Saturday, November 7, 2015

"Honor doctors for their services, since indeed the Lord created them. Healing comes from the Most High, and the king will reward them" (Eccl. 38:1,2)
"I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you" (Exo. 15:26)

These quotes certainly come from the Bible, but I found them in an AMAZING book given to me my a dear family friend, Nilsa. The book is titled, Cancer and the Healing Power of Prayer by Fr. Joby Kachappilly V.C.      It is truly a beautiful book that I highly recommend!

This has been a week of being grateful for doctors and nurses for their choice of going into a profession that they feel passionate about and that took so much time to become experts in. Even though I may get frustrated at their lack of knowledge of how the natural gifts from the earth, from God, can assist with this healing process, I am forever grateful for their knowledge of how modern medicine can work in times of disease. And this gives me an added dimension to one of my missions of teaching others about the gifts of essential oils and other natural remedies that have been used for thousands of years.

I went to see a great GI specialist just to check on all of my stomach and other GI related symptoms. He says all seems to be just side effects of chemo since they all went away two days before I went to see him (just like taking the car into the mechanic). It was great to meet him and know that I have another doctor I can trust. He did give me some suggestions on how to help my body with the acid the chemo is creating. Thankfully I could take some of what he recommended and mix it with what I know does well with in the natural remedies.

So, Thursday I went in for my second round of treatment. The nurses at Gwinett Medical Cancer Center are fabulous! They pay attention to detail and give me room to be with my many visitors. Apparently I am already known as the one who brings a party. Those who know me well, know that makes me happy. The only thing missing up to this point is some Gloria Estefan music and some dancing. But, since my port continues to be positional (meaning I have to be in a reclined position for it to work) then I won't be dancing during chemo. I'll just dance before and after.

My spirit and heart surely dance when my mom is by my side and my dad brings me the Holy Eucharist! What a beautiful way to start each treatment so far. I think we have begun a tradition there. With so much support from our Pastor and other deacons, I know this will continue even if dad can't make it. But I don't think there is much that could keep him away.

Just as dad was leaving and it was getting close to lunch time, Angelina came by to give mom a break so that she could get us all some yummy lunch from Pollo Tropical, close by the hospital, another tradition and another piece of the party. Angelina stayed the rest of the time assisting with things and just being present. Such a gift!
I was looking tired here. 

Here she is putting on my feet mitts to protect my nails during the taxetere drug infusion. 

No pictures of lunch as we have to go eat it in an enclosed break room so as not to nauseate those who are sensitive to odors. We had a wonderful Cuban meal! But as mom and Angelina went to eat lunch another angel stopped by, Chris Wilson. 
I have a feeling he will be a constant. : ) Next week we celebrate the five year anniversary of when his body accepted by kidney. We much to be grateful for!

Then, came an unexpected but very welcomed visitor, my good friend and mentor in the essential oil business, Lori. She happened to be volunteering at the hospital that day and texted me to see if she could come by and visit. God is amazing in how he plants angels all around me! So, she came over for a very nice long visit. We talked about so many topics and just enjoyed a great time!
As you can also see from the pictures, I was adorned in many gifts sent by many angels over the past few weeks. I was so grateful for the colorful blanket given to my by a colleague, and the cool black hat sent to me by Kelley that day through Chris. And you can't see the "red tote" given to me other colleagues that carried everything in that day. I just constantly feel supported and loved! I know this will go a long ways toward my healing. Thank you to all who are praying and being present to me in many ways. Thank you for being the arms and hands of Jesus! Thank you for reflecting HIS love!

I must say, I don't know what we would do without the love and generosity of so many! I especially want to recognize my parents and my mother and father- in-LOVE! They are all the most generous people you have ever met. They give of their love, time, and treasure so freely even from thousands of miles away. I know it isn't easy for the four of them to see this all unfold. However, they have remained strong and ready to act in any way needed. They even know our needs before we do. That's what parents do! I just keep saying, I am forever grateful that God chose for me to go through this while they are all still living. I know they will be a BIG reason why I am able to heal from this.
I love you Mom and Dad, Valerie and Chief! Thank you for all you have ever done for us and continue to do for us!

