Monday, November 19, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude

Ever since I began my cancer journey, I took on an attitude of gratitude like never before. I've always known how fortunate I have been through out my life, in spite of my own personal trials (of which there have been PLENTY), but it never hit me so fully as when I realized just how precious of a gift every day is. I thank God and my savior, Jesus Christ, every day for the countless blessings I have received and continue to receive.

Like anyone, I certainly have my moments when gratitude isn't emanating from me (who doesn't!?), but the Lord sends amazing messages to remind me of who I am, where I've been, how far I've come, and where I will always be so long as I hold fast to Him. 

This month, I've joined many friends who pause each day to reflect on something that I'm thankful for, and posted it to my Facebook page.  At the end of the month, I'll post all of my thankful posts here to the blog.  Some days I'm thankful for very simple things, whereas others my thoughts and thanks are directed to heftier things/topics. It's a great exercise that is helping me get my attitude of gratitude on each day.  What I know for certain is that I have so much to be thankful for - salvation through Christ, health, family, employment, friends, and soooo much more.

What are you thankful for today?  I'd love to hear from you.    

Love and blessings,

Colossians 3:15-17
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

When was the last time... felt your bumps for lumps? If it has been more than a month, please take 5 minutes now to do it. Not sure how to do it? Don't worry, many women don't know how...but it's critical you learn or refresh your memory of the proper procedure. 

Here are some links to instructions that are easy to follow. Please, do it now. And, don't forget to check under your arms.

National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.'s 3 Simple Steps

May your days and nights be filled with God's blessings, mercy, and love. May you see your trials as blessings in disguise, as part of His greater plan for your amazing life. May His purpose be revealed to you and your courage and obedience be plentiful. His plans are always better than our own...especially when we listen and follow.

Love and hugs,

Sunday, July 1, 2012


A bond like no other. I'm so grateful for my sister warriors and their friendship. Tonight we got together in the old lunch spot we often went to after our support group meetings. Can you believe this - just 2.5 years separate these photos. Thank you, Lord, for keeping us safe. These women mean so much to me. Sisters forever. I love you, Jess and Tira!

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12 (NIV)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Zofran warning!

This week there was breaking news about a new risk found with Zofran, the anti-nausea med often prescribed to pregnant moms, children, and chemo patients.

Praying that none of us experiences any dangerous effects from taking it.

Love and blessings,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dear Lisa Who Won't Be Ignored

I hope and pray you got my text so you'll see this message.  We met just over an hour ago in the parking lot. We both know it was no accident. When you got dressed this morning and chose your shirt, you probably didn't know it was all part of the grand plan to bring us together today :)

I know it can be hard to believe, particularly at a time like this, but what I told you today was a message meant for you at that exact moment and that exact place.   And what you told me, about never having been a certain place ever before, was a message meant for me at that exact moment and that exact place. I believe that with all my heart.

This is a turning point for you.  I'll be praying for you - that God will infuse you with His wisdom, His healing light and love, and show you the path He wants you to walk.

Please keep in touch, my new friend. And, if you lose my contact info and need or want to reach me, you can always call over to the NorthPark Community Church and ask them for my number.  

Hugs and blessings to you! xoxo 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Friday, June 15, 2012

3 Years!


5/28/09 - dx'd
6/12/09 - bilateral mastectomy
7/14/09 - chemo began
12/15/09 - 12th and final chemo infusion
2/1/10 - first clean scan with no evidence of disease
2/4/10 - 3/19/10 - 33 radiation treatments
5/18/10 - oophorectomy/hysterectomy
stopped counting surgeries after #7 for 
reconstruction and lumpectomies (benign)
numerous MRIs, PETs, CTs
quarterly bloodwork and infusions 
BORN AGAIN 1/24/10

Dear warrior sisters,
Don't give up. Trust in the Lord. He has a magnificent purpose for your life. Ask Him, and listen for His answers. Be an instrument for Him and all else will fall into its rightful place. 

