Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 271

I'm Back!!!
I’m back and ready to stay at least for a little while. First Minnesota then California, what was I thinking? I had some great fun with a little pain but man it was totally worth it. I feel like I’m living again! On the road and flying about the country is liberating. Excuse me "normal life", Here I Come! As you read in the last post Minnesota was very enjoyable. Spending time with our family is always a special treat and I can’t wait for them to come here and visit us in the summer. We were only home for one night between Minnesota and California so it was crazy packing. When we left Minnesota it was snowing and when we got to California the sun was shining with gusto so out came the sunscreen! It was fantastic until the clouds came and sent us running back to our hotel in our ponchos! Can you picture all of us in orange and white ponchos running through the rain to the tram? It was quite a sight to see. The sun did come out for one glorious day and we enjoyed every minute of it…my red cheeks and nose are proof! It was so much fun reconnecting with my cousin and her daughter. When you visit California you can’t miss a certain theme park sporting mouse ears can you? I was feeling good for the first two days but then the third day my weak legs couldn’t walk without pain searing through my body so guess what I got to do? Use an electronic scooter! I was so embarrassed that I wanted to stay behind but I did get my party in the fast lane a couple times so by the end of the day I was the superhero of the lines. The most wonderful thing about Minnesota and California besides family was I didn’t need to go into the hospital or need emergency meds at all! God sure gave me a gift these last couple weeks. I still haven’t needed to go into the hospital for nausea or dehydration so is this the turning point we have all been waiting for? Please pray with me that I have weathered the nausea and dehydration storm and God has healed my body completely. Thank you Lord for safety on our trips with lots of laughter and fun!

On to another note, March 16th was the one year anniversary of my diagnosis. I know! Can you believe it? One year ago I was a woman seeking what to do next in life and BAM! I had a stage 3 rare aggressive breast cancer that could have taken my life at 24 years old. I feel the need to celebrate life! How would you celebrate life? Get a tattoo? Go skydiving? Buy my dream car? Take a trip around the world? Buy a house? I am at a loss at how to celebrate that I am alive and well. I am still in shock that I had my life flipped upside down but didn’t God do a miracle in the midst of a tragedy? He sure held us in His mighty hand through each trial and triumph. I want to do something amazing with my life….God saved me for a reason right? I guess I am wondering what my next step should be. What course do I take now? Where is God leading me? I am so ready to live yet I’m a little afraid. What if I can’t do what I used to? What if I don’t regain what I have lost? All I know is I have survived cancer and that I have more to do in this lifetime…I just have to wait and see where my path leads me.

Thanks for keeping me close to your heart in thoughts and prayer.

Love Always,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 270

How can being on vacation with your family wear you out? Isn’t vacationing supposed to be relaxing and rejuvenating? Well maybe not our family vacations. Between running through the house being the scary dragon to my niece and nephew, dancing to the Footloose soundtrack with my sister in the living room and walking on a frozen lake with my daring husband….I call that…FUN with a dash of ADVENTURE! I’m so happy when I spend time with family and friends my heart and mind heal…my body may take a bit longer but praise God that my soul is healing!

I wanted to share the news with you! I hope you think it is as exciting as I did when I heard it. My Muga heart scan came back perfect so that means no damage was done to my heart from medications or procedures. I would like to think other parts of me haven’t been damaged either and I have faith God has kept me safe. Also…..drumroll please…… last PET scan came back CLEAR! No signs of cancer from the tip of my nose to the bottom of my toes. Isn’t that wonderful? I sure think so! I am officially cancer free and hope to stay that way for at least my 5 year goal of freedom from such a horrible affliction. And what a great way to celebrate a clean scan by going on a trip with my loved ones?

This week I also get to spend more time with family and that means more healing for my wounded soul and more laughter to tone my abs….doesn’t that count as exercise? It does in my book! Come on and join me and laugh your way to swimsuit season! Family is what counts, it keeps me going, it keeps me from giving up. How could I let my husband down by not greeting him at the door when he gets home from work? How can I let my niece down and not spin her around and around like a ballerina until both of us are so dizzy we look like bobbleheads? How can I let my nephew down and not cart him around in a Tupperware bin that he calls a “train”? How can I let my mom and dad down and not be the bossy first born….someone has got to be! I have to be Sarah…the girl everyone can count on and rely on to be there for each need. I want to be there. I need to be there. I don’t want cancer to take away my ability to be there for my family. No way in deed. I will be the cheerful greeter, the dragon, the train conductor, and of course the bossy first born. I will always be there for my family because my family will always be there for me.

Love Always,

Vacation....oh how I love vacations!

