December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May jolly St. Nick fill your stockings to the brim :)
I am filled this year with the Holy Spirit and am so grateful for Jesus Christ and hope to be a better instrument of His word into 2009.

Blessings to you.
(12 radiation treatments down 16 to go.)

December 19, 2008

Running on Empty

I was feeling really weary last night and then after picking up the kids from an activity I realized my gas tank was reading ZERO miles till Empty....oh my gosh...just a few minutes earlier it read 43 miles to Empty...what happened???!?!?!?!?...I only went a few miles away from the after i panicked and had a cry...I tried my new meditation tape to try to refocus myself...

In the light of day I realize that many people offered to help and ultimately someone came to my rescue. Today was radiation treatment #8 out of 28. I read the Bible this morning and was captured by this passage from Romans:

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:5-6, 13

I am encouraged by those words and will focus myself on endurance and hope today despite feeling my own personal fuel tank feels like it's on on Empty.

God is an awesome God.

December 18, 2008

Checking in before the holidays

I'm very apathetic and lethargic these days...trying to work on being in the moment. My body feels heavy and the urge to "do" things has escaped me lately. My brain is cloudy and my thoughts wander. Concentration is hard and minutes turn into hours and nothing has gotten done. I fell like I'm in a dream...floating.

This picture was taken over Thanksgiving--->

I closed my etsy shop for now. It's going to get chaotic with the holidays and I just need to take a break. I've gone back and forth about it since the diagnosis...but for now, it's the right thing for me to do. The website is still online but nothing is for's just there for viewing.

I'm reading a book recommended to my by a social worker, Full Catastrophe Living, using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
It's not Christian but more Buddhist in philosophy (however I try to remember that any form of meditation is silently listening to the whisper of God)

It's all good stuff to remind me to be in the moment and focus on my work on "being" rather than "doing". I need a lot of practice at that.

I found some interesting cancer related sites and wanted to share them as well...

I kicked cancer's ass
Stories, resources and support

Circus of Cancer
a how-to website for when your friend has cancer

Blessings to you all :)

December 13, 2008

Ice Storm and Hot Flashes

So here in NH we had the worst ice storm in a decade Thursday night into yesterday. Our town lost power and we lost power for over 24 was cold and the kids were home from school.

To see more beautiful pictures from ice storms ---> click here<---
Thank you to Dave Delay from flickr for permission to use his photo :)

I still had my radiation to go to...the childcare that I had set up for Sara wasn't available with the storm cancellations, so my good friend Karen came through for me and took all 3 kids so I could get to my appointment on time. I managed to get gas and a quick stop at Sam's club for some ice melt that the nice employees put into my basket and again into my car for me.

It was a woman older than me that helped me lift the 50 lb bucket into my car...she looked no bigger than me...i felt embarrassed that I couldn't lift it for myself...I feel like a frail, little, old, bald lady...I told her of the mastectomy and she helped me with a grin.

"You gotta' do what you gotta' do, right?" she said.
I replied, "it sure beats the alternative" and we both smiled.

So 3 days of radiation are done and 25 more to's a huge contraption. The whole room is probably worth millions of dollars...and all there for get well. I lay on the table topless and a big arm comes around me, like when you go to the dentist and get x-rays but about 10 times bigger. Then these teeth-like metal plates form a square-ish shape behind an acrylic window with a "heart block" so that the radiation doesn't penetrate my heart. I have 3 "fields" so the arm moves into 3 different positions and I will get x-rays weekly and the tatoos are already permanently marked on my body so the machine can precisely line up each day in the same spot. They tell me fatigue and some sun burn-like skin irritation will occur, but I'm already fatigued...I usually crash by nightfall. I get the hot flashes mostly at night now too. So how worse can I feel?

When radiation was done...I drove home and saw all the beauty and destruction that the storm did. I wish I had time to take some pictures but then I gathered up the troops packed a few bags and trotted off to my parents house (as I thought they had power). We got there and of course, like Murphy's Law, power was out there too (they were happy to be in Florida during this whole event!). They have a propane fire place so we stayed and layered up the beds with extra blankets.

