Thursday, December 31, 2009

As we end 2009......

Some photos from this Christmas season

It's strange as I go to write this the theme song from our year starts playing on the radio. "While I'm Waiting". That song has just meant so much for us over the past year as we battled the cancer. The song has been representative of what we walked through with God.
While in some ways it seems insureal, it's something I can't forget. And going through that pain has helped me to be empathetic towards others in pain as well. Last year at this time we were preparing to leave for a mini vacation before my chemo the following week. It was scary but precious time.

One of the things I regret is not taking more photos during that time. At the time I was embarressed to have anyone see me like that but now I wish I had a hard copy those memories of the hard times. What's funny is the little ways it has changed me. Like i said earler, I'm more empathetic to others' pain. I also more vocal in cancer awareness. I want to be more healthy so I am probably going a little overboard trying to lose weight. I do double the circuits required at Curves. I'm like a woman with a mission. The one instructor asked me today how many circuits I've been doing because she realized I was there for pretty long. I think I'm coming out of my shell a little more. Someone laughingly suggested I be a stand up comedian and I actually not necessarily wanted to be a stand up comic, I had considered a speaker with humor thrown in. To come up with jokes on the fly might be a stretch. I guess I've been praying for a way to use this all for good and I'm trying to figure out where it's taking me.

So as I end 2009 and begin 2010 I wish for you be proactive in your health! You are your best advocate. Look for ways for God to stretch you. Hug your children. Buy your spouse a special treat. Look for the silver lining. Live and let God!

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

As 2009 draws to a close.......

Here are some highlights of stuff that has happened in these past two months so far....

This year has just been so much better than last year. Sometimes last year feels like a distant dream and yet it's something that will be in our minds for the rest of our lives. Sometimes I want to just wish it never happened but it did. Now I have to live with the reality that it could return. Norm also has to make some changes as well since his Christmas stay in the hospital last year. He will probably be on medication for that the rest of his life.

I think the kids are recovering from it. When I recently had to make a trip to my oncologist for a check-up Tyler said, "But mom, I thought you were done with the cancer." I told him that I will still need check-ups for a long time just to make sure everything is okay. Nicole actually wrote a composition for school about when her dad passed out from his episode last Christmas. Lexi hasn't really said anything but I know it has affected her as well.

We've been helping another lady from our church with Ovarian Cancer. She had a different type of Ovarian cancer than I had. She had the same Gyne-oncologist. While he told me mine probably won't return, he made the opposite promise to her. While sad for her , it brings comfort to me in a strange way.

This Christmas will feel so much more richly blessed as we are healthy and have each other. When you have that, who needs money? Don't get me wrong, money is nice but you can't take it with you.

May you enjoy the richness of the holidays and appreciate the reason for the season. We would be nothing without His Christmas gift!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Thanksgiving to Remember

This Thanksgiving is so much different than last year. Last year we were dealing with a terrible disease, after effecfts of major surgery, a roller coaster of emotions, mortality and reluctantly anticipating what we were told will be rough chemotherapy. We have so much to be thankful for. That in itself is a huge understatement. When you are facing something so horrific you realize how important friends and family really are. You also realize that you aren't as much of a wallflower as you originally thought. We got so much support last year as family stepped in to care for my children and co-workers, church family, my Internet sisters and even my childrens' school showered us with food and monetary gifts to get us through both the holidays and upcoming treatments. Some from our church even sent us on a wonderful vacation over the holidays including a fabulous show at Sight and Sound Theater. Many also stepped in to help out over Norm's Christmas emergency. I am just so grateful to everyone for their prayers, cards, gifts, flowers and support. And a special thank you to Norm who put into practice our vow "In Sickness and in health!" I love you, Norm! I love you, Nicole, Tyler and Lexi! God is good all the time! All the time God is good!

PS Please remember our friends, Steve and Lugene as their son, Adam (approx 8), is in the hospital fighting pneumonia.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mid-November Ramblings

Soccer season is now officially over and band is almost over as well. Tomorrow is band competition chamionships and they still have some football games to go to depending on how well the football team does. As of now we are undefeated.

Christmas is soon coming and I've been doing some shopping. There is one local station that carried Christmas already and sometimes I listen to it. Christmas Shoes has been getting to me lately because it could have almost been about me. I try not to think about that. This year Christmas and Thanksgiving will take on more significance as I remember what we were facing last year.

I am having my parents and baby brother over for Thanksgiving. There isn't enough room for the rest of the family to Tyler's dismay. He was hoping to see his cousins. I've been debating how I want to handle the meal. It would be nice if we could relax after the meal and not have to think much of dishes.

