And I Zip-Lined Upside-Down Through the Jungle…

I’ve decided to start a blog so that I can keep everyone updated with what is going on in my life on a consistent basis. There will be so much information to add to my story that writing it down will be good for me, too. So here goes:

Remember how I mysteriously broke that rib right before we went to Costa Rica? Well, I apparently broke 4 and had no idea. I was in quite a bit of pain before we left, but that didn’t stop me from zip-lining through the jungle or riding horseback on ‘Minifalda’ down a muddy volcano. Had I known what was happening inside my chest I probably wouldn’t have done these things. I’m glad I didn’t know…I had a BLAST!

Two weeks after we got back from vacation, Gunnar and I went to Chic Filet for lunch. As I pushed open the door to leave I felt an explosion in the front of my chest. I literally saw stars. Several days went by and the pain only got more intense. I went to see Dr. Clinkenbeard at McBride for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. To make a long story short, I had an additional 2 visits with him before we decided I needed to get to the ER for a CT scan of my chest. Here begins my journey.

I received the results of the CT scan last Friday night. Since then I’ve had an additional CT scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis, a full body nuclear bone scan and lots of blood work. The CT shows an expansile lytic lesion measuring 5cm x 2.2cm x 4cm AP. It has caused complete destruction of the posterior cortex of the sternum.

The bone scan reveals POSSIBLE metastatic disease in the four broken ribs.

Shocked? So was I.

Over the next few weeks I will be having more tests, including a core biopsy of the tumor that has destroyed my sternum. Until that test is completed we won’t know exactly what disease process is going on in my body. So, until then I would ask that you pray, pray, pray for my family and myself. I have no doubt in my mind that I have this handled. I do, though, worry terribly for my hubby and kids. So keep them in your prayers, too!

Thank you to my special friend, Gina, that sent me the following verse. As I told her, I really do feel this way 90% of the time. That remaining 10% is tough, though.

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ (Isaiah 41:10)

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28 thoughts on “And I Zip-Lined Upside-Down Through the Jungle…

  1. I am honored to be your first follower! I will not cease praying and I will have my warriors wrap your family in supernatural peace. I’ve seen miracles first hand, and I believe God had us meet for a reason. Hugs to all of you…. Your WW lady, LD

  2. You and your beautiful family have been steadily in my prayers. I know first hand how strong you are and know that God has His hands on you and your entire family. To say that you are on my mind constantly is an understatement….I woke at 5:00 am thinking about Duck Day! I love you with all my heart!…Mom

  3. Steph…I am here for you and your family every step of the way. I have always looked up to you since I was a little girl and that still stands today. Mom and I whenever we talk about you the words that always come out of my my mouth are always that you are one of the strongest people I have ever known. Prayers coming to you and your family. I love you so much!!!….love from your little cuz…kensie

  4. This is great! Thanks for doing this.

    Sarah and I will do whatever it takes to help you and your family get through this mess. You embody the definition of ‘strong-will,’ and there is no doubt in my mind that you won’t let this get you down. You’re stubborn, scrappy, mentally strong, and tough as nails…all of which are terrible traits in the eyes of your baby brother…until this moment. This might be a 12-round Championship bout that you’ll have to fight; but have no doubt that you’ll have one heck of a corner standing right beside you. We promise to be there and pick you up when you fall. Encourage you when your back is against the ropes…telling you to “fight, fight, fight.” Above all, we won’t let you quit.

    Lee, Harper Dawn, and Goonie Goonars will be lifted up just as much as we lift you up. It is obvious that you draw your strength from your husband and children, and making sure their wellbeing is satisfied will be a priority of ours.

    Keep your chin up!

    With a never ending love,

    ZRN (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

  5. To my precious Stephie, to a lady that is determined to find answers and fight for those she loves! You are like a majestic mountain that is strong and true to yourself and those you love. Allow us, with our Lord to be the pebbles at your feet to help hold you up, give you comfort, love on your family, share in your triumph, because you will! My prayers will be constant and never waiver for you and your family, I love you, Aunt Kathy

  6. Steph, so glad you are able to share your story. Your courage and witness to the power of prayer, faith in God, and trust family and friends is, and will be, an inspiration to all.

    Of course it goes without saying we love you very much, you are our son’s love of his life and we thank God for that. We too are so anxious for answers just like you.

    Thanks for creating this blog, it will be a blessing in many ways. The good news, you have a wonderful family and great friends who will be there for you all the time.

    Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear.

    Love you more, Harold and Barb

  7. Steph, my name is Connie Markwell. Darrell and I are friends with your wonderful mother and Bill. Although I have not met you, I feel like I know you. Your mom always tells me what a sweet, strong, and wonderful daughter you are. We have met your sweet, beautiful children. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers as you go into this battle that we are sure you will win.