We are heading to the airport now in MN going home to good ol Seattle! Lord please keep us all in your hand of protection as we travel home today. We had so much fun visiting family and friends. I will post pictures soon of all the fun we had. Thanks for keeping Kirk, my family and me in your prayers this last week.
Love Always,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


As I sit writing to you I am holding on by a thread battling with nausea. I know it has been a long war with this enemy called nausea and I am at the mercy of God to keep me strong. I ask my family to pray when these waves of sickness come upon me and today my mother reminded me of something. My mom and dad are avid prayers for their daughters and I am so glad to have them in my corner of the ring. My mom prayed that no one knows my body better than God does. I know that but somehow it rings truer today. She prayed that even though she carried me in her womb she doesn’t have the know-how to what is hurting my body. She prayed that even though the doctors can do hundreds of scans and tests even they don’t have the know-how to what is hurting my body either. Only my Heavenly Father does and I have faith He will heal me when the time is right. Oh Lord let the time be near! I hold the Bible close to my heart and think of all the people Jesus healed just by words or by touch. God is bigger than this nausea and if I suffer I know God is suffering too with me and for me. As much as my earthly father yearns for my healing and strength I know my Heavenly Father wants me not to hurt even more.

I can’t remember where I heard this but I wanted to share it with you. A woman asks “Why do bad things happen to good people? Doesn’t God care?” She is answered with a story. If we were walking together and you fell and hurt yourself, did I mean for you to get hurt and want you to be in pain or would I stop, bring you to your feet and help you recover? That is what God does in our relationship. He walks with us each step and when we stumble or in my case… fall off a cliff; He doesn’t leave our side. He simply gathers us up in His arms and helps us heal; hour by hour, day by day, month by month or year by year. Only God can tell us when our hurting will cease but don’t you think it is amazing that He sticks with us through thick and thin. He is my rock in my storms…I hope He is yours.

Love Always,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 269

Okay you know how swimsuit shopping is meltdown island for every woman? Try trying on swimsuits in my situation. I have the opportunity to go on a trip with my family and there is a pool and I am not going to let my cousin down and not join her swimming. But truthfully I felt so embarrassed trying on these tops that you can see scars from my port, scars from lymph node dissection and each side, darker skin lines from radiation and not to mention my four tattoo marks from radiation. I just felt very ugly and different. I hope in the future these feelings will change and I will learn to put the blinders on when it comes to my body but I want to love my body and not hide it. I want to be a sexy 25 year old that doesn’t wear a turtleneck swimsuit that goes down to my knees…my mother and father might be happier if I did plus I wouldn’t have to use so much sunscreen…look there’s light at the end of this tunnel! I just wish my body didn’t look like such a war zone and I felt comfortable in my own skin. God has the power to change my way of thinking and how I look at myself…anyway, isn’t it inside beauty that really counts?

I wanted to update my prayer request list a little differently tonight. I recently went to a counselor and I wrote down some things that have been twirling in my head and I wanted to share them with you so we can all be very specific in our prayers. Here it goes:

Independence. I need independence something fierce. I haven’t been able to drive because of the pain cocktail and it has really taken a toll on me mentally. I want to get out on the road just me and the Jetta.

Complete healing for nausea. This back and forth, wishy washy game needs to come to a close. God please intervene and take a stand for me. Heal my stomach or whatever is causing this horrible nausea.

Energy and Strength. My body needs to remember I’m on the mend and get well fast. Everything seems to be on the slow track from weak to strong but with prayer (…and the Wii Fit) it all can change!

Business Woman. Pray for the ability to start and upkeep my business. I need the drive and confidence to run a small business and I want to be proud of it. Also I need God’s creativity to rain down on me.

Expectations. I expect so much from myself and when I can’t achieve my goals I feel like I am a failure and don’t give myself grace. I let myself down and I don’t forgive myself. God let me let it all go.

Memories. Our apartment reminds me of having cancer and being sick in each and every room. We need God to set something in our laps (house/apt.) so I can heal in peace without painful memories.

So that’s the first six I could think of. Please pray with me and for me. I know I am not alone in this fight. I have many friends and family cheering me on and it comforts my soul. God please ease my troubled mind and hear these prayers. Your word says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that You did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love and of a sound mind. I will hold You to it God because I do not need to be fearful but I do need to have love and a sound mind.

Love Always,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 268

Yesterday was a complete and total nightmare. As we were headed down to Seattle yesterday for Sarah's heart scan, she began to feel very nauseous. While we were in the waiting room, Sarah ran to the bathroom and threw up. Because she was so sick they gave her something to help her nausea. Sarah didn’t get almost any relief from that, but decided to carry on with the MUGA scan anyway. I am sure it took a lot of strength, but my sweet girl composed herself and laid still for the scan for about a half an hour. Finally she was done with the scan and we headed home. Once home I started her on two different anti-nausea medications and after a while she started to feel better.

