Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I love this little guy with all my heart. Happy Thanksgiving Recker
Today I'm thankful for so many things, mostly family.  I have truly been blessed with an incredible family that I love so much.  I woke up this morning with  Turkey smell throughout the house, we have a tradition of putting the turkey in the oven the night before because we eat around noon on Thanksgiving.  I made chocolate, coconut, banana and pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes, gravy, and 2 jello salads.  Raylani's family came over, they are so good about pitching in and bringing food.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I love the fall weather and the feeling I get when I'm with family.  This year Blake was here with us, I honestly never thought this day would come, I have missed him so much.  2 days ago I had to meet him in the Walmart parking lot to trade cars with him, when I pulled into the parking lot and saw him sitting in the car waiting for me, I got a huge smile on my face then told him how grateful I am that he is home with us.  It is seriously a luxury to have all my children in town, be able to hug and love on them everyday.  I hope I never take that for granted, family is the most important part of my life.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is Normal?

So the other day I was having a conversation with my son Blake-- I asked him how he was doing, and if he felt like he was adjusting to being back home--his reply was "mom, I feel like I'm getting back to normal again" I then asked him "what is normal son?"  then we had a long conversation about being normal.  My thoughts are still on that conversation.  I told him that our normals continually should be changing.   Two and a half years ago my normal was certainly different than they are now, I was worried about children, getting up going to work, worrying about children, making dinner every night, worrying about children, cleaning house, training for a marathon, worrying about children.  Then Blake surprised us with deciding on a mission, Kaitlyn got engaged, Kayla was pregnant with our first grandchild and I found out I had breast cancer--WOW did my normal change in a heartbeat.  Everything I thought was "NORMAL" was put on a back burner--now my normal was how can I do this? every thought that occupied my thoughts were -- worrying about Blake, worrying about the wedding, worrying about Kayla and Jeremy having a baby in the middle of all this, Haleigh having her senior year of HighSchool with her mom going through cancer, and Eric, my sweet husband having to see me go through hell, how could I ever allow him to see my mangled body again? how could I let him see me bald and sick? and more important than all I worried he would worry too much about me.... I needed everything to just go back to "normal"  Soon my normal became trips to Mayo Clinic on a regular basis, no exercising, certainly forgetting about my marathon running, missing my son terribly and worrying that he would be strong enough to make it 2 years without his family, I constantly worried about Haleigh and Eric.  Throwing up, losing weight, taking drugs and seeing oncologists were now my normal.  Soon my normal became kneeling and praying morning, day and night, begging pleading with the Lord to help me understand this new normal I was experiencing.  Educating myself about breast cancer was something I never thought I would be doing,  especially not for myself and now it was another normal for me.
The point to all of this is, our "normal's" change constantly in our life.  I was not prepared for my "normal" to change, but it taught me to understand that I am not in charge.  I learned to appreciate change, to figure out who I am and what I consider to be the most important, to live life to the fullest everyday living as if it were my last because things change constantly and without change we don't progress and grow.
One of the most important lessons I have learned during this journey called LIFE is the Lord is in control HE knows the beginning, middle and end HE loves me, and that when I listen for answers they always come, maybe not today or tomorrow but they always come.

Friday, November 11, 2011

American Cancer SocietyšŸš©

I was recently asked to speak at an American Cancer Society event in Gilbert.  A bit intimidated and hesitant I decided it would be good for me to take on the challenge.  I'm grateful I had Eric, Haleigh, Haleigh B, Kayla and my sister Sonya there for the moral support.  The ACS asked me to speak about my journey with cancer, and the programs that ACS offers cancer patients and their families.  This is all still so fresh in my mind, I was afraid I would just cry through the entire speech--I'm glad to say I didn't cry the whole time--just part of it.  It was surreal to actually speak to people about the journey I've had.

 October was National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and although I am a supporter of finding a cure, I also believe that every cancer deserves to be recognized and mentioned as much as breast cancer is.  Some of the largest money makers out there are doing just that MAKING MONEY and putting it  in their pockets, not using the money to go towards the cause, very few non profit organizations give 100% back to the cause, in fact one of the largest "non-profit" organizations made over 300 million dollars in 2010  and only 20% went into actual research or programs for breast cancer patients.  When people ask me about supporting breast cancer awareness month I always say I do support it but I always make sure where my money is going before I give to a non-profit organization.   ACS supports all research and 100% of all money made through fund raising goes right back into the programs they have for cancer patients and their families.. I LOVE IT.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It can always be worse

1/2 marathon in Mesa Arizona
I spent a few days at the Mayo Clinic this week--tests and more tests trying to figure out what is going on with my hip and back--
I met a new doctor,  he walked in said "hello, nice to meet you" in his darling cute German accent, then it was all business after that- he never smiled or looked at me in the face, he had me doing all these different walks,  on my toes, on my heels, walk there, walk here and never once smiled or looked at me-me, as in looked at my face or eyes--so I'm just going to say it --  he will never be a
Dr. Peter  Kreymerman-- he then ordered more tests and sent me to the physical therapist-- the entire time looking at his paper work, computer or elsewhere-- so it was "good- bye Dr. what's his face"
Funny thing about Dr. what's his face, the next day while I was waiting to see the physical therapist he walked by looked at me and smiled, I don't think he even knows I'm his patient and I am waiting in this waiting room because he ordered me to-- however, I Love my physical therapist her name is Pauline Lucas.  Good thing I like her we will be spending some time together, 6 weeks of PT 2 times a week.  I will also be getting cortisone shots in my hip and back to help with the pain-- they, (Dr. what's his face) diagnosed my hip with bursitis and my back is the arthritis caused from the amounts of chemo I received.  Pauline, wants me to keep a log of what exercise I am doing every week--she was a little concerned when I told her how much I was running, the cycling she said was a bit obsessive too, I was advised that a woman "my age" should not be doing an access amount of exercise because it is damaging more than healing..."too old, a woman my age?" seriously? what about the 100 year old man who finished a marathon a couple weeks ago?  I have now been told a few times by doctors that I should not be running the amount of miles I run every week--but a part of me wants so badly to run a marathon--it's difficult for me to embrace the words "you can't do it" I promised not to race next Saturday in the 1/2 marathon I've been so earnestly training for, but I did not promise not to do the 5K or 10K--WHAT A RIP OFF I'M BUMMED--I refuse to crawl up in a rocking chair and die -- for an athlete like myself it is really hard to cut back on the things I love to do.... I've always been drivin to do better and go further in each run, with my heart monitor watch on constantly seeing how much faster I need to go to beat yesterdays score I track my scores to be able to better my stride and endurance. I've learned from this experience that listening to my doctors advice is probably the best way to go about accomplishing in the end what I need or want for myself, every time I think I know better I end up right back at the beginning, with nothing accomplished--sometimes I feel Like this is what happens when I refuse to listen to answers to prayers too I get in the way of my own progression--I wonder why it is that sometimes we think we know more about ourselves then the Lord does--with that being said I am really, really sad not to be able to run the marathon next weekend--when the doctors talk to me this is what I hear "you are one of the most healthy patient I have ever had"  then the bomb hits "but-you are also the most unhealty patient I have ever had because every side effect you could possibly get from chemo and radiation has happened to you"
-but when I put it all in perspective it could always be worse--

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween

Recker was dressed as a Lumber Jack this year-- he is so cute, still holding tight to buzz.  He fell asleep before he had a chance to go trick-or-treating.  I tried to get him to take a nap all day but he was not interested.  I love this little guy.