Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It is a journey....not a destination.

Thank you for all the kind and encouraging comments on the recent results from my testing!! I'm so excited that God chose to keep me in this world and so thankful for everyone who has supported us through this journey.

Our journey in life doesn't end when the current situation or circumstance ends. The path is never ending and leads you to other crossroads in life, small and great and good and bad. Therefore, I will continue to blog because my journey in this world is not over (Thank the Lord)!

At times, the place in our journey looks like this picture. It has a cloud cover and is not very clear. How do we determine our next steps? We all have a measure of faith so how do we use it?
You might say to yourself, I don't believe in all that...therefore I do not live by faith but we do...

Some examples would be, (ie. When you dine out, you do it with faith that you are not going to get food poisoning, or when you sit on a chair, you have faith that the strength of the chair will hold you up, you have faith that winter will eventually turn into spring so on and so forth). We all have a measure of faith but how is it used?

Do we just assume in our journey that no matter what we do, what is going to happen will just happen? If you want to have a party, you don't just think on it and it happens. You must put the time and effort into making it happen or otherwise it is only an idea in your head.

If we use faith the way we were created to, we would see wonderful things happen in our lives everyday. Don't just pray that you pass a test, study and pray that you receive an "A". If you are in a difficult marriage, pray that God gives you guidance to make things better, if you are having financial problems, pray that you get a raise/promotion/2nd job but just pray with faith and follow the leading of the Lord. He doesn't come down and yell in your ear, many times we are just impressed in our spirit on how we should be viewing the current situation. Many times, the answers are right in front of us.

I want my journey to always be filled and fulfilled with the right amount of faith, hard work and guidance from the Lord. Within this, true happiness and peace is found!

Update on me: I'm officially returning to work in June. I was so happy to talk to my boss yesterday. I look forward to seeing everyone at work again. I have really missed them! I'm not looking forward to the long drives everyday though.

I've not been able to sleep the past few nights with the pain in my legs. I finally took another Vicodein and it wasn't very long and they were hurting again so I got up and took another in the night. I still didn't sleep very well. This morning I feel nauseated, I think it was too much and I took them too close together.

Other than trying to build up my strength, I'm trying to get things done for Angela's prom, graduation, etc. Man, where does time go??

Speaking of time, I have alot to do today. I have an appt. at Angela's college today so I must journey on...
Whatever you do today, do it with joy in your heart!
Love to all,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The test results show.......

NED, NED, NED!!! Yes, you heard right....No evidence of disease! They will not say that I'm cancer free but right now, there is no evidence. They did point out a spot on my liver that wasn't there before and will re-test it in 2 mos. but they don't think it is cancer either!! Praise the LORD!!!

Honestly, I started having complications last week that mirrored what I was having when the tumor was found. It caused alarm and so my Oncologist immediately set me up for a colonscopy today, that was not originally planned. As I got so sick, I told Steve, "I'm just sick of all of this"....so I went into to the hospital today just over it! I told God again last night, "Okay God, I only have a plan A and that is that I no longer have cancer....I'm standing on YOUR promises".

They were delayed as usual getting me in and back for the surgery but the staff are always so friendly. The doctor gave me pictures of my colon and you could actually see the sutures from my surgery last year (a foot of my colon was removed in July). The colon pictures looked like they came out of a medical book. If there is such a thing as a colon being pretty, well...it looked pretty good to me especially when they told me that they couldn't find anything and can't explain all the bleeding that I was having. I just think that God took care of that too!

My Oncologist started off the visit with talking about the spot on my liver, so at first I was alarmed. I finally asked him how concerned I needed to be since he was not offering this information. He said, "low" but they were going to monitor it closely just to confirm. I then asked if they would re-stage my cancer. He said, "once a 3, always a 3 unless it gets worse and then it would be terminal". The Oncologist looked at me funny for asking that question and Steve replied that I was looking for a promotion. I wanted to move to a better stage since now there is no evidence of any cancer. Right, it makes since to me.....

I must say that I didn't quite grasp how good the news was because I felt that I had to keep pulling it out of my doctor but by the time we walked to get my car....I just started feeling like my life was changing again....very hard to explain. A burden had been lifted and now I could breathe.

