More radiation

I am approaching 4 weeks on this nutrition change. I have hit ups and downs all along the way. Thankfully, I have many at my disposal working on meal plans, recipes, etc. I have felt everything from excitement as I cook and try new things all the way to anger and eating maybe too many of my gluten-free, low carb brownies. I think I am an emotional eater. When I would get down or angry, a handful of frozen chocolate chips was not uncommon to pop in my mouth. Now I am in this place where that comfort, that coping mechanism has been taken away. Excuses can go on and on… but bottom line is I don’t like this. And I am sure you all know that, but I still need to just say it.

And as time goes on things change and progress. I have not been blessed so far with stabilization or regression. I fully expected to see a change by now. Maybe the cancer would not be gone or even smaller, but I really thought at least stable. But in the last 2 weeks, I have been in more pain, more tired, and had a harder time breathing than I have in the past. I have said many times in the pasr that I feel great, I feel normal… it is so weird that there is cancer all over, because I can’t tell. Well, I am finally at the point that I can no longer say that. Off of all the treatments, the chemo, I feel the cancer. The ache is my bones, particularly my legs, is unbearable at times. It interrupts my sleep, my play with the kids, my energy. My lung is still striving to get air and that makes everything from taking out the trash to reading books at bedtime difficult. The hard truth that I don’t even want to type is that I feel like I am dying. I feel like this is what the end feels like. It’s not a chemo dose that will run its course. Its not one of the many shots that makes me feel bad for a day or two. This is cancer. This is what it does. It invades every, EVERY, aspect of my life.

This week, I will have a radiation planning appointment. I will begin pin-point radiation on my hips and femurs. The worry is that for those main weight-bearing areas, if the cancer grows too widespread and weakens the bone, I am at risk for fracture or breaks. And I recall my doctor saying, “If you break a hip, you will never make it out of the hospital.” Honest, right? So to help ease some of the pain, to attack the cancer in those spots, and to give the bone a chance to regenerate, I will do 10 days of a low dose radiation here in Austin. I am hoping that it gives me some real relief.

But what after that? I don’t know. Do I go back to chemo? Does chemo potentially give me more time? I don’t know. These decisions would be so much easier if we just knew the answer. For now, we covet your prayers. Prayers for wisdom. Prayers for pain relief. Prayers to be able to enjoy what we have today. Prayers that God will still heal. The great thing about hope is that nothing can ever take it away. I can have hope up until my very last breath. A belief that my God can do anything. The struggle of this is knowing He can and not understanding why He doesn’t. Accepting this life and this journey that has been laid out for me since the beginning of time. Faithfully accepting the grace that God gives me to make it through the next curve and letting that be enough.

My heart is heavy. My heart aches for healing. But my soul is covered in the love of my Savior. I have never been more thankful for the gift of salvation than now, looking into the eyes of death. Believing that all I had to do was say yes and Jesus did the rest. That when that day comes, despite the grieving there will be rejoicing. Oh, how I don’t understand it, but my soul pushes me on to believe it every day.

35 thoughts on “More radiation

  1. Praying for you and your family ! Your faith and trust in Him is amazing and inspiring.

  2. We love you so much and pray that you are given comfort, wisdom and strength. Dear Lord will cover Julie and her family with love and light during this difficult time. Through you, all things are possible. Amen.

  3. Thank you for the updates. I know they are taxing to write. Continue to ask us for what you need. We are willing to give it. I pray for you every day.

  4. Julie, I too am an emotional eater and I do so sompletely hear and understand your words. You remain on our hearts and in our prayers. It matters not the hour of the day or night – it is you and Mark Moore I immediately say prayers for the minute I awake. I know God hears and I know he cares, we continue to plead, we continue to trust.
    Though your glorification perhaps be imminent, we know you cannot feel your work here is done. We repeat as Abraham before us, “God will provide.”
    Your wisdom, acceptance and relationship with your Savior is both illuminating and beneficial to us all.
    One thing is in this life is certain – that we will all shortly walk your steps. What is not certain is that we will do it with your faith and your determination to reflect your Lord and Savior. I personally pray I will and I know Mike will.
    Crazy and it may sound, God has given you a voice. He knew that you would use your voice for his glory. I am reminded of James 4:14 ” our lives are but a vapor.” Anytime I read a book about great historical events I repeat to myself, “and now they and all that they loved are vapors, no longer here but living out their eternal lives.
    We press on, we pray, we trust and we remember, “What are our riches compared to God’s?”
    Please Father God, relief from the pain, wisdom and discernment, healing Father. We ask it again – that Julie be permitted to raise her daughters,please show her how to manage this cancer. But more than any other thing – teach us all that today is what matters and that this is where we must live until you come again. In the sweet name of Jesus we do offer our prayers to you.
    You are teaching all of us so much about our God and we love you for this! Nancy

  5. Gosh Julie, my heart just breaks for you in this pain and frustration and sucky disease. I pray for you and my small group prays for you and we ask God to show himself to you in all of this and to also send healing. I and you and so many others don’t understand why He doesn’t just Heal. Right. Now! Hope means so much. You are a beautiful, strong and brave woman Julie. My grey Fight4Julie shirt is just about see-through from all the washings and wearing it at least once a week. You and Ethan and the girls are in my thoughts and prayers A LOT. We are hoping with you!!

