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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Next Step

So many of you are wondering, what is the next step here? Well, surgery went very well. Dr. Hunt removed a golf ball sized tumor with one inch clear margins all the way around and two sentinel nodes that initially tested benign. That is all great news!

We are awaiting the news from the final pathology of the tumor which we should receive Friday. This will tell us what type of cancer we are dealing with, what subtype and hopefully when combined with all the other tests I've taken so far will also tell us what stage. At this point, we should be able to formulate an effective treatment plan.

There are some simple facts to keep in mind. Scott and White has not agreed to pay for any more testing or treatment at this point. We will see what Dr. Hunt and her team's final diagnosis is for my type of cancer. We still do not know how closely it will match my preliminary diagnosis of sarcoma from Scott and White. We do not know what type of further treatment will be necessary to totally beat this cancer and live a very long and cancer free life.

In answer to your questions of how does this work from here...I really don't know. The cost incurred that we will have to pay out-of-pocket really depends on what type of treatment is determined necessary and whether or not Scott and White offers it or approves any coverage at all, in or out of network. So, the reality is we still have tons of questions.

We have just decided that we will not ask them yet. Tonight and this week we are celebrating a very successful surgery, loving on our children, family and friends. And just plain ole gettin' better. I want to be as healthy as possible so that I can continue on a course of effective treatment as soon as possible. After all, I've got a marathon to run this fall!

Keep on fighting the good fight, y'all! I am so thankful y'all are fighting with me!
"Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12

PS For a complete understanding of the insurance battle we are currently fighting, please view the cartoon video in the post below.


Scott & White Exposed

This should answer all your questions about the insurance battle we are fighting against Scott and White.



Feel free to pass our story on to others!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

God's Here

Hey guys! What joys I woke up to last night...clear margins, benign lymph nodes, a news story and many loved ones! Dr. Hunt and team were so wonderful! Felicia and Vickie took amazing care of me post-op and Howard and Pearla strolled from the halls of hope to the road of freedom. What an experience! God definitely showed up and completely outdid Himself! Prayer at work here. Thanks to you all for hurdling this first challenge so gracefully with me.

God,
What a stack of blessing you have piled up
for those who worship you,
Ready and waiting for all who run to you
to escape an unkind world.
You hide them safely away
from the opposition.
As you slam the door on those oily, mocking faces...
Love God, all you saints;
God takes care of all who stay close to him...
Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up.
Expect God to get here soon.
Psalm 31:19-20 & 23-24

Thanks for coming soon, Precious Lord, thank you.

Friday, February 26, 2010

KBTX Interview About Social Networking and Lisa's Blog

Hi! This is Kathy Scott, again! Just want to let you know that KBTX, our local TV station, asked me to do an interview regarding social networking and blogging. Lisa's story and her battle with cancer has reached thousands of people, and our local news station, too!

The focus of the story is on social networking and how blogging can bring people together to help those in need during times of crisis. Lisa's blog and her story will be featured during this interview. You can tune in tonight at 6 p.m. to KBTX to see the interview. Hope I sat up straight and didn't wander off track too much! LOL!

Thank you for being a part of Glad Chatter and the social chatter online and to our Heavenly Father.

Smiles,

Kathy




MDA Update

Hi! This is Kathy Scott filling in for Lisa. Today's surgery is complete. She had a segmental mastectomy. There were clear margins. Two sentinel lymph nodes were removed, and they're benign. She's doing fine.

Thank you for your prayers and support. I'll give more updates as they become available.

Smiles,

Kathy




Thursday, February 25, 2010

Miracle at MDA

Hi! This is Kathy Scott, filling in for Lisa. Well, a major miracle at MDA today! Lisa is scheduled to have surgery at 10:45 in the morning. The surgery will last 3.5 hours. Lymphoscintigraphy will take place before the segmental mastectomy. Several employees of MDA said that they have NEVER seen anyone scheduled and worked into the system as fast as Lisa. The words exactly were, "This is a miracle, Lisa!"

We're continuing to pray for other miracles of healing to take place tomorrow. Also, Scott and White still has not agreed to pay. Andrew and Lisa have been approved by MDA to make payments.

We're encouraged by God's word. Psalm 77:14, "You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." We're so thankful that we serve a God that hears our prayers.

