Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oops, I Did It Again

It’s Tuesday!!  Ok, so maybe that was a little too big because there’s nothing really spectacular going on today.  But it was a nice greeting anyhow;-)

I didn’t sleep well at last night.  I’m not sure why, but I tossed and turned and stared at the ceiling all night long.  No big drama going on or anything, just one of those nights I guess.  Could be a side effect of menopause?  Probably.

August2010 022The boys ran cross country early this morning, so it was just Katie and I on the way to school.  She still LOVES first grade! 

After I got her settled and checked on the boys I headed out to my mom and dad’s to run on their treadmill.  Why?? 

Because mine died.  Again.

<insert funeral music here>

Yes, I have went through yet another treadmill.  This one, like the other, lasted 3 years.  She had a good life, I suppose.  I kept her company every day…although the majority of that time was spent sweating and thinking not nice things about her;-) 

So, until we get a new one I will be using my parents’ TM for my indoor runs.  Today was 7.3 miles in 1:10:00.  Awesome!August2010 025So…I’m going to pull myself out of treadmill mourning and grab some lunch and fold my mountain of laundry.  And try not to take a nap so maybe I WILL sleep tonight!

Later!

xoxo

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Run For Life

On a gloomy Monday  morning when our beautiful Ozarks look like this:August2010 020

I get my kids up and take them to school and set off to start my day.  Just like every morning, I lace up my running shoes and drink my last sip of coffee and I’m out the door. 

Why?

Why, on a gloomy morning with the mist falling and the humidity through the roof, do I go out and run?  Dodging mud puddles, fearing wild animals, and sweating buckets is not necessarily my idea of a party.  Don’t get me wrong though, I LOVE it;-)  August2010 019 But as I was reminded by a song playing through my earphones this morning, I run for a much bigger reason than the fact that I am simply addicted to it…I run for life.

It is hard to put into words, but I think that Melissa Etheridge’s “I Run For Life,” sums it up pretty well.  Listen to the song  and read these words…this is me:  

Have a great Monday!

xoxo

“Remember, our faith is always at it’s greatest point when we are in the middle of the trial, and confidence in the flesh will never endure testing.  Fair-weather faith is not faith at all.” –Charles H. Spurgeon

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Hard Questions

Something that I accidentally left out of yesterday’s post about my clean scans from my checkup on Friday (Yay!) , was a teensy piece of information that I just got the courage to ask on Friday…the stage of my cancer at diagnosis.

Dr. P never mentioned it, and truthfully, I didn’t really want to know. I thought if it was important, he would tell me. Which is so true. I didn’t want to invite any more information into my brain when it was already so full, so I didn’t ask…purposely. Regardless if my cancer was stage 0 or 4, I was going to fight with the same intensity and I was going to beat it.

So Friday I asked the Dr. assisting Dr. P, and the answer…Stage IIIA. Whoa. Three, like, out of four. For those that may not be familiar with the staging of breast cancer, the BarnesJewish Health Library (available on their website) defines it as

“Stage IIIA (advanced stage). This stage is also called locally advanced cancer. The tumor is not more than five centimeters (two inches) across, and the cancer in your underarm lymph nodes is extensive, or it has spread to other lymph nodes. Or the tumor is more than five centimeters (two inches) across, and it has spread to other lymph node areas but not to the chest wall or skin. The cancer has not spread to distant sites.”

I digested this new piece of information slowly. I was kind of prepared, but not completely. In looking at how they stage breast cancer I could plug my numbers into the equation, such as the size of the tumor and the lymph nodes involved, but there were pieces of the equation that was missing, things that only the doctors know. So I kind of guesstimated myself at a stage two or three, but more leaning towards two;-)

So during my little freak out moment inside my head, I was saying to myself

“You had stage 3 cancer! Oh my gosh!! How scary! That was in my body!!”

But then I slowed down and thought about what I had just said, “HAD cancer…WAS in my body.” Oh yeah…I beat it! And by the grace of God I am healed. One moment of clarity falling all over me…another, and BIGGER, one to come…

Then God laid upon my heart that the stage wasn’t going to affect His presence in my storm one bit. That He was still God whether the pathology had come back better or worse. And I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that my Jesus was the same before I walked into that exam room on Friday and when I walked out with a new piece of information inside my head. THE SAME. He is the most steady and solid Rock, and in a world that sometimes seems to be spinning out of control, I can count on Him NO MATTER WHAT.

