Tag Archives: celebrate

I Am One in 15 Million!

Support Cancer Awareness
Support Cancer Awareness

Did you know that I am one in 15 million?  You may be one in 15 million, too. Yesterday, June 7, 2015, was National Cancer Survivors Day.

I am grateful to be a survivor of the dreaded disease.  I had a moment of celebration. Nothing fancy. No family cookout or barbecue. In fact, I simply posted on my Facebook page to inform others of the significance of the day and then I said a prayer.

It was a short prayer. I thanked God that he healed me and thanked him for continued healing every day. Prayer does not have to be a formal ritual. Prayer is just a conversation with God.  I talk to him like I talk to everyone else. I just say different things.

I celebrate  survivors of all cancers.  To go through cancer treatment, you have to be a warrior because you fight for your life.  I celebrate you or someone you know.

In the midst of celebration, I pause for a reality check and pray for those who are fighting this very minute for their life. My prayer for you is that you have strength, and are surrounded with support from family and friends. Please know that you are not alone. I do not know you but I pray for you every day.

Finally, I remember those who lost the battle with cancer and several come to mind.  I have to mention my friend, Nancy. She was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple years after me and lost the battle with breast cancer. I live every day to the fullest because I know she would tell me to do that. I walked in the Race For the Cure 5K in memory of her.

I walked in celebration of Cheryll and in memory of Nancy.
I walked in celebration of Cheryll and in memory of Nancy.

Celebrate those who survive.

Support those who fight.

Remember those who lost the battle because they would want you to live every day.

Even though I would rather not be a part of this statistic. I am grateful that I am one in 15 million.

I invite you to follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be blessed.

Laura

Happy Birthday, Doug!

Happy Birthday, Doug!

Doug is:

  • kind
  • loving
  • a giver
  •  a helpmate
  • a caregiver (when needed)
  • a Godly example to our children and grandchildren
  • and my soulmate.
Handyman
Handyman
The Adventurer
The Adventurer
The Hunter
The Hunter
The family that hunts together...wears camo together.
The family that hunts together…wears camo together.
Dance partner at Paige's wedding
Dance partner at Paige’s wedding
Papa to our first grandchild, Madison
Papa to our first grandchild, Madison
My Soulmate
My Soulmate

I am blessed to be on this journey of life with him.

To be continued after his celebration tonight….

5K Adventures

My nails are ready for my 1st 5K.  I am participating in Race For A Cure. Yay!
My nails are ready for my 1st 5K. I am participating in Race For A Cure. Yay!

This is a partial post from my New Years Day blog.

  • 2015 will hold many more firsts...some I don’t even know about.  My goal, not resolution, is very basic. My goal is to be healthy: body, mind and soul.
  • Body…I have been eating clean since July 1, 2014.  I have room for improvement in this area.  I am walking my first 5K, Race For A Cure, this month.  I hope to walk many 5K’s for different causes in 2015.  This time, I walk for all who are fighting breast cancer.  I walk to celebrate all survivors and to remember those who lost their battle to this horrible disease. It will be the first time that I will be recognized as a survivor.

I am so excited to participate in this 5K. I was brave enough to be recognized as a survivor.  These are big steps for me.  I will let you know how it goes.

I invite you to follow me on FB @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be Blessed.

Laura

UPDATE…

5K Race For The Cure, 2015

The Rack Pack ...Saving 2nd Base Since 2012
The Rack Pack …Saving 2nd Base Since 2012
Breast cancer survivors. Me 6 years (L), Mary 10 years (R) Waiting for the race to start...in the rain.
Breast cancer survivors. Me 6 years (L), Mary 10 years (R) Waiting for the race to start…in the rain.
All survivors 5+ years.
All survivors 5+ years.
Walking in the 5+ year survivor parade.
Walking in the 5+ year survivor parade.
Before the race, waiting in the rain.
Before the race, waiting in the rain.
1 mile marker!  Rain rain go away!
1 mile marker! Rain rain go away!
2 mile marker. Yay!
2 mile marker. Yay!
3 mile marker! Woohoo! Almost done.
3 mile marker! Woohoo! Almost done.
Survivors after the race.  We made it!
Survivors after the race. We made it!
After the race, celebrating with Jessica.  She really encouraged me the entire time. Thanks, Jessica.
After the race, celebrating with Jessica. She really encouraged me the entire time. Thanks, Jessica.

