Thursday, March 20, 2014

Asher's 6th Birthday

Thursday March 20th, 2014
Asher is 6!!!

Birthday boy! What a handsome guy!

The view from Salem Sue!

This is Asher's favorite thing at the science museum!

Macie threw a tantrum because we had to correct some bad, she decided to crawl around on the floor and whimper. Perry followed suit. Kind of funny.

First cake ever purchased from a REAL bakery!

I cannot believe it's been six years...anyone who knows me, knows I have a hard time with my kids growing up. And it seems like Asher has grown up faster than Zeke, and Macie faster than Asher. Uhh...stop time, stop! 

This morning, my sweet sons came to wake me up at 4-something in the morning. Love you, sons, but no. No, no, no, no. Mama doesn't do before the sun gets up. Lol. So, I sent them back to their room until about 7:30 when we all got up and Asher opened his presents. My country boy asked for the traditional breakfast and that he and his brother love so much and on get on special occasions these days... after breakfast and getting ready, we headed out. We first went to see "Salem Sue", the big cow. Asher wanted to go to the science museum so we did that next. Then lunch. After that, we headed out to this farm of this couple who breed quarter horses and border collies. We got a sweet little pup that the kids named Ruby Nicky (in honor of an old family dog) Robinson. She was born February 8th. Such a little and sweet thing! Our hope is that things will work out better with having a puppy who we raise...things didn't go well with Kotah - I THINK because he was tossed from home to home, he was danger to the children and ended up biting. As a family with three young kids, I just can't do a dog with behavior issues. Sorry. Ruby is a sweetheart and all the kids enjoy her. We hit up Pets Mart for a few things, then picked up Asher's cake, then had to stop by the store for a new vacuum (especially important now as we have a dog) then home for dinner and cake. Afterwards, everyone curled up on the couch to watch the movie Frozen. Asher enjoyed getting phone calls from his friends in Georgia, grandma, and aunt Beth. 

Well, Asher son, I love you so much and am incredibly proud of the young man you're becoming!!! Happy Birthday, sweetheart!  

Here's some more pics of our new pup.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Asher lost his first tooth!

Monday March 10th, 2014

Asher man lost his first tooth this evening! He was my youngest kid to get his first tooth and the youngest to lose a tooth. His tooth has been wiggly for a while now and this evening I noticed his adult tooth was already coming in! His baby tooth was super wiggly so Perry bribed him to let him pull it out. And sure enough he did and it did not hurt Asher at all! Wow, he really isn't so little anymore! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Son of God and how it messed me up

For my birthday I really wanted to see the new movie Son of God and boy did it mess me up in the best way.

Two things really stood out to me:

1) How many times have I asked God to fix ______ (fill in the blank)? God, if You wanted You could change ______. God did not spare His own Son, why would He me? God used the suffering of His Son and turned it into something so good that would benefit the world, so if we accept Him. He can also take our challenges, struggles, and pain and turn them into something good, for His glory. It's no fun going thru the pain and difficulties of life. But I believe God is good and faithful and one day we will be able to look back and see His hand at work for the good of us, and ultimately His kingdom.

2) Watching the crucifixion of Jesus - I mean, I knew all the details already, but to actually watch it, I mean, WOW... Think of the physical pain He endured. Think about the mental anguish; He alone was literally carrying the weight of the worlds sins on His shoulders; past, present and future. This man, the only perfect one to have ever been, was betrayed. Everything He did and taught was for US! Because He loves us! And yet some turned on Him, others denied Him. He died a horrific death that He in no way deserved! For me! For you! For everyone! Taking it all in is...overwhelming... Here I am always wanting something from Him. I want this, that, oh and whatever that is! Give it all to me! Seriously, what have I done for God lately? Was not the death of His Son paying for my sins enough? I ask, ask, ask but what do I give? Do I sacrifice myself for Him? For others? Am I putting others before myself? How am I dying to self? I'm not saying it's wrong to ask for things, it just made me think of what do I spend most of my time with the Lord doing...these are all personal convictions.  

Right now there are four movies including this one coming out about God. This makes my heart happy. Though perhaps not all details are accurate to Scripture, His name is getting out there. And I hope it sparks curiosity in people and they start asking, seeking, maybe even crack open a Bible or try out a church. I don't know, but it is exciting to me that these movies could point people in the direction of our Savior!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Healing Strong

Healing Strong is a conference I went to back in September. It's like, Christian-based, natural way to healing from cancer conference. I've had a really hard time processing it which is why I haven't written about it, or even spoken to many people about it.