  6. You are such an amazing, inspiring example of a Godly woman to me. We love you Julie!

  7. I’m faithfully hoping and praying for you and yours, Julie. As hard as they must be to write, your words are such a blessing to so many. Love you.

  8. my heart is so full – sorrow at the pain and heartache; joy at the intentional love and memories; amazement at such grace and beauty in life and awe at how eloquently you share God’s hope and peace and ultimate gift of life. I am so proud and thankful to know you and call you friend.

  9. Continued prayers to sustain you and your family. I hate that you are going through this, but am so thankful you are not keeping the journey to yourself. Your willingness to share the great as well as the absolutely awful is faith building. Your posts remind me to keep up the prayers, no matter what, and to remember that we are all not guaranteed another breath. Thanks for helping me to remember to be thankful for what I have this day, this minute, this moment. May God Bless you as you continue the uncertainty of living with cancer.

  10. Julie you remain in our prayers. You & your sweet family are loved by so many and your journey has impacted so many lives. God will receive the glory through this all. Much love & prayers for you.

  11. Julie, you are such a precious soul. Your strength and faith are so apparent in your words. I pray that God will heal your body and that He will ease and take away your pain. I pray for your beautiful family, that God sustains them and gives you all the strength you need to handle this valley. Blessings to all!!

  12. You are right! Nothing can take away our hope and so we continue that together!! We hope! We pray!! Precious Father, release Julie from this horrible pain and begin her complete healing!! Amen!!

  13. I cannot imagine the courage it takes to write these updates. Bless you and bless your sweet family. Praying so hard…for strength, for healing, for pain relief, for answers. Love and hugs.

  14. Julie thank you for sharing, beautiful written. Sending up prayers for you and your family for healing, peace and comfort.

  15. Thank you so much for giving us knowledge on what you are going through. Upfront honesty…not everyone could or would do that. My heart aches for you and your family but I cannot help but think of how you are facing this with hope, fear, trust, and undeniably faith. You are so strong. Even when you do not feel strong and feel SO weak, you are making others like myself wish I was as strong as you. Much love to you.

  16. Julie, I will be in constant prayer for you and your family, lifting ya’ll up to God for peace and understanding.

  17. Julie, I hope that you realize that through all the pain, frustration and facing of death, you are such a light for the Savior to use for all of us that read about the fight you are having with the cancer. I just pray that I can be like you and others that have impossible problems and that I also can stand firm and shower others with such strength and love for many. As I read what you are going through, it makes me realize that what I am suffering with maybe there is a chance that I too can be a blessing to others by praising God and sharing His Word about Christ instead of complaining about my life and unhappiness. Please continue to write as it means so very much to me and also to others. It’s hard, I know, but you are truly blessed and many call on the Lord because of your testimony. I shall pray for God’s strength and comfort for you and your family. Blessings, Pat

  18. I have followed your steps from 10 years ago and every step you have voiced has made me a stronger person a stronger Christian a stronger mother a stronger friend and a stronger daughter. I pray for less pain, for you to continue to stay strong and for your family. It’s really hard to express in words how your strong faith has helped so many. Thank you for sharing.

  19. We love you and pray everyday for the things your heart desires to be answered. God listens! And although we don’t understand His ways, we are so, so blessed by you and your journey and these words.

  20. We are in 1 Thessalonians at church and talked about Heaven this week- when you need a little encouragement give it a listen- here’s a link…

    hopefully it can help replace those chocolate chips 😉 we sure do have a lot to look forward to!
    I am praying, praying, praying sweet friend. For your unwavering faith to be contagious to all who know you and read your posts, wisdom and clear direction for you and your Drs to bring you pain relief and complete healing, peace for you and your loved ones, and more of that amazing joy that is explained only by God’s grace.

  21. I pray for you. You may not remember me but I know your family. I have been a cancer nurse for 20 years with the last 7 years in palliative or supportive care. I believe the radiation will help. If you want to talk about what else you can do , please call me and we can talk- anytime. 713. 826 6104.

  22. My heart gets so heavy when I read your updates. I don’t know you well, but I know your precious children, and when I pray for you, I always pray for your family. There are so many things we don’t understand, and I certainly don’t understand this one. Please continue to fight hard and keep your Faith HIGH. I pray for so many things for you. May you find each day less painful, more joyful, and one step closer to getting better. You are on so many peoples minds, and in so many peoples prayers. It’s a powerful thing. Hugs to you and your precious family.

  23. We are praying for all that and more, Julie. I’ve been reading your reflections on the ways of this world since your baby boy was born (I saved the letter you wrote to him almost a decade ago), and have always been struck by your courage and faith. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are truly a warrior. Love from west Texas.

