Tag Archives: trust in God

This Little Light of Mine

It’s been a long road. I kept telling myself that over and over, and somewhere along the way I got tired of hearing myself say it — first joking about it, then realizing how true it’s been. Then I started to think about just how exhausted I was — dragging myself around with a leg that didn’t move well, even though the femoral nerve was pretty much back, and learning that the cancer in my pelvis was now debilitating my hip and it created a stress fracture. The pain was getting worse. When did it all change so quickly? So it begins again…………..

I looked to God for the answers. I talked to him everyday, all the time, like he was with me, like I always did — but where was he, I couldn’t hear him anymore? I felt… hopeless. Whoa, what is going on? I completely trust God. I focused on that, but somehow, I don’t know I believed it anymore. He wasn’t answering my prayers. Okay, so his plan and mine aren’t meshing right now — I get all of that, but it was making me very sad. I prayed for God to send me light.

I knew that somewhere along this long road, I had to recharge the light inside of me. I was always so full of positive light in everything I did — always living large. That light got me through some of the darkest moments without ever losing faith or hope over the past 15 years. As disappointing as it is that I have to deal with this again, it had to still be inside of me.

Green trees with the glorious sunshine.

Green trees with the glorious sunshine.

When I was a kid, I would love to lay on my back and look up through the trees, at the stars shining like diamonds in the sky, under the Christmas tree with all it’s twinkling lights, or at the clouds on a blue-sky kind of day. Debbie and I used play a game — who could find the best shape in the clouds. There was always a dog. A face. The mane of a wild stallion. Maybe a cross. Or a streak of light breaking through the clouds. I used to pretend that streak of light would break out of the sky and shine directly on us from the Heavens. Hmmm. It had been a long time, but I decided to meditate and take myself back to our grassy front yard on a puffy cloudy, warm and sunny day to imagine this exact scenario. Only now Debbie and I are adults, but we still see some of the same things. I focused on the streak of light and imagined the light coming from Heaven into my body. I would send some to Debbie too, because she was fighting her own battle. Then I prayed, “God send us light.”

The plan came sometime in late February that we would genetically test my tumor cells. You’ve probably heard about that kind of stuff, but do you really know anyone who’s been through that? So regardless of my condition, it gave me something to be excited about! Well, the process was delayed by three weeks with an administrative error, but I eventually got the testing and the results, and there was a new drug — a targeted bio-agent that would kill my cancer cells. There were actually four, which I hear is fantastic, but only two had been approved by the FDA and my doctor sent both to my insurance company for approval. In the meantime, one of my other doctors did a cryoablation to help get rid of some of the pain I was having. About the same time, I got the news that the bio-drug was approved by my insurance company. We finally had a treatment plan!!! I thanked God for he was unveiling his plan, while continuing to pray. I had to wait three more weeks to start the treatments. This new drug would only “target” my cancer cells and not touch many of my normal ones, therefore there would be very little side effects and no hair loss. I was starting to shine.

One morning I woke up and the sun was coming in from the window in the bathroom on the back of the house. We have these nifty dual view honeycomb shades — you can pull them down from the top and a more sheer fabric appears, while still blacking out the bottom. We keep all the blinds in the bedroom and bathroom about 12″ from the top so we get a lot of natural light into the rooms. Well, that morning the sun was so intense, it shone through the sheer fabric and directly hit the large statue I have of Mother Mary that sits on my dresser — she stands about 22″ tall, looking down with her hands outward. And that light shone across her tiny hands and belly. I couldn’t believe it. I imagined the light was coming from Mary’s hands to me and I prayed, “Mother Mary, send me light.” Things were getting better. This was a sign. I was shining brighter!

