Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009: A Couple Things

We like to share the love and the germs in this family. For the past couple weeks we have all took a turn getting sick - mostly with stuffy nose, coughing, headaches, just general yuck. Now that I've taken care of everyone else it's my turn to get sick. I'm feeling okay today but I have lost my voice. I don't think I've ever had this before. Very strange. With all the yuck that is out there right now I am thankful that we just seem to have a minor bug.

We are still enjoying the fact that I'm no longer on chemo and that my number is so low. I do think about the "what if's" once in a while. I've been on top of the world, feeling completely healed one minute and the next I'm thinking about all the different cancers I am now higher risk for. I have been able to stop that stinkin' thinkin' though. No point in dwelling on the unknown - doesn't do me any good.

I'm sure you've noticed the Godscapes on the right hand of the blog. We weren't really going to advertise it here in writing, however, my van decided tonight was a good time to die. Brian is taking it in tomorrow and is pretty sure it's the transmission. Since this will probably cost us a pretty penny I thought it wouldn't hurt to promote the store on here to earn some extra income :)

Financial issues aside though, Brian has done an amazing job with this. We've missed him the past few weeks because he has been working on this Godscapes calendar. All that time he invested was worth it when I saw the calendar. It is so beautiful! He has taken some of his favorite pictures he has taken over the years (Colorado, Pictured Rocks, etc.), added bible verses to them and made this beautiful calendar. He has also put together some Shine Gear. He took the logo from our orange shine shirts and it is on almost anything you can imagine. Shirts, hats, coffee cups, greeting cards, and bags. I ordered the water bottle and I love it.

There are some great Christmas gift ideas. Not only can you get a very cool gift, you are also helping support our family. Okay, now I'm starting to sound a bit like an infomercial.

Thank you for all your support. We had 40 comments on the post about my CA125 number. That is so cool. I kept checking the blog every so often that day and just watched the number go up and up. There are so many of you out there and you've stuck with us through some major ups and downs. I can't tell you how much we appreciate your prayers, emails, comments and support.

Click on the calendar to check it out...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009: I Miss You

When our oldest daughter was born I spent every waking moment with her. When she was young she was very shy and would prefer to hang out with me rather than be with little kids. That was fine with me - we were best friends.

As she got older she gradually came out of her shell. She began making friends and wanted to play with them. It was hard at first letting her go places without me but when I would hear about how much fun she had it made the transition a little bit easier.

Now that she is 12 she is this social butterfly. She loves hanging out with friends, going to church activities, pretty much anything that involves being away from home. I am having a really hard time accepting this. Where did my shy little girl go? The one who wanted to be with me? Be my best friend?

It's not that she hates being home or spending time with us, it's just more fun for her to be with her friends. I don't understand this, okay, I understand it but it doesn't mean I have to like it. I miss my little girl.

This morning I was thinking about her. About what a social, loving, responsible young lady she has become. I'm not sure when it happened - I've been here all along yet somehow she changed right before my eyes. I was thinking about how much I miss her when I heard a voice inside my head saying "I miss you too".

When I was sick there wasn't much I could do but I always could pray. I became very close to God during that time. Now that I'm "normal" again I am busy with life. Busy being a taxi cab driver, cleaning lady, referee, nurse, psychologist and social activities director. They are all necessary things but they shouldn't be my priority.

I am sad that I have pulled away from God but am happy that He is still there waiting for me to come back. When I think of how much I miss my daughter and love her I become overwhelmed with the thought that God loves me even more. He is the creator of the universe and yet He misses me. Wow. I’ll end with a verse of a song that is running through my head right now.

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untamable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009: Letting Go

We have a cold making its way through our house this week. I came down with a headache and sore throat yesterday and had a few swollen glands in my neck. I also have what feels like a pulled muscle that goes from my ear down to my shoulder. It is also near where my chest port is.

I called my nurse and she said to take motrin and if it doesn't go away in a week to give them a call. I decided to do a little research on my own through google. Yes, I know, bad idea. My mind had convinced me that I had lymphoma. I freaked out. Many different scenario's went through my head and none of them were good.