So whether the mountain we may need moved is a speed bump or a towering peak, He cares the same…and He will remain steady. If it’s a big deal to us, it’s a big deal to Him. Why? Simple. Because of His amazing love for us. For you, and for me. We are His children, and He wants nothing more than to have a relationship with us.

I’m so beyond thankful.

Be blessed, friends.

xoxo

“However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.” Ecclesiastes 11:8

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Clean Bill

Sorry for the no-show yesterday guys!  But I have a very good excuse…I was in STL getting some of best news a girl can get…

THAT MY 6 MONTH MAMMOGRAM CAME BACK CLEAN!!!!  And I also had a chest x-ray to rule out anything weird due to my shortness of breath that I’ve been having…and the x-ray also showed nothing!

Thank you, LORD, for the guidance to pretty much the best medical facility ev-ahhh, and the best and kindest doctors I could ever imagine.  I truly believe that along with the diagnosis of breast cancer, came a path that was laid out for me way before I ever knew.

Here’s some pictures from our day… August2010 012 August2010 006 August2010 037   August2010 002 August2010 035

August2010 029 August2010 030 August2010 031 August2010 032 August2010 033 August2010 034  So if what you gathered from the pictures is that I spent a lot of time in a gown, that we waited a lot, and that my husband likes to play with medical equipment while we wait…then YOU’RE RIGHT!  Bahahaha:-)  It was a great day, despite being inside the Center for Advanced Medicine from 11:30am-4:30pm…ahhhh!  But it’s actually ok because I feel strangely content there…very safe and sound.  I know that I am being cared for by some of the best in the world and add to it that I can count these men and women as friends, also, is a huge plus. 

Friday night we went out to celebrate!  We went out to dinner with my oncologist Tim, and his wife Heather.  We had such a great dinner and a great time with them.  Heather is a health conscious runner and scrapbooker (!!!) like me, and we are becoming fast friends!  And Tim, well, he kinda saved my life;-)  They are the greatest…and they are going to come visit and play in the country soon!

home_top_rooftop_vds We went out to a fantastic dinner at Vin de Set in St. Louis, a restaurant that Tim and Heather had chosen, and it was nothing short of amazing.  I had the Mahi Mahi and it melted in my mouth.  But just as equal to the quality of the food was the beautiful atmosphere.  They have rooftop dining there, and it was the most relaxing and enjoyable evening to sit outside and eat and visit.  With the arch lit up and the full moon shining, it was the perfect way to celebrate our day.  I can’t wait to go back again.  We had a roasted eggplant flatbread for an appetizer that I cannot wait to try and recreate.  OMGosh, it was amazing!  I got all the ingredients I “think” I will need today before we left STL so maybe tomorrow I will have time to try it out.  If I have success I’ll let you know;-)

And what trip to STL would be complete without a trip to a couple of grocery stores?!  Today it was Trader Joe’s and Dierbergs.  I was so stoked to find Mahi Mahi BURGERS at TJ’s!!!  I can’t wait to try them! 

After the necessary food stops for me, we headed home to pick up the kids and rejoice in our good reports.  There is truly nothing more relaxing than knowing that your body is still free of cancer…nothing.  I bet I sleep soooo good tonight;-)

AND I hope y’all do too.  Sleep tight friends.  Love y’all <3

xoxo

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Across The Board

Well, the ratings for the first day of school seem to be all across the board.  Here’s the short versions of the reactions I received:

Tyler- “Oh my gosh, I have SO much to do.  I am never going to have time to do anything!”

Zachary- “Ah, it was pretty much the same…same building, same teachers, it was ok.”

Katie- “It was the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!  First grade is awesome and EASY!  And Mom, we had PE and I wore FLIP-FLOPS!  You can’t run fast in flip-flops!”

See what I mean?!  Across the board.  They range from the stressed out high schooler, to the laid back jr high boy, to the ecstatic princess.  Yep, that’s my kids!