With love, and gratitude for every breath I take, 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Turning points - we've all got 'em

We all have them. Moments in time where something changes. Maybe everything changes. Or, maybe it just seems like it has or will.  We probably have thousands of them throughout our lives. I wonder how many I've had but didn't recognize.  I know I've had some monumental ones that I not only recognize but will never forget. Not ever. Marrying the love of my life, welcoming Cooper into our family, being diagnosed with breast cancer, and becoming born again in Christ - just to name a few.

Last month I was invited to take part in a project called Turning Point. It's a photo shoot and collection of stories of breast cancer survivors. The project is headed up by a talented local photographer, Tibor Deme, and Terry Bucknall, director of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center in Valencia, CA (where my breast cancer was found and confirmed). 

Tibor describes this project on his site by stating: "I will relentlessly pursue the desired effects that the pictures will convey their strengths, will, anger, pain, sadness, triumph, etc. I want the cannons from their battle heard and the celebratory fireworks shared and seen by many near and far. Let the individual stories and portraits contained within be their pillars of strength and motivation so they have the will to fight on! I want our warriors to know that with mind over matter, and a “never give up” attitude, they, too, can be victorious over cancer!"

The images will be displayed in a photography show and proceeds will fund breast cancer treatment for women who do not have health insurance.  They will also be included in a published book.

Thank you, Tibor and Terry, for including me in this project. I'm honored that I could be a part of it. I love all the images. They show the raw, natural me. In pre-cancer days I might have been disappointed to see my wrinkles and war-tattered skin and hair in print but today I know that the aggressive treatment that I had to endure aged me and and while I'd love to look younger and thinner like anyone else would love to too, I also love me as I am - the real deal - God-made and God-saved.  

The following images from the photo shoot are my favorites. If you are a breast cancer survivor in the Los Angeles area and would like to participate in this powerful project, please contact Tibor and Terry at 

May God bless you and all of your turning points, today and every day.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Be vigilant! Know your body. Check yourself.

I have less than one percent breast tissue remaining since my bilateral mastectomy when my breast cancer journey began. However, that tiny percent of tissue is still at risk so I do monthly breast self exams every month. Truth be told, I do it a lot more frequently than that because the type of breast cancer I had (triple negative breast cancer), is very aggressive (grade 3) and grows incredibly fast.  

Whether you've had breast cancer or not, if you value your life on earth in any way, I hope and pray you're being vigilant and getting to know your body well enough to know when you feel something that is new or suddenly different when conducting a self exam.

As a survivor, I don't take chances with anything unusual that I feel. Thankfully, all of the unusual lumps I've found thus far in my post-treatment phase have turned out benign but we've removed a few to have them tested to be sure. It happened in October and I had a lumpectomy. I found another lump shortly after Christmas and have had a ultrasound and a MRI to take a closer look and it appears to be the same type of benign mass that they removed in October but since the only way to be certain is to remove it, it will be taken out when I have a revision reconstructive surgery mid-March. The doctor is not concerned about waiting until then since that's just 6 weeks away and the MRI results indicate a benign finding - praise the Lord!

Each time I feel something like that I go through a battery of visits and tests to figure out what it is and while that is annoyingly inconvenient and expensive, it is a necessity to ensure I continue to dance with NED (no evidence of disease). It's a small price to pay for longevity and I'm willing to pay it. 

Friends, please be vigilant with your health. Don't ignore signs of trouble. Don't delay, forget about or willingly choose not to perform critical self exams.  You are loved and you have a purpose here on earth so please don't contribute to cutting your own time on earth short.  If you haven't done a self exam in a while - do it now. Please.  

Here are some links that provide instructions on performing a thorough breast self exam --

May God light your path wherever you go, bringing you peace, joy and love. May He heal your body, heart and mind of all that ails you, restoring you to who you are meant to be. Be kind to yourself.