Saturday, May 8, 2010

Modern Medical Technology is a WOW!

Wow ... what a week ( or should I say couple of weeks)! Yesterday completed my radiation treatments- hip, hip hooray! I must say, the Drs., Nurses, Physicists and staff at MDA are amazing. Their tender care, love, compassion and humor took the "scary" right out of all this fun. They truly were terrific. I will miss their genuine smile and care ... but I'm not gonna miss the contraption that was inserted into my body on April 27th. Most unbelievable thing I've ever seen - for sure! I truly stand in awe at medical technology of today.

The definition of "contraption" is ... a mechanical contrivance, gadget, device. Yep ... I was sportin' a mighty contraption with me for 11 days! It's the latest and greatest type of radiation. It is truly the craziest thing I have ever endured in my body. A torpedo looking contraption inserted into my body that the Drs. hook up to the radiation. I was a "perfect" candidate for this partial radiation, which only radiates the area where the tumor was. Much easier on the body for the long term and a very high dose radiation attacking the cancerous area. We are truly blessed to live in a city that continues to improve the treatment and options for its patients. MDA is certainly "cutting edge."

Can I brag for one minute? Thanks. How do I even deserve the husband and children God gave me? I don't deserve them! They have been unbelievably"over the top" thru this little thing we've got goin' on! I simply would not make it without (The Lord first) and my precious, loving family. Thank you to my amazing husband and my beautiful girls ... I love you more than words can express ... you are my angels on this earth.

I have always been so healthy (and still am), never went to the doctor (until now)" but this past week reminded me so often of a quote from Beth Moore ...
"if I die suddenly, my gravestone might appropriately offer this insight into my departure: "God got tired." I require lots of work." I have prayed so fervently to the Lord, truly have laid all this at the Cross and have completely trusted God and His mighty plan since learning this diagnosis in February. I'm most certain my family would agree with Beth's quote ... I pray my precious family is not growing tired! I love them all so very much. Please keep them in your prayers. They may need a big dose of strength as I could be wearing them weary. Ugh!

A huge praise and note of thanksgiving to Our Lord God Almighty ... such a meek and humble offer of thanks. HE once again, met me at the door of MDA early Monday morning for my first radiation treatment. I have never felt the Lord literally carry me through what could have been a very difficult week. But it was far from it! We (God, my family and myself) blazed thru these 10 high dose treatments with joy and plenty of energy. The Lord was in that place. As I mentioned the staff was stupendous- treated me so tenderly and gracefully. AND ... HE brought Melinda there on Monday morning to begin her 10 radiation treatments. I was sad she had to walk this path, but I was so blessed to have met a new friend in Christ (and post cancer!!) Melinda and her husband John love Jesus with every fiber of their being. We became instant friends. You should have seen us trying to hug each other ... my contraption was on the right side of my body, hers was on her left side! But we quickly learned how to hug and not bother our hanging contraptions! I praise His Holy Name because Melinda is done with her cancer walk! Finished- History! She is cancer free and has no more treatment. I pray we will be friends for life ... thank you Jesus for bringing me a friend to endure every radiation treatment with! Just love her so much.

The previous post from precious Meredith shows the little celebration after we completed all our radiation treatments. They removed the crazy device from my body and I am good to go! I go back to MDA on May 20th to prepare for chemo. Richard and I met with the oncologist last Tuesday and she strongly recommended I do 6 months of chemo. It was our choice and after heeding her advice and seeking the Lords counsel ... it is best that I do it. My lymph nodes were cancer free, my margins were clear, tumor was 1.9 cm (still stage 1) ... but the type cancer I HAD (Drs. say I am completely cancer free now) was a high grade, fast growing type. So ... they feel chemo will kick it for the long haul of life.

I have a relatively positive approach to life and what is thrown my way ... but ... I am struggling with this chemo thing. I think we all know the side effects of this two sided thing called chemo (it saves lives everyday across the world, but it's one monster of a drug!) I have pleaded with God to humble me and let me gracefully accept the side effects. I am struggling with the hair thing ... there I typed it, but I can't even talk about it. Yikes! So, if you still have the energy to pray for this, I would be most appreciative. I may be wearing out my "prayer time" from you!

