Friday, April 21, 2017

Ob la di... life goes on

After I had my PET scan on a Friday, it was early the next week I received a call from Dr. Panwalkar.    Progression, was the gist of the call, my cancer had progressed, some areas worse than others- and one area in my right lung actually showed some improvement.  But it was evident I needed to change treatment, and we had spent ample time deciding which one I would do.  

I'll get to that in just a bit...

Because really?  It isn't where my focus lies these days.  I've detached a bit.  I simply don't know, can't know- do I even want to know(?) what lies ahead?  I have eyes for the here.  For the now, and the nearly now... just now.  

So what do you do with your time?  Well...

I cooked a meal.  We've received way more meals than I can count- every one of them leaving me with the desire to try some new recipes and up my game a little.  So I cooked, and the boys loved it.  Even though it took my whole day, and we devoured it in minutes.  I was so stinkin proud of that one meal.  Each day has somehow flown by, and I do little things, which feel so big, when it takes so much for me to do them.

And all of you?  Have found the most unique and clever ways to lift our spirits.

Like just last night...

Was that the doorbell?  A knock on the door?  We heard something in the front of the house...  But the fireplace fan was loud in the back of the house and the Penguins were playing- and I was out of bed sitting in the midst of the boys- watching with them.

So I didn't make it to the door on time...

But when I peeked outside... my heart stopped when I opened the door and found this!!  Ria who took all these photos of us- made us this beautiful canvas.  We've had a photo hook, on the wall, empty for the longest time... waiting it seems for this.  I moved it to get a picture of it...

As soon as the boys saw it they laughed and started the "Do you remember?" stories behind all the photos.  Remember how the marshmallows were huge!  And Colton was giddy over making s'mores.  We all loved checking out the grounds of Rustic Oaks.  It was such a great night...  and Ria captured it all so well.  I feel especially honored, when someone uses their talents, to graciously bestow such a gift on us.  Thank you, Ria!  These all breathe such renewed life into me, I can barely describe it.

I awoke to a special treat Saturday morning.  The Narum family brought us home made cinnamon rolls!  They were hot and delicious and devoured instantly.  I felt so touched they took the time to bless us with such a yummy gift!  Thank you Denette and Bill!  

We had a pretty low-key Easter.  As much as I longed to go to church and have a simple meal later at home, Grandpa Jim needed Rick and the boys at the lake.  He sold his lake home in Park Rapids and has limited time to finish clearing out all of the rest of the stuff in the garages.  

I was too weak to go to the lake, and to tired to even get myself to church, so I spent a quiet day at home.  It was just a few days past my Mother's 2nd year anniversary of her going to her heavenly home, and I was pretty melancholy.  I had even wanted to get some Easter things for the boys- who just didn't want anything.  I think I realized I wanted it more for myself, than anything.  I was so happy to have the boys all return home that night...

It was the very next day when the doorbell rang again.  It was a box... and the return address said Washington... and my heart started to beat just a little faster, and the tears finally fell.  If Linda only knew how much she "mothers me," just when I seem to need it most.  How did she so adequately send me so many of my favorite things?  Colton too- danced his victory dance upon seeing the sparkling cider.  Words of hope for me to hear, and to read with my eyes, and treats to taste- life-giving for sure.  

Thank you, Linda- its the sort of thing both my mom, and Rick's mom would have done for us- we miss them so- and you somehow gave us just the light we needed!  You're pure gift to me- and I treasure you so!

My friend Bonnie sent this home with Nolan and I clung to that message for days.  I had truly been anxious and nervous about starting another new chemo and I loved the message that rang so true in this scripture.  So thankful Bonnie!

The flowers came with a scrumptious meal- and while the enchiladas were devoured in short order?  The flowers are still going strong!  I will always love having fresh flowers around.  Thank you, Steph- you always get it just right!! 

