July 30, 2009
Top Recipes of 2008

Lots of good ones on their list!
P.S. I am doing better than my cranium post implies --I wrote that a few days ago, but never posted it. I write things early and then schedule postings. Some days, I just can't blog or refuse to think really hard about life. But yes, that stuff does go through my head ... a lot of the time. I don't like to think about a lot of it, but the fact is I need to be realistic about many things. I'm glad the Lord is in control, cause I'd surely mess things up.


July 29, 2009
Wordless Wednesday ... (almost)
Wedding Gifts are Arriving -- the fun part begins!!


July 28, 2009
Inside this cranium...
I seem to get emotional a few days after any treatment,

I think its the "downer" part of the drugs.

It is NOT fun.

You can't imagine how much my mind WORKS.


I've been thinking a lot about my mom lately.

I miss her.

Then I think in a way, I'm so glad she's not here to see me go through this.

If you knew her, you knew it would have broken her.

But what a supporter she would have been. She was tough.

I try to be tough, but I fail miserably. I don't measure up to her. NOT AT ALL.

How amazing that when she was 43 -- she was anticipating my life.

Me at 43 ... perhaps facing my death.

It is a sobering thought. Its a lot of sobering thoughts.

My hub doesn't always read my blog. My kids don't know it exists.

I don't want them to know. I don't want them to read my struggles.

My hub says, I don't need to read it, you tell me.

I don't tell him everything.

I wonder if that is considered lying?

If it is, I lie a lot.

Every time someone asks me how I am, I say "Doing good!"

That is such a BIG.FAT.LIE.

Lord, forgive me.

Shielding people is what I do best. I try to make it better for them.

I really need/want someone to make it better for me some days.

But there are millions of people who have it worse than I do.

I would rather face this, then watch one of my children or husband have to face it.

That is the God's honest TRUTH.

Sometimes I want to scream and cry at God and ask Him,


Sometimes not just why, but what did I do to deserve this?

But then I think WHY NOT ME?

I am no hero or martyr, I just know it to be true.

Outside the building today men were smoking and talking to Beckie.

Joking about how they knew what was going to kill them.

And at least they were paying their way there. Quite expensively, I might add.

There I stood in all my chemo looking glory.

How foolish. How utterly completely foolish.


I want to be able to think before I open my mouth.

I want to learn that through this trial.

I want to REALLY help someone with cancer. Someone with a need.

Because I really know the One who can make everything well again.

I don't want to even hesitate to go up to someone who has cancer and begin to talk to them.

Because you can TELL who they are.

We look alike. Its true.

I look for them whenever I am out, and when I feel someone looking at me.

I don't care for that feeling at all,

I do not like to be stared at.


I'm not a freak show. OK, I may look like one, but I'm really not one.

There's a heart and soul under the baldness and chemo face look.

The wedding photos should be JUST GLORIOUS.

Josh will need to photo shop some hair on me or something.

I'm thinking ahead of my surgery and figuring out how to make sure

that the nurses put something on my head after the surgery is over.

I don't do bald well. I hope they are compassionate.

Actually I am not 100% bald -- there is still hair up there. Not much, but some.

I still grieve the loss of my hair, the loss of my glory.

I really want my hair back RIGHT NOW.

The mirror and I are NOT FRIENDS.

Cancer and I are NOT FRIENDS.

I don't want to be defined by my cancer.

I spend a lot of time alone, alot of time awake in the night, always thinking.

Its nice not to think about cancer for 5 minutes straight ... its a relief.

But the truth is that I have (HAD?) cancer.

And I wish I never did.


July 27, 2009
Not doing so well today ...
I hate this. I am so very tired today. I'm tired of being/feeling like a wimp. Cancer sucks. I hate it. Chemo sucks. I have 2 more treatments to go ... (I pray is all!) and I am not even getting through this one ... I know the Lord knows how much we can bear ... so I guess I can do it ... thanks for prayers. love you ...


July 25, 2009
Menu Plan Monday

I don't do so well on weeks after treatment, but if I feel well enough, at least I have meal ideas planned. =) Here's hoping. I may put days of the week next to a meal but I swap them around alot.

I definitely need some NEW lemon pepper seasoning, mine is old. Ugh! Made some salmon last night but need new seasoning!! I really try to keep our home routine the same for the boys -- and being a mom and having meals ready is one of the things I aim for. The house chores go on the wayside at little, but that's okay. The living room and dining room flooring should be in this week so that will help get things a bit neater in there.

