Thursday, June 23, 2011


The home going celebration for my wife (Yolanda) will be held this Saturday, June 25, 2011 at Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church.  The address is 3015 N. Macgregor Way, Houston, Texas 77004.  The viewing will began at 9am and will last until 11am.  The Houston Chapter of Jack-n-Jill will hold it's ceremony at 9:30am and Delta Sigma Theta will conduct it's Omega Omega ceremony at 10am. 

The home going celebration will began promptly at 11am. I have established a memorial fund on behalf of my wife.  All of the proceeds will go towards research into how to cure Triple Negative DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) Cancer. Baylor College of Medicine School of Oncology has started its research based on Yolanda's aggressive strand.  The account is with Frost Bank. In lieu of flowers, please go to any Frost Bank location or call Frost bank to contribute a donation in her honor.  The name of the account is Yolanda E. Williams Memorial Fund.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

God Is In Control - No Matter What!!

It's been some time now since I have had the time to stop long enough and compose my thoughts to post for your collective consideration, but today is a special day.  Today is special because I am very much thankful for God's continued favor that he has shown towards my wife.  Today Yolanda's glorious journey truely begains.  Today, 6/17/11 at 1:55pm, God called Yolanda home to be in his presence and to walk among the angels.  Today, Yolanda no longer has to suffer.  Today, I am so happy that Yolanda has been released from the trials and burdens placed upon her body.  To God be all the glory! God is, and has always been, in control. 

Yolanda and I have known since the very beginning that this cancer was not for her but it was a cross placed upon her so that God would receive all of the glory in the end.  Yolanda showed all of us how we can remain strong in our faith, be prayerful and give God all the praise and glory NO MATTER WHAT is going on in our lives.  She held her head up high and was a fighter until the very end.  God knew that Yolanda would be the type of fighter that would life him up NO MATTER WHAT was happening inside of her body.  To God be the glory.  Yolanda I will miss you so very much that I don't have the words to express.  You are now in a much better place free from the aches and pains of your failing body.  I have loved you and will continue to do so until I draw my last breath.  Thank you for your wonderful gifts - Kendra & Jasmine.  We will miss you.  See you one day baby!

To everyone.  I will make a final couple of postings to catch you up on her journey from her last post up to 6/17/11.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Guess Who Is Coming to Dinner?

Just thought I would add pun to the title of this post as I share a couple of experiences over the last 2 weeks.
If you know/remember this classic movie with Sidney Poitier, he was certainly not the guest/ boyfriend the family was expecting their daughter to bring home for dinner. Well this is by no means regarding racial matters. But, have you ever planned or gone to a party, or just gone somewhere with the intention of having a delightful time and either someone shows up or just something happens that COULD totally destroy the event, the occasion, etc? Instances like this is probably where the phrase was coined "Prepare for the best, but expect the worse".
The week I was scheduled for chemo was great!!! My mother in law and I had been everywhere running errands, having lunch, working on projects...all was well as could be. That Thursday I am scheduled to go to chemo and Mike had made plans to take Kendra for her driving test, but I wake up to the worst morning of the week. Guess who came for 'dinner'? The devil himself!!! He came just that day to steal time dedicated to my healing. I woke up and truly could not function, could not eat, throwing up, unbearable pain, chills, unable to walk, etc. Mike, in his effort to care for me, was late and could not get Kendra to her test ontime, I was late to my appointment and was really at the point that I had decided not to go that day... All was falling apart. We prayed, I hummed (that's what I do to center my mind), and hands were laid upon my body (thank you mom in law),...and I got myself up after some relief and I made it to my MD appointment and received ALL of my chemo.
Well, the week after chemo is usually pretty hard and again the devil decided to show up and was determined for me not to go to physical therapy. Again, trying to steal my healing, my blessing. We prayed, I was late some days, had significant pain...but I made it! But Wednesday, the pain was so intolerable that I had to go the ER that evening. The funny thing is that I have been reading and listening to The Word more and I just don't think the devil finds that appealing so he continues to show up for 'dinner' and attempt to destroy me. I got out of the hospital on Thursday and still went to therapy on Friday!!!
Here is what I am learning. As you draw closer to God, especially while in the midst of a trial, it is the best opportunity for the devil to attempt to steal your faith, your strength, your determination and will power; he wants you to give up. I will share, I have been there because the pain has just been where I have said "I can't do this anymore". But when my mind is centered and my spirit man is in control, I thought if I were to give up then not only does the devil win BUT I am basically saying God is a liar. God said He would not put anymore on His children than they can handle. He apparently believes I can handle this situation (eventhough I wonder about myself and where the strength is coming from); and He's right because because I keep coming back.
While my prayer life is getting stronger, I will have "balls of steal" (hope not to offend) when it comes to dealing with the devil. Here is one other tidbit of information that has been a revelation for me. We have been taught to pray and humble ourselves to God, offer praises, etc, etc. Have you ever had the opportunity to speak boldly to the devil. More often now, I am conversing with Satan to let him know that I acknowledge that he is real, but he is not welcomed in my home, my finances, my family and friends, my health; I don't love him, need him, or want him; he is not worthy, nothing assigned to me belongs to him; AND I have GOD who will defeat him and defend me every day of the week. Basically, I tell him not to waste his time with me. While that is like extending a challenge to him, I know that he is not happy with the fact I keep coming back.
I'm not the knock out kid; even the devil will be calling me "The Comeback Kid" and I'm sure he is learning that he is not on our 'dinner' guest list.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Sorry it's been so long since we've communicated. There hasn't been anything "eventful". I've had some difficult days, but no need to bore you with the details. Know that I am still here; still fighting, still praying and hoping, still thankful for each and every day. If I could say nothing more, I would share that this process has been full of revelations about life.

