Thursday, June 23, 2016

6 Years of Fighting

{The love of a family is life's greatest blessing}

Looking back on my Facebook memories today brings back some bittersweet emotion. 

It's been 6 years. 6 years since that morning when the doctors brought their chairs into my ICU room where my mom and I were sound asleep in my hospital bed, and bubba was right there next to us on the cot. They came in and pretty much just laid it all out there. Jessica, me, at the ripe age of 18 years old has GastroIntestinal Stromal Tumor. GIST. Cancer. Woah. We began a journey right then and there that has forever changed who we are. I don't think you could ever be the same after hearing that. After seeing a doctor be angry because you wanted to be moved to a cancer hospital and have her tell you to make a bucket list.. At 18 years old you haven't even thought of why you might NEED a bucket list. But we trekked on..

MdAnderson Cancer Center's GIST specialist took me right away. Dr.Trent. He was so awesome. He always admired my cowboy boots and talked about normal things, but then would doctor me as I needed, tell me what to do to make it through the next phase. Gleevec became a household phrase around my house.. "How are you feeling?" Was something I never went a few hours without hearing.. Because you never really knew within the next couple of hours how I may feel. I'd be so nauseated at times that a ride in the car wouldn't be complete without a vomit bag or two. (Gross I know) But even with unrelenting nausea, pancreatitis, blood count drops, and transfusion, we never stopped having fun.

After starting the first chemo, and it only working for a little while, I started another, and then another, Sutent. Oh Sutent.. I can't believe I can loathe a medication like I do. It kept my tumors from growing, yes. But it had me in the emergency room countless (and I MEAN countless) times. Bleeding. Whether it was internal bleeding causing horrible writhing pain in my abdominal cavity, or internal bleeding that found it's way out however it could, it was happening about every two weeks. We lowered my dose of Sutent after a couple months of it and then it was a "manageable" once a month hospital stay with the bleeding. After several cameras down my esophagus to cauterize the bleeding area, an embolization gone wrong causing nerve damage in my spleen, finally they found this "Fibrin Glue." I stopped taking Sutent and had the procedure done by a sweet doctor who made sure to tell me he's going to do this every single time that needs to be done. He even wore his lucky elephant tie that day, and the day after.. (it was a two part procedure) After 100 units of blood and all that, that glue put a stop to it.

All of this on top of switching oncologist due to Trent relocating was a lot. But was a learning experience. Since then I've traveled to Philadelphia for treatment for a while and came back to where I belong. I've only received about 3 transfusions since my fibrin glue procedure. And I'm sure that switching medications has helped, but it's been nice. I'm on my 5th oral chemo now and am doing well. I have to see a iron specialist once every 6 months because my body won't really retain iron well. But that's pretty simple, I just do some iron infusions every once in a while.. Also, my thyroid shut down last year and caused some weird side effects, and a lot of my hair fell out, so I cut it. Pretty simple. I'm on a medication to help that balance out and I have to change it up sometimes to keep my levels all normal. Again, it's pretty simple.

But life is good. I've got the best treatment I could have. Not only from my friends at Md Anderson, but my sweet Mama.. She's the best caregiver there could be. She made me whatever food I felt like eating when I was nauseated all the time. And if I couldn't eat it, she made me something else. She held my hand and walked me through the hospital when I could hardly move from pain. She sat beside me and laughed as we talked about all the trials and tribulation we have gone through. We have bonded in a way that not many others can because she has bathed me when I couldn't lift my arms, she's helped me walk when I was unable, she's been the one to rub my legs when they feel tingly from the medication, she's washed my hair, she's helped me through all this in a way only a mother could... My whole family really has been the reason why all this hasn't made me bitter or a hollow shell of who I once was. How could I when I've got people so great? And that man that God put in my life just after all this began.. He's been right there with us. Not many would stay in a life like that.. But he's been there. Packing bags, washing clothes, bringing food, being someone to give us a laugh because he gets lost or forgot what he went for.. whatever we needed when we needed. I am happy and productive because of my "people," they keep me sane, and help me to continue on the road I'm headed down. Only because of God and those people am I able to do that. 

With everything that has happened these last 6 years, I can't help but be so thankful for all the wonderful things God has done in my life.. He's taught me that what matters most is love. Those you love will be there for you in the hard times, in the easy times, and in the crazy times. Thank you all my loved ones for being with me through all this. I wouldn't want it any other way. 

Cheers to 6 years of fighting this cancer, and to the lifetime I've got left to fight it some more. 

