Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Update on Fighting the BIG "C"

Since I haven't blogged since July I feel like I should update what has been going on. I guess I was just too busy to get on here is the only excuse I can actually give. A lot has happened since last on here. I finished my last chemo treatment on August 1, 2015. Talk about a day of celebrating! Can't even describe what I felt that day. Bittersweet. So weird because I couldn't help but feel like a birdie being pushed out of the nest. When I was getting the chemo, although it was just a horrible thing to go through, at least I felt like I was doing something proactive, killing the cancer cells. Once the chemo stopped, I felt like I was no longer fighting and wondered if all the cancer was indeed gone. So far, all my CT scans I have had since then have come back good. Praise the Lord! Only thing it showed is a narrowing in my small intestines which is the issue I am dealing with right now. Since the day after Thanksgiving I have been having horrible stomach aches about 4 hours after I eat. It mostly hurts at night while I am trying to sleep. I have had a colonoscopy, barium enema, endoscopy, ultrasound and a HIDA scan. The latter to check the function of my gallbladder. My gastroenterologist wanted to rule out ulcers or gallbladder problems before I get thrown into a serious intestinal surgery, the tests came back normal. So, it must be the small intestines problem. From everything I have read, it is very common to have intestinal/abdominal problems after a hysterectomy or being cut open. We can get what are called adhesions. It may be adhesions or a possible tumor or something causing my small intestines problems. Only way to find out is to go in there and have surgery. I am having that next week. More than ready to get this behind me. I want to eat so bad. I can only eat toast and sometimes an egg and a banana. Needless to say, I am losing weight. Didn't want to lose it this way tho. Gotta take the good with the bad! My ca-125 blood test they give me to keep an eye on whether the cancer is recurrent has been going up which is not a good thing. It is possible that the abdominal problem could be causing this as inflammation can cause that number to go up. I sure hope it isn't cancer causing it again. My CT scans show none but who knows? I often wonder how doctors can ever tell you that you are really "cancer free?"

I had a very busy Christmas filling orders from my Etsy shop. I painted my heart out! I hope to get the brush back in my hand as I haven't really felt good enough to paint just yet. Hopefully after I have this surgery behind me I can move on. So much I want to do. I will, of course, share anything new I come up with. Have a happy and healthy 2016!

Oh hair is coming in really long and WHITE! So grateful to have a head full of hair again. Still debating on whether I will keep it white or not. It sure is a lot easier to take care of. Oh, the things we take for granted.


Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

Hard to believe I haven't been on here in 6 months already! Time to get back in the groove. Made these pork chops last week and they were just fabulous! EZ to make and they were so tender I could hardly pick them up to put them on a plate. I made a baked potato and cooked up a bag of chopped broccoli. I then put the broccoli with some of the gravy this recipe makes over the broccoli. Wonderful together! Hope you enjoy!

Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops
4-5 boneless chops
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkt. Ranch dressing
1 clove garlic, minced or 1 T. garlic (I use the jar kind)
½ c. chicken broth

Combine all ingredients but the pepper and chops. Sprinkle chops with pepper. Place chops in crockpot and pour soup mix on top. Cook on high 4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. Served with baked potato and chopped broccoli and put gravy on top.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Taking the Good with the Bad

I only blog about my ovarian cancer because who knows when someone that is fighting this other than me will find comfort in knowing they are not alone. It also serves as a sort of "journal" for me.

I belong to two special groups on Facebook, Teal Warriors and Teal Ladies and they have been a great comfort to me and they also have helped me in knowing what to expect and if what I am experiencing is normal. Such a wonderful group of ladies. Amazed at how many women out there are fighting this horrible cancer. I pray for them every day. If I haven't said it before, please get out there and get screened if you already haven't. Mine was found by another problem I was the grace of God. Who knows where I would be right now had I not found it. As bad as the chemo is, I feel blessed that we have the medicines and procedures to at least try and fight cancer. Makes me glad I am living in these times!

The good news right now is that I still haven't been nauseated even one day after 21 chemo treatments. The good Lord above is looking out after me. Many prayers are being answered. The bad news right now is that my hair has been falling out majorly the last 5 days. My pillow is just covered every morning when I wake up and my housecoat which is black is covered as well. I am trying really hard to deal with it and not let it get me down too much. I was just hopeful that with only 6 treatments, I would hold on to what was growing back before my surgery. I was without chemo for two months and it was thickening nicely. Oh well...back to the beginning again. I still refuse to shave it all off.

