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.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy birthday, Chocolate Chip!

Today is my little chocolate chip's birthday! She wants today to go unnoticed and treat it like an average Wednesday...but there's nothing average about today or Chocolate Chip! 

I remember the first day I met her... I was left thinking who is this larger than life ten year old?!? She was tiny (still is) but fierce! I liked her instantly and found her to be so entertaining!

Over a decade later and I still feel the same way about her! I call her glitter dust because she definitely adds some sparkle to my life! She makes me laugh, has the most entertaining stories, and inspires me to wear makeup!

Over the past few months I've gotten to know her even better! She's been nothing short of an angel to me...washing my hair when I couldn't, doing things around the house, and cheering me up when I needed it! She's been such a blessing in my life!

Happy birthday, chocolate chip!! I hope you never lose your sparkle!!



I'm pretty determined to stay productive and God knows I have puhlenty to keep me busy for 5 weeks...i.e., the craft room.  I gotta be honest as soon as I got home I peeked my head in there hoping some of my awesome friends decided to organize it for me while I was gone....but clearly it's a task that no one wants to take on...not even awesome friends!! 

However, today was not the day to deal with the abyss. Instead I decided to go to Hobby Lobby. It's been two months, people!! I was having serious withdrawals!! And I had to make sure the store wasnt rearranged! My friends count on me to be able to tell them what aisle and sometimes what shelf certain things are located! I can't let them down. Good news, nothing has changed! Florals were 50% off so I used the opportunity to get some flowers for the planter box CCLs son Ethan made for me. I'm definitely not a very good floral arranger so after several failed attempts, I came up with this!
I also had a few special visitors who kept me company this evening. My coworker and friend Savanna came by with a large box full of the sweetest gifts and cards from my team at Paycom. I was pretty overwhelmed with all the thought, effort, and creativity they all put into it.  As most of you have figured out I love giving people nicknames!! This is probably because I have had so many given to me throughout my lifetime...some sweet and cute...others not so much!!  In turn, I've created lots of nicknames for people...but most people don't ever even know it. 

"Snuggles" is one of my coworkers who recently found out her name I have given her.  I dubbed her snuggles after the cute cuddly fabric softener teddy bear because she always smells like fresh scented laundry. If my back is turned and she walks into my area I know she's there because of her fresh, clean scent!! I have often found myself trying to scoot closer to her just to get a better sniff!!! So when everyone was bringing things to put into my box, Snuggles approached Savanna and asked her for suggestions! Sav let the cat out of the bag, told her that I secretly call her Snuggles, and suggested that she launder something so I can enjoy the smell!!! 

If you didn't think I was weird before reading this post...I'm sure you do now!! Anyway, because Snuggles totally rocks...she took Sav's suggestion and complied to my weirdness! She got me this amazing pillowcase and laundered it like only Snuggles can!! It matches my bed sheets perfectly!  How did Snuggles know my room is shades of brown?? And even more smells just like Snuggles!!! fresh and so clean,clean! 
Do you guys think Snuggles will find it weird if I send the pillowcase back to her to launder once the scent wears away???



Monday, April 11, 2016

Weekend in Review- Hello OKC!

Well, we survived the 8 hour drive from Houston...with just a few hiccups and throw ups.  And no, it wasn't the cancer patient who threw up it was the driver who refused to heed my warnings and insisted on eating curly fries.  I got to my mom's house around 11:30 pm  on Saturday night and was greeted by my faithful, bestie!  Everyone asks me what Mousse's reaction was.  She jumped on me and wagged her tail, but in a very gentle way.  Almost like she was thinking, "You're still alive?!?!?!  And you came back for me?!? "  The rest of the night she proceeded to do what she does best...STARE at me!

Sunday morning, my mom, Mousse and I embarked on the three minute journey to my house, so she could help me unload the car.  I walked in to the scent of lilies, and turned around to see this on my dining room table...
The dynamic duo--Htown and Chocolate Chip had left me a sweet surprise!

I spent the rest of the day unpacking and visiting with my family.  And,  got to reunite with the girls!  It's hard to believe I've been away for two months because things have just gone right back to normal!
Reunited and it feels so good!  After a grocery shopping excursion I noticed we were all three carrying the same purse in different colors!  I thought it was kind of symbolic of the three of us.. we're all in various places and stages in life but still have so much in common!!
So, now that I'm back everyone is asking me what my plans are.  I'm pretty sure five weeks will fly by and before you know it, it'll be time to go back to Houston.  So, I'm going to use my time wisely!  The doctor told me to walk twice a day (which Mousse is ecstatic about!) and eat lots of protein to help with recovery, I have some projects I'd like to work on here at the house, definitely have lots of people to see and spend time with, and I'm especially looking forward to Punu is visiting in T-Minus 12 days!! (no that's not a real name...for some reason Sunu and I have replaced the S's in our names with P's and I call her Punu and she calls me Poo.  I think the replacement P works better for her!!)

