Thursday, October 28, 2010

Let Your Light Shine

I have not posted an entry in over a month... today I felt called to post and as a friend told me yesterday when God calls you better answer LOL:)

Over the past month many changes have taken place in my life.... the most noticeable is probably the fact that I am bald. I chose to have Damola shave my head after my second treatment. Before doing so I had many people tell me to brace myself for the huge change that loosing my hair may cause."Just remember it will grow back" they would say. "Dont freak out...its just hair." I dont know how many people prayed for me to have peace with being bald but it must have been alot because I was laughing the whole time I was getting my head shaved and I actually liked it when it was all said and done.

I said all that to say this, through loosing my hair I have gained so much. Every morning I wake up knowing that I am a wife, a mom, and a child of GOD. I have duties to fullfill with all these titles hair or no hair LOL:) I dont have time to have cancer, to think about being boobless, or to worry about being bald.. God has never led me to step on the brake during this journey instead he has taught me to push the gas a little harder and witness to the people around me. He has showed me that everyone needs a reason to believe and I could be that reason for someone. If ever there is a doubt...be reminded that there is a deep beauty inside that only GOD can produce when you give your heart to him. LET YOU LIGHT SHINE!!!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Pink Party

On Monday night my friends and family surrounded me with love, gifts, prayer, and support. I was so overwhelmed by the amount of people and gifts I was completely speecheless. I tried over and over again to think that night after I got home how in the world I was supposed to thank all of these wonderful people for everyting they have, are, and will be doing for myself and my family. I came to the realization that I dont think I could ever possibly verbalize a thank you for all the love that has been poured out for us. So as a thank you to each of you I would like to take a moment to pray for each individual that has been such a great part of our support system through this tough time in our lives.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come to you tonight at a loss for words on how I should thank these individuls who have such an amazing servants heart and use it to serve myself and my family. I thank you so much for the way you have blessed me by putting me in the pathway of these loving children of yours Lord. Thank you for sending committed friends who walk with me on this difficult journey and are a tangible expression of your presence. I ask that you multiply their time Lord as they take time away from their families to serve others. I also ask that you bless them abundantly as you see fit Lord. Please open the eyes of my heart Lord to see when these individuals are in need as well and mold me to be the servant to them as they have been to me. In your almighty name I pray. AMEN!!!

The pink party meant so much to me, not for the abundance of gifts or awesome food but to have all of my friends together and see what a wonderful support system God has laid out before me. I know he put each and every individual on my path of life because he knew they would serve a great purpose through my journey and I am so grateful for that. I love each and everyone of you!!! Thank you so much for being a part of mine and my families life!!

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10

Friday, September 3, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I absolutely loved Mayo Clinic.. I had impecable care and an amazing team of doctors that treated me like I was there only patient, God had definitely blessed me! I fell in love with Rochester, Minnesota. The people there were so nice and the weather was unbelievable. I loved being there, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that going there was the best decision for me. All of that being said Ashland, Kentucky had never sounded so wonderful!!! I couldnt wait to get home to see my babies. I had been away from them for way too long!!

I did not realize what a privelage it is to be a stay at home mom until I wasn't able to do all the things I do for my girls each day. I took so much for granted! I couldnt wait to fix sippys, brush curly hair for 30 minutes, listen to whining b/c the movie in the van was skipping and most of all I couldnt wait to see their beautiful faces. I think I had a perma-smile for the rest of the evening after we returned home.

The next day we had our first MOPS meeting of the year. I couldnt wait to see everyone there. I knew I had missed everyone but I did not realize how much!! When we went into discussion groups after out speakers I realized that this bump in the road was not just me alone, I had a ton of people on this journey with me. There were so many people over the past month that were there every step of the way to pray for me and encourage me.

Psalm 23:5 "My cup overflows." At that moment I realized that my cup was like a waterfall and God had placed so many wonderful individuals in my path to help fill that cup for me and I am so thankful for that!

There have been tears and I know that there will still be some hard times to come but I am comforted in knowing that I have so many amazing, compassionate, loving, and prayerful people in my life.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Decisions, Decisions!

Options are such a wonderful thing to have in most situations in life; lots of shoes in your closet, hundreds of movie titles on netflix, new places to eat in your town. Options always seemed great until the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. All of a sudden options became a very stressful thing. For me the more informed I am about my decision the better I feel about it. There is a proverb that I love about being informed and having wisdom. Proverbs 8:11 "For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her." I think that for a long time I felt that wisdom was gained through research and experience. That thought has definitely been altered over the past month or so.

