Thursday, December 31, 2009

GOO DBYE 2009...BRING IN 2010!!!!

Well, this is not how I had invisioned the year ending and the New Year beginning..but we don't choose those things. I am grateful that I have my first chemo behind me and I feel it is working because of the side effects...I can imagine all those nasty cancer cells being gobbled up by the "chemo pac men"! It has been ten years since I was fighting this battle...I have certainly forgotten so much about that time. I know that I have my fighting gloves on and will "fight like a girl"(didn't have this cute slogan ten years ago LOL) I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason....we may not recognize the reason right now...but we will sooner or later. I hope to think that I am a stronger and better person because of this experience ten years ago. I hope to learn and be even better and stronger this time around!

I want to say how much that I appreciate my wonderful sister, Kimberly and my husband for being there by my side with their gloves on too! I am so truly blessed to have soooo many wonderful friends and prayer warriors supporting me and encouraging me...I can't tell you how much that means to me...again...I get by with a little help from my friends! I have alot of wonderful friends that inspire my crafting (my wonderful ya ya sisters), nurses, respiratory therapists, my awesome church family (that I couldn't make it without) and I even have my own special pharmacist (the amazing Missy) whom I can and do consult all the time! I would say that I am truly blessed to have such an amazing team on my side, wouldn't you? Oh, and I sure don't want to forget Princess Breanna....she has been a constant in my life for about a year now and I can't tell you how much joy she has given me. She is five years old now...but she can ya ya with us, go to doctor's appointments (and listens...reminds me of the do's and don'ts of hip replacement surgery), goes to church with me, learning alot of crafts, can now say her "Now I lay me,,,bedtime prayer) and is such a big help and support to me....she was a great nurse to me after my hip surgery...handing me dishes from the dishwasher and such. Did I say she was a joy? She truly is!

Everything happens for a reason. I am grateful that after months of leg pain, I was finally led to Dr. Hefley and got my new hip! I can't imagine going through this with the pain I was having before my hip replacement...See, God really does have a plan for us...He is in control and I trust Him completely!

Goodbye 2009....come on in 2010!!!

A Happy and Healthy New Year to all!!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


We celebrated the miracle of our Savior's birth with my awesome sister, Kimberly. She is the most caring, supportive, inspirational, loving sister anyone could dream of having. She prepared a wonderful gourmet dinner complete with our very first was awesome. I know that our Mom was so proud of her baby daughter and her culinary talent! It seems that Kimberly has stepped into the role of family chef....she prepares wonderful dinners for Lisa, me and other guests every Sunday before our crafting day!

Kimberly lit the three beautiful candles that represent Mom, Dad and very happy that we have such wonderful, sweet memories of Christmases past to cherish!

With this CHRISTmas, I begin my fight once again for beating cancer....I already have week one almost down. I can feel the chemo working fighting those cells. I know that as last time...ten years ago...I will learn some more valuable life lessons and become a stronger person! There is a reason why everything happens and I put my trust in Him, who is in control and is truly the "Great Physician"!

I am so thankful for my wonderful family and friends....for all the love, encouragement and support that I am given each day!

I hope that everyone will slow down a little this coming year and savor what is really important in and receiving love from your loved ones and anyone else that you can help in some way! Try to make someone smile everyday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I don't know why this is having to be my third attempt at posting...will try one more time!

I started chemo on Monday..will take it every three weeks, with lab every week. I know that God is in control and I trust Him! I will fight like a girl with all I have. I have the wonderful support of family and friends and have alot of prayer warriors on my side.

I want to wish everyone a very Merry CHRISTmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus...He is the Reason for the Season....



Saturday, December 19, 2009


This has been a week that we will not soon forget! On Monday, I had my bone biopsy...on Tuesday Pete had a stint put in and yesterday I got a new plan. My bone biopsy showed that I have metastatic breast cancer in my left hip..which is my good hip! It also showed some spots in my chest in the lymph nodes that could not be determined if it was cancer or, I will begin chemotherapy on Monday...and the doctor says I will start the new year off bald!

I was not expecting this news, but I know that I am not in control over what life brings....God is and I trust Him completely. I will "Fight Like a Girl" and I truly believe I will beat it. I am certain that I will come out a stronger person and will learn a few life lessons on the way...there is a reason for everything.

I have the most wonderful sister in the world, a great and caring husband, and am so very blessed with the gift of many great friends...and you know my motto.."I get by with a little help from my friends"!

Kimberly and Edwina were very angry and told me they wanted to go out and beat someone up that was mean...I told them that we need to approach this with positive thoughts, not negative ones. Being mad won't do any good at all.

I will update on the next few weeks and want to wish everyone a very Merry CHRISTmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! Remember the true Reason for the Season...the miracle of the birth of Jesus....sing Happy Birthday to Him on CHRISTmas Day....make Him a birthday cake!

Friday, December 11, 2009


I went to the doctor on a good report. My incision is healing well. I graduated from the walker to the cane and am walking around the house at times unassisted. I feel like I am finally getting my independence back. He said that I could start driving. I drove home from Benton to Hot Springs...I did have to use my left foot for the brake...but I am sure that will improve soon. He said it takes awhile for the thigh muscle to heal. It is just so strange to me that I am unable to lift that leg while sitting...I can lift it fine while standing.

Next week will be a stressful week for us....I have my bone biopsy Monday morning and then Pete will have an angiogram and possible stint put in on Tuesday. I am trying to keep my faith and trust God with this completely, because I know that He is in control.

We are enjoying our Christmas tree being put up and the other decorations as well. It brings back alot of memories of Mom, Dad and Jennifer....just trying to dwell on the happy times we shared in Christmases past and know in my heart they are happy and healthy and are celebrating with Jesus! Kimberly got beautiful poinsettias for the cemetery and we will take our small Christmas tree there on Sunday after church.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner this sweet hubby, awesome sister and two furry daughters...Jazzabelle and Emma Grace! It was a wonderful day. Kimberly brought the most amazing dessert that I am sure has just become a new Holiday tradition with us....Paula Deen's Chocolate Bread Pudding....OMG!!! You can really hurt yourself with this one! I have never tried one of Paula's recipes that I didn't fall in love with!

Sometimes it is hard to believe that Mom, Dad and Jennifer aren't here with us....Holidays can be so hard....I miss them each and everyday....but this time of year seems to magnify the feelings. I am just so thankful that we have so many wonderful memories to cherish of them! It is good to know that they are happy and healthy now and I will be united with them again!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and counted their blessings. I also hope that we can all slow down this Christmas Season and savor the true meaning of Christmas!

I am now four weeks out with my new hip....getting better everyday....looking forward to walking on my own...should graduate from the walker to the cane within a couple of weeks...looking forward to that.....especially back to driving. I am blessed....can now ride in the car to Little Rock without pain and having to stop half way there to walk around....the little things in life!

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Two weeks ago yesterday, I got my new hip! Got to come home from the hospital on Friday. The people at the hospital were concerned about me being able to get up the stairs at Kimberly's..but I did just fine. My recovery is going well....didn't have any bleeding or drainage at all from my incision until Saturday morning.....since then I have had some bleeding but they think it is from the increased dose of coumadin.

My sister, Kimberly, has been the best nurse, friend and caregiver I could ever dream of having. Like I have said before, a sister is the best gift your parents can give you.

I go to the doctor tomorrow for my first check up. If all goes well, I will then go home to Hot Springs....have really missed the country life with my sweet hubby and furry babies....hope they remember who I am!

I am still praying that getting my hip fixed will also resolve my back problem and help me avoid more surgery. I am ready to get back to work giving care, love and hope to others!

  • My oncologist called yesterday and cancer markers are elevated again. I will have it re checked tomorrow. Hoping and praying that it is just a lab error. I am told that sometimes they never find the cause of the elevated markers...I have recently had an MRI, PET scan, Bone scan and a colonoscopy....don't know where else they would look. I know that it is in God, the Great Physician's, hands and I put my trust and faith in Him!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I have my new released from the hospital on Friday. I am staying with my wonderful sister, Kimberly, until I can manuever by myself. We were really concerned about coming up the stairs to her apartment...two flights of nine stairs each! Wasn't bad at all...the movement actually felt pretty good....haven't tried going down them yet. Walking every hour and feeling better. The hardest part so far has been getting in and out of bed and having to sleep on your back....but I am adjusting!

