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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 7, 2012

As I watched the Falcons today go to 5-0 for the first time in the history of the franchise I was constantly reminded of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am very thankful people, organizations, and corporations who strive to make people aware of this disease. But a few observations I have made from my position as Danielle and I walk down this road.

I am very very thankful for breast cancer research!! Because of research the doctors have known how to specifically treat Danielle and her disease. But one thing I have learned is a lot of money goes to research and very little goes to help those fighting breast cancer. The cost of treatment is ridiculous. Every chemo treatment is roughly $6000. Some patients have to have numerous chemo treatments. I was shocked when I learned how much money went to research and how little goes to patients.

The Lord has truly truly blessed us as we have walked through this journey. I am amazed daily at his provision. Unfortunately many people are not blessed like we have been thus far. Danielle and I recently purchased a home. We were devastated when the neighbor told us the home was foreclosed on because the previous owner had breast cancer and lost the home because of financial hardships!

There was 1 grant that we were able to qualify for. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful for that grant but it didn’t put a dent in true expenses.

I have thought what I plan to do once we get beyond our treatment is to find someone walking through this and donate money to them specifically. I would encourage you to do the same.

PLEASE DON’T READ ME ASKING FOR HELP. I AM NOT AT ALL!!! Again, God is providing for us, but not for many. So be a blessing to someone. Find a stranger and be the voice of God to let them know they will be okay.

The second thing I have observed is there are so many other cancers that aren’t as glamorous and don’t get the same love as breast cancer. I am not sure why that is. Just an observation.

What do you think?

The Next Phase

October 2, 2012

This is Danielle’s latest blog on our news we received yesterday. She continues to be my hero!

 

“I haven’t updated my blog in a while so I decided I should probably bring everyone up to speed on my treatment journey. Since my last blog, I have completed two more rounds of chemotherapy and have had pretty minimal side effects. For some reason I had a hard time with nausea after round five, but I was feeling much better after about a week. Our family was able to take a vacation to the beach which helped me to feel much better! I’m convinced that the beach makes everything better! We came right back to reality yesterday when I had two doctors appointments with the surgeons who will be performing my mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. They are two wonderful doctors and I feel very confident in their ability to take care of me. I was not quite prepared, however, to hear how soon my surgery will be taking place! When Dr. Timbert (my wonderful doctor who has walked every step of this journey with me) told me November 8th, I had to swallow hard. I’ve known surgery was coming but having an exact date on the calendar made it real. I’m terrified of surgery but excited to know that November 8th will be the date I will be officially cancer free!! My final round of chemotherapy will be October 8th. Although I’m scared about the upcoming surgery and radiation treatments, I’m so glad for this phase of treatment to be over. I keep reminding myself how terrified I was before I started chemo and how God has been so faithful to bring me through it. I know He’s not going to forget about me now and He will bring me through surgery and radiation as well. I’m humbled when people tell me how strong I am because I feel anything but strong. Any strength I have comes from God alone. I can say with the apostle Paul that I’m content with these hardships because I know that when I’m weak, I am made strong through the power of Christ at work in me (2 Corinthians 12:10). God’s power IS made perfect in my weakness! I’m honored that He is allowing me to walk this road so that others might see his glory at work as He heals me!

Ways you can pray with us:
– Pray I stay healthy and can stay on track to have my final chemo as scheduled. My girls are recovering from bad colds so pray they haven’t been sweet enough to share it with me!
– Pray that I will continue to have minimal side effects from chemo and finish strong
– For those of you that don’t know, I teach music at a small Christian school. We have a Christmas musical coming up in December and I’m a nervous wreck about pulling it off since I will be out of work most of the month of November. Pray that the students would be able to learn the music easily and quickly and that God will be glorified through the program.
-Pray for my anxiety about the upcoming surgery. I am constantly reminding myself to be anxious for nothing but to pray about everything!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for me!!!”

 
 

July 8, 2012

Absolutely Stunning, She is!

