Thursday, December 15, 2016

breathing life into your moments

I don't try to carry too much with me anymore.  It's hard to go back through the recesses of my mind for anything weighty, or medical- related, or too detailed.  I know I'm about to find out if I have another primary cancer, and yet I haven't had the steely nerve to google just what this would mean for me.  

But when I walk into the lobby of Roger Maris Cancer Center, my steps become leaden, and my shoulders round, as the weight of it all enshrouds me.  My pager buzzes and as the nurse takes me in to weigh me, I shed as much as I can. My coat, my boots, my scarf, my sweater, my bags, my burdens, my anxieties, it all heaps on the nearest chair.  I simply can't carry it all anymore.  I feel like  I'll weigh 532 pounds with all that comes with me.  

 My focus, now heightens, keen and alert.  My questions que up in my brain, clambering to be heard and acknowledged.  My prayer is for my heart to have enough space for anything new I need to absorb, and strength for my body to somehow carry more.  

It's been 3 weeks since I've seen Dr. Panwalkar.  But I've been seen by Dr. Tinguely, who performed the biopsy of my uterus, and then had a 3D vaginal ultrasound completed.  I missed her call to me, however, and she was booked with surgery all day the day the results came in.

So I waited for results until this past Tuesday, the 13th, when I saw  Dr. P.  

He enthusiastically greets me as he strides into the room.  "I was just reading the pathology report... here, lets look together."  He points to the screen and I squint, not sure I'm ready to see with my eyes.  But there it is...

Two words.

blah, blah blah... breast cancer... blah blah

The pathology report says the findings are consistent with breast cancer cells, not uterine cancer.  How is this possible?  I've never felt such utter relief to hear, "You have breast cancer."  

Yet, I take a short breath.  I know there is more.  I'm hyper focused on what comes next.  Once again, we're chartering new territory.  Its HIGHLY unusual for breast cancer to metastasize to the uterus- yet its surrounded my colon before, and we found it on my ovaries when they were removed- this is all very rare and the path is simply unclear. 

"Surgery?"  I ask.  "Will we remove my uterus now?"  

Dr. P leans back, and his arms come up to his face in thoughtfulness.  "Well..."

I quickly insert what I know..."its tricky to do surgery, when I need treatment to growing tumors in my lungs.  We'd have to stop chemo, and even then, healing may be compromised."

"Yes," he says, "true."  "Plus we know that there is no increased survival benefit to removing the tumors, not with breast cancer.  We don't debulk, because there is no benefit- and getting clean margins in this instance can be almost impossible."

"We should continue systemic treatment- the chemo regimen you are on, and watch and see."

He motions to the exam table and I laugh as he throws the gown on the table, off to a chair and then helps me up.  We're way beyond such formality.  Yet, he is thorough in checking my stomach, which is not as tender to the touch, and has many questions about how I am doing. 

We conclude and he says, "well you seem to be doing just fine."

He turns to write orders for chemo, and I happen to ask about my lab work.  He flips on the screen and we both flinch as the red warning signs leap off the screen!

"Oh!  He says... shaking his head.  "Your counts are way too low.  Oh, .6.  No, no chemo for you."  We start looking ahead to see when I could possibly start the next round, but its the week of Christmas.  

He is leaning back again in his chair, deep in thought.

"Do you want to just wait until January 3rd?  How do you feel about that?"

I'm trying to read him, as he tries to read me, and suddenly we both laugh.  He simply tells me its not like my cancer is racing away right now.  I should be ok to wait, as long as I continue to feel ok.

I have such a deep sense of trust.  He seems to have a 6th sense for my body, and my cancer, and I simply tune into his intuitive nature.  

He asks if there is anything else I need?  

I've saved the best for last...

A small gift he can share with his family.  A travel book with all kinds of fun facts about each of the states in the US.  He literally starts paging through it, smiling and genuinely seems engaged with it.  He then opens our family Christmas photo, and again studies it.

"They're so big! He exclaims, looking at the boys.  The youngest looks like Rick, and Vicky, the oldest looks like you."  He raises his eyebrows as he looks to me, and I smile, and nod.  

We've exhausted our time, and need to move on.  My emotions are welling in my throat.  He's holding the very thing that matters the most to me. This image sears in my brain.  He has breathed life back into my moments.   

