May 31, 2010

2:00 am, I will embrace it

I'm done being upset by the 2am wake up calls.  Calls straight from God to get up and talk with him.  It's quiet in the house and I can truly focus on his word and what it says for me.  I don't fall asleep while reading, I embrace it.  There is no reason I should wake up after taking my cocktail of pills, but he is faithful in waking me up each and every night.  I could be mad about this, who doesn't love a full night's sleep?  But, I'm choosing to embrace these moments with him, he has taught me so much, I have highlighted so many verses in my bible and I'm looking forward more and more to studying Isaiah next year in BSF.

Yesterday I posted a verse on facebook but wanted to post it here too... I've had so many comments of "Your so strong" or "So positive", well, I have two choices, bitter and weak or strong and positive.  Proverbs 17:22 says A cheerful disposition is good for your heart, gloom and doom leave you bone tired. and Job 8:21 says God will let you laugh again, you'll raise the roof with shouts of joy it's good for me to be cheerful and it's God's desire that I be.  He is my guide to the end and I want to follow Him.  Not that I'm pefrect by any means, I sometimes get down and start feeling bad for myself, I feel very weak most of the time (but apparently don't let that come across) and am always stunned by comments of how "strong" I apparently am, but I have a choice and  I'm trying to choose a cheerful disposition. 

The prayer from today was also a great one that I wanted to share, great not only for a cancer patient (although from a book for cancer patients), but great for anyone experiencing trials: (From "Praying Through Cancer")
There is nothing ahead of me that can detour your will for my life.  You will fulfill your purpose for me.  How I praise you for your unfailing love.  You are my God forever and ever and you will be my guide even to the end.  I trust you implicitly.  May this furnace of testing show my true faith in you, and may I come forth as gold.
(References: Psalm 46:1, 138:8, 48:9, 48:14 and Job 23:10)

Is there a trial that you need to give to God as well and choose to be cheerful about?   Let's pray for each other, that we can continue to find joy in our circumstances and let God be our guide through the difficult times.

Chemo round two starts tomorrow, let's pray that this one goes as well as the first and that these drugs that they are putting in my body do thier job and kill any remaining cancer cells left in my body.  Prayers also that I would get movement back in my left arm with less pain would be very appreciated as well, I'm using a combination of meds to relieve the pain right now, but I hate taking meds for this stuff and would love to not have to take so many pills every day and night!

May 28, 2010

Accepting it!

After my post yesterday I have to say that I had a great day.  We laid low all day, left the blinds closed (I know, it was a beautiful day, but sometimes you have to forget that) and just hung out and rested.  It was just what I needed!  Unfortunately that rest may be what added up to my sleepless night once again.  Kind of frustrating as the previous two nights have been relatively good, but I will just be happy that I had two good nights. 

When I wake up at night I either turn to my bible or I turn to t.v.  God likes it a bit more when I do the prior.  Last night I turned to my bible and this is the verse that I got:
The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue, so I know how to encourage tired people.  He wakes me up in the morning, wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders.  The Master, God, opened my ears and I didn't go back to sleep, didn't pull the covers back over my head.  I followed orders.
Accpeting that He does this so that I spend more time with him isn't easy, but it's worth it!  It's always encouraging, even if it is 2:00 in the morning!

Another "after the post" thing I did was add a few (9) dates to the Ekklesion site.  I don't necessarily need them all filled, but any days that were open I did add, on a few of the dates we have baseball games at 6:00 (arrive at 5:15) which is why I didn't add them originally so we may not be here for delivery every night, but arrangements will be made for those evenings.  I just realized that it's one less thing that I have to put energy into, freeing me up to have energy to do other important things.  I do have some freezer meals that I have been given (Thank you) to fill in on a few dates if need be, or weekends!  I'm always amazed at your generosity! 

Continued prayers for energy would be much appreciated and that the following treatments go as well as the first (next treatment is Tuesday).

May 26, 2010

I feel like...


it's been a LONG day.  It's been a long week.  Actually, it's been a LONG month. 
I'm tired.  I am so tired that I want to scream and cry. 
Not cry because I'm sad.  Cry because I'm tired.

I'm done feeling guilty about having help with things.  If you offer to help I assume that you really want to.
I appreciate you all.  I appreciate all of  your help.  You have made my life so much easier.
I know that God has blessed me so much through you all.  I hope that at some time I can bless you as well.
For now I'm done pretending that everything is ok.  Just because I'm not sick and vomiting
doesn't mean that I'm ok.  So far, this chemo thing is like being in the first trimester
of pregnancy... except it will continue... for five months.  First trimester means nausea,
it means falling down in exaustion.  It means wanting to cry and scream and yell because I'm so tired.
Yes, the nausea passed, but the feeling of being completely to tired has not.

So, there is my honesty for the day.  You may not have asked for it, but you got it.  I'm tired.
I'm ok asking for help.  I'm ok accepting help.  Because without your help I would not have made
it this far and without your continued help I will not make it through this.  WE won't make it
through this.

I realize that many many many (or most) of you have not received thank you cards.  I promise that I appreciate EVERYTHING.  I PROMISE.  Eventually I will get to writing them, eventually I will have time and energy to do it, but for now, please know that I appreciate your thoughts, prayers, gifts, dinner, time, energy more than you could ever know or understand!

May 24, 2010

Bike Ride

Kurt shared this at church this week and I loved it, I loved that it was almost like I could have written it (except mine would have had many more gramatical and spelling errors...)  Please take just a moment and read it, you WILL be moved, I promise!

