Friday, September 29, 2006

Love Cast Out Fear

Just so you know, I have a few pictures posted today, it has my Mom and David in the picture, my grandpa, my sister Mandy, and my older sister Tara with her boyfriend Jason. Just so you know who everyone is!

Okay, so we are going to Mexico. Last night I was just thinking so much about going and if it was or wasn't a good idea to go. I love Mexico and the hospital, but I want to do what God wants my Mom to do. Is this making since? So, I was thinking about all of my Mom's pills last night. When you get to the hospital they give each patient a very large bag of pills for them to take. It's up to the patient or family to divide them up to make it easier each day to take them. Last time, David organized them all for my Mom, and made sure she did everything she was supposed to. So last night I was really worried about this. What if I mess up, what if I get the pills wrong? Then I thought, God really doesn't want us to go. Or does he? I was so scared. I just kept praying that God would make it obvious. And I already talked to David, he thought it was a good idea we went, actually everyone has been saying it is a good idea. Finally I started thinking, maybe this is Satan making me scared. No, it couldn't be. I shouldn't blame this on him, I thought I was trying to put off what God wanted me to do, by blaming it on the devil. I was just in bad shape last night.

So today, after talking to a very wise friend of mine, she explained that she thought for sure it was Satan. He uses fear to derail God's plan. The bible says Perfect love casts out fear. If that was God last night, then why was I so terrified? Realizing this, has given me peace about the whole situation. Not that I'm still erie about going by ourselves, but I'm not afraid. I believe this is where God wants us.

My mom had a pretty good day today. She was tired, but felt okay. Her speech is still not all the way there and she is having memory problems, but I think soon it will be gone. We had thought that my Mom's brain cancer was related to the cell phone towers in front of our house. After ordering a meter though, we found out they aren't putting off bad signals. Actually microwaves, put off deadly signals. We got rid of ours! :) We are kind of glad that the towers have nothing to do with the cancer, that way we don't have to move, but we were also thinking it would be neat to know, what caused this cancer.

Thank you everyone who has been praying for my Mom and me. I really do appreciate it. We are leaving for Mexico on October 5th, so only a few more days. We are staying for 3 weeks. I will continue to blog in Mexico, it will give me something to do! :)

Oh, I'm posting a picture of my Mom with her favorite dog, Grace! Hope you enjoy it!
Love, Danielle

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good Day and Plans Ahead

Okay, today seemed like a really good day. I'm not in my Mom's body, so I'm not sure how she feels. She looks great, but when I asked how she felt, she said she seemed like she wasn't there. She can't really think about things, but she wasn't in pain. She kind of just looks sad if you look at her. But she did have a good day today. I am so glad! We had my sister Tara out today with my Grandma. Also in the afternoon Cheryl and Mrs. Tate came by. It was really nice to visit with them. Then, around dinner time Jake showed up. I guess my email worked last night. My mom was sort of getting depressed not being able to see all of our friends. So today she got to see some friends and tomorrow we are having some more people over. I am praying that my Mom has a good day. It is so hard to see her when she doesn't feel good.

We made reservations today to go back to Mexico next week. We want my Mom to be as healthy as possilbe. Mexico is a great place. The hospital down there is very effective and I am looking forward to having my Mom go again. I am still praying the Lord will work a miracle in my Mom's life. We need this, she would be such a great testimony to everyone around her. Not that she isn't already, she definately is. My mom is one of the strongest people I know. She loves God so much, and even when she is sick, she tries to serve him and please him. That's amazing! :)

Today was a good day for me too! I had my permit when I turned 15 and then I renued it when I turned 16, but when I turned 17 I let it expire. So for a year I haven't been able to drive. So, today I re-took the test and I got my permit again. Then when we get back from Mexico, I will try to get my license...Hopefully!

Also, about the documentary coming out with our family in it... It will be possible for others to see it. So, Celeste, I can get you a copy when it comes out. It will probably be a year though. I know that's a long time. . Well, not really.