When my friend Roxane came to visit, she gifted me with both chia tea, and this beautiful rosary!  I have always wanted to know how to pray the rosary, and this helps so much.  I have the rosary near my desk and love the weight of it in my hands, and seeing it glisten when the sunlight hits it just right.  So thankful for your thoughtfulness, Roxane!  

So here I am last week.  Having my first round of "red."  I was so nervous, and yet, somehow, through the grace of God, it went so smoothly.  I had steroids, and then the chemo.  I spent nearly the next 3 days in a jittery, high-energy, state of being.  But I didn't feel too sick, or too anything really.  A little more pain when I was maybe a little too ambitious with some cleaning... but overall, not too bad... until...

My hair fell out!  So fast!  It truly went from being on the thin side, to clumps falling everywhere.  And once again, God's grace rained down, as I just so happened to have a hair appointment scheduled for yesterday.  So sweet Amanda chopped my hair.  And shaved it in places.  And carefully left some hair in places where it may grow in?  Or it may all continue to fall out, as it is still doing.

So meet my new hairpiece!  I was so truly uplifted again, to know I had something to go to.  It fit perfectly, and simply reminds me of the hair I had once upon a time.  Its so soft, and healthy!  To all the wonderful women who contributed to the purchase of this beautiful piece of "real" hair,  I'm humbled beyond words.  Since Stella has been retired, I need a new name for this piece.  Ideas anyone?

I could literally go on... with pictures of the beautiful cards sent.  The gorgeous daily devotional that came in the mail.  The lovely visits I've had from so many...  so many things... 

I have a hard time truly understanding all of this... I'm keeping it pretty simple...

A memory came up on Facebook from after I was first diagnosed... one night a bunch of hockey moms had gathered, in my honor, and somehow we ended up doing karaoke at a local pub...  I had used this phrase... so we sang the song that night.  And its stayed with me ever since... 

Ob La Di Ob La Da... life goes on...

With gratitude and love to you all... 


  1. YAY for successful dinner making that is gobbled up in minutes but stays in the memory forever and literally became a part of your family in so many ways. So glad you were up for that on that day. And that Linda. Oh.My.Goodness. Her words here always bless me and I'm not even the tiniest bit surprised that she would send such a beautiful and loving care package. And even more friends who treasure you with actions in the form of gifts and meals and flowers. That photo montage is so meaningful and will bring so many continued joys.

    I'm glad you didn't feel any terrible physical effects but the hair falling out so fast must have been a hit. Good thing you had such a pretty wig to compliment that lovely face. I vote for "Audrey" in honor of Audrey Hepburn. She was classy, full of grace, had hair just that color, and was uber talented. That wig reminds me of her and you combined.

    Big hugs as you walk through the anniversary of your Mom's passing. You were so good to her and took such excellent care of her in spite of your own serious needs, and the demands of your poor body and its serious afflictions. No one could have done more, Vicky. Your grace to her and the love you showed undoubtedly blessed her beyond measure, especially in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.

    May this new medicine fight back - hard - and decimate the cancer while leaving your sweet self alone. I pray it is so. Love you, Vicky.

  2. Love this update! So happy you had the gumption to cook. I so get that. Thankful you have the wig and I second Robyn's suggestion for the name Audrey! Love you!!

  3. Thank you for the update. I lift you in prayer daily. So glad your dear friends and love ones shower you with fun things to make each day special.

  4. Thank you for this beautiful post and sharing the gifts you have been receiving. The new hair is gorgeous, as you are inside and out, and the love and light you shine into this world has come back to light your way on this journey. I am so touched by your faith!!

  5. You have sweet friends because you ARE one.
    Love comes full circle, my dear friend.
    I love you, and I pray for you daily.

