When it Rains, It Pours: Time to Fight a Little Harder


Got some news of another storm brewin’ in me.  Rather than write a whole new blog… I’ll simply copy and paste the message I sent to my fam below (no personal offense, or should I say, no intention to hurt anyone by being impersonal in my copying and pasting… but it’s the best I’ve got right now. Slightly overwhelmed over here.  I know you understand.)

“Please excuse the group message, but i’m so wiped to retype personal msg over and over. I love you all & hope you understand.
When it rains, it pours. But there are blessings in the storm.
I had a PET scan done yesterday (Thursday) to see if all was still in the clear and stay on top of things. Especially since I’ve been feeling pretty badly lately.
Scans just came back (Friday afternoon) to show we have some cancer flare ups that have returned to my chest wall lymph nodes, my lungs, and my liver (same places as my 2nd diagnosis last year). However, Right now we are catching it much earlier than we did last time. It’s at the very early stages and so it hasn’t spread to far and each of those areas. That puts us at an event it that we can attack it early by changing up the meds that are running at my regular Lee scheduled maintenance infusions. Now we will be adding aggressive chemo back to the mix (my normal Maintenance infusions have targeted therapy drugs. Different from aggressive chemotherapy.) The last time we went through chemo I was supposed to complete 10 rounds but we cleared it all between six and eight rounds and so they decided to stop me at eight rounds, So as to not wear my body down too much in the probable case of the cancer returning and me needing chemo therapy. I say probable because once cancer has entered and attacked certain areas of your body that tends to be the place that it wants to return. Such as now.


We should hear back from my doctor tonight as to exactly which chemotherapy I will be going on and the plan is for me to start it at my next infusion which is scheduled the week after Thanksgiving.
Because of this we have also decided to bump up the date of my brain MRI scan to this Monday (vs. November 27th).
The main thing we ask for right now is just lots and lots of prayer. We are overloaded with food so no need to worry about us there. It’s a good problem to have. People have been so generous! (Like I said, blessings in the storm. Showers of graces!)
I’m getting more more tired as my treatments go on over these past few years, so I pray for everyone to call upon the Big Guy to shower down graces for extra added strength, energy, and courage to keep on trucking and fighting the way we have. There’s nothing in me that whatever let me give up, but I sure will say that I am tired. But I am not done here yet. I have five beautiful children that keep me going and an amazing husband who supports me and is by my side for everything. And I have all of you. I’m so very grateful for the support that I have that I know not everyone has. Even in the midst of the storm, I feel very blessed. With every challenge that comes our way I feel God’s presence and I feel the love from everybody around us all the more.


Thank YOU for your support! You give me strength.  Don’t know what I’d do without you.
I sang my Bob Marley song for the entire 20 minutes that I was in that PET scan machine yesterday, singing it over and over again. Every time I see it or hear it, floods of graces just wash over me like a wave crashing on the shores. God continues to reassure me that he is still my divine physician and every little thing really will be all right.


Hope is always here. Can’t lose sight of that now. This time, we are in a way better position, we’re catching it early, and we’re going to do this again. No matter how many times this cancer thing tries to pull me down I will fight it again and again and again and I will continue to fight with every breath that I have. Not giving up now. Never.
Now let’s rally those prayer warriors and get ready for another battle that has come upon us during the war that we were already fighting.
I will win this battle 👊🙏!! Just need a little courage and a whole lot of patience. But we will win this battle AND the war!!!


(No, I didn’t send all the pics in my text to the fam😂.  But Couldn’t resist but for a few in here👍💙)

Love you all and God bless you,

 

 

Adjusting her sails: Why? When? How?

 

 img_6619

So life doesn’t, as we all know, always go as planned.  And it certainly has been a pretty upside down, these days, for us.  So what do we do?  We stop and…  sometimes, depending on the day, I take it like a champ, and roll with it. Or, I just might take a drive, roll down my windows and sunroof like my oldest bro taught me😉, blare some music and scream at the top of my lungs on an open road! Or… go in my room and scream into a pillow. Maybe, I take a “Jesus walk” (where I literally just pace and say his name over and over ’til I calm down. Or, I just take big ol’ breath and ask the Holy Spirit to take over and help me to just adjust my sails.

