Thursday, August 30, 2012

Staples are out!

Staples are out of my head and we are on our way back home! Yay! We had a good stay in Baltimore. We stayed on the Harbor this time, which was a different experience from staying near the hospital :-)

We even got a picture with Dr. Quinones before he headed into surgery. I thanked him for operating on my brain. We are now stuck in traffic (of course) but it is a sunny day out and Zev is driving, so life is good.

Hope you have a lovely day!

FIFi xoxo

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Two bald guys and a baby

I think this is a blog post where the picture speaks a thousand words.

Zev and I are on our way to Baltimore for Dr. Q to take the staples out of my head tomorrow morning! Ride so far is going good; it really matters when you leave in terms of traffic!

Love you all!

FIFi xoxo

Monday, August 27, 2012


I haven't blogged about our son, Zachary, in so long and I woke up thinking "I need to blog about Zachary!" This blog is really about our lives, our travels and our loves, and since we had Zachary, he has consumed our everyday lives!

So Zachary has been getting spoilt (and I'm ok with that :-)) by his 3 sets of grandparents these past few weeks. They have actually been fighting (well not really fighting) about who gets the next turn with him. He is SUCH a mellow baby. You know, I remember blogging about that a while ago, before being diagnosed with a brain tumor, and I do believe that God was gracious enough to GIFT me with a mellow baby. I really do! Zachary is so content, just watching the world go by. He is an observer. Just smiles and gurgles as e watches the adults fuss over him. I just love him so much. He is getting big, no make that HUGE right now! He like jumped from 3 month onesies to 6 to 9 month onesies this month! Crazy! He really is a little chunker. My parents have been speaking to him in Spanish so we will hear Zev say "hola mi hijo" or "que pasa?" occasionally. It's all very cute.

Here is the devotional from Stormiest Omartian's "Prayers for Emotional Wholeness" which I read this morning:

Dear LORD, there is nothing better than learning to live a godly life, and how wonderful is the peace and contentment that comes from it. Help me to always be grateful and content with having the things that I need. Help me not to be worried about the things I want but don't have. You ABUNDANTLY bless those who love You, and You give Your children the desires of their heart when they are in alignment with Your will.

Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

1 Timothy 6:6-8

And so I'll leave you now with a brand new picture of our boy!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Name of my Devotional and What the stitches of an Awake Craniotomy look like a week and 2 days after surgery!

I knew the title of this post would grab your attention! Haha :-) I was right, huh? I thought I would post the title of my daily devotional, which is "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young, after a person wrote to me asking for the name. You know, I have never really been one for daily devotionals, BUT this one has captured by soul! It really has.

The daily devotional for today is:

I am the eternal I AM; I have always been, and I always will be. In MY PRESENCE you experience Love and Light, Peace and Joy. I am intimately involved in all your moments, and I am training you to be aware of Me at all times. Your assignment is to collaborate with Me in this training process.

I have taken up residence within you; I am central in your innermost being. Your mind goes off in tangents from its holy Center, time after time. Do not be alarmed by your inability to remain focused on Me. Simply bring your thoughts gently back to Me each time they wander. The quickest way to redirect your mind to Me is to whisper My Name.

Oh LORD JESUS, will you heal me? Please shrink this brain tumor. Only if it is Your Will, Lord. Ok? Thanks for listening to my prayer. I have a FEAR sometimes, ok like ALL the time, that God will choose not to heal me! It is a very real fear because in 2 weeks or so, I begin chemo and radiation therapy, lasting about 6 weeks long. What if God chooses to not heal me? Has this all been for nought? Absolutely not! He is so faithful in His promise; I have asked Him to keep me around on this earth for long enough to talk with Zachary and to put him on the school bus.....basically for Zachary to remember his mum. I know, morbid talk, but it's the reality. I believe in miracles and I believe I can be a miracle witness for God. I am scared of writing this down, but you have gotten used to me being scared so I will say it: I am afraid of the chemo and radiation therapy NOT working. What if it doesn't work? Oh my goodness, to see the words down in black and white makes it all the more real. And me all the more human. I am but a human, Lord. Please be gracious to me and allow me the opportunity to see my son grow up. I love you and thank you, Lord and am so grateful for your abundant blessings. Thank you, Jesus.

So, here come the photos of the scar, a week and three days post surgery and taken by moi. So they are not that good :-) But they are out there and I want you to see them.

Ok I am off to bed again! To snuggle up to my handsome husband and love on him. And yes, the last picture of me is as cute as I can look at 351am on Saturday morning with no makeup. Not bad for a first try? I have to give Zev KUDOS for today BTW: not only did he ask about wigs at the oncologist but he even asked about massage therapy! So proud of my man!

