Quote for October

A Prayer for the Ephesians Eph. 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ask a Question, Get an Answer

Last week I was wondering why I was tired when my cancer markers are so low. I think I have an answer. When I had my routine bloodwork done, my fasting blood sugar was 119. For the last few years it has always been 95-99. I don't know why it would make such a big jump in only one month, but I will be eating much less sugar this coming month.

It makes sense now (3/3/10). When I went in to have the fasting bloodwork done(Jan. 27), I was not feeling well. In fact, I had taken two days off. I didn't know what was wrong: I was very tired and didn't feel like I could teach my class. Now I know that I didn't feel well because my blood sugar was too high. At the time I thought maybe my tumors were giving off lots of chemicals. Instead the labs showed just the opposite; all my cancer numbers are great!

For a year I have been weighing 10 pounds more than usual. I guess that has put a strain on my pancreas, or else it was just a matter of time. My younger sister, mother, paternal grandmother, and grandma's brother all had diabetes; so it's on both sides of the family. Also, I bet one of my many medications can raise blood sugar. I have one that can raise blood pressure. Soon I'm going to have more than 10 medications.

At any rate, I praise God that my cancer markers are very low! My Chromogranin A is only 8.8. I must have lacked faith in Him last week when I thought my cancer can't be so suppressed, even though the numbers were. So I give Him glory! He is shrinking my tumors. As Karen D. told me, with cancer you learn not to get too excited at the good news or too down about the bad news. Right now cancer doesn't seem to be the big problem. I have to get my sugar levels down.

Two years ago, having found out about carcinoid cancer and fibromyalgia and having had Sjogren's Syndrome for 23 years, I asked God, "Are you going to give me the world's longest list of obscure diseases, with the world's mildest cases of each?" I was laughing. I would still go with the worlds' mildest case of each, but now I think the list is long enough, Father.
Your grace is sufficient for me. I'm st not sure I'm sufficient for all these diseases.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV

Sharon Joy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Labs are Fantastic! So why am I so Tired?


I went by Dr. Zell's at UCI Med Center today and got my latest lab results. They are so incredibly good! My Chromogranin A is 8.8 ng/mL. That is totally normal. In fact, the Doctor said it was suppressed. We have been happy because I've been having CgA numbers lately between 20 and 50 ng/mL. This is unbelievable. Praise God!

We have been following the amount of gastrin in my blood because the tumors seem to be gastrinomas. All my other values have been 138, 200 (non-fasting), or 600 (non-fasting). Normal fasting gastrin is 100 pg/mL or below. My fasting gastrin is down to 30 pg/mL. In January we checked the serotonin level in my blood, because too much serotonin in the blood can attack the heart valves. Normal serotonin is 26-165 ng/mL. Mine was below 10 ng/mL; too low for the reportable range. So I guess my heart is safe from attack by serotonin.

Today the doctor and I seemed to be on the same wavelength. I was telling him about the symptoms I've been having: diarrhea the day before my treatment; a feeling of fullness in the upper right quadrant of my abdomen; and a dull pain in the same quadrant. He said he had been wanting to get some images, since we have not done any nuclear medicine scans since August 2009, and he suggested doing a MRI. Unlike the nuclear medicine scans, an MRI does not require me to go off my medicine and it exposes me to less radiation than a CT scan. He had obviously been thinking about doing the MRI before I got there. He said we can use it as a baseline scan if nothing shows up regarding the symptoms I'm having. That sounds fine to me!

My next appointment is in three weeks. Dr. Zell said it takes about one week to get the approval from insurance, one week to schedule the MRI and one week to get the results. So I have my next doctor appointment and my LAR on March 16. I can race over to the Medical Center as soon as 5th period ends and get there on time.

