"As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24: 15

Wednesday July 30th

I just love the way God takes care of things in my life...don't you. Last night I had to shave my head and today I got a call from a neighbor who put me in contact with a place I could get a free wig. I was able to go in this afternoon between my naps and was given a beautiful and very expensive wig for free. I call it my Jennifer Parker Wig because as you can tell it looks exactly like her hair...well except for the bangs. She of course had to come over and see it and we got a picture together for the blog.
Other than that it's been a rough couple of days. During my first treatment I was prescribed a very expensive anti-nausea medicing...$75 for 2 pills (with insurance)...but this time we asked for something different hoping to save a bit and still beat the nausea. But the meds I'm on right now aren't cutting it. I've been taking two different anti nausea medicines and still have been sick for two days straight. Napping seems to help almost more than the meds so I've been sleeping a lot...but this is hard to do even with the older two kids away in Wichita with Aunt Kathryn. It's been nearly impossible for me to eat the last couple of days but I was able to keep a little dinner down tonight. For the next treatment we are definitely going to be getting the better anti-nausea perscription. But the Lord is my source and my ever present help in times of trouble and He is constantly showing Himself faithful throughout these long days. I'm awed by the friends and family who have been reaching out to help us...Thank you so much for your support and love. We love you and couldn't do this without you.

The Sheering - July 29th

I would like to start out by saying that this post is not for the weak of heart. But for those of you who know me and know my sense of humor you'll understand that there was nothing to do with the lemons I was given today but to make lemonade. I had vowed right after my diagnosis that as soon as the first handful of hair fell out I'd shave my head...well today's the day!!! I made a tray of "Everything" brownies and invited the family over for a party. I swore off sugar right after my diagnosis but a girl can't shave her head without the presence of chocolate so I broke the rules...just for tonight.
Here we go!!!

There's no turning back now!!!

Jen steps in to show off her mad skills with the clippers. Claiming that her years abroad have given her a better grasp on cool hair styles.

Good Morning Angels!
Good Morning Charlie

Righteous Dude!

Practicing for the next guitar hero night at Jen and Daniel's house. I'm so gonna win with this new do...it's all about becoming the character!

I think Daniel is a little shocked to see me! Like I said this posting is not for the faint of heart.

But we cool!

Bye Bye Big Mohawk!

Don't mess with us.

Well, I got talked into leaving the small mohawk for a couple of days for shock value. But here's the rest of it. I made it through the night that I've been dreading for weeks. Unsure if I'd be able to handle shaving my head. But I'm proud to announce not one tear was shed...not even by mom and we laughed our heads off all evening long. And I've been told there's no better medicine than laughter. I'll concure with that...I've been very sick all day and the drugs haven't been denting it this time but as soon as we got into shaving my head and had fun with it the nausea became bareable for the first time today. This was definitely a once in a life time experience and we did it up good.

...I guess I'd better call and cancel my hair appointment for Saturday (it was scheduled before diagnosis)...I don't think I'll be needing it!

Bye Bye Beauty Products - July 29th

Well today is the day that I've been expecting and dreading since my diagnosis. When I woke up this morning a large clump of hair greeted me on my pillow as well as many handfuls each time I put my hand to my head. So I plunked a hat on my head and started cleaning up and packing away all my hair supplies. Bye, Bye CHI...I'll miss you. So long Paul Mitchel and Bed Head I'll call you later. Farewell Pantene, no amount of Pro-V is really going to help me right now. The good news is that our counter space in the bathroom has gotten exponentially larger (Dorian is grateful) and the time I'll save getting ready in the mornings will be amazing...in fact I may get too used to it and not want to get rid of the wigs! But all joking aside...I'm reminded of the verse in Proverbs that says "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised". In todays culture we do so much for beauty, spend countless dollars on beauty treatments and products, clothes, and accessories but tend to lose sight of what really matters and what really makes us valuable and beautiful. My hope is that in facing this trial, in being stripped of this vanity I will come closer to the heart of my King and others will be able to see His beauty in me.

