My sweet angel

My sweet angel

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Double digits!!!

That's right!  Our girl turned 10 January 15th. She shares the same birthday as Martin Luther King, Jr.   I'm Halloween and her dad is New Years Day.   We are trying to cover the holidays.

Anyways, I cannot put into words how much it meant to enjoy her birthday party at Ziggys on SSI again this year.  It was great!  The staff rocks and the kids had a blast!  (So did the adults).    Thank you all!

My blogger friend, Tori Tomalia writes blogs and this article really hit home.

Please read it if you have the time or are just curious what it is like to have metastatic cancer.

I've been tired lately so may go get my blood cell counts checked.  Really tired.  It's getting a little out of hand.  But, I'm not worried about it.  Hope and faith are what keep us going, they keep us sane (most of the time).

Since I'm tired, I'm about to go to bed but wanted to thank you all for your continuous prayers and to thank the parents, kids, and Ziggys for making karleys birthday so special.  I didn't think I would make it to the big 10, but I'm still here!!!!!   Praise God!   Look out 11, here we come!

Next week, Taste of the NFL with Team Draft in Arizona!   I'll update more soon.  Good night and God bless!

Titus 3:7
So that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Friday, January 16, 2015

If I Die Young

One of my favorite songs by the band Perry.  I remember leaving Piedmont after my hospital stint and hearing this song.   My family didn't want to hear it, but I did.  I wanted to feel that emotion.  I was numb from the hospital and my diagnosis, but this song just brought all of those emotions out.  "The sharp knife of a short life" couldn't describe my feelings any better at that time.

No, I'm not that young.  I'm 35 now.  I'm not childhood young, but still young.  I still have a beautiful daughter who just turned 10 yesterday.   I want to experience all of those motherly experiences.   But, sometimes that's not the way life goes.  I'm by no means giving up.  Sometimes I get angry.  It's natural.  Even if I live to be 100, my life is forever changed.  But, when I start to get angry with life, I watch this video.  It puts everything into perspective, because evil didn't win.   So, since I'm sort of angry tonight, I'm watching and sharing the video with all of you.  There is good that can come out of all of these situations.  God's love is so great, please just watch the whole thing and see what good came out of such evil.  Yes, it's sad.  But, it's so inspirational to me.  After I watch it, it kinda wakes me up out of  whatever funk I'm in and remember why I'm grateful for this time I've been given and the chance to grow closer to God while sharing that experience with all of you who read this blog.   Link is below.  Just click on it.

Evil Didn't Win

I had the privilege of speaking at church lately.   I loved every minute of it.  If I can bring one person closer to God, it will have all been worth it.  Additionally, St. Williams Catholic church really helped me financially too.  Let me tell you, if you don't have anyone (or even if you do), the church is one of the best places you can turn.   They bring you closer to God like no one else can.   Thank you St. Williams so much for your support.  It's so overwhelming.  And St. Simons Community Church will always be my home.

We also went to the Brunswick Compassion Experience and Karley sponsored a compassion child.  She was tearing up throughout the whole thing.  It was so good for her.  Pics below.   Oh....and she turned the big 10 yesterday!  Happy birthday my sweet girl!

I encourage you to watch the video attached.  If you don't believe, you will.   God has a plan for all of us.  We just don't know what it is yet.

Thank you for your continuous prayers and please pray for our friend Jon L's family.   You all are amazing.  God bless you all.  Thank you for continuing to bless us through Christ.

Psalm 21:11
"Though they plot against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed."  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

It's been a busy few weeks.  Karley and I have been in Atlanta since Christmas Day visiting family.  Christmas 2014 was amazing.  I got to speak at St. Simons Community Church on 12/21/14 about how much God has blessed me through our amazing church family.  It was such an honor.

Karley opened presents at my house and John's, then we drove to Atlanta to my mom's house.  We were blessed to see my sister, brother in law, and niece right after Christmas along with so many other members of our family.  It's been a while since we've seen some of them.

After Christmas, Karley had a NYE party with two of her friends up here.  We went all out and had a blast.  Amanda was here to hang out all night too (they were her children).  They were so cute and we almost all made it to midnight.  

