Thursday, September 14, 2017

Update-of not so much going on

Hello precious friends who care so faithfully.  It's been brought to my attention I've not updated in awhile.  Truly no news has been good news in my case.  Life has been full, I've been in great health and little is happening to report.

I'll have another set of scans soon I expect, probably next month.  When I saw my oncologist this week, we didn't talk about it yet, but it's getting time to check again.   So far, my "go-juice" infusion I get every 3 weeks through the port in my arm is keeping cancer away, which is fantastic. 

Neuropathy isn't improving, so if you'd like to pray for that, I'd be grateful.  They told me the level at which I have it 1 year after chemo ends is likely where it'll stay.  That will be December, so there is still time for it to improve, I pray.  At least it's still only in my right hand.  It doesn't hurt, it just is numb and irritating.  I wouldn't miss it if it were gone.

We're waiting to hear from insurance to see if they'll take care of a treatment I've appealed for regarding some menopausal side effects.  We covet your prayers that they'll step up.  The treatment they WILL pray for is known to cause cancer, so no thank you, I don't wish to take that.  This treatment costs a little less, really a lot less in the long run, but is considered a bit too new.  But is showing effectiveness and is FDA approved, which should count for something I pray.

So that's that.  The update.  I pray they'll always be this boring.  I don't think a day goes by that I'm not soaked in some level of gratitude for the day I've been given.  


James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

whether here on earth or in heaven, #grateful #blessed


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Need more faith, can I borrow some of yours?

So we are at a almost a year from diagnosis, and re-walking initial steps (hopefully that is all).  During a mammogram today calcification deposits were found, which I'm told can very well be healing from my lumpectomy back in January.  Since I haven't been mammo-ed since then, they are new.  That all makes sense.  However, in light of my last year, they want to be EXTRA cautious and biopsy it/them.  I'm told that 85% of these biopsies come back just fine, so I'm believing the odds are in my favor.

When we chose not to have a mastectomy, we knew this was part of that bargain, suspicious activity that may many times be nothing.  In our minds, it's a trade off as neither road comes w/o it's struggles and challenges.  

Yesterday's bone scan is clear, thankful for that good report.  I was unable to take the PET scan as the machine broke, so that is rescheduled for 8/1. 

As I've shared before, I often view these appointment days as my assignment.  I make efforts to be friendly with fellow patients, love on caregivers and ask the Lord to use me where He has me to do His work.  He did give me a few little assignments today, and mostly I was pretty peaceful about being there, so it kind of surprised me when I got this report.  But the point in sharing that is this, the enemy WANTS us to live in worry and fear.  Because

John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

 When I think about that, it infuriates me.  When I look at how much I was able to live in abundant life PRIOR to this report even this morning, with the staff, in the waiting rooms with other patients, etc. and how IF I'd been consumed by worry I wouldn't have had that to give to those around me.  It really makes me to not want to go down the road the enemy has for me.  But to instead CHOOSE to give my concerns, fears and worries to God.  Again and again.  And then some more.  

Watching the enemy steal peace from others close to me these last few months or so, it's not what I want to be crippled by.  I don't want the enemy to have ANY victory over me.   Lord please help me.  

So, I could spend the days leading up until Monday morning consumed by what the enemy has for me OR I can choose to walk toward God.  I pray I will continue to choose God's path.  Please pray that I will as well.   

He is so good to me in that He gave me a beautifully Godly nurse, who while walking me out the door today asked if I'd be okay if she added me to her prayer list.  Ha, such a lovely gift, I laughed as he lavished love on me in this moment.  Because I was feeling so sad about having to put my precious family through this once again, I asked if she could pray with me then, she happily obliged.  So grateful for Nurse Tammy.  

Thank you again for caring to read all this, for lifting me and mine to the Father and for being such amazing partners in this life.  We, again, are grateful for you.  

MUCH love, the Lindemans

 Image result for God's peace meme



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Trepidatious Living



I had to google the definition of trepidatious to be sure it meant what I thought it did.  

  a nervous or fearful feeling of uncertain agitation :  apprehension

As a believer who seeks to walk in Victory as He has led and not in fear as the enemy does, I thought this might not be the best title.  What am I communicating with this title?  Then I remembered the name of this  blog.  Tripping the Walk.  I endeavor to walk this walk of faith well, but, being a fallen human, I do tend to mess it up each day in some special way.  Hence the tripping.  

