Lana Elder

I'm believin'!

Latest Results

Thank you all for praying for me. Here’s my latest update. On Thursday Feb. 16th I had a full body bone scan and chest CT. The results came back that it looks like the cancer is already in my back bone, liver and lungs. This was devastating news to us and I honestly thought I might have a heart attack just thinking about it! Thankfully my heart settled down and I’m back on the road to full faith and belief that I will get through this. Thank you all for your prayers I do believe they helped me to get back on track quickly. I feel very healthy otherwise and am still surprised that this is going on inside my body. I am heading back to Northwestern Monday morning to have a lung biopsy and a back biopsy. They want to find out if these additional tumors in those areas are the same as the breast cancer. This will help to determine the course of treatment. It can take up to five days to get the results back so it may be awhile before I post again. Eric and I have been praying that God would reveal to us the truth about this situation and although we didn’t really want to hear this latest report we are very thankful to know more about what is going on. We are so thankful to have so many friends praying and your prayers mean the world to us right now. In fact, a wonderful friend of mine is organizing a 24 hour prayer vigil for me and my family. My husband and kids need the prayer covering as much as I do. It will begin on Monday, Feb. 27. at 7:00 am and continue until Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:00am. You can pray wherever you are. I definitely know your prayers are making a difference. In the book of James it says “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” I feel so incredibly blessed to have you all praying for me. Thank you again. (By the way, you can sign up to receive these posts by email from the link at the right.)

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Lana’s Health

Thanks so much for all your prayers and encouraging words for Lana and our whole family.  We really appreciate them so much…they’re keeping us going!  Lana asked me to post a message here on her blog that I wrote last Sunday (February 19th) for our other website (www.theranch.org) for those of you who may not have read it yet.  As odd as it may sound, I’ve re-read this message many times myself, as the words from God’s Word are so comforting to me!  Here’s the message…

—————–

Lana’s Health
by Eric Elder
www.theranch.org

Dear Friends,

I normally use this space to write some words of encouragement to you, but this week I could use some encouragement myself.

A few weeks ago my wife and I received the surprising news that she has breast cancer.  Two days ago, we received the even more surprising news that it was not a Stage 1 breast cancer with one lump in her breast, but that it is actually a Stage 4 breast cancer, with multiple tumors that have already spread to her lungs, liver and spine.

If you know Lana, you know that she’s the picture of health…she’s at her ideal body weight, she eats well, she runs 2-3 miles every few days, and her blood work is perfect in every way.  She feels good and strong and healthy.  Other than the lump in her breast that we discovered in December, and some minor pain in her lower back that started soon after that, we wouldn’t have even thought to have her tested for anything that could possibly be going wrong inside her body.  Even when people do find lumps in their breasts, the majority of the time those lumps turn out to be harmless.  But not this time.

I’ve prayed with many people over the years with many types of cancer.  I’ve seen some people healed naturally, others supernaturally, and still others who haven’t been healed in the way that we had fervently hoped or prayed, including my own mother who died of breast cancer twenty-one years ago.  But even in those instances where God hasn’t healed people in the way that I had hoped, I have seen God use even those situations for good in the end.  As good and miraculous as healing is, I know that there is still more that Christ offers us than just the healing that we desire.  As the Apostle Paul says:

“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

I believe in healing.  I’ve seen people healed with my own eyes, and through my own prayers, numerous times.  God wants us to be healed and has wired our bodies to heal themselves as much as possible, whether it’s the coagulating of blood to heal a scrape on our skin, or the multiplication of white blood cells to fight off a raging infection.

But there’s also an enemy at work whose main goal, according to Jesus, seems to be to steal, kill, and destroy.  As Jesus said:

“The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy; …” (John 10:10a).

But Jesus didn’t leave it there.  He went on to say:

“… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b).

The healings and miracles of Jesus are so numerous that the pages of the Bible can’t even contain them all.  As the Apostle John said:

“Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25).

And yet as miraculous and amazing and God-ordained as healing is, there are some things that are even more amazing… like forgiveness… and the peace that passes understanding… and eternal life.

When some men in the Bible brought their friend to Jesus to be healed, having pressed through the crowds and cutting a hole in the roof to get their friend to Jesus, Jesus said to the sick man,

“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2b). 

The religious leaders were shocked that Jesus would make such a bold statement, knowing that only God Himself has the power to forgive sins.  But knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them:

“Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home” (Matthew 9:5-7).

To Jesus, the forgiveness of sins seems to be just as miraculous, if not more so, than healing.  And considering what Jesus had to go through in order to forgive us of our sins, it seems like forgiveness is quite possibly the harder of the two.

When Jesus Himself was headed for the cross, way too young and way too innocent, rather than fighting His death, He submitted to the will of His Father in heaven, knowing that His Father’s plans were even more glorious than anything anyone could have imagined.  Yet Jesus still prayed that if there was any way possible, that His Father would take the cup of death away from Him so  that He wouldn’t have to drink it.  At the same time, He trusted His Father completely regardless of the outcome, saying

“…yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42b).

