Monthly Archives: June 2016

Day 41: Saturday, Independence Day: 2, and Eating Healthy

Today is Saturday and I’m really glad to not have to drive to Iowa city or anything:) it’s just nice to not have any appointments. 

My brothers, dad and Brandon and I are going to see Independence Day 2 today and it’s going to be so much fun! 

I’ve been eating much healthier for the past few days and I know it won’t show right away, but I’m glad to be trying. My physical therapy ends this Thursday and my therapist has strongly encouraged that I do strengthening yoga, which is awesome. I love yoga so being told I need to do it really doesn’t bother me, if anything, it’s great because now I can use this as a reason to have to!:) lol

I’ve been looking into getting extensions professionally put in but it’s pretty confusing since my hair hasn’t completely fallen out but in sections. So I have normal length hair in sections and no hair at all in others. What it looks like is that I need to wait until I have 1-2 inches of regrowth and then set a consultation with someone who has experience with extensions and then they’ll put them in. So I’m going to be playing the patience game until about September. 

Hopefully by then I’ll have lost the fluid weight from the steroids, won’t look so chipmunky, my acne from steroids will be gone, and I’ll have slimmed down some from being healthier. I want to be pretty for Brandon, especially on his birthday, September 12th:))) so I’m going to try really hard to stick to my ‘diet’ lifestyle change, and taking care of my scalp! Lol

In conclusion for today, please pray for my mama who has surgery early Monday morning – 5am – and is in a lot of pain right now. She’s also really scared.  Please pray God takes this icky cancer from me, He can do anything. And pray thanks for all the wonderful little things there are in today that God has given us. Thanks 🙂

Romans 12:12

Day 40: Friday, Dr. Day, and Hair Questions

Only 6 more radiations left! Yay! I am so excited for this leg of this journey to be done. Whilst waiting in the radiation waiting area, I was reading an old fall issue of Good Housekeeping and stumbled upon an article about a woman who had been struggling with her weight a lot, was diagnosed with cancer (breast cancer) and  then after (amazingly) beating her cancer, she also conquered her weight battle and is still fighting to be a healthy strong woman.

I want to be like that…. I want to beat this cancer and beat my long-standing battle with weight and be the strong and smart wife, mama, and woman of God I know I can be.

I met with Dr. Smith today and we discussed my reactions to radiation and such… Everything is going very well! I asked him about when I can color my hair, or use growth stimulating shampoos and such. He said that I should wait a couple weeks after radiation ends, just because we want to make sure there isn’t a rash or reaction since my scalp will understandably be sensitive. 

Additionally, typically after radiation ends you have a follow up MRI 1 month after, but since dad Brandon and I will be traveling to Arkansas at the end of July to see Dr. Krisht to follow up and get an MRI for him, Dr. Smith said I can get a CD copy of the MRI images in Arkansas and bring that back to him. This way I don’t have to have another MRI the week after. I’m glad because that saves my drivers time, my insurance money, and the technicians time! 

I’m trying to decide between shaving all my hair off and starting over or getting tape extensions put in…. There’s a lot of thought I have to put into it, but it’s all logistics. Mom has surgery on Monday and she’s really not feeling well today. And daddy is stressed and he’s not feeling well. Please pray for both of them. Thank you!

Day 39: What A Long and Beautiful Day!

God Bless!!! Whew! 😭 today has been such a long, great day! Today radiation was at 10:45am instead of 12:45. They had just asked me yesterday if I could move my appointment up because they were really busy today. So I had no problem with that and neither did bran! 

So that was fine and dandy and done really quickly; I only have 7 radiations left. Then Brandon and I ran some errands, swung back by the house, picked up mom, and headed to….Dum dum dum dum…. Drumroll….


Our wedding is at the Hotel Blackhawk and today we tested out the package we have decided on and made some final decisions. It was so delicious and great to get out with my Brandon and do some normal wedding planning things. Mama came with because she (obviously) knows more about all of this kind of stuff. Mamas input was completely helpful and welcome 🍲🍵🍽🍴😳😅😀 I’m so excited that we’re getting more and more figured out and hammered down! 

