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An Ongoing Journey

We all have an ongoing journey through life  Well, I, like you, am on one, and decided to share about it since I received an osteosarcoma diagnosis in January 2019.  It won’t all be about cancer.  There’s a lot more to this life than that.  Thank goodness! ♥

I intend to Live Life on Purpose.  You are welcome to join me.  

 

If you have never read a blog, the posts are seen from newest down to oldest. At least this free blog site is that way. 

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We took the Grand boys fishing again yesterday. This time we went on the drift boat. They lost interest after a short bit. It was quite hot. But, we did catch some fish, a few of which were perch. Robby wanted to eat fish so we kept the three perch and brought them home for supper. Brian filleted them, then fried them up in a little butter and garlic. They were quite good, but there was very little. The boys were asking for more. Guess we will have to get more (like 5 times as many!) next time.

I am 51 years old. Today I feel like I am just one year old. Anyone ever have that feeling?

Though I don’t remember when I was one year old, I can only imagine the joy and surprise my parents experienced when I took my first steps.

Well, I am feeling that joy for my own self right now. I took my first steps by myself without crutches. I haven’t done that since January 8th. I still have a ways to go, but it’s exciting for me. Of course, the sap that I am, I’ve shed a few tears.

Ziva was excited for me also. Haha.

This is an incredible journey. I am learning lots about myself. I’m also learning that I have an incredible tribe who love me enough to pray for me and continuously encourage me. That includes my wonderful husband and supportive family.

Most importantly of all, I have this Awesome God, my Heavenly Father, who has been with me through all of this. He is my biggest cheerleader. I can’t wait to see what else He has in store. Good or bad, He always is right there.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement along this journey. They mean so much.

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭NLT‬‬

8/7/19

8/7/19
We are headed home from our successful NYC trip. No surprises, thank goodness! We are both so grateful not to have to make the drive. Though it makes for a long day, taking the bus from Cornell is much less taxing for Brian as the driver and me as the “back seat driver”. 🤷🏼‍♀️
We had some time on our hands in between the appointment and getting back on the bus to head home so we wandered around a bit. We found a place to eat and hung out there for a while. We had pizza, which I haven’t had for a long time, at Patsy’s Pizzeria. I don’t generally eat carbs like that. It tasted delicious, but I am already regretting eating it. My stomach feels off because I’m not used to carb loading like that. Young Living’s Digize to the rescue. I think I’ll stick to the Keto way. Haha

After pizza we walked around (well,I crutched it around) checking out some shops and such. I was thinking, and Brian mentioned, how I got around a lot better and quicker this time than any other time we’ve been in NYC since this all happened. I look forward to going back there for an appointment with no crutches so we can wander wherever. Brian says he looks forward to just not going back there at all. Ha. Can’t blame him there. We ended up at Starbucks and I had a delicious matcha green tea with Almond milk and monk fruit. Now that definitely didn’t bother my stomach. I’m going to make those at home!

Today my appointment was with Molly, the fellow that works with Dr. Prince. I guess he decided he needed a vacation. How dare he. Haha. I had x-rays as usual and also had bloodwork done. Everything looks good. They were excited that, with the exception of city walking, I am pretty much using just using one crutch. As you’ll notice in the pictures below, the bone that has been growing in since the January surgery is really filling in nicely. I am still, and always will be, in awe of how God created us, and how our bodies can do such things. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV).

