Signs and Wonders

I have heard it said, that big miracles don’t happen anymore, and God doesn’t speak to people the way He did in the Bible.  In the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma we’ve seen many stories of miraculous occurrences and people demonstrating a spirit of love and selflessness.  This got me thinking about the recent  miracles in my own life.


When I was first diagnosed, that first week was like an out of body experience.  I was on autopilot.  I’d hear myself telling friends and family about my diagnosis, but every time, it felt as if I was standing outside watching myself  through a window.

Once I’d had my lumpectomy and the not so stellar pathology report, sleep was not really happening.  After a few nights of staring at the ceiling for hours, I slipped quietly out of bed.  There on my knees, I asked, nope begged God for a sign. My own personal burning bush, a giant angel, anything to assure me that I could beat this. I wanted proof of life.  It wasn’t too long after my urgent plea, I found out I was pregnant.  While the ObGyn saw an obstacle to my treatment, that ultrasound heartbeat was my parted Red Sea.


What better symbolizes life than a heartbeat and a growing baby?  When it was recommended, I terminate, I didn’t consider it for even a moment, I knew without a doubt this pregnancy was an answered prayer, a reminder that I was not alone.

Now, the Lord never sent anyone with wings (well, visible ones) to speak to me, but I can see His hand in so much of the happenings in this past year.  I was scheduled for a PET scan shortly after my lumpectomy, but the doctor canceled the appointment over some confusion with my insurance. The little insurance snafu turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because PET scans and pregnancy do not mix.

There of course was the amazing team I found closer to home for treatment and the new obgyn that so graciously prayed for me and my unborn child.

Anytime I started to feel overwhelmed, discouraged, or anxious, I would get at least one encouraging phone call, text, package, and/or letter. Seriously, every single time.

 mail aw yiss its mail time silly stormageddon GIF

I mentioned sleepless nights earlier, but even before my diagnosis, it was hard for me to fall asleep.  I am a worrier and a little bit of a control freak, although I much prefer “strategist”.  I would lie in bed replaying the day’s events analyzing them, remembering everything I forgot to do, making plans for the next day or two…or five.  Once I decided to genuinely let go and let God, I now fall asleep with no trouble, well unless Dave is snoring, or Micah  can’t sleep because one of her eyelashes hurt. (True story.)

The most obvious miracle is of course the delectable baby I had in April, born healthy and happy. She is the happiest of happy babies, always giggling, gurgling, and smiling.  Just in case the adorable baby wasn’t enough of a reminder, and because I believe God is thorough and wanted there to be no doubt that it was His involvement, look at this birthmark.


Now, y’all can go ahead and zoom out, the birthmark does not look like Jesus, the cross, or Mother Mary.   Her birthmark is in the exact spot where my lump was located and pretty much the same size.

9Now reaction wow mrw omg GIF

Now many of you will chalk this all up to coincidence, and that’s fine.  I say, “Well played God, well played”, because I know He gets me and probably got a kick out of my face when I saw it there, and heard the pediatrician describe its location the exact way the location of my lump was documented.

Chemo Chronicles

My second round of chemo began Monday May 8th, just two weeks after delivery. I was so disinterested in going to that first infusion, and not because of the chemo, but because I didn’t want to leave my little nugget.  The only thing that made it bearable was knowing lil’ bit was in good hands with my friend from work Robin, who graciously volunteered to keep her on chemo days.

I mean, would you want to leave this cuteness?

The plan for this round is a two-hour infusion every week for 12 weeks.  I tolerated the previous chemo, aka the red devil, exceptionally well, so this chemo should be a breeze according to my physician.   I mean it is still chemo, my cells are still being obliterated, so there are bound to be some consequences.  Per my info sheet from the pharmacist potential side effects are: mouth sores, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, joint pain, fatigue, “chemo brain”, hair loss, neuropathy, decrease in white blood cells (well, duh), and many more.

Side effects

The first two weeks went by without any noticeable side effects.  As the treatments progressed I began to notice the fatigue, which may be amplified by the demanding infant care schedule. There were days when holding Yuri wore me out, and standing at the stove to make dinner felt like a workout.  My neighbor and I walk a couple of miles a few days out of the week, slowly I began to feel aches where I had old injuries. The shoulder I injured during powder puff football, the ankle I sprained playing volleyball, and the knee I injured playing sand volleyball just last year, all erupted into dull throbbing pain after each walk.


Just as I was rocking my super short hair do, it started falling out.  It was much too hot and I wasn’t going to sport the type II male pattern baldness for a single second. Once again, I was in my bathroom getting a buzz cut.


I have’ avoided the mouth sores, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite.  I did develop neuropathy in one toe on my left foot,  who knew that one toe can throw off your balance. The chemo brain is frustrating, but again it may be related to sleep deprivation. On my off days it’s as if my thoughts got on the elevator and decided to stop on every floor before getting to their destination.

Now the side effect I was not prepared for, or maybe I just didn’t read far enough down into the less common side effects, was “menopause like side effects”.  Y’all I am full on hot flashes and night sweats in this Florida summer heat.  There have been plenty of times that I genuinely believed I was going to spontaneously combust.

At any given moment, fans blowing and AC cranked to freezing.

I only have two more treatments and all in all, I can’t complain.  I’m doing my best to stay active, I always keep a cool drink within arm’s reach, and Thursday is my designated nap day.  I am eagerly looking forward to getting my energy back, being able to properly thermo-regulate, growing some hair, oh and feeling my toe again.