If I don't get on here again soon, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Year marking Dates

I recently had my second mamogram.....the first was when they suspected something was wrong a year ago. This one, to my relief, was negative. Also, about a year ago I was going in for my hysterectomy when they discovered that the tumor was malignant after all instead of benign like they first thought. It's so hard to believe. My hair is coming back thick but not quite as curly. It's not quite as long as I'd like. I'm hoping when it grows longer I can get it cut nicely.

I recently won a month at Curves so I've been taking advantage of that going as much as I can. I do enjoy it a lot.

The flu has hit our house. Nicole has been sick since Sunday evening. We are hoping she can return to school tomorrow. Lexi, who sleeps with her, has been in a bad mood tonight so I'm just waiting for her to be next. Norm also called from work this evening complaining of a bad headache. I had the flu shot at work so I'm hoping that I either miss it or at least have an easier time.

I know I haven't written for awhile. It's been busy with all of the kids stuff and lots of time I would come with the intention of blogging but just couldn't get in the mood.

I am hoping things slow down by Thanksgiving. I've been feeling stressed having to take the kids here, there and everywhere all the time. Our Ladies at church recently attended a conference called Spaghetti For The Soul by Kathy Triccoli. It was just a really nice time to refresh oneself. I know I came away less stressed. It was nice to be able to spend time with other women and just laugh at life. The singing was great too! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wow, October already?!!!

September went WAAAY too fast! With work, helping kids with homework and all of their extra curricular activities, time just flies so fast.

Norm and I were reflecting this week. On October 6 it will be a year since my tumor was discovered. So much has happened since! It's just hard to wrap oneself around the whole thing. And as much as you wish to return to normal, it's hard to figure out exactly what that is. Yeah, you can resume activities but there it is always in the back of your mind and it just changes perspective on everything.....and yet it just puts everything on a deeper level as well. We are studying "the New Eve" in church and it's really hard to answer the questions at times.
Tyler just turned 11 about a week ago and he seems to be going through a growth spurt. I am afraid I am going to have to go in search of size 12 Slims in pants because the 10's are starting to look short.
Our town's fair is starting next week and the kids usually enjoy going to that.
October is Breast cancer Awareness month. This is a reminder to schedule that mamogram!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let me catch my breath......

It seems like life has gotten so busy that I have not had time to stop and catch my breath. With working and running the kids, down time is rare. Nicole is involved with color guard in the band. She just got accepted into the choral group "Chansodie" (If I spelled that right which I doubt!) Nicole also landed a part in the upcoming fall play, coaches the middle school sport stacking team and is in the youth group band at church as the solo vocalist.

Tyler plays soccer, signed up for student couselor (which totally blew me away) and is a runner for the high school band. Lexi also plays soccer as well and signed up to sing in the choir.

And me....well, once again I got volunteered to be the frazzled taxi driver. LOL

We recently had a birthday party for Lexi who turned 7 on Aug. 30. Below is a slideshow of that event. Too many pics to post on one post.

Lexi also played her first soccer game the last Sunday of August.


I will try to post when I can. It's gotten really hard to do that though.

We've been helping a lady at church who also had ovarian cancer. She also had the same doctor. Hers seems more likely to return than mine will. She can be mixed up at times so meeting her needs tends to be a challenge. Her name is Shirley if you could keep her in your prayers and our church as we try to navigate her needs.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

End of August Activities

At a local health faire I had a table for Ovarian cancer awareness. We had to use Nicole's camera so the quality isn't as good.


While I was at the Health Faire Norm was taking a class on vehicle accident rescue.




That night we went to a movie on the square of our town



Lexi turned 7 on Sunday



Me, myself and the person in this picture :)

That afternoon Lexi played her first soccer game for the season



First day of school yesterday
First day of school

I was so upset at myself. I finally could go back to work and the first day went great! Then i came home and decided to mow and then mulch. For some dumb reason when i was done mowing I reached down and touched the muffler. I got a 2nd and 3rd gegree burn on my hand so I am off the rest of the week. I was so mad. Going between crying and wanting to throw something.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Psalm 23

You, LORD, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won't be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd's rod makes me feel safe. You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows. Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live forever in your house, LORD. Ps. 23

In his classic book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, W. Phillip Keller gives a striking picture of the care and gentleness of a shepherd. In verse 3 when David says, “He restores my soul,” he uses language every shepherd would understand.
Sheep are built in such a way that if they fall over on their side and then onto their back, it is very difficult for them to get up again. They flail their legs in the air, bleat, and cry. After a few hours on their backs, gas begins to collect in their stomachs, the stomach hardens, the air passage is cut off, and the sheep will eventually suffocate. This is referred to as a “cast down” position.

