Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All Shall be Well

Its raining, sleeting/snowing and thundering outside tonight and I've heard rumors there was hail.  It seems the weather took a cue from my internal state and can't quite decide how it really feels at any given moment today.  Oddly that makes perfect sense to me.

It hardly feels like just a week ago today, I was in that tiny exam room with the tech telling me I had cancer.  One test, 1 page of images.  And she knew.  And so did the Doctor.  But he wanted to wait till they did more tests to tell me.  But she didn't wait.  With his permission, she told me first.  She normally isn't the one to deliver such news.  I can't help think it was such a brave thing for her to do.  She felt I should know, so I could start preparing.  I think I learned a lot from her in that moment.  The doctor stammered and stuttered more than she did, when he later confirmed her suspicions.  She may have been afraid, but she did it anyway.  With grace and compassion.

I cried, called Rick, and sat in shock for a bit.  I've had cysts before on two other occasions.  This one just hasn't resolved on its own, and when it quickly developed a hard ridge to it I knew I needed to have it checked.  I really hadn't been prepared for this.

As I sat there gathering myself, I remember thinking to myself,  please God, just let me know how to walk out of here on my own two feet.  Please God, just help me breathe.  The tech returned.  Somehow I made it to the mammogram machine, and back to the exam room for the needle biopsy.  The staff were all warm and compassionate.  The doctor's hands were gentle.  I breathed and walked, breathed and walked.  Calmness descended.  Please God, be with me.  I am no fan of needles.

"Snap," the needle enters and brings out its first sample.  I startle at the loud sound it makes, but I hardly feel them.  10 total samples and 2 shots of lidocaine, one hour later I am done.  1 more mammogram.  Bleeding stopped, bandaged.  And I went home.

And fell apart.  Are you sure God?  I think it takes a really strong person, and I am not feeling all that strong.  Soreness settles into my side and arm.  How am I going to do this God?  Please show me the way...

Thursday I awake with the nurse's words in my head, "Grab a book, stay in bed, and read."  I've been waiting to have the time to read this new book.  Suddenly the whole day has been made just for this.  I reach for my nightstand and this is what I grasp, "one thousand gifts, a dare to live more fully right where you are" by Ann Voskamp.

I read and read, barely stopping for anything.  Eucharisteo.  Giving thanks, for the gifts and blessings I already have.  Take the dare.  Its the only way to do this.

And this is how I am doing it.  Being thankful in everything.  I absolutely think this book, on this day, in my hands, is a God thing.

My list is growing daily.

Thunderstorms in March
virtual couches online
doctors with a sense of humor
the smell of freshly ground morning coffee brewing in the pot
blue paint samples that make me want to dive right in

And yet I stumble.  I fall in weakness, and break down.  But someone is always there to pick me up, stand me up when I don't think I can, until I know I can again.

I hardly know how to express my gratitude for all the love, prayers, concern, tears, joy, and laughter, I have been surrounded with these past few days.  I am humbled to say the least.  And I think you all are answered prayers.

Writing has always been a therapy of sorts for me, and my hope is to chronicle this journey when I can.  My sweet friend Sara, has agreed to fill in for me when I am unable to do so myself.

Love and blessings to you all.  Count your gifts todays.  I am finding you can see them in the tiniest moments.  If you are open to seeing them, they are all around us.


  1. Love you Vicky!!!!!! You've been on my mind constantly these last few days. Thinking of you, praying for you and caring about you! Hugs my dear friend!

  2. Vicky:

    You have been on my mind and I am humbled reading your words.

    You have the most gracious, courageous heart. What a healing gesture it will be for us all (especially you) if and when you decide to share your process here. Studies have proven that finding a means to express your feelings, and creating a supportive environment can only benefit the other therapies you will now begin. You have already created a group of people who care deeply about you and are wanting to support you in any way they can, and your authentic expressions in this post are surely an important release for you.

    Sending love and wishes that all the next steps proceed smoothly for you. (((hug))) Bonnie

  3. Please know how deeply we all care about you and your family ... champions in every sense of the word.

    And that book ... yes, it's just the right one at the right time. I am reading it, too.

    The storms come ... but Jesus stills them and walks with us as He does so.

  4. Vicky, First of all, I want to say that prayers are being said daily for you and your family. You, my friend, are being surrounded by love and prayers from all over.

    Second, I believe that if you are able to write about what you are going through, it will be a healing therapy for you. It is much more beneficial to you and your body to "talk" about what you are feeling or going through than it is to hold it all in. That is something I have had to learn in my struggles with my health issues the last few months.

    Third, I will leave you with a quote that has helped me many times when I have gotten discouraged.

