Wordless Wednesday – My Blog, Your Battles

Another Wordless Wednesday post from me…another story from you.
As this giveaway is wrapping up, I just would like to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has entered and has shared with us. I’ve learned so much through all of this…and I truly mean that. If I could, I would give each one of you a KitchenAid! 🙂 If you’re new to my blog, and don’t know what we’re talking about, check out this post here and sign up. I’ll be giving away a PINK KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer and some accessories at noon on Monday! 🙂 Yay!

Just to prove it really arrived! I was so excited! Maybe I'll just end up buying one for myself. (Hey, Boss Man, that's a HINT!)

 

Here is another heartfelt story on how cancer has changed someone’s life:
I was born and raised in Southern California and I am not where I am today because my plan went the way I hoped but because of unexpected events. I’ve learned that is what life is…just a bunch of unexpected events. Nothing ever goes to plan and that can still be a very good thing.
My husband and I met in 2005 and what intrigued me most about him was that he lived such a different life than what I knew. His dad was/is a sheep rancher and he grew up in the country. Unpaved roads, knowing all your neighbors, no street lights kind-of-country and here he was in the big city of Los Angeles making snow action sports films.
Five years later I’m married to the small town boy, settled and adjusted in the great state of Colorado and don’t plan on moving back to California.
This past August 2010 my father in law had a bad fall. He tore ligaments in his shoulder and was put in a sling until surgery could be performed. While in a sling he felt a lump in his breast. Cancer. Breast Cancer. Between the shoulder injury and chemo treatments it would be months, maybe years before he’d be able to work on the ranch again.
His parents asked us if we would help out on the ranch and work to eventually take over the sheep operation. They plan to retire and enjoy life after they kicked this cancer’s a**. My husband and I always knew there was a possibility to move to the ranch but never thought it would happen this soon. Within weeks my husband and I quit our jobs, packed our things in a horse trailer and headed to SW Colorado.

From all this I’ve learned that it’s not about the things you have – your house, your car, your clothes or how much money you make. Life is about what you have in your heart and the love that surrounds you.

I say that and mean it 100% because I gave up quit a bit to make this move, but I gained so much more than I could have imagined in return.

Fighting the Good Fight

Yesterday, my fellow blogger and friend-across-the-miles started her second battle with cancer. I’ll be praying for her for the next few weeks/months as she boldly fights this beast called cancer. If you’d like to swing over and give her a shout, just letting her know that others are in her corner, you can leave a comment on my “Fight Like a Girl” post that you did, and be entered to win a pink KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. I’ll be giving it away at the end of the month, so hurry and enter!

I’m sharing another reader’s cancer story today…I’m so glad I did this. I’ve learned so much about the strength of so many women. You guys are all amazing. It makes me feel silly for worrying about some of the things I worry about. Thank you for a lesson in humility, a lesson in strength and a lesson of how to keep going.
I wanted to share with you my story of my step dad that has passed away to cancer.  Five years ago in May my mom married Bill.  They were happy together in fact the happiest I have ever seen my mom in years.  In August Bill had a swollen gland in his neck so he went to the hospital.  For a couple of months the doctors told him it was allergies and put him on Zertec and antibiotics.  Sept 8, 2006, Bill got up during the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and he collapsed on the floor.  Blacked out and was unresponsive.  My mom had called 911 and the ambulance was on their way when she had called me.  They did get him to start breathing again on the way to the hospital.  Several hours later the transfered him to another hospital and mom and I were on our way there too.
Once there, they did a scope to look at his throat and found a cyst wrapped around his main artery and that is what caused him to black out and quit breathing.  After further tests we found out it was cancer, Yes cancer not allergies.
That’s when the battle began.  We stayed at a house that is just a block away from the hospital and the Cancer treatment center.  While Bill was in the hospital trying to get better we spent endless hours by his side (the treatments he was receiving and the lack of blood to the brain would make him hallucinate).  Four weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer, he woke up one morning and asked me if I thought he was going to die and I told him no.  That night mom and I went home to get clothes and so I could spend sometime with my family and we got a phone call that we needed to come back. Bill had taken a turn for the worst.
We drove back that night and he did make it three more nights before he passed away.  Cancer is a horrible disease to watch someone die because of it makes it even harder.  To see a strong man weak and needing help getting up, going to the bathroom, and not being able to eat because the radiation burnt his throat was very hard and then to find out that the treatments didn’t help was frustrating.  With cancer I think a person has every feeling possible at some point and time of treatment.
I pray for all people going through cancer, their family, and their cartakers every day.  It takes alot of courage and strength to get through such a horrible disease.
Thank you, everyone for sharing your lives with me. Let’s keep raising awareness, and supporting others that are fighting the good fight. We need more marks in the win column.