I better go. I'll try to write more tomorrow!
Love, Danielle

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Losing Hope

The last two days have been so tough. My mom realized that she wasn't getting better and started losing hope. This was the absolute worst thing that could have happened to her. She just kept telling me, "Danielle, I'm getting worse, It's not getting better." I tried assuring her that it would get better, it just takes time and that we have to have hope. She answered me with, "No, I don't." Oh, it broke my heart when she said that. How could my mom, such a strong women, be ready to give up? This couldn't be happening to me. But it was....

I called the Doctor in Mexico and we discussed coming back down to Mexico for more weeks, getting her MRI done, and upping her steroids. After getting off the phone with him, my mom had woken up from a nap, and she said she felt great! From that point on she just got better and better. Her speech was still confused, but she said she felt great! Praise God. I then talked to her again and she said she wouldn't give up anymore, no matter what. She knew she had to keep on believing and have faith. Last night we were able to work on the shed on our property. She hasn't been able to do that since we've been home. Since she felt so great last night, we figured today would be a great day.

Well, it didn't turn out the way I hoped. My mom's speech is almost completely gone now. When she does say things, nothing really makes since. She is back into a really down mood. I just don't know what to do to get her into a better mood. Nothing is funny to her anymore and nothing sounds good to do. She can't drive right now, so we can't really go many places. I've got to think of something though. Her birthday is next Monday, so I'm wanting to do something really special for her. I asked her what she wanted and the only thing she said was to get better. I felt horrible. The only thing my mom wants, is something I can't give her. All the money in the world can't guarantee that gift.

I'm praying that she will start to feel better again this afternoon and we won't have to increase the steroids. I'm scared to give her anymore.

Thanks for everyone who has been praying. I believe this is what really helps. Her MRI is Monday, so pray for good and positive results.

Love, Danielle

Monday, September 25, 2006


Does God really hear all of our prayers? Then why isn't my mom being healed?

These are the types of questions going on inside my head. I know it's wrong. The Lord hears all of our prayers, he just doesn't always answer them on our time or in the way we think he should. Please pray for my mom. Prayer is the most powerful thing for my mom right now, so as many as we can get, helps!

We had a very busy weekend. David, the man making the documentary of our family, came to visit this last weekend. Some ladies from the local homeschool group organized a fundraiser to raise money for my mom's medical bills. David wanted to be here for that. To show how the community pulls together. We are so blessed to have such good friends, and many are friends we have never even met. I'm just amazed by that. We then had a get-together at our house on Saturday night after the fundraiser. It was a nice time of fellowshiping and praying. After being gone for 3 weeks, it was so nice to see everyone.

On Sunday, we were able to go back to our old church, IFF. It was very nice to see all of them also. The teaching was on judging, but there also were comments made about being content. Was that a shock to hear! How can I be content? Everything is going wrong, I don't like my life. And especially, how am I supposed to have joy? A friend of mine explained that joy is not happiness. So easily we get confused with this. We think we should be happy when tribulation comes. That is hard! I have to have joy knowing that God is in control and trust that he will take care of everything.

Today, my mom had a really tough day. She finally acknowledged to herself that she was getting worse. We tried having our new student, Shay come today, but my mom's words just wouldn't come out, at least not very clear. I felt so bad for her. She just cried telling me that it isn't getting better, nothing is. So, we talked a long time downstairs, we cried together and expressed our fears. It is just so scary here. Seeing my mom get worse and worse is really scary. I don't think I can handle it. I don't understand why anyone would have to go through this. And I think it is hard, but it must be really scary for my Mom. She is the one in pain, that can't think straight, and given no hope. She is so much better than me. I couldn't do it. My mom loves God with her whole heart and even though she can't think of her words and get her thoughts straight, she never forgets that God will take care of her and her comfort will come from him. I am encouraged by that.

