Monthly Archives: July 2012

Living Beyond Yourself

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I apologize for waiting so long to write another post. Our internet has been down at my parent’s house for the past week and I haven’t been able to write. Thanks to Will’s parents for letting me use their internet tonight to write this post! A lot has happened since my last post and I wanted to keep you all updated.

I went to see my family doctor a couple of weeks ago and he answered a lot of the questions I have. One of them was if I could get off a couple of the medications he had put me on in the beginning and he said yes, which was great because that lessened the number of pills I have to take each day. Another question I had was if I should continue to take the antibiotics I have been taking for the past 6 months to help keep me from getting sick during my clinical rotation and he said yes that would be a great idea! I am now down to taking only 4-5 medications a day and that is awesome for me! I can’t wait until I can get back to taking none! My doctor also told me that I could start exercising a little each day and so I have started walking, doing crunches, and trying to tone my arms and legs.

My cousin, Taylor, came to see me last week for a few days and we had a lot of fun! Stillwater offers sales in town at most of the local businesses one weekend during the summer and she happened to be here at just the right time! We spent most of the day Thursday shopping and got a lot of really great deals! πŸ™‚ However, my mind tends to think that I can do a lot more than my body allows me to right now! Needless to say, I was worn out after a full day of shopping and we didn’t do a whole lot besides relax and watch the British Open on Friday.

On Saturday, my mom, sister, Taylor, and I headed to Kansas City for the day to meet my Aunt Robin, Courtney, and Chandler. We started with a tour of Courtney and Jeff Shore’s house which was very cute! Definitely made me consider living in a similar neighborhood in Kansas City someday. We then headed to Town Center to shop. The day ended with dinner at North where we met my Aunt Leslie! We had such a fun girl’s day out to celebrate our mother’s 50th birthday one last time!

Tuesday, my friend Emily and I decided to head to Tulsa for the day to have lunch and shop a little! (Promise I haven’t spent that much money with all my shopping endeavors recently) πŸ™‚ Along with getting lost a few times in Tulsa, we also met up with my “little” (Emily Orza) at the mall! It was such a fun day and once again I was worn out! I still have to remember that my body isn’t used to doing so much and that it is going to take awhile to get my energy back.

Aside from all these fun shopping trips I have been on lately, I have also read a book, worked on a scrapbook of the past 6 months, and finished my Beth Moore bible study. Oh, and talked to Nanny every day of course πŸ™‚ I stole the title of this blog post from my Beth Moore bible study which was called “Living Beyond Yourself.” I learned so much from that study about God, myself, and His plan for my life. I am already looking into another Beth Moore bible study to begin next. The last lesson talked about how we should have God on our mind all day! We should be praising Him for His greatness alone and seeking Him through His word and prayer. Isaiah 26:3 says “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” He deserves so much praise for all He has done for me! I will be forever grateful!

I finished a great book yesterday that also pertained to “living beyond yourself.” It talked about how to achieve happiness, even when you have every reason to be miserable. It was written by Scott Hamilton, the Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater who had cancer twice in his life. I highlighted a lot of the book so that I could share my favorite parts with you. He quoted actress Dorothy Bernard saying “Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers!” I loved this quote! That is so true. God gives us courage as soon as we ask for it! He also talked about the things that we think are a coincidence in our lives are actually “God-scheduled opportunities.” That is so true as well. I believe that God knew way before I was born that I was going to have cancer. He also knew that He was going to see me through it and make me a better person because of it.

I have always been a firm believer that we determine each day whether we are going to be happy or not. Mr. Hamilton quoted figure skater Eric Heiden in his book saying “It’s not the events in our life that define our character, but how we deal with them.” Β I feel like it is so easy to just want to give up and feel sorry for yourself when you are facing challenges in your life. However, if you deal with them head on and seek God, you will be better because of it. Mr. Hamilton talks about how cancer can be a “gift.” I know it sounds odd but it is so true. I would never wish it upon anyone but I am so thankful that God gave me this challenge so that I could draw closer to Him and the people I love. I will share more from the book during my next post because I don’t want this one to get too long. πŸ™‚

This weekend my Uncle Jerry and Aunt Deidra are coming down to visit. We are going to go to the zoo on Friday. Even if they have to push me around in a stroller, I am going to go to the zoo! Then Saturday is Caroline’s 19th birthday! We are going to PF Changs to celebrate that evening. It should be a fun weekend! I go back to my oncologist next week. Please pray that everything goes well and that I get all the answers I need for this upcoming chapter in my life. I will also be having another lung function test sometime in August that I am getting nervous about as well. However, I know God has a plan and He will see me through whatever the outcome may be. Thanks again for all the support and prayers. I will try not to wait as long to update again!

