Wednesday, August 3, 2011

some FAQ's and my heavy heart.

this post will start out light (answering some questions i have received over the past month or so) and then end with a little glimpse into my heart.

1. back in june you might remember THIS bridal shower i had for ally (she is now married by the way & what a day it was). i had a few requests for the mini caprese bites that my friend gaye brought to the party. here it is.

1pt. grape tomatoes halved
10-14 fresh small mozzarella cheese balls, cut into thirds
32 (4in) wooden skewers
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
kosher salt and pepper to taste

-thread 1 tomato half, 1 piece of cheese, and another tomato half onto each skewer.  Place skewers in a shallow serving dish.

-whisk together oil and next 3 ingredients.  Drizzle oil mixture over skewers; sprinkle with basil and salt and pepper to taste.

-pour the mixture over them in the serving glass. enjoy!

2. the song played on our family vacation VIDEO in williamsburg is josh garrels "further along."it is so good. he is so good.

3. the burlap piece with our wedding date on it from our bedroom. i am not that crafty and i like things that are easy and do not take too much time, money, or materials. but i like burlap and i like numbers and i love to spray paint whatever i can get my hands on. the whole idea started because we have an electrical box in our room that is not cute. so i knew i wanted to cover it with fabric because getting a picture that size would be expensive because it's a custom size. i had some extra burlap in the house and have been loving all the burlap pillows with numbers and letters on them from etsy (a website that literally sells pretty much anything you could ever want). but i never ordered because i knew i could make them. i need a sewing machine first. maybe for christmas this year. anyways i decided to do our anniversary because it's for our bedroom and i already have the letter R or J or L throughout the house so numbers would mix things up a little. i printed off ten inch stencil numbers from online and then taped them to the burlap and spray painted them white. because burlap has openings in it i had to spray a lot and some wet through but it was fine. i waited for it to dry. i am lying i never wait for things to dry i hung it immediately. it was seriously so easy. hope that helps.

4. the 8mm Vintage Videos we have posted on the blog are from a video option that is on the iphone.

5. pictures like these are all from Instragram which is an app for the iphone. i also like Snapbucket.

i am a little obsessed with it since the lens on our canon rebel is not working i have been using my iphone way more for pictures and video. they are not nearly as good but it's a real easy way to capture moments since my phone is always with me.

6. our video monitor for ava. i love it. ours is the silver slim&secure from summer infant. i wish they were paying me to endorse them since i am pretty sure i have told every friend who is having a baby or knows someone having a baby that a video monitor is a dream. a must have. it was my sister who suggested we get it before ava was born. i was a little hesitant since it is not cheap ($200). but i am pretty sure it is one of the best things we bought for ava. i love it. the peace of mind of not only hearing her but seeing her. ava likes to run back and forth in her crib and throw herself into her bumper and it cracks her up. it is hilarious. i really had no idea the peace of mind it brought us at night and at naps until this happened...
yup. it broke and we are not exactly sure what happened. but her name is ava. she got a hold of it when we were all upstairs playing and then when i went to turn it on after we put her to bed i saw this. now we can only hear her. which is all you need. but when you are used to being able to see your baby sleep it is hard to not have that option anymore. i seriously have anxiety over it at night. planning to call summer infant and seeing if they will hook we up with a replacement. it's worth a try. i love video monitors.

now my heart. it has been an exhausting week. physically and emotionally and spiritually. this weekend i started coming down with a cough. nothing crazy. people get coughs all the time. but then it turned into a fever. pretty high. 103 last night. achy body. pain in my left hip (where my cancer was). tingling feeling all over my body. leg numbness. lost some weight. have not had an appetite. but the problem is that most of things (besides the cough and fever) were happening before i was diagnosed and ignored them for months. but they are also very normal flu like symptoms. however, it was nearly impossible for me to believe that it was only flu. my cancer was back. i was sure of it. seriously. last night when my fever broke and i was laying in bed freezing but sweating uncontrollably i began to sob in bed. it was back. i was convinced. i was so scared. i have never been scared of health problems. i never had any reason to be. but when i got cancer last year that changed everything and i had no idea how it was going to manifest itself when i got sick for the first time. this is the first time since that i have been sick. so in my fear i assumed the worst. how could i not? it does come back. people go into remission and then come out of it. it's just a whole new road we are on now. another way that cancer changed us forever. how do i not jump to conclusions when ignored all my symptoms before? i do not know the answer. not sure if there is one. maybe this is just a part of life post cancer. especially when it is still so recent. will it get better as the years go on? the more and more i hear from my doctor's..."you are fine libby. everything looks great." will that make it easier? i hope so. i earnestly pray it will. because this week as been full of anxiety and fear. especially when my dear aunt just this week began her own journey with cancer. it seems to be everywhere and i know my awareness is so so heightened now. i see it on commercials, billboards, magazines, all over the internet. it is just hard and sad. it was not so good for justin either. he is stronger than me. for sure. but i did realize that if he seems worried it makes me worried and vice versa. he is good at reeling me in. i need that. but in an attempt to put us both at ease i went and saw noura today and got my blood drawn. i sat in the waiting room and teared up. sat in a chair in the chemo room waiting to talk to noura and got so nauseous. i have no idea how i went to that place. 12 times. i seriously have no idea. but i think it was so hard today because i had convinced myself that i would sitting in those chairs again soon. and as my eyes filled with tears while eaves dropping on noura's phone call. because i thought she was discussing my blood work results with dr. lee and they were talking about how to tell me my cancer was back. that is how fast i spiraled. she got off the phone and said, 'hey, lib...results look good. normal. probably just the flu." i quickly pulled myself together and we chatted about ava, justin, and her husband. i should probably learn from this experience. it's what happened before my last visit too. so i will try. i will remind myself what is true. no fear in Christ. i trust him with my life. i want to. i try to. i think i do. but sometimes it is just hard.