It was cold but I still managed to have my hot flashes and I just kept kicking off the covers and taking my hat off, only to then get cold again and slipping my hat back on and burying my face in the about 4 am the electricity was back on. The morning was filled with chaos with the kids and we were able to come back home as our power had returned too.

I'm beat.

I know of several friends that still are without power, probably till next Tuesday?! I pray that they get power sooner. It makes for a long day with kids...I am so dependent on power...I try to think of what it was like for women 150 years ago when the pioneers went west and 300 years ago when New England was first being settled. Women gave birth in the middle of ice storms and in the dead of winter. I'm glad I live today with medicine and surgery and chemotherapy and awful as those things can be...I'm glad they exist.

So President Bush declared NH in a "State of Emergency" which seems like my life lately. I'm tired of being a storm that needs to be on everyone's radar.
But I do appreciate everyone...
and the fact that I matter to so many people. This is part of the gift of Cancer...feeling the love...I feel it every day. Be warm and dry my family and friends.
Blessings to you all.

December 9, 2008

A Beautiful Life

My mom gave me a great card, from Hallmark, for my birthday. It reads....
How to make
A Beautiful Life

reflections for a Daughter on her birthday

Love yourself.
Make PEACE with who you are and where you are at this moment in time.
Listen to your heart.
If you can't hear what it's saying in this noisy world, make TIME for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let your mind wander among the stars.

Take chances.
Make Mistakes.
Life can be messy and confusing at times, but it's also full of surprises.
The next rock in your path might be a stepping-stone.

Be happy.
When you don't have what you want, want what you have.
Make DO.
That's a well-kept secret of contentment.

There aren't any shortcuts to tomorrow.
You have to MAKE YOUR OWN WAY.
To know where you're going is only part of it.
You need to know where you've been, too.
And if you ever get lost, don't worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.

Life isn't days and years.
It's what you do with time and with all the goodness and grace that's inside you.
MAKE A BEAUTIFUL LIFE...the kind of life you deserve.

December 3, 2008

Winter, too, shall pass

I was struck by an empty field on my way to my radiation simulation yesterday. I feel like these dormant branches...suspended in time, frozen by fears...the cold has set in in NH and the sun grows dim. I feel like crawling into a hole most days. I see moms holiday shopping with their kids as I go to pick up prescriptions and they give me a look and acknowledge my head scarf...then quickly turn away. Some women have looked me straight in the eye and wished me's very strange, watching people react to me. But most days I avoid looking at myself too.

I am down to 117 pounds. I'm not trying to loose weight but nothing appeals to me. Cooking is a chore or makes me nauseous. I don't enjoy eating at all. But I do try to prepare something for the kids and I manage to eat a little in front of them. Look at these suspended dried up flower/seed pods. I feel dried up too. My skin is flaky, my hair is just growing back...but my body reflects winter much more than spring...I look forward to the spring of next year...
Radiation starts December 10th (5 days a week for 6 weeks). I got my tattoos done yesterday. Laying on the table for over an hour was very emotional. I was stretched out with my arms over my head...topless...and tears were streaming down my face...the technician came to me and wiped my tears and told me to try to be still and not mind was flooded with thoughts...reality of this past year.

It's Christmastime...and my birthday is this weekend...and my gift to myself is barely a 1/4 inch of hair on my gift is life...cancer free...but in constant fear it might come back. Emily (8 1/2) has asked me several times..."Mommy, are you going to die?" I always assured her I wouldn't...but looking over the past several months...i really could have.
I took the picture of the clouds as I got back into my car after my simulation appointment. My head is in the clouds most days lately.

I then proceeded to drive past the hospice that is part of the hospital. I thanked God that the girls do not understand that word. "Hospice". I'm alive, I'm healing, I will be better soon. Thank you Jesus for carrying me these last few months, shielding my mind from the anguish of cancer. This is just a spell...a brief blip in the life of me...I'm going to be ok. God has a plan and it's His will, not mine. It's a relief to be able to let go.