The X-rays on the right were taken in June. On the left are from today. Lots more filling in has happened!
The plan at this point is to follow-up with Dr. Prince and have pre-surgical testing and consenting on 10/2. Then a tentative (but more than likely) surgery date on 10/17. This surgery will include removal of the present rod and replacing it with another rod for leg lengthening. As you may recall, my right leg is 1-1/2 inches shorter than the left, and I am wearing a lift on the bottom of some of my right shoes to make up the difference. I will again be using the magnet thingy, that we affectionately call “Whirlybird”, for the Distraction Osteogenesis. It should take about 1-1/2 months for my leg to lengthen and be pretty much even with the left leg.
I am part of a Memorial Sloan Kettering research study involving osteosarcoma and Distraction Osteogenesis. Because of that, today I had to take a survey about my perceived progress to this point. I also had to see how fast I could get from point A to point B with my crutches. That’s always interesting. The next thing was to get weighed and then to see how much of my weight I could put on my right leg. That also was interesting. Some of the bloodwork I had done today was also part of the research, though I did ask Molly to add on a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) to those labs so we could see if my electrolytes and all that were ok. And yes, they are all good! Thank You Lord!
We actually will be heading back to NYC on the 22nd of this month. We are meeting with the medical oncologist at Sloan Kettering. The oncology team at Guthrie has requested that the oncologist at MSK drive the boat as far as follow-up for cancer related things. The Guthrie team will then follow whatever his recommendations are. You might recall that I had a repeat chest CT in July. You might also recall that CT was good. Praise the Lord! I took that CD of the imaging and the report with me today and they uploaded it into the system so that the oncologist will be able to look at it prior to the appointment.
So, I am making progress, slow but sure. I have learned so much from this experience, and it’s certainly not even close to being over yet. The huge thing that I have learned is that I need the Lord. I need Him in the good times and the bad. He is so gracious and merciful. He’s my best friend. I have really grown to want to read His Word, His Story. I also realize that I need to be talking to and listening to Him all the time. He loves me so much, and I love Him, and when you love someone you want to spend time with them and learn more and more about them. That’s where I’m at.
This whole thing has been an eye-opener. I got up late the other day and didn’t get to spend time in the Bible like I usually do. Wow, it wasn’t fun. I totally missed spending time with Him. Don’t you miss spending time with your best friend? Not something I’ll be going without any time again soon. Romans 15:4 in the Bible says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
Don’t we all need that hope? Well in my opinion, HE IS IT. Then it would behoove us to be reading His Word and spending time in prayer.
My prayer today is that if you don’t gain anything else from following this journey I am sharing with you, you would realize, if you don’t already, that you need a Savior. You need that Hope. He’s the only One who can give that to you. Even when times are bad, having the hope that comes from knowing Jesus makes it ok.
Thank you for your continued prayers for me and also for my family. I am blessed.
Of course, as usual, here are some pictures with captions from today’s adventure.
Purposefully,
Tricia

What?!

yep, glad we were on the bus at that point

More milestones…

It’s almost official! I think I am pretty much down to one crutch. I have been trying to figure it out for a while and get the length of my crutch the appropriate height and such. My physical therapist, Jose, helped me out with that yesterday.

The only problem I have is when I need to go up or down stairs that do not have rails. For example, the stairs at my house in the garage do not have rails. I think I will have to leave one crutch by the stairs so I can use two when I go up and down.

Tonight I am going to a Young Living leaders’ retreat. I probably will take both crutches for that until I can get the layout of the land, so to speak.

I also, for the first time, drove to work by myself today. Yesterday, I drove to work with Brian in the car and he dropped me off. Today though, I took the car by myself to and from work. That is another huge milestone! I even took a picture of the beautiful sunrise from the car. Don’t mind the dirty window. Haha

I just finished a 28 hour fast at 1 PM today. Last week I did a 24 hour fast, but I wanted to do another one this week just to get my body reset. I don’t know if you remember me mentioning autophagy before, but that is a great way to help clean yourself out. I try to do at least a 24-hour fast once every two weeks if not every week. There are just so many benefits. If you don’t know what they are please read up about it. It is just another thing in my wellness journey.

I really can only think that this is all happening only because of God’s grace and direction and your prayers. Please keep it up!

I like this verse for today from Philippians.
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Coffee

What is in your coffee today? I very rarely drink coffee anymore because I want my body to be more alkaline rather than acidic. This is a great option though. I also decided this morning I wanted to have a little bit of orange taste in my coffee. Therefore, I have this special coffee with organic half-and-half and monk fruit added, as well as just one drop of Young Living’s orange vitality oil. I also like the fact that the orange essential oil gives me a little bit of boost of energy for my day. I certainly would not use anything other than Young living, because I know that these oils are pure and have only oil in the bottle. No gross additives.