I longed so much for a sign that my decisions for surgery and treatment were the right ones. I read every brochure, book, and website there was about the pros and cons of each and I was at one of the best cancer centers in the world but I still longed for that sign. A halo crowned angel with a brass trumpet sounding would have been perfect but as I am sure you can imagine that didn't happen. LOL:) I knew that no matter what I chose I had to feel that affirmation deep down to know that it was with no doubt the right decision.

When it came to surgery all I could think at first was I am 28 years old I do not want to go with out breasts. So I kept telling myself that the right decision was immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy. Between my husband and the doctors not one individual agreed with me. I remember laying in bed the night before meeting with the surgeon and telling myself that I was making the right decision but deep down I didn't truly know that. As I was drifting off to sleep Damola woke me up to say one thing... "The decision is yours babe, you have heard what the doctors have to say and I have told you how I feel but in the end this has to be your decision." I remember silently thinking "Oh your a big help!"

I woke up at 3:00am that morning in almost a panic.. I was sweating, scared and out of breath. I had definitely had a nightmare but I was so scared I couldn't even remember what it was about. I laid there for about 30 minutes thinking about the day ahead and then I realized I have not felt at ease with a decision because I never asked the most important person. At that point I knelt beside my bed and told God to take this burden from me. I knew that he could bring a peace over me that no one else could but I was so caught up in research, vanity, and control I never stopped to ask him. After I was done praying I laid in bed and it was like someone had taken earplugs and a blindfold off of me. I suddenly saw all of the signs over the past few days that led me to the right decision.

I knew I had an amazing husband but deep down I didn't want to go without reconstruction because I wanted to be pleasing to his eye. He had told me on numerous occasions that he wanted me to wait to have reconstruction. He wanted me to worry about treatment not what I looked like. My radiation oncologist had told me that radiation would not be as effective if I had reconstruction. My plastic surgeon had told me that it could effect the breast implants if I was going to have radiation. I had all of this in front of me the whole time but I couldn't see it. I realized that at that point the wisdom in one of my favorite verses came from God and the Bible not from encyclopedias and doctors. All of the wisdom they had came from our Heavenly Father as well. After about an hour of self realization I had an amazing peace over me and slept peacefully through the rest of the night.

At the end of the day I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy with delayed reconstruction. Not only as cancer patients but as humans alone we face so many monumental decisions and whatever we decide can have intense consequences so I have learned to invite God into each decision weather it seems small or large he knows the best path. Sometimes I may not like or agree with his answer but there is one thing I know. He has a divine plan for me if I follow him, and the best way to do that is to discern his voice and obey!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stronger by Faith

Each morning I start my day out with a devotion and/or scripture and praying for the day that follows. This morning I read scripture from 1 Samuel. I had one of those light bulb moments during my time with God this morning. I have had so many people tell me how amazed they are at my strength, faith, attitude, and outlook through this time in my life and I in most instances answer with something similar to; "I give all the Glory to God or God has given me this strength, without him I would not be smiling right now." In the scripture God is referred to as the strength of Isreal. I realized that God does not just want to give me stength he wants to BE my strength.

God was Isreal's strength for a very long time but when they forgot it, they always started to fail and their lives began to be filled with destruction. I know that this is so true in my life as well.. SO many times I know that God gets me through a situation and then once everything is back to normal I try to regain control of my life instead of continueing to allow God to be in the drivers seat. This morning I vowed that I would never let that happen again. Hebrews 11:11 says that by faith Sarah recieved the strength to conceive a child. God tells us in so many ways that by faith we can recieve strength to get through absolutely anything. Join me today in deciding that today we will start recieving God as our strength by faith. It is sure to quicken our body, spirit, and soul.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Strong at the Roots!

I think everyone agrees that a house will crumble without a strong foundation. I believe the same is true for a women and her spirit. A solid lineage of strong, faithful, loving women is a hidden blessing for us as we grow into mature women ourselves. We take on the characteristics of women from even the highest branches in our family tree. I know that my mom has passed so many wonderful things to me from not only her mother but also my great-grandmother and further. I have learned how to be a great home-maker for my husband and children because of my mother and I believe she would say the same thing about her mother as well.