    “God’s voice alone has the authority to accomplish what we need.”

    Loving hugs, Eileen

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Vicky, well, let's just say I am humbled beyond belief that you could be so generous at a time like this. I'm heading to email for the rest. I want to walk this journey with you, not just through the blog, but in person. I hope we can get together soon, whenever you are in a good spot. Huge hugs and prayers, sweet lady!

  7. Vicky, you are raw and honest and absolutely beautiful. My heart and CONSTANT prayer is with you as you progress this road...for you, your husband and boys and mom...Ann's book is one of joy and hope and everyday miracles. Just what our Healer ordered.

  8. I just found your blog via Bonnie's. I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, and I wanted to give you a link to a site that you might find helpful. There are a wonderful and supportive group of women there, and they will answer any questions you might have and help guide you on your journey. Tell them Jeff sent you - they know who I am.

    This isn't spam, and I have no affiliation with the site other than the fact that the folks there helped me through some very very dark times, and I know they can help you too. They really are some of the most amazing people I've ever met.

    All the best to you as you begin your treatment.

  9. Vicky, you are one of the brightest lights on this beautiful earth. I feel honored and blessed to know you and benefit from all the joy that you bring to me each time we connect through our blogs. Your strength, faith, courage, and lovely spirit will embrace you through this difficult and frightening time. All who know you love you...I'm sure of it. I will pray for you each and every day, my friend. Wish I could come by and help you and the boys in any way. Please know that I'm here for you if you want to talk. I'll send you an email. Hugs and love to you my friend - Kelly

  10. Vicky, my dearest friend ....
    "All Shall Be Well"... I very well knew that you shall begin your fighting journey with such a positive note as this one. The exemplary courage, the positive & anabolic attitude & your ideology of "Being Thankful in Everything" to HIM , shall definitely & surely make you a proud winner at the end of this battle... I'm confident,sure and 100 % certain about it.
    You have been the most forceful and most dogmatic & exemplary guiding spirit for all of your friends and esp. for me since I know you. This very positive spirit of yours shall definitely make you the winner for all of us.
    Breast carcinoma at present has the best modalities of treatment of all the cancers & it has the best outcomes including fair number of complete cures.Positive outlook always acts as the strongest adjuvant to any therapy against a disease.
    Modulate the line...."And yet I stumble, I fall .........." to .... " I walk upright with a positive force, I stand up with courage and gather stength from within from HIM ". So many uninterrupted prayers for you will not let you fall to be picked up or make you stand up .. you shall remain upright by yourself I'm sure. I know your personna so well & with myself being a medical professional, I can assure you that personalities like you have always been, are & shall be the sure winners in battles against any human disease esp. the cancer.
    With deep regards & love,

  11. I came here from Bonnie's place, and wish you well. Courage. May you be heartened by the support you receive.
    All best wishes, Vicky.

  12. All of these things are good signs Vicky, so hang in there, be positive and hope for the best. You have youth on your side so this alone makes you strong enough to beat this.
    Concentrate on your diet and things which make you happy.
    All of our prayers are with you.

  13. Vicky I continue to think about you a lot and pray for your strength during this treacherous journey...

  14. so glad to hear from you! i just finished reading that very same book and it was amazing. i hope it buoys you and i hope He buoys you in moments of doubt and weakness. take care of yourself. love your family. i'll keep all of you in my prayers.

  15. Vicky, I have prayed for you continually since I read the post. I will continue to pray for you, your family, and those in charge of your care.
    You will make it through this...

  16. I came over from Sara's blog. We don't know each other and I am new to your blog. But please know I am praying for you.

  17. When I got to the part about reading a book all day, my first thought was "oh, I hope it was Ann's book." One day, one thanksgiving at a time.

    I pray that you feel the Lord standing right beside you all day today...

    Melissa from Baltimore

  18. I am here from All Things Heart and Home wishing you and your family nothing but the best and sending prayers up.

  19. Will be storming God's door for you and your family!

  20. Vicky, I have come over from Robin's blog, All Things Heart and Home. I will be praying for you; praying that He completely heals you, gives you the strength, courage and peace you need and wisdom to your medical team.

  21. Vicky, I came over from Robin's blog, All Things Heart and Home, and I just want you to know that you are in my prayers, today and going forward. I have never read your blog before, but I can feel your peace and strength in your writing, and I just know that you will get through this. Much love to you right now!

  22. Came here from Robin's blog this morning. I know you don't know me but I will be praying for you and your family. No platitudes...just prayer.

    Side: my wife is addicted to angry birds. She was introduced to it at work. It has been nice talking to her. :)

  23. Glad to see a post from you, Vicky...wishing you all the best on this journey and expect to receive some mail art from me along the way. Positive Thoughts for you and your family.

  24. I came here from Robin's blog and wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you. My best friend was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer last fall, so I know how much is coming at you all at once. I'll pray for strength, peace, and the ability to take things one day at a time.
    A cancer survivor told her, "In the beginning, all you see is mountain after mountain. But just put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be looking back at how far you've come."
    Prayers and love,

  25. Hey, Vicki. I'm Robin's friend. Feeling it along with you just now. So glad I'm honored to be praying for you. She loves you dearly. Prayers for you are consuming my heart.

    So much love,

  26. Good Morning Vickie,
    I found you via Robin's blog. Sending cyber hugs and good thoughts for you and your family.

    another internet friend,
    Janet xox

  27. Dropping by from All Things Heart and Home. I'm praying for you in Houston, TX. May God's peace give you much strength in your battle!

    ~Lanie J.

  28. Vicky
    I am new to your blog. I came from Robins Blog. I just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you. Your candid entry on the diagnosis and courage to share your thoughts in writing is beautiful. May God be with your and your sons in every breath and every minute of the day. May you feel His Holy Spirit enter inside of you as you breathe in and out, filling you with His mercy and His Great Strength.

  29. Hi, Vicky.

    I'm Jean, a friend of Robin's, over at "All Things Heart and Home." I know how you're feeling right now. I was diagnosed with uterine cancer last May. The word "cancer" has such power. Cancer likes to play with your mind. It loves to fill your brain with worry and "what-ifs." When fear strikes hard, try to fill yourself with thoughts of faith and healing. One foot in front of the other....just keep moving forward believing that all will be well.

    Today, I'm cancer free. I'm praying that soon, you will be, too.


  30. I just found your blog through All Things Heart and Home.

    My prayers are with you and your family during this fight. My girlfriend called me a couple weeks ago with this same news. It was pretty devastating to us all.

    Stay strong!


  31. I too am here from Robins blog. Bless you my dear, I am praying for you.
    (...hope this makes you smile)
    Love and hugs

  32. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

  33. Robin sent me. You and your family are in my heart and prayers.

  34. Jumping over from Robin's blog to send healing prayers your way. May your strength rise up and knock this "C thing" on its butt!

  35. Sending you love and well wishes throughout your trials. May He bless you in abundence and give you and your family strength as you fight through this. Stay strong friend. He'll guide you to the BEST things yet to come.. Prayer's and thoughts with you and your family..

  36. Vicky, your post was beautifully written. I read your post to my mother last night, who happens to be a 26-yr. breast cancer survior. Both mom and I want you to know we are praying for you and your family. I know from here on, things will be getting tough, but we all will be supporting you through this extremely hard time. God bless you my friend.

  37. I read about you from all Things Heart and Home. God will see you through. You and your family will be in my daily prayers.


  38. Vicky,
    I found your blog through Gitz today. Your words "hard ridge" rang familiar. I felt the same thing 12 1/2 years ago. Stage 3 with 16 out of 17 positive lymph nodes. I am commenting to encourage you and tell you that God has never left me. He was there for me in every moment of every single procedure and treatment and I have had courage and perseverance like I never thought I would. Each day He will give you exactly what you need....more grace, more mercy. Bless you new friend and I will be reading and praying..

  39. Gitz sent me over ... wanted to say how remarkable it is to be writing out your story with vulnerability, emotion and true questioning - to those who might be going through the same thing, and those who can't imagine. Bless you for using your gifts to point to Him & reminding us that through Him, all is truly well. Praying for you right now, Vicky.

  40. Dear Vicky,

    I want to send you a german guardian angel poem:

    Von meinen Flügeln beschützt,
    auf meinen Händen getragen,
    von meinem Licht erstrahlt,
    durch meine Liebe geborgen –
    Gestern, heute und morgen
    sei befreit von Deinen Sorgen!

    I hope my translation is correct:

    From my wings protects,
    carried on my hands,
    from my light shines,
    by my love securely –
    Yesterday, today and tomorrow
    would be released from your worries!

    Greetings from Germany

  41. Praying peace, blessings and love into your home. Robin's heart for you sent me here today and immediately I was touched by your compassion and love for the tech. May God comfort and heal you with the thousands of thanksgivings you have in your heart. I will continue to pray to the Father for you and your family. He will always be with you.

  42. your story is indeed touching and i will be praying for you as you walk through this journey. i cannot imagine hearing the news you did last week, but i can imagine how hard it would be to receive. continue leaning on the Lord. He is our strength and our shield. blessings to you and your family!

