Saturday, October 7, 2017

Are you gonna look? What's the point? I like to smile. I like to laugh.

I've been trying to figure out how to share this story tonight. I was hoping that the details of how it all happened would just meticulously unfold from the wrappings of my brain but alas, it's taking some time for it to even get to just messily unfold. I'm tired. taking these meds has me all out of sorts as my body tries to adjust to 2 new chemo meds. it's odd because these 2 meds are taken via pill form instead of iv form and though there are some things I like about it, I'm kinda not a huge fan either but I'm just working with it as best I can.

My kids have Monday off of school!!!! I wanted to be a "FUN mom" and decided that we'd "Seize the Day!" and plan to do something fun, it might even cost money, and I don't care. I want to spend some time with my kids having fun for all 4 of them. One of the ideas I had come up with was maybe going to the Butterfly Conservatory on Mackinaw Island. We really wanted to make it to the Island this summer because, in all my years, I've never actually been to the Island. And I wanted to be the one to take my kids to the Island too. But my kids are really struggling to follow directions and obey without issue this weekend. I've explained until I'm blue in the face that we cannot do fun things if they aren't willing to follow directions. I can't be giving up a bunch of extra energy to keep them in line and safe. They have thrown in the towel.

It looks like we may just go walk around Mackinaw City to have some fun so I asked Braly if he still had the coupon from Robotics club to see if I was still valid for some Lego thing. He said no, he didn't think so. That was from like 2 years ago and what was the point, it wasn't like we'd ever get over there to use it anyway. We never do things he wants to do. It's always for the girls or medical stuff for mom. My heart sort of sank in sadness at his outlook. This mama started praying. And prayers were answered. God is concerned with ALL of you! He wants every single part of you and is so full of compassion to reach you!

So tonight I was reading my email and just sitting at the dining room table relaxing and thinking that I should start heading to bed soon. I reflected on the amazing deal I was able to get again from Joann Fabrics. The other day the had a 40% off coupon and then 50% off entire order or something like that. I had something similar and scored a great light I've had my eyes on. :) In the meantime, I started getting heartburn. I hate heartburn. It not only hurts but seems to take it's sweet ol' time working it's way out which usually means for me that I end up not going to bed for awhile and find something else to do to keep my body upright for the heartburn to go away. I sipped on some Kombucha tea and then headed to the basement to work on some laundry. There was plenty of stuff down there to mess with but all the hangers were left in the closet in my room where my family sleeps. So I walked around and picked a few things up here and there and put them away. I had not actually finished any one section in the basement when I was decluttering so there are plenty of things to do. I emptied a container and put the things away. I ended up sitting down & picking up a box of junk that had been sitting in the basement for awhile. As I pulled things out of it, I came across a business card. I'm so glad that I didn't allow the discouragement of my kids to get to me.  I do love to smile. I love to laugh, I'm gonna keep my healthy, positive outlook despite what comes my way and I'm going to certainly try to pass this view on down to my kids and anyone else that will listen to me.
Es muy importante!

Time for me to get to bed.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Day 729 of Square One

I made it through yesterday and I did okay. I had such a big salad for dinner that I got tired of chewing so I ended up making my salad into soup. I am still missing some of the other important veggies that fight cancer since I only had a chance to listen to 2 modules but I have a decent start for day 1. Day 2, or what I'm referring to as 729 is kinda messed up already. I'm going to have to make a plan that if I have a chemo treatment like I do today, I may have to juice for 2 days the day before in order to comply with drinking 8 oz of carrot juice each hour until I reach the right amount of ounces for the day. So today, I'm going to have to modify and make a 2nd Shakeology and bring it with me as my lunch. And when I get home, I may have to have the kids help me juice some carrots and celery.

Well, juicing didn't happen at all today. I ate a very large salad for dinner and I had some fun with it. I used some pomegranate stuff and mixed in a little oil and a bunch of seasonings and poured it over top the salad. I still need to listen to the 2nd module again & the 3rd through 10th but I am determined to keep going.