He leads me down the hall, my walk lighter, my back straighter again....and as we part he leans in and whispers to me... "Have a Merry Christmas..."  and I barely whisper back..."Merry Christmas to you."  

Source: Tyler Knott Gregson

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

all that really matters

He crawled onto his Dad's side of the bed the day after Thanksgiving.  

What's up, Colton?  I ask, my voice thick with drowsiness.  

He yawns, stretches and pulls the edge of my blanket over the top of him too.

"I'm booorrreeeed." He murmurs in a long sigh.

"What would you like to do?"  I ask.


I know he'll have hockey out of town the next 2 days, and I'm grateful he'll be busy.  But what is it he is searching for right now?

So I simply begin telling him about all the stuff we used to do when he was younger.

"We used to bowl together, do you want to go bowling?"  I ask... 

"nah." He replies.

Is there a movie you'd like to see?

"Not really."  

"Hmmm," I say, "what else?  "We could all put on our skates and go find open ice somewhere?"  He gives me a confused look.

"We used to go all the time."

"Even you, mom?"  he asks, incredulously.

"Yes,"  I laugh.  "Even me.  It wasn't pretty.  But those ten dollar thrift store figure skates managed to get me around the rink a time or two.  Thank goodness for toe picks!"  

Suddenly, I'm flooded with memories of all we used to do.  He was only in 2nd grade when I was diagnosed.  As an 8th grader, I realize having a sick mom, is all he has really known.  And sadness encroaches as I fully know, there is so little left that I can actively do these years later. 

"I'm sorry buddy.  It stinks when your mom is so sick, more and more often."  

But as I utter my regret, my brokenness, my inability to reassure him jams my throat.

It's then that he sits up, leaning towards me,  and begins saying, "Mom, Mom, MOMMMMM."  "It's okay.  All that really matters?  Is that I'm here.  With you."  That's all I really need, okay? 

He comes over to the side of the bed, and folds himself over to hug me.  He has grown 2 inches since July, the last time we measured him.  But it's his growth in wisdom beyond his years, that surpasses his size.   I love him so...


I met with Dr. Panwalkar last Tuesday.  He had sent me a link to the PET scan report, but I couldn't get it to load.  So I shook my head "no" when he asked if I already knew my status.  

"I assume its grown in my lungs, and somewhere in my abdominal region?"  I tell him.

"Well, kind of he says, hesitatingly."  

We're off script a bit, and I've jumped the gun by asking.

So he loads the old and new scans side by side and we begin zooming through the images.  It looks kind of like a 3d movie with my body playing the lead role.  But as we reach my lungs, the glowing yellow "cancer activity" rears it's head.  So my lower left lobe is showing more uptake, meaning more cancer activity.  I don't even bother asking how much growth, or increase in activity.  I simply don't feel the need to know any great detail.

So we continue on through the scan, finding a spot on my esophagus which likely could acid reflux or heartburn.   My bladder is also glowing, but its normal to look like that.  PET scans are not easy to read.

So when we get the to the next large glowing spot, I'm perplexed.  

Reading me, as he does so well, Dr. P explains its my uterus.  And its IN my uterus, not just on top of my uterus.  The words he carefully uses, are "large mass."  

Oh boy.  

But as I think about it, I have to wonder, "How do we know what it is?"

He nods in agreement, stating, "We don't."  Its highly unlikely for breast cancer to spread to your uterus.  What we really need to do is biopsy it.  

"So it could be another kind of cancer?  Like uterine cancer?  Or something else?"

He quietly nods his head.  And we sit in silence a moment or two, letting it sink in.  

Then he shifts our focus, and says "I think we need to start new treatment again. How do you feel about Taxotere- weekly.

This is what I've expected him to say.  So I counter offer,  "How about Halaven?  Could we start with that?  It helped my lungs last time and we stopped it early."  

He smiles, and says enthusiastically, "OK."  It's good, too.  Lets start with Halaven and restart Herceptin again.  We'll do two weeks on, and 1 week off of treatment.  Its that one week off, that gives me a bit of relief.  

"Fatigue may be more of an issue, and your counts may go low, he says.  Most of your hair will fall out.  And sores are likely to form in your mouth.  But it worked well for you last time!" 

He always diverts my attention back to the positive I can hang onto.  He walks me out to the waiting room and then leans in to hug me around my shoulder before he briskly walks away.  


I finished my second dose of Halaven on Tuesday.  I'm bumping up against nausea and inability to eat at times.  I'm worn out, despite how little I seem to accomplish most days.  

But two things keep me going.  Well, 3 actually.  And they are called Nolan, and Colton, and Superman.  I just keep striving to find new ways to be in their world, no matter what it takes.  Sheer will some days, and God given grace on others.  

Rest in peace my sweet friend, Colleen.  Your sharp wit, brilliant intelligence and huge compassion for all, will be so dearly missed.  In true Colleen fashion I heard you made one more trip to Target, insisting on pushing the cart and walking, despite how tiny you had become.  Tiny in size maybe, but you were mighty in all other ways,  and will be forever missed.  

If you're so inclined,  prayers please, for Colleen's husband Marlon, and their two precious daughters, just 5 and 7 years old- Lizzie and Abbie.  They'll be so honored. 

~peace and love to you all~

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Part of me now...

Happy (a bit late) Birthday, Superman.  So thankful, you share your heart with me!  Aren't the heart shaped sparklers cool?  It's like love on fire, literally.  And here we are, side by side, through it all. 

Would you believe the sparklers were a part of a"goodie bag" for my first role in a documentary?  If you go to imdb, and google my name?  The documentary I was beyond honored to be a part of,  "Part of me Now: Living With Breast Cancer," will pop up.  We're just waiting for the director, Emily Gerhardson, to announce how we can all see it.  She's done an amazing job from start to finish in getting this project out into the world- so many film festivals it has gone to- we're just hopeful it gets picked up somewhere!  

Thanks to Ria for capturing this at the end of our photo session last August- somehow she always finds the best light.  

Speaking of light- I've spent days and days going through photos we took in and around Pittsburgh.  The light was simply stunning and the leaves were in full color.  I've formed such a deep connection to feeling "alive," when I spend time in nature.

 “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”

—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

So many places and activities we savored in Pittsburgh have continued to stay with me... despite how much I had to concede and surrender along the way.  It became quite clear when we arrived back home, the toll so much of this "journey" has taken on me.  Two days after we arrived home: 

Tuesday,  November 1st, 2016
Roger Maris Cancer Center

He strides into the room, his voice booming, "Hello, Vicky, how are you?"  Then he stops mid-step.  One look at my face, and his whole demeanor changes.  I have yet to truly say anything, but he reads me in that moment.

"Ohhhh, what is going on with you?"  Dr. Panwalkar's face falls from smiles, and registers concern, as he scans my face.  His voice softens as he sits down, but turns to look at me as I try to answer him.

"I just don't seem to bounce back like I once did."  I shake my head, and say, "I just don't know what is going on with me."  He starts to run through the list of questions about fatigue and appetite, sleep, and breathing.  

My appetite is good- but my tolerance for so many foods is limited.  I feel sick, after I eat, with a tenderness in my lower left side.  I still eat.  I'm just never sure what will set my stomach off.  I can certainly use meds to calm it back down. But soon the gnawing sets in again.   It's just a vicious circle.  I can't see clearly enough to cut a clean swathe through the maze.  And really?  The bigger question?

Are my symptoms treatment related?  Or is it cancer progression.  My blood work actually looks good.  Although my tumor markers have climbed yet again.  

He thoroughly examines me, asking questions as he goes head to toe. 

He's nodding his head when I offer, "that small inner voice is telling me to scan."   

 Dr. Panwalkar helps me sit up, then goes to sit and begin the process of garnering approval for a PET scan, and a brain MRI.  Soon, we shift to discussing what a new treatment might be.  

He mentions going back to Taxotere, since I had a good response to it, and we quit before it stopped working, due to my intolerance for the side effects.   He also mentions another chemo agent I'd done before- Halaven.  

And then, mustering much enthusiasm, he mentions the one I've blocked from my mind- Adriamyacin- also known as "The red devil."  

I'm nodding my head, understanding the gift of knowing I have options, while also sliding right into denial, so that I don't have to focus on the toll those options can take on a weary body and spirit.

He also mentions looking into immunotherapy trials and asks where I'd be willing to travel?  "Anywhere," is our answer.  But just days later our insurance agent informs us my new policy will only allow me to have treatment at Sanford in Fargo.  I try to cling to gratitude that I can still at least find a policy that will take me on, despite its limits, and expense.  

