Saturday, July 02, 2016

The specifics...

The past few weeks have been the hardest of my entire cancer journey thus far.  I've been in lots of pain due to a leaky feeding tube, barely slept at night, and have had tons of anxiety just worrying about what is yet to come.  The strength and determination I had at at the beginning seemed to disappear beneath the mounds of pain I have been feeling.  Slowly but surely...I was beginning to feel myself crumble.  At night, I would wake up in pain and spend hours awake...crying and pleading with God.  When the sun finally came up, I was so tired from not sleeping that I would either sleep most of the day or just feel extremely anxious about the entire situation.  My sister has been with me for the past month and has been such an immense help to me.  She is going home next week and I'm not sure how I'm going to make it without her.

Just a few weeks ago I was cooking...painting a craft table...visiting with friends and family...and now everything is different. It's been hard to think about how quickly things have changed and how dependent I've become on my family. I've been so weak I was extremely worried about starting chemo last Monday.  I had no idea how I would have the energy to sit there for a 5 hour infusion.  Sunday night, I remember asking my friend Krissy to pray that I would have enough energy to make it through my first chemo infusion.  My mom was also up half the night praying that I would have energy to make it through the next day because she was so worried.  Although I had very little sleep the night before, I made it through my infusion perfectly fine and did well the entire day.

The next day, however, things took a turn for the worse.  I discovered my feeding tube was leaking and it was causing a lot of pain.  A few days later, I was able to have a minor procedure and change out the feeding tube, and it has made a world of difference.  After the procedure I came home and slept, but woke up intermittently because I was having terrible dreams.  I'm pretty sure those dreams stemmed from the dosage of pain meds they had given me while they swapped out the feeding tube.  My mom came over to pray for me, and I asked her to specifically pray that I would have good dreams.  I remember praying with her and telling God..."I know these weird dreams are because of he pain meds, but you are stronger than any pain medication."  That night I didn't jolt awake from bad dreams, but I slept very little due to the pain.

I realized that I needed to start praying really specific prayers...and asking others to pray specific prayers too.  So, yesterday when my cancer buddy's wife texted me, I asked her to pray specifically that I get a good night's rest.  It had been so many weeks...and I have to admit, I had my doubts.  But for the first time in a very long time, I slept through the whole night...only getting up to go to the bathroom.

I realize that God is trying to show me that I need to pray for specific matter how trivial they are, so I will know...beyond a shout of a doubt...that He is with me and that He is listening and that He is answering my prayers.  I should be anxious for nothing...but instead bring my prayers and requests to God.  I decided to share those requests with the blogosphere so you can pray over them too.  So many of you have asked how you can help me...and really there is nothing more you can do for me that would benefit me more than prayer.

That being are the specifics:

  1. Please pray that I will be able to continue to sleep through the night and get good rest.  
  2. This week I have an appointment with a nutritionist...please pray that the appointment will be beneficial and that I will be able to find the best nutrition available through the feeding pump.
  3. I don't want to be on the feeding pump forever.  I prayed for thirst and God has given me thirst and I'm able to drink most things.  Please pray that God will give me hunger as well so I can eat by mouth.
  4. Please pray that my pain will subside and that I will start feeling stronger and more like myself with each passing day.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dear friends....

I know it's been so long since I've updated, answered calls and seen your faces...I would never distance myself this much if not necessary. This part of the journey is very difficult. It takes an immense amount of energy to type, and use my voice. Please give me this time to get through the pain. And when I'm better I promise I will communicate more. All I ask now is that you stand with me in prayer....

Monday, June 13, 2016

Uphill Battles...

I spent most of the weekend with my cousins MikeyMouse and CCL...and I felt terrible. Apparently surgery causes lots of gas to be trapped in your belly and I'm now on a J tube, which is a feeding tube so the food that's pumping into my belly makes my belly gassy too. All of this gas is trapped in my belly and wreaking sharp stabbing pains in my belly and pain in my back. View tried every product in the pharmacy to help and home remedies as well and nothing has helped. I'm in lots of pain. 

When I'm in pain I find it really hard to be strong and positive. Everything makes me cry. I couldn't smile for my cousins or spend too much time talking because I was just so overwhelmed by pain.

I got so many texts from friends this weekend saying they've been praying for me and I texted back to make a special prayer that I'm making to the blogosphere now...

Please pray for God to give me strength during times like this...uphill really weak and there's no way I can keep moving forward while in excruciating pain with out his strength during the time of my weakness.

This time in particular is very hard for me...especially hurting and being away from home...for those of you who have asked to call...or who have called only to get my voicemail a 100 times....please bear with me. My focus now is to get through this rough patch, go home and get started on chemo. I need this two weeks in Houston to recover and then when I'm back in okc I promise to be more responsive.

Please keep me in your prayers....

