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