Read about my original diagnosis here.

Read about Art Therapy and how me and my children have managed Cancer here.

November 26, 2008

Pictures speak a thousand words

Hello folks...I've been very busy with my dd#3's birthday, recovery, chasing after a 2 1/2 year old and preparing for Thanksgiving break...that's me in my wig with 2 of the kids at my mom's this post will be mostly with pictures...many thoughts spin in my head...but mostly I've been tired and sore...Physical therapy has started and radiation will start in December...nerve endings fire all the time and my whole area of the incision is so sensitive...i don't even like water to hit fun...but on the positive swelling is down, my range of motion is better and I'm getting better each day...

Ellie got a horse from the American Girl doll company for her birthday...ya' think she's happy?
This picture of em came out so nice...the kids are still in counseling but doing well...Here's a shot of my eyebrows/eye lashes...they are falling out as they grow back...just stubble these days...
I got this package from Anhoki at etsy this week...oh my goodness it blew me away...I was really did brighten my week...Thank you so much!
I needed to say a huge thank you to the etsymom that gave me this necklace over the says "Survivor" on it...I wear it everyday...with embarrassment I have misplaced the shop name....i will keep searching...
Koryn from the Taffybox at etsy gave me this bracelet (it's georgous)...only to find she had to face this diagnosis herself. My prayers are with her and our friendship grows as we now have so much to share.
Crochet hat by
Margo Smith Designs
it looks like hair...but i may wait till i have some more of wear it out :)
Jen Hintz Yarn Knits
Happy at Home Made
So many wonderful family, friends and etsians have shared with me gifts, time and gratitude is just not enough but will have to do.
Blessings to you.
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 17, 2008

Faith Prevails

How long can one person sustain positive mental energy in the face of turmoil? For me it was about 7 months...

i had a huge cry...yes the ugly face kind...this weekend, I was just so overwhelmed. I won't go into the details of it all but my type A personality, cancer, all 3 kids being home and one stubborn man had just pushed me over the edge. Then to also find out about radiation this week!

Did you know that you get permanently tattooed?!?!?!?!? I am still in shock, little dots get marked on your body so the radiation hits the exact locations each day (5 days a week for 6 weeks) and they may also give you a breathing apparatus so they control your breathing and force you to hold your breath, so your chest is also controlled at the same level each time....not that i found this out from the doctor (grrrr)...but from a fellow survivor, Sara that went through chemo with me (via cyberspace). It's been awesome to have Sara and Koryn (who had her mastectomy the day after me) to share these moments with.

a little backround info- I was ahead of sara with chemo, but she travels ahead of me with radiation and her surgery was months ago. We share experiences and tidbits of the process. I pray for them both each day...and know in my heart that we will all be survivors together!

So anyway, I got through my huge emotional melt down with ideas I learned from al-anon: Humility, gratitude and Faith. I know I can't control anyone else's behavior, i can't be judgemental or self-righteous...i am faced with only reacting positively or feeling desperate...I chose to rise up and see the blessings in the situation...taking a pain pill helped too.
JOY= Judge Only Yourself

I guess my heart is mending and filling in the gap of where my breast used to be. Learning to let go, detatch and meditate (listening to what God has to tell me) was very helpful. I chose this picture (above), which was taken from Loudon Country Club, because it shows a simple waterfall...the water is always flowing, eroding the rocks underneath. I watched a show on the National Geographic Channel this weekend about Niagra Falls. It's mind boggling to me to imagine so many people trying to conquer the falls in barrels and try to win?! Is it about our will or God's will? Water can have such fury and power, just like Cancer.

God works in my life the same way...eroding my old ways of doing things and evolving me into a better me. At least i hope so anyway :)

Blessings to you to take a walk with my 2 year old to absorb some vitamin D *grin*.

