Sunday, October 30, 2016

Where's the Waterproof Mascara?

So my hubby and I were supposed to fly to Dallas today for a trip I earned through Plexus. I was so excited because this is the first trip I've earned with this company. We had to cancel our plans but I'm super excited for my friends and team that are there. And wait until you see what they've done. I wish I were there with them but I have a beast to slay back home!

Ok, how cute is that? They made a #fistsup Bitmoji just for me?! lol.

I need to start wearing waterproof mascara... So when I earned the Plexus trip to Dallas, I also qualified for the private reception at the Glass Cactus. I have a sweet friend Ashely that I know through Plexus. We met at Convention last July and instantly connected. We've cheered each other on in life and our businesses. She knew earning the Glass Cactus Reception was a goal of mine and she was my biggest cheerleader along the way. I wasn't able to attend because of this little detour I'm on, but look what she sent me! This is even better as I'll have them forever! So thoughtful! Thank you sweet friend - this brought tears to my eyes and a big smile to my face!!

Look at my awesome Plexus friends! They sent a #fistsup from Texas:

Aren't they gorgeous? I am so blessed by the friendships I've made through Plexus!

Ok and then there's this... When your friends dress as "Cori's Army" for a Halloween party... gulp. I have the BEST friends, prayer warriors and support. I just love them! More tears when they texted me this photo!! 

All I know is this:

And when you find those people, love them hard.


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Faith > Fear

Ahh I survived my first three days of cheomoradiation!! I'm not going to lie, I was scared to take that first dose of the chemo pills. I stared at them for awhile. But you know what, I'm not going to let fear get the better of me! My faith is way bigger than my fear!

So three treatments, down, 22 more to go. The countdown is on!! Luckily, cute shirts and socks make it easier...

Thank you for the sweet messages and prayers! Have a great weekend! 💙👊🏼

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 1 of Chemoradiation

Treatment begins today. I woke up an hour and a half before my alarm feeling so distraught and overwhelmed. But then I was led to just the right scripture and devotion that I needed. I know God has prepared me for this battle. I've spent the last year and a half working on me - my health, my relationships, personal development and mindset, and most importantly, my faith. God has put people in my life to support me. New friendships have been made and old ones have been rekindled. I joined a Bible study with some incredible, prayerful women. Friends and strangers are gathered in prayer, some of which for the first time. God has led us down the path for finding physicians and treatment that I need. My boys are loved and prayer for. My hubby has some amazing friends that have helped him through. I am closer to God and my husband than ever before. And for all of that, I will be forever grateful.

After meeting with two surgeons, two radiation oncologists, and one oncologist, I feel confident in who we've chosen to provide care. (And I've learned a whole lot about the importance of being your own best advocate). I'll be at one hospital to see my oncologist, another to receive radiation treatments, and then in Ohio for surgery. (Gotta keep it interesting...) I've received lots of questions and it's so hard to answer all of the messages so here's the scoop...
• I feel great. I've never felt bad. And I do have a family history of cancer. The surgeon said it's probably been slow growing for 5-10 years. What caused me to get a colonoscopy was blood in my stool. (TMI but I've probably had a least 50 people pm me and ask so there ya go...) The GI doc said once you begin having symptoms, it's usually too late. So, go get a colonoscopy! It's easy peasy. You'll wake up and have no idea what happened. ha!
• I began chemo pills (with breakfast and dinner) today. This is not the chemo through a port. Just pills. I'm told I won't lose my hair. So you don't need to stare at my head and try and figure out if it's my hair or a wig - lol. (I've received that question a lot too - and trust me, oh how I wish losing my hair was my biggest concern). There's a chance I might do the heavy duty chemo after surgery but we're crossing that bridge when we get to it. My hairdresser and I have a wig picked out in case that time comes. God has blessed me with a lot of things but I don't think a pretty, symmetrically shaped head is one of them. I will continue the pill for 5.5 weeks along with radiation.
• My first radiation treatment is this afternoon. It only takes 15 minutes per treatment. I'll go daily Monday-Friday for 25 treatments. Because of the location of the tumor the side effects will be pretty crummy. I'm told that the side effects won't start until about 1.5-2 weeks in and then they will continue for a couple of weeks after treatment ends. This is what I'm dreading. This is what wakes me up at night lately. But I have prayed, I have researched, I have talked to people that been through it, and have spoken with several physicians. And it begins today. I met with my new radiation doc Monday and told him about someone whose tumor disappeared after radiation and Xeloda (chemo pill). He said that happens in about 15% of patients. I immediately responded, ok, here's to being that 15%. It didn't occur to me until later that night, that 15% really isn't the best of odds. lol. But, my initial gut response was I'll be in that 15% so let's go! I believe in the power of prayer and God's healing hands so I'm ready.
• I am doing as much naturally and holistically as I can. I've eaten clean, exercised, taken supplements and used essential oils. I have the ok to continue my vitamins and probiotics during treatment. And I'm really trying not to worry about the fact that in a few weeks, I might only be able to tolerate toast... I mean... It is what it is.
•After treatment ends, I will rest and recuperate for 8-10 weeks before surgery. I'm not sure what will happen after that. And to be honest, I have to take on day at a time or I'll go insane. So right now I'm focusing on getting through this treatment and pray that it will kill every cancer cell in my body.
• I put this all out there because I believe strongly in the power of prayer. I believe in God's healing hand. I draw strength from scripture but also from my friends and family. And I'm told that I've inspired others in their faith along my journey. (who knew?!) yes, I've already seen miracles happen. Yes, I'm a very positive person by nature. And yes, this has been tough on myself, my family and my friends. But this is part of my story. I have no idea why I've found myself on this little detour at this point in my life. But I chose to embrace it and find the good in it all. Thank you to everyone that has done that alongside me.
• Specific prayer requests for my prayer warriors:
*Pray that the chemoradiation kills the cancer cells and shrinks that tumor down to nothing
*Pray that I can tolerate side effects, that they are minimal, and that I don't have any long term/permanent side effects from treatment
*Pray that my blood work will remain normal during treatment and more specifically that my white blood cell count stays normal
*Pray for comfort and peace for Eddie and the boys - especially if I become a horrible, grumpy person in the weeks to come. lol
*Pray for God's complete and total healing of this cancer
*Pray for the doctors providing my care
•And please know that I pray constantly that God blesses each of you that say a prayer for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

#Godsgothis #letsgetthispartystarted #fistsupforcori #bringit #bubbyecancer

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Little Update...

I've had some friends ask for updates and specific prayer requests. (Thank you) Eddie and I went to Ohio for an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic. We felt like we should get a second opinion before chemoradiation treatment is supposed to begin. With the help of some good friends, we were able to get in there quickly. We absolutely loved the surgeon. He specializes in the type of surgery I'll need, made us feel very comfortable and had the best bedside manners. He feels confident that he can do the surgery I need. They discussed my case at the tumor board and they weren't thrilled with the quality of the scans done at home to determine whether or not there was lymph node involvement. So I actually made a second trip up there with my mom to get another MRI done. (Which by the way, I'm not a fan of). I never really thought I was claustrophobic until I had my arms strapped to my sides, ear plugs in, and shoved in a teeny, tiny tube for 52 minutes....

So the day after I was told they found a mass, I began writing in this journal. Every day since, I've filled it with Bible verses and things I'm grateful for. I'm determined to find good in each day despite this storm I've found myself in. I know there will be rough days where reading through this will give me strength. This morning I was able to write that I'm grateful that the repeat MRI showed no lymph node involvement! I know there's a chance this could change once they're removed during surgery but today, I'm praising Him for that good news!! Thank you to all of my prayer warriors. And if you don't keep a gratitude journal, I recommend it!

So one day after an appointment, I took a picture of this sign and decided to rename the building... what do you think?!

Oh and one more thing to share... Look what my sweet cousin did! She sent me this card and book along with the t-shirts and wrist bands she's selling on our behalf. How sweet is that?!

Thank you for your continued prayers. We're praying for discernment and guidance as we navigate through treatment and surgery options. Praying that God leads us on the path for complete and total healing for a long and healthy life. 


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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Hitting the Trails

Ahhhh, how I love the great outdoors! I am fortunate to live very close to a mountain with some awesome trails. I've been walking here for awhile and have all kinds of different routes mapped out. It's so peaceful, so calming and a great workout! And the days I hit these trails, I always meet my Fitbit quota for the day!  Today, I was lucky to have this handsome hiking partner with me. And we stopped for a #fistsup selfie. ;)

It's easy to look back on my life and wonder if I could've prevented this cancer diagnosis. My grandma had colon cancer. But she was diagnosed at 74 - not 45! She fought it and passed just about 4 months ago at 95 (not from cancer). So I know if she beat it so can I! I think about all of the times over the years that I didn't exercise consistently, ate processed food, was addicted to sugar and diet sodas, the countless nights I didn't get enough sleep, and the times I would let stress get the better of me. I wish I could go back and change all of that. It's a little embarrassing considering I have my Master's degree in Nutrition! But, life happens. And it's so easy as a mom to put yourself on the back burner and take care of everyone except yourself. (But come on, look at that handsome dude above that I have to show for it....) I'm grateful to be here now and plan to continue my healthy lifestyle. 

I'm thrilled to get the go ahead from my doctors to continue exercising and taking my Plexus supplements. So grateful that last spring I decided to really focus on my health again. My hope is that I can continue to inspire others along their health journey, their faith journey, and in life. I know I plan on cherishing every moment I have!

Happy trails!

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