Sunday, September 9, 2012

Catching up!

Wow! I really dropped the ball. I have been keeping my own FB updated, which is pretty easy to do, a few quick sentences. After my last chemo I had a really hard time putting thoughts together and having the energy at the end of the day to write anything. I spent the time as I should have, with my family. Many ideas for posts came to me and I never wrote it down. Hopefully I will remember some stuff I wanted to share! I am also going to be sharing more of my journey, what Zane has gone through and some tips I have for those that are going through the cancer journey or their family. I am also going to be posting some things that Zane and I are up to.

The reason why? Because the one thing that has probably impacted me the most through this cancer journey is that did not have my priorities straight. Time and time again I put my family behind so many things, good things but just 'things'. Not 'things' God wanted me to do, just busy church work. So I taking time off ministry to get my priorities straight the best I can, I know I will never get it totally right but I though that some might be able to relate to my journey, we can give each other encouragement and pray for each other. Here is a quick update since my last chemo

Radiation started end of April, last radiation was June 11th. Radiation was give days a week for right around six weeks.

On August 20th I had my breast reconstruction. So as of tomorrow I am just three weeks out. I am doing good for what was done, it takes awhile, it was an intense surgery and I was under for 8 1/2 hours. It takes a body a while to recover from that. I will be sharing more on this. We are THRILLED with the results.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Last Chemo!

Today I had my last chemo. I have to apologize if this post seems disjointed. I do have some fogginess from the treatment but feel really good.

We got some GREAT news. There was no heart damage due to one of the drugs I was taking. There is a decrease in my heart function but not below the normal range and it should reverse. So I will be able to take that drug and keep up on the heart scans. Heart problems are the only side effect and we have a great Dr. whom we trust to keep a good eye out on it all. We don't feel like cattle being moved through there. And one of the best pieces of news.... since I was just getting one chemo drug today, I can skip the Neulasta shot which really took me down each time I had it.

I feel good. Shawn, one of my besties and I went out to eat at Carlos O Kelly's, (I did skip the Margaritas) then back to Seward for pedicures and shopping for clothes for the kiddos! Also found a cute cute hat for me and some cute clothes for Zane. I am resting now and hope that the rest the weekend is as smooth. We are doing great on meals and hopefully can spend some quality time with Kailey, Zane and Darin.

Thank you for all your prayers. How did I know that you were all praying? (besides you telling me!) When Shawn and I stepped out of the car and said our see yas, we turned around and the pair of doves were on the electric line by the house. I tried to take a picture but they flew away. So God heard your prayers for me and for others. He wanted me to tell you that and that He loves us all very much. He can say a lot with no words. I also love you all too!

Also wanted to add that last month, right before my previous chemo, I was working Klu, the gelding I had an accident with last summer. I of course was nervous at times wondering how he would act. He as super, going to be the horse I have always hoped he would be. And it will be ok, because many days when we went on a walk to cool off after a good workout, the doves were right there in the trees next to the round pen and flying in front of us as we walked.

Then while at my last appointment, my platelets JUMPED up out of the anemia range with no treatment, either meds or supplements.

So I don't have proof of HOW it happened but I don't need it. Always good news when I see those white birds flying around. This is why..

Call On Jesus Nicole C Mullen
I'm so very ordinary
Nothing special on my own
Oh, and I have never walked on water
And I have never calmed a storm

Sometimes I'm hiding away
From the madness around me
Like a child who's afraid of the dark

When I call on Jesus, all things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus, mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move Heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call

Weary brother, broken daughter
Widowed, widowed lover, you're not alone

If you're tired and scared
Of the madness around you
If you can't find the strength to carry on

When you call on Jesus, all things are possible
You can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When you call on Jesus, mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move Heaven and earth to come rescue you when you

Call Him in the mornin', in the afternoon time
Late in the evenin', He'll be there
When your heart is broken and you feel discouraged
You can just remember that He said, He'll be there

When I call on Jesus, all things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus, mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move Heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call

When I call on Jesus, all things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus, mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move Heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call

Do you remember the last post about Zane talking to me about Jesus saving him if a dinosaur steps on him? And then this song comes to mind as I am writing today. I truly believe the Holy Spirit is guiding Zane for me and probably to be truthful in spite of me.

