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.”
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 email@example.com. 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.’”