Sunday, October 4, 2009

Caring Bridge Entries

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 4:31 PM, CDT
Throughout this journey I have tried to be very honest about what our family has experienced; the joys, the sorrows, the triumphs and the setbacks. With today’s entry, I am taking a risk…I am sharing some very personal thoughts and ramblings…

When I was first diagnosed many people encouraged me by saying, “You can beat this!”, “Your strong”, “Your positive attitude will pull you through”, etc…but in my mind I seriously doubted if I could pull through surgery and chemotherapy, none the less eradicate cancer from my body. I just didn’t know if I had the strength or stamina. Reflecting back on the journey, it brings such comfort knowing that I did make it through, but not on my strength, but through the strength of God and others. Although it really saddened us that relationships with some of our family and friends wasn’t able to withstand the storm cancer brought into our life, we continue to be so incredibly blessed by the family and friends who are our ships bringing us safely to shore.
F: False
E: Evidence
A: Appearing
R: Real
As I anticipate my PET scan tomorrow, I am once again facing the fear of the unknown. Is there more cancer? Will I have to do more chemo? Or will I go on to do radiation? (Radiation which of course, brings it own set of worries.) On Sunday when our pastor’s wife was sharing a story with the children, I was reminded that like with so many things in life (this includes fear), I have a CHOICE. I may not have a choice about having cancer; however I do have a choice about conquering my increasing fears. It is a reality, we all die. The diagnosis of an aggressive cancer makes the reality of death just seem so real. What about my husband and children? What about my friends and family? What about my dreams and goals? What if I don’t get everything done? Gosh, it sure is a good thing I don’t believe in living by the what if’s?! Yup, I am a bit anxious about tomorrow, but my choice is to honor and trust in God, knowing that as is written in Jeremiah 29:11, He has a plan for my life. The challenge that is going to be for me is if I do have cancer elsewhere, am I going to be able to believe that God still loves me? Please don’t send me emails reminding me of God’s love….I know He loves all of us and I believe it 100%, however understanding that love when we don’t get the answer we are hoping for can be a struggle. (Maybe you don’t struggle with it, but I admit there have been times I have…) So, I’m sharing this challenge of mine with you all, so that you know specifically how to pray for my family and I tomorrow…that we are able to remember the love that has been so evident by our Lord and we remember His love is always with us, regardless of the test results. We sang a song by Casting Crowns at church on Sunday that really hit home….
Who am I
Not because of who I am,But because of what you've done.Not because of what I've done,But because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading,Here today and gone tomorrow,A wave tossed in the ocean,A vapor in the wind.Still you hear me when I'm calling,Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,And you've told me who I am.I am yours.

Thank you for your prayers and if all goes well we will have results and a plan tomorrow, so I will try and post a quick update in the evening!
Thursday, July 16, 2009 7:43 PM, CDT
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
When I woke up this morning I could feel the prayers and my anxiety was greatly lessened….
I truly believe that although it would have been tough to find out there was more cancer, with everyone’s such gracious support….we would have found a way to overcome….but THANKS and PRAISES, I am cancer free-----yippee and yahoo!!!
The PET scan came back clear with the only things being highlighted were my brain, heart and bladder—which is a good thing. Dr Krie took a lot of time answering questions regarding continued side effects from chemo, expected recovery time (5-10months), and future testing. Unless I have symptoms of a reoccurrence Dr Krie doesn’t do any special testing, etc. From my research with triple negative breast cancer the highest rate of reoccurrence is within the first 3-5 years…if I can make it past the five year mark my chances greatly decrease. I am truly thankful for just being given the chance of another day.
It looks like I will be starting radiation next week…will try and update my caring bridge over the weekend when I have more details.
Thanks for all the kind guest book entries, emails and calls. You all are such wonderful friends and family! Our love to you all!
Praises to God for His faithfulness and His love!
Ps. A special thanks to my mom for sitting with me all day today, to Ferlin, Kalina, Steven, Brett and Rhonda for the support at Dr Krie’s office. Also a great big hug and thanks to a very special couple who treated us to supper tonight—what a fun treat!!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 7:26 AM, CDT
Good Morning Everyone!Last evening my son and husband had the television on watching the replay of the Espy awards. Typically I wouldn’t be watching this type of program, but my interest was piqued when I heard that a coach from South Dakota was getting the Jimmy V award. Don Meyer, a basketball coach from NSU in Aberdeen was in a head on collision with a semi this past fall. He was not expected to live from the trauma and while in the hospital he was found to have cancer in his liver and intestines. Ten days later he had to have his leg amputated below his knee. After 55 days in the hospital, he returned to coaching full time, never missing a day. This past basketball season he won his 903rd basketball game, the most games won by a male college basketball coach. There are a few highlights from his speech that really inspired me, so thought I would share them with all of you.
1) Don’t whine, don’t complain, and don’t make excuses!
2) He has been using the F word a lot this year: Faith, Family and Friends
3) Faith that God has a reason for sparing my life at this time, so I can try and serve others for a few more years. (This one really hit home with me…)
4) Peace is not the absence of troubles, trials and torment, but calm in the midst of them.
5) Live each moment to the fullest, be “high” on life.
It looks like I will be starting radiation on Wednesday. From my understanding the main side effects from radiation could be skin reaction and fatigue. Since I have sensitive skin, we will be monitoring the areas very closely. I have started a light exercise program, so hoping the fatigue will be minimal. When we were at Dr Krie’s office last week, she informed that if an award was given to someone with the most nail damage from chemo, I would get the second place award. (I don’t think this is one award I wanted, but since I really like cancer free…bad nails is a small price to pay.) Unfortunately I did get an infection under the nails, so I was on an antibiotic for the past two weeks. The biggest restriction I have regarding the nails is that they are not to be in water….awww shucks doesn’t look like I will be doing dishes for awhile. Otherwise, I am doing very well. I still pace myself and am limiting activities, but most days I find myself with a bit more energy and less pain.
We continue to appreciate all your prayers and loving kindness!!

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