Blogging Sadly

So five years ago I started this blog.  I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer, was homeschooling, had a new baby with Down Syndrome, and my family and friends wanted to keep up with every little update but were afraid to call or come over lest they interrupt precious sleep, or in case I was too tired and cranky to talk.  Blogging gave me a way to keep everybody informed (when I was awake and usually not cranky), a place to share this journey, and a way to save and store all these memories for my children.  The absolute most valuable part about blogging has been the friends I have made.  I continue to be surrounded by a community of women who are truly present for me, 100 %.

All those gifts from blogging have remained true, but as I have tried to balance illness and family and everything, keeponspinning has sunk to the bottom of each days list, with lots of guilt although plenty of good intentions.    Bt it’s time to get back at it.  I had surgery the other day, and here is the path report.


It all started a few weeks ago when my lymphedema flared up.  My left arm was so swollen I truly was worried the skin would pop.  So I called the surgeon, who speakerphoned from the operating room and told me to go see the oncologist.  The oncologist sent me to the hospital, where they found a blood clot in my chest.  One of my biggest fears, truly.  So to make a long story short, I am now on blood thinners.



I will spare you the photos of the bruises on my abdomen.  You can tell precisely how many days I have been on these shots, and in which order i used each place, as the purple circles get larger as my blood gets thinner.  So why did I get this clot?  Well, there was also this new mass under my left arm, that the oncologist initially wasn’t worried about… but when they looked at it in the hospital, the story there changed.  They considered taking it out really fast before starting the blood thinners, but the skin was stretched so tight that they truly worried that they wouldn’t be able to sew it closed again.






Meanwhile we tried to get the swelling under control.  I am wrapped from fingertips to armpit, changed twice a day.  This makes it hard to do absolutely everything.  Like knit.  Or type.  Or get a sweet little almost-totally-dry-all-day boy onto and off of the potty.  Totally impossible to spin, despite this gorgeous bag of fleece we discovered while cleaning the laundry room the other day.  It sits in the kitchen haunting me.  I think i need to just put it on ebay, but I’m too emotional right now, so I just open it up every once in a while to get my lanolin olfactory fix.



So we waited until the clot was stable, then paused the blood thinners and went in on Thursday and carefully took some chunks out of the mass.  7 pieces, up to about 2 cm each.  And you saw the result.  Did you know that chemotherapy can GIVE you cancer?  We were hoping that maybe this tumor was a new kind of cancer, thus more treatable than an old cancer that has kept growing despite pretty much every single most toxic treatment anybody could think of for five years.



Yesterday Dixon and I went to sit down with the oncologist.  We don’t have a plan yet, because we need a little bit more data first.  They are still waiting for one more test on the tumor cells that might tell us that a new drug might keep it from growing for a little while.  And they accessed my port, drew gallons of blood for labs, and then arranged for me to spend today getting a radionuclide bone scan, brain MRI with gadolinium, and CT scans with contrast of chest, abdomen, pelvis… I had had several scans recently, but this tumor seems to be growing really fast, so they wanted fresh data.  Of course in the radiology department these signs are everywhere:



I would have given anything to be pregnant or breastfeeding rather than in my situation.   Sigh.

And in every department i had to fill out forms.  Writing out the words that I knew meant my cancer was back in a way worse form than ever before made it seem so much more real.



And of course to top it off, both the clothes washer and the dishwasher broke within 12 hours.  And right between disaster one and disaster two we took George to the ENT.  He needs ear surgery number ELEVEN.  Considering that we don’t know what’s going to be going on with our family over the next little bit, and he needs to be able to hear, the ENT rearranged some other kids and put him into the OR schedule for Friday.  Like tomorrow.



So I bought paper plates, and friends are doing my laundry.  Oh, and here’s the other thing i bought.  One impediment to blogging is that it’s really hard to manage my good camera with my bad arm.  And I am just not smart enough to get photos from my phone to the internet.  So now I have a light tiny camera to go.



