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May 24


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Hi friends!

I haven't been here much at all, which is weird for me. As my Oncologist and I agree, we decided to "muscle" through four cycles of chemotherapy without killing me. He originally ordered six cycles. He originally ordered different chemo drugs too! Things had to change for various reasons, and that is okay. The first cycle sent me to the emergency room twice, so that chemo cocktail was changed completely. Once we settled into the Carboplatin/Navelbine combination, it seemed to go a little bit better. However, we found that every time I had the second treatment of just Navelbine, my hemoglobin would plunge to 7 so I had blood transfusions every 3 weeks to compensate for that. I would like to say right here that if you are new here, please don't think that my experiences would be yours. We are all different in how we react to chemo and it's a very individual thing that the doctors do to try to find a regime that works specifically for your body.

Next weeks is the final treatment for me! May 24! What a journey this has been. This second time around was so very different than the first time five years ago. There were so many things in 2007 that were tough. They didn't happen this time around. There were so many things in 2012 that were tough. They didn't happen the last time around. But overall, here I am - almost done with this! I am a different person than the one that went into the hospital on January 4 for a biopsy. For that I am thankful . The lessons learned have been good ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Our marriage was challenged almost to the breaking point, but love won! We are coming through this more in love than I think we have ever been in our 24 years together! God helped us find a new appreciation for each other! I call it a miracle.


* To find my new normal and be happy with it. To look for and find joy in every single day of my life.

* To start a life that includes exercise to build up the muscles that have atrophied because of the inability to be active. I've lost almost 40 pounds since all of this started. I'd like to keep most of that weight off.

* To appreciate driving. Never did I imagine being so tired that I could not trust myself to drive. Now, with the help of medication, we are finding ways for me to trust that I am alert enough to drive! What a joy it is to have that freedom! I want to appreciate it always like the priviledge that it is!

* To continue to be incredibly curious about things that just didn't seem to matter before. Recently I discovered a marshy area by my home that had these enormous nests about ten feet above the ground. I had no idea what they were! It looked to me like something I would see in a Dr. Seus book! It turned out to be Blue Heron nests. Amazing! I posted a picture in here but it was gianormous! If I can find one that is small, I'll insert it later if you are curious about these amazing animals!


I never knew things like this existed! I want to always have the eyes of a child that is eager to discover new things that make me feel awe and inspiration!

* To hold the value of relationships above everything else. I've always been busy! I run here and there and do good things like volunteering. And yet? I didn't take time to call a friend to have a cup of coffee. I do now. I've learned that listening to someone has many more benefits than doing all the talking. I spent time at chemotherapy just asking my roommates their stories. Seeing their faces as they talked was awesome. Sometimes I felt like maybe no one has listened to them in quite a while. I like to listen now.

Things I'd like to do? Write a book! Life has afforded me so many incredible experiences! I don't have the slightest idea how to write a book, but I think I will learn and take a stab at it! I found a book that my Grandma wrote by hand when she was about 50 years old. It was the story of her Papa. He was a rogue to the family and yet the love of her life! Born in 1906 to a show girl who had an affair with a rich cattle baron, she gave him up for adoption. He was a "bad boy" in the eyes of many, but not to his youngest daughter, my Grandma. Grandma never went to school, and yet she wrote this little book in cursive, and stapled it together.

As I went through a box of stuff left to me by my Mom (I've had this box for years and never found time to go through it), I found this precious little story. My aunt who is 70 is the only one alive that could help me piece the story together still. She lives about an hour and a half from me. I am going to take the time to visit her on a regular basis this summer and get all the details and write this book for my Grandma. I don't care if it is published. I just would like to write it for my family. I would like them to remember Great Grandpa as more than the scoundrel that others painted him as.

There is so much more to write but this is enough. If I thought I knew how precious life was before, I REALLY know how precious it is now.

If somehow you made it through this very long diatribe, thank you! LOL.

Judy in MI

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Judy MI.....thank you. I loved your post. The trials, the tiredness, the sadness, the seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and your amazing spirit. I've always loved

reading your posts as you do have a particular gift to write.

I think the best part for me to read was how important listening is. I've never been a great listener in my life, I've been offered an opportunity to listen to people at our local food pantry. The new program is simply call "The Chat Room is Open." The client is interviewed and if they have more they need to share that doesn't really need to be shared with an interviewer regarding food needs they are referred on to me. We go into a small, dimly lit room and I ask "what's going on in your life?" type question. Some just want a prayer, which I'm happy to share. Some just want to unload. This is the only opportunity they have that someone will just sit back and listen to them. They are the elderly, the ones going through cancer treatments, the lonely, the rejected, the ones who have survived, the lost, the believers and their from every walk of life that now need assistance. It's a big difference for some who have had a successful life and now have to ask for help.

God has put this opportunity in my path and I'm thrilled that I didn't ignore the need. It does me good. Hopefully it will make me a better person.

God bless you Judy MI, for sharing your wonderful story and getting me to realize mine.

May 24th will be a day of celebration. Best of luck on the book. What a labor of love it will be.

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Judy MI,

I found your post to be very inspiring. You have certainly faced many challenges in your cancer journey and you have somehow managed to reflect over the past and focus on the positives , using them as a starting place for your present and future. What an amazing woman you are and I just know that with your gift for creative writing and your ability to reach out and touch others that any book you write will be a total success.

In my time here on the forum, I have learned so much about life and the true meaning of what is important and what brings true happiness to people. Some members have inspired me more than others and I want you to know that you are certainly one of those people who has touched my heart and mind with your words. What you have to say is being heard and is very thought provoking and inspirational. I want to thank you for all you give to all of us. May God Bless you in all your future endeavors .



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Hi Judy! What a great post! It inspired me to slow down and enjoy the moments I have right now with my family, and to take the time to have a cup of coffee with a friend. I really love the picture you posted of the blue heron nests in the tree. Keep posting updates, I love to read them!

Take care,


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