Sunday - Enchiladas (using this Homemade Sauce Recipe)

Monday - Chicken Spaghetti, Veggies & Fruit

Tuesday - Tilipia/Salmon, Rice and Veggies

Wednesday -- BLT Sandwiches, Fruit

Thursday - 30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves, or Hamburger Patty Special, Small Pasta, Veggies

Friday - Homemade Pizza/Calzones

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Who Am I?


July 24, 2009
Sugar Cookie Bars
I made these for the guys and work last night ... they are very easy and made a ton!!

Image from One Ordinary Day
as well as the Yummy Recipe!

This would be great for potlucks or treats for work/school.

I will definitely make these again.

(that's why they are on the blog!)

Thanks to One Ordinary Day!!


July 23, 2009

I had a good visit with the doctor yesterday. I have to say, I really, really like my oncologist. He cares about me, I'm just not a number to him, and we can joke around with each other. I'm thankful the Lord sent me to him.

I waited in the room for him, he walked in the door and we proceeded to have a little conversation.

Doc S: How are you doing ??

Me: I'm doing well, how are you?

What he really was asking me, was how is the tumour?

Doc S: I'm okay.

And he proceeded to sit in his little round chair and look at me, waiting for an answer. The real answer!

Doc S: Well ?? Is it better?

Me: I think so. But you'll have to see it and see what you think.

Doc S: Michelle, I trust your opinion and if you say its better, then it is. So, is it?

Me: Yeah, I think so. (grin) I was being a little ornery.

He asked a bunch of questions about the affects of the new chemo, explained some things and then proceeded to get the nurse, and check it.

Doc S: It's much better!

Me: You think so?

Doc S: Yes, I'd say 30 to 40% better.

Me: Come on, I'd say at least 50% better!

Doc S: Ok, I'll concede -- 40 % better. (LOL!)

The one enlarged lymph node is smaller too. He said, he was very happy and not as worried.

As a side note -- that enlarged lymph node was checked by KU/biopsy and they punched it a couple of times, so we are believing God for NO lymph node involvement. One of the first prayers we prayed was that God would contain the cancer and we are trusting Him for that.

I did go forward and do another treatment. Sometimes, I wonder why? And question my faith, but ... I still believe that God heals -- and whether he uses the chemo, a miracle or the nutritional supplements, He is still the one doing the healing.

I do know that this morning, it is at least 60-70% better. My two are almost the same size again. I had my hub check and he was even shocked at the decrease. I praise God for it and give Him all the glory.

I did make sure I told Doc S that I saw the initial improvement on the morning BEFORE the last chemo treatment. I should have been bolder and told him -- that God was in control of this, not him or I. But I did get that in, which is what I prayed about before I went into his office. He said, the morning before?? I said, yes, the morning before.

One special prayer I'd like to add to my list -- is that you could pray that this cancer is NOT genetic. God is still able -- but it would be a huge worry/weight off our burdens. I'm planning on continuing with the nutritional supplements after all the chemo/surgery/radiation? are over anyway. I honestly believe God created natural things and food for our healing.

No definite on the surgery yet -- but he said if we do 2 more treatments, the last one on September 2nd, he would hold the biochemical one and I would be able to have surgery in 3 weeks after that. (sigh) I do believe it will still be a masectomy, no matter how much it shrinks because of the aggressive nature of the cancer I have. God knows how much we can handle, so we'll take everything one thing at a time.

The surgeon never told him it was better -- so he didn't know. He did tell me that on his walk from his office to the room, all he thought about was that I would tell him it was better. He's always been honest with us, and caring and we do appreciate that.

I was feeling pretty good about everything, but then the enemy flooded in with the genetic thing this morning and that scares me a little. Dumb dog. I have to constantly rebuke the enemy, and remind him that God is in control of this girl, not him.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers -- the trial seems long and I hate to be a burden on anyone, but I do know that prayer works. If there is nothing you can do for me except pray, that is enough. Please do so -- I'm praying that God will bless you and keep you in His tender care.

60-70% YEAH GOD !!!!!


July 22, 2009
D-Day ...
... or C-Day.

I'm amazed how much I am dreading today.

I've been awake and out of bed since about 2:34 am ... and my stomach is in knots.

I know what to expect ...

Been there ... done this before ...

I must like feeling well. I'm not sure what it is? I think a healthy dose of fear is mixed in ...

If you would, please say a prayer for me today.

That I'll have a peace about this ... and also I always pray that the chemo only touches any cancer and that God would not allow it to harm any of my other body organs.
It's pretty nasty stuff.

