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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wasn't Going to Post This But.....

I decided to submit a song to a contest on myspace. I seriously saw the link, recorded the song and clicked submit. I didn't rehearse it so I realize it's not 100% perfect BUT the thing is I need 100 views to even be entered. I am having a hard time getting there, so if you would click the link, share it, listen, comment, I would love it. I enjoy singing. It is one of my things. It's a contest to win concert tickets to see Pink and also meet her. I think it would be fun but of course I do NOT expect to win. I am not delusional but you know, it would be nice to be at least entered. There are like several 3rd place prizes I think. Feel free to comment. I think the only part I am not happy with is at the very end I came in late. I didn't think it was worth doing the whole thing over again...but now I am kinda stressing that I should have! lol Oh well. I have 10 songs on there. Feel free to click the other ones too. I love comments and constructive criticism as well. I am just glad I can sing and breathe again!!

Here is the link:

Friday, January 9, 2009

The One Who Got Me Through it All

Very pregnant here during my ceremony for finishing my last chemo! I spent the night in the hospital that night with preterm contractions. October 23rd, 2007.

My recent birthday.

Meet my husband Jason. He is 34 years old (sorry baby). I married him when I was just 19 and he was 21. I went to high school with him though we hadn't really dated while he was in school. He dated a friend of mine. It's funny how that works. By my senior year though and after he had graduated we were quite the item. Yes, originally I had asked him to a dance and things sort of faded for a few months but by that December we were official. He asked me to a Christmas party and the rest is history.

We married in September of 1995. It was the most wonderful day of my life. My grandfather married us. He was the pastor of the local Baptist Church. That was very special to me. I was just 19 and he was just 21. We were both young and maybe a bit naive but very in love.

We gave birth to our first daughter in March 1997. Just a few weeks prior Jason was in a bad car accident, crushing both his knees. When I was brought into the hospital in labor they had to get us both a wheelchair. We both still chuckle at that thought today!

Exactly 3 years later our second daughter was born. It was much easier to me having a second daughter. I felt like I could handle it this time. I wouldn't do everything by the book but just what came naturally. She was a content baby and it all worked out great until she started having fainting spells shortly after her first birthday. I also suffered a miscarriage just a couple of weeks before her fainting spells began. We hadn't planned on getting pregnant again so soon but I was a few months along when we knew we were going to lose the baby. I had tests run and found out it would indeed have been a boy, my only son, and he had died of chromosomal abnormalities. The stress of that and Mikayla's fainting issues were very difficult. It turned out she fainted when upset or hurt but really it goes along with her personality and she did grow out of it.

Fast forward to 2002 and my daughter Angelina was born. She had a tiny red dot on her lip at birth. It was teeny. It grew rapidly and turned into a giant red looking blister. It was a strawberry hemangioma. Of course we feared cancer but it was not and actually compared to some hemangiomas hers was not too bad. She was treated with prednisone at just 3 months and it began to involute. You may notice in pictures she has a red bump on her lip. It's fading and should one day be a distant memory. That was more stress for us though.

I went back to school in 2005. Jason had begun traveling for work. It was a hard decision. We had always been together but we figured it would help us in the long run. It wasn't supposed to be for very long and but it turned into 3 years. During that time everyone asked how I managed, how did I handle it. Well I became numb to it. I had no choice. I couldn't wish him home though sometimes I wanted to. If I thought on it too much then I became stressed and depressed. It was after he came home that I realized how much it had hurt me. I realized how much of his life I had missed out on and now it is our deepest regret. He got used to being without me and I got used to being without him. I honestly do not recommend it to anyone!

We moved in January of 2007 to get him off the road. We both knew he needed to come home. It was just too much strain. He came home and we moved. It was a new beginning and we were happier than ever. I then was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2007. I had found out I was unexpectedly pregnant with our fourth child at the end of April. When I should have been enjoying my husband finally getting off the road and literally working about 2 minutes from home, I got sick.

