This is Me!

This is Me! The good, the bad, and the bald. You get it all! But I have hair now. This spring I'll be rockin the pixie.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Always A Mom

Several months ago I was set upon an unexpected path.  A path with dark corners, unexpected information and surprisingly still waters.  But I was not asked to do this journey alone.  My children of course had no choice, but my mom did.  She came out before the first surgery and has been here ever since.  She has done the dishes, our laundry ( which is a boat load), and dug up my gardens faithfully. She has gleaned when I couldn't, cleaned when I didn't feel like it and massaged many a tense muscle.   She has shown us 30-50 something moms that the job doesn't end just cause your kids are grown.  She has become "gramma Jan" to all the teens, preteens and post teens that bless this home increasing her legacy once again.  And all the while faithfully prayed for ALL of us... You pre, post and current teens included. 
She has occasionally bleached our darks, soaked my counters and burnt our food and for these memories we are eternally grateful!  Your laughter on game night will be missed. Your generosity of time, money and love will always be appreciated and hopefully paid forward because of the example you displayed. Your ability to find the thrift store bargain will be carried on and we will make you proud. We know you'll be back, (because now you are leaving 2 cars behind instead of 1), but for now we say goodbye and thank you. There aren't enough words to express my gratitude.  I am so thankful for you... All 11 days of November worth and then some.

  I love you mom!

Comment if you want to add in your fun, funny or great memories with gramma Jan!

Friday, November 8, 2013

I've Officially Lost My Marbles

5, 4, 3, 2.....
In the past 7 weeks I've logged a minimum of 1,750 miles back and forth just for treatment and Dr appts, burning up roughly 85 gallons of gas.  I have gone through 5 different hydrating lotions, two hydro cortisone creams, a bottle of sun screen, a bottle of Tylenol and a bottle of wine.   I have left the poor sisters unsupported for weeks because the bras hurt with the burns. And then I marveled at the unexpected healing while still being treated.  My hair has grown an inch while my faith has increased by a mile.  Today is day 35 and the last marble goes.  I'm tempted to keep it as a stone of remembrance for this leg of the race.  While I shared with you the struggles I deal with at night when I'm alone, the laughter I shared during the days was where I found my strength and encouragement.

Through this uncomfortable phase of treatment I have felt one thing confirmed in me for sure.  We read in the scriptures of the saints saying "Here am I.  Send me".  They are ready to be used.  And I like to think I prayed that through.. in the past.  Africa? Yes. I would go.  Mexico, yes. Send me. Thailand?  I will certainly pray about it.  But the cancer center????  Hmmm, no, not so much.  I don't think I ever raised my hand to volunteer to be sent there and yet that is precisely where I find myself. And much to my surprise, even though it has meant walking through the fire to gain that experience, I have found so much joy in encouraging others who are unfortunately following behind me in a cancer walk of their own. If I can help them smile, I will.  If there's a question I can answer, I'm happy to help.  And if someone just needs to have their fears about this nasty thing called cancer validated and be listened to, I am able to do this.  

Part of my next phase will include me volunteering at the cancer center.  There was a time not too long ago when I was afraid of this place and the people in it.  I would turn my head and eyes away as I drove by, as if I would some how catch it just by acknowledging it.  Now, I feel comfortable at the center. There is no more fear associated with the people who enter those doors, as I am one of them.  I have a sense of belonging and I desire to help others walk this path.  I plan to be back weekly sitting with others as they endure their nasty beginning infusions and hopefully making some people smile.  It seems to be one of the things I am good at.

In terms of treatment I have Herceptin infusions every three weeks until sometime next June, and then surgeries and pills will follow.  And in case anyone was wondering because several have asked and I have never posted it, I had stage 3a breast cancer.  They never told me at the beginning and so I never asked, at least not until after I had my last Taxol treatment.  I didn't want a number associated with my process. 

Thank you all for your continued prayer and support.  I know it has been a long road and so many of you have been such a faithful part of this journey.  I am truly grateful.