My Melanoma Miracle, Part 2: Lisa Lynn
As I spoke about in Part 1 of "My Melanoma Miracle", I had a melanoma removed from my left calf in January of this year (2014). It was only through the grace of God that I insisted on the mole being removed as it showed no signs of change in shape or size. Little did I know of the attack that was coming against my body from the inside out. But God knew and He led me with that still, small voice that I am convinced radically changed my life - for the better.
I told you in Part 1 that I wanted to talk about how honoring and respecting our bodies in a whole new way - Honoring God with your Bod - will not only change your body, but your whole life forever. But this way of thinking required a period of self-adjustment for me. A way of thinking, and acting, that was not instinctive. And it all began with my attitude.....
In January, 2014 when I had the melanoma removed from my left calf my thought process changed from worry to a "grateful to be alive" attitude. I now want to honor my body and respect it in a whole new way. This new phase of my "new" life includes more gratitude and self-love than ever before. I can hear some of you saying, "You Lisa? You struggle with the same everyday issues and problems that I face"? Absolutely! I'm human just like you and struggle the same way with the same issues that you do. I was also 40 pounds overweight at one time and know first-hand that seeing what's in the mirror takes longer to fix than just losing weight. This lack of confidence is a driving force to helping others and stop the suffering we all feel when we struggle with weight and all the outside, and inside, issues that go along with it.
Today I choose to honor God with my Bod. After all, He gave this body to me, and us. Don't I/we owe it to Him to take the best possible care of it that we can? What exactly does that mean?
I believe it's crucial to stay physically fit but we also need to be spiritually fit. Fitness begins on the inside as I talk about in my book, "The Metabolism Solution" - God and Your Bod. I'm going to say something that a lot of over-exercising (aka "exercise addicts") may not like, but please bear with me for a second. When you learn that you have a deadly disease everything changes - instantly. You no longer want to kill and torture yourself in the gym, which is what we feel we need to do as that is something we have "control" over. Our affliction or disease - not so much. Suddenly it's not about perfect thighs or weight. It's about being able to live to see your kids grow up!
Too often, the reason we "feel" we need to torture ourselves in the gym anyway is because we ate too much. Eating clean and exercising daily is the goal, not abusive types of workouts that leave us drained physically and emotionally. God is not pleased when we abuse our bodies - in any way. Every abusive action, thought or belief affects us in some way or another. It's critical that you are in touch with your inner self to learn what's driving you and your desires. Is it out of love? Out of fear? Here is a new way to begin thinking, if you don't already. It applies to your feelings and how you treat your body, and others as well:
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I can tell you with certainty, love never fails! Especially when it comes to changing your body.
I still face lots of questions today about "my future". And I'm sure you have questions about yourself and your future. That's why I want to share with you my "bullet proof" plan. Why do I call this time in my life "My Melanoma Miracle"? It's because I've seen first-hand that God can take a paralyzing fear and turn it into a faith so strong that nothing can stand against it. So, here are a few spiritual exercises that will strengthen your faith muscles and radically transform your body:
Form a Miracle Prayer Network/Group of at Least 8 People
Don't have one? I didn't either until now. This step is a necessity regardless of what you have to overcome. I chose to initially only share my story with people who I knew would lift me up daily, versus allowing me to stay stuck in fear and negativity. People I could trust would pray daily for me without being asked. Texting is a great way to send reminders daily. I send out a text message at 5am daily to my network to get the prayers going, and you know what - it works! Try it - you'll see. What have you got to lose?
By the way, if you find it hard to find those 8 people it just might be an indicator that you need to surround yourself with more positive people who really care - for you.
Get Off the Self-Pity Pot Squats
This is where I get stuck. I turned to my pastors and close prayer partners right away to help keep me off the pity party mentality. Pity parties don't work because they're usually attended by others of the same mentality that enable you to feel sorry for yourself and allow fear to gain a stronghold. Believe me, that's the last thing you want.
Stop Complaining and Start Praising
One of my all-time favorite preachers, Joyce Meyer, has a saying; "if you complain you will remain". Remember that love and gratitude never fails. Love wins every time and will make you feel better instantly. Gratitude shouldn't be an every-know-and-then occurrence. It should be a way of life, no matter what you face. Remember the old proverb, "I complained that I had no shoes, until I met someone who had no feet"? Can't think of anything to be grateful for? That's proof you're out of practice.
Exercise or Move Each Day - Your Life Depends On It
It's crucial to keep your body in working order by moving them each day to stop blood clots form forming and to detox. Yet if you're suffering from any disease, or you're not feeling good, remember that you do need to move moderately. Moderate exercise boosts immunity while over-exercising weakens it. There are plenty of exercises you can do when you're sick. Bottom line - do something.
If you need a workout be sure to check out my DVDs or the workout in my book. It's loaded with pictures and easy to follow. If you're chair-bound you can sit while doing almost all of the exercises.
Let Go and Let God, or Be Dragged Down
Whatever is bugging you - give it to God. Living in fear - no matter what you're facing is always full of stress. Even in those situations where you have no control you must stay faithful and keep you faith muscles strong so you can handle what may come your way. And the best way to strengthen the faith muscles........by bending your knees!
I hope that my sharing the past couple of weeks inspires you in a whole new way to take care of your body - inside and out. Never take your health for granted. That includes physical and spiritual as both need to be fed and maintained. Stay in touch with your yourself so you know what "normal" is.
I urge each of you to consider donating to the Yale Plastic Surgery and Melanoma Research Fund HERE. They are doing incredible research that will save lives. Please watch the video below to learn more.
But most of all.....