Lisa told me when she left for MDA on Tuesday, "I have no reason to believe that I'll have this surgery, but I just know that I'm going to have it on Friday. I just know it!" I believe that the Lord prepared her heart for the plan that he had before her. The children were settled for the week. A place to stay at MDA was waiting for Lisa and her husband. Countless people were praying, and God heard our prayers.

I'll update tomorrow as I hear how Lisa is doing. Her mom and Andrew will be in contact, and I'll update Glad Chatter. Tonight, it's chatter of thankful relief!

(((Hugs))) Kathy




Surgery Scheduled

Surgery has been scheduled for 10:45 in the morning. I will go to MD Anderson at 7:30 for tests and pre-op appointments. This surgery is a miracle on all accounts. Praise God for his faithfulness and that He always cares for his own. I can't wait to tell you all the drama, tight spots and wide spaces where God was working today but tonight, we're exhausted.

Kathy will post from here on out and she may know a little more than even this offers. I'm keeping it short and heading to bed. We know this is but the beginning of what God has in store for my health. We are sure we are on the road to recovery.

Please send your praises before, during and after my surgery. We know that we know that we know that we are in the best earthly hands possible with Dr. Hunt and her team. We will fight to get her expertise, wisdom and experience on our side no matter what we must do.

We are believing for a good and cancer-free report. Dr. Hunt and her amazing team have quickly taken up residency in our hearts as have Tamara, Tanika and all the ladies in the business office. We'd also like to give a shout out to Fred Brown and tell all you Bryan-College Station residents that your tax dollars are hard at work on my behalf. And, I'd like to tell all you residents of heaven that your prayers are moving a great God on my behalf. Yet again, you have left me humbled beyond words.

My fervent prayer (as so many of you have prayed) today:

When I call, give me answers. God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room;
Now I'm in trouble again: grace me! hear me! You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn? How long will you lust after lies? How long will you live crazed by illusion?

Look at this: look Who got picked by God! He listens the split second I call to him.

Complain if you must, but don't lash out. Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking. Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.
Psalm 4:1-5 The Message

and my prayer for tomorrow:
I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8 (NIV)




The Waiting Room

We are sitting the waiting room here at MD Anderson. We are waiting. We are waiting for answer, waiting for help, waiting for God to show up with a last second miracle. Isn't that how He works? When we are so desperate we can only cling to him, he is always there never giving up, never letting go, never letting us down.

I am fighting hard. We are fighting hard. We have many battles to fight right now. The battles are many, the one for life, the one for treatment and the one for patient rights. We are finding ourselves incredulous to the fact that it can be this hard to live so close to the best treatment in the world and still not have access to it. I am reminded that this is a reason that so many have given their very lives for our freedom. This is the reason we need to take our right to vote and be heard in America seriously. I'm not a "political" person as I've felt smart enough to wrap my head around "issues." HOWEVER, I will now make sure my voice is heard advocating for patient's rights.

Starting Monday we will pay $1200 per month for our family to get the healthcare coverage we need only to realize that if we are diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, this coverage is not enough. No amount of money can get us the care we need and deserve? This is not right. Scott and White is a prime example of why our nation's healthcare system needs reform!

Please join our group to make your voice known. Scott and White is listening.

Even in this major storm I am reminded that God's ways are different than mine and that vengeance alone is his. He will deliver justice even in this!

say to those with fearful hearts,
"Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you." Isaiah 35:4

of course, The Message for all of us "hard of hearing"
Energize the limp hands,
strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls,
"Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here,
on his way to put things right
And redress all wrongs.
He's on his way! He'll save you!" Isaiah 35:3-4 The Message


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rallying the Troops

***Update***
There is linkto file an online complaint form with Scott and White Health Plan and then you can follow up with a call in the morning, print it and mail it.

There will be a meeting at 8:00 in the morning for a ruling on my case. This will among with MDA staff to see if they are willing to work with my crazy insurance to cover my surgery. Our awesome state representative, Fred Brown, is providing tons of support, encouragement and guidance! We will go to MD Anderson and await word on their ruling on whether or not I will be allowed to proceed tomorrow or will be forced to wait on a later surgery date. Your prayers are desperately needed.

