Thursday, September 16, 2021

Your heart skips and you hold your breath…

Your heart skips and you hold your breath…


When a commercial comes on for a product that helps detect colon cancer and it’s filled with people who have white hair and are male…

When there’s an ad reminding you to get a colonoscopy if you’re over the age of 55…

When the news headlines include a famous person died from same type and stage of colon cancer you had after being in remission for a few years…

When you look in the mirror and you don’t recognize the person you see…

When you feel lost in the space between finishing treatment but not normal and you know the previous normal will never be your normal again…

When your child tells you he’s afraid every time you say you are tired, or don’t feel well, or your body hurts…

When you see your upcoming routine CT scan on the calendar… 

When you dream about screaming at a friend who disappeared during your treatment asking them where they were…

When you miss the nurses who cared for you bi-weekly for 8 months…

When you identified as a cancer fighter but are now a survivor and you feel more alone than you did before…

When you rub your port scar because it itches…

When you see the tattoos on your abdomen from the radiation…

When you decide not to wear a shirt because your scar is so thick you can see the bump through it…

When you find the blue cow bell you rang on your last day of treatment…

When you hold your tongue instead of responding “you have no idea what tired actually is” when someone says they are…

When you see someone complain online about something and you think “But did you have cancer?”

When you wake up and realize it wasn’t just a bad dream.









Monday, August 30, 2021

No More Blood Thinners!

Today I took my very last pill of my very last cancer related prescription. I have been on blood thinners since the week before my last chemotherapy. 6 month of Eliquis. 

Getting a large DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in my femoral vein and having some of the clot break off and travel to my lungs was a scary and unexpected part of this journey. Chemo patients are at a higher risk for them and because I had been feeling so awful I was in bed for several days....that combo was the perfect storm. 

I am thankful that I went in, they were very aggressive in treating it and I am thankful to be done. No more twice a day alarms, bleeding profusely from a small cut or waking up to bloody noses. 

My coworkers brought over balloons and silly string and party hats...which was a pretty fun way to take my last pill. My family had tacos for dinner and watched a Disney+ show of my choosing because we celebrate it all. 





Sunday, August 29, 2021

Skipping Ahead....New Season of Life

Writing so much about cancer takes its toll on me.  I do have an Instagram account where more details are shared- @krystlekickscoloncancer



I am here trying to figure out life with new normals like messed up sleep, neuropathy, unpleasant radiation side effects and possible early menopause that we hope self corrects. In the meantime we have moved from my home of over 20 years and are now in a new city. We are missing my family and some of our friends very much- but we are LOVING this new place we get to call home.

Our summer has been spent getting to know our area and exploring as much as possible before the kids head back to school. Here are some pictures of our adventures!

A quick trip to Salt n Straw and Powells Bookstore

Catch and release in our friends pond HA!

After our first Corvallis Knights game!

There is a great skate park here

Farmers Market!

The twins did a baseball day-camp with the Knights

Being only an hour from the ocean is amazing



My favorite indoor waterpark. SPLASH.

Finding jellies all over 

Corvallis Skateboard School

U-Pick Blueberries!!

Making our house a home

Our first Knights game happened to be the strike out cancer game so we had to wear our shirts! We got a lot of compliments on them and several cool perks!

Jack attended tennis camp- which he loved!

Playing on the courts at OSU since school hasn't started yet and they were empty!

Newport.


I have a teenager!!! Jack turns 13.




I cannot believe I have a teenager. I know I know.... it's said so much you shrug it off, but it goes by lightning fast. And while the newborn days were so hard I wish I could go back and do it all again with each of them. I love this kid so much. He is so funny, he is kind, he is inquisitive and desires to learn. He loves to help and at 13 he still calls me Mommy and wants a million hugs a day and I kid you not, he says I love you before he leaves the room every single time. Even if he's just going to take a shower.



