The Times of my Life...

Recently Updated


Nov.30, 1999 
  I was so blessed and encouraged today as I read through the on-line journal of JOYCE DUSANG,  who had recently went through something that I am now facing. So I have decided to do the same. With the prayer that someday someone will find encouragement and strength here. 

  On Nov.16th I was admitted to the hospital for a severe bladder infection. During a CAT scan Dr.'s found that I have 8 different "masses" scattered throughout both my lungs. This is frightening as Mom was about my age when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. But I am resting in the Lord and in the prayers and love of many friends and family. 
  People from all over the world are praying for me and that is a huge comfort. 
I have been referred to a "cardio-thoracic surgeon, Dr. Glaser. I see him tomorrow at 3:45pm. 
I am hoping that we can schedule a biopsy very soon. 
More tomorrow~  dgw 

Dec. 3, 1999 
   ~Today was a long day! I had an appointment with my "gastreoenterologist" (sp.?)- Dr. Scneider. I have been having terrible nausea ever since I got out of the hospital last April. I have to eat very small meals several times a day rather than eat very much at one time. Dr. Scneider says that I have "chronic pancreatitis". PANCREATITIS means that the PANCREAS is inflamed or infected which causes severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. So he says that I need a procedure known as an "E.R.C.P." which means that he will run a scope down my throat while I am under sedation and he'll go through my digestive tract and into my pancreatic ducts. It will be necessary to inject some dye into the pancreas so that a better view can be seen on Exray. This is a great risk of further inflammation to the pancreas which MAY mean that I will have to be admitted to the hospital for a few days. I hope not because this procedure is going to be on Thursday, Dec.9th....only 5 days before my LUNG SURGERY on the 14th. And I would hate to have to go into the hospital on the 9th and stay until after my lung surgery. BUT... that is all in the Lord's hands and He will take care of all the details. 
   ~I also had to go to the hospital today for my "PRE-ADMISSION TESTING". I was glad that I could get it all done on the same day. They took some blood tests, asked lots of questions, I signed what seemed like a thousand papers (!! I don't think I signed THAT many papers for our mortgage!!) and then I met with an "anesthesiologist". He explained the surgery with great detail and also discussed the potential risks. I have to say that I am a bit more scared after talking with him. He mentioned the possibility of chest tubes, breathing machines, a couple days in I.C.U., possible pain levels, etc. 
   You would think with as many operations as I've had (36+) I wouldn't be so afraid. But all my other illnesses and surgeries were things I've been dealing with for years. This "lung problem" has come so "out-of-the-blue" for UNEXPECTED...that I guess it's just taken me by surprise. 
  My greatest source of comfort through all this so far has been the knowledge that so many precious folks have been praying for me and my family. I've received emails, cards and written prayers from literally hundreds of people from all over the my wonderful new church family and my other friends and family....   It is actually a physical feeling of warmth and peace knowing that even on the bad days when I myself have no words to pray, there are people interceding on my behalf. I am amazed at how the love of Jesus can bring so many people together! What a mighty force prayer is! Never again will I under-estimate the power behind prayer! 

Dec. 6, 1999 
  Today was a tough day. I tried to keep busy with wrapping gifts, filling out Holiday cards and usual household chores. But despite my attempt at busy-ness Satan was quick to attack my vulnerability and doubt and fear began to creep in. I began to mentally prepare myself to hear "the worst"... that I have lung cancer. I began to think about how I will deal with that news, with planning for chemotherapy, loosing my hair, and still manage to care for my family, etc. 
  But the Lord is so good and He knew exactly what I needed. And I was so blessed by a phone conversation with a precious friend who is also facing a tremendous battle... she has recently been diagnosed with cancer. We were able to cry together and I think that was very healing for me. I found strength and encouragement through my time with her... she has always been such an inspiration to me! Her faith is so strong...she has so much courage and grace. And if she can face her battle with such strength and courage, then so can I! I feel the urgency to be strong and to Get that I can "be there" for her, just as she has always been there for me. I praise God for this friend. My life is forever changed by her. 
  I guess we all can have weak moments when fear and doubt can creep in. And perhaps the Lord uses those times to help mold and shape us. Praise God those times pass and a new day comes to start all over again...with new strength and God's graces. 
  ~"Thank You Jesus... that You are in control... that You have overcome this world. 
Thank You for placing people in my life who show me little bit's of YOU...who love me, lift me up and give me the strength and courage to face another day. Bless each person who whispers a prayer for me and allow them to feel the warmth and peace that comes from Your loving care. 
Thank You for going before me and preparing the way for all that lies ahead...    Amen"   dgw 

