My last chemotherapy session is tomorrow, and I can’t tell you how ready I am to be done. This has been a long haul. I’m over it. I’m ready to finish treatment and stay cancer-free forever.
Tomorrow’s treatment will mark my sixth and final chemo cocktail of this season. Six is enough. It better be enough. But six chemo cocktails isn’t all that it’s taken to fight this relentless beast.
Since diagnosis in January of 2012 and after my chemotherapy tomorrow, I will have received:
- 30 chemotherapy infusions,
- 28 external radiation treatments,
- And, 2 major surgeries (Radical Hysterectomy with transposition of ovaries, and large mass removal from my abdomen including the removal of my left ovary).
Not only am I ready to be done making regular visits to the hospital and doctor’s office, I’m also more than ready to have my hair back. All of it…Lashes, brows, and locks. I’m ready to stop applying false eyelashes, filling in my eyebrows, and throwing on my wig. I’m ready to be me again. Will my hair grow back like it did (HERE) last time? Will it be dark and curly? I sure hope I get those curls back! Regardless, it will be wonderful to have my own locks when the outside temperatures increase. After all, wigs are hot, and they don’t play nicely with summer.
On Air with Angie Austin (March 2013)
Like I’ve mentioned before, I have a lot to be thankful for. Without this battle, I wouldn’t have discovered certain blessings along the way. God has truly gifted me even through the lowest points of this journey, and has continued to remain faithful and true to His promises. He has shown me that joy can exist in the midst of heartache. He has used this diagnosis for His glory, and I’m confident He will continue to. There is no greater satisfaction than to know that He has transformed this tragedy into triumph. That He has given me a resonating voice to cut through cancer and reach others facing similar diagnoses. And again, that my story has a purpose… one that I may never be able to wrap my mind around on this earth.
Angie in Action (March 2013)
A major blessing that I have counted has been the introduction to the lovely Angie Austin. Through her radio show, good news is shared daily. God has gifted her the platform to contagiously spread triumph in adversity. She has graciously invited me onto her show before, and recently invited me back. A couple of weeks ago, she read my latest good news through my Facebook status, and wanted me to share my report on the air. I must tell you, I have fallen in love with radio, and Angie has become a great friend of mine. She is warm, welcoming, fun, hilarious, and full of personality. And, chatting with her is a blast… a bonus. I could do it everyday. For those who missed the latest interview, feel free to listen to it online via podcast.
Stephanie and Angie after a great show on 810 AM KLVZ The Good News! (March 2013)
Matt and I are excited for this season of treatment to end. We look forward to not being “stuck” anymore, and being able to move forward with our lives. We look forward to the coming summer months when we can enjoy partaking in the activities we so love doing. Rockies games, hikes, trips to the dog park, concerts. I can’t wait to have a cancer-free summer… a cancer-free life.
Ephesians 2:7-10 (MSG Version)
“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
Angie Austin doing what she does best! (January 2013)
Yesterday was a blast. As most of you know, especially if you read my last post (“On the Air”), I was invited to be on “The Good News” radio show with Angie Austin on 810AM KLVZ. I can happily report, that while I was fairly nervous beforehand, once Matt and I entered the studio, my nerves slipped away. Angie is an amazing, friendly, and talented woman who helps usher you into fearlessness and allows you to feel extremely comfortable. I felt entirely in my element and had a wonderful time sharing my journey with her and all of you loyal listeners. Thank you to those who tuned in live; I hope you could hear and sense my hope and joy throughout our conversation. For those who were unable to be near the radio or computer and for those of you who are out of town, don’t fret! Below I will include the link to the podcast of our lovely chat, so you can hear it as well.
Enjoying the show! (January 2013)
As I’ve mentioned before, I truly feel one of God’s purposes for my life is to publicly share my testimony through my diagnosis. He has given me this adventurous tale for a reason, and I know that He has called me to read it like an open book. It has begun through the words here in this blog, and is spreading to many other media outlets. I’ve got to be honest, I never pictured this for my life. (But who does?!) Frankly, I never pictured my life to be anything like it has been since January of 2012. Yet, while my husband’s and my dreams were vastly different than our current story, we are thankful. God has opened our eyes to so many opportunities we never imagined would exist. He has harvested wisdom, strength, passion, peace, vision, and purpose in our lives. I am thankful He is the gardener of our souls.
Stephanie live on air! (January 2013)
Once the interview wrapped up, pictures were taken, and we began our walk out of the broadcasting building, I had a deep sense of knowing that this is where I am supposed to be. A few months ago, when I felt God calling me to rise up and share my story more publicly, I would be lying to say I wasn’t afraid. I would be lying to say I didn’t doubt His plan. I would be lying to say I trusted that He knew what He was doing. After all, I never pictured being a public speaker in all my life. Yet, as Matt, our dear friend Audra, and I walked out of the building yesterday, I had another moment where it was as if God himself was telling me, “See?! This is why. Trust me.”
