September 30, 2009
Wednesday ... getting closer to freedom!

Kidding ... not really.  Just getting bored, I don't feel up to do a mad house clean up -- but I do have trash bags ready for today and a couple of boxes to start shifting stuff out -- trash or yard sale. 

Hoping for a shower today!   Hub went back to work today -- so he is not here to take care of the drain tube sites and bandage change.  I can't reach under my arms or I would do it myself,  I just can't get under there.  (sigh)   Hoping Sis P stops by and I am just going to ask her!   I could ask Lexi but I don't want her to be uncomfortable.  You can't see anything in the front -- but ...  I'd like to make it to church tonight .. clean.

Ok -- I just asked her!  Yeah for showers.  And I have to shave my legs ... ok honestly it wasn't so bad NOT having to do that for a few months, but the hair is back.  Lots of hair on my head too .. although there sure is a lot of grey up there ... I was hoping for better but at least the same colors!  Ugh.  

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September 29, 2009
It's Done ...
My first -- and very quick look that is! Honestly -- I cried even before the NP took the bandages off. She told me, I didn't even have to look today. {I'm not that wimpy!}

She said it looked great. Healing very well -- remember when they were so worried about it all coming together?? Yeah -- none of that. I told hub and my friends, I'm not worried about that part, God will take care of it. And He did. =)

It will definitely take A LOT of getting used to. I mean, no question of that. Dr N said she was glad how it all turned out and was thrilled about the pathology report. I have a copy -- anyone know how to actually read all of it?

I came back home with the drain tubes. Blah. Still too much. If I get less than 30cc, I can call and go back in and get them taken out. The NPs can do it.

I came home with a post op camisole thingy with spots for "fluffs" and "drain bags" Interesting, this new season of life, huh? LOL! I am not supposed to wear the fluffs for another week--to be honest, they are a little bigger than mine were. {giggle} Going to have to unfluff them a bit.

I have some exercises to do -- because my range of motion is lousy. Its been hurting/burning a lot today. Probably did too much. Nah, I wouldn't do that, would I? {grin}

I can NEVER EVER get an injection, get blood drawn, or get my blood pressure taken in my arms again. Woah. It can cause lymphodema. It's not pretty and I don't want that. I think it would be worse in the left arm since all of the nodes were removed. Please pray this never happens. IJN! Even travelling by plane can affect it? They have pressure things to wear.
Talk about changes??? It says to be very careful about cuts and scrapes too.

I knew cancer would change my life, but not all this little stuff too.

My cell phone rang when I was there and it was Dr. Shwaiki. He goes on Sabbatical for the month of October, but wanted to see me this week before he goes. I go see him Thursday at 1:00pm.

I know what he is going to say. Radiation. Dr N said its definitely recommended because of the size of the tumor. Oh -- it was 6cm. Smaller than they originally thought, but still quite large.
We shall see. I would have to wait 4 weeks anyway, so no decisions yet.

Also -- no reconstruction for AN ENTIRE YEAR. 12 months, 365 whole days? Joy. If I do radiation I can not get implants, so it would be a longer more delicate surgery, and they take your tummy tissue. (I could use some of that gone, but ...)

You know what -- I'm still feeling pretty good today, excited and encouraged even after "the look" -- It's all good! God knows all about it.

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First Follow Up Appointment today!
Deep breath! Bandages removed today.


I can do all things through (with!) Christ, who strengthenth me.

Appointment is at 1:45pm

I still feel pretty hopeful and encouraged and ever so grateful to the Lord.

Thanks for all your prayers!!


September 28, 2009
Pathology Report Back!!
The nurse called with my pathology report -- I know they take days to do it, so didn't expect news until my follow up appointment tomorrow.

She said you got a good report! The left side (tumour side) they did a radical mastectomy and took all the lymph nodes. The right side they did a simple mastectomy and took only the sentinel lymph nodes, which they checked during surgery and were negative for cancer, so they didn't take any more.

Since there was cancer on the left, they take them all because they can't go back in, even if they come back negative. This is what we were waiting for. They did find invasive on the left but she didn't elaborate -- hoping for another prayer to be answered about that tomorrow -- but

ALL 13 CAME BACK NEGATIVE!! No lymph node involvement which is awesome!

PRAISE THE LORD! He contained it -- which was our first prayer. Amazing!!!

I just want to give God the praise and glory for it. I just wept. I could barely stand on my feet, with the weight He lifted off my shoulders. I kept remembering our prayer even when the doubts would flood in. He did it.

I wanted to thank you all for the prayers ... not sure what else God has, but I can wholeheartedly say He was been walking every step with us ... He's answered your prayers too!

The internet exceeded the fair access policy so its slow as pie ... but I had to get a praise report in!!

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September 27, 2009
Menu Plan Monday --

I've decided that you can definitely only look at the computer so much, before it gets REALLY old. Sleep definitely makes the day go by faster, not that I am in any rush, mind you! Life can go by slowly.
Its a little chilly here this morning -- not sure if it will stay that way or not. I haven't looked at the weather report lately ... got out for a little while yesterday -- went along for the ride mainly.
Not feeling too bad -- physically -- opting not to think too much about the rest. It doesn't help anyway.
I had meals planned and things started/cooked prior to surgery, so we still have those in the freezer and pantry, so it will be an uneventful meal week.
Here's what we have that can be made relatively quickly. Salads, veggies and fruit as sides.
Tator Tot Casserole (I've never eaten this, but I imagine they will like it)
Pasta, Salad, Garlic Toast
Meatball Subs (using up a stash of meatballs!)
Hamburgers and Oven Fries
Arroz Con Pollo -- this looks really good to me. I will leave out the oil.
I usually buy 90% or higher ground beef, then cook and rinse. I usually leave oil out of recipes and use lower fat content for cheeses, soups and dressings. I think this is ingrained in me, been doing it forever. We'd love to get a grass-fed cow -- we have the room, we just need to do it!
Since I have two weeks off right now -- I want to try and make some homemade bread. I have a huge container of wheat berries just waiting for me to get with the program. We all know that whole grains are better for you, and I personally prefer them, not that good old Wonder Bread doesn't taste yummy. 80% good foods, 20% not so good.