Allow me to extend a Happy Mother's Day to all. Whether you are a mother by birth, adoption, or otherwise, know that we truly make a difference in the lives of the children we love and serve; and we do serve. I had time to reflect and be so grateful that I am here today. I looked at my girls today and they were just beautiful, and while I am not finished, I can say that my mothering is paying off. When I was having a "bad" day one day, I was asked "Have I done everything I wanted to do?" At the time, I could not answer, because I've never taken time to really think about it. I think about my response to that question today and my answer woudl be "No." I want/need to see my girls grow up and mature and become what they want to become professionally. If they marry, I want to meet this guy. He's gonna wanna meet me, because no one is gonna make it past Mike without my help (smile). I'm supposed to take my grandchildren to Disney. No, I haven't done everything.

I remember watching this movie with Jack Nicholas and Morgan Freeman in which they created a bucket list. I tried that! But because I don't see myself transitioning, my list was soooo long, God would have to grant me a lifetime to complete it!!!

Honestly, having to think about transitioning, my children and my husband's life without me has now become a reality because of how difficult my journey has been, Don't get it wrong.... I am still hopeful and prayerful, but I do have to be realisitic and not in denial. I believe God for a healing; I know that he can and I pray that He will. But, I am a nurse and perhaps know too much. As a Chrisitian, we know that we will transition, we just don't know when; our days are numbered, we just don't know the number.

This journey has been most difficult for me as it relates to my faith walk and my strength. It is one thing to profess your faith and get your praise on daily; but go through something that you can do nothing more than rely on the Lord. It all takes a different perspective. It makes your faith more tangible and your strength more of a test of measure.

May God bless you all

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Devil is real but he is not for me

As Mike shared with you in the last post that I went into the hospital for severe pain and what inevitably was also dehydration as a result of severe nausea. All of this was because of the new chemo drugs and the enlargement of my liver. I was in for 2 nights and the matters for which I was admitted were basically resolved. When I tell you the Devil is real and I have been under attack, well I have. While I was in the hospital I asked for a heating pad because of the tension that was in my back and I could not get a muscle relaxant. Well, to make a long story short, I was provided a heat compress. We left the compress on for some period of time and when it was taken off...there was a burn on my back! I was not appauled initially, because I couldn't see or feel it. I thought there were just some blisters. After the doctor saw it, he was terribly upset, and I was referred to a plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon said I had a second degree burn. What!!! Mike took a picture for me so I could see what all the commotion was about, because I honestly did not think it could have been that serious. My Lord, what a site! We've been doing dressing changes and after going to see the plastic surgeon on Wednesday, he is recommending surgery because there is an area of the burn that is not healing as it should and it is potentially a full-thickness burn. By the way, the burn is about the size of the palm of your hand. Adding insult to injury, the burn is over the incision from my back surgery. We will know better next week definitively if and when I will have surgery. Why am I talking about the devil? I want you to know that God does not and would not cause all of this to happen to me, His child, but is allowing it to happen for the benefit of me and you. Know that the devil is busy and is trying to deter me from my God. I read a book entitled the Believer's Authority and when I tell you as Christians we have to learn to get in the devil's face and put him in his place, WE HAVE TO DO IT! I know he is mad at me because I did just that. I went into my closet one Sunday and cried, screamed and shouted AT THE DEVIL to let him know where his place is in my life... NO WHERE. I'm thinking he said he would try me on the outside, knowing my vanity, and see if that would turn me away from my GOD. LOL!!!! Ain't gonna happen. I began again reading about Job in even more detail. Even though I have not lost all of what he lost, I feel like my journey is so similar. It's taking so long. I don't know why this is happening at the severity at which it is happening. The miraculous blessing that I am receiving out of all of this, as I learn patience, are the people that are praying for and with us, the sharing of so many people, and how many people are sharing how this "journey" and its various aspects are changing their lives. No matter what happens, the devil will not be ruler in my life nor in my home, not of my finances nor of health, NOTHING! We must battle witht he tools God has armed us with but also face the devil with AUTHORITY. Loving and praying for you all!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Chemo Treatment Plan

