Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Teal Diva Spotlight

Check This Out. 
I'm so grateful to be aquanted with such a great organization and to be able to share my story of survival.  Teal Diva foundation (out of Charlotte) was started by Shannon after she was diagnosed with OVC.  Many of us were diagnosed before the age of 40.  I met Shannon when I visited Charlotte the year I was diagnosed.  We have become great friends. 

Shannon has been spot lighting women who have been diagnosed with OVC less than age 40.  In the US, approximately 7 percent (about 1,500) women a year are diagnosed with OVC before the age of 40.  It's crazy for me to think that I'm in this small percentage of women.  Shannon asked me if I would write about what I have learned from cancer and particularly what I've learned as a medical provider with cancer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Have You Heard?

This past summer my friend Aubrey had me try out her new lipstick product.  I liked it but didn't pursue it.  I think it was because she had introduced me to a different lip color a few months back which I loved and still do.

In October I caved at a womens expo that I attended.  At first when I heard the price I was like no way, but after using this for over a month, I realize the price is so worth it. 

I'm addicted so much so that I have become a distributor of Lipsense.  Have you heard about this long lasting lip color?  Well if you haven't let me tell you about it.

What I love about this is it is a long lasting lip color that is smudge proof, water proof, eat proof and kiss proof.  It doesn't get on my teeth or all over my water bottle.  The best thing is I only have to apply it once a day.  The second best thing is there are over 60 colors, which makes it difficult to choose one or ten!

A few weeks ago I took a second trip in November to visit my sister Tristen in Spokane.  One of the nights she invited some friends over for a Lipsense party and the best Pumpkin Cheesecake EVER.  Everyone had so much fun trying on different lip colors.  Even ladies who aren't lipstick wearers loved this product.

This product is so hot that as soon as they put out a new batch, you better get them or they will be gone.

My friend calls it crack for women.

Try it, you won't be disappointed.  If you want to host a party, I'll come wherever you are.  In fact I'm flying to NC in early January to not only see my peeps but to spread some Lipsense Love!
Yes, Aidree lost her first tooth, the girls both cut their hair, Carson is growing like a weed and Tristen allowed Aidree and Bridget to eat Halloween candy for lunch!

Radiation Finished

Radiation ✓, Side Effects, still present.

My mom mentioned a few days ago that I haven't blogged for a few weeks.  Um, really mom I love you, but I've been a little preoccupied with my sick days on the couch.  I've literally been going from bed to radiation to couch to the restroom, to doctors appointments for the past 2 weeks, well really 6 weeks.  I'm so glad its over.  I seriously at times didn't know how much longer I could endure those days. 

Yesterday was my last radiation treatment.  I flew back to Phoenix late last night, had a doctors appointment today, did some grocery shopping, put some soup in the crock pot, about to rest my eyes and tomorrow I'll work my first 12 hour shift since this all started in October.  I'm praying I feel ok and that I have the energy I need to get through my day. 

I'm told the side effects will continue for at least a month, ugh.  But lets look on the bright side, at least I don't have to go to the cancer center where there are all old people, every day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Worked

I did what I came home to do:  I worked.
And now I'm tired.
I'm pretty impressed with myself.
26 patients in 8 hours.
Even with radiation side effects,
I still have speed and efficiency.
Last night was so bad.
I went to bed before 8.
Woke up at 2
With killer abdominal pain.
Thank you peppermint drops
And a heating pad.
Oh yes and phenergan.
Seriously thought I was dying.
I made it through today
Thanks to Zofran.
And now 1 basket of clothes to fold,
Garbage's to empty,
A few things to pack,
A flight to catch at 0610;
Which is way too early,
And I'll be back to
One Word:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Stake Conference and Testimony

This weekend we had Stake Conference for our church.  This entails approximately 10 wards which makes up a stake.  We have an adult session on Saturday evening and everyone on Sunday morning.  There are also leadership meetings on Saturday.  We have these meetings every 6 months.  I always come away from them feeling rejuvenated.

This weekend was no different.  We had presiding at our Stake Conference Elder Kevin Pearson a General Authority Seventy from our SLC.  It isn't often that we have leadership come from SLC to these meetings.  He gave an amazing talk last night and asked us to think about some pretty important questions.  Here are the main points of his talk:
1.  We can call upon the Lord in the name of the Son.  Pray more often.  Do you still believe the Lord will answer your prayers?  When you pray can you see and feel him?
2.  How often do you plead to have the spirit of the Holy Ghost with you.  When was the last time you plead with Heavenly Father to send the Holy Ghost to be with you?  The Holy Ghost can give you great comfort.  The language of the spirit isn't a spoken language.  Our native language is a spiritual language. 
3.  (There was a song sung called) Savior Redeemer of my soul.  He truly is that!  When we pass away, we are going to be stunned to know how intimately Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were involved in our lives and were aware of us.  God will never leave us comfortless. 
4.  Be of good cheer.
5.  Now is not the time to give in, give up or give out.  You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead.

