Author Archives: brittanyswank

Busy and Loving It

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Our internet got fixed yesterday and I was so happy that this meant I could finally write another blog. I have been so busy since I last wrote a post but I’m loving every second of being able to go! Last weekend, we had a wonderful time with my Uncle Jerry and Aunt Deidra who came to visit. We went to the zoo on Friday morning and the weather was nice so we were able to see a lot of the animals before it got too hot. Then, on Saturday, we celebrated my sister’s 19th birthday by going to the pool in the afternoon and then to PF Changs that evening! To top it all off, we had ice cream cake when we got home! It was a great time!

On Sunday, my Aunt Robin, Uncle Scott, and Chandler stopped in to stay the night on their way to Houston for Chandler’s national track meet. It was nice to get to see them again so soon. Chandler is quite the track star and actually placed 7th in their 4×800 meter relay at nationals! Monday was a sad day. Caroline moved out of my parents house and into her sorority house to start recruitment and get ready for the school year to begin in a few short weeks. It has been rather quiet without her around and I’m not sure I like it! However, I can’t complain too much because I know it won’t be long until I am moving out again also since I start my clinicals around the beginning of September.

Last week, I hung out with Will’s daughter Ashlei quite a bit since she is here for two full weeks with us! I am so glad that I am feeling well enough to hang out with her and enjoy our time with her while she is here. We have been going swimming, watching Olympics, playing games, playing with her cousins, and watching movies! She is a lot of fun to be around and has been my little workout partner as well. (When I say “workout,” I mean walking, doing crunches, and toning my arms and legs a little at a time).

I went to see my oncologist last Wednesday for my follow-up appointment and it couldn’t have went better! I was a little discouraged when I got there and couldn’t get blood drawn before my appt because they were so busy. This meant that I had to wait and have it down afterwards and they would call me with the results. I was really anxious to see if my counts were coming up! It seemed like every question I asked the doctor, he would tell me that it depended on my blood counts. Well, the patience paid off because my blood counts are all coming back up nicely and I was able to do all of the things that I asked him about doing. These things included eating raw fruits and veggies, shaving my legs with a regular razor, and going underwater in the swimming pool! Although these things seem rather small, they were BIG to me after not being able to do them the last six months! I had salad for a couple straight meals and strawberries tasted so good to me! I still haven’t went underwater in the pool yet but I’m sure I will on vacation next week!

This past weekend, Will, Ashlei, and I were supposed to go see Will’s oldest brother and his family who live in Texas. However, on Thursday night before we were to leave on Friday, his sister-in-law called to tell me that his 2-year old nephew was sick. 😦 Although my blood counts are coming back up, I still have to be very careful around sick people since my immune system still isn’t quite normal. We decided it would be best to postpone our trip to another time. We are praying that little Kenny gets to feeling better soon!

Since we were already planning on going out of town this past weekend, we decided to still do that. We took off Friday afternoon and headed to my hometown of Trenton, Missouri to see my family and my Nanny!! It was a spur of the moment trip but it couldn’t have been more fun! We got in late Friday night so we didn’t do a lot that day. On Saturday, my cousin Ivy and I took Ashlei swimming, that evening we met more family at a local Amish restaurant for dinner, we took Ashlei to the local carnival to ride a few rides, and then went out to my aunt and uncles to play some dominoes! On Sunday, we were planning on leaving after church but we decided to stay just one more day! I’m so glad we did because that afternoon and evening my dad’s whole family got together and had a barbecue and played games outside! The weather was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of our time there!

Even though I still don’t have all my energy back yet, I am thanking God each and every day for the energy I do have to be able to go and do things! My family is going to Gulf Shores, AL this weekend for a few days and I couldn’t be more excited to go to the beach! I haven’t been to the beach in the last 3 years since I have been busy with school so I can hardly wait! I’m sure we will have a great time! Who knows, with the rate my hair is growing, maybe I won’t even have to wear a hat anymore on vacation πŸ™‚

I continue to thank God daily for all He has done for me. I see Him working every day in the lives of others as well. As my favorite Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas said this past week, “To God be the glory, He deserves all the praise.” She is so right! God deserves all the praise for the good and bad things in our life. I give Him thanks for not only the good times He has given me but also for what He has put me through so that I may be a stronger person and more faithful follower. Thanks again for your continued prayers! I go back for my next CT scan on September 10. Please pray that the cancer is still gone!