Stephanie and Angie in front of the infamous “Crawford Broadcasting” sign. (January 2013)
Some have never experienced a moment in time where they knew what they were doing was inherently right. But those who have, know exactly what I’m talking about. In that very moment, I knew I was walking directly on the path God has paved for me. Everything clicked and a new confident passion arose in my spirit. I am now, more than ever, excited for whatever and however many interviews and media outlets He brings my way, as I know it’s His intention to receive glory through my testimony. God is BIG, and it’s exciting to see Him putting all of my life’s puzzle pieces together. I look forward to the many opportunities that will arise in these next few weeks, months, and many years to come. This is only the beginning… The best is yet to come!
Feel free to listen to Angie and my conversation by clicking HERE! If you have trouble, feel free to go to Angie’s PODCAST list, and click on “The Good News” recording for Tuesday, January 22nd.
2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 (MSG Version)
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
Enjoying a fun date night with my husband! (Jan. 2013)
The time has finally arrived… I have been asked to be interviewed on a radio show…And it airs next week!
As you know, from diagnosis I have felt called to spread hope in my journey through cancer. My desire and passion is to allow those immediately affected by this disease and those surrounding their circumstance, to know that there is hope in the midst. I haven’t hidden the fact that cancer plays hard, but as a person diagnosed, you must fight with everything you’ve got. There will be days you feel like giving up, however, staying focused on the good days to come and choosing to let God carry you will drastically change your battle. Though you will experience tremendous life changes, including grief and loss, your story can continue to be brimming with joy. Happiness is a choice. And I consciously choose to be happy every single day.
I am continually amazed at how widespread my blog has become. I have regular readers on multiple continents, and I am in awe that each of you have chosen to follow my journey through life. While I understand this story that God has chosen for me is bigger than I must realize, I’m still just the same Stephanie. I’m a woman. I’m a wife. I’m a believer. I’m a friend. I’m a daughter and a sister. I’m a cook. I’m a reader. I’m a puppy mom. And now, I’m a blogger. I am just a human placed on Earth to glorify His name. While we know that I disregard most diagnostic medical statistics, many of you have asked for the factual statistics of my blog. So, here they are…
- To date, I have had nearly 45,000 views to my blog. (Those views have been within one year of launch.)
- My highest viewed post recorded around 1,700 hits. (Those views were recorded in one single day.)
To say I am thankful would be a dramatic understatement. I can not put into words how grateful I am for those who continue to follow my story, support and pray for my husband and I, and encourage our fight through this diagnosis. I am in awe at the great lengths and depths that God has used this testimony. We do know that He works everything together for our good, and we are continuing to love and follow Him believing in the purpose He has for us.
Because my blog is spreading, various news stations and PR/Marketing persons have begun to follow as well. While I never intended to be “in the spotlight,” I do believe that I am called to share hope through diagnosis. And while I’m nervous, considering I royally sucked at public speaking in high school, I will walk on this path. In fact, there have been opportunities brewing that I haven’t been able to announce, but I can finally share one with you today! I have the opportunity and great honor to be interviewed by Angie Austin on her radio show “The Good News.” The interview will be taking place this coming Tuesday, January 22nd. Please tune in to hear me
try not to screw it up chat with Angie! Her show focuses on good news and inspirational stories of hope and healing… with a few laughs thrown in. I am extremely excited to meet her, and am elated to finally have a bigger platform to reach those in need. Everyone needs encouragement, and I am humbled to join the conversation. I will list details and links below for those wanting to tune in. From what I understand, she also has a podcast, so if you miss it, you’ll get another chance to hear our interview.
Now, let’s dive into the deep end… I won’t lie; I’m very nervous! For those who personally know me, I am a chatterbox. I have no problems speaking with individuals or small groups of people. However, since my school days of being required to stand in front of several people (many whom I did not know personally), and give a presentation (on who knows what), I have had stage fright. Never to the severity of not being able to finish a speech, but it took everything in me to get through it. There’s something about being put on the spot that makes me weak in the knees, sweat profusely, and forget what even my own name is. Many of you have told me that I will do just fine, and while
most some of the time I believe you, I’m still anxious! I do believe sharing MY story will be vastly different than sharing a presentation on say, the evolution of the railways locomotive headlamp…or at least I’m hoping so. I ask for prayer frequently, and today is no different. I am in desperate need of steady words, confidence, and personality. Yes, you read that last one correctly. Please pray that my nerves don’t overwhelm my system to the point that I lose who I am, and the fun side I possess. I would hate for people to think that I’m some boring bump on a log. I know that God is going to piece together every minute detail of this process, as He already has done, and I trust that there will be listeners who personally need to hear to be encouraged and inspired through hope.
Below are the details for my appearance on Tuesday:
- Radio interview with Angie Austin of “The Good News” on 810AM KLVZ. Tuesday, January 22nd. Show will air from 4pm-5pm that day.
- Listen to the radio, or tune in online or on your smart phone with the “tune in radio” app.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy listening!
Mark 16:15 (MSG Version)
“Then he said, ‘Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all.’”