I am building my support system each day. So many people in my life are encouraging me with this. I have a friend all the way in CA that did some reading into what I shared with her. Then sent me a pic of a devotion that was perfect. A friend here in my town said that she'd go with me to Marquette or Marinette so I can buy organic veggies if I need to. I thought that was a great idea. There are a group of people at my church doing the Daniel meal eating, which is kinda similar and that is neat because they are encouraging too. Today is Fat Tuesday and people were eating Paczki today. I did not partake in this tradition but I purchased one for each of the rest of the family. As I was talking about this with my mother in law, I realized that tomorrow starts lent season. And then I got the idea that I should just break this journey down into maybe 40 day sections. That instead of thinking I'm going to be eating a raw diet for 730 days I can make it more doable. Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days which led up to his death on the cross and then resurrection. I can do 40 days to Easter. Then it's 40 days until Pentecost. I'm not sure what comes after that but I'll figure it out as I go.

Tomorrow I'll juice for 2 days and see if I can get it down to a science where I only have to use the juicer every other day to save a little time. I will store the juice in mason jars like I have been to preserve the quality and just use it up within the 2 days and start again. Like I said, I'm learning as I go. I've got to take care of myself and my husband and kids so this has to fit in and work for me.

Adam and I set up the Berkey water filter tonight. I have to remember to check it and take the water out and water the plants since we are to toss the first filtered water. I figure that it's better for the plants than what they've been getting with city water. I am excited to check out the water tomorrow and taste the difference with so many things filtered from it. My goal is to take out as many toxins from my body and my family's body as I can. I want to do my part. I believe that God is restoring my body but I want to be sure to do my part in the process too.

So that's day 2 (729) of my Square One journey. My plan tomorrow is to listen to module 2 and 3 and make a list of ALL the things I CAN eat and hang it on the fridge so I don't feel deprived.  Night all. It's time to get some rest.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Square One Journey Day 730

Today is the day I said I would start my Square One Journey and I stuck to it. I prepped and juiced a 5# bag of carrots and some celery and now I am to drink 8 oz every hour until I've gotten 48oz into my body for the day.

Unfortunately, I have not gotten a chance to finish watching all of Chris W's modules yet. I was gone for the weekend with 20 kids and 5 adults from our church for a conference. It was a lot of fun but now it's time to concentrate on renewing my body with new healthy cells.

I started out the day by drinking a shake with blueberries, raspberries, almond milk, and vegan chocolate Shakeology. I'm going to stick with the shakes each morning because I stopped getting them and ended up having dry eyes. I'm not going that route again.

So today, despite not getting to watch all of the modules on this Square One Journey, I am starting anyway. I will just have to learn as I go. This isn't about perfection, it's about making healthy choices and lifestyle changes.

I have to head to the oncology department soon in order to have labs drawn because tomorrow I have a chemo treatment scheduled. I plan to ask some questions of my providers in hopes that down the road, I can get off of the chemo and just do a natural way of healing with God's help.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

736 days

On Monday February 27, 2017 I will be starting the Square One eating plan. Square One is a plan for changing nutrition and lifestyle to heal of cancer and/or prevent it. The site is Chris Wark's and he shares how he healed his body from Stage III 3c Colon cancer with God's grace, nutrition and lifestyle changes. I came across his website through another email I signed up for that my father in law had shared with me awhile back. I thought Chris' modules sounded interesting and considering the diagnosis I received back in Oct 2013 that I had Stage IV metastasized breast cancer, I thought this was a good video series to start watching. And it was for FREE at the time. I watched intently and took really good notes. I started making a list of things that I haven't changed yet and did some research how to make changes for me and my family.

