Follow by Email

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


After fighting it all day, I've come to the conclusion that I really just need a good cry. I prefer laughter but sometimes that doesn't erase the burden of a long day.

I love my sister. She is one of my favorite humans ever, a lifelong friend, a constant source of love and encouragement. She was to fly in from California to see me today but she missed her flight and another was not an option. I didn't realize how much I was looking forward to her visit...until she wasn't coming.

My sister-in-law was supposed to drive down from Portland this Friday to come visit for the weekend. Initially there was some concern over these 2 visits so close together, would it exhaust me, would it be too much...and now it doesn't matter. She's running a fever and we can't chance me getting sick right now.

My girlfriend is flying in next week. Her first visit in the 12 years I've lived here in Oregon. Please pray that nothing comes up. Pray for her health and home.

I'm trusting God today. As much as I thought I needed these special visitors, he knows what's best for me. Crying won't change a thing but I can't help it. These disappointments come from my expectations and I realize that my eyes had shifted from what's most important. Him. Jesus. My joy is in him alone. And I'd forgotten for a moment in anticipation of these other loved ones.


I set out this month, this October, this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to educate and bring true awareness to you instead of cheerleaders in pink and pink ribbons on cans of food or cups of coffee. I'm giving you an inside view of my breast cancer battle.

Earlier this month I shared my post-surgery photos and the brutal truth of how my body has been changed physically. It's been 4 months now since my bilateral mastectomy and I'm so thankful for the healing that God has granted my body already. I still have numbness and slight tenderness in spots, especially under my arm where lymph nodes were taken. I went through physical therapy that loosened some of the tightness across my chest but I suspect only time will tell what the longterm effects will be.

When I look in the mirror now I have to remind myself of 2 things- I am wonderfully and fearfully made AND this body is both temporary and a temple. It does matter what I think and feel about my body. I've known this since I was 10 years old. I have to accept all the scars and imperfections AS IS because that's how God sees me. And he loves me just as I am.

That brings me to my foobs.

faux + boobs = foobs

The first ones I got after my surgery in June were basically reminded me of shoulder pads straight out of the eighties. Teardrop-shaped lightweight foam to tuck into special pockets built into my bra. With no weight them, they move all over the place with a simple hug or putting away dishes. (I secretly think they are trying to make their way back to my shoulders!)

See what I mean? 
And then Saturday I got UPGRADED to a pair of silicone foobs with these neat fiberfill pockets on the back. They are heavy enough to stay in place. They warm up to my body temperature and feel somewhat "normal". The best part about these new foobs is that special pocket. I can adjust how much or how little fiberfill goes into each one. This will be especially handy next year when I begin the reconstruction process. More on that later. 
You might wonder why I'm sharing this. Well, mostly because these are just some of the things I wish someone would have told me about before my mastectomy. I think it would have given me some measure of comfort to know my options instead of just being rushed into surgery. So there you have it. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Beautiful People, Part III

This dear friend of mine, I've known her for years. Our paths crossed through homeschooling but we've had many conversations over our health and nutrition over the years. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, I was heartbroken for her and yet absolutely amazed at the grace with which she faced it. I couldn't imagine myself in her shoes, wondering if I would handle myself so well. Her love for the Lord shines through, as I'm sure you'll see, and she continues to be an encouragement to me daily. Meet Emily-
"last fall, i noticed swollen lymph nodes in my left armpit that didn't go away. i figured that they were from illness passed around in our family, but after a few weeks i texted a girlfriend ( a local MD) to get her feedback. we agreed that they were likely some function of breast feeding (milk ducts), but it would probably make sense to have it checked out.
Early December, I saw a female doctor who did a thorough breast exam and upon palpating the lump in my armpit, assured me it was not lymph nodes but very likely milk ducts. both of my breasts looked and felt completely normal. she suggested waiting six weeks to follow up, but offered an ultra sound if it would make me feel better.
i'm so glad i said yes to that ultrasound.
those early dark days of fear, of waiting, and then finally learning my diagnosis of stage 3, her2 positive invasive ductal carcinoma on january 8, 2016 ... some of the darkest days of my life.
immediately, though - that night of january 8, in fact, i had an overwhelming urge to *learn*, to research deeply, to plant my feet firmly in a proactive and open place. i felt, in the deepest part of my being, that i had the capacity to affect the course of this disease and that GOD had given us extraordinary healing tools. i just needed to find them.
one of GOD's greatest graces in my life has been the gift of my life partner and husband, and he also felt that same passion to learn ... so we spent that first weekend moving between shock, tears, discussion, study, prayer and back to shock.
those first several days,  i would wake to the remembering of the nightmare that felt like a bad dream. but days moved forward, and they were filled with such amazing support, love enveloping me. and i felt an unwavering resolve, and so after making decisions based on research and then confirmed through work with those i gathered to be a part of my treatment team, i implemented radical lifestyle changes. if i could support my body in healing and could inhibit the growth of cancer within my body with choices that i made about what foods to eat, how to move my body, how to breathe and rest and live each day, how could i not?
the learning continues. healing pieces continue to be revealed and my current healing protocol reflects the season of healing that i am in ... currently nearly done with radiation. there has been chemo, and a surgery (lumpectomy) and radiation and every step has been filled with wrestling with decisions, seeking 2nd opinions and wise counsel, and GOD's abundant grace guiding me.
my deep passion is to encourage others that are walking this journey, that HOPE is real! that there are so many many options and tools and our bodies have extraordinary capacity to heal and that through the journey, GOD is so faithful and close. I see an open, expansive beautiful spaciousness ahead, and look so forward to walking in to a future of abundant health and joy!
(more about my story on my blog at"