  1. I can only imagine the fear you had! So glad you got a good report! :)

  2. I think it is TOTALLY normal for you to feel that way and I know we all would have felt the same way too...hoping you feel better soon! Don't be too hard on yourself, you're human and while we should not fear or be anxious, and put our faith in Him, we all make mistakes sometimes too :)

  3. oh my dear friend; first... that pic of you and ava, with you kissing her cheek? blow that sucker up.

    second, You are a rockstar. You are real. And you are still cancer free. love it. and love the flu :)

  4. That is probably normal. But fear doesn't come from God. You're under attack. Declare Satan out of your life in Jesus' name. He doesn't like your witness for Jesus. He hates this blog. He hates your strength through Christ.

  5. Libby this is normal. I used to break out in a total body sweat just going to the doctor for checkps. It was so embarassing. It will happen for a couple of years and then you will feel better. My doctors used to freak out when I came me through all kinds of tests. Once after teaching my son to drive, I had this horrendous stiff neck and pain for six weeks. The doctor actually told e that he thought I had a malignant tumor on my spine. Well I didn't. I had sarcomas on my upper leg......but it was 21 years ago.....21, that's right. It will get better. (((((HUGS))))

  6. Oh...this will take time. Mine was not cancer...but lupus....I was sick for 7 years and God in His mercy set me free. It took a while for me not to think every ache...muscle and joint pain was the lupus coming back. Once I was feeling so bad....I was convince it was back...I almost did not go to the doctor out of fear....but then I remembered I pulled a tick off me a week before...I had rocky mt spotted fever...much longer with antibotics...I would have been in serious trouble.
    I promise...each time you wrestle and face the fear....the enemies threats will lessen.
    you are a precious young lady....thanks for being honest

  7. One brave step at a time, sweet girl.

  8. That would be so hard Libby. Stay strong. Steadfastness produces perseverance. Perseverance produces character.

  9. I just started reading your blog through a fellow blogger. So sorry that CA has touched your life but happy you are in remission. I have had CA and was given 2 yrs to live. I am almost 4 yrs out and am doing really well, thanks to my heavenly father! I know exactly how you feel everytime you are ready for a checkup or something strange happens. Recently I had blisters appear on my incisions and thought for sure something was terribly wrong. My husband really went into a tailspin. He is my rock but suffers from fears of losing me more than I fear the CA returning. The blisters turned out to be a bacterial infection treated with antiobiotics. What a relief and then I think, why did I get so upset? But I realize once you have walked this "terminal" road your life is no longer the same. In many ways it does make you more careful and you do have new fears but it also makes the clouds fluffier, the leaves on the trees greener, the flowers more beautiful. Everything in life is so much more important and somethings no longer are important at all. You just want to grasp all that life can give you and even enjoy the bad times because you are still here with your family. Life just takes on a more meaningful existence. I thank God he allowed me to walk this path. To see what He has done. To feel His presence in my life like I have never felt before. Sorry, to go on so much but I am thankful and just wanted to share this with you. Be of good courage!

    Cheryl from PA

  10. Oh Libby, my heart goes out to you! Even though I don't know what it means to have cancer, I do know the feeling of how dark thoughts pull you into that awful, scary place where you are convinced that something exists even though it doesn't. I've been there and it's terrifying. And it's Philippians 4:7 that pulls me out of it.

    Praise God that the test results were good. And in Jesus name I stand with you that it will not come back.

    Sending lots of love your way. You are such a beautiful inspiration, inside and out.

  11. Libby- Still lovin the blog. I started mine when I got sick, and I continue it now for my girls. I was scared when I got sick the first time after treatment (Stage 4, NHL-chemo, high-dose chemo, and stem-cell transplant) 6 years since diagnosis (last Friday), and cancer free, I can say the fear gets better over time. Along with the fear, comes comfort, a reminder that we are not in control, and reinforcement in the FAITH for our God Almighty! The lapses when you are sick is hard...the feelings, and the flood of memories, sometimes brought on by a taste, smell, or noise....especially the Dr. My husband felt it a lot Monday, our wedding anniversary of 13 years. I asked why and he said, "First day of school." You see our oldest started middle-school....and she started Kindergarten at the beginning of treatments. So yes...YES, sickness and all the etc. will remind you and your family of cancer...but then we nod (knowing it's ok to be scared...flooded with feelings and memories) smile and (as our family motto goes) we suck it up. It's pretty easy to with an army of prayers and proof miracles happen, but more so because God is glorious! As I tell my now middle-schooler…”hun, realize it’s the devil whispering to you and say, “Go on with your bad self!...for my God is great!””


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