Been reading Health Begins with Mom quite a bit -- I can see where we still need to change alot of things. The first thing I've done is not to buy them -- still working on the cereal thing. Stephen and hub eat it and I need to get them to change -- little by little!
I've been trying to get this cookbook/book from the library -- What the Bible Says about Healthy Living Cookbook -- no success yet. I just tried an inter-library loan. I'd like to see it before I invest in it.
I have come to believe this philosophy -- "Eat what God made. Eat it as close to how He made it as possible. Eat everything in moderation."

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September 26, 2009
100 Best Blogs for Entrepreneurial-Minded Moms and Life Right Now
100 Best Blogs for Entrepreneurial-Minded Moms

Well, the top 100 according to them ... but lots of new ones I haven't visited yet. I have a TON in my google reader ... which I am pathetically behind on reading, not to mention emails.

There are blogs on health, recipes, parenting, resources and all kinds of interesting things ... just thought I'd share.

I'm going a little stir crazy being INSIDE for so long. Going on day 4 ... Stephen needs a haircut so I may go along for the ride. I haven't quite figured out the drain bags ... they look like clear hand grenades, and unfortunately they are still filling quite steadily... and still dark red. Sorry, TMI. Not good. I'm pretty swollen under my arms -- and this thing I have to keep on is TIGHT. Having your 19 year old son help you get a shirt on is very humbling. (and through the bathroom door was interesting ... I can get it over my head and somewhat through the arms but that's as far as it goes. Yeah, humbling. Embarrassing? Demeaning? Yeah, ALL OF THE ABOVE. {sigh} (not too worry, nothing shows, its like a tank top, well not that there is anything to show anymore ... but what's left behind, I don't imagine that will be pretty either.)

Seriously struggling with that part. {gag} Struggling with worrying again, had a good cry yesterday. Poor hub. He was at the barn, heard me calling, not sure how I sounded, but he came running. It wasn't pretty.

I'm human ... I struggle. I DO trust. The unknown is hard. The loss is hard. The whys of all of it -- I am struggling with.

The internet has entirely too much information. TOO MUCH. Too many images too. Enough said.

Hub had to go in to work today. I like him here with me. He's my biggest support right now, especially after this. Ugh.

I know there are reasons for all this -- one thing for sure, is I want to help someone someday ... if that is one of the reasons. I believe so.

The Lord's here with me ... He hasn't forsaken me, I know that. Some moments it just gets a little dark ... then it gets better! Honest. Thanks for the prayers.

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September 24, 2009
Hospitals definitely don't mess around ... or I should say insurance companies! Although I am very thankful for mine ... they've paid out a lot this year for me. =) Glad to be home.

Feeling blessed to have received emails, messages, and calls from around the globe. Canada, Oman, Trinidad and Tobago, Albania -- and of course the US! Missouri, Leavenworth, Lansing, Kansas City, New Jersey, Georgia, Colorado, and Arkansas ... thanks guys!

I told them not to bother, but they sent flowers anyway -- the Hilton's and my co-workers.
The hospital wouldn't let me keep the Hilton's yet, but I did get the balloon and Life Bear!
They're beautiful -- as you all are -- thanks so much.

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Alive ...
Feeling a little rough today, but amazingly not too awful.

Just want to thank the Lord for everything today ... they closed it without any problems, the surgeon had thought there might be some issues. God saw to that. No cancer on the right at all, waiting to hear back from the pathologist and doctor about the left. IJN -- no cancer left behind. Still believing God for that first prayer to contain it, He's answered so many and we are just claiming that one!!

Sarai's been hanging with me at the hospital -- I have a very good daughter. Our Pastor and his wife came to pray and Reverend Conn from Topeka came to pray as well. Sis Hilton came and visited last night and Sis Shannon was there at 0700 to be with me before I went in to surgery. Thanks so much -- you guys are the best. Lots of phone calls and texts -- thanks for caring about me, it means a lot. Its hard to care for someone who is ill, especially longer illnesses, it means a lot of sacrifice on their part, but know it is very much appreciated!!!

I know the journey isn't over yet and we are thankful to the Lord for walking with us and thankful to you all for all your prayers and support. God is so good to us. God will get the glory in this trial.

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Tortellini Soup

What's your favorite fall food, hosting by Life As Mom.

This is definitely one of our family's! It goes together quickly, and you can make it a more frugal meal by using pasta in place of the tortellini. We do this alot! Life as Mom has a fall festival going on this week, hosted by different blogs with great ideas for fall and giveaways! Go visit, you'll enjoy.

Tortellini Soup

4 cans beef broth (or @ 6 cups equivalent - I use Better than Bouillon)
1 can diced tomatoes, Italian flavored
1 can Rotel tomatoes
2 cups julienne cut carrots
2 cans cut green beans
2 cups water
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained. (keep pretty small)
1 package cheese tortellini (or just use pasta noodles -- we do this a lot!)
1/2 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon - italian seasoning if you don't use seasoned diced tomatoes

Put all ingredients except tortellini/pasta in stockpot and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

I usually cook the pasta/tortellini in another pot and add a big scoopful to the bowl and then add the soup. I don't like leftover soup to have mushy pasta. Yuck!

Everyone in our house loves this -- it makes a big pot but doesn't last long. It does have a little kick because of the Rotel -- but I think that is what makes the soup.


September 23, 2009
It's Showtime ...
I set this to post at 0730 am ... the time I am scheduled to be in surgery.

I'm first, so I imagine there won't be any wait.

I can do this right?

God can do this.

He can.

I know He can.

Thanks VERY MUCH for the prayers ... now, past and future ... God will get the glory for this.

