Forever And Ever, Amen.

Since my last blog post, many things have happened both in this world and in my life.  All of these things make me desperately cling to the fact that I need a Savior.  Sometimes life just feels so hard!  I, like you, am deeply saddened by the recent school shooting in Parkland, FL.  To know that seventeen innocent lives were shed for no good reason shakes me to my core.  And yesterday, we lost arguably the most respected Christian evangelist in the world, Billy Graham.  On a group text with Jen’s friends & family, we talked about how she must have greeted Rev. Graham in heaven (with a booming, “BILLY!” through a loud megaphone).  I can’t even imagine the questions she had for him.  My bestie, Kim, lost her mother in late January and I got to be there for & with her (as she has been there for me).  And my dear friend, Amy (who has also been there every step of the way), had surgery this week and is doing great thank the Lord.  My niece and nephew lost their grandfather a few days ago, and will lay him to rest this Saturday.  We celebrated Jennifer’s 2nd heavenly birthday this week.  And on top of all of that, I am raising three teenage boys.  Dare I say again how much I need a Savior?

Thankfully, the hard times are usually counterbalanced by some good times.  And one of those was a quick lake trip with some friends in January.  I have to take a moment to brag on my friends because they know how to do a lake trip.  If it were up to me, I would literally bring some bagels and bottled water for food and beverage.  But not these girls.  THESE girls brought appetizers that looked like this:

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How are these people friends with me?!  And then when we sat down for dinner, look what beautiful flowers appeared…

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I guess opposites attract when it comes to friends because my centerpiece usually looks more like this…

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Fancy or not, I love each and every one of these gals (the ones pictured and the ones not pictured) and am so thankful for the way my friends have loved me through cancer!!

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Today, I went for my 4 month follow up to Dr. O’ Shaughnessey with my mom.  I didn’t expect to feel so many emotions walking into Baylor as it literally has been like a second home for the past few years.  But something today got me.  Memories of being there with Jen plus memories of me waiting for chemo and bloodwork flooded in.  I did what I could to keep my tears at bay, but it was difficult.  I would be happy if I NEVER had to walk in that place again.  Thankfully, however, my appointment went well and my bloodwork was good (despite them having to take it twice 😫 due to using the wrong vials…um, excuse me?!).

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All I need to do now is keep taking my tamoxifen and come back in June.  Yes, that’s it.  I am so incredibly grateful.  Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for my continued good health.  It truly is something I do not take for granted! I did ask about some bone pain I was experiencing, some stiffness and a foggy brain, but apparently that is just par for the course with all that I’ve been through.  So basically I feel like an 80 year old without all of the wisdom.  It’s awesome.

Speaking of feeling “old”, my friend Stephanie and I have a running joke that every conversation we have these days feels a lot like playing a game of Pictionary (without the drawing board).  It’s a lot of “you know, the thing we did last year” or “I can’t think of the name of it but it sounds like…”.  Pathetic.  I started wondering if something was wrong with me, but the more I’m around my friends the more I realize we are ALL just suffering from “age”.  👵🏻

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Age is a funny thing.  Lots of things can age.  Cheese can age.  Wine can age.  Even music can age.  Which reminds me of something that happened the other day.  Trevor’s taste in music is quite, how shall I put it, “old school”.   He is stuck in the 80’s & 90’s and makes no apologies for it.  In addition, he never gets tired of a song.  Like EVER.  The boys and I tease him that no one can kill a song quite like he can (and I think he takes it as a compliment).  Lastly, God bless, he is always about 2 years behind with “new” music.  He gets so excited to introduce a new song to us and doesn’t understand how we already know every single word.   Anyway, I seriously digress.

The other day I got in the passenger’s seat of his car and immediately changed the station.  Did anyone just cringe?  I realize there is some sort of unspoken rule that whomever drives the car gets to be the deejay, and me changing the station without asking permission was literally like breaking the law.  NO MATTER that a Billy Ray Cyrus song was playing (and it wasn’t even Achy Breaky Heart).

Yes, he sings songs other than just Achy Breaky Heart.  Who knew?

Since Trevor was trying to mark his musical territory, he quickly switched it back from my decade appropriate channel.  Then we both laughed because NO ONE, not even him, wanted to keep listening to Billy Ray.  But…STUBBORN.  Thankfully, after Billy Ray’s tune was over, Randy Travis came on the air.

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Randy.

And before we knew it, “I’m Gonna Love You Forever” was being sung by us both.  And out of all the times that I have sung this song, the line “Well, honey I don’t care, I ain’t in love with your hair.  And if it all fell out, well I’d love you anyway.” has never seemed so relevant.   In that moment,  I had to relent about my husband’s favorite station being PRIME COUNTRY.  And without getting too sappy, I am so thankful to have a husband that, when put to the actual test, loves me anyway.

As you know, my hair has been quite the issue throughout this journey.

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If it were a teenage girl, it would be the drama queen of its grade.  I’ve been asked by several people, knowing what I know now, if I would do the cold cap again.  And to that question, I still have no answer.  My hair continues to fall out daily (which is still traumatic for me), but new growth is very evident at the same time.  So it’s confusing.  I never went fully bald (pro), but I also still feel the need to wear caps during this transition (con).  Essentially, I have just enough long hairs left to do my version of the combover.

