Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Victory is the Lords

Well quite a lot has happened since my last update and many of you have been asking how I have been doing. I apologize for not updating sooner but to be honest I was a little overwhelmed and nervous to say out loud that I was finally going to be done with everything. I felt like if I said it out loud I was going to jinx it somehow and that scared me. But through a lot of prayer, talks with God, family and friends I can finally say confidently "I am a Cancer Survivor"!!!!
So to update you on what has happened in the last month or so...I had my ostomy take down surgery on Monday Aug 5, the surgery went amazing and I was able to leave the hospital 2 days later on Wednesday. I went home with what my husband referred to as a bullet hole size open wound in my stomach where the ostomy was and everything replumbed. I thought the whole process of relearning to go to the bathroom was going to be really hard but I was amazed on how well everything went. I met with my oncologist on August 22 and he said all my bloodwork came back normal and we just need to follow up with testing in 3 months and then every 6 months after that for the next 5 years to make sure nothing has changed. I asked if I could have my port taken out since I was all done with chemo and he said yes so I had that procedure done this last Friday. So as you can see I have been very busy but with all good things. My "bullet wound" is healing and my chest is just a little sore from the port removal but overall everything is going great! I can't even believe that I get to say that!
When I was diagnosed with cancer 7 months ago I have never been more scared in my life, scared that I might not get through this but mostly scared for my husband and boys. I have been blessed with the opportunity to embrace my life and live it as well as I can, but I decided early on that I wasn't going to get through this with a poor me attitude. I want to be here to raise my boys, grow old with my husband and hopefully hold my grandchildren one day. This is my HOPE. This is my PRAYER. But no matter what, I’m living NOW.
Now that I am done with this journey I probably won't be updating my blog very often, I am taking this opportunity to refocus my life, concentrate on the future and live a life that truly reflects God's heart. Please know that I am very open about talking about my story, so please feel free to ask questions. I will not be forgetting about the past, I have learned from it accepted it and am now moving on.
One last thing I do want to encourage you to do is never ignore the signs of your body, even if you may feel embarrassed to talk about it, always remember your life is more important.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The End is Near

I want to praise God for the experiences I have been through for the past 6 months and also thank Him that its almost over. I finished up my final round of chemo Saturday July 13, and I have spent the last couple weeks recovering and feeling pretty great. Today Ron and I met with my surgeon and I have my ostomy takedown surgery scheduled for next Monday Aug 5. I am ecstatic and nervous and emotional just thinking about being done with this all. I keep thinking that when I am done, my life will be normal again but I know I am walking into a totally new territory. I have had Crohns disease since I was 12 years old so I am not sure what "normal" really is but I can't wait to find out!
Thank you to my friends and family who have prayed in faith that I would persevere through all of this, I have gained strength and comfort from knowing that. I appreciate the continued prayer and support as I have my surgery next week and will have about 4-6 weeks recovery time. I have found one of the best ways to draw strength is to sing praises to God even when things are weighing heavy. So, please praise Him with with me as I embark on this next path in my life journey and that I will continue to find strength and courage for the next steps.

