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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

Emotional Health/ Kids/Family/ Spiritual

On Fall, Life, Family Dinners, Homeschooling, Health, Husband & Winter

Colsie Leaf 2

Sometimes I just want to reach across this computer divide and see your faces and touch your hands and say a genuine hello.  To this day, I am in awe of the fact that thousands of you visit this little corner of the world-wide web and care to check in a see what I’m up to here at New Nostalgia.

I decided to take a break from the usual posts and just take a day to check in, say Hello, and open up my heart and life.

I sure wish we could have a two-way conversation, but since the closest thing we come to that is on Facebook or Twitter or your words in the comments, I will just blab today and fill you in a bit on life.  I sure would love you to blab back in the comments or any of my social media channels.  Please do!


Fall Weather Bliss

I live in the Midwest and the fall weather has me in awe everyday!  The trees seem especially beautiful this year, the oranges, reds, pinky maroons, yellows and greens.  It has been absolutely breathtaking.  For me, the beauty of nature is a constant reminder of the Creator & how He just cares for the details and makes all things beautiful in time.  Our weather has been amazing and I just can’t get over it!  It places this unexplainable joy in my heart every time I’m out and about, and can make the hardest of days beautiful again.  Why am I surprised that God’s ever-changing art can do that?



I Live In My Car

Speaking of “out and about” I –as I’m sure many of you– feel like I am in my car more often than not lately.  Todd and I have always been very careful to keep balance when it comes to our kids extracurricular activities & involvement in anything away from home.  That was much easier to do when they were younger.  Our girls are now 15, 13 & 11 and their lives are full! Cross-country running, soccer, youth group, guitar lessons, tutoring & more.

It feels busier than I’d like it to be, but honestly it feels right for this season. I find myself so thankful for their gifts, talents, abilities and the amazing friends God has graciously given to my 3 lovelies.  These are the blessings that keep them busy, and for that I am thankful.


Dining Together

A Recommitment To Family Dinners at The Table

Despite the busyness, I have recommitted to family dinners at the table.  I find that we are able to eat at the table at least 3 times a week, and that is better than none!  Even if there are only 3 of the 5 of us home (many times Todd and my youngest are off at soccer practice right at dinnertime) I still commit to calling them to the table to eat.  For awhile we lost this simple but powerful routine.  I have a daughter who has been walking through some hard emotional things included a Sensory Processing Disorder (which I will be posting about in the future) and there was a period of time where it was just too hard to even be at the table together.  I am so thankful for direction from above in treating our sweet girl and that she is now capable of joining the family at the table in a healthy manner.  If you find yourself in a crisis situation with one of your kids, let me encourage you that it will not last forever.  Do your best, Momma’s, and fight for your kids.  Provide as much support for them as you can, and when you cannot, pray your hearts out.  God is there and hears our Momma- heart- prayers for our children.

Colsie{photo taken of my Colsie girl by Laurie Cosgrove}

Me? A Homeschool Mom?

This sweet daughter I speak of is now homeschooling.  Sitting in a classroom caused much suffering for her before we found treatment for her, and it was a necessity to pull her out.  I myself homeschooled during my high school years, and have always said God did not bless me with the abilities it would take to homeschool my children.  I wrote it off as something I would never do. Friends, I recommend never saying never!

I do know myself well and after a couple of weeks of trying to do it myself, we recognized we needed more help for our girl.  My amazing Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law have come to our rescue and committed to teaching my girl. They are both teachers – so honestly we couldn’t be more taken care of.  We split her time up between the two 5 mornings a week, and I get her in the afternoons for other things like physical activity, photography class & reading time. It is working beautifully.  I cannot tell you how relieved I am. I cannot tell you what a gift it is to have these two amazing women in my Colsie’s daily life. Not only am I not a natural teacher, but adding the dynamics of her disorder just made it feel impossible to school her myself.  God is in the business of providing, and even calls himself by that very name –Provider.  It has been a long and  stressful process of finding the best life for my girl, but God has been there every step of the way.  He is very much our faithful Provider.



My Physical Health

The last couple months have brought quite a bit of turmoil when it comes to my health.  My cancer is still in remission, but the ongoing treatment I need has proven itself very challenging.  7 months ago I switched cancer meds and honestly it has rocked my world.  Just recently I switched again due to unbearable joint pain I was having. These meds mess around with hormones, and if you are a woman you know hormones are never a fun thing to mess around with. Not only did I switch cancer meds, but also at the same time switched mood meds, as they also had side effects of joint pain.  Friends, that month and 1/2 of detoxing from meds and slowly getting back on new ones were hard.  Excruciatingly hard.  Hard on my body, hard on my mental health, and especially hard on my family.  I am on my way back up and doing so much better.  Joint pain is almost nonexistent, which feels like a miracle!  Before, I felt joint pain in joints I didn’t even know I had!  My feet, ankles, hip & elbow and shoulders all hurt beyond and affected me much more that I even realized, especially on those rainy days when weather changes made them all double- flare.  I am so relieved to be relieved of this pain.


