Last year when I was diagnosed with breast cancer it didn't take long for the word to spread. We were inundated with cards, letters, flowers and gifts from neighbors, family and friends. I tried so hard to keep up with thank you cards but realized before too long that there was no way I would be able to thank everyone. It's been almost a year since my mastectomy, it was the week before General Conference which is always the 1st weekend in October. The surgeon came in my room 2 days after my surgery and told me that the VILLAIN had spread and that I would need another surgery, I remember looking at Eric with tears in both of our eyes I asked if it would be ok if I went home for the weekend and came back, she agreed that it would be good for me to go home for a few days. That weekend I watched every session of Conference from my bed in my bedroom. One of the talks that touched me and also was an answer to prayers was a talk given by Thomas S. Monson, he showed a picture of a jar much like the one I have here on my blog, he explained about a Primary President who had sent this to him, the jar was filled with warm fuzzies. The warm fuzzies were collected by the Primary children in her ward, every week when they came to primary if they had done a service for someone they were allowed to put a warm fuzzy in the jar. After one year the jar was full. I loved that idea so much, I decided to start putting a warm fuzzy in my own jar everytime someone did a service for our family. I didn't tell anyone about it, I just did it, now here it is a year later and my jar is full, in more ways than one. We have been blessed with friends, neighbors and family members who have served us, to all of you I say "Thank You" I keep this jar on my dresser in my bedroom where I can see it everyday and never forget. We have some really good doorbell ditchers in our neighborhood, so many times we would open the door to see a jar of salsa and chips, or some type of treat but no one to claim the service... I could see children running down the street hoping not to get caught... parents are teaching their children to serve others without recognition, I love it.
This jar of warm fuzzies represent all of the people who have given un-selfishly this past year as they have served our family, our family loves you and will never forget, we feel your love.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I love hearing from my missionary son, he entered the MTC one year ago today. So that means he will be home in one year yay !!!
Oh how I miss his smiling face and cute sense of humor, he always has a good attitude and never talks badly about other people I love those qualities in him. He is serving in Santiago now, he loves the area and the people. I can see how the Lord is refining him and molding him into an amazing missionary. I am overwhelmed with emotions when I think about how much he, as well as our family has been blessed in the past year. This experience he is having will help him be a better husband and father some day. I love the spirit I feel when I read his emails, he loves the people he is serving and I wonder how hard it will be for him to leave them when the time comes.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
So my house is a mess, the floors need to be vacumed and cleaned, the kitchen is .... actually not too bad the family room has toys everywhere, clothes are in the washing machine and dryer, my bedroom .... let's just say the bed is not made and my bathroom needs some serious cleaning, however........ I get to spend all day with Recker he demands my every minute and I love it. I think I have finally learned how to put everything aside and enjoy the moments I know I will never get back, the kitchen will always be there, but I may not, so I want to enjoy every second I have with this little guy. Today he had his first PLUOT (PLUM) and this is what it looked like..... what a mess, then he had a fun bath, splashing water everywhere and laughing the whole time.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Ok, so today I got productive and made like a million Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, click here and scroll down for the recipe. I got all the ingredients from Walmart got them all out and ready while Recker was taking a nap this morning, when I pulled out the oil it smelled rancid..... wow that was disgusting. I have not baked anything for so long the oil went bad, and I had to run to Walmart again and get oil, it's a little frustrating to have everything you need but one ingredient. I told Eric (who was laying with Recker... so cute) that I needed to go get oil then he said to me "are you going to eat any of these cookies?" of course I said "no" he quickly replied "then why bother making them?" I thought about that question while I was running through Walmart, I think I want to bake something for my family, just because I am not eating sugar and flour does not mean they need to go without. RIGHT? besides I love to bake and I feel like it's that time of year, I missed out on it last year. They smelled so good baking in the oven, I could not resist ..... I did eat one and it tasted so good to me, then the guilt took over and I was done. I have this love/hate relationship with the NO SUGAR NO FLOUR thing. I love that my body feels clean and renewed, I hate that I love the delicious combinations you can create with sugar and flour, I am such a baked goods girl.
It wore me out making all those cookies, my body is not what it used to be and I wonder if it ever will be again.
Oh yeah, and some people have asked about my recipes ..... when you open my blog if you click on the button that says cookbook it will take you to my recipes, I now have almost 1,000 recipes on there. I love that my girls can get a recipe whenever they need one, it's been so fun.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
This week my hips are really in pain, it hurts to walk up and down the stairs at my house. I don't like taking the pain medicine because it makes me feel like I am giving in to it.