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Grace is Sufficient for You

God's grace is sufficient for you, and His grace is enough to get you through the toughest times. These last 4 and 1/2 months have been some of the hardest times of my life so far, but also some of the most amazing. I have had some of the lowest days, but on those lowest days God has shown me His precious grace, His mercy and His loving kindness. And the amazing part, some of you may ask how my life could be amazing when I am going through cancer at age 28, but through this tough time God has shown me true love, my husband Ron has carried me and loved me unconditionally through the daily struggles, my family has stood by me, gone to appointments, made me laugh when I want to cry, my friends have just been there when I needed them, sent me flowers, cards, gifts, called, texted, brought us meals, done whatever we needed whenever we needed it. This journey has been an incredible blessing and joy to our lives, we have depended on God and each other and have grown so much closer and enjoyed a depth of love we never dreamed possible.
I'm sorry it has been so long since I have updated, but that is actually a good thing because I really haven't had much to share. The chemo has been going well, I really haven't had too many side effects other than being tired which seems to be getting worse as time goes on. This week I will be going through round 6 of chemo, I honestly can't even believe how fast the last 4 and 1/2 months have gone. I truly believe God has protected me during this time and all the thoughts and prayers being sent up by you all have been what has carried me through. Tomorrow I have an ultrasound to checkout my liver because the last two rounds of chemo my blood work has shown my liver numbers are high, so they want to see what is causing that. Also, when I go in Thursday for my chemo infusion we will be meeting with the doctor to finalize a discussion of possibly being done with chemo after 6 rounds which would mean I would be done on Saturday which is also my 29th b-day!! When I first met with the doctor he told me that he thinks studies will show that with the FOLFOX treatment of chemo that 6 rounds will prove to be just as good as 12. So Ron and I have been praying about it and I really don't want to put any more poison in my body than I have to, so we would like to be done after 6 if the doctor agrees.
So, I ask for your prayers this week as we get my test results back and make one of the biggest decisions of mine and my families life. Ron and I feel at peace about it, but we still need to finish the discussion with the doctor and it depends on how the tests this week turn out. My girlfriend Kelly sent me a beautiful bracelet this weekend with the Serenity prayer inscribed on it to encourage me through this week. I want to share it with you because I know some of you are going through some really hard things, and I hope it lifts you up as much as it did me.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Trust in the name of the Lord

I started round two of my chemo yesterday, it went great overall my amazing friend Arryn came and hung out with me for the day, we were able to enjoy the beautiful day out on the deck at Lemmon Holton. The only real issue I had was when they took me off the infusion at the hospital to transfer it to my take home part I started having immediate reactions to Oxaliplatin which causes the neuropathy in my hands and feet. Have you ever had a charlie horse in your feet/toes? That is what it felt like in my hands, I couldn't move or function with them very well. My hands have been very unsteady, shaky and have much more extreme sensitivity to the cold compared to last time. I ended up staying at the hospital for an hour and a half after my infusion was done because my neck was breaking out in a rash and they thought I was having an allergic reaction to the chemo. We think it was just my nerves regarding my hands, it was really freaking me out. My doctor is was supposed to see me every other treatment, but because of my extreme reaction to the Oxaliplatin drug he wants to see me every time I come so he can monitor me closely.
This is a pic of me hanging out at home after chemo yesterday wearing my sweet fanny pack with the chemo pump inside.

I was reading my devotions this morning and this really spoke to me, I think there is a few of you that may need to hear this today too so I thought I'd share. "Trust me here and now. You are in rigorous training-on an adventurous trail designed for you alone. This path is not of your choosing, but it is My way for you. I am doing things you can't understand. This is why I say "Trust Me!" The jungle is thick, and you cannot clearly see what is before you, behind you, or beside you. Cling to My hand as you follow this trail in shadowy darkness. Although you cannot see Me, My Presence with you is rock-solid reality. Find hope in Me, beloved, for I am taking care of you. Focus on enjoying Me and all that I am to you - even though your circumstances scream for resolution. Refuse to obsess about your problems and how you are going to fix them. Instead, affirm your trust in Me; wait hopefully in My Presence, and watch to see what I will do." - Jesus Today, Sarah Young.

I have had a lot of people ask how I could truly trust God during this time, this is what I shared with a friend. "I just think about the trust that my boys have in my husband and I, they know that we love them unconditionally and they don't question whether we will take care of them, and that is the kind of faith that we should have in God our Father. God loves us and wants to help us with All our problems, big and small and although it is sometimes hard we need to let him." When we entrust our cares to God, we are allowing Him to be glorified no matter the outcome.

Prayer Requests.
1. That my neuropathy gets better and it won't become cumulative as the chemo goes on.
2. I will have strength on the hard days.
3. Peace and Strength for my family as they are been helping me through this.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

I hope you all had a wonderful and joyous Mother's Day because I sure did. I am so lucky to be the mom of the two most happy, fun, handsome, smart and thoughtful boys Isaac and Jackson. It was quite chilly today for May in Michigan, but I still had to take a picture in front of my Mother's Day Tree which we planted on my first Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day also to all the amazing mommy's in my life who inspire me to be a better mother and wife everyday, especially my beautiful mother who raised me be strong and humble, you are beautiful inside and out and I am thankful everyday for you.

