Archive | December 2008

New Years Eve 2008

alcohol_hangover1Okay – day two following chemo went pretty well except I have had a fair amount of nausea and was really tired.  I’m not sure what made me more tired, the staying up too late after an 11 hour hospital day or the Phenergan pills for the nausea, but this photo pretty much depicts how I felt part of the day.  A sore throat set in the night before and continued most the day as well.  Cold water seems to help. I did tag along to the bowling alley where Tim and the boys had fun bowling for his birthday.  Then we came home to the most delicious meal brought by a friend from church – homemade beef briskett with all the country side dish fixin’s and home made ice cream and birthday cake!  Wow!  I enjoyed every bite since I am told I can expect my taste buds to go south in about a day or two, making NOTHING taste good.  Then we celebrated Tim’s birthday and he is happily enjoying all his new toys!  He  administered my shot  which I have to take following the 6 cycles off full chemo treatments to boost the whote blood cell count production and it stung (yeah – I was a baby about it) but maybe next time I’ll be better prepared for it.  He did it in the thigh which I thought was the best place considering it has the most fat there.  I laid down on the couch after dinner and that was the end of that – I just could barely keep my eyes open and kept falling asleep watching Everybody Loves Raymod episodes with Tim.  That was about 10 p.m. 

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good and am trying to follow some of the nurses suggestions to combat nausea – (it’s mild, kind of like mild pregnancy nausea in the first trimester as I recall)…like keeping solids and liquids separate by two hours and not laying down after eating, etc.  My next trip to the hospital is Monday where I have a 2 hour infusion of  Herceptin which is every week for a year.  Many friends have offered to drive me for these visits and I am so blessed and grateful I can count on so many people.  Tim can take me on the very long infusion days (5 more between now and late March)  which we expect to last 5 hours or so each time. 

Today is New Yers Eve and or daughter has a friend from New Mexico visiting us all week so we agreed to them having a New Years Eve party here.  This way her friends can gather all at one place, about 20 kids.  Thank goodness for that sound proof basement!

Wishing you and your a very Happy New Year filled with all the great things God has in store for you!

First Chemo Therapy session Today

th_wecandoitposter-1 Our morning started real early, leaving the house at 6:20 a.m. for my 7:30 IV start for surgical port     installation.  That is a small incision on the underside of my arm where an access catheter/portal is placed under the skin so they won’t have to stick my veins for the next year!  The genetcist’s nurse came down and got my blood for the genetic testing to go forward, sice she wasn’t able to get blood out of my rolling veins Monday last week. The anesthesia for this morning’s surgery  didn’t work for some weird reason, so I was never sedated….awake , alert, talking about our kids, colleges, music, fully normal conversations for the whole surgery but only felt the lidocaine injections (like at a dentist) and no real surgical pain until that wore off a couple of hours later.  They gave me Mortrin for it and ot seems to cover the pain okay. . And by the way, the prayers worked!  IV started very first try and I cried tears of JOY! Hope I didn’t scare Roman, my big burly nurse-man.  He was the guy who was unable to get me sedated. He was very kind though.   Next Tim & I  walked up to the chemotherapy suite and I was given a bed, the only one in the room, all other patients were in chairs/recliners.  The infusions I have  consist of three bags and some nasty side effects . They prep me first with bags infused with anti-nausea drugs and oral meds for allergic reactions that could occur, steroids,  and they take double the time putting them into you to be sure you tolerate them well..one bag took 3 1/2 hours to drip in!  The others about 90 minutes each so we didn’t leave until 6:15 p.m. What a long day.  My nausea actually went away as asoon as Tim brought back Subway sandwiches and chips and a Snickers bar!  There were so many instructions given, videos to watch on various precautions and such (ease of developing infection as white cells drop in the next few days) as well as video on how to administer a shot I have top give myself tomorrow – I think I can really do this myself now!  I’d rather hurt myself than have someone else hurt me with a shot!  They sent me home with a boat load of drugs to take on certain days at certain times and I should probably keep a good log of all of it and have Tim check and double check me.  We learned that one of the drugs I have to get (Herceptin) is given weekly for 52 weeks.  One down today! Just 51 to go!  It is a 1 hour infusion in the chemo suite….This drug is the only FDA approved drug to treat the particular cancer onco-gene my tumor carried called “Her2Nu”.  That can be given along with the other 5 treatments of chemo I will have over the next 18 weeks as well.  SO much to learn! So many trip to walter Reed and many rides needed so anyone with free time on a Monday or Wed. for about 4 hours just let me know! The long day infusion days Tim will take me to.