Since I had not eaten, Steve asked what I would like for lunch. The first thing I thought of was hot wings. It is one of my all time favorites! He and I went to Taco Mac and I told Steve they were the best hot wings I had in a long time. Steve said his was much better than normal. I'm not sure if they were that good or we were that relieved that a rubber tire would have tasted like a ribeye! ha.

I came home and immediately fell asleep, as I had not slept all night from being sick. I woke up and all I could think about was ice cream. I've not been able to have ice cream for about a year. I fell back to sleep and I woke up to hear the dogs barking and lo and behold, my husband who spoils me way to much was walking in with ice cream. Again, savoring something that was so painful before....was just heaven! :-)

Steve then started his teasing....now that you aren't dying, dip me some ice cream. ha. He said, I'm not being nice to you anymore, you are on your own! Love him....

The oncologist did give me something for nerve pain and aches so I'm hoping that this will give me better night's rest. I really need to get revved up to go back to work. They are going to release me to return to work full time in June! I had been trying to exercise everyday but my legs and ankles were so painful that I was unable to do it very long. So now I look forward to getting myself back into normal functioning day.

Anglea is graduating from High School, has prom coming up, a Senior Luncheon and then we have Awards night and my nephew's Kindergarten graduation. May is going to be a busy month but it will get me out most days and then will help me build up my stamina.

I've tried my best to reach as many people as possible so if this is the first you are hearing it, I'm sorry. I'm trying every forum possible to let everyone know because I know there have been so many people praying. Mom sent out texts and e-mails to I don't know all who....so you might see this again and again but when God does a great work, I want to make sure EVERYONE knows....

Last year, it could have been over in 3-6 months and today I've been given back my LIFE! Thanks to all of you.......as I always say, words are inadequate to express the appreciation and gratitude but God is the giver of the blessings so I know that HE will take care of you, just like HE has taken care of me.

I'm signing off to spend time with my family.

Love to all,


I know I'm rambling but I'm just so HAPPY!!!!

Another test this morning!

I'll be headed to Emory in a couple of hours for yet another test! Not everyone gets sick in the preparation for these tests. Somehow I always manage to get sick. I ended up throwing up and being nauseous all evening and night. I had to wake myself back up this morning to take more of the medicine that is going to help with this test today. YUCK, I feel horrible!!
I wish the tests were this easy:
  • Has family-check
  • Has friends-check
  • Has a heart-check
  • Appreciation and compassion for others-check
  • Brain-been gone awhile but hopes to be back soon
  • Will to fight this to the end-check
  • Faith that this will be a Victory-check

Testing is over-you will again be normal!!

If the tests were only this easy-I could ace them all!! :-) We will be down at Emory most of the day. I check into surgery at 7:30 a.m. and the testing begins at 8:30 a.m. Recovery and an appt. with my Oncologist later in the day makes me know that this is going to be another long day. I've not gotten any sleep so I look forward to when they knock me out. Now if I could just bring some of that "stuff" home with me when I'm so restless and can't sleep at night.

When I was going through chemo, I actually enjoyed being able to lay down and sleep. Now I'm back to my all night restless nights. One of the primary reasons is the shooting pain you have in your legs. My grandma, who just went through chemo/radiation has the exact same thing. The doctors said it is nerve pain created by the chemo. Interestingly enough, it hurts all day long but becomes unbelievable painful when you lay down. We haven't figured out why that is but something about trying to keep your legs still, just make them hurt worse. :-)

I'm going to ask the doctor today why it seems I'm getting more and more cold-blooded. On a bright sunny day when everyone else is roasting, I'm freezing. I could wear boots and a sweater everyday of the week and probably would still feel cold.

Yesterday, I had a shirt and sweatshirt on around the house and was still cold. Steve and Kimberly said they were sweating. Steve said it was 77 degrees in the house and I was still covering up on the couch with all my clothes on. Mom mentioned it could be that my blood is low. I'm sure it is something very simple but I just need to see if there is something that I can do because it is miserable being so cold all the time. We get in the car and the slightest bit of air coming out of the vent makes me feel like I'm in a deep freezer!

