Thursday, July 30, 2009

Be The Ball...

Tomorrow I head to STL for Herceptin #14. I am looking forward to coming home and only having 3 left!!! Nothing like a little visualization, I say! I am visualizing myself having great labs, a fantastic visit with my dr, and an easy peesy treatment...

Focus on the goal, see the ball, be the ball...

I am also meeting up with my friend, Sue, who is having her first chemo treatment tomorrow. We have the same drs and her appt is 15 minutes before mine. I am so glad that we are going to be there on her first chemo, it always helps to have someone who has "been there, done that." So I am keeping her first treatment in my prayers, that it goes smoothly and easily for her.

Please keep us in your prayers as we travel to STL in the morning and that we have a great appt and are able to knock out #14!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm Not Ready

Yesterday was both exciting and sad. We had to go to PB first thing in the morning for Tyler's orthodontist appt. While he was there, Zac, Katie, and I headed to Office Depot to go school supply shopping. We picked up the list for our school, and not only am I in complete denial that Katie needs school supplies for Kindergarten (YIKES!) but Zac isn't on the list at all! I had forgotten that middle school students don't get school supply lists! They have 7 classes with 7 different teachers and they will let them know what they need on the first day...sigh......


I am SO not ready for this! All 3 kids in school?! How did this happen so fast?! Katie in Kindergarten and both boys in Middle School...man oh man. This Mama has been in complete denial about how much this STINKS! lol There are moments when they are all fighting and bickering with each other that I am anxiously awaiting the start of school, but for most of the time I am dreading it. I don't know what I will do with myself in a quiet house! I have ALWAYS had a little one at home with me...even in Zachary's Kindergarten year, I was big and pregnant with Katie, she was born in November. So this is a first.

So as far as the school-thing goes, I am having the same opinion as the
boys..."I'M NOT READY!"


On a positive note, my sister Jessica and her hubby Jason found out yesterday that their first little one, due in January, is a BOY!!! We are beyond excited for them and the new addition to our family. I just KNEW it was going to be a girl, though! I just had a feeling...even the mammoth on Ice Age 3 (which we watched yesterday) had a girl! I immediately texted my sister (yes, during the movie...tsk tsk...) and told her that it was a sign! But all signs point to blue this time and we couldn't be happier that they are welcoming yet another healthy bouncing baby boy. My other sister, Layne and her hubby Brett, are also expecting a baby due in November. Her ultrasound is scheduled for next week...maybe, maybe, maybe it will be pink?! We'll see! If not Katie will continue to be the lone princess for a little while longer!


Haha, you may want to say a little prayer for our mother and our hubbies...two girls pregnant and one girl functioning with no hormones whatsoever! Yeah, family gatherings could get quite interesting this fall. ;-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Strong Arming!

I am so excited!! I went to check the mail today and my compression sleeves that I ordered last week came in! My physical therapist recommended that I get one to have when we fly and to wear when I run.

Currently I am wrapping my arm with compression bandages every night until 6 months post-radiation, and either while I run or for two hours after I run. I've been doing the two hours after because, well, the wraps are flippin' hot! But it's time consuming and whatnot, too.


So last week I ordered two mild compression sleeves and I LOVE them! Of course they're pink (duh!) and thin....kinda remind me of a little thicker pantyhose on my arm. But I think they are going to be fantastic and I can't wait to go for my run tomorrow morning with it!

Today has been a busy day around the house. I made the mistake of going into Katie's room to clean out her dresser to make room for all the new school clothes and got sucked in to cleaning her bathroom, which had some sort of science experiment growing in the trash can. OMGosh, it stunk so bad! I can still smell a hint of whatever it was lurking in the house. Puke. But she is super excited about getting new clothes and going to school! The boys...not so much. They would rather wear rags or go naked than get new clothes and go back to school. Oh well. It's almost time, school starts August 19. I am dreading it in a way...I will miss my babies. I am the Mama Bird that likes to have all her chicks in the nest at all times. Guess sometimes you have to step back and let them fly. But hopefully not very far :-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

And...The Mugglies Return

Wondering what the "mugglies" are?? LOL It is how our local weatherman refers to the hot, humid, and muggy weather of July/August around here. And yes, they're baaaaccckkk.... darn it.

After the most amazing and cool long run last Sunday, this morning I slugged through 7.7 miles in the heat and humidity. I knew it was going to be much warmer than last Sunday, so I planned ahead. I set my coffeepot for 530am so I would have ample time for java and Jesus (cute...that needs to be a Bible-study group or something) and would beat some of the mugglies outside. But that plan backfired very quickly when I didn't wake up until 715...darn it twice. So needless to say, I didn't get set off for my run until about 830...still needed my java and Jesus ya know!

