Monthly Archives: June 2013

Family Fun…. Finally!

Time for my family to have some fun!

So this week is going to be a good one! Mark will be here for part of the week and we will cram in as much fun as possible…and then Friday we leave and head towards Chicago.

John and I have been the last 2 years and this year I couldn’t go because of chemo. 😦 I wasn’t happy about that. It was the only 2 days a year the kids slept away from us, and we looked forward to it every year.

So, this year John and I thought about having a small celebration after my surgeries and chemo was over. Just some time to relax and have some fun together. But quickly we agreed…. the kids will come too!

From our perspective we have a 4 and 10 year old that have just been through a whirlwind of a year with us. I have to stop and remember every crappy day I had, every tear I shed, they were both there for all of it. They went through hell with me…and they deserve a little fun:) I wish we could do more, but we’ll settle on a few days in Chicago going to all the places we have been before and said “hey the kids would have loved this.” They are so excited, I have never seen them more excited to go somewhere.

From the bottom of my heart I adore my family. I tell people all the time I wouldn’t of had kids if I didn’t love spending every day with them… I truly do. They make me laugh, they make me smile…. and they ground me. I can’t imagine doing something fun like this without them. I get to experience this trip through the eyes of 2 children, and it will be amazing to see! I have so much planned…they are going to have a blast!

I can’t stand being away from my family. I love spending time with them and feel robbed of the time I lost this year with them because of cancer. It is something I know I can’t re-do or even fix… but I will try my hardest to make the most of the time I have now with them. I’m not wasting anymore time.

I guess what I am getting at is I lost something this year. I lost time
with my kids and my husband that I will never get back. It made me realize that I need to love my family and tell them everyday that I do. Spend as much quality time with them, especially when they are young. I know now just how fragile life is and nothing is a guarantee.
Not a moment… not a day… not a second. Love and hug your family today.

I’m so sorry at such a young age they had to deal with any of this. I did not as a child, and don’t know anyone that has. It must have been so scary for them. But….. I need to stay positive and realize I cannot change the past. So, I will move forward. And part of moving forward is having some fun:) So, Chicago here we come!

I’m so excited to spend time with my husband and kids. I know it will be a blast. There is no one in the world I’d rather go with:) I know in my heart I can’t change the past, but I hope this time together helps us all to heal. To start fresh and just be together as a family. That’s all I want. I want them to know how much I love them and would do anything for them. That is what this trip is about.

I’m telling my kids we are all moving forward and leaving cancer in the past…. where it belongs 😉 This trip is the first step.

Here are some photos from past trips, can’t wait to take some
with the kids:)







Quick Update! Mark!

Quick update. I am currently in Anderson, Indiana on my way to see family in Ohio. It is mom, the girls and I. We have made this trip for many many years, but this time it is different. For those who don’t know, Ohio is where my moms side of the family is from. The car ride was a little tougher than I thought because of the nerve pain in my legs, but I made it;) It just makes it ever so clear that I am not back to 100%…. not sure I ever will be 😦

But….. for this trip it’s all worth it:) I get to see family and bring back one of my most favorite people in the world…. Mark. He is my uncle. He has been a part of my life forever and he is one of the most caring and loving people I have ever met. See, Mark has Down Syndrome. When my grandmother (who he lived with almost all his life) passed a few years ago, things have been tough for Mark. I know he misses her terribly, so this trip every year is so important. It gives him a break from his small
town, and he always has the best time.

It’s also one of the reasons I love my husband so much. Since the first time he met Mark he showed him nothing but love. He went out of his way to take him out, spend time with him, and love him. John has always understood how much this means to me….and him. I have to spend extra money on things when I travel and when he’s in town, and John has never made me feel guilty about it. He loves Mark too and just wants him to have an amazing time when he visits. I couldn’t ask for a better guy for Mark to spend time with. I’m so lucky:)

Mark has lost both his parents, and recently a brother. He has a hard time dealing with death as I imagine most with down syndrome do. So….. when he found out I had cancer, I know it scared him. I am a person he connects with being fun, and energentic, and silly. Not a person who is sick…. or worse, who could die too. I talked to him a few times while I was sick, but it wasn’t easy. I could tell in his voice that he was scared. All I remember saying is
“Mark I promise when I pick you up this summer I will be healthy and cancer free…no worries.” I’m not sure if he believed me or not, or even at the time if I believed it… but, I wasn’t going to even for a second give him any clue I was sick.

