July 31, 2010


It is 3:44 am.  I'm awake and have been for quite some time now.  I shouldn't be awake, I've been sleeping great.  But I am.  I'm sitting here listening to crickets and the whirring of 2 fans.  My mind is consumed with someone else's pain.  Someone I know only through a few emails.  I don't know what to think or say, all I can do is pray.  And pray I have.  I don't think in the last 24 hours an hour has gone by that I'm not saying some sort of prayer for her, and I know that I am not alone in this, I know that God is hearing constant prayers, begging him to make it all go away. 

This all has me thinking of my cancer and my own mortality more.  I had a clear PET scan, it didn't show more cancer.  But, that doesn't mean I will never have cancer again.  Cancer is an ugly word and an even uglier disease.  I hate cancer.  Because I've been feeling so good, both Matt and I tend not to think about cancer anymore, but reality is, it could come back at any time, it will always be a factor in my life.  A big factor.  Did I mention I hate cancer?

As I often do when I wake up in the middle of the night, I turned to my devoational book.  A few quotes from Praying Through Cancer
  • Don't forget in the dark what you've learned in the light. 
  • It is not that any of us would choose to have cancer.  But, as Christians, we're in a win-win situation.  Some wise wordsmith put it this way: "The worst that can happen is the best that can happen."
Please, join me in saying prayers for others with cancer.  Pray that they would have peace, energy, healing... and God's arms wrapped around them tightly!

July 30, 2010

Not much to say...

or maybe I just don't have time to say anything! 
We've been busy over here.  I tried typing out something lengthy, but in the end it was a jumbled mess of words so I'll give you a quick overview instead!

I'm feeling great.  Too good really.  I can't find much to complain about.  Taxol is going great, no really terrible side effects.  The biggest one I'm noticing is just being tired.  I'm trying to get to bed on time, but "on time" seems to be getting later and later. 
I do get to go through physical therapy again, the cord that was causing me trouble is still there, and as of just this morning seems to be causing quite a bit of pain.  All tolerable, just irritating.  Physical therapy just means more appointments.  I'm sick of appointments. 
On Wednesday I had a 3 month checkup with Dr Hoberman and then I went home and started cleaning/purging.  I made it through Lila's room, the basement "family room", and Bailey's room.  I was cleaning from 11am until 10pm.  I was worn out in the end, but felt like I definately got something accomplished (more on this later).

We have been spending lot's of time at the beach (the kids and I).  It's been great.  We try to go quite early, beat the crowds and get a good spot by the water, and by the time we leave it's always a sea of people and umbrellas! 

He's been busy at work (praises for that)!  Football starts in a few weeks so that too will keep him busy.  He's been slowly working on my little projects at home (they aren't done yet, which is why you still haven't seen pictures). 

Not much new to report.  No current sports going on, he is leaving on a possum trip with church in a week and a half.  We won't find out where he is going until he is on the bus leaving, but it should be a great trip. 

Bailey turned 9.  We celebrated at the beach with some of her friends (and mine) for the day!  We took her out for ice cream instead of birthday cake in the evening.  She picked a "Banana boat" from Captain Sundae, I think it was more about getting the biggest thing she could than what it actually was, she ate about 4 bites of the thing.  After that she wanted to go to Target to spend a gift certificate so we were there until almost closing time, way late for me, but she had fun!  She has been very into art creations lately.  She really would like her own art room like one of her friends, but her budget doesn't allow for an addition on the house so were going to look for an old (a.k.a cheap) table to put down there for her.

She also spent a few nights at my aunts house in St Joe this week.  She had a great time with them and can't wait to do it again!  She had so much fun upon her return showing me all of her art projects!  While she was gone we went through her room.  My blood pressure was very low before beginning that process.  I went through her closet and pulled out items that were a size 5, I went through her Polly Pockets and pulled out about 15 dolls without heads, I went through her Barbie's and threw away half the dolls, not to mention all of the "extra" junk sitting around that we threw away.  Matt said that someday Bailey will be a t.v. star... she'll be on "Hoarders".  We filled the garbage can (the outside one) with all of the junk from her room.  I really thought she would be mad, but she doesn't seem to mind all that much, she actually likes that we cleaned her room!  Whatever.

