PSSST… I have a SUPERPOWER

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So WONDER WOMAN has been my life long idol, and remains just the same right now.

I’ve chosen her costume during childhood and even pregnancies  in order to jump into her invisible jet, make aluminum foil bracelet guards, and red duct tape some go-go boots for plenty occasions.  She’s often been my muse!

 

I aways have gone back and forth as to which superpower I’d want if I could be given any.  Inivisibility to get through a store without being seen when my kids are out of control, I’m a hot mess… or frankly, the extroverted introvert in me just doesn’t want to talk even though my social fire can’t help but chat it up and run late for my next thing.  Inivsibilty could also let me be a fly on the wall at any time?  Hmmmmm……

But what about flying?  To be free as a bird and soar anywhere I want, no buckles, no gravity,  just me and the wind?  I man that’s a tough one.  Poor wonder woman didn’t choose right to fly and still choose an invisible jet?  Really think ya need the flight PLUS total invisibility (not someone seeing you soaring in some weird unseen carrier in the sky?  Sorry, girlfriend,  you botched that one.  Wasn’t feeling it.  I need BOTH.

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This ship has sailed, no more bambino making for me… But I’ve been working at this kinda wonder woman look for the past 13 years!!!

But… after all these years of wanting superhero status, it’s kinda hitting me.

I am a superhero!  

But, when appointed, I didn’t get to pick my power.  It’s a sneaky one bc it’s disguised in really ugly armor that looks like a big ol’ cross with cancer cells all over it.  But “NO!”  I actually have something more like Thor’s fantastic hammer, shaped like a cross (even  looks and smells like one.) But it’s actually a HUGE FREAKIN’ TOOL of untapped graces upon graces, that… IF YOU GRAB ON WITH ME… is the ultimate source of POWER, straight from GOD!  Cancer is actually my ticket to hold THOR’s HAMMER of GODLY GRACES THAT ONLY CAN BE TAPPED THROUGH THAT CROSS THAT JESUS DIED ON.    God would have NEVER put his only son up on something so horrible and hideous looking if there wasn’t a bigger picture .  The cross is not just a bloody massacre that ends there.  Nope.  It was a gateway to the greatest GOOD of everlasting life.  And if we can all grab onto our crosses as if reaching for THOR’s HAMMER (For real, please grab onto mine),  we are no longer under the heavy splintery weight of them.  In fact, we’re all holding onto this radiating source of power that can connect us all on a whole new level with one another in Redemptive Suffering and now SUPER HERO PRAYER INTENTION AVENGING!!!!  When you grab onto mine each time that you ask me to pray for someone,  I PROMISE you, I feel so connected while I sit in my radiation treatments.  I can feel us all holding onto it together.  

I HAVE A PURPOSE IN ALL OF THIS!  AND,  IT KINDA FEELS LIKE AMAZING!

 

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GRAB ON !!!

So, please send me your intentions.  Click on my PRAYER WALL TAB, comment, and give them up to me. We have an opportunity here, not a vice.  We’re gonna turn this villainous cancer looking flying object around and make it our source of power, tapping into the CROSS.  The cross is not a symbol of death; moreover, it’s the greatest source of LIFE we could ever encounter .

Can you tell I’m fired up???

Maybe they’re actually giving me GAMMA RADIATION in those daily morning whole head radiation treatments.  Maybe I am actually the hulk?!  Start looking our for the green aura on my face??  Maybe I can also glow in the dark?  Maybe my kids should start being a little more gentle with me in case SHE-HULK comes out.

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 (And trust me, just like anybody else..  this “3 Little Birds”  lady can totally turn she-hulk at anytime. Yikes!  Maybe I’m not a superhero and am actually more like Smeigel/Gollum of Lord of the Rings and I just need Frodo’s ring and cloak of invisibility?  … Or maybe I just rambled out loud and gave you a little insight to the random spaghetti-like thoughts of my brain     TMI?  

 

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All that being said,  I can’t possibly thank you all enough for the outstanding level of prayers, support, and generosity that is coming from the army, the navy and marines of all of you out there.  We can truly FEEL the love and prayers   My kids feel it, my hubbie feels it, my family, you name it.  My gratitude could never be put in words.   It’s limitless. Thank you!

