Sunday, April 24, 2016

Catching Up

It's been quite some time since I have been on my blog. I just haven't made the time to sit and write and thought it was time to catch up again.

I completed Physical Therapy. When I was retested at the end, I had gained more flexibility as well as the pain was nearly gone. I also shaved off a few seconds from one of the tests. The physical therapist was so encouraging and positive that it helped me feel much better about where I am with everything. It also gave me hope that I can continue working toward a healthier goal for myself despite what I have been diagnosed with and that made a difference in my outlook and attitude.  I sometimes need a reminder.  I am not completely consistent with doing all my stretches but I am doing some of them on a daily basis.  I just received a card from my PT and that was perfect timing to help me remember to do what I have been taught.

About 6 weeks ago the tumor marker number was tested and it had increased 10 points from when it was tested like 2 months prior to that. So it was redone last time and it came back 2.5 points up. The doctor considered this stable but we will be talking tomorrow about things.  I was informed at my last appointment that I will have to continue on the Herceptin & Perjeta chemo treatments for as long as they work. Most people with Her 2 positive receptors do the meds for 1 year and then they are done. Since they diagnosed me with stage 4, they want me to continue on them for as long as they work. I'm not overly thrilled with that info but I just keep remembering that God told me he'd take care of it all so I put it into his hands & trust his word to be truth! I know he's not a liar.

I have been feeling quite good and am planning to do a rummage sale with the help of my kids as soon as we can get it ready & there is good weather. We need to get these extra clothes & toys and misc out of our house and see if we can make a little extra money to help out.  We have been working on paying off our debt this last year in a big way and we are finally making some progress. We don't say no to ourselves ALL the time but we have said no to a LOT lately and that is helping.

I can't believe that school is coming to a close in the not so distant future. I am looking forward to having my kids at home but may be looking at another surgery soon. I have to find out my options for reconstruction from the mastectomy so we can make a decision. And then if it involves surgery, we can get that done soon so we can have a great summer.

Thank you for the continued prayers for me and my family. We wouldn't be thriving like we are if we didn't have God at the center of our lives.  A few weeks ago I was praying about how to help my kids learn to do a daily devotion and time with God and the holy spirit gave me the idea to use The Bible App on my phone and choose a different devotion for each of my kids. He also gave me the idea of when to do this with each of them so that I could have some one on one time with them and so far, it's been working GREAT for the last 2 weeks. On school days, so 5 days a week, I sit down with Braly & we read through his devotion before he heads to school. That way he starts his day out in the right direction. I drop him off at school and then spend a few minutes with Gabby doing her devotion before she gets dropped off at school. When I am helping Morgan finish up getting ready for school, we have time before the bus comes to read her devotion.  We missed last Monday for Morgan because she had an appointment but we did her reading after school.  I am thoroughly enjoying this time with each of them and it is lending some information for some great conversations. We've talked about history, genealogy, and so much more over the last 2 weeks. They are asking more questions about our faith and what I am really gearing toward is them making our faith their own. What I mean by that is, they aren't just choosing our faith because mom & dad have this faith, but rather they choose it because they want to and they feel called to serve and love God.  For the longest time I struggled with how to be consistent with my kids and doing devotions. I never thought that I'd be able to do one on one with them in the morning without rushing or being late but it is working great. I think that I will continue doing The Dig: Luke Vol 1 at dinner time when we can because we were all enjoying that one but I won't fret if we don't do it every day. Oh, just had a holy spirit idea, We can do The Dig on weekends when it is easier for us to be together.  And I have a cute little devotion book for preschoolers that I do with Sadie. It has super cute illustrations and simple, yet practical & powerful info with an age appropriate version for the Bible verse. I used it with the older 3 and they got a lot out of it. I sometimes see them pick it up and read through several pages of it still. It's great to see that. And I imagine I'll keep it to use with my grandchildren some day. :)


Time for me to head to bed. One of the things that I often struggle with is getting to bed at a decent time. I go in spurts of doing great to stinking at it. And I know that my body needs a good amount of rest so I must take care of this temple I have and get it to sleep.

Have a great week friends!  Be encouraged to set some goals and work toward them. With God, All things are possible!

