Saturday, April 30, 2011

Freezer Paper Stenciling

Over Spring Break I went on a fun shopping trip with a few friends from my hometown. We went to a really cute store on our (much improved) town square. While there, my friend spotted a really cute pillow. It was a linen material with an old & sign on it. It was super cute, it's price tag wasn't. My friend also mentioned she would love to have her and her husband's initials to go with the & sign. Again, super cute but that price tag x3 REALLY wasn't so cute.

Fast forward a few weeks, and my friend's birthday comes and goes. A lot of important days got missed or downplayed in those weeks right after my mom's diagnosis. (Including my poor,sweet husband's birthday.Of course he was such a sport about it.) A few days after her birthday I needed a distraction, to do something that involved another c-word. Not the one that invaded my life, but the other one I love to do. I needed to create.
I remembered seeing many freezer paper stenciling tutorials all over my favorite blogs. Those tutorials+my cricut+ some linen fabric and stuffing, and I had the three pillows we talked about in the store that day.

I wrapped some ribbon around them to 'wrap' them up and proudly gave them to a sweet friend who has been such a wonderful support during the hardest time of my life.
This is a picture she texted me of them on her bed. I am so glad she liked them!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where We're At Now

Today marks one month since we found out Mom has cancer. It has been one long,confusing, heartwrenching month.

So many of you have called, texted, facebooked, and reached out to us in so many ways. Words can not express how grateful we are for each and every one of you. We have done our best to keep everyone updated as much as possible, but as the month went on the worse we got at it. I think the fall in that was that we were trying to (and still are) process all the information being thrown at us and we did not have the easiest time relaying it. We deeply apoligize if you have tried to reach out to us and we have not returned your call,text, facebook, etc. Please know that it is not because we do not appreciate you.

With all that said, this is going to be one major update with everything that we know at this point. I'm going to just start at the beginning and go to where we are now.

March 17- Mom had a complete hysterectomy and appendectomy. While the surgeon had her open, he noticed a mass on her liver. He told Dad and I and told us we would need to wait to get a CT scan.

March 19- We had a CT scan done. The results came back as a cancer that traveled from somewhere else in her body. (This (and other tests)is how we know it did not start in the liver, which is a common question)

March 24- We had a liver biopsy done. This was to see what kind of cancer cells the mass was made up of.

March 25- We recieved word that the biopsy came back that it is MORE THAN LIKELY colorectal cancer.

March 28-April 1- We spent this week getting information sent from Abilene to Joe Arrington Cancer Center in Lubbock.

April 5th- We had blood work and a Pet Scan done. (A Pet Scan is where they put radioactive sugar in your system and it shows places you have cancer.)

April 6th- We met the Dr. we had been praying for for weeks. We are seeing Dr. Figueroa at Joe Arrington Cancer Center. Every single thing about him and his staff is exactly what we needed and prayed for. I can not say enough about how wonderful they are.

As wonderful as he is, his news was not. The pet scan showed that about 50% of her liver is affected by a tumor. There did not appear to be cancer anywhere else.
Dr. F them wanted us to get a colonoscopy to have a more definitive diagnoses. ( We had not been able to do it up until this point because of the previous surgeries.)

April 12- We had a colonoscopy and two other scopes done. They were expecting to see a large mass in her colon that would line up with a colon cancer diagnoses. Instead, everything was mostly clear except for two small polyps that were found in her colon. One of the polyps was competely removed and the other was 80% removed. They were both sent off for pathology.

April 13- We heard from Dr. F and he said that he was still feeling unsure about the diagnoses because there was not a significant amount of cancer in the colon. (Cancer generally follows specific staging and there would generally be a large mass in the colon before it began to spread) One of the polyps that was removed had about 1/3 of it affected by beginning stages of colon cancer. However, generally it would need to be much more advanced to already be in the liver. He wanted to take some time to study everything and redo the biopsy stains.

April 19th- We met with Dr. F again today. He can not assure us 100% that is colon cancer, but after much studying and looking at other cases, he feels that that is what the evidence is pointing to. We are going to move forward with the chemo options for colon cancer and redo scans at 8 wks to see if it is responding. We will reevaluate our situation after that. We wish that it was more certain, but trust that our Dr. has done everything in his power to give us the best treatment. We also went and got a PICC line put in today.

April 20th- We will start chemo tommorow the 20th. She will getting four different drugs, with two of those being chemo drugs. She will be recieving treatment once every 2 wks with 3 drugs being at the cancer center and one being through a pump for 48 hours. After 4 rounds, we will redo scans.

I think that is everything. Please be in prayer that the tumor would be responsive to the chemo. That is our main prayer at the moment. We are also praying for strength during chemo and faith through all of the uncertainity. Again, we are so thankful for each and every one of you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

God is Good....All the time?

If you grew up anywhere remotely near a church, I'm betting you had heard or said this statement approximately 785 million times. I know I have. It is a statement I have said and believed with ease my whole life. But then again, my whole life has been pretty good. Pretty easy. Sure I had my share of heartaches, insecurities, fears. But overall, its been pretty good and I have had no problem seeing God's goodness.

But what about when life isn't so good? What about when it just down right stinks? What about when you are faced with your 47 year old mom having cancer before you have really even had a chance to do anything with you life? What about when you go a full month with no answers as to where her cancer is truly coming from? What about when you spend more time crying then you do laughing? What if those words get stuck in your throat? What if instead of coming easily, they come accompanied with a heartache you can feel?

What then?

I wish I could say that I have not struggled with seeing God's goodness in this. I wish I could say I haven't been mad. I wish I could say I haven't asked why. I wish I could say I have whole heartily put my trust in Him.

But you know what, I can't say any one of these things, and I'm ok with that.

My flesh is so weak. I am sad. I am scared. I am confused. I am frustrated. (this list could go on forever) But He is not. He is not weak during this time. In fact, His power is being made complete in my weakness. He is not surprised by this road. He's walked it and is holding my hand as He walks down it with me. He loves me and has compassion for me. When waters rise, He doesn't let go. He is faithful even when I don't feel like being. I'm a mess, and He is ok with that.

It's because of these things that even when I have trouble saying that phrase, I know it's still true.