September 8, 2008
I can do everything through him who gives me
strength. Philippians 4:13.
Wow, it has been forever since my last entry.
Especially when I read what I last wrote! Seems like ages
ago ... where to start?
I am officially beating the odds, statistically, by merely
being alive over 2 years after being diagnosed with stage IV
breast cancer. I am also beating the odds by being able to
remain on this same treatment regimen for longer than 9 months,
which is the "average time to treatment
I continue having my monthly treatments of Zometa and Zolodex,
and am taking Femara by mouth on a daily basis. I am
no longer having headaches or nausea/vomiting associated with my
treatments. I am no longer having joint pain either.
I am basically side-effect-free ... except for insomnia, which
my doctor does not believe is related to any of the
medications. Never mind the fact that before I started
treatment for metastatic breast cancer, I could sleep or nap at
any time of the day, for any length of time, and still sleep all
night. I could fall asleep fast and not wake up until
morning. I could work the night shift and flip-flop my
sleep schedule any day of the week and still function.
Based on the many studies I've seen, I have concluded that my 10
years of night-shift work is my one risk factor for developing
cancer. But I've digressed ... I guess a little insomnia
is a small price to pay for being alive to watch my children
grow and grandchildren be born!
I am now on an every-six-month test/scan schedule, which
started out as every 3 months and then progressed to every 4
months. Every scan's results are better than the
last! Every tumor marker blood level is lower than the
previous! It is simply a miracle that I am continuing to
improve. I know that I'm one of the lucky ones.
Over the past few years, like many women (and I believe this
is unrelated to cancer,) I had gained weight -- too much
weight. For a while after I was re-diagnosed (in 2006,) I
actually thought "I have cancer ... I'm going to eat
whatever I want." But as time went on, I began to
realize that apparently, I was not meant to die any time in the
near future. Evidently God had more life in store for
me! I simply could not go on eating, looking, and feeling
like I did. I finally had the willpower to make changes in
my lifestyle, more than I ever had before. I can't fully
explain it, but something got into me -- I was able to stick to
a reasonable, calorie-reduced diet. I lost some
weight and then decided to add some exercise. After a
friend trained for and successfully completed a marathon, I was
motivated to join a training group and start training for a half
marathon! I have been jogging regularly and making great
progress -- my long run of the week is now up to 6 miles.
(By the way, an orthopedist has deemed my femur, one of the
sites of my metastatic breast cancer, at no risk for fracture,
and I have no physician-imposed limitations on my
activity.) I have lost more weight and am feeling
great. I'm doing some weight training and I'm even taking
a dance class! I find myself saying "You only live
once" often. I am obliged to offer explanations to
some friends and family members as to why I'm training
for a half marathon. And I'm thinking, because I
can. Because I'm 40! To see if I can. To prove
that I can. Why not?? Why do 1000's of people
participate in marathons and fun runs every year? The
human body is an amazing work of art. Our creator made it
that way -- capable of so much, even after years of no exercise,
and even after stage IV cancer.
Next entry, I'll discuss the latest trend of "breast
|The God of all grace, who called you
to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered
a little while, will himself restore you and make you
strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10.
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my
way perfect. Psalm 18:32
February 21, 2007
Tonight I've been reading some breast cancer related weblogs
here and there. There's really a lot out there! Of
course most of the others are more technologically advanced than
this weblog (online journal, rather,) but hey it gets the word
out. All the reading of others' blogs have put me in the
mood to write ...
So much sadness out there. So many women going through
what I am going through. Too many!! Although most
blogging breast cancer patients are pretty upbeat and generally
have a positive attitude (you have to, really, to get through
it,) the whole thing is just plain sad. No one should have
to deal with cancer! When will it all end?? I know
that one day a cure will be found, but probably not soon enough
to benefit me. Well I guess it's possible, anything is
possible, but it's not likely is all I'm saying.
Had my latest Zometa/Zolodex treatment last Thursday, 6 days
ago. This was the first time to try a 3-day course of
Decadron day before, day of, and day after the treatment, in an
attempt to quell the awful headache/nausea/vomiting events I've
been having 2-3 days post treatment. Dr. Green blames it
all on the Zometa, although I've yet to find any information to
shed light on the reasons for its yucky side effects. It's
not clear to me why she thought Decadron (dexamethasone) would
prevent them, but it did! No headache or nausea, but a
couple of new symptoms of all-over-the-body tenderness to touch,
even light touch, especially on my neck and chest area, and
facial flushing/rosiness. Also the usual joint
achiness. AND the Decadron's side effects were enough to
make me rethink taking it next time around. Bad and crazy
dreams, insomnia, intense depression (including tears, a very
rare occurrence for me!) for several days ... Weird stuff.
Perhaps I'd rather just be sick for a day! I hate having
to take meds to counteract another med's side effects. I
think it can get out of hand before you know it. What, am
I then going to need something to help with the side effects of
the steroids?? I'm just not one for popping a pill for any
little thing, so all of this cancer stuff is hard for me to
swallow (figuratively, that is.)
Then yesterday, a full 12 days after my treatment, and my
oldest daughter's 20th birthday no less, I had the severe
headache & nausea thing happen that usually only happens 2-3
days after treatment. You know it had to be bad that I
cancelled her birthday get-together (it was just for family
anyway) that was to include King Cake shipped here from New
Who knows why it happened, but I do know that the headaches
are worrying me to death. Like so many others with
metastatic breast cancer, I've become paranoid that every little
ache and pain is the big "C," returning. Of
late, in addition to the headaches, are the rib tenderness (both
sides) and continued mid-night right hip pain and ongoing sleep
problems. And did I mention the headaches? I am
going to call and have the doctor schedule me for some kind of
scan of my head/brain. Anything! Just check it
out! I am already scheduled for the usual battery of blood
work and scans for March 6th, so why not add the head?
After all, the lymph nodes in the neck and chest are just a hop,
skip, and jump away from the head, right?
Have I mentioned that I am singing in the church choir
now? Crazy, I know, because I really can't sing. I
just LIKE to sing! Especially praise music, contemporary
Christian. I figured, you only live once, and you should
not put off things you've always wanted or wished you could do!
The next few days we'll be busy getting our house in order
for Saturday's Crawfish Boil! We are hosting it for our
Sunday School Class and are really looking forward to it!
We love having people over and feeding them. I guess you
could say it's our "thing."
Oh I almost forgot to post an update on Amy (see previous
post.) She has recovered from her mastectomy and had her
first chemo treatment last week. It was tough on her,
tougher than she expected, I think, but she is doing well, and
even came to work today. Which is also going great.
She's a fast learner and I hope she plans to stay with us a
while! Only 3 more treatments to go and she'll be
done. She had no lymph node involvement, so no radiation
will be necessary after the chemo. Yay for Amy!!!
January 23, 2007
I am just finishing my December 29th entry tonight, so the
following two entries are both "new" to the weblog:
I want to share a story ... a few months
ago, we asked Amy, a friend from church, to work with us at The
Pink Ribbon Shop on a part-time basis. She has 2 adorable
little girls, ages 4 & 2,
and she had quit working 3 years ago to be a full time mom. Amy always has a smile on her face,
and we thought she might like a flexible position (and we
thought we would really like to have her!) at our
family-friendly shop. At first she declined,
but eventually we talked about it some more, she stopped by and
checked us out and she agreed to working one day a week.
On her first day of work, we had the opportunity to talk at
length, more than we ever had before. She asked all about
my cancer history and present treatments, and being the good
listener that Amy is, she got quite an earful from me! Not
in a bad way, just basically my life history as it relates to
breast cancer over the past 6 years. :) At the end
of my very long-winded day, she told me that she had felt a lump
and that she had a doctor's appointment for that afternoon to
have it checked out! I felt like a big weight had been
thrown onto my chest! I knew from experience that if the
news wasn't good, her life was never to be the same! I
didn't want to think of a friend having to go through all that I
had been through! It was certainly no coincidence that Amy
was placed into my life on that day! All I could think was
"God, please let it just be a cyst, not cancer."
But I had a bad feeling, just because of the circumstances of
her coming to work that day. I prayed, "God, if it IS
cancer, please help me to be a blessing in Amy's
life." And also, I hoped that I hadn't told her
anything that would scare or worry her any more than she already
was. She's only 32 ... the same age I was when I was first
diagnosed almost 7 years before.
Since that first day, Amy's first (and only, thus far) day of
"work" at The Pink Ribbon Shop, so much has
happened. The lump she felt was indeed cancer. She's
had surgery and more tests, and is to see an oncologist in the
next couple of weeks. Please keep Amy in your
prayers. Please keep ALL cancer patients and their
families in your prayers. It is a most difficult time, for
sure, but with Faith in the Lord, and LOTS of prayer, you will
get through it.
With Amy being newly diagnosed, and with so many "pink
ribbon" items at my disposal, I wanted to give her
something ... but what? I chose Dr.
Susan Love's Breast Book which Amy later described as
the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book for
new breast cancer patients. It is SO that! I
consider it an essential tool for arming yourself with the
latest, most accurate, and comprehensive information out
there. I also gave her the book Praying
Through Cancer, which I have already noted in this blog
as being helpful and soothing to me during the treatments I am
currently undergoing. The power of prayer is
amazing! And since it was Christmas, I gave our
"Faith Goes the Distance" ornament.
December 29, 2006
Whew! Thank goodness the holiday season is almost
over! I apologize for not writing for over 2 months!!
I can't believe it's been so long, but The Pink Ribbon Shop has
been so busy, plus I am continuing with treatments & tests
at MD Anderson, plus we took a 10-day vacation, etc. I am
thankful to finally be able to catch my breath so I can clean up
my house and catch up on paperwork at the shop. I really
do need more help in our office! (seriously.)
Anyway, if you are on our mailing list, you have already
received our holiday promotional email that contained the happy
news that my recent battery of tests (including blood work;
breast & lymph node ultrasound; chest, femur & pelvis
x-rays; and CT scans of the chest, abdomen & pelvis) showed
much improvement or "disappearance" of lesions
previously seen. The pleural effusion (fluid around the
lung) on the left lung has "nearly completely
resolved," the bone lesions previously noted on my sternum,
femur, and spine are "healing", and the enlarged lymph
nodes previously seen near the sternum and clavicle can no
longer be seen!
Also, my CA 27-29 levels are now 11, well within the
normal range and significantly lower than the last time they
were checked a couple of months ago (when it was 37)!
God has been so good, answering our prayers and providing me
with his healing touch. Evidently he wants me to stick
around for at least a little longer! My doctor, Dr. Green
(at MD Anderson) was so thrilled, she was giddy! The fact
that my symptoms responded so quickly to the medications was a
good sign, and we are hoping that this also means that the
current treatment regimen will work for a very long time!
We were told from the beginning that, of course, there is no
treatment for cancer, but that many people can "live with
their cancer" (even stage IV!) for a long time with the
array of treatments that are available now. (I'll note
that "a long time" is a very relative term when you're
discussing life expectancy of a stage IV cancer patient ... but
we won't even go there). So far, so good!
A brief run-down of the last couple of months ... WORK, WORK,
WORK! The Pink Ribbon Shop has been in overdrive since
mid-September. We love it, but it gets to be very draining
at this level of activity for months straight. And
stressful! And detrimental to our family life! But
we were able to send a $5,000 check to The Cancer Association of
Greater New Orleans. Some of our checks have been used
to fund research grants to Louisiana State University's Health
Science Center's cancer research laboratory! We are
working to fund the cure!
We actually squeezed in a vacation over Thanksgiving, which
was wonderful, but I don't think we'd do it again, not at that
time of year. It was really difficult to leave the Shop
for 10 days! Orders continued to be filled, but it was
hard not being there and being so "uninvolved" for so
long. The Colorado Rocky Mountains were absolutely
breathtaking, as I knew they would be. It turned out to be
the perfect week to go, with snow on the ground the whole time,
but mild temperatures and no rain or snowfall during our
stay. And no crowds because it was the off-peak season for
travel. The kids enjoyed playing in the snow (we're from
Louisiana and we've lived in Texas for the past year, so snow is
a real treat for us!) and we did some hiking and even took a
sleigh ride. I'll have to post some pictures of my girls
in their pink ribbon fleece!!
Unfortunately I have fallen very behind on accepting
"survivor stories" for our online collection. I
feel terrible about this ... I feel like I am drifting somewhat
from my goal/ambition to use my experiences to help others in
the same situation. My New Year's resolution is to
keep up with that in 2007. As I said before, I really do
need more help!
October 17, 2006
A lot of ups and downs during the past few weeks. I had
a lingering achiness in my right hip since the last
treatment. It started waking me up at night, so I got
worried. Now, for the rest of my life I guess, any time I
have pain or discomfort anywhere in my body, I am going to think
it's the cancer returning or worsening. What a way to
live! :( Really though, what do you do about
that? I am only 38, so I guess I am just beginning to feel
the aches and pains of just getting older, but what does an
older person do? How do you know if it's normal aging or
Anyway, I decided to call my doctor because naturally I
wanted it checked out, and she agreed. She scheduled me
for an x-ray of the pelvis and a CA27-29 blood level. I
have to say that I don't have much confidence in plain x-rays
these days, after all the mis-diagnoses I've had this
year! I conveyed my misgivings to Dr. Green and she
assured me that cancer is what these doctors have a trained eye
for. That's all they do. And I'm going to have to
trust them (she didn't say that, but I just know that). I
am putting my total trust in these experts at MD Anderson!
We were happy (and relieved) to find out that the x-rays
showed no sign of cancer anywhere in the pelvis, AND the CA27-29
levels were even lower than before! It's 37, now in the
"normal" range of 0-39!! She suspected, based on
my symptoms, that it may be bursitis or some other kind of
inflammation going on in my hip, and recommended that I take
ibuprofen 800mg three times a day. So I have been,
religiously, and I do feel better! I so hope they are
right, and that there's no new metastatic cancer in my
hip. I would hate to find out later that it was there,
just very early. I seem to have a keen sense of what's
going on in my body. I've been right about everything so
far, even before the doctors could pinpoint it, I knew something
was up, I didn't feel right. Hope it's just bursitis this
All of the other factors point toward disease regression ...
"almost completely resolved pleural effusion (fluid around
the lung)", no signs of cancerous lesions in the lung, no
more pain in the femur or sternum, and steadily decreasing tumor
marker levels in the blood. So with all of these
improvements, it would be odd to have a totally new lesion in a
completely different place in the body, without having the other
already-established areas worsening.
Another treatment Thursday of this week. I can't
believe how quickly the four weeks are up every time!
We've been so busy with The Pink Ribbon Shop, we're practically
meeting ourselves coming and going. Plus I've been just a
little obsessed with decorating the house ... so even when I'm
not busy, the wheels in my mind are turning, sometimes keeping
me awake at night! It's like the first time in my life
that I've had a beautiful house and some extra money to decorate
it like I want, and I'm really enjoying it! I've pretty
much got it all worked out of where everything will go and on
what wall, etc, etc. ... now I just have to shop and buy those
items. I'm having a Southern Living at Home party on
October 27th -- can't wait! Love their
stuff! Hey it's good to get my mind off of cancer,
(speaking of cancer ...) Oh and by the way, I am
reading this new book called Praying Through Cancer.
I'm not just trying to promote my website or products, but this
is a really really good book for women going through cancer of
any kind (many, but not all, of the women in the book have had
breast cancer). It's a 90-day devotional. Each day's
readings are very short, very readable, stories and anecdotes
from women who've had cancer, have been through it all.
Following the short story, there's a simple prayer. I have
found these prayers so helpful. I feel I need guidance as
to what to pray, how to pray, as I am sure many people do.
They've helped me stay focused on Christ and all he's given and
continues to give us, and not to dwell on our unfortunate human
circumstances. Then it references the bible verse on which
the prayer is based, so if you wish to read more, there you
go. I highly recommend it. Sadly, I rarely go to the
Bible afterwards ... I've been so tired and worn out that lately
it's all I can do to read the devotional.