P.S. don't forget that you can subscribe to my blog so you won't miss a post, especially with how much time can pass before I sit down and write. Sign up with your email and it will go right to your inbox when I update the blog.  It's on the right side of the page as : Follow by email :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My first day of PT

My plan when I was to see the Physical Therapist (PT) was to get some exercises to do at home and not really go back very much because I figured that I already have so many appointments for myself and then all the ones for the kids. I'm just getting appointmented out. If that's a thing. Lol But I wanted to keep an open mind because I have pain in my low back on and off depending on what I do and a constant pain in my heel, partially from all the gained weight due to steroids and chemo treatments. It hurts terribly and causes fatigue more than I'd like. Well today, I saw a wonderful Physical Therapist and she was able to make my heel not hurt for awhile. She also loosened up the muscles in my hip and made me feel lighter. I was so excited and thrilled and surprised for this to happen that I actually started to tear up. At first it was because as she was working it really, I mean REALLY hurt. But when she was finished and I got up to walk around, I couldn't believe how amazing I felt. I was actually thinking that unless God removed all the pain or I started taking pain meds daily, I would be stuck with the pain. NOPE. I was praising God and thanking my PT and told her that I'd do my stretches and come back the 2 times each week to get better.

So Friday I go back. The pain free walking lasted for a few hours but I know that it will get better. I will continue healing just like God told me.

On another note, please pray that I can get some resolutions. I appealed to our insurance for them to cover some charges with the chemo treatments and they denied my appeal. I am bummed because things like this shouldn't be a problem. It's quite frustrating. I am thankful that the hospital will give me a discount but it adds up quickly. I just have to remind myself that God will provide and all will turn out just fine.

In the meantime, I'm going to work at getting myself more flexible and stronger. 

Blessings,
Jeannette :)

Monday, February 29, 2016

Seek and Find

Have you ever played hide and seek? It can be a fun game but it can also be frustrating if you are playing with very good hiders and in a place that is big and has many good hiding places.  Have you ever played with a small child?  They often times can't stay put long enough to be found. They giggle when you are getting closer or they hear you looking for them. Their excitement just can't be contained. And I'm not sure if you ever noticed but if you are taking turns hiding and seeking with them, they often go and hide in the exact same place that you just hid. I find it cute & funny because they figure it was such a good hiding place for you that they should try it themselves.

Well, last week I was spending a little time with God and the Holy Spirit stirred up the verse Jeremiah 29:13
 It had been bopping around my head all day Thursday as I was taking care of my 9 year old since she broke her collar bone. While we were in the ER for 3 hours and while we waited for her medicine to be ready at the pharmacy. And while I ran a few errands to get her school work and make arrangements for her when she went to school today. And then when I picked up my other 2 school aged kids. I was rather tired from all the running around and waiting but this verse did not leave me. Then when I was talking with my sister, I shared this verse with her. I told her I couldn't remember where it was found but what she shared with me, it seemed that I should share this verse with her. She said, "thanks, I needed that." I told her that it's neat how the Holy Spirit works and that I was glad I could encourage her because in truth, that actually encouraged me too. And the verse seemed to be a good fit for both of us with completely different situations.

Today as I was listening to a teaching about God's Best for us, the teacher started out with the verse that many people know. Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  As powerful as that verse is, when you understand who it was written to, I think it speaks even more. It was inspired by God and Jeremiah the prophet wrote it. It was at the time when King Nebuchadnezzar had defeated Jerusalem and had taken the people captive. These people probably thought that God had forgotten about them but in truth, they were the ones that had forgotten what God had taught them, what he had done for them and they needed to know that God still loved them and had great plans for them. I think it is in the New King James Version it says "an expected end".  Which means that it was a better ending then they could ever hope for. What God wanted to remind them was that they needed to turn back to Him and call on Him and He would be there to answer. He didn't just up and quit like some kids do when they get tired of playing Hide and Seek. No, He never goes away but us silly humans seem to forget the things He has done for us and we turn away. We stop seeking Him. We quit looking for Him. I'm not saying that seeking Him is a game but since most of us have played that game, we can relate. It's rather annoying to play with someone that quits right in the middle. Thankfully God loves us so much that He will overlook that we quit. He's glad that we jumped back in and started seeking Him. We need to keep seeking Him and if we stopped, the super cool thing is, we can start seeking Him again and He will be there for us.

