Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today, I Am Grateful...

Today, I woke up with a grateful heart. No rhyme or reason for it. Nothing particular exciting about this day. I was just grateful so I thought I would share some of the reasons why with you.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. being able to catch up with a great friend over lunch
2. randomly seeing another friend whom I haven't seen in over a year
3. spending time with a third friend today while our kids played together
4. my newest friend Cathey who shares a diagnosis and doctor with me. LOVE HER!
5. my sweet Brody pooping on the potty - FINALLY!
6. the rain, wind, and storms
7. Chloe's love for gymnastics, her friends, and Jesus
8. the Diet Dr. Pepper I had with lunch today!!!
9. my brother and all other soldiers who are fighting for our freedoms and protection
10. the iPad which kept Brody occupied during Chloe's 2 hour gymnastics class
11. all of the millions of kisses Brody has given me today
12. protection during the tornado warnings
13. my marriage
14. having the time to read a little - I LOVE to read

When I stop and think, I have tons to be grateful for and I bet you do too. I'm going to try to really embrace gratitude each day. Intentionally be grateful. Here are a few "visuals" to keep things in perspective...

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Today is February 23, 2012
Want to know what wish I made for this "birthday?"

Celebrating 3 years cancer-free...happy birthday to me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Time For Another...

David and I just returned from a week in Orlando. Four of those days were for business and the other 3 were pleasure. And all of them made for one  fun trip. We were able to spend time with lots and friends and see people we haven't seen since the last business seminar last February. Here is a whole post about it if you want details.

Today though, we are back in the swing of things. Kids, craziness of Sunday mornings, 2 church services (one to attend, the other to serve at), lunch, Walmart, and now getting ready for small group then we will come home and the kids will have baths and it will be time to put them to bed. Then tomorrow is Chloe's appointment for extensive allergy testing, a playdate, gymnastics and Night of Worship. And lest I forget the mounds of laundry that accumulated during our trip. And a possible trip to the grocery store along with a crockpot meal for dinner tomorrow night since our night will be NUTS!

And then, as I go into Tuesday, my heart gets heavy. Actually, it already is. It's heavy with dread and almost a feeling of despair as that day is treatment day. I HATE these days. I want so badly to be positive and in a good mood about them. I really do. I want a good attitude like I had the first time around when cancer started, but this is just different. I'm healthy. I'm cancer-free. I'm a three year survivor THIS WEEK!!! Yet I am still in treatment. I'm grateful for the medicine. Without it my recurrence rate would be 50% higher and I wouldn't want that!!! My mind is totally understanding that, but my heart is just having a hard time catching up with my mind. I hate walking into the new Vanderbilt location as nothing is familiar and it doesn't feel like it did when I was in chemo 2 years ago. I feel like a tiny little fish in a big open pond, when at the other location I felt so welcomed, and warm, and I knew everyone and everyone knew me. It was technically larger, yes, but I still felt like I mattered. I had friends there. I miss Linda, my favorite receptionist who assured me during my very first appointment there when I was meeting the doctor, that God had me in his hands and that He was going to take care of me. I miss seeing her face. I miss Carol and Jeff, my lab technicians. They made getting labs drawn fun...and it's hard to do that while you are sticking someone in the chest with a big needle, but they did! I miss Kate...enough said. I miss my old chemo nurses...Jenny, Linda, Debbie, and Chrissy. I loved them, but they didn't come to the new location. Instead, I have nurses who don't know me and don't know my story. They don't just do chemo...they do LOTS of types of infusions for LOTS of different diagnoses. I feel like I'm just another number.

Please pray that my heart will very soon catch up to my mind. I know I am not glorifying God when I whine and complain like this. I know that and yet I can't seem to change. I am asking the Holy Spirit to do a work in me and my heart and show me my purpose in this whole thing like he did last time. To help me to take my eyes off of me and my junk and focus on others. And beyond that I am at a loss as to what to pray.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Because Many Have Asked...

Well, I was going to avoid this topic completely and just move right on with life however, I feel like I need to address it because MANY people have asked, "What do you think about the Komen thing?" I want to groan, roll my eyes, and say that I don't think about it because it requires a lot of energy that is better spent elsewhere, but seeing as how this directly affects me and many friends who have breast cancer, I will tell you my thoughts on it. This is simply my personal opinion which we all have so if you want to leave a comment, please do. But, if you disagree with me please be respectful when you share your view.

So, when I first heard that Komen had stopped giving grants to Planned Parenthood (PP), my initial thought was, "I had no idea they even gave to that charity to begin with!" I was irritated and appalled that the thousands of dollars I have raised for them was going to an organization that I don't support at all. I wondered if those dollars would not have been better spent funding more research or going towards legislation making it mandatory that women with dense breasts be notified and given an ultrasound. I have a few friends who have had 100% normal mammograms yet their ultrasounds are what found the cancer. Luckily, these women had great doctors who were smart enough to go ahead and order the extra test, but MANY women are not so fortunate. My friend, Kate, who passed away from breast cancer in 2010 had a "normal" mammogram yet two months later found out that she had stage 3 breast cancer at age 33. I wonder if a simple, noninvasive ultrasound would have made a difference for her? Could it have been the difference in life or death?

And then, after some of my own investigation/research, I discovered that Planned Parenthood also provides medical care to underserved women...that only about 10% of their "business" is abortions. Ten percent is still too much but originally I thought that abortions were the only thing PP did. So then I became more okay with the fact that some money was being given to them. I mean really, a life is a life whether it is a baby or a woman who has made some poor choices, or an elderly woman who can't afford a mammogram. I never got all in a fit about Komen's choice though as they can do what they see fit. I do wish that people who don't even give to Komen would have piped down about it because I can guarantee that the majority of the people who were bitching  complaining about it were only doing so because of the abortion aspect of it and NOT that women were not going to be getting mammograms.

And then, Komen reversed their decision which infuriated me. They caved to social pressure. If they really really believed in what they were doing then they should not have given in. I feel like they were bullied and I was mad about it. I mean come on, the local ABC program here depends on grants from the Komen Foundation to fund it and the program was shut down for years because of a lack of funding. Why shouldn't this get the attention that PP did? This program walks through cancer with women and provides lymphedema therapy, teaching,  range of motion exercises for post-surgical patients, nutrition consults, etc... If I hadn't had the ABC program when I did (it was funded the year I was diagnosed) then I would have been in a horrible spot with lymphedema. HORRIBLE!!!

Well, all of that just to say that truly, I don't care anymore. I don't. It is what it is and I have really come to a peace about what I said earlier. A life is a life...unborn or elderly...and they are all to be protected and cared for. Komen, I support you. Planned Parenthood, I am GLAD that you are not just an abortion clinic but a clinic that also helps under-priveleged women with their breast exams and mammograms.
And now, I'm done. Whew!