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38 Comments

  1. Stacey
    March 17, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

    Julie, your words all rang very true with me too. My Dad was diagnosed with leukemia last June. Thankfully he has gone through 6 rounds of chemo and is well for now. We know it might come back sooner or later because the doctor told us it usually does. Instead of focusing on the scary part, my Dad is forging ahead. At 75 he is amazing!

    Denise, I'm sending up prayers for you. 🙂 You obviously have a wonderful support system and it means the world. I'm writing this from the point of view of the daughter but these are a couple of things I saw in the process with my Dad….

    Bond with the other people at the infusion suite. They helped each other more than I could have ever imagined. They shared their journeys, what was working for them, and what to avoid. They laughed together and cried together and even though cancer was the common denominator it made everybody feel like they were in it together and not alone.

    Don't be afraid to stop answering the phone or even ask people not to call so much. That's sounds crazy but my Dad actually got grumpy at one point because he couldn't even rest with the phone ringing off the wall. It was always a friend or family member wanting to help but rest is very necessary.

    As a girl, I'd say do whatever it takes to feel like yourself and to feel pretty. That matters too! Wishing you the very best. ♥

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 17, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

      Thanks so much for the helpful advice, Stacey!

      Reply

  2. LFitch
    March 17, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

    Denise & Julie,
    Praying for you both! So much I could say, but God is always faithful!
    Love, Lanissa

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 17, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

      Yes, He is, Lanissa! Your prayers mean so much.

      Reply

  3. Lanie J
    March 17, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

    Beautiful post. I lost my mother to cancer 4-1/2 years ago. I remember exactly where I was when I got the call that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I too had never known anyone with cancer. It rocks your world. But in the year prior to her passing, I never felt closer to God. Praying for you, your Dad and your sweet friend.

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 17, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

      Thanks so much, Lanie!

      Reply

  4. John Webb
    March 17, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

    Wow! I am all blubbering and crying right now! You 2 remind me so much of myself and my dearest bestie, Jacquie Neher. You are a beautiful picture of a loving, sacrificial and graceful friend – what a gift! Thanks for calling a shout out of prayer for "your" Denise, and for allowing us here to give her a word of encouragement in this moment of hers.

    Denise: May you know that there is a girl way over here in the Dominican Republic who will begin lifting you in our morning prayer time. I will bring it before my family. My heart goes out to you and your family during this time.

    Here's a little thought based on Scripture in Is. 40 to place in your heart today:
    May your God, Denise, convince you thru His Holy Name and the Spirit of the Living God who lives within you, that He truly is your Everlasting God, from the ends of the earth, He does not faint, nor is He weary, to those of us who are weak, He gives strength. May He help you to wait upon Him, and thru that, your strength be renewed.

    Lord, refresh her soul today, and may your precious name "LORD" truly be a strong tower of safety and refuge for her today….

    Much love,

    Kelly Webb

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 17, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

      This is beautiful, Kelly! Your prayers are so appreciated.

      Reply

  5. Tardevil
    March 17, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

    May God bless your friend and see her through this! (((Hugs from NC)))

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 17, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

      Reply

  6. BethTalks
    March 17, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

    Julie, I am forever amazed at the things I find on your blog and am so glad I found it. Your post made me laugh, cry and wonder at the courage, strength and wisdom found within those words. I praise God for your father and his refusal to give up or give in to cancer. May he continue to be blessed, each and every day and may his life be a shining example of God's love to those whose path he crosses.

    Denise, while I may not know you, HE KNOWS YOU. Do not give up. Do not fear, for the Lord our God is with you and he knows your heart and mind, needs and wants more thoroughly than you can ever express. Cancer is horrible, and can easily become a disease of the spirit as well as of the body. I pray you have the strength and the courage to fight both. In reading Julie's words about you, my heart started singing and I want to share it with you—may it be an inspiration for when you don't have the words yourself, and may it be the anthem you shout when you're able and willing— "One Thing Remains" by Jesus Culture and found here–> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_KXsMCJgBQ He will not fail you. He will not give up on you. His love NEVER FAILS.

    The Lord bless you and keep you all, and know that here in Chesapeake, VA your sister in Christ and cheerleader is rooting for you to kick cancer where it counts!