I know He holds us in the palm of His hand .. and there's no better place to be.

Love ya!

September 21, 2009
Its getting really close now...
surgery that is. =) Talked to the Nurse Practitioner today and asked a lot of questions. We were really hoping for reconstruction right away but its still too soon because of the chemo.
We did find out that the fluid they drained did have cancer cells in it. She said they expected that.
OK. After all that chemo -- still cancer cells? {sigh} This is also no surprise to the Lord, so trying to remain positive. We did ask Him to contain it? So ... (deep breath!)

It will be about a 4 hour surgery. Woah. I said that's long. She said it is a very delicate surgery. Plus they do a lot of testing during it. A pathologist is there specifically for the surgery. It's going to be a long wait for my poor hub. He needs to bring his laptop. =)

Keeping busy, working, cooking some meals for the family, cleaning up a bit -- occupying really.
My co-worker, our Major, and I with the chaplain are having a special prayer time for me. I told him that our church did as well. Very thankful for our Pastor and his wife, our church family -- they have prayed MANY MANY prayers for me. My family and friends as well. Thanks guys.

A sister in our church gave me a couple of books to read. OH.MY. This is definitely my type of author! I managed to read his first book in about a day. I read in the car too .. when not driving.
Author is Steven James, and the series is the Bowers Files. If you can find them or check them out from the library, they are REALLY GOOD.

Lexi's little 4 year old brother is here ... the dogs definitely need more interaction with kiddos jumping around the house. {uh, me too!} Joanna's been here though, and they have been fine.

The minister told me I didn't need to fear -- I'm struggling a little with that. Keeping my mind occupied helps. There's been a lot of "Lord, help me with this.." today. I've been so ready to get this thing out -- but those cancer cells worry me. Not that whole cancer thing doesn't.

I do trust in the Lord -- I really have a deep down peace about it all ... but fear does come in and smack me a bit once in a while. Well more today since after the phone call.

Some things don't change .. cancer still sucks -- cancer in kids doubly so -- but... our God does know all about it. He'll carry us through the storms.


September 20, 2009
Menu Plan Monday
According to the weather man its supposed to start getting chilly this week ...
Don't feel particularly motivated this week but I did make up a plan of about 15 meals and a grocery list for the next 2 weeks. Trying something new to do things ahead. And use up freezer/pantry stuff.
Sunday - Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli
Monday - Tortilla Soup
Tuesday - Out to eat with co-workers
Wednesday -- Leftovers / Pastrami Sandwiches, Veggies and Fruit
Thursday -- Meatball Subs, Veggies, fruit
Friday -- Pizza
Been reading a few blogs about nutrition that I've found helpful and interesting. Health Begins with Mom is a great resource. I haven't bought white sugar in a long time -- really only if I needed it for something big at church because Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals are expensive and we don't eat a lot of sugar in that form. I've been trying to make more things from scratch -- and I hope once I start feeling better, I can do more of that.
I do plan on making these - Josh says we need dessert on Sunday. {sigh} I also plan on making up cookie dough and freezing the balls so the guys can make a pan of it anytime they want. (to a degree of course!) Cowboy Cookies and Monster Cookies -- I can't stand peanut butter so making the monster cookies also means I won't be tempted! LOL!
Been reading this one as well -- Simply Sugar and Gluten Free -- not sure how committed I could be with gluten free -- mainly because of time limits -- but the sugar changes I can do. Agave Nectar is found pretty much everywhere.

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September 19, 2009
Meal Makeover Mom's Kitchen
The Meal Makeover Moms

Click on either of the images to visit the websites -- they take recipes and remake them healthier! I normally do this myself but there may be some recipes you enjoy on there.

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September 18, 2009
Thankful for Homes
We used to have a dozen of so cats living around the house and barn ... and there would be no mice or snakes that even thought about coming around. Due to life and the elements of living outdoors, we were down to a couple. One of them, the main Mama Cat, we called her "No Name" (that was her name!) just had a litter of kittens about two weeks ago. Last weekend, hub found the kittens and kept saying, he hadn't seen No Name. This went on for a day and he brought them in the house to Lexi.

Not really thinking that No Name was actually ... gone. Well, she is. We have no idea what happened to her. When I saw her last, she looked fine. Something must have gotten her. How sad. She's been around 4 years or so.

Lexi has been bottle feeding the kittens ... it seemed too cruel to just let them starve and die out there. Well there are 5 of them, and taking care of 5 of them is A LOT OF WORK. We decided yesterday, that they just had to go.

All the while thinking, no one is going to take these kittens! They'd have to be nuts. Well, Lexi called a few places we knew from adopting barn cats before. No success. So, I put an ad on Craigs List. We told them the absolute truth -- we all work full time -- no one is home all day to feed them, and they are just not getting the care they need. And we added some prayer for homes into the mix.

Amazingly -- emails started coming in. Josh and I took three to a lady named Meagan, who actually had a dog in the back she took because someone was going to shoot it. He looked like a great dog. She has some nursing mama cats who will take care of them.

During our trip to KC -- Lexi got a call for the one who looked the most like No Name. We met her at Target - it was dark out there! -- and I got to smooch the little thing good bye. It really was sad to see her go.

We have one still at home .. not sure Lexi can let her go -- but we have takers! The one at home is a fat little white and grey one, who was very upset about being left alone and cried and cried last night. We put the dog's stuffed animals in there with her. =)

I wish I would have gotten some pictures. Lexi may have.

I am so getting my OWN cat after surgery and stuff. A MALE cat -- our very first cat, P.C., is still greatly missed. Josh, Stephen, hub and I all LOVED that cat. He roamed around and slept in the mudroom in his cat bed at night, he was a great cat. He did get hit by a car about a mile away from home, I saw him there on the highway. Ugh. Horrible. I made (begged!) hub to go get him and pick him up and bury him. He did. He loved him too. =)

We lost PC and Little Cat -- so I need a male cat of my own.

