Category Archives: Love

Rock For the Cure

These are part of the wonderful people that raise money so we can go on the retreat to Nashville. Thank You

Martina singing a song dedicated to breast cancer with some retreat members in it:)

Can’t sleep, must write:)

not sure what to really say…. It’s 1:50 in the morning and my mind is all over the place. For some reasons I’ll mention… and others I won’t. Tomorrow I meet with my Oncologist and we will go over my Meds and hopefully my lab results. Sometimes it’s hard to believe I may get my blood checked every month for the next 5 years…. sounds crazy. Although I’m not sure I’d want it any other way. The key to cancer in my mind is: find it early! So, if going once a month helps ease my mind… well it’s the least I can do:)

This has been a crazy month. The kids started back at school, I am an empty nester during the day for the first time in 10+ years…..and there are other family things going on. It’s stressfull on all who is involved and I’m really going to try to keep positive about my own life and issues. See, this year changed me. I would hope everyone would say for the better, but some may not. Myself, my husband, my kids and my family were dealt a reality this year none of us saw coming. I can’t even begin to put into words how Cancer changed everything… including me. Somedays I think, “if I can beat cancer, I can do anything!” And that is really how I feel. My children have been through hell… my husband has been through helll…. and I have been through hell. And now we are trying to find all the pieces and put them back together again. I think we are doing a pretty good job:) But, most of all… above all else… I’m really starting to feel better. I talk about cancer much less, and the more time I get past me when it comes to this the better. I’m happy about that:)

I can finally see through the fog.

But…… I need myself and my kids and my husband to stay in this happy place with me. With everything that is happening around us…. we can be supportive, we can be loving, but our goal is to keep US moving in a positive direction with love and positive energy. We have been through the darkest of times, and now I see the light. I’m not giving that up for anything.

Sometimes I want to sit and complain about all the time I lost when I was sick…. but then again I rejoice at the fact that God gave me a second chance…. and to enjoy every single day, because nothing in life is a guarantee. It’s sort of a back and forth motion on feelings.

I hope this year continues on a positive path for the 4 of us. I want to always strive to spend as much time with my kids as possible. They are young for such a short time, I want to embrace every single moment I can. Whether it’s a snuggle in bed watching tv, or playing in the hot tub…. I just want to see them smile and enjoy their young carefree lives. They are just kids.

I also want to make more time for my husband (that is not work related;) We get very little time alone, and it’s something we are always working on. Sometimes weeks and weeks go by and we are never away from the kids for a single second, and that’s tough. So, carving out more time just him and I needs to happen. We have to make US a priority. I want him to look at me each day the way he did 11 years ago when I walked down that isle:)

It is 2am… time to wrap things up:) Nothing in life is easy…. but I’m not sure it’s supposed to be. But, I will love my family till my last breath is taken. They can look back at this blog when they are older and realize one thing is for sure…. I am nothing without them. I fought this fight because I wasn’t done with them. I needed more time with them, and I would do whatever needed to be done to get to that Goal.

xoxo
night:)

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Too sweet…

All about the kittens:)

Wow! What a crazy week. School is about to start back up again and things are getting nuts. We went on a quick trip to Branson with John’s family and that is when our little family expanded:) We were staying at a fishing lodge and soon after arriving the kids came running up to us saying they found kittens. They were hiding behind a metal diesel drum out in the cold and rain and it was so sad. I would have never told the kids to try and get them out, but I wasn’t sure they would survive where they were. So, one by one we got them out. There were 4 total. We brought them in and cleaned them up and then went to the Office to find out if they belonged to anyone. He told us that weeks before someone had kicked a dog and a pregnant cat out of a moving car and dumped them on his property. He asked us if we wanted any of them and that he was going to put them in a box by the Office marked “Free” the next day.

I am 32 years old and have never owned a cat as an adult. We had one as a child, but I barely remember. So, taking any of them home was no where on my radar. But as the days passed, and they just looked so sweet and helpless, we just couldn’t resist. We told the girls we’d take 1 home. Well, after a Facebook post about it I learned that they are better off if you keep them as a pair because it gives them someone to play with….and snuggle with:) So….. that was it…. Pickles and Cucumber (the girls named them) were coming home to Rolla. When we got them home I set up a vet appt. and found out they were around 1lb each and between 8-9 weeks old…. oh and they are both girls:) 🙂 More good news was to follow because John parents decided to keep the other 2! Who are also both girls.

So….. long story short, our little family expanded and welcomed 2 little kittens. They may have been tossed aside, but we are ready to show them what a loving home is all about. I was so scared bringing them home that they would be a pain. But, honestly they are so sweet. They use their litter box, and roll around and play with one another and it is just too cute! Peanut is being introduced slowly and he is not being too bad.