Stay Strong, Live Fearlessly, and God Bless You All!
My Melanoma Miracle, Part 1: Lisa Lynn
This is my very personal melanoma story. I'm not sharing this with you to scare you or depress you. I'm certainly not seeking pity or compassion. Rather, I want this to be an encouragement to someone today. A reminder that you have to keep your Faith Muscles strong and that with and through God all things are possible. With that said, here is My Melanoma Miracle.....
Except for annual exams, I don't like going to doctors. I make a conscious choice to put my time and energy into staying well and staying in shape so that I can avoid them as much as possible. Sometimes, all that time and energy isn't enough however. Sometimes, God has a different plan for us, and our body. Sometimes, He reminds me that He is my creator and my existence and that without His loving grace I am nothing more than the clay from which I was made. Thankfully, I know the potter who molded that clay.
Let me take you back to this past December, 2013. I had been watching, and worrying, about a mole on my calf for about 2 years. The doctor knew about it and we were in a monitoring status with it. Watch it, measure it, look for any noticeable changes in it - the routine one would normally take with any mole. But this past December things seemed "different". Had the mole changed? No, not really. Was it noticeably larger or a different color or outline? No, not really. So, what was "different"? All I can say is that I felt this "urging from above - a still small voice" if you will. Now I know what you're thinking - and yes, we've all felt that "urge" not to touch a hot stove, or not to stick our finger into a light socket. This wasn't that kind of "urge". This was an "urge" as if there was an inner peace gently pushing me forward to make a decision that I otherwise would not make. A decision not based on what I could physically see or touch. Rather, one based on what I was spiritually being led to do. That "urge'? Have the mole removed, and have it removed - now!
Reluctantly, yet with the courage from that "urge", I asked the doctor to remove it in January - right then. He said you're worrying too much about it. We've been watching and measuring it and it's fine to leave it. I told him; "No, I want it off now. I'm supposed to get it taken off - now". I'm reminded here that God's grace is always sufficient because had I not listened to that still, small voice and insisted on that mole being taken off I might not be writing this today.
"I've got bad news, and I've got good news". The trouble with that phrase is that once you hear "bad news" nothing else seems to register much beyond that. For me, I was floored when I heard the words "bad news", immediately followed with - melanoma. The "good news" - it was caught early. Remember that folks; it was caught early. That still, small voice - that urging from above.....
My courage to have the mole removed had prepared me for that, but melanoma - not in the slightest. Those that know me and know all about my LynFit brand know that I am a creature of study from experts in their fields to become knowledgeable. Assuming that this "melanoma" was just one of those basil cells that we all can expect at some point, but wanting to learn more, I did what I tell people not to do......I googled. Suddenly these words startled me; "the deadliest form of skin cancer and the second most aggressive tumor type, right behind pancreatic cancer". It's like the "bad news, good news" scenario - once you see what the dire circumstances can be you immediately shut off, or shut out, any positives that might be in there. Sad to say, this is a product of the internet. In order to get better internet 'search results' you'll often find sensationalized or dramatic copy first because that will make you click to read more. And, it generally works. Who's to say what is credible and what isn't?
So I'll save you the google searching and give you the facts. The very same facts, "bad news", I had to face:
- Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer
- Melanoma is the second most aggressive form of tumor type, right behind pancreatic cancer
- Sixty thousand Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma this year
- Eight thousand will die from melanoma
- In the United States, one person dies each and every hour from melanoma
- Melanoma is the number one killer of women ages 25-35
- Melanoma does not respond to traditional chemotherapy or radiation
- The only FDA approved treatment for Stage 4 MM (metastatic melanoma) is Interleukin or IL-2, which was developed over 30 years ago
All of those facts are important, necessary in fact, for all of us to face. I firmly believe that knowledge is power in enabling us to make the right decisions. But greater still is the knowledge that those moments of fear and doubt can be turned around faster than you can say 'weight loss'. And that my dear friend is what I want you to hear from me. Yes, you need the facts from reliable sources. Yes, you need to arm yourself with all the knowledge of your situation that you can. Yes, there are times you need to place yourself at the mercies of others to help you through a situation. But it's also at these times I am reminded of a song from long ago.....
I've had many tears and sorrows,
I've had questions for tomorrow,
there's been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consulation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.
In that 5th line of the song I chose in my heart and spirit to replace 'consulation' with 'consultation'. I relied on God for divine consultation. I relied on Him to place the proper people in my treatment. Not Google, not Yahoo, not Bing. I made a choice. I chose Faith. All these years of training people on the proper way to attain and maintain optimum fitness and health I suggest to you that there are even stronger muscles in our bodies - our Faith Muscles. I chose to exercise and strengthen my Faith Muscles in my personal battle with melanoma.
Fast forward to today - God is so good. He did put people in my life, including doctors, who shared those same Faith Muscles and had the advanced knowledge to treat me. I have a "Victory Scar" today and that is all I need to share my story. A story that I will share no matter what obstacles I might face.
I encourage you to watch the video below. Not only is it a great source of reliable information, it's a real source of inspiration and hope as to what the future holds in the treatment of this deadly disease.
Without research we would accomplish nothing. I'm eternally grateful for Dr. Narayan, who is featured in the video and was a Gift from God, for his undying and untiring research into stomping out this disease. Please help save lives and build awareness today by donating to the Yale Plastic Surgery and Melanoma Research Fund - HERE - Even the smallest amount could help save a life!
In part 2 of My Melanoma Miracle, I want to share with you how honoring and respecting your body in a whole new way - Honoring God With Your Bod - will not only change your body, but your whole life forever.