Monday, September 30, 2013

... a sentence in the story of your life...

My word embrace is showing up en masse it seems in my life.  Here is the official Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Survivor's Retreat invite I received in the mail. 

My two minute talk?  Just got bumped up to 10.  I'm leaning in- trying to piece together what I can say to help someone else through their own journey. 

I also noticed a bulky package in the mailbox and was thrilled to see this lovely Kelly Rae Roberts journal!  I've filled one whole journal with gratitude so far and am smitten with this one too.  I instantly sat at my new writing desk filling the entire first page.  So thankful for all of you who think of me!  

I'm feeling fully "embraced."

I've started thinking about the lessons I've learned through my cancer journey that I can share at the retreat.  Do any of you who have been touched by cancer have a lesson to share?  I'd love to hear!

What has cancer taught you?

I think this boy has fully "embraced" 7th grade.  I love that his teachers have embraced him back.  He came home with the "Student of the month" certificate and the best part of the whole deal?  His buddy Ethan, was the other student picked from pod A!  Way to go Ethan and Nolan! 

I'm in the midst of learning how I will be embracing radiation treatments soon.  While Rick is criss-crossing the planet in his Prius, or so it seems, I am getting ready for radiation sims to begin.  

October is gearing up to be one crazy- filled month.  Here's to hoping my arms can stretch that far in my efforts to embrace! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Daring greatly.

Has anyone read the Brene Brown book Daring Greatly?  Its on my list and I continue to hear good things about it.  

The best way to start any infusion day... 

I have a selfie of almost every infusion I have had- some day I'll have to track them all down and collage them or something. 

I go to my appointment alone again on Tuesday.

Dr. Panwalkar was late.  He walked in and apologized saying "I was reading."  

"Oh," I say, waiting for him to continue.

But he first wants to pull up my brain scans and go over them.  

He tries to get side by side images of my most recent brain mri, with the one from 3 months ago just prior to treatment.  Its slow going loading them on the computer and he has to make a lot of adjustments on each one to get them close to the same "slice" so we're comparing similar views.

Eventually we ascertain, that indeed, 2 of the most recent spots have shrunk, while the oldest spot in the side of my head looks stable.  The bigger question is, is it stable cancer?  Or is it necrosis- meaning dead/dying cancer or tissue.  That can only be ascertained with a biopsy which is no small feat, and when he says "So we'll watch and see," I am fine with that conclusion.  

Next he tells me he has been reading about another oral pill I could possibly take, that helps make my cancer cells more likely to respond to hormonal treatments like Tamoxifen.  Dr. Foster in radiation has suggested I go off of Tykerb while I am doing radiation.  So Dr. Panwalkar is researching other possible treatments.  

The pill he suggests causes me to pause.  When I ask about the serious side effects, he says there are a very few people who have had serious side effects, but overall its well tolerated with mild side effects.

What I don't tell him, is that I personally know one of those women who did have the very serious side effect and spent months in the hospital trying to recover.

I am not her, and there is very little likelihood I would experience the drug like her.  But I am still numbed with the thoughts of how precarious the next few weeks and months may be for me.

Hello vulnerability.

Yet. I know I am at a crossroads.  If I am going to have an "aggressive" radiation treatment, than we need to find a tolerable chemo for me to do, and there aren't many options for those that I haven't already done.  

Dr. Panwalkar then asks me to refresh him on how many radiation treatments I will have?  15 for the lymph node, and 5 for the lungs, I reply.

5? He says, somewhat incredulously.  And then his hearty laugh escapes and he says wow, he is really going to obliterate those tumors!

Hello daring greatly.

We proceed with a quick physical exam and everything appears fine.

 Once again- I came into the appointment with my list of questions about Tykerb side effects and what to do. But it all took a back seat in the bigger picture.  Quite possibly, I will only be doing one more dose of Tykerb anyway, and somehow that makes it a little more bearable all the way around. In the meantime, he goes along with my suggestion of adjusting my Tykerb dose down for a day or two when I do describe the nature of my side effects. 

We conclude our visit and I ask him about the women's health conference he and I have been asked to present at. 

Gulp- hello showing up and being seen.  Hello Embrace. (And going way outside my comfort zone.) Gulp-gulp.

 He tells me a brief description of what he is presenting on.

I tell him I just wanted an idea, because I will be going before him, and introducing him.