I did not realize that the survivors wore a different color shirt.  It was a very emotional day.  Complete strangers were cheering us on as we walked and after we crossed the finish line.  It was truly and amazing experience. I walked for all who are fighting breast cancer.  I walked to celebrate all survivors and to remember those who lost their battle to this horrible disease.

Below are pictures on my survivor shirt and medal.  Also, a picture of  who I celebrate (Cheryll) and I walked in memory of (Nancy).

Survivor shirt and survivor medal for completing 5K.
Survivor shirt and survivor medal for completing 5K.
I was # 737.
I was # 737.
I walked in celebration of Cheryll and in memory of Nancy.
I walked in celebration of Cheryll and in memory of Nancy.

Take pride in how far you’ve come and have faith in how far you can go. In all of life’s craziness, remember to enjoy the journey.

I invite you to follow me on FB @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be Blessed.

Laura

We Danced In The Rain

The day Paige found 'the dress'.
The day Paige found ‘the dress’.

In the middle of my chemo treatments, my eldest daughter, Paige got engaged to be married.  It was a very exciting distraction in the middle of the chaos.

Wedding Plans Begin

Before we knew it, we found ourselves in the middle of June and I was recovering from two surgeries.  I was not working due to the surgeries and Paige had a few days off from work.  We were determined to plan the wedding.

Paige found a dress in the spring and that detail was already taken care of.  All she needed to do now was to arrange for alterations.  She was getting married in January 2010 and her wedding colors were navy and white.  We added a splash of silver to the invitations and the wedding favors.

The challenge was to find a venue large enough for 300 guests.  The maximum capacity of the wedding chapel was 300.  The guest lists needed to be adjusted to meet that number.  We made several phone calls and talked to many friends for recommendations for flowers, photographers and invitations.  After we narrowed down our list, we began to schedule appointments.

In 3 days, we visited and secured the chapel, reception venue, florist, linens, invitations, photographer and the cake.  Deposits were made and all we had left to do was to work on the other details: favors, music, programs and menu cards.

Road Trip

The most memorable trip was when Paige drove me 67 miles to the company that would supply and set up the linens.  With surgical drains in place and the special wrap that resembled a tight tube top to hold the drains in place, I gingerly got in and out of her car.  I put on my make up and favorite wig and we set out to find the linens distributor.  We put the address in the GPS and off we went.  It began to rain so hard that we could barely see the road and it felt like she hit every pothole on the road.  With each bump, I had pain in each side where the surgical drains were held by a couple of stitches.  We got lost, we laughed and had the best time.  Eventually, we found the linen vendor and we were able to make all of the arrangements in one trip.  We literally were ‘dancing in the rain’.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s learning to dance in the rain.”

I invite you to follow me on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope

Be Blessed!

SURPRISE! RBW Celebration!

As I drove to work, I was mentally preparing myself for the emotions of the day.  I received the great news from the ultrasound but only Doug and I knew about that report because we wanted to wait until after the surgery.  In less than 24 hours, I would endure six hours of surgery that would require three specialist.  Today, I channeled my positivity to reflect on just how grateful I was for the staff at RBW.  I wrote the staff a letter so that I would not need to say any goodbyes.  I was not pleased to miss that last three days of school but you do not argue with doctors and I learned that my health was more important than my job.

Since the staff found out about my diagnosis when they returned to school in January of 2009, they continued to support me.  The first time I wore a wig I was so self conscious and they acted like it was no big deal.  When I had to wear my favorite fuzzy hat to work, they made me feel accepted.  They provided meals every Thursday for at least five months and my family looked forward to Thursdays.  My mom and I were just talking about that last night.  It was a much needed night off for the care givers not to worry about food. Every now and then, grade levels and individuals would give me care packets, gift cards and cards of encouragement.  They loved me through those difficult months and always treated me kindly.

Real men do wear pink!
Real men do wear pink!
RBW fabulous 'lunch bunch' looking good in pink!
RBW fabulous ‘lunch bunch’ looking good in pink!