Friday, May 10, 2013


I have been asked by a few people to post more pictures of my journey on my blog since not everyone gets to see me on the reg and also don't see them on FB :)
So I thought I would throw a few up of my journey so far.
Post Surgery
Port Placement
First Chemo Treatment - Hospital stay for blockage
My adorable husband and I, just wanted to share this one because Ron looks cute in his suit and we are celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary tomorrow!

Okay now I will be better about posting pictures in the future :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rachel Zoe - "Beyond Major"

So I have always been a fan of Rachel Zoe since her show debuted in 2008 and have been watching ever since. I think she is an amazing stylist, designer and more important working wife and mother who always takes time for her family and puts them first. I absolutely love her clothing line and her vintage inspired style, you know me and my obsession with my huge flair jeans and anything vintage. As many of you know part of my chemo regimen requires me to have an infusion that is worn in a fanny pack that I take home, the bag that  was given to me is your basic black fanny and not cute whatsoever. So I have been trying to find something that would match my style and also work to hold the chemo, lets just say there is not a lot out there. Then it came to me, I was watching Rachel Zoe and remembered she had designed a fanny for her 2013 spring collection and it would work perfectly.
Of course, I scoured the internet and was not able to find it anywhere, so as a last resort I went to her company's website and wrote an email to the contact info address telling a little bit of my story and that I was looking to see where I could buy one and what I wanted to use it for. I honestly thought in no way would I get a response, and if I did it would be a link to a website where I could buy. To my surprise I got an email this morning from the VP of Strategic Brand Development in Rachel Zoe's New York office. This was the response I received.
Are you kidding me??? When I received this email this morning, I literally started shaking and crying. To some of you this may seem really silly, but this touched me in such a way I can't even explain. First of all the I am sure Rachel and her team get thousands of emails a day and for mine to touch someone enough to bring it up in a meeting with the incredibly busy Rachel Zoe, her husband and Mandana I can't even believe it, but for her to send me 2 bags I am just blown away.  
So to say the least today has been a pretty great day I received this amazing email this morning which is probably one of the coolest things ever, I had flowers on my door step from our jeweler that Ron has bought all my jewelry from saying they were thinking about me, and I had a girls fun night out with a great friend.  I just love the little ways God shows you He is thinking about you even when life is hard and some days are a struggle to get up in the morning. He loves us all and shows us love through the ways that we need it and this was exactly what I needed. I loved Rachel Zoe before but now I love her even more, she's just maj! God you are awesome!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Counting on His Faithfulness

Sorry it has been so long since I have written, a lot has happened in the last few weeks so let me catch you up.
1. Sunday Ron traveled to Peru last week with no phone or internet access.
2. Wednesday had my post op surgical appt which went great, my doctor said I can go back to normal activities.
3. Wednesday night I started having the most intense pains in my stomach I have ever felt, they continued to get worse so bad that I started to vomit from the pain. I called my doctor and he told me to go to the emergency room, that I had a blockage in my intestine. They did x-rays and a CT Scan, they found a blockage but my there were no kinks or folds so I wouldn't have to do surgery and I just had to wait it out. They gave me pain and anti nausea meds to try and make me feel comfortable.
4. I was supposed to start my first chemo treatment Thursday morning but since I was in the hospital that didn't happen right away. My oncologist gave me the go ahead to start the chemo in the hospital Thursday afternoon.
5. My chemo treatment started Thursday afternoon at 3:00 and they continued it overnight by IV infusion until Friday at 2:00.
6. Ron came home from Peru around 1:30 on Friday not knowing I was in the hospital, he came to the hospital in time to take me to Lemmen Holton Cancer Center to receive my infusion pump to take home.
7. Saturday morning we went back to Lemmen Holton to have my pump removed.
So that brings us to today, I am 2 days post chemo treatment 1 and feeling great! Other than a few minimal side effects including fatigue and sensitivity to cold including when I drink and touch anything cold I feel good. The doctors gave me anti nausea meds, I have felt like I was on the edge of getting sick a couple times but I took the meds and am now staying on top of them and have not gotten sick.