To support Emily in her healing process, visit her GoFundMe page at

Saturday, October 22, 2016


A weekend spent with my beloved- resting, relaxing, healing. We are celebrating our 18th anniversary on Tuesday so I'll keep this short.

It occurred to me today that I am thankful that God gave us over 17 years together before having us walk through this trial. If it had been asked of us 10 years ago, I think it would have destroyed our marriage. But today our love grows stronger as we face this together.

Tonight I'm praying for your marriage, both those that are married now and those yet to be united. Always always always put God first.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Beautiful People, Part II

As I shared before, each story is so different. Meet Erin.

"I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma triple positive breast cancer stage 3 in sept 2015. I had been feeling f a hard small lump prior while nursing my 3 year old surviving twin Grace. The lump js on the same side that I carried Baylie on the left. I started to feel the lump after my brother passed 2 years ago. When I went to doctors they told me it was nothing I'm to young and breast feeding however my gut won't rest. I knew it was something. The doctor that delvered my twins believed in my intuition and referred me to a mamma gram. Biopsy confirmed. I knew it has to do with the grief. I watched my disabled sister pass to a reoccurrence of brain cancer. The chemo and radiation took whatever quality of life she had left. It took her a year to die a gruesome death. I promised myself that if
I ever got cancer I would do it different. I started researching immuno therapy And how to heal the immune system since cancer is a auto immune disease. I watched the truth about cancer thankfully before choosing treatments. I went to
Hope4cancer for 3 weeks in Tijuana Mexico. It was incredible and I learned so much about my body and why it stopped seeing cancer. I've done a lot of emotional healing detoxing from all the grief. I've learned to love myself and not
Feel guilty. Cancer has taught me to forgive. Tumor has shrunk no lymph involvement we are healing one immune boosting loving treatment at a time"

If you would like to support Erin's battle against breast cancer, please visit her GoFundMe page

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The future

I'm trying to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord. He alone knows how many days I have on this earth. Cancer or not, I can't change that but I can change how I look forward. I need to make plans, allow myself to dream, believe in them, even if they never happen. Some of them will.

I am looking forward to having my energy return so I can work again. I love my job. I get to share the gifts God has given me to encourage others and watch them grow. I look forward to not having my calendar full of doctor appointments. 41 days and I'll be done with chemo. Only 6 more rounds. I got this.

I've been looking at potential spaces for my art studio for months. In fact, I was looking last spring when my world stopped and I was told I have cancer. I was ready to sign a lease then. Now, with the end of chemo getting closer each day, it's all I can think about. I've been carefully watching for the right location. I've gone to see several but hadn't found the right one. Til this week. So now I'm praying. Join me, won't you?

But for now I'm going to sneak away with my beloved to celebrate our anniversary ❤ Looking forward to just being together and relaxing.

Round 10

I think this is my new favorite thing: walking with a friend during chemo. While I may get odd looks, more often then not I get smiles, laughter, and encouragement. Plus it's a great way to catch up with a friend and make a few new ones.

IV gets connected to my port. The nurses here are all so sweet.

Thanks, Walking Buddy! This dear lady, we've been friends for 8 or 9 years. Now that our boys are all older, we don't see each other as often, but when we do it's just us and we always have a great time catching up. ❤

After my hyperbaric oxygen treatment, I wrapped up my day painting at a fundraiser held for me at local art studio. A sold out event doing what I love- can't be beat! Oh, maybe it can...In addition to the hosting artist, another local artist came to show her support too. Competitors or not, these ladies showed some seriously love today! Not to mention a lovely mix of our customers 💜

42 more days. 
6 more rounds.
I can do this!

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.