Sunday, July 29, 2012


 On July 13 we participated in Relay for Life here in Eden Prairie.  I was the honorary survivor which meant that I had the opportunity to share my story.  Most of you have seen/heard it but if you haven't, it is here on our youtube channel.  I know there have also been pictures posted but here are the few that I have. 
 Leo and I walked the survivor's lap.  He got to walk with me because he had chemo too and he is a survivor just like I am.

These are just a couple of the luminaries that we made.  If you have never been to a Relay for Life before, the luminary ceremony is a must attend event.  The lights go down and they light the luminaries.  You then walk and look at the luminaries in silence remembering and honoring those who have lost their fight or are still fighting.

I have struggled with the words for this post for a few weeks now.  I don't know that I can ever really get it right.  I need to share two important things and I know that I am going to fumble through them and it frustrates me.
1.  I did not want to be a part of Relay.  Not because I don't love Relay.  I love what they do and I was honored and humbled to be there but it was another step in admitting that I am and forever will be linked with the "c" word.  Sometimes I trick my brain into pretending that this is not real or denying that it is a part of who I am.  The other survivors at Relay donned their purple shirts with pride and smiles.  I couldn't bring myself to even put mine on.  (I wore my Team Chin shirt).  Cancer is not something I am proud of.  I don't know that it will ever be.  I look at people in the waiting rooms at the doctor's office and continually try to convince myself that I am not like them.  I. am. not. sick.  Maybe it is because I feel like I did something wrong in my life and I ended up with cancer and I am embarrassed.  I know that is crazy.  I know I did not choose this or do something to get it.   Maybe it is because I am mad at cancer.  I am mad that it gets into people's bodies and wreaks havoc.  I am mad that it flips worlds upside down.  I am mad that people have to endure what I am enduring. Maybe it is because I am terrified by cancer.  Maybe it is because I have no control over something I want to control with every fiber of my being. Maybe it is because cancer has humbled me beyond belief.  In a way, I feel blessed that God trusted me (and my family) enough to give us this to remind us to trust him.  I know that sounds weird but it is true.  God has blessed us through cancer and although I am mad at it (cancer, not God) and scared by it I am continually reminded that God uses all things to work together for my good.

2.  This is one I don't talk much about.  I can't.  I get too emotional.  I can't find the words.  If you listen to my speech from Relay, I glossed over them.  I touched on them. But I can never, ever, ever  seem to find the right way to tell people about them.  I can never find the right words to thank them.  My husband.  My family.  I can't say enough about the importance of them in my fight.  About the ways that they step up over and over and over again.  About the phone calls, emails, texts, tweets, hugs, skypes.  The way they have buffered me from people that I can't talk to.  Or don't feel like talking to.  Or don't have the energy to talk to.  I am sitting here in tears just thinking about the ways they have loved on me through this.  Listen to this song
They are the angels by my side.  No one will ever, ever, ever know or understand the blessing that they are to me no matter how hard I try to explain it.  I love them more than they know and I could not do this without each and every one of them. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pure Sweetness

 That is the only way to describe what has been going on around here for the last week.  Something tells me that these two three pictured and a certain Texan are going to get into some trouble together. . . Here is to pure sweetness and cherishing the little years!

Stats are In!

Stats from Monday's doctor appointment:
weight: 14 lb 7 oz (2-5 %ile)
height: 26 1/2 in (50 %ile)

Everything else looks good!  (Minus the excessive fussiness and being up all night following the shots)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

6 Months!

Our little miracle guy is 6 months old!!  I was walking with him yesterday morning thinking about how long and short six months have been.  I was praising and thanking God for the miracles that he has done in Leo's body.  I could not imagine six months ago that we would be here today with this happy, healthy, incredibly smiley, vocal guy.  We love him more and more each day!  I am working incredibly hard to savor each moment and not let one day get away.  Even the days that start at 5:30 am. . .

I do not have stats yet but I will on Monday!
6 month likes: 
The Cobbers!

 Eating big guy food: Cereal and sweet potatoes so far!

 Chilling on the steps like a big guy:
 Being a hunk!
 Rolling over
His nuk and taggie
Reaching for toys, faces, and whatever else is in reach
Putting everything in his mouth!
Napping during the day (most days!)
Sleeping through the night consistently
Waiting to eat once given gas drops
Sitting/Laying still
Keeping poop inside his diaper
Being alone for too long

This has been a BIG month for us!  Leo changes day by day and it is so fun to watch.  In the last month he has started: eating cereal, napping better and sleeping better at night, reaching for things with two hands, sucking on his hands and anything else he can get, rolling over, putting himself to sleep for naps, blowing raspberries with his lips, yelling, giggling, and smiling ALL the time!

Leo, we love you!  We are blessed to be your parents and learn all of the things you are teaching us!  I did read a pretty sweet card today though.  It said: "You think you're cute waking up at the butt crack of dawn and everything.  Remember, one day you will be a teenager and paybacks suck!"  Just kidding. . . kind of :-)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pity Party

I was starting my own little pity party tonight. . . It was almost in full swing. . . I was more than due for one. . . Then I got an email from a sweet lady asking me to pray for a little six year old boy named "A" who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. . . My pity party came to a screeching halt.
Who am I to sit and wallow in the events of the past months?!  I am 27.  I understand cancer.  I get the medical side of it and the risks and procedures that are going to happen to me. six. s-i-x. wow. This sweet young boy does not understand. I don't know what his road ahead will involve but I am asking you this my dear readers, would you partner with me in praying for this precious boy?

I felt called to look up the meaning of the name "A".  It means "warrior."  I am deeming him "Warrior A!"  I am asking you to pray Joshua 1:9 over this precious cancer warrior:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I know the power of prayer.  I feel it daily.  I SEE it daily.  The calm and peace in my heart is something I am not capable of on my own yet it is there day after day as I fight this yucky disease.  It is a peace that only comes from God.  It is a peace that is put there by people who are praying me through this journey. 
I am asking you to please pray precious "Warrior A" through his journey.  Please pray his parents through this journey as well.  This almost 6 month old mama cannot even begin to imagine the pain in "Warrior A's" mama's heart.  I do not know that I will ever know more about his condition or have an update but I am lifting up "Warrior A" to Jesus because in Matthew 19:14 Jesus said Let the little children come to me.