Here is the email I sent out the night I began treatment. When I read it now, I remember being so joyful and feeling such peace. The joy of the Lord truly was my strength. Praying that He's your joy and strength today as well.
Looking Back: June 14, 2004
"I Lift My Eyes Up" (Psalm 121)
I lift my eyes up
Up to the mountains,
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from You,
Maker of Heaven,
Creator of the earth.
Oh, how I need you Lord,
You are my only hope
You're my only prayer.
So I will wait for You
To come and rescue me.
Come and give me life.
Hello Precious Ones!
I hope you each know just how much I love you. So much. I miss you and can hardly wait to see your pretty faces again. But until then, I've got some work for you to do. That's right-- we have a Lord that is listening to your prayers and I need you to keep lifting them up-- look to him. I can't even describe the peace that I've felt from the moment of my diagnosis until now-- it really does pass all understanding. It's so wonderful knowing I have a Lord who is in complete control and that he has a perfect plan for my life. And he promises us all the same. I pray you cling to this fact everyday. Live it, believe it-- TRUST HIM. I'll be honest and say that I probably haven't ever really wanted to completely trust Him with every part of my life, but I sure do now! It's the greatest joy in my life. And will be forever and ever.
As I sit and type this e-mail, I am waiting to see Dr. Hagemeister, the Lymphoma Specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Wow. Not a place I ever thought I'd be at 23 years old. But the Lord has blessed me beyond all belief here with wonderful people around ever corner. It's been test after test-- and as of this morning, I've even been given a new best friend. My Catheter. A small device that has been inserted in my left arm, which will be with me thru this entire process. The chemo will enter my veins thru my little friend and will help me get better-- praise the Lord! (I'm thinking he/she needs a "name", so let the voting begin!) I'm sure you will all get to meet him/her.
Thank you for your love-- your support-- your encouragement-- your visits-- the flowers -- the cards-- and for all the lifted prayers. Thank you most of all for the prayers. I know the Lord has heard each one of them and He has carried me every step of the way. And he will continue to carry me through this. I am so blessed to have such a faithful group of girlfriends that I know will help me walk down this road-- every step of the way. You are needed and loved.
I will do my best to keep you updated during this process. Please feel free to call or e-mail-- I love hearing your voices, even when I can't always call you back right away. And after today's appointment, I should have more answers to what the future looks like and you will know too. Please pray for "good" test results and a doctor that makes wise decisions.
I don't want to sign off, but hopefully they will call my name soon. I love you and I keep each of you in my prayers too.
Trusting and Resting in Him,
P.S. I had to save the draft of this e-mail because the doctor called me back and now that I'm actually sending it at 10 p.m., everything has changed. I am waiting to get into the hospital at MD Anderson right now and will begin chemo treatments tonight and tomorrow. I will be in the hospital here all week and will be staying here for the next few months. I promise you will get updates, because I will have new prayer requests and stories for you! And if you are ever in Houston, you will have to visit me! And one last thing, the person who finds me the best hat or scarf wins a prize-- and of course, we'll have to take a picture. :) I love you so much!