Without Rain (Things in my Head…now)

Lindsey,

Hi! I just wanted to give you my year’s story:)

I think you know that eight years ago I had a life-threatening brain tumor. My kids were only toddlers, and the surgery was extremely rough, but truly went better than anyone had predicted. I recovered completely without paralysis, but they were unable to get “clear boundaries” because of the tumor’s proximity to a main vein in the brain.

At the 5-year mark, a doctor told me my chances were much less of recurrence, and I could come every 2-3 years. (-which was nice because MRI’s are expensive!) My husband said, “no.” He didn’t see why we wouldn’t check it every year. I think his exact words were, “I have more money and only one wife: you need to go every year.”

So last January I went for my annual scan, and for the first time in 7 years, they called me back that they had found something and I needed to have it rescanned.

The rescan eight weeks later showed more definition, and what looked like growth so they sent me to Duke Neuro-Oncology within a few weeks. The specialist called it a meningioma (same name as last time) and said that growth was questionable but that it was so small (“blueberry” size) he wanted me to wait until this January and then we would decide radiation or surgery.

I’ll skip recording here all of my emotions of screaming Nooooo!! We can just say I didn’t peacefully and joyfully say, “well, to God be the glory!” …at least not at first. I prayed – and asked a few sweet friends to pray – that I would “let go of this basket,” the same as Moses’ mother did, but sometimes I would reel it back in as though attached with fishing line. Every little headache seemed to say I was headed down an old familiar brain tumor path, and I tried to talk myself into thinking it was “all in my head” (pun intended).  Every travel I planned, or commitment I made for this spring was weighed down, wondering if I would be able to follow through with it.  Yet I knew I was as good as dead if I decided to stop living while I waited for the next test.  I had to accept it one day at a time.

“My daily bread…” was something Jesus taught us to ask. (Matt 6:11) As I awaited the long, drawn-out period, I often thought how He didn’t say monthly bread or even weekly bread; He said DAILY bread – so I tried to be satisfied with His daily promises and stop asking for the month or year of provisions to be satisfying.

I made some health changes in hopes I was doing my best to either avoid surgery, or ready my body to endure it.

Last week, my husband and I had the appointment with the Duke Neuro-oncologist. He gave us the great news that the scan showed it was STILL a blueberry; he is not worried about it and thought it might even only be scar tissue. He told me he didn’t need to see me for THREE years!!

I praise God for this fantastic news!! Though I didn’t feel like telling everyone along the way, (some roller coasters are better ridden alone) now I feel like shouting it from the mountaintop!!

While I bask in the joy of answered prayers, and realize the floating feeling of lifted weight I hadn’t realized I was carrying in the “back of my mind,” (pun intended) I found it interesting that I want to shout about THIS one. Yet, I didn’t write blogs about the skin biopsies that came back normal, annual exams that didn’t cause concern or the colds I didn’t get. I am so extra-ecstatic this time, because the “last time” had been a bad diagnosis. “Last time” had been a fast-growing, life-threatening tumor that would likely cause seizures at any moment.  “Last time” the tumor was resting on the main vein, in the area of the nerves for my mouth and eating through a bone used for hearing! “Last time” had led to urgent surgery within two weeks followed by months out of my mom-of-the-home position. Argh! “Last time’s”  stormy season had taken everything I had to dance in the rain. And because of that rain, I GREATLY appreciate the sun I have been given in this great news.

In other words, I guess the rainy days in life remind us of the value in the sun.

  • Ask anyone who has had cancer in the past how much they celebrate the clear scans of remission.
    • Ask anyone who has almost lost a loved one how much more they are drawn to that same person now that the storm is done.
      • Ask anyone who has ever lived without a meal how much they appreciate every morsel today.

Ask anyone who fully depended on daily bread, how grateful they are when the sun comes up!

The rain makes us notice the sun…and appreciate it even more.  I hope it makes us tell God thank you even more as well!

If you are in the storm right now,

…like the person in front of me at the doctor, who was scheduling his next chemotherapy, while his wife and dad watched on…

…like the person behind me in the check-out line of the doctor, who was already paralyzed with an obvious head-surgery scar and sat patiently waiting in her wheelchair…

I am praying for you.