I'll find out today hopefully when I can return full time to work. I'm a little bit worried since I've been gone for so long that I will be so far behind, that I will be a liability. I'll just have to work that out with my co-workers.

Ugh, I wish I didn't have to take more pills this morning. I feel sick and then to think I have at least an hour on the road. YUCK!! I've learned the hard way, when you think that you can't handle another thing or what you have seems so overwhelming, just remember things really can get worse.....there are so many in much worse shape than we are. We have alot to be thankful for!

I'm thankful that I have a husband that goes with me to every hospital visit and cares for me when I'm sick. As soon as I started getting sick last night, he was right by my side offering a warm towel and cleaning up after me. I don't know what I do without him. No matter how difficult for me, I think this has all been much worse for my family. I'm just blessed to have all of them. It is the small things that we expect that really is a blessing...not everyone has their family close to them or is close enough with their family to have their assistance.

As always, thank you for your prayer and support. Hopefully we will have results today from all the testing I did last week. Please pray that I don't have to have anymore tests right now. They make me so sick!! God is good all the time, all the time God is good!! I thank him for everything.

Love to all,


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death!

  • The greatest possession you have is the 24 hours directly in front of you. "For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work". Ecclesiastes 3:17

  • Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain. "Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Deuteronomy 31:6

  • True faith and courage are like a kite-an opposing wind raises it higher."But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

  • When confronted with a Goliath-sized problem, which way do you respond: "He's too big to hit or like David, "He's too big to miss"? "The Lord that delivereth me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of the Philistine." I Samuel 17:37

  • Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up. "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. " Hebrews 12:2

  • It is good to remember that the tea kettle, although up to its neck in hot water, continues to sing. Rejoice evermore. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns. "Finally, brethern, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8


Jesus said they are barely worth a penny. "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. Matthew 10:29
Yet of the world's nine thousand bird species, Jesus singled out the least noticed and most insignificant of birds to make a point.
If God takes time to keep his eyes on every sparrow, -where it is going and whether or not its needs are being met-then surely he must keep tabs on you/me. Intimately. Personally. Every detail in mind.
The Bible points to eagles to underscore courage and power, and speaks of doves as symbols of peace and contentment. However, God uses sparrows to teach a lesson about trust. Just as he tenderly cares for the tiny bird, noting when it falls to the ground...how much more does he care and notice us who are formed in his likeness? The sparrow reminds us that HE is worthy of our trust and our greatest confidence.
Many times we are beaten and broken down by others but we must remember that God walks in when everyone has walked out. We have to invite him because he only comes if we ask him to. Who else do we turn to in our darkest hours when we feel all alone? God has been faithful in my life and I know he taken care of me and my family. I never want to ever lose his mercy and grace because it far extends this world. He is gentle and does not push himself on us. He just opens himself up and gives us a steady hand as we march through the swamps of life. We are one nation under God and whether we want to believe it or not, God has blessed all of us!!
If you are doubting today, remember to "Cast all your cares upon Him, for he cares for you. I Peter 5:7
When things go wrong, don't go wrong with them.
Today has been somewhat of a down day for me again. I think it is mostly from the stuff they had me drink for my tests. It has made me sick but I'll soon be over it. Just giving myself time to recover. Other than that, the day was absolutely gorgeous!
I sure hope you enjoyed your day. Thank you again for the comments. They mean so much.
Love to all,
P.S. The formatting has been messed up for awhile. I'm not sure why it scrunches everything together. It doesn't look like that in my preview. Oh well, you get the idea of what I'm trying to say....:-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wow, what a day!

I'm home from Emory from a very eventful day. Why I would expect anything else?

Check in valet at the Emory Winship Cancer Center, down the elevator to the tunnel to Radiology.
At 7:45 a.m. we get to Radiology to sign in for my CT scans. The first thing they ask is whether I've had any food. Well, yes my doctor told me I could and I knew it was going to be a long day so I ate about half of a Chic-fil-A biscuit (which I normally never do). They tell us that they will need to delay testing. Steve expresses concern that we've had this appt. for over 2 months and that we were told everything would be accessed through my port. There wasn't anything special that I would need to do . I remember being so excited about that....well.....