All it really takes is a little morsel of some happy news in the right direction to put me on top of the world. If that happens, you can’t bring me down. I had my worst and best day this past Tuesday, in that order, and ever since then, this little light of mine, shines once again. I had gone to the hospital to have my blood work done — something I have to do every week during treatment. I had planned to take myself, but for some reason, the pain in my hip and leg was greater than it ever had been. This had me worried, but it didn’t matter at that very moment, I had an appointment at 9 am, so my sister took me. After my blood was drawn, my nurse took my temperature and blood pressure, and said, “Pam, do you have a fever?” It was reading 100.3°. I was like, huh? Yes, I mean, I’ve been having low-grade fevers all weekend, I’m not surprised. I promised her if it reached 100.5°, I would call my doctor.

Well, I got home later than planned, and my digital manager,  Jen and I had a call at 10:30. So I rushed in and up the stairs  — it’s like being in slow motion with my crutches and the pain! — Jen and I wrapped up in 15 minutes, because I could barely stay awake for the call. My eyes were so heavy — I could not stop it — something was pulling me to sleep. Pulling me… I woke up with a jump, completely soaked from head to toe, like I had taken a shower. Wow, it was so strange. So, so, so strange. I stood up, I had no pain. No fever. What had just happened to me? It was a sign. And today, my tears were happy ones.

God heals in unexpected ways — maybe it’s just some relief from the pain for a few days while I go through the process, or less anxiety as God speaks to my mind to tell me it’s going to be okay. While this journey is way too long in my opinion, I am following his plan for me.  Today I send light to all of you, my friends and family who have prayed tirelessly for me over the past few months. This too shall end, and nobody looks forward to that day more than me.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Ohhh, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.

Always B E L I E V E !

Serve God joyfully. Let there be no sadness in your life: the only true sorrow is sin.
— Thirsting for God by Mother Teresa

The Journey Forward

Today I officially got to see the good news for myself — in glorious black and white images on the computer screen — scans that showed even more improvement. My doctor told me that I am the official poster child for Cryoablasion success. He tells me he’s used my scans for talks throughout this past six months on alternative treatment methods. My doctor is one amazing and creative physician whose passion for healing is profound!

I had actually got the good news via voicemail last Friday before we left for Ellicottville, NY. There was no way I could go on that trip without the results of the scan I had done earlier in the week. Dr. Goodman had left a message saying “…I am just WOWED about the way they [the scans] look. Everything looks GRAND!…” He followed up with another call when we got back and told me that the results were just incredible.

Thanks to everyone for all your prayers over the past year. The power of prayer is truly amazing. I believe that this journey comes from God, and I am learning something from it — as well as all those who know me. I may not understand everything in this lifetime, but I know I will one day. I trust God completely and today thank him for my healing.

Always B E L I E V E !

Complete Trust in God
Do not look forward to the trials and crosses of this life with dread and fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God, to whom you belong, will deliver you from them.

He has guided and guarded you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you lovingly in his arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same Eternal Father who cares for you today will take good care of you tomorrow and everyday of your life. Either he will shield you from suffering or he will give you the unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then and put aside all useless thoughts, vain dreads, and anxious imaginations.

Harden Not Your Heart

So last night we decided to take Tom’s Mom to the Meadows Casino and Racetrack in Washington, PA and have dinner at The Terrace restaurant where you can watch the horses race on the track. I just love that! His Mom and brother are visiting from Phoenix until next Sunday — and she wanted to go to one of the casinos. My brother’s parish, St. Benedict the Abbot is about 10 minutes from the casino, so I called him to see if he was having the Saturday evening mass. To our luck, he was, and we decided to go to church there first before going to the casino for dinner.

So that was the plan.

Earlier in the day, I was reflecting while flipping through my prayer book — looking for a prayer regarding the “hardening of my heart.” I was listening to the Christian talk radio 101.5 with the John and Kathy Show earlier in the week. They were talking about some of the controversial topics of the past couple of months — some of the things that have been weighing heavily on my mind. And as I pulled into my driveway that night, John was wrapping up his thoughts and he said, “so don’t let it harden your heart…” and I thought about that for several days.

How many times have I heard that during mass? So many I can’t count.