Dr. P and I conclude our time together, and he ushers me out of the room and walks with me to the infusion waiting room.  He stops and motions towards the seating area, but then looks at me, and rubs my back as he smiles and simply says, "See you in 3 weeks. We WILL get to the bottom of this."  

So I get up each day and I try.  Some days it's merely hours later, and I'm back in bed, down for the day.  But each day I push a little more.  

After a day of resting at home, I take a chance and attend the steak fry fundraiser for the Moorhead hockey team.  I even managed to eat half my meal and felt so encouraged to see so many friends attending.  I manage to clean house, spend time outside with Crosby, and work on this blog post.  Stringing all of these moments together crafts a sort of "seat belt" that tethers me in place, for the curves we endure on this tenuous ride.  

At the end of our trip to Pittsburgh, we go to say goodbye to our friends, Matt and Bridget Cullen, after the Penguins come away with a big win. Smiles abound.  We've had such a great trip.

Those light-filled eyes, and big smiles, from the bigs and the littles, melt my mother's heart.

We're pulling out of the parking lot after the game, when the car with the little boys stops.  Their Dad says, "I have some pretty sad young boys who have requested just one more hug from the big boys?"  

He has taken the time to stop, and they all unbuckle and tumble out of their car seats... as my big boys jump out of their seats for that last big hug.  The littlest guy looks up at Colton, tears streaming, "l'll miss you!   Please come back again soon so I can see you!"  

Out of all the moments, so very many of them, its this one I tuck away in my heart forever.  

My brain MRI will be Thursday with sedation at 1 and scan at 2.  Then the PET scan will be at 730 am on Friday, with injection at 730 and scan at 9.  

How can I pray for you?  I will bring a list and pray fervently for anything on your heart and mind.

~All shall be well~

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pittsburgh, Primanti's and Penguins...

source unknown

 My mother would have turned 81 the day we left for Pittsburgh.  As we loaded the car,  I noticed the October sky all lit up and could only smile.  I breathed deep, heralding in as much tranquility as I could,  and we left to pick up our precious cargo.

Meet Minny, who would be traveling across the country with us to her family waiting for her arrival.  Oh those big eyes.  

Perhaps one of my favorite pictures- obviously Colton had gazed into those eyes as well.  

Traveling with a dog was hugely entertaining for the boys and gave us all something to help with many hours of "together" time.  

Realizing that the University of Notre Dame was just a short stretch off the toll-road, gave us a much needed reprieve for a bit.  It was sunny, and full of fall colors, and the campus was beautiful in so many ways.

We arrived early evening in Pittsburgh, and brought Minny to some happy family members.  We had a super-sized Sunday coming up, and were off to bed early.

The next morning we moved to a hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, filled with football fans.  

We heard it being discussed that the subway was only a few blocks from our hotel and it was free.  It was easy to find, and a fun new experience for the boys.  

After days of researching online, we had Steelers tickets almost fall in our lap- and they were way better than anything we had looked at.  It was truly a day long experience- one Nolan has dreamed of since he was little.  It would be our first NFL game.

The subway took us right to the front gate, of Heinz field.

We felt like we were sitting on the field.  The sun was gloriously warm, and despite the Steeler's quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, being injured, the fans were die-hard and very entertaining.  I wondered at times if we had somehow walked onto the set of a Real Housewives show, with the "competitive banter" flying back and forth between some Patriot fans interspersed with the Steelers fans.

We hadn't thought to bring our Terrible Towels, but it was really cool to see them in person.

A friend put me in touch with her friend living in Pittsburgh.  He said if you want the authentic Pittsburgh experience, you have to eat at Primanti's Bros.  Its a sandwich with your choice of meat- from sausage to salami to knockwurst- but the sides of coleslaw and crisp french fries?  Come right on the sandwich.  Its clever, and more tasty than you can imagine.  

The game didn't end with a big win for the Steelers, but we had a wonderful first day in Pittsburgh.  We have so much more to come... but first... 

It's infusion Tuesday already.  I see Dr. P today and go over my lab results.  

My spirit is strong, but my body can't always keep up.  The fatigue nags at me, food upsets my stomach, and it slowly has occurred to me,  it may never be any different.  Sometimes, the more I try to hang on to, the more slips through my grasp.  

So I'm just going to keep breathing deep, staying in today, and trying to surrender the "knowing," to the one who knows all.  

Friday, October 21, 2016

tackling cancer with the Spuds...

