Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Thousand Tears - Happy Birthday, Mom! I miss you so much!

Well, today is kind of a sad day for me. September 29th was my mom's birthday.  Her memory will always live on in my heart. The day she left this world was without a doubt the hardest day of my life. To say I cried a thousand tears does not even come close to the truth.  But today I choose to remember her life. How can I put into words what she meant to me? I remember her white blond hair that was always so perfectly coiffed, her sparkling green eyes that danced when she laughed and her slender frame. I sit here remembering all the meals she prepared, the dresses she sewed, the cookies she baked for the neighborhood gang, and the care she showed to Sparky our cocker spaniel, and Binky our black and white alley cat that showed up on our door one warm summer evening looking for a meal. I remember the countless hours she'd spend talking to me about my boyfriends or just listening to me when I needed to be heard. My mom had always been my greatest fan and my biggest cheerleader. I knew she loved me, but I never realized the depth of that love until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The wisdom she passed on to me and my girls is invaluable. Besides being the sweetest person on the face of the earth, she was a strong Christian who lived her faith. When I was first diagnosed with cancer she was my rock. She was the one who talked to every pastor who'd listen, bought every book she could get her hands on about surviving cancer through prayer and diet. She was the one who bought a juicer and juiced day and night to make sure my body could have a fighting chance and she was the one who told me that she wouldn't let me die. And I believed her. Looking back now 26 years later as a parent of grown daughters myself,  I realize how terribly frightened she had to have been at the prospect of losing her only child, but she never let me see the fear in her eyes...not once. When I'd slide down into that proverbial pit--she'd reach down to help me pull myself back up. She'd always say, "This too shall pass."  I believed her and it did.

The last material gift she gave me was a beautiful picture of pink roses with the words from the Serenity Prayer  inscribed on it.  "God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change...Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference".  I hung that picture on a wall in my bedroom. There's not a day that goes by that I don't  recite those words and think of my mother ...her faith...her strength and the unconditional  love and encouragement she gave me.

 Life is all about choices.  When you first opened your eyes this morning, did you give thanks for another day, for the gift of sight and hearing, for the laughter that resonates from down the hall or for the smell of hot coffee brewing in the kitchen just waiting for you to enjoy?  Okay, so right there in that 30 second time span you could have already conjured up anywhere from five to ten things to be thankful for. Never mind that the laughter quickly turned into shouting or you forgot to pick up the creamer for your coffee, or that you didn't get nearly the amount of sleep required to keep you from turning into a cranky grouch. Never mind that you kept waking up because your back hurt or you had some other ache or pain. Or maybe you woke up to an empty house and maybe you've been that way--single--for a month or ten years. Did you give thanks for the peace that can come with that and the relaxation?  You can always find the good in any situation if you just look hard enough.  Or, you can choose to focus on the bad, the negative. If you allow yourself to stay in that dark place long enough, before you know it you will be traveling down that lonely corridor of your mind where your final destination is 'Self-pity-ville'.  Come on now, you know that place...that place we've all visited from time to time...where everything looks dark even on a sunny day.  That place where it's easy to get lost until we can't find our way out...that place where we can easily get stuck...a place where we have all the time in the world to count all the hundreds of reasons we have to cry those thousands of tears.

The Bible talks about that place in many different ways.  But my favorite verse tells us how to not live in that dark negative place.  It is Philipians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

So my friends, start counting the blessings one by one in your life.  Sometimes the road seems a little too rough to go down, but keep both hands on the wheel and keep looking ahead. Stay focused on all  the positives in your life. Show the world all the thousand reasons you have to smile and remember 'this too shall pass'. 

Thank you mom, and Happy Birthday!

Photo Credit:

Letting It All Hang Out

I came across this quote today and it got me thinking--a scary prospect I know.  Because thinking leads to more thinking--and before you know it I'm writing a disceration on our blog.  But, bear with me a moment, because I do have a point here which I will get to shortly. 