I also learned today after further research in my family history, that of my father’s two aunts who died of breast cancer 50 years ago when they were under 40, one had two daughters (now in their 70’s) and BOTH had breast cancer a few years ago.  I am more anxious now than ever to get my genetic results back January 23rd!

Well it has been a long day but one better than I expected (and a delicious donated dinner and bottle of wine to come home to as well! Thank you Kathy!) and may prayers felt coming my way so I say Thank you ! More to come as side effects set in over these next few days. I’ve been warned!  So far just a sore throat. I expect a bit worse but who knows.


This entry was posted on December 30, 2008. 3 Comments

My Favorite Christmas Gift

My favorite gift this Christmas is this sterling silver bangle bracelet from my husband, Tim.  It says:   “”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”  COURAGE – I’m asking God for an extra dose of that right now. Courage to change things I can means to me, making a difference in the lives of people.   SO many have done that for me.  When I want to lay down in pity, I need courage to stand strong.   When I feel like fear is closing in, I need to courage to know God will be by my side.  Courage to fight this fight with my head held high, and with acceptance, embrace the trial set before me knowing that God has a purpose in it.004

This entry was posted on December 27, 2008. 2 Comments

A Merry Christmas / New Year Message

 

Rick Warren (REMEMBER HE WROTE ‘PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE’) AND he has been chosen to give the invocation at Barack Obama’s swearing in ceremony this next month!  Candles in the Dark
You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having ‘wealth’ from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren,

‘Purpose Driven Life ‘ author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into an other one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problem s.

If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness,’which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.

It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiativ e we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.
That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

God’s Blessings on you today.

 

This entry was posted on December 26, 2008. 1 Comment

My “Grown Up” Christmas List

My oncologist called me this morning to give me the directions on how we are to proceed with chemo this Monday.  I have to go to the lab the day after Christmas and get blood drawn to check my cell counts.  Then I have to pick up prescriptions I will take at home the night before my chemo therapy to reduce reactions I might have to the drugs.  It’s all becoming all too real now.  The day of chemo, (Monday), they will send me home with a shot which  Tim (or myself) can administer (yeah right!) We’ll see about that.  This is  to cause the white cell count to rise.  It goes directly to the bone marrow, causing bone pain.  “Treat it with Motrin” , he says.  That should be interesting!  He wished me a Merry Christmas and gave me his personal cell phone number to call if I needed anything.  Well, I’m trying not to think about all of that right now and want to share a particularly special Christmas song with you that I wrote down the lyrics to in our cards a few years ago….here it is in video below. I hope you listen to the words and know that I realize there are many more hurting people out there right now and it is helping me to focus on God touching THEIR lives and I hope He touches yours today too.

Click the arrow in the box below, or click HERE (Lyrics Below)  

 My heartfelt wishes to you for a very Merry Christmas with your families and those you love!