This morning we are headed down to SCCA again for Sarah’s PET scan. This scan will show if there is any cancer left in her body. We know that there is not, but Sarah wanted to do this scan for her own peace of mind. Having said that, please pray for Sarah this morning because if there is cancer in her body still this scan will show it. Deep down we know Sarah is cancer free, but it is still scary to think about. Please pray for strength, peace of mind, and a great outcome.

Thanks for praying,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Info and Prayer Requests

Yesterday, when Sarah woke up, she had alot of nausea for some reason. Even though it has been two and a half weeks since she has needed to go into the infusion clinic (Hallelujah!), she made the decision to go in, not so much for the fluids, but more for the anti-nausea medication they have been authorized to give her. After one higher dose and about an hour nap, Sarah was feeling much better and was ready to go home. Today, we are headed down to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance because Sarah has a MUGA scan which checks the function of her heart. Sarah has been having some swelling in her feet and lower legs and although her Oncologist believes it to just be a sign of extended malnutrition, a heart scan is in order to be on the safe side. Tomorrow, Sarah is going down to Seattle again for a PET scan. This scan will cap off all of her cancer treatment and will prove that there is no longer any cancer in her body. While that may sound exciting (and truthfully it is) Sarah is not happy about having all of tese scans done. She is simply ready to be done with it all. Done with medication, done with doctor appointments, done with big scans, done with surgeries, done with having her expanders filled, just done. My poor girl has been through the ringer and I cannot blame her for wanting to be done.

Because of all the appointments she has coming up and all the meds that she is still having to take, Sarah feels alot like she is taking one step forward and five steps back. Her depression is really kicking up a notch and for this Sarah really needs some serious prayer. Her doctors did increase her dose of anti-depressants, but all that Sarah is going through is proving to be very hard to overcome.

Please pray that joy will soon find my sweet wife. Pray that excitement will soon find her eyes. Pray that she will be able to look forward to tomorrow instead of dreading the next day and what might hurt or how sick she could possibly be. Sarah does have some good days, but she desperately needs a good week, month, and year.

Thanks for your support and bring on the prayer!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 267

I forget sometimes the feelings that I hold in so close to my heart. I have such an emotional rollercoaster when I think of certain topics…well mostly one. One word, and you all can probably guess it, children. Yes, children. I’m like a broken record when I say I long for them but you know when you are told you can’t have something and then you want it even more? That’s me all the way.

Kirk and I said we wanted to wait to have children for 4 years of marriage. We wanted to travel. We wanted to go on mission trips. We wanted to have bought a house. I barely have done any of those things but the longing is still there. I was recently talking to a friend who has two children plus a new baby and she is tired and needs a mommy resting day. At first I was like please just be happy you get to have this precious baby but after a few minutes I knew that if I was in her position I would need a mommy break x5! Every season women will have different emotions. I long for children now but looking on the bright side…Kirk and I could fly to Maui at a moment’s notice and not think anything about it. Without kids we can stay out at long as we want, spend money on dinner and a movie instead of diapers! When I think about it I’m so happy we don’t have kids during this time in our lives…could you imagine having kids when you are going through cancer? Cheers to the women who have done it and are doing it right now! You are my heroes!

I still get sad some days. A couple days ago I got a baby shower invitation in the mail and I just stood in the kitchen and cried. Tears slid down my cheeks as I asked God why Kirk and I couldn’t have had a carefree life: marriage, travel, health, house, children, a puppy and of course the white picket fence. Maybe that life doesn’t exist for anyone but I hope I never stop believing in my happily ever after, there are a couple chapters being added into my book but I believe we will get back on track soon.

I watched my nephew Roman last night and today. At this moment Roman is sitting in my lap snuggling up because naptime is soon. It soothes my heart that this little one loves me so much. When I leave a room he points and yells “T!!!” (Roman can’t say Auntie Sarah so I’m just the “T” out of Auntie) He makes me love him more and more each day.

In Ecclesiastes 3 the Bible says there is a time for everything. I know that I have shared these verses with you in the past but they are so important to me. God knows that each day brings new emotions, new trials, and new happiness. God also knows my every thought and He knows my heart so I am safe under the protection of His hand.

I don’t know what this time and season will bring but I am excited for new things. God has thrown new goals and desires in my heart…starting with Emalene. I never thought God would call me to run a business. I don’t know the first thing about it but God is with me in every step I take. Isn’t that comforting to know God is right alongside of you helping you accomplish the desires of your heart? Well it sure is comforting to me. Now I just need to work on my confidence levels.