Still thanking God for my healing for His glory.

Because without a doubt if I live through this, it will be because He did it.


July 21, 2009
Sometimes ...
I’ve been asked at least daily this past week about my cancer. People wondering if I cut my hair (GASP!) and why I have a hat on.
I don’t think they expect the answer as being cancer. One says he is sorry. No need to be sorry – it will all be good.

I’ve avoided going to bring dry cleaning because I knew there would be questions to answer and I didn’t want to answer them. I didn’t want them to see me, because seeing me is seeing the unavoidable that you read in their eyes. Pity, sadness, and surprise.

A lady came in the break room today whom I’ve seen and said hello to here and again. Asked how I was and wanted to tell me about her son.
In 1997 at 22 years old he was diagnosed with cancer and is doing okay today. Thank God. She said I needed to get through the process and I’d be fine. She sympathized and offered any support I needed, and was a big encouragement. She is putting me on her prayer list, which is the best support.

Sometimes there is a need for words.

I needed them today as I face tomorrow.

Dread tomorrow. I’m finally feeling normal and I know I won’t in a few days.

Friday night at the store as I walked to the back alone to get some milk, I passed some kids and their dad.

It was the first time I’d been laughed at for being bald. (I do cover my head BTW!)

It stung. As I walked to the front at the point of tears … I didn’t succumb. I couldn’t do it.

I wouldn’t let myself let them get the better of me.

I met my husband at the front and I told him, it looks like I was the brunt of someone’s joke.

He looked across at me and met my eyes.

His eyes told it all. We’ve known each other a long time.

Sometimes there are no need for words.

It will all be fine.

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July 20, 2009
Easier Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

I had Chicken Spaghetti on the menu for yesterday, but decided to do my own thing (=easier) and surprisingly it was very yummy! My hub loved it, and even Stephen who is NOT a spaghetti fan at all, had 2 servings. Easy and quick.

I cooked the chicken the night before so it was ready. I had also cooked the spaghetti noodles before church that morning. When we got home from church, I turned the oven on to preheat and put 2 cans of 98% fat free cream of chicken soup and 1 can of Rotel in a saucepan on medium to heat it up. You can always make your own cream of chicken soup, which is definitely healthier for you, but I was aiming for quick. Once it was boiling, I added the chicken and then added the cooked noodles and stirred it all up. The oven was ready at that point, so I sprayed a 9x13 pan with PAM and poured the entire mixture in it. I put about 1.5 cups of cheese over the top and popped it in to the oven. I cooked some zucchini and asparagus while the spaghetti was cooking/cheese melting.

The pan was already dirty from cooking the noodles, so no added dishes there, but i think heating it all ahead of time sped up the process and didn't allow it to get to dried out.

We will definitely we making this again and again! I'm sure there are other things you can add to make it better -- but it really was tasty like that. I did add some water to thin the soup out, and I am thinking chicken broth would have been better. I'll do that next time.


I received a present today!

And I've wanted her ever since I first saw her!! Isn't she cute? New York!!
From my friend Beckie via her Florida vacation.


July 19, 2009

Head back to the doctors this week with baited breath ... =) Either way, I'm definitely NOT looking forward to more chemo. Even if it didn't make me feel as sick, I still deal with bone pain and serious fatigue. And the wedding is quickly approaching!

Sunday -- Chicken Spaghetti (never happened last week) Veggies, Fruit

Monday -- Tuna on Whole Wheat Sandwiches (never happened) / Outreach in evening

Tuesday -- Ravioli, Salad and Garlic Cheese Toast

Wednesday -- Chemo/Doctor Day / Chicken Quesadillas (hub can do this!)

Thursday -- Tilipia or Salmon, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Zucchini

Friday -- Homemade Pizza or Calzones

In case it sounds terrible on the day -- Aldi Oriental Noodles or Hamburger Patty Special sounds good too!


July 17, 2009

Most people can't fathom how God would allow "bad" things to happen to "good" people.

But that is exactly what faith is -- unexplainable to the world.

No unbelieving person could ever get through such hard trials because they have no hope, but we know that God was in control before this trial and He is in control now, and He is getting us through it because He trusted us with such a trial.

And He knew that we would keep trusting Him.

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July 16, 2009
Who Really Needs to Know ?
holy experience
You need to go read this Post.
It spoke to my heart.
I pray it speaks to yours as well.
Thanks for the prayers. Love ya!