We are driving across Kansas as I type this, last day of our annual family vacation.  My heart is full as I feel so grateful for this blessing I have enjoyed with my family.  I teeter between the dramatic sense of having escaped death and the ho-hum of everyday life.  Having known those who have walked  similar roads to mine that aren't among us today, or whom are struggling today, I realize I do have this prized GIFT of life and it's good to appreciate it so fully.    

Our trip was fantastic and full of fun, family, memories, seeing/learning  new things.  We made a great big oval in the middle of America, visited Tom's bro's family in WI, saw some Little House on the Prairie landmarks along the way, visited the Ark Encounter in Kentucky (totally recommend if you can get there, so impactful!) and the Creation Museum.  A morning along the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati was a complete  surprise, a gift from the Father.  On the way back we stopped at Abraham Lincoln's adult hometown of Springfield, Illinois and learned much together.  Finished out the trip with old and new friends in Kansas for a pitstop and delicious breakfast.   Grateful for this opportunity to travel, have quality time with our family and make happy new memories.  Ahhhhh.....



An update on my health - I FEEL amazing.  Mostly healed up from surgery and radiation, a little tender, so gentle hugs are still necessary and running doesn't feel great yet, but otherwise good.  I have a small handful of lingering side affects to manage, we are praying for approval for a somewhat  new procedure to help with one of them.  If you feel so led, please join us in praying for favor with insurance.   I do have a new set of regular scans July 11, will be at the Rose campus much of that day.  Anyone feeling like some girlfriend time is welcome to join me if you'd like ;-)  Lunch is on me.  

Back in May, Tom and I signed up  to host a foreign exchange student from Japan.  He'll be arriving July 23 and stay for 3.5 weeks.  Yuta is a 12 y.o. boy who will celebrate his 13th bday while with us.  We are excited to learn much about Japan from him and welcome him to our home/family.  
Agreeing to host an exchange student and making reservations for a vacation felt like the first big decisions we had made post cancer that seemed we were "returning" to everyday life.  It felt a little scary to step out this direction after the trauma this disease gave us for a good 9 months or so, but it's right.  And good.  To live fully the life He's granted and to walk in it.  Truly full hearts.   

We still talk about the impact this trial has made, would feel wrong to pretend it never happened.  He has something for each member of our family to learn and grow in through cancer.  Moving forward as we minister to others, it's how we can link our pain.  I can't say I'd ever choose it again, given the choice, as I sometimes hear others reflect on their trials.  None of us has the luxury of going backward, so we purpose to use it however He chooses just the same. And though I wouldn't maybe choose it again, I do trust He allowed it for His plan and purposes.  So I rest in that.

Again, we are grateful for your kind prayers.  If you would please join us in praying for clean scans and for favor with insurance for the procedure we pray will help me, if it's His will.   And if not, for another solution.  Thank you all for your friendship and love for each of us, we remain appreciative for each of you.  

MUCH love, the Lindemans

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Faith Stretching

Hebrews 11:1 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

King James Version (KJV)

 

Getting to stretch our faith a bit more than before.  Good news-scans are probably good.  PET scan shows some something, that is likely due to radiation.  So Dr. Paul, the oncologist says that he's pleased with the overall scan. However, it may well be there next scan (in 3 months) as well, at which point they compare old scans to newer scans each time to look for new things.  I suppose this is normal for the course, but once again, being a medical newbie, I didn't know to expect this, so it was a bit troubling for a couple days. 

Bone scan shows nothing at all, that's GREAT news. 

Today our family saw "The Case for Christ", an agnostic journalist's quest to disprove his wife's newfound faith in Christ.  In the movie, she tells him the above listed scripture.  It's been with me all day as I've been thinking about this faith journey I'm on in life, not just during cancer.  I have a feeling it always will be.  Because of whom I place my faith in, a God who has never left me or forsaken me, I can be okay with this.  #thankfulagainandagain


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Time to look inside again

Haven't said much lately, not much to say.  Life's a whirlwind of many great things, some hard things and LOTSA kid things.  Life is full and I am grateful for all of it, well, most of it anyway.  But we must take a pause over this next week and look inside to make sure all is well.  Because of the medication I receive through my port every 3 weeks, I'm believing I'm staying cancer-free, but I suppose it's important to look to be sure.

Tues 4/11- PET scan, results likely before end of the week.