Just don't tell my hub yet ... I'll have to work on him.

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September 17, 2009
Choose Kindness

Choose kindness, at every opportunity.

Even if it’s difficult.

Especially if it’s difficult.

Because you never know if it might be your last opportunity with that person.


Thankful Thursday --
As always, first and foremost I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, His saving grace and healing powers.
I thank Him for healing my body and keeping His hand of protection on me these last six months. I was very sick before my diagnosis, and aside from chemo effects, I have really been well otherwise.
Surgery is getting closer and I'd like to stay well so I can go into it in relatively good health and hopefully recovery for my body will be quick. I'm not so sure about my mind and emotions after all this. I've been avoiding the whole loss issue and really need to start dealing with it.
I'm thankful that Josh is still at home with his wife -- they will never know how much of a blessing it it at this point in time. Lexi has been taking care of 5 kittens -- young bottle fed kittens -- their mama was killed. Its a hard job! They go crazy when they see her though -- she's their mama now. Its kind of sweet.
I'm thankful the Lord had the pilot car going south this morning, after a quick prayer when my husband called to let me know it might be a while before I can get to work. There must have been 150-200 cars! Woah! But there was no delay once I had to make my right turn. Thanks Lord!
I'm thankful for people today -- my family, friends, church brothers and sisters, and co-workers. They have helped me through these last few months. If they only knew. My husband said it simply -- people may think they know what someone goes through, but unless they can see in your mind, they do not. I hope that I can be more compassionate from this point forward.
I'm thankful my hair is growing back ... even though a lot of it looks grey! Ugh. Its so soft but it all sticks up straight, not like a baby's that lies flat. ??? This will be another transition for me.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil 4: 13

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September 14, 2009
Menu Plan Monday ...
I can't say enough how much better things run when I have a plan ... sometimes if things get busy, I may change it up ... or empty the fridge of leftovers.
I'm also trying to think of some meals I can make ahead so Lexi (or one of the guys!) only has to heat things up for themselves for after surgery.

Even if its just hamburger meat cooked for tacos or sloppy joes. Things like that. Easy stuff. =)

Sunday - Meatloaf, Potatoes, Broccoli, Bread

Monday - Tortellini Soup, Homemade Bread/Rolls

Tuesday - Chicken Quesadillas, Veggies, Fruit

Wednesday - Leftovers (if any) or Grilled Bacon and Cheese or BLTs, Fruit, Veg

Thursday - White Chicken Chili, Fruit, Bread/Rolls

Friday - Homemade Pizza or Calzones


September 13, 2009
Our Saviour Never Fails .. Always


September 12, 2009
Team Shel!
This gave me a reason to smile today.

And this girl.

She did so well at the wedding, even though she was a little scared!

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Don't Say She Lost ...
I've been reading a blog called the Fat Cyclist for a little over a year -- reading it more because of what he writes about his wife's fight with breast cancer. It's not odd, that I read about breast cancer, I've been a supporter of the cure for years now. Why? Perhaps the Lord put it on my heart all those years ago.

I haven't read it in over a month -- after reading that they raised OVER $500,000 for Team Fatty for the Livestrong Challenge Team. That was just amazing. The internet puts people together in an amazing way, I know there is a lot of bad, but there is also a lot of good from it.

I was so sad to read that Susan passed away, she would have been 43 on Tuesday.
43, God, that hurts. So young.

Cancer -- especially breast cancer just stinks. That just puts it mildly. After reading it, I just could not focus and went to bed. Sleep definitely frees your mind and your demons.

Taken from their blog:

"Susan’s part in the battle is over, but she didn’t lose.

She led the charge.

She showed the rest of us how to fight: with determination, focus, creativity, and outrageous endurance.

Now it’s up to the rest of us to Fight Like Susan."

Help us win.

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September 11, 2009
Remembering September 11th


September 10, 2009
Thankful Thursday -- The Shadow

Laurie at Women taking a Stand is hosting this week.
As always, first and foremost, I am thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for His saving grace and healing power! I am so thankful that He turned everything that we thought was bad into something good. Someone had to get these doctors to check inside! {sigh}
Working on gaining my strength back and my body healthy for this surgery. I have been diligently researching supplements (those made from organic food sources and processed correctly!) to assist. This cancer has made a total life change, and I'm thankful for that. God knows what He is doing, cause we sure don't!!
The Pastor spoke about Psalm 23 last night -- he said I have only been walking in the shadows..
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Thankful for my husband -- his patience and help these long almost 6 months!
Thankful for all those who have prayed for me and continue to pray for me.
Thankful that the Lord worked a huge blessing in Josh's employment. A huge raise and more responsibilities with educational benefits and a huge opportunity to grow and improve. He works for a non-profit agency and is now the sole IT person. They have a ton of nurses and he is on call 24/7 to assist. They reimburse him for that time as well. It's a huge blessing. He gives God the glory for it. He has been a "cheerful giver" -- and God has rewarded him. He loves this field of work so thankfully this has all been worked out. God knows what He's doing. =)
Jeanine is going to come down next week and spend the entire day with us. Can't wait!!
Thankful that things have been quiet -- we all need a chance to rest and re-group. There's much to be done, that got put on the back burner due to the chemo treatment side effects, but it will all get done in time.
Also thankful that the M&M Babies are growing and doing so well!! They are so close to 3 lbs now.
Thanks Lord for all you have done and doing for us!!

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September 9, 2009
Blast from the past ... the way past!
I found one of my childhood friends again -- I don't think I could list all the things that has happened since my 'diagnosis' -- good or bad. But this was one of the good things.

We all went to a Catholic elementary school through 8th grade. Since we all were still in jumpers it had to be younger than 5th grade. Not sure what age? Patti posted this and I had to share it.

From left to right: Carol C., Me!, Janet and Patti.

Not sure where Carol or Janet are today. I know Carol had some rough, rough times but then ended up married to a good man. Patti lives in New Jersey and has 3 beautiful children.
And I of course, have 3 beautiful children too! LOL!