I feel very strong and healthy at this point in my journey and I know this will not always be so I am enjoying it while I can.  I have been so encouraged and strengthened by the beauty I see outside, with arrival of Spring I see that God is providing all his living creatures with with exactly what they need and I know he will do the same for me. He will provide for me through every need and decision related to my cancer journey and for life! I am daily reminded of his faithfulness and presence, even today as He is protecting me from side effects.

My family has been overwhelmed by the goodness of the people in our lives through my surgery and now the beginning of of chemo. I wish I could personally sit down and thank each and everyone of you for the big and little things you have done for our family. When people say there is no longer good in this world they do not know my family and friends, I know I have said this before and will say it again but we have the worlds best support system and I could not go through this without them/you.

I know that the power of prayer is unsurpassed, God has placed this desire on your heart and I beyone grateful
Prayer Requests
1. No side effects from the chemo
2. For complete healing of my body and removal of all cancer
3. Renewed strength for myself and my family as we begin this chemo journey

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Hello everyone, thanks for reading my blog and for letting me update you all this way with my journey. Today was the day we met with my oncologist Dr. Brett Brinker to find out what my chemo road will look like. First off I was very impressed with Dr. Brinker and the time he took to answer every possible question we had and to explain the process completely without any pressure. He explained the standard care  for colon cancer is a form of chemotherapy regimen called FOLFOX. FOLFOX is made up of 3 drugs, which I won't get into, but they will be administered for 12 cycles over 6 months.  The schedule would be something like going in on a Thursday for 4 hours for chemo in the office and then going home with an infusion pump connected to the port which I will leave in for 2 days and go back on Saturday to have taken out. There are a few common side effects that all patients on FOLFOX experience, including fatigue, sensitive to cold, and nueropathy (numbness of fingers and toes). Other side effects vary per person, but they will be watching especially for dehydration because of my ileostomy.
So overall I am feeling encouraged it looks like I will be starting the chemotherapy the first week of May. It will be a 14 day cycle where I really only have to go in every two weeks for four hours and the treatment is aimed at a cure of long term remission. I should feel good overall, obviously tired and side effects vary but the long term prognosis looks good.  This is such a relief to know what the next six months of my life will look like and also that things are not as bad as they could have been. I know there will be hard days, but I now feel more confidant then ever that I will get through this. I have a great team of doctors and nurses that's goal is to get me cancer free and feel good during the process, and my amazing family and friends that are letting me relax, heal and standing by me the entire way.
I will continue to use this blog to update you as to how I am feeling throughout the chemo and my take down surgery. Thank you again to everyone who is reading this and I hope in some way I am able to touch at least one person through my personal journey through cancer. I know there is no guarantee in this method or the road I am taking but I trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7). My future is in God's hands, I want to seek Him fully in this time with all my heart and trust Him completely.

Prayer Requests
1. That we make wise choices regarding my medical treatments
2. That I will feel healthy of mind, body and spirit.
3. Continued prayer for my family as we get through this together.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Relaxing is about all I have been up to these days, and as I have said before that is tough for me. I am an active person and I rarely sit down when I am home so I have been learning to just sit and rest and take help when it is offered to me. I am wrestling with a lot of emotions, a lot of which are ones I have never felt and have left me feeling like I am on an emotional roller coaster. There are moments of unexplainable peace and I am grateful for each day of life and as a result, I experience a surprising joy. I commit myself to fight with all my strength against the enemy Cancer, finding strength I never knew I had even when I am experiencing a tiredness I never thought possible.These emotions come and go, they are unpredictable, and often beyond my control. I know my emotions are a gift from God, they allow me to laugh and to cry, be happy be sad, and always lead me back to Him. 
This morning I am sitting at home by myself for the first time in 3 weeks, enjoying my devotions while listening to the rain. It is so peaceful and calming, especially as I read about hope and knowing although some days look dark there is everlasting light in Him, and the more I put my hope in Him the more His Love-Light shines on me brightening my day. I know that He will help and strengthen me with His Love.
This Friday I have an outpatient surgical procedure to have my port placed. For those of you who don't know what it is, its a small device placed under my skin to allow easy access to my bloodstream for drawing blood and infusing the chemo drugs, it will be placed on my upper chest or upper arm.  Once it is placed I will then have a physical reminder of my cancer warrior status.  