Everyone has been so wonderful and supportive of me. Kimberly is the greatest...don't know what I would do without her!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I can hardly believe that it is almost here...HIP HIP HOORAY! It seems like I have been waiting forever for this day...tomorrow! I will get my new hip and finally be on my way to start living again....and back to work. I miss my patients and co workers so much...ACH really is my second family!

I am making my list and checking it twice and ready to start packing. Hopefully this time next week, I will be feeling much better.

Sisters are the best and most precious gift your parents can ever give parents sure gave me the perfect gift with my sister, Kimberly. I will be going to her house during my first days of recovery. As much as I would rather be at home, I know that since my hubby is working nights, this will be the best place. She has arranged to be able to work at home so that I won't be staying alone while I am learning to get around without bending my leg. Like I have said before, it will be like living in a scrapbook store. She will not be working this first week, so we should be able to get alot of cards and projects done! She is the one that got me into this paper crafting madness and she is my inspiration! I wish everyone could see the exploding box she made for me with the pictures from my ten year breast cancer anniversary party....truly amazing, just as she is! It will be good spending time with her....she is the greatest!

Better get to packing.....good bye old hip...hello new and improved hip!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I had such a great day yesterday. First I had to go get my lab work done....then to Conway for a wonderful birthday lunch with Kimberly, Lisa, Missy, Charlotte, Linda Y., Linda Mc., Edwina, Mandy and Breanna...I feel so spoiled and loved my first visit to Mike's Place...yum!! Kimberly, Breanna and I then went to my hip class. It was very informative. We got to see the implant and hold it. Found out that if I ever fly, will have to go to the airport early because of setting off the metal detector and will probably have to show them my scar! I will be able to walk after surgery, but no bending...for fear of the new hip popping out of the socket. When you have surgery or are ill, you really want to be at home in your own bed.,,,but sometimes you have to do what is best for your recovery. I have waited a long time to get this resolved. Since my hubby now works at night and I would be home alone, my gracious, awesome sister has arranged to be able to work from home and watch over me during my first days of recovery. Sisters are one of the most precious gifts in life...she is my rock, my pillow, my strength...she is always there for me. I will stay with her after I am released from the hospital until I am sure that I can maneuver and be alone. I also will have to have lab work done twice a week because of the blood thinners. I am sure that I will find plenty to will be like living in a scrapbook store......I should be able to get all my Christmas cards and gifts made! After the hip class, Kimberly treated me to a hair cut and color....I want to look my best pushing my walker LOL! We ended the wonderful day celebrating with the Pajama Mamas....Breanna loved wearing her pajamas to IHOP! What a perfect little angel during such a busy day. When we left IHOP, she said "I think I need to lay down and take a nap." She slept on the way home, but never once complained about anything the whole day.....she is such a joy. I thank my wonderful sister and friends for such an awesome day...."I get by with a little help from my friends." Hip Hip Hooray.....only three more days!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Just five more days until I get my new hip.....can't wait. So tired of this pain and being a human barometer of the weather! The next five days will be busy and will go by pretty quickly. Tomorrow I go to the doctor at 10 for my lab work, then 10 friends and I are going to Conway for lunch, then I have my hip class...then a perfect ending to the day with a great time with the Pajama Mamas! Breanna has been here with me this week. She is only five years old....such a joy to be around and such a great little stamper and card maker! Saturday is the Razorback game and then we are meeting Kimberly at Grandpa's for some catfish...yum! Sunday is church and crafting and then Monday night is Bible Study....which leads to the Big Day! Seems like it has been forever waiting for this...but it will be worth the wait!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today is the day for the Race for the Cure in Little Rock. Since I have just celebrated my ten year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor, I had hoped to be at this year's race. I will plan on being there next year for sure, with my brand new hip!

It is such an amazing thing to experience being a part of this day. Seeing that many people coming together in one place to support such a good cause is almost breathtaking.....especially when you are walking over the Broadway Bridge and look and see all the people crossing the Main Street Bridge at the same time. You see people who are survivors, people who are walking in honor or in memory of their loved ones and people walking to support this great cause. I have never been there without starting the race with tears in my eyes...for seeing the memory patches people have on their shirts and for all the people walking together as one, for such a good cause. It is truly such an emotional experience.

My heart swells with pride when I think of all the times my precious Jennifer was walking with me. I know alot of those years she didn't feel like walking at all...but she insisted that she walked with me. The last year that she walked with me, we had to stop and let her rest a bit. We were in the last group to finish.....but finish, we did!

This year I will be a "Jammie Walker" for sure.....but I will wear my shirt today and know and feel how many thousands of other women will be wearing this same shirt today. We will all wear pink, "fight like a girl" and all come together to "save the ta tas"!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Only thirteen days until my surgery.....I am so ready to get this over with. Had my pre op at the hospital and doctor's office yesterday. The hospital was very nice and the people were too. Got to see one of the rooms and it looks like a hotel suite....sitting area before you get to the patient area and a huge walk in shower. Hopefully, my stay won't be long, but it is really nice. My potassium was a little low, probably from the Lassix, so I will have to get it up before the surgery. I am still in atrial - fib, but that doesn't seem to be a problem. The only thing left to do is to go to a hip class next Friday. I am so thankful that God, the Great Physician, led me to this doctor. I don't know why it took so long to finally believe that my hip was causing the pain, but everything happens for a reason....I am grateful to have found Dr. Hefley, who does this wonderful new surgery.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Yesterday was such a good day...busy, but good! I went to my primary care doctor for a follow up appointment and blood work....then I had lunch with Charlotte. Next was my appointment with my oncologist....waiting for lab results there, which is always a little nerve wrecking...but again, it is out of my control and in God's control. Next I had a wonderful visit with my long time friend, Mica! We had not seen each other in about nine years!!! Could not believe the changes that have occured in our lives....hope that we don't let much time lapse before we see each other again....Mica is such a sweet and strong person...yesterday made me realize just how much I have missed her friendship! I ended the day with an awesome Bible Study with Beth Moore and Edwina...couldn't ask for a much better ending to a great day!

Friday, October 2, 2009


This will be a busy weekend...which I am grateful for. I am counting the days until I get my new hip....25 more days! I will be so glad to get this over with and be out of this pain and be able to do something!

Tomorrow is World Card Making Day...we are getting together at Kimberly's to make cards....Lisa, Edwina, Pig(by web cam) and me! I am very happy that Edwina is joining us...she is recovering from her spinal fusion and has been stuck in the house too long too! Card making is very good therapy!

On Sunday, I will go to church, which always makes me feel better...then to Leigh's house for a stamping party.

On Monday, I go to Dr.Curtner, then to Dr. Sneed for my oncology appointment...then to Bible Study! This weekend will help pass the time. I am still anxious about having surgery, but have resolved myself to do it and am so grateful that I found Dr. Hefley!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I feel so blessed to be a part of another great Bible Study by Beth Moore! She is such an inspiration to me. These Bible Studies bring back wonderful memories of when Jennifer and I did them together. Jennifer loved them as much as I did and said many times that she could listen to Beth Moore 24/7! This study is on Esther and it is absolutely wonderful! My long time cherished friend, Missy, is going with me. I knew that she would love it and she does. An added bonus is that I get to see her every week....she is always in my heart and on my mind, but being able to be with her is awesome. My niece, Karen, is also going and she is loving it....she is trying to recruit a couple of her friends to come. Last night, Edwina came and there was no doubt that she would love it and be happy that she came and she was!

When you are stuck at home not being able to do the things you want to do, it is easy to fall in a self-pity state. You get so tired of waiting to get better! I think Edwina was feeling this way too...having been in the house recovering from her surgery. She is doing very well physically, now she will have a renewed spirit thanks to Beth Moore! I am very grateful that I have a date set to start my road to recovery. I will admit that I am a little anxious about it...I don't like having surgery (not that anyone does) and would love to just skip that step in the process of being pain free! Some things just can't be avoided and this is one of them. I am getting alot of strength in preparation for the surgery from Jennifer. Bless her heart....when I think back on all the things she went through...accepting each one without complaining ever!....I think that I can handle getting a new hip! I am very grateful that God led me to a doctor that does this amazing surgery in a more non invasive way too! He is in control!

Wish that everyone I know could do a Beth Moore Bible Study with me. You just have such a good feeling and a stronger desire to have a closer walk with God when you study God's word with her....she is amazing! I can hardly wait until next Monday night!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I have been so blessed this week. My precious great niece, Breanna, has spent the week with me. She is only four years old, soon to be five in a few days. She is the sweetest little girl ever. She is such good company for me and is so helping me pass the time until my surgery. She is a great card making companion. She does so well and never gets bored with it...of course, there is one stipulation...she almost always only wants to use Papertrey Ink stamps!

