Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I did not drop off the face of the earth. Well, maybe I did a little bit.

I was simply so busy with life - my son finishing high school and going on to the local community college to study auto mechanics; the relief mission trip to Haiti in March 2010, from which I returned brokenhearted for the destitute and Americans' blindness to their desperate need. I presented in churches and other organizations, raising several thousand dollars for the relief efforts and orphanage where I had stayed, and I got over a dozen children sponsored with monthly support so that they could go to school and get one hot meal per day, often their only meal.

A year ago in June - July, I spent a month in Panama on another mission trip, this one with Alexandra. We lived among the Kuna Indians on San Blas Islands, then in the Darien Jungle. Now, a year after that trip, Alexandra has also finished homeschooled high school, and after much prayer, feels that she is called into full-time missions. In the fall, she'll be leaving home and going to an internship program with the mission organization with which I traveled to Haiti twice.

In fact, all our family went to Haiti last January. I organized a trip for the youth of our church. Sadly, in the middle of the media's cholera scare, nearly half the team dropped out. We didn't see a single case of cholera where we were, and these teens missed a life-changing experience. My family and I went, however, even though I was diagnosed with breast cancer - stage 2 - just days before the trip. The trip was a blessing and got my mind off the adventure of 2011 that I did not sign up for.

Cancer treatments - a mastectomy, then surgery to get a mediport installed, then chemo treatments - have kept me busy. And all through this, I continued to homeschool my two girls and faithfully journal through the cancer. I will continue with the cancer treatments for another half year, but my strength is returning, and my hair is starting to grow back. The side effects I had from the chemotherapy were quite hard to take, especially the bizarre sharp pains in my brain and the burning skin rashes, and I'm glad that's behind me. We continue to pray that this aggressive cancer that I had will not return. I bailed out of the chemo treatments halfway through and continue only with the Herceptin, which I get through IV every three weeks.

I'm well enough to sign up to return to Haiti this coming fall. My daughter Alexandra will be there as part of her internship, so I will meet up with her then.

To those who have encouraged me to keep writing, I thank you. I will try.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)