Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Well, what do you know?

Two posts in a week...this hasn't happened in some time. 

Tonight I came across a blog post from fellow blogger, Nancy.  Nancy does a great job addressing the "invisible" scars cancer survivors carry with them.  You can read her post here: Nancy's Point
Thank you Nancy for addressing an issue that is rarely spoken about...

So, I'm not sure if it is because I am approaching my 5 year cancerversary in December...or the loss of a few friends from this horrible disease, but I find myself thinking a bit more about the cancer journey.  Like Nancy shares in her post, cancer is a string of losses and some of us have some deep invisible scars that few will ever know--that is our reality. 

But along with that reality, I am beginning to understand the gift that has been given to me through my losses. You see, by staring death in the face--I know my time on earth is limited. This knowledge propels me towards a life I may have missed had I not traveled the cancer journey.  While it angers me the barbaric treatment that cancer necessitates--like chemotherapy and radiation--and some of the long term side effects that many of us experience frustrates me---THE GIFT OF LIFE IS SO WORTH IT!!!!! 

Thank you for continuing to walk this journey with me...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

National Novel Writing Month

Even though it was almost five years ago, I still remember a conversation with my oldest daughter that altered my life.  You see, we had just met my oncologists and learned about my treatment course. To be honest, it was very frightening...hearing that even though I had my breasts removed, I only had a 30% chance of cancer NOT returning.  Is it an oxymoron to say that we were thankful I could take chemotherapy which would increase my odds of survival to 70% survival?

It was in this conversation with my daughter that I discovered a passion that laid dormant in my heart.  I remember telling her, "You know, K, I'm really proud of my life. I know I have made mistakes, but I tried hard to be a good wife and mother. I work hard at my job as a nurse. I have good relationships with my family and friends....but if I had a chance for any would be to try my hand at writing."  Thus began my journey with Caringbridge, and at the completion of treatment--blogging. 

It is hard to believe how my life had changed once I opened up my heart to explore writing.   I met new people who quickly became my friends. I loved learning about the craft of writing. Yet, it seemed the more I learned about writing, the less I knew...

and the further away I walked from treatment--the more my passion once again got buried with the details of every day living.  It's been a struggle to find the time to write, and when I have the time--I find FEAR stops me from ever taking the next step.  Who am I to write? What do I write about? What could I possibly have to say that hasn't been said? So many questions tripped me I stopped writing--and went back to living on excuses. 

Not sure if it is because I am approaching my diagnosis date, surgery date, etc...but lately I  find myself pondering...and pondering...and pondering. Struggling with the question did the cancer journey mean anything? AND how come I couldn't find time to spend with my newly discovered passion--writing.

I came to this conclusion: the excuse and FEAR is the stumbling block. 

When a writer puts words to paper, there is a risk.  What if no one likes my words? What if my thoughts don't make sense? What if my grammar is all wrong? What if, tomorrow, cancer returned?

Do you know what "if" means? ..."I fear..."

As many of you know a few days ago we started the month, November.  I don't particularly like November.  The only thing good about this month is Thanksgiving.  (Which, incidentally is my favorite holiday.) So, how am I going to get through a month that I don't particularly like when I keep doing the "IF" dance?

Well...are you ready for this? I changed my dance steps and joined a challenge.  The challenge I joined is called NaNoWriMo, also called National Novel Writing Month.  In its 15th year, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) expects a historic 500,000 writers to join the largest writing event in the world.
The challenge? To write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. Half a million people
on all seven continents (including one very chilly writer at Antarctica's McMurdo Station) will set  aside the time to write their stories this November.
So there you have it...while I haven't written fiction since a child...and don't really have any ambitions to write a novel, I am excited for this jump start in rediscovering the passion of writing.

How about you? Have you had to learn new dance steps when it comes to doing the "IF" dance?

