What To Do …

I want to clarify my last post a bit. I think maybe I was just in a funny mood. I was sick and down because my days are so unpredictable. I know my purpose is to be a Godly mom , wife, friend and to take care of the needs of my family. What I’m struggling with is all the unpredictability. Sometimes it is lonely around here. Not lonely meaning I need people around but lonely with fatigue or wanting something meaningful to do. The quietness can get my mind going. I struggle because I can’t commit to things. I want to help and visit and enjoy things but I don’t want to cancel. I want to write a book on my journey for our family. I feel like I’m incapable or won’t be able to complete it. Starting it is half the battle. I want to make money so our family can go away on a holiday. But am not allowed to work . I dream of the day that we can finally do our getaway. I don’t want to just go away with Aaron. Being away from the kids is hard for me still. Too raw. Spending weeks and months away while being sick was just too hard.

This is the stuff that goes through my mind on a daily basis. Going off steroids I think is partly to blame. It puts you in a sort of depression. Not bad , just down. Once Molly is all healed up from her surgery I’m hoping to get out and walk more. This will help with the tiredness.

On a happier note, my doctors appointment yesterday went really well. I had almost perfect blood work. It was a real joy to see my results. It’s been over 2 years since my blood work has looked so good. There are minimal signs of gvhd. I’m almost off the steroids. I’m being referred back to the stroke neurologist to see if there’s something we can do about all these migraines. Many seems to be associated with the torn artery in my neck. Ct scan shows no tear so it must just be scar tissue . Who know. I’m hoping to get a nerve block or Botox in my neck to help with the frequency of pain. Right now it’s daily. In the mean time I have a 2 month break from visiting my hematologist. I have IVIG therapy next week to help boost my immunity and then things are pretty well low key until end of January.

I hope all my American friends and family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. This can be a hard time for those missing family members but try to remember that thanksgiving is about being thankful and God has surrounded us all with blessings. Look for those blessings and find joy in them. ❤️

The Unknown Journey

Psalm 42

42 1  As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?3  My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4  These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation6  and my God.My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7  Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. 8  By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9  I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10  As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 11  Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

The days are hard and unpredictable lately. My heart and mind struggle finding my purpose here on earth. Life has changed so much in the last 2 years. I don’t always know what to do with myself. I have had fatigue again this weekend and it makes me feel useless. The headaches and tummy aches come and go. I try to live each day in the present and not worry about the future but I have been. I won’t go into details on those worries. I will lay them before God. Recovery is a roller coaster and right now I’m caught in the twisty part that feels like it’s spiralling down and not knowing what curve or drop will happen next is scary. Some days are really good. Some days I don’t know what to do with myself. No sympathy needed. This is all part of my journey and I just need to learn how to navigate the hard times. I try to remember that everyday is a gift and find the joy in each day that God gives me . I know the blessings in my life outweigh the discomforts.

Been a Hard Week

I feel myself falling backwards, emotionally and physically. I have spent much of my last few days in bed. I have cried a lot and sheltered myself. This is more than likely due to going off steroid medication. The aches and pains have returned. Almost daily headaches. Yesterday’s headache was brutal. It’s a horrible feeling when you feel like you have lost control of yourself. I know life’s not perfect and I know this is just a bump in the road that will smooth out. I’m not sharing this for sympathy. I’m sharing this because promised to be blunt and real. I am so thankful that God gave me a second chance at life. I really am. It’s just hard when your body and mind are so tired from fighting the ailments that come with transplant. Today I’m going to push myself to get up and moving. Take the dog for a walk, watch my boys play hockey and get some housework done.

On a happier note, my blood work looks amazing. No signs of gvhd in my liver. My blood counts are fabulous and I couldn’t be happier about it. Also this week I will be doing a fabulous giveaway that you won’t want to miss. I can’t wait to share it with you. To top it off I’m having a fun night with friends on Wednesday. That should brighten my spirits. ❤️ I will be okay! Don’t worry 😉

May God grant you all a wonderful week and may you feel His presence near you in all you do.

Gifts and Encouragement for Those Going Through Cancer or Sickness

A lot of people feel quite helpless when someone they love is going through a difficult time. I thought I would do a post on the things that were really helpful and the things I really liked while going through treatment. I put a few of my favourites together as a door prize for an coming women’s retreat I will be attending. Honestly we all could use a little of this even if we aren’t going through a hard time.

•Peppermints ! I could not do chocolate or fruit candies but peppermints were nice to suck on.

•Cozy socks. I received a couple different pairs of socks and slippers and loved them all.

•An encouraging mug. A nice new coffee mug with a message on it is a win for me. A reusable cup with a straw is nice too!

•Activity book, notebook, bookmark, Indigo or Amazon gift card. I love reading but it can be difficult while on certain medication. I still loved getting a new book and having a word search kicking around. I also purchased colouring stuff off Amazon that I used to keep me busy.

•Cards! My favourite for sure. I received so many cards and each and every card meant so much to me. Just to know that I was in someone’s thoughts and prayers was so special.

• Toiletries, chapstick, peppermint essential oil. These are necessities. Peppermint was an essential oil that was allowed during treatment. It helped with pain. I also had dry lips and used Burt’s bees brand. Natural was nice because I felt like I was so full of toxins. Natural lotions and deodorant were an added bonus.

•Card box. One really awesome thing that was done for me during treatment and transplant was, cards organized for everyday. No matter what I had a card to open. I was only allowed to open one a day. I received a really nice card box to go with it and this card box was so handy.