So that’s the story.  My favorite chemo nurse at the oncology infusion center told me yesterday that I shouldn’t waste my time or money buying lottery tickets today.  We still don’t have a plan.  Maybe Monday or Tuesday.  Meanwhile, we’ve been crying a lot, talking to friends in the middle of the night when the pain pills arent working, and praying ceaselessly.  And trying to get a few things done, as much for the distraction as anything.

Oh!  Here’s something that’s been a good distraction for me.  You all know that as a pro-life person, I’ve discovered that contributing a little bit to saving lives of disabled children in orphanages in Eastern Europe brings me joy…  we can’t adopt, obviously, but we can financially help families who can.  And one of my friends anonymously donated a brand new ipad for a fundraiser to save LOTS of children.  There are other great prizes too, a camera and an ipad mini and gift cards.  But the BIGGEST prize is saving lives.  So I sit here on the sofa and click refresh every little bit, and rejoice when the numbers are higher… go check it out.  I know it sounds sort of complicated, how to enter, but keep scrolling down and you’ll see how it works.

Poor Dixon, he knows that supporting these families makes me happy, so he’s not about to complain about the sorry state of our paypal account at the moment.  He would do anything to make me forget about the cancer, even for just a little while.

So anyway, I’m back to blogging.  Regular (although shorter) updates I promise.




78 thoughts on “Blogging Sadly

  1. Praying, praying, praying…for discernment for your doctors, for you and your family as you look to HIM for guidance…and for all those cute babies that area being saved thanks to you spreading the word. 🙂 now, I’m off to go have fun with my Paypal account too.

  2. wow….not sure what to say….I suppose I want you to know that I pray for you and that Jesus has you real tight…I hope that today you feel his arms around you and your family. I want you to know that I cried. I don’t want you to know that for my sake but because when people didn’t know what to say to me when my 2 year old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leakaemia it sort helped when they cried…in a kind of them sharing my life and them holding us in their hearts. I haven’t explained that very well but I hope that is okay.

  3. Oh, Elizabeth. Posting all this must have been difficult, so thank you. I don’t have any of the right words, so I’m just going to tell you what a hero you have been to me:your faith, your courage, your strength, and your love for your family, for orphans, and all those who need help. I can pray, always. Love, Nancy

  4. Elizabeth, I hurt for you and with you. I’m also promising my prayers. Praying for George, too! I know what you mean about the joy of helping fund adoptions of special needs kids. The grant we received via Reece’s Rainbow meant that we could adopt our Brad. It really made all the difference. Praying for courage and strength for you, especially in the middle of the night. Much love!

  5. I’m so sorry Elizabeth. As an oncology nurse, having patients come back really sucks, so I can imagine for you it’s at least 100 fold. I am going to donate to Julia’s giveaway in your honor. I’m also thinking of sweet George. Prayers and blessings.

  6. Oh Elizabeth. You don’t know me. I live in Florida and have followed you for years after I accidentally found your blog. You have been an inspiration to me and it breaks my heart to read your cancer is back. I was so afraid of this for you. I will be praying for you and your family. I hope all goes well with your little one’s surgery. Sending you many hugs and lots of hope. Only Christ can bring you peace and true comfort, no matter what.

  7. How can anyone absorb such a blow? Thank you for sharing the news. You are in my daily prayers and will continue to be.

  8. We LOVE you all more than words can express. Our 3 boys are home because you believed. Our God sees and hears our cries, our pleas our prayers. We are on our knees. And yet we rejoice because had He not crossed our paths, we’d never have met. You are truly amazing Sweet Elizabeth, truly truly amazing. And we LOVE you dearly. Hold tight sweet friend/sister in Christ. He holds you in HIs Hands. ((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))) He answers every prayer.

