Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Life List

In May, the American Cancer Society will celebrate its 100th birthday. In my role with ACS, I learn more everyday about the amazing things they have accomplished in that time and more about the people's lives they have saved. 

As part of our celebration we are creating Life Lists.  What have you accomplished to date?


It was interesting as I was working on mine to really thing about what is an "accomplishment".  Is it something I think is notable or I think other people would think is notable?  I have a feeling as I go through my day that some different things will hit my list (I should have put competitive donkey basketball on there!).  But for today this is where I see myself. 

What I'm more excited about are the days in front of us.  The days where we see Relay For Life and other events as a celebration of life and the cure for cancer.  The day where we work ourselves out of a job.  The day where 3 out of 3 people survive cancer. That's the boxes I'm waiting to check off!

What about you?  What are some notable things you've accomplished?  What are some things you still have on your life list?

www.cancer.org/lifelist

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

birthday sponsor

Its official...my birthday has a sponsor this year! 



Make that the American Cancer Society....the official sponsor of birthdays. 

In honor of my 5 year cancer free anniversary and my birthday on the 21st, I'm asking you to consider a donation to my Relay For Life team.  If you would like to join me in the fight against cancer and would like to make an investment in my team, please make a donation of any amount to my team. 

I'm turning 31, so if you need a suggestion, you can start there or $5 per year for 5 years.  Either way, I'd be grateful for you joining me in the fight.  This year the American Cancer Society is celebrating its 100th birthday and we are committed to finishing the fight and making this cancers last century!!!

I remember being diagnosed 1 month before my 25th birthday and thinking that 31 may never come.  Then last year, I ushered in my 30th birthday at my local Relay for Life event and celebrated and amazing weekend with my amazing friends.

Birthdays should always be special.  They are a celebration of life, a moment to thank the Lord for the blessings He has brought and a chance to reflect on where we have come.

Thanks for supporting our work!



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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

amazing friends, part deaux

So my post yesterday about "amazing friends" really had me thinking last night about what really makes an amazing friend.  I'm sure we could all define these different ways, but for me, it boils down to having a few specific people in mind who have been consistently amazing friends.


I'm fortunate in my life to have lots of people that I call friends...but amazing friends, those are a little different;

Amazing friends-
  • think of you when they eat at your favorite restaurant - and may or may not rub it in your face when they are there without you!
  • make your priorities their priorities
  • pick up right where you left off even if its been months since you've seen them
  • support you in the things that are important for you, even if its hard or no where they personally want to be
  • send you messages of encouragement right when you need them
  • read a quote, hear a verse, watch a video and think of you and take the extra moment to share the words you need to hear, even if they are hard to hear
  • don't apologize for saying what needs to be said
  • think its beautiful when you do the ugly cry
  • get as giddy as you do about the special moments of your life
  • dream bigger dreams for you
  • read between the lines and help you put the puzzle pieces together
  • push you to be your best...even when complacency is easier
  • can read through the "I'm ok" even if you are just talking by email, text or over the phone
  • celebrate all your successes - big and small
So blessed and grateful to have people in my life that I call friends.  What about you...what makes a friendship special?

When I transitioned to NWA, I ran across a quote on Pinterest that said "Family is not always the people you are born to, it can be the people who you share in life's journey".  I love this quote and reflect back to it weekly when I think about the amazing people that I get to share life's journey with.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

amazing friends

I tell you what, I signed in to facebook this afternoon and found the sweetest surprise.  I was reminded this afternoon what a difference amazing friends can make in your life.  Near or far amazing friends make life worth living.  And, when they make the things that are a priority in your life a prioroty in theres, it means so much.

Thank you Jon Merryman for this post this afternoon.  It totally made my day!!! 

We never know how the small little gestures that take us a few extra mintues of work and whole lot of thoughtfulness will turn around someone's day....my case of the "monday's" is gone....

Love my sweet friends


Jon Merryman


6 hours ago .

In honor of Keisha Pittman's birthday and Clark County Relay for Life both this weekend, KP is featured in Cone Bottoms this week! You can also make a donation to the American Cancer Society in honor of Keisha's birthday here! http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?px=30017052&pg=personal&fr_id=51202

Sunday, April 14, 2013

5 years clear

Its so hard to believe that its been 5 years since I started this journey here. 


5 years ago this weekend, I was experiencing my first chemo treatment.  Crazy to think how far I've come in that time.  How far my heart has been stretched, how much I've grown, the new friends I've made and the new journey I've embarked upon.

Last Friday I had my 5 year appointment.  I must admit it was very uneventful.  Not really the moment and fanfare I guess I expected.  I'm not sure if I thought trumpets and birthday horns were going to arrive for a party, but it was just one of those...well everything looks great and I don't have to see you for another year kind of appointments.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that's the case, I just had waited...well, 5 years.  When you end chemo, you get to ring a bell and the nurses are awesome about celebrating with you.  It really reminded me what this experience must be like for Dr. M.  He sees a person and tells them the worst news ever and goes next door and tells another person the news they've been waiting 5 years for.   I think we forget what this process is like for our medical team too.


Thankfully, my family came in and we played a couple days.  We hit the First Friday Food Truck festival in downtown Little Rock and of course an afternoon of retail therapy.  What would an oncology trip to Little Rock be without that?

