October 29, 2010

checking in

Thought I probably should check in quick, it's been a while!  I've been so busy with other things that I haven't had time to do even a quick update. 
Since my last update:
5 - number of photoshoots I've had (also the number still waiting to be edited)
3 - number of doctor appointments I've attended
3 - number of football games my family has competed in (finally done!)
4 - dozen cookies we've baked (and subsequently eaten)
4 - pumpkins we've carved
1 - number of photo sessions cancelled due to weather (rescheduled actually)
1 - number of "tornado watch" days with my kids home all day

OK, so individually those numbers don't look very big, but put it all together and then add in all the baths I've given, meals I've cooked, number of times I've mopped the floor, loads of laundry done, dishwasher ran (and emptied), stories I've read, paint I've cleaned up and it all adds up to quite a bit! 

I will be starting radiation on Monday.  The first one is just a simulation to make sure that everything is in the right place, so actualy radiation starts on Tuesday.  I will have 28 treatments, I think that brings me to approximately December 10.  My schedule the first week is all crazy, all over the board, but after 7 days of craziness I will then settle into a routine schedule of 8am every day.  It's early, but it will be the best for having someone here watching the kids, Matt can more than likely just work from home until I get back from my appointment, Lila will more than likely still be sleeping when I get home!

I go in for another Herceptin appointment this Tuesday.  I'm not sure if it's the Herceptin or not being on chemo anymore, but I am HUNGRY ALL THE TIME.  I want to munch on something.  With as much time as I've been on the computer, this is NOT a good thing.  I want chips, I want chocolate, I want chocolate covered chips (ha, just kidding, I do want chocolate covered peanuts though).  I will not be loosing any weight if things continue like this, I won't even be maintaining, I'll be gaining.  Like an elephant. 

Landon starts basketball tryouts on Monday, please keep him in your prayers, there are 70+ kids trying out, so lot's of competition.

Halloween tomorrow (Sunday really, but we live in Zeeland, were celebrating tomorrow).  Elliot is going to be a Ninja turtle.  I always made costumes for Landon and Bailey, but buying a $12 ninja turtle costume at Target seemed so easy this year, I cringe when I see it, but it's just one thing I'm letting go!  He's excited!  Lila is supergirl or wonderwoman.  My pudgy little baby in a little leotard... I really do just want to squeeze her!  Bailey is a Mime (is that even how you spell that?).  All her idea.  We had to search and search for a black and white striped shirt (ended up with black and gray), black berret and suspenders.  We found the latter two at Claires in Holland.  Did you even know there was still a Claire's in Holland, because I sure didnt!  Landon... well, he's Landon.  He had a halloween party at church and just wore a mask that I picked up last year after halloween at Walgreens, not sure how long he even had it on though. 

OK, so I'm off to have lunch with some great ladies... but I leave you with a picture of my wondergirl!

October 18, 2010

Putting on my armor

When we align ourselves with Christ we become the enemies adversary.  It's a scary thought.  Despite the fact that the enemy has already been defeated by Christ at the cross, he will continue to attack us and keep us from putting our faith in God.  We don't need to fight him, but we do need to resist him and his lies daily.  When we resist, he flees.  (See James 4:7)

Use your weapons, the Holy Spirit, the belt of truth, the body armor of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet, and your sword (the most powerful weapon of all... the bible) (See Ephesians 6:14-17). 

You have prayer, faith, hope, love and the Word of God on yoru side.  The Holy Spirit within you is far greater than all the powers of darkness combined.  (See 1 John 4:4)

I feel like the enemy is attacking me a lot lately.  I get in these slumps where I am just down.  Nothing is right or good and I get angry easily.  I tend to be able to hide these feelings from the outside world, but my family sees it.  And it is not pleasant.  I feel bad.  I didn't really realize I was feeling or acting this way until this morning when Matt asked me why I was always crabby?  Hmmmm. 