Hi everyone! We are here at MD Anderson in Houston. Day one of testing is complete but we are once more at a roadblock. Scott & White Health Plan has denied in-contract, in-network coverage for tomorrow’s testing and Friday’s surgery. We are moving as fast and furious as we can trying to get some cost estimates for our out-of-pocket expenses if we are to proceed with the treatment scheduled for tomorrow and Friday. We strongly feel S&WHP should cover this as in-contract, in-network due to the fact one of the primary factors in a patient’s best chance at surviving sarcoma of the breast is treatment in a qualified sarcoma center. MD Anderson is one of the very best sarcoma centers in the world. Scott & White Temple, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan and Baylor Dallas, while all wonderful medical institutions are NOT qualified sarcoma centers. Below is a copy of my sister-in-law’s post on our call to action. Thanks for all the love, support and prayers you have been giving us. It means so much!

- Andrew & Lisa Smith and family, College Station, TX

-----

CALL TO ACTION

In grappling for a concrete way to HELP Lisa in her battle to: 1. get testing and surgery tomorrow and Friday, 2. get a complete diagnosis and treatment plan, and 3. beat cancer once and for all, we've discussed a lot of different ideas.

As you probably already know, there is the care calendar where you can logon (Calendar ID: 31452 Security Code: 9389) and sign up to help by bringing dinner, cleaning the house, etc). It's a great way to help, especially if you're in College Station. For those of us who are not, it's a little more challenging to be effective and helpful in that way.

There's also a donation PO Box that has been set up. For those of us who feel called to support the Smiths monetarily, that's a great (and *very* helpful) way to help.

There is a (now completely full!!!) prayer wall dedicated to Lisa and the family. This is a great option for everyone to take a few minutes out of your day and ask God to please watch over Lisa and her family during this time.

And now, we've got another way you can help. This is an important action-oriented call for help. We need phone calls AND we need letters!

Matt (my husband) did a test run this morning and was able to speak with a very kind woman at Scott and White Health Plan (Lisa's insurance carrier) about our concerns for Lisa's health and treatment and our desire to have S&WHP cover Lisa to be seen and treated at MD Anderson. He included a few facts and a quick summary and she was happy to take down his concerns and pass them on to be included (as a tally) in Lisa's file.

She was also very open in sharing with him the best and most effective way to make sure that S&WHP knows how many of us are on her side and how many of us are united in our fight to get Lisa treated at MDA. She passed along some important information in our struggle to be effective:

Every letter that is sent to S&WHP on Lisa's behalf is attached to her file.

Every.single.letter.

Every call is logged and tallied and attached to her file.

Every.single.call.

She offered that letters can certainly *look* more impressive than calls as the calls are merely tallied whereas the letters are actually attached. Can you imagine 200, 400, 800 letters included in her file when S&WHP reviews her case?! AND 200, 400, 800 CALLS tallied to express the public's support and concern that Lisa be given the best chance of beating this disease?!

I think it would be awesome to have all of our letters and phone calls there representing each of us who are supporting and working for Lisa when the board reviews her appeal. ANYONE can write a letter. ANYONE can help Lisa win entrance as an "in-network" patient for lymphoscintigraphy testing (or nuclear lymph node mapping) tomorrow and a segmental mastectomy on Friday at MDA.

I'm asking that you take a few minutes to sit down and write (or type) a letter to S&WHP expressing your concern for Lisa's health and treatment and your desire to have them allow her to receive these two procedures as an "in-network" patient at MDA.

One example or what you may want to express to S&WHP is this:

Lisa Meador Smith of College Station, TX (d.o.b. 11/18/70) needs for S&WHP to extend her coverage to include lymphoscintigraphy testing (or nuclear lymph node mapping) tomorrow and a segmental mastectomy on Friday at MD Anderson.

MD Anderson is the leading research institution specializing in her extremely rare form of cancer. The highly aggressive, soft tissue sarcoma of the breast that Lisa is combating can be treated with the highest probability of success at a specialized sarcoma research institution where they treat soft tissue sarcoma of the breast patients on a daily basis. Fortunately, MD Anderson is recognized as the world's leading institution in this type of cancer and it's right here in Texas.

Thank you so much for your attention and compassion. And thank you in advance for making the decision to help save Lisa's life.