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I’m all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well Heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul (only Jesus can do that! – I have learned this)

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
(there’d be)

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown up Christmas list

This is my grown up Christmas list

 

 

This entry was posted on December 24, 2008. 1 Comment

Met with Genetic Counselor Today

il_430xn_37399457Today was a long day at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to meet with both my plastic surgeon and the genetic counselor.  Lucky me!  George W. Bush was visiting the troops today at the hospital so the whole place was crawling with secret service agents and guards at every turn.  Many elevators were closed and detour hallways were used to direct patients to their appointments.  I heard that he even got an MRI there – bet he’s glad I got that place cleaned up and in tip top shape a few weeeks ago!  Ha!  Tim came on the metro train to meet me for the session with the geneticist.  I found out that not every breast cancer patient there is automatically given the test for the genetic mutation (it is very expensive).  You must meet a series of given risk factor criteria  first.  Because my father is an only child (we don’t know if  he may have had a sister with it) , and because he had two aunts (both paternal and maternal) die of breast cancer in their late 30’s, and because I developed breast cancer at a young age, and two different types, both lobular and ductal, I meet the criteria.  He then took me into a blood draw room where two different nurses attempted to get my blood, but the veins kept rolling and they finally gave up.   Since I am having a port installed Monday morning before my chemo therapy begins, they said they will come there and retrieve the blood test from the port which has a two way valve.  I should get the results around the 3rd week of January.  The results, if possitive, indicate that I am at a 50% higher risk of developing breast cancer again, and a significant risk of developing ovarian cancer.  Most doctors recommend, at the very least, the removal of the ovaries.  Our children and immediate female relatives would be at risk as well, and would be recommended tested in their twenties.  These tests also help researchers learn how far back a family history carries.  My feeling is that information is power, and what we choose to do with that information once we have it gives us a sense of control.  Surprisingly, though, only 7% of the breast cancer population carries the genetic component.

This week we have  a house full of college students while we try and prepare for Christmas Day, they are planning for the funeral of a friend. We fed 8 of them dinner tonight and now have about 15 in our basement drinking hot chocolate <-here’s a photo of the mugs they brought up after I had gone to bed to let them soak – what great kids! ) and gathering together to comfort each other following the candlelight vigil, and trying to feel a sense of family.  It is a week of reflecting upon what matters most and being there for anyone who needs a shoulder to lean on, including the sister of the teenaged victim .  It is a good distraction for me facing chemo in just 7 days, a way to give and “care for” while I still can.

Artwork by Barking Bird Art at Etsy.com

This entry was posted on December 23, 2008. 2 Comments

Are you listening?

whyfor On three separate days this week, I have been out and about, doing Christmas shopping,running errands and such…like we all do…and on three different days I saw  license plates that have “spoken” to me.  Remember when I told you that back in September that I saw two bumper stickers two days after my biopsy, one that said “Do Not Fear” and another that said “God Will Provide All You Need”?    Well, it was that very day when I needed those words, and I was convinced God was trying to get through to me.  This week the messages were on cars (I wish I’d taken photos) as follows:

PRAYMOR

GR8FUL

B-HMBLE

Whoa!  It’s as if God can just reach down and come into our  busy Chrismassy – crazy lives and speak to us right where we are even if we aren’t making enough time for Him!  I know I fret more than I pray and He is telling me I need to stop the worrying and start asking Him for what I need (I worry about chemo starting on time so I can finish in time to get to my parent’s anniversary party in mid May and I worry about losing my hair and how that will make me feel).  I need to stop my pity party (much as I feel I’m entitled somedays) and start being thankful for everything He has done and is doing in my life, and to count all that I have as blessings from Him.  Then I need to remember that He is God, and of all He asks of us is quite simple :  Micah 6:8 in The Bible says it all –

“He has shown you, O man, what is good. 
And what does the LORD require of you?
       To act justly and to love mercy
       and to walk humbly with your God.”

These three messages were ones I needed to hear this week, and it just so happened I was looking and listening.   Look around you while you get through this final week before Christmas and see if God has a message for you too – are YOU listening?