I say all of that because I feel that the strong spirit that I have through this battle has been passed down from woman to woman in my family until it reached me in this hard time of my life. Each of the women in my family have been through many trials and tribulations and each of them have looked up into the heavens and allowed God to carry them over each of the speedbumps, through the rapids, and right to the finish line. I have saw my mother triumph through many hardships from her own health problems, to loosing her mother, father, and only sister at a very early age. My mother and I do not always see eye to eye on everything but I think we both agree whole heartedly that Our Hevenly Father is faithful. My mother has became one of my best friends as I have grown into a women and I thank her for raising me in an enviroment where I learned that giving my life to Christ was the way to go. I know without the solid foundation she gave me in life I would not be standing as strong as I am today. Thank you mom!! I love you very much!!

My mother is an amazing, giving, talented, loving individual and I thank God for choosing her to be the woman to raise me. I dont know how I would be getting through this without her.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

For Better Or Worse!!

I have told myself through this entire journey that I must make sure to see my blessings through this hard time in my life. I have found so many blessings through this already from the wonderful support of friends and family to the closeness I have found with God through this but I think the largest blessing of all has been right in front of me from day one. That blessing is my husband. I think God knew from the time I was a little girl that I would be going through this journey at an early age and he made sure to give me a spouse that was caring, compassionate, smart, loving, and most of all a man of God. Through everything Damola somehow always knows at what time to comfort me, what time to make me laugh and what time to reassure me with the words of Christ. I could not ask for a more Amazing man to stand by my side through all of this.

I think that it is so important to step back and see how great the people in your life really are. It has been easy for me to be self-absorbed during this time in my life and I was talking to a good friend last night on the phone and she said something that made me reflect on how truly wonderful Damola is. I was telling her that the most romantic time we have right now is him showering me LOL:) She responded by saying those are the times when you all grow old together that you will look back on and think they are the most romantic times of all.

I know that he left work, our children, and home with not a second thought. He also took on every daily task of mine and his that I have had in my routine for so long without one complaint. When I stood at the alter on our wedding day I knew that the vows we took for one another were real but to see how a man turns those words into actions is the most beautiful thing a women could ask for in a husband.

Father, Thank you for my husband! I know that from the day you created me you knew he would be the perfect man for me and of course you were so right. Help me to not always be so self consumed with my needs Lord, help me to meet his as well. I know that when I am in pain, he is in pain too. Please comfort him and give him strength to continue to be the amazing caretaker he is. Multiply his time and give him a heart of wisdom!! My husband has showed more love for me than himself and I know that you are the one that makes that possible. The love he has for me is a love that is not possible without you LORD. I ask you Father to help mold me into the wife you made me to be even through cancer treatments. Holy Spirit come into my heart and home to stay and make me a joyous person for my husband to be around! In your precious sons name I pray.. AMEN


Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

I LOVE YOU DAMOLA ASAFA!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sometimes we ask Why??

I think that each of us as humans at some point in the journey of our trials and tribulations ask the question why me. I am not sure when the last time I asked God that but I awoke this morning from twinges of pain and I stopped myself from asking that question as God reminded me of something. He said "when I think of my children I only think in terms of what can be used towards your good, toward my plan for you, and, toward your future."

I think sometimes it is so easy to forget that God only wants great things for his children and sometimes we allow the enemy to work his way into our thoughts and make us question Gods intentions. I think that God uses the things in our past to inspire individuals in our future and give them hope.

We sometimes wonder what life would have been like if something may not have happened the way it did, but I think that God gives us a wealth of knowledge from those experiences and it is up to us to use that knowledge to minister to others that may be facing the same trials in the future. There are so many people in our everyday lives that are lost, they need hope, they need to know there is a God and that he is there for them. As Christians we need to step up and leave that legacy of faith with these individuals, no matter what they are going through each of these people are worth it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

His Chariot Awaits!

On Sunday night (the night before my surgery) I read lots of scripture and numerous devotions. All of them seemed to be talking to me and telling me the same thing; You are in his hands!!! One devotion ecspecially jumped out at me. The devotion talked about that when a trial comes your way put it right into the will of God just as a child climbs into its mothers arms. A child climbs into its mothers arms as if a chariot that rises them above all that is hard, and they do not even know when trials are being experienced, and how much more comforted are those of us who climb into God's Chariot.

