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Showing posts from 2012

What Defines Me?

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I was just discovering my true self when I met The Hubster. It wasn't his fault, but I threw myself into being a great wife, cook and housekeeper. When my daughters came along, I simply wanted make their lives as happy as possible. Somewhere along the way, I forgot to find out exactly who I was, and I have only recently gotten back on track.

The years between have been a lot of fun, and I've learned a lot of important stuff, like what I am not.

I am an office manager, but that does not define my talents.
I am married to The Hubster, but that does not define my identity.
I am the mother of two children, but that does not define my life.
I am a member of a Baptist church, but that does not define my faith.
I am a breast cancer patient, but that does not define my personality.

What defines me? Am I someone's employee, someone's wife, someone's mother, some church's member, someone's patient? Yes, I am those things, but those things do not define who I am. Don…

Christmas Eve 2012

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I got a call this morning from my doctor's office at Cancer Treatment Centers of America,  in Zion, IL. My white blood cell count is a little elevated, so my Nurse Navigator recommended that I wear a surgical mask if I have to be out and about. You know me...I just can't leave well enough alone, so I had my daughter/artist design some really cool ones. What do you think?

Since my fourth dose of chemotherapy was last week, that means I only have two more treatments: January 7 and 28. I'm so happy and relieved to have this chapter of my life come to an end. Next up will be a month's rest and then radiation, which will be administered in Winfield, KS, close to my home.

Thanks and blessings go out to everyone who has stopped by, called, written or messaged to wish my family and I a merry Christmas. We are grateful to God for His abundant blessings and for all of you who make our lives so very sweet. I don't have to ask Santa for anything this year; my stocking is alre…

My Favorite Christmas Carol

("Breath of Heaven/Mary's Song" by Amy Grant)

I've sung a lot of Christmas Carols. I know all the words to all of them, too. Singing in school auditoriums, concert halls and cathedrals, I love them all. Especially the Christian ones.

My favorite Christmas Carol is one I bet you've never heard before. "Breath of Heaven/Mary's Song" was originally written by Chris Eaton, and released in the Christmas album, "Home for Christmas," by Amy Grant in 1992. The words to the song are told from Mary's perspective. It is a quiet, haunting tune. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Breath of Heaven

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy Father, You have come
And chosen me now to carry Your Son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now, be with me now

Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be…

Hump Day!

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Today, I received my fourth chemotherapy treatment. There are six infusions scheduled, so that means I am over the hump. Hooray!

Because the poison levels are rising with every successive treatment, I am feeling tired, with a little muscle weakness. No metal mouth yet, though. I hope the steroids kick in soon.

I am posting some photos of this trip, so you can see what I've been up to. And also because I'm really too pooped to write any deep thoughts tonight.

That being said, I am blessed. God is faithful. I can feel every prayer coming my way. And I am grateful for the blessings of you in my life.

Ephesians 3:20 (KJV) Now unto him that is able to doexceedingabundantlyaboveallthat we askorthink, according to the power that workethinus.


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Female in Motion Exercise Update: I did three 30-minute treadmill workouts last week. I wish I had done four or five, because I gained two pounds in the last three weeks. I think I'm the only person in the world to gain weight on chemo. U…

In Memory, 12/14/2012

John 11:35 (KJV)                                                                       Jesus wept.








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Maker of our hearts, we come to you today, grieving. We cannot fathom the hate and evil that lurks in some humans' souls. While we pray for the families involved in today's tragedy at the elementary school in Connecticut, we plead for peace and comfort for hearts all across America. Thank You for being our soft place to fall. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Holiday Redefined

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How silently, how silently  the wondrous Gift is given!  So God imparts to human hearts  the blessings of His heaven.  No ear may hear His coming; but in this world of sin,  where meek souls will receive Him still,  the dear Christ enters in. --O, Little Town of Bethlehem, traditional Christmas carol

This Christmas will be unlike any I have experienced before. This year, I am in the middle of a battle for my life. No, I'm not dreadfully ill, but I do have another priority that takes up a lot of my spare time.
Christmases Past looked frenetic and stressful. I tried to pack in all the shopping, concerts, baking, parties, programs and people I could. By the time the holiday was over, I ended up feeling grumpy and ungrateful.
I will redefine this Christmas. It will look peaceful, reverent, special. I will make room in my heart and home for Jesus. While I may not have any decorations up, I can spruce up my soul. Setting aside holiday guilt, my mind will focus on the Wondrous Gift of Christ t…

Friday Feline Face

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Here's my latest acquisition from A Pink Stitch! It's made to look just like my sweet tomcat, Nod. He is a big gray boy with green eyes and pink ears. This hat makes me smile.

