My sweet angel

My sweet angel

Friday, June 23, 2017

Shout From The Top of Your Lungs

Happy Friday everyone!  Things here have been a bit difficult.  I think Karley is suffering from a bit of depression.  She doesn't want to leave my side.  I think she senses my sadness lately.

But, yesterday I visited my psychiatrist and had my medicines changed.  I took the first new pill yesterday and could already tell a difference in my mood.  I know a lot of people believe that we shouldn't have to take antidepressants, etc., but living like this is hard.  If you can do it, you are much stronger than me.

I was named a Healthline Top 10 Lung Cancer Blog for the 3rd year in a row.  It's such an honor to be placed in the same category as the great advocates and bloggers listed here Healthline Top 10 Lung Cancer Blogs of 2017.  If you need some inspiration, advice, we all offer a different perspective.  I focus on my faith, but I'm not perfect.  I'm real.  So, if you want to know how I am or how I feel about this, I totally let my emotions out through my blog.  Some of the others are way smarter than me and constantly update new treatments and tell stories of the hardcore advocacy.  I go to those people when I need help.  I write my blog in order to help not only me get my emotions out, but to also let others with any kind of cancer feel they aren't alone.  Both physically and mentally.

Some more good news, look out for me to fly across the country thanks to Bonnie J. Addario to participate in their Living Room on July 18th.  I'm super excited to for this opportunity to be able to advocate more for Lung Cancer.

I love our lung cancer advocacy groups and I feel that if you really want to make a difference, you take every opportunity to get out there and show the world what lung cancer really looks like.   This will pave the way for more funding for research to help us survive!  So, ANY opportunity I get, I take.  I've worked with LUNGevity, Bonnie J. Addario, Free to Breathe, Lung Force, Team Draft, Lungcancer.net, etc. and they are all fantastic organizations that do so much work in the form of advocating for lung cancer by not only sharing information but also sharing our stories, as real people that need help.

I was recently told a statement was posted on social media speaking about how non-profits can't compete with "for-profits"  I'm not sure.  I wasn't aware this is a competition.  This is my life and I'm telling my story to whoever will listen.  What I do know is, my medical bills are going to send me into bankruptcy.  Therefore, I do get paid to write articles for lungcancer.net.  This does in no way make me an advocate for myself.  It is the same types of stories I write for all of the organizations.  In fact, I haven't even invoiced them yet.  Because once again, it is an opportunity for publicity for Lung Cancer.   I am advocating for lung cancer, not myself.  And non-profits, well the people that run them get paid pretty well.  As cancer patients, we need money as well.  It doesn't mean we are going to solely work for only "for profits".  In fact, lung cancer advocacy should not be a competition.  We all have a common goal.  The "For Profit" that pay us for articles have no problem promoting the non profits.  This is not a competition.  This is our lives.  This is our hand that we were dealt, we have to learn to play the game.   Gain exposure, increase funding, increase research, save our lives.  I'm sorry if you don't agree with me, but I didn't get voted "most outspoken" in school for nothing.  I am open minded.  And maybe I'm missing something, but I say the more we get the word out, the longer we live.

Ok, well, that's it for today.  I got my lazy butt out of the house yesterday and hung out with some old friends.  I had a blast!  I'm blessed to still be able to do this.  Slowly coming out of the funk!

Thank you for all your continuous prayers and please continue to pray for all of those suffering from this awful disease.  Cancer is cancer.  And it sucks.  But cancer cannot and will not take away my relationship with God, no matter how bad it gets.





Monday, June 19, 2017

What is there left to say...

I don't know.  I've tried for years to be positive.  To be some sort of hope and inspiration for others.  And though I may be because of my fight on a first line treatment so long, it is the loneliest road traveled.  So many friends I've lost.  So many people don't want to be close to me because I'm a ticking time bomb.  

Everyone worries, but they shouldn't.  I'm not going anywhere until God is ready for me to.  I am just so tired.   Tired of living with this, tired of losing friends,tired of watching friends suffer, and tired of my life being stuck.  It's a life of every 20 weeks now.  

I sound like such a baby because I'm doing well, physically.  Luckily, I'm going to my psychiatrist this week and adjust my meds because mentally, I'm in such a funk.  Hopefully, I'll be out of it soon.  One of my friends is not doing well at all.  It physically is making me sick.  I feel like I can't get out of bed so much more now.  I did today and Saturday.  I'm trying, trying so very hard not to give up on life.  I have so much to live for.  My baby makes me get up, I don't want her to see me like that.  But it's the kinda of trauma that never leaves you, every. single. day. you live with it.