Ok off to bed I go!

Love FIFi xoxo

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blogging is my release

Oh today is a much better day. I must caveat that by saying that it is a much better day with pain meds and such...but I'll take it!!!

What a journey it's been! What a wild, crazy journey it has been. I have always praised God though. Never questioned Him. Never asked Him "why me?" I'm not saying I am better than Job in the Bible, um because he was a good man. I'm just saying that I have always praised God and trusted in His presence and that He will work All things out for the good of those who love Him. Ahhh God is good, isn't He?

Today's devotional (thank you Ginny, Shirley, Donetta, and Heather for the SAME devotional!) I have given the others away, mostly to family members but it means so much to me. God's Word NEVER goes untouched.

Today's devotional is about family. I thought it was appropriate, considering how large a role family has played in my life recently and how much family means to me.

So here it is:

Entrust your loved ones to Me, release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one- as well as yourself. Remember the measures I used with Abraham and Isaac. I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered emotions. I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.

When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand. As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest. This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me. Watch to see what I will do.

Genesis 22:9-12: When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He BOUND his son (emphasis added by me!) Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of he wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the KNIFE (emphasis added by me!) to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven. "Abraham, Abraham!"

"Here I am," he replied.

"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."

Wow. That's deep.

Ok next verse. By the way, a few people have asked me where I get these scripture verses from. It's at the bottom of my devotional :-))

Ephesians 3:20: Now to Him who is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN ALL WE ASK OR IMAGINE (emphasis added by moi), according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be Glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen!

One of my favorite verses.

Ok last one:

Exodus 33:14: The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Ah yes, rest. Relaxation. Life is good once again.

I will leave you with a picture of my hospital room (the view was incredible) and one of Bob and Robin. This time I need to take more!

I still need to take one of Dave and Judy!!!

Ok off to bed I go :-))

Love FIFi

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I spoke too soon

Brain cancer sucks. I have brain cancer and it sucks. So, what to do about it? My whole back of neck, where the Central Nervous System fluids drain hurts. Pain meds help. But they only take the edge off. Hence my sleeping lots and taking pain meds every 4 hours helps. Oh how I wish I wasn't on pain meds.

I'm sorry for being so real, but I figure if you are reading this blog, then you like for me to be real. There is is something freeing in that :-) My head throbs. My eyes are in between open and shut. I don't look or feel great. Oh Lord, will You take this cup from me?

Today's devotional says:

Trust Me, and don't be afraid. I want you to view trials as exercises designed to develop your trust-muscles. You live in the midst of fierce spiritual battles, and fear is one of Satan's favorite weapons. When you start to feel afraid, affirm your trust in Me. Speak out loud, if circumstances permit. Resist the devil in My Name, and he will slink away from you. Refresh yourself in My Holy Presence. Speak or sing praises to Me, and My Face will shine radiantly upon you.

Remember that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Me. You have been judged NOT GUILTY for all eternity. Trust Me, and don't be afraid; for I am your Strength, Song, and Salvation.

James 4:7- Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Romans 8:1-2- Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Isaiah 12:2- Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

I will Trust in the Lord. With all my soul.

I will leave you with random pictures of Zachary and his grandparents :-) He makes my heart sing with Joy!

And I just realized that I don't have a picture of Zachary with Zev's parents! I'll leave you with a good picture of me and I will add a picture of Dave and Judy tomorrow!!!

Today is a much better day

I thank the Lord above for today. Today and everyday. I will leave you with a devotional from today. As always, it seems appropriate. Funny that.

I am a God who heals. I heal broken bodies, broken minds, broken heart, broken lives, and broken relationships. My very Presence has immense healing powers. You cannot life close to Me without experiencing some degree of healing. However, it is also true that you have not because you ask not. You receive the healing that flows naturally from my Presence, whether you seek it or not. But there is more- much more- available to those who ask.

The first step in receiving healing is to live ever so close to Me. The benefits of this practice are too numerous to list. As you grow more and more intimate with Me, I reveal My will to you more directly. When the time is right, I prompt you to ask for healing of some brokenness in you or in another person. The healing may be instantaneous, or it may be a process. That is up to Me. Your part is to fully trust Me and to thank Me for the restoration that has begun.

I rarely heal all the brokenness in a person's life. Even My servant Paul was told, "My grace is sufficient for you," when he sought healing for the thorn in his flesh. Nonetheless, much healing is available to those whose lives are intimately interwoven with Mine. ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE .

Psalm 103:3; James 4:2; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 and Matthew 7:7.