When a shepherd restores a cast down sheep, he reassures it, massages its legs to restore circulation, gently turns the sheep over, lifts it up, and holds it so it can regain its equilibrium.

What a picture of what God wants to do for us! When we are on our backs, flailing because of guilt, grief, or grudges, our loving Shepherd reassures us with His grace, lifts us up, and holds us until we’ve gained our spiritual equilibrium.
If you’ve been cast down for any reason, God is the only one who can help you get on your feet again. He will restore your confidence, joy, and strength. — Marvin Williams

This Shepherd of mine knows each trial, each snare,And at just the right moment my Lord will be there,On His shoulders to carry each burden for me—Yes, the Lord is my Shepherd, and always shall be.

The weak and the helpless are in the Good Shepherd’s special care

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Teal Toes!

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Help spread awareness of this silent killer by painting your toenails teal, the ovarian cancer awareness color. When people ask you about it, spread the word!
For more information, see

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer almost over......

Today i went to work to help set up for the beginning of school next Monday. Hard to believe they are going back already. I'm hoping this will be a better year and I can work straight through.
Nicole's band recently had their picnic at the end of band camp and they gave a performance for the parents. They don't have their uniforms in yet but hopefully will before their first football game.

Norm's fire company recently had a vehicle accident class.

This past Saturday the fire company also had a Hook and Ladder fest which has been well attended. I wasn't feeling well that day so i didn't help. Not sure if it was the flu or what. They had the Philadelphia Phillies Fanatic there. Tyler was motioning to his dad to come and the Fanatic came over instead and sat down next to him.

Yesterday we went to a local air show.

Norm and Nicole watching the slies. I also hung around taking photos of clouds and other things to use as backgrounds for further projects.

Tyler and Lexi collected Locust shells.

Coby and I

Happy Dog!

As soon as I can get it completed I have another video I made for our church ladies upcoming program called Eve. They played it last Thursday. I need to finish converting the slides so I can upload it to Youtube.

On Friday I go to set up for an Ovarian cancer awareness display I will have at a local church. They have a clothing giveaway and a health faire. September is Ovarian cancer awareness month.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More images from my garden

At least the bees and butterflies are enjoying my hummingbird feeder. I even had the pleasure of one butterfly landing on my shirt.

I had made a video of my journey to the right. I am hoping You-Tube does not have an issue with it. If so I will take it back down.

Tonight I go to Worship Team practice and see if the computer will crash on me. It's been doing it lately. Makes you learn to save stuff.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Answered prayer

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I have been praying for something that was partially related to the after effects of my cancer and yesterday, not only did He answer that prayer, but He answered it twice. The first time I was near tears when I realized He had given me what I asked for and the second time I was in complete awe. Thank you Jesus! You knew exactly what I needed! The balm for my soul.....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Butterfly Garden

I've been trying to get a hummingbird in but haven't had much luck. Recently we were surprised to see another butterfly bush growing that we thought died a couple of years ago. It's a purple one. I want to try and encourage more limbs and blooms till next year.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Some good news!

The nurse from my oncologist called me back with my CT Scan. They did not see any cancer nor did they see what may be causing my stomach cramping when I eat. That last part was good and bad news because they would mostly see if cancer was causing that which they did not see any. My doctor did tell me if there is a gall bladdar issue, he would need a totally different test for that but at least we know there is no cancer there. He is on vacation so I probably won't get his take on it till next week.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I am thankful for all of the new cancer survivor friends I have made that have provided encouragement. It's hard to to turn to those at church because most are still going through it and I want to lift them up and not bring them down with my emotions. I have found some of you on Facebook. :)

I went for my CT scan today and that was the easiest IV I have had in a very long time. He used a vein inside my right elbow and it hurt very little and he didn't have to stick me again like they usually do. I'm not sure when I will find out results but I am praying everything is clear.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Lately I feel like my life is in limbo. I honestly don't know what I am waiting for to happen. I think it is partially motivated by fear....and partially a feeling of being let down. You suddenly have little/no health crisis and you don't know how to deal with it. I am still dealing with the after effects. Suddenly my teeth are no longer in excellant shape. Because of the hormone meds they had me on my weight shot back up in spite of walking several miles a week which has been depressing for me. I talked to him this week and he told me to try going off the hormone. He warned me there would be hot flashes but so far I have not experienced any of those. I know my aunt told me she never had any so maybe I won't either. Another effect of this has been increased panic attacks. At least I guess that is what they are. A lot of that rises from the lack of control I feel.

