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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Chemo-Car Christmas Eve~

Knowing that we'd be gone for the ACTUAL Christmas Eve/Day dates, we did Christmas #1 (of three) here at the house with the boys on Friday-night, the week before. In the same way that Gray's multiple birthday 'parties' has confused him about what actual 'day' he turned 6 on, both our boys remain perplexed that the rest of the world thinks Christmas is over and gone now when we talk about Christmas #3 we will be having at Monga and Nana's M's this coming Saturday.

Poor things.
I'd say I feel even more remorseful if I didn't know that Christ's ACTUAL birthday isn't really December 25th, anyway... but either way, we really aren't TRYING to confuse our children. It's just confusing times trying to get it all, somehow, worked into the schedule of life these days, ha!

Whatever the case, Christmas weekend (as I'll now call it) kicked off with a P-town trip with just Aaron and I--after we dropped the little men to be with Monga and Nana Z. in Eugene for a couple of days. Our time, pre-chemo, was LOVELY! Sunday gave us the opportunity to see some of our P-town friends--old church-family when we attended our former church for their late-morning service, and a couple of Aaron's college buddies and their lovely wives. Just as the weekend was beginning to feel almost mini-moon-ish, Monday came along and brought with it the normal chemo-routine. It was interesting to see just how few people make the choice to be at the hospital on Christmas Eve, ha. My, was it dead. Even our sweet and silly parking attendant 'Mario', as he lets us call him--as he oddly resembles that of Mario the Mario Brother--said that he'd parked a totaling three cars that morning between 7am and 10am! And yes, we were the third, ha.
No matter. I had chemo, we got to see what all my weekly nurses look like as 'santa's helpers' and things went smoothly.
After chemo, we decided to head over to a Mazda dealership (something we don't have in Roseburg anymore) and check out a couple of different cars we'd be 'scouting out' for a while, via the internet. Our beloved Murano, as many of you know, had been experiencing some issues that we knew were a ticking-time-bomb scenario and though a car-change was just about the LAST thing we were wanting to do right now (no car payments is such a nice thing!) it was either sign up for them again or sign up for replacing a transmission on a car worth nothing more than the cost of the transmission.

UGH.
Have I said lately how much I HATE paying for things like cars?!! Such a sad scenario we've all been 'dooped' into, to think... 'well sure, I have 300..400 even 500 dollars a month that I 'can' pay to have *insert outlandish/unnecessary posh vehicle here* But really, when you stop saying the whole dealership favored 'per month' thing, and you start asking the whole TOTAL WHEN I OWN THE DANG THING question, it's pretty sickening.

Yeah.
LIVE. and then *hopefully* LEARN!!!
Murano. BAD DECISION. (Yes dad, you were right, we were WRONG.)
Mazda. BETTER DECISION. MORE RESPONSIBLE DECISION.

Loaded? Hardly.
Flashy? Not at all.
Leather? NOPE.
*Insert all other uncessary modern conveniences, including extra passenger carry-capacity, here* NO.
New? HECK NO!

Cheap? YES.
Gas-efficient? EXTREMELY!
Carries our family plus one? Mm hmm.
Safe? Oh yes!
Reliable? Um... 8900 miles on it as of now? And japanese-made? I'd say DEFINITELY!

Yep.
Tis the season, for frugality... for wisdom... and for around shedding of things unnecessary for things necessary. Like...less money going toward our cars than before so we can have more for medical bills as they continue to come and I continue to work very little.
Yes. These are GOOD things.

I am un-emotionally attacked to her *the car*... yet I am proud of Aaron and I for being wise. ESPECIALLY at a time when so many around us are going out of their way to help us financially and in any and all other ways too, that they can.
We have not been the wisest stewards, but we are learning... and we want to show how much we appreciate those around us too, who HAVE been wise stewards--so much so that they have been able to bless us. We hope and pray, someday, that we can return the blessing--
TEN FOLD~


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Being REAL~

This particular post is one that I admit I've been working on for about a week and a half, now.
When I first began this entry, I was in the midst of a Wednesday and a week where everything around me (and the poisons surging THROUGH me) were putting me in pretty down spirits.
I thought about just erasing the entry as of a few days ago, but after yesterdays news from my doctor and then coming back and re-reading what I had started on this post, a deeper moral was born and so, I felt it important to share.