It is with a heavy heart that I write update.  We went to Disneyland for spring break last week and had a wonderful family vacation.  The trip started out with the plane having some type of electrical fire right after takeoff.   The pilot turned us around and after the fire trucks circled the plane on the tarmac and the fireman coming on board for a physical inspection, we returned to the gate to deplane and wait on a replacement jet.  After a two hour wait we finally boarded our new jet and took off for Anaheim, CA.  Once we landed we learned that Continental broke Yolanda’s wheelchair.  After waiting at the airport for two hours dealing with the airlines customer service department, we finally headed to our hotel room (what a start to our vacation).   
Yolanda was a real trooper!  She was in such pain but fought through it each day.   The really enjoyed themselves and that was the whole point.  In Yolanda’s last post she informed you all that we received some distressing news from her Neurosurgeon regarding a possible surgery in the future depending upon if she starts to feel some weakness.  In addition to that news, on this past Wednesday we went in for her chemo treatment only to learn that based on her current ailments and complaints Dr. Osbourne decided to run a CT scan instead of the chemo treatment.  THANK GOD he did because the test would show us that her (already aggressive) cancer had spread to her liver and lungs.  The current chemo drugs were not working.  Dr. Osbourne told us that he would like to start Yolanda on a new set of chemo drugs immediately.  These drugs are much stronger and starting tomorrow (Thursday, March 24th) Yolanda will receive her chemo shots once every three weeks.  We had been moving forward under the impression that Yolanda was progressing and the chemotherapy drugs were working and arresting the cancer cells throughout her body.  Now we learned that not only were the drugs ineffective, but her cancer (which was classified as VERY aggressive at the outset) had six plus weeks to continue to spread throughout her body.  IT DID JUST THAT!! 
Today is Sunday, March 27, 2011 and yesterday I had to rush Yolanda to the ER.  She was in so much pain that she was unable to find relief at home.  The doctors ended up admitting her later that evening.  Yolanda’s liver is so swollen that it was pressing against her stomach and causing shortness of breath.  Dr. Osbourne visited us this morning and is recommending Yolanda start back taking her pain meds on a regular and consistent basis plus go back up on her pain patch.  Yolanda had started to drive (although only down the street) and was regaining her independence.  Now we are heading backwards! 
You all know just how long we have been on this journey, but it is very clear now that we face a new and even greater hurdle.  The new set of chemo drugs HAVE TO WORK!!  Yolanda is fighting but needs all of your collective prayers to pull through this crisis. 
GOD I pray that your will be done and that your will is for Yolanda to live and make it past this crisis.  You are all knowing and are the ONLY one with the power to heal her body.  GOD you are a mircale worker and she is in need of a mircale.  You have the power to arrest this cancer and I pray father that you will do just that.  LORD, I humbly ask that you have mercy on my wife and her body.  Please GOD deliver her from this pain and clear her body of these destructive tumors….AMEN!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The most difficult walk of my life

This week has been a roller coaster as I still keep my faith and try to endure this journey.

I've seen 3 people this week that I was really glad to see because I had not seen them in a while; one was at the Carnival on Sunday and 2 came to visit with me today. I used to work with them and their smiles, hugs, and words of encouragement were much needed. Yes... I ventured out and went to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Carnival on Sunday. I walked some and rolled in a wheelchair the rest. It was a nice family outing.

On Wednesday, I went to Chemo and unfortunately my WBC and H&H were low. Chemo can do that and this is the second time for me. Well this time it was too low to receive chemo. I again recieved a $3500 painful Neulasta shot. That shot costs so much and hurts so bad it ought to cure the darn cancer. Luckily, I had one of my sisters in Christ transporting me who was able to give me some encouraging words. She told me the devil is a liar... and much more to encourage me and slightly prevented the tears. I again felt defeated though. The doctor wants me to go 3 weeks in a row and I haven't been able to do it because of my WBC. Now, I will go for chemo 2 weeks in a row and be off one week. I think all this does is prolong how long I will be receiving treatments.

Today, I went to the Neurosurgeon. He was very positive but I can read between the lines. What I haven't shared is that I've started back sleeping in the chair because of this vice like feeling that has been tightening around my back and chest. It is so uncomfortable and sometimes painful that I wasn't resting well. Dr. Kim said that basically the rod that was placed is opposing the natural curvature of the spine. If I should get weak, loose sensation or have increased pain, as before the initial surgery, that I should contact him immediately. For what you might ask... To perform another surgery opposite the rod to stabilize the spine, but he would have to go through my chest. I held it together in front of him, but I lost it with my dear Michael when the MD left the room.

All afternoon, except for when my friends visited, I have cried, cried, cried. Just when I thought I was turning the corner; going to church, shopping (just a little), and getting about, I get this blow. Again, I felt defeated, worn, exhausted, a loose- loose situation. I went to Dr.Kim for him to give me permission to drive, not this. I have never thought this cancer was all about me but now I just don't know. I love my friends, family, coworkers, but what really makes me fight and determined to stay on this side of the dirt is my wonderful, handsome, awesome, fun husband and my wacky, challenging, funny, full of life children and my mother who (I think) needs me. I will be honest in saying that I am terrified of having to endure another surgery of any kind. They can pump my veins with more meds and do procedures, but God please no more surgeries.

Walked and talked with God today. I figured if Job could express his dissappointment with God's trial for him and question the purpose, I could too...and I did. Then I turned on a gospel station and just began to read a book someone gave me entitled "A Believer's Authority". Although I've only read 3 chapters, the message helped dry my tears and redirected me to the word of God; acknowledging where my strength comes from and facing the devil's deceitful ways head on.

