Monday, December 12, 2011

To Further His Purpose: We can all be witnesses

Just who does this Tebow guy think he is?

We can take this all the way back to his earlier days playing for the University of Florida. This young mans walk and actions have always brought about much discussion. He seems to have really brought forth an awareness of God and his presence that I believe the people of this day have yet to see. People love to devour the guy. They want to shut him up and shut him down. But do you think he is phased? No. And here's why, it's not about Tebow. It's not even about Football. Its about God. The media has it wrong. Its not Tebow time, its God time! You can't shut God down.

We are called to be Salt and Light in the World. Our Creator is looking and patiently waiting for a people that will take a stand and live out His purpose in this dirty, mucky, sin filled world. Willing to do whatever it takes to further His Kingdom and bring Glory and Honor to Him.

Matthew 5:14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Sometimes when we choose to live out loud for GOD, people tend to look at us like we have lost it. You must be crazy because that is not the way the world does things. Well for me, I couldn't care less what the world does. His ways are not of the world. So naturally when we go a different way, the path less traveled, they take notice. I don't live to please this world. I live to please God. When we go Gods way and live out loud for him, there's a good chance we will come up against opposition. Just as this young man has. Notice though, he has remained ever so humble in the face of all the judgments, criticism and just plain hate thrown his way.

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

When people come up against you for choosing to stand up for Christ, they aren't really coming up against you, they are opposing Him. Because if we live for Him and follow the steps He has laid out for us, then He is in us. And if they hate us, then they hate that which is in us, Him. God is LOVE. He is for LOVE. Not hate. I pray that more and more people would have the courage to take a stand for Christ. It doesn't matter if you play Pro Ball, if you're a Ceo, teacher, or an average joe. People are watching. Someone is watching. He wants to use you wherever you are, what ever your platform may be. If it furthers His kingdom, then count me in!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Revelation & Obedience: The Conditioning of My Heart

In the last 27 days, I have grown more spiritually, felt physically better, and had more mental clarity than I ever thought was possible. I am not the same person. Where there was once fear doubt and condemnation, there is now hope, eagerness and a zest for life and the future!

Yet with all that said, some will still think I'm crazy. Well I'm not here to debate that. I won't argue that I'm a little nuts at times. But in all seriousness what I am about to share with you is MY journey, MY walk, and MY testimony. My intent is not to convince, but to convey the revelations of my heart. I do not need affirmation, acceptance, or approval from anyone but the one who truly matters. That of which I already have.

Let me backtrack a little.
My heart has always been to please and glorify God throughout this season of my life. But at times fear had such tight grip on me that I lost sight of that and fell into the trap of doubt. I knew what my heart was telling me , but because of the enemies tight grip on me at the most vulnerable time in my life, I made decisions that demonstrated just the opposite.

I do not believe there is a magic pill that will cure disease. Each and every time they would hook me up to that IV line, something inside of me was screaming no. But because of what the enemy told me, I felt it was my only shot. I believed that God could heal me and that he wanted me well and whole. But I was never able to place ALL of my trust in his abilities. Until now.

Over a year ago my closest friend mentioned to me the name of a place not too far from here that she thought might be of some help to me. I checked it out but never really followed through with it. About the same time another very influential friend from a different circle mentioned something along the same lines to me. Still I didn't pay much attention. Then right before we were about to head out to TX, the Pastors at our Church once again prayed over me. Our senior Pastor just happened to mention the same exact names and place to me, but he had personal experience with this place I heard about so many times. I thought wow, this is not happenstance. Yet, still I did not heed the advice.

Instead we headed off to TX only to find upon arrival that I was to receive, against my wishes and gut feelings, Chemo, among 3 other drugs as well. I nearly came home and said forget it. But, I agreed and ultimately ended up enduring the absolute worst 7 months of my existence. After my last scans, it appeared that I was stable, but not the improvement that we had hoped for. That meant more drugs were in the plan and would be for the rest of my existence. Some way to live. My oncologist wanted me to continue on with yet another round of more Chemo and another set of drugs. It was at that moment when I walked out of that office that I said enough. We got in the car and I just started saying, NO! This is not good enough, there is a better way. And so I began really searching my heart.

It was at this point that the name of the individuals and place God had so gently been putting in front of me came to the forefront of my mind. I knew I wanted to attend a week or two at this place, and I always planned to make it a part of my healing plan. I just never thought it to BE where my healing actually would begin.

The amazing place I speak of, is a "Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center" right here in my own backyard in Plant City. The town where I went to High School, where so many memories and friendships were formed and there are only 4 locations nationwide. Imagine that.

So I told Brian, I'm doing it. I'm calling them. And so, I made the phone call. About 30 minutes later I walked in the room and told him it was done. I booked us a week and we were going in less than 2 weeks! He was relieved, I could tell. He knew I needed this. But never pushed the issue. So Sam went to stay with my parents and we headed a whole 30 minutes up the road to Plant City.

I knew that part of this week would include me facing fears that I had been struggling with for over 20 yrs, but I was ready. Ready to be free of chains that held me back from becoming the amazing one He intended me to be. To see myself the way He saw me. It was time to get out of the way and let God work. If I had the space and you had the time, I would write a book about just how much this week changed me. Just how much was revealed to me. And someday that may just become a reality. But for now I will try to keep it short.

The biggest thing I took away from my time with God and Dave and Sherry was that it is impossible to live in fear and faith at the same time. I learned what true obedience looks like. I caught a glimpse of the person God fully intended me to be, and I liked what I saw. I was finally able to let go of fear, which is sin, that has held me captive for two thirds of my life. I asked God to reveal himself to me and He did.

We chose to follow the Hallelujah Diet. I like to call it a Lifestyle not a diet. This is not a fad. And if you think its all about the food. You're wrong. This is about obedience. It is not for everyone. I spend hours in my kitchen preparing every day. But let me make this clear. I have never been able to serve my family this way. And it feels amazing. Not only am I serving them , I am ensuring that they stay healthy. This is my medicine. I have done away with all drugs. And for me, its all or nothing. Like I said earlier, it impossible to live in fear and faith at the same time. So what is the point in making all these changes, yet continuing the drugs? Its like saying, well God I know this is your way, the right way, but just to cover all my bases, I'm going to take the drugs too. Not that you aren't capable, but I NEED to do this to satisfy my fears. No. I spent too much time doing that last 7 months.

The best part, I have NEVER felt this amazing, healthy, and clear in all my life! I sleep, I can think and this cancer is on its way out. It will not take up residence in my body any longer. The next scans will speak for themselves.

And I said I wasn't writing a book;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cancer Is Costly

As most of you are aware, I am receiving treatment and care from TX. I take an oral medication 4 times daily in addition to the other injection and infusions I receive. I speak with my Primary Dr. in Houston at least once or twice a week. And they are constantly keeping watch over my progress. This however does not come cheap. They have been absolutely amazing in working with us as far as payment goes. As of now, they foresee me being on this medication which I fully believe in, for the next 5 or 6 months. I am also paying OUT OF POCKET for the injection I receive for the bone mets. So here is the breakdown.

.Monthly costs for medication and managed care from Houston: $4,500

.Monthly Injection: $1,900 (some of which we hope to be refunded within the next 6 months)

A total of $6,400

This is staggering, I know! Which is why my family and friends have so graciously given their time to coordinate numerous benefits and fundraisers! Our latest being an Auction Nov 5th!