{Me and my sweet Mama <3}

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We finally made it!

    Hello there, friends! I have had the busiest few weeks. But I will tell you, for those of you who like to read my blog, I've been thinking of things to write about the whole time! For now, I'll just enlighten you on my latest "journeys." 
    I've always said I had a gypsy soul. A love of the travelin' lifestyle. A yearning for all things new. But let me tell you, when you have cancer, and you are a modern day gypsy traveler because of treatment, it's not so relaxing! Get this; Monday, we are scheduled to leave around 12, we would arrive in Chicago at 2:20 for our 2 hour layover. After our "break" we board and get to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 7:20. Mama and I waved down the hotel shuttle, took a quick ride down the road, and got to the hotel. Starved, when we do arrive, we met up with Garrett, (who, poor thing, got there at 12) and walked next door to the Ruby Tuesday, the only thing around to eat. We went in and ate. Had a sweet waitress. I had a well needed Tequila sunrise, and soon paid the check, and walked back to the hotel. It was a wonderful feeling, laying on a bed after the long day of traveling. (Mid-air, we found out that the Boston marathon had been bombed. A sickening feeling, especially when you're traveling that way, and in one of the many places terrorists have struck before. To see the terror on those poor people's faces, is a sad feeling.. But thats a whole other story).. Ahh, to be somewhere, finally, I felt relieved, as we were somewhere we could rest our bodies, and relax for a bit. Well, sort of. We had to be gone and on our way to FoxChase Cancer Center at 6:15am. And of course, it was an all-day trip to the hospital.         

    Meeting the sweet, Dr.Movva was a treat. I also met my clinical nurse, another very kind-hearted individual. They pushed on my belly, checked my reflexes, listened to my heart, lungs, tummy, and who knows what else, and also had me sign my Clinical Trial forms. The trial sounds like some sort of robot prototype. I0S6- something-or-other. But everything seems great. It's not experimental, to clear that up to some friends of mine, who thought it was. It's FDA approved. Which, does that really mean anything? Ha. Anyway... They told me that I will get my chemo pills next time I go, explained the side effects, the pros and cons, and let me know my schedule, in a round about way, (for now), and they sent me on to do blood work. I then had to wait quite a while, and did my PET scan. Those suck. Period. I did manage to fall asleep while they had me going through the tube thing you see on the show "House," so I didn't have to deal with it too long. Haha. Oooh, and then I was done at the hospital. What a wonderful feeling to be told, "Okay, you're all set, you can eat now!" after not being able to eat or drink since midnight the night before, take in consideration it was already 4:00 in the afternoon, no coffee=no happy. So off we go. 

    We had our car service bring us to our second hotel. Oh yeah, did I mention, we had our luggage with us the whole time at the hospital? Haha, yep, we did. We had to change hotels that day, so we couldn't leave our stuff! But it made for a good catch all. I could just stuff all my papers and crap in my bag and be done. Anyway, our hotel number 2 was even more beautiful than the first! Right smack in the middle of downtown. Everything was walking distance, the view was awesome. We even saw a live newscast going on directly under us, on the street. So, after we got coffee, (a grande Americano with a double shot and vanilla for me) we went up to our room and actually rested for about an hour and a half. Ahhhhh the relief. Bryan ( my cousin, who met us up there, that we stayed with. He's Comcastic!)  got off work, and we went walking. We saw the sights, stood by The Rocky Balboa statue, and looked at the stairs and sang the theme song, (I was NOT walking those suckers after all the walking we did!) we accidentally had a long conversation with a homeless person, had a great dinner in a vietnamese restaurant, that somehow we had to ourselves, and had many many, much-needed,  good, laughs. To end the night, we got donuts from a Dunkin, and watched crappy reality shows back at the hotel. Bryan learned you can steam donut holes, "munchkins" as Dunkin calls them, with an clothes iron. Don't iron them flat though, too greasy. Ha. 