Thankful Thursday – Cancer Research

Where would we be if science wouldn’t have developed ways to fight against such horrible and devastating diseases? Where would we be without early detection and screenings available? I shudder to think.

Today I share another story. Remember to check back on this post to enter for my October Breast Cancer Awareness Month pink KitchenAid artisan stand mixer giveaway! It’ll be going to a lucky reader on Oct. 31, Halloween!

It says it all...Fight Like a Girl.

Thank you, Patsy, for sharing your story:

Cancer has touched everyone’s life I think. My dad and one brother died of lung cancer. My other brother and sister in law have both had lung surgery to remove cancer. Skin cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and more have touched my family.

But my personal story is different. In January 2009 I got the call with the words, “you have a large, suspicious mass on your right ovary.” I won’t ever forget that phrase, the nurse’s inflection, the moment.

That afternoon I was having a scan, and seeing my family doctor, who had been insistent I get a pelvic sonogram. He told me surgery was going to be necessary. He spent almost two hours with me, answering questions, helping me wrap my mind around this.

A few days later I was sitting in a gynecological surgeon’s office. This man I’d never seen before said, “This looks bad. It has finger-like projections. You need to be operated on by someone who sees cancer every week. Not someone like me who sees it a couple of times a year.” I will always be thankful for his honesty.

A couple of days after that I was seeing a gynecological oncologist – a speciality I didn’t know existed the week before. He was much more reassuring, but also very direct. “The radiology looks bad. Very bad. But your age trumps that. Ovarian cancer is very rare in women under 50.” I wasn’t as much under 50 as I would have liked for security, but it was what it was.

Surgery day came and went, but there wasn’t a clear answer as expected. It was a “tumor of low malignant potential.” We thought this sounded great, until a nurse friend clued us in that could mean anything. Surgery was on a Tuesday. I was to find out on Thursday.

Wednesday night the phone rang in my hospital room and it was the doctor who said, “It was benign.” Benign. What a beautiful word. I thanked him for his extra efforts to find out early for me. I thanked him for the call. And I thanked God that I had just gotten the news people are praying for every day.

It was weeks later during the followup visit, when he showed me the radiology report, and explained that 7% of the tumor contained cancer cells, but they consider anything under 10% benign. My heart stopped for a moment. I realized if my family doctor had not insisted I go for a pelvic sonogram – if I had been one of the people who go for years without being diagnosed – I could have had a very different outcome. I was blessed.

Patsy

Steve Jobs is not alone

Cancer sucks. We all know that. But maybe someday we’ll have all the answers. This week we’ve lost a brilliant mind, one that didn’t give up when the answer wasn’t quick, one that thought about the unthinkable and achieved the amazing. Perhaps the next “Steve Jobs” of the world will be in cancer research?

Imagine all the goodies this bad boy (or should I say girl?) can whip up?

 

 

Here’s another story sent by a reader…and if you’d like to enter my KitchenAid giveaway for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, be sure to head to this post and leave a comment. Simple as that!

I was getting married August 28th, 2010, and was going to begin my first year of teaching August 22, 2010. So that summer I was very absorbed in my own little world thinking only of myself. The last week in June my mom had her annual appointment with her doctor and they had found a “small lump” and wanted to do surgery just to remove it.

My mom had told me not wanting to upset me (why do mothers do this?) that she was having a small surgery the first week in July to remove a small definitely benign lump in her breast and she wanted me to come stay with her in Bismarck and take her to the surgery ( I live in a small town in the south eastern corner of the state).

Honestly looking back it is ridiculous how uncaring I was at this point in time. I was thinking only of myself and my life and said sure I would come stay with her, but didnt really ask any further questions or offer much sympathy other than the minimal amount. I went to stay with her thinking that she was 100% sure that this was a non-cancerous lump and we went out to supper the evening before and probably talked about nothing other than me and my life.

The next morning at the surgery check-in everything was as normal (uncomfortable) as routine pre-surgery things can go. During surgery I sat in the waiting room reading my book thinking nothing would go wrong. After the surgery my mothers doctor came into speak with me and took me into a “private” room. She told me that it was as she and my mother had feared that the mass looked to be cancer. She said the lump was about the size of an apricot and they could not get it all so they would have to do more surgery and also do a surgery to test her lymph nodes.