So why am I so tired? I don't know. All I can think of is stress from my job. We have our district assessment on March 5 and there's lots of pressure to help the students learn to read and write better for the CST (state testing) at the end of April. I was surprised how much more relaxed I was after the district assessment was over last fall. I was much less stressed. I bet my blood pressure went down that week.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance ; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our heartsby the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Finding Encouragement on the Internet


I'm getting through the month of February OK. I went in for my cancer treatment on Wednesday: 30 mg of Octreotide shot into the hip. It was discouraging because I got sick from cancer on Tuesday night. Carcinoid has its own peculiar type of diarrhea. It's a sign that my medication isn't as effective as it was , if I'm getting sick on the 27th day after my last shot. I was sick and in pain for a few hours, but I slept alright.

What helped with my pain was reading an email I got from my Aunt Dottie regarding work in Haiti. I felt drawn to the Internet to find some comfort for myself with my gut hurting--I was looking for another carcinoid patient to connect with, but I checked my email first. Aunt Dottie had forwarded an email sent from Haiti by a volunteer with Radio Lumiere. (Radio Lumiere is a Christian radio station that my Uncle Jim (her husband) worked for in the late 1960's.) The President of Haiti had declared 3 days of prayer and fasting on the one month anniversary of the earthquake! I never read anything about that in the newspaper. I haven't had a chance to watch the news for a week. How wonderful! Everywhere people were gathering in open-air churches to pray and worship! The Americans couldn't understand how wonderful this is in a country where voodoo competes with Christianity. They wanted to go about business as usual.

I prayed that Haiti for Christ would emerge from the ashes. The Christians in Haiti have a strong faith. Praise God!

After that great news, I went to the website for Carcinoid Cancer Foundation. The link is on this blog. I found there was a page listing blogs and websites written by carcinoid patients, and I picked one to read. It's written by a Christian! I was so excited! Actually, it's written by his adult son, but when the man is well enough he write encouraging messages. The blog is DGWhealthnews.blogspot.com. DGW is a former pastor who retired just a couple years ago. He is ill from carcinoid cancer.

That was a blessing. So I felt much better from finding good news on the 'Net.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Even though it's Pouring Down, I can see You through the Clouds

UPDATE:In the last 2 years, I find most people find this post because they are looking for the lyric to Francesca's song. so I am goingto copy the whole lyric in here.
This is a story about a beautiful song and how it helped me through my week.

The number of different things each teacher is being asked to do is steadily increasing month-by-month, and I have gotten discouraged that I can do all of them. Maybe I don't have faith that we can really pull this off. At least, that we can't do it all in one year. I have the feeling that I'm pedalling as fast as I can, but more keeps being added. I have decided to only work 50 hours per week, because any more leads to exhaustion and discouragement.

On Wednesday I felt that way. It's the day I have my drum lesson, and before I left, I snatched up Cd's by Sade, Carlos Santana, and Francesca Battistelli. I play hand percussion, and was looking for new music to play along with. Sade is an old favorite of mine to accompany. When I got to the studio, I handed Butch the Cd by Francesca because I had been listening to it on the way to my lesson.

This is where the beautiful song comes in. It's called "Beautiful" and was written by Francesca Battistelli, Ian Eskelin, and Andrew Fromm. I sang along and played to this for 10 minutes, then went home singing all the way.

" Don't know how it is You looked at me

And saw the person that I could be
Awakening my heart
Breaking through the dark
Suddenly Your grace.......

Chorus: Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful.

Now there's a joy inside I can't contain,
But even perfect days can end in rain,
And tho' it's pouring down,
I see You through the clouds

Shining on my face

Chorus: Like sunlight burning at midnight,
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful,
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need,
You are so beautiful, beautiful.

I have come undone, But I have just begun changing by Your grace..." 

I had more discouragement Thursday and Friday from a student and his mother. He has been not working and has an F. His mom wanted me to email her all the time to tell her what he is doing. I have to write her every assignment that Hosea doesn't do. I won't do that. My policy is that the parent has to email me every week to check on their child. Also, the child has to write down his assignment, and I will sign it. That way the parent can see what needs to be done.
I will not do the work of the parent and the child.

So I went to work singing "Beautiful", and everything turned out alright. I still have to get the parent and child to follow my policies, but I was not so discouraged.