September 28, 2006
My, how time passes ... almost an entire month since my last
entry here. Like I said, we try to keep busy, and this
past month has been no exception. We've visited family and
friends in Louisiana again, and the Pink Ribbon Shop is in high
gear in preparation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month - October.
Good news: about two weeks after my first treatment,
the pain I had been having in my leg and sternum, began to
dissipate. I noticed that I wasn't using ibuprofen or
Tylenol as much as I had been in the past few months.
Actually, I didn't realize just how BAD I had been
feeling lately, until there was improvement and I was feeling so
GOOD. It was SO WONDERFUL to think that the
medications were already at work. There was a definite and
noticeable improvement in my symptoms, so even though there was
no objective evidence like scans or lab work to review, we knew
that something good was happening! Prayers had been
I received my 2nd treatment at MD Anderson on Thursday,
August 24th. Based on the discomfort that occurred as a
result of my first treatment, I decided that this time, I would
prepare for it by taking ibuprofen prophylactically, and it
seemed to help. Of course my veins didn't cooperate for
the needlestick for the infusion, but that's another
story! The hours and days followed this 2nd treatment were
uneventful, nothing like the first treatment. My doctor
had told me that the first one might be tough, because of the
"flare pain", and she was surely right. This
time, I had a little achiness in my joints following the
treatment, but that was it. Pretty mild. Another one
down!! Who knows how many more to go ...
In preparation for my 3rd treatment, I was scheduled for
blood work (more than was done before the 1st two treatments)
and a chest x-ray. Finally, I might have some objective
findings of improvement to go along with my feeling so
good! And, I was finally going to see my doctor again, for
only the 2nd time, which I can't say I felt too comfortable
with, going so long without seeing her, that is. I guess
that's just the way the system operates, but I found it hard to
remember how everything went and hard to remember everything I
wanted to tell her and ask her and talk about with her.
Should have written it down, I know!
GREAT NEWS !!! My chest x-ray showed that my pleural
effusion had "almost completely resolved" and there
was "no evidence of metastatic disease" in the
lungs. Wow, that was surely great news!
Additionally, my CA27-29 levels had decreased to what was still
an elevated level, but down from the 1st time it was
checked. Needless to say, Danny and I were ecstatic.
We made a bunch of phone calls on the way home, just like we did
with the bad news a few months ago, only it was happy happy
happy news! My doctor was very excited as well. She
had told me that sometimes it took 2-3 months to see any kind of
response from these medications, that they were slow-working,
very unlike chemotherapy. So that I had responded in a
matter of weeks was, well, just great!
I was able to remember almost everything I wanted to discuss
with her ... I've been having a general achiness all over, like
when I get up from sitting down for a while. I told her I
feel like an old lady! She said that that was normal, an
expected reaction from the medications. Forgot to mention
how bad I've been sleeping, but all she could do is prescribe a
sleeping pill which I definitely don't want. Also forgot
to mention having really strange dreams lately, but again, what
could she do about that. It's not like I'm going to get
off of any of the meds because of it!
She had recommended that I see an orthopedist at MD Anderson
for evaluation of the lesion on my left femur. I did, and
he didn't think it was severe enough to warrant surgery, but he
said I may want to consider radiation to that area. He was
supposed to refer me, but didn't, and I wasn't sure why, so I
asked my doctor (Dr. Green) what the ortho guy had told her
...Dr. Green said that ortho didn't really think radiation was
warranted anyway, and especially so now that I was feeling so
much better. In any event, Dr. Green referred me to a
radiation oncologist who I am supposed to see next week, so
we'll see what's up with that. I would feel better having
the radiation treatments. It would make me feel like we're
aggressively treating everything in every way we can. But
maybe that's just me. I'll discuss with the experts.
The other thing I wanted to talk to Dr. Green about was all
the yucky stuff Danny and I had been reading on the
internet. Yes, there's a lot of junk out there, and you
can't believe everything you read. But I don't frequent
chat rooms or forums or anything like that, especially when I am
searching for medical information. What we found most
interesting, and the most discouraging, was study results of the
drug Femara. Billed as some kind of breakthrough drug that
was shown in clinical trials to significantly prolong the life
of breast cancer patients, Femara was a new drug (a few years
ago now) that was to be used in post-menopausal women with
advanced breast cancer. We were stunned to read about the
"significant" results from the clinical trials.
I don't remember all of it exactly, but what I do remember is
that the "average time to treatment failure" was 9
months! 9 months! What kind of you-know-what is
that??? That was the time, on average, that Femara stopped
working, and the patient needed to go on chemotherapy. And
the average life expectancy was 3 years!!! Talk about
sucky statistics!!! But Danny and I talked about it and
concluded that, yes, that was bad, but the pool of patients in
the study probably consisted of the very worse, very advanced,
possibly very old patients, in addition to young 'ens like me
who were still able to remain active and go on with daily living
activities. So hopefully the former would have skewed
those results. Also, patients tend to go on clinical
trials who have tried all other treatment options without
success. And lastly, some of those patients may have not
responded at all to the Femara. So again, all of that
would skew the results. We brought this up to Dr. Green,
and she said that in her experience, time to treatment
"failure" was about 1 year or maybe a little
less. Very discouraging, indeed. BUT, she did agree
about the clinical trial patient population issue. PLUS
the fact that I responded to the medication, and so quickly,
well ... it's all good. I could definitely end up being in
the positive end of those averages, when you consider all of
those things. And the more time that passes, the more new
drugs and treatments will become available. Time is my
friend! The longer I can keep this monster under control,
the better. Here's to positive thinking!
Next time, I'll talk about genetic counseling and genetic
testing for the breast cancer genes (BRCA-1 & BRCA-2).
Thanks for listening!
September 3, 2006
Wow, I can't believe so much time has passed since I've
weblogged! Well here goes, I'll try to bring it up to
I received my first monthly "hormone" treatment at
MD Anderson on Thursday, July 27th. That statement usually
is met with a little confusion from most people who are not
educated on the latest breast cancer treatments (which is most
people!). The way I've been explaining it is that it's
more like an "anti-hormone" treatment. The
cancer I have is estrogen-dependent, so by blocking all estrogen
production in my body, the treatment is intended to basically
starve the tumor(s). That my cancer is "estrogen
receptor positive" is a good thing ... there are more
treatment options because of this.
My doctor has prescribed Zolodex, which is given as a
once-a-month subcutaneous (sub-q, for short) injection.
Usually a sub-q injection is administered with a very tiny,
small gauge needle into the fatty tissue like under the arm or
in the abdomen. So, being a nurse, I was happy to hear
that it was "just a sub-q"! BUT ... the needle
was just huge, about a 16-gauge (which is about 3/32
inch). AND, the medicine in the syringe was actually a
pellet of some sort, not just liquid, and it was to do in the
abdomen! It scared me to death, but then again I am
quite the wimp when it comes to needles. Who likes
needles, after all?? The nurse applied a topical
anesthetic and left it on for about one hour before giving the
injection. When the time came for the injection, I decided
NOT to watch (usually I watch all of my procedures, but this
time I just couldn't bring myself to look) and Danny let me
squeeze his hand. And I have to say, scared as I was, it
wasn't so bad! Yay!
During the one hour wait for the topical anesthetic to take
full effect, the nurse started an IV on me (more needles!!) and
of course had to stick me twice, because the first attempt was
unsuccessful. Since I've had a mastectomy with removal of
many lymph nodes (13 to be exact) on the left side, I've been
instructed to avoid getting IV's or injuries to the left arm,
because of the risk of developing lymphedema. So I think
the veins in my right arm have about had it, and are therefore
not as cooperative with needles. Then again some people
just have "bad veins" and maybe I have some of that
going on, too. Anyway, Zometa, the bone-building
medication that my doctor prescribed, was given through the IV
and caused me no trouble at all during the infusion.
How different this "treatment" was from my chemo
days when I was first diagnosed in 2000! At MD Anderson's
breast center, when you arrive for your treatment (which for
some people of course it's chemotherapy), you're put into a
mini-sized hospital room, complete with your own comfortable and
multi-position-able bed, TV, and DVD player. And if you
bring a guest, they have their own comfy chair right next to
your bed. When I received chemotherapy 6 1/2 years ago, it
was given at my oncologist's office, where all of the patients
sat in a big circle, in recliners. Everyone had their own
IV pole, but other than that you just had each other to look
at. I got a lot of reading done during those days! I
guess the idea was that you could talk to other patients, which
I did, but there wasn't enough room to bring anyone, like my
husband or sister or mom. And also, although they were all
cancer patients, they weren't all breast cancer patients.
But moving on ... here I am in a little private room with my
husband (or anyone I want to accompany me) and it's kind of
nice. Almost relaxing, were it not for the circumstances,
because here we were alone, with no kids! How often does
THAT happen? We were able to have some nice uninterrupted
conversation and listen to the music of my choice, which on that
day was Chris Tomlin's How Great Is Our God. I
thought it was a really nice set-up.
The rest of that day, I went about my usual activities and
was feeling pretty good! I'm thinking, this is great,
definitely NOTHING like chemo was for me during my first
encounter with breast cancer.
The next day, my period started! I had a headache,
which had become a normal thing in the past several
months. But I couldn't help thinking that maybe this would
be my last period ever! That sounded wonderful!
Later that day, I was out doing some afternoon shopping, and I
started to feel achy, all over. Like I imagine an old
person might feel. Every step, every movement became
pained, especially in my joints. My doctor had warned me
of this, and she had called it "flare pain." She
said that it may feel like the pain in my bones (from the bone
metastasis) was getting worse, when actually it was a good sign
that the medication was doing its job and getting to where it
needed to go. Everywhere the cancer had metastasized, I
hurt. And also in every other bone and joint in my
body! And my "period" headache was
horrible! The literature that I was given about the
medications I had taken the day before stated that I should take
NO OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN-RELIEVERS!! They (the papers)
were quite clear on this, very emphatic, in fact. So I am
wondering, well, what CAN I take? By this time it was late
Friday evening. I called my doctor's office and got the
answering service. There was an emergency number, but to
me, a little discomfort didn't really constitute an
"emergency," so I didn't call it. Don't want to
be the pain-in-the-butt patient to call for that, you
know? I would learn to regret that decision!
Throughout the night, the pain intensified, plus I was
nauseated and feeling like you know what. At the earliest
what I considered to be respectable time (still not wanting to
be a pain), about 8:00 a.m., Saturday morning, I put a call in to the doctor
through the "triage" nurse. I explained my
situation and waited. And waited, and waited, and
waited. All I wanted to know was what I could do for the
pain. Please someone just tell me, give me something to go
on. SIX HOURS LATER ... I received a call from the doctor
on call, who said, "Oh, I see you're not getting any
chemotherapy or anything like that, so you can take anything for
pain, nothing will affect your 'counts'" I was SO
MAD! During the six hour wait, I contemplated taking some
Tylenol or Advil, but the papers said not to, so I wasn't about
to do anything that would adversely affect my treatment!
And then to find out I could have taken anything all the while,
Oh I was aggravated. Definitely something to take up with
my doctor next time I saw her. And 6 hours was just so
excessive. Next time, my pain will be an emergency, if
that's how it's going to be ... very disappointing for MD
Anderson. I certainly expected better. I took a
prescription pain med that my surgeon prescribed after my recent
biopsy surgery, got a few hours of sleep, and woke up feeling
much much better. At around 5:00 a.m., I cancelled my
family day trip to Austin (which, for me to do, it had to be
bad!), but finally, by Saturday afternoon, I was feeling back
to normal. "Normal" meaning that I still had the
pain in my leg, sternum, and ribs, but it wasn't like the
"flare pain" that I had apparently just experienced.
I got through it, and after it was all said and done, I
decided that I could put up with that, easily, just once a
month, especially knowing that I could take something for the
pain. Next time, I thought, I would take something like
ibuprofen as a prophylactic. Before my treatment and every
6-8 hours for the 2 days following the treatment. I had a
plan! The next treatment was not going to whip my butt
like the first one did!
I must say, though ... at least it wasn't as bad as chemo
was, I kept telling myself. I try to use that as much as I
can ... the "it could always be worse" way of
thinking. I never gave breast cancer much thought, being
only 32 and having virtually no family history or risk
factors. But once I was diagnosed, I was like, "Hey,
lob that breast off, let's get rid of the cancer immediately, I
don't need that stinkin breast anyway!" I used to
think, in the years before my diagnosis, that having cancer that
has spread to the lymph nodes basically meant that you were a
goner. It was all downhill from there. But once it
was ME, well I thought okay, positive lymph nodes, that's not so
bad, I'll get chemo, radiation, and whatever else they want to
give me, and I'll be done with cancer, hopefully forever.
Just get me through, Lord, and I'll be great, really, I can do
this. It could always be worse ... at least it wasn't in
any other organs or bones. THAT would be the kiss of
death, stage IV cancer.
Well now it's here, stage IV, in the femur, sternum, spine,
lung, and more lymph nodes. I can't believe it's me.
I used to think, before it was me, that people with stage IV
cancer were bald, emaciated, bed-ridden souls who were destined
to die and probably sooner than later. I am so NOT that
soul, that sometimes I have a hard time believing it myself that
I have stage IV breast cancer. Now I'm telling Danny,
"Well at least it's not in the liver or
abdomen." Surely that would be the end time.
You can't live without your liver functioning, right?
For now, I am alive and well, and am living life as best I
can, as close to normalcy as I can. Although everything
has changed. We are trying to do things and accomplish
things that we thought we had the rest of our lives to do.
Like finishing up the photo album project. Decorating my
dream house the way I've always dreamed of doing.
Vacations, going to places and seeing things that I've always
wanted to see. Trying to leave pieces of me for all the
kids to remember me with. Spending time with the kids,
sometimes individually, so they can get to know me better.
My sister-in-law told me that because of our situation, they are
examining their lives as well. Thinking that maybe
everyone should live like that. Like the song, live like
you were dying. Don't wait ... because you never know when
you'll be plucked from this earth. It could be tomorrow,
it could be many years from now.
Who knows what I'll say if the cancer ever spreads to my
liver. At some point, I suppose it will get harder and
harder to say "it could always be worse ..."
But I'll try!
August 14, 2006
Here is a link for a sneak peek at our e-mail scheduled to go
out tomorrow at 10:00 a.m: August, 2006
July 29, 2006
Kim is in bed sick this morning. We had to cancel our
trip to Austin. Our young girls, for some unknown reason,
really want to see the State Capitol. Kim has a slight
fever, nausea, and bone and joint pain, all side effects of the
medications she is on. We spent this Thursday at M.D.
Anderson where she was given her first of what will be a monthly
She had an injection of Zoladex under her skin. She was
happy to hear that it was subcutaneous and thought it shouldn't
hurt much. It turned out that Zoladex is a solid and not a
liquid. The needle was huge. I don't ever have a
problem with needles but I have to admit I would have been
scared of that thing, especially with the injection site being
the stomach. The doctor prescribed a topical pain killer
that was applied to the injection site about 30 minutes before
the injection. It had to work some because I was holding
her hand and she didn't seem to flinch or squeeze as much as she
Zoladex is a once a month treatment that will stop Kim's
ovaries from producing estrogen and should put her into sudden
menopause. If it is effective at stopping her cancer from
growing, she will get it every month. It will take about
three months to determine whether it is working or not. It
is a slower process than chemotherapy. Even if it does
work initially, we are told that it will eventually lose it's
effectiveness and she will then have to try some other types of
She was also given an IV of her first monthly treatment of
Zometa (we have been trying different memory tricks to keep
those two straight). Zometa will help her bones heal where
the cancer has created holes. It will also counteract the
effects of osteoporosis caused by her chemically induced
"Zoladex, you know, like rolodex."
"What does that have to do with estrogen and
"I don't know. Hey I had an Aunt Meta...
...just like Zometa."
"I don't see the connection."
"Yea, neither do I."
She will also begin taking Femara on Thursday. It's a
once daily pill that will stop her body from creating estrogen
from other sources.
