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Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Music Renews/ Spiritual

He Is Making Me

I spent most of the day yesterday making appointments.  Not just for me, but for my family, as I have fallen behind in life during my surgeries and the holidays. 

~Orthodontist (2 girls)
~Ophthalmologist (3 of us)
~Dentist (2 of us)
~Parent Teacher Conference 
~Oncologist #1 (Zoladex shot)
~Oncologist #2 (6 month check up)
~OB (follow up on pelvic ultrasound)
~Plastic Surgeon (2 month followup)
~Hair Stylist (me)
February is full of appointments, but I still felt good about it all.  It felt great to get things on the calendar that I have not been able to get to.  At least it did yesterday.
Today, I need an attitude check.  I no longer feel great about a month full of appointments, because I’ve had to add a few more. 
My sweet friend Ann was here with me this morning and we were sharing our hearts.  I told her that I have had some new side effects from the new meds I am taking–joint pain in my feet, ankles, spine and hips.  She understands as she has been living with rheumatoid arthritis for at least 15 years.  She knows joint pain, and has shown me what it looks like to walk through life with pain and grace.
I also told her that I have been having some chest pains that remind me very much of when I had pleurisy and pleural effusion after surgery about a month ago.  The pain is not as severe as it was, but very noticeable on my inhale and causes me to breath shallow.  I’m also feeling a little breathless, and have to stop mid-sentence at times to take a breath in.  It has kept me up at night.
My Ann gently encouraged me that it was time to call the Doc.
I needed that push. You see, I chose the word NEW as my word of the year.  I am healing very nicely from surgery and everything does feel new and fresh.  I have REALLY been enjoying that feeling, and if I had it my way…that nice, shiny, new, no-problem feeling would stay around for a bit…if I had it my way. 
So I start dialing.

Being a cancer patient, one question we often run up against is “which doctor do I call?”  I have my 6 month checkup February 19 with my oncologist, and if I had my way, they would move it up for me and see me now due to my chest pain.  They have a lab right there in office, and an x-ray machine.  It would be easy, one appointment, nice and tidy.  But that is not usually how it goes..and it didn’t.
I called my oncologist and because my surgeon was the one to deal with the pleurisy a month ago, she said to call him.  I had a feeling she would say that.
I called my plastic surgeon’s office and his nurse was so very sweet, but she said exactly what I knew she would.  “You need to call your primary care doctor and be seen and let her listen to your lungs.”
Now I’m sitting here, not dialing and honestly….pouting.
I don’t want another appointment.  I love my primary care doc, but I know she will be thorough and order a whole bunch of tests, which will send me around the city of Lincoln and cause me to have to make more appointments. 
After making all these phone calls while my dear Ann was still hear, I received a call from my OB with results from an ultrasound I had last week.  It was to make sure the shots I take really has shut down hormones.  This is important as I am taking a med should only be taken if a woman is in menopause.  The OB nurse told me I need to be seen to discuss the ultrasound.  There is still what they think is a cyst on my ovary which surprised us all, because I am on shots that cause chemical menopause.  
This is when I got upset.  
I’m taking these shots so I would not have to deal with these cysts anymore.  The news that it is still there really surprised me.  I’m not happy about it.
This is when my Ann, after holding my face with both hands and giving me a hug, started to sing a song.  A song that she could not get out of her head. She asked me if I had heard it.  
We looked it up on YouTube and listened together.  I have listened to it 3 times since she left.
Here is what I am reminded of through this song:
There has to be broken to be healed
There has to be empty to be filled
There has to be loneliness, to know our desire is really for Him
He is making me.  
Make me broken
So I can be healed
‘Cause I’m so calloused
And now I can’t feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken
I heard the beginning of the song, and my immediate thoughts were..”I don’t want to be broken.  I don’t want to heal anymore.” Yep, right smack in the middle of my pity party.
But I know my God.  I know He is healer.  I know He is faithful.  I know how amazingly precious the moments have been with Him in my most broken state.  Precious moments I would not trade.
I do not want to become calloused and unfeeling.  This is what I feel when I start thinking of ‘what-ifs’ and worry about the future and all these crazy appointments!  My head spins, my thoughts worry, my heart pouts & I become distracted and numb. This is NOT what I want.  
I want a heart wide open.  So yes, Lord, make me broken.
Make empty
So I can be filled
‘Cause I’m still holding
Onto my will
And I’m completed
When you are with me
Make me empty
Did you notice above how many times I said “if I had it my way”?  Tight grasped holding onto my will.  Oh why do I want it?  Have I not seen?  Have I not heard? 

