Wednesday, February 13, 2013

hope tote... breast friends...


A couple of months ago I finally started attending a breast cancer support group here in Moorhead.  It was started by two survivors, a few years ago, and this group does a lot of support, outreach, fundraising, etc., for survivors, and newly diagnosed.  They meet once a month in the basement of the Moorhead Library.  

Steph, one of the 5th grade teachers at my sons elementary school, introduced me to the "Breast Friends" group and she has continued to be an invaluable form of support to me from early on.

So I was giddy when she sent a "Hope Tote," home from school with Colton, a couple of weeks ago.  There is just a small sample of the goodies down below.  

I owe this group of women a lot of gratitude.  They have given of their time and talents, tirelessly, to benefits in my honor, as well as to many others struggling to both survive and pay for treatment. These warrior women tackle the tough and the hard, with a great deal of humor and grace.  I am hopeful to grow in knowing them all more, and truly becoming more like them.  

Thank you Steph- for your friendship and support and the gift of sista-hood with so many beautiful survivors!  

The group was saddened recently by their first loss of a treasured sister.  Those of you local, have probably heard of the amazing story of Diane Marthaler, more affectionately known as "Toot."  She recently entered her heavenly home, but has left behind a rich legacy of faith, and the ability of an indomitable spirit to touch a massive amount of people.  If you ever want to read an epic story of faith, love, laughter and living with stage iv breast cancer- than Toot's caring bridge site won't let you down.  

I even have my own little "Toot" story.  I've never met Toot, but in reading her journey, through the eyes of her husband, I certainly have a good idea of who she was... she has left some big shoes to fill- pink sneakers to be exact.

It was a grey and gloomy day- another in a string of days that swirled together.  I was feeling the "Toot" sized hole so many had described in grieving her loss.  But there is a triumphant quality to Toot's story.  In fact, she was adamant about having a "celebration" of life after her funeral.  

I was driving home from treatment, and was waiting on a call back from doctor, having just discovered my new lump. I was thinking about how I hate the term "lose" when it comes to cancer.  Great warriors such as Toot, in my opinion, don't really lose their battles- because if they do- cancer wins.  My thoughts wandered as I pulled to a stop.  And then two things happened simultaneously:  The clouds parted revealing the sun, and my mind flashed "God wins..."  If Toot's life taught me anything, its that God wins, not cancer.  For a brilliant moment or two, the sun streaked through the clouds, illuminating the ground up in front of the car.  I had to laugh- "nice to meet you Toot. Is my friend Gitz standing right next to you?" In mere seconds, the sun vanished.  But the internal lightness I felt, couldn't be touched.  The Martha Beck quote above couldn't have summed it up any better.








In other news... Rick seems to have the flu.  In 15 years of marriage I have not known him to ever stay in bed.  For two days now he has lingered in bed, with chills, fever, cough, and cold symptoms.  And yes- I am staying as far away as possible.

I heard today from Roger Maris yesterday, and my PET scan is scheduled for 12:45 on Monday the 18th.   


Beautiful notes, cards, comments and emails continue to buoy and support me.  You are all heard, felt, seen... and I'm deeply grateful and honored. 

Love to you all ~



36 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much - I am deeply grateful for those prayers!

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  2. :) oh sweet vicky - you continue to bless me through you grace filled heart and words - I am letting the tears flow as this has really blessed me today - thank you for that!

    so grateful for you!! praying, blessing, trusting and hoping with you & swimming too ;) - until then let's imagine we are at the beach being filled with peace and newness!

    xoTiffany

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    1. Tiffany- would so love that time at the beach with you! Thank YOU for being you :) xxoo

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  3. Hello! I recently found your blog and have been reading your story. I recently lost a sister to this same illness. I hope and pray that your PET scan will be clear and that you can go on living your life without so much worry. I will be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers!

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    1. Genny- its so nice to have you stop by- I am so, so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. Thank you for having the courage to read and leave a comment as I am sure it wasn't easy. Thank you for the prayers- they truly keep me going!

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  4. Best wishes to Rick; we have had our round with the "nasty stuff"...whether it is the flu or the crud...it's terrible. I do pray for a restful time for him as he recovers.
    Glad you have the sweet support that you do, my friend.
    Sending you love,
    Jackie

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    1. Thank you Jackie- he is rarely the one sick and he is knocked down good this time- I will pass along your well wishes to him- sending love to you!

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  5. Vicky please stay far far away from your husband! Hope he feels better soon. I read a little of Toots story, that sure made the emotions flow. Thinking about you as always. I'm about to update my blog too.

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    1. Hey Suzanne- I will watch for a new post from you :) Thanks for thinking of me!

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  6. I have your appt. on my calendar now. I will pray! X

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    1. Maddy- I love that- thank you-it means so much!

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  7. Vicky you need to stay clear of hubby. You have enough to deal with.
    This is a battle you have to win and your job is to fixate your heart mind and spirit on that.
    Each person is different but it can be beaten if you stay strong, eat well and keep those white blood cells strong so they can fight.
    Live strong honey.