I've been trying to ask God where he wants me to go from here. Do we try and assist the cancer support group at church or do we continue the call we have felt toward family ministry? I need direction and focus. I signed up for a woman's conference coming up in October. It will be nice to have a time of refreshment as well as be among a fellowship of other women. I know that is part of my feeling of let down. During my illness I felt the friendship of others as I traveled through this but suddenly I don't. And I know there are others who need help and I'm glad there are people who can serve like this. We have gone through so much in the past year between my cancer, Norm's b/p last summer and health crisis over Christmas, Nicole having syncope issues last fall, Tyler having issues with coping with the stress of health issues at home and things not being stable at school for a little while and Lexi having some learning issues probably the result with me not being able to give her the time she needed because of my own health issues. It's like being stuck in traffic congestion for a long time, dealing with other travelers and road blocks, construction, noise and suddenly you find your self by a quiet lake and you are shocked by the silence. It's hard to put it into words.

Anyway, I've been trying to spend time in the Word and journaling to try and get those feelings out and deal with my worries to God because I know He wants to carry them for me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In the good old summertime....

On Saturday our family went to a local amusement park. It's a smaller park designed more for children than adults which is fine with me. I want to have fun, not have a heart condition. LOL. We had rain for about an hour around 2-3:00 but otherwise had a great time.

Yesterday I returned to my oncologist although I wonder the necessity of it. All he did was listen to my heart and lungs and touched my tummy all of three whole seconds. He is pretty confident he got it all but he did order a CT scan more for my own peace of mind. I am still awaiting the arrangements for that appointment. I am to return to him in four months.

Nicole started band camp yesterday....Two whole weeks of blissful torture......or maybe that should be two whole weeks of blistered torture. LOL! Tyler goes to middle school transition camp in two weeks and I have a inservice for work that week as well. School starts on Monday, August 31 with kids in three different schools this year. My kids will never be in the same building again.

I've been journaling a lot lately which has been helping with the emotional issues. I need to get back to where I was. My oncologist has been adjusting some post-hyst. meds so I am hoping that helps me lose the weight I put back on which I am frustrated with.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Our Youth Group recently took a mission trip to Brazil. The following are two videos I made for them from their pics. The first is one I made for the offering and the second between services.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

As July is coming to a close....

Below: Tyler and Coby

I can't believe July is soon going to be a part of history. With kids going to camp, Vacation Bible Schools, pool parties, weekend trips, medical appointments and so on and so forth, I feel like a valet instead of a mom enjoying summer vacation. I have about two thirds of the house summer cleaned and hope to work on some this week. We plan on going to a local amusement park on Friday if the weather is good.
August begins with a check-up at the oncologist. I don't know what he plans to do. I don't think he does either. We had discussed a possible ct scan. As much as I am not looking forward to still more needles, I think it would help my peace of mind....especially since I haven't been feeling well although I think it's viral. I have a few things I want to discuss with him and I guess I should start writing my questions down awhile. Cancer just has me going so many places I never imagined I would have to go to and it can get one down thinking about it. I've been trying to give it to God to carry for me but it can be hard to do that sometimes. Personal journaling has been helping my anxiety/depression and that's a good thing. I am looking forward to returning to work and getting my mind off my problems for four hours a day. I'm sure my evenings will be busy with soccer and band practices.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mid-summer Meanderings

The past couple of days have been better. Felt it a little this morning but I put on some praise music...... Mary Mary always cheers me up.
Lexi has been going to a local VBS this week while Tyler is at camp. Next week we may send them to the VBS at my sister's church. They usually like that one. Nicole has been busy with Youth Worship team, her high school band and sportstacking. They recently went to a local nursing home to perform for the residents.
Norm and I had been taking a two mile walk in the evenings. We both need the exercise and it's a nice way to spend time together. Tonight, however, Norm got a fire call so I decided to take Coby. He wasn't used to going two miles so he was actually tired out till we got home. I let him wade in the creek a little first which he loved. When we got home, instead of flying around like a mad dog, he flopped on the floor, but he had a happy contented smile on his face.
Most of our summer has been absolutely beautiful but tomorrow they are calling for the humidity to kick back in so I went around tonight shutting windows and turning on the A/C's.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fighting the emotional mire