The sun was already high in the sky, the mugglies were out in full force, and I was sweating buckets before I even really began. Gah. But I managed to make it through some decent mileage, especially for the weather, but my speed suffered greatly. It took me 1:24:37 to complete the 7.7 miles...roughly 11 minute miles. Oh well. I'll blame it on the weather!

But you know me, I can't leave on such an "uneven" number so when I got home, I walked 2.3 miles on an incline on the 'mill to make it an even 10. I know...ridiculous! But that's how I roll.

Our afternoon has been fairly easy. I took the kids and went to my parents' house to visit for a little while with them and my sister, who is 15 weeks pregnant today!! We find out on Tuesday if we are going to be buying PINK or BLUE!!! I am soooo excited that I can't stand it! I have two pregnant sisters right now and don't know yet what to buy for either one of them! Ahhhhh! So Tuesday can't come soon enough. But anyway, when we got back home I made shrimp fajitas and black beans for din-din and it was fabulous! Everybody loved it, there wasn't even any leftovers for lunch tomorrow :-( It's ok though, I love it when I make something that everybody loves!

So I hope everyone has a great rest of their Sunday and a great week ahead! We don't have too much going on, Tyler has an orthodontist appt on Tuesday and then Friday we head back to STL for Herceptin #14. I am PRAYING that these last 4 treatments go off without a hitch! I am so close!!

BTW, I am starting to feel like a Survivor lately...a hormone-less Survivor (Bah.) but a Survivor nonetheless!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Mark"-ed for Life!

I am very excited today!

Check out my new ink!! Jack and I got our tattoos today of our very favorite Scripture, the one that we have recited over and over since this breast cancer journey began..."Mark 5:36." So you don't have to look it up, it says "Don't be afraid, just believe." This verse became like our family "motto" back last fall when I saw it on a plaque in the Lifeway store. I never dreamed it would one day be permanently inked on my foot, but as time has gone on and I have thought more about it, I really wanted to have it done.

The verse speaks for itself. As we were going through scans, and chemo, and radiation, this verse would always come back to mind..."Don't be afraid, just believe." And I got it on my foot because the feet are the foundation of the body, and Christ is my foundation, my Rock. On HIM will I stand. HE has carried me through the last 10 months and HE continues to guide me every.single.day. And, I'm not gonna lie, it also figured to be a less conspicuous place than say, my forehead. But the foundation thing is very important and cool too. Besides, I have worried my mom enough over the last year, she doesn't need to worry that I've lost my mind, too! LOL~

But I thought it was very neat that the artist that did our tattoos asked us "So...what does Mark 5:36 say?" I was so proud to tell him! Witness through me, LORD! Woot Woot!

I am a little concerned that he said I couldn't run or swim for 2 weeks. WHAT?! Yeah, I know. The swimming I can handle, but the running...nuh uh. I will have to figure something out. I've already been googling it! Some say that you can use lotion and saran to keep it from rubbing...we'll see. I will probably take a few days off, but I can guarantee it won't be a whole 2 weeks! Trust me, NOBODY will want to be around me if I can't run for that long. But I've been hitting it pretty hard lately, so it probably won't hurt to take a few days off.

Just for the record, I DID call my dr this morning to ask permission to get my tattoo. And since Herceptin doesn't affect blood counts or raise your risk for infection, he said it was "absolutely fine." I felt very good going into it with his blessing.


Jack's tattoo is the same as mine, "Mark 5:36" and is on the back of his shoulder. It is his first also, but unlike me, he will be getting more. He has already been talking about his next one. We have heard that from friends and family that have them, that they are addicting. We'll see ;-)

Have a great rest of your Wednesday!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Run, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

See why I love my outdoor runs so? God's handiwork at it's finest here, folks. This morning I ran with deer, squirrels, rabbits, and whatever else was there that I just couldn't see. Jealous?? ;-)
Obvi, it is another gorgeous day here!

I saw on the news last night where it was going to be another lovely, cool July morning so I immediately made plans to go for another early morning outside run. After what was an amazing run on Sunday, I was almost giddy as I laid out my clothes last night!

