Saturday, July 4, 2015

Finding Joy Amidst Chemo

Round 3 of chemotherapy started, 3 more left to go. Who would've thought 3 months ago that I'd be laying in a hospital bed bald, nauseous and smiling. Its so encouraging to walk onto the hospital floor and everyone giving me high-5's and telling me they love having me as their patient. It makes the hospital stay so much better. Even though I for sure didn't plan for my life to look like this, I still want people to see the joy and peace that I have. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared. In all honesty there are some nights I lay awake and cry, but I have to remember the promises that God gives me. He tells me He is fighting for me and with me (Exodus 14:14) He tells me that He is for me, not against me (Romans 8:31) I also know that it says, "weeping may endure the night but His joy comes in the morning." (Psalms 30:5) I keep these verses, and many others close to me during this time. I say them aloud at night when all I can think about is death, because death is not an option for me. I was talking to a friend earlier today and telling them I can't wait to see how God uses this for his glory. Its sometimes hard to see how God will use this 21 year old with stage 4 cancer for His glory, but I'm holding onto that.
So a little update, I went to my oncologist on Wednesday, I got some answers to why I am not getting radiation, what my life expectancy is, and I got a CT scan to see if the tumor is shrinking. Hopefully the results will be in on Monday. We are praying that God is shrinking this tumor and I am believing in complete healing!! I'm a fighter and I know God is fighting with me, who can be against that?!
The chemo is hitting me pretty hard this round. I'm having a lot of nausea, but the nurses have been great, feeding me anti-nausea like candy. Tonight the nurses and I are watching fireworks together, gives me a little something to look forward to, and make this hospital stay not so crummy. Hopefully only a few more days here and I'll be home free!
The Lord has just been blessing me this week. He has brought some amazing people into my life, and He has shown me who my true friends are. I've also been showered with gifts and cards filled with words of encouragement, which has been so amazing. The love is so overwhelming, I can't even explain it. The continuous support from my co-workers, church family, and my family has been enough to keep me fighting. I refuse to let cancer win.
So this past week has been pretty rough, been fighting depression, and not wanting to do much with my life. But, the Lord has showed me that I have to have joy amidst this suffering. Because, lets be real, this has been a journey of suffering, I wont lie there. This week I was at a doctors appointment every day, getting blood drawn, scans, echos, more blood draws, and I don't want to sit her and complain, but in all honesty, cancer has sucked this week. Luckily, The Lord, as I said earlier, has brought people into my life this week to encourage me, and come along side of me. I had complete strangers come up to me this week and tell me I was beautiful, give me hugs, and just encourage me. The Lord has a strange way of brightening my day like that.
This won't be a very long post, I haven't had my normal energy, but I wanted to take this time to update and encourage anyone who is struggling to find joy during their suffering. Everyone has their own suffering, it looks differently in everyone's life, but remember, the Lord gives us joy, and peace, and healing in all sorts of ways. He is continually healing me physically, emotionally, and mentally, and I know He will and can do the same for you. It is his promise, and His promises are yes and amen. We must hold onto that. So I want to leave you with these lyrics that have encouraged me so many times this week. When sometimes I don't see past the "stage 4" part of my cancer. I hold onto the promise that He IS faithful, He is able, and he will heal me in his perfect time, whether here on earth or His perfect healing in heaven. I know everything will work out to His glory.

"I will look back and see that you are faithful, I look ahead, believing you are able...Prince of Peace, Perfect Healer." -I will look up, by Elevation Worship.


  1. Jackie,
    You are a wonderful and brave young woman. No one can ever know your fear and what it takes to wake up each and every day and do battle with the unknown. I am sure that the Lord is watching you and will keep you. Even though I am far away I always think about you and look forward to your posts and your blog. I'm sending you my love, my prayers and all the good thoughts I have.

  2. Jackie,
    You are a blessed encouragement to so many. We send our everlasting love and prayers to you. We are believing God along with you for His complete and total healing in your body. May the Lord continue to fill you with His joy and peace. God bless you.
    George and Nancy

  3. Jackie,
    You say that you can't wait to see how God uses this for His glory. Look around. He already is. So many people are being touched, inspired, encouraged not just by your story but by your honesty, strength and unending love for your Father. You are a great example of "praising Him in the storm". I am blessed by you every day. You are a fighter.