Saturday, December 31, 2011

Words to live by

Ps 103:1-5  Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Ps 107:19-20 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Prov 4:20-23  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Isa 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

Isa 53:4-5 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Jer 30:17  For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD.

Mal 3:6 "For I am the Lord, I change not"

Mal 4:2-3 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

Matt 7:7-11 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Matt 8:16-17 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

Matt 9:35  And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Matt 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:

Mark 11:22-24  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 16:17-18  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Luke 4:17-19 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Luke 9:1-2 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Luke 10:8-9  And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

Acts 4:29-30 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

Acts 5:15-16 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

3 John 2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

James 5:13-16 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

1 John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

3 John 2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth...

Friday, December 30, 2011


So, the dilemma now is... how do I finish this book? What should be in the last chapter? After much thought, I asked myself “If I was reading this book, what would I want to know before it ends?” The answer would be “Did she live or did she die?!”

Actually that would have probably been my first question before I even read the book. Just being honest. I mean seriously. Why would I read a book from a lady who writes a book “Cancer God's Way” if she ends up dying of cancer in the end?

If I were reading this book, the first thing I would have done is google my name. I would have searched the internet to see who this woman was and how her story ended. Well... go ahead... google me! Brenda Lang Lantini

Something google can't tell you is that as I'm typing this last chapter I am sitting on my bed with my legs crossed, hair color in my hair tapping away at the keyboard. I've got 30 minutes until I rinse so let me make this short and sweet:

Yesterday was a tough, tough day and today hasn't been much better. I went to James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio for a routine CT Scan and blood work. After the scan we met with Dr. Shah. She had good news and bad news. The bad news is the tumors have progressed. The good news is they've only progressed a little. Dr. Shah wants me to consider doing the TAZE treatment again.

I love Dr. Shah and trust her completely with my treatments and diagnosis. However, we've had to come to an agreement that she provides the medical diagnosis and possible treatments and I provide the decisions as to what we will or wont do as far as treatments.

When someone is battling with terminal illness it is only right to give them the dignity and respect to make their own decisions regarding end of life treatments. Some people choose to fight up until their last breath, while others give in the moment they are diagnosed; and neither are right or wrong for the choices they make.

If there is a treatment with a possible cure, I'd say go for it! But if the treatments are only 'buying time' then the patient should be given the right to decide how they want to proceed.

Yesterday, Dr Shah explained to me that the liver tumors have progressed. They have not grown a lot but they have grown. She wants to repeat the TAZE treatment that I had in 2009. With the TAZE treatment, they go through your groin and place chemo seeds directly into your liver to slow the tumor growth. However, it also causes portions of your liver to atrophy as well.

This treatment is not a 'cure' it is only an avenue used to 'buy me time.' When I received the TAZE in 2009, I truly believed I was going to die from the treatment. I was desperately sick and it took me several months before I could begin to live life normally again. So the thought of going through that again has literally sent me reeling and I find myself doing battle once again in my mind.

How do you decide between a treatment that is going to cause you to lose months of living as apposed to not doing treatments and risking the chance of shortening your life? As if that decision isn't tough enough, my mind is thinking about so many other things like: Will Joe be okay after I'm gone? How will my children deal with the death of their mother? Will my grandchildren remember Mimi? What about my family? They've already gone through this once. Will they be able to deal with it again? And my friends... and … so on and so on.

When you face death in the eye, you're not thinking about your bills or if your house is clean or how much you weigh. You are thinking about your relationships. Did I love them enough? Do they know how much I care for them? Did I share with them the things that are near and dear to my heart? Am I leaving any type of a legacy?

But if I could be completely honest with you today as my heart is aching, my biggest question is: Where is the victory? Where is the testimony? How does God get the glory in this? What makes my cancer diagnosis any different from someone else who doesn't know the Lord? Why would someone without Christ want to know my God if He's going to allow me to die of cancer just like them? Very good questions, not so easy answers. But I'll give it my best shot.

On Friday the 13th in February 2004, I was diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer and given approximately 3 months to live. As I'm sitting here typing this chapter, I have beaten that diagnosis by over nine and a half years. That's a miracle!

On June 24, 2044 I was scheduled for a Clincial Trial that could have taken my life. This trial started just days before I was to begin and several people experienced 'sudden death' so they canceled the Clinical Trial. That's a miracle!