Tues 4/18- Bone Density Scan, Echocardiogram to make sure my heart remains healthy, also should have results by week's end next week if times past are good indicators.

Today a friend and I were talking at church, he and his family have a big decision to make so we were talking about how big fear can feel.  Like on your eyeglasses, a fly can seem HUGE!  But a house in the distance can look like a spec, until you walk closer and closer to it.  Then it gets bigger than that little 'ole fly.  We talked about how we have to CHOOSE to walk nearer to our faith and CHOOSE to minimize our fear, because God tells us it shouldn't be the other way around.  And so I do have fearful moments, but am trying to CHOOSE faith to take over in those moments.  Because any time I spend in fear of what might be, is time wasted.  I don't have a fact that warrants fear, but I serve a God who is faithful and true.  He's gotten us through these 9 months and He'll continue to do so as we lean into Him.  

Appreciate any and all prayers for good reports.  Thank you so much for continuing to check in on us, praying for us, and for loving us so incredibly well.  



4. Inspirational God Memes

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mediterranean Love Plan

The Mediterranean Love Plan Book 
Things I love about this book
  • These authors are people, though I have never met, I feel I know.  I've read many of his and some of her other books.  They are real about where they are with matters of their family and marriage.  I can identify with them.  Their willingness to share their struggles make mine not seem so unique, we all have struggles. 

  • Tom and I are always looking for ways to make our marriage better.  We've read lots of books over the years with our Marriage Group friends.  This book offers ideas we've not yet read.
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  • I enjoy observing how other cultures do what we do in everyday life.  I don't travel as much as I long to, so this is sort of a travel guide for that region with specific regard to marriage. 
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  • There are practical ideas, such as "13 Ways to keep your Love Playful", things I can implement that day or the next.  
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  • The date ideas seem unending.  Just when we think we've exhausted all that we can do, there is a large in number and varied in experience pool from which to choose.  Thankful for this!
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  • The book gives us 7 secrets of our friends in the Mediterranean.  It also closes with reminding us that Passion is Proactive.  We have to work at our marriages for them to be what we strive for them to be.  Just like anything in life that is worth it, we need to work at it.  But the rewards are so very worth it.  Appreciate this reminder too. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Music, friends & rear view mirrors

Today, at bible study we sang a song that reminded me of Mt. Cancer.  A remix of a hymn that has an amazing back story as the author had lost so much.  (google it if you don't know it).  Click the link below for a youtube of the song w/lyrics.  Praying it blesses you as it does me each time I hear it. 

It is Well w/lyrics
 
We could hear my sweet friends rehearsing this song as we finished up in our small group, it is such a beautiful song.  I was eager to make it on time to the large group teaching to hear and sing it with them.  As we sang these forgotten lyrics,

And this mountain that's in front of me
will be thrown into the midst of the sea

I remembered an earlier blog post about conquering Mt. Cancer.  Today I find myself nearly finishing Week #4 of 7 weeks, the downhill side.  As I look at all we've endured, 1-chemo, 2-surgery and 3-LASTLY radiation, I'm really excited to see the end of this mountain trail.  I can look behind me and see the largest part behind me.  Yahoo!  He has truly been faithful and true to see us through.  Through many of you. 

When I tried to find this song in my heart online today, I couldn't.  I emailed my friends for the title.  One replied, "...the times that I have sung that song God has always put you on my heart...so know that I pray for you whenever I sing it. He loves you so much Rosanna!!!"  Again I'm reminded of His precious love for me.  He is such a good God. 

To date, side effects are quite minimal and yesterday I got some help for one that has made a TREMENDOUS difference.  Praying I stay good, but know that the fatigue, they say can be cumulative, may show up any time now.  For now, enjoying my hair growing back, the memories my family and I continue to be able to enjoy making and everyday living.  Thx for staying tuned, loving us, and alllllll your prayers.  You bless us and we're glad to know you.

MUCH love,
the Lindemans

Saturday, February 11, 2017

4 down, 29ish to go

An update on radiation, which started on Tuesday of this week.  It's going alright.  Lots of lotion and p/t help keep me from having side effects. 

