December, 2014

CT Result Is “Stable”

“ There are multiple lymph nodes in the mediastinum, measuring less than 9mm in short axis, not enlarged by CT criteria, and not significantly changed in size or number compared to the prior study,” said the result.

What happened to the 12mm lymph node in the previous result? If it shrank to 9mm, I am very happy.

Because I expected the word “improvement”, at first I was disappointed thinking now I can’t get back to remission any more, but in the second thought this is still good news because it could have been worse increasing in size or numbers.
The regimen is working and I have to be thankful for that.

Thank you for the prayers!

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

Though One Step Ahead is Pitch Dark

My younger son had a big argument with an employee at a gas station over a car wash. The employee yelled at my son, who was upset at being cheated, “ I will never forget your face!”
As I heard the story, I got scared thinking that he could’ve been shot or harmed.
In fact, he had a friend, who was shot being in a wrong place at the wrong time, and my husband has a friend, whose son was involved in a fight after he was drunk and killed someone.

The next day, the same younger son had a flat tire on a freeway on the way to the Bay area. This story also scared me and all of sudden I started worrying about our three children who drive on the freeways everyday.

George, who turned 60 this year, has Parkinson’s and high blood pressure. Each time when we have lost friends, who’ve fell down and hit a wrong place, had a heart attack or stroke, I got worried thinking that the next one might be him. Not to mention about my cancer or chemo side effects, but if I start counting the concerns, they are endless.
As I read or listen to daily news, they are also so depressing that I can’t help thinking that one step ahead of us is pitch dark. Having today is like a miracle and nobody has a guarantee for tomorrow.

Being swallowed by fear or hit by a great shock, some people get into depression, or even lose their minds, and commit suicide. Yet I can’t blame them. If I hadn’t had a Bible, I may wind up with the same destiny.

Jesus said,
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”—(Matthew 11:28-30)

So I cast my fears, sorrows, or struggles to Jesus, open the Bible to listen to His Word, and remember God’s faithfulness in my past. He has been always with me protecting and guiding me to the right path, and He will be with me no matter what.
“ Do not be afraid!”
Imprinting the God’s words on my heart, I focus on the light instead of the darkness.

I don’t have to try hard to stand by myself. I have God, whom I can lean on and who never betrays me.
I am so thankful that I could know Him!

(This song was written by Marsha Stevens who was saved from drug addiction.)

Because There Is Christmas

Christmas is coming! Decorating the tree, playing Christmas carols by piano, attending parties and Christmas concerts, shopping for gifts and sending cards., I have been busy but enjoying this holy season.
This is the 5th Christmas after my diagnoses of cancer and I am just so thankful that God has sustained my life one more year sending many blessings despite the trials that have come one after another.

Especially I am thankful that I could accomplish language support for two Japanese breast cancer patients, who finished their treatments and left for Japan.

I was also inspired by the news that Lauren Hill, the 19 year old terminal brain cancer girl, who was told that she may not make it to this Christmas, participated in one more college basketball game scoring points even though she is now under hospice care.

635542473122773676-Lauren6

On top of that, she is on a campaign to raise one million for brain cancer research. Wishing to support her and to become a cheerful giver as Jesus taught me, I decided to send a donation.

From Guatemala we received a picture of a young boy, Mario whom George and I have been sponsoring through World Vision about 12 years, and a brace band he made.

hand bandWearing the band and looking at the growing Mario in the picture, I was so glad that we decided to support him and could do so up to now. I hope we can continue the sponsorship until he becomes an independent man and imagine how wonderful it would be if we could meet him someday.

For me, Christmas is all about Jesus. The Halleluiah Chorus singing, “The King of kings, The Lord of lords,” touched me deeply and I renewed the gratitude for the priceless gift, Jesus, who was sent to become a human humbly to teach us how to love one another, and to die for our Sin though He was the only Son of God.

Compared with many organizations and individuals that have touched so many lives and made great differences, what Grain of Wheat or I do is nothing.
Yet because I love Jesus and our Father in Heaven, because I want to give Him back what he has done to me though it is never possible to do so, and because Jesus said, “The harvest is great but the workers are few,” (Luke 10:2) I want to become a cheerful giver like Jesus told me.

Being encouraged by George, I have continued the support or volunteering, and if I see the fruits, I feel great joy even if it doesn’t pay me any money. I am slow, making many mistakes, forgetful, disorganized, selfish, and weak to temptations, but God still equips me.  I am thankful.
My life after I got cancer is like extra. If I can transform myself following Jesus style, at the end of my life on the earth, I should be able to say, “ I did it! Halleluiah!”
It is all because there is Christmas; Jesus was born.
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The Most Inspirational Memorial Service

Robbie Viera-Lambert passed away all of sudden at age 42 by a heart attack on Dec. 3rd. It was so shocking for everyone who knew him and his family, yet his memorial service was the most uplifting, inspirational one I’ve ever experienced.

Robbie, who was a strong candidate for the US Olympic ice hockey team, became quadriplegic after a car accident on the way home from a special intense training camp at age 18, but by God’s grace, he had a wonderfully blessed life with many miracles.

In order to grance how blessed his life was, I’d like to introduce Robbie’s story, which was printed on the memorial service program.

“When I was young I wanted to be an ice hockey player more than anything else.  Living in Hawaii that seemed next to impossible.  However with the help of God, family, friends and endless fundraisers this Hawaiian Express was on the way to playing professional hockey.

I had it all (or so I thought), until I broke my neck in a car accident.  Hockey was no longer the focus; just trying to move became the new challenge.

After the accident I didn’t ask  God “why” but “what” did He want me to do now.  The answer came in helping others who were in the same situation I was in.  This is when my mom, CyCy, and I started RVL SCORE (Robbie Vierra-Lambert Spinal Cord Organization For Regaining Excellence).  Through our organization we were able to help many people gain their level of excellence and live independent lives after a spinal cord injury.

This is when Tarrah came into my life as a volunteer for RVL SCORE.  Through the years we cared more and more for each other and then finally, I asked her to marry me.  It was a very good day.

The doctors said I would never be able to have kids, however God had other plans and blessed us with 3 beautiful miracles, Kamea, Nani and Luk.  I’m so proud of my kiddos and everything they do.  I’m cheering from Heaven as they play soccer, hockey, perform plays or just have a good day.

I’ve also been able to mentor my little brother Keoni and watched as he has grown into a fine businessman and a loving husband.

RVL SCORE continues to make a difference in so many lives by producing youth musicals.  Kids get a chance to find their voice through drama, singing, and dance as proceeds benefit those in need.

I know God had a purpose for my life that was very different from what I had planned back in Hawaii.  However, His plan is perfect and brought many of you into my life.  You have blessed my family and me with your love and friendship, for this I will always be grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my life’s celebration.  I’m in Heaven with Jesus and those who have gone before me.  I have a brand new body and have never skated faster.

Remember to keep Christ as your center, He is mine, He is my families’!  Love conquers all things.  HOOOO PAPA!

Love to you all, Robbie”

In the service were so many people including those in wheelchairs, handicapped, and youths, whose lives were touched by Robbie.

I wish he had been able to live longer so that he would have seen his girls become independent. However, just like Dad, who changed his tragedy into a positive by blessing someone else, I believe that his girls also will change this sad experience into something beautiful with God’s help.

Praying so, I imagine Robbie who has received a new body without a wheelchair.

God, thank you for Robbie!

Robbie Memorial service

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the center of the sanctuary was a silver hockey stick in which Robbie’s ashes were placed.
Hockey Stick

Youtube Video of Robbie’s Memorial Service

Robby’s mom, CyCy, sent me the video of the whole service.  If you were not in the service please click the below.

http://youtu.be/f_ANl3C_CnI

The song Keoni, Robbie’s younger brother is singing is ” King David’s Hallelujah”.  Tributes were given by mother CyCy, friends, Kimo, Mike, and Matt,  the first daughter Kamea, and the wife Tarrah.  The pastor was George.  If you are interested in Robbie’s slide show, please move the red bar at the bottom at 1:06:00.

Robbie’s spirit never gave up, and he lived confirming  the scripture; ” I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).” How beautifully blessed his life was!  Well done Robbie!  GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

Santa is Coming!

Micha Santa

Santa is Micah, who has a mental disability and the Elf is George.
This was a shot before they left for delivering Christmas gifts to lonely elders, children who lost their mom to cancer, and Micah’s group home.

Micah always looks forward to this day when he becomes Santa and people also welcome his surprise visit. This is George’s idea and production a long time ago. He wanted to teach Micah that Christmas means not only receiving, but also giving and this became a tradition since Micah loves it.

When Santa comes back after the work, it will be his turn to receive a gift from the Elf.
I am at home waiting for them, but imagining he is giving joy to the people with gifts saying, “ Ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas!” and everyone is having fun right now. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

It Became Quiet Again

Like the song “Twelve Days of Christmas”, I learned that traditionally Christmas lasts twelve days starting from Dec. 25th or the night before 25th.

When George was a child, a Christmas tree was set out on Christmas eve after he went to bed, and on Christmas morning there was a big surprise with the tree along with many gifts, he said.

My British friend, Susan, also told me that she also kept a Christmas tree for twelve days through a new year.

In our case this year, however, two days after Christmas when our younger son, Soh and his family (Pinky and a dog, Illy) – who had moved to the Bay Area recently and were visiting us for a Christmas vacation – left, we put away all the Christmas decorations.

The house became plain and quiet, again.

Though we will see friends and family next week, as well, I feel a little lonely being alone with George.  This must be the feeling of the empty nest and I feel like we are definitely in a new chapter of life.

In this new chapter, specifically the next new year, however, I say to myself, “Look forward to God’s good plan for us and to lots of blessings because HE IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!”

 

Worry Caused Stress Onto Others

“I am shopping for Christmas gifts. I can’t enjoy the time with the family and friends. This is too much.”

Charging my cell-phone, which was dead for a couple days, I found My son, Soh’s numerous text messages sent on Dec. 23rd

I have asked him to fix a website of NPO Grain of Wheat so that we would be able to raise funds for a cancer friend, Vivian, but it was Christmas week and Soh was on the vacation.

The website Soh built five years ago has needed major maintenance, while there are several personal fundraising websites, which are user friendly, but after a meeting with Doug, Vivian’s husband, we decided to use the Grain of Wheat website because Doug’s son, Dan, who is a website developer, would be able to help.

The idea of the fundraising came up in November, but it was December, the busiest month of a year when we asked Dan to make a fundraising page as well as Soh to assist Dan.
As Christmas was approaching Worrying about Vivian, who became sicker, I felt urgency to start the fundraising. I regretted the decision of using the Grain of Wheat site, and felt time pressure but didn’t notice that my pressure was pressuring others who were involved in this project.
“ASAP!” I was typing numerous times in emails on top of requesting some modifications and additions on the page. A few weeks later finally the fundraising page was completed in an adapted Grain of Wheat website on December 23rd.

As Lee, our good friend, promptly announced the fundraising to all the friends, from next day, Christmas Eve, the donations have been coming. As of today, 12/30/14, we raised about $4000.

I was relieved from the pressure, but reading Soh’s messages, I am wondering that maybe we didn’t need to be in such a hurry; maybe it would have been o.k. to wait after New Year’s Day. Feeling bad to put pressure on everyone’s shoulder, I sent apology emails.