I have been troubled lately by all of the "Pink" products lining the shelves EVERYWHERE. I realize people are meaning to genuinely be working toward a "Cure" when they purchase these products. However, the sad truth is that a LARGE portion of the proceeds don't go towards research or supporting Cancer in any form in "most" cases. This is disturbing and unforunate to think that our hard earned dollars are not being used for the purpose we believe they are. So my plea is this, before you give of your time or money do your research. Make sure that you are giving to and supporting a worthy cause.

This brings me to my next point. Support someone you know directly if you can. There are many individuals out there testing the waters and searching for their own "Cure", when others have "given up" on them. Why not support someone locally?

Here is the information about the Auction coming up! I would greatly appreciate your support in forwarding this information and coming out if you can!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Glass Case of Emotion

I like to make plans. I like having a good idea of how things will play out, it gives me a sense of calm and control. And when things fall apart or don't go as planned, I get a little "stressed out".

Perfect example, last Wed. I went in to get the results of my latest PET scan. The previous scans 3 months prior, looked fantastic! With significant improvement. So naturally I expected these scans to be none the less fantastic. Well that assumption would be wrong.

The Dr. used the word "stable". No worsening, but not much improvement to note. He postponed my treatments for that day and sent me home to "think about things". Now granted, my Dr.'s in TX still have not seen the scans at this time. So we have no idea what the radiologists there has to say. But I did not like the way I felt leaving that place. There was this nagging feeling of defeat almost. Like someone threw a big ole wrench in my plans. But at the same time an even bigger feeling and little voice saying "nope this isn't good enough, you will not accept this". I feel like I have been living in a "Glass Case of Emotion". Ron Burgundy, you ain't got nothin' on me;) At this point we are still waiting to hear what TX says and then decide where to go from here.

After having a mini pity party for a few days, I came to the conclusion that as long as I have breath, I am going to make each day count. The future can be scary. And fear of the unknown can be equally as scary. But this old hymn I used to sing as a kid at Church comes to mind.

I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from it's sunshine,
For it's skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

So with my faith restored and somewhat renewed strength thanks to no more chemo, I set out to enjoy my wknd! It turned out to be a fabulous wknd! We took our girl to the Pumpkin Festival and had a really great time! It does my heart good to see her smile and have a good time!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pursuit, Presence & Progress

As most of you know I was scheduled to receive my last Chemo infusion the week of Sept 11th. Something I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of for months. The week leading up to that I had been having severe pain in my hip and ride side. Concerned that it may be my appendix, an apt. was made for the following morning to rule out any serious issues and treatment was postponed. I barely made it through the night into the next morning at 7 for my apt. at St. Joes. When I arrived the tech took one look at me and said "honey the test I am about to conduct will not show me your appendix"...seeing how uncomfortable I was she sent me to the ER. I was wheeled to the ER where they immediately gave me a mask and took us to a secluded room in the back. The Dr was fantastic and prompt. It was the best ER experience I have ever had. And its sad to say, I have had way too many to count.

In the back and forth during the testing I lost my mask. Once in my room Brian asked the nurse outside who was stocking the rooms, if she could find me another mask . After explaining that I was receiving Chemo she quickly found me another one. When she brought it into me, she had the sweetest and most genuine look on her face. We talked for a little bit and she took my hands and began to tell me that this evil did not belong in my body and had no right to consume me any longer. She could tell I was tired and weary from the toll this was taking on me. She assured me the Lord will never leave me and that I need to cling to Him and not be afraid. Asked me if we attended Church anywhere and then hugged me like there was no tomorrow. Crying and praying for what seemed like minutes. She then gave me some very specific verses to read and told me to say those very words back to Him. Holding my hand tightly she says to me "I love you" and walks out of the room. Chills.

Now for some this may seem whacked out and just plain weird. But to me it was as plain as day what was happening. God was in that place. There was no disputing it. I was at an all time low that day and those words and actions could not have come at a more poignant time. After she left I looked at Brian with tears in my eyes astonished at what had just happened.

After all scans turn up good, I was sent home with antibiotics to cover an abdominal infection just in case. I was only able to take three days of it. Just too much for my system given the toxic overload it was already under. Over the weekend the pain subsided in my side and by the time my apt. on the 21st rolled around I was virtually pain free! The Dr. was astounded given the pain I had been in the previous week. I also learned that day the CT and MRI showed even more shrinkage of the lesion on my hip! So much so that the Radiologist was skeptical to even tie the word cancer to it. If he had not known of the previous Bone Met in that location, he would have called it benign! My Dr.'s and I were thrilled with this news!!!! In other words its basically gone and looks completely harmless!

All of my numbers and labs continue to be really great! I received Avastin that day and returned Fri for my LAST Chemo! I am scheduled to have more scans Oct. 14th. I fully expect them to be fantastic!!!! I am ready to move on to the next chapter of my life!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

God keeps blessing me in big ways!! And here is yet another example!

A very good friend of my sister and her fiance has just recently signed up to run the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Saturday, October 1! And she has chosen to do so in honor of me! Anyone who would like to pledge towards her run may do so here on my blog in the Donate portion or by contacting Kristin directly at

She describes it best here! Check it out and thanks so much in advance!

It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it (Kristin Jones)

I am pushing myself to a new challenge. It is time for me to take a leap in my journey as a Health & Wellness Coach. I just can't wait to check this off my bucket list! I am super thrilled to be running the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Saturday, October 1.

Click Here To Learn More

As I was out on the trail jogging/training, it came to me that I am running for a much bigger purpose than myself. I have been so positively impacted by Kelli Keen Kremkau's amazing spirit that I realized I run stronger and with more determination when I think of her incredible story of overcoming. I now have the distinct privilege to run in honor of her. This beautiful young woman has Triple Negative Breast Cancer and is valiantly fighting it with more strength than I have known anyone to possess.

Please sponsor me in my run by donating to Kelli's treatment. Maybe donate $1/mile of my half marathon ... $13. No donation is too small. Thank you for taking the time to read Kelli's blog and donate on the left hand side of her page.

I trust that your life will be forever changed for the better after reading her amazing story of brevity. She's one tough warrior chick!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Experiencing God....Are You Listening?

This blog post comes with much delay.

The last several weeks have been Up and Down. Mostly down. But in the midst of all of it, He never left me. Some days though it felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. And it felt as though I was completely alone in my struggle.

Chemo leaves me feeling like a shell of a human being. About the time I began to feel somewhat human, its time for another infusion. But we did get some great news! I had a PET scan done and learned that there has been significant improvement. Which is fantastic news. For some reason though, I was hesitant to rejoice in this news. Knowing how the Cancer game can go. I look great on paper. My blood work continues to look great. With the exception of one week, when it was barley below normal. But what paper doesn't show is how I feel. The scariest part is the Neurological side effects. Praying that they are only temporary. Now with that being said we were hoping that my Dr's would say its time to cut it out. But they have recommended that I continue 3 more treatments until we can get me completely in remission. I have been very resistant to this and struggled with this constantly. BUT I have come to the conclusion that this is the path that was layed for me and the path that I chose to follow. God has protected my body this far and I HAVE to believe that he will continue to do so. It is not easy to allow poison to drip into my veins knowing the effect it will have on me. However if I can see an end in sight and trust that My God will carry me through to healing, then I must carry on. I am due for my next infusion this Thursday. PLEASE pray that God will continue to place a hedge of protection around me and keep me healthy during and after these treatments.

Now for a cool God story!

