Easter 2016

“It is finished”

I was not going to write a blog, but when, I woke up this morning at 6:15, God had other plans. Every day, I wake up thinking about my mother and what she was doing on this day last year. So, I like to scroll through photos and videos on Google + from last year. However, being that Easter was in March this year, I recovered a video from April 5th 2015 Easter Sunday.Even though, she was in the ICU on Easter Sunday, she still praised the Lord. It is extremely ironic that 3 days later, my mom passed away.(That’s another post for when the day comes) Oh yeah, excuse my none singing voice.

 

So, I’m going to be honest, it was a bittersweet celebrating Easter Sunday this year. I was ecstatic that I was feeling well enough (my off chemo week) to attend church and blessed that I could spend it with family.  But, also this is the first of many Easter Sundays without my mother and one of the first with multiple family members missing. There was no one to cook our normal Easter Sunday family dinner , therefore everyone was out doing their own thing. And that’s fine, but the feeling of being motherless around a time when Jesus died to show His unconditional love is indescribable.

I love Easter, that Jesus loved us so much that He was beaten, ridiculed, tortured, crucified, and died for us. That is unconditional love,  Jesus allows us to feel His presence when we need Him, when we think we don’t need Him, and when we are going to need Him. Because of His example my mother exemplified what unconditional love is showing” her husband, children, grandchildren, siblings, godchildren, extended family, friends and students that God is who He says He is. Our faith in knowing that even though we can not physically see Him this is why He had to do it. Because Jesus rose again, He lives! My journey is extremely difficult, but God’s unconditional love, grace and mercy is sufficient enough,  I will get through this and I will LIVE not DIE!

 

“neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39

Caleb Noah

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Palm Sunday 

Palm Sunday was one of the best worst days of my life. Why? I’ll start with the good. My sister Crystal’s second son Caleb was christened. She asked me to be his godmother a few weeks ago during Christian’s going away party. After three NO’s, I finally said ok. She used the well, since you were there for Caleb’s birth, yada yada. Haha I guess it made sense. It was a beautiful Christening, thank you Crystal & Corey for choosing me as his GOD-mother. And, I take on the responsibilities of being a spiritual influence in his life. However, he will still be just treated like the rest, no special treatment. Smile

O yeah, two weeks ago she randomly told us the date of the christening over breakfast. “Caleb, will be christened on March 20th, Palm Sunday.” Well, thanks let me check my schedule because of course we aren’t busy. Ohh

Sunday morning when I woke up, I did not feel good at all. My head was pounding, I was nauseous, fatigued, tired, light-headed and in pain. While, getting dressed for church, I had to stop several times to gather myself. Last week was strenuous, my white blood counts were low, so I had to take two injections Tuesday and Wednesday to bring them back up. My body took a beating, my muscles and bones were hurting, I was pulling muscles just by getting out of car. I was too exhausted to walk up and down the stairs in my house. I believe Sunday was the climax of all those things. But, God! He was there when I called, I asked Him for strength and He gave me enough to make it through the service.

It’s interesting how life works, foreshadowing and irony to be exact. On December 28, 2014, Crystal’s first son, Corey Jr.was christened. My mother at the time was very sick, but she too made it to church, not the christening because we were late as usual. After, the service, we all went back to Crystal & Corey’s house to celebrate because my mom wasn’t feeling well she stayed upstairs in Crystal’s bed. Hmm, same thing happened Sunday, I too, was upstairs in Crystal’s bed(a king size bed so comfortable when I woke up everyone was gone). It’s very eerie sometimes experiencing some of the same things my mother went through. But, her presence is always felt when I need it the most.

There is nothing too hard for God. And I am reminded of that during this week leading into Resurrection Sunday.

Your problems can never exhaust God’s provisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Can Handle It!

“How are you?”

Monday couldn’t come quick enough for me.  Why? Because the weekend after chemo is dreadful. With every treatment my body experiences change. My fingernails and hands are turning black, my scalp is sensitive due to my hair thinning, legs are weak and I’m still dealing with the constant nausea. But, He handled it.

Finding out that I had lymphoma wasn’t a surprise to me. Every since I was a teenager, knowing cancer could be hereditary, I always thought I, out of all my siblings would get it.   After the news, I was glad it was me and not my two sisters because they both have kids and one is married. I love my siblings, but I feel God chose me to “take one for the team.” God makes no mistakes.

I have a great support system that I’m extremely thankful for. I feel blessed that I have family and friends that care about my well being. Sometimes, I feel like I’m acting like my mother. When, people ask me “How are you?”or “What can I do for you?”,  I answer with “I feel better than yesterday” or “Nothing, just keep praying!” I never understood why my mother used to tell people that, I’m gradually understanding. Just because  Janele has cancer does not mean that everyone else stops living their life. And even if they are affected, it is just me and God on this journey. I can tell some one how I feel but, it won’t make a difference. Because, when I am alone at night, feel like I’m going to vomit, tossing & turning because I need to get comfortable or keep getting up to go to the bathroom, there is no one around to say “Janele, you can do it!” I call on Jesus, because he gives me the strength I need.