The conference came at a really weird time. In August, I started developing weird symptoms. Severe back pain (and spasms). It got so bad, that I couldn't walk for any real length of time, and even then I'd had to lean against something for support. Standing to do dishes would end with me in tears, and the sink still full. I gained weight, a lot of it, the most I ever weighed. I felt puffy and swollen. My joints/nerves/muscles all hurt. I couldn't get a good grasp of things with my hands. It hurt to move my fingers, wrists, so it made getting dressed difficult and painful. Symptoms started in August and were full blown out of control by December, which is when I went to the doctor up here in Bismarck and found the reason for this was my doctor in Georgia had taken me off my Nature-Throid and put me on a whole slew of medicines that were not given me the thyroid hormone I need, but also causing inflammation and all these other health problems. Since discontinuing that medicine and getting back on Nature-Throid, I have improved greatly. I need to report this doctor because what she did was not only careless, but dangerous, and could've ended badly.

But anyways, the first symptom was back pain. So, I went to the chiropractor in August which is when I saw the poster being advertised for Healing Strong. My chiro then informed that the lady who started it, had had thyroid cancer herself. I just really wanted to go.

By the time the conference came around, the other symptoms has started. We were also in the process of planning on moving, so I was packing and planning and planning for a yard sale - my world was chaos. My friend, April, watched my kiddos for the weekend for me.

The first night of the conference I felt so impowered. Chris Wark ( spoke, and he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in his 20s  and did not do chemo. His faith in God is incredible and he juiced and changed his eating habits and here he is 10 years later cancer free. I also met a lady, Cortney Campbell ( who was diagnosed in her 20s with a stage 2 rare form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma who did not do chemo or radiation, but also thru faith and natural eating is now in remission. Hearing these two speak, just really filled me with joy! For I, too, in my 20s was diagnosed with cancer and also did not choose traditional treatment. This was very encouraging for me! I remember driving home that night full of joy and assurance and just praising God. I finally felt like I was with a group of people who understood. I felt like I belonged. None of my friends or anyone could relate to what I was going through, and some of them I think downplayed it. So those were two feelings I struggled with. Here, though, people had the same doubts, and questions, and fears as I. And it was so reassuring knowing I wasn't alone.

The next day didn't go so well. Well, I mean, I realized I knew a lot more about healthy "alternatives". So a lot of what was taught I already knew, which is great. But then hearing stories, and seeing pictures, then one doctors herself had developed breast cancer and she lived an all-natural, organic lifestyle and even had her kids at home and breast fed - how can someone like that get cancer?! (That was discouraging.) She went on and said how there's a link between breast cancer and thyroid cancer and just moments earlier I met a lady whose 12 year old son has thyroid cancer and it's spread to his lymph nodes, and she had thyroid cancer in her 20s, and now has breast cancer. Some people there, you couldn't tell had cancer, others you could. It was difficult for them to eat and walk, and my heart just broke for them, and yet they had so much courage and strength to continue on. My own physical symptoms became more noticable that weekend. And on break I sat in my car and cried and prayed - had this cancer spread to every single place of my body? Why was my back still hurting? I was seeing the chiro and doing all the recommend exercises/stretches. Why was my nerves/joints/muscles hurting so bad? The muscles in my calves would tighten, I dreaded walking back in. I was convinced I had cancer of everything. And I couldn't wait for the weekend to end.

That night, a pastor spoke about forgiveness and such and music was played, songs were sung, and people had a chance to  come up and have others pray for them. I felt compelled to go up there. Had my anger towards what happened in my youth caused my cancer? Or was my cancer a punishment? I was in such termoil in my soul and then felt guilt for being such a wreck when I was surrounded by people who had a much worse diagnosis than I, and yet they held it more together. I was conflicted with a worldwind of emotions. I walked up there and just balled my eyes out. I could not even talk. I was just trying to not hyperventilate. The lady just embraced me and patted me told me its ok. She asked how she could pray for me and I was unable to even answer that. So she just went ahead and started praying for me - and it's amazing how God works because she addressed so much of what was going on in the inside of me. She prayed exactly what I needed, without me saying a word. And she encouraged me and complimented me. I am so grateful.

That Sunday, the last day of the conference, I was mentally/emotionally drained. And discouraged. And felt like every food item in the world is horrible for you, except for veggies and I would be sentenced to veggies for the rest of my life. We had to walk from room to room that day and were able to ask speakers questions (I remember my legs and back killing me but I was trying not to show it). I just wanted to go home and hide and pretend like I was fine, I never had cancer, never will, and just go on with my life. Reality was just too hard to face.