I got up at 5am, had some quiet time and some coffee, and I was out the door. I was off and running at 5:55am. Oh, and I have found the coolest app for my iPhone, ya'll. It is RunKeeper and it's a free app and my new favorite thing!! It uses GPS positioning and tracks your entire run, provided the GPS signal is good enough...which is a rarity around here, but it totally worked for me this morning! It kept my time, my mileage, miles per hour, gave me my minutes/mile, and a graph of my mph throughout. I was so excited and impressed to see that I actually UNDERSHOT my mileage this morning, too! I wonder how often this happens?? Hmmmmm...... Anyway, after I got home and got to playing with the "History" function, I found that after you stop, you can choose to see a map...and it TOTALLY maps your entire run!! I looked at the map and saw exactly the path I had just ran! I may be a running-geek, but I am excited!! (That is my speed graph below my map below...see that 9.1 mph peak?! Funny, I was sprinting cause I noticed a white van with two guys in it, driving around the park sooooo early in the morning and it spooked me! I sprinted to run around a campground loop while they drove back by! Call me crazy, but I am a chicken when running by myself. You can't be too careful!)
So after another amazing run, I came home to 3 still-sleeping children...yes, see I TOLD you this was a fabulous morning! LOL So I got to shower, have coffee, and log some computer time in complete peace.......
But it is such a beautiful day that I couldn't just keep it all to myself, so I packed a picnic lunch and we headed back to the park. The kids had a ball swinging, sliding, and walking the trail around the spring. And, of course, pausing for a few photo ops to which they replied, "Mom, we SO look like tourists, and we LIVE here." Sorry! But we did completely blend in! :-) I took a moment to remind the kids that we are so blessed to live here. People come from all across the country to enjoy the river, the hills, the natural springs that abound in this area...and we get to enjoy it every.single.day. We shouldn't take for granted that we live in such a naturally beautiful area. This is truly God's country, as if there was ever any doubt. Do you want to visit yet?!



Have a marvelous Monday lovelies!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lovely Long Run

Happy Happy Sunday friends :-)

I hope you are all having a blessed Sunday, I have had a most wonderful day!


I have been looking forward to this morning's long run SO MUCH!! Why, you ask?? Well, because we have been having the most gorgeous weather here, completely unlike the Midwest in July. Normally July and August here are hot and so humid that you can't hardly stand to breathe outside, but we have been granted a reprieve for a few days and it has been SO AMAZING. It was all of 54* when I left for my run a little before 6 this morning!! Now that's my kind of running weather! I used my new iPhone as my iPod this morning and had the praise and worship tunes blasting and I ran 10.5 MILES as the sun came up!!! Yes, OUTSIDE! This is the first time in a long time that I have ran that far outside. And the awesome thing was, I felt like I could have run all day! It was just a glorious morning. I am even MORE excited now about my 1/2 Marathon in March!!!

But I couldn't run all day because I wanted to get home and get ready for church this morning. Our VBS kids performed their songs in front of the congregation and they did a great job! Katie has been looking forward to this morning for days! Being the little performer that she is, she was excited to get to sing on stage. Glorifying the Lord I'm sure figured in there, too, but she was really excited to sing on stage! LOL Zachary was not quite as excited as he is getting to the "too cool for school" age. But he got up and sang, I'm proud of him.
Today was a great start to the week, I hope you are all having as great of a beginning!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Boomerang Express Day 5

G'Day!

I am on auto-type right now! So exhausted, but so filled with joy from our wonderful week at VBS! We had a great "trip" to the Outback on the Boomerang Express! All total we had 4 kids give their lives to Jesus this week, which is why we do Bible School!

I should probably explain why our pastor got hit in the face with a pie this morning! Every year, we take an offering for VBS...we take either canned goods or money, but the offering is calculated by weight. And it's BOYS VS. GIRLS! Oh my gosh, if you don't think this is a serious competition every year, you don't know our pastor very well! LOL He is so fabulous with children and LOVES to get them going every morning with "BOY, BOY, BOY" chants or "Boys rule, Girls drool!" Now we keep it all in perspective, too...our donations, both money and food, goes to the Missouri Baptist Children's Home and the children do a terrific job every year of raising money and food for them. Brother Ron is our Pastor and Amy is our VBS Director and if the girls win the weekly weigh-in, then she gets to hit Bro. Ron in the face with a pie! If the boys win, then he gets to hit her in the face with a pie! The kids LOVE it!!Today was swim day. The last day at VBS at our church has always been the day we take the K-5th grade to the church camp pool to swim and have a hot dog lunch. The 2's/3's/preschoolers have a water play-day at the church with a big blow up waterslide and kiddie pools. Everybody has a ball!


