Friday, May 27, 2011

I never really understood love until...

I never really understood love until I became a mother and I never really knew I could feel such heartache until I watched one of my kids suffer. I can be so strong until it comes to my children. Last year Sommer decided that she wanted to be tested for the breast cancer gene. My sister, Sheilia had just tested negative so Sommer had hope and felt it was time to deal with the results no matter what. Arnold, Sommer and I met with the genetic counselor and she was prepared to find out. They drew her blood and told us they would let us know as soon as they had the results. Sommer was home for break so we asked if possible, it would be nice to get the results before she left. The results came in the day before she was to leave. We met with the counselor and she told us that Sommer tested positive. My heart broke for Sommer, we all were hoping and praying that she was negative. The counselor reminded us that the only thing different now was that we knew she had it, she had it all along now we just have information so that she can be watched closer. The recommendation was that she see an oncologist once a year and have an annul MRI.

This past Monday she had her annual MRI test. On Tuesday the oncologist called to tell us that they saw something on the test and wanted to take a closer look so she would need to come in for an ultrasound. The ultrasound was yesterday. I sat in the waiting room was she was having the ultrasound. The same waiting room that I am very familiar with, I had waited there so many times just to hear weather or not anything showed up on my mammogram. I sat there talking to God asking him for peace no matter what happened now or in the future. The wait seemed like forever! Sommer came out and told me they said it is benign, just want to retest in six months. I was so relieved. For now everything seems fine. I really wish that she did not have to live with this but she does. It reminded me once again of how life can change in an instant and also how very important it is for more research to be done. I pray that they will figure out how to repair this gene mutation soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sometimes the pain hurts so bad!

It is hard to believe that I have not posted anything for so long. Sometimes the pain hurts so bad, I'm not talking about physical pain cause I have had plenty of that and have learned to deal with a lot of that. I am talking about the pain of living my life now without the one that God in all of his wisdom knew would be the best mother for me. Someone he knew would love me no matter what, someone that would teach me how to me a good mother and to always put family first.

November 2, 2009, I said goodbye to my mother, I was there to the very end, I sat there and watched as every one of her body organs was shutting down. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life, was to tell my then 19 yr old daughter, when I picked her up at the airport , was that her granny did not make it. She was trying to hold on to say goodbye but her body could not handle it any longer. There is a hole that losing a mother leaves in your heart and I know that God is the only one that can take that pain and turn it into something for good.

The last year and a half I have learned so much about myself and about life. I guess in losing my mom it was not just that she was gone that I was grieving. I had survived cancer for so long and I prayed and I guess you could say assumed things would go the same way with mom. When it didn't I had to deal with my own life once again with the "what if?" Losing her taught me once again how precious life is, how fragile life is and you never know how long you really have. I don't have any regrets when it comes to my relationship with my mother and as hard as life is without her I can't help but be thankful for the time that I did have and that her suffering is over.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Please keep Sommer and her team in Prayer!

WOW! is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the work that Sommer and her team will be doing in Miami. Arnold and I were blessed to be able to go and get her set up. I was so excited to hear about the work that she will be doing and to be able to meet the coordinators, Mike and Maria and some of the high school and college kids that will be working close with Sommer's team.
There are two groups that the AIM team will be very involved with. The first is the youth group called J4L which is the youth group at the Homestead congregation. The majority of the youth have come from the Christian school there at the church. The team will be teaching bible classes to them when school starts in the fall. The second is the Kendall congregation, where the team will be working with the college age kids.

The team was getting settled in and they were going to spend the week hanging out and getting used to the area and then on Monday going to start getting to work. One of the coordinator's, Mike had told them to be prepared to work 10 hr days with Monday's being their day off. Please continue to pray for the team and the work that is going on down there. Arnold and I saw first hand lives that have been changed by the Love of God!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life can be so difficult

Life can be so difficult. I know that there are good days and bad days and what keeps me going is knowing that some day there will be no more tears. I have shed a lot of tears this week. My mother, Joan had a MRI on Monday, her Dr. thought that she had a stroke. The test showed that she has 11 small cancer tumors. When she was diagnosed with her breast cancer coming back in her lung, I knew that this was not good because the cancer had spread to other organs. Now to see that she has been on chemo for over 2 years and the cancer is still spreading is very heartbreaking for her and for our family. I am praying today as I do everyday that my mom would open her heart to God that he would heal her. I am not talking just physically even though that would be great! I am talking about her having hope that someday there will be no more tears and no more pain and that she will spend eternity with Jesus. Please pray for my mother today not just for her physical health but for her spiritual health. Also that I can recognize those doors of opportunity that the Lord opens for me to speak to her and not say or do anything that will close those doors.