  6. Oh honey,
    What a gift you are to my heart and spirit! Your words stay in my heart and mind and soul.
    You, and those words, come at just the perfect time for me (too).
    "I have eyes for the here. For the now, and the nearly now...just now."
    As I sit here, after reading this post coffee in hand, tears are streaming at the gift you just gave me...gave all of us. It is so easy to go to the past, to the "I wish I had as," the "shoulda, woulda, couldas." The "I would like a do-over or a different life story, please." But you, my dear soul sis, remind me that it is all really about having eyes for the now, for the Joys and Gifts, and LOVE abounding. For the meals, made with so much love, that they take a day to make and are devoured almost instantly. They knew what it took for you to do that and it fed their hearts and stomachs and souls. A piece of the wife and Mama. For the pictures that arrive that tell the heart of the story. And...I am so happy that your "surprise" brought you joy and even tears. Always know, honey, that at any time you need a Mama's touch... I am here. I am here, dear Vicky, I am here.

    While there may be a "progression of cancer and a change in treatment" that stings and brings
    anxiety at a new turn in the road, the biggest progression I see is the depth and breadth and
    bounty of who you are and how you are living each day. You know, more than most, that all shall be well. You are choosing JOY and LOVE and PEACE, no matter what.

    Love you, always, dear friend, to the moon and back.

    PS. I vote with Robbyn...Audrey. She was so spunky and darling and it fits you
    and your new beautiful look.

  7. Vicky... sounds like everyone appreciated their yummy meal. It is so great that you have so many friends that love and appreciate you. You continue to be in my prayers.

  8. As always, you inspire me. To live in the here and now. With joy. This post reminds me of a picture my mother gave me. "Those who plant kindness gather love." You, dear Vicky, are gathering love. And I vote for "Audrey". God bless.

  9. I like the name Hope for your new hairpiece. I love it! And, I love you! Stay strong, fighter! With lots of love, Emily

  10. I ADORE the canvas - pictures are my favorite thing in the world, but put those pictures on a canvas and I want to plaster the walls with them!

    My heart sank a little when I read the word progression; I continue to pray for better news. The one day at a time approach is so appropriate and we would all be a little better for it if we could remember that philosophy.

    Also. The hair is perfection!

  11. What a beautiful post! More so what a beautiful you! I love Audrey but to me.... I just see Vicky! and to me Vicky holds everything that is grace, beauty, love, kindness, friendship, faithfulness, gratitude. wisdom (and so much more)and that charm that makes us all gravitate to you! I love all the fun gifts and that canvas is perfection! Vicky your soul shines through. As sick as you may are a human sparkler and you shine with such true 'beauty'. I would not even know the battle you are fighting from your pictures! The soul is ageless and timeless...your soul... well it just emulates all that is 'good'. Love you soo.... continued prayers and love being sent your way! xoxox

  12. Dearest Vicky,
    You have been on my mind and heart all morning. I just wanted to send you a huge hug
    to remind you that I love you to the moon and back! I've been praying especially for your
    strength and stamina with this latest chemo.
    Loves, hugs and prayers, dear one!
    Your soul sis! Linda

  13. Seems several of us have you on our hearts and minds today, dear Vicky. Stopping by to check in and tell you that your name has been on my lips several times in the last week. Love you and sending hugs and hope for endurance and strength and, through it all, moments of joy and pure healing love.

  14. Dear Vicky,
    I began praying for you when Robin at "All Things Heart and Home" shared your story and ask for us to pray for you. That was a long time ago. I have been so blessed by your testimony. You have modeled grace, courage and trust.
    I continue to pray for you and your precious family.
    God bless you and be with you in the coming days.
    Bend, Oregon

  15. Dear Vicky,
    I began praying for you when Robin at "All Things Heart and Home" shared your story and ask for us to pray for you. That was a long time ago. I have been so blessed by your testimony. You have modeled grace, courage and trust.
    I continue to pray for you and your precious family.
    God bless you and be with you in the coming days.
    Bend, Oregon

  16. Dear Vicky,

    Thinking of you this Mother's Day. I hope it will be very sweet with God's incredible grace on all 4 of you! Much much love!


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