Tag Archives: encourage

How Did My Breast Cancer Affect My Husband?

Me with my wonderful husband at Paige's wedding, January2010
Me with my wonderful husband at Paige’s wedding, January 2010

Being a caregiver as a husband

Cancer – When we first heard the news one thing I remember is that my oldest daughter (21) came to me and asked, when is mommy going to die. During this time when we heard the “C” word it was a death sentence. Although we were a strong, faith filled family we believed that God was in control of everything in our life. But for some reason it seemed that Cancer was something outside of that layer of faith.

There were times I encountered different people who had this disease and I remember laying hands on them and praying for them. But now the disease is in your life and for some reason it was harder to find the faith I had praying and believing for others.

What did I learn?

Through this experience I learned more about my faith and myself that I would have never known without this encounter. I use to think I know what people went through but I had no idea. Looking back I see that the caregivers go through a different emotional experience than the one that has the actual disease.

Cancer was something that brings out all the different emotions out of your spouse. Although her faith was strong there were times that she showed her real feelings. Being the husband you are the one person on this earth that she can confide in. Of course she tries to never show this side of herself to anyone else; to the outside world she tries to be strong and brave.

I would have different people come to me and ask how your wife is doing, which you would expect. That would have been my question but now I add, how are you also doing? Just remember that Cancer has a major impact on everyone in the family and it changes your life.  It is up to you if this change is negative or positive.

Added Responsibilities

Trying to carry the load of all the different family issues that needed to be completed along with my work responsibilities created an overwhelming state of mind at times.  This is such a difficult time and if you let it, it will consume your thoughts and pull you down. Stay as positive as you can. If you start thinking about all the negatives you start asking why and then the blame game starts. As men we have the tendency to try to figure everything out and if you get caught up into this process it will show in your attitude.

Your life will also change and your responsibilities as a husband will expand into areas that you are not used to. As the husband you need to try to stay strong for not only your wife but also your kids. This is not something you cannot do alone, you need the guidance and direction from the Lord and you must take time to get along and pray and ask God for help. It is not wrong to ask him why and express your feelings but know he is a loving God and He is the only one that can help you during this time. You may also need to find a man friend you can talk to outside of your family. This person should be a good friend and hopefully be someone who is spiritually ground and is of strong faith.  They must be someone you can trust and confide with and take time to fellowship together. Go have breakfast, golfing or fishing, just find the time to just meet and talk. .

As the head of the house the man takes pride in being the provider but with a sickness of this magnitude, we need to now change our mindset. I researched and read what I could but it never prepared me for what I was going to encounter.  There were people I ran into at work and in church that were facing the same situation and in two of the cases the husband refused to accept the cancer and they got bitter.

I found that when a man encounters this type of news it does one of two things. They accept it and try to do their best to adjust their life and it moves them closer to God. Then there are those that go into denial and blame God which drives them away from the one source they need. They go into denial and with this attitude it creates a non-supporting role and causes more tension on the whole family.

Be A Good Listener

I am not saying you need to be super spiritual and that you will be perfect in handling everything that comes your way.  Just do your best and be supportive and encourage her, There will be times she will say things that she does not mean but learn to just listen and not try to correct her or give advice. This is something I still have a hard time trying to do to this day. Just be there and listen to her. Hear what her needs and wants are and ask how you can help. Do not force your agenda on her, let time take its course. She is processing and dealing with heavy stuff, so don’t try to understand everything. We would not know until we were walking in her shoes. Show patience, humility, compassion and Love.

The most important thing you can do is to continue to lift her up in Prayer and be a positive conduit feeding your surroundings with words of encouragement. Find the best out of your situation and meditate on those things. Believe that God will move in your situation and you “Will Conquer Cancer”.  Doug

I hope Doug’s insight will help others who may be on this journey.

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

Be Blessed.

Laura

How Do You Tell Your Story?

My first locket... Blessed, Hope, Cross, Pink Ribbon, Pink Heart
My first locket…
Blessed, Hope, Cross, Pink Ribbon, Pink Heart

I tell my story in many ways. This is how I began to tell my story.  I hope you are encouraged by my story.

On December 26, 2008, my life changed forever.  I was 47 years old when I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.   I did not think this would ever happen to me. In all reality, it did.  By the time I was diagnosed, the cancer was Stage 3a and Grade 3, a very aggressive form of cancer.  The silver lining in all of this is that it was triple positive cancer.

When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, your life changes forever.  From that point on, you are known as the one who has cancer.  Some people deal with it by talking to everyone about every detail.  That just wasn’t me.   I prayed, spoke as if I was already healed and immersed myself in worship. I am a woman of faith and I put my trust in God to bring about His divine will.

It took years for me to be able to talk about my diagnosis and progress without tearing up. Eventually, I  became the principal at my own school.  I began to share my story with those who needed words of encouragement. Inner healing began to take place every time I reached out to help others.

During that time in my life, Origami Owl Custom Jewelry found me.  With the assistance of one of my teachers, I designed the locket in the picture above.  Wearing my custom locket gave me voice when I had no voice. I chose each of the charms because they have special meaning to me:

  • Pink Ribbon – Symbol of Breast Cancer
  • Cross – My hope is in the Lord.
  • Pink Hope oval – I was speaking ‘hope’ over my situation. (positive attitude)
  • Sparkle Pink Heart – I love anything pink and sparkly.
  • Blessed Plate – I am blessed.

In October, 2014, I began to share my story through my Facebook page and on my blog.  The purpose for my Facebook page is to: inspire, encourage and empower. I recently reconnected with Origami Owl to discover that their Mission Statement embraces the very purpose I started my Facebook page.

“Our mission is to be a force for good; to love, inspire & motivate people of all ages to reach their dreams & empower them to make a difference in the lives of others.”

I recently became a designer with Origami Owl to tell my story and to continue to be a force for good, inspiration and to make a difference in the lives of others. Every story is unique and important. YOU are important. How do you tell your story?

As my story changes, so does my locket. I have added... Designer Charm, Blog, Hope (script) Also, I put all charms in a heart locket because the cause will always be close to my heart.
As my story changes, so does my locket.
I have added… Designer Charm, Blog, Hope (script) Also, I put all charms in a heart locket because the cause will always be close to my heart.
Heart locket-different angle
Heart locket-different angle

I invite you to visit the Origami Owl Stories page to read more stories. http://www.laurasjourneyofhope.com/origami-owl-stories

Be Blessed.

Laura

Who Knew?

My new look!
My new look!

Who knew that something as simple as a broken wrist would be so very challenging?  Not me.

With breast cancer,  the plan was set for the year, give or take a few port complications and a hospital visit.

4-RED Devil Chemos

4-Taxol and Herceptin

Herceptin to continue for a year

Surgery

Radiation (35 rads)

and go from there….

Broken Wrist

I was only told that I need a cast. Somewhere the communication regarding immobilization of your hand was totally left out.  What does it cause? In my case, every tendon from the wrist to the fingers needs to learn how to work again. (My interpretation of conversation with the Physical Therapist)

My observations…just a week ago, I noticed my 7 month old grandson working on the same fine motor skills that I was working on.

Benefits

I realize that I am blessed beyond my wildest dream.  I have a roof over my head, a family, friends and a MIGHTY GOD. Material possessions do not matter to me. It’s the daily blessings that go unnoticed such as tying your shoes.

Who knew? God knew. In Deuteronomy 33:26 (ESV) the Bible says: There is none like God…who rides through the heavens to your help.

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

Be Blessed.

Laura

No Matter What

Wearing my awesome new geek glasses tonight at work. Equip with multiplication and division signs. Not pictured the equal signs on each side. I love them!
Wearing my awesome new geek glasses tonight at work. Equip with multiplication and division signs. Not pictured the equal signs on each side. I love them!

No matter what, I will always trust God.  I have been going through a challenging time with my broken wrist and my beautiful daughter posted these song lyrics on her FB page. WOW! It was just in time to put things in perspective for me.  I was encouraged by my little girl. Life is so good.

“I’m running back to your promises one more time. Lord that’s all I can hold on to.

I gotta say this has taken me by surprise.

But nothing surprises YOU.

Before a heartache can ever touch my life,

it has to go through Your hands

And even though I keep asking why

No matter what, I’m, gonna love You

No matter what I’m gonna need You

I know You can find a way to keep me from pain. But if not, I’ll trust You. No matter what.”

No Matter What by Kerrie Roberts

Let me tell you about Kelsey. She is an amazing young woman. She is kind and compassionate.  When she was a child, she would write a poem for everyone at Christmas. She exudes a kindness and unselfishness that is very rare. She is an encourager. She is also very brilliant. She has a Biology Degree from one of the elite educational programs in the Southeast. (Hence the math symbols on her glasses.) She posts the most amazing things on FB and I am going to add a page to this site for her.  It’s coming soon.

Be encouraged.  God is with you no matter what.

I invite you to like my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be Blessed.

Laura

Renewal of My Soul

IMG_5036

Along came a beautiful hummingbird and then his mate a couple of minutes later. They fluttered around the aloe plants and obtained the nectar from the aloe bloom.  Now, we had lived at that house 14 years and I had worked in the yard at all times of the day and I had never seen a hummingbird, much less a pair of hummingbirds.  Then, I remembered a verse in the Bible about God taking care of the birds of the air.

Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

I sat in silence once again but it was a good silence.  The kind of silence and time with God that renews your soul.  I knew God had my back in all of this.  I knew God was in control.  I went inside and began to review notes in my devotional book.  I read the notes from the Sunday that I was in the hospital, March 15, 2009.  In those notes was a phrase…“I know God remembers me.”  If fact, that phrase is listed 73 times in the Bible in reference to God taking care of us.  Then,  I listened to my favorite praise and worship song, “He Knows My Name” by Tommy Walker. Here are the words to the first verse/chorus:

I have a maker

He formed my heart,

before even time began

My life was in His hands

He knows my name

He knows my every thought,

He sees each tear that falls

and hears me when I call

He, my God, remembered me all along.  I just needed to go to the source of strength. My spirit had been renewed by some quiet time with God and the hummingbird visit.  I only saw them one more time after that day and haven’t seen them since.