So, here I am in a hotel room late at night, not being able to sleep thinking of him. I just want to give him the biggest hug ever and reassure him I am better now. Mark is everything to me and my family. I know my grandma is looking down from Heaven and is so proud of all of us and how we take care of Mark. As a child I remember asking her what would happen to Mark if something happened to her? I was just a kid and really didn’t know the answer. Her same response was ” I hope to live just 1 second more than him, so he won’t have his heart broken.” She loved Mark so much and never wanted him to feel pain or sorrow. So, now as an adult myself I will do anything to show him we love him and make my grandma proud.

Well, better get to bed. Long day tomorrow. xoxox Here are some fun pics from his last visit!







It’s official… I’m emotional

I even cried during Superman when they sent him to Earth all alone. 😦

I will make this short and simple…. I was scared. I was so scared after being diagnosed that I just held it all in for so long…. and now it’s all coming out for some reason.

I was scared I was going to die.
I was scared my kids would have no mother…
John would have no wife…
and my parents no daughter.

Now that I am feeling better all these emotions are just taking over. I think I’m just so over joyed that I am feeling better, and I am truly so grateful. Everyday I promise not to take a single moment for granted. To love my family and friends and show them in anyway possible.

I can’t begin to express the fear I had. I had so many thoughts that just took over on a daily basis.

After the fear settled in a bit I decided that I would do anything and everything to stay here on Earth as long as possible to be with the ones I love. Surgery…. chemo… whatever else they threw at me. I’d do it. All of of it.

I realized quickly that I wasn’t done here…I wasn’t even close to being done here. I had so much left to do…. so much more to say.

Maybe I was more sensitive today because it was John and I’s
11th wedding anniversary. I looked at him so many times today and was just brought to tears. What hell we have been through, and now we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. He is a good man, and I am so lucky he’s mine:) He is my soul mate:) I truly believe God knew I would need him to get me through this, and brought us together.

After everything our little family has been through… it was time to celebrate with the kids. There were so many things I missed, I just wanted to start making up for that. Making new memories:) So, we are planning a weekend trip to Chicago. Just family fun time… laughing and joking and smiling and maybe even a few tears… of joy of course:) We need this time to be together and just be grateful God has given us more time with one another.

I will say this a million times over to anyone that will listen….

Nothing in life is a guarantee. One moment… one phone call… one second….can change your life forever. Tell the ones you love just how much they mean to you every single day!

Its now 2:30am… time to get some sleep:) love you all









Babbling a bit….

Update: So, I haven’t updated in a while because I’ve been having so many feelings running around in my head, I needed some time to sort through them. Some of them are a bit kooky, so bear with me;)

Overall I have felt pretty good. My nerve pain in my legs is enough to drive me nuts, but lets hope that gets better soon. My fingers and toes are still numb from chemo, but I’m slowly getting use to it.

After my pet scan came back clear a huge rush of relief came over me. It was every feeling I had ever felt all swooping in at once. I was so over-joyed to be cancer free, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I started with a yummy margarita… and even got a tattoo to celebrate….but, was I hiding something?

So, if I truly am cancer free, how quickly can I move past this and never say the “c” word again? When would it be likely that my life would go back to the way it was before… or would that ever happen? My paperwork from the Doctors office states my last appt. is June of 2018. That seems like an eternity from now.

I have a retreat in September for young women with breast cancer that I can’t wait to go to. I have so many questions to ask. Most days I have no idea if my thoughts are “normal” or “far from normal.” I need to hear from others who have walked my path and hear how they came out the other end from it.

Lately I have even been thinking of destiny and what that entails….. and if I screwed with it? Did God have a plan for me and I just messed with it? Or was it my destiny to find my cancer early and spread the word to others to check themselves? As I remember back posting over 200 flyers around my hometown and even starting this blog. Was that my plan?