November 13, 2008

Seeking Calm

My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 62:1-2

I have to admit these last few weeks have left me sore (pain is more like it), tired and defeated....but I am not done fighting, I'm just low on energy. I am finding time to increase my range of motion and practice my PT exercises, taking my meds and trying to get the kids back home as much as possible. We even went out to a restaurant last Saturday night as a family...all of us, DH, all 3 kids and me in full wig attire :) So have no fear, I know that God walks with me and I am so grateful for it all. One step at a time, and I will get there.

November 8, 2008

Helpful Links for Cancer Patients

I'm in that part of the recovery process where my arm/left side of my chest is very sore and I need to eat lots of protein and I'm limiting how long I'm at the computer.
I wanted to share these links that I have come across in the past week...
Don't Waste your Cancer is 10 points about how to embrace your new life with a spiritual edge.

Lotsa' helping hands is a place to organize friends and family members that want to help. It's a personal group calendar specifically designed for organizing helpers. Now, unfortunately I haven't use it (yet) as my awesome friend Becky organized all my friends for me with a schedule and emails for after my first surgery. But when I told another friend (and cancer survivor) about what Becky did for me she shared this link and thought it might be helpful moving forward.

This next link came from a booklet sent by my health insurance company. Planet Cancer is a website for young adults faced with cancer. I didn't join and maybe you all can give me some advise about whether i qualify (I saw it written that it's for young adults in their 20's and 30's)...but if I'm too old (almost 41) of you may not be, and it looks like a nice place to meet others faced with surviving through this disease process. BTW, I'm totally ok if I'm too old...really :)

So much for not typing too much...I really hope these links are helpful to someone out there dealing with all these huge life situations. I've said from the very beginning, Cancer has been a gift to me. It has forced me to pause my life, reflect, prioritize and appreciate myself and all the wonderful people around me. I am grateful for it all, and with all the people around me giving to me and my family, I just want to pay it forward and help others in a small way.


November 4, 2008

Art Therapy: Special healing for kids facing cancer in a parent.

So for those of you that don't know, I'm an art therapist, I got my master's training at Eastern Virginia Medical School and although I'm not working as one right now, I am glad to have the training through my cancer journey as it has helped my kids cope.
Here are some ways that you can help children express themselves when faced with cancer in the family.
***Encourage them to talk, dedicate time to each child if there are multiple siblings...but we know some kids are too little to verbalize their feelings or sometimes older children are afraid to express negative emotions (like anger) for fear of disappointing a parent that has often told them to go to "time out" to pull it together. Creative expression is FREE of guilt, it's a POSITIVE way to sublimate all feelings and it's SAFE for the child and not so scary to put feelings on paper or manipulate clay. Try to look at the creative process as Active Mastery over an unknown...they can play and give words to characters...the characters can say and feel what they can not.

Body tracing was a successful project that we ended up bringing into a therapy session. The kids have seen a therapist for a few weeks now and I am relieved to have him work with them through this difficult time.

We took mural paper (but you could also tape paper together), I laid down on top of it, and each of them traced my body. Then they each had a life size version of "mommy" to work on and help heal. This project was done prior to my surgery as the therapist and I both thought that anxiety was building in them and a sense of lack of control. So this one (above) was done by my 8 year's the "inside of mommy". She made sure to add the chemo/medicine (yellow) that is still fighting the cancer and my blood (red) that carries it throughout my body. And the Cancer (blue) that has yet to be removed in surgery. She made a key just in case we were confused. She was able to demonstrate in increase in control over her mural despite lack of control on a daily basis.
This next body tracing is by my middle daughter she is almost 7 and in first grade.
She wanted to focus on my "skeleton" and she showed my blood flowing by encapsulating the drawing in a thick outline of red. Interesting to note, she added an umbilical cord in my "tummy" and she made a point of referring to that part of my anatomy as where she came from. She even wanted to sit inside the "tummy" for this picture.
We brought the murals into a therapy session and it was wonderful for mommy not to be the therapist but allow the kids to share with another adult their images. He encouraged them to add more to the images and they drew and cut colors (construction paper) and made shapes, glued and pasted. What warmed my heart most was when they traced their hands and then cut and glued them onto my was their way of laying hands on me and helping be heal.

