Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ugly Sweater Family Photo

My family decided to draw names for Christmas. The mission was then to find the "ugliest" sweater you could find. The results are in:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Blog

In lieu of a traditional family Christmas letter/picture in the mail, I decided to blog instead.

What a year 2010 has been! If someone had told me a year ago what this year would unfold in our lives, I doubt I would have believed them.

Here goes...

On February 11th, our granddaughter, Savannah Katherine Weaver, was born. She looks like her Mommy (definitely a Clark). Logan's physical traits are all Weaver features. I was able to be with Brooke and the kids for 10 days following Savannah's birth. What fun we had!

As most of you already know, March is when I received my diagnosis of cancer. Surgery and treatment soon followed. There have been two days in the last 9 months that I would consider myself sick. That, in itself, is amazing. I do have "tired" times, but there is an easy remedy for this. Treatment is progressing forward, and I am feeling really good. I have often referred to this time in my life as a journey. I purchased a journey plaque at Family Christian Store with the following Bible verse on it: "I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

On May 15th, Brooke and Brad participated in the 6th Annual Head for the Cure 5K. This run is to help raise awareness and research funding for ABTA (American Brain Tumor Association).

If you know me, you know I don't like surprise parties. I turned the BIG "50" on July 14th. My children and husband planned a party for me 4 days before the momentous occasion occurred. Did not see it coming.....they got me. Did I mention I don't like surprise parties? Randy also made arrangements for us to renew our wedding vows. It's interesting how those words took on a different meaning from when we spoke them 31 years ago. I really don't like surprise parties (have I mentioned that), but thanks Brooke, Brad, and Randy for giving me my special day.

Later in July, we took a family vacation to Myrtle Beach. We had a great week. The weather was picture perfect. Highlights from the week included watching the boys play in the ocean, Brad playing sand volleyball, shopping at the QVC Outlet store (LOL), poolside relaxation, some golfing (for the guys), Legends (entertainment show), etc. The best time, for me, was the night we took Logan miniature golfing for the first time. He was so excited and thoroughly enjoyed every moment...PRICELESS!!!

This summer, Brad was hired as the Business Teacher for Whitko Community Schools. He and Carter moved back to Fort Wayne over Labor Day weekend. He and Brooke live minutes from each other. Works out really well for Randy and I. :-) Brad is currently very busy with their wrestling season as one of the coaches.

In late September, Brooke and Brad ran in the Fort4Fitness Half Marathon (13.1 miles). Brad finished with a time of 1:58:44. Brooke was on his heels with a finish time of 2:01:35. Whew!!!

Randy and I are anticipating a trip (somewhere warm) after the first of the year. No exactly sure where or when...TBD.

For now, we are looking forward to the Christmas holiday with family and friends. 2010 has been a year like no other in our lives. You all have been a BIG part of it. Your love, support, and prayers have been a lifeline for us. Thank you just isn't adequate in expressing our heartfelt gratitude.

We truly wish you and yours a "blessed" holiday season.


"C" is for the Christ Child who was sleeping on the hay,

"H" is for the Heavenly Host who worshiped Him that day,

"R" is for the Radiance on Mary's holy face,

"I" is for the lowly Inn--a poor and humble place,

"S" is for the Star that shone to guide the shepherds there,

"T" is for the Travelers who brought Him treasures rare,

"M" is for the Manger where He laid His little head,

"A" is for the Angels who hovered 'round His bed,

"S" is for the Savior who brought peace and hope to earth on the wondrous night we celebrate--the night of Jesus' birth.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863. Thanksgiving is historically a religious observance to give thanks to God. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. While it may have been religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday. HOW SAD!

I, for one, could not enjoy the festivities tomorrow if I did not stop to ponder on all I have to be thankful for. While 2010 has not been like any other year in my life, I cannot help but reflect on all that God has done these past 8 months. "Thank you" seems so in adequate.

This week is a chemo week (pill) for me. I also have an Avastin treatment later this morning. So far, so good.

Looking forward to being with family this week. All the good food won't be so bad either...:-)

Take time to reflect on all the blessings in your life.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my father-in-law TODAY!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

It has been awhile since my last post. I have been feeling amazing. One great week rolls right into another great week. GOD IS GOOD!

We've been spending a lot of time in Fort Wayne (some of my most favorite people in the world live there). I've also been thinking about and planning for the upcoming holidays. I think I have finished my Christmas shopping in record time this year!

I am scheduled for my second Avastin treatment later this morning. My first one, two weeks ago, went well...no complications or side effects. Expecting no problems this time either.

