Saturday, July 02, 2016

The specifics...

The past few weeks have been the hardest of my entire cancer journey thus far.  I've been in lots of pain due to a leaky feeding tube, barely slept at night, and have had tons of anxiety just worrying about what is yet to come.  The strength and determination I had at at the beginning seemed to disappear beneath the mounds of pain I have been feeling.  Slowly but surely...I was beginning to feel myself crumble.  At night, I would wake up in pain and spend hours awake...crying and pleading with God.  When the sun finally came up, I was so tired from not sleeping that I would either sleep most of the day or just feel extremely anxious about the entire situation.  My sister has been with me for the past month and has been such an immense help to me.  She is going home next week and I'm not sure how I'm going to make it without her.

Just a few weeks ago I was cooking...painting a craft table...visiting with friends and family...and now everything is different. It's been hard to think about how quickly things have changed and how dependent I've become on my family. I've been so weak I was extremely worried about starting chemo last Monday.  I had no idea how I would have the energy to sit there for a 5 hour infusion.  Sunday night, I remember asking my friend Krissy to pray that I would have enough energy to make it through my first chemo infusion.  My mom was also up half the night praying that I would have energy to make it through the next day because she was so worried.  Although I had very little sleep the night before, I made it through my infusion perfectly fine and did well the entire day.

The next day, however, things took a turn for the worse.  I discovered my feeding tube was leaking and it was causing a lot of pain.  A few days later, I was able to have a minor procedure and change out the feeding tube, and it has made a world of difference.  After the procedure I came home and slept, but woke up intermittently because I was having terrible dreams.  I'm pretty sure those dreams stemmed from the dosage of pain meds they had given me while they swapped out the feeding tube.  My mom came over to pray for me, and I asked her to specifically pray that I would have good dreams.  I remember praying with her and telling God..."I know these weird dreams are because of he pain meds, but you are stronger than any pain medication."  That night I didn't jolt awake from bad dreams, but I slept very little due to the pain.

I realized that I needed to start praying really specific prayers...and asking others to pray specific prayers too.  So, yesterday when my cancer buddy's wife texted me, I asked her to pray specifically that I get a good night's rest.  It had been so many weeks...and I have to admit, I had my doubts.  But for the first time in a very long time, I slept through the whole night...only getting up to go to the bathroom.

I realize that God is trying to show me that I need to pray for specific matter how trivial they are, so I will know...beyond a shout of a doubt...that He is with me and that He is listening and that He is answering my prayers.  I should be anxious for nothing...but instead bring my prayers and requests to God.  I decided to share those requests with the blogosphere so you can pray over them too.  So many of you have asked how you can help me...and really there is nothing more you can do for me that would benefit me more than prayer.

That being are the specifics:

  1. Please pray that I will be able to continue to sleep through the night and get good rest.  
  2. This week I have an appointment with a nutritionist...please pray that the appointment will be beneficial and that I will be able to find the best nutrition available through the feeding pump.
  3. I don't want to be on the feeding pump forever.  I prayed for thirst and God has given me thirst and I'm able to drink most things.  Please pray that God will give me hunger as well so I can eat by mouth.
  4. Please pray that my pain will subside and that I will start feeling stronger and more like myself with each passing day.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dear friends....

I know it's been so long since I've updated, answered calls and seen your faces...I would never distance myself this much if not necessary. This part of the journey is very difficult. It takes an immense amount of energy to type, and use my voice. Please give me this time to get through the pain. And when I'm better I promise I will communicate more. All I ask now is that you stand with me in prayer....

Monday, June 13, 2016

Uphill Battles...

I spent most of the weekend with my cousins MikeyMouse and CCL...and I felt terrible. Apparently surgery causes lots of gas to be trapped in your belly and I'm now on a J tube, which is a feeding tube so the food that's pumping into my belly makes my belly gassy too. All of this gas is trapped in my belly and wreaking sharp stabbing pains in my belly and pain in my back. View tried every product in the pharmacy to help and home remedies as well and nothing has helped. I'm in lots of pain. 