Friday, June 10, 2016


We now interrupt all the cancer talk on this blog to share some fantastic, exciting news!  My beautiful, niece Marissa is a high school graduate as of last weekend!  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend any of her festivities, but when the kids came to visit me at the hospital, I creeped on her phone and texted myself a helping heap of pictures!

But before I share those pics...let me tell you a little about Marissa.  She's my one and only niece, and from the minute she was born, I wanted nothing more to dress her up in cute outfits, paint her tiny toesies,  and put bows in her hair.  And...she let me do that for a while...not so much anymore!!  One of the most interesting things about her is that she looks EXACTLY like her dad, yet she's gorgeous.  Wait.  Maybe that came out a little insulting to my brother.  What I mean know what..forget it.  He doesn't read my blog, and you guys know what I mean!!!  I'm so proud of her breezing through high school with out ever asking me to write a paper or edit a paper.  When you have an aunt who is notorious for "helping people with papers,"  it would be really easy to talk said aunt into writing a few dozen of yours!  But she never took advantage of that. She changed high schools a few times, and we all know that's not an easy thing to do.  But she made friends, got involved, made great grades, and has always made our family proud.  She will be attending the Texas Womens University next fall.  To my dismay, men actually attend this school as I'm a little less excited about it.  But, I've lectured her enough about school and boys and everything else you can think of.  Turns out I'm pretty good at lecturing.

Missa, if you're reading this.  I'm SO sad I couldn't make it to the biggest event of your life to date...but I promise to be right beside you for all the rest!  I love  you so much and I'm incredibly proud of the young woman you've become!  Always let Christ guide every step you make in the future...and you will never go down the wrong path!

Pictures of her graduation festivities for your viewing pleasure....
The little beauty on her prom night...

With Amachi...

With her dad...

Grad party ready!

Thursday, June 09, 2016


Forgive me for my absence....I've been in the hospital for the last 13 days.  I haven't wanted to pick up my phone, text, blog, watch tv, or listen to music.  I've been totally out of commission and unplugged from the world...I guess you could say.  It's been a both physically and emotionally grueling few weeks.  I needed that time...and probably just a little more to get through the pain of surgery and be physically stronger.  As always, God has been with me every day....teaching me lessons and reminding me that I'm never alone.

So, where did I leave you last?  Oh yes...the dreaded NG tube.  Well, I never had to get one!  Basically the Drs didn't feel like it would help me get enough nutrition with just three short days before surgery.  So I spent the week before surgery trying to get food down and keep it there.  I was miserable.  It was so painful to eat...and after I ate, it didn't feel any better.  My stomach would bloat up as if I had eaten a 4 course meal...when in reality I had just a few spoons of cream of wheat.  All I could think about was surgery and the relief I would have afterwards.

Friday morning couldn't arrive soon enough!  Although my heart was fine, they wanted me to get a pacemaker before the procedure to assure that I wouldn't have any more problems if my heart stopped again for any reason.  So, I said my goodbyes to my family and my cancer bud (CB)...and got whisked away to the OR.

And that's when life threw me yet another curveball.  I woke up and felt great....I mean, aside from the throbbing gash that ran vertically up my belly. I did wonder why I still didn't have the NG tube though.  I didn't see it hanging from my nose or feel it in my throat.  I happened to glance  at a clock and notice surgery seemed to get done a lot quicker than it should have.  My family and CB were all surrounding me by that time....and none of them were smiling and I wondered if they were waiting on me to say something to know if I was truly Ok.  And then, CB began to answer the questions that were filling my head....

The doctors made their incision, saw that the cancer cells had spread to the lining of the stomach, and closed me up.  My tumor was in-operable.  Chemotherapy starts again in three weeks.

I instantly looked at the sullen faces of my mom and uncle....and assured them that I was going to be fine.  I know God sent us my CB to show us that it doesn't matters what doctors say....He is still heals.  (My CB's tumor was operable, but his cancer returned and spread, and just weeks before my surgery he was given news of a clear pet scan.) The very same thing can happen for me.

Reality still jolts me sometimes, but I have been able to find peace and strength in the Lord.  Every day I feel His presence and it's truly more than I can ask for.  I am surrounded by lots of love and support...which is what I need to get stronger.  I know there are countless people praying for me, but I'm asking for continued prayers.  I knew when I set out on this battle against cancer that it was going to be a long and hard one....but I didn't know just how long and hard....and honestly, I still don't.  Every day there are curveballs....and I've learned that it's okay.  As long as I face each day and its' challenges as it comes without looking and planning ahead...God gives me just enough strength, grace, and mercy each day...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Well I got transferred back to MD Anderson tonight. After a full cardiac work up its been determined that I have a pretty strong heart. However, the anesthesia cocktail they gave me was a bit too much for me to handle because I'm pretty malnourished.

I have been trying so hard to eat and drink supplements but it just doesn't seem to be good enough. My blood pressure is still pretty low and I'm at risk for this whole "heart stopping" thing to happen again.

