Thursday, October 31, 2013


Tuesday morning on my way to chemo and all mornings on my way to chemo and during chemo I have listened to my chemo play list which I love and which includes the Katy Perry song Roar.  I love this song and sometimes listen to it over and over again.  It makes me feel like I can conquer anything.  I mean really if you can conquer cancer and chemo you should be able to conquer anything.   I loves these lyrics of course I think of You in this song as Ovarian Cancer:

You held me down, but I got up 
Already brushing off the dust 
You hear my voice, your hear that sound 
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground 
You held me down, but I got up 
Get ready cause I’ve had enough 
I see it all, I see it now 

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire 
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar 
Louder, louder than a lion 
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar 

Now I’m floatin like a butterfly 
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes 
I went from zero, to my own hero

As I went into my last chemo treatment I felt power like never before, prayers like I've never felt and the will to move on from this amazingly, challenging yet motivating experience.

Dad has never come to treatment with me and wanted to.  It was nice to have my parents be there with me as I finished my last chemo treatment.  I'm so grateful for the wonderful parents that I have who have stood by me through this entire journey.

Treatment wasn't as bad as it has been in the past, but wasn't as easy either.  At some point in the infusion I feel pain in my left shoulder, chest and upper abdomen.  When this begins I start walking the floor where I was for those 15 days.  It was a healing floor indeed.  I ran into some of the nurses who took care of me those 5 months ago.  It was nice to be able to say to them, "This is my last treatment...I did it!."

As I left my room after finishing treatment, I hugged my chemo nurses and immediately felt a rush of emotions and tears for all that I have gone through.  I wasn't expecting this in the least bit.  They were tears of joy, humility, relief, gratitude and hope.  I proved to myself that I can do hard things.  I have done hard things in the past and I know I will be able to accomplish hard things in the future.  Life really is a test and is all about learning and growing.  I have definitely grown in this chapter of my life.
I will not miss having chemo through both of these ports.
Outside of the hospital is this beautiful rose bush.  I have watched it bloom for the past 4 months that I have been having chemo.  I was happy to see on my last day of chemo, the end of October that it was still blooming for me.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chemo Champion

As of today I am a Chemo Champion!
I did it; 6 rounds and 16 treatments over the past 4 months.

When this regimen was presented to me 4 months ago I never dreamed I'd really be able to finish them all, but with determination, an army behind me and lots and lots of prayer I did it.

I'm finished now and I hope for the rest of my life.

Dear Chemo and Cancer :

You will not be missed.  I will not miss your side effects (tingling and swelling in my fingers and toes, bone pain, fatigue, decrease in taste, sore throat, indigestion and the constant burned feeling on the tip of my tongue), the routine of spending my entire days at the hospital, needle pokes with a very large needle in my chest and abdomen on a regular basis,  having to take lots of medications, being filled so full with fluid that I feel as if I could pop, or the anticipatory nausea before and during treatments.

You definitely gave me a love for ginger ale, but only when I have treatments or fluids, a desire to chew bubble gum and blow lots of bubbles, a new love for warm herbal tea, all things sour and salty, airheads, tootsie rolls, apples and goat cheese (even though I loved you before, I just I love you more).

Thanks to You I definitely have no desire for hospital food ever again.

You have expanded and reshaped my abdomen in a way I never imagined looking worse than it ever has, you have made my lips dry, my body tired and weak, my nose run, and my hair disappear.

However, You have made my skin so amazingly, baby like soft that I wish I could keep you forever at least to some parts of my body.

You have made me more sensitive to my emotions, grateful for the relationships with people near and far, and let me realize it's ok to cry, but only for a short time.

You have taught me to cherish the small things and made me realize those small things are the big things!

You have sensitized my skin towards hot and cold, cold is so cold and hot is so hot.

You have helped me become more humble, prayerful, and reliant on others.

You have enriched my life as I have developed greater relationships with family, friends, doctors and nurses.

You have taken part of my womanhood and the opportunity to NEVER be able to bear a child, for this I curse you, but know I'll have the opportunity to be a mother somehow, someday.

You have made me a more compassionate medical provider.

