Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Shakes

Throughout my adult life, I would get the shakes. What do I mean by this? I would be going through the day and suddenly be drained of all energy. My hands would start shaking, and then I would need something sweet - fast! I remember that this would happen a lot when I was teaching. So, I would keep a stash of classroom party chocolates, and would stuff my face at 2:00 pm (my free period). I would tell my doctors about this, they would order blood tests, and they would tell me that all was well. But I still would get the shakes...

After my cancer diagnosis, I read some books about cancer and decided to keep a strict diet:
  • no sugar
  • no meat
  • no white flour
  • no dairy
  • whole grains
  • organic vegetables
  • organic fruits 
In the beginning, I was very strict with myself. It drove my husband and parents crazy. I wouldn't eat a lot of the things that they would offer me. On top of that, the hormone drug that I was taking at the time made me very sensitive to strong smells and flavors. It was kind of like morning sickness. I couldn't touch certain foods and the thought of others made me queasy.

Brown rice was the bulk of my diet. I was so glad that I had something that could fill me up. Eating fresh vegetables and some fruit also helped. Anything fresh. This made my digestive system work really well. At that time, someone sent us a Vitamix, so my husband would make kale, spinach, and carrot shakes for me. We were so thankful for that gift because it is so much easier to drink vegetables than to chew on them.

But then, these pesky cravings would start to bubble up inside of me. Once in a great while, I would break down and have my husband get me an Italian beef (a Chicago specialty) with fries. Then, I would go back to my brown rice and vegetables. Other times, I would want some Asian whipped cream cake or baked cheesecake. Then, it was back to the brown rice.

During the holidays, I became a little more lax with what I ate. I craved the food that I grew up with in the United States (The Korean stuff was pretty healthy. I'm talking about the other stuff). Foods full of sugar. Foods that were fried. Foods full of carbs. And meat! I would have a nibble here and a nibble there. Then I would go back to the brown rice and vegetables. You get the picture.

I would like to share some observations:

  • Cakes and cookies seem a lot sweeter to me now.
  • Kale is good!
  • Italian beef sandwiches are still so good!
  • Less vegetables + processed foods = blocked system.
  • When I snuck two rolls that my husband got at the Japanese bakery, I got the shakes.
  • When I ate a scone that my husband got especially for me, I got the shakes again.
  • The time between craving things on my "not" list is getting longer.
  • Brown rice is brown rice and it is good for your system.
  • I still need some chocolate during some of my menopausal "don't-mess-with-me" days.
  • What you eat matters.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sensitivities and a Tip

Remember how I wrote about my sensitivity to smell after each of my last two surgeries? Sensitive, like you are having severe morning sickness. Sensitive, like you have the sense of smell of a blood hound. Sensitive, like everyone around you seems to have used perfume or cologne to shower with. Sensitive because of your hormones and all this craziness going on in your body. Okay, I'll stop... 

After the first surgery, I thought that it was because I had been on oxygen for 2 days. I had my eyes closed most of the time but as soon as someone who had perfume/cologne came in, I could smell them. It made me very nauseous, and I was already nauseous. It made me grab the plastic container they had given me at the hospital. After my second surgery, I wasn't expecting to be more sensitive to smell. But, I was. 

A group of pastors came to pray for me at the hospital. As soon as they walked in, I could smell the strong cologne that someone was wearing. I started to feel more nauseous and I thought that I was going to throw up. One of them asked if I was ok. I told them, in my broken Korean, that I was feeling very sensitive to smell and that someone's cologne was making me really nauseous - saying many sorries in between. Some of you might be thinking, "How'd she say that in Korean?" OR "Can she really say that in Korean?" Well, I think I did because they understood me. Or, it might have been that one of them translated what I said to the others. 

They quickly nodded and one of the pastors read a passage and said a few words. Then he prayed for me. I was so thankful for their encouraging words and prayers. It meant a lot to me that they took the time to come. But I was glad when they left. Not because I'm rude. Because I was seriously going to throw up, and I didn't want them to have the memory of watching me hurl imprinted on their minds.

My father. My brother. They both made me sick. My husband also. I even made myself sick when I got home. I couldn't stand the smell of my hair. I had to pull it away from my face. I wasn't able to take a shower or wash my hair because it made me nauseous and dizzy to bend my head forward. I did wash my face and put some lotion on. But then I had to wash my face again because I couldn't stand the smell of the lotion. Lotion that I had been using for years.