 

So… allow me to update you a bit on what’s exactly going on:

  • My LAST DAY OF OUR FIRST LINE OF ATTACK… DAILY WHOLE HEAD RADIATION will conclude THIS WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH!!!!  I’m gonna ring the hell out of that BELL!!!! We did it before, with all the kiddos (Yes, with all of us, the bell just keeps ringing for a good 15 minutes.  Sorry, Covington,  i think the whole town may here us.   (So, you can be with me in spirit that day, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th @ 8:30.  My kids/family will be there  Set your alarms!  PRAY WITH US AND GIVE A BIG HOOT AND HOLLER (will probably actually begin the ringing at 8:45/9, once treatment’s done.  But 8:30am would be a good time to, to shout a big ol’ prayer and thank God in advance for my last whole head radiation treatment happening right then at that time.  

 

Elise’s Medical/Plan Update: 

  • So what now? As much as I’d love to have another brain MRI immediately after my last treatment,  radiation doesn’t work that way.  Radiation, much like a star in space has a delayed effect.  We do the radiation now, let it settle and do it’s thing, and we’ll see the results in our own mini-light years   In 2 months, I will have a follow-up brain MRI, once it’s had it’s time to do all the shrinking and disappearing that it possibly can.  In 2 months, we’d have an accurate account of what we were able to rid of in this first level of treatment   We’ll know, if any, tumors are left at that point.  As of now,  they say we’re possibly in the low 40s  of lesions/tumors (like shattered glass shimmered on a little halo over my whole head) that we have to deal with, along with about 3 medium-large, countable tumors on my cerebellum.  That’s what we’re working with   Now,  it sounds like the worst news ever, but…
  • WE ARE IN THE BEST POSSIBLE SITUATION THAT WE COULD BE, CONSIDEREING THIS DIAGNOSIS.  I’m not sure how well I clarified what a HUUUUUUUUUUGE WIN it was to have a clear PET scan for the rest of my body  My maintenance infusions each month are doing the hard work of eradicating and stopping cell/ tumor growth in all of my bodily areas that this beast of a disease has so aggressively tried to attack. We’ve been kicking ’em out and the reponse in those areas has been amazingly effective!!!  BIG WIN! Mark that battle with a flag.  We owned that one!  BOOM.
  • If, in 2 months we find residual or rogue tumors that are still here post treatment,  we have the ultimate secret weapon right at our finger tips: THE GAMMA KNIFE MACHINE.  Sounds crazy, but this technology is my game changer that says to all docs at any clinical trial hospital, etc.  that  they would send me right back here to be in the presence of this machine  This machine will allow non-invasive brain surgery (RADIATION TOOLS ONLY  NO CUTS)  to zap and pick off those boogers in the cleanest, most precise way known to the medical field  From my understanding, there are 4 in this world and 2 in our country … and we just so happen to live within an hour of this one.  Aaaaand, my radiologist (Dr.Charles WOODS) , who was my first radiatiologist 2 1/2 years ago,  was only moved from my local Mary Bird Perkins to Baton Rouge as their “director of Radiology for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center of Baton Rouge through Our Lady of the Lake hospital.  *Although we meet him for clinical follow ups each week in his Gonzales, LA office.  Still.. an easy drive to get the best!   
  • IF WE NEED THE GAMMA KNIFE:  My doctor would work side by side with one of the top Neuro Surgeons of the medical field for the procedure (or more, as they see this may be something we could have to do on an annual basis now that the cells have moved into that whole Central Nervous System space.  They could want to do this again.  However,  with bi-monthly brains scans, we’ll be constantly vigilant, of their whereabouts and catching them earlier enough on.     It could be my future,  and that’s a big pill to swallow.  But I’m in awe of the technology and know that I truly have been placed in the best situation for my diagnosis.  God is my divine physician, but I know he’s working through my doctors  I trust in my medical protocol and our plans (A – Z) if needed.  We’re ready.  Dr.Woods reminds me that, although my diagnosis is incredibly dire,  the brain is his “wheelhouse”. If it’s all contained right here in the brain, although the conversation is so foreign to the rest of us.  This is what he does and this is why he has pushed so hard to get this technology here.  He believes in it.  He believes that we’re going to get this (This is after he also very clearly let me know that if I did not begin this protocol and now.. I WOULD DIE.  My case is very grave, but if we do ALL THAT WE ARE DOING, IN FACT, RIGHT NOW… I CAN AND WILL BEAT THIS.  IT’S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE.  If he was a betting man, I asked him if he would put all his chips in on me because I’m a fighter or because medically,  it makes sense.  He said, “BOTH. BUT STATISTICALLY, THE ODDS ARE IN MY FAVOR!!!!”  In the words of Madea,  “HALLELUJER. PRAISE THE LORT!!!” 