Brian and I dropped Sam off for VBS and headed to the Beach to watch the Sunset Sunday night. We had been talking about my situation and hearing from God. He decided last minute to stop for gas. After we got out I noticed a beautiful dog in the back of a pick-up. He looked like a clone of our sweet boy Bruce that we just lost a few weeks ago due to Cancer. Just a beautiful creature. It took my breath away for a moment. After coming back out of the store the driver off the pick-up (a man in his late 60's early 70's ) stopped me and asked very sweetly if I had Cancer, I was wearing a scarf. I told him yes. We talked about his handsome dog and our beloved Bruce.

He then asked me what type of Cancer I had. After I told him he informed me that HE too has been battling Breast Cancer! I have heard of this but never met a man in this situation. He was the kindest most gentle man of God. We talked for a while about how the Dr's only gave him a yr and a half. That was over 6 yrs ago! We talked about the bad days and how God always carries us through. He told me to trust in God always and he will take of me. And only God knows the time for each of us. He then asked me what he could for me. If there was anything at all. And he meant it. I asked him to please pray for me. That I was struggling and had some big decisions to make. He said he would and I vowed to pray for him as well. After our conversation I stuck my hand out shake his, instead he hugged me like he had known me all my life. It was a very special moment and I will treasure it forever. I know that God was there in that moment. I believe he used that sweet man to speak to me that day. As we drove away I had chills and came close to tears. God is good and His people are good!

This just goes to show that He is EVERYWHERE! He is in everything and if we are willing to hear from Him, He does speak. We just have to be available and have open ears and an open heart to hear!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Good Intentions Aren't Good Enough

How many times have we all heard the cliche "It's The Thought That Counts"? I have heard it more times than I care to recall.

Now don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful thing to have a compassionate heart and well intentions. The problem lies in the following through. Myself included, how many times have we vowed to pray for someone, had truly honest intentions but just never followed through with it. Or made a "commitment" in passing that we would love to do this or that, but just couldn't find the time to make it happen? I realize life gets busy and we all have our responsibilities. But we must get over ourselves for 5 minutes and think of others. Take the time to invest in others lives. If we only ever concern ourselves with our own problems, duties, circumstances and circle of friends then we miss out on the opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life, in turn impacting our own.

We MUST get out of our own little bubble and pay attention to what is going on around us. People need other people. Take the time to invest in someone outside of your circle. Let someone know that you care about them. Random acts of kindness are just that, to random. Don't be afraid to start a conversation with a complete stranger. What is the worst that can happen? Get out of your comfort zone. Be the light!

I have been mulling over this topic for a some time now. And wouldn't you know Pastor B "brought it" this past weekend at The Crossing! Throughout the entire message all I could hear were the lines of this song repeating, one of my favorites!


I see a generation
Rising up to take the place
With selfless faith, selfless faith

I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek!!!

Matthew 5:13-16
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Smooth Sailing

The days leading up to this mornings Infusion have been nerve wracking to say the least. I did my best to stay positive, but my nerves got the best of me.

I'm so elated though to report that everything went really well! I spoke with the Dr. before hand, and she went over everything with me explaining in detail the way things would be done. She also informed me that I am due for a PET scan to monitor my progress. So next Friday I head in to have that done! Prayers for much improvement!!!

I am so thankful that today went so smoothly and we had no problems. I am feeling 90% better than I did last time right after! I even felt well enough to enjoy a baked potato and frosty during my treatment;) I realize I will have a few rough days ahead of me. However, nothing like the nearly 2 weeks of needless suffering I endured last time! It is amazing how smoothly things can go and should go, when people simply read and follow the protocol!

Thanks to all for the continued support and endless prayers! You all rock!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Strength is Not My Own

The events of the last two weeks have taken me to some of the darkest places I have ever been. I found myself struggling to find the surface many times. But they have also brought some of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced!

It began the day of my last Chemo Infusion. Although nervous and anxious,I walked into the treatment room ready to get this done and over with. Long story short, they completely got my pre-meds wrong. They overdosed me and overloaded my system. I had a horrible, horrific and terrifying reaction. With every nurse in the place by my side and my Dr. kneeling in front of me, they shut off all meds. I lost my sight temporarily and had a host of other immediate effects. A while later I was able to complete the infusion and return home.Only to spend the next 7 days in bed or on the couch. I had side effect after side effect, which led me to dehydration and left me in desperate need of fluids! It was honestly the darkest place I have ever been. Satan was after me.

I finally was able to get out and enjoy some time by the ocean with my family! It was so wonderful and I slowly began to feel human again. It has literally taken me 2 weeks to recover. I am still not feeling like myself. But I am getting there:)Even in the darkest moments when the pain was too much to bear and fear and depression were knocking at the door, I could feel His presence covering me and shielding me. He was and is my strength!

I had amazing support during this time and people really stepped up to help out! So many blessings have come our way in the last two weeks! I am just totally blown away by God's love and provision in my life! He never fails to provide for us. We are forever grateful to everyone who has made our life easier and taken some of the burdens off of us!

I am scheduled this coming Thursday to recieve my next Chemo Infusion. Please join me in praying for a smooth and drama free appointment:)

The Task Ahead of You, Is Never as Great as the Power Behind You.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Good Grief Is Now Available!

The much anticipated release of "Good Grief" is here! It is now available for immediate download! This book came at the perfect time for me, my family and loved ones! I encourage everyone to purchase this VERY helpful guide! If you are watching a loved suffer through Cancer, the loss of a child or any other type of grief, this book will give tangible ways to offer support! And also things NOT to do or say:) How to get your best intentions across. And don't forget, for the first 4 months %50 of all proceeds will go directly to my treatment fund!

Buy Good Grief Here!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Only God Possible

I want to share something truly amazing with all of you! I'll try to keep it short;)

As most of you know, I was connected to Erica Mcneal through Gina. They met on the Recreate Cruise and Erica was made aware of my situation. So upon returning home we became acquainted through email. I learned Erica and Todd will be moving to this area in about 4 months and possibly attending our Church! Pretty crazy! They are interested in a neighborhood less than 5 minutes from us!

We finally made phone connections and learned that they would be coming down to house hunt and learn more about the area. We had the pleasure of having dinner with them Saturday night and meeting up at Church Sunday. It was soooo nice to finally meet face to face! It felt as though I had known Erica for years! You know how you can just have that connection with people? I can honestly say that Todd and Erica are two of the most incredible, selfless people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting!

After meeting us, God place some pretty huge, and only God possible goals on Erica's heart! She describes it best! So please check out the latest post from her on her blog. Its simply amazing and moves me to see what God is doing in all of our lives! To learn more about the goals God has placed on Erica's heart and her passions go to My TWO Passions – Too Much?

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Kind of Fairy Tale

Today was a great day, so many blessings packed into one day! Could have gone otherwise, had I given into my human instinct to crumble under the pressure of my circumstances. But I chose to make this day about my family!

Brian and I were able to upgrade our Busch Gardens passes to include Adventure Island! Courtesy of Mimi! I love our families! And I love living in Tampa;) Now, we knew given Sams love for the splash areas at Busch Gardens, that she would flip at the sight of Adventure Island! And she did! While driving in, she sees the ginormous slide and lets out a big "WOW"! Then after entering the park, we heard many times, WOW this is SO MUCH FUN! I cant say that I have ever seen her more excited! Except maybe when she met the Princesses at Disney World.