So the 4 verses read:

No matter what you need to seek God for, keep doing it, you WILL find Him. Sometimes it takes me quieting myself over and over before I hear what God has for me. It's not usually an audible voice that I hear but it is usually quite distinctive in my spirit and I know it's God. I have had some times where I thought I heard something and then wasn't sure and He confirms it for me by having someone share a Word with me or I read it in a devotion or hear it in a teaching and it cements it that it was God.  I hope that you will keep seeking God. I believe that you will find Him!

Blessings,
Jeannette :)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

On the Cookie Train & Star Program

It's Thankful Thursday today and I've been praying for a few people as the prayer requests come to my email from church or I see a need on FB. I am thankful for a Good Heavenly Father that cares about the big and little things that affects us and He wants us to bring our prayers and concerns to Him & He wants us well!

I have been gaining some energy back and it feels good. I'm thankful that I have more energy and have been able to plan  and cook meals for my family & keep the laundry caught up with my little Laundry Helpers. I am trying to follow our budget better and see if our grocery allotment can be less than it has in the past but still have a variety of good foods to eat. It is a challenge. Anyone else struggle with this? I'm working on making some pretty/fun envelopes for the envelope system that are a great size to fit into my wallet. They will be much easier to carry & keep track of and being pretty will help me to stick with using them.

I am super grateful that I've had the energy that I need to take my little Girl Scout out selling her
cookies because we are on the Girl Scout Cookie Train right now. Morgan is working to earn herself the American Girl Doll of the Year for 2016, Lea Clark. And she's trying to help her troop get the funds they need for their 42 girls to complete their badges and trips for this year. She is learning that selling 600 boxes of cookies is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. It is not impossible but it is challenging. Last year was her first year and she sold a little over 300 boxes for the 10 weeks that they can sell. This year, she's been selling for almost 2 weeks out of the 10 weeks and she's up to 437 boxes, which is 73% of her goal. She also made another goal to try and sell 36 donated boxes of cookies. She's got 15 sold which is 42% of that goal. Her troop also has a goal of 3,000 boxes. So Morgan has been practicing her math skills along with her money skills and learning confidence and overcoming her shyness.  Tonight she gets to make Valentines for Vets which I think is a great event to attend. We all need to know that we are loved.  So if you want cookies, you can order from us if you are local or you can order online from her site and they will be shipped right to your door but the way you pick the boxes is limited and you pay shipping. We've had some people send money in the mail or I can collect money from Paypal as a gift if you'd like to contribute to her cookie donations (they go to our Military & food banks). To order & have shipped to your door, just visit Morgan's site at:  http://onlinemarketing.abcsmartcookies.com/GirlInternetOrders/Invitation/Open/806db845-70fd-4306-8fdc-55eb00db3931

Yesterday was my treatment appointment. And I have decided to utilize the STAR program that OSF has available. It stands for Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation and is a nationally recognized program to improve the lives of survivors who often suffer from side effects caused by cancer treatments. Even though I am doing super thanks to God's healing hands upon me, I thought it might help me strengthen myself and increase energy even more and give me information about lymphedema. Most of my arm, shoulder, and side have gained feeling back but it is still coming out of that 'pins & needles' phase. It's kinda hard to believe that it has been 6 months since the mastectomy surgery. I am so very thankful for God's guidance, for the prayers of His people and for His healing touch on my body. I'm hoping that this program will give me some knowledge in how to strengthen myself even more & help me have confidence in what I can do and help me to stick with health movements, even if they aren't the conventional ones I was used to doing. Maybe help me get past that and find a 'new' way of doing what I need to do.

I've been enjoying my time with Sadie this week. We've been practicing sounds that she has trouble with. I know it isn't uncommon for kids her age to have trouble with these but we practice and say silly things and make silly faces to make it fun while she learns. We've practiced writing some letters beyond those from her name and today we've been playing with the Littlest Pet Shop animals and the My Little Pony Friends that she has. She helped at Photography Club and when I told her that I finished the cross-stitch I was working on while at treatment yesterday, she asked me if I could make her a Rainbow Unicorn now. The problem with that is I don't have a good pattern to follow so I was trying to make one in my program but it is going to take me a long time and I'm not sure it's going to work. I think I'll resort to the more simple one instead. I think she'll be just as happy with it and maybe someday we can make this other picture into a good pattern.