I had it in my mind that cats were these smelly little creatures with claws…. but they arn’t so bad. They have been so good so far and I barely notice them around. No smells at all:) lol. Anyhow, I guess my heart was open and ready and that feels so good. Everything in me said “don’t bring these things home.”….. but there was just something about them I couldn’t walk away from. Maybe down deep I know that my heart was open because we wanted another baby and that had to be put on hold for awhile…but whatever the case is, we helped save these little girls….and that feels great:)

ps- still having trouble with my legs and feet from chemo and that is taking a toll… but I’m not going to ruin this sweet and adorable post with that stuff:) Another day.

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This Free App puts a reminder on your phone to do your monthly Self Breast Exam.

Self Exams=Saved Lives

This is how I found my cancer, so any tool to promote self exams is a good thing. It’s a free App, so download it now!

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Time for a birthday celebration:)

A Celebration:

So, this weekend was fun:) and exhausting! We celebrated Sophie’s 5th birthday with a water slide party. It was so darn hot, it worked perfectly. I also talked to Kaylee and let her invite a friend as
well. In February (her birthday) I was still at the begining stage of my cancer and I couldn’t do a whole lot for her. She had a sleep over at my in-laws, but I couldn’t really be a part of it. So, this celebration was for both girls:) They had such a great time and it went perfectly.

I also, looked around at our friends and family who were there and realized how lucky we are. These people are all like family to us now, and stepped up so much while I was sick.

I haven’t mentioned it, and didn’t really want to…but my heart has been heavy for a long time. Besides my husband, and of course my mom, I haven’t had that many Best Friends in my lifetime. I had one in High School (long story;) and met another when I first moved to Rolla. Sadly, shortly after chemo started… she never contacted me again. Honestly, it broke my heart. It’s taken me awhile to move past this, but slowly I am.

I remeber quite vividly the day I was diagnosed. I was a mess. I texted and called the ones close to me… and one person in particular really stood out for me. Mary & I were good friends, but that day I needed more…and she was there. An hour after I talked to her…and we cried together….she was on my front porch hugging me. Willing to use every resource she knew of to help me in some way. She dropped everything to be by my side and comfort me. She and her entire family reached out to me. They all became like family to me, and love each one dearly. Her and her son were here to celebrate with us this weekend and I loved having them here:) She is what Best Friends should thrive to be.

I also never thought that Sophies preschool teacher would become such an important part of our lives too. From the moment I got sick Deeann has texted me almost everyday asking what she can do to help. Every surgery, not just the mastectomy…. she was there. I had surgery this week and she immediately set out to help me with it in any way possible. She knew Sophies party was coming up and it would be hard on me. She is a loving and caring person and I am so lucky to have her and her husband be a part of our lives. My girls love her, and so do I. She too is the definition of a Best Friend.

I have made so many new friends this year. I have mentioned just 2, but there are so many more who have stepped up to help me. I will never ever forget that. I also have so much more knowledge on how to be a friend to others. These people have changed my life forever.

I know that I can sit and be sad for what I have lost…but I’m not going to. This year showed me just how fragile life is. I know in my heart I am a good person. I would be there for them every step of the way if life handed them something unimaginable.

When you get sick your whole life changes. You ask yourself everyday “why me?” But…..then I think of all the people that I wouldn’t be close to if it wern’t for cancer. In my heart I’m not sure I’d go back and change a single thing. I have wonderful true friends, an amazing family and feel like I’m the luckiest girl on Earth.

I was able to spend so much time with my mom while she was here, (I miss her terribly) make amazing friends, enjoy my family….and so much more. I know God has a path for me, and always has. I just have to trust in Him. 🙂

Enjoy some party pics!

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Broken Heart

Well, I finally have a post that is not totally revolving around cancer. Yes, I have an upcoming surgery, so that’s on my mind….but right now all I can think about is Mark. And how I miss him terribly. I wish I could just kidnap him and keep him forever. I had so much fun with him the last two weeks. I spent as much time as possible with him, John spent time with him… and he even met some of my close friends. We had the best time and made great memories. I am so happy my girls were able to spend so much time with him. We all had a fantastic time:)
But……… I miss him.

What’s not to love? He is the kindest, sweetest, most gentle person I have ever met. He loves so much, and he isn’t afraid to show emotions. About 20 minutes before my dad picked him up I walked into my room and just saw him standing there looking down. I walked up to him and he raised his head and said “I’m going to miss you so much Jenny.” (he use to call me that when I was young:) And then he just starred at me with tears rolling down his cheeks. I couldn’t do anything but give him a huge hug and cry with him.