Want to know more about Young Living Essential Oils. Contact me!

Have a great day!

😊

Beautiful start to the weekend

It’s been a good week and this evening was a good start to the weekend. Unfortunately Brian does have to be on call this weekend, but hopefully, tonight will be an indicator of it being a nice one.

I made Keto biscuits tonight for supper. They sure were delicious. They went great with the big salad I made and the delicious steak Brian grilled.

Then, after cleaning up and waiting for it to get closer to sunset, we decided to go for a drive around our little mountain. It’s so much fun to bet with each other as to how many deer we are going to see. I won tonight. Haha. I said 26 and he said 14. We saw 40 in all. There were quite a few buck in that total too. I tried to capture the buck in one of the pictures I took.

To top the evening off, we witnessed a beautiful sunset. God sure is amazing! His handiwork is everywhere!

I may have my issues, like we all do. But, when you get to witness such beauty, it pushes all that aside. I’m so grateful for such an Awesome Father who shows me such awesome beauty! He deserves all praise, honor and glory!

Have a blessed weekend!

I’ll leave you with this…

Today

It is Monday, July 22, 2019. Nothing notable about the day, really. I just wanted to point that out. Haha
This is what we had for supper tonight. It was quite delicious and colorful. We often have a salad with supper, but being a Monday, and trying to get back into the groove for the week, we decided on a quick stir fry. I added avocado and tomato after the fact. Yum!
Last week was busy from a work standpoint. Many brand new nurses started there journey with us at Guthrie. I’m so excited for them! I remember my orientation fondly, and how I was so eager to learn everything. I had a great preceptor, and am hoping that these Newly Licensed RNs (NLRNs) experience the same. I wish I was working in the ICU so that I could be training one of them. Today was more of the same for all of us. By the end of this week, they will be on their units. Good for them!
Thursday evening was a great time of fellowship with my women’s Life-group at church. We are doing a She Reads Truth study called “Open Your Bible”. It’s great. I think we are all learning more about the Lord, His Word, and what we can expect when we do open our Bibles and spend time learning more about God. The Life-group meets weekly. I look forward to it.

Sunday after church and a very quick lunch (because there was so much excitement), we went swimming with the grand boys at Brian’s brother’s place down the road. The boys love to be in the pool. They wear swimmies still, but it won’t be long before they will be swimming without them.

I got sunburned. I guess I didn’t have my self covered with sunscreen as good as I thought. My right leg actually burned worse than the left. I wonder if it’s because of the hardware in there. I realized it’s rather hard to stand in the pool when one leg is 1-1/2 inches shorter than the other. It’s a bit uncomfortable. I also realized when one has a stiff leg it’s not always easy to swim. I can’t kick that heavy right leg too easily. It took some effort on my part and Brian’s part to get in and out of the pool also. We almost had to enlist the help of his brother. Nonetheless, it was nice to be in the water.

Did I mention that I often take the Best Transit bus to work? It is a bus for Sullivan and Bradford county people who have some sort of disability, whether mental or physical. I was just telling my husband tonight, when I finally am able to drive all the way to work I will miss riding the bus to work. The “kids” on the bus are just such a pleasure. I enjoy the time on there with these newer friends of mine. They definitely get my morning off to a good start. I even took a couple of pictures this morning while we were stopped.

The ride home on the bus gets to be a bit long. Today, after work, I got on the bus and found out it was going to take me about two hours to get home because we were going a very round about way to pick up and drop off more people. I actually asked the driver to please give me my dinero back, as I would find another way home. I appreciate the ride so much, but that’s just a bit too long when you’ve had a day at work. I don’t know how people who commute so far/long each day in the city deal with that.
Well, I guess that’s enough of an update. Nothing too exciting. There’s nothing wrong with that! It is actually nice for a change! I’ll leave you with a verse that is my verse of the day today. Maybe someone needs to see it.
Blessings to each of you. 💛
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Six Months

Time sure goes by, even when things could be better circumstances.  Today marks the six month anniversary of my surgery to remove a large malignant tumor from my right femur.  The surgery lasted about ten hours, way into the wee hours of the 17th.  It was a late start to begin with, because the operating room that was going to be used for me had to be used for an emergency case that came in.  I don’t think I will ever forget the waiting and anticipation of that surgery.  Just like I won’t ever forget when my provider told us that I had cancer, or the first physician we saw at Sloan Kettering telling us that I needed to stay in the hospital until I could have surgery, for fear that my femur would break, and if that happened I would lose my leg.  Who knew that we would find from the oncologist 3 months later that I also had a nodule in my left lung that had been there since the very first CT in January, but just had not been mentioned on the report.  

