Monday, September 12, 2011

What to do if you discover you have cancer . . . join the Firm Chicks Club




You would love my sister, Sue. Everyone does. She is sweet, energetic, pretty and very very funny.

My first year in college, Sue was still in Viet Nam (where our parents were missionaries.) We exchanged piles of letters.

And Sue's letters were so intersting to read and funny . . . that my friends in my dorm at Biola would gather around as I read them aloud. I was often asked, "have you heard from Sue lately?"

Sue is positive and fun and she does life well. But even funny people get cancer. I asked Sue if she would share a little of her experience.



In Sue's words . . .

In early April, 2007, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer in the lymph system. Obviously I was devastated. I have always prayed a lot, but when I heard that news, I really started talking to God in earnest. This disease does not have a cure, so I prayed that God would heal me and give me a very long life with my husband, three sons and friends. But I also told Him that I would trust Him with His plan for my life. I asked God to give me the strength to face the unknown.

That year I was going through a devotional book called Streams in the Desert. I started it January 1st and read it almost every day. I also read the verses that went with each devotional section.

On April 19, just a few weeks after finding out I had cancer, I read this verse, “Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. (Exodus 14:13) I immediately was encouraged by those words.

I also read “But even in the worst of times, God would have you be cheerful and courageous, rejoicing in His love and faithfulness.” I really felt like God was talking to me.

I believed without the shadow of doubt that God could heal me instantly if He so desired. But what I felt He was saying to me on April 19th, was that He wanted me to be strong and courageous in whatever happened . . . and He would deliver me. God could have delivered me from cancer treatment, but He allowed me to go through it and He helped me to stand firm; he helped me be cheerful and courageous. He delivered me from fear and anxiety.

I went through four months of chemotherapy and had a PET scan scheduled for December 12, 2007 to see if the cancer was gone. On December 7th I was reading my devotional and, once again, I came across “Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” Once again I felt that was a direct word from God to me. My scan showed no sign of cancer.

I am in remission. I went through two years of quarterly “maintenance treatments” and still have yearly scans. My health has returned. My hair has grown back. Life is good!

In 2009 I was still reading Streams in the Desert, only this year, instead of just reading the few verses that were suggested, I read the whole chapter of whatever verse went with the devotional.

On June 4th, which just happens to be my birthday, the recommended verse was Exodus 14:20 so I read the whole chapter of Exodus 14. And there it was ... “Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (Exodus 14:13) I was so excited to run into that verse again, two years after it really helped me get through that very difficult time in my life.


I decided I needed to start a club called “Firm Chicks”. So far I am the only member!

Thanks so much, Sue.








41 comments:

  1. i love it aunt sue. i hope you write more!

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  2. What a beautiful, powerful testimony. Thank you for sharing the journey you are on. God often does not choose to heal us instantly. Sometimes, His desire is to walk through the valley with us so that we learn to trust Him more.

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  3. Glenda I bet your Sis will have many members very soon. I am so sorrry for what she is going through.

    I also love your Rough Patch series, ( I know I am always behind on my reading!)

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

    I have a fabulous Giveaway from Interieurs I hope you will come and join!

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  4. What a great thing to read first thing this Monday morning. I remember you talking about that devotional and neat to hear the verse that God gave you during that time. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Holly

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  5. You have an awesome sister. I'll know where to go if I get cancer.

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  6. What a wonderful, inspirational story. Your sister sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing.

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  8. How beautiful. I love that you are sisters and support one another. I pray her health stays good. I pray, should the news come to me, that I would stand firm as well. God Bless!

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  9. Oh, I hope you get to post about your family and friends going to Uganda...would love to read about it ;)

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  10. Hey Glenda .... Opps it was your daughter's friend going to Uganda .... how wonderful :)

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  11. What a beautiful story of God's grace. Thanks for posting it, Glenda. I sure hope I have a chance to meet Sue someday--wouldn't that be fun??!

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  12. Powerful words of encouragement. My husband is an 18 year cancer survivor. (First testicular cancer, then it relapsed into the lymph nodes.)

    God did not allow him to escape chemo either, but He was with him every step of the way.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  13. Enjoyed reading this story and testimony. What two beautiful sisters!

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  14. a beautiful story! thank you for sharing. I love, love, love how God just spoke right into your life with ancient words :)
    thanks for the reminder to be cheerful even in the most difficult of times. needed that today!

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  15. I love the Lord and His gracious heart.

    Thanks for sharing your encouraging story!

    Hugs
    Jen

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  16. Stand firm!! Yes indeed. Thank you for Blesssing me today on your beautiful blog.

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  17. Love this, Sue! Perhaps you should start a blog and gather together more Firm Chicks.

    Glenda, thank you for introducing us to such wonderful people. You are quite wonderful yourself, as always.

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  18. What a powerful and beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness!

    Thanks for sharing, Glenda.