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!

Happy 50th Mom!

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Yesterday was my beautiful mother’s 50th birthday! I’m sure many of you are surprised that she is 50 years old because she doesn’t look 50 at all! I can only hope and pray that I look as good as she does at 50! Oh, and that she doesn’t kill me for letting the whole world know that she is 50! πŸ™‚ We have been celebrating her birthday since last Friday when her twin sister and friends arrived from Missouri. They had a fun-filled weekend of shopping, eating sweets, and reminiscing! Yesterday on her actual birthday, we went out to the golf course in the morning, laid by the pool in the afternoon, and then Dad and Caroline took her shopping and out to dinner in OKC. The celebrating isn’t over yet! Her wonderful co-workers decorated her office and made her a cake today and then we are having dinner with the neighbors for her birthday next week. She deserves every single bit of it because she is the greatest mom that anyone could ask for! She is not only my mom but my best friend as well! πŸ™‚ Here’s to 50 more years, mom!

It’s hard to believe that I only have a little over a week left until my last chemotherapy treatment. I had a full list of questions for my doctor last round. Some of the answers I received include that I can’t eat raw fruits and veggies until August, I have to stay on antibiotics for another month, and may not be able to get my port out until September after my next PET scan. One major plus from my last chemo is that I didn’t get sick!! We noticed in my doctor’s appt that for some strange reason I hadn’t been getting one of my anti-nausea medications in my IV before chemo since February. Well that is fixed now and seemed to help a great deal! I still haven’t had much energy and have to be careful being out in the heat but other than that I’m doing pretty well.

Nanny and I went to pick peaches this morning with our wonderful neighbor Terry! Although I couldn’t actually pick them myself, I supervised and we got a lot of good peaches! Nanny is actually peeling them all right now so we can freeze them and have some wonderful treats later! I’m so excited! I have been trying to do as much as possible with Nanny since she will be going home soon. I don’t know how I’m going to let her go! 😦 I told her last night that she could only go home if she promised to come back soon!

I don’t think we have much planned for the rest of the week and the weekend. I am looking forward to spending some time with Will and his daughter Ashlei on my “good” weekend before my last round of chemo! My last chemo is July 5 so at least I will get to enjoy the 4th with friends and family! God is so good! Last night, Nanny and I watched the movie “Soul Surfer.” If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely go rent it! I had already seen the movie once before but could relate much more now than I did then. The young girl in the movie loses her arm and starts questioning how this could be part of God’s plan for her life. Well one thing the movie does a good job of is showing that God has a plan for all of us, even if that plan is sometimes hard to understand. He allows us to go through things so that we and others may draw closer to Him. I love that I can always count on Him and I know my life will be a lot better because of this trial. Thanks for all your prayers! ONE MORE!!

Faith

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My Beth Moore bible study this week was called “Keep Believin’.” It started out talking about faith that abounds and gave the scripture Psalm 145:13 which states “The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.” This means a lot to me because He has been faithful to me through all of this and I know He will be faithful to me after this as well. He has definitely taught me that I have to trust Him through all aspects of my life because He is the only one in control. While at times, I tend to worry about what is ahead of me in my life, I have to trust that He already knows and it will be perfect.

The next part of the study talked about all the people in the bible that were 100% faithful to God. A lot of them I was already familiar with such as Enoch, Abel, Noah, Moses, and Abraham. The faith they possessed was incredible. The study talked about how it is important to base our faith on who God is and not what He has or hasn’t done for us. It states how faith comes from listening to Him and being involved in His word.

The fourth day’s lesson was called “Fight the Good Fight.” I really loved this lesson because it talked about how Jesus could do few miracles in His own town because of the people’s lack of faith. It taught how Satan uses fear and familiarity against us. Before I had cancer, I always thought it was hard for me to witness to others because my story wasn’t very unique. I have been a Christian since I was 7, grew up in church, and was familiar with all the common bible studies. Satan used that against me and made me timid in sharing God’s word. Satan also uses our fear against us because we often times don’t witness to others in fear of rejection.

