I love me some… C.O.W.S.!

Sweet friends and family ~

Yes, I know I have been silent for way too long which is not like me.  But, I wanted to have as much info to update you with so I don’t have too bombard you with too many emails. Here goes…but you’re going to have to wait a minute to find out why I love me some C.O.W.S.!

So – the “Extreme Makeover” went extremely well.  The surgery went exactly as the doctors anticipated it would and the reconstruction is, well, still in the process.  Oh, boy, what a process it is (I might need a new blouse and shirt wardrobe before it’s all done)… absolutely miraculous what these fabulous doctors can do with the talents God has given them. PRAISE THE LORD!

Good news is that there was no more cancer found in the affected breast.  The interesting news is that there were some pre-cancerous, contained cells in the left breast!  I was thrilled to hear that news because the Lord just confirmed exactly what He had led us to do!!  I love it when He speaks and we listen and He confirms it!  Just love that!!  So, again, PRAISE THE LORD!!

Meet Dr. John Pippen; he’s my Oncologist.  He’s cool and fits right in with my other two amazing docs.  The Lord has led me to these THREE WISE MEN who come bearing such unique gifts of wisdom.  I’m blessed beyond words.  These are incredible men with compassionate hearts and I really, really like them allot.  Very important to really like your docs when they are doing some heavy stuff to you.

Remember that I said I really, really do like Dr. Pippen – even though he has given me the big CHEMO order! Only a little yuck-o, not the real ugly kind and I only have to do 4 rounds… starting TOMORROW – August 11th!  Yes – hair will most likely fall out, and the timing of that should be on target with our 8th wedding anniversary.  Maybe I’ll get a red or brunette wig and surprise my man!  It’s not all that bad; ya gotta laugh… and I say, “BRING ON THE AMMO!!” and let’s get ‘er done!

So, here’s my acronym for “chemo”…I made it up (it’s a good one):

Christ Has Eliminated My Opponent!

Love it!

Finally, let me just say that this whole BC thing has been the “best worst thing” that has ever happened to me.  Seriously.  And this is why I am so, so thankful for and love me some C.O.W.S.!!!  My Cloud Of Witnesses!!  I did not make this one up.  Shout out to my buddy, Mac McCoy – youth pastor extraordinaire, now pastoring the yungins at Westminster Pres. in OK City, authentic lover of Jesus and kids!  It was his brainstorm to get older people in the church to start loving on the younger ones and be the Biblical “cloud of witnesses” – cool!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

Let me tell you about my COWs: first of all there’s Mille Henderson and Sharon Penfold from our Wednesday Women at the Well Bible study who coordinated a 24-hour prayer chain for moi on the day of my surgery!!  Unbelievable! People from all over the country were praying!  I’m just blown away by that!

Sweetest friends, Lacy Redmond, Liz Brantley and Lila Lee Long Pond (seriously) – coordinated meals to be delivered to our home from some of the most talented non-professional chefs in Dallas !  Wow.  Thank you for the food and the extra 5 pounds, ladies!  It was a wonderful healing process each and every time I lifted the fork to my mouth!

Then, get this (and I’m about to bawl as I write this).  At 5:45 AM on the morning of my surgery as John and I were waiting in a private hospital room, FIFTEEN of our dearest friends, guys and gals, crowded in and around John and me to pray and see me off.  Now – what do you suppose makes a person want to get up and out of bed, get dressed, put on their face and drive to Baylor Hospital at the crack of dawn?  I can’t even tell you how much that meant to John and me.  Then, as I traveled via roller-bed from one end of the hospital to the other where the surgery room awaited me, the entourage followed along!  It looked like a parade!!  Several more friends joined up with the others in the waiting room to keep John company for the 4 1/2 hour surgery.  I think they had a party… without me.  The nerve!

So, if that wasn’t enough, my sweetie pie, middle-sister, Marilee, spent two nights in the hospital with me and stayed a week at our house to change my bandages and care for me as I could not care for myself.  She was so loving and patient and such a good nurse… and friend.  It was some very, very special sister-time and I will never, ever forget it.  She was so sweet and patient to train John and my dear friend, Candy Hill to take over after she returned to Austin . She went beyond the call of family… and was so like Jesus to me!  Hard to believe she used to bug me so bad when she was a kid – and now…!  Wow!

I have been so loved on its ridiculous!  I may not recover from such an outpouring of love!!

So, I leave you with this – I’ve taken a little liberty with the Mark Shultz song, “Cloud of Witnesses” below.  If you’ve not ever heard this, you’re in for a treat and a tear-jerker.  You can find him on iTunes… and it’s worth it to take the time to listen.  Here goes…with my apologies to Mark Shultz, and with deep, deep gratitude to each and every single one of you who thought of John and me, prayed for us, loved us, emailed us, sent us flowers, cards, gifts, food, more food, and much love…

Oh, how I love me some C.O.W.S.!
(Cloud of Witnesses)
Original lyrics and music – Mark Shultz

They’d come together through the years,
The best of friends faith could foster
So when they found out one of them
Got the news
She had breast cancer,
They ran to her
And prayed and put their hands upon her head,
And slowly one by one
They’d all become
A cloud of witnesses
As they sent above a prayer
They took a hold of hands and
circled ’round a friend
A cloud of witnesses with a faith just like a rock,
They showered her with love and praise to God
As a cloud of witnesses

With much love,
Punky and John