The Prom-Mom's Perspectives and Ramblings...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Courage is the Word...

The day after we got the official cancer diagnosis, a dear cousin of mine (along with many other loved ones) showed up on my doorstep with a shoulder to weep on and a gift, that has since become, a very significant symbol to me in this journey.

Willow Tree things have always been a favorite of mine... the fact that the artist leaves the faces 'bare' so that one may imagine themselves 'in' the sculpture is nothing shy of awesome.
Little did I know how, however, how significant, even before getting to the hospital and re-opening it, that it would become. One thing's for sure...I plan for it to be front and center from my viewpoint in the hospital bed.

So, what is it's message?

COURAGE.


Some of you who I've had the precious chance to see before heading north have heard from my own mouth the REALNESS of this battle. You know that just because I am choosing to maintain a positive attitude and outlook, doesn't mean that I am without normal, human fears. Do I know that my Lord and Savior covers those fears? Of course. Is that comforting? Absolutely. But it doesn't fully shed my mind of them.

I need people to understand that, although I fully believe He is going to use me as the vessel I've prayed to be... to reach and inspire people around me to Know that God is very, very real and these 'circumstances' are to force me to my knees, to Trust Him in His control...this is still extremely scary.

As my little Gray wept a couple night's ago... 'Mommy, I don't want them to cut you' and the reality is NEITHER DO I... but I don't have a choice.

I take our greatest example... Jesus... and think, did He like the idea of being beaten to near-death and then butchered to a tree? I'm pretty sure that's a no. But sometimes, we're called to do things that we'd never, in our wildest dreams, think or wish we'd have to... and that's when falling to our knees, asking for His strength and in turn feeling a spirit-gifted COURAGE plays it's role.

I have been called. This is MY journey, and although I am backed by my army, it is within MYSELF that courage has to dwell.

Well.
I accept that challenge. And I ask of all of you now who have been touched by this story---as it is just beginning---to accept it with me.
Instead of weeping for me, join me. Join me in conquering not just this cancer, but spreading the awesome Power of Courage that is available to us all, if we choose to accept it.

We have adopted on a posture--simply mimicking that of my sculpture.
The simple message is: GOD IS GREATER. He is ABOVE and BEYOND cancer and all other things of this world. He is REAL.
He is ALL-POWERFUL.

 HE. IS. EVERYTHING.

For those of you, and there are many...who keep asking me what can I do to 'help' you...
I ask you now, join me.

Post and get others to post as many pictures like the ones below, as possible.

If I have been called to overcome this awful measure, let's let the Victory be Christ's alone.







Thursday, September 27, 2012

Humbled to speechlessness...

Friends... family... friends of family... family of friends.. PEOPLE WE DON'T EVEN KNOW...!!

What to say.

Speechless.



Two days into the battle of a lifetime... a battle to keep living...
We are being offered food, housing, finances, flowers, babysitting, temporary job-replacement.

Seriously people?! You are like a tornado of SUPPORT!!!

I've said it before and will say it again... and again. And again.

WE. ARE. BLESSED.

Thank you to those of you who recently responded to my requests to see you.
Please don't take my saying that as an offense to anyone who is not ready or not comfortable...
I feel your prayers and delight in your spot in our army.
But for those of you who are, your physical touch... hugs, hand-holds, back-rubs...are seriously more therapeutic than you can imagine.
I am NOT sitting in a corner rocking myself, speaking gibberish.
Ok, ok... not now. ;)

No, but really. I love and WELCOME your visits. So COME... if you want. No other thing necessary. Just bring yourself... and your praying heart... and a good joke. ;)


On a heavier note:

DETAILS DETAILS, read all about 'em!!!

Here's what we know so far, cause I know you all are chewing off your toe nails--err finger-nails and nervously hovering over face book to know. ;)

So. The down-low on the boob-go.