Friday, April 10, 2009

She's not a little girl anymore

On April 15Th we we close the doors on another tax season and we drive straight to San Jose to pick up Sommer. I am very excited to see her and kinda nervous too. I have watched her being molded and shaped through the AIM program the last few months. I know that this is not the little girl that left in August. She has grown spiritually and is much more mature. She will be home until the first week of June and then she will leave for Miami. Please continue to pray for her and her teammates.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I have put off taking the after pictures of the house for a while now because I have keep thinking that we are not finished yet. I was out for a walk last weekend when I realized that this is going to be an ongoing process, I think that there is always going to be something else to do. So I decided to go ahead and take the after photos realizing we are far from done.

As I looked at the before and after pictures, or I should say "in process" pictures I thought wow! This is amazing how much work we have done. This place was a mess! I remember thinking there was no way I was going to live here! Arnold told me keep an open mind and look at the possibilities not how it looks right now.
I started thinking about how that is exactly what God did with me . He took something so ugly and useless and transformed it and it is a work in progress! As I look around the house I can see some of the blemishes some of the scars of how things were just as I have scars of my past and blemishes but that is part of the beauty in sharing my journey. You see I was wandering around aimless in this world just going through the motions. Then God allowed things in my life to get my attention. I am so thankful he sees what can be and not just what is. He offers that to everyone. It is a choice. If you were to find out today that you had cancer or some terminal illness. Would you live you life different? If so don't wait for something to happen. Seek God today with all of your heart! It is the only life worth living for, I know because I have tried it other ways and always came up empty. God has transformed my character and continues to mold me into the image of Jesus and I am so thankful he loves me so much not to leave me the way I am.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tomorrow my mom turns 66, this will be her 2ND birthday while on chemotherapy. My heart breaks every time I see her lately. When I was there yesterday she sat on the couch the whole time. She is weak, pale and looks so fragile. It just didn't seem right to ask her what she wants for her birthday. What I want for her is to have a good day. I know how awful it is to go through chemotherapy but to not have no end or goal to look forward to must be the worst. Please pray for my mother today. I know that she is tired. For my mother's birthday I am asking for her to have hope. I have faith that God will touch her heart.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

It was Super Bowl Sunday 1988 and I was 14 weeks pregnant. The Friday before I had called the doctor and he had told me to stay off my feet for the weekend and he wanted to see me on Monday morning. This was back before we had cell phones (I know it's hard to imagine) anyway it was Super bowl Sunday and Arnold and I were not Christians yet, Josh was 2 years old. Arnold went to the store to get some groceries and snacks for the game. I started having these really bad stomach cramps and started to spot. I went to the restroom and the baby came out you could see that it was a boy. I was hysterical, and Arnold was not there. I was in pain I went to the phone somehow found the number for Vons and had him paged. I remember him coming in and picking me up and the baby both of us crying put me in the back seat and rushed to the hospital. I remember Josh saying mommy is my brother o.k?
I know that there was something wrong that is why I miscarried but I learned something through all of that. It was a life it was a baby, I could see his body parts. I don't understand how anyone can say that it was not a life. I remember one of the hardest things for me was when I asked what they did with my baby and then said they threw him in the trash. I asked why and they said because he was not a baby yet. I'm told them they were wrong and that they should not just tell women that they throw them in the trash. His name would have been Bryan. I often wonder how his life would have been and every Super Bowl Sunday I can't help but think about him. I know he was a person and I know that he is in heaven and someday I will see him.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Busy time of year

This is an extremely busy time of year for me. I have thought that I would be able to blog more often but it has not been happening. I am so very thankful that I have been able to keep up with my workload and feeling pretty well. I am counting the days until April 15Th. Besides it being the last day of our tax season it is also Sommer's last day in Texas. I will share more later about some of the things that she has been up too but for now gotta get some sleep those 10-12 hrs days at the office are exhausting!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This past week

My second full week at the office and working 10-12 hr days, I really did not expect to be able to keep up but I am feeling pretty good. I started running again this week trying to get back in shape and lose those extra five pounds I picked up after the surgery and during the holidays. Sommer is in her mission term at AIM I don't get to talk to her as much as I was before but the timing is o.k. because of my busy schedule. Josh is at school for another semester and working at the office, he is doing at great job. If fact last night it was time for him and our secretary, Imelda to go home and he saw Arnold and I had appointments still waiting and he did not want to leave us alone so he volunteered to stay late and I know it was Friday night and he had plans.

