Friday, January 2, 2015

December highs and lows

I'm not sure that I even took a breath in December.  I thought about writing my blog, but I was so busy  living life that there was no time to write.

December was a month of highs and lows. But I guess a lot of people may feel that way about the holiday season.

The month started with my outpatient breast surgery. I was anxious, nervous and afraid, and it brought back many emotions from my 2010 breast cancer surgery. But the surgery went as planned, and the results were awesome-NO CANCER!  And with that news I began to heal, both physically and emotionally. Once you've had cancer, I'm not sure you ever escape the "fear zone" of whether cancer will recur.  It's always in the back of your mind. But I'm able to say I'm 4.5 years cancer free!  And I realize how fortunate I am...
Recovering with my trusty duck...

But the most difficult news was that our friend, Mary, has ovarian cancer.  She had her first chemo treatment on her 55th birthday on December 5th.  And one week later, she had a stroke and was hospitalized.  She experienced many more strokes in the days to come, but the great doctors at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis found a way to stop the strokes with a powerful anti-coagulant.  We visited her twice in the hospital, and we believe she recognizes us and is able to understand our words of hope and love.  She has a tough road ahead: recovering from the strokes and resuming chemotherapy.  She is now at a rehab hospital/bootcamp receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy.

We pray for her daily, and I welcome your prayers and positive energy for Mary.  She is never very far from our thoughts...
Mary and her husband Stan during our trip to Kansas City in August

And my mom continues her treatment for lung cancer.  She is very tired from the radiation treatments, but that doesn't slow her down much.  She has an amazing attitude and ability to bounce back.  

We celebrated her 83rd birthday weekend in December with a cooking baking extravaganza!  
Mom with my brother Gary and sister Pam

Lunch with Mike, Pam, mom, niece Alex and sister-in-law Peggy


And more cookies!

 The month has been an odd mixture of sadness and joy.  We are painfully aware that we can't take a single day for granted.  And we realize how blessed we are to share Christmas with wonderful family and friends.

Here is some of the joy we've experienced this Christmas season...

Nephews Dane, Jeff and great-nephew Rhys in the middle

Rhys, Iron Man and Dane

Sister Jude, brother-in-law Ron, sister Ange and mom opening gifts

Enjoying a moment with niece Diane and great-nieces Violet and Alice

An evening with Kevin and Kathy at the Little Nugget in Danville IL

With nephew Adam
Annual Christmas Event at the Red Key Tavern with Pat, Bryan, Melanie and Chuck

Sharing Christmas Day with my sweetie

It's a new year now.  Though we don't know what it will bring, we live, love and cherish every single day.  And we know that faith and prayer will help us through the tough times.


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