  • Meanwhile, I can do ALL THAT IS IN MY POWER TO KEEP A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND TOXIC FREE LIFE FOR MY KIDS.  We care about our diet (We are clean eaters around here.  Gluten free options are one thing that seem to help with my inflammation. I do that as much as possible to carry on for my children as well  It’s not just about me and my heath.  As a mother,  I want us vigilant on ALL THAT WE DO, THE ENVIRONMENT I LIVE IN, AND TEACHING MY CHIDREN HOW TO LIVE THEIR BEST, HEALTHIEST LIFE WITH NO REGRETS TO TELL SOMEONE, “Yes, my parents gave us a toxic free lifestyle (cleaners, suppplements, snacks, soaps, and diets” the way I feel confidence in knowing I’ve grown up this way.  Cancer still happened, but I knew I gave it may all and I did it for my kids. It’s one of the few “controls” that I still have as a mother with cancer.  I can still fight for my family (Soon enough,  you’ll see a “Wellness Tab” on my blog, I’ll bet ya that I will give some insights as to what we do and why.  For instance, we’re saving our funds to switch ALL of our water filters and faucets to bring ALL of us high-alkaline water, as I have been drinking it and allowed myself to be the “guinea pig” for the past 2 years  And boy has it helped my side effects  Thank you to my mom and Margaret Early (with side coaching to us from Jason Finley)  to encourage us,  supply us and make sure I’ve had the chance to try this step in my wellness.  (Each diagnosis, I’ve added a new layer: 1st Time: *continue Clean Eating and add essential oils to the program; 2nd Time:  Incorporate Kaengan High-alkaline water; 3rd Time: * Encourage any meal train to help me stick with my dietary protocol to give me AND my kids the best fighting chance at all of this.  Can’t thank my friends, Brooke Dugger Paulin and Molly Dugger Koenig for spearheading that aspect and helping me to continue on this wellness path that I want to build for my family.  “A LEGACY OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS FROM YOUR MAMA”.  I’m determined to leave a call to honoring and protecting their bodies as BEST as they possibly can  And I want it for more than just us👍
  • WHEN WILL SIDE EFFECTS SET IN?? My kids keep waiting for the “ball to drop”, so to speak.  But, like all the other aspects of radiation,  they will take note and slowly begin to reveal themselves as time goes on.  Today, as I write this, I still have a full head of hair on my head and the where-with-all to complete a stream of thoughts for my blog.  (Stay tuned as the weeks go on and these thoughts may start looking a little jumbled.  I’m making a sticky note now to remind me that I have this bloody blog thingy and will need notes on how to use and access it!  Mary Jones Collins (YOU started this bloggity blog for me,  I’m holding you accountable to help me remember to keep it going,  (FYI:  she’s the ultimate blogger officianado  Gotta check her out at https://sometimesmarthaalwaysmary.com.  You can thank me later.  I thank her daily for our friendship as she texts me the absolute BEST awkward selfies with a reminder for my memory loss:  “HI! THIS IS MARY!” (Feel free to follow suit.👍) Awkward selfie with introduction would be a great way for me to keep you all in my memory.  In fact,  go ahead and do so in the “comments” part of this very blog post!  It can go on twitter: #AwkwardBUNAselfie  Let’s make that the twitter topper this week!  My handle: #TeamBunaELT   Let’s do it!  (You can also click on the side bar here and follow me on TWITTER or TEAM BUNA FACEBOOK PAGE to stay part of the team with updates, etc.   As my world is both very large and small right now,  I ask that people please only send friend requests to my TEAM BUNA public FB page vs. my private account.   Thanks for understanding.
