Sunday, May 30, 2010

Genetics Test

I got the results from my genetic testing this week. The test was negative! Praise the Lord! That means I do not have the genetic cancer gene and I do not have to consider any preventative surgeries and I do not have to have my daughters tested for the mutated gene! It would have been nice to have someone tell me, "Yes, this is why you got the cancer," but I did not want to have something that could have been passed on to my children.

So, I continue on with my weekly treatments. I have my second echocardiogram this week to make sure that the Herceptin is not damaging my heart. I have this week to enjoy and then I have my last chemo left on June 8th. Although I will be taking treatments till February of 2011, I am now trying to think of what I would like to do to celebrate the end of the yucky chemo part of the treatments. A weekend get-away to the mountains with my husband would be a wonderful way to celebrate I think. I wonder if I could find anyone to watch 4 kids for the night for me? :) Oh well. Counting down the days!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Tis the end of the season for many things, and one of those is soccer. Watching my children play soccer is one of my "favorite things!" My husband used to play as a young man growing up and for the last couple of seasons he has been able to coach our girls team! It has been so much fun!

Nathan has been able to play on my brother-in-law's team and he just finished his third season. He is doing much better. His first try at it we could not keep him on the field. He just stood there and whined, asking, "Is it over yet?" The second go round he would run with the group, back and forth, back and forth, never even once glancing around to see where the ball might be. This third time around, he has actually kicked the ball a couple of times! It's what he calls scoring a goal. :) We still need a little work.

Emma is our little go-getter. She is a huge bundle of energy in a small package on the soccer field. She can play any position, including goalie, and lets all the other girls know where they need to be. :)

Hallie is our dependable one. She is usually always where she should be and can be counted on to pass the ball where it needs to be, or even score if necessary! She can defend or pursue with the best of them!

I was never an athletic type, so I am grateful to the Lord for this opportunity to watch my children play!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Breast Cancer Walk/Benefit

Here are a few fun photos of the Breast Cancer Walk/Benefit that my friend Dawn organized for us! She is the beautiful lady with the contagious smile in the photo at the bottom! We were so overwhelmed that day. The weather was perfect, and our tears began to flow as soon as we pulled into the park and saw all the cars and hundreds of people from all walks of our lives. Although I would not have chosen to have this cancer, I feel honored to have been able to experience something like this walk, where I got to see in a tangible way, the love of family and friends. I am also reminded of God's hand personally touching my life.

During the adoption of Micah, the funds were not there, but I felt like God would provide if we would step out in faith. And God did! We still cannot fathom how God provided during that two year process. Then, to find out that I had cancer just 9 months later and to wonder about all the medical procedures, expenses, etc. However, I felt the Lord telling me that He would not lead me where He would not provide. And, again, He has. The Walk/Benefit raised over $4000 for our medical expenses! Every cancer bill that has come in so far has been paid by a family member or friend's gift! What a testimony to God's graciousness to use those around us to bless us! We will never be able to fully express our gratitude. All we can say is "thank you from the bottom of our hearts," and "we love you!"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Building a Bracelet!

I have finished chemo #3 and #4 and I am still building my bracelet. Thank you to my sister, Connie, who funded one of my newest beads!

#3 bead is yellow and is for my daughter, Hallie! Her nickname is "Sunshine," so the yellow seemed perfect! She got the nickname when she was just a little girl because she would wake up in the mornings smiling, happy and ready to start her day! She has continued to be happy and content and bring us so much joy!

#4 bead is aqua and is for my daughter, Emma! Aqua is her favorite color, so I had to get this one for her. Aqua is a unique, happy color with lots of charm and that fits my little girl to a T! From her style to her personality, Emma continues to make us smile every day!

I got a brief reprieve from the chemo treatments this week. I was supposed to have my 5th one on Tuesday, but asked if I could postpone it for 1 week. They don't like to do that, but the doc asked what I had going on. By pushing it forward a week, I'll be able to go to my girls piano recitals, their Spring Choir Concert, and attend my son's "End of the Year Program." Doc said that was good enough for him, so I got an extra week to enjoy my family!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010!

