Sunday, July 23, 2017

Remission

Remission is hard.
There are moments of normal and moments of fatigue that knock me down and out for hours or days

Remission is slow.
Healing from 6 months of toxins takes time and patience. It will not happen in a blink of an eye.

Remission does not mean the immediate return of normal (though I am beginning to wonder if there is such a thing as normal).
Although I am blessed with glimpses of normal and the return of privileges- like pedicures (which are always better with a starbucks in hand)

Remission doesn't mean the relief of ALL symptoms or the subtraction of medicines

Remission does take away fear or anxiety or the memories of the months of treatment.

BUT
Remission does gives reasons to hope.
Remission does promise that healing is coming
Remission does provides ample opportunities for find and seek Joy.

So my journey continues. one step at a time with my eyes focused forward and my heart seeking and choosing Joy


Friday, July 21, 2017

I needed this

I received this email from a dear friend recently...

Cos you're not a miracle worker and it's OK to have a post good news dip . . . 
Remember, you're only a rung or two down. And we've not all gone away just because treatment has finished.


It was just the image and reminder I needed. 
The High of Good news has slowly receded and the reality of the truth of my on going journey has returned.

The next step of the journey.... Monday July 24th port eviction. 
Another milestone and another step toward healing 

It happened...

Jose the Llama is finally home :) 

What a wonderful celebration gift from a dear friend to mark the momentous occasion of the pronouncement of Remission.


And for those that are wondering... yes it brings me as much joy seeing it daily in my home (currently proudly displayed in my master bedroom) as it did in my trips to Target :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This is Summer


Fireworks and bounce houses
 Flashcard practice
 Movies and Snuggles
 Adventures at Band Camp
 Monopoly Marathons
 Selfies and more Snuggles

I can't believe its almost over but it has been the best. Thankful for the time with my Sparkles, for the smiling faces and for the memories.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cooper Turns 6

It's hard to believe that the youngest Sparkle is 6 years old.

We enjoyed a quiet family birthday celebration and all of Cooper's favorite things.
Orange Leaf Frozen yogurt, Cheese Pizza (Papa Johns) and for his birthday dessert Rice Crispys (which he calls Ricy Crispy)








He received all of his gift requests.... Star Wars, Legos and a yellow 'mote control car from Omi









It was a great celebration of an Amazing boy.

Monday, July 10, 2017

VBS Robots

So proud of my Little engineers (and their Nana) for the design, creation and donation of Robots to the local church as part of the decorations for the upcoming VBS.

Introducing....

Sparkle Bot  and Baby Bot 




to the local church as part of the decorations for the upcoming VBS.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Anniversary Celebration

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a trip down to Nashville, IN (Brown county) where we enjoyed lots of great food, time with family (our cousin was getting married that weekend) and plenty of rest and relaxation.



We left early Sunday morning enjoying the empty roads and a few more moments of togetherness before saying our goodbyes- Rob was leaving for a 2 week long business trip upon our return.


 A final stop at Starbucks before our goodbye.

While we were away the Sparkles enjoyed an adventure of their own with Nana, Aunt Nancy and Uncle Kurt.
They spent the weekend in Wisconsin and Sunday at Six Flags Great America.




I loved seeing pictures throughout the day of their fun and adventures.

It was a great weekend for all.

10 Years Later

2007
Today: 2017




I count myself blessed!

This journey has challenged and blessed us with the waves of living our marriage vows.
Seasons of better, seasons that felt like worse, Waves of poorer and richer, Health and recently Illness
But every moment choosing one another, honoring our marriage covenant and seeking God and his direction and provision.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Today is the Day and GOD is Good

At one point, 12 infusions felt like too much to bear.  Plus, there were so many unknowns. 
Now having completed that part of the journey, I look back and am amazed how we stumbled but never fell, struggled but never gave up, faced the darkness but then were warmed, comforted, guided, and encouraged by some flickering light of love and joy.  These are the tangible results of your many prayers and kindness.

As I climb in the car and make another trip to the hospital for another scan and another doctor appointment, I do so with a little bit of Fear and a whole lot of Hope. 

Today is the day

Like a time machine, we go back to the beginning. 
To the unknown 
To the what's next 

and again I choose Joy. 

There has been much preparation this moment- time spent in fear, anxiety, denial and hope. 

Last week I attended a conference by the author of a book that I recently completed with my Life Group ladies. 
That evening the participants were invited to write on small cards the one prayer that they had been holding on to, the BIG prayer that they hadn't given to God, the prayer that was not yet answered, the prayer that their heart needed the most. It took me longer to find my pen then to know the prayer of my heart. 

