Update: Monday, Dec. 31 - Dewey
Aurora & Bradford play house
Dear Everyone, Happy New Year,!!!
Debbie very much wanted to give ytou all a new year message, but she asked me to write this update, as she has been very tired since this therapy started. She hopes within a week or two to write her own, when the therapy kicks in and improves her state of health. She recently had to begin doubling the dose of the pain medication, which also brings fatigue. With all the forced hormone changes happening in her body, the medication to put her ovaries to sleep, the radiation, and fatigue, her emotions have been unstable lately.
But the therapy has already shown signs of doing something, without describing details, there are changes happening, which must be a good thing. The head doctor, Dr. Bicher, will not be back untill the 7th on jan. So we await his judgement on her progress.
Over all she is very confident about this therapy, but has some questions about certain aspects which she is eager to have answered.
Max, Charleton & William
We hope within a few weeks, she will have improved enough to wean off the pain medication, and the fatigue should also lessen as time goes on. She is tired now, but looking foreward to feeling like a new woman in the near future!
Amy and Max Ellzey have opened their house to us, and have tried to accommodate our every big and little need.
Their house is in Culver City, 5 minutes from the clinic where debbie goes daily. Amy was a collegue of debbies when she worked with Pepperdine. They have A mural in their shower i did about 10 years ago, i may show you later.
They have 3 boys, Charlton, William, and Bradford, who Aurora is enjoying getting to know. The past 2 nights she has played so hard, she just lays down on the carpet and falls asleep all by herself....thats a first. All for now
Update: Thursday, Dec. 20 - Debbie
Driving across the country was quite soothing actually. It was like a metamorphosis, gradually moving from one time zone to another, instead of dealing with a 3-hour time change in one go. The changing scenery allowed us to slowly realize the change in our path and that it is good and o.k. I think flying would've been too dramatic and sharp around the edges - too crazy. We took 5 days to get here. We were in a very comfortable and safe car (thank you Ken and Joyce!!!) The first 2 days were full of rain and storms and difficulty seeing. I drove when it got dark, but Dewey drove the bulk of the way. We got to see wonderful friends along the way. Ronnie and Michele Bamburg had visited us in Atlanta twice, but it was fun to see them in their own environment. A warm, welcoming home. Ronnie demonstrated the events of the decathalon he had won for me. And we got to meet their two sons. Dewey gorged on good Michele cooking and left feeling very full, and happy.
The next night we stayed with Roger and Erin Massey in Texas. We arrived through awful rain storms. Roger effortlessly whipped up the perfect organic, vegan dinner. We visited late into the night. Catching up, praying together. Erin phoned up a wonderful older man who has a healing ministry. The next morning, we met up with him and several others who prayed for me in a powerful and loving way. It was so moving and strong. I am always amazed at how much love "strangers" can feel for me. How much they give! They are not strangers after all, they are family - we are all connected! It gives me strength to "find" these people. God is so good, and works mightily through His children. Over and over again... Thank you Lord!
We then drove to Clovis, NM, stopping in Lubbock. We arrived just as the evening service was ending at Sunset Church of Christ. Driving down 34th street, parking in that familiar lot and going inside a building that holds a million memories for me was very cool. (It was in this building that Michele Bamburg and I had met in '79!) I recognized a friend from high school, Stacey (Lowman) Smith! We talked for quite a while, finding out what "everyone" was doing these days. Gerald Paden somehow recognized me and I got a big hug. We hadn't known we would be driving through Lubbock and couldn't warn anyone. Maybe on the return journey...
We got to the Casmirs (Flagstaff, AZ) beautiful home at 8 pm. on Monday. Mina was there, ready to prepare a meal. She was very European, waiting herself to eat at that later hour with us. We were all tired but anxious to visit. Aurora was at the end of her rope and was clingy, weepy, exhausted. She hadn't napped all day. She had done so well thus far... The next morning we all drove to the hospital to visit with Fred. He looked so good! His eyes sparkled. We shared some of the things we had learned through our current journeys. Fred demonstrated his recent progress by pulling himself up from sitting in one go and using a walker two times while we were there! He is weak but getting stronger day by day. He is full of determination and wonder. We prayed together and each received blessings from the other. We look forward to spending more time together on our return after my treatments in CA.