My heart started to pound a little with nervousness.  Mr. Cole wanted to talk with Rick and I, as we arrived for school conferences for Colton.  Could we step inside the conference room?

I try to not be overly concerned.  

But Mr. Cole assures us it has very little to do with Colton, and everything to do with Rick, and I.

In honor of "tackling cancer," night at the Spud Football game, would I like to carry the football out to the coach at the start of the game?

It was Jim Gotta who carried the ball the game before.  And before that, Chase Morlock- both football heroes from Moorhead.  

And now I was being asked? 

It's clearly written all over my face how honored I was.  The boys too,  didn't hesitate to walk with us.  

It was pretty chilly last night.  But when the National Anthem finished playing, we heard our names and began the walk from the goalpost out to where Coach Feeney and his players awaited us.  

I handed the ball off to Coach, who then leaned in and hugged me.  Then Joey, a senior football player, handed me the beautiful pink roses and hugged me as well.  

We turned for Rick's Dad, Jim, to take our picture and then scurried off the field so the football game would start.  

So proud to be a Spud.  

It was Erin, the PA I saw last week for my doctor's appointment.  My tumor markers have started to climb.  We simply watch the way they trend, and with increases the last 3 times or so, it's likely time to scan again soon, and re-evaluate treatment.  

So we're coping with it all in the best possible way- we're running away!

Yep- all 4 of us! 

We're Pittsburgh bound in a few days! 

We'll have a house full of friends and family watching Crosby for us, as we load up the truck and go.  

My one word for 2016, is choose.

When I think of "expanding" my time- living the length, the width and the depth of all my moments is exactly how I will "choose" to live as full as I can.  

Trip photos to follow soon!! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

When God winks...

It happened on October 14th, 2011.  Five years ago, today.  I was extremely humbled and honored to have my very first story published in the on the minds of mom's magazine.  It popped up in my "On This Day," reminder in Facebook, today.  Of course it did.  Just pinch me now.  I couldn't have possibly known, somehow this would be a "God" wink to me.  

It's been a hard week of loss, and grief.  Our dear friend Karla Johnson, the one in the video I shared, who had asked for Matt Cullen's stick for grandson Brody, went home to be with Jesus, last Friday.  Although I had infusion this Tuesday, I wouldn't have missed Karla's prayer service, Wednesday for anything.  Karla has taught me well.  Her love of her family was so much of what she talked about with us at our group.  She was the mom of 6 kids, and grandmother to 3, with the third grandbaby arriving just before our Karla left us.  Karla was also a NICU nurse, at Sanford Health, having worked over 35 years in nursing.  One can only imagine the sheer number of babies Karla took care of.  
As my friends and I drove out to the small town Karla's service would be held, we weren't in the least bit surprised as the sky turned bright pink, on an otherwise cold and cloudy day.  So fitting in keeping with the spirit of Karla. Her family had even strung pink lights across their house, and wore Team Karla shirts. 

We arrived to a very packed school gymnasium.  The stands were full, as were all the chairs lined up on the floor.  Clearly, Karla had touched a lot of people. The vision of a "living legacy," stretched out right before my eyes. 

As we went to sit down, a woman came over to me.  She smiled and said, "I don't know if you'll remember me.  But I was the one who helped you in the ultrasound department when you were first diagnosed..."  Instantly, emotion washed over me.  I'm sure my hands flew to my face, and then somehow we simply embraced- locked in the moment that had happened just over 5 years ago.  I struggled with remembering her name... Michelle.  But that voice, and her beautiful face and the compassion that enshrouds her, brought me instantly back to that moment.  I have longed to go visit her over the years.  She truly felt like an angel, here on earth, sent to see me through one of the toughest days I have ever known.  (see below)

And here she was again- with Karla having brought us together.  Michelle even mentioned the magazine article, I've copied below, where I wrote about what she did for me.  It was a full circle moment of a huge magnitude for me.

I have felt a longing to write, while not clearly knowing what to say.  Psalm 46:10 has been on my heart lately, "Be still and know that I am God."  So I've been trying to listen more than I speak.  To quiet my mind.  Hush my heart.  Feel the sadness, while also remembering the joyful laughter we shared with Karla.  

Karla with her new baby grand daughter, Addyson. We have no doubt, Karla, the baby whisperer, is rocking babies in Heaven.