I'm so happy to be home.  I honestly feel better already.  And in case it's not obvious, I love my Moussey girl so much and I'm so happy to be home with her again!!!
Someone doesn't know it...but I'm about to call the mobile groomers.  

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Thoughts for the day...

In less than a week, three people I know have died back home.  It seems like ever since the start of the year, I have been hearing about a lot of people getting sick and a lot of people dying.  It's been a crazy year so far, and it's only April.  Yesterday I found out that my pastor's son, Lael died at age 38.  Lael was born with Down's Syndrome...but recently contracted pneumonia and just never got better.  He was a sweet soul and loved a lot by his family...especially his parents.  My heart breaks for them as I think about their journey with Lael.  He was their first born child, and I can't imagine their fear when they discovered he was sick.  As immigrants, they didn't have a large support system or any understanding of how to raise a child with special needs.  There was no one else in the Indian community in the early 70's that could guide them through their journey.  But, they did it...and raised him to be a loving, gentle, contributing member of society.  Aunty asked me to help write her story once.  I tried to help her, but it was a project that eventually became a lot more than I could handle at the time.  I'm so glad that she was persistent and found someone to collaborate with her and eventually accomplished her goal.  Imagining Everest is her inspiring story about raising Lael.

As I reflect on all the heart ache and sadness happening in Oklahoma City right now....I really feel that God is calling us to intercede for each other in prayer.  So many times we  become blinded by our own needs, desires, and quests for happiness and success that we don't see the needs of those around us.  But we are called to love others, help others, and pray for others.  God's first commandment for us is to love Him, but in Matthew 22:39 He says the second commandment is like your neighbor as yourself.  I find myself always feeling nervous about sounding preachy when I write in this blog.  I'm not perfect and never feel like I'm in a place where I can preach to others.  But, I do believe in sharing my thoughts and what I've learned and what God has shown me.  Over the past few months, God has taught me that He uses us...His show others of His love for them.  I have been on the receiving end of this...and have seen Jesus through the love I have received.  

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

16 Personalities...what's yours?

The other day CCL emailed me a link to take this personality test.  I love things like this...anything that gives me better understanding about my weird psyche!!  So, we both took the very quick test and read each other's results and discovered this test is right on the money!! Then I made chocolate chip and H-town take it...and theirs were accurate too!  So, I thought I would share it with the blogosphere!  I definitely need a break from talking about cancer and treatment and crispy stomach lining. That being said...I'd like to make today's blog interactive!!  Follow this link find out what personality type you are!  Then tell me your results in the comment box below or text me or call me or schedule is pretty open this week so I've got nothing but time!!

Meanwhile, I'll share my personality type.  It's INFP (The Mediator)  I won't bore you with the deets but here's a synopsis:
INFP personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, INFPs have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the INFP personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.

Being a part of the Diplomat (NF) personality group, INFPs are guided by their principles, rather than by logic, excitement , or practicality. When deciding how to move forward, they will look to honor, beauty, morality and virtue – INFPs are led by the purity of their intent, not rewards and punishments. People who share the INFP personality type are proud of this quality, and rightly so, but not everyone understands the drive behind these feelings, and it can lead to isolation.

At their best, these qualities enable INFPs to communicate deeply with others, easily speaking in metaphors and parables, and understanding and creating symbols to share their ideas. The strength of this intuitive communication style lends itself well to creative works, and it comes as no surprise that many famous INFPs are poets, writers and actors. Understanding themselves and their place in the world is important to INFPs, and they explore these ideas by projecting themselves into their work.

INFPs’ ability with language doesn’t stop with their native tongue, either – as with most people who share the Diplomat personality types, they are considered gifted when it comes to learning a second (or third!) language. Their gift for communication also lends itself well to INFPs’ desire for harmony, a recurring theme with Diplomats, and helps them to move forward as they find their calling.

Unlike their Extraverted cousins though, INFPs will focus their attention on just a few people, a single worthy cause – spread too thinly, they’ll run out of energy, and even become dejected and overwhelmed by all the bad in the world that they can’t fix. This is a sad sight for INFPs’ friends, who will come to depend on their rosy outlook.

