Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This side of 5 years...

December 7th ~ Hmmm....so many memories for me about this day.  Growing up, it was a day of celebration for my Grandma's birthday & a day to remember those brave men and women who died at Pearl Harbor in 1941.  After my grandmother died, it was a day that I would remember her with happy thoughts and smiles.  Although I still have smiles when I remember my grandmother, now I think of this day in a much different way...

Five years ago today...
  • I became a breast cancer survivor;
  • I wasn't even 40 years old yet;
  • I had two small children (5 and three days shy of 8 yrs);
  • It really was the worst day EVER;
  • My amazing friends Paula and Michelle never left my side until Tim was able to fly home;
  • I had to figure out how to deal with the emotions, pain and dread of what was coming next;
  • I had a long 16 month road ahead of me with countless doctor visits, surgeries, chemo, radiation, and side effects from treatments;
  • I had to learn how to cope with being a cancer survivor so it wouldn't consume me.

Things I've figured out this side of five years...

  • Five is just a number, BUT... it feels a lot better to be on this side of it;
  • I am not freaking out as much regarding health issues (and I am staying off the computer to self-diagnose ~ direct orders from my husband);
  • My hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows all grew back ~ who knew nose hairs were so valuable!
  • I'm more thankful and more grateful for the people in my life;
  • I have finally realized that it's perfectly OK if someone doesn't like me ~ I know who my friends are ~ they are the people who were there for me then and the ones who still call to chat just because they want to say hello (if only we could learn that lesson in jr high);
  • My faith is stronger ~ but I still don't pray enough (working on that one);
  • Pink is a pretty color ~ even if it smacks me in the face every October;
  • IT might come back... BUT it might NOT ~ I'll figure that out IF it happens.
  • Every day, I still have to cope with being a cancer survivor ~ but now it doesn't control me.
I've posted my thoughts and also several projects about my cancer survivor journey over the last few years.  I hope you're not growing tired of my story, but that you understand this is a long journey of healing.  Sometimes I just need to write these things for me, as part of the healing process.

Pastor Tim Rowland from River Oaks Community Church, spoke to my heart using a verse from Matthew 8:23-26 about 15 years ago.  Thus, it is my "life verse" (and also the reason for my son's name).  The lesson for me was that I just need to trust in God's plan for my life ~ TRUST HIM ~ because He will calm the storms in your life.
  • Matthew 8:23-26 ~ "Then He got in the boat, His disciples with Him.  The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm.  Waves were crashing into the boat and He was sound asleep. They roused Him, pleading, "Master, save us!  We're going down?"  Jesus reprimanded them.  "Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?"  Then He stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down. "Silence!"  The sea became smooth as glass."

Since my diagnosis, each year on this day, my family wants to celebrate.  However, up until now, I still had too many bad memories & emotions attached to think of it as a celebration.   Well this year, like it or not, my husband is planning something.  I'm not sure what, but he is hinting ... I'll let you know if he ends up doing something.  More on that tomorrow.

Here are a few of the supplies I used on my pages:

Stamps ~ Our Craft Lounge (Vintage Swirls)
Ink ~ Palette (Chartrueuse, Ballet Blue, Toile Pink, Bella Rose)
Pattern Paper ~ My Minds Eye (Fine & Dandy ~ Tickled Pink)
Nestabilities ~ Square Scallop
Cardstock ~ Bazzill
Buttons & Flower Dies ~ PTI


Deb said...

Gorgeous, Kendra! I'm so sad you had to experience this, but I'm SO grateful you made it through and that you've made something positive of it! Love ya, girlie!

terriavidreader (IN-USA) said...

Kendra - thanks for sharing this with us! I love your positive attitude and I agree that it's hard to face that pink color sometimes! I'm a survivor too, just recently, but never had the severe case you did. Thanks for this encouragement!

Sharon said...

Hugs to you, my very dear friend.

AShu93 said...

This is a wonderful layout & you have such a positive attitute. I hope there are many more 5 year celebrations to come.

Anonymous said...

My Dear Friend,

Your positive attitude is truly an inspiration! I too, want to write and say "Happy Dec 7th"... because I know you are on the otherside of it now. But, it still doesn't feel "happy" to me either. It was one of the worst days of my life as well. It's downright terrifying to watch your best friend go thru something so incredibly tramatic. With that being said... I'm so thankful you are 5 yrs on the otherside and life is going so well for you! Love ya! Paula

MichelleY said...

Oh Kendra....it seems like yesterday when you called me with the news. It was a horrible day...and a rough way back through treatment....but look at you now. You are a faithful, strong, beautiful, healthy, and a more wise woman!!! You are my hero and daily inspiration. I love the daylights out of you, Girl!!! Michelle

PS...I can't wait to hear what Tim has up his sleeve. He's such a wonderful hubby!!

Betty Townsend said...

Praise God from whom all blessing flow!! I follow your blog and love your card creations. I did not know of your ordeal. Praise God you are a survivor. God still has much for you to accomplish!! Hugs!

MaGoooo said...

Yes PRAISE be God!! I'm so happy you have stayed strong & come through this struggle a stronger person/friend!

I LOVE this page, you always have a special touch to your pages my friend!!


i {heart} papers said...

I am so glad you're here. {hugs}

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