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Cancer Journey

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH

Cancer Health Update-Scan is Negative!


I wrote a cancer health update post last Wednesday, letting you all know my Oncologist had found a lump on my neck & ordered a CT scan of my brain, neck and chest. The results came quickly thanks to a brand new scan location that has state of the art scanning and results within 24 hours.  I called my doctor on Friday and the nurse read the results:


I am so thankful. I am so relieved.  Honestly, I was bracing myself this time. I think it was because of how it took me off guard that my doctor felt something that I had no idea about.  Usually I am pretty in tune with my body & any lumps and bumps it might have.  I had no clue there was a swollen node in my neck.  We still don’t know why it is swollen, but at least we know there is no evidence of growing disease. I was also bracing myself for the worst because of the location of the node. The neck is not a place you want cancer to come back in, as it places you in an automatic stage iv.

Continue Reading…

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Spiritual

A Cancer Health Update – Prayers Needed

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I sit writing this, with big, fat, snowflakes falling outside and Christmas music playing inside.  I feel at peace in this moment.

The last few days I have fluctuated between feelings of anxiety and feelings of peace. More peace than worry, for we have been in this place of waiting before, but this time it feel different.  Heavier.

I went to see my Oncologist last week for a routine checkup.  I was expecting to be in and out of there quickly, as I have been feeling much better compared to this summer, and have even gained weight, which was truly a comfort to me.

My doctor came in and congratulated me on reaching the 5 year mark.  She said it is encouraging, but also cautioned that as a grade 3 breast cancer survivor, she can never use the word “cured.” Regardless, there was a lightness about her and lots of smiles. She commented on my 5 pound weight gain and said my “eyes and cheeks look so much better..filled out instead of sunk in.” Why, thankyouverymuch! This made me smile.

She did her usual routine check, her capable hands sweeping over my body, feeling for lumps and bumps.  She runs her fingers along my lymph lines, a familiar path she takes every checkup, but this time they paused at the left side of my neck. I remember a short pause in that very spot 3 months ago during my last exam.  During that exam she asked me to come back in 3 months instead of the usual 6, due to my weight loss and unexplained nausea.  I had moved on from worrying about my physical symptoms, thinking it was not anything to do with cancer and blamed anxiety that I have been fighting this past year.  It has been in the back of my head that I am still experiencing morning nausea if I don’t take anti-nausea medication, but the meds work so well it is easy to just continue on and forget the extreme of my illness this past summer.

It could still blame it on anxiety, and it very well may be, but her hand stayed on my neck, and I knew she had found something that made her eyes turn concerned. And then she voiced concern.

It is a hard lymph node, higher up in my neck, a bit below my ear. It feels hard as a pebble & stagnant. She also found another node under my right arm, but that one was less concerning as it was soft and movable, although swollen.

The lightness in the room turned heavy, and she said she wants a CT scan done right after the holiday weekend.

This was 2 days before Thanksgiving, and I have been concentrating on inhaling and exhaling and trying to find my thankful in the perspective that facing one’s mortality brings. It is a love/hate thing, this facing. It is a scary place, one that I want to deny and turn away from, but it just turns with me and follows me, front and center, in my face. On my neck.

It is also a precious perspective, for we all are mortal, and every day is such a beautiful and delicate gift and I GET IT, but I lose it in the comfort of the absence of lumps, bumps & scans.

My CT scan of the brain, neck and chest is scheduled for Thursday, 12-3-15.


I am afraid. I do not like looking on the insides. Especially the insides of my head.

We sat as a family and explained all that is happening to our 3 girls. They are sweet and strong & asked all the right questions. A few tears due to the unknown and scary, but they were very brave tears. This world of cancer has been their world most of their growing up years, and I know God is faithful in working it out for their good–this news and the waiting that they endure. I am the proudest of Moms.

If this node does contain cancer, the location of it makes it tricky. It places me at an automatic stage IV, and that is what brings the heavy. Nodes above the collar-bone have their own entitlement to staging–who knew? We do now.

I am hopeful for the all clear, and then I will go on and not waste this deep knowing, this reminder of how quickly life can go from ordinary to not, and how each moment is truly a gift.  I will continue to work out anxiety and do what it takes to overcome it.  I will continue to find my voice once again during this hard season.

I know I am not alone in these hard seasons of life.  I know so many of you are facing your own bumps that bring on the heavy.  I pray that we all remember that we have HOPE, especially in this advent season. It is a season of waiting on the one who comes whose name is Emmanuel, which means GOD WITH US.  This is my hope. It is a real, true hope, one that overcomes the heavy.  Yes, He is with us. He is holding me, holding you, and holds the heavy so we don’t have to.


Want to join me in advent?  I am following along with IF:EQUIP.  If you sign up, you will get a daily email that will walk you through this Christmas season & will point us all toward true hope.

I will keep you all informed.  Be sure to follow my social channels (instagram, facebook, twitter) as I usually am able to get to them before getting to writing a full post.  I expect results from the CT scan the second week in December, hopefully by the 9th or 10th.

Love to you all!

5 Minute Fridays/ Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Spiritual

Health Is A Gift – 5 Minute Friday and A Health Update


Participating in  5 Minute Fridays. 5 minutes to write about one word. Unedited.
This week’s word: GIFT

Health is a gift.

On Tuesday I had a CT scan and a bone scan, as it had been 2 years and I have been having health problems.

On Wednesday I get the call that they saw no evidence of disease. Such a gift!  I rejoice.

On June 17 I will meet with a Gastroenterologist and there will be more looking on the insides for answers. Oncologist tells me they have tests that can show what scans can miss, and maybe answer questions. Why weight loss? Why the daily nausea and digestive issues? I hope to get some answers.

Appetite is a gift.

Stomach growling is a gift.

Even weight gain is a gift when one sees the scale sliding down, down, down and has no idea why.

But here is where I really want to be.

I want to be in the place where all is a gift, embracing all that God has allowed to go through His hands and onto me, His child.

Even the hard stuff.

I’m not there yet…not even close.

When cancer treatment caused the symptoms, I was closer, as symptoms were expected and let up in time.

In this unexpected and unknown, it has been harder.

I want easy and let’s get real honest, I want perfect. I fight perfectionism, a battle that has crept back up.

I am being stripped of perceived perfect and that is a gift.

I feel like I’m flailing and falling through this life of nausea, just wanting stillness.

And the I get a glimpse, on Wednesday, when girlfriends surround and make a cross on my forehead with anointing oil and pray to our great God for answers and healing and ultimately, His will– whatever that might be.

With hands laid, prayers lifted, a breeze coming through the open window and robins chirping, I find not what I want, which is health, but what I need.

The gift of stillness.



Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Music Renews/ Spiritual

A Health Update & The Best Girlfriends

Hello & Health Update

I have this special group of girlfriends.  We are not able to get together as a whole very often, but when we do–world watch out! We wine, dine & “go there,”  opening up our worlds and hearts to each other, knowing it is one of the safest places to do so.

Because we are not able to get together often, much of this opening of hearts and worlds happens in a Facebook group that we have formed.  It is the place of many smiles and inside jokes, but most often it is the place where we place our prayer requests.

After I wrote this health update, I let my sweet group of friends know about it and asked them to pray for me.  For some reason it took me longer than usual to update them.  I’ve been quiet, a bit withdrawn.  I blame nausea for this. When it lasts at least half the day, it seems to take me the rest of the day to recover emotionally, and then it starts over the next day. So, it has made me quiet.  And tired.  I spin my wheels trying to keep up with life, most of the time in a weird spot of wanting to be busy but being so very tired from just putting one foot in front of the other and a smile on, yet, busyness has brought relief. My girls keep me busy and driving them around is about the only thing that feels normal right now as my body sure doesn’t. And since I’m being honest I suppose it took me a bit to ask for prayer as there is a part of me that is not just physically tired but also tired of being the ‘sick girl.’

I want to be well and strong and happy and fun!

Sometimes life has other plans and they are not fun.