The Radiology Tech asks about my other tests and takes my information to go and make calls to see if we can get the other tests scheduled earlier. He is able to re-arrange my schedule so I can get all my tests in and allow enough time before having my CT scans. They then set up an IV port.

Back on the elevator to the Emory Breast Center.

I sign in and go through all the necessary paperwork and have another breast exam. They make you wait until they check the x-rays to make sure they are okay. After waiting quite a while, they come back out and realize that they should have taken more x-rays. I then wait again. They finally tell me it is okay to go but I'm not really sure it means everything is okay. Just that they will call if they need me. I'm told I will need tests every 6 months vs. yearly.

Back on the Elevator to the Ambulatory Floor.
We then head down to the lab for blood work. I've never seen so many people in my life. The waiting area set up for lab and chemo infusion is overflowing with people. People are standing against the walls because there is no seating. It looks like a bunch of people gathering for some type of large event. I go to the counter and ask them if this is where I need to be for my lab work. They tell me, "yes" and I look over to the line of people that are signing in and realize, we are going to be here for quite a long time.

Once I finally make it back to the lab, I asked the nurse if they are running specials today because of the number of people. They laughed and said, "2 for 1" today. They went onto say, that it has been like this because more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer. Very sad, I think to myself. Unbelievable, as I note that I'm probably the youngest one in the room again. No age and no background is exempt from this terrible disease.

By the way, as I have journeyed through these other appts., I have been given the "yukky" stuff to drink as I go so I'm ready for my CT scans. Mind you, my doctor told me that I would not have to do this....it would all be put in through my port. As the person in Radiology explains it, they cannot do anything through my port unless it is a power port, otherwise the force of the dye going through will blow out my port. I do not drink all the "stuff" as I'm feeling nauseous and I'm afraid that I will get sick before I make it back down to Radiology.

Back on the elevator to the tunnel to the Radiology Dept.
We finally arrive back in Radiology, sign in and take me right back. The guy who helps hook me up to the IV, looks just like one of the Winans. He sees how messed up my skin is from the tape from the lab and an earlier IV injection so he takes his time and uses an alcohol adhesive. He works to get the IV in and then after all the tests, to take the IV out. I realize that I'm not as anxious or as claustrophic as I was the last time I go through the scanner. I've been through too many tests and therefore, I feel calmer. I even notice that the radioactive dye just sets my body on fire as it courses through my body....when before, the side effects were worse.
Back on the elevator, back to the main floor, out to valet (parking is terrible at Emory, especially when school is in session) and finally leaving Emory....

I was so happy to get out of there today. I felt incredibly tired and all I could think about was going to sleep. I fell asleep on the way home and Steve tells me that I was snoring. I am not a snorer so I'm not sure if I believe him or not but I was really out of it. It is a real emotional drain. I'm not even sure if I had all the tests that I'm supposed to, as it wasn't very well coordinated but I'm sure they'll tell me if not.......

Tonight seems like another lazy couch night to re-energize...praying tomorrow that I will have energy again. I know this is alot of rambling but sometimes I hear others say, "oh, you only have to go through testing, that won't be a big deal"....well, it shouldn't be a big deal but.... it always seems to wipe me out.

Hope everyone had a beautiful day. Although it seemed like we were on the elevator going up and down, floor to floor....all I kept thinking is....this is just a small step to get great reports!!

Love to all,
Good night,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Well....Wednesday is the day....

My first appt. starts at 8:00 a.m. so we will be leaving at 6:30-6:45 am. to head to Emory. Actually not many hours from now....

We won't get results until next week...there is a possibility that we will know something from the breast ultrasound but everything else will be next week.

I will be so glad to get this over with....Yeah!

Steve is going with me....as much as I want it over....I'm also dreading it!

I cannot wait until I get the awesome results!

Have a wonderful day! Thank you to my faithful friends and my blog comments. They are always encouraging and give me an extra boost when I'm going back to the hospital.

Love to all,

Feeling much better! Thank you '-)

Today was a much better day. I have another dentist appt. at 9:50 a.m. today and then I will be at Emory all day (Wednesday) for my testing.

I don't look forward to it but I'll be glad to get it behind me. I'll have results and next steps when I meet with my Oncologist on the 22nd.

Thank you for the prayers. Will blog later. Trying to get my brain to slow down so I can go to sleep.