Also this week I have been receiving emails from the American Cancer Society, the last email that came asked me if I was ready to purchase a wig, or look at their catalogue for hats and beanies..... WHAT? Been there done that, there should be some kind of filter that lets A.C.S know we are done with chemo and moving on with our lives. I am having a bit of a bad attitude this past week, can you tell? I really don't mind getting the emails, but when I opened the TLC catalogue it brought back a wave of emotions and memories, Tamy and I looked at that catalogue a year ago and I considered purchasing some hats from them, but decided against it. Then when I did decide to purchase one I got a prescription from my oncologist and bought one at a store close to the Mayo Clinic. BTW I never wore it, never, not even once, I think my kids and all their friends have more fun wearing that wig, even Recker wore it one day.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Today is Blakes Birthday .... huge shout out to him ......woo hoo
Dear Elder Williams
I love you son, happy happy Birthday you are 22 today, so hard to believe. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday, dad was so excited to finally have a boy and I was overjoyed to hold you in my arms. You weighed 9 lbs 8 oz. and 21 inches long. Thank you for so many memories over the years, dad and I love you more than words can say. You are on your mission now and will probably not read this until you get home, or later in your life, but today I want you to know I love being your mom, and I am so proud of the man you are becoming. I pray everyday that you will be blessed and watched over, that the Lord will comfort you in times you need it and push you on the days you think you can't go anymore. We are truly blessed to have you in our family. xoxo Mom
Saturday, September 11, 2010
This week I got these pictures from my cute missionary son and also an email telling me he had been bit by a dog. As a result of the bite he has been extremely sick. Sometimes I think it's better for mom's to not know everything, we just sit and worry too much. I know the Lord can take better care of him than I can, so today I just turn it over to HIM. Oh and by the way, it was not the dog in these pictures that bit him, it was a Rotweller.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Today I was diagnosed by my oncologist with the 1st stages of Osteoporosis, and arthritis in my lower back. WOW I did not see that one coming, I should have, it seems that everything they have told me I "might" get I have gotten. I really don't know whether to scream or cry...... well actually I did allow myself to cry a little tonight on my way to work, and it felt good. Eric is out of town so I don't have anyone to cry with....ha ha ok enough of the pity party, I'm good now its been a few hours and I can breathe.
I was excited to see the doctor today because I wanted to see if the labs would show how hard I have been working on not eating sugar, flour or processed foods ... surprise is he didn't say one thing about that except that "oh you've lost some weight" I thought "seriously? .... thats it? thats all he has to say about that? who cares about my weight what about the fact that I have been in deprivation of sugar for 4 months?" (except for that little trip to Paris .... I didn't tell him about that)
I knew right away that things were not going good when he said "soooooooo, young lady, really, how have you been feeling?" it really wasn't WHATT he said but more of HOW he said it that made me feel like some bad news was coming down the pike. I told him the usual stuff, my lower back hurts sometimes, that my legs and hips hurt all the time, making it difficult to exercise and that my fingers go numb once in a while, also my lymphodema acts up and my arm swells up especially now that I am on the computer at work for long periods of time, and let's not forget about MR. HOTFLSASH he and I have become well acquainted "well..." he said in his low doctor voice "we need to go over your labs" there it is ....here it comes ..... the bad news is on the tip of his tongue I just know its coming,,,,,, finally it did ...showing me the x-rays which by the way are now so clear its like a real picture of my spine, back and bones. he begins to explain the pain in my hips and legs are in part because of the neuropathy I got during chemo, but we have a new problem Osteoporosis caused from the Arimidex I'm taking, something I was told today I will be on indefinitely for the rest of my life. The Arthritis in my lower back was caused from the Chemo Treatments I received. DANG DANG DANG VILLAIN I seriously don't like you!!!!
He continued by telling me how sorry he is to have to tell me this because he knows I am working so hard to do everything possible to not have recurrance and being such a good patient. He told me about a patient he just met with who is diabetic and has cancer but who refuses to know her insulin counts, he said I will probably be stuck with this patient for 30 years continuing to tell her what to do to save her life and she won't take one suggestion, then I have you who does more than what I tell you do and you are faced with another hurdle. I wanted to say "you're right, so what do we do about it?" but I didn't I just stared at him with some stupid look on my face.... he was sitting right in front of me and I was seriously tempted to kick him.... hard.
Just once I want to go to MAYO and get some good news ..... it will come right? I can't tell if the VILLAIN is winning or if I am winning anymore. The Arimidex blocks estrogen and is exactly what stage 3 CANCER patients take to HELP them survive the VILLAIN, but on the flip side of that I guess patients have to live with the sometime consequences. DANG IT, I hope this does not keep me from being able to do everything on my bucket list...doctor said within 10 years I will be IN FULL BLOOM OSTEOPOROSIS ..... I so want to serve a mission with Eric, I want to run a marathon how can I do these things if I am crippled? It just testifies to me more that I need to get everything done in my life that I want to do as fast as I can so I can enjoy it. I'm still planning on training for that marathon next year. Blessings will come, I just have to remember, if not in this life they will come in the next as long as I embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I found this quote while I was reading today and Loved it
.....some blessings come soon,
some come late and some
don't come until HEAVEN;
but for those who embrace
the Gospel of Jesus Christ
they will come.
- Jeffrey R Holland
Friday, September 3, 2010
This morning I needed to be at Mayo Clinic by 7am. When I arrived the underground parking lot was empty, no-one was playing the piano, there was no greater to say "welcome to Mayo", no-one else riding in the elevator, even the gift shop was not open yet, today the halls of Mayo were empty and and unusually quiet.
I love the cute lady that checked me in she is from Russia and she always checks me in, she remembers me because my name is Russian and is quite popular, every time I see her she always says "good morning Monya" today she even told me my hair looked so cute. After I checked in and got registered for my procedures I sat down in the chemo lab waiting area, I listened as a man talked to his wife sitting right in front of me (he was pretty loud) he was talking to her about FAITH. He commented about how he is not buying the whole "faith as a mustard seed" and if we have faith you will be healed, he was telling her "we have shown our faith, we have prayed day and night with a pure heart asking the Lord to help us, we read from the Bible everyday, but yet here we sit at the Mayo Clinic getting ready for you to go in to chemo treatment and you are dying" ... he continued to say "Jesus Christ had faith and he still died, his daddy could of saved him but he didn't he let him die" (the man was of African American heritage and I loved his southern baptist way of talking) at this point I was thinking "is this man trying to give a pep talk to his wife? because it's not quite coming out that way" then he turned to her and gave her a hug and said the sweetest things it made me tear up... "I just love you so much and I hate to see you going through this, I'm frustrated because we have done all that we have been told to do not only by the doctors but by the good Lord, and I feel as if we are not getting any answers here" .... WOW, I could not believe what I was hearing of all days for me to come to Mayo, I chose today when it's all quiet except for this one man who could be heard from across the room. I needed to hear what he was saying, I need to be tested and reminded about FAITH and about the fact that the Lord could take all this away if he wanted to, he could of taken away the pain of his only son and spared him his life, but he didn't because he had a plan for him, just like he has a plan for all of us, it sure does not make it easier to accept life's bumps and bruises but when I really think about what plan HE has for me I realize how special I am in his eyes. I love that the Lord put this man in my path today, I needed to hear what he was saying.
3 women come in and are sitting in the waiting room, all bald, all receiving chemo treatment today, and all looking really ill, a sudden attack comes over me, seeing where they are right now in their treatments, the reality of what I have been through flooded my brain like a Tsunami , how did I do that? They look so sick, did I look that sick? I remember how I felt, oh my goodness I just want to get out of here--seeing all this brings back some horrible memories right now, I can't breath, my chest feels like a weight is on top of it, I stand up and begin to pace, I know people are looking at me, I can here them say "is she OK?' I can hear them but I just want them to go away, I wish Tamy was here. Suddenly when they called my name I'm able to snap out of it long enough to walk over to the nurse she introduced herself and I am usually pretty good about remembering their names but not today, I just want to get this over with. We walked into the chemo lab and I was still a little dazed but able to fake my way through it...when she accessed my port I had to ask her to put on a face mask she forgot to do it, this made her have to start all over with the sterilization process, but I remember Tamy telling me to never let anyone access your port without a mask and gloves on, and honestly I have never had to tell a nurse at Mayo this was the 1st time. Finally when she did get the port accessed it was really painful this time, when she flushes it an immediate medicinal taste hits my taste buds and my face quinced. She asked if I was ok, I said yeah I just never get used to that taste, She took 6 vales of blood put a band aid over my port and scooted me out to my next appointment. Good thing, I hate the smell of the chemo suites, too many reminders.
My next appointment is not for 1 1/2 hours so I decided to go visit my favorite people in radiology/oncology, none of them were at work yet, they don't start until after 8 am that was a disappointment I really wanted to see some cute cheerful faces to help me get through the rest of the tests I have today. Oh, Well back to the concourse level to check in and wait.
At least this floor is not ALL VILLAIN patients, some of them have heart problems and other sicknesses, its hard to tell, at least with VILLAIN patients I can tell by the "no hair" and the fact that I can look in their eyes and know what they are thinking and how they are feeling. Whenever I enter the Mayo Building all of my senses are activated.
I SEE everyone and everything around me so clearly now, not foggy like it was a year ago
I HEAR the sounds of loving husbands and wives giving support and encouragement where it is needed
I TASTE the chemicals, the ones that are supposed to help me.
I SMELL the sickness in the air, and want to go throw up.
I sit back close my eyes and try to go to Paris, riding on a bike in the mountains, yes finally I'm at my happy place with my happy husband frenchie and we are smiling, and picking wild berries ..... then suddenly I hear "MONYA WILLIAMS" over the loud speaker, it's my turn for my bone test. I had to get dressed in the Lovely Hospital Attire for this one, after the bone density test, I also had the bone mineral test done, back to chemo lab to access the port again.....This has truly been an emotionally draining day, I can hardly stay awake as I blog but I wanted to get it all blogged so I would remember it.
I return to see Dr Northfelt next Tuesday, I am crossing my fingers that not eating sugar, flour or processed foods for 3 months has paid off. The labs will tell ..... I just want Dr Northfelt to walk in the room and say "you are cancer free, or at least say I'm in remission" I don't think based on our last conversation that, that is going to happen any time soon, but a girl can dream right? I always have that .....dreaming, hoping and praying