“What are you going to do with yourself now?” (umm… errr.. uuhhhh)


On a regular basis, now that my youngest is in school three days a week,  and it seems to many that my cancer journey is behind me, what seems to come to most people’s mind to ask is,

“What are you going to do with yourself now?” (Normally asked with witty banter, winks and pats on my back before, during, and after, while I take a deep breath and reply….)

“EVERYTHING! All the things I haven’t done in the past 13 years of parenting.  I have a lot of laundry. ” (Insert more witty banter and laughter before I saunter off thinking of all the other things that are included on that list of my still HAVE TOs like monthly infusions, monthly injections, weekly blood draws and the never ending doc appointments (sometimes same docs, sometimes new specialists…),  normal mom-stuff like grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry… laundry… LAUNDRY, and seeking and carrying out new adventures in health and work opportunities to quench my thirst for taking care of my family.  My mind REELS with all of the things I want to do right now and all of the things that I haven’t done in so long as this is my first time in a long time that I haven’t been pregnant, nursing, have a toddler at home every day, or at WEEKLY chemo appointments vs. my current monthly maintenance infusion plan.    So many thoughts that sometimes,  I get nowhere.  And honestly,  I don’t know where to start first.  So, much like the image up top…. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING… just yet, but



It occurred to me these past few months that I’ve been in some major grieving and mourning over my old life.  My old body.  My old hair.  My old schedule.  My old routines.  My old NON-MEDICATED, NON-DOC APPOINTMENT NEEDING (although, if I have to go to doc appointments, I happen to have the BEST EVER!!) , NON-SCAN NEEDING, NON-SCAN NEEDING, NON-DAILY HANDING ANY FEARS OF FUTURE RECURRENCES OF CANCER COMING BACK TO ME OR POPPING UP TO MY FAMILY OVER TO GOD EVERY. SINGLE.  MORNING.   ….,   MY OLD ACTIVE SELF THAT COULD DO SO MUCH SO EASILY AND NOT NEED TO FIGHT FOR EVERYTHING.

Honestly,  I’ve been having a pity party and didn’t even realize it.  It’s ok.  I think I’ve needed it.  I’ve been quite the gung-ho positive cheerleader for me, my family, and every one else in the world throughout most of my life, especially the past three years.  I’ve still been waking up each day and actively choosing to fight for every moment and opportunity to seize every day with my family, dance and laugh … and travel with friends and loved ones.  I make the most of everything, no matter how I feel.  Why?  Because… well… to answer the next question on most people’s minds (after the previously mentioned one above):

“You look like you’re sure feeling good.  Do you feel as great as you seem?!”  (asked with big smile and hopeful nodding for a thoroughly positive answer)

Sigh.  Another loaded question that I’ve tossed and turned many of my insomnia-filled nights to answer.  Seems simple.  And yes,  I’m boppin’ around with my kids at the pool, the beach, road tripping’ across the country,  at every school function,  dancing like a fool  and makin’ goofy videos just to lighten everybody’s mood on Facebook and with my husband on Staycations in NOLA.  But after a few very needed conversations this summer with new and old friends who are also “lifers” (a new term I heard for those of us with the indefinite schedule of maintenance infusions or what have you for a life-long disease),  it finally really sunk in.  I ‘ve said it before, but it really hit me.   I don’t have to FEEL GOOD to look and act joyful and seize my day.  Just because you see me on a dance floor or on a beach with a big fat smile on my face, it’s not necessarily because I FEEL oh so good.  Rather, it’s because that activity MAKES me happy.  Being there, doing whatever the crazy thing is that I’m doing, or being with the people I’m with MAKES me FEEL GOOD.


I could sit on my couch all day and assess all the parts of my body that don’t feel the same anymore, and may never feel quite the same again.  I will surely do EVERYTHING IN MY POWER to find my healthiest self again and to stay active.  However,  no matter how I feel,  I have to look at each day like I did with each part of my treatment and ask myself a few questions:

  • What’s my treatment plan for ME today?
  • What do I want more than anything today?
  • What do I want to fight for today?
  • Is that going to be worth it at the end of the day to have gotten out there and seized it?


