Half Full

IMG_5763I am a glass half full kind of person. I can’t help it really. I am blessed with being able to see different sides of a situation and I am naturally drawn to the full side. But sometimes my glass gets tipped over. It throws me off and it takes a bit to get it upright again. It’s like one of those days when gravity always wins and no good deed goes unpunished. There is a line in Psalm 22 that describes it for me exactly. “I am poured out like water…” Wow. If you have ever felt this way you know exactly the feeling David was describing. It feels like I am spent and I have nothing more. I have often heard well meaning believers say that God won’t give you more than you can handle. Well I don’t think that is exactly true. Without getting into a Scripture debate I declare my proof is in life. I know because at this moment I have more than I can handle. You disagree? You think I am handling? I am certainly not doing it in my own power. I am spent. Poured out like water. I think I have misplaced my glass and I am not going to look for it. Instead I will paraphrase 2 Corinthians 12:9 His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Thanks JoAnne for reminding me!

In Faith, Deanna

Complicated

Patterns At PlayThis isn’t the first time someone has told me that I am complicated. I get it. I feel complicated. When I try to explain my medical history it is hard to get it all straight in my head and then verbalize. Every new doctor I see has to be educated in Deanna and from there do their best to figure out what I need. It is complicated. The human body is amazing.  Although we are individually responsible for our own health it is also a collaborative effort. We find ourselves at the mercy of insurance companys, doctors, nurses, assistants, technicians, labs, technology, appointment makers and even the person that checks us in. It is a delicate balance and it is complicated. When life gets messy I love David’s Psalms. How he pours out his heart. He holds nothing back from God and tells Him exactly how he feels because he knows God can handle it. David feels forgotten, fought against, slipping, guilty, brokenhearted, rejected, slandered, attacked by enemies, despised, mocked, insulted, surrounded by dogs, encircled by evil, stared at and gloated over– just to mention a few. Sound familiar? I am sure David felt complicated and he knew God was not suprised or baffled by compliciation.  I wonder how many times David thought back to how it felt to slay Goliath. How it felt to depend completely on God’s power, step into harms way and experience an impossible victory. I think he remembered Gods power through all the other complications in his life. I think so because when I read his Psalms I see that he not only pours out his suffering but he praises God in the midst of it. He knows that God can take care of his enemies, his suffering, his health, cancer, insurance and every annoying thing that comes against me. Okay I added those last three because they are personal. Like David, I remember how God has enabled me in the past. How He has carried me. God and I have history and like David I am confident in the mercy of my Lord and Savior. It is not death I fear but what I might have to endure to get there. It is complicated, this feeling of peace entangled in helplessness.  The feeling of wanting God’s will but telling Him exactly what I think I need. “I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him, before him I tell my trouble.” Psalm 142:1-2

In faith, Deanna

PS This week I was unable to do a scan because of insurance and see a specialist because I couldn’t get an appointment. Dr. S did spend well over an hour with Mark and I discussing options and what ifs. My next step is chasing down the specialist –Dr. H–to get a consultation and see if I am a candidate for a newish procedure. If that doesn’t pan out I have a few more options. In the mean time I am brushing up on prayer, persevering and trying my best not to be compliciated!

To Make a Long Story Short Part 1

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I have a friend of a friend of a friend that usually says “to make  long story short” about fifteen minutes into the story (smile). My LSS goes like this. My first thyroid cancer diagnosis was in 2005. I went for a CT scan on my sinuses and since I am allergic to the contrast, I had to do a prep. Dr. L decided to scan my whole head and neck. This was a God-thing because that was how my first cancer was found. Mark and I were both self-employed at the time with pre-existing conditions so insurance was a nightmare. I was quietly living with Crohns Disease and we had what was called TNCare. Not alot of doctors were willing to take TNCare patients so I was limited who would see me. So, I landed with Dr F. My journey started with a very painful biopsy and then surgery to remove my thyroid. After surgery I had complications that resulted in me having Hypoparathyroidism (poof! I now have two chronic conditions). My parathyroids were damaged during surgery so the calcium and phospherus in my bones and blood could not regulate on their own. This resulted in several ER visits and much adjusting of medication. This is a rare condition I will live with for the rest of my life. The rest of my treatment seemed pretty standard. After having my thyroid removed I had no thyroid function so I suffered all those side effects experienced when you have no thyroid function. I was exhausted, weak, emotional, had dry skin, hair loss, was always cold and ached all over. And just when I thought I had enough I had to do what I fondly refer to as The Ridiculous Diet. The diet was to increase the effectiveness of my upcoming raidoactive iodine treatment. Prohibited foods: Dairy, Egg Yolks, Seafood or anything from the ocean, Processed or prepackaged foods, restaurant foods, baked goods, soy, chocolate, Red Dye #3,  beans, sea salt or iodionized salt. See why I called it ridiculous. When I recieved the RAI I had to be in isolation at the hospital for several nights. I remember telling Mark that we married for better or worse and I was pretty sure this was the worse. With surgery and treatment behind me I could finally start my thyroid replacement horomone and was certain things had to be getting better. However, my daily medication was a whole seperate ordeal. My calcuim levels were so bad I needed to take calcium three times a day. I couldn’t take calcuim or my thyroid replacement within two hours of each other or anything else. I also had my crohns medication that needed to be taken two times a day. This left me with six times a day that I needed to take meds at least two hours apart. If I messed up on my schedule I couldn’t take everything that day. If I missed calcium I had symptoms quickly. The other meds took a bit longer to feel a missed dose. This did this for the next ten years…

As I revist my LSS I wonder how in the world did I do this!? How do other people do this!? And I smile because I am blessed with a huge support system. I am loved. I have purpose. The God of the universe knows my name. And it is simply because of these things that I am able to continue.

Homeless

IMG_5450Sometimes my grandmother would dress like she was homeless. Her clothing just didn’t make sense. It was as if she had pulled some things out of a sack and put them on with no thought to the final outcome. I once saw her at the post office and didn’t recognize her. I am not sure if it was the crocheted cap with the fuzzy ball or the polo shirt with a stork that threw me off. I don’t want to mislead you, she often dressed very nicely. The homeless look wasn’t her norm. This morning, years after her passing I finally understood… I arose with 15 minutes to get ready. No problem considering yoga doesn’t require a lot of getting ready time. Brush teeth, wash face, moisturize and put uncombed hair into a bun. Then I put on my favorite flowered yoga pants, matching tank and not so matching green uggs – chosen for their warmth. I am running low on time so I grab a burgundy fleece -conveniently laying on the chair- and I can only seem to find my bright red down coat although I have a nice neutral navy one somewhere. I catch my reflection as I head out the door and WHOA! I can’t go out like this. Out of time I quickly take off the red down and decide to wear my long black cashmere coat. I am certain that the color and quality will make everything look better. Tada! The homeless look. It is amazing how quickly it happened.

In faith, Deanna

Still

IMG_6731“The Lord will fight for you, you only have to be still.”

I plucked this Scripture from the book of Exodus where Moses is speaking to the terrified Israelites just as Pharaoh and his massive army has them hemmed up to the Red Sea. Then, just as Moses tells them to be still, in the next verse God instructs them to move on. Then things get familiar. After all, the parting of the Red Sea is where all the excitement is. But the part that stands out to me is that the Lord will fight for me. And as I settle in to my happy place I realize my part. I need to be still. To be still is an action. Especially for someone who wants to do something.  It requires thought, discipline, perseverance and trust. The Israelites didn’t just go running up to the sea and it part like an automatic door opening into a department store. They had to stop and look around. See the enemy approaching. Realize their situation. Feel terrified and wait on God. God took a seemingly hopeless no way out situation and opened a way only He could open. That is how we can actually see God. How we know He exists. How we know His power.

Lately I have felt a bit hemmed in. Like I have turned a corner only to find a brick wall. I am trying to be still and not be frustrated with where I am. The introvert in me finds transparency exhausting. I came home from work today and slept. It was  one of those naps where you feel like you have just lain down and shut your eyes but when you look at the clock two hours have passed. I feel restored in rest and lately I am energized to share. That’s new for me. The thing I have realized this week is that I am not just going into battle but I am going into battle with an army. That is power.

In faith, Deanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer. Again.

IMG_6711It is hard not to feel just a bit put out. Like maybe I have done something wrong or failed to do something right. The ongoing frustration of not being able to stop the ride. I could be angry but I don’t know where to direct said anger. As a believer it is easy to say that God has a plan. But it is often difficult to feel completely on board when you don’t have the whole plan laid out in front of you. When life feels like a detour. Thyroid cancer is supposed to be a good one. Easily overcome.  But that just isn’t my experience. The introvert in me wants to hide away and quietly consider my situation. But that just isn’t working for me. So, what is a girl to do?  I will hold tight to my purpose -to know God, love Him, enjoy Him and glorify Him. And with that foundation I will take some advise given to me a few cancers ago, blog.  Phew, never thought I’d say that. I would love for you to come along side me. I apologize ahead for my bad grammar, rants, whining, periodic embarrassment and dry humor. I am thankful for this opportunity. As I begin my forth round of thyroid cancer, my goal is transparency and always to make you and Jesus smile.

In faith, Deanna

 

Stuff

 

Blog Rocks-2The world would not consider me wealthy and yet I have A LOT of stuff. I was born into a family of antique dealers so acquiring things was a way of life.  Things were justified by quality or cost instead of need. Collections were gathered and built. Auctions and estate sales a way of life. Get the picture? Stuff. Over the past few years the Holy Spirit has convicted me of the need to purge. To be a good steward of everything God has given me. I realize that years sound like a long time but it can take a while to change a heart, to clean out a basement. I also had to develop new habits or the change would be temporary. Our stuff can take up a lot of time and attention. We have to shop, purchase, maintain, clean, store, show off and even play with all that stuff. When we don’t have enough time or space for those things it can leave us physically and mentally exhausted or sick. It was during a recent illness that I reaped the blessings of this decision. It was a joy to open cabinets and not have the contents fall out, to actually know what I have and where it is, to not be ashamed to direct others into my closets and shelves. I experienced the joy of controlling my stuff instead of my stuff controlling me. It did not happen overnight nor is the process complete. My niece walked into our spare room yesterday and proclaimed, “What’s all this mess?!” I hoped the proclamation was just the sharp contrast from the rest of my well-organized home. But I think it was just a five-year-old on sensory overload. I am reminded that even the useful pretty things can pile into too much stuff.

 

So, how did I do it? (the purge, not the mess) It all began one morning while searching for something to wear that I decided that my closet looked like a thrift store puked. And my bedroom. And a few other rooms. They say that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. My unsolicited advice…pray before eating that elephant. Pray then move forward. I tried to focus on what I wanted to keep not what I wanted to get rid of. I wanted to enjoy the pretty things I had. It felt good to quickly get rid of the things I really didn’t want. When I began organizing things to keep it felt really good! Don’t discount having the Holy Spirit help you. He can not only prepare your heart for the task but guide you all along the way. I could not have done it without Him. Remember: Pray. Eat. You will never wish you didn’t!

 

“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11