Friday, June 19, 2015

Some positive news...



I had my rescan this past week and got a great response. Although the cancer is still present, it has not grown. The Dr's. were so impressed by my strength and walking capabilities. Having my Dr say she is blown away by how strong I am just makes me want to fight harder and get stronger. It is just so motivating to hear this. I push myself at therapy and now to see my hard work paying off...it's just amazing, leaves me speechless. I haven't had a dr this excited about my assessment in a long time and it feels so good. It's the first time I didn't leave my appointment mad, I had a smile on my face.
 My neurosurgeon wants to do a follow up appointment to check things out. When I was first diagnosed he said it would be 2 years before I'd be up and walking. Hard work, determination, a support system and a positive attitude can get you a lot farther than laying around feeling sorry for yourself. From day 1 I knew I had to fight. 
 Cancer teaches you a lot about your will, who you are, and I think most importantly, slow down and realize what is important in life. I know I'm not the same person I was a year ago. A line has been drawn with before cancer and during cancer. I know I'll never be the same person I was before and I am okay with that. 

Thank you for the continued love, support and prayers. It is truly heartwarming having you support me.

"Victory doesn't come from a cancer free diagnosis but on how you choose to live your life while you have this disease. That is why you have to strive to be happy." ~Jose R. Arevalo, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Survivor

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It's just one of those days!


I know it has been a while since I have last updated, we have been keeping busy since it has been getting nice outside!  Over the past month, we had a very successful golf benefit, celebrated my dad's retirement, celebrated my husband's 35th birthday and among many other things!  At my golf outing, I took my shoe off and was able to drive a golf cart around with ease!  This only made my itch for driving again greater.  We celebrated my Dad's retirement in May as well.  We all showed up for his last hour of work and sent him out in style.  My dad was and still is a hard worker.  He and my mom made sure all of us girls got everything we wanted growing up.  I tell my husband its not my fault that we are spoiled, it's my parents!  I wanted to do something different for Jon's birthday and had help coming up with the idea of taking him to a casino, since he has never been to one.  We went to The Meadows, conveniently located by the outlets. Jon had never been to these outlets before so we christened him...and he hated it.  I made out quite well though =) .  The casino was a lot of fun, I enjoyed watching Jon do something new.  We had such a great time with friends and family.  Jon and I also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.  We have been together for 5 years now and it still feels like yesterday that I met this guy at a bar in a softball uniform.  I always knew, from the beginning, that I was going to marry this him.

I go for my next scan in a few weeks, so fingers crossed I am still progressing in a positive way.  PT is going great as well.  We are still walking with a cane & started to walk some without my braces on.  It's an on-going battle between the braces and I, but at some point I think I will win the war.

When I started this post I was filled with anger and resentment towards everything that I've been trying to do today.  However, in typing out what I have been up to, it has me shown me how blessed I am.  So what has me frustrated?  Stupid things...like how my husband planted a shrub that I don't like, or finding his work clothes with normal clothes, not being able to carry laundry up and down the steps, walking out to the garage only to find no potting soil for a railing pot.  I should be focusing on how lucky and blessed I am that my husband does take the time to plant flowers in our empty flower beds and actually does the laundry and hangs my clothes that don't go in the dryer up to dry.  And how he will stop and get potting soil on his way home from work so I can plant some flowers after working 10 hours today.  Maybe it is good I get myself mad and worked up so I can see how fortunate I actually am.    God does work in mysterious ways!

Thank you all for your prayers and support.  As frustrating as it is to have things taken away from me, its refreshing to see my blessings.

"They say love is blind.  I disagree.  Infatuation is blind, love is all-seeing and accepting.  Love is seeing all the flaws and blemishes and accepting them.  Love is accepting the bad habits and mannerisms, and working around them.  Love is recognizing all the fears, insecurities, and knowing your role is to comfort.  Love is working through all the challenges and painful times.  Infatuation is fragile and will shatter when life is not perfect.  Love is strong and it strengthens because it is real."




Sunday, May 3, 2015

Foot steps

It has been a while...

