Wednesday, July 15, 2009

relief

So, is this what it feels like?

I had a PET scan on Friday and yesterday I had my one year appointment. Everything was clear and I am one year in REMISSION!

Yeah!!!

He said I can even go ahead and set up a time to get my infusion port out. But, here's the funny thing. As I've been looking at my schedule, surgery is never something you really have "time" for. Usually surgery is something you have to have..and usually you needed it yesterday, so to "just find time"...isn't really easy. Oh well, I'll figure it out.

In the mean time, I want to thank several groups of people for the way you have supported me, loved me, and carried my through the last year. From beginning to end, this was never something I had to handle or deal with alone and for that, I will be forever grateful and indebted to you.

LGB and TRB - thanks for EVERYTHING. For driving me to every appointment, sitting in the waiting room, driving like a maniac the first night to get back to Arkadelphia, letting me cry but not whine, for the encouragement, for understanding my ailments - even when they didn't make sense, for making me feel like one of your own, and more than anything your constant, unconditional friendship

LL-thank you for Treat Tuesday's. That was such a creative idea and something I looked forward too. You are an amazing a supportive friend

Suite 100 - we were all scared and confused together, but you were great to just let me figure it out. Thanks for your support during the hardest days I have ever faced. Thanks for the fun hat and scarf party - and while I never had to use them the way we thought I might, I will always remember that that need was met long before it became a big concern. Thanks for driving me to radiation appointments and for the laughs and tears along the way.

OBU family - no where to begin on this one either. There always has been something different about this place and when you go through moments like these, you begin to understand even more. I appreciate the support more than you will ever know. So, whether you were closely connected in the process, let me talk through my chemo brain in meetings (hopefully some of that made sense), made me laugh, let me cry, wrote notes, brought me sweet surprises, stopped for a moment on the sidewalk, asked questions, or just smiled a bigger smile, I am so grateful

Arkadelphia family and church - thank you for your support and prayers. You have seen me in some of my weakest moments, but there were weekends that I didn't feel great, but wanted to get up and be there just to let you know that your prayers were not in vain. Thank you!

My Irving family - thank you for your long distance love, prayers, cards, thoughts, well wishes and hugs when I came home. More than that, thank you for taking care of my family. I know this journey was a truly different experience for them. I like being the one that holds everything together and I couldn't do it with this and I so appreciate you supporting them and loving them when I could not. Your gifts, kind words, hugs, prayers, and support will always be something we cherish.

To my extended family - thank you for loving us through this and walking the road very personally with us. I have always considered my family a blessing and while we have walked so many roads together, I know that it is rare to be so grounded together with a faith that has sustained the journey. I love you!

Mom, dad, and resa - I know none of you read this, but everyone else does and tells you what I say, so I don't want you to feel left out. I have told you how much you mean to me, but I want to publicly acknowledge that I am so grateful that God's plan worked out to put us 4 and no more in our group (well, I'm glad he added the dog!). But I can see so many ways how he has grown us together and I'm kinda glad that it was just the 4 of us on this ride together. Thank you for driving a million miles last summer, for taking days off of work and having to play catch up when you got back, for the loss of sleep, for cooking and having food on the table when I woke up from my naps, for letting me grumpy and whiny, for cleaning my house and moving me, for making sense of my chemo brain chatter, for all the small things that made life a little easier, for just getting me with a look and not making me say anything, for moments when I would turn over in the night and you were there praying beside my bed...I am such a lucky girl and even when I don't act like it, know that I will spend the rest of my life paying you back for your support and love.

Hodgkiss group - thanks for walking this road with me and for your encouragement along the way - for the "we've been there's" and the convos about all the lingo. It was nice to have someone who understood all that stuff. Heather, not to through you in with your whole family, but your friendship is a treasure, thanks for coming to see me, for sitting with me all weekend, for the basket of all my favorite goodies, for the late night phone calls, for crying on the way home from Dallas and then telling me when I admitted that I was back at my house crying too. We have shared a journey of many things together. I am blessed by our friendship

AKD - thanks for your amazing friendship, for coming down to take me to radiation, for the pedicures and the laughs, thanks for calling to check on me even when that part of our friendship seemed one sided. I appreciate you so much and your cards and sweet thoughts always come at just the right time

My roomies - when they say that Ouachita friendships are lifelong, they aren't kidding. I will never forget the Friday night that I called to tell each of you what was going on. 08 was a big year for all of us - new houses, weddings, first anniversaries and it was so fun to be together. 410 Ouachita St. changed our lives together and I am grateful that we all mysteriously found each other.