So tomorrow my physician will talk about dreaded option B....the NG tube. For you non medical professionals like me...the NG tube is a tube that goes up your nose, down your throat, and into the stomach. I watched them insert my dads tube and the memory is etched in my brain for life. It's the one time I saw him cry...actually scream in pain. As soon as I was diagnosed with cancer I turned to my aunt and told her please don't let them put an NG tube in me while I'm awake.

And now...short of a miracle...that's exactly what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm scared....and even more sad. I spent some time talking to God about it just now. I have no control of what's happening to me anymore and all I can do is plead with Him to give me enough strength to make it through the rest of this process. Each day gets harder and more unpredictable...the old Sue would've had a nervous breakdown by now. But every day I see strangers...that tell me they are praying for me...and I know that's the only reason I've held it together so far. 

Tomorrow will come..and I will have to face all the unwanted,unexpected challenges it brings along with it. Please pray that I will be brave and strong and get through it so I can move forward with surgery....and recovery...and eventually have my life back.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Gods plans are different...

I went into MDA Friday morning fully expecting to have surgery and move forward with recovery but life threw me a major curve ball!!

Anesthesia was administered and I was ready to go. The docs were cleaning my belly for the first incision when my heart rate started dropping. The docs thought that perhaps the monitor was faulty. The next thing they knew I was flatlining. My heart stopped for five seconds...they had to do compressions to make it start back up again. 

The doc decided to reschedule surgery. When I came to I knew something was wrong. The Surgical fellow explained what had happened and told me I'd have to wait a week for surgery. I cried and said I didn't know if I could make it. I was so weak already from not eating and I couldn't imagine making it through one more week. 

Soon after I woke cancer buddy was by my side. As soon as I saw him tears started flowing! I was so disappointed that I had to wait one more week for surgery! But my cancer buddy wiped away my tears and reminded me that God had a plan. If they had made that first incision...and my heart had stopped once I was already cut open...the ending could have been catastrophic. And I had been so weak for so body wasn't really ready for surgery. He then said a prayer for me...and I instantly felt better!

I don't know what I would do without my wonderful family and my awesome cancer buddy. Their support really got me through one of the craziest days of my life.

It's so surreal to think that my life could have very well been over yesterday. Once again, I am so thankful to God for his grace ...for having a different plan for my life...and for showing me His love!
I'm doing much better today! Me, B, and cancer bud hangin out in the ICU!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

The night before surgery...

It's the night before surgery and after spending all day at MDA today, I am certifiably beat! Tomorrow, I have to be up by 4:30 so I'm trying to blog as quickly as possible and drift off to dreamland!

I want to thank all of you in the blogosphere for your thoughts and prayers and kind words throughout the past six months. I know that the strength that I have managed to muster up these past few weeks were only because of the thousands of prayers on my behalf. I also want to thank my awesome and amazing friends and family for their help, love, support, visits etc etc. I know the battle isn't quite over yet but it feels like part one is over and before I move on to part two I want to thank you all for helping me get over such an overwhelming obstacle.

I feel ready for tomorrow and for the recovery process ahead. I know that God is with me and that all I need to do is take one day at a time and trust Him! I will blog just as soon as my little fingers are ready to type again! As always...keep me in your prayers! For now...I bid you adieu, Blogosphere!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Praise Report...

I'm Blogging from my backyard swing this's become one of my favorite hangout spots lately. I've been sitting back here reflecting on this past week and how brutal it has been.  I went through so much pain and shed a lot of tears but looking back I know God was trying to teach me and show me to have faith in Him.

Monday through Thursday of last week I was either at home in bed , at the clinic getting IVs, or at the hospital running tests. I was literally starving and miserable. Every night was sleepless as I tossed and turned in pain. I would cry and pray and ask God to give me enough strength to get through the week and travel to Houston for surgery...which seemed like an impossible fete.

My sister, nephew, and my little friend were going to visit over the weekend and I felt so sad that they were going to see me in such a terrible condition. Thursday I went to get IVs at the clinic hoping it would give me at least a bit of energy. While I was there my aunt encouraged me to request a pain patch that might give me some relief.

I was skeptical about the pain patch but by Thursday evening I was in so much, I eagerly put it on. That night Jeeves and I went to pick up Beena and Aaron  from the airport and I was so miserable sitting in the car. The entire time I wondered how I would be able to sit in a plane for an hour if I couldn't sit in a car for fifteen minutes. That night was just like the rest...I tossed and turned in pain.

Friday I woke up feeling different. I couldn't eat and still threw up but I had more energy.  I felt really good. I was fueled by little to no food but I had the strength to make a crab boil that night and watched everyone enjoy it. Key word...watched. There was no way I could swallow it and I was vomiting pretty profusely. Regardless, we had a great time!  And I slept like a baby...didn't toss or turn or cry at all!