The truth is, I have NO DESIRE to every have to go through all the aggressive chemo treatments, radiation, and surgeries again,  but when I was… I had a plan.  It was like I had been drafted for a war to be soldier when I’d never asked to be in it.   But, it turned out that I was a damn good fighter.  I happen to be the soldier you’d want on the front lines.   It’s odd for me to say something so confidently about myself.  But,  when I’m fighting like that,  I found a strength inside me that I had never known before.  I found a confidence, a freedom, and a trust in GOD that I had never been able to surrender to before.  I felt unstoppable.  When I was sent home from my war to my current battlefield with my “maintenance plan” that now currently keeps a busy schedule but doesn’t have nearly the same daunting fighting needs as before… I have felt a little lost.  I’m like a soldier, but not really.  I’m doing boot camp over and over again on an army base but not at war, even though I’ve been to war twice, and although I hate being there…. it’s all I really know how to do now.  It’s what I feel best at.  So weird.

When they slapped that big “FOREVER” stamp on my file and said I’d never get remission,  but told me that it’s ok.  I gotta be so grateful because this allows me to live my normal life, just with “invisible cancer” (such a weird phrase) that we keep at bay with my monthly infusions and injections to help prevent my high possibility of another recurrence after having stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.  Ummmmm… that doesn’t sound normal?

Thus began my pity party.   But as I’ve been so surrounded and immersed in this cancer world,  I see how grateful I am to have this life long plan.  I am a LIFER.  Key word being LIFE.  They’ve given me an option to stay in my fight.  And now an opportunity to take back my life as I’ve come to know it now and seek new adventures in health, work, my new schedule with no kids at home a few days a week, and all the things I  haven’t done in so long.



So, I may not know exactly what my TREATMENT plan is for my whole life.  They  say forever, but that’s really all relative.  Because they don’t know about the dude that I’m praying for.  I keep my HOPE high in imagining a dorky little guy that is crazy smart, lives in his mom’s basement, and has his very own laboratory down there.  While he eats his mom’s meatloaf,  He works hard on my FOREVER cure that WILL GIVE ME TOTAL REMISSION.  They have told me it own’t happen.  But I say,  that NO ONE KNOWS THE FUTURE.  We can only live in the present.  We can only know about today.  And today,  no matter how I’m feeling… I’m fighting to LIVE MY LIFE AS BEST AS I CAN.

Ya know what, just as we came into this world,  we all must leave this world one day, too.  It’s no big secret.  And when I do.  I hope I leave this world LAUGHING.  (And if I could add surrounded by my fave people and family on a dance floor, that’d be reeeeeally awesome, too! )


When we cast our cares upon the LORD, as I often bring up in PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7,  I feel the Marley song come on, “Every little thing’s gonna be alright.”  Why?  Not because I think everything is owed to me that I planned.   My life is not going as I planned.  I had to get over that, in fact, I ask you all to pray for me as I daily hand it over to God and work on getting OVER IT.   Whether we live out lives exactly as we thought,  or if our lives are taken away from us in one way or another.  If we hand it all to the BIG GUY,  it really will BE ALRIGHT.  He sees and knows waaaaayyy more than we do.  Thank God!  (pun intended!)

Although I may not know what in the world I’m doing,  HE DOES.  I’m so glad the buck doesn’t stop with me.  Or else me, and my 5 kiddos sure wouldn’t be here.  Heck,  I have a hard time making a decision at a restaurant with a big menu.  I need help.  And He’s never let me down, even when I don’t stop to notice he’s there.


I’ll leave ya with this one… it  was in a reading at church recently.  I’ll summarize in my best BUNA style.

Elijah went out to the mount tops and stepped out to ask for God to show him a sign that He was there.  To speak to him.  He listened for a crash of thunder, a flash of lighting,  some major sign… but after a while,  all he heard was a soft whisper of wind from inside his cave.  That’s when he realized that God was in the whisper.  