We live in an era where image is everything.  Perfect house, perfect car, perfect kids, perfect husband, perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect teeth, perfect cat--you get the picture.  We feel that we must all the time have it all together--and not only that--but prove to the world that we have it all together too.  Only a few trusted souls within the inner-inner-most circles are even given a glimpse of our less than perfect lives.  For example, the only person I don't stress over coming to my house is my mom.  Anyone else rings my doorbell and I am doing a mad sweep of the house (you know--hastily transfering the clothes from the couch to the bed, throwing the yet to be sorted, chunked and recycled mail into the utility room, making sure the three year-old actually flushed the toilet, and lest we forget that last minute check to make sure a pair of panties or socks haven't wedged themselves in-between the cushions of my couch).  Is it because I care about her less?  Or I don't value her opinion of me as much as I do strangers?  Nope.  It is because I know she will love me no matter what--panties in the cushion and all.  It is why I have her over to my house more often than anyone else.

My point is, I think sometimes--correction, most of the time, we are so busy trying to play this perfect part, that we keep everything bottled inside.  Live in a perpetual state of pent up stress.  It is important sometimes to let let your hair down.  Release those emotions.  Whether you are pounding the walls in frustration, or crying to God in despair.   Cleanse your soul of the incapsulated feelings.  We are a family that believes in letting it all hang out--literally.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  We fight hard, we love hard, and we live hard.  One of my favorite movies is The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.  And in one scene, the daughter, Sidda, is on the phone with her mom, Vivi.  It is the opening scene of the movie and Vivi is livid with her daughter over a tell-all article that exposed some of the not so flattering details of her childhood.  Vivi feels betrayed and humiliated and is VERY upset with her daughter and is definitely letting her daughter know it.  Vivi then hanges up on her daughter, and Sidda proceeds to slam the phone down on the counter over and over and over again.  The scene makes me laugh every single time I watch it.  And it reminds me how important it is to let it all out.  If you have been holding something back, don't.  If you need to cry, cry.  If you need to laugh, laugh.  If you need to pound those walls get a punching bag (I have found that a pillow or the couch works fine too), invite the person who loves you know matter what over, and let it all out.  Then take a trip to your local Sonic, roll the windows down, order a chocolate malt (request extra malt of course--after all you deserve it).  And then?  Treat you trusty friend to a malt too of course!  Have a favorite letting it all hang out tip, advice or story?  We'd love to hear it.

Happy Friday everyone!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Over the Moon for the Moonshot Project

Here at Faith, Hope, and Lattes we are over the moon with the recent news surrounding the launch of "The Moon Shot Project" at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  The name of the massive estimated 3 billion project aimed at finding the cures for 8 forms of cancer came about after organizers likened their no-holds barred campaign to the Kennedy era space exploration program fifty years ago that was determined to put a man on the moon within a decade.  One of the projects will simultaneously target a more aggresive and deadly form of ovarian and breast cancer (triple negative breast cancer). With genetic information and more precise drugs, "we have many of the tools we need to pick the fight of the 21st century" and find ways to defeat these cancers, Dr. Ronald DePinho said.   For this fight, I'm placing all my chips on MD Anderson!  Cancer doesn't stand a chance!

To read more about The Moonshot Project, click the link below:

The Moon Shot Project

Christian Pastor Released from Iranian Prison

I just read a heartwarming story on Fox News that a Christian pastor who was wrongfully imprisoned in Iran for more than three years has just been released!  This case first came to my attention two years ago when I saw the ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow on Fox News trying his best to spread the word about Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's imprisonment.  His crime?  Youcef was convicted of apostasy (becoming a Christian in a regime governed by Shariah (Islamic) law)  and condemed to death.  However, increasing global attention on his story, due in large part to the ACLJ (The American Center for Law and Justice), mounted international pressure on the Iranian government to free him.  However, we still need to keep Pastor Nadarkhani and his family in our prayers because even though he has been freed, he and his family are still in great danger.  In the past, Christian pastors have been killed once they have been released from prison and Iran has barred him from leaving the country for one month.  The ACLJ, while relieved about the pastor's release, cautions that many Christians still remain wrongfully imprisoned in Iran and other Islamic countries.  So, please keep them in your prayers.