You have made me want to reach out to every women and medical provider; to be an advocate for Ovarian Cancer

You have taken over my body killing not only the bad cells, but also the good ones.

You have done what you needed to do in lowering my CA 125 and in the coming weeks I hope there is nothing to be found on my CT Scan.

I'm grateful for the amazing army of family and friends that have helped me come out and conquer this fierce, sometimes grueling battle.  It is because of THEM that I've been able to FIGHT, WIN, SURVIVE, OVERCOME, AND LIVE!

However in the END You blasted treatment, I Thank You for helping me become well again, giving me hope, lots more time, resilience, humility, and the determination to fight a good fight!

PS.  Thank You for not taking all of my eyelashes and eyebrows, even though they are sparse, some are still there!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I wish I could give you a great wrap of this past weekend, because lets face it, it's about the last weekend before it will become winter and the leaves will all be off the trees with no color...but I can't give you anything exciting.  Plain and simple it was all about resting, sleeping and letting my body adapt to what the chemo is doing to make my body well for one last weekend.  I remember 3 weeks ago when I had the twofer chemo I kept thinking one more, I can do this...and I did it.  I have slept more this weekend than I have since having chemo my first chemo treatment in July.  Each chemo seems a little different, but this time I was so, extremely tired that I just gave into the fatigue and slept.  I've finally after all this time accepted that it is time for me to heal; as before I just felt lazy, but it is about healing.  It is amazing to me how I can sleep all day and all night and then all day and then all night.  Typically I have a hard time falling asleep, but not the case this weekend thanks to my cisplatin and taxol.  The bone pain hasn't been so bad, but it also seems to have hit later this weekend, like now.  My mom has pushed meds on me probably because she doesn't want me to start crying because of pain, but also because she knows I'll suffer before giving into them.

I did enjoy watching dad rake the leaves into piles yesterday, but was sad that he was disposing of them.  I thought he could wait one more week, but he told me it was ruining the grass, like that matters given it's going to be brown in a few weeks anyways.  I did think it was sweet of my brother Tyler to come help dad with all of the leaves since we have so many.  Tyler really is a good man, willing to serve and help when needed.

My friends the Metcalf's stopped by tonight.  Russel always comes by when I'm in my pj's, with no make-up or hat on.  Good thing he is married to my friend Cynthia and I don't have to worry about impressing them.  They are good people and are always concerned with how I'm doing.

I talked with my cousin Emilie in Alabama today.  We play phone tag often.  I sure miss being close to her when I lived in the South.  I often think about moving back to the South, but after having such amazing care through my cancer I feel that I need to be closer to home, for now anyways.

Today I didn't go to know I'm not feeling well if I stay home from church and you really know I'm not feeling well if I stay in my pj's, because let's be honest I'm a get up, get ready and go kind of girl.  Being in my pj's makes me feel dirty, like I need a shower.  Only twice have I stayed home from church during this chemo thing.  In between my naps today, I enjoyed reading talks from the General Relief Society Meeting this afternoon.  My favorite quotes were the following:

"Wherever we are in life, there are times when all of us have challenges and struggles.  Although they are different for each, they are common to all...We were not placed on this earth to walk alone.  What an amazing source of power, of strength, and of comfort is available to each of us.  He who knows us better than we know ourselves, He who sees the larger picture and who knows the end from the beginning, has assured us that He will be there for us to provide help if we but ask.  We have the promise:'pray always and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.'  As we remember prayer and take time to turn to the scriptures, our lives will be infinitely more blessed and our burdens will be made lighter." President Thomas S. Monson

"My dear sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity.  We have seen the lives of loved ones-and maybe our own-figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen.  But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him.  He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His spirit can dwell eternally...The Lord has a plan for each of our lives.  Nothing that happens is a shock or a surprise to Him.  He is all-knowing and all-loving.  He is eager to hep us, to comfort us, and to ease our pain as we rely on the power of the Atonement and honor our covenants.  The trials and tribulation that we experience may be the very things that guide us to come unto Him and cling to our covenants so that we might return to His presence and receive al that the Father hath."  Linda S. Reeves