Lately negative emotions have been an issue with me. I can't really point to one thing in particular, maybe not even two things, or even three or four. It's just been a compilation of just so many things that have been piling up inside me and, being the extreme introverted soul that I am, it tends to come out in both physical and emotional ways. It sort of came to a head yesterday when, before church, a close friend of my husband and I who has been dealing with his own battle of recurrent cancer sat down next to me to chat and even though not much was said, I had this feeling he knew exactly what I was feeling. Then the worship leader stood up and spoke and it just touched me in such a deep way followed by an awesome sermon by an associate pastor. I knew that I needed to enlist help to fight this and get through it. I knew I needed God to help me work through this and friends prayers to support me. I had another issue to work out before I could proceed but I got through that and beginning to sort through my feelings and insecurities. Unfortunately cancer robs you of feeling of security and makes you face the reality of how severely lacking of control over your own life. That has been presenting itself in increased panic attacks. I know in my head that God is in control but lately the total lack of control has totally rocked my world....and this is another issue I need to work out with Him.
From The Message:
No one can control the wind or lock it in a box. No one has any say-so regarding the day of death. No one can stop a battle in its tracks. No one who does evil can be saved by evil.
Matthew 10:28"... There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.
God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out.
God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I'm alert to God's ways; I don't take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Busy summer

I can't believe how much there is to do this summer. I'm not sure if I will get everything done I hoped to or not! Lexi has summer school until the end of the month. I was calling it camp for awhile but she figured it out. She doesn't seem to have a problem with it. I had to curb Tyler so he doesn't pick on her though.

Today I have a couple of appointments and then I guess later this week I have to pack Tyler for camp. I'm surprised he hasn't insited on starting that yet. He goes on Sunday.

Ty got his braces in last week. He made them red,white and blue.

Nicole got back from New York with her grandparents. I was just looking at her pics and it looks like she had lots of fun!
Below are pics from this past weekend with Independance Day celebrations

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Fall Of Two Stars

Two well-known icons passed away today. Probably the most shocking was Michael Jackson. He succumbed to a heart attack. The other was Farrah Fawcett. I think she was the one who I identified with most. I was not a big fan of Michael, but, while I was not a Farrah follower either I really identified with her this year since we were both battling cancer. I was most moved by her courage and faith. Many thought went through my mind as I watched the Dateline special tonight remembering her life. One is wondering what it was like to die. Maybe this is a bit morbid but when you face cancer it becomes and every day reality that refuses to leave. A little over a year ago I "watched" an aunt die from stomach cancer and you wonder if you could face it with such courage if you were that sick. I mean I know where I am going but you worry about those you leave behind and you wonder what the whole process is like. This year has been hard to face with my own but, after I was diagnosed, it was one friend after another and that alone is enough to knock the wind from your sails. I know I have been struggling with an emotional feeling that I can't pin point and I don't know if it's fear of recurring or if it's survivor guilt or just a hormonal imbalance. There has been a lot of emotional triggers lately.
For me the saddest part of Farrah's whole story was her son....... he has to miss probably the most important, pivotal moment of his life because of choices he made. We all probably know someone who is making unwise choices and it just saddens me to know that these choices could have devastating consequences for those people. All you can do is pray for them and stand behind them to help pick them up if they fall.
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
I am yours regardless of
the clouds that may loom above
because you are much greater than my pain
you who made a way for me
suffering your destiny so tell me
whats a little rain
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
is the lord God almighty
is the lord God almighty
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
is the lord God almighty
is the lord God almighty

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Quickly Passing

Today I had to take Lexi to the school's summer program since she will need a little more help. I've been feeling a little guilty about it since, because of being ill, I was not able to spend the time with her that she needed.
I've been feeling down a little lately.....not really any one thing but a combination of several. I also thought about talking to my doctor about changing a medication to see if that helps because it started after being on that. I'm just not sure whether to talk to my family doctor or my oncologist who had started me on it to begin with. That would be part of the problem. You just feel like you are in limbo with several things in your life lately.
Yesterday we took Nicole back to camp where she is volunteering for two weeks. She enjoys doing that and would have liked to do more but the Krew got full quickly this year and, even though we signed up early, till then most weeks were full. Next year she will be old enough to be a CIT(Counselor in Training) and is looking forward to that. Lexi goes up to camp on Wednesday and Tyler goes in July.
Before we dropped her off we stopped at an area park for a picnic lunch and a short hike. Below are photos from that.

Nicole and Lexi
Nicole and Tyler

Norm and Kids

Nicole and Lexi

Norm and Kids

Norm and I

Norm and I

3 months after chemo

Norm and I

Nicole, Ty and Lexi

Ty & Lexi
Norm and Kids

The kids and I