We are out in the hallway now and he laughs and says, Yes, that is what Shelby told me.  Just please, go easy on me! 

Its my eyes that go big now!  What?  I say incredulously.  (How could I have anything but good to say about this doctor?) 

But I think he is teasing me.  He reaches his arm around my shoulder and squeezes me, uttering a quick goodbye, before he hurries off around the corner. 

Monday, September 23, 2013


I "tossed my cookies," for the first time last Friday morning.  I was nauseous.  Usually that means- eat something quick.  

So I grabbed the zucchini bread Colton and I had prepared the night before and spread a little butter on it.  I had eaten several pieces the night before and they were so tasty.

It barely got past my mouth and I knew instantly it wasn't going down.  

It's taken me 2 1/2 years for chemo to make me sick, but it finally happened.

I sipped sprite and nibbled soda crackers the rest of the day.  

But it signaled to me I couldn't go out of town with my friends.  The "Moorhead Girls" were getting together in Sioux Falls, and I knew I was in no shape to go.

Yet, I didn't feel left out.  

I was sent texts and pics all weekend long and it was clear, as Elizabeth said, "our planets came together."  

How else do you explain them running across this sign?

I also had some surprise deliveries to my door and will be working on getting some thank you's out soon!  Thank you to all of you who go out of your way to brighten my day- it works!

Rick left for Idaho yesterday.  I will see Dr. Panwalkar tomorrow, with my weighty list of side effects, and then have my infusion.

A sweet friend sent this to me in a fb posting a couple of weeks ago.  Have you seen Mandisa's Overcomer?  Not only does her video feature Robin Roberts and her cancer fight, but the lyrics have such a good message.  

Its never lost on me that so many of you, so many of us, are carrying some heavy burdens.  Illness, caregiving for sick loved ones, end of marriage, loss of loved ones, etc. 

Maybe- what it teaches all of us- is that being in this community together- sharing our stories with each other- one holding up the other- we can all be "Overcomers." 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Where you go, I will go

I was such a Daddy's girl.  There he is, holding my baby brother and there I am sitting in the baby seat, holding my baby....

"Where you go, I will go..."

Dad would have turned 84 today.

I've been saving these photos for some reason.  I was so happy to stumble across these again and knew today was the perfect day to share them. 

We pondered what to do with Dad's memorial money.  We had given it to his church, my childhood church, but we wanted something that truly memorialized him in a lasting way.

Last April 14th, through the combination of memorials given by several members, we were able to see what had been made, partially in honor of Dad.

This are the words in the church bulletin, highlighting my Dad:

Willard Held was a loved husband, father, and grandfather.  He was a meticulous and gifted cabinet maker.  He built the Grace Church Information Kiosk.  (He also built the guestbook stand, and I think the baptismal font.) His kitchen cabinets also grace many Fargo-Moorhead homes.  Today, cabinets, made in his memory, hold two images of the most poignant moments from scripture.  A cabinet maker who was a faithful companion to his wife and treasured his children and grandchildren, is remembered through the woodwork that now frames the stories that celebrates God's love for children and faithfulness in life's journey.  

The sanctuary filled with sunlight on an otherwise cool April day.

"Let the Little Children Come" 

'But Jesus called them to him saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.' - Luke 18:16

"Where you go, I will go"

'But Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave your or to return from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God;...' -
Ruth 1:16

A bunch of my mother's side of the family attended the service which made it truly special.  This was the church we all grew up in.  Rick and I were married here and both boys were baptized here.

And then fitting for any celebration such as ours, this beautiful cake was served after the service.  

My Dad so would have loved every part of it.

Miss you Dad!

Love, your Snicklefritz.


Tykerb has me knocked down again this week.  Mind-numbing fatigue, some nausea, too much diarrhea/dehydration and my wound opening up have left me feeling spent- physically and emotionally.

Last night I took one look at the big bottle with orange chemo pills staring me in the face and broke down in tears.  

I surrendered so quick.  All of it with Him.  "Where you go I will go..." 

I fell asleep with my hand wrapped in Superman's. 

I slept deep.

I already feel lighter today.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

just write

It's the third time she's called this day and I bite my lip as I finally slide my finger across my phone and lift it to my ear. I was about to go and lie down. 

"I need to go into the walk-in clinic or er.  Can you give me a ride?"  

