Wednesday, August 24, 2011


this really makes you stop, think and be so very grateful for every single thing in your life....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

I sat in the Doctors office so young and naive about what was coming next. One year ago today my world and the world of my loved ones was rocked. One year ago today I was diagnosed with cancer.

I cant even believe it already been a year. I feel so blessed to be where I am today. Healthy and so happy! That day and the days following were very dark and scary for me. Its amazing how a few words can change your life.  This year has taught me so much about life, people & most importantly my faith.

I decided to put a list together of the things Ive learned in the past year that I wouldn't have otherwise learned if I wasnt diagnosed with cancer:

* Put your fears in the hands of the Lord. He WILL take care of you.

* My husband is the strongest person I know. How do you even get through a day knowing the one you love the most has such a scary disease. I couldn't even imagine.

*Prayer helps more than I can even begin to express. I spent many nights in my closet (my favorite praying spot) crying out to the Lord for peace and comfort in my journey. I felt so much better after.

* Family is there for you no matter what.

* People don't know how to act around you at first. I felt like screaming its still me. I'm still the same girl. You realize who really cares about you and who just backs away.

* Don't search the internet for information or statistic about your diagnosis.

* I'm not and will not be a statistic.

* Don't ever think things cant get worse because they can. Feel blessed every minute of everyday. Someone is always going through way more than you are.

* Don't ever "think why me?" Instead think "why not me?"

* Do what you want to do. Who cares what others think. Don't let negative people bring you down.

* When it comes to health care you (or in my case my husband) are your biggest advocate. Nathan called and bugged nurses, doctors, case managers or anyone else that mattered in my care if something wasn't being done quick enough. I'm so thankful for him.

There is so much more but these are the things that come to my mind first. As more come to mind I'll jot them down and post them in another post.

The cancer diagnoses brought a year of many doctors appointments and tests but its also brought me so many positive things. Im thankful and blessed that the Lord chose me for this journey. It hasn't been easy but its been so worth it. My faith and love for the Lord and my husband have grown more than I could have ever imagined.

Thank you for still reading my blog and praying for me a whole year later. I cant even begin to express my appreciation for it. Its the reason Im healthy today! The Lord heard all of our prayers :) Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Wow! Its been a really long time. Ive been really unsure on which direction to head with this blog. We started it when I was first diagnosed with cancer and it was so nice to just keep it updated with what was going on so everyone didn't have to call us to find out the latest info but now that I'm cancer free (still praising the Lord) I haven't had much to write about.

Life is great. My husband is doing amazing. We celebrated our 5 year anniversary in May with a trip to Alaska. It was beautiful and definitely much needed after our crazy past months. My family is also doing great. We just spent the holiday weekend together at a cabin up in the local mountains. I have so much to be thankful for. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I cant believe this life is mine. It hasn't always been the easiest...but really who's is? Ive had my share of surgeries, hospital stays & cancer but I feel so very blessed and content knowing God is in control. 

Cancer is a funny thing. Even though it is gone it still isn't far from my mind. Of course I still get scared thinking of the "what ifs" but I really try to not think about it and just enjoy each day I'm given. Ive never been so scared in my life as I was going through the initial testing and waiting after I was first diagnosed. It still seems like yesterday and I still remember those feelings all too well especially when I'm back at the Doctors office for a check up. Its like a flood gate opens and all those emotions come right back out.  I had an appointment with my oncologist a couple Fridays ago and it was just a routine check up for him to look at my wrist.  I  didn't have any testing done. He just wanted to make sure the area is still doing & looking good after a few more months of the effects of radiation setting in and to make sure he doesn't feel any lumps. I check my wrist daily and to me it feels clear so I wasn't expecting anything drastic. But Oncology appointments are never fun & still hard for me no matter how uneventful it may seem! Its a reality check that Yes, I had cancer and still need to go through testing and Dr appts to make sure it stays away when in my day to day life I try to push that as far back in my mind as I can.  The Lord has given me great peace about the journey I am on and I'm so very thankful for that. 