  9. Elizabeth, I have been following your story through Ann and Ginny. I feel so blessed to “know” you. God works in ways that we never understand and although I know you are in pain in many ways, please find some comfort in knowing that myself and many others are lifting you in prayer. When you are doubting and having those sleepless nights, rest in knowing that there is a battle going on for control of your thoughts. God wants us to shut out the world and focus on Him. It is an incredible privilege for those who seek His face.

    Love you!

  10. Hello God Mother! 😉 Mom (Aunt Nancy) posted this on Facebook. I miss our letters we used to write when I was little. I love reading these when I get the chance,(well kinda) and am glad you struggle through to keep everyone updated! Thank You!! I thought it was interesting that this all happened just before my business is doing “clash for a cure” which is a football game which donates everything to cancer research. I am doing chair massage and donating to the cause. I will be thinking of you while I am working. I miss u so much, and I hope you can beat this!! My prayers are with you. Love u God Mother! 🙂

  11. I have prayed for you every night since I found the blog button “Praying for Elizabeth”. Your strength and faith have been such a guiding star to me. I have learned so much from following your blog. My heart grieves for you all, at this news. “But I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day”. I will be lifting George and his surgical team before the Throne tomorrow. God bless you all.

  12. Hi, I was wondering if you have ever heard of the Gerson Therapy? If you have not heard of this, you need to. Go to you tube and type in Gerson Therapy. It will save your life and HEAL you cancer. God bless you!

  13. As always you are in my prayers…your strength as well as everything else about you amazes me! Praying for sweet George and his surgery too. Love you and that precious family of yours…Hugs!!

  14. Oh, dear Elizabeth! I have been tearful for you for the last hour since I read this dreaded update. I had never told my children about your cancer, but tonight at prayers I did. I became a big crying mess in front of them. I am a better mother because of your guidance to me, and I regularly think of what you might advise me or have me do as a mother. No matter what happens, you will have that continued effect in my family. Please keep us updated and let us know how we local friends can help (meals?).

  15. Elizabeth and Dixon,
    You are so loved and admired for so many reasons. The tears are droplets of love and caring that fall from our faces and touch the hand of God. Prayers lift you up to the hand of God that you might find solace and know how much you are loved.

  16. Dearest Elizabeth and family,
    Please know that the Freeman family is sending love and prayers your way. You have made such a wonderful impact on our lives and we admire you and all of your family tremendously. You are a blessing to all. Please let us know how we can be there for you. Hickory is only an hour from Charlotte, so let me know if we can help.
    Love and prayers,
    Nan and family

  17. I am so sorry that you are having to go through all of this! I’m praying for all of your family. You are truly a blessing, I have no idea how I found you/your blog but I’m glad I did. You have touched my heart on many occasions. God has given you a gift in your words. I’ll be specifically praying for peace, love, laughter and comfort to exceed your expectations!

  18. I’m so sad for you and your family to have to go through all this. Knowing God is sovereign and good and that one day we’ll see how he used this (as all things) for good, but still I hate cancer and that you have to go through this. I’ve just “known” you through your blog a short time, but you are a blessing to me and apparently many other people! I am praying for you. I thank God that the love of Christ flows through you and that your life is doing what is most important — bringing him glory — in all circumstances. “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father.” (Col. 1:11, 12a)

  19. It’s midnight and I am crying with you. I am so very sorry to hear your latest news. Had I not thought “no news must be good news…..”. Please fight it and stay strong. My thoughts and wishes to take this hurdle on are with you and your family.

  20. Hi — I have a similar breast cancer story, minus the terrible lymphedema. I am telling you in hopes that it will give you some optimism. In 1995 I was diagnosed with DCIS and although there was no tumor found, I did have one positive node (one cell! on one node!). So I had chemo and a mastectomy. In 2009…14 years later…I had a large lump in my axilla, on the cancer side, that turned out to be positive. So chemo again, and radiation. Now it is 2013 and I am HEALTHY. I hope that you will continue to be well. You are a survivor! Hang in there.