We are hopeful and confident that the pain she is in right
now is because her body is healing. We are still not sure
if this will happen every month or if this is because it is her
first treatment. She was fine Thursday and all day
yesterday. She started having a little discomfort last
night and now this morning it seems to have finally caught up
If we had been born in the 1800's instead of the 1900's, six
years ago, Kim would have just gotten progressively sicker and
died. I would have been a 31 year-old single father with
two daughters that I wouldn't quite know how to raise.
Instead, God put us here at this time where we have already been
given an extra six years and a son. He has also placed us
close to M.D. Anderson where Kim can be given the best treatment
available by the best doctors available with medications we are
not even sure how to pronounce much less keep straight in our
Every day is a gift. Every kiss, every hug is a
gift. Every moment I spend with Kim is a gift. Since
Tuesday, I have been fully aware of this. Don't let a day
go by. Don't let a moment go by without appreciating what
you have. Life is short. Take what God has given you
and hold it close to you. Because one day it won't be
July 26, 2006
Got my results yesterday and
they were much worse than I expected. Elevated CA 27-29.
Stage 4. Bone mets to the femur, sternum, and spine.
Also 3 spots on the left lung with lots of fluid between the
linings (?? forgot what that's called), and multiple
lymph node involvement (positive biopsy results of
supraclavicular nodes, plus a large grape-like cluster
underlying the sternum visible on CT scan).
I will not have
chemotherapy. They've recommended hormone therapy
as being just as effective at "prolonging life", but
less toxic. Fortunately my cancer is estrogen-dependent,
which means they have a lot of treatment options. So if
one doesn't work, we'll move on the next. If symptoms
get worse, or if there's no response to the hormone therapy,
then they'll do chemo.
I was ready for chemo
again, but the hormone therapy will be so much less disruptive
to our lives and less obvious to the kids that there's a big
problem: a pill (Femara) once a day, and an injection
once a month (plus an IV of a bone-building med once a month).
And no baldness! I'll just have to endure the symptoms
of abrupt menopause, but hey if that's what I have to do, so
I was sent this by a friend:
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He
who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
I think our tenacity to hold onto God's promises instead of
the "facts" is the most important key.
July 19, 2006
Hello all ... I emailed a very good nurse friend of mine last
week. She wanted to know details, so I gave her a detailed
synopsis of the development of my latest breast cancer
recurrence. I thought it would be good to include it here,
for those of you who perhaps have not been following along from
the beginning (if you have, please skip down).
... remember the lump I found back in December that we
thought was cancer and they said that it wasn't? Well
a few weeks ago my oncologist decided to surgically biopsy
it because he didn't like the look of it (it had grown, and
there was some discoloration visible just under the skin),
and it turned out to be cancer. The margins were
technically "clear", but the pathologist said that
the superior (upper) edge of the specimen was
"close". The surgeon wanted to go back in
and remove more tissue, superiorly, but I decided to wait
and see what MD Anderson has to say. Unfortunately
they couldn't see me for 3 weeks, which has been
excruciating, my appointment is on July 18. All my
labs (liver, blood counts, and tumor markers) were perfectly
normal. I've not been happy with my oncologist since
moving here (to the Houston area) -- he doesn't take me
seriously and is quick to discount me and basically blow me
off. So of course this is the last straw, and believe
me, I have anger issues, now that I know that this was
misdiagnosed since January by not only my oncologist, but by
a "breast specialty center" whose highly
recommended doctor personally ultrasounded the lump and
reported that it was just a cyst and nothing to worry about
and that she didn't even recommend biopsy, so sure was she
that it wasn't cancer. AND, back in January I
was also having pain just to the left of my sternum, which
is exactly where my original cancer was, so I was very
concerned about that as well the new lump which was at the
mastectomy/reconstruction scar. So the oncologist
ordered a bone scan which showed nothing at the sternum but
showed something on my femur! suspicious of bone metastasis.
I had no symptoms in my leg, so I was quite shocked about
that! Then they did an MRI on the leg which also
showed "something", also noted by the radiologist
as being suspicious of malignancy. PET scan of the
whole body showed nothing on the leg -- so it was decided
that no, it wasn't cancer, but no one could tell me what it
was. I went to see an orthopedist, but he told me that
he was "not too good at reading MRIs" (!)
and did a plain x-ray (high tech kind of guy, huh?) which
again showed "something", but he said it wasn't
cancer, but really didn't know what it was! But the
PET scan also showed nothing in the area of what we now
know IS cancer (the lump at the scar). The sternum and
some ribs showed up on PET scan, but at the time it was felt
that it was somehow related to inflammation or radiation to
that area. (oh and also increased intensity at the
esophagus ... colonoscopy and EGD showed GERD and mild
hiatal hernia, of which I had no symptoms whatsoever).
Am I a mess, or what??? Soooooooo ...... now I
am left with nothing but more questions, and I am basically
questioning everything I was told in January. I wonder
if anyone knew anything of what they were talking about.
And now I have pain in that left leg, which worries me.
So I'm off to MD Anderson for evaluation of course, but also
a repeat of all the usual battery of tests ... mammo, US,
bone scan, CT's, whatever they want to do to me, because I
just want some definitive answers. It's been crazy!
... So I just can't wait to get some answers and move
on. The surgeon thinks I'll probably get chemo again,
which is fine, that's not so bad. Heck, if I have to
get that every 6 years to stay alive, I'll do it.
So there you have it, sorry that it's a bit long, but it's
about as compact as I could make it without sacrificing
This week was THE week, when my appointment at MD Anderson
(MDA) finally came to be! What a huge place it is!
But very organized. And everyone there was very friendly,
and even technicians knew of my pertinent medical history.
I remain impressed!
No real news just yet.
I met with my doctor, Dr. Marjorie Green, yesterday, and I
really like her. She said that the superior margin (of
the recent lump's biopsy) was NOT clear, as opposed to
"clear, but close superiorly" from the original pathology
report. I'm not sure whether she or someone there
actually viewed my tissue slides and prepared their own
report, or if we (both I and my surgeon) misread the report.
Also she said that now that they've made some changes to the
cancer staging protocols, my original cancer from 2000 now
qualifies as Stage 3, due to the extensive lymph node
involvement, whereas back then it was Stage 2.
the doctor appt I had a chest x-ray and labwork, and that was it.
I did not get much sleep last night. I tossed and turned
the entire 5 hours that I allowed myself to sleep, and had to
get up at 5:00 a.m. for today's round of tests. I kept
visualizing all the hallways and elevators and many waiting
rooms at MDA! Our brains evidently kept working on
processing all of the information we received during the day
... both Danny and I got out of bed this morning with more
questions in mind to ask Dr. Green on my next visit.
Today I had an ultrasound,
which showed nothing at the new biopsy site (evidently the
non-clear margins are only on the microscopic level, which is
good, I guess) or the sternum, but there were two suspicious
supraclavicular lymph nodes (located just above and adjacent
to the collar bones) that they decided to do a fine needle
aspiration (FNA) on. Talk about hurt! Definitely
not fun. It's still sore. And the nurse was like,
"it's just a very very small needle". Yes, but
one that they dug around under my skin for way too long.
I happen to look over at the monitor and saw the procedure
taking place ... I really shouldn't have. Have you ever
seen liposuction being done, where there's some long object
being moved all over under the skin and it looks like the
surgeon is trying to kill something with it?? That's
what she was doing with the needle!! She used a local
anesthetic, but come on! And they wouldn't let my
husband, Danny, be in during the procedure (now I know why!),
so it was quite an experience. I had to utilize some
deep breathing skills! Preliminary results were that
they were "concerned" about them, but complete
pathology will take about 48 hrs.
Anyway, then it was off
for the radioactive injection in preparation for the bone
scan. 2 sticks :(. The bone scan is
not bad, really, but the part where the "thing-y" is
right over my face, that always seems to get to me. I
have to make a conscious effort to ignore it, keep my eyes
closed, and breathe. Today I tried to silently sing some
of my favorite songs from my favorite Christian band, Third
Day, and I couldn't, for the life of me, think of more than
one song! I got through it regardless. :)
Moving on ... I could see,
plainly, on the monitor above me (which probably shouldn't
have been in my view) that the "something" was still
very apparent on my left femur. So I wasn't surprised
when the tech came in and said that the doctor wanted to do a
"more fancy test" from about my waist down.
That turned out to be some special kind of bone scan,
from all angles, in combination with a CT. Upon
further questioning of the tech ... yes, the thing on my leg
was still there, but that wasn't what they wanted to look at
more closely. It was my spine! Needless to say
that was very upsetting, and of course they don't like to give
you any actual results right there. So now I must wait
for Tuesday (my next doctor appt) for results.
Tomorrow are my CT scans
of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, and please please please, I
am hoping for no more surprise findings!!! Today was a
very exhausting day, both physically and emotionally.
And I wait, again ... 6
more days for some real results.
Thanks for listening!
July 10, 2006
The three week wait between when I was told I had recurrent
breast cancer and my appointment at MD Anderson, on July 18th,
has been truly excruciating! I am busying myself with
trying to attain "normalcy" in my life and my
family's, which at this time in my life, has fortunately not
been that hard to do. We're just so busy ... the kids are
out of school for the summer and I've done my best to keep them
active and entertained and their schedules full, but with plenty
of unstructured "play" time as well.
We've just moved into a new home and are still unpacking and
organizing non-essentials. Trying also to catch up at The
Pink Ribbon Shop ... with the move and all, the PRS has been
somewhat neglected in the past couple of months. The
mini-vacation we talked about earlier, well, now we feel like we
definitely should take, because who knows where the next few
months will take us. You can't help think that way when
you've just been told that your cancer is back! And now,
this week, the ultimate distraction from thinking about breast
cancer ... my first grandson, Jacob Tyler, was born!
I am way too young to have a grandchild! But he is
beautiful, and I am so thankful that my daughter and son-in-law
decided to move here to Texas a few months ago. They had
been displaced for many months because of Hurricane
Katrina, staying with various family members, until finally they
made the decision to move nearer to family (us!) and to a more
family friendly area with a great economy and little
crime. I digress ... but it's nice to not think about
cancer for a while!
So far I have been very impressed with MD Anderson, and I
haven't even been there yet. As a new patient, I have one
person assigned to put my "file" together, a case
worker, so to speak, although I don't know what his actual title
is. This one person is in charge of making sure all of my
past records make it to their facility. He is
knowledgeable with all the medical terminology as it relates to
my diagnosis and to exactly which records they'll need in order
to provide comprehensive treatment.
Of course, I had work to do to gather all of the necessary
information, but I can't tell you how good it feels to have
someone working with me on all of this. My current
oncologist (well, now former oncologist) just never grasped my
big picture. I found myself having to remind him of
various aspects of my condition and treatments. Very sad,
and of course I simply had no confidence in his ability to
thoroughly manage my care.
MD Anderson is even requesting my pathology tissue
samples! from my original biopsy and mastectomy from
2000. I am thinking that finally, someone will look at my
entire history and really get to know my case! Maybe I'll
get some answers instead of just a shoulder shrug and a
"hmm, we don't know what that is, but it's not
cancer". (I am referring to the something that showed up in
January on my left femur on both a bone scan and MRI, but not a
PET scan -- for that matter, the lump we now know IS cancer on
my left breast did not show up on that same PET scan). It
all has really made me wonder if any of what I've been told this
year is accurate!
Here's hoping that MD Anderson lives up to my expectations
... and "cures" me of breast cancer for at least
another 6 years!!
|Brothers, we do not want you to be
ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like
the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that
Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God
will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
June 28, 2006
Two or three days before Monday's news I had started to
read a book called The
Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. In it, he discusses the
circumstances we find ourselves in through daily life and how we
see our circumstances compared to how God sees them.
Buchanan's words came back to my mind while talking to a
"We won't change our minds, won't
revise our attitudes, until someone--God, a parent, a boss, a
spouse, a child, a coworker--changes our circumstances. We
refuse to budge until someone moves a mountain. Our lives
shuttle between an alteration of if only, what if, and as
soon as: If only I had more money. As soon as I get
a different job. What if my husband loved me more?
If only my child wasn't rebellious . . . As soon as . . . What
if . . .
But this is not how God works.
This is: 'Be transformed by the
renewing of your mind'; 'Be made new in the attitude of your
minds' (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23).
Under God's economy, nothing really
changes until our minds do. Transformation is the
fruit of a changed outlook. First our minds are renewed,
and then we are transformed, and then everything is different,
even if it stays the same.
God is more interested in changing your
thinking than in changing your circumstances. He wants you
to have the same attitude as and the very mind of Jesus Christ
(see Phil. 2:5-8). To pull that off is a miracle larger
than splitting oceans or tossing mountains into them. It
is akin to raising the dead. Yet this is the daily
occupation of the Spirit--leading us into all truth, reminding
us of the things Christ taught, taking the things of Christ and
making them known to us again. And this is the one area
above all where we are urged to keep in step with the Spirit--to
move in the direction He's moving so that, seeing differently,
we are free to live differently (see Gal.
Rest of God by Mark Buchanan.
The questions yesterday were, Why me? Why now?
If everything happens for a reason, what possible reason could
this be happening again? Why was this mis-diagnosed in
I find some answers to these questions in Mark Buchanan's
words, "God is more interested in changing your thinking
than in changing your circumstances."
In the big picture of life, eternal life, our circumstances
here on earth are of very little consequence. Jesus has
won our souls and has paid the price for our lives so that if we
accept Him we will belong to Him and have eternal life.
Sometimes its hard to stay focused on this fact and trust
that you are in God's hands and that He is continually shaping
you in his image. Unfortunately sin has made this
process difficult and painful and we won't fully achieve holiness
here on earth. But it is one of the great things we have
to look forward to and maybe just for a moment here on earth we
can rest in His peace.
June 26, 2006
I've been on the phone most of the afternoon having to tell
the same story to everyone I know. I'll just copy and
paste what I wrote to a friend tonight.
just found out some bad news today. The breast cancer has
returned, to the same side. Long story, but it's the same
lump that was pronounced "benign" by more than two
physicians in January that is now "recurrent cancer."
I just read last night that the chances of recurrence on the
same side after having a mastectomy are 1%. I'm in that
have an appointment to see a doctor at MD Anderson on July 18th,
and that's where I'll get all my treatment from here on out.
Thankfully we're here, near Houston and one of the best places
in the world to receive cancer treatment. Maybe that was
all in the plan, who knows. I am thinking positively that
it's contained in just the lump and it's very treatable,
don't have the pathology report yet from Friday's biopsy, just a
verbal report from the pathologist that it's cancer. Keep
us in your prayers, I'm sure I'll be fine though. Heck, if
I have to have chemo every 6 years, that's not too bad!
June 23, 2006
Wow! What a month we have had. We are finally
moved into our new place and are really happy with our
home. We had no idea the move would take so much of our
time. Within the last year we have moved our shop twice
and our home twice and have help other family members flee New
Orleans for Houston. This has truly been the year of
moving for us and we hope we won't have to do it again for a
We also have lots of new products ready to be introduced on
our site. Hopefully we can get the pictures ready and the
product pages up sometime in July.
The one thing that could slow us down is the lump in my
breast. Last week we went to my oncologist and he was
bothered that the lump has moved closer to the surface and has
some discoloration. He wanted it removed, which was done
I've lost count of how many surgeries this makes, and it's
getting a little old. We won't have any results of the
biopsy until Wednesday. It's hard to even think about what
we will do if it's cancer again.
It's all just very tiring. I just wanted to post a
little update before I go to sleep. Thanks for reading.
May 6, 2006
We continue to go through our old survivor stories from our
old site. Here is a "story" from 2002 that we
thought would fit better here. By the way, we can still
get the Avon candles every once in awhile. It's as if Avon
finds some more in a warehouse somewhere. We just recently
had them but are now out again. It was one of our first
products back in 2001 and the scent still reminds us of our
early days filling orders on our kitchen table!
I am a 4 year survivor and I too
reacted to the news in a similar style, except that I started a
support group for women with breast cancer as there was not one
available in my area just for Breast cancer. I have met the
most wonderful people and made more special friends that are now
like sisters. We also want to spread the word about the
importance of early detection. We are called 'The Circle
of Friends' and have become a very active group, participating
in the American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life and Susan G.