This entry was posted on December 19, 2008. 1 Comment

Connections

il_430xn_47757199Wading through cancer can be frightening, but not if you’ve got someone by your side.  I feel so fortunate to have met dozens of other women facing the same issue these past months.  Most of them online, some through chat forums, some through friends of friends, some who have called me because they’ve heard about me through someone I know.  All are  precious reminders to me that God Himself is reaching down to help me in my time of trouble.  Nobody can quite relate to drainage tubes, tissue expanders, weeks of narcotics, and fears of the future like a fellow cancer patient.  Hanging on to one another, we find peace, comfort, laughter, tears, support, understanding, and a sense that we are not alone in the journey.  SO this is a thank you to all I have found a connection with.  Even to those who have provided and continue to provide meals to our family on the days when my energies are zapped beyond the edge, I say a huge thank you!  God just somehow knows when those days are, and then YOU show up on my doorstep and I am overwhelmed with gratitude of how God uses you to meet my needs. If not for this experience, I never would have met you! I am blessed for knowing you, and I am grateful for all the ways you’ve helped me get to where I am.  SO instead of thinking the negative thoughts of upcoming chemo therapy, hairloss and side affects, I am trying to focus on the many things I have to be thankful for and to reach out to others who I can help during this time also.  It helps a lot  to connect with you.  Now let’s hold on for dear life and never let go!

This entry was posted on December 18, 2008. 1 Comment

Ten days ‘Til Christmas!

Are you ready?  I hear that question a lot.  Ready or not, here it comes, I say!  It’s been a little hard for me to focus on Christmas this year.  n642738267_1184323_1498Every sappy toy commercial that comes on television makes me cry.  Every mall crowded with shoppers only reminds me of the shallow life we all live in materialism.  I can’t get myself in the “spirit”.  Even watching the Santa Claus in the big mall yesterday, and all the excited little children, I saw a Santa who was tired, worn out and just doing a job.  Not the Santa I remember.  It felt meaningless.  Being with my husband, holding his hand when I felt tears coming over me just walking through the mall, now THAT has meaning to me.  We feel like we’re just wading through the motions of this season, waiting for a bomb to fall in 2 weeks when I begin chemo treatment.  Why, when I feel so good now does that have to ruin it all?  It just doesn’t feel fair.   I feel a little angry that it’s stealing what could be a wonderful holiday, but then again it reminds me of the ugly side of cancer.  I am grateful, however, for this extra week, and that I don’t have to start tomorrow as originally planned.  An extra week to make caramels, and be with my family, and to wrap gifts and make the special handmade things I love to do for my kids.  Today I am going to Let’s Dish to make up some advanced meals for future weeks, just to have on hand in the freezer.  (Thanks Carin, for taking me!) The boys will be home this week from college.  Christmas is coming, and yeah, ready or not, I’ll be here, and we will all be together!  That’s what it’s all about.

This entry was posted on December 16, 2008. 1 Comment

The Christmas Pageant – A sweet reminder – What it’s really all about this thing called Christmas

THE CHRISTMAS PAGEANT

My husband and I had been happily
married (most of the time)
for five years
but hadn’t been blessed with a baby.

I decided to do some serious
praying and promised God
that if he would give us a
 child,
I would be a perfect mother,
love it with  all my heart
and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers
and blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us
with another son.

The following year,
He blessed us with
 yet another son.

The year after that we
were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we’d
been blessed right into poverty.
We now had four children,
and the oldest was only
four years old.

I learned never to ask God
for anything unless I meant it.
As a minister once told me,
“If you pray for rain,
make sure you carry an umbrella.”

I began reading a few verses
of the Bible to the children
 each day as they lay in their cribs.

I was off to a good start.
God had entrusted me
with four children and
I didn’t want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day
the children smashed
two dozen eggs on
the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding…

when they started a hotel for
homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours
to catch all twenty-three frogs
.


When my daughter poured
ketchup all over herself and
rolled up in a blanket to see
how it felt to be a hot dog,
I tried to see the humor
rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over
twenty-five thousand diapers,
never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more
than thirty minutes at a time,
I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn’t keep my promise to be a perfect mother –
I didn’t even come close…
I did keep my promise
to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark
just a little when I told
my daughter we were going to church to worship God,
and she wanted to bring
a bar of soap along to
“wash up” Jesus, too.

Something was lost
in the translation when
I explained that
God gave us everlasting life,
and my son thought it was
generous of God to give
us his “last wife.”

My proudest moment came
during the children’s
Christmas pageant.

