Wednesday, August 24, 2011
“Lose An Hour In The Morning & You Will Be ALL Day Hunting For It - Richard Whately”
My how this quote rings true! As I sit here today looking at all that we have going on from now till the end of the year and then even into next year – wow! I am in shock of the fact I am already about to utilize my September calendar!
Well, I found this quote this AM and oh how it fits me so perfectly lately. I am not so much NOT a morning person, I just rather lay in bed snuggled with Hubby and our “wet-nosed” kiddos then get up and be super productive before I go to work. I used to get up, work out, do whatever lingering chores that needed to be done, feed all the “kiddos”, catch up on emails, etc and then off to work and home by 530 to spend the entire night with hubby relaxing and enjoying dinner. Lately (well pretty much since last Summer) I have become so consumed with all else going on, I am so tired by the time I hit the pillow, that alarm clock goes of WAY to early and I enjoy snoozing one to five times vs. getting up like I used to – agh! Well last night I got home from work full of energy (Praise GOD for this --- I needed it!) Hubby was running some errands so it was just me and our house! I knocked out 4 loads of laundry (which to the day I still do not understand how just him and I go through so much laundry – but then again I am super anal and hate laundry piles – so maybe its me ;) Anyhow, I cleaned the house from top to bottom, cooked a red-ass meal AND still had energy! I felt so accomplished.
Anyhoo, on to this AM, I woke up an 1 ½ early worked out, did all my chores that I would be consumed with when I get home, made breakfast for the both of us, lunches and have dinner ready for tonight – I was so proud and I was afraid for sure I would feel that it makes the day go by SOOOOO slow, but the days half over and I still feel great! I think the statement above rang true to me because for the hours I did lose, I spent all the rest of the day and on in search of those extra hours --- no fun! I suppose that I hope everyone will take this quote to heart and though I know as fast paced as things are now a days, it is easier said than done, but truly absorb every hour of your day and appreciate them and use them to continue to make differences.
As always, I thank you all for keeping Mike and I in your prayers!! September is going to be a busy month with another month of results from MRIs, PET Scans, etc. He remains to truly kick cancers boo-tay and for that we can only give all thanks to GOD for MD Anderson, our team of doctors and all that he has placed in our lives during this time. He is back to work ¾ of the time and gaining much strength back and cannot wait to get back to FULL time!
We are excited for this Thanksgiving we are taking a road trip! We will be traveling through Mississippi through Alabama and onto Florida to spend time with family we do not see that often. I am stoked for Mike to meet my Dad’s side of the family that I am close to and have offered much support along this journey! Then we will be off to Florida to spend the holidays with his kinfolk and enjoy Thanksgiving festivities the Charnock/Dowd way – we are super stoked!! All of his family in Florida, though we do not see you often enough, the bonds we have created are forever strong and we thank and love you all!
As you know, we recently last week rescued an 8 week blue healer from The Houston Animal Shelter, he was to be euthanized and that was just not going to happen on my watch! We named him Dozer and he is just as cute as can be! He gets along with everyone else, even our two kitties! He is quite a character and doing great, despite all the odds that were against him in the beginning.
In closing, Mike and I hope you remain too outstanding in all that you are involved in. The kiddos are back to school so some sort of “normalcy” for all you parents! I loved seeing all the first day of school pics – my you all have such beautiful families – Smooches!! I will keep you posted in the upcoming weeks of Mike’s results – claiming continued healing throughout his body!! Also, my next cancerwise.com blog entry will be posted September 12, 2011.
Much love to you all – XO Lyndie
Friday, August 19, 2011
“An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language - Martin Buber”
Oh how true this is! Being an avid lover of ALL animals (remember we have 2 dogs and 2 kitties) needless to say if we could handle more, we would be like Dr. Doolittle!
On this note, other than Diesel and Duke our 2 Kitties are rescued kitties that we brought into our home. Kitty was rescued hours before IKE hit and Mona was adopted from the SPCA. I wish I had a huge home with overflowing acres, because I would surely seek out to help all strays, adopt all animals abandoned and just offer the love we have in our hearts.
Today was a HUGE blessing! We have wanted to add a 3rd “wet-nosed” kiddo to our family, but weren’t looking forward to paying a breeder to continue our heeler family. I have been praying and now that Mike is doing so well, it was surely not going to be overwhelming for us to take on another pet. I received an email today from a rescue group I follow strictly for heelers and this little guy popped up. Abandoned at only 6 weeks old, he was picked up by The Houston Animal Shelter, kenneled and up for adoption. Because he was so young and the percentages of newbie’s that survive the shelter are far less than more, he was up for uthenization. OMG! I called Mike immediately and said “WE HAVE TO ADOPT HIM!” After sending his picture, Mike quickly agreed and the adoption process began. Now don’t get me wrong, but the city animal shelter is no picnic and though they are doing wonderful jobs of getting these little guys adopted, it is like what I would imagine the equivalent of Harris County jail to a human.
It broke my heart to think of this little guy ONLY 8 weeks old, not even a chance to really live life have HIS life taken from him --- wasn’t going to let it happen. He was adopted and became a Charnock at 3PM today! The most ironic thing is that though the shelter was not FOR SURE of his birth date they estimated it may have been June 30th --- wow! He will be one years old on the day of our ‘Celebration of Life and Love!’ Thank you JESUS for having this in your plans!
In closing, Dozer is resting peacefully with “Daddy” and his brothers. The kitties have evaluated him and they seem to approve. We have a feeling he is already going to be a little rascal and a tormenter of his brothers – can’t wait! Haha!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how - Friedrich Nietzsche”
You know as a fan of music, I feel I am always in search of the perfect song for any occasion. You know how it is, you have a song to remind you of your first kiss with your love, a song that reminds you of Summer days sitting on the back porch with your grandpa, a song that EVERY time it plays you chuckle just a bit remembering all the silly stuff you and your best friend did that last summer in high school. Agh, a sound of a familiar tune can almost instantly remind you of good times, bad times, sad times but always some point in your life…
I got an email from a dear friend today and she told me I HAD TO SEE Martina McBride’s new video --- ‘I will Love you Through it’, and how I must thank her from the bottom of my heart, I feel this is the BEST song for our current journey we are on. As a woman states in the opening of the video “when you are diagnosed with cancer, it effects all around you”, and this is so true. Though Mike is the one physically with the disease, it has affected me, our family, friends and all around us. During this time, I know by the Grace of GOD, with all of you in our lives, it is truly making a difference for the better. Mike’s mentality is so strong and so positive, and the love felt from you all is truly what is keeping us on the track of complete healing!
This song struck a cord with me, because until this journey I never realized how “common” cancer is and the fact that it really does not care if you are 89, 36 or even a young child. I still to this day never imagined my life like this, but as I have said and I know people think I am crazy, but I truly feel honored that GOD chose us for this journey. It has given us strengths beyond our comprehension, it has brought us closer together, and above all we have been re-united with family, friends and have brought new friendships into our lives. It has provided us an opportunity to be an inspiration to others, for others to inspire us, for us to become closer to our GOD.
Thank you Martina McBride for dedicating this song to ALL out there that are affected by cancer in one way or another, directly or indirectly. You have provided a song for our journey that will forever be hummed in our head and fine tuned in our hearts.
Martina Mc Bride --- I Will Love You Through It
Monday, August 15, 2011
“What cancer does is, it forces you to focus, to prioritize, and you learn what's important. I mean, I don't sweat the small stuff. I used to get angry at cab drivers. It's not worth it.... And when somebody says you have cancer, you realize it's all small stuff. And if it weren't for the downside, everyone would want to have it. But there is a downside - American Morning, CNN, 13 June 2003”
Ain’t that the truth? There are sure a lot of downsides to Cancer, and though Mike is defying ALL the odds and being called a miracle, I would NEVER wish this disease upon anyone! I have chosen to use this disease for the positive and continue to strive to empower others no matter what adversity you are facing in your lives. I thank GOD for this ability daily and continue to pray that the strength stays within and Mike will one day be Cancer Free!
In saying all that, the truth is Cancer DOES Suck! I kept seeing an advertisement for personalized plates, and because it is in relation to the Texas Department of Public Safety, I had hoped that I could strive to get Mike the perfect anniversary gift this year --- it may not seem like a “celebration to some, because he still does have Cancer, but to have reached the 1 year mark and going strong in the way of defeating Cancer, I only felt the attached new license plate I got for his truck would say it all! I toiled back and forth the with idea, and prayed to not come off offensive, but I feel that with as horrible as this disease is, more people that not would get the message and the devil as well would see what our stand is!
Needless to say Mike being the man’s man, he was in awe of it and loved the message!! I just wanted to share with all of you as well – With cancer hitting both of our families quite hard this year, it is apparent that the Devil is striving to take us down…well (2) of our relatives are healed and cancer free, I feel Mike will be next and this only leaves hope for ALL others out there too!!
We wish you all a wonderful week ahead – it’s going to be a hot one here in Houston TX again! Much love to you all and thank you for continued support and encouragement through this time – the prayers are felt daily, the love is in the air!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
“I could not say I believe. I know! I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call GOD - Carl Jung”
As always my Inbox holds a message from Joel Osteen, and in all honesty I may have written about this before, but just recently I have had some major tests of faith, I have felt the Devil like the Big Bad Wolf in The Three Pigs, huffing and puffing just trying to blow our house down.
Today’s message goes on to read; “So often, people allow the opinions of others to hold them back and water down their dreams. We have to realize, there will always be critics and naysayers in life. One of the most important things you can learn is that other people don’t have to believe in you in order for your dreams to come to pass. Other people don’t set the limits for your life — you do. It’s not what others say about you that affects your life, but what you say and believe about yourself. When God puts a promise in your heart, it’s not up to other people to bring it to pass, it’s up to you! You don’t need everyone to validate you. You have to follow the voice of God for yourself and allow Him to order your steps.”
I was so thankful to receive this message. Although I stood my grounds when confronted about my faith and even once was told “I talk about GOD too much”, I not for one minute shadowed my faith in GOD. I in no way push my faith upon anyone and my beliefs. I share my views on Face Book, I post on my personal blog (which yes is open to the public) but you surely do not have to read or subscribe and I surely do not tell anyone at all what they SHOULD believe…I simply share my feelings on how I feel GOD continues to work in our life and heal my husband.
I feel it is too common in our society people feel embarrassed to be the odd man out, whether it be their political views, what they wear, what someone might think of their pasts, their views on the economy and especially their views on GOD. Now I will be the first to admit, I am not familiar enough with the Bible and have not read cover to cover, but I know in my heart what I feel and it is the complete presence of GOD working in our lives. I once said if it were the spirit of Michal Jackson healing my hubby and continuing to bless us beyond belief, I would surely praise that too.
I feel that we are individuals and as Paul was not afraid to stand up for what he believed no matter how much he was judged, I will not discredit my GOD and for what he has done for me. I see too often people (not all) seem to use GOD as a convienent store. You know, you really do not feel like going all the way to the groceries tore for those milk and eggs you forget and end up paying way over price just for the “convenience”, how about letting GOD be your Wal-Mart, your Target, your Costco – even when you don’t need ALL at once what he has to offer, GOD knows that while you are shopping, something may come up and you realize that you did need that dog food or cat food too.
In closing, if GOD is who you have your heart focused on, do not underplay what he does for you. As I always say, I will praise him for helping make my hubby Cancer Free just the same as I will for a good hair day! I stopped caring what people think of me a little while ago, as long as I know GOD knows my heart.
I dedicate this song to all who are going through something, anything right now…the road of complete faith can feel lonely sometimes, but GOD always has our back…
The Lonely Road of Faith - Kid Rock
Monday, August 8, 2011
“A new position of responsibility will usually show a man to be a far stronger creature than was supposed - William James”
Over the weekend, Saturday to be exact, I woke up with a 101.1 fever. I was sick to my stomach could not keep anything down or in for that matter. I had the chills and nothing seemed to help. I laid there in a panic only thinking what is happening? I do not have time to be sick…though Mike is doing so well, I am his caregiver and I do not have time to be sick, I need to be taking care of him. Mike came to the rescue running me a hot bath, making me soup and never leaving my side till my fever broke. Praise GOD it seemed to only be a 24 hour bug and my fever was broke by early evening and still not able to keep down any food, I was at normal temperature and relaxing and able to sleep.
At that moment, I realized how hugely things have changed in our relationship and how we have since his diagnosis had a major change up. Mike was the one before his diagnosis the “bread winner” of our family, the one to take care of SO many things, especially if I were to get sick – I didn’t worry, I knew all would be fine. He was the handy-man, the mechanic, the Man of the household, and though I do not see him any less of man in our marriage, I do know things have changed.
Mike and I remain equals at all times, but with his health not at a hundred percent through this journey, I have picked up a lot of his load and carried it through this journey. Since July 2010 (though we had a gracious amount of donations from our benefit, continued help from family and friends from time to time) I have been the sole bread winner up until March 2011. By the grace of GOD we have managed and have not fallen short on any of our bills and continue to live by our simple means that we are completely happy with. Through this, I know it has taken a tole on Mike as a man feeling at times by him not going to work a full 8-10 day, that he somehow is not the man of our household. For me, I see him as nothing but the most courageous man that I know and for what he is going though at this moment and experiencing – he remains my hero and the man in my life.
