Sunday, June 29, 2014

Refreshment for my soul

I just wrapped up my annual college-roommate-reunion. It's always a sweet time, lots of reminiscing, laughing, catching up, relaxing...but this year was vitamins for my soul. Although we were missing 1/4 of our posse, since Candace is living in Australia now, I was filled up and encouraged after our time together. That's how you know you have a deep friendship with a person, when you feel like you took a multivitamin for your soul after you have been with them. 

Health update:
I am starting HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) tomorrow! I will meet with the doctor, prior to the first treatment, and will find out how many treatments and the frequency he recommends for the best benefit. I am so thankful to have this opportunity. Thank you SO much to all those who have been so generous to help us make this an option for me.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Enjoyed my rewards today

Psalm 127:3
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

              Visited the new waterfront park downtown today with & fun!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Good Times

We spent a restful yet very full 4 days in Visalia this past week. A wedding, 2 birthdays, a play, lots of swimming and spontaneous sleepovers. I like to refer to our time there as a "perpetual party". So thankful that, even though months pass between each visit, when we get together it's like we never left. Good times. Sweet fellowship. Family that are friends. Friends that are like family.


Friday, June 20, 2014


Good night! I'm thinking UCSD should start paying me, since I'm having to assist them with details. Lol:)
Thursday afternoon I finally contacted my oncologist via email. She responded quickly, saying she was out of town and didn't realize I hadn't received the petscan results. Hmmm, glad I said something or we would have still been waiting! (Thank you for your patience!)
She had to give me the results thru email which was ok since there wasn't much "new" news. We will go over the details at my appt on July 7th. The petscan "lit up", showing the same left pleural & diaphragmic nodules that showed up from the previous scan. The only other new area is that the sternum (breast bone) seems to be involved. This was the only bone area that was abnormal. 
Essentially this is good news and a huge "thank you Jesus" . There are always a thousand things to be thankful for...thank you that there isn't cancer in any major organs, that it's not in the brain, that I feel pretty normal, that we are enjoying time with friends and family, that I listened to my body and found it now, that I have so many caring and dedicated cheerleaders on my side of the playing field.....

Read this this morning...
Psalm 16:1, 9
Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.

(Ok love the whole chapter but didn't want to type it out:)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Today's inspiration...


                Sent to me from my friend Phoebe

Celebrating Dads

We were blessed to be able to celebrate with both our dads Sunday, while celebrating Jason. Jameson's final football game for the season, church and a BBQ at our house. It was relaxing and a sweet time. So thankful for men in our lives that love us unconditionally and lead by example...loving Jesus.

           Bellen was napping during the festivities;)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Second time around

Usually when you do something a second time you sort of expect what is to come. Childbirth... Yep all 4 times the same steps occurred with the same joyous ending, a baby!
Moving...done that 3 times in the past 3's tiring, a pain and lots of work but once settled it feels soooo good!
Transition from summer to school schedule...oh, those early mornings seem so harsh come those first few days of school, but pretty soon it's like second nature.
Cancer...well, ok, not so much. It actually seemed so much worse hearing it this second time around. Unbelievable really. Like this isn't my life. But, after I screamed, cried and told God how mad I was with Him for allowing this again in my children's lives, I came full circle. The calm after the storm. Yes, my dingy was beat up from the horrendous wave of bad news, but I'm still here. He is still here with me. He never left... Let me throw my fit and gently hooked my beat up vessel to His strong and undefeatable tug boat. Now, I'm being pulled through the waves. Some big, some small. But the difference is I'm not doing this on my own strength. I've shut off my motor and am allowing my vessel to be powered by Him. 
Try it... that storm seems so much worse when you try to brave it alone.

Isaiah 26:1-4
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: we have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed in You, because he trusts in You. Trust in The Lord forever, for in Yah, The Lord, is everlasting strength. 

I have no veins...but do have friends!

Thank goodness the needle torcher, I mean, Petscan is over!
It took 3 people, 8 pokes and an hour & 15 minutes to finally access a vein!
The scan itself provided a nice little (almost) nap. 

The craziest part of the day, outside of the vein drama, was when I arrived in the waiting room. My mom (who sacrificed her day to bring me to the scan cus jason was out of town) was surrounded by 4 women. I thought, "wow, she made a lot of friends in those 3 hours".
Well, they weren't her friends, they were my friends!! From Visalia! Those crazy good friends drove 5 hours to surprise & support me on a day that was less than fun. A friend told me that's what she likes to call "heaven love"... Very appropriately.
What did we do, you ask? Well, I don't think UCSD medical center is just a few blocks from the mall by accident! I think The Lord orchestrated that to cheer people up, and provide retail therapy for those who like their therapy in the form of shopping bags and material possessions;). (Yep, that's me)
I had to be away from the kids for 6 hours, due to being radioactive from the iv injection that is needed for the petscan. So, it provided plenty of time for a leisurely lunch, shopping and a quick dinner before these 4 got back in the car and drove right back to Visalia! I know my sis-in-law, Leslie, wanted to join them but couldn't (sometimes it really is the thought that counts!:).

Thank you x1,000 for the prayers today! Thank you for all those who texted me wondering how it went. Thank you for waiting several hours for me in the waiting room AND being willing to be around me while radioactive (Mom, Phoebe, Karin, Marie & Christina). Thank you to my gem-of-a-mother-in-law who entertained and cared for my kids ALL day. My heart is full of gratitude and Jesus is the reason. He fills my cup, He gives me peace, He brings me joy (thru even things like...friends who give up their day to drive along time just to support you, then drive back home).

