Archive | October, 2013
Video

Video Testimony

28 Oct

Last night our church had a night of testimonies.  It was pretty amazing to hear how God had worked through so many of our lives.  I’m so thankful for a Father that we can pray to and approach His Throne with our concerns.  He wants a relationship with us and it is amazing.  I decided to do a video testimony of my cancer journey.  Here is the video.

Post Surgery Update

26 Oct

Surgery went well.  No complications.  I talked with the anesthesiologist beforehand about how it takes me hours to wake back up.  he explained that it wasn’t the anesthesia that does that.  It is the drugs they give you beforehand for calming you and so you don’t have to see the O.R. When you are rolled in.  I guess that freaks people out.  Not me.  I chose to go drug free.  It was actually pretty cool to see the O.R. And meet everyone in there.  He also put my IV in place and had to try 3 times.  It was pretty painful.  One of the times I jumped and scared him and then blood squirted and it messed him up so he had to find a new one.  Oops.  He wanted to use a neck vein for the IV but I told him that would freak me out a little.  I’m not supposed to use my arms for IVs or blood draws since I’ve had lymph nodes removed from both sides.  But the neck?  Nope.  Not gonna do it.  Lol.

They wheeled me into the O.R. and one of the nurses told me to dream about being on the beach somewhere.  Then, she followed it up with, “make sure you dream about the hot cabana boys that are serving you.”. I had an oxygen mask on my face so I couldn’t reply.  But, I would’ve said! “I don’t need a cabana boy.  I have my hot hubby instead.”. 🙂

I woke up so fast after surgery.  It was great.  I felt a little groggy and I didn’t have my glasses on so it contributed to my dizziness since I can’t see much without them. Kevan couldn’t believe I already was sitting up with my eyes open when he came in.  It was great.  If I ever have to have surgery again I’m going to forego the initial meds too.  The next thing was that I couldn’t leave without urinating first.  I tried a few times but my bladder and muscles were still asleep so it took a pretty long time for it to wake up so I could go home.  My sweet mother-in-law went into the bathroom with me to make sure I was okay and she even helped me get dressed.  It was very sweet of her.  Kevan was on an urgent work call so he couldn’t help me.

So far all we know is that he found a moderate amount of endometriosis.  Not a little or an extravagant amount, but a significant amount.  It was on the normal areas but also my bladder and on one ovary.  He removed it. He said my ovaries looked great and so did my Fallopian tubes.  He didn’t see anything  that would get in the way of us getting pregnant.  He also did a D&C because my uterine lining was so thick.  He said sometimes women get pregnant pretty fast after endo removal and a D&C. So, we will be praying for that.  He took a endometrial biopsy as well to see if I may have luteal phase defect and if that is the reason we have never gotten pregnant.  We’ve been trying 7 years now (minus the year I had cancer….of course we weren’t trying then).  7 is the perfect number and the number of completion.  Im hoping God will answer and our family will be complete.

I hardly had any pain yesterday, but I’m in a good amount of pain today.  Also, I had to get up 6 times last night to empty my bladder.  It is super sensitive.  This happened the last time I had endo removed from my bladder and it got better after a few weeks.

Thank you all for your prayers.  I’m thankful that God was with me, that he taught companies how to make pain pills (haha) and provides doctors with their skills.  My pain med is kicking in.  I won’t make much sense soon.  So, I ammmmm signing offfff nowwww.

Surgery Tomorrow….

24 Oct

As a follow up to my last post, I have decided to have the surgery.  It is scheduled for tomorrow (10/25) at 11am.  I prayed about it a lot.  I received some comments from friends and family (1 that didn’t think I should and the rest said I should).  I also have been experiencing a lot of pain this week, fevers and some other symptoms.  So, I thought it would be best to go ahead with the surgery or I would be second guessing myself later and wondering why I didn’t do it.  I want answers.  I want to know what level of endometriosis I have right now.  I want to know if the doctor can find out any answers about why Kevan and I can’t have children even though every test comes back great.  Although, I know that in the end it is God that opens and closes the womb…..but sometimes he works through doctors.  I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for doctors.  Not because I had breast cancer, but because I was born way too early, my lungs collapsed and I was in bad shape.  Through prayer and through skilled doctors I was healed.

I have to be at the hospital at 8am (UGH!) even though surgery isn’t until 11am….and I have to pick Kevan up from the airport tonight at 11:30pm EST.  He travels now for work so we are both pretty lonely without each other….I can’t wait to see him tonight….but it is going to be a long night.  Also, I didn’t sleep much last night so the 1.5 hours to the airport is going to be hard.