Prayer requests
1. Port placement on Friday, that everything will go okay.
2. My oncology appt is next Thursday.
3. That I will continue to have more and more energy and strength each day.
4. Continued strength for my family as they help me through this and have to deal with all my emotions :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Letting Go

It has been 2 weeks post op today, I am feeling pretty good overall. I am much more tired and exhausted than I thought I would be by now and having a little trouble sleeping. Things that normally are no big deal like taking a shower, helping getting the boys dressed and taking a short walk wear me out so quickly. I am really struggling with that part, I am an extremely active person and I feel extremely helpless. My mom is here during the day to help me and Ron takes care of me at night after he gets home from work. I have had to ask God for a lot of help learning to rest and trust in Him. Some days the circumstances seem overwhelming but when they do I usually get a phone call, a text or a card from one of My people and I hear God's tender voice saying "I love you". My mom and Ron have been amazing making sure I am getting my rest and being beyond understanding that I have had a major surgery and am struggling mentally and physically especially in preparation of chemo.

Since the day I put my faith in Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, He has blessed me immeasurably more than all I could think or imagine. My life has been filled with ups and downs especially regarding my health journey but he is always giving me strength and peace when I am weary. 

Throughout it all He has renewed my strength to face each new day. He embraces my hopes and lovingly protects a heart that trusts. God has a lot more to teach me, a lot more of showing His love for me through this whole process. Some days it seems like a lifetime until this will be over but I know I will look back and this will only be a small part of my long life ahead. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well, yesterday was the big day they let me go home! It could not have happened without the love and support of my family and friends. Ron, My Mom, Dad, brother Brian, sister Julie and sister in laws Erica and Emily sat by my side pretty much everyday all day. The stay started out rough, but with the help of my amazing nurses, doctors, My people and God's helping hand I pushed myself and finally got over the hump and started to feel a lot better. As of yesterday morning all my tests revealed I was doing well enough to go home. Ron packed up all my beautiful flowers, which were amazing by the way and we headed home. My room looked like a beautiful spring garden and EVERY single person who came in was blown away by them, including me.

I arrived home tired buy elated, as we drove in the driveway I started bawling, I couldn't believe I was actually home and was going to have our little family all together again. The boys came home a little while later after I had a nap. I can't explain how wonderful it felt to hold them in my arms and snuggle in our own home. I was in quite a bit of pain last night because of course I didn't listen to Ron and tried to do too much, lesson learned. Please pray for me in that area, I feel helpless not being able to help with the boys, do laundry or make dinner. I am not really good at just sitting and resting, I am always doing something.

The next steps are to have a follow up appointment with my Surgeon in 3 weeks to make sure everything is healing well, and working correctly. The doctors are extremely concerned with me getting dehydrated, which is one of the biggest reasons that people end in the hospital again after an ileostomy. So I have to drink 10 8oz. glasses of water a day to make sure that doesn't happen, and it will be even more when I get on Chemo. I have an appointment with Dr. Brett Brinker an oncologist on April 18 to discuss my next steps regarding chemo. 

Thanks again to each of you, dear family and old and new friends, for your words and deeds of kindness and love toward me and my family. I would really like to say a special thank you to those who sent flowers, brought gifts, cards, food for my family and those who visited me, I feel so special and loved. Thanks to my in laws for watching the boys the entire time I was in the hospital, it was such a relief to know they were well taken care of. Thanks for your continued prayers for my complete healing and endurance through the long battle ahead.  Thanks for the FOOD that is filling our fridges and freezers and now that I can eat again, oh, am I ever enjoying  your healthy, thoughtful, "healing" meals!