He sought for the peace of His Father above all else, and He encouraged His disciples to do the same:  As Jesus told His disciples,

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

And ultimately, what could compare to the promise of eternal life?  As Lana told a friend this weekend:

“For me, it’s a win-win situation.  Either I go to be with Jesus, or I get to stay here and be with Eric and my family.”

As Paul said,

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:20-24). 

Jesus came to give us life to the full, both here on earth and in heaven forever.  This is the hope that we have in Christ, and this is the hope for which He gave up His life.

So with both of those hopes in mind, can I ask for your earnest prayers on our behalf?  We’re praying for healing and more, that God would heal Lana’s body completely and gloriously, and through it all, that God’s name would be glorified in ways that go beyond anything we could ask or imagine.  Thank you so much.

Will you pray with me?

Father, thank You for revealing to us this cancer that is at work within Lana’s body so that we can know what to do next.  Lord, we pray for healing and more, that You would heal her body completely and gloriously, and through it all, that Your name would be glorified in ways that go beyond anything we could ask or imagine.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Elder Family Picture

P.S.  Thanks so much for your prayers.  They mean the world to us.  Here’s one of Lana’s favorite pictures of our family. Lana is second from the right, and I’m second from the left. Some friends of ours are organizing a special day of prayer and fasting for Lana and me and our family.  If you’d like to join us in prayer, you don’t have to come anywhere, but simply pray for us throughout the day and night as you can.  This special day of prayer will start on Monday, February 27th at 7:00 a.m., through Tuesday, February 28th, at 7:00 a.m.  We’re in the Central time zone herein Illinois (GMT -6), but your prayers matter more to us than the time zone!  If you want to let us know you’ll be praying, you can post a note on Lana’s blog that she’s just set up to keep people updated on her situation.  I’ve included the link below.  Please also pray for her tomorrow (Monday, February 20th) for two more biopsies that she’ll be going through to test the tumors on her lung and back, that these biopsies will be helpful in determining what to do next and not harmful in any way.  Thanks again.  Here’s the link to Lana’s blog:
https://lanaelder.wordpress.com

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More tests

Thanks again for your prayers. I really feel encouraged by them. I’m heading to Chicago today for further testing to determine if the cancer has spread at all. Then I have an appointment with the doctor next week to go over the results. I appreciate your prayers!

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First world problems

A few weeks ago I took my daughter shopping for her birthday. We picked up my niece in Champaign and headed to the mall. We weren’t too far down the road when we were stuck in some traffic. My niece commented, “My friend would say this is just a first world problem.” She then explained that in a third world country this wouldn’t be a problem because most people don’t have cars, let alone traffic. It made me thankful to have a car, and a car with heat too! It became our phrase for the night.

When we got to the mall and had to park somewhere further than we wanted…..first world problem! Wow! We GET to park at a shopping extravaganza. After an hour or two of shopping we sat down to eat. My back ached…..first world problem. We are so privileged to be able to buy food and sit in a beautiful atrium and eat! You get the idea. So last week when I received the call from the doctor that I had breast cancer, my first thought was “Okay God, you must be up to something!” and my second thought was “First World Problem”.

Really. I’m thankful that I’ve found some good doctors to help walk me through this, because in December my husband and I attended a meeting of some dear friends who are working in Kenya. They are helping to train women to do monthly breast exams in an effort to find breast cancer in its earliest stages. My husband Eric asked what happens when they find a lump. They replied, many times nothing can be done because they don’t have the means nor the access to medical facilities.

That night, after hearing our friends speak, I discovered the lump in my breast. Okay, to be totally honest, my husband discovered the lump in my breast *blush*. Obviously, I wasn’t doing a very good job at my self exams.

I scheduled my mammogram in January and had my biopsy Feb 1st. They called Feb 2nd with the news that it was cancerous. I have had a great peace about it all. I really do believe God knows what He’s doing. My hope continues to be in Him. Since I am still in the early stages of all this, I don’t really know much. I have been on a crash course in breast cancer terminology since I found out. The biopsy report indicates it’s Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, the  most common type of cancer. According to my oncologist it’s staged clinically at stage 1 (they won’t stage it officially until further testing is done). So, I would love and appreciate your prayers. My family and I have been memorizing Psalm 91 and find it very encouraging. I’ll post the words here.

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge—
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

If you’d like to join me in praying I would sincerely appreciate it.

Father, thank You that You know all things. You know what is going on in my body and You know how to heal it and You work out everything for our good. Jesus, I ask You to heal me right now. Take away the cancer cells and replace them with new and healthy cells. Restore my body to the one you intended it to be. Thank You for the doctors and nurses and the wisdom You’ve given them to help bring my body back to full health. Thank You so much for the love and support of my friends and family. I am so blessed. You are such an awesome God. Thank You for the trials as well as the victories. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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