But here is the deal.  God shows up even in the ‘not fun.’  He does.  I’m in the middle of typing this not-so-fun post and my Facebook messenger dings and it is one of my girlfriends from the said Facebook group, who has been praying for a job but that prayer is not yet answered so she has time and wants to be with me during my upcoming scans.  This is the first time I have not asked anyone to come with me.  I am not sure why, it’s just that ‘quiet’ thing I guess. This new ‘a-bit-withdrawn’ me.  Not really knowing what I need or will want moment-by-moment but God sure does.  I’m not sure if we can work it out for her to be there, but just knowing she was willing was a God-kiss for me.

The responses I got from my sweet friends in my Facebook group were so dear. One tells me she is “praying peace over and around” me.  Another sent me the song I post below that just soothed me and was what I needed to hear. It really hit me while listening to it how I’ve been consumed with trying to solve the mystery of my health, trying to figure out why I have been feeling so sick, instead of just resting and trusting. I confessed my anxiety to the group and she also reminded me to hold every thought captive & worship, worship, worship our God. What better advice could one give? I needed it and my heart received it. Such sweet love.

By the time I finished this post my sweet friend group offered to come by an evening this week to pray for me, led by one who told me she has been praying Luke 7:50 at 7:50 a.m. for me every morning since writing my last ‘health update’ post. Yeah, overwhelming love.


So scans.  It has been 2 years and my Oncologist wants to look inside and make sure we are not missing anything with my new symptoms of nausea, weight loss and fatigue.  She is also giving me a month-long break from my cancer meds, including my dreaded monthly shot that places an implant under my skin each month to shut my ovaries down. She wants to see if that is what is causing the symptoms.  My next one is due on Friday so if I start having relief from symptoms around that time then maybe the cancer meds are the culprits.  If so, well, that is another post, and I will keep you  updated.

In the meantime, I’m going to obey my girlfriends and trust our very trustworthy God and worship, worship, worship!

Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.





  1. 1.
    firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.


 I Will Trust In You

by Lauren Dangle

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen

So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!


Cancer Journey/ HEALTH

A Health Update

Hello & Health Update

I’ve been saying in the last few posts that I have not been feeling well, so I thought I would fill you all in on what’s going on with my health.  It has been a long time since I last did a health update, and honestly I have been digging my heel’s in and just hoping in time I would feel better. Instead, I thought it was time to fill you all in.

I am still in remission–praise God!

We are not sure what is causing my health problems, which includes pretty severe nausea most days, starting in the morning.  I wake up almost every day with a case of the dry heaves.  I never throw up, of which I am most grateful for.  Despite this, the amount of nausea I feel during the day has caused my appetite to become very low.  I am most hungry in the evenings and that is when I try to get as many calories in as I can.  Despite working on getting calories in, I’ve lost about 18 pounds the last few months.  I really hope to not lose anymore!  I am on some anti-nausea meds, but their help is minimal and they make me want to sleep, sleep sleep!  Have you noticed I am not doing as many recipe posts here at New Nostalgia?  I still have to cook for my family, and eat myself, so you will see them occasionally still, just not as often until I start feeling better!

Along with the nausea, I have had digestion issues.  I have always had a strong digestive system, so this is all very new for me.  I say new, but it has been going on since January.

Yes, January.  To be real and honest, it is starting to wear on me.

We are working with my primary care doctor, my Oncologist, & my Psychiatrist to try to figure out what is going on.

We started with getting me off any mood med, knowing that the side effects can cause nausea.  That didn’t go so well and has been a rough road as I tried getting back on my normal mood med and I just was not able to tolerate side effects.  I have found another, but it does not take me to where I really would like to be when it comes to stability, but for now, it will work.  I think all the unknowns of what is going on with my health has really made my anxiety rise and honestly I have felt anxiety like I never have these last couple of months, which really can’t help anything!

I started to feel better last month after detoxing off all mood meds (this was a very long road) and sticking with one.  But then…my monthly injection happened and it sent me on this downward spiral, both physically and emotionally.  I wish I could explain better how it feels. Emotionally it feels like someone put a lid on me and on my joy.  Things I used to find such joy in are now just kinda ‘eh’ and I also have found myself quite restless.  My morning nausea came back in full swing and so did my anxiety. I told myself and my Todd I will never have that shot again, as it seems to me that  it is the cause of all of this misery.