To those of you who read this blog that I have never met- thank you for being entertained by my life. I hope my journey has been a testimony of what my loving, saving, merciful God can do. Not only is he a Healer, but he is Sustaining, Faithful (praise him for that one) and full of Grace.

So, what I have I learned along the way?
  • Prayer Changes EVERYTHING
  • Relationships really are the most important thing in life
  • Make sure you are taking time to Live and truly EXPERIENCE life
  • Take advantage of the opportunity, you may not have a second chance
  • Make sure the people around you know how much they mean to you
  • A smile can go a long way - like in the waiting room of a doctors office
  • Share your faith and let it be testimony of your journey
  • Be your own advocate and fight for yourself
  • Give of yourself and expect nothing in return
  • Commit your life to living for something truly significant

As I close, let me leave you with these words from Paul in Ephesians:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

on the road again

I have had several thoughts over the last couple days spending some time with Georgio.

1 - I think it would be funny if there was a "southern" voice option on the Garmin. I would for sure ditch Gerogio for a guy named Billy Bob, simply for entertainment. There is something reassuring about hearing a familiar voice. "FM 1187" does not translate into the same thing when Georgio says it. Just think what Billy Bob would say - "Go down der, turn right der, and then it will be right der on da right"

2 - I think there should be an option for "Prissy white girl" along with "most scenic", "fastest", "avoid highways". You see when I don't take the turn I'm supposed to and Georgio says "recalculating", I need him to not drag me through the area he took me through today. I don't think this white girl was supposed to be in that area. I need the "prissy white girl" option so he knows not to drag me through those streets. See ladies Georgio does have a flaw - he is not that perfect European man that I have dreamed him to be.

3 - are the voices that the Garmin uses computer generated based on generalizations of a certain cultural voice. Or, are they mimic ed after a certain person.

4 - Also, I wonder what the voice would really like to say instead of "recalculating" - Here are some of the things I think it would like to say instead..."why are you using me if you don't do what I say?", "didn't I just tell you to turn/exit?", "you idiot, listen!", "ok are you going to listen to me now?". I play this game with myself. I apologize when he has to say "recalculating". But, there is something I like about the polite way he says "RECALCULATING".

Think about it, wouldn't it be nice if everyone just responded politely and didn't talk back or belittle you? I just sayin.

On a totally different note, I'm officially the #1 fan of the QT - Quik Trip - gas station. They sell 32 oz. drinks for $.49 and gas for $2.21. Maybe there are some good things about a big city!

(And, Georgio will let me type in the name of what I'm looking for and he will find it for me...even if it is 15 miles away and in downtown Ft. Worth and I accidentally turn the wrong way on a one way street, or that a little red mustang almost came through my door. But, aren't these memories that I'm making..my dad doesn't read this so I can say that)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

in love

I have come to Dallas and fallen in love. His name is Georgio, or at least that is what I call him!

His middle name is Garmin. That's right. Georgio Garmin Get me where I need to go when I need to go.

We had a little Christmas in July celebration (we used to have those at church when I was growing up in GA's. We would bring goodies to mail to missionaries. I don't know if it took that long for the products to mail overseas, or if that is just what we called it. Anybody got any details on this experience?) when I got home on Monday night.

Dad even wrapped them in Christmas paper and everything.

I had my first day of appointments yesterday and it led me to all of them. The first guy even said. You must have a GPS if you found this place. I just smiled.

I love my new boyfriend. He is actually better than the real thing. He gets you exactly to the parking place without an argument, getting lost (I'm sure that experience is coming), and he will stop and let you add detours along the way and, he shows you all the shopping options in the area you are traveling (he shows you a lot of others too like gas stations, banks, etc. ) but shopping and restaurants are the ones I will use most!

Anyway, I'm in love and until the honeymoon wears off, I will stay that way. Off to more adventures today.

PS - there was a second Christmas in July gift a book about "taking the desperate out of dating". Anybody think that is a hint when your dad finally gets to the point where he is ready to get rid of you too?