We finished the tasting and came home and Brandon and I went into “food coma” lol…. Then when I woke up from my little nap, I had a moment of complete and utter panic because I thought I had slept through until tomorrow morning which would mean I missed watching Independence Day (the first one, which I’ve never seen… Ya ya, ‘I’m not American’ blah blah blah) but more seriously, that would mean I missed all my pills, and my chemotherapy pills. Thankfully, I checked my phone, saw the time and started laughing at myself and felt a great deal of relief! 😅 

 today was a blessed day and it was great to get radiation done early. Next week Brandon and I meet with the Social Security Office to go over some stuff… I’m not gunna lie, I don’t really understand any of it… But it has to do with benefits because I can’t work or drive currently :/  and I’ve not worked beyond summer jobs or working for Harding University, my type of cancer has specific rules with it. it’s all kind of confusing because my case of GBM is abnormal. (Most cases are males 50+ who have worked and have money to draw from social security). 
In closing, please pray for the Social Security thing, my moms surgery on Monday, and for this cancer to go away! God can do anything He wants! Pray and rejoice that my dear friend, Maegan Schmidt, is soon going to be a Murphy! Yes, fellas, Maegan’s off the market! Congratulations Maegan and Keegan! I love you and am so happy for you both! 😱🍰⭐️ 

Christian Chronicle Article Link:

Romans 12:12

June 22nd, 2016 (Day 38 part 2)

Today was the cake tasting for cupcakes at the wedding. We’ve had the actual wedding cake decided on for a while and that’s all been taken care of, but the cupcakes were really difficult to figure out because no one in the Quad Cities would even try to make them, because of how much detail of fondant they require. But they’re what the entire concept of my wedding is based on. To use an interior design term, these cupcakes are my wedding’s ‘parti’. The bakery who is actually making these cupcakes is “Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie”   ⭐️🌙🍰🍦🍭🎂🍫🍩🍪🍡

(Leyara Cakes, AU)

It was supposed to be Brandon, myself, and my mom at the tasting but Brandon doesn’t like any cake except white cake with plain white frosting so we decided that he wouldn’t be any help with making decisions in this part of wedding planning. Dad gladly took his place lol. Yum yum yum. It was great. And we got it ALL taken care of and booked and planned. I’m so happy!!! More progress on wedding stuff!

(Leyara Cakes, AU)

Oh yeah, and I had radiation today so…. It’s like…. 8 radiations left. These last 8 ( well 9,including today) are just a couple minutes shorter because they’re considered “boosts”.  After all of this, I’m going to glow in the dark from all the radiation (you can only safely do so much lol, so I will have done all I can do at the end of this!) 

Now I’m just hanging out, mom is combing through what’s left of my hair. lol and I’m looking forward to her making my favorite soup tonight. Also, a dear friend of mine is coming to visit next week, Jeanie Linton. So pray for safe travels for her! 

(Beautiful Jeanie trying on her bridesmaid dress!!!)
In closing, the Christian Chronicle article came out today, here’s the link:

Please give it a read 🙂 Ms. Jones did a great job turning my garbled mush into a beautiful story! I’m honored to get to share my struggle with others and have people care enough to read! 

Prayer Requests: mom for surgery on June 27th, Jeanie traveling next week to come visit, and that this cancer all go away. I can’t, but God can.

Romans 12:12

Day 38: Third Day of Summer, Countdown of Radiation, and Hair

preface: there are photos below that are graphic (me without hair). Viewer discretion is advised! And you’ve been forewarned lol.

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday and the day before… I received a couple texts asking if I was okay; yepp, I’m just great, I just didn’t really have anything to say. There were no updates or anything, so I wasn’t sure how to post on that?

yesterday and the day before were good days! Brandon took me to radiation and I had labs drawn for Dr. Monga so he can just make sure everything is going well with my body functions lol, liver etc.

I request the same nurse now, Nurse Jane, everytime because I can’t even feel the needle go in when she draws my blood. She’s a great nurse:)

Today is Wednesday and I have 9 more radiation treatments. Hardy is taking me today and after today there will be only 8 left!:) were currently tapering me off my steroid so hopefully my face will start to look less chipmunky and acne ish:/ but the doctor said that will take time because steroids like to make your body hold on to it, so it’s a slow process.

I’m like super losing my hair now. Like it was going before but my hair is sad right now lol. I’ve got two bald spots on the very top of my head, and then one huuuuge one on basically, the right side of my head. It’s massive. Additionally I have one mirrored on the left side that is slightly smaller.