Saturday morning I woke up feeling great! Again, I was fueled by little to no food but had enough energy to make breakfast for my little friend, had a great, long over due visit...then spent the rest of the day with Beena and Aaron. We even went to the outlet malls and spent an hour or so walking around! 

I know it seems like I'm sharing trivial tidbits of information but in this case I thought it was important to share the details...because Monday through Thursday I didn't leave my bed unless I had to. And by Friday, I was a different person! I don't know if it was because I was surrounded by some of my favorite people all weekend or if the pain meds kicked in...I'm pretty sure it's both combined! But, I was so grateful to God for giving me the strength that I had pleaded with Him for! I was so happy that all my visitors got to see me in good spirits and doing well! 

I see now that in my time of weakness...God was building my faith. He showed me that the prayers and the tears I shed every night were not in vain...He was with me and He was listening... He gave me the strength I needed at the perfect time. He has showed me that my strength doesn't come from IVs or the food I eat...but it truly comes from the Lord. There is no other way that I'd be functioning so normally right now.  Even during one of the darkest most painful times of my life...He didn't leave me or abandon me...God was teaching me to have faith and trust in Him. He knew that I needed renewed and strengthened faith in Him to help me get through the remaining challenges and obstacles I will face in the next few weeks. 

It's hard to be positive when you're in pain and even more difficult to remember that God has a plan for all things...and that's ok. Everyone has moments of weakness and I believe that is the time for us to draw closer to God and seek his comfort and strength. You might not always FEEL that His prescence is with you when you are sick and in pain but you must KNOW in your heart that He is always by your side. Don't give up on Him because he will never give up on you.  What I learned this week is that God is good ALL the time and ALL the time God is good...not just when we feel good but especially when we don't.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I'm hungry....

So I've been experiencing a lot of pain lately...when I eat, after I eat, when I don't eat at all...overall I've been miserable. On a scale of 1-10 I'd rate my misery at a 9. Chemo and radiation were a walk in the park compared to this. 

So what is this? After today's scope The docs discovered this is an ulcer on my tumor....what I've assumed all along. It's very red and irritated. And pretty much there's nothing they can do to help make this situation any better until surgery. So that means I have 11 more days to suffer. 
To torture myself further I've been watching foodnetwork and staring at food pics on Pinterest. I thought I'd share some pics and torture you guys as well...

Pork favorite Mexican dish to make
Butter shrimp curry
Plain ol delicious fish curry
A burger that makes my mouth water
Apple dumplings!!!
Some amazing looking shrimp pasta
Peach raspberry lemonade!!...I'm definitely a southern girl!
Cinnamon roll pancakes
And now if you'll excuse me...I'm off to shed a tear or ten!! 






Sunday, May 15, 2016

29 years later...

I would've never thought that I would be  fighting the same battle my father did 29 years ago. Because of the example he set for me, I strive to fight this disease with strength, grace, and faith.

I find myself wondering how he must have felt through his battle. I never saw him break down from the pain like I often do.  But I know it must have been excruciating at moments and he must have had so many fears...
I miss him every day...but especially today...




Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Another sleepless night...

I've been given new meds to help with the pain, but nothing seems to be touching it. I think I've accepted the fact that I'm going to be hurting until surgery... Until this thing is out of me. But, of course surgery will cause a different kind of pain and have a different set of obstacles to overcome.

Today I booked my flight to go back to Houston and I'm working on getting my apartment back...the MD Anderson website has officially scheduled my surgery for May 27th. So it's all becoming very real. 

So far, I've been pretty strong, happy, and positive for the most part....but when you're in pain it's really hard to stay that way. I thought I understood pain when I was on chemo...and then came radiation...but what I'm feeling now is more intense than both. I think the pain hurts me physically and emotionally now because I thought my time home would be pain free. After all, I'm off treatment! But nothing about cancer is predictable....

I was awake and just searching the web for some inspiration and found this quote...
I think that when its all said and done...this is my goal...I want to be a beautiful person. I want to believe that every second of pain I feel has a purpose...and that it's shaping me into becoming a better person.  It's so much easier to fight when you believe there is a purpose to fight for.

Monday, May 09, 2016

The big reveal...

I haven't been feeling well the past few weeks...and the past few days have been even worse.  Each day swallowing seems to be getting increasingly difficult.  I wanted to eat all my favorite things now...before surgery...because I know I won't be able to enjoy anything afterwards for a very, very, very long time.  But, I'm already having to turn down a lot of my favorite stuff because it's just way too painful to eat.  Actually everything and anything is painful to eat.  There's no longer any rhyme or reason to it.  Sunday afternoon I ate a sandwich for lunch, and realized that I was crying as I was eating it because it just hurt so bad.  My friends  invite me out for meals, but eating with people is starting to give me anxiety because I wince and make strange faces as I try to swallow...  I definitely don't feel like my insides and my outsides match at all.  People tell me that I look like I'm doing so well because cancer hasn't left me looking emaciated or weak....(and also bold lipstick colors work wonders) but inside I feel terrible.  The pain is so intense it wears me out.    I try really hard not to focus on what I feel like inside...I've been so busy with the one goal I had set for myself for this time post radiation/chemo and pre-surgery....the craft room.  It was a huge task to take on, and I had loads of volunteers ready and willing to help me with it.  But, in the end, I wanted to do it myself.  So despite the pain...and the fatigue...I pushed through and have been working on the room and I'm fairly  happy with what it looks like now. 