My daughter was playing Mary,
two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man.
This was their moment to shine.

My five-year-old shepherd
had practiced his line,
“We found the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes.”

But he was nervous and said, “The baby was wrapped
in wrinkled clothes.”

My four-year-old “Mary” said,
“That’s not ‘wrinkled clothes,’ silly.

That’s dirty, rotten clothes.”

A wrestling match broke out
between Mary and the shepherd
and was stopped by an angel,
who bent her halo and lost
her left wing.

I slouched a little lower
in my seat when Mary
dropped the doll representing
Baby Jesus, and it bounced
down the aisle crying, “Mama-mama.”

Mary grabbed the doll,
wrapped it back up
and held it tightly as
the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward
wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown,
knelt at the manger and announced,
“We are the three wise men,
and we are bringing gifts
of gold, common sense
  and fur.”

The congregation
dissolved into laughter,
and the pageant
got a standing ovation.

“I’ve never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,”
laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes.

“For the rest of my life,
I’ll never hear the
Christmas story without
thinking of
gold, common sense and fur.”

“My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest
blessing,” I said as I dug
through my purse for an aspirin.

Jesus had no servants,
yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree,
yet they called Him Teacher.


Had no medicines,
yet they called Him Healer.

Had no army,
yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles,
yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime,
yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb,
yet He lives today.

Feel honored
to serve such a Leader
who loves us.

This entry was posted on December 14, 2008. 1 Comment

I’m Free As A Bird!

birdcageI finally got my plumbing system removed today after more than 6 weeks! Yeah!  It is so freeing not to be bound my tubes and hoses and pouches at the waist, not to mention the constant record keeping for the doctors.  My lymph node incision site is not healing, though, so they have postponed my chemo therapy to December 29th.  That is fine with me, since it will actually give me an extra week to get ready for Christmas, and I don’t care so much about being laid up for New Years Eve….a few glasses of champagne on that night usually would put me under the table anyways, so it won’t really be much different!   🙂 Now we can relax for a couple of weeks, have no doctors visits all next week (wow!)  and the boys will be home from college beginning Tuesday next week….glad they can have me as my cheery self a little longer.   That’s not to say I don’t still have my “moments”.  The reality of it all still sometimes comes to bear on my shoulders and I can’t hold back the tears.  God bless the ones who get me through, like friends and neighbors who do just the right things at just the right time.  Thank you so much.  And the prayers must be what carry me through most days-so be sure and keep those up! Here’s an original song whose words touched me today – click the arrow – and by the way notice the NEW link at the  top “Prior Posts” to look up previous postings going back to the end of summer

This entry was posted on December 10, 2008. 1 Comment

Doctor Visit – Monday Dec. 8

winter-leavesWell, I made the trek to see the doc today because I feared I had an infection going on at the lymph node biopsy incision site, but luckily, all is okay and it’s just taking unusually long to heal.  So…..he ordered blood work to check white cell count and also see how this long term anti-biotic is affecting me…6 weeks is a long time to be on it since it’s the heavy duty type.  He said he will leave the other decision (of when to remove my final drain) up to the plastic surgeon whom I go back to see Wednesday this week.  The drain and the wound all have to be cleared up before chemo starts (right now scheduled to start Dec. 17 – next week) so that may get delayed until after Christmas, but before New Years.  We’ll find that out soon.  Being flexible is a must with this cancer stuff!  I am learning to roll woth the punches!  Good news is that I get free valet parking at the hospital parking garage!   The guy who brought my car to me today loved the music I happened to have in my CD player, which I apparently had on pretty loud cuz he came out of my car jammin’ and dancing and wished he could keep riding to the tunes!  Thanks for the CD, Sara!  What was the song you ask?  It has to do with our social obsession with hair, and with mine coming out soon, I love this ong! Pay close attention to the words at 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the song/video…Click HERE to listen!  Enjoy! (Printed version of words below)

Is that India.Arie? What happened to her hair?