The next morning, I woke up and found out we placed 3rd in Team Draft's Super Bowl Challenge to raise money to fight lung cancer.  This means we get to go to Arizona for Taste of the NFL and represent Team Draft.  Thank you to all of my family, friends, and strangers that were so kind to donate on our behalf.  I will be sure to write a whole blog about it when I get back.  We are super excited!

2014 brought good and bad news for many.  I know that I personally lost two friends, Shermaine Lee and Marjorie Polk. and my Uncle Jerry Mixon, to cancer.  It was hard on so many levels and I still think about them both so much.  When you go through times like this, it brings you closer to God.  You really learn to lean on him more.

In other cancer related news, I've been on the lower dosage of tarceva since the beginning of November.  I was having two issues with the 150 mg dosage so had it lowered to 100 mg.  Since then, one issue has returned but the vertigo hasn't, which was my main concern.  That was awful.  So, after I see a neurologist 1/20, we will try and figure out if I should go back to 150 mg.  I'm willing to take a shot at it now that I have medication for the vertigo.  If it returns, then I'll know it's from the tarceva I guess.  But, I'll talk it over with neuro.

My next scans are in March, so until then, I'll keep everyone up to date on any changes (cancer related and not).  This blog has become somewhat of a journal for Karley in the future.

As always, thank you for your continuous support and prayers.  We can never get enough of them.  God bless you all.  

Titus 1:2

"a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, in which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Why me?

A little over 2 years ago, I was given the hope of living 12-18 months.  I thought, "why me Lord?  I have a little girl to raise?"  But the real question, why not me?  He told us we would have trouble in this life, but not to worry, for He has overcome.

Later into my diagnosis, I began reading inspirational material through Sarah Young and attending church more frequently.  I wanted more than anything to know His plan for my life.  I also started blogging in an effort to avoid crying so much.  People could read that and I wouldn't have to answer questions.

After almost a year I quit asking "why me?" and became grateful that I know.   I know I may not have much time left on this earth.  Knowing that is a gift in itself.  You see, I could get into an accident tomorrow and not survive.  But that didn't happen.  I was given a warning, not the ticket.

So what good has come out of this?  My daughter is saved.  My 9 year old knows that dying in this life is only the beginning of our eternal life.  She knows it will be hard, but she knows the ones that go before us are in a better place with no suffering, or tears, or pain.

I began writing more about my God into blogs that are followed by people all over the world.  There is even an Italian Healthcare facility that reshares every post I make on my Facebook account.  I always google translate to see what they say.  It's legit.

So, I'm sure there are more good things but it's 2 am and I couldn't sleep so decided to write.  I've been blessed this year beyond belief by The Lord, strangers and by the great people of St Simons Community Church.  When they offered to help me this Christmas season, I thought "why me?"   David Yarborough and Deb Kay had to convince me otherwise.   And boy did I cry, good tears.

I didn't realize I had anything to give back, but I do.  It may not be monetary, but it can be spiritually. I had no idea how I was going to make it financially anymore.  I tried not to worry because I'm still here, but my expenses were outweighing my income.   The church saved me from total financial ruin through the power of Christ.  To all of you that gave this season, thank you.  Thank you for helping me breathe and be able to focus on these precious moments I have with my little girl.  I don't think I could ever put into words the gratitude I have.  You've brought me closer to Him once again.  When I was down, He lifted me up through all of you.  God bless each of you.

Sorry for any grammatical errors.  It's late but I couldn't sleep one more night without thanking the church and other anonymous people who have so graciously helped us this year.  We are truly blessed.  Thank you all for your continuous prayers and we are praying for our friend Lynn McDonough and Karley's friend Alexa.  Please pray for them too.  Your prayers work wonders.

Thank you Lord.  And Merry Christmas to you all.

Matthew 14:31
Immediately Jesus reached out and caught him.  "You of little faith", he said, "why did you doubt?"

