Monthly Archives: October 2008

Slacker

I know I’m a slacker.  I finished radiation on Monday and haven’t written a thing! 

Let me assure you I am doing VERY WELL!  I have been busy and happy and healthy and I am feeling already that I’m moving on!  My eyes are getting better and my energy is coming back.

I took Meleah and Elijah to the park today and remembered back to my blog back in the spring when I was running low on energy.  Today I could keep up with the both of them.  I’m looking forward to a fun halloween tomorrow with my kids.  Enjoy a spooky day tomorrow:)

One is the happiest number…..

One more!  Monday is my last radiation treatment.  I have weathered well.  My skin is red and sore but not too much itching and no open wounds.  As of Monday I have only had radiation to my right scar area called a “boost.”  My skin doesn’t feel like it’s healing yet.  They say radiation is “the gift that keeps on giving,” so I would imagine it will be a few weeks before I start healing.  I do feel like I’m getting a bit more energy back so I’m glad about that.

My eyes are doing a bit better but I still don’t see well out of my glasses so writing much is difficult.  Hopefully I can write more in the next few weeks.

Update

Once again I am silent.  Sorry for the gap in my postings.  I am suffering from severe sunburn and temporary blindness.  Sigh…..if it’s not one thing it’s another. 

My eyes have been dry and I have noticed I can’t see out of my glasses and even my contacts were blurry.  So I finally saw an optimologist who said I have to wear my glasses.  My glasses are little help so I can barely see as I type.  I guess the epithelial layer of my eye is completely gone and has to repair itself.  He said he sees it in people who have had a bad virus.  I don’t recall anything but who knows after all the drugs in my system.  Hopefully it will heal this week and I will be able to see out of my glasses and hopefully wear contacts again.  Until then I can’t drive and can barely read.  It is not fun.

Besides that I have 6 more treatments and am sore.  I have become fond of Jeremy’s very well worn and soft undershirts.  I have a feeling I will be wearing them under my clothes this week.  There’s not much I can do for the pain but wait it out this week.  On the good side my skin is fairing well and the doc is quite pleased.

Thanks for praying me through this.  I am so grateful!

A Less Than Perfect 10

10 more to go.  I am sufficiently burned.  I look a little like my chest went on a great tropical vacation and left the rest of me behind. 

That and it’s starting to itch and get bumpy.  

I am trying to be strong but admittedly taking pain meds every morning to get me through.  I am praying my skin makes it through the next two weeks. 

I’m almost there…..I’m almost there….

Thanks For The Memories

Memory.  Remembering things good or bad that happened in the past.  That would be my definition here in a pinch.  Our memory includes things we did, places we saw, experiences with others, mistakes we made.  What it doesn’t include is something that was going on that we didn’t know about.  How can we remember something that we didn’t know was happening?

I know….I am taking pain meds for this lovely sunburn.  But I’ve been thinking about this alot lately.

When I was diagnosed with IBC my doctor told me that I had probably only had it for 3-4 months before I was diagnosed. 

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what my body was doing a year ago at this time.  What was it about last Fall that a minute cell in my body got the wrong information and starting creating chaos in my breast?  What was I doing last fall?  What did I touch?  What did I smell?  What did I eat? 

I have spent many a day wondering what it was that caused my cancer.  This is a big month for breast cancer and everyplace I read I realize how low risk I am.  Whew….what a relief!  LOL!  I breastfed for 6 years total.  I had no family history?  I was not gene positive.  I exercised A LOT as a youth…..was in track, cross-country and cheer-leading.  Ran and coached after college.  Taught swimming lessons, did triathlons.

Jeremy says one day I’m going to have to give up knowing how I got breast cancer.  My oncologist says it’s pretty normal.

Here are some thoughts that have passed through my head.

Was it any of the following?

I live near a highway?

I like ice cream?

I drink way too much coffee?

I painted my front door last fall and got it all over my hands?

I bought a new mini-van and paid extra to have them put toxic chemicals all over the outside to keep it looking new longer?

I sleep on a mattress that probably has fire retardents.

I swam for years in chlorine including washing everyday in the shower with chlorinated treated water?

I had an IUD (don’t anymore)?

Lived in old house for several years?

Drank unfiltered water for years?

Gained more than 50 pounds when I was pregnant?

Eat animal products (Thanks to The China Study)?

Oh…..I could go on.  If I’ve ever done it, I’ve considered it.

Jeremy is probably right.  I’ll probably never know. 

But it doesn’t stop me from thinking about it occasionally and trying to figure it out.  And on the anniversary of my body making a HUGE mistake I find my mind wondering as to the cause.

Oh the memories….

Take Off Your Shoes

 Boaz went straight to the public square and took his place there.

   Before long the “closer relative,” the one mentioned earlier by Boaz, strolled by.

    “Step aside, old friend,” said Boaz. “Take a seat.” The man sat down.

Boaz then gathered ten of the town elders together and said, “Sit down here with us; we’ve got some business to take care of.” And they sat down.

