Not so long ago, I pinned this pic above. It spoke to me.
Not so long ago, I was figuring out how to move forward with life and change from SURVIVING LIFE to LIVING it. I mean really LIVING!!
Not so long ago, I travelled with my family and some friends to the Rocky Mountains and climbed a mountain with my family (after forgetting my knee braces that help me deal with my residual knee pains often left behind after chemo, radiation, and the ongoing estrogen blocker therapy thereafter). It hurt like hell to climb that day, but the view of my kids climbing amongst one of the most picturesque mountain-scapes was more than worth it. I was breaking barriers down. I was LIVING!
Not so long ago, I lead a retreat with my husband on a cruise ship to Cozumel and snorkeled, tackled inflatable obstacle courses on the water, danced, danced, DANCED, and thanked God for the chance to sip pina coladas with my hubbie while I let GO, LET GOD, and felt his blessings lift my pains away for a good portion of our trip!
Not so long ago, we celebrated my 2 year survivorship from the day I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer and I couldn’t be more thankful to GOD, my family, my friends, and my community (both near and far) for getting us through. WE did it. We made it. And although people keep speaking of the way I SURVIVED, I couldn’t help but think to myself,
“I DON’T WANT TO SURVIVE. I WANT TO LIVE. I WANT TO LIVE EVERY MOMENT FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH AND THANK GOD FOR IT, NO MATTER WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS.”
I believe that with all my heart.
I believe that because I see the value in every moment and recognize that truly,
THERE IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR.
This past month, although so thankful and excited to move forward in my life and learn how to live the life AFTER CANCER. There was another plan.
This week, on Thursday, September 7th, while getting ready for dinner, I learned that (after recent scans and biopsies from some concerns we’ve had), that I indeed
HAVE BEEN RE-DIAGNOSED WITH
STAGE 4 METASTATIC BREAST CANCER.
We have found those same dang cancer cells (Triple Positive Breast Cancer) within multiple small tumors in my lungs, liver, and lymph nodes in my chest.
It’s a lot to swallow. Trust me, we get it.
And I wish we could each call or message each of you personally, but I would hope that everyone would understand that it’s most important that we focus on our family right now.
(BIG BREATH. DEEP BREATH…)
But, as I told my family,
“If in all the craziness of anything as small as eating your veggies, to finishing your homework, to a tough day at school/work, or to cancer… just remember 3 words:
GOD IS BIGGER!”
If you learn anything of this type of cancer (being metastatic), it doesn’t happen because we forgot to do something, haven’t done enough, or forgot to take a med or eat a type of food during or after treatment. The crazy thing about cancer is that it’s not always so straightforward. We didn’t miss anything. We didn’t screw up. We gave it all we got. Sometimes, metastatic breast cancer just happens. Just like when I got it the first time, everyone asked what I ate as a kid, or if I was around cooking plastics, or lived near a nuclear plant! ‘Twas none of the above. My cancer wasn’t genetic either. We tested and (Praise God!) it was negative. Some things just happen. Not because God DID THIS to me, but because my body isn’t perfect and our world isn’t. But, God WILL absolutely give us all the grace and strength to get through it. He knows what we’re capable of, because HE IS SO CAPABLE and will always share that strength if we ask.
My doctors honestly believe we can kick this. They honestly believe I have “more than a fighting chance”, and they are prepped with plan A, B, C, and my pirate docta is “willing to go all the way to Z” if necessary. They’re so on top of their game, it’s crazy. They’ve got this, ‘cuz GOD’S GOT THIS.
*6 rounds of chemo, then monthly targeted infusions indefinitely thereafter.
In other words, we kick these tumors out of the ring, punch those cancerous cells in my lymph nodes straight in the kisser, then… we maintain. (Metastatic Breast Cancer is not curable. Diabetes isn’t either. Neither are “terminal”. I CAN LIVE WITH THIS. I just gotta get my butt kicked around (Although my kick is harder, Cancer, so watch yo’self!) first, then continue systemic infusions to keep that lymphatic line clear. I can do that. Not my fave, but if I can LIVE with it, I will LIVE EVERY DAY THANKING GOD FOR THE CHANCE.