We meet with my Oncologist on Tuesday and I know she will not be too pleased to hear this.  This shot is what shuts down my hormones as my cancer was fed by hormones and protects me from recurrence.  She will probably suggest trying Tamoxifen again (which made me sleep my life away and caused painful ovarian cysts each month) or suggest having my ovaries surgically removed. The monthly injection (called a Zoladex Injection) is a way to chemically shut down my ovaries, so I can see Doc wanting to just remove my ovaries.  Many women in my shoes with my type of cancer get this operation done, and I will probably do so, but I feel very fearful about this surgery as it is permanent and what if I feel just as sick with them being permanently gone, not to mention my moods?   I will not have the luxury of supplementing with hormones, which is what most women who have had this surgery (including Angelina Jolie) do to have stable hormonal health.  If you are a cancer survivor and have had this surgery with no hormone supplementation, would you let me know how you are doing? I would love to hear from anyone who has walked this road.

I also have an appointment with a Gastroenterologist in mid June.  I would have loved to have seen one sooner, and have been on a waiting list, but boy these guys are busy!  I am very curious to know if they find anything wrong with my gut or have any answers for me.  I need reassurance from them that this is not cancer returning to my stomach, as with lobular type cancer, the stomach can be a more common place for cancer to return.

My Primary Care Doctor has already done blood work, a stomach ultrasound, and checked to see if my gall bladder is functioning properly.  All came back normal.  Yay!

So that is it in a nutshell.  It is hard to explain how consuming health can be, especially when one experiences nausea the majority of the day.  I know it could be so much worse, but I also know life has changed drastically for me the last few months.

I find myself fighting and facing fear with all of the unknowns, but I do know God is with me and has been so faithful in the past to show me what path to take.  I feel like I have recently lost my way a bit in just resting in that, but I still know it to be true.

I am seeing a new therapist whom I just adore, and she just keeps leading me to the truth that God has got it all.  I am excited to share with you as I learn and grow and glean from her.  I will also keep you all informed on how I am doing.

You all have always been such a supportive community.  You read and applaud the sponsored posts I do hear at New Nostalgia, which is such a blessing to me and to our budget,  and you read and are with me in these more raw and vulnerable posts, too.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a great community of readers.  Love to you all! <3


Prayer Requests If I May:

~emotional stability, especially when it comes to anxiety

~to have peace about doing the surgery if that is the next step

~answers to what is causing nausea and stomach issues.

~that the doctors can all collaborate somehow (Oncologist, Gastroenterologist, Primary Care Physician and Psychologist) and come up with the best solutions for me. Right now I feel like a ping-pong ball going from one to another.

~for peace and joy

5 Minute Fridays/ Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Spiritual

Staying Open When You Want To Grip Closed


Participating in  5 Minute Fridays. 5 minutes to write about one word. Unedited.

This week’s word: OPEN.



“Open your heart, open your hands, keep open to me, my Darling.”

My Savior woos.

This temptation to grip tight & close, to go inward–it is especially strong as of late.

My actions would match the pit in my stomach, tight & gripped.

I know He has plans and purpose, even in the struggle…especially in the struggle.

This physical body, this shell I live in…it can be such a complicated thing. Physical, emotional, spiritual.  All entwined.

Yesterday I read the report of my physical body. A simple blood test brought rave reviews! High vitamin D levels, perfect blood levels, normal cholesterol. Blood pressure is nice and low. Oh, how I praise You!  I get to live!

So here is my prayer.  Lord, hear my cry!

Lord?  These medications I take to keep this shell of mine free from that which would kill me?

I don’t like them. I’m thankful for them, but I don’t like them.

They make my stomach clench closed.

But here is the deal.  I will remain.

I remain in you.  You hold me and have me.  Your hand is open, holding, cradling, full of the whole world and me.

I will remain in you.  I will open to your plan.  I will obey & humble & search and find.

I will walk, even stumble forward and will not give in to despair.

I will seek, I will find. You are here as You always have been, and always will be.

I will open.




As you can tell, I’m still struggling to find my center.  I feel we are close to finding some answers to make the medications I take a bit more bearable emotionally.  In a nutshell, the shot I talk about here and another medication that I take to sweep up every bit of estrogen and progesterone in my body seems to sweep up more than just hormone.  It sweeps up my spark, too, and it has been the biggest of challenges.

