Thursday, August 30, 2007

Danced my "hair" off!

I had the best time at the INXS concert! I danced like no one was watching and I rocked my face off, or for those around me, I rocked my hair off!!! I went bald. I’m feeling much more comfortable with my baldness, especially in public. Perhaps it’s because with these new chemo drugs, they really make your hair fall out even more, and with it go my eyelashes and eye brows. I’ve got very little of either left. I’ve gotten pretty good at putting on the fake ones, and I got a special eyebrow kits with stencils to draw on my eyebrows, and powder that doesn’t smudge, it’s much better than brow pencil. I got it given to me by a local company called , they are old friends of mine, thanks Nancy and Doug, my new eyebrows look great!
My hair would try and grow a little bit in between my old chemo’s, but with my new chemo drugs it really falls out and you get the shiny bald head, instead of a little stubble like I had before. I have to say, I’m liking this new smoother look, then old scalp felt like sand paper. I think the public will be seeing more and more of my head. Having a shiny head, no brows and no eyelashes will be a new look for me, though I’ll usually put my coverings on. With the bloating and darkness under my eyes getting darker, I do look sicker and sicker all the time. Sometimes I catch a look at myself in the mirror and I don’t recognize myself. Thank goodness for make-up, especially the great new Arbonne stuff I now sell. If you are interested in some of these great Arbonne products, just click to the link on this page.
When I danced to the rock music I loved so much when I was so much younger, I felt free. As my body moved to the music, I didn’t fell sick at all! I felt like the old me. The only problem was that I couldn’t dance the entire concert like I could last year. But I got up and shook it to my favorite songs!! I love to dance, I need to dance more. That’s what I’m going to do.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We have two things in common.

Everyone in this world has at least two things in common…we are all doing to die and none of us knows when. There were some horrific, sudden, tragic accidents this past weekend that ended the lives of several people in my local area. My heart aches for them and their families, not having any chance to prepare or say good-bye. I find myself almost daily preparing to die, and I wonder if I’m being pessimistic, but I don’t believe so. I see myself as being very optimistic, while being a realist. Does that mean I think I’m going to die? While obviously at some point, we all will, but it certainly doesn’t stop me from truly living!! I feel more alive than ever before, I see things I know I would have otherwise missed before. I find gifts in so many things so many times a day. I have more joy, more excitement and more love than ever before. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about what I would do for my girls if I was dying; so that they would always remember me and so that they would always feel like they knew me. I plan on what it is that I can do that so I can still contribute to their lives, even after I’m gone.
But having said that… I equally see myself walking them to school, seeing them in their school plays, Chris and I having to add on to the house to accommodate all their friends when they are teenagers, seeing them move out on their own, on their wedding days and seeing our grandchildren. I plan on all of that.
Today my plan is to drive to Kamloops with my husband where we are going to see my favorite band from when I was a teenager, INXS!! We got front row seats and we are going to dance our faces off, at least I will be! ( I’ll be taping my feet to try and avoid getting blisters, even though I will no matter what I do, oh well) There is fun to be had and I’m going to have it!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Climbing the Mountian.

Within in 36 hours of my diagnosis of breast cancer, back in mid-March, God gave me a vision of what lay ahead of me. He showed me a mountain in the path of my journey that I couldn’t get around and had to go over. It was a high mountain, with rough and rugged terrain. Before I was to start the climb, I was to equip myself for the long hike and climb (not knowing then how long it would be but knowing I’d have to prepare for the long haul). So I equipped myself with a team of climbers, those that would pray were the first needed. Then I added to the team, those that would help financially, with meals along the way, with meeting basically daily needs and again more prayer.
I was ready to start my climb…many see a diagnosis of breast cancer as a dark and low time of a life, a “valley”, but I saw it completely differently. I saw this as an opportunity to get to higher ground. Though it would be hard and some days harder than others, I knew that there would be great views and sights to be seen and that the Son would shine brighter and warmer than ever before.
This pushed me forward, even up and out of my sleepy slumber some days, when I just didn’t feel like climbing. When I would stumble there would be a hand provided to care for me and to help me up. The gear that I’d prepared before the climb would catch me if I were to fall. (I don’t feel that I’ve had to use that gear yet, but it sure is reassuring to know it’s there just in case.) As these hands that God has provided reach out to help not only me, but my family along the way, we feel the tender touch of our Heavenly Father affirming peace in the chaos.
I know that when I reach that peak and see the glory of all creation from high a top my victory mountain, I will proclaim, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Though coming down the other side won’t exactly be smooth sailing, it will be much easier. I know I’ll still need prayer and a helping hand from time to time, there will still be the risk of falling, but I believe my journey will continue on with a glorious life of wonder and amazement.
As for today and everyday, let us say, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Janz Family Benefit Concert!!