Danielle Smith

Yesterday I finally took the plunge and decided to shave my head. Yes, I still had some hair left, but it was thinning out fast and I was sick of loosing handfuls of hair a day, finding hair in my food and on my clothes, the floor, etc. It was a difficult day for me emotionally. Although I had known this day was coming, it was much harder for me to deal with than I had imagined. I spent the majority of the day crying and being sentimental about my hair. I’m sentimental about EVERYTHING, so of course I created a mental list of all the things I’m going to miss out about having hair. I’m going to miss playing salon with Lydia and relaxing while she brushes my hair over and over again. Sunday afternoon naps will not be the same without Anna Kate playing with my hair until…

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Hair Loss, My Gain

July 5, 2012

So obviously what’s been on Danielle and my mind over the past few days has been her hair loss due to the chemotherapy. As you can read in her blog, Danielle is really nervous about her hair loss (www.daniellewsmith.wordpress.com). The past couple of days she has began experiencing the beginning of her hair loss and it’s all really got me thinking. I must admit that I am pretty excited about her losing her hair. I know that sounds odd, if I could choose I would choose for her to keep it because I know how much she would want that, but overall I’m looking forward to it.

I know you may be asking me why. The first and least reason is I am excited to have the opportunity to shave her head. I REALLY want to see her in a giant Mohawk.

The major reason I am most excited about it is my wife is beautiful. She honestly has the prettiest face I’ve ever seen. I always said growing up that you really don’t know what a girl looks like until she’s swimming. If they are still pretty after their makeup is washed off and their hair is slicked back then they’re a keeper. I remember the first time I saw her swimming, WOW! I knew! It was like a Bo Derrick “10” moment! Now without hair everyone gets to see the true beauty I see all the time.

The other thing is Danielle is so much more than just a beautiful looking person. She is truly an amazing person that I’ve been privileged to know for the past 12 years. Danielle can decide to never grow her hair back and she will still be beautiful because her looks don’t make her. She is obviously such a beautiful person on the inside. Her faith amazes me and she is an incredible wife and Mom! I’ve told her before, they can take her hair and they can take her breast, but that’s not what I married. I married Danielle and they can never take that from me.

I love that gal!

Life Interrupted

June 26, 2012

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Today we are back at the hospital for Danielle’s PET scan. This is the scan that will confirm the cancer has not spread anywhere else. As I sit here I was thinking about our “normal” schedule that we used to have. Understand we really haven’t seen what we define as “normal” in about two years since I was in Kentucky before I lost my job. Our normal schedule didn’t require much thought. We would get up every day and pretty much do the same things. Eat, work/school, play together as a family, go to sleep. With Danielle’s new cancer diagnosis it’s hard to plan anything anymore. We are at the doctor a few days a week for different things and never know how long we will be there. I know things will settle down some but it got me thinking and realizing this is how God wants us to live. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to make plans but we better insure our plans are the same as God’s.

Recently I spoke at church on Romans 12:1-2 and it addresses this exactly. I love how the Message translates this passage.

“1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Our agenda is our spiritual act worship. We should daily lay it before Him to make certain that our plans align with His plans. I think Jesus is in the details. Maybe He wants you to take a different path to work so you can shine His light to someone different. Maybe He wants you to take someone different to lunch and share with them what He is doing in your life.

Whatever it is make sure your “normal” is following the path He has set for you that day.

What do you do daily to make sure you are laying your life before Him as an offering?

Anna Kate’s Prayer

June 21, 2012

Tonight during our family devotion time I reminded the girls to be sure to pray for Mom because “she starts her medicine to make her better tomorrow and is a little scared that she won’t feel good after.” Anna Kate prayed, “God help Mommy not be scared when she gets her medicine that makes her hair fall out. And help her not look funny!”

Our kids are such encouragers.

June 21, 2012

Danielle’s Latest Blog

Danielle Smith

God’s been working overtime in my life lately and sometimes I feel a little guilty about all the attention I’m getting from Him! I know He loves all of His children the same, but sometimes He has a way of making me feel like I’m His favorite. I have felt His love expressed through friends and family in a way I have never experienced before and I am left completely humbled and awestruck. But, I have also experienced His love in a more personal and intimate way than ever before. I have spent time crying out to the Lord and just being still before Him, knowing that his Holy Spirit was interceding for me when I didn’t have words to say. But probably, most of all I have loved the time I have spent with the Lord reading His Word and finding comfort in it. I’ve continued to ask God…

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