Today is Veteran's Day. I think of the commitment these men and women have made...in some cases, the ultimate sacrifice. I have a cousin, Jeff Stegman, serving currently. "THANK YOU" seems so inadequate.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Results are in...

I know I posted a blog earlier today, but I simply cannot remain silent.

Pet scan showed effects from radiation....no new growth. I will proceed with the chemo maintenance pill this week, followed by an IV chemo (probably on Thursday) mainly to keep the swelling reduced.

GOD IS GOOD!!!!! Randy and I are just in"awe" of HIM!!!!!

Sorry for the delay...

It's been crazy around here these past 10 days. Having phone and internet issues only complicated my being able to blog. We did go to IU Med Center as previously mentioned. The doctor there confirmed my last MRI was inconclusive. His recommendation included a Pet Scan to see if we could get a clearer picture. While treatment would only vary slightly depending on what they see, they would like clarity. At first, insurance would not approve the procedure, so we had to spend a couple of days convincing them otherwise. I had the scan on Friday (10/22/10), so we should get the report this week. My hand/arm strength has improved so much since being back on steroids. My appetite has been on the rise, too. With losing nearly 20lbs. over the last few weeks and having very, little appetite, that has been a good thing.

Even more than the "medical" stuff I could tell you, I want to share the non-medical. Earlier this month, I hit what I determined to be my lowest point. I cried so many tears. God reminded me, though, that tears are a language He understands, so I knew that was okay. The thing about hitting bottom is that the only place to go is up, and that's exactly what happened. God enveloped me like no other time in these past seven months. He has reaffirmed to me how He is leading me through this journey.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Next Step

Tomorrow (10/14/10) we have an app't. at 2:00 p.m. at IU Med Center...

Brooke just called...her tumor on her putuitary gland (discovered 4-5 years ago) is completely gone...GOD IS STLL IN THE MIRACLE BUSINESS.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


About a week ago, I started developing some weakness/loss of strength in my left hand/arm. My upcoming MRI and follow-up doctor's appt's. were immediately pushed up. The MRI was inconclusive (great, huh?). It was determined that something (fluid, scar tissue, or even a recurring tumor) was creating pressure, resulting in my hand/arm trouble. He immediately put me back on steroids hoping it will reduce any swelling and, therefore, improve my mobility. I have had only two doses thus far, and I can already see a "slight" improvement. I hope to be arm wrestling in a week. :-)

Because we cannot rule out a recurring tumor, treatment must proceed as if it has. That will entail IV Chemo Therapy once every two weeks. (1/2 day).

We also will making a trip to the IU Med center in Indy and possibly Duke University for consults and possible alternate treatments or studies. My Aunt Pam has put me in contact with a Dr. Alan Friedmam at DUKE. You should check out this man/doctor...he is doing AMAZING things!!!

Would appreciate your continued prayers...a lot will be taking place over the next two weeks. Could not get thru this journey without you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010







Friday, October 1, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ladies (and gents, if you want)...don't forget to wear your pink this month. Cancer has become a part of too many lives....we need to keep fighting!

Monday, September 27, 2010

In Case You Ever Wonder...

Hello, you-
the one with that dream in your heart,
that idea on your mind,
that desire that just won't go away.
You wonder...can I do this?
You can do all things. (Philippians 4:13)
You ask...do I have what it takes?
You've got all you need. (2 Peter 1:3)
You question...is who I am okay?
You're more than okay...you're His. (Psalm 139:14)
So go for it.
Dare to make that difference, follow that dream. God will go with you, and love will see you through.

I had an appointment with my chemo doctor this morning. While my blood count numbers improved over what they were last week, he still feels I should reduce my dosage, again, for my chemo maintenance this week. I have a follow-up MRI scheduled in three weeks.

Thank you for your continued prayers...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pre-Labor Day

Yesterday I began my third round of chemo maintenance. While my PLT number has improved, it still needs to be higher. My WBC also needs to be higher, too. Day 1 (yesterday): so far, so good!

Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parades.

Here's wishing you a restful holiday weekend!

Monday, August 23, 2010

No. 3

Had my monthly check up with my chemo doctor this morning. Doctor delayed my third round of chemo maintenance until next week because my PLT number was too low. He wrote me a prescription for folic acid to hopefully help raise my PLT number. He will re-check my numbers next Monday. He really thinks I am having this problem because of my sensitivity to the medication(s) I am on. He also indicated that he mostly likely will reduce my chemo dosage by 25%.