  43. I've come over from Septembermom,

    There are no words I can say to change your situation but I can pray, the samw way I prayed when my eldest son was diagnosed with Bladder cancer 4 yrs ago, as I write he is fine,I too live under a cloud for the last 18months I keep getting abnormal cervix cells test, I have to have them 6 monthly each comes back the same, In just over a week's time another one is due, so God is going to be very busy listening to all the prayers,
    Please take care, you will be in my thoughts.

  44. Take courage. I will be sending positive thoughts to you.

  45. From Robin's Blog...Prayers have begun for you...for courage, strength, patience and grace to BELIEVE. Batten down the hatches and call on are in for quite a ride, but you have every reason to BELIEVE in your HEALING. This, no doubt, will be a challenge for all of you, but you will learn more about yourself, your family and friends than you ever thought possible. And that is a gift worth counting. -gwyn

  46. Dear Vicky, I just read of your battle on Robin's blog and want to share this little quote I read somewhere just this past week.
    "Remember what ever you think is over your head, is always beneath God's feet". I will be praying for you and your family.

    Warm hugs and many prayer,

  47. Vicky, came over from Robin's place. I was thinking as I read the first part of your post that One Thousnad Gifts would indeed be a gift for you right glad you found it. That book is profound and I believe it will be so beneficial to your healing to be in a grateful frame of mind. Know you are being prayed for by many far and near, those who know you and those who do not, those who have walked your road and those (like me) who only know to say, "be her front and rear guard sweet Jesus, rise up in her courage and faith and hope she needs to make this journey. Love her and her family well right now. We ask for healing and for You to be glorified."

  48. I was referred here by "All Things Heart and Home" and even though I don't know you, I wanted to let you know I care and am praying you feel the Father's presence in a special way during this time!

  49. Vicky, this is my first time here, and I'm so glad I stopped by. Three years ago, I was where you are. EXACTLY where you are. Stage 3b breast cancer with lymph node involvement. Somehow, I knew that I knew, but HEARING it said outloud --- I couldn't breathe and I could hardly walk out of the Dr. office either. I can still hear the haunting voice saying, "OH, this is NOT good -- not good at all!" Not very encouraging at that moment!

    I journaled my whole way through it all on my blog, and believe me, it was the hardest, scariest thing I ever went through. But I am now 2 years out since my last treatment, and everything is till fine. I've been changed. I'm a stronger person. I cherish each day I've been given. I've found friends here in bloggy land that have lifted me and carried me through. And I've come to know the Lord in ways I never thought were possible! You are now on my prayer list, girl. And I'm asking others to pray, too! I'm honored to have been here to read this post, and to know you are finding things of gratitude in your life and making alist. If only I had had this book before I started on that journey. . . .!!!!

  50. I came here from My Voice My View. Praying your journey will have a successful outcome. May the Lord wrap you in His perfect peace.

  51. Oh Vicky, I can hear in your words the solid foundation of God's grace and peace even in the midst of this thunderstorm of life. May His peace which passes all human understanding be ever present with you, in each day, in each trial, in each blessing, and in each moment.

    With love,

  52. Also here from All Things Heart and Home. You and yours are in my prayers. You are proof of Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

  53. I found you through Sara at "Gitz". I will keep you in my prayers.

  54. I came via Robin's blog. Praying for you and your family, Vicky.

  55. I found you through Sara. I will be praying for you and reading along. Just walked with my baby sister through breast cancer. I would be honored to walk with you.


  56. I found you through Sara. I will be praying for you and reading along. Just walked with my baby sister through breast cancer. I would be honored to walk with you.


  57. May God send His Holy Spirit to comfort you, your husband and sons. May God be with your doctors and nurses as decisions are made and acted on.
    Many says "why me?". Some say "why not me ?"
    Therein lies the difference between no faith and the faithful.

  58. I came to your blog from Kelly's. I stand with you.

  59. Kelly sent us over to give you support and words of encouragement. You sound like a strong woman with a good support system in place. May God bless you as you work to fight this thing.

  60. I don't even know how to pray, Vickie, but my thoughts are with you and your family. I don't have to tell you to be strong - you already are.

  61. Oh My God dear Vicky! I am just so sorry to hear of this. One of my closest relatives has been diagnosed with the same and I am devastated!

    May God place his healing hand upon you and cure you completely. It affects the entire family and everyone will have to be extremely positive and strong. Don't worry Vicky. You WILL battle it out and YOU WILL WIN. There are no two ways about it. God bless. Take care!

