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  • Writer's pictureHolly Tomlin

Trials and Doctor Visit Update

Trials are something none of us would sign up for. None of us want to suffer, to experience pain, to have our lives drastically change unexpectedly, to get that dreaded phone call… In the midst of a trial, it feels like you're out in the middle of the ocean, kicking your legs as fast as possible to stay afloat. Doing everything you can to not go under. Then finally something happens and the water starts to recede... You come out a new person, a survivor!   What I have learned about trials... God is real. He is alive. God is chiseling away the ugly to make something beautiful. Trials force you to run to God or away from him. In the midst of my greatest trial... In my weakest moments, I had no choice but to surrender everything in my life to the Lord. It was in those moments that I found freedom and a closeness to God I have never felt in my life. I would never wish to be back in those moments again, but because of those moments I have gained so much wisdom and perspective. I have learned what true joy is and where it is found. Before cancer, the enemy knew exactly how to speak lies into my life and steal my joy. But today, I am not the same person I was a year ago. I have done everything possible to not allow my mind to be filled with lies about my appointment with Dr. Oh today. I have to fight it because if not my mind can easily "go there" and believe that cancer has filled my body once again. So Satan, the only thing I have to say to you is "bye Felicia"! Have you ever had a season in your life where you feel unsettled and are just waiting around for the bottom to fall out? Almost like you're living between two worlds. You may not even know what you’re waiting for. That's exactly where I feel I am right now. I am not the old me, but I am still trying to figure out who the new me is. I don't want to go back to the way I was before cancer. Yet, old habits die hard. Right? It's so easy to slip back into what we know, to what we are comfortable with. Change requires action. You have to be intentional and mindful about choices you are making. I also learned that just because I was anxious about my appointment doesn't mean I don't trust God. I have been struggling with guilt from having these feelings. Like I didn't have enough faith ….. Or else I wouldn't be scared. I mean seriously, who skips on into the oncologist's office? Umm no one. And if they do they've just taken too many "happy" pills. Honestly I have done well up until this morning. As I started the drive to Presby Dallas, I felt like I was going to vomit. So many times before I have made this drive. Then I pull into the parking lot and walk into the Cancer center. I serious thought I was going to pass out. Just being there. Every fear, every thought, every emotion comes flooding back. It is very surreal and very hard to even explain. I think anyone who has experienced any type of stressful life event can relate. Truly there is a component of post-traumatic stress disorder that I still have yet to fully appreciate. I don't know if I ever will.  Well, my visit with Dr. Oh went great. He was very optimistic and saw nothing concerning. In fact, he told me he is quite confident that my cancer will never return. Even if it does it still has a very good prognosis. That was such a relief to hear these words from him. I did have tumor markers drawn (blood work). I won’t get the results until next week, but I can honestly say I truly feel they will be normal. My type of cancer/tumor secretes certain hormones, so I will routinely have these levels drawn. After seeing Dr. Oh, I was able to go visit my chemo nurses and to leave treats in the nutrition room for chemo patients. I brought some treats for my medical team to celebrate Nurses' day. My heart was broken at all the faces I saw during my visit there today. So much sadness, pain, devastation. I just wanted to hug every person there and share with them the hope I have. The hope that never fades. I have this hope not because my cancer is gone, because regardless of my cancer, I am healed because of my Jesus. Nothing can separate me from him. Thank you Jesus. So now, I continue to go on about my life. Another three months before I go back. Speaking of trials, some of you already know but last week during the horrible storms that came through, my sister and her family’s home was flooded in Whitehouse (outside of Tyler). A freak act of nature… They woke up at midnight to inches of water covering the floors of their house and had to be rescued by the fire department. I mean really, how often does it rain 8 inches in 30 minutes. Well unfortunately for them and several of their neighbors it did and left nothing but devastation behind. Thankfully no one was hurt and everything that was damaged can be replaced. Sadly, they were set to close on the house in two weeks and move into their new house as well. The buyers of their house have now backed out. Like most all of us, they didn’t have flood insurance so all of the repairs are on them. They have been living in a hotel for a week. Lots of stressful moments. But I have been so amazed at how their community has surrounded them. Helping with cleanup, meals, lunches for her kids, etc. I also started a fund for them to help with all the costs of repairs.  The Lord is good and He has been there every step of the way for them. This is one of the biggest trials they have experienced in their lives, but my sister and brother-in-law have lived out their faith. They are living out the faith they speak about. Through the tears, they have never lost their hope. They know they have a solid foundation in Christ, even though their earthly possessions may have been lost. Please join us in praying for them during this time. Pray the Lord quickly leads a new family to their home. They are replacing everything in the next two weeks so it will be like a brand new house. Someone will actually get the better end of the deal when it’s all said and done. The best part about it all is that my nieces and nephews and my own children get to see true faith lived out. They get to see another beautiful example of how beauty comes from ashes. Just another opportunity to trust the Lord to care for every detail of their lives. Here’s a link to their fund if you would feel led to help in any way. As far as Team Holly goes, I am still praying about an exciting opportunity that I have to give back to the community of women just like me. I have some decisions to make in the upcoming weeks and am excited to see what doors the Lord opens up.  Thank you for continuing to follow my journey. I truly appreciate all the prayers and encouraging words. Jesus, it’s all for you. Every single day. May I never forget how much I need you. He chose us in advance and He makes everything work out according to His plan. Ephesians 1:11b #teamholly

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