Some Crafting and a Little Health Update

Hey everyone!  I just have to say, I have the BEST bloggy friends ever!  If any of you ever wanted to be a cheerleader, then I proclaim you have reached that goal.  I am so very humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love & prayers you've bestowed on me and The Man.  Because I get so many sweet emails asking for updates, I thought I'd give you a little progress report before sharing my crafty projects.  I am doing very well and feel quite good.  I only had one really bad night and the next day, but nothing I couldn't handle.  There has been no nausea, thank goodness, but extreme exhaustion.  There is a big learning curve to this whole "chemo-infused" body-thing.  I think the most difficult thing for me to learn is to listen to my body.  As women, mothers, grandmothers, we are used to pushing through fatigue because there are others who need us.  It's a hard lesson to learn when you are having chemo, but you have to become a bit selfish.....you simply must take care of yourself first or you will be of no use to anyone else.  I cannot imagine going through this if I had young children at home, so bless your heart if you are in that situation.  Ask for help!  Chemo-fatigue is not like any other I've ever experienced.  Your body just won't let you push through it; it simply stops you.....you can heed the subtle warning signs or you might just find yourself flat out on the floor.  No, that hasn't happened, but I came pretty close yesterday at the gym.  I know the importance of getting exercise to combat the fatigue, so I decided to go with The Man to see how I would do.  I pushed myself through an extra ten minutes on the treadmill and barely made it off & to a chair on my own power.  Now I know what that feels like and won't do that again!  I also realize that chemo-fatigue messes with my brain and would impair my ability to drive......DON'T DRIVE OR OPERATE HEAVY EQUIPMENT!  So does this mean I won't go back to the gym?  NO!  I will trust my body to signal when it has had enough.  Just a side note, I think I've mentioned before how peanut butter has become my BFF (best favorite food).  Well, that seems to apply to most any food that contains my BFF......I reached "Nutter-Butter Nirvana" when The Man brought that wicked little cookie into our home a few days ago!  I am already hooked, but save yourselves and stay away from this evil little morsel!

Okay, if you are still with me, I'd love to share a couple of small crafting projects I did last month.

The things I created are right here on these two bookshelves in my sitting room.

These orbs are kind of trendy right now, but can be expensive unless you make them yourselves.

Can you see what they are made from?

Yep, those are embroidery hoops!  Super easy to make, & they are all over Pinterest.  I'm already thinking how I will use them in my Fall decor!

The tutorial I used is HERE.  

I used two different sizes of hoops that I already had, stained them with some dark wax (already had) & touched here and there with some Antique Gold Rub'nBuff (already had).  This project cost me nothing except a bit of time, and we all love FREE, right?  Wouldn't some of the very small hoops make adorable Christmas tree ornies?  Yes, my mind is racing!

I found two of these mixed media type easels at Michael's back in July on sale -- this one and one slightly smaller.  One was $5 and the other $7.

I really like the antique-look stands.

This is the smaller one and is the one you saw next to one of the orbs on the bookshelves.  I've been wanting to do some mixed-media for awhile and had so much fun putting this together.

I have a lot of framed photos scattered all over our home, and decided to bring some of those  together into this little display piece.  With mixed-media, you have to open your mind to pulling lots of different elements together -- textures, ephemera & maybe even the kitchen sink!  You really cannot mess up!

I wanted this book to be mainly about The Man and I and our grandchildren, but I also included a photo or two of our kiddos since they are the reason we have the Grands!

I didn't put the pages in any kind of order & pulled most of the page decorations from my scrap paper drawer.

Some photos are in page protectors, but I added in quite a few additional photos as well.  Some of my Project Life 4x6 cards were the perfect backdrop for some smaller photos.

Most of the paper I used came from a Recollections scrapbook paper pad called Vintage Country.  The pad has actual burlap pages (I used that for my front cover) & paper that looked like burlap (as in the page above).  This paper pad would be fun to have for lots of crafty projects, not just scrapbooking.

I'm so pleased with both of these projects and see them being a mainstay of my decor for quite awhile.  They may or may not move from this location.....just sayin'!

Thank you so much for stopping by.   I always love hearing from you!

FYI:  I did much better at the gym this morning! 
I often party with these lovely bloggers:

Julie at Julie's Lifestyle for Cooking & Crafting With J & J
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays

Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday

Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Before and After Wednesday

Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday


Ready for a Battle

Hey everyone!  I haven't posted in awhile, and thought long and hard before I decided to write this post.  Blogging for me has always been about the fun stuff......home decor, seasonal decorating, some travel, and even some bragging about my kiddos and the kidlets.  I'm normally a very private person and don't like to share things that are too personal.  However, I'm going to make an exception this time in the hope that it may bring some enlightenment to some of you.  I have been diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer.  I have a family history of breast cancer, so I am very diligent about mammograms and self-examination.  In January, I had a clear mammogram, nothing suspicious.  Then on July 26th, I discovered a lump......one month, no lump, next month, lump.  I share this in an attempt to make you very aware of how important it is to do the self-exam and get to know your own lumps and bumps.  The cancer I have is very aggressive, so had I just waited until January 2016 for my next mammogram, I would probably be at Stage 3 or even 4.  I give my GP much credit for seeing me as soon as I called, and for getting me into the Imaging Center just a couple of hours after that.  At that appointment, I had another mammogram followed by an ultrasound.  Within 15 minutes, the Radiologist came in and said I needed a biopsy.  The biopsy appointment was scheduled just a few days later with the results in my doc's hands two days later.  Again, my doc got on the phone with
MD Anderson Cancer Center and got me an appointment right away.  This past Monday I met with the Breast Specialist-Surgeon & the Oncologist (both women) and a host of nurses who all treated me like I was their only patient that day.  They never acted rushed or tried to rush me.  Anyway, my "team" has mapped out a plan for me.  Nothing is left to chance, so this week is filled with numerous tests.  I start chemo next Monday and those will run pretty much through the end of the year.  If that has worked the way they hope, then I will have a lumpectomy followed by several weeks of daily radiation.

And because I know, even with a more sobering post such as this, y'all still want pictures, right?
Teresa Crespin's photo.
This is the first thing you see when you enter MD Anderson.  It is called "The Tree of Hope" and each ribbon honors someone who is or has battled cancer.  This is so beautiful; much more so than my biopsy bruise (yes, that is truly disgusting), or my Port that goes in tomorrow which I will be happily sleeping through!  

I am very optimistic, my doctors are very optimistic as well as my family and friends.  The Man has always been my "rock," and this is very hard for him knowing what I will be going through and knowing there is nothing he can do to lessen the ordeal for me.  I cherish him so much and know that we will get through this together, just like we've always dealt with the ups and downs of life.

Just to give you an update on my sil, she is doing amazingly well and feeling stronger every day.  She isn't even sick enough for Hospice, so we are all feeling confident that she will be with us a lot longer.  I intend to follow her lead and not let cancer take over my whole life.  I'm sure there will be times when it will feel that it is consuming me, but I don't want it to be who I am.

I have a wonderful support system and some of you are a major part of that.  I will try to keep tabs on as many of you as I can, but even when you don't hear from me, just know that I'm probably still reading your blogs and thinking about you.  I hope you will keep me in your prayers and good thoughts.  

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