I dare say, my mother almost sounds chipper while delivering this news.

I tell her I will make some arrangements for the kids and then I'll come and get her and she can tell me what is going on.  

Its 4:30 and I dread the thought of heading into the small amount of "rush hour" traffic we get.  Just enough to be a nuisance at times in all reality.  

But my brain and my body have a harder time filtering things out.  Lights are brighter, noise is louder, multi-tasking is multi-taxing on my chemo and radiation ravaged brain and body.  I drain so quickly of energy, and can fill so instantly with unannounced emotions.  At this time of day, I'm nearing the end of my ability to cope. 

I grab a sweater, preparing for a long night, and go to get my mother.  

"Its my leg," she says as she somewhat hobbles her way into my car.  "Just look at the size of it," she exclaims while pulling up her pants leg unsteadily.  I instead help to maneuver her into the car while people wait behind me to pull in.  

"Mom, just get in and then you can show me."  

She gets in and as I pull away, she struggles to find the seat belt.  I hesitate, knowing the seconds it will take me to just do it for her, but also not wanting to take away what independence she has. I struggle with this so.  Its a good five minutes before she finally clicks the belt into place.

By now, she has completely forgotten about her leg.

She instead begins telling me all the latest details about her friends, the same ones she has just called to tell me about hours before.  

I focus my eyes, as the sun shines heavily down, and as I am about to make my way to the exit ramp, she admonishes me.

"Ohhh, you're going this way?  You shouldn't be in this lane... it'd be so much better to go... ohhh."

She suddenly sees I have my blinker on and am preparing to get into that very left turn lane.  

I grip the steering wheel tightly as I fight off the voice in my head- my inner 16-year-old child, blanching at the words of her well-intentioned mother.

I'm instantly right back there again.

"No daughter of mine will learn how to drive before she is 25 years old.  Girls do no make good drivers.  And we have no money for a car, or insurance or extra gas.  You'll just have to ride your bike."  

I'm 19 before I get my driver's permit and its Superman who takes me driving for the first time in his Mustang.  

I'm 21 when I buy my first car.  Its a red, sporty, Nissan with t-tops.

I'm 22, when I finally get my driver's license.  

I'm 46, and still don't drive the way my mother thinks I should, while Superman assures, I'm good.

But I am what she has.

We end up spending 4 hours together this night.  I watch as she befriends a young male, a Freshman Concordia College Student needing help with his arm.  He throws an arm around her, wishing her well,  when she gets called back.  She then goes on to charm her admittedly dashing young doctor.  She is everyone's friend and I smile at seeing her at her best.

After having an ultrasound performed, her leg is found clear of any infection, cellulitis, or blood clots.  Her water pills are increased and she is free to go home.

Once back in the waiting room, she sees someone she knows, clearly walking in pain, and wants to make a beeline over to them to see what is going on.

By now, I'm fully back into my grown-up self.  My own motherly instincts kick in as I gently guide her towards the door saying "Mom, now isn't probably the best time."

She chatters away the whole ride home.

We arrive back at her place close to 830.

She sees her friends walking towards the entry way and hurries off, saying to me, "Thank you dear, until you're better paid someday!!"

And away she goes...

Joining Heather at the EO today for...

Saturday, September 14, 2013


 Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
Mahatma Gandhi

I'm sitting in one of the new exam rooms in radiation oncology Friday morning.  A part of me still can't believe I scheduled myself to find out my brain mri results on Friday the 13th. 

But in keeping with embracing what is, I decided not to yield to superstition. 

So as Rick and I sat making small talk, Dr. Foster opened the door and greeted me, "Hello, Mrs. Westra."  I smile at the formality and fight the urge to look for Rick's mom, the only Mrs. Westra I think of when I hear that name.

Dr. Foster proceeds to go over the last 3 months of history with me.  He asks lots of questions and then asks to examine me.  He listens to my lungs, my heart, and runs his hands over my neck and under my arm checking lymph node status.  He, too, asks for my help in making sure he is feeling the enlarged, but tricky node, under my arm. 

He then says "well I will go confer with my notes, and be back to discuss treatment options with you in a few minutes."

Ohhhhh shoot, I think. These are the exact words he had used last time.  I sit back down next to Rick and throw my hands in the air. 

"Okay God, I'm in your hands," I say. 