The last day of this study was about how Christ has promised us of His return. If we only believe in Him, then He will take us with Him to the place which He has prepared for us. How awesome is that?! I have known this since I was little but was unsure of where the scriptural reference was until now. If you are like me and don’t know where to find this, check it out in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The most amazing part of it all is that we just have to believe in Him. It doesn’t matter what our past looks like or if we have had moments of disbelief, He will still remain faithful to us. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for that day!

I hope you enjoyed learning about God’s faithfulness as much as I did. He has been oh so good to me and I just couldn’t not share this wonderful message with you. This week I found another girl my age who is battling cancer in Colorado. She is the sister of a friend of mine from college. I am planning on writing her an email soon because her blog has been so encouraging to me and I didn’t even know she existed until this week. Just another example of how awesome God is! πŸ™‚

This past weekend we celebrated Father’s Day. On Saturday, Will’s family had a cookout at his parent’s house and it was a fun afternoon full of food, water games, and laughter. Sunday, my family went to OKC to play golf, eat lunch, and do a little shopping to celebrate our wonderful dad! That evening, we had dinner with our wonderful neighbors the Varnell’s! I have the greatest dad in the world! I hope everyone else had a wonderful father’s day weekend as well!

Tomorrow is my second to last round of chemotherapy. While I am really dreading being ill again, I am also very ready to be down to only 1 left. I have written down several questions to ask the doctor so lets hope I don’t overwhelm him. It’s crazy to think that it’s almost over. Just two weeks left! Thanks for all your support and continued prayers. I am really looking forward to the end of all of this and now that is very near! πŸ™‚

25 Years Old

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I’m pretty sure that after people turn 21, they don’t usually tell people outright how old they are. Well I am proud to say that I turned 25 years old yesterday! I am so thankful for those 25 years that God has blessed me with and I will tell anyone who wants to know how old I am. I am thankful that I am still alive and cancer-free! God obviously had bigger plans for me and I’m thankful for each year he gives me! I pray that he uses me in ways I never could have imagined.

As you know, I had chemo last week and am now down to just two left. My blood counts are still really low, I got sick again that evening, and I don’t remember much about the actual day of chemo, so nothing new. πŸ™‚ It still seems to be taking longer to recover each time but the doctor said that is pretty typical since you are just adding more chemo drugs to your body each time. I think I can make it through two more!

I had a great birthday weekend! On Friday evening, I had dinner with my family and then Will and I made a pallet in the living room floor and watched a movie! That is one of my favorite things to do and worked out well since I still wasn’t feeling too hot! Saturday, Will took me shopping for my birthday, I sat by the pool with my friend Emily, grilled out with Will, and then had ice cream with Emily! Sunday, on my actual birthday, my family and I watched church online, went out to Boomer lake to get a little exercise, laid by the pool, and then had dinner along with Will’s family at the neighbor’s house! It was a wonderful weekend and I couldn’t have asked for any better! I have such wonderful friends and family and am so thankful for each one of them!

We don’t really have much planned for this week besides cheering on the Thunder!! If you aren’t aware of who I am talking about, Oklahoma City has a fairly new NBA team called the OKC Thunder and they made it to the NBA Finals this year! We are big fans and you could be sure that I would be going to some games if I was allowed to be around that many people! My parents and Will are getting to go to some games but Nanny and I will just cheer them on from home!

While doing my Beth Moore bible study this week, I read a scripture from 2 Corinthians 12 which talked about Paul pleading with God to remove a thorn in his side. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” This verse spoke to me because the end of this journey is getting to be very long and trying. I have to remember that God’s grace is enough to get me through and His power is made perfect in my weakness. I know that with Him, I can endure. Thank you so much for your prayers! Just two more to go!

One Month From Today

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A lot has been going on since I last wrote a post. This past weekend we headed to Kansas City for my cousin Courtney’s wedding and had so much fun! Courtney was a beautiful bride and it was so great to be able to be there with her and share those special memories with her. The wedding turned out perfectly and it was so much fun seeing all my old friends from high school as well! I seriously have the best friends a girl could possibly ask for. I think I hold all my friendships a little more dearly to my heart after going through something like this and I can’t imagine life without them.