Well, my point in all of this is this: when you visit someone who is sick, don't wear perfume, cologne, or heavily scented anything. They might not be sensitive to smell or they might. You just never know.

Monday, February 27, 2012


When I first found out about my cancer, I cried and hyperventilated. After I got that out, I looked at the situation with this type of mentality: "God is in control. He allowed it. Only He can heal me. If He doesn't choose to heal me, it is because it is His will. I need to follow His will for my life." There was peace. There was comfort. There wasn't any depression. I knew that no matter what happened, He loved me and was trying to bring me closer to Himself.

Then, I started to find out about all these people that were praying for me. Fervently. People at our church prayed and fasted every night for 40 consecutive days. People who didn't really know me would tell my husband that they prayed for me every morning. People were telling me that they didn't pray much but that God reminded them to pray for me everyday. There were people praying for me around the world. Inwardly, I started to ask God if my thinking was wrong? Should I be praying like that also? Is something wrong with me that I am not praying for complete healing?

In January, I read about Jacob wrestling with God before meeting Esau (who Jacob thought wanted to kill him). It left me pondering this thought again. Jacob wouldn't let God go. He was determined. He was persistent. Of course, God could have beat Jacob in an instance, but He didn't. God allowed Jacob to keep wrestling, to keep trying, to show his determination in receiving a blessing from God. It left me wondering if I am too passive? If I need to wrestle this out in prayer with God?

There was also this fear in me. What if I pray for healing? What if I pray for 10 more years and God gives it to me. What if I become like King Hezekiah who got sick, asked for more years, and then sinned greatly in God's sight. What if I live out those "extra" years not doing anything for God?

I didn't realize it at the time, but my first surgery was pretty major. I went through it with little fear because I knew that it was necessary. It was the beginning of the process I had to go through. I was in pain, nauseated, vomiting, sensitive to everything, and very glad when I got home.

As I was wheeled to the OR for my second surgery, as I became nauseated from remembering certain smells, as I remember being repulsed by the smell of the anesthesia, I wondered how others did it. I prayed for my friend's friend who was going through chemo and a possible surgery. God kept placing her on my mind so I kept praying for her. You see, I can pray for others to be healed but not myself. It is not that I am selfless. Quite honestly, I am more selfish. But somehow, I find it easier sticking up and praying for others.

Simply put, the second surgery broke me. There were moments when I wanted to die. I knew where I was going. I knew that I wouldn't suffer anymore. I wanted relief. I didn't want to even think about going through another possible surgery and other treatments. But all these thoughts were tied to me. What I want. What I don't want. Pure selfishness.

Once all the nausea and other sensitivities dissipated from my body, I knew what I had to do. I want to pray for healing. I want to wrestle it out in prayer with God. I want to continue to serve Him. I want Him to be glorified through my obedience.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

You're Beautiful

This song encouraged me when I was younger, and it still does today. I felt like I should put this on my blog. I hope it encourages.

Youtube: by martinone9

You're Beautiful

You line up your failures and count them again.
Is there one more second chance?
You've made good first impressions 
But their big expectations 
Brought fear along the way
So you hide your dreams 
You cover your scars
You're afraid someone might know you
But spiritual freedom comes from believing you're loved as you are

You're beautiful
Like a diamond in the sun you're so beautiful and you're becoming brighter
You're beautiful
And the world needs so much to see all the treasure in your soul
You're beautiful

We all are imperfect, most insecure
We're afraid of who we are
It's hard to imagine 
This world that we live in could need us at all
But we must be worth something
For Jesus to bear the scars of perfect love
And begin our refining until we are shining a jewel in His care

You're beautiful
Like a diamond in the sun you're so beautiful and you're becoming brighter
You're beautiful
And the world needs so much to see all the treasure in your soul
You're beautiful

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Day

We woke up to a winter wonderland. It was all white outside. The barren, winter trees looked beautiful again. I didn't think that we could end February without some type of snow storm again. Come on, this is the Midwest! We have had it too easy this year!

I woke up extra early so that we could drop off the kids at my friend's house, and then go to my monthly oncologist visit. It was amazing to see very little traffic on the highway. Did everyone take the day off of work? Either way, it got us to the hospital early. Got my blood drawn, saw my oncologist, got my monthly shot, picked up the kids, and came back home.