These days, we’ve been doing a whole lot of sail adjusting to stay on course.   But, so far, it seems to be working.  Can’t say it’s been easy.  In fact, some days I admit, it’s been really hard.  Really hard.  But we’ve felt overwhelmed with graces to keep us going.  I truly mean that.  Your prayers are working.  Keep ’em coming, folks!

#greedyForGraces

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I apologize for giving such a huge gap, leaving everyone hanging for so long. But, honestly we’ve been in such a whirlwind, fighting my current fight and juggling, juggling, juggling the life of mama of 5 AND cancer AGAIN (a new one to learn and to have patience as we all learn and adjust to the whole process of managing and learning the routines of this NEW type of diagnosis and all its side effects. Trust me, PATIENCE is definitely a VIRTUE that we’re ALL workin’ on over here!!!) .  But that whole “mama” part is the part I NEVER want to let go of… that I’ve barely had a moment to post a thing.

 

img_5882

So where am I with my treatment?

completed 10 whole head radiation treatments in September.  Since, we’ve been allowing the radiation to take it’s full affect.  It’s been interesting.  The side effects of the radiation haven’t been as smooth as just the fatigue that we thought.  Mind has felt a little over active, so the resting and napping that we thought would just be soo easy has been really difficult.  Although, after a recent visit with my radiologist, he said to just “roll with it”.  No stress.  If I can nap, great.  If I can’t, it’s ok.  I’ll can go to sleep early that night.  Either way, better to not stress.  Stress is worse.  Better to not fell like  I’m “losing myself”.  Gosh I love that guy!  Whew!   

So how am I feeling?

Like a many freight trains are hitting me at once in more directions in my body that we talked about in the ER the day that they gave me my original diagnosis of METASTIC BREAST CANCER TO MY BRAIN.   Literally.  Everything from my tummy to needing an emergency urology surgery (for real, y’all!)… From my head to my .. well, you get it, I’ve been through the ringer.  No details, or questions, If you don’t mind.  Sorry to leave you hanging.  I’ll just say this much.  Cancer is a beast and all the meds and estrogen blockers, etc.  leave quite a path of destruction and pop up at the worst possible times.  I mean … worst possible times.  Like, I had to auction of BRUNO MARS TICKETS AND A HOTEL STAY with 3 of my besties (one of which who flew all the way in from AUSTIN, TX to visit only to take care of my 5 kiddos while I was in surgery- one of which was vomiting all over the place!!  TMI?? Well, that just adds to the whirlwind it’s been. And,  my dear friend has been in already.)  But.. we adjusted our sails!  And… deep breath… we’re still here and we still have each other.  Thank God we have each other!  So to answer, “how am I feeling? ”  I’m feeling tired,  a little frustrated, but crazy thankful for my friends and family that I have in my life… And doctors who have taken such amazing care of me.   My surgery couldn’t have gone better than it did.  Thank you, Dr. Winters for seeing me on such short notice. 

obsessively-grateful

How, Why, and When do I adjust my sails?

As of late, I’ve really had to evaluate myself, my situations, and my body on a daily basis.  Some days I wake up and I feel shaken, weak, and in pain. On those days, I adjust my schedule, cancel plans, and realize that this day I need to stay home and rest, rest, rest.  My body is begging me to take it easy.  I call in for back ups on carpool,  help with kids, etc.  

Other days,  I may not feel so fantastic,  but I don’t feel like I want to stay home and sit on the couch either.  I want to feel some sunshine.  I may have been feeling a little down and out too long, I need to be out and about with my family or friends to do something positive that will lift me up and make me happy.  Go make some memories.  Not because I feel so good to do it, but because I know that doing it will be worth pulling myself up from my bootstraps to do it and make it happen.  I know that by the end of the night when I crawl into bed, sore and tired… I’ll be happy I made the choice and be glad I have the pictures to prove it.  I’ll love looking at the smiles on our faces with my family and friends and be thankful I was present for that and not checked out … again, like I have had to be so often when sick from chemo, or whatever else.  That’s why I do what I do.  That is why you may see me at You Night functions, or Trunk-or-Treats,  Weddings, Halloweens,  or whatever else.  Especially,  that’s why you’ll see me at anything in a costume party.  Nothing gets me fired up than an excuse to wear a costume!!!  I’m a costume designer, I can’t help it 😉

img_6622 img_5815

 

So you might see me out doing stuff like this.. all just because this counts.  This means something to me.  I’m making memories.  Not because  I feel so good to do it. But because it’ll be so worth it, and make me feel so good once I push myself to get there with the ones I love. Get it?

So what’s next

Next, we continue with my monthly infusions and estrogen blocking injections (that is until we find a true cure!  Still praying for that one.  I just know there’s a geeky guy in a velour jump suit in his mom’s basement somewhere working on it right now.  I pray for that dude every day! )   Then, the Monday after Thanksgiving,  I’ll have my Brain MRI to see how many, if any,  tumors are left post radiation and determine if we need the gamma knife radiation machine for the non-invasive neurological surgery to remove any that would still be there.  I welcome your prayers.   I will keep you posted.   Promise.  Now, you just keep your end of the deal and keep the promise to keep me me covered in prayer like y’all have been so good at these past 3 years or so.  We’ve kicked cancer to the curb the last two times.  We’re gonna do it again!  Like I always say… 

GOD’S GOT THIS!

WHY? DO I BELIEVE THAT SO WHOLE HEARTEDLY? BECAUSE…

1- HE LOVED US FIRST.

2- HE LOVES US MOST.

3- HE KNOWS ALL OF OUR THOUGHTS AND CONCERNS EVEN MORE THAN WE CAN CLEARLY THINK IT THROUGH OUR SELVES.  SO… WHY WORRY????  SERIOUSLY.

LIKE I REGULARLY POINT OUT IN PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 “CAST YOUR CARES UPON THE LORD AND HE WILL GIVE YOU A PEACE AND GRACE BEYOND UNDERSTANDING!” 

IN OTHER WORDS…

dwbh

 

gonna-be-alright

No matter which way that is… it just will.  Because the big Guy upstairs has heard our plea.  He knows I have a husband and 5 kids.  He knows our needs.  And I’ve learned now to be SPECIFIC in my prayers.  I’ve learned to ask him SPECIFICALLY to HEAL ME.  It’s ok for me to ASK THAT.  Did you know that I felt bad for all these years to ask that.  I’ve asked for his will to be done, but felt bossy to ask him to heal me specifically.  I did.  But,  after all this time… I finally started verbalizing that.  (About time, right.  Y’all have been doing the heavy lifting, I guess, in the petitioning for my healing.  Thankfully! Sheesh. )

 

So, with that. I’m gonna sign off and get some rest.  I finally feel I can rest my mind now that I’ve gotten this out there.

Whatever time you’re reading this, (It’s about 11pm for me),  may you rest well, whenever the time comes, and thank you for seeing your alarms to pray for those of you who’ve sent me the fb pics and msgs of all your phone alarms set.  That means so much.  Prayers are the greatest thing we could ask for right now.  (Of course, we also have appreciated all of you who’ve been so amazingly generous through the Gofundme account (humbled beyond words), the meal train (would add link, but it’s full to the brim) and the Gift card train (no idea where the link is for this will revise if I find it), all who’ve helped to support the LIVE TO GIVE AUCTION coming up (see TEAM BUNA FB page for updates from Jennifer Block Massett- Coordinator), THE BUNA BASH @ PARIS PARKER on November 17th, and all the proceeds we were able to split with our non-profit (BUNA’S HOPE) through our BOOSTER campaign for our t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats (we’ll do another soon for those who didn’t get any) and the proceeds from HEALTHCARE IN A NUTSHELL that not only educated women and we hope saved lives, but also supported our family and our non-profit, but helped us to buy a kangen water/high alkaline  machine that provides an environment in my body that cancer cells aren’t easily able to survive in for both myself and now my ENTIRE FAMILY! (even the dog!!)   THANK YOU IS NEVER EVER EVER ENOUGH!!!

IMG_4199

All these blessings THROUGH YOU ALL, are proof to me, that in this storm of storms, once again, that HE IS WITH ME

 

I am humbled.  I am grateful.  I am tired.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

God bless you, my friends, my village, my TEAM BUNA.

Much love to ya. To all of ya.

*Oh! Let me leave you with another highlight of my week. The most adorable, genuine, heartfelt and creative video from the children of the school and parish that my brother serves as pastor along with dear friend, Paige Bennett💕 @ St.Angela Merici Catholic School in Metairie, La.  Thank you to the Angelettes from the Angelettes (their dance team’s name is the same as our last name!!😉) !🙌💕

(Click link below for their hilarious, adorable, and precious video)

https://vimeo.com/240033609

 

signature