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Power of Believing

I recently saw this video on the power of believing and thought you might enjoy this too. Click on the link below to view this video. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Co-Q-10 and Chemotherapy

Recently, a follower of this blog shared with me some information that I feel is very important to pass along to all of you.  As I have mentioned before, cancer treatment and research is ever-evolving which is a wonderful thing.  However, that also means that it needs to be a continuing group effort to stay on top of all the advice and latest research that is being thrown around out there in googleland.  A few weeks ago we dedicated a post to CoQ10 and its benefits.  And while I still whole-heartedly believe that this supplement is a wonderful tool in our battle against breast cancer, a lady who has been recently diagnosed, we'll call her 'Heather', mentioned to me in one of our corresponding emails that because CoQ10 is a strong antioxidant, there are reasons to suspect that it might interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  She told me that many oncologists now are advising patients to avoid CoQ10 and grapefruit during chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  They also advice against its use for a few weeks pre and post treatment.  Since many of you are in the middle of your treatment, I wanted to make sure to pass this information along. I found a brief mention of this on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center website, but was unable to find anything indepth. Of course as always do your own research and consult your oncologist, but it might be worth mentioning to your physician.  On the flip side though, some of the latest research also seems to indicate that CoQ10 may also help reduce chemotherapy related heart damage.  Cancer treatment and research is very fluid.  And just as those darn skinny jeans are the hottest thing going this year, but will most surely be 'so out' next year, treatment and research is ever-changing and evolving.  So, please always join in on our discussions to share your knowledge with your fellow survivors.  We are all in the same boat and need some help navigating these unchartered waters!    And a quick thank you to 'Heather' for bringing this to my attention so I could share it with y'all!  Wishing all of you healing and happiness!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

To BRAC or not to BRAC--That is the Question

To BRAC or not to BRAC.  That has been the question on my mind for several weeks now--well, actually ever since the test first surfaced several years ago.  Some people see it as a black or white issue.  "Absolutely BRAC! How can you not?"  Or, "Heck, no!  Why would you want to find out if you are going to have this possible traumatic diagnosis in your future?"  It would be like some black cloud hanging over your head for the next several decades.  I get it.  I get both sides.  It's the proverbial question, "Well wouldn't you want to know if... (and then fill in the blank here on any number of issues that the advancement of genetic and DNA testing now provide a sort of crystal ball for).

Or to quote my (and my mom's for that matter) gynecologist, "Knowledge is power!"  she had exclaimed in an incredulous tone two annual exams ago as she peered up at me from behind those narrow wire-framed glasses that always look as if they're about to slide right off the edge of her nose.  At the time I just smiled back, stood my ground (not really--I was sitting there with my sock covered feet dangling off the edge of the exam table--and wrapped the paper smock (that always makes me still feel half naked) a little tighter around me and responded, "I know.  But I'm not ready to go that route just yet."  Why?  You (and my doctor) most certainly wanted to ask?  Because!  I sound like my three year old right now.  Because of several reasons.  Do I believe that knowledge is power?  Absolutely!  I believe that half of our issues today as a nation exist primarily because the average American citizen (and yes, I am speaking to MY generation--generation X and Y!!) would rather watch Dancing With Stars, The Bachelor, or New Jersey Shore rather than the republican and democrat conventions.  They don't know the name of the prime minister of Israel, and yet they know the name of the guy Emily ended up with on The Bachelor, or that 'Snookie' just had a baby.  With every fiber of my being, I believe we could get our country back on the right track, simply if the majority of Americans KNEW what was going on in our country and abroad!  So, I whole heartily agree that knowledge is power! 

And while I can definitely see both sides of the argument, I tend to exist more in the grey on this issue.  Before I get started, I must give out the legal mumbo jumbo (which is going to feel like a pharmaceutical ad for a brief moment to which I apologize in advance).  This is not intended at all to be medical advice or to persuade your decision in any way.  Of course, always contact your physician, do your own research, and make your own decision based on what is best for you.  This blog is and always will be, based on personal opinions.  And, in the interest of full disclosure, personal opinions do vary even within this blog.  My sister had the BRAC test done at the advice of her physician--without any hesitation I might add.  Model patient as always.  And I envy those who are able to see things with such clarity. 

My decisions are perhaps a little more anxiety driven.  I know that.  And yet, I am the way I am.  What are the benefits to having the BRAC test done?  Where do I even begin?  Knowledge.  Answers.  Beautiful answers.  Perhaps even a chance to change your fate.  To quote the movie Brave which recently came out, "If you had a chance to change your fate, would 'ya?"  And there inlies your answer.  I know for those of you who have received a diagnosis, I'm sure you would give anything to have found out as soon as possible.  Early detection is the key.  And this test, puts a new spin on early detection.  It is the holy grail of early detection. So, I get it.  I definitely get it.  I understand why my sister had it done.  She is usually a lot smarter and wiser than I am, even though I am supposed to be the oldest.