They have it streamlined pretty well, I go straight in, get gowned and sit in a "gowned waiting room".  They typically barely let me sit, I go lay on a table (called a couch, but it's hard and not real comfy), they have a contraption that has me rest my arms above my head and they rubber band my feet together so I won't cross my legs.  Then they leave the 8" concrete walled room.  I take my little afternoon ciesta/prayer time, while machines buzz, rotate around me and whirl at a very low volume.  10ish minutes later, I'm released to go.  The drive to and from total is longer than the treatment itself, which is fine with me, I get to listen to talk radio.

I'll repeat this procedure another 29ish times over the next 5.5 weeks, M-F each day.  But I won't allow myself to complain about that.  I have two acquaintances, both named Jamie who are battling different cancers than mine.  Both homeschooling, life loving, Jesus following mamas.  Both would love to have the news I have, which is that cancer can't be found in my body at this time.  This radiation treatment will hopefully successfully zap any minuscule remaining molecule(s) of cancer that might remain in my body.   I diligently pray for miracles for both these mamas.  Please join me in doing so. 

Valentines Day I'll go for my "ministry day" at the chemo infusion lab and get my own drugs that help keep cancer away.  I'll seek to love on and share God's love with all I interact with that day, as I pray I do each day, being more so sensitive that day.  Last time, it was pretty much just me and the staff, so I sought to love them all well.  They encounter so much each day, a true ministry they provide themselves.  Tough work. 

So that's the latest update. 

Thank you again for reading, caring and loving me and my family so beautifully.

 #survivorwannabesunite!


“Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.”    —Isaiah 49:13

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mama's making a comeback!

So today, for the 1st time in probably 3.5 weeks, I did 2 loads of laundry.  From beginning to end.  Yippeee you might be thinking, but to me, this means getting closer to normal again, and normal never felt so good.  It feels good to be contributing to my family again.  Someone had to carry it upstairs for me, but I have almost another month of that, so I'll take the victory where I can. 

I'm healing up pretty well from surgery and the drain wound.  Physical therapy has improved my range of motion and soreness nearly daily, it's so gratifying to see such constant progress forward. 

The other day a complete stranger asked me about my hair-do (I call it my hair-don't, at least for now, hee hee).  They asked what kind of cancer I had.  I began to share, then realized, I DON'T HAVE IT ANYMORE!!!! So I changed my reply to say, "I had breast cancer, but it's no longer in my body."  What a fun moment that was!  Thankful to God for these victories,

James 1:17-21 English Standard Version (ESV)17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

 
Tonight I'm working on a college course to get my teaching license renewed.  It feels so good to be doing normal life activities.  I love the required reading, thoroughly enjoying it, would probably read it on my own even if it weren't required.  Tis good to be working again on things that are everyday living. 

Today I met with the Radiation Oncologist again, she scanned and marked me so she can study how she exactly plans to radiate very targeted parts of my body, so as to avoid other parts.  Next week, after she's put together her plan, they'll have me come in for my first ever tattoos and a "dry-run".  Feels a little mechanical to me, but I trust them, these providers are kind and caring as really all have been throughout.  It's just weird.  The tattoos provide 2 purposes, to exactly be certain they radiate only the specific places each time and to mark the radiation for the future so that if I should experience a cancer recurrence, they would know where they had already radiated so as to not repeat in those areas.  Another reminder this is not a cut and dried cure.  And another opportunity for me to give it to God, leave it with Him, He can handle the unknown, I can not.  Of course He knows what is unknown to me, another great reason to give it to Him.  I trust Him. 

The day after the "dry-run",  the 6.5 week marathon begins.  It felt a little close in time to hear about today.  It's all been "later" until now, at this time it's next week.  You'd think a girl might be used to all this by now, but my tummy being a little unsettled on my walk out the door today reminded me that none of this is welcome or familiar.  Although these side effects aren't nearly as awful as chemo was, it's still something I'd rather skip.  And yet the surgeon told me that if I didn't agree to radiation, she wouldn't do the surgery, she felt that strongly about it's necessity.  So, since she's been doing this some 30 years, we defer to her expertise.  We are grateful.  Grateful for these technologies and great minds that can eradicate and seek to prevent recurrence.  Bittersweet is what this is I suppose.  

So, that's the latest update.  Thank you again for caring, reading, praying, loving and plodding along with us.  We love and appreciate each of you oh so very much.  💗

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Who knew surgery could be so fun?


 
Monday of last week, day before surgery, my Aunt Lorraine came to town from PA.  We enjoyed a field trip to the Stock Show on the way home from the airport.  She is, in my opinion, a professional aunt, always has been .  Just a fun gal to spend any amount of time with, laughter and joy flow from her.  Such a blessing.  I told her only she could make surgery so fun.