Our church is feeding the homeless this month on Sunday mornings. As part of City Fest, we are having "Undy Sunday" tomorrow. We were asked to bring underwear and socks for the homeless to church tomorrow morning and they will be given out. I explained to Breanna what this is for and ever since, she just keeps talking about it and asking questions. She keeps saying they don't even have cars, phones, televisions, toys etc. I tell her that is why we need to help people and to give thanks every night when we say our prayers. She asked me where the people lived, and I told her that alot of people have to live under the bridge and only have boxes for shelter. She immediately said that she wanted to make them some cards. I told her that they didn't have a mailbox....but she said that she bet the mailman could find precious! On one of her visits earlier in the summer, I told her how the mail got in her mailbox...she thought that when there was a card in her mailbox from me, that I had driven to her house and put it there!

When I was a child, my Mother always said the "Now, I Lay Me Down to Sleep" prayer with us before we went to sleep at night. I started saying this prayer with Breanna each time she is here. When we get to the part that says "If I should die, before I wake", she always asks if we are going to die. In all the many years that I said that prayer, I don't think I ever thought about that once. She is so smart. Last night after saying the prayer, when we were asking God to bless our family and friends, she said "don't forget to bless the people under the bridge"! She is such a little angel and such a blessing to have around!

Another funny thing that happened this week is that she had a little cough. I told her that when she coughs, she needs to cough in her arm instead of her hand. Now each time she coughs, she says "I coughed in my arm, not in my I want get my yucky germs everywhere."

She can't pronounce the word Jennifer very comes out something like Jeninifur. Sometimes she talks about Jennifer as "the girl that used to live here or the girl whose picture is all over the house". I told her how much that I missed Jennifer and that I wish that she could remember her because she was such a sweet person. She said that she knew that I missed "Jeninifur" and that if I had died when she died, then I wouldn't be missing her. I told her that she was right.....but that I am happy that I will see her again one day in Heaven...she said "yes, and I will too". Children are sooooo precious!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Yay!!! I got to order my brand new hip today! I have been telling people for months that my hip was causing my pain...but everyone said that my back was causing the problem....thank goodness and thanks to Ben, I went to Dr. Saers. He made an appointment with the hip doctor for me, but I couldn't get in to see him until the the meantime, Aunt Toots told me about her friend having a hip replacement by Dr. Hefley. I was able to see him today! He is the only one in Arkansas (next closest, Chicago) that does a hip replacement the way he does. Only a small incision and not even physical therapy afterwards! No cutting through the muscle, so the recovery time is a whole lot better! I will still have to have back surgery after I recover from this, but I really feel like I am on the right track now....maybe there is an end to pain after all! I still believe that I need a whole right side body transplant....but it looks like I am getting that done in small steps, huh? I feel like I am at the right place now....prayers are answered!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Giving Thanks

Edwina's surgery went well...she said she could feel immediate relief from the thankful for that! I talked to Anita yesterday. She had her first chemo treatment yesterday and will take treatments for six months. She is so very strong and has such a positive attitude...she is a fighter and won before....praying for her constantly!

I was not supposed to see the hip doctor until the 30th....the earliest appointment he had. I talked to Aunt Toots and she told me about her 82 year old friend having hip replacement surgery and how well he is doing....I called and talked to his wife....called the next day and I have an appointment with him on Friday. It is with Dr. Hefley...after talking with Edwina, she said that Dr. Hefley did Mark's surgery and they loved him! Needless to say, I am very excited to have an appointment with him on Friday. I am ready to get this pain behind me. This has been a very tough week...I am sure that all this rainy weather we are having hasn't helped much!

I watched the Barbara Walters' interview with Patrick Swayze last night. I have loved him ever since I saw Dirty Dancing and Ghost...two of my all time favorite movies. The strength that he had fighting this horrible disease was amazing.....he LIVED til the end...he didn't ever give up. I admire his strength and attitude so very much, as well as that of his loving wife! My heart goes out to her during this most difficult time....what an amazing love story!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I am still praying for my dear friend, so glad that she is home from the hospital...and that her sweet sister is there with her. I think of her and pray for her everyday...praying for peace, comfort and strength.

I am praying for my good friend Edwina and her sweet family. Edwina is having her surgery tomorrow. Her daughter, Chelsea, is expecting the arrival of little Grayson in about six weeks...earlier this week, we thought that he wanted to come a little early for his "Honey's" (grandma Edwina) surgery...I think maybe he was convinced to wait a little longer...everything seems to be fine there now. Praying that Edwina's surgery will go well and she has a quick and speedy recovery!

Yesterday was my long awaited bone scan and doctor's appointment! Got sort of a double whammy, so to speak! First I want to thank God for not having a return of cancer...that was really on my mind...especially since Kimberly and I looked at the films on the way to the doctor (shows how much we know LOL) and saw two large black spots....this turned out just to be the dye in my arm and bladder! Dr. Saer said he thinks I need to have my back and hip both fixed. He said that the most crucial part of recovering from back surgery is walking afterwards. He said that if I have back surgery and am unable to walk because of my hip, I wouldn't recover. I know that Ben said that was a main factor after his surgery..walking! Dr. Saer is sending me to the hip doctor first. If I have to have hip surgery, then I will have it first and then will have the back surgery as soon as the hip doctor will allow it. Why can't I ever do things the simple way...seems like I always have to take the long way around the block...sometimes I guess that is the scenic route, because I usually learn a little something on the why I had to take chemo before and after surgery etc. etc. I have never liked the idea of having surgery and being put to sleep...guess I have watched too many 20/20 television shows or something...but having to have two surgeries has sorta freaked me out! I am just turning it over to God, the Great Physician, and know that He is in control and will take care of it! Dr. Saer looked at me like I had two heads when I asked him if I could have the kind of back surgery where you don't have to be put to sleep...seems I have shifting also, so that kind of surgery isn't an option. Glad that my sweet sister, Kimberly, went with me was a pretty stressful day..but at least now I have a plan and will just have to give thanks for not having a return of the cancer and come to peace with the fact that I WILL have to have surgery!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Unfortunately, "Popeye, the big arm" came for another visit. I had a small scratch on my finger...thought this was the cause..then I noticed I had some kind of bite on my leg...who knows? I will never know how this just occurs out of the blue. Just a rememberance of how lucky and grateful I am for the past ten years! Just keeping me on my toes, I suppose..just thankful for Levaquin..already feeling better. I just don't like seeing the ole big arm again! Will have to do some extra therapy when the infection is over..I am not supposed to do the therapy when I have an infection for fear of it spreading! My pump is waiting...perhaps, I will be able to start again tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Since my diagnosis of breast cancer ten years ago, I have been able to participate in seven out of the ten. This is such an awesome event...seeing all those wonderful women coming together for this most important cause! There is nothing like walking over the Broadway bridge and looking over to the Main Street bridge and seeing all the thousands of people walking together. The last race before Jennifer passed away, we walked together...we were in the last group of about ten people to finish, but finish we did! She was always there with me...even when I know she didn't feel like walking at all! It is such a very emotional time...seeing people with signs on their backs, saying they are walking in memory of their Mom, Aunt, Grandmother, Sister, Daughter or Friend...brings tears to my eyes each time....but again, it is wonderful seeing people walk in honor of their loved ones who are surviving this disease....that is what this race is all about!

I was diagnosed on July 29, 1999. I can remember going into the Race for the Cure shop that year. I was so excited to sign up for the race. I can remember telling the lady that I didn't know if I qualified as a survivor or not, because I had just been diagnosed. I asked her when you were qualified as a survivor...she smiled and told me the minute that you are diagnosed, you are a survivor!

Yesterday, I talked to a dear, sweet friend of mine that is now in treatment for her breast cancer. We talked awhile and then she said she was thinking about trying to walk in the race....she had my same question that I had ten years ago...about when are you considered a survivor! I told her that she IS a survivor. So if anyone out there who has breast cancer or who has just been ARE a SURVIVOR! The minute you receive this diagnosis, you are a SURVIVOR! Cancer is a horrible disease, but I truly feel that I am a better person because of it....I know for sure that it makes you appreciate the little things in life and not worry so much about the things that don't or shouldn't matter.

