Monthly Archives: January 2009

I Was Diagnosed With IBC When Pregnant/Nursing, on Facebook

I’ve started a page on facebook specifically for women who were diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer while pregnant or nursing and who were either misdiagnosed, put off treatment, thought they had a plugged duct or mastitis.  I’m doing this so I can connect with other women who went through this experience and hopefully in the very near future I want to start an informational web site for women who have mastitis that won’t go away…and need to know the possibilty is there.  I had never heard of IBC.  I don’t want to “freak out” breast feeding moms but at the same time I know IBC is very fast spreading and information and treatment early is key to survival.  So if you know of someone who was diagnosed with IBC when they were pregnant or nursing, please let them know about this facebook page. 

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Income Tax Check-Offs

It’s tax season again.  Here’s a way to feel better about it.   It’s a pretty simple way to help women get access to mammograms and early detection.  If you don’t live in Michigan you might want to check around to see if you can donate in your state.

taxcheckofflogo

The Winner is….

Well, since Erik already had the book and there were only 2 other comments we’re giving out two books!  What was I going to do…..put two names in a hat…..lol!  So Chad will be mailing a copy to Sarah SS from Sprucehill and I think he will just hand Kate a copy since she works with him!  Thanks for checking in on the blog tour!  I know you were here because my counter told me you were……I guess you’all are just shy….lol!

My Trip to Ann Arbor

I’ve been busy with the book tour so I haven’t been able to update you lately. 

On Monday I went to U of M to meet with Dr. Merijver one last time.  Thankfully she did not want me to do anything else and was very happy with the outcome.  I really think because it was the inflammatory breast cancer, the doctors are pretty shocked that the cancer was completely gone after chemo.  I think they had hoped to shrink it before the mastectomies….but for it to be completely gone is….well….really good.

She always has something to lecture me about though….this time she had a few things:

  • Don’t drink alcohol.  This raises your estrogen levels and they are still thinking Her2 cancer starts out as hormone related.
  • Yoga.  I need to build my core to prepare for reconstruction.
  • Exercise…..and lots of cardio.  Running a plus.  She said I need to get moving.
  • Plastic:  Stay away from heating it.  I always grill her about “how I got this” and of course they’re concerned about anything that raises your estrogen levels….they are now thinking BPA is leeching into our food if we heat it in the microwave or leave a water bottle in a hot car, causing estrogen levels to go up.  I had been cautious about this but I will be even more diligent.  We are switching to glass food containers.  Here’s a good article about it.

I don’t have to see her again!  Yippee!  I hope I don’t ever have the need.

Slackers!

OK….you’all are SLACKERS….lol!  Over 130 hits since I posted and only three people have commented!  C’mon….only half an hour left!  make a comment….sheeesh!

My Life With Laura: A Love Story, by Chad Moutray

(Don’t forget to make a comment, any comment, and be entered to win the book.  We’ll announce the winner on Friday.  You can make a comment anytime before 9:00 am (EST) on the 23rd.  If you see your name and I don’t contact you…then email me just in case I don’t have your email for some reason….lol.)

 

“When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine.  After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord.  I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.” (1 Samuel 1:24-28 )

  

If you aren’t familiar with her story….Hannah makes a bargain with God.  She is barren and wants so badly to have a child.  She is one of two wives of Elkanah and his other wife has many children.  In 1,000 BC having children was a sign of prosperity for a woman.  So she vows to give over her son to the Lord if He blesses her with a child.

 

And God does.  And here’s the kicker….when he’s 3 and he’s weaned (yes, it was normal to nurse till 3) Hannah graciously and with dignity follows through with her agreement and takes her toddler, her precious gift, to the Temple and hands him over to the priest Eli for religious instruction, and ultimately to God.   

 

Whenever I read this story it grieves me and inspires me at the same time.  As a mom I cling tightly to my children.  At night I lay beside them as they fall asleep and pray for God to take care of them and to keep them safe and healthy.  I couldn’t imagine losing them.

 

So I think the only thing worse than having to make a choice like Hannah did…..is….well knowing you will need to say goodbye to your child, not of your own choice, but of factors beyond your control.  There’s something about the mother/child relationship that we are drawn to.  The bond is so incredible, and it hurts us deeply to see this broken by death. 

 

There are so many similarities between how Hannah lived and how Laura lived.

 

Having faced a cancer diagnosis I know how life shattering it can be.  But Laura didn’t let it shatter her life.  She lived fully, she loved fully, and she was the best mom to her daughter Charlotte she could possibly be.  She did her best not to let cancer slow her down.  She regularly got out for play dates and walks with Charlotte.  She remained active in her church.  She even took Charlotte to a harvest festival just weeks before she passed away. 