That's all the energy I have for today but isn't that great!? I have been sleeping a lot lately :-)

I'll leave you with a picture of my boys. My two loves.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The worst day of my life but I praised God in the midst of it all!

So yesterday was the WORST day of my life. My neurosurgeon couldn't have known how long it took to travel down to southern Virginia. It's all good though. As of 3.35am this morning I feel great! Pain meds help and although I am paranoid about getting addicted to them, I am only on 50 times 5mg of Oxycodone. So I better make them last :-)

No picture today. This was really hard to do, really hard, but I praised God in the midst of it all. I didn't think I had the energy to do so, I really didn't, but when the transportation tech wheeled me outside to take me to to the McElderly House, he kept making small talk. I'll confess, I wanted him to shut up. There I said it :) But in the midst of it all, I realized that this was an opportunity to witness, as crazy as it sounds! I know that God is using me in amazing ways, even for a short period on this earth.

Ok I am off to bed again.

Good night. Sleep tight!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Two posts in one day!

God is SO GOOD. I will praise His name forever! God is good! He is mighty to save, He is mighty to do GREAT things for us in our lives, I'd only we just let Him!

Ok I'm not sure where I was going with that but here is a picture of me today with my pink and sparkly bandana courtesy of Ashleigh Richardson from Shreveport, Louisiana! Thank you, Ashleigh!

God is so good!

I fed Zachary today!

I know this isn't a major thing, but I got to see my boy today, if only for a few minutes. It was so special :-) Meme and Howard brought him by. I was so happy to see him: I think it's been since Thursday that I haven't seen him! Anyway, I got to feed him. Here is the good the bad and the ugly: a picture of me post surgery. I don't think I'm going to be able to wash my hair until my post op visit in 10 days! Oi vey! Hahaha It is a good day in Baltimore and an even better day to be THANKFUL FOR ALL THAT THE LORD HAS DONE FOR ME!!!!!

Amen. I am tired now so I'm probably going to go back to bed. I wish I didn't sleep so much but my kind husband says rest is key. He's right about these things.

Ok so off to rest I go!

Na night xo


Friday, August 17, 2012

Just Another Good Day....

Fiona continues to do well!  A pretty quiet day for Blog and Bookface, Fiona mostly relaxed and took cat-naps all day.  Zachary continues to get spoiled by his grandparents; it is getting harder and harder to tell where Maria's arm stops and Zachary's body begins...they seem to be growing together.

She did move from ICU to a general ward on the 12th floor with a nice view of Baltimore harbor!  Dr Q continues to give her high marks for her recovery and how the operation went.  We may end up going home at the end of the weekend, but no rush....slow and steady wins the race.

Throughout all of this, people (i.e me) keep telling Fiona what a great job she is doing.  Her typical reply " It not me, I am not doing anything.  In all of this I want me to be small and God big"

Happy thoughts and prayers, give your friends and loved ones a hug....

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Surgery went very well! Dr Q is very happy with no complications and high praise for Fi as she did great talking about Zachary, Zev, and Venice during the procedure so they could stay clear of her speech centers.

She was awesome and smiling in ICU. We both give God the glory for another day of praise..

Quick update

Surgery started a little late, but all goes well. Fiona continues to be a rock and amazes me with her strength. She is amazing! I expect we won't know much more until around 1700 EST- keep the prayers coming... ZY


It is 230am and although Zachary is sound asleep, I am up. Reflective. Nervous, scared but at peace too which is a good thing. I don't even know who reads this blog. I am so grateful for all your prayers. Believe me when I tell you that your prayers sustain me. They KEEP me and I reflect in Scripture when I am feeling scared. Like now. I've been doing great so far, and everyone around me has had a positive attitude. I don't want to let anyone down by saying that I feel scared. I think it is only human to admit my limitations. I am scared that I won't remember my husband's or my son's name after the surgery. I am glad that it's an awake craniotomy (which still boggles my mind, pardon the pun!) but I am also aware that we live in an imperfect world. Mistakes happen. I don't like these feelings of doubt.

Those of you who follow this blog know that I have always kept it pretty basic, not revealing too much of myself here. I am feeling scared. There I said it. But, I also have faith in the Lord. That's what gets me through.

I said to Zev the other day "I don't know how you can't believe in God." I really feel God's Presence. Like really feel when He is there, which is always.

Then I got to thinking: is all this selfish of me? To ask for and expect people to pray for me? I am asking you to pray for me to live on this earth longer, to support me and encourage me as I fight this cancer battle. I am a fighter and I have so many reasons to fight but is it selfish of me? I am so glad that we have health insurance and I can get operated on at one of the worlds top hospitals. Imagine if I didn't have health insurance? I want to help others.....but that is another story for later on :-))) I want to do God's will. What if that will means a limited time in earth?