When I got to school, I noticed one pink shirt, three pink shirts, grade levels of pink shirts and eventually realized that they all wore pink shirts on my last day.  It brings me to tears 5 1/2 years later as I write this blog.  I was surrounded by support and kindness every day.

After dismissal, Mrs. Ward, Principal, told me that she needed me to go with her to the Computer Lab.  She was quite convincing so off we went.  We did go to the Computer Lab and walked straight through to the back door of the Media Center where the entire staff had gathered and made a tunnel of pink to welcome me as I entered the room. (That was a tradition I brought to the school when I came years before.  On the last day of school, the staff gathered to make a tunnel for the last bus students to walk through as they boarded the bus.  The students always loved it.)  Needless to say, I was so overwhelmed.  As I looked around the room, there was a sea of pink.  The staff was wearing pink shirts, holding pink balloons and wearing surgical masks. It was an amazing show of support.

'tunnel of support'
‘tunnel of support’
Walking through the 'tunnel of support'
Walking through the ‘tunnel of support’
RBW staff...all in pink with their surgical masks
RBW staff…all in pink with their surgical masks

My birthday is in July so we gathered to celebrate an early birthday featuring my favorite colors: pink and yellow. They arranged for me to have a month of birthdays so that I would have a card to open every day during my recovery from surgery.  They also made a money ribbon because they knew I hadn’t been able to go to the beach during chemo and that was and still is one of my favorite places to relax.

My favorite wig and all three special cakes
My favorite wig and all three special cakes
Happy Early Birthday
Happy Early Birthday
Favorite colors...pink and yellow
Favorite colors…pink and yellow
It's all about the 'PINK'
It’s all about the ‘PINK’

Kindness, gratitude, compassion and joy surrounded me that day.  A journey through breast cancer or any other illness changes you.  You can allow it to change you for the good or you can become bitter.  It’s not easy!  Healing takes time.  Believe me…CANCER SUCKS, but life goes on and happiness is a choice.  I choose to be happy every day and I choose to SMILE!

I invite you to follow me on Facebook @ http://facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be Blessed.

Graduation Celebration Week

My last Taxol/Herceptin chemo was May 5, 2009.  I was going to the chemo lab for weekly Herceptin infusions but at least I could drive myself and schedule those after work. I had three weeks to regain my strength before Kelsey’s graduation week.

The week of May 25th was very busy:

  • Tuesday, May 26th  – Baccalaureate Service
  • Wednesday, May 27th – Cheri, sister-in-law, arrived from New Mexico
  • Thursday, May 28th – Senior Awards
  • Friday, May 29th – Graduation
  • Sunday, May 31st – Kelsey’s Graduation Party

At the Senior Awards, Kelsey received multiple honors:

  • Polk  Education Foundation Scholarship
  • National Honor Society Achievement Award
  • Certificate of Academic Excellence from the Science Department
  • The American Legion Award

WOW! We were all very surprised.  The Science Award was a unanimous vote by all of the teachers in the Science department which was a major accomplishment. Also, she was chosen for the American Legion Award because she possessed high qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service.  She was having a great culmination to her senior year.  She was on her way to the college of her dreams: The University of Florida. We were so very proud of her and happy for her.

Graduation L to R Me, Paige, Kelsey, Doug
Graduation
L to R
Me, Paige, Kelsey, Doug
Graduation Kelsey with Meme
Graduation
Kelsey with Meme
Graduation Kelsey with Aunt Cheryll
Graduation
Kelsey with Aunt Cheryll
Graduation L to R Nanny, Kelsey, Aunt Cheri
Graduation
L to R
Nanny, Kelsey, Aunt Cheri

On Sunday afternoon, friends and family gathered at our house to celebrate Kelsey.  Friends, former teachers and family cam from near and far.  She was overwhelmed by the show of support.  the house was full of friends, family, laughter and support.  It had been a long time since we had anyone over.  the party would not have been a success without help from my sister-in-law, Cheri.  She is the ultimate party planner and she worked her magic to make it a special day for all of us.

Kelsey From a Brave to a Gator cake decorated in high school colors and college colors
Kelsey
From a Brave to a Gator
cake decorated in high school colors and college colors

Now the focus would turn to my surgery, which was scheduled for Wednesday, June 3, 2009.

I invite you to follow me on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope

Be Blessed.