Anyway, if you are reading this will you say a little prayer for me.  Ask that God blesses the doctor with skilled hands, that the robotics equipment that he will be using will do exactly what the doctor wants and won’t do anything that would cause my body future problems and that we will receive some feedback on what is going on “in there”.  🙂  I couldn’t stand the thought of not wearing makeup and having a big curly Afro while I’m at the hospital tomorrow so I asked my friend, Tracy, to straighten my hair for me.  Here is a picture (below).  Can you believe how long it is!!  Once you straighten out those curls it looks pretty long!  Also, I ran into a friend tonight (Hi Chiquita) and she hardly recognized me without the curls.  Haha!

Hair StraightThank you to those who are reading this and prayed for me.  May God bless you.  May He give you a fire in your soul for Him and His Word.  To God be the Glory.   He blesses me so much…way more than I deserve.  He is my Comforter, my Healer, my Shepard, my Guide and my Savior.  What more do I need tomorrow?  Well, my husband holding my hand is a big PLUS.  Love you babe.  I don’t know what I would do without you.

Prayer for Wisdom

19 Oct

In my last post I mentioned that we had an answer to prayer and our house in FL was under contract.  Well, the older couple that signed all the contracts to buy are house had buyer’s remorse the next day and withdrew from the contract.  😦  Their grown children thought it would be too much for them to care for our backyard.  So, we are back to praying for another offer and we are not too discouraged since we would really love a better offer and not feel like we had to give up so much.

Now, regarding the surgery I mentioned in my last post.  I have a robotic-assisted laparascopy scheduled for October 25th.  At first, I was looking forward to finding out answers (not looking forward to the surgery – just the answers that came from it.).  Well, I’ve been freaking out a little the last few days and I want to back out.  I have prayed and prayed and I don’t feel like I have an answer on what to do.  Should I back out?  Or should I go through with it.  I’ve done almost the same procedure 3 other times in my life.  I hate anesthesia.  I hate the pain I’ll wake up to and have for a few days.  I hate being cut on.  With the mastectomy/reconstruction and past laps I felt like I had to do it because I had cancer or because I was in so much pain.  But, this…..I don’t really have to do it.  The pain I’m having isn’t that bad.  My symptoms aren’t that bad – just a little inconvenient.  What should I do???  In the end, it might reveal something about having children that we didn’t know before.  But, on the other hand there is always a risk of injury or death when having a procedure of any kind done.  I’m so confused.  If you are reading this….will you say a little prayer for me.  Pray for wisdom please.  Thank you!  🙂

Kevan and I went to see Captain Phillips last night at the theater.  It was a very emotional movie (I had non-stop tears at the end of it), but it was a good movie.  Sometimes I forget how much evil is in this world/life and it was a reminder that this life is really messed up.  I forget how Satan can lie to us to make us think what we are doing is okay because others have it better than we do and we deserve what they have.  It made me look forward to the day that I will be home.  In heaven.  Where evil can’t touch us anymore.   I prayed for the Somali man (Muse) that is now in a US prison.  Prayed that God would reveal Himself to this man and that he will be spiritually blessed through the prison sentence and that he will spend eternity in heaven.  A much better life than he would’ve had here on earth even if he stole all he could and received billions of dollars in ransom money.  Prayer too that he could influence his people through his story.   What a great blessing that would be. This life is short compared to eternity.  I need to care more about spiritual things and less on earthly things.

Lord, please give me wisdom.

Answered Prayer

13 Oct

I have some good news.  Our Florida house, that we haven’t lived in for over 2 years, is under contract.  🙂  If everything goes well we will close in 2 weeks!  We still have to go there and pack up the rest of our stuff and move it to Tennessee though…..so the next 2 weeks are going to be pretty stressful.  We are very happy though (and so are our finances) that we will be rid of this extra house for good!  We have lost so much money on it and are still having to bring money with us to closing, but it is a huge blessing that we won’t have to continue to pour money into a house that we don’t live in.  Even though it didn’t work out the way we would’ve liked we are very thankful.  Thank you Lord for your blessings.