So, when I am doubtful or scared I turn to what I know and trust best: The Word. It calms my soul. God is with me. He loves me and covers me with His protective hands. His feathers. There is a part in Psalms that says "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:4. That imagery is wonderful. When I am in he MRI machine, all wrapped up and all alone, I imagine being wrapped up in God's feathers. I imagine how I hold Zachary and imagine God holding me, His child in this way too. I can't imagine Zachary being sick. The thought is too hard for me. It's hard to watch the sick children being wheeled around this hospital during the day. I can't imagine what it must be like for their parents. Gosh life can be hard... Please protect my boy oh Lord. I want You to be glorified of course and I accept your cup. I don't want Zachary to go through what I am going through now. I don't want anyone to go through what I am going through now! Even my "worst" client as a public defender! I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I guess I love people too much. Everyone, even the worst criminal, is just a human being.

I feel confident that the surgery will go fine today. I am scared, for vanity reasons which is totally wrong but there I said it, that I am going to look horrendous afterwards. I know I am. The pre-op doctor yesterday alluded to that. You don't operate in someone's brain and expect them to look cute. Swelling, bruising. It's all going to be worth it though. I am excited that part of this tumor is going to come out. I wish it were more than 40 to 50% but I'll take what I can. The rest they can attack through radiation and chemotherapy. I am praying that the second part of my treatment works. Again, fear creeping in. But then I am reminded "But perfect love drives out fear." 1 John 4:18.

It's amazing what Scripture verses come to mind when you really need them. Like REALLY need them. I never learnt Scripture as a child; it's only now as an adult that I can learn basic stuff. Even now I am happy when I get the reference number straight! I thank all of you who have covered me ad provided me with Scripture. I have tied to look it all up. Sometimes I just stick with the basics though like Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." I plan to tell Dr. Quinones my life verse today (oh my gosh, TODAY I am having brain surgery!) which is Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

The Word of God does not return empty. He strengthens us.

I just heard my baby squeak. He is hungry. I am smiling :-)) I have a job to do and that is feed my baby.

He makes my heart sing with JOY.

I will leave you with some pictures from last night when we met up with my dad and Ceci and had a glamorous dinner in the hospital cafeteria. Which actually was nice and people didn't stare too much at the funny stickers on my face :-))

Have a great Thursday, August 16th. God is good. And faithful. I am grateful and I no longer feel scared.

I love you!

Fiona :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An Awake Craniotomy

I am having an Awake Craniotomy tomorrow morning at 0830 and I am excited! Zev and I reported in nice and early this morning at 0630 for another MRI. I had to hold still but this time it wasn't for 4 hours; it was just for an hour. I prayed actually and slept a little. I felt SO loved and prayed for during that MRI. I have never felt such a peace before. The power of prayer people! I even shared with the MRI techs how God has been with me since I collapsed on July 16th. They just smiled but at the end of my MRI, as I was leaving the building, one of the techs who had just gotten married another ago said she would keep me in her prayers tomorrow. I thought that was cool.

So we are back in the hotel. Zev has been the most organized and diligent husband ever, working on work stuff in the waiting room and is now working in more work stuff before our next appt at 10am. We have a few more appts today, the most important one with Dr. Quinones this afternoon. Please pray for him. We spoke with him last night and he told us that his dad who loves in CA had had a quadruple bypass! That's intense! Just goes to show that we are all mere mortals.

I just had to post a picture of the PINK AND SPARKLY bandana that a dear friend Ashleigh from Shreveport made for me! It is perfect and wide and soft and I think it will look good in the ICU afterwards! Those ICU nurses better watch out for some pink! Haha

Have a beautiful day!

Fiona xo

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

He is MIGHTY to save

We are in Baltimore and actually had a chance to go down to the beautiful harbor. I love the water. Tomorrow morning is a nice early start with a brain scan at 0630 and then meetings with Dr. Q to determine the type of brain surgery he will do. Surgery is scheduled for 0830 on Thursday August 16th.

Thank you for all your prayers and outpouring of love and support. I keep saying we are humbled by this. Zev and I don't even know some of you who are praying for us and yet we life you. And feel so loved. Thank you.

Today was a good day :-) Tomorrow will be a good day and the day after that........

A dear friend, Jill, sent me this cure PINK T-shirt with Zephaniah 3:17 on the back. Now don't ask me where Zephaniah is in the Bible: all I know is that it is in the Old Testament somewhere and after I post this I am going to look it up, but isn't the language just beautiful!? He is MIGHTY TO SAVE!