Oh Elliot.  What can I say about him?  He loves having a big brother and sister.  He loves when Landon has friends over, he loves Landon's friends.  (Bailey isn't so nice to him when she has friends over.)  He has a knack fo rmaking us laugh.  A lot.  He all of a sudden has a fear of monsters and ghosts as well.  I'm pretty sure it's a stall tactic of his, because he always hears noises in his room when it's time to get pajamas on.  He can never decide on which pajamas to wear either, such a difficult decision!  :)

She took her first steps while getting ice cream for Baileys' birthday.  Why is it no surprise that all it took was food?  She is slowly walking more and more.  It makes me both happy and sad all at the same time.  I think she will be happier if she can walk, but it's just one more stage we are leaving behind.  The girl definately knows her food, go ahead, next time you see her ask her if she wants to eat, but make sure you have food on hand because that girl knows what "eat" is and she WILL want food!  ;)

Very often I forget that I have cancer.  It definately helps that I'm feeling great and haven't had any really terrible side effects from the chemo.  One of the major changes for me has just been all the appointments and trying to keep everything straight, but that's nothing terrible.  This is probably the main reason I can stay so "strong" (not my word, but something I've heard a few times from others), I'm not sick, I can keep up with the day to day (for the most part).  I only think about cancer on Tuesdays when I'm at chemo and on thursdays when I see Dr Dodde, other than that it's on the back burner. 

Last night though it was brought back to reality.  Cancer is not a joke, it is very real and a very real part of my reality.  My heart was broken to hear that Lindy had cancer again, the doctors found two brain tumors.  No one deserves cancer ever, much less cancer twice.  Please say a prayer for her and her family and the doctors.  We all know that God does amazing things, let's storm the gates of heaven with prayers!

July 21, 2010

As promised...

Bailey will be turning 9 next week.  Hard to believe.  She is her own person, a little bit tomboy, a little bit girly!  She is creative, always coming up with something else to make, draw, paint, staple, tape... I love this girl!

Blueberry pictures:  We had a great time.  This is the first time Matt has ever gone with us.  Typically we go in the morning, but it's been so hot lately that I haven't had the desire to go, but Monday night was a beautiful night for picking!  We left with only 11.5 pounds, I'm sure we will be going back soon!  Lila even got in on the action, I pushed her stroller right up to a bush and she kept herself happy picking all kinds/colors of blueberries and immediately consuming them! 

Laundry:  Lila loves to do laundry.  More than anyone else in my house.  If I say "Let's go do laundry Lila", she crawls her little butt right into the laundry room and stands at the dryer.  She is a pro at getting everything out of the dryer and handing it to me (or throwing it on the floor if I'm not quick enough).  But, she HATES it when I close the dryer and she can't get anything else out.  This is her throwing one of her temper tantrums, she screamed and cried (while her loving mommy took pictures) for almost 10 minutes!  Whatever!

Like I said, this girl (Bailey) can create.  She made these costume for herself and Elliot!
(Not sure what Elliot's face is all about here!)

July 19, 2010

Friends and prayers

I feel as if I've been neglecting this blog and you all lately.  I'm here, I just don't have words for my thoughts and there really hasn't been anything new or exciting happening.  Not to mention we have been slightly busy!

Last week I think Matt and I just passed each other every day, or didn't see each other at all.  It was a crazy week for our schedules.  Monday night I worked at Paint a Pot, Tuesday I had chemo all day and then was able to make it to dinner with some great girls in the evening, Landon babysat and Matt went to a "meeting" for football.  Wednesday night Matt went fishing (for perch this time!  yum!).  Thursday morning I dropped Bailey off at Camp Geneva with her friend Maddie.  Thursday night Matt and I were actually both home, we decided to go to the ball fields for a bit and watch Cobe play (a.k.a. WIN!).  Thursday night Landon stayed at my parents house so that he would be ready to leave for Black Lake in the morning, so on Thursday and Friday we only had two kids.  Crazy how we used to think we were busy with 2!  Saturday afternoon we picked Bailey up from camp and stayed and let the kids play in the water for about an hour, super nice.  Camp Geneva has a great water area for everyone, including Lila!

A couple of pictures from some of the GREAT girl time I've had lately!

EJ and I... EJ is almost 37 weeks pregnant, and back in Vermont.  It was great having her stay here for a few days and be able to catch up with her!

I can't even believe I would post this picture, but whatever, it's me!  We hung out with the girls one evening in my basement.  Apparently everyone thought it was a bit chilly down there, can you tell?  Oh, and we played the "Ungame", it was a BIG hit!  This version was from 1975, it's a classic!

Kim was here from California last week, we finally got to meet her little man (shown behind Lila's big head, yes, that's lila the almost naked baby on Julie's lap)

I have to say, I've been very blessed lately to be able to hang out with some great girlfriends!