Another answer to prayer is that I went to a new doctor this week because of the hormone issues I’ve been having since chemo.  He thinks he may know why Kevan and I have been unable to have children.  So, it may soon be what we have been praying for FOR YEARS.  Funny story first – he asked me to give him a “brief history” of my medical history.  I told him everything from tonsils to endometriosis to Graves Disease to thyroid ablation to heart ablation to breast cancer…double mastectomy….chemo….reconstruction…..he was like, “um….is that it?  Or is there more?”  He had this look on his face like, “Is this girl serious??”  LOL!  That’s it!  🙂  Anyway, during our discussions of my current symptoms and what we’ve done previously for infertility he believes I may have Luteal Phase Defect (LPD) and that it is the reason we have never been able to have a child.  I’m excited that we may have finally found the answer.  I’ve researched it since and I do have a lot of the symptoms they are describing and he said that it is pretty easy to “fix” if that is the issue and it is done by medication.  I am praying that God will let this be the reason.  🙂  Maybe sometime soon I will be a breast cancer survivor that has also given birth to a healthy child.  It has given me hope!  Also, he is going to do a procedure (robotic-assisted laparoscopy) to determine if my endometriosis is doing okay and whether the scar tissue from my last laparoscopy may be the reason for the infertility.  Back in 2009 when we were going through all of the infertility tests this was their conclusion…that is was due to scar tissue from past surgeries even though the “dye test” was a success.   During the procedure he is also going to do an endometrial biopsy and this will help diagnose the LPD.  So…..that is just a quick update of my last doctor appointment.

Right now I’m writing this as Kevan is preparing for his Sunday School lesson tomorrow.  I just looked over at him and he is asleep in his chair.  lol!  We had a hard day cleaning the garage.  My poor baby is T-I-R-E-D.  lol!  I hope he’s ready for his lesson tomorrow.  I’m trying to decide if I should wake him up or let him sleep.

The last 10 years….

7 Oct

I started writing this on our anniversary (2 days ago) and just finished it up tonight….

I’m sitting in the lobby of a state park right now waiting for Kevan to finish working.  It is the only place that had WiFi and Kevan needs to put in a few hours of work this morning.  Today, is our 10 year wedding anniversary.  So, since I have to sit here and wait for him I thought I would think back to when we first met and got married.  Our marriage together has had many more good times than bad and I am very thankful for that.  We’ve had our share of “bad” times, but through much prayer and scripture reading (and sometimes many arguments.  Haha!) we have made it through each of those times and I believe our marriage is stronger for it.

We had the sweetest dating relationship.  We tried so hard to have a God honoring courtship.  Kevan felt very strongly about his convictions and how he treated me during our courtship and I am so thankful for it.  It really showed me that he cared more about what God called us to as a couple and not about our physical desires.  Of course, even though we only dated 9 months before we got married it was a very LONG 9 months it seemed.  lol!  Also, Kevan wanted to make sure we were TOTALLY compatible so we did many things together to make sure we would make it once we were married.  We visited our families as much as possible and received feedback from our parents.  My parents loved Kevan. We received feedback from our friends and no one had any reservations about either of us.  We went to a monster truck show (we both loved it!), hiking, camping, cat shows (Haha!), road trips and through many doctor’s appointments (I had recently found out I had Graves Disease) and had a lot of fun together during our dating time.

Kevan felt like engagement was a “promise” of marriage so we went through pre-engagement counseling with our pastor before we got engaged.  It was kind of funny since we had only been dating about 2 months when we started meeting with the pastor.  Then, right before the 6 month mark he told Kevan we couldn’t come to anymore marriage counseling sessions because the things we needed to discuss next we would need to be engaged.  At one point the pastor had us each write letters to each other about why we loved each other and why we wanted to marry them.  I wrote mine on pink paper and scented it with perfume.  LOL!!!  I still have the letters.  I remember Kevan’s letter said that he loved me because I made him smile and he had never laughed so much in his life.  Isn’t that so sweet??  So……then…..I started to wait for the proposal.  🙂  Kevan designed my engagement ring himself and ordered the actual diamond through a company in New York because he wanted to have the best one for the money.  It was very sweet.  (Unfortunately, since my surgery and removal of my lymph nodes last year my hands are now too swollen to wear my rings and we haven’t been able to find a jewelry store to make them larger for me.  Hopefully, soon!  I miss them!)  Anyway, Kevan took me to the mountains and proposed to me on an overlook.  Here we are at that same overlook on our 1 year anniversary.  We were both a lot thinner then.  My waist was about 10 inches smaller than it is now.

Overlook2

Here is a picture of me from one of our wedding showers.  Look how young i look.  I also was still able to sit cross-legged.  Since chemo and my torn labrum…..I can’t do it anymore without pain.  It is my FAVORITE way to sit.  😦

Wedding Shower

One of the really cool things is that Kevan’s mom worked at a Wedding Chapel in Nashville at the time of our engagement.  Our current church was holding their services in a rented school building so we didn’t want to get married there.  So, we were married at the Wedding Chapel in Nashville and our pastor was able to marry us.  The only sad part was that only a few of my immediate family members attended (parents, sister, brother and sister-in-law) because it was so far from Michigan.  But, we did have about 100 people attend the wedding.  It was a wonderful day and the weather was beautiful.  Here is one of my favorite pictures of Kevan from our wedding (below)….he looks so young and sweet.  Love him so much!

Wedding Pic

I didn’t want to spend a lot on our wedding and be paying for it for years later.  So, I rented my dress for $250.  That included the jewelry I wore and the alterations.  It was great.  I didn’t feel like I needed to keep my dress and figured if I had a daughter she wouldn’t want to wear mine by the time she married so I was okay with it.  Kevan wanted a limo so we did rent a limo to drive us to the reception and to the hotel afterwards.  Then, for the reception we just asked family members to bring food for us.  It was delicious and we had two couples contact us after and ask who the caterers were.  J  Lastly, a friend of Kevan made some wine for us as a wedding gift so we were able to provide wine for our wedding toast.  It was a perfect day.  Unfortunately, I forgot my makeup bag at the reception and Kevan forgot his passport in the trunk of our car so my mother-in-law had to make TWO trips to our hotel suite that night to bring us our forgotten items.  It was a good 30 minute drive for her.  But, it gives us a funny story to tell others since most couples don’t invite their mother-in-law up to their hotel suite on their wedding night. She came up and chatted with us while I ate one of the best ham/cheese omelets I’ve ever eaten.  I was hungry. Lol!  (Here were are leaving the wedding to go to the reception.)

Wedding Pic 2

We left at about 5am for the airport the next morning to fly to Saint Marten.  We got a really good deal through a timeshare and it was a very inexpensive trip.  We had a really good time together.  Although, we both imagined what our honeymoon would be like and we had imagined it VERY differently.  I imagined laying around on the beach relaxing with my new husband and Kevan imagined driving around and seeing EVERYTHING there was to see on the island.  Every beach, every restaurant, every thing.  I was exhausted by the end of our trip.  Also, the room we stayed in had an issue with the light switch and the shower so my handyman husband found a hardware store and fixed them both while we were there.  I remember thinking that this was my honeymoon!  I don’t want to go to a hardware store!  So, I stayed in the car and waited for him while he shopped.  lol!  We packed up to leave our room and when we looked in the safe our money had been stolen.  It was about $200.  We complained to the owners and they didn’t believe us.  We have a lot of fun memories from that trip though.  Driving around the island and seeing how the crazy traffic system was (no one obeys traffic signs/lights!), almost running into a herd of goats one night and how the French side treated us versus the Dutch side are just a few fun memories.  Unfortunately, all of our honeymoon pictures are on an old hard drive somewhere.

I also want to mention that I freaked out a little bit when we were on our honeymoon.  I didn’t tell Kevan until later, but I realized that I had just married someone that I hadn’t even known for a whole year.  I got scared that it wasn’t going to work out because “you probably shouldn’t marry someone you haven’t known at least a year”, right?  Well, it is safe to say that after 10 years of marriage, it worked out.  We are still very much in love.  Also, people said that the first year would be the hardest and we would fight a lot.  We had a wonderful first year of marriage….so that obviously isn’t the same for all couples.  I can only remember a few funny fights that we got into over stupid stuff (one was who got to use the bathroom first since we only had one.  LOL!!!).  But, we would just look at each other in the midst of yelling and then start smiling.  Then, everything would be right again.  Oh the honeymoon days.  lol!  Sweet days they were.  I can’t wait for another 10 years with this man!

Okay….I guess that is enough reminiscing.  I am in the middle of canning pears….and want to do a couple miles on the treadmill tonight so I will say goodbye.

——-here is a pic of my pears that I added later.  lol!  I am still learning and I probably should’ve put more pears in each jar, but at least I tried.  Right?  I have about 2 more batches to do this week.  Ugh!

pears

It’s been awhile…..

1 Oct

I guess I’ve ignored my blog long enough. I’m making myself post something. I was talking to Kevan the other day and we were discussing why I haven’t blogged much lately. I think we’ve figured it out. I don’t want to post about feeling bad because I’m cancer-free and everyone wants to hear about how great I’m doing. But, I feel like I’m falling apart and I’m only 37 years old!