Please make the decision to approve Lisa's coverage for treatment at MD Anderson. It's the right thing to do.

Another way to express your concern may be:

Lisa Smith of College Station, TX (d.o.b. 11/18/70) has an extremely rare type of cancer: Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the breast. Her doctor isn't able to give her a complete diagnosis. Soft Tissue Sarcoma must be treated by a Sarcoma Specialist who sees multiple sarcoma patients regularly. Scott and White recommended an immediate mastectomy surgery but, MD Anderson soft-tissue sarcoma specialist, Dr. Jonathan Trent has said more data is required before making a decision of this caliber.

And, according to research at the University of Miami School of Medicine, there is a significantly higher success rates for patients treated at major sarcoma centers.

Soft Tissue Sarcomas are rare. This leaves most health care institutions with outdated or inadequate resources, which impede the ability to offer optimal treatment of these rare and often complicated tumors.

An article from the UCLA School of Medicine, "Surgical Management of Soft Tissue Tumors: Avoiding the Pitfalls," notes the best way to avoid surgical errors for rare tumors (and, remember, all sarcomas are rare) is to be treated at a specialty center with an experienced multidisciplinary team.

Scott and White does not and cannot offer such a specialty center.

MD Anderson has the best sarcoma treatment center in the world. They are willing and able to help save Lisa's life.

Please approve Lisa's request to be seen as an "in-network" patient for lymphoscintigraphy testing (or nuclear lymph node mapping) tomorrow and a segmental mastectomy on Friday at MD Anderson so she can receive the treatment that she needs to beat this cancer.

Finally, you may want to say something like this in your call and letter to S&WHP:

My concern is that Lisa Smith (d.o.b. 11/18/70) of College Station, Texas, has been diagnosed with an exceedingly rare type of cancer: Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the breast.

Seeing the right type of specialist is the NUMBER ONE factor supporting patient survival without recurring cancer and, unfortunately, sarcoma is highly recurring.

Scott and White doctors, while wonderful, are not equipped to fully diagnose and treat Lisa. Their inability to do so is threatening her life.

Please allow her to be seen at MD Anderson.

Please approve her to be seen at MD Anderson as an "in-network" patient for lymphoscintigraphy testing (or nuclear lymph node mapping) tomorrow and a segmental mastectomy on Friday.

These three samples are just guides to help you formulate your communications with S&WHP.

Please, please, please CALL AND SEND A LETTER today!

Gather your family and friends and have each person send their own letter and make their own call.

Numbers matter.

Please help us!

Scott and White Health Plan Phone Number: 1-800-321-7947

*update*

When you call they will ask you for your name and a daytime telephone number. They will also ask for your relationship to Lisa. Everyone is allowed to call and voice their concern whether it is a friend, family member or concerned citizen. They may tell you that they cannot release any info about Lisa. That's great -- we don't want them to release info we just want them to include our concerns in her file. Please be sure to include her full name and date of birth (11.18.70).

Thanks again!

Scott and White Health Plan Address

(please address the envelope exactly as it is below):

Scott and White Health Plan

ATTN: COMPLAINTS

2401 South 31st Street

Temple, TX 76508

*update*

Apparently, you can also FAX letters to S&WHP: 1.254.298.3385 (thanks to Lori Enzor for that information!!)

FINALLY, when you've made your phone call and when you've sent your letter please post here to let us know!!

I feel so fortunate to have so many people on board to support my sister-in-law in this battle for her health.

Thank you in advance.

And Please Pass the Word!

Ok, guys, please leave me a comment telling me about all the phone calls and faxes you are making, please follow this up with a letter but we need an answer by tomorrow...so please, please, please take a second and make the call and send the fax. We love you all!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MDA Arrival

Hi! This is Kathy Scott, filling in for Lisa this evening. She and Andrew arrived at MDA this afternoon, had dinner with a couple of sweet friends, and settled into their suite next to MDA. The children are with friends and family until their mom and dad arrive back home this week-end. Lisa is scheduled to see doctors tomorrow and Thursday, and surgery is scheduled for Friday.

Please continue to pray for the surgery that is scheduled. Insurance has not approved the surgery. It's our prayer that the insurance will be approved in time for her to have the surgery, and that the surgery is a huge success with healing. Lisa shared that the cancer has grown from a marble size to a walnut size, and is clearly visible now. Time is of the essence!