When I'm in pain I find it really hard to be strong and positive. Everything makes me cry. I couldn't smile for my cousins or spend too much time talking because I was just so overwhelmed by pain.

I got so many texts from friends this weekend saying they've been praying for me and I texted back to make a special prayer that I'm making to the blogosphere now...

Please pray for God to give me strength during times like this...uphill really weak and there's no way I can keep moving forward while in excruciating pain with out his strength during the time of my weakness.

This time in particular is very hard for me...especially hurting and being away from home...for those of you who have asked to call...or who have called only to get my voicemail a 100 times....please bear with me. My focus now is to get through this rough patch, go home and get started on chemo. I need this two weeks in Houston to recover and then when I'm back in okc I promise to be more responsive.

Please keep me in your prayers....

Friday, June 10, 2016


We now interrupt all the cancer talk on this blog to share some fantastic, exciting news!  My beautiful, niece Marissa is a high school graduate as of last weekend!  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend any of her festivities, but when the kids came to visit me at the hospital, I creeped on her phone and texted myself a helping heap of pictures!

But before I share those pics...let me tell you a little about Marissa.  She's my one and only niece, and from the minute she was born, I wanted nothing more to dress her up in cute outfits, paint her tiny toesies,  and put bows in her hair.  And...she let me do that for a while...not so much anymore!!  One of the most interesting things about her is that she looks EXACTLY like her dad, yet she's gorgeous.  Wait.  Maybe that came out a little insulting to my brother.  What I mean know what..forget it.  He doesn't read my blog, and you guys know what I mean!!!  I'm so proud of her breezing through high school with out ever asking me to write a paper or edit a paper.  When you have an aunt who is notorious for "helping people with papers,"  it would be really easy to talk said aunt into writing a few dozen of yours!  But she never took advantage of that. She changed high schools a few times, and we all know that's not an easy thing to do.  But she made friends, got involved, made great grades, and has always made our family proud.  She will be attending the Texas Womens University next fall.  To my dismay, men actually attend this school as I'm a little less excited about it.  But, I've lectured her enough about school and boys and everything else you can think of.  Turns out I'm pretty good at lecturing.

Missa, if you're reading this.  I'm SO sad I couldn't make it to the biggest event of your life to date...but I promise to be right beside you for all the rest!  I love  you so much and I'm incredibly proud of the young woman you've become!  Always let Christ guide every step you make in the future...and you will never go down the wrong path!

Pictures of her graduation festivities for your viewing pleasure....
The little beauty on her prom night...

With Amachi...

With her dad...

Grad party ready!

Thursday, June 09, 2016


Forgive me for my absence....I've been in the hospital for the last 13 days.  I haven't wanted to pick up my phone, text, blog, watch tv, or listen to music.  I've been totally out of commission and unplugged from the world...I guess you could say.  It's been a both physically and emotionally grueling few weeks.  I needed that time...and probably just a little more to get through the pain of surgery and be physically stronger.  As always, God has been with me every day....teaching me lessons and reminding me that I'm never alone.

So, where did I leave you last?  Oh yes...the dreaded NG tube.  Well, I never had to get one!  Basically the Drs didn't feel like it would help me get enough nutrition with just three short days before surgery.  So I spent the week before surgery trying to get food down and keep it there.  I was miserable.  It was so painful to eat...and after I ate, it didn't feel any better.  My stomach would bloat up as if I had eaten a 4 course meal...when in reality I had just a few spoons of cream of wheat.  All I could think about was surgery and the relief I would have afterwards.

Friday morning couldn't arrive soon enough!  Although my heart was fine, they wanted me to get a pacemaker before the procedure to assure that I wouldn't have any more problems if my heart stopped again for any reason.  So, I said my goodbyes to my family and my cancer bud (CB)...and got whisked away to the OR.

And that's when life threw me yet another curveball.  I woke up and felt great....I mean, aside from the throbbing gash that ran vertically up my belly. I did wonder why I still didn't have the NG tube though.  I didn't see it hanging from my nose or feel it in my throat.  I happened to glance  at a clock and notice surgery seemed to get done a lot quicker than it should have.  My family and CB were all surrounding me by that time....and none of them were smiling and I wondered if they were waiting on me to say something to know if I was truly Ok.  And then, CB began to answer the questions that were filling my head....