I went through everything in the room, cleared out 4 huge bags of trash, sorted, organized, was SO exhausting!!  But, boy did it feel good to get it done...on my own!  But, I wasn't fully satisfied...I then wanted to work on the cosmetics of the room.  I wanted to paint my craft table and chairs, but everyone kept telling me I would have to sand it first...and that didn't sound like fun at all. Thanks to CCL for telling me about Annie Sloan can paint without sanding!!  Also, a big thanks to Jeeves for helping me move the furniture outside, helping me paint, and helping me move everything back!  He was such a good sport...and a pretty decent painter!  We got the furniture set up, and I added some finishing touches to the room and.......VIOLA!  It's finally done!!  I wish I had a before picture...but I really couldn't even get inside the room to take a decent before picture.  So, we'll have to make do with the afters...
I decided to go with a gray/white/robins egg blue color scheme.  I thought the colors were inviting for my clients (when I'm ready for clients again, that is)...and it makes the room look brighter and more spacious!
The dead lady's shelf....I got this shelf from an estate sale, which is why I call it the dead lady's shelf.  With the help of  some bins and's all organized and tidy now
You know what happens when you can't see all your ribbon/tulle/streamers?  You buy more!!  I won't have that problem anymore
The inside of my craft closet!  It's organized to perfection!  
I put this quote up when I bought the house...I didn't realize how messy it'd actually get in there!!
I thought this accessory fit the craft room project quite perfectly..."She believed she could, so she did!"
This wreath was in my closet collecting dust, so I refurbished it to match the room.
Some of my favorite invitations that I've made in the past on display...along with the mobile craft table my uncle built for me!

A special thanks to my frenemy and Janson, one of my grooms (as in one of my wedding clients) for cutting down the jungle in my backyard!!  I love sitting on the swing back there  and listening to the birds sing now that I don't have to worry about what's lurking in the jungle!  When I'm better, I'm looking forward to planting a flower garden and sprucing up the yard since it's now a blank canvas!  In the meantime, I had this old ladder that's been sitting on the fence forever, so I thought it would be perfect to hang some flowers from it!  It's amazing how much cuter that old, tattered ladder looks now!!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mother's Day...

My mom isn't much of a blog reader, but it's Mother's Day, so what else would today's blog post be about??  I used to refer to my mom as the Maternal Unit in previous posts...but I recently came up with a new nickname...."sMother"...because my mom smothers me with love like gravy on a chicken fried steak, ya'll.  Now as an adult, there's been times that I haven't been so appreciative of this love and I even might have told her to cut the umbilical cord a few dozen times.  However, I know there's not a human alive that loves me as much as my mother does.  She's been through so much in her lifetime and has come through it with strength and resilience.  Most of my personality traits come from my dad...but when people tell me that I'm strong...I know that comes from my mom because she has never given up when most people would....and I know that she doesn't give up because of her love for her kids. Happy Mother's Day to my sMother!!...Who knows what bridge or underpass id be living beneath without her love and support!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Paint your art out...

I've been feeling extreme level crappy the past two days.  I've been refusing to call Dr. H because I figured...what's he gonna say?  You have cancer?  But today, I just couldn't take the pain...and I broke down and called him.  I have an appointment scheduled with him in a few days.  I can feel that the tumor is really ulcerated now.  Everything affects it....spicy, cold,'s always miserable and so am I!!!   The result of this pain has been me lying around a lot, but Htown and I had scheduled this "paint your pet" night weeks ago and I sure as heck didn't want to miss the opportunity to paint a beautiful picture of my Moussey girl.  So, I toughed it up and sat through the 3 hour class.

I felt like I was off to a bad start when the ladies sitting near us started talking about their husbands/sisters who had cancer, went to MDA for treatment, and died.  I figured it was going to be a very long night!  But, then one of the instructors sat down to help me and pretty much never got up.  Jay was so talented and highly entertaining...  It's like I have a neon sign above my head that says..."My name is Sue.  Please push my buttons and harass me."...because that's exactly what he did.  We pretty much became buddies within a matter of minutes...I think I might have convinced him to build me a pergola in my backyard too!!  I have to admit that he basically painted 90% of my painting.  I wish I could take more credit...but I only painted the handkerchief, background and 1/4 of her face.  Jay did the rest and called me a lazy painter pretty much all night.  Christine on the other hand, is a natural...a Pablo Picasso of sorts.  She did all of hers and Jay just added a few finishing touches.  I think they both turned out fantastical!!  I came home and showed Moussey and she had the same expression as she did in her painting.  "Who cares? Where's my biscuit?"  I can't wait to hang the painting up!  If you're in the NW OKC/ Edmond area I strongly suggest Paint Your Art Out...the instructors are so much fun and super helpful and the paintings are phenomenal!