So after an evening of filling out all the necessary school paperwork, we settled in and watched the Cardinals get beat…BOO!  The kids must have been exhausted because they all went to bed without having to be asked twice, even Katie.  That’s when you know she had a good day; well, that and the black ring around my tub from her bath this evening…a sure sign of a good day;-)

I was ecstatic this morning when I woke up because the temps were in the 50s!!!!!  I absolutely could not wait to head out for a run!  And let me tell ya, it did not disappoint because I cruised along for 7 glorious miles in the fresh, cool air.

MILE 1 9:38
MILE 2 9:16
MILE 3 9:12
MILE 4 9:23
MILE 5 9:15
MILE 6 9:18
MILE 7

11:29 <---phone call from my hubby slowed me down

TOTAL 1:07:34

August2010 010

As you can see, my splits were MUCH better than yesterday.  When I start out too quick, the run feels hard and horrible.  But when I make a point to watch my pace and stay steady the whole run feels amazing.  My average pace today was 9:38/mile, or 6.2 mph.  If I can just pick up my sustainable pace just a little more, I will be on track for my goal of breaking 2 hours at the Kansas City Half Marathon in October.  I need to do more speed work I guess.

My playlist was filled with survivor songs this morning, which really kept me going!  These are GREAT songs to empower anyway, but especially us breast cancer warriors and survivors!  I highly recommend them:

  1. I Run for Life – Melissa Etheridge
  2. boobyliciousFight Like A Girl – Bomshel
  3. Pink Warrior – Candy Coburn
  4. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  5. Just Stand Up! – Beyonce and friends
  6. Jesus & Gravity – Dolly Parton
  7. Trading My Sorrows – Shout Praises Kids

August2010 020

I’m still sporting my FIGHT Bondiband, which I love!  In fact I love it so much that I just received five more bands that I ordered.  I will have to put them in the rotation so you can see them, too!  I love ‘em!  I think I need to get a free one or something for all the raving I am doing about them;-)

Well tomorrow is Friday, and that means another trip back to STL.  I have a day of drs appointments to look forward to.  Yippee!  (sarcasm)  Tomorrow is labs and a checkup with my oncologist, and also an appointment with my breast dr to get my mammogram.  Praying and believing for another perfect one!!!  I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t worried about it at all, though.  I’m just ready to have it over with.  BUT three positives I AM looking forward to:

  1. I’m going to get to see all my Siteman girlies at the infusion center and visit with them some.
  2. Jack and I are going out to dinner with my oncologist and his wife tomorrow night, she is a sweetie and of course we just love Dr. Tim so it will be a great celebration for my mammogram report;-)
  3. A night away with my hubby, which is always wonderful <3

So I DO have some positives in my day.  It helps to focus on those…even when you really have to dig down and find something tiny, hang on to the positive!  There’s ALWAYS something!

xoxo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

“Back To School, Back To School, To Prove To Mom That I’m No Fool, Ohhhh…”

Anybody remember Billy Madison?!  I have no idea WHY this song popped into my head as I was thinking about a title, but I guess it’s as good as any!

You have no idea how hard it was to get this picture of all three kids this morning!  The boys were adamant that they were not going to take first day of school pictures this morning, but after I told them,

“We can either take them here, or I will take them at school,”

they were happy to comply;-)  Well, maybe not happy, but they did take pictures.  So here they are, my high schooler, my junior high kid, and my elementary princess!  Aren’t they a good lookin’ bunch?!August2010 014

Now Katie on the other hand was rushing me out the door to take her pictures this morning!  She was SO excited and was ready before anyone else.  My child who could sleep ‘til noon if I’d let her bounded out of bed promptly at seven.  Oh, is she the cutest first grader you’ve ever seen or what?! August2010 004August2010 006August2010 009 

They humored their Mama and snapped a couple of pics with me, too.  What good kids:-) August2010 010August2010 013 

And then we headed off to school!  Tyler had me drop him off at the high school, which was so weird for me!  Zachary got out of the car at the junior high without so much as a “Bye, Mom.”  I need to remind him that I could still embarrass the fire out of him, so I had better at least get a word or two…it’s not like I’m asking for a big kiss and give him a spit bath for the breakfast that was still left on his face!  Geez! 

