One hill at a time

My head and heart are spinning. I have these moments where it feels like there is just too much to process. But I am going to start this post by saying God IS good…all the time…in everything.

I learned recently that a dear blogger friend was claimed by this beast of cancer. Jellebelle was a beacon of light and encouragement. Her writing was raw and authentic and we had a connection through the digital divide. She received my very first tree pendant and we even bridged the virtual gap over a bowl of Pho in Seattle. I’m glad I was able to give her a physical hug. Her spirit in this world will be missed.

I can’t put her passing away together with the PINK media onslaught that is October. My Facebook feed is filled with the most ridiculous awareness campaigns that are so disconnected from doing anything effective. Philips is lighting up monuments pink. The NFL has their “perfect catch” program. Corporations slap a pink ribbon on the products to sell more and then donate an extremely small percentage…even then:

60% of funds raised and donated in North America are being put back into awareness campaigns. Currently only 5% of funds raised and donated in North America are being used towards prevention research.
– Pink Ribbons Inc

Seriously, the dramatic need for AWARENESS is over. These numbers should be reversed with the bulk of the funds generated going to RESEARCH…and an actual cure rather than just better treatment. 40,000 women still die every year in America and that needs to change…but it wont the way things are currently working.

To top that off I just returned from 3 (good, intense) weeks traveling to New York, Croatia and Slovenia. It was a whirlwind of friends, food, wine, laughter, tears. It was also the first time I had seen my husband in 9 months. Emotional roller coaster is an understatement. No wonder I am feeling a bit exhausted at the moment.

In light of all this I go back to God is good. In the storm. In the emotions. In the unknown. In provision. It is hard for me to continue to let go and trust but the more I do the easier it is because I see His faithfulness.

Here is an image from Slovenia that centers me right now. There is a lot I wish I knew…but I do know my trajectory over the next hill and I have faith that I will be able to tackle whatever lies after. And I should look up and enjoy the scenery while I can. 🙂




Reluctantly Pink

I don’t really like pink. In fact, I might even say I dislike it.  There is no real reason why its just never been my color. Maybe it has something to do with being a hardcore engineer 🙂 or maybe because I was born in the 80’s and saw so many different horrible shades that I developed an aversion to it.  I can’t ever remember liking it…except for Barbie’s pink corvette. She always seemed to have a way of pulling it off. In general I’m OK with disliking it and have normally left the pink wearing in our family to my rock star sister-in-law Sarah and her fabulous daughter Jadrianne.

But, after I found out I had Breast Cancer it seemed like I saw pink everywhere and even opened myself up to purchasing a few things. Gasp! People have told me that I don’t HAVE to like pink now…I know, and I still don’t really. But the color reminds me of all the women who have gone before me in this fight. It is comforting and sometimes feels like armor against the anxiety of the unknown. I don’t know how my body will react to chemo. There are a ton of scary potential side effects…I had to go to the dentist last week to make sure my teeth won’t fall out. I don’t know a single person who is excited for chemo and says that is fun. So, I am certain it will be rough and am bracing myself for some tough days. But I am not the first and draw strength knowing that there are many people in the same position I am. I can and will do this one day at a time.

That being said I got the call this morning for my first of six chemo appointments. It will be this Thursday at 10:30 am Amsterdam time. I have been told it will take 4-5 hours because they give me quite a cocktail of different drugs. For you medical folks out there I am on the TAC regimen (DoceTaxel, Adriamycine, Cyclofosfamide). And will now receive an IV dose every 3 weeks.

This is when things will get heavier and we appreciate your prayers. Please pray specifically for:

  • A good night’s sleep on Wednesday…no anxiety
  • Getting the IV started on the first try. I have extremely difficult veins and can now only use my right arm for blood draws and IVs. After the IVF and other blood tests my right arm is extremely sore from getting poked so many times. (Most people need a couple tries to get it)
  • Minimal side effects