Chemo Starts Tomorrow, August 1st

We just returned from an amazing time away with family and I have to thank my incredible husband for making it all happen.  He went above and beyond to create lasting memories for our crew so that over the next few months when I’m hooked up to machines at the hospital I’ll have those to dwell on.  I’m so grateful to have a spouse who is ALL IN and who gets it.


FullSizeRender.jpgIt’s those sweet smiling faces that will help me get through the next phase of this journey.   Tomorrow, August 1st, begins my chemo journey.  I don’t know how I really feel about it yet because I’m still unpacking and washing clothes from our trip. What a blessed distraction.  But I do know that as soon as Trevor and I got home today (thanks for picking us up at the airport, mom!), we hit the ground running to pick up my ‘cold caps’ and get a tutorial on how to use them.  Now we ALL know that re-entry after family vacation is tough (can I get an amen, moms?), but picking up THIS upon my return to Dallas makes me think I’ve reached an all time low in that department.



Nothing says ‘Welcome Home’ like a cooler filled with cold caps and a goodie bag.  Yippee.  I’m just praying I don’t look in that bag and find a t-shirt that says, ‘I went through chemo and all I got was this lousy shirt.’

My sister, Jennifer, was kind enough to go pick up the dry ice required to fill the chemo cold cap cooler with before we got home today.

IMG_5473.JPG.jpegNo one told her it would be in a warehouse with loads of truckers.  Not even me.  Good thing she fit right in.  Then they told her they were out of pellets and she’d have to go to a different dry ice company. They warned her that it was in a sketchy part of town, however, then gave her the address.  Jen giggled when she figured out it was in the neighborhood where we grew up (shout out to the OC).  If being sketchy is wrong, I don’t want to be right.


When Jen sent me this pic of the second location, however, I tried not to panic.  Here I am thinking that the whole process I’ve pinned my hopes on to save my hair is in the hands of the BACON EQUIPMENT CO., which apparently also sells Fire Extinguishers.  If worse comes to worse, at least I know I won’t go hungry or suffer from severe burns.

All that to say is that my Chemo Cold Cap cooler now has two new friends (the other one is behind my dog, who has literally not left my side since I got home which is another story for another time) filled with dry ice for tomorrow.


My house looks like it is one cooler shy of chaperoning a kindergarten field trip to the zoo complete with sack lunches.  IF.ONLY.

The schedule for tomorrow looks like this:

10:30 – blood draw

11:00 – appointment with oncologist

11:30 – chemo process begins (this should last approximately 3-4 hours total)

During chemo, my cap will be changed out appoximately every 20 minutes (each time with a new freezing cap – YIKES).  After I finish chemo, I will need to continue cold capping for 4 hours afterwards.  So tomorrow’s pretty much going to stink, let’s be honest.

But the Lord has been faithful thus far, and I expect nothing less tomorrow.  Just today my friend Aly left this on my front porch in preparation for the next chapter of my story.  IMG_5081.JPG

Yes, it made me bawl like a baby.  But it also just touched my heart in the deepest way possible.  I wish so badly Jen was here to sit with me tomorrow, just as I had done with her so many times.  But just as the blanket says, I WILL fight in her memory and I WILL beat this thing.  And I know 100% the Lord will give me everything I need to do so.  Like friends just like Aly.

I would love for you to pray for me if you think of it tomorrow.  The chemo process is bound to not only be physically difficult, but also emotionally difficult.  Thankfully, my family and a few friends will be going with me to Baylor.  My best friend from Boston, Kim, also flew in just to be here for tomorrow.  I may need a lot more kleenex by the end of the day because I already feel so overwhelmed with loved.  Send me texts, send me emojis, etc.  I will need every ounce of strength just to endure the cold capping process, not to mention this little thing called CHEMO and its fun side effects.

And those that have been following my story will not be surprised that my friend Stephanie will be undergoing her double mastectomy the day after tomorrow (August 2nd).  Not only do we like to dress alike, but apparently we like to cancer alike too.  Please keep her in your prayers as well.  This is such a surreal process, but we both know the Lord is in control and we trust that He will use OUR stories to tell of HIS good news.

We gathered with some of Steph’s friends tonight to pray for her upcoming surgery, and one of them made these amazing pink rice krispy treats.  It’s the little things that sometimes mean the most.


Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,


“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you…” 2 Thessalonians 3:3







Normal is Underrated

First of all, I never thought ‘normal’ could feel SO GOOD.  For the past 2 weeks or so I have felt like a normal person, acted like a normal person and actually looked like a normal person.  It has been FABULOUS.  My oncologist allowed me to postpone my chemo start date until after our family takes a vacation, which has afforded me extra time to heal from all of my surgeries.  It’s incredibly thrilling to not be on any type of medication but also to not wake up worried about how I am going to feel each day.  Thank you, Lord, for this gift of time!!!!

Feeling good has allowed me to do so many things that I have missed doing the past few months.  I was able to experience my middle son’s baseball World Series, where his team ended in 2nd place with a final score of 14-13.  It was an exciting series and I absolutely love watching him play.


Please note the pink laces are still on his shoes (insert lots of heart emojis here).


Jennifer’s mom, Jane, was able to join us for the final game and it was so fun to experience her signature “sports clap” during Hunter’s game.  Jane never missed one of Jen’s basketball games in high school, and you’d always know she was there because of that enthusiastic clap.  Thanks for being there, Jane!!  You too, mom!


Not only did I get to watch baseball, but I also got to reunite with my oldest son who returned from 2 weeks at Kanukuk the following weekend!  Two weeks away seemed like an eternity to me, and he looked like he had aged 5 years when I saw him.  I’m so thankful for my friend, Catherine, who offered to bring him home for me so I didn’t have to do the 16 hour round trip drive.  GOD BLESS MY FRIENDS.


My two oldest kids are not the most talkative kids in the world, but Hudson talked my ear off for 2 straight hours after he got home from camp.  I soaked up every single minute knowing as soon as he got sucked back into social media I might not have another conversation like that with him until he’s 25.

On Monday, I went to Dr. Potter’s office for a follow up visit from my latest surgery.  I actually forgot I had the appointment until the night before, so I didn’t plan ahead on having anyone accompany me.  The day of, I texted my friend Casey and asked her if she would like to join me.  That way we could catch up and I could check yet one more doctor’s appointment off the list.  Efficiency makes my heart sing.  My appointment went well and apparently everything is healing nicely.  So nicely, in fact, that I received another inflation.  Hello, what?!  Thank goodness, these are old hat by now and I was unfazed.  The same could not be said for poor Casey.  (I’m so sorry you had to witness that bizarre exercise, my friend.)

Then Tuesday rolled around and my friend, Melanie, came in town to drop off her daughter at SMU soccer camp.  Thank goodness she didn’t want to go back to San Antonio for the week, so she stayed with me and we’ve had a blast this week.  It was somewhat of an unconventional visit in that we skipped many meals, drove back and forth to SMU, branched off and visited other friends, and shopped at Northpark.  I believe we’ve never done any of these things on our previous visits together, but it proves that friendships over 20 years don’t need traditional entertainment to qualify as a success.


On this day, we actually had lunch with our friend, Sheaffer, and my sister Jennifer.  It might have been the only time in 72 hours Mel and I weren’t in our workout clothes, pjs or robes.  Let’s just say that laughter truly is the BEST medicine, and these girls know just the right dosage.


The Lord truly has provided me with so many amazing people in my life, and for that I am eternally grateful.  Being with friends makes my heart so happy, and helps make the road ahead less scary.

Speaking of friends, Trevor and I had the opportunity this week to visit with our friend Kay who is battling stage 4 double hit lymphoma.  Kay currently lives in Arizona, but was in town for a few days visiting her family, so we took advantage.  Trevor and Kay went to high school together (along with her husband, Brandon), and she and I have bonded recently over, well, cancer.  Blah.  This gal is a FIGHTER and such an inspiration to me.  We were able to sit on the couch and talk about life, treatments, God and hope.  It was such a special time for me, even amidst intermittent tears, and I literally could not be more grateful for her presence in my life.


I have approximately 12 days before starting my chemotherapy journey, and I am looking forward to spending those with my family in the mountains.  I pray that the strength I get from the Lord and from all of these beautiful people in my life will continue to carry me.  And even though I have no idea what to expect in the future, I feel as if my spirit is being renewed daily.  And for now, that is all I need.  Thank you for praying, for caring and for loving me so well.

Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,


“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10

MD Anderson Update

Today was the day.  My highly anticipated visit to MD Anderson for a second opinion.  I woke up at 4am this morning in preparation for my 6am flight to Houston only to find this text message on my phone.