Perhaps for me, it was more a question of "What will I do if the results come back positive?"  Will I have a double mastectomy to ensure that I never develop breast cancer? Will I change my diet drastically to cut out those foods I know are linked to breast cancer (yes, quick confession--I am a mouse, I love all bread, and I occasionally have been known to indulge in a chocolate chip cookie or two, or three).  Being the daughter of an early onset breast cancer survivor has made me more aware.  More conscious of the fact that cancer does not discriminate. I already try to eat healthfully, cut down on my sweets, carbs, cheese, etc.  As much as my low will power will allow.  Or will I have simply opened up for myself a sort of pandora's box full of worry and anxiety for Lord only knows how long? Yep.  That most certainly would be the result. 

For me the answer was more of a teetering on the edge, no.  A 'no, not this year' no.  Will I change my mind in the future about as many times as I do on every other issue in my life?  Probably.  Could I regret this in the future?  Absolutely!  Am I being stupid?  Maybe.  Do I think that the BRAC test is an amazing tool and resource in our fight against breast cancer?  Yes!  But ultimately, like everything, it is a personal decision.  One that should not be taken lightly.  Careful research and discussion with your family and your doctor should go into this. 

So what do you think of the BRAC test?  Have you or someone you know made the decision to have the BRAC test done?  Did you decide not to?  Would you like to share some insight with the rest of us?  We would love to hear your voice on this issue.  To post a comment, please click on the 'no comments', or '1 comment', etc., and you will be able post your comment there. We are working with our blog designer to correct this issue, but in the meantime, this is how we have to go about it.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (attitude: forgive because you love the Lord)

I believe that one of the key components in the healing process is forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful force and sometimes the person we need to forgive the most is ourselves. And usually that is the most difficult thing to do - forgive ourselves.  We've all said and done stupid things - and made stupid choices.  But the truth is we can't go back and we shouldn't look back.  I know this is one of those 'easier said then done' things, but it's truly a necessary act if we want to be well and healed. The Bible tells us that if we can't forgive others for their transgressions - mistakes - then our Heavenly Father can't forgive us. But you say, hey, there's no way I forgive him or her for the way they hurt me or the hurtful things they said to me.  Well, maybe it is impossible for YOU to forgive that person, so that's when you ask the Lord to help you to forgive. Maybe that person isn't even here on this earth anymore - well you can ask God to forgive that person - or ask that you be forgiven if that is the case.

Forgiveness is a process - a step-by step process.  But it can be done. Sometimes it can happen over night, but usually it's one of those light-bulb moments, when you wake up one day and realize that you're finally free of the hatred, the bitterness or the self-condemnation that you've been holding on to for yours. That freeing feeling will wash over you and giving you a sense of peace.   A huge weight has been lifted off of your heart.  God knows your heart.  People will always disappoint us - that's why we shouldn't put our faith in other people...even those we love the most will hurt us...especially those we love the most. In fact, they are usually the ones who cause us the most pain.  I think that is why the Lord is so very adamant and clear about this commandment. Yes, it's a commandment  - not a request or a simple wish for our lives.  He commands us to forgive, so that we can be forgiven. Forgiveness is a powerful force - and we simply can't afford to live without it!

Read more:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

9/11 Lest we Forget- my personal story

The anniversary of the day that changed America forever is now only a few days away.  I've promised myself that I wouldn't use my personal journey with abuse and breast cancer as a political bandstand, but with this momentous day right around the corner - I have to share my personal thoughts. They are uniquely mine, but ones I feel very compelled to share.  Last night, I went to see 2016:Obama's America - for the second time. It's a documentary that was four years in the making. And you will not find one fact in its content that is untrue. As Americans--regardless of what political party we align ourselves with, or our parents and grandparents aligned themselves with for generations--we owe it to ourselves, our children and our children's children to take two hours out of our life to see this insight into our president, his past and how it's affecting our present and our future.

On 9/11 my day started out as normal.  I had just tossed a load of wet laundry into the dryer when my mother called me at 9am to tell me to turn on the news. The panic in her normally calm and almost sedated  voice told me that I should brace myself for what I was about to see. Frantically retrieving the remote, I stood there transfixed, in disbelief as I watched a replay of a plane crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  This had to be some kind of tragic mistake--but it wasn't.  Then just minutes later, horrifyingly, I along with  the rest of America watched as yet another plane hit the second tower - the South tower. The details were very sketchy, but by now the FAA was starting to realize that these were commercial airline planes carrying hundreds of innocent people. And when it was reported that the plane to hit the South tower appeared to be United Airlines - my breath literally was caught in my throat. This couldn't be real. This had to be some kind of a sick joke. But it wasn't a sick joke--it was real--terrifyingly real.

A pit formed in my stomach. This was beyond horrific! How could this happen anywhere--especially in America? And what on earth WAS happening? Not only was I witnessing a national disaster, it was a personal one for our family.  My youngest daughter was a freshman in college and my oldest had just graduated from UT and was newly married. I could only wonder what they were hearing about the news and the anxiety and uncertainty that they too had to be experiencing. You see, my husband, and my girls father was and is a Captain for United Airlines.And he too was scheduled to fly out of Newark that fateful morning.  And just like the planes that were inexplicably flying right into the second World Trade Center--he flew the large jumbo 767 and 757's.  The Pentagon was next--and in a scene straight out of a horror movie, I watched as the flames rose from a building that was and still is the symbol of America's security.Then, as if it couldn't get any worse, the news of another United plane crashing in the fields of Shanksville, PA--where passengers had frantically called loved ones to say goodbye and to relate their heroic stories of hopefully taking over and landing the aircraft safely. 

Until you have personally experienced a horrific nightmare like this one--you can't possibly understand the emotions, the fear that grips your heart so tightly that you find it hard to even breath. I tried in vain to reach my husband.  But as we would soon discover, they had grounded all the planes across the entire country. What we didn't know and wouldn't find out until hours later was that they had  taken the pilots and crew to flight ops and they were unable to place any outgoing calls.  It wasn't until 7pm that evening that we were able to reach him and at that moment, relief washed over us like a warm ocean wave.  For ten hours we hadn't known if his plane was one of the planes that were involved in these sinister attacks on our country.  When we slowly started to realize what had actually happened -- it was hard to imagine that such hatred and evil could exist in the world today. But we were the lucky ones. Our loved one was not piloting any of the UAL planes that were hijacked by the eleven Muslim terrorists who hated our country so much that they were willing to take their own lives to destroy over 3,000 thousand innocent American lives. President Bush was so right when he told us that as a country we would quickly forget the terror that these eleven men in the name of Allah and Islam had inflicted on our country on that fall morning in September. I am appalled at how our current president has tried to downplay terrorism to the point that he described the gunning down of 11 American soldiers and 1 civilian in cold blood at Ft. Hood, Texas by Major Nadal Hasan as he shouted "Allah Akbar"--simply as workplace violence. How incredulous! It's been over two years and this cold-blooded terrorist- still hasn't been brought to justice and he's still receiving monthly pay from our government. This should totally outrage every single American!

Of course 9/11 wasn't the only act of terrorism against our country, but it was the largest and the only one to happen on our soil.  How can any of us forget the bombing of our marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon and the bombing of the USS Cole carried out by this same anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Zionist terrorists?

As Americans we need to wake up and remember the atrocities committed by these people who have since 9/11 quietly and steadily been invading our country. We need to stop pandering to these terrorists and halt the 'fear of racial profiling dance' we've been participating in now since 9/11.  We need to protect our borders and stop the flow of terrorists that are slipping into this country because our administration wants to be accepting of all illegals for political gain regardless of the price this country will pay with it's very soul.

So, on 9/11 if God puts it in your heart to do something to show your support for this country and to help honor those fallen--both on 9/11 and our heroes in the military who have put their lives on the line every day for you--those men and women who fight for an America they believe in--then go see 2016:Obama's America  and rent United 93.  And then, at the end of the day--pray.  Pray for all the families that lost loved ones on 9/11...fathers, mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and friends.  Pray for our men and women in uniform who believe in this country and their families. And pray for America. Pray that she finds her way back to the values and Christian principles that have served to make her the greatest country on the face of the earth.  We, as Americans, accept everyone with open arms. All that we ask is that you not come to our country with the intention of destroying it and stripping it of everything good that it stands for. And pray for wisdom--that when you walk into that polling booth in November that you will be voting for the heart and soul of America  and for her very survival--not for some generational political party persuasion. 


Friday, September 7, 2012

The world needs your flame...

On BeliefNet today there was a beautiful video I would like to share with everyone.  So, when you get a chance today, when the house is quiet and you have a few precious minutes of 'me' time (and we're only talking about five minutes here ladies), kick off those shoes, settle into your favorite chair, and watch this video.  I promise it is worth it.

Click on this link:

Happy Friday Everyone!

Blessings to you all,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Let your voice be heard!

Please, please, please share your story, comment and let others know they're not alone.  We know we have a huge audience from all over the world, but our readers need to know that they are not the only ones who find themselves in this struggle.  We are a sisterhood of mom's, daughters, girlfriends, cousins, neighbors and friends and we all have a voice.  By sharing your journey, you are helping others to know that there is someone out there who understands what they are going through. If you're having trouble commenting, please give us a shout out!  We are not the world's most brilliant or experienced bloggers, but we really want to hear from you.  Everyone has something to offer.  So let your voice be heard.  Together we can make a difference in each other's lives. 

David and His Slingshot - single and not quite lovin' it!

1st Samuel 17:1-58

We've all heard the story in the Bible of David and how he defeated the giant, Goliath, with his 5 shiny stones and one trusty slingshot.  It's a story of  undefinable courage and bravery.  We all face giants in our life.  But come on now, if we're really honest we don't want to face any giants at all...we'd much rather run from them, hide, or better yet just pretend they don't even exist. Remember those pesky monsters when you were a child that you swore up and down were hiding under your bed, just waiting for you to close as much as one eye, and they would devour you and your entire family for that matter, in one swift gulp.   You'd trudge half-asleep, blankie trailing behind you into the living room, where mom would swiftly make a beeline for the kitchen, whipping out the trusty old 'monster spray' magic formula, guaranteed to take care of all monsters big and small.  But what happens when that little girl is all grown up and those pesky monsters don't disappear that easily? You're going to have to face your giants. So, let's all put on our big girl panties and start searching for that sling shot.

Maybe you are single, never married, newly divorced, or just broken up with someone and you can't imagine facing your giant alone. This is beyond not fair!  But just remember David and how that young man had tremendous faith in the Lord and because of that was not afraid to go to battle. He knew He had the Lord on his side--he knew he would be victorius. You too can be a giant matter what the size of your giant--you have to know that it can and will be defeated. The truth is we can be surrounded by people, have a  huge family, or an army by our side, but in the end, it's ultimately up to us to defeat the giant. It's our faith that will kill that giant. Of course, everyone wants to have that special someone helping us, encouraging us, someone who has our backs, but sometimes that just not our reality.  And that's okay!  If you are facing your giant alone--there is a reason and purpose for this.  In fact, there may be more than one reason.  I had a very close friend who was diagnosed with cancer about 2 years after me.  She had been married for about 15 years and I thought this man would be a source of strength and comfort to her, but he wasn't.  I was surprised at how negative he was with her and unsupportive.  It would have been better for her, if she'd been alone. You see it's better to be alone, than to have someone who's not really there for you.  Someone who doesn't help lift you up and encourage you. Another reason that you might be alone is  because God knows you can do it alone.  And what an awesome testimony you will have when all this is behind you. Not to mention that you know now that if you can slay this giant all by yourself, then heck there won't be anything you can't face after this.

So, hey, alone isn't such a bad thing after all.  In fact, it can be a pretty good thing. You can talk to yourself, talk to God, sing and dance to that favorite tune...stay up all night watching funny movies...and no one will be complaining. Throw some cookie dough in the over at 3am when the munchies grab hold you and you don't have to explain your moment of 'insanity' to anyone.But wait a are never REALLY alone ...remember? And just maybe that's the whole point he's trying to make with you.  He wants you to lean on Him, trust in Him and talk to Him. He is there for you.

So, girlfriend, sharpen up that sword or dust off that slingshot you've been hiding for a rainy've got a giant or two to slay!!

