I am nearing what appears to be the end of my cancer journey! I am scheduled to have my final reconstruction surgery on September 25th. This is just an outpatient surgery with a very quick recovery time, barring any complications.
I have enjoyed NOT going to doctor’s appointments quite so often lately. I’ve gotten good reports from my surgeon, chemotherapy oncologist, radiation oncologist, and plastic surgeon. This is the first time that I’ve gone 2 full weeks without a doctor’s appointment since the beginning! I am now switching to 3 or 6 month checkups with most of my specialists! Another positive is that my blood work this month shows my blood counts are ALL back in the normal ranges for the first time in 18 months! I am still dealing with a few minor side effects, but am rejoicing that the Lord has given me so many blessings!
It’s been a while since my last update, because God has given me many, many opportunities to serve Him this summer. Despite dealing with extreme fatigue at times, God gave me just the right amount of energy to accomplish exactly what He wanted me to. “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:9-10.
After a restful 4th of July week, we began our whirlwind dash with Vacation Bible School at our church. We were very blessed to have the youth group from Bath, NY come to help us do a morning and evening VBS in 2 different parks everyday for the entire week. I thank God that He allowed me to be there and help, as well as make great connections with parents and families that attended. Last year I was only able to attend a few times and sit and watch, due to the effects of my chemo treatments at that time. We are praising the Lord that 2 girls accepted Christ as their Savior at VBS this year!
Our family then left on Sunday to head to Ankeny, IA for a week of Family Camp with our mission agency Baptist Church Planters. Every 3 years we are blessed to have all the missionaries across the country come together for fellowship, fun, and refreshment. It is always wonderful to see how God is working through other church planters who are faithfully serving Him all over the US!
We then stayed over for a weekend deputation meeting in Fort Dodge, IA and an update meeting in our hometown of Indianola, IA. It was truly a blessing to be able to share with these churches how God is blessing us and growing our faith through this cancer journey and working in the church plant in Bennington, NE! Their prayers and support are a constant source of encouragement to us. We then had a couple days with family to celebrate Ethan’s 4th birthday and Eric was able to participate in the Warren County Tractor Ride with his dad and brother!
We returned home for 4 days with 3 sick kids who shared with mom. (At least they were sharing, right?) God allowed us all to be healthy again just in time to spend Sunday morning with our own church family in Bennington and then head to Oskaloosa, IA where we were the missionary speakers for their Vacation Bible School! It was a special blessing for me to be back where I grew up from Kindergarten till 7th grade, and connect with many wonderful friends from years past as well as new ones! We had a great time with each of the VBS classes each day, talking about how they can be a missionary right where they are and what we do as church planting missionaries in Bennington.
We were able to end our summer travels with a relaxing trip to a private lakehouse through the generosity of dear friends. We left on Sunday afternoon and hit the beach that evening! We had a blast playing in the sand and water, going on paddleboat rides, having a little bonfire with s’mores, and having fun together as a family! We enjoyed the time away from daily demands to just enjoy the blessings God has given us as Eric and I celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary! We are so thankful God has allowed us to continue living out our wedding vows, especially in sickness this past year. We are counting each day together as a blessing from above!
We returned home just in time for back-to-school night that Tuesday night and the first day of school at our brand new elementary school on Wednesday. Faith began 4th grade and Adam started Kindergarten! Ethan and I are enjoying our one-on-one time together during the day now, while Faith and Adam are at school.
So that is how our busy summer of blessings went by since my last update! If you would like to listen to my Blessings of Cancer Update I shared in Indianola, it is online at IRBC’s website. I am definitely not a public speaker, but God is challenging me to grow in this area and I pray it will be a blessing and encouragement to you! You can continue listening to hear our missionary update on what we are doing in Bennington, and God’s powerful message through my wonderful husband on why and how we should be Imitators of God from Ephesians 5:1-2. What are you known for?
Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as we prepare for my final surgery! For those that live close and wish to help out during and after surgery, be sure and check my CareCalendar for opportunities to bring meals and watch our precious kiddos as needed. (You can email me for the login info.) Thank you so much to all of you who have been praying and been such an encouragement to our family during this cancer journey! “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you!” Phil. 1:3