Isaiah 40: 28-31
Do you not know? Have you not heard?The Everlasting God, the LORD, the creator of the ends of the earthDoes not become weary or tired.His understanding is inscrutable.He gives strength to the weary,And to him who lacks might He increases power.Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,Yet those who wait for the LORDWill gain new strength;They will mount up with wings like eagles,They will run and not get tired,They will walk and not become weary.

I am completed when you are with me.
‘Til You are my one desire
‘Til You are my one true love
‘Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me
My one true love, my desire, my breath my everything.  Sounds like a Valentine.  So fitting for February.  
Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
“Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
‘Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely
Oh boy this is a tough one.  One I am doing battle with.  I want to be heard & understood.  Cared for. Loved.  Held.  
God knows the desires of my heart.  He cautions me to not want anyone or anything more than Him.  He tells me He will hold me in the dark, fully known, fully loved.
‘Til You are my one desire
‘Til You are my one true love
‘Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me
Yes, my word of the year is ‘NEW‘ and my Ann reminded me today that He is making me new daily.  He gives me a new day, gives me new strength, and opens my eyes to the new.
So I will set aside my pity party, and make the phone call.  Maybe.
Or I might wait until the 19th for my 6 month checkup and see what my blood work says and if Oncologist is concerned and pain is still there, she can order a chest x-ray to be done in her office.  I will see what my body tells me in the next day or two.  If it stays the same or gets worse, I will call my doctor.  If it gets better, I will wait.
In the meantime, I will listen to the song one more time, and remember:
There has to be broken to be healed
There has to be empty to be filled
There has to be loneliness, to know our desire is really for Him
He is making me.  

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Music Renews/ Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks in the Midst of the Unknown + A Health Update

Happy Thanksgiving to all of YOU!  I am so very thankful for each and everyone of you.  Your faithful reading of my story here at New Nostalgia is such a blessing to me.  I feel so surrounded by love and supported by such an awesome community.  I am so grateful.

Today I am having 16 family members over for Thanksgiving meal.  It will be very laid back with paper plates and comfy clothes.  My family is bringing most of the food and I can’t wait to just relax and enjoy the precious moments of just hanging out and feasting!

This week I have been practicing giving thanks in all circumstances, and what peace and joy I have found in doing this!  I am able to do this only through God’s help and His faithfulness.  He has proven to me over and over again that He holds all of me together, that He has purpose for everything that happens & will not waste pain and suffering.  He gives it meaning & brings beauty from it all.

This song has been on repeat in my head and heart all week.  It says all that I want to say.
He. Is. Faithful.

Health Update:

Tuesday I went to my weekly Dr. appointment to get filled.  I had a few dissolvable sutures that were not dissolving and were looking inflamed. Doc removed them, and became very concerned, as immediately there was drainage from the small hole it created.  Not good, a sign of possible infection.  I had noticed a pink area, but the nurse had taken some steri strips off that area the week before and commented on how I had reacted to them and that my skin was inflamed.  I have very sensitive skin and often react to the adhesives in bandages. Because of this, I was not concerned about the pink and neither was she.  I guess we should have been!

Doc was not happy about what he saw, and was quite concerned.  He put me on an antibiotic right away and said if I spike a fever or if it gets worse I will have to have surgery AGAIN!  I have been having burning/aching/pain on that right side, but no fever.  I am really hoping the pain is from the stretching of the muscle and not infection.

I am on day 3 of antibiotics.  I am really hoping to stay healthy and avoid surgery!  This would be a huge setback, as they would have to remove the expander and wait to do any more reconstruction until the infection clears up, which can often take a long time.

Despite the unknowns of what is going to happen, I have a peace and joy that I know is a gift from above.  I SO don’t want complications, but I also KNOW that God is faithful and holds me and my life story, and knows every moment of it.  I am so THANKFUL for this reassurance.  He has been so good to teach me this, and continue to show me that I can trust in His goodness.

Never Once
Matt Redman

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Is Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Music Renews/ Spiritual

Emergency Room Visit & Keeping My Eyes Above The Waves

My second surgery this week went well.  I came home so relieved and with very little pain.  By the next morning (Friday) I was off prescription pain killers on just on Tylenol.   I had energy.  I stayed rested in bed but didn’t sleep much and just felt good.

Saturday morning woke up still feeling quite good.  I wrote about my surgery experience and a hero of mine.  But by 10:30 am, I started having an uncomfortable feeling in my chest, and I thought it strange that it was in the opposite side of where I just had surgery two days before.