The last 2 weeks it had been ackward, because it was like there was no mother-daughter relationship anymore. After today though, I think it is back! We just laid there together, cried together, talked together, and even laughed together. It's not the same as it was, but it is a new way to share our time with one another. That is a prayer answered! :)

Well, I need to type a study guide for tomorrow, so that's all for now. I'm praying that I can give a great update on my mom tomorrow!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Not so good morning

Today my mom woke up with a headache. As far as I know this is her first real headache since we have been home. I don't understand though. She is on a very high dosage of steroids and her symptoms aren't going away. I really believed when we got back from Mexico that her cancer would be gone. I believed she was healed. It's so hard to believe that now, because to me it seems like she is getting worse. I can't tell her that though. I have to stay positive. And I'm trying, It's just so hard to be around it all day and not see everything that is wrong.

The hardest thing for my mom right now is to rest. All her life she has been very active and she loves to work. So, with her cancer she is supposed to rest a lot and not do much physical activity. Well, she isn't. She thinks she is resting a lot, but she is actually working a lot. I feel so bad for her. I know she can tell we are all getting frustrated, but I don't want her to think it is with her, because it's not. I'm just sick of this cancer life.

I was talking with a friend and we were saying how odd it is. When nothing is going on in our lives we think our lives are boring. But when something bad like this happens, we just want to go back to our boring ol' lives. We should be greatful for the boring days, at least nothing bad happend. I hope once this is all over, I can look at my days like that.

Today we are picking up David I. from CA. He is coming to MO this weekend to film our family some more and film a fundraiser that will be going on tomorrow for our family. I'm hoping that my mom will feel good this weekend so she can spend some time with David. Last time he saw her she was doing great!

Today I'm busy with baking bread, making sauce, cleaning house, and doing laundry. I'm also trying to learn Spanish, so I'm hoping I will have sometime today to do that. That's alright if I don't though.

Some people think that the reason my mom is doing so much is because my sister and I aren't helping. I wish they could only be here. I try so hard to take over what my mom is doing. But I am not in charge of her. I can't demand that she stops and I can't be rude to her. I suggest all the time that she let me do it and she go down and rest, but it just doesn't work. I wish she would try it, at least for a week and see if the rest makes her feel better. It's worth a try...I think.

Well, I better go. I need to finish more things up. I just had to get all this out! The whole reason I started this blog was to get this out. My journal was getting too full! I never intended for anyone to actually read this. :) Oh, my grandparents are here now. I better go!


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oh, what a day!

How should I say was not the best day. I've always heard that cancer patients have good and bad days, and yes, that's true, but I believe the family members will also have good and bad days. No one has ever told me that part though. I've pretty much figured out that every other day is a "hard" day for me.

My mom woke up today pretty depressed. There was really nothing we could do to make her happy. We had to depend on the Lord. And he was good, he got her out of that mood and gave her joy. She did start having more trouble today talking though. She feels okay, her speech is just confused. We are praying that this will all go away. Seeing this happens, makes me think of all the bad memories, and it makes me lose faith. I have to just look down at my necklace and remember what Jesus said, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains." I'd love t have that faith!

I was really overwhelmed today with cooking. Before we were on this diet, I enjoyed cooking so much, it was actually fun to me. I guess because all of this is new, I'm just not used to it. And hopefully soon it will become something I enjoy to do and it will stop being a chore. I can't wait for that day! :)

My sister and grandparents came over tonight. It was nice to be able to visit with them, I always think how nice it would be if my sister lived at home with us. I'm praying though that she will change her life and surrender her will to the Lord.

Well, I guess that is all for now. Please pray that tomorrow is a good day!

Bye for now,

Monday, September 18, 2006

Talent Show

While in Mexico, one man decided it would be nice to have a talent show at least once a week. So, our second week down there, he put together the whole show. He asked for volunteers to be in it, and if you didn't volunteer, he would make something up for you to do, regardless if you knew how. :)

Our family decided to sing a few hymns and I played guitar a little bit. Mandy and I also did a "magic" trick, and we both juggled. It was so much fun. The man who put it all together, brought his saprano flute, so he played pieces from the Baroque Period. One man sang a song and David read some scripture. It was really a nice time.

