Encouragement,  Uncategorized

No Longer Slaves

{This is where I’d like to be right now. Thank you Hanna for sharing this beautiful pic!}

Sadly, the blog post I’d written about, “The Day I Went Crazy” will have to wait a week or two since life has become a funny roller coaster for the last eight days. Just when things seemed to calm down, a scary dip gripped my heart and I’m bracing for dear life.
Or, I was.
It’s hard to embrace peace when you physically feel discomfort in your body. The sensation of a butter knife jammed in my middle left rib mimics a pain I felt 16 years ago when my C had returned. Back then, I was diagnosed with a pleural effusion, where fluid had accumulated around my lungs. Somehow, cancer causes this reaction, almost like your body is telling you something is wrong. So now that this dull pressure has returned, my mind immediately presses rewind and tears pool as I try to write off the oddity.
Mind you, many things can cause this, like:

  1. Remaining fluids from a sickness, like the upper respiratory infection I fought a month ago. My lungs are a mess and may simply require another round of antibiotics to lessen the gathered fluid.
  2. Or, maybe it’s a result of too much salt I take to treat POTS (a condition where I have low blood pressure, and a high heart rate.) Years ago, my cardiologist had suggested I eat olives and pickles to increase my 90/60 blood pressure rate since this is abnormally low. Only, during the hot summer months in South Florida, I need extra salt to keep me from dragging or fainting when my numbers dip. That’s when I stumbled upon SaltStick chews. I’ll blog about this one day, but basically, added salt also increases water retention, which may cause fluid on my lungs. (This is a Dabney-guess, meaning there is little scientific proof to back this theory.)
  3. Lastly, and you probably know where I’m going with this, cancer causes pleural effusions. But then again, so do blood clots (had those), and heart failure (that, too). Could this be the extra fluid on my lungs?

Good night! Where is Dr. House when you need him.
The bottom line is I need a CT scan, but I don’t want a CT scan. Actually, if I could go the rest of my life and never need to squeeze my body through another radioactive tube, I’d be the happiest person alive. My oncologist jokes that I’ve had so many scans, I should be glowing by now (good thing he’s got a sense of humor, right? ; ).
Honestly, as annoying as these tests are, I know the truth. I praise God that we live in a country where testing is readily available.

Jason and Maddie just returned from Haiti where there is essentially little to no medical care. 🙁
So right now, I’m leaning on the Great Physician.
I’m praying.
I’m believing.
But if this pressure doesn’t go away by next Wednesday (August 9, 2017), I’m scheduling a scan or I’ll drive myself batty. Ok. And my husband and family and girlfriends, too. 😉
Last Wednesday this pain began, and the good news is that each day the intensity has lessened.
That’s good, right?
I’m not going to lie.  Fear steals my joy more than anything else. But not today.
Today matters.
Today I have given it to God, asked friends to pray, and now I’m asking for prayer.
And then I’m letting go.
Each of us gets the same 24 hours, and I’m done wasting time worrying. I’ve fallen for this trap too often.
I’m loving on my kids, and my sweet hubby, and thanking God that I’m still kicking, even if I moan here or there. ; )
Today I’m playing my favorite song, No Longer Slaves and reminding myself not to be anxious about anything, but in everything, pray with a thankful heart and ask God for help. That’s when the peace of God will transcend anything I could ever understand, and His peace will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus (based off of Philippians 4:6&7).
Anyone else need this reminder today? I’d love to pray for you, too. That’s what community is all about!
PS Did I mention that I’ve started writing my 90 Day Devotional for the Newly Diagnosed, From a Professional Patient? Hmmm. Feels like someone doesn’t like this and he’s trying every which way to slow me down. Not today. This just makes me want to write more. Believe more. And fight…more.


  • Heidi rhodes

    Thank you for your transparency. I love your heart to stay present with your beautiful family despite the fear Satan tries to whisper in your ear. Oh how crafty he can be. I am praying now for that sensation to be FULLY gone. Not slightly, not tomorrow. But for that sensation and the fear to be lifted and tossed into the sea. Today. You are loved and I am praying!

