Friday, January 29, 2010

It's Snowing!!!!

It's been snowing steadily since about 1:30 this afternoon, It's now 5:15 pm. It's looking beautiful here!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My "Cancer" Anniversary

It's been awhile since my last post, actually I wrote a blog last Thursday, (a long heart felt one, I might add!!!) and just as I was finishing I inadvertently hit some unknown button, and right before my very eyes my long heart felt blog vanished!!!! So, It has took me awhile to recover from that traumatic experience, and now, I will try again today.
My trip to Nashville to see Dr. Netterville was uneventful. Everything looks fine from his perspective and I don't have to go back to him for one year!!!!Yea!!!!! He just felt of my neck and looked in my mouth, he did not do any tests. I asked him about a place on my arm that I am pretty sure is skin cancer, which he agreed it probably is. I now have an appointment on February 9th with a dermatologist in Knoxville to have it checked out. I have to admit I was a little bummed when we left there knowing I still have a form of cancer to deal with.
The weekend of the 15th 16th & 17th, Wendell, Kiah, Stephanie and I took a road trip. We left on Friday morning and drove to Valdosta Georgia and watched Kiah's friend, Loren Jones, play in a basketball game. We spent the night and then drove down to Universal Studios in Florida Saturday morning. We could not have asked for better weather! It was cloudy but 75*!!!! We had a great time. We then drove back to Valdosta and spent the night and went to Victory Baptist Church on Sunday morning. The service was really good and their singers are phenomenal!!! After Church we ate lunch and headed home.
Since I have got my all clear for my health right now I am ready to live life. I know now there are no guarantees!!! I want to live life while I can, I hope and pray the cancer never comes back, but if it does I don't want to have regrets!!!! I know our trip would sound kind of crazy under normal circumstances, having only a few days to travel so far, but it was something Kiah really wanted to do and I thought why not?!!! We made a lot of good memories in a short period of time. I just feel really blessed to be able to enjoy life and my wonderful family!!!!
This past Thursday, January 21, 2010, was my one year "cancer" anniversary. It was on the 21st of January 2009 that we went for an appointment with Dr. Sewall, an ENT in Oak Ridge, and he told me I had a very rare, serious form of oral cancer. I don't think I will ever forget that day. I will never forget the feelings that washed over me as we sat there. That was the day that the Lord's precious grace began to become evident in my life. I had been praying for days before this appointment that no matter what I was told that God's grace would be sufficient for me to deal with it. Sooo many times over this past year God made his presence and grace known to me!!!! When Wendell and I were at our lowest point God's amazing grace would shine through!!! So many of you don't even realize the times, time after time that God used you to help us!!!There were times when we just didn't think we could walk another step and we would get the mail and there would be a card or letter from someone with just the message we needed, to have the strength to stand up and continue on... for this I say Thank -You. There were times when we would receive a phone call or text message that would lift our spirits....for this I say Thank-You. There were so many times that someone would prepare a meal, soups or a desert that I could eat and deliver them to us...for this I say Thank-You. So many of you helped lessen our financial burden with unexpected help in a card or concealed in a handshake...for this I say Thank-You. I will never forget the Monday morning, the last week of my radiation, when I just felt so defeated. I didn't have the strength to carry on. I was so weak, so thin, I had been in the hospital with the worst infection I had had. I had just recovered from a mouth full of blisters. The thought of going through even one more treatment was something I didn't think I could do. (The doctors had told me the whole time that the last few treatments were the most important). I told Wendell I just couldn't do it. I got on my blog and asked you for help praying for the strength to go on and continue with my treatments. By the end of the day the Lord had answered our prayers and I not only had the strength to go for my treatment but the girls went with us and we ate dinner out that evening...for this I say Thank-You. We serve an amazing God!!!! The support we received from you here on my blog is humbling....for this I say Thank-You!!!! When we first got the news I had cancer we felt like it was our battle, but as time went on we felt as if we had a whole army of God's people, our friends, family, acquaintances, and even complete strangers who were going through this with us, who felt our pain, and who helped us to stay in the battle and helped us to fight the fight. People who were ever faithful to lift our name up to the Lord in prayer. Through all we have been through, through all the emotions we have felt there is one emotion we have never felt, we have never felt alone!!!! You will never know what this has meant to us...for this I say THANK-YOU!!!!
On a lighter note I thought I would post some pictures of my precious family and of course this includes Aaron who is like our son and Cassie who is like another daugther to us. We took them to Pigeion Forge this past weekend. Wendell and I often wonder what we will do when they all leave home!!!! Our children bring us so much joy in this life!!!! We are truely blessed!!!! I also wanted to show you a picture of my hair!!!! Yes!!!! I have some now!!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Am Cancer Free And Can't Stop Crying!!!!!

