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Mighty to Save

Well, everyone needs compassion

A love that’s never failing

Let mercy fall on me

Well everyone needs forgiveness

The kindness of a Savior

The hope of nations


My Savior

He can move the mountains

My God is Mighty to save

He is Mighty to save

Forever, Author of salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave


So take me as you find me

All my fears and failures

And fill my life again

I give my life to follow

Everything I believe in

And now I surrender

I surrender


Savior

He can move the mountains

My God is Mighty to save

He is Mighty to save

Forever, Author of salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave


Shine your light and let the whole world see

We’re singing for the glory of the Risen King

Jesus

Shine your light and let the whole world see

We’re singing for the glory of the Risen King


Savior

He can move the mountains

My God is Mighty to save

He is Mighty to save

Forever, Author of Salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave


Mighty to Save by Hillsong




Those words. This song. It’s one of my absolute favorites to sing along with the Praise Team at church. I’ve told a few people that this is one of the songs I want at my funeral (which I’m hoping isn’t any time soon, by the way, *wink*). I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I’ve thought about my funeral. I’ve thought about who might be there, what might be said, the verses that might be used. I’ve thought about the pictures on the picture boards—which, by the way, one of my besties and her family…when they come across pictures they love you might hear “funeral board!” come out of their mouths. So. I know I’m not alone in this. Will I want to be cremated? If not, what would I pick out to wear? Would I wear anything at all? That would cause quite the stir and what a way to go (hahaaaa, jk, Mom. I can literally hear her, “JESSICA!” as she’s reading this. Am, Tif—I know you can, too).


I know I mentioned losing a friend in one of my posts recently—Becky--she passed away back in December. She would have been 60 this past Saturday. She was the first person to “welcome” me to the “cancer club” as she so lovingly called it—followed by a “membership isn’t something you or I would have chosen, but God has put this journey in our lives for our good and I have experienced so many blessings from it and I know you will, too.”


This woman…inspired me and continues to inspire me whenever I think of her—which is every single day. She was so kind, so compassionate, so giving, and her faith. Ohhhhh her faith. When I first started talking to her I remember thinking to myself, “This. This is what I want and need out of life. This unshakeable peace, this unwavering faith. This.” We actually met face to face last summer, which I will forever be grateful for. I finally got to hug this incredible woman.


Becky endured a lot of pain and suffering at the end. One of the things that got her through was remembering what Jesus endured. She thought to herself, “If Jesus can endure all that undeserved pain and suffering for me and for everyone, I can certainly do this.” And she did. She passed away full well knowing she would see her Savior, pain free and no more suffering.


I thought a lot about all of this, the last couple of weeks in particular. It was pretty ironic sitting in the church pews on Easter Sunday as our Pastor mentioned he thinks about those who have passed quite a bit every year around this time of year because I do the same thing. I also watch the Passion of the Christ every year, and it can be pretty horrifying to watch. I don’t know if you ever saw it, but I do recommend watching it if you haven’t. Sometimes I feel like we can read and hear about Jesus’ suffering and death, but we don’t really FEEL it. Sometimes I think it can just seem like a “story” and we hear it that week and then never really think about what he actually endured for us—for all of us, even those who don’t believe. Hey—it is based on actual events. I feel like if you ‘see’ it…it makes it that much more real. It makes him human. And He was…He was human.

But then, Good Friday comes and goes and we know what’s coming. We know that He died for us. We know He was buried. But we know He rose from the dead to conquer death and the devil. We know this gives us hope—hope of a future, hope that death has nothing over us and that we will have life with Him after we leave this earth. It gives me comfort knowing that death is not the end. This is something I just feel everyone needs to know. It’s comforting to know that no matter how terrible of a person you have been, God is always there to forgive. If you’ve gone most of your life believing there is no God and whoever believes in Him is just brainwashed, He’s still there. Just waiting for you…little ol’, underserving you. I KNOW I don’t deserve His grace…but He assures me I have it.