THE START TO THE ORIGINAL:
With how 'inspiring' I've apparently been to many of you, I apologize if this post is somewhat unexpected from me. But hey, I committed to being REAL and RAW when I started sharing this journey with you all, so that's just what this is~

R.E.A.L.

Some of you have asked me, in passing, what things have changed the most for me since discovering we're on this journey--and I suppose that's a fair question, since everybody has different circumstances that are individual to them.
In my best efforts to answer that question, I find myself thinking hard on what 'used to be' vs. what's 'currently' and these are just some of the real, most prominent daily-life changes I come up with... (though certainly not limited to)

Being that I'm a mom of young children, I'd have to say one of the most challenging aspects of this 'hike' has been explaining each step to my curious, innocent and rather worried young sons. Especially on Wednesdays (48-hrs after drug infusions), my little men are left worried and rather rattled that their mommy is far less energetic and smiley than all other days. Having parents (a 'Monga' and 'Nana' be at our complete rescue on the hard days is amazing and believe me, I do NOT take it for granted. Though, when I'm being completely honest, I still have to admit that HAVING to take advantage of that quite so much as we've had to recently isn't always easy. Being away from the boys (especially the week of our household stomach-flu bout) for days on end is a challenge...a struggle...I'm learning more and more through this journey what a natural therapy my children are for me---albeit I know I should be concentrating my Higher Sources of therapy---but those little faces and giggles are definitely some kind of medicine of their own.

My role as a wife has also experienced some change. The 'used to's' involved me working a few days of the week, coming home, tending to the house, cooking dinner, cleaning up dinner...pretty much wearing the roll of working-mom and stay-at-home mom in the same, busy day.

Now, on my 'good days,' my roll feels a lot more relaxed...lackadaisicle if you will...which is a scenario I have developed a sort of love/hate relationship, with. As for my 'bad days?' Ha! My lack of productiveness in ANYTHING and energy FOR anything would've made my 'used to be' persona roll her eyes in disgust, I'm sure. But when I ask myself why that would be the case, I am reminding that it is my own, self pride that would take issue. Dishes in the sink? How disgusting. Laundry piling? How appauling. Beds not made and rooms not perfectly tidied while I, instead, just sit around in lounge-clothes, computer in lap, pillow behind head (no..no bon-bons, they make me feel sick to my stomach when I already feel sick to my stomach, ha)... but certainly every other aspect of the lazy-woman caricature in place....my 'used to be' wife-role would've sat guilty...embarrassed.

This next part may be, quite simply waaaay too much information for some of you, so spare yourself and skip this next paragraph if you must, but it's still part of what some of you ask me, and I'm still gonna be real about giving you some answers, so here goes.

Side-affects of the chemo:
Many of you know that I get weekly infusions, but I also take DAILY chemo, too--what they are attesting has made for the great strides in the tumor's shrinkage----outside of my honest faith in the sheer amount of prayer coverage I've received!! But my daily chemo gives me some of the loveliest of side-affects, namely, in the 'bowel department.' :-P Nick-named the 'trots' drug, my daily Neratinib has given me an unwelcome glimpse into my dear grandma KiKi's later-life bowel issues and at the young age of 33, I've been forced to develop a great sense of appreciation for regularly functioning digestive systems.
Let's just put it this way... one of my newest 'mantras' has become my grandma's adopted joke of a phrase 'I don't think I'm going to make it!'---oy. Really?! I'm barely 33, peeps...yet I have a very deepened sympathy for elderly folks with this problem now, that's for sure! And as is always the case with any scenario in our lives--there is good to be sought, and the good I would share with you all in my case is--though maybe shocking--
APPRECIATE YOUR POOP. 
Next bathroom trip you make after your morning coffee to drop that normal, solid healthy offering, think of me--and tell your intestines that you appreciate it's normalcy in producing that as you flush 'er down. That is all~ ;)