God is really blessing my treatment. I feel good this week and have very few symptoms from the chemo. Even the metal mouth is on its way out.

The weather is starting to feel like winter around here. I'm glad I have cute hats to keep my little bald head warm.

My next trip to CTCA will be on Sunday, December 16. Daughter #1 will be coming with me. Infusion #4 will happen at noon on Monday the 17th. Hooray, I'm heading over the hump! Lord willing, I will feel pretty good by Christmas.

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Holy One, thank you for outrageously blessing my life. I ask that You give each person that takes time out of their day to pray for me a special gift from Heaven. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.

Germaphobe

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Go to the bathroom.
Wash my hands.
Fix breakfast.
Wash my hands.
Feed the cats.
Wash my hands.
Shake hands at church.
Wash my hands.

It's all I do. Every day. It seems like I just can't get my hands, or my house, clean enough. Clorox and Lysol are my weapons of war. I keep Purel and disinfectant wipes in my purse and backpack and every room in the house. 

Since beginning chemotherapy in October, I've been advised to stay healthy and keep away from folks who are sick. I've always been a bit of a germaphobe. Never would I dream of using the pen the clerk hands you at the store or restaurant to sign a receipt.

While I'm doing everything I can to keep from catching a nasty bug, I know that I can never be clean enough to enter Heaven on my own merits.

1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 

The blood Jesus shed on the cross was the payme…

Friday Fatigued Face

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Today, I am so grateful for the prayers and positive messages you have sent since my last chemo treatment. On Monday, I traveled to CTCA-Chicago to received infusion #3 of 6. I felt pretty good until returning home on Tuesday evening. By Wednesday afternoon, I was sore, had a fierce case of metal mouth, cranky tummy, and fatigue that would not quit. The Hubster tucked me in bed and I didn't leave for over 24 hours. (Those of you who know me well, realize the absurdity of this fact.) I'm still weak like a kitten today, but the largest part of the exhaustion is over.

God bless you all for your intercession and faithfulness to pray and think of me. I know that is what is keeping me on the road to recovery. Special thanks this week to Mom, Sarah, Rachel, the Hilton Anatole, CTCA-Chicago, Best Western @ Market Square, American Airlines, Debra @ O'Hare Airport, O.F. Ballew, Pastor Charles and Bernice Whaley, Deanne Splechter, B.D. Tharp, Donna Wiley, Nick Wiley, Kyle and Toni C…

Orange Fuzzy Plays Flat Stanley

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Orange Fuzzy Ballew is a venerated member of my family. He has resided in my home for the last two and a half years, presented to me at the last Ballew family reunion by my darling aunt, Nancy Ballew Anderson. (If you are not familiar with O.F. Ballew, please click this link to read his history. http://fim-carol.blogspot.com/2010/07/legend-of-of-ballew.html)

While I have enjoyed having him taking up space, er...sitting on my desk, I decided it was time Orange Fuzzy had some adventures. The next Ballew family reunion will take place sometime during the summer of 2013, and I plan to have a full scrapbook to present to the next lucky Ballew who receives guardianship of this tangerine-colored talisman.

When we entered the infusion center late this morning, O.F. watched as Theresa, my infusion nurse, got me all settled in and hooked up. We lunched and did some work on the laptop, then the benedryl hit me and I napped a bit.