When I first met Christ

It seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,

But it was a tandem bike,

And I noticed that Christ

Was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was that

He suggested we change places,

But life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I knew the way,

It was rather boring, but predictable...

It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,

He knew delightful long cuts,

Up mountains, and through rocky places,

At breakneck speeds,

It was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness,

He said, "Pedal"

I worried and was anxious and asked,

"Where are you taking me?"

He laughed and didn't answer,

And I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life

And entered into the adventure.

And when I'd say, "I'm scared,"

He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed.

Gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy.

He said, "Give the gifts away;

They're extra baggage, too much weight."

So I did, I gave them to the people we met,

And I found that in giving I received,

And still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, In control of my life.

I thought He'd wreck it;

But He knows bike secrets,

Knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,

Knows how to jump to clear high rocks,

Knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up

and pedal in the strangest places,

And I'm beginning to enjoy the view

And the cool breeze on my face

With my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,

He just smiles and says...


May 23, 2010

Bald is...

something!  Were not to beautiful yet, but maybe someday I'll feel it! 

Puttin' it out there, eventually you'll all see it anyway, while I have beautiful wigs to use I found after wearing one for a day that I will definately need to use scarves or nothing in the humidity if it's not necessary to have hair... when it is necessary and not necessary will completely depend on how I feel in the moment I think!
So, there I am, gaining a little self confidence just by showing it off, you may see me in many different forms in the next few months!  Scarves (I bought some pretty material to attempt to make my own, using liquid stitching of course), bald or full head of hair! 

Hair one day, gone the next

The plan: to shave my head surrounded by friends and family on Sunday evening
The reality: Matt left me inside long enough by myself Saturday evening that I did it myself.

Not sure why, maybe it was because we had had a very busy day, family pictures, visit from an old friend, dinner with different friends, long walk, campfire....  I'm not sure what came over me, but I picked up the scissors and started cutting (laughing at myself between tears as I realized how very very BAD I looked in a mullet, I almost took pictures, but couldn't stop myself long enough).  Then after the big pieces were off I got out the clippers and shaved it all off.  And then I went and sat on the couch and cried and cried and cried.  I feel very very ugly.  It's not just about my hair either, it's the surgeries, the scars and the hair all put together into one big MESS. 

Then Matt and Landon came in from the fire and found my pile of hair on the floor (which Matt cleaned up w/o a complaint) and came and laughed and cried with me.  Landon is still scared that I'm going to make him shave his head as well (I'm not of course).  Matt claims that as ugly as I am he still loves me. 

So now I prepare myself to go out in public... which wig do I put on?  What will people say?  Will the wig stay in place?  What are my two youngest going to think of me when they wake up?  And Bailey when she returns home? 

Now I look like a cancer patient.  Yesterday I could hide that I was a cancer patient. 

God is so good though, I know that he will make me strong and give me peace.  (Psalm 29:11)
A sense of God's wholeness will come and settle me down (Phillipians 4:6-7)
God knows the number of hairs on my head, and the number not on my head, he knows how many hairs I will loose because of cancer, just that he knows that small detail brings me comfort, because that means he knows the big stuff too.  (Matthew 10:30)

Lord, I put my appearance at your feet.  Thank you for teaching me the meaning of true inner beauty through this journey of cancer.  You desire the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in your sight.  Thank you for your love and patience toward me as you peel away layers of vanity and pride.  I praise you for the gift of your peace that passes all understanding. 
(Prayer by Laura Geist found in Praying through Canceer)

May 21, 2010

Manna in the desert

I know I posted already today, but I just had to add something!  God is SOOO good.  He gives us no more than we need, but he gives us no less than we need either.  He gives us exactly what we need.  Just when we need it too.  I have received gifts at the perfect time, the exact time that we need them, and each time it brings me to tears. 

I can't explain it any other way than that God knows.  He just knows.  Just like when God provided manna in the desert for the Isrealites, he provided everything they needed, each day, just what they needed, not more, not less.  He is so amazing, isn't He?  Isn't He?

Piece of Cake

No, not the cake you eat, this chemo thing is looking to be a piece of cake compared to what I expected I guess!  I wake up every morning with a headache (tylenol extra strenght to the rescue) and some nausea (some other pill to the rescue).  My NuLasta shot didn't do anything terrible to me so far, I had some bone pain Wednesday night, but nothing unbearable.  I'm DEFINATELY very tired, but that's not that much different than life pre-chemo.  So, if it doesn't get any worse than this, were golden! 

I have been so blessed by all of you, faithfull prayer warriors on my behalf, but today I ask you to pray for some other people that are heavy on my heart.  I know you like specific prayer requests, but I'm leaving out a lot of details here because they aren't my details to give. 
a pregnant friend that is in the hospital w/ an infection
a friend that lost a child yesterday

Situations like these bring me back to reality, this is only temporary, not everyone has temporary pain.  The pain of loosing a child will never go away, some day I will be cured of this disease and it will be a part of my past.  My life is good, praise God for each moment!

