Saturday, June 27, 2009

Father's Day

I'm a little behind on my blogging. I spent last weekend in Decatur and celebrated Father's Day with my Dad & Papa on Sunday. We took lunch out to my grandparents house and enjoyed an afternoon of visiting. I love my Dad & Papa. They are both amazing men who have provided great examples of what a man is supposed to be. They are both hard workers who always provided for their families.

My Grandma & Papa live about 20 miles north of Mom & Dad, out in the country. It was always fun going to their house growing up. We would go fishing (as pictured above in a 1992 photo of Daddy, Me, Papa, & Courtney), we would play with the dogs, play with my grandmother's make-up and jewelry, go with my grandparents as they tended to their huge garden, ride along as my Papa tended to cattle, etc. It was unlike our life at home so it was always an adventure. My Papa was always up before the sun and would spend the entire day outside on the tractor, in the cattle pens, in the garden, and never complained. I was actually a little scared of my Papa when I was young. He was this big farmer/rancher who always wore striped overalls and had the sternest, gruff voice. I knew my sister and I better act right when we were around him. He must have mellowed as the years went by, or I just got older, because I wasn't scared of him anymore. lol! In later years his health has started to deteriorate and he no longer tends to the farm. He & my grandmother are home bound. I enjoy going to see them though. My Papa usually tells, us as we are about to leave, that we've made his day. :-) I've also heard him say in later years that he & my Grandma are just "worn out". That makes me sad. I cherish the time I have left with them. My Papa has been a great example of a Christan man. I love him.

My Dad is also a wonderful example of a great Christian man. My Dad was a Highway Patrolman up until retiring a little over 7 years ago. I was always so proud of him and what he did. It was also a scary job. While I was very proud of what he did and what he stood for, I hated his job and feared for his safety. I breathed a sigh of relief when he retired. As my mom would remind me on the nights I got up and was upset that he wasn't home "God is taking care of him and Daddy is being safe." He always returned to us safe and sound. Bless God. Daddy is a HUGE fan of Texas Longhorns athletics. DO NOT get in the way of the TV during a game. These events are life and death situations. lol! He also enjoys farm equipment and cattle and spends a lot of time looking at it online and watching it on TV. Courtney & I showed sheep and dairy heifers during middle school/high school. But all we did was show them. My dad is the one who took care of all that stuff. :-) My Dad had a heart attack in 2001 which was pretty scary. It was mild but still left him out of commission for a while. He had another health scare nearly two weeks ago when his blood pressure/heart rate got dangerously low right before shoulder surgery and they canceled the surgery. It was pretty scary but he's doing well now and they think it was an interaction of his meds and the anesthesia. I've always thought of my Dad as a big, strong man but times like these are pretty scary. I love him for the terrific father he has always been for me.

Happy Father's Day to these two wonderful men I have in my life.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Trigger Finger?‏

No, this post has nothing to do with a gun. I apparently have a medical condition called Trigger Finger. Nice, huh? This condition is fully explained on the Web MD website but apparently it's an inflammation of tissue inside your finger or thumb, thumb in my case. The tendons in your finger or thumb become swollen. The first sign of trigger finger is pain where the finger or thumb joins the palm, which is what I have. If the area becomes more inflamed the finger may start to catch and lock when you try to straighten it. Often times the cause is unknown.

My visit to an orthopedic surgeon this morning informed me of my condition. For about a year I have had random pain in my hand and arm. I had mentioned it to the chiropractor and had adjustments, which helped the pain. This pain was off and on but most recently my thumb had started to hurt all the time. I decided it was time to see the doctor about it and was referred to the surgeon by my regular doc. Apparently my arm/hand pain has nothing to do with my thumb pain and the x-rays showed the bones looked good and there is no sign of arthritis. That's good. Why did I have that previous arm/hand pain? No clue. She said to watch it to see if it got worse but she did not know what this was. When a doctor says that you kinda feel a bit looney. But oh well.

I received a cortisone shot for my Trigger Finger. I'm not sure if you've ever had one of these but they HURT. They don't numb the area. It's just a jab into the affected area and then stinging and pain! Awesome! After I winced, gasped, and displayed the general pain I was feeling from the shot the doctor said "I know it hurts. I've never had one myself but all my patients have the same reaction as you." Um, I feel that doctors who provide these shots should have them themselves at least once. Just saying. So anyway, my thumb is super numb, yet hurts much more than it did before, especially when typing! Great! The cortisone shot should work in a week or two and then I have a check up appointment in a month. Hopefully this shot was a one time deal and I will be HEALED. I'll keep you updated! :-)

Once In A Lifetime‏

Concert tickets to see Lee Ann Womack, Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, & George Strait at the new Cowboy Stadium - $82

Parking at the event - $40

Bottled water - $5

A pretzel - $4

Being present for the FIRST event EVER at Cowboy Stadium and seeing the retractable roof opened for the very first time - PRICELESS!!!

me, April, & Deb with the stadium in the background

Whoo hooo! We're ready with our tickets!

Deb & I

Reba's encore of "Fancy"! LOVE HER!