My Texas Belle got her first caregiver massage and then browsed …

Friday Thankful Face

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 (Pictured above, from left to right: My mom, Marilyn, sister, Laura, sister, Donna, and me!)
Yesterday, I spent Thanksgiving Day with my family. Although I do spend most holidays with my family, this year I am extra-grateful for them. Through my cancer journey, these people have been incredibly loving and supportive. God has blessed me abundantly through family. 
If you don't already know, my mom and sister, Donna, are also breast cancer survivors. I come from a long line of strong women. Because of the encouragement of my family, friends and loved ones, I am able to face each day with fresh hope for strength and healing. I have so much to be thankful for this year.
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Dear Father, I am thankful for the blessings You bestow on me so freely. Your guidance through this time of healing is precious to me. Forgive me when I doubt Your plan for my life. Thank you for a time to reflect on Your goodness. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Following is the proclamation made by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that made Thanksgiving a national holiday for the United States. The Civil War was raging and Lincoln reached out to God for mercy and blessings in this writing. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!--Female in Motion



By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has …

My Testimony: The Rest of the Story

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(This is a photo I had taken after I realized what my God-given gift was.) The day after I prayed the Sinner's Prayer, my life didn't magically and instantly become perfect. Instead, it has been a journey of self-discovery and study of the teachings of Jesus Christ. I've had bumps in the road, hard lessons to learn, and beautiful mountaintop experiences. That's all part of the package of becoming a mature Christian.

I vividly remember the first time someone at church said something rude to me. I was crushed! Spending the next day crying, I considered my options. Should I say something mean back to this person, quote Scripture condemning them to the congregation, or just find a new church? The Hubster had a better idea: get my eyes off other Christians and keep them on God, instead.

"People let you down, every time," he said, "God never does."

This rule has helped me get through many difficult situations. I'm not perfect, so how can I expect oth…

Friday Colorful Face

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Here's my Friday Face! I have always liked bright colors and it seems like I like them even more now that I'm bald.

The good health is holding. I'm feeling pretty strong and mostly energetic (thanks to regular exercise and loads of sleep). My attitude is also good. That's due in large part to all of those folks (you know who you are) who are praying, encouraging, sending cards, messages and emails, bringing food and cleaning (our own personal angel!). I am humbled and honored and radically blessed by your love. Thank you, from the depths of my soul.

I get an extra week off between chemo treatments for the Thanksgiving holiday. The next infusion is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday, November 26. Thanks in advance for travel safety and return to health prayers!

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Creator of All, I am in awe of your great love and mercy towards me. Strengthen me, I pray, for the battle that is before me. Bless each one that lifts me in prayer. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.



My Testimony

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(I'm the skinny brunette in the center, with her elbow on the table.) I grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday. I went through a confirmation class and joined Madison Avenue United Methodist Church in Derby, Kansas when I was 12. Active in church, choir, summer camp, youth group and fundraisers, I also sang solos in church beginning in high school. I served as both treasurer and president of our youth group. We attended youth activities in Wichita and the surrounding area.
Before my junior year in high school, I applied to and was selected as a delegate from my church to attend the Kansas UMC METour (Mission Education Tour). Fifty girls from across Kansas were chosen to visit a number of UMC missions and report back to our individual churches the good work that Methodists were doing. We traveled to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. This trip changed the way I looked at the world around me. I didn’t realize that I had been so isolated.
After that experience,…

Nut Crackers, Nutcrackers, Nut Crackers

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It all started with a bag of nuts. The Hubster's co-worker had given him some pecans from her farm. I asked him to pick up some nut crackers from our local grocery store. He said he couldn't find them, so I went to Wal-Mart. Not a fan. Looked all over...even asked. No nut crackers. We had to see a specialist in Wichita on Wednesday afternoon, so we stopped by the Super Target on 21st Street. First, I looked in Housewares. That's where I snapped the picture on the left. They had lots of nutcrackers. Not what I needed.

The Hubster wanted to get in on the fun. He said he knew where they were. He came back beaming and said he found them and got two, like I asked. He got nut CRACKERS. (See proud Hubster in photo above.) I wanted NUT crackers. We asked the customer service rep, but after determining what type of nut crackers I wanted, she said they were out, and could have them in sometime next week. Finally, we stopped by Country Mart on the way home to grab some dinner. On …

You Are Not Alone

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Last week, I traveled to Cancer Treatment Centers of America to receive my second chemotherapy treatment. I was alone, but I was not lonely. You see, whenever I'm by myself, I carry with me the prayers of all the people who care about me and the love of my Savior. That's quite a crowd!