When I went to bed that night I grabbed my daily devotional book. All the devotions are dated and I typically read the one for the day. That night the book flipped open to September 22 and the devotional brought me peace . . . .

Trust me and refuse to worry, for I am your Strength and Song. You are feeling wobbly this morning, looking at difficult times looming ahead, measuring them against your own strength. However, they are not today's tasks - or even tomorrow's. So leave them in the future and come home to the present, where you will find Me waiting for you. Since I am your Strength, I can empower you to handle each task as it comes.

I am trying so hard to leave tomorrow's problems in the future but it is so difficult. I have to make myself "let go" of my problems on a daily basis - multiple times during the day. I let go of my worries and ask God to take them from me but five minutes later I've taken it back and am trying to battle it on my own. I spend time researching symptoms when I should be reading the bible for answers.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34 The Message

I've been praying and praying one of my favorite phrases "let go and let God". I figured it wouldn't hurt to call in for reinforcements. Prayer warriors - start your engines :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009: Courage to Shine Gear

I've been having some fun making Kristi's Courage to Shine shirt into some other stuff. I added some products to our on line store...check it out by clicking on the shirt:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009: Floating On A Cloud

I feel like I am floating around. I am speechless and in awe. I have tears streaming down my face. Finally though, I am crying tears of joy.

I went in yesterday to have my CA125 checked. My nurse just called me with the results. Are you sitting? You may want to because your feet will feel like they have left the ground. My new number is 25. In the words of my nurse "yup, you heard me - 25".

This morning after the kids had been picked up for school and Emily was still sleeping I had some quiet time to myself. During that time I gave cancer to God. I told Him I was tired of trying to plan my life around it, tired of the anxiety that came with it, just plain tired. I have been focusing so much on my cancer that I haven't been nearly enough focused on my family and my God. I truly did let it go this morning. I honestly wasn't sure what my new results would be but I trusted that God had it under control and would give me what I needed to continue on this journey.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009: State of Denial

Usually when I am asked what state I live in I say Michigan. The past few weeks, however, I have been living in the state of denial. I like this state - it's very peaceful. It has been two and a half weeks since our last appointment with my doctor. At this appointment we asked about having a PET scan and they were going to try to get my insurance to approve it. I figured we would have an answer by now but I found out at the end of last week that they had just mailed the "letter of medical necessity" to the insurance company. I was initially bummed. All this time waiting and we are just getting over the first hurdle? I emailed Brian and his reply was "yeah! . . . . right?" He was right. This means we have at least another week or two to enjoy our visit in "denial". We're not really denying that cancer exists - we just know that everything is out of our hands right now and all we can do is wait. Now if we were waiting for the results of a PET scan that would be a different story. But, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

So for now I am enjoying this reprieve from "it". I love not having to schedule my life around the chemo treatments. I am really enjoying feeling healthy again and not being miserable from the side effects of chemo. I am also very peaceful with our decision to put chemo on hold and take a step back. A very wise friend of mine often says "I don't know what my future holds but I know Who holds my future".

Brian took advantage of the little bit of sunshine that we had today and took the kids pictures . . .

Ashley - 6th grade - 12 years old

Nathan - 3rd grade - 9 years old

Emily - kindergarten - 5 years old

I know I'm biased but aren't they just the cutest kids ever?? :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009: Relaxed

Kristi and I went on our annual camping trip with just the two of us. We went to Fort Custer State Park and had a very relaxing time. Kristi finds a home for the kids and we do this every October with just the two of us (well, and the dogs). No phones, no reservations, no internet, no kids and NO STRESS!!! Even if it rains all weekend (like it did) - WE DON'T CARE!! It is always the best weekend of the year. We simply bring books, magazines, movies, the dogs, and lots and lots of junk food. All we do all weekend is hang out in the camper. It is soooooo relaxing. Here are a couple pictures from this weekend:

It was such a great time. Can't wait til next year!
Unfortunately, now we have to return to reality. Tomorrow Kristi will start following up to find out when her PET scan will be. When she gets her PET scan done she will also get her CA125 level checked. Ahh, the weekend was so nice not having to worry about all those details. Well, until next time - have a great week!