After the meeting I was talking to some sweet sisters in my ward.  When our conversation was over I thought about going up to shake Elder Pearson hand.  But I really don't like doing those things.  So I walked out to my car.  I got half way there before turning around and going back in.  I did this twice before I finally went back into the chapel, where my Stake President motioned for me to come to the front.  He told me he wanted to introduce me to Elder Pearson.  He asked me my story and with tears I told him that I had cancer.  We had a conversation about faith, prayer and enduring.  He took me by the shoulders, looked in my eyes and said, "Keep fighting.  Don't you give up.  And don't you quit."  He then gave me a hug and kissed the top of my head.  I thought this was pretty neat and a spiritual experience.  He also asked me what I learned from the meeting.  It was that I needed to attend the temple more often.  The funny thing was the meeting wasn't even on that topic, but just the personal revelation that I received.

This morning as I was on the stand to sing with the choir and before the meeting, Elder Pearson came and gave me a hug and kissed me on the forehead.  After 4 speakers and a song, the Stake President got up and said before the concluding speaker, Elder Pearson, we would ask Sister Terah Young and the new Patriarch to bear their testimonies.

It was interesting that as I was sitting in the meeting that I was thinking of my testimony.  It was an incredible experience to share what I know with the congregation. I told them about my cancer and how when I was in the hospital my mom asked me if I wanted anything from home.  I asked her to bring a picture of the Savior, which she did.  Often I'd look at the picture and think to myself that no one could possibly know what I was going through.  But as I looked at the Savior it was as if He was looking back at me telling me that He knew exactly what I was going through.  I testify that the Atonement if more than just for sin, but that the Savior also bore our heartaches, our disappointments, our emotional and physical pains.

I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  That at the age of 14 he went into a grove of tree's in Palmyra, NY in 1820 to pray to know which church to join.  I testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him telling him to join none of them.  In time they taught him of the church which replicated the same church when Jesus Christ was on the earth and he brought this forth in our time.

I testify that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.  I don't know how He hears so many prayers but I testify that He does.  It is quite possible that He has different ears than we do.  I told them about Aidree's prayer last week and how it touched my heart in knowing that He hears the prayers of all of his children.

I testify that the Book Of Mormon is Another Testimate of Jesus Christ.  I know that as we read from it's pages daily we will come closer to Christ.  After returning home from 15 days in the hospital, I opened my Book Of Mormon to where I had left off.  It was Mormon chapter 9.  In this chapter it talks about prayer, miracles and faith.  I remember weeping knowing that Heavenly Father was aware of me and my situation and had answered my prayers through His words.

I testify that we have a Prophet President Monson.  That he leads this church under the direction of our Heavenly Father.

I testify that family's can be together for eternity.  And I testify of the power of the Priesthood.

Elder Pearson then spoke about faith during adversity.  In his talk he said, "I know one person in this congregation who puts her faith in the Savior even among adversity; (he turned to me and said) our sweet Terah."  It was pretty special that he saw my faith in my Savior in only just meeting me.

Most of his talk was taken from a talk he gave in 2009 General Conference entitled, Faith In The Lord Jesus Christ.  You can read it HERE.  It was amazing.

Here are some favorite quotes from his talk:
~Faith comes in many forms, levels and degrees.
~It takes a greater amount of faith to succeed in adversity.
~When we learn to trust in God it is as if we are focusing and accessing great power from Heaven.
~When we pray with real intent we can come to know God.
~Adversity is the trail of our faith and trust. Those who survive adversity put their trust in Heavenly Father.
~Press forward saints with steadfast faith in Christ and trust in the promised of our Heavenly Father.

After the meeting He talked with me two other times.  He told me that it was his idea to have me speak.  He also told me that he wanted to keep in touch with me and gave me his email.

My stake president told me that my talk couldn't have been better if I'd had the chance to prepare it ahead of time.

I now have the energy to keep doing what I need to do to overcome this illness.  Yes it is hard at times, but I know I can accomplish what I have been sent to this earth to do.  I've been sent to be tested, and that is just what is happening.  It is my goal to pass that test.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Nachos and Prayer

This week was rough.  At least the first 3 days were.  I literally went from the couch to the bathroom, to radiation, except for the 1 mile walk that I went on Tuesday morning that felt like a marathon.  Thankfully yesterday and today I am feeling better.  It is so good to be home in Phoenix, although it was a close call getting here.  Thankfully there are bathrooms all around me and lots of drugs to keep me in the clear.
I visited my sister last weekend.  It was a very quick trip.  I felt good for only half of my time there.  Eating is going to get the best of me.  If I eat, I get sick.  I can do small frequent meals but if I get the least bit full, I'm done for.  She did take me to this place for lunch that had amazingly delicious grits.  I may not have been born southern, but my time in the south gave me a love for some great grits.  But it was the Chinese food that killed me.  No more Chinese food for me, EVER AGAIN.