Maybe one day, with your prayers, and by the grace of God, we can live.







Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Is Santa Real?

"With courage you will dare to take risks, 
have the strength to be compassionate,
and the wisdom to be humble. 
Courage is the foundation of integrity" - Mark Twain

The problem with having this courage, it can be a very lonely world.  Not many people think about this being their last day on earth.  It's a hard pill to swallow.  But, it's amazing to me how many people are so certain of their tomorrows.  I'm not.  Therefore, I love deeply and forgive easily.  I thought some of my best friends were just like me, but I was wrong.  Living with this is probably the loneliest you'll ever feel in your lifetime.  

In the beginning, people you haven't talked to since elementary school come out of the woodwork, praying for you, wanting to meet up with you, etc.  But the longer you live, the more fade away, until there is nothingness.  You are tired because your body is in a constant fight.  You aren't that fun person you used to be, so those friends move on.

That's when you realize, you have God.  In that moment, you are humbled.  I used to be a totally different person.  Work first, family second, God third or fourth.  I look back and think about how I used to be and literally get down on my knees to thank God for leading me to this moment, where I will take risks and have the strength to be compassionate.  To not hold a grudge, and to forgive no matter what. 

So, I may have lost some of the best friends I've ever had.  And I would be lying through my teeth if it didn't feel like someone stabbed me with a jagged edged sword and keeps twisting it over and over, because that's what it feels like.  The loneliness can be over powering at times where I just go to sleep to not feel anymore.  In all honesty, I feel like God is the only one who hasn't abandoned or forsaken me most days.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers, and I do pray that none of you has to feel this loneliness or despair.  Of course I will have good and bad days.  Today is just a bad day.  It's like finding out Santa isn't real.  That's the way it was for me today.  Some relationships aren't real.  Some of my nearest and dearest are gone, and right now I think I need the Lord to hold me instead of just holding my hand.  I'll be better tomorrow, God bless you all.  I just had to get my emotions out.  This is how I do that now so please....don't be mad at me for it or think it pertains to you.  If I held these emotions in, I would implode.






Sunday, June 4, 2017

More Living with It

I've been struggling a little lately.  I don't care too much to think about my future, or what's to come, so I've been trying to fill that void.  I'm so glad I went to church today.  It is definitely what my soul has been needing.  We talked about how we go through troubles so that we may be closer to God.

I feel like I haven't been on the right path lately.  I need to be on that path.  I'm by far not perfect, I know I'm a sinner, but I need to be better person.  Eating kale does not make me a better person Lisa Goldman.

I think that God has done an amazing job on our Karley.  She just got back from a christian camp and has been sad since she got back.  When others decided to be saved during the camp, she cried.  My girl has such a strong faith.  That, in itself, gives me a peace beyond all understanding.  I'm not scared anymore because of it.  It was what I worried about for so long, but our church family has helped her find God, and of all the things I could be proud of her for, this, I am proud of the most.

I hung out the other night with Jaysen, an old friend from work, along with NJ and Brent.  It was bittersweet.  We hadn't been hung out in so long, but once again, there was a void.  That void couldn't be filled.  It's coming up on a year next month.  I can't believe it's been almost a year, the worst day of my life besides being given a timeline myself.  Some things you just can't unsee, no matter how hard you try.  But one thing he taught me, don't settle.  Don't be normal or mundane.  Because "sam, you're not made for this, you are brilliant and made for so much more".  And maybe he was right.  But it's hard to feel that way when you live in a constant state of "should I plan years out or not?"  Screw it.  I'm gonna plan years out.  And I hope all my friends plan their years and we all look back at this and laugh at how much the stress consumed us.

For now, thank you all for your continuous prayers.  Please keep them coming.  And please pray for strength while I make difficult decisions.  God bless you all.




Karley's Camp - That's my girl, tall one in the back!



Thursday, May 25, 2017

I Miss Him....

This is to Roy Reynolds.

I talked to your sister last night.  We talked of some of the more ridiculous things I've done lately.  She said she needed it.  She was awfully sad.  I miss you both.  My lack of grace did make her laugh.