Dare I say that life has been going great?! I shouldnt say it is all roses and butterflies, but things are progressing in the right direction. Reflecting back over this past year and to where I am now is unbelievable. For one, I have hair, and for two, I have been walking with a cane unassisted  (most of the time). PT is going awesome. I am forever grateful for the group that I work with. They really are making me stronger, wiser and just full of determination. I truly look forward to Monday, Wednesday & Friday's. Not only do they treat me like family but they treat my family as one of their own. I have the up most respect for all of them. Each week is a new beginning as I set small goals for myself to the main goal. I'll settle for walking now, but eventually maybe even running again one day...who am I kidding I hated running. Maybe golfing...the last time I tried to swing a club was a disaster...yet comical. Thank you Chris for videoing the epic fall.

As the weather is finally breaking, I'm trying to be more active. I went yard selling with some of my girlfriends this weekend.  This was my first time and now I can't wait for the next one! The weather was perfect today so I was able to finish painting our patio furniture while Jon pressure washed the deck and sidewalks.  This is all because of your support that we are able to do this. Last year we were able to widen our sidewalks for me and build a new deck that I could function on.

All of your support, encouraging words, thoughts and prayers fill Jon and me with so much gratitude. I know that good things happen to those who wait but I'm the type of girl that doesn't want to wait...I want to do what I can to get it. I know that God is with me and any time I think why or feel down I always think of this to help me get through:

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."

- by Mary Stevenson

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Just breathe

Fear.  Defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.  Growing up, I didn't have many fears, but I wasn't a dare devil.  As I grew older and a little wiser I still can't believe some of the things I did that.  For example, I let my cousin launch me off her feet across the room only to break my arm.  Now things have totally changed. I fear that the cancer could grow or spread.  I fear that I won't walk again.  I fear I won't drive again.  I fear I won't be able to pick up my baby nieces or play with my nephews.  I fear I won't have a child of my own to pick up some day.  I fear I won't be able to enjoy things of my past time, shopping, biking, shooting hoops, etc.    

Emotion.  Defined as a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.  I feel that cancer has put a burden on my family, friends & husband.  Every time I come home from dr's appointments I feel like I just went through a break-up.  I don't know if I set my expectations too high and when I get the news from the dr. that nothing has changed, it's like dagger to my heart.  Yes, it's great that it didn't change...it's great that my brain scans look normal.  I know we aren't under a treatment plan right now, and from the sounds of it, since nothing has changed, there won't be a treatment plan.  Yes, this news everyone says is great news, but I just don't feel great.  This disease has turned my world upside down.  I don't want to offend anyone or have people think I am depressed or ungrateful, but imagine going to bed one night and when you wake up your legs don't work.  I feel like until something major has happened to you, whether it be losing a wife/husband/child, a body part, hearing the words "you have cancer", you don't fully get it.  That sounds horrible of me to say, but unfortunately that is how I feel.  No matter how much you try to focus on the positives, the negatives don't just get up and walk away.  The piece of you that was taken away will never be replaced.  The break-up will always feel so fresh.

Goal.  Defined as the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.  The dr. told my parents it would be at least 2 years before I would be walking again.  Unfortunately for them, I proved them wrong.  At about my 1 year mark of PT, I walked with my cane without any one holding me.  I'm on my feet more at home, doing dishes, cleaning, cooking dinner, and I even did my basement stairs (yes, I caught hell for this since no one was home).  So, goals for this year, be able to completely walk free of braces, cane and walker.  I can't wait to get behind the wheel again.  I need to fix my drop foot before I can drive so that is on my list as well.  I've been building up my upper body strength and plan to get just as strong in my legs. I want to be mentally and emotionally stronger.  I know I'm going to have negative days and I know it is perfectly okay to, but I want my positive days and moments to outshine the negative ones.

Thank you for the continued prayers and support.  Some days I just sit and read the cards that have been sent to me and remind myself I have a whole team behind me.  

"Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all of the fears you have overcome." -unknown

Saturday, February 21, 2015

See you on the court.

Well things have been moving towards a positive direction, physically speaking. It is like a switch was flicked in my muscle memory to "on". Granted I'm miles from where I want to be but I am making great strides..literally. I am making laps at PT with my cane and very little help. Jon stayed one day to watch me walk and I think I surprised him. I have trouble with keeping my cane and left leg together but it's such an amazing feeling to know I am getting there!