Second Chemo Treatment and Update - July 28th

Okay, I know everyone is wanting an update. So here it is...First of all thank you so much for your prayers concerning the allergic reaction I had to the tapes/bandages from my surgery...the rash has finally cleared up...YAY!!! Today they were able to use the port in my chest for the first time for lab work and for the chemo itself. It was completely painless and quite easy to access...so even with all the trouble it's caused over the last couple of weeks I'm very glad to have it now! Anyway, today was a very busy day for us. We dropped the kids off with friends early this morning then headed to the Cancer Center. I had labs drawn first and then met with the doctor to go over my labs and for a quick check up before starting chemo. My white blood cell count was great (WBC 10.5 and NEU 7.8 normal is 8.8-10.8 for the WBC and 1.9 to 8.0 on the NEU), my red blood cell count was basically unchanged (HCB 12.5 and HCT 37.7 normal being 12.0-16.0 for the HGB and 37.0-47.0 on the HCT), but my plateletes were low (PLT 123 normal being 130-400). They were not low enough to delay treatment but please be praying that this level will go up...with a low PLT level the blood doesn't clot as quickly and I can bleed easier. The really awesome news is that the doctor had a hard time finding the largest tumor that still remains in my right breast. Two weeks ago it was the size of a lima bean but after 1 chemo treatment and a whole lot of prayer, today it is the size of a BB...and none of the lympnodes were detectable in his exam. I'm so excited about what God is doing and His faithfulness and goodness to me right now...I can hardly contain it!!! This is definitely not an easy road to be walking but He is walking it with me and making my burdens so very light! The Chemo treatment went smooth again. Dorian was able to take the day off work and stay with me the whole day (well, except for when Mom stopped by on her lunch break) and we had fun sitting and talking without being pounced on by the kids. The second drug that they give me (Cytoxin) was a little difficult to handle, I have had a reaction to it both times now. Today they gave me Benedryl before I started the Cytoxin so that I wouldn't have the reation but I still did...they slowed the drip, which helped, and are going to have to slow it down from here on out. It helped with the side effects but it does lengthen the day quite a bit. Oh, and another side effect that I've been dealing with over the last week is joint pain. Over the past week or so I've had intense pain in my shoulders, especially in my right shoulder. Dr. Keller said it was tendonitis caused by the Taxotere (chemo). It's not a common side effect but it is a side effect that can happen. It's been very painful, and debilitating as I couldn't pick up Jadon with my right arm for the last couple of days. Today it wasn't as bad but he perscribed me some pain meds just in case it gets bad again. But if you could also remember to be praying for that, I'd rather not have to take the pain meds...lol. My hair seems to be thinning a bit. It started out slowly a few days ago but seems to be picking up. I havn't lost any handfuls, there's just aways 4-6 hairs on my shirt or tickling my neck. As soon as I pull them off there's more there waiting. It's making it a little bit more real but I'm not afraid of it. We'll keep you all posted as info becomes available...in the mean time Thank you all so much for your love, prayers, and support of me and the whole family. I cry quite often at how much everyone has been helping out and reaching out to us. May God bless each and every one of you as you have been a blessing to us. We love you and thank God daily for you.

Jadon's 1st Haircut 7/19


Off with the curls. I've been meaning to cut Jadon's hair for the last month or so but finally got around to it this weekend. Daddy had to hold him still while I snipped away. He was very interested in the scissors and the comb...I wouldn't have been able to do it if Daddy hadn't helped. Or maybe Jadon would just be down a couple of fingers.

Sisters 7/17

We decided to take advantage of the fact that Kathryn was in town and that I felt good despite starting Chemo, so we got fixed up and headed out for a girls night.

July 14th and 15th Fun

Tuesday afternoon Aunt Kathryn took the kids to Woodward Park...which Ethan likes to call 'The Flower Park'. Although the flowers he's refering too...azaleas...are no longer in bloom the park offered them many different things to explore.

