Thursday, May 19, 2016

Almost done with radiation

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." - John 15:1-2

I love this image that God paints through his words in John's Gospel. God intends for every part of our life to bear fruit. But, being human, there are times where parts of our life many not be bearing fruit. The challenges we face can certainly act to prune our branches and assist us with bearing fruit in all areas of our life if we allow them to do so. Many of you have been God's angels in guiding me to allow myself to be pruned and to continue bearing fruit through the challenges in my life. Thank you!

Today will be radiation session number 22 out of 25. Tuesday will be my last session! My skin in the area receiving radiation is definitely "angry." It is very red, itchy and just uncomfortable. I am applying wonderful essential oils, shea butter, aloe gel, and a prescription gel called Radiaplex that the radiologist prescribed. I just need to be applying it often and I tend to forget. I do feel tired, but it is manageable so I continue to work full time. Pete and the boys are great about allowing me to just collapse when I get home. I tend to be asleep by 8pm.

We are thankful for this end of the school year! Ricky had a wonderful 6th grade year both at Regina Caeli Academy and finishing up the year at Trickum Middle School. We are looking forward to the award ceremony at Trickum Middle tomorrow, when Ricky will receive an award. He has done very well academically and is enjoying the adventure. Paul completed 4th grades at Regina Caeli Academy and had a straight As year!!!!! He received the award for the virtue of Fortitude for the 5th year in a row. He is definitely strong in his faith and in all areas of his life!

Pete was blessed by a quick trip to California to celebrate Mother's Day with his mom and a big birthday with his childhood friend, Will. Pete's brother, Mark, blessed him with the gift of the trip which certainly lifted Pete's spirits. We ask that you please keep their mom and dad in your prayers as Pete's dad, Chief, continues to deal with a degenerative nerve disease that is limiting his mobility. We are thankful that Pete's brother, Mark, is living with them to provide assistance and support.

We are looking forward to a fun summer of being at our neighborhood pool with friends. No doubt the summer time at the pool will feel different for me as I won't be doing as much swimming, but I sure will enjoy the socializing and laughing with friends as well as watching the boys have fun in the pool. The Navy is sending Pete to a conference in Tampa later in June, so the boys and I will join him for a bit of a vacation. We are hoping to visit family and friends in the area while we are down there.

I continue to ask you to please pray for my friends who are also on this healing journey as their body heals from cancer. Unfortunately I have another friend to add to the list, Beth Mappes. She was just diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer. Thankfully her healing journey should be swift and complete, but it is disturbing nonetheless. Please continue to pray for my classmate and friend, Eva McGarity Ponder and for my colleagues and friends: Mary Walker, Victoria Webbert, Chris Starr, Ryan Otwell, Laura Tammaro, Joann Mueller, Gisela Polanco, Nikki Mouton, and more that I am forgetting but who come into my mind and prayers often. I also ask that you pray for the family of Richard Ferris, a friend from church who just passed away a couple of weeks ago after dealing with cancer for a while.

May God grant each one of you good health and peace and may you recognize the beautiful opportunities to be pruned and support others as they are pruned.

Here are a few pictures of recent events.
 My youngest brother, Mike, graduated from parametic and firefighter school in Gwinnett County, the county we live in. We are so proud of him! In the picture below, Instructor Tim Lister, whom I was in grade school and high school with, was one of Mike's instructors and has become a mentor to Mike. What a small world! We are thankful to Tim for the way he challenged and guided Mike through the program.
The boys and I had fun donning red noses! We look for every opportunity to have a good time. I'm so grateful for their happiness and fun spirits!
Peter and I had the opportunity to travel to Jacksonville, FL for the annual Navy Dining In function as well as two days of training for Pete. It gave me time to relax in a different environment and have some alone time with Pete. It was a much needed break from the usual life. 

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