    We woke up about 8:00am, and packed up to go home. We walked a few blocks to the Amtrak train, and rode to the airport. Our first time on a train, me, Garrett, and my mama, how fun! Haha.. Although, I have ALWAYS wanted to ride a train, it seems so classy and mysterious. It's really not. At all. But it was quick, and cheap, so that'll be the way we do it from now on in Philly. Train ridin'.. Soon we arrived at the airport. Mama and I had a flight leaving at 11:00. Garrett, not until 5:15. We all went through security. Which was much worse, because of the tragedy in Boston. And went to our terminal. Garrett waited with us as long as he could. I got some tea and a pastry, and we took off. After I finished breakfast, we soon landed in Chicago, only for about an hour this time. Had a terrible taco salad, (those people don't know what actual taco meat should taste like!) but it did the trick.  We boarded, after I got yet another hot tea, and in just a couple hours, Houston was in our sight. As soon as I could, I called Garrett to see how his terribly long airport stay was going.. And well, it wasn't going good. His flight was delayed an hour, and then until 9:00, and back to 7:00. In short, he didn't end up getting home until 1:15 am. But, in between mine and Garrett's phone calls and texts, I got a call from California. Guess who?! (drumroll please...............) Mo Collins! She is a fellow GISTer! And wanted to call me to see how my trip went. That woman is hilarious. We talked for about 30 minutes, and promised to keep in touch. If ever the other needed to talk about feeling crappy from chemo, or to compare side effects, or just to talk about the weather, we'll definitely keep in touch. 

    So, all in all, my first trip to Philadelphia wasn't all that bad. Just very rushed! In the future, I need to make sure we have allotted time to just chill out. Because even still, I'm trying to catch up on rest. I'm exhausted! Next time, we'll do things a tiny bit different. Like make sure Garrett doesn't get the 5:00 flight. And we'll avoid the bums a little better, so they don't try to convince us to pay for a hotel room for them. But most ofALL next time, we WILL get a greasy, meaty, fresh, hot, Philly cheesesteak, with EXTRA whiz. 

(On a side note, I'm still trying to figure out how to make it up to Garrett, that he spent the longest day ever at the airport, comment and help me figure something out!)

Thanks for being so involved in this crazy life of mine y'all! I love y'all more than you'll ever know! Keep on supporting and praying for me! I appreciate it sooooooo much. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

My First Attempt At Chowder

   So, yesterday I posted a (may I say fabulous) picture of some Seafood Chowder that I made for dinner.. Let me tell you, it looked pretty good, but MAN! All it was missing was a cool ocean breeze, and a seagull "gulling" in the background. This chowder was thick, creamy, seafood-y, a dish reminiscent of a Galveston Island restaurant tucked back in the corner where the ocean meets the bay! Well, I guess I'll be nice and give out the recipe to this chowder from heaven. Only thing is, I didn't really go by a recipe, so some things are guessed and not measured. This isn't rocket science though, it's very simple. Just doesn't taste like it. So wow your family, or house guests with this lovely Seafood Chowder a la Jessica. 


Big pot of water

1 Pound bacon (AND IT'S DRIPPINGS!)

1 medium-large onion

1/2 cup flour

2 of those packets of chicken "Flavor Boosters" by Swan or 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon

10-12 small-medium potatoes peeled, chopped, and washed. (Mine were chopped small-er)

1 1/2 pounds small fresh shrimp, peeled, devained and rinsed well.

3 Swai fillets (This fish choice is up to you. We love the individually wrapped Swai fillets from Krogers, they are always great tasting, fast defrosting and cooking, and cheap!)

Seasonings, I used 
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Lemon Pepper
Tony's Creole Seasoning
A little lemon juice for the fish

Start out by getting a big pot of water on to boil. 
   Get a nice dutch oven, or soup pot and cook about a pound of bacon until crispy, remove bacon, chop up into little pieces and set them aside, and save those drippings! Put them in a coffee cup for the time being. (This is southerner's gold! Bacon drippings are the best for any fried anything.)
   Cook your onions in about 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings until desired done-ness. I like mine brown and sweet. Season with salt and pepper.
   Once your onions are cooked, add in about 2 tablespoons more of the drippings, and flour. Whisk until a nice light brown color. Just to cook flour taste out. Season with salt and pepper.
   Grab a ladle and start ladling in your boiling water until you've got about 10 cups of water.     Whisk whisk!! 
   Add in your chicken bouillon. Keep on whisking. You don't want lumpy soup.
Give it one more good stir, and add it your peeled, cut potatoes. Cover, and let them cook for about 30 minutes at a rolling boil. Stir every once in a while. Season very well with salt, and garlic powder. I used some Tony's seasoning too. 
   Here's your time to cook the good stuff. Have your small-medium shrimp, cleaned and de-vained. And your fish ready to cook.
   Line a pan with foil, lay your fish out, and season with salt, pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder (anything you like on your fish) and some lemon juice. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, (this all depends on your fish! Just cook it till it's done!) Once done, break into medium sized pieces. (maybe a little bigger than a bite)
   As for your shrimp, dry them off, and cook in a cast iron skillet with those delicious bacon drippings and the same seasonings as your fish.. Just make sure they're seasoned well! Cook them until they're pink and curled up. Don't overcook! They'll be rubbery, and that's no good. 
   Once your potatoes are cooked through,  turn your fire down and start adding in all your reserved food. Bacon pieces, fish, shrimp, and you can even throw in some fresh chives at this point. 
  Pour in your half and half, stir well, and turn off the fire. 
Let it sit a couple minutes to let the flavors meld, and serve with a big ol piece of crusty bread for dipping!