May 19, 2010

God's war, not mine

I try to remember that title at every turn.  I can't do this, but he will provide for me in many many ways that will make it possible for me to do it,, no one or no thing can take my life before God's time just like he protected David in 1 Samual 23:14-15 and 26-28 click here to link to the passage NIV style and here to link to it The Message style (prefer but there are extra verses included here so may be best to read both)

Yesterday was a very anxious day.  Very heavy heart, heavy with anxiety about the PET scan results and what the heck this chemo was going to do to me for the next two weeks.  But then we got the reults of the PET scan (YAY) and it didn't get much better (yes we celebrated as much as one can in a small room with a bed and chair, but the anxiety didn't go away).  It was the chemo that was to come, accessing the port for the first time (which I understood nothing about except I put lot's of numbing lotion on top of it prior to leaving my house), it was just a long long day of unknowns.  So many have been so helpful in preparing me for this day, allowing me to ask questions and giving me lot's of answers and tips and prayers, for that I am thankful. 

As I was waiting in line to check in I heard lot's of talk to my left about hair.  How it was growing back in.  When did my life become about hair loss and re-growth?  It felt very surreal. 

The port access went great as soon as they switched types of tape they used, which is strange b/c I've never had any issues with medical tape, but apprently yesterday my body decided to fight more painful tape being pulled off my body (because I am quite sick of peeling tape off, it hurts almost worse than surgery, probably because I'm sedated, but you know...).

All the injections and drips went great, we were there for 4.5 hours, hopefully that's a bit longer than normal, but that will just give me another unknown in two weeks when I return. 

I was very very very tired in the afternoon, but of course got no sleep (truly, it's so not like me to request this, but if you want to call, I would LOVE to talk to you, but the afternoon may not be the best time to call, phone will probably be shut off between 1-3 from now on).  I started feeling nauseous at around 4:30 but took a pill and it subsided enough that I could eat another delicious dinner delivered by a friend.  Around 9 it started again and I just took the other antineausea/anxiety pill and was out for most of the night.  I woke up once, but not for long, I think I just chnaged the channel from "The Nanny" to "Cheers" (oh the joys of late night t.v.)

So, today is a new day.  A busy new day.  I have to get Elliot to school, then return to go on a field trip with him (walk to get ice cream), then a NuLasta injection at the office (w/ possible hydration), and then choir concert for my oldest, greatest, 11 year old tonight.  So, please please please say lot's of prayers for a feeling great, high energy day today!

This is God's war, not yours.  2 Chronicles 20:15 (The message verson)

May 18, 2010

Quick and OH SO SWEET

PET scan was clear, the disease hadn't spread to any other areas of my body!  (I think that that alone means that I need to CELEBRATE, have a party, go on vacation, whatever, just something)

Chemo treatment numero uno: almost done, I'm counting my injection tomorrow as part of the treatment I guess, but so far what I got today did nothing (so far) but make me very very very sleepy.  VERY!

That is why I'm going to end my post here... back later with more!

On my heart

These are a few of the verses that have been on my heart lately, just a few I reiterate, because there are a LOT of great verses that God gives to me each day through cards, friends and devotionals.  So many that I should write a book!  (Except we already have that book, it's called the bible)!

Perfume and Incense bring joy to the heart and a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. ::  Proverbs 27:9 (NIV/MSG)

I know what I'm doing, I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for  :: Jeremiah 29:22 (MSG)

And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete.  We're free of it!  All of us!  Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.  And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.  ::  2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (MSG)

Yes, indeed - God is my salvation.  I trust, I won't be afraid.  God - yes God! - is my strength and song, best of all, my salvation!  ::  Isaiah 12:2 (Msg)

Big day today, which is probably why I'm not sleeping.  I'm very very anxious, more to get the PET scan results than to start chemo, but God is good and he is my strength, song and salvation, he won't abandon me, he plans to give me a future I hope for (ultimately heavenbound) and he has provided me with friends to refresh my soul!  He is a good, good God!

Because obviously everyone else likes thier hair as much as I do, I have decided to do it with a few close friends and family for support, why is hair such a big thing?  Something so petty that is so overly consuming?  It will be easier to be done than to sit and think about it.

May 16, 2010

Upcoming Events

First of all, I have to announce that I finally joined Team Bell! and I would love it if you joined as well.  I will more than likely be walking the 5k (my goal would be to run it, but I don't think that will happen, who knows though), I'm hoping to convince my husband and kids to do it as well!  So, join us, let's get the biggest team out there!  Sarah is arranging to t-shirts for our team as well, more info soon on that I'm sure (maybe as a guest blogger, who knows! ;)

Second, we had a great sermon on friendship today at church (which will soon be available here), it ended with this song, which I'm sure we are all to familiar with from our younger days... (did I just say that???)

Sometime in our lives we all have pain (Ummmm, now)

We all have sorrow
But if we are wise we know that there's
Always tomorrow

Lean on me when you're not strong and
I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long till I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride if I have things
You need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
that you won't let show

Just call on me brother when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'd understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long till 'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Just call on me brother when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'd understand
We all need somebody to lean on

If there is a load you have to bear
That you can't carry
I'm right up the road, I'll share your load
if you just call me

Just call me when you need a friend
Just call me when you need a friend...

I appreciate all of my friends (both new and old) that have been this song for me.  Someone to lean on!  You have all been AMAZING!  So, once again, as I was listening to this song I remembered how lucky I was and the tears welled up, like I said, AGAIN!  It seems to happen every Sunday because of something said, a prayer said (I'm getting used to hearing my name now though), or a song sang.  It is such a good feeling to be surrounded by wonderful Christians, some of which I know are praying for me on a regular basis!