But Katie  never disappoints with photo ops!  She easily found her desk and unpacked her things.  She found her cubby and hung her backpack up with care.  And after snapping a pic with her new teacher, Mrs. Napier, she was off to find some of her buddies.  August2010 021 August2010 024August2010 025 And with that, my big girl was off to play!  She’s going to have a great day!  As will the boys, although they won’t realize just how great these days are until they are my age;-)

Can you guess what I did after that?!  If you guessed an outside run, oh yeah!

DISTANCE

TIME
MILE 1 9:10
MILE 2 8:50
MILE 3 9:29
MILE 4 9:43
MILE 5 10:54
MILE 6 10:35

TOTAL

58:44

My pacing was really off today, but I’ve been on the TM for several days in a row so it didn’t really surprise me.  And I’ve been putting in some heavy mileage this week, averaging 10 miles/day the last three days so I didn’t push it too much.

It was a beautiful way to start the day!  Proof:August 09 007August2010 029August2010 032

So beautiful.  There is a reason they call this God’s country, because it is truly breathtaking…just like Him.  I just stand in awe of His creation. 

I wonder if He was having a humorous day when he created creatures such as the walking stick:August2010 019

Hehe;-)  Have a blessed day, friends!

xoxo

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Twas The Night Before School Starts

Well here we are.  Another school year is about to begin.  As of tomorrow at 8am, I will have one child in High School, one in Jr. High, and another in Elementary. 

Wow, I can hardly believe it myself!  It honestly seems like just yesterday I was starting high school…how can it now be my child getting ready to walk the same halls I did just yesterday??

And I remember middle school all too well.  Those awkward years of big hair and glasses, and being wayyyyy too tall for all the boys…well that hasn’t changed but whatever;-)  I can remember it so vividly.

I see so much of my elementary self in Katie.  So excited about school starting, she’s had her backpack ready for a week and her outfit laid out for 3 days.  The little girl always wanting to please the teacher and sit in the front.  That’s my girl! 

Katie is meeting the challenge head on with much excitement, the boys with much dread.  She just doesn’t understand WHY they aren’t excited about it!  LOL!  She is in full-on school mode right now; she’s brushing her teeth and getting her hair brushed as she prepares to go to bed AT BEDTIME…woah, that hasn’t happened in about 3 months!  She IS, however, going to bed in our bed, but that’s a story for another day.  Out little first-grader! 

Zachary is downstairs playing the Wii, in complete denial that tomorrow is ever coming.  I need to tell him that unless Jesus comes back tonight that, yes, the sun will rise and you WILL go to school tomorrow.  Bless his heart, I even had to pick out his notebooks because he didn’t even know (or care) how many he needed!  But now that this Jr. High thing is old-hat, he will be a ol’ pro tomorrow!

Tyler just won his very first high school baseball game tonight so he went with Jack afterwards to “check a couple of jobs.”  I guess this is what I should suspect now that he’s in high school…I suspect the two men of the house will roll in shortly.  If he pitches HIS dirty clothes in the floor like his father, we may have issues;-)  I will pick up after Jack because, God bless him, I didn’t raise him and there’s nothing I can do now…but Tyler on the other hand has grown accustomed to me saying “I’m your mother, not your maid.”  Clothes in the hamper thank you!

So as my 3 babies head off to school tomorrow, I will say extra special prayers for them.  I will ask God to guide their steps and their paths.  I will pray that He will protect them and keep them healthy, and that they will be a shining light for Him and His love.  I want others to be able to see Him through them.  I will pray that they will take Him with them wherever they go, and KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that He is their best friend and they can talk to Him anytime, anywhere. 

“God please go with Tyler, Zachary, and Katie, and protect them from harm, because I know that you see them even when I can’t, and Your hand reaches far beyond mine.  Amen.”