As far as specific 'difficult days' go...Wednesdays are HARD. Arguably the hardest.
Gray expressed his obscure concerns again last Wednesday as he was leaving with Monga...saying something like 'I hope you don't have cancer too bad today, mom.'
As we get further and further along in the weeks of this journey, patterns reveal themselves.
By Monday night, I can feel I've received poisonous drugs. By Tuesday, they are causing me all sorts of hot-flashes, all times of the day. But the steroids are still at work so the fatigue hasn't fully hit.
In fact, other than the dull headache that tends to creep in, I am pretty pumped with artificial energy, ha!
Todays plan is laundry, cookie-baking, homeschooling of the youngest---PRODUCTIVITY! ;)

Yep, that's the drugs talking.

By the time Wednesday creeps around, however, I go from cruising on a straight-stretch at 70mph to realizing I'm driving without the lights on and----BAM!!! Didn't see THAT brick wall.
Oops.
My doc told me yesterday that 'crash' is partially the drugs having killed so much and partially the 'high' exiting my system.
Bummer of a crossroad. But that's just how it goes. :-P So, we deal.

Dad often takes the boys for me on Wednesday and though I miss them terribly and find myself at times wanting them near me, anyway, it gives me the option of hibernating my Wednesday away.
Do I feel guilt in that, too? OF COURSE.
Sorry. I'm human.
But when you crash that hard, hibernating through it is sometimes the very best thing one can do. What I find on Wednesdays is that I don't always FEEL like the I know the 'cure' I need, which I am learning means that, once again, living for and IN THE MOMENT is my only option. Moment by moment, what I'm going to do about *insert scenario here.* I will say, no matter what, it is even HAVING OPTIONS that is the true blessing when Wednesday hits!!

There are soooo many night's of the week that I fall asleep and have dreams that seem so vivid and sooooo REAL--dreams where we're not doing this, where our 5-yr-plan is still in progress and we'll still making positive strides and meeting goals for bigger goals. It's hard feeling so out of control of that stuff right now. With every medical bill received and me not working much and Aaron feeling the pressures just to pay the monthly salary with none ever left to make other strides with important things...it can just all get so overwhelming.
There is just soooo much stress on ALL LEVELS of our lives that this journey can and will (if we let it) get heavier and harder to make. The emotional stresses. The mental stresses. The fiscal stresses.
The physical stresses. Even the spiritual warfares.


BUT, I know God is STILL at hard work! Where 'everything' has changed, NOTHING has changed.
In a lot of ways--and I know I've said this before--the change that has truly occurred is the change of heart---the realization *how many TIMES do we have to go through this, right?!! Sorry, God* that WE are not in control. WE NEVER WERE.
We can all choose to live life, making plans, laying plans...taking our comforts in things and circumstances---setting 5-yr plans and celebrating joyfully in the moments where all the strides we needed to make to have that plan work out 'just as we planned it'
are what we count on to make us happy. That project you desperately want to get completed, or that 'dream house' with 'just enough bedrooms and bathrooms, over-looking that property that you desperately want to save up enough of a down-payment for...if only you could make those come true, THEN you'll be happy.

Sorry folks.
That kind of circumstantial happiness is not true joy.
Go for it. Do it. Find it. Accomplish it.You'll be happy.

For a while.

But then there will be something else. THERE ALWAYS IS.
If we just have ONE more baby, that will complete us. If we just sign on to pay 50-grand on this last new car, that's the last one we'll need to do that on. It will make us happy cause it's PERFECT for our circumstances.

The problem with this is CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE. 
The bible tells us to embrace change...welcome our trials and tribulations with JOY.
Huh?! Joy?
Oh, so that means I'm supposed to seek joyful circumstances. I got it now.

