Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I'm so tired, but must post for all those who need to know what's going on. It has been difficult the last couple of days to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy. I'm tired, light headed, headachy, hungry, and weak all the time. My energy comes in waves and I always feel like I can't catch my breath. But each day it seems to get a little worse and better as I learn to adjust and be content. My blessings have come of it, the greatest of which is the family bonding that is occuring with my sister.

In other news, I went to the oncologist today. He said that he was pleased with me and my progress and that I did great. I thought I did terrible and I felt terrible, but that's the doctor/patient perspective for you. My blood counts are still doing well and he wants me to be as active as possible. He frowns at the thought of me lying in bed all day. He wants me to push myself which is exciting since that's what I've been doing. Chemo is in about a month. Around my birthday. I don't mind though, I can't eat cake anyway. What's the point of a birthday if you can't eat cake?

Lastly, Jen and Preston are at the hospital. She is having chest pain. Bella is with Karen. And I am trying to be a good roommate. I've cleaned and washed dishes. Taken out the trash. Bought some food for when they get home and am presently washing their sheets and doing laundry. I want to bless them the way they have blessed me.

Pray for my success and continued perserverance. All glory to God. He picked the perfect path for me. He knew all other paths that could have happened before He chose this one so I know it is the perfect path and am at peace because He has already seen what is about to happen and knows it will bring Him glory. :)

Ok, sleep time. Good Night readers.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Crazy times and crazier nurses

For some light hearted laughter, I thought I would share some of the crazy experiences I and others had during my 24 day stay at Florida Hospital South.

1. Did you know that no matter what time of night it is, most techs will come into your room and announce themselves, saying in a loud and pronounced voice, "My name is ____ and I am here to take your vitals! Let's start with your temp. Oh, look, your temp is ___ degrees, that's gooood! Now let's move on to your blood pressure. Oh, your blood pressure is ____! How wonderful. Well thank you very much and I'll see you again in a couple of hours." Then they fiddle with your monitors for a while and loudly leave the room the same way they came in.

2. Did you know that every single night, you are never alone, never asleep (truly), and never in a noiseless, dark atmosphere. You have your tech, nurse, garbage lady, cleaning lady, room air flow engineer, air conditioning man, food people, and many doctors all visiting your room almost every hour of the day and night. You sleep with one eye open always aware that someone is about to come in at any moment. And all machines in your room are liable and suspectable to start blinging or beeping at any given moment.

3. Did you know that sometimes the nurses would make an announcement to every room on the floor at all times and then would forget to turn off the speaker. So there were many nights when I would simply be crying out because I could hear everything the nurse in the office was saying sometimes for 15 minutes or more at sometimes 2:00 in the morning.

4. Once my door was opened and a nurse who was not mine was standing there. It was the coveted 2:30 am time and she was staring at my room sternly. I arose from my sleeping position just in time for her to say "You have too many chairs in your room". Needless to say, my response was one of confusion. "They were here before I was." Disatisfied with my response, this unknown sleep interupter responded, "You are not supposed to have this many chairs, I will have to remove some of them." My response was once again one of confusion. "Now?" I replied. She said no, but informed me all the same at this very important hour that I was not supposed to have as many chairs as I did and that I should know it. At this point she simply continued to glare and I decided no longer to pay attention. I will however let you know that in the morning, one of my chairs was missing. So some time later on in the night, this unknown nurse had stolen one of my chairs. I got it back, but it was humorous all the same, to have it happen in the first place.

5. And lastly, my well meaning friends at the beginning og my hospital stay had all decided to send me flowers. They were all lovely and brought great cheer to my gloomy view of gravel which was my companion for 4 days. However, when they moved me to the cancer ward, the flowers could not come and so the responsibility fell on my poor friend, Jessica R. to at 12:00 am find a wheel chair in order to wheel my flower shop to her car. You should know that she got lost many times and ended up in the back ghetto of the hospital. When she finally did make her way back, some how she even ended up on an elevator that didn't go to my floor. By the time she found me again, it was a miracle indeed, but needless to say that is one experience not easily forgotten.