  • WHAT kind of MEMORY LOSS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT??   I will lose no intelligence or forget who I AM.  I will begin, soon, feeling the effects of “permanent short term memory loss”   I will know myself, my children, my close friends and family that I see regularly.  However, my ability to recall that name of that couple we just met at a party or do the right name recall for important people in my life that I just haven’t seen in years will be unable to be obtained. No name recall.  I kinda can already get that. Regularly,  I often forget why I’m in a room, and although I can recognize people, why and how I know them, etc…. I’m the WORST with names.  I often know names and faces, but can’t match ’em up.  Does that make sense?  I feel pretty much like I already know this side effect.  Sheesh! That was “Elise brain” already, then mommy-brain (5 times over), then “chrmo brain” (2x over), and now… permananent Radiation brain.   Oy!!  I’ll take all the excuses they keep giving me.  😉 Just thought I ougtta own it and let y’all know ahead of time.  If I don’t get your name, it’s not cuz you haven’t made an impression on me or that I haven’t loved or cared about you enough.  I just don’t have name recall.    *As my dear best life-long friend (and distant cousin!), Cecile Charbonnet Kerber, described it so clear and exciting (nonetheless)… Imagine the movie, “50 First Dates” with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.  I’m Drew’s character.  Every time you meet me, I have no short term memory.  So you’ll have to recreate our first meeting or win me over overtime you see me! 😘  This could be fun!  Remind me how we love to joke, we’re epic on the dance floor,  you’ve made me laugh till I peed before,  we have kids on the same football teams,  we both have mutual interests and kids that march to their own beat.  I’m excited to keep making all new friends again and again! Oh boy!😂  I’ve told my hubbie many times that if I ever forget who I am: Dress me in a different costume/accessory every day and tell me that I’m “Retired Wonder Woman,  your lasso of truth just isn’t working today.”  Or, slap a pair of fairy wings on me and tell me I’m the real Tinkerbell. We just ran out of pixie dust.. so don’t jump off of anything high! 😱… Or, maybe even give me a cape or a tiara and tell me the honor that I am the queen of the day.  Why not?  I wanna  be happy.  I wanna be me.  And, actually, all of those scenarios are in me.  You won’t be lying.✨  I’ll be all the more happy for you reminding me!  Thanks in advance! 😉
  • SLEEPINESS/FATIGUE:  This is the part I can’t wrap my brain around.  Supposedly, for a good 2-3 months post radiation,  I’m gonna want to sleep for anywhere between 10-12 hours a day!!! I can’t imagine.  In my most tired chemo or pregnancy-sick moment,  I’ve still bucked nap time.  I rather power through the day and turn in early.  But apparently, when they zap your central computer (my brain) , I won’t be able to mind-over-matter this one.  My brain will need to “reset” each day and hibernate to replenish all that’s healing.  This means it needs to recharge for everything from my voluntary to involuntary muscles   I gotta do it.  Like a chore, I’m gonna set my alarm to begin my daily naps as soon as the kids walk out the door for school so that I can (hopefully) get it all out of the way  while all are at work and school and be back in the game for my family by the afternoon/evening.  That’s how I plan to handle that one, and eventually,  that won’t be a permanent thing.  It’s just a season.  We can do this.
  • HAIR LOSS: Yes, I’m going to lose my hair for a 3rd time.  But, I know people who have indeed lost and regrown their hair 3 times!!! It is possible. You can add that to your specific prayer requests for me.  AND … YES!  I’m totally gonna have fun with it in the meantime.  TONIGHT,  my dear friend who has shaved and dyed my hair before, Shanna Latino, is coming over to indulge all of our wildest artistic dreams for things I woulda never had the guts to do before and dye my hair shades of silver, platinum, and BLUE with artistic shaves on the side and back of my head.  ❤️💛💚💜💙Why the heck not?  I mean, how many kids can say their mom has had rainbow hair and mohawks as many times as me.  Kinda makes me feel like a bad ass.  Nice. Cancer isn’t happening to me.  with each shave and hair dye… I HAPPEN TO CANCER.   I’m sure I’ll be posting cool pics of our peacock masterpiece on my head tonight or tomorrow!!!
  • SETTING THOSE ALARMS TO PRAY!!!  I’m so unspeakably thankful for everyone to answer to our #callofdutytopray response from my Instagram and TEAM BUNA FB post.  I’ve been flooded with texts and pics of people screenshotting me their daily phone alarm set to pray.  Some have decided to set it daily for 3:00 (with kids in carpool) with the ringtone/alarm to play “Bob Marley: 3 Little Birds”!  Gotta love that!!!!!!  (Ya know, they play that song for me on repeat though my whole treatment every morning.  That song totally just transports me to a “cast it all over to God” feeling and reiterates PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 “Cast your cares upon the Lord and He will give you a PEACE AND GRACE BEYOND UNDERSTANDING”!!! (In other words, “Every little thing is gonna be alright!!!”    Thanks for praying with us and rallying all of your troops   I feel it.  Like.. I really do.  And so do my kids.  It’s giving us strength and hope beyond all reason and shadow of any doubt.

