Friday, November 1, 2013

Month 4 with Chemo

Let me start off by stating I'm incredibly lucky and blessed!

My treatment is so light compared to other breast cancer patients....

August 2012 I was noticing something was off so to the doctor I go.  We did the typical mamo and ultrasound, we saw something small...no big deal...had a small biopsy...Whoop there it is!

We caught the cancer so early and due to other health issues (brain lesions and migraines) we decided to do small radiation to shrink it down even more then maybe do an easy lumpectomy to remove it.  Plan worked except for my blood markers by spring still did not move down...no mass but my blood is still showing something is there.  So July we started a trial program of small dose chemo, oral, weekly for long term and to eliminate the pre-cancer cells in the breast and cervix....18 months!

Ok it's thankfully not like your typical chemo....so far I still have my hair, I don't get violently ill and I can work (kind of), however it does make you feel constantly weak, sick and your system can pick up any little virus.

So today marks the end of my 4th month of treatment.  We have had some up's and downs, life changes, lots of stress but over all I have been holding up!

The only thing that is frustrating is the time missed from work and not having the ability to give my all to work, life and everyday living.  Discussions with the Dr. include blood work, decrease my stress level and lack of financial assistance.  Unfortunately I don't have short/long term disability insurance and to get one now there would be a preexisting conditional hold on coverage...and the federal government does not honor disability for a case like mine...it was denied.

So on to month 5 trying to keep stress to a minimum, moved in with the parents so we can save some money and trying to find ways to honor my work...even thought daily its a struggle just to get out of bed.  Apologies to all my friends and co-workers for dropping off the face of the earth the past 4 months, but I just don't have the energy to give any extra...it can only go up from here!  So forward we go taking it one day at a time...thanks everyone for your love, prayers and encouragement...I am truley blessed!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Packing & Moving to Where?

Oh the joys of moving...yes I said JOY!

The beginning of October our landlord notified us she was moving back to Colorado and was in need of her home.  Can you say panic?  It defiantly set in...especially when we started looking for a new rental and could not find any with in our price range.


Week 1 - start packing and +Sabina Claus starts the internet search through +Craigs List Posting Service  and +Zillow.  There was a few properties out there so I set appointments to go and view them.

House #1 we will name the crack house.  There were two reasons why this was named the crack house.  One the inside was so outdated and looked like the patched holes in the walls were a last minute deal just to get the place rented, two there was a 1/2 inch crack all along the foundation wall.  It had potential and was currently the only home with in our price range that was not to far from Grandmas house or in an unsafe neighborhood.  I get there for what I thought was a private showing with application and $ in hand...there were 12 other families also there to view the home.

Week 2 - Continue packing and go neighborhood hunting with +Susan Castillo ...there were no for rent signs anywhere

House #2  a townhouse listed as a 2 bedroom 2 bath 980 for $1200/mo (i'm dying at the prices let me tell you) Again there are multiple people looking at the home and its not a two bedroom but a one small bedroom (might fit a double) with a basement family room (had a closet and door to the basement lets call it a master bed)

House #3 Apartment hunting we will go...after 3 communities of problem properties we decided that apartment living would not work with our price range.  One most communities would not take Gracie and if they did there would be monthly pet charges plus a 3 times your out barking rule and two they were so ghetto I was in fear of my amazing husband landing in prison for some of the crazy people who lived there

Week 3 - House almost completely packed...I hate living out of boxes

House #4 Finally found a home in Zillow in our price range, small "cute" house...go for private viewing!  Again multiple families are also there "bidding" on the home.  It's not available until Nov 18th...but we will figure it out.

Week 4 - We have no choice but to move...but to where?  My wonderful Mother +Susan Castillo and Grandmother both offered rooms for us to live in till we find a home...we decided the space and sanity we should move in with the Castillos for a while.