Before I was able to watch the 3rd module, I received a text message from a dear friend that said her family wanted to bless me with purchasing the classes for me to have my own digital copy so I could watch and rewatch over and over so I could put this new lifestyle into place. I am extremely grateful for their generosity and signed right up. I listened to module 3 and learned how I'm going to change my nutrition. I am going to overload my body with good nutrition through juicing (which I already knew about but had never fully committed to in the past) and eating a SUPER Salad every day for lunch & dinner. I learned the things to put in the salad and I loved how Chris shared how important it is to add cancer-fighting spices and herbs to the salad as well. He is so positive and encouraging that even though he says that a person should commit 100% to 2 full years of this new and improved lifestyle, I feel as though I will be able to do this. I am planning right now. I will be starting the juicing on Monday the 27th of February after I get back from a busy weekend trip.

Chris encourages people that do this plan, to journal and share so they can help others. That fits with my blogging so for the next 730 days starting on the 27th, I will be trying to blog to keep track and share what's going on. It may encourage you if you are in a similar situation to find a way to make changes in your life. I am a wife, a mother to 4 kids and I still volunteer at our church and stay involved in as much as I can. I'm not trying to toot my horn by sharing this, however, I am trying to say that if I have all of this on my plate and plan and WILL do this lifestyle change, you can too. I think that fear of such a HUGE commitment of big changes has held me back, but not anymore. I will be following the Square One plan as closely as possible. I have recently discovered that I need to stay on the Shakeology that I've been drinking for years. I went off of it for a few weeks and ended up with dry eyes, and 2 prescriptions for it. I got some more Shakeology and started taking it twice a day for a week and my eyes are already back to normal. Praise God!

I have to prepare myself to make more trips for fresh fruits and veggies at the store each week. I have to set aside about 1 hour to juice the veggies that I need for my juice all day. I have to drink 8 oz of juice about every hour throughout the day and then eat the super salad twice a day. I have to get used to spicy and smelly things like garlic, turmeric, ginger and a few other hot things. I'm not huge on spicy but I will do what I need to make this happen. I will be hanging signs that remind me that I am building a new body.

I decided that since this new lifestyle will be 730 days, instead of counting up to the 730, I'm going to countdown. I have been praying about what God's direction for me would be and then this came in my email. My plan is to keep doing the chemo treatments for now but my goal is to see vast improvements in the tumor marker numbers and to either space out and quit or eventually just quit chemo treatments. I am seeking God for guidance, wisdom, and discernment about the choices I must make.

So here goes.  I'm just 736 days away from completing the Square One program. Come along the journey with me if you would like. It will probably include some crying, laughing, frustration, pleas of needing encouragement, changing the way I look at things, etc. Here we go....

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Our 5 senses

I may have shared a post about this before but it's an ongoing thing for me and I imagine it is for others as well, so we're talking about it again. After all we are all human and have 5 wonderful senses that God gave to each of us. Taste, Smell, Hearing, Touch, and Sight. We learn about these senses at a young age. These 5 senses are part of our flesh. What we may not learn right away is that there is the supernatural realm (our first or parent realm) and that when we operate in the supernatural realm, we often have to ignore our fleshly senses.

I've talked about fasting before. And one of the things about fasting is that the flesh says, "hey, I'm hungry, feed me!" The flesh part of us is trying to demand to be known and heard. It can even get angry and cause a headache. But if we are led by the Holy Spirit to fast and pray and we are following the Holy Spirit, we often need to tell our flesh to be quiet. That it doesn't matter what it's saying, we are going to obey and follow the Holy Spirit. This is NOT usually easy. That flesh has a way of rising up and making itself known. Well, when a person is dealing with a medical diagnosis that the doctors don't give a good prognosis of and that person is walking by faith and not by sight, that person often has to cast down imagination and have it be captive to God. It can be a daily, hourly, or even minute by minute struggle to tell that flesh to behave and line up with God's word. I live that struggle at times. But I am so thankful that God's word is powerful and alive and at work in my life in order for me to get through it.