It's soo simple! You could even use pre-cooked shrimp and fish to make a quick dinner!! I just prefer the taste of fresh seafood!

I hope I didn't miss anything! Let me know how y'all like it if you DO try to make it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Big "C"

Long overdo, but, lots to say..
   So, I just realized that it has been way way way too long since I've blogged. I really thought I'd keep up with it better, but I'm a full time cancer patient, that's the occupation I tell everyone I have, because, well, it takes up most of my life, this cancer stuff. But I still have been crafting, cooking, baking and crocheting, even thrifting in my spare time. It's what keeps me sane. Sitting here with my crochet hook and a big ol' skein of yarn calms me in a way only baking had done before. Now baking, that's the ultimate relaxation for me. Ask anyone who has sat and watched me bake a batch of cookies, or a nice bundt cake, I get this look on my face and the world fades away.. Hmmm.. (imagine this fading into a beachy island, with a big palm tree swaying in the wind, with a pelican flying by.. Waves crashing.. No stingrays though.. Ha)

<(This here, is reality.
<Hand crocheted slippers
<by the way! I had a lot
<of fun making these last
   But anyway, back to reality. "Hot in Cleveland" is on on my flat screen hospital television, I can hear my iv pump just a goin, and my fingers are getting cold from the typing on my ipad..since my room is like an igloo. (by my choice though) I'm in my MD Anderson tee, with some purple plaid pj pants and my hair is braided back like the cute styles on pinterest (well, I tried) This visit has been a toughy. If you follow me on Facebook, you've read. I came in to the ER passed out in a wheel chair, pushed in by my poor frantic mother, and my 12 year old niece, bless their hearts. (I could only imagine having to see that, being either of them) After lots of doctor discussions, and a few sleepless nights, I got on track and they decided on a scope. Which is an endoscopy, where they put a camera down your mouth, into your throat, and down to you stomach. There, they take pictures. I've had an endoscopy two days in a row, with a fibrin glue procedure where they squirt blood product "glue" all over my ulcers on my stomach. Everything is getting stable now. Blood work is starting to finally go up on its own, after 6 units of blood. And lots of hemoglobin checks.  

 Back on subject now.. 

The Big "C" 

  I've had a couple people reach out to me lately, and tell me how much I influence their daily lives.. I just wanted to say how much joy that brings me.. I say it all the time, but I want everyone to know that, that is the reason why I stay strong. Why I look at everything the way I do. Because I know that God has given me this path in life for a reason, and it's to teach and show people how grateful for life that I am. To show everyone how wonderful the Lord is, how much he has blessed me. 

My life has definitely been no bed of roses, but it could be so much worse. I have a wonderful, big, close family, that I wouldn't trade for the world. I love them unconditionally, and they love me back. I have friends, who I consider family, and who I love just the same. I am in the worlds best hospital, being treated by the best doctors and nurses there are. And yeah, I may have a life threatening disease, cancer, the big "C," but I have so much more than that.

 I had a doctor tell me almost 3 years ago, now, that I needed to get my bucket list written, that I should get my things in order, basically saying I wasn't going to make it long, but dammit, I'm still here, fighting harder than ever. I may have to look the fear of death in the face every single day, but it's only because I'm pushing it away, not letting it take me over. And I know that there are some people who don't think I have it too bad, because I don't look like it, because I haven't lost my hair, and because I don't have to do the "hard" chemo. But let me tell you, what I've had to do is not easy. God never promised it would be. It's just going to be worth it. He'll never give me too much to handle. So for the doctor who told me to start my bucket list, and all the people who think I'm fine, just because I look okay, I WILL be fine one day. And I'm fighting my way out of this horrible disease, that has taken so many from us all, until the very, very end. Just the way God intended me to.

  You can't keep a good woman down, you know?

-In hopes that I'll be home before the weekend. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ooh MD Anderson... Here we are again.

