Tuesday, February 23, 2010

News and Updates

Hi all~ It has been a crazy last week or so. Last Wednesday, my sister Sherry had her knee replaced. Something long overdue. Before going into surgery, I was in preop with her and Ferell (quick story) and after one sedative, Sherry started telling the nurse, Stephanie, about my cancer and surgeries, etc. She then told Stephanie about my wig, to which an older woman in the corner (waiting w/her husband who was having surgery also) stood up and said, "I want to see", and puzzled, I looked over, and as I did, she yanked her wig off, and I laughed and yanked my wig off, too!!! I then ran over and gave her a big hug and we shared a few precious minutes talking about our cancer and our hair. She had just finished her last chemo the previous week and so she was still bald. My hair is coming back black and white.....it's pretty wild...Anyway, I just had to share that moment with all of you because it was like something that only happens in movies. It was a great feeling...and shortly thereafter, my sister was out like a light.....

The very next evening, my son, Kyle, crashed his motorcycle. I didn't find out until Friday morning. He was released from the hospital yesterday with a concussion, fractured fibula, torn ACL, and road rash. He is very sore, and I hope, and pray, he never gets on a motorcycle again. The trauma nurse said that he was riding on the wings of angels that night. I believe her. He was very, very lucky and I think he knows that. He even told me he will fix it up only to sell it and get his money out of it.

Like I said, it's been a busy week. But not so busy to think of my warrior sisters and all my friends who have been so supportive of me. There is not one day that goes by that I don't hold you close in thought. I notice that as I begin to feel better, my calendar seems to get fuller - what's up with that??? Actually, as of late it has been my sister, my son, and school. That's all. Once things settle down, and I'm really back on my feet, I want to volunteer time to somewhere that supports breast cancer patients. I feel that I have a lot to offer; hope, love, peace, laughter in hard times, and eternal friendship.

Now, tell me - how have YOU been? Hugs to all~

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Day After Valentine's

Hello all! I hope you had a very special Valentine's Day! I've yet to find me another special Valentine, but that's OK, I don't fret over it. It took me many years to realize I needed to focus on me and so I have.

Aside from beating cancer, chemo, the flu and getting hit by a truck, I continue to go to school seeking that Master's Degree....I'm keeping my fingers crossed that by December of this year, I will finish. So what will I get to call myself for those thousands of dollars invested??? Hmmm, let's see.... Master? No. Sophisticated? Not really, I'm pretty laid back. Scholarly? No. OK fine. I'll just settle for the love of learning and the true desire to teach and inspire others.... especially my own boys.

I'm feeling fairly well nowadays and I'm very excited about that. I still have days when I have absolutely no energy and when I do, I listen to my body (something I never did before). The further I get away from the last chemo day in November, the better I feel. The steriods are still sticking to my hips and lips, but I know that one day the weight will go too. By the time I get done with work (full-time) and school, I'm completely exhausted so I apologize for not being on here each day. Know that I think of YOU, and my warrior sisters, every single day. Your love and support this last year have been a tremendous blessing. I will try to catch up with some of you this weekend.

Keeping the faith and wishing YOU an amazing day filled with grace, laughter, and love. Hugs~

Monday, February 8, 2010

Polar Plunge Update

I'm so sorry everyone - chemo fog at work. I forgot to update you on our Polar Plunge in January! I raised $260 in three days, but in less than one week, our group of 10 raised over $2,000. I must give a special shout out to SGT Rocque and his daywatch squad here at the Police Department for donating almost $500 to support us.

In total, the Plunge raised more than $62,000 and it felt GREAT to be a part of something so special. These special athletes rely on people like you and me to help enrich their lives. To the right, I have added a couple photos taken at Aquatica on 9 Jan 10. I did not take the "dip" for obvious health reasons, but I did participate in every other way.

Again, sorry for the delay and thank you so kindly for your donations to this wonderful group!! Miracles happen everyday and YOU are part of them!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nine Months Later

Well, it is nine months after my diagnosis. I have been through four surgeries, four rounds of heavy-duty chemo, a port, steriods, tons of drugs, hair loss and an extra 20 lbs - but hey, who's counting??? ME! That's who. I'm counting every single one of my blessings - and every new little hair that presents itself. It has been a long road to get here and I still have "Phase 2" left - that is one more surgery to re-set my implants and create new nipples.

I recently had a CA15-3 cancer marker test done and my number came back at an "8" which indicates my cancer has responded well to the chemo. From what I understand, any number under 32 is ok, but when it rises over that, it becomes a warning that something may be going on. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a new lease on life. My promise to everyone, and myself, is to not let one day go by wasted and to let people know I appreciate them....because I truly do.

As I was driving along in my little red car with my little chemo fog the other day, a thought occurred to me. What do I wish someone would have told me when all this started....after awhile and time to try to recollect some of the good thoughts and hugs and wishes, I realized that the one thing I wish someone would have said is, "Girl, the next 6 months of your life is going to suck! You're going to feel sick, and you are going to beg God for mercy, BUT you WILL hang in there, and get to the other side of this". Which I'm pretty sure my favorite nurse Leslie did say something along those lines, but I just couldn't remember.

That being said, any woman who reads this, with love and admiration, I tell you this: "Cancer does suck, but you do whatever you have to do to get to this other side of it. You become a warrior and make it your goal to set a positive example for those who follow behind us." That is my charge to you. It is a heavy load to carry at times, but you CAN do it. Know that every evening as I lay my head down, I thank the good Lord for his mercy, and I ask him to gently carry YOU through your hard days.