Houston, we have a problem

We have had quite a few people decide to contact us directly via email because they had a hard time figuring out how to comment on our posts (and we're talking about pro-blogger folks--folks who have their own blogs and regularly comment on others)!  I'm not talking about other people like me :)  This told me, "Houston, we have a problem."  Well, of course after I emailed our blog designer who I am sure at this point loves me and my million and one questions about as much as I love coconut, I found the answer I was looking for all by myself.  Two pats on the back for me.  So, cross your fingers and toes because I think I fixed it.  Key word think.  Hip hip hooray!  Quite a feat for this socially-networked challenged blogger.  Bear with us everyone while we work out the kinks and get this blog up and running. If any of you have any trouble with any of our features on the blog PLEASE let us know.  Because more than likely it's probably because one of us screwed something up and we don't even know it yet--LOL.  Thanks for hanging in there with us!  We're so glad you're here.

UPDATE--Pride goeth before a fall.  After all that patting myself on the back fluff, I just now realized that I haven't fixed the problem after all.  So, guess I'm not as smart as I thought I was :)  In the meantime, if you would like to comment, you may still do so by clicking on the 'no comments' or '1 comment', '2 comments', you get the picture, below our posts.  Hopefully a 'post a comment' box will be coming soon.


Monday, September 3, 2012

God really does want to heal you!

Okay, so here's the deal.  I want you to know that God is on your side. I realize I've said this before, but I can't say it enough!  He is your ally - your greatest ally and He wants to heal you!  I know, I know, when we are first told that we have cancer - our first thought is why me? Why me, God?  I know I haven't been perfect - far from it - but hey, there are so many truly bad people out there, so why did this have to happen to me.  Well, remember this if you don't remember anything else on this blog. As long as you waste time blaming God, you are delaying your journey to wholeness.  There is a devil out there and yes, he doesn't want you well. The Bible tells us in John 10:10: The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.  It's very important that you know and believe this verse with all your heart and soul.  Read this every day until it's a part of who you are.  God is on your team...on your side. So, now that you  know who your true enemy is - confront him.  Confront the devil and command him to leave your body NOW, in the name of Jesus.  Tell him that he can't steal something from you (your health) that he never had in the first place! You were created in the image and likeness of God. That means that you were created to be perfectly whole and healthy.  And you refuse to let the enemy destroy or take that from you. I used to walk around my house, stomping on the devil...because he is under my feet, and that was where I was determined to have him stay.

Things happen in this world...bad, horrible things,  and so many times we blame God, when He is the one waiting for us to call on Him so that He can help us. You see, the Lord is a gentleman and has given us free will and He is not going to impose His will on us. That is unless and until we ask. 

I will try and post more tomorrow, but I felt very strongly about getting this post out there today. I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.  Health and healing to you all!!!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Mother of all Meltdowns

My daughter, Kayla's, meltdown at same age.
I am supposed to write about the BRAC test, the pros and cons, and my thoughts.  That has been my homework over the past week and I am on it, just not quite finished with it.  So, I thought I'd share something else with our readers in the meantime.  And while I might be going slightly off topic here, I thought some of you might be able to relate and even commiserate in my experience with me. I know from our emails and responses that a lot of our readers are survivors with young children, so just maybe you might appreciate today's post and even hopefully share a few chuckles.

So this past Friday, I dealt with an event I honestly hadn't dealt with in almost a year-and-a-half--a meltdown from my three (and a-half) year old son. And we're not talking about just any meltdown--we're talking about an apocalyptic size meltdown.  The swinging, screaming, flailing, 'oh-my-goodness I think that child is possessed' kind of meltdown.  Don't get me wrong, we are no strangers to meltdowns.  Thankfully, they have become fewer and far between as the 'terrible two's' drift further and further into the sunset.  Just not like this. 

And where did it happen?  In the sanctity of our home surrounded by four insulated walls and at least twenty feet of 'thank God we have space between our neighbors' privacy?  Oh no.  That would have been too easy.  That would have barely broken a sweat.  That would have ended as swiftly as it began with a stern, 'we don't behave that way--go to your room until you can calm yourself down' approach.  Oh meltdowns at home how I love thee!  Did it happen in the car when Icould react with the stealthiness of supermom and say, 'if you continue behaving this way I am going to turn the car around right now mister and we are not going to the park?"  Nope.  Of course not.  That would have been too easy too. 