That concludes my little box but here are a few more things I loved.

•hand sanitizer

•little handheld mirror

•beanie boo stuffy

•cozy blanket

•ginger and turmeric tea

•puzzle

•gift card for restaurants to help with feeding the family

•picture with a favourite bible verse

The biggest gift of all is and was all the prayers we received.

Philippians 4: 6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I hope this helps if your ever looking for ideas on a gift for someone who isn’t feeling well.

And to all those who gave us gifts, thank you . ❤️

Seeking My Normal and Finding Peace With It

Normal, what’s that suppose to look like? I honestly don’t even know anymore. One of the hardest parts of being a transplant patient is the constant changes from good to bad and bad to good. It is such a bumpy life. I was on the island this week with Gavin’s senior boys soccer team. Each day I felt my body getting weaker. It was hard when I thought I was a lot stronger . Today has been much worse. I slept all afternoon. Everything hurts. I feel feverish but don’t have a fever. Headaches have still been bad . I am super thankful that I could be there for Gavin. It was fun watching the boys play. I enjoyed the company that was with me. I was thankful I made it to church this morning. We had a sermon on ,

Ephesians 6: 17 b

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

Our Pastor talked about things we really want. A new toy for a child , a new cell phone , a new car . We are always excited about getting something shiny and new. The truth is though, these things wear out. They get broken, outdated , worn out and then eventually thrown out or we lose interest in them.

It really struck me how I feel this way about my health and my body. I had cancer and was given an amazing gift of some brand new healthy stem cells. I was excited, overjoyed, thankful just like a shiny new toy. Ok , it is a bit different but it still applies to an extent. However, my body has shown over and over again that it’s still fighting, it breaks, hurts, gets tired and worn out. People start to not come around as much or their support disappears completely ( I am still supported don’t worry) Maybe I’m more like an invisible illness now. I look pretty normal. I have hair again and put on some weight. All looks great on the outside. Truth is , things are still hard. I have had a great couple months. It’s been obvious . My energy was high , I felt great, eating wasn’t a problem other than eating too much. This was all thanks to prednisone. Now I’m going off prednisone and my body is returning to it’s natural state. Right now this will be my normal. Its difficult and I hope that my strength stops declining. I want to be strong. I want to be able to take care of my family and my friends. I need to find peace with this.

Back to the sermon. The sword , the word of God . The bible may get worn and torn on the outside but it will never go away. It’s strength will always be strong and true. We need to use this in our daily living, how we interact with people. We need to share this with people. We need to apply it to our lives. Rely on the truth to get us through adversity. My body may not be the normal I want but it’s where God wants it to be. Maybe this is His way of making me focus more on Him and not my pain . One day my body won’t matter. What will matter is my faith . Once this life is over , the pain and suffering will be gone and I will be in heaven more full of life than ever before. So I encourage you all to open your bibles. Study His word. Find peace in the normal you have right now. I am working on it and will continue to try and find peace in His word . Sick or not , His love and word is the same.

I Love Fall!

There is something so cozy about fall. The leaves and colours that surround us bring me a lot of visual happiness . The smell of comfort food and spicy candles . The warmth of lamps and fireplaces makes everything feel just right. Thanksgiving and turkey , need I say more.

Fall is definitely my favourite season. It’s been hard to enjoy the last 2 we have had because I was sick and recovering from my stem cell transplant . This year I am enjoying God’s beautiful creation from the comfort of my home instead of a hospital room. It’s pretty awesome.

What’s your favourite season and why?

Genesis 8:22

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Words Can Make or Break Your Day

It’s been one of those weeks where I have had to bite my tongue a few times. I haven’t been feeling great ( what’s new) and I guess I have a bit less patience than I normally have. I’m also going down from the prednisone which causes yucky side effects including grumpiness. This will pass though. I know it will because I can get through bigger obstacles than this.

This week I was snappy at my kids, at my husband, quiet at home by myself because sometimes it just feels easier than facing people in public and trying to be happy.

On Monday , I received an email from someone at my doctors office that was incredibly rude and disrespectful. It left me with a feeling like I didn’t matter. I was just another name in the system. All over an appointment time. It took everything and a whole lot of encouragement from my husband not to reply to the email. My reply was all written out and I would have happily sent it. Instead I chose not to.

The thing is , this person doesn’t know me from Adam. She has no clue how her words were hurtful. Her words made me feel like my fight over the last 2 years meant nothing. That me as a mom and wife means nothing. Most importantly, I’m a human being with a soul not just a patient with a number. Here’s the other thing. She could have just been having a bad day. Maybe her dog died or she got in a fender bender on the way to work. Maybe she is abused at home or has mental health issues that are bogging her down. I don’t know. What I do know is words can hurt and words can heal. I probably should have responded in an encouraging way but at the time the best encouragement I could give her was no response.

So my encouragement to you all is to remember that we don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life . People hold things in. Throw a smile on their face and pretend like everything is alright. Make yours words be kind. Remember that words can hurt and sometimes it’s hard to forget those hurtful words. If you know someone is struggling , let your light shine and use words that will heal and brighten their day.

On the flip side, don’t take mean words too personally. You could have just been the persons punching bag in the midst of a hard day. It says in the bible,

Matthew 5:38 -40

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 

In the end I think you and I will feel much more at peace with ourselves and that person if we follow the advice of Jesus.

I’m learning to let things go. I’m a work in progress . I’m not perfect and I know that this has been a really good lesson for me. It takes a lot of work.