Please note the time this message was sent by Southwest Airlines (2:42am).  I’m sure all the bats, opossums and raccoons were able to reschedule their flights while I slept through this text.

Knowing that my MDA appointment was at 8:30am, Trevor and I scrambled to figure out an alternate plan.  Houston, by car and without traffic, is approximately 4 hours away from Dallas.  In desperation, we were about to load up in the car when thankfully we received another text saying we were rescheduled on the 6:30am flight.  My sweet dad was already at our house and was prepared to either jump in the car or head to the airport with us.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief that it ended up being the latter of these two options.  Trevor has a tendency to view speed limit signs as mere ‘suggestions’, so my stress level would have been elevated had we headed out on the highway under those conditions.

Our flight arrived a few minutes late to Houston where my precious friend Molly met and picked us up.  Contrary to my statement yesterday, Molly was TOTALLY punctual.  It turns out the only one on ‘Watson time’ was Southwest Airlines.  Mol jumped out of the car and let Trevor take the wheel knowing we were in a hurry to make it to the hospital on time.  Trev had the app, Waze, already cued up and pulled away from the curb before my dad even made it in the car.  Or so it seemed.


Within what seemed like minutes (and miraculously with no speeding ticket), we pulled up to the massive MD Anderson complex.


Upon arrival, my dad, Molly, Trevor and I were met by the nicest volunteer who escorted us to the exact location of my appointment.  We checked in and were seen soon thereafter by the nurse.  Everything moved very quickly with military like precision, and I was very impressed.  After the nurse left the room, however, we waited and waited and waited for the physician.  Thank goodness Molly is a good entertainer and was the only one in the room that had actually gotten a decent night’s sleep.  She was able to keep the conversation ball rolling while the rest of us fought our yawns.  We even managed to get some pics during our down time.





Yes, we had LOTS of down time.

The physician finally came in the room and proceeded to go over my case.  I was thrilled to hear that her thought process was exactly like Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s.   She confirmed the diagnosis of Invasive Ductile Carcinoma (those words still make me cringe), while also stressing this is a very treatable type of cancer.  She also mentioned that the pathologists at MDA found lymphovascular invasion of the cancer cells as well (not to be confused with lymph nodes).  This was a little unsettling to me, but she explained that some cells had made their way into the vessels stopping short of reaching my actual lymph nodes.  To which I say, THANK GOD.  This doesn’t change anything we are doing, but just adds a little more information to the equation.  Based on everything she reviewed, she could go either way on recommending chemo at this point.  There is evidence to support that chemotherapy might improve my percentage of not having a recurrence, albeit only by a few small points.  So one would have to weigh whether it was worth going through the process of chemo just to gain 2-3 percentage points.  (To which I say, yes, yes it is.)  In the end, she recommended I do what would give me the most peace of mind at the end of all of this.  And as much as I dislike the prospect of chemo, it is most definitely the treatment plan that will give me the feeling that I have done everything I could possibly do to beat this unwelcome interruption in my life.

I am grateful for the confirmation and clear direction the Lord allowed from this visit.  Many of you prayed for me today to receive just that.  So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Trevor, my dad and I hopped on the next plane back to Dallas after my appointment was over…


…and once we got home I changed into my pajamas faster than Trevor drove on Interstate 610 today.

These appointments are emotionally exhausting.  There is always something new to process, and I’ve learned it takes me at least 24 hours to recover.  So please pardon me if this post doesn’t even make sense or if there are lots of typos.  I just wanted to update you as quickly as possible because so many have reached out to find out how it went.

I also want to thank my mom who held down the fort here while we were gone.  She was able to take Hunter to his baseball game today, where his team had another victory.


And because of that, I get to go tomorrow to cheer on #8 and the rest of the Tigers as they advance in the World Series!!

Hopefully pajamas are acceptable attire.

Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,


PS: Thanks to Marla for taking care of Hayes today and to Catherine for picking up Hudson at camp for me!!  And thank you MOLLY for sacrificing your day to be with me!  I literally could not do this without the help of my friends and family!!



Good evening, friends.  Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support following my recent surgery on July 6th.  And by support, I mean texts with the following pics saying ‘I’m thinking of you’:



I’ll never be able to walk through the candy aisle at Walgreens again without being reminded of this glorious season of my life.