NO.

WRONG AGAIN.

I wrote about this in a 'Circumstantial Joy' entry a number of posts back. And I remember even then that saying it meant something different than what it does to me today. Why?
Because God is STILL CHANGING ME. 
As should be the case...MY circumstances are molding and changing me...my heart is splayed *as mom says* open right now, I'm weak and I'm stripped down;
JUST WHERE HE WANTS ME TO BE.

Today, as I say this to you, I AM joy-filled. I'm not just 'choosing' joy... I've BEGGED for joy in my prayer with Him.
But it's not MY joy that I want...and it's not MY OWN that He has granted me.

When God tells us to find joy in all circumstances, all trials and tribulations what He is saying to us is find me!!! Him!!

Find. Him. !!!!!!!!!
HE IS JOY.

Joy during this time of the year is not at tree farms, it's not in decorating the best christmas goodies--out-doing everyone in your neighborhood on your lights, having the most presents under the tree or even the prettiest decorated tree. It's not your children's faces Christmas morning, it's not even in all the gatherings you go to or hold in your festively done-up abode.
Those are joyous/happy circumstances. But they are not Joy, alone.

My prayer for all of us, especially for myself in my Wednesday moments when the poisons surging through my brain and body act as Satan's allies to remove my Joy, is that we all Seek and Find God. And in turn, Find. Joy.
Today. Tomorrow. Christmas. The New Year. The month's after that. And after that. Whatever time we all have left, here, to seek, find, revel, thrive and CELEBRATE in it.

Meet Christ... and Claim Him.

CLAIM. JOY. ~


Monday, December 10, 2012

The tornado~

WARNING: Reading ahead is not for the light-of-stomached. ;)


A definite TORNADO touched down in the Ziebart household over this weekend...
initial impact with our little Lincy-bear on Saturday and then with Aaron AND myself on Sunday/Monday.
Sorry, but in the midst of chemo, to get a 12-hr stomach bug?!
PURE HILARITY!...
and I promise, you will be laughing with me afterward, too. ;)

3pm, Sunday afternoon--dad picks me up, at which point all is the 'normal' rush of packing for the weekly 24-hr P-town trip, getting in any extra kisses with my darling little men and my awesome big man, and ending the weekend on the note we end it each week...
Freeway to chemo.

About a half hour into the trip, my stomach starts feeling a bit strange. I ignore it, impatient and un-accepting of the bad thought that I could be 'inheriting' the nastiness my poor littlest was wrought with all day, Saturday. *A 'fun' weekend we'd already had, indeed, ha!* Lovely father-conversation and two hours later, as we're coming up on Wilsonville, I tell myself 'I'm just reeeally hungry and my stomach is angry...I've ignored the signals and now also just taken my daily chemo pills on a practically empty belly and therefore asked for this!'
Mmm hmmm...that's what it was. --->N.O.T.!!!
But 'it was', so off of i-V and into the drive-thru for carbs we went.
First few bites *convincing myself this IS working* I say to dad, 'Yep, that was it...just should've eaten something earlier.'

Fast forward to dad dropping me off at Amy-C-sister's cute little abode. We'd arranged for me to tag along with her to meet with a lovely group of awesome women cancer-survivors/fighters and I honestly COULD have been more excited, had my belly not been raging at me by the time we arrived to her place. In the rudest of fashions, I walk in to her lovely face and A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. little girl begging to sit and enjoy immediate get-to-know-you time, and instead follow with, 'I'm sorry, but I've got to use your bathroom!'

