Brooke’s Cancer Journey Post from December 30, 2017

12/30/17 update
Dear Friends,

Justin and I continue to be so grateful for your prayers and love shown to our family!

My oncologist is out of the office so we will not know anything more definitely until next week. We had a lovely Christmas where we made many special memories with those we love. This recent news is difficult but Justin and I are not allowing it to consume us. We are heartbroken but not without hope. We know nothing is impossible with God and that He will provide sufficient grace for each day ahead, no matter what it holds. The Lord renews my strength each day through His Word, and I’m mentally preaching His promises to myself throughout the day! This morning I wrote out some comforting truths in my journal.

To name a few: His grace is sufficient for each day, God is writing His perfect story in my life and in the lives of my children and Justin (for God’s glory and our joy!), His presence is always with me, this is not a surprise to God, He will provide all that I need, only the Lord numbers my days, nothing is impossible with God! You, Oh Lord, are enough for me.

I’m meditating on these truths as we take down Christmas decorations. Thank you for continuing to lift up our family!

God also led me to this passage today ~ a familiar passage that meant much to me in 2015. Reading today with fresh eyes! It is amazing that nothing ~ NOT ONE THING on earth can take away the renewing work that God is doing within me through this! Praise His name!
I pray it is an encouragement to you also.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Much love to you!

Seeking Him,

Brooke’s Cancer Journey Post from Dec 21, 2017

Dear praying friends,

The journey continues…The PET scan showed cancerous activity in my left lymph nodes and a biopsy confirmed. Thankfully the left breast and right side are all clear. (Right breast and all right nodes were surgically removed in June 2017). A small spot in my right lung lit up and a small spot in my sternum. Doctors suspect the sternum and lung spots are inflammation from radiation which is common (and not cancer). To confirm the sternum and lung are not cancer I had a CT scan which will get a more accurate look at these areas. I’ll get results next week.

The first way to attack this will be chemo, once the detailed pathology report comes back with the specific markers which will determine the best treatment plan.

Justin and I are shocked, disappointed, devastated. Specifically the thought of chemo again is difficult news! But God is holding us fast. By His grace, we do not lose heart! Although circumstances are not at all what we would have chosen, we have confidence that God will continue to provide ALL that we need even through the valley of suffering…Especially through the valley of suffering. It brings me great comfort to know that although this is a surprise to us, it is not a surprise to our unchanging God. Although we do not understand, we are called to trust Him; not to lean on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). We are confident in God’s goodness, even through tears.

The words of the song in the video have ministered to me deeply- especially John Piper’s spoken word in the middle of the song.
I’m sure there will be more words from me as we process this news, but for now please know how grateful we are to have your love and prayers with us on this journey.

Praises- no distant disease; that I was able to get a CT scan Thursday afternoon so we can still get home for Christmas celebrations with family

Pray- that the CT scan reveals that the spots on sternum and lung are not cancer! Pray for the Lord to be near to me and my family as we process this news. Pray for a joy filled Christmas overflowing with the hope of Christ: Emmanuel, God with us

Brooke Turner Cancer Journey 12/19/17 Post

Dear friends,

I’ve been intentionally quiet on my blog the last three months. Life has been overflowing with the beautifully regular bits of life, and each spare moment I’ve chosen to press into those closest to my heart.

I’ve been writing just as much as ever, but instead of my blog, the medium has been private journals the world may ever see….And that’s ok. What I’m learning is that quite often the deepest, richest work of the Lord is done in the quiet places that the world will never see. It’s in these dark places that the Lord deepens our roots of faith- and it’s this deep root system which allows us to withstand the storms of this life, and not topple over! The prayer I pray most over myself and my family comes from Isaiah 61:3b- that we would be deeply rooted oaks of righteousness for the display of God’s glory. We cannot be sturdy oaks without deep roots. And roots grow in the dark, unseen places.

A short update:

On September 15 I experienced one of the most joy filled moments of my life as we surprised the children with my homecoming one day earlier than they expected. Remembering the squeals and happy tears in the carpool line after school when they saw Mommy in the van at pickup can still bring tears to my eyes!

I’m feeling SO GOOD, exercising more and fueling my body with {mostly} healthy food!

The last three months have been overflowing with family life, children’s activities, ministry work, catching up with friends and family, and lots of cherishing each day!

How you can join with us in prayer:

As I write this I sit in a waiting room at MD Anderson. Today Justin and I are back in Houston for routine follow up visits and scans. We have been so grateful for your prayers along this journey!

We would appreciate so much if you could pray specifically for us over the next couple of days while we are in Houston.

Please pray:

*for all to go smoothly with the PET scan on 12/19 at 3:45pm, that doctors are able to read the images clearly

*pray for my follow up with Dr Layman on 12/20 at 11:30 where I will get results from the PET scan. Please pray BOLDLY for “NED” – “no evidence of disease!!!”

*pray for a followup with surgeon Dr Ross on 12/22 at 3:45 and that he is pleased with healing from my surgery

*Praise the Lord for my mom and mother-in-love who are watching the children.

Thank you for praying for us!! I will keep you posted as I hear results!

A time to pause and reflect:

The word Selah in Hebrew means “pause and reflect”.

Each year when December rolls around I get reflective. I intentionally STOP and consider God’s faithfulness over the prior year. This year I’ve been especially reflective, because it was a year ago that doctors told us that the cancer had returned and that it was stage IV. Here are a few words I wrote on 12/8/17. I’m posting here so you can hear how God is moving in my heart! He is faithful!

(Written 12/8/17)

A year ago I wrote the words to Psalm 18 in my journal. I woke very early that morning; my mind and heart were a humbled knot of despair and hope and uncertainty and faith. The day prior, 12/7/16, I heard the dreaded three words “You have cancer”. I was seven months out of treatment from my first cancer diagnosis, my hair was finally to my shoulders again, I was starting to run again, I had started to envision a life without the cloud of cancer. I thought I had crossed the finish line of the most difficult marathon I’d ever run, And then at once I was set back on the starting line again. This second marathon I was told would be a much tougher race- the diagnosis so serious that my Columbia physicians suggested I be seen elsewhere. On December 8, 2016 I wondered how would I get through this?

Today, a year later, I am here to raise my Ebenezer and say “here by Thy great help I’ve come”. In the Old Testament an Ebenezer is a “stone of help”. We see this in 1 Samuel 7:12 after God helped the Israelites defeat the mighty Philistines. Samuel “took a stone and set it up… and called its name Ebenezer; for he said “till now the Lord has helped us”

When I reflect on the last year and the deep, rich work the Lord has done in and through my life, the only answer to how I made it through is by the Lord’s help. Please do not look at me and see strength or faith. I pray you see the strong and faithful God. Friends it is ALL HIM, and He gets the glory.

Today I went on a field trip with Samuel and Selah. I’m enjoying simple joys like drinking coffee in a room lit only by the white lights of the Christmas tree and the fire. A year later, I’m still here and proclaiming God’s faithfulness in all things.

Your prayers have meant the world to me. I’m sitting in joy, and the faithfulness of my great God who never lets me go.

Thank you for being on the journey with us. I pray that you sense the peace of Emmanuel, (God with us) as we do.

With gratitude and joy,