On July 16, 2008 they gave be a TAZE treatment that was supposed to 'buy me' 12 – 18 months. That was over five years ago. That's a miracle!

In 2000 when my spouse left me after 20 years of marriage I thought I would never find true love. I was convinced my fate was to be a single woman for the rest of my life. But God brought Joe into my life and I have experienced true love. That's a miracle!

Since my diagnosis in 2004, I am not the same woman. Up until the day of my diagnosis I was a self-conscious, fearful woman who was obsessed with pleasing people and constantly trying to be 'good enough'. Since my diagnosis, God has transformed me into a woman who knows who she is in God and spends her days mentoring other women. That's a miracle!

In November 2002, Dr. Shah mentioned another Clinical Trial with interferon. I told her I'd like to pray about it but never got any peace with moving forward and doing the interferon. At my last appointment I learned they canceled that trial as well. I didn't ask why. But I know that because of God's direction and guidance I have dodged the bullet once again. That's a miracle!

I've watched my grandchildren grow into healthy, fun loving kids. And have had a blast traveling back and forth to Montana for the past seven years visiting them. In fact, they are on their way to our house as I type. They will be here for two weeks and then I'm flying back with them to spend two weeks at their home in Montana. That's a miracle!

Knowing myself and knowing my limits, when I look back at what I have gone through and how I have been able to continue praising God through it all, that's nothing I could have done on my own. That's a miracle!

I've had many people say “I wish I had the strength that you do.” Can I tell you that emotional/spiritual strength doesn't come easily. It's much like the couch potato watching Biggest Loser and saying “I wish I could lose weight like that.” You can! Get off the couch and move. If you want God's peace and His strength, you can have it. But you've gotta get off the couch and go get it by reading the Word, Praising and Worshiping Him, living a life that is pleasing to Him, and by giving Him everything; not just what you want to give Him. You must give him everything and allow Him to rule and reign over your life.

The difference between me and the patient without God is she's making the decisions on her own, she's battling with what is right and what is wrong, she's thinking about whether there really is an afterlife or not, she believes it's too late for her to ask God for help, and she's a nervous, beat up mess inside.

I will be honest and say I have my days when I wallow in self pity. But I don't stay there. I force myself to get up and move and I'm always listening for that still small voice that prods me to keep moving. For instance, I was watching "Man, Woman, Wild" (my new Netflix obsession) and the woman on the show says... "Winston Churchill once said 'If you're going through hell keep going!' If you sit still you're just waiting to die. Even when you're terrified you have to persevere. You can either choose to lie down and die... or choose to keep moving forward and live another day." Go ahead Netflix PREACH!

That's how God speaks to me ~ sometimes it's on a television program, sometimes it's the radio, sometimes it's a friend's voice and sometimes it's that still small voice you can only hear when you have quieted your spirit and sat in His presence for a time.

So... go ahead and google me. One day I GUARANTEE you will find my obituary. One day you will read how I died. One day these fingers will no longer tap on this keyboard and these arms will no longer hold my grandbabies tight. One day my time will come and I will go to Heaven to be with the Lord and my loved ones who have passed before me.

Even Lazarus (who Christ raised from the dead) had an appointed time to die. You don't still see him strolling around here on earth. Even after being resurrected, Lazarus still had to die. No one gets out without dying. No one. Doesn't matter how good we are, how cute we are, how important we are, how intelligent we are. We are all going to die.

I remember as a child, lying in my bed at night and being terrified of dying. I remember thinking how close the casket was going to come to my face and how once it's shut I'm going to be put under the earth and how claustrophobic that made me feel.

Today I know more about death and understand what Christ has done to swallow up death. The victory is in the life hereafter. The victory is in knowing that I am Heaven bound. The victory is in not being afraid of death or dying. The victory is in the peace that passes understanding. The victory is in having Someone bigger than myself to lean on. The victory is that cancer can't separate me from my God. Cancer can't cripple love. Cancer can't shatter hope. Cancer can't dissolve faith. Cancer can't destroy peace. Cancer can't kill friendship. Cancer can't suppress memories. Cancer can't silence courage. Cancer can't invade the soul. Cancer can't steal eternal life. Cancer can't conquer the spirit.

And cancer can't WIN when you do CANCER GOD'S WAY!