The appointment with the oncologist went really good. My mom went with me since Nathan had to work. The Dr. really wants to try to cut back on the testing I receive because I'm so young. For example I have a CT scan of my chest in September but he took away the contrast (iodine) part of it. He just wants a CT. Its quicker which means I'll receive less radiation and if the results come back good from that I'll just have X-Rays of my chest instead of CT  scans because with X-Rays you receive the least amount of radiation out of any of the tests. I'll have an MRI of my wrist in March.  He's following the guidelines set out for testing on sarcomas and I'm really comfortable with it. He's really a nice doctor.

So that's what has been going on over here lately. I do want to update this more often with things I find inspirational or just my thoughts. I really like writing and I know this is a perfect outlet for that :)

Thank you for still praying. I really appreciate it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Birthday Love for My Momma!

{Happy Birthday Momma}
Today is my sweet momma's birthday! Iv'e always known I was super blessed to have such a great momma but this past year has taught me so much more about her strength, love and passion for our family.  I cant say it enough but I don't know where I'd be without her. She was at every doctor appointment with me especially when Nathan couldn't be there because of his work schedule. Her support helped  so much. We are so so blessed to call her "our" momma and Im blessed to call her my best friend! We love you and hope you have a wonderful day! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


a point, timeor stage serving as the limit beyond which something is no longer effective, applicable, 
or possible.

and boy does it feel good to have the Vanessas Journey wristband cutoff. 

Saturday was the night we cutoff the wristbands. Amazing is how I felt. My family was gathered holding hands in a circle. My Dad & Mom said a prayer and then one by one my mom cutoff everyones wristbands. Tears were shed, hugs were exchanged and a weight was lifted off of us. Even though the cancer is gone cutting these off was so symbolic. We decided to cut them off instead of just taking them off because if they're cut they cant be put back on...and we never ever want to have to wear them again.   Just another part of this amazing journey.....Please continue to pray that this cancer stays gone. 

My family's cut wristbands...they all cutoff both of the wristbands
but my Mom and I have left our Livestrong wristbands on...
My love and I at my parents house
 Saturday Afternoon

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cutting off the Wristband...

Tomorrow is a big day for me...We are as a family (Nathan, Parents & Brothers) along with 2 close friends...cutting of the Vanessa's Journey wristband (you can read about them here). When I was first diagnosed friends of ours had them made and family, friends and even people we didn't know personally but knew one of our family members or friends wore them to not only show support for my fight but also to remember to pray for healing. Now that I am cancer free (still cant believe I get to say so BLESSED) its time to cut them off. We cant wear them forever and there is no better time than now to take them off. I'll probably cry...Im still super emotional when it comes to this stuff. The cancer is gone and now the bracelets will be too. Thank you to everyone who wore one. It meant so much to have the support. Knowing that I wasnt in this fight alone and knowing I was being prayed for was amazing and means more than you'll ever know. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you from the bottom of my heart <3
***I will still wear my livestrong bracelet everyday. I support the people who are in the fight, won their fight or so sadly lost their battle***

Friday, April 1, 2011

checking in

Just wanted to say hi and to let everyone know we're doing great :) I did have a oncology appointment with a new oncologist last Thursday. He's in my provider/insurance group and since everything is great my insurance rather him follow me instead of the doctor at City of Hope. I know I've talked about different insurance issues on here with switching doctors and authorizations and I feel like it makes it seem our insurance is difficult or not good and that just isnt the case at all. We are extremely blessed to have awesome, amazing, wonderful health insurance. I dont take this for granted at all. I am so so so blessed for this. With having 4 surgeries, a 2 night hospital stay, countless tests, over 2 dozen doctors appointments and 37 radiation treatments in the last 9 months we'd be in medical debt forever if it wasn't for our insurance. Hubby works at a hospital and that is who we have our insurance through. I'm very thankful for them and the great coverage they provide for their employees.  Anyway, I saw that doctor and his role right now is basically to order the scans. Im hoping thats all his role will ever be.  So I already have the chest CT scan scheduled for September. I see him in 3 months (June) just so he can take a look at my wrist and then I see the Radiation Oncologist in July so he could also look at my wrist to check for any changes from the radiation. I guess it can take awhile for all the effects of radiation to show. But life is good and I feel so very blessed!
{Last weekend we attended a gala for Nathan work it was fun to dress up...Felt like Prom}
We're taking our travel trailer out camping this weekend. It should be a good time...its just the two of us...well and our dog, Jack. Have a blessed weekend!