Monday, January 31, 2011

in less than a month...

we will have the results. the results of my final pet scan post chemotherapy. i have one more treatment to go. then a pet scan. and then on 2.23.11 we will meet with my doctor to discuss the results. almost 6 months to the day from when this began. and its my mom's birthday that day too. so praying for good news. clearly.

this past treatment went well. one of my best. which really gives me the gusto i need for number 12. the last sister took great care of ava and me. we could not have done it without her. i was telling her yesterday that i sorta forgot things i may or may not have said on thursday and friday. at the time i felt totally with it and completely coherent. but when i think back it gets a little blurry. its not like i forgot everything we said or did. because we did talk serious. in a good serious way. and i meant everything i said. its just a bit foggy. i had lots of drugs in my system. but either way it was nice to be with my older sister and talk about husbands, babies, clothes, our homes, friends, living in new places, and drinking lots of dunkin donuts.

on friday i took a bath. i lit candles. and things seemed really clear to me. i felt strong. i felt at peace. i felt a little nauseous. but mostly i felt more confident than i have in a while. about cancer and marriage and being a mom and friendships and what it all means. and mostly i still have no idea what it all means. but for a brief moment. in the midst of feeling a little sad. i was not angry or anxious. i sent this text to justin not the same person i was six months ago. i am so much stronger and more in love with jesus than ever. i would never take back cancer. not for a million dollars. jesus knew what thru this pain he was going to teach me more than i ever could have could have imagined. i think what i learned the most. well, the two things: trust and strength. i experienced maybe for the first time what it means to really trust God with my life. you have to. there was nothing else to put my hope in. and although we do not know my exact future yet in terms of cancer and if it does or does not still exist in my body. i learned how to trust. really trust when you do not know what is coming. or how hard cancer will be. or if i can do it. or how bad it will hurt. or what i will miss with ava. and how it will impact justin and my family. or my friends. and what it will mean for the rest of my life. but i learned that being anxious and worrying about something that i can not control is a waste of my time. am i still scared? yes a little. do i think about the what ifs? sure i do. but i know God is in this. all of it. the letters i get. the emails. the new friendships. the people we were meant to meet. that had i not gotten sick we may have had no reason for our lives to intertwine. i have never felt more loved in all my life than i have in the past six months. peoples true colors come out when you get cancer. sometimes good and sometimes not as good. but for me. for us. its been more than mostly good. its been real good. the biggest shocker though. is the strangers. the people who have never met me or my family and still take the time to write emails. read the blog. comment on the blog. send gifts. pray. and pray hard. its made all the difference. so thank you.

now strength. i had no idea. i literally had no idea i would actually be able to do this. but i did. i am doing it. i do not say that in a prideful way. i say that in a kind of...i am surprised way. i pretended to be strong back in august when everything was happening so quick and i was not even given a chance to think or process anything. i just kept moving. we just kept moving. i have said this a few times since getting sick, but i think its true. we are stronger than we think we are. really. we are. i promise. you might surprise yourself. i know i did. but i know that for me my strength did not come from within necessarily. i was too weak. too tired. too angry. too sick. too scared. but God is strong. He is the strongest. and He gave me the strength when i did not have any. and He used my husband. my sweet ava. my family. my friends. and so many people i have never met to bear this burden with me. i was not alone. we are not alone now. and i can feel it. i have been so encouraged lately by the flood of emails i have received. i read them. every single one and they have made all the difference. so thank you.

to justin. my dear husband. i am sorry you have had to endure this. i often have no idea what is going on in your head or your heart. as its sometimes to hard to talk about cancer and the fact that i have it. but thank you for sharing your heart a little on saturday night at rockbridge. thank you for representing our family when i couldn't. i have missed so much. and my heart is so ready to do life with you again outside of the river house.

we are almost done.


  1. Dear libby,
    I found your site from the link on Kelle Hampton's site. In the last two days I've read all of your posts and been completely overwhelmed with what you and your family are going through. Your strength and faith in God is incredible! I have this feeling you're like Job in the Bible and God says to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Libby?" He KNEW your strength and dependence on Him would get you through anything that was thrown at you!! You have completely inspired me.

    I am married to an absolutely incredible man and have been for almost 3 years now. I love him dearly and he's my best friend, but we are still very normal which means that we argue sometimes and disagree on things and hurt each other in the process. After reading your blog this past weekend, I have been sobered and have loved my husband almost desperately just thinking about how it would feel to go through what you're going through. Joe read some of your posts too and agreed with me that we need to be ever so grateful for the time we have together here and now and not to dwell on the little things that can get under our skin. At least we have EACH OTHER and we're both healthy!! I feel so blessed!! Thank you for being so willing to share your heart and open yourself up for the good of all your readers. We will definitely be praying for you and also waiting anxiously to hear the results of your pet scan in less than one month!
    Love and prayers,

  2. love you friend. so thankful for you and justin in our lives.

  3. you are such an inspiration to so many people, libby! keep it up..we are all rooting for you!

  4. so glad i could be there for you this weekend. It has been so hard being so far away during all of this but as i promised if you called me and said you needed me i would be there for you. i loved every minute of being with you. i can't remember the last time it was just the 2 of us and it made me so happy to just be with you. and you feeling so good, considering, was such a bonus and blessing. and ava, what an amazing little girl and i see so much of you in her. she is so blessed to call you her mom as i am to call you my little sister. a little sister that no matter how much older i am than you i can look up to. i love you so much and can't wait for the end. wow, mom's birthday....chris, jack, wade and i will pray that the 23rd of february will be a day that in the future we will be able to celebrate 2 strong and wonderful women in our family! XOXO from the boys and kiss little ava for us!