The doctors made their incision, saw that the cancer cells had spread to the lining of the stomach, and closed me up.  My tumor was in-operable.  Chemotherapy starts again in three weeks.

I instantly looked at the sullen faces of my mom and uncle....and assured them that I was going to be fine.  I know God sent us my CB to show us that it doesn't matters what doctors say....He is still heals.  (My CB's tumor was operable, but his cancer returned and spread, and just weeks before my surgery he was given news of a clear pet scan.) The very same thing can happen for me.

Reality still jolts me sometimes, but I have been able to find peace and strength in the Lord.  Every day I feel His presence and it's truly more than I can ask for.  I am surrounded by lots of love and support...which is what I need to get stronger.  I know there are countless people praying for me, but I'm asking for continued prayers.  I knew when I set out on this battle against cancer that it was going to be a long and hard one....but I didn't know just how long and hard....and honestly, I still don't.  Every day there are curveballs....and I've learned that it's okay.  As long as I face each day and its' challenges as it comes without looking and planning ahead...God gives me just enough strength, grace, and mercy each day...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Well I got transferred back to MD Anderson tonight. After a full cardiac work up its been determined that I have a pretty strong heart. However, the anesthesia cocktail they gave me was a bit too much for me to handle because I'm pretty malnourished.

I have been trying so hard to eat and drink supplements but it just doesn't seem to be good enough. My blood pressure is still pretty low and I'm at risk for this whole "heart stopping" thing to happen again.

So tomorrow my physician will talk about dreaded option B....the NG tube. For you non medical professionals like me...the NG tube is a tube that goes up your nose, down your throat, and into the stomach. I watched them insert my dads tube and the memory is etched in my brain for life. It's the one time I saw him cry...actually scream in pain. As soon as I was diagnosed with cancer I turned to my aunt and told her please don't let them put an NG tube in me while I'm awake.

And now...short of a miracle...that's exactly what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm scared....and even more sad. I spent some time talking to God about it just now. I have no control of what's happening to me anymore and all I can do is plead with Him to give me enough strength to make it through the rest of this process. Each day gets harder and more unpredictable...the old Sue would've had a nervous breakdown by now. But every day I see strangers...that tell me they are praying for me...and I know that's the only reason I've held it together so far. 

Tomorrow will come..and I will have to face all the unwanted,unexpected challenges it brings along with it. Please pray that I will be brave and strong and get through it so I can move forward with surgery....and recovery...and eventually have my life back.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Gods plans are different...

I went into MDA Friday morning fully expecting to have surgery and move forward with recovery but life threw me a major curve ball!!

Anesthesia was administered and I was ready to go. The docs were cleaning my belly for the first incision when my heart rate started dropping. The docs thought that perhaps the monitor was faulty. The next thing they knew I was flatlining. My heart stopped for five seconds...they had to do compressions to make it start back up again. 

The doc decided to reschedule surgery. When I came to I knew something was wrong. The Surgical fellow explained what had happened and told me I'd have to wait a week for surgery. I cried and said I didn't know if I could make it. I was so weak already from not eating and I couldn't imagine making it through one more week. 

Soon after I woke cancer buddy was by my side. As soon as I saw him tears started flowing! I was so disappointed that I had to wait one more week for surgery! But my cancer buddy wiped away my tears and reminded me that God had a plan. If they had made that first incision...and my heart had stopped once I was already cut open...the ending could have been catastrophic. And I had been so weak for so body wasn't really ready for surgery. He then said a prayer for me...and I instantly felt better!

I don't know what I would do without my wonderful family and my awesome cancer buddy. Their support really got me through one of the craziest days of my life.

It's so surreal to think that my life could have very well been over yesterday. Once again, I am so thankful to God for his grace ...for having a different plan for my life...and for showing me His love!
I'm doing much better today! Me, B, and cancer bud hangin out in the ICU!