It’s all downhill from here

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Well as you all know, my last chemotherapy treatment has come and gone! I don’t think it has quite set in yet because I still don’t have much energy but I’m still very excited! We have been thanking God every second of every day for how wonderful He has been to me over these past 6 months. I can’t say that it has been easy, but He is has made it possible! Thank you so much for all your prayers and support! It is awesome to see how God works and it’s so motivating to have people behind you when you go through challenges like this in your life.

On Thursday, my doctor’s appointment wasn’t until 2:00 p.m. My parents came home from work around noon and we all headed out. I was unaware that they had anything planned! To my surprise, there were posters lining Range Road all the way to the highway with words of encouragement and celebration on them! My neighbors, mom’s coworkers, and dad’s coworkers were even out there holding some signs to cheer me on! It was amazing! I am so blessed with such an awesome family who loves me so much! It brought me to tears to see all these posters! I will try to post pictures soon!

That wasn’t even all of it! When we got back into town, my dad, Nanny, Will, and our wonderful neighbors were all holding a sign that read “The Finish Line!” It was so neat! I was still pretty out of it from all the chemo meds but I loved it! All the signs from earlier that day were in our yard and Lindsay and Scott got a lot of pictures! We had a great meal from Will’s sister, Ashley, and I didn’t get sick!! All in all, it was a great day! I can’t believe it’s finally over!

I go back to my oncologist in a couple of weeks to go over all my questions and schedule my future PET scans. I made an appointment to see my family doctor this week for a follow-up since I am now finished with treatment. I don’t know how I am ever going to get back into the world of not sanitizing everything before I touch it! πŸ™‚ I’m sure that with time it will get better. However, I think I will always wash my hands more than a normal person.

Although I still don’t have a lot of energy, we are trying to do some fun things with Nanny this week before she leaves on Saturday! 😦 I told her that she could only leave if she promised to come back within a month! She has been a godsend to me and I can’t imagine having gone through these last 6 months without her by my side. We have gotten so close these past 6 months and she will always hold a special place in my heart. I will be forever grateful for all that she has done for me! We made her a photo album of our “journey” together these past 6 months so she will never forget the wonderful times we had!

God is good and I am so thankful that my relationship with Him has grown tremendously during this time. I have learned more about Him than I ever knew before. He has provided me with strength, peace, and comfort exactly when I needed it. He has also used His people to show me His love and I will make it a priority to show others His love for the rest of my life. I am now a Cancer Survivor and proud of it but I could not have done it without Him. Glory be to God, the victory is His!

Freedom

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When we think about Independence Day, we are reminded of our forefathers who founded America so many years ago so that we may have freedom. When I think of freedom, I am thankful to those who have fought for our country so that we may continue to have that freedom that we so often take for granted. I also think of Jesus Christ who died on the cross, freeing me from my sins, so that I may have eternal life with Him. To me, that is the greatest freedom of all.

While I am very thankful for the different types of freedom I mentioned above, those weren’t necessarily what I wanted to talk about in this blog post today. I wanted to talk about the freedom I am going to have from cancer after tomorrow! Yes, tomorrow!! Tomorrow is my last day of chemotherapy! The day I have been waiting for for the past 6 months! While it will still be a day full of nausea and extreme fatigue, I will be celebrating the fact that this journey is over! After tomorrow, I can work on recovering. Cancer will not define me anymore and I can’t wait for that!

God has been so good to me! I have seriously wondered several times recently how people go through trials in their life without Him. I previously talked about “faith” from my Beth Moore bible study. One quote from that study that spoke to me and I love was “Beyond every conquest is a promise fulfilled. Faith fights.” Having faith in God is everything to me. He does fulfill His promises to you, if you only have faith in Him. Ever since the beginning of this journey, He has given me peace. Phillipians 4:7 states “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” His peace is what has gotten me through this journey and for that I will ever be thankful.

This past weekend I got to spend some time with Will’s daughter, Ashlei, and we had a great time. We spent some time at the neighbor’s pool and that was a lot of fun. There was a nice breeze so it wasn’t too hot and Nanny went over there with us too! Monday, I had lunch with my friend Emily who had been gone on vacation for over a week. It was great to get to catch up! Tuesday, I got to see some of Will’s nieces and nephews that live out of town and then Will and I had dinner with friends that evening.

Hopefully today will be another great day before my last round of chemo tomorrow! I woke up with a fever but hopefully that will go away because I want to be able to enjoy the day. We are supposed to go to Will’s sister’s house for lunch with his family and then we are having dinner tonight with my family, our wonderful neighbor’s, and their daughter Lindsay and her family! After all of that, I am hoping to get to see a few fireworks at the local fireworks show.

I ask that you please pray for my final day of chemotherapy. Pray that my blood counts aren’t too low, that I won’t have a fever, and that I will be able to have treatment. Pray that I won’t get sick and my recovery will be faster than normal. I am a little nervous about tomorrow but I know that it is in God’s hands and Β He will provide. Jeremiah 26:14 says “As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right.” Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I could not have done it without all of you! Have a wonderful 4th and let us not forget the many ways that we have been given freedom. God bless!