July 14, 2009
What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited....
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

Author Unknown


July 13, 2009
Sunday Evening Quote
Everyone wants to SEE a miracle, but no one wants to be a miracle. Bro. David Lee

Not me. I want to BE a miracle.

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Menu Plan Monday ...

A week free from chemo -- I am hoping to accomplish many things -- beating this tiredness is hard. Ugh. I know its because my body is working -- even while I am not really doing anything physically.

Sunday --Crock pot roast, Cheesy Ranch Potatoes, Veggies

Monday -- Leftover Buffet -- lots in the fridge!

Tuesday -- Invited Out -- taking a Fruit Salad

Wednesday -- Bible Study Night -- Tuna Sandwiches, Veggies and Fruit

Thursday -- Chicken Spaghetti, Veggies & Fruit (Going to use Rotel)

Friday - Homemade Pizza or Calzones


July 10, 2009
Thankful Thursday on Friday ..
Any and every day is a good day for thanks!

Not alot happening on the home front -- I've been over the top tired with this new treatment, but thankfully no nausea for 7-10 days after. It is still looking good, and I thank the Lord for that.

I'm thankful for my husband today -- you can't imagine what he is going through. I feel like such a burden to him. {sigh} I'm trying not to be, but I am definitely not physically able to be a help to him right now.

My co-worker tells me I need to take time off - what he doesn't understand is that, it doesn't matter how much rest I get -- I'm still tired. Or really lacking any energy. But I do thank the Lord for what I can get done. I'd like to get alot more done. My house is a wreck. Lots of wedding prep to get done as well.

I'm thankful for the super nice weather we have been having -- less use of energy!

I'm thankful for my kiddos -- they have truly stepped up to the plate for a lot of things. We have tons to do before the wedding.

I'm thankful for the prayers the Lord has been answering. He's an awesome God.

As always, I need and want to thank the Lord for what He has been doing, is doing and going to do!


July 7, 2009
Good News/ Praise Report
I had a great visit with the surgeon and her PA yesterday.

I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted … don’t get me wrong there is still some weight left, but I was leaning towards despair for a while. It’s a lonely, hard road, you don’t want to go there. At least not without the Lord.

I almost missed the appointment because I thought it was later in the morning, so rushed to Kansas City. The PA always comes in first, and the first thing she wants to do, is of course see it. She looked and stated “Woah, that is so MUCH better. Thank God. Then Thank God it’s working”.

Amen and Amen. I totally agreed with her about the Thank God.

We discussed how worried Dr. Shwaiki was – and how much smaller and basically just a tad red that it is. Beckie my co-worker has viewed my “thing” and I showed her this morning and she said Wow, it is.

I just need to thank God again – He did it.

We discussed surgery – YES! She is okay with doing it now, but it’s up to Dr. Shwaiki when. We have to wait at least 3 weeks after a treatment due to healing. She did say reconstruction would not be possible at this point. I was disappointed – and asked how hard that would be for me physically. Then I thought about 20 seconds and realized, in the grand scheme of things, “It’s just not a big deal” Out of Dr N’s mouth – “You know in the grand scheme of things, its not important. Getting the cancer out, and treated so it doesn’t come back is”. She’s right. I guess because of how the new chemo is – healing would be a big issue for the reconstruction part. So that would have to wait. Even though I’d like to have it done before the end of the year due to cost and insurance reasons. God knows this. I asked her to tell Dr Shwaiki about our visit because I don’t see him until the 22nd of July. So .. we wait and see. But at least I have a YES!!

In the mid-morning hours this am when I couldn’t sleep. I sat thinking about when it started shrinking and remembered telling the nurse on the morning of my last chemo treatment – that is was looking better already. That was BEFORE ANY TREATMENT.


There is NO DOUBT that God did this.

I give Him ALL the glory for it.

God is (so) good … ALL THE TIME.

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July 6, 2009
Monday Musings ...
I see the surgeon today -- I've cancelled other appointments, because honestly what was the point? I think there might be a point now. Its looking better. Thank you Lord.

Pray for Stephen today (and me!) he woke up about 530 am with severe chills and feeling really bad, really quick. Pray for his healing and my protection. My immunity is about nil. I don't want to even imagine catching it ...

It will be a busy week with the Lord's help ... the wake for our Brother is tonight, with funeral services tomorrow morning. I'm scheduled to work both Tuesday and Wednesday nights and 2 doctor appointments later in the week.

Our big freezer has been giving us worries since last summer, we opened it last night and some things were soft. We know it needs to be defrosted, so I am going to try and do that today. Please pray it continues to work -- there's too much food to waste/cook. And honestly I'm not sure I am up to the daunting task of all of it ... we have no way of storing it in the other 2 fridges we have.