So there you have it.  That’s where we are, that’s where we will be, and that’s all the nitty gritties I can give ya to wrap your brain around my big picture.

 

 

SO… THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE, FOLKS.  TIME TO TURN IN AND START IN THOSE NAPS.

STAY TUNED FOR:

  • Updates on links to purchase TEAM BUNA SHIRTS.   *As the weather cools, we’ll make long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts available again (You may be good, but since our first t-shirt campaigns, my kids have aged and grown and want new ones all around.  All shirt proceeds will go to BUNA’s HOPE.  Click, join and support this legacy that I have every intention of laying down.  FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, LAUGHTER… FAMILY.  #BunasHope #ByFamiliesForFamilies #LaughteristheGreatestMedicine #TeamBUNA
  • Updates on TBA packing days/dates/times  to get the whole community, families coming together side by side, to pack our care packages (Buna Boxes) and rally the troops/raise the funds so that we can keep sending more families on our “BUNA’S HOPE VACAY GETAWAYS” and, much like St.Jude’s “Make A Wish”  grant wishes and blessings on whole families who need time together, away from whatever their crisis may be (No.  Our mission covers ALL CRISIS and CROSSES.  This is my “cancer” , but everyone has theres. Some of us need to recognize it and the lift each other up to get us through it.  There’s always hope.  Help us spread it!!!
  • Any further medical results or updates will be posted through my blog and my TEAM BUNA FACEBOOK page.  Click and follow to stay updated.

 

Until then.. please please PLEASE!!!!!  Grab onto my thor hammer/my cross/my cancer/my diagnosis/  my SUPER POWER.

Currently, it’s my purpose and my shield . And with this imagery and this chance to pray fro all who comment here or on my PRAYER WALL with their prayer intentions…  I feel like, in my sickness, I can totally yield the most powerful opportunity of crazy talents that I never had before, when so many of my gifts from my life feel like they’re being stripped away.  Not this one.  This is new.  And I’m kinda feeling psyched about what God’s doing with it.  I mean, look at the miracle that’s already happening…..  I’VE WANTED PEOPLE TO PRAY WTIH ME AND JUST PICK UP THE PHONE TO GOD FOR MY WHOLE LIFE   Now, I’m blown away by the amount of people that are suddenly talking to the Big Guy upastairs.  That.. is……. AWESOME!!!!! Best gift you could ever give me.🙏✨💕  The best way that you could lift me up or get involved.  Knock on that guy’s door and keep talking to HIM  We can be specific  We can annoy the mess out of him with our prayers and petitions.  He likes it.  It does’t ever grow old or tired for Him.  Pick up the phone.

 

While I wait for your intentions so I can power up my “psst…. super POWER of prayer warrior ness”  I’ll be right here thinking of all the other SUPERPOWERS I may ask for if God asks for special requests.  Hmmmmm… here’s a few that could be helpful:

 

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Again, my never-ending thanks.  With every comment, text, msg, email, call or gift.  I assure you I thank you with a prayer.  No thank you note could ever be written or sent that could bless you the way that you’ve blessed me than that.  So rest assured, I feel the prayers, I see the love, and I thank each and every person (our TEAM BUNA) with a prayer and blessing on you and your family.

 

 Now.. for my next appointment of the day… where are my keys?? So it begins…

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God bless ya!  God’s GOT THIS.  Thanks for believing.  Every little thing’s gonna be alright!

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Much love, faith and prayers…

-Elise / aka: “BUNA”

 

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#GodsGotThis

#TeamBUNAELT

#BunasHOPE

#EveryLittleThingISGonnaBeALRIGHT

 

 

 

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

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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

I’VE NEVER FELT SO INSPIRED IN MY LIFE TO LIVE MY LIFE TO ITS FULLEST, TAKE MY LIFE EACH DAY BY STORM, AND LIVE, LOVE, AND LAUGH AS MUCH AS I CAN EACH DAY.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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! )

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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.

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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)

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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!

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