Friday, August 17, 2012

Round 9....check!

Whew! I made it through another round, now comes the fun part, recovery! I can check off another number! ( I just love crossing things off lists!)

You are probably wondering how my two week challenge went. Well, the answer is great! I can officially say that I worked out every day for two weeks between my treatments.

The sad part is, I only lost 1 pound. :-(

However, I feel SO much stronger than I did before and I recovered from chemo so much faster.

I'm hoping to work out just as much this time around....and this time be a bit more disciplined with my diet.

The doctor said that even if I was doing everything perfectly right, it would be nearly impossble for me to drop a lot of weight right now. They give me steroids that cause you to retain and shift fluids around in your body. The hope is that once I'm done with chemo, the weight will fall off! That is...if I don't eat too many celebratory cupcakes! ;-)

So while I've been gaining and then maintaining my weight, my amazing husband has put me to shame and lost...wait for it...43 pounds!!! I'm so extremely proud of him and ready for the new healthy us! Just look at this guy!

This past Sunday we went on a 5 mile hike to Abrams Falls in Cade's Cove. It was lovely. The weather wasn't too hot, the hike was challenging enough, but not too bad, and the Falls were beautiful. It was so nice to get away an enjoy God's creation with my wonderful husband.

Ahhhh just look at that, doesn't it just make you feel calm and peaceful! I remember going on a hike when I was a camp counselor at Appalachian Christian Camp and Ryan Bader was the Dean. He told us that waterfalls were special because they weren't an absolute necessity. I mean, water needs to get from A to B, I get that, but God didn't have to make them so beautiful. He did so for our enjoyment. This is true about a lot of things in nature. We're so blessed to have a creator who loves us enough to give us pretty things to look at!

Some exciting things coming soon...we bought a sectional for our living room, my first attempt at making a piece of clothing for myself, and a refinished vintage phone table from the thrift store for our guest excited!

9 down, 3 to go!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Better than a Fairy Tale

I went running this morning in my neighborhood and let me tell you, it felt good! I'm doing the couch to 5K program and week 1, day 1 is checked off! Woo hoo! Color Run here I come!

When you go running, it gives you some time to think. I spent a while praying to God and begging him to use my life for His glory. It pains me to think that I could waste even one moment that I could be helping others or telling people about Christ. Cancer sure puts things in perspective.

As always though, my mind wandered to the baby topic. It's literally on my mind and heart all the time. When I was a young girl somehow this dream got planted in my heart.  I wanted to grow up, go to college (It was UGA at the time), marry my handsome prince and have LOTS of babies. While that dream has shifted somewhat over the years, the basic principle was the same. Marriage and babies was my fairy tale.

As I grew up and went to high school and college I had my first defeat. I wasn't as pretty or popular as other girls and I didn't have any boyfriends. I had a few guys interested in me, but I didn't have a real boyfriend until I was in my twenties. I went through some dark times and God had to remind me that getting married was not my purpose in life. I was meant to serve Him first and foremost. Once I let go of that, I found David and I got to experience marraige and all the challenges and blessings that come with it.

So.....babies....yeah that was next. Well, cancer stepped in. I stress all the time about how long I have to wait and how I wish I could just fast forward two years and get on with things.

So as I was running I was doubly struck with this urgency to serve my God and this stress about having children and I realized something pretty powerful.

Yes, I want my fairy tale ending.
But you know what? I want Jesus more. 

I want Jesus more because He is better than any fairy tale. He is better than any dream house. He is better than any spouse or earthly fame. Jesus is better. He DIED on a cross for me and ROSE from the dead. He offers ETERNAL life and FREEDOM from sin! He is better.

If nothing else is certain in your life, trust this.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Round 8...can you believe it?!

This past Thursday I went in for round 8 of chemo! People, this means I only have 4 treatments left!

God is so good! When I'm in my good week, I forget that I even have cancer, that's how good I feel! And I totally love being bald! It's so easy!

My mom and Granny came for this round and I was so glad to spend some time with them. We did some shopping and crafting...pretty much two of my favorite things to do. Plus David's brother and mother are coming tonight for a little visit on Kemper's way back to college.

Life is good!

I have issued upon myself and my friend Sarah a two week challenge. I did some research and found that working out is supposed to help you feel better during chemo.

Basically, I receive the chemo and it does its job immediately. Then I need to get those toxins out of my body as quickly as possible to minimize side effects.

Three ways I'm trying to do that are:
1. Drinking a LOT of water
2. Eating foods rich in antioxidants such as spinach, blueberries, avocados etc.
3. Exercising and "sweating" out the toxins

I told myself that I would work out every day for the two weeks between my treatments (not on actual treatment days.)

Sarah and I walked for an hour on Friday night and did the elliptical at the gym for 35 minutes on Saturday. I'm going to try and go for at least a tiny walk tonight, but the weather doesn't look promising. Plus Sarah and I ran around the preschool for three services this morning, so I think that can count.

I'll let you know about my progress and if it helps or not! So far I've had two pretty bad nausea days, but we'll see how it goes.

I thank God every day for healing me and keeping me safe. As my David said, "If it weren't for the development of chemo, Leslie would be gone within this year." yeah...sobering thought....

Thank you, God for inspiring someone to develop chemo and allowing it to shrink my tumors! I get more time on this earth because of it. Now what will I do with that time?

"Lord please do not let my healed life go in vain. Give me opportunities to share your goodness and love with others. Use me to expand your kingdom and share your hope with the world."

8 down, 4 to go!