For me, I have never known the strengths that have now been instilled in me. Working a full-time job, taking care of Mike not only when I am at work, but when I am at home as well. Having Mike in my every thought throughout the day that he has taken his medication, he is not pushing himself beyond his capability to prove that he can. To ensure that he is eating properly. To ensure that our bills are paid. To ensure that food is on the table and in the fridge. To ensure I maintain good health for myself so I can ensure I am strong and healthy for him. These are the thoughts that go through my head 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Just as I know Mike has similar thoughts because for a little time, it was out of his control and because he was focusing on getting better, he had to relinquish the “control” of it all and allow me to do it.
As the quote says above, a new position surely will shine the light on strengths that you had no idea you had. I still to this day have not cried too often about Mike’s disease. I at first thought it was maybe that I was in complete denial, but then learned that GOD has instilled this great amount of strength in me, to not only be strong and tough for my Hubby but also be strong for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have cried, I have felt overwhelmed, but I try not to stay there for too long, for if I do, the Devil will win and we just can’t have that. But just as our roles have slightly changed, Mike too on this new journey and new responsibly of battling this cancer, has surely provided a new strength that no matter what a Man’s Man you are – it surely takes a tole on you mentally and Mike’s mental strength is beyond soaring and is one of the keys to his healing success.
Though today Mike remains on the road to healing thanks to Our GOD above, the support of Family and friends along with the fabulous facilities of MD Anderson, we both have taken on new strengths and new responsibilities. With these new roles, we maintain a strong mental state, which believe me is not ALWAYS easy, but a HUGE part of our ability to fight each day!
Mike has a slow October consisting of just his Brain / Spine Chemo and his Mega-Chemo. Your prayers are being felt and he remains to be back at work, working actual almost full days and minimal side effects – thank you ALL, your prayers are felt and heard!! September will be busy with MRIs and PET Scans and of course we will keep you all posted of those results --- Continuing to claim ALL GOOD!!!
In closing, as always, we thank you ALL family, friends, MD Anderson and all involved on Our Journey. Without GOD Above none of this would be possible.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years - Simone Signoret”
This statement holds so much truth --- and in our few years together, Mike and I have millions of tiny threads that have sewn us together and keep us tight.
Well, as you all know Mike and I met in 2007, married in 2008 and he was diagnosed with Cancer in 2010. We had both been married in our “younger” years, and were giddy to head to the Justice of the Peace and say our vows, kiss on the courthouse steps and call it a day. Though our marriage has been ANYTHING but easy, the struggles we have overcome have only made us stronger.
Through our relationship, we have met so many people and also have let many go. We decided for our happiness, it was just that – ours and no one else’s. We no longer strived to be friends with EVERYONE – this was a hard pill for me to swallow because who doesn’t want to be liked? Why cant we all just get along is the age ole’ question. Well A LOT changed when Mike was diagnosed in 2010 and the outpour of support and love from our Family, Friends and strangers that are now friends has been amazing and is truly what keeps Mike and I going. Moving on to today – Mike is my love, my best friend and though we do not need a formal wedding to express this, we have decided to SAVE the DATE and host a celebration of “LIFE AND LOVE”.
June 30, 2012 we will renew our vows and celebrate our 5 years together! We will have our pastor to do this with us and hope that you can join us. I know it is impossible to have EVERYONE there physically, but we know you will be there in spirit. I will update soon of all the details and location, but for now please place this date on your calendar and circle it with a HUGE heart!
On this day we will celebrate our LOVE for each other and celebrate Mike’s LIFE – for without him, I would be lost and because of GOD he is being healed and this is reason to celebrate!!! Mike and I are the simplest folks you will ever meet and just like the old Alan Jackson song, we truly are “Living on Love”.
At the end of the celebration, we plan to release balloons representing the colors of Mike’s Cancer – Pearl & Gray. AND the very last detail that I am soooo very excited about is…His team of doctors plan to be there as well (his primary care team) How Awesome is THAT??? How Good Is GOD?? Now granted, it’s written ON a stone in chalk, so it may change, but as of right now they are saving the date too!
As always thank you ALL for your continued support through this journey – we could not have done it without you ALL, MD Anderson and above all else GOD.