The most precious moment I think I have ever experienced came today, while we were swimming in the beach area. Samantha does alot of adorable things that make my heart smile on a daily basis. But today she nearly brought me to tears. Brian and I were talking, and just watching her have the time of her life. Out of the blue she swims over to us, wraps her little arms as wide as they would reach around both of our necks, looks at us and with the most grown up, yet innocent voice, and says "I love you guys"! Then gives mommy the biggest kiss ever, and next daddy! Then she turns and heads back to the ladder. We both just stared at each other in amazement! Best ever Parent moment by far!!!!!!!!

On a totally different note, I had to wear my trusty Gator ball cap all day to keep my nearly bald scalp from frying! After exiting the park and getting settled in the car, I took my hat off and looked in the mirror. The tears suddenly and out of nowhere came way too easily. When Brian got in the car, I told him it was time to shave it when we got home. A part of me wanted to hold onto every last strand. The rational part said, girl its just hair, and you look like an 80 yr old women LOL its got to go! So I sat down in the chair and Brian went to town with the clippers. I must say it was hard to watch the rest of my hair fall to the floor. But after he finished, I looked in the mirror and surprisingly still saw ME. I do however realize that most likely, for a long time I will do a double take every time I walk by a mirror:) I learned two things tonight. One being that I have a VERY very small head. The other being that its cold not having hair up there keep my head warm LOL! Sam told us that we (Brian and I) have the same hair now, but that she has different hair! Shes so cute, and for the most part could care less that Mommy has no hair. That's what I love about children. They don't even see the superficial and the exterior. They see to the heart of everyone. And all she sees is her mommy.

So today was just about perfect!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Praise Him in ALL Things

The following verses have been my rock and the inspiration in titling my Blog "Keep Singing" (plus the fact that music and singing are my passion). Their importance was again reiterated today, in hearing the remarkable message this morning at Church! Thank you Pastor Greg for the amazing deliverance of Gods word today!

Philippians 4:4-6

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The Message Version

4-5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

This was the "take away" or application of the message today.

The area of your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength!

Key: Trusting and believing in God's ability! God's great strength begins when your own strength ends!

There have been so many times when I needed God so desperately to step in and carry my burden, but I was too bitter, in too much pain, or too stubborn to just simply ask. While in TX, the night I was in such miserable pain, I lay in bed crying, having let the entire day go by without once asking God to intervene and deliver me from the pain, or even just to give me the strength to endure it. I know we all face times when we are so angry or hurt, that we cant even find the strength or will to pray. This night was one of those many times. But God knew my heart. He knew my inward desire to praise Him, even in the hopeless moments. Once I got to point were I could no longer stand it and cried out to Him, He stepped in and did what only He can do. I kid you not, within the hour I was able to relax and find enough peace and comfort to sleep. The next day we awoke and headed to beach because I felt human again! And God revealed some really beautiful things to me that day, and I was able to revel in the glory of His creation!

As soon as today's message becomes available online, I will post the link!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hair Loss and Other Atrocities

Cancer is a nasty beast...I hate to even say the word. But it does not define me nor will I be labeled a victim. I will get through this with the help of my family and friends and all those praying for me and lifting me up. And to those who may have negative things to say, please keep them to yourself. I am in the fight for my life, and ignorance is not something I have time to entertain. I choose to surround myself with positivity. I just simply have no desire for anything otherwise. I am so blessed to have the support system that I have. God is at work in my life. And I can't wait to see what he has for me. Thank you for understanding.

After my initial diagnosis, I used to think about death on a regular basis. I even imagined my own funeral. Had thoughts of not being here for my daughter and leaving her behind. I still occasionally have fleeting thoughts. But that's all they are, fleeting. They no longer consume me. I do not live in fear. I will not give Satan the opportunity to creep into my head in those weak moments. There have been times when I have verbally denounced him in Jesus name. He loves a weak heart.

There are days when I feel so vulnerable and I actually pity myself. But I have to quickly remind myself that I am still breathing, still living and have a future. Cancer does not have the upper hand here.

I never would have imagined myself having to pick out Wigs at the age of 30. I have spent hours on the Internet in search of the best options.
After finding hair all over the house, on my plate, on my pillow and everywhere you could imagine, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands. So today a sweet friend gave me the cutest bob. It may all be gone by this time next week. But in the mean time, I see no reason why I can't rock this cute do!

Simplicity is my middle name (well not literally LOL, it's Deanna). Vanity has never been an issue with me. So when I realized that despite all the positive thinking in the world and precautions, my hair was falling out, it didn't feel like the world was ending. In all honesty, here is my issue. Up until now, the average passerby would never know that I was "sick" or facing this. I looked perfectly healthy. People who never knew, were surprised to find out. But now because of the Chemo, I am losing my hair, which it turn makes me appear sick. I cant stand pity looks or talks, even though I realize people mean well. I don't want people looking at me thinking "oh you poor thing". I am still a confident, beautiful, fearfully made woman. Of course what woman wants to lose their hair? Don't think that I didn't almost pass out when 1/3 of my hair fell in the sink. Make no mistake, it is traumatic. But I will be just fine with or without it. And it will eventually come back. I just may look like my hubby for a while, minus the beard:)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Erica's Upcoming Book Release

Please be sure to check out my friend Erica Mcneal's book, which will be available in 10 days, June 11th! If you are going through, or have ever suffered a loss or been through any type of suffering, this is a must read! Good Grief Release Countdown

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CSCRB- To Better Explain Triple Negative Breast Cancer

I wanted to share something with everyone that was brought to my attention this past weekend by a new friend.

A friend of a friend who is a Photographer based out of Gainesville gifted our family with an amazing Photo shoot yesterday! She heard about my situation and offered her time and services to us. I gladly obliged and we were so blessed by her!

Her name is Elise Kersey and if you ever need any Pictures done, she is the best! During one of our phone calls prior to the shoot, she informed me of a fantastic group of women that she knows. They are a group of research scientists all UF Gator Alumni! They were not satisfied with the current research and treatment options available for women struck by Triple Negative Breast Cancer. So they formed a grass roots movement. And today, the organization works as a non-profit to support pioneering research initiatives that will create better treatment options for patients like me!

Its really astonishing how all of this came about! Gods hand and his fingerprints are everywhere! I urge you all to check this site out. There is a ton of info about TNBC. I get asked quite a bit what makes this type of scarcely unknown Cancer different from other Breast Cancer. Until I was diagnosed, I didn't know the difference either. I hope this helps everyone to better understand my situation!
Learn More About TNBC Here

Thank you all for your interest!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Home At Last

I never knew the true meaning of the phrase "Home Sweet Home" until recently.

Last Wednesday morning Brian and I walked into the Clinic for my appointment to receive my last infusion before returning home. During the pre visit with my Dr. I told her about a new symptom I was having, a painful sore in my mouth. After examining me, she was very concerned about going ahead with the infusion. She wanted me to see my Dentist and make sure that it wasn't my wisdom teeth coming in. Neither of us felt that was the true issue, but with the drug I would be receiving, any healing after surgery would be significantly slowed. So she suggested that I get cleared before continuing. By this time I was in tears, not to keen on the fact that things weren't going the way I had planned. She reassured me that everything would work out just fine and she was just looking out for me. She left and returned a few minutes later and informed us that she would prepare my discharge papers while we took care of last minute details. I was so surprised that I was being discharged that it overwhelmed me. I had planned on going back to the hotel that night and writing out all my questions I needed answered before heading home. Now I was at a complete loss as to what those questions were.