A good day...
Feeling pretty hopeful today! I did crash about 9:00pm last night ... hub was already snoozing and aside from one potty trip, slept pretty well.

Very thankful to the Lord today.

I hadn't shared with my boss anything, he just knew something was seriously wrong last week. He asked Beckie over the weekend, if she heard anything yet. I decided to wait until I knew more, because he worries. A lot.

He was going to make Hazelnut coffee (gag!) and I said, wait till I have surgery before you make that. He spun around. "What?" I told him "I have a date, AND the tests all came back negative for more cancer!" He shook his fist in the air, kind of like, YES!! Tears barely escaping his eyes. He kept saying, "That is great news!!!" And he said "Give me a hug, I'm so happy for you."

I'm thankful for a wonderful caring boss today and co-workers who care about me. Praying the light of Jesus Christs shines through to them.

Thankful to the Lord for His healing touch. Thankful to all who have prayed many prayers for me, and those who continue to pray for me. May the Lord bless you greatly.

Have to give a quick shout out to the Lord for answering some prayers for Josh -- he is about to be majorly promoted!! Now, we just need a new (new to him) car. Taxiing is no fun. Lexi's blessing is next. =)

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September 8, 2009
Negative ...
everything came back negative for cancer metastases! Basically it didn't spread anywhere.

She said the tests showed no signs or symptoms ... her words, not mine. She didn't mention anything about the tumour, only that the surgeon had emailed Dr. S and her about what she found and her surgery plans. I will call the nurse practitioner in Overland Park on Thursday to find out about the fluid that they pulled out. It won't change anything, but I'm just curious.

Thank you so much Lord!!

And no more chemo! Yeah!!!

I need to build my strength and immune system back up for my surgery date, but I am free from doctors for a little bit. I still am not feeling back to normal at all. I may actually sleep tonight. I pray so.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers ... please pray that surgery goes well, I deal with it all ok, healing is good and no cancer comes back EVER.

I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders ... for a while.

Humbled by the grace of God ... prayer really does work.


Waiting ...

Edited at 2:35 pm -- unfortunately still waiting. I called at 0930, the nurse said she hadn't seen them. I called back minutes ago ... she said she hadn't seen them, but then said to hold on. Then she said, I do have them, but Dr. S won't see his last patient until 3:00pm. I said you have to wait for him? Yes. {triple sigh} So, we are still waiting and praying for good news. OK, Lord - I can do this, right?
... called the doctor's office about 0930 ... of course I had to leave a message with his nurse.

So, right now, I am not so patiently awaiting the results of the scans and I am on pins and needles.

You can not imagine what goes through someone's mind ... not only are your emotions affected but you are physically affected.
And I know about the "no news is usually good news" theory ... and its most likely the case ... but I'd still like to HEAR good news.

Lord, I definitely need your help this morning, and would you put it in their mind to call me back ASAP?


September 7, 2009
Where to start ... 2
I do want to remember that I was absolutely expecting God to do something at this Wednesday appointment. Of course, what I thought "should" happen wasn't the way God orchestrated things.

Of course things changed then -- I had to go see the surgeon first thing Friday morning. I was on the phone many times Thursday afternoon. I ended up at the other St Luke's hospital in Overland Park and had to be there by 0730. It was a dark, dreary, rainy, cold morning. Again, I was solo. That dreaded kick in the stomach feeling wasn't leaving any time fast.
The tech said they ordered a mammogram for both sides. First, the mammogram on March 3rd didn't even pick up the tumour on the left ... I told her she could do the right, but not the left. She said the doctor ordered it. {shrug} I very nicely told her, that no, I wasn't doing the left because the last time it made the tumour grow, so sorry, but no. She seemed a little put out, but ... oh well. I don't think it picked up both lumps -- so mammograms SHOULD NOT be depended on if you have dense, fibrous brea*ts. (I'm afraid if someone does a search for that word, I"ll get some kooks finding my blog!)

I went to the sonogram room next. I've done lots of them so this was old hat. She was super nice, a cancer survivor herself, and normally more understanding. She checked the right and then checked the tumor side. She didn't say much, but she did say the lumps on the right were cysts. Tech can usually accurately diagnosis a cyst. My first thoughts were to Thank God. Ok, no cancer on the right. Whew! The radiologist came in after reviewing them and wanted to check more. He showed me on the screen the cysts on the right, but nothing about the left. I didn't really want to see anyway. I saw it back in April and it wasn't the normal black hole cysts are. I was afraid to see fingers branching out ... or worse. Shudder. There were no fingers branching out in April. And the first prayer we prayed was that God would contain the cancer. We still are believing that is an answered prayer. (but we're human ok -- we remind ourselves of that prayer when the thoughts get dark)

He said, that he could see of pockets of fluid on the left, but we'll see what Dr. Neblock says. I finally got to see her (she's the surgeon) and she mentioned many risks with surgery, about doing both sides due to the recurrence rate of the cancer. (God is still bigger than their percentages!) But that doing both sides was totally up to me. It is pretty much a given to do the left. She said mine are hard to check and by the time I would find it, it would be pretty advanced again. (if it did come back, but we're praying NOT!) She took me back to the sono room because she said she wanted to look at it herself. She kept saying, she knew I wanted to get the surgery done. Of course! I wanted this thing OUT. It feels like an invader or a huge invasion to me. I can't explain really.

It was a long morning, and I wasn't even done yet. I still had to get to Kansas City, Missouri to get all my scans done that afternoon. Fun stuff. I don't really like to do them, but I need to know if the cancer has spread. That would be Plan E -- the unthinkable, the unmentionable one. WE ARE NOT GOING THERE. Right, God?