Love to all,

Monday, April 13, 2009

He arose, we have life; life has lessons....

What a beautiful day we had to worship on Easter! I'm so thankful to know that someone loved me enough to die on the cross for my sins. I'm even more grateful that he rose again so that we may have life ever lasting.

The day started off with Steve and the kids getting their Easter baskets. No one is too old around our house to receive from the Easter bunny.

As for me, I woke up not feeling well at all. In fact, had it not been for Easter, I may have stayed home only because I could tell it was one of those painful days. I wanted the day to be so perfect so I pushed myself to go on anyway.

We had 755 in our service this morning and our church I believe holds around 600 comfortably. With so many people, the air conditioning was cranking and I thought I was going to freeze. In fact, I get so cold that I can hardly focus. Steve gives me his suit jacket and I'm still freezing. Everyone else seems to think it is a little cool but comfortable. For whatever reason, getting that cold with my neuropathy starts making my body ache.

The family gets together after the service and with so many people there, the air conditioning and fans are going and I begin to hurt worse. I finally sit in a recliner and get a blanket and try to stay quiet so I don't ruin anyone else's day. The colder I get, the worse I hurt. My grandma (who has just been told that she is now cancer-free) sees me and gives me another blanket and 1300 mgs. of Tylenol and it doesn't even touch my pain.

When the family gets together, we always celebrate birthdays and anniversaries of those in the family since the last gathering. It just so happens, today is my sister's birthday. We have her party and I feel the pain getting out of control. I try to manage it and before I make it into the next room, it has gone from bad to worse and I feel the tears coming on! I hate when that happens. Steve starts gathering our things and all I want to do is bolt for the door, as everyone begins to look at me to figure out what is wrong. My brother walks me to the car but I notice my mom crying. I can't stand when she cries so I force myself to stop. I ask her why she is crying and of course she says, "I always cry when someone else does" but I know it is because she is upset because of me.

My sister, sister-in-law and mom follow me to the car and begin talking. This gives me time to maintain composure but all I want to do is get in the car and get home to bed. Once I get in the car, Angela asks me what's wrong and I tell her nothing and that I'm fine. I feel the tears again. Steve gets a call from work and is occupied with the call so it gives me time to cry and not feel so guilty. I come home, go to the couch and finally fall asleep. I'm not sure how long I sleep but when I finally wake, I feel better.

Steve, who is always thoughtful, brings me something to eat for supper. However, it doesn't take very long and I start to feel bad again. I stay on the couch all evening.

I finally relent and take another narcotic because I know this night is going to be restless if I don't.....this process is so hard to explain. I started blogging to allow the medicine to kick in before I try to go to bed.

As I'm writing, I'm again reflecting on how thankful that I am to have the Lord's comfort. I know without a doubt that HE is what gets me through. There is no way to explain the peace you feel in the midst of the struggle. I'm so thankful for my family who is there with me when I go through these things. I can see the struggle in their eyes trying to make me feel better and it makes me feel so guilty. I try so hard to manage and cover up the pain but when it comes like this...there is no stopping it. However, I know that with God all things are possible and though my journey has led me down this path, I'm looking forward to many more beautiful sunsets ahead of me. "=)

I always receive some of the most awesome e-mails and love to share them. This is another thought provoking e-mail that I thought you would enjoy.

God Said No
  • I asked God to take away my habit. God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.
  • I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.
  • I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No.Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;It isn't granted, it is learned.
  • I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No.I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.
  • I asked God to spare me pain. God said, No.Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares And brings you closer to me.
  • I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, No.You must grow on your own! , But I will prune you to make you fruitful.
  • I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.
  • I asked God to help me LOVE others, as He loves me. God said..Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

As we know, God can do anything so although these words might say that God says, "no"....we know that HE has the ability to move mountains and make anything happen. However, he acts on our faith and many times HE is blamed for the things we want in our life when HE has already given us the tools/resources we need to make it happen. We just have to take the next step and make it happen!!

  • "To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world"

"May the Lord Bless you and keep you and give you Peace.....Forever"

Good friends are like stars...You don't always see them, But you know they are always there.

I hope to spend many more wonderful days filled with God's blessings and joys! May you have a wonderful day!