We got to Phyllis' house around 5 pm. on Tuesday. I experienced more nostalgia driving through the Mojave desert where we lived in the early 70's. We made it safely! It seems like just yesterday that we were sitting in the kitchen with Vernie and Rock and Phyllis. Very comforting. Nice for Aurora to be in a place she knows. Aaaahhhh.
Yesterday we got up and drove to Culver City to visit briefly with Max and Amy Ellzey and their 3 sons. We will be staying with them starting this weekend! Their house is minutes from the clinic. Aurora hit it off with the boys. Charlton gave her a princess tiara and little Bradford gave her cookies. She was excited about the "wonderland" of trikes, wagons, balls, etc... Max showed us the way to the clinic, which is right next to Kaiser. Phyllis spent the day with us making this initial visit there. We met with Dr. Bicher and got a tour of the facility. All of the staff is friendly and helpful. It's very international too, which I love. After examining me, Dr. Bicher was very confident that he can help me, possibly even rid my body of the tumors! He did not say it was a sure thing, but if my body responds to treatment, there is a lot he can do. Sylvia in radiation said I should see a difference by Monday already! The primary tumor should be softer and the external tumors should begin shrinking. It felt GREAT to have the first treatment. As the radiation beams were on me, I encouraged the cancer cells to melt away with the light. I prayed for protection for the healthy cells. She did three areas at 5 minutes each. The radiation continues working for a couple of weeks, so even as I write this, it is doing its thing! We drove back to Hacienda Heights after the radiation and returned for the hyperthermia at 7 pm. Normally, I will have them back-to-back. Roxanna (from Romania!) did my hyperthermia. For the first treatment they use a lower heat for less time (40 C for 45 minutes). The heat actually felt good. I was tired by the end of the day. It was a lot of driving back and forth. I slept very soundly. No side effects. Praise God!
Today Phyllis will watch Aurora while Dewey and I go to the clinic for an extra-long day as they have to take labs (bloodwork), take films, and do a full treatment. We'll leave here at 3.30 and won't get home until 9 pm. On Friday we'll set up at the Ellzeys' and have my third treatment.
Thank you for all of your prayers during our trip. They were answered, as you can see. We feel your love. May each of you feel our love too. You are a blessing to me. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I could not do this without you.
Update: Thursday, Dec. 13 - Debbie
Thank you for all of your prayers lately. So much has fallen into place for me to get the treatment I need out in California. Dr. Bicher is leaving town next Thursday until Jan. 7. I have my appointment with him on Wednesday the 19th at noon. I will also start my hyperthermia / low-dose radiation treatments that day!! The treatment is 5 days a week for a couple of hours each day. Three weeks from then, I should start to see a change in the breast and start to have less and less pain!!!
Some wonderful friends are lending us a car to get out there and to use while we are there! They are making sure it is very safe and comfortable & th they are angels in our life. The treatments take 8 12 weeks. I am hoping my body will respond quickly and completely. This is my prayer.
We have been packing up and getting ready, saying our good-byes here (this is hard), and trying to stay rested for the long drives ahead. We leave tomorrow(!) for Ron and Michele Bamburg's in Louisiana (a 9-hr drive). The next night we'll be with Roger and Erin Massey in Arlington, TX (6 hours). We'll spend two 9-hr-drive days to get to Flagstaff, AZ to visit with the Casmirs (our friend Fred has been in the hospital for over 120 days now and we've been praying for each other can't wait to see them! He is slowly recovering from his surgeries and the complications). We should arrive in L.A. sometime on Tuesday.
It is hard to leave here... my family, my healing "team" (Dr. Eley, the staff at Emory; Warren my acupuncturist; The Wellness Community: my support group of other women with metastatic bc, Heather and yoga, Jill and meditation; Dr. Bergeron), Aurora's "Tuesday Thursday" school, the wonderful friends we've made at North Atlanta Church of Christ, our neighbors, the lovely "nest" we have made in Tami and Fritz' house and being so close to them... We have been here 8 months since arriving for treatment back in April. We look forward to returning with my health much improved! God bless all of you and take care of you while we are apart. Thank you for the love and kindness you have endlessly shown to us.