Then came our week to organize the talent show. It was our last week there, so we were very familiar with the place and weren't too shy to ask everyone to participate. This time the show was pretty funny! We had decided that us girls, my mom, Mandy, myself, and Carmela would all do a dance. First you have to know, every morning when at the hospital, each patient gets an IV full of vitamens. So, Carmela one of the first days she was there, made a joke that her IV pole was sort of like her dance partner. So...going off this, we turned 4 IV poles into dance partners for each of us. We learned from one of the nurses there, the style of Mexican dance, and Mandy and I made up a dance to the Mexican Hat Dance. None of us had skirts with us, so we used white bath towels for our skirts. We pinned them to the front of us, so it would look like a flowing skirt. Boy, was it funny! But even funnier, were our guys (IV poles) We put hooded sweatshirts on them, with a hanger underneath for the shoulders. We drew faces on paper and got our other props from Carmela, like a wig and hat. See what do you think...It was a lot of fun. I think it was good for all the patients to get together and spend time together. Our talent show didn't only consist of dancing, there was much more singing, and a card trick. It will be a night we won't forget!

Mexico Trip

So there we were, on our way to Mexico. My mom wasn't really able to walk good, so we had a wheelchair ready for her when we got to the airport. My mom also couldn't talk very good, so through all of the grunts and facial expressions, we could pretty much figure out what she meant. Although, not all of the time. My mom at this point, knew she was getting on a plane, but didn't know where she was going, or who was going with her. She kept to David, my stepdad, and asking if he was going with her. We then would assure her, he was going, and Mandy and I would be there with her too. That would make her happy everytime we would tell her.

The plane ride went pretty good. I never actually sat with my mom, but from what I was told she tried talking the entire time. My mom was scared that she had been out of it for over a month. You see, she usually keeps her fingernails short, and so when she would look down at her nails, she thought she must have been sick for a long time, since her nails were so long. Actually, her nails just grew fast, because there was only 1 week that she really couldn't remember. We all tried drawing timelines for her from the time she was diagnosed to the day on the plane. This sort of helped...I think. We then finally arrived in San Diego, and there was a man from the Hospital in Mexico waiting for us to take us across the border.

When we loaded the van, there was already another lady in the front seat, that he had picked up earlier from the airport. She ended up being one of our greatest friends from down there. Her name is Carmela, she is from Illinois and this was her second time going down. She was really an encouragement to talk with, since she had already been down there, and was healed.

Okay, I better not give so much detail, because this is a long story! Arriving at the hospital was great. We came right at lunch time, so we got to meet everyone pretty quickly. There were many patients that first week. It was so strange for me to see everyone though. No one there looked sick. I expected to see REALLY sick people, and older people. It was nothing like that. Everyone was smiling, talking with everyone, and just looked so happy to be there. No one looked sick! There were two guys there that were introduced that day also, David and Brandon. They are college students from CA that came down to make a documentary of the hospital. I am very interested in film making, so this caught my attention. Before they were introduced I noticed the cameras and made a comment to my mom. So anyway, the second day we were down there, Brandon asked me if it would be alright if they followed our family around the rest of the week. So the rest of the week, we did many interviews and just talked with both guys. In the morning and at night a lot I would get my guitar out and we would sing all together. For some reason, they wanted to get that on film? They said they would take the sound out though. I sure do hope!

Through out the first week, my mom improved a lot. She could walk on her own, get her own food, and talk...sort of. By Friday, she was talking a lot more. Our first weekend down there, family from CA came down to visit us. We went shopping in Puerto Nuevo and went out to eat. Since my mom is on a very strict diet she couldn't get anything out, but she did enjoy everyone's company.