I'm surprised by the level of peace I feel.  Whatever news he has to share about my brain mri, I feel prepared to embrace it.

It seems like a long time before Dr. Foster returns.

He sits down and instead of bringing up my mri, grabs a copy of my last PET scan as I confusedly look on.  As he brings the report forward, in an almost offhand way he says,

"Oh, your brain mri looks good.  Some shrinkage and some spots have disappeared.  So that's all good."

And my world just pauses right there.  I almost want to ask him if he is sure because this is the thing that has been on my mind the most.

But he is clearly moving onto something else.

He proceeds to ask me in more detail about some of the notes on the PET scan.   He shows me that the radiologist who had read this report had mentioned an area in my skull that he was interpreting as metastases.  But Dr. Foster didn't interpret the findings on the scan in the same way.  So he went to another radiologist, who after seeing the scan, actually agreed with Dr. Foster.  They both felt what they were seeing was not metastases at all. 

I can see the enthusiasm Dr. Foster has for this conclusion.  He has clearly gone out of his way, and taken his time, to research all of this in his own time.  This I think, is part of answered prayers.

He then proceeds to bring up my lung mets.  I smile as I tell him, that was in fact one of the discussions I had wanted to have with him. 

I also have been doing my own research.

Basically, there are two routes we could go, and Dr. Foster presents them both.

We could do 15 targeted radiation treatments to my right lung with the hopes that we would knock the mets back. 

Or we could opt for a more aggressive approach.  We could try to obliterate those mets, with 5 targeted shots of stereotactic radiosurgery, just like what we did to my head. 

Each session would last about 45 minutes and I would have to lie still, my arms back, over my head, with a bean-bag like form placed around me so I don't move. Fortunately he mentions Xanax being involved as well- thank goodness. 

I do however, find myself smiling again at the "obliterating tumors" images prancing through my head.  When I ask him what he would go for if it were him, or his family, he doesn't hesitate to say "aggressive treatment".  Inability to swallow and or esophageal distress are part of the side effects, along with risk of exposure to my heart, and burns on my skin are the main risks involved. I shudder as I recall the lidocaine solution I used to swig by the mouthful to numb my burning esophagus and the eventual oxy I needed to take. 

He then goes on to say the other spot that we should probably consider treating, is my lymph node under my arm.  It simply hasn't responded to chemo and it is time to consider radiating that spot as well. This treatment would take 15 rounds of radiation.  The major risk factor is Lymphedma, or swelling of the arm, but he considers my risk low since I've not had any surgery or lymph node removal previously.


Dr. Foster agrees to talk with Dr. Panwalkar and then seek prior approval with my insurance company.  I will also talk with Dr. Panwalkar at my next appointment and seek his advice.  Then we can begin the process of planning and mapping out the procedures and begin treatment after that, if we're all in agreement.

I'm still trying to digest all of this.  And trying on "indomitable" for a bit, to see if it fits. 

Thank you to all of my prayer warriors, I feel the presence of those prayers working in and around me and they continue to honor and humble me so. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

being willing...

I wish we had thought to take some before pictures.  But my friend Barb, started planting a seed for change a couple of weeks ago. 

It started with her problem-solving about no computer in my bedroom and she was wondering if she could do something about that?  Rick and I sat down and realized that either we could dock an iPad in our room, (Barb's idea) or he and I could share his work laptop.  

With the amount of fatigue I am battling, plus some new found problems with my feet, sigh... I truly am letting go of some of the life I had planned... for the life that is waiting instead.  

So lucky for me,  Barb grew creative in how she wanted to provide some comfort in my room along with some fun.  

And in keeping with my word of "embrace" for the year.  I just let Barb create the vision in her head for my room.  I could see her creative, designer side flourish on the spot.  Her enthusiasm danced in her eyes.  Her passion for decorating was evident in every breathe she took- every word uttered.  

It took just a few hours on Saturday and Sunday for her with a little help from Superman to create this cozy, yet bright and fun space for me to use to write and blog or relax, without feeling like I needed to just be in bed.

This ledge above our bed has mostly remained empty, but Barb added lights and color and mirrors in a way that perfectly fit the space. 

We also put a new comforter on the bed- it surprised us both.  We had thought it was going to be a red stripe,  but coral it is.  Instead of getting overly concerned with the color, again- I am just embracing the splash of color it brings and the blessing I feel of something new.  