But I never really heard that until that day. All of these things in the news that are overwhelming and against all of our Catholic morales and values — all of these things that I really couldn’t understand — all of these things were hardening my heart. For the first time, I could really sum up how I’ve been feeling by saying, “yes, I’ve been hardening my heart.” My anger against our politicians and all those things I cannot change — has been hardening my heart.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. That was the first prayer I read while looking for something regarding the hardening of my heart. And then I prayed that I would have reflection around this at mass this evening.

This was all before I knew I was going to Bob’s mass or the casino or even knowing what our plans were for Saturday evening — besides knowing we were going to mass somewhere.

So anyways, wouldn’t you know that they responsorial psalm during mass was… “So if today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.” I couldn’t believe it. Then Bob’s homily was about trusting in God and his plan — getting out of your comfort zone and make the changes that you need to in your life. I could have wept after his homily — I miss the simple messages of his five minute homilies that strengthened my faith from week to week. Homilies that spoke directly to me — and opened my heart — not harden it. Sadly, I don’t have this in my life anymore. During mass, I even contemplated if Tom would up for a 50 minute drive every week to go to mass at St. Benedict’s!

After mass, I asked Bob if he wanted to join us for dinner. I was surprised when he said he would join us at the casino. He didn’t like casinos. He had to change his clothes and then he would meet us. I told him to text me when he arrived and we would meet up for dinner.

We got there first. It was sheer madness. Hundreds of cars and police directing traffic. It was a mad house — pure craziness (probably God’s way of telling us that we shouldn’t be going to the casino after attending church!) I couldn’t even get out of the stream of cars to turn around and get the heck out of dodge. I ended up entering a garage and finding the exit after driving around a bit. Then I left a message for Bob not to come to the casino. There would be no way to get seated for dinner with these hundreds, even thousands of people.

Then I text Bob. Once, twice, three times. No response.

We drove back towards the church and found a Max & Erma’s restaurant to have dinner. I text Bob again and told him to join us at Max & Erma’s. Then I hoped that he didn’t go to the casino without his phone. He has a habit of doing that. It had been an hour now.

Finally I got a text back from him that simply said, “I went to the casino, went in, too much excitement for me. Forgot my phone. Am having a quiet dinner at the rectory.”

Ugh — I felt so bad! He actually found a parking place and went into the casino. I was so looking forward to talking to him during dinner. It’s been a while. It turned out that Bill Cosby was live at the casino. But, I guess somehow it was as it was supposed to be.

So we ended up driving 50 minutes to church, eating dinner in the South Hills and another 50 minutes back home. Not exactly what we had planned at all. But you know what? I got the right message to start this week. A message that reaffirmed my faith and opened my heart. Harden not your heart — has new meaning in my life for all the things that make me angry in our faithless society of today.

Always B E L I E V E.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Magic

Our wedding invitation

Our wedding invitation. It was an accordion-folded piece with the rainbow colors of our wedding (click on image to enlarge).

Today is our 12-year wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years. It seems like it was just last year. I think about all the things that has changed in the past 12 years, but one thing remains the same — Tom and me. The vows we made meant something to us and no matter how difficult things may have been, we found our way together. And we’ve always celebrated all the moments of joy in our marriage — ever thankful to God.

God has been a big part of our marriage since day one. We turned to God after being diagnosed with cancer a couple of months before our wedding. You can’t imagine the total devastation and despair we felt during that time. You can’t imagine what it felt like to be just eight weeks from our wedding day and be faced with the knowledge that we would never have any children together — and my future was so uncertain. I was scared — more scared than I ever knew I could be — for the first time, I wasn’t invincible. Plus, we were in the middle of everything — it was simply overwhelming. I started wondering if I should release Tom from his obligation — I was feeling incredibly guilty on top of everything else.

Leaving the church — we were just married on July 7, 2001.

Leaving the church — we were just married on July 7, 2001. We were overjoyed in celebrating life.

In such a short time, we had so many dreams. We loved each other — and I couldn’t imagine my life without Tom in it. And the truth was, Tom couldn’t imagine his life without me either. He showed his true character when I needed him the most. And I believe our vows meant something even more when we said them on this day, 12 years ago. It was a beautiful gift that God gave to us — joining us in holy matrimony.