Dancin' on the Ceiling
Please pray for continued healing and no spread until we can get the treatment going. Also, we need prayers for the long car journey & for decent weather, safe drivers, good rest areas, no car trouble, etc. you all know what the score is.
I guess it's "Surprise!" to everyone in California! It will be great to hang out with all of you for the duration. We just never know, do we? Let's make the most of it, shall we?!
Blessings and love and laughter to all of you as we approach Christmas. We are looking forward to Aurora's little face as she FINALLY gets to open her presents. (It is so hard for a 2-yr old to wait!)
Update: Saturday, Dec. 8 - Debbie
Rejoice with me the insurance company will cover the treatments!!!! I got a message on my answering machine yesterday from Annie Taylor telling me the good news but saying that she would confirm it today. I couldn't get the smile off my face since that message yesterday. Annie is an angel! I spoke with her this morning and when I told her how happy I am, she said, "that is what we like to hear". She said she didn't want me to have to wait and wonder all weekend. She also said to give my little girl a hug! This is not a typical experience with an insurance provider, I am told. I thank God that she was there after hours last Saturday when I called to see why they had turned down my request at first. She comforted me then and is now personally taking care of my case. She will inform the Chicago office of the coverage for the hyperthermia and radiation AND for the continuation of Arimidex and Aredia. They want an update after the treatment is over. No problem. Praise God!
So now I must speak with Dr. Bicher to schedule an appointment and begin treatments. I understand that he is going away for 2 weeks soon and I don't know what that means to our plans. On Monday we will know. Obviously, I want to begin treatments NOW, but it depends on the doctor.
Thank you for your prompt prayers " how how beautifully they have been answered! I feel so good and happy about this. It strengthens my hope so much.
Here's a little Aurora story: yesterday I was coughing and choking (those of you who know me well can picture this old problem of mine) and Aurora was across the room. In a pause, she reached out her hand towards me and said, "Mommy, do you want my hand?" You see, she had a cough recently and I was teaching her to cover her mouth... She then came over and put her hand over my mouth while I coughed and then said, "Is it all better now maman?" Melt my heart.
I will let you know what transpires on Monday. Have a marvelous weekend! Hugs to everyone.
Update: Thursday, Dec. 6 - Debbie
|Debbie with sisters, Mother and sisters-in law|
Thank you for sticking with me and praying about the next treatment. This week has brought some progress! After the insurance company turned down coverage for hyperthermia, they asked for me to get letters from Dr. Eley regarding my current status and his treatment recommendations and a letter from Dr. Bicher regarding exactly what the treatment entails. Annie Taylor of PPP will then re-submit my request to the medical advisory board there. We should have an answer on Monday. Tomorrow they will review the case.
After much discussion with Dr. Eley, and having explored standard radiation too, we both agree that this local treatment to the breast is the most appropriate for me right now. The scans showed no evidence of spread and the bones being still stable. He feels that the Arimidex and Aredia must be keeping the bones stable but are not working on the soft tissue of the breast. Indeed, most women on hormone therapy for breast cancer no longer have the breast! We hope that the hyperthermia combined with low-dose radiation will clear up the skin issues, get rid of the pain, and shrink the primary tumor in the breast! For any of you interested, there is a web site for Dr. Bicher's clinic in Culver City at www.vci.org - that site has 3 sets of photos of women with MUCH WORSE external breast tumors than I have and how the treatment clears them up. It is pretty gruesome to see, but very encouraging to me. (View with this in mind).
Please pray for now for the insurance company to agree to cover the treatment. (Most major US insurance companies do cover it as well as Medicare, so :). I feel strongly that this is the right treatment for now. If it works, I can then do some immune therapies to help my system deal with what is left. Thank you for praying earnestly with me over the weekend about all of this. I will update you on the news as soon as I get it next week.
I love you all. You are lights in the darkness. May each of you have find peace and love as we enjoy this holiday season.