About two weeks ago I quit taking my sleeping pills to sleep at night.  (That is going quite well, sleep, that is).  But, because I didn't need anything to sleep, I was no longer forced to take a pill evey night.  But that also meant that I didn't take any pills.  Including my anti-depressent, Zoloft, which I have been on pretty consistently since Elliot was born.  Yikes.  Just realized it today, it's probably been two weeks since I've taken one (which would also explain all of the vertigo that I've experienced lately).  So, I need to be more deliberate about taking that, because without it, the devil certainly has a way of sneaking in on me, tearing up relationships, making me feel really bad about myself, tearing my whole world down.  I realize that pills are not a specific part of the armor of God, but it is a part of my helmet, it helps to protect my  mind from doubting God's promises.  It is frustrating to know that I still depend on these little yellow pills so much, I was hoping that at some point I would no longer need them, but it is what it is and if they make me a better person, I'll go with it!

Whoa... talk about open and honest You sure are getting a good glimpse into my real life, I'm sure putting myself out there, but I have confidence that we all have our issues and you all understand at least a little!

And, because a post isn't complete without an adorable picture... here ya go!

October 15, 2010

Tough Love

Some of you may have seen me at church this morning before MOPS. Most of you did not. Some of you may have noticed that one of my dear children was still in pajamas. Many of you may not have noticed. No, it wasn't the baby, although her runny nose and cough are what prevented us from staying for MOPS (your welcome, I didn't put her in nursery)! It was Elliot. He's 4. He hid in dark corners so that people hopefully wouldn't see him in his footie jammies.

Let me start from the beginning. Getting him dressed in anything but basketball shorts and t-shirts is a big issue for us. Before school started I made him a deal that he had to put on whatever clothes I picked out for school, church and if we went away somewhere "important". The rest of the time, as long as he was inside, I don't care what he wears. This went well for about a week. The last few weeks have been difficult though. He doesn't want to wear "those" jeans. He doesn't like "that" shirt. I'm sick of fighting about it. Every morning is a battle that I just don't have the energy to fight.

So, this morning I got out jeans and a shirt (one that buttoned, so we know it wasn't basketball worthy). I laid them on the floor and told him to get dressed. I told him if he didn't get dressed he was going to wear his pajamas to church. I've threatened this multiple times, most of the time it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Today, it didn't. So, 10 minutes later, as were getting closer and closer to the time we need to leave he is still in his pajamas, playing in his room. I walked in. Picked him up. Carried him out of the room. Closed the door. And wouldnt' let him go back in. I think he finally realized that I meant it. He brushed his teeth (I think he was scared not to), and then I announced it was time to leave. He "WAS NOT" going to go with me. "OK, stay here BY YOURSELF then". And off I walked, closed the door and started the van. That scared him even more. (I don't condone parenting with scare tactics all the time, but sometimes that is what works.). He ran outside. I opened his door and told him to get in. He said no. I backed up the van like I was going to leave. He stood screaming in the driveway (sorry neighbors). I gave him "one more chance" (I had to give him lot's more chances on this one, because I'm sure that I could get in a bit of trouble for leaving my four year old home alone). He decided to climb in at this point.

We got to church. He said he wasn't getting out. I told him he was. He was SO embarresed. I got Lila out and then carried him out. He was not going to come into church though, so I had to carry him in (again, probably could get into trouble leaving the screaming four year old in the parking lot alone). He walked around church finding every dark corner that he could.

I'm sure many who saw him wondered what in the heck my child was doing. What kind of mother would let her kid go to church in his pajamas. Well, trust me. It was HARD for me to do. I like my kids to look presentable (most of the time) adn this wasn't the look I was going for. But let me make you a promise. HE WILL NEVER NOT GET DRESSED AGAIN. It was well worth it not to have to do that battle again!

So, that was my tough love parenting adventure for the day!