 

Hannah knew for several years there would be a point when she would lay Samuel’s tiny hand in to the hand of the Lord’s.  She would have to trust that God would care for him even better than she could.  I don’t know when Laura realized that she wouldn’t always be there for Charlotte, but she followed the Lord with obedience.  She trusted the Lord’s will.  She gracefully laid her child in the arms of God.  She didn’t do it kicking or screaming.  She didn’t take her family on an emotional roller coaster (not intentionally anyway).  She wasn’t demanding, and she didn’t become bitter. 

 

How hard it must be to give yourself over to God, a living sacrifice, ready and willing for anything, including death.  And trust that His way is far greater than our way.   His wisdom far exceeds our knowledge and understanding. 

 

 She was confident in a God who far exceeds our expectations.  Who loves us more than a mother, or a father, and who has a wonderful plan for our lives.  She was prepared for this before she ever got her cancer diagnosis and her strength and assurance carried her through a difficult battle.  She understood that this life is so temporary and life in Christ is so eternal.   She knew that we could never begin to know God’s big picture.

She had every right to be angry, depressed, to feel slighted.  Laura wanted more children, she had a 2 year old daughter and a new husband.  She had so much life left to live!  But she continued to glorify God, and draw hope from His Word, in the face of death.  When Hannah left Samuel, she did so in good spirits and in obedience.  She could have turned sour, but instead she praised her God.  Here is a few lines of Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2….taken with great liberties to share my favorite lines with you.….lol.

I’m bursting with God-news! I’m walking on air!
   Nothing and no one is holy like God,
      no rock mountain like our God.
     For God knows what’s going on.
      He takes the measure of everything that happens.

 

   God brings death and God brings life,
      brings down to the grave and raises up.
      He puts poor people on their feet again;
      he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope,
   Restoring dignity and respect to their lives 
      a place in the sun! 
    

 

Remember Me
Remember Me

I’m including a picture from a fabulous painter by the name of Naomi Cox.  When I used to preach I would love to use visuals, and looking around the other day I found this painting of Hannah taking robes to Samuel.  If Laura were here she would diligently pray for and care for Charlotte.  But she can’t.  She has left that behind for the body of Christ.  My prayer is that this painting will be a reminder of Hannah’s faithfulness and her obedience to God no matter how difficult the task, no matter how scary the outcome.  And that a precious little girl, Charlotte, and her father Chad need our diligent and faithful prayers as they continue on this life journey.

 

You can order the book here.

 

 

 

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Tomorrow on Clergygirl….

Don’t forget to join the blog book tour on my site tomorrow and enter to win the book My Life with LauraI’ll be posting sometime in the morning and you’ll have a good 24 hours to post a comment which will enter you to win. 

Chad, I would swap you “Chic-fil-a” for our “Lee’s Chicken” ANYDAY!

You’ll just have to get the book to understand that….

If A Song Could Be President

On this very historical day I am sharing a song by my favorite band called “Over the Rhine.”  I hope the next four years are as magical as they say.  Here’s to peace and prosperity.

Consultation

I have my consultation scheduled with the plastic surgeon at Northwestern!  I’m going over on February 4th.  I’m scared and excited all at the same time.  It’s much different facing this surgery compared to the mastectomies.  I almost started crying on the phone with the receptionist.  She was so nice and told me that insurance would probably try to deny it but she would take care of it.  I’m just so happy to be on the road back together.  It will be nice for my outside to match the health on the inside.  Now….let’s just pray I have enough belly fat….lol!

Putting Me Back Together

Well, I contacted Dr. Dumanian at Northwestern about the DIEP Flap reconstruction surgery and this was his reply:

“You may or may not be a candidate, depending on many different factors.”

Of course….I freaked with this response and emailed my oncologist who said he probably says that to everyone.  Supposedly you need a lot of belly fat to do the DIEP flap.  I have never looked at my baby belly as a blessing but it may be just that.  As far as I’m concerned, they can take the fat from my hips too.  You’d think between my belly and my hips they could form a couple breasts!  I don’t mind if they liposuction me as well.  I’m no rail so you’d think something would work out.  Who knew someday I would be glad to have fat to spare!%$&!%#!

I’ve contacted his assistant so I’ll keep you posted when I have my first official consultation.  I’m very hopeful….they refer to this surgery as the “Cadillac” of reconstruction surgery…..and well….I like thinking I’m going for the best….lol!  Although I think I’d rather have a BMW or Volvo reconstruction…..”sensible and expensive, rather than gaudy….lol!

I’ve also connected with a woman here in Kalamazoo who has had this surgery and we’re going to meet soon.  I’m so happy to have someone who’s “been there, done that.”  She is the one who recommended Dr. Dumanian.

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