It has been a wonderful week here at VBS! I am so thankful that God gave me the health and the strength to be able to teach again this year! It's a lot of work but I enjoy it, and the kids that come back every single year love it too. My prayer, now, is first for REST! LOL Then for some of the things we have said or done this week to speak to the hearts of the children and they will take away very important lessons. I know I remember VBS every year when I was a kid and I know it was an important part of my faith development. I am very excited that God allowed me to be a part of these children's faith this week!


Boomerang Express Day 4

So sorry no Day 4 post last night...I had a certain hubby that needed some attention! As soon as I opened my laptop I heard a huge *sigh* coming from the couch and I knew my attention was needed elsewhere! He's been working 14-ish hour days all week getting a house finished by tomorrow so he's been a little stressed and needed some TLC.We had another great day at VBS yesterday! I can tell that the kids are starting to get tired, as are the teachers, because everybody is moving a little slower than they were on Monday! But it was another great time with another great lesson and we livened up our room with a little loud praise and worship music and some dancing! Who says you can't worship the LORD with the dance??!



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Boomerang Express Day 3 - What It's All About

G'day, Mates! I am writing today with a very excited, but also very serious heart. I was reminded today exactly why we do Vacation Bible School each and every summer. I was reminded why we all work so hard to get rooms in order and snacks made, lesson plans laid out and songs memorized. It is for the ultimate Glory that it brings to our God. It is for the pleasure that He takes when He sees a sanctuary full of children singing His praises. And it is for the possibility that His message will touch one child's heart and they will commit to live their life for Christ Jesus.Today, that's exactly what happened. Little 11-year old Courtney, who just helped her Mom bury her Dad last week after he fought a very fierce but quick battle with cancer, gave her heart and her life to Jesus this morning. She said that she wanted to, but wasn't sure exactly what to pray and what to say. I went and got Amy, our VBS Director, and we took Courtney into the sanctuary to talk to her and explain to her the act of being saved. And right there, inbetween Amy and I, Courtney gave her life to Jesus in the sweetest little prayer I have ever heard. I had to hold back my tears as she prayed and afterwards when she thanked us for praying with her.

Folks, this is what it's all about. Life...the everlasting kind. The kind that can only be received by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It doesn't matter what kind of past you may have had, or the things you have done. If you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, He wipes it all away if you ask Him to. And it doesn't have to be done as a child or in a church...beauty is, you can accept Christ as your Savior ANYWHERE, ANYTIME! Right where you sit, or while you're driving, in the shower or on vacation God will hear our prayer. Wow! I am just so excited for Courtney and her family and give God all the Praise, Honor, and Glory for her salvation today! It's a happy day!!

In case anyone out there is also wondering, like Courtney, how to pray a prayer of salvation it can go something like this:

"Father I know that I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me, and help me not to sin again. I want to turn away from my sinful life and live a life for You. I believe that Your Son, Jesus, was crucified on the cross, died, and was buried in order to pay for my sins. I believe that He rose from the dead 3 days later and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to be the Lord of my life and reign in my heart from this instant forward. Please help me to obey your commandments and to do Your will forever. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen."


Have a beautiful rest of your day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Boomerang Express Day 2

G'day, Mates! Outback Guide Miss Erica here! Reporting on today's journey that took us deep into the Outback and God's Word!Today our mission was to learn the many ways we can worship Jesus and what verses in the Bible support those ways. We learned that we can PRAY, READ THE BIBLE,

AND SING PRAISES.


And these are just a few of the ways that God looks at us with approval and loving eyes.

We had a total of 77 kids today!! We grew by 6! YAY!! I pray that tomorrow would be even bigger and better and that, above all, God's Will would be done in all that we do.

Have a great Tuesday evening, Mates!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Boomerang Express Day 1

G'Day, Mates!


We had our first day of Vacation Bible School today. Our time frame is 9-12. I got up and at 'em at 530am and had some coffee and 45 mins or so of quiet time before going downstairs and hitting the TM for a 5 mile run. Fantastic! It always starts my day right. You know what else starts my Monday morning out right?? 71 KIDS AT VBS THIS MORNING!! This is our highest Monday total ever! We were so excited! I have the oldest age group and we only had 6 but that just leaves room for growth...I encouraged positive "peer pressure," telling my kids to invite, invite, invite! I can't wait to see what happens the rest of the week as kids invite kids and other kids remember that it's this week. Very exciting! I love, love, love, to see kids gathering together and getting excited about the Lord! It's seriously one of my fave things!!


So here's a few pics of our day today. I meant to take more but didn't remember my camera until later...oops! OK, off to figure out what's for dinner around here...I.have.no.earthly.idea.