Yes.
Just like the scene from Along Came Polly, I went into to a strange house and let loose--the whoooole time feeling so badly that this was my way of 'introducing,' ha!
Wow.
All I can say is... GOOD THING Amy really is like a sister I've known forever and God granted us both that very mutual feeling on the immediate so something like this can be 'acceptable.' Also, good thing we are going through chemo together and can, if nothing else, blame such atrocities on that! :-P After said bathroom-trip, she gave me the 'quick tour' of her place *curiously avoiding showing me the bathroom I'd just been in, smart girl!* exchanged a few enlightening words with her too-cute-for-words 3-yr-old and away we went, so-as not to be late for the group. As I walked out to get into her car, I could feel the fire, re-building in my gut-- clenching... burning... SCREAMING, if you will, and resorted to prayer as I sat in that passenger seat waiting for her---
Lord, just let me make it to that meeting!

Yeah... Not so much.

About 3 minutes into our ride, just after entering the freeway, Amy's driving along, *by the way, Am's, you ARE a veeery good driver, just so you know* ;) We're yapping away and I'm literally picking at the bread on my chicken sandwich in hopes that the carbs are going to do something--ANYTHING--to keep stuff 'in.'

FAIL.

I don't even remember what she was saying now, but out of nowhere, *rudely interrupting again* I say 'Sorry, but do you think maybe you could pull ov--- and without a second thought the blinker switches on and she replies, 'Of course!' Next thing we both know, my door's flinging open and I am purely and harshly DECORATING the concrete shoulder-wall with the most violent projectile vomit I've ever experienced!!!

The whole time I'm thinking 'what poor bum may come across this... 'Lord, please don't let that happen!'  'What poor family may have to suddenly pee their kid and just so happen to pull over RIGHT HERE... 'Lord, pleeeeease don't let THAT happen!'

Oy.
Five 'hose-downs,' two spattered pant-legs, and one pair of brand-new puke-covered Toms later, I weakly crawl back onto her passenger seat... apologizing for what just took place.
Not exactly my idea of a positive '2nd-date' experience for us. ;-P
She speaks some reassuring 'Don't even worry about it's' and hands me a half-dozen baby-wipes *exactly what I would have on hand! and for whatever reason, I'm suddenly eased by our sisterhood, again.

WHO. CARES.

She's a mom. I'm a mom. We've both seen, WORN and cleaned up puke, countless times.
Aside from that, our time together is not to impress.
It's TO BE REAL. <--Also the title of my next blog, mind you, as it's something I am learning more and more about, every day!

I climb back into the car, we both laugh a little and make jokes about the little 'present' I just left behind on the freeway and as you usually feel after that kind of ralfing, I experience a solid 10-minutes of gut-relief. :) Lovely conversation graces the rest of our car-ride and by the time we arrive to the hospital *although late, oops* I'm pumped up about the night, thinking, 'Ok...that was just a one-time punishment for having not eaten, then taking pills that needed food and paired that with my already car-sick tendencied self. This IS behind me now and I'm excited for this meeting.'
Ha!

Ha.
Ha.
Ha.

Not two minutes into the meeting does my stomach start up again. Mildly at first, but by 8 minutes worth of 'toughing it out,' literal BULLETS of sweat are running down my neck and I just know... 'Here we go, again.'
I 'politely' excuse myself from the meeting to go find the bathroom. BARELY making it into the stall...welcome Episode #3!
Oy.
You'd think I'd of learned by the end of that 5-minute gut-spew that this was a helpless cause, but I returned to the meeting, anyway.

Yes. I'm what they call BULL-HEADED.

Almost exactly ten minutes later, I found myself doing it a FORTH time, only this time the long *what felt like Labyrinth-maze long* walk there was going to put me over the top and I just knew, a garbage can was the carpets ONLY HOPE. Finding a little side cafeteria, I barely made it to one of the counter-holes that hold those extra big cafeteria bins... and let me tell ya, although violent enough in it's own form, I can't say the tossed-out food wafting back at me from that bin made me feel any LESS wretch-y as I let loose into it, ha!
Coming to my senses, I wiped my face off with some napkins, looked around, found two chairs to push together in a bed-type fashion, dragged out one of the bins (the less 'food-filled' of the two), and planted myself, HORIZONTALLY, in that spot.
As I laid there *after typing Amy a quick text to let her know where I'd be for the next hour-and-a-half* I found myself giggling.
I'm sorry, how could you NOT?!!
What would someone see if they walked by and found me, holed up, with my puke-fest set-up, in a hospital cafeteria, at 8pm at night......yep, pretty pathetic. Then I got to thinking--I'm up here to do chemo tomorrow and I'm likely going to be puking every ten-minutes on the dot, tonight?!?
Wow. What a scenario. Not to mention, the near-yelling noises that I was making every time it started up, again--sort of the combination of a dying station-wagon and a 75-yr-old chain-smoker!
It was funny people. Seriously.
Ridiculously. Funny.