It was explained to me that we can only hear a whisper from someone who is very near.  If we quiet all of our pity parties, stop searching for the HUGE signs/wonders/miracles,  we can see/hear/feel God in the every day whispers right near us.    I may have had to go through cancer twice.  I may not get a full remission.  I may have to do this for a long time.  But,  God has taken care of me and my family all along the way.  EVERY LITTLE THING HAS BEEN ALRIGHT.  It hasn’t been the miracle that we looked for.  But the love that we’ve felt, the doctors that we’ve found,  the community that has supported us has been out of this world.  It’s as if someone bigger (out of this world) has been whispering in our ears all along.  He’s with us.  And although my current treatment can feel monotonous and confusing… He hasn’t stopped working and doing big things in us.  I can see now that He’s giving me opportunities now to seize the day even more than I could before and is BLESSING me with a maintenance plan that allows me to fight for the life that I so desperately want to live.  I pray to dance on the dance floors of my children’s wedding receptions (it’s a long way off, but I WANT that… I BEG Him for that every day), But in the meantime, I enjoy the little things and soak up all that I can TODAY.

God is whispering in my ear to live for TODAY.  Take today by storm.  Hug my loved ones and thank HIM that I woke up to another gorgeous day.  I am allowed to grieve, I am allowed to fuss,  but even when I’m upset,  I can even thank HIM that I’m here to make the fuss!  Ha!  That’s a tough one.

Y’all I took all my own notes from earlier this summer and took the trips, ATE THE ICE CREAM, and kicked off my shoes.  So much so that my pants don’t fit!  Yikes!  (Add that to my list of things I gotta do!  Fit in the pants.  Working on it)


It was all so worth it.  I made memories this summer.  I didn’t have to travel to do it, but I did.  I can make memories right here, and that what I’m doing now.  This is my FIGHT BLOG… and (cheesy, I know) but I’m taking back my life.

Enjoy yours.  Live TODAY.

And thank you for keeping me and my family always in your prayers.  It’s a two-way street,  you pray for me… I pray for you.  Deal?

God bless you all!




A SMILE is worth a thousand words



Thatta girl, Minnie Mouse, smile! Smile! Smile away.

Whether everything always seems quite so hunky-dory, or not, whether Mickey’s in trouble or not,  Minnie still pulls herself together and stands hopefully and blissfully smiling away.  Why?  Because just the very twinge of hope that happens when you take that tiny effort to smile, gives both yourself and others a sense of peace that it’s gonna be okay.  It sure makes ol’ Mickey feel relief to see her smiling, and an extra boost to keep going on whatever mission he’s got planned with his crew to solve their latest conundrum.  And I’m quite sure that this little cutie pie, Minnie, feels a little more like her ol’ self after a good deep breath and a little flash of that grin we all love and know.  What is it about that little old smile?

It’s just a cartoon.

I know this.

I haven’t completely lost my mind. 😉

But, she kinda reminds me of myself sometimes.  Yet, I’m neither a cartoon… or a mouse.

For me, I’m wife and mother of 5, trying her darndest too kick cancer’s butt for the second time… yet somehow today,  I relate to Minnie Mouse.  Go figure.


My smile can be my best weapon, and sometimes thwarts me.  No matter how incredible or horrible I’m feeling, I guarantee you, I’ll have a smile on my face.  My eyes may not be very twinkly when I’m really in some pain, but I always feel like smiling.  It’s just a thing.  It’s genuine.  But can be pretty confusing to docs in an ER, surgeons post op, nurses taking care of me, or even mere acquaintances that see me and say “I was gonna ask how you’re feeling, but you seem to be feeling much better, I guess, right?”  The smile is confusing.   I just love people.  When I see people, it’s like social morphine.  It warms my heart and I’m happy to see them.  Even nurses and doctors whom I’ve never met.  Hence… I smile.

