Sunday, September 14, 2014


I was meaning to post earlier this week but just wasn't feeling like my normal self.  I don't know what it was but I was just kind of in a funk all week.  Jamie and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last week which I should have been so happy about but I kind of found myself wondering if I would be around another 10 years to celebrate our 20 year anniversary.  So instead of celebrating that past 10 years, I was just praying with everything in me that I would make it another 10 years.  A really dismal thought but I just couldn't shake. I also was very bummed about the fact that my hair is just not growing in very well at all on the right side.  So stupid and trivial but this past week I kind of came to the realization that I will not be pulling off any sort of "cute pixie" hair style because you can see a lot of scalp on the right side of my head; the hair is growing back SO thin.  Then there was the fact that I was at the Cancer Center Thursday to get my prescription for my 6th month of chemo.  HALF WAY!!! Again, seems like it should be something exciting but again I found my mind wandering to dark thoughts.  The past six months have FLOWN by, it's like I blinked and I am half way done with chemo.  For me, I don't want time to fly by.  I am most likely not going to live to be 80 years old, hell I am just hoping with all my might that I see the boys graduate from high school, maybe even see them get married, have kids of their own.... and I know that I may not be around to see all those moments.  So I kind of want time to stand still.  Realizing that six months has gone by so quickly kind of sucks, kind of makes me cry, kind of put me in this stupid funk! 

I was trying so hard to get back to my positive self but I was really struggling.  I think Jamie could tell and he was trying his best to help.  Then Thursday I had my monthly doctor check up.  I usually enjoy going, everyone at the Cancer Center is SO amazing, full of smiles and positivity but I walked in and just wanted to cry.  After my blood draw I went into the bathroom and as I was washing my hands I saw an older woman that I have seen there many times before.  Usually while I am at the Cancer Center I make a point to look at people in the eye and smile but Thursday I just didn't have it in me.  When I finished washing my hands I walked by the women to grab a towel to dry my hands I could tell she was looking at me, I looked up and she looked and ME in the eyes, smiled and said "hi" in the most warming and friendly voice.  Just that one little smile and I slowly started to get out of my funk.  That one smile was the start of a whole chain of events over this past weekend that have brought me back to where I like to be.  SMILING and thinking positive!  I truly believe that having a positive attitude is helping me battle this brain tumor just as much as my radiation and chemo.  

Since my diagnosis, I have felt strangely at peace with my health and have this sense that things happen for a reason.  I was visiting a friend at Children's Hospital last week , her son was in the hospital.  We started talking about my brain tumor. I don't talk about it too much and I think a lot of people think that radiation and chemo will BEAT it and that I will be in remission or whatever.  That's not really the case with brain tumors.  It will never go away.  Our goal is to keep it stable as long as we can and that each time it starts to grow we have to try and fight again and at some point it just won't respond to treatment.  She asked how I stayed positive, a lot of people ask that.... I guess I just feel that this whole "mess" came into our lives for a reason.  I feel like God has a plan for me, I am not a super religious person but I do feel that he is using me to help others, to motivate and inspire people that may be in need, to spread the positivity and smiles to everyone I know.  The chain of events that happened this weekend surely confirmed for me once again that there is some sort of bigger plan.  The last few days have shown me more than ever that I need to keep my positivity and keep that smile! 

It all started with that smile in the bathroom on Thursday.  Usually I am the one always making a point of smiling at everyone while I am at the Cancer Center and the very first day that I am there feeling down, someone smiled at ME!  

Then on Friday I took a nap and when I woke up I found a text from a friend.  This is the friend I visited at Children's hospital earlier in the week.  Back in December when I underwent my brain surgery, my sister in law Amy bought me a pair of Ugg slippers.  I have never owned anything Ugg in my life and it was one of the most generous and appreciated gifts ever!  Well when my friend's son was admitted to Children's for an extended stay I paid it forward ordered her a pair of Ugg slippers to wear while she was at the hospital caring for her son. This was the text she sent me two days ago.

She was paying it forward as well!  Proof that I am making a difference.  My small act of kindness is spreading to someone else who hopefully spreads it to someone else... and so on and so on! 

Then I sent over the photo below to Lindsey, the amazing woman who came into my life to get me a wig but really came into my life for MUCH bigger reasons.  

Well I just sent her this photo telling her how I was having an emotional breakdown about my hair and how thin it was growing back in some parts.  She sends me back the following message:

Telling me that it's all going to be okay and that she is thinking of starting a charity to give away wigs to women in need.  Once again, an example of how in small way, I am part of a bigger plan.

I mean if those three situations weren't the proof I needed to keep chugging along, keep being positive, keep smiling.  If that wasn't proof that I am being used as a tool in a MUCH bigger plan....I don't know what it was!

 I have mentioned before how much I LOVE photography.  It's kind of my escape, a chance to do something I love and forget about everything else. In the past week or so I have kind of been contemplating how much more I want to do it, I just hadn't been feeling myself, was I over doing it... should I just focus on my health and my family?  Well Saturday morning I got to work with the most adorable family.  Their middle child was crying the second they opened the car door.  He didn't want to take photos and didn't want anything to do with me.  Well by the end of the session, him and I were total buddies and he was crying that I was leaving and not going on a nature walk with them.  May not seem like a big deal but I got in my car with a renewed sense of happiness, it was like a little sign....a little reminder of how much I love photography, how crazy I would be to give that up, how CRAZY I would be to not share that gift with others, how great it makes me feel to know I captured images that a family will treasure for years to come. Then to top it off my song TIMBER was playing on the radio!  It's not played on the radio very often any more, that SURELY was the final sign I needed to get my mojo back and I can assure you I turned the volume up and sang as loud as I could and danced in my car by myself. 

Finally back to feeling like myself again! 

So I guess the moral of this post, is STAY positive, use the gifts God gave you, appreciate every day, be kind to those around you... simply put .... SMILE!  It's so easy to go about our day to day lives and focus inward but guess what?....  When we can choose to look at people in the eye, we can choose to SMILE at them.  Chances are they will smile back.  So simple, it takes nearly no effort at all and it could have such an impact on someone's day. 

So as tomorrow marks the start of my 6th month of chemo, do me a favor and make a point to smile tomorrow.  Put down your phone as you walk around and look at people and smile.  You just never know what that little smile could mean to them tomorrow! 

And I will wrap up this blog with a few smiles of our own. 

Happy 10th Anniversary to my amazing husband Jamie who will finish reading this blog and think "so this is why she was so moody all last week". I love you a million times more than I could ever write in words.  You have been our rock through all of this.  I am so lucky to have you by my side each and every day.  Here's to another TEN years!!!

So get out there and spread the SMILES! 

"Count your age by your friends, not years.  Count your life by SMILES, not tears."

                                                                     - John Lennon

This blog dedicated to the woman who smiled at me in the bathroom on Thursday, you have no idea how much I needed it. :) 


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