OH!
And I forgot to mention the poor person in the bathroom during the Episode #3 who unknowingly came in, chose the stall right next to mine and endured me 'letting loose.' I can't say I wasn't braced to still be in there when she returned with a nurse from down the hallway out of sheer concern for the 'dying person' in the bathroom, but fortunately, that never happened. In fact, I think she just ran, honestly. There was NO sound of hand-washing after her door slammed shut...ha!
But really... Who could blame her?!

When the meeting was over, Amy came and found my fetal-positioned self and decided to meet me back at the room after I'd completed Episode #-who-knows 5-minutes later, and my thought process was to wait until everyone else had left, in hopes that Amy and I could just escape.
When I got back to the room however, I was greeted with multiple worried 'strangers' who almost immediately adopted on the responsibility of taking care of me--insisting that I be admitted to the ER (since we were right there in a hospital) for fluids. Next thing I knew, I was registered and waiting for my name to be called, with three beautiful nurse-type ladies keeping my nauseas-self as comfortable as possible. After a few more yell/hurl fests in the middle of a busy waiting-room, my dad--who'd found his way there from our friends' house upon the news of my condition--arrived and all the ladies, who I PRAY I get the chance to know even better, in more uplifting outside circumstances, signed off to head back to their homes.

Fast forward to my actual admission:
We were introduced to yet another Angel Nurse named Kima who pampered and doted on me in near spa-treatment fashion, held my hand and rubbed my back with each consecutive barf-fest and just downright BLESSED US with her presence.
Then, a phone call from home to find out Aaron was now doing the same.

Oh! Boy!
THIS. THING. IS. BAD. NEWS.
Wash your babies. TWICE today. Scrub your surfaces. WITH BLEACH. Wear a mask. In public!
Seriously peeps. You DON'T WANT THIS!!

Two saline bags, two doses of Zolfran, one dose of Morphine, and one final knock-me-out dose of Phenergen later...I finally stopped puking and fell asleep in relief.

2:30am, the port set-up was taken out, hospital gown was replaced by my clothes again, the release form was signed and we were headed home.

Rather fatigued but well-slept, we awoke this morning to our 'normally scheduled routine'.......
I took my shower in the Harrison's 'spa' shower that I adore and look forward to each time--seriously peeps, that thing is goooooooorgeous and soooo relaxing!
Dad and I headed in, hopeful the whole time that behind us now was the absolute laugh-it-in-the-face Twighlight Zone-ish puke-fest/hospitalization and ahead of us was the regular schedule of chemo.

THANK YOU, LORD... that's just what happened!!!!!!!!!

Not only did I pass my blood-work with flying colors, but, one of my sweet team-nurses happened by while we were sitting in the waiting-room, heard the short-story version of the night before, and insisted that she go secure a BED-room for me so I could sleep during infusions. :) :) :)
Have I said lately how much I. LOVE. O.H.S.U!?!!

So...
NASTY stomach roach, flushed!
Chemo #7, a success! *And, btw, almost halfway there on all weeks COMBINED, whoot whoot!!!*


Tonight, as I head for my bed I am thankful for a WORKING STOMACH. Something, before yesterday I took for granted a little too much, I'd say. What a glorious feeling to sit without cramping and internal sloshing-about. To EAT and not have to 'un-eat' 5 minutes later. THAT is a big deal.
I am thankful that God's timing of allowing it made it possible for me to still have the regularly scheduled chemo-treatment. THAT is a big deal.