  • Everything but our bed and clothes are in storage ($456/mo for storage are you kidding me?)
  • Gracie will get to go to camp every day - this way she wont kill the cat or Dad who is home all day go crazy with her under foot ($115/week...again are you kidding me?)
  • Michael has the opportunity to take allergy meds everyday - he is very allergic to cats (thankfully right now only $30/mo)
  • Mom and Dad...bless their hearts, just moved into their home in June...they already have live in long term guests (loving parents = priceless)
Yesterday I handed over the keys to my landlord...my good friend Angela Baldauf cleaned our filthy house...It looked amazing and today marks 5 full days living at mom and dads.  Things are going great...but the final bills are now coming in.  Hopefully starting December we can start saving the money and find the right house this spring.

In the mean time we will focus on me healing, saving money...and keeping my husbands sanity together!





Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Busy and Blessed Life!

I most certainly have a busy life, most my friend on facebook I'm sure roll their eyes when they see an updated post from me.


It occurred to me this morning after posting a simple word of HELP yesterday on facebook of how luck and /or blessed I truly am.
You see I was stuck in a state of panic that I must confess I created (we usually do if we are truly honest with ourselves.)... 

My oldest dear daughter is trying to find peace in her life with end of junior year in college and she just starts to see the light and BAMB she gets an unexpected email that I know will throw her into a state of depression.

My amazing baby girl is at the end of one season of life...graduating from high school and already is planning her new step in life moving to college in just a short 6weeks

My handsome and very helpful husband is going through another transition in life where one day makes him smile and the next makes him give up.


Grandma decided a few weeks back that we needed to sell her beautiful home that we just settled her not 16 months ago because the house isn't a good fit....she needs a home with no stairs (duh), and we are at the home stretch her home under contract and a cute little ranch waiting for her to move in and put her wonderfully "white decor" touches on.  Then the bomb hits..inspection issues and we wonder if anything will close at all.



Mom is also moving...she so needs my help and all I can do is be a sounding board when she is on the cliff and pray.


My job is so much fun and is so busy, I have so many fun projects in the works and have the freedom to create its crazy


So you see my life is full and busy, and yesterday I hit the stage where I found myself complaining, breaking down and not knowing what to do.

Then it hit me....Sabina you are blessed!
Shannon is doing so well in school and has an amazing job...pursuing her dream of teaching
Jessica has turned into a beautiful young lady who now has a future plan...pursuing her dream of audio production
Michael finally has a job...may not be his dream but he is enjoying it
Grandma is here and I have the enjoyment of spending time with her and getting to give back to her after all the years she gave to me
Mom and I get to talk almost everyday (it's not about fun stuff but we are talking) and she is moving closer to me

So Sabina stop panicking and look around at who you still have with you....because in a blink of an eye it could be gone.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A family of tablets

How delightful that my family has become so hooked on their tablets and iPads.

Maybe now we can all start blogging more....

So thankful for my new gift of an iPad....why did I wait so long




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Family Thanksgiving Meal...with recipes!

So it occurred to me that Shannon has the opportunity to learn how to cook our Thanksgiving meal this year...her first time.  But the problem being....none of the recipes have been recorded for her.   Some of it is recipe card style the rest is just how we do it in order. So Shannon and Jessica here ya go!

Thanksgiving eve:

Apple Crumb Pie-lets

Filling:
1 frozen pie crust
1C sugar
1 tbl flour
1/4 tea all spice
1/2 tea cinnamon
1/2 tea nutmeg
6 med granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into small bites

Topping:
3/4 c soft margarine
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c flour

stir all filling together

roll pie crust very thin & cut out using cup 5 inch circles, place in greased muffin tins with strips of wax paper to keep the pies from sticking and easy removal and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, take out and fill each muffin cup with pie filling

mix topping ingredients together and place 1 tablespoon on each pie-let.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Pumpkin Pie-lets

1 can 15oz of Kuners pumpkin
2/3 c sugar
1 tea cinnamon
1/2 tea ginger
1/2 tea allspice
3/4 tea salt
2 eggs
1 c milk

roll pie crust very thin & cut out using cup 5 inch circles, place in greased muffin tins with strips of wax paper to keep the pies from sticking and easy removal and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, take out.

