Sunday, September 1, 2013


On July 23, 2013 I was given my last chemo treatment.  As many of you know.. July 23rd is the anniversary of my birthday xxxxxx years ago.  When I first realized that my treatment would land on my birthday I contemplated moving it to another day.  I mean why would anyone want to spend the day in a chemo lab, hooked up to a machine all day on their birthday?

Well I decided that it was poetic.  I did not want to postpone or delay this 12th treatment, that it would be a gift.

It was a very pleasant day as I talked to family and friends all day long as the chemicals were infused into my body.  Two days later I returned to the chemo lab to return my "purse" after it finished its dripping into my system.   It was so liberating to be unhooked and free!!

As we rejoiced through this . my body was not always  ready to celebrate quite yet.  Though I have had relatively mild effects from taking in all those chemicals for the last 6 months it has taken its toll.  Physically, emotionally and mentally there is much healing that will need to be happening. 

I talked to a friend who has had extensive physical treatments for many years.  I was wondering how long does it take to recover from such things?  She told me she always gives herself a year.  I decided okay.. I will give myself 6 months.

In this past month as I have been discovering some of my more long term effects I have often thought about my daughter Becca.  Over 6 years ago, in her early 20s, she was living in Vietnam where her husband was stationed at the American Embassy in the Army.  One fall day she was rushed to the hospital as her blood pressure skyrocketed and she went through a sudden miscarriage.   They noticed a unhealed lesion on her leg and decided that she quickly needed to be taken by helicopter to the neighboring country for more extensive and better treatment.

There the doctors  flocked around her making their educated guesses to what was wrong.  Michael,  her husband often stood guard over her to allow her some rest because they were way too excited to poke and prod her trying to put a name on what she was going through.

Through a round of discussion they decided to fly her to Hawaii to the army medical center there.  They started her on a treatment for Lupus.  They were not totally sure that is what was she had ..its a tricky ailment but it seemed to be close enough to her symptoms.

The "Lupus" was decided, had gone into remission.  They wanted to complete her treatments and then release her.   However a problem developed .. Michael needed to get back to work in Vietnam.  Becca could not go back to Vietnam because she was now labeled with something that could not be treated with their medical facilities there in Vietnam.  The army decided to restation Michael but it was going to take a little while to get his replacement etc.   So Becca came to stay with us for a month or two.

I accompanied her to many of her doctor appointments and such but I never really totally grasped what she was going through.  After she went to Maryland ... I had continued to not have a true understanding of what she was going through.  Her treatments she was given had after-effects.  Her muscles in her shoulders lost much of their tone and ability to function.  She has required shoulder surgery to regain better mobility.  After the surgery she had to visit with a physical therapist .. working and working to get some strength back.

My thoughts have been about how hard am I willing to work to get back some of what is lost to me?
My daughter is such a good example to me to how one can live your life the best you can and work hard to improve the quality of it.  All these years later with more life adventures happening,  adding two lively boys... more moves and her husband being deployed for a period of time she is still "recovering".   She will be going through another surgery for her other shoulder.  She does not give up and she is very happy.

Last week the oncologist doctor gave Dave and I the very best news.  My cancer is NED- No evidence of disease!!!   I get to keep my life here on earth for many more years,  just as the Priesthood blessing I was given at the beginning of my treatment said.  I have believed it was true all along but this is a confirmation to that.

Life all of sudden seems so short.  I might live for 10 or 20 or even 30+ more years and each day is a gift that is given to me to do as best I can with.  Some days on my check-off list it might not seem much at all.  Other days it might seem like I am top of everything.

I am thankful that there is some kickbacks from the past 6 months treatments so I can remember and retain that remembrance how precious life is and it deserves much consideration in the simple and small breaths we take.  I am grateful that I have scars and fatigue and extra sensitivity to my fingers so I will remember to look at others in a new way.  Each one of us have struggles, pains and challenges that leave us wounded and winded and I can be more sensitive to that.

This morning I was reading a message from a very wise man that I respect a lot.  He is a leader in my church and has had his own struggles that he has gotten above so very gracefully.  He said:
"We have seasons in our lives .... Some are warm and pleasant. Others are not. Some of the days in our lives are as beautiful as pictures in a calendar. And yet there are days and circumstances that cause heartache and may bring into our lives deep feelings of despair, resentment, and bitterness.
I am sure at one time or another we have all thought it would be nice to take up residence in a land filled only with days of picture-perfect seasons and avoid the unpleasant times in between.
But this is not possible. Nor is it desirable.

As I look over my own life, it is apparent that many of the times of greatest growth have come to me while passing through stormy seasons."

I will continue to love the sunshine and respect the storms.  Thank you for being part of my well-being.  I hope I can find ways to show my gratitude and love and be a part of your joys.


  1. You have certainly been part of my joys! I am glad that your journey in this stormy season of our life has been a short one and that you have witnessed and felt the golden sky at the end of the storm. Hopefully, I can be just as steadfast, just as stalwart in my storm as you have been in yours.


    1. Thank you Pat. I hope you have a great adventure in St.George. I know that community will be very blessed to have you and your husband be a part of it. There will be a big hole in our lives as you leave but I expect you all will stay in touch! Love you!

  2. k more complicated to comment than I expected. Thanks for your tribute, I will do my best to be the girl you described, that happy girl you see is sometimes a stranger to me. Glad I was able to be there for you. You were so brave, took the blows better than I did. Love you Mom!