Update: Thursday, Nov. 29 - Debbie
"Be still and know that I am God." I am trying to be still. To rest in the presence of my Father as I wait for some answers. We need to be doing some other form of treatment besides the hormone-blocking therapy. We are waiting for an answer from the insurance company and for Dr. Eley to get back from his vacation. We had hoped to have an answer before Thanksgiving. Instead, God gave me some "down" time, to catch up on some things and to rest. I am loving spending precious time with my family. Thanksgiving was great for that. The weather has been kind. We have spent a lot of time outside with Aurora. She loves to "run around" in laughter. Last night we decorated Tami and Fritz's tree. She was so keen that the bottom of the tree has some pretty heavy-laden branches. She loved it. When Tami got out her heavy brass star-shaped stocking holder, Aurora was fascinated and sang "Twinkle, twinkle little star" to it. :) She is such a happy little girl. So lovely to watch.
The interview with Marin at KBWA went really well last Friday. She made it so easy. She played "Love, not Hate" from the Healing Beauty CD before and after the show. And she is going to use it to introduce her Friday shows from now on! She loves the message. I hope all of you get to hear it and to share it with your friends. Healing Beauty embodies what my journey has been about so far.
"Meeting" Marin has been such a blessing to me. She is a beautiful person and a voice for love. It is wonderful to see how connected we all are to each other. We truly can feel one another's pain. We can reach out and help each other as we journey together. You all have shown me that. You have helped me in countless ways. So many of you I have never even met, yet you reach out to me. I am so touched by this, by your love. It inspires me. It gives me endless courage and hope. Thank you for hanging in there with me. Tomorrow will be eight months since I was told that I have cancer. Each day of that time I have opened my eyes in the morning, thanking God for another day. I have so much hope!
Each day I check the web-site and read your messages. They are like crystal clear water from a cold mountain spring refreshing my soul, renewing my resolve, making me smile. Thank you for writing. I never tire of hearing from you. I miss you when I don't hear from you for a while (no pressure :). I love you. Thank you for your prayers and fasting on mine and my families' behalf. You are beautiful.
Update: Tuesday, Nov. 20 - Debbie - evening
YEE-HAW! All of the soft organs are still cancer free!!!! I just got the call from Jane, Dr. Eley's nurse practitioner. Thank you so much for your prayers in this regard. What a relief! God is so good.
Thanksgiving is around the corner HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I have so much to be thankful for. You all have taught me a lot about this. I am most thankful for this wonderful news. Despite the fact the the cancer in the breast has been "on the move" since early September and the lymph nodes under the arm have been swollen NO SPREAD. Thank you Father!! And with Thanksgiving here, my whole family will be together again for the first time in 2 _ years. My little niece and nephew, Chip and Evan Bridges, are with us and brought me a very special present. They had made a kitty and called it "Hope" and put two hearts inside which they had blessed with their own hearts first. And then Aurora sang me to sleep for my nap today with "Hush little mommy, don't you cry, 'mommy's' gonna sing you a "little bye ". Aren't children so precious?! We have much to celebrate. I hope you all have a wonderful time with family and friends and good food and thankfulness and LOVE.
The day after I will have the honor to speak with Marin during a radio interview on The Spirit of the People. The station is out of Minnesota, but will be broadcast simultaneously on the web at the following address: www.kdwa.com at 12 noon eastern time on Friday the 23rd. I'm a bit nervous, but Marin is a lovely person and knows how to put one at ease. Her program is all about people helping people and I am excited to share some of the beautiful things that have happened through this cancer journey. Healing Beauty will be featured before and after the interview. Something else to be thankful for!!
Blessings to all of you.
Update: Tuesday, Nov. 20 - Debbie
Thank you for all of your prayers and good thoughts since my last update. I have felt your love and strength. I have had relief from the breast sensitivity since taking the new pain medication " wha what a difference that makes! Not having to deal with that part of the pain makes life much happier. The down side of this time-release medication is the way the drowsiness just hits me and is near impossible to ignore. It doesnÕt take away all of the pain, but it has provided a lot of relief overall and I am so thankful for it.
I am also thankful for the first results from my scans the lungs are still clear!! And the bone scan showed no new mets (tumors) praise God with me! We are still waiting for the report from the abdomen and pelvis however. I am hoping for results today. Please keep praying for the right treatment choice to be made clear as the results come in and as Dr. Eley speaks with the various doctors I am looking at. I am looking forward to stopping the progression and shrinking the breast tumor enough to try the cancer vaccine. IsnÕt it great that there has been no spread to new bones or to the lungs!!!