Please pray with me that PLT number will fall into the normal range. Thanks for all your support!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I often refer to this stage of my life as a journey. I bought this plaque at Family Christian Stores and wanted to share it on here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Round 2 Completed

Last Friday, I completed Round 2 of my chemo maintenence. All 5 days were successful in keeping the pills intact...PTL! By Friday afternoon, I realized how powerful the higher dosage was. It pretty much wiped me out (sleepy) for the next several days.

I am still struggling with my blood work numbers. They monitor them every week. Please pray with me that they will fall into the normal ranges and stay there.

Cannot express in words how much we appreciate the continued support and prayers. We hope everyone is having a GREAT summer!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We just arrived home from a week in Myrtle Beach. The weather was awesome (HOT!), accomodations were okay (there's no place like home...I think I've heard that somewhere before), good eatin'. The best part of the week was the company...doesn't get any better than the hubby, kids, and grandkids. I think the most "fun" thing was watching the excitement in Logan playing miniature golf for the first time.
The week ahead holds round 2 for me of my chemo maintenance. I'm praying I will tolerate this round much better than I did the last time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Post Independence Day

One week ago I started my chemo maintenance, which inclues a 5-day (per month) pill regiment at a much higher dosage. The first day did not go well at all. Tuesday and Wednesday were a little better. However, Thursday was the worst by far...not able to keep any of the medicine down. By Friday, they adjusted my medication for nausea and things took a 180-degree turn. I kept everything where it was suppose to be, and had no stomach issues to boot. Atleast we have it figured out (hopefully) for the next 5-day cycle at the end of July.

Thanks for your continued prayers....hope you had a wonderful July 4th!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer is Here...

It's been awhile since my last update. Upon my completion of a 4-week break from radiation/chemo, a follow-up MRI was done on Monday. Today, Randy and I met with both the radiation and chemo doctors. The MRI was "messy" (his term, not ours), which is typical after surgery to remove the tumor, followed then by chemo and radiation. Within in the next week, I will begin a chemo maintenance program. My white blood cell count is not in the range it should be, so I will continue with weekly lab work to monitor its numbers.

There has been a song a Facebook "friend" of mine has had posted on her Facebook page recently. The songs reminds me that God sometimes calms the storm in our lives, and sometimes He just rides them with us.

"I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are, no matter where I am...and every tear I've cried, you hold in your hand, you never left my side, and though my heart is torn, I WILL PRAISE YOU IN THIS STORM." Casting Crowns

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Update...Unspoken Request

I finished my chemo/radiation treatments last Monday (May 24th). I am currently on a four-week break. I believe I will begin a chemo maintenance program on completion of my break. I've had a little trouble with my "numbers" fluctuating. That has necessitated some additional boosters/shots.
The main reason for my post today has nothing to do with me physically. I cannot really say much (that's why it's unspoken), but I would appreciate your prayers on behalf of someone else in my life. I know God can intervene, even when it seems hopeless. I need God to wrap His loving arms around this situation and give guidance and direction. Thanks!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wisdom Hunters Resources...Hebrews 11:8

God's will is a series of discoveries. And it is the transition between discoveries that tests the true nature of my faith. I can press forward by faith or I can analyze the situation until I am paralyzed by uncertainty.

We are compelled by the love of our Lord to conquer the next challenging circumstance and to pioneer the unfamiliar in prayer.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Head for the Cure (6th Annual Event)

This fun, family-oriented walk/run is today in West Park (Carmel, Indiana). The goal of the day is to raise awareness and research funding for the "American Brain Tumor Association." (http://www.braincure.org/) The ABTA is a not-for-profit, independent organization, not affiliated with any one institution. They serve individuals globally and award funds to researchers throughout the United States and Canada. It is estimated that more than 190,000 brain tumors are diagnosed in the United States each year. Progress has been made, but so much is still unknown.

From the bottom of my heart....thank you, Brooke and Bradley, for participating in an event to help your Mom and so many others! XO

Monday, May 10, 2010

Unexpected Blog

I probably would have not had a blog for today. But after I went to my appointment for radiation, I felt compelled to write. When I arrived, they asked if a woman could observe my treatment process. I was all for it. I learned this woman has a sister in another state with a diagnosis very similar to mine. She was wanting to get a grasp on what her sister will be experiencing. While I didn't think to ask the woman what her sister's name is, I did learn this woman's sister is a young mother of 4-year twins. I cannot tell you how heavy my heart is for this young woman/mother. Please join me in saying a prayer for the journey this family is facing...