Komen Race for the Cure, as well as being trained as Reach to
Recovery volunteers for the ACS.
Isn't it amazing how something we once
thought of as the most horrible thing that we could face, God
can use to energize and enrich our lives and change our thinking
about so many aspects of life. WOW!! I too LOVE pink ribbon
products, because they open many conversations about breast
cancer with almost anyone you meet, and stand as a symbol of the
circle of love, hope, growth, and fulfillment that we women find
ourselves in when we belong to a 'sisterhood of breast cancer
Survivors and Supporters'.
I wouldn't change the events that
brought me to this place in my life for anything because God has
truly blessed me in ways I never imagined. I love my
Circle of Friends and wish the same kind of
friendships for each and every woman who has to accept the
diagnosis of breast cancer, and pray that god blesses them with
the love of a husband, family and friends that he gave me, and
the courage to move past the diagnosis toward reconciliation and
I congratulate you on using your
experience to help others, with The Pink Ribbon Shop, and
especially for appealing to the feminine side of us gals with
unique, pretty accessories and products that proudly bear our
victory symbol, our PINK Ribbon of Hope!!
I would love to see if you could locate
an item similar to the Pink Ribbon Candle that Avon carried, but
has recently discontinued. My friends and I just loved those
candles for our homes as well as gifts for those special in our
lives, and I am so disappointed that we can't get them anymore.
We have a 30 year survivor in our group that is an Avon
representative and that is how I found out that they were
unavailable. I hope you can find something in a pretty candle to
add to your line. And I encourage all women to get involved in
some aspect of spreading awareness of the importance of early
detection and treatment of breast cancer, including self exams
for younger women and teens.
One of my favorite quotes is "In
order to succeed ( in anything- even Breast Cancer..my words)
you must lose yourself in something bigger than yourself."
Getting involved helps make it just a little bit easier for
those women who are sitting in a doctor's office today, hearing
the 'news, and those waiting frantically by the phone for a
call. We all have been there; we know; and there are so many
ways a survivor can volunteer, or do something to help.
God Bless you for what you have done
and are continuing to do, and May God continue to bless all of
the thoughtful people who have taken time to write and offer
encouragement and comfort. My two favorite scriptures are
Jeremiah 29:11 and 1 Thessalonians 3:10.
In His grip,
"For I know the plans I have for you." declares
the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans
to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you
again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 1
May 1, 2006
There is still time to shop on-line for Mother's Day.
We are currently offering free UPS 3 day select shipping on U.S.
orders over $75.00. We have also finally gotten our new
With Fear available for purchase.
Also, if you haven't received our latest e-mail, you can see
it on-line here: http://www.pinkribbonshop.com/06-may.htm
April 27, 2006
Here is a letter from Janet:
My name is Janet and I am now 39 years
old. I found my lump last January, 2005, when I was
38. I couldn't believe it I thought Ii was one of the
healthiest people around....NOT overweight, don't smoke,
exercised all my life and the only liquid I drink is water!
I have a husband and two girls,
ages 4 and 6. I had a lumpectomy in Feb. and started
chemo thereafter...also had radiation. I was devastated when
my shoulder length curly hair had to be cut. Even more
devastated when I went bald...NOTHING could prepare me for
that...NOTHING..... ....to make a long story short, my girls
were SO AWESOME through my whole year....they are so young,
yet SO mature...I love them SO MUCH.
Now, my hair is SO curly and really
short. Everyone tells me that I am lucky because I have
the "right kind of face" for short hair. (I will
never know exactly what this means!!) I feel great
now (but then, I felt great the week before I found my lump)
I would love to be a part of this pink ribbon website, if
anything, to meet other women- I know that it really helps to
know that you are not alone. Thanks for taking the time to
read my story!
Thanks for sharing your
story! Sounds like you have a lot to live for!!
I remember one of my little daughters (age 3 1/2 at
the time I was diagnosed) told me "I think you're
beautiful!" when I was discussing (probably sadly) my
chemo-baldness. It was as if she didn't even notice!
I'll take temporary baldness over death-by-cancer any day!
May you have many years
ahead as a survivor!!
Here is an e-mail we received without a name:
morning when I was 25 years old my life changed, and what a
change it was. A new mother a new wife and 25 surgeries later,
cancer scared the daylights out of me. Every treatment was
done, but at the end both breasts were gone forever, along
with a part of me. I'm 44 now have been cancer free for 19
years. Also I became a mother three times over, after
everything they said I would never have another baby, well I
did. God put me here on this earth to help people, guide them
through, if I can only make a small difference it wouldn't
have been for nothing.
for sharing your story!
you sure have been through a lot! 25 surgeries ...
what happened? 19 years, cancer free, I just love
hearing that! I am 6 years out now and so far, so
too, had a baby after breast cancer. We
always wanted a 4th, but didn't think it could happen after
chemo, etc., but God gave us a boy after already having
3 girls -- what a blessing!
April 26, 2006
We heard back from Carlottra:
I was so surprise to hear from you!!
Thanks so very much for taking the time!! I really
appreciate you doing that!! I realize that you must be very
busy, so it means more than you will ever know!!
I had another mammogram on Tuesday. I
will begin radiation treatment on Thursday. My Doctors
are very good and wanted me to do another exam to compare
after I have completed my treatments!!
Thanks so very much for the bracelet!!
Well I must go into my office.
You have really made my "Day"!! I am not to good at
this "computer thing" Smile, and I was not
sure that you would receive my message, let alone respond!!
THANKS SO VERY MUCH!! HAVE A GREAT DAY!!
Thanks again, you made our day!
Here is a letter from Walterene:
My name is Walterene and I was
diagnosed January of 1998 with Breast
Cancer. At the time my daughters were 17 and 4. I
went through a Mastectomy, Chemo and Radiation. I
then went through my remission stage. Then on September 18,
2003 (just 10 days before my birthday) I was diagnosed with
Metastatic Breast Cancer and was told at the time that I
would live at best 3-6 years.
By this time I had another daughter
who was at the time 3 years old. Since
that time I have been on and off
Chemotherapy. I know it is as hard on my family as
it is on me. So far I have attended the funeral of a dear
friend who was buried on my past birthday
(September 28, 2005) and now have a
current friend with advanced Lung Cancer and
is in the hospital after suffering a stroke.
At times I wonder who is really the
lucky one here. Those who have
passed on as they are no longer in pain or myself
who is still here dealing with the various side effects of
the chemotherapy and the emotional state of mind it can put
me in. But when I start thinking about that I
think of my children and that brings me back to a happy train
As of this September 18th I will have
survived 3 years so far and I am
determined to keep on going!!!!!!!
Thank you for sharing your story. Wow, you've really had a
rough time of it. I, too, had a baby (a boy, after 3 girls! :)
after breast cancer, though no recurrence as of today, 6 years
later. My heart and prayers go out to you during your ongoing
treatment and struggle with cancer. You have a lot to live for,
so keep your head up and your prayers flowing. May you have many
years ahead as a survivor!
April 25, 2006
Here is a letter from Danielle:
My story is of my mom surviving breast
cancer. I'm currently going to school
for massage therapy and one night I gave my mom a massage over
her chest and I found a lump. She had it
biopsied. It came back benign but
she needed to have it removed because it grew within a couple
So she had it removed and the doctors
did a 24 hr culture and the results
came back that there was cancer cells in the tissue. The lump
was benign but the doctors told my mom
that if she would've let it go for
6 months to 3 years she would've been completely full of
of the finding of breast cancer my parents are promoting a
Breast Cancer Awareness Fun Run for
motorcycles and antique cars to ride in. The
money is going to the pink ribbon fund & sponsors. The date
is set for June 17th, 2006. Thanks
for taking the time to read my story. My mom's
name is Dawn and I'm her daughter Danielle.
Thanks for sharing your mom's story. The Lord works in
mysterious ways ... it's no accident that you found that lump in
such an unusual way! May she have many years ahead as a
Good luck with your fundraising event!
Here is a letter from Jean:
I am writing to you from Liverpool
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in
December 2005 after constantly banging my right breast in the
doctors surgery that I work at it became bruised, I never
thought about cancer as none of my family of older generation
had ever had it. I was advised to go for a mammogram from
my doctor after the bruise had become black and quite firm to
I went on the 29th December 2005 at the
Linda McCartney centre in Liverpool. They did the usual
both breasts screening and although my right breast was clear
they had in fact found a lump in the left breast! I still at
this point was not too concerned as I said no one in the
family has had cancer, they took a biopsy within the hour and
I was asked to go for a coffee. After an hour or so they
called me in and to my horror told me that I had cancer, but
because it was an incidental finding as I had originally gone
with the right breast the future chances of successfully
removing the lump was a good one.
That was the 29th December and before I
had left the hospital my surgeon had already a date for my
operation on the 18th Jan 2006. Although the operation
was a success they had found a new form of early cancer just
on the outside of the lump so I had to go back in on the 28th
February 2006 to remove the rest.
I was told on the 17th March 2006
that I was clear and what a feeling that was I don't think
words can describe as I had been putting on a brave face for
my husband and my 16 yr old son. I am now having
radiology as my cancer had not spread to my nodes and the
cancer was not an aggressive one I was lucky enough not to
have chemotherapy. As I have only turned 46 in March I
do have to have an extra booster treatment for a further week
which means 5 weeks normal and 1 week booster.
I do feel extremely lucky to have it
discovered so early as the surgeon said it would be another 12
months before I felt anything.
I have the doctors counter to thank
as if I had not banged into it constantly then I still have
cancer and yes the counter has now been taken down. I
hope my experience will be of some help to others that think
the word CANCER means the end!! I
have a new lease of life and I am going to live everyday to
Thank you for sharing your
story! It sounds like an angel was there with you
when went in to have your right breast checked, only to
discover that you had cancer in your left breast!
May you have many years ahead
as a survivor!
April 20, 2006
We added 13 new products to our site. If you didn't get
the e-mail you can read it here: http://www.pinkribbonshop.com/06-april.htm
We got an e-mail earlier this month from DJ. She walked
the Chicago Breast Cancer 3-Day last year and lost her toenail
(admittedly due to lack of training) in honor of her lifetime
best friend Kelly and Kelly's sister Karen. Both two-time
survivors. She also started a website
about her 3-day walk, training and even her toenails. If
you are planning to do a 3-Day walk this spring, you might find
DJ's website interesting and entertaining.
We also received and e-mail from Dionne. She is a 4x
survivor from Canada and is also raising money for
research. Her site is CancerSurvivorInTheCity.com
be sure to read her story and checkout her products under
Last to post today is an e-mail from Carlottra:
I was recently diagnosed with breast
cancer. (January 06)
I am sure my story is no different than
other women, first disbelief, and second, why me? I am
honestly still dealing with both. Some days I think it
is all a bad nightmare, and other days I see
strength from other women God has placed in my path to
show me that this is not an automatic death
I have found strength by sharing my
story and that is how I came to learn of you and this
wonderful project. I have observed many people with the
wrist band. I recently inquired to one wonderful lady
about her band. She told me that she is wearing the band
for her young nephew here in Jacksonville, Fl. (I believe he
is 23 years old) who has cancer. I shared my story with
her and she immediately took the band off her arm and gave it
to me. She also asked me my name and said she would
begin praying for me!! I can not begin to tell you what
this experience has meant to me.
I am placing an order today to share
with my family and love ones as I go through this journey.
I will always treasure and never remove the one she gave me
"Live Strong" and I will try very hard to live up to
those encouraging words.
In closing I am reminded of her young
nephew, my own son is 25 years old. "Today"
was a beginning for me not to ask "why"?, but
Thank you so very much for your vision
and most of all for sharing it with the world!
Thank you for sharing your
story, and thanks for your kind words about our website.
A diagnosis of breast cancer can certainly be life-changing!
You really find out how much you are cared about.
My prayers are with you also!
May you have many years ahead as a survivor.
P.S. We haven't received our "Dancing With
Fear" books yet. They are coming from Canada.
We will make them available on our site as soon as they arrive.
April 13, 2006
We have been working on a number of new products for our
site. It looks like we will be adding about 12 to 13 next
week. We have been able to obtain a few products you may
have seen before by designer Sandra Magsamen seen below
along with "Hannabell" the angel.
The plaque on the right also comes with the words,
"Hope" and "Strength."
We also have two new books we are excited to be adding to our
new book selection. We will have, "Dancing With
Fear," a book written entirely by breast cancer
survivors. 125 women share their real-life experience through treatments, recovery, aftermath, and reclaiming life after breast cancer.
This 223 page book is a must read for anyone currently dealing
with breast cancer either personally or helping a friend or
loved one. We hope we ordered enough!
We also have a Cookbook with a nice variety of favorite recipes followed by a collection of survivor stories and poems. Makes a great gift for your favorite breast cancer survivor who loves to be in the kitchen.
We were encouraged this week by Joyce. She writes:
Mom had breast cancer – in the ‘60’s – she had a radical
mastectomy. She noticed a
lump & told her "then" Doctor a couple
of years before her surgery - you know what his response
was?..."'you women are all the same, you all think you
have cancer'" - can you believe that??!! I wish
he were alive now - I'd give him a piece of my mind besides
wanting to bring him up on charges of malpractice. She
has since passed away (in 2001 on her birthday no less - age
80/81) – although not from cancer. I faithfully go
each year for my mammogram!
a fantastic way to “get the word out” about cancer with The
Pink Ribbon Shop!
Congratulations on beginning it.
I came across the site as a result of a woman in
who made baby bibs, posted a picture of it on Smart Needle
website & had her web address listed with the picture.
On her web address (www.mjstitch4u.com)
she had written about having some of her products in your store.
So – you see with just that original posting, I found
am a crafter in MA (in business for 4 years now) – primarily
pillows of all kinds, totes, purses, home décor. While living
last year, I donated pillows to the American Cancer Society for
one of their annual runs as I felt it is a very worthy cause.
have a website as well – www.pleasingpillows-plus.com
– my husband & I are in the process of finalizing it.
wish you continued success, Kim, and hope your battle
against cancer continues to be a very victorious one!
- I read parts of "Danny's
story" - I must admit I couldn't make it through the
whole story - tears welling up in my eyes.... but I did read you
made it thru the chemo & went on to have a healthy baby boy
later on! Congratulations to you & your family!!!
Thanks for taking the time to
write, and for your kind words about our website and products
and story. It's amazing how word really gets around
about our site.
All too often we've heard
from women whose doctors dismissed their complaints/symptoms,
only later for them to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
It's just SO important to be in control of your own health
care and body.
April 12, 2006
We posted Nancy's
breast cancer survivor story. Here she writes back:
Thanks so much for your
response. A bracelet would be nice, since I broke the one I've
been wearing for over 2 years. I have several Breast Cancer
Awareness bracelets, but somehow it seems the "arm
band" gets more attention from people who ask what it is
for. That just opens up the door to remind whoever to have
their mammograms regularly.
We also posted Leitha's
breast cancer survivor story. And she wrote back also:
I'm proud to say, my son wears the pink
bracelet given to me by breast imaging techs, and my husband
had a pin on his briefcase but has lost it. Another pin for
his briefcase would be wonderful.
I hope my story brings hope to people
who feel there is none. I know that feeling, the second call
saying "you have cancer again", the second time you
walk towards that huge radiation machine, the second time you
feel the poison of the chemo draining you of you last ounce of
energy. It's hard, but when you wake up tomorrow, believe
there is a purpose to that day for you, because if you wake up
tomorrow, it's because God does have a purpose for you. Thank
you for letting me tell my story.
April 5, 2006
This is a short story from Marsha about her sister Linda:
My sister Linda and I grew up in a
large family almost everyone on my mothers side of the
family had some kind of cancer My Grandma breast
cancer my Mother breast cancer 2 Aunts breast cancer. An Uncle
lung cancer. Cancer also ran on my fathers side of the family.