As soon as I hear, I will let you know the rest of the results.
Big hugs and kisses and lots of love, Debbie
Update: Tuesday, Nov. 13 - Debbie
Thank you for all of your prayers and good thoughts since my last update. I have felt your love and strength. I have had relief from the breast sensitivity since taking the new pain medication what a difference that makes! Not having to deal with that part of the pain makes life much happier. The down side of this time-release medication is the way the drowsiness just hits me and is near impossible to ignore. It doesn't take away all of the pain, but it has provided a lot of relief overall and I am so thankful for it.
I am also thankful for the first results from my scans the lungs are still clear!! And the bone scan showed no new mets (tumors) praise God with me! We are still waiting for the report from the abdomen and pelvis however. I am hoping for results today. Please keep praying for the right treatment choice to be made clear as the results come in and as Dr. Eley speaks with the various doctors I am looking at. I am looking forward to stopping the progression and shrinking the breast tumor enough to try the cancer vaccine. Isn't it great that there has been no spread to new bones or to the lungs!!!
As soon as I hear, I will let you know the rest of the results.
Big hugs and kisses and lots of love, Debbie
Update: Tuesday, Nov. 20 - Debbie
After three motrins at a time stopped helping the pain, I finally gave in and took a half a pain killer from back in the beginning of all of this. It was 5 am on a Sunday morning, a week ago. The pain woke me up. The pain killer made me sleep deeply until noon. I decided I would also take Janice Gose's advice and stay "in bed" for three days solid to give my body a chance to really rest. I slept a lot and took pain killers when I needed to. The rest did me good, but by the end of the week I knew that I couldn't go on like this forever. The pain is too much, but I hate the way the pain killers make me feel and their side-effects.
Aurora's Halloween costume
I saw Dr. Eley today and we decided that it was time to do more scans and make a decision about some form of treatment that would give faster results. The hormone therapy is just too slow for the current situation. It doesn't mean that it is not working, it just isn't working fast enough for us right now. There is still progression and the pain is too much.
I have a CT scan tomorrow morning (the 14th) and a bone scan Friday morning. By Monday we will have the results and will be able to make treatment decisions. We are praying that the cancer has not spread to any other organs and that the bones are still in healing mode. This scenario would give us more options. If there has been any spread, I'm afraid that we will be starting a new chemo regimen next week. It would probably be weekly infusions of taxotere with herceptin. Herceptin is an monoclonal antibody that deals with the overexpression of the protein her2nue that my tumor produces. It's a "great drug". It seems to work better in combination with the chemo agent taxotere. If this is indeed what we do, I will let you know more about it.
Aurora the ladybug
Dr. Eley has agreed to speak with some of the other doctors I have been investigating for other potential treatments. And we will discuss everything on Monday.
I am tired right now. Tired of the pain. Tired of the sensitivity of the breast and how fragile the tumors on the skin are. Tired of blood on my clothes from the tumors. Tired of needing so much.
I am thankful for how strong my hip still is. Thankful for my good energy levels and how I am gaining a pound a month lately!! (I'm up to 124). Thankful for so much support from so many quarters I am incredibly blessed. Thankful for Healing Beauty and all it represents. Thankful for God's love keeping the fear at bay. For Dewey and Aurora and my family and all of you... I could go on and on. It lifts my spirits just saying these things. You all are my life-line. I am continually amazed at the love that comes my way, so grateful. Thank you. Thank you for being so full of life and love and sharing yourselves with me. I love you!
Update: Thursday, Nov. 1 - Debbie
The crispness in the air and the gorgeous fall colours have been so refreshing on my walks around the neighborhood. I am feeling generally really well, apart from the relentless pains in my breast. They change all the time in intensity and type of pain. We are exploring the options, the main one at this time being radiation, with or without hyperthermia. We need to "debulk" the tumor before doing the cancer vaccine. I met several doctors doing cutting-edge research at the cancer conference in Arlington. There is the national radiation oncology conference in San Francisco this weekend. Unfortunately, nothing is straightforward and nothing is guaranteed. I need more prayers for guidance and patience.