    My love and prayers, Beth

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 17, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

      So encouraging, Beth! Such a great song and so, so true. Thanks for your prayers!

      Reply

  7. candrkoch
    March 17, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

    Hi Julie, I've followed your blog for a couple years now, though I think I only ever commented once on a similar occasion, when moved to tears over a heartfelt post about your father. I love the wide spectrum of life that you cover here and thought I'd share a poem with your friend. We received this poem on a card someone sent at my dad's funeral, who we lost to kidney cancer almost 11 years ago. Since then, my mom battled & survived stage 3B breast cancer, my brother had a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma miraculously disappear, & I am headed in on Wednesday to have a non-threatening skin cancer removed. I share this only to say that at 35, I feel like we've experienced cancer from so many different angles, all with different outcomes, but in the end, the experience was the same: faith in God is always the answer. He will bring peace and understanding and growth that we would never have experienced had we not gone through that specific trial. So… after all that, here is the poem (author unknown)
    The weary wind gave up and spoke,
    "How can you still be standing, Oak?"
    The oak tree said, "I know that you
    Can break each branch of mine in two,
    Carry every leaf away,
    Shake my limbs and make me sway.
    But I have roots stretched in the earth,
    Growing stronger since my birth,
    You'll never touch them, for you see,
    They are the deepest part of me.
    Until today I wasn't sure
    Of just how much I could endure.
    But now I've found with thanks to you,
    I'm stronger than I ever knew."

    Isn't that beautiful? And spot on? I hope it can bring a measure of strength to you both as you recognize this trial for what it is and also what can be gained from going through it. Have a nice day, ladies!

    Rachelle Koch
    (PS Julie – I have curtains in my daughters room patterned after ones you put in your daughters –with the ruffles — and they always make me think of you!)

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 17, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

      Such an amazing story you have, Rachelle. Thanks for sharing it. And thanks for sharing this poem. Truly beautiful.

      Reply

  8. jen
    March 17, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

    Ill be praying for your beautiful friend!!!

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 18, 2014 @ 12:48 am

      Thank you, Jen!

      Reply

  9. Christine
    March 17, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

    Your comments about how to help your friend Denise in the way SHE needs really spoke to me. I recently was on strict bed rest for 12 weeks and completely dependent on others. While I know my family and friends meant well, sometimes the help was more of a burden and not at all what I needed. Thank you so much for having the mind and heart to help Denise as she needs it and wants it. What a gift to have a friend you can say no to and not worry about hurting their feelings while in the depths of your own struggles. That in itself helps more than you know. Denise, I will be praying for endurance and peace as you face many appointments and interruptions and invasions into your life. Praying for the Lord to be ever apparent in those dark times in ways that it is obvious He has you wrapped in His loving arms.

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 18, 2014 @ 12:49 am

      So helpful, Christine! Thank you!

      Reply

  10. Michelle Mein
    March 18, 2014 @ 12:24 am

    So sorry to hear this news about Denise. Will be praying for her and you as you help her through the days and weeks ahead.

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 18, 2014 @ 12:50 am

      That means so much, Michelle!

      Reply

  11. Brian Neher
    March 18, 2014 @ 1:09 am

    Ahhhhh…this came at the perfect time for me. My mom was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer – scheduled for surgery one week from today, and will most likely have Chemo as well. What an encouragement to me! I will be praying for Denise! Thank you Julie….your best blog to date!

    Jacquie

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 18, 2014 @ 1:49 am

      Oh, Jacquie! So sorry to hear about your mom. Praying for you all as well. May God's perfect peace be with you every step of the way.

      Reply

  12. michelle
    March 18, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

    I will pray for her.

    Reply

  13. michelle
    March 18, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

    I will pray for her.

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 18, 2014 @ 11:56 pm

      Thank you so much!

      Reply

  14. Deb mcK
    March 18, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

    So sorry to hear but thank you for such a powerful message on the blog today. God has always been a part of my life, but my cancer really made me turn to him. I felt guilty that I turned so to him at that time, but you've helped me see that is what He wanted. Prayers going up.