While the papers were being taking care of, Brian and I headed to my favorite (keep me sane) person Shirley to tie up loose ends as far as finances go. She has been the biggest blessing to us through this entire experience. When we went to settle things, we handed her the cash we had from donations and cleared out my bank account. She hesitated at first, when she saw the large stack of cash. After wiping out my account and all our cash we still owed over $2,000. She told us not to worry about it at this point. Such a huge relief! As of now I will be responsible for $4,500.00 a month for my Antineoplastons and other medications. The account is empty as of now and my parents have taken on a large amount as well. But we were able raise over $14,000 in the short month before heading out to the Clinic! God is providing and I believe that He will continue to do so. I just cannot express my appreciation enough to everyone who has helped out! We have some fundraisers in the works and will post them as they come up!

Thursday morning Brian and I checked out of the Hotel and headed back to the Clinic to hand out Thank You cards and say our goodbyes. It was very bittersweet! I was so happy to be going home to my baby, yet saddened by the fact that I was leaving these people who had made me feel so welcome and hopeful. Everyone was so wonderful to us! I became so spoiled by the one on one attention I received while there!

The drive home started out wonderful (insert sarcasm). Not even an hour into the drive we got pulled over! Not realizing that Brian had put my window down, and expecting the officer to walk up to the drivers side, I almost jumped out of my seat when he appeared out of nowhere at my window:) He was so polite and kind and only gave us a warning for following too closely. After that it was smooth sailing until Baton Rouge, which is always a madhouse! Then I had the bright idea to go home through New Orleans just to say we drove through. Well bad idea! Traffic Jam! After countless stops and traffic jams we FINALLY rolled into Duette at 2:30 AM Friday morning! Yes I said Duette. I forgot to mention half way through the trip, mom calls from our house and informs us that our AC is BROKE! SO Brian calls Air Rescue and they want $500 to fix it, after finding out what was wrong with it, he decided he could fix it himself. We spent the night at mom and dads and were there in the morning when Sam woke up! Best day ever! She was so excited to see us! She talked for 20 minutes straight! That afternoon Brian went and picked up the parts for the AC and fixed it. Yes my hubby is amazing! He can fix just about anything! That night my family had a "Welcome Home Princess Party" for mommy, as suggested by Samantha! Complete with princess cupcakes!

SO we are home and happy and have had a few days to spend with our baby girl! I have never missed someone so much in my entire life! I pray that I never have to leave her like that again! I head to the Dentist tomorrow to make sure that I'm clear as far as wisdom teeth go. If I get the all clear, then its to my Dr. here Wed and we start back on the treatment schedule!

I have attached some pictures of the wonderful people who helped to make my stay in Houston bearable! And from my Princess Party as well!

Shirley and I

All the wonderful ladies that greeted us each morning

The truly awesome Treatment Room Nurses. Janna is on my right and Laura is on my left! Those of you who know me, will get the significance!

My sweet nurse Anna on the left, and my Amazing Dr, Dr. Larisa on the right.

Welcome Home!

Mommy and the most precious girl in the world!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Back From My Hiatus

In the last several days I have experienced highs and lows that you would not believe. Since my last post on Wed I have seen some rough moments.

Thursday morning I went in to receive my first Chemo Infusion. The most dreaded of all my treatments! I had a calm feeling and everything seemed to be going OK. My Dr. even suggested a Cold Cap to me. I had never heard of this prior. It basically works to constrict the blood vessels in the scalp to detour the chemo from destroying the hair follicle. They have had quite a bit of success with it. My infusion only lasts for 30 min (thank goodness) so I thought, what could it possibly hurt? If I lose my hair, I lose it. But it wont be for lack of trying! Positive thinking! So we placed this 22 degree (helmet) on my head and began the infusion. The nurses in the treatment room are some of the most kind and compassionate women I have ever met! They assured me that I would do just fine. Once my nurse got me all hooked up, she turns to me and says OK your going. I had a brief moment of panic! I'm sure Brian thought oh my here we go lol! My head immediately went into my hands and I could feel myself losing it. But just as quickly as it came, it was gone. Just an unbelievable peace came over me. 3o minutes was up before I knew it and I was free to go!

I felt great that night and all day Friday. Sat, however was a very tough day for me. I had read that the side effects sometimes don't creep in until day 2 or 3. Well it was day 2 and I was feeling as though I had been run over in the middle of the night! My back, hips and legs felt like I was carrying 5 ton bricks on each leg. SO painful and hard to get moving. I suddenly felt like a 90 yr old women. Had quite a bit of tummy pain. But I never did suffer any nausea! Which was honestly my biggest fear. THANK goodness for that! Saturday Brian had planned to take me to the beach. Every hour he would ask, Babe do you feel like going? We never made it. I did good to get out of bed and to the couch all day. Sunday brought a better day. Still stiff and in severe pain, I was able to walk downstairs and eat breakfast. We watched Church online and afterwards, we decided to head to the beach! It was worth it! While Galveston pales in comparison to our pristine Fl beaches, it was still the ocean, and I was sooo happy to be there! Right after we arrived, I got to witness a beautiful thing, the most precious boy with special needs about 14 arrived with his dad. He was so overwhelmed by the pure joy of the ocean! He didn't stop screaming for joy or running from the moment he arrived until they left! So amazing to see! It made my heart smile!

Today brought a whole new day as well. My tummy is feeling much better and my back and leg pain seem to be slowly subsiding. I haven't been able to walk without a limp since Sat. But I feel that by the end of the week, I should be back to myself. All in all if a couple of bad days are all I have to endure the next couple of months each treatment, I think I can handle this. I was so afraid that I would be completely useless and need someone to help me take care of Sam. I may need help for a couple of days, but for the most part, I should have no problem being her mommy and fulling my mommy duties!

I met with my Dr. today who once again shared the good news that she had spoken with my Dr. back home. She was very pleasantly surprised by her conversation with him and so happy to tell us that he would be more than happy to do whatever I needed! So I no longer have to worry about finding a Dr at home to continue my treatment. I felt all along that he would be accommodating! Such a HUGE blessing! I had some blood work done today and I am good to go for my last infusion here on Wed morning. This will just be the gene targeted therapy, not chemo. I will return Thursday morning, and if no problems, I am free to go!!!!!!!! So we are planning on driving home Thursday or Friday! I cant wait to wrap my arms around the most beautiful and precious girl in the world! I have missed her more than I ever thought possible! Sykpe has been such a blessing! But just not the same as a hug!

I hope this brings everyone up to date. I have attached some photos of the clinic and my days to give everyone a little insight to my time here in Houston!

This is as I was receiving my first infusion last Wed.

My Chemo Infusion, with my lovely helmet!

The Clinic

The beautiful garden area downstairs. Very relaxing!

The Beach at Galveston

I found my HAPPY place!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Day At A Time

Hi everyone it's 11:17 here in Houston. I should be sleeping, but I'll get there! Yesterday I returned to the Clinic. Everyone was pleasantly surprised to see me! Things went smoothly. I received my first injection for the bones mets. No complications what so ever. Made a trip to good ole Walmart last night to stock the kitchen. Then headed out to a spot we found last time we were here. It's called City Centre. Right down the road from the clinic. Its the most perfect little courtyard square surrounded by shops, restaurants and such. It's my place while I am here:) I think its essential to my sanity to have found something here I enjoy. They have a beautiful fountain and 3 fire pits in the turf covered courtyard. Its so fun to watch kids play and have a great time! I know my Sam would just love it! We found the best smoothie shop. Red Mango. So yummy and so good for us!