Everything looked good on the bone scan - no growth of what was already there or new spots. I did complain about the pain in my right shoulder. It has been bothering me for a few months and keeps me from sleeping sometimes. Even though I had a great OT, the therapy didn't seem to help my shoulder. Dr. K said that she wanted to see if I had hurt my shoulder in some way - possible sprain or tendonitis? I will be getting an MRI of my right shoulder at the beginning of March. All this time I assumed that it was a side effect of the Femara, but it seems that the joint pain that comes from Femara usually is in the hands or joints on both sides of the body. My pain is focused on my right shoulder.

Going to the oncologist office brought back a lot of triggers from my last surgery. Certain smells and sights made me feel a little nauseous. I couldn't wait to get out of the building and breathe. I tried breathing through my mouth but that doesn't last long, especially when you have crackly lips. Then we walked to the other building to get my monthly shot and it brought back more nausea. The car ride home was spent trying to forget those smells and memories. 

I had read a section of Psalm 119 this morning and this is the verse that jumped out at me. 

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
(vs. 50)

His Word strengthens me, encourages me, challenges me, and brings hope when no one or nothing else can. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just Thinking

Surgery does this thing to you. Finding out you have a serious, life-threatening illness does the same thing: makes you contemplative. About mistakes you've made in your life. About things you've always wanted to do. About things that you realize don't really matter. About people you need to forgive. About people suffering more than you. About how you want to change and can't seem to change certain parts of yourself. About what God wants you to do next. About how you don't feel like you are living to your full potential as a Christian. About family. About God. About your impact in this world.

What keeps me from living my life fully for Jesus? I know the answer: me. I am trying to let go of those things that don't matter, and cling to Him. I am trying to keep my focus on Jesus, and let Him lead. I am trying to stop fighting the work He wants to do in my heart, and let Him bring about change.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last Week

Last Monday:
  • was starving before my surgery (wanted Portillo's so badly!)
  • had a nurse try to start an IV but collapsed a vein instead
  • had another double surgery (ovaries/fallopian tubes out and last part of reconstruction)
  • was in the operating room for 5 hours
  • was in the post-operating room for 2 hours
  • when finally conscious, had to go to the bathroom (and had to walk to it)
  • threw up
  • cried
Last Tuesday:
  • was feeling really nauseous 
  • had sausage fingers because I was bloated 
  • very sensitive to smells
  • very sensitive to taste (like morning sickness) (funny taste in my mouth)
  • came home at 8 pm
  • cried because I was in pain, wanted to lay down, but couldn't
  • had a huge air bubble inside of me (apparently, they blow you up when they do surgery laproscopically and air gets stuck inside when they sew you up again) (as you lay down, that air bubble travels across your body like you have a little critter inside of you) (painful)
  • realized that anesthesia doesn't agree with me
  • cried a lot
Last Wednesday:
  • ate little bits at a time because my stomach had not eaten and because my body was filled with that air bubble
  • still nauseous
  • still extremely sensitive to smells
  • still had a funny taste in my mouth
  • still had sausage fingers
  • found comfort listening to Moody Radio
  • cried to my husband
Last Thursday:
  • got back to reading the Bible by myself
  • got more of an appetite
  • less bloating
  • less of that funny taste in my mouth
  • could feel the air bubble getting smaller
Last Saturday:
  • no more need for Tylenol
  • more appetite
  • less funny taste in my mouth
  • felt like I was going to live
  • minimal pain (compared to the last surgery and c-sections)
  • glad to be able to read the Bible again
  • grateful for my mom, who has been helping us
  • thankful for all of your prayers
  • struggling with hormone fluctuations
  • learned that my husband ate Portillo's for dinner while I was in post-op
  • really wanting to live for Jesus

Friday, February 17, 2012

Home Again

Thank you for all of your prayers! On Monday, I was in surgery for 5 hours and was in the post-operation room for 2 hours. Apparently, they couldn't wake me up. I came home Tuesday night because I thought that I could recover better at home. Not a good idea, but I am okay now. Each day is getting better. Please continue to pray for my full recovery. I will write more details later.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Homeschool Odyssey, Part 2

Here is Part 1.

When A2 started preschool something wasn't right. I would call her and she would zone out and not respond. Sometimes, she would start walking and zone out. One time, this happened in a busy parking lot. I freaked out. That was when we knew that we needed to call the doctor. We had to go to a pediatric neurologist and she was diagnosed with absence seizures (or petit mal seizures).