I wrote.... 
Complete and total healing from Hodgkins AND that all the glory, honor, and praise be pointed to the Great Healer. And Lord, may this story be my testimony. 
The cards were dropped in a boxed spread around the auditorium and later we Fervently prayed over each of the prayers represented acknowledging individuals and their testimonies that represented encouragement and God's faithfulness and laying hangs on those that were in the valleys. The end of the conference, we as participants, were invited to take an anonymous prayer card home with us and to commit to praying for the card we received for the next 7 days- Storming the Kingdom with our Fervent Prayers. 

It was out there... no longer just the prayer of my heart. I wrestled with the "what ifs" going from one extreme... God answering my Prayer and God's answer being different then my own. 

I cried (a lot) I prayed (even more) and I worshiped. 

And while the anxiety still overwhelmed me more times than I would have liked, I had peace.

As we drove in today, I was reminded again 
God is who he says he is: God is faithful and He is Good.
I would praise Him regardless of the results of todays scans, labs and doctors visits, 

We arrived at the hospital at 7:30 and I was quickly escorted to my "cell" for the scan prep. 

Waiting to get started... all smiles 



Port accessed (it actually behaved quite nicely) and injected with radioactive dye 
(The PET scan requires fasting from midnight the night before so that plus NO STARBUCKS, and radioactive meds stole my smile for a bit and also left me quarantined for an hour before the scans could be completed)


Around 9:30am  Rob and I headed up to my Doctor's office to complete my labs since my port was already accessed and behaving. Although it was 2 hours before my appointment time, we hoped that completing the labs early would prevent delays later. 
With the labs complete, we had planned to go get breakfast and COFFEE and return for my appointment. 

Instead we were escorted to a patient room to wait for my Doctor. 
And boy did we wait. 
We waited, and waited and waited until 15 minutes past my original appointment time (11:45) 
The delay was caused by the still missing radiology report. 

My doctor reviewed my labs (all improved), answered my questions, refilled my perscriptions, completed my exam and though could share a few thoughts on the scan was apologetic that nothing was confirmed until the radiology report was received. 

He invited us to go and eat lunch and to come back where he would meet with us again after hopefully receiving and reviewing the radiology report. 

So we returned to where our Journey began... 

We ate lunch at Bru Burger 



Stopped for ice cream, a cupcake and I FINALLY got my coffee 


On our way back we paused to capture the place that has played an integral part of my journey to healing. 
With God above us and Simon Cancer Center behind us our journey had purpose, direction and HOPE



Back inside to meet with Dr Azar.... still no results and due to the holiday (4th of July) results could be delayed until Wednesday. 

As we drove away, there was a bit of sadness.... sad to not have answers, things unscheduled, and more waiting. 
Yet I was OVERWHELMED with peace.

Peace that I could handle whatever was in the report and that I knew God was ever present as he has been since the beginning. 

Arriving home, we quickly fell into the "norm", Sparkles returning home, swimming in the pool, dinner prep, laundry all interspersed with texts and emails asking for updates from our prayer support team. 

God is faithful 

And I was blessed by an email from my doctor before he left the office for the day. 

The results of my PET Scan were in....

woo hoo!!!!
PET results great

IMPRESSION:
Findings compatible with complete response to therapy. 

There is global decrease in size in mediastinal adenopathy with no residual
hypermetabolic activity.

My white blood cells are 10x higher than a month ago and in the normal range (no more restrictions!) 

To simply recap...... REMISSION has begun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you God:  
For your healing and care of me 
For your ever present faithfulness and blessings along the journey 
For your faithful prayer warriors who have carried us along the way 
To God be all the glory, honor and praise. 

God is Good and all the time He is Good. 

There is still much healing left; recovery after winning a long hard battle. 

My body needs to restore after the "beating" from 6 months of chemo infusions and the attack on not only my cancer but the rest of my body. In the next weeks and months, my body will still experience fatigue and the ever-present nausea but only from the residue of the last 6 months of treatment. 

Next steps, scheduling the removal of my port (my reliable jalopy), follow up visits with my Dr Azar in 6 weeks and 3 months from today and lots of rest. 

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.... please know that its not yet done. 
Your prayers are greatly felt and appreciated and still needed. 
Prayers for rest, for healing and my battle of expectations on myself and from others.

More importantly, offer PRAISE to our Heavenly Father for his healing and restoration of this Momma to her loving husband and amazing Sparkles.