Like every female the fear is always
there when it runs on both sides of the family and you can
trace it down the family tree. The day my sister Linda called
to tell me the news, my heart fell, seems like the years had
driven us apart each living our own life. Now she had the big
C word. Dare I say it , Breast Cancer, how? Why? Nooooo not
now not ever please Dear God don't take my sister Linda. But
what was I thinking? This was my sister Linda a.k.a. Mrs.
Cleaver, Lucy, wife, mother, friend and above all my
But my sister she handled it so well
she was sleepy from chemotherapy, yes she had her days but she
seemed to fit it all in to her busy schedule. She planned her
only daughters wedding, did all the floral arrangements
herself, her shopping day for groceries is Thursday which she
also did every week, and yes on Thursday Linda even drove
herself to Chemo and back home again. She relied on herself.
She rarely asked for help. She somehow managed to do it
How you ask, I'm not quite sure, I
believe the prayers from friends and family helped. Also the
angel on her shoulder, and the love of friends and family and
most of all God. But Linda's determination to continue to go
on, to fight no matter what, to get outta bed when she really
wanted to stay there sleeping. Her will to go on helped my
sister survive. I'm so proud of Linda, I know she's not the
only woman who has survived Breast Cancer with determination
to live but my sister Linda's story should be told. I
believe she's a miracle, she is so strong. When I grow up
I wanna be just like her! I love you Linda.
Thanks for sharing your
sister's story! May she have many many years ahead as
I am a
Breast Cancer survivor. It has been four years since my
last surgery. I was diagnosed in Jan. 2002. I had
a lumpectomy on my right breast and five out of the six
margins of the specimen were not clean. I still had the
cancer. I had an extended lumpectomy, I was still trying
breast conserving surgery. The margins still were not
clean. I still had cancer. The next step was
mastectomy. I decided to have TRAM flap reconstruction
four years ago. I am on Letrozole since I had
a lymph node also involved, making my cancer Stage II, and I am
post menopausal (age 54 at diagnosis). Lucky me I'm old.
Since that time, I have been giving out breast cancer angel
pins to any survivor, family member or some one waiting for
results of a biopsy. I am a nurse working in a local
hospital, so I meet a lot of survivors. In the
past four years I have given out over 500 angels. This has
helped me cope with my diagnosis. I will continue to
give out angels for as long as I survive.
Thanks for sharing your
story of survival! I've never quite understood the idea
of "breast conserving surgery." It's cancer,
life or death, I always wanted to do every possible treatment
option so it would NEVER come back! Never mind keeping a
500 angels, you sound like
quite an angel yourself! May you have many years ahead
as a survivor.
April 4, 2006
We just moved our last few pieces of stuff Friday from our
old shop to our new shop. In the meantime Danny's Grandmother
died and we traveled back to New Orleans for a memorial service
for both his Grandmother and Grandfather who died in hurricane
Katrina. They are together again after being apart for
only a short time. The service was held at Mount Olive
Lutheran Church in Metairie, Louisiana. Memorials are
truly for the living. It was a sermon of God's grace and
the hold he puts on our lives and how he claims us for his
own. He claimed Danny's Grandparents and I pray he claimed
a few more at the service.
First Thessalonians chapter four verse thirteen tells us,
"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those
who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no
hope." For the Christian, sleep is a
particularly apt metaphor for death, since death's finality and
horror are removed by the assurance of resurrection.
The fourteenth verse goes on, "We believe that Jesus
died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with
Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." Paul, the
author of this book of the bible, does not say that Christ
"slept," perhaps to underscore the fact that he bore
the full horror of death so that those who believe in him would
not have to.
As Easter approaches we are reminded once again of the death
and resurrection of Jesus and how His resurrection gives us the
hope of eternal life. He gave His life for Danny's
grandparents and He gave His life for you.
Most of you visiting here have been touched by breast
cancer. Cancer is terrible and life threatening but it can
only end your earthly life. Christ has given His life so
that yours can be eternal. If you haven't already, accept
His offer. Confess that you can't earn your way into
heaven by being good. God will judge you by your thoughts
and actions. Jesus has stepped in and said, "No, take
my life instead." God accepted the deal.
On Good Friday we remember that as Jesus hung by nails dying
on the cross, for the sins we have committed He proclaimed,
"It is finished." That is, He bore the full
punishment of our sins and the trade of His life for ours was
You may have read about Vera previously in our weblog.
She is doing a fundraiser and has asked that we post the
information on our site for anyone that may want to
participate. Here is a link to the info on her 50/50
Here are some short stories we received last month:
My name is Rita. In Dec. 2000. I did my
yearly mammogram. This time they found 2 lumps in the left
breast. What next? I had a radical mastectomy, including all
nodes. The Doctors took my husband aside and said that I had
just 3 months to live if I was lucky. (My mom died from breast
cancer just 3 months after she found out.) Well here I am 5
and a half years later and still alive. I have been going
through chemotherapy every 6 months, radiation every 3 months. Now
they found a new cancer in the right lung not anything to do
with the breast cancer. The lung cancer has spread into the
back bones. But you know what. I thank GOD and my family for
sticking by my side through all of this mess. I do have one
thing to say. It's a good thing that the doctors never told me
I only had 3 months to live. I continually pray that GOD has
better things for me to do in life. Thank you for listening to
is not my story, but rather one of two very strong women and
the man who has supported them. My mother was diagnosed
with Breast Cancer at the young age of 30. She fought
hard for 7 years before she finally lost the battle in 1985.
Her son (my brother) was 16 years old. He has never been
the same since. Before she passed, I asked her why she
endured all of this hardship - the pain, the chemo, the
testing, etc. She told me that she just wanted to see
"her baby" - me - grow up. At the time, I was 12.
She told me that I had grown up so much and it was time.
It was then that I knew. It would only be a matter of
time before she was called by God. I was OK, though. I
knew that of all the memories I had of her, she was always
funny and happy - despite the battle. She passed away on
Oct 25, 1985. She was 37. I was 12. My brother was
16. My father was devastated.
years later, my father's wife, Susan was diagnosed with Breast
Cancer. A lump was discovered in her breast just around
Christmas time. After the holiday, it was removed. She
is currently in radiation - which cannot be easy on either one
of them - and should be done by March 14th.
can't imagine what either of them are feeling right now.
It is amazing how cancer has struck twice to the same family -
with no relation involved. I guess it just goes to show
how important it is that we get research funded and find a
have been walking in marathons and doing other fundraising
activities for years now. The recent events with my
stepmother encourage me to walk more - faster, harder...and
fight the biggest fight I can!
My daughter, Catherine, was diagnosed
with breast cancer this past January. I am telling her
story so others may know that breast cancer does not affect just
older woman. On August 23, 2005 my daughter gave birth
prematurely to her first child, a son, Matthew. Because of
arriving early and health issues he was in PICU (pediatric
intensive care) for 7 weeks.
With much delight they were finally
able to take him home and enjoy the miracle of his birth.
Two weeks later he did not look well and they took him back to
the hospital. He had a hole in his heart and surgery was
performed. The doctors discovered he had a congenital lung
defect and he died on November 6th. Our hearts were
broken and I don't know how the parents managed to survive
through his funeral and the many days that followed.
Shortly after she found a lump in
her breast and she went to her OBGYN and she told her it was a
milk cyst and not to worry. She returned again and was
told she did not need a mammogram and again that it was not a
problem. She finally went to a different doctor in January
and insisted that he refer her for a mammogram. Even he
insisted it was nothing! Thank God she listened to her
body and what it was saying.
She was diagnosed with invasive ductal
carcinoma and a very aggresive form of cancer. After
recent surgery and removal of two lymph nodes she will have have
chemo and other treatments starting this month. Catherine
just celebrated her 31st birthday on March 1st. Tell your
readers not to wait and to INSIST on mammograms if they feel
there is a concern! If Catherine had waited even a short
time this cancer would definitely have become invasive and
the outcome would not look good. With God's help and the
correct drugs this cancer will be beat and she will have many
wonderful years ahead. God bless you for all the work you do!
I lost my maternal grandmother to
breast cancer almost 8 years ago and I still miss her terribly.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994 she was 64 years
old. When she discovered the lump it was already golf ball
sized. She had numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatments
and eventually a bilateral mastectomy.
The chemotherapy made her weak and she
lost her hair. The radiation irritated her skin and left her
sore but she continued to survive and go for her treatments. She
told my mother one time right before she died that she does not
regret any of the treatment choices she made even though they
made her feel worse at times because she hoped one day that all
of the testing and treatments would produce a cure so her
children, grandchildren, and on down the family line would not
She died 4 years after she was
diagnosed with my mother and grandfather at her bedside. She
would have been 68 a month later. A few years ago her sister was
diagnosed with breast cancer and died 6 months after diagnosis.
My grandmother was and always will be a hero to me. She was so
brave and courageous. My mother, sister and I participate
in the walks and donate money in hopes of a cure, but for now
early detection and hope and support is all we've got! I honor
my grandmother's memory and often think about her courage. Thank
you for letting me share my story.
March 20, 2006
We have great news from our friend Eveline. She had a
recent recurrence of breast cancer and has been taking chemo
treatments. Her doctor has told her that her cancer is
currently in remission. She will continue with her chemo
and then radiation. We have an e-mail from Eveline posted
here in December. Eveline and her husband always appear
upbeat and positive. It is no doubt that their faith has
carried them through and they have become great witnesses to the
strength of God's Holy Spirit in their lives. Above all,
Eveline has eternal life and you can see she knows it.
Sorry it has been so long since we have posted here. We
have signed a lease on a new and bigger shop. We will be
moving into our new shop over the next two weeks. We hope
to eventually fill it to the rafters with new and unique pink
On a personal note, we have also been house hunting during
all our spare time. We have been leaving our shop in the
capable hands of our two employees while we meet with our real
estate agent to look at houses. We have also been bike
riding our city looking at houses and we have taken hundreds of
virtual tours on the internet. We made one offer that
wasn't excepted. We have now made another offer on a
different house. It's currently owned by Fannie Mae so the
paperwork will take longer. If our offer is accepted we
will be moving in April.
When we came to Houston last May we decided to rent a house
to give us time to find what we like. We have a one year
lease that ends in May so we didn't start looking until
February. We thought we would have the whole summer to
look. We are good tenants and thought our landlord would
be happy to get a few extra months rent out of us. We were
wrong. He told us he wants to move in when our lease is
up. So long story short, we've been scrambling.
Within a year we will be moving both our household and our
Over the last two weeks we've received quite a few e-mails
and survivor stories that we would like to post. We will
try to start getting them on our site.
Here are two e-mails from Jessica:
just wanted to thank you for your site. Today I just sat
reading and crying and yet being encouraged by your faith, and
the scripture posted. I lost my mother Debbie, this past
July 8th, and still miss her so terribly. I
just turned 30 and feel too young to have lost my mother, along
with my son, who was only 4 when he lost his grandma. I
look at my father and my heart aches for him. We are
comforted by God’s peace and would not be where we are without
His strength. He has been AWESOME!
mother battled breast cancer for 8 years! She had a
lumpectomy, mastectomy, reconstruction, and then another
mastectomy while having to have the implant from the
reconstruction removed. Her cancer moved into the bones
and wouldn’t leave. She fought long and hard, trying
every possible alternative out there, traveling all over the
mid-west and to
for the latest treatments.
was the 7th year and her 8th recurrence
that proved to be the toughest fight. We watched the
cancer ravage her and slowly, painfully rob her of her strength
– physically, emotionally, and spiritually. What she
suffered I pray no woman has to endure! For a year and a
half we begged and pleaded with Jesus for her life, as did she.
On July 8th, two days before her 54th
birthday He took her home. Praise God she is dancing in
heaven! It is still difficult, and always will be.
mother didn’t die in vain though, what Jesus has shown my
father, my brother and I is incredible. I just want to
shout “how great God is!” The most awesome comfort to
us is how many lives my mother touched. She was a teacher
and therapist for students with learning disabilities. She
also had such a passion for helping women get set free
spiritually! Her passion for Jesus touched so many lives
and we see it living on through those she has touched. People
are always coming up to me sharing stories of how God worked in
their lives through my mother.
to say I cry a lot, but what an awesome legacy. I have so
much to live up to, but what a great example I had. I
thank God every day for the time He gave me with my mother.
My mom went to be with Jesus on July 8th.
For what it’s worth, the number 8 or the figure 8 was
drawn by her students continually in her one-on-one LD therapy
to help strengthen their learning deficits. She learned that
number was also important for her students because number 8
means “new beginning” or “new Life” which in a sense
they were going to experience through the therapy. My
mother experienced a new beginning on the 8th as
well, also her 8th year in her battle with breast
is amazing how God works. Just seconds before she left us,
my dad was reading a quote from Oswald Chamber someone had sent
him in an e-mail, “Leave the broken, irreversible past in His
hands and step into the invincible future with Him.” I
want to encourage those out there to share your stories, no
matter how difficult. We need each other to lean on and to
build up! You never know how God may use you words or
story, nothing is too insignificant for Him to use. We
just have to be His vessels!
keep pursuing Him! HE IS LIFE! I want to share a
quote my mother and I took on as our motto the last 4 years of
her life, “DANCE…as though no one is watching, LOVE… as
though you have never been hurt before, SING… as though no one
can hear you, LIVE… as though heaven is on earth.” –
you so much for sharing your mom's story. You and your
family have been through so much. It's good to hear
that you've been able to find comfort in the Lord, and also in
hearing from people whose lives were touched by your mother.
thank you for your kind words about our site. With our
site and weblog, we just felt that we had this opportunity to
reach people and hopefully make a difference. It was our
hope that if our experience could touch even just one person
in a positive way, it's worth getting it out there. That
if others' experiences with breast cancer could help one other
person, it's worth posting.
you for your response. I have to tell you God was working
Tuesday when I was on your blog site. I told you how
healing it was for me to just open myself up and let my heart
pour out. I could feel God’s arms wrapped around me,
just holding me. The next day was the 8th month
to the day of my mother’s death, and the coincidence is that
my best friend’s mother passed away that evening, from breast
cancer. God was getting me ready for that moment.
mother and my friend’s mother, their battles were so similar.
Everything my mother would go through, her mother would go
through the next year. Her mother, Millie, battled for a
long, hard 6 years. I commend our mother’s and all other
women who fight this awful disease, they are my heroes!
so neat how God intertwines our pasts and our futures with
others. I didn’t meet my friend Lucy until I was in my
early 20’s, or so I thought. One day when reminiscing
with childhood friends about a church camp we all went to (which
didn’t seem possible), my friend Lucy tried to convince me she
was also there. I was sure she hadn’t been until I dug
out an old picture, and there she was, sitting next to me, in
our camp picture.
God works, and his plans, I cannot even fathom. He
didn’t bring us back together for 12 more years, and we
thought we were meeting for the first time. He knew we
would need each other later in our lives, while caring for our
mother’s. Wow! I’m glad He supplies our every
need, especially those we don’t know we have. Thank you
Kim, I would love to keep praying for you and your family!
I pray God blesses your ministry ten fold.
Thanks Jessica, because we are human and subject to
discouragement, your encouraging words will help keep us going,
but it is your prayers for this part of our site that will
really have an effect. We always try to pray over what is
posted here. We pray that God will use it to reach and
inspire people to come to Him and find Him to be sufficient in
But whoever drinks the water I give him will never
thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a
spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:14
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, streams of
living water will flow from within him. John 7:37
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made
perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so
that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with
him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other
up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians
March 7, 2006
Here is a link to our latest e-mail: 18
New Products at the Pink Ribbon Shop!
March 6, 2006
We've been busy working on new products. We will have
some ready for our site in a day or two. Below are two
e-mails we've received. We struggled to add a comment to
Robin's story but Robin does a good job of covering it and it
speaks for itself.
We've also added a survivor
story from Alyson she is currently battling inflammatory
An e-mail from Robin:
Two years ago I lost my mother to
breast cancer. Although she participated in the walks with her
sister in upstate NY every year, and donated religiously to
cancer charities, she didn't do what was MOST IMPORTANT!
She went 11 years without having any type of breast exam. By the
time she realized she had a lump, it was too late.