Beautiful quotes that have indeed had an impact on my life as I've struggled through the past 5 months with a potentially life threatening illness.  Even though we were all shocked at my diagnosis, He wasn't.  He has always had a plan.  I love that.  There is purpose in all of this, some of those purposes I have seen since my diagnosis and some it may take years to see, but I know there is reason for all of this.  An email from Kirt this week said, "Last round of chemo and your cancer is history!  More hair to comb and many miles to be jogged in your future.  You have much work to do to spread your wonderful story."  I loved that reminder; I do have much work ahead of me, people to strengthen, places to go, and miles to jog and I await the day that I have hair to comb!!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Grad School Friends and Near The End of Chemo FF

1.  Friday night I met up with some of my friends from grad school.  I don't think that I have laughed that much in a very long time.  We had dinner at a local Italian Restaurant which was rather yummy!  It was like we were in school again having fun and enjoying each other's company!  Oh they are the greatest!  We did miss Jaime as he wasn't able to be there, maybe next time.  Kirt was funny as he tried to pull the she has cancer card with the hostess to get us seated sooner than an didn't work but he tried hard.
2.  Saturday morning Kirt came for breakfast with my family.  Dad makes the best waffles.  We again laughed a lot with the family.  After he finished up at his conference I again saw him for a short time before he flew home to New Orleans; so far away.  It was more than wonderful seeing him and gave
me so much strength to plow through my last week of chemo.

3.  Saturday us girls went for pedicures; how can that not be fabulous?  We also went to witches day out at Gardner village, lots of people and fun!
I asked Aidree what today was and she said, "Boise State Day!"  Love this girl!
4.  We had to leave Sunday but not before a bubble bath and a little Chocolate for breakfast!
5.  I took a bath this week.  You are saying wow, what's so fabulous about that?  I can't tell you the last time I took a bath, it has at least been 6 months.  It felt so good; jets and all!  Mom say's that's the last time until I have Hank reversed, it was a little messy...
6.  It was a beautiful Fall week this week.  I love this time of year, the beauty of the leaves and temps in the 60's...if only I could wear my jeans comfortably.
7.  I started my last round of chemo this week.  Only 1 more treatment.  Tuesday after chemo I went on a 2 miler and then visited with Grandma Betty for a good hour.  I sure love her.
8.  When I got home from chemo this week my RS president had left a beautiful bouquet of yellow daisy's and cards from sisters in my ward.  It totally made my day!
9.  Alisha and baby Calvin came to visit me at the hospital on Wednesday during IP chemo.  It is always a joy to have her visit!
10.  I purchased my flight for NYC on can't wait to see my cousins Kyrie and Taylor and my friend Shelley and her sweet family!  Mom is going with me which will be so fun!
11.  Yesterday when chemo had me physically and emotionally drained I read the following quote that brought even more tears to my eyes, but brought me so much peace and hope, "You will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times and you will realize that He was always there beside you."  President Monson
12.  Last night my friend Holly came over and gave me a most relaxing massage and my friend Megan brought over onions for French Onion Soup.  I have the best friends ever; so thankful for each one of them!
13.  Today I will sleep most of the day, actually it is almost 1 and I have slept most of the morning.  I try to remember I'm healing.  Chemo side effects I won't miss you one bit.  I'm thankful for so many prayers in my behalf, because as of yet my bones aren't in splitting pain, but my fingers and toes look like little sausages from all of the fluid and I'm just about to go get my last liter of fluid for the week, like I need any more, but because of slightly elevated kidney functions a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.  Thank goodness I wrote most of this post throughout the week, because if I hadn't you'd not be getting Fabulous Friday... here is to next Friday when I will be finished with chemo and we can celebrate!
14.  BSU/BYU football game tonight!!!!  Should be a great game!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thank You Kids For Your Prayers