December 23, 1999 
I am home now. I spent 8 days in the hospital. I am still dealing with a lot of physical pain...much more than I had expected. Dr.'s say that the chest tubes are adding to the pain but they will come out in a few days.  
  But more than all the physical aspects of this ordeal...I am still "in shock" from the news that we received on Dec.14th...the day of my surgery. NO CANCER WAS FOUND!! Hallelujah! I know that I have received a healing touch from God. I have no doubt about that! My entire church has been praying, all my friends and family and all my on-line friends have been praying, my entire Sunday School class had a 3 day fast for my healing... and I have been healed! 
  Both my mother and my paternal grandmother suffered from lung cancer around my age; I have a history of cancer myself. THe doctors were also fully expecting to find cancer in my lungs. But I serve the God of Miracles and I have been healed! "Thank You Jesus". 
  The strangest thing though is dealing with all these unexpected emotions. My dearest and best friend Donna recently found out that her cancer has metastasized and spread. She is in a great deal of pain. And I also think of Joyce...who has suffered so much. So...why has God chosen to heal ME...and not them? I know it's crazy...but I have this overwhelming sense of guilt. I dreaded telling Donna the good news...and I KNOW that she is thrilled for us. She would not want me to feel this way. And I can't explain why I do... 
  It's hard recuperating from such a major surgery right at Christmas time. I can't handle all the usual "hustle and bustle". I am pretty much confined to my recliner...I cannot even sleep in the bed, the pain is too great when lying flat. But my loving, devoted husband and the girls are taking care of me. 
  God has so richly blessed me...He has spared me the reoccurrence of cancer...atleast for now. He has blessed me with my wonderful husband and daughters...and SO many wonderful friends all over the world who are upholding me in their prayers. What do I have to complain about?... 

Dec.25, 1999 
For the first time in my life we stayed home all day on Christmas Day! And I loved it! usually we go to my dad's for Christmas Dinner. But today I just spent the day with the "love's of my life". 
THe girls opened their gifts this morning...and then we spent the day watching old home movies while Alan heated up the (delicious) Christmas Dinner that friends from church delivered yesterday. We had Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and pumpkin pie. 
An extra special blessing to my day was a phone call from my dear E-sister, Larinda! What a joy to hear her voice! Then I spent the evening reading in my new book April gave me, "Chicken Soup for the Survivors Soul". I just love the "warm fuzzy" stories!! 
"Thank You Lord for a nice, relaxing Christmas Day... Happy Birthday Jesus"                   dgw 

January 1, 2000 
We had such a wonderful celebration last night! We stayed home for our own Family New Years Eve celebration! Even 16 year old April stayed here...accompanied by her boyfriend Ian. The 6 of us played board games together and we put together lots of yummy appetizer-type foods. 
   At the stroke of midnight...the first moment of the new wonderful husband held me in his arms and kissed me. What more could I ask for? :o) 
  I have looked SO forward to today; to be able to say that 1999 is behind me. The year started with my spinal chord surgery and ended with my lung surgery...with momma's death in between. So I am happy to put that year behind. I know that the Lord taught me a lot and strengthened my faith more than ever before...thru all the trials of '99. But I am glad it's over and I am looking to 2000 with great anticipation. (Happy New Year Momma...)                                     dgw~ 

March 6, 2000 
The long winter months are always so hard for me. Especially for all folks with pain disorders. I have been having a rough time getting my leg & arm pain under control. Dr. Molnar just upped the dosage on the morphine and Neurontin a few days ago, but he says it may take a week with the new dosages to really get things under control. There have been some days over the past month or so when I woke up in the morning and my arms were in so much pain and so weak...and that always terrifies me...thinking, "Is this it? Is this the progression of the Syringomyelia?". KNowing that it can happen at any time is scary. But I remind myself that it may not happen for 30 years or even NEVER. I MUST TRUST THE LORD! 
   One thing that has really weighed heavy on my heart is the death of dear sweet Joyce Dusang. Someone said in an email that she had "lost her battle with cancer" but really the way I see it Joyce has WON this "battle" we call life!! She is no longer suffering and she is with her Savior that she loves so much! "I miss you Joyce"...                                       dgw 

April 20, 2000 
I am battling a severe bladder infection again. So far I have managed to stay out of the hospital but I do have to "wear" this catheter for a few weeks. I have felt just bad enough and had enough pain that all I've felt like doing is to just lay around. I've done some reading and got caught up on my letter writing. I am praying that this oral medicine will work to kill the infection this time. 

