Thursday, July 29, 2010


It is hard to believe that I began my journey fighting cancer eleven years ago today! It just doesn't seem possible that it has been that long. So much has happened to change my life in these years. There has been much sadness with the loss of both of my parents and the loss of my precious daughter, Jennifer....don't think anything you go through in life can compare to the loss of a child...I don't think that as parents, it was meant to be that we bury our children. I do have faith and trust in God, and I know that He is the one with the plan for each of us and He knows the reason for everything...we will find out one day, but for now, I am very grateful for the promise that I will see my loved ones again....couldn't ask for more than that!

During the ten years after my diagnosis with breast cancer, I think I have become a stronger person and have learned to appreciate the little things in life that are so important...loving others and trying to do for others and to be a closer follower of Christ. One of the greatest joys I found through having cancer, is finding my new church home at Fellowship North. Had I not had cancer and my friend Joanna had not done my radiation and invited Jennifer and I to come to Fellowship North, I probably would not have this source of love, joy, encouragement, friendship, fellowship and spritual growth in my life. The first day that Jennifer and I walked in the door at FN, we knew that this is where we were meant to truly feels like home and family...sure can't leave there without feeling better and wanting to be a better person and to follow Christ more the services on Sunday, love the Bible Studies, love the new friends I have made, love reconnecting with old friends like Joanna and Patti...introducing many of my friends to FN and seeing them make FN their new church home! It has been wonderful and I am so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful place!

The first ten years after my diagnosis went by so quickly...I had Stae IIIB Inflammatory Breast Cancer with a 30% chance of survival. I had six months of chemo, surgery, more chemo followed by radiation. I knew in my heart that God, our Heavenly Father and "The Great Physician", knew that I needed to be here to take care of and support Jennifer with her life-long battle with Cystic Fibrosis....she was now a young adult, which I was very proud of, but she still needed her Mother...will always, always be grateful for being able to take care of her and be there for her. I will always miss her every second of everyday, but I know that she knows how much I love her and that we will be together again. She knows that I did everything I knew to do to keep her healthy and she is eternally healthy and happy!

The first ten years after my diagnosis did go by quickly...not saying without a couple of stumbling stones...did have a hysterectomy, a couple of port infections, severe lymphedema, a broken leg etc....but all in all, it was a time that I don't regret. I have made new friends, lost some friends, reconnected with alot of friends from high school (thanks to facebook), been reconnected with old friends like Patti, Joanna and Mica, have a new passion in my life with paper crafting which has led to many new friends and has certainly been my source of therapy! I have wonderful new relationships with my nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews...which has certainly helped narrow the huge hole in my heart from losing Jennifer. The advent of the Jennifer Project to provide crafts and such for the patients in the hospital has given me so much joy by assuring that I keep Jennifer's memory alive! I am so grateful for all the friends and YaYa's for their continued support with means the world to me. I know how much time Jennifer spent in the hospital and in isolation not being able to leave the room...I know this project would make her happy!

My Mother always told me that with each of life's struggles, you somehow come out of them a little bit stronger....and she is right. I am a much stronger person than I was eleven years ago. Last October, I had to have a new hip replacement....which I am extremely grateful has been wonderful to not have to worry about walking in pain all the time. Two months after the hip replacement, on December 21, 2009....I began this second battle with cancer. This was not expected by any means....but again, I know that God is in control and I totally trust Him...Having had the hip replacement just two months before is more proof that God works in His time on His plan...I can't imagine going through the chemo and such and still have to deal with the pain from my old hip...God is good! I just had my 12th round of chemo on Monday, still "Fighting Like a Girl"......seems like more and more people in my life...from my sister-in-law, Sue, who has just been diagnosed with cancer and beginning her fight to several friends from high school who are beginning or continuing to fight their own battles with cancer and other diseases...we have been brought together to help each other and be there for each is a good day when I can say that I did some small thing to help or encourage someone......and I am ever so grateful for the love, encouragement and inspiration I receive from them. My husband and sister, Kimberly, are there with me every step of the way....they are my rock and my pillow. Like I have said so many times "I get by with a little help from my friends", hubby, sister and the love and grace of God. I consider myself to be very fortunate! I only hope that I will be able to support, encourage and help others the way I have been one of my stamp sets says..."we are in this together"! Last week, we had to say goodbye to our dear friend, Anita, who lost her courageous battle with cancer...she was so strong, caring, trusting and had so much faith...we will miss her so much and will always be grateful for the lessons she taught us and for the blessing of her friendship in our amazing lady, for sure!

No, time flies and I don't know how these past eleven years went by so quickly...but I am looking forward to celebrating my next ten years as a survivor! Let's see .....that will be the year 2020!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I had my 12th round of chemo on Monday...thankful that this chemo cocktail is not dropping my blood count like the Taxotere did, thus not having to take the Neulasta shots...I am sure my insurance company is happy as well. Still achy, tired, not sleeping well and having the "out of body" feeling. Looks like another week being homebound while the chemo works...but that is okay..I know it is working! I will have to miss the wedding of the son of one of my dearest friends, Missy! I had so wanted to be there and share in this happy day with her. I know that she knows I would be there if I could....just too wobbly and tired the week of chemo to do much and I am sure that she wouldn't appreciate me knocking over something either! I will be anxious to meet with her later and hear all about it and see the pictures.....I am so happy for this precious family and know they will all be so blessed by the union of Todd and Ashley! I wish them only the very best in life always!

My little "geyser" is still leaking...getting a little better...have now finished the oral steroids...just praying that the swelling in my leg doesn't return..would much rather deal with leaking than the swelling and not being able to thankful that the swelling is gone. This is my first round of chemo taken with out being able to chat with sweet Anita...I miss her so! I know that she, Jennifer and other guardian angels are cheering me on from Heaven...I can almost hear their sweet voices! I am very grateful that Anita is no longer in pain and suffering...she fought a long courageous battle and now has her reward....being in a beautiful place with her Heavenly Father...she will live in our hearts forever!

Hubby got a good report from Dr. Conley, his cardiologist, yesterday. Blood pressure is now under control...about time! He still won't be able to have his shoulder surgery until he has had the stent for a year...which will be December 15th! He told Dr. Conley that he was hurting pretty bad and Dr. Conley said "You have hurt before"! LOL! Not really funny....he has been using my tens unit that I used for my back and it has helped him tremendously...he can now raise his arm above his shoulder...perhaps, he should have tried this when I first suggested it about two months can be so stubborn..just glad that it is helping!

My sister-in-law, Sue, finished her first chemo last week...she went to the doctor yesterday and is able to breathe from her nose for the first time in a year..Praise the Lord! I am so happy that she has been diagnosed and is now on her treatment plan...not an easy journey, for sure...but at least she now knows what she if fighting and already seeing results is amazing!

I want to continue to thank everyone for their continued love, support, encouragement and means so much to me..."I get by with a little help from my friends" and the love and grace of God....He is so good and He is good all the time!

Monday, July 26, 2010


I had a full weekend this past weekend...The Relay for Life Cancer Crop was this weekend at the Scrapbook Corner...Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I had never been to a crop like this before and it was really wonderful....great food, contests, prizes and fellowship with others....and all the money went to cancer research for all kinds of cancer. I am looking forward to the next one. I met alot of new people that share in this passion of paper well as got to spend alot of time with Lisa and Kimberly....Channel 4 did a great story on the event on the 10:00 news last night....Lisa and Kimberly are now TV stars! All the food and prizes were donated, so all the money went to benefit cancer....representatives from the Cancer Society were there with games, prizes and setting up the food etc....what wonderful people! Can't believe that I stayed up until midnight on Friday and Saturday night both....I am usually in bed way before then!

Friday night Lisa, Kimberly and I attended the visitation for Anita....I already miss her so much. I get up every morning thinking of her and wishing that I could talk to her....she will be greatly be missed by every life she touched with her humor, inspiration, encouragement, strength, faith and courage...she was an amazing person and certainly knew the art of friendship....I know that I was blessed by her friendship....she will live in my heart forever!

On Sunday, I met Mica for breakfast and then went to church...have not been able to go in four weeks because of chemo and this leg infection....I can already tell that this boost has made me feel better and that in spite of getting chemo again this morning, I will have a better week! It makes such a difference to me being able to start my week with church. After church, went back and finished the crop....I don't think anyone wanted it to was nice meeting new friends and laughing and sharing stories with them. What a great thing for the Scrapbook Corner to host such an awesome that place!

Chemo again today..ready to continue "Fighting Like a Girl", but sure will miss my team member, sweet Anita!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My dear sweet friend, Anita, lost her long battle with breast cancer yesterday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. after a long and courageous fight. Anita never gave up...her strength, courage, faith and trust in our Lord was amazing and unending! Her spirit, humor, compassion, enouragement for others and friendship never wavered. She was there cheering me on each and every time that I talked to her...always telling me that we were in this together and that God is good and that He is with us and that we will keep "Fighting Like a Girl" together! When we couldn't sleep from the steroids with chemo, we would chat on facebook. I never, ever once heard her complain about having cancer....she just kept on fighting!

I know that now she is with our Heavenly in no more pain and is happy and healthy. I could almost hear the angels sing as they greeted her...and I am sure that my precious Jennifer, was there to greet her funny friend too! We will love and miss her until we see her again...she will live in our hearts forever! The earth was blessed with her time here....she touched each life that she crossed...with love, compassion and humor! I love you, Anita!

Friday, July 16, 2010


We adore our great-nieces and great nephews! Since we lost our precious Jennifer four years ago, they have brought us so much joy and have helped shrink the huge whole left in our hearts! Last year and again this summer, we had the pleasure of their presence at "Camp Debbie"! They live in Illinois and got to come and stay for a visit....we have so much fun...they can fish, catch butterflies, go to the lake and their favorite thing...ride the go carts and bumper cars! They also share my passion for paper crafting and are very creative at their card that I can share this special time with them...what good memories. Breanna is only five now and she has enjoyed card making with me for over a year now. It amazes me how children this young can get so involved and be so can see their immagination and creativity just blossom! This makes me so happy...with all the technology of emails and texting (believe me, I will NEVER be able to text like them), I want them to still know about snail mail and how happy people are to still go to their mailbox and find a sweet card or letter! Jennifer always loved to go to the mailbox and find a card or letter to her!

My mail today brought tears to my eyes!!! Kenzie and Kylee had sent me adorable cards they had made for me. Inside each of their cards was money! Kylee said "We wanted to sell Kool-Aid on a very hot day. So we did and we made as sign that said Cure 4 Cancer..and me and Kenz decided it's your money now."! How sweet is that? Sure wish they lived closer so we could be with them more! Thank you, Kenzie and Kylee for making my sweet angels! I love you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Here I am again...asking for more prayers. My sister-in-law, Sue, has found that a mass she had in her nose is cancer! She is still undergoing testing to see if the cancer has spread, but no results as of yet. She was released from UAMS yeesterday, and will return on Monday for port placement to start chemo. She has other health issues as well. I know that this will be a long and difficult road for her....chemo and cancer treatment is not fun! I am just praying that God will give her the strength and mostly important the will and a positive attitude as she begins this journey. It is something that cannot be done for her, she will have to do it for herself. She has three grown sons and five precious grandchildren to live for! I think that since her husband passed away a couple of weeks before Jennifer did four years ago, she has lost alot of her will to live and go on with her life. I hope that she can realize how very blessed she is to have her sons and grandchildren and to know what a joy that they could be to each other. I have no grandchildren and lost my only child, but I know that Jennifer would not want me to be unhappy for the rest of my life. I try each day to do some small thing that I think she would love or like to see me do. The "Jennifer Project" is so dear to my heart...providing things for the CF hospital patients to do while they spend so much of their lives in the help pass their time...thanks to Kimberly and all my wonderful friends for not only help get this started, but to keep it going.....keeping Jennifer's memory alive! Sue is a very sweet and funny person...there is so much that she can give to these children, but the benefit she would get from them is unmeasurable! Children can give you so much joy just by their innocence and outlook on life...seeing life through a child's eye is amazing! Having our great-nieces and nephews in our lives these past four years has been better than any therapy, medicine or chemo! They bring so much joy to us! We look forward to each visit, and can hardly wait until the next "Camp Debbie"!

I will be there to love and give support to Sue in anyway I can....I just pray that she will be able to put on her fighting gloves with me and "Fight Like a Girl"!

I am still surrounding my dear friend, Anita, with love, hugs and prayer! I pray that God will give her peace and comfort during this time. I pray for strength for her precious children and family.

I pray for my friend, Marilyn, as she begins her battle against breast cancer!

I pray for baby Gage as he starts another phase of his surgeries!

I pray for Judy, as she undergoes her surgery and treatment at the Mayo Clinic!

And, Dear God, I know that You are in control...I have my faith and trust in You...You are good and You are good all the time...and I know that some of these requests will soon turn into Praises! AMEN!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010



Wasn't sure that I would be able to take chemo today, because of this infection in my leg. Dr. Sneed said that it may take awhile to get rid of the infection, so we can't wait for the chemo! I will be on Levaquin for another seven days. I still have the little geyser...foot is still purple..but redness and swelling is improving. They did blood cultures, but we won't have results for 24 and 48 hours. i will continue taking the steroids every three days for two more weeks, then will stop them. He said that they are good for the swelling and not good for the immune system. I just pray that when I stop them, the swelling doesn't come back..because it sure is nice to be able to walk better, even though I am still some dependent on the walker..especially when I am out. I don't want to take a chance of falling again! He thinks that the swelling was caused from taking the Taxotere and not this new chemo cocktail! I take chemo every two weeks now, instead of every three weeks..but I would take it every week, if that's what it takes to work. We did cancer marker test today....he reminded me that it was just a number, and that it is not that accurate, but I am curious to see if they have remained down since switching drugs..will know the results by Friday! I know that all of this is in God's hands...I have faith and trust in Him and His will for me.....I will just keep my pink gloves out and "Keep Fighting Like a Girl"!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


We sure have gotten attached to our little hummingbirds...they are so much fun to watch and we have at least five different ones...Kimberly thinks that is funny that we get so excited about them LOL! It doesn't take much to entertain us these days! Early this morning while sitting on the swing having our coffee, about five of them were putting on quite an air show for us...we could have reached out and touched them...they were dancing all around us! We have never seen them do this before..I think that they knew it was Sunday morning and they were dancing for Jesus!

I will have to miss church again today because of my leaking leg..probably shouldn't be out and about with this leaking problem. Our little birds probably knew this...that is why they gave us the extra little show this morning..telling me that I can still praise God from home....and I sure do! I will sing His praises for all that He has given us and continues to give us each day in all the miracles of nature that He provides for our "eye candy" and enjoyment! He is good and He is good all the time! I am also grateful that He has given us the technology that allows me to hear our services online! That helps my week start off a little better..not the same as being there...but I don't miss the message from our awesome pastors! Hoping everyone has a wonderful day and will take a moment or two to enjoy the miracles of nature!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I always feel that my body has a very strange way of handling infections...such as my "Popeye Arm" and now my little geyser! My leg is getting better, no fever, less redness and swelling...but I have a leak! It is clear liquid, but it is leaking. The first time that I noticed it, I had gotten up from the computer and it looked like I had spilled something in the floor...I then discovered it was my leg leaking! Even keeping a bandage on it, it still leaks. This all came from my cut shaving my legs! I am glad that I am getting rid of this fluid..but what a strange way to do it! None of my medical issues have really been the norm...many relatives have had breast cancer, but none of them Inflammatory Breast Cancer, like me! Maybe the word inflammatory in my kind of cancer, explains why I have had swelling issues alot! I don't know...this was supposed to have been my "good week" before chemo again on Monday! Just something to make sure that my pink gloves don't get dusty while I "Keep Fighting Like a Girl!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Well it seems like the little cut I got from shaving my now re-growing hair on my legs wanted to stay around and remind me that maybe I should use another method of hair removal while taking chemo. After going to have lab done in North Little Rock yesterday and a wonderful lunch with friends,my leg started feeling like it was on fire and hurting. I had stopped by to see Kimberly on my way home and she said that my arm was really hot..told her that I had been outside talking to Mica. Well, as usual, sissy was right...when I got home, the blister from the cut had burst (which relieved the pain some) but I later had a temp of 102! Luckily, I had Levaquin here for my next arm infection and started on fever now and it is getting better. Hoping it is better each day and I will be able to wear my yellow box flip flops to chemo on Monday! The yb flip flops is how I measure my swelling..couldn't wear them at all before, but with my new chemo cocktail conquering the swelling, I have been able to wear them. It is so easy to get an infection while taking chemo and I do try to be very careful! I always say that if I could just have a right-sided body transplant, I would be in pretty good shape LOL! This ole body looks like it has been through the war....which I guess it has...cancer..but I "Keep Fighting Like a Girl"! And...I get by with a little help from God,my friends, sister and hubby! I am blessed!


Last night on the TV show America's Got Talent, two very special sisters performed. They have CF and are so awesome. If you missed it, I urge you to go to You-tube and watch the video. They are a wonderful example of how you can still live with CF and are such an inspiration...Jennifer would have loved seeing them and we would have been cheering them on together! She was always so happy to see and hear of the accomplishments of others with CF! Jennifer lived her life as normally as she could and had many dreams that she followed! I miss her every second of everyday...but I can also still feel her with me everyday! Join me in cheering these precious sisters on the finale!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I had a very good 4th of July! I am pretty much home bound this week..having had chemo on Monday...hate not being able to go Little Rock to church and to Kimberly's to ya ya with the girls! My week just seems so much longer and doesn't go as well. Today, Kimberly came over and hubby grilled wonderful ribs...we had fresh corn on the cob, cheesy potatoes (these were Jennifer's favorite), baked beans, garden tomatoes and watermelon...yummy! I spilled my tea on poor Kimberly (darn neuropathy) and hubby dropped and spilled the lemon pie she brought..LOL! Oh well, guess we had to have something to laugh about! Kimberly and I got in some crafting time...she even took some very cute pictures of my furry daughters..and this is not an easy task with Jazzabelle...she runs and hides every time I get the camera out..My little Diva, Emma Grace, doesn't seem to mind...she wants to be the center of attention all the time!

I know that you have heard me say this before...but I have the best sister in the world! She is my friend, chemo buddy, encourager, inspiration, crafting enabler, rock and pillow. I wish that everyone could have a sister like Kimberly! I have said this many times before..I get by with a little help from my friends....and certainly Kimberly!

Hope that everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July! I am so proud to be an American and live in this wonderful country!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


My friend, Anita, is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet....and OMG, is she funny? You can't be around her and not laugh and feel good! She was at Lisa's surprise party last was so good seeing her! We are battling this cancer thing together and chat almost daily on facebook....she is very inspiring and encouraging to me...has great trust and faith in our Lord and we always tell each other that we know that God is in control and we will keep our gloves on and "Keep Fighting Like a Girl" together! We were talking on Sunday about how we are almost on the same two week chemo schedule now...mine on Monday and hers on Tuesday...during our insomnia after chemo, we sometimes chat during the night or early morning. Anita had to receive fluids on Tuesday and did not get to have her chemo...her MRI revealed more cancer and she was admitted to the hospital today because of severe nausea and pain. I am praying that they will get this under control and she will start to feel better soon. She is a very strong and determined lady...she has many people praying for her and loving her....I just feel so helpless right now...not knowing what to do for her..except pray for her and let her know how much she is loved!

Anita was always one of Jennifer's favorite nurses...always making her laugh and always making sure that when Jennifer was in the hospital, she always had her supply of Velveeta cheese! I will always be so grateful for the friendship they had!

When you say your prayers tonight, send up an extra one for my friend, Anita!