I pray you feel the God who calms the winds and waves right there with you, as He carries you to bright skies ahead.

Thanks for dancing in the sun with me.

Terri

 

Morning by morning, new mercies I see.

Lamentations 3:22-23 King James Version (KJV): 22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

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24 thoughts on “Without Rain (Things in my Head…now)

  1. It is a pleasure to dance in the sun with you and thank you for your prayers….I too long to dance in that sun and no longer feel the guilt of not being able to do so while currently in the rain. His promise says I one day will dance in that sun and I believe that.

  2. We praise God for your recovery, and for this wonderful news. You inspire me when you face challenges; and you inspire me when you praise God for His blessings. Your ministry among us continues!

  3. Terri,

    As I read your post here in Houston it is actually raining. Somehow it sets the stage to further understand and remember this post. Thank you for sharing your perspective and helping us reframe our thoughts associated with any challenge we might be facing now. I pray for you, your family, your health and your ability to help us see the sunshine in the middle of a rainy day. God bless you!

    Luis Ortiz

  4. Great is HIS faithfulness…..Praise God

    Terri!

    Wow aint God good!

    When Chris gave the shortened version (in only a way Chris could deliver) I sat there on the edge of my seat anxiously waiting for the “Praise Report” then shouted quietly inside that HE had done it again!!!

    Your strength, transparency and willingness to allow that Holy Spirit to use you is such a testimony of God and his goodness.

    Lovingly,
    Tina
    Phil 1:3

  5. Praise God…so happy for a good result..like most everyone i am sure, i also have friends or family who have fought and beaten…or not…this disease. ( hows that for good grammar …lol)

    I have witnessed the pain and applaud each one of you for your courage and strength ….and knowing our Lord always makes for a victorious ending.

    Thank you fo much for sharing Ginette Genest Ottawa Canada

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

  6. Terri
    I am always inspired of the way you able to put things in perspective. I have found if I apply these to my life when dealing with storms, I’m able to reframe my situation and lean upon God. You are so right it should be daily bread.

  7. I completely get this! Thank you! Amen and Amen! Praise God for this sunny day! And, praise God for the rain as it DOES make us appreciate so much more the Sun! God is working through it all! We just need to look harder in the rain.

  8. Terry,
    Thank you for sharing in the good times and the tough times! To God be the glory for all the good things He has done in your life! Praising Him with you!

  9. I am happy for you and your family for the outcome of your tumor episodes. I listen to the small voice inside my heart that says “be still and know that I am God” Trust in Me, Ask and you shall receive, I WILL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF Your HEART! And then there’s Jackie. What happened? I’m still struggling so much to understand! I still cry almost daily, I miss her so much! WHY, WHY, WHY??? I ask God to take this burden from me, He hasn’t chisen to do that yet, some day soon I hope!i seek to understand, I long to move forward, my heart is heavy. I wish I had your faith and strength. You are a blessing and an inspiration and a spark of hope to so many. THANK YOU!

    • Thanks for your message, Chuck. It touched me deeply- because the truth is that with each joy of my healing- there is the reminder to me that others like Jackie for whom I fervently prayed did not receive that healing. But truthfully, I guess she received the ultimate healing- the new body in heaven- the dancing with Jesus she was looking forward to- the peace with no more crying, no more tears, etc. She got the good part. Sometimes when I think about it, I feel selfish that I wanted her here! But we…we wait through the storms and thank God for the sun when He lets it shine. We can believe that that earthly sun will be nothing like His glory in heaven- where no sun is needed. Yet here we hurt, because we miss her. And miss her. And miss her. Even 100 years without Jackie will seem like less than a second once we are in heavenly joy for eternity. But since we were given breath- we can use it to tell others so they too can join us in those glory days ahead.
      I love your faith. You always quote scriptures. You recognize your need for a Savior. That’s the only kind of faith we need! I’m proud of you for keeping the faith while you learn to dance in the rain.