My brother Bob talked to us numerous times throughout our marriage, but his initial conversation gave us clear direction in the middle of the chaos. His words of wisdom gave us the strength we needed and our path became clear — we were following the path that God had planned for us. Bob told us that we could make all the plans we wanted, but in the end, it’s God’s plan we follow. And if we can let him lead us in our lives, we will have fulfilling and happy lives. That was the moment that we learned to trust God. This was life changing for me.

It was like a someone flicked on a light switch. I had resolve that my life now had a new purpose. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s what happened. I remember my new doctor — an oncologist named Fred Price, called me on a Sunday night to talk to me. My surgery was scheduled for the coming Tuesday. I’m sure he didn’t know what to think of me — I was my usual outgoing and happy person with him on the phone. There were no tears, I was ready to move forward. I replaced fear and anxiety with trust in God. And we did that throughout our marriage during all the difficult times.

I know it’s my anniversary, and I’m reflecting on the things that surrounded our wedding 12 years ago. But those things directly impacted our marriage and shaped it to what it is today. So I decided to put together my list of things that has kept us strong.

  1. Give it to God. By putting complete trust in him, we are able to stay positive and know that we are following his plan for us. Plus, God gives us both hope, peace and unimaginable moments of joy. No matter how hard things may get, we know that he is always with us, and we are never alone.
  2. Laugh together. At the stupid things, at the funny things — at everything you can. Sometimes, in the middle of a project, when things were just not going right — we would laugh instead of getting angry at each other. Sometimes we would get angry too — but laughter is always the best medicine. And with a husband like Tom, it’s not hard to do. He’s also joking and goofing around.
  3. Respect each other. I never say anything that would hurt Tom’s feelings. And he does the same for me. It’s kind of a silent rule that we are kind to each other even if we’re angry. Oh — and the going to bed angry advice you get on your wedding day — it’s okay to go to bed angry. Sometimes you just need some time to think things through and see things differently tomorrow.
  4. Lean on each other. When bad things happen, you deal with it the best you can, and you have each other to make it through — you do it together as a team. Sure, there are times during my illness that I feel completely alone, but those are my trials. And then are times that I am so thankful I have such a wonderful partner.
  5. Celebrate the good, even the smallest of things. We celebrate as much as we can for all kinds of reasons — with our family and close friends — we love you all!
  6. Count your blessings. The past 12 years has blest us with so many things. It’s so easy to focus on the things we don’t have. Our gifts are so abundant and we’re ever so thankful to God.
  7. Find time for just the two of you. We do so much with family and friends that sometimes we need to schedule some time for just the two of us. Like having date night once a month or scheduling a couple of long weekend trips somewhere romantic. It gives us time to reconnect and just enjoy each other.
  8. Look for magic moments. Realize that sometimes the simplest things can change your whole day. It’s those little moments in time that can pass so quickly that if we’re not looking, can miss something very special.
  9. Never stop dreaming and do something unexpected. Tom and I are always making grand plans of some kind. That keeps our marriage exciting and the future filled with life and love. Doing something unexpected takes us out of our routine — like the jet ski we bought this summer. Okay — unexpected!!! Yet exciting!
  10. Curl up with a cat. Okay, this one is completely therapeutic! Besides the fact that Benny completely annoys me while I’m trying to finish my blog post, I love that little guy, and he or Sidney can brighten my mood anytime. And the same for Tom. For as much as he says, “kick the cat,” he really means, “my life would have less joy without those two little fur balls.”

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. Today Tom washed the bed sheets, the towels and whatever miscellaneous laundry we had. He helped me clean the kitchen by taking all of the furniture out of it. He then swept the floors before swiffering it. He helped me clean the stainless and all the surfaces. He made it so easy for me to clean the hardwood — he did all the prep. And while I did that, he put the bed back together and vacuumed the entire house. He took out all the trash and made countless trips up and down the stairs. And then he asked me what else he could do to help.