  62. dear vicky--i just had lunch with robin yesterday, then read sara's post today.

    my friend, holly, had grade 3 of 3 agressive, invasive, triple negative, stage 2b breast cancer. HAD. she is now cancer free and willing to talk with you if you would like. you can send me an email and i will put you two in touch.

    my email is

    holly may comment here herself, but just know there's HOPE.

  63. Vicky, I came by way of Kelly over at My Voice My View, and wanted you to know I am praying for you. I don't know you or your situation very well, but I know God does. I know He not only hears but answers prayers, and I'm asking that He will wrap His comforting arms around you and that He'll be with you every step of the way. I ask that His hands have already begun to do the healing to restore you to even better health than before this diagnosis. I pray that he will send only the very best doctors, nurses and staff to handle your situation, and that He will equip them with everything necessary to help your journey through healing. I lift you up and I ask all of these things in Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Sending you lots of prayers, love, hugs, and encouragement. :)

  64. I came from Sptembermum and wanted to add my prayyers and thoughts. You have a heck of a journey and I hope knowing you have a lot of prayers and love with you helps a little.. Carol xx

  65. I am stopping by from Sara's blog and just wanted to let you know that I am thinking and praying for you! May God never leave you side and continue to give you the strength and the courage that you need during this time! Stay strong, positive and most of all don't lose faith!! With God all things are possible....with love and blessings.

  66. HI Vicki
    I'm popping over from All things Heart and Home.

    All of this is so nasty for you, but you write so beautifully about it's bringing tears to my eyes.

    My very dear friend is going through the same thing at the moment..... since November. All very shocking at first, but after she educated herself of the possibilities she is much happier and well on the road to recovery. I know this will be your path too.

    Kindest and best regards for your future happiness

  67. Came here from Kelly's blog. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. God Bless you.


  68. All Things Heart and Home shared your story...
    I am so sorry you and your family are going through this...I'm praying for you!

  69. My first visit to your site and as a new friend I send my prayers and every positive thought. Your bravery, love and strengths will carry you. Godspeed, beautiful lady.

  70. God bless you Vicky! I am visiting from Septembermom's site. I will certainly pray for you dear. Do you know I am reading One Thousand Gifts also and I was writing a thanksgiving list today? I will certainly follow you. I look forward to hearing on your recovery. I hope you enjoy the read as well. May you be enriched and blessed and strengthened in God!!

  71. Praying for your full restoration and healing dear Vicky...visiting by way of Septembermom. :)

  72. I am a lurker over at Sara's place, but wanted to come out of hiding to tell you I am praying.

    You are brave to share your journey with all of us, and you are brave to take Ann's dare at this time in your life.

    I will be praying, and I will, I know be learning from you as you take this new journey.

  73. Vicky: I am visiting from Gitzen Girl (Sara sent me) to offer you prayers of strength and peace as you enter this difficult time. Keep counting those thankful thoughts. (Isn't Ann's book wonderful?!)

  74. Vicky, you know we're all praying for you, rooting you on, sending healing thoughts your way.

    Your new blog look is absolutely beautiful, as are you.

  75. Vicky, I am praying for you--for healing, peace, strength and comfort, that God will wrap you in His arms and whisper his love and peace to you.

    This is a beautiful post. Thank you.

  76. I don't know you except as a sister in Christ. That is enough. May God's peace and love envelope you through your journey.

  77. Praying for you and your family. May you be surrounded with love and strength, with your family and friends by your side!

  78. You are so brave. I will be lifting you and your family up in prayers for as long as you need them. Praying for you!

  79. Dearest, dearest Vicky.......I'm still reading and reading and reading....and crying. I have been gone so long, unable to sit at my regular computer for any length of time. We're at a cabin my brother and sister-in-law own and I can stand and use my laptop so I started cruising.....

    I'm in shock. I know my shock is nothing compared to yours. I can't imagine what all you have been/are going through. I'm speechless but you aren't and, obviously, neither are those you love the most and who, for VERY obvious reason, love you with overflowing hearts.

    God love and be with you, my sweet friend. I'm SO glad I came here so I can now pray in the way that I should - FOR HEALING - FOR STRENGTH - FOR HOPE in the scary moments/nights/times.

    I am reading the same book you are and "Eucharisteo" has been my theme for three weeks. I will think of you now with each word that pierces my brain.

    With Love and Gratitude for who you are.....


  80. I have been following your journey thru the Simonich family. I was diagnosed stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer almost 4 years ago. I have had many struggles, but have been in remission for almost a year now. I admire your courage and strength and even tho we are all different with our treatments and prognosis, I would like to offer you hope for the future. God bless you and your family! Jane Lobitz


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