      Blessings,
      Terri

  10. Terri, thank you for your transparency. It has been 6 years now since I had a touch of cancer (colon) that was handled by surgery only – no chemo or radiation. God gave me amazing peace from diagnosis until now. I am 77 years old, my children are grown, and I am blessed with 13 grandchildren and 6-1/2 great-grandchildren. There is much to live for but God will take me home sometime, someway. I felt much different when I was younger and so much of life was ahead. It’s all perspective. One of my daughters gave me a book for mother’s day 5 years ago that has blessed my life. It was a book about seeing God’s blessings and having a grateful heart. She also gave me a “gifts” journal to record my blessings. After about 25-30 blessings, I pretty much covered everything I could think of but kept it with my devotional stuff for daily thoughts. One morning I was sitting in my prayer chair and had my book open to write something I was thankful for but I couldn’t think of anything I hadn’t already recorded. It was just getting daylight and the view out the window was full of nature and beauty. I added to my journal of thanks – “Getting up”. I realized so many people can’t get up without help. Then I realized I was seeing this beauty so I added, “eyes to see”. I have shared this book and a “gifts” journal with many people. I know that if we seek to see, God will reveal. Having a threat to life reminds us of so many blessings that we take for granted.

    I know you see that also. You are blessing so many people who struggle in so many ways. You help us to see God in every aspect of life. You are a blessing in my book.

    Sabra

  11. Thank-you for sharing your story – and the inspiration to Dance in the rain the storm clouds provide, arriving at the amazing rainbow that appears at the end of the storm! Learning to embrace the storm, enjoy the rain and bask in God’s rainbow!

    As we share our stories, we build a community of hope, a community of trust, and a community of support that allows us to see the rainbow while in the storm. Thank-you for sharing your story and building this community!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your heart. Your blog and your book have been a blessing. You keep reminding me that God is in charge and no matter what happens, He will work it for good.

  13. What an awesome post and awesome news, Terri. At the cancer center where Bob received his treatments, one of the walls was stenciled with the words, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain”. We seemed to write it everywhere during that time reminding us about the amazing blessings God has given us each and every day. We are so thankful He has blessed you with great news and thankful He has blessed all of us with you.

  14. Hello Terri, Just read your comments on LIFE Blog. I was in attendance when you told about your health. Thoughts and prayers were with you then and still for you and family. You are a strong individual and one that cares about family and others. You have guardian angels watching over you. Thanks for sharing as by doing so, can give others hope.

    I always enjoy listening to your stories and the message you give to others of Hope.

    God Bless you and your family and friends

    Roy J. Taylor
    Life member from the start and before.

    Hitting the 81 Mark this month. Life and the people have helped in attaining this. HOPE is what keeps individuals moving on.

  15. Hi Terri,
    This letter helped me through a rough time in January. I was in a bit of a storm! You’re letter made my day. It was so nice to read your words, was like a old friend coming to visit, reminding you it’s going to be okay. I have always enjoyed listening to you. Thank you so much. I’m in the rain today again, but am looking forward to the sun soon. I’ve been wanting to tell you something but, my head always gets in the way of my heart. I think she must already know this she is so smart, why wouldn’t she. Well I thought I was pretty educated myself, and I didn’t know. I’m talking about chemicals in products linked to illness. You see my son, who is now 10 has been in the rain most of his life. He has a sensory disorder on the autism spectrum. When I found out what was wrong I was scared, frustrated, angry and confused! How did this happen? What do I do about it? Well I researched about autism, I needed answers! You see, my son is so sensory sensitive that I couldn’t give him a bath or brush his teeth without a wrestling and screaming match! The products literally hurt and burned his skin! I had know idea it actually was hurting him. I found treatments for my son, I also found out that there are very few products that are safe for him to use. He can’t even go by the personal care and cleaning isle in the store without becoming ill. Yikes! So in my search for safe products I finally found my saving grace! A company with all non toxic products! Yay! He is such a happy boy now. I’m telling you this because so many do not know this information. It’s become my mission to help others, inform them of the dangers of toxic products. When I was reading your letter it made me feel so good that I went back and read ones from the past. I noticed you are still having headaches, and allergies. I’m so sorry… I hope my information will help you. I’m sending you a link to a great article to shed some light on what I’m talking about. I will give my website information below. I hope you will find relief of your headaches and allergies. I’m praying for you. God bless you Terri 💜🙏🏻💐
    Here is the article posted from a fellow consultant and friend of mine.

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