Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bye Bye Hats

Here is the picture I promised. And yes- I have said goodbye to hats. I have not worn one for over a week and it feels good. I am not saying it's easy. It is one of the hardest things I have done but everyday it gets easier. It all started a week ago Thursday. Steve and I went to the temple and I decided that was the best place to go for the first time without a hat. Who is going to laugh at you in the temple? Right? Then the next was my last day of work at the high school and everybody kept telling me I could go without a hat (Heather had been telling me that for a while) so I ditched it right then and there. I really appreciate all of you that have told me its cute. I can't wait for it to be longer so I can actually do something with it! Race for the Cure was May 12th and as you can see my hair has grown since then. This was such a great experience. I could not believe the sheer numbers of people that show up to this event. Very inspirational. This is me with Mary Nickles (channel 2 news) right before the survivor parade. She is also finished with chemo. Her blog is very good.

 Most of you know that we have moved. I have not blogged much about it because it was so stressful. In fact, I told my realtor that I would rather go through chemo again then sell a house! I also blame the house stress on not blogging more. But now that the deal is done, the money has funded and the boxes are mostly unpacked I am so happy. Every morning I wake up and have to pinch myself that this house is really mine! I feel so blessed. We were able to stay in our ward and the Rawlings (the sellers) were so patient with the sale of our home. It was all meant to be even though it took longer than we would have liked. We would love for any of you to stop by and see it anytime!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm Done!

It feels so good to be able to say that I am done. My reconstruction surgery went very well. Eventhough the anthesthesia made me pretty sick- it only lasted that first day. I am feeling really good now. The pain is managable with some ibuprophen and I am being a good girl and resting.

I promised a picture as soon as I had some fuzz on my head. I have some, but it is very hard to see in a picture. It is baby soft and very fine. Hopefully I can get a good picture soon.

Last week for their game against Copper Hills- the Riverton High softball team doned pink shirts with the words "Team Steph" on the back. Coach Emily Bateman read some sobering statistics before the game and I got to throw out the first pitch! A day I will never forget.

Thanks so much to all of you that had me in your thoughts and prayer this week. I feel each and every one of them.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Final Phase

I had my 6 week post chemo appointment with my oncologist yesterday. He gave me some great news. My blood tests look good and I am well enough to have my reconstruction surgery. I will be going in for this on April 11th. Although I am not really looking forward to another surgery and recovery- I will be so glad to be done with everything. Well, I guess not everything. Along with the good news my oncologists also gave me a prescription for Tamoxifen. I have to take this for five years so the cancer does not reoccur. My tumor was estrogen fueled so this drug will block estrogen. Basically, I will experience early menopause. The chemo caused me to have night sweats a few times a week (for you youngsters that don't know much about menopause- they are like hot flashes while you are sleeping). My doctor said these might increase now. I am not too excited about this because they are so intense they wake me up. There is a whole list of other side effects. By now I am used to that. It effects everyone different- so we shall see which ones I get.

On a lighter note- I am so excited for spring! Back in the fall the activity day girls in my ward planted over 100 pink tulips and they are starting to come up. I will post a picture as soon as they do. I will also share a picture of my new hair as soon as I have some. It is coming slowly. It's the peach fuzz stage right now. I can't feel it, but can't see it. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Sometimes you just gotta party! Doesn't this look like fun?! This is my end of chemo celebration we had last Saturday. My neighborhood friends are wearing hats made by Virginia (in the pink sweater) that we decorated with flowers. We completed 24 hats! They will be going on the free hat tree where I had my chemo treatments.

We also made over 100 cards with inspirational quotes. These cards will be put in bags that are given out by the Rack Pack Foundation to women that are newly diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt so good to do something that will help women that are going through what I went through. Thanks everyone that came and helped. This celebration was perfect! Friends and service- oh I can't forget the cheesecake. It was so yummy!

Which brings me to another subject. My taste is back! Now that is something to celebrate. Today was the first day that I can say it is back 100%. I am going to have to be so careful though. I want to taste everthing now. I will have to pace myself so I don't gain 50 pounds!