Ok, I think that's it for now. Just some hospital humor to lighten things up. Sleep time now. Good night blog readers. LOL.

So many posts, so little memory!!!

Well, for the first and most important post, I AM NOW HOME!!! I was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon at about 2:30pm. My darling friend Nancy, picked me up and my adventure began. It was an experience to breathe free air, drive in a car, and go to wal-mart all after 24 days in the hospital in a bed. Then in true Leah style, I decided to surprise my church this morning with my appearence instead of letting anyone know I was coming. In addition to the shouts of joy, 5 car pile-ups, many hugs, and an endearing pray for my health by Tom Mutugi, my dear friends Nicole and Jess played a beautiful song honoring the Lord, using my cancer experience as an encouragement to the body. Although I felt the weary effects of my treatment there was nothing that could have kept me away from the body.

When I went to the hosptial on April 1, I had three goals. The first was to glorify the Lord, the second was to guard my testimony and witness against sin and blame, and the third was to encourage and edify the body of Christ. The Lord has honored all my prayer requests for His own personal glory and I am the lucky one to have been chosen by Him at such a young age to be this vessel for Him and His church.

Although I have so much more time, trials, and tears ahead of me. So many unknown questions, answers, fears, and problems, I am completely confident in one thing-Christ alone. As long as I stay faithful to Him I will stay at peace and sustained in this trial and all others to come. No amount of pain, hair loss, light headedness, hunger, or tiredness can ever seperate a true believer from the ever sustaining and supplying love of God.

Ok, more posts to come. Some funny tidbits about werid nurses and other experiences that happened at the hospital that can't be left out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So Grateful!

I write this entry with tears in my eyes. I am so grateful to the Lord, its almost beyond words. I've vomited up everything I ate today and no matter how much medication they give me I have a headache that won't go away. But, I hada visit from a friend today who told me how my cancer has changed her life. And I've been reading the journal entries that my women's group wrote me when they visited me last week and it makes me cry. I'm so thankful for cancer. I've seen how the Lord uses my illness daily to evangelize, to convict me, to sanctify me, and to encourage others and I know that it wasn't possible in any other way to be brought to this kind of relationship with the Lord. It has opened my eyes and the eyes of all those who are in contact with me. My cancer is a great gift.

Today for women's group, I was on speaker phone so I could be part of the lesson. That was huge for me to be able to be there. My scripture memory this week was Philippians 3:3-9. It was the most that I've ever memorized at one time for group and I did it from the hospital. The scripture was so alive to me. I don't think I can relate to Paul in the extent of his sufferings, but I don't think it's wrong to apply those scriptures to myself. Although, in some ways, it's not true. I have not suffered the loss of all things. Only some things. But I am gaining "the excellence of the knowledge of the glory of Christ Jesus, my Lord".

Praise be to my holy and precious Lord. I love Christ so much and I know that it is because of His Spirit that I have been spared that guilt of sin in this trial. I deserve no praise, the glory belongs to Him alone. And I am so thankful to be part of Cornerstone Church. Without my body of believers I truly would be in suffering.

I think that's it for now. I'm going to read some more before they give me meds that will put me out for the night. I'm also going to try to eat again. It will probably end up in the bucket, but at least it will taste good going down-LOL.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Short and Sweet

Ok, so since Sunday I've vomited twice more, today. Yesterday (Monday) was a good day. I got moved from 10218 back to 10230 which does give me more room and fellowship time. I still get sick and I see how the nurses here are slower and less attentive, but I'm content where the Lord puts me. I had my spinal tap chemotherapy yesterday which due to many drugs was painless. Then Jen, Preston, and baby came over and we went downstairs. It was nice. They brought me food, but I was too nauseous to eat it.