After Chemo on Monday Aunt Kathryn rescued a baby bird that fell out of it's nest and into our fireplace. The poor thing was scared to death but it let Kat pick it up and we of course had to snap a picture before we released it outside. Here Ethan is stuffing his cheeks with the cherry tomatoes from his tomato vine in the back yard. Boy does he love his tomatoes!!!
Looks like Grandpa joined Aunt Kathryn and the kids at the park! Jadon still looks a little out of it but I think he's on the mend.

Chemo Begins - Monday July 14th

Oh what a difference a month makes...lol. A month ago I was going through life without a care or concern busily attacking each task in front of me and even busier planning every detail of the coming months. I never would have guessed that I'd be diagnosed with cancer and be starting chemo this summer. But God is so very faithful. And I'm so excited about what he's doing in my life. I keep saying to myself that verse in James where it says to count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds...that through them our faith is being perfected (thats not a word for word quote). This is not a trial I would have chosen but I'm excited to see how my faith will be affected and perfected! Okay so enough of the rambling and into the info everyone wants to know. I went in at 10:00am yesterday for my first treatment. But was delayed about an hour and a half because I'd developed a pretty nasty rash on my chest...an alergic reation to the tape/bandages I'd had from my port surgery last week. So I had to go and see the doctor and have him check it out and perscribe some steroids. Although I'm not too keen on steroids I'm thrilled to not be itching anymore. Kind of on a different note...while I was in with Dr. Keller we got off an my Congenital Pseudoarthrosis (the bone disease I had as a child) and he'd been research about it all weekend and actually found that pseudoarthrosis, BRCA1 and BRCA2 (the breast cancer genes) as well as a couple other disorder which I don't have are all on the same gene or are either really close together on the DNA strand (I don't understand all that kind of stuff)...he thought it was all very interesting and is doing more research but believes there is a connection...even if the medical community isn't advanced enough to understand it and figure it out yet. Anyway...back to the Chemo. We got started with the chemo at about 11:45...Dorian got to stay there for the first few drips before he headed off to work. Then Kathryn came and sat with me the rest of the afternoon...except when mom popped in for a quick lunch time visit. Much to my amazement I didn't feel anything different, weird, or even sick. There was one point during the second medicine that my sinuses started feeling a lot of pressure and they gave me a benedryl and some tylenol and everything got better. I felt great the rest of the day. We were able to go out for a late lunch (3:30) after treatment and then headed home to get the kids together so we could go to grandpa's. I started getting tired that evening at grandpas and ended up napping on the hammock until the mosquitos tried to get their share of Chemo blood, which couldn't have been too tasty but they kept coming so I went inside. Overnight I had a couple of rough spots...I had a difficult time sleeping (they said it's a side effect of the steroids) and a couple bouts of nausea. Luckily the medicine they prescribed for the nausea made me drowsy and I knocked out both problems with 1 stone or pill. Today I went in for my shot of newlastin (that's probably spelled wrong) it's a shot I have to get the day after chemo that will stimulate my bones to produce more marrow therefore upping my white blood cell count thus keeping my immune system more stable and an infection less likely. They said the side effect from that shot is that my bones could ache...I haven't had any of that yet and in faith at all. But I am tired today...I can do small things around the house but have to sit down a lot and rest. Luckily Kathryn has taken the kids out to the park!!! God is so good...all the time!!! I woke up singing my favorite song this morning...In Christ Alone...and I thought I'd leave this blog entry with my favorite line from that song which means more to me now than ever....
No power of hell
No scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from HIS hand
Till he returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

Monday July 7th

An Evening at The ParkOn Monday evening after dinner the kids and I walked to the park to enjoy our evening before the week got too overwhelming for us. Jadon cruised in style in his stroller while Christlyn pushed him (most of the way).
Jadon loved swinging with Mommy and couldn't stop giggling with delight.
Christlyn, my resident monkey, was all over the place climbing anything and everything she could. Ethan just wanted to take pictures with my camera...so thats why there are no pictures of him...and also why I just had to delete about 200 pictures from my memory card...lol. After a while of playing with each other some of Christlyn's classmates came to the park and they all got to play together.

The next morning I headed in for surgery to get a port put in my chest. The procdure went well even though I was awake the whole time...don't worry I was heavily drugged and don't remember too much of it. But the recovery from it has been more difficult than I'd anticipated. I can hardly move my neck or left shoulder/arm. This makes it very difficult to be a mommy (especially of a 1 year old who still needs to be carried quite often). To top things off Jadon has been throwing up for about 2 days now...please remember to pray for him. I didn't get to start chemo this week, there were some scheduling mishaps that prevented me from seeing the oncologist until this morning. But I truly believe it was just another way God is looking out for me...I've been in so much pain from the port I don't think I could have handled Chemo too. But I will be starting Chemo on Mon. morning at 10:00am. I'll be on a 2 week schedule and will do between 6 and 8 rounds. So if everything goes as planned I will be done with Chemo on either Sept. 22 or Oct. 20!!! Please keep us in your prayers!

Is it possible that I am my own hero? I look back at the faith I had as a toddler/preschooler facing surgery after surgery, casts, braces, crutches and pain. It could be the worst of days yet you could still hear me singing ‘This is the day that the Lord has made’. I didn’t fully understand what was going on, or what my parents were fighting and praying so hard for, only that that was my life, and that the Lord promised to be with me and to heal me. That was enough for me and I was joyful throughout. And He never let me down…some roads I had to walk through, some he delivered me from but He never let me down. Somewhere in growing up I’ve gotten lost in the heartache and pain of the world. I’ve been disenfranchised and lost the sweetest parts of who God made me to be. I stare at this road that lies ahead of me, still in disbelief that I’m here. Breast Cancer? Really? Me? But in the whirlwinds of emotions during the last two weeks since diagnosis I am brought back to what I learned as a child…God is God and He is worthy of our faith and trust and devotion no matter what…and that nothing can happen to us against His will. So in total surrender I lay myself down for Him and His works. The doctors say Mastectomy, Chemo, Radiation, Hair Loss, Exhaustion, and feeling Sick are all what lies ahead. And while these things frighten me, I rest in Him knowing that nothing will happen to me unless God wills it…and if He wills it, He will be glorified through it. So if my being bald will glorify my Lord and King…I will say “may my Lord be Praised” and will take a razor to my head. I am His servant. My body is His. He may use me in whatever way will bring Him glory…I no longer have pride in anything but Him and His works! And somehow I think in this I’ve found that little girl I used to be that I’ve missed so very much!


...Just wanted to let everyone know what was going on and keep you up to date with the latest information. Liz left early Monday morning and Jennifer has practically taken up residency at our home in her stead. I'm anxiously awaiting just one day with no doctors appointments or tests...but right now I'm being poked and prodded to no end, and Jen has been watching the kids. On Monday morning we met back with Dr. Lockhart (who did the surgery) to go over the prior weeks test results. The cancer is Stage 2 Grade 3 and is everywhere on the right breast not just in the 3 tumors he had already removed. The good news is the left side is clean and clear and the blood work all looks good. I decided to get a second opinion and followed the recommendation of the Medical Director at Blue Cross/Blue Shield and went to see Dr. LaNette Smith later that afternoon. She is a wonderful doctor. She did an ultrasound and found more tumors on the right side and also noticed that my lymphnodes were enlarged so she did a needle biopsy of them and let me know she was certain the cancer was in them as well. She sent me for a bunch more tests and has set me up to see a great oncologist as well as a gentecisist. Dr. Smith called today to let me know the lab results confirm the cancer is in my lymphnodes. She believes I need to be on Chemo right away before any mastectomy. So Tues. July 7th I am going in for a little outpatient procedure to put a port in and then will more than likely start chemo later that day or the next. This is still all very surreal but getting more real every moment. The strength I felt I had last week was shattered on Monday with the realization that this was all real and that I'd be on Chemo so soon and losing my hair within a few weeks. But today the Lord has renewed my strength and I know with Him and through Him I can do all things even chemo. He has sent me such wonderful friends and family who are standing by me so steadily. Thank you all so much for your endless prayers, encouraging phone calls, notes, letters, books, CDs, hats, wigs, and scarfs...I have never been so blessed. I love you all and thank God always for you.