All weekend he called me “Gods little Angel.” I have no idea why, but I loved it everytime he said it. I love him like he was my child. I will protect him, stand up for him, cry with him, and do whatever he needs me to do. Without a doubt in my mind I would take care of him if I was asked. He means that much to me. As I have gotten older my relationship with him has changed. I feel like I need to protect him and watch after him. More than anything I just want to see him smile and be happy.

I couldn’t even begin to put into words how his world ended the day his mother passed away. Everything changed. She was his rock… and although she was sick for a very long time before…. when she died, a part of Mark died too. He didn’t just love his mother…. he absolutely adored her. When his dad passed many years before he knew it was his job to be the new Man of the House and take care of her. And, he did such a great job at that. The way he looked at her was an emotion I may never see again from someone. It was much more than love…it was Faith… it was Devotion… it was Appreciation… it was Admiration all wrapped into one.

These past few weeks my husband especially has shown Mark so much love. He went out of his way time and time again to tell Mark how much he loved him. One day he even took him to lunch with his dad and showed him off to people around the hospital. He loved that so much! He couldn’t stop talking about it:) John sent him home with a bag full of gifts from the hospital and Mark was grinning from ear to ear. John knows how much Mark means to me and that just reassured me that John is my soul mate. 11 years of marriage and he still makes me proud of him everyday. He is a great man who loves me and loves my family too.

Without a doubt my life is better because Mark has been a part of it. He has made me a better person. A better daughter… a better wife… and most of all a better mother. I know he will never read this, but one day my kids will and all the memories of Mark when they were children will come flooding in:)

In my next post I will go into detail on my amazing (yet exhausting;) trip to Chicago with my girls and John. We had time to reconnect as family ….. and it was amazing. Every surgery I went through and chemo appointment was worth it. This is my family, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Here are some of my favorite photos of Marks trip;) Also a beautiful sign a great friend of mine made to send home with Mark. (he loved it!) 20130711-232627.jpg

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Yippee over 19,000 views

Wow! Over 19,000 views since Jan 21st. Yeah! Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my story, and all the prayer:) xoxo

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More Flashbacks:)

Today I’m not sad. Just looking back at the journey I took. Flowers I had been given, my ICU room, my drains (sorry, gross) more pictures and some videos taken … and more. My focus is always moving forward….but also not forgetting my past:) xoxo

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Time to start looking forward….

Just some random thoughts….

So everyday, multiple times a day, my brain wants to take me to certain points in the past. Whether it was the day I got the news, the day of my surgery… or maybe even the day I cut off all my hair. I sit alone in my room and look at the photos on my phone. They are in chronological order, so it’s almost like a day by day of what was happening. I know this probably isn’t healthy, but I just can’t stop myself.

I’m not sure what I am even looking for. Do I just want to make myself sad? Do I want to torture myself by replaying these moments over and over again? Or….are these just moments in time that were part of my journey, and nothing to feel guilty about? I guess I don’t know the answer.

I wish there was a way to just wipe my brain clear of anything cancer related. It would make life so much easier. It really would. If I could just forget everything that has happened and just move on from this day forward. But is that what I truly want? Because it seems like I am always saying “I just want to be the old me again.” Maybe I’m not sure who I want to be. Is it the “old me” … or maybe even the “new better me?” Who the hell am I?

Whoever I am, I just need to keep working towards finding peace. Peace with everything that has happened, peace with myself and my looks, and peace with my life. I know in my heart I need to stop looking back. There is no way I can move on if I keep doing that. But then again this is me… these are photos of me….and my life… and I can’t hide from it. No matter how deep I bury these photos….they still exist.

Now, someone from the outside looking in would think that I mourn the loss of my breasts probably more than I do. Yes, I have awful scars and look disfigured… but, I swear most days I never even think about it. I don’t really think about that part of my body much, so it doesn’t really bother me. Now, somedays I may try on a old dress or top that now looks awful… but that doesn’t happen too often. I think my brain is too busy saying “those things just tried to kill you.” !!!!! So, I don’t go to a place of sadness, I go to a place of relief that I found it… and realize no, they didn’t kill me:) I won.

So, these are my random thoughts for the night. I’ll attach some of my favorite photos to look at. One is the day I found out and I had my mom take a picture at the kitchen table to remember… one is the day of my mastectomy and Sophie and I were sticking our tongues out…. and one of me the day I cut my hair. Oh… and one of Peanut just because it makes me laugh:) There are others, but these I go to the most for some reason. xoxo20130701-004046.jpg20130701-004112.jpg20130701-004222.jpg20130701-004315.jpg20130701-004323.jpg

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:)

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