Journal Entry #6
Thank you for the overwhelming support since my last journal entry!
Here are some answers to your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. When are you leaving?
Normally, I wouldn't put this information on a public forum... but God is Jehovah-Jireh which means "The LORD Will Provide" (Genesis 22:14). A family friend from Josh's childhood will be staying at our home with his family while they look for work and relocate to Denver. This answers their prayer as well as ours! So... I'll be flying to PA on Tuesday, August 11 and then from there Josh and I will fly overnight to Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday, August 16. Josh will return to Colorado at the end of September and I'll return at the beginning of October.
2. Will Josh be able to stay with you for your 6 weeks of treatment?
YES! His employer and his supervisor have been gracious enough to work out the details so that Josh can stay with me the entire time in Germany. I'm so thankful... so very thankful...
3. Will you be able to do sight-seeing or will you feel too sick while you're in Germany?
Since Josh's aunt and uncle (Shannon & Jim) live just 2 hours from the Hufeland Klinik in Bad Mergentheim, they'll be able to show us very beautiful parts of southern Germany. I'm encouraged to walk the grounds when I'm not receiving treatment, and drink the mineral waters in the park across the street. Any negative side-effects from treatment should be minimal and temporary.
4. What was your process for finding and deciding to go to this clinic in Germany?
Prayer. Prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. At the very beginning of this journey I asked my friend Jenah, "How does God reveal His will or His plan to us?" She said that we would pray that He would reveal it through... peace. So Josh and I and many others prayed for open doors and closed doors. Josh and I walked through every open door (even the "crazy" ones) and didn't push very hard on the closed ones. Each step we took was one of peace... I had complete peace about choosing a single mastectomy without reconstruction, removal of up to 5 lymph nodes, and a port placed because I was so undecided about chemo. Then after surgery we had 5 weeks to decide if I would do full-dose chemo here in Denver or other treatment options elsewhere. I talked to Josh's ex-girlfriend's boyfriend's mom who had breast cancer in her 30's (open door) and she connected us to Kevin. That night Josh and I listened as Kevin described lots of different cancer treatment options and shared the very personal story of his girlfriend having "no evidence of disease" after being diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. That set us on the path of using the Greek Test, talking to clinics in other countries, and ultimately deciding that Hufeland Klinik was the open door for us. That Josh and I both had peace about the same plan is so amazing and an answer to prayer in and of itself.
5. What language do you want me to use surrounding your journey?
Life-giving! Love-celebrating! Light-bringing! In 2006 I found the first of many lumps in my breasts. And I waged an all-out war on that benign tumor. By 2008 it had gotten so big that surgery was required. After that surgery, I welcomed each new cyst and lump for whatever purpose it was serving; they could stay as long as was necessary as love is always the way.
So I do not identify with much of the war language surrounding cancer... I'm not battling it or fighting it; I'm not a warrior or a survivor; Cancer is not my enemy (but if it is, I'm called to love my enemies). I believe in Christ's message of love. If there are any wandering cancer cells in my body (not "rogue" cancer cells as doctors have called them), then God's healing love can change them to become healthy cells.
Maybe I'm just a hippie through and through, but a path of peace feels much better to me. I don't say, "I have cancer" but that "I was given a diagnosis of cancer." Words have power, right? I really like these 2 articles about the circles or rings of people surrounding me: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/07/opinion/la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407 (the original one) and http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2015/06/02/our-family-cancer-manifesto (the hilarious one). Reading them is worth every minute it takes.
6. Can I see you before you leave?
Yep. Friday, August 7, 2015 we're hosting a "Bon Voyage Prayer Party" from 7pm-9pm in our backyard. The details (ie, address, BYOB, prayer circle at 8pm, etc) are listed under the "Planner" tab above. [Expired CaringBridge link]
7. Can I make a donation?
While I'm asking for prayers more than anything else, yes, my friend Justina set up a page on YouCaring. If you're PayPal savvy, you can just send money via "Friends/Family" from your PayPal account to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you want your name and message listed on the website or if you want it to be anonymous. Also, you can mail a check to 2552 Ames Street, Edgewater, CO 80214 (again, let us know if you want your name/message listed or not). And of course, you can donate through the YouCaring page itself and a *optional* 3% processing fee will be taken out: http://www.YouCaring.com/LoveForColleen (There's also an update there about the break-down of costs for this treatment.)
8. What are your prayer requests right now?
- God's healing hand would touch my mind, body, and spirit and continue to sustain Josh
- Traveling mercies for Josh and me to and from PA and Germany
- Grace, strength, courage, and love for each moment of every day
Again, thank you. I never in a million years thought I would be on a journey like this, but here I am... surrounded by so much more love than I could have imagined... so thank you, thank you, thank you.