I was shocked. Since my mom had not led me to believe anything could possibly go wrong, I was blindsided and felt instantly terrible.

SO began our journey with cancer. There were two more surgeries in the month of July.  She began radiation the week before my wedding and chemo after the wedding.  She finished treatment and was dubbed cancer free in the winter of last year. She is still cancer free. I cant even believe this happened to my family.

It really is true that you think that will never happen to me until it does. I still can’t believe it has happened. Just 2 weeks ago I was at a doctor appointment and they were updating my file and asked if there was any family history of illness they should have and i said “NO” then all the sudden it dawned on me “UHH, My mom had breast cancer”. The nurse looked at me like this girl is crazy how does someone forget that. I havent forgotten I think I am still in shock. I am amazed that my family even went through it.

While my mom was going through treatments her best friend from high school was also going through treatments so they found alot of comfort in each other. It truly is amazing how many people this disease affects.

Thank you so much for sharing. I think sometimes as parents we try to protect our children, even at our own discomfort. I’m sure your mom thought she was saving you worry, when in the end, it was harder to find out in such an abrupt way. As frustrating as it is, it’s all out of love. I know, my mom does the same thing!

Enjoy your weekend everyone…schedule a mammogram, screenings, whatever it is your doctor suggests. I have yet to hear a doctor that says, “Hmmm…it seems we’ve found this cancer too early.”

Wordless Wednesday – Stories of Survival

Today, I will stay quiet. Today is about you. And here is one of the stories that was sent to me by one of my readers. Feel free to comment, offer support, cheer on and any other way you’d like to communicate. And can I just say, I’m completely blown away by the response this giveaway has had…blown…away.

Thank you to Rhonda Darbro for sharing this:

Cancer has effected me in a huge way over a lot of years. And it continues to do so.

I lost a Grandmother to ovarian cancer in the ’70’s.

In 1978, my mother, at age 45, was admitted to the hospital on CHRISTmas Day, for surgery the following morning. On CHRISTmas evening, the surgeon came in to see us. At that time, he informed me that testing indicated that we were probably looking at breast cancer. Sure enough, it was confirmed cancer and Mom had a radical mastectomy with removal of lymph nodes. Mom never really recovered from it. The next 4 years were filled with radiation and chemotherapy and a 2nd surgery. She passed away in February 1982, at the young age of 45.

In 1981, at the age 50, my Dad started having trouble with his vision in one eye. After a trip to the eye doctor, he found out that he had a detached retina. He was referred to a surgeon who scheduled him for surgery repair. However, during surgery, the surgeon came out and informed us that Dad had cancer of the eye and it couldn’t be saved. Pathology reports came back saying that it was melanoma. In the fall of 1986, my Dad started feeling ill most of the time. The doctor never could really figure out exactly what was wrong with Dad. After visiting another doctor and more testing, it was determined that he had melanoma of the liver. The oncologist that Dad was sent to told us that once you have melanoma, it will always recur at some point in time. And that at some time it will show up in the brain or the liver. We found out in February 1987. The oncologist said that once it hits the liver, there wasn’t any hope, only prayer. I was pregnant with my 1st child with a due date of April 30th. The oncologist told us that chances were Dad would not be around to see his 1st grandchild. Dad volunteered for an experimental program at M.D. Anderson in Houston in the hopes of a miracle. I guess Dad did get that miracle in the way of getting to see his 1st grandchild…..a grandson named after him, born on May 3rd, 1987. In September of 1987, my Dad passed away at the young age of 56.

Late last year, that 1st grandchild, my oldest son, now 24, came down with a persistent sore throat. Then early this year he finely went to a doctor that finally did some testing for him, we found out that he had cancer in the throat…..lymphoma. He had surgery followed by treatment. The surgeon said that the cancer was caught early because if his persistence of going to doctors trying to find out why his throat wouldn’t quit hurting. My son’s prognosis is good right now.

I peronally had a breast cancer scare 5 years ago, but when the surgeon went in to remove my tumor, the biopsy came back, precancerous, but benign……Thank You God……the POWER OF PRAYER!!!!! What a wonderful thing!

Wow. Thank you so much, Rhonda, for sharing. I will be sharing more stories throughout the month. If you wish to share yours, go ahead and send it to me, and I’ll post it throughout the month. This has been an amazing learning experience for me, and it has opened my eyes.

Thank you.