We are all going away for Spring Break and hopefully that will give my mind and body a break. I still need you all to pray for me. It is written that the prayers of the righteous (the believer's) availeth much. Whatever is for me, I suppose it is for me, according to God's purpose for my life. Honestly, however, I am tired of the pain; don't mind rehab, treatments, etc. Just tired of the pain, setbacks, additional challenges, and sadly enough sometimes I just feel like my God doesn't hear me. But just like I said at the beginning of this journey, if someone had asked me if I could handle this disease, I would have responded that God would not have placed more on me than I could handle. Here I am and here I stand determined to fight this battle with God on my side. I will do everything I reasonably can until He says it's time to through in the towel.

I love you all and PLEASE continue to pray for a physical healing and spiritual strength. This journey has shown and taught me love I never knew existed. It has also taught me the power of prayer. Wrap your arms around yourself...that's me giving you a warm hug. I love you!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What's on my mind

Just happy to be alive. I looked at the calendar the other day and realized my birthday is on a Saturday this year. I immediately called Mike to tell him that I didn't necessarily want a PARTY, but I did want to celebrate just being alive. Mind you my birthday isn't until June, but since I have already proclaimed and believe that I am healed, I expect that I will be around June 2011. Usually we think birthday --- Party! Now, I am thinking birthday -- blessed to be alive.

As for me, I am doing well. I am continuing with physical therapy 3 times per week and taking my chemo. I am on my 3rd cycle; the plan is for me to have a total of 6. I had a treatment last week and I was able to handle it better this time. My greatest challenge has been the nausea that occurs usually two days after the treatment and then praying that my WBC does not decrease. When it does I cannot receive the treatment.

I have so many people that have given me spiritual and health literature on healing the body of cancer. I am reading and reading and taking from it what I think is beneficial. As a nurse, I can't believe everything I read and I first believe that my healing comes from God. I do believe that there are perhaps dietary things that I can change or amend while I am battling this cancer; but for everyone, what is written, other than God's word, is not meant for everyone.

Have you ever wondered how you've made it through the most difficult time in your life? I have a new understanding for when people say "God will wipe your tears away". I have cried so much during this journey that I don't think there are any more tears to cry. I think when all the tears are gone (or running low), God is then able to work on or work through you. He is able to reveal Himself to you. I initially cried the "whoa is me" and "why me" songs; but now I can praise God for the days He has spared me thus far. Am I afraid to leave this Of course I am; I am not prepared. I want to see my children grow up, marry, have children, etc. I want to share more and more time with my husband; love, laugh, travel, etc. But, "what God has for me it is for me"; when it is time, then it is time. This is reality!

Y'all... I'm not going anywhere and I haven't received any bad news. This is just what's on my mind. I am waking each day, thanking God for each new day, and praying for each of you that are reading the blog and praying and/or thinking of us.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Counting My Blessings

I can't count them all, but I will continue to be thankful to be a part of a praying community. Thankful to God for such a wonderful husband (His posting just made me gloat inside).

I wanted to keep you posted on how I am doing; the latest in my (our) life. I had an MRI done on my cervical and thoracic spine. It was the first radiological test since the surgery on 12/1. The prayers of the righteous do avail much. While there were some changes since the MRI prior to surgery and radiation, there was nothing for us to be concerned or alarmed about. It obviously showed the rod which is stabilizing my back, but also a hematoma or fluid sac which will absorb itself and 2 spinal compression fractures. No worries!!! The compression fractures are on the same 2 vertebrae that Dr. Kim operated on to remove the cancer and are both in the area supported by the rod. The MRI also did not show any extension/spread of the cancer along the spinal column.

Unfortunately, I was not able to receive my chemo this week because my White Blood Cell (WBC) was too low. One of the potential side effects of chemo is lowering the WBC, so mine had been going down, but this time it was just too low. Get this!!! I had to receive a shot that would increase my WBC over the next two weeks. Uhhhh.... Why did the medication cost $3500? And no I didn't type too many zeros. I was thinking with this drug I should be healed of everything. Thank God for insurance.

Lastly, on Thursday, I had my second encounter with a medical massage therapists to loosen up the scar tissue and help improve mobility in my upper body. By that night, I felt like I had been in a fight. Friday morning I had physical therapy. She worked me over. Instead of an hour, it was an hour and a half. We did all new exercises as we are now beginning to work on strengthening exercises. She's stepping up her game....ugh! But I do it with a smile because I know what the goal is. Like Rocky I just have to focus on the prize. And so, Friday night, the pain was so unbearable I could hardly turn myself or sit up. I'm taking the Vicodin!

You may wonder what do I have to be thankful for given this week besides being alive...
Obviously the results of the MRI are a blessing. Understand that the cancer could have spread and affected areas past the rod, anything. However, for now it hasn't and so I am blessed. The fact that I was unable to receive my chemo was a little disheartening but hopefully I will feel a bit better than usual. I now have 2 weeks off from chemo and right now I am planning my daughter's Sweet 16 birthday party. Prayerfully I will be able to participate without having to worry about myself. Lastly, all pain is not bad pain. My therapist is able to push me more over the next two weeks, hopefully.

Thank you Lord for hearing my prayers but for also listening for anyone who but mentions my name in their prayer time. Thank you for the surgery and the radiation and now the chemo, which are attacking the enemy in my body. You have given me the strength to fight and when I am weak, you have given me the strength of a praying community who's got my back. The enemy won't have an opportunity to weaken me to the point that I should fail. While this battle and this journey may be long, hard, and difficult, I (we) have already won. And we believe it all in faith and as evidenced in how you are working and manifesting in this temple. Thank you Lord for your people and bless them in every aspect of their life that they each may be covered by your grace, mercy and tenderness.