In other news...snocones seem to be a pretty good medication for the pain I've created a special "pain relief fund" in my car console especially for my visits to Aloha Ice.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Live blogging...

It's 1:30 a.m, and I'm awake....a little earlier than normal. Usually I wake up around 3 or 4, but I went to bed early last night, so I guess it makes sense that I'm up earlier. This is how it is every night. I can't remember the last time I slept through the entire night. Why am I awake? I feel a burning sensation inside my chest and it woke me up. So now I'm live blogging in the fetal position...

I don't know what's causing the burn....I used to think I was feeling the effects of radiation but maybe it's just this ulcerated,angry tumor. Or maybe it's because I had Indian food today. Im sure you're thinking... Well, stop eating Indian food!! But, ehhh, I'm Indian!!! I'm trying to eat a normal diet now since surgery is fast approaching and afterwards my eating will have to be completely different for a long while. It's frustrating that some days are worse than others and I have no idea why...or that I can swallow some things with such ease and other things fight its way back up my throat and there's no rhyme or reason to it.  All I can think about right now is a snow cone... Because the thought of swallowing that cold ice seems like it would relieve the fire in the middle of my chest.

Earlier this evening I was holding baby Isaac and he was sitting on my lap playing and I wondered why I had pain in my GI junction (the point where my esophagus and stomach meet) and I realized it was because he was leaning against me and that's exactly where his little head was resting. 

Maybe my cancer buddy is right...maybe I will only feel relief and be pain free after surgery when the cancer is completely out of me. And although I am looking forward to that day....I find the thought of surgery and recovery to be completely daunting. It's not my first rodeo...I've been under the knife several times but I know the road to recovery will be a long one this time. 

I know there are countless prayer warriors bombarding Heaven with prayers on my behalf. I have been blessed to meet a few in person but there are others all over the world that I might never get to thank face to face. But I know that it is definitely those prayers that have helped me be strong through out the past five months. Even at times like this when I'm hurting and tired...I have faith that this is a temporary feeling...that God has a plan for me...and this too shall pass. I couldn't feel that way without the prayers and support that I have received so far.

It's 2:10 a.m...I'm going to fight past this pain, close my eyes, think of snow cones, and hopefully drift back to sleep!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Can't stop...won't stop weekend...

Forgive me for quoting Miley Cyrus.  Trust me, it won't happen often on this blog...but that's just the only way I can describe this weekend.
By the way, how do you like my bitmoji's new summer outfit?  It's definitely something I probably have in my closet...except I'd wear a cardigan!
Saturday was pretty action packed.  I didn't think I'd get to participate in all the festivities planned for the day because I woke up to a case of the dry heaves.  But, I pretty much willed myself to get over it and have a great day with my friends.  My gal pal Sheb came to see Punu, her childhood bestie...oh, and me, of course.  We spent most of the day with my 2nd family...BF & Punu's cousins...and then I planned a little GNO for the evening...replete with a little coke and paint and a crab boil!  I was so exhausted by the end of the night that I pulled up a chair to my stove and sat to cook, but in the end, it was all worth it!  
I can't stop staring at mine and Sheryl's face swap.  I hate face swaps...they're typically scary but this one is friggin' hilarious to me.  Sheryl looks just like her son Ezra...except chubby...and I don't know who or what I look like, but I kinda like the look!  Times spent with this crazy clan is always time well spent!!
Ok, so our paintings sucked...correction, mine and Sheba's weren't quite pleasant to look at.  Pablo Picasso, err, I mean Sunu rather painstakinly painted hers to perfection.  I mean, she didn't crack a smile and believe me, I sat in between them and was providing a lot of comedic relief...which Sheba greatly enjoyed.  But Punu was in the zone...She didn't laugh.  She didn't talk.  And there were moments that I'm pretty sure she was holding her breath. I can't bear to throw away my it will be hanging in the garage for all to see.

There's a few things in this world that I absolutely love....
1.  I love having people in my house.  The more...the merrier, I say.
2.  I love feeding said people
3.  I love crab
The crab boil was a huge hit.  I'm pretty positive I enjoyed it the most.  Crab, shrimp, corn, andouille sausage and red lobster biscuits...what's not to love?  Oh and let's not forget water cocktail...water+cran-pomegranite juice.