We headed back to the sono room, and there was a tray with needles and sterile cloths. I guess they are going to do something then? I've had biopsies done before -- to be honest, I was a little afraid -- mainly because of the cancer, the other times they were all just cysts, so no worries about leakage or anything. I didn't look at the screen. But she pulled about 100 cc of fluid out. She said she could probably pull much more, but made me feel it and woah -- it had shrunk considerably. Amazing! She started squeezing and pulling. She told me ... "Ok Michelle, I know you want to do this -- there will be risks with healing, but I think its doable. Yeah God! She mentioned the risks a few more times, but finally to get to this point was awesome!

I need to remember that I felt God would do something this past week. Of course, I expected the tumour to shrink before my chemo appointment. But God had other plans. We believe they needed to actually check the tumour again. The Pastor said that himself. I haven't been sono'd since April. God put those lumps in the right so that they actually would. I know God does instant miracles, but He does do other types too, using man. I'll claim this as a miracle anyway. Pockets of fluid -- when everyone thought it was a huge tumour -- they said it could be dead tumor liquefied or just fluid. I looked at the needles, there was no blood. Mostly green and yellow stuff -- I've had that color pulled out with cysts before. There was blood in April.

What I thought was bad, actually turned out for good. I'm scheduled for surgery later this month. Thank you Jesus! I'm currently not dealing with the loss right now -- one thing at a time -- I will not be able to have reconstruction until later -- so I can't process it all right now. Its too much. Unless God reveals something else, the plan will be to have a double mastectomy. Ok -- enough of that, I can't deal with that today! LOL!

I went on to KC and got my injection for the bone scan. I was sitting there waiting to do the CT scans and start drinking that horrid stuff. I brought extra clothes -- sorry -- TMI. It goes right through me. I pulled out the paper they gave me, and asked the tech -- what does "No Oral mean?" She said where do you see that? Uh, on this order. She said it means you don't have to drink! YES! YES! YES! That stuff is horrid. So, I was able to do my scans in short order. I had to wait until 415 to do the bone one. I was completely physically and emotionally wore out. All I wanted to do was to lay down. But then the ladies did that at prayer meeting and prayed for me and I felt much better!! I have a few hard core encourager's and they were excited to hear the news. So, this is old news to them. I think we were all excited.

Now we wait to hear about the scans ... I can't imagine bad news. We're praying and believing God for none and given the all clear. Sometimes God uses what we think are bad things for our greater good.

We can NOW totally see the Hand of God how everything played out -- from the very time we noticed it beginning to get large again. Perhaps we may be close to the end of this trial ... I thank God for the things He has changed in me -- I know He knows what is best for me. I may not like it, but its for my ultimate good. I'm praying I can help someone else someday by my experiences with dealing with cancer.

Thanks Lord, I love you!


September 6, 2009
Wishing you ...

“Wishing you comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, friendships to brighten your being, beauty for your eyes to see, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, love to complete your life.” –Unknown


September 5, 2009
Where to start ...
I had this post all typed up and gone in the blink of an eye! Ugh. For my own memory, this is part one... more later. Time to cook breakfast for the family after spending time with the Lord.

... I guess I'll start with my last treatment, August 12th (which happens to be my mom's birthday). I went for treatment as usual, although it hit me harder than the last two of this same type of treatment. I avoided learning about the chemo drugs, except for the basics. But my chemo cocktail, as they call it -- was Avastin, Carboplatin and Taxotere. Avastin is actually a pretty neat drug -- it inhibits new growth to tumours -- and its a biochemical rather than a chemotherapy drug. It's also used for Stage 4 Cancer -- the only reason I am Stage 3 is because of the size of the tumour. Which when you are done reading (this book!) is questionable.

Anyways, I went for treatment and I felt sicker than either of the last two, I couldn't shake the nausea. Also, it seemed after the last two treatments that the tumour would get harder and my brea*t would be fuller. It did that this time as well, so I didn't give it any thought. Except it started getting much bigger and basically my husband and I felt some feelings of despair. We didn't really know what to do -- hub suggested I call the doctor and just tell him what was happening. I've only called him one time between visits and that is when I had the horrific chest pain. We were praying about it, and I felt the Lord direct me to seek the Pastor's counsel. We spoke to him, and he asked how did I know it was growing? Well, aside from the entire bre*st getting bigger, I didn't. He felt that we needed to have the doctor check it, he felt there was something else there. I decided that I would just wait until the next appointment. It was about a week away by then. Keep in mind, this was right before the wedding! It was actually a blessing to be so busy and tired that I didn't think about the blasted cancer 24/7. Not that I forgot. I prayed and asked the Lord to shrink it by my next appointment repeatedly.

Aside from my husband, the Pastor and 2 sisters from church, we kept our concerns to ourselves. I could not fathom how the cancer could grow after treatments, B17, nutritional supplements, it floored me. There were some dark, dark days. My husband and I were at the breaking point, and getting frustrated with each other. Relationships were falling apart, although new ones have arisen, which is a blessing to me. One thing for sure, this cancer has changed a lot of the way I think and the way I will do things in the future.

It was still the same, but definitely larger than my visit on August 12th. I felt it shrink a little -- and probably only I could know that since I checked it all the time! I went to the appointment and my hub was able to be there. The doctor had come in but had to step out for an emergency, and hub walked in. I needed support that morning.

Dr S asked if it was better or worse. {sigh} I didn't tell him much about the growth, so I told him it was the same. He was pretty disappointed. He checked it and during it, I know I closed my eyes dreading the measurement of it. He asked if I was in pain. (whoops!) Uh, no. Just dreading it and not wanting to tell him. He said he had to make a call to another doctor and would be back. {triple sigh}

He said the tumour is no longer responding, and I feel we need to do either surgery, or if that isn't possible, then radiation to shrink it. {sigh} Hub and I are not sure about the whole radiation thing at all. He called the surgeon and the Radiation Oncologist to get me seen. He did say he thought he would still be able to help me. See, there are many types of breast cancer, treated in different ways, and treated differently for recurrence. I don't have the hormone positive thingy, so there is nothing for me after treatment. Well, except God and nutritional supplements and a largely raw diet. God's bigger than any kind of cancer.

