Dearest Family and Friends,
We’ve had quite a journey together. My story is really our story, without you I would not be the person I am today. Each of you have impacted me in a special way. My husband, parents, children, grandchildren, siblings, brother and sister in laws, nieces and nephews are some of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever known. I am eternally grateful for the support and love you have faithfully extended toward me. I could write a book on how remarkable your love and support have been, you’ve gone above and beyond to help me, sacrificing for my well being, always. I love you each more than you could possibly know. I have been so blessed with friends who are generous with words of encouragement, who offer help in ways that are unexpected and help me to heal through laughter and joy. And my Lord and my God… there are not enough words to express my gratitude for his faithfulness, his forgiveness, his constancy, his healing, his peace, his love. Thank you for loving me, a sinner and making me your child.
Our story of health challenges began about 40 years ago when it was discovered that I had a rare disease called Maffucci Syndrome. My parents and extended family supported me through many surgeries, traveling, sacrificing, praying, staying with me in the hospital, bringing me peanut butter balls (Thank you Aunt Montana!!). You made the scary times for a young girl bearable.
In 1987 I began to have pain that was different than I’d experienced before. Dr. Wiley (one of the finest men on earth) did the first of a series of 3 surgeries in 4 months. Very unexpectedly, it was discovered that I had a chondrosarcoma in my left elbow. Six weeks later I had a scapulectomy, again with chondrosarcoma. Six weeks after that I had a resection of the left elbow. These surgeries were not easy to recover from. But God… I cannot imagine this journey without him. God placed me in a family of loving, generous, extraordinary people who supported me in fighting the dreaded cancer, who helped me to never give up and not limit what I would do in my life. Cancer and Maffucci Syndrome became a part of my story, but only a part. There is so much more.
Cancer and Maffucci’s did not stop the loveliest parts of my life. My husband, my children, my grandchildren, my family and friends, those who’ve been a part of my life through ministry, my relationship with God… these are the loveliest parts, my greatest treasures. You have my heart.
There was a noticeable change in my right shoulder a few months ago. I began the process of trying to get answers. Honestly, I’d been telling myself “it’s overuse of the arm, it’s arthritis, it’s the weather.” But finally, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. After many tests, X-rays, MRI’s, and scans, I was told on July 26, 2013 that I’ve had a reccurrence of chondrosarcoma. This time in my right shoulder, my only dependable arm.
Your prayers are precious to God and to me. The word says God begins to act as soon as we pray. Our prayer requests are for wisdom and guidance for the physicians, continued peace and strength for us, complete removal of the cancer, saving my right arm and shoulder and functionality of the arm and shoulder. We are also praying that we will walk this journey in grace, through faith and with courage, exalting God.
Initially, I was fairly terrified. But God has given me peace that is beyond my understanding. I’m so thankful. I know this is a sad and difficult time for my husband, children, parents and family. I know many of my friends are wrestling with it as well. I want to remind you that God is sufficient. He’s the healer, the giver of life and my redeemer… He is the Great I Am. We can’t see the completed journey, but God is with us no matter where we go.
“The grace of our Lord was more than abundant (more than enough) with the faith and the love which are found in Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 1:14