His employer told him to stay home and take care of me. He went in sometimes but not usually very often or for very long. They were so incredibly awesome and he still got paid!! He was by my side every second. He took care of me. He cooked for me. He cried for me. I fall more in love with him every single day. We have certainly had our ups and downs in 13 years of marriage but I have come to learn there is no *perfect* marriage. You have to make it as good as you can. You have to work and continue to show love. Our marriage has grown and changed over the years. I don't think I could have had a better caregiver though, especially at a time when we just moved away from all our family and friends. My life has revolved really around this man and I think back on it all and I do not regret one single second. There are things I wish could have been different but I'd do it all again if I had to.

I dedicate this post to my husband. Thank you for taking care of me, never letting me believe I'd die. Thank you for watching me and loving me and helping me have the strength to fight.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Story Featured Today!

Please Check out this AWESOME blog: I Kicked Cancer's Ass. I love the blog name by the way. Once you deal with it, it really does give you that kind of attitude. The owner of the blog is Meaghan and you can read her story here Please stop by and check out my story on her blog today. I put it all out there as good as I can from the very beginning.

Two Weeks

My follow up is in two weeks. I think I would have a whole lot less paranoia around these times if I had had some sort of scan to really make sure it's still gone. Then again I'd just have all new paranoia. I am not sitting here all day overwhelmed with fear. It is nothing like that. I just get this tiny little fear every now and again of what I'd do if it came back. It's a legitimate question. I know the next steps in fighting it and honestly I don't want to go through it. My family needs me. My girls had to watch Life Flight take me away once. They wrapped me up like a burrito on the gurney and the nurses walked with my children out the door and allowed them to stand and watch me take off and fly away. There were tears in my husband's eyes, along with my girls who had a hard time understanding it. I am thankful for the chance to talk to them about it now. I do too. I have saved all the get well pictures and notes they made for me. They really bring me such joy now. I know they had a difficult time adjusting and dealing with it all. It had to be confusing, that is for sure. I just think about these things. My doctor said that these days they try to only do a scan if the benefits outweigh the risks. He says I responded so well and fast to the chemo that he does not believe it will ever come back. You'd think that alone will calm my fears. If it weren't for the occasional pressure and lump in my throat it would probably be enough! My blood tests come back good though. And in my doc's own words I am so skinny he'd feel any swollen lymph nodes easily. lol It's a good reason to stay thin! I am anxious for our trip too since we are taking a little vacation. I hope it's warm in North Carolina. It has to be better than Illinois!

I watched the Patrick Swayze interview last night. That man has such courage, strength and fight in him. I found myself MANY times during that interview screaming at the TV "you go boy!!!" haha He is a fighter and that's what you have to be. I admire it. He may not want to be a poster boy for cancer...but there is nothing wrong with being an inspiration to others. We didn't ask to be dealt these cards, but we were. We may as well do something with it instead of sitting back and sulking. So I do. I hope to inspire even ONE person. And my blog is not one of fear or worst case scenarios or unhappy endings. At least, that is not my goal. I hope to make sure all who read see an inspirational story full of hope, faith and happy endings!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Become a Supporter and Teething

I have mentioned many times the website It is the site I discovered and turned to after my diagnosis. It's a terrifying situation and you really want to hear that it can turn out well. I found that site and was assigned a support woman who had went through it all. She endured all the things I have. Her daughter the last I heard is two. I have lost touch with her. She went through it all though and has a little girl who is about 3 now. My Gabbi is almost 14 months if you can believe it. Time has flown. I want to give back what I was given and that is a shred of hope. That is the whole point of my blog really. In the beginning it was more of an outlet for me. Now, it is that but also a way for me to reach even one woman who gets this awful diagnosis. I got the information packet from and am planning on putting my name in to be a support person. I hadn't done it yet simply because of Gabbi being so young, I just didn't know if I'd have the time to be able to help as much as I'd want. I think she's big enough now that I can spare the time to become more involved with that site.