WHEN DO I START THIS BUSINESS?
Beginning Monday, I get my new port put in. Thursday, I begin chemotherapy. Yes, I will lose my hair … AGAIN. Hooray for my amazing, generous, and dear friend/founder of ChemoBeanies, Angelle Albright and her staff, for already prepping to hook me up AGAIN after I gave away so many of my chemo beanies to friends that I met along the way who’ve needed them. I mean really? Not only is God giving me the strength, the docs, the meds, but STYLE, too!! ‘Cuz as the ChemoBeanies motto goes, “Courage is always in style.”
(Yes, I did just give my own rendition of Flo’s “Kiss my grits!” from Alice )
I mean really, y’all, when it comes to raising a family, juggling life in general, and then getting cancer again? Seriously, AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FO’ DAT!
As you just heard from the plan that we’re making happen so fast and furious with docs putting it all high priority… I’m taken care of.
Guess it’s time to switch my ringtone back to some BOB MARLEY – Three Little Birds, ‘cuz
But for today, I ask you to pray. I didn’t say JUST pray. I said, “PRAY.”Cuz’ praying is more than “just”… it’s everything!
Please don’t pray for me alone. Pray for my family. Pray for my friends. Pray for my doctors, our teachers, our coaches, our priests, and our community. Pray for all of those who I was so hesitant to announce any of this craziness to because…
the weight of watching the people I care about having to watch or hear about this all over again feels heavier upon me than the diagnosis itself.
You pray for us, we pray for you. That’s the deal. Mmm’Kay?
But when you pray, pray in confidence and gratitude. We can thank God in advance for whatever good will come out of this. There will be good. There already is so much of it.
Because of that gratitude,
Because of that grace,
Because of YOUR PRAYERS…
I WILL RISE, CANCER.
I WILL RISE. WE WILL RISE.
Do yourself a favor and click below to watch this music video.
I dare you to not be inspired, no matter what your situation may be.
Oh my friend I’m sorry. You and your family are in my prayers. God will take of you and your family.
My momma always told me: “You pray for remission.”
Consider it DONE. Over and over and over AGAIN.
“Amen!I say to you AMEN!!” That’s my fav that JESUS tells me:)
Sent from my iPad
I never stopped PRAYING for you. I go to daily Mass and Adoration and I will continue to STORM Heaven, You are in My Heart.
My prayers are with you. God bless you, Elise!
With you and Jason and the fam, Elise. All. The. Way.
Prayers and more prayers, and lots of love from PA❤
You and yours will be in my fervent prayers. As, Beau, often reminded us at daily Mass, (when Bella was little before Sophia arrived 😉 it’s God’s Plan, not ours. We TRUST🙏
Stay strong 😘
Love & prayers,
Oh, Elise, I am so sad!!! If anyone can beat this, YOU CAN AND WILL!!! Please know we are here for you, and we’re all praying for you daily. Xoxo
Praying for all the POWER and STRENGTH of the Holy Spirit together with all His gifts of Love for you, Elise, and for all the family.
I am giving it all up for you! As I fall to my knees this very second, I am praying! I am praying, for you, your family and for us! By us , I mean your friends, your community, we will all be right by your side just like we have been! You got this, I am confident, with your enormous strength, amazing faith, loving family, faithful friends, and Him right by your side, you got this!!! Keep kicking cancers butt, and don’t Ever be hesitate to ask for help, we are all here to help you kick Butt! ❤️🙏🏻
All our love, Stacie, Mike, Abbie & Brycen
Live it large. Praying for you and your family. Your faith and positive attitude are inspiring to all.