I will look for them again this April/May.

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

Be Blessed.

Laura

I Witnessed An Act Of Kindness!

laura34

I witnessed an act of kindness at Starbucks today. I met a client to explain my Origami Owl Hostess Rewards and had a cup of tea. We had a good visit and talked for a few minutes.  As we were leaving, I noticed an older woman stop to ask a younger lady if she was done with her food.  She (older woman) offered to take her (younger lady) empty container to the trash can. The younger lady was on crutches. The young lady was visibly shocked that someone would be so kind.  I thought to myself..that’s what it is all about. It made me smile.

Kindness starts with us!

DAY 1...

Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Be encouraging

DAY 2

Bring donuts or other delicious sweets to work

Don’t complain

DAY 3

Leave a kind note for a family member or friend

Collect can goods for a food bank

DAY 4

Donate blood (if able)

Make it a point to smile at every one you see or pass by

DAY 5

Send flowers to a teacher (current or former) who has dedicated his/her life to teaching

Donate old books or magazines to a hospital or nursing home

DAY 6

Use this day to catch up. After all, it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality.

DAY 7

Praise someone at work for doing a good job

Check in on someone you know is alone

DAY 8

Make amends with someone you have wronged

Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru

DAY 9

Hug a family member

Give your pocket change to someone who needs it

DAY 10

Pick up any trash/liter you see

Put a grocery cart back where it belongs

DAY 11

Give a generous to a server

Go out of your comfort zone to make a new friend

DAY 12

Introduce yourself to a neighbor

Be thankful…

DAY 13

Write a letter to a friend

Say ‘thank you’ a lot

DAY 14

Let people merge in traffic

Be someone’s cheerleader

DAY 15

Smile easily and laugh

Recognize the good in others

DAY 16

Take a meal to a family you know

Run an errand for somebody

DAY 17

Say something nice to everyone you see

Offer someone behind you in the grocery check-out line to go in front of you.

 DAY 18

Give encouragement to someone who is working hard

Make a personalized playlist for a family member

 DAY 19

Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while

Always keep your word

 DAY 20

Offer to pet sit for someone for free

Shop for someone who is ill

DAY 21

Put extra change in a meter that is about to run out

Send a card or flowers to someone going through tough times

DAY 22

Give up your seat for someone else

Spend a day saying only nice things to others

DAY 23

Be an active listener

Leave a treat for your mail carrier in your mailbox

 DAY 24

Visit a sick friend

Forgive mistakes

DAY 25

Tip generously

Leave a thank you note

 DAY 26

Cheer up a friend

Ask someone how they are …and really listen

As we come to the end of the 31 Days of Kindness Challenge, I know that I am more aware of kindness all around me.  I will never forget that I witnessed an act of kindness!

Be Blessed.

Laura

How A Locket Helped Me Tell My Story

My Locket
My Locket

On December 26, 2008, my life changed forever.  I was 47 years old when I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.   I did not think this would ever happen to me. In all reality, it did.  By the time I was diagnosed, the cancer was Stage 3a and Grade 3, a very aggressive form of cancer.  The silver lining in all of this is that it was triple positive cancer.

When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, your life changes forever.  From that point on, you are known as the one who has cancer.  Some people deal with it by talking to everyone about every detail.  That just wasn’t me.   I prayed, spoke as if I was already healed and immersed myself in worship. I am a woman of faith and I put my trust in God to bring about His divine will.

It took years for me to be able to talk about my diagnosis and progress without tearing up. Eventually, I  became the principal at my own school.  I began to share my story with those who needed words of encouragement. Inner healing began to take place every time I reached out to help others.

During that time in my life, Origami Owl Custom Jewelry found me.  With the assistance of one of my teachers, I designed the locket in the picture above.  Wearing my custom locket gave me voice when I had no voice. I chose each of the charms because they have special meaning to me:

  • Pink Ribbon – Symbol of Breast Cancer
  • Cross – My hope is in the Lord.
  • Pink Hope oval – I was speaking ‘hope’ over my situation. (positive attitude)
  • Sparkle Pink Heart – I love anything pink and sparkly.
  • Blessed Plate – I am blessed.

In October, 2014, I began to share my story through my Facebook page and on my blog.  The purpose for my Facebook page is to: inspire, encourage and empower. I recently reconnected with Origami Owl to discover that their Mission Statement embraces the very purpose I started my Facebook page.

“Our mission is to be a force for good; to love, inspire & motivate people of all ages to reach their dreams & empower them to make a difference in the lives of others.”

I recently became a designer with Origami Owl to tell my story and to continue to be a force for good, inspiration and to make a difference in the lives of others. Every story is unique and important. I invite you to visit my new website and create your story @ http://www.laurastarner.OrigamiOwl.com.

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

Be Blessed.

Laura