The last couple of weeks in meeting with clients I have seen how the economy is impacting lives. I have never seen so many people struggling financially. Also I have seen more sad stories lately relating to health or relationships, deaths in family. It has got me thinking about what is really going on. Is God trying to get our attention? As a country we are so materialistic. He just wants us to turn back to him. I have had so many opportunities to talk to people because of what they are going through. I pray that I will recognize those opportunities when God places them in my life.

Also got some great news this week from my mother's test results. Her tumor has shrunk in half.. She will still need to continue chemotherapy for a while longer. Wow! answered prayers.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I made it through my first full week back at the office

I am trying to get used to being at the office all day everyday of the week right now. At first I thought that it would be much more difficult than it actually is. Meeting with clients throughout the day has been a challenge for me this week. I really enjoy seeing people that I usually get to see only once a year. Most of our clients have been with us since the kids were little and they want to get caught up. A lot of my clients had seen the race for the cure interview or seen the Fresno Bee article, so they know the battle that I had been through this past year. I am realizing more of what an opportunity and responsibility of sharing this experience with people. I have had so many discussions this past week with people about the power of God. When someone asks me "how did you get through that?" or they say "your so strong" I can't help but talk about God and that I could not have made it through this past year without my faith and belief that God was with me and that is where my strength comes from.

We put Sommer on a plane Wednesday. She will be back in April. How about that her last day in Lubbock is April 15Th and that is the last day of tax season. That gives me something to look forward to. It does not get easier watching her walk away and knowing that she is traveling by herself. I have seen her growth these past few months. She has learned so many life lessons that I don't think she would have learned if she was here at home. I pray that God will protect her and use her to his glory.

My mom had chemotherapy yesterday. It has been a year now that she has been on treatments. She is tired and getting so discouraged. Please pray for her and my dad.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

One Year ago today

One year ago today I posted this: Sommer has been keeping us all in suspense but Christmas morning she announced her decision after she graduates in June she has decided to go into the AIM program. She does not make this decision lightly she has been thinking and praying about this for over a year and has decided that this is what she wants to do and believes that this is how she can best serve God right after high school. Arnold and I are very excited about her decision we know she will have such a memorable two years. We will miss her so much but we know that God will guide her and take care of her through the AIM staff. Thank all of you who have encouraged her and inspired her to do this.

When we left Sommer in Texas back in August I thought I would die from a broken heart. I missed her so much. It was a very difficult time for me. Josh had moved out, my mom was going through chemotherapy, and I was getting ready for the biggest surgery that I have ever had both physically and emotionally. It would have been so easy to say "no I don't want you to go, just stay here". I knew that God was calling her and I would not stand in her way. When Sommer told us last year, on Christmas morning that she had decided to go to Texas to the AIM program, Arnold and I were so excited. But Satan got busy real quick trying to discourage and distract her. Family and friends not wanting her to go, my mom getting sick, then with myself finding out that I was going to need to have a mastectomy. I remember when I told her I was going to have the surgery I told her don't even think about staying home you made your decision and you are going. That may be one of the hardest things I have ever had to do because it would have been so easy to tell her just stay I need you! But it has been such a growing time for her and for me.

I am sure that she can tell you it has not been easy. It has been a growing, molding time the last few months and there has been times when she wanted to come home. Times when she felt she could not do this anymore. Times when she wanted to be here for us and felt so confused.

I see the girl that came home for Christmas and she is motivated, she is excited to be doing work for the Lord. She tells me things she is learning in her classes and I hear stories about the other young kids leaving their families just as she has. One of the toughest things for these young people is when they put together the mission teams. Sommer had her top picks and top people but was committed to praying about where God wants to use her and who he wants her to go with. Before she left for Christmas break she found out that she is going to Scotland with three other girls, Ashley, Cassey and Jessica. Please keep these girls in your constant prayers. When they go back to Texas on January 11TH they will be moving into an apartment together and starting what is their "mission term" part of that is to get them ready for the field. They will not be using technology like cell phones, computers, or any of their electronic devices and will be walking or riding the bus and no fast food (I kinda like that idea). They will be in Texas until April 15Th then will go home to try to raise support for their field time and leave for the field sometime in June.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fresno State student needs donor

Kavon Mamon, 23 yr old Fresno State student needs help

This young man, Kavon is a very good friend of my niece, Jessica. If you or anyone you know can help please tell them about the blood drive today at the Save Mart Center.

By Margot Kim

A Fresno State student is hoping someone in the Valley holds the key to his future.

He needs a donor who's willing to go "down to the bone" to save his life.

A hospital bed has been Kavon Momen's home away from home for the past two weeks. The Fresno State student is recovering from the latest setback in his fight against aplastic anemia.

