Thursday, April 8, 2010

There's Always "HOPE"

Several years ago a friend of mine came to me and said she had this great idea for us...that great idea was to do a Half-Marathon. Now at that time in my life I wasn't doing a lot of exercising...I did enjoy walking though. So the silly person that I was said, "I am all for it....sounds like fun." Little did I know. It was a lot of fun, it was also a very good learning experience. I had only walked four times prior to the event. need a little more training than that to do a half marathon. When it was all over...I felt like I had been on a horse for a week...every part of my body was sore. Even parts I didn't know I had. That was in Feb. 2008, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We had the best time and laugh a lot about it now....especially the story of trying to keep up with the 84 yr. old who could hardly move...but eventually we were able to pass him. Since that marathon I have completed a total of 3 and am signed up to do a 4th in September 2010, in Virginia Beach.

It was my second marathon that I would like to share about. This was in September 2008, in Virginia Beach. This time Debbie convinced all her children to do the marathon with us. She has 3 kids. Christin, who was in college at the time, Hope, also in college, and Kenyon, a cross country runner in high school.

Christin and Kenyon's plan was to run the half marathon together. Keeping at a 10 minute mile. At the 10 mile marker Christin was going to "release" Kenyon to do the last 3.1 miles by himself. Hope was going to walk a mile and run 2 miles, while Debbie and I were going to primarily walk and every now and again do a short sprint.

Sounded like a great plan to me. Except when Kenyon and Christin got to the 9 mile marker...Christin told Kenyon that unless she slowed her pace down she wouldn't be able to finish the race, therefore he needed to just go on at his own pace with out her, which is what he did. They both came in within there original goal time.

Hope was a different story. To give you a little background on Hope. She had severely broken her ankle several years earlier playing high school basketball. She realized during training for this marathon that her ankle could give her some problems, but she didn't think it would be too difficult. At the 9 mile marker...she passed by my family and they noticed she was walking and limping...she looked over at my family and asked that they call her Dad and to tell him to be waiting at the finish line with some ice, you see Hope could no longer feel her had become so swollen. As Debbie and I passed my family, we were not far behind Hope, they filled us in on how everyone was doing. Debbie got concerned about see, Debbie had encouraged Hope to walk with us...but Hope thought we would be too slow and didn't want to do that. So as we passed Debbie's husband...we asked how Hope was and he said she was still going and refused to stop. When Hope had reached her Dad about the 11 Mile Marker, he had encouraged her to stop, telling her that she may be doing permanent damage to her ankle, since she could no longer feel it. Hope's response to her Dad is the whole point of my story and still today, as I think of what she said, I realize that we should never give up or quit, because we don't know how close we are to that finish line. Hope looked at her Dad and said, "I didn't come this far to quit. I only have 2 more miles and I am going to finish this race." And she did. Through the pain...she continued to limp on until she saw that finish line and when Debbie and I completed our race...only 5 minutes behind Hope...we found her sitting on the side waiting for ice. Hope didn't give up...she didn't quit. How many of us do that when the going gets tough? If only we would hang in there and keep going until we complete the race. God never said it would be easy, but He did say we need to persevere and finish the Race!!! You may only be a mile or 2 from the finish line, but if you quit you will never know. Lean on God for your strength...He will never let you down. Keep running the race!!! There is always HOPE!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pink Tip Nails!

Ten years ago I found a lump in my neck...that led me on a 4 month journey...eventually, doctors realized that it was in my left thyroid. A needle biopsy was performed and results came back that all was doctor then gave me two choices...1. to have it biopsied every 6 months or 2. just have it removed. After some praying and counseling...I chose the latter, choice #2. Why...for 3reasons...#1 I thought the needle biopsy was the worst thing I had ever gone through (including having a baby). #2 I thought, what if they missed the spot that was cancerous...I would have to wait for another 6 months before they might find the cancer a chance to spread and #3 If there was something growing in my body that wasn't suppose to be there...I say...just take it out. And so when my doctor called me back I told him that I would feel more comfortable if he just removed the mass and he did! When I returned for my follow-up appointment a week after surgery the first words out of my doctor's mouth were " Well, you made the right decision." see after the pathology reports came back they found that, in fact, the mass was cancerous. Because I had caught it early and it was not a large area they did not recommend any other treatment...for that I was grateful...I say all of that to say this...I was at peace during that entire ordeal...I just trusted God and knew that He was in control and believed that everything would be OK.

But, What do you say to someone who says to you, "How many times can one person get cancer and not die." Right now in my life, I have 5 very God-fearing women who are in the battle!

#1. Heidi- was told on Wednesday (3/31) that for the 4th time...she probably has cancer. This is a woman who loves God with all of her heart...not just talks it out...but walks it out...went through an unbelievably difficult surgery and recovery a year ago and is still trying to recover from that episode...only to have had another procedure yesterday to determine if she now has breast cancer. When she asked me that question...I looked at her and with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I said. "As many times as God wants you to." God can do anything...we just have to believe and stand on His Word. Our healing comes from Him!!! We can't give in or give up...we have to keep fighting the battle...Heidi is married with two young daughters.

#2. Christie- Six weeks ago had a hysterectomy...only to find out after the surgery that she has cancer...8 months prior to this she was diagnosed with TSS and became critically ill...praise the Lord she survived. She has an incredible faith and trust in God. Heidi has been a great inspiration to her. Christie is married with two children, as well.

#3. Cathi- She was her sister's main Care Giver. Her sister passed away about a 1 1/2ago from cancer. It was very difficult on the Cathi and her family...they were very wasn't long after the death of Cathi's sister that Cathi herself found out, she too, had cancer. The same cancer that eventually took the life of actress...Farrah Fawcette. Cathi is an amazingly strong woman. She loves the Lord with all of her heart and soul and praises Him through the storm. Cathi and I attend the same church and it does my heart good when I see her in the Choir singing. She is married with two daughters and just recently began Chemo again.

#4 Lynn- My best friend in high school emailed me a week ago to tell me that she was diagnosed with brain tumors and had spots in other areas as well. She is taking things one day at a time...currently, she is having radiation treatments 5 days a week. She believes all things happen for a reason and is in good spirits. She is married with two sons.

#5 Janice- Janice was diagnosed many years ago with what they thought was cervical cancer , they did surgery and chemo...recent;y she was back at the doctor with another surgery and chemo. She is in recovery. Janice is my Mentor... She is a Rock!!! I don't know what I would do without her. She and her husband John are very dear friends of ours and I know that anytime I am I need..I can always call her. She is filled with the wisdom of God!!!

I believe God is the ultimate physician and can do anything at anytime in any place. Why these women...Why Not? God has used these women in a mighty way, not only to Glorify Him, but to be an inspiration to others in His Name. Without Tests we have no Testimony...nor can our faith increase.

These women give us HOPE!. Hope to know that if they can do it , so can we!!!

Why Pink Tip Nails...When I found out about Heidi's battle last year the Lord prompted me to have my nails done and to have only the tips pink for her and all the women who are battling cancer...when she was in remission I could go back to any color. When I found out the other day that she was back in the battle I went and
had my nails done and had the pink tips done again. So this for for these 5 beautiful women and all those women battling cancer.

As God prompts you, I would ask that you lift these women up to the Lord and all those battling cancer. God can do anything and I know that He has these women in the palm of His Hands!!!

Thank You!