Monday, October 26, 2009

Surgery, Spaghetti, Silent Auction, Sewing and a Snake

The surgery went great, the ovaries are gone as well as the fallopian tubes. What a surprise bonus. I don't know why they didn't mention it or why I never asked, but I found out the day of the surgery that they were part of the deal. What do I care, I don't have to look at them anyway and they didn't offer them to me to take home. Thank goodness, I don't know what I would have said.

"Sure, wrap them up?"

Saturday night we met another milestone this year, The Annual Spaghetti Supper/Silent Auction. We raised over $2000 even though less than 100 people attended but tons of items showed up donated by a lot of generous people and businesses. Like me, I'm sure a lot of people spent more than we should have but it was for a worthy cause. The kids enjoyed themselves at their toy auction and store using free play money. It was fun for all. The proceeds fund the annual Foster and Adoption Week and Celebration in November.

Yesterday, Kristina's and Cameron's Border Collie puppy, Storm, gave us a scare. Somehow she found Autumn's dangle bracelet. She bit all the beads off and we were so scared she may have swallowed one or more of the beads that had a wire hook sticking out. She seems fine now and I am pretty sure we found all of the beads. At least I hope so. I have to put the bracelet back together now. I'll be wire wrapping the beads this time. No hooks to pull apart and swallow.

I am thinking of teaching some craft classes to make a few extra bucks. I lost 4 days work during my recent surgery and that really hurt the pocketbook. Let me know if you are close to Garland and might be interested in taking a bracelet making class or a basic sewing class. I might as well share the talent. A lot these skills have been left behind in this buy it now rather than make it day and age. I truly think we need to pass the old world skills on to our children. One lady wants her two daughters to learn to sew so I may do a child's small project sewing class.

My Granny taught me to crochet in one day when I was home sick from school and I taught that craft to Autumn. She loves to crochet and makes scarves and blankets. Lacey prefered to teach herself to knit. She took my knitting machine home and I bet she has a blanket made in no time. Uh, I guess it can be a bad thing, too, since I have also passed on my addiction of crafts to my daughters. Oh well, at least I have someone to join me in my madness.

We have a new sewing/embroidery machine to join our other 30. Not really 30, we only have ....three, er, I mean four other machines. One embroidery, two sewing, and one serger plus the new one. Oh, and the antique Singer I bought at a garage sale. Lacey put her sticky note on that one. I'm sending it home with her if we ever find it again under the pile of stuff in Autumn and Kevin's room.

It's only fair though. Mike passed on his love of woodworking to Cameron. For a month now, he toiled on a wood and glass snake cage. After finally meeting the snake last Sunday, I was surprised to find an overgrown earthworm. I'm sure it might get lost in that monster cage. At least until it reaches full size. I won't let him bring the thing home so YingYang is living at Kristina's house. I mean really, a snake? There is just no room here anyway, since Autumn and I commandeered the dining room and den for our crafts.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Goodbye Hormones

Yes, the doctors have decided I need to shut down the hormone factory. The cancer I had is hormone receptive so I must get rid of the hormones. I like that in theory, just not too excited about surgery, which is tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I am ready for it....I think. No really, I had all the blood drawn, the chest x-ray and the EKG. I am getting used to being poked, pricked, and prodded. The pain goes away with pain pills so that's a big plus. I don't like the dizzy feeling but hey, it's better than pain.

What I really don't care for are the hot flashes. Yes people, hot flashes. In case you have not been privy to one of these mega furnice feelings, let me describe it. First you are happy, enjoying a good time, feeling great, and maybe even a bit chilly, when suddenly a heat wave moves straight into your face, you suddenly turn red, and the heat bubbles from the inside of your body working it's way out through every pore. You rip off whatever top layer of clothes can be removed without being arrested for indecent exposure, (if at home, you get indecent anyway). The kids run off to the their rooms and hide under the bed. You turn up all the ceiling fans and air conditioners to the coldest settings and then stand in front of the blowing vent while still drenched in sweat. Just when you are about to stick your head in the freezer, suddenly it goes away and you are freezing. While covered up in blankets, you dare anyone to turn off the air just in case another flash appears in the blink of an eye. And it will.