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 19, 2014 @ 1:59 am

      Thank you, Deb. I'm glad you feel that way & appreciate your prayers!

      Reply

  15. Lin R
    March 18, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

    This post came to me at a time when I need it also. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer last month. He will have surgery in April. He is not 60 yet and in good health otherwise so we know that will give him better odds. We are hoping and praying we will not have to go the radiation route, but time will tell. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and experience. I will think of them when I am supporting my husband.
    Denise I will be praying for you. Sending you hugs and God Bless. You two girls are blessed to have one another.

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 19, 2014 @ 2:02 am

      Lin, so sorry to hear about your husband. I'm going to use this comment section as a prayer list as I pray for Denise. Thanks for your prayers, too!

      Reply

  16. Suzanne Kalanquin
    March 18, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

    Denise, my heart goes out to you. I have been fighting Breast Cancer for 14 years now, and I'm still fighting! I have learned to take 1 day at a time, and to rest a lot when I am tired. I pray a lot and try to laugh a lot,and just do things that make me happy. I try not to imagine the worst,so I just live my life as though I will live forever, cherishing my family, the beauty of the small things in life, and of course, with prayer. Godspeed, Denise, and know there will be many people praying for you!

    Reply

  17. Julie
    March 19, 2014 @ 2:03 am

    Thanks so much for your encouragement. God bless you in your own fight!

    Reply

  18. Michelle Baker
    March 19, 2014 @ 2:08 am

    I just celebrated my 5 year survivorship this last December. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on Christmas eve of 2008. Hearing those words is something you pray you will never have to do. But after the shock and disbelief, I remember going through the grief process most of all. We all deal with crises in different ways. Whatever works for you is always the right answer. Don't be afraid to ask for help, or to just tell people that you need to be alone. Lean on your friends and family and NEVER forget, there is light at the end of the tunnel. For me, living my life as normally as possible was the best way I knew to get through the days. One day at a time and one step in your treatment at a time. It sounds cliché to say that cancer can be a blessing, because a disease is never a blessing. But you can find good things to come from having gone through a life-changing health crisis. I look at the world differently now. I appreciate my family, my children and each day with new eyes. Cancer taught me to live more in the moment and not to sweat the little things. You will find that there are so many people who have gone through similar situations that you never knew about. Cancer survivors are a sisterhood for life. Hugs to you as you go through this difficult journey. You will find you have strength that you never knew you had. <3

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 19, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

      Thank you, Michelle! Congrats on winning your battle. And I agree, cancer does make you grateful for the everyday. 🙂

      Reply

  19. Lori
    March 19, 2014 @ 11:57 am

    What a beautiful post. How did you write it? I have tears rolling down my face. What a wonderful friend and daughter. What an even better friend of Jesus! Praying now. Lori

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 19, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

      Thanks for your prayers, Lori!

      Reply

  20. Lynette
    March 19, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

    Julie, I am so sorry to hear that about Denise. I will add her to my morning prayer list. You are a good friend. I am glad she has you to be there for her when she needs to cry. I know God will work all things for the good of those who love Him and from what I have read about Denise and what I know about your father, they both love God dearly and He will redeem their battle with cancer. As you know, my dad died from a very short battle of cancer (10 days), the 23rd anniversary of which is Friday. What a very moving and wonderful blog entry, Julie. You are a wonderful inspiration in many ways. I will continue to pray for your dad and Denise.

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 19, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

      Lynette, I remember when your dad died 🙁 Thanks for being a friend and encourager to me since those first days of 6th grade! And thanks for your prayers!

      Reply

  21. Lesa
    March 20, 2014 @ 9:24 am

    JULIE, JUST GOT OFF MY KNEES AND WIPING TEARS…SAYING A PRAYER FOR DENISE FOR HER HEALTH AND A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING FOR YOU. I KNOW ALL TO WELL THE HEARTBREAK OF CANCER W/FAMILY AND FRIENDS. LOST MY FATHER IN-LAW NEAR CHRISTMAS AFTER LEUKEMIA BATTLE OF 5 YRS. BEAUTIFUL, INSIGHTFUL, POST. BLESSING TO YOU. SINCERELY

    Reply

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