Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stille Nacht....

"Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Every year I cry whenever we sing this beautiful hymn at church at Christmas time.  Last year was different.  I didn't.  You'd think I would have since it was just a couple of weeks after I had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I remember Jim glancing towards me  (he was playing in the band on Christmas Eve), looking for my usual tears.  Probably expecting me to be sobbing.  But I wasn't.  I really felt calm and the Radiant beams shining down on me.

I did have tears rolling down my face this past Sunday when we were singing "Silent Night".  Not because I was sad but because I was truly focusing on the beautiful words and meaning of this song.

Twenty years ago today my Mama was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I will never forget her beautiful voice, singing "Silent Night" right next to me in the pew on Christmas Eve that year.  We had nothing but Hope to hold onto that year.  It was a confusing time.  No real answers - not yet.  It was a time to wait.  A time to remember why we were here on earth.  A time to celebrate the birth of our Savior who gives us Hope.

So my tears every year were because of the fact that I can hear my Mama's voice singing the glorious hymn and me missing her.  This year my tears are different.  They mean more than me missing Mama.  They mean that I am thankful for truly understanding the words to the hymn.  

Sometimes we would also sing a verse of "Silent Night" in German, "Stille Nacht" to close our Christmas Eve service.

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, alles schlaft, einsam wacht
Nur das traute heilige Paar. Holder Knab im lockigten Haar.
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh', Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh'

I miss you Mama.  I know you are a Heavenly Host singing ALLELUIA!!!

Merry Christmas to you all from Texas!

May you truly remember the Gift that we are celebrating.

Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ONE YEAR Breast Cancer Survivor!!!

It's been a while since I last wrote.  I've had good intentions of sitting down and writing but I just haven't - no excuses!!!

Good day to you all!!  It was a year ago today that I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  It feels so good to be able to shout and sing "I am a one year breast cancer survivor!"  Truly I have God to thank for that.  I am so blessed!!!

One year ago I was beginning a journey into the unknown.  I am thankful for this journey.  I have grown, I have met so many amazing people and I have had you, my faithful Army of Prayer Warriors lifting me up.

This morning the quote that was on my friendship calendar, "Too often the I-can-handle-it-myself society we live in seems to promote loneliness rather than friendship.  Friends are an important part of sharing the burden and worry of each day. (Sheri Curry)".  I'd like to add in "sharing the Joy of each day."

Today I share with you the Joy that this day brings me!!!

When I look back over the year I realize how loved I am.  From old and new friends, family, medical staff, strangers, my children's teachers, I could go on forever.

I am thankful for my amazing husband who has walked by my side and taken care of me, held me up.  My children who have given me a reason to smile and fight.  My Papa and Monika, who drove 1500 miles to come care for me.  My Mom and Dad (Jim's parents) who also came to care for me.  For my  friend Danielle who took over the morning changing of my dressing after my mastectomy after Mom went back home.  For my friend Linda who had to come give me medicine and make me comfortable when I was in pain.

I feel like I am writing an award's acceptance speech.  I don't want anyone to feel left out.  I truly am thankful for all of you!!!

So since my last blog entry which I believe was in September - this is what has been going on (in a nutshell).

After 33 miles (each direction), I completed 33 radiation treatments.  My last radiation treatment was on October 7th.  Jim, Jakob, Kelli and Joey along with several of my friends, as well as Dr. Perkins, my radiation therapists and my gown room friends came to watch me ring the bell.

On October 20th I had the privilege to share "my story" in front of a group of 70 women.  Several of my friends attended - even a friend that I had never met who has been following my blog and praying faithfully for me.

I had an appointment with my Breast Oncologist yesterday.  Everything looked great!  I will see her again in 3 months for a check up.

Next up is my oophorectomy (ovary removal surgery).  My ovaries are normal, however because I won the lottery by having the BRAC-1 genetic mutation I am at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.  So as prevention my ovaries are coming out.  My surgery is scheduled for February 16th.

In March I will be meeting again with my Plastic Surgeon to discuss my other mastectomy and reconstruction.  That surgery will take place in May.

The good thing about being BRAC-1 positive is that I have more than one Oncologist following me.  I have a Breast Oncologist, a Radiation Oncologist and a Gynecological Oncologist.  Plus several research Doctors and nurses.  I still feel that I am in the best hands.  God has given these people very specialized skills.

Life is really wonderful.  Jim is healthy.  Jakob, Kelli and Joey are healthy.  Our parents are healthy.  Our brothers are healthy.  Our nieces and nephews are healthy.  I am healthy.  I am so thankful!

Here is a picture of me today.
A very happy girl!!!  Celebrating life!!!

I pray that this holiday season brings you happiness and Joy!!  We are celebrating Jesus' birth and the Gift of Life!!

Merry Christmas!!

Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,