“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” -Psalm 18:28

What a great verse–I have always loved Psalm 18, and especially verse 28, but so much more right now in some days that don’t always seem so light. As I’ve said before, it is so awesome to me that God redeems even the laziest and most “unproductive” of our days by the world’s standards into something imbued with purpose. That said, I love how this Psalm chronicles all the ways the Lord has saved David–and Israel, too–and how it’s such a reminder that, every time, God is faithful! He HAS always rescued his people, and He WILL always turn their darkness into light.

And now, speaking of darkness…. The last few days have been the bad days (5 & 6), but, the best part about day 6 is at the end of the day (so, tonight) when there’s such relief that each day until the next treatment is going to at least be better than the previous one. That’s definitely something to look forward to. My dad has said again and again that, once this is all said and done and I have my last treatment in mid-May, the best part will be waking up each day and knowing that, on this day, I will feel better than before and will know what a gift feeling good is for each day. It’s all about perspective, I think we are learning. As for the extent of my feeling bad on this cycle’s days 5 and 6, it has not been the worst that I’ve had, but they were pretty unfortunate since I developed a cold somewhere in the last week, so instead of just feeling achy and lethargic like I had the flu this round, I actually felt the cold symptoms of that, too, this time. PTL that I have not had a fever, though–seriously, such a praise…especially since I am going home on Friday and then on to Baylor and OU before my next treatment on Thursday, February 5th. So, we will keep praying for healing, for no fever, and that the trip is a great one…slash, also that I don’t have to wear a surgical mask on the airplane. That would be real cool and all, but thinking about that makes me feel claustrophobic. 🙂

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“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble…for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” –Psalm 9:9-10

Once again, hello from Wheaton! I wanted to quickly update about a couple things. First of all, PTL that the weather is warmer. And by warmer, I mean that it’s now in the positives–and hey! it looks like tomorrow’s high is actually ABOVE FREEZING! I don’t really know what to do with myself right now because I’m (sadly) so thrilled!

Secondly, I know so many have been praying, so I thought I should let you know that, if you’ve read the other posts, I am now officially “soaring on the wings of Jesus,” in the words of Madelyn as she tried to comfort me about the prospects of losing my hair. Actually, though, I was reading in Psalms last night and was at Psalm 17:8b which reads, “hide me in the shadow of your wings,” which is also a line from one of my favorite worship songs we sing at Wheaton called “Still.” SO, it turns out Madelyn’s theology wasn’t TOO far off; however, I’m pretty sure that Psalm 17:8b is David appealing for GOD to hide him in the shadow of His metaphorical wings rather than Madelyn’s encouragement that I could soar on the wings of Jesus, but she tried at least.

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“To the LORD I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the LORD sustains me” –Psalm 3:4-5

Greetings from the frozen tundra that is currently Wheaton, IL. Tonight’s low is -11 degrees, with “wind chill values as low as -31.” I kid you not. Needless to say, I will NOT be going outside anytime soon. AND, how convenient to have an actual excuse this winter to avoid the negative temperatures: “my weakened immune system simply isn’t feeling like going outside.” 🙂

Anyway, despite the frigid cold and the fact that Christmas break is now officially over, it is good to be back. My dad and I made the drive up last Wednesday and Thursday, and we concluded the journey by seeing Wicked in Chicago (which was so good!) on Thursday night. Friday morning my dad and I had some time before my mom got in and treatment happened, so we went to a museum and enjoyed some time in the city. That afternoon, my mom flew up, and I had Chemo #3 on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning my dad flew back home–thankfully, since a ton of flights were cancelled over the weekend–and then my mom and I stayed busy with getting me ready for the semester and settling back in. Sunday morning we went to breakfast with her best friend Sandy Boulden, and afterwards, she took my mom to the airport to fly home, and apparently they cried all the way there. Despite the sadness of saying goodbye to the rest of my family, I actually felt pretty well on Saturday and Sunday–I think being pretty active was a good thing as far as keeping me distracted from any fatigue by having to focus on the many errands at hand. My mom was amazing in setting me up–she organized my food and cooking supplies, made me some meals to reheat for times when I don’t feel up to cooking, and was just great, in general. I love my family so much!

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“The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.” –Psalm 145:13b

Happy New Year! So sorry it’s been a while, but I hope yall had blessed Christmases and New Year celebrations as well! We have enjoyed the holidays here in Fairview, and even more than the time to rest, I was thrilled with the 80 degree weather we had yesterday. In January. That’s amazing. (although, of course, it’s 43 right now. all good things must come to an end, apparently).

Anyway, how about a recap of the past week or so? I had my 2nd treatment on Wednesday (Christmas Eve) down in Dallas, and it was definitely a different experience than my treatment at Northwestern in Chicago, but it was such a blessing to get in even–especially on Christmas Eve. The doctor was a little more frank, but it gave my dad, my friend Caroline, and I some laughs as the doctor said, “You could be dead” in a very blunt manner. I mean, it’s a true statement when you think about it, but when sitting in a hospital room on Christmas Eve, it nevertheless made us laugh a little and say, “Well, yes, that’s true. I tell myself that every day when I wake up.” So, treatment happened, and I felt great on Christmas, which is a huge praise! Thanks for so many prayers for that! I got a little tired, but then again, at one point, about five of us McGinnis cousins were sleeping around my grandparents’ couches, so I can’t really say whether my fatigue was isolated to chemo or not. The day after Christmas (Friday) I also felt pretty well–again, just a little tired physically–or maybe drained is a better word, since it’s not like I was falling asleep at meals or anything, but I just felt fatigued.

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