Rashahn & me

King George

Retractable Roof

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Komen North Texas Race for the Cure

Saturday was the 19th Annual Komen North Texas
Race for the Cure.
I was up at 5:20 am to get ready for the event. I started taking pictures at 6:07 am and didn't stop until 9:55 am and 543 pictures later! It was a wonderful event! La Madeleine served breakfast in the Survivor Tent and fun was had by all!
LOVE this shirt!

tulip I decorated in honor of mom

Survivor Photo

Katie Stevens, 9 yr Survivor

Courtney, Heather, Debby, Mom, Rashahn, Christina, & me

Leigh Ann, Stewart, Paul, & Margaret

Monday, June 8, 2009

Selling Tulips on Friday

This past weekend was a busy one. I hit the ground running on Friday. I was working the tulip table at Race for the Cure Registration starting at 11. I took the day off to do my duty as a volunteer. I didn't expect for this volunteer activity to hit me like it did. I just thought I would be selling tulips, writing the messages on them, and taping stakes to them. I didn't expect to become emotionally involved. I really didn't expect to be sharing my mom's story with everyone either. It caught me off guard. People would wander over to the table after registering and they would ask me how the tulips worked. I would explain it to them and then the conversation became personal, based on the messages they left on these tulips. One lady asked me if I was a survivor, to which I said no but my mother was. She then asked me a bunch of questions about my mom. She then told me she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer within the last couple of months and was headed to radiation after they registered. Wow! Here I am telling her all about my mom when she herself is a SURVIVOR. I wasn't exactly sure what to say. I of course congratulated her and thanked her so much for doing the race, as well as buying a tulip. There were many instances like this on Friday. One girl came in to buy tulips for her aunt, mom, and sister. All the women in her family have battled breast cancer and were fighting it! I had an excellent time volunteering with the tulips but found myself emotionally drained when it was all said and done. I had awoken that morning thinking I was just going to do a job. I left there with an immense appreciation for all these survivors who are fighting and winning this battle. I left there being so thankful to God for taking care of my mother through her battles!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009



*a person or thing that survives.

*a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.

*to remain alive or in existence.

*to carry on despite hardships or trauma.

*to cope with (a trauma or setback); persevere.

This Saturday, June 6, 2009, is the 19th Annual Susan G. Komen North Texas Race for the Cure. Komen's Promise is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Komen is the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to fight against breast cancer in the world. Saturday is all about the SURVIVORS. We race for them. We race so that they can continue to SURVIVE and so that others will never have to get the diagnosis that they have breast cancer.

I have volunteered with Komen North Texas Race for the Cure for the last 5 years, but Saturday is more than just volunteering for me. Saturday is about my mom, Katie Stevens, who is a TWO TIME BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR. Saturday is personal.

My mom found out she had breast cancer for the first time in March 2000. She had inflammatory breast cancer and had chemotherapy, a mastectomy, more chemo, and radiation. I was a sophomore in college and lived four hours away from home. It was very hard to be away from my mom during her treatments. It was a very scary time. You always think cancer happens to other people. That it couldn't possibly affect you or your family. That is until you are affected by it. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the doctors told mom that she was cancer free after all her treatment. I had always heard that if someone who had cancer SURVIVED to five years without a recurrence that was a very good sign. I breathed a sigh of relief when mom hit her 5 year SURVIVOR anniversary.

In June 2006 we all participated in the Komen Race as usual. We were SO thankful that mom had been cancer free for 6 years. Then of course, like it always does, cancer snuck up on us again, and mom found a lump in her remaining breast in July of that year. The breast cancer was HER2-positive and required a mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and a years worth of Herceptin, which studies have shown lower the risk of cancer returning in people whose tumors have too much HER2 protein, and which had not been available 6 years prior. I could NOT believe this was happening again. What in the world? She had already been through all this. I was so upset. But in the true fashion that is my mom, she told me that I could only be upset for a little bit and then I had to stop. She would fight this just like last time.

Fighter is definitely a word that describes my mom. She never let her diagnosis get her down. She trusted God through everything. She did everything the doctors told her to. And she always had a positive attitude. Because according to my mom "Attitude is Everything", and I do believe it is. I believe that everything happens for a reason, but we might not know what that reason is, at least not right away. Mom has been a wonderful counselor for others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is able to provide them with information and support. Maybe this is what God needed her to do.

Saturday is for my mom and others like her. They are people who are not letting a cancer diagnosis stop them. They are fighting and SURVIVING! We celebrate and honor them.

Tulips for the Cure‏

The past couple of months I have been busy decorating tulips for the 19th Annual Komen North Texas Race for the Cure. The tulip committee has been meeting weekly on Tuesday nights to get ready for THIS SATURDAY'S RACE! We have been busy decorating tulips, writing messages on them, and taping down stakes so that we can place them in the ground for display on race day. We have an awesome committee of wonderful ladies who I have enjoyed getting to know through volunteering on this committee. This has been a fun way to take my love of scrapbooking and embellishments and project that onto the tulips I've decorated.

This is the 5th year for Elizabeth's Garden, which is what we decorate the tulips for. The garden is named in memory of a beloved friend, SURVIVOR, and dedicated Komen volunteer, Elizabeth Guardiola, who passed away in 2004. Elizabeth was the founder of Hispanics for the Cure. Buying a tulip is a wonderful pay to pay tribute to someone who is SURVIVING breast cancer or to remember someone who has lost their battle. The tulips are $10 and are a wonderful gift for the survivors in your life. If you are interested in purchasing a tulip visit the Komen North Texas website or contact me.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Race Day!