May God bless you and keep you. Will definitely do as you wish and pray for all of your people and pray for you too. Your blog is a beautiful blessing of humor and hope and faith. Carry on Warrior!
You are so precious to so many of us. You have a bunch of sisters now just waiting for you to ring our phones. We’ll be there in a flash with whatever you need. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Elise, Warrior Woman, YOU’VE GOT THIS!! The prayers of countless souls are covering and lifting up your precious family this very moment. You can rest in that.
How precious you are to God, Elise. You know Jesus only shares the intimacy of heavy crosses with the ones closest to his heart. He has great plans for you and your family. Love you, sister. We’re here for you. NOW GO KICK SOME CANCER BUTT!!
Elise, I am with you as are so many others, not to mention the Big Guy. You and your family are a true reflection of everything good and thus of God. I am overwhelmed at this moment with tears, and admiration at your courage and faith. Tom and I will pray for you and your family daily. Stay strong and rest in His hands!
I’m so heartbroken over this update. You are loved and I’ll definitely be praying, as will Josh. Just keep fighting, woman, I know you can!! And if you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Elise, put on your PINK BOXING GLOVES and get ready to WIN the next round!
Oh Elise, I am so sorry. When we spoke in Target the other day, I didn’t know this. Did you? I’ll repeat what I said to you then- you are an inspiration. I know you can beat this! Many, many prayers are flooding Heaven from our family!
Elise, I’m sorry! I’m keeping you oh so close to our Lord in prayer. Thank you for sharing your journey. You give us all hope in God’s abundant grace!
Be proud that you are holding on to Gods promise He had you in his arm. Be brave, be strong, and I will talk to God for you, your family, and doctors..
Love from Austin,
I will pray continuously for you, your doctors, and all those in your life. Your blog and faith is such an inspiration.
Praying for you and your family, Elise . You know the drill and have the strength the march forward .
Those darling little ones will inspire you when you
think you have had enough . ( Don’t all moms have
days like that ! ). God has you and your family in
His strong and loving hands . His will is ALWAYS good .
Beautiful post kiddo!
Elise my dear Elise… I was devastated when I heard the news, but was in some way knew I would see you again not stop living, fighting, praying and kicking butt because that’s what you do and who you are… You are a fighter and you teach those all around us to be fighters… I am going to pray like crazy for you, ask Honey and our dear Ben to watch over you from above, I am going to lift up all my seizures, my upcoming lumbar puncture and hospital stay for you… I am going to concentrate on being thankful and not taking for granted all that I can do with my family and the amazing things God is doing in my life… You continue to be one of those that have given me strength to live in my truth, unafraid and unashamed… I am Going to offer myself, whether it’s picking kids up, babysitting, going to the store, bringing u to an appointment, sitting with you during a therapy, anything you need so that your focus on healing and spending every good Moment with your family… So please Use me…
I love you and your family and my family is here, ready to help…
Elise- you are a true warrior of God and you will continue to RISE and kick cancers butt . Praying now and always for comfort !
You are truly inspiring Elsie, I myself have incurable but treatable Cancer, I have Braca 2 as does my daughter as a preventative she has has ovaries removed to late for me, I also lost my mum, dad to stomach cancer and many of aunts, uncles and first cousin, it’s 2 years since I finished palliative chemo and I have fought back with everything I have not least having the Lord in my corner, I truly believe in the power of prayer and feel blessed so many have prayed in my name, I thank the Lord every night for giving me the strength and courage to fight on and importantly to stay positive no matter what, I will think and pray for you too continue to kick that nasty cancer that has the cheek to invade where it is not wanted, Stay fighting and positive Elise, May the Lord bless you and and yes we all shall rise xxxx
Elise – we must have gone to college together based on our mutual friends on fb (that’s where I saw this posted). I just finished treatment for stage III appendiceal cancer. To go through it all again, oh sister, what a challenge. Every time my port itches, I’ll offer a prayer for you. Peace and love!
I will pray for her recovery, because I know how tough it is for the family members.