So I left the conference that day not sure of if I was happy I went or not. I think part of my reaction was due to my mental depression that those meds I was on were causing. With time having past, I can now say I'm glad I went. There were three ladies at the table who I still keep in touch with via Facebook. All of which had/have/fighting breast cancer. These women are so courageous and positive and strong. I love these ladies whole heartedly, and I pray for them, and I wait with anticipation for the day they are medically declared cancer free. And might I add, their faith and love for the Lord is so incredible. They are my cancer thriving sisters.

I think it is safe to say, I'm no longer as fearful as I once was. But I feel ready to know for certain whether there is cancer still in my body. And I'm ready to figure out what diet life style works best for me with my health. There's so much information out there, so many options - and I love options! But it can be overwhelming, and what works for someone may not work for someone else. I've also let go of some of the anger I was holding on to towards the medical community. Once our new insurance goes through, I have every intention of seeing an endocrinologist and going from there.

The "what ifs" still creep in every once in a while. But I also feel a peace from God. And I feel like He is telling me not to worry, that everything will be okay...such a peace and confidence that maybe I am already cancer free. ;) And I'll stumble again, and perhaps wrestle with negative feelings, or struggle with feeling alone. But, ya know, I have God. I have the Creator of the universe on my side. What more do I need? I really want you guys to know, I am covered in peace right now and I feel so ready. So ready to know, and act accordingly, and to move onward.

Update on all-things-thyroid

Last Friday I went in for labwork. My levels have greatly improved since last time, but still super low. So, she upped my dosage of Nature-Throid to 2.5 grains which is about 163mcg, still much lower than what I was on when I was doing well. I had some back-and-forth with the doctors office pleading my case because I do not want to wait another 3 months feeling this way. My current symptoms are:

-Being unable to lose weight (even with diet changes and being more active)
-Hair falling out (so much more than it ever has in the past)
-Hot flashes (still nothing going on in the girl department; still no cycle)
-Brain fog
-Constantly tired (wake up tired, fall asleep exhausted)

I guess we came to a compromise that I will take the 2.5 grains for 6 weeks. At the 6 week mark, I am to call them and tell how I am feeling. If I am feeling the same, they will up my dosage to 3 grains. Though a little irritated, I feel like at this time I don't have any other options and at least it is a compromise and better than having to wait 3 months. I am just ready to start feeling "normal" again. And I just want my body to work the way it is supposed to. I regret having ever taken health (and fertility) for granted. 

I've started back with the Nutribullet. I "juice" or "blend" or whatever ya wanna call it, once a day. I usually do kale, beets, avocados, carrots, broccoli, some sort of berry, flax seed, Brazil nuts, and pumpkin seeds (which I just ran out of). All of it being organic. I would love to get to a point where I do it more throughout the day, but this is what I can do right now. I believe we do the best we can, and gonna have to trust God with the rest. This is something I've struggled with because most all the other naturally-healed cancer peeps are able to do so much more. Faith in God is playing a big role in my healing. I am rebounding which with the stabilizing bar is not so bad. I use a body brush for light detox and also soak in a detox bath once a week. I have also started drinking kombucha. Just a few times a week. Asher and Macie really like it too, so I usually end up sharing with them. :)

My sister's surgery is coming up. About 17 days away. Though I hate that she is going through this, I am excited for it to be over and for her to move forward. By the time surgery roles around, it will have been 4 months since she found out she has thyroid cancer. That's a hard wait, y'all. I ask for prayers for the doctors and nurses treating her, for a fast recovery for my sister, and that no further treatment will be necessary. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Zeke's 10th Birthday

Monday February 24th, 2014
Zeke is 10!!!

Cannot believe this day has come; my baby boy is a decade old! Woa! I let Zeke and Asher skip school for Zeke's birthday, and Perry took the day off from work. It was a pretty mellow day. Zeke requested his daddy make him a good-ole-country breakfast (Zeke's absolute fave), followed by Zeke opening his birthday card with birthday money (what he asked for). Perry and Zeke went out for a couple hours to have some special time together, and Zeke spent his birthday money. He wanted ice cream cake, so that's what we had. He got phone calls throughout the day from friends in Georgia and his cousins in M.A. It also snowed a little on his birthday just like it did on Macie's! In the last picture, it's all three kiddos showing off their presents from their grandma Lisa and papa Dane. Cannot believe in 8 short years my baby will be an adult...time has flown by like crazy. Zeke is incredibly smart, hard working young man. He has a sweet, kind heart. He is a fantastic big brother, and is so good with younger kids in general. He loves his family, friends, and the Lord. I could not be any more proud of him.

Happy Birthday, son, love you for always!

"Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12