January 21, 2009, almost one year ago, was the day I received the news I had cancer. I didn't cry then. Today, January 4, 2010, is the day I received the news I AM CANCER FREE!!!! Today I can't stop crying!!!! The Lord has promised that He would never put more on us than we can bear, so for days now I have been praying that the Lord's grace would be sufficient for me, no matter what the news would be that I would receive today. I honestly didn't think I could bear knowing there was more cancer so soon. The thought of more surgeries, chemo or radiation was almost more than I could bear to even think might be a possibility right now. But because of my God's faithfulness this past year, I did all I knew to do....Pray that His grace would once again be sufficient for me no matter what the news. I know my life is in His precious hands and there is no place I would rather it be. I believe His promise that "all things work together for good to those that love Him". I am so thankful that He has chosen for me to be cancer free right now. I praise His Holy Name for His love and faithfulness to me.
I go to Nashville to Dr. Netterville's this Thursday, January 7, at 2:00. He will probably run a scope up my nose and down my throat again to check everything out. It is not something, while in my right mind, I look forward to, but it is not quite as bad as it sounds. I will have another PET scan in April and then again every three months for the first year. If those remain clear I will then have a PET scan every four months for the second year. For the next five years I will have PET scans several times a year. Every year I remain cancer free is a good thing, after five years of being cancer free I will have a good chance of not having to deal with this again.
Someone asked me, quite etiquettely, the other day, what was my long term outlook? This made me think there are probably others out there curious to know what my long term outlook is. No one has asked me that before. I don't mind discussing it though. The fact is oral cancer is very rare, only 600 people a year in the US are diagnosed with oral cancer. Of those 600, only 1% are minor salivary glad cancers, and from what I understand the kind of cancer I have is even less than 1% of that 1%. They say the Adenocarcinoma I have is found in the lungs or liver but not in the oral cavity. So, all of this being said, I don't think they really know exactly what the statistics are for my cancer. I have been told by a couple of doctors that I have a 70% chance of living five years, then I have also been told by a couple of doctors, whom I chose to believe, that with the surgeries I have had and the treatments that I have had, I should never have to worry about this cancer again. So I guess the bottom line is, I really don't know any more about my mortality than anyone else!!! I know my life is in the Lord's hands and as I have tried to reassure my children...If the Lord wants me to live ten more minutes, then I will live ten more minutes!!! If the Lord wants me to live ten more years, then I will live ten more years!!! My life is in His Holy hands and I wouldn't want it any other way.
As I think back over this past year and all the heartache my family has been through, as weird as it may sound I honestly wouldn't change it. I guess, if anything, I would be tempted to "change" the heartache Wendell and the girls have gone through, but then as I am reminded that "all things work together for good to them that love the Lord", I wouldn't change it because I know the Lord has taught us all some very important things. I know if they really open their eyes and look they can see God's faithfulness, grace, love and mercy towards our family.
We have also experienced the love and kindness of friends, family, and complete strangers, time and time again over this past year. I only hope to be able to return that love and kindness in every way I can from now on, as the Lord blesses me with the ability. Once again Thank You sounds soooo lame...but I do THANK YOU for all your prayers, cards, emails, letters, phone calls, texts, financial help, and everything else you have done to make life a little easier for me and my family!!!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Punky suggested we have a New Years Eve party and when she volunteered to clean the house, how could I possibly refuse? Kiah had a scrimage game first, against the alumni, (Which they won!!!Yeah), and then we came back home to "party"!!!

Stephanie and Michael dancing to the beat of their own drum? FYI: there was no music!!!

Katie, Kiah & Lauren getting into the spirit!!!

Lance, Carolee, Me, Stephanie, Michael, Wendell, Kim, Robbie, Landon, Punky, Aaron, Kelvey, Meagan, Mikiah, Lauren & Katie!!! Papaw Tom & Micha had had all the fun they could take for one evening and had already left before the midnight hour!!!! Karen wasn't feeling well, We MISSED you!!!

Lance? We never know the reason!!! After all these years we don't even ask anymore!!!!

Punky pouring the "juice"!!!!
(Grape Juice that is.)


Our innocent...

Preparing for the celebration: Katie, Punky, Kiah, Lauren, Kelvey and Landon. Meg, busy working out!!!!

Landon and Mikiah. Whose idea was the noise makers???

Here's to a wonderful New Year filled with health and happiness, family, friends and the love and guidance of a merciful God!!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!!