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Why?

To be honest with you, I really wish I’d never have to revisit this blog. Actually, I wish I’d never had the feeling of needing it! Now before you start freaking out, this isn’t about my personal cancer journey. I just have to let some things out.

I got a call today that it’s time for my semi-annual scans. Because I’ve been PET negative for a year, Dr. Sharman is fine with me having just a CT (CAT) Scan this time. Ok, no big deal. Also my 3 month checkup happens to be this month on the 16th. Fine. This doesn’t bother me. I’ve had a few weird things crop up in the past year or so – like a walnut/tree nut allergy. What’s up with that? I love nuts! Grr.

Anyway, I got home tonight and Tom told me that he saw on Facebook that a friend of mine had something big happening. I said, “What?” He said, “She just found out she has cancer.” WHAT????? Just typing this pulls the feelings to the surface again.

I am so angry.

And scared.

And just want to scream!

I’ve been sitting here on my bed, rocking like a crazy person with tears streaming down my face. Sobbing like a baby with my breath coming in choked gasps. Why?

Please pray for my friend Danielle. She has been diagnosed with colon cancer. She has been through way more than ANY new mommy should ever have to go through.

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Oh What A Difference A Year Makes!

One year ago today I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Today I am in complete remission. God Is GOOD!

I had planned to write the story of how it all started and post it today, but I’ve been so busy with work, that I haven’t had time to do it. I guess that can be a good thing. 🙂

Psalm 118:17 ~ “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.”

Feeling Better Day by Day

This morning I went to Samaritan Albany General Hospital to have some preliminary blood work done for my PET scan this coming Friday. I had a new phlebotomist when I went in, so I was a little bit nervous, but she was amazing – it barely hurt at all! 🙂

After the blood draw, I got to go to Urgent Care in North Albany to have my ankles looked at. Last night, I was going down the stairs at my mom & dad’s house only to slip on the steps, roll both ankles, and break my favorite shoes! Grr. Anyway, I got in to Urgent Care, and when the doctor walked in, I thought I recognized him. Turns out, Dr. Simon was the doctor that was on duty last April when I went in with an irregular heartbeat. He is the one that found the tennis ball sized mass in my chest.

We chuckled over the discovery and talked about how my last year has been, and then he got to work. He looked over my ankles, even though the right one didn’t feel too bad to me. I was a little surprised when he said that he was going to have my left ankle & my right foot x-rayed. I said, “If you send me outta here with two casts, I’m never going to come see you again!” 🙂 Turns out, they’re both just sprained. It’s not really a big deal, I’m just wearing a brace on my left ankle – the right foot is virtually pain free.

I’ve been getting more energy day by day anymore. I think the biggest contributor is the fact that I started drinking some nutritional shakes three times a day. To keep from sounding too much like a commercial, I’ll keep it low key, but I am amazed at how I’ve been feeling lately! I’d be happy to tell you more about it if you want to ask me directly, but I can definitely say that I’m loving me some Reliv shakes!

I’ll let you know how the PET scan turns out probably next week after I meet with my oncologist, Dr. Sharman, on the 29th. Until then, enjoy life & don’t waste a day. You never know what the next day can bring!

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Reflections of 2012

I don’t know about you all, but for me, I can’t help but think of the past at Christmastime.  Grandparents that I’ve lost, homes I’ve lived in over the years, my children as babies.  This time of year seems to breed nostalgia.  Of course having all the Christmas songs going in the background probably contributes quite a bit as well.

When I think back on this whole year, I realize I have seen a lot.  Had you told me that I would battle a life threatening disease and win, I probably would have tried everything I could do to stop time and keep it from happening.  I don’t think that would have worked though. 🙂

Just last Sunday I found out that another cancer warrior I know has only a short time left here.  That makes 2 in the last 7 days with just a couple months of life to live.  Of the 5 people I know that were diagnosed within 1-3 months of me, my Aunt Judy & I seem to be the only ones that are winning our fights.  Two others have gone to be with Jesus, and then this one I heard about on Sunday.  Cancer is so unfair.  These other friends deserve to live too!!