  A book I stumbled upon a few weeks ago came in from the library.  I wish I'd read this book at the beginning of this journey, it really is a must read for a person just starting this overwhelming disease.   It's a quick read, but lots of good content and advice.  Bought a couple copies for my Infusion Day bag to give as He leads.

The surgery went well, with the exception being the surgeon discovered it was necessary to take 7 lymph nodes.  This necessitated a drain, boo-hiss.  I was able to come home same day as planned, grateful for that.  The surgical team was very kind, caring and compassionate and I'm appreciative for each of them and their skills.  The anesthesiologist was a pediatric dr. too, so when I was tearing up, she was gentle and caring with me, like she would be a child, which I appreciated.  Tom and my mom were there the whole time, looking over me and being my support.  So thankful.  Pathology is back on the tumors and lymph nodes removed, there were no surprises and all looked great we're told.  We were once again thrilled to get a good report.  Thanking God for the medical team He has provided. 

Another great bonus during the week was having my mom spend so much time with us.  She is a former R.N. so her knowledge and care are HUGE.   We even got to get out of the house a day for a road trip to Bailey where she lives.  Beautiful drive and sweet family time.  Board games were enjoyed, here pictured is Parcheesi, a game I vividly recall my Great Granny Rhoades, my Gram and Great Aunt Lorraine with us kids playing when I was a child.  I couldn't help but wonder if they were grinning to see the tradition continue.  (I don't really know how all that works, I wonder though)  My mom and aunt have the board memorized with counting the spaces as their mom, aunt and gma before them did.  Pretty precious to watch our kids enjoy this family favorite.

Today Tom and I met with the Radiation Oncologist.   She seems very detail oriented and thorough, we're glad to have her working on eliminating every last remnant of the cancer that could possibly be hanging around.  The radiation treatments, 15-30 minutes each day 5 days a week will last 6.5 weeks she says, starting in early February. 


Along the lines of keeping it real, I feel like I've heard multiple times recently about people who have a cancer recurrence.  A friend gave me a "fear not" bracelet this week.  Couldn't be better timed.  I have to be intentional to not let the enemy have what I've been given today, peace, His peace.  He's given me a clean bill of health, and unless or until a different report comes in, I need to camp there and not in the "what if's".  A scripture I need to lean into repeatedly,



“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”   —John 14:27

 Thank you again for prayers, love, support and all you do to keep this journey moving forward.  We continue to be wowed by your steadfastness in this season.  We love you all. 
 


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Still elated about our news, and details about next 2 months

10 days ago we shared our wonderful news of cancer being undetectable in all the scans.  There is a lightness back in our home again.  So relieved.  Can't seem to tell people w/o getting emotional,
I expect that will just be my new way, I'm ok with it.  The kids and hubs are just used to it.  We all are so grateful that God's plan is this for now, and we'll take it. 

HOWEVER, we do have a couple things we would ask you to keep in prayer as He leads.  Tues, 1/10 I will have a lumpectomy and some lymph nodes removed.  My surgeon says she expects it to be a minor surgery.  Shouldn't even need a drain, if all goes as she anticipates.  We pray that is the case.  It should be outpatient too, 11 a.m. this Tues.  She says I should be healed in about 2 weeks. 

My mom and aunt will be helping out this week and Tom will be able to take a few days, so school can get in for kids as well.   Looking forward to fun family time too. 

I meet with Radiation Oncologist 1/17.  I've been told to start the 5 days per week for 6 weeks radiation schedule, we're thinking to start in February, finishing in mid-March.

I'll be re-scanning every 3 months until the Oncologist shifts the schedule. 

Every 3 weeks I will need to go in for a Herceptin infusion, a miracle med that will help keep the cancer away as I am what is called HER2 positive.    God's given me an assignment to have eyes wide open for anyone I can love on, share His hope with.  I'm grateful for a clear task.  That infusion room can be sad and dreary.  I pray He finds ways to use me to help bring hope.

So, that is the full update.  All the details that we know at this time. 

Our family is so appreciative for each one of you as you celebrate alongside us this yes answer to our prayers.  It touches us in deep ways as you have been so in this with us.  Words seem weak to express our true feelings, but THANK YOU. 

  We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.