Little girl with the press and curl
Age eight I got a “Jheri curl”
Thirteen I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter
At fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and went all natural
February two thousand and two
I went and did
What I had to do
Because it was time to change my life
To become the women that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlock all gone
I looked in the mirror
For the first time and saw that HEY….

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

What’d she do to her hair? I don’t know it look crazy
I like it. I might do that.
Umm I wouldn’t go that far. I know

Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
It’s time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what’s on your head
Its what’s underneath and say HEY….

Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?

Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oooh

Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?

I am expressing my creativity..

Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy everyday of her life ooh
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY…

If I wanna shave it close
Or if I wanna rock locks
That don’t take a bit away
From the soul that I got

If I wanna where it braided
All down my back
I don’t see what wrong with that

Is that India.Arie?
Ooh look she cut her hair!
I like that, its kinda PHAT
I don’t know if I could do it.
But it looks sharp, it looks nice on her
She got a nice shaped head
She got an apple head
I know right?
It’s perfect.

This entry was posted on December 8, 2008. 1 Comment

Let it Snow!

iusa_50x50_57050571     It’s snowing outside!  Flurries, but SNOW, nonetheless!  Guess winter is really here and Christmas is a comin’!  We went and got a real Christmas tree today at The Boy Scout’s tree lot.  It’s a perfect tree .  Perfect shape, perfect branches, perfect smell!  A Balsam Fir.  It’s been 20 years since we have had a real tree and it is really nice. 

I’ve had a bit of a set back with my arm with a lot of pain and barely able to lift it.  I am treating the lymph node incision site exactly as the doctor told me to yet the pain is worse than even 3 weeks ago.  I hope to hear back from him soon.  Tim and I are attending his work holiday party tonight, I’ll be happily drugged up and we’ll get through it!

As we dragged out all the Christmas decorations today, I started getting excited about the upcoming holiday and all the memories it brings.   The snow, and now the smell of a fir tree in the living room is bringing it all into reality, but it’s coming faster than a freight train!  Ready or not, right?  What gets done, gets done, and what doesn’t, doesn’t really need to anyways!

Say it isn’t so

I am  5 weeks beyond surgery, and so was fairly confident that this drain shs_sadpuppywould finally come out at my appointment today, and I would be free of its tubing and holding pouch, measuring and recording daily output, etc.   Also the lymph node biopsy site can’t seem to heal.  I came away from my appointment feeling a little disappointed that I’m still hooked to the drain. If not completely healed by the 17th, it could postpone my chemo beginning date.  Let’s pray it’s all resolved by next week’s visit.

While on the elevator trip down, a 24 year old double leg amputee in a wheelchair, asked if I liked Renee Zellweger (the actress) .  He was so proud to show off the pictures of himself with her when she came to visit the soldiers  there at Walter Reed.  I couldn’t help but remember that someone like him has it so much worse than someone like me, and yet he finds happiness in just the little things in life and shares them with others!  So that is what I am trying to take away from my day there…find the little things, the small joys, and then pass them along to brighten someone else’s day.  In the big scheme of things, I am learning to put life’s little curve balls into perspective.

By the way, if you would like to brighten the day of a wounded soldier at Walter Reed Hospital, here’s the address to mail it to OR you can always mail it to me and I will hand it to them in person (and you can be SURE they’ll receive it)!  I am there once or twice a week for my treatment!  They love to interact with people as they wheel around in their wheel chairs and some have one leg , one arm, some have none and some have prosthetic legs they are learning to get around on.  Who knows where their families are?  Many are wheeling themselves around with both arms, nobody pushing them.  It would mean a lot to know that SOMEONE is thinking of them and recognizing their tremendous sacrifice for our country!  This must be a very difficult time of year for them.

Holiday Cards For Heros , P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, Md., 27091-5456

Card for a Hero c/o Koryn Hutchison, 12744 Quarterhorse Ln, Woodbridge, VA 22192

Celebrations!

Tim and I celebrated 22 years of wedded bliss this weekend!  Kelli took this picture of us.  011Still many things to celebrate and be thankful for!