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    1. Vic- yes- agreed- keeping as much distance while still taking care of him as much as possible :) I have been feeling well and am eating healthy and resting when I need :)

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  8. So here I am...a utter stranger...that stumbled across your post from another Blog. And I have been reading. And many emotions came up inside me, Then I thought, "do I just leave, without saying anything?" That by no means felt proper to me...so I continued to read...and saw the post of your mother-in-law.
    and then I struggled back to your most recent post with Dora...and there you were! And I new then...I needed to write. My mom was diagnoised with Pancreatic cancer stage 4 already in 3/4 of her liver on June 18 2011. She was given 3-10 months. To say this was shocking is a understatment. she was NEVER sick. My mom is still with us and doing well. the cancer is not gone, but not growing. She feels good! out of her 6 children I was the one there that day with her...I will never forget that moment...I have a high school friend who had a double masectomy and I just heard of another that has stage 4 breast cancer...both breast and it has gone to her bones...and so I think...I am suppose to be here. I think that is the way the lord works :) I myself was just telling my husband, remind me to call for a mammogram tommorow. I am a year overdue. So enough of me and back to you! You are a writer! the elequent way you write, that still shares every emotion is a gift...gosh just dora got to me. I will swim with the rest, right in this same ocean and send many prayers your way. What a beautiful soul you truly are...I sense it in all your post. so glad to meet you! :)

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    1. Peggy- how wonderful to see you hear- welcome :) I'm always both sorry to hear someone shares my struggle- but yet hopeful to hear how well they are doing- yay for your mom! Yes- please- please go get the mammogram! Thank you for your kind and gracious words- hugs to you-

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    2. Vicky, I wanted to share a song. You may have heard it. "What faith can do" by Kutlass. you can look it up on youtube. This song gave me such peace when I was going thru a very difficult time in my life...it was like my 'theme song'
      Have a beautiful day!
      Peggy

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  9. Vicky, I love seeing how God showers your life with love and caring. What a beautiful thing to witness. I've got the 18th down as a day for extra prayers. :) Embrace!

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    1. Thank you Roxane- I cherish the extra and the embrace! Hugs to you!

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  10. Love to you on this day of *love* and... jeez, yes, stay away from RICK!!!.. (sorry, rick)

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    1. Karen- ugh- staying as far away as I can while still having to take care of him :) But I think you could eat off most surfaces of my house right now and the only thing you'd get is a mouthful of lysol :)

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  11. Vicky, Such a wonderful post!!! When you described the moment when the clouds parted and "God Wins" gave me chills. Your absolutely right. I also love the qote by Martha Beck it is true in all aspects in life.

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    1. Thank you sweet friend- I was delighted to read your words today and am honored to have you come here as well :)

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  12. I just love "visiting" with you, Vicky. There's the best feeling in your posts and your bloghome.

    I was there with you--watching those clouds part. You said it beautifully! Amen!

    Praying for you, my precious friend.

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    1. Hi Julie- its always a pleasure to see you here- thank for your grace-filled words.

      Blessings and love to you!

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  13. Beautiful post today. I think I've had what Rick has for the past 3 weeks. Every day I feel a little better. Saturday I'm off to Mexico to a palette knife oil painting workshop. I'll be looking forward to reading your blog when I get back to see how you're doing.

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    1. Kass- Mexico! Ahhhh love it... please soak in a little sun and sand for me in between classes- sounds fascinating and I'll be hoping to hear about your trip when you are back! Hope your health is fully restored soon- hubby is down for the count still~

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  14. You are such an amazing writer....boy do you have a way with words. AMAZING!

    I hope your husband feels better real soon. And I'll be thinking of you Monday.

    Sending lots of love and many warm hugs!

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  15. Vicky; Praying for your test tomorrow: for a clear test, quick answers, and ease in testing. Most of all believing God Wins is evident everywhere you look. Praying His presence is thick with you and that you have overwhelming JOY. Praying for healing for your husband too. Stay strong. You have many warriors on their knees on your behalf. Hugs across the country!

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  16. Praying for you this morning Vicky. I hope you rest in the Lord's arms and feel His compassion for you.

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  17. Hi Vicky!
    I have followed your journey and held you in my prayers (although this is a first comment on your blog officially).:)
    Thinking of you on this Monday morning as you have your test today.
    Sending gentle hugs and God's love your way!
    Blessings!
    Linda

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  18. Sending you love and healing energy while reading my way back in your blog for the days I missed I am speechless...Praying for you always and keep staying away from your husband, this flu is a nasty one xo

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  19. Hope your scan went well! Hoping Rick is feeling better and nobody else in the household gets it. Glad you found a support group there in your home town! Having people support us in prayers and love always helps me see things in a brighter way. You are in our prayers daily, and sometimes hourly! I love reading your updates even when there are days they make me so sad that you are having all these struggles. Love you dear,

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  20. It's amazing isn't it how God sends us messages through people, notes, situations, flash thoughts..the works! He wants you to know that this time YOU will win. A warm hug to you..

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  21. HI Marie ,
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    ReplyDelete

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