My Mental Health

As far as my mental health, I am due for a post to fill you in, but we are still in the process of figuring out what is best for me right now.  What I can tell you is that God Works All Things Out For Our Good, especially the very hardest of things.  The last few months have been super humbling to say the least, and so painful that we had to bring my in-laws into the loop to help us get through it.  Their gentleness and mercy toward me was the most beautiful picture of how God deals with us.  They have seen me at my lowest & instead of running away, they moved towards me with a love that showed me they are for me and willing to walk through the hard. They have been a huge part of keeping our family healthy and whole.  They have gently led me in a direction I needed to go and provided the means to get there.

It is still early in this process of discovery and healing when it comes to me…and I cannot wait to share with you how we are finding answers.  Sometimes it takes a humbling, a bringing down to our knees, before we can clearly see the direction we need to go.  This is what has happened with me recently & though it was painful, I am so THANKFUL.  I am finding the best answers for what is needed and I am feeling pretty giddy excited about God’s revelation and provision–given through the help of my sweet in-laws AND with the help of the most gentle and wise psychiatrist.  More to come on that in another post.

Todd and Amy Car

My Sweet Husband

Oh my sweet Todd.  I sit here and tear up when I think of this good, good man and all that he has had to carry.  He will be the first to admit he has not always reacted the best in dealing with all of the pain and turmoil in our family..especially that which comes from me.  Being an extreme introvert he has a tendency to go inward when life is pressing hard… BUT.. he truly has carried these heavy burdens in a way that is admirable and faithful.  He has been through much, has watched both his wife and daughter suffer in different but frightening ways, and his steady faithfulness to me and our family has been a healing gift to me.  He has been burden- bearer.  He has been provider.  He is willing to walk through the hard, admit when he is messing up, and take my hand to try again.  It might take him awhile to come out of his inwardness, but he always does. I am forever committed to this good, good man of mine, and I am super excited to be heading upward after being in the valley–hand in hand with my man–for he deserves a dang good view!


My Mentor

I read Titus 2:4,5 years ago.  It talks about how the older women in the church should mentor the younger women.  I have always loved that concept and idea. I have had a longing and stirring in my heart for a mentor in the form of an older-than-me and wiser-than-me woman for years.  I have prayed for this for years.  I have even asked a couple of women who I thought might be the perfect match for me, and nothing ever panned out…until recently.  My mentors name is Kim and God is so funny how He brings about things.  I will fill you in on the fun story in another post, but for now let me just tell you, God can make His purpose come about in strange ways–like elderberry hunting.  Yep, forging for elderberries caused my forging for a mentor to be fulfilled.

Needless to say, my Kim has been so perfect for me.  She, too, has 3 girls–all beautiful and grown.  She has a husband whom she loves dearly, and has walked through much life and gained amazing wisdom in the process.  She has taken me straight to God’s Word and I am seeing things in it that I never have before.  We. Just. Click.  She is one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given.  We have only met together 4 times but our hearts are entwined and she has taught me so much already.   I can’t help but squeal about it…WEEEEEEE!

If this is a desire of your heart, start asking God for it.  He WILL answer in His time.  It might be years down the road, but believe me, it will be the most perfect of time.



The Upcoming Winter Season

Usually when one thinks of winter, we think of cold & nature put to sleep.  I choose to look toward the winter season ahead with an anticipating excitement.  I know God will continue in His faithfulness to our family, and when I think of winter coming, I think of a cozy candlelit home, warm hoodie sweatshirts, and glistening snow.  I will use the blanketed snow as a beautiful reminder of how God’s love covers the dead and dying, how seasons come and go, how God promises new mercies everyday, and how He has made and continues to makes us pure-whiter than snow!  My prayer is that He would take this hurting, rag-tag- BUT stronger- than- ever family and carry on in His work of refining. It is a scary prayer, to ask to be refined, but I know that His only purpose is to make us ready for the next season, so that we might glisten like snow. A glistening to glorify Him. Only Him.

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.

Emotional Health/ FAMILY/ Music Renews

Mental Illness–Going There & A Health Update


I sit here in my recently made-over home office, begging God to make me over.

I am in my favorite chair, the one that generations have sat in before me, the one that reminds me of my sweet Grandpa.