I want be able to walk in the race this year, because of my back and leg. This is one race that I was truly looking forward to because of my ten year anniversary....but I will be there as a Pajama virtual walker for sure....guess that won't be too bad....since I am a "Pajama Mama" huh?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Anita was unable to have surgery to remove the cancer. I am praying hard for her and her family. She is loved by all that know her and I know that she is being lifted up in prayer by many people. God is the Great Physician and I pray for Him to guide her doctors in her care and to give her peace, comfort and strength during this difficult time. Ihope that she can feel the love that surrounds her!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I, along with many prayer warriors, are praying for Anita today! She will have surgery this morning at 8:30 to determine the extent of the cancer. We are praying that it is confined and that they will not have to open her chest. Anita is so courageous, strong, positive and funny. When she found out yesterday that she was having surgery today, she called Sherry and said "Sherry, I have just seen the best looking man I have ever seen....and he is doing surgery on me in the morning!" Talking about a good attitude! This is Anita's third time dealing with cancer in less than five years! She is strong, has tremendous faith and is in the hands of God, the Great Physician!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I have a good friend, Anita. She is one of those special friends that is always thinking of others first. I have treasured her friendship for many years. She was a great friend to Jennifer as well. She is on the IV team, and all her patients love and trust her. She always goes that extra mile for her patients. When Jennifer was a patient at ACH, she always kept up her supply of Velveeta in her room...and always made her laugh. Laughter is one of the best medications when you are in the hospital for two weeks! Anita was the perfect dose Jennifer always needed and appreciated. On the day we lost Jennifer, Anita was one of the first people to come to visit.
We have shared alot over the past ten years, even breast cancer! A few weeks ago, Anita was the life of the party at my ten year survivor party. She danced, sang and provided laughter for all. We celebrated her 60th birthday by having dinner in Hot Springs. Anita, Jo, Lisa E. and Sherry drove to Hot Springs to celebrate since I was down in my back. We had a great dinner and a great time. Anita's cancer came back in her bones after her diagnosis with breast cancer. She fought and won that battle as well. Yesterday she found out that it was back once her chest. I just don't know why bad things happen to good people. Like Sherry said, how can you not hate cancer? I do know that Anita is a strong person and a fighter...she will get through this. She has raised two wonderful children that adore her, as well as everyone that knows her. Love and faith are very strong weapons against this horrible disease. I love you, Anita! I am here for you!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Our summer series at chuch this year is power, money and sex. Today Taido spoke on the power of relationships. How some relationships are a constant struggle...pulling each other in a different direction. Our assignment this week is to be submit to someone that we struggle with. He used the visual of two people pulling on opposite ends of a trying to be more powerful than the other. Very good serm9n...good food for thought! This week, I will try to be more submissive!


I had a rough last few days...missing Jennifer...don't know if it was the fall in the air or what..but it was really consuming me. Today our church is providing school supplies for a Back to School Bash for the kids in the apartments next to our church. We were asked to provide school supplies and they will be given out this afternoon. It really is true that when you do something for others, you receive the greatest benefit. Yesterday, I got up and dressed and went to the store to buy my supplies. I will admit that I got pretty teary eyed in the school supply aisle. I chose the supplies that I think that Jennifer would have liked. I enjoyed watching the other customers choose their supplies. This is one project that Jennifer would have really enjoyed participating in....miss you so much, Jennifer!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I miss my precious Jennifer every minute of everyday...but there are days like today that it just consumes me! I don't know if it was the cool fall like weather this morning or maybe it is all the back to school supplies in the stores. I love to see and smell all the new pencils, crayons, notebooks etc. (doesn't that sound crazy?) Until Jennifer passed away, I would always buy her new school supplies (she loved writing) and a new lunch box...for her to take her lunch to work in. It's the little things in life that you remember about your loved ones that you sometimes miss the most! I long to smell her hair again or hear her cute little chuckle...I want to hear her voice and see her smile. I want to hear her say Mommmmm! I want to cook for her and listen to her dreams...I want to ask her if she took her pills and did her is never ending....some days are just worse than others.....I am still so very grateful that I was given the gift of being her Mother.....and so very grateful that our Lord has given me the gift of being able to see her again one day! I love you, Jennifer Suzanne!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


A friend of mine that used to work with me at ACH now works at CARTI...when I have to go to the Breast Center which is in the same building, I always stop by and say hello and we get to chat a little. Yesterday when I stopped by, I told her about my leg and hip. She said I think if you have that surgery, you will have to wear one of those corsett things to keep you from bending or twisting (don't think my friend, Ben, mentioned this) LOL! I guess I had this on my mind when I went to bed last night and therefore had this crazy dream. Do you remember the movie "Nine to Five"? They hung their boss up on this trolley thingy....well, in my dream, I had to be hung on one of those trolley things....and Kimberly and Lisa convinced the trolley installers to put another one on to hold my arm up so that it would drain. Kimberly and Lisa are always telling me that I should hang my arm above my head from an IV pole or something when I sleep at night....needless to say, I did not care for the trolley contraptions and having to have my Bi-Pap suspended from the ceiling....was very glad to wake up and dicover that it was just a dream or should I say NIGHTMARE!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I had a clear mammogram today! I don't have to have another one for a year...YAY!!! Such a relief to get that over if I can just get this back, hip, leg pain resolved, I will be a happy camper!

After the mammogram, went to IHOP with the awesome Pajama Mamas! We go to IHOP in our pajamas....such a good time...Patti, Joanna and Sandra are such wonderful friends and can always cheer me up and put a smile on my thankful for good friends!

Monday, August 10, 2009


I am still waiting to go for the bone scan and to find out how this pain is going to be resolved. I am trying to be patient! I am continuig to do the exercises that the physical therapist taught me. It just seems like I should have some answers by now. I really feel like I should be with Dr. Saer and I trust him to make the right treatment decision....but I am ready to be over this and back at work giving care, love and hope! I am very grateful that I am not causing the staff to be short at the hospital right now....glad that theyare still able to overstaff people.

My sweet sister, Kimberly, is trying to keep me, as well as Lisa and Pig busy with new crafting challenges...some quite interesting...she keeps the creative juices flowing! She and Lisa are great cheerleaders and I enjoy our crafting time so much!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


It is always good to get a second opinion before making decisions about your health. I went to see a doctor for a second opinion...a doctor that my friend, Ben, had been to for a similar problem to mine and had successful surgery to correct his problem a couple of weeks ago. I am happy to hear that Ben is recovering well and seems to be doing better each happy for him! This doctor confirmed that I do have severe spinal stenosis and spondglolisthesis (sp), but also seems to think that alot of my pain is from my hip. I have thought this all along...from the very beginning...Dr. Curtner did as well. Everyone else I went to, said the pain was from my back, not my hip. Now I am scheduled to have a bone PRAYING that I won't have to have a hip replacement...aren't those for old people? I am certainly ready to get this pain resolved and get on with my life! Seems I always have to go the long way around things...guess it just makes me stronger in the end!

Friday, July 31, 2009


Yesterday was my appointment with the spinal surgeon. I was hoping for better news...a magical cure like another injection or a magical pill. He said that in addition to having the severe spinal stenosis, I also have spondglolisthesis...a big word meaning that I also have shifting. He said that I would need to have the spacers put in for the stenosis, and will also need to have screws put in for stability and to keep it from moving. He said if I had come with this problem five or ten years ago or if I came with this problem five or ten years from now, the treatment would be the same. He told me that I can live with the pain or have the surgery to fix it. Not exactly good news in my book. I have asked Dr. Curtner to refer me to another doctor for a second opinion. In the meantime, I will keep praying for God's guidance and answer to this situation...yes, Kimberly, I will listen to what God tells me....He is the Great Physician and is in control, not me!

Monday, July 27, 2009


In celebration of my ten year anniversary of being a survivor of Inflammatory Breast Cancer, my awesome sister and friends totally surprised me! Words could never express how loved I felt and how very, very grateful I am for my sister and friends! My words that get me through.."I get by with a little help from my friends"!

My sister-in-law, Judy, and my two precious great nieces from Bloomington, Illinois went to church with me. I thought that Judy, the girls, Kimberly, Lisa, Stacie and I were meeting after church to go to lunch to celebrate my anniversary. I was surprised when Edwina said that we needed to go downstairs and have a special prayer for my leg and back....I knew that I needed prayer, so didn't think much about it. I was in shock when we got downstairs and saw the wonderful party they had surprised me with. They thought of everything...M&M's- purple and pink, of course- with Debbie and Survivor printed on them, the most beautiful pink and purple cake made by Angel, pink balloons, pink, brown, purple and white chocolate butterflies and turtles, pink flowers, pink ribbon pins for all the guests, a slide presentation in my honor, a delicious buffet of the most wonderful food ever, a piggy bank full of stamps (what will the post office do without my weekly visit?), wonderful, wonderful gifts, a bucket full of cards and notes from friends, even some Dawn McVey cards I had been drooling over all week from her blog-Dawn is one of my favorite designers for Papertreyink and am an avid follower of her blog. YaYa's Leigh, Anne, Stacie, Mandy (who had probably just worked 100 hours last week) and Denise were there as well co survivors - Sherry, Lisa Ellison, and Anita! Charlotte, Linda Young, Linda McKnight, Chelsea and Zhane (I am their proud Granny Pen) all made the day so special. That little Zhane is so adorable and happy! I am still floating in the clouds right now...I am sure that I have forgotten many things that I will need to add later....I just feel so very loved and so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life! Thanks and love to everyone!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Yesterday was a very hard day. My father-in-law passed away in the early morning hours. He was 88 years old and had nine children! He had been very ill for quite a long we know that he is no longer ill and is happy and healthy. Even though we know this in our hearts, it is still so hard to say goodbye to a loved one. He was a very funny man and will be missed by all. Having lost both my parents, I know that it is not easy being an orphan and missing all the special times you share with your parents.

Another hard thing was my trip to Dr. Slater, my orthopedic doctor. I was very hopeful that this past injection, my third, would do the trick and I would be out of pain and back to work by the end of next week. He has referred me to a surgeon....which I truly do not want to have to have surgery of any kind, especially on my back. Dr. Slater said that my stenosis is pretty severe and he may not be able to help me. If this is the case, I will learn to accept this and go on....very
disappointing news!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


It is hard to believe just how much your life can change in just ten years! Ten years ago today, I was just going about life in an ordinary way...working at a job that I truly loved and still do...raising a beautiful daughter that was turning into an awesome young woman who was enjoying life - despite the fact that she had Cystic Fibrosis, being with my husband, sister, friends and family, going to Hot Springs to visit my parents..just going through life's ups and downs! Then, on July 29, 1999, my life was forever changed!

A much postponed trip for a mammogram started this roller coaster ride for me! After the mamogram, I immediately saw Dr. Hagans and was told that I had Inflammatory Breast Cancer...every family on my Mother's side of the family has had someone who has had breast cancer, but I was the first to have IBC! I had never even heard of this type of breast cancer. Things moved pretty quickly after this diagnosis...within a week, I had met my wonderful oncologist, Dr. Sternberg - a specialist in IBC, got an infusaport inplanted and started chemo! With IBC, it is found that you have to have chemo first to shrink as much of the tumor as possible before having surgery. I was diagnosed at Stage IIIB, not a very good diagnosis - I had about a 30% chance of survival. Dr. Sternberg said they found out that if you did surgery before shrinking the tumor, that before you even got finished with the surgery, the cancer would have spread to the chest wall....thank God for leading me to Dr. Sternberg and Dr. Hagans for treatment. I had six months of chemo before my surgery followed by six more months of chemo followed by radiation. I had sixteen out of twenty-one positive lymph nodes, which wasn't very good news either! One thing that this experience has taught me is that God is in control and He has the plan! He knew that Jennifer needed me here to take care of her and be there for her....I will forever be grateful for that!

Fourteen months after my diagnosis, I was able to return to work! The people I work with are really like my extended family...we have all gone through alot with each other....

One of, if not the most positive thing, resulting from my diagnosis, is having a long time friend, Joanna, do my radiation! She and I went to Levy Methodist Church when our children were young and we also graduated high school together. She invited me to come to the church that she now went to ..Fellowship North. I accepted her invitation, and Jennifer and I went that following Sunday. As soon as we walked through those doors, we both knew that we had been led to where God wanted us to be.....I truly feel as if I have another wonderful family now. Even though I now live in Hot Springs, I will still go to church there and hopefully continue to grow in my walk with Christ!

Over a year after my surgery, while at work on Christmas Day, my incision from my surgery busted open...took many, many months to heal and thus leaving me with my big cartoon Popeye arm! Just another hurdle to jump and deal with...took me a few years before meeting a wonderful physical therapist that has helped me tremendously with this obstacle...still have infections and flare ups every now and then...but nothing like before.

Three years after my diagnosis, my husband lost a kidney, then the following year, he had a quadruple bypass surgery. Thirteen days after his heart surgery, I lost my best Mother! Within three months, I not only lost my Mother, but a sister and my Dad, as well. You look back on those times now, and just wonder how you made it through it, but you know that you made through with the stength God gave you. My Mother used to tell me over and over that each of life's struggles make you stronger and a better person....I am ready to be strong enough!

Three years after losing my parents, I lost my most precious gift of all...I lost Jennifer! Of all my life's struggles, this is the hardest and most devastating of all. We are not supposed to bury our children. I KNOW in my heart that Jennifer is happy and healthy now and that all my countless prayers for her to be healed were answered the day she went to be with her Heavenly Father....but there will always be such a hole in my heart and life until I see her again...I miss her every second of every day!

Yes, my ordinary little life has changed alot over the past ten years - lost my parents, a sister, my daughter - diagnosed with IBC, had a hysterectomy, arm infections, broken leg, and am now dealing with my second bout with a herniated disc, spinal canal stenosis, arthritis in my Dr. Sternberg told me...we got rid of the cancer, but caused a train wreck in the process...somehow I keep on chugging along.

I believe that good things come out of life's bad experiences too! I now have a passion or guess I should say - obsession - with card making and scrapbooking, a new church family, many new friends, my best friend in the sister Kimberly - as my main cheerleader, the encouragement and inspiration from my friend - sister Lisa, my treasured life time friendships, my rekindled friendships (thanks to facebook LOL), the advent of the "Jennifer Project" to help give other CF patients a little goes on and on! I am hoping and praying that this latest struggle with my back will soon be resolved and I will be back giving care, love and hope to the special patients at ACH!

Yes, these past ten years have definitely been a roller coaster ride! There have been many, many sad times but also many happy times that I am so grateful for....being a ya ya, a member of the "Pajama Mama's", rediscovering the joy and happiness that a child can bring through some wonderful great nieces and great nephews...not only in person but by being able to have a long distance relationship with them through correspondence and giving them the "card making bug" LOL! Yes, I have many, many things to be thankful for, I have many precious memories to cherish.....I truly do "get by with a little help from my friends"!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

7 WAYS IN 7 acknowledge the power of God! Day7

Today is day 7 in our challenge to acknowledge the power of God! Today we were asked to focus on His Holy Spirit! I can see the work of the Holy Spirit all around me...I can feel the Holy Spirit in my thoughts and prayers...I work to be closer to Him and to have a closer relationship with Him!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

7 WAYS IN 7 acknowledge the power of God! Day6

Today we are asked to focus on His healing grace! We pray for the healing of many people and loved ones...sometimes begging God to please heal them. I prayed countless prayers asking God to please, please, please heal my precious Jennifer and find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis! I can't explain why God heals some people and not day we will know the answer...sometimes I ask why was I healed from Stage IIIB - inflammatory breast cancer (I will be a ten year survivor on the 29th..Praise God), and others with less severe cancer don't survive. I do know that God is in control, and He is the One with the plan for us and He knows what He is doing. As I was reminded last Sunday by our pastor, Harold, sometimes our prayers are answered by our loved ones being taken Home and never have to be sick or unhappy again...ever! That is being healed! I know that Jennifer IS now healed and more struggling! I take great comfort in knowing that I will see her again! I just miss her so very, very much!

Friday, July 10, 2009

7 WAYS IN 7 acknowledge the power of God! Day 5

Today, we were asked to focus on transformed lives! When God enters our lives, we can see things differently....we see more love, faith and hope. We know that God is with us and hears our thoughts and prayers! We know that He listens to us and knows our troubles, sadness, grief, struggles and problems! We also know that He knows our happiness and love. I have seen many peoples' lives been transformed by the acceptance of Christ, as their saviour! People have turned from being bitter and mean to loving and caring...from being selfish and self centered to be giving and serving others...from giving up many kinds of addictions to being addicted to loving God and wanting to follow Him!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

7 WAYS IN 7 acknowledge the power of God! - Day4

Today's focus is to acknowledge the power of His Salvation; people come to know Him! Without His salvation, we wouldn't know Him and His great love and gift to us...eternal life! We wouldn't get to see Him and our loved ones that have passed before us! Due to His amazing gift of salvation, we WILL see Him, our loved ones and have everlasting life! God gave us His only son so that believing in Him, our sins would be forgiven! When I reflect on this amazing gift, I want to be a stronger christian, and I want to follow more in His footsteps!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

7 WAYS IN 7 acknowledge the power of God! Day3

On day 3, we are to focus on His love! This is an easy one...GOD IS LOVE!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

7 WAYS IN 7 acknowledge the power of God! DAY 2

Today is Day 2 of our 7 ways in 7 days challenge. Today we are to focus on His sovereign rule! God is always in control...He has the final word..He rules over us all...He is the King! I know that this is true...sometimes I just have to keep telling myself that He is the one in control....not me! I trust Him and keep trying to follow Him closer and closer!

Monday, July 6, 2009

7 WAYS IN 7 acknowledge the power of God!

This week our pastor, Harold, asked us to take some time each day this week to acknowledge the power of God at work within us and around us. He gave us seven areas to focus for each day of this week.

Today, the first one, is to acknowledge the power of God in His beautiful creation! This is an easy one....the power of God's beauty is everywhere we look. We can see the beauty in the sky, the stars, the flowers, the mountains, the lakes, the trees, the faces of children, the hands and feet of a newborn baby, the birds, the butterflies, the ladybugs, a song, a poem...everything we see and hear is a product of the power of God's beauty. I have said many times that I don't know how anyone could look at the ocean and not believe in God!

Today, I ask you to take a moment to realize and reflect on the power of God's beauty in your life....and to thank Him for it!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


The last few days I have been missing Jennifer so very much. I miss her every second of everyday...but thoughts of her have totally consumed me these past days. I kept thinking about that last day. None of us realized that she was doing worse...I had talked to her the last thing before going to bed that night before and called and talked to her nurse that final morning before going to work.....never expecting that would be the last time I heard her sweet voice and the last time that I could tell her I loved her.

I can remember all the prayers then and the prayers now that I said and still pray...asking God to please end this devastating disease, Cystic Fibrosis! I truly believe that a cure will be found...and what a joyous day that will be! I can remember many times Jennifer telling me that had she not had CF, she wouldn't have met and known alot of special people in her life. Last week, I read a card that she had given me for Christmas in 2004. She talked of how much she loved me and appreciated all that I did for her. She said that her doctor and counselor told her that she needed to tell me and her Dad that she has never blamed us for her having CF...she said that she knew no other life, and that CF was who she was. I know that our genes is the reason she had CF, but we had never even heard of CF before Jennifer was diagnosed. We didn't choose to take that chance. I truly believed that a cure would be found and that God would heal her!

Our series at church this summer is on sex, money and power. This morning Harold gave the sermon on the power of God. He said that he and Dena had a friend who had kidney stones and then found out he had kidney cancer. He was thirty-three years old. Harold said that he and Dena prayed and begged God to heal their friend. He said that yesterday he gave his friend's eulogy. He said that at first he wanted to question God about why He didn't heal this young man....but quickly realized that God did heal him by taking him home....the young man's work here on earth was over. This helped me so very much with my loss of Jennifer.....I prayed for a cure for her and God gave it to her by taking her home to be with Him! Since Jennifer passed away three years ago, I have learned more and more about the lives she touched in her short twenty-eight years she was here! I am so proud and so blessed that God chose me to be her Mother! I will continue to miss her until the day that I will see her again. I do know that she is happy and healthy now....I always knew that, but thank you, Harold, for reminding me once again!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I was truly hoping that I would not have to have another pain improved after the last one...that is until I had to drive to North Little Rock yesterday for a doctor's appointment. Now my leg is hurting pretty bad again! This is so disappointing....but as they say, sometimes the third one is the charm! Not giving up at this point in the game! The doctor did tell me that it may take I shouldn't be too surprised, I guess...was just hoping!

I also got the results from the colonoscopy yesterday....the polyp was pre that means I will have to have another one in three years! I really love the word PRE! It could have been worse!

When I was in NLR yesterday, I had lunch with my good friend, Linda! We had a good time and she is always such an inspiration and knows just the right words you need to hear at any given time! Like I always say, "I get by with a little help from my friends". Thank you, Linda! You are the greatest!

Will just keep hoping and praying that the injection next Thursday will do the trick!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I had my second injection today. I just love Dr. Lovett. This time she did a caudal (sp?), She put the injection in my tail bone, ran a catheter to the bulging disc and put the steroid there. I am hoping and praying that this one works. I am so ready to be over this! She said it will take a few days to know if it worked!

I am so ready for fall to be here and summer is just starting...I just don't keep well in 100 degree weather!

After the first injection, I couldn't sleep for over two days...wonder if that will be the case this time? If so, I will get alot more cards made...the time won't be wasted!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I am so proud of myself! For over six years, I have been putting off having a colonoscopy! The reason being is that I took my Dad for a colonoscopy and he died two days later from bleeding. Dr. Curtner knew my fear and he used to tell me on each visit that he had my colonoscopy scheduled the next day...seriously, he said he understood my concerns and wouldn't pressure me to have it done. He was pretty surprised when I saw him two weeks ago and asked him to schedule it for me. Dr. Sneed (my oncologist) wasn't so understanding about me not having it done. I promised him that I would have it done before my return visit to him...I am a woman of my word. Since I have to be off the coumadin for my injection, I wanted to get this done while I was off the coumadin. Since we can't find the cause of my cancer markers being elevated, I wanted to be able to cross off one more possible cause off the list! I will get the results next Monday. It was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be...the worst part was drinking all that yucky stuff and spending the day in the bathroom instead of least I got caught up on alot of my reading! I want to get all this stuff done before I return to work, so that I will be able to work and not be off for a long time. I get my next injection on Thursday and pray that this one will work!! I am soooo ready!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I saw Dr. Slater again yesterday. He said that the way the disc was pinching the nerve, that I will need another injection, probably two more. I asked if we could go ahead and schedule them both now since they have to be at least two weeks apart and I have to be off the coumadin. I hope this will cut the time down and I will be able to return to work sooner. I would lose a week or two if I had to wait and see him again before the third injection. I can always cancel the third one if the second one does the trick, which I am praying it will.

Another thing is that Dr. Sneed (my oncologist) said that I need to have a colonoscopy done. Everyone that knows me knows that I have been putting this off because of my Dad...he passed away from bleeding after his colonoscopy. Dr. Curtner understood my concerns and he was pretty surprised when I asked him to schedule it. I want to get everything done while I am off work and be able to go back to work and not be off again for a very long time! It is scheduled for Monday while I am off my coumadin for the injection...that is if the GI nurse ever calls me back with my instructions. I got a call from the surgery center confirming that it was Monday, but nothing from the GI doc...hopefully they will call me today.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Had my first lumbar epidural steroid injection today. I went to OrthoArkansas and was very pleased with the care I received. The anthesiologist came out and talked to me a long time before I had it. She said that most of the time it does take more than one injection. Also, they give you laughing gas like at the dentist office instead of IV sedation...I really liked that! She said shse gives the injection while doing an x-ray so that she knows exactly where the problem is.

She said that it takes between three to ten days to start to feel results. I go back to Dr. Slater on the 17th.....hopefully pain free and will be able to go back to work!

Friday, May 29, 2009


I had my appointment today with Dr. Slater..he took another x-ray and it showed that I do have arthritis in my hip. After reviewing the MRI of my back, he thinks that is what is causing my pain. Next Thursday, I will receive my first lumbar epidural steroid injection. He said that I may need a series of three injections. He said this will also tell if all the pain is coming from my back. I will continue going to PT three times a week. Hope the injections will do the trick!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I finally have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor tomorrow morning...hopefully, I will find out the problem and praying that it will be treatable without surgery! I am so ready to get this resolved and get back to work.

My sweet sister, Kimberly, has kept me supplied in beautiful new stamps sets, paper and thankful that I have the use of my hands. When I was going through my arm therapy and treatment, I couldn't even write! That was hard! You are thankful for the little things in life, for sure!

It looks like we may be rain free for a couple of days. It is amazing how much a little sunshine can brighten your spirit!

Again, thanks to everyone for the calls, prayers and cards. As always, I get by with a little help from my friends!

Friday, May 22, 2009


I had another appointment with Dr. Curtner on Tuesday. He did x-ray of my hip, at the suggestion of my physical therapist. He said that the x-ray showed arthritic changes in my hip! I will now be referred to an orthopedic doctor....thought that I would be able to find an orthopedic doctor here in Hot Springs, but after calling, found that it would be over a month before I could get an appointment. Dr. Curtner is going to get me an appointment with Dr. Webber in North Little Rock. He will hopefully rule out that I DON'T have avascular necrosis in my hip. From my research, this is not something I want to face right now....especially if it means see, I don't like surgery LOL! If I do have this condition, I hope that we are finding out early enough to be able to treat it with medications and physical therapy. That is my latest prayer request!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Today would have been my Mom and Dad's 63rd wedding anniversary! They were very happy together. They had many funny stories to tell of their early days....think that is how Mom got her nickname of "Lucy"! On their honeymoon, they drove with friends to California...they said money was tight, so they had to eat moon pies all the way there! June 6th is our 39th wedding anniversary. I always wondered why they didn't get upset when we were getting married only three months after we the day. Finds out, they only knew each three months also!

I miss them terribly! I talked to them every morning until the day they died. Even after six years, I find myself wanting to pick up the phone and call them! What is really strange about that is that we live in their house now LOL! We had many good times together. Growing up, we always knew that we were loved. I will miss them always. I am so thankful that I have many memories to cherish!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I had my second Physical Therapy treatment this morning. After my first one, I hurt so bad that I didn't sleep at all that night...hopefully this one will not be so bad. I know that the muscles have to be stretched. Yesterday, every time I got up from sitting, I was almost in tears. Today, they showed me how to get up from the sitting position. The therapist thinks that alot of my problem may be in my hip. She said if I don't see improvement in two weeks, I will need an x-ray of my hip...said I could have arthritis in my hip! I am just ready to get over this and get back to work. It is no fun being off work and not being able to do what you want to do. I am not complaining too much though, because when I was off with my arm, I couldn't even write or use my right hand and arm at all. I thank God that I can use my arms! I am thankful that I am able to use this time to get ahead on my prayer list cards.....perhaps, I will even start on my Christmas cards!

I appreciate so much all the cards, prayers and well wishes! It means alot to me!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I've still been having this horrible leg pain. I had a MRI on Thursday. It showed that I have a bulging disc and spinal canal stenosis! I am so very grateful that it wasn't bone cancer...I was really beginning to wonder since the PET scan had revealed a bone lesion and I had this horrible pain. I will start physical therapy three times a week on Tuesday. If that doesn't work, then I will have to see a neurosurgeon...which I am really not wanting to do. I am putting my faith in that the physical therapy will work.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. So many wonderful memories of my Mom and of Jennifer. I treasure all the memories of happy times past. I can't help being sad and missing them so very much. My Grandmother died in 1966, but until the day my Mom died, she couldn't go down the Mother's Day card aisle without crying. You will never get over the loss of your Mother or the loss of a child.

I want to wish all of you a Happy Mother's Day....if you still have your Mother, give her an extra big hug, if you get to be with her...if you can't be with her this year, pick up the phone and call and tell her how much she means to you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Last night I went out with friends to celebrate Anita's 60th birthday! I am so glad that I went. Honestly, this leg thing kept me from really wanting to go anywhere....I had been in my Mu Mu for two days! Sometimes being with friends is the best least for your spirit. There were five of us who went...Sherry, Anita, Lisa E., Jo and me. They even drove to Hot Springs after working so that I wouldn't have to drive to Little Rock. We all knew each other from working at Arkansas Children's Hospital. It is ironic that Sherry, Lisa, Anita and I are all breast cancer survivors. Jo was one of Jennifer's favorite nurses ever...she could always make her smile!

Over the last ten years, we have encouraged each other and been there to support each other through all our trials and scares. As I always say, "I get by with a little help from my friends!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009


My leg had been really hurting for a few weeks...thought` maybe it was just arthritis. It got so bad that every time I rolled over in bed, I would wake up hurting and couldn't go back to sleep. Driving to Little Rock, most times I would have to stop and walk around a little bit. Well, I went to the doctor yesterday and found out it was the old sciatica nerve flaring up again from the herniated disc. I got a cortisone shot and muscle relaxers and cannot believe how much better it is already...thought I was going to have to go to pysical therapy. The bad part is that I have to be off work for three days....I truly hate being off work for things like this! But three days now will be much better than a longer period later! In the back of my mind, I kept thinking that maybe the bone lesion that showed on the PET scan was causing it. I just tried to replace all that fear with my faith, knowing that once again God is in control. At church we are doing the Soul Revolution Experiment...every sixty minutes for sixty days, you set a reminder and praise God, pray for something or someone, listen to Him, or just talk to Him! This is an amazing experiment which I am very proud to be a part of......I admit that the past couple of days that my prayer request was pretty selfish in praying for the recovery of my leg.... but I did praise Him for other things and prayed for others too! Doing this every hour reminder has really helped me focus on Him and His great love. I always thought that I thought about Him all day long....but this really makes me feel so much closer to Him....knowing that He really is with us all day long to hear us and answer us!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Jennifer always loved butterflies! I received a beautiful card from my "sister friend", Lisa. It was in remembrance of the anniversary of Jennifer's passing. In the card, Lisa included a beautiful unknown.

A butterfly lights beside us
like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment
It's glory and beauty belong to our world
And though we wish it could have stayed,
We feel so lucky to have seen it.

How beautiful is that? Thank you so very much, Lisa! Jennifer was truly a butterfly in my life!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I can hardly believe that it has been six years today since we lost my Dad, and it will be three years on Tuesday since we lost Jennifer!

It seems like when you have such losses, that the world would just stop..but it keeps on going. You get up each day and have to move forward. There are times that you would just love to stay in bed, cover your head and not get up. Somehow, you get up and go on. You know that your loved ones are happy and healthy now and they are with their Heavenly Father, but that doesn't erase the emptiness and sadness you feel. There are many times that I find myself wanting to pick up the phone and call my Mom and Dad, just like I did when they were here. When I go to the grocery store, somehow it just doesn't seem right not buying ten packs of cheese and ten bottles of ketchup for Jennifer...I am sure there has been a huge drop in sales over the last three years for Kroger cheese and Hunt's ketchup. People would sometimes ask me if I was having a big cookout when they saw my grocery basket...I would just say no, just getting it for my daughter! It's the little things in life that you miss so much! I miss her smile, her compassion for others, hearing about her dreams...I miss everything about her! As we start planning to plant the garden, I miss all the conversations we had with Mom and Dad about what we wanted to grow and how Mom and I were going to can it together!

I am very thankful that I have so many wonderful memories of them. It is just hard to look at those dates on the calendar and wonder how time goes on without them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The blood test I had to check for bone cancer came back normal. I am so thankful for this great news!

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and prayers. I will go for another check up in six months. The cancer markers are still up, but there is no sign of cancer! Dr, Sneed says there can be many reasons for the markers to be elevated..said maybe I sneezed wrong LOL! I asked him if he thought they could be elevated due to my lymphedema...he said that was a good question, but he didn't know the answer....I will just keep on with my faith being stronger than my fear, and know that God is in control once again!

Monday, April 6, 2009


I went to the oncologist today to get the results of my PET signs the breast cancer had spread!! There were two spots that showed on my thyroid which I have already had biopsied and am on medication for and the other spot was a bone lesion on my back. The place of the lesion does not hurt, so Dr. Sneed said he didn't think we had to worry. I told him that my leg hurts at night and that sometimes it feels like my hip goes out of joint or catches, but again, he said that was not where the lesion is. He did a blood test to check for bone cancer just to be sure, but won't have those results for about six days. He said he couldn't explain why the cancer markers had been steady for so long and now are elevated. He said that sometimes you just don't find out why they are high..Dr. Curtner also told me this the last time I saw him, and my friend, Missy, told me the same thing. I asked him if he thought my lymphedema could cause the markers to be elevated, and he said that was a good question, but he didn't know the answer. Now waiting for more test results....but I will replace my fear with my faith and keep praying and thanking God for being the awesome God that He is! Last week while I was lying there on the table for the thirty minutes it took to do the PET scan, I just prayed and told Him that if I did have cancer, to please take it away when the beams passed over my body! LOL ! That kept my mind off the time spent lying there!

Again, thanks to everyone for the good thoughts and I have said many times before...I get by with a little help from my friends!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I am so glad that I got ETA for today. We met Kimberly for breakfast, then went to church. What a perfect day to be able to be off and go to church. Josh sang Imagine! Of course, it brought tears to my eyes. Since yesterday was Jennifer's birthday, that song had been in my heart all week. When we were leaving the cemetery after church, the first song on the radio was Believe...both of these songs were part of Jennifer's Memorial Service. I feel blessed every single time that I hear Josh sing....but especially today!

Missy gave me this gorgeous turtle in honor of Jennifer's birthday. Jennifer loved turtles ever since she was a little girl and would make her Dad stop every time we saw one in the road. Thank you, Missy! We will treasure it always!

Friday, March 27, 2009


This is the gorgeous canvas picture that Kimberly made and gave us in honor of Jennifer's birthday.
It is absolutely awesome! Kimberly is the best sister anyone could ever dream of having...she is always there for me and always surprising me with her creative generosity!


Tomorrow would have been Jennifer's 31st birthday! I can't find the words to say how very much I miss her! People say that with time, it will get better....but it hasn't for me. Maybe that is because I don't want it to get better....I don't know. All I know, is that she gave me the best 28 years of my life....and I miss her! I miss her smile, her laugh, her wisdom, her compassion for others, her dreams, even picking up her cheese wrappers! She truly was the light of my life! Happy Birthday, Jennifer Suzanne!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Today after church, Kimberly and I put the March "Jennifer Project" bags together and they are now ready for delivery. I wish that my camera wasn't broken so that I could post a picture. They are just adorable. We put the Myrtle the Turtle story in each bag. Each bag has a bottle of bubbles, a birthday horn, a kit to make paper chains (remember those?), finger puppets, a set of paper dolls and darling outfits, play dough to make Myrtle a birthday cake and the bags have an adorable turtle on them adorned with colorful ribbon. They are very festive looking and hopefully will bring a smile to these special patients at ACH!

Our friend, the Crafty Pig, made the paper doll sets, paper chain kits, finger puppets and all the wonderful turtles! She is truly awesome and her amazing generosity and talent never cease to amaze me! She did so many wonderful things for Jennifer...always sending her surprises that thrilled her! I am so very grateful and honored how she is helping us keep Jennifer's memory alive. I will forever be grateful.

Kimberly was the master mind behind this birthday month project. She is always there for me..thinking and doing things to help celebrate Jennifer's life. Since we can't celebrate this birthday with Jennifer.....we can certainly celebrate her birth by honoring her for the life she lived.

I continue to thank Lisa and everyone else who continues to help with this project. Words cannot express my gratitude enough. It's hard to believe that we started this project a year ago and it just keeps getting better and is really true.....I get by with a little help from my friends.

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Jennifer's birthday is March 28th. She loved turtles. My brilliant and creative sister, Kimberly,
came up with a wonderful idea to celebrate her birthday. The Crafty Pig, our dear friend, made some adorable turtles. We are going to put a birthday hat on them and put them on the Jennifer Project Bags for March to celebrate Jennifer's birthday. Pig also made paper doll sets for the bags. I wrote a little story about Myrtle the Turtle for the girl bags and Tommy the Turtle for the boy bags. We will include a cut out birthday cake along with decorations for the cake, supplies to make a birthday card, the paper doll sets, and some puzzles or games for the birthday party. The bags can't have Jennifer's name on them and the kids can't know where the bags came from, so we thought this would be a great way to have a little birthday party for Jennifer! I can just imagine her with Mom and Dad in Heaven laughing at us, and saying, what are they going to think of next? Who knows what we will be able to think of with the help of all our wonderful and creative friends?

Sunday, February 8, 2009


This July, it will be ten years since I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Stage IIIB!! I was given a 30% chance of survival! My Heavenly Father knew better...He is the One that is in control. I am so very, very blessed.

Kimberly and Jennifer walked by my side in the Race for the Cure after my diagnosis. I remember the last race Jennifer walked with me, she had to stop and rest a few times. We finished the race....I think that we were in the last five people to finish...but we did finish!

Since Jennifer's death, I have not walked in the Race for the Cure....I just felt that it would be too emotional not having her by my side. Maybe I was also using this for an excuse not to do it.

The last few days I have been thinking about how grateful I am that I will soon be a ten year survivor. Jennifer walked many times with me when I know that she didn't feel like doing it. I know that she did it to support me......that is the kind of daughter she was!

This October, I want to walk in the Race for the Cure again! I know that Jennifer won't be there with me physically, but I know that I will feel her with me as I walk.

I am going to start today preparing to walk. I would love it if any of my friends and family would join me in celebrating 10 years of being cancer free!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Weather Week

We have had ice again this week. I was fortunate enough that Pam worked for me and I didn't have to slide to work. Thank you, Pam! I haven't been out since going to church and to Kimberly's on Sunday, but still no cabin fever! My sweet sister, Kimberly, had most of the "Jennifer Project" bags filled for me. She is such an angel. I got them all decorated for Valentine's Day, finished filling them and have them packed and ready for delivery. I have to go to the doctor for my annual cancer checkup on Friday, so I will take them to the hospital then.

I am almost finished with the final book of the Twilight series. I would never have thought that I would have gotten so intrigued with vampires and werewolves! How can someone think of a story line like this and keep us all wanting to read more....she is brilliant, for sure. She has captured the attention of the young and old alike. A friend at work left on a cruise this past weekend but made sure that she had the fourth book to take with her!

Kimberly lost her beloved cat, Sebbie, this week. She rescued him from a mean old lady that didn't want him anymore and was going to have him put to sleep. That was EIGHTEEN years ago. I am so sorry for her, I know how she will miss him. Our pets are such a part of our lives, and when we lose them, it is devastating. She did everything she could for him to keep him comfortable and happy.

I had made a promise to myself that I would try my best not to miss any of our new Bible study on Hebrews by Max Lucado. Well, it started on Monday night, and I had to miss the very first one due to the weather. I will do the lesson and go after work on Monday night.

I had hoped to get alot more accomplished while I was home this week. At least I got the "Jennifer Project" bags ready for delivery. I made several cards for the prayer list this week and finished a birthday present. I still have today, tomorrow, and half a day Friday. Hopefully, I will finish my book, get my Bible study done, the dogs a bath, laundry done etc. etc. etc. Just don't know where all the time goes, but I do know that it is precious and there is never enough of it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Time is Flying!

I can't believe this month is almost half way gone already...where does the time go? I have been missing Jennifer, my Mom and Dad so much these past weeks. Maybe it is because I have had the "crud" for so long. Kimberly has had it too...think I gave it to her for Christmas! We have said many times these past couple of weeks, how horrible it must have been for Jennifer to feel this way everyday!!! Bless her heart!! At least we know now that she isn't spending her days coughing and not being able to breathe! She is now free from all that misery and is happy and healthy!

I am excited that we will soon be starting another Bible study! I always feel so much better when I am concentrating on a study...keeps me in the Bible and I always learn so much!

We are beginning to plan to make more Jennifer Project bags for the kids at the hospital. We will do a Valentine theme this month...that will be fun and keep my mind busy. I love it when I go into the patient's room to do their treatment and they have one of our bags out making something. I think it is even more fun that the bags are anonomyous and they don't know who put them together for them. It is just good to know they are enjoying them and the bags are helping to pass the time while they are in the hospital. These children are so special...their courage and humor so inspire me. I feel so very grateful to be able to be working with them. I love talking to their parents as well as to them. They each have a unique quality that certainly tugs on my heart strings. I can remember once that Jennifer told me that had she not have had CF, she would have never met Dr. Warren and all the other peIople that were in her life because of CF! I cherish the memories that I have with Jennifer and her fight against CF...her strength, endurance and compassion for others. I can hardly wait until the day comes that CF stands for CURE FOUND! I have seen alot of changes over the last thirty years, and I truly believe this day will come!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I can hardly believe that 2009 is already here...where did 2008 go? It seems that it just went so fast. My wise Daddy always told me that the older you get, the faster the time I must be getting really old!

What resolutions do I want to make this year?

1. Be more of a Christ and study my Bible more.
2. Of course, eat less and move more!!!
3. Get organized and stay organized.
4. Spend less and save more.
5. Continue the Jennifer Project.
6. Spend more time with family and friends.
7. Serve others

That should be a good start. Now, if I can just check this post the first day of each month and check my progress, maybe I can do it!

I want to wish all a Healthy and Happy New Year!!

Now, I am off to start cooking my blackeyed peas and cabbage! People tease me about doing this every year..some don't think that I have such good luck...but I would be afraid to see what would happen if I didn't have my blackeyed peas and cabbage. My Mother would have never not had a New Year's Day dinner without's to you, Mom! Even Jennifer, who did not like cabbage in any form, would always eat one leaf of cabbage on New Year's Day!