Thank you Lord Jesus.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Martina Mc Bride I'm Gonna Love You Through It

Thank you to my husband Darin, my family and my friends who are loving me through this. I would have given up if it wasn't for you.

"I'm Gonna Love You Through It"

She dropped the phone and burst into tears
The doctor just confirmed her fears
Her husband held it in and held her tight
Cancer don’t discriminate or care if you’re just 38
With three kids who need you in their lives
He said, "I know that you’re afraid and I am, too
But you’ll never be alone, I promise you"

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.

She made it through the surgery fine
They said they caught it just in time
But they had to take more than they planned
Now it's forced smiles and baggy shirts
To hide what the cancer took from her
But she just wants to feel like a woman again
She said, "I don't think I can do this anymore"
He took her in his arms and said "That's what my love is for"

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.

And when this road gets too long
I'll be the rock you lean on
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.
I’m gonna love you through it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shirt and Shoes required, boobs optional

I have had a lot of questions about how I am feeling. Well, I am doing pretty good. I get pretty weak during the 7 days after chemo then a light switch turns back on and I feel great. My counts have been good. No fevers, no major sickness.

What is it like the rest of the time? I have a lot I want to do, some things I can't but plan to do and some things I don't want to deal with. I have trouble sleeping, either going to sleep or staying asleep. I get night sweats. I wake up and start thinking. Am I worrying? Well, kinda but not anything "big" just little things I need to do. Happened this morning, fell asleep well then woke up at 3:30, finally got up at 5:00 and decided maybe I should actually do something instead of laying there thinking about doing it.

Yes, there are big things that are bothering me. Still having a hard time with my breasts being gone. I don't talk much about it except to close friends and Darin. You wouldn't believe how many times I have heard, "they are just breasts, at least your family has you" (have you seen my family? Of course they are happy to have me, I am the most sane of them all jk Chelle,) "I don't think I would even care if they took my breasts" What I want to do is pull up my shirt and say so you can look like this? Super, lets try it! But I smile and say, "Yep, I bet each person would handle it differently"

It's like, pull up your big girl panties and move on.

I am working hard on my "self image" that isn't really mine, is it? Shouldn't I be reflecting God's image instead of my own? Honestly I am struggling with this.

Genesis 1:27  "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."

Ephesians 4:21-23 "when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Honestly, does God care my boobs are gone? Well, what I have gotten to know about Him, He does, because He cares about what is bothering me.

1 Peter 5:7 "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."
Matthew 6:30 "And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?"

I have to stay here to take care of my family. My will?

Psalm 40:8 "take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart."

(oh please write away!!)

 But I look like..... I HAVE CANCER!

I have less hair than my husband, I have not lost any weight, in fact I have gotten even more flabby with all the laying around. I have two huge scars on my flat chest which make my already big stomach look bigger. What does my husband see when he looks at me?!

Genesis 2:24 "This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."

"For better or for worse, for rich or poor, in sickness or in health."  He is keeping our marriage vows.

On Thursday we had Miss Cora over for a playdate. I was in a t shirt and zipper sweatshirt and wasn't wearing my fakes. We left without me giving a second thought to go to McDonalds. It was getting warm so I took off my sweatshirt and in the midst of getting those two hoodlums in safely and never put it back on. I didn't realize it until I stepped in the the building. Mind you, this was not a baggy t shirt but a fitted one. You see, I am not just flat now, but concave. And this t shirt showed every little curve or the reversal of said curves. I felt naked.

Have you ever had a dream that you are walking out in public with no shirt on or no pants? I do.  Actually, just had a dream the night before this that I was walking around the mall with just a t shirt and undies. Though in my dream I think my legs were thinner. In my dream, no one even seems to notice I am not wearing pants.

So this pretty much how the conversation in my head went.

Should I turn around and take them back out and get my sweatshirt?  Would anyone notice? Oh, they are looking at me! Oh wait, they want me to order. I give myself a pep talk or was it a prayer? I don't remember. I order. Not one seems to notice I have no breasts. Ok this is good. I can do this. I turn around and take these two adorable skipping children to sit down and everyone is looking at... them!