On that note I am off to bed. Zev will probably be taking over updating he blog either tomorrow or Thursday. H is such a good man :-)

Fiona xo

Laughter is the best medicine

Zev and I head out to Baltimore today. We are nervous but excited (yes excited) about the brain surgery. My surgery is scheduled for Thursday morning, not sure what time. I have to report nice and early tomorrow morning for more scans and to discuss with Dr. Q what type of brain surgery he will do. It all depends on his interpretation of the Functional MRI . Although I won't feel anything, I'm not looking forward to an awake craniotomy but if that's what they have to do, then so be it. Hope I hold still!! Hmmm

My cousin Dennis in Australia sent me a joke. It's a cancer joke and although cancer is NOT a funny experience, I think it is important to see joy in the every day. This joke was funny to me.

A guy goes to see his doctor. The doctor says: "I've got bad news for you. You've got incurable cancer an you're suffering from a form of amnesia as well." The guy says "Well that doesn't sound so bad. At least I don't have cancer."

It was funny when I read it yesterday.

Today's devotional by Stormie Omartian is appropriate. They are always appropriate, I don't know why I keep saying that. Maybe I surprise myself every morning that they are so fitting to my life's circumstances?

Lord, help me live with truth in my heart and not give place to lies. I want to dwell in Your presence, where everything makes sense and all is truth and there is always HOPE (emphasis added by me). Give me a new way of thinking that does not conform to the world. Help me to live in Your perfect will and prove to all who see me that Your way is the right way to live.

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. Psalm 15:1-2.

I am so grateful this morning. Grateful for everyone that has prayed for us and supported us. Grateful for family and friends. Zev has been a solid rock during this entire experience. Thank you for praying for him too. I think of that song that goes "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand...." Christ IS THE solid rock that I gratefully stand on, and Zev is my rock on earth that I lean on. How did I get to be so blessed? I don't deserve this but then we don't deserve the blessings we have been given.

So on that note I want to leave you with a cute picture of our little man. I am going to miss him when I am in the ICU!!!! I can't wait to hold him and kiss him afterwards!

Have a great Tuesday!


Monday, August 13, 2012

I am so blessed!

Seriously. I just finished feeding Zachary his 5oz bottle. He is so cute. He keeps waking up cuter every day! I am so blessed. Zev and I are so blessed. We never imagined a year ago that so much would happen in our lives, our seemingly ordinary lives. We are just a simple military family. Trying to live life, be good people, treat others with respect and love the Lord. I'll admit, my prayer life was in a bit of a rut and I felt like I didn't know why to pray over. You know, this whole brain cancer experience has taught me the value of truly praying for OTHERS. Yes I have my own stuff going on, but we ALL do! Just because one persons stuff sounds worse than re other doesn't mean that it doesn't consume them, take up their energy and time. I have never prayed specifically for other peoples needs as I do now! I love people!

So speaking of how I love people, and how I love the Word, here is Sarah Youngs devotional for today. I don't know if I have mentioned it but 3 people gave me the exact same devotional in the past 3 weeks. Coincidence? I don't think so. Another lady from church gave me the 40 day version. I have given then all away except for the one that I am writing and using. It is an honor to give them away!

So today's devotional is (unsurprising and another example of how perfect God is) specific to my life right now.

Learn to enjoy life more. Relax, remembering that I am God with you, I crafted you with enormous capacity to know Me and enjoy My Presence. When My people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, I am displeased. When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd. The more you focus on my Presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life. Glorify Me through your pleasure in Me. Thus you proclaim My Presence to the watching world.

Tuesday morning we head to Baltimore. I am excited about this brain surgery! Another interesting fact: my surgery date, August 16th, will mark exactly one month to the day of my collapse. It has been an interesting month. I wish I did not have cancer but again I thank God that I am alive and able to use this experience to truly tell the people around me that I love them and that more importantly, GOD loves them! He is SO good!

Ok now it's 3.27am and my eyelids are getting heavy. I will leave you with some pictures from yesterday. My dear German teacher, Ulla and her husband, Manfred, are visiting the States. They were meant to stay with us but had to change their plans at the last minute. They were so kind in dropping by yesterday for Kaffee und Kuchen. We all had fun visiting and of course Zachary was such a sweetie. It has been awesome having mum and Howard here. Family is so important. They have servants' hearts. I love them so much. We also had a visit from Christy and her sweet daughter Alyssa and Liz. They brought over the perfect gifts which I will be bringing with me to Baltimore. I love my fellow women!!!! I am going to try to post the pictures in order but I don't think they will! Oh well...

Enjoy your week and thank you for your prayers and encouragement!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

He loves us even when we are weak and weary!

