1 Year Ago Today…

1 year ago today I was diagnosed with cancer.

I want to thank God for preserving my life and bringing our family through a difficult year.  As I look back at pictures from the past year I think of it all as a journey of growth, tears, strengthening, and lots of love.  I share some of them here with you to bring my Savior Jesus glory for His goodness, His faithfulness, and His love for me, for my family, and for every person young or old that goes through cancer.

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Right after I was diagnosed, special gifts, texts, calls, emails and FB messages started pouring in. What an encouragement! This fruit bouquet came from Dave & Rebecca, my cousin and his wife.

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Thank you for the love!

Psalm 112:7

“He will have no fear of bad new;  his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

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Our son Arik headed to college a couple weeks after diagnosis. Such mixed emotions.

Psalm 18:28

“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;  my God turns my darkness into light.”

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Our daughter Nicole shared her testimony, which included my recent diagnosis, at Fields of Faith, a teen event, about a week after my lumpectomy surgery.

Psalm 46:1

“God is our Refuge and Strength, an ever-present Help in trouble.”

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Andy took me on a getaway to San Francisco before radiation.

Psalm 55:22

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous fall.”

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My sweet neighbor Chloe in The Race for the Cure.

John 5:17

“Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at His work, to this very day, and I , too, am working.”

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End of radiation celebration. We didn’t yet know I needed chemo.

John 10:27

“My sheep listen to my voice;  I know them and they follow me.”

Hat & Scarf party put on by my sister-in-law Rayna the day before my head was shaved. What a wonderful show of love and support. I used these hats and scarfs to keep warm all through the winter.

Psalm 94:18,19

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping’, Your love, O Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

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First chemo treatment with daughter Nicole.

Psalm 42:5

“Why so downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your trust in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

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Nicole bravely shaved my head before the hair started really falling out two weeks after chemo started.

Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Trying to get used to the new norm.

Trying to get used to the new norm.

2 Corinthians 4:8

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;  perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned;  struck down, but not destroyed.”

Wig-wearing began.

Wig-wearing began.

2 Corinthians 4:18

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

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Reading during chemo.

Ephesians 1:3

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

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6 chemo treatments 3 weeks apart.  My special "chemo-sabis" with me each time.

6 chemo treatments 3 weeks apart. My special “chemo-sabis” with me each time.

Psalm 138:8

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;  Your love, O Lord, endures forever –  Do not abandon the works of your hands.”

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Time with my friend Don as he was going through chemo too at the same place.

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

So very thankful for my faithful husband, so loving and encouraging in sickness and in health.

So very thankful for my faithful husband, so loving and encouraging in sickness and in health.

Psalm 3:3

“But You are a shield around me, O Lord;  You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”

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Christmas morning holding a beautiful scarf my son brought me from his December missions trip to India.

Psalm 18:1,2

“I love You, O Lord, my Strength.  The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer, my God is my Rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my Shield and the Horn of my Salvation, my Stronghold.”

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Never thought I’d be balder than my sweet dad. 🙂

Isaiah 40:29

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

End of chemo family celebration!

End of chemo family celebration! I am thankful beyond words for my family’s support!

Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Starting to grow hair back.

Starting to grow hair back.

Isaiah 49:23

“…then you will know that I am the Lord;  those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

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By God’s grace I was able to go back to Africa in June, feeling good, and co-leading our True Impact Ministries team with my husband Andy! What a gift!

Isaiah 58:9-11

“…If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday.  The Lord will guide you always;  He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

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2 Corinthians 5:7

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

One of the blessings of this journey has been meeting other cancer survivors and sharing experiences together.

One of the blessings of this journey has been meeting other cancer survivors and sharing experiences together.

Philippians 1:6

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Spending time alone with the Lord in the beautiful Colorado mountains.

Spending time alone with the Lord in the beautiful Colorado mountains.

Isaiah 26:3,4

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you.

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”

– Susie Stewart

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13 Comments

  1. There is a beautiful head of red hair coming!!! Thanks for your encouragement, partner… Don N

    Reply

    1. Thank YOU, partner. I sure appreciate you, Don!

      Reply

  2. Susie, This is an incredible journal of inspiration, acceptance, glorification of Jesus and sheer beauty of treasuring life. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Karen

    Reply

    1. Thank you for that, Karen! Things like this really do make you treasure life even more. All glory to God.
      P.S. Have you recovered from the big day yet? 🙂

      Reply

  3. rknutson100@gmail.com August 17, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Beautiful, God-honoring, heartfelt summary of your amazing journey of the past year, Susie. Praise God for the joyful perseverance, wisdom, & courage He’s given you. Love you so much! Ruthie

    Reply

    1. Thank you, Ruthie! I love and appreciate you so much. You have been a consistent encouragement to me through this entire year. Thank you for being such an excellent example of woman who loves and follows Christ.

      Reply

  4. Susie once again beautifully written. You have shared your journey with us, your faith and love for our Jesus Christ never wavering. You’ve been an inspiration to us all. I thank our Lord and Saviour for putting you in my life. I love you Susie.

    Reply

    1. Thank you, Linda, my “sparkly” friend! I thank Jesus for bringing YOU into my life so many years ago. Thank you for taking a shy, awkward, freckled girl under your wing. I appreciate and love you so much!
      P.S. I need to give you back the “sparkly” hats you loaned me. Thanks for bringing the light and the sparkle to a difficult time.

      Reply

  5. Tammy Whittington August 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you Susie for sharing your journey and spirit. You are truly an inspiration.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for that, Tammy! Thanks for reading and responding. We’d love to see you again sometime!

      Reply

  6. Suz- Can’t believe it was a year ago! Thank you for making yourself vulnerable and sharing your journey with us. You have been such an inspiration to us and encouragement. Praise God for His daily faithfulness and goodness. I love you! Leslie

    Reply

  7. Hi Les! I know, I can’t believe it has been a year either. But I can. It has been slow and fast. I have so appreciated your love and support through this year, Les. And I’ve been so glad to have our get togethers. You are a forever friend and I love and cherish you.

    Reply

  8. Jessica N. Kigongo August 20, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us, you have been such an inspiration to all of us and I thank God for the spirit of writing he gave you. Let us pray for others who are still in that situation.
    May God continue blessing you and your family.
    Jessica

    Reply

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