It was a very long day and night. It was almost as bad as the night when I got the call saying they did find cancer. In retrospect from this trial, I know for fact that God doesn't put anything on us that we can't bear. We get through it, even if the way seems dark. I've seen much darkness the last five months. (waiting for CT scans results while I've tried to put them in the back of my mind, they are there constantly...)
I had to go to my appointment alone -- sometimes I hate going alone. Especially when I get bad news. I usually have a feeling about things ... but I am a trooper so off I went. Dr. Wall, the radiation oncologist was pretty nice. He seems like a very caring and gentle man. Of course, he said he doubted they could do surgery, and wanted to set me up to start radiation. But like, Dr S says, he's not a surgeon. You treat what you know best, save your opinions for those who are experts. Radiation would be daily (Mon-Friday) times 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS of driving to Kansas City every day! {ugh} That's alot of miles and a ton of gas and missing work. Then you need 4 weeks to heal before they think about surgery. Joy! 10 more weeks?? Lord, have mercy.

Another one of my worst nightmares came to the surface during our visit. He did a bunch of checking -- and ended up finding two lumps in the right brea*t. {deep breath} It's so hard to find lumps before they get pretty big due to the denseness of the tissue.

To say, I was floored is putting it mildly. I've lived with the kick in the stomach feeling -- but this definitely was a blow. He asked if they were new, uh yeah they were new.

How could this cancer grow like that, even after we had been trying everything to stop it? How could it grow even after all the prayers that were prayed ...

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Menu Plan Monday

No plan last week and it showed. I don't think I cooked one evening. LOL! Stephen hardly ever eats at night -- or he'll prefer a sandwich or something quick. So, no dinners at all. Stephen said last night, "Did you notice how quiet the house was this past week? No drama. I like it like that!" He misses his brother.

My friend/coworker Beckie had surgery on Friday, so I plan on taking her a pan of Chicken Spaghetti and Sugar Cookie Bars or Brownies. I also will make a couple more pans of the Sugar Cookie Bars for the missionary dinner on Sunday and the "wedding ladies" as a treat.

Sunday -- BBQ Chicken, Salad, Fruit -- some side??

Monday -- Not sure what is happening yet, but probably BBQ food.

Tuesday -- Meatball Heroes, Salad and Fruit

Wednesday -- Toasted Cheese Sandwiches, Veggies and Fruit

Thursday -- Pasta, Salad, Fruit and Bread or Tilipia with Rice

Friday -- Homemade Pizza, Veggies and Fruit

I have everything I need to make these meals in the freezer/pantry, except I need some salad stuff. Last week there was so much going on medically and emotionally, it was really hard to even focus -- I missed work every day for appointments from my tooth, to my ankle to this dumb cancer. What a mess!

I usually take a salad to work, or a turkey sandwich on those Oroweat Sandwich thins -- they are SO GOOD. I really need to focus on eating healthier, I usually do pretty well, but no diet or unsweetened junk -- I've had enough cancer in my life and do not want any more from that junk. Natural sugars and whole grains and lots of veggies and fruit. I can't wait for yummy oranges!! Last year Costco had some amazing oranges -- we ate cases of them. Yum!

My husband brought home 11 pounds of green chiles -- so we have to roast them and freeze them. They are so good on a hamburgers or grilled chicken sandwich. Yum. I'm glad we have gloves.

The goats are doing well, one of the guinea hens hatched some eggs in the field, but I'm afraid the cats will get them, if the cold doesn't first. {sigh} We need to try and catch them and put them in the Guinea House. Late last night the goats were all spooked running out of the barn, hub and Stephen took the shotgun up there, but couldn't find anything. But I know something was there because them goats KNOW. I slept from 930 to 730 last night -- woah -- I've missed quite a bit of sleep this week, I know my brain and body needed it. Now its time to get moving!!

I'll write sometime this weekend about what happened -- I still smile with how things worked out. God's funny that way ... He put things in your life to use it for good, when you think its bad. He's good like that ...

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September 4, 2009
So much happened today ....
Its funny sometimes how the Lord works things out, you can't see it ahead of time and you think its the worst that can happen, but ultimately it never is.

I'll share a long story this weekend, my medical appointments started at 0730 in Overland Park this morning and I didn't get home until 530pm! LONG day. Quite a few amazing things happened ...

but the best one is when I walked in our church this evening and every lady had a hat on! How crazy they are! LOL! They wanted to show me they supported me -- I am deeply humbled by their kindness.

Sis Shannon took a photo, so I'll share that one soon. Even the little girls had hats on or scarves in the case of the Rogers' ladies! You are crazy girl -- thanks ladies, I LOVE YOU ALL.

My son comes home (or back to Kansas!) tomorrow. We've missed him and Lexi.

I texted him so they could pray for some things today, and he texted back ...

"God's got your back"

Amen, yes He does.

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September 3, 2009
Thankful Thursday and Plan C or D ...