Third(ly): I start chemo Tuesday.  It's a start of an ending.  An ending of cancer occupying my body.  Yup, cuz I'm gonna win this battle!  So, bye bye cancer, I won't miss you, you were never welcome here, you just need to leave.  NOW!  (b/c if you leave NOW I could just skip chemo and wouldn't that be better for all of us???)  Just kidding, so far I do not know what to expect, and that's ok, it's probably better for me, I'm not that nervous (yet, although I'm going to assume that that will all change tomorrow sometime).  I'm not sure how this whole port thing works, I know to apply EMLA cream, but to be quite honest, it's still an open wound, will it hurt if I do that?  Where exactly do I apply the cream?  Will I feel the drugs being pumped into my body?  Will I be tired?  Will I be foggy?  Will I get nauseous?  Questions, Questions and more questions, some of them questions that no one can answer for me because it's all based on my body, my dose of drugs, my reaction, so we wait.  We wait and see.  I'm still keeping on keeping on though.  I plan to attend Landon's choir concert Wednesday night, I plan to attend Landon's baseball game Friday night.  We have nothing planned all weekend which may be a good thing, but WHO KNOWS.  HE knows, that's who.  And He will care for me, He will protect me, I will lean on Him!

Fourth(ly): My hair will be falling out approximately 14 days after starting chemo.  I'm not sure that I can deal with watching it fall out by the handful, so I'm deciding what I want to do about that.  Do I want to wait until it starts and then shave it off or do I want total control of that situation and just shave it myself before that all starts?  I'm thinking the latter.  Control.  Something I really really like (although I'm learning more and more that my controlling things doesn't make it better, but allowing God to control sure does make things better, although not always easier).  So, I'm thinking a head shaving party may be in order... anyone want to join me?  I'm hoping to convince Landon to join me, Matt will easily join me (the others are out, I just won't let it happen).  Maybe some pizza, pop and razors!  Wouldn't that be fun?  Seriously.  I think it would be easier if I did it with friends than by myself, I'm more likely to make it fun and funny than sad and devastating.  Let me know, either comment or email me.  Let's make it a BIG party!

Fifth(ly): Goodnight!  Sleep tight!  I won't, but you definately should!

Sixth(ly): (at 4:58 in the morning of course) I am going to start walkling more.  Hopefully every day.  Because I hear it helps with effects of chemo, but it will be hard for me to do alone, Julie has graciously offered to walk with me a couple of days a week but I need others to keep me accountable as well, so if ever you feel like walking (hopefully 2 miles or so to start) please feel free to contact me.  Right now I don't dare make any definate plans b/c of the unknown effects of treatment so it's not something I want to schedule or anything, but please just think of me if you are wanting to walk!

May 14, 2010

PET scan results

Please pray for positive results from the PET scan, I'm getting a little nervous.  When we first found the cancer it looked small and early, probably not in the lymph nodes is what we heard.  Then we had surgery and the 2 small lumps were actually one and 11 of 17 lymph nodes had cancer, so what started out as something not so bad seems to be getting worse and worse and worse.  I can't say I'm worried, just a little nervous, because no matter what I know that this is all God's will, he will protect me, he will give me strength when I have none, he will heal me!  But really, life would be easier if we heard that the cancer has not spread to any other areas of my body, much, much easier.  So, as I head off to GR in about 1/2 an hour I would just appreciate your prayers once again for clear results!

May 13, 2010

Psalm 103:1-4

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

And that's all I need to say tonight, just needed the reminder for myself!


WOW!  That went quick, you have all once again humbled me.  We are so blessed.  (Have I said that before?)  I added dinner dates less than 3 hours ago and look at that, they are all gone.  I'm AMAZED.  Matt is AMAZED.  We are overwhelmed.  We are grateful.  We are loved.  Thank you!  I've avoided naming names in specific thank you's for the reason that I know I will forget someone and offend someone, but know that we are thankful to ALL OF YOU, all of you that have prayed, sent cards, dinner, gift cards, money, flowers, called, emailed, whatever it is, we are thankful!  Whoever the secret angels are, thank you as well!

WOW!  9 inches.  Gone.  And this is only half of it, there is another piece just like this!

What happened to my hair?????
Pay no attention to my lovely bracelets! 

Port placement went very well today, quick and easy, very little to no pain, anesthesia is a wonderful thing!  (These pictures were taken tonight, hours after the procedure)
Thank you for the prayers. 

PET scan tomorrow (which has meant a low carb diet all day, didn't go to well with dinner, but dinner won over, it was another delicious one that I just couldn't say no to). 

Meals & Update

I promised many of you that I would notify you when I added dates for meals... so I am letting you know that I did add a few dates.  I don't know how chemo is going to go, how I'm going to feel, how the family is going to feel, how busy summer will actually be etc etc etc, so again, this could change, but just wanted to start off with a few!

P.S. The port procedure went well today, just a bit tired, but nothing major, it's in which is great for me b/c quite honestly I'm SICK of i.v.'s!

FUNDRAISER INFO (written by Sarah Huizenga- guest blogger...haha)

There will be several fundraisers for the Bells in the upcoming months to help them out with medical bills insurance isn't covering.  One begins is a great way to help the family while also helping yourself to some great deals at 3 local yummy restaurants.  Contact Bethany or Marci soon to purchase yours!

May 12, 2010

The heating pad tragedy

Yes, heating pads are tragic things.  When they can't be found it's even more tragic.  It makes a person cry.  A lot.  And then the husband comes to the rescue and finds it immediately.  I'm so lucky to have such a great husband!  An amazing husband really!  He puts up a with a lot, from me and our kids and his job, and he just keeps going.  I love him so much and am so thankful for him!  But please keep him in your prayers as well, there is plenty of stress in his life right now!
Ephesians 5:28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.