In past posts I have shared images of the dolls we have made. Here is another picture of the medicine/angel and cancer/monster dolls...can you tell which is which? Emily had fun holding the cancer doll by the hair in a disrespectful way...again showing domination over the disease and letting it know who was in control. She is even showing in her expression that sense of control...such sass!!! It is great for her to give it to a doll instead of mommy...*grin*.
Ellie has made a story with a beginning, middle and end for the dolls to act out. We have actually tried to act it out on video too...but we agreed that we weren't loud enough and we needed a script to follow a little bit. The story starts by the character on the right singing at a microphone and the "monster" sneaking up behind her. The "angel" sees this and...
with all her power and faith (medicine/chemo) shrinks the "monster" so it isn't so destructive...After the "cancer" looses it's power it transforms into "color girl" and helps make rainbows for the world.

It's important to note that with school age children dealing with cancer in a parent can be quite traumatizing. Emily has asked me several times if I am going to die. Don't underestimate the thoughts that are going through their minds. We have chosen to share the diagnosis and treatment with the kids to a degree that they are able to understand it. Using art and creative activities has helped them sort out the huge emotions that come with a mom being sick. Children who are unable to express themselves can often exhibit difficulties in school and can have difficulty concentrating in class. Children who are younger can even demonstrate regression to earlier stages of development as a way of expressing their inner world of confusion as to why mommy is so distracted. My youngest was just starting to use the potty but she has slowed way down in using it on a daily basis. But she is able to scribble and draw and express herself each day.

Whether a child draws a story, writes a story, makes a doll (with clay or fabric) or manipulates a body tracing....artistic outlets help kids express their inner turmoil. Cancer is a big deal to anyone, but helping give a child tools to master it and feel like they have some say in what's happening is very empowering and will help them through a difficult time in their childhood. I have seen first hand how my kids have benefited from art therapy. I hope sharing this helps others somehow too.

November 3, 2008

Drain Free

I say those words but sing it to the song "Born Free" do you know that song? Here's a blast from the past for ya..

I always loved that song...but I digress...

I got my drains out glad too because it was painful (I yelled really loud in the exam room that another nurse came into help, squeaky wheel gets the grease right?) and there's no telling how much more the skin would have secured itself to the tubing by Thursday...i know it's really gross...sorry, but cancer isn't pleasant....I'm having a hot flash while i write this...those haven't seemed to go away either...::sigh::

one more hurdle down though, onward and upwards! (I added the picture of the turtle for that symbol of perseverance...wish the turtle was facing towards the right though...well, i know I'm moving forward and not backwards.)

... friends are still coming to visit me, each one is an angel, and today a dear friend called first and we decided together that she didn't need to come as I was at the doctors and went to lunch with my i just wanted to rest for the afternoon....what a offer to not come by...if you are reading this and you are a friend of someone recovering from a cancer surgery, sometimes we need a break and also need to sit with our's's even healthy for us to sort through our dad came back later with the kids which was really nice too...

Tomorrow I get to have dd#2 all to myself after school...she is going to sleep over...she's almost 7 and can help me make an easy supper and we are going to work on her turkey that she needs to do for's a tag board image that we have to glue beans/pasta/rice will be nice to do with just her and no one else...she's excited too. :)

So that's the update...radiation is the next big thing and physical therapy....the saga will continue...but just imagine...a year from now it will all be a memory....yae!

October 31, 2008

Time to be still, God is here, and all is well.

I have been so fortunate to have time to rest and have the kids be at my parents. So many wonderful friends and family have come by, to cook, clean and visit with me. I have a sleeping pill and although sore, manage to sleep through the night. My body is altered, deformed, but with the expander in and saline already in appears ok...everything is going to be ok.

Dr. Rosenkranz called pathology report is back....I'M CANCER FREE!!!! It's a weird thing...I knew it, my faith led me to believe...but at the same time I can't believe it to be true. It's so surreal. Today is a new day...a day to be an instrument of God and make a difference to people. I'm born again...Free to be who God intended me to be.

