Friday, October 25, 2013

Amazing Night

We want to thank everyone who donated to TEAM TERRI for the Light the Night Walk and helped us walk to the end of blood cancer! You can read more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Walks in my previous post here. We've been raising money, Daryl designed t-shirts for us, and my mother-in-law and her sister joined us from Illinois! It was a special night! 

As usual for our outings, we got lost on the way to the Walk. I just tell my family we're making memories! We eventually made it - on time - and began by checking in, getting our Light the Night t-shirts and lanterns (for those raising $100), and taking a team photo.

Team Terri
I was so excited that my Light the Night t-shirt says SURVIVOR on the back! Woo Hoo!!! I carried a white lantern as a survivor, Daryl carried a red lantern for the family as a supporter, and my mother-in-law carried a gold lantern in memory of her mother who passed away from lymphoma. It was so pretty seeing all the illuminated lanterns as we walked.

Before the walk started, those with each color of lanterns were recognized (survivors, supporters, and in memory). I'll admit, it was a bit emotional to reflect on this journey and celebrate where we are now!

Recognizing survivors
The walk started at the Jenks Aquarium, went across the Arkansas River bridge, and back through the Aquarium parking lot. The weather was perfect, and it was a fun family walk. We can't wait to participate again next year and are already thinking of ways to recruit more people for our team and raise more money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and research!

Purple in memory of my friend's daughter
On the bridge
On our way home we stopped at Braum's for a treat. The kids wanted food, so we ordered theirs, and as they were getting situated, Daryl and I got in line for ice cream. While we were waiting, a lady went up to the cashier and whispered something, but I didn't think much about it. Then when we tried to pay, the cashier said our order had been taken care of already. WHAT! After getting over the initial confusion, I thought of the lady I saw whispering earlier. As we walked to our table, I mouthed "thank you" to her and tried to hold back the tears. That was just icing on the cake of our amazing night!

We are so grateful for those who have blessed us on this journey and supported us on our Light the Night Walk! We couldn't do it without you!

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.
~ Matthew 18:20


Sunday, October 6, 2013


The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines endurance as:
  • the ability to do something difficult for a long time
  • the ability to deal with pain or suffering that continues for a long time
  • the quality of continuing for a long time
Endurance is becoming a theme for me. The most obvious way this year is in dealing with cancer. I've endured biopsies, surgeries, scans, appointments, blood work, and chemo. And true to the definition, it's been difficult, sometimes painful, and continuing. Unfortunately, it will probably always be a part of my life.... almost like a chronic disease.

I had my three month check-up (which is really almost four months since my last chemo) this past week. My blood counts are about half-way back to normal! Everything looks good! I'll just be watched very closely with appointments every three months and scans twice a year for two years, then every four months, then every six months, etc. If I only had the aggressive lymphoma (diffuse large B cell), I might get an all clear after 5 years. However, the slow growing lymphoma (follicular) makes me "difficult." The follicular lymphoma isn't really curable - but it can be managed. So follow ups and scans will be a normal part of life now.

One of the symptoms I need to watch for is night sweats. I guess as long as I'm having hot flashes during the day, then that's all it is at night. When the NP asked about experiencing chemo-induced menopause, she was quick to remind me to still use birth control or I might end up angry :) We got a good laugh out of that!

I asked about how long I'd have my port. As long as I have it flushed at least every three months (at my follow ups with blood work), I can keep it for a looooong time. My kids are more than thrilled - HA! They think it is so gross!

The reward for enduring cancer and treatment is much more than physical healing. Some of my previous posts explain the blessings I've received through this journey.

Lately, endurance has taken on a new meaning while training to run in 5K races. My current Bible study (Walking by Faith - Jennifer Rothschild) focuses on the Biblical theme of training and running a race as a parallel to how we run our spiritual race. I've never related to those themes before as I wasn't a runner... and didn't even like much in the way of physical activity... but now I get it. Running takes training and lots of endurance! In fact, it's the word I wrote on my hand for motivation during the Tulsa Zoo Run 5K this past weekend! with endurance...
Hebrews 12:1

I finished the race with NO WALKING! I was so excited! I had picked out a spot on the map as the point I wanted to make it to before walking. I got to that point and still felt good, so I kept on running. Then before too long I saw a sign that said 100 yards to go. Wow! Through the whole run, I kept thinking about the word on my hand and this verse: with endurance the race that is set before you... 
- Hebrews 12:1b

So my reward for enduring training is finishing a 5K without walking! We look forward to participating in 5K runs that benefit cancer research!

My ultimate race is the one God has set before me, and heaven is the finish line! In this race I'm running for the prize - not just to finish without walking!

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 
- Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart
- Hebrews 12:1-3 (NAS)