I have so many sweet kids praying for me.  It is so unbelievably humbling to me to even think about the many, many people and kids that pray for me several times a day.  Yesterday my sister asked me if I felt the prayers offered in my behalf while I had chemo.  Through tears she told me that she sent out an email to family and friends updating them on my progress and requesting special prayers as I go through this last round of chemo.  The humbling thing is that I felt so much at peace both yesterday and today as I had chemo. I usually have a lot of discomfort and pain when I have the IP chemo that I had today, but I had absolutely no pain, just the discomfort of the 15 pounds of fluid that they put in me.  I'm not kidding about the 15 pounds either, pictures prove it...Don't forget the fluids I had yesterday and the fluids I will have tomorrow and Friday.
Before IP Chemo
After, swollen hands, feet and of course Abdomen
This is as close to pregnant as I will ever look.
On my way home I sent a text to my friend Lauren in CLT telling her I felt her prayers today.  She sent back a text that said, "It was probably baby Brody's 'Ms. Tewah feel bewetter' prayers."  So sweet!

Right after I was diagnosed with cancer my cousins were sitting around the dinner table in Phoenix, where I had just come from.  I'm told they had the missionaries over and one was blessing the food.  Of course he didn't know about me, but 8 year old Megan interrupted the end of his prayer saying, "And please bless cousin Terah that she will get better."  You have to know this darling girl, she is hilarious, and has a contagious smile.  I'm sure there was plenty of laughter at that dinner table.  Sure love this girl.  This family also had a family reunion a few weeks later and I was told that every single prayer by adult or child included me in it.  Very humbling indeed.
Megan and I in the grapefruit tree 5 days before I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.
Several Sundays ago, my cousin Katie posted a picture on FB drawn by her 5 or 6 year old in Primary that day which said, "who are you praying for?"  He had written my name and drawn a picture of me.  Her message follows:  "West had a lesson on prayer today.  Look who he is praying for!  Thank you for your strength and letting us be a small part of this experience you are having.   Love Ya."

A few months ago when I was having a hard day with chemo my sweet niece Aidree was over.  We were in the bathroom and I am pretty sure I was crying.  She knealt down and said a sweet prayer for me, which included that my hair would grow back.  A few hours later I was in my room and mom was trying to comfort me.  Aidree went into the next room, kneeled down and said a prayer for me.  She often prays that I will get better and that my hair will grow back by Christmas.  She is 4, but has been taught about prayer.

My nephews also pray for me...they are 6 and under.  My brother's tell me about their children's prayers and when they are over I hear their sweet prayers blessing me to get well.

I have many cousins who are praying for me and their children pray for me.  I am so lucky!  What I have learned from this experience is that they all have great parents who are teaching them the importance of prayer and faith.  What great people they are, doing what they were sent here to do!

Several of my friends and family members report often that they are still praying for me all the time.  Please keep the prayers coming even though I will soon be finished with chemo, it doesn't mean I'm in the clear yet, especially with another surgery coming up.  You all who pray for me will never know the impact you have had on my life.  But as I have mingled with family and friends I've come to realize I will never realize the impact I have had on their lives as well, as they have made me a part of their every day life and gone through this trial right along side me.

How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who listens to our prayers; but who also answers those prayers.  I have learned to have greater faith in my personal prayers and in the prayers said in my behalf over the last several months.  As I type on the shelf within eye shot is a small sign that says, "Prayer Changes Things."  I believe this quote, have felt it several times in my life and have great faith in it.  I'm so grateful for prayers, for my belief in prayer and for the many, many, many prayers said for little ole' me.

PS.  My grandpa lost his teeth today, we don't know if he hid them, he put's them in his pockets (which he has done before and we have found them) or if he threw them away.  They searched for 2 hours today and haven't found them.  So can you please say a little prayer that the teeth are found?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


This morning I am having the first treatment of my last round of chemo.  It doesn't seem real.  It has gone fast, but it has also gone by slowly.  It is strange to come into MSTI to have chemo where everyone else is facing the same challenge that you are, where everyone else is having poison pumped into their bodies hoping it will cure them, where it seems like we are all the same in the aspect that we are all fighting a battle that we hope we will win with the help of fabulous nurses, doctors and meds.  MSTI is set up with chairs facing each other on both sides of the wall and one bed in the back corner, which is where I usually sit.  I like my privacy in the back.  However I have chatted with my new friend Cheryl from my last treatment.  It was fun to catch up with her.  She is told me about how her hair started growing back after 3 weeks the first time after she had finished treatment.  She is on her second treatment because it came back 10 months later.