We truly are one and tackle everything together, side-by-side. We rarely do things without each other. We took vows before God, and we live those vows with such conviction. Our love is truly a once-in-a-life love. Our life is filled with that once-in-a-lifetime magic.

Happy Anniversary Tom. I will love you forever and eternity.

Always B E L I E V E !

St. Francis of Assisi

St_Francis_of_AssisiOn Thursday night, I had planned to go to bed by 11 pm. I was so tired from the exhausting week, and I was looking forward to my White Space Friday — A good night’s sleep is what I really needed. I was still wide awake at 10:45, and as I scrolled through the television channels, I came across a movie on TCM network — St. Francis of Assisi. It had me intrigued, because I had never seen it before, and St. Francis has always been one of my favorite saints — he believed in true peace and loved all animals. When our new Pope took the name of St. Francis, I was overjoyed.

So this movie was made in Italy in 1961. It was quite basic by today’s standards, I watched for a few minutes and figured I’d go to bed. But a half hour later, I was so engrossed in the movie, there would be no going to bed now. It was a very simple view of the life of Francis Bernadone. The story goes that he was born to a wealthy merchant in Assisi, Italy. He left his father to go and fight in the crusades with his friend Count Paolo of Vandria with the dream to become a great knight. While traveling with the soldiers, he was called by God to leave them and give up all his worldly goods and dedicate his life to God. Even though the movie was quite elementary, there were some really beautiful scenes. I especially loved the scene when the two cheetahs were unleashed on him in the desert on his way to see the Muslim sultan. He tamed those cheetahs and by that, gained access and respect from the sultan.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

There was another scene while on his journey with his 11 followers to Rome to see the Pope to establish a new order, when a white bird (which I assume was a dove), landed on St. Francis and was not afraid. He told it to then fly into the sky and the flock of birds led them to Rome. This reminded me of a recent picture I saw being shared on Facebook (to the left) of our new Pope, Pope Francis.

The movie goes through St. Francis’ life in how he rebuilt the church, grew the faith across Europe and taught the message of peace. I found it so relevant to today’s world — it was amazing to realize that the struggle in Jerusalem in the early 13th century were the same battles of today — Muslims against Christians, both fighting for the holy land. There is still no peace, and it has grown into even more violence as we’ve seen in recent years/days with terrorism. It makes me think that we need a man like St. Francis today — with the ability to draw others to him just by his simple faith — but realize that peace seems so unreachable with such extremists and terrorists in this world — the task would be too great for any one person. Or would it, if it was God’s will?

The movie’s basic theme was to give up all possessions and follow God by trusting in him. But, I felt that St. Francis was a very sad and lonely man in the movie. This is the only part that I think was poorly done. I would have thought that he should have been portrayed with such great joy with his amazing faith in God — to listen to his calling and leave all his worldly possessions behind. But instead, they showed him just very drab and unemotional. Not to mention, to gain followers by his simple message would require a very approachable and generous man. There was one scene that I felt he had that warmth and love — the one where the children came to him with all their animals to be blest. There had to be 40 or 50 children, carrying ducks, lambs, dogs, cows and other animals with bows tied around their necks — it was beautiful. But other times and in other scenes, like the one where his aristocrat woman friend became a nun — it was dark, and you felt the great sacrifice she was making by the solemness of the ceremony.

When my brother, Bob was ordained a priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh, it was a great day of celebration for us all. Bob was ordained with two other men and this was the first time I had ever been to an ordination. As Bob came down the aisle, tears streaked his face — and I’ll never forget that moment — I truly saw the love he had for God — it was pouring from him as he was filled with so much joy. And that is how I would see St. Francis — someone with much joy to share with his followers.

I think this movie also demonstrates that human nature hasn’t changed since the time of Christ. St. Francis had a lot of resistance from his friends and family on his desire to seek God — and this was a constant struggle throughout the movie. Something that we would all face if we were to take up the cross for Christ.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it worth watching. And if nothing else, it will make you more curious about the life of St. Francis.