Tomorrow is another chemo day.  I'm praying for a much quicker visit this time!  :)

I've made not of some great thoughts in my devotions recently that I wanted to share:
I will consider this whole cancer deal worth it if in the end I look more like Jesus, sound more like Him, even smell more like Him.  I want it to be obviuos that I've spent time with Him.  It's worth it, if somehow I can honor You by going through this experience, whatever the outcome.  So I'm asking you to make it worth it.  Make me more like Jesus.  Make it undeniably evident that You are at work in my life.  Honor Yourself.  Part of a prayer written by Joanne Arentson from Praying Through Cancer

Holy Spirit, please develop in me the fruit of joy - a joy that's not based on my circumstances, but on my relationship with my Father.  Let me be joyful in the simple gift of another day to love and be loved.  Part of a prayer written by Lynn Eib from Praying Through Cancer

Lord, how grateful I am that my prayers always rise to You in heaven and You hear each one.  Even the quietest prayers of my heart born out of faith are as important as my loudest prayers ignited by fervency.  Thank You that You will hear and answer them all.  How blessed am I to have You as the center of my life.  A prayer based on Revelations 8:4, from The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian. 
Now that I'm not faced with being sick every day, I feel as if my prayers have gotten quieter, not quite as passionate always.  I still pray frequently, I pray for many people frequently.  I pray for myself, my husband and my kids frequently, but I feel as if I may not be praying as powerfully as I did when first diagnosed.  But, I am reassured by reading this.  They are all prayers of my heart, and they all mean just as much to him as my prayers of 2 months ago or 2 weeks ago. 

**Coming soon:
1)pictures of my recent decorating project, it's not completely done yet, we ran out of black paint, I did get the first part hung up, just a few more things to hang.  I REALLY like it though and can't wait to show you!
2) Blueberry picking pictures
3) Almost 9 year old pictures (of Bailey)
4) and whatever else I can come up with!

July 15, 2010

Taxol #1

This week I had my first Taxol treatment.  What a long day that was!  Because it's the first dose they have to administer it much slower than normal.  Much, much slower.  I was there for almost 6 hours.  At one point I was given a rather large dose of Benadryl, and as hard as I tried to stay awake, I just couldn't.  I was so out of it that I felt as if I was coming out of surgery. 

Normally, before going in I also put some Emla cream on my port to numb the skin prior to the needle being inserted.  Oops.  I forgot it this time.  But no worries, I will NEVER do that again.  Ouch!  It was still hurting a little Tuesday evening. 

Basically after I slept in the office for a while, I was totally fine.  I ended up being able to join some friends for dinner Tuesday night and making it until almost 10:30 that night.  No nausea or anything this time, just a little extra tired (yet unable to nap) and a bit of tingling in my fingers, which is completely normal.  I can handle this!

Matt's been fishing which give me time to work on a few decorating projects around here (b/c it's so much easier when he's gone, did I ever tell you about the time that I took the sawzall to our pool at the old house while he was gone for the weekend? or all the times I started painting projects while he was gone?).  Simple and cheap things that are sure to make a difference here at my house.  If you've been here in the last 2 years you have probably noticed the lack of things hanging on my walls.  But that is all about to change!  I can't wait to show you pictures... soon!

Right now I'm about to wake up my daughter and bring her to camp for two nights!  Have a great Thursday!

July 14, 2010

Fight Like a Girl Long Sleeve & Hooded Sweatshirts

Many of you have shown interest in long sleeve t-shirts and sweatshirts with the fight like a girl logo... we finally have information and are taking orders.

Long Sleeve Youth and Adult Small through XL t-shirt- $15.00

XXL $17.00
XXXL $19.00

Hoodie Sweatshirt Youth $25.00
Adult Small through XL $32.00
XXL $34.00
XXXL $36.00

Please send all orders to:
Mary Maly
3063 104th Avenue
Zeeland, MI 49464

Please include phone number, email address and any contact information pertaining to the order.....

Order deadline is Friday, August 27th, 2010

July 12, 2010


My friend Becky of Bee Tree Studios dropped of a disk of pictures from the BELLieve Fundraiser this morning.  I was just looking through them and while there are a lot to share, this one really moved me, just as being there on Friday night moved me.  This is the moment on Friday that made me cry, and again tonight it brought tears to my eyes.  WOW, looking around at this circle was just astounding.  The number of people... wow! 
Thank you!

July 9, 2010

Thank you

In case you had to leave early I'm including the same thank you here that I was going to read, but just couldn't do it through the tears, so instead Sarah read it for me...

When I got the first phone call from my doctor that the MRI had found something suspicious, I broke down. I didn’t think that I was strong enough to go through this. Not now. Not ever. But in time my attitude changed to “What else am I going to do, I’ve got to fight. Like a girl!”