Those were difficult times. Some people made judgments about why our daughter was sick. Some people told me that it wasn't something to share with others because she might not be able to get married when she got older. On top of that, I felt so much guilt for not noticing it sooner. The seizures make you think that the child is not paying attention and zoning out. They are, but not on purpose.

A2 had to take strong medication to stop her seizures. The medication worked, but it also required her to sleep a lot. It also made it difficult for her to wake up for preschool. It wasn't an easy schedule having to drive A1 to the public school and lugging A3 in the car seat when I dropped off or picked up A2 at preschool. 

As I prayed about all of these situations, homeschooling kept surfacing in my heart. It really scared me. I rationalized that my husband and I weren't in agreement on the matter. I wasn't about to make a life changing decision without my husband. I kept praying and "homeschooling" would not go away.

That was when I went to my husband and told him what I had been thinking and praying about. To my surprise, he said that we should pray about it. It was not a "no way" answer. We thought that we (I) should start by reading up on the subject, and that is what I did.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Have you heard of this book? It was made into a movie and received a Caldecott Medal for the illustrations.

My friend lent this book to A1 to read. She teaches 4th grade. She had recommended it to him before, but he couldn't get it at the library. The reason was that it was always checked out. That was when she got the book and lent it to A1. He read it in 2 hours or less. He loved it.

She showed it to me before giving it to A1. The book is a whopping 525 pages, but get this, it is told in words and illustrations!

You read and flip the pages of illustrations to follow the story. It is pure genius! Why didn't I think of that!  Usually, the illustrations of a chapter book are about some part that you just read. The illustrations in this book are part of the storyline. If you skip the illustrations, you will miss part of the story. I have never seen a chapter book done in this fashion.

I ended up reading the book. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. Well, I had to because I had to take care of some things for my children. But, it really kept me wanting to read more. In my opinion, the ending could have been a little better but, overall, it was a really intriguing book.

If you have a reluctant older reader (4th grade +), you might want to hand this book to them. It has captivating illustrations, a suspenseful story line, and they can say that they read a 500+ page book (even though a lot of those pages were illustrations). You might even want to read it before you hand it to them.   ; )

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Argan Oil

My hair has some wave to it, especially when it is shorter. If I don't blow dry it, there are a million collicks going in a million different directions. The positive is that I don't have to get a "roll straight perm" to get volume when I have shorter hair. It just puffs without a perm. I know this because someone pointed it out to me when I had shorter hair. Who knew?

In my quest to go more truly natural, not chemical natural, I started searching for an all natural product to tame my frizzies. I also needed something natural because my hormones were making me lose a lot of hair. Handfuls of it. Everyday. Still...

That was when I ran across the brand name version of argan oil which costs a lot of money at salons. As I read the reviews, people commented that the expensive version was basically argan oil. I looked up organic argan oil and BAM, found it on Amazon. For a fraction of the price, I could purchase 100% organic argan oil.

Can I tell you how smooth it makes your hair feel? From the first time that I tried it, I could feel the difference. I kept touching my hair. You basically put 2 drops of the oil into the palms of your hands. Then, you smooth it through the ends of your wet hair before blow drying. Depending on the length of your hair, you need to use this oil in moderation. I learned the hard way. Once, I put 5 drops and it was disastrous. My hair looked like I hadn't taken a shower for a few days. I had to wash my hair again before going out. If your hair is shorter and finer, one drop might do the trick.

When I got this bottle, it stated that it could also be used as a moisturizer. I look it up and was shocked to see all the tremendous reviews about argan oil as a moisturizer. There is a former model who has her own line but that is also more expensive. The bottle I purchased above was $17. The bottle is small but you use very little. I wash my face, use a toner, argan oil, and some cream. The argan oil tightens your skin and really soaks in (even though I have an oily t-zone). I put cream on those areas that are a bit drier, due to my hormones/winter. The scent is a bit like olives to me. A very mild smell.

I had used the rose oil for a few months to see the results, and I really liked it. Now, I wanted to try argan oil because of all the great reviews I had read. I am going to try this for the next couple of months and see if I like this better than the rose oil.

Monday, February 13, 2012

12:30 pm

Please remember to pray for my surgery today. It is scheduled for 12:30 pm.

I had to drink magnesium citrate on Sunday. It is supposed to clear out your system. Clear out my system it did. So, I will be going into surgery empty inside.