Prayer Requests
1. That I can learn to rest and take it easy so I can recover completely.
2. The pain goes away, I am not taking any narcotics because I don't like them so I am controlling pain with Motrin and Tylenol.
3. For Ron, the boys and My mom as they are helping me recover.

Ultimately, I offer thanks to Jesus who heard me cry out in pain and despair "help me Jesus" about a million times this past nine days.  And He did.  What a privilege it is to know and serve Immanuel--the God who loves us and is WITH us.  Amen! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Do not fear for I am with you

Sorry for the delay in updating I have been an in extreme amount of pain and discomfort, and to behonest a little down. The pain for the surgery was enough and then on Sunday there was a small blockage in my ileostomy  not letting the fluid fully go through to the bag and I started vomiting in the middle of the night. The doctors put in a NG tube down my throat, which the most painful and uncomfortable thing I have ever experienced. I had to leave it in for two days and couldn't eat or drink anything.  I was able to get that takeout tonight and it was a huge relief both emotionally and physically.

My doctor came in this morning with our pathology results, 12 lymph nodes are required to diagnose cancer. If any removed nodes test positive for cancer Chemo is recommended especially at my age. My Dr. Figg removed 55 nodes and 1 of those 55 tested positive for cancer, so cancer can be in very small traces throughtout the body.

My Dr. recommmended starting chemo in 4-6 weeks, so I will mostly recovered by from surgery  and my immunse system will be doing better then and I will have to be on Chemo for 6 months. My second surgery won't be for another month after surgery.

Processing this all has been quite hard, but my family has been here holding my hands the wholeway. Ron has been my rock pretty much here 24/7 since last Thrusday helping me with anything andneverything. So this next year is going to be rough, but I am strong and I will get through this.

God, I am suffering but I know you will carry me and make me strong. I seek refuge in you, give me Your courage to face anything. Provide your Spirit to renew trust and faith in You and strengthen me against all weakness and discouragement. God I know you are with me and will not let me go. I am so thankful for the hope I have in you.

Please keep us in your prayers, I would love to able to be home for Easter!


I will try and keep updating my blog as much as possible depending on how I feel.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Praise be to God

Dear Lord,
You know my thoughts, my fears and my frailties. I praise You in the good times and the bad, thank You Lord for loving me unconditionally and not giving up on me. Lord you are a sovereign God that is in control of all things, I know You've got this! Help me to rest and trust in you, you know that I am not good at that so please forgive me in advance for the moments I will fail. I praise you God for showing Yourself strong and loving in all of this. I know you are the ultimate physician, I pray you guide the hands of the surgeon today during surgery. I pray that you will use this in a way that will draw others closer to you. I pray for my family and friends that you will carry them and give them comfort. Thank You that I can rest in your arms and know that You will take care of me and my family one day at a time. I rest in Your peace and thank you for what you continually reveal to me.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Count down is on....

Well the count down in on now, I am in enjoying my last few days of "normal" before my surgery. Spending a lot of time with the Ron, the boys, family and friends. 

A few things have happened since my last blog post, first being i received the biopsy results from last weeks tests and they came back NORMAL! So I will be able to go ahead with the J Pouch surgery as we planned as long as there are no complications once my doctor gets into the surgery. I know a lot of people have had questions regarding my ilieostomy and then having a J Pouch and what that all looks like. I think this picture  really shows the stages of my surgery well and what the end result will be. Sorry if it is a little graphic for some of you :)

I met with a young girl named Nicole on Friday to talk about her journey with Crohns and the J Pouch surgery, it went great! She was such a sweetheart and really explained the ins and outs (literally) of the ilieostomy and how things are since her take down surgery with the J Pouch. Not to be vane but I am struggling a lot with the idea of the bag, because I am only 28 and I do worry/care about body image. It was good to hear how she hid it as far as clothing, bathing suits etc... I had her tell me like it is, no sugar coating it.  That was exactly what I needed to hear, her struggles, her fears, everything! I am so thankful to have met her, to know it is hard but you can come out stronger on the other side. Sunday, my amazing parents set up a prayer time at our church after the 11:00 service for people to pray with Ron and I and our families. I can't even tell you how touched we were to have people take time out of there days to surround and left us up in prayer. I felt God's presence in an amazing way, and it touched me more than people will ever know. 