Being with so many friends in California was wonderful. Linda and Mike Trushke gave us a special gift they babysat Aurora so that we could go out to a late dinner to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. That was the first time we went out to eat by ourselves without Aurora a milestone! After Malibu, we traveled up the coast to San Francisco. It was so different being in the place where I was diagnosed with healing under my belt. But there were many emotions to be revisited. Diane (Franey J) went to Alta Bates with us where I saw the oncology team that helped me out originally. I also had my Aredia infusion there in a reclining bed! Very comfortable. Dr. Cecchi told me it was great to see me looking so good. But he wasn't happy about what was happening with the skin on my breast and suggested I meet with a radiation oncologist. Rickie threw a party for a load of friends to come over our last night there. Another highlight was meeting Diane's bible study who have been praying for me since the beginning thank you ladies. Of course, I loved walking the labyrinths at Grace cathedral. This time Aurora enjoyed it too!
Our last night in LA we gorged ourselves on an Afghani feast by Phyllis' brother and sister-in-law Charles and Zora. Our flight home was uneventful and we were ready to settle back into more of a routine, to rest and to figure out the next step.
Thank you for your endless prayers and messages and support! I check the site every day and gain strength from each message there. Your love truly carries me through all of this. God be with you and grant you peace.
Update: Sunday, Oct. 21 - Dewey
....I am sitting in our hotel room, 16th floor, the Hyatt regency, Washington D.C. I can see from our window, the Ronald Reagan airport, I see the Potomic river, the White House, the Pentagon, and some other high and pointy edifices.
I can see on the television, the Mayor of Washington on CNN is telling me that there is danger of anthrax in D.C.
Why am I not worried? because we have more tangible illness to be concerned with.
We are here for a convention on the latest cancer treatments and care. Originally Phyllis Rokus was coming here with Debbie, but as she could not make it, I have come to be with Debbie. We left Aurora with Sherri, Debbie's sister, and it will be 4 days that Aurora will have to try to live without me. I dont know how she is going to cope, but when we called her up yesterday, she was laughing and apparently goes to sleep when she is told, compared to when I am around.
It has been so far a very worthwhile time for Debbie, as she has found some new therapies she plans on trying and has met some interesting people, both patients and doctors...
Update: Friday, Oct. 12 - Debbie
My apologies for the lack of updates on this trip...Debbie has been intending to write them, but has not felt up to it, and bieng on the road, I have had difficulties getting 'on-line'. I have now solved that, and will indevour to write some news of our trip since the last update. I believe Debbie last wrote about our trip to Cambria with Ed & Angeline Bell. After that we went to visit Laura & Gene Gerard in Camarillo...had a lovely dinner, and were graceously loaned a very nice car by their parents the Greers, which has made our travels so much easier. Thank you guys again! We then went to Pepperdine University, Malibu, and stayed with Mike & Gose, a faculty family. While there, Debbie was able to see many many friends and collegues, and old students.
Nancy Magnusson put on a great party,...The Lemleys, Mcgoldricks, Watsons, Wilsons, to name but a few. Debbie did a talk for some students about cancer which went well. and was also interviewed for some future publications.
Next we went to Visit Karen Fox. an old friend of Debbie's, in Venice and stayed 2 nights. We took Aurora to Venice Beach, she wasn't all that impressed, until a clown made her a dog out of a balloon.
Then we headed up the coast for San Francisco, we stayed the night in Morrow Bay, where we had had our honeymoon 11 years ago, Drove up the coast on Highway 1, the wiggly one with Great Views, and arrived at Ricks house 3 days ago. Its always great to see Rick, and we have had a nice time here, tomorrow night, we are having a party, and are expecting numerous friends to be here. Yesterday Debbie had her aridia infusion at Alta Bates Hospital, the place where she was first diagnosed. It was nice to see the doctors and nurses who had been so kind in the beginning.
A word about Debbies health. Soon after we arrived in Ca. the pain in the breast had started again, and there were signs of the cancer growing on the surface of the skin. She had started on the pain killers again. We were very close to cutting our trip short to head home to start a new treatment of some kind, but after some meetings Debbie decided to stick it out. It is possible that it could be what is called a' flare up' from the hormone therapy she is now on, in which case should go away. We wont know if the therapy is working for another month. We have seen an oncologist in L.A. who examined her, a chinese medicine therapist, a new herbalist, and her origional oncologist since we have been here. The herbalist concocted a mixture of herbs which debbie is taking in tablet form, which has had a very good result so far. She has also taken his advice and stopped some of the other herbs she had been taking. She is also having good results with the iscador (mistletoe) which she injects herself with every 2 days.
