Sunday, February 24, 2008

YOU HAVE ABOUT THREE MONTHS TO LIVE?

SUNDAY EVENING It was a magnificent day. Went to church this morning. Went to Film Night tonight and saw Amazing Grace with the congregation.

MAKE THEM LAUGH, MAKE THEM CRY, MAKE THEM WAIT Author Charles Dickens, who wrote A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, and other classics, said, "Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait." He said those were the components of good writing. Those components have certainly filled my writing as I've photojournaled this unique story: "A Christian fiction author comes down with brain cancer and hopes to continue to publish her stories." According to comments in the Comments Section, emails, snail mail, phone calls, and other forms of communication, I have done those things: make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em wait.

"I found you as I searched for comfort on the 20th anniversary of my son's death. I began to read through your blog and spent the last two days reading each post. I’ve cried and laughed as I read. As your neighbor said, the presence of God is flowing out of your home, and His presence is also flowing off the posts on this blog! Praise God!"

I've made you laugh, made you cry, and made you wait. Two weeks ago, after the latest MRI, the doctor said, "I think you have a few months left." It didn't make me nervous or sad or fearful. Conversely, I was filled with peace—overshadowed by the cloud that descended on me in November at the diagnosis of GBM brain cancer. As soon as the cloud descended, a sturdy chair came behind me, and I sat in it, and it has held me and sustained me. It's Jesus.

TUMOR GROWING I started this journey telling my numerous doctors and other professionals that we are people of faith, meaning Christians, and that God is helping us every step of the way. I also told them I have no fear, only peace. They seemed very…impressed? Touched? They seemed to marvel. I left out churchese and jargon as I told them these things.

Two weeks ago, after looking at the latest MRI, Dr. S. said, (1) "The 30 radiation treatments didn't shrink your tumor which is bad." (2) "The tumor is growing. This is not a good thing."

"How long do you think I have?" I asked, not blinking, sitting there with a smile on my face.

Glancing at the floor then back at me, she said, "Several months is my guess." Then she said it's time for hospice because they are good with pain management. (I haven't felt the need to sign with them yet.) As the doctor was delivering her dire prognosis, suddenly there came that peace like a cloud enveloping me, and, then the sturdy chair sliding in under me.

Then the doctor said, "But you are people of faith. Every case is different."

She delivered a word of faith to me!

Every doctor we saw that week said, "But you are people of faith. Every case is different"

Amazing! The doctors now tell us, "You are people of faith." I've said from the beginning, "My prayer is, 'Lord, let my life count for You. Use me for Your kingdom as you see fit.'" It's happening, as I said earlier, from the tens of thousands of people we're hearing from.

MY ANGELS My vision serves me fairly well despite the loss of 50 percent of my right peripheral vision in both eyes. I can't drive any more, a bummer, and my reading is laborious, me a speed reader. My fingers fly over the keyboard.

Anomalies. Last night, I was flipping through a magazine when a "woman" came in the bedroom and gave me a big sweeping wave. I call these "floaters" or, my angels, my favorite nomenclature. I glanced at the ceiling, saw the fan, and knew my eyes had replicated the last image I'd seen. My creative writer's mind had transformed it into a "her." The other day, the floor lamp in the family room waved at me. Then "she" extended her hand and touched my head. Last night, a short person made his way down the space between the wall and the bed. Glancing at the magazine, I saw a man, the same man won ho was in my bedroom.

Another strange man in my boudoir! Haha.

GETTING BACK MY STRENGTH Author Brandilyn Collins has inspired me. Last spring, she and her family were snowmobiling. Her snowmobile overturned, and she broke her ankle. It required numerous surgeries, pins, therapy, and more. A five-mile-a-day jogger, she was in top shape when it happened. Her strong determination got her back in top shape. She literally kept up her jogging—she worked out an amazing routine on her stairs and jogged on her bottom. An inspiring story. "Lord, help me regain my strength," I'm praying, "so I may write for You."

AS I'VE SAID MANY TIMES I have no fear, no doubt, no worries about my future. This is one of the many miracles in this unique story.

Another miracle is when God snatched my claustrophobia away. Our daughter Jennifer lives in a 22-floor condo in San Juan. I wouldn't ride up alone. I had to have her by my side. (Clue: she's gotten stuck a few times and waited quite a while to get rescued.) At large conventions we attend, I always scan the auditorium looking for a floor-level seat and an uncrowded one. A rare find. Sometimes I've headed for the handicapped seating (after the meeting started).