Today I had my ostomy appointment where they explained everything that I will need to know about my ileostomy and also picked a spot for where my ileostomy will be located. They had me sit, lay and stand until they found the perfect spot for my ileostomy to go.  The big black circle is the spot they choose, it is now ready and marked for my Surgeon. 
Today was my last day at work for a while, which was hard, I love my work family, they are an amazing support and been with me through a lot over the years. I am beginning to get anxious and nervous and a little scared as Thursday gets closer. I know in my heart that I am going to be okay, but my head doesn't always agree. I am thankful for the "My People" who have surrounded me with love and support and distracted me from everything that is going on as well.

Prayer Requests
1. Continued peace as I prep for surgery
2. That God gives Ron and I the right words to say when we talk to the boys tomorrow about me going into the hospital for a while.
3. For Ron's and my families as we all take on different roles to help both me and my little family get through this.
4. Dumb I know, but that I get a private room at the hospital :)

My prayer for today..."Lord, You promise to bless me and keep me. You make your face shine upon me and are gracious to me. How comforting is it to know You actually turn Your face toward me and give me peace. Your eyes are on those who trust in You, on those whose hope is in Your unfailing love. Your eyes are on me!" - Barbara Johnson, Praying Through Cancer

Whisper this prayer today, God can carry you through anything.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Battle Maiden

Ever since I was a little girl I was told that one of the meanings of my name Heidi was "Battle Maiden", my parents used to joke around and call me "Battle Maiden" and my mom would even write the name on my lunch bags. They thought it was funny, but I can admit it was something I was completely embarrassed of. I was very nicely reminded of my names meaning the other day from my amazing sister in law Erica. She has written me a whole box filled with encouragement cards to open as I need them. The card I opened yesterday said "As you said, God wouldn't give you this challenge if he didn't know your strength and perseverance! You are a Battle Maiden, but you should know that the most common meaning for Heidi is Noble One, you are the best of both". First of all, I am beyond blessed to have the worlds most Siblings and sibling inlaws. Second, I am heading into the biggest battle of my life so far, but I AM A BATTLE MAIDEN and I am armed with the Armor of God, and strength and love from my family and friends. I know that I will never be alone and I have the hope, security and peace that can only come from knowing God and trusting in Him.

Today I am thankful that my parents are home from vacation so I can give them hugs and cry with them. I am thankful for more God connections, I am meeting with a young girl tomorrow who is 18 and had the same surgery as I am having a year ago. I am really looking forward to speaking with someone who is young and female to answer questions I have and tell me about her journey. 

Please pray for the biopsies I had on Tuesday to come back negative, and also for the biopsies that will be done on my lymph nodes after surgery to come back negative as well. If there are any cancerous or precancerous cells in my lymph nodes I will have to have 6 months of chemo in between the surgeries and that will push my 2nd surgery to 8 months out. 

The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Love Always, 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thank you!

Thank you all for your love and support, I am blown away by the calls, messages, text's, emails and posts. I seriously have the worlds best support system, this is the beginning of a long road but I am more confident than ever that I will get through this and God has a plan! 
I love this verse and I feel it is more applicable to my life now more than ever. I have found comfort in making God my refuge in this time of struggle. 

I had a few more biopsies done today, depending on how those turn out will affect the course of action the surgeon will take in surgery. Praying they came back negative for precancerous or cancerous cells so that we can still do the J pouch and not have to consider a full colostomy bag at this time. 

Also, I have had a lot of people ask about how they can help including meals. My amazing friends Stacy and Kelly set up this site for our family so I have one less thing to worry about.