Today we had a great breakfast here at the Hotel before heading to the clinic. Arrived at the clinic at 9. Had some delays, but finally got my infusion going around 12:30. Aside from some grogginess due to the benedryl, I have had no side effects whatsoever! Brian made us some yummy Scetti tonight as Sam calls it:)

Tomorrow has the potential to be a rough one. But I am trusting that given the smoothness of all the other events thus far during our stay, that tomorrow will be no different. I am human however, and struggling and wrestling a bit tonight with my infusion many things can happen. Could have no side effects, or could have tons. I am just so uneasy right now. I have done really well thus far, and plan on continuing, but the fear of the unknown is getting to me. Please continue to pray for peace for me. I pray that God will continue to place a hedge of protection around me! I am really learning to take it one day at a time! He has new mercies for me with each morning that dawns! As a good friend said to me tonight, I have the greatest healer & miracle maker on my side....stay strong & watch God work ;) That is just what I plan on doing! I plan on taking some pics of the clinic and our favorite spot this weekend so everyone can get a glimpse of my experience! Love you all and am so grateful to have such amazing support!!! Good night friends~!

Monday, May 16, 2011

We Have Arrived

We arrived at our Hotel about an hour ago! We made really great time. Our room is absolutely FANTASTIC and has been completely taken care of for our stay!!!! We have been so blessed! A big heartfelt Thank You! It feels like home and I will be so comfortable here for the next two weeks! Please pray that our Appt. goes smoothly tomorrow. Pray that I will continue to experience the peace that I feel now. Thank you for all the prayers sent our way today! The drive was not nearly as long as I was expecting. Got to see some new parts of the country:) I will update everyone tomorrow with any new info we get! Thanks again and goodnight to all!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let The Healing Begin

As is obvious, I have been MIA for a few days. My mind has been overwhelmed and inundated with thoughts, fears, and what ifs, as the day we head back to TX approaches. Not to mention the ever growing list of things to get done. It took me to the later part of the week to gather myself together and focus on what lies ahead. Through much prayer and support, I am now focused and ready to get this show on the road. While still apprehensive about drug side affects and the fear of the unknown, I realize its time for healing to begin so I can get home and be the mommy my little girl deserves for yrs to come! This is only temporary. I believe God has set my foot on this path and will not lead me astray.

After spending as much time with my baby girl as possible, and fighting back the tears, I dropped her off at my parents tonight. She is aware that Mommy and Daddy will be gone to a place called TX for a while. And she will get to take lots of naps at Noni and Papas! All she asked was that we bring her back a surprise:) I couldn't get enough hugs and kisses tonight! I already miss her something fierce!

God has been providing in a HUGE way! We have been able to raise a large amount of funds through donations and a fundraiser! I cant thank everyone who has donated there time and gifts enough! Your generosity astounds me! Before we leave to return home in the next 2 weeks, we will responsible for a very large sum of money. There are fundraiser in the works. If anyone has any ideas as far as fundraisers go, I am open to suggestions! We are still waiting on the results of one test. It should be back tomorrow. Brian and I are driving all day tomorrow. It will take about 16 hrs. We should arrive in TX around midnight. My apt. is Tues morning at 10:30. As soon as we learn more details, I will update.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Don't Waste Your Cancer (John Piper)

I am so astonished looking back on the timeline of my life, and realizing just how awesome our God truly is! He knows the events of our life and when they will happen before we ever see them coming. The things that we count as "happenstance" are never the case. He plants people and circumstances in our paths for a very specific reason. He prepares us.

Nearly 5 years ago Brian and I were sitting in a small Bible Study group in Ga. at the Church that we had grown to love. Our group leaders David and Brenda Martin, whom we adore, had brought in an article by John Piper for the group to read over and discuss. We had done previous studies of his. I remember thinking, how will this ever apply to me? It was called, get ready for this "Don't Waste Your Cancer" by John Piper! As it turned out, it was a very compelling story of this mans journey with Cancer, and how he chose to thank God for his Cancer and use it to glorify him.

I am so grateful that God saw fit that we enter the doors of that amazing Church and join the class that these two wonderful people were leading!I know without a doubt looking back, that I was meant to hear this mans extraordinary story. Because it in turn would change the way I look at my own Cancer. I do not look at this Cancer as a curse. Rather I see it as an opportunity to reach out to God, seek after Him like never before, and glorify Him in every part of my life! I am by no means perfect, and struggle daily to be the person that He desires of me. But I am seeking Him desperately and want nothing more than for Him to reveal Himself to me and others through this trial.

Please check out the article from John Piper below.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Child Like Faith

How many times have we all desired to have faith like a child?

I can remember being a child and believing anything and everything anyone told me. Never questioning, just believing it for the truth. This takes me back to a time when my sister and I were visiting our close childhood friends, two brothers our age. Our moms were the best of friends. Everyone was outside enjoying the afternoon, when us kids must have been grating on their nerves, because they informed us that if we dug deep enough we could dig to China:) So we began digging! Another time the boys dad, who was like our Uncle, threw a ton of pennies in the yard and told us that the yard was a gold mine. He said if we found all of them, we would be rich! Well you know what we spent hours doing! A few years later it finally clicked that they were obviously just trying to keep us kids busy, but how funny is that? That we would just automatically take it for the truth?

This brings me to my point. I know we all remember being that naive child falling for anything. Just believing and never questioning. So many times in my journey I have had to just allow myself to be that child again. Not questioning God, just trusting in him. That is ultilmately what he desires of us. I have come to a very real conclusion. We spend too much time trying to impress God. Trying to say the right thing, pray the right way, act the right way. Now of course God deserves the utmost praise, glory and honor. But His desire for us is to just trust Him. Let Him lead, guide and direct us. When we follow Him all the other things fall into place. Nothing pleases Him more than for us to just give into Him and believe Him for what He says He will do.

I recently finished one of the most amazing books! "Heavan Is For Real". A truly inspiring and convincing book written about a little boys journey to Heaven. A true testament to what it means to have the faith of a child. I encourage everyone to read this little boys account of what he witnessed in Heaven!

Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fundraiser Success!

I continue to be astounded by those who love and support me, and also by those that I do not even know personally who have blessed me greatly! The Yardsale was a HUGE success! It was started at 7, and at 2 o'clock people were still coming by! I heard several say they have never seen such a great turnout for a Yardsale. I was simply amazed at the love and support shown by those of my home church. People that have known me my entire life, there supporting me 150%! I am one blessed girl.

Ongoing Online Fundraising
I wanted to make everyone aware of some other Online Fundraisers that are ongoing. I have placed links to all. You can find them on the left hand side of this blog.

The first is a Thirty One Party! My dear friend Jayme is a consultant for this wonderful Faith based company. She had the brilliant idea to have a Thirty One Fundraiser! I will recieve 100% of all the proceeds which is 25% of all sales for my treatment fund! Check the link for details and shopping!

Secondly, a sweet friend from High School makes handmade Jewelry. She offered to make some special pink peices for my cause. She is very talented and her jewelry is beautiful. All of the proceeds will benefit my treatment fund. The link is also provided.

Thirdly, a friend from church that I grew up is friends with an amazing local Photographer. During the next two weeks she will be giving my friends, family, and any compassionate strangers the chance to help ease my financial burden by donating $50 to enter a photo contest. 100 % of the money collected will be given to my cause at the completion of the contest! See also the link provided.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fundraiser This Weekend in Riverview!

Good Thursday to everyone!

We have one of our first Fundraisers coming up this weekend. If you love Yardsales and live in the Tampa area or close vicinity, then come on out!