I started getting tired and found myself sleeping all day.  I could not stay awake.  I thought it was just from having 2 surgeries in one week, sleeping off anesthetics, etc.

We had a Saturday family night, eating dinner and watching shows together as a family.  As we were watching shows, I noticed my chest pain becoming more and more uncomfortable.  It was pain felt at the top of each breath.  By the time our family show was over, I was only able to get about half a breath before I would feel pain on that left side.  I also had the chills and so I took my temp and sure enough I had a fever.

“You’ve Never Failed, And You Won’t Start Now”

It got worse, so I gave in and called my Dr.  I SO did not want to go into the ER.  I knew it would mean lots of tests.  I knew their first concern would be a blood clot.  Dr. F was very concerned and said to go into the ER right away, and yes, blood clot was his biggest worry.

I hated having to tell my girls that I felt sick and had to go back to the hospital.  My brave 12 year old Colsie wrote this on her Facebook page after we left:

“Everybody, please pray for my mom. She is having chest pains, and is going to the hospital. Hoping its nothing to serious!”
One of my closest friends saw the status and immediately went over to our house to stay with our girls.  That was a blessing & made them feel loved and cared for.
“Your Grace Abounds In Deepest Waters”

By the time I got to the hospital, my breathing was quite painful.  I could not get a sentence out without taking breaths in between words.  I noticed my breathing was more shallow as I was not able to get much air in without a lot of pain.

“You Call Me Out Upon The Waters

“The Great Unknown, Where Feet May Fail”

They took vitals, and my blood pressure was elevated.  I still had fever.  They took blood, a urine sample, an EKG, a chest X-ray & started an IV.  The chest xray showed fluid on that left lung, so a CT scan was ordered to rule out blood clot and see what was causing the fluid.  We had to wait awhile for the CT, as I am allergic to the contrast they inject for that test.  They had to give me a steroid and anti-allergy meds, and we had to wait patiently for them to take affect.  This is when my pain started getting really bad and my breathing very shallow.  It scared me.  I tried not to panic but I had never experienced the feeling of not being able to get air into my lungs, and my body would just not let me breath deep as even just a little air in my lungs would cause excruciating pain.  Later we found out this was pleurisy and fluid on my lung causing all this pain.

“Fear Surrounds”

There was a point I panicked.  I had all this fluid being pumped into me through an IV & I had to go to the restroom. I was hooked up to numerous machines and couldn’t up and go, and my breathing was the worst and most painful it had been.  I asked Todd to get a nurse.  The nurse took forever.  I begged Todd to grab anyone, and felt myself entering full panic mode.  I just couldn’t breath.

“And I Will Call Upon Your Name

And Keep My Eyes Above The Waves

When Oceans Rise

My Soul Will Rest In Your Embrace

For I am Yours & You Are Mine”


Being able to use the restroom actually helped me calm down.  Kinda funny as I think back on it, but it did.  I remember being very deliberate to stop crying and calm down so I could just focus on breathing. It helped.  I had my Doctor paged to get me some pain meds so I could breath easier, but the techs from CT came before the pain meds did.

Not good.

The whole time they were rolling me to CT I was trying not to panic.  I knew I would need to lay down and lay still, but the only way I could find some relief with breathing was to stay sitting up, almost leaning forward. I remember a long hall and seeing my reflection in the dark windows as they pulled me through the door. I did not like how I looked.  A patient.  With tubes everywhere.  Alone…until I remembered I am not.   This is the moment the song in this post entered my brain and it made much sense as to why one of you readers would share it with me earlier in the week and why it was on repeat in my brain all week.  The song is so fitting, as I did feel like I was drowning.  I remembered in that moment “Keep my eyes above the waters” and I remembered to turn my thoughts up toward my God.

Honestly that sweet moment was fleeting, because the worst came when they tried to lay me down for the scan.  I laid down and the same pain that would come when I breathed in, but would let up when I breathed out, came in a full tidal wave and stayed.  I heard a wailing and then realized it was me.  I begged them to sit me up.  I then cried and said I could not do that again.  They called for someone to bring pain meds, then asked me to try again.  I told them the only way I would was if they propped me up a bit on a couple pillows.  They agreed and it worked.  It was still a very painful 5 minutes, but I prayed through it, made myself stop crying, and just did it.

Doc later told me that all the fluid that was collected at the bottom of the lung would come up when I  laid down and that is what caused the pain and drowning feeling.  Glad to know there was a reason I was making all that noise.  Good grief.

“Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust Is Without Borders

Let Me Walk Upon The Waters

Wherever You Would Call Me”


I was rolled back to my room and my sweet husband.  He was on day 4 of a bad cold and it was almost 1:00 a.m.  He looked almost as bad as I did.  My poor man.

The pain meds were brought in.  Good ol’ morphine.  I texted my sister that I was getting morphine and she wrote back “ride the wave, Sissy.”  I think that is funny as it is so fitting with the song that was so on my brain.

Ride the wave I did!  Here are my morphine eyes.  I had instant pain relief and could relax and breathe.

The CT scan showed NO BLOOD CLOT!  Whoo Hoo!  My diagnosis was fluid on the lung, pleurisy, & beginning stages of pneumonia.  I went home with pain killer and antibiotics, and this fun little friend who helps me do breathing exercises.

When I left the hospital, I could only get to 750.  When they saw this the respiratory therapist had to recheck with doctor that I could be discharged.  They still let me go, and in the last 2 days I’ve been able to get it up to 1750.  Most of you reading this would be able to go all the way to the top, no problem.

That was Saturday night.  It is now Monday.  I feel so much better with no pain when I breathe.  I’m not completely normal with breathing, I feel breathless when I lay flat or go down stairs, etc….but so much better!

“And My Faith Will Be Made Stronger

In The Presence Of My Savior”

{click play…this was the song on my brain & it is one of my favs}

Oceans by Hillsong

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine


Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Love/ Music Renews/ Spiritual

Super Abundantly Loved

Turquoise quote from Song of Songs 8:7

He tells me to simply love.
Love, pure with out self-interest.

Without seeking return.
Without being disappointed when it is not returned

For you see, I am so deeply loved–that is why I can love.
I can say “yes” to this call of love

Love poured out.
Love poured over.

Grace has overflowed onto me.
I am abundantly surrounded,  love swirling,
caught up and enraptured by love.

Love as fierce as a hurricane
and I bend beneath the weight of this God love.

Its bigness cradles, a hammock for my heart.
He rocks me gentle.

Movement– love moves.
It flows, it pours, it comes toward.

I am called to love.
I am called to move toward.
I can, I am God-breathed empowered
I am loved.


Inspired by my reading in

I Timothy 1:14
“And the grace (unmerited favor and blessing) of our Lord flowed out super abundantly and beyond measure for me, accompanied by faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

 I John 4:19
“We love because He first loved us.”


Maybe you need this reminder today?  I sure did. I had a rough Monday morning as a Mom & tears flowed. I know I am called to love.  To come toward.  Sometimes this calling can feel next to impossible because my own emotions and hurt feelings get in the way.  The type of love God calls us to is only possible when we recognize how very completely & perfectly we are loved by our Creator.  His love, grace and blessing flows SUPER ABUNDANTLY & BEYOND MEASURE.  Did you get that?  Think about it for a minute.  A perfect God loves super abundantly & beyond measure, right here, right now, no matter what–more than we can even imagine. We cannot even grasp this, yet I find myself asking God to help me KNOW this, for I know that it is only through His love that I myself can put aside my pride & hurt feelings, move toward, & simply love.

{A Fav Song Of Mine}

Love/ Music Renews/ Spiritual


Oh, how He loves us

I have few words today, but I cannot get the below song out of my head and had to share it with you.  
I want you to know that I believe that God loves you right here, right now, JUST AS YOU ARE, no matter what.
Just wanted you to know that today!

If grace is an ocean then we are all sinking
FAMILY/ Leaving A Legacy/ Music Renews/ Parenting/ Spiritual

Leaving A Legacy For My 3 Girls – A Plea & A Prayer

Leaving a Legacy
As a 2-time cancer survivor, I look at life with tangible knowledge that life could end at any given moment.  None of us know how long we have here on this earth.  This legacy series to my 3 girls…my lovelies… is my way of attempting to leave a legacy for them.  To speak of what is most important for them to know from me, their forever Mom.

Todd Bowman and three daughters


Dear Lovelies,
I don’t have many words of my own for you today, just a verse which is also a plea, and a prayer.  I may even go find a song for you if your lucky.  🙂  
My Plea for you, my 3 lovelies:
Ephesians 4:1 I…beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling.  For you have been called by God.
How I pray for you:
Every time I pray I think of you and thank God for you!  I ask Him to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians.  Oh the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust him– endless, boundless strength!
Inspiring quote


Be assured from day one I have not stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds & spirits attuned to his will and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.  I pray that you live well for the Master, making Him proud of you as you work hard in His orchard.  As you learn how God works you will learn how to do your work.  