You are invited to the Janz Family Benefit Concert which will be held in less than a month, on Friday Septemeber 21st at the Abby Arts Centre in Abbotsford (At Abby Sec) The Concert will feature the music of Kelsey, Colin and Chris Janz. There will also be songs written by Paul Janz performed by his kids. The tickets are $22 in advance at the tickets will be $24 at the door. It will be a full evening of professional performances and an intermission with a cash bar, raffle prizes and a 50/50 draw. Bring extra cash so you can contribute to the fundraising this way as well. The money rasied at the Janz Family Benefit Concert will go to help out our family financially during this time, as Feather fights Breast Cancer. If you'd like to make additional donations to our family, that would be greatly appreciated. If you'd like to make a donation but would like a receipt, you have to write your cheque to "The Run for the Cure" and you'll get a tax receipt from the CAncadian Breast Cancer Foudantion and the money will go towards my fundraising efforts for the CIBC Run for the Cure, Sept. 30th, 2007.
Please come and invite all of your friends for this great night of entertainment, inspiration and fundraising! See you there!
God Bless!!

Funny Face!

Carmelle made me laugh with her great sense of humour, and I said to her proudly, "I think you got that from me." "What...?" She says as she pulls the corners of her mouth out and sticks out her tongue," funny face?!?!"

My Truth.

Someone just asked a question on facebook, “What is truth?” and I responded by saying, “Knowing what the lies are.” I feel that getting cancer has given me the focus that I truly needed to focus on the truth in life, in my life. In doing so I’ve revealed many lies that have been a part of my life. I’ve realized how judgmental I am by nature and though I’ve come a long way, I still have a ways to go. Recognizing these inner lies and revealing my inner truth has been a process I’d wish on anyone and everyone, though it’s too bad that most of us have to face a tragic circumstance to really take the time and energy needed to look and dig deep within. I challenge you to do this no matter what your life circumstance. My life is certainly richer now and I wish for you the same wealth.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Not as strong as I look either

I have to say, I’m growing quite tired of hearing how strong I am! I feel very weak, exhausted, spent and desiring nap time, most of the time; even on my good days. I can pull myself together and put on my face and present myself to the world, not because I’m deceiving anyone, but because it does help to make me feel better. It’s my way of making sure I know, and those that are around me daily, that I don’t look like death warmed-over, all of the time, just some of the time. It’s a reminder to cancer that it only gets me for part of the time, not full-time. I realize that this cancer is strengthening my character and in turn, I’m becoming stronger emotionally, mentally and spiritually, even when it makes my physical body so weak. Am I strong? If I am it’s not just me, it’s those that I have around me, my husband (who’s changed more diapers than any man I know, my vibrant girls (who have filled those diapers for their Daddy my family (especially my Mom who comes by to help out a couple times a week) and my friends (of whom I have more than I ever knew). But most of all I know and believe my strength comes from the Lord. I don’t know where I would be with out my faith in all of this. To be honest , I’d be a mess without it. I don’t know how others get through tough and trying times without faith and prayer. I’d be lost without it. Thank God for it. I wouldn’t want to live without it. Faith.

PS. I’m writing this as 2:45am, I’m having trouble sleeping again, could use some prayers for that. Thanks.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Who cut the cheese?!?!?

My 4 year, Carmelle, has aquired a taste for fine cheese from her father. So when we tried to give her some processed cheese the other night for snack, she came right to my bedside to announce, "I don't like that cheese!" and as she did, she tooted. The nasty aroma filled my room, and I declared, "Did you just come in here saying you didn't like that cheese, while you cut the cheese?!?" She looked at me and put her hands on her hips and stated, "Mommy I didn't cut that cheese!!"

Feeling very old cuz elastic waist bands are my new best friends!!

I just had to organize my wardrobe, and it looks more like an old ladies closet as I can't handle waering anything that isn't elastic waistband. My abdominal system gets so inflammed abnd swollen from the chemo that I can't wear anything tight across my stomach. There was I time in my life when I swore I'd never own anything with and elastic waist and now it's what I long for. Oh, I live for the comfort of the stretchy waist band! So I need some new clothes, also larger sizes, the steriod weight gain hasn't been kind to me, I've gained a total of 25 lbs back. I need to head to the second hand stores and clearance racks, in hopes that I don't gain more weight again. I'm off to invest in elastic bands!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Not dialing 911 Again!!

Before I continue writing I just want to state that Cadence is safe and sound and had a good night sleep in her bed last night. Unlike earlier in the day when she scared the crap out of us, especially me as I was the one who discovered she was missing! My heart sank when I realized the side-yard gate was open and that she’d obviously escaped through it. As I screamed for Cadence I yelled for Chris, in a few short minutes we knew she was no where near our house. Chris jumped in the car to check the main roads near us, we were afraid she might be in the busy street. I locked Carmelle in her room, so she wouldn’t see me panicking and so I wouldn’t have to worry about her whereabouts. I was also managing to give the 911 operator all the necessary details as I ran around the back yard, looking over fences and calling out to her. My body ached and I was concerned that I could pass out any minute! Just when I though I couldn’t take it any longer I heard the neighbour lady 2 doors down call out to me, “Feather, I’ve got Cadence here!” Chris pulled up in the car and Cadence was safe in our arms. I started to cry, that was the most scared I’d been in a long time, one of the most scary times of my life.
We figure she saw the gate open or pushed it open because she wanted to go and see the neighbours kitty Cat. She’d played with the cat there before and probably wanted to play with it again, so she knocked on their door! The neighbour saw Cadence there and realized that we didn’t know she was there. Cadence is smart and knew how to get what she wanted, I’m sure this will work out great for her later in life, but hopefully won’t see her heading out of our yard anytime soon!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm thankful to be here.

I’m sitting in my chemo treatment, a four hour session, and I thought to would be a good use of my time to write for my blog. Chris and I just finished watching “The Last King of Scotland” on our lap-top. As I watched the medical conditions depicted in the movie I felt moved; grateful that I get to be here. I am thankful for the level of medical treatment and attention I am receiving. I thank God that I am here, and wonder…that I should be so lucky. Some say Luck is when opportunity meets preparation…is this an opportunity for me?Am I prepared? At least the medical system here is prepared for me and for this I feel Lucky. I suppose in some ways I do see this as an opportunity, an opportunity to see more, to feel more, to sense more to be moved more and to hopefully help others to be motivated to do the same. Perhaps to help others reflect on all that they have to be thankful for. My senses are magnified, chemo literally makes your sense of taste and smell more intense, but I believe I also see more, hear more and the things of life seem more tangible somehow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Really living life with purpose!

This following passage captures so much of what I think, feel and believe, I wanted to share it with you all:

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren author of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.

If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness,” which is my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.

It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)? When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.

Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.

Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.

Painful moments, TRUST GOD.

Every moment, THANK GOD.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wise one!

As I was trying to assemble the food processor with no luck, (the cooking and cooking related props are my husband's specialty, not mine!) I called out to Chris to help, it was like the impossible puzzle to me, he fixed the chaotic assembly job I'd tried and had it organized and put away in under a minute. I realized that not all the pieces reassembled, but some belonged in a separate container. Ahh, I said, that's why I couldn't get it all to fit together, it's not ment to, SO "I'm not as dumb as I look", I said. My very wise husband responded with, " I'm not touching that with a ten foot pool." HaHA, I realized I was still in my PJ's, bald, no make-up, a tight white beater top, no bra,port a cath showing, not yet showered and uncovered dark bags under my eyes (thanks chemo), not looking to swift am I.But my husband of 9 years knew better than to make an comments about my fairly unpresentable self. Having written that, I'm still looking this way and he just headed out, heaven forbid anyone comes to the door at this moment.Mind you if it was a door-knonker of any kind, surely I would be taken off their "visit" list for some time!! Off I go then, to make myself a wee bit more "dumb" looking for my "wise" husband when he arrives back home again!

You go Girls!!

I just want to thank and cheer on my two dear friends who are walking 60 kms this weekend in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, Benefiting the BC Cancer Agency.Corina (Doering) Kropp and Tania (Peters)Schulz have each rasied at least $2,000 and have done some training to walk 30 kms each day to rasie awareness about breast cancer. I'm touched and honoured that they felt compelled to participate this year due to my current diagnosis with breast cancer. They have both been very supportive in so many other ways as well, they are good friends and I feel so blessed.
I pray for good weather for you girls, no blisters, or sunburns and don't forget your hats and changes of socks. All the best and God Bless.

All new, but not necessarily exciting.

Tomorrow, Wednesday I have a few tests and apponitments at the Cancer Clinic in Vancouver, starting very early and including AMUGGA Heart Scan. I get injected with radioactive stuff and then pictures get taken of my heart to test the muscle strength of my heart. This is being done because the next day I get my first Herceptin IV treatment (4 hours) which is notorious for weakening the heart ver time (this is the first of a year of Herceptin treatments every 3 weeks)Then on Friday I get the first of my new chemo drugs, out with the old/in with the new, I have no idea how my body will react to these drugs called Taxol. They give you a list of possible side effects but you never know until your body responds to them, what you have to really deal with. I just got sort of use to what I was dealing with and now it'll all be different. I'm not overly excited about this. I have no idea what to expect, I don't really like being back at square one.
I am looking forward to spending Wednesday and Thrusday night in Vancouver with my husband at the Best Western on English Bay. I'm hoping for great weather and a good response to the chemo drugs. The reason they have to do the drugs two days apart is because some people react very badly to the drugs. If I don't have a bad reaction, then next time I can have them on the same day over 8 hours.Lucky me!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

That's Love!