The B-I-B-L-E

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 (The Message)

  • [When reading the bible] we are tempted to pull out the things we want to believe and ignore the things we don't. 
  • The Bible is not a human book.  It is beautifully written, but it is not literature, or a collection of stories and fables.  It is the inspired Word of God. 
  • [The Bible] is my safeguard against false teaching and my guiding light for how to live.  It reveals the true charecter of God and the full life I can have in His presence.
  • Just because we can't or won't follow the Bible's teaching perfectly, or we are perplexed by some of it, doesn't mean that it isn't truth.  It simply means we can't or won't follow God's word to a tee.  And this is no suprise to God.  We all fall short of His glorious standard.
  • Every word [in the bible] is truth.  Every word is God breathed.
(From Grace for each Hour by Mary J Nelson)

I remember in high school a friend was justifying some things she was/we were doing because of different ways of living in the bible times/different cultures etc, but ultimately she was trying to make herself (us all) feel better about our blatent sins.  It was wrong.  God said it was wrong.  There is no changing Gods word.  It was true then.  It is true now.  Nothing has changed.  Lucky for us, God knew we couldn't live to His standard and sent us his Son so that our sins would be forgotten. 

Happy Friday!

October 9, 2010

Picture Recap

Don't these look delicious?  I sure think so.  They were delicious too!  Marshmallows, sucker sticks, chocolate, graham crackers and oreos (oh, and a little peanut butter on a few as well, my favorite).  These were used instead of a cake for Elliot's birthday party!

Little goodie bags for the kiddo's!  A little flaarp and some candy!

 The crew, just before going on the train ride!  The kiddo's LOVED the ride, Elliot LOVED the train ride.  Elliot loved having a party!  Elliot loves being 4!  What fun it was to have Tom's Train entertain us/the kids!

And... Team BELLieve!  Two seperate pictures because there was just way to many people to fit into one!  Seriously, this was amazing, you were amazing, the event itself was amazing, to see so many survivors was amazing.  It was a great event!

 Crossing the finish line!
More pictures can be seen on my facebook page, feel free to check them out there, and tag yourself while your there as well, I coudlnt' possibly tag everyone myself!

I met with the radiation oncologist on Friday.  It was a LONG appointment with lot's of technical details that, to be quite honest, I don't remember much about (or even really care).  I get to go back on Tuesday morning (followed by my first herceptin only treatment), and then will start radiation in about 2 weeks.  I just want to get going.  Because, ultimately I just want to be done!

October 6, 2010

Linky link link

I'm still torn on my feelings regarding bib necklaces.  Not sure I'm in love with them, but this did catch my eye, maybe it's the color.... who knows, maybe someday I will learn to love them and just HAVE to create!

Praying for this little girl and her family tomorrow!  Will you join me?  (Oh, and her mom, pretty darn crafty too...)

Kim actually posted about these on her blog, she made them into magnets though!  Love this idea!

I kind of like this bag, but this would require me buying and following a pattern.  I don't like patterns.

And, I realize it's not even Halloween yet, but I looked high and low last year for an easy advent calendar.  And came up with NOTHING!  So, this year I've started looking early.  So far I've found a few that I like, but am totally open to suggestions as well (did you see those price tags???)!  (Link me up please!)

This project may (or may not) be a hint at one of my purchases at the Antique Fair a few weeks ago...

This skirt is kinda cute!

Here's another cute bag.

October 5, 2010

And it's done...

I didn't expect to feel this way.  I expected to be thrilled that I was done with chemo.  But this morning I found myself near tears a few times and unable to answer the question of "Are you happy to be done?".  I didn't want to feel this way, I wanted to feel confident and ready to move on.  My friend Amy was quick to assure me that it was normal to feel this way, which made me feel a bit better.  At least I was normal. 

Then I tried to go to bed around 8:30 tonight, I was tired and my legs were hurting already.  It's 10:50 and I'm still awake.  My mind just will not stop.  So, I decided to see if in one of my numerous cancer devotionals I could find one that addressed the feelings I was having.  Of course they did, haven't I learned that God always comes through?