Rather, it happened at approximately 2:45 pm on Friday afternoon.  I had just picked up my son from mother's day out and we were walking out to the car.  I could tell he was still in that twilight "half-awake half-asleep--I was woken up from my nap about an hour too early" state and had already vowed to go straight home after picking up my daughter and give him another little cat-nap before dinner.  But, we didn't even make it to the car.  About ten steps from the front doors of the church where we attend, the meltdown of meltdowns began with a simple "no you cannot climb on the rocks" reprimand.  Suddenly it was chicken little the sky is falling.  And of course, at the same time that my son is raging through this meltdown of meltdowns, about twenty moms are walking out hand in hand with their little Suzie-q's and Sammy sunshine's.  To make matters worse this was our second day at this mother's day out program.  Of course, he had never done this at the others mother's day out program that we just spent two years at, where I knew other moms and they knew me.  Knew that my child was normally a sweet, well-behaved three-year-old (I use the word usually in a loose term here, because like I said, we have had our share of moments where I would just like to sprinkle myself with some invisible dust and magically disappear).  Nothing quite like motherhood to help you swallow that huge piece of humble pie.

I decide to move him off to the side so we are not blocking the only pathway to the parking lot and start trying to reason with him, trying to strike the balance of not letting him get his way, without creating a scene straight out of the exorcist.  It doesn't work.  Now, to paint the entire picture for you, you must envision me precariously juggling with one hand an extra cushiony nap mat (you know the blue and green kind that fold up like a fan and are approximately 3 inches thick but a more than a foot thick when folded up), his backpack, a folder they insist on me taking home each and every day that does not fit into said backpack and a small doggy pillow; while the other hand is holding on to my son for dear life while he flails like a wild animal trying to escape a predator and make a beeline straight for the busy parking lot.  This continues for fifteen LONG minutes in the 102 degree hot Texas August afternoon sun among thirty or so other moms who I swear could be nominated for mother of the year. I don't look at them.  I don't look at anyone except my son who I am trying desperately to calm down and regain some shred of control over not to mention a minuscule amount of dignity.  I finally decide 'to hell' with it, clamp onto his small little hand and bolt for the car.  We finally make it, where he continues to flail and scream as I try to buckle him in.  At this point, the parking lot has mostly cleared out.  Thank heaven! 

For the next two minutes I just sit in my car with my head on the steering wheel relishing in the cool blast of the A/C while the sweat pores down my back and I cry.  I cry because I am embarrassed.  I cry because I feel like a terrible mom.  I cry because I worry what kind of child I am raising.  I cry because at the moment I have the irrational feeling that every other mother in the universe is a better mother than I am. 

Eventually I put the car in drive, wipe away my tears, brush back the stray hairs that have clung to my cheeks and head in the direction of my daughter's school.  My son falls asleep on the way, I fall asleep when we get back home.  We survived.  That night after my son got out of his bath and we were putting on his pajamas, he touched my face with that same little hand that five hours earlier was swinging at everything in sight, and said "I love you, Mommy." To which I of course smiled, wrapped him in my arms and said, "I love you too, Tyler."

I have decided to share this with you because my mom has often said that when she looks back on the early years of her battle with breast cancer, she can see things much clearer now.  Of course, that's the tricky part of life. Hindsight is always 20/20. At the time she tried to hang on to every second, every birthday, every holiday - not knowing if that was going to be  her last one with us. She tried to hold on to the good times. But the tough times were never far away. Those tough days, the days she thought might just be the death of her - literally- were just as much an integral part of  her survival as were the warm, fuzzy days. Now, with more relaxed eyes and with a lot  more distance from those 'yesteryears' , she says that it was probably because of those  those tough days that she was able to survive it all. They were the distraction she never knew she  really needed.  Something to shift her focus away from the all-consuming 'I have breast cancer' thought. The  'I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend' thoughts sneakily crept in and took precedence and without her even realizing it those distractions were a necessary part of her climb to the top of the mountain.  My mom told me once, that she was so much more than cancer ever could be. Now I understand - in part anyway what she meant. Don't focus on the cancer.  Live your life to the fullest - and make sure you have plenty of distractions along the way. Oh yeah, and if you have kids, congratulations, look no further, you have found your distractions.  Arguing over what she can wear to school in the morning and practicing piano, homework in the afternoon, driving to and from swimming, gymnastics, softball, football, getting dinner on the table, bath time, story time, sticky hugs, gummy-faced smiles, and yes, even those tantrums.  They are all a part of you.  And at the end of the day, when you are writing in your journal you can give thanks for each and every one.