Anyway, that's about 1/10th of what a hot flash feels like. I'm sure my ovaries have quit producing these wonderful, yet evil monsters anyway since I have been having these wonderful flashes for quite a while. Especially since I quit the hormone therapy last year, but I can't help but think that the few hormones they do make (that the meds don't kill), probably have been helping to quench these relentless fire spasms somewhat. After tomorrow, you might want to bring your big coat with you when you are around me because I will be in the tank top looking for the nearest air vent to stand, sit, or sleep beside. Also, you might want to stand down wind.

So tomorrow, I say goodbye to hormones, a lesser chance of cancer, and hello to portable battery operated fans.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Retreat growing closer to my best friend, Jesus

What an awesome and peaceful weekend I enjoyed with the ladies from church. We had a great speaker, great singers, and great food. The Lord was the highlight of the weekend showing up from the beginning to the end. Well, I don't believe it's over and He is still with us as we go away equipped with the tools we need to face whatever Satan tries to throw at us. We are not to talk to snakes and recognize lies for what they are, lies! We need to keep our eyes on Jesus and not let the enemy get a stronghold in our life. The most important part of the lesson Ms. Sandy Stiles brought to us was not to talk to snakes and to devour the Word.

John 1
The Word Became Flesh 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (NIV)

John 1:14
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word is Jesus and when we get into the Word we are getting to know Jesus. When we memorize scripture, we are carrying His Word with us and we can fight the enemy.

How awesome is that. I know I plan to read and study my Bible more than I have been. I really want to dwell in His presence.

Jordan Self and Ginger Weeks brought some wonderful music along with praise and worship. Sandy shared the story of her life and how God has used her painful past to help others. Three ladies from our group stepped out of their comfort zone to lead small groups and did a great job.

It was all amazing, expecially at the end when we all joined together in a ceremony at the end for God spoke to each of us in His own way. It was all confirmation of God's supernatural presence.

To think, I almost missed it. I am so grateful, Ms. Debbie encouraged me to join the ladies in this wonderful weekend.

Thanks to all who attended and to the leaders for the sacrifice they made to give up their weekend to spread God's word. I know these ladies do not consider it a sacrifice but a blessing while sharing that blessing with us all. Praise God for whom all blessings flow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Army Man is Home

As we drove down the lane coming into the armory, flags lined the drive and families with signs anxiously waiting all the way down the sides of the road. Luckily, we managed to get a front row parking space and got out the one lawn chair that happened to be in the car. Yes, Momma got it while Daddy pulled out a folding table he placed on the grass to sit on. Sorry, but Momma don't get up and down as good as Daddy does.

Cameron called regularly with updates on his location as they rolled into the DFW. The community came out and lined the streets of the little town. Only family members were allowed into the Armory, the unloading zone. We could see the buses as they passed down the highway with their police escort, lights flashing, and the motorcycle club The Freedom Riders horns bellowing as they escorted them into town. They passed our turn in and looped around Wylie for the community to show their support. What's another few minutes for the proud family members to wait while their soldiers were honored by the townsfolk.

We called Cam on his cell phone to see which bus he was riding in and what side he was sitting on, bus driver or door; 1st bus, 5th seat behind the driver. Then they rolled in past Walmart to the waiting crowd. We were all bursting with pride and excitement. Cheers erupted. Sirens and horns leading the way. As the first bus passed, I was all set to see Cameron in the window. There he was, maybe. The window was tinted so dark we could barely make out a hand waving. I took a picture anyway but I don't think I got the right soldier. Really, who's going to know. I don't. It's going in the book!

We ran to the buses to watch our service men file off one by one to the waiting wives, children, girlfriends, fiancees, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and other army buddies. Each were grabbed, hugged, kissed, and/or photographed. Some had to search for their family members through the sea of heads. As Cameron climbed down the steps, he turned and saw me right away. I was the face behind the camera snapping as many shots as fast as my camera would cycle. Finally, as my son made his way to me he said, "Okay Mom, no more pictures," and gave me a big hug. Then he hugged his Dad, his sister, and both nieces. He looked around and his fiancee, Kristina, was hanging back but his eagle eye spotted her and pushed his way through the crowd. The scene was far better than any ad Hallmark could dream up. It was very sweet.

Yes, my son made it home from Iraq safe and sound, and I praise God. You see, a couple of his comrades were also waiting to see the buses arrive. They came home a few months earlier due to a car bomb that caused an arm injury for one and almost killed the other. Alive and on crutches he was all smiles for the homecoming. He spent several weeks in the hospital after losing a good portion of his back. It was heartwarming to see the all the soldiers line up to shake his hand and give him a gentle hug. They had their final formation and were dismissed.

Starving, we made a trip to the Steak and Shake, and then flew home to crash into bed. I have no idea what time Cam went to sleep but I was out like a light. Happy, relieved, and thanking God for having my chick back under my wing, safely home.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

Yes, my sweet baby girl grand-daughter, Reace started Kindergarten today. She went right into class and told her Mommy and Daddy, "You can leave now."Then she began smashing the play dough and rolling it back into a ball that the teacher had waiting for her on the desk.

Mommy said she thought Reace was trying to be brave and not cry. She did a great job at it. Mommy even did a pretty good job not crying. I, on the other hand, was at work and had to dry my eyes when Autumn called to tell me how brave our big girl behaved today.

Reacie's take on the day, "I almost froze my head off, it was chillin in there."

When asked how she liked school, she said with a smile, "It was fun and enjoyable." And she also noted that she made two friends. I'm excited about that since she doesn't have any friends her own age, they are all older or younger.

She sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider song for me from music class and corrected me on the motions. Apparently 50 years ago we did it all wrong. She swears the music teacher was at our church pool party last week. I believe it is because she is blond and has a tattoo around her ankle and apparently so does a blond lady from our church.

After playing all afternoon, I went outside and sat in the lawn chair while they played with the puppies and she crawled up in my lap and said, "I'm so tired" as her little eyes shut and I had to remind her she still had to take her bath and get ready for tomorrow. Of course, this was right after getting in trouble for almost running down the puppy with her bike, the one she is grounded from riding. Yes, Grandmommy is a bit of a pushover.

Kaylyn, my third-grader grand-daughter, took to school with her usual exuberance. She was up at 5 a.m. Probably the only day of school that she will be up that early. They were both dressed, with their backpacks ready to leave the house before the school even opened the doors. Mom and Dad held them off as long as possible arriving 20 minutes early.

Kay got a bit of an attitude with her Mom over homework and taking the puppies outside to, well, you know, and had to apologize. Now she's into kissing up by telling Mom, "Do you know who's prettier than me? You!"

Reace, the little Diva, asked, "What about me?"

My 1st grader Patrick is in another town so after work Lacey called but Patrick was too tired and grumpy to tell me about school. He said he needed a nap but he wasn't going to take one. He didn't want to get up early this morning. When Mommy went in to wake him, he said, "Only dorks get up early." Wonder what Papaw would think about that since he gets up between 4 and 5 a.m. Not me, I'll never be accused of being a dork. He apparently had a good day and notated all the girls in his class he knew from last year. Our little Don Juan.

Since Elijah is only 10 months, he got to have lunch with Grandmommy, Aunt Autumn and Mommy, of course, all by himself. He is reading now. It's sort of a humming noise but he loves to read. I believe he'll take after his Aunt Autumn in that respect. We're drowning in books from her trips to half price books.

So now all clean and with the big day behind them, all my little darlings are safely tucked into bed with sweet dreams of another "fun and enjoyable" day at school tomorrow since they all want to go back. Thank goodness, neither me nor my girls are cut out for home schooling.

Here is a poem I wrote this for teachers everywhere.

First Day of School
By Karen Arthur
May 2009

As you watch their little feet
Pad across to their new seat,
You have a tiny, little panic attack.
But don’t sell yourself short,
Just show them love from your heart,
For they are willing to give that love back.

Little Mary in row two,
Looks like she’s ready to,
Give up her lunch before the bell rings.
And poor Johnny over there,
Is asking you, “What’s a square?”
After explaining it 12 times it seems.

As they march out this first day,
Backpacks dragging all the way,
All you can think now is “How did I do?”
Just ask the parents if you dare,
They’ll let you know how you fared,
And how much each little angel loves you.

With lots of hugs and a some prayer,
They learn so much from you there,
While today you helped mold their little minds.
It may be the just the first day,
But what you both take away,
Will be remembered for each one’s lifetime.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Waiting For Surgery

I missed posting in May so here is a quick synopsis. We had a great Mother's Day, took Mom to the Arboretum with all the kids. Lots of fun.

Cameron came home on leave. He kept it a secret and knocked on my door at work. It was awesome. He was home for two weeks, and got engaged. Now, he is back in Iraq and starting to pack up for his return in August for good. Then he plans to get a part time job and go to college. I am excited for both Cameron and Kristina. They are waiting two years to get married until she finishes college.

Then, Autumn found out she is preggy and it is absolutely unplanned. We are excited, she's still sickly but I can tell they are getting excited. They may even start looking for a place to call their own. I'm not sure how we'll handle the separation. We are pretty intertwined. It'll be like a divorce, what's mine and what's yours. Oh what the heck, take it all. I'll get new furniture.

Now we are up to June and my life does not slow down. What fun would that be?

My surgery was cancelled twice and now I have to call Monday to find out when they rescheduled. What a bummer. I was all psyched up for it. The power went down at the surgery center and it was changed from Friday to Saturday. They didn't get the power going by Friday afternoon so now it's changed to whenever. I am ready to get this done and over with so keep your fingers crossed and your prayers coming.

On the bright side, we bought a new seat for the bike I'm starting to ride. A big seat for my Big Seat. I rode it around the pond at the park twice and back home. It is much more comfy than the itty bitty seat I had. I am working on living with arthritis and exercise is the best thing for it according to the doctors.

I decided to take up golf so I've been outside swinging the club. It's not as easy as it doesn't look. My arthritic hands are aching now.. and my back. But I'm going to give it a try since Mike and Cameron love it so much. I wanted to see if it was all that and a bag of chips. Kristina said she'd help me. It is so hot outside. These guys will play in the heat, cold and rain. I know I'm not going to love it that much but I like hitting the ball. It reminds me of softball and how good it feels to get a good solid hit and then watch the ball fly into the outfield. Unfortunately, I want to hold the club like a baseball bat. It's not exactly the same. So far, I've only hit the practice balls in the front yard and they aren't going that far. In fact, I'm lucky if it gets airborne. But I have high hopes of eventually making it to the driving range and not embarrassing myself. We will see if I ever make it to the actual course.

I have lost a little weight. I don't know how much to say I've lost. At one weigh in a while back I went pretty high and panicked but I am down 9 pounds from that catastrophic total. You know how weight goes up and down during the day so I weigh every morning and when I started my diabetic meal plan I weighed in and I had already started walking a mile a day and exercising so I had lost a little before that so I guess I can say I've lost about 5-6 pounds which is good. I am shooting for a pound a day but I'll settle for a pound every 3 days to keep at a steady pace. I would tell you how much I actually weigh but I'm not that transparent. I'll let you know when I reach my goal weight.