I'm so amazed at how much love you all have for one another. For someone that is introverted like I tend to be, it has been such a joy to witness the love that Lisa and Andrew's friends have for one another. Immeasurable lessons have been learned by actually seeing people genuinely care and give during this trial.

So often in my past, I would say prayers for those in trials or in need, but I lacked the fortitude to take action and "do" for others. My lack of confidence would tell me that they really didn't need my action, or I would only be in the way.

I prayed and prayed for friendships, and I knew that it would take great effort on my part to step out of my shell. Lisa made it so easy though. We constantly ran into each other at church, and then I ended up meeting up with her again when I joined Keller Williams. One year later, we became business partners. It took everything in me to step outside of my comfort zone and become friends, but I believed that she was an answer to my prayer. I had to take the steps to accept the gift of friendship that the Lord was giving me.

I've been so blessed by witnessing your love for one another. The giving of prayer time, support, nurturing, and physical gifts of time, food, caring for children, and their home, have been imeasurable. You all have been such a witness of what real love and friendship for one another is about.

John 13:34 says, "Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another." That's what you have shown me, people actually loving one another in a genuine way. I'm so thankful for this Glad Chatter group and Lisa's friends that love God so much, and live this verse. Thank you!

In His love,

Kathy



The Call

Just got a call from the wonderful Lynn Grimes, Dr. Hunt's nurse practitioner. She informed me that Dr. Hunt has been out of town and is scheduled to make the call THIS AFTERNOON. I do not have a time but if you're praying after lunch, please storm the heavens on behalf of Dr. Hunt and her persuasive words and Dr. Peterson and her receptive justification to approve Scott & White Health Plan to pay for my surgery on Friday.

"I waited and waited and waited for God. At last He looked: finally He listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from the deep mud. He stood me up on a solid Rock to make sure I wouldn't slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.

Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God, turn your backs on the world's "sure thing," ignore what the world worships; The world's a huge stickpile, of God wonders and God-thoughts.

Nothing and no one comes close to You! I start talking about You and telling what I know, and quickly run out of words. Neither numbers nor words account for You. ( nor time, love THAT!)

Doing something for You, bringing something to You- that's not what You're after. Being religious, acting pious- that's not what You're asking for. You've opened my ears so I can listen.

So I answered, "I'm coming. I read in Your letter what You wrote about me, And I'm coming to the party You're throwing for me." That's when God's Word entered my life, became part of my whole being.

I've preached You to the whole congregation, I've kept nothing back, God- You know that. I didn't keep the news of Your ways a secret to myself. I told it all, how dependable You are, how thorough. I didn't hold back pieces of love and truth for myself alone. I told it all, let the congregation know the whole story."
Psalm 40

I've got more encouragement for you but need to run around and pack and get my nest in order to leave. Hopefully, I'll be back by this afternoon/evening; however, I don't know how much internet access I'll have starting this afternoon. Much, much love to and thanksgiving for all of God's glad chatters!

Remember He is listening...
"Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God's presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the God-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God's name." Malachi 3:16

Streams

The Lord is reminding me this morning that there are streams in the desert of waiting.
"And now, here's what I'm going to do:
I'm going to start all over again.
I'm taking her back out into the wilderness
where we had our first date, and I'll court her.
I'll give her bouquets of roses. (sunflowers)
I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She'll respond like she did as a young girl,
those days when she was fresh out of Egypt" (captivity).
Hosea 2:14-15
One of my favorite passages and the Lord so gently led me to read it in The Message last night. I've been clinging to His Word, The Word ever since. Let's enter heaven's gates with praise as we wait for our Yes!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Toothless Wonder


How I love my first grade pictures! Hunter lost another tooth tonight. Actually, he let me pull it out before I leave tomorrow so I could have this picture. I'll treasure it always. (((smiles)))

The Promised Call

As you might have guessed, it's well past 5:30 my time and the promised call updating me on the progress made toward getting Scott & White Health Plan to say yes to Friday's surgery never came. I am hoping that Dr. Hunt called Dr. Peterson today to plead my case. I am hoping that I will hear good news tomorrow...or at least by Thursday.

Please join me in raising some praise up to heaven tonight as we remind God of his own history. It's a beautiful history of a loving and powerful God who provides miracles at the very last second for his people. It's a history rich with moving mountains and parting seas.

Let us make a joyful noise as we chase away worry, fear and that crazed monster inside us all who hates a visible lack of plans because we know...He doesn’t just have “a” plan, He has “the” plan.

Even if I'm not sure what the plan for my life holds, I know the One who made the master plan.

I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11

I tried to relieve your fears: "Don't be terrified of them. God, your God, is leading the way; he's fighting for you. You saw with your own eyes what he did for you in Egypt; you saw what he did in the wilderness, how God, your God, carried you as a father carries his child, carried you the whole way until you arrived here. But now that you're here, you won't trust God, your God—this same God who goes ahead of you in your travels to scout out a place to pitch camp, a fire by night and a cloud by day to show you the way to go." Deuteronomy 1:29-33

Pray I can remember who God is and trust him in this wilderness of waiting. That's all I need you to do right now, in case you're wondering, just pray. Remember that our God who goes before me is fighting for me.

History


Today is a Daniel Day. I'm currently on a safari through Daniel. To read about my travels click here. To read about my fellow safari sisters, click on the picture. This week we studied prayer vs. planning.

You should know, I’m a “planner.” In college, I lived by a color-coded calendar. I owned a huge Daytimer during my single-working-girl days and joined the ranks of Franklin-Covey graduates as a young professional.

Then I had children.

I forgot everything from doctors’ appointments to fixing dinner. I was a what a planned perfectionist refers to as “a total mess.”

As the children started school, I began to use a calendar again and now I use my iPhone to schedule appointments with reminders. I still forget things from time to time but that’s just because there’s way too many to remember! This one-day-at-a-time cancer life is enough to drive a recovering planner crazy! I hardly know what tomorrow holds as I can't even tell how my afternoon will play out. One phone call can change the course of the day in a second!

I started to think about how our lesson on remembrance from last week totally lines up with this week’s lesson on prayer. I mean, I don’t plan like I used to. I plan for our immediate needs and the plans of any day other than the one we’re on get held very loosely. Especially now.

I’ve also learned that if I can keep my eyes on God and who He is, I don’t freak out that there is no plan. I can rest because He doesn’t just have “a” plan, He has “the” plan. Remembering who He is, helps me accept His plan. Let me explain.

The one thing I love about Jesus’ miracles, besides the fact that miracles rock, is that after every.single.one people’s eyes are opened to who God is, they come to Him hurting, they leave His side praising.

Daniel’s miracle is no different.

I love that Daniel was such a faithful, devout and righteous man. He obeyed God so thoroughly that there was no place he could be caught doing wrong. His relationship with the Lord was the only place evil men could see a weakness. Little did they know, they picked his very strength to use against him. They messed with the wrong guy!

When faced with impending doom, Daniel did as he was accustomed to. He went home, got down on his knees and prayed as usual. Since the evil men made praying against the law, Daniel was arrested and tossed to the lions. And you know the rest of the story.

Now, let me be the first to say, if evil men were scrutinizing my life, they wouldn’t have to search long before they’d find some nastiness with which to bring me down. They would find skeletons and darkness long before the reached the secret recesses of my “closet” and began digging. I did some soul searching this week. What is my reaction in times of trouble? I’ve certainly had opportunity to find out lately.

I need an impending miracle. Like Daniel, I need God’s immediate deliverance. A few days ago, I was told the very doctor I had worked so hard to see had said she could not help me. (This turned out to be a gross communication error and was solved within 24 hours but still…)
Panic began to spread through my body, my heart raced, my hands sweated and my mind exploded. When I caught my breath and my tears began to fall, I heard my heart crying out to the Lord.

That’s when He asked me, “Lisa, really, what do you believe?”

I have had to confess with my mouth this entire week that which I know in my mind to be true…
If MD Anderson refuses to treat me, if Scott & White Health Plan refuses to pay for it, if I have the wrong surgery, if the treatment doesn’t work, if the cancer has spread, if the complete diagnosis is bad it doesn’t matter.

Because ultimately it is God who heals me. He can use Dr. Hunt.

Or not.

I have been reminding God of his history all week. I have been reminding myself of who He is.
"God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us." Psalm 46:1-3 The Message

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I need to know that I know that I know. I have no other choice but to pray.

Today is Monday, I face the lions’ den this week. Tomorrow I will kiss my children goodbye not knowing when I will see them again. Friday, I will be put to sleep, laying my life in Dr. Hunt’s hands. Thankfully I pray to the One who has Dr. Hunts’ hands in His. Like Daniel, I want to be found praying in the morning, on Friday morning and every morning. Not freaking. Just praying. As usual.

"When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done." Daniel 6:10 The Message

Pray that like Daniel’s miracle, mine will cause many to praise God.

Lisa was taken out of the den…there wasn't a scratch on her. She had trusted her God…Lisa's God shall be worshiped and feared…He is the living God…He is a savior and rescuer. He performs astonishing miracles in heaven and on earth. He saved Lisa from the power of cancer. Daniel 6:23 & 25-27 Lisa's version

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Our Sunday

Julia's day.








The dog's day.

The middles's day.

Palmer's day.







Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Hair & Bowling

We decided to have some fun today. You know, it's Saturday. That means no doctors will call, no insurance companies will call, no hospitals will call. Which means I don't have to answer the phone!

Time for a little fun.

The local family fun center, Grand Station, generously donated LOTS of gift cards to us. So...we bowled, played laser tag and lots of video games. Let's just say this was the first time we told the children it was time to go and they didn't beg for more quarters!! Thank you, to our friend Bill and Grand Station!!!

I thought you would enjoy some photos of the day. I also thought you'd like to take a peek at my new hair color. I've always wanted to go really, really blonde and have done it a little at a time by sticking my little toe a little into the water each time. I've always left a tad of my original color in my hair. Well, yesterday, not so. I erased all trace of the dark, dark brown mess growing older and having babies has done to my hair. I love it! and I love Charlotte! She's the best! If you want a new style, you should go to Chrome. I went drastic because, well, if I don't like it, it might not last very long. haha But no fear, I love it!! Did I say that already? So at least Charlotte knows how I want my wig if I do have chemo. I love you, Charlotte.

Without further delay, here are the photos.








There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth...A right time to cry and another to laugh. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4

Friday, February 19, 2010

EXTRA EXTRA GOOD NEWS!

THE GREAT AND FAMOUS DOCTOR HUNT IS MAKING THE CALL TO SCOTT &WHITE HEALTH PLAN DIRECTOR!!!!!

Please pray she will get through to the director by early Monday and I will have a final answer of YES to the surgery by Monday at 5:30.

Thank you!

Last night a dear friend encouraged me to remind God of his history of saying YES and performing miracles for those he loves and those who have been made righteous in him. Today I am doing just that.

Once again I'll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I'll ponder all the things you've accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts. O God! Your way is holy! No god is great like God! You're the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do— You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph. Psalm 77:11-15

Remembering fondly,

Onward and Forward

Worry weighs us down, a cheerful word picks us up.
Proverbs 15:25

This was in my Bible reading for this morning. Your cheerful words have picked me up and prepared me to fight for another day. The amazing Tamara called first thing this morning to encourage us and remind us that we are part of the MD Anderson family and they are all pulling for us there. We have every reason to believe we will get the letter we need from Dr. Hunt today and the answer we are seeking from Scott & White Health Plan will hopefully not be far behind. That is our prayer. Would you make it yours? Believe with me, seek with me, rejoice with me.

The Lord has reminded me once again that the answers I am searching for will not be found in doctors, insurance companies or medical test results. The answers lie with Him. He is the answer. I felt yesterday that so many swords and shields were raised in battle that I was shadowed from God's presence. It was dark.

Then I read this on B's blog
By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king's blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. ( Heb 11:27-28 from THE MESSAGE)

This is what I read
By an act of faith, Lisa turned his heel on medicine, indifferent to cancer's blind rage. She has her eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going.

Pray for me to keep right on going.

Forward and Onward,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Down or UpDate...I'm not sure

I know you've all been checking for news. I have news. I have also been left waiting for other news once again too.

I am still waiting on a call from Dr. Hunt to explain the PET scan results and see what other tests/scans need to be ordered so I can start my insurance appeal yet again. Please pray specifically for communication within her office as it seems they thought the nurse practitioner went over the results with me yesterday. She did tell me the doctor would probably order some other tests so pray we can request those tomorrow so we can get them done next week while we are in Houston.

I have been on the phone with my insurance carrier, Scott & White Health Plan for five of the last six hours trying to persuade them as to why I must be operated on by a specialist for a better chance of survival. We will need you tomorrow to help persuade them to give me the care I deserve. (This is also the care you deserve if, heaven forbid, you would ever find yourself in a similar place.) Please stay tuned for that.

Scott & White Health Plan has once again approved out of contract, out of network coverage which is 50%. MD Anderson requires insurance to pay 60%. This is the political, red tape, beastish way to say, "Yes, you can go where you want...But we won't really let you." I am still very thankful that I live in a country where I have the freedom to fight the beastish institution of our health care system; however, I am battle-weary and worn down tonight.

We have, once again, begun the appeals process, which takes up to 30 days, to have the segmental mastectomy and breast lymphoscintigraphy plus any other testing the doctor has yet to order based on the PET scan covered as in contract, in network coverage. We are making headway as we actually got to the medical director today. Finally. A person who is willing to take responsibility for my health and future well being. Please pray for this doctor.

Also the insurance carrier has said that if Dr. Hunt or a treating doctor from MDA will write a detailed letter and make a phone call using strong language that it would greatly help my case. Please pray that can happen tomorrow. Please pray hard on this issue. Many reinforcements have been called in to make this happen.

I thank you for standing in the gap for me today. It has been a dark, dark afternoon yet in the darkness, the Light has shone.

I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
Isaiah 45:3

or as The Message puts it
I'll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables—
Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

Awaiting Confirmation,

Ring Bells for Barry


Today at 2:00 EST we'll be ringing the bells for Barry and all other brave souls who are battling cancer. Won't you join us in the fight?


Thank you QueenMotherMawmaw (her name is Peggy but don't you wanna great big hug from the QMM?) for your prayers and inviting me to pray for Barry and others battling cancer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Update and Update (Yesterday's Part 2)

***edited to update image and Whitney's addy. told y'all my brain was mushy tonight***

My brain is all over the place today. It's been a roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows the last few days, lows mostly. The waiting is excruciating and the non-movement has been threatening to drive me batty! So this afternoon's call from Tamara was well received and did just the trick to lift my spirits and my eyes. I was reminded once again that I am not forgotten.

God gave me some other little gifts today. Not pink ones but I've trying to tell everyone that leopard is the new pink! I won an awesome gift card over at Whitney's place (you should all go meet her and tell her thanks for blessing me) to a funky and girly boutique and this is what their gift cards look like.
Can you believe that?

My other really exciting and somewhat needy announcement is this...it definitely deserves a drum roll...

My surgery is tentatively scheduled for next Friday! IF the Scott & White Health Plan approves it. So, please, please, pretty please be checking here for updates frequently the next few days as we need you, our (not so) secret assault weapon in place in case we need to fire again to advance. Our prayer is that they will see the benefit to their health plan (and my health) by letting Dr. Hunt perform my surgery TO SAVE MY BREAST.

I was able to get this news late this afternoon when the wonderful nurse Kim called and briefly mentioned mid-sentence that Friday was the anticipated day. I squealed, started asking a jillion questions and was promptly promised I could ask the awesome Lynn, Dr. Hunt's nurse practitioner all those questions tomorrow. Imagine my excitement when Lynn called me at 5:00 to follow up with Kim's convo!! In short, surgery is tentatively set for some time Friday. I will be waiting for Dr. Hunt's call tomorrow as she was in clinic yesterday and surgery all day today. We will go over results of the PET scan and I'll try to get a time for Friday's surgery. Please pray any other tests she orders as a result of the PET scan can be scheduled to coincide with my visit Tuesday through Friday.

I FINALLY feel things are progressing again and that is exciting. Check back tomorrow because I hope to update you as things develop. Once again I feel a joyful expectancy. And, I welcome that feeling! Tonight joy overshadows fear and hope overshadows worry. Tonight's gonna be a good, good night. Woo hoo.

I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn't slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.
Psalm 40:1-3 The Message

Don't forget I'm still over at Sandy's.