Yesterday was the Breast Cancer Walk and Benefit for our family put together by my friend Dawn. The weather was beautiful and so many people turned out! We were overwhelmed by the love and generosity of everyone! Just pulling into the parking lot and seeing all the cars brought tears to our eyes. We enjoyed so much seeing people from so many different parts of our lives...friends from college, high school students, teachers from the high school, teachers from our daughter's elementary school, friends from church, friends from my husband's church growing up, family, etc. Words cannot express how blessed we feel and how grateful we are.

After the walk, I took the kids to Chick-fil-a to get a bite to eat. Emma mentioned that today had been "my day" and that they would try to be good the whole day in my honor. I then asked them if they remembered that the next day was going to be Mother's Day. That's when Hallie groaned and said, "Aw man. I don't know if we can do two days in a row!" :)

Well, today is Mother's Day and when I got up from my nap, the kids had posted home-made signs all over the house for me. The one above made David and me laugh. David said I better enjoy my day, because it looked like according to the sign it was going to be a short one! :) I am so grateful and blessed to be "mommy" to my kiddos and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! In the midst of the cancer journey, this weekend has been an awesome reminder to me that I have friends and family who love me and a God who will provide for and take care of me! What a precious gift! Happy Mother's Day 2010!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Relay for Life!

I did it! My first American Cancer Society Walk for Life as a cancer survivor! I must say it was a little bit emotional for me.

Three years ago, there was a young girl in my husband's Student Council Core that had had cancer as a child. She asked if the core could be a team and walk in the relay as one of their service projects for the year. Of course they did and it has become a tradition for them ever since. I have walked in the relay before, but it was never personal!

When the walk began they had survivors stand in a line and tell our names and how long we have been on the cancer journey. Everyone gave their name and then gave a number in "years." I was the only one in the line that said, "4 months." While hearing all the "years" was very encouraging, it was also a reminder of how short a time we have been on our journey and what a whirlwind it has been so far and still is. We are still fighting and haven't yet come out on the other side. The next thing was the call for survivors to take the first lap, and I did get teary eyed. I don't think I would have made it around if it hadn't been for a sweet woman who sidled up next to me and talked with me the whole way round. A second lap was then done with our "caregivers" joining us on the track. I loved walking around with my family and my 3 oldest kids all held my hands and walked very closely to me. I think it was a good experience for them to think about my cancer but to also see so many others and their families who have battled it too.

Around 10:00 p.m., the candle or luminary ceremony began. White bags with candles in them were placed the entire length of the track and were lit "in honor" of or "in memory" of someone who had been touched by cancer. A young girl in my husband's Core had purchased a luminary in my honor and it was very surreal lighting the candle with my family and all those awesome young high school kids standing around me in a circle, hemming me in with their love and support. We then all took a lap together in the darkness and silence with a man on a bagpipe leading the way playing "Amazing Grace." A very touching experience again for my kids I think. Emma was crying, Hallie was reading all the bags on the side as we passed, Nathan was silent (he was very tired...way past his bed time), and Micah was, believe it or not, quiet as a mouse. He must have sensed something though because he spent the whole time walking from one student to the next without a word giving them big hugs.

It was a great "walk" and I look forward to next year. Of course my husband and the Core stayed at the walk till 5:30 a.m. They always run all night long with games for the teams, etc. and someone from your team walking on the track at all times. My girls wanted to stay, but were just too tired and we were not prepared. Next year, our plan is to let them stay all night with Daddy and we'll pack their sleeping bags, etc. like the big kids did! I think it will make awesome memories for them some day!

It was a fun memory for me too, and good preparation for the walk that is being done in my honor this weekend of Mother's Day coming up. I'm sure that one is going to be even more emotional for me. I guess it doesn't hurt every once in a while to be reminded that you are loved!