Friday, May 7, 2010

As Mother's Day Approaches

After today, I will have completed 31 days of chemo and 22 rounds of radiation, leaving me with 2 more weeks of chemo and 10 more rounds of radiation (final day...May 21). The fatigue is pretty constant at this point. I am grateful that being a bit more tired is really the only symptom I've had to make the adjustment for. (Side note: I've always loved a good nap, especially on Sunday afternoon.)

As I reflect on the upcoming holiday (Mother's Day), I am reminded of what great kids I have. Growing up as a little girl, the only "career" I ever really wanted was to be a MOM!

So let me extend my heartfelt Mother's Day wishes to three of the most important women in my life.....my daughter, Brooke.....my mother, Dixie.....my mother-in-law, Carol.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Logan's B-Day

The most important blog subject of the day.....today is Logan's 3rd birthday! Brooke put together (no big surprise there) such an awesome "Curious George" party Saturday evening. It was so much fun watching Logan understand what was going on and thoroughly enjoy the festivities. He was SO excited! I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to be this little boy's "Gram." I love you, Logan! XOXOXOX

Monday, April 26, 2010

Progress Report

As of today, I have completed 20 days of chemo and 13 rounds of radiation. I had a follow-up appointment with my chemo doctor today. He has me come in for weekly lab work. He reported my "numbers" are very good. Overall, treatment is progressing well. Reminds me of the words of a song..."His Strength is Perfect."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Do Has Arrived

I picked up my new wig today...could not believe what almost a perfect color match it was to my own hair. The highhlights were a tad more blonde, but I liked them (I've always been a blonde at heart...LOL). He actually wanted me to take it home and play around with it. When the time comes, I will go back and he will cut and style it for me.

I want you to know that my boss and co-workers put the money together to buy this for me. It is NOT inexpensive. When I arrived at the salon today, there was a woman looking for a wig. She had already lost her own hair, but I think she found something. Unfortunately, she had only half of what it was going to cost. My heart sank for her.

So let me say "thanks" again to Dr. and Mrs. Long, Shelley, Robin, Becky, Alison, Ashley, Cassie, Dana, Deb, Derek, Gretchen, Jamie, Jane, Jennifer, Jess, Jessica, Jody, Laura, LeeAnn, Rachel, Ryan, and Tina.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rough night...day

Last night some of the symptoms started to kick in (chills, nauseous, sweats, dull headache). My fatigued seems to be at an all-time high. Today I saw the doctor. He cancelled my radiation to give me a break. He increased my steroid intake. He liked that I was at such a low dosage and handling things so well, but thought the adjustment was appropriate today. Praying for a better day tomorrow...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wig Shopping

Today, Brooke and my friend, Robin, went wig shopping. We learned there is a BIG difference between wigs made with synthetic hair and wigs made with "real" hair. Our picture says it all. Needless to say, our next stop included much better options. My new look will be forthcoming. Actually, I'm hoping it doesn't turn out to be much different from my look now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

First Day of Treatment

I started both chemo (pills) and radiation today. I was only there for a total of 30 minutes. The staff is so awesome. It was nice that Brad was here to take me to my appointment. Brooke, Logan, and Savannah will be here tomorrow. Feeling fine so far.....GOD IS SO GOOD!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter...HE IS RISEN!

I have returned home from a quick visit in Fort Wayne. The best medicine in the world comes in pint-size packages. Thanks Brooke, Logan, and Savannah for a wonderful 48 hours together. Now we're looking forward to everyone being home next weekend. We'll be celebrating Bradley's 26th birthday!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


A good friend suggested we set up this blog in order for you to walk through this journey with us. My computer-savvy daughter, Brooke, is helping me in a computer world I know very little about. Thanks, darlin'!

Randy and I met with the both Oncologists (chemo and radiation) this week. After meeting with the Radiation Oncologist on Wednesday, we left with a sense of hope. PTL! While he does not minimize the severity of the type of brain tumor I have, which, unfortunately, is becoming more prevalent in adults, he shared so many positives about my particular circumstances. He was encouraged by the early recognition of symptoms, and the quick response of my family physician to follow through with additional testing. The size and placement of my tumor was best-case scenario. He thought Dr. Schnittker's, my neurosurgeon, removal of the tumor was very thorough. He says I have youth and overall good health in my favor. All in all, he thinks I will respond to treatment very well. I learned today treatment will begin next Wednesday, April 7th. It will be a six to six-and-a half week process, Monday thru Friday. At that point, I will get a four-week reprieve. After that, I will begin a maintenance regiment.

God is definitely working...He's hearing all our prayers. Don't stop praying yet, because God's not finished yet.