It's a rare condition in which the bone marrow stops producing new blood cells, including platelets and white blood cells needed to fight infection.

He started noticing something was wrong, two months ago, just before his 23rd birthday. Kavon's doctor, Fresno hematologist and oncologist, Dr.Ravi Rao said Kavon may never know.

Dr. Rao said in some patients, aplastic anemia could result from exposure to a virus or toxin, but he's concentrating on finding a cure for Kavon instead of a cause.

Kavon gets regular blood transfusions because his body isn't producing blood cells, but he needs a bone marrow transplant his rich ethnic heritage makes it more challenging to find a match.

Family members are the best chance to find a match, but so far, none of Kavon's loved ones are a match. This predicament is leaving him to find a bone marrow donor somewhere in the world, but they are starting with his own community.

A week ago the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno hosted a blood drive and bone marrow donor registry sign-up to help Kavon. People of Iranian and Hispanic heritage were encouraged to donate but anyone in the community was invited to give life-saving blood to help Kavon or someone else.

Monday at the Save Mart Center in North Fresno, a community-wide blood drive and bone marrow registry event will be held to help Kavon and many others. The gift of life from family, friends and total strangers gives Kavon hope for Monday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bring The Rain by MercyMe

Wednesday was my surgery for the implant reconstruction. It was such a long day, once we got to the surgery center we found out there was a problem with the insurance coverage and our out of pocket was going to be $600 more than it should have been, because of a mistake that someone made and everyone was blaming someone else. I was very irritated. Not good right before surgery. Arnold was trying to help me relax by telling me in the end it doesn't matter. True, he is much better at dealing with these situations than I am.

Then they called me back to get me ready for surgery. Because I have had so much chemotherapy and because I have had lymph nodes removed on both sides, there are limits on where they can put the IV and they can't put it on the left side at all. Usually the anesthesiologist
ends up getting it in the end. I still don't understand why I just can't have him do it to begin with, does every nurse have to try to poke me first before they understand that it's too difficult for them. I lost count of how many times I was poked but they were calling me a pincushion by the time I was being rolled back to surgery. I remember as I was being poked for I guess the 5Th time. I looked over at Arnold with tears in my eyes because I was so frustrated. Then finally the anesthesiologist came in and guess what he got it in! Why did they not send him in 1 1/2 hrs ago is beyond me.

O.K. I am supposed to learn something from everything that happens so I'm thinking what am I supposed to learn from this? What came to me was how Arnold looked when he saw what I was going through. He was in pain for me. At one point one of the nurses said WOW you have been through so much how do you deal with it? I said, as I was looking at Arnold, "he's my rock" and he said "but this rock crumbles sometimes". I am going to be honest I had a bad attitude Wednesday. I think that God allows things to happen in my life so that I will be grateful and thankful. God has truly blessed me with an amazing husband. I don't think anyone truly understands how difficult this is for him. When I looked over at him with tears in my eyes, I saw the pain and the fear in his eyes. He has watched me go through so much. The last few months he has been taking care of me, the office, the house, and dealing with the kids being gone, with me being down. I know that this is stressful for him. I love this man so much. Last night I couldn't sleep because, (don't tell him I told you) he was snoring so loud. I was getting frustrated and then I thought what if he wasn't here? or I wasn't here to hear it, and then it was the most beautiful sound to me. But it still kept waking me up so I asked him this morning for earplugs for Christmas!

I thank God today for blessing me with someone that makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, friend and most of all a better Christian woman. Arnold truly is my best friend in this world.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Josh & Sommer find your wings

Sommer while you were home for Thanksgiving a friend of mine asked me how things were going. I said that it was good to have you home just different. She asked me what I meant. "She's different", I said. "She's not a little girl anymore and I know that is how it's supposed to be, it's just that I miss the little girl". She said "my mom used to tell me give them roots then give them room to fly". The next day was Thanksgiving. I was in the kitchen baking listening to Christian radio station when this song came on. The tears just came and dad asked me what was wrong. I told him to listen to this song and told him what my friend said. I was crying because this is exactly what I wanted to say to you and Josh, my young adult children. Here is the song-Find your Wings

One of the toughest stages is being the mother to young adult children. It also is so rewarding. I am so happy Josh that you finished the income tax course and will be getting your certification. Dad and I are so very proud of you and excited that you are back in school at Fresno City and working with dad and myself.
There you go again Sommer! Back to Lubbock, Texas. You are off to learn more about the bible, to learn more about life to be the change you want the world to see. I was emotional as I watched you walk away, thinking of the faith that you have and how you are allowing God to mold you. You are a beautiful example, not only to others around you but to me. I know that you will look back on your life with no regrets because you are not perfect but you are striving for what it is that God wants in your life. So I have tears in my eyes as you take off but I am cheering you on.

