I am a little over half way done!

Wow! it is amazing that I am a little over halfway done with my chemo and radiation. It seems like I was a nervous ‘newbie’ wondering if I could ever make it to this point and now I am a good ‘ol veteran who comes in, smiles and calls techs and nurses by name.  As I look back these are the things that I have learned about God, others and myself:

God IS with me even when I only hear silence

HIS hand is in this and His plan is good

People’s care for me is overwhelming at times and that is okay.

You can do A LOT of prayer in just 15 minutes if that is ALL you have to do. (Something “new” for a multi-tasker who has always had problems with praying)

Sleep is really good!

Walking in Joy makes it so much easier to deal with the everyday stress of living with cancer. It is not easy all the time, but each morning I wake up and I have the choice to make. Will I walk today in bitterness or will I walk today in joy? I am happy to report that the joy days are winning.

Traveling through the Journey (and the USA)

Okay, I know that this blog is for my Ursula Slaying, BUT I want to give my very good friend (I like to call her “sister”) a spot on my blog to get her story out for those of you who are followers of Christ. Jenn is going out as a counselor to missionaries on the field. After spending many years in Poland I know how important it is to have someone like Jenn to talk to and process with. She has helped me process many things (I bet she doesn’t even realize it, that is how personable she is!). I will be honest, she is fund raising right now so that she can do this full time. Please read her story of what God did in her life over the past few years and how He has given her strength to start healing from some very deep wounds. But that is her story to tell! So, Jenn with out further adu . . . this entry is yours!

jennraelind

As I traveled over 6,200 miles, waves of emotions of the history of this country and the footprints of my short life and the lives of others flooded me as the miles raced by. After this last year I have been especially aware of the variance of the stories represented in this world and how although each looks so different, all are ultimately  looking for a sense of control, of belonging or of being seen and loved.

This time of fundraising has been A GIFT to me, to get to hear deeply from many of your heart stories and especially in how your search for the above has impacted you and the people around you. Thank you for sharing with me and enriching my view and perception of this world. Thank you specifically for being transparent about the deep SPIRITUAL INJUSTICE that festers and feeds off the pain of this world: whether it was physical, societal…

View original post 407 more words

Gathering More Weapons To Battle Ursula!

IMG_0002 You may be asking, “What in the world?” Well, it is just one more thing in my arsenal of weapons against Ursula! I got a chest port put in to assist in my chemo. This port will allow the chemo to go into my body better without hurting my veins. As you can see, with the picture, the port is on the far right side and then the line goes into the vein.

I never thought I would have to face one of my greatest fears over and over and over again as I have over the past several weeks. The fear of needles! I have been stuck so many times in so many different places, that you would think that my fear is gone. . . it is not. It is getting better however and I think that the port will help with my unneeded anxiety.

I want to introduce you to my radiation team who greets me everyday with smiles, care, hope and peace. They are amazing women and I know that when my six weeks are up, I will truly miss them. They are my “Air Force” fighters!

Each day I go and am treated like a queen by the entire office and feel that I have a HUGE medical team walking with me. I try to make them laugh about something or at me each day so that they don’t have to be the ones all the time to make people smile.

So, here are my “Ursula Slaying Air Force”!  IMG_0001

The thought of losing my “glory” is more terrifying than I thought it would be . .

Summer-Scarves-448x296When I met with my Chemo doctor last week, he said that I would not lose my hair. I was THRILLED beyond belief! I have tried to be tough about the hair loss and downplay it. But did not realize how valuable my hair is to me. When I spoke with the chemo nurse, who is with patients all the time, she said that because of my fine hair, it will more than likely thin out and thus I will need something to protect my skin from the sun. So here I am with the full reality that I am going to lose something that I really love, my hair.  

I have always loved my hair long. In fact, I was trying to grow my it even longer until this little thing called cancer came up.  It is interesting how this cancer stuff has already helped me refine a small piece my personal theology through my hair. I know it is taking a little out of context, but I have always kept 1 Cor. 11:15 (but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.”) as a personal reminder of my submission to God and somehow a little part of me fears that His spiritual “protection” is gone when my hair is gone. How insane is that? I KNOW that this is NOT true and it is just one of those weird things that you grow up believing and held as “truth” even though it is NOT true. What a strange way of 1) revealing a false belief and 2) assuring me that it is NOT the length of my hair that keeps me under the protection of God, but God Himself! I have always known this, but now it is to a greater depth. So here is one (of many) good things that has come of my cancer.

I am hoping that it will just thin out more and then I can wear summer hats and a few nice scarves that will protect my skin instead of covering a fulling bald head. Although, if I do loose it all, I will still be me, Alice Robbins. My hair does not add or take away from my identity, it is merely an expression of who I am and when it goes, I will just find another way of expression, maybe that means new scarves and hats. This could be fun!

The First Session Done!

linac-room-300x199I was a bit nervous today as I walked into this HUGE room with a science fiction looking bed with a cold metal bed and a BIG “eye” full of lasers and radiation. The techs were so nice and reassuring, that I soon calmed down and was ready to get “zapped”. It was painless and over within 10 minutes. No side effects yet, but that does not mean that there will be none.

I then went to the chemo department to have a “teaching” session with one of the nurses. It was good and put me at ease for the most part. The only sad thing is that even though the doctor said I would not lose my hair, the nurse (who works with the patients intimately everyday) said that I may lose some hair just because my hair is so fine starting out. So I just my be wearing a hat or scarf to protect my very thin hair this summer just to protect my head from the sun. My veins are really bad for chemo, so I am going to get a chest port put in so that I don’t have to fight my vein giving out.

So, one more day surgeries and then chemo, here I come! That will be next week. Thanks for your prayers and well wishes.

The Battle Delayed . . . for GOOD News!

Battle-PlanSo, here I was getting ready to throw up and loose my hair this week and bear my teeth at Ursula while shouting,”Is that all you’ve got?!”, only to find out that my Chemo appointment was to talk to the doctor and THEN make an appointment next week. So all of my energy that I had pent up was a bit deflated UNTIL . . .

I met my Chemo doctor. He is wonderful! I looked him up on the internet before I got to his office and saw that he is from Prague, Czech Republic and moved here in 1990. When he walked in the meeting room and I heard his Czech accent, I instantly felt a little part of “home” since CZ was my home in the  early ’90’s and I lived only 1 hour from the border when I was in Poland. I greeted him with “Dobre den, Pan.” (Good day, sir) the typical Czech greeting for someone you have never met before. His eyes got big and his smile even bigger , “You know my mother tongue?” We talked a bit about my past and love for Czech and Poland. I felt an instant connection with Dr. Witta (Veeta).

He went over my files and smiled. My PET scan that I took Friday revealed that my lymph node is completely untouched and that the grow of the tumor is almost nothing and is still all in one small area! WHA!! HOO!!! He also said that we are looking at Stage 2 and it is very curable!

So next Tuesday is the day that the Chemo Navy goes to battle with Ursula! More good news is that my level of chemo is only ⅓ of the normal amount, so it looks like my chances of NOT loosing my hair are VERY good!

On Wednesday, my Radiation Air Force will start it’s attack on Ursula!

It was a good day, filled with good news, but the war has not been won and there are many battles ahead . . .

Slaying Ursula! It is not some ’80’s Punk Band, but the real live battle between me and cervical cancer!

women_of_purpose_logoIf you are reading this, I am assuming that you know me and want to know what is happening in my life and how I am processing it all. Well, look no longer.  If you don’t know me and just came across this blog, I am Alice Robbins, a young at heart woman who loves to invest in the lives of the younger generation whether it be occupationally, or vocationally. I have been transitioning from my life in the beautiful, wonderful, and most underrated country of POLAND, or as I love to call it, POLSKA! During my transitioning time, I took advantage of having a large amount of time to get everything “checked up” on the health side and through this process, discovered that God has yet another journey  for me to take. This one is in the land of Cervical Cancer. I don’t want to take this journey. I never have. I have seen friends die from this ugly beast and I have seen friends live for decades (and are still alive) from this ugly beast. With all of this I have witnessed and even walked with them and have seen the pain and suffering that they have journeyed through.

With all of this, I kept praying one prayer, “Dear Lord, PLEASE do not make me suffer this way. It will be too hard and I don’t think I can do it.” Well, God has different plans and yes, I CANNOT do this . . . alone. I have asked God to teach me to trust Him more but to be gentle. What a stupid prayer! First, to ask Him to teach me to trust and second, to assume that He would keep me from suffering. Hello, Alice!

Okay, so here I am right now. I have been going through testing for two month now to find out what kind of cancer I have and I what stage and the prognosis of this all. I am at either Stage 2 or Stage 3 (if my one lymph node has cells in it). I am starting chemo on Monday and then Radiation on Wednesday. I will be doing this for 6 weeks and then the plan is to go and have surgery and have a full-blown “Going out of business, everything must go!” hysterectomy.

Why not surgery and get everything out now? The tumor that I have grows very quickly and they want to get to the lymph node taken care of asap incase it does have cancer cells in it. If it does, the treatments will take care of them and have a very good chance of sniping those cells and any others that may want to get to other lymph nodes. As of 3 weeks ago, my one lymph node was enlarged a bit, but no cancer, but the doctors that I have know what they are doing and have a plan. My radiology oncologist told me that his goal was to “Have me die by something else.” NOT by cancer. So, I plan to life up to his expectations!

As I am writing all of this, I think of my friends who have battled this same monster and how God was with them and how He lead them all to healing either here on earth or in heaven and I keep coming back to the verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says,  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. It is he first verse that came to my mind just after the OB/GYN doctor told me that my abnormal pap showed that I had cancer.

So, today is my birthday and I have enjoyed the 49 years that God has so graciously given me. I have seen how God has stepped before me in Poland with all of the travel and culture adventures I had and even how He opened door after door for me when I broke my leg in 2011. After experiencing His grace, strength and comfort there, how can I NOT expect and hope for the same here in another chance for me to learn a deeper faith and trust in He who has created me and wants what is best for me. Sometimes, that “best” does not look the way I want it, but that is when the trust and faith comes in.

So, come on, and join me on this battle journey!