April 30, 2010

Surgery is Done

Lynette is in recovery.  The surgery went well.  Please keep Lynette and Matt in your prayers.  Pray that Lynette can rest comfortably tonight with no pain, and that Matt gets some sleep and feels God's love surrounding him.  Let's storm the gates of heaven with our prayers. 

Quick Update from Sarah

I'll post more later....but Lynette is still in surgery at this point.  Keep those prayers coming please! She is expected to be in surgery for approximately an hour and a half more.  I will try and update a more complete report of how she is doing later tonight. 

April 29, 2010


I went to the doctor this morning and got a call from scheduling at the hospital.  I wanted to pass along the schedule so that you can be praying specifically.
7:15 I have to arrive at the hospital
7:30 they will do the injection (I believe it's a dye) for the sentinel node biopsy
8:00-9:30 is just downtime, waiting time, anxiety time I'm sure
9:30 they will prep for surgery
11:00 surgery is scheduled to begin
3 or 4:00 reconstruction will probably begin which will take 1-2 hours

This is all tentative as we know hospital schedules are, but it's what I have for now.  Matt or Sarah will be updating either the blog or facebook as things progress.

While I am looking forward to visitors in the hospital or at home, I also do not know how I am going to be feeling.  Please call Matt before visiting just to be sure, I don't want to post his phone number here but if you would like it please either email Sarah or myself and I will forward it on to you.

Thank you all for your continued prayers.  We are all so blessed!

April 28, 2010

Provision, Hugs and Hope

I have been wanting to update but there really isn't anything to update on.  I haven't had any doctor appointments this week yet, surgery is still on for Friday, the kids are taken care of, dinner is taken care of, needs I didn't even know I had, are taken care of. 

I have been waking up at four for quite a while now.  It's almost like it's routine now.  Yesterday I didn't though and I struggled all day to get a few minutes to do my devotional (I finally got 10 minutes while the kids were both napping).  I've never been a morning devotional type of person, typically if I do my BSF it's in the afternoon or evening, but it's been a long time since I've needed God like I need God now.  We always need God, but I depend on his strength more now than ever, which is one thing I've determined he is teaching me through all of this, to depend on him.  Anyway, back to the waking up part of the story.  Sure enough, 4:13 this morning I rolled over and was WIDE AWAKE!  So, rather than fight God on this one, I got up. 

Matthew 6:8 says Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
So true.  Things I hadn't even though of are being taken care of by others.  He has sent me some amazing people to take care of some tasks that aren't going to be so easy or joyous (or even never were joyous)! 
Thank you God for your provision each and every day.

Confession time: Typically I am not a hugger.  I kind of like my personal space and in the past it's always felt very awkward to me to hug someone other than my husband or kids.  But God knew that I would need hugs, he has sent me hundreds of hugs over the past few weeks and while it took some getting used to I've actually come to welcome them.  God knew that I would need those and just forced me to get over it!

Psalm 31:24 says Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God making intercession for us, and the Holy Spirit "intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" (Rom 8:26).  *With their intercession, hope and determination can fill us to overflowing. 
Thank you God for interceding for me and filling me with your hope and determination.  Please continue to give me this same hope and determination throughout this journey.

I will update again when I have more details on surgery times etc, but know that that may not be until later on Thursday.  I have another pre-op appointment at with the plastic surgeon on Thursday late morning and will know a little more then I'm guessing.  Sarah will also be posting for me after surgery on Friday.  Your faithful prayers and our faithful God have been amazing!  Thank you.

* From "Hope for the Journey through Cancer by Yvonne Ortega

April 24, 2010

Red Sea Splitting God

We have been the recipient of so many wonderful gifts recently.  Gifts that I don't deserve.  Gifts of prayer, time, love, gift cards, flowers... the list goes on.  One gift that I received that I have been able to use every day (and just got done using this morning) is a devotional by Yvonne Ortega. 

Today's reading referenced God as a Red Sea Splitting God.  A God that divided the seas!  What a powerful God we serve!  That was such a comfort to me today.

And another comfort from that same reading is Isaiah 43:2
First the NIV version:
When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

And from the Message:
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.

When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
it won't be a dead end—
(v.3) Because I am God, your personal God
I find much comfort in this verse, God is here.  I know God is here, he's made it undeniably clear throughout all of this.  His present is felt daily/hourly/every minute.  But when things get tough it's easy to forget that.  It's easy to wonder where he is and why this is happening.  But God has a purpose in all of this, I don't know what it is, I may never know what it is, but it is a part of his perfect will and being in his will is the best place to be (although not always the easist). 
If you have prayed for us or gifted us in another way please know that we are so thankful.  We are overwhelmed, we are struggling to know how to be gracious and accept these gifts.  Accepting help does not come easy to us but we are learning.  I pray that we are able to show our complete gratitude to all of you.  I pray that you never wonder whether we are truly thankful.  We are so so so thankful and overwhelmed by your goodness.  God has truly blessed us with an amazing circle of family and friends, without you all I don't know how I would ever get through all of this!

April 22, 2010


Lot's of them!  Lot's of celebrating!  Yesterday we celebrated our baby turning one.  Whoa!  ONE!  This is the first time I haven't fully celebrated a first birthday!  And I'm not going to beat myself up for it.  She will never know the difference!  In fact, we went to church at night and I put her in the nursery.  Never would have done that with the first three!  We had a small party here with her tonight.  She enjoyed her cupcake yesterday and her full 8" round cake tonight!  Mmmmmm, frosting!  She got LOTS of Target gift cards which we intend to use to purchase a kitchen set! 

All of the doctor appointments went very well today.  All of the doctors were very pleasent as were the nurses I met with.  I don't feel like I learned anything new though, it was all repeated information, no new suggestions or ideas as far as surgery or treatment go.  I felt very confirmed, after meeting with the doctors, regarding my decision to stick with the doctor in Holland and go ahead with surgery on April 30.  All morning (and really all day) I prayed for clarity.  That God would just make it undeniably clear what I was supposed to do.  And he provided.  I can't exactly explain the decision to stay in Holland vs GR, it just was clear. 

I also met with a plastic surgeon in Holland this afternoon.  While the morning appointments almost seemed boring this was anything but boring.  I went in planning on one type of reconstruction (implants), it was all I had thought about throughout the last week, other options were just out of the question.  For some reason during the appointment I inquired about tram flap reconstruction, I didn't want to wait to much longer than a week though to do it, so it was kind of up on the air, when woudl they be able to get me in for the 10 hour surgery?  Turns out if they pulled some strings they could possibly get me in on Monday, this coming Monday.  Ummmm, ok.  That's soon, but whatever.  Again, lot's of prayer, God, please make this undeniably clear.  They had to make a few more phone calls to verify it but were going to call me later. 

Prior to leaving the office I also looked at some pictures of the doctors previous surgerys.  I almost threw up to be quite honest.  It was rough.  It was reality.  It just became a bit more real to me.  I cried.  I got mad.  I accepted it and while I still want to cry and sob, I just can't, there isn't much left in me.

So, when I left there was a possibility I was going to have to rearrange a BUNCH of things to make Monday the day.  I just kept praying, "God, please, make this clear to me, show me your will".  When I got home Matt was on the phone with the office.  The surgeon and plastic surgeon had talked and decided that we should stick with the original plan of implants.  Because I'm diabetic they didn't know how well I would heal.  I think the nurse was unsure of the reaction I would have, she just kept asking me how I was doing.  I was fine.  I know, without a doubt, that God is in control.  He has proven that to me again and again and again. 

So, surgery is on for next Friday, April 30.  I will be in the hospital for approximately 48 hours, at which point I will return home, but still not be able to care for my youngest babe alone for quite a while. 

I know that many of you were praying for me today and I can't say thank you enough.  I know that there are prayers being said on behalf of myself and my family and it brings such a peace.  I don't want to give the impression ever that this is easy or I don't have any bad days/times, because I do.  I have times when I'm mad, sad, hurt, scared.  There are days when I feel all of the above.  I'm so thankful to have such a great God, such a great husband, family and friends.  I can't imagine doing this without all of the support that I have.  I am so blessed.