Alleluia, praise His name, Lord, Jesus Christ. I am so gratful and humble for all the blessings He has bestowed onto me.

October 29, 2008

CoolMomPicks Safter Toy Guide 2008 includes HHQ~~~

Happy House Quilts is proud to be one of this year's chosen toys from the
Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide.
Threadibilities Craft Kits are a sure bet to get your kids crafty, communicating with you and on to the road of high self esteem while they learn a new skill of sewing and develop a fashion flair for their hair! Ideal for girls ages 5-12. Create from within!

Totally a work in progress...still!

So here is my wall hanging so's quilted, and embellished but needs a binding, more beading and free hand painting or rubber stamped texture/words to express even more depth of what i was trying to convey. Faith, Believing in the Father, Surrendering to the Holy Spirit in ALL things. To firmly grasp your roots and hang on for dear life, to drink from the puddles that come forth from the rain of God. Let the rain fill your soul with mercy and humility. Surrender to a place of safety and tolerance where one can heal and then re-emmerge to be who they are destined to be, to be who I am destined to be. To be who God intended you to be so that you may indeed help others along their journey. I so hope to pay all this forward some day soon!here is the old and the new MRI's side by side. The MRI on the left side of the picture is the old one from can see the white contrast material is on the right breast, this is the 3+ inch tumor.

Now, you must take a moment to understand that it takes a tumor 10 years to reach 1 cm....mine was over 8!!!...the right image is the MRI taken after the 6 cycles of chemotherapy. The mass is clearly gone and the lymph nodes are all but non exisitant. I still needed the surgery but now surgery should be less messy and less intensive to remove the tumor/mass from my left breast.

So surgery yesterday was far easier...they did do a radical mastectomy and removed 2 levels of lymph nodes. They put in the expander for future reconstruction and added 250 cc of saline to it. another 100 cc of saline will be added next week. I'm lopsided, sore, and very out of it. Here are some more pics of my team...

Dr kaufman, my oncologist, this was taken right before discharge...i look like hell warmed over!Now here is my surgeon, Dr. Rosenkranz...she looks and is like someone that I could go have cocktails with. She's bubbly and straight forward. She is very sharp in her understanding of the disease but treats me like an individual which is priceless!Here is Dr. Collins, she is my plastic surgeon...she will now be the one taking over my care along with her entourage...all those residents that follow behind her coat tails. She is the one that calmed my nerves about having a double vs. a single mastectomy. She said, once it's gone, it's will be monitored and scanned so much to look for any new abnormalities, but rushing to do a double mastectomy under stress isn't smart. So I agreed. She's so wonderful to give me the gift of time. She also removed a small cyst from my left jawline.
Here is me with my folks, Bill and Sandy...they were with me through it all...that's what parents do, God bless them and their determiation...oh my girls better not ever put me through all what I have put them through...but come hell or high water...i will be right by their side through it all.From the bottom of my heart, thank you to my family, friends, doctors and everyone inbetween that prayed for me and held my hand and made sure i didn't miss a meal :) You all know who you are....and it really does take a village...

I feel like i can say that I am moving along in this journey with new courage and new stamina as well as a new quest for who I am going to become. With the Lord as my shepherd, I will surely find my way! Blessings to you all.

October 27, 2008

Out of Surgery

I just wanted to put up a quick post. Jodi is out of surgery and it seems to have all gone well.

I will add more details as I get more information.


October 26, 2008

And this too shall pass...

I leave today for the drive up to the medical center as I have to be there very early in the morning. My parents are taking me and staying with me until Tuesday when I will be discharged. Not sure what to expect or what condition I will be in...keep posting here and please keep phone calls to a minimum as i recover. I believe a friend will post my status in the next day or so.