I inherited an incredibly large smile.  I have teeth for days.  Not like a shark or anything, although sometimes one might want to start linking me to a great white once my molars start making their presence known quite visibly when I laugh!  And, mind you,  it’s always a good day when I spend it laughing.  Laughter, I always believe is the best medicine (and exercise).  Side Note: The laughing exercise plan is something I can definitely stick to more than the regular 5 days a week gym plan.  I’m all over it a good 7 times a week multiple times a day, if not all day.  Great for the abs!  And if it causes you to laugh so hard you snort a drink out through your nose, then score! Now you’ve cleared your sinuses, too! Win -Win!   …  Now with this whole gargantuan-grin situation comes a unique ability to smile or laugh in most situations. Whether appropriate or not. You kinda have to.  With teeth this size, it’s more comfortable to expose them than to just keep em in all day.  It’s actually exhausting.  Ha!

No seriously.  I grew up laughing a lot with my family.  Finding the positive in most situations,  and no matter how tough times every got (and we definitely have seen our share of some very rocky roads),  we found reason to and comfort in our smile.  Sometimes not in that very moment.  Sometimes, the graces to see the silver lining came later.  But they always came.

Praise God, though,  that that Big Guy upstairs  has blessed me to find much to grin about, even now.   Even in our toughest moments, when we’re digging for every last source of GRIT and strength we can rally, we can look at one another and say, “THANK YOU THAT WE HAVE EACH OTHER TO KEEP US STRONG.  TOGETHER, WE’RE DOING THIS THING.”

And that, my friends, can make me smile at the end of some of my very toughest days.




Right now,  I must admit,  my treatment has felt harder than it’s felt in a very, very long time.  It’s wearing on me physically, and been very taxing on my immune system.  By adding these extra 4 rounds after my initial 6 rounds for this current diagnosis,  it’s as though I ran a full marathon, got to the end and they moved the finish line up another 20 miles saying, “Just keep running, Mama, you can totally do this!”  To say the least, my body started hitting a wall a little ways back, and my energy for the most basic things has been pretty low.

My kids can see it,  and I can see how it’s affecting them as they watch their Mommy get sick more often and tired on most days.  You’d never know it, because they, like their mama, have a generally happy face and love to laugh, and every chance they get to enjoy and live life they do.  But periodically, especially as of late, it takes just the slightest thing to make them break.  It may happen at school or at a store, who knows. Emotions are unpredictable like that.(Happened randomly for my 12 year old at school while taking photo booth pics in the cafeteria.  It was over something silly, but it was just the straw that made my toughest nut crack, and crack she did. Much to my poor girl’s dismay).  Each of them are having their moments.  To much surprise for those around them, as they seem like every other kid, until they crack.  And why wouldn’t they?  It’s been an incredibly long haul.  They’ve seen their long blonde haired mama, in good health since August 2014.   I gotta give it to my kiddos, and to that AMAZING HUBBIE of mine,  because they are giving this crazy life of ours everything they’ve got and are heads above the rest in learning how to love and show love unconditionally in ways that most their age couldn’t imagine.

Yet if we have to do this, then that’s my prayer.  That we come out stronger.

That we live and love and laugh all the way through this.

I my kids grow up to love deeper and with a strength like no other.

That we continue to cry when we need to,  be quiet when we need to, and SMILE and laugh till our gut hurts whenever  we possibly can, all the way through all of this.

Because it’s healthy.

And as for me, when  I can gather up any and every ounce of energy that I have,  I pray to pour it all into whatever big or tiny event I attend (my apologies, but lately I’m being pretty picky in my  choosing first and foremost those with hubbie and kids) and go out with gusto to seize that moment for all it’s worth.)  And do it all with one BIG FAT SMILE!


Not because my smile is EVER phony, or “put on”.

But because I find happiness in it.  It lifts my spirit to smile.  It makes me feel like “ME”.

Did you ever notice that when you smile, others smile back?  Boom! Another reason.

The gift that keeps on giving.



Leaving you all with “SMILE” by NAT KING COLE (How I love his velvety voice!) that’s been stuck in my  head for the past 2 weeks…


(click on pic above for YOU TUBE VIDEO OF “SMILE” by Nat King Cole)

God bless you all.  Keep praying, keep smiling, keep on trucking’ and …

...every little thing’s gonna be alright.

It’s just gotta be.

Cuz’ I know we’ve got one FIERCE GOD up there who’s all over this.

Much love,