Last but not was a very special nephew, Aaron graduated from the University of Florida!  Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to gator territory to celebrate his awesome accomplishments, so I want to take a few minutes to brag on him now.  I've been so proud of this kid from the minute he was born.  He's grown into such a hard-working, dedicated, driven, responsible, respectful, loving young man!  I know the sky's the limit for him, and I can't wait to see all the amazing things he's going to accomplish in his life!  He's been so busy with school and work, I haven't gotten to spend much time with him since our Greece Extravaganza...but, his mom told me they are coming to see me for a few days before my surgery!! (which has been scheduled, btw...May 27th)  I stole one of his grad pics from FB because I'm a creeper and an annoying aunt like that...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Girls day out...

Malayalam word of the day:
Chorichee- female who irritates and/or annoys.
(This is a word that's thrown around at my house a lot..It makes me laugh every time it's used, so I decided to make it my Malayalam word of the day!!)

Sorry for my temporary leave of absence.  I find that when I'm not feeling too great,  I typically don't feel like blogging either.  The first week I was home, I felt amazing.  I think I was just on some sort of high from being home and being off treatment.  But, now the yucky feeling has caught up with me and I've been having some pain while eating.  My food feels like it's parked in my GI junction along with my tumor...and my stomach just feels uncomfortable.  This uncomfortableness is usually in the morning (which typically causes me to throw up) and at night (which typically keeps awake.)

Today, I pulled myself together and had a girls day out with Punu...we spent the entire day together doing all things girly!  It's been so nice having my friend back...although I think Kuwait has changed her just a wee bit. I'm hoping I can detox her while I have her with me for the next few weeks and bring out the red-blooded American in her!

It's always been our tradition to go to the OKC arts festival and Punu happens to roll into town  during that time of year every time.  We're still determining whether our love for the arts festival is about the art or the food...
Finally got to meet this little Ooma Kutten!
Believe it or not, I've made tons of progress in the craft room!  I got a wild hair this weekend and just went nutso in there.  I have a few finishing touches to make before the big reveal!  But here's a little glimpse of the "before."
Can you spot the 100 pound dog seeking shelter in the abyss?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rain, Rain go away...

I checked the MD Anderson app the other day and saw that I have appointments scheduled for May 25th and I'm assuming my surgery will be scheduled a few days later.  Time is ticking by quickly and I have lots of people to see and fun to be had before I go!!  I'm making a concerted effort to maximize my time and not lounge around at home all day every day.

The other night I had dinner with my ForeverFriends...I call them that because I met Jenny when I was 9 and Sherry when I was 11...which totally seems like forever ago!!  Our friendship has survived junior high, high school chemistry, boyfriends (theirs), college, weddings, moves, jobs, kids/dogs...basically a lifetime of schtuff...the good, the bad, the ugly...they've seen it all and they're still around!  It's been amazing to see how God has worked in their see them become amazing moms, phenomenal people, and the sweetest friends!
Me and the blondies ;)
I've been feeling a lot better...I can tell because I've started making things my dining room decor, a chicken pot pie, and a blackberry bundt cake from scratch!
This is the Pioneer Woman's recipe for blackberry cobbler, but I made it in a bundt pan, so I could serve it on my fancy cake plate
I have to admit, the past four days have been rainy and gloomy and it was really affecting my mood!  I was being super snarky and slightly sarcastic...and then if someone questioned my behavior I'd be apologetic and overly sensitive.  Chocolate chip said I was acting like a real life sour patch kid.  But, today the sun was actually out all day...and I could feel my solar energy kick in!  I decided to enjoy my afternoon with the cutest lil lady bug...Lorelai. One of my favorite parts about being a wedding planner is seeing my couples live happily ever after...Typically I become a permanent fixture in their lives (I'm kind of hard to get rid of)...and my brides usually let me help with their babies' birthdays when they become's just so much fun to watch a family grow!
Dimples and doesn't get much cuter than this!  I got to go with her on her afternoon bike ride!
I spent the rest of the evening with my bestie for the restie...Mousse.  We went out for an evening drive.  The sun roof was open and I had Malayalam music, Cold Play, Biggie, Sam Hunt, Hillsongs, and Justin Bieber blaring (I'd like to consider myself musically diverse!!)  It was great just to be in my own neck of the woods enjoying blue skies and an whole lotta sunshine!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Random acts of kindness...

Fun fact for the day.... Sea Otter's hold hands while they're sleeping so they don't float apart from each other.  Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever heard?  

As I mentioned in my previous water heater broke on Friday.  I immediately got flustered and felt like it was too much to handle.  When really, it wasn't that bad...I mean it was a just a simple two step process....
Step 1. turn off water.
Step 2. call someone to replace it. 
After it was all said and done, I realized that I completely got flustered and over-reacted.  Was this the most opportune time to deal with this?  No.  But it ever?  Did I want to shell out money on a shiny, new water heater?  No.  But it wasn't nearly as expensive as I was afraid it would be.  All this to say...every obstacle I've come across in the past few months looks like a mole hill after I've climb over it.  This became even clearer to me this afternoon when someone really thoughtful stopped by for a visit.  Although I've known of her for a long time...she isn't someone I've known personally.  She explained that she recently had a birthday party for her daughter and asked that in lieu of presents...her guests bring donations....and then had her little girl hand me those donations personally.  I was blown away by her generosity and thoughtfulness.  And, I was blown away by God's constant provision...even when I feel like I can handle things on my own...He is showing me continuously that He is handling it for me.   I'm so overwhelmed by His grace and the love I am receiving so unexpectedly!