After a double Mastectomy and harsh
Chemotherapy she passed away from a brain tumor. Only seven
months elapsed between her finding the lump and passing away.
Seven difficult months, all for naught! I love that people
contribute money and walk and spread the word and wear their
pink ribbons, but remember, all of that means NOTHING if you
don't take care of yourself. Please, remember that all of
your generous contributions are appreciated, but early detection
is key!!! Take care of yourself and the other women you care
After my mother passed a number of my
friends asked me where to send donations in her name. I
told them that my mother would rather you make an appointment
for a breast exam...they ALL did...and they donated money, too.
Thanks Robin. Your mother's story is a very important
one for everyone to hear.
Here is another e-mail from Lorraine:
I want to tell you about my
sister-in-law, she went to get one breast removed and when they
were getting her ready for surgery they took another look at her
other breast, and they saw something else, they went and took
her one breast and continued to look at her other breast and
discovered she would have to have the other one removed also,
she is only 40 years old and my heart goes out to her, she is
now getting her last chemo treatment, and I hope everything is
fine, only God can tell, my prayers are with her and everyone
Thanks Lorraine. We hope your sister-in-law remains
cancer free and gets through her last chemo treatment in good
|Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we
are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by
day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving
for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is
unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
February 28, 2006
We've posted two new survivor stories. Dana
story, a granddaughter of a breast cancer survivor, could be
entitled, "How I saved my Grandmother's Life" and Michelle's
story reminds us it's always a good idea to seek a second
opinion. Thanks to her proactive self care she is around
to see her new granddaughter grow up.
We also received an e-mail from Jessica:
losing my mother to cancer when I was 14, I struggled with life
after her death. I didn't really know what to do to make myself
feel better dealing with the grief. Finally, my senior year of
college I realized something that would heal my heart and
hopefully heal others as well. I started a Breast Cancer Walk at
my college in memory of my mother! Our first year we raised
$6,000 for breast cancer research! This is our second year and
we have bigger and better plans and higher hope. By helping
others become aware of this cause, I've been able to grieve and
to cope with my own loss. If I have been able to instill hope in
someone's life because of our donation, then it was well worth
it! Yes, we only raised $6,000, but every dollar counts!
Here is a link to this
year's walk: http://reinhardt.edu/students/walkcancer/breastcancer.htm
Jessica, what a life you must have had losing your mother at
14. We hope our children never have to face that.
You know there are many other young children that lose there
mothers to cancer everyday that could probably use the support
of someone who has been there. I bet you'd be a great
asset at your local American Cancer Society if counseling or
mentoring is your thing. It would probably also help you
deal with your grief a little more.
Also, $6,000 sounds like a very successful fundraiser.
We donate to an organization that provides seed money to
Universities to try new theories in cancer research. A
$6,000 donation can go along way in that respect. The seed
money is used to show some preliminary lab results which can
then be brought to the big corporate donors that will then fund
a more comprehensive study.
Good luck on your second annual Breast Cancer Walk! We
hope it is bigger and better.
February 27, 2006
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we
are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by
day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving
for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2
Seen in the perspective of eternity, the Christian's
difficulties, whatever they may be, diminish in
importance. By comparison, the eternal glory is far
greater than all the suffering one may face in this
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth
comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is
unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen
is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
The experiences and circumstances of this present life, often
painful and perplexing, are what is visible to the Christian;
but these are merely phenomena in the passing parade of our
fallen age and are therefore temporary and fleeting. To
fix our eyes on these visible things would cause us to lose
heart. By contrast the unseen realities, which are no less
real for being invisible, are eternal and imperishable.
Accordingly, we look up and away from the impermanent
appearances of this present world scene.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly
await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the
power that enables him to bring everything under his control,
will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his
glorious body. Philippians 4:20-21
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of
our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross,
scorned its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne
of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from
sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose
heart. Hebrews 12:2-3
Just as a runner concentrates on the finish line, we should
concentrate on Jesus, the goal and objective of our faith.
Our faith, which has its beginning in him, is also completed in
him; he is both the start and the end of the race. He is
also the supreme witness who has already run the race and
overcome. He accomplished our eternal redemption and his
glorification at the Father's "right hand."
He suffered infinitely more than any of his disciples are
asked to suffer--a great encouragement for us when we are weary
and tempted to become discouraged.
February 21, 2006
We have four new breast
cancer survivor stories posted. We also have an e-mail
I was 19
years old when I found my mum had breast cancer at 45 years
old, she had found a lump in her breast but kept it secret in
the hope it would go away. Finally she got it seen too
and that is when they told her it was breast cancer and that
she would need surgery.
a while my mum broke the news to me I felt like the world had
come crashing down. You never think that it can happen
to a loved one but it does. My mum went into surgery and had
the lump removed and her lymph glands to prevent spreading.
was followed by 7 weeks of radiotherapy, my mum is coming up
to her 5 years now and every time she goes for her checkups I
pray to God that the news is good.
I hope I
can give other breast cancer survivors out there hope to keep
fighting it and don't let it beat you!
Hayley it is so good that your mother got medical treatment
in time. Your story sounds familiar to Tammy's e-mail
posted here on February 13th. Unfortunately for her family
her mother-in-law kept her secret too long.
How devastating the news must have been to you at 19.
Remember you are now at a much higher risk of getting breast
cancer yourself. Stay diligent, talk to your OB and get
checked earlier. You may even want to accompany your
mother on one of her oncology visits and talk to the oncologist
about yourself. I'm sure your mother would love the
company and support.
We know the checkups can be very stressful. Continue to
pray for your mother and remember you need God's help too.
Thanks again for your e-mail. I'm starting to think we
are talking to someone here that needs to see a doctor and is
putting it off for some reason. Get help, your family
needs you and wants you. Your life is worth living.
February 16, 2006
Here is a sad story we received some time ago from Amy.
It was on our old site and we decided to post it here instead of
in the survivor stories section. To us, it's content has a
better fit here.
grandmother died of breast cancer, I survived. We all did, even
when we didn't think we would. It came on suddenly, we soon
found ourselves taking shifts at the clinic in Rochester so she
would never have to be alone, and though the hours were long, we
were relieved when it was our turn to sit with her. She liked it
quiet. I would sit and hold the hand that took me on walks as a
child, taught me to carve animals out of soap, and helped me
apply craft glue to the t-shirts we made together. Quietly I
cried, and quietly I prayed.
chose to take my grandmother at the young age of 58. Who am I to
question his plan, but I find myself doing it often. Sitting by
her bed I wished there was something I could do. Now I realize
there is. Something every survivor can do, help others realize
that breast cancer can happen to anybody, and maybe that
somebody is you. Check well and check often, and never think you
February 15, 2006
Hope you all had a nice Valentine's day. We have a new
story from Bobbi.
We found her wit and candor very refreshing. We are making
sure we send her her free pin. We also heard back from
Tammy after posting her story here on Monday:
think this cancer site is wonderful. May God bless
everyone that has ever been affected, directly or indirectly.
I pray they find a cure for everyone...Thank you so much.
Reading the stories helped me understand my mother-in-law a lot
Tammy for taking your time here with us and we hope your
mother-in-law's story will help others in her same situation.
Don't miss this week's online
sermon at www.christ4u.net. It's about slowing down
and taking a break with God and bringing your troubles and
worries of life to Him.
February 13, 2006
We've added our Pink
Breast Cancer Band Bracelets to our Free Offer!
We have an e-mail from Tammy about her mother-in-law who died
from breast cancer. It's a sad story that we hope may
motivate others to get help and not be ashamed of or ignore
their breast cancer diagnosis. Here it is:
probably isn't the type of story that you are looking for, but
here goes. My Mother-in-law was fifty-six years old and
did not receive help for her breast cancer. She did not
let anyone know. She told us it was arthritis. It
had spread throughout her body before she let us know. It
was in her skull, bones, and lungs. It was horrible.
The cancer ate her breast from the inside out. The only
thing that I can think to tell you what it looked like is
"raw meat." She was so infected and ate up that
it would give anyone nightmares. My husband and I moved
her in with us and she did try chemo, for what reason, I don't
know. She told us on October 31 and passed away Jan. 29.
Your family cannot take the same road that my family took.
I have an 8 year old daughter that sat and watched her mamaw die
a little every day. It was a long and painful death.
The cancer in her lungs smothered her to death. PLEASE
HAVE YOURSELF CHECKED, GET A MAMMOGRAM, DO SELF EXAMS, AND LET
YOUR LOVED ONES IN. That is the worse thing, she carried
it by herself for years and she did not have to!!!!
pray for you, your husband and especially your daughter.
We hope your story will help others that may not be seeking
treatment to see that their life is valued and will want to be
around for their grandchildren or other friends and family
members. You provided a home with love and support for the
last three months of your Mother-in-law's life. My God
bless you and your family.
heard back from Dana back on the 29th of January and we are just
realizing that we did not post an update. Dana says it
I can't believe even someone took the
time and interest to write to me. I can get so depressed that I
feel invisible, almost a non-person, and so yes, I would be
honored to talk to Vera. I believe strongly in prayer, as I
notice when they are answered and am blessed to receive them
from anyone, anytime. The simple act of responding to another
human in need was the greatest gift I could have received. Like
I say, I was just shocked that anyone would care about me, a
stranger, and saying a few kind words. Thank you, Kim, and
Danny, for your prayers, and you may tell Vera, it would be
great to hear from her.
Thanks Dana. You don't know how much your response
means to us. We are so
glad we have the means to connect you two. May the Lord be
with you during this difficult time!
I was e-mailing someone else about what we are trying to do
here and was wondering if it is working when this e-mail came in
from Dana. I don't believe in coincidences!
You can read Dana's original letter to us in our post for
January 25th. Vera had read Dana's original e-mail and
asked us to contact her and let her know she would like to talk
to her. We hear that Dana and Vera have been
talking. We thank God for bringing them here and bringing
them together. God works in wonderful ways and we pray
that He continues to be with us here and that He finds Himself
in your life to help others in need.
If you are here because you have or have had breast cancer or
have a loved one with the disease, pray that God will use you in
ways you did not know but that He had planned for you before you
were born. Jesus died for your sins and now you can stand
before God pure and holy. Ask Him to send you His Spirit
to fill you and guide you as you encounter others. You can
and will make a difference in others lives.
February 9, 2006
An e-mail from Cathy:
name is Cathy and I am a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed
in November of 2004 with stage one medullary type breast cancer.
It was found on a routine mammogram. I was 47 years old at the
time and I have a history of breast cancer in my family, but
still you never think it would happen to you. I have worked in
the medical field all of my life and let me tell you, I like it
much better on the caregiver side than the patient side. It has
made me look at my patients in a very different way, for the
good I might add. I researched all my options and choose a
mastectomy with a tram flap recon. I also took four rounds of
chemo. They tell me this treatment gives me a 95% chance I will
never have to fight the breast cancer war again. And believe you
me it is like a war. A war that CAN BE WON!
Cathy. It's great to hear that your prognosis for the
future is so good. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
February 7, 2006
Here is an e-mail from Grace Ambrose with the Breast
Cancer Guide. A web based breast cancer resource guide
by survivors and doctors that covers symptoms, treatment,
assistance and support.
Here is brief summary of what we do to help breast cancer
patients and families:
We are a group of breast cancer survivors and caregivers based
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In our search for information
(started by lung cancer survivors), though there are good guides
for breast cancer, they are either compiled by medical
professionals or survivors alone, but not integrated selection
that represents both side's important perspectives. As a result
people can easily miss some critical information by referring to
either type of guide, especially if considering most people are
To help a breast cancer patient quickly and easily find the best
breast cancer treatment and retain a better quality of life, we
have uniquely organized a group of doctors, researchers,
survivors and caregivers to develop this informational guide.
In this guide, we are emphasizing two aspects about breast
cancer: treatment and support. Though from our guide
patients can easily find the best treatment for breast cancer
currently offered by doctors, it is still difficult to find many
effective treatments, either because they are new, or not
available in the US. We are actively searching for a dedicated
medical professional who is not only aware of where to find
these treatments, but also able to evaluate them.
Hopefully we offer a hope that will save many lives of advanced
stage breast cancer patients.
February 1, 2006
We have two new breast cancer survivor stories today.
One from Chuck
for the guys in your life. He tackles a lot of issues that
men may have trouble dealing with after their wives, daughters,
sisters or mothers are diagnosed with breast cancer. Of
course a lot of what he has to say only deals with wives, but
the emotional struggles can be with any
Guys if you love someone that has been newly diagnosed, let
me tell you, you are about to go through the most gut wrenching
time of your life. If your relationship survives, it will
be strengthened and you will find your wife more beautiful than
ever. I promise.
The other is from Susanne.
Wow talk about a survivor! She has gone through so much in
the last 18 years, yet she keeps going. Our prayers are
with you in your healing Susanne.
the King Lutheran Church has started a new series on the ten
commandments and how they relate to your life, called,
"Experience God Now." We really recommend
listening to "Accept
No Substitutes" on their audio page. You can
either listen there or download it to your MP3 player. It
deals with placing God first in your life and how that can help
you in your day-to-day feelings of self-worth.
|For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith
--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works,
so that no
one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God
prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
January 31, 2006
We have three new breast
cancer survivor stories.
An e-mail from Pamela:
Hi Kim, I wanted to say congratulations on your test
results.....the good Lord has shined down upon you and I
celebrate these moments along side you. Am too going through
similar situation and am learning from your treatments in what
questions to ask...
God Bless You!!!
January 30, 2006
For it is by grace you have been saved, (a major passage for
understanding God's grace, i.e., his kindness, unmerited favor
and forgiving love. "Saved" has a wide range of
meanings. It includes salvation from God's wrath, which we
all had incurred by original sin and our own sins. The
tense of the verb suggests a completed action with emphasis on
its present effect) through faith (establishes the necessity of
faith in Christ as the only way of being made right with
God.)--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (no
human effort can contribute to our salvation: it is the gift of
God)--not by works, (one cannot earn salvation by
"observing the law." Such a legalistic approach
to salvation is consistently condemned in Scripture) so that no
one can boast (no one can take credit for his or her
salvation). For we are God's workmanship, (a "work of
art") created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God
prepared in advance for us to do (we are part of God's purpose
and planning). Ephesians 2:8-10
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we
have peace with God (not merely a subjective feeling -- peace of
mind -- but primarily an objective status, a new relationship
with God: Once we were his enemies, but now we are his
friends) through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have
gained access (Jesus ushers us into the presence of God.
The heavy curtain of the temple that separated man from God and
God from man has been removed) by faith into this grace in which
we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of
God (the Christian's confidence that the purpose for which God
created him will be ultimately realized).
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, (not
"because of" but "in." This does not
advocate a morbid view of life but a joyous and triumphant one)
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope. (A Christian can
rejoice in suffering because he knows that it is not
meaningless. Part of God's purpose is to produce character
in his children).
And hope does not disappoint us, (the believer's hope is not
to be equated with unfounded optimism. On the contrary, it
is the blessed assurance of our future destiny and is based on
God's love, which is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and
objectively demonstrated to us in the death of Christ. We
move from faith to hope to love.) because God has poured out his
love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
(Through the Holy Spirit God has poured out his love in our
hearts, and his love for us continues to dwell in us). Romans
Commentary in parentheses from the Concordia Self-Study
January 28, 2006
We've added two new breast
cancer survivor stories. Both involve misdiagnosis and
trouble encountered while seeking treatment. Laura's story
covers a number of years and runs the gamut of treatments and
complications. Roberta's story shows how her persistence
probably saved her life. It was written while she was in
the middle of her treatments. Both highlight the need to
be your own advocate and to not rely on one doctors diagnosis.
Kim & Danny,
Just wanted to let you know that I read the
updates on the weblog !! Great
news!! We have been praying. Thought I would send you a couple
pictures of me & my parents I just took them
today at our local sportsmens club.