I did my self breast exams monthly since as far back as I can remember…..and then BAM … cancer. I found a lump in my breast 8 years before i even QUALIFIED for a mammogram. What? I’m only 32, this shouldn’t of even been on my radar. I think that’s why it was such a shock. So, was this all part of the plan? I guess I’ll never really know. What I do know for sure is that WE as women have to take charge of our bodies and take care of ourselves. We are nurturers by nature, but when it comes to our own Doctors appts. and so on, it seems to go on the back burner.

I will never fully know why this happened to me. Was I supposed to be a survivor or was I just extra pro-active… I have no clue.

My dad told me awhile back he had a dream where I was pregnant and it was a little boy. Was that dream my destiny to full fill and the Good Lord knew it?

I guess what I am babbling on about is maybe what I feel is guilt. I had cancer and get to live another day…and some do not. I’m afraid at my Retreat I’ll meet women and get to know them and then the unthinkable may happen…and they will lose there battle. How will I deal with that?

But then again how do I know my cancer is gone for good, and others will one day feel guilt for me?

My mind is all over the place thinking all kind of things. What I do know for sure is I am grateful for every minute I have on Earth. I do know how fragile life really is. Nothing is a guarantee for any of us, cancer or no cancer.

I have no idea what my future holds, but I have to believe in my heart I was left here for a reason.

Hug your family and your kids just a bit tighter tonight… for me:)

Here is a great video:





Pet Scan Results!

NO CANCER FOUND! The greatest feeling in the entire world was finding out the pet scan was clear and no cancer was found. I could cry forever I was so happy. All I did was hug my nurses and my Oncologist over and over again. Now it’s time to celebrate!

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….

So, tomorrow is the day. My Pet Scan. I lay in a chair very quiet without moving for an hour while they inject me with dye. I have no idea what it is made out of, but I do have to promise not to go to the Airport or the Fort for 48 hours or so after. Then I hop into a huge machine and do the only thing I knew to do last time….pray. The same words over and over again during the whole thing. Please God, have mercy on me.

This time I am looking for a sign that treatment is over… in January I was starring down the barrel of just beginning treatment. Ohhhh how far I’ve come. It’s weird, but even though my treatment is officially over…I still feel about the same. I’m scared. I’m more than scared….I’m petrified. I know what chemo is, and it’s something I never want to do again. Never. It ruined my life, and the after effects are continuing to ruin it. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy…no one deserves that hell.

So, my next update will be a big one….stay tuned. Say a prayer for me if you have time:) XOXOXO

P.S.- this is not my tattoo, just a funny one from the internet 🙂


Over 18,000 visits

Almost everyday (including today at the bank;) I meet people that say they have visited my website. Many of them say that they saw my flyers up around town, or saw it in the newspaper. Every time I hear this I realize how far I’ve come. I took something that was so incredibly personal and stuck it out there on the internet for all to see. I posted over 220 flyers in Rolla alone that encouraged women to do their breast self-exams each month and visit my site for info. I am thankful for every person that visits my blog and learns a little about me, and maybe even a little about breast cancer. So, to anyone reading this…whether or not we have even ever met, Thank You. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me love and support:)

18,000 visitors since the end of January! wow!

This owl is a recent gift from an amazing nurse, and wonderful friend. She is a life long friend now who I love dearly:)



Last official appt.

Sorry this is a little late. I’m still recovering from the last chemo and haven’t felt too well. So, this appt. was really important to me. It was the last one that was setup for me for my treatment. I knew I’d still go in once a month or so, but this one was the last OFFICIAL appointment I had. I also wore my “I love My Oncologist” t-shirt and my doctor and nurses totally loved it. My doctor was smiling from ear to ear:)

So, I went with my mom and dad and my uncle Charlie came for support too. My mom, dad, and I went back to talk to my Oncologist and heard nothing but good news. He said he was proud of me and how far I’d come:) I know in my heart he believes, and so do I, that my cancer is indeed gone. But…. I asked for a Pet Scan. The pet scan will show if I have any cancer anywhere in my body. They inject you with dye and you pray to God that nothing shows up.