Love to all,


Friday, April 10, 2009

God is in everything...

Happy Good Friday! This day started off sunny and then it became overcast and started raining. Now, I see the sun trying to pop out again. As soon as the rain stopped, I hear the birds chirping. I love spring! It is so unpredictable but yet beautiful. As I've said before, I think God has a sense of humor with the weather. So many times, our attitude depends on the weather that day. However, God shows how something that seems like a torrential rain in our lives can change to sunshine, if we allow it.
We often times stay in the rain and emphasize what is not going right, rather than focusing on the beauty of the birds or the positive things that are going on around us. Our expectations of what is beautiful (Hollywood) and if our day is sunny is so overrated that we find it is hard when searching for true inner peace. Inner peace does not come from having material things. It does not come from outward beauty but from the beauty inside. God formed us in HIS image. We are at one with ourselves when we try to be more like HIM.
The Bible does not emphasize Christ's beauty but the relationships, healings, and the miracles. We are how God made us to be. We should always try to look and be our best but should not view ourselves as less because it appears that someone has something we do not have. Our teens suffer from depression because the "normal" Joe/Jane no longer exists. We emphasize beauty and talent over most other things. When we aren't up to par, we begin to question ourselves. Ever met someone who you might have felt didn't have the outward beauty but had a knock-out personality and just made you want to be around them?
Some of the most popular guys in school were the guys that made you laugh. The core of who we really are is what is inside and when it is being fed, we are at our happiest. Ever see a couple who look like they have it all but they are both so miserable because they have focused on the wrong things to make them happy.
My sister-in-law sent me the following e-mail this morning and I loved it! It is about when we've done all we can and we let God into our lives, then we are at our strongest. I know I no longer lean on the Lord, I just turned around and sat right down in his hands and said, "here I am Lord....lead and guide me". I've never been so happy.....!!!! :-)
> > > > > A Quilt of Holes> > > >
As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.
Before each of us was laid out our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles. An angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that was our life. But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult--the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together threadbare and empty - like binding air. Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up for the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.
My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes, but I had love in my life, and laughter. And there had been trials of illness and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. And now I had to face the truth: My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image,the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, 'Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.'
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through! God determines who walks into your life, and it's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go. When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need.
Everyone, have a safe and wonderful weekend!
Love to all,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Can't sleep tonight...

I've been having a hard time getting to sleep. I'm usually too cold and then when I try to warm up, I get to warm. I just can't seem to get comfortable. The more I toss and turn causes body aches. I realized that having body aches still means that I'm alive and kicking so in the end....it is but a minor thing.

The past couple of days have been spent going to the dentist. As I stated in an earlier blog, the chemo actually ate the enamel off several of my teeth. My teeth are so sensitive that they have to numb my mouth just to check it out. I feel like such a baby but my dentist has been wonderful and so understanding. I realize that investing in relationships in life really pay off when you need them.

I never really thought of it as making an investment of time to care about other people but in the end, it is what everyone remembers. It is not about how hard you work, how much money you make....it is how you make the other person feel. I have been so blessed to have so many people care about me and my family through this journey, that finding the right words to express my gratitude always seem to fail me.

My mom tells the story of how I was a miracle baby when I was born because they thought I was stillborn at birth. The first year of my life, they say I was very quiet and to myself....well, anyone who knows me knows that I have made up for it. I love people and love the interaction! Quiet would not be a word to define me..ha.

You cannot choose family but you can choose your friends and I feel very blessed to have so many friends that I wouldn't even want to begin to name them. I have childhood, work and church friends! I wonder sometimes how I would have made it without the awesome family and friends who have carried us through prayer and support. If you are reading this...then you are who I'm talking about! :-)

It was such a beautiful day today. The day before it was snowing and then today, the sun came out and I woke to the sound of birds chirping. Every day I wake up, my first thought is, "Thank you Lord for another day." God has an awesome sense of humor when it comes to the weather sometimes. We think we can do it all and then here comes a tornado and everyone runs for shelter....and the next day, the sun starts peeking out from behind the clouds. It is just a reminder that we don't know what tomorrow holds but it is important that we know who holds tomorrow.