 I was just gunna shave it all and start over and then use extensions or a wig (a good friend of mine is in Berlin and she is in a wig making class and graciously offered to make me a custom one as my wedding present – I couldn’t ask for anything better – what a beautiful friend) but my parents and my doctor don’t seem to like the idea of me shaving it all; not for any health reason but I think they think I’ll regret it. When really I’m just thinking its gross how patchy it is lol. 

If you’d like to weigh in your comments or thoughts on: shave it off and start over or, leave what there is and attach extensions to that, let me know. I’d love some feedback! Thanks! 

Glory to God through all of this 🙂 thank you for a beautiful day and all these thunderstorms – I love ’em!

Romans 12:12 

Day 35: Sunday, and Resting, Power and Control

Oh my gosh everyone, yesterday was ah-maz-ing! Trevor, Amy, Brandon and myself went to Disc Replay and traded in some old video games of Brandon’s, and Amy found 3 of her favorite movies for basically no moneys…. (Side note: disc replay is a really good and cheap place to buy and sell movies, video games, books, etc.) and I got the book, “Football For Dummies” for 2$! I hadn’t bought it previously because Amazon charges 15-20$ for it and I couldn’t justify it lol. But 2$ so I can better understand something my husband loves so much? I can do that. Lol

Then we ran a couple more errands and headed home to begin ‘The Feast’ as I like to call it. Trevor fired up the grill and I fired up the oven and let me cut this a little short, but we had so much delicious food, it was like a Thanksgiving-type feast lol. I’m thankful to God for the opportunity and blessing to enjoy such great meals, when there are people who can’t. I’m thankful for those meals with people who love / care about me and who I love / care about. Thank you, Lord!

Today Amy and Trevor head back to Arkansas, boo 😦   So please pray for safe travels for them! And Brandon works from 8am-1pm, opens, DG today. Daddy and the boys will be going to church this morning, while mama and I stay home. 

I’m staying home from church this morning for a couple reasons: 1. I am super exhausted. Yesterday was a big day and I only slept six hours the night before. 2. just naturally, Sunday morning church has more people, and as chemo continues, my immune system is further compromised, and I’m just paranoid someone I don’t know is sick will pat me on the back or hug me or something sweet and unintentional and make me sick :/ 3. Being around so many people exhausts me, emotionally and mentally, very quickly. 

(Let me add a PREFACE here that this post is all over the place and scatterbrained, poorly written and super long.) 

All this being said, I still need to, fellowship with fellow believers as is commanded of me, and take the Lords Supper. I plan to attend evening church tonight with Brandon, because he’ll be off work and it will be a little thinner crowd then. 

Church just makes me feel good… It makes me feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Not like checking it off my to-do list or something but God tells us to go and worship him, and this is how I obey that. I feel like that is something I can do that brings me closer to God, someone I’m relying on very heavily at this point in my life. Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way, but that is how I feel about it currently. I’m not a theologian, let’s let that be known lol.

Power and control… 2 things I love. I like to be the boss, I like to be in charge. This whole change in my life is forcing me to learn that I really have no power or control in an overall sense. This is both a jarring and relieving revelation. At the beginning of this ‘cancer experience’ I won’t lie to you, I was scared, furious at God, and an emotional wreck, with constant break downs and outbursts, etc. 

and I’m not ashamed of that. …..when you know the plans for the next few months that you’ve so carefully planned: you’re about to graduate from undergrad, trying to apply for graduate school, and you’ve been offered your dream job, all while getting to have an amazing summer with your fiancé and family and then it all crumbles, well frankly, that sucks.

Then I started thinking scarier and deeper, less petulantly, and more fearfully about the future. Questions like, “will I get years and anniversaries with my husband and is it fair to even marry him if I know I’ll widow him?”, “will I ever get to have a child?”, and morbidly enough, “how do I want to have my body taken care of after I pass?”. Yes in the hospital, immediately after my diagnosis of GBM, I had given up. I thought and felt that they had just given me 15 months to live and figure out my affairs. 

These are all things I’m okay with that I’ve thought or have happened, this is part of my personal experience with cancer and how I’m dealing with it. I wouldn’t change it. I’ve told Brandon so many times that I want to try to experience a little of everything, I’ll try anything once… I’m experiencing something no one ever wants to, and while I’m not going to say I’m thankful for cancer, I’m thankful for the mental and emotional, spiritual and logical, processes / experiences I’m going through while dealing with it.

The blessings and learning and growing I see in myself and those around me through this is a gift I can never exchange. The hard and terrifying questions I had before are still there and they’re still daunting, but you know what? I can’t answer them. I don’t know. I have not power or control over this situation. All I can do is control my response. And that’s where I am right now. It’s not easy. It is crazy-difficult everyday to not dwell on those thoughts, but all they do is upset me, and that’s not helpful in anyway to this experience for me, so I move to new thoughts. And there-in lies my coping mechanism for now lol. 

There’s a sort of relief in knowing God has it in His hands and not mine. I pray each night that He change the plan slightly and take this from me, a prayer of petition I say, so you can see I am still struggling to relinquish control I don’t have to begin with lol. But it’s kind of nice to not be in charge here. So there’s today’s peak into my mind, hope ya enjoy it and don’t get too confused. I love reading your comments and messages you leave me on messenger and texts. Thank you!

God’s got this and I’m along for the ride.

Day 34: Father’s Day Weekend

Good morning world! I’m in a great mood. You know why? It’s Father’s Day weekend and few things make me as happy as my dad does. He’s the most amazing, brilliant, wisest man I’ve ever met in my entire life. And I’m not the only one who thinks that. So ha. My dad is a second degree black belt and he could beat up your dad lol. 

(Dad sleeping all awkward and cute at some point in 2015.)

Additionally, we’re getting to celebrate this Father’s Day with my parents-in-law and I’m really excited to celebrate the man that half my husband comes from! I’m so lucky and blessed with my in-laws. I love you both so much, and thank God everyday for your raising of my husband.

(Dad a while ago when Nathanael looked like a girl because his hair never got cut as a baby lol. Probably about 2003).

Also, while it is Father’s Day weekend, I don’t want to leave out my mama. She has surgery on June 27th and it’s a biiiiiiiig, long, ugly, serious surgery and, while I’m thoroughly convinced she’ll be just fine, I can understand her fear and dread of it. The closer the date gets, she gets more anxious; that’s fair. Please pray for quick and easy healing, peace of mind, and as little pain as possible (she’s in agony until the surgery). Ponying on that, mama made this AMAZING homemade, from scratch, strawberry-rhubarb pie two days ago and it was eaten up by everyone quickly, I’m trying to find a way to get another one made soon lol. Because that was a slice of what love must taste like lol.

(Daddy and mama Christmas break of 2014!) 

So today were just having our immediate little family here, myself and Brandon, and Brandon’s parents, I guess I will refer to this from now on as ‘married set 1’ ok? Lol this way I don’t have to define and describe it again and again lol. 

(Daddy on Father’s Day last year, 2015.)

We’re going to swim (well I don’t lol) and barbecue and probably watch a movie or two and I’m just really glad to get to enjoy the company of two of the most important men in my life in a way that is fun for them. Also, I love food and were grilling out some super awesome foods today lol… And Trevor is a grill maaaaaster so this food is going to be on point lol.

(Daddy with my sweet puppy Luke. Dad doesn’t want to love him, but it’s hard not to lol)

Daddy is working this morning, Brandon and Trevor are working on food, Amy has been watching the dogs, mama super cleaned the kitchen and, I’m making brownies….  Hardy is no where to be found and the Nathanael+mason are still asleepas per usual lol. I’m gunna get them moving soon though and make one of them go on a walk with me or something lol.

(Daddy and myself just before leaving to drop me off in Arkansas for freshman year of college st Harding University, 2011!)

In closing, I’d like to ask for prayers for my mom’s surgery, for my dad as it’s going to be even tougher on him than it is now, with his soulmate being ‘out of commission’ for a while 😦 , and for me, that these last 11 treatments (radiation) really just abolish anything icky left in my head lol. I Praise God for all the blessings He’s given me, all the suffering He has comforted me through, and the way we’ve actually started a relationship through something so terrible. Also, thank you God for my daddy. Besides my salvation, he’s the greatest gift You’ve ever given me.

(My DAD!!! Dr. A. R. Doyle)
Romans 12:12