I hope this is the last time (besides fluids on Thursday) that I have to sit in here for chemo.  I have faith that I'm being cured, that my hair will start growing back soon and that I'll be back to my normal self in the next few months.  Thankfully my counts were up enough for me to have chemo today!

For The Love Of Fall!

Yesterday the kids came over to play in the leaves and decorate pumpkin sugar cookies!  Oh it was such fun and such a beautiful day!  There is nothing better than all things Fall!
 Today on my way out to my first treatment of my last round of chemo I got this shot of the tree.  It is beyond beautiful!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Shake

This morning as promised I made a pumpkin treat...a Pumpkin Protein Shake!  It was so creamy and festive.  I must share my made up recipe.  It was so creamy and delicious!  Had I have had spinach I would have put it in since I put spinach in all my can't taste it but it gives me another vegi that I can check off my nutrition list for the day...Remember I don't always measure things out, I just dump it all into my vitamix and blend...
Some pumpkin (About 1/4 can)
Some Skim Milk
A scoop of Chocolate Protein Powder (If I had vanilla I would have used it)
A cap of Vanilla
Some pumpkin pie spice
You can add some honey or agave but I don't like it too sweet so I didn't.
A Frozen Banana
Some Ice
I added about 1/4 Stephens Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate mix just for fun, but this is probably not needed.
Makes 2 servings

Needed This Quote This Morning

This morning I logged onto Facebook and saw this quote from Deseret Book.  It was exactly what I needed to start my week...

Joseph B. Wirthlin, on the principle of compensation:

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
From "Come What May, and Love It" by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (

Here's to another fabulous October Week of enjoying temperatures in the high 60's (I just saw this on the morning news), Fall Leaves which have fallen from our awesome tree, some kind of Pumpkin Treat that I think I'll make today and to the start of my final round of chemo!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's OK To Cry

I had a wonderful week last week.  It was most enjoyable.  I have waited for that week since July, so I should be on cloud nine and I am.

...but this evening when I took off my make-up and looked in the mirror I saw what looked like an alien.  Sometimes it just shocks me and saddens me.  Seriously I kind of think I look like Voldemort from Harry Potter, except for the flat nose.  I don't know why but all of a sudden I couldn't stop crying.  It's bad enough that I have a runny nose, but crying doesn't help and just makes it worse.  I think I cried for a good 30 minutes at least.  First I had a pity party in the bathroom by myself and then I went into my room where my mom caught me.  Her loving arms and comments always make me cry more.  It just isn't fair...I can't ever bear a child, I feel like part of my womanhood is gone, my eyelashes are splotchy as well as my eyebrows, I'm bald, I have a poop bag that I have to empty on a regular basis and that is attached to my abdomen which prevents me from wearing my normal clothes (I just want to be able to button my Lucky Jeans without a bag preventing me), I can't run 4 miles like I use to, I miss having my own home, I can't go to work, I have to take a bunch of medicines, I feel fat, I worry that my counts won't be as high as they need to be this week and I can hardly taste food, which I guess is a good thing because my appetite has been rather non-existent.  I think one of the biggest issues is the anticipation of what this week will bring.  I am most positive it will be the worst chemo of all, but I only have one more bad week; that's it, the last treatment next week isn't usually as bad as this weeks will be.  I know I just need to buck up and put my big girl panties on!

Tyler came over during my pity party, patted me on the back and gave me a sweet blessing of peace, a quick recovery, that the treatments will continue to heal my body and reminded me of all of the prayers being said in my behalf and that Heavenly Father LOVES ME!

...and then I remembered the email my friend Katie sent me this past week and how much it meant to me, how much it made me smile and the fact that I have so much to look forward to in the coming months... (I hope she doesn't mind me sharing, it was just so uplifting to me).

Hey Terah,

I was just reading through your's just SO YOU, it's fun to read.  I LOVE the way you talk about food (even if your mom thinks you blog too much about it), and while I love reading the recipes, I just know that I'll never be patient enough to make the delicious meals you describe.  The turkey reuben and onion soup sound incredible....but alas, I'm lazy.