While my mom was in Mexico, she received various types of treatments. Almost all of the treatments included heat. Cancer cannot survive if it gets too hot. Also, something very important that everyone should know! Cancer lives off of sugar! Sugar is absolutely the worst thing to have if you have cancer. Some names of the treatments my mom did were, Magna Ray, Hyperthermia, Hyperbaric Chamber, Far Infared Ray, Water Massage, and a Spinalator. My mom also received very low doses of chemo-therapy 3 times a week. There is a name for the way they administer the chemo, it is called IPT which means Insulin Potentiation Therapy. Since cancer thrives on the sugar, they inject you with insulin to drop your blood sugar level. Then when they get you down around 30 to 50, they have an IV dripping with a 5% solution of chemo. Since the cancer is very weak at this point, it is eager to take the chemo. After you IV is done dripping, they give you another bag full of glucose and a sugar filled juice. This is to get the cancer back up, but is actually is taking in all the chemo, which tears it down. I guess it is tricking the cancer cells.

I was really scared when I found out she would be going through this. I thought of her being sick, losing her hair, and just not feeling good. Was I shocked when, they told us that almost every patient there, was taking IPT, and everyone was feeling great and had their hair. And so my mom did receive these treatments, and never once felt sick. She kept a great appetite and was always feeling good.

While down at the hospital, many people asked about my necklace. It was a great witnessing opportunity for me to tell them about the passage my necklace came from. Even though, not everyone was a christian down there, they did believe we have to have some faith. David and Brandon, the one's interviewing, also asked my sister and I many questions about our mustard seeds. They both are christians so it was much easier to explain to them, they understood what I meant. Most people look at me funny, when I say, If I had faith just this size, I could move mountains. It's amazing. I tell people, I must not have very much faith, because I can't do that. I just need faith to believe that God can and will heal my mom. And that is tough sometimes. When bad days come, I think nothing can help, but then God is faithful to show me that he is in control and even though, I can't see any good coming from the situation, there will be some.

By the second weekend we were there my mom was great! David and Brandon came back down just for the weekend to see my mom and interview again. They were amazed to see my mom talking and just completely different. Her face features were back to normal and she was feeling great.

By now we had one week left. My mom was getting homesick for our dogs and the rest of the family. I wanted to be home, but I knew I would miss everyone at the hospital so much. My mom's doctor, Dr. Quintana, was one of our favorite people. He played guitar, so late at night he would give me guitar lessons. He knew lots of mexican songs, so he tried teaching me some of them. The one song we really worked on was Cielito Lindo. He taught me to sing and play it. Well, our last day was so sad for me, not knowing when or if I'd ever see these people again. So as I was saying good-bye I started crying. Dr. Quintana was the last one to see and when he saw that I was crying he said, "canta y no llores" which means sing don't cry. Those are part of the lyrics from Cielito Lindo. That was the one thing that would put a smile on my face. It applied so much. :)

Well, you all should know that my mom was 100% better when we left the hospital. We believe that my mom's healing began Sunday night after we prayed, but we do also believe that God uses Hospital Santa Monica for his glory.

Well, that's all for now. I will post more about different events in Mexico. Hope I didn't ramble on too much! :) Did I?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Our Story

For those of you who don't know our family or our story, I will start at the beginning of all of this.

My mom has been having headaches for the past 3 years. She just assumed they were migranes and went on with normal life. Not until last month, did the headaches start to get much worse. She was having horrible pain, but her speech also started to get confused. She would have spells that usually lasted no more than 10 minutes, where she couldn't come up with words and she would get very tounge tied. After 1 day of this, my mom went to a Neurologist. Guess what he told her? Migranes, it's hormonial. All the normal stuff. Her doctor appointment was on Thursday and by Sunday my mom was in the Emergency Room. She continued to have these episodes where she couldn't speak, and she started having drool come out of the right side of her mouth. This didn't seem normal to us.