Let me leave you with this...we've been teaching the kids about having the right attitude in our class on Sunday and the verse we've been working on is Psalm 51:10. One of the things we talked about last week was "Having an Attitude of Gratitude" and how being thankful can change one's attitude, even when times are difficult. This is a challenge sometimes but sooo worth it. What are you thankful for? Does that help give you a different perspective on a situation? Let's encourage each other to have an attitude of gratitude and get our hearts right with God. He desires us to have pure/clean hearts and a steadfast/right spirit. Enjoy your day!
~Best Regards  Jeannette :)


Friday, January 22, 2016

Gotta Keep on Trusting Him

Well the holiday and fun family time is well over. The kids are back into the school routine...well sort of until they all got that stomach bug that was going around. Then they each took turns missing a day or 2 of school and I was kept busy taking care of them all. Adam even ended up getting hit & could actually use your prayers as he's still trying to recuperate completely from it. It has zapped his energy and I have a feeling this weekend is going to include a lot of rest for him.

Medical wise things have been going pretty good for me. Sort of in a "holding pattern" I guess. I am still having to go in and get 2 kinds of chemo for the Her2 receptors every 3 weeks but that is going mostly good. There have still been a few side effects but overall I am good and actually gaining more energy with each day. It feels good to accomplish things around the house a little more like I used to. It may seem trivial but keeping the laundry caught up and making meals without being so exhausted feeling is nice.  Last week when I had the treatment, it actually made me cold but was also on that 18 below day so that didn't help. I will have to be sure to layer better next time. It's the first time I ran into that problem since I started this treatment plan at the end of May and I refuse to bring any of my own beautiful blankets or prayer shawls in because I simply don't want to have more laundry to do & it would have been exposed to far too many things to just continue using it in my home. I'm a little weird that way I guess but when they told me that I had to flush the toilet twice for 48 hours after a treatment, I just use extra caution for my hubby & kiddos. I could use some prayers because I have to appeal some billing for the treatments with the insurance company and would like some favor for a good response. Oh, I almost forgot. They drew blood for the tumor marker to be done. The last time it was done was in Nov and it was 49, this time it came back as 47 and the results I looked at said that under 38 is normal. :) To God be the GLORY! He's healed me and it's manifesting in more than this one way.

I haven't talked about it in awhile but I have continued to keep reading my Bible and am nearing the challenge of reading through the whole Bible. It has taken me nearly 2 years I think but that is okay. I have learned a lot so far and it isn't as though that was the only thing I have been doing for my quiet time. I've only got Revelations left. That's how close I am and for some strange reason, I've slowed down finishing it. I think perhaps I don't want it to end but that's so silly because if I desire, I can just start over again. Right? Do you ever have silly thinking like that?  I've also been reading a book titled "When Heaven Invades Earth". It's wonderful and powerful. Sometimes I read too fast as though I'm just trying to get to the end but with this book, I'm trying to absorb as much of it as I can. I read a little before going to bed and then pray and ponder on what I've just read. I feel as though I should go back and re-read it because it just makes so many great points and I want to remember as many as I can. I have it in the Kindle App and I love that because I can highlight and make notes as the Holy Spirit speaks to me. 

Please pray that I am able to self discipline myself to get back onto a reasonable sleep schedule. I need to be sure to take care of myself and I'm not using my time in the best way so I am trying once again to not be a night owl because my job as a wife and mother require me to be a daytime person. Thanks.  I don't know about you but there are many things I'm working on and what I keep reminding myself is to just keep trying and moving forward from where I'm at. Not worrying about how many times I have had to start something over again, whether it be to get to bed at a decent time or to eat healthier, or exercise or stick with the laundry, or have my quiet time with God each day, or stop some bad habit or start a good habit...no matter what it is, I realize that even if I fall off the wagon and have to start all over again say a million times, I'm still better off trying again then just plain giving up and saying its of no use.  So if you feel that you should work on a change in your life, it might be challenging, you may have to start over AGAIN but tell yourself that's okay and you'll do better. Start where you are and strive to do a little better each day. You can do it with God's help!

Since I've been doing a lot of laundry from trying to get rid of the germs making everyone sick at my house, I noticed that our dryer was making a new noise..and it was NOT the kind of noise that is good coming from a dryer. Instead of worrying what I'm going to do, I said a fairly simple prayer that went something like this. "Lord, I'm trying to make sure our laundry is done each day. I thank you for giving me the endurance and strength to keep up with it this week. You know our finances right now Lord and you also know what we have need of. Please provide us a dryer at the right time so we don't have to be without and I don't have to figure out what to do to dry everything. Thanks God for always supplying our needs. In Jesus' name Amen."  I was on FB and happened to see on the Garage Sale Site for our town that someone had a washer & dryer for sale. A good price too. I asked some questions about the dryer and didn't get much info. Then the next day I went to look for the post and it was gone. The lady had taken the post down & put up one just for the dryer and hadn't tagged me in the new post or answered the question I had from the previous one. I was a little annoyed. But I told myself aloud that maybe she doesn't really know how FB works or how to tag people or anything like that. SO I asked my question again and still no answer. I told myself that maybe she was at work or something & she'd get back with me soon but I could feel myself getting a little anxious that maybe I wouldn't be able to make this sale that I needed happen. And that's when it hit me...I Gotta Keep on Trusting Him, no matter the circumstances. Sooooooo.....I let it go, and it was a little bit challenging because someone after me had posted she'd take the dryer and I thought that my chances of getting this dryer had dropped to a BIG FAT ZERO.  Notice that I didn't say it was hard to let this go, nor that it was impossible?  Nope...didn't say it because I know with God ALL things are possible and challenging yes, but not impossible & I had to remind myself between thoughts that were rolling around in my head that I had prayed and asked God to provide and maybe He had something better in mind for us. I had to remind myself that I asked Him to provide and He's always been faithful to answer my prayers and take care of me. ALWAYS!!!

A little while later, my sister called and asked if I was looking for a dryer. I said why yes I am. She said, I have an extra one you can have. Thank you LORD not only for providing but for helping me to remember how faithful you are. You love me and will provide for me. Trusting God doesn't always look like this situation for me. You all know that. I've had to trust God that no matter what kind of Pet Scan results or blood tests or whatever I get, I know he's gonna take care of me & my family. It's not always easy but I can say it is SO WORTH IT. God has your best interest in mind too. He knows better than anyone what is best for you and saying YES to let him guide you is an amazing choice and journey. Will you take that journey with Him? He is already waiting for you to say yes. He's calling you to come, lay your burdens down at his feet and trust him. He loves you!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10 Thankful Thursday

I sit here listening to the sound of the movie Home for the millionth time. Sadie really enjoys this movie. She just said, "This movie is a good one." It will keep her busy long enough for me to type this.

It's time for a quick update. I'm extremely tired today. I woke up yesterday and was feeling really good. My back wasn't hurting for the first time since I slipped on some ice the day after Thanksgiving so I got a lot of stuff done. Still more to do in prep of having my sisters and their families visit us. I really am looking forward to them all being here but like to keep things as simple as possible so we can maximize the visiting. I'm planning simple meals and thinking that since the majority of us enjoy breakfast, that we'll do a brunch on Christmas morning and then we can still have some good food for dinner but the pressure will be off for expectations of a big dinner...well, at least I'm thinking so. I have some amazing sisters so I will have plenty of help.

Well after the amount of laundry and stuff I got done around the house you would have thought I would have been able to fall asleep easily but something happened yesterday evening that made my heart cry with sadness. I can't disclose on here exactly what happened but lets just say that my 3 school aged children could use prayers with school issues which spans from homework, teachers that don't explain things clearly, friendships, etc. I'm sure there are many others out there that have experienced parts of what I'm talking about. I'll pray for your children & you too. It is hard to see your kids going through those tough times. But I just kept praying about it all last night & messaged a friend for some words of encouragement and was finally able to fall asleep. I didn't get much sleep so I'm not getting much done today but that's okay I guess. I get to enjoy Gabby's band concert tonight and am thrilled that I will get help wrapping presents on Saturday from friends in my church family. I look forward to having that part done early.

Try not to fill your days ahead with too much stuff to do. Remember the season we are celebrating and take some time to enjoy it between the Christmas parties, performances, and such. Pray for those that you  know feel lonely during this Christmas season and be encouraging to as many people as God asks you to. Speak life!  Our kids have been arguing too much lately and we keep reminding them to Speak Life to each other. This is a favorite song of mine that I may have shared before but it is definitely worth sharing again. I always like sharing the lyrics of a song so you can read them while listening. They are powerful. the bible tells us that Life and Death are in the power of the tongue. It also tells us to be encouraging to others.



 I'm still praising God that the Chest CT scan was clear. I'm praising God that the pain in my body is leaving and I am feeling better each day. I am thankful for the help that I need and that I am able to do more these days without so many side effects as the Taxotere chemo was giving me. My eyebrows are growing back but up close look kinda funny since they are sticking straight out from being so short. The hair on my head is growing though some days it looks completely WILD! I do my best to be okay with it, especially after looking back at pictures of when I had NO hair. My head and neck are ok with this warmer weather though I really do enjoy the look or a white Christmas. It brings back so many wonderful memories of my childhood and the loving, wonderful family I got to spend it with. I'm looking forward to my nails coming back and not being quite so awful. They keep ripping from the chem and some are so short that they kinda hurt but I am thankful that they are growing and getting better. Each day is a sweet and small victory that adds up to the Battle that is already won on my account...and yours too.  Well, it's time for me to go purchase some date night tickets to the New Star Wars movie. We hope to take the kids after Christmas but for now, my wonderful, geeky husband and I are going to enjoy some VIP seats and I need to get the tickets before they are sold out. Have another great week. Find something to be thankful for. Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn't mean to forget. If this thankful stuff is new to you, maybe you need to start big and work your way down to all the little things that you are thankful for. We all have something to be thankful for if we look.


Be thankful & encourage!
Jeannette :)

P.S. I am thankful for my baby sister who was born 2 weeks before Christmas years ago. Her birthday is tomorrow so if you know Natalie, wish her a happy birthday.
 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Praise God for Good Report!

I posted this short update for the results for the CT of my chest on Facebook already but I know there are a few that follow the blog and don't go on FB.

They did the CT scan on Monday which if you've never had the contrast dye that they give...it's weird. Makes you feel as though you are all warmed up inside and the lady said for some it can make them feel as if they are urinating. Such a strange feeling to be all warm inside like that.  Anyway, I saw the oncologist today and he said that the CT scan was clear and didn't show any nodules. He said he's not sure what they saw on the portable chest x-ray but that I am good.  I said, Praise God for that good report!

I am to start up the hormone blocking meds again since I stopped the Taxotere chemo.  I still am scheduled to get the receptor meds every 3 weeks but those 2 don't take as long and I was out of there rather quickly today & able to get a few groceries that Adam needs since he's on road most of the week from here on out until Christmas.  The next time I go in, I don't even have to have labs drawn which cuts the time there even shorter. It never takes long to draw the labs but takes nearly an hour to get them back so we know if everything is ok for them to give me the nasty chemo. Since I'm not doing that one, I don't need labs next time.  That is a nice feeling.

I have been praying that I get good results for the last 4 weeks and I must say, I sure needed this good news. It is definitely a faith builder to have prayers answered like this. I continue praying & believing for a complete healing because I truly believe that it has been done and I just have to receive it for it to manifest.

I must keep this short. Sadie has had a runny nose and been waking up between 4 and 5am and not falling asleep again until close to time for everyone else to wake up or after we are all up getting ready for the day. Tomorrow I don't have to go anywhere in the am so I am going to take advantage of that and snuggle with Sadie when she wakes up but I'm heading to bed soon in hopes of getting a better night's sleep since my nose has been runny too.

Thank you for all the prayers you lifted up on behalf of me and my family. I truly felt them because I was not a basket case waiting to re-run the chest CT and I wasn't a crazy mess from the time of having the CT done yesterday to getting the results. That waiting game can make a person bazerk but I felt mostly at peace and when a thought would come into my mind, I would say my thoughts are captive to you God. And give it to Him to take care of. It certainly worked and though I was expecting good news today, I was relieved to hear it.  God is faithful and his love endures forever!