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t take life for granted.  It sounds so cliche to say this, that I almost didn’t.  But really, unless you’ve fought this fight, you can’t totally understand.  Now I get the meaning of, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff.”  Take advantage of the time here and don’t waste it.

Smile more.  Laugh more.  Get upset less.  Realize that it really doesn’t matter that you didn’t get the close parking place at the store – be thankful that you can walk the distance.  Hug your kids.  Kiss your spouse.  It’s ok if the dishes sit in the sink.  Go to bed if you’re tired.  Don’t try to work yourself into an early grave.  It’s really not important.  Done is better than perfect.  Enjoy life.  Pray more.  Worry less.  Trust.

Past & Future

Photo courtesy of Mark Ylen, Ylen Photography

Better Than I Deserve

Some days it seems like words just flow while other days I feel stuck in my writing, but I felt it important to update all of you who care about me and my family.

It’s almost as if I’ve been waiting for the hammer to fall. Waiting for that moment when I start feeling horribly rotten again. The weird thing is, it hasn’t happened like it has in the past. Now, I’m not saying I haven’t had any side effects, because I have, but they have mercifully been so much easier. I definitely got cranky yesterday though 🙂 and naps have been a daily occurrence lately.

I have to believe that it is because of all the prayers going up on our behalf, but also, maybe partly because I know this is it! There are no more chemo sessions in my future. Yes, I go for hydration treatment tomorrow, but that’s going to be my last IV for a while. I am really excited about that!

Thank you all for yummy meals and coveted prayers. Onward to health!

The End Is Here!

It’s official.  I am done with chemotherapy!!!!

I’m tired, and a little bit uninspired as writing goes – which is normal for after chemo feelings.  I brought an entourage with me today: Mom, Tom and my sister Andrea.  Joanne was my nurse today, she & Shawna have been my main nurses throughout this journey.  It has been such a blessing having nurses that care about you taking care of you.  I can’t say enough positive things about Willamette Valley Cancer Institute oncology nursing staff.  Almost makes me want to go into nursing…almost. 🙂

It’s also been amazing to have a doctor with the same faith as you.  Having Dr. Sharman as my doctor has been meaningful because I know that not only do I have a doctor that is beyond gifted in the medical field, but he has the Great Physician on his side.  To know that he is going to the One that is the Healer for guidance.  Thank you Dr. Sharman for your care.

All the support I have had during this 6 month journey has been overwhelming.  It’s difficult to remember who all has done and given what.  At least with the mealtrain.com website, I can go back for the past few months and figure out who all has brought us meals. 🙂  I can’t begin to tell you about my mom though.  She has pretty much rewritten her spring, summer, & fall to make sure that I would have transportation to and from all my appointments.  This has allowed us to have some good one-on-one time that I will treasure forever.  Now to figure out how to continue it, because I do not want to go through this again! 🙂

Thank you all for the prayers and support.  I’m going to close for tonight because both kids have Health speeches to finish (before tomorrow of course!) and they need my help.  And right now, I’m thinking clearly enough to be able to help them, so that is QUITE an opportunity for them!

 

Joanne and Me – the END of Chemotherapy!

My New “Favorite” Song

Had to write a quick blog about a song I heard tonight on KHPE 107.9 (our local Christian radio station).  I actually heard it a little while ago because I put in on an Evernote list in my phone as a song that I eventually want to get on iTunes.  Anyway, it makes me happy, and talks about how it’s good to be alive…  And just in case you’d like to hear it, I’ve included the official YouTube video at the bottom of the page.  So enjoy, and live, because it’s good to be alive.

“Good To Be Alive” by Jason Gray

Hold on
Is this really the life I’m living?
Cause I don’t feel like I deserve it
Every day that I wake, every breath that I take you’ve given
So right here, right now
While the sun is shining down

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive, yeah

Hold on
If the life that we’ve been given
Is made beautiful in the living
And the joy that we get brings joy to the heart of the giver
Then right here, right now
This is the song I’m singing out

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive
[x2]

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give you
A life well lived, to say “thank you”

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be, it’s good to be alive

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give you
A life well lived, to say “thank you”

 

(Click the picture to play the song.  That hint is for you mom. 🙂 )