I remember in January how scared I was to get in that machine. I had just found a lump in my breast, and this big machine was about to tell me just how fast I found it. Did I catch it early on? Or had it been there for months? I was soon about to find out. I remeber laying in the machine reciting “The Serentity Prayer”over and over and over again in my head. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” I was so scared. I never was more scared in my whole life. This big piece of machinery was about to determine my destiny…. and here we are again. I will most likely be just as emotional the second time around. I just want a clean bill of health. I know this test I didn’t really even need to have…. but then again I don’t think I’ll have peace of mind till it’s done. So….we meet again. It is not scheduled yet, but will be soon.

I also found out at my appt. that my chemo port has to be flushed once a month…and I DO NOT WANT that to happen…ever again. It is so painful. So, after my pet scan I will schedule surgery to have it taken out.

Overall it was a good appointment, but there are still some unknowns. I just want to get past this pet scan and really truly start to put this behind me. Overall since chemo I have felt like total crap. My fingers, toes, and most of my feet are numb. I have been really sick to my stomach, and my nerve pain has never been worse. I just want to start feeling better…and hope it happens soon:(

Thank you again to everyone for all the support. I couldn’t do it without you:) Will update more as soon as I know!



So, I had my final chemo Wednesday and it is now Saturday night. Well, I feel like total crap. This is all very normal for me now, and lately it’s been taking almost 2 weeks to start feeling better after each chemo. This time I don’t feel the rush to “get better” like I normally do because I don’t have another treatment creeping up on me. Thank Goodness:)

I am getting nervous though. This Wednesday is my last “official” appointment with my Oncologist. He was out of town for my final treatment, so I will be glad to see him. I get blood work done and then….we talk. I have zero idea what he is going to say. I’m not sure if it’s a time to celebrate….a time to reflect….or a time to look into the future. I wish he would walk in the room, throw his papers in the air and say “it’s a miracle… you are cured.” But, I won’t be betting on that. My hope is he’ll use the word “Remission” and let me know how often I need to come back for check ups. I would be comfortable coming back every month or so…but not much more than that. I saw how fast my first lump grew, and never want to be in a position where I have let it go too long.

See that’s the weird thing about all this. I’m not really scared that it will come back. If it does I know there are medicines and treatments that can help fix it. I’m most scared that whatever it is….I won’t catch it in time like I did before. If I hadn’t done my self-exam, and we conceived a baby like we were trying to do…I don’t even want to think of the pickle we would be in. So, I guess I am scared after all. But who with cancer isn’t a little bit scared it will come back?

Now onto some great news I found out this week. 🙂 Through a new friend that was introduced to me over Facebook who had breast cancer, I learned about Women Rock For A Cure. It is a non profit that does a bunch of wonderful things. One great thing is something called Young Survivors Retreat. It is a 4 day retreat in Nashville for women diagnosed with breast cancer under 40 years of age. They do this mainly because only 5% of breast cancer patients are under the age of 40. I was 32. So, they pick 20 or so women and give them an all expense paid trip to Nashville to this retreat. Well the day we were to submit our application and essay I had chemo. And this chemo was a bad one! It was over 6 hours long and I kept trying to fill out the info on my iphone..but I just didn’t have the energy. Later that night I sat in the office all ready to get my essay going to then find out they had closed it because of so many applicants! I sat at the computer crying my eyes out. I emailed them, and sent them a Facebook message explaining everything and to please atleast give me a chance to apply. Well, the next day I was told I was able to email my info and it would be submitted for me.
Well, Friday morning I got an email saying I was chosen to go! Yeah! I have already been in contact with a few other ladies going. When we message each other our stories all sound so much alike it’s scary. I can’t wait to go and learn about all these women.

Anyhow, my legs are throbbing from nerve pain and I need to take a bath… so I will end it here. Like everyday, there are ups and there are downs. This is no different after you are diagnosed with cancer. Each and every day is a gift from God….and I’m not going to waste a single one… cancer or no cancer.

Attached is a picture of a shirt I’ll wear to my appointment on Wednesday. I have really made a connection with my Oncologist and his staff. They were there at my lowest of low’s, and want to be there to celebrate my highest of high’s. He promised to “get me through this.” and indeed he did. That atleast deserves a shirt 😉


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