As always, first and foremost I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, His saving grace and healing power. I'm thankful for all the things He has done in our lives and doing behind the scenes for us.
I'm thankful for family, good friends and peace like a river. God knows my heart and I'm leaving it in His hands today.
I'm praying my mind can stay there as well.
Change of treatment AGAIN. So, there will be a plan C, D, or E.
C - surgery first
D - radiation, then surgery
E -- the unthinkable. Pray this doesn't happen. Not claiming it.
No chemo yesterday (which in itself, isn't a bad thing!) since the tumour hasn't shrunk in 3 weeks (last visit) -- (And I have a story to tell about that, no time this morning though...) for whatever reason (but we are believing answered prayer!) I am seeing the Radiation Oncologist this morning at 1030. Dr S wasn't sure if the surgeon would be able to do surgery yet, but on my last visit 9 weeks ago, she did seem like she could and it is smaller than it was then, so he wanted me to see him today about radiation and shrinking it more so that I could have surgery. He did say he was calling the surgeon too because his first choice is surgery to remove it. Wow -- this could happen really quick, and a prayer I prayed when I found out surgery wouldn't be in July, was that as soon as the wedding was over, we could get this thing out! So -- an answer to prayer?? Amen.
He was on the phone with her (yes, we were eavesdropping!) when we left. I'm thankful my husband came with me yesterday. I needed moral support -- without even knowing I did.
The surgeon's nurse called and left a voicemail last night and said that Dr. S had called her doc and they wanted to see me on Friday morning at 0900 to schedule surgery. I'm not sure if its just to schedule, or to look and then schedule. Either way, its a tad scarey.
One MAJOR concern we have, OK I HAVE, that we need prayer for. My hub keeps telling me one of the first prayers we prayed was that God would contain the cancer. Dr S wants me to do scans on Friday afternoon to see if the cancer was spread. {huge sigh} I have been having some pain, but of course that could be the enemy and normal aches from white blood count recreation etc. I'm a little scared.
Dr S did say, "He doesn't think it has, (spread) but needs to check, because that would change the entire plan." {sigh} NO KIDDING. (That would be the unthinkable plan E) I REFUSE TO GO THERE TODAY. I'm hoping Sarai can come with me, cause hub isn't able too. And of course, we GET to WAIT THE ENTIRE WEEKEND FOR RESULTS. UGH! The stuff they make you drink for the scans hits my body horribly. It was ugly last time. Please pray it hasn't spread and thank God for that first prayer.
Josh had called and I asked him and Lexi to pray, and he said, Mom I'm not worried about that at all. They'll open it and find there isn't any cancer left. Its just a big blob of dead stuff. Gotta love his faith. Stephen I will not tell because he doesn't have that faith right now. It affects him differently. He keeps a lot of stuff in. Could be causing the stomach problems he is having and saw the doctor for. She mentioned it, and said you are like your mom and keep stuff in.
My ankle is doing okay, I have the boot. I can tell how weak it is when I walk without it, and it gets painful, but I believe the Lord touched it after the outreach team prayed for me Monday night. I'm hoping their prayers touched the cancer mess too! =) Sis H said she is going to put me in padded room, I may need one after all this is over. LOL! Thanks for all the prayers guys!
My tooth is doing well, its healing and no bleeding. One worry Dr S had. My hair is growing back, it looks darker now, not so much grey.
I'm thankful to the Lord for keeping this cancer contained (and gone!). I know He has the ultimate plan for me. I need to rest in Him. He is working for my good.
A sister came up to me in church and gave me this scripture that she said the Lord told her was for me and her ... during our current trials.
Psalms 46: 10
Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Thanks for the prayers -- have a blessed day!!

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September 2, 2009
Josh & Lexi
Some photos from Lexi's dad to share ... I'll share more when I get the CD from the photographer. I wasn't able to take any except for some of the decorations before the ceremony began. I know the photographer got a ton thought. =) I will post photos of those tonight, they are still on my camera, and I did get some of the candy buffet table -- that was such a great idea for favors, we do have a ton of candy leftover though. Its better to have too much than not enough though. Sis Hilton did this as a surprise -- what a great idea. She did an AWESOME job making sure everything ran smoothly and organizing everything. She also made her yummy salsa!

The Wedding Cake
There was also a groom's cake which I don't have a photo of yet!

This was after the ceremony and they arrived at the reception hall.
Walking up the steps ...

Lexi's step-dad walking her up the aisle ... almost there!

Lexi's siblings, her step-dad and bonus mom.
They helped us a TON with getting everything ready for the reception, rehearsal dinner and cleaning up after. What a blessing! There are all their photos BTW.
I'm still trying to figure out how I can ever thank the sisters that helped us with this wedding in a tangible way. I don't know what I would have done without there help. There were some late, late nights. They gave willingly of their time, energy, and gifts to make things extra special for Lexi and Josh. Never fear though, I'll figure out something nice. My brain has been working hard and I have some ideas already. LOL!
Sis Hilton, Sis Davis, Sis Hudson and Sis Rogers
I love you guys -- THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Praying the Lord blesses you greatly for everything.
(And we told Stephen he has to marry someone from another church at least 50+ miles away!!)
If you need a caterer, wedding planner, wedding decorator and candy buffet organizer, don't hesitate to email me, I know just the right people you can hire! Email


September 1, 2009
Foot ...

We had another full evening last night ... when I picked my husband up, he took one look at my ankle and said you are going to the ER! {sigh} I tried to get out of it by conceding that I'd call Dr. S and see what he thought. If he thinks I should just put it up or whatever then I wouldn't go.

So, I called and I lost that battle. Blah. He said he wanted me to go to the emergency room last night and get it checked too. {eyeroll}
My poor husband's allergies were in full force, his eyes were almost shut closed. The ER doctor slipped him some benadryl, since his drops were all at home. Not that they really help anyway.

I did something called an inversion fracture?? Or something like that. I have a soft cast on, and since my ankle is immobilized it doesn't feel too bad. When I moved it, it hurt the most. I pick up a support boot today so I can at least walk on it. I'm supposed to be using crutches, but we don't have any and they don't give them out. Makes a lot of sense, huh? But he did say if I could support it without pain, I could walk on it. As long as this soft cast is on, I can walk on it so that's what I did today. My co-worker Jason met me at the door to the building and drove my car to the parking lot for me, and Beckie came down the stairs to help me up. Good people, those two!

I have labs today, so you know what tomorrow is. I'm dreading it already. I'm hoping it won't be so bad this time. The Lord knows what will happen next, in a way I'm glad I don't know the future, but at times I wish I did.

Stephen is definitely missing his brother. Its been quiet without Josh at home. All these new seasons of life ... {sigh} ... we've had quite a few this year alone. The Lord doesn't give us anything that we aren't able to handle, so as I press on, I KNOW I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.

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