I am here for you both as you find your wings. I pray that the love that Dad and I have for you has given you the roots you need to find your wings. That your faith gives you courage to not only dream but to do great things. As I have told you both so many times. Your walk with God is the most important thing to me. I love you more than words can say.

Friday, November 28, 2008

So very Thankful

Yesterday, Thanksgiving was a very special one. My mom had a chemotherapy treatment on Wednesday but still insisted on having dinner at her house. This has been such a tough year for my mom and dad. It was so special to see mom and dad smiling and having a good time yesterday.

When mom found out in January that her breast cancer had returned in her lung it was very tough. Finding out that you have to have chemotherapy after going through it before is so very hard because you have experienced it before and you know what's coming. I cried so hard the day that I found out. Sometimes I have a much harder time dealing with her being sick than myself. The original prognosis did not sound too bad. They would start chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, then some high dose radiation then send her to a surgeon to operate. She had the chemo, the radiation than went to the surgeon only to discover that the tumor was in a spot that was way too dangerous to operate. The surgeon said that he would not do it and that he doubted she would find a surgeon that would. In hearing that she was convinced that surgery was not an option. Back to chemotherapy until it is dissolved. In February they will test to see if the tumor has shrunk or best case scenario dissolved.

Please pray for my mother and for my dad. This has been especially hard on my dad, sometimes we forget cancer does not just effect the patient but the whole family.My sweet little niece, Hanna, made us all smile!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sometimes I forget

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am. Really it's not that I don't remember it's I need to be reminded. The last few months have been some of the most difficult times in my life and at the same time I have seen so much answered prayers. I saw answered prayers in Sommer, when I saw this young girl I left in Texas in August on Friday night (I think it ended up actually being Saturday morning after all the flight delays.) and all I could do is just look at her and think God is so good look at what he is doing in you! I can't even type this right now without tears in my eyes. To hear her say do you know? and she was talking about scripture or I didn't think I would make it through this! but I was praying.

This past year was such a tough one for us and Josh. I thought I would die at times from a broken heart. What I was able to do still amazes me. I prayed to see the situation and those involved as Jesus would. Today we have an awesome relationship. He is not where I would like him to be in his walk with the Lord but Josh is trying to find his place in the world and that involves finding his own faith. I will continue to pray for him everyday. I know that he has a soft heart so that he will find his way back.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Looking forward

I was reading Jim's blog this morning and was bummed that he would not be preaching this Sunday at WWP. Then I read on and saw that Stan Williams will be here and be preaching. I am so excited, I can't wait to see Stan, I missed the Workshop this year and missed seeing Stan. Stan baptized Arnold and myself back in 2000. I absolutely can't wait for this weekend. We will pickup Sommer Friday night in L.A. spend the day on Saturday hanging out at the Santa Monica Pier, taking in the sunshine and shopping. Then on Sunday we will be at Woodward Park where Sommer is so excited to see everyone.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thank God a new week!

Last week was a tough week. That is why I did not blog. I was praying and I was in the word. I am not even sure where to begin. Well I guess that Arnold put it so clear today when he said "so much has happened this year, sometimes it is a blur". Just when you think there is no more tears, here they come. O.K. I will be honest because you know that is all I can do because God already knows. I had myself a pity party this past week. I was frustrated with everything. Times like these I really have to give it to Arnold because he does not say too much about this crazy woman that he is living with, and if that's not bad enough he has to work with her too. I really was tired of it all. I was trying to get back to normal I just wanted things to be normal, whatever that is!

I was missing this body part that cancer stole from me. I was missing my energy. I was feeling sorry for myself because this is not how it was supposed to be. I was so happy when I woke up today and my first thought was thank God it's Sunday. A new week, a new start. So I made a choice that I would pick myself up and stop feeling sorry for myself and I would focus on bringing glory to God through it all. You see that is what happened this past week I lost my focus and started listening to the wrong voice. I was tired and stressed and started listening to the enemy. I lost focus of my purpose in this world. I started focusing on all the problems instead of all my blessings. I am such a blessed person and God has brought me to this time and place in my life for a reason.One of my biggest blessings in life will fly in to L.A. on Friday night! God has taught me some valuable lessons through this young woman. Please continue to pray for her as she continues to stretch herself. It would have been so easy for her to stay home with all that was going on and not go to AIM but she was willing to go because she feels this is where God was calling her.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Where are we headed?