It was incredibly hard on him to watch me go through cancer. He is the only one of our boys that doesn't like to talk about it or wear the shirts anymore or remember any of it, and that's okay. It is super raw. He is such a great kid. I am so thankful that friends from our previous town came up for his birthday and he had both sets of grandparents there and our close friends from here as well. My Mom made another incredible cake based off a drawing Jack gave her. It's the Mosasaurus coming out of the water from Jurassic Park, the new one. I think... 

Jack. You are the coolest 13 year old I know and I love who you are becoming. 














Saturday, August 28, 2021

0 out of 5 Stars… Would Not Recommend




My last day of radiation 2020


One year ago today I completed my radiation. Why radiation? Well… despite them removing the large polyp on the very end of my colon, because of the anatomy of that area unless they remove your rectum completely there is no way to know if they removed all of the cancer.

In my situation the surgeon removed it. Went and removed the section of my colon higher up where the other polyp was and then actually went back and removed more. The notes say “removed in piece meal fashion”. 
See....I even got a certificate 


Basically he removed as much as he possibly could while leaving me without a colostomy. Any more and I’d be baggin it for life. While he was a big jerk face, I’m incredible grateful he was an amazing surgeon. Both my hematology oncologist and radiation oncologist were impressed and said they didn’t know if another surgeon could have done it. So my internal anatomy isn’t quite the same but I don’t need a bag- hallelujah.


Back to radiation. So even though my surgeon did a great job, like I said they can’t guarantee. The standard for all rectal cancer is radiation to the pelvis. And for some lucky people like me they get to take oral chemo at the same time to get more bang for the buck (and I’m talking hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands in terms of bucks). 

The techs took pics and videos for my boys so they knew what was happening



They guessed I’d need between 5-7 weeks of radiation. Thankfully I “only” needed 5. That’s Monday-Friday for 5 weeks. 25 rounds of radiation. I’m not going to go into the immediate side effects of pelvic radiation nor the long term or even the delayed side effects that occur with this type of radiation. You can if you want- but in case you don’t… it’s not pretty. Let’s just say you get lidocaine cream and radiation cream (for burns) and tubs of aquaphor and emu oil for skin burns and a sitz bath and pain meds to name a few goody bag items. 

All of this is cumulative so the last week and the few weeks after I finished were awful. 
BUT the highlights of radiation were that one of my longtime friends is a nurse there and I got to see her weekly. She was a lifesaver throughout this whole ordeal. Her MOM was one of my nurses. My radiation oncologist was incredible. The techs were SO kind and I got to choose whatever music I wanted everyday and be covered in warm blankets. Seeing the same people every day for 5 weeks during COVID means they become your BFFs even if they didn’t know it. I’m hoping to go back for a hello soon. 

Anyway. Cheers to one year removed from finishing radiation. I have side effects that may never go away and require some OTC meds but it fried that cancer right up. 



My squad

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Remembering even when it hurts…

Do you know that feeling when you stub your toe? Or when you step off the curb awkwardly and your whole body jolts? Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes I’m okay and I’m cooking and cleaning and working and doing school and Mommin’ and Wifin’ and it hits out of nowhere. A jolt. A reality check. It might be that I trip because of my numb feet or I can’t flip the pages because of my fingers or maybe it’s just an overwhelming sense of grief that hits like a dark cloud. And then I go through all of my videos and stories and pictures and I re-live it all. Somehow doing this makes me feel alive. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not. I just want to remember. Remember why I’m struggling with sleep. Why I have no energy. Why after preaching one service I need a few days of recovery. I need to remember why my skin is jacked up and my body is weird. I have to remember why I’m on blood thinners and anti-depressants and occasional anxiety meds and a high dose of Vitamin D and meds for a suspected chemo induced early menopause (sorry dudes- it is what it is) If I forget it all- then it feels like it didn’t happen but it did and I need to know that so I can give myself grace. 
I will share my story publicly and walk you through where I’ve been - hoping it may help you. I will smile and muster up energy to be what I need to be. But I am still very raw and it is very draining. 
So I step back. I don’t check my cancer IG. I don’t engage in convos where I’m needed regarding cancer. I rest more and read more and snuggle with my pets more.  



My pretty cat who sometimes snuggles me 

Respite at the ocean


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Round 12 Part 1

What a surreal feeling to be at round 12. Remembering when I didn’t think I could make it through 1 round let alone 12.

I was so ready to be done. I was buzzing with energy from adrenaline and that morning happened to be when I was able to get my second COVID vaccine as well!

When I got to the oncology infusion department I was greeted with lots of smiles and woohoo’s and even some pictures of cocktails placed on my bags of medicine. 
I passed out the amazing goodie bags for all the nurses that my Mom put together and then it was time to get that poison flowing!

Even though that was the last day I had infusion, because I had to wear a chemo pump and then come back in two days I did not consider that my last day. I decided to wait until I was completely disconnected from the medicine. 

Only two more days. 






Thursday, August 12, 2021

Just a TEENY bit overdue for an update…

Well. Bad news is I fell off the blogging wagon. Even worse bad news is that I didn’t update after my 11th round of chemo and I hope I didn’t alarm anyone after I never posted again which brings me to my GOOD news.

I’m here and alive and good!

I’m bringing my updates and musings back to the blog because this is where I can be most honest and real and people that want to follow along actually have to be intentional about it. It’s a safe space for me and the place my first book was born out of and someday down the road I’m sure another one will be as well.

So if you’re new here - yay! I’ve been mostly blogging since around 2009 when I lost a baby.

I lost my original domain so pics are missing and some links are broken but the majority of it is here. I also documented my whole twin pregnant and first year. 

There’s a lot of older material to keep you entertained  for now. 

If you’ve been around for a long time. Welcome back you and me. Let’s get this party starting again. 



Saturday, February 20, 2021

Round 11

Same girl but not the same girl. Before cancer diagnosis/ nearing the end of treatment. Cancer has changed me. But something that hasn’t changed.... no matter how angry I got with God, no matter how many questions I had and how deep my doubt ran... God never left me. I felt like it for awhile. But it wasn’t true. Feelings don’t always tell the truth. Another thing that hasn’t changed.... I will spend the rest of my days here on earth sharing about the goodness of God even in the hardest moments of life, that God loves you infinitely more than you can ever know and that you don’t have to get “your act together” first. You are loved just as you are. And there is no better life than a life loving and being loved by God.


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1L1F76UYR_baB4yl2r4UJqh6gcmrIYHhr

Peace out Radiation Oncology. After a great appointment today with no concerning things goin on down there! I am now on a “see as needed” schedule with *this* DR.


Bonus: seeing Kristin who literally got me through some of the hardest days early on. 



Thank you bags of poison for saving my life. 

And as much as I’m grateful for you- after one more date, I’m breaking up with you.


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Round 10

For those of you who don’t know.... 10 rounds is a lot of chemo. 


Two more left.

I approach it with both anticipation and anxiety. Trying to learn to take it day by day. 
Recurrence is a real thing. Scanxiety is a real thing. Learning to live as a survivor is another hurdle to climb.... not make any easier by my Enneagram 6 personality.

Things I’m doing to prepare myself:

Setting up counseling again 
Getting a tattoo to mark this journey
Writing
Light exercise 
Lectio Divina and Quiet Time
Reaching out to others survivors 
Not googling worst case scenarios 
Planning a celebration dinner with my family
Going to Disneyland as soon as it’s available 
Giving myself time and space to recover and not pushing myself 
Continue taking meds for anxiety



Friday, February 5, 2021

What does being faithful in the little things mean? What about the big things?

I am married to one of the most encouraging people I have ever met. Tonight after being disconnected from my chemo (hallelujah) I got emotional (nothing new around here...I already was emotional but cancer takes it up a notch) 


I’d been diving into learning about World Cancer Day, connecting with new survivors online that weren’t freaking me out but encouraging me, looking for local Colon Cancer Awareness 5k fundraisers etc. Starting to prepare for “life after treatment” which if you can believe it is even more scary to me than being in treatment ....as an Enneagram 6. 

Trevor said something about how the idea that if you’re faithful in the little things, God will trust us with the bigger things. We usually take that to mean, good big dreams we have or being patient for that breakthrough and trusting the process. 

But for me... it’s looked different. 

I had a miscarriage and it shook my core. But before long I was messaging with other women who’d walked through the same thing but had never spoken out. I began blogging about my experience and unintentionally became a safe haven for women to vent, ask hard questions  and feel they were normal. Going through that miscarriage was awful but choosing to engage and be brave with my story helped others. My friend wrote an incredible book regarding grief and loss of babies and I’ve loved sharing that resource with so many. 

I love teenage girls. I’ve loved mentoring them since I graduated high school. Whether one on one or in small groups. Providing a safe space to be themselves and explore who they are in Christ and have someone on their team who just wants to be there. I knew pregnant teen Moms were getting left out of these experiences so I dove in. I contacted our local homeless teen mom and baby house and began as a volunteer driver and eventually developed a mentoring program for the home. I’d meet a precious girl and her son here and we’d walk through a year of mentoring - highs and lows- victories and set backs and ultimately I got to watch her fight every odd against her to become an incredible Mom of two married to an incredibly supportive man. I spent several nights speaking at events, advocating for these young women, sharing their stories of hope and asking others to jump in and surround these families with love and care. Many would go on to volunteer in different capacities at this home. 

Trades of Hope completely opened my eyes to a new way of being on mission. Partnering with brilliant talented artisans and leveraging their gifts through my connections instead of just donating or giving handouts made me realize there was a better way to go about supporting  women specifically around the world. By using the method of selling their fair trade items to my friends and family I was supporting women and families all over the globe while also helping to support mine. I loved this idea so much I went to Haiti with Trades of Hope where I saw first hand how this type of system was impacting the lives of so many and this was just a few areas in one country. Trades of Hope is partnered globally. Ethically doing business and leveraging communities to be self sustaining, educated and most importantly helping children stay with their families. 
I came back from that trip and shared on multiple news stations, radio stations and hosted party after party at my home telling the stories, selling their goods and recruiting others to do the same. It’s not that they don’t have a voice, I was just helping to amplify them. Several signed up to work with Trades of Hope. While I’m no longer actively selling, I am still promoting their mission and good friends with the amazing founders of this groundbreaking business model. 

Going to Haiti is a major part of why we began looking into adoption. Here’s another way I can make a difference I thought. We can adopt a true orphan. Only God had other plans and instead of adopting we entered into the world of foster care (5 years ago this month). 

Our eyes were opened to the brokenness of the system and the reality that there were not enough homes for these kids. How could that be? Churches alone could provide that coverage but the church as a whole didn’t seem to be engaged and that bothered me. So I took my voice and began hosting get togethers at my home. Finding and printing resources, calling my DHS friends to come share. We started meeting at coffee shops and then I was asked to speak last minute at our denomination’s mission convention which then led to two years of breakout sessions at the convention where I shared about how the church needs to be filling this gap and all the ways someone can be involved. I preached a sermon at a sister church, and their church dove right in alongside their Pastor who was already deeply involved in foster care with his wife and continues to be a huge advocate for foster families and connecting the faith community to DHS.

Because of this, we saw many other families step into foster care in some capacity. Some became foster parents, some babysat or brought meals to families or created boxes for kids while they waited for a foster family to come get them.  

And then I got a wild hair and wrote a book. I wrote a book of encouragement for foster families based on my own experiences and the ways God brought me encouragement. I wrote it as a “me too” book instead of a “how to book”.
 I wrote and self published it and had a launch party and have received so much humbling and encouraging feedback from other foster parents who have found hope in my words. I get emailed almost every month that books are still selling on Amazon.


Every time God has placed something in my life, and I will say, all of the above things are hard hard things.... there has been a way for me to help others. I’ve been an advocate and a sounding board. I’ve shared my stories with the kind of vulnerability that makes me want to delete it all after posting only to get a private message about how much someone needed to read what I wrote.This is where I bring in one of my favs, Breñe Brown. Some of my favorite quotes that have helped empower me to share my stories for purpose.
Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.


Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.


Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.

And so now I find myself here. Diagnosed with cancer at 36. Incredibly angry about it and not wanting to talk to a single person about it. Angry at God and done sharing any stories. I was in that space for a good long time. But there is something in me that cannot keep quiet (I used to get in trouble at school for this, but look at me now!) I began writing and sharing about the most traumatic experiences of my life. I didn’t sugarcoat a thing and I began to get messages of those who saw my story, went to the doctor after neglecting it and they caught polyps before they turned cancerous. My story shared may have saved others from walking this cancer journey and that right there was enough for me. To keep sharing, keep telling my stories as hard as they are. 
The saying “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” is a made up pharse. It’s fluff someone created that isn’t helpful. But something that is helpful is knowing that God does not abandon you in these things. I for sure thought I had been this time but I was wrong. God used people to showMe that. I also don’t believe God makes us go through things to prove a point or to make an example of us or purposefully put us through pain for any reason or any other thing like that. But I do believe, if I allow God to, some good can come from hard bad things. We live in a broken world and hard bad things happen but we don’t have to go that road alone. I will tell you that the only reason I’ve been able to walk though these seasons and turn them around to bring hope or light to them is because of the saving grace of Jesus. There is no other way. I could not do it. My entire hope is in Jesus. The hope of the world is the only hope I know to cling to. 
So yeah.... faithful in the little things and in the big things sometimes doesn’t look like what we expect. But for me, I will take my cancer journey and find ways to advocate, encourage, inspire, bring hope and maybe even write another book someday. 
And maybe you have a story to share that will be exactly what someone needs to hear. Maybe someone is waiting for you to use your voice. 

Resources mentioned:

Grace Like Scarlett- Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss by Adriel Booker 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0801075815/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_t1_P1QA7VM0SKPQSY6FFKKC

Edge of Wild: Encouragement for Foster Parents by Krystle Bowen 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981273190/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_t1_86A7MSKMGD42RST2B19X


Breñe Brown Website

https://brenebrown.com/

Trades of Hope 

https://tradesofhope.com/
PS:Round 10/12 is done! https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1TMslAGP8BVQK7ofNNYZg2MxCofHeZnaf


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Call to Ministry - 3rd Year

In our denomination, there is an interview each year to renew your diatrict license. This happens every year until you’ve been ordained. The purpose is to check in with you, see how you are coming along in your ministry life, personal life and education life as well. It’s also a time of encouragement and guidance. I am so thankful that our denomination takes this process seriously and helps to affirm and make sure new pastors are as equipped as possible for life in ministry. 


This past week was my 3rd year interview. I had hoped this year would be a year where I was able to take a lot of classes but.... then cancer happened. This process is taking longer than I hoped haha, but I do believe there is something to be said for not rushing through and I am learning a lot outside of the school setting as well. 

The interview was great. The affirmation of my call to ministry and their belief in me as a leader truly is humbling and encouraging. 

I left the interview in tears. Happy tears. Thankful tears.  At the beginning they prayed for me. They prayed healing over my body and they prayed for my family. At the end they had feedback for me (and here’s the part that really made the waterworks roll after I left the room) They told me to take time to heal. They encouraged me not to rush into schooling or other things when my treatment ended. They acknowledged the trauma my family has been through and encouraged my whole family to just heal and take my time. 
I can’t tell you how encouraging that was. To have a team of amazing pastors encouraging you in your call to ministry but also really caring about your health, both physically and mentally meant so much.

No church is perfect. You won’t find one. But I am so grateful to be a part of New Life and the Nazarene denomination, especially on this Oregon district. 


Round 9

Whew. We made it. It honestly felt like it had been a month since my last infusion. These last treatments are D R A G G I N G. 


My platelets were *just* high enough to have treatment today. I’m hoping they hold steady for the last three so there aren’t anymore delays... but if it happens it happens.

I had a moment of “how is this my life?” today while I was hooked up. It is still surreal. 

I am hearing a lot about life after treatment and how hard it is, or can be. I’ve already begun to have anxiety around it. I mean right now I’m getting labs every other week and chemo. So I know someone is monitoring everything. After I’m done I will get a colonoscopy and then I will wait six months before my first scan. Which will bring “scaniety” with it. It’s just a lot to think about. I’m planning on resuming therapy and hopefully getting my husband and boys into some counseling to help process the trauma our family has been through. Usually there are groups our boys could participate in, but with COVID there’s nothing happening right now which is a real bummer

On another note- I’m planning celebrations galore. I already bought a blue feather boa to wear to my last day of infusion. I’ve already told people I want a giant sign and balloons and a cake and whatever else we can do. We are going to celebrate every milestone no matter how small. That’s just how we do it!


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Never The Same

I remember coming home after my diagnosis and falling apart. I remember telling Trevor very specifically that I could not and would not be able to endure radiation and oral chemotherapy and then 6 months of chemotherapy infusions. I literally could not do it. I would not be able to endure it. I’d watched my Mom and others and there was no way I could do what they did. 100% no way. 


I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe. For days and days. On one hand I was afraid of dying and leaving my boys motherless before they were even teenagers and on the other hand I was afraid of living through what the next months were going to hold. I felt utterly hopeless. 

The weeks between my diagnosis and meeting with my oncologist were brutal. Filled with unwise Google searches, crippling anxiety, massive trauma from my surgery, waking up every single morning with an indescribable panic attack, unable to leave my bed, feeling utterly abandoned by God and ultimately alone because of Covid quarantine. Every day I woke up it was the worst day of my life. I didn’t want to wake up because it hurt too much, being awake was too painful. To say those were the worst days of my life would not be an understatement.

Meeting with my oncologist was scary but once there was a plan in place it felt like I could breathe. Plans are important and critical to being able to move forward, having a treatment plan gave me something to grasp. The saying about not needing to know where you’re going but who is with you is great and all, until you actually really do need a plan and you do need to know where you’re going. So yadda yadda to that. 

The thing is, it’s not like I had the option of opting out- I had to do this whether or not I thought I could. I did not choose this, I’m just doing what I have to do to live. I’m no superhero, strong person. You’d be doing the same thing if it were you. 

I was sure I couldn’t do it and yet here I am with 4 more brutal rounds to go and I am feeling weary. I am beginning to talk with my doctor about life after these treatments and it’s daunting. It’s overwhelming and scary and the emotional toll that this has taken and will continue to take is something most people can’t grasp. Heck, I couldn’t until I was faced with it. I am looking at the calendar beginning to plan my life for “after” but realizing I will never be the same. After is not the same as before. Covid itself has changed that for everyone- but I’ve literally been walking through two crisis at the same exact time starting literally weeks apart from one another and my life is forever altered and I am not the same person I was before cancer. In many ways I don’t recognize myself in pictures. Sure my hair is drastically different, but there’s more there. I wonder if some parts of me will return or if all of me has changed. I wonder about my future and my calling and my purpose and whether or not any of that has changed. 

