Wednesday, March 16, 2016


"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May you whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Just two days until I go through surgery to have my left breast removed, to have the cancer removed that is living in that breast and in the lymph nodes under my left arm. At times it is difficult to find peace of mind and spirit when I think about how this surgery will change my body. A dear friend reminded me yesterday that even though my body will change, my spirit doesn't have to change. I confessed to her that this is what worries me. I worry that this extreme physical change will somehow alter my spirit. But, I know I am surrounded by family and friends who will remind me to focus on God and to rest in his arms knowing that He will keep me whole. I will always be whole in His eyes.

This week our dear friend, Fr. Joseph Peek, passed away after a very long time of suffering physically. I have been moved to tears several times over the past years watching him suffer but still strive to live life to the fullest. Even in his quiet suffering he was impacting many lives and saving many souls. I thank God for his example. His sister, my sister-in-love, Christina, reminded me last week even through his physical weakness and "deformity" he still loved and was loved. He lived many years with open sores on his body and in much pain. He was sure to use it all for a higher purpose, God's purpose!

And so I am determined to use my experience for God's purpose. There is a reason I am going through this. I pray that my experience will bring others closer to God and that my suffering can be used to save souls.

Last week my dear friend, Sonia, arranged for a Mass to be celebrated by Fr. Michael Silloway in the chapel of St. Pius X Catholic High School, my alma mater, for myself and my friend and classmate, Eva McGarity Ponder. Several of our classmates and family joined us for a rosary and mass as we prayed for strength and healing. It truly was a vision of heaven to be surrounded by so many who love us and pray for us. I am so very grateful for our St. Pius community.

So, now, the practical news. I will be having surgery on Friday at 8am. The surgery should last about 4 hours. Please keep me and the surgeons in your prayers. I will actually have 3 surgeons working on me at one time. One will remove the diseased breast while the other two, who are plastic surgeons, will reduce and lift the right breast to help me with balance. (This is one of the silver linings.) I will hopefully be in the hospital just one night, but there is a possibility of staying 2 nights. Then I will recover and heal for 4 weeks. (This sounds funny to put a quantifiable number of weeks on my healing. I get the feeling my overall healing will take much longer than 4 weeks.) I actually hope to return to work in 4 weeks.

After I get cleared, I will begin radiation treatments to that left breast and armpit area. That will go on for 6 weeks, 5 days a week. I am hoping to be able to work through those treatments. We will see what God has planned.

In order to feel peace there is a need to rest. I am seeing that more and more. These next two days will be ones to reflect and rest. These next few weeks will be ones to reflect and rest as I heal. Be sure to send me your prayer requests so that may offer up any suffering for you.

Pete will keep the blog updated on Friday so that you all know how things are going.

Thank you for the continued support and prayers! I am so very blessed by each one of you. Remember to pray for Pete and the boys and my parents and siblings and close friends. This journey is hard on all of them. But, in the end, we will all be closer to God because of this journey and your prayers.

Please lift my friend and Pius classmate, Eva McGarity Ponder, in prayer as she heals from metastatic breast cancer.

Much love to all of you!

"We count as blessed those who have persevered." - James 5:11

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