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Happy Easter!

Things have been busy lately. Softball season is in full swing! We have had a chance to go watch Z play a couple times. When we can't go I watch on my phone while at Bent and Demi's games. I had no idea you could watch 3 games at one time, but I have figured it out.

Doug has had another round of CCNU chemo, this one was a bit tough. It made him more sick this time. No vomiting, just horrible nausea for about 4 days. I don't think it helped I was out of town for 3 of those days. He is completely enjoying coaching this season, a new outlook on how he is coaching, what he wants to accomplish as a coach, and truly figured out what is important to him as a coach. The girls seem to be responding to him and his coaching staff really well. A very talented group, but more importantly a very smart, caring bunch of girls.

Happy Easter to all! Enjoy the day with your family. Let the little ones hunt eggs in the rain if it is raining. Be grateful for time you have with them. Slow a bit and take it all in. Life is a crazy thing, I forget we are always learning, that even as adults we have many lessons to learn. Just when you think the door you walked through seems to be exactly what you want to be traveling, it gets slammed shut right in your face. Confused, saddened, heart broken, not understanding why The Lord would shut this door. We can sit and question it, we can try to figure it all out, but what we need to do is understand The Lord knows best. He, with every door that gets shut, will open a new door for us to travel through. I am believing a new door will open for me and I will walk through it with my head held high, ready to learn more lessons on this journey called life I am traveling. I am always being reminded that I am not in control, that it is my almighty God that has the best interest in our journey. It becomes very hard sometimes with his decisions, when you feel things should be one way and he knows differently. As we get ready to travel back to Seattle my anxiety begins to build. I do my best to keep holding onto the last two MRI's were stable. I find myself forgetting how serious Doug's diagnosis truly is. He is strong, he is doing what he loves, coaching softball, he is active, he just seems healthy! Then you are quickly reminded how serious it is, as you watch, and I will be honest I watched about 7 minutes and my heart could not watch anymore, a 60 minute story on GBM tumors. Reality is slapped across your face. I turn my focus and energy on prayer. Believing in miracles, believing in more victories, believing that through this trial we are facing, lessons are being learned, hearts are being softened, lives are being transformed.

And I am not just speaking of Doug, myself and our girls lives. I am speaking about that one soul that might be reading this, going through your own trials, have your own dis beliefs, maybe experiencing your own doors being shut. I would look you in the face and with a tear in my eye I would say to you. . It does suck, it truly feels as if you are sinking sometimes, but you have a choice. You can allow yourself to fall victim of it all or you can pull yourself up and stand against the dark and if you don't have enough energy to get up on your own, look up, reach to the sky and allow The Lord to hold you until you can stand on your own. I would say to you, you will not get through this without help. That means saying some prayers, holding onto that possibly tiny bit of hope, believing, believing, believing, and saying a lot more prayers. Choose to see the good that is coming from your trial. Now wait a minute, someone is shaking their computer screen at me on this one. I can hear it, good out of something so trying, good out of something I so hard, GOOD OUT OF. . . let me talk about this.

In a one year span, my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer, not just the type that you do radiation and chemo and it most likely will be gone. No it is a GBM tumor, it is high grade, no cure, average 15 months survival, get your things in order, and start your good byes kind of brain cancer. Oh and we did not get all the tumor out of you. You will start radiation and chemo and hopefully it will prolong your life a bit. He starts his fight, I start my new life. One I really wasn't prepared for. While you tend to your recovering husband, your 3 girls, you now are running 2 businesses, one I had no clue how to run. I went from working 2 days a week, enjoying some "me" time, to working 6 days a week, dealing with unhappy employees, to happy employees, unhappy customers, to an unhappy me. Then in a few months you are told radiation and chemo DID NOT work, if you don't leave Idaho your husband has a few weeks. Complete fear sets in, complete anxiety, complete sadness, complete confusion, complete fight. In a two day span you are now in Seattle having another brain surgery, hoping your two businesses will survive, but not really caring because you just want your husband to survive. All the tumor is removed, but don't forget it is very aggressive and microscopic cells can be left and grow. Get some new chemo, do more MRI's, travel to Seattle on airplanes, that I hate flying on, hear your tumor has grown, your tumor has grown, do more radiation, do more radiation, more MRI's, start a new chemo, actually start 2 new chemos, hear your tumor is stable, your tumor is stable! My point is, I could have stopped at the first doctors conference when he told us how serious of a diagnosis he had; gave up, sat and said our good byes. But the first thing out of my mouth to Dr. Lochhead was, "NOW WE FIGHT!" I look back now and believe he thought I was in complete denial of what I had just heard. But there was something that came over me that was like,"Jack, you are going to fight, you are going to not only touch people but you are going to change people" Let's now talk about the good in the last year. My faith grew so much my heart feels as if it could burst. I have witnessed an army of friends, family and strangers rally around us. I have had the pleasure of meeting the most amazing doctors in the Northwest. I watched my husband put Christ back in his life and put him in the front of the line. I have realized the difference between TRUE people and not so true people. I have become a TRUE person myself, I am who you get. I will forever be true to who I am. There has been a team of young ladies supporting my daughter while away, and learning a few things about how precious life is. I have watched my husband soften and truly see what life is really about. What life truly means to us. It is me choosing everyday to make it a better day. Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of bad, really bad days. But those are the days I rely on my faith, my family, my friends, and yep sometimes it is the stranger that smiled at me. But it has been my choice from the start, I was going to fight, and I was not going to let a GBM tumor rule my life.

So I would say to you, don't allow yourself to be shackled to your trials, you can be sad, you can be frustrated, but only for a moment. Choose now to see the good in your trial. Choose now to fight. See adversity is going to strike almost all of us, it is how you react to that adversity that will define you. So that one soul that I felt I needed to reach tonight, know you are loved, you are going to be okay, know you are a fighter, you have so much good around you. Just take a minute and look around. Always, always, always, BELIEVE!

James 1:6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

In the last year brain cancer or brain injuries have been all around us.I told Doug I believe it is because we are right in the middle of it ourselves. A gentleman in our church was diagnosed just a couple months before Doug, a friend of my mom and dad his brother was diagnosed, my aunt had a small spot on her brain they are watching, my other aunt had a large benign tumor removed, a friend from High School, his wife was in a terrible accident and had brain surgery, and most recently a client of mine has a friend and her 14 year old daughter was just diagnosed with brain cancer. I pray for all of them daily, along with my husband.

So on Sunday, if you are at a church or just home with family, enjoy this Easter Sunday and take in the meaning of the holiday.

As we get ready to travel to Seattle, and my anxiety is building, I am leaning on and chanting out loud. . .

Psalms 112:7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Love and Blessings to all

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