Back on the 11th Steve and I attended a dinner that my support group- the Young Survivor Sisters have every year. They call it "Celebration of Life." It was at the Joseph Smith Meorial Building and Hillary Weeks was the guest speaker. She is an LDS singer/songwriter. This is a song she shared with us. It explains exactly how I feel!
Click here to see her video.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Last Chemo Today :)

Jordan came with me to my last chemo. Steve was there too- he took the picture. It is not easy to go with someone to chemo. It is not the most uplifting place to be. I am glad though that all my kids got a chance to come. And Steve, well he has just been my constant companion through all of this- basketball season and all.

It's a great feeling to be done. I go back in 6 weeks for blood tests. My hair should start coming back in about then. My taste will come back even sooner! Looking forward to that. I am kinda tired of the constant metallic taste.

I had a very simple tender mercy today. Did any of you see that beautiful sunrise? Well, this is selfish, but I felt like it was just for me on my last day of chemo. Another way my Heavenly Father shows me how much He loves me.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Storm Will Pass

Psalm 91:4 "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust"

This photographer captured exactly how I have felt the past few months. This storm has been the worst in my life, but I have felt safe in his care. I have been so blessed with mild side effects, the prayers of many, an incredibly supportive family, and a peace that passeth understanding. As I come up on my last treatment, I am so thankful for all these blessings that have helped me through this storm.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Round Three- Finished (Only one more Baby!)

My third round of chemo my girls came with me. (I failed to mention before that Steven went with me to my second round since he was home for Christmas.) I think it is good for them to come and see what it is all about. As you can see we had fun- as much fun as you can at chemo. It is actually a boring 3 1/2 hours. They were troopers though- didn't complain once. Heather even had a good nap.:) Everything went very smooth and I feel good today. I had a great run this morning. Loved the sunshine, I haven't run this much outside during the winter. I just can't bring myself to go to the gym since a lost my hair. Bandana or hat? I think I will try tomorrow.

I left out a tender mercy in my last post. (thanks Kara for the reminder) I listen to a christian radio station call KLOVE. The day my hair started falling out, when I got in the car after the gym the DJ was quoting Matthew 10:30 "But the very hairs of your head are numbered." This was another testament to me that Heavenly Father knows and loves me and is there for me. And He can show that love anytime or anywhere.

My father passed away 11 years ago on Jan 10th so tuesday I was thinking about him a lot. We got his temple work done last year and as I was thinking about this a very strong feeling came over me, because his temple work is done he is now more free to help me and be there for me. Thoughout all this I have felt support from him and my brother-in-law Glenn that recently passed away from cancer. One more way that my Father in heaven has shown his deep love for me.

So my last chemo is Feb. 1st. It has really flown by. I would not wish this on my worst enemy, but is has been doable. Mostly because of the support from people like you!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tender Mercies

As promised this post will focus on some of the tender mercies I have experienced the last few months. Here is a good description of what I am talking about by Elder David A. Bednar, "Through personal study, observation, pondering and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ."

The day my hair started falling out was hard. Luckily I didn't have to work that day so I took some time to get through it. At the gym I heard a song on my Ipod that took me back to a 'Mercy Me' concert that Steve and I went to the Saturday after I was diagnosed. Steve was so inspired to buy the tickets for this concert long before we knew what was ahead of us. That concert strengthened me and made me realized that my Heavenly Father loves me and shows that love through small tender mercies. That morning as my hair was falling out- I needed to be reminded of that concert and how I can make it through with His help. Without these blessings I would probably be in a fetal position sucking my thumb. A few of them are:

-a patriarchal blessing that tells me I will live "to a ripe old age if I desire it"
-completing a crazy marathon that blesses me both physically and emotionally
-being able to go to Florida and have those memories
-countless friends at work that took up donations to cover all of my co-pays
-an incredible ward with so many friends that support me
-and of course a family that has rallied around me with love and encouragement

This list is not finished. There will be more and as they come I will tell you all about them. Since my diagnosis I have looked for reasons why or what I am to learn from this test. I have realized that I need to encourage all my friends to get mammograms and that maybe someday I can help someone else with the same diagnosis. Now I have realized that there is something more I can do. I can help others see tender mercies in their lives and help them understand how much Heavenly Father loves each of us. I do not understand how He does it, but He knows exactly what we need when we need it. As we begin 2012, let's look for ways that Heavenly Father blesses each of us.