So today my schedule changed more times than I could EVER count on one hand or maybe even two.  Originally I was scheduled to have my port put in at 6:10 in the evening.  Hello, that meant clear liquids until noon and then NOTHING the rest of the day.  But, lucky for me (yeah, never thought I would say that) I'm a diabetic and that's not an ideal schedule to go with insulin.  So, they bumped me up to the top of the list, now I have to be at the hospital at 9:15 (Thursday morning), not sure of exact procedure time but I think it's about 10 and it should only take 1/2 an hour with light anestesia so that I can pretty much leave almost as soon as they are done. 

Then the original plan was to get a PET scan on Friday morning in Grand Rapids at 11am and be back in Holland for the MUGA test at 2:45, tight on time, but doable.  Got most of that figured out as far as rides go and then that all changed too.  The PET scan is still Friday at 11, but you can't do both a PET and a MUGA on the same day, there has to be 2 days in between.  So now the MUGA test is in Holland on monday at 9:45am.

Then, if all is well, Chemo Tuesday.  And that's all I can say about that right now. 

I took a big step today, a drastic step actually, but I think I will just keep you in suspense and show you pictures when I get them downloaded.  Soon.  Some of you may know already, but shhhhh, it's a secret!  ;) 

I've got a couple of tentative things planned in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for more information on that!  And of course, Sarah has lot's of things planned, because she's just so good at that, things I don't even know about but she just takes control and get's things done, which is what everyone in my shoes should have (personally I think she needs to make this a new job)!

One of my biggest joys each day is going to the mailbox and opening cards.  I have to say that I LOVE real mail.  One reason is that I don't feel as if I have to respond like I do with emails, but the real reason is that it's just so hearwarming to read all of the messages and see all the people who care.  So, thank you for all the cards!  Thank you for just a little bit of joy in my day!

And, aren't you proud of me, I'm posting this before tomorrow, as in middle of the night tomorrow.  Now I plan to get a few hours of sleep before I wake up again!


Things are starting to come together.  As I mentioned yesterday, I got my drains out!  And I couldn't be more happy about that, sleeping last night was so wonderful (although spotty).  Taking a shower yesterday was even better, this morning is going to be wonderful again!  And maybe again this afternoon! 

I got a little saline fill up yesterday as well and I can tell, the muscles are a little tight, but bareable.

Today E get's to go to school and I get to drive him there!!!!  Yay!  My driving priveleges have been very very limited, more by my husband and friends than my doctor, but just because they care!  Then I get to go to a doctor appointment with Dr Hoberman.

Tomorrow I get to have my port put in around 6:00pm, I have to do my pretesting before then too.

Friday I have to get my MUGA test in the the afternoon, my PET scan has yet to be scheduled, hopefully I will find out what time that is tomorrow.  I have called the endocronologist twice and left messages and have yet to hear anything, but there is nothing I can do (long story), so I guess I'll just proceed without him, I do have an appoinment set up in about a month with him so that will have to be good enough.

May 11, 2010


Thank you for your prayers!  BOTH drains have been removed, I am about to get in the shower and I will probably stay there for an hour!!!!  I was also "filled" up just a little bit!  It was a great appointment all in all.  I have an appt with Dr Hoberman tomorrow morning, then Thursday afternoon I am getting a port put in so that chemo can start... fun times!  But in the meantime, I get to take a shower!!!!!

No suprise...

God has blessed us again.  He just keeps on going, for which we are so very very thankful!

My wig needs have been taken care of!  Praise God (and I promise I won't get the spiky one, because that would just be wierd)

The Short Story (it was supposed to be short but got longer)

Here's the short story, without all the drug names and probably with a few mistakes... but it's 2:30am, what do you want?  ;)

Lila has her one year appt today, thank you to Kate for taking her to that with me!  Lot's of shots unfortunately, luckily she tends to handle them pretty well!  She also got a third tooth finally (it's been five months since she got her bottom two)

I have an appt with Dr Dodde today (Tuesday), please pray that these lovely drains are removed.

I have an appt with Dr Hoberman on Wednesday (that I apparently scheduled in an anesthesia fog) and I'm guessing we will discuss inserting a port.

Sometime soon I will have a PET scan ordered (Grand Rapids for that) and a MUGGA test ordered.

Sometime in the next week some scheduling miracles need to happen so that I can meet with my endocronologist.

I have about 15 prescriptions to pick up (small exageration)

If all goes well, I will start my first round of chemo next Tuesday. 

First I will have 4 treatments, every other week that will consist of:
Cytoxan which stops the growth of cancer cells, causing them to die and
Adriamycin which does the same thing.
The day after this treatment I will go back in for an injection of Neulasta which is used to increase the white blood cells

After those treatments I will have 12 more treatments (one per week) of Taxol which stops cell division, resulting in cell death and Herceptin which, long story short, kills the cancer cells (noticing a pattern here?). 

After that I will continue with the Herceptin every three weeks for the remainder of a year and also undergo radiation for 6 weeks (every day).

From there it looks like I will be on an oral pill for 5+ years, although I can't read what that pill is and don't seem to have the information on that, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. 

