But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Monday, May 14, 2012

LIFE IS GOOD...there IS life after cancer!

My life is good!  Yes, there IS life after cancer!  If you or anyone you know ever gets diagnosed (and I hope NOT), always remember that!  I want my life to be a testimony to others that there IS "life after cancer"!

Last year at this time I was doing chemo.  Wow, what a difference a year makes!  I'm still doing really well and will have my six month check up with my oncologist next week.  I always look forward to those appointments, rather than dreading them.....because it makes me feel like I'm DOING something to keep myself healthy!  There's always that chance of reoccurence and I want to give myself the best chance possible in that case...by catching it early!  And of course if I walk away from that doctor appointment with nothing but GOOD NEWS and NED (no evidence of disease) then that will make my day!!!!

I feel pretty good most of the time, but I am beginning to want to sleep all day.  What is up with that?  Physically I feel fine.  But, I have very little energy when I'm just around the house.  I just want to lie around all day.  I do better if I keep busy and am out and about!  I'm thinking it could be the arimidex I am on to fight the cancer reoccuring, as one of the side affects of it is "weakness and fatigue".  Another common side affect is "weight gain"!  Ugh..and yes, I've gained a bit back. which makes me sad.  But, I'm still able to wear my 14's and 16's, so it's not bad yet.  I will be real sad if I go back to a 20!  For now I'll blame that "little pill", but hope it doesn't keep adding on the pounds. But, if I can't blame the "little pill", then I have to blame myself....lol!


This weekend will be our RELAY FOR LIFE and am so proud of our team, LIVING OUT LOUD....Rhonda, Sheila, Kim, Sarah, Erin, Jenna, Jennifer, Linda, and of course me.  We have raised over $1600 at this point and are still going strong with our flockings but are about to end them soon.  We still want to hit $2000!  Most of our funds have been made with these little pink birds....isn't that awesome?
We will be set up all day at the Jennings County Relay for Life on Saturday, so come see us!  We will have 10 flavors of popcorn to sell!  You need to try them....pickle, banana split, cotton candy.... come see us!  There will be all kinds of activities all day long and it will be a good time for all!  And, for such a great cause!  All of the funds raised go to the American Cancer Society!  I'm excited to go this year as a TEAM!  We attended this Relay last year and had a great time and were so warmly welcomed!  I was bald at the time and now I go back with a full head of hair! 

I live in Jackson County and some of you from Jackson County and reading this may be wondering why I have a team in Jennings County.  No particular reason....other than they asked me to!  They were very supportive of me and my sister last year and we were their guest speakers at their January kick-off breakfast, so when they asked us to have a team this year, it just seemed like the thing to do!  We also plan to participate in the Jackson County Relay, but not as a team this year.  We are contemplating switching the county we set up at each year.  The way I look at it....the money all goes to the same place and for the same cause....TO FIGHT CANCER!!!!!!  I'm just so excited to be able to "give back"! 

One way I can "give back" is through my Thirty-One business.  So, if you would like to help me out in my efforts to collect money for fighting cancer, visit my website www.mythirtyone.com/bags4you and I will give my 25% commission to the American Cancer Society.  Just click on "Place an Order" at the top and find the "Relay For Life" link to place your order.  Let me know if you have any questions, ok? 

Please continue to pray for my friend, Andee, as she continues to fight her ovarian cancer. 

Let's see....what else has been going on in my life since the last time I updated my blog?  Oh yeah, we had another Red Hatter event!  We had such fun and I have started a new blog for our group, so you can visit there for all of the details and pictures of our outings.  We have such a good time everytime we go!

We went for lunch at Zaharakos in Columbus, Indiana.  What a neat place! 

And then we went to Not Just Popcorn in Edinburgh, Indiana!  They have over 300 flavors of popcorn....can you imagine?  We got to sample some of it and of course, we just had to buy some!

For the "rest of the story" (as Andy Rooney would say) and to keep up with our adventures, be sure to visit our new blog at 
http://sisterhoodofthetravellinghatters.blogspot.com/  Bookmark it or even sign up for email updates!  We are having the time of our lives and seeing things close to home that we've never seen!  It's amazing what is "right out your back door"!

As sad as it made me, I had to bail out on the Dirty Girl Mud Run.  But, I had some friends who went and shared pictures and I know I missed a great time! 

But, I needed to stay home because my brother was coming over to put a new liner in our pool!  We've been trying to get that done for a month and it rained every Saturday......so, when he called me Friday night to say it looked like a good day to do it, I knew I needed to stay home on Saturday so we could get that done.  Hopefully, I'll get to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run NEXT YEAR with my friends!

We knew last year our pool was on it's "last leg" and were just hoping to get last summer out of it...we did.  But, before we even got it properly closed up for the year, most all of the water leaked out of it, so we just let it go all winter and this is what we had waiting on us this Spring.....
Ewwwwww.....I can hear you saying that...lol!  Go ahead....EWWWWWWW!
First we had to get that ewwwy water out of there so we could remove the old, brittle liner.  This is where brothers come in handy (love you Ran!)...LOL! 
Once that was done, we (they....why do I say we?  lol...all I really did was take the pictures!) were able to put in the NEW liner!!!!  Now, none of us (family wise) had ever done this before, but my brother was smart enough to bring along a friend of his who HAD done it at least once before.  LOL...smart brother!  We were all willing to try this, especially when we found out the pool shop would charge $650 to do it....ouch!

It was a "family affair"....The family was willing to help....because they get to go swimming in it every year...lol!

Sheila pitched in by holding the clothes pins needed to hold the new liner up temporarily!

And now all we needed to do was fill it up (it took all night) and then cut the holes for the return and skimmer..... 

Great job guys and just as soon as that water warms up....

....we'll have a wet and crazy fun summer!!!!!!

Can I talk about ta-tas for just a second?
After all, that IS what this blog is about, right?  LOL!  I just thought I'd update you all on "them".  I went a few weeks ago to get my tattoos (areolas).  I call them my "oreos" because I have a hard time pronouncing areolas.  lol!  Anyway, after getting the tattoos, they are looking more "real" and I am more satisfied with them.  There are still some things I'm not pleased with...in particular, feeling a little lop-sided.  I mentioned this to the nurse who was tattooing me and works with my plastic surgeon....also named Cindy...and she said she thinks my left one settled too much under my arm...and that is why it makes the other one higher and larger looking.  I asked if there is any way to "fix" that and she said YES.  Yay!!!  She said he (the doctor) could make a sling out of Alloderm.  Of course I just HAD to ask what it was and she said, "oh, it is cadaver skin".  To which I said, "Ewwww, you mean skin from a dead human body?".  Sometimes you might be better off to let them use their "fancy terminology and not ask what it actually is...lol.  She said "yes, you already have some in you".  LOL...Uh, ok, if I already have some, why not have some more!  :=)

So, since I have another check up with the plastic surgeon, I will be discussing this with him.  It would be another surgery, but I'd make it "right" now than have to "revisit" it later.

Other than that and a few other revisions, I think I'm feeling better about "them"!  :=)  Gotta feel good about your ta-tas, right?....even if they are fake!


I thought of my mom a lot on this Mother's Day.  We lost her on Feb. 10, 2010.  It's hard to beleive she has been gone 2 years already and even harder to see how much has happened and changed since she left us.  This is me and my mom a year or two before she passed away.  My youngest daughter is in the back, so it's "3 generations"!  I thought of mom all day today and so wished I still had her here with me and I could talk to her.  Losing your parents is so hard.  They are such a huge part of your life....they knew you even before your kids did!  I found myself thinking back at the time I lived at home with my parents and they were raising us.  I have such good memories growing up and I have them to thank for that.  So, thank you Mom for being the mom that you were...for sacrificing so much for us and for always loving us.  I miss you greatly and know you could make some things all better.

Mom's Peonys.....remember me showing you Mom's peonys in another post?  Well, they bloomed...aren't they beautiful?  And they smell heavenly!  Thank you Mom...I love you!

I had a great Mother's Day.  Unfortunately, my younger daughter, Erin, had to work today, but she came by to see me last night and brought me a pot of beautiful Gerber Daisies!  My grandchildren, Abby and Luke, also stopped by Friday and brought me some beautiful roses! 
And my grandchildren, Abby and Luke, brought me these beautiful roses.  They came with kisses and hugs too!  :=)

Then today, Jennifer called and wanted to take me out to dinner (along with her hubby, Joe, and Abby and Luke).  I was able to get Jen to pose for a picture with me after lunch.  Wish Erin could have been in it with us.  My hair was a little "flippy" today....lol...I think it's getting time to cut it.  The chemo curls are getting out of control. 

My grandkids....
Oh, how I love my grandkids!  I don't talk enough about them or brag enough about them....so, allow me to brag just a little right now. 

Our oldest, Jenna, is 13....will be 14 in July.  Wow, it's still hard to believe I have a grandchild turning into a young woman already!
My sweet, beautiful Jenna....  Jenna was our first-born grandchild....she made me a grandma!  I remember the joy of having a baby in the family again.  She and her mommy lived with us when she was first born and I remember being "scared"...lol.  Hey, it had been many years since I had to care for a baby and even though Erin did the bulk of caring for her, I knew just by the nature of living with us, I needed a refresher course.  It's amazing, though, how fast you learn it all again!  I babysat Jenna while her mommy worked, so we spent many days together when she was growing up.  Now as a teenager, I don't see her as much.
She just finished up her first year as a cheerleader (7th grade)....

....and is now in track as a Discus Thrower and is doing quite well!

And this past week she sang a solo in her school choir concert.  Jenna always loved to sing on stage since a very young age...and quite good, I might add.  I remember her getting up on stage at a talent show at a festival and singing at the age of 5.  So, it comes as no surprise to me that we now find her singing on the stage as a soloist in her school choir.  She just always seemed to love to perform....I would be petrified singing in front of a crowd.  Of course I can't carry a tune....lol! 

Jenna....our teenager.  We are so proud of our Jenna!


Abby.....our little dancer....

Abby, our piano player....

Abby, our little rocker....

Abby loves to sing in her school choir too!

Abby, our sweet little Abby!  She is our second born grandchild...she is now 9 years old!  Her dream for her future is to be a veterinarian.  I can believe she will be just that one day, as she loves all animals!!!!  She brings so much joy into our lives with her gusto for life and her sweet inner spirit.  She is not "9 going on 16" and I love that about her!  Her parents have done a good job to let her be "a little girl".  The teens will come soon enough!

And then there is Luke....our last grandchild...possibly our very last grandchild (we can hope for an "accident", can't we?)...and our only boy!  Now, let me explain something.  I had two girls....then my two girls each had a girl...and then along comes Luke!  Our "family joke" was that we had no idea what to do with a boy.  lol!  But, we all fell in love with him and quickly learned what to do with him!

Luke, our "little boy" of the family.....bugs and all...lol!

Luke, our little fisherman.....

Luke, our little baseball player....

....and our basketball player

And, Luke, our little drumer.  Luke has taught us that there is a definate difference in "boys and girls" (besides the obvious...LOL).  He has endeared himself into our hearts.  He is a "thinker" and loves learning.  He is also very energetic and a typical boy who likes to rowdy.  He has a sweet, tender side and just makes you smile by being "Luke".

Abby and Luke are siblings...brother and sister...and I love to see them interact with each other.  I think they will always be close.

As you see, I have so much to be thankful for....so much to live for!
My grandchildren give me so many reasons to beat cancer!  I reflect on the people I have in my life....my family, my friends...and realize how truly blessed I am!  I thank God for each one of them.  He has chosen the people in my life and I realize how He is blessing me with each one...my red hatter friends, my fellow cancer survivors and fighters, my family, new friends, old friends....they all make up my reasons for living!  And, they all help me fight against the depression I sometimes have to deal with.  As I focus on these blessings God has placed in my life, I believe my depression will lessen as time goes on...it already has.

I need to start making it a point to post at least once a week so that I don't talk your ear off once I DO blog!  My daughter says I go for weeks with nothing new on my blog and then....BAM...lol!   If you hung through all of this, thanks!  If I'm the only one who reads it, it's still worth it because it's just so "therapeutic" for me!  :=)

Until next time.....put your faith in God.  He will bless us in all parts of our lives....sometimes we just need to recognize His blessings and give thanks for them.  Until next time...make it a point to LIVE OUT LOUD and don't take any day or person for granted!

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