Mom and I have been frantically (her more than I, surprise*) readying our house and property and whole 'former lifestyle' for go-time. Stocking for out-of-towners afterward, dusting, vacuuming (only took two days to finish that *wink, mom*), purging, re-stocking, organizing, packing,...
and today, we finally got 'the call.'
Official OFFICIAL dates/appointment details will be set by tomorrow at noon but what we do know is, as of Monday, we WILL BE IN PORTLAND, at OHSU... so P-town, here come the Ziebart's *again*
After amazing advice from one of the leading breast cancer researchers in the nation, OHSU seemed like the very best medical option for what we're dealing with. My case folder is being compiled daily and they will be handling more tests and scans between Monday and Wednesday.
The bad news and yet another reason to have a fair amount of hostility towards Roseburg Imaging is that when my first biopsy was done, they didn't take any lymphatic samples. SO. Another biopsy for me.
Super great.
The good news however... Thursday, after a week's worth of being poked, prodded and peeked at, the medical team that will be working together to perform my surgery will be meeting to come up with their surgical plan. From what I've been told at this point, I will be in surgery by next weekend.

Happy Birthday to me, ha!!! :-P
But hey... I suppose the best to look at it is... I'm getting the best birthday present EVER. Someone is working to save my life!!! How's that for the glass being half full. ;)

Specific prayer requests, since many of you keep asking...

Pray that all my full scans come back clean, minus what we know about. Pray the cancer hasn't spread to my bones or anywhere in my uterus, yet.

Thank you all...we love you beyond words~


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When in panic, head to Costco...

Can I just say what a True Gift of God an amazing, doting, loving, fighting and bull-headed mother is?!
SERIOUSLY.

Did you know that my mother actually said tonight, to one of my dear cousin's faces, that she wants to have her boobies cut off, too? ...exclaiming... 'I just wanna be twinsies!' LOL. I'm sorry, ma, but seriously.
I busted a big ol' gut reliving that one tonight, in my mind.

But in all seriousness, people...
MY. MOTHER. IS. SOMETHING. OF. AN. ANGEL.

She came to my house, crawled into bed with me at 8am this morning...the two of us snuggled up after a night of sheer sleeplessness...brought me a special coffee and cake, burst into maid-mode and 'house-prep for GO-mode,' laughed with me, cried with me, talked with me, cried some more, embraced me in prayer...she is absolutely one of my guardian angels; I felt it before, but am convinced of it, now.

Part of our day today, aside from running all over to the studio, to picking up Gray, to Value Clean (where my angel-mom insisted on paying for all of my snuggly things...comforter, duvet cover, etc to be professionally cleaned)...we made a trip to Costco.

I had a 'smallish' list of things that I wanted to get since we haven't made our normal tri-monthly Costco trip in quite some time and the latest news in preparations for Portland.
While in Costco, my poor little boys, who've had quite the ear-full and sight-full of tears and shaken nerves within their usually pretty sturdy home-front were finally starting to show their limit.
Mom decided it best to take them over to the McGee/Ziebart beloved hotdog/concessions stand to feed my little crazies while I finished up my mental-list... which, admittedly, somehow gained an english-toffee 'need', ha!

Forgive me if this next bit sounds as selfish as I know it is.

As I walked up and down the surprisingly calm aisles, I felt like I was in a bit of a sleep-walk.
Have you ever had that 'almost fainting' feeling where absolutely everything is hazy and even the sounds around you seem to just blur together and everyone and everything around you goes into instant slow-motion?
I held my cart handle tight, knowing that I needed to just breathe through it and push along.
While pushing, I walked past a middle-aged woman, probably around my beautiful mommy's age, and out of absolutely NO WHERE wished that it were her, instead of me.
I don't even KNOW this woman... she may be a cancer survivor herself... yet I am wishing her to have it!?! Just then, I noticed that just about everyone around me, or at least that my eyes could focus on, was her age... looking too happy and carefree... and I absolutely HATED them for it.

Any of you who know me, and even those of you who do not, know that I don't have a hating bone in my body---well, all except that which I feel for my neighbor's little incessantly yipe-y mut!--but you get what I'm saying. I really don't and would never wish on even a worst enemy (which I hope I don't have) that they be faced with this awful disease.
After some more minutes of pushing around semi-aimlessly, I found myself just calling on the Lord, in my heart...knowing that these thoughts are just NOT OF HIM.