Where are we headed as a Country? I don't know, you don't know, nobody knows except for God. We can't control things but we can pray. No matter what happens it does not change the direction of my life. I am still committed to God. I know we have hope and joy as Christians even when things don't go well. As Christians we are to keep pressing on toward the goal. I have talked to people the last couple of days that are depressed because of the election. I have thought that if my life was about just here and now. I would get so depressed. Not just what is going on in the election but personally. I have had so many people ask me why do you keep on fighting most people would have given up by now. I keep fighting because I believe that God is not done with me yet, I believe that there is so much more he needs to accomplish in me and through me. When it is time he will call me home but I won't give up. We as Christians cannot give up or give in. Nothing changes because things are different in our government. God is still in control! I have hope and if you are a child of God than you have hope too. This is not our final destination. Let's live everyday as if it were our last. Our goal is to get to heaven and to take as many others with us as we can. Let's make sure that we don't take our eyes off of the prize!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Do you wonder what is going on inside of you?

I just wanted to share this with you today. I believe it answers some of your questions about surrender.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Becoming a Mom

Every year about this time I start get very sentimental because I am remembering the day my baby boy was born. November 1, 1986.

Saturday we celebrated Joshua's 22ND birthday. Twenty-two years ago we saw each other for the first time. I know that he can't remember but I remember like it was yesterday. My life changed that day forever. That was the day that I became a mother. That is when I looked at this helpless little baby and I knew that Arnold and I were responsible for someone besides ourselves. It was so scary and so exciting at the same time. I was only twenty and Arnold was twenty-five and I look at Josh as he turns 22 and realize how young we were. I see him starting out in his adult life. I can't help but be thankful. When Josh was five, in kindergarten I had my first diagnosis with cancer and I honestly didn't think I would be around for his adult years. I am so thankful. I am and proud of the young man that he is.

One of the hardest things as a parent is to see your child make decisions that you know are not in their best interest. I have had to watch Josh make some decisions this last year that broke my heart. I had a harder time with them than with anything else that I have gone through this past year. I have learned so much. One thing that I have learned is that he needs to make his own decisions and that he is still my child and I don't love him any less. Isn't that how God is with us? Sometimes I make decisions that are outside of his will for my life but he doesn't love me any less. As we celebrated his birthday on Saturday with his friends, as I sat talking to one of them about life and the topic came up about if there is a God and he told me that he does not believe in God. We talked for a while, he told me he feels like he is a good person and that is all that he needs but he was listening when I told him about faith and just to start reading the Gospels. We we were finished talking he said well maybe there is a God.

I thought about this later on and realized how important it is to be around people that don't know God, people that don't even know or believe that he exists. I pray for this young man that his heart will be open to God and that he will keep searching. I pray for Josh everyday he has such a big heart and when he commits himself to something he gives it his all. I believe that he is searching for his place in life and he will discover how important his relationship with the Lord is but I have to keep praying for him and let him find his own faith. As a parent that loves her child so very much it is one of the hardest things to do. I trust God and I know that he will give me the strength and his wisdom each day how to handle this journey.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Letting them grow up

It is so hard to let them go! I guess I never really thought much about how it would be with both of the kids out of the house and not knowing what they are doing every minute. I never thought that they would both be out on their own in the same year. Having 3 1/2 years between them you just figure it will come someday but don't think it will be at the same time. Yes I know the plan is that Sommer will be back after she is finished with AIM.

One thing I have learned is that Arnold and I have done our best. That they are a gift. Now it is time for them to figure out their place in the world. We still continue to pray for our children everyday and the most important thing to us both is their souls. That is why I am having a very difficult time. I said when Sommer decided to go to AIM that if that is what God was calling her to do then I could not stand in her way. As a lot of you know Satan tried his hardest to keep her from going but failed. Now it is close to the time for her to choose her mission field. We know that she has a heart for inner city mission work and have known those fields would be on the top of her list. She shared that Utah, Miami, Grass Valley, Mexico were all up there on top of her list. Then yesterday she informed us that she wants to go to South Africa, No absolutely not! was my first reaction. Then this young woman says "just pray about it Mom, I believe this is where my heart is." Wow did I forget that I said I would not stand in the way? I have really been praying about this. Today was the presentation and she is even more excited about it than before. Do I have enough faith to let her go where ever God leads her? I pray that I do. As a mom I don't want her to go. But as a child of God, I know I have to. I trust him and I know that this will change her adult life. I will allow my children to figure it out for themselves with guidance of course but it is not always easy. I don't always have the best attitude about it. I am thanking God for her heart, that she wants to go into all the world. God protect them where ever they are and whatever they are doing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I think this was the best Race for the Cure yet!