Fall is my favorite time of the year too :)  I remember the first time I went into your house and the incredible, loving, cozy, warm feeling I felt there.  It was in the fall :)  I don't know if you remember, but I felt so good in your home that I came back to take pictures because there was just something about your home that I had to capture and try to recreate.  Call me silly but I actually just got teared up remembering the good feeling I felt there.  This might be way too much insight into my thoughts, but  I've kind mourned the loss of your uterus for you.  Does that sound bizarre...someone else mourning that for you? (And of course you could still adopt or marry someone with children, but all the same, I felt the loss for you :( )  But OH TERAH, what a mother heart you have!!!  What a homemaker you are!!!  What a loving, nurturing, uplifting woman you are!!!  And now I'm full on crying...but I want you to know that you inspire me to be a warmer mother and more involved wife, daughter, sister, and aunt through your bright, happy, honest, goodness and homemaking.  I love you and I so look forward to seeing you when you come out to NC in December!

Proud to be a member of TERAH'S ARMY!!

Love Katie

p.s.  I want you to know that you are still in my personal prayers, our marriage prayers, and our family prayers every day.  We love you!  Good luck with chemo!

This email takes me back to my house that I love so much, reminds me of all of the wonderful people in my life who care about me and pray for me...Someday I'll have another house, I'll have hair, I'll be able to wear my normal clothes, run 4 miles, not have to be on medicines, have to go to work and then I'll wish I could have more time to enjoy all the things I'm enjoying now (except the chemo).  So forgive me for venting my pity party on my blog, but it helps me to dry my tears and lets me realize all that I do have, all that I will have in the future and all of the many, many blessings Heavenly Father continues to bless me with.  

And Katie, no worries I'll show you how easy it is to make French Onion Soup and Turkey Reubens when I'm there in December!

Friday, October 18, 2013


1.  Ah, what an incredible week it has been which started out with movie night with Troy, Becky and the kids by watching a Halloween movie.  Yea, they are a bit young for movie night, but nonetheless, we had fun with popcorn and a movie on the big screen last Friday night.
2.  Saturday Danielle and I went boot shopping.  We didn't find any boots, but some tights and leggings for the Fall and Winter.
3.  I finally got my carmel apple sugar babies, oh so yummy!
4.  Sunday I drove to SLC with Tristen, Mitch and the girls.  Oh what fun to be in SLC for the entire week!  We stopped in Twinfalls to see Mitch's cousin who just came home from his mission in Liberia. It was fun to hear his stories of the crowds of people who would listen to the missionaries on the streets.  He said that when they decide to become converted they do it whole heartedly.
5.  Monday night after FHE my siblings surprised me with a Rita' of my favorite places in CLT.  Apparently SLC just got a Rita's.  We love us some Rita's ice!
6.  Tuesday we met friends at IKEA.  I saw the cutest little boy in a lion outfit.  I guess his mom didn't want to fight him when he decided he was a lion for the day.

7.  Thursday I wasn't feeling too hot, so I layed around and watched movies with the girls.  Sometimes you just need a day to be lazy.
8.  Today I went to the Family History Library and got 29 names temple ready!  I love the amazing programs that they have to do Family History.  I met up with cousins that I haven't seen in years this afternoon.  It was such fun to see them.
9.  For a quick lunch today Tenielle and mom and I went to the Soup Kitchen which is really a dive, but I had the best Ham and Bean soup and bread sticks.  If you are in SLC check it out, you won't be disappointed.
10.  Last Saturday I got a surprise phone call from my friend Shelley in NYC.  I love that gal!  She always makes me happy; lucky me I get to see her in 4 weeks!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cancer Has Taught Me...