Wow, so it's been quite a while since I've blogged last. QUITE a while. I've been overloaded here lately. Not necessarily all that "busy," just been feeling crumby, and had other things that needed to get done other than my rant on here... ;) hehe
   So, tonight, I'll begin by explaining why I suddenly have time to blog tonight. I'm in the hospital. MD Anderson to be exact. I've been here for a pretty bad gastrointestinal bleed. The tumor in my stomach is ulcerated, and it decided to bleed for several days, which is why I'm here now. Blood levels are stable now. It IS Tuesday, October 29th. I've been here since Monday, October 22nd. I have received 10 units of blood, 1 bag of platelets, and numerous bags of fluids that are jam packed of magnesium and potassium, yum. So, with my hemoglobin at a stable 10.0 for the last couple days, I SHOULD be going home tomorrow evening. Praying that all goes well. (say an extra prayer for me.)
   I've kept myself busy, for the most part, I guess. My wonderful sister in law got me a smashbook! How cool are those right?! And I started it. Using some of my ct scan reports, and a blood count report that I got. It got turned into a "anchor" sort of, and I put a lot of little anchor, strength-y quotes on it. And doodled a bunch! I love it. I've crocheted some, but it's difficult because I have things all over my arms, IV's and oxygen readers and such. But the main thing I've done is read, watch tv, and do a lot of thinking and talking to my mama, who stays with me. She's so good to me. (Girls, be good to your mama's! If you're good to them, they're good to you. But mine is better than anyone's, so don't even try to compare!)
   I have a very very good boyfriend too. He endures much more than every day, run-of-the-mill boyfriends. I have an illness that is "treatable, not curable" and he doesn't care. He loves me no matter the illness. Garrett Lunsford is a man that, not only deals with me being a hardheaded little southern firecracker, he loves me unconditionally. He tries his hardest to keep me happy when I'm being poked, prodded, and all kinds of other embarrassing things they do to you when you have cancer, and are in the hospital. Let me tell you, modesty doesn't work around here. Nope. I lost my modesty the very first time I walked into the hospital. Garrett comes here every day he can. He works all day, goes home and changes, drives 35 miles to a huge building in the medical center, only to PAY to park and walk a good mile (that's a close spot!), to a tiny hospital room, and there I am. Cuddled under a pale green blanket, with dirty tangled hair, pajamas, and tubes running off my arms everywhere. Sometimes a bag of blood going through the tubes. He greets me with a huge smile, and of course a big wet kiss. Most of the time surprising me with some little thing that made him think of me. Sometimes it's flowers, sometimes it's a movie. This time is was MAGIC MIKE! (he's so good to me and my mom!) He also brought me an early birthday present, a handmade silver coral, and copper starfish ring. I love it. I love the beach, so it represents me well. Garrett has never known me without cancer. But he loves me more than any man has ever thought about loving me.. He does this little dance (it's his happy dance) that makes me, and my mom laugh so hard that we're about to cry. He gets so antsy sitting up here that it makes me giggle, just watching him squirm around, trying to be still. Garrett brings me so much joy, that honestly,  I forget about the bad situation I'm in... I cant find the words that express how much better he makes my life. It may not be easier, but it's so so so worth it. That man makes me, the me that I want to be. And I love him so much for that. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

12.3 and Velveeta cheese!!

Today, has been a good day for me. I woke up, (late I may add) for blood work this "morning", more like 11, and got dressed as fast as possible, and sprayed some perfume on and me and my mom head out the door. Onto St.Lukes we went, into the Md Anderson wing, and with no hesitation, I wrote my name on the piece of paper I see twice a week, with all the blacked out names ahead of mine, then scribbled in Ravi, my doctors name, right next to it. Mrs.Mary opened up the sterile package with the little blue butterfly needle in it, and swiftly stuck it into a big purple vein in the top of my hand. This time, it seemed like it took forever. The blood just barely trickled into the tubes, but she only had to stick me once. That's ALWAYS a plus. A few hours later, Pat, the sarcoma front desk nurse, called me with a wonderful result, 12.3. Which is 3 points higher than before my transfusion. 
We came home, laid around a while, still recovering from the late night before. Then we drove down to Bethel Baptist church to help a good friend of ours set up her daughter's baby shower. (cowboy themed, adorable!) I had the main task of setting up the candy table. Sooo much fun. There were galvanized buckets, and baskets, tiny hay bales, and a TON of candy to lay out. Even individual bags of blue cotton candy to help portray the "it's a boy" theme. We had a good time, chit chatting, setting up, and oohing and aahing at the cute baby clothes on the "clothes line". 
Soon after the baby shower set up, me and my mom were absolutely starving! So, we had bought, the night before, everything to make my famous broccoli cheese soup. And of course, I'm giving out the recipe.

