a new expander in my left side. Remember, that nasty infection I developed in the left side? The original expander had to be removed due to that infection and had not been replaced.

After the surgery, each week, the left expander will be injected with 60cc of saline solution until it matches the right side. After the expansion, then the area must "rest" as the pocket forms on the left. This takes about three months. The final surgery to place the permanent prosthesis will be sometime in November or December.

This year has been full of tests, procedures, surgeries, diagnoses, and decisions, but through it all, Jesus has been there guiding and leading! I will continue to praise my Good Shepherd!!!!

Prayer Requests:

That my oncologist would not be offended by my personal choice to not pursue traditional adjunctive therapy. "Adjunctive therapy refers to any treatment that is used in conjunction with another to increase the chance of cure, or to increase the first treatment's efficacy. In other words, adjunctive therapy acts as an aid to the primary treatment." (from About.com).

I still need more practice in managing my new diet. I am finding it difficult to eat all the food that has been recommended. I just never ate that huge volume of food previously.

That the Lord would give me creative ways to prepare the fish I eat. Eating the same thing day after day gets boring.

No more infections!!!!!!!

Resolution of the GERD (gastro esophegeal reflux disease) symptoms I have been experiencing. That Jesus would reveal what is aggravating this problem. When I stopped drinking coffee, I started drinking peppermint tea, which unknown to me relaxes the muscle at the top of the stomach, allowing the stomach acid to backflow up into the esophagus. This irritates the esophageal lining and causes a feeling of burning or fullness. I stopped the tea weeks ago, but still continue to have bouts of discomfort.

I honestly believe that the attack of cancer is minor compared with the Goliath God truly wants to slay in me. That Goliath is the fear of man. It reared its ugly head last week when the oncologist's secretary wouldn't schedule an appointment with me until she spoke with the doctor. It sounds ridiculous now, but that really upset my peace at the time. Being part of the medical community for ~27 years has shown me that it is not forgiving of people who don't follow physician's advice without question. It is not my intent to be "non compliant." It is my intent to obey Jesus!!!

I am scheduled for blood word after my next menstrual cycle. The oncologist wants to monitor the level of estrogen in my blood. He continues to recommend surgical removal of my ovaries, but I am not feeling the Lord leading in that direction. The oncologist does not recognize the sweeping changes in my lifestyle as therapy.

Praise Reports:

The grace God has been pouring out in me in order to change my lifestyle.

The peace in which I am eveloped.

That He meets all of our financial needs.

Even though my peace was attacked last week, I recovered it quickly be reminding myself of what God told me last Christmas prior to the diagnosis, "Do not trust in the horses and chariots of men. Trust in me."

How my friends protect me and are concerned about my well being.

I am planning to participate in a 5k race the end of September. My goal is to finish, not place.

For the gift of physicians/surgeons. They are the hand of God expressed whether they realize it or not.

For technology. Attached are some still shots of my recent PET scan. Be blessed to witness the glory of God through His creation!

Thank you all again for your continued concern and care! I love and appreciate all of you!!!

With Much Love Always...

Beautiful Grace :)

P.S. Some of you have asked about the specifics of my dietary changes, and I have been happy to share in detail. However, I do want to make it clear that I am not saying that all breast cancer should be treated in the way that I have chosen. Having a personal relationship with God means that He leads us personally. The way He leads me is different then the way He leads others. We are all unique and don't have "cookie cutter" destinies. Seek the Lord, listen to His direction, and then follow it.

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