We are searching and finding some answers, but it all takes time.  In the meantime, I covet your prayers.


Can you relate? Has depression put a lid on you? Has anxiety got your stomach in knots?

There are answers.  Search for them. Fight for health.  Do what it takes.  Do not be afraid to reach out. Find a counselor. Find a trusted psychiatrist.  It is worth it, you are worth it.

Some simple things you can do for yourself at home that might help?

~take a detox bath

~meditate on the Truth of God’s Word

~tell a trusted friend

~take vitamins and supplements

~exercise…even if just a short walk

~take melatonin for sleep (ask your doc first)

~wake a bit early for quiet time, especially if it is the only quiet you get in a day

~never lose hope

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH

Hello & A Health Update

Hello & Health Update

It is October 1st, and I have been gearing up to participate in The Nesters write ’31 Days’ in October.  Have you heard of it?  Bloggers from all over the world choose one topic to write about for 31 days in the month of October.  I have wanted to participate in it and thought I finally would get to this year.  Last year I was gearing up for more  surgery so I waited patiently for this year, and if you know me, you know patience is not always my best virtue.

I made myself a fun little graphic, outlined my 31 posts, and got pretty excited to share them with you all.  The subject I choose was Anti-Procrastination.  We were gonna GET THINGS DONE!

Life brought about a different plan for me this morning.  I went to bed feeling fine for the most part.  I had achy joints from storms that came yesterday but nothing I was not used to.  I woke up in pain level 8-9.  I was on my side and tried to turn over, and pain shot through my upper spine.  It took me a long time to get up this morning and once I was up, any movement brought on shoots of pain.

My Oncologist, Dr. M,  has always told me to expect pain from my meds, but it should be an all-over, diffused bone pain.  She said if cancer ever came back in the bones, it would be in one specific spot, and would be very painful.  I’ll give you one guess where my thoughts went when I woke up this morning.

Todd got my oldest and youngest girls to school.  My  Mother-In-Law came to pick up my middle girl who home school’s for a day of school-ing at her house, and my sister Julie came to be my driver & hang out for most of the day. My favorite physical therapist, Anya, was able to get me in right away which was a miracle–I was so thankful.

She worked on me for a while and brought some relief. She thinks it is facet joint pain & muscle spasms.  She is pretty confident it is not cancer related, but advised me to call Dr. M if pain does not go away in a day or so.   I left very relieved.  It is funny how even just the thought of cancer can be painful.  I know taking that thought away really helped, as did Anya’s skilled hands.

I’ve rested all afternoon.  The pain is still at a pretty high level.  I am hopeful it will let up, but in the meantime, I had to decide whether I would take part in the 31 Days writing challenge, and I’ve decided it is a no go.

crossed 31 days

{So sad to put an ‘x’ through that. Boo!}

In order to get things done around here, I need to be able to move.  I have no idea how long I’m gonna be hurting, but moving is the LAST thing I want to right now.  31 Days is a high commitment challenge and I would not be able to rest.  On top of that, life has gone through many changes around here lately, and honestly I wondered if it was wise to be committing to something for 31 days!  I now have my answer. Waa.

I still plan on using the content I have written so far & all the anti-procrastination ideas and motivations that are still in my head.  It just won’t be with the  31 Day Challenge community.  This is really a bummer because it is such a fun community of people!  Regardless, I will be enjoying what others come up with and even share with you my favorites.

Today I’m “Boo’n” & “Waa’n”  but it won’t last.  There is much too much to be thankful for!


Until today, my physical health has been pretty much the same, except for some aching in my left arm due to very early stage lymphedema.  I saw Anya a few days ago and she put me back in my lovely sleeve for the month and took some measurements.  It has been feeling better, the aching is not as intense as it was the last couple of weeks.  I tell people it feels like a “headache in my arm.”  I’m thankful it is feeling better, that we caught it early & that it does not seem to be progressing.


Once again, thanks for coming along with me and caring about these up’s & down’s.

PS–Have any of you ever had facet joint pain/syndrome/disease?  I would love to know your experience and what has helped you deal with the pain.