Lana Elder

I'm believin'!

California, Here I Come!

Hi from Montana!  We’ve just arrived at Eric’s sister’s house tonight on our way to California.  We’re taking our daughter Makari to start school there next week.  We’ve had a great trip so far seeing a horse auction and Mount Rushmore and of course, Wall Drug, where everyone seems to stop on their way out west.

Thanks for praying for me. My hemoglobin came up enough on its own that I didn’t have to have a blood transfusion before we left.  But it was still low enough that they recommended I take a shot of aranesp to increase the red blood cells. I’ve also recently been having a lot of bone pain, so I’ve been taking some stronger pain medication, which  causes nausea, so I was taking anti-nausea medicine (which causes… just kidding… actually I’m not just kidding but you know how that goes.). All to say, please send up some prayers for healing in my bones.  The last three days have actually been a lot better.  But during this painful episode I really had to fight the battle in my mind, thinking “Is this going to get worse? Should I really be going on this trip to California?  Are my bones going to break? Is the pain from the cancer or from the bone treatment, which also causes pain?  If I keep taking the pain medication, will I become addicted to it?” At times like this I really have to stay focused on the Word of God.  God’s Word, the Bible, has really helped me get through all of this.  I have an app on my phone from YouVersion.com that has the whole Bible on it in many different versions.  I love it because I can read it while waiting at the doctor’s offices, or waiting to pick up the kids at an event, or lying in bed contemplating my situation.  God’s Word always gives me hope.  During this recent painful episode, I was reading from Ephesians 6:10, reminding myself I’m in a battle and I need to keep my battle gear ready.  It says:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV84)

So I spend a lot of time praying.  Thankfully I have been feeling a lot better and decided to go on the trip.  I haven’t had to take the stronger pain medication for a couple days now, just ibuprofen from time to time.  I’m so thankful, but would still appreciate your prayers for healing from this bone pain.

Thank you too for praying for the blisters on my feet.  While my feet are still sensitive, the blisters are gone, and I’m more aware now when the chemo builds and I need to be more careful.

I also wanted to update you about my hair, just as an advance warning if you haven’t seen me recently.  It’s turned silvery-white in the last couple months.  I guess all the brown fell out and left just the gray.  When I look in the mirror, I have to look twice because I don’t recognize myself! I am starting to see some short dark hair grow back in.  Anyway, in case you see me, feel free to say, “Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe how gray your hair is!” I won’t be offended, because I can’t believe it either!  I’ve posted a picture Eric took of us in Wall, South Dakota last night, just to break in the new look.

Lana and kids in Wall, SD

That’s my update for now.  We’re here in Montana for a few days and then head west to California.  I’m glad I’m not traveling in a covered wagon on this trip, but still appreciate your prayers for my bones to remain strong, my hemoglobin to keep increasing, and the sensitivity in my hands and feet to subside.  (As long as I’m asking for prayer, you can also prayer for my left thumb which has gone numb from this chemo.  Thanks for letting me be super specific with you!  It’s just that I keep seeing God answer when I ask you to pray!)

Love to you all and a big “Thank you!” for helping me to fight this battle.

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