Hugs - Heidi 

Monday, March 11, 2013

A New Journey

Well, not even sure how to begin, these last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I guess no better place to start than from the beginning. Two weeks ago I had a colonoscopy as I do pretty much every year. I knew I had had one last February so at the beginning of February this year I called my doctor and I scheduled one for myself on February 25. Everything went as smoothly as could be, the doctor came in afterwards and told me the colon looked much better than it had in the past but he found one spot that was infected so he biopsied the entire area and we would have results Wednesday. I thought nothing of it since he said my colon looked mostly clear which was a huge improvement from the last 10 years of colonoscopies and I have been feeling so good. Anyways, I had a follow up appointment on Wednesday night and I received a call from my doctor personally on Wednesday afternoon saying he was looking forward to seeing me and asked if Ron could come to the appointment with me. I knew immediately that something was very wrong. Wednesday night February 27 my world was turned upside down, I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer, the pathology report came back positive. I am 28, married a mother of 2 and I have Colon Cancer. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach and I couldn't hold it together.

We were given a lot of information, but I left knowing I had cancer and would need to have surgery to take it out, and they also were not sure if it had spread to or from anywhere else. They had already scheduled a CT scan for me on Friday and an appointment with a Colon Rectal Surgeon the following Wednesday. So the waiting game began, I had the CT Scan Friday March 1, and found out Sunday that the cancer was confined to the colon and was no where else, Praise God! I had an appointment Wednesday with the Colon Rectal Surgeon and he said the only way to get rid of the cancer is to completely remove the entire colon because of my history with Ulcerative Colitis (UC).  They want to take my entire Colon out and replace it with a J Pouch, I will have an ileostomy bag for three months and another procedure to take it out and connect the small intestine to my J Pouch. I again fell apart, this is what I had been praying for not to happen since I was 12 years old and was diagnosed. Ron spoke with our work and they told us to take the next few days or as much time as we needed to figure this out, research, get second opinions and pray. We could not be more blessed with an amazing company that loves and cares for us both and our family. We know this is going to be one of the most important decisions of our lives and we want to make sure we are doing the right thing. Through some amazing divine God connections we were able to get a hold of one of the leading Colon Rectal Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic the number one clinic in the world for the type of surgery that I am having, and also the head Colon Rectal Surgeon at Penn State. The Surgeons are fully confident in the decision of my surgeon here and the Cleveland Clinic Surgeon actually trained my doctor at the Cleveland Clinic on the surgery I am having. So that is where we are at now, I have surgery scheduled for March 21st at Spectrum Health Hospital, and will be there for 5-10 days depending on how my recovery goes with 4-6 weeks recovery time. I will have a follow up surgery in 3 months as well. I wanted to do the surgery here in Grand Rapids because this is where my support system is and I know they will be a major part of recovery. I know these connections did not just happen, God ordained them and I have complete peace and comfort with my surgeon.

I would be lying to say that this has been easy, but I have already seen God in so many ways through this. Even the little things like the boys being born when they were and being at an age where they don't depend fully on me and have no idea what is going on, I thank God for that everyday. I am closer than ever with my relationship with Him and He has given me a peace about it all. I have my good and bad days. I know this road is going to be tough but he is not going to give me anything I can't handle and I will get through this stronger and healthier than ever. I have been blessed with the worlds best support system God, Ron, my boys, my family, my friends, our job and our church. The outpouring of love and support has been unbelievable, I can't even explain in words how much it has touched us.

So that being said, it is going to be really hard to keep everyone updated on my journey to health, I need all the prayers I can get so I will be using this blog to fill you all in on my progress. Feel free to leave messages or ask questions I am completely open to talk about it, I know God has a purpose in this and wants my story to be told.

Check out this song that really spoke to me at church this Sunday, Praise Him in Advance! We all have our struggles big and small, some days it is hard to understand but God has a plan. How baffled would Satan be if we took our struggles and turned them into praises!

Prayer Requests for my prayer warriors
1. God will continue to give me peace with everything as I process it all.
2. For Ron and the boys, that we can get through this stay strong and as normal for the boys as possible.
3. For the doctor doing the surgery that he will have complete focus, God will guide him with wisdom and skill of both hands and mind.
One last thing, a little irony for you, it's Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
So get tested, it is what will have saved my life!