So, Thursday I came home and slept for a few hours before enjoying another delicious meal that was brought to us. After hanging out with the boys for a couple of hours I went back to bed.

Friday morning I woke up pretty revved up from the steroids I take the days surrounding chemo. So, I got a lot done, even though I didn't blog. I was actually up at 3am. We have a tradition that when you are awake at 3am it because someone needs your prayers. So, I dedicated that hour to praying for all who are suffering from cancer. At 3pm we have another devotion to the hour of Mercy (Learn more about this devotion here: Well, here I am again this morning right at the 3am hour, another opportunity to meditate on Christ's passion, and pray for those suffering. I really love being up at his quiet time. Know that I am praying for all of you who read the blog as well.

I had two more angels come to visit yesterday, Friday. One is Valerie, whom I have been friends with since grade school. All through high school she was like a big sister to me even though our time there over lapped only by a year. We remained in contact through special events, her visits home from Furman, and many a letter written back and forth. I actually credit her with my love of journaling. Later in our professional careers we found that we were mirroring each other. Then we both shared the journey of infertility together. We have often been amazed at our lives have paralleled. All the while Christ has been at the center of our friendship guiding us and inspiring us. Thank you for the visit and the delicious meals!!! Her visit yesterday was another beautiful time of reconnecting and another vision of an angel!
And can you believe that after all of this I still had another angel visit. Lauranell came by with a surprise visit and a great treat for the guys, fried chicken!!! It is amazing (but it shouldn't be) how God sends people at the right time with the right things for each of us. I didn't get a picture of this beautiful angel. There are a few others whom I also need to capture. Just know you are each captured in my heart and memory.

Friday afternoon, after chemo, now consists of going back to the Gwinnett Medical Center for the shot of Neulasta which forces by bone marrow to produce more white blood cells so that I stay healthy through the treatments. It worked very well last time even though the side effect was painful bone pain. This time I am staying on top of the medical remedy for that, which is taking a Claritin pill the day before, the day of, and seven days after. There is apparently something in Claritin specifically that keeps the bone pain away. I tried my natural remedies last time, trying to keep one less drug in my body, and it just didn't work. So, this time I'll do the Claritin thing. 

From there we went to Great Clips to get my head shaved. Thankfully, my friend Pam was there and she took great care of me. It was great to be flanked by family as the hair came off. My oldest son, Ricky, was self designated photographer. I'll admit, it was tough sitting in front of that huge mirror and watching the remaining hair come off. However, in the end it felt so good. I was experiencing a lot of pain at the hair follicles. I guess they just weren't used to all of the exposure up there. Also, I was losing a lot of hair everywhere I went. It was time to just have it taken off. One less thing to worry about. The boys and Pam made it fun! Here are a few pictures.
 The boys just had to see mommy with a Mohawk. I love that you can see Ricky taking this picture!

The final look. It's not as bad as I expected it to be. But I don't think I'll be going out in public much looking bald. I have some great hats, scarves and a beautiful wig that I will get to wear and have fun with. 

There are many other angels who text me, call me, message me on FB and send me cards and e-mails. Thank you all so much! Every message means so much to me and the family. I keep a big basket with all of the cards right next to my prayer chair and I love going through them. Be assured of my prayers for each of you!

Today will most likely be a day of great rest. Soccer is canceled due to the rain and I'm sure the boys will have things to do with friends while Pete prepares their school for the big fundraising event tonight. I am going to miss being there with friends, but will keep them all in prayer for a successful event. I'm taking one day at a time for this long journey. Thank you for being by our side on the journey in your many ways of being present. May God bless each one of you!


  1. You still look beautiful! Hair is just icing on the cake and will grow back.
    I am curious to see the wig though!
    Prayers for you, your support team, and the doctors.

  2. You look great! You are in my prayers. Anita