We got back to town on Sunday in time to go to our neighbor Terry’s surprise retirement party! Our neighbor’s are like our family and are so special to us. Their twin daughters were in town for the party and it was so nice to be able to see them and visit with them for a little while. Terry was such a wonderful teacher for many years but I am so excited that she is now retired and gets to relax a little! She is always doing something for someone else so it was good that we were able to celebrate her and show her how great she is!

Today is Nanny’s birthday! We are having a great day celebrating Nanny today. As you already know, I am so thankful for her in my life and can’t imagine what it would be like without her here during this time. I took a walk with her this morning, we went to lunch with Will and his parents, Caroline and I took her shopping this afternoon, and tonight my family is taking her out to eat in Oklahoma City! All in all, I think she has had a wonderful day! I am so glad she is down here with us so we can show her just how special she is to us!

As you can see, we have been pretty busy the past several days. Luckily, I have felt pretty good and have been able to enjoy all the celebrations! Tomorrow, I go back for another round of chemotherapy. Although I really dread those days, I am glad that after tomorrow I just have two more left. The first thing Nanny said to me this morning was “exactly one month from today and you will be finished.” That is so very exciting to me! I absolutely cannot wait to be finished with all of this!

While I am more than ready for this to be over, I am so thankful for all that God has taught me through all of this. I have learned more than anything to not sweat the small stuff. God is in control of every little thing in our lives so we might as well not worry about it and turn it all over to Him. I am reading a book right now called “The Great Eight.” It’s written by a World Champion figure skater who had testicular cancer and then a brain tumor which destroyed his pituitary gland. I have only begun to read it but it’s already so inspiring because he talks about how even after going through something so life changing, he is so much happier now than he was before he went through all of it. I have only gotten through his first key to happiness but it was always trusting your “Almighty Coach.” He refers to God as the Almighty Coach and he couldn’t be more right! God has definitely been my coach through all of this and I don’t know what I would do without my faith in Him. Thanks again for your prayers and I ask that you keep them coming for ONE MORE MONTH!!

 

Simply Blessed

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So I had another round of chemotherapy and a doctor’s appointment last week and I would have written a post sooner to update you guys but I just haven’t recovered as well this round. The fatigue has been pretty bad but along with the fatigue, I have had a headache, jaw pain, nausea and muscle soreness off and on. However, I started feeling a little better yesterday and was able to get out and do some stuff which I will tell ya about in a bit. First things first, my doctors appointment went really well. My doctor said that my heart test came back completely normal. For those of you who know medical terminology, my ejection fraction (which is the blood pumped out of your heart with every beat) was 66% and the norm for this is between 50-75%. I don’t know as much about my lung test. Not sure if I just can’t remember or if he didn’t tell me the name of the number he gave me but basically the number was 101 before I started chemo and now it is down to 82. Dr. Armor said that he wasn’t concerned as long as the number wasn’t below 75. I asked if we would have to do this test again after I am completely finished with chemo and he said we shouldn’t have to. I trust him completely so I’m not going to worry about it! God is so good and once again has answered my prayers!

Chemotherapy went pretty well this week. Sadly, my nurse Julie, who I have had for all my other treatments except 1 moved to California and I was unable to tell her goodbye in person. However, she called me on the phone the night before and we had such an encouraging conversation. I am so thankful for people like her. She is so dedicated to treating patients who have cancer and she is definitely a special person. I feel blessed to have gotten to know her so well and wish her the best of luck in the future. I had another awesome nurse this week who has recently gone through chemotherapy herself so she knows exactly what I’m going through. I greatly admire the fact that even after going through chemo, she can still give it to other people who need it. That says a lot about her character because even hearing the name chemo makes me want to vomit after going through it. Luckily, I didn’t get sick during my treatment this time. However, I did get sick later that afternoon when trying to take some nausea medicine. I think at this point it’s just inevitable.