Jessica's Famous Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 bag frozen broccoli florets (don't use the pieces, because those end up tough and hard to chew)
1 box chicken broth (or veggie broth, I always use chicken, low sodium)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 tbls vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1 block Velveeta cheese (the big one, chopped into manageable sized cubes)
3 cups whole milk
1-2cups water
2 tbls cornstarch
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2teaspoons turmeric 
Salt and pepper to taste
--First, get a nice stock pot and your oil hot, add in onion, and sauté until translucent. About 5 minutes. You can go longer depending on your preference of cooked-ness. Sprinkle with flour, and stir around well.
--Drop in your frozen broccoli florets, and pour about half of your broth over it
And cover for a few minutes, maybe 10 or so. Cook broccoli until very soft, and falling apart. 
--Uncover, and mash broccoli with either a potato masher, or just a big spoon.
Season with salt and pepper.
--Once your broccoli is completely broken apart in small pieces, drop in your Velveeta cubes slowly, and stir them around until they're melted, do this in increments so you don't overcrowd the pot. 
--When finished adding Velveeta, add the rest of your broth, and milk. Stir around and make sure everything is melted, and mashed to your liking. 
--Now, make yourself a cornstarch slurry. This consists of getting your cornstarch and mixing it with a few teaspoons of warm water. (maybe 4 or 5 teaspoons.) just make sure the mixture is smooth, not at ALL lumpy, and slowly pour it into the simmering cheesy soup. Stirring all the while. You'll see the soup start to thicken quickly. 
--Let the soup simmer about 10 minutes or so, and enjoy! 

We ate ours with my "grab by the handful" oyster crackers as croutons. Quite delicious I might add!!! 

Hope y'all enjoy this easy soup. We love it this time of year, it's simple, tasty, and so fulfilling.

I'll write again tomorrow evening after our trip to the cooking expo! Paula Deen, here we come!


Well, like I explained in my last post, my blood level, (hemoglobin) felt low. It was. I was down to a 9.3, which for most is still a good number, but because my hemoglobin drops so fast, they transfuse me early. We went in for blood work like every Thursday, and I asked for a type and screen, which is another little glass tube they draw before you get a transfusion. This test, for some odd reason, takes FOREVER to come back, so I try to get it done periodically so that I won't have to wait too incredibly long, if it is, in fact low. 
   Once I got the call for my results, I asked Pat, my nurse that tells me my magic number,  if I could be transfused. She worked her magic and several hours later, I was at MD Anderson getting my IV started. 
  Now, no one will ever understand, unless you've been through it yourself, how much difference there is in a low hemoglobin, and a normal hemoglobin. Low feels like every step you take, uses triple the amount of energy it's supposed to. I literally had to catch my breath today walking around the ginormous hospital. So, once they gave me my premeds, (Tylenol, and Benadryl) to keep me from having an allergic reaction to the blood, they hook up that cold, dark bag, or what I like to call, liquid energy, and for two to three hours, they pump me full of it. All the while, the area that the blood is entering, is FREEZING!!! I received two bags of the good stuff, this time. In normal circumstances, that should bring me up to an 11.3, since I was a 9.3 this morning. Hopefully, after blood work tomorrow, it'll be a good number. I gotta be energized to go to the cooking expo! I can't be carrying around samples with no energy, right? 
   Since I believe the power of prayer is the strongest medicine there is, I just want to thank y'all all for praying. Even if it's just a simple, "Lord, give her a little energy" prayer, I thank y'all so much. Because it works. I was able to go in today, outpatient, and receive my liquid energy, without any complications. He is a wonderful God. He really is. 

I found a quote a while back, supposedly by Paula Deen (who knows who it's really by, it IS the Internet after all) it said, 
"I'm more of a spiritual person, than a religious person, I go to the beach, not church" and you know what? That's how I feel. I like to be around something amazing, that God has made, and bask in it. That's what makes me feel like He's right there with me. And when I sit back and think about the wonderful things He's done for me, and the amazing life He's created for me, I can't complain at all. I have faith that this is all happening for a reason, and that I, along with so many, will beat this terrible disease, and If some of us don't beat it before our time comes, we'll pass on the toughness, the spirit and strength and show people how to be thankful, no matter what. Because He is good. 

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains, remember? If thats true, then think about all  you can do with copious amount of faith. And then do it!