It takes me back to this past spring, his frail body sitting in a chair, cozied up in blankets during his last days.  I remember so clearly his sweet smile as his eyes closed and his head relaxed back,  his hand patting mine. I didn’t know the next time I would see him his hand would be lifeless, and mine would be stroking his hair, touching his face, coming to rest on his pulse, and feeling the very last few beats of one of the kindest hearts I have known.  This precious moment,  as I felt the life-blood leave, was a moment that has stayed with me.  I will tell more of the story another time, it is one of beauty.  It is one of a bride married 66 years, saying her goodbyes and releasing her lover to Jesus, as I sat by and caught a glimpse of eternity.


This chair, passed down from my Great Grandmothers’ Grandmother, has stood the test of time quite well.

The only bit of wear and tear is where one’s head would rest. It is slightly worn there.  I think of others who have come before me, lying their weary heads to rest, feeling worn.

This life is hard, and I have just come out of one of the hardest seasons this summer, and I am worn. I have been quiet here on the blog, a necessity as the much of my weariness comes from a story that is not mine to tell, at least not in detail.   I have not had the time or the emotional stamina to work.  Posts have been few and far between. I miss writing & creating.

photo 1-5

School started Tuesday for my 3 lovelies, and I now have the time that I craved most of the summer.  I have found though, that there is a recovery process going on with me that is taking some time.  This is life…this being ‘made -over.’  I cling to the promise that it is all going to be ok, because He is the one who makes all things new, redeeming all that seems wrong to good in the lives of those who love Him.  {Romans 8:28}

I know this post is supposed to be about mental illness, and really it is.  My little lovely has been ill, and I know I too am fighting the effects of illness, both physical and mental.

Mental triggered by physical, they entwine and do a sad dance.

My physical state has not been great, my reproductive organs really misbehaving, causing pain & bleeding and sending me to the doctor more than I would like.  So far we have found a fibroid tumor, and I thanked God what showed up on the scan was not cancer.  I am in the middle of ongoing testing to figure out why I am having the symptoms I do.  My cancer medication that  suppresses hormones has been a hard one to continue to take.  There are no easy answers.  Due to doctors order mix-up, I recently experienced what it would be like coming off of the meds, and it was a struggle.  5 days of waiting for the prescription to be refilled, my body went into withdrawal symptoms, and just when I was starting to adjust I went back on the meds, for more days of adjustment.  It was not pretty, and I continue to feel the effects of that mixup.  That is just my bottom half.  My top half is also misbehaving.  The reconstruction that I had done in October/November of last year looks great, but my right side formed a keloid that has grown even more extensive than before fixing it last fall, the most drastic changes happened in just the last month.  I have both my dermatologist and my plastic surgeon puzzled.  They don’t know what to do with me.  If it continues to grow, it will mess up my reconstruction.  Just last week the scar area on the other side formed two small pinpoint scabs, out of the blue.  That really took me by surprise, as it had healed beautifully. This is something my oncologist wants to take a look at asap, as the incision site is often a place where reoccurrence happens.  I am nervous because to biopsy that area could very well cause a keloid there, too, and mess up the reconstruction that I have grown quite attached to.

I know all of this physical stuff has a huge effect on how I feel emotionally and mentally.

{Worn — Tenth Avenue North}

I’m worn.

I then scroll through Facebook. See the horror of horrors called ISIS, and cry out to the One who holds it all and knows it all & promises to make some sort of sense of it all.

I keep scrolling, see Robin Williams face, and am reminded of why I choose to talk about mental illness on this blog.

I have found 2 articles that speak my heart loud and clear that I must pass on.


Thoughts On Depression, Suicide & Being A Christian — Nish Weiseth

What The Church & Christians Need To Know About Mental Illness –Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp{via Ann}

Instead of doing much writing right now on mental illness, I am doing some healing and letting Him carry me through my own journey with illness.

In the meantime, this is the song I choose to sing.

{Colton Dixon-You Are}


When I can’t find the words 
To say how much it hurts 
You are the healing in my heart 
When all that I can see are broken memories 
You are the light that’s in the dark 

You are the song, 
You are the song I’m singing
You are the air, 
You are the air I’m breathing 
You are the hope, 
You are the hope I needed
You are 

And when my circumstance leaves me with empty hands
You are the provider of my needs
When all my dirtiness has left me helpless
You are the rain that washes me

If I had no voice, 
If I had no tongue, 
I would dance for you like the rising sun. 
And when that day comes and I see your face. 
I will shout your endless glorious praise. 


He is my song, my air, my hope.

In time, I know I will rise from the sad, turn my face to the Son, rise up like the sun and dance.



The home office makeover and chair I speak of?  I will be featuring them both in a post tomorrow.  That is, if I can do as James Brown suggests and get up off this thing, and dance until I feel better. 🙂



Going There — Mental Illness

Going There — Mental Illness: PMDD & Getting Health