This knowledge of God is definitely the most important thing I can pass along to my children. The other night, it was time to read before bed. I asked what books they wanted to pick out, and they asked my if I could read from their bible. It’s a cute, Rhyme Bible they received from our church when they were born. So I started reading about Jonah, Daniel in the Lions Den, and then my little Bean asked if I could read about Jesus dying. We just read that last week, but of course I read it again. In the middle of me reading, she raised her little hand and started telling me all about what happened. “Mom. Jesus’ disciples were there and took him off the cross and the other people yelled “Cwucify Him, Cwucify Him! (in big people’s words, it’s ‘Crucify Him, Crucify Him’) and then He died. And then He rose again.” Yup, hunny, that’s exactly what happened. And theeeeeen, the questions come pouring in. And some of these questions can even stump me at times. My kids are 3, 4 & 5. My 4 & 5 year old learn all about Jesus in school, hence the questions coming at me. I just smile, and think to myself, “Dang. I need to brush up more on my Bible with these questions already!” But seriously. How great is that? Questioning what they’re learning. There is absolutely nothing wrong with questioning. Heck, I had bible studies and learned God’s Word from preschool through my senior year in high school and I still have questions. I can only IMAGINE the questions someone who is on the fence about the whole “God thing” might have. But. Questions are good. I was always told that in high school. I also want to say, that it DOES take faith. Some stuff is just too hard for us to wrap our tiny, human brains around. It takes faith, belief, and prayer. Pray that you can open your heart. Pray for peace. Pray for comfort. Pray for whatever you need—whatever you’re going through--big or small. Pray. Pray. Pray.





It’s a goal of mine—praying more and praying with intent. God wants us to ask for big things. When I was first diagnosed, I remember I would pray for full healing. That’s what I wanted. I would always, ALWAYS end it with “if it is Your will,” and then I would honestly look up with one eye open while the other was still shut and say out of the corner of my mouth, “I know…that You know…what’s in my heart, and I’m sorry but I’m reeeeaaaally hoping Your will includes healing here.” Ha! Nice, right?


I want to go back a month or so here. As some of you know, I started a new treatment . I just had my third treatment the Monday after Easter. After my tumor markers kept increasing, we decided to do a PET scan to see if the cancer had spread anywhere else. I still hate scan days, by the way. Actually—the days leading up to scan days are the worst. On the actual day, a lot of times I have this sort of peace that comes over me and I say to myself, “whatever happens, whatever I find out…I’ll be okay.” Well, I had the PET scan done, and I found out the cancer increased a bit in the liver, but it did NOT spread anywhere else. THANK, GOD!


So, in comes the new treatment. This new treatment not only brought more fatigue, but it brought a new side effect—a nasty rash. I was really hoping it would be more of a “looks nasty but I can’t feel a thing” type of rash…but it’s definitely not. It burns, itches, is irritating, and can be downright miserable at times—around my mouth and my neck onto my chest. While it is an irritating side effect to say the least, both of my oncologists informed me that usually the worse the rash…the more effective the treatment. So… bring it on I guess.


I remember praying as I started this new treatment. I got pretty specific with my prayer on this. A lot of times when I pray, and this is just something I’ve always done, is I look up and kinda just start talking. So my prayer went something like this, “hey God? It’d be pretty darn cool if my tumor markers went down to like 400 something. I’d be okay with that.” And that was that.


That being said, my tumor markers going in to this treatment were at 1384. I went home after my third treatment, not really even anticipating my tumor markers. I normally check my email every 5 minutes in hopes the results are in and I can see what happened. I didn’t do that this time. But I was pleasantly surprised to see they came in waaaaay faster than they normally do. So…I opened my health account up and took a peek at the tumor marker number. Jaw. Drop.


I don’t ever expect the answer I think I want when I pray. I ultimately know God knows what’s best for me and although most times I would LOOOOOVE to get what I ask for, I know in my heart it’s not always going to happen and there’s a reason for it. I guess you might say it’s that “peace that surpasses all understanding.”


Oh! I also started something new last week. Have you ever had something come to your attention not once, not twice, but three times and you think to yourself, “okay…maybe this is something I need to check in to?” Well, that happened to me recently.