So, after I talked about you I had a dream of my make shift bachelorette party. You were the only guy but we had so much fun.   It went from, "I'm going out with Norma Jean" to "Norma Jean is taking your butt home".

You were the one I called to hang out during the day when everyone else had to work.  You listened and understood all of the struggles and I did the same for you.  But for some reason, today I am missing you like crazy.  When Renesha and I got in that huge fight, you stayed out of it.  You were one of the very few genuinely good people I knew.  Your face would light up a room in a heartbeat.  Your smile was a heartbreaker, still is.  Everyone knew it.

What happened to you should have never happened.  If only I could turn back time and make them take you.  But I can't. Holding you in my arms that day as you were slowly leaving us, It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I'm so grateful to have been there to try and comfort you.

All I can do  now is pray for strength for your family.  Renesha needs a sign from you.  You were like a glue holding your family together.  They need you.  Hell, I need you.  You were one of the best friends a girl could have.  And I know, if love could've saved you, that you would be with us right now.

Thank you all for our continuous prayers and please pray for Roys family and friends.

Last minute bachelorette party with Roy and the girls.


Day Drinking - Jason Bartending

Our cancer card

Holly's specialty drink for you

This shirt still makes me cry


Light the Night for Roy



Your crazy sister, crazy friend Brandy, and crazy boss NJ

Renesha and Brandy - So happy

Our Shenanigans - not serious about anything.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Fate

"Where does a story truly begin?  In life, there are seldom clear-cut beginnings, those moments when we can, in looking back, say that everything started.  Yet there are moments when fate intersects with our daily lives, setting in motion a sequence of events whose outcome we could never have foreseen" - A Bend in the Road, Nicholas Sparks

I remember the moment fate intersected with my daily life to set off that domino of events..  November 27, 2012.  It's never been the same since.  So much changed just after turning 33.  I learned then I could no longer have children, so now I live vicariously through my sister and and my nieces. I'm so grateful I had Karley when I was young.  Some people never get a chance to have any, and for that, I'm so sorry.  I just always wanted to have a brother or sister for Karley, but God had other plans.  She does have stepsister now.  They may be night and day, but they have each other.

Moments like that day can never be forgotten.  I take a daily reminder.  This is not how my life was supposed to be, or maybe it was.  I get winded just taking the kids to Six Flags because of the air quality.  There are a so many moments I've missed, yet I'm so blessed to be be here for the moments I'm still living and have left.  I mean it.  I am beyond thankful.  Of course, people will always give you a bible verse about God healing you.  But, a lot of people misunderstand what this means.  It doesn't necessarily mean he will take the sickness from your body, it means that sometimes, he will take your soul from your body to heal you.  Then, you're healed, just not here, and you're healed forever..

Everything that hurts, I always fear is additional growth.  Friday afternoon I started feeling like I had heartburn.  I've taken everything possible and it still hurts to swallow or take a deep breath.  It really sucks.  And mom, if you're reading this, yes I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.  Hoping the worst case is it's just a touch of pneumonia.  It hurts where the primary tumor is but that's where it's hurt every time I've had pneumonia.   Sooooo tired of doctors and hospitals.  But, aren't most of you reading this?

Luckily my friend Michalle came to visit for her birthday weekend.  It's been so long since we've hung out but we had a blast.  It took me back to a more carefree time.  Then, later Sunday, reality slapped me in the face again.  Life can be so unfair sometimes.  But, you have to pick up the pieces and move on.

Karley was sick last night so has been with me today.  She's such a little trooper.  I love how she tries to make me feel better even when she's sick.  It's super cute.  I would do anything for that girl.  So, all in all, I'm one lucky chick to have what I have.  We all get down sometimes, but we can't stay there.  It's too cold and no place to live.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers.  They mean so much.   God bless.






Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day - It's not for everyone

Mother's Day is always special for us.  I love spending time with the girls.  I just wanted to wish all the Mothers out there a Happy Mother's Day!.  Mine has been great.  We had Mexican (of course) and are spending the day curled up watching movies.

As blessed as I am to still be here, I can't forget some of my friends that should be here celebrating Mother's Day with their children.  And there are some that have lost their children.   And for you all, we are sending up our prayers.  I can't imagine how hard this day must be for you all, please know we are thinking of you.  God bless you.  And thank you all for your continuous prayers.  I am so blessed.











Some of the angel moms, gone too soon.  We miss you all.


Courtney

Gretchen

Shermaine

Lizzie 

Marjorie