More to come --- XO Lyndie
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
"First He lit sunshine, Then He made the waters deep, Then He gave us moonlight, For all the world to see - Well everybody knows that the Lord works in mysterious ways, He took a rest then on the very next day --- God blessed Texas with His own hand, Brought down angels from the promised land – Little Texas”
Being from Texas, I am a little biased and really do feel we have the BEST state. I feel every state has “their thing”…you know, California has no humidity and beautiful beaches (with the way reality TV is booming, you guys aren’t the only ones anymore to have “famous” people ;). New York has The Statue of Liberty. ANYWHERE above, below and side to side of us have beautiful rolling hills. Florida, well you have Casey Anthony --- eeek! Just kidding! You too have beautiful beaches, actually some of the most gorgeous beaches. As I said, every state has it’s thing…and I used to think Texas was the Alamo, or simply the Battleship that lies in our harbor, or any of the MANY attractions that surround us from one state line to the other (oh and Galveston ;) but after being thrown head first into this miraculous journey, I truly believe that the country band ‘Little Texas’ had it all right from the beginning…yes, we do have some beautiful people (not all blessed with the ability to dance, like in the song) but Texas is TRULY blessed! Of all the places in the entire WORLD, GOD chose to place MD Anderson in the smack dab middle of Houston, TX – how Blessed it that?
As often as we frequent MDA, we meet people from ALL over the world…literally. The last time we were there we met a lady from Ukraine who had just got accepted and moved her entire family here to receive treatment…wow! I could not imagine making that sacrifice and Mike and I traveling half way across the world. Of course he is my love and BFF and if it had to be done, we would find a way! I felt so much strength from this little woman who obviously was torn with the decision, but she said that she KNEW MDA was the best place for her to receive treatment and she had no other option. Mike and I reside less than 15 minutes from this great place of MDA and for that we are truly grateful!
I truly feel that GOD knows from day one HIS plan for each of us. Heck, Mike was once talking of moving to Hawaii years ago, I yearned to move to LA – and low and behold, we are both here in Houston TX today and he is on his way to healing. For us, we feel this is a blessing because we do not have the funds to up and relocate or accommodate the traveling that it would have taken if we lived anywhere but here. I thank GOD everyday for this opportunity. Many laugh and even call me crazy for calling Cancer a blessing – but it is. This journey has brought Mike and I closer, we have developed stronger relationships with family and friends, we have mended fences and most important of all each of has become closer to GOD. Now granted, I would not wish Cancer upon anyone, but for us and OUR journey, I am comfortable knowing that this was ALL GODs plan.
So in ending – I used to be in awe of the Houston Downtown Skyline, but now my vision is on a whole new skyline – the one that outlines the sky above the Med Center. Thank you GOD for Blessing Texas SO BIG!
"A place where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain – Dorothy”
This quote gives me such chills. The Wizard of Oz, such a memorable movie I feel for anyone no matter where you are from. The Wizard of Oz is a magical place that lies within all of our dreams.
I am so thankful for the opportunity that MD Anderson has given me to share Mike and I’s journey with such a huge network. As I was creating my 2nd blog entry, I paused and prayed for the words to come to me. At that moment, I remembered a blog that I had entered on my own personal blog last year after Mike’s brain surgery. It referenced The Wizard of Oz and how I felt MD Anderson was such a comparison to this magical city. It went on to describe how when you first arrive, it is so overwhelming and huge, but yet you feel so completely at peace knowing you will be given everything you need especially courage. I though of how many people come to this amazing city and feel lost. I submitted my personal blog entry to them and they were in awe of how well it depicted MD Anderson, they said they must use it!
I have the link below to my 2nd entry with MD Anderson Cancer wise blog, which (because you know I can write a lot and go one for days) they broke it down into 2 entries that are up today and the other this coming Friday.
Thank you all for the overwhelming support you give me with my writing. It has been such a blessing to share our journey with you in a way that you yourself feel as though you are with us EVERY step of the way, side by side. In spirit we know you are…Mike remains to feel very good! He had a little concern this past week of a pinched nerve sensation in his lower back that was caused by lack of magnesium in his diet. We immediately (before knowing the cause) called his doctors and they brought him in for blood work and testing, All is good and he is now taking a magnesium supplement and is back at work He remains to do really well with the mega chemo and has had little side effects, we continue to thank GOD and pray that it continues!
We remain thankful how GOD is using us on this journey to touch and inspire others. It reassures us everyday that us being chosen for this, IS GODs plan no doubt and all that happens is for his glory! We continue to thank you all for the love and encouragement you provide – it truly gets us through our days.
We wish that you are all doing well and staying cool through this torturous heat – Rain rain come our way!!
In closing, we continue to have so much gratitude for you ALL, our team of doctors, MD Anderson and our GOD above!!