Now, I crawl into that narrow MRI tube and feel like I'm getting a spa treatment. Peace, peace, peace. A real miracle! Calgon, take me away…I mean…Jesus…for He's the One who took away my claustrophobia and gave me the incomprehendable descent of peace.

I also didn't have claustrophobia during the 30 radiation treatments when I was locked into a helmet which was locked into an acrylic "pillow."

ANOTHER WOMAN JUST CAME IN She raised up her arm and waved at me. Vigorously. A ceiling fan replication. Sometimes my angels wear unusual clothing. This woman is wearing a fancy, Kentucky Derby-style hat. A couple of days ago, a woman rode a ski lift to the top—it ended in our bathroom. The bathroom door was the last image I saw as I lay on the bed resting. Dr. T. said these images might be from the radiation. Or they might not.

I'M KEEPING THE FAITH One of my prayers has been, "Lord, please extend my life." That already occurred. He has extended my life. And I believe He's going to extend it some more. I'm getting my strength back, and I can't wait to plunge into the "story of my heart" and hopefully tweak the four long-length novels I've already completed.

GOOD NEWS I'm attending church today! First time in a long time. The headaches, nausea, and 8-day flu with chills and fever prevented me. I'm raring to go. I attended Wednesday night service and wept the first 30 minutes. Tears of joy.

16 Comments:

At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristy,

The Lord led me to your blog about a month ago. Not stumbled upon, because I know He led me here! My faith has been made stronger by each loving post either you or your husband make.

Tonight I have tears in my eyes. I have (had) breast cancer and had my surgery August 28th to remove the tumor. I have finished the chemotherapy and am now in the middle of radiation treatments. I will ALSO be attending church tomorrow for the lst time in over 3 months as I have been too sick to go. I know many tears will flow as well tomorrow during our wonderful praise and worship service, as I sing praises to our wonderful heavenly Father and for all He is bring me (us) through! I am praying for you my sweet sister and that you will be able to write what your heart is wanting to.
I am so thankful for your testimony of faith because it strengthens me.
I will be thinking of you too tomorrow as you so lovingly listen to your husband give his message.
Hugs and Prayers from a sister here in Ohio.
Cheryl
cherlilly12@yahoo.com

 
At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blessing to see you blogging again, dear Kristy. Each of these messages from you and Milton is faith-buildling and inspiring and shows the world what a loving God we serve.

I can testify along with you that our merciful, kind, loving Jesus brings peace and comfort, and yes, even JOY, in circumstances that seem beyond human endurance.

The light of Jesus still shines on the face of the earth. While there's still time, I pray everyone will open the doors to their hearts and let Him in.

To all who don't know:
JESUS LOVES YOU AND DIED FOR YOUR SINS SO THAT YOU MAY SPEND ETERNITY WITH HIM IN HEAVEN, WHERE THERE ARE NO MORE TEARS, SICKNESS, OR SORROW. ASK JESUS INTO YOUR HEART. HE WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WAIT TILL YOU'RE "GOOD." HIS BLOOD WASHES YOUR SINS AWAY.

Love & continued prayers,
Nancy & family

 
At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristy,

You are an amazing woman.

Love and Prayers,

Lisa

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

Kristy, We've only met once, at an ACFW in Nashville. I'm short, claustrophobic and totally deaf in one ear, so I have anxiety about those huge conference rooms and all those people!! I sat in the back, to the far right of the room during one of the meals, having carefully planned my "escape route." Ha. You came and sat right beside me, on my hearing side! We had a nice talk over that meal. Perhaps I owe our meeting to your FORMER claustrophobia!!!

And about those floaters: I would not put it past angels to me there, ministering to you. I was in a bad way in the hospital once, 25 years ago. My pastor came to pray with me and SAW an angel at the head of my bed. I did NOT turn around to look!!

Many blessings and prayers for you....

Katy McKenna www.fallible.com

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger Lisa Taylor said...