The doctor did guarantee, w/o a doubt, that I would loose my hair approximately 2 weeks after my first treatment.  That is rough for me.  I'm debating how I want to go about all of this.  I think that I want to cut my hair very short first and donate what hair I have (because I have quite a bit), but I've NEVER been a short haircut type of girl, it just doesn't work well for me.  When it starts to fall out a little I will then shave it all off, I say "I", but that is definately not the plan, someone else is going to have to do that for me, and may have to put up with tears while they do it.  I plan to get a wig that looks similar to what I have now (maybe with a little twist, like bright red or really really curly or something... ha ha ha), unfortunately my insurance does not cover that, but it is important enough to me that we will find the money somewhere for that, I don't care what it takes.  It may seem petty and unimportant, but you just try to picture yourself bald once... how does that feel?

Let me know if you have any opinions on the wigs I linked to... I'd really appreciate the help deciding!

Susan G Komen Race for a Cure

The following is from Sarah
Friends family and supporters of Lynette~

I have formed a team for the Susan G Komen race in Grandville on September 25, 2010. The team is called TEAM BELL, and we will be raising money in Lynette's name to go towards a cure for breast cancer. I would LOVE to have the biggest team to enter the race! All you have to do is go to this site: and click on register now. Then click on Join an Existing Team. You should find TEAM BELL already formed- please join that team. You can get people to donate to our team to raise money. I ran this race last year and not only is it for a great cause, it is a lot of fun. They have tons of vendors, music, booths etc. that you can visit after the race. So whether you are a runner or not, whether you are personal friends with Lynette or not, whether you know someone who has had breast cancer or not, it is still a great cause! And you non-runners, don't despair! You can register for the 5K Walk. They also have divisions for kids and other runs in addition to the 5K, so bring the whole family!

I am also ordering t-shirts for race participants that you can purchase once I get them in. You do NOT have to purchase a shirt to be on TEAM BELL, but they will be for those who want one. They will have the Sayiwont motto on them, with RUN TEAM BELL on the front. The girl t-shirts will be white with the Sayiwont saying in turquoise and TEAM BELL in pink, and I am still working on a color scheme for the guy shirts.

I know you won't regret participating in this worthy cause! So dust off your running or walking shoes, and get in shape- you have approximately 4 months to get ready and to raise money!!!!! And please, forward this email around to as many people as you think would be interested!

Attached is the picture of the girl's shirt, but TEAM BELL will be added in pink below the Sayiwont RUN. Other Sayiwont gear can be found at:

I will contact those who register for TEAM BELL closer to race time to get a t-shirt order.

May 10, 2010

Rough Day - Finally

I wasn't going to share this, but figured you have to have the bad with the good, and it's 1:45am and I'm wide awake after about 30 minutes of sleep. 

Today we had a wonderful Mother's Day celebration for me, given by Mary, but attended by many close and wonderful friends.  There was a super cool cake made by ******** (Mary will have to give me the information to fill that in so I can give proper credit because she did a great job).  It was wonderful to visit with friends and family alike, but I won't lie, it was tiring.  That is one thing that seems to happen a lot lately, I get very very tired, very very fast, I'm sure due to the fact that I had surgery a week ago, but whatever.
There were pink boxing gloves, representing fighting this cancer until I win.  Because I will win.  It will be tough, but I will win, that hasn't changed.
But then I got home. Worn down after many days festivities, I checked my email and as I always am, I was overwhelmed by kindness, messages and friend requests.  Overwhelmed in a great way.  Then I decided to change into comfy clothes... and lost it.  I think in the last few days I have lost some range of motion in my left arm.  I have to admit that after surgery I was pretty proud of myself for being able to do so much with it, I was able to put my hair in a ponytail (not a pretty one, or a tight one, but a ponytail none-the-less).  Now, I'm not.  It hurts to take my shirts off.  Prior to surgery I was told that I wouldn't be able to pull a shirt over my head, I would have to wear zip-ups, but the day I went home I had on a tank top and a sweatshirt with no problem whatsoever.  Today I also had on a tank top with a sweatshirt.  I struggled to get the tank top off.  Like really struggled, very painful.  It frustrated me and I started crying.  And cried and cried and cried and cried.  I'm not strong.  I'm weak, very weak.  I'm scared.  Scared of what I will have to endure to win this battle.  Scared that after doing a CT or PET scan they will find cancer somewhere else.  I cried harder than I have cried in a long long time.  And to be completely honest, it felt really, really good. 

So, if you read this before tomorrow afternoon, please pray hard for me while I'm at the doctor.  I don't even know how to put into words what to pray for, I just know that I will be at the doctor at 1:00pm and would appreciate prayers.  If I don't make complete sense here just refer back to the first sentence... it's 1:45am, enough said!

May 8, 2010


I'm finding that I want to be able to do a lot more, I'm finding that a week out of surgery I feel as if I should be able to build a 10 story building, grocery shop for everyone, care for my children 100%, attend all sporting events, shop for clothes to hide this hideous body and still stay awake past 8:00.  Now obviously I'm a little ambitious.  I'm probably not going to be able to get every one's grocery shopping done.  But it's getting hard for me to sit around and watch as other take care of my needs. 

Today you may or may not have spotted me at a certain baseball game (may not would be the smartest case as it was 40 degrees and rainy out), I was determined to get there and so I drove myself there (no worries, I hadn't had pain pills in over 12 hours), but no worries, that won't happen again anytime soon.  I shopped for a bit this afternoon for some necessities, and had friends over for dinner, but now I find myself sitting on the couch watching Ice Age about ready to fall asleep.  I'm finding that small things are wearing me out very quickly, which I hate.  I think tomorrow, Mothers Day, I will be taking it easy.  I'm still undecided about church, it all depends on what kind of magic my clothes can do and my confidence level at 10 in the morning, but then there is mothers day dinner and then cake at night.  (By the way, if you are so inclined, Mary is doing cake and Ice Cream at her house if you are interested in joining us between 5-7, feel free).  Next week is supposed to be a big week as well, meeting with the oncologist on Monday, meeting with the plastic surgeon on Tuesday (please pray these drains come out, because I'm going to be completely honest and say they are a big pain in the butt), at some point I will get a port put in (possibly next week) and I'm going to guess that starting chemo won't be far behind. 

I have had the support of some amazing people.  Along with my friends who I try to mention frequently there have been some amazing women that have traveled this journey just before me that are more than willing to share their tricks/tips and advice, and for that I am so grateful!

Please note, I may not list specific prayer requests with every post, but I will try to either type them in pink or highlight them in pink (like with this post).

And, I may have referenced this before, but found it applicable for mothers day:

Proverbs 31:10-31 (The Message)

Hymn to a Good Wife

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

Happy Mothers Day!

May 6, 2010


I honestly don't know what day it is, when I wake up in the middle of the night or middle of the morning I'm very confused as to whether it's morning or night, but I've also come to realize that it just doesn't matter, what does it matter if it's 4 in the morning or 4 in the afternoon when all you do is lay on the couch, watch tv, read, facebook or sleep, the time changes nothing about my day.  Someday it will matter again, someday soon hopefully.  Right now I am very tired, which must mean that it's 10:40PM, but could be am, who really knows.

I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 the version from the Message follows, but if you click on the link it will take you to the NIV version.

7-10Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
God gave me this thorn/handicap/limitation to test my rescources on a daily basis, but I can live with this thorn because God gives me the rescources to do it on a daily basis, hourly basis.  He is my source of strength, courage and hope.  He will care for me, he will hear me when I cry out, he will protect me.  He is my EVERYTHING!
What weakness is he giving you that you are not using for the right purpose?  What weakness is he telling you to lean on him, take it to him?  Find that weakness today and give it over to him,
Prayer Reqeust:
A little more strength, I seem to get tired very quickly
That I would be able to wean myself off the pain pills soon
The drains will come out soon
Good weather, and energy and desire, for everyone running this Saturday, whether it be 5K, 10K (Yikes) or 25K (Double Yikes)
Relief for the stress that Matt, Sarah and Julie are feeling
Prayers for a friend that has been in the hospital with a few complications, the details aren't specific, but God knows what she and her family need

May 5, 2010


The pain is manageable (w/ the pain meds of course).  I've come to really really like the pain meds.  Never before have I liked pain meds this much, not only do they eliminate pain but they make me sleep really really well too!  They are the best.  The only problem is keeping them all straight, which ones to take every 4 hours, 6 hours, once a day, twice a day.... but I think so far I've managed.  With the help of some friends I made it down to the junk food wagons to enjoy a funnel cake and some fries loaded with vinigar!!!  YUM!

My appointment with the oncologist has changed to Monday in Grand Rapids (although most of the treatments/appointments will take place in Holland in the future).  I'm thrilled to be able to get in sooner than expected!  I'm very ready to get these drains taken out so that I can take a shower, wash my hair on my own (although I'm very very grateful to Lindsey for washing and drying it for me).  It will be a long time before I wear a lot of my clothes again, I look a little funny right now, but sweatshirts do thier job hiding it mostly!  I'm ready mostly to know what treatments are going to follow, if the cancer has spread anywhere else and if I'm going to loose my hair.  How long is this road going to be?  So many questions that right now only God knows the answer too, I have to depend on him to guide me down this road, there is only one set of footprints here because he is carrying me!  There is peace in his arms!

May 4, 2010

"Fight Like a Girl"

I am not the one to start this saying or the one to come up with the logo, but Amy has graciously allowed Mary to sell t-shirts for her, to raise money for Amy & her Angels to do the 3 day 60 mile walk for breast cancer (Go Amy Go!).  Shirts can be purchased by mailing Mary a check (3063 104th, Zeeland MI 49464) with the information clearly included as to what size and quantity you were looking for.  All orders are due by June 12 and orders can be picked up the end of June (details to follow).  If you need shipping there will be an additional charge.  Shirts can be purchased to wear in honor of someone battling or someone that has battled cancer, I would love it if all of my friends had them, you have all been so very supportive! 
Shirts are all gray and short sleeve for now (long sleeve and sweatshirts may be offered at a later date)
Youth 2T, 3T, 4T, Small, Medium, Large and X-Large $10.00
Small, medium, large and x-large for $12.00
2X for $13.00
3X for $15.00
Shipping (if you can not make the pick-up dates) are $6 for up to three shirts

Please include your name, number of shirts ordered and size of shirts desired along with contact information, preferably an email address, but a phone number will work as well.

Your order is NOT placed until money has been RECEIVED!

You can join the facebook page here to find out more information or email myself or Mary at

Pathology Report

I had an appt w/ doctor Dodde this morning which ended up to be pointless, but it meant that I got to see Dr Hoberman while I was there.  She had just received the pathology report this morning, which is what we have kind of been waiting for.  The report showed that they had removed 17 lymph nodes (2 of which were the sentinel nodes) and 11 of the 17 were found to have cancer in them.  What does this mean?  Well, so far it means that next week (or at least soon) they will put in a port instead of poking me all the time and I will probably start chemo fairly quickly and will also have to undergo radiation.  It's definately not what I had hoped for.  They also thought that the two original lumps that were found were actually one, which just means it is bigger than they thought originally. 