Cancer has taught me that I am brave, strong, courageous, determined, a fighter, a survivor and an overcomer.  It has helped me to be more compassionate, loving, faithful, a dreamer of better things to come and to have hope.  It has made me emotional, sensitive, reliant on others and wanting more than ever to be a better person.  Cancer has taken the woman that I wasmade me the woman that I am and will make me become the woman that the Lord has meant for me to be.  Sometimes I curse this cancer for changing me, for taking my hair, my eyelashes, my eyebrows, my workout routine, my figure, my normal life, my independence, my physical strength and my money (I know it's just money but still...).  But it can't take my family, my friends, my amazing army, my faith, my courage, my testimony, my relationship with my Savior, or  my will to press onward and upward!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm In My Happy Place

Today was a very happy day for me!  I love surprises, so at 1030 when Kirt called and said he had just flown in and his day was open because he got his schedule mixed up I was like heck ya I'll throw together a cute outfit, put a little make-up on and top it off with a wig!  30 minutes later I drove up to the airport, got my favorite kind of greeting and headed to lunch at the sandwich shop where Tristen and I had originally planned on meeting Tanner for lunch.  We had a lovely time chatting it up and eating some of the best sandwiches ever.  Oh, it was so good to see this man after 9 years.  Since he had the day open him and I opted to go see some Fall colors in Park City, unfortunately we didn't see much color as it seemed to have been past peak.  We did have some fun doing some shopping at the outlets where he bought some sunglasses and I bought black leggings and a hounds tooth tank top at Talbots.  It was a near perfect day weather wise and even more perfect being with Kirt.  We went to his hotel which was at the amazingly beautiful Grand America and chatted for well over 2 hours.  By that time it was time for me to meet Tenielle at the Capital for the swearing in of the new Lieutenant Governor and to eat eclairs and for Kirt to get ready to meet with some big wig doctors.  I definitely feel like I'm in my happy place tonight!  Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures, I don't know how that happened, but I'll for sure take some the next few days!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I have been blessed with the best friends a girl could ask for!  My mom has said through out the last 4 months that she can't believe how many wonderful friends I have all over the country.  It is true you all are the best thing that has happened to me and it is because of you that I am healing and will beat this thing called cancer.  I'm who I am because of my friends.  I have friends that I grew up with, friends from college, grad school, work, church and others I've just happened to meet along the way.  Some I have been friends with forever and some for a short time, but all together they have created this women of strength, courage and determination because of their examples and love.

This week I'm meeting up with my friends from grad school.  I know that one of the reasons I was suppose to go to grad school was because of the friends that I met there.  Grad school was hard, was it harder than cancer...that's a hard one to compare, because they are both hard in their own way, but I know that I can get through cancer because I got through grad school.  I got through grad school because of the great friends that I met there.  Brandon sat next to me, encouraged me when times were hard and didn't mind that I had my blanket since we sat under the a/c. Dave made us all laugh, has the greatest smile and gives some of the best hugs.  Jaime joined the church in grad school and is the most compassionate, sincere guy ever and gives equally awesome hugs as Dave.  Jaime married Kristen who was my therapist through school because she is the best listener and also encouraged me to keep focused when maybe it wasn't so easy.  And then there is Kirt...there is something about a southern voice that makes a girl's heart go pitter patter even when she doesn't want it to; especially every morning when he'd say, "Good morning Miss Terah."  If there was ever a guy who absolutely adored me it was him and the sad thing was I hardly gave him the time of day in the beginning, but by the end of our first year in grad school he won my heart over with his sweet nothings, dreamy smile and of course his lips.

Yesterday I had lunch with Brandon and Dave at a cute place called eggs in the city.  It was so fun to see them and catch up.  Dave asked me an interesting question, "When did I come to terms with the fact that I had cancer?"  After some thought I answered, "It was a progressive thing, probably after I lost my hair."  I was able to share my testimony of miracles, prayer and the atonement with them.  It was a sweet opportunity.  I've been praying for missionary opportunities and the Lord has blessed me with them.  Tonight I had dinner with Kristen and Jamie and their darling children Sophie and Luke.  It was such fun having sushi with them.  Jaime told me that I will get better because of all the prayers that are being said in my behalf.  He is so right.  Tomorrow I will spend the afternoon with Kristen!  She is such a great friend.  Kirt flies in tomorrow!  So can't wait to see him.  I've definitely been counting down the days since we first talked in July.  It will be fun to get together with everyone on Friday night!  And so the fun of no chemo week continues...