I did finally bust out at the end of January and left my hat at home for the first time.  I was with Stephanie (we went to a joint doctor’s appointment at Dr. Potter’s office), and she was sweet to reassure me that no one would even know any different just by looking at me (that’s what friends are for, right Dionne Warwick?).  And since then, if the weather cooperates, I’ve been sporting my new look.

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(Me & My sweet dad 2/3/18)

But at home, in the privacy of my bathroom, I look at myself in the mirror and wonder if I will ever truly feel like myself again.  There’s so much of this journey that strips away the familiar.  So much that changes you both inside and out.  And if your journey is long enough, I guess you are never the same again.  Don’t get me wrong.  That’s not all bad.  I have genuinely learned to give up control of almost everything in my life.  Once you are put in a situation that punctuates that fact, you tend to pay attention.  The Lord has really shown me that He’s boss, and in that I find the greatest peace and comfort.  Does it mean I don’t care about my hair?  NO.  Does it mean I enjoy having 3 huge scars on my left leg?  NO.  Does it mean I don’t consider if the cancer will return?  NO.  Does it mean I won’t lose people that I love?  NO.  But what it does mean is that I’ve been faced with the ultimate truth that this life is not ours to control.  Rather, this life is a gift.  And to truly get the most out of this amazing gift, we need to turn it back over to the Giver.  Even (especially) in the midst of our sadness or hard times.  He knows what’s best for us.  He loves us.  And He doesn’t make mistakes.  All we need to do is to surrender to Him.  And ironically enough, I have cancer to thank for that very important lesson.

Forever and Ever, Amen.

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

Jamie

31 thoughts on “Forever And Ever, Amen.

  1. Jamie… I absolutely am so excited when your Breast Case Senario appears in my email. It is by far and away the most exiting, clever and inspirational emsil to EVER come into my inbox….. Thank you for your commitment to our Lord and how HE alone is our rock. Bless you… SheriQ

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  2. Jamie… I absolutely am so excited when your Breast Case Senario appears in my email. It is by far and away the most exiting, clever and inspirational email to EVER come into my inbox….. Thank you for your commitment to our Lord and how HE alone is our rock. Bless you… SheriQ

    Like

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with Sheri about seeing your next Senario arrive in my emails AND I agree with Jeff about you resembling your dad……….having his smile is great and his positive, reassuring attitude is even better! We think of you a lot and am so happy for this update!

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  4. Could you be more funny!!!!🤣 ❤️❤️Love reading your posts too! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your journey and being so transparent through this ROUGH road you have had to walk. My favorite thing about your posts, is that you always end with fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Love you Jamie😘

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  5. Jamie, you are simply beautiful in every way!!! And, you are more beautiful today than ever. I mean that truly. So glad you were able to get away and refresh at the lake. I don’t think the lake can wash away brain fog, or I wouldn’t have any either. But, alas, I do!! It’s real, girl, and I’m pretty sure all of us women are getting it around this time of life. I’m so thankful we have life and we can share it too. You do an especially good job at it, and I’m so thankful for you. Love you, girl!

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  6. Your faith is one of the many things that make you so beautiful…even in a cold cap! Love you and am so thankful for your honesty and vulnerability!

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  7. Jamie, you’re always adorable and a ray of sunshine-with or without the ball cap! Thank you for inviting all of us along on your journey–the hilarious and the heartbreaking. I, for one, have been blessed to learn how to more fully embrace both from watching you walk in the faith that God’s got this.

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  8. Jamie! I, too, love your blog! You are precious! You are real and tell it like it is. But you always come back to Jesus! You give Him the glory. And that’s why we are all here! I love you my sweet friend and pray for you everyday! I’m very thankful you are doing so well. I hope to see you and Amy soon. Love you tons!!💖

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    1. Mrs. Sharp! Thank you so much for following my journey. I became a Christian IN YOUR CLASSROOM because of your leading, so you are so special to me! I love you and would love to get together soon with Amy!!

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  9. Oh Jamie please don’t quit writing! You bring such comic relief!!! And I’m so with you on the “centerpiece” and friends that put me to shame with hosting abilities! Prayers for both of us going forward from this hard journey, but you are so right that the most important blessing from it has been a closer walk with Jesus!

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  10. I lost my hair when I was going through fertility treatments. It was noticeable and I was very upset! I think hair is just one of those things that makes us feel most feminine. So, I won’t devalue how upsetting it is for you; I get it. But, I will say, I really can’t tell! You – and your hair – look gorgeous and healthy in the picture with your dad.

    Praising God for the great news at your check up, and praying that you feel better and better with each passing day.

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  11. Hey sweet friend! So thankful for a great report at Dr. O’s appt. Hallelujah!!! And…AMEN to all of the above words in your blog. God is good…always. Love you.

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  12. This is Connie Jones. Darrell is your Mother’s first cousin. We have kept up with your progress and prayed for you. Now Darrell has gone through surgery for cecal colon cancer and is awaiting the pathology report. You know how he feels and we are praying the best for him and you!!!
    Blessings and love!!!

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  13. Hi Jamie, Just now reading your post….a little behind in email these day. As always I am touched by your transparency. I, too, am glad to hear of your good report. We have a dear friend that just had his 4 year anniversary MRI from his brain tumor. He, too, received good report. I look forward to the day you are celebrating years of being cancer free. I am thankful for the Lord’s continual healing and where there is not healing,his miraculous and continual sustenance. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the picture of you and Phil. Two cutest “80” year olds ever! Lots of love to you and your guys, f

    Patti and her guys!

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