  5. Libby, you're amazing, you taught me how to be strong and not to loose hope ad I really want to say thank you for that. Keep it up Lib!!
    Love, Meribeth

  6. your blog and writing is so inspiring. praying for you and your entire family. stay strong! Xo,

  7. dearest Libby - I think in that you have learned trust and strength first hand through your cancer journey, you have taught all your readers the same through you. You've shown people what it's like to have a strong faith and trust in their faith in times when others would give up. This is something that while it may seem the only route you could have chosen because you had such a sstrong faith to begin with, many go the opposite direction and completely lose sight of any faith they might have had in times of trouble. You have taught all your readers strength. You have a strength that's different from others who have cancer. You have an honest, unassuming strength. You have strength that realizes you have to do this but you're not afraid to let others experience it with you and draw from their encouragement. You have a strength that realizes you need to do this for you but you're strong for your family too so you don't give in. All these examples of strength that you have shown us, dear Libby, are things that we can learn from you, be thankful for our health and have a loving open heart like you.

  8. You don't know me, but I am praying for your total healing Libby! Jeremiah 30:17 says that the Lord will heal all our wounds and restore us to health! I am anxiously awaiting your results!

    In Him,

  9. You continue to inspire me. I am holding my breath in prayer till the day you get the results. I love you and your family with a Christ-like love.

  10. i am so thankful for your friendship. and here you are. you made it! you did this! better than that, Jesus did this! i am so excited for this spring and the new life that awaits you.

    oh yeah, there is so going to be cake and celebrating.

  11. This post reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite children's movies, "Pooh's Grand Adventure." Christopher Robin says to Pooh, "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." I guess we never really know what we are capable of until we are pushed and tested.

    Thinking and praying for you often. You are an inspiration. :)

    Joann Cryderman

  12. I"m new to your blog, but I'm glad I found it, and I've been praying for you and your family. A long time ago, I went through a pretty rough patch when I lost my high school sweetheart tragically. Your sister-in-law, Sara, gave me a card that said, "I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much." — Mother Teresa. Just the simple gesture of the card meant a lot, and I still have that card, so I know your in good hands with people like Sara in your corner. It's hard sometimes to take that step and hand it all over to God, but once you do, everything gets so much better. Sending many prayers your way for an easy last treatment, and good news on 2/23/2011...

  13. you continue to amaze me libby. you have changed our perspective on life too. thank you for always being real and open. we love you all and are counting down the days with you!!

  14. Libby,

    WOW the end is in sight. I can't wait for the good news on the 23rd.

    As I was reading your post I started thinking about when the cancer is gone will this blog be gone? I know you have a busy life and a growing baby girl but give it some thought of continuing to share your love of Christ and your messages. You are changing people in ways you don't even know about. Thank You for that!****GOODBYE CANCER**** Cheers to a new chapter. Praying for all of you.


  15. Your blog is a blessing to so many, Libby. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your journey with us (your readers). Sending you healing thoughts and prayers.

    Sophia Shinal

  16. He did such an amazing job saturday libby...i seriously was about to cry because I knew you would have been just so proud of him. Yes, my sweet friend, you are almost there. God has so much in store for you. We are so incredibly proud of you. And love you more than you will ever know.

  17. libby,
    ive never even met you but i started reading your blog in august so ive been following it through all of this. and i knew..i knew this time would come. i rejoice in knowing that your last treatment is nearing and how God has used you in my life and i know tons of other people. many of us who read your blog are going on this journey with you and im so excited to see the end of this chapter and beginning of your new one. you're amazing, God bless you.
    thank you

  18. Libby, You are an amazing young woman. You have endured so much, yet have managed to have so much faith and have shared all with so many. I know that many people are so much stronger spiritually because of your experience. Thank you from one of those. Lots of love....

  19. "I've told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you'll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world"(John 16:33)

    Yeah for over-coming! Yeah for God's amazing strength and healing! I am so happy you have only 1 more treatment! An amazing journey of faith! So glad your got to spend time with your sister! I live in a house full of boys to men (5 sons). No daughters. No sisters. Makes me think God knew you would need a sister:) I've always told the 3rd son that he is one of God's greatest gifts to his brother (the second son). God knows! Which just gives even more reason to love Him:)

  20. So proud to know you Libby. What a blessing you have been!! I love hearing about the Lord moving & working in your life & it encourages me SO much. Praying hard for you always.

  21. I found your blog through Kelle's blog. I have been praying for you, that you will have strength, peace and hope in the days ahead.

    P.S. I love that you don't use punctuation or capitalization when you write.

  22. i was at rockbridge this weekend.

    He who believes in Me . . . out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

    "a river reaches places which its source never knows....God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing he is to others."
    -my utmost for His highest

  23. Hi Libby,
    I found your blog the other day and have since read through all of your posts. i think you are a rockstar :) I am totally pulling for you and your sweet family. go and kick some cancer ass girlfriend.
    Lindsay from Vancouver

  24. Libby,
    It’s so exciting to hear you talk about the whole experience and how it’s almost over for you! Keep hanging in there. I can feel your strength and hope in your words. I am so proud of you and Justin. You have shown all of us so much about how to give our situations to God and trust Him with it all. I am very encouraged by your life and how you didn’t waste any of it. The good or the bad. Thank you for sharing and being so open with your feelings. You have encouraged so many with your words! You and your sweet family are very loved!

  25. i found your post through kelle are so strong and beautiful . my grandfather was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and i had to take him to mcv for radiation treatments for 10 days while i was there , i saw so many faces from all walks of life battling all types of cancers. I went home prayed and wrote so many get well notes , and me and my son delivered them to a varitey of patients. your story will make me do more.
    i also live in va. would love to hug you.

    your doing amazing.
    love and blessings the doughtys


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