Sunday, April 25, 2010

my weekend

My weekend started Friday morning as I headed up into the mountains for a women's retreat. The weather was lousy and my windshield wipers never stopped during the three hour trip, wiping away snow, sleet, and heavy rain.

After stopping in Boulder to have lunch with my son, Jake, I continued on up into the mountains where it looked like a winter wonderland. I love the mountains in the summer, when you can enjoy the greenery and the smell of the wood and sunshine. But early Spring showed off it's beauty and I felt blessed to have spent time watching the snow fall and the seeing the landscape covered in white.

The weekend consisted of fellowship with 18 amazing women as well as time spent by myself, replenishing my energy reserves. We laughed until we cried, and we cried until we laughed. We praised God in song and prayer. We ate and we shopped. We loved and felt loved. It was a wonderful weekend, and I came down from the mountain, under blue skies and mild temperatures, feeling refreshed and renewed.

To see what others did this weekend, visit Michelle at Six In The City.

Monday, April 19, 2010

home sweet home

This last weekend saw the anniversary of a special day for the Varey family. It was 20 years ago, on April 18th, that we rolled into the Denver area and claimed it as our new home.

We didn't know anyone here. Danielle was 2 and I was seven months pregnant with Jake. We wanted to move away from the hustle and bustle of living in southern California and Don was granted a transfer from the company he worked for. The Denver area seemed like a good place and it has been. It's been a wonderful place to raise a family.

There are so many memories encased in the last 20 years. Of course, there's been some hardships but it's mainly been good memories; watching our children grow into responsible and loving adults, being blessed with so many good friends, working in different areas of church ministry, living at the foot of and trips made into the great rocky mountains, the different jobs we've held, the two homes we've lived in, and the list can go on and on (and it does). It's been nice thinking back through the years and reflecting on the times that have made up the past two decades.

Home is where the heart is. Who would have guessed, 20 years ago, that we were driving into a place that would hold our heart so completely.

Friday, April 16, 2010

God is good

Last week, the day after I was given my test results, I remember being in a good mood and thinking, "God is good." But as quickly as that thought came to me, another thought came right on it's heels... would I be saying and feeling this if my results hadn't come back as favorable as they did?

I know on a head level that God is good no matter what I'm going through, but it bothered me that I didn't know for sure that I could make that same statement with the same conviction had things turned out differently.

Well, God's giving me a chance to do just that.

I had an appointment with my oncologist Wednesday and received some surprising and hard news. It turns out that when the surgeon gave me the results to my tests, she used a small - but very important - word that I didn't pay enough attention to, and she didn't go into any detail about. That word was, "invasive."

My non-invasive cancer ended up being invasive with a protein (HER2) that is aggressive in promoting the growth of cancer cells in the body. This changes the original plan of only having to undergo radiation therapy as the final step to now having to undergo a few different tests (PET-scan, MRI, etc.) to make sure the cancer hasn't spread to another part of my body and then chemotherapy to kill off any cancer micro-cells that might be floating around, and then radiation therapy.

I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but it vanished before my eyes. My journey dealing with cancer is not over yet and this leg is even more scarier than the first. It feels like what I've already gone through was a small bump in the road. This is a bigger bump and one that I don't want to deal with. BUT... I really don't have a choice, do I?

I do know one thing though... and I can say it with confidence and conviction... GOD IS GOOD!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

sailing the ocean blue

taken on our Spring break trip to California (last week of March)

Monday, April 12, 2010

i kept writing

As I mentioned in my last post, I kept writing during my break from Sunshine on my Shoulders and dealing with breast cancer. I didn't know I was going to do this. My diagnosis hit me so hard that my initial reaction was to retreat from everything, but after a couple of days, I realized I needed to write. Along with my experiences, I wanted to record my thoughts and feelings. I found it very therapeutic. I could type out what was on my mind and didn't have to keep it inside of me.

Besides my family, I don't know if anyone is interested in reading what I've written. Most of the posts are short as they are just quick thoughts. If you do read it, I suggest that you go all the way back to the first post and read forward from there (it will make more sense that way.)

You can find my cancer blog by clicking here.

I started it out with this post...

CANCER - That ugly 6 letter word. That word I’ve feared for most (if not all) of my adult life. That word you never want to hear from your doctor. The word that was used today in giving me the results of my latest round of biopsies. Cancer.

I have been diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). Now starts a new journey, not just for me, but my family.

At the moment, I’m overwhelmed emotionally. I’m sad. I’m afraid. I know other emotions will follow. I want to have this place (this blog) to record my feelings, my thoughts, my progress, and my insights as I travel down this road.

I believe life is a journey. I’ve just encountered a bend to my road that I wasn’t expecting and one that I definitely didn’t want to have to negotiate - ever.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

what a long strange trip it's been

I'm baaacccckkkkkkk =)

Did you miss me as much as I missed you? I don't mean just my regular readers/friends, but my beloved blog where I come to share and unload. I don't think so, because I missed you all very, very much.

My last post was March 8th - exactly a month ago. A lot has happened since that time. I was diagnosed with breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ), underwent surgery (a lumpectomy), and just received the results of the pathology tests. I can now say that most of my ordeal is over and I am cancer free.

I had a very small amount of micro-invasion (the cancer was mostly non-invasive) with margins less than 1 centimeter. They also took two lymph nodes to biopsy and they came back negative for showing any cancer.

You can imagine how happy I am, as well as my family and friends, from this news. But I have also gone through some painful, fearful, and questioning times. It's definitely been an interesting process. I decided to keep a private journal, writing about anything and everything that struck me during the past month. I've decided I'm going to make it public after I take out a post or two. I'll supply the link on Monday as well as re-posting a couple of my posts here.

It feels good to be back... in more ways than one.