In my last post I talked about how bad I was feeling and that my doctor scheduled an ultrasound to figure out why I was having pain and no periods. I was secretly scared that maybe I had cervical cancer. I know. I’m paranoid. I did learn from the oncologist that it is very normal to feel like every little thing is cancer. I hate it. Anyway, I had convinced myself that I was pregnant and that it just wasn’t showing up on a home pregnancy test. I had googled it and there are so many women out there that don’t have a positive pregnancy test for MONTHS so since the internet is so full of truth….I was convinced that this was how God wanted it to happen. That it was going to be some weird surprise. How fun would it be to go have an ultrasound and be told you are pregnant and don’t even know it? (Question – does everyone out there look around and see babies everywhere and are you all amazed at how EVERYONE is pregnant but you? That Facebook is filled up with families and family activities and you are just a “couple”.  Do you ask why God gives babies to people that don’t even want them or won’t take good care of them, but not to a couple that has been praying for it for YEARS.  Or am I the only one that thinks like this?) Kevan couldn’t go with me since he was actually on (in) a plane flying back to TN at the time. So, I went alone and had mentally planned how I was going to tell him when the lady told me she saw a little baby. I was so excited!  During the ultrasound she pretty much told me that there was no “baby” and she didn’t see anything alarming.   It took everything I had to keep from crying.  When I got to the car I bawled my eyes out. I had to drive to meet up with Kevan near the airport and I cried much of the 1.5 hour drive and had to pull over at one point because I could no longer see to drive.  My heart was broken….again. I even told God that this was too hard and to just take my life. That I didn’t want to live anymore. It reminded me of Elijah in the bible (I Kings 19:1-18) after he had defeated the prophets of Baal and then a little while later he was asking God to just take his life.  I was acting crazy just like Elijah.  I totally understand what Hannah went through and I have to say that I am VERY jealous that God gave Hannah the desire of her heart and I’m still waiting. But, I trust my Lord and I know that this is his plan for my life. But it is hard and honestly sometimes I just don’t want the pain of it anymore.  By the time I met up with Kevan that night I was presentable again and I told the Lord I was sorry for my pity party and thanked Him for not listening to me and striking me dead when I asked him to. This Friday will be our 10th wedding anniversary and I never thought in a million years that we would be married this long with no kids. I wanted to be a stay at home mom and homeschool our children, but I am having a hard time imagining it anymore. Friends my age have kids graduating from high school….I’m old.  People always remind me that God says in His Word that He will give us the desires of our heart, but it says only if we “delight in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4). I think I might start a personal bible study on how to delight in the Lord.  Ok….again…..done with my pity party.  lol!

A couple weeks ago I was still feeling sick. I was having a daily fever of 100 degrees, lymph node pain, headaches and abdominal/back pain. I didn’t feel well at all. Then, after 112 days I started my period again. I rejoiced because I can’t get pregnant if I don’t have a period. Then, it was ROUGH. Kevan reminded me that I had prayed for it and God provided it…..along with all of the other symptoms that go along with it. Anyway, once my period started I no longer had a fever and I haven’t had the lymph node pain. Go figure. I guess it was some hormonal thing. So, I’ve been feeling pretty great the last week or so. But, with my period comes the monthly sadness too. But, there is also hope. I know my Lord does miracles and I will continue to pray for a miracle.

Anyway, I just took work off last week and I had a great time with my family in Michigan. It was a very restful week (which I really needed because work is insanely busy right now). First, I got to see my FAVORITE sister (okay, she’s my only sister, but I LOVE HER TONS!). We drove to see one of her college volleyball tournaments.  I miss her so much!!!!!  (Notice my hair is getting pretty long.  I struggled with my bangs in my eyes all week.)

Tasha volleyball

Then, I spent some time in Michigan with my parents.  I visited my brother’s farm a few times, took a bunch of naps, enjoyed my mom and grandma’s yummy food, saw where Kevan works in Michigan and we drove up to a place where we spent many of our summers growing up.  It was beautiful.

View2

Then, we visited a few stores we loved as kids and had some fun remembering old times.  Here is how old I feel and how much weight I sometimes feel I have on me.  If it was really me though I’d have a little kitty and not a doggie in my arms.  🙂

Old

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this.  I love bears, but this one tried to attack me.  He saw my survivor shirt and wanted it for himself.  🙂

bear2

Well, ya’ll have a great night.  Even through the hard days I know God blesses me WAY beyond what I deserve.