I love you all

Friday, February 4, 2011

Challenges & Surprises

It's been awhile since I have had a chance to sit down and compose my thoughts into some type of coherent and presentable message that I can share with you all.  This is absolutely a marathon! First let me share some thanks to all of you wonder individuals.  No matter if you are family, friend, associate or someone who we have never formally met before, I am eternally grateful to each one of you for your many thoughts, prayers and well wishes.  Yolanda and I continue to find inspiration from all of your comments.  Your prayers are definitely being heard because Yolanda is a walking miracle!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Second, I will share with you that I have been going none stop caring for Yolanda, her mom and our girls since July 2010.  It’s been one giant physical drain, but I am thankful for the opportunity to care my wife and family.  The one saving grace has been having my mother here.  She has been living with us on and off for the past several months.  She is splitting time between Houston and Dallas (my home town).  She is here for four weeks then she returns to Dallas for one week to take care of her personal matters.  I have been running so hard that I totally let myself go and was not taking care of myself (I didn’t even realize it).  As a result of running so hard, I caught the FLU for the first time in my life two weeks ago.  It caught me off guard and I was down for five whole days.  Luckily my mother was here to help my family.  My doctor told me that I have “care-taker fatigue” and unless I start eating better and working out, I was going to have some critical life altering medical issues.  After I picked up my lower lip and scraped myself off the floor, I made a commitment to myself to carve out time to take care of me.

Third, it has been truly amazing to watch Yolanda endure everything she is going through.  I said it before and I will say it again…she is my hero!  She is a real trooper and is consistently pushing herself to fight through the pain.  It is so easy to care for her.  I consistently try to make her day as manageable as possible.  Honestly, I don’t think I am making a difference sometimes because she is in so much pain, but I will never stop trying! In terms of Chemo, Yolanda is in her 2nd round of treatments.  She has her all day injections on Wednesdays.  Thursday’s are generally AWESOME days as she feels great all day; however, Fridays and Saturdays are typically the complete opposite.  Sunday’s are typically a little better.

Finally, on last Thursday Yolanda had an MRI.  The purpose of the MRI is the see if the Cancer continues to spread in here spine.  Dr. Lee ordered the MRI and she will be back to his office, once the report is ready, to discuss the findings.  Please pray that her Cancer has stopped spreading!  She has come so far in terms of regaining strength in her lower body. She walks around the house without a cane. Her body is not as sensitive any longer.  The fear of her getting too cold and having to rush her to the ER, is no longer a concern. Praise GOD!

Everyday brings new challenges and surprises.  But no matter what, I will always have Yolanda’s back! I would trade places with her any day so that can bare her pain. 

Enjoy life and pay forward some kindness to someone in honor of Yolanda! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Celebrating 13 and Hair loss

This weekend was great with my family. We celebrated my youngest daughter's 13th birthday in Austin. We spent the night at the Westin Hotel which she absolutely loved and allowed the girls to order room service for breakfast. Saturday we visited The University of Texas and toured the campus; that was for my oldest daughter. We then visited the capitol. I don't think I had ever toured either one before. It was great for all of us. We rested back at the hotel and then went shopping. Forever 21.... Need I say more?

Sunday we drove to Texas A&M University and went to the Baylor and A&M ladies basketball game. It was great to see all the A&M traditions during the game; the girls really enjoyed it. We then took a campus tour. Shame to say, I don't think I've ever toured that campus either. We had a great weekend!!!!! Lastly, this momma couldn't finish celebrating 13 with her baby without a little cake and ice cream.  Last night, we invited some of Jasmine's friends over for cake and ice cream and that topped off a long weekend. We now have 2 teenagers... Yikes!!!

As for me, yesterday was eventful but I was able to overshadow my issues with my daughter's birthday celebrations. Yesterday, I had my beautician to cut off the rest of my hair and shave my head. I'm bald!!! We went and tried on wigs, it was her day off.  She was just awesome! As she shaved my head, I just closed my eyes and listen to the razor take "my crown". She encouraged me to open my eyes because my head was actually "cute". I have seen cute bald headed women, but I just couldn't picture myself that way and I was afraid to look. After I opened my eyes, it wasn't horrid, I wouldn't really say cute, but nonetheless I tried on big hoop earrings to check out my new look.  My beautician stayed with me for awhile....I was OK.

I have listened to Robin Roberts say to women we are not our hair. And that is true!!! But, it is a very odd, strange and uncomfortable place to be when you haven't been there before. I know my hair will grow back and I'm told it will be a different texture and prettier when it comes back. I will show my baldness because I feel like it is something that I must do.  Again this struggle is not just for me or about's for you too.  My strength is not in my hair; my strength comes from within, from the spirit of God.

However, later, I had to show hubby. I was not emotionally ready for him to see my bald head.  He "worked with me" and I showed him. He's still here!!! God love and bless this man. This entire experience has shown me how much my husband truly loves me for ME. Even now, with my insecurities about my body and my looks, he still loves me for ME. I thank God that I do not have to go through this alone. I often tell him that I am glad God looks at our heart and not our physical body when we are called home to GLORY because He may not recognize me when I get to the pearly gates.