Today, I still have nausea, wait...yup I just vomited up my dinner. That's three times today, after every meal. Sorry. Anyway, I'm also being shown my weakness in light-headedness, headaches, and fatigue, but the Lord is good and His grace is ever abounding. I'm sorry, I wish I could write more, but I'm so tired. Till next time-I rejoice in the Lord. In the wonders He has done. And the many blessings He has in my life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Do I distain His covenant?

Had a productive day today. I ate and only vomited once so far. I listened to the first hour of John MacAruthur's sermon "Self-Discipline", wrote two poems, and had sweet fellowship with Jennifer Toor who brought me asparagus and spinanch empanadas from Whole Foods. We read Phillipians together and it was amazing to see scripture come to life. Jen B. is here now. Got to go.

Foods chemotherapy likes

Trying to find something to something to eat that chemotherapy won't reject can be quite a tricky process. So far there are few foods that have made it past the throat to the stomach and stayed to reside. My few winners have been:

1. Whole Foods Lemon Mustard Asparagus
2. Panetini Four Cheese Toast Points
3. Green Beans
4. Wheaties (although they have been rejected before)
5. Saltine Crackers

And that's about it. Everything, is a no go. At this point I vomit 3-4X a day and have lost about 10 pounds. Good for the vow in future, bad for me now b/c I'm hungry enough to eat about anything-I just can't. Oh the funny ironies of life. The Lord has such a sense of humor. I have a headache right now. I might have vomited the meds that prevent that. Have to go find out.

Sorry, no spirituals insights or teachings in this post. They are there in my head. I just need to headache meds first.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Eating is tricky

I know I just did a really long post, but I should mention something about food. I am so hungry right now, I could eat anything, but because of the chemotherapy I throw up everything. It really is a horrible position to be in. I had done a victory dance earlier because I had made it through a chicken sandwhich, but the minute I got up, the cold sweats started and chicken went bye-bye. :(
The only bright spot of this gloomy spot is that the vow is coming sooner and sooner to a close and oh how I will rejoice with the grandest chocolatest most amazing dessert I can get my hands on. And even, if I throw that up, at least I will have eaten it!!!!!

Day 17 in Hospital, Day 6 with cancer

I don't have a lot of strength. I'm really nauseous, light-headed and shaky, but I wanted to start writing. I have been in the hospital for 17 days. Jessica drove me here on April 1, 2010. They thought I had a clogged lymph node that would need to be drained. My neck was swollen and I was in pain. By the end of the night I was an in-patient and by the next day I was being checked for TB. Six days later the truth was told. I have Burkitt's Lymphoma-cancer.

Before I was in the hospital, I lived with my loving friends who I consider as close to me as three people can be. Jennifer and Preston have been my best friends since I got saved. I was with them before they got married, their maid-of-honor, there when they found out they were pregnant both times, and I lived with them for over a year in their home as their roommate, best friend, and auntie to the baby, Bella.

Before I was in the hospital, I went to UCF and I worked at Disney. Now I've had to medically withdraw from school and take medical leave from my job for chemotherapy.

Before I was in the hospital, I thought I had a 5-year plan. See my sister graduate from college in May, go to Guatemala in August, start LPN school in the spring, get a medical job, pay off my loans, and become a missionary full time in Guatemala.

But Christ is sovereign. King, Ruler, and Creator and His plan just happened to be longer and more extensive than the last 17 days or next 8 months. The Lord has decided that at this time I will not be anything, but His vessel, specially chosen to be used as a testimony and a witness in the hopeless, painful world of Cancer and Chemotherapy.

I am not angry, unhappy, bitter, and questioning His perfect judgement. In the words of Job, I humbly and fully believe "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD" -Job 1:21.

He will use me in this for the gospel, my family, my friends, and my church. So that we will all be woken up, examined, questioning, and being sanctified in ways that we never thought possible before. And I pray not for healing or miracles in this trial, but simply that I would be as obedient on my last day of chemotherapy as I was on my first and would never forget my first love no matter how hard the trial becomes.