This journey could be very difficult, very lonely, very frightening walk. But it has been the absolute opposite because of you! Yes ... all of you! At 51 yrs. of age I've been thru some difficult moments in my life. I have trusted the Lord thru most of them. But I have never seen the footprints of Jesus walking before me and with me as I have in this current journey. I see Jesus in YOU. The love of the Lord is before me every moment of the day through YOU. We are turning into chubby little piglets over here from the delectable meals you have brought to us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My entire family has feasted on one meal after another ... from the most amazing cooks our big bellies have ever enjoyed. The cards continue to flood my mailbox, the emails, messages and outpouring of love and concern is a sweet taste of what heaven will be like. YOU have been the hands and feet of Jehovah ... Our Mighty God.

So I humbly Thank You ... "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:33-35. For it is thru the Lord that you have brightened this path we are on. YOU are amazing and so very precious to me and my family.

Love you all ... so very much,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Today is a blessing!

"This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Today was a BIG day for my mom (Hi, it's Meredith again!)-- she finished her last of ten radiation treatments and had the painful port removed! Oh happy day!! Megan, Carson & I went with her to her afternoon appointment to celebrate the end of this phase of treatment, and to watch her "ring the bell!" A little "ceremony" thing they do at MDA when you finish a round of treatment. Carson brought pink roses for his JiJi & a sweet woman named Melinda that we have been blessed to get to know the past few weeks. She and my mom have been on virtually the exact same surgery/treatment schedule. She got to "ring the bell" today too! Enjoy a few pictures of the "celebratory" last day of radiation treatment...
Pink Roses for JiJi & Melinda from Carson
Sending her off for her last round of treatment and port removal...
The MD Anderson Bell...
"Ring this bell 3 times well,
It's toll to clearly say
My treatment's done,
This course is run,
and I am on my way!"
Pink roses for sweet Melinda...
Mom walking out... Radiation ALL DONE!
Precious Melinda ringing her bell! She's ALL done with cancer treatments.
Treats for the incredible staff from JiJi...
Big hug for the wonderful Dr. Bloom!
Mom's turn to ring the bell...
This course is run... hooray!
The wonderful staff at MD Anderson Radiation Center of Bellaire... truly incredible!
How incredible are these two? Both of them have had TEN rounds of radiation treatments this week (two today) and both are just moments from walking out of having their ports removed... they look RADIANT! "The JOY of the Lord is my strength!"
My mom has asked me to let you all know that she will be posting this weekend... so be sure to check back for an update directly from her.

As Mother's Day is upon us, I simply cannot say thank you in enough ways on behalf of our family for praying over our precious mother this week, this month, and over the past several months... we believe in a God that can do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine. Thank you for partnering with our family during this faith journey.

Love & Blessings from all of the Greer's!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Be with me Lord...

"Be with me Lord, I cannot live without you. I dare not take one simple step alone..."

It's Meredith again...

Today, my mom is halfway done with her radiation treatments-- five down, five more to go. Radiation began first thing Monday morning, with her scheduled to have a treatment at 8am and 2pm every day this week-- her 8am treatment went well, she did great! The afternoon treatment didn't go as planned: the "radiation machine" went down and they were unable to repair it. After three hours in the waiting room, we were sent home with the hopes that a part overnighted from Maryland would fix the problem, and her treatments could resume as scheduled on Tuesday. Hooray, they got it fixed and she was able to receive two treatments both Tuesday and Wednesday-- tomorrow (Thursday) she'll go in very early in the morning, then again in the afternoon, and back again in the evening (each treatment must be 6+ hours apart). She'll have three treatments tomorrow to make up for her missed treatment on Monday. Then Friday, she'll finish her last two and have the catheter removed for the weekend!

She'll tell you she's getting more comfortable with the port/catheter, and that the radiation really hasn't been very bad at all... really, it can't possibly be as easy as she makes it look-- truth be told, she's simply AMAZING. She's so strong, so incredibly positive and resilient. She never complains, she rarely even lets you know she's uncomfortable... our whole family is in awe of her grace, her patience and her stamina.

We've been blessed to have met some precious people this week... even the staff at the treatment facility has been incredible. It's so refreshing that even in the midst of something so unpleasant, we are able to see God's hand, His goodness, His presence all around.

It wouldn't be right to go without continually thanking each of you for your prayers as this journey continues-- for the meals you have so graciously prepared for my parents-- for the overwhelming encouragement, support, and blessings you have showered over my precious mom. As far as we know Friday will be the last radiation treatment and port removal, then she will have a "week off" next week, and is set to begin chemotherapy the week of the 17th. As we receive more information and details, we'll update you all.

May the Lord bless you and keep you... thank you for being so wonderful to our family!