The surgery itself was a huge success in that it was fast,  I was in zero pain afterwards, and had no negative side effects from the anesthesia.  PRAISE GOD!!  The only benefit of multiple surgeries is that due to trial and error, we were finally able to successfully customize my anesthesia cocktail.  Think NikeID but with Propofol.  That, plus the Fast Pass actually worked!  I didn’t even sit down in the waiting room because they took me back to my room immediately upon check in.  One might say it was SO fast that I almost got ‘niplash’.  I feel like as far as hospital visits go, this one will end up in the W column.  My family, along with Kim and Amy, were able to come support me, for which I am so grateful.

The past few days have been a little crazy.  I’ve been accompanying my friend Stephanie to her doctor’s appointments, and at last count we were up to 6 appointments in 3 business days.  Efficiency is our strong suit.  To those not in the cancer world, I realize that sounds like overkill.  But when you are choosing a physician to remove cancer from your body (surgical oncologist), as well as choosing a physician to reconstruct your body (plastic surgeon), doing your homework is of utmost importance.  With each appointment, we learned something new and valuable.  I’m pretty sure at this point I know just enough to diagnose someone, but not enough to qualify as a bonafide oncologist.  At one of Stephanie’s appointments with my surgical oncologist, the nurses even asked if I wanted to go ahead and be seen for a follow up since I was already there.  Well, yes I do thank you very much.  Are you gathering about now how incredibly bizarre this whole thing is?  Steph and I are big fans of the Buy One, Get One Free concept, but not necessarily in this scenario.  Later, Stephanie even joked that when we she visited my plastic surgeon’s office, she would just tell him to forget his whole spiel and she would simply say, ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’

I love my friends.


(I did want to note that Stephanie and I have been spending so much time together that literally we are starting to dress alike.  #offtheshouldernavyandwhitechecksforthewin)

Tomorrow, Trevor, my dad and I are heading to MD Anderson in Houston for a second opinion.  My friend, Molly Watson, will pick us up at the airport and act as our tour guide for the day.  Molly, bless her heart, has a reputation for being fashionably late.  Everywhere.We.Go.  When I told my ever so punctual husband that Molly was responsible for getting us to my 8:30am appointment, my middle son Hunter (who overheard us) said, ‘Is she going to be on Watson time?’.  She’s so fashionably late that we’ve even coined that term just for her.  I’ve stressed to Molly that we don’t have to be fashionable tomorrow and that on time is actually late, so I feel confident she will pull through and we won’t be a minute over 8:31!!  Love you, Mol, and cannot WAIT to see you!

My prayer for tomorrow’s appointment is that other expert eyes will review my entire case history and concur with Dr. O’Shaughnessy regarding the upcoming 4 rounds of chemotherapy.  Dr. O was a fan of me getting a second opinion and I love her even more for that.  I’m hopeful that the MD Anderson physicians won’t recommend more comprehensive treatment, but am open to hearing what they have to say nonetheless.  Thank you for praying along with me for the wisdom and discernment of these physicians.

As for cold caps, you guys are a wealth of knowledge.  Thank you so much.  You’ve shared so many success stories, and I am optimistic that it might actually work to some degree.  And while I’m amazed by this process, I’m still completely overwhelmed by all it entails.  Having a frozen apparatus on my head for 7-8 hours might be the second item I’d put on my ‘Things I Never Want To Do’ list.  And if the first wasn’t ‘Go Bald’, I might punt the whole idea.  But I’m going to give it a try and hope for good results.  Even though Jen and a host full of my friends (Kay, Lezley, Sterling, Sheila, Laura, etc.) have pulled off the bald look beautifully, I’m not sure I share their astounding courage and bravery.  Either way, I know I’ll be fine.  But I’m willing to freeze my follicles and see what happens!  (A huge thanks to Natalie for walking me through this process!!)

Lastly, per my request, Dr. O is willing to let me start chemo after I get home from our family vacation.  I’m so thankful for so many reasons.  Since my diagnosis, I have felt tethered to my house.  With so many appointments, tests, surgeries & scans, my schedule has not been my own.  And that constitutes a claustrophobic feeling.  I have missed so many of my son’s baseball games this season, which makes me sad.  I love watching my kids’ games and since I have all boys, that’s how I spend most of my free time.  Thankfully, I have been able to see his last two games and am cheering on the Dallas Tigers during the World Series this week (especially #8)!


After baseball season concludes, our family will be heading out of town for a much needed vacation.  Something tells me I won’t be taking this one for granted.