But God…He sure has been with me through the whole thing. I haven’t always listened entirely, wanting to try things on my own, thinking that I know better, but He has stayed right with me and helped me realize that I am in a much better place when He is in control. How does anyone make it through struggles like this without knowing Jesus and having a personal relationship with Him?

God’s Word is so powerful and it reminds me every day that He has a plan and knows what is best for me in the short, and the long run.

 

My leg is moving along slowly.  Too slow, as far as I’m concerned.  I am trying to walk more and more with just one crutch.  Just trying to build up the quad muscle that I lost when I had that tumor removed.  I had PT today and got to walk on the treadmill with a harness on. That was exciting! In August I hope to find out when the next surgery will be so that I can get myself mentally prepared for that.  I don’t know how long the recovery will be after that one.  Hopefully I won’t be back to square one with crutches and all. 

Some of you may know that I had a CT of my chest last Thursday.  I have to tell you, though I know what God says about worrying, I was worried.  I try every day to just give it to Him, but it is easier said than done.  Jesus says in the Bible, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26).  I need to be constantly reminded of that.

There is a song by Zach Williams called “Fear is a Liar”.  I posted the words on my Facebook page today.  I’ll be posting them again below.  Maybe you are someone who needs to read them.  Don’t let fear control you.  When we worry, it causes us to be fearful of everything.  Let God be the one in control. 

So, back to the CT of my chest.  I found out the results yesterday.  The nodule in my lung has NOT changed in size.  It is 2mm x 4mm, which is what it was when seen on the first CT in January.  According to the reading from the radiologist, it very well may not be cancerous, and I just need to continue to do routine follow-up.  I will be conferring with an oncologist at Sloan Kettering in regards to frequency and the oncology team here will follow that recommendation.  

Whew!  Talk about a major time of happy crying I had!  When the nurse navigator from oncology read me the report I couldn’t stop crying and praising God.  She probably thought I was a wacko, but said she was glad that she could give me the good news.  I really don’t know what God’s plan is for me, but I am continuing to give it to Him, and feel confident that He won’t lead me wrong. 

I have asked The Lord to guide me as far as what I should be doing to keep cancer away.  So far, I feel led to be drinking Essiac Tea twice a day.  I also take turmeric, boswellia, Frankincense (Young Living only) internally and topically, potassium, magnesium, and some other Young Living Supplements.  I also drink Young Living’s Ningxia Red everyday.  It is a great support for one’s immune system, as it has wolfberries in it.  They have a much higher antioxidant rating than blueberries, that are very high in that regard.  I also follow a Keto Diet and keep a close eye on my sugar intake.  I am also trying to keep my stress level down. 

All of this stuff, I feel, are things that the Lord wants me to do.  Cancer is not a disease.  It is my body’s way of telling me that I need to get it together and take care of the temple that God has given me.  I really wasn’t doing a super job of that before all this happened.  Now I am doing better, with God’s help, and will continue to.  If you want to know any more about any of the things I am using/doing please let me know.  If you want to know more about Jesus, and how He can take away your fear, please contact me.  I’d be honored to talk to you about Him.  

I am hoping and praying that neither I, nor anyone I know will every have to hear that they have the “C” word in the future.  But God…He is on the throne, and will be there every step of the way.  

Blessings to you this rainy Tuesday…

 

Fear is a Liar
When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough
Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar
When he told you were troubled
You’ll forever be alone
When he told you you should run away
You’ll never find a home
When he told you you were dirty
And you should be ashamed
When he told you you could be the one
That grace could never change
Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar
Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Oh, let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Oh, fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar