Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Keeping track.....

You have kept count of my sorrows,
put my tears in your bottle.  Psalm 56:8

These past nine months have seen lots of tears fall, prayers offered and answered and a family closing several chapters and beginning new ones.

Bear with me.......I print my blog by year and so it serves as a diary of sorts......this may get long.

Thanksgiving of 2013, one of my sisters was a bit nervous because she had been called back after a mammogram.  If you are a woman and reading this, no explanation of that nervous feeling is necessary.  We all thought it would turn out to be nothing.  It didn't.

December 2, Cathy had a biopsy and on December 4 got the news that she indeed had breast cancer that was in a lymph node.  December 12th, she had a PET scan and as a family we held our collective breath and prayed many prayers as we were joined by many asking our Lord that it not be anywhere else in her body.

On December 13, about nine people crowded into the oncologist's little examining room to hear.......GOOD bad NEWS!  Never thought about getting good bad news.  Cathy's cancer had not spread......we laughed and cried.  Although she still had a long, rough battle for her life, her doctors were confident she would come out victorious.  

December 17th, surgery to place a port and the 18th chemo started.  

First treatment.....

Cathy had weekly treatments for eight weeks and knew she would lose her beautiful hair.  I expected the infusion center to be filled with doom and gloom, but instead we found it filled with HOPE!  People encouraging one another as all were on a road no one ever wants to travel.  

After six treatments, she still had hair!  She had it cut and it was coming out, but it was still there!

Then mama had the event that saw us spend eight long and agonizing days by her side.  Cathy had to return to the town where she lives to have chemo, came right back the next day and on February 2, mama died.   Cathy prayed she would keep her hair through the funeral.  She had hair!  She had to return to her home the day after the funeral for another chemo treatment.  

Two grueling rounds of chemo later....step one is over......

June 3rd Cathy had surgery.  The doctors were very pleased at how things looked and were sure that all cancer was gone!  But she still had radiation to complete.  

And it's a wrap!  

Hair coming back and as beautiful as always!

You may remember I said we closed chapterS.....my sister Debbie's mother in law got very sick and died........and six months to the day of mama's funeral, there was another family funeral to attend.  More tears in our big bottle!  

During that time, my California grandchildren came.......that's a whole other post still to come.......my MIL was very ill and in the hospital for a few days and the Superhero's BIL was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Please pray for Johnny!

Since this post is dedicated to my courageous and beautiful sister, here are a few pictures of her along the road.....as she says, she never expected to find joy in a cancer treatment facility, but that's what she found!  

A friend had this blanket made with pictures of Cathy's family and friends......

We give thanks to God for his incredible goodness and mercy!


Needled Mom said...

I doubt that you will receive this note, but I continue to pray for your sister. I will now add a few more names to my requests.

Cathy is beautiful with and without her hair. I'm glad it was a good bad experience for her. What a trying nine months you have all had!

Cathy said...

Thank you for that sweet post.....many days, I did not feel so strong! But you know, with all the prayers, we got thru all the storms! Now we must pray for all the others, especially Johnny! Tonight I was feeling down with all the bad stuff with so many people and with the world! This has reminded me once again to count my blessings!
Oh, and for the record, I could not have made it without you and the rest of my family and friends! Love you!

Joyce said...

Life is full of joy and sorrow. I'm sorry for the losses your family has walked through this year, but so happy to hear your sister is doing well.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

What a time your family has had. I am glad to hear that your sister is doing well and am praying for Johnny.

Tracy said...

What a joy to have a supportive family to get through trying times.

Dee said...

Dear Nancy, a whole year of ups and downs, joy and sorrow, fear and expectation. So much in such a short time.

In 2006 and 2007 when I dealt with Meniere's and its episodes, I said a mantra many times a day that got me through the ordeal: "And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be exceedingly well." I didn't know what well would look like because I'm not in control or "in the driver's seat." But ultimately I found help and all got better. I learned a lot from that experience.

And that's what I find in your story also, the belief that all shall be well and you will find some good in it. Despite death and disease and fear somehow all of you grew through this past year. Life, must be, even more precious now. Peace.

debi said...

That is a tough year and many tears.... praising God for what his has done with Cathy!!!

Can you email me and fill me in on how to print out your blog?

Hugs my friend!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Cancer is terrible and I know the feeling of being told your mammogram showed something and having to have a biopsy I was lucky that mine showed nothing to worry about. I hope Cathy continues to have good health

Debby@Just Breathe said...

A long journey towards hope and I love the good news for Cathy. Sorry to hear about Debbie's Mother in Law and will be praying Johnny. Sending you BIG {{{HUGS}}}

Nonnie said...

Being a survivor myself, I know that feeling when the news comes. My Mom and my brother both endured long and hard ordeals with cancer. I. Hate. Cancer. Too. But I love the spirit in your family despite the troubles, and the blanket is beautiful.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
We have already come.
'twas grace that brought us safe thus far,
And grace will lead us home.
God bless you all.

Sally Crowe said...

I'm so terribly sorry for all that your family has had to endure this past year. I praise God though that your sister is doing well, and will keep Johnny in my prayers. I have another blog friend whose husband has pancreatic cancer, and so far it has grown any, thank the good Lord.

It's strange; this blog world. I had just been looking at blogs from (you know at the top of blogs it says "next blog". I happened on yours and see that my friend Debi is a friend of yours.

God bless.