Boy will my house be quiet tomorrow!  I’m kind of dreading it, but boy, I bet I get a lot done!!  See you tomorrow with first day pictures!

xoxo  July2010 005

Monday, August 23, 2010

Disappearing Act

Sorry for the disappearing act over the weekend!  I absolutely CRAVE family time, and with the kids getting bigger and bigger, it seems that the chances we get are few and far between.  Makes me sad.

We took the weekend and went to STL for some “outdoor shopping.”  Think Bass Pro and Cabelas…I have to literally drag my boys out of there when it’s time to leave!  They love it.  It’s not my thing.  August2010 026

We also got to watch our beloved Cardinals put a whippin’ on the SF Giants!  It was a great game, and temps that even THIS Mama could stand!  We sat in the bleachers, 2 rows behind our bullpen.  Zachary even got a ball tossed to him from Ryan Franklin!!! 

[And for those of you who aren’t into STL Cards baseball –WHAT?!—he is our closer;-)]

August2010 029

 

Zachary and his Daddy, there were never two cuter (or ornerier) boys!August2010 034

 

Look at these beautiful blue skies, perfect for a day at the ballpark!August2010 027   

I finally figured out that the camera on my iPhone has a ZOOM!!!  So I took advantage to snap this pic of starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, catcher Yadier Molina, and pitching coach Dave Duncan walking to the bullpen.August2010 031 

Carp warming up in the bullpen!  Wheeeee, I told you they were good seats!!!  Hehe;-)August2010 035

The rest of our weekend included going to spend some time with a very good friend and fellow breast cancer survivor, who was in the hospital recovering from her second reconstruction surgery.  She is doing great and actually got to come home today!  Yay!!

There was no time to hit up Whole Foods, or as my blend (blog friend) Gina calls it, Whole Paycheck;-)  But we are going back on Friday for doctors appointments, so I plan on hitting up WF then.  And maybe a mall or two that DOESN’T involve camouflage.  We shall see…;-)

I just got home from seeing Tyler play his very first high school baseball game and I’m beat so I’m going to go and chill for the evening…and catch up on weekend laundry.  Seriously, it never ends.  Talk to ya’ll tomorrow!

xoxo

Friday, August 20, 2010

Stand Up

It’s really hard for me to cry nowadays. 

clip_image002So why am I now the “only dry eye in the house?”  Well, several months ago I was put on a antidepressant, safe for breast cancer patients to take, that has a “side effect” of reducing hot flashes.  So yeah, I’m taking it to be cool…literally;-)  And while it hasn’t taken the hot flashes away completely, it HAS made them less frequent.  Score!

clip_image002Another thing I have noticed is that when I feel particularly moved to cry, I can’t…or, don’t.  I guess this is the antidepressant part.  Coming from a family of women who are known for getting teary at a Folgers commercial (yeah, you know the one), this isn’t all bad;-) 

clip_image002So when I feel moved to cry lately I know that whatever it  is, is something that has hit me directly in the heart.  I know that it is real, and comes from a place deep down inside.  It may be happy or sad, AND I know it is POWERFUL.

clip_image002Well that’s how I feel about this video for Stand Up 2 Cancer.  As soon as I saw it on Jacki’s blog, I felt that deep ache in my chest as I watched it.  It is painful for me to see the odds that men and women have of facing cancer in their lifetime.  It’s staggering…and scary.

clip_image002So have a look at this video.  Hopefully it will move you to watch, and possibly participate, in the September telecast.  It will be broadcast on all the major networks and other channels as well.  show-featureIt is the last thing any cancer survivor wants is for others to have to go through the things they have gone through.  It is my daily prayer that we find a cure sometime in the near future.

 

clip_image005 all men and women across the globe to support research and treatment to find a cure!

xoxo

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Laughing Is Good For Your Abs

I received an email the other day that contained several Christian cartoons.  Can I just say, hilarious!  So I went to the website and I found TONS of them!

In an effort to narrow them down, I typed in the term “exercise,” and here are a few of my favorites!  I hope you enjoy them.  After all, laughing is a GREAT ab workout;-)

BIBLEFUNNY5

 BIBLEFUNNY1

 BIBLEFUNNY2

BIBLEFUNNY3

BIBLEFUNNY4 (Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc - www.reverendfun.com)

Enjoy your day, guys! 

xoxo