Imagine my surprise today, to see, it was precisely 5 years ago today, that I shared the story, of my journey with breast cancer, and how Michelle, so graciously shone light through the dark, and steadied my walk.  

I'm so humbled to say, I'm still living my moments, fuller than ever, counting my gifts as the list continues to grow.  

(This is not the news, I've been waiting to share- its coming soon.  But this is what was on my heart in this moment.) 

My story as it first appeared in on the minds of moms, October 14th, 2011.

"I'm whispering in their ears a lot lately, repeating the same messages. “When you need me and I am not there, you know you can always find me in your heart.” “I love you to the moon and back forever," etc. I have such an urgency for them to know my heart.
My youngest son is nine. Our relationship has grown especially tender. He still holds my hand when we walk to the park. He brings his blanket and curls up beside me to watch “cooking shows,” watching and pretending not to notice when I doze off. He has changed a lot these past few months, in all the ways 9-year-olds do, and in ways no mother wants for her child.
My 11-year-old is changing too. He is taller and faster. He consumes enormous quantities of food and is still starving 5 minutes later. But he has turned down three birthday parties and two sleepovers with his friends. Instead he sneaks upstairs to our room and sleeps on the floor next to my bed, just to be near me. He is stronger on the outside, but it belies how soft he is on the inside. My heart swells and aches for him.
The lump in my breast appeared last December. I knew the feel, the slightly jello like wiggle encased in what I assumed to be cysts again. I kept a careful watch on them. I cut back on caffeine. I got enough sleep. And yet they grew. In March it was time to see the doctor.
I recall at that time, I feel no panic, no worry. I've been here before. The exam, the mammogram and then the ultrasound. But urgency rears its ugly head. I am sent immediately for the ultrasound. The ultrasound tech, briefly examines me, lowers her eyes, walks out to speak with the doctor. She is somber, quiet when she comes back into the room. She flips on the ultrasound image. Its then that I see the blood-red, angry splashes leaping from the screen. “We think it has many characteristics of cancer... no, we know,” she says, “its cancer. I'm sorry to tell you, you have breast cancer. The doctor agreed I could tell you. I think you should be prepared. A lot is going to happen very quickly now. Surgery as soon as next week. Chemo and radiation too.” I find myself crying. Just like that? A few seconds and you can tell? I haven't even had a mammogram yet, or a biopsy. I learn that day, you can see cancer on an ultrasound if it’s big enough. Clearly, my tumor is big enough.
The tech brings me kleenex and my phone. How am I going to do this? I am filled with regret, worry, concern. My husband, my kids, my mom. What will this do to them? She, the tech, is compassion and concern. And it dawns on me, she is brave. She made a decision to be the one to tell me, and not wait for the doctor. I marvel at how she did that. And she hasn't left my side. In all my blubbery, salty-teared sobs, she stands witness, as my heart breaks. Yet a seed plants in my head. She is also courage. And she is showing me how to do this.
Later, it occurs to me, I chose the word “alive,” this year. Each year I choose a word as a theme and watch how it manifests in my life. I went with the word "alive" after my Dad died. I simply wanted to feel "alive" in everything that I do. “Fighting to be" alive was not how I hoped to experience the word. Life is funny like that. And oddly, 6 months past my diagnosis, breast cancer has kicked open the door to feeling my aliveness in ways I couldn't have anticipated.
After much reflection, I realize I have both an urgency to live, while at that same time, wanting to slow down enough to savor every moment of each day. And the key to really doing that? Expanding your time, instead of worrying about extending your time.
I feel more and notice more in the tiny moments of my day. The sweet smell of sunshine and sweat mixed in my son's hair after playing outside in the sun. How golden the sunshine is in August. How water lapping at my feet soothes my aching soul. How joy tickles and spills over when you delight in the small. And how gratitude in everything, even cancer, leads to wanting for nothing.
I have discovered grace can be found even in the most painful and seemingly hopeless times. Like the time my youngest got up in front of his entire second grade class at sharing time and boldly told them his mom had cancer. And that she was going to get better. The seeds of grace sewn by my second grader.
That was just the beginning of a tidal wave of grace and blessings I would receive, and cancer has made me take notice. I've learned to live my moments, feel my aliveness. Put my “grace glasses” on and live my best day today. To expand. Count my gifts. I am finding you can see them in the tiniest moments. If you are open to seeing them, they are all around us."

When you get lucky

When you get lucky

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