Last week I had another chemo treatment. Right now I have them every 3 weeks. They drew the tumor marker number and it came back as being a handful of points higher than it has been. The increase can indicate that the cancer is growing again. But this number alone isn't usually something that the doctors get concerned about. They often ask if I am feeling pain anywhere. If there is something unusual or different in the pain department. And if so, they often call for a scan of some sort. I had not been having any unusual pain in my body. But when I read that number and it was higher than last time, the devil started trying to play on my imagination and make me think that stuff is going on. I believe that I am healed. And I walk by faith and not by sight so I have been praying against this distortion of what I KNOW to be true. I have been praying that I walk by faith and not feelings.

Yesterday I was sharing with a couple of people how when my mind starts to wander and think the worst, I bring it back into line by quoting scripture. This morning after I dropped my kids off at school, I had the radio on K-Love and just before I got out of the van, I smiled REALLY BIG. There was a quick teaching about how we need to walk by faith and not by sight (those 5 senses), and then the man proceeded to say, it is important that we walk by faith and not feelings. I believe that God hears my prayers. He hears me and I believe in Him and love the connection I have with him. Right then and there it was a little breadcrumb to show me that he heard me and I need to just keep trusting him. Over the last month I've had a few of these breadcrumbs to remind me that He loves me and wants me well. He hears my every prayer and need. He knows what I have need of even before I ask. And it's neat when he confirms to me that he heard my prayers.

I encourage you to try talking to God today. To voice your concerns with him and tell him what you need. He loves you oh so very much and he wants to have a connection, a relationship with you. Do you long to have the connection I have with God? You can.  It starts by telling him that you have sinned and that you believe he died and rose again to save you from your sins AND heal you both physically and mentally. And then confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Son of God and commit your life to him, you will be saved and have taken the first step into having that connection with God.  If you've just taken this 1st step into connecting with God on a personal level, please feel free to message me. I can help point you into the direction of what you can do next.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A+ Great Job!!!

It's the end of the first marking period for my kids at school which meant attending parent/teacher conferences. Since I have 3 in school, that meant meeting with 13 different teachers. I had to make an appointment to meet with Morgan's teacher since she's younger & that's how her's was set up. But for the older 2, I had to go to each classroom and wait for my turn to talk to the teachers. I did a pretty good job with conferences yesterday. I saw 11 of the 13 teachers and I did it in under 4 hours. Yes, that was a lot and I was starving by the time I picked the kids up from church but that means that today and tomorrow's half days are mine to spend with the kids. :D I'm very excited about that and it was worth being patient and all the steps my fitbit counted. Although the plantar fasciitis pain kicked in and I was quite tired last night, it was worth it for the extra time with them today & tomorrow.

I am pleased to say that all of them got on the honor roll.  One child got ALL As. And the other two had one A- each and the rest were As. Even though this looks great for each of them, it isn't what makes me proud of them.  As I sat down with each teacher and talked with them about my kids, I had a hard time not tearing up with what I heard (yes, I'm 'that' mom). And to be honest, I wouldn't expect anything else because of what Adam & I have taught them over the years.  Here are some of the things I heard:

Your child is quiet, shy, but very respectful, a hard worker, a perfectionist, creative, kind, sweet, participates, great to have in class, wish I had more of her, love having her in class, she's going to have a successful high school career, dedicated, smart, determined, and so much more.

Your child is serious, interesting, kind, always ready to answer questions, hard worker, participates in class all the time, respectful, mature, good understanding of self and things around him, fun, love having in class, look to him in class because he enjoys it so much, fast worker, good time management, determined, great kid, and so much more.

Your child is respectful, hard worker, quiet, even when the kids around her are making a lot of noice. Felt bad saying it but she is a student that the teacher can use sort of as a buffer and put next to anyone in the class (especially those that don't always follow directions) and she can count on her to sit quietly, do her work without added instruction, etc. She understands her material, is helpful, a hard worker, and oh so much more.

