I have been battling Breast Cancer for nearly 4 years now, and I gotta tell ya, I get pretty tired of it.  Sometimes, I have “words” for the Big Guy when I go to talk to Him.   Sometimes, I get scared.  Sometimes, I feeling like screaming.  Other times, I cry.  But my cries aren’t always because of the previously mentioned fears or angers.  Naturally, I cry tears of fatigue and frustration of just not wanting to do this any more.  However,  at other moments,  I’m overwhelmed by the blessings that seem to just pop up on that very day of the day after (literally), that I was melting down.  God knows me.  He gets my erratic prayers and emotions.  He knows that, although I am extremely positive and seek Hope and signs of gratitude in as much as possible,  I’m only human.  And times are tough. He knows me, and  He knows it comes in waves. 

 Much like the highs and lows of our relapses and great progress to each form of treatment…  the waves come right at us, looking larger than life, then before we know it, they’ve disapated on the shore. 

Isn’t that just life though?

I recently had the chance to sneak away to a weekend of prayer at the beach with a few other women and God was just speaking to my heart over and over again.  He spoke through images, he spoke through our surroundings, He spoke through the “Bible roulette” game I like to play when I just say a little prayer and see where my finger lands in the Holy book.    Over and over again,  He reminded me that everything passes,  He is always with me, and my main job is to continue to keep my gaze on him, trusting in Him always.    So I spent my time that weekend,  trying to be quiet (haha!) and just listen to the waves roll in and out, getting bigger, and then just slowly washing calmly over the shore.  As each the waves appeared to rise faster and faster in the wind further out in the bay, getting bigger and cresting just feet off the shore,  they always seemed to wear down to just a small rush of water gently washing over the sand once they reached shore.  Mimicking much of what I feel of the waves in this season of my life, as I pray it’s only that.  A season.

I also listened to the flicker of the candle the way it lit up the room with just the tiniest of flames, yet could be feared if I let the fire over take me.  Instead, I felt it’s warmth.  I felt God’s presence and thought over these past four years, recognizing the many blessings that have touched our lives amidst the many storms and typhoon size waves that seemed to be heading straight for us over and over again.    But His answer?  Stay in the gaze.  I am watching over you like a shepherd  keeps track of EVERY sheep. Fixate your eyes on me and you won’t lose your footing.

So I gaze at him.  


I was given this picture by a dear spiritual leader and friend a few years back.  She brought it up again over my weekend at the beach.  I love the way Mary lays down on the uncomfortable hay, in the midst of her situation of discomfort and cold, having just delivered a baby, yet she’s so fixated on the gift of her son and the glory that’s coming in His life.  She also knows the anguish that is to come, yet she says “Yes” and just gazes at him in love and awe.

 Sometimes, I gaze at my kids when they sleep, praying I can always be here to gaze at the grandchildren just the same.  I pray I can be here long enough to gaze at them as they walk down the aisle or see my son’s smiling face as he greets his bride at the altar.  I make deals with God, begging for these moments. But for now,  I am committed to this moment above.  Resting in THIS moment.  I know I’m still in the midst of the discomfort. I have a long road ahead.  But I pray that I can always stay in the gaze and continue to trust in Him.

It’s never been MY STRENGTH that has gotten me this far.  It’s always been HIS.  It’s always been the grace from all of your prayers.  Our prayers.  All of the outstanding support of this village we call TEAM BUNA.  I can’t thank you enough.  


I know this isn’t a more mushy post of mine, but I don’t control what I write.  I just write when I feel I can, and I write what’s there.  And today,  I’m writing what is on my heart.

I just have to thank you all.  We still have so much ahead to get through. So much to navigate with my cancer to make it “go away and stay away!” while still figuring out this whole parenting thing and raising 5 kiddos in the midst of the chaos.

I always ask, pray for my family, pray for my kiddos. 

This water bottle was given to me when I was first diagnosed.  There’s a pic of all 5 of my kids on one side and This cool inspiration reminder on the other.  I have had it with me for every infusion and surgery.  It reminds me to keep going.  They are my why! (And my hubby, of course!)

Just as our Buna’s Hope non-profit and ALL of YOU who got involved helped us to bless TWO FAMILIES to send them on trips of hope and memories with their families in time of struggle,  a dear friend has stepped in to send our family on a trip of Hope ourselves!  God shows up again!! (BUNA’S HOPE UPDATE: The Cards will be taking a Cruise to the Bahamas, while the Bayhii family will be heading to a DUDE RANCH!  How cool is that?!  Thank you, TEAM BUNA/BUNA’s HOPE!!)  

Our family is being sent off to “the happiest place on Earth”, DisneyWorld, over Mardi Gras this year!  The count down is on,  fast passes booked, dinner reservations set, and kids practically holding their breath with excitement.  I’m ready to go make some memories with my crew.  Never want to miss a moment to see them smile and just be kids having fun!


Pray that I’m able to keep up for the trip.  Pray that we can all stay healthy and well to make it happen.  We just need a little pixie dust (Bibbity Bobbity Boo!) and whole lot of graces! 😉

And know that we keep you all in our hearts and thank you all for all of your support in prayer and love always.

God bless you and know I’m sending my love and graces and “BIBBITY BOBBITY BOO!” right back to you!  Have a grace filled and magical day, as you get in the gaze with me.

Just like Peter, when he stepped out of the boat to walk on water with Jesus,  it wasn’t until he took his eyes off of him that He sank.  May we all have the strength to keep our eyes fixated on HIM no matter the waves that are crashing around us so our feet can keep firmly planted wherever He asks us to stand.  And HIS STRENGTH will keep us upright, standing strong.    I have no more strength in this body, but God continues to provide.  There is no other explanation.