All this snow we have been getting today really has me itching to go sled riding.  Growing up I would spend hours outside. We were supposed to go up to my brother in laws cabin today but didn't want to chance the roads so no sled riding today. Maybe tomorrow! Most complain about this weather but it just brings me back to my childhood and all the memories I have. If I have a complaint it could be a tad bit warmer...blood thinners and negative degrees don't mix well!

Today an old friend left me speechless with such kind words on Facebook.  "You are a winner, a competitor, and never backed down from anything or anyone." I still remember my senior day soccer gift you gave me and the card that read, "this isn't us, see you on the court." I grew up on a team whether it be basketball, soccer, track & cross country and softball. No hiding it, basketball was my favorite. The team I have now is not for a sport but Lord knows I have the best support team I could ask for. Day 1 I said I wasn't letting cancer get the best of me and I honestly haven't...there may have been moments, just like in basketball I had moments. Some good, some bad...and I ran for those! But the game doesn't stop just because things didn't go your way. If you stopped it would just pass you by.

So, I feel instead of complaining try living for the moment. I may have cancer but cancer picked the wrong person.

As always, your love and support mean so much to me. Kindness, memories & prayers give me so much strength. At PT they asked what got into me and I said I think God is hearing my prayers...and I believe He is! Thank you all :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hard work isn't easy!

It's been a while since my last update.  Sorry about that.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas & New Years.  We enjoyed ours with family...those are the best kind.  My most exciting gift this year is my Remington 370 shotgun.  Can't wait until this weather breaks and I can go shooting.  What is Jon turning me into?!

I had a small setback in December through some of January.  A few weeks later...I hope.. we have it under control.  I missed 2 weeks of PT so I don't feel I am as in shape.  I find myself out of breath after each exercise.  While I was working out, an older gentleman told me "hard work isn't easy".  He is not kidding.  My next rescan isn't until the middle of March, so I don't really have an update on the tumors.  I can really wiggle my toes lately...something I was not able to do a year ago.  Its hard to think this time last year I was about the check out of Mercy after my month stay and come home.  Time flies.

This weather stinks though!  I basically go to PT and come home.  I'll be happy to get outside without all my layers.  Who knows, maybe by then I'll be packing away the wheelchair and keeping the walker and cane out!

My brother in law had his bday party at a digital golf place and I thought..yeah I can totally swing and hit a golf ball.  Jon stood behind me and I was scared I was going to smack him in the head so it was just awkward all together.  I did not hit him but he did let me go and fall flat on my face.  It of course was video taped.  I didn't get hurt, just embarrassed and got a great laugh in.  Maybe at the golf outing this May I will be able to hit a ball...and not fall on my face.

Sorry such a boring and information lacking update.  Maybe that is a good thing....not much to update about!

Thank you all again for your continued support and prayers.


"Turn a setback into a comeback"


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year One Flashbacks

Thinking back to a year ago today I was under going my 2nd back surgery that would discover the cancer. Jon & I spent NYE/NY together in the hospital only to come home and head right back down 6 days later and not come home until February.  We had many hospital stays from then until now. My mother in law & I enjoyed many naps while I received treatments. Last night we had to take a trip to the ER for some issues and all I could think was great, another year starting off in the hospital.  Thankfully I'm home taking it easy and will be able to celebrate 2015 with my family.
I could sit here and lie and say "new year, new me" but I know it won't be a new me. Everyday is a new start and waiting until new years to change something you don't like about yourself is foolish. I feel like finding the good in everyday is going to shape you into the person you want to be...at least that is what I learned. 2014 has taught me to be perseverant about my future. Only I can make it better. I push myself at PT, I'm trying to do more for my husband,  get out of the house more and realize who and what is important. Yes I have many days where I have set backs. Just the other day I was walking around the bed, using the wall for balance, tripped and caught myself with my forearm on the radiator. I got plenty of bruises but bruises heal and explicits help...haha.
As mad as I want to be at 2014 and all the trials we faced, I can't be. It has made me a more humble person. Sure the diagnosis was something we never planned on hearing, but my support team is greater than cancer. I met people that have changed my life for the better and feel like family to me. I'll probably bawl like a baby when my PT is over! My entire family has been my backbone when I needed them...no matter what they were doing or had planned, they changed them for me. I consider myself lucky to be that loved.
So as 2015 is hours away, I say bring it on. If I can get through this year, I'll be able to get through the next.

Happy New Years to you and your family. Remember to find the good in everyday!