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and scoop into partially baked pie crusts, bake at 400 degrees for 30 mins

Dinner Rolls

6 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 tea salt
2 pkg yeast
1 c water
1 c milk
1/2 c butter
1 egg

In large bowl combine 2 cups of flour, sugar, slat & yeast

In sauce pan heat water, milk & butter until warm.  Add egg into sauce pan, beat

add sauce pan into flour bowl continue to add more flour until dough pulls away from bowl.

knead dough on flour surface continue to add flour

let rise in greased bowl for 2 hours

punch down dough make rolls....cover and place in fridge till morning.


Thanksgiving Day

start at 8:00 am and go in order (some items are marked with time starts...weird I know, but it will make sense as you go)

Herb Butter

2 sticks soft better
2 tbl chopped parsley
1 tbl dried sage & thyme
1 tes pepper
1/4 tea paprika
1/8 tea ground cloves

mix together and set aside

Turkey & Meal

13 lb Turkey

Saturday you should have placed your turkey into the bottom self of your fridge

8:30 am pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

un-wrap turkey from bag and rinse off

take giblets from inside the turkey and place them in a sauce pan  filled with water add one whole peeled onion, celery heart (4-5 stocks), 5 pinches of salt and 3 pinches of pepper place sauce pan on back burner turn temp on low.

after rinsing turkey, pat dry and smother with herb butter.  Make sure to make holes in the skin and place some of the butter inside of it

make dressing:
1 box stove top turkey stuffing 
(make as directed on box)
in a pan saute 1/2 onion & 5 celery stocks in 2 tbl of stick butter until onion is translucent then add to stuffing

in neck of turkey place one clean potato and make sure neck skin is wrapped tightly to seal in moisture in butt of turkey stuff in your stuffing

place turkey into oven (no foil this round) for 1 hour at 450 degrees, this crisps up the skin and seals in the moisture, after one hour take turkey out (this is what it looks like):


Now wrap the pan and turkey in foil, reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for 3.5 hours.

get your rolls and unwrap them set them on the counter so they can come to room temp and rise

peel 1 potato per person plus one extra and cut into roast chunks, boil in pot of water with salt until fork tender.  Place on cookie sheet to cool and be ready bake roast later

In a pot boil 1 cup of water & sugar until boiling.  Add 1 small bag of cranberry's until they all pop, place in glass bowl and fridge

1:30 peel 1.5 potato's per person and cut for mashed potatoes, boil and hand mash with 1 stick of butter, milk to smooth, salt and pepper to taste and parsley to color

2:00 take out turkey place on counter top and cover with foil & towels to keep warm
increase oven temp to 450
place grease from turkey pan into bowl to be used for gravy and roast potatoes.  Place cooled roast tatters into bottom of turkey pan and brush on turkey fat/grease. put in oven until sticky and hot.

in mean time make green bean casserole and get ready to put into oven at 2:30

2:30 place rolls in oven (directions state 30 min. at 400 degrees) and green bean casserole

make 2 boxes of stove top stuffing (see box instructions, add celery and onion like before)

in microwave heat the carrots and peas (steamer bags work best)

Gravy

Family secret recipe
1 can of cream of chicken soup
stock water
some grease from turkey pan
meat from turkey neck (boiled all day with giblets)
salt and pepper to taste

mix until Whittall gravy consistency!

Serve and enjoy....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Who are you following....

So it is of late that I have been talking to people who are leaving their churches for reasons that I can not understand.....
  • I have issues with what was preached last Sunday
  • There is just nothing there for me
  • I don't feel connected
  • I don't have a personal relationship with my pastor
  • I'm not feed
I'm not saying if you have biblical sin that you should stay at your home church, but if there are somethings missing....it could be you missing.

We are to be serving and worshiping God not man.  We are to follow Jesus not our pastor.  Maybe I have been through so much change in my life that this makes it easy for me to understand.  However we are not to go to a church because of one man, but so we may fellowship with fellow Christians, live life along side each other....HELLO your pastor/preacher is just a man!  Don't get me wrong, the pastor is a/the leader of a congregation, but we are to be serving along side him, not putting him up high and making him an unapproachable put on a shelf man.