Oh good, this is going to be fine. Square your shoulders, I mean really this is the reality of this "disease". Cancer takes your hair, your breasts, your life. This is even better than pink! I am a warrior, I am strong! There is a table of younger men, probably on break from construction, they turn and look at me and they get a shocked look on their face They quickly look away. Oh man, they noticed, I mean it was all women at the front, they weren't looking at my boobs, but what else did I expect if a guy saw me, I mean, it's like the first thing they look at right? They don't even realize they are doing it. It just happens. I AM SO EMBARRASSED.

And then it dawns on me. I have a scarf on, I am flat chested, I am pale from having chemo a week ago. They know I have cancer. Maybe one of these young men has a grandma with cancer, maybe a mom? They know, they understand. It's NO BIG DEAL.

We ended up having a wonderful lunch(for the kids, the food there is turning my stomach) complete with a chocolate shake. Once I realized that no, not everyone was looking at my chest we went happily on our way to the clinic for my bloods draws.

So I learned that while Shirts and Shoes are required at McDonalds, boobs are optional.

All Bible verses are from the New Living Translation

Theology of a three year old

So Zane has been a real source of laughter this last week. I thought I would share a few.

After putting sandals on for the first time since last year. He was pretty excited to  have sandals on...

"Mom, you don't need socks with sandals! Nope, no socks, just feet."

Overheard conversations with Zane and Cora.

While playing mom and dad.

"Zane, you know our kids died, they got stepped on by a coyote"

While going to Seward for McDonalds 

 "Tora, I know how to drive, you push that button and it turns the brake on"

After scooping the black kitty off the road (one of my favorites) I told them that they better stay off the highway or the same could happen to the them. Zane responded with
"Well you have to look both ways, the black kitty didn't AND he didn't have a adult with him." 

On the way back from Seward

"Tora, we have church tomorrow and we go to a monster church, but they are just nice monsters."

And my favorite

Zane: Mom, did you see that red tractor over there.
Me: Yes
Zane: It didn't have a bucket on it, why it not have a bucket on it.
Me: Not sure
Zane: Cause God made it that way.
Me: Really?
Zane: No, God didn't make that, the workers did.
Me: Yes, but God made the workers that made that tractor
Zane: Yes and I like God so he made me. And he made Jesus. And God is going to get him.
Me: Really, God is going to get Jesus for doing what?
Zane: Not he is going to get Jesus, like if you gets lost or if you gets hurt or if a dinosaur steps on you. God is going to get Jesus.
Me: Oh, so if you need Jesus, God will get him to help you?
Zane: YES
Me: Oh that is good to know. I will make sure I call for Jesus if a dinosaur steps on me.

I think I should change my blog to, "When a dinosaur stepped on me"

Update March 17

It's been awhile since I have posted. I have been bad about keeping everyone updated here since I do it so much on Facebook then I am reminded that there are some that are some keeping track of things here that may not be on Facebook. So I will give you all on update then I am going to work on some posts that I have started and some that I need to get started on.

I had my last chemo March 8th. The previous time I had what they thought was a slight allergic reaction to the carboplatin, which is one of the drugs. The wanted to keep an eye on that since it's been known to get worse each time after that when it's given. So, guess what, had a pretty strong reaction to it this time around. My vitals stayed good, my heart rate went up a bit which is it be expected because it scared me a bit, well, a lot. They gave me some drugs to help with the reaction and my reaction to the reaction that pretty much knocked me out. I was still able to drag myself to Ruby Tuesday to eat at the salad bar, you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. They had stopped the carboplatin so I only received one drug instead of three. The last, herception they are waiting to give me more of because it may have caused some damage to my heart. I am having more testing on the 26th. It's a known side effect to this drug. Not sure yet if the they can medically reverse any of this damage so pray if you can. My next and hopefully last chemo is March 29th

 more info about herceptin here

If you want a chuckle go to that link and look at the side effects,  I have had everyone of those I think. It's like no kidding, I guess it doesn't give you cancer. I especially like this warning

Before receiving trastuzumab injection,
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to trastuzumab, medications made from Chinese hamster ovary cell protein, any other medications, or benzyl alcohol. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure if a medication you are allergic to is made from Chinese hamster ovary cell protein or contains benzyl alcohol.