Come to Me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you because weakness stirs up My compassion- My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.

Do not compare yourself with others, who seem to skip along their life paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.

GOD, YOU ARE SO GOOD! Thank you for friends and family who are strong when I am weak. Who pray for me, encourage me and love me. I feel so prayed up and confident in Your strength right now! Thank you.

Yesterday our sweet, sweet friend Ginny took our "4 month" pictures. I am so grateful for her. She is a natural born organizer and has a God given talent in photography. Amazing woman. It is an honor to be her friend.

I am thankful for my family today! On that note, let me feed my hungry baby!

Love, Fiona :-))

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fiona Ribbon Day: August 16, 2012

     Fiona Ribbon Day    

       August 16, 2012     

Hi--this is Zev hijacking Fiona's Blog.  Our dear friend Natalie with the Shreveport Bar Association started a Pink Ribbon day for Fiona on the day of her surgery at Johns Hopkins.

It would be cool if y'all took pictures of you wearing the pink ribbons on that day and either emailed them to Fi or posted them on Facebook...I am sure it would brighten her day.

Thanks to all for the thoughts, prayers and encouragement--it is amazing.  ZY.

This is how it all started; The SBA Women's Section is asking for your help in showing support for Fiona York on August 16, 2012, when she undergoes brain surgery at Johns Hopkins.

Thanks to Natalie Howell, the Women's Section secretary, hot pink ribbons will be available for all to wear that day as a show of support, positive energy, and prayer for Fiona during this difficult time. The "Fiona Ribbon" is available beginning Friday, August 10, 2012, at either the Bar Center from Dana Southern or the Caddo Parish Courthouse on the 3rd Floor at the receptionist window from Renee Almond.

The Women's Section is also collecting monetary donations to assist the York family with medical expenses. If you would like to contribute, please make your donation payable to the SBA. Any contributions can be left with Renee Almond at the courthouse or Dana at the Bar Center. Natalie will also collect donations and have ribbons available.

Though Fiona, our former Women's Section President, was initially told that 12 months would be a good goal considering the type of brain cancer with which she was diagnosed, subsequent opinions have offered more hope. This surgery should give her a better long term prognosis and, hopefully, allow her much more time with her husband Zev and their baby Zachary. As Natalie says, "I believe in miracles, and I believe in positive energy! So, I hope to send much love and positive energy her way!" So please join us by picking up your ribbon and wearing it on Thursday, August 16. Thanks so much for your support!

Relax in My Healing, Holy Presence

Allow Me to transform you through this time alone with Me. As your thoughts center more and more on Me, trust displaces fear and worry. Your mind is somewhat like a seesaw. As your trust in Me goes up, fear and worry automatically go down. Time spent with Me not only increases your trust; it also helps you discern what is important and what is not.

Energy and time are precious, limited entities. Therefore, you need to use them wisely, focusing on what is truly important. As you walk close to Me, saturating your mind with Scripture, I will show you how to spend your time and energy.

My Word is a lamp to your feet; My Presence is a Light for your path.

Ephesians 5: 15-16. Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise but wise, making the most out of every opportunity because the days are evil.

Psalm 119:105. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Ok isn't it interesting how appropriate this daily devotional for TODAY is? I pray that you find it useful too! We are all facing our burdens today, every single one of us. I will pray that God gives you a peace to see through your burden today!

My prayer for today is that God will guide Dr. Q and the radiologist neurologist who was a very smart man by the name of Dr. Pillar, on how to plan my surgery. There are a few ways his can happen, but basically Dr. pillar said that last night he would send Dr.Q the results from my Functional MRI and that they would discuss it and figure our whether to do an awake craniotomy on me where I am awake and they can test my language and cognitive skills (I prefer to be asleep but if I need to be awake during my brain surgery then bring it on; I've run a marathon. I can do this with Christ by my side!) OR they can do an asleep tumor resection. Dr. Q is meant to talk to me about the risks involved beforehand.

Science has come a long way. There is a cure for cancer out there. I just need to hang around long enough for science to catch up. I still believe God is using me to glorify Him through al this. I do. And for my personal development. To truly trust and believe in miracles.

Lastly, although I think the oncologist yesterday is Jewish, I told him that I believe in miracles and he smiled and said so does he and he likes it when patients prove him wrong. I liked him.

Here are some pictures of this mornings devotional time with Zachary. I actually look forward to his evening feeds because it gives me a chance to be quiet with God.

Have a great day!


4 months!

This blog is about our everyday lives and although my brain cancer takes up a lot of our time and energy, I wanted to make sure that we celebrated the beauty in the everyday. The part that doesn't have cancer. I will just say it here but cancer blows. I wish I didn't have it but I do. I know this sound crazy but these past three weeks have actually been filled with some of he happiest times in my life. I keep saying "perspective matters". It's so true. I have a new found appreciation for LIFE and for the everyday simple stuff. Money and things don't matter; you can't take them with you when you are gone. But the relationships we build and the bonds we forge last a lifetime. I am HUMBLED by the outpouring of love and prayers from literally, around the world these past few weeks! I guess it helped that Zev and I have lived in so many different places. We both love to explore, to travel, to learn about other cultures with an open mind. He has taught me so much about life. He is a cultural anthropologist you know? Studied anthropology at Ithaca College. He makes me so happy. I see him wih Zachary and my heart leaps with joy. Those two not only look like each other but they have a special bond. Only Zev can make Zachary giggle with delight when he lifts him and snuggles his neck :-)) Makes my heart sing with JOY.

So our baby boy is 4 months old as of yesterday! Yay Zachary! I feel like he has grown SO much this past month. Who knew your 3rd month would be so action packed Zachary? Despite all that is going on, you are still such a mellow, happy baby. We haven't been taking you to Baltimore only because JHU is such a large hospital, a bit overwhelming actually and we don't want you to get sick. We are also going a million places at once. We want to protect you. Oh how we love you, son.

What are you up to this month?!

- You weighed in at 16.5 pounds (7.5 kilos) this week's 4 month well baby visit. You measure at 83% in weight
- Your length is 26 inches or about 66 cm and that is in the 87%
- Your head circumference measures at 44.6cm which mummy is pleased to say means a big head like hers at 97% :-)))
- We also got your shots done. You didn't cry as much as the first time but as I listen to you sleep, I hear that you have some congestion and a bit of a cough. Yes I am going to be that first time mum that calls pediatrics first thing in the morning to ask if I can bring you in to get checked out. Because that's what mums do.

Have I told you lately that I love you son? The pediatrician was impressed by your milestones. You are so strong in your legs. You can really balance and hold yourself up. I haven't been good lately at giving you tummy time. You roll over from front to back and back and forth again. You are getting so loved on by your grandparents. I am so grateful for that. You are such a easy baby. Thank you God.

I'm not ready to start you on solids yet. I am still getting used to formula. Maybe after my surgery. You and Zev are what motivate me to stay ALIVE and fight this cancer. I have too much to live for on this earth! I have too much to do, like teach you things especially languages and how to dance. Your daddy can cook but he can't dance :-)) He can slow dance though :-)

I am rambling and it is 3.49am. I fed you at 1.30am. Time for me to go back to bed.

Happy 4 month birthday son.

Mummy xo

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Great visit at Johns Hopkins University

We had another good day at Johns Hopkins University today. Praise the Lord! I had a Functional MRI which lasted about 4 hours and basically mapped my brain in preparation for surgery next Thursday August 16th. Then we met with the oncologist who was wonderful and told us that we would format a concrete plan once the surgery was complete and they knew exactly what type of tumor I have. It's all good...

God has definitely been glorified in all this. I love my husband and my family and my friends more with each passing day. I appreciate every day people more. I am humbled by the outpouring of prayer and offers of help, from meal ministry to people making pink and sparkly bandanas for me! The Body of Christ is powerful!

I feeling so happy and hopeful today. It's amazing what perspective does: I still have brain cancer and an aggressive form at that. I may never get rid of the cancer cells. But I am getting treated and I have an awesome support network especially my husband. And that gives me comfort.

Today Zachary is 4 months old. Zev and I can't wait to go home and hug his neck! Mum and Howard thank you so much for everything you have done and for taking such great care of him.

Love Fiona :-))

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Do not lose heart

Today marks 9 days until my surgery. I have been doing good so far, keeping positive and feeling the love and support of family and friends but I wouldn't be human if I didn't admit that I am feeling a little scared. Fearful. The Bible says "But perfect love drives out fear.". 1 John 4:18.

The devotional from Stormie Omartian seems appropriate today (how does God know!? haha). Here it is:

Dear Lord, I pray that You will help me to not grow weary in well doing. Keep me from giving up when times of discouragement happen and it seems as if doing the right thing isn't working. Help me to continue on in what I know of You and Your ways and not take matters into my own hands and try to do things my way. Help me to refuse to be discouraged.

"Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap of we do not lose heart." Galatians 6:9

On a more positive note, I really look forward to the evening feelings with Zachary. Maybe it's the quiet time I spend with the Lord too. I thank God for Zachary. We took Zachary in for his 4 month well baby visit and shots yesterday. He did great. He is technically not 4 months until this Thursday August 9th so I will post about it then :-)))

Hope you have a good day.