Friday, October 11, 2013

I'm In Love With October FF

1.  I'm in love with October here in Idaho.  It has been a beautiful, slightly chilly, slightly windy, sunny week and I am feeling so much better than last week, with the slight exception of still a runny nose, which is worse when I eat curry, which I got yesterday (and which I'm eating as I type) at this amazing new Thai Restaurant in town, when I had lunch with my friend from High School Cathy.
2.  I'm in love with Honey Crisp Apples.  I'm eating at least 1 or 2 a day.  I love how crisp and sweet they are.  I bought a box of bruised apples for $6 (gala and some other kind) and have been drying batches since last night.  I think I'm just about ready for a carmel apple; add a little fat and calories to my nutritious apple.  I'm sure craving those carmel apple sugar babies or suckers and I don't even like apple candy.
Remember this...last year we picked apples at my friends orchard; and I had hair!
3.  I'm in love with Pumpkin.  We bought our second loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread from our local bread store, but in all honesty, my homemade pumpkin gingerbread was better.  I'm loving washing my hands with pumpkin carmel latte soap and the smell of pumpkin cinnamon spice room spray (even though my nose is a bit stuffed at times).
4.  I'm in love with my cute patent leather dansko's that mom got me last season on clearance for $25.  They are coming in handy now that my toes are cold when I wear my flip flops.
5.  I'm in love with the funny things my sweet grandpa says and does, like yesterday when he told me I could have his silver dollar collection and was trying to give it to me right there.  I told him I might get in trouble if I did that.  He said twice, "When they go to divide up my bones, tell them I told you that you could have the silver dollar collection."  It was witnessed by mother and he was in sound mind too!  I took grandpa to get a hair cut yesterday, he didn't appreciate that it was too short, but it was a fun memory for me.  On our way there he said, "Are you going to get your hair done too?"  He was pulling a funny for sure.  When I took dinner to him last night he cleared off the table and said he was waiting for me to serve him, that if I wanted my tip in silver dollars I'd better serve him well!
6.  I'm in love with some new crocheted hats that I got from the accessory room at the cancer center this week.  They will keep my little noggin warm for the coming months.  I'm especially grateful for my follow up visit with my GYN Oncologist Dr. C who is fabulous and spent a good 30 minutes just chatting with us.  I asked her at the end of my visit if she would say that I am in remission and she said, "Yes, very likely given my CA 125 is 13!!!!"  Of course I still have one more round of chemo (3 treatments) left; Oct. 22, 23, 29 and I will have to have a CT scan in about a month to make sure there isn't anything growing in the abdomen/pelvis.  I also have my reversal of Hank my ileostomy scheduled for Dec. 13 (was Dec. 6 but I need a vacation before hand).
7.  I'm in love with the colors of the leaves that are changing around town, how it makes me so happy and relaxed!  I love when the leaves fall from our awesome tree out front.  I've patiently been waiting for them to fall all week, but I'm afraid they aren't quite ready to fall.  Last year they looked like this:
My sister Tristen acting like a witch.
Bridget looks so young here.
8.  I'm in love with a quote that I heard on a cancer video yesterday, "The future doesn't belong to the faint hearted, it belongs to the BRAVE."
9.  I'm in love with Southwest Airlines because they had an awesome sale this week.  I admit my frequent flier miles are all about Delta, but when it comes to a round trip flight from the West Coast to North Carolina for $318 instead of $500 I'll switch airlines.  I'm happy to report I'll be in Charlotte Dec 3 (late as in 11:55) until Dec. 11!  I can't wait to see my Charlotte Army and to celebrate conquering cancer!
10.  I'm in love with my cold insulated water bottle that Tenielle brought me a few weeks ago.  It keeps my water with Doterra lime drops cold all day and gets me to drink all the water I need in a day.
11.  I'm in love with Harry Potter's accent!  I've never watched all of the movies, so over the past 3 months we have had a Harry Potter Marathon and finally finished them this week.  Mom loves Harry Potter.  It was fun watching it with her.
12.  I'm in love with General Conference.  So many good quotes that I will have to save them for their own post, however I have to leave you with my favorite that applies so much to my life and the past 4 months from President Monson,"The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure.  A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us:  Shall I falter or shall I finish?  Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured and then have overcome."