 
 
I think more that the amazing spring trees that were blooming served as a better reminder of where we are.  Each spring these trees come back in full bloom and show what they are made of.  No matter how harsh the winter is or how much they bear when their leaves are all pulled off, they come out on the other side in full bloom.  Tulip trees and Bradford Pears are my favorite this time of year.

 
 

It was a fresh reminder that I have nothing but opportunities in front of me.  Nothing but the possibility to use the experiences I have had to make the days in front of me even better than the ones behind.  I love the fresh reminder of these blooms and commit to claiming Genesis 50:20 for the
coming days.



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Friday, April 12, 2013

a fresh morning reminder

I must confess, most days I start my morning by scrolling through facebook.  And, while that's not entirely healthy, it has become a place of fresh morning reminders.  I'm grateful for those I follow who use their morning post to share scriptures, inspirational pictures, motivational quotes, etc.  It is exactly the kind of thing I need.

I'm finding that one of my personal "trigger points" for depression and being overwhelmed is lack of sleep and well after being up for 20 hours yesterday, I was there.  This morning I still woke up before 6:30 and sometimes the only way to keep my mind from wandering to really ugly and dark mental places is to distract it by scrolling through facebook.

This morning, I stumbled across a post by some college friends.  Grant and Kimmie are being so transparent through a tough international adoption process.  Her faith and the way she articulates it through her blog always challenge me.  Its amazing to me how "trusting God" isn't always an event specific type of faith.  Trusting God is trusting Him no matter the circumstances.  It doesn't know boundaries of gender, race, or situation.  Trust is trust.  And, needing to do it is always an expectation or rather, a necessity. 

This morning, Kimmie posted a link to her post from yesterday.  In it she shared a song that she and Grant have gone back to and it was so what I needed to hear this morning.

Weeping is probably not the best way to start a Friday morning, but I had been sitting here wrestling with the evil thoughts running through my mind and begging God in the in between to be present in my mind.  I want to trust Him completely.  And, I do, but somehow those ugly thoughts creep in and take over.  I wish I could describe to you what that feels like.  The only thing that I can use right now is the moment when you are standing on  stage and it fills with fog.  The thick kind that you cant breathe through.  You want to walk off the stage and get away, but it follows with you and even when the machine stops pushing it out on the stage, it lingers in the air.  The only way to get away from it is to leave and go to a new place. 

This morning, I found a song that helped me get to a new place.  I share it with you as a moment of me acknowledging my struggle and yet a reminder of where to go. 

“Oceans”

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior



I think I was most overwhelmed by the fact that this process is something God wants to use for my good.  That he wants to lead me to a place of fully trusting him without limits.  Where I can walk on water - something only He has done.  That He would call me to wherever He wants me to go and use me in that place.  That He would take me deeper that my own personal lack of adventure and risk would go and in that place with Him, my faith would be made stronger. 

What an awesome privilege to know that the Creator of this Universe desires me in that kind of way and wants me in that kind of way and will equip me with that kind of love to build in me that kind of faith.  Oh that I would continually be available and listen. When I'm begging get me out of this place, lift my spirit from this dark hole, pull off the burdens of my day - I hear Him saying - let me take you there and let's go together.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Today

Not much more I want to say or share than the words in this photo.

Cast all your cares on The Lord for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

I always find it interesting how refreshing Facebook can be in the morning. Sometimes I have to just keep scrolling past the nonsense and sometimes I'm stopped dead in my tracks.


Friday, April 5, 2013

5 years ago

So, today is the day.  The day I go back to Little Rock for my "5 years clear" appointment.  I must be honest and share that my heart is just as anxious as it was in 2008.  It never gets easy going into the doctor and sure not your oncologist. 

I looked back this morning at April 7, 2008.  The post from the day I first met with Dr. M. 

http://bigpittstop.blogspot.com/2008/04/good-news.html

I can read a lot between the lines of those words.  A lot of emotion, trepidation, angst, and unknown.  What a different person I am today.

Healed.
Thankful.
Changed.
Grateful.
Redeemed.

I have much to live for.  I have much to give.  I have many to thank.  And One alone to honor.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

a year ago - April 4

Looks like on this day in 2008, I was traveling for work (go figure!)

But, I was encouraged to remember how we didn't let this stop us.  I was still working, spending time with my college roommates and had no idea what the journey ahead would bring.

A church service over that weekend reminded me of these words:

You are God alone
From before time began
You are on your throne
You are God alone
Right now, in the good times and bad
You are on your throne
You are God alone

Unchangeable
Unshakable
Unstoppable
That's what you are

You are God....and that's just the way it is


I feel like this fresh reminder is something I could hear again today.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

a year ago - April 3

Love this one from a year ago titled "cinderellys visit".

http://bigpittstop.blogspot.com/2008/04/cinderellys-visit.html

I'll never be able to thank my family for all they did for me in the middle of treatment. Driving from Dallas every other week to just sit and watch me sleep and then to clean my house, do laundry, cook and have meals in my fridge for the next week.  My dad even dried and curled my hair one morning so I could make a presentation to a Board at work.  They were amazing.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

a year ago - April 2

here's a poem I shared a year ago that I feel like was a fresh reminder this morning again.

April 2, 2008 -

Prayer Poem:
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let His presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

a year ago - April 1

Since this Friday brings my 5 year's clear doctor appointment, I thought I would look back to a year ago and see what was going on.  It was interesting looking through some old posts and remind myself of all that was going on. 

So, where was I in 2008?  (48 hours in)

http://bigpittstop.blogspot.com/2008/03/48-hours-later.html

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