I had such an awesome weekend. It started when I went to the doctor on Friday and together we decided that I was finished with the injections and was ready to move forward with the surgery for the implants. When we walked out that door Arnold and I just looked at each other and smiled because we both knew, it was answered prayer. We were both dreading Friday because we thought that I would have the injection and then not be feeling well for the Race on Saturday. I really felt like I could run the race right then, but Arnold was not too excited about me doing that. Then on Friday night we finally had the chance to go out and see the movie "Fireproof" which is an excellent movie.

On Saturday, I was so excited to be able to be going out to the Race. Not just because I was feeling well and was able. I was excited that my sister, Sheilia would be out there for the first time and my niece, Heather and my sister's two step-daughter's, Melissa and Jessica who lost their mother to breast cancer when they were only three and four. I was excited that I had the largest team I have ever had and a lot of them had not participated in an event like this before. It was impossible for us to get everyone together for a team photo and I was a little bit disappointed about that but I think I still got photos of most everyone (see the slide show). My sister-in-law, Anna did a great job capturing it all! I so appreciated everyone that came out even if I didn't get to spend a lot of time with you just the fact that you were there meant a lot to me.

Then yesterday was Lord's day and I was blessed to hear a great sermon on marriage. Jim gave us homework (which Arnold and I completed). I was able to stay for class for the first time since the surgery. Then we were able to have lunch with two very special people who have been struggling in their marriage for a while. I was able to share what Arnold and I have gone through recently with them as well as some women on Saturday. In March Arnold and I will celebrate our twenty-third wedding anniversary. One thing we have learned is leave whatever has happened in the past and move on. We are so thankful for the time we get to spend together and if you were in our shoes would you treat each other any different?

Then as we were driving home Sommer called. That is the only thing that was missing Saturday. I was so blessed when two of her old high school buddies came up to me and said that they wanted to be part of the race and could they join our team and walk with us. Sommer is right where she needs to be. I must admit I would love to have done what she is doing. She has been in nine states in the last ten days learning more about the bible, fellowship with other Christians and reaching out to the communities they visit. She was excited to see Andrew Gearhart in Alabama and Chris Perry in Dallas. She was not too excited that the bus broke down and they were stranded in Dallas. Looks like classes were cancelled today, so she will be able to get some sleep before the new semester starts tomorrow. I was exhausted when I got home yesterday and feel pretty tired still but am thankful for such a great weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes, and one woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the United States

One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes, and one woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the United could be you..your wife, your daughter, your mother. One more woman is too many!

This is going to be my 8th time participating in the Race for the Cure. I first got involved back in 2001 when we ran at Woodward Park. I was so thrilled to be able to run a race when I had just finished chemotherapy the year before. Then the next year they moved the race to Fresno State, I think it was because it had grown so much. The year that I first got involved I thought it was nice that they called all of us survivors onto the stage and they had a song playing and we all held hands. There was such a bond, we had all experienced those ugly words "you have cancer" and lived to be here on stage as a survivor. I continued to run the race every year after that because it helped my healing to be involved in something with some sort of purpose. I am not sure when I started wanting to put together a team. The awareness has grown thanks to events like Komen. If you go out on Saturday and see the survivor ceremony you will see we don't all fit on the stage at the same time, there is a long line of us. I believe it is because we are finding the cancer earlier and we are surviving! We have so much more research that needs to be done. I believe that prevention is going to be the cure. We are going to discover where it comes from and be able to prevent it rather than having to treat with poisons.

This year when I found out that I was having surgery about a month before the race I thought I would just skip it this year. Then people were asking if I was forming a team this year and not wanting to let anyone down I said yes. Honestly, I still was thinking that I was not going to participate. Then I was looking at pictures one day of my daughter, Sommer and my nieces Heather, Sierra, Hanna and it hit me I have to do something! I don't want them to have to suffer like I have or like my mother, Joan has. I must step up and take responsibility and do my part in helping find the cure. You see I discovered that I have the breast cancer gene. Why was it me? why was I the one that they discovered it in? It has probably been passed on for generations. There has to be some responsibility for me in that. Statistics say that only 5-10% of cancers are inherited. So because they say it is such a small amount it seems the focus of breast cancer awareness is on the ones that are not inherited. I believe that we are going to discover it is much higher than 5-10%. The reason why I believe this is because most of us don't know our family histories and when we are diagnosed one of the first questions that they ask is if you have a family history. I was asked that and I said no. Because I did not know that I did until I had to look back to find out if there was a strong family history. I was so surprised that we had cancer on both sides of the family. How come I never knew this? How come no one ever talked about cancer? I don't want my life to be about cancer but I want to leave those family members that come after me my story that is why I am participating in events like the Komen Race for the Cure that is why I am sharing my very personal experiences with the world. I knew in being open about my experiences there would be emotional pain. I can tell you one thing that I have a very hard time with is the people that want to cry and tell me how unfair things are the ones that I am sure they don't do it on purpose (at least I hope not) bring you down. I absolutely love those of you that encourage me every time I see you. Those of you that are showing your support by helping raise breast cancer awareness. Please don't pity me. I am no different than I was before you knew that I survived cancer, before you knew that cancer has taken parts of my body that important to a woman. I am looking forward to when my daughter and my nieces can say "remember when there was cancer it was such a ugly disease . I am so glad it has been cured". Please join me in praying for the cure! You can still register for the Race on Saturday at Fresno State or you can just make a donation.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cancer is not who I am

I started thinking about what I want my life to be about. October is breast cancer awareness month. I have gotten into spreading the awareness this year more than any other year. I run the race for the cure to help spread the awareness to women about breast cancer, but I am running a much bigger race! I have had a lot of time lately to do some serious thinking. I do not want people to think of me now or after my life here on earth is over as a cancer survivor or as someone who had beat cancer. Yes, I am a cancer survivor and I have beat cancer and I firmly believe that when my life is over it is not going to be cancer that ends my life here on earth. You see cancer to me has been just one of the opportunities in life that some of us are presented with and we can use it to glorify God or we can let it define who we are. I choose to glorify God. I want people to remember me as someone who loved the Lord with all of her heart. Someone that had flaws but did not let that keep her from being about the Fathers business. I believe that God has given me a responsibility by having cancer and I need to remember that it is not about me. I am praying for his direction on how he wants me to use this in my life to bring glory to him.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Register for the Race for the Cure

The race is on Saturday October 25th you can still take part. I am imagining a life for my daughter, my nieces and future generations without cancer. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done to accomplish this. The best that we have until a cure is found is early detection. Will you join me in spreading the awareness. You can register or make a donation to the Komen foundation on their website. Thank you.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What is important

I constantly hear people say and I am including myself
As I am recovering from surgery there has been a lot of things I just can't do so those things that I was always saying that I don't have time to finish well somehow they just are not that important right now. I wonder how much time I waste on things that really don't matter? I talked to Sommer last night and she was so excited as she told me how her AIM class went onto the Tech campus to talk to college students and to plant the seed. She mentioned that she would be having a good conversation and then start talking about God and then most, not all were not interested. Do you think that people are not interested in hearing about God because they are too busy and they feel that is just one more thing they will have to fit into their schedule?

You know when you are faced with your mortality you start thinking about the things that really matter. When I became a Christian eight years ago, that is exactly what I was faced with. What is important? I didn't have extra time to go to Church on Sunday or to talk to people about Jesus my life was too busy. I had to understood that some things were more important than others. What I learned is that having a relationship with the Lord is the most important thing. You know the funny thing is once I put God first in my life things were not so out of control anymore. Yes, I still have a lot to do but those things that seem so important to get done really don't matter in the end. I need to spend more of my time reaching out to others because in the end that is what really matters.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Going Home

I have never been away from home for very long. I can only imagine what it must be like to be away from home and your loved ones. I believe, yesterday I got to experience a bit of what it feels like to go home. I had not been to worship services since the Sunday before my surgery guess that it had been about month. I was able to attend services yesterday. I knew that I missed my church family but did not realize how much until yesterday. This may sound a bit strange but I am thankful for Face book because I was able to stay in close contact with a lot of you. That helped me more than you will ever know. Just to hear your encouraging words and to know that you were all praying for me. I felt very emotional yesterday, not because of what I have gone through lately or what lies ahead. I was and have been so overwhelmed by all of the love and support. I have learned that living a God centered life is such a blessed life. I have appreciated the relationships that my family has developed in the last few years being at Woodward Park Church of Christ but one thing that I had not experienced first hand was how you were there when I needed you. From all of you that came to the hospital, your phone calls, cards, face book messages, all of the yummy food and most important all of your prayers. I honestly don't know how we made it through the difficult times without a loving church family but I do know that having gone through difficult times with a loving church family makes it so much easier to endure. I know that it's not over yet and I will have good days and bad days. I get so much comfort in knowing that I have all of you willing to help me along the way. I have learned so much in the last few months, mainly that I have so much more to learn. I have learned from you how to be a Christian friend to someone who thinks all she needed was God and her family. I think the most important thing that I have learned is how to accept help. I don't always have to be the one giving the help. Thank you for being part of my journey. I love you all!