My dearest friend and some close friends from my home church will be having a benefit yardsale to raise funds for my treatment! Please feel free to come out!

When: Saturday April 30th 7:30 AM to 2PM

Where: 11920 Sugarberry Dr.
Riverview, Fl 33569

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finding Hope & Healing In Houston

To say the last few days have been overwhelming would be an understatement. What was supposed to be exciting and informative quickly turned to unsettling and confusing.

We arrived in Houston Sunday night after a rough flight. Both of us ended up getting just a couple hours of sleep. My consultation was the following morning at 10. We arrived and were greeted by the most accomodating people. Taken to the 2nd floor and given a detailed intinerary for the day.

First my vitals were taken. Then we met with My main Dr., Dr. Larisa. She was warm and kind and seemed genuinely concered for me. She spent about an hour going over my history in detail with us. After gathering all my information she left the consult room to confer with Dr. Burzynski, Dr. Gregory Burzynski and My Oncologist Dr.Valladares. We were expecting her to return within 15 minutes. 45 minutes later the previously mentioned Dr.'s entered the room. Dr. Burzynski spoke to us in detial, looking us straight in the eye the entire time. There was alot of information to take in and so many questions to be asked. In short, he is very confident that given the fact that I have had no previous treatment that would have compromised my health, and am in considerably good health otherwise, he fully expects me to recover from this and not have to face it again in the future.

First and foremost there is a myriad of tests that have to be done. The test that will take the longest to get results will take 2 to 3 weeks. He has a proposed treatment plan and list of medications for me. However he wants to gather all the information from the test as to make sure that he is not giving me unnecessary drugs. It is of the utmost importance to him that he do the best thing for me. All of my bloodwork was done yesterday. When I return home I will need to have an MRI of the brain. Once he recieves all of my results, he will then decide which regimen best fits me.

When I return in appox. 2 to 3 weeks, I will be staying for 10 to 14 days. In that time they will begin my treatment here. Monitor me and slowly up the dosage to the desired and tolerable amount.

The test alone are ridulously expensive. Some hopefully will be covered by Medicaid. Others we will be responable for. Between the money issue and the aggresive treatment plan, we were overwhelmed. We needed sleep and food. So we decided to go back to our Hotel and think about it and sleep on it.

This day was filled with more tears and emotions than I was prepared to deal with. I have only experienced these kind of feelings one other time, when my closest and dearest friend was killed in a car accident. It was too much to take. I was hoping to come and get the answers I wanted and that they would be obvious. This didn't happen. I was crushed and felt defeated. I have a tendancy of setting my expectations too high in situations. I wrestled for a while back and forth, trying to get everyones opinion and make the right decision. But ultimately it's my decision, and it came down to this, I HAVE CANCER, and its a very aggresive type of cancer that is not slowing down. If I dont do this, by body will fail me. This cancer has to be delt with aggresivly and swiftly. And I fully believe that this man wants me well. And has the best plan to accomplish it.

So after much prayer on my part and the part of countless freinds and family, plus much needed sleep, I awoke to a new morning and a new heart. I lost the peace I had temporarily, but it was restored with the morning. The crazy thing is I awoke Tues. morning with the song "You Never Let Go" in my head. Funny how that works:) We returned to the clinic that morning to move forward. As we walked in Dr. Larisa welcomed us and when she saw me and realized I was back, she let out the biggest sigh of relief and said to me "Oh thank goodness you've returned"! At that moment I knew that these people, without a doubt really cared about ME and getting ME well. Eveything from that moment on went so smoothly.

I was able to start on the first medication, the Antineoplastons Tues. We extended our stay one more night so that they could monitor me and make sure that I would have no side effects. If no effects then we are free to return home Wed. Our flight leaves at noon.

This is not going to be easy and I am bound to have really tough times ahead of me. But I know this is what must be done to ensure that I am here for my daughter! So although I am scared to death about what the future holds as far as treatment, I know God has never and will never leave my side. So I am putting my big girl pants on, placing my trust in Him, and we are going to get this done! I WILL get through this and come out the other side healed and better for it! So keep up the encouraging words please! They will help to get me through what lies ahead! I love you all and am so thankful that you allow me to share this journey with you!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Donation Info

I wanted to update everyone on the Donation situation. We have created a separate account in my name with Suntrust Bank, specifically for my Treatment Fund. We wanted to give everyone another option in addtion to the Pay Pal option. For those who may not be comfortable doing a transaction online. I will provide the account name and our mailing address for those interested in donating this way. Thanks so much for the support! If anyone has any questions regarding this, please email me at

Account Name: Kelli Kremkau

Mailing Address:
6912 Waterbrook Ct.
Gibsonton, Fl 33534

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Power of Thought

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

I have heard this all my life, but never really applied it until recently.
It is a known fact that stress kills. Stress, anxiety and depression will take over your life. It will rob you of true happiness. I know because I have lived this. At one time anxiety controled every part of my life. Every moment of the day I allowed it to take over me. I may have been good at hiding it most of the time, but those who knew me well, knew that I was suffering. I always believed that it was just the way I was made, and I would be this way forever. Its not easy for me to speak about these things. But I know alot of people struggle with these things daily. And being open and honest about it here keeps me accountable.

I lived this way for many years. I wanted so deeply and more than anything to give it up to God to let it all go, to just be that carefree sprit that I saw in so many of my friends. To just change my thought process. And many times I tried desperately. But until recently my attempts were to no avail. It was only until I was so completely exhausted and worn down, crying, screaming out to God, that it happened for me. I finally said, Ok God this is bigger than me and I can't take this anymore. When someone tells you have Cancer it changes things. It can stir up a fear inside that makes all the other fears seem so miniscule. I was at the end of my rope. So that night I turned it over to Him. I really let Him take it from me. This is not mine to carry. Why should I think that He can't handle my circumstance? He holds the world in His hands. It was then and only then that I felt a weight lifted off me. A weight that I had been carrying for far to long.

Ok so I went off on a little tangent there:) The point of this post is to share how my thought process caused me to endure things brought on by stress that could have been avoided if I'd only learned to filter my thoughts. Alot of times I was a negative nelly, debbie downer. I tried to convince myself I wasn't, but hey I was. I would get into this habbit of thinking the absolute worst in every situation. If we focus on the negitives enough, those things will come to pass.

I have learned to really filter everything that comes into my mind. If its even remotely negitive, before I even entertain it, I shut it out. Leave it there. It's hard and you have to train yourself to think this way. But I promise when you learn how to do this, the everyday things that seem so heavy and impossible will fall away. It sounds so silly and simple, but just think happy thoughts. Focus on the blessing in your life. For instance the fact that you are breathing. The fact that you can feel the warmth of the sun on your face. The list goes on. We all face trials and go through hard times. But its the way that we respond to those things thats builds our character.

So see, your thought process has such a huge impact of the quality of your life. So next time that negitive thought tries to creep in, block it out. And move on to positive thoughts. Positive thoughts yeild positive results. Your body and your spirit will thank you. Not to mention those around you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Give Your Body a Fighting Chance

When you hear the word diet, what usually comes to mind? I know for me I always associated it with fads or losing weight. There is always some new "diet" or way to get skinny quick scheme that usually ends up doing more harm than good. This is the accurate definition of "Diet": (a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person's physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease.) When it becomes more about a lifestyle and less about being thin or losing wieght, thats when it sticks. Losing weight is just an added bonus!

My closest and dearest friend has always been so health conscious. Even in High School she always had the healthiest lunches. I would be eating fries with ranch dressing and she would have her salad and a water. I used to poke fun at her constantly. Well let me just say that I now enjoy me some salad and water!

How did I get there? Well it didn't happen over night. I have been aware for years that my diet was not what it should be. I love me some sugar and have a hard time living without my soda! But I realize that in order for my body and mind to become healthy and function the way it was meant to, I must put the right things into my body.

After my diagnosis in 2009 I became acutley aware that something needed to change. I made some changes, but didn't stick with it the way I should have. Here's the thing that we have to realize it can't just be a fad or a temporary thing. If we want to get serious about being healthy and feeling good, it MUST become a way of life. I don't clame to have it all figured out. And there are some days when I sneek a little....just a little!

There are many different ideas out there regarding the right way, and the right things to eat. I have done my research and have taken ideas from a couple different diets. One is called the "Gerson Therapy" and the other is "The Hallejuah Diet". Both of these are centered around the idea that in the begining we were given specific instructions as to what to eat. If you need a reference, here you go (Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.Genisis 1:29) I'm sorry to say, but there is nothing in there about Cinnabons and Ho Ho's:) You have no idea how tough it is for me to walk past the sweets isle in the store. All I want to do is rip those twinkies off of the shelf. But I speak from experience when I say this, once we start eating the fruits and veggies and things that we were meant to eat, our bodies tend not to crave that stuff. Some of us can eat horribly all our lives and be lucky enough to be in great health. Others like myself can't get away with that. And I've come to realize that there are more important things in life than getting my sugar fix:)

Like I said previously, I am a work in progress and don't always make it through the day without caving just a bit. But I would say that I am well on my way to getting where I need to be. I'm rather proud of myself and hope to convince my husband that is the best way to acheive optimal health. He actually called me the other night with the hopes that I would talk him out of going to Wendys after work and just have a salad. He did good. Drove right past Wendys and came home with a salad! It's not an easy change. For some it has to be gradual. But for me it had to be more drastic. I have all intentions of making this a way of life for me and my family. The saying is true "If you want to get good out, you must put good in".

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Acknowledging His Presence

I have been finding myself at a loss for words constantly this weekend. God has revealed Himself to me in SO many ways in the last 48 hrs. I know I shouldn't be so suprised at His ability to be in everything, everywhere. But He just keeps blowing me away. I have been blessed beyond belief. I have seen things that could only be by the work of His hand, heard things that I know where His words meant for Me.

The elders of the Chruch prayed over me this morning, which was moving to say the least. Then our incredable Pastor gave one of the most affirming messages I have ever heard. Pastor Greg never ceases to amaze me with his ability to bring God's word. I leave that place every week feeling like God is speaking directly to me. But today was just crazy (for lack of a better term)! I am having a hard time taking it all in honestly. I have this excitement and enthusiasim for life and God that I have never felt before. I can't explain it. I just feel Him all around me. The things that I once feared the most are no longer even so much as a passing thought. The things that seemed to be such a big deal, are now so trivial.

I'm learning that it's so important to praise God not only when we're on top of the mountain, but equaly as important to praise him and glorify him in the valley, in the dessert, through the storm. He is our Hope! Our only Hope! He can do the impossible, we just have to believe Him for it. If we surrender to Him and give it all over to Him, he will bless us in ways we could never of imagined. Give us new eyes! He ultimately gets all the glory, and we get the blessing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fund Raising and General Info

We have had an outpouring of Fund Raiser ideas! I wanted to let everyone know what our plan is as far as that goes and "The Plan" in general. Brian and I will be heading out Easter Sunday to Houston. My consultation is Monday. I've been informed that if I choose to, I may be able to stay and begin my 3 week treatment stay in Houston. However the initial cost to cover all my geneitc testing and initial treatment is around $15,000. We want to make sure we are able to cover it before I plan to stay. I would obviously like to begin ASAP, but I think it makes more sense to get all the information we need, come home and get some fund raisers going and make sure certian things are taken care of. Brian needs to inform work of his plans and I need to make sure that my mom is well enough to care for Samantha while I am gone. She just had spinal surgery 3 and a half weeks ago and is fighting Pneumonia right now. So I dont want to overload her. Brian will plan to stay with me for the first week, and my sister is planning to come out for a week also. Once my initial treatment in Houston is over I will return home with my medication that will be administered daily. We won't know how long I may have to be on treatment. It all depends on how well I respond. It could be as short as 4 months or up to a year. As far as cost goes it could be anywhere from $4,000 a month to $11,000. Altogether total treatment may run anywhere from around $50,000 to upwards of $150,000, depending on the length and intensity of treatment. We will have a much better idea once we return from my consultation and will pass that info along. Once again I dont even know how to express my gratitude for all of your support! I love you all and feel totaly blessed!

How To Disable Music Player

Hi Everyone!
First of all thank you for the overwhelming response! I am blown away by your support! I wanted to let everyone know that if you are having trouble watching any of the videos due to the background music, simply go to the very bottom of the page and click pause on the Music Player. It is set to automatically play, but you have the option to pause it. Hope that helps!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Clinic Tour and Patient Cases

My Anthem

The Road That Led Me Here

As most of you know, I was diagnosed with Tripple Negative Breast Cancer in 2009. I had surgery in Oct of that year and recovered with great results followed by great results at all of my 6 month check ups. That was until the last one. Some of my blood work came back abnormal and I had what seemed to be something more than scar tissue show up. After many many test and endless waiting it has been determined that it has returned. I met with my Oncologist today to go over the results of my PET scan and Bone Scan. It appears it has spread to 4 axillary nodes and the mammary node. There is also a suspicious spot on my right hip at the top of my pelvic bone. Now before you start to feel sorry for me, please dont:) I still feel great, and although this is not good news my faith has not wavered and has only grown stronger! I believe God has a plan for me, and through his divine providence I will eventually realize what that plan is.

My Dr. was very upfront with us and told us that if I follow the available treatment plan, the Cancer would almost always return. Given the aggressive form of Cancer I have. In all honesty I dont have much faith in conventional Cancer treatment, especially with the diagnoses I was given. I believe God has a better way. And I believe I am on the right road to finding healing. A few months back I "stumbled" upon something that I believe was meant to be. It was an eye opening documentry of an amazing Dr. in Texas who has perfected a treatment for Cancer. I have done extensive research and soul searching and believe this is the place for me. They have sucessfully cured many people with Cancer and women in my situation. I cant explain the peace and knowing that this is right, but it just is. I am completely convicted that this is the road I should take. My family and close friends are on board and support me 200 percent.

The treatment is costly and not all insurance covers it. But it pales in comparison to conventional treatment, being about one fifth of the cost of conventional treatment . It is a FDA approved clinical trial as of this year. Brian and I will be heading to Texas for a consultation with 20 plus Drs. Monday April the 25th to go over all of my previous records and test results. Once I agree to treatment I will head back to Texas where I will stay for 2 to 3 weeks to began my treatment. Once again it is very costly and most all of the funding with be coming out of pocket which we dont have, but I believe God will provide.

This is a journey I never thought I would have to take. But in the midst of what many would consider a tragedy, I feel completely at peace. Through this I feel like I have been given new eyes. I view life very different now. I plan on continuing to give God all the glory through this process. Without my faith in Him and his guidence I would be a lost sheep. Thank you all for the relentless prayers and thoughts. You will never know what your support means to me. I feel so blessed to be surounded by such amazing family and friends. I love you all!