I love your website and just ordered my boys
the pink t shirts!! They have been into a
pink kick lately. This past week was spirit week at our
school and Tuesday was "pink day" (my niece Ashley got
to designate a day and she chose pink day
in honor of breast cancer awareness) so I have also
sent a picture of my boys Nick is 10 and Connor 7 , dressed in
pink in honor of their grandma ... I hope
you enjoy !!
I did get a chance to read the
story from Dana. I hope she finds faith with the help of your
website and words of encouragement. As a
supporter I see how she feels . My mother struggles
everyday with her emotions and is really not doing to good
mentally. It is no secret, cancer sucks ! I am
glad you posted her email. Because we do
need to see those sides of it as well.
This has really taken something
from my mother that I don't think we will ever get back. Hopefully
with the help of continued support from family and friends ,
Dana will find the faith to fight this and
take each day as it comes. Let her know I
am in her corner and praying for her everyday. Even though we
are strangers I would love to email her.(
So if you could just pass on my words to her I would appreciate
it. If you would like you can give her my email ,
if she wants to talk I am definately here
for her. Maybe some advice from a supporter would help, I
am willing to try !!
I have to get to bed , I was just diagnosed
with mono and they say it could last up to
6 months... So I am dragging butt !! (by
the way I love, and laughed at the text messaging part in your
blog !! How fun) !! I don't know you two
at all but I see how strong your marriage is
and I love it!! You guys are great and have really brought
something special into my life. So I do
have faith and believe that everything happens
for a reason , I am honored to know special people like you
Thinking of you and your family and I hope you
know what your website has done for me !!
Thanks for your great e-mail and pictures. You
don't know how good it makes us feel that we might be able to
help people through our site. We've forwarded your e-mail to
Dana with this note:
We received this e-mail this morning from
Vera. She read your letter and would like to talk to you if you
are willing. We have not given her your e-mail or last name. We
just thought we would pass this on to you.
Our prayers are still with you.
Kim & Danny"
Wouldn't it be great if you could help her.
Kim and I have something that not every marriage has, every year
or two we are faced with her possible death. With that in mind,
you can't help loving the people you are with. Every moment
spent mad or angry at each other is just such a waste of time
that might be limited.
We still have our fights and disagreements but
I try to make up as soon as we can. If I ever have to go to bed
alone because she is not here anymore, I'd never forgive myself
for those wasted times.
I hope your kids like their shirts. We will
ship them out Monday.
January 27, 2006
The PET scan detected no cancer. We can't believe
it. It's as if we are waiting to hear a big
"but." It's taking some time to sink in.
What was or is in Kim's femur that showed up on the other
tests? What was the last month all about? It has
strengthened our marriage. It has renewed our empathy for
others suffering from cancer. It has brought us closer to
God. It has renewed our faith. It has kept us awake
at night. It has caused us to rethink our plans for the
future so that we get as much out of it as we can. It has
showed us who really cares about us and there were no
Half the stories in our breast cancer survivor story section
are about misdiagnosis. It seems quite common to be told
that the tests show nothing only to find later you have
cancer. What do you do about that? Stay
vigilant? Demand more tests?
Once again we will be scouring the internet looking for the
latest research on breast cancer and reading about bone
metastasis, bone scans with increased uptake, tietze syndrome
and the accuracy of PET scans. All until we just get
overloaded and walk away from the computer feeling like we know
less than when we started.
Maybe we should see an orthopedist.
January 26, 2006
We get the results of the PET scan tomorrow. It feels
as if we are closing a chapter of our lives tonight.
January 25, 2006
We've added two short but informative breast cancer survivor
stories. At 42 Gail
had a cyst and went for a mammogram. What she found saved
her life. Cathy
was treated at M.D. Anderson for inflammatory carcinoma and is
living to write about it 12 years later.
On Monday we received an e-mail that we weren't sure if we
should put on our site. However, we have decided to show
all sides of breast cancer and how painful it can be and to give
Dana a voice.
The following is from Dana:
I am writing this to purge my demons, to expel my
anger, and to ease my emotional pain. I am a 45 year old married
woman with a thirteen year old son. I found my breast cancer in
Oct. 2003, and underwent lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and
radiation. I had a strong family history of breast cancer, and
even though at first my oncologist didn't think I should get the
genetic testing, I persisted , and after finally being tested,
was notified that I had a positive BRCA2 result, which meant I
would probably have a recurrence.
To me it felt like I was a cancer making machine. I had
the recommended procedures: double radical mastectomy,
hysterectomy with cervix and ovaries removed as well. I
was not a candidate for breast reconstruction because of the
radiation damage to my skin. I can't say that I am taking this
all very well. I read stories of all these wonderful, brave,
women who have all these positive things to say, and it makes me
feel even more isolated. I feel mutilated, unloved and alone. I
don't want my husband to touch me. Sometimes I wish the doctors
would have just given me a shot to put me to sleep like a dog it
would be better for my family.
Kim's reply to Dana:
Thank you for sharing your
story. I really feel for you. I was 32 when I was
diagnosed 6 years ago, and I had a mastectomy, chemotherapy,
radiation, and reconstruction (I now wish I had had a double
mastectomy). Please, talk to a doctor about your
emotional well-being. You have been through so much, and
it's upsetting, I know from personal experience. But you
don't have to feel like you are alone in this. You can
make it through, and you will, but perhaps you need to talk to
other women who've been through some of the same things.
I know a lot of women, survivors sound wonderful and
brave, but the truth is it's a physically and emotionally
wrenching experience that can leave you feeling unwhole,
almost like a different person.
For me, the only time I
cried after my mastectomy was during intimate moments with my
husband. Outside I was as positive
and cheery as I could be. My life had to go on.
But you do face reality when you look in the mirror, and it's
difficult. You can get past that! You are still
you on the inside. You have a son and husband who need
you, a family who loves you.
I recommend Y-Me.
If you've never heard of them, they're an organization that
has volunteers who can counsel or just talk on the phone to
breast cancer patients in need. They've all been through
it, and are there to help. I encourage you to look them
If you'd like to talk any
more, I'd be glad to talk to you, or even correspond via
email. My prayers are with you.
Kim's husband Danny is sometimes a wreck but we have to
always pull through. Life is always worth living.
January 19, 2006
Here is what we know:
MRI examination demonstrates an abnormal signal in the
proximal third midshaft of the femur. This abnormal signal
corresponds to the bone scan findings. Again, concern for
a metastatic lesion is raised. There is no soft tissue
Basically nothing more than what we already learned
Monday. Kim's bloodwork showed no markers for
cancer. All other tests were negative. The
oncologist has now ordered a full body PET scan for next
Thursday with a follow-up visit Friday. However it's 4
p.m. and the hospital has not called the oncologist back yet to
schedule the tests. How can that take all day?
We did learn that the pain in Kim's sternum is probably
something called tietze syndrome or costochondritis. This
is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the inner end
of each rib with the breastbone. It usually goes away with
Our friend Eveline wrote to say that after only her first
chemo treatment her doctor thinks there has been such a
reduction in the lump in her breast that it's probably just scar
Oh the waiting! And the emotional roller coaster we've
been on during the last few weeks has been tough. After
the bone scan tech informed us that "he (he meaning the
radiologist, I suppose) said everything looks fine, it didn't go
to the bones", I have to say, we had a pretty good
weekend. We were relieved to get some good
Then the shocking phone call the following Monday from the
oncologist's office -- your bone scan showed an abnormality on
your left femur (!) and we're sending you for an MRI. I
was like, wait, the femur? I'm not having any trouble with
my leg, are you sure? Yes they were sure.
So 3 days later I'm having the MRI, thinking that this would
provide some kind of answers. The next day, at the
doctor's office, we get the MRI report: yes there's
something there, and they're concerned it might be a metastatic
lesion. Well, duh, we knew that after the bone scan.
Somebody tell me, is it or isn't it?? A PET scan is
recommended, but that's only done on Thursdays, so we have to
wait ANOTHER week! Don't they know that this is my
Doctors forget ... they see this every day and it's just not
that urgent to them, just not that important that weeks have
gone by, and I still don't know if I have metastatic cancer or
not. I'm hoping that not all doctors are as hurried as
mine was today. We had to wait over an hour before seeing
him, and when he walked in, he did not remember anything about
me or my case. I've had many tests in the past few weeks
that I've not received results of. Once I mentioned them,
he found that he didn't even have some of those results
yet. And let's not forget that when I called to speak to
him about wanting a bone scan to evaluate the pain in my sternum
(a point which I forgot to mention at our initial meeting, which
was for a palpable lump in my breast), it took 3-4 days for his
office (not him) to get back to me and schedule it, which was
then another week.
I feel like I am managing my own care, and thank goodness I
am capable of that. It's obvious that I need to find a new
doctor. I thought that this doctor being
"affiliated" with MD Anderson was a good thing, and
also that he was conveniently located near our home and
work. But, being that MD Anderson is just a 30 minute
drive from us, I have come to the conclusion that I should go
there for my care. Not looking forward to having to gather
all of my records, again! (I must mention that this is a
new doctor for me -- we recently moved to Texas from New
Orleans, so all of my records from my initial breast cancer
diagnosis and treatment from 2000 had to be obtained from
Louisiana.) But it looks like it has to be done!
January 18, 2006
I hate hospitals. I hate the waiting rooms. I
hate the polished tile floors and the virus laden carpets and
furniture. I hate the cafeterias. I hate the
smells. Most of all, I hate why we are there. We've
spent too much time in hospitals. We add this morning to
our long lists of visits.
Just another day being shuffled from one room to the
next. Then we are separated and wait longer. I sit
in rooms full of fearful guys reading books we all brought. Yet
we are not able to concentrate on anything we are reading.
Our heads bob up and down as people continually enter and
exit. We occasionally shuffle one way or the other to make
more room. We are all hopeful, we are all scared and we all
would rather be somewhere else.
Only the older guys care to talk. I guess they've
learned more in life that us younger guys. Or maybe they
have been in hospitals so long they feel more comfortable.
I've got one up on them now. Kim and I have discovered
text messaging. As soon as we are separated we can still
keep in touch. It seems sometimes we have more to say once
the texting begins.
Me: What ya doin.
Kim: Waitn fr bn dnsity tst
Kim: I wnt 2 go 2 disneyworld.
Me: ur crazy - with what $
Kim: we can do it
Me: Not unless I can bring bike.
Kim: my butt.
Me: I like your butt.
Kim: gotta go
Me: I luv you.
If your phone can do it, you've got to try it. It makes
the waiting room so much more enjoyable. Whoever you talk
to doesn't even have to be there. Next time I can't go
with Kim, I'll still be able to keep her company in the waiting
room. I hope I can make her laugh out loud in front of
January 17, 2006
We finally had time to add our free
pink ribbon pin offer back to our site. If you submit
your breast cancer survivor story, and we post it, we will send
you a pin of your choice from our product line. See: FREE
Pink Ribbon Pin Offer for more details. We've also
extended this offer to those that would like to contribute to
Here is a link that came to our attention today from one of
our customers: CNS
News. It claims that the Susan G. Komen foundation
gives money to Planned Parenthood. While this news story
is over a year old, we had not heard about this before.
It's troubling to us because we have been supporters of Komen
and in fact, in the past, the money we raised here was sent to them.
January 16, 2006
We weren't planning on writing here today but we just got a
phone call from the oncologist. They would like Kim to
have an MRI of her femur where the bone scan showed an
"increased uptake." This is where the injected
radioactive material was absorbed more than it should
have. Cancer cells will pull-in more of the radioactive
glucose than regular bone cells. We've done some quick
reading and found there are things other than cancer that can
cause this, such as osteoporosis and arthritis. Kim had at
one time been diagnosed with borderline osteoporosis. Of
course we are hoping that that is all it is.
We found one website that does a good job describing secondary
bone cancer for breast cancer patients. It's also a very
informative site for returning cancer in other parts of your
What a shock this is for us. We have truly been on an
emotional roller coaster. Kim's MRI is scheduled for
Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m. After being told that the
bone scan looked good last Thursday, we won't be comfortable
until we talk to the oncologist again this Thursday no matter
what they say Wednesday.
You know, it is as if Kim just knows something is
wrong. It's a good thing she kept bugging her doctor for
the bone scan. I pray it's all a waste of time.
January 12, 2006
Kim has had her bone scan today. The doctor at the
hospital said it all looks good. The only thing left to
get is the results of her bloodwork, which we won't have until
next Thursday. Now she just has a "mystery" pain
in her sternum. It sometimes wakes her up at night.
It's the beginning of the year so we had to pay our $1,000
deductible. We would pay 100 times that to keep her with
Below is an article written in our church's youth
newsletter. It came to us right at the time the new lump
in Kim's breast appeared. We have tried to find the author
to give proper credit but have had no luck. If anyone
knows the author, please let us know.
Living Within the Mystery of God
Christine was the wife of one of my dearest friends,
Bob. When Bob called me with the news that Christine had
cancer I couldn't believe it (she is 5 years younger than Bob or
me). I remember praying with him over the phone--it was
one of those courageous and bold prayers that God would get the
glory through the miraculous healing of Chris. Less than
two weeks later Christine was resting in God's arms.
At the funeral, over 1300 people came to pay their
respects. Chris was a beloved teacher and coach at a
Lutheran High School in Michigan. Student after student
testified about how she had touched their lives with her faith
and passion for Christ. Chris was one of the truly good
people. As I looked at Bob struggling to keep from breaking
down, as I watched his daughters Afton and Lacey trying to be
strong, I admit I said to myself, "God, I don't understand,
why do you take the good and leave the wicked?"
All of us struggle when things don't go the way we believe
they should. The prophet Habakkuk cries out: "How
long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?"
Hab 1:2 So what's going on when God doesn't
"come through" for the faithful? Often, we begin
to believe one or more of the following:
||God doesn't really hear.
||God doesn't really care.
||God's silence is due to something I've
done or haven't done.
||God doesn't have the power.
Of course all these ideas are contrary to the Bible.
God always hears, always cares, no matter what we've done or
haven't done. God is the all powerful God of the universe
as the psalmist writes: "The Lord does whatever
pleases Him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and
all their depths." Psalm 135:6
So if God hears our prayers--loves us with an everlasting
love--and has all power to bless His people despite all the sin
in the world--WHY DOESN'T HE? For me the answer to this
age old question came at Glorybound last week when Doug told a
simple story of how his two-year-old son cried to him when he
was taken to be given an immunization shot. A two-year-old
cannot understand the idea of immunizations and cries to his
father to spare him the pain. He doesn't understand that
this pain is for a reason that he cannot begin to understand.
What if our God was big enough that we could understand all
his ways and choices? What kind of God would He be?
Who could have predicted that the King of the Universe would
come as the son of a carpenter, born in a stable? Who
would believe that the redemption of man would be accomplished
by that Christmas child being brutally executed at the hands of
the religious leaders of His day? In the book of Job, we
find these words: "Can you fathom the mysteries of
God? Can you probe the limits of the almighty?"
We have an indescribable God with unlimited creativity,
wisdom, power, and majesty. When we learn to trust in his
love, celebrate his power, and learn to live within his plan,
EVEN WHEN WE FAIL TO UNDERSTAND IT, we have begun a life living
within the MYSTERY of God.
Please keep Bob, Lacey and Afton in your prayers. They
are learning to trust God in a whole new way. Pray the
Prince of Peace would bring peace to all those believers who are
experiencing trail, difficulty, or persecution as they live
their lives in the mystery of God.
January 9, 2006
We got some very upsetting news yesterday. While in
church, our pastor prayed for those with cancer and we heard our
friend Eveline's name. We both nearly broke down. We
had recently run into Eveline and her husband at a local
restaurant. They had just come back from her oncologist
and did not have any results from her recent tests. They
both appeared very optimistic and confident that everything
would be O.K.
We went straight to her after service and got the news.
She has a cancerous lump in her breast. Her hair is only
about 1/4 inch and she has to go back on chemo. They said
they were actually relieved that the cancer was only found in
her breast this time. Her cancer had originally spread to
her lungs and the mets were too numerous to count. Because
of this she didn't have surgery or radiation. This time
she will also have radiation.