This morning, I was going through my phone looking at pictures. And I came across the note my dad put on our refrigerator last March. It was the first picture that popped up from March 2015. The song “God’s on your side” performed by Mississippi Mass Choir and Leandria Johnson, reminds me that I have to hold on don’t quit, God’s on my side, I don’t have to handle anything because God’s on my side. Regardless of your situation, hold on to your faith, trust in God, and believe because God is always on your side.

God allows trials in our lives not to impair us but to improve us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 3

“You’re so young, I feel sorry for you!”

Round 3, another day for God to fight this battle for me. How do I feel? Well, I felt good early this morning and then, on my way to chemo a familiar pain came back. A sharp pain in my abdomen on the right side, where a 7 cm enlarged lymph node rests on my liver. “Jesus, Jesus” was all I could say.

In the chemo area, I’m always the youngest patient. The pity looks I receive, I always return them with a smile. There is always that one person that says “You’re so young, I feel sorry for you!” I always quickly respond “Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m young but cancer, disease, illness, or death doesn’t have an age.” If you’re supposed to go through something, it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, it will happen. As humans we try to control everything, but we control nothing. God has, is and will always be in control.

Woke up this morning with mixed emotions, because Christian(my youngest brother) was not here to take me to my treatment. Not only did he provide comical relief, an ear to listen and wisdom, but he represented a miracle. My mother’s miracle child, one she conceived 6 months after her initial chemo treatment. Several doctors told her to abort the baby, because it was a danger to her health. Only one doctor was optimistic, my mother’s faith guided her decision to keep her baby. Knowing the potential risks of fertility after chemotherapy created some anxiety for me. However, seeing him constantly reminds me to put my trust in God. God has the final say every time. Christian was home for two months before he left to study abroad, nothing but God, because He saw I needed a daily reminder of His work. Christian, I love you, thank you for time, support, love, pep talks, and I’m extremely proud of your ongoing growth in manhood and adulthood. Have fun in Argentina and Brazil.

I’m thankful that my boyfriend, Elton can take me now. Watching how my father dealt with my mother’s sickness(he was always either worried, frustrated or sad watching the love of his life go through an ultimate battle), I was a little apprehensive so, I prayed on it. Today, I told him to come into the chemo area so, he can see for himself a little bit of the process I go through. “Does everyone know you?” He asked. I thought that was funny, because everyone greeted me by first name. I also, had to introduce him as my boyfriend since I’m always bringing a different sibling, I didn’t want any confusion. Ya’ll know there is a lot of us, Haha. My chemo nurse began speaking with him and telling him some beautiful things about me. Awww, shout out to Lila. Through his interactions with the nurses, God eased my concerns. Elton, thank you for your support, time, love, friendship, and dealing with me. I love you and blessed to have you as my love.

Once again, how do I feel?  While I’m typing this, I’m starting to feel nauseous, my lower back hurts, my right calf is numb, and as I’m eating this nectarine, I can’t taste it because my tongue has a tingling sensation. Truth is, I don’t know how I am going to feel later on today. But, what brings me great satisfaction is knowing that God has a plan for me. What I am experiencing is only temporary. Trusting and believing God through this trial is all the control I have.

Be what God intends you to be— don’t pretend to be what you’re not.

You Have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

“You have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.”  

Man makes plans and God laughs at them. In my case, that’s exactly what happened. My name is Janele Henderson, I am 29 years old and was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on December 29, 2015. I decided to start this blog to document God’s purpose for my life while being transparent, hopefully encouraging and helping someone along this journey. 

My mother passed away on April 8, 2015 from complications due to stage 4 Breast Cancer, so 2015 has been a rough year for my family. My mother’s name was Clarine Gladys Henderson, she was first diagnosed at the age of 35 with breast cancer. She beat cancer the first time after a mastectomy, the cancer was in remission for 17 years and then came back in 2013. She fought hard, but God called her home at the age of 56. I love my mother dearly, I am so appreciative of what she taught me. She prepped me without knowing that one day I too, would be fighting cancer. 

No one wants to hear a doctor say, you have cancer. You hear that and automatically one may think DEATH or question WHY ME? Like my mother would say, “Why not me?” On December 29, 2015, I officially became a cancer warrior. After, hearing the diagnosis a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. After two months of testing and doctor appointments, I was finally at peace. Even though, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is rare, it is one of the most treatable and curable cancers. Thank you God!

The afternoon before my mother passed, two of my aunts came to visit and one of them read Ezekiel 37: 1-14 The Valley of the Dry Bones.  Verse 14 reads “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.” That scripture has resonated with me ever since, I know that if I continue to trust God, have faith, pray, and let Him fight this battle for me, I will be healed. 

At the age of 29, 8 months after I lose my mother to breast cancer, still recovering from her death, I had to gather that same strength, faith, strong will and my trust in God to fight and conquer cancer. Yes, it is tough and not ideal, but God does everything for a purpose, in His purpose and on purpose! 

God specializes in the impossible! I am just along for the ride.