May 10, 2000 
The bladder infection is gone, thank God! I am really praising God right now! Several months ago I was prayed for and anointed at church for the pain that I was experiencing in my legs and arms. And now for the first time in over 2 years I am able to walk from room to room without needing my wheelchair! My pain is being controlled with my medication! I am feeling better physically than I have in years. All glory and praise go to God, for it is only His healing hand that can allow me to feel this good inspite of my medical prognosis. I don't know what the future holds. But I am learning to give thanks for each good day as it comes...for every pain free moment. God gives us enough grace for the present day and He does not want us to worry about the future. He is already there working on it for us :o) "Thank You Jesus for loving me"     dgw 

May 15, 2000 
Yesterday was Mother's first without momma. I think it was the hardest day I've had since her funeral. My heart literally ached for her. She was with me this time last year...we spent the day together at a BBQ. Yesterday we spent most of the day at Dad' sister Wendi was there. I don't know HOW I'd get thru all this without her. I don't think she realizes how much she means to me...I need to show her...  Alan and the girls and I took some flowers to mom's grave...and Emma bought a card that says "Happy Mother's Day Nana", (The girls' new momma as "Nana") and Emma placed that on her grave too.  
  My emotions were so scrambled yesterday...I was torn between missing mom...and also with the frustration, confusion and uncertainty that I'm dealing with right now with raising my own 3 teenagers. Things are so hard right now...I sure wish momma was here to help guide me or atleast give me her advice.  
  I have a very big decision to make right now concerning Erin and Emma. I wish I knew what was the RIGHT choice. I know mom would listen and then give me HER advice...             ~dgw

June 13, 2000
Well a lot has gone on since I last wrote anything here. I spent another 6 days in the hospital for a bladder infection and mild case of pancreatitis. What's new, right? But God has been so good to us. He has provided for so many needs...  The decision concerning Erin and Emma that I had mentioned seems to have worked itself out...Hallelujah! Not by accident, I know...but it was through a lot of prayer.
  Today is Alan's and my 19th wedding anniversary. God truly blessed me when He gave me my husband. We will probably spend most of today apart...ALan has a softball game tonight and so does I'll take Em to her game and he'll go to his alone. Later this week we'll probably get to go out for dinner. It doesn't matter though...the blessing is in just living out our daily lives together. We are a team! And together we run this family. I am so thankful for what God has blessed me with...                                                                                                ~dgw

July 14, 2000

I love journaling for a lot of reasons. But one of the biggest is because it's so neat to read back in my journals from one, two or eight years ago and see all that God has brought me through... to see how the things that seemed so overwhelming back then were easily conquered with God's help. It can also be sad... to read things I wrote about someone who has now gone on to be with the Lord. For example, I started this journal because of Joyce, and she's gone. I also shared about my dearest friend Donna... about her strength and grace in the face of a huge battle-"Breast Cancer". Dear Donna went home to Jesus last October. The day before she died she was being her usual strong, brave self. She couldn't talk because she was on a respirator. But the nurses gave her a "dry-erase board" to write on. Her right arm was paralyzed so she would write with her less-dominant left hand. There she is...laying in ICU, not even able to breathe for herself... and the first words she writes to me are, "How R U?"!! She was always so giving, so unselfish. She was my best friend and sometimes I think my heart is going to explode, I miss her so badly. I thank God for the experience of being her friend. We had so many great times many many tears. I just pray that I can be half as brave and graceful in the face of death as Donna was. The one thing that has always stood out to my the most about Donna....was her love for living. She was always happy... she never allowed anything to steal her joy. "Lord if You teach me nothing else from Donna...teach me THAT.

I've not been very faithful to write in here for a while. Just never enough hours in the day. Not really anything NEW going on. I have some decisions to make, concerning the girls and their schooling. Erin went to public school last year but it was somewhat disasterous. Just a real eye-opening experience for me and her. She wants to enlist in the Navy ROTC this coming school year and she can only do that if she is attending public school. But there have been some issues that I won't go into here that cause me to wonder if another year in public school is the right thing to do. I am praying about it and I know in His time, the Lord will guide me. I am reading a new book that I highly recommend. It's called, "When Mothers Pray" by Cheri Fuller. It is an excellent book and the Lord is really using it in my life to teach me things. Since I last wrote here, I have started teaching part-time at a Christian Preschool. Yeah, ME working outside the home!!! Can you believe it?! :o) I love has filled a void that I really didn't know I had. I don't know how long I will do this. But for now, it's the right thing to do. I have really been recognizing how QUICKLY my life is passing by. The days literally pass by so amazes me. It also scares me to death. I am so glad that I have the Lord and His peace to see me thru this rushing world. More later. DGW



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