My husband works today (his day off) (I am off for a military training holiday) so no help there, and with Stephen out of commission ... I'm sunk. LOL!

In our church services, the person at the pulpit might say "God is good ..." and the congregation answers back "All the time."

God is good, all the time. Amen.

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July 4, 2009
Happy Independence Day!

Profiletweaks.com - Free Glitter Graphics

Its a bit cloudy here in Kansas this morning. The rain kept me awake during the night. Praying it stays dry -- and stays cool like yesterday. The boys convinced me we HAD to have a BBQ ... so I am giving it my best shot. Nothing fancy, but its a blessing to fellowship with family and friends.
Hope your day is filled as well ... be safe.

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July 2, 2009
A Brother in the Lord in Heaven tonight ...

Bro. Eugene Newkirk left this world a few hours ago into the arms of his Lord and Savior. I was sad and after talking to his wife, who emphatically assured me not to be, he wasn't suffering any more and "He was in Heaven" Amen. He will be missed. Please remember his family in prayer.

I don't know for sure exactly what Heaven will be like, but its undoubtedly wonderful.

My new treatment went okay -- I would get sick instantly from that A/C chemo -- and honestly expected the worst. But my system handled it well, my nausea is about a 2 on a 10 point scale, where with the other it was a 20. ugh. Actually one of the new drugs is a biochemical. It stops cancer cells from reproducing and in effect kills them off. Its a relatively newly approved drug ... 2005 or 2006 ?? I just pray the Lord uses it to Heal my body. The tumour is much softer today and easily pressed, not like the rock its been and the redness is better. I'm praying that means its shrinking away from the skin. I do have to take the Neupogen shots starting Saturday for 5 days -- they make your bones ache. I feel relatively good -- much better -- those A/C treatments really affected everything for the last 6 weeks.
The house is still a wreck from the painting -- I need to go dust a bit before the men get home.
Its beautiful in Kansas today ... the sun is shining and its not too hot. I worked today and earned my paycheck -- I'm thankful for that. My co-worker brought me 2 bags of asparagus! (its been known to help with cancer ...) She is just showing she wants me to get well.
As well as the sister who loaded me up with Juice Plus vitamins. Thanks sis.
With the Lord's help I will be well, healed and whole.

I'm trying to drink, drink and drink. Very important. Going to be a few potty breaks tonight. I've been awake since 2am ... steroids ... but hope to get some rest tonight.

I'm believing...in what I know it true.

Image credit.

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July 1, 2009
Quick Update ...
I did not receive any treatment on Monday -- doctor felt that it wasn't doing the job, no reason to continue on it. (sigh) So today starts a new round of different chemo drugs. I do not know the names of them -- there will be three instead of two. Dr Shwaiki did say he was creating a regiment specific to what he felt would help shrink the tumour. The tumour is about 6-8 cm. Its pretty big -- I'm a B on one side and a D+ on the other. LOL. Sorry TMI.

I do have good news -- the redness HAS decreased. To God be the Glory.

And... the edges of the tumour are softer and I noticed this morning that the part pressing out on the top part was softer than yesterday. To God be the Glory.

I will give God all the glory and praise for these blessings!!

I had stopped taking the B17 for a while -- I know DUMB -- but have been faithfully taking it for the last week, twice a day. I need to increase it to three. And been taking Vitamin C and 2 other supplements from the nutritionist. (I ran out of the natural Taxol) So, either these or God are making the changes. Let's just give God the praise for it.

I have been having some dark days of despair, I could barely function. Yesterday I started feeling better after seeing the redness decrease and feeling the changes in the tumour. I accomplished a lot around the house and even made dessert for my family.

As always, I appreciate and covet your prayers. God is working.

I'm believing...in what I know it true.


Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I made this yesterday for my family -- I ate a bit too -- absolutely delicious.

I found the recipe from There is No Place Like Home ... lots of yummy recipes and crafts on her blog. With blueberries 99 cents a pint -- I stocked up some for the freezer. The image is credited to Kelli as well, since my camera is giving me error messages! Ugh.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. cream cheese, chilled
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, vanilla and milk. In a separate bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and blend well.

Cut cream cheese into small cubes. Set aside. Combine blueberries and remaining 1/4 cup flour in small bowl. Add blueberries, along with the cream cheese cubes to cake batter and gently fold in. Spread in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Topping: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and flour together in small bowl. With a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers blend in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean