Spring break and Easter are a time for celebration! 2017 has been a year of change and new beginnings. While perfect health is being restored to our bodies, I resumed my position at Van Nuys Middle School in early February and Derrick is back to teaching spin classes at Toluca Lake Fitness Center. He has also launched into a new career with New York Life Insurance and is excited about this opportunity.
Enjoy a beautiful Resurrection Sunday with friends and family! Take comfort in knowing how much God loves you and be thankful for all of the gifts He has blessed you with; the most priceless one being Jesus, our Savior.
The last blog I published was one month before I was involved in a head-on collision that could have taken my life. I suffered many serious injuries including a crushed lower spine, shattered femur, punctured lung, and some broken ribs. This is the first time I’ve written since that night because it’s been a very traumatic three months.
During the ten days spent in ICU, it is a blessing that I don’t remember the multiple surgeries. However, I do remember several surgeons telling us it was a miracle that all of my nerve endings were intact and that I would walk again. I thanked God every hour for sparing my life and knew that my battered body would heal in time.
Life is so much more precious to me now. The love that I have for my husband is greater than ever before. He has been my rock through this challenging season and I’ve had the opportunity to support him through his chemotherapy treatments. There are no words to express our gratitude to all of our family and friends who have prayed for us, visited us, cooked for us, and supported us in countless ways throughout this past year. We are both determined to fully recover and we love each and every one of you. God bless you!
Our recent diagnosis of metastasized prostate cancer has brought us many blessings in the first two weeks. We are receiving incredible support and unlimited prayers from extended family and friends from all over the world. Derrick is visiting our five year old grandson and spending priceless hours with him before starting his aggressive treatments.
I was guided to purchase an Air Rebounder last weekend and we picked one up in La Canada. If you research the term “rebounding” you will discover that it moves your cells around and can heal the lympatic system. Astronauts jump and bounce on trampolines when returning from space to increase bone density.
This morning as I was rebounding to praise music, I started to throw punches and incorporate boxing into my 20 minute workout. I was stirred in my spirit and began to cry out, “We are going to overcome cancer” and “We will be healed in Jesus’ name”! We truly believe that we will have an amazing and life-changing testimony once we come through this obstacle. God will take this situation and reveal his glory and healing power.
We are extremely grateful and thankful for all of your prayers this season. Our strong faith will carry us through and your love and prayers are welcome. Our God is AMAZING!
My lovely niece Olivia was planning to move her growing family to a rental house in the Chicago suburbs today. My sister Lyn offered to help them with their two year old, Dominick and newborn baby girl while the boxes were being moved into their new residence. Lyn began to sneeze uncontrollably as soon as she stepped into the home and wondered what had triggered such a reaction. Upon further investigation, she discovered black mold to be the culprit. It was located in several closets and on the wall of what was to be the nursery! Obviously no one could live in that unhealthy environment so they would have to find another place to live. Lyn decided to call an attorney friend for advice; she was asked to take photos and swipe samples of the mold and place them in a sealed plastic bag before vacating the premises.
Since there were no cotton swabs readily available, my resourceful sister walked over to the house next door and rang the doorbell. Earlier that afternoon, Lyn had spotted a young woman pull up in the driveway so she figured she could ask her for a few Q-tips and baggies. When the door opened, an elderly woman stood before her with an oxygen tube affixed to her nose. Lyn explained her situation to the woman who kindly invited her to come inside. As Lyn followed her toward the bathroom, she heard a distinct beeping sound coming from the back of the house. She inquired what was making the noise but the woman said she could not hear anything. Well, it turns out the alarm on the oxygen tank was going off because there was no oxygen being released! Lyn instructed the sweet woman to call a nurse at the emergency number listed and waited until the woman’s oxygen tank was fully operational before leaving.
When we talked later that evening, she told me how God had divinely placed her in that woman’s house. Who knows how long her oxygen had been cut off and when would she have stopped breathing? I was amazed and told her she had probably saved this woman’s life. Lyn responded by saying, “What if that was God’s elaborate plan all along to guide me to that woman’s house? And the move was secondary? We would not be surprised because our God is an awesome God and always working behind the scenes for our greater good!
It has been 3 months since my husband’s prostatectomy and the extended stay in the hospital. He scheduled a post-op appointment with the surgeon one week ago for a blood test to check his current PSA level. His doctor had the results within 15 minutes and reported an unusually high number. We have been claiming he is healed from prostate cancer since January when first diagnosed and stand in agreement that this was a false reading.
A new bone scan was ordered by the doctor and the authorization arrived 5 days later. When Derrick contacted the Northridge Diagnostic Center to schedule the bone scan, he was told the facility was booked until the end of July! That date was totally unacceptable to us and I began to pray fervently for God to help us. The following morning I called the Center to inquire if there was another location that could administer the scan. I was given the number to a facility in Thousand Oaks and called immediately.
I explained our situation to their office manager and waited patiently for a desirable response. She believed there was a cancellation for the end of that week and placed me on hold to confirm. I booked the appointment for Friday morning and praised God for favor. He definitely was listening to my prayers and shows up every step of this journey. With God on our side, we know that we will overcome this obstacle and praise Him in Jesus’ name. Thank you to everyone for the healing prayers and love!
One uplifting encounter occurred recently after my regular Sunday morning yoga class. My friend Noelle and I were discussing natural remedies and foods for cancer prevention. We shared the healing properties of turmeric, lemons, and apricot kernels among others. I noticed that a young woman was listening intently to our conversation. She approached us and posed the question, “So both of you know someone close to you with cancer?” Then she burst into tears and revealed that her friend was just diagnosed with some type of cancer and she didn’t know how to deal with the news. I embraced her as she sobbed in my arms.
After gaining her composure, I told her about my husband’s recent prostatectomy due to cancer and was able to offer her some sound advice about showing support to her friend. I knew that God had placed us in her path that morning to encourage her to pray for her friend, Miriam. The following week I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Miriam had scheduled an appointment with another doctor to receive a second opinion. This new doctor had given her an excellent prognosis for treatment of the cancer which was a huge relief to everyone. It stirred my heart to be more thankful for my health and embrace this life that God has blessed me with!
My husband, Derrick has earned quite a reputation over the past 20 years for motivating and challenging the riders in his spin classes. This past January, we received the shocking news that he had an aggressive type of prostate cancer. The best option for treatment was a prostatectomy so we moved forward with the scheduling of this robotic surgery. We remained optimistic in the weeks leading up to the surgery and had complete faith that he would overcome this hurdle. We were also fortunate to have 2 friends who coached him and prayed with him from the beginning; as they are both survivors of prostate cancer.
After his doctor gave him a favorable prognosis, Derrick returned home to start his recovery. However, he was readmitted into the hospital a few days later due to an unusual tear in the surgical area. After 2 more exhausting weeks in the hospital, it was determined that a second surgery was necessary. There was a continuous outpouring of love and support from friends, family and co-workers offering prayers for his healing. Our dear Pastor Samuel and his wife Priya visited us in the hospital one afternoon and anointed him with oil and healing prayers. My faith has definitely been challenged and strengthened throughout this season. We are eternally thankful to all of you for the vigilant prayers on his behalf and are believing that the cancer has been removed and no radiation will be needed! Hallelujah!
Last weekend I asked God to lead me into a new ministry. On Sunday evening, Derrick and I visited our friend Rose’s church in Silverlake called Beautiful Gate. When Rose visited me in the hospital after hip surgery in December, she described her new place of worship with such love and exuberance. I told her we would definitely check out a Sunday evening service in the near future.
I loved the message given by the pastor, Samuel Theophylus and his wife Priya’s testimony was so touching. She talked about her first encounter with Jesus and how it changed her life forever. They are a lovely couple who moved here from Hyderabad, India over seven years ago. As Samuel spoke about the culture in India and his upbringing, it brought to mind the story of Abraham. Genesis 12:1: Now the Lord said to Abraham, Go for yourself away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. How inspiring it is to meet true disciples of God who are willing to leave their country and completely trust in God to lead them to a new land!
I desire to spread the Word of Jesus more often and one day declare that I am also a true disciple of Christ. This life is flying by so fast and I want to grab every opportunity that comes my way.
I woke up this Christmas morning praising God for my incredible life! I was able to shower and get dressed completely on my own for the first time since hip replacement surgery on the 15th of December. I’ve cried out to Him every day and night to help me get through the pain because the procedure has taken a toll on my emotions as well as my physical self.
I’ve had many entertaining moments along this road to recovery as well. Two days after returning home from the hospital, I had an allergic reaction from my blood thinner pills and tiny bumps appeared down my entire back. My stepson was keeping me company and had the bright idea to rub some alcohol on them to stop the itching. As he rubbed the cotton soaked liquid on my back, I yelled out that it was hurting even more. He then proceeded to blow on my back to calm down the burning sensation just as his dad walked in the door. I started laughing at the entire scenario and they joined in. Finding humor in the midst of a storm will definitely lift up your spirits!
Listening to my customized iHeart radio station compiled of Christian praise songs also got me through this season; especially during the nights in the hospital when I needed a nurse to assist me with every small task. I played my uplifting music almost 24 hours a day to drown out any thoughts of self-pity for my temporary condition and to share my love for Jesus with all of the staff.
I had to spend one extra night in the hospital due to a serious drop in my blood pressure. It occurred when the Occupational Therapist escorted me to this tiny shower room. There was little air in the confined area and I could simply not breathe. They rushed me back to my room and gave me oxygen and proceeded to order an EKG. I was then wheeled down to Cardiology for an ultrasound. At first I was disappointed when told I would be staying an additional night for observation. But when my sister, Lyn asked me if I was upset over the news, I told her it was in God’s hands.
To my surprise, I actually enjoyed that final night thanks to a nurse named Mercy. When she arrived for the nightshift, she came to my room to introduce herself. I responded by saying that her name was beautiful and it made me think of God’s mercy. She smiled and told me her father in Nigeria had given her that name. We had heartfelt conversations throughout the next twelve hours and I knew that I had stayed if only to meet her and share our faith.
Jesus was born on Christmas morning and made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Let’s focus on all of our priceless gifts from God this season and be a blessing to each other! Hallelujah!
Throughout my entire life I have anticipated the holiday season with a focus on gift giving, decorating cookies, and celebrating Jesus’ birthday. I hold onto fond memories of my sisters and I waking up at the crack of dawn and running down the stairs to discover what gifts Santa left under the tree. Later that morning, we would eat the anise cookies pressed into shapes of gingerbread men, candy canes, and wreaths that our sweet Grandma Ruby helped us to bake on Christmas Eve.
I have a completely different perspective on Christmas this year. In a world filled with chaos and uncertain times; my thoughts and prayers turn to friends who are battling life-threatening diseases, and for those who are broken-hearted over the loss of a loved one. This life is a fragile and precious gift that can be taken away in an instant. All the more reason to be grateful to our omnipotent Father who pours out his love on us daily in every imaginable way.
The true gifts of Christmas are the Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. And the good news is that we don’t need to wait until Christmas morning to receive them. Have a blessed and beautiful celebration!