I’m assuming at some point I will look back and feel something other than what I’m feeling now. I will be able to  see the ways God worked and how things happened that couldn’t have otherwise happened. I will count many things as gifts and find gratitude whereas right now I just write them down as a habit, someday they will feel real.
Maybe it’s a bit like foster care. I couldn’t see any good for a long time and it felt like it was not worth what our family went through (although we dearly loved our girl, it’s the system I’m referring to). Even now I’m not sure 100% of the time how I feel, those wounds are still tender, but I can say *she*[ was worth it and that whatever we did for her and however we loved her made a difference. Maybe with some distance I can say the same for cancer but right now I’m weary of the journey. My bones literally ache (thank you Neulasta) and so does my soul. 

This season will end and a new one will come but cancer will always be a part of my life and reconciling that isn’t easy for anyone I don’t think, let alone a 37 year old Mom of three young kids.

I did not feel in a fighting mood until I chopped off my hair and had the side of my head shaved. That moment gave me the fire I needed to face what lie ahead. Funny how something so seemingly simple can make an impact. Maybe I need another change to get me through this next part, some more fire to keep the flame burning.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Round 8

Yesterday my numbers looked great and so hallelujah chemo was a go for today!


My Doctor said these last rounds will be the hardest and it will be a slow drag or “slog” as he called it, to the finish line. I figured this was the case but hearing it from him really validated how I felt after round 7 and knowing what’s to come. 

I really like my Hematlogy Oncologist and I loved my Radiation Oncologist. I feel extremely blessed to be in their care. Which is a good thing since I will see them regularly for the next 5 years HA!

After I get this pumped removed and a liter of hydration on Thursday I can say 4 MORE TO GO!
The hope is for March 2nd to be my last chemo but that will depend on my blood counts (mostly my platelets as I’m now getting the bone marrow shot that produces extra WBC‘a every time). 

As I lie here in bed I am thinking about the man to my left today who was finishing his last treatment. He rang the infamous bell. It was the first time I heard it and I got chills. Soon I get to do that. I am also thinking about the lady on my right. It was just her second treatment today and she has little kids. I’m pretty sure she’s my age or younger which would be the first sighting of a younger person since I started. I wanted to go sit next to her and just talk. I’m also thinking about what’s next. How is God going to use me after this is done, who will I get to be an encouragement to or an advocate for? After Covid, who will I come sit with at infusions and offer to drive to an appt and sit with them and just listen? 

In every season of difficulty the situation that I walked through was awful brought about some sort of good. I don’t believe God causes these things to happen, we just live in a broken world and things happen. But I do believe if we allow ourselves to find a way to use these things we walk through to be an opportunity to bring hope, peace and the love of Jesus to others- God will be faithful in it.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=13m1YqqibB5bGncootKhgSNrZebPEBzzkhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_FJtAChfMoIV6ac9Ru47cRK-7ve5HF-5 

Preparing for 2021

I’m not trying to be the bad guy, but 2021 isn’t going to magically change our current situation. 


We can say we are done with 2020, but we need to prepare our hearts and minds to continue on steadfastly in the journey we are all on. If we aren’t careful our last ends will fray away, weary as we are. In 2021 we will still be in a global pandemic, we will still be wrestling with systemic racism and the complacency of our country within that reality. In 2021 Christian nationalism will continue to infiltrate the church, and the gaps between socioeconomic groups will widen and I will still be fighting cancer.

 So, the question is, what am I going to do to prepare my heart, my soul, and my body to continue to align myself with Jesus? What rhythms will I put in place to be able to walk in the tension on this earth? The hope I have and the reality of what is - is often uncomfortable, but I believe growth can happen there. What habits can I form that will continue to form me to God’s likeness?

 I don’t set goals, and if 2020 taught me anything it was that it’s definitely okay to not set goals because who really knows what will come our way. But I do desire rhythms, consistency and habit forming rituals that bring my whole self to surrender to a way that is higher than my own. And so, with a new Bible, a new journal and a daily scripture plan I feel...not prepared, but eager to step into a new year where I will again learn how to rely solely on God for all things. 

What about you? https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_H-Q_dZo1ycMiUZ80pN_cRJr9b2xQSlP