Eveline remains very optimistic and is ready for her next
treatments. Our sermon Sunday was about how short life
here on earth is and if we have no hope for our eternal life
because of our sins, circumstances in this life can seem
overwhelming. If we remember that Jesus took the burden of
our sins and gave us eternal life, it can help us get through
troubled times. Eveline and her husband said they found
the sermon very well-timed.
Please pray for Eveline and her family.
They all joined together constantly in prayer... Acts
We've posted two new breast cancer survivor stories. Donna's story begins with her scheduling a mammogram and the
news gets worse as the day wears on. She has a lot of very
useful and practical tips for anyone facing chemotherapy.
Nancy's story is yet another story of missed diagnosis and
doctors unwilling to order additional tests. Again, you've
got to be your own advocate. You can't rely on your
medical providers to care for your life as much as you do.
I bet most value life tremendously, but some appear to be to
concerned about money and insurance company dictates.
Kim has finally gotten the go ahead to have a bone scan this
Thursday. Her oncologist appointment has now been
rescheduled for the following Thursday. Hopefully we will
then finally get the results from all her other tests.
For friends and family reading -- thanks again for all
your prayers. We will keep you posted.
January 6, 2006
Kim had her tests today. We went to a
"Comprehensive Breast Center" in Houston called TOPS.
Its radiologist are from Rose
Imaging Specialist, P.A. They had an approach that was
unique to us. Their radiologists specialize in only breast
radiology and they perform the ultrasounds
Kim's ultrasound was done by Dr.
Debra L. Butler. She was able to discuss the
ultrasound with us as she looked at everything. This is so
much nicer than having a tech that can't really discuss anything
with you then having to wait for the radiologist to look at the
results and then send them back to your oncologist before anyone
can talk to you. We thought we wouldn't know anything
until next Thursday.
Based on Kim's mammogram and ultrasound, Dr Butler was very
confident that the lump in Kim's breast is just what is called
fat necrosis. She also checked Kim's chest wall and other
breast and said everything looks great.
We are still awaiting the results of Kim's chest x-ray and
she is still trying to get a bone scan to try and find out
what the pain is in her sternum.
As for the praying that was done for Kim, we thank you
all! We will never know if the lump was cancerous and God
answered our prayers. We believe it very well could have
been malignant and was changed at some point. We also know
that something is wrong with Kim's sternum and she is not out of
the woods yet. We have one hurdle cleared and are moving
on to the next.
We do know that that one little fluid filled lump has had a
big impact on us and has changed the look of our site
forever. We now, after six years, can start to grasp the
devastation one must feel to have cancer come back! It's a
hardship we do not want to ever face. We will continue to
pray for everyone that visits these pages in hopes that what is
written and posted here will touch them and bring them
comfort. We will try to continue posting as new
information and insights are given to us.
As we try to give back to God just a little bit of what he
has given us, we invite everyone who reads here to contribute so
that we and others can learn from your experiences and hopefully
some good will come out of this dreaded disease. You have
a forum here to reach the world. We invite you to use it.
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to
the ends of the world. Psalm 19:4
|I tell you the truth, anyone who has
faith in me will do what I have been doing. He
will do even greater things than these, because I am
going to the Father. And I will do whatever you
ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the
Father. You may ask me for anything in my name,
and I will do it. John 14:12-14
On the morning of January 6th, we posted the following:
We've noticed a scary trend while posting survivor stories on
our site. It's that there appears to be a high percentage
of negative mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies for women that
are eventually diagnosed with cancer, including Kim. So it
came as no surprise while reading the January/February edition of Women's
Health that a recent study reported in the UK medical
journal The Lancet that mammograms are only 40% accurate.
The study was done on "650 women, ages 35 to 49, who had
roughly a 50 percent chance of carrying the gene mutation linked
with breast cancer." The study also showed that
"MRIs were 77 percent accurate, but using both raised the
accuracy to 94 percent."
Now we just have to get insurance companies to start covering
both tests. Since Kim's diagnosis, after a negative
mammogram, we have been trying to get the word out to not trust
mammograms. While the general advice to have a mammogram
every year is good. It is too often treated as the only
thing you need to do aside from monthly self-exams. With a
disease this deadly, how good is a test that is only 40%
Women's Health suggests that if you have a family
history of breast cancer, have both tests done annually when you
are 10 years younger than your mother or sister were when they
were first diagnosed. Having both tests would also be good
advice to those who have already had cancer.
January 5, 2006
Kim's tests are scheduled for tomorrow. She is now also
having pain in her sternum. Six years ago the cancer she
first had was right at her sternum. Now the concern she
has is that cancer may have spread to her sternum. She
asked if I thought she was a hypochondriac. I said,
"Yes...but you need to be."
She has been reading the John
Hopkins Breast Center Ask an Expert
site for a few days now. It's very informative, but very
scary. It appears to be common for breast cancer to spread
to the sternum. In a lot of cases it is found only in the
sternum and not anywhere else.
Kim has been trying to get through to her oncologist to also
schedule a bone scan. This was recommended by John
Hopkins. It reminded us that you always have to remain
proactive with your care.
Earlier this week we posted a survivor
story we had on our old site from Mary Anne. She was
told repeatedly that a lump she had was a cyst and she shouldn't
worry. She took her care into her own hands and saw a
surgeon. The surgeon did a biopsy and found it was cancer.
You can't rely on one doctor to prescribe your complete and
total care. Keep yourself informed. Ask questions
and make sure you are getting the best treatment available.
We received this e-mail shortly after posting Tiffany's
I was looking through your website , doing
a little window shopping and I saw
a new story.. I was reading it. It is from my niece, Tiffany. I
cried my eyes out!! We did not have her for so
long until my mom got sick with
breast cancer. Now she won't leave us alone (I wouldn't have it
any other way). So thank you for
letting her tell her story. She never even told
me she wrote one, she didn't tell anyone. You and your family
are in my thoughts everyday.
We also have Vera's
story posted on our site. The internet sure makes the
world smaller and closer.
January 2, 2006
Happy New Year everyone! We have been finding a lot of
answers at the John
Hopkins Breast Center website. The ask
an expert section has about 10,000 questions and
answers. We submitted a question last night, New Years
night, and had it answered already today. You could
literally spend days on their site.
We also have a new survivor
story from an 18 year-old granddaughter of a breast cancer
|For God so loved the world that he
gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life. For God
did not send his son into the world to condemn the world
but to save the world through him. John
December 30, 2005
Sometimes when things go
wrong we wonder if it is something we've done. We ask
ourselves, "Are we not living right?" Basically,
"Are we being punished?"
Here is what I've found
Jesus says about disease and punishment in John Chapter 9,
beginning with the first verse:
As he went along, he saw a
blind man from birth. His disciples asked him,
"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was
The rabbis had developed the
principle that "There is no death without sin, and there is
no suffering without iniquity." They were even
capable of thinking that a child could sin in the womb or that
its soul might have sinned in a preexistent state. They
also held that terrible punishments came on certain people
because of the sin of their parents. As the next verse
shows, Jesus plainly contradicted these beliefs. Concordia
Self-Study Bible NIV pg. 1624.
man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but
this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his
While at first thought we think the rabbis and
the disciples really had the wrong idea about everything.
But these beliefs are not too far off from our incorrect
thinking we sometimes deal with. Death and disease did
enter into the world because of sin. However, through
Jesus, we are cleansed of our sins. In this instance,
Jesus states that this man was blind so that God can be
What a great prayer this leads to.
"Father, in Jesus name, forgive me for my sins. Use
me to your glory. Let this disease be used so that your
work might be displayed in my life."
Then you have to
trust that what God has planned for you is far more than you can
Here is an
email from Bev:
I have been dealing with cancer for over 6 yrs. I know the
strength that God can give. I have faith in His will for my
life. I know that he knows best and I have learned to accept
it. He had this all worked out before I was even born.
am cancer free at this time and have been for 4 yrs. I take
chemo treatments every 3 weeks.
travel 2 hrs each way and have great infusion nurses and the
is my belief that God wants me to share my faith and my story
with others who are dealing with cancer.
to your oncologist and get the tests that are needed to check
for a reoccurrence. There has been such improvements in
medicines etc. in the last few yrs. Try not to worry. Give it
to God and trust in Him. You may not have anything more than
Hold fast to that anchor --Our Lord Jesus.
Thanks Bev. We wish you well in your continued
treatments. It is our opinion that improvements in
medicine are also gifts from God. There are thousands of
people praying to find a cure. I'd suspect that even some of the
scientists working on a cure begin their day with prayer.
Those voices are heard and will be answered in time.
Please feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
if you've struggled with this or have other insights that we
might post on our site.
December 29, 2005
Here is an e-mail from a
new friend of ours Eveline:
Chris and I will be praying for you this
week. Please let us know how things go. Just
remember, God's promises are true, unchanging and apply to
everyone! He has promises of LONG LIFE.
The best book to read is "God's
Creative Power" by Charles Capps. It is
biblically based and teaches you how to claim these promises
for yourself and confess them daily. I literally walked
around my house daily talking to God and confessing these
scriptures. I am not someone who has more faith than
anyone. At times, I felt I didn't have any faith at all.
it just takes the faith of a mustard seed and what better tool
for the devil to use than to attack your faith. Say
the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy
name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his
benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your
diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you
with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good
things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the
grave. Psalm 107:20
you make the most high your dwelling--even the Lord, who is my
refuge--then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come
near your tent. For he will command his angels
concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift
you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot
against a stone. Psalm 91:10-12
Verse 11 & 12 of
Psalm 91 were actually quoted by Satan in Matthew 4:6; and
Luke 4:10-11. You can bet he believes them.
Use them against him.
son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my
words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them
within your heart; for they are life to those who find
them and health to a man's whole body. Above all else,
guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.
doesn't matter if you feel it, just confess it. I stand
on Isaiah 55:11- So is my word that goes out from my
mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish
what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
God tells us his word (promises) will not return to him empty.
It is His work, just confess it. We love you guys and
feel so blessed to have met you. The other verse I know
for you is Nahum 1:9-10 Whatever they plot against
the Lord he will bring to an end; TROUBLE WILL NOT COME A
SECOND TIME (capitalization added by Eveline).
and doubt are normal and come to everyone. I have some
of these posted on my bathroom mirror because I need daily
Eveline is now cancer free (see January 9th entry) and her hair is beginning to grow
back. She is so full of life and truly a joy to be
around. She is currently working on her story for
us. We can't wait to get it!!
December 28, 2005
First let me say
thanks to everyone who is praying for Kim and all your
encouragement. Kim was able to get an appointment to see
her new oncologist yesterday. He was very optimistic that
the lump is only fat necrosis due to some dead tissue near her
scar that is cut off from a good blood supply. He has
ordered a mammogram, breast ultrasound, chest x-ray, and
possible biopsy, and of course lab work for January 6th. We
will hopefully know for sure what it is soon after.
I posted what I did below on December 21st, is that I know many
of you out there may be experiencing the same issues of
faith. It was quite uplifting to Kim and myself to realize
that we did have faith that God could heal and hoped that many
of you would realize that you do also. We also noticed
that the faith didn't always have to belong to the healed.
This also gave us comfort, because I know the people that prayed
for Kim do have the faith!
Please feel free to e-mail at email@example.com
if you've struggled with this or have other insights that we
might post on our site.
December 21, 2005
been almost exactly 6 years since Kim began to feel a lump in
her left breast. She has since had a mastectomy,
chemotherapy, radiation and reconstruction. She has been
on Tamoxifen consistently except while she was pregnant with our
now has a new lump under the skin that was left after her
mastectomy. She has an appointment with her new oncologist
for early January. We just recently moved from New Orleans
to Houston and we are still trying to change our insurance over
etc. She is going to start calling her oncologist every
day to see if there is an opening. We are pretty sure he
will order tests and we would like to get things rolling.
night we went to a healing service at our church. We felt
we may be going too soon, because we still don't know if it's
malignant. It was a small group of women, our pastor and
student pastor, all of whom, I believe to be of great faith in
God. After some songs and testimony, Kim and I were
invited to come up to the alter where everyone prayed for Kim's
health and that God would rid her body of cancer.
we sat down and talked quietly. Kim told me she doesn't
feel she has the faith to be healed and asked, "Why would
God want her to be healed and so many other Christians die of
cancer?" I agreed with her and confessed that I don't
think I have the faith either.
just recently began reading the gospels of Jesus with a Sunday
morning bible study. I've read the bible as a teenager,
but reading it this time I was surprised at how fast everything
seemed to come. When Jesus began His ministry here on
earth, it was one healing after another. I was telling
Kim, it's like, "heal two people, feed 5,000, heal three
people, feed 4,000, heal some more, walk on water, then back to
see now why our bible study happened to be on the books of
Jesus's life at this time and why I was led to join this study
and have been reading the gospels.
we were still sitting in church, I picked up the bible and began
showing Kim how Jesus did many times say it was because of
someone's faith that they were healed, but in other cases there
appears to be no faith and Jesus just heals them.
a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues and a
woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen
years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at
all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to
her, "Woman, you are set free from your
infirmity." Then he put his hands on her, and
immediately she straightened up and praised God. Luke
in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus
asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful
to heal on the Sabbath or not?" But they remained
silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent
him away. Luke 14:2-4
are other cases where it is not the faith of the one healed but
the faith of another asking for the healing.
came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and
begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the
hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on
the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do
you see anything?" He looked up and said, "I see
people; they look like trees walking around. Once more
Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were
opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything
clearly. Mark 8:22-25
of my favorites.
Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for
help. "Lord." he said, "my servant lies at
home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." Jesus said
to him, "I will go and heal him." The centurion
replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my
roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be
healed... ...When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to
those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not
found anyone in Israel with such great faith... ...Then Jesus
said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you
believed it would." And the servant was healed at
that very hour. Matthew 8:5-13
they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it
immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to
the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus
asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like
this?" "From childhood," he answered.
"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill
him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help
us." "'If you can'?" said Jesus.
"Everything is possible for him who believes."
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help
me to overcome my unbelief!"... ...he rebuked the evil
spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said,
"I command you, come out of him and never enter him
again." The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently
and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that
many said, "He's dead." But Jesus took him by
the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. Mark
I love that line, "I
do believe; help me to overcome my unbelief!"
went to bed that night, not convinced that Kim would be O.K.,
still wondering what God has in mind for us, basically not
believing she will be cancer free. The next morning it
came to me. I have faith that God can heal her and so does
Kim. I have no doubt that the God who created the heavens
and earth can change the characteristics of the cells in my
wife's body. I truly believe that it is the power of God
that keeps the planets moving and creates the power released
from the stars. It is his power that runs every living
cell. It is his power that has kept the electron spinning
around the proton since the creation of matter. There is
no convincing scientific explanation for these things and I believe there
never will be.
declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his
Of course the God of all creation can
change the matter that is in that lump to whatever he
feels. The question we are struggling with is, "Will
for us it's not a matter of faith. We have faith that God can
heal her and make this lump benign or just disappear. For
us it is a question of God's will. Which actually goes
back to our faith. We have lived for sometime now knowing
that everything that happens is for a reason and our lives have
been very blessed. I'm not saying we have had a glorious
wealthy life as some would described blessed. We have had
our share of problems. But out of those problems,
blessings have always flowed.
is because of our belief that God's will shall be done that we
now have uncertainty for the future of Kim's health. I
don't fear our future life. If it is cancer, we will make
it. If God chooses to take Kim now, the kids and I will
make it and that God will bring blessing out of this. I know these things, but I don't want them.
Right now I want Kim's health. At the moment I find myself
asking, "Who am I to ask God to change his plans for
us?" Our struggle is, "What is God's will and
how do we live with his decisions?"
working on this I found the following that speaks of God's will:
man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord,
if you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus
reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am
willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately
he was cured of his leprosy. Matthew 8:2-3
night in church I asked Kim if she would ask Jesus to heal her
if He was there and she said yes. I reminded her that He
was there and that is what we just did. Last night we went
and knelt before the Lord and said, "If you are willing,
you can make Kim clean."
can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org