My chemo start date will be August 1st and I will have it every 3 weeks until October 3rd (which, in keeping with my special occasion theme, will be 2 days after my middle son turns 15 and one day after my oldest son turns 16 #happybirthday #irishtwins).  You can’t make this stuff up.

The Lord continues to provide peace, encouragement and guidance throughout this process.  He gives me just enough distraction to not dwell on little aches and pains along the way.  And He shows me love through YOU.  Each and every day.  Thank you for caring for me and my family.  We feel so humbled and blessed.

Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,


PS: “In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18






Another holiday, Another surgery

All of my cancer related ‘events’ keep falling right around holidays or special occasions, and this one is no different.  HAPPY 4th of JULY.  Tomorrow I will be having my self entitled ‘nipplectomy’, and I guess you could say that even nips deserve the same freedom we’ve all been privileged enough to receive. #setthemfree #GodBlessAmerica.


I wish so badly you could read the group text I share with my friends, because there’s everything from ‘Peace Out, Nips’ to ‘Nip, Nip Hooray’ on there.  My people are way too serious.

Ashley took me to have blood work done on Monday (because cancer never sleeps).  While I was there, however, the hospital employee said I could pre-register making everything move faster on the day of surgery.  Ummmm…is that a good thing?  After filling out my paperwork, the lady behind the desk actually handed me a VIP Speed Pass card.  To which Ash and I deemed akin to the FAST PASS you receive at Disneyland.  So, I’m totally pumped that I’ll be first in line at Splash Mountain tomorrow.  Or something like that.


The past few days have been busy for us, and that’s a good thing.  I’ve learned that being busy keeps my mind off of the next few months I have in store.  Monday night, we joined my friend Casey and her family for dinner and early fireworks (I forgot to get a pic and I know Casey is THRILLED about that).  Then Tuesday (the 4th), we went to my friend Amy’s house to enjoy some amazing food and hang with her family.  Jennifer‘s mom, Jane, joined us which was so much fun.  Amy and I met on the first day of first grade at FBA and have been friends ever since.   When Jen enrolled at our school in 6th grade, we had the privilege of getting to know Jane as well and have loved her for well over 30 years!


(We didn’t plan on red, white and blue, but I know Jen would have loved our coordinated holiday outfits!)

Today, however, after the holiday and time spent with friends was over, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.  I guess there’s a part of me that still hopes I’ll wake up one day and realize this cancer thing was all a dream.  A very bad dream.  I don’t allow myself to dwell there, but I would be lying if I said those feelings don’t happen.  I quickly grabbed my Bible and Jesus Calling book, however, and was reminded again of how much my Savior loves me and how much he is in control.  Jesus Calling said, ‘You will never be in control of your life circumstances, but you can relax and trust in My control.’  It was accompanied by Psalms 56:3, which says, ‘When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.’  So I recommitted my trust to and in the Lord, which is rapidly becoming a necessary part of my daily routine.  The Lord is good and he IS trustworthy.  But man, this is hard.

After my devotion and a shower, I went with my friend Stephanie to her oncology appointment (because that’s what any logical person who is sad about cancer does, right?!).  I still have to pause as I type that because it feels so surreal.  No one deserves to have this nasty disease, least of all the people I dearly love.  But here we are.  Living out what I’m sure will be a poorly rated, dramatic Lifetime movie someday.  And even though it STINKS to have cancer, it stinks just a little less to have it together.


Stephanie and I made the most of our visit, but walking into a cancer hospital is something I really never want to get used to.  From the outside, I’m sure we look like normal 40 something moms.  But inside, we are terrified of what cancer is capable of.  Thank God (literally) we have a relationship with someone more powerful than cancer.  #that’sJesusifyouaren’tfollowing

This season of life for me is almost too bizarre for words.  If I stop and think about it for too long, I get overwhelmed.  So I’m trying to take it day by day and set my stress, expectations, planning and fear FREE.  Just like the nips will be tomorrow.


Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, food, cards, gifts, prayers, etc.  I COULD NOT DO THIS WITHOUT YOU!

Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,


PS: Tomorrow’s surgery is a day surgery and should only last approximately one hour.  I would appreciate specific prayers that neither the anesthesia nor the pain meds make me nauseous.  And also that my friends will have something else to discuss via text after this is all over. #snipthenips #nonipsisgoodnips

“In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?”  Psalm 56:4