A2 has had a hard time dealing with my surgery. She hasn't verbalized it, but she wants to be close to me. This also happened with the first surgery. A3 usually has a delayed reaction so we will see. A1 is an internalizer. Please pray for my children. They need God's comfort and peace during this time.

There was already a mistake by one of the offices prescribing a drug that is in the Vicodin family to me. Praise God, that the pharmacy, which has my Vicodin allergy on file, caught the mistake and told us. I would never had known. Please pray that they will find a good pain medication for me.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Take My Life

May you have a blessed Sunday to the Lord!

Youtube: by isbaptist

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 13th

Monday is my second surgery and, hopefully, my last... at least, for a long time. I will be getting my ovaries taken out and going through phase 2 of my reconstruction. The surgery was originally scheduled for 9:30 am but was moved to 12:30 pm. I ask that you remember this time and pray for me.

Please pray:

  • that God will give wisdom and skill to Dr. D (oophorectomy) and Dr. R (reconstruction).
  • that Dr. D can do the surgery laparoscopically.
  • that I won't get sick before the surgery (people are sick all around me).
  • that God will show the doctors what type of pain medication to give me.
  • that God's peace will be with my children and family.
  • that my recovery will be quick.
I am preparing some posts ahead of time so that I can keep you entertained during and after my surgery. Also, I will keep posting reminders to keep praying. Keep praying. Keep praying. Thank you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Before My Cancer

I became fascinated with triathlons a few years back. It was around the time when all the channels went digital and we got the signal for an all sports channel. I began watching triathlons like they were Food Network cooking shows - one of the reasons why we can't have cable in this home. I would always check to see if one was on.

In the comfort of my home, on the couch, covered in a fleece blanket, I would watch the athletes swim, bicycle, and run like there was no tomorrow. My face would wince and get really tired with them. Seriously. I would eat a bowl of ice cream and wonder how the athletes could get by with sports drinks and that gel stuff they would squish into their mouths. It was all craziness to me!

I would even cry... a lot! The training, endurance, and the will to complete the race was overwhelming. One Iron Man Triathlon (in Hawaii), had athletes who were in their 70s, a man with ALS, a woman with a prosthetic leg... I couldn't comprehend how the athletes did it...

Then, I realized that the past few years of my life had felt like I was in a triathlon. There had been many things that had happened that I had to "swim" through, even though I hate swimming and it makes me super duper tired. There had been situations that I had "biked" through even though my back hurt and I had really bad cramps - everywhere! There had been trials that I had "run" through even though I had no more strength, and I had just wanted to collapse. There are no words to express (can't talk about it either) the deep valleys of ministry. No one understands. No one would believe. But Jesus knows...

I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to give up these past few years, but God wouldn't let me. He kept making me read His Word, telling me to keep going. He kept sending people to run along side of me. He kept showing me that I was not alone. What else could I do but just keep going?

Then, I got my cancer diagnosis and relief came...

Thursday, February 9, 2012


This week is Founder's Week at the Moody Bible Institute. Even though I did not attend Moody, I always look forward to this time of year. They always have a great lineup of Christian speakers that God uses to challenge me. The conference is broadcast on the radio (check here for local listings).

I will never forget listening to Ravi Zacharias speak many, many years ago. I listened unintentionally and ended up on the bathroom floor crying. Here is the schedule for this year's conference.

On Wednesday night, Francis Chan spoke. His challenge was simple: we need to be doers of what we profess we believe. I plan to order the cd of his talk and of all the other speakers at Founder's Week 2012. In the meantime, here is a challenge I found of Francis Chan titled: "Do you believe? Prove it."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Funerals and Things

Last Friday, one of our church member's husband passed away. Unfortunately, he found out about his cancer too late. The time between his diagnosis and death was very short. The wife and children were  really thankful because the husband had accepted Jesus into his heart and because he had passed away in his sleep. The wife said that he was breathing and then he stopped. It was natural and peaceful. He didn't suffer in his final moments on this earth, which was a huge comfort to them.

The funeral was Monday. Our whole family went. My children have been to many funerals, but they usually would stay in the refreshment room with me. I never let them go near the room where the coffin was. This time, it felt like it was a teaching moment. My  husband and I decided to let our children go inside for the funeral service. The timing and circumstances seemed right. We talked to them about the fact that they were going to see the man's physical body but that his spirit, the real him, had gone to heaven. We answered their questions as best we could.

I went to my first funeral after I got married. Growing up, my parents didn't think that young people needed to go to funerals. I think that they were shielding us from the pain of seeing death. That is why when I went to my first funeral as an adult, I had no idea about what to expect or what I was supposed to do. It scared me to see the body in the coffin, and I didn't want other people to see me cry. Not understanding the Korean funeral service made it more awkward for awkward me.

I don't want my children to be afraid or feel awkward about funerals. I want them to see that there is a time for everything and death is one of those things. But for those who have accepted Jesus, this isn't the end. It is the promised beginning. The beautiful beginning with Him.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Today, I had to get up really early for an ultrasound. Unfortunately, I overslept and rushed out of the house. I also had to drink 32 oz. of water before going to that ultrasound AND not go to the bathroom. Not easy with my bladder.

The ultrasound was of my pelvis so that Dr. D could make sure that there isn't anything else wrong in that area. It will also help him determine whether he will do the surgery laparoscopically (3 small cuts) or by cutting across my c-section scar (big cut). We are praying that he can go the laparoscopic route. Small cuts = quicker recovery.

I had to stop taking my vitamins (except calcium) yesterday. Some of the vitamins that I was taking can cause complications in my surgery. Starting tomorrow, I will have to stop taking my hormone drug (Femara). I believe that Dr. D said that clotting can become an issue.

Sunday will be the hardest day because I can only eat a small breakfast. By 3:00 pm, I have to take something to flush out my system. The nurse said that it won't matter what I eat or if I eat because it is all going to come out. Clean system but very hungry me!  : (

Monday, February 6, 2012

Steel Cut Oats with Bananas

Last week, I went to Whole Foods and purchased some steel cut oats. I had always wanted to see what the big deal was with these type of oats. I had heard and read a lot about the taste and nutrition, but I was afraid to purchase them because it was unfamiliar to me.

Steel cut oats (L) and old fashioned rolled oats (R).

Organic steel cut oats were $1.49/lb. in the bulk section of Whole Foods. I ended up getting $0.44 worth so that we could try it. That amount fed A1, A2, A3, and I. It did take more time to cook than the old fashioned rolled oats but it was very easy to prepare. Steel cut oats are the most minimally processed of the oats, so it takes longer to cook (15-30 minutes). The texture is also chewier and a bit nuttier than regular oatmeal.

Place bananas in sauce pan and mash with a spoon.

My children liked the chewier texture and asked if I could make it again. I just made it with the ingredients I had on hand but I think that you can get really creative with the flavors and toppings. I will definitely be going back to Whole Foods and purchasing more. 

The oats thicken as you cook them.

Ready to eat.

Steel Cut Oats with Bananas

1 1/2 cups of steel cut oats
3 cups of rice milk (or more if you like a more watery consistency)
1 banana

1. Place ingredients in sauce pan.
2. Mash up bananas.
3. Place over medium heat.
4. Set timer for 20 - 25 minutes.
5. Bring to a boil.
6. Lower heat to simmer with lid on.
7. Stir every 5 minutes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Zechariah 4:6

Not by might nor by power,
but by My Spirit,
says the Lord of hosts.

Youtube: by shekinahcolleen

Friday, February 3, 2012

God is so Good

My hepatologist called and said that I do not have the live hepatitis c virus. He believes that my test might have been false-positive in Korea. Thank you so much for all of your prayers!

February 13

Today I had an appointment with the oncologic gynecologist. I had an exam and everything will go forward as discussed, unless they find something wrong with my tests. The meeting went well and the nurse got in contact with the plastic surgeon's office to set a date for the surgery. The surgery will be on my dad's birthday, February 13, at 9:30 am.

Dr. D will take out my ovaries and fallopian tubes. He likes to take out the fallopian tubes along with the ovaries as a preventative measure for ovarian cancer. He asked if I also wanted my uterus taken out (as prevention), but I said no. At this point, nothing is wrong with my uterus and I don't want more pain if I can help it.

There was a message on the answering machine from the hepatologist. He said that everything looked good. I am not sure if he meant that I don't have hepatitis c. I called the office and am waiting for his return call.

After the doctor's visit, I met my children at the homeschool co-op we attend. I am so thankful for this co-op. My children love going there and they get so much from the classes and friendships there. So do I...

So many blessings from God through so many people! I cannot begin to count and talk about all the love and support we have received. God is so good!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

MSG in What?