I forgot to mention I took a really long nap after the bike ride. Man that mile wore me out.

It's my only body and it has to last a lifetime. That's what I've decided. No one can do it for me, I have to step up and take responsibility. That's why I'm getting more exercise. I'd rather malinger but I'd just get fatter than I already am!

Father's day is next Sunday and Autumn's 10th anniversary is Thursday. So, they'll probably schedule my surgery that day. That's how it usually goes since my mastectomy was on my mom's 80th birthday. At least I will remember the date of my surgeries. Every medical questionnaire asks about every surgery you've ever had and who can remember what year you had a cyst removed from your finger. So take note, keep a medical journal and write everything down. It will definitely come in handy someday. Trust me.

I added a post to my website. I know some people still think I've had surgery today. They'll be surprised when I show up at church tomorrow and work Monday. I have to go in since I need the personal time for the real surgery. I had it all setup and everything to be off next week. I even got flowers with a card, "Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery" from my coworkers. They're really pretty and I am enjoying them. Hope they are still pretty when I am actually working on a speedy recovery.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter - New Poem

Holy Bible
Karen Arthur
April 11, 2009

Not just words, on printed page.
Not a biography full of rage.
But love and joy, timeless truths,
Pain and sorrow, family roots.
Not just poems or David's psalms,
Solomon's ode, or judging wrongs.
True stories of our heritage.
Adam's fall to what John said.
How to act and how to pray.
The passion of that fateful day.
The birth, the death, the miracle.
The reason we may feel the pull.
The Word was first, God held the pen.
He did it all, for every man.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Family Reunion

We had a Jones family reunion last weekend. Wow, what a great turnout. We lost two cousins last year and we had a moment of remembering these precious lives. Our theme this year was Celebration of Life and I wrote a poem. Each family sent pictures to cousin Denise and along with her brother Rick put together a pictorial history of the family and handed out DVD's. We watched video of past gatherings and a lot of the aunts and cousins were in the video that are now watching from the best seats in Heaven. It was bittersweet seeing them laughing and having fun. Rick's wife sang Ten Thousand Angels. The music wouldn't play and bless her heart, she sang it without the music. She did a beautiful job. I'm sure I would have been shaking like a leaf. I love to sing but I get nervous when I sing a solo. I need other voices to be bold.

We had tons of great food. If you put one teaspoon of each dish on your plate, you would need 3 plates at least. I tried to hold it down to one plate and I missed our own corn dish. Everything was delicious.

I gave a short speech about getting tested for the BRCA-2 gene mutation since it is present in our family and I think everyone should be tested. That way if you do not have the mutation you quit worrying about having it and if you are positive, you can take precautions so you will not have to get cancer or at least you can catch it fast like I did.

After the reunion, my cousin Tommy and his wife Sherry, and Denise and her kids came over and we had so much fun. If laughter is the best medicine, we all had big dose of it. Sherry couldn't believe our craft room. We call it Mini-Michael's. We could open our own craft store. We are still organizing and pics will be added soon. Hopefully. That is in our plans for today.

I will also be checking the Internet to see what is good to eat and not good to eat for osteoarthritis, diabetes, acid reflux, and high cholesterol. Then I am going to make a chart and see what overlaps. Hopefully there will be enough items left on good side so I can go shopping. I really need to lose some weight and I'm sure anything on the good list will be less fattening. I've been eating berries and walnuts this week. I am getting back to nature. Mmm. I really like that stuff. I may plant a berry vine.

I updated my blog yesterday. Feel free to read about my latest doctor visits.
Now, here is the poem I wrote for the reunion. I hope you enjoy it.