God love and bless you all!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Thank you for your continued prayers, phone calls and emails.

Yesterday I had chemo. Another long day; I was there from 7:30 -2:00... that's almost a work day! I felt great after chemo and so far today, I am feeling good. I ask that you pray this continues after each treatment but especially this weekend. This weekend we have activities scheduled for my baby who is turning 13 (boo hoo). She didn't want a party (go figure); she wanted to spend time with the family and so we have some creative things we are doing together (just the 4 of us)!

My doctor's visit went well. My regimen has changed: I was going for 2 weeks on and off 1 week, but now I will be going for 3 weeks on and off 1 week. They had to decrease one of my medications just a bit yesterday because my white cell count had dropped. There is nothing I can do, eat, or take to increase it and it is a common side effect. All we can do, which we know works, is pray. I just have to notify them if I develop a fever. Lastly, he told me to stay on top of loosing weight. I always knew that and had been trying, but if I never listened to a MD before, I am listening now! I have lost a little over 20 pounds since the beginning of December, but that's not enough. We won't discuss how much more too go, let's just say I'm working on it! One good thing he told me was to try to resume as much normal activity as possible, which was great news.....I have been trying. However, I am not ready for a FT job, but he suggested possibly trying a PT job that would work with me or volunteering.

Unfortunately, the inevitable has started. My hair is coming out! We are going to do the best we can of what was expected. I was shocked when I combed out my first comb full of hair, but I adjusted, and I am good. I have you and your prayers and God is really working with me, on me, and for me; we already have this thing beat! I hope the wig shops are ready for me, because I am about to venture into a territory out of necessity. Be assured that I won't overwhelm you with oddly colored streaked wigs, Sasha Fierce hair, or anything that might make you wonder if I have lost my mind; I will be strictly mainstream. However, don't be alarmed if you see me bald. Mike and I were talking last night 'cause he can't wait to see what my bald head looks like and he can't wait to shave it (I actually think he's a bit excited about it)! We will definitely make the best of a side effect.

Lastly, just to add some humor. What would life be without some humor? In discussion with my physical therapist, who is awesome, we were just discussing goals and time frame for me continuing therapy. While she says I am doing great, we did agree that probably another 2 months, at a minimum, I should continue. She has to send updates to my doctor and insurance with all the medical jargon about me meeting goals, etc. I told her you can send them what you want, but I am sticking with PT until I have reached MY 3 goals: I am walking without a cane, I can drive, and I can wear my high heal shoes. You gotta love life!!!

Loving you all!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Family Reunion

I won't be long. I just wanted to say I went to a family reunion today and it was just wonderful. When you stay away from family too long, you miss them! The best part about family reunions are when people tell you how well you look and how they have missed you, and of course you expressing the same.

You might ask who's having a family reunion on a Sunday in January? I did when I went to church today!!! I saw my brothers and my sisters, the elders of my family, "uncles and aunts". I just enjoyed seeing everyone. Not to mention the singing was AWESOME and the message was GREAT!

Everybody told me how nice I looked...but, to my church family.... YOU ALL LOOKED FABULOUS and were a site for sore eyes (mine). I love you Good Hope family and you have been truly missed.

When I got home today, a most wonderful gift had been dropped off by 2 sisters from an organization I am in, Jack and Jill. While most of the women in this organization are my neighbors they are also my sisters.

They have been on this journey with me the entire time, much like my church family. They have provided food for us, some have taken the kids out, decorated our home during the holidays, comforted us with phone calls, cards, and visits. They have been there for us without us asking for one thing.  The Jack and Jill fathers have been calling and checking on my husband.  We truly feel the love!! 

To my Jack and Jill sisters and their families... This is what family is all about. I thank you so much for being led, whether spiritually, emotionally, or otherwise to show your love and support for us.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Songs for a season

In more recent years, I have taken upon myself to do more than proclaim God as my king, but to actually learn the meaning in His word and apply it to life even more intentionally. I am very grateful to attend a teaching church with the opportunity to learn while we worship and get our praise on.

Whether it secular or spiritual, songs are released and something will strike you that makes you exclaim "That's my song" when it comes on. You may not be able to carry a tune but you know the words and every "OOO" and "Ahhh" in the song. You know the lead and the background. However, this song is different from every other song right now because it strikes a cord with something significant that has happened in your life or perhaps something you are going through right now.

In August 2009, I was wrongfully terminated from my job by a very insecure, unknowledgable individual who, of course in my opinion, was incapable of holding and ill-qualified for the position he attempted to occupy. (You might can tell that I still harbor some resentment for the individual but I have forgiven him because he was in a position to make decisions out of ignorance.) Outlandish lies were constructed and "sold" upstream and were believed. I was basically in a position were I was a scapegoat. After riding a short emotional roller coaster, I had to turn this situation over to God before it ate me up. I had a song: Hezekiah Walker's "God favors me". I sang this song 3, 4, 5 times a day. Anytime it was on the radio or in my shower or just walking around the bayou... I had a song in my heart. The song encouraged me and gave me peace of mind.

Condensed excerpt: Love is patient, caring, love is kind. Love is felt most when it's genuine, but I had my share of love, abuse, manipulated, and misused and I can't help but give you glory when I think about my story. I know you favored me because my enemies they tried and couldn't triumph over me. I'm still here, I'm still alive, I'm still blessed on my way to my destiny because the favor of God is on my life. They whispered, conspired, they told their lies. My character my integrity , my faith in God will not fall, will not bend, won't compromise. I speak life and prosperity and I speak health.

In about a week after I was terminated, I was offered and hired by another company. We never missed a paycheck and all was well. That song kept me going!!!

As some may know, that job which was a blessing in September 2009, became a nightmare (and that's all we will say about that) and I voluntarily left there in June 2010. During this time, however, I was praying to God to get me out of that situation, but I was also drawing nearer to God and William McDowell's "I give myself away" became my song of that season. I really prayed that God would use me to do His will that he had planned for my life. Being very honest, in my mere mortal mind that meant that I would do what He wanted me to do and go where He wanted me to go, etc.

Condensed excerpt: I give myself away. I give myself away, So you can use me. I give myself away, I give myself away, so you can use me. Here I am. Here I stand. Lord, my life is in your hands. Lord, I'm longing to see Your desires revealed in me. I give myself away. Take my heart Take my life as a living sacrifice. All my dreams, all my plans, Lord I place them in your hands. I give myself away.....My life is not my own To you I belong, I give myself, I give myself to you.

And now I have metastatic breast cancer blogging to friends, family, and strangers who are telling me how they are being blessed. Be careful what you ask (pray) for. This was not my idea of offering myself to be used by God, but then again I prayed His will for my life that I may be a steward for Him. You never how God will use you!

Do you have a song for this season in your life?
Do you think you are following God's will for your life?

Praying for every aspect of your life...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trials truly make you think

We haven't forgotten about the blog, but sometimes you have to take a moment just to reflect. I will share, as I have been doing, trials make you think more intimately with yourself, self-reflect, and rehearse life. I haven't had the "opportunity", if you will, just to think about my life since... forever.

I am wondering where some of my schoolyard friends are from elementary. I am remembering my dad: riding horses together, racing him up and downthe sidewalk in front of our house, riding in his volkwagon with hay in the back, running from him when I got in trouble, and caring for him in his last months. I'm remembering being a Lanier Purple Pup squad member in middle school and my favorite English teacher Mrs.Perkins. Wondering where my school bus buddy Kerri is and what she's up tothese days; we used to walk home together. I think back to Rice summer school which was the popular summer activity and my first job at 15 with Ms. Session at BunnyLand A-Cat-A Me where I thought I was rich after making $300 for the entire summer. As for highschool, well that was fun...when I look back. I wonder why my kids didn't believe I was a chearleader until I showed them the picture and that I went to school dances with a guy (even though my parents were the chaufers). I think back to college years and remember pledging, dating, parties, my instructors, and new friends and new experiences. I have been through the eras of wearing bell bottom jeans (bring that back), classmates wearing one silver glove (Michael Jackson), Cindy Lauper skirts and boots, and prairie dresses (that may have just been me).

I am now celebrating 18 years as a wife and nurse. I could tell you all so many stories as I look back over both professions (yes being a wife is a profession-- it's work!). In nursing I can remember getting my first job in Labor & Delivery, hearing a story of a mother thinking she was coming in to have twins and left with triplets, mothers leaving their babies at the hospital to go "collect their government checks", and tightly wrapping newborn babies who had been born positive on their drugs screening tests. I can definatley reflect on the miracles I witnessed when I worked in Neuro ICU and the recovery of brain injury patients that would leave us in awe! I just think about working at Memorial Hermann, Kindred and Atrium and the many people I have had the pleasure of working with and for. As a wife, well the memories would be longer than my arm; good and bad, but WE are still here. And, I have been blessed to still be in the game, a mother of two beautiful girls, and married to my best friend.

That may sound like a lot (or maybe not) but it's not until this trial in life that I actually stopped to reflect on all these times and many many more and I say...where did the time go? Its seems like mounds of memories but, since I still consider myself young, I thought there was time to do all the things that I wanted to do and go where I want to go.

Friends...tomorrow is not always promised. Although I am travelling along this rough journey....KNOW that I am not giving up, I am going to start making my bucket list now. This I can say, my life may not have made any headliners, but I have enjoyed it, the people, and the experiences.

and I'm praying for you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What a long day

Today was the second day of chemo and it was a long day. I was there from 8:30am - 2:00pm. I had 4 infusions to take. Two were chemo and one was for my bones and the other was to prevent nausea. I had to ask for a break just to stretch my legs. One good thing is that I am able to eat a lot better. If you recall I had lost my appetite to the point of not eating because the radiation had expectantly interfered with the cell lining of my esophagus and I had difficulty swallowing anything thicker than pudding. Imagine going through the holidays with that feeling.

I will share that last Thursday was great, but by Friday, the nausea, fatigue, and feet swelling had set in and was there throughout the weekend. Luckily, I had wonderful friends from Austin that visited on Friday and throughout the weekend which did NOT allow me to focus on myself. They, like many, were able to focus on the positive and it really encouraged my spirit. Reminiscing, updates about our families, sharing LIFE stories supersedes all of my illness and allowed me to really cherish LIFE as I have lived it and shared with others.

I am able to look back over my life and realize, of course, there have been some hurdles, low points, etc., but I sure have some wonderful friends, had some really fun times, have had some times that make me say "Did I do that?", and well just memorable times with awesome people. Life is divided into seasons. You meet different people, have different experiences just for that season of your life. What's so wonderful for me right now, is that many people that I have met throughout various seasons in my life are present for THIS season of MY life, and it's like looking at all the seasons of your life at once. There is no book and I haven't met the authority that promised that there would be no problems in life. I had time to sort of meditate on that today. As a matter of fact, we, Christians, are assured to have troubled times and that my good friends is where our faith will sustain us.

Since today was a good day, I took advantage of it and went to see my baby girl play basketball (she's in the 7th grade). Unfortunately, they didn't win but I was sweating by the time I finished coaching, cheering, screaming, and... well me and this cane were almost on that court. Don't know what I was gonna do but I was already on the second row, so I didn't have far to go!!! Good thing I didn't; I'm sitting with a heating pad on my back just from cheering and all.

Hopefully tomorrow will be another good day and the weekend as well. I ask your continued prayers that the drugs that have been infused in my body will be effective in killing the harmful cells and allowing the healthy cells to take over toward the healing that I have already claimed in Jesus name. Lastly, because inquisitive minds surely want to know... I still have hair and therefore Mike has not been able to exercise his "barber" skills.

Praying for you all in every aspect of your life...


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First Day of Chemo done!!!

After we (Mike and I) visited with the Oncologist this morning, we went to the infusion suite. A gentleman, there to take my vital signs and settle us in, asked me if I was nervous or anxious. I responded with a nod in the negative. I was not scared, anxious, worried or any other adjective that would describe a lack of faith in God.

Actually, I was excited and had been long awaiting this day. I knew this was the beginning of prayerfully the last treatment that would improve my health status. I just felt good today. What the young man didn't realize was that I am relying on the word of God more than ever to see me through this journey. Matthew 6: 25-34 has already proven to me that there is really no reason to worry or be anxious because my God will take care of my needs (prayerfully my wants coincide with His will as well). Any ill productive thing that could happen would more than likely interfere with God's plan. Look... If I worry myself to the point of not eating and my nutritional status deteriorates, or if I worry to the point that my vital signs are abnormal, they may not start the chemo. I NEED the chemo to get through the JOURNEY!!! We have trusted His omnipotence to carry us through this journey thus far, and we will trust Him to carry us through to the end.

All in all, today went very well!! I feel good and I feel like I'm on utopia. Now I know this is a temporary feeling and the side effects will probably kick in at some time during the course and my days may not be as "great". But today, I will enjoy! Thanks for praying for me because I know that God is truly acknowleding the prayers of believers. I pray that I will be the evidence of intercessory and persistent prayer.

Can't leave you without a funny... The nurse practitioner did come to tell us that I would loose my hair, which I kind of already knew, but she just confirmed it. I have already prepared the girls and they of course have weighed in, but we joke as to whether I will be an ethnocentric bald sistah or a Sasha Fierce (lol). She gave me names of places the provide hats, wigs, etc. Y'all, you know Mike was with me. Why did he have to weigh in....He tells the lady he is barber (NOT!) and that he's just gonna shave it all off and make sure its clean...(WHAT!). Lord help!

Thanks and love you!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Well tomorrow is another big day. Tomorrow I start chemotherapy. While I do have some anxiety about the procedure, I pray that I will be fine. For now, I know that I will go every Wednesday for awhile and receiving a relatively low dose and evaluate how I handle the medications.

A lot of advancement has been accomplished over the years in breast cancer. I know that the "cocktail" I will be receiving along with the bone saving medication I am receiving, I remain positive that I will be fine. I truly ask for your prayers in the morning that I may decrease my anxiety and increase in strength to handle the chemotherapy. My mortal protector (Mike) and rock will be with me which definitely helps.

Here's my shout out. There is something about having my husband with me that comforts me. When he tells me "I got you" when I'm afraid that I'm about to fall, I trust that I will not fall. When he tells me that "We are in this together", I know that he is in this battle and on this journey with me. I can cry with him and I can laugh with him...and I can just be quiet with him. I say this to know in my heart that he is truly my soul mate and the man divinely created just for me. I am so lucky, blessed and thankful that he found me. Isn't God just amazing!!! I attribute these qualities in Mike to God's ability to uniquely create.

Listen...everybody has their shortcomings...even me (Go figure!) But, to my married friends, my single friends who want to be married, and anybody else in the midst or in want of a relationship, there is no such thing as a perfect mate. I can tell you if I had written a laundry list of the qualities my "ideal" mate would have, I would still be single...he doesn't exist. But, the qualities I did pray for were fulfilled and I accepted Mike, as he accepted me, with the characteristics that we could live with. We are 18 years in this game and we have seen the ups and downs, but we are still here.

This experience has not tested our love, but it has made us recall what our covenant marriage vows REALLY mean. We were old fashioned I guess and did not write some elaborate dissertation of how we feel for each other and we did not change the vows because we didn't "like" the word obey or any of that. We are now truly experiencing what it meant when we said "in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer".

I am sure to write on this again because we have seen things and experiencing things in and with each other that we never would have dreamed, not even in our elder years. Love will allow you, encourage you, and make you do things that you never would have imagined...seriously.

Love to you all