As for the bones, they are fine, and debbie herself feels great, nothing like when she was first diagnosed, so there is good news there too. The pain has lessened, but the skin is still very sensitive.
We will head down the coast again on saturday, meet up with Phyllis, and spend some time with her, before flying back to atlanta on Monday i believe. Where Fritz, John and I will get straight to work on promoting and distributing the CD 'Healing Beauty"!
It has actually arrived, but we had some further delay setting up the bank credit card stuff, then Fritz and tami have been away for the week, They will arrive home the same day as us. So keep your eye on the website to find when the shopping cart is up, Within a week we hope,
A Special public thank you to all in california who have been so welcoming and gracious. and to all in atlanta, we miss you, but 'we'll be back soon' Thats all I can think of for now,?1? Dewey
Update: Tuesday, Oct. 2
Greetings from sunny California! We have been here for just over a week and are loving having time with dear friends in the LA area. Right now we're in Cambria with the Bells enjoying incredible hospitality. The ocean is gorgeous and I love being able to clamber down the rocks to the beaches without feeling any pain in my hip! (This is in stark contrast to how it felt when we were here in Feb.) Last week we were with Phyllis and got to visit with all of the Rokus'. It was great to worship at Whittier Church of Christ and to see everyone there. Aurora proudly showed us what she made in class with Jan Doolittle. It was so touching to see her first "class" project. We prayed with the Mendoza's as Josephina is facing colon cancer. Dinners with Mitzi and the Doolittles and seeing Yak, our "first son", have been wonderful and fun. We even swam in the really cold ocean at Huntington Beach with Yak. Invigorating.
Next week we will be in Malibu and we look forward to seeing everyone there. Please contact Malia Batzel to find out where to meet us - her cell is 310-351-2023. We plan to worship at the Malibu Church of Christ on Sunday morning, the second service. I need hugs! And we are excited to introduce Aurora to many of you. We had planned on visiting Malibu back last Feb or March, but were not able to due to how sick I was. I feel a million times better this time around - what a difference!
[ VIEW PICTURES ]
The CD is out now - look for information on how to purchase it online from www.healingbeauty.org or click on the icon for it on this web page. John and Fritz did an incredible job! It is truly a beautiful project. We are so happy to share it with you all.
May God's love surround you and fill you up.
Please take a look at the photos below of our Nashville recording session (below)!
Update: Friday, Sept. 28
A couple weeks ago we went to Nashville to record Debbie and Dewey performance for the Healing Beauty CD. Shane Bowen graciously donated his time, energy and expertise -- and his studio -- to the project. EPM Studio is Shane's at-home studio, but very well equipped. The final production is surprising rich and full -- you're going to like it. The CD, which will sell for $15.00 has already shipped and will be ready for order-taking the week of Sept. 30!! For those of you paying by check, please send $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping right away to:
c/o John Castleberry
714 Judson Close
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
(If ordering multiple CDs by check, please call the number above and get with John on how much shipping would be).
The online credit card processing shopping cart at http://www.healingbeauty.org will be ready next week (week of Sept. 30).
Please take a look at the photos below of our Nashville recording session!
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Update: Wednesday, Sept. 19 - Debbie
As you all know, I have been so happy with the good progress in my bones and in general. But I was having a hard time with not knowing what was going on in my body - were the cells more normal now? Was the cancer maybe gone? Why was so much of the original mass still there? - and I prayed for an answer and for guidance. Last week I began having more pains in my breast. I also noticed the blister-like bumps, that have been there all along, getting a bit bigger. When I saw Dr. Eley this Tuesday, he agreed that these changes were the cancer. So I had my answer. I cannot let up and I must focus my energy on healing. The day before I saw Dr. Eley, I awoke in the early hours with some pain. I felt my heart race for the first time since I learned I had this cancer. I went out to the living room, got on my knees and poured my heart out to God. He immediately gave me peace again. And during my walk on Weds. morning, I realized that this was the sign I had been looking for. God was letting me know that the cancer was very much there and that I must keep fighting intensively.