Bro. Dykes and Kristy,
I read your blog everyday and pray for you everyday! I am so blessed and encouraged and "taught" by your example and your faith and your lives! Even now, on this journey,the ministry you were called to has been enlarged to reach people outside the walls of the traditional church. You are touching lives and leaving God's fingerprint of love and hope on many readers! What an awesome responsibility! God knew He could trust you with this situation! God knew He could count you reliable to shed His light and love and hope. I found some sermons you preached, Bro. Dykes, from 1983. I'll send you a copy of my notes. Guess what the message is about? ENCOURAGEMENT! WOW! I've been learning from you both for many years! I, too, desire to be reliable for God to use for His kingdom! I'm so thankful for you!
Much love,
Lisa
(Kristy, I have notes from one of your mom's visits, also! The date is Oct. 12, 1980--title: "The Cross with the Crown." One of the quotes: "We can have confidence in Christ for engineering our lives." What anointed teaching from one generation to the next! I'm so grateful to my heavenly Father for allowing me the opportunity to sit under such truth! Our love and prayers to you both!

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

We serve a God with a tender heart toward His children.

You made me laugh today, Kristy. And your prayer for God to use you has already been answered. I've steered a couple of young marrieds to your blog. The emails I've gotten from them show me you're being used.

I'm praying Jabez prayer over you. After all, redheads need to be used. They light up rooms. ;) You're a 100 watt for sure!

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

THank you, all, for these wonderful, encouraging comments. I went to church this morning, and tonight, we're having a special family film night, so I'm headed out the door now.

Lisa, you might not've rec'd. my email after you sent me your speaking CD of the awesome testimony of your survival of the Enterprise, Alabama, high school tornado terror. I enjoyed it so much! God is a good God.

Love to all, Kristy

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger Robin Bayne said...

What a good photo of you Kristy! You are so lovely : )

 
At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Carrie Turansky said...

Kristy,
I am so happy to hear you were able to attend church today with Milton. I know that is a wonderful encouragement to you and to all those who love you there. I am praising the Lord for the way He has renewed your strength, and I am asking Him to bless you with even more in the days ahead.

Love and prayers,
Carrie

 
At 6:42 PM, Blogger ~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Kristy, I keep praying for you and Milton, and all your family. I know you're in the hands of God. He is so wonderful to give you the peace that is getting you through this. What a gift.

 
At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kristy,
It is simply amazing the way God is using you to teach someone you do not even know about faith and peace. Oh how I wish I could just meet you face to face and just hug you. I have been reading your blog since about December and praying for you ever since.
Thank you for allowing God to use you in this amazing way in this most difficult time.
Love & Blessings,
Margaret

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks for your comments. Brandilyn, thanks for your encouragement. Margaret, Carrie, ALL. Thanks for your prayers.

GOD IS SO GOOD TO ME!

 
At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kristy! This is the BEST blog yet that I've read. Full of hope, full of determination, full of all that makes you YOU. Smiling with you, Kathy

 
At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was such a blessing to see you enjoying the movie night this evening. Jerry and I also feel He(God)is working each and everyday to give you complete healing. You look fabulous; and Pastor also looked totally awesome as well. As I told you before the movie started; I have been dealing with some health issues too; and thankfully God is restoring me as well. So, we gals have to stick together; and with that said, we both know (you and I) will defeat any "demons or giants" which try to steal our joy and/or joys in life. Love you; Kristy. God bless you and Pastor always.

Ginny Griffin

 
At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are such a BLessing to my heart!! I know that we serve a loving, merciful God. One whom wants us all to be in good Health and prosper. I was led to your site by a friend of mine, I had not seen her in a long time anyway she told me of you, it is not by chance I came here today it is by the Lord whom orders our footsteps. May you know that God is healing you everyday. I just feel led to say that after reading your blogs and all the joy, love and peace you posess. Praises to God for he is good and he makes no mistakes!! For his ways are not ours, He has used you in a great way for many to come to know the PEACE that we can only recieve through he who created us. My prayer is that you are healed and the word says By his stripes you are healed. May your love stories speak volumes to others as it has to me and give them the peace which passes all understanding. The only Peace this world will ever know is though JESUS!!!! MAy we all come to know him. Thankyou thankyou!!!

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Patricia W. said...

Kristy, you continue to encourage me. I find myself thinking of you, your humor, and the special way you have with words at various times during the day. We've never met but I feel like I know at least a part of you, the part you've shared with all of us.

I'm reminded of my Jewish OB/GYN holding my hand and sharing his faith when my husband and I experienced the stillbirth of our daughter. He knew we were people of faith yet we felt so lost. I knew then, for sure, that there is only one true God.

You are truly a beautiful person, inside and out. Be encouraged. Be as strong as you are, and allow God to be stronger for you.

 

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