There are still hard times. There are times I still try to lean on myself instead of God and all he is offering me, but it all get’s much easier when I let him steer the bike. God was never surprised by this diagnosis, he had already begun to prepare all that we would need along the way. He had factored cancer into his plan for me long ago, before I was are of anything. I know that there are many people that God put into my life years, months or even weeks ago, to serve a purpose. He is a good God like that! (Ironically, knowing that he put you all here doesn’t make it any easier to accept or ask for help though).

I am so thankful for all he has given me.

My husband, a man that couldn’t be a better match for ME, a man that is selfless and cares for his family more than himself. Thank you Matt.

My kids. They definitely keep me on my toes, keep me moving and don’t even give me one minute to get down about this situation!

My friends and family. All of you. You’ve supported me with your prayers, your cards, time, labor and gifts. It is all completely overwhelming to us to see what God’s people can do. Thank you.

This evening has meant so much to me; it’s amazing to see how many people are here to support us. Thank you so much for spending your evening with us. It is so humbling to see how many people care for and love us.

Psalm 29:11 says God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace.

He has done these things for me. Whether I live or die, he will give me strength and peace to face it. The Israelites made it to the promised land and one day we all will too.

Thank you!

Looking around during the circle of prayer was absolutely amazing.  I think I've probably used the words amazing, humbled, and grateful more times than I should in the past months, but I don't know of other words to use.  I was so overwhelmed (oops, another one I use to much) to see everyone there, never did I imagine such an amazing turnout!  Thank you!

July 8, 2010

BELLieve Carnival

I feel funny "self-promoting" here, but on the other hand, I know how much hard work has gone into this all and I have to make sure everyone else knows too!  Seriously, every last detail has been thought out for the evening!  I'm amazed at the details that have been thought through.  Things I would have never thought about!  Thank you to everyone that helped plan this event and to everyone that is volunteering thier time to make it a success!  I'm in awe of you all!

Details: BELLieve carnival is happening TOMORROW night!  (Friday)


Food is being provided ...by Beachwood Inn (donations accepted)
Pork, Potatoes, Popcorn, Slushies, Ice Cream and More!

Game Tickets - 25 cents ea.
Games/Activities include Train ride for kids, Face painting, Clowns, and much, much more!

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15)

(ie fishing charters, limousine ride, cheesecake/month for a year )

8:00 - RAFFLE
Raffles $1/ticket - ie gift basket from main st sweets candy store; hair cuts from area salons, pizzas; sizzlers from bob the butcher; premier jewelry; silpada gift certificates and more! You don’t need to be present to win raffle………just put your name on the raffle ticket and save your half

Where: On the corner of 112th and James, there will be signs and people helping to direct for parking
The Niche’ Band will be playing through out the evening

July 2, 2010

Chemo Treatment #4 - DONE

So, they say I'm done with the hard stuff now.  Tuesday was my last Cytoxan and Adriamycin treatment and Wednesday was my last Neulasta shot!  Yay!!!!  Wednesday I was feeling pretty good, I was suprised at how good I was feeling actually.  Thankfully because it was Landon's birthday and I didn't want to be tired or sick for that!  Thursday I started to feel not so good.  Very tired and a little achy.  We tried to go swimming, actually we did go swimming, but it was pretty chilly so I never really went in.  The kids had a great time though!  Elliot showed Kate how he puts his head in the water now, Bailey swam like a fish and jumped in about 100 times and Lila, well, she's not scared of ANYTHING.  The girl just keeps dunking her face in, over and over and over! 

Thursday night wasn't so great, I started getting very achy, lucky for me I have an incredibly husband that loves me and didn't mind that I laid in bed or on the couch for quite a while!  Today, just a little nausea, but if I could possibly eat something I'm sure it would go away.  It's a vicious cycle.  Nothing sounds good, but I won't feel better until I eat something. 

My white blood counts were low this past treatment, they proceeded with the treatment anyway, but now I have a cold.  Summer colds are the worst.  Blech!

Next week I have a week "off", no chemo (and my last day of physical therapy), the following week I start Herceptin and Taxol weekly.  After 12 weeks I continue the Herceptin on a 3 week rotation for a total of one year.  So, while I've made it through 8 weeks and 4 treatments, there is still a LONG WAY TO GO.  Lot's more to look forward to!

This weekend we have some day trips planned, the weather is supposed to be HOT, perfect days to be at the beach!  I hope you all enjoy your weekend, celebrating independence day, stay safe and stay cool!