Whenever isolation is depicted in the Bible, it represents separation from God. Think: Jonah in the whale's belly, the Wild Man of Gadara, or the leper that was cast out of the camp. We don't have to be alone ever again, once we accept the love of Christ and His gift of salvation. What can you do when those lonely thoughts cloud your heart? Here are some Scriptural promises to hang onto.

Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 


Revelation 3:20 If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:38-39

Sweet Ladies!

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I had to share this photo The Hubster took last night. My mother-in-law, Judy Skiles, and her best friend, Pat Brown, got their heads shaved yesterday, in my honor. I don't know if I am a bad influence or I started a new fad! Either way, I am humbled by all the love, encouragement and support I am receiving. God bless each and every one of you.

Put on a Happy Face...and Heart

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Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Lots of people have asked me how I'm feeling. You know, folks with cancer get that question often. I'm honest with my response. I feel great! Really, God is blessing and I feel really good. And then, they all say the same thing, "You have such a great attitude!"

Although I have had times of sadness and depression in my life, now is not one of them. All the "what ifs" have come to pass. I have cancer. My husband has cancer. All the monsters that were under the bed, are now sleeping peacefully beside us. There is nothing else to be afraid of. I quickly realized that I had no control. This was firmly God's department. So I turned it completely over to Him.

Crazy, right? Now, I just put one foot in front of the other and take each day fresh and new. I spend a lot of time on my knees, too, talking to God about my fears, gratitude and burdens for others that…

Feisty Friday Face!

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Here's my Friday Face today, with a bonus Hubster Face, as well! We got our heads shaved yesterday, so I thought I would give you a bonus shot. I'm really loving it, so far! Maintenance is low, and my head is pretty nicely-shaped. Hooray! It's a little bit cold at night, so we're thinking about little flannel nightcaps, maybe.

(Notice the small "Feisty" pin on the flower of my hat? It's a gift from my favorite author, B.D. Tharp, writer of Feisty Family Values, available on Amazon.com. Check it out!)

I'm feeling great this week, and hope to have a safe and easy trip back for Chemo Treatment #2 at CTCA on Wednesday.

Have a great weekend, Dear Readers! I love you guys!

Precious Lord, You hold me in the palm of Your Hand. I am so grateful for your mercy and abundant love. I pray that you will continue to guide me and heal me through this cancer journey. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Suffering Succotash

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(This pink pumpkin is from my sweet friends at church, Jennifer and David Carothers.)

John 16:33 (KJV) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 

Some famous television evangelists will tell you that God wants you to be wealthy and healthy. It's called the "prosperity gospel." They expound on how to claim the promises of God, to get your slice of the American Dream. (It usually has something to do with mailing them a wad of cash.) Nothing bad will happen if you believe hard enough. It's a lie.

God didn't promise us an easy life, filled with sunshine and rose petals. If life were trouble-free, heaven wouldn't be that big of a deal. Imagine making it to the Pearly Gates, and it's just like last Tuesday on Earth? Not possible! Our Savior wants the best for us...His best. That doesn't always translate to comfortable lives. Besides, a life of…

Chemo Journal Notes

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It's been five days since my first-ever chemotherapy treatment. Here's what I'm thinking:

I've learned more about myself.I am listening to my body.I'm grateful to God for His mercy. Following is my journal from last week's trip.

CTCA Staff: I felt so prepared. They all walked me through the whole process, step-by-step. I knew what to expect. No mystery.

My sweet Texas Belle: Rachel was such a help! She is an encourager. Wonder where she gets that from? Rachel carried things, ran errands, massaged my shoulders before the treatment and rubbed lotion into my hands during. My Belle kept me company during the treatment and got me home when it was all over. You have no idea what a comfort it is to have your daughter tuck you in after a big day.