I digress....

There are times we need to take a step outside our comfort zone and do things instead of expecting everything to just fall into our lap.  If you don't feel connected, then get connected, join a small group, meet people, have a bible study, pray with someone about their issues instead of about yours.  Just to name a few

I don't have a personal relationship with my pastor, here is a concept....then get to know him...pray for him and his family, ask how he is doing instead of waiting for him to check on you!

I'm not feed...I saw an amazing saying on Angie's blog (Two Things in common love God, love others) today... "The bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions."  I also remember in a small group discussion a month or so back that as a leader at my church I should be well feed when I come to service on Sunday mornings not looking to be feed...how can I serve others on Sunday morning if I have not feed myself through out the week....I think you got the idea!

Then there is the..."teaching is wrong or so and so hurt me"..If someone at church has offended you there is scripture telling us what we are to do, Matthew 18:15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.  If they listen to you, you have won them over" NIV If you have a problem with something that was taught you need to speak to the one who taught the lesson.  You don't leave a church because of something that was said and not pray about it, study it or talk to the teacher.  Sometimes we are offended because the teaching is something we needed to hear and there is something we need to correct.

Lastly...you don't leave a church and when talking to others (or on Facebook) slander the church you just left.

I understand we live in a country that gives us freedom of speech, however gossip and slander is something Jesus taught about....and it was not something he told us to do!

Just my thoughts of today!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Feeding while Serving

Some have asked me why I serve in the youth...believe me there are days I ask myself those very questions.  I never considered myself to be a person who tolerates teens let alone hangs out with them.

I started serving at my church as a way to spend extra time with my daughters...my beautiful daughters were still at the conservative church with their dad  (another story for another time) and I wanted to show them a new way to worship God.  So they came to youth group and I "attended" with them helping out where the youth group needed help.

Eight years later I find myself still hanging out in the youth room, loving on kids that I may not have raised but consider to be my own, and learning that even while I serve God I find myself constantly "filled" up because those teens show me every day God is with me and walking me through everything.

Not only is it amazing to watch these teens grow up, leave youth, go to college, get their first job, get married, having babies...some I don't ever see again (but I'm thankful for Facebook to keep tabs on them), but I love watching them grow into amazing adults. Some may not truly find God during their time with youth, but I know the late night talks, hanging out and words of "wisdom" stick with them and eventually they either make their way back to God (the same way I did) or for the first time turn to God.

I could not be more proud of my teens and worshiping along side them has feed me in ways I will never be able to express.  Watching the steps they take, acts of faith, community love and seeing them grow in their relationship with God...even this last week they showed his love, reminding me again why I serve.

We had a tragic thing happen in our community, and thankfully none of my teens were directly impacted by the shooting in Aurora.  What impressed me most and allowed me to not just be proud, but also reaffirm the reason why I serve is their own call to action without being told to do so.  These teens came together and prayed, served their community and showed compassion - even to the one who had committed the wrong.  Watching them grow in their faith has challenged me and encouraged me to grow even stronger in mine!

It's not always been easy to serve.  I myself question if I should serve as I have my own issues,sin and past that had followed me.  There also has been major blocks and enemy attack while serving (attack on my family, marriage, my relationship with God)...but I know without a doubt, my relationship with God is the strongest it has ever been, my marriage will have ups and downs and my family will continue to go through the junk because we live in a world filled with kingdom conflict.

Sure I spend time in prayer, read my bible, fellowship, spend time with christian women, go to church...but I know my relationship with God would not be where it is today without the feeding I receive from serving at my church and having the blessing of worshiping along side those teens.  I thank God everyday for giving me the opportunity to go in with my daughters to the youth room 8 years ago, and look forward to many more years of being feed while "hanging out".

My challenge to everyone...serve somewhere, it doesn't have to be with teens, but it should be with something you enjoy.  Serving shouldn't be a punishment or burden, but something that gives you something back!  GET TO IT!