Celebrate Life
copyright Karen Arthur, March 27, 2009

Celebrate life while you’re here today,
Don’t take it for granted or throw it away.
For we’re born, we live, and then we die.
But there’s much more to the measure of life.
When born we’re under a parents care.
Taught how to live, taught how to share.
How to walk, to talk and act.
Follow the example, stay on track.
We live, we love, we laugh, we cry.
We can’t give up ‘til we get it right.
We praise, we worship, we bless God’s name.
We raise our children to do the same.
No one knows just where it went
Yet health begins its steep descent.
Bones get brittle and bodies ache.
Hard to believe we deteriorate.
Memories fade as years roll away
It seems like youth was yesterday.
Then time is up and we must go
But it isn’t death that takes us home.
For life is on the other side,
Believe in the Son, He’ll be your guide.
We’re born to live again with Him.
Our life has meaning, a hidden gem.
Leave a legacy behind
For loved ones left to surely find.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fun in the Sun and Rain

Well, Mike and I went on a super nice vacation and celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary.

On the way I realized I forgot my bathing suit so we stopped at a Mall on the way and bought a really cute one. It's looks just like my old one but its polka dot and new. We got in the hot tub once but it was worth it. I got a new suit. he he

It was so peaceful I think we almost got a little bored. Hubby doesn't like to sit still. I took my keyboard to play around but forgot the cord that attaches the midi to the computer so I couldn't record the song I was writing. We checked around in the tiny, town in Texas that had a Walmart and 2 music stores but no USB midi interface cord. I called one of music stores and he asked if they even made one. Gee, I just made up the name I guess, huh? Duh! Oh well, guess I wasn't supposed to record my song this week.

Our bed was pretty hard and we're used to a feather bed, so we trucked to Walmart on Saturday and bought a memory foam mattress pad. Nice. And, we can still use it. The couch sunk in so bad, I'm not sure I could get up even if my arthritis wasn't bothering me. So we bought a long pillow to sit on. Not great, but better than nothing.

We went golfing one day. Hubby golfed while I looked for balls. Then he lost the extra balls I found. A few went in the water. He asked me to toss him another ball, which I did, right into the water. Good thing I found some while we were looking for the ball he lost in the woods.

We exercised a bit in the the room set up at the timeshare club house. Okay, 2 days we exercised. I thought the machine had 10 lb weights but Mike had changed it to 20 lbs when he was working out. My shoulder about killed me the rest of the week. I had to take super strength Tylenol just to be able to sleep.

We went on a couples day out with the activities director and we were the only couple but it was a lot of fun. She took us to another itty, bitty town and went to a place called Heritage Village where they had all this old stuff. I could donate a few things from my house since I saw a LOT of my old stuff in there. Makes you feel good when you see your first sewing box (I still have it) in an antique store for $14.00. I put it in the garage sale the week before for $1.00 and it didn't sell. Now I'm thinking of keeping it. I don't know why, just because someone thinks it's valuable, I guess. It's nostalgic. The name of the store is Junktique. That should tell me something. Their motto is "Your grandmother bought it, you mother sold it, and you can buy it back." Cute, huh.

Unfortunately, my kids are not savers like me. I'm a pack rat and want to keep everything. My kids want me to throw it all out. I don't see my daughter getting rid of her stuff so fast. She has a Walmart sack of tin cans she might make into pencil holders. Hellooo! We open new ones every day!!! Love you Autumn!

Anyway, back to our trip. We dined at a quaint little restaurant that brought out bowls of food and a big plate of fried chicken. All you can eat. I couldn't eat that much because I'm trying not to eat fried foods. I felt like I was home with Mom. The food was great.

I was feeling bad about not bringing my beads to work on so I bought some at Walmart and some tools. Of course, I never got around to making anything but I did change some earring wires for the lady that took us on the couples day out. So it wasn't a total loss.

I had to planned to make it a Biggest Loser week by eating healthy and exercising. With all that, I gained 3 lbs. Maybe, I'm not sure, but maybe it was the steak we grilled for our anniversary dinner. Or the baked potatoes. But I don't think so. More likely, the sitting around doing nothing. No complaints here. I don't have to be moving all the time. My body agreed with me since I had to be helped up every time I stood up. The arthritis was so bad, I bought a knee brace. Not sure it helped but the ping pong was pretty strenuous.