I finished up my finds, headed up to the register and spied a beautiful woman with two of the most beautiful boys across the aisle happily eating hotdogs together and for a split second thought... wow, I wonder who THEY belong to.
Seconds later, after 'they' set in for me, I realized...
THIS IS REAL. It's as real as it gets, folks. It's not going away, it's not a bad dream, it's not an easy fix...but dang it, I can't think of more beautiful people to WIN IT FOR than those faces as well as all the other beautiful hearts and faces that I know are here for me in this.

In that moment, I realized... I'M GOING TO BEAT THIS... if not just for the Glory of God but for every single, beautiful soul pulling for me, right now, in this moment.



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Living Like You're Invincible...

It truly is reality-inducing and in turn, humbling, when life takes a sudden u-turn and points you in a direction you realize you've subconsciously convinced yourself could 'never happen to you.'

Didn't I just post something on pride not that long ago? Did I really forget my OWN 'wisdom' pulled from God's wisdom that fast?!?! Am I reeeeally that much of a hypocrite?! Yep.


The unfortunate part, I suppose, about being in that mindset is how truly...TRULY blindsided you are when you receive the news that your life is about to change, forever.

The Lead-up:
Mid last week, at a routine new-patient appt with a wonderful physician here in town, I had a bothersome lump--if you will--area of my right breast checked out.
Over the summer, this area had gone from something I had had an ultrasound on that past fall (and was told 'it was nothing') to something roughly the size of an apricot.
As soon as our physician felt it, he ordered another ultrasound. On that world-wind, what felt like life standing-still day, I underwent three separate ultrasounds as well as two thorough mammograms. An hour and a half later, I was told I could go and that they would be getting back to me by as early as possible, this week.
...and sooo... the waiting game began.

We had a nice weekend together of scooping up and in absolutely every moment of every day, feeling strongly that scary news was on the horizon.

Today, while at Grayson's karate class, my phone rang. Seeing that it was my physician I ran out to answer it... knowing that if they were calling me at near closing and were STILL going to be issuing me some news, it couldn't be good.

Sure enough, the secretary muttered 'Can you be here in 30 minutes?'

Standing there in the lobby of the Roseburg Martial Arts Academy, I did EVERYTHING I COULD to respond without tears... but as soon as I went to speak, the dam broke.

Noticing my turmoil, the academy secretary assured me I could leave and as long as someone (THANK YOU, NANA!) could be there to pick the boys up, she'd stay as long as she had to.

After a hand-trembling dial and phone call to Aaron, we rushed to meet at home and go together.

We already knew. But maybe even then, were still hopeful.
We actually made our physician, who seems like a really 'together' person, cry.

The News:
It is the most common type of breast cancer there is, statistically. However, given that it's been there for a year or so, it has spread into some of my lymph nodes.

The Plan:
We now wait, again, for the phone call telling us where and when to be for surgery.
Our physician HIGHLY recommended us going to Eugene to see a pair of oncologists...(one of which is a breast cancer survivor, herself!).. for the surgery. We will know more once we've seen them, but according to our physician, the general protocol for this scenario is a full mastectomy as well as radiation and then chemo. There is also a strong possibility that they will want to give me a double mastectomy as well as hysterectomy because I test positive in all areas that carry the three hormones that this cancer attacks... progesterone, estrogen and something else... which I apologize, but I think the room went black before I heard.

What you can do:
I know, because I've used this question before myself in these circumstances, that everyone around you wants to pray and ask what they can do.
The answer to that we honestly don't really know yet. Honestly, it's sort of like one of those cases where you wish so badly your husband would just FIGURE OUT FOR YOU what you want and need cause you don't have the energy to know, yourself. (You know what I'm talking about, ladies!) ;)

But I will say, at this early point in time, I am taking great comfort in our Lord Jesus Christ and though I am heartbroken at this whole scenario and what it means for me... I am TRUSTING HIM.
That's all that I CAN do.

Lesson to be learned (albeit the hard way): Myself (AND YOU, too) are not immune to ANYTHING.
It really can, and does, happen to ANY OF US. Knowing that, for my sake, please...the next time you start complaining about your kids, or your bills, or your life in general, just remember that it can all change in a second. It's short and it's fragile so find the good and LIVE FOR EACH MOMENT.


I love you all and appreciate all the thoughts and prayers as Aaron and I and the boys enter into what is bound to be the most challenging of journeys in our life-time.

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