While at the Emergency Room, they did a CT scan and found two masses. They said they couldn't be for sure what they were, without taking her to a different hospital. So, that night my mom was transferred to St. Jospehs in St. Charles, MO. They ran a series of different scans on her and our results said, my mom had two tumors on her brain, and they were 98% sure they were cancerous. The doctor at the hospital gave my mom no hope. He told her that she had few choices. She could, take chemotherapy and radiation and hopefully live 12-18 months, or they could do a needle biopsy to make sure it is cancer, but that leaves her with the high possibility of having no speech the rest of her life, or he said she could go home and wait to die. Aren't these great choices?

My grandparents advised my mom to get a second opinion from a very large hospital in St. Louis. My mom was then transported to Barnes St. Louis, a large cancer hospital. All of the tests there confirmed the same thing, and they gave her the same options. This left me with no hope. The thought of losing my mom tore me apart. How could this be happening to me? You hear about this stuff in movies, not in real life. Although my mom was sick, our family acquired more strength from the Lord, than we could have ever hoped for. My sister and I decided to buy mustard seed necklaces to constantly remind us to hold on to our faith and believe that my mom could be healed. So, since that day of purchasing the necklaces, I've worn it everyday. I can't tell you how much these necklaces have affected people. Well, I'll get into that more later.

While my mom was in the hospital, a lady we had only seen, never really met, showed up at the hospital. I told her what the doctors said, that there was no hope, and she leaned toward me and said, I brought hope! She had many books with her about treating cancer the natural way and she told us her story of how she was healed of her cancer 10 years ago. So, after a week being in hospitals, we took my mom home. Although she has cancer, you couldn't tell anything was wrong with her. Her speech was back and she had pretty much stopped the drooling. We had decided to leave for Mexico on Monday and get treatments for her down there at a Natural Medicine Hospital. Well, things took a turn for the worse on Friday night. My mom had been in a sweat bath, trying to get the toxins out of her body, and the water just got to hot for her. The lady helping with all of the therapies had to step outside to check on the weather, so it was just my mom and me. My mom started saying to me, "It's too hot, I gotta get out of here." She just kept saying that and started to stand up. Then her eyes rolled back and her head and she was out. This was the scaries thing that had ever happened to me. I know the Lord helped me catch my mom, because somehow I got her from the ledge of the tub to the bedroom floor. This would have been hard for me to do on my own. God supernaturally intervened to help me. My mom was out for about 5 minutes. I think this is what made her go downhill. We aren't sure if she had a seizure or she just fainted. We ended up finding out, that the water was just way too hot. We didn't know it at the time, but my mom had no feeling down the right side of her body. She couldn't judge the temperature for herself. On Saturday my mom was pretty bad. She slept pretty much the whole day, she lost her speech almost completely and her face was very much so distorted. And then the worst day of all, Sunday, my mom was completely out. We had people in and out the whole day and she never woke up. We couldn't get her to swallow pills, she wasn't eating, talking, walking, or even responding. I would yell things to her, and she just wouldn't do anything. We had called the elders from our church to come and annoint her and pray for her. So, that night we had many people there for prayer. Now you have to remember, my mom hadn't talked for 2 days now, and after we finished praying my mom sat up in the bed, opened her eyes, and told us she had to go to the bathroom! PRAISE GOD! I was shocked, amazed, Oh words just can't describe it! It was too good to be true! God works fast! Now we were very hopeful, that the Lord had more planned for my Mom, her race isn't finished yet. She helps so many people, teaches so many, and blesses so many. She couldn't go yet, there is more work to be done here. And most of all, I need her. All of us need her! So, that night, we prayed (my family) like Gideon with the fleece. We said if we could get her on the plane to Mexico, than God would heal her. If she wasn't able to fly, then we would take it from there. That night was so scary for me to pray that. I just kept thinking, What if? She might not be able to get on tomorrow and then I really would be out of hope. God is so good though, we were on the plane Monday morning, all of us! Mexico here we come!