    Mel

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  19. I am sitting with my mom as she lives through the end stages of ovarian cancer. I spend a lot of time on the computer when I am here. I decided today to search for interesting blogs and found yours. I have "Streams in the Desert" on my bedside table...loaned to me by a friend after my dad passed away recently. I need to pick it up and let His Word speak to me.

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  20. oh my goodness, this brought tears to my eyes. so glad i popped over so i could meet Sue. i want to be part of the Firm Chicks Club!!! how do i join??? :)

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  21. Thank you both for sharing this, cancer touches so many lives. However this is a powerful testimony to the power of the Lord and His walking with us, throughout whatever.

    God Bless - Nita

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  22. Thank you, dear sisters for sharing your story!

    Streams in the Desert was an anchor for me during the time of my husband's passing from cancer in 1999.

    GOD has used the things He showed Mrs. Cowman (the author) during a heartbreaking time to bless thousands.

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  23. Wow - what a powerful story. Thank you for sharing Sue and her words. I love how she was depended on God, no matter the outcome.

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  24. Thanks for the testimonial. I loved it and enjoyed meeting your sister!!!! God is so good. All the time. He is so good. I hope you are well.

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  25. Your sister's story is so timely for me. I'm sure when I visit my newly diagnosed friend this weekend, we'll be talking about God's plan and standing firm too. Maybe we'll get another firm chick for her group!

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  26. Sue, you sound like an amazing, positive, inspiring person -- I can see why Glenda loves you so much! And your story is one of courage, hope and faith -- thank you so much for sharing it here.

    And thank you, Glenda, for sharing your beautiful sister with us!

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  27. Dear Glenda, What a wonderful testimony of God's love, the strength and courage he gives us to face our worst fears and life's challenges. It's also beautiful to hear about such a close-knit sisterly bond. I love the idea of the "Firm Chicks" club. Grinning from ear to ear. I hope you are having a wonderful week Glenda! All God's Best, Kerrie

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  28. I'm so glad you had Sue share here. I know you talked about it when we were together:} I am also so glad that THIS was the post I was able to check back in on as your sister, Sue {my mama's and daughter's name:} warmed and encouraged my heart! I think you should try to find one of those old letters and post it!! xoxo friend!

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  29. Glenda, what a great inspiring sister you have! You are so lucky to have each other.

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  30. Sue is my aunt and I can personally tell you she is a awesome individual full of God's grace and a inspiration to me. She stood by God's words through all her trials and yes she triumphed only because of God's graces. I Love her and keep her in my prayers always.

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  31. I love this. Thank you for sharing your sis with us. I like her as much as I like you! :-) I taught a lesson last night about standing firm.. how in Joshua 3 it talks about the priests standing firm in the dry ground of the jordan river.. i want to stand!

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  32. Sue sounds like a real gem! I feel that sisterly love. I have to say though that you are also quite encouraging. I've been hopping around the links from Shanda's, and kept reading your amazing and kind comments everywhere. I can't wait to read more on your blog, I'm your newest follower!

    As for that Exodus scripture, I can't tell you how that ministered to me today. I actually had chills go over my body as I just read it because this morning I found myself praying in a new way, literally on my knees petitioning for 'deliverance'. I love the Word of God!

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  33. I want my sister, Judy, to read this, fighting cancer. I love her and I think you will too. Thank you for taking a tragedy and giving us so much of God's hope today! I have to follow your blog, Glenda!

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  34. What a powerful testimony...thank you so much for sharing your sister with us!

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  35. Amazing and beautiful,
    Sue and Glenda! So
    happy that she is well.
    I bet there will be
    other Firm Chicks joining
    up, soon!
    xx Suzanne

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  36. Glenda,
    I don't know how it got to be Thursday and you posted this on Monday...but thank you!! God's timing is perfect and I needed to see this today. Sue sounds like a lovely person. It would grand to sit and have coffee (or tea) with the two of you.

    BTW, I linked to this post today...it said everything I wanted to say.

    Blessings,
    Mary

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  37. Glenda...powerful words from your lovely sister Sue. I woud join her bookclub in a heartbeat if I could. I feel like I am getting to know the whole family today. I have a surprise for you...long ovedue..but finally.

    http://jeanne-findingmyway.blogspot.com/2011/09/nomadthinkerwritergirl.html

    To the wonderful women in your life Glenda...blessed be their days.

    Jeanne xx

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  38. I have a friend going through cancer right now. It doesn't look good, but I want to share these verses with her! Thank you for the glory you bring the Lord by sharing your testimony. Blessings :)

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  39. HI Glenda.. thank you, thank your sister and t h an k the L O R D !

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  40. This story reminded me of John 9:3

    ”Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

    God is good :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  41. I'm a member of the firm chicks club too...breast cancer, aggressive and advanced. This is what I learned, find the next party. In other words, look for the joy in everything. Little stuff doesn't matter. Look for only the good.

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