Always  B E L I E V E !

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

The Mary Month of May

Blessed Virgin MaryIt’s no surprise that the month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus — during the month that we celebrate all of our Moms out there.

I’ve always prayed to Mary, because she intercedes on the behalf of all Mothers — something I wanted to be and would never be. I believed for years that Tom and I had time to adopt children. But as I neared my 40’s and the cancer just kept recurring, somewhere along this way, I gave up. Sadly, we gave up.

Just eight weeks before our wedding, I was told I had cancer and would never have children. I was absolutely devastated, but relieved that it was considered curable at the time. I seriously don’t know how I would have handled losing Tom at this point in my life, but I did give him a chance to walk away. He stood by me and never looked back.

My brother Bob was a priest at Holy Martyrs parish in Tarentum, PA at the time. He had been a priest for less than 10 years. He talked to Tom and me about God’s plan for us — and told us that we can make all the plans we want to, but in the end, we follow God’s plan. Tom and I clung to those words over the years. We believe them and put all our trust in God. During the most difficult situations, we turn to God. I honestly believe that we would not be as strong as we are without God in our lives. And, it’s not always easy. Sometimes we just don’t understand things, but we put our complete trust in Him.

And Mary. My Grandma Miller gave me a statue of Mary — one that she had displayed in her home since I can remember. And strangely enough, she gave the statue to me when she moved out of her home, because she knew I would take care of it. I don’t know how she knew that — I never asked her for it or even told her that I prayed to Mary all the time. It sits on my dresser and everyday as I put on my jewelry, I look at the statue and I pray a Hail Mary — sometimes two, sometimes three. The statue is chipped, old and has no monetary value — but to me, it means so much!

This year during the month of May, I’ve been trying to say the Rosary in honor of Mary a few times a week. I go to bed and sometimes fall asleep in the middle of it, waking up with it still wrapped around in my hand. I have the most beautiful rosary too. It’s made of mother of pearl, and Bob got it for me in Rome.

My Grandpap Knowlson used to say the Rosary everyday from his chair in their living room. He would say it anytime someone was in trouble — for someone else’s benefit. That’s something that I aspire to do a better job of  — something so good as to pray on behalf of someone else, who doesn’t even know you’re doing it for them. When I had my surgery in 2009, parishioners at St. Gregory’s prayed the Rosary during one Saturday evening mass on my behalf. When I learned of this, I cried. I was so touched that others interceded for me — there was no feeling of greater love than that — from a community of believers.

I know that everyone has their own cross to bear. Sometimes my friends will say something like, “I shouldn’t complain to you about … it’s nothing compared to what you have to go through,” and my response is that everyone has trials and nobody can compare those kinds of things. It’s how we handle the cards that are dealt to us — that is where we have a choice — to make a difference and inspire others if possible. I know one day I’ll fully understand this cross that I must bear.

Until then, I will trust in God and will always honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially during the month of May.

Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

A M A Z I N G

So Monday I had a CT Scan to see if the procedure done over Christmas had any effect on the tumor in my pelvis. I had scheduled this test three weeks before and a follow-up appointment with the doctor the day after so we could review the scan together. The moment I put the scan on my calendar, the anxiety started. I wasn’t sleeping well, on edge, I had a shorter temper. Then on top it, I’m allergic to the contrast dye that gets injected during the test. So they give me prednisone that has its own set of side effects. So while I’m nervously waiting for my results, I feel like I have the flu! This is the one time in my life that I have a very difficult time staying positive. I need to prepare myself for the worst, but hope for the best. In the past 12 years, I’ve probably had close to 40 CT Scans. You’d think I’d learn how to relax and trust in God. Because no matter what the results are — God will be there with me, sitting beside me. He is always there. 

While my husband is just as anxious, he’s also very reassuring. He reminds me that I have very little pain anymore in my hip — some days my sciatic nerve bothers me a bit, but I no longer have any kind of limp. My gait is completely normal — before the holidays I could barely put weight on my left side. All the signs tell us that we’re going to get positive news. So I find the courage to believe and relax. And I don’t have a choice.