No one wants MSG in their food. I know my brother doesn't. If he does, well, it's not pretty. We mostly associate MSG with Chinese food but it is in a surprising number of American packaged foods. Would you believe that they put it in a favorite children's snacks??? You know, the one that is shaped like a fish and is cheesy. Please read this article in the New York Times.

Homemade Beeswax Cream

Who would have thought that I would be making my own body cream? I never did. Who has the time? Who even knows how? Who wants to bother when you can just buy some at Target? 

I was going to get on my soap box and tell you about all the dangers in the products that we use, but I won't. I will encourage you read up on the subject and make your own decision. I recently finished reading No More Dirty Looks. It talks about all the surprising chemicals in our makeup/lotions/hygiene products and the lack of regulation in this billion dollar industry. Very informative.

Well, this is a cream that is 100% natural and has no chemicals. I tweaked it a little and am really pleased with the results. I had made a batch a few months ago. It had been the first time that I had made homemade cream and my kids didn't like it, at first. They thought that it smelled too "cocoa buttery." I had also made the mistake of leaving some ingredients out and not mixing it well enough. 

This time, I think I got it! My kids were lining up to get their dry, cracked skin creamed. I would lotion one of their legs and have them see the difference. It was quite drastic. I wished that I had taken some pictures... 

I purchased most of the ingredients (including the glass jars) at Mountain Rose Herbs. Some of the ingredients were purchased on Amazon or at Whole Foods. You take your pick. I also tried to choose organic products. 

My cousin gave me the original recipe. The original required some distilled water. I chose not to use distilled water because water gives it a shorter shelf life (3 weeks). Add water to anything, and it raises the chances of bacteria forming. That is why body products with water have so many preservatives. I substituted the water with aloe vera after watching some lotion making videos. I also used an opaque jar because some of these ingredients are light sensitive.

Beeswax Cream
makes 9 oz.

6 tablespoons sweet almond oil
1 tablespoon beeswax pastilles
1 tablespoon cocoa butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon vitamin e
1/4 teaspoon lanolin
6 tablespoons aloe vera gel
15-18 drops of essential oil (I used lemon essential oil)

  1. Place almond oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter in a bowl over boiling water. Melt.
  2. Add coconut oil. Stir. Melt.
  3. Let the oil/butters cools to room temperature. It will look slightly opaque when it is cooled down.
  4. Place aloe in a glass. Place in the pot with hot water to warm up the aloe.
  5. Blend with a whisk attachment (I used an immersion blender with a whisk attachment).
  6. Slowly, add the warmed aloe.
  7. Pour into the cup that is given with the immersion blender or a large cup (this makes it easier to blend).
  8. Blend until thick, smooth, and creamy.
  9. Add essential oils (if you want a scent other than the cocoa butter smell), vitamin e, and lanolin.
  10. Blend well.
  11. Pour into sanitized glass containers (Wipe the inside with a alcohol).
  12. Let cool and then cover with lid.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pink Slime

This is an article about what McDonald's used to put in their hamburgers. Beef just isn't beef anymore... Beware, very disturbing...

Pink Slime in Hamburgers?

Wednesday, February 1

Tuesday was my last session with the occupational therapist... for now. We are going to wait for the results of the scans and go from there. It was a bit sad. My OT was really nice. I enjoyed talking to her. You don't realize the bonds that are created. She is of the Jewish faith and, as I left, she said that she would pray for me. That meant a lot to me.

Wednesday is my CT and bone scans. Unfortunately, I don't really like CT scans. I can take the loudness of the MRI. I can sit still with radioactive stuff inside of me for the bone scan, but the CT... quadruple ugh! You have to drink this stuff called gastrografin four times before the CT scan. Each time with 16 ounces of water or a clear drink! You drink one the night before, another one 1 1/2 hours before the scan, another one a 1/2 hour before the scan, and then the last one right before the scan. Not fun. I always worry that I will have to go to the bathroom during the scan. It does clear your system, though!

I am still awaiting the results of the hepatitis C blood test. Please pray that it will be negative.

This past week and half has been a menopausal roller coaster for me. I got one of those really big pimples on the side of my nose. I had some cramping. I wanted chocolate, and then something salty afterwards. I wanted to cry. Not because I was sad or anything. Just wanted to physically cry. I have no patience. Absolutely none whatsoever. That makes it dangerous for all the A's in our family. Actually, anyone who comes in my path. These menopausal roller coasters do pass, but please pray that it will pass really quick...