Gabriella is teething now too. She's got 6 teeth but she's cutting four more large back ones. Now I know there are non parents reading. This probably seems dreadfully boring to you. Well let me tell you, teething may seem boring but tell that to my baby girl who decided to stay up until 6:30 a.m. the other night. Between lack of sleep and an excessive amount of infomercials I may just be going crazy! ;) haha Well she did better last night. I gave her some teething tablets I picked up at the pharmacy. I didn't hold out too much hope since ibuprofen didn't seem to help too much. Well it worked. She has been able to sleep for two nights. I am crossing my fingers that it continues to work!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sadness and Shock in My Town

I had heard some rumors but nothing definite until today. My daughters brought home papers with the confirmation that one of our local high school boys committed suicide this weekend. We are a very small community so the whole town is in shock. I am very saddened by this though I do not know the boy. I am sad that my children received pamphlets on how to deal with suicide. I got information on how to talk to my children about it and how to define it. The sister of the boy is in 5th grade as is my oldest daughter. So, the school talked to them specifically about how to talk to and treat the girl when she returns. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to this family. This is definitely something I do not know how I would deal with. I imagine the grief is more than it would be in an accidental death. Whatever the situation we must all remember to NOT blame ourselves. I think I worry about that the most. I would hate to see the family members in anyway blame themselves regardless of the situation which I do not know any details. Anyway I just got these papers from my girls. It's such a shock and so hard to know how to talk to your kids about. It's rare enough to lose a kid like this in a community of our size, but for it to be by suicide it's even more difficult to explain to children.

Hey Don't Forget to Vote!!!

See that little picture of me over on the right hand side of my page where it says vote? Please click it and give me a vote! I am in the top 20 health blogs I think last I checked on that but I need more votes. I appreciate it!!

Blog Award from Dolly's Daily Diary

I received an award from Dolly's Daily Diary. This is a blog I enjoy reading and I think you will too! Go on over and check it out.

This award is one I have never gotten before. I really like it! I like the requirements and I am honored to get it. So thank you Dolly.

Here is why I am so appreciative for the recognition and to be one of its recipients... This award is presented to bloggers who display consistency in any one or a combination of these conditions:
1. The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.
2. The Blog contents inspire; it strives to encourage and offers solutions.
3. There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture and Sciences, and Beliefs.
4. The Blog is refreshing and creative.
5. The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

The Blogger who receives this Award will need to perform the following steps:
1. Create a Post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award.
2. The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post.
3. Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved- preferably citing one or more older post to support.
4. The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award Conditions.
5. The Blogger must display the Award at any location at the Blog.

I wanted to get this award up. I'll have to think on whether or not to pass it on. At the moment I only have time to post it. If I didn't, it would never get up here! So I just did....and I might pass it on at some point. :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Follow Up Getting Closer!

Anyone who has followed my blog for any significant period of time knows how stressed and paranoid I get around follow up time. This time is no exception. I am not in super paranoid mode yet. That will occur about one week prior to the appointment. I think my neck and shoulder tension causes things to swell up and then of course since I already have scar tissue in my chest it further aggravates things in there, making me feel pressure similar to when I had the tumor. The reason I believe this is because it always comes when I am feeling shoulder pain or having a tension headache. If I get a good shoulder rub it helps both problems. So I think maybe I should see a chiropractor. I am not sure because I have never seen one before. I imagine it would help though.

Issues like this can sure make a girl feel old. Then again it's the only real issue I have. I feel great otherwise. I was in the best shape of my life before I got sick. I had gone back to college. I was in a fitness class working out 5 days a week and doing a yoga class 2 or 3 days a week. I think it was two, but I can't remember for sure. Yoga was hard though in some ways. There were a couple of moves I couldn't do. I had thought it was the thyroid pressure preventing it but of course we now know it was the huge tumor choking me to death when I tried putting my legs up and over my head. haha I am so glad to have a reason! I don't feel lazy or like I just couldn't do it anymore. It's not a sad feeling at all. Once you find out you finally feel validated! You feel like finally everyone will understand you do have a problem and then not look at you like you're crazy anymore. It was a mixed feeling because of course I had cancer...which is not good news. At the same time all the symptoms I had for years were finally explained and it was so good that all the complaining I had done to my husband and family for years had an explanation.

My follow up is actually going to be fairly exciting for one reason. We are taking a vacation to see my hubby's parents that week. We are heading straight out from my appointment. I am so excited. I am actually really excited to see my doc too. I love that whole office and they love us. We are treated like family there. That's just how a place like that should be, I think. We just got a new mini van with a DVD player in it too. So this trip will be great for the kids too!