We rented movies and watched a really cute one called Music and Lyrics but the rest were just okay. It started raining Wednesday afternoon and it starting getting really cold so the hot tub and pool were definitely out. By Thursday morning we had about 2 - 3 inches in front of the door. We needed to switch movies so, believe it or not, we went out the sliding glass door and I climbed over the fence. I know!!! Mike put a chair on both sides and I managed to get over. I didn't try it on the way back, I just balanced on the flower bed rails and managed to get back in without drowning. Friday morning, it started again and we couldn't load the car so maintenance came and cleared the sidewalk and put down stepping stones. Poor Mike had to carry all the junk we brought and had bought to the car in the rain.

And all good things must to come to an end. We drove home on Friday and reluctantly went back to work on Monday. The helper in my office was only able to work in there two days but she had the paperwork separated and ready for me. Unfortunately, I had an all day meeting on Tuesday and had to go to another store all day Wednesday. It's been over a week and I'm still trying to get caught up. It never fails, we have to pay the price for taking off but it was worth it. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Poem

We are headed to the Gospel Music Artist Association Convention next weekend. I recite my poetry instead of singing so here is the one I wrote this week. I think I might read it at the convention.

Savor the Moment

Are you too busy to stop and pray?
To find the pleasure of each new day?
Do you race to and fro without any fun?
Do you spend your free time on the run?

What’s for dinner? Time for bed.
Turn on the TV my brain is dead.
Sometimes we forget to take a deep breath.
Savor the moment and forget all the rest.

So hug the kids and kiss your spouse,
Take a break from cleaning the house.
Buy everyone an ice cream cone,
Have some quality time for your own.

Give God glory, whisper a prayer.
Thank the Lord for being there.
Life’s too short to dash it away.
Savor each moment and seize the day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I'm living pink!

I am a breast cancer survivor of three months. I am very blessed that the cancer was detected by a routine mammogram and it was very tiny. I had a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on November 26th, my mother's 80th birthday. I had this surgery as opposed to a lumpectomy because I tested positive for BRCA-2 gene mutation, which increases my chances of recurrence by 55-60% instead of 10%. Now, my chances of recurrence is down to 5-8% and with the pill I will be taking it is even lower at 1.5-2%. My dad died of pancreas cancer and when they did all the preliminary tests they found a cyst on my pancreas. It was aspirated on Dec 18th and found to be normal. So now I am ready to move on. The lymph nodes were clear so I did not require any chemotherapy or radiation. There are a few more surgeries to complete the reconstruction and remove my ovaries so I won't have to deal with the chance of ovarian cancer. I am 55 and do not plan to have any more kids. I have three grown children and they have four grand kids between them so we're good to go. That surgery will be after the other is finished. That's okay, I have a great faith in God and all this has been part of a bigger plan. My family is taking precautions and having the gene study so I know the cancer deaths in my family and the survivors are saving the lives of the rest of our big brood. My dad had a lot of siblings and they have a lot of offspring so there is a bigger purpose in place. God has used me to save my family. I feel special for having been chosen. He knew I could handle it and as painful as it was after surgery, I am feeling so grateful today for being an instrument of God.

The pain is pretty much gone or minimal and I go back to work on Monday. That should be fun. I've been laying around and getting up late for five weeks so I don't know how I'll make through 8 hours but I'm going to try.

So, now I'm thinking pink. My jewelry I've been making lately has a lot of pink ribbon themes. My clothes are pink. I'm not trying to show off, it's just that pink has a whole new meaning for me. I totally understand it now. So many breast cancer survivors came up to me and offered support. It's like a club you don't want to join but you find the nicest group of people once you get in. I was welcomed with open arms and caring hearts. What a great year this is going to be.