So we get to the doctors office and Dr. Goodman’s secretary, Sandy opens the door to take us back to the exam room. AND SHE’S GRINNING EAR TO EAR! “Where your ears burning this morning?” she asks me. I can feel my heart beating inside of my chest, I’m at that moment where she’s going to say something about my scan. “Why? Were you talking about me?” I blurt out as she takes us in the exam room.

Happy_Dance

We’re doing the happy dance!

“Talking about you! Our entire office is celebrating! Dr. Goodman has shown your scan to everyone who works here, because the results are AMAZING! I’ll let him show you and tell you all about it,” she said. At this point, the relief is overwhelming, and I’m close to just balling in happiness — and I don’t even know what he’s going to say!

I’m sobbing and my husband is smiling beside me, I’m trying to get my composure before Dr. Goodman comes in. Tom is keeping his composure by playing with a knee replacement display. Dr. Goodman comes flying in with his two student doctors. “Pam, your scans are the talk of the office!” he gives me a huge hug and goes on to show me the miraculous results!!! A tumor that took up the entire left side of my pelvic wall — significantly covering my left hip bone, is a fraction of what is was. He went on to show me how the cement he put in the hip bone and the joint had completely healed. There was no tumor on my hip bone at all. The cryoablation procedure dissolved much of the tumor and formed some new bone. What was left of the tumor was totally encased in bone and a fraction of what is was in sheer mass. He explained that because the tumor was on my pelvis, some extra bone there wouldn’t hurt me at all.

He went on to tell me that he had called my other doctors — and Dr. Santos who did the cryoablation procedure in Interventional Radiology. Nobody could have ever guessed that this procedure would have worked so well. It’s not only going to keep the tumor at bay, but it may remove the tumor completely. So we’re getting another scan in two months to see if it continues to “heal.” If not, we can do another cryoablation on what’s left and see if we can completely eradicate it. Ah, the relief is mind blowing.

God is good. I trusted and believed God would see me through the major surgery. That experience by far was the most difficult time of my life. We were at such an indecision to have this radical surgery in the first place. My doctors were at opposite ends of the spectrum on their recommendations. But at the end of the day, we had to take the chance that we could remove the entire tumor.

God made the decision for us and the surgery was aborted when I bled out on the table. I ended up in ICU for the night. By the next day, Dr. Goodman had this wonderful idea to give this procedure a try after walking his dog. In theory it may work. And here we are today — to think this has the potential to eradicate this disease is A M A Z I N G. There’s no other way to explain it — God is always with me and believes in me too. Thanks be to God.

So Tom and I are celebrating this weekend with the Pens game and some drinks at Peters’ Pub with friends. I stocked the bar today! And, we just booked a romantic getaway to Belhurst Castle on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes of New York for a few days. That was a special package voucher on TravelZoo and once we got the good news, we knew we were going. We will live life to the fullest everyday and celebrate when we can and give thanks to God.

Always B E L I E V E.

I Walk by Faith

My dear friend Roberta reminds me that I must have faith as I face this surgery next week:

By Faith Not By Sight
Author: Stephanie Storey Morant

In walking I give thanks
In what’s not known
I have to trust, My Father
That yesterday’s pain is gone
For you’ve given me this day
For me to rejoice
To faithfully follow
To willingly hear your voice
For trials that will come sometimes
And burdens I’ll have to bare
But you promised me Father
To always be there
So I’m standing on that promise
No matter what I go through
And just in case I stumble
I’m depending on you
For you hold the master plan
And your path is always right
So today I’m embarking
By faith and not by sight

Complete Trust in God

Do not look forward to the trials and crosses of this life with dread and fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God, to whom you belong, will deliver you from them.

He has guided and guarded you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you lovingly in his arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same Eternal Father who cares for you today will take good care of you tomorrow and everyday of your life. Either he will shield you from suffering or he will give you the unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then and put aside all useless thoughts, vain dreads, and anxious imaginations.