    • dabneyhedegard

      You know what’s amazing is that a little while after I posted this I could feel the prayers and I could sense the anxiety falling from my shoulders. Seriously, the fear lifted away. It sounds so weird to type this, but the power of prayer is AMAZING!!! And my pain is diminishing, so I’ll take that! xoxo

    • dabneyhedegard

      You know, you’re one amazing lady. I hope you know that. You bring joy into my life on a regular basis, and I’m so very thankful for your friendship. We need more people in the world like you! And I would love to visit any place that’s not Florida-hot. haha. 🙂 xoxo

  • Heidi rhodes

    And that Madison of yours….the most amazing testimony that God can do exceedingly and abundantly more than you can hope or imagine. ❤️

    • dabneyhedegard

      You are so amazing! And I hope you know how much you are loved and appreciated. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I can feel everyone’s prayers. I know that sounds weird, but as soon as I posted this blog, it was like a weight had lifted. I feel at peace…even if I have to get a CT scan, I’m not as anxious. Praising God for friends like you.

  • Laura Bennet

    Thank you so much for sharing! Yes, I’m praying for you, your body, your heart (spiritual sense) and your family. Yes, I need prayer too. It is a rough season. Thank you.

    • dabneyhedegard

      Laura, I’ll put your name on my mirror with a dry erase marker, and I’ll pray for you daily. Please keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing! Prayer is so important to the community of Christ. xo

  • Barbara M Behl

    Greg & I just warred in prayer for your healing in body, mind & spirit Dabney, in the name of Jesus. To be continued . . . you’re more precious than rubies. Sincere Blessings, Barbara

    • dabneyhedegard

      This brought tears to my eyes! I seriously can FEEL all the prayers. Amazing. God is amazing! The discomfort feels less intense today, so I’ll take that kind of progress. Again, thank you for your prayers! xoxo

  • Nancy Stearman

    Hmm… that’s interesting, so is pleurisy similar to pleural emfusion? My mom came down with pleurisy just before we found out her cancer had returned.

    • Nancy Stearman

      I always had to tell mom that worrying does nothing good, only drags your body down more and causes sickness so you were doing the right thing, live for today! You’re always in my prayers!

  • Paula Mantrozos

    Sometimes the “routine” fears that we automatically go to when pain (of all kinds) hits us are the things God uses to move us to our knees so He can lift our eyes to where our position really is with Him. We are crucified with Christ nevertheless we live, but not we, but Christ lives in us. God has gifted you with such honest transparency through everything!! I can’t tell you how encouraging that is to the rest of us! I was told that in bible times the cracked pottery was not thrown out, but used to put a candle or small oil wick into and it was used as a lamp…because the cracks let the light shine out. The more the cracks…the more what’s inside SHINES out! Girl,Jesus just leaks out of you like the Sonshine! He gets the Glory. He’s got you, Dabney…as always…you have NEVER been one second out of His Care. He even knows the number of hairs on your head…while you are brushing and that number changes…because He chooses to. He chooses you and You…You CHOOSE JOY and LIFR RIGHT NOW. Wahoo!! That’s exactly what He wants. Well DONE! Praying for pain to vanish and for healing to overwhelm you on every level, in Jesus’ Name. AMEN!

    • dabneyhedegard

      Well, I am one cracked pot. lol I love this Paula! You are such an encouragement to me! And praise God, the pain is gone!

  • Unshakable Hope

    “Feels like someone doesn’t like this and he’s trying every which way to slow me down. Not today. This just makes me want to write more. Believe more. And fight…more.”
    I love your attitude, Dabney!
    I am praying for you.

    • dabneyhedegard

      You always amaze me!!!! I praise God for you and your amazing testimony! I’d love for you to guest post one day on my blog if you were ever interested. You could even use something you’ve already written. God uses yours story and your strong faith to bless many.

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