Inspiring verse

I pray you will have the strength to stick it out over the long haul, not a grim strength of gritting your teeth, but glory-strength that God gives.  It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful He has for us!
By giving Himself completely at the cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side & put your lives together, whole & holy in His presence.  Don’t walk away from a gift like that!  Stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned into the message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.
I Love you More’n,

The above are Paul’s prayers, so wonderful to pray over your children.  They are taken from:
Colossians 1:9
Ephesians 1:15-23
Ephesians 3:14-19

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Music Renews

Music Speaks When I Can’t Find Words + My Favorite Christmas Music CD

Music is a powerful thing.  The music I am playing is stirring my heart and creating a longing that I can feel physically in the depths of my being, which made me just stop for a bit and listen.  I feel an almost a physical ache, a desire strong to speak praise to my Father God for sparing my life.

The song took me back to Christmas and New Years 2010.  I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction the week after Christmas.  I got home from the hospital on New Year’s Eve.

My dear friend Sharon came from Chicago to care for me and my family while I healed.  What a gift that was! A gift that brings a lump in my throat whenever I think about it.  It was a hard and painful, but oh- so- beautiful week!

She is a friend of my heart, and her care for me and my family was just such beautiful love.  She loved all over my girls during such a scary time in their lives.

All three girls said the hardest part of my cancer journey for them was that surgery weekend, knowing their Mommy was getting cut on, seeing me in the hospital and in pain, and watching me move slowly.  Sharon came and comforted them, and helped take the sting that cancer brought into our lives.  She was a soothing salve.

She calmed my heart when waiting for a key phone call that told us what they found during surgery.  She took me to the Word of God and read His promises to me, promises I still cling to.

She prayed with me, served me tea, played games with my girls, did my dishes, packed their school lunches, helped change my bandages, endured looking at my wounds and stitches and drains.

She held my hand when the news of that phone call was not what we wanted to hear.  She watched me break down and mourn that I might be facing even more chemo. She was just there.  Love tangible.

Andrew Peterson Behold the Lamb of God
{Gather Round–the opening song}

We played this particular CD quite a bit that week and the following weeks, even though Christmas was over.  The songs just brought comfort. This CD is one of my most favorite Christmas albums.

It takes one through the Old Testament up to the birth of Christ.  It is really neat to hear the story in the form of song, prophecy come to life.  The songs brought up wonderful discussion between my girls and I, and expanded our understanding of the Christmas story, that it did not just begin and end in that manger.

I especially love the words of the one below, which is called “So Long, Moses.” The song start with saying goodbye to Moses, and hello to the promise land.  It talks about the 12 tribes.  It touches on Saul & King David.   It talks of the prophets and speaks these comforting words of the Isaiah, prophet of Judah:

{So Long Moses}


So speak, Isaiah
Prophet of Judah
Can you tell of the One
This king who’s going to come
{3:20}Will he be a king on a throne
Full of power with a sword in his fist?
Prophet, tell us will there be another king like this?
Full of wisdom, full of strength,
The hearts of the people are his
Prophet, tell us will there be
another king like this?

{3:40–My FAV!}
“He’ll bear no beauty or glory
Rejected, despised
A man of such sorrow
We’ll cover our eyes

He’ll take up our sickness
Carry our tears
For his people
He will be pierced

He’ll be crushed for our evils
Our punishment feel
By his wounds
We will be healed.”

Gives me chills.  He knew sorrow.  He carries our tears.  He was pierced & crushed for us & by His wounds, the healing comes.  

And this song, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night:

“Fear not!” said he; for mighty dread 
Had seized their troubled minds 
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring 
To you and all mankind 

To you in David’s house this day 
Is born of David’s line 

Mighty dread and fear HAD seized my troubled mind back in 2010.  But the birth of this tiny baby, this God-man, brings a life joy that even cancer cannot take away.  

By His wounds on the cross, I am made whole and healed.  Even if God chooses not to heal me physically, completely, here on earth, I know I have an ultimate healing in heaven. Oh death, where is thy sting?  Jesus takes it, and through him, life on this earth is not all there is.  

There is final healing and eternal life with HIM!  This joy, a joy-peace, is what I am experiencing and growing in, & my heart overflows with thankfulness for every minute of this life I get to live!  

What more can I say?  My heart bursts forth in song, agreeing with the words of the Shepherds song chorus above; “Hallelujah, Christ is Born!  Oh Glory be to God On High and To The Earth Be Peace. Goodwill Henceforth From God to Man, Begin & Never Cease!!