  24. Dearest Julie,
    I just want to say how blessed I have been for you to share your story of faith. I don’t know why I am amazed at our God who does the most amazing, incomprehensible things. On your difficult race of life, you have allowed God to give you another job, a job as His personal gardener. You have been obedient and willing to His call. As you run and share your sorrow and pain, you also share your hope in Him. You have been busy at sowing His seeds of faith, hope and love at a time in your life when you don’t understand this race, when you don’t feel well physically, when your heart is grieving beyond belief. Your story is an inspiration, a living testimony of your faith. We all are running this race of life. The race isn’t always easy. There are many hurdles. Some we jump over and others we fall over. There are potholes that sometimes we can see and dart around but others that we stumble and fall over. Our bodies are broken and bruised. Sometimes we are too tired and weak to continue. We ache physically, emotionally and spiritually at times. But, we can and do continue our race of life with God helping us up. He cries with us, He feels our pain, He sees our heartaches. For God’s own son endured the cross, He knows our pain and suffering. He puts His loving arms around us and tells us to lean on Him. He will carry us when we don’t have the strength. He runs the race at all times with us, never leaving us. He gives us the hope to cross the finish line into the arms of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
    Acts 20:24
    However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
    1 Corinthians 9:24
    Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
    1 Corinthians 9:25
    Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

    I know without a doubt that there has been someone who has read about your race and has come to know Jesus. For God tells us:
    Romans 8:28
    28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

    Thank you for sharing your faith and love of God during one of the darkest times of your life. We have seen His light shining brightly in the darkness through your testimony. We continue to pray for you and your family that God’s sweet kisses from heaven surround you. And that He fills you with His peace that surpasses all understanding.
    Much love,
    From Oregon

  25. Hi Julie–
    Not sure if you remember me from ACU or not? I just wanted to say hello and tell you that I am praying for a supernatural healing for you. So many prayers over you, your husband and your PRECIOUS girls!! They are so beautiful!! And you haven’t aged a bit!! My husband went through colon cancer almost 11 years ago, so our hearts completely break as we know the evil of this disease. I just wanted to tell you I have been checking in on you and following your blogs for a few weeks now ever since I saw your website on Facebook. I always loved you in college. 🙂 I remember laughing with you a lot. 🙂 Sending love and prayers!!
    Love,
    Shelly (Brooks) Willbanks

  26. My prayers continue to proclaim the Lord’s manifest presence of healing over your entire being (spirit, soul and body) and that the transforming love of our Heavenly Father renews your mind to the abundant life you’re called to have on this earth.
    John 10:10 He has redeemed you and put you in a place of VICTORY by the blood of Jesus so that you can enjoy this life in abundance. The enemy is the thief and has no power as we stand in our authority over this lie of cancer. Psalm 91 says He has promised you the gift of long life, this is part of your salvation. As we resist the lies of the enemy and embrace the wonderful promises of our redemption, our minds are renewed and we are transformed into His image. There is no cancer in Jesus, therefore there is no cancer in you. You are one with Him, embrace the truth of your true self in Christ. Personalize scripture, put your name in it and let the truth penetrate your heart, especially in the midst of this dark season of travail. Psalm 91 is a great one! Ask Him to reveal Himself, His will, through a specific scripture today and speak it over yourself. You are His beloved daughter in whom He delights in communing with daily. This journey has everything do with your relationship with Jesus. He has even more amazing things to show you, so stay open to intimate times with Him. I believe He will reveal that He has gone ahead of you, seen your future and declared it is good! I personally praise Him for your healing! My faith sees much provision and restoration for you and your family this year as you embrace His fullness in His living WORD and rest in His sweet inheritance He’s paid in full for you to enjoy on this earth. He doesn’t want one gift/promise of your inheritance unused..so grab ahold of your healing and stand firm on the truth that it is yours to enjoy on this earth. See that you’ve been redeemed from every curse through the great and loving gift of Jesus.

    In His Love,
    Karen

  27. Praying for you and your sweet family! What an inspiration you are to so many!

  28. My heart aches for you and your family. I will continue to plead and pray for your healing. I have never seen a more beautiful picture of faith in you and your writings that you so graciously share with us. I wear my tee shirt and tell people about you every chance I get because I want them to know about this woman named Julie who never stops praising her Lord.

  29. Julie,
    Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into you journey. It’s hard to understand Gods plan, but we will continue to pray & trust that our God can hear our cries. Always remember that He is good all the time:)

  30. Dear Julie,
    I attend Sugar Grove Church of Christ. I pray for you/family members and the families of your brothers. I admire your courage and faith. I attended the ladies day retreat at Sugar Grove where you gave your inspirational testimony. Your a blessing to so many.
    I’m praying to God for all your needs.
    Love,
    Judy Chowdhry

  31. Hi Beautiful Julie,
    I pray God’s perfect blessings for you today. I pray that He gives you His Holy Spirit today to fill the longing, the pain, the sorrow, the unknown. I cherish who you are, who you have chosent to grow to be, who the Lord has perfectly created you to be–HIs ambassador in this earthly kingdom. Thank you for teaching me how to trust in the unknown. Today, I pray for each of your heart’s desires to be fulfilled– for every hug to Ethan or to your girls to fill you with peace of mind.
    Loving and praying for you,
    Carol

  32. Your unwavering love for Jesus and belief in his promises brings me to tears every time. I’m just amazed at the woman you are. I’m praying for you and your family daily.
    Angie

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