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Faith's Firm Foundation: May 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ovarian Cancer Anniversary

This past week I celebrated 7 years cancer-free! I am so grateful to God for all the days in those 7 years that He has allowed me to live! I have met some very special people in those years! I have had the blessing of seeing both my son and daughter graduate from High School! Wonderful experiences that I am so glad I didn't have to miss! Thank you, Lord, for these years! I pray that it has been worth it to You, Lord, to leave me here. Each anniversary of my diagnosis is a reminder that each day is a gift--how am I using this gift? Did I tell someone about Him today? Are my disciples built on a solid foundation of Jesus Christ that will last?
He has taught me so many lessons in these last years. I asked Him this week to prepare me for heaven, for that is where I'm going to spend the rest of my life...forever with Him!

For those of you who don't know my cancer story, here is a brief synopsis from our 2002 Christmas letter:
"On May 21, 2002, I (Wendy) went in to the doctor for relatively minor symptoms and by the end of the day was facing the diagnosis that I had two tumors, one very large, one smaller, appearing to be cancerous, yes, and appearing to have spread, and by those factors, appearing to have not been caught early, but to have progressed to some degree. Within three days, I was operated on and there now was only one tumor, it had not spread, and it was able to be completely removed. Further, when the tests came back, I was told that indeed the cancer, which was ovarian, had been caught early, a very rare event for ovarian cancer, and I was informed that I had a 90% chance of cancer not recurring."

In this anniversary month, I thought it would be a good thing to include a list of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, because they are very subtle, and can be mistaken for something else. Please go to the link below and read more--and tell your friends; you may be saving a life!

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Pelvic or abdominal pain
Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
Feeling a frequent or urgent need to urinate

Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer report that symptoms are persistent and represent a change from normal for their bodies.

Other symptoms commonly reported may include: fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with intercourse, constipation and menstrual irregularities.

TAKE ACTION if any symptoms occur almost daily for more than a few weeks. Experts suggest a combination pelvic/rectal exam, a transvaginal ultrasound, and a CA 125 blood test. If ovarian cancer is suspected, consult a gynecologic oncologist.

Here is a link to the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance website and much helpful information:

Ovarian Cancer Facts
Ovarian Cancer is a serious and under-recognized threat to women's health.
Ovarian cancer, the deadliest of the gynecologic cancers, is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women living in the U.S. and the eighth most common cancer among U.S. women.
Ovarian cancer occurs in 1 out of 72 women.
Each year, approximately 20,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,000 women will die from the disease.
Ovarian Cancer is very treatable when it is detected early, but the vast majority of cases are not diagnosed until the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries.
In cases where ovarian cancer is detected before it has spread beyond the ovaries, more than 93% of women survive longer than five years.
Only 19% of the ovarian cancer cases in the U.S. are diagnosed in the early stages.
The 5 year survival rate for women with ovarian cancer has been improving over the years. Women diagnosed with the disease from 1975-1979 experienced a 5 year survival rate of approximately 38%. Today the 5 year survival rate is 46%.

I pray that you may be in good health!
May God bless you all!

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Swine Flu/gripe porcina

Perhaps you are tired of hearing about this, but I am musing on 1)why God has allowed this to come about--this "pandemic" of swine flu or "gripe porcina" (en espaƱol)? 2)Each year, thousands of people die from the flu--is this "different"? and 3)Can we find any "good" in it? Some thoughts that came to me as I thought about this were:

Would God be unjust if He chose to bring a major plague upon our world in judgment for sin? Does He still do that, as He did in the Old Testament? Do we want to find out? Why was this flu different, or worthy of media attention, in the first place? Forgetting about what it has become, I think one reason it brought media attention is that the media right now loves a story casting a shadow on Mexico. They like to "stir the pot" as my father used to say. And that pot is already pretty stirred up! Whether they deserve it or not is not the issue here.

Aside from all that, now that the "pandemic" is here, I'd like to ask a question about our response. Everyone's talking about our response on the physical level. What should we do physically, to keep our bodies healthy, and to maximize our living on this earth a while longer. I'd like to suggest that, as important as all that is, our spiritual lives and spiritual health are a bit more important, at least, in God's eyes, according to the Bible. What does God want us to learn from this--what is our response to be, from a spiritual standpoint? Is it possible that God wants us to wake up(!) To make us calloused Americans realize we are not self-sufficient, and in control (if we haven't realized it already!) Our lives are held in the Hand of an Omnipotent God Whom we should fear!

Do you realize a whole country basically "shut down" or was encouraged to do so, for 5 days? Even if Mexico acts on this in part, it causes a "braking" on the vehicle of the lives of Mexicans that should cause even the most hardened heart to at least sit up and take notice! Is it possible that God desires to use this in the heart of Mexico's people to cause them to turn to Jesus Christ, to cry out to Him for help, to realize their need of Him and cause reliance on Him--to turn to the Saviour and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth?

I pray that we will use this as an opportunity, we Christians first, to get on our knees and ask God to search our hearts and "see if there be any wicked way in me," and also as an opportunity for sharing the gospel with those who are lost, as it leads to conversation about life and death issues. I pray that it would cause us to pray for the other countries of the world, our neighbors, that this would lead them to humble self-examination and to confession of sins and to crying out to The Great Physician for healing and salvation.

Would God desire to use this to unite our world in humbly turning to Him for help and healing Who Alone has power to save?

A Psalm of David: Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.
(Psalms 86:1-17)

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