Boaz then said to his relative, “The piece of property that belonged to our relative Elimelech is being sold by his widow Naomi, who has just returned from the country of Moab. I thought you ought to know about it. Buy it back if you want it—you can make it official in the presence of those sitting here and before the town elders. You have first redeemer rights. If you don’t want it, tell me so I’ll know where I stand. You’re first in line to do this and I’m next after you.”

    He said, “I’ll buy it.”

Then Boaz added, “You realize, don’t you, that when you buy the field from Naomi, you also get Ruth the Moabite, the widow of our dead relative, along with the redeemer responsibility to have children with her to carry on the family inheritance.”

Then the relative said, “Oh, I can’t do that—I’d jeopardize my own family’s inheritance. You go ahead and buy it—you can have my rights— I can’t do it.”

In the olden times in Israel, this is how they handled official business regarding matters of property and inheritance: a man would take off his shoe and give it to the other person. This was the same as an official seal or personal signature in Israel.

So when Boaz’s “redeemer” relative said, “Go ahead and buy it,” he signed the deal by pulling off his shoe.  (Ruth 4:1-8)

When Charis was born I knew I didn’t want her in childcare all day.  I left my job and went in search of another full-time job that would allow me to be with her.  I needed a job because we were getting Jeremy through grad school.  My superintendent put me in touch with another superintendent and we discussed possibilities.  I wasn’t exactly a strong candidate since I had a three month old and I was asking for flexibility.  Jeremy and I met with him and agreed I would interview at an urban church in Baltimore as an assistant pastor.  If it went well I would work there part-time and help start something called Great Commission Churches that helps churches plant churches and offers assistance to churches needing revitalization. 

There was one glitch in the plan.  One of the board members had announced he would leave if they hired a woman. 

The other problem was that he and his wife were probably 2 of only about 30 or so that attended the church regularly and they had been at the church for years.

Jeremy and I were really dismayed.  We figured we’d go and give it our best shot and pray that this man would at least listen to what I had to say and why I might be valuable to the ministry there.

The one thing that always stuck with me was that my superintendent just really felt positive about the whole situation.  And I admired him for at least saying to the board members….”you at least have to interview her.”  He didn’t even have to give them a gentle nudge, but he did.  Not only that but he seemed rather confident that this man would change his mind. 

My interview went well.  I was offered the job.  My superintendent told me later that this man who had threatened to leave ended up being my biggest supporter and advocate after my interview.   

I can’t tell you the countless hours I have spent laying awake at night worrying about something only to realize later that God was God and He knew what was right for me. 

I can’t say to know exactly what type of relationship Boaz and Ruth had.  Was it more like a business exchange or was there actually something romantic going on.  I suppose I could dig out a commentary and see what they say, but I won’t….I’ll just give my thoughts…..lol. 

I don’t think Boaz needed this bit of property, he seemed to be doing well with what he had.  But I’m a bit of a romantic at heart and I think they (Naomi, Ruth and Boaz) were on pins and needles waiting for this relative to decide if he wanted the property and Ruth? 

But God was God and he had plans.  Chances were good that this relative would want some extra property and a pretty girl…..but he didn’t.  And God answered their prayers.  Their union produced prophets and later King David who is ancestrally linked to Jesus. 

Always a purpose.  Always a plan.

I don’t know what you’re laying awake at night thinking about, but I do know God has a plan and a purpose and you are in it.  He very much has a plan for your life so much greater than we could ever understand.  He is generations down the road while we can only see this second of this day.

Today I urge you to take a few quiet moments, give over your worries, expectations and fear over to God, and as a symbol of your agreement with Him and your dependence upon Him, take off your shoes when you do it.

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Living Proof Premiers on Lifetime

Thanks Michelle for tipping me off on this!  Herceptin is saving my life and there may be a vaccine in the near future to keep from getting Her2 positive breast cancer because of this drug!

“Living Proof”  will premier on October 18th on Lifetime and is about the doctor who developed herceptin. 

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Think Before You Pink

I’ve been quieter than usual.  I’m not sure why.  Radiation is going pretty well.  My skin is fairing well and I am past the half-way point.  I can now see pink outlines where the radiation covers and I feel sunburned.  I continue to lather on the aloe gel and lansinoh.  Yes….I am using something for breastfeeding moms but it works phenomenally well.  It is very greasy but I slather it all over me every couple of nights and I think it is saving my skin.  It is pure lanolin.  I also use vitamin E oil sometimes at night too. 

There are two issues keeping me from writing.  The first is fatigue.  Which I assume is from radiation.  So I have given in and decided sleeping during Elijah’s nap is quite alright for a few weeks here.  The second reason is my eyes.  I’m struggling still with dry eyes and I’m beginning to wonder if I need bifocals?  Hopefully they will heal in time once my cells recover from all that chemo I had.

On another note it’s Breast Cancer awareness month and another mother’s with cancer blogger posted this web site that I thought I would share called Think Before You Pink which challenges companies to accountability for pink ribbon practices.  There are a lot of pink ribbons out there so ask questions about what you’re buying and how the proceeds or products effect breast cancer. 

I also spotted this web site through Ford with some really cool apparel and gifts.  I thought they might make some fun Christmas gifts.  It’s at www.fordcares.com

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