I allowed myself that evening when anxious thoughts tried to creep into my mind to climb into that beautiful chariot that My Heavenly Father put before me. I rode that chariot all the way into the operating room with a smile on my face. I knew that he would keep me above all trials and tribulations that had been thrown my way.

When I woke up from surgery I knew everything was going to be okay. Not only had I climbed into that beautiful chariot, and been surrounded by prayer from so many of Gods children but I also knew that God had wrapped his healing arms around me and held me through the whole procedure. "He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Covered in Prayer!!

Hello All.. I have not been blogging for a few days as you may have noticed. I have been busy spending time with my Amazing family. I feel so blessed to have had surgery postponed so that I could cherish these precious moments before surgery with my little princesses. I will be blogging tonight about my past few days of this journey but I wanted to post something that my friend Emily was so gracious to come up with. I copied and pasted the following from her facebook page.

Kamilah's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow and I would love for her to be covered in prayer all day! I know God desires to bring her complete healing. If you are able please comment in 15 minute increments a time you would be willing to pray for her. Thanks so much! We love you Kam :)

If you are able to do this you can go to my facebook wall adn choose a time or comment on this post and I will pass it along to her. I know that 8:00-8:15am is covered and 5:30-5:45am.

Thank you to each and everyone of you that have lifted myself and my family up in prayer over the past few weeks and to those of you that I know are continuing to pray. I love each and everyone one of you!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Birthday My Little Princess!!

Yesterday (August 8th) was the hardest day I have experienced since I have been in Minnesota. My little princess turned 5 and I wasn't there. Since the day after her 4th Birthday party Nevaeh knew that she wanted to have a luau pool party for her 5th birthday. We had everything planned for August 7th and then life slapped us in the face. Unfortunately her Luau party has not occured yet but she did have a family party with some of her very favorite people... Mimi, Papaw, Jaydah, Aunt Kay Kay, Uncle Sho Sho,Bryce, Nana, Aunt Sharon, and Cousin Alex. I talked to her numerous times yesterday to try to fill the void that I felt becaude I wasnt there. Last night when I spoke to her the first words that came out of her mouth were "I had the best birthday ever Mama!!!" Those words I know were God sent to ease my soul. I instantly had a perma-smile on my face for the rest of the conversation. Tommorow my family is traveling up to Minnesota and we will get to have a birthday party of our own with Nevaeh. Although I never imagined I would have to miss one of my babies birthdays, I know that it will ensure my ability to spend many more with them in the future.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

No hair days mean No bad hair days!!!

Over the past couple of weeks I have tried to prepare myself for all the things that could possibbly occur during this process, knowing of course that there would be suprises along the way. One of the most obvious is hair loss. I have talked about wigs, scarfs and hats but hadnt got up the courage to try any on until today. I decided to go to a near by wig shop and drag hubby along for opinions. I had read a verse a week or so ago in a book that a dear friend also fighting breast cancer had given me (Thanks Heather!) that gave me a positive outlook on this subject. "Your beauty...should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight". 1 Peter 3:3-4 This verse gave me so many wonderful ideas about how I oould look at having no hair a great thing. I can change my hair color in a split second, I can go from short to long and long to short in the snap of a finger and best of all NO BAD HAIR DAYS!!! Thank you Jesus for the gift of laughter, I am so grateful to have this wonderful gift ecspecially during difficult times. Thank you for my husband who laughs with me and keeps me laughing when I need it most!! AMEN!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yesterday I failed to blog because we had such an appointment filled day. I had lots of blood work, genetic testing, biopsy on lymph nodes and another breast biopsy along with numerous consults.

Blessed is the man who fears the LORD..... He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:1,7

After my biopsies yesterday I told Damola I was nervous for my results because this would possibly raise the stage of the cancer. Damola reminded me that from the beginning of this journey we have took a firm stance that no matter what size the tumor is, what stage the cancer is, and no matter what else the doctors may find we will not let that shake us because God already knows the answer to all those questions and he is going to take care of me. In Psalms 112 it tells us that if we fear and believe in the Lord we will not have dread nor worry because we know that he will prevail over all things. The question I had to ask myself at that point was do I trust that God will take care of me and my answer was of course. I know that my creator is kind, passionate, and has abundant love for me. Those key things stifle all fear that this disease may bring.