So I ask all of you, my friends, to please renew your prayers. The fight is not yet over. I really do feel full of energy and really good. But the cancer is not gone completely. I have only been taking the Arimidex (the estrogen-inhibitor drug) for 10 days now and it needs more time to kick in. I have also begun Iscador injections and am starting a few other alternative treatments. When I return from our trip to California (we're finally going tomorrow!), I will begin a month of intensive treatments. I will be telling you more about this nearer the time.
I received a very special gift last week - a quilt with squares of hope and love written by family and friends from all over England (and two from Australia!). When I looked up from praying the other morning, I saw the messages on the quilt and I was surrounded by love, once again. Thank you Cheryl & Richard, the Walkers, Andrew & Carol, Josh, Kate Hardy, Donna & Brian, Graham & Rachel, Tracy & Gemma, Frankie & Gloria, the Sharps, Aaron, Maureen & Eddie, the Jones, Debbie & Paul, Ethan & Issac, the Finlaysons, Kyle and Lewis!!!! What a lovely, heart-warming surprise. :)
I can't wait to see all of you in California! We will be in the state until Oct. 15th. We will be calling you once we arrive. Please pray for a safe trip for us. We're flying America West via Phoenix.
Thank you so much for your hearts full of love. May that love spread throughout the world and conquer the darkness.
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Update: Thursday, Sept. 13 - Debbie
I was sitting in the Emory Clinic getting my Aredia infusion when I saw the footage of the towers just melting down... all I could think of was the loss of life that meant. And here I was, fighting for my life. I cannot fathom such disregard for life. And once again, I thanked God for His love. I have been praying since then that this love would fill me up and spread around the world to conquer the hatred and the darkness. Later that day I received the demo of the Healing Beauty CD, a project that was conceived and produced in love. I listened to the healing energy of the songs while looking at the images on the TV. It helped so much. The message is so important, even more so now. I can't wait for its release, so that the healing sounds can bring love to all of you.
The shock has given way to unbelievable sadness as the individual families and loved ones of the missing and dead share their stories. My heart is torn by the thought of all of the children who lost one or both parents. That situation is especially close to my heart. The CEO of the company that lost 700 of his 1000 employees said, through his tears, that most of them were in their thirties, with little children. It tears me up. And every story told by children, fiances, friends, parents, siblings, relatives just drives home how precious life is, how each one of our loved ones is irreplaceable, how blessed I am to be alive right now and able to fight for my life. So many did not have that chance. Let us all, in their honor, live in love with each other. I feel like the lessons I have been learning through this illness are now there for our whole nation. Through the eyes of our hearts as we watch this tragedy unfold, we can translate our emotions into hearts and minds and actions of love that is far far greater than the hatred that carried out such terrible acts.
A leader of the Young Survivor Coalition (made up of young women with breast cancer), Joy, sent me a message that everyone who can should step outside, wherever they are, and light a candle at 7.00 pm east coast time on Friday. Let's join hands together to make the statement that we are stronger than this hatred.
We were scheduled to fly to California this morning, and have rescheduled our flight for Monday am. But we are not sure what will happen now. We are looking forward to hugging those of you there and celebrating the healing I have experienced so far, and to be there so much better than I was earlier this year. You are all very precious to me. Your love sustains me. Thank you for your love, may it spread far and wide.
Update: Sunday, September 2 - Debbie
Resurrection. The reversal of what was thought to be absolute. The turning of midnight into dawn, hatred into love, dying into living anew.
If we look more closely into life, we will find that resurrection is more than hope, it is our experience. The return to life from death is something we understand at our innermost depths, something we feel on the surface of our tender skin. We have come back to life, not only when we start to shake off a shroud of sorrow that has bound us, but when we begin to believe in all that is still, endlessly possible.
We give thanks for all those times we have arisen from the depths or simply taken a tiny step toward something new. May we be empowered by extraordinary second chances. And as we enter the world anew, let us turn the tides of despair into endless waves of hope. - Molly Fumia
I read this the other day in a beautiful book of Prayers for Healing that Simona brought me on her visit in June. It describes the way I feel these days and I wanted to share it with you. May you smile many times each day this week. I love you all, Debbie