Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting an Upgrade

Every time Apple comes out with the latest, greatest gadget my guys jockey for position into long lines for the “must have” upgrade. The iPhone rolls out a 3G and immediately they’re hooked up (I have to confess, I detest electronic devices at the dinner table. Grrrrrr!) It’s no wonder that most of us look at getting an upgrade as a good thing. We dream of a flight attendant calling our name over the loud speaker to say, “We’re upgrading you to first class. Sorry we overbooked the flight.”

My grandest string of upgrades occurred during 1996 when the New York Yankees competed with the Atlanta Braves for the World Series. John Wetteland, the Yankees clean-up pitcher who led the American League with 43 saves, invited me and Nathan to come see an away game in Atlanta. Because we knew John, his name opened the door to untold opportunity wherever we went in Atlanta. It unlocked a hotel room at the Ritz Carlton after the Marriott overbooked our reservation—all expenses paid! Shopping with the team family members brought amazing discounts. It gained us entrance to the Yankee locker room and even provided seats on the team bus right next to Reggie Jackson. Nathan and I felt like we landed in a dream. And it was a dream come true!

Today I received an upgrade I could live without. I learned that my Stage 1 cancer was elevated to Stage 2. Yes, the pathology from my lymphs, omentum, colon, and abdominal fluid were all negative. On the positive side, it is not a clear cell carcinoma, which are notoriously virulent. Dr. Ampuero was astounded at how quickly I’m recovering from the surgery, saying, “You’re well ahead of schedule.” He added that youth and strength are on my side. However, since my hysterectomy in 1998, there’s no knowing if the peritoneal cancer originated elsewhere, like my ovaries or uterus. That and anything that impacts the colon brings unsolicited upgrades.

This Wednesday I have more blood work. On Thursday, I undergo a procedure to implant a “port” into my chest to receive the chemo. Next Tuesday, August 4th, I receive my first of six rounds of chemotherapy. The toxic cure will be a combo of Paclitaxel and Carboplatin. Most likely I’ll lose my hair, be fatigued, and have a compromised immune system until the first of the year.

On the average, the awesome upgrades I’ve received have far outweighed the aggravating ones. I will rest with Job on this thought, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).



  1. And I rest with, "and You know the way that Lenya takes...and she will come forth as gold!

    We will not stop praying!

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  3. Continuing to pray for you Lenya. We know the Great Physician. You are a beautiful example to everyone you meet. Your faith, your walk.

  4. Dear Heavenly Father, You are our great Physician, full of love and mercy and grace. Please heal Lenya; give her strength, and increase her faith and joy through this scary time. We trust You and depend on You and know that You have Lenya in the palm of Your hand. Please give peace to her family as they encourage her and pray for her during this time. Thank You for Dr Ampuero and his skill, please guide him as he treats Lenya. Your will be done Father. In Jesus name~Amen.
    --praying and sending love to you daily Lenya ~ love, Teresa

  5. Lenya,

    As for your last couple comments and verses, gosh, that giving stuff over part is not a simple conclusion to reach. But I know it is right.

    Most people that know you no doubt would rather turn over heaven a earth to see that you are able to go on and be the person that God has placed next to Skips side as his best helper and friend...and grandma to be.

    I can almost see you already playing around on the floor with a bunch of darling Heitzig toddlers. ;) That would be wonderful to think forward to. I pray with all my heart that the Lord will grant us, you and Skip that.

  6. Good Morning Lenya!
    I can only concur with what the above posters have so eloquenly said to you!
    We don't know each other too well, but I consider us to be Sisters in Christ!
    May our Lord be with you today as you have more blood work done, tomorrow when the port is implanted and most importantly, through every moment of your upcoming chemo.
    Now is the time for you to rest and totally concentrate on getting well. I'm routing for you and can just imagine the day when you & Skip WILL be enjoying your grandchildren together!
    I'm thanking God that you not only have a loving blood family, a wonderful husband who loves you with all of his heart & soul, but that you have a church family that loves you more than you will ever know. Just think...multitudes of Christians are praying for you around the world, 24/7! It doesn't get much better than that, does it?
    Blessings to you.

  7. Lenya

    Just Want to let you know all of us at Calvary Tucson are praying for you. And we love you a bunch. We also look forward to what God is doing and continuing to do through you. You have always been an encouragement and a blessing in the ministry God has called me into.
    Robert Furrow

  8. Wow Lenya, you are an encouraging and beautiful example! Love you much and praying for you everyday! God has amazing plans for you and through you in all this :)

  9. we are praying for you too.
    you write so eloquent and from your heart
    God will has hear all our cries and prayers for you on your behalf and on behalf of your families
    praying for you to recover quickly and have a blessed long life with your husband and son and daughter n law
    we love you not a day goes by with out prayers as incense to the Lord...
    also thank you for your faith...and the faith of your husband and son's as well
    we love you
    your friends in ca
    rick and linda martin