In those first days of my diagnosis, I did an extensive amount of research. So much so my husband was suggesting I put the phone down within the first 48 hours of my diagnosis and I just looked at him with tears in my eyes and said, “I can’t.” Well, I came across this therapy then. I put it to the wayside, but then someone else I know brought it up a couple months down the road. I, again, put it to the wayside. I then came across another woman’s post about this very therapy and that’s when I thought to myself, “Okay, it’s a God thing.” So I looked further into it—researched it, did webinars, spoke with a naturopathic Dr. I found in Colorado (thanks to the Believe Big organization and this woman I speak of), and decided to give it a whirl—against my oncologists beliefs about it. One said it wouldn’t hurt or help, the other said he never heard of it so he wouldn’t do it (which weren’t reasons enough for me to not give it a go). For the record, I don’t think I know more/better than any oncologist. But…it’s obviously a topic I do know more about, seeing as one had never heard of it.


What’s this new therapy? As I think you’re well aware, I am very much a firm believer in fighting my disease with both conventional methods and holistic methods. I strongly feel it’s up to the person—how they want to fight. I don’t judge those who choose only conventional methods and I don’t judge those who do only natural methods. It’s not my place to judge and neither road is going to be easy. I do feel, personally, that sometimes there are just certain things that need a little more than just an herb or a mushroom. I truly believe a combination of both worlds is the best way to combat it—just a well-researched opinion of mine.


So the homeopathic therapy I am now doing is ‘mistletoe therapy.’ It’s nothing new—it’s actually been used since 1912 and is widely used in Europe as a complementary therapy to chemotherapy and radiation. I won’t go into too much detail right now, but the cool thing is, is they send me the mistletoe and I can give myself the injections—no need to go to Colorado for the treatment. Huge bonus.


I also had extensive blood work done and went through it all with the new addition to my team—my naturopathic Dr. She is going to help me get everything where it needs to be, working on my “terrain” as she refers to it—getting my body and immune system in check. It’s interesting…it’s exciting…it’s intriguing… it scares people around me, but I’m not scared. Mistletoe has shown to reduce side effects of chemo, increase energy, in some it has shown to reduce tumors/keep them at bay. It has shown to decrease the chance of metastases in some as well. It doesn’t work the same in every patient, of course—like everything else including chemo. I find it a little funny when I’m asked, “aren’t you worried about putting that in your body?” Um….I have poison—toxic crap running through my body that has been known to kill people as well. No….I’m not worried.” I did my research. And I’m willing to take the risk of it not doing anything. And if anything, it’s something I can stop at any time.


Exciting stuff going on in this journey! I still have my days where I worry—I’m on my third different chemo in 1.5 years which had/has me a little concerned but I REALLY try to focus on God whenever I have those moments. Pray. Pray. Pray.

Oh…speaking of prayer. Those tumor markers I mentioned before? Where I said I’d be okay with them being 400 something? They went from 1384 to 463 after those first two treatments. Call it coincidence, if you must…but I don’t know. I’m thinking it’s more of a Godcidence. I know it is.


Hope & Pray.


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4 Comments


kristilou642
May 08, 2019

Hi Jess,

I'm Becky's daughter, Kristin. Thank you for your beautiful post and tribute to my mom. She spoke with admiration about you and was so thankful to get to meet you last summer. I pray that God will give you contentment and peace as He faithfully answers your prayers according to His will. (I can totally relate to winking out of the corner of my eye and saying, "You know what MY will is, God." Ha!) I also pray that He gives your body healing so that you can continue to serve your family and those around you. May He bless and keep you as you travel through life in the "cancer club."

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glenmo01
May 07, 2019

Jess - Just so you know, Becky was equally thankful for you, and that she had the opportunity to meet you as well. Your research path into combining the holistic approach with traditional medicine is similar to Becky's. You are correct noting that everyone's journey is different, and you have to follow what YOU are comfortable doing. She did the same thing.


You know that God is leading you every step of the way! And you also know that His plan for your life, wherever it leads, is perfect. What comfort that was for us and still is for me. Thank you for sharing your faith and journey as well. May He bless you richly in the years to come!


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bumpster73
May 02, 2019

Continued prayers for you! This world needs more Jessica Haags! 😍🙏

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amber
May 01, 2019

Love this song too, Jess!

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