This morning we met with Dr. Neal to ask some questions and found out that the lymph node biopsy came back positive for cancer cells. This means the cancer is at least a Stage 2. When the doctor told me, I honestly didn't bat an eye, not because I am the strongest women in the world but because I prepared myself with scripture that promised me that any fears I have I can cast on my Lord and he will deal with them because he loves me that much.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Humpday

The beginning of this beautiful humpday was very relaxing. Damola and I slept in till almost 9:30 (for anyone with kids you know that is sleeping in). My first appontment for today was not until 3:oo pm so we took our time getting ready and spent most of the first part of the day educating our self on every aspect of Breast Cancer. I think over the past 2 weeks I have obtained so many books, pamphlets and handouts I could start my own education center.

I remember looking at my appointment packet to see if there were any specific instructions for my 3:00 o'clock appointment which was for an MRI. Below the instructions was a footnote that stated "if you would like sedation during your MRI please inform the representative at the front desk when you check in". My first thought was why in the world would anyone be so anxious they would need sedation, then I entered the mini-me space chamber. I believe it was truly the most awkward and uncomfortable thing I have every experienced. I just knew that I was getting ready to have my first panic attack. My breathing got very fast, I began sweating, and my toes were curling then I remembered the words of the technician "If you need to stop the procedure immediately please squeeze the bulb in your left hand." Just as I was getting ready to squeeze I remembered words that were much more important "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I then prayed for the first ten minutes of my MRI and repeated that verse over and over in my head. All of my anxieties were lifted and the test ended up being a breeze after that. I think that sometimes we forget that if we know Gods word we always have the weapons to fight anything that comes our way.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jesus said " Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you" John 14:27

God promises that when we pray about our worries and concerns that he will bring us peace. I think that this is sometimes hard to imagine until you actually experience it. I am privileged to be surrounded by an outstanding number of family and friends that have been praying for me since my day of diagnosis. The prayers that have been lifted up for not only my healing but for my families peace and provision have given us such a sense of peace that we still walk through our days with smiles and laughter. As so many prayers are lifted up on our behalf we are excited to see what God has in store for us. When life throws you challenges lift up prayer and God will always give you peace.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

7:30am this morning we took our first steps into the Gonda Building at Mayo Clinic. I know that those are the steps that are eventually going to lead to my full recovery. I think that is why I walked in with a smile on my face and in my heart. I met with my Internal Medicine/Breast Specialist Dr. Neal. She sat down with us for a little over 2 hours to explain the process of my journey from diagnosis all the way to being a cancer free women. After a very thorough exam and extensive Q & A session I also had blood work done, a mammogram, an ultrasound, met with a dermatologist, and another visit with Dr. Neal for any questions our inquiring minds may have conjured up during the day. I have a friend that told me that Mayo Clinic was like Disney World for sick people and I definitely see why, you can actually feel the magic in that clinic. It is almost impossible to put into words how extraordinary the care here is. Doctors do not leave the room until you have every answer you were looking for and if they don't have the answer they will find it for you, everyone you run into is eager to help you out in any way they can, and test results are back with in hours... sometimes minutes. I thank God for putting it. on our hearts that this is where we were to be. I am so calm and comforted in knowing that this is part of our Heavenly Fathers divine plan for myself and my family

Trip to Mayo

Before the journey began I think I was already tired of riding in the car. I just knew that the 13 hour long trip to Mayo Clinic was going to be agonizing but I was so wrong. God blessed me with 13 hours of precious alone time with my husband. We had wonderful conversation, read scripture together, and talked about how Amazing God has been through this. The outpour of love from his children has been so abundant we have almost not missed a beat. With God as our rock and the Amazing support of our family and friends we will get through this and come out on the other side appreciating this wonderful life on earth that God has blessed us with more than we did before. Sometimes we dont realize how beautiful uninterupted time with our loved ones is, wheather it is 13 hours on a road trip or 30 minutes on the couch at home treasure those moments.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Timeline Up To Today...

December 2009 - Breast ultrasound was done to look at lump I found during self-examination 3 months prior. Result: Not suspicious at this time follow-up with breast surgeon and repeat ultrasound in 6 months.

July 7, 2010 - Follow up ultrasound was performed on same lump. Result: Not suspicious follow-up with breast surgeon as usual.

July 14, 2010 - Recieved call from breast surgeons office stating that lump had increased in size and they wanted to do biopsy following day

July 15th, 2010 - Core Biopsy was performed

July 22nd, 2010 - Diagnosed with Breast Cancer.