CTCA Infusion Center: As nice as the hospital is, the infusion center is that much better. I was ushered to a nice suite with an upholstered recliner and rocking chair. The recliner had heat and massage. Yep. My nurse, Nancy, wa…

This is What Cancer Looks Like

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Here is your Friday Female in Motion Face! This photo is taken two days after my first chemotherapy treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL. I'm feeling pretty good, so far.

Here is a list of my first side effects:

1. Frequent hiccups.
2. Nearly constant metallic taste in my mouth.
3. Very sore back and neck muscles.

Here's a list of what I did my first day back at home.

1. Two loads of laundry.
2. Took out trash.
3. Four hours of data entry and office work.
4. Short downtown shopping trip with my sweet Texas Belle.
5. Went out to dinner.

I would say I am greatly blessed, all in all. Thanks to everyone who said a prayer, sent positive thoughts and encouraged me through this journey. Next Monday's post will cover step-by-step my first chemo treatment.

Almighty One, I am humbled by your abundant love for me. Please send double blessings to everyone who takes the time to pray for my health. In Jesus' name, Amen.

God or Glory?

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Deuteronomy 7:6 (KJV) For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

As a young newlywed, I gave my husband a full account of all my daily activities when he arrived home. The Hubster called it my "status report." Somehow, I got it into my head that he would value me more as a wife if I did tons of chores.

I realized a while back that I was doing this same thing with God. At the end of the day, I prayed my status report, telling Him about all the great things I did. Would He love me more if He heard all the good works I was doing? Sooooooooooooo wrong! My Gracious Redeemer already knew what I did all day, and He already loved and accepted me as His child.

Have you ever done that with spiritual things? If you're running around the church organizing bake sales, directing the children's choir, leading the sewing circle, and disinfecting the b…

Friday Face

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Here's my Friday photo! I'm looking forward to a fun weekend, followed by a busy travel week.

My Monday blog post was about body image. No matter who you are...young teen, young adult, stay-at-home mommy, busy career lady, married, single, widowed, or anywhere in between, I want you to lean in and listen close: You matter. You are beautiful. Jesus loves you. Your life is significant.

No matter what self-talk is spinning around your brain right now, memorize those four truths and meditate on them. Our bodies are temporary. Only our souls are eternal. Spend some time nurturing your soul. When it is mature and fully ripened, we can see ourselves as we really are...precious in His sight.

Loving Father, help me to process and absorb the truth. I want to see myself through Your tender eyes. I am Your vessel. In Jesus' holy name, Amen.

The Lover of My Soul

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A week from today, I will return to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL, and if all goes well, I will begin my chemotherapy treatment. Within a few days after that, I will lose all my hair. It won't all fall out at once, but when it starts to get sparse, I'm going to shave it off. And I'm okay with that.

My body image has not always been so great. When I was a teenager, I had a lot of self-loathing. I thought my legs were so fat, at 105 pounds, that I refused to wear shorts during the summer. Even in my 20's, after my first brush with cancer, I covered the large scar on my right arm on the hottest July days in Kansas.

I am 50 years old now, and overweight, scarred, stretch marked, gray haired and wrinkled. Losing weight, gaining weight, short haired or long haired, I am still me. With the last surgery I endured, I lost my right breast to cancer, but I know I have the love of my husband, my family and my Savior. No matter how many body parts I lose, I poss…

A Little Spot of Joy

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In my Monday night blog post, I talked about choosing joy and finding it around you every day. Here's a rundown of the little spots of joy in my day...today!


1. The mailman handed me a package this morning with a new pair of shoes in it. Bliss!
2. The Hubster cut up an apple for my snack this afternoon.
3. Buddy, our new cat, climbed onto my lap and let me pet him for 10 whole seconds.
4. I got a whole ton of work done today.
5. The Hubster and I are going to a movie at the Warren Theater's Balcony tonight. Fun!
6. I got to talk to my sister, Donna, and my mom over lunch today.
7. I found a lucky penny under a pile of paperwork on my desk.
8. Viewers of my blog yesterday totaled 57!