Monday, August 06, 2012

We love you, Zachary

Last night was your first night in your high chair!  I can't believe that you will be 4 months old this coming Thursday, August 9th.  I am so proud of you, son.  Your daddy and I love you so much. 

I thank God that I didn't find out about my brain cancer until after you were born.  He even gave me the Grace to breastfeed you and raise you normally for 14 weeks.  He kept you safe when I collapsed.  He allowed the tumor to grow without any symptoms.  The doctors feel that the tumor is slow growing.  The last two neurosurgeons do.  The first neurosurgeon, who didn't want to do surgery, felt that the tumor was fast growing, probably around 3.5 months, but the second and third opinions said that this did not match my symptoms.  If the tumor had been fast growing, I would have had more symptoms.  So I am grateful for that. I read about this teenager in Idaho who died 12 days after giving birth to her son.  She had stage 3 astrocytoma, which is what I have, or at least what I have been told I have and it had spread to other parts of her body.  Which thankfully, for now, I don't have.  I admire this girl's courage.  I would have done the same thing.  Thank you, LORD JESUS for sparing me this decision.

Here is the Stormie Omartian devotional for today:

"Dear God, I thank You that You make all things new.  I pray that today You will make me and my attitude new.  Help me to get rid of any mind-set that would keep me from becoming more like You and receiving the blessings You have for me.  Make me more and more into the image of Christ."

I heard a loud voice from heaven saying..."God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I mae all things new."  Revelation 21:3-5.

I am ready to be made new, LORD!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Pink and sparkly

How cute is our Zachary!? Haha I am sure every parent says that as some point, right? He just keeps getting cuter every day! Today is going to be a good Sunday. I am currently sitting on our back porch, watching the world wake up. I did my quiet time with the Lord already. He is chasing me to spend more time in His presence. I enjoy spending time in His presence each day. It calms and centers me.

I dreamt about getting a pink and sparkly and wide bandana to cover my head scar after my brain surgery. Normal headbands will likely be to right and I know that I will be self conscious about my looks so maybe if I get a bandana that is stylish beforehand that will make me feel better. A girl needs to look cute even if she is having her head cuts rom ear to ear. I am having brain surgery in 11 days. I have been praying for the Lord to cove this entire process with His Grace. Luke from the Bible was a physician. The Lord knows my needs and He knows every little minutiae about the surgery, from the pre op Functional MRI next Thursday to the actual brain surgery on the 16th. My dad wrote to Dr. Q from Australia ad Dr. Q already wrote him back! And they corresponded in Spanish!

My hearts desire is that Zachary learn Spanish. Maybe even German too. I would love to teach him these languages. I am going to do my will and Advanced Health Directives this week before the surgery. Not something that any 32 year old should have to think of. But it's there just in case. I would love for Zev to teach Zachary about me and I fully trust that he will. To take him to Australia, to let him meet my family there. To have a love for Sydney Harbour in the summertime, to love to be out on the water, to experience our beautiful beaches. To the place where mum and dad met, where we lived, got married, had our receptions. I would love for Zachary to see Peru and Uruguay. To see Canberra and ADFA and meet our Canberra friends. I pray that God allows me the opportunity to show Zachary these things but if not, they are listed here ok!?!!! Haha
Here is the devotional for today:

Sit quietly in My Presence while I bless you. Make your mind like a still pool of water, ready to receive whatever thoughts I drop into it. Rest in My sufficiency, as you consider the challenges this day presents. Do not wear yourself out by worrying about whether you can cope with the pressures. Keep looking to Me and communicating with Me, as we walk through this day together.

Take time to rest by the wayside, for I am not in a hurry. A leisurely pace accomplishes more than hurried striving. When you rush, you forget who you are and Whose you are. Remember that you are ROYALTY in MY KINGDOM. (I put those last words in capitals :-))

Thanks, Sarah Young.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Hold my hand

Hold my hand and walk joyously with Me through this day. Together we will savor the pleasures and endure the difficulties it brings. Be on the look out for everything I have prepared for you: stunning scenery, bracing winds of adventure, cozy nooks for resting when you are weary, and much more. I am your Guide, as well as your constant Companion. I know every step of the journey ahead of you, all the way to heaven.

You don't have to choose between staying close to Me and staying on course. Since I am the Way, staying close to Me is staying on course. As you focus your thoughts on Me, I will guide you carefully along today's journey. Don't worry about what is around the next bend. Just concentrate on enjoying My Presence and staying in step with Me.

From Sarah Young's Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence devotional.

John 14:6 I am the way the truth and life. No one comes to the Father except through me.