If they are not careful, INFPs can lose themselves in their quest for good and neglect the day-to-day upkeep that life demands. INFPs often drift into deep thought, enjoying contemplating the hypothetical and the philosophical more than any other personality type. Left unchecked, INFPs may start to lose touch, withdrawing into "hermit mode", and it can take a great deal of energy from their friends or partner to bring them back to the real world.

Luckily, like the flowers in spring, INFP’s affection, creativity, altruism and idealism will always come back, rewarding them and those they love perhaps not with logic and utility, but with a world view that inspires compassion, kindness and beauty wherever they go.

Well...whaddaya think?  Does any of that sound like me?  Some of it is so accurate it's scary!  Now it's your turn!!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Ringing that bell...

Well guys, today was my last day of treatment!  I'm not sure why, but it was really pretty emotional for me.  I sobbed all the way there and all the way back.  Tears of joy?  Possibly.  I don't think I could have handled even one more day of radiation.   I think I'm just so ready to be done with the entire journey, and I'm so relieved to be one step closer to the end of it.  I got to ring the bell which signifies the last day of treatment.  It was such a great feeling..and probably one of the hi lights of my life.  I know it's just a little bell...but radiation has been one of the hardest experiences that I've gone through thus far.

I still don't feel well, but I'm trying to push myself a little bit and move past it.  Five more days of Houston, and I don't want to spend those days in my bed.  I want to be able to enjoy my time away from MDA and say my see ya laters!  Sunday, I accomplished everything I set out to do...A & her crew took me to the kite festival and took me to pick up some cuppycakes for the radiation team!  They loved them, by the way.  I've never seen the valet guys smile before...I mean, I wouldn't smile if I was up at 7 am parking cars either....but when I handed them a box of cuppycakes...they were all smiling!  It was pretty adorable.  This just goes to show...cupcakes make the world go round!!

A & her handsome boy, Milo
Can we take a second to talk about my hair?  I'm so happy that it's growing back!!  And dare I say...growing back straight?!?!?!?!?  I'm trying not to get too excited about it just yet...considering it's only half an inch long!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Breaking Point...

I spent three hours today sorting through mail, paying bills, and writing thank you cards.  It's the first time this entire week that I've had energy to do much of anything other than laying in bed.  I thought since I had accomplished a few things, I should probably go to the grocery store to  stock up on a few necessities for my last week here.  But, that wasn't a good idea.  By the time I got back to the car, I just wanted to curl up in the back seat, groan, and sleep off the pain.

I know eventually I'll feel better...but I don't know when.  And it's beginning to make me a little blue. I know that I should be elated that I only have one more day of radiation and chemo left.  But in my mind, I am thinking...Geez, I still have on more day left?!?  I'm pretty sure my roasted insides are contributing to my negative attitude.  

I want to end this week out in good spirits...and go home and let my body recuperate.  I'm trying to reflect on the positives, but when you're in pain that's really hard to do.  When I look back at the past two months...I can't believe that I first came to Houston expecting only to be here for four days.  I remember when cousin Mikey and I went to MD Anderson for my first appointment...We were there for 8 hours and it was so exhausting and overwhelming trying to navigate our way around.  After that, I realized that I was stuck here for a while...I had to find a place to live, figure out my way around the city and the hospital, and handle two weeks of treatment on my own before my family and friends could come out and help.  Looking back, it was all SO much to deal with.  I know that there's no way I could have done any of it with out God...  This morning I got an email from one of my sweet friends in Philly.  He told me that his baby girl prays for me every night.  That email made me think about how many people are bombarding heaven with prayers on my behalf...and how those prayers have helped me get through these past few months.

I try to remind myself of all the ways I'm blessed and how much all this has shown me about God and His grace...but I find myself losing my focus when I am so weak physically and emotionally.  For the first time since this whole nightmare started...I feel like I'm at my breaking point.  Every morning for the past week, I've been driving to radiation in tears thinking I just can't handle another day.  My insides hurt.  I'm tired...and I really want this to be over.  On Monday...I will reach my half-way point of treatment.  I'm not going to lie...the thought of surgery and recovery are extremely daunting.  I try not to even think about it.  I remind myself to not think ahead but focus on each day as it comes.

With that in mind...tomorrow, I'm hoping to have enough energy to go to a kite festival at the park across the street.   It seems like a beautiful way to wrap up my last weekend here. I hope to have amazing pictures to post.  I also need to get some sweet treats to give to the radiation crew on my last day!  Even though the experience has been horrible...everyone at MDA...from the valet guys and receptionist to the radiation techs made this experience so much more bearable, and I feel like I need to express my gratitude to them.  And what better way is there than expressing gratitude with cupcakes?  One thing is definitely for sure...although, I appreciate all of them, parting will NOT be such sweet sorrow!