A tornado perfectly describes and represents this trip.
Touching down, unexpectedly... QUICKLY...FURIOUSLY.....making it's great mark and mess...... and dropping everything, albeit all over the place, as quickly as it picked it up.

BUT...it's over now... and it's sooo good to be home.

Aaron is feeling much better, too--he goes back to work tomorrow *no choice* so I'll be praying he isn't too fatigued. But I am thankful that even through this mini-cyclone there is much to be learned...MUCH to be grateful for...and many opportunities to just LAUGH~

PS: Now go read my C-sister's take on this. ;) http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/amylivbradford

Monday, December 3, 2012

A whole lotta blah-blah-blah...

Well.
It's 10:56pm. Night before chemo #6 and I'm literally, sitting here *should be putting the computer down to sleep* but instead persistent to get something... ANYTHING...on here for those of you starting off your Monday morning/work-week, and I honestly...

GOT. NOTHIN.

hahaha.
How 'inspirational' is that?! :-P

Is it just me or is anyone else noticing the brain-cells that are leaking from me lately... ha.


Aaaaaaaanyway.
I suppose, if nothing else, a summarization of 'things' will have to suffice.
So hear it goes.


The hair:
Well, let me just say what I've been able to say to a few people in person now about being bald.
WOW. IS IT COLD! hahaha.

Seriously. A NEW FOUND sympathy for bald men and babies  --->RIGHT HERE.
Folks, if you have a baby and you walk outside right now with it, hatless/hoodless/bonnet-less and you run into me, just know that I WILL be confiscating your child and running to the nearest store rack of hat-warmers!
I'm sorry, but until you have NOT had hair on your head, you do not fully appreciate God's creation of hair and it's natural position and purpose of INSULATING!
So yeah.
After learning that lesson, *and after the initial 24 hr shock period with baldness* I am now beginning to have quite a lot of fun with my hairless look. Friday, I spent a near three hours watching how-to videos and reading step-by-step message-boards on tying hair/head scarves and now really desire acquiring a ton more scarves so I can try out more things! In due time, I know... but you have to understand that these are the things that now excite my silly little world. ;)

Let's see, what else. OH!
The job:
So, after praying about it and talking with the hubs on the subject, it's been decided that I will be starting back at the studio...just one day a week *baby steps* but I'm still sooooooo excited to get back to teaching and tickling the ivories a little, too! My doc (and I'm not making this up) even gave me orders, early on, to play the piano so I could avoid neuropathy from setting in too badly...which I'm assuming typing this blog has also been a similar enough action...but why not embrace one MORE excuse to get back to my music!! ;)
As if I'm already not humbled enough by my students periodic 'I miss you' texts, it didn't take more than an hour of bulk group-texting back and forth to have 2pm-to 7:30pm totally booked back up.
Love it. And them. SO. MUCH.

What else is new?
Well, the blessing of friendship isn't 'new' but I am certainly relishing all the continued visits and fellowship of friends and NEW friends, too! God sure is getting the Glory. So so awesome to see people be so positively affected and encouraged through such a yucky thing as cancer. People keep saying 'what else can I do' and I keep saying... just KEEP PRAYING and don't disclude YOURSELF from that prayer.
What do I mean by that??
I mean...praise God that He has allowed this so that we ALL are yearning for Him more and needing to draw closer to Him. That's the whole point. :)

And on that note...Thank you all for your continued efforts as my prayer warriors...
it seems I can't go anywhere outside my house anymore in this tiny little 20,000 person town without running into at least one or two of you who stop to give a hug, say a prayer--even in the middle of a store!--or finally INTRODUCE yourself after our 'association' on here. Absolutely awesomely amazing, and though I don't know any other circumstance under which I would've felt more genuine in saying so...it makes me that much more grateful that God brought our little family back to Roseburg five years ago.

He sure did know what He was doing~

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