Prayer Requests:
Please pray that I don't let myself get to anxious over the next week.  Peace about the changes that my body is going to undergo. 
Peace and understanding for my husband and kids.
Steady hands for the surgeons and quick healing for me.

April 21, 2010

Big Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is going to be a big day, not to mention a LONG day!  Please pray for clarity.  Pray that God makes it very very clear where and with who this surgery is going to be.  I think I've said before that I really feel like I'm being called to go to Holland, but if that isn't God's plan I need him to make it undeniably clear. 

If you've sent me an email, please know that I appreciate it and have read them ALL.  If it required a response I think that I responded, if I did not please either resend or forgive me!

April 20, 2010


~At the risk of sounding like a broken record~
I find myself several times a day looking at the Ekklesion site.  Just looking at it.  Just the fact that it filled up so fast overwhelms me in the BEST way!  You are all COMPLETLY amazing.  I don't think I've realized how very blessed I am until this all happened.  It's sad to me that it takes a situation as terrible as this to realize it.  Not because of lack of care and support but because of my blindness to seeing it.   So, once again, because I don't know what else to say, THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

I just read that a family at our church has a small child with a brain tumor, please keep them in your prayers as well!  I would rather go through this 1000 times over than have a/my child experience even a small piece of it. 

Today I had pre-testing at Holland Hospital, as many of you know I had always planned on having a mastectomy to prevent cancer, but hadn't gotten around to it.  As I was sitting in the room I realized that I don't know if I would have ever gotten around to it.  It's a major surgery, I'm scared of how I will look afterwards, now I'm just being forced to do it (and I'm still scared, imagine that).   The nurse I spoke with said that they have me scheduled for a 6 hour surgery, much longer than I had anticipated, but I guess I won't know when I'm done if 5 minutes passed or 5 hours!  Poor Matt though, 6 hours in a waiting room is a LOT, I told him to feel free to leave though, I'll never know and why would he sit there that long!

And... just because I feel like this blog needs a little more joy!

Bestest friends... worm hunting!

And this little beauty will be one tomorrow!  ONE YEAR OLD!  Wow!

April 18, 2010


I'm aware (and so grateful) that the dates for meals are all full and Sarah mentioned that others still wanted to bring a meal.  I added two more dates, but please know that if I have to have treatment (i.e. chemo) after the surgery we will still need meals then.  I will try to post a message here if I add more dates, but as things get moving and treatment is determined please feel free to check Ekklesion again (and again), I'm sure there will be many more opportunities!  Again, thank you so much, I am so overwhelmed by your response, just knowing that people want to help has been an amazing relief.  It's just one less thing I have to worry about right now!

We are continuing to plug along.  I'm finding it very wierd to go about my normal daily activities knowing that there is this terrible disease, something fully capable of killing a person (not me though ;), growing inside of my body.  If I hadn't had the MRI I would be going about my daily activities just as I am today, completely unaware of the poison growing inside of me.  It's a very surreal feeling that we just need time to wrap our minds around.

Prayer Request (in addition to previous requests):
God continues to reveal himself to us as we walk this journey and that we may be able to reveal Him to others.

April 15, 2010


God is so good! I can't even count the number of times each day that I see his work in all of this. Sometimes it's the little things that are so amazing. He is an AWSOME God! How odd that after having a clean mammogram I would just a week later have an MRI also. Logically there was no reason for the MRI, but God knew. How amazing that it seems so far that we caught it so early, because of the MRI. How amazing is it that I know there are specific prayers being said for me every day, all the time and I know that those prayers are being answered.

So, that said, another praise that I have relating to the previous post is that I found out that I can in fact attend both the appt in grand rapids and the appt in Holland next Thursday. And I'm finding more and more that Holland may be the right option, it seems that even if I go to Grand Rapids, they may refer me to doctors that they have relationships with right here in Holland. I'm SOOO ready to get this done with, if I could check in tomorrow, I would be ok with that!

And, one more praise... today is a GREAT day! I feel great, for the first time this week I'm not in an emotional fog (although I may still be a bit scattered if you talk to me). I don't know whether it's because I'm in denial or because I've just accepted that I have cancer and am going to fight it or the more likely reason, because you are all praying for me. No matter the reason, I'll take a good day!

Sarah & Julie have offered to help arrange meals to be delivered just prior to and after the surgery, if you are intersted in signing up to bring one please visit Ekklesion. Many, many people have offered to help in many different ways, if you want your name added to a list of people who may be contacted when a need arises or notified of ways to help, please email Sarah (huizengasarah@gmail.com) and she or Julie will be in contact with you. I know that so many people want to and have offered to help and I wanted to be able to centralize those names and contact information.

Prayer Requests:
Continued peace and more good days
Clarity for decisions that need to be made
That I would be able to accept help, where and when it's needed
That I would continue to glorify God throughout this, even when things get tough
That Gods comforting arms would surround Matt and the kids constantly as well

More news & prayer requests

The surgeon I met with yesterday just called, they were able to cordinate a date with the plastic surgeon for surgery on April 30th. But there is a problem. I still want to get the second opinion and meet with the multispecialty team in Grand Rapids, my appt to do that is next thursday (4/22), which is also the day that I have an appointment to meet with the plastic surgeon (PS) in Holland. I can't do both, the appt in Grand Rapids is supposed to take all day. If I don't meet with the PS I can't have the surgery and they don't have any other appts available right now before April 30th, although they have put me on a cancellation list. So, I'm feeling pressured to make a decision, I took the appt for the surgery and told them I would pray about it and get back to them as soon as I've made a decision. Right now I'm just torn.

So, once again I am asking for your prayers, in addition to the previous prayer requests, could you please add that we would be able to make the right decision, that we would know what God's will is, and feel confident in whatever that is?

I'm exausted

It's 4:00 in the morning and I'm awake. Kind of a routine by now though. I just wanted to pop in and say Thank you. For everything. I have to say that I've received so many notes of encouragement, offers to help and best of all I know that you all are praying. And I feel those prayers. I have a calm that is unexplainable. Granted, I'm still an emotional rollercoaster, but I know that He is in control. He is my focus and He will get me through this! Our God is an AMAZING God.

Joy unspeakable that won't go away
just enough strength
to live for today
So I never have to worry
what tomorrow will bring
cause my faith is on solid rock
I am counting on God.
Lyrics to Counting on God

As far as learning more or meeting with doctors and figuring out a plan I won't know anything else until next Thursday when I meet with a team of doctors at the Lemmen Holton Cancer Center in Grand Rapids. It's absolutely dreadful to me to have to wait that long, but there is nothing I can do. Waiting is still the worst part. I did get encouraging news at the doctor yesterday (Wednesday) regarding the pathology report, I don't have that in front of me right now and quite honestly it's a lot of big words that mean little to me, but basically the cancer cells didn't seem to be dividing quickly (which is a good thing), it is progesteron and estrogen receptive (I'm sure I spelled something wrong there, hey, it's 4 in the morning), another good thing. So, at this point it appears that we caught this early (Praise HIM), we won't know until after surgery if it has spread to lymph nodes though.

Current Prayer Requests:
Peace (and sleep)
Energy (because physically while nothing is different than it was 3 days ago, emotionally everything has changed)
The cancer has not spread into the lymph nodes
Patience while I wait to get into the doctor and get a plan going
My kids
The doctors I will eventually meet with

April 12, 2010

Spring Break 2010

We headed down to Destin Florida on April 2, 2010. We left at 5pm and drove right through the night. It took us about 16 hours to get there, not bad considering we were traveling with an almost one year old! Lila did better than I expected. We had a pool right outside our condo and were only a short walk across the parking lot to the beach (which happened to have an abbundance of jellyfish). We all had a fabulous time, including the kids! The weather was beautiful every single day. Thursday was supposed to be rainy so we decided that would be the day to the outlet mall... and apparently so did the rest of the visitors to the destin area. It took us over an hour to get to the mall, which was only 8 miles away from the condo! Every store was packed and I bought one lousy shirt and a pair of sandels! Oh well, it was fun!
Matt, Kyle and Landon went fishing one day, Landon unexpectadly threw up a few (8) times which was a huge bummer for him! They did catch some delicious fish though!

This little girl turns one in less than two weeks, I can't even believe it!