Happy November!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tonight wasn't really any different than any other night...My hubby and I ran a few errands, had supper and we came home.  Once home I checked my emails...and Facebook. The thing that makes tonight different...a post by someone on FB...a post that has shaken my core. (I was unable to share a picture from the article, so just click on link below pink ribbon.)
9 Striking Portraits That Will Change The Way You View Breast Cancer Survivors

Oh, goodness, I wasn't prepared for my response nor my reactions. When I saw the pictures of these women, I was struck by their bravery. You see, I don't believe that I could share so openly.  I realized tonight, that like the pain I live with daily, I keep my scars  hidden...
to be seen by no one...
So now I am left with the question...can I be brave enough to shed my garments?
Time will tell...
Thanks for walking with me on this journey!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

So many times...

So many times, I have started a blog post...only to leave it unfinished. So many words...never shared.

Until today...

And today's words aren't even mine--but words of  a special friend that I was blessed to spend some time with this week.

Hope over to Vicky's blog at The Westra World to be inspired and read about our meet up!

Hope to be back blogging soon--and maybe even finish some of my older blog posts!

Blessings on your weekend!

Monday, February 25, 2013

At times life doesn't make sense...

Do you ever have one of those weeks that leave you shaking your head...wondering why?

Four years ago, when I had my first chemotherapy treatment, it kicked my butt...So much so, that 4 days after I had received the dose, I had to call oncology clinic because I was so weak. They encouraged me to come to the infusion center for some IV fluids, the doc was thinking I was probably dehydrated.   Previously to that visit to the infusion center, I had never seen anyone close to my age.  Until that day. A day I will never forget. There she was...sitting in a chair--surrounded by several other ladies--and they were all laughing. (I remember thinking--am I ever going to laugh again?)  Well, the only chair open was next to this giggling group of girls, and I was too sick to walk much farther so I sat down.

As I was waiting for my labs to be drawn, I overheard their conversation. (Okay, ya all--I tried hard to NOT listen--but, there was no way that would happen--the chairs in that place were close together.) Anyways, they were talking about the Beth Moore bible study they were doing. Since Beth has been one of my favorite bible study leaders, I was quickly drawn into their conversation...and thus a friendship between Kerri and I was formed. We traveled the chemo highway together...our cancer journey and our faith--a bond that busy lives didn't break.

A few months back we learned Kerri's cancer has returned? It wasn't supposed to happen...I don't understand why?  As I try to process this, I can't even imagine how hard it is for Kerri to process.

Why am I sharing this with you all?

Last week, Kerri wasn't feeling well, so they did a scan that was scheduled for mid March, early.  Unfortunately, it showed that her liver tumor has grown, despite being on chemotherapy.  URGGGHhhh....seriously?  Again, Why?

I know, I know...Some times there just isn't an answer.  So--although, I know there doesn't seem to be answer to this why, I do know that God is with Kerri and her family. He alone provides the hope!  Kerri and I both trust--He has her safely wrapped in His arms--even if at times we don't understand the why...

I asked Kerri for permission to post her family picture and a prayer request!
Please pray for Kerri and her family

Last evening, after I returned home from visiting with Kerri--I read an update from Vicky (a blogger friend)...let's just say...she too, needs our prayers.
Please pray for Vicky. Vicky blogs at  Westra World

Another life story that has me pondering why...

Kylie is a 6 month old with leukemia. She has important tests on  Thursday. Please pray for her and her family.

 I know there is no answers to the why question...and yes...I do trust and hope in our Lord--knowing that He provides healing, comfort and peace.  The main purpose of this blog post is to seek prayers for healing for these three beautiful individuals.  Thank you for joining me in this quest!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, February 11, 2013

Faking it...until you make it!

Last month I blogged about God Sized Dreams.  I am excited to share that website has been redesigned, a Facebook page created, along with brochures and an introduction letter. While it has been crazy busy finalizing these projects, my hope has been strengthened as I watch God work.  Just last week, God orchestrated the timing of a Hope Basket perfectly...and He is so into the details of what goes in these baskets.  I had purchased a variety of CD's to put in the Hope Baskets and to my delight...the CD I put in this particular basket had special meaning to the recipient...all I can say is, "Only God!"