What are the little spots of joy in your today?


Psalm 32:11 (KJV) Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.



Almighty God, thank you for pointing out the good things in my life, because they remind me of your love for me. In Jesus' nam…

Count It All Joy

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While running errands today, I stopped to talk to an acquaintance. She heard I had breast cancer, and wanted to tell me I was in her prayers. We spoke for a few moments, and when we parted, she remarked, "I love how positive you are!"

Then there are the others--you know them. The folks who say, "What are you doing out?" They have these pained expressions and say, "How are you...really?" Like I'm going to burst into flames at any moment.

I made a decision to find a little spot of joy in every day.

Something to make me smile.

The Hubster and I laugh a lot. Cancer can be a humbling experience; there are lots of awkward situations involved. You have to have a sharp sense of humor. People with cancer don't lay in bed all day, eating bonbons and watching TV. We go to work, grocery shop, go out to eat and even clean our toilets.

Our church held a revival last week. The evangelist, Dr. Fred Johnson, of Calvary Boys Ranch in Eufaula, OK, was a solid, pl…

Making a List

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I'm packing some items in a backpack to take with me when I have chemotherapy treatments at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL. So far, I have a small lap blanket, a fleece hoodie that zips all the way down front, photos of my favorite people, peppermints, hand sanitizer, my MP3 player and my collection of short stories by John Steinbeck. Am I missing anything? If you think of something vital I have forgotten, please let me know.

Because of a scheduling conflict, I won't be able to start chemo for two more weeks (Oct. 10). This has left me feeling a little frustrated and blue. Not that I am so excited to have chemo, but that I just want to get the process moving forward. I don't want to be a cancer patient the rest of my life. After putting this chapter in the past, I want to move forward with my writing and our business.

Here is my post-cancer "to do" list:

1. Take a vacation with The Hubster, my mom and the kids.
2. Send query letters to a bunch o…

Leaving a Legacy

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Proverbs 1:8 (KJV) My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

What is your legacy? I used this as a writing exercise back in 2005, and recently came upon it in my computer files. Writing mostly about my daughters and how I hoped they would remember me after I am gone, I enumerated the things I loved about my life, this earth, and my time here. My main focus, however, was on the hopes and dreams I had for their lives.
When my daughters were small, I wanted them to love God, go to college, get high-paying jobs and marry well. Now that they’re both grown and independent, (well, relatively so!), I have changed my outlook. If they are happy and healthy, I won’t quibble about how much they make or whether they married a millionaire.
I realize now that the most important feeling in this world is fulfillment, as in doing what is God’s will for your life. Many activities may provide this feeling, like parenthood, working at a career or cause you are pa…

Friday Health Update

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Here it is, folks! The Picture of the Week!

I am sporting my new wool fedora from Target. I have made several hat and scarf purchases in recent weeks, preparing for my new hairless look.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America called this morning, and I won't be returning there until October 9. It's tough to get five doctors in the same place at the same time. While I am there, if all goes well, I will begin my chemotherapy treatment.

My health and mobility are improving every day. I have lost three more pounds (down to 191 today),  and my range of motion is at about 90 percent. I hit the treadmill every weekday. This week, it was 25 minutes per day. Next week, I'm aiming for 30.

Endless thanks and blessings to those who sent cards, gifts, jokes, songs and sweet emails this week.

I love you guys!

STAND

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(Song: Stand in the Rain by Superchick)
Ephesians 6:10-11 (KJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.



When young David in the Bible was preparing to go into battle against Goliath the giant, King Saul offered to loan him his own suit of armor. David tried it on, but it was the wrong fit. The brave lad chose instead to use what he was familiar with...a sling shot and five smooth stones.

If you've seen the movie Iron Man, you know that Robert Downey Jr.'s character builds a powerful suit that fits him to a "t." This armor gives him the ability to shoot weapons, remain bulletproof and fly. Iron Man goes out and protects the fine citizens of his city from mayhem.

When I was younger, I tried on girlie dresses, an athlete's uniform, a performer's costume, and hospital scrubs. Like King Saul's too-big suit of armor, these clothes j…