Well, I'm going to try to go to sleep again. I realized today that I'm going for all my official testing next week at Emory........getting closer to that day when I get the awesome news....cancer free!

With that, I think I'll sign off. Please know how much I appreciate you! Have an awesome day!
Love to all,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Testing 1,2,3.....Testing 1,2,3...

I just realized today that we are in April. All my days tend to run together....

I have testing coming up April 15th....and an appt. with my oncologist on April 22nd to go over my tests! These will be the first tests I've had since my last chemo treatment and will determine next steps. I believe I will not be going back for anymore chemo...however, the doctors will determine any growth (there won't be) and how often I will be returning for testing, if they feel that the cancer is gone (which it is)!!

So I'm closer to having results than what I realized....I'll be glad to get it over but I know that I have 3 scans with contrast, which means I'll be drinking lots of the yukky stuff. It makes me very nauseated but I guess on a scale of having cancer and being tested to insure it is gone..it is but a small price to pay. So, I guess I will get over it. I just need to take Steve along because he has a way of making me do what I'm supposed to do without me getting so upset. He hands me the cup of nasty stuff but then starts pointing out funny things in the room or making jokes as he tips the cup up for me to drink. I'm drinking it before I realize that I've been scammed! ha.

It started off as a beautiful sunny day but we now have cloud cover....which makes me cold. I've not warmed up from church today. Man, I started wondering where the igloos were...it was an ice house. Of course, some felt it was perfect...

Last night we went to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta to watch Happy Days. These were tickets that were in my stocking from Christmas. We, of course had to go to the Varsity first....what is an event without the Varsity?? It was very cold in the theatre and I believe it was the first time that it wasn't packed out. I suppose the economy is affecting sales or maybe it is because it is so cold in there....ha. I'll post some pictures later....because I found my Easter hat at the Varsity!! I'll have to find something red and white to go with it but hey, it was free and fit my head. Those who don't know what the Varsity is...it is the world's largest drive-in and a must go place if you visit Atlanta. It is a great people watching place.

Well, I think I'll go lay down and try to warm up!
As always, thank you for your prayers and support.....you all are amazing, no real words to explain how much.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Surprise, Surprise....

Last night my children had a surprise birthday party for me. It was absolutely wonderful, however I was very overwhelmed. Mom wanted me to say something and I felt speechless for one time in my life! ha.

Thank you to everyone for all your labor in making it so special. The food was excellent! We had barbeque chicken and pork with awesome side dishes, which I later found out were made by my sister-in-laws. No wonder it was so good.

Thank you to everyone that came and celebrated. I don't like the attention but I'm so glad that I reached this milestsone. It is another example of God's goodness to me.

Since I've last written, I had my family in from Indiana. I enjoyed them so much. My cousin, who is 3 months older than I am, stayed with me. She, her husband and daughter were great company, however they only stayed 1 1/2 days and it rained the whole time. Today the weather is beautiful....why couldn't we have had a day like this when they were here? Oh well, the rainy weather provided us with lazy days.

My energy is still not up to par. I didn't do anything while I had company but was so exhausted after they left. I find myself taking naps even when I don't mean to. I guess my body is just trying to recover. My fingers, which are killing me now....have not improved nor have my feet, ankles and legs. If I sit for very long, I find it very hard to get up and move my feet. Although the doctor said I may never recover from this, I am believing the opposite. God has gotten me through so much already, this is nothing for HIM to do!

I had several people trying to get me on Facebook. I finally did it and have connected to friends and family I've not seen for 20+ years! It has been very exciting!

I've been in my pjs all day but tonight we are going to the Fox Theatre for a show. These tickets were in my Christmas stocking so it is the gift that keeps on giving. It is for me, Steve, kids and my parents. Steve and I are the only ones that have ever gone to the Fox, so it will be something new for the rest. We are going to meet and have dinner and then onto the Fox. I've had a couple of naps already today so that I can go. Typically, I'm good for a couple of hours and then my energy fades.

It is hard to believe next week is Easter. Where has the time gone? When I was having chemo, time seemed to stop, now that I'm recovering....time seems to fly by.....

As always, thank you for your continued support......this journey has been made so much easier because of your support and thoughtfulness!

Love to all,