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Glorious Get Away

We love to vacay. But, let's be honest, who doesn't? Fluffy beds, heated pools, people picking up after you, turning your bed down at night, room service, the kid's sun kissed cheeks...the list could go on forever. 
We were mighty blessed this week to accompany Jason on an executive leadership retreat to Laguna Beach. (Yes, even when you live near the beach you want to "retreat" to the beach)
He was in meetings all day but we managed ;) to pass the time bouncing between the beach, tide pools and pool. It was so relaxing & provided some good "down" time to reflect and soak in all God's blessings and also spend time with friends, who loved on us.
As we were leaving the hotel, I finally received the call to schedule my petscan (had been waiting for insurance to ok it). It will take place on Friday at 11am, lasting about 2-3 hours. Thank you for your continued prayers! (For my vein to be easily accessed, peace while I lay still for that long, nothing NEW to show up on the scan other than where they think the cancer is)
I will also be starting Tamoxifen this weekend (please pray for NO side effects and GREAT results).
Love & God's peace to you...

Monday, June 9, 2014


Another quote from the Ann Voskamp book, one Thousand Gifts.

See that I am God . See that I am in everything. See that I do everything. See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally. See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began, by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it. How can anything be amiss?
(Julian of Norwich, revelations of Divine Love p59)

I can rest in these words. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I am finding such incredible, unfathomable peace in Him. He is guarding my mind with His tender, strong, loving hands. He is strengthening me with His Holy Spirit who ministers to me day and night. I can't explain it. Don't really want to try to figure it out either. Just going to rest here in Him and be thankful I get this chance. Even though it wasn't a "chance" happening...but part of His plan for my life. 

                            Enjoying some family R&R in Laguna...beach=our happy place

Sunday, June 8, 2014

That's Game!

Saturday was closing ceremonies for Sutton's first baseball season. The Blue Sharks had a fun time learning the basics of tball and mostly love sliding into home. It is truly a joy to watch 5 & 6 year olds learn to play a team sport!
At the ceremony the players got to march around the field in teams, munch on free hot dogs & ice cream and receive their trophy (the reason my boys play any sport!). Sutton definitely will play baseball again...but for now, he's ready to hang up the glove & bat and break in his new clubs he got for his birthday! Fore!

Friday, June 6, 2014


So this has been a week like no other! So many good things...the marriage retreat, 2 of our kids birthdays, spending time with my family. But on the flip side, it's been one of the most devastating that we've ever known as a couple. (Not to be misunderstood, we have had heartache, but talking collectively as parents/spouses)
Not to mention, the skewed way I found out the test results. Not by a phone call from one of my doctors. But rather, by chance, while on my medical chart that is posted online. It was a huge mistake on their end, but it has been apologized for and being resolved. It kind of felt like a punch to the gut, then another and maybe a choke hold too. Not gonna lie, I was pretty rocked. We both were. We have told Meran & Jameson (hardest part) but not Sutton & Bellen. As needed, if needed, we will let them know. Rocked our family for sure.
"Couldn't even pray for myself" rocked... But that's where you ALL came in. Your prayers, interceding for me, for us as a couple, as a family. Thank you isn't enough, but will have to do until I can repay the "pray-vor" (get it, favor + pray = pray-vor ;) lol. 

Bottom line:
I have metastatic breast cancer, in the pleural fluid and most likely in the lining on the (left) chest wall. 

But if there is a bottom line, there must certainly be a top line, right?
If I don't look for the good I will miss the blessings, no doubt, on this journey.

Top line:
It looks like it was caught early. As in, not having many symptoms, early. So, there is a great possibility that I can have a great many years if we can keep the cancer at bay and from spreading.

For now, the plan is to have PET scan next week to see if the cancer has gone anywhere else (prayer request #1)-that it's only in the current known places
Then I will go on hormone therapy and possibly a clinical trial drug that is looking promising (prayer request #2)-technically I'm not totally legible for the trial for a few reasons so I'd love God to make a way if this is in my best interest.

Seriously, we feel so loved thru everyone's texts, emails and most of all prayers. Several have shared that they have been up at night beseaching God on our behalf. I can't tell you what that means to me. How it lifts my spirit. My dear friend used the analogy today of the story in Mark 2, how the paralyzed man was literally carried to Jesus by his friends to be healed. That is what you are to me, the times I am weary and sad. 

I'm a slow reader(or rather never sit down to read), so I'm still trying to get through Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. Today this jumped out and bit me, snapping me back into "spiritual" reality...
"The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is"

We still believe God performs miracles, because the bible tells us He is the same yesterday, today and forever(Hebrews 13:8) we will continue to pray for my complete healing!

Six Year Old Sutton

It happened again! Another kid had a birthday! It was Sutton's turn, on Thursday, to blow out the candles...this funny, tall-like-his-dad, kindergarten-bound, loves to play Legos with his big brother & house with his sisters, second-born boy chose to spend his special day hanging out in grandma & grandpa's pool(since we spent the day before at Disneyland). The OC cousins came over to hang out. We did dinner, gifts (he got his golf clubs he had been wanting) and he wanted his candle stuck in a banana so he could make "1 more" birthday wish before he went to bed:)...that's our Sutty-buddy (I know, my days of calling him that are numbered;)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Her last pre-teen birthday

Somehow, we have a 12 year old. Well, I'm pretty sure I remember most of what led us here, but I certainly did not realize, during it, how quickly a child gets to this point! Meran turned 12 on Tuesday. She loved saying, "my last birthday before I'm a teen", a little too much for her father & my liking;). We celebrated as a family, doing all her favorite things-bowling, pizza, painting pottery, mani/pedis and eating out!
Meran not only made us parents, but she has inspired & blessed us beyond what we ever imagined a child could do to grow a parent as a person. Meran's joy is contagious and her sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is a blessing. Happy Birthday to our first born. We love you. Forever.

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