Barb outdid herself in creating a peaceful and relaxing place for me to rest.  In fact the biggest surprise and blessing, has been how much the entire family has come to hang out with me.  Colton sits in the chaise, Nolan curls up on the bed or sits at the desk.  Both boys have done homework while I read.  

In the meantime, my mailbox has continued to receive blessings that I have a hard time finding enough words to express my gratitude for.  I wrote out notes again this morning, but wanted my friends, Anne and her Aunt, in Massachusetts, to know how much they touched me.  

It still amazes me every time I hear from a reader that I don't know I have.  It truly blesses me.

Was doubly blessed yesterday to receive the surprise gift of yummy pumpkin bread and a huge batch of soup!!  Thank you Rachel- truly made my day!

I'm leaving later this afternoon for my brain mri.  I will have sedation and then a scan an hour later, and then home and dozing my night away.

As always I have my prayer list going with me for the hour of sedation prior to the scan.  Anyone have a request for prayers I can add to my list?  Sorry its such late notice.  

I will see Dr. Foster in the morning for results.  I welcome extra prayers that my brain shows signs of healing and that Dr. Foster's radiation treatment of my head has indeed obliterated my spots! 

"We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned... "  Amen. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

wisdom from an 11 year old...

Colton on his first day of 5th grade last Tuesday.

Nolan on his first day of 7th grade last Tuesday.

I awake this morning to muffled sounds of the fridge door being swung opened and closed. Wham-thump. Wham-thump.  I hear lids coming off jars, silverware clanking, and the ruffling of plastic bags.  

Colton has embraced the idea of packing his lunch each day in a cost saving measure.

I'm still in bed, being pulled in the direction of sleep with a heaviness from the meds I take each night to help me sleep. I fight to get my mind clear, to force my eye lids open, to let the light in.  I want to be able to wish him well in his day.  I work towards these moments of connection.  Where I grab each boy and muster energy so all of me can fill all of them in those brief interludes of time.

I often wonder what they will take with them into the future?  These moments I strive for?  The ones I would be hard pressed to remember? 

Last week we had one- Colton and I.  

I'm all smiles at the mere mention of it.

If you ever want to start your day with perspective, perhaps you should ask your child. 

He was hurrying out the door and I called after him "Love you to the moon and back, Bubba Jack."

The response these days is more mixed.  Some days I get a mumble back.  Sometimes a smirk. Other days- nothing.

But this day I got a crystal clear "Love you too, mom."

So I say "ah good, just checking.  It's the most important thing in life we share, right?"

"Yep," he replies.

Since he seems so open- I push a bit further.  

"What else, Colton, what else do you think is the most important thing in life?"

Without missing a beat he throws open the front door and calls over his shoulder,

"Hope, oh and faith."

I smile and call it back to him...

"Hope and faith?"

"Yep- oh and hockey."

Ahh, that's my boy.  

Wishing you a day filled with all three- love, hope, faith- and maybe just a smidge of hockey on top.  

My energy seems to wane these days with fatigue a close companion.  My cough is still persistent and yet I'm just growing more accustomed to it.  I don't otherwise feel too bad.  But I am spending more time resting than being too active. 

So in a thoughtful and generous gesture, my sweet friend, Barb, brought over some of her cherished treasures to make over my bed room.  Superman helped rearrange furniture and Barb brought in some decorative items, and a beautiful chaise for me to borrow as well as a perfectly sized writing desk and chair that she painted and refurbished beautifully! 

We just need to finish the bed and I will have pictures to post soon!  

Friday, September 6, 2013


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. Albert Schweitzer 

The collage below is part of the "rekindled spark" I have felt over the past few days.  From cards with heartfelt messages, to books, to the beautiful prayer bracelet (it has a small box on it to enclose a written prayer and carry it with you- love it!), to the anonymous and completely beyond generous donation inside the blank envelope without a hint of where it came from, to the also beyond generous gift from a friend and her brilliantly funny card, to the box from Hawaii (via Houston) with more lotion-love, I spent my morning, basking in the gratitude that overflowed in my heart, spilling into the words I wrote in thank you notes that I mailed yesterday.  It. felt. good.  

I do perhaps, need to grow my vocabulary.  Just how do you say thank you that fully conveys the explosion that happens in your heart every time thoughtfulness and selfless generosity parades through your door?  

I whisper almost continuously, "make me worthy, Lord, make me worthy of so much abundance."  "Help us pay it forward. Keep my hands open to both receive and not grab too tightly so that I may give in proportion to what I receive." 

You see, its all in the choosing.  Every day really.  And I forget sometimes I have the ability to do so.  To choose.  Not so much what happens to me.  But how I will deal with it.  I just have to choose.  Just like our Gitzen Girl, Sara, taught us. (If you are new around here- my sweet friend Sara's story is not one to miss out on.  She has been in her heavenly home nearly two years now, but her story lives on in so many of us.) 

My friend, Gitzen Girl came across my radar in the most unusual way the other night.  Through Instagram.  Now I am fairly certain Instagram arrived on the scene long after she went to her heavenly home, but not only does she have an account?  But its followed by hundreds of people.  No posts from her, no photos, just a legacy that makes people want to include her still, to be in community with her.  Much in the way many have had her tag line, "choose joy," tattooed onto them.  This is one of the tattoos- in Sara's replicated handwriting that she graciously shared with us. 

I don't have a tattoo, other than two circles, dots really,  they made on my chest to line me up for radiation to my spine last year.  They don't really count as "tats."  But if I were ever off chemo and my skin were of the healing variety, I would get a "choose joy" tat.  

Sara defined joy as this "Joy: the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it… not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched."

Amen to that.  Now I just need to remember that the other word is equally important.  


Last week, I struggled with my ability to choose.  

This week- I'm all the way in- choosing joy.  Choosing gratitude. Choosing life.  

I saw Dr. P on Tuesday.  I was on my own as Rick was busy with work.  My platelets have dropped a little, but the rest of my blood work looks stable.  I will continue on with 4 pills of Tykerb daily and we'll scan again in a few months.  I will have a brain mri next week to check and see if the targeted therapy to my brain worked.  

Rather spontaneously, in the midst of discussing my case, Dr. P looks at me and says "so you are a writer?  You've been published?  Magazines?  And you have a blog?"

I rather sheepishly respond in the affirmative.

He goes on to say "People keep telling me these things about you, and I feel as though suddenly I barely know you!"  

I share with him he is rather "famous."  And that its "all good." He slowly smiles, and says "thank you."  I think its fair to say, he truly has no idea.  I also think that is totally fine. 

And then in the way that makes me admire him so- we dove right back into discussing my case.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

the last hurrah...

We decided to spend some time at the lake for our last hurrah of summer.  I crawled out of bed with the help of all of your kind words and well wishes and prayers.  The weather dipped down in the 60's and we suddenly layered in sweatshirts and jeans.  I just decided to go.  I just needed to do it.  

And magically- I took that leap of faith- and it hurled me right into the midst of so many of my favorite things.  Magic- like medicine- to heal and restore and replenish.

We ate pizza at our favorite summer pizza place. I had stocked up on some meds to ensure I could eat.  Wow- did the pizza taste good.

We then went for a boat ride and afterwards spent a fun evening with friends at their cabin.  Laughter and the company of fun people to be around truly filled me with gratitude.  

The sun even came out later in the evening and made for a beautiful sunset.  I soaked it all in.

I was doing so well, we continued our weekend at Grandpa Jim's lake home.  

I never know what will await me in up-north-country- but I just know it will be stunning.

A nature show is always on hand and it always includes a handful of hummingbirds.  I breathed the fresh air.  I roamed as far as my lungs would allow.  It was serene, peaceful and answered prayers.  

Crosby took to the water with Rick and I today.  Clearly he belongs to us as he loves being outdoors as much as we do.  He was faithfully by my side so much and I adored him being so close.

After cooking us a delicious dinner, Grandpa made sure we had wood for the fire and marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate for s'mores.  We definitely needed the fire for warmth last night.  

Rick got this crazy good shot of all the stars last night and the wispy, milky white part of it looks like the milky way to us.  

We slept so peacefully. 

We awoke to a beautifully sunny day.  

After a breakfast at the old logging camp, I got dropped off at Summerhill Farm where I rummaged through all of their season end finds.  

One last boat ride.

One last summer hurrah at the lakes.  

I came home with some pink in my cheeks and some renewed energy to get the boys ready for their first day of school.

Boys to school- then off to labs, Dr. P, and then onto infusion.  

When you get lucky

When you get lucky

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