Hooroo, all! (That's Aussie-speak for "Goodbye! See you later!")

Saturday, July 11, 2009

4 Left!

YAY! Praise God I am another Herceptin down!! OMGoodness, I only have 4 left!! I am beyond ready to get these behind me and move on. Yesterday went great. We left our house a little before 5am, yes, I said 5am...which meant that I had to get up at 4. Ugh. But I had labs at 8am so it couldn't be helped. Truth be told, I would rather get up and get it all done early rather than it dragging into the afternoon. But anyway, I had labs at 8, all went pretty good. My wbc and my absolute neutrophils (which show my risk for "catching a bug") were both a little low, but just barely...and everything else was perfect. I figure my lows are probably a result of doing too much lately and not having much down time...maybe 3 40 mile weeks in a row is a bit much right now. After that we went to the Cardiac Testing Suite and had my echo. I had a very sweet, but very "old school" tech who insisted that she could not tell me anything, that the radiologist would read my echo and would send the report to my dr...but she DID tell me that she didn't think I had anything to worry about, *wink, wink*. So while I didn't leave with a number, I did leave feeling very happy with what she did say, or didn't say...whatever. ;-)Following my echo we went back to the treatment center and got called back into our private suite for my Herceptin infusion. Yes, I said private suite! I was a little bummed at first because I kinda like being out front around all the action and other people...more things to look at, more people to talk to and such. But....I must admit, I liked the suite. It had a big tv, and we could really kick back and just chill for an hour. Actually, though, we didn't even turn on the tv and Jack just sat there and was ornery with the nurses and I played with my new iPhone for the hour! My very fave nurse Renee (that's us below) came to see us for awhile and she is just a hoot! She was my nurse for my very first chemo and she taught us so much and was so positive, I thoroughly believe she was sent from God. She eased all my anxieties from Day 1 and I can always count on her to answer and question or just sit there and gab. She and her new hubby love to float the river and they may come down and visit before the summer's over...I hope so! I got my script to start my anti-estrogen pills yesterday. They put me on Femara. So now my ovaries are shut down AND I'm taking an anti-estrogen meds...LORD, please help my husband! I am praying that I can't even tell that I'm taking them...Hey, don't laugh, God delights when we PRAY BIG! heehee And, like Beth says, if I'm gonna err, I'm gonna err on the side of faith!! :-D

We had a quick bite to eat at the Olive Garden then after a quick stop at the mall, we headed home. I.was.exhausted. I could hardly hold my eyes open. I guess after getting up so early, and the relaxation of finally having another echo and Herceptin over with, my body was just ready to rest. So needless to say, I'm not doing anything today...no run, not even a walk. Just as little as possible. I am going to mentally prepare for our week of VBS, which begins on Monday and sit here and have some couch time.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers for my appointment yesterday...I felt every single one! Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Decorating Day!


G'Day, Mates!! (I'm just getting into character and getting ready for our incredibly awesome time we are going to have next week at Vacation Bible School...)


After a speedy 6 mile run this morning, I got cleaned up and the kids and I headed to the church to get our decorating on! We started a little before 10 and were finished a little after 1. We had most of our stuff designed and done, we just had to empty out the youth room and start building. Our outback Bible ranch turned out awesome! Tyler's front porch that he built had guests coming and looking into our room all morning. Zachary helped to occupy Katie, which helped more than anything!


I did in fact mention to Tyler yesterday about how his working and building was so pleasing to God and is a form of worship. How God is so proud of him for giving selflessly of himself and using his talents that God gave him for His Glory. And you know what he said to me? He said, "You know, I thought about that when I was praying last night. That I bet God's pretty proud of me." Ah, let me tell ya, brought a tear to my eye and a smile to this mama's heart for sure! I have prayed that God would open his heart, especially as he gets older and is influenced by who-knows-what, that he would be a good example and be open to what God wants to use him for. Just hearing that he prayed by himself was awesome! God is working! Praise Him!! Maybe he hasn't quite outgrown VBS yet... :-)

We had a great time getting things in order for VBS next week! All aboard for the Boomerang Express where it all comes back to Jesus!!






On a separate note...I am going to STL tomorrow for Herceptin #13 of 17 and a heart echo. If you would please keep our trip and our tests in your prayers, I would be so grateful! I am BELIEVING GOD that my echo will be as strong or stronger than before and that my labs will be great. I am BELIEVING HIM for a great #13 and that I will be coming home tomorrow afternoon with only 4 left! According to His word, I "will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD." Psalm 112:7 Love ya'll!! Muah!