  8. Steph,
    We are in shock with you and words cannot express how much you are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers. Just to know that you were going through all of that at Christmas while we were there blows my mind; you really are a strong woman! I feel so helpless being so far away knowing there is nothing I can do to help you from Massachusetts. What I can do is like you asked; pray, pray and pray which I am already doing and will continue to do. You write so elequaintly and I hope that this helps you to deal and cope, and can help take some of the load off of your shoulders. Just reading your first note and the comments from your friends and family bring hope and power to your situation knowing that so many people are in you corner. Thanks for writing this and keeping us posted, I truly cannot imagine how difficult this must be ….With all of my (our) love and prayers, I love you!
    Your sister,cousin wife,
    Alli

  9. Stephanie I’m putting you and your family on the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus prayer chain. Know I will send positive thoughts & vibes to you from the East!

  10. Steph I will keep you, Lee, Harper and Gunnar in my prayers. I will pray that God gives you the strength to cope with what ever challenges are ahead. Your positive attitude and faith will be your greatest resources, we are here for you. We love you very much.

  11. Steph,
    I can’t even believe that this is happening, I don’t really know what to say except that you are definitely going to be in my thoughts and prayers while you battle through this. I know that you are a strong woman and will be strong through this, but you will always have a shoulder to lean and cry on if you need it. All my love,
    Angela

  12. Thank you for reminding me how our faith can help us cope with difficult situations. Your faith and determination will be weapons that can conquer these. Although the tests and doctors will give you results that are difficult to take, only God knows what the future holds. Keep up your spirit, we love you with all our hearts and we are here for you and your family. Our prayers are for you, Lee, Harper and Gunnar.

  13. You are a formidable woman! Michele, Austin, Aaren and I will be praying like crazy for you and your family. We know that God is truly on your side!

  14. You never cease to amaze me with your beauty, grace and kindness, but sweet girl they seem to be trumped by your courage, strength and faith in the Lord Almighty. What a testimony of faith you are sharing! Thank you for trusting us with this most delicate and private journey that you and Lee have been thrust into. Steph, you are so strong and I know the Lord will replenish that strength as you go through the day by day challenges ahead. I also know that He will be a soft place to land on the days you just need to rest in his love, letting him carry the load with His supernatural powers that will be at work defending you during this battle. And like Zack I totally agree that you ARE a fighter and that with the power of the Lord’s Spirit inside you that you will FIGHT VICTORIOUSLY! Please let us know if there is anything that we can do along with lifting you, Lee, Harper and Gunner up continuously in prayer. We welcome the opportunity to be able to help you in whatever needs you may have all the way to the victory lap. Thank you again for this blog and for the trust you are placing in us through these very courageous times. Love ya, Aunt Becky (P.S. Brian and Jason send you all their love)

  15. Steph
    I know that faith a avails much. Please know, you are in my and Diana’s prayers, each and every day. Ours is a family, all of us! Know the power of prayer.
    Ron

  16. Stephanie,
    Just got off the phone with Ron and received an email from Barb. So sorry to hear about what is going on. My heart sinks but I know that we serve a sovereign God. Isaiah 43:1b-3a
    “Fear not, for I have redemed you; When you pass through the wters, 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. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
    Isaiah 41:13, 14, a,b “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not Fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you, declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
    Isaiah 40:29, 31, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
    John 14:27 “Peach I leave with you; my peace I give you, I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
    Philippians 4:6,7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requets to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all undeerstanding, will gurard your heats and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
    Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”
    You, Lee and the kids are in Ron’s and my prayers.
    Love, Diana

  17. Steph:
    Your strength in the storm is awe inspiring. You and your family will be at the top of my prayer list and thoughts. God is good, all the time, and ALL the time He is good. You are a woman wise beyond your years to have such a good grasp on Gods grace and steadfastness. Any support I can give personally or medically, I am blessed to be a help to you in this fight. You will win, and the journey will be a reminder to us all of Gods unfailing love.
    I love you,
    Gretch

  18. Steph,
    Lifting prayers for you this morning. I know God will be right there with you., comforting you every step of the way. I have many faithful friends and family who will be praying for you. Your strength is amazing. Much love.

  19. Steph,
    As a mother I can heartfully feel your worry but as a Catholic I believe that our Blessed Mother with all her love for us, her children, will see you and your family through this trial that lays ahead. I will be praying for you and for your doctors to use all their skills and knowledge to help you return to a healthy, happy wife and mother.
    You’re a faithful, strong and loving woman. Keep the love of God always in your heart.
    Kathy Di

  20. Steph
    I small bible believing church in Pristina Kosovo is lifting you and your family up In prayer. Philippians 4:6
    Ronnie

  21. Steph,
    You are AMAZING!!!! I love your courage and faith. I will keep you close in my prayers daily. I pray God will give you strength and healing. With all my Kappa love!

    L&L,
    Calvert

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