Nanny left for the week on Thursday which always makes me sad. Luckily, I had my wonderful sister, Will’s mom and Will who all took shifts taking care of me for the day while my parents took her home. πŸ™‚ I didn’t do a lot on Thursday or Friday due to extreme fatigue and nausea. Saturday, I was able to go lay under my umbrella at the neighbor’s pool for the first time this summer and that was really nice. Saturday night I had an awful headache which didn’t allow me to do much. Sunday, I started feeling a little better and was able to go to sit at the pool again with some of Will’s nieces and nephews. That was a lot of fun! Yesterday was probably my best day since my last treatment. Although I still didn’t have a ton of energy, I was able to go with my family to the outlet mall in OKC. I have the best parents in the world! We got there early enough to beat the crowd, had a great lunch outside, and shopped a bit, taking breaks when I needed them. That afternoon I went to the pool with Will and my friend Emily. Yesterday evening was so much fun as well! Will grilled out for the first time this summer and we had the best steak and chicken with french fries and marshmallow fruit salad. We just relaxed, watched some Β TV, and even listened to the rain from the sun room! It was a perfect day! I am so greatly blessed with such wonderful people in my life!

I was kind of worried about how this week would go since Nanny was going to be gone until next weekend. However, last week my neighbor’s daughter Lindsay texted me and said that her and her family would be coming to town for the week and would love to “babysit” me! πŸ™‚ I don’t get to spend time with them very often so that worked out perfectly! God just works everything out for the good all the time. I spent today with my sister and then plan on spending some time with them and their adorable little girl the next couple of days. Once again, how lucky am I?!

This next weekend is going to be a very busy one! My cousin, who is 11 months older than me, is getting married!! She is going to be a beautiful bride and I can’t wait to celebrate with her. Thankfully it is on my “good” weekend so hopefully I will have a lot of energy! πŸ™‚ I am looking very forward to seeing my family and many friends this weekend. We have the bridal luncheon and rehearsal dinner on Friday and then the wedding Saturday evening. Sunday, we will be bringing Nanny home with us again! Maybe this time I can hold her hostage because I don’t know how I’m ever going to handle her leaving for good in a little over a month now. πŸ™‚

Have you ever heard the saying “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good?” Well I can tell you firsthand that it is so true. He has been so faithful to me through all of this and he deserves so much praise! Even though I stated how this time has been a little rough and I haven’t recovered as well, he still provided me happiness. The weather has been so nice and even when I feel like doing nothing, I can still sit out on the deck and enjoy the weather. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I only have 3 treatments left and it’s hard to believe that it will all be over in a little over a month now. I can hardly wait!!

Good News!

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First of all I want to say thank you soooo much for your many prayers because HE IS LISTENING!! I had a PET scan on Tuesday and was not expecting to get the results until my doctor’s appointment next week! However, my wonderful nurse Pam called Wednesday evening and gave me the best news I have ever heard in my entire life! She said that my PET scan stated that there was no evidence of any more cancer!! That just made my day! We had popcorn and a cherry lime aid to celebrate that night πŸ™‚

God is just so amazing! He puts people in my life on almost a daily basis that show me His love. I had my heart and lung function test yesterday and I had the same pulmonary technician as I had the first time. Her name was Rachel and she is so sweet! She was genuinely concerned about how I was doing and even got tears in her eyes when she asked me about how it was to lose my hair. She was so encouraging and made it not so bad to have to go through the tests I had to do. Today, Nanny and I went shopping and the girl in Buckle that assisted us was super sweet as well. After telling me that I smelled good, she gave me the biggest compliment that I have gotten in awhile. She told me that she loved my eyelashes!! I did not have fake ones on today either! I just had a little bit of makeup on and she was being serious! I love how good God is!

While doing my bible study the other day, I came across a few verses that spoke to me so much! James 1:2-4 states “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” This is so very true. God has definitely used this time in my life to test my faith and mature me. Although it hasn’t been the most fun time in my life, it has surely been a time that I will always be thankful for. He has richly blessed me!

I don’t have much planned this weekend besides dinner with friends Saturday evening. I will keep you updated as soon as I get the results about my heart and lungs. I think I was more nervous about these then the PET scan because I don’t want to have to worry about damage to my heart or lungs after this is all over. However, I know that God has been so good thus far and that He will bring me through again! Thanks again for your many prayers! Hope you enjoyed seeing all the new pictures I recently added! πŸ™‚