AWAKE

imageOh the brain fog! Anyone else relate? I have never experienced “brain fog” as it feels like an out of body experience. When I first started on my thyroid replacement, I thought to myself there is no way I can live like this. My mind is starting to be forgetful, spacy and I catch myself staring off into the unknown as I feel nothing or is it peace?

When your diagnosed with any type of cancer, you have to wander and work through loads of questions your mind is flooded with. My journey has been 10+ years in the making and for the last 2 of them, its been a battle to be heard. Could this leave someone with anger? You bet! Those lingering questions hang out there like a widow maker that is still part of its tree yet needs to be address before damage catches someone off guard. Has it spread? Why at 25yrs young do I have to deal with this? Will this change my future? Ya’ll get my drift. Personally I am stuck in “limbo” until my radioactive treatment is completed and body scan done.


I have really started to pursue what this season means for me as a Christian. I look at this as a room I am passing through with a mass amount of corners.
* The impatient corner as to what the future might hold.
* The prideful corners I wish to take back control of my body.
* The Shameful corner in those moments I don’t trust God because lets face it, I’m human and cancer sucks.

These broken and beaten corners of our hearts are some of the most holy places. Its the middle of the loneliness, darkness of sin, in the shadows of shame, that God meets His people and begins to rebuild His temple. Heart by Heart He is constructing and eternal place of worship for me-and you! I have to choose to continuously AWAKE to brokenness. AWAKE to sin. AWAKE to the hurting. AWAKE to the injustice and redemption. AWAKE to love.

CANCER has awaken me to so many things. So, as I’m taking breaths each day, I fight to pray these words.
God of Israel “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I may be free from pain” 1 Chronicles 4:10


Ya’ll- The Lord serves up portions of His presence each day. Do not let anything be wasted. Claim whatever difficult season you are facing. Give it to God. Lean on Him. Trust Him. Go after His heart. I hear the Lord in those hard moments say, JULIE. IM WITH YOU. The day Cancer showed up, God shows up bigger.image

-joyfuljulie

The Beginning of Life Change

imageHow did I get here? I can’t believe just two months ago I finally got taken seriously and the results weren’t what I expected. Is life ever what we expect? Here I am fresh out of a major surgery & life as I know it won’t be the same.

So let me back up a little, well  give or take 10yrs, to where this all began. I was a 15 year old active girl, playing softball, working in the melon farms and spending my summer outside with my twin and our group of friends. I was always on the go! I started to feel really tired during one of my softball tournaments and eventually say out a few games. My friend(now brother-n-law) notice a lump on my throat and jokingly made fun of it. My mother noticed and took me to my doctor. After testing it was revealed to be early Hasimotos and all they could do was “keep watch” over it. Needless to say for 10 years I dealt with bone pain, no weight gain, body tempature issues and a mass of other things, but on paper all my levels looked fine. Nothing was ever done.


Fast toward to 2013 early morning before a long work week. I woke up with throat lump sticking out of my neck and it was so sore I called into work. I finally pushed for answers and relief so my doctor sent me for ultrasound and biopsy. The Nodule was large in my left thyroid lobe and my biopsy came back normal. For two whole years again nothing was done. No meds. No pain relief. I had lived so long like this it was my normal.

Febuary 2016 this nightmare happened again and the same test were ordered. My FNA Biospy came back suspicious for Papillary  Carcinoma. I found out sitting at work alone. My whole life changed with one phone call. I immediatly called my husband, then a friend who went through this at age 12. Y’all, I’m so thankful for those people God puts in our life at the perfect time. A few doctor appointments later it was decided, I was going to have a left lobectomy to take care of my 2.3cm nodule. image

I was wheeled into a 2-3 hours surgery. My husband was a true champ! Anyone who is married out there or with a forever partner knows that having someone to share a difficult journey with is a blessing! My surgery lasted 4 hours and they had to do a COMPLETE THYROIDECTOMY since they found Papillary and Follicular carcinoma in right and left lobes.  Apparently I always surprise people and this is not what I wanted as an outcome. But this is the season I’m in.


My hospital recovery went well and incision is healing everyday. My next steps are Radioactive Iodine Treatment in June. It’s basically a radioactive pill that only attacks the thyroid(what’s left anyways) and kills it. I’m wanting to share this  journey and this season of life because I know there is a purpose in it! I know that JOY always comes in the morning! (Psalms 30:5)  imageimageThis world is temporary! I’m giving God all the glory through this cancer because He sent his son to die for Me and you! He is with me through all this! If one person can get closer to Jesus or come to know the Lord through my suffering…..it’s all worth it! I’m fighting back with JOY in every moment! Praying for everyone out there who is struggling with the hard questions. It’s ok to cry, to breakdown, to sulk, to feel empty but don’t let that define you! Cancer is not the end of your story, it’s only part of it! Stay joyful!

-joyfuljulie

(Acts 20:24)