I was humbled on Sunday when Aidree prayed over her lunch nachos, "Please bless Auntie Terah that the cancer will go out of her body and please bless the doctors that they will know how to get the cancer out of Auntie Terah's body."  This is a 7 year old.  She is amazing.  I'm sure she has no idea what is really going on, but she knows to pray.  I asked her if she remembered praying for me when she was almost 4 and I was super sick and crying after surgery.  She didn't, but I always will remember her going around the corner and praying all by herself out loud that I would get better. Bridget (5) said a similar prayer that night.  Of course this brought tears to my eyes.  It was cute when she went and got me a tissue without even saying anything.  I'm so grateful for all on my sweet nieces and nephews who pray for me on a regular basis.  I know it is because of their prayers and so many that I am doing as well as I am.  It could be so much worse you know. 

Today a man from my church came over to asses my yard because him and the young men are going to clean it up.  He asked me what kept me going and positive.  I told him it was my nieces and nephews and that I don't want to die.

Carter is growing so fast.  He is so cute and loves his baths.  We are all so happy to finally have this election over with, even though half the country isn't happy about the results.  The other half wouldn't have been happy if the other person would have won.   I'm actually anxious to see what an "outsider" can do. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Day In The Life Of A Cancer Patient

 Friday I had my 13th radiation treatment.  We are getting so close to half way.   I'm happy to report that I'm finally feeling some pain relief in my tailbone and spine.  In fact since Thursday I had only been taking 1 strong pain pill at night until today.  I've taken them all day today.  I'm not quite sure why I've been in pain today but I have.  The pain has improved significantly since starting radiation, which makes me hope and believe that the tumors are shrinking.

After radiation I had a doctors visit with Dr. Q and another one with Dr Dans NP, because there was a scheduling snafu.  My white count dropped from 4 to 2.5.  It hasn't been that low for several months.  The lower the white count, the more at risk I am of catching a bug.

It was then onto my infusion.  It's always a long day.  I'm just hoping that all of these treatments are killing the cancer cells.

Every time I have radiation they have an xray of my pelvis on the screen.  There is an area on the right iliac crest (pelvis) that I questioned Dr. Q about.  The radiologist never mentioned it on the CT scans, even though when we looked at the last CT it was there.  Dr. Q talked with the radiologist who said this is a tumor.  He feels that it is a soft tissue ovarian tumor that is calcified from treatment.  Thankfully it is calcified and thankfully it doesn't hurt.  Funny that my left hip still hurts sometimes from what I hope and think is bursitis.

Tuesday-Thursday of last week I was sick, sick, sick.  It was bad and I felt horrible.  I had some crazy abdominal cramping that would come and go every few minutes and only lasted seconds, but it was so painful.  I've had some pretty bad nausea, especially in the mornings and after radiation.  Thankfully I also have zofran which seems to minimize it.  I've spent way too much time in the restroom too.  I'll leave it at that...GRRRR.  I pretty much have been on the couch for far too many hours of the day.  I'm super tired, not necessarily sleepy, just tired.  My appetite is still down and I feel weak with very minimal energy.  I remember when Dr. Q told me my energy level would go down, I was going to prove her wrong.  Yea, she was right.  I'm grateful for prayers that were answered during the worst of the pain.  I may have said at one point through tears that I didn't know if I could keep fighting.  I might go far enough to say that the side effects from radiation are worse than chemo.

The crazy thing is that the last 2 Friday's I have I felt pretty good.  The radiology techs told me that they see a lot of patients feel better on Fridays.  There is no rime or reason for it.

This week I only have 4 treatments since I'm going home to Phoenix for a few days.  Hooray! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween 2016

We had our family Halloween party last Friday night.  I was pretty much laying around the house all week last week, but Friday afternoon I had a spark of livelihood and because I can only dress up once a year like a scarecrow, it had to be done.  I had been wearing this flannel shirt all day, so with a little make-up, this awesome Tom Sawyer hat that I think we got in Hannibal, MO (the Tom Sawyer town) many year ago and some overalls (that I think are back in style) I had a costume!  It took a little convincing to get Tenielle to join in the costume dress up.  I think I did a pretty good job at getting her to be a bag of leaves!  My mom painted this cute pumpkin when I was a kid.  I love it and love that she still puts it up every year.
The weather was suppose to be cold and rainy.  Thankfully the weather man was wrong, because it turned out to be a perfect night for soup, a bon fire and trunk or treating.
Halloween evening the kids all came over for donut holes, apple juice and left over soup.  I loved that it was still light out side and not freezing.  I went trick or treating with Troy's kids.  It was super fun!