She also mentioned something else to me...something I had completely forgotten about.  Twenty years ago...(God, that makes me feel old)  I was asked to share some thoughts with a group of youth.  True to Sue form...I had to incorporate a craft in with my presentation...(some things never change) I made bookmarks for everyone.  I hand wrote a quote on each of them (this is long before I had a printer, electronic cutter, and a laminating machine!)  Of course, I can't remember what I ate for lunch today I certainly have no idea what I said during that talk or what quote was on the bookmarks even though she repeated that quote to me tonight. I do know that ironically it was about facing trials in your life.  Apparently, it made a lasting impact on her.  In fact, she kept that bookmark in her Bible and through out the years, she has shared that quote with others to encourage them throughout their own trials. 

I'm pretty positive that at that time, I was spiritually confused and probably wasn't the best person to be talking to a group of youth.  But, God used me and my minimal knowledge of him and my poor crafting skills to impact at least one person...who then impacted others.  I thought that was pretty rad!  And I know this girl was trying to share with me how I encouraged her...but really she encouraged me!!...because it made me realize how God can use the smallest of people...and how every gift He gives us (i.e., crafting, singing, writing, preaching, teaching) can be used to glorify Him if you just let Him work through you.    

Monday, April 18, 2016

Friends with bright ideas...

It's been a dreary day in OKC...but it wasn't nearly as bad as the weather reports coming out of Houston today.  Apparently the city was hit with floods...including the Med Center, where I used to live.  I tried calling MDA today, but the recording said the offices were closed.  I'm so grateful God got me out of there before the spring rainy season began.  And then I'll be outta here before the tornado season begins!  Anyway, I'm convinced that I'm solar when it's gloomy outside, I'm officially "mood off."

I decided I had to do something productive or else I'd be moping around all day.  So, I'm embarked on operation "new dining room decor."  I love chocolate chip and Htown with all my heart...even though they are honest to a fault... recently they expressed some dissatisfaction with my placemats, my table centerpiece, and my boring wall decor.  I'm not sure why I listen to their opinions and then proceed to change everything per their suggestions...but I do.  So, I got rid of my table centerpiece and found some new placemats, and started pinteresting ideas for new wall decor.  I spent the evening making the new wall art below.  Hopefully I will get a stamp of approval from the girls!  **crossing my fingers**
This afternoon,  girly Merly came by and she introduced me to bullet journals!  I started creating mine tonight after I finished crafting, but I'm not quite finished yet.  If you're someone who uses a planner, you might want to look up bullet journals on pinterest or You Tube.  It's a pretty great and super cheap way to get your life organized, keep up with goals and finances, and monitor how you're spending your time!  I'm super excited to start using mine!

I decided to use my journal to maintain an attitude of gratitude...among other things.  So every day, I will list a few things that I'm grateful for to keep my mind focused on the positive things in my life.  Today I listed:
Friends with good ideas
Hobby Lobby (for obvious reasons)
Dr. H (he actually called me today to check up on me.  I don't know many doctors who call their patients to see how they're doing and remind them to schedule follow up visits!  I'm definitely grateful that I'm back under his care for a while!)

In other news, I'm starting the official countdown...T-minus 5 days till Punu's home!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pictures are worth a 1000 words...

The first week back home has gone by fast and has been super busy!  I've had a lot going on at Casa de Sue...lots of visitors and things to take care of.  I guess I should be grateful that my house waited to fall apart until I got home.  Friday I realized water was flowing from my hot water heater.  A big thanks to Chocolate Chip and Jeeves for helping me find someone to fix the situation and for spending the entire day with me until it got taken care of.  I have lots of pictures to post of the past week, so I'll let the pictures do the talking...(Well the pictures and my captions!)

The doc ordered me to do two-a-day me and Mousse have been trying to take advantage of the nice weather.  Yes, I have polka-dot Nikes...
Chocolate Chip's birthday dinner at Chae..I wasn't really that excited about Korean food, but it was amazeballs!  
Post birthday dinner selfie with Htown & Chocolate Chip!
Jeeves brought me all these goodies from his European vacation!  I collect snow globes, so he brought me back one from Paris, Amsterdam, and Istanbul!

I haven't been to any social events at home since I've been diagnosed, but I couldn't miss this beautiful girl's baby shower.  It was so nice to be able to see everyone!
After the baby shower this little bug, Princess Ava and her Mom, NC came to chill with me.  She let me french braid her hair!   
You know what this picture means??  It means someone is finally starting to work on the craft room.