Friday, December 12, 2014

Results 12/12/14

We just finished up with my oncologist.  My scans are still stable!  Yay!  We are extremely happy about this, even as we sit in Atlanta traffic.   Thank you for all of your prayers and thank you God for answering them!

We discussed the vertigo I had in October that led to my reduction in tarceva.  My oncologist wants me to now see a neurologist because I may have something going on non-cancer related.  It's hard for us cancer patients to think that anything could be wrong that's not cancer.  So, that took me a moment to think about.  He also wants to increase my dosage again if we get an all clear from the neurologist.

I will try to get an appointment for that over the Christmas holidays.  I haven't had a vertigo spell since the reduction but he's convinced it's not the tarceva.  More doctors!

Anyways, I'm not complaining.  As long as things are stable, we are good.  I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and I'll keep updating as anything happens.   Thank you again for your continuous prayers and God bless!

2 Corinthians 5:7
"We live by faith, not by sight."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

3 Days

Only 3 more days until I get and find out my latest PET scan.  I'm somewhat nervous because my tarceva dosage was lowered.  I have very few people where I live now that I can truly sit down and talk too about everything.  I'm so thankful for the people I do have and for God.  I try to give my worry to Him.  It's hard to be brave in front of Karley sometimes.  These scans are so irritating.  I used to not worry, but I'm 2 years in and now 3 days until, and I'm worried about something beyond my control.

Anyways.  Enough about worry.  Chris Draft was fabulous this past Sunday and took Karley, Stephen, and I to the Jaguars game.  It was so much fun. Cold and rainy and we lost, but we had a blast.  I thank God for these 3 people that went with me.  They are amazing.

If you want to donate to a good lung cancer cause, donate to

Thank you for all of your continuous prayers and please pray for good scans this Friday.  I feel like I really need your prayers right now.  God bless you all!

1 Corinthians 12:4-8

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Last Day

As everyone knows, today is the last day of November.  It's also the last day of lung cancer awareness month.  It was such a crazy month and I live so far away, it's hard to do too much for it....especially with Karley.  I noticed some great strides, but also noticed the continuous lack of national media coverage.  In fact, I can barely watch the national media because of all of the madness and hate right now.  It's tough, because some of us just want to live.  I don't want to debate.  I just want to live a happy life, spend time with my family and friends.  The national media is focused so much on some very important issues, but they also have the power to spin things and have the power to help things from getting out of control.  I don't understand all of the hate.  It makes me sad for all of us and scares me for the future.

I feel like it's dividing people when we should be coming together.  In the words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that".  "I have decided to stick to love...hate is to great a burden to bear."  It's 2014 people.  Let's come together to solve issues that don't belong in 1952.  Hey...maybe a cure for cancer and other diseases. Something always makes the media over this disease that KILLS 3,000 Americans each WEEK.  I'm not trying to be insensitive.  This was a no win situation for all parties and my prayers go out to all of the families involved.  Everyone has their opinions.....It's time to love and forgive as God forgives us every day.  "Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fortunately, I was able to make the almost 9 hour drive to visit my sister, brother in law, parents, and new niece in NC for Thanksgiving thanks to the gracious hospitality of Sharyn Outtrim.  I met Sharyn at a Falcons game with Team Draft.  She was so kind to offer us her beach house on the Emerald Isles to be close to my sis and brother in law stationed at Camp Lejeune.  It was such a blessing to have met her and her offer us such a wonderful Thanksgiving gift.  It gives me faith in our humanity that there are still people like her and Chris Draft out there.

Anyways, it was great to be together with my family.  We had so much fun and Karley is a great cousin already.  Future babysitter in the making....

Below are some pictures of the house and our family.  I hope all of your Thanksgivings were great.  Thank you so much for your continuous prayers and please keep them coming.  My next scans are December 12th so will probably not post until then unless something happens.

Please pray for our nation right now too.  I know that sounds cliche, but as a parent, it's very worrisome.  I'm not raising my child to have hate in her heart.  I'm raising her to have God in her heart.  In the meantime, prayers the tarceva is still working!

2 Corinthians 4:15-16
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the Glory of God. 16. Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.