This information all scares me.  I think originally I heard the doctors say that they didn't think it was in the lymph nodes and that there were two fairly small spots.  All pointing to the fact that they caught it early.  But now that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.  I will more than likely have a ct scan or a PET CT scan once I see an oncologist next week to make sure it hasn't spread any further.  Please pray that that comes back clean adn that the cancer is contained.  I'm scared of having to make decisions but am trusting God to guide both myself, my husband and the doctors in the best choices for me.  God has been so good and provided so much more than I deserve I know he will not leave me now. 

From 2 Chronicles 13:13-18 I want to raise a war cry to the Lord, he will make me victorious, just as he heard the cry of Judah and made him victorious as well.  There were 500,000 casualties at the enemy camps, I want 500,000 casualties of cancer cells in my body!  Our God is good, he is a God of miracles, a God of peace and a God of comfort, he is my God, he is my source of strength, because without him I surely woudn't make it through even just one day!

May 3, 2010

Returning to normal

I desire so much to return to normal.  To be able to get up of a chair or couch or bed without any pain, to be able to put my hair in a ponytail without thinking it's a huge accomplishment.  To be able to carry my plate to the counter after dinner, or carry on a conversation w/o struggling to stay awake.  Little things that we don't normally think about.  Little things that we've just taken for granted.  I want to be free of the limitations that surgery has placed on my body and mind and be able to depend on myself again instead of everyone else to do everything for me.  But that is obviously not God's plan for me in this.  He is wanting to mold me into a dependant person, a person that is dependant on Him above anyone or anything else.  I pray that he either heal me physically or at least help me to peacefully accept my circumstances, he knows what is best for me, I just need to accept that. 

Father, please help me to turn my weakness to strength in you, help me to depend on you always, to trust in you in all circumstances.  Help me to accept my current physical and emotional circumstances, rescue me from my unrealistic expectations.  Help me to bring you glory in all circumstances.  Be with my children, bring them peace and release them from any fears they may have.  Help them to feel free to discuss any concerns they may have.  Give all of those that are so supportive the energy to keep being supportive and the energy to keep praying for us.  Thank you God for all you have provided for us in these circumstances, your love and provision is amazing.

May 2, 2010

What a difference...

What a difference a few days makes.  Last week I was having a hard time accepting all the offers of help, now I'm willing to take any and all help offered.  In some ways this surgery went easier than I expected, but in others it is much harder.  I have a lot of movement in my left arm, a lot more than I originally thought I would have.  Putting my hair in a ponytail is quite difficult/painful, but do-able.  I'm on quite a few pain meds (trying to balance all of that has been interesting, all I can say is I'm so very thankful for my husband).  While the meds take away most of the pain they also make me very very sleepy and probably a little loopy as well.  I have been blessed to have people offer to wash my hair for me, something I would have never thought of.  The hospital had a sink to wash my hair in yesterday, and while I can't take a real shower, getting my hair washed was an amazing feeling (and Sarah fulfilled her dream of being a hairdresser)!  Amazing how the little things do so much to lift my spirits!

Specific prayer requests:
The pathology report comes back showing only a few lymph nodes with cancer and that the cancer hasn't spread further than the lymph nodes
Relief from pain
Patience for Matt while he has to do so much for me
Patience for all the caretakers of my children
Peace for my children as there are so many changes in thier schedules right now
We would have peace and continued reliance on God during this difficult time

May 1, 2010

Quick update

This is going to be really quick, typing isn't the easist thing right now.  Sarah has done an excellent job of updating so there really ins't much more to say.  They did take about 15 lymph nodes out and now we just wait for the pathology report to come in early this week to see how many of them were cancerous.  Obviously not the news we wanted to hear, but we will just keep pressing on.  Thank you in advance for the continued prayers, we feel such a peace because of them!

And, since Sarah mentioned it I had to add that Julie finished her 5k in  what I consider to be an excellent time, so wished I could have been there next to her running as well, but it wasn't meant to be, this time.  There will be a next time though and I will be there (w/ my pink "Fight like a girl" shirt on)!  Sarah, along with Marilyn, Mary and Julie, has done an excellent job of caring for my kids (no injuries yet that I know of), I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends looking out for me and my needs right now!

Matt and I are celebrating 11 years of marriage today, what a fancy way to celebrate huh?  Last year we didn't celebrate either, I had just had a baby 11 days earlier, next year for sure though!  God has blessed me with an amazing man that is just perfect for me!

Specific Prayer Requests-posted by Sarah

First, I want to start by saying how amazing my friend Lynette is!  She is still thinking of others above herself...she called Julie last night (yep-last night after coming out of recovery!), and told her she hoped she did well in her 5K run this morning.  And she is calling me to check on those 4 beautiful kids of hers too!   What a heart she has!

Please pray for her today as the anesthesia has worn off, so she is suffering more with the pain.  Please pray for her as they did find cancer in her lymph nodes as well.  She will remain in the hospital until tomorrow (they originally had told her 24-48 hours, so I am grateful they are keeping her the 48!)  Please pray that she can get the rest she needs- they are coming in often to check her vitals and interrupting her sleep.  Please just pray, as God knows her needs and the rest of the family's way more than we do!   Thanks for checking in and being a prayer warrior for the Bells during this time!