Take the Trip. Eat the Ice cream. Ditch the shoes.

So I may have adjusted the saying a bit, but I prefer ice cream over cake and splurge on an outfit that I can getaway with kicking off my shoes in on the dance floor.  I’m a barefoot girl … so this is my motto this summer.

*original known saying listed below. You may prefer that one.  I personally like mine 😉


We’re taking the trips ! (Beach with extended fam was after Easter, Time for JUST US (me, the hubbie and the kiddos was just last week) in Florida (wrapping it up with friends intermittently and at the end!), and we’ll take the crew with us on a work trip w some sight seeing, etc., at the end of summer.  Now, I keep being reminded that vacations with the whole crew should really be called “adventures”, vs. relaxing getaway/ vacation. But regardless, good family time and memory making away from all the constant busy-ness that we get caught up in here is good for the soul (ALL of our souls under this roof).

I’ve been in such a fog trying to wrap my head around the schedule that never changed after I ended my aggressive chemo in order to move to a maintenance plan.  I’m definitely less sick and have hair growing back (WOO HOOOOOOO); however, it’s a whole new gambit of quirky side effects and chemistry games to get all 3 forms of indefinite treatment at just the right level for me. Not to mention how much I want to have a 2 year old tantrum from time to time just because I can if I want to!!  (insert super whiney no-nap toddler voice) “They’re not the boss of me!!”  (Although I really better listen, I know. I know. Ugh.)

When we try to just wing it at home, even if we try to not make a bunch of commitments, life just gets busy.  Especially life with a family of seven with a mom that’s still taking daily targeted therapy pills, monthly big mamma- jamma shots, and targeted therapy infusions every few weeks.  Summer fun in the sun at home, can so easily get thwarted by a treatment or a run to the ER (it happens.  Used to be for kid injuries, now it’s mom and her random quirks).  (feel free to eye roll as I whined.  Yes, I could “take some cheese with that whine”- as my parents would often joke with us as kids.).  


Nope. Parents and Cancer patients don’t get days off.

And with every moment that I even begin the first part of a whine, I’m reminded of all the prayer intentions that I offer up my treatments, my side effects, my gratitude to have a so many second chances to fight to live this life again.  We all have our “cancers”.  Whether they be medical, financial, personal loss, relational… we’ve got ’em.  There’s no need to compare, they’re all real, and we all have what we can handle on our plates, and they’re no joke.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to offer up my cross for the crosses that others bear.  I just wish I so many so that I loved didn’t have to bear such pain.  If it was up to me, I’d gladly take it all in this big hit of my diagnosis.

Meanwhile,  I know that God wants us to not just bear our cross, but he wants us to feel it’s glory.  he wants us to feel the life that the cross can bring, too.  In these sweet moments that he gives us with each breath that we’re given, we need to live.  So, we “take the trip, eat the ice cream, ditch the shoes!”

If there’s anything that I’ve learned with the busy-ness of life, it’s that it’s unpredictable.

Work hard. Pray hard.  PLAY HARD.   That’s what I’m trying to do here.  The achy joint pains that I have now, the wierd bouts of stomach issues, and the ridiculous fatigue that, my kids all know, rarely lets me stay awake for a full family movie are for the birds.  (Sorry birds, I don’t know who made that saying up!). Yet, they’re part of me now, they’re part of my new life of living with cancer.    I’m tweaking what I eat and drink, trying new supplements and shakes, etc.,  to alleviate what I can of those “quirks that send me to the ER”.  But in the meantime,  I’ve reread a few posts here on my blog and watched a random video from time to time of myself telling others:

“I don’t want to SURVIVE!   I want to LIVE!! I want to ROCK!”


I said that.  It baffles me to watch myself bald or wearing a chemo beanie, kicking ass butt 😉 and taking names without a flinch.  Who is that girl?  Oh, yeah… that’s me.   What a fool I’d be if I didn’t carry out what I told myself and GOD that I’d do if I “survived”.  I may be always fighting to be a SURVIVOR,  but in the mean time…

I’m gonna LIVE. I’m gonna ROCK. 

Why?  Because I’m so much more than a survivor.   I’m a wife, I’m a mother, I’m a sister, I’m a friend,  and I’m someone that is so grateful to GOD for every breath that He continues to give me and every extra moment that I have with my family and friends… that I’m not gonna waste this precious time.  I don’t need to do anything fancy or extreme, I just wanna go where my schedule won’t keep me saying, “Sorry guys, I gotta run to another appointment, I’ll play when I get back.” Or “In a little bit, Mommy’s tired. ”  Nope.  Not this summer.  Sure,  it still happens, but unfortunately, I gotta schedule some real trips to take us away and force us to go off the grid and look away from the phones and screens and have real “FaceTime” with each other.

So, here’s to living.  Here’s to loving, and here’s to not just surviving, but putting my heart where it really wants to be…  with the ones that it pumps for.  With the ones that it fights for.  Off the grid, finding adventures, and making memories this summer.  Here’s to SUMMER!


Takin on Summer like Friggin’ Chuck Norris! Boom!!


Below I’m attaching a slideshow of just a few pics of our first trip of the summer… 

***(thanks to a wonderful family from our parish who decided to anonymously gift us with a secret santa gift under our Christmas tree this year:  A week stay in Pensacola!  Which we wrapped up with a few days with friends in Destin, too.  The beach is my true getaway, happy place.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! )


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“Take the TRIP.  Eat the ICE CREAM.  And DITCH THE SHOES!!! “