Chemo was bad, I never want to go through that again...this is going to be under anesthesia (which is good) and then each day i'll heal...every few weeks I'll get saline added to the expander and next summer another surgery...but that is very far the mean time I'll have daily radiation to keep me occupied this winter.
My parents will be in the waiting room for 3-5 prayers are with them as they struggle to help me in so many ways. Thanks be to God for having me move to be close to them.

My children will be with friends and my gratitude is with those that will be watching them for me as well. Amazing women (and a great guy) are all around us...but we have to work at relationships...i don't have sisters and I really consider many of my friends to be lifers...sisters in a sense...I do hope to pay all this attention that they have heaped onto me forward to another friend some day. Just hope it's for a better situation and not cancer.

The small wall quilt above is a piece my middle DD did these past couple of months. We worked on it together but she lead the process. She calls it "Sunshine" and she has identified all the flowers to be "mommy and her girls" (mommy is the biggest). Kids are amazing...this is such a great visual hug from afar, I guess I'm doing something right?
blessings to all, as always.

October 23, 2008

EtsyKids is kicking off Holiday Shopping with a BOGO Sale!!!

BOGO Me Baby!!

(click on logo above to take you to search at

Friday October 24th and Saturday October 25th be a part of a massive Etsy Street Team event. An EtsyKids BOGO sale of monstrous proportions!! With over 175 EtsyKids’ shops participating you’ll be sure to find huge deals on what you need this holiday season for children big and small.

Gratefulness by Bother David

Wow...this is all i can say...the video says the rest!
Thanks Koryn of the Taffy Box for sending it to me...We are EtsyMoms together and now survivors together...her surgery is the day after mine...God works in wonderful ways to bring people together...don't 'cha think?
see her blog where she too writes about her journey through breast cancer here

October 20, 2008

Caring Bridge helps Spread personal stories for Cancer Patients

Just wanted to share with you all about a website geared up for cancer patients to share their daily journal/stories with family and friends. It's much like a blog but maybe a little less intimidating...
here is what they say about their organization...
CaringBridge is a free, nonprofit web service that connects family and friends to share information, love and support during a serious medical condition, treatment and recovery.
so here is the link for
and I hope some folks find it helpful...I know that blogging has been amazing for me to share details and daily events without feeling the burden of calling everyone all the time or emailing everyone...everyone IS important...but when all you want to do is sleep or be with your kids or sit in the silence of get's overwhelming to then let everyone in on what's happening...kwim?

blessings to you today!

October 19, 2008

Radiology Report 9/24/08

Just wanted to share my most recent radiology report (MRI) post chemotherapy. Keep in mind I am diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast cancer due to the over 3" size of my tumor and due to 3 lymph nodes being enlarged or having cancer cells found in them after biopsy.
See old MRI picture here...just click on this sentence.

I quote the report...
Compared to previous MRI of 4/28/08 there is dramatic improvement in the size and intensity of enhancement of the patient's known locally advanced breast cancer. There is only minimal residual patchy enhancement in the lateral and upper, outer left breast and improvement in the kinetics of enhancement as well.

Previously noted enlarged left axillary nodes have resolved.

the doctor said it's hard to measure now but the radiology tech told me on the phone it went from about 8 cm to 2.8 cm....THAT'S AMAZING to me!!!

My adjuvant chemo regime was TAC
Taxotere, Adriamycin, and Cytoxan
Taxotere is a drug that's [FDA] approved for use as a second-line agent in advanced or metastatic breast cancer

Wow...MY NODES HAVE RESOLVED!!! DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT!!!! Surgury will stink but I am on the road to life!!! And I give my savior Jesus Christ full credit for my wonderful response to treatment...with all the stress going on in my life, kids, work, separation...bla, bla, bla, The Lord has had mercy on my soul and needs me to do more work here on earth!
Blessings to all!

PS~ I intend to get a picture but the computers were down last week when i met with my oncologist...will still work on getting the picture.

Here is the link to the post where both MRI images are shown side by side.

October 18, 2008

I am not my hair

sorry I am not my hair is here to hear the remix version that I don't like as much, but here is another song by India Arie that is also uplifting