It's Only Temporary

Ever since I've come home I've walked through pink balloons with words of encouragement written on them.  Upstairs, downstairs...everywhere pink balloons and crepe paper streamers.  My dear daughter and her friend who is like my daughter wanted it to be a happy homecoming.  Also, every time I walk up or down my stairs I'm surrounded by cards and letters of encouragement.

Fight Club Supporters

Fight Club Supporters

As much as I hate to admit it, not every day feels likes pink balloons and streamers.  Yesterday was one of the bad days.  One of the difficult days.  Bleary eyed after a night of poor sleep and pain I finally caved in to take a nap on the couch.  The effects of a muscle relaxer making the edges of my brain less edgy, less determined to keep pushing through.

Words of wisdom from Erin.

Words of wisdom from Erin.

As I made my foggy way to the couch I got a glimpse of this balloon and now it is something I keep reminding myself.  Wise words written by my daughter who knew I would need this reminder.  Now I keep saying this over and over.  

The change in my life is forever....this is a positive change I believe because God knows I always need worked on.  No change is without pain, no growth is without pain....I know all of this is for good and will have HUGE kingdom impact.

BUT, this affliction is only temporary, and even in this affliction I'm blessed beyond belief.   I am cancer free.  I am surrounded by 24 hour care through this amazing community.  My eternal salvation is secure in Christ.

It's only temporary and life is to be lived again!  Super yay!

So, no matter your affliction I hope you get a pink balloon reminder that it's only temporary and that God fills you with grace enough for the day.

New Life

I knew in my mind that my lymph nodes were clear and felt such relief.  Relief that words just can't do justice for, BUT the other part of me was still waiting for the other shoe to drop...the news that there was some micro-invasion and I would need chemotherapy.  Still better than lymph nodes but not happy news.

Beautiful gift from a friend the day I heard the awesome news.

Beautiful gift from a friend the day I heard the awesome news.

WELL, my general contractor called me and told me there is NO MORE CANCER!  NONE. NOTHING LEFT!  Can you believe that!?  Our God is a MIGHTY MIGHTY GOD.  He answered prayers abundantly more than I even imagined He would.  The prayers of all of you mighty pink prayer warriors have been answered.  Spread the awesome news!  My cancer was very early and stayed contained so the whole story is a God story!

I go back to the Reconstruction Man next week and my need one more surgery as some skin may not survive.  It not we just cut it off and start over.  I'm ok with this.  No cancer is worth it.  I have no regrets about being this aggressive.  None.

The waterworks still come and go without warning.  Emotions all over the place.  My mind is not as clear most days as I would like.  After effects of anesthesia and poor sleep more nights than not.  Imagine sleeping on your back all night.  That part is hard.  We wedge me in with blankets and pillows so I can't roll over.  A literal pig in a blanket.  

I still have babysitters which I'm super thankful for.  I can't reach up in cabinets or shower by myself.  My friends and family and in laws have bathed me, shaved me and dressed me.  Put ointment on my wounds.  Kept the kitchen and house clean.  Being helpless makes you appreciate the community who loves me.

I still get pink reminders and encouragements.  Somewhere there's a football team wearing hot pink socks to be part of my fight club.  I don't even know any of these boys but they are out there being sweet on the field while girls in the stands hold up signs that say Sondie's Fight Club. That people want to pay it forward is amazing to me.  I pray blessings on every one of you and that some day your kindness will come right back to you when you need it most.

pink pumpkin with a pumpkin heirloom candle, smells like friendship!

pink pumpkin with a pumpkin heirloom candle, smells like friendship!

Listen to Lauren Daigle's I Will Trust in You. This has been my theme song since August.  May it speak to your soul.  Sorry but I can't get the link to work.  Just google her!

As your weekend plays itself out take time to enjoy the fall weather.  Take time to thank our Good Good Father above that even in times of afflictions He is ever present.  Take time to be His hands and feet to someone in need.

Take. Time. 


Green Goblins

Well, I have returned to the land of the living.  I have lost last week.  My last real memory was having a party in the holding area, lots of fun and games going to OR.   That's where the fun ended.

 After that I have glimpses of being in recovery room, then in a hospital room and people's voices and some blurry faces.  Cards and flowers.  Laughter and tears.  Sisters and friends.  My filter doesn't always work well so with the drugs on board I'm sure I said things that were worse than usual.  I got stuck on alliteration...mastectomy, Matthew, Moore Regional, Millicent...magically delicious.  

my land of nod friends.

my land of nod friends.

I spent from Thursday until today in never never land.  I only have very vague memories of giant sponges and saving kings and doing thyroid exams.  My poor family just about took me back to the hospital because they had no idea what to do with me and I couldn't help them.

No one slept at my house until last night.  We finally got the right combination of medications and I woke up this morning without a haze in my eye.  My poor twin got no sleep the whole time she was here.  I have no answers.  I never take medications so I guess they all just caught up with me.  Maybe it was Hurricane Matthew?  I missed all of him.

When I saw these cookies Erin made today I felt like I was meeting the friends from my land of nod for the past week.  How did she know?!

I believe I've turned a good corner now.  My sister in law is here now and people are delivering meals in spite of power outages.  Erin has been home from school so the cocoon I'm recovering in is a good one.  

Tomorrow I hope I am more clear headed than I am today.  I still have some fuzzy corners but that beats living with the green goblins of the last week.  Thanks for all you pink warriors standing by my side.  Praying in the gaps at times I haven't been able to pray.

Much much love to you all.

While we are here chatting...

Let's talk books!  Something other than cancer.  ha.   I have loved books and stories ever since I can remember.  I am an avid collector of written and spoken stories.

crafty sign by Laurie and Dale Inc.

crafty sign by Laurie and Dale Inc.

Here is what I read in September:

1.  Jane Eyre-classic fiction 

2.  The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment-christian nonfiction, finally finished this one that I started back in August.  Well worth the time!

3. The One-in-a-Million Boy-current fiction and a fabulous read.

4.  Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God-christian nonfiction, by my FAVORITE preacher man Tim Keller.

5.  Anecdotes of Destiny & Ehrengard- classic fiction/short stories, book club selection.

6.  Lab Girl- current nonficiton, enjoyed this one too!

That wraps up September reading!  Now on to October.  I'm always open to suggestions if y'all have any.

Happy Reading!  



The Wearing of the Pink

I have never been a big fan of pink until now.  

Now I am learning that pink is the color of warriors.  Suddenly, when I see pink or wear pink I feel stronger, braver and more joyful.  Pink is part of faith growing.

 It is a visual reminder of the great God I serve and how He sustains me.  Of the mighty warrior God He is.  That He is ever fighting for me.  

Erin plans to wear pink every day this month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Ahem, we are very aware. This battle has been brought to our front door and we are fighting.  Well, God in us and through us is fighting.  He trumps our weak efforts every time.

The waiting is coming to a close for this leg of the journey.   Surgery is this Wednesday, October 5th.  A good way to start the month of breast cancer awareness I'd say. 

The Demolition Man and Reconstruction Man are ready to go to work.  I am ready too.  

I am a warrior and I will wear pink. 

Stars in the Storm

We wanted to pray before we went our separate ways, but had already scooted out of the house headed to our cars. So we gathered in the driveway.

We stood in a tight circle, arms draped around waists.  The wind whirled all about us while the drum beat of thunder played a stormy song. The clouds made effervescent by the endless lightening that rolled across the sky. No rain yet.

In that tight circle, under that powerful sky, we prayed.  After the amen none of us moved. The presence of God hovered over us.  

One of us looked up and noticed that although the storm surrounded us, the sky above our heads was twinkling with stars.  An awesome reminder that even in the storm God doesn't remove the stars. We don't always see them but tonight we did.

We stood.  Awestruck.  Wonderstruck.  A very surreal moment.  A beautiful gift from God that each of us felt.

 Tonight we saw the stars in the storm.

Thank you Bible study girls (SAS) for standing in the storm.



Two Hands

Not much to say today.  Just counting down.  The waiting has been one of the most challenging parts of this journey from the get go.  

On the one hand...I AM READY.  Cancer be removed.

On the other hand....I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS.  Cancer just disappear.

On the one hand...I am counting down in my head and in my heart until October 5.

On the other hand....I am astounded by how many of you are counting down with me.  wow.

On the one hand....I still can't believe the support that surrounds me.

On the other hand....I continue to receive DAILY reminders of your love so I know it is real.  

Really, y'all.  Amazing support.  Books, cards, prayers, blankets, journals, PJ's, the S5 necklace, flowers, emails, texts, stones, more prayers, pictures.  I could cry rivers over all this.  I feel so unworthy of these blessings and I will never be able to thank you all.  By posting some of this I am trying to let you know how much it means.

Today was this card from my neighbor.  Can you see the little pink sparkles on it?  That's glitter.  How fun is that?

The pink glitter that showered out of this precious card was a visual reminder of the love y'all are showering on me.  Today was a day I needed to be reminded of pink glitter and a joy filled heart.

The countdown continues.


Doctor Day

Today was doctor day for the first time in a few weeks.  I met the Reconstruction Man.  

In case you are wondering I have a General Contractor Woman (oncologist), a Demolition Man (general surgeon) and now a Reconstruction Man (plastic surgeon).  It was good to finally meet him and get an idea of what to expect.  

The appointment started by talking with the nurse and doing a photo shoot.  Although it was a little more than weird to stand in front of the blue screen like when you get your picture taken for your driver's license BUT this time you aren't wearing your shirt...or your bra....yes, while having your picture taken.  ahem.

As I posed facing forward and then to each side I wondered if I should smile.  I almost made silly faces.  Then I thought about doing that "stay fierce" thing but I figured that would mess up the picture.  So I just stood as I was told to stand, and am pretty sure the look on my face was pensive.  

While I waited on the doctor to come in I played with all the sample implants.  I wondered which one I would choose.  Round, teardrop, floaty, firm, gel like. Who knew there were so many to choose from??

When the Demo Man came in I got the low down.  I learned where the incisions would be and how this whole thing would work.  Basically the Demolition Man will remove my stuffing and the Reconstruction Man will put in new stuffing.  I will start with less stuffing and gradually get my stuffing back to the size I want.  

My went back to when Erin was 3 years old on her first trip to Build-a- Bear with her cousins Biz and Khi.  They picked their bears and made promises while holding the hearts that would be put in their bears. They named them and stuffed them.   It was all undertaken with a beautiful blend of joy and responsibility for their new stuffed animals.  Now instead of being in the build- a- bear season we are in the build -a -boob season. 

 I remembered that childhood joy and I wondered if he could put some glitter in with my new stuffing. Maybe pink glitter? No one would see the glitter but I would feel like a walking party! Distracted by having a party on my chest I was suddenly jolted back to reality with talk of drains and scaffolding made of cadaver skin. Guess I won't be getting pink glitter.

Later, once the expanders are out and the implants are in, I should be done.  He did prepare me that I might need some spackling in the future.  I immediately offered up my thighs to provide the spackling compound.  

While this won't be glitter party, I will be just fine.  I feel very comfortable with team of people working on my body.  I also feel amazingly blessed for all the support surrounding me.  

This is all going to be ok.  I just know it.