Now, it is time to be a bit more honest with you...what I am going to share with you next, isn't exactly what I would call a "dream." But it is a direction that I feel being led to...after many months (okay, years) I took a huge step, which was prompted by whispers I could no longer run from.  As I have mentioned previously, in October 2012,I joined Toastmasters. Two weeks ago, I had to give my first speech, the "ice breaker."  This speech is a 4 to 6 minute speech about yourself.  Shouldn't be that hard, should it?  Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking when I joined this organization.   It must have been the "chemo brain."  I tell ya...I was so...nervous, I almost  didn't show up to the meeting....that was until I remember my friend Jess's advice, "Kim--at times in life you have to fake it, until you make it!"  So, I gave myself a good ol' pep talk and gave the speech.  Yes, I was scared.  Yes, I could have done and said some things better (clearer.)  But you know what?  I did it...and I was so proud of myself.  Ever since I was diagnosed with cancer, when faced with fear...I ask myself the question "If you don't do it, will you regret it?"  I knew that if I didn't do my speech, I would not only regret it, I would also feel like I let God down.  You see...for reasons I can't fully explain, I know that He wants me to learn the skill of public speaking.  So...I'm trusting and doing! (Even when I am afraid!)

PS.  For those of you interested in Toastmasters--you should check it out.  What an awesome organization and great group of individuals.

BONUS:  Feb 11, 2009 found me walking into the chemotherapy room for the first time...four years I am!  And although today found me on the couch because of debilitating pain due to the barometric pressure being low (thankfully this only happens with major systems)--I celebrate the gift of healing!

Monday, January 7, 2013

God-sized Dreams

HAPPY 2013!!

Tonight I came across a blog post at  The title of her post invited me to hop over to her blog...which prompted me to hop over to holleygerth ....which prompted me to write a blog post.  Are you ready for the title? God-sized Dreams. 


62% of us make New Year's Resolutions. 

I wonder what our world would be like if we instead we asked what is my God-sized Dream this year?

              A God-sized Dream = A desire in your heart for more of what God has for you.

I love what Holley shares in this post:

"You see, God-sized dreams aren’t about being perfect. Or getting what we want. Or things working out the way we plan.
I can tell you this, on your God-sized dreams journey…
You will feel fear.
You will fail at some point.
And you may even find that you have to let a dream go.
But I can also tell you, on your God-sized dreams journey…
You will become more courageous.
You will have victories you never through possible.
And you will be filled up with what you really need, which is less of you and more of Jesus in your life.
God-sized dreaming isn’t for wimps.
But at the same time it’s really only for wimps.
Because we all are exactly that. We’re weak and broken and afraid. And we’re also strong and whole and filled with the resurrection power of Christ.
We are living paradoxes and nothing will show you that more than a God-sized dream.
If you’re looking at all this God-sized dreams stuff with a bit of skepticism can I just whisper, “It’s okay to feel that way. But dare to come with us anyway. Not because of where you will go but because of where this journey will take you…and that’s closer to the heart of God.”'
So now, I am inspired...and motivated....
What is my God sized Dream for 2013?
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I thought..."OK--you just got dealt bad card.  Play the card you have been dealt. Get back to life."  Oh, how I tried to get back to the life I used to live.  So, many times I have pushed and pushed, only to fall flat on my behind.  You see, I am not supposed to go back to my old lifestyle.  I believe I have scars across my chest, along with ongoing pain and fatigue--so I remember.  I remember the long nights where only the hope of God's promises gave me the strength to hold on till mornings light. I remember the mornings of chemotherapy, crying to my husband--"I don't think I can do this!" And although the I remember the "tough" things the thing I most remember is that God provided--in so many remarkable ways.  Hope came in so many fashions--cards, phone calls, words of encouragement, comments left on my caring bridge.... Now, looking back at the last few years, I can see God's hand and guidance. But like Holley shares when God gives you a God sized Dream--you will have fear.
But I am saying NO to this fear in 2013--after all if you can do chemotherapy, I believe you can do almost anything!  -- in
My God sized Dream is to expand the ministry of is a ministry that offers support and encouragement to individuals who find themselves in an unexpected health crisis.  This ministry is a "work in progress" and I am excited to see how God leads us through the next steps.    
How about you--do you have any God sized Dreams for 2013?
If you do, please leave a comment and I will add your God sized Dream to my prayers.