I was in the waiting room at the hospital a few weeks ago where I get my labs done every week before chemo and it just clicked in my head one of the reasons if not the most important reason I am probably going through this. I go back and forth thinking there is a purpose for me getting ovarian cancer. One minute I think there is a purpose and the next I think there isn't one. I know, without a doubt, one of the reasons I am most probably going through this is that I needed to rely on my faith again. I never gave my faith much of a thought for many, many years. I grew up in a Christian home and went to church every time the doors were open, up until I left home at 20. I have always felt like I have lived the most blessed, wonderful life. Most always things were perfect. Oh, I have had my share of grief like anyone else but for the most part, life is good. Then when you hear the words "you have cancer" your world you once had ceases to exist. Right from the diagnosis, I have prayed and found the faith that this is in God's hands and he is going to take care of me. He is the only one that can let me live a much longer life or take me home. He has given me the strength I never knew I had. I have had several devastating events in my life where I found more and more strength. I should be Superwoman now I have so much strength! LOL I have swayed away from talking to him daily and praying and just being closer. Going through cancer can certainly wake you up and reel you back in. I get a comfort talking and praying to him that I know I'd never had if I didn't believe. Something just comes over me and calms my soul. I know that I'm not alone in this journey.

I have had a few days where I shed a few tears but not many. I have no reason to feel sorry for myself when there are kids out there that are fighting more things worse than I. I feel I have lived a full life at 59.

Well, I won't jabber on and on but just felt I needed to blog about my cancer today. I don't like to bring people down because I am the eternal optimist. Glass is always full. I embrace every day with gusto! Hope you do too! Hugs! For those of you fighting any health problem, I pray you too will find the strength and faith in God as I have. It sure helps!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Trash to Treasure - Makers Mark Bottles

Can ya tell I love to take trash and make it a treasure? Just makes me completely happy doing so. What's better than free things to paint on? I can't think of anything. This week I got an order on my Etsy shop to paint a Makers Mark bottle santa and Grinch. I just think the red wax is so cute on the hat. Hope you like it too! Remember, you can order with me right now for these or any of my other things on Just trying to drum up a little business as it is always a bit slow this time of the year. I love to keep busy! Thank you!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Best Mom Ever!!

13 years ago today I lost my mom to a tragic accident. She was going down her basement steps and fell and never regained consciousness. She unfortunately hit her head right in a spot that caused her to be "brain dead." That was the most tragic day of my life...even moreso than finding out I had ovarian cancer. Wow...first time I have ever used the word had, as in past tense. So grateful that I can say that. Anyway, today is about my mom...I know instead of being sad about her passing, I need to celebrate her life today. I am so lucky to be able to call her mom. God could not have given me a more perfect mom. I so hate to see kids that aren't close to their mothers or are at odds with them and not even speaking. They need to embrace their mothers.

My mom was the most creative and talented and giving person I have ever known. She could sew, sculpt, paint, cake decorate, cook and so many other things. She was good at anything she undertook. Most of all she was the most giving person. At her funeral, we stood for 5 hours greeting people that loved her and what a testament that was to her. Almost everyone had a story of her making or giving them something. I am so proud to be her daughter! I try so hard to be the daughter she would be proud of. When I go to do something, I almost always have her in would she handle this or what would she do? Such a role model!

So to all of you out there that still have your moms...I say right now...go call them or see them...hug them...tell them you love them! Embrace your mother! Love her like no other! You will be so glad you did! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! This picture is of my mom and I at a 4th of July craft show that we did together. Oh, how I miss her creativity and crafting with her!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Not Your Normal Baked Beans

I don't know about you but during the summer I just love baked beans when I grill my burgers and hot dogs. They are such a great side dish. Well, these baked beans aren't your normal ones...the addition of the lima beans and red kidney beans make them even more scrumptious! I started making these several years ago and every time I make them I get so many compliments and everyone wants the recipe so here it is! Enjoy!

Bean Casserole
l can (l6 oz.) lima beans
l can (20 oz.) Porn N Beans, undrained
l can (l6 oz.) red kidney beans, drained
l/2 c. green pepper, chopped
l-l/2 c. celery, chopped
l-l/2 c. onions, chopped
Salt to taste
l/2 t. garlic salt (opt.)
l-l/2 c. brown sugar
l c. ketchup
Bacon strips, raw

Mix together. Layer with bacon. Bake 350 degrees for an hour or until bacon is cooked.
l2 servings

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Santa Loves Sand Castles Lightbulb Ornament

As promised this is this year's tropical santa lightbulb ornament I designed and painted. Who doesn't love to play in the sand at the beach? When we go on vacation, the first thing I do is take off my sandals so that I can feel the sand. Just love it. A lot of people are turned off by it but it makes me feel like I am truly in paradise. We go to St. George Island, FL every year which is on the Gulf. I don't know if I ever could go back to the Atlantic after being on the Gulf. The sand is so white and the waters are so much clearer and blue. I used to go to Myrtle Beach every year with my girlfriends and I do miss that trip so maybe I would go back after all. This guy is sold in my Etsy shop: