“The Furnace” part 3

As I write this I’m sitting here staring at my exercise pedal contraption. Sometimes I use my brother and sister-in-law’s monster exercise bike. Don’t imagine me doing 30 minutes or even 15 minutes. Back it down! With the pedal contraption you can sit in a chair and pedal. It’s easier to use.

When you’re battling cancer you welcome easier ways. You wear gloves when you get food out of the refrigerator. If you don’t, it feels like pins and needles are being stuck into your hands and fingers. Stairway hand rails become your buddies. Room temperature water is easier to swallow for a week after infusions or else you think you’re swallowing knives. The weekends after infusions are spent napping your way to energy.

Whatever helps. Whatever makes it easier. That’s why cancer warriors must cling to God. He makes the war and the daily battles easier.

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Furnace: Part Two

Part Two:

Cancer: The Furnace of Affliction

When I get my infusions at the oncologist’s office, I see other cancer patients dragging their I.V. poles up and down the hallway. They smile at me as they go by, seeing me sitting in a lounge chair while hooked up to my I.V.s.

The other day I came out of the restroom while dragging my pole behind me. A little, frail lady in a wig scurried to the door. We talked a little bit and she patted my arm. My heart melted.

I am finding the blessings in my war with cancer. Cancer warriors are given the unique blessing of compassion and love for each other. Each knows what the other is going through. Each knows the struggles, the fears, the fatigue, the nausea. Each recognizes the people in their lives who are blessings: the people who encourage them, who pray for them, who help them with their daily activities and take them to their appointments.

Suffering can help us to love like Jesus or it can cause us to become bitter. It’s our choice.

Cancer warriors must pray in the shadows of Gethsemane and meet the suffering as a part of life, recognizing that blessings are woven into the tapestry that drapes about them day and night.

Blessings are discovered in odd situations and places. It’s up to us whether we discard or embrace those blessings.

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Cancer: The Furnace of Affliction

Part One

Cancer: The Furnace of Affliction

“Have you ever had a normal life?” my brother asked me as we sat in my hospital room at Markey Cancer Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

I didn’t answer him. I was thinking, ‘What is considered a normal life?’ and then realized that the question would be answered differently by each individual.

Over the ensuing days I thought about his question. Did others ever look at my life and declare it to be ‘abnormal?’

At the age of 15 I had battled against a malignant brain tumor, partial paralysis and double vision. At the age of 27 I nearly died from severe septicemia and had to have an emergency C-section. If I hadn’t nearly died, my son would have been born dead, because the cord was wrapped around his neck twice.

Now, at the age of 62, I had had chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery for rectal cancer. Pathology report revealed cancer involvement in ten lymph nodes, and scans later revealed two small cancerous spots in my liver.

Metastatic cancer, stage IV. My oncologist was very positive, assuring me that the intense six months of chemotherapy treatments and immunotherapy I would be receiving would do away with the cancer in the liver. She said if it returns, we will repeat the chemotherapy.

Could everything I had been through be considered ‘normal?’ I’ve learned some things from my current battle with cancer:

  1. You must be a warrior when battling cancer and when in recovery. Like David going up against Goliath, you must take up your stones and slingshot, tell cancer Who is boss, and that He has delivered you in the past and will do so again. While recovering from my brain tumor, my friend Mary and I daily played the board game ‘The Game of Life.’ Life is so not a game! Life is a war and each day is a battle in which we must put on our armor and follow our Commander into the thick of things.

  2. Cancer strips you of any pride you may have as your body is subjected to things like hair loss, weight loss and sometimes not feeling like ‘getting prettied-up’ with make-up. Most days you feel like a plucked chicken. Health care workers and family members sometimes see you without your clothes. Doctors investigate your body, medicines invade your body, and machines ‘attack’ your body. Pride? It’s gone!

  3. Cancer strips you of independence. You spend years doing things for yourself and even by yourself, and then along comes cancer, that monster which refuses to let you do anything yourself. You learn dependence upon God first and others second. You are driven places, you hang onto others’ arms as you walk places, you are assisted with showers, and you learn that dependency invades every area of your life.

And what is a person to do? Give it all up to God and believe. Know that any strength you need will be provided by Him. Know that He is the Ultimate Healer and Provider and that He is walking with you in the fiery furnace. You may get burned by the radiation, but the flames of cancer cannot steal your soul!

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In the belly of the whale

I reach out to You,


Surrounded by darkness

And suffocation,

I cling to Your goodness

And hope in the truth

Of Your Word.






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“Year of Hell”

As my birthday approaches this week, the one title that comes to mind is the one used for the last two “Star Trek:Voyager” episodes: “Year of  Hell.” Many battles, many worries, much stress and the overwhelming recognition that there is truly good and evil that surround us. As I said goodbye to one part of my life, I followed God into another part, and I’ve begun to realize when we give up that which is considered “lucrative” in the eyes of the world, choosing instead to become a servant, we find joy and satisfaction in what we do. God turns struggle into survival and stress into peace. He knows what’s best for us, because He knows our hearts. May we always follow the road He points out to us. Goodbye “Year of Hell.” I’ve learned a lot from your darkness.

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“I Am A Caregiver”

“I Am A Caregiver”


I am a Caregiver.

I serve.

I am a Caregiver.

I give of myself and do not count the cost.

I am a Caregiver.

I live above human motives.

I am a Caregiver.

I place others above myself.

I am a Caregiver.

I tend His sheep.

I am a Caregiver.

My work is sacred.

I am a Caregiver.

I press on.

I am a Caregiver.

I love others.

I am a Caregiver.

I do my work with gladness of heart.

I am a Caregiver.

I encourage others.

I am a Caregiver.

Nothing I do is halfhearted.

I am a Caregiver.

Others depend on me.

I am a Caregiver.

I care.



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Where I Should Be

“Where I Should Be”
When the ancient leaves swirl round and round
And pages turn one by one,
My walk is determined by His way,
My faith lies in the Son.

When trees reach forth to pull me in
And dark shade comes at me,
I’ll stay where light pours on my path
And the Son is all I see.

When desert sand pours in my shoes
And the heat melts over me,
My Oasis waits to quench my thirst,
Water, living, free.

My Savior is the Only One
Who knows where I should be.

-Keneta 4-20-16-

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Can believe how naive I am at my age. Sequestered too long, I guess. I had no idea that condemning others and making fun of others is very common. How sad. How heartbreaking. Why can’t people love each other?

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Such an Apt Song!

This song by Sanctus Real is so very apt right now:

“Whatever You’re Doing (Something Heavenly)”

It’s time for healing time to move on
It’s time to fix what’s been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It’s time to find my way to where I belong
There’s a wave that’s crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace
It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see
but I’m giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Revaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender…


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I’ve wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You’re up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It’s time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out


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Oh, the Wonderful Cross…..

The other day there were no tables in the dining room and I had to eat my lunch in the chapel…on the communion table…at the foot of the cross…now, that’s awesome!

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