Elise, What a beautiful and inspiring post. My prayers are for you and your family. Keep that positive attitude!
Elise, we are parishioners at St. Angela. We are praying for you and for the family. Thank you for your posts. You will overcome. God be with you always.
Elise I’ve never met you personally, but read your blog. This news is scary. I’m 1 year cancer free, Triple Negative also. You and your family are in my prayers. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
Elise, I’ve watched your story from afar through Facebook and I’m so touched by your continued deep faith in God’s providence. I’m praying for you, my ther friend who has bone marrow cancer, my son, and for my own nerve healing. May God heal us all and through these sufferings really draw us deeper into his love. Remembering you, your brothers, and your dear mom with fondness.
Your faith is amazing and an inspiration to all of us. You are constantly in our prayers. We know you will beat this!!
Love and blessings,
Sharon and Mark Rodi
Elise- you are one of the strongest and most inspirational people that I have ever known! You beat it once and you will beat it again! Your dreams will come true and I know you have many still that go beyond beating cancer again!! My thoughts and prayers are with you!!…. God bless you and your beautiful and loving family!
Your blog is funny and inspirational, a true testament to your faith. I love the video, too! May God bless you and your family and supply your every need on this journey. Love and hugs,
“Lord our God Your grace is a purifying fire!”
Thank you for being a model of faith, strength, and honesty. Our prayers are with you and your family!
Elise, you know that you are have been and will continue to be in our prayers. Sent the Blessed Seelos cross home yesterday with Jason. May it bring you peace and healing.
Our prayers are with you, Jason, and the kids. God is great! I know he is watching over you. I know that Our Mother has you wrapped in her mantle of blue. Love y’all.
Elise, you, Jason and your family are the epitome of Faith, Love, Strength, Courage and all words of the same meaning and more! It is sad to hear that this is happening to you again, but God must know that you will handle this with grace while fighting like a bull. I changed my ring tone to Three Little Birds for your first fight and have not changed it since. Everytime i hear it, i think of YOU as an inspiration. Now i will remember to add extra prayers when i hear it!!
Cancer CANNOT take away the beauty of your soul and the love that surrounds you every second of every day . We stand united in prayer for the power of God’s Holy Spirit to set those cancer cells on fire until they are burned to ashes and eliminated!!! We send our love, Jan and Lloyd
You are truly an inspiration. Praying for you and for your family daily!!
God will no doubt honor such faith. I pray – and my family will pray – that He chooses to do so through physical healing. Thanks so much for being so positive and encouraging through your blog. I know there are many out there who needed to read those words.
With the grace of God “this too shall pass”
Never give up and keep calling on Jesus and his precious Mother for your healing. He healed my husband from a horrific heart attack that blew a hole in his heart. No one not even the doctor thought he would make it but thru lots of prayers he made it. I watched the healing of his body over a year. May the Lord bless you and heal every part of your precious body. Jackie bonie
I don’t know you by name ( maybe not even by sight ). I am praying for you because you are family on our prayer list at church. The website speaks to me. I know you trust in Jesus. He loves you because you have complete confidence in Him. I will include you in my Chaplet prayer at 3PM. Paxtecum jerry poche’
“the weight of watching the people I care about having to watch or hear about this all over again feels heavier upon me than the diagnosis itself. ”
That is profound. I am praying for your friends/family/you
Elise & Jason,
Ya’ll are in our prayers every night. We will keep you, your family, and everyone else fighting the good fight in our thoughts and prayers and our hearts always. God will prevail.
Ya’ll touched us on all of our married couple retreats we attended. Now your attitude and faith in our Lord has lifted us up more than you know. God’s plan escapes us a lot of times but not here. Through your trials with the grace and strength that ya’ll approach them you give us and others grace and strength to fight our on fights knowing that God is always there and we are never alone. Know that our love and prayers are with you as well as our faith that you will lick this thing. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Larry & Anne Schott