    You really can't say they aren't look high and low for the cure for breast cancer 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Good news

A couple of weeks ago I found out that Susan G Komen had given money to Planned Parenthood as a grant for mammograms. Now I am all for low or free screenings for women that are in need of this. But in my eyes it was like saying that a serial killer should be given money so they could do something good for the community. Anyway, a friend sent me this press release. I did a quick search for the Lincoln affiliate. If you stand with me on this, please send them a quick email thanking them for the decision. I believe they would also be the ones to contact if you know of someone in need of a low cost or free screening. Every baby is a gift from God and is valuable. In a culture that just screams for equal rights for all, as a nation, we are not giving those rights to the most vulnerable.

Nebraska Affiliate
P.O. Box 461236
Papillion, NE 68046
Phone: (402) 502-2979
Fax: (402) 991-8591
Email Address:

 Julie Schmit-Albin, Executive Director
 402-318-8291 Cell

Click below for audio from 1110AM KFAB

Julie Schmit-Albin on KFAB's Good Morning Show re: Susan G. Komen Decision
LINCOLN --Nebraska Right to Life is joining National Right to Life in supporting the Susan B. Komen Foundation's decision to stop funding grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates.

"The Susan B. Komen Foundation's grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates amounted to $680,000.00 in 2011 and $580,000.00 in 2010." said Julie Schmit-Albin, NRL Executive Director. "That's a drop in the bucket for a billion dollar entity like Planned Parenthood. This isn't so much about losing money for Planned Parenthood as it is about being rejected by the nation's most recognized breast cancer charity. It impedes Planned Parenthood's goal to mainstream itself into American society and tamp down the stigma of being the largest abortion provider in the country."

"As a breast cancer survivor and pro-life activist, I am but one of thousands of other pro-lifers who will now be able to support Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure and other activities." said Schmit-Albin.  "What Komen loses in support from this decision will be made up by an influx of Americans who will gladly acknowledge their rejection of Planned Parenthood with their donations and support."
Nebraska Right to Life
404 S. 11th St .
PO Box 80410
Lincoln , NE 68501
Phone: 402.438.4802
Find Us On Facebook & Twitter Too, Updated Daily!
 facebook.png    twitter.png

Saturday, January 14, 2012

MOPS Pink Out

Thank you to all my MOPS sisters who helped with me Pink Out in October.  It's comforting even now to think back on that day and remember it for all the hugs, tears and laughs instead of absolute terror for what I might face in the coming weeks.

For some who wonder why I haven't been so scared, I am surrounded by godly women!

 Ribbons Jessica handed out!

 Craft time!

 We were making candy bars into mummies and pumpkins

I am the discussion group leader for a crazy table, there was "talk" that we would get trouble more than other tables for talking......

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Second Chemo

Had my second infusion on Thursday, things went very smooth until Sat midday. My body aches and nothing sounds good to eat, so I sleep, I wake up because my body hurts, probably from being in bed so long! Darin and Kailey did a great job taking care of me, brought me what I thought I could eat and entertained Zane. We have had three hot meals provided to us this weekend from friends and family, so blessed!

After my first infusion, my white blood cell count took a nosedive, so I now have to receive a shot to boost my white blood cells(5700 bucks!!!) We are well insured, have not paid a thing...yet but next time I hear of a benefit for medical expenses for someone fighting cancer, I know why, this stuff is pricey! The shot causes flu like symptoms but was told very clearly if I do run a fever the are "obligated to admit me to the hospital" yikes, lets try to avoid that!

I do feel a bit better today than yesterday and trying to focus on that. I have the time to do more writing, a bunch good stuff has happened but I still have "chemo brain" where I have a hard time making sense of some things so I think I will hold off.

The hair on my head is making a mass exit, the hair on my legs is still there, what is wrong with this medicine anyway?! Handling the hair thing pretty well, I think because I can just avoid mirrors, I am reminded of my mastectomy each time I look down. I got a new Kindle Fire for Christmas from Darin and have been using it a bunch, Sat morning it decided not to charge so I will need to call about that. Getting casted for my falsies on Tuesday, Bible Study on Wednesday, MOPS Friday.

So some frustrating things and some things to really look forward to. Choosing to worship Him through all this, love you Jesus, glad to know you are right here with me.