My husband loves to show me how much he loves me, through his cooking, his song writting, which he does really well, (he does a few other thing really well too...)
And the other night I was very upset with my chemo because it did not like the wonderful meal my husband was so lovingly preparing for me! I thought I was going to throw up just at the smell of it, I had to leave him with only a 2 and 4 year old to enjoy his masterpiece. Thankfully they loved DAddy's cooking and their special "date night" with Daddy. I left for the movie before the smell made me sick for the rest of the night.Sorry honey, it's the chemo, not me!
On chemo the simpler the meals the better, Cold meals seem to work best for me. Or at least if they are not prepared in the home, our bbq gets used alot lately. Chemo changes your tastebuds and how you smell things. Usually I stick the basics like, yogurt, fruit, toast, and carrot sticks. Nothing new or creative works for my palate right now. That saddens Chris because he loves to create new dishes and present them to me. Thankfully the song writting has been very inpired in him through all of this as well, and he's written quite a few great songs! I'd like to share the most recent lyrics of one he wrote for me.

Absolutely Beautiful

Verse 1
So you’ve come undone, This time overcome.
So you’ve been denied, this painless easy ride
But in my eyes, your

‘Cause I don’t see, the scars you bear,
To me, you’re all that grace could be
When the sun won’t shine, on your revelry,
Even when you face defeat,
You’re Absolutely Beautiful to Me

Verse 2
So your life has changed, Become this damn Crusade.
The fight has weighed you down, the fear once gone now found.
But you can use my shoulder to cry

My, Beautiful, Beautiful,
courage, courage, Shine on.
Courage, Beautiful,
Always, my sunrise, in dark times

"NO Reservations"

“NO Reservations”

In life we’d like to have control of where we will be and when at all times, usually, like making reservations for our lives. As much as I have much liked my life to be that way in the past, it is seemingly less important all the time. I suppose because I have absolute faith that I’ve made the ultimate reservation in the most magnificent place, but only God knows when I get to sit at this banqueting table!
I went to see the movie “No Reservations” (quite good)(I go out to more movies lately with friends and Chris or even by myself, I find it a good form of escape and distraction, most of the time.) This movie however was less about cooking, romance and comedy than I thought, it was more about the death of a young mom who leaves her young daughter behind, and the continual symbol of the mother through the movie is a peacock feather, of course it had to be a Feather!!
Anyway, I had no make-up left by the end of the movie, but it wasn’t necessarily depressing. I felt some encouragement from the movie as everything turned okay in the end. I’ve found some peace in knowing that even if the “worst” comes, that everything will still be okay. My girls are loved, loving and love-able, they are always going to be okay!! My husband is loving, lovable and is loved by many, he’ll always be okay. And like I described in the opening paragraph, I know I’M GOING TO BE OKAY TO, today, tomorrow and forever.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Same old, Same old

I haven’t written in a week and I suppose it’s because I haven’t felt particularly inspired to write anything, and I just haven’t had much creative energy. I feel kind of blah… the biggest milestone I have to celebrate is being half way through chemo, which I suppose is good, but it doesn’t shine out since the hardest part of my chemo is still ahead of me. These last four have taken 1 and a half hours each, the next hour take at least 7 and a half hours each and the first one is over two days. Once Chemo is over I don’t have much to look forward to then either, as that marks the beginining of radiation; 28 days of being burnt to the point of not being able to put my right arm down, that results in life long scarring.(Hopefully I’ll get lots of Christmas presents to open so I don’t have to rest my arm down at all!)
This chemo hasn’t been any worse or better than the others, IT IS WHAT IT IS. I find myself saying this statement a lot lately, “It is what it is”.
Highlights from the last week: Enjoying an evening in Vancouver with Chris before my chemo and going to see “Transformers” with Colin and Chris. “More than means the eye.” (Kind of a theme phrase for my life
-Getting to have lunch at the Fairmont at YVR with my in-laws before they flew back to London.
-Enjoying how my husband looks with his hair growing back in, he looks like a Cockney-chap!
- Seeing Benjamin Bratt (Law and Order/ Miss Congeniality) very handsome in person (but not as hot as my “cockney-chap”)
- Managing to grow my finger nails, I got some great nail products as a gift “Opi” and it’s detoured me from biting them, (longest I’ve gone with out fake nails in about 14 years)
- Thanks to my 4 year old for making me laugh right out loud when she proclaimed, “Mommy, you don’t have any balls!!” She was referring to some game she was playing, I just thought, Thank goodness I don’t have any balls, if I had no breasts but I did have balls, then I’d have a real problem!!