I have to be honest with you and say I’m in need of confidence. I am being challenged by God and my husband about confidence in myself and I fail each test they throw at me. Is there a book “Confidence For Dummies?” Or how about a 1 hour class I can take for me to learn that I am pretty, smart, courageous and that I have the “know how” to run a business? I’m sure God will help me with this as well…all it takes is time.

Medical News:
I’m sure you really read my blog to hear about the medical stuff and could skip the above but this is my online diary that you have the key to.

Next week I have a couple procedures to look forward to. I have a Muga scan to check out my heart because one of the pain meds can affect my heart. The next thing I have is a P.E.T. scan to do a final check on my entire body for any signs of cancer. I thought since I am finished with most of my treatments for breast cancer I wanted a scan just to ease my mind and settle down the “what ifs”. The final procedure next week is a fill for my expanders. We are expanding very slowly so we don’t stress out my radiated skin.

On another note I have not needed to go into the infusion clinic for two weeks now. All that has changed is me drinking Alkaline water. God works in mysterious ways and if He can use simple water to heal me then let’s do it!

Thank you all for reading about Kirk’s and my life. Sometimes these posts get so crazy I think they should be turned into a book or a movie…okay now I’m getting ahead of myself. I love all of you and the prayer that you give me is amazing. There is power in prayer and I am walking proof of that!

Love Always,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 266

I used my hair dryer!

This might be a puff piece to you but all I’ve got to say is Wow! The dryer doesn’t do exactly what it used to do to my hair but I’ll figure it out. Right now it just makes my curly short hair fluffy and not what we would call stylish but it is something new and I’m all for it. Next time you use your hair dryer cherish it because I had no reason to use mine for close to a year and it was not the most fun thing I’ve done with my hair.

Okay I’m just going to come out and say it…some or most of you already know this but I’m depressed. This whole last year has stripped all of the “old Sarah” away and this “right now Sarah” isn’t cutting it for me or for Kirk. I don’t know who I am right now. I constantly let myself down with what I can’t do and then feel like a horrible wife for not getting anything done because I’m so weak. Some days I stare at a basket full of laundry and just melt to the floor and weep. I want to be strong enough to get the laundry done but I can’t muster up an ounce of strength in order to just think of the first step. Have you ever had one of those moments? I am having one of those moments just about every day. The dishes, laundry, a dusty shelf, and a messy bed are huge obstacles for me to conquer and sadly most days I am defeated. I am lucky though because Kirk’s mom comes and cleans for me; I am so grateful but deep down I am embarrassed that I can’t clean my own house. I have so many things getting the best of me right now but my main worst enemy is myself. I put so much pressure on myself to get things done by a certain time and when the deadline comes and goes I feel like a failure. I need help with all of this but where do I start? When I am feeling better this drive to accomplish things and giving myself deadlines will be great especially if I want to run a business but right now I need to give myself a break. Where’s the switch in my brain that tells me to calm down and rest? I also want to be honest with you and say my marriage has changed because of cancer…what marriage wouldn’t I guess. Things just are different between us. Kirk has seen the ugliest parts of his wife and while he loves me more because of it, I am so embarrassed. I hate for him to see my scars. I feel ugly in front of him. We used to laugh and play like newlyweds but all of that has been stolen away from us and I hate it. I want the playfulness to come back but maybe it can’t after you see your spouse lose all her hair, throw up in the car, change dressings after surgeries and gain weight from meds and chemotherapy. Again Kirk would say all this has brought us closer together but for me it has robbed me of my dignity. I want some secrets from my husband like him seeing me hover over the toilet for hours because of my stomach…I could go to the grave without him having that in his memory. Both Kirk and I want things to change for the better. However, things have negatively changed for us and we are the first ones to say “No way! We are not going to be like this…we want our old selves back and we will fight for it till the end”.

With saying all that you may say “Sarah, you need to go to a counselor!” and I will cut you off before you are done and say “Boy, do I know it”. Yesterday we had our first session with a counselor who is not only familiar with medicine and its effects but also she is familiar with cancer and everything that comes along with it. I want to talk to her for hours and hours so I can let my brain rest but I’ll have to wait till next time. She partners with Seattle Cancer Alliance so Seattle is where we have to travel to get the best treatment. Sorry Jetta for all the miles we are putting on you but I gotta do what I gotta do.

Please pray for progress to be made for Kirk’s and my relationship. My friendship with my husband is so important to me and I don’t know what I would do without his laughter. Just keep us in your prayers. God is powerful and He answers prayer. Be grateful for what you have and ask Him for what you need. Please just pray a special prayer for Kirk and me. I love you all. Thank you.

Love Always,