Thursday, October 27, 2011

C.S. Lewis

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lisa James

I met this woman, Lisa James, on the Melanoma International Forum recently. We connected and started emailing each other about nutritional habits, but after hearing and reading her story, I felt inspired to share. This woman has been through a lot with melanoma and was told she wouldn't make it 6 months after her Stage 4 diagnosis (with brain mets), but is still here a couple years later. She says that, "Cancer can't steal my hope or crush my spirit!" I love that! She is a true fighter, a courageous woman, mother, and wife, and I have no doubt that God will provide a way for her to be healed. Please keep keep her in your prayers as she gets ready to start a grueling treatment in Texas (TIL therapy) and if you would like to read her story or drop her a note, this is where to find her:

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Exactly one year ago, I had just completed the 1/2 way mark on my grueling biochemotherapy treatment. We had received good news too on the PET/CT scans that were performed prior, which were that 5 of the 6 nodules in my lungs were GONE. VANISHED. And the one remaining nodule was no longer active on the PET scan. It was the best possible news we could've asked for. Prayers were answered and once again, I was amazed by the miracle that had just occured.

I know that I couldn't have finished that treatment (or year, for that matter) without my family and friends. Besides my loving Heavenly Father, I give them full credit for helping me get through those treatments. Never in my life, had I experienced or felt so much love, prayers on my behalf, and felt so much peace in my life. It was truly a tender mercy and great blessing from God!

A year ago TODAY, our friends and family organized a fundraiser/fun run (the 2nd of 3!) in our behalf to help us pay for the medical bills and travel expenses that we were facing. I had the opportunity to attend that fundraiser and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I wish I could've been at the other 2 races held in my behalf (I was recovering or in the hospital for both), but I am at least grateful that I was able to experience one of them, where I was surrounded by so much love from family, friends, and so many generous strangers. I needed that pick-me-up to motivate and encourage me to keep going and get through the remainder of my treatments.

Today I am so thankful to be in a good place. I don't know how long it will last, but I'm hoping to ride it out for as long as I can. The future is uncertain, that's for sure, and I have a long way to go before I am out of the woods, but I am optimistic and certain that no matter what happens or changes in the future, I will fight again and win the battle once more. For now, I will enjoy taking one day at a time and relish in the goodness of life....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yoga does a body good.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with yoga. I love it when I find a good instructor, when I break a sweat (only in Power Yoga or Ashtanga yoga), and when I leave feeling rejuvenating and invorgated. I hate it when I have a bad instructor (more times than not) and when I don't feel challenged enough.

Having cancer has made realize how important yoga is in my life. Not only for the mind-body connection, the breath, and the stress relief, but because my body genuinely NEEDS it. I am naturally a high-energy, high-intensity person on a mission. On a mission to torch the most amount of calories, break a good sweat, and feel my muscles and lungs burn. And the majority of my exericse reflects that--circuit strength training (high intensity), cycling, swimming, etc. Yoga, although it can be intense, is quite opposite of everything else I do. It gets me to really BE in my body. To be keenly aware of my body and my movements. It gives me the opportunity to really focus on my breath and stretch those tight muscles that I work doing my high-intensity exercise. More importantly, it allows me to release any stress or tension in my body and MIND. I think those are all powerful and invaluable motives for doing yoga, cancer or no cancer.

Recently, I have been taking classes 2-3 times/week at my local gym. I finally found a good instructor/class and I am loving it. I can tell such a difference in my balance, muscle recovery (from strength training), and flexibility. I leave feeling SO good. Someday I would love to get even more involved in yoga and possibly become an instructor. That is years down the road though when I have time to devote to something like that and I am a solid devotee/yogi.

In the meantime, NAMASTE! :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs passed away from a long battle with pancreatic cancer this week. He was an inspiring, brilliant, and generous entrepeneur and human being. He left an amazing legacy and made a huge impact on the world. I love this quote!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sigh of relief...

Today I had my 3 month scans and received good results. I will continue to be in stable remission. What a blessing and answer to our prayers. I think deep in my heart I knew it would be good news, but there's always a tiny part of me that doubts, or has to prepare for the worst.

I know from experience that it doesn't matter how good you feel, this beast called melanoma can always come back and bite you again. In fact, it often does in a sneaky, unpredictable manner. I know that my risk of recurrence is extremely high the next 3 years, especially this first year. BUT, I can't dwell on the "what ifs", and I just need to live my life as stress-free as I can (if that's even possible) and be grateful for where I am at 3 month increments.

Life is good to me right now. There are many days in a row that I don't even think of cancer. I don't feel like a "cancer patient", and I don't let my thoughts wonder there...Those days are such a tender mercy from God, to let me live my life to the fullest and enjoy being a mom and wife right now. What a blessing!

Thank you for your prayers, support, and love that you have shown me. I appreciate it more than you know and I wouldn't have made it to where I am today without them!