(Loosly based on a devotional by Barbara Johnson, from "Praying Through Cancer", some words were changed and added to apply to me)
When my treatment ended and the doctor said I was done with chemo, I found myself in totally new territory.  Expecting to feel happy and full of joy, instead I found myself tense - and lonely.  Now that was an emotion I hadn't expected!  But that's truly how I felt.  Despite all my complaining about the ongoing tests and medications, the thought of not having weekly appointments made me feel like I was being tossed out on my own.

(Again, loosly based on a devotional by Joanne Arentson, from "Praying Through Cancer", some words were changed and added to apply to me)
Just one chemo treatment left.  Fear quietly became my companion as the day approached, not the fear of dying from breast cancer, but the fear of life beyond it.  I was dreading the end of the sessions, not because I enjoyed being fatigued and nauseated, rather, I'd have nothing left to hide behind once I was deemed healthy.  That scared me. 
Being treated for cancer afforded me a sort of protection.  Expectations were lower.  People were kinder.  Now I would be accountable for my "job" performance (a.k.a how clean my house was), my level of activity, my responses to people.  How would I fare without the familiar armor?
My words are never good enough, but the words of others do a fabulous job of telling how I'm feeling.  This is really heavy and I didn't expect to feel like this, it's going to take some prayer and working through to be get past it. 
Thank you to the people that stopped by today and for the numerous cards that I received, in the mail, at chemo and in my car!  Thank you for the flowers, the candy, the wine and the cake!  You are all fabulous, I appreciate you  helping me to celebrate a milestone in this journey!  Thank you to all of my friends that have listened to me complain, tried to understand what I'm feeling, been there for me no matter what.  You have all made this so much easier on me than it could have been.  (I'll accept my Acadamy Award now... doesn't that previous paragraph make you think of an awards speech?)
A snippet of the prayer from one of the devotionals:
You simply desire that I trust in you and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  You tell me to delight myself in You and You will give me the desires of my heart.  Help me to be content with just that.  Help my focus to rest on trusting You, doing good, dwelling, enjoying life and delighting in You.

October 1, 2010


So... what's new?
Cancer talk:
ONE chemo treatment left!  ONE!  ONE!  Did you catch that?  That's ONE!  I think I mentioned that I had a week off.  It was a great week.  I dare say that I felt almost normal.  What is normal?  Whatever it is, I was almost there! 
I walked the Susan G Komen Grand Rapids on Saturday with a couple of other people.  Just a couple!  (Like 6000).  I would love to be able to run it next year, it's a good goal! 
On Sunday I went to Allegan.  I know, it sounds exciting.  But, we went to the Allegan Antique Market.  The biggest garage sale I've ever seen.  You know I love garage sales (sarcasm intended).  This wasn't all that bad though.  I actually got a few great finds (Someday I'll show them off, but please don't hold your breath).  I look forward to going back next year!
Then on Tuesday I had cancer again.  Meaning I had to go have chemo.  I really have felt pretty decent throughout this whole chemo thing that sometimes I feel like I only have cancer on Tuesdays.  Ugh.  I was quickly reminded what I felt like prior to a week off.  Super dee duper tired (yup, super dee duper... I said it again).  By wednesday afternoon I was slightly nauseous.  Not real hungry (not complaining about that side effect at all).  Just no energy to do ANYTHING.  Although I did go for a fast, 3 mile walk on wednesday morning while E was in school, which could explain the lack of energy I suppose.  I was in bed around 7:30 Thursday night, and it felt good.
The good news.  Only one more week!  ONE!

Yup.  Lot's of it.  Landon's team is 2-1, Matt's is the same (I think).  Wednesday night games make doing church stuff very difficult.  Very.  Three games left though and then we get a break! 

Ummmm, yeah.  So that's it for now.  I am hoping to come back with pictures of E's birthday party and Team Bell-ieve this weekend.