These things are what make me a proud mama. I care that they are doing their best. I care that they treat others with respect. I care that they are kind and helpful. They might not always do those things at home, however, I know it's in them and it's what we keep teaching them to be loving and kind to all. I love hearing that they are respectful of adults and other students as well. That they are hard workers. That makes me tear up because I get to hear that the lessons we've taught them are paying off. Their character is by far, way more important to me than actual grades. But I also know that because of teaching them good character qualities, it will help them succeed and do their best and push for those good grades.

This year I tried not to just listen to the nice things that the teachers said but to pick something that I could encourage each of the teachers about while I was there. They have a tough job. Not all kids want to be there, not all kids want to learn, not all kids are taught good character qualities and they have to treat these kids with respect and teach them despite whether they want to learn. I appreciate the teachers. I think they care about each of the kids and thought they could use some uplifting words. I'm sure they each had at least a couple of difficult meetings with parents last night and again this afternoon. Just wanted them to  know they are doing a good job and to keep it up.

I challenge you, as a parent, to encourage and uplift your child's teacher. If you are homeschooling your child/children, I hope that you get encouraged. Your job is a lot of work. I won't homeschool my kids because I know myself and I would be too frustrated with them not doing their work and I think it would affect our relationship with each other but I know it's tough work. I have worked with each of my kids before they started school and I help them with their homework or any schoolwork they don't understand and need extra teaching of. I make sure they have materials to help them succeed by providing books to help them in each subject and we look things up online together when necessary. It is a TON of work but they are soooo worth it. Great job parents. Keep up the awesome work to help your kids succeed in their academics and more importantly their character skills (it actually helps me as I teach them too).
Have a great day! I plan to.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Proud of my boy!

Today was the 2nd and also last day of basketball tryouts for Braly. He has never played basketball besides in our driveway and maybe a little at school in gym class. So when he decided to try out for the team, I was impressed. Once he decided to try out, he practiced most afternoons after school. I really enjoyed watching him practice. And I really loved seeing Adam teaching him some things on Saturday.

Yesterday when I picked him up from tryouts, he was a bit bummed. He said that he didn't think that he had the skills like some of the other kids. I asked him why & he said that there were drills that he was unable to complete because he'd never done them before. I could understand that statement. I just didn't want him to be all glum and think that everyone was better than him and for him to sulk about it feeling sorry for himself. He had a legitimate observation and that was completely okay. He was right too. Many of the boys that tried out have played for a couple of years. Maybe even done basketball camps. So yes, they were better skilled.

When I picked the kids up from school today, Braly said that his plan was to have as much fun during the tryouts today as he could and do his best. I told him that was all I expected from him. When I went to pick him up from tryouts I found out that he was handed an envelope with his name on it. Inside was a piece of paper that said whether he'd made the team or not. I think he told me that there were like 15 spots on the team and there were about 7-9 kids that would not make it. He opened his envelope and said, "well, I didn't make it but that's okay." And the cool thing was that even though he was slightly disappointed, I knew he really was okay for not making it because of the way he said it. Yes, it's sad that he didn't get a spot. But he went on to say that the boys that he heard made it, they were really good and they earned their spots. And he was pretty sure that they put a lot of time into practicing basketball each day. He said that many of them practice after school, they eat dinner, and practice some more. He said they work really hard to be good players.

No, my son didn't make the team. Am I a little sad for him? Yes, of course, I am, however, this boy just did some major growing up in the last week and he makes me so proud that I get to call him Son. He learned the value of hard work even when something is challenging. He learned to be a good sport. He had a feeling that he might not be at the same level of playing basketball and he still put himself out there and tried out. I am filled with joy and am proud that my son learned so much this past week. I've got an amazing kid!  And he may not have made the basketball team this year but he made the Jazz Band. I honestly don't have a preference what he chooses to do for activities. I am just pleased to see him joining groups, learning, observing, and doing his best.