  21. Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing with us. I am so sorry. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed for or thought of someone I didn’t know as much as I do you. I will keep it up, and want you to know how much you inspire me. I will also be praying tomorrow for George!

  22. We will keep praying Elizabeth. Our God is not outdone in generosity! Stay close as you can to Mary. she will lead you. Hugs…

  23. Elizabeth, I feel like I am intruding into a private conversation here but I have been reading your blog and reading about you on other blogs for a long time and I have always been humbled by your evident strength of mind, body and soul, your kindness and your faithfulness. I wanted to let you know that over here in Norfolk, England you and your family are being held in prayer. May you feel the arms of God around you. Lucy x

  24. Praying for you, Elizabeth…you have touched so many with your kindness…I remember you sent me a liturgical calender when I mentioned on my blog that I pined for one (I still have it–use it as a work mat for Gemma when she paints!), and you threw in a few skeins of hand-dyed yard, from which I made her longies and little Mary Janes. They are stored away now, but I want you to know how deeply your little, unexpected kindness touched me. Love, prayers and affection to you!

  25. Oh, Elizabeth, I am so very sorry. Continue to trust God and live each day with hope. Know that you and your family are in my prayers. Love, Jan

  26. I’ve followed your blog for a few years and check daily for updates. My thoughts are with you and your courageous family during another bump in the road that is life. Please know that there are many, many people supporting you through positive thoughts and prayers. You are loved by many Elizabeth.

  27. If you only knew how you have inspired so many of us over the years with the love of your faith and family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and I hope that you know how many people are praying for you and your family. I think of you often when I am annoyed or overwhelmed and think of how you would love to be in my healthy shoes. Your cross has blessed so many. I wish that you didnt have to carry it though. Be assured of our prayers.

  28. Elizabeth, I’ve been following your story through Elizabeth and Ginny for the past couple of years. I will be praying for you and your family.

  29. Im just a random stranger thats read your blog for awhile. I am so so sorry to hear this. Do you have your Paypal listed anywhere? You are in my prayers.

  30. Dear Elizabeth,
    You and your sweet family are always in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your courageos, kind and generous witness to faith and love.

  31. Elizabeth, I was reading your blog sadly. You are the most amazing person I know. We got back from vacation last week. We were in Montreal and Quebec City. I prayed for you in each of the churches we visited. We continue to pray for you each night. Please feel my hug. Faith

  32. I just discovered your blog and I am so saddened by this entry. I am praying for you and for your family. Keep strong and keep your hope alive. God is great, and anything is possible. Hugs to you from Ottawa, Canada.

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  34. A friend shared your post on FB today…I will add you to my prayer list and pray that God will find a way for you to be healed. Know that there is an army of prayer warriors out there for you!

  35. I have thought of you and your family often, and have spoken about your struggles and all of the joy your children are. I know we have not met in person, but I am always praying for you.

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  37. I have been reading your blog for awhile, and it amazes me how much you and your family have had to go through, and yet how humble, gracious, and selfless you all remain. I feel like such a wimp when I complain about an injured foot compared to what you go through!
    I was wondering though if anyone has suggested that George go dairy-free? I know that can really help with ear infections and even prevent the need for tubes, but didn’t know if his issues were of a more structural nature. Also, it saddened me to see your wheat recipes…wheat is not good for anyone anymore, and along with sugar (even natural sugar like in fruit), can really supress your immune system. I can understand this might be a difficult time for food choices, and whatever you eat is probably bettter than not eating though. If you’re looking for some interesting reading, check out “Wheat Belly” by Dr Willaim Davis, and also anything by Weston Price. I hope